By Alessandra Oliveira, Special to CNN
Editor’s Note: Alessandra Oliveira is a wife, mother, and blogger who writes about home-schooling her daughter on her blog, Adventures of a Homeschool Mom.
To decide to home-school a child is not something to be taken lightly. Parents have to consider the child's needs first and foremost. Other important considerations are curriculum choice, socialization, financial strain, time commitment, and personal sacrifices. One big question that needs to be answered is "Why do I want to home school my child?"
Among the reasons some parents choose to home-school are: Dissatisfaction with traditional schools, religious beliefs, bullying, ability to custom-design learning for their child, and a desire to spend more time with their children.
I started home-schooling my daughter when she entered first grade. I call myself an "accidental" home-schooler because I didn't really plan to home-school. I fell into it due to circumstances. Looking back, I know I made the absolute right decision for our family. While my husband and I are totally committed to providing a wonderful, supportive learning environment for our daughter, not everyone in our family has been as enthusiastic. I have faced countless questions, odd looks, even criticism about our decision to home-school. Some people try to be polite and offer advice; others will ask the most inappropriate questions. With time, I have learned to deal with all of this scrutiny and misguided input. I am now able to answer questions and explain my reasoning without sounding defensive nor apologetic.
I must admit that a lot of what I hear are things that I actually thought before I started to home-school. I had a lot of misgivings about home-schoolers simply because I did not have enough information. Here, I have compiled some of the most common misconceptions about homes-schooled kids. These are all things that I have faced along my own home-schooling journey. I hope to help dispel some of these misconceptions with a dose of reality from someone who's "been there, done that.”
Myth 1: Home-schooled kids are weird
Reality: This is one of the most bothersome generalizations for home-schoolers. After all, no one wants to be thought of as weird. Home-schooled kids are given the freedom and encouragement to be themselves, to explore who they want to be. The advantage is that home-schooled kids do not have to worry about bullying or pressure to fit in. They are not being pushed to smoke or date before they are ready. If those are the experiences that constitute being called "normal,” I'm sure many home-schooled kids would rather be labeled weird.
Myth 2: Home-schooled kids are social misfits
Reality: Because homeschooled kids are exposed to a wide range of situations and opportunities, they are better equipped to adjust to change and new situations. Kids in traditional schools are exposed to many children, but in classes with kids all their own age. In contrast, home-schooled kids are exposed to children of all ages, even adults, so they are better prepared to handle varied social situations. Home-schooled kids can interact comfortably with people of all ages. Home-schooled kids have also been shown to be better problem-solvers because of their exposure to many different situations.
Myth 3: Home-schoolers are against traditional schooling
Reality: Some people who choose to home-school may, in fact, find fault with traditional schooling. However, many home-schoolers have no problem whatsoever with traditional schooling. In my own personal experience, the public school was not the issue. I happen to live in a district with fantastic blue-ribbon schools. My decision to home-school had nothing to do with the public school system. It was a personal decision based on what was best for my child. Some people find that home-schooling just fits their lifestyle better.
Some parents choose home-schooling because their children are not being challenged enough in public school or their special needs are not being met. In traditional schools, kids are restricted by time, what they learn has been pre-selected for them, and they have to spend countless hours inside a building, usually sitting for many hours. Home-schooling allows kids the freedom to learn anywhere (the world is their school room). Home-schooled kids have no limit to learning. They can follow their own interests in choosing what to study. Home-schooled kids are not bound by the clock - They can study any time of day, allowing for flexibility to pursue other interests.
Myth 4: Home-schoolers are religious freaks
Reality: While some parents choose to home-school their children based on their religious beliefs, there is a growing trend in secular home-schooling. There are many reasons for choosing home-schooling. Religion may be one of them, but it certainly is not the only one.
Myth 5: Home-schooled kids sit around the house all day
Reality: Home-schoolers view schooling differently than most. They find learning opportunities throughout the day, wherever they are. Learning can take place in the backyard, the park, the supermarket, or on a trip. Homeschooling has built-in flexibility which allows kids to visit museums, galleries, bookstores and many other places much more frequently than children in traditional schools. In addition, home-schooled kids take part in sports, extracurricular activities, book clubs, choir, field trips and more. The possibilities are endless. Homeschooled kids rarely sit around doing nothing.
Myth 6: Colleges don't want homeschooled kids
Reality: Colleges are seeing an increasing number of home-schooled applicants. As home-schooling is becoming more prevalent, colleges are adapting their admissions criteria to allow home-schooled kids to apply and be admitted. Colleges are quickly realizing that home-schoolers excel academically because they are more mature, have impeccable study and time management skills - typically things that are not taught in a classroom. Home-schooled kids also do extremely well on standardized tests and are self-directed learners, things that colleges view positively.
As home-schooling becomes more and more popular in the U.S., I hope that people can be open-minded and respectful, regardless of their personal opinions. I sincerely believe that knowledge is power and it can dispel prejudices and misconceptions.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Alessandra Oliveira.
I thought that it was kind of funny to see some of these things, because I thought some of these things about home schooled kids. After reading the prompt though I realize that in some ways it helps to be a home schooled kid, but it can also be bad because they won't get all of the social skills that they would get from being in a regular school.
My wife works in public school system. She is in a special position where she encounters the children of unsuccessful home and public schooling. Neither guarantees a proper education. The home school concept has the potential advantage of parents modeling high value for education and learning and that is key. It is however another myth that home schooling is always better. It is hearbreaking to encounter a "home schooled" child who has spent years sitting at home, in front of a TV, with a semiconscious, drug addicted /dealer "teacher".
We are all just doing our best as parents to raise our kids in this crazy, rapidly changing world of ours. We should embrace each other and the decisions we make for our own families. There is no one right answer that works for everybody. My wife and I were reluctant homeschoolers. We did so because the publci schools where we live are not so good. I have a PhD in molecular biology and my wife has an MA in English. We felt that homeschooling was our best option. It is working for us. No single option works for everybody. Find what works for you and your kids. Raise them to be the best they can be, however you choose. People need to stop being so judgy.
Even if she states otherwise......
I have SEEN how awkward a homeschooled child is....
Great post, Alessandra! I think that those who are opposed to homeschooling often just don't really understand it. Thanks for sharing intelligent and insightful information about what homeschoolers are really like:) We appreciate it!!
I can see the merits of both traditional and home schooling, but in the social world we live in, traditional classroom schooling is where I'll send my children. My little brother was home schooled through high school and I can honestly say he missed out on all the life and social lessons high school taught me. He's an adult now with the personality of a 13 year old. I've also worked with and went to college with home schooled people and they were all pretty much the same, very awkward social communicators.
I just can't see how any of the benefits would out way the social costs to the child. Growing up with bullies or peer pressure might be tough, but learning to deal with those issues when you're young is priceless.
The worst myth I've seen is that they "lack social skills" or are "isolated" from other kids. Wrong! I know a lot of homeschoolers, and all the kids are involved in sports at the local Y, church youth groups, girl and boy scouts, or cotillion. They get plenty of time with their friends, as well as a custom education.
Jazz hands! :) Teehee! :)
I was homeschooled all 12 years, my wife was homeschooled thru high-school, and we homeschool our three children.
Phew! Got that off my chest. :)
We have seen public school education produce well educated students and poorly educated students. We have seen home school education produce well educated students and poorly educated students. Both have students who struggle in social interactions, both have students who excel in social interactions. Both have teachers who are great, both have teachers who aren't. Both have produced students who don't know basic American history; dropped out of college during the first week; had pregnancies out of wedlock; can't write or spell worth a lick; might have a bit of redneck in them; come from genteel circles, etc., etc., etc.
The point is: I thought this was a free country. As a viable, tax-paying, mature adult and citizen of this country, I have the right and the responsibility of parenting my children the best I see fit for them...even if I make a mistake in their education.
As a homeschool Mom, I have several friends that were public school teachers. After starting their own families they left their profession to stay home and teach their own kids. There are good schools out there and there are great teachers out there. I personally don't think it is natural for 5,6 and 7 year olds to sit in a desk for most of the day. I also don't think it is the best thing for a child to be put in preschool at 3, although for many families that is the only option. We are so used to separating moms and children at early age that it is now expected and frowned upon if we don't. Also, you don't have to have a college degree to teach your children. There are thousands of different homeschool curricula. All designed for Mom's who need more help and others don't. As a public school grad, I had an Algebra teacher that should of been fired. I became afraid of math after having that teacher. Once I reached college, I realized it wasn't me, but my teacher. Many failed his class because he failed to teach. What happened to him? After a year he was traded to another school. What is the chance that your student will get the best teacher in each and every subject 12 years in a row? Your child will be one in 28 in a classroom. We aren't saying there is something wrong with public schools. What we are saying is this is an valid option. You don't have to be bullied or special needs to benefit from learning this way. I would put my 2nd graders up against any public school child of the same age. They are not lacking in any area social, academic or otherwise. Very well rounded, avid readers, love sports and respect adults.
Its such as you learn my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, such as you wrote the guide in it or something. I think that you can do with some p.c. to drive the message home a bit, however other than that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I'll definitely be back.
This article is such crap. Keeping your kid home and sheltering them from possible negative situations that come up in every kids life in school does them an injustice. No prom, no sports teams, no kid crushes, etc. you keep them from everything that's so great about being young.
Other than being stuck at school for 8 hours a day, home school kids often don't miss out on any of the things you mentioned. Depending on where they live, there are home school proms and dances, in many states home school kids can participate in any sports, clubs, or after school theater that the public schools offer. After all, even though you choose to home school, you still pay taxes. So home school kids don't miss out on all the "good" things you mentioned. As a side note, what parent doesn't want to keep their child from bullying and negative situations? Even if you choose to keep your child in public or private schools, if they were in negative situations you would do what you could to help them such as change classes, talk with the teacher, or I've even hear of parents moving to other districts.
nobody home schooling their kid now can tell if they are going to be successful or not. when they get to college and have to deal, for the first time, with the dynamics of a real school environment will they find out.
Yep, max. Just like kids who went to public school.
Unbelievable that you believe this. Homeschooled kids are taught to think for themselves, what is right and wrong, how to function in society freely and unfettered by the hierarchy of school bullies, incredible peer pressure to conform, shattering of self esteem and other sick school mob mentality. For the most part homeschooled kids go to college, marry and have careers that are successful in contrast to the floundering and failing of 1/2 the public school kids and 25% of private schooled kids. Get real and get your head out of the sand.
Completely false. There are plenty of sports programs available to homeschoolers through the local YMCA or community center. Our city offers summer sports programs. The homeschoolers are involved in their church youth groups, sports, cotillions and a host of other extra-curricular activities. The "lack of social skills" and "isolation" is spread about by public educators who lose the money that student would bring to a public school.
I have to laugh.
My daughter was homeschooled from 2nd grade through graduation.
She played high school basketball and was offered the opportunity to play in college. She decilined because she was concerned about the time commitment required of a college athlete.
She went to not one prom, but two. Her own, for homeschooled high schoolers, and her date's public school prom.
And your most laughable accusation? Homeschooled kids don't have crushes. Seriously? You don't know much about being a teenager if you think that being homeschooled precludes one from having crushes.
Families make the decision to homeschool for many reasons. Some want an environment where they can teach their religion with no boundaries, free from the political correctness that is so pervasive in public schools, where Christmas has suddenly become a “winter holiday”. Other families feel that the culture of our schools, where performance on a test is rated higher than creativity, outcome is valued over process and above all the score on a standardized test is the end all be all of a child’s educational experience. Some families have children with special needs whose needs are not being addressed in their school district. Other families guided by a Libertarian philosophy wish to be rid of all government rules and regulations that infringe on their family life. Some families travel extensively and school on the road. For some, like us, school was just not a place their children wanted to be.
If you have not walked a mile in someone's shoes, you should not be passing judgement on how their family chooses to educate their children. Take the time and talk to a homeschooling family, read a blog, read a book. Suspend judgement and allow for other possibilities. You may be amazed at what you discover.
Hey there everyone. Crazy stuff in the comments. Just thought I'd share. I'm a 23 year old professional making more than the median American household income as a single guy. I went to PUBLIC SCHOOL every year of my education. I went to PUBLIC UNIVERSITY via loans and graduated with good grades. I was able to attain a great job and I'm glad I made the decisions I did.
I don't know what kind of nightmare schools some homeschooling parents have opted out of. My school must have been a decent one. I'll always remember my junior and senior year history teacher. He really loved history and always had a fun way of explaining what happened. My math teacher and his wife, the physics teacher, both loved their areas of expertise and I feel like I got a great education because of that. Looking back my schooling in 'podunk' mid-western Pennsylvania was a pretty good one.
Public school could be cruel at times but I dealt with it, made a lot of friends, and I suppose became 'well-rounded'. I could not imagine what it would have been like to be taught at home. I don't think my parents could've done it and certainly wouldn't have had the passion of some of my teachers.
Of course, homeschooling would have been pretty much impossible for anyone I knew in high school. There weren't any families that could afford to have one parent just stay at home and teach. Both of my parents worked full-time. What a nice luxury for you folks who can do that. -_-
I don't know why so many people are in a huff about "DAT GV'MENT GETTIN IN MAH KIDS EDUCATION". It's not like the government is made up of evil people aiming to destory your kids' minds. That said, when you say 'MY kids' you need to understand it's a little more complicated. YOUR kids become our society. So the government supports public schools to provide a more-or-less agreed upon curriculum for educating the nation's youth. We need that. Or else we become a segregated nation of people who can afford education for their children and those who can not.
The problem with the opinion piece written above is that she wants to discredit public education and put 'her precious kids and their example' at the top of a pedestal. She has that 'As a MOTHER...' mentality. Homeschool works for some people. Special needs, excessive bullying, and the like are probably scenarios that lend well to it. I would not have given up my public education for anything and my kids (when I have them) will go to public school. I could write at length on the benefits, but I've written a lot already.
Not only did you miss the meaning of the article altogether, but you added your own biases and called them hers. One major thing I feel homeschooling does is allows for more tolerance of others and their differing opinions. Oftentimes public school tends to herd individual thinkers into buying into the biases of a group rather than thinking independently. I speak from the experienced standpoint of a 25+ year veteran public-school teacher who now happily homeschool my own child.
I think your response to this article is indicative of your "career" in public education. Truly educated people can see other's points of view and converse respectfully about them, even if they have a differing opinion.
I think you made the case for homeschooling beautifully, thank you.
How nice that we have the "luxury" to stay home? I don't know a single Homeschooler who is independently rich. We work HARD and we do without. We have one tv instead of five and don't have all the latest gadgets. My hubby works two jobs while I juggle multiple jobs from home and teach my children. We do this, we sacrifice, because we believe it's best for our children.
Good for you. You are in the minority and are probably one of the bullies.
I am a former homeschooled kid. Most of what was said in the article was true for me, however, I *was* a social misfit. It took me an entire semester of college to get out of my shell. I was more equipped to deal with people outside my age range than my own age range.
This completely ignores the kids who are thankful for a traditional school education (by public school teachers, no less!) to get away from home and parents for eight hours a day!
Culuriel, I'm homeschooled and I haven't met a SINGLE person who has told me they like that about schooling. They are quite obviously the minority. And, even if you're away from home for eight hours, you're cooped up in a building for that time. Not to mention the fact that you then go home and have HOMEWORK too! As if you didn't already spend eight hours (a ridiculous amount of time) learning a bunch of stuff which, really, you probably won't use! Homeschoolers finish school much earlier and have a lot more free time. I don't know any homeschoolers who do school for eight hours. It takes me about three usually. Also, liking traditional school for getting away has nothing to do with this article. It's about correcting some myths about homeschooling, not how it's better.
It all depends on the "school". Many parents can provide their children excellent instruction (assuming that one of the parents isn't working) just like there are many fine public schools.
My grandkids are being home schooled because their parents want them to get a religious education (no evolution, no global warming, etc). My 17 year old grand daughter told me that she had just finished studying the American Revolution. I said great John Adams has always been one of my heroes. She said "who"?
Tell me again about the virtues of home schooling.
That is unfortunate for your grandchildren, I agree. Myself and my husband are highly educated adults who are homeschooling are children because we feel that the schools cannot provide them what they need, academically. We have bigger goals, higher expectations and grand hopes for the future of our bright kids. Religion does not play a role in our homeschool, and we teach our children how to conserve resources because global warming is a reality that not everyone cares to admit. We meet families like those of your grandchildren and steer clear, to be quite honest. What you describe is the old face of homeschooling, which I don't blame you for being skeptical of – the new face is right here – within my family, within the family of this blogger, and emerging very slowly all around.
Homeschooling is more about the choice than quality of education. It's the parent's right to decide what's best for their children. if that is to have a religous education then so be it. If their quality of education suffers, then that is a shame. But, it is still part of being a free a country where you can raise your family as you choose.
Alarming though that anyone over the age of 12 doesn't know who John Adams was. However, the most important thing I've discovered and the most powerful as an adult is the desire to learn. Not knowning some common facts about our history is trivial if your child has a strong desire to learn.
Mr. Behret, seriously? This goes both ways. I have encountered countless public school students who can't read, and they still graduated from high school. It is a pretty big problem. Furthermore, I do a Bible Club in a public school. Last year I tried talking to the whole group ranging from first to fifth graders. My kids were the only ones who knew who Abraham Lincoln was! He is on the penny, for crying out loud! Did I mention that I homeschool my kids? I have a 4th grader, 2nd grader, and K. You can't blame ignorance just on homeschooling.
the chance that all of the kids didnt know who lincoln was is slim to none. far more likely they were shy and didnt want to answer the question.
I would personally be horrified if my kids didn't know who a major Founder. However, my 8th grader, who is choosing to come "home" next year, has yet to study a single classic book- & she has been in pre-AP English classes throughout middle school. Next year, when she starts taking classes at a local homeschool "academy," where many of the teachers are former public school teachers, and I can buy her yearly classes a la cart, she will FINALLY get to study the classics- and everything else for that matter, without all the mess that has been added into government "schooling." All the politically correct, government mandated blather that has little to do with a true education, will not be in the education I can arrange for her to take. So, while I would be bothered just as much as you are, be aware that there are "holes" in every educational choice out there.
My daughter will also be able to start going to our local community college system & racking up college credit in her junior year, as they have a terrific concurrent enrollment program.
I think whether a child is homeschooled, goes to public school, private school or boarding school, the most important thing is that a child is learning. A friend of mine is a stay at home mom who homeschools, and actually her children are good friends with mine, and she does a wonderful job keeping them on curriculum and her children are progressing just the same as their public/private school counterparts. Sometimes homeschooled children do miss out on the social interaction with other children and adults, but there are ways to help that. For example, my friend started a book club for the kids and their friends, which I personally think is an amazing way to educate and bring kids together. They're reading a great book now called "Through Angel's Eyes" by Steve Theunissen, you can check it out and get it right off the website http://sbpra.com/stevetheunissen/ and all of the kids are thrilled to be reading it, then getting together to talk about it.
Marie please stop with "missing social interaction crap" Since when is 30 barbarian 10 year olds in one room considered social? Home school Kids by a FAR GREATER majority are MORE social Adjusted then their so called peers
i know two homeschooled kids who dropped out of the first semester of college because they couldnt handle the social interactions.
I love the article and all the comments. I first heard of home schooling in 1979, when I was in highs school. I encounter my first homeschooling families in 1980. I went to college to become a public school teacher and encounter many homeschooling families who attended the church I attended. As I branched out in my education and interacted with public school children and families I noticed a stark difference between the children who were home schooled and public schooled.
(please note I said different not better) I graduated and taught in public school settings for 16 years. I became frustrated with the public school I was teaching when the school began teaching to standardized test ing then when students did not test well the district forced all teachers to change student answers or be fired. ( I chose to resign) Later, after I married and had my own children, I decided to homeschool. It has been a challenge and also a blessing. Some days it is much more difficult teaching two stubborn boys than a classroom of 40 children. Many days are full of laughter and joyful learning.
" I became frustrated with the public school I was teaching when the school began teaching to standardized test ing then when students did not test well the district forced all teachers to change student answers or be fired. ( I chose to resign) Later, after I married and had my own children, I decided to homeschool."
I suspect that English was not the subject you taught. You have a run-on sentence, an unnecessary parenthetical phrase, and a punctuation error. Whether in a public or private setting, teachers should have the skills they are tasked with transmitting to students.
MichCats, get a life! this is an informational board designed by its very nature to have more of a conversational tone give and take, not an English major class... Punctuation and sentence structure are vices of the busybody and the bored. (Henry David Thoreau)
I take an issue with the author. Just because I wasn't homeschooled doesn't mean I "didn't find learning opportunities" everywhere I went. I read and activily sought out knowledge at home! Homeschooled kids do interact with a large range of people, but so do highschool kids. Do you think that our classes were taught by teenagers and after we were done with the day that we never interacted with anyone? I understand homeschoolers frustration with people doubting them ;however, I am about sick and tired of parents who homeschool acting like I'm damaged goods because I wasn't homeschooled.
I'm nineteen and I am almost certain that I can outperform any average, I am not a bully, and I can think for myself.
Also, there might be an explination for the difference in performance. Homeschooling is an active choice where traditional schooling is the defualt choice. That means that you aren't comparing parents, who care about their child and homeschool with other parents who care and chose tradtional school. You're comparing parents who care with parents who don't care.
Though, I am curious parents who homeschool, how many hours a week do you think your children aren't with or around you?
Why do you take issue? The author didn't say all public school students are the same. Good for you for working to your full potential. Unfortunately, a lot of young people aren't inspired to do this so as you obliviously are inspired. If you are being treated like damaged goods, shame on the people treating you like that.
To answer your question about how much time my kids spend away from me (although I am not sure of the point), both my girls were gone most afternoons for extracurricular programs at the school, at dance, at sports or youth groups. Not to mention they participated in community service events and went on mission trips regularly.
I am not sure what point you are trying to make in your second paragraph, but I think you are talking about parental involvement. I believe that whether you are traditionally schooled or home educated that parental guidance is the key to either success or failure.
Just a note, grammar, spelling and punctuation matter; especially when you are commenting on education.
My issue mostly lies with her first myth. She simply sounded self-righteous. It basically sounded like the old trope, "My child is an angel!" Now I'm not trying to say that parents who homeschool abuse me. I suppose a better way to explain is that I'm often met with an odd pity by SOME homeschooling parents. I know that other parents do the same to homeschooled children as well.
Thank you for answering. I know that homeschool children rarely sat around for an entire week, but I didn't know what they did. I agree somewhat with you. Who's at fault for a child's failure – to me at least – depends on why that child failed. If the child just didn't want to work, that's the child's fault.
Allow me to try to clarify my second paragraph. Parents who homeschool made that choice, and that implies that they care about their children's education. Public schools, however, are a default choice. That implies that both parents who do care and don't care send their kids to public schools. I believe that can explain part of the gap between homeschooling and public schooling when it comes to standardized tests.
I understand. English is the toughest subject for me. While I can write like a champ, my actual grammar and spelling is poor. I know it's not an excuse, but it makes proofreading a pain.
James your anger is misplaced, do not vent at the family who sees the desolate and destructive government school and all it s horrors and RUNS away; rather refocus that anger on a government schools system and the liberal ideologues who have taken the teacher's unions hostage and have done you a great disservice.
I'm not angry, so everything you just said is rather pointless. I would ask that you don't tell me how I should feel and not to share that oddly placed pity with me. My experience with public school wasn't desolate, destructive, or horrible.
Some of you homeschooling critics tell me how sending a kid to public schools in districts with 65-70% graduation rates, histories of gang violence, bullying and teen pregnancy among other things, is going to "build his/her character" and "turn him/her into a socially well-adapted individual." Are you @#$% nuts??? And don't tell me that public schools like this in the U.S. are rare, because they're not. I DO know, however, that many school districts receive state monies in proportion to their full time enrollment, which tells me that it's absolutely NOT in the best financial interest of school staffers and administrators for an effective alternate education system to develop in their districts, kids well-being and education be damned.
As I read these comments, I am amused and irritated by the views of homeschoolers. I was homeschooled all of my life up to the eleventh grade. My mom didn't homeschool me because of a religious view or a personal agenda, but simply because she was scared of what would happen to me in the ever declining American education system. I took standardized tests every year and often out performed my grade. Did I mention my mom has a masters in costume design? When I went into a middle college in the eleventh grade it wasn't because my mom was tired of me, but we mutually agreed that I could learn more of the sciences that I enjoy through a "real" school. Since I started an "advance program" I find myself struggling to understand the lack of motivation and sheer laziness that has been instilled in my peers that are products of the American education system. I am told I am too mature for my age. I don't think it's that. I believe it is because my mom gave me the time to mature. Parents say they never could teach their child. I think that's sad because it only requires basic knowledge of the material and of your child. You can argue your beliefs all you want, but I am speaking as a 90% homeschooled kid comfortably applying to colleges such as Vanderbilt and Carnegie Mellon.
One problem with comparing home school results to public school results is that of self selection. While some states have requirements for testing of home schooled children, even those with the most stringent requirements seldom if ever actually enforce them. So, in effect you have one group (public school children) who are universally or nearly so tested versus the other who self-select which children are tested. A no-good way to do a study.
You've built a straw man argument then shot it down. The truth is available to anyone who is willing to look. There are dozens of peer reviewed studies done over the past 20 years that show the average home educated child far outperforms their public and private school educated peers academically. In addition, they have the lowest involvement in crime, the lowest rate of suicide and other mental health issues, the highest average charitable giving and volunteerism, the highest engagement in local, state and federal politics and on and on and on in every area examined.
Life= A Never Ending Learning Experience, To HARNESS The POWER Of KNOWLEDGE. KNOWLEDGE Is The CAPSULE That Beams You to The DEPARTURE POINT Of TIME TRAVEL.ARRIVING AT The FASCINATION Of IMAGINATION, And BIRTH TO NEW INNOVATION.
Are you naysayers actually looking at our public school system & believing every kid (who even manages to graduate) goes on to become a raging success story? Cripes, people! The government has ZERO business in the education biz. Read some John Taylor Gatto & get back to me! My kids are happily & very well schooled- by me, & a number of other very intelligent, well educated moms who actually know our own children & know what is best for them. They don't need lessons on "silent dismissals, silent lunches (of which the content it mandated), and they surely don't need a load of "I know how to teach b/c I have a degree in "Education"" mess from the System. Those countries that outlaw homeschooling don't do so b/c of poor results, they do so b/c all little minions need to indoctrinated in the same way in order to make their little socialist fiefdoms continue.
No, not every homeschooled kid will become a rocket scientist; and no, not every homeschool family "schools" in the same way you or I may do it, or the way you THINK it should be done, but with the results coming out of the public system I know one thing: I CAN'T DO ANY WORSE!
You said it all!! :-)
I work for a large public school district. I am not a teacher. I do know parents who homeschool their children and do a great job. I also know parents who homeschool who do not do so well. Those are often the ones who decide to put their children BACK into the public school system after a a few years of homeschooling. Their children come to us and must be tested to determine their grade level and often are far, far behind. These are the scenarios we see time and time again. In our community, many choose to homeschool because it's more "convenient" for them, not just because they believe it's better for their child.
Kudos to the parents who are able to teach their children at a level where they excel and move onto schools of higher education. But to say the teachers who are certified and highly qualified with masters and doctorates in the field of education are not doing a good job is wrong. Public school teachers have one of the most noble and most difficult jobs in the nation. They are teaching our future presidents, CEOs, coaches, athletes, entertainers, and...teachers. They have standardized tests they have to teach toward, they have demanding parents to deal with, they have unruly and misbehaving students, and their days do not end when the last bell rings. Summers off? Not hardly. They spend hours in staff development, training and learning techniques to implement in their classrooms.
I'm not against homeschooling. I would never have considered myself anywhere near qualified to teach my own child in academics. The things she DID learn at home were the things that matter to get through life and to be a successful adult. The things every parent should be teaching their children.
Very few teachers have masters or doctorate degrees. If you did, you would work in the private sector where only the elite families could afford to send their kids to school. And no, they aren't doing a good job. Look at our international ranking compared to other first world countries.
You see folks, this is part of the problem. A public school official or employee who honestly thinks we as a country are doing a great job educating our young people. Completely clueless.
Funny. Many of the countries you're comparing us to on the rankings have outlawed homeschooling.
@ maplemale, The Nation's Report Card seems to disagree with you regarding advanced degrees and teachers. As of 2011, 52% of 8th grade teachers had Masters degrees. And incidentally, students whose teachers hold advanced degrees generally score higher on standardized tests. Furthermore @Patty used the word 'good' to describe school performance not 'great'. International rankings are not all they are purported to be. It is my understanding that when comparing similar student populations, the US performs substantially better.
I am not a teacher, but my understanding is that most public schools require teachers to gain a masters within a certain number of years of starting teaching (such as 5 years). Not sure where you are getting statistics about how many have higher degrees, but I am guessing you are making them up.
I'm not making up statstics. But, I stand partially corrected. I had no idea the national average was that high as the numbers I hear on the news are apparently for my state only which is less than 30% except in private schools.
But, the "Good" vs. "Great" comment still stands. When we as a country used to be "Great" and now we settle for "Good", I think there is an issue. And this commenter completely denies that there is any issue at all.
I have nothing against the teachers. Most of my son's teachers were great (there were a couple that didn't belong working with special needs kids). It was the people who kept saying "we can't do that" when it came to IEP meetings, especially for middle school. You can't take an autistic kid with sensory issues and throw him into middle school with no accommodations or supports after he was in self enclosed class rooms because of those issues all through elementary school and expect any kind of success. His fifth grade teacher agreed with our decision to home school. The noise levels would have been torture for my son, he would have been curled in a ball somewhere, or reacting violently to the over stimulation. Then there was the bullying. It was to the point where it was a daily fight to get him ready and to school, and he came home so *angry* and overwhelmed he would spend all night in his room without contact with anyone.
Now he gets up, he spends time with his family, he does his school work, plays with his younger sister and goes out with friends or talks to friends online. He has a social life he never had in public school. He's happy, he's *much* less angry and compliant, and he's *learning*, and he's looking for a part time job (he's 17 now). He's also working much more independently than he was ever able to before, though it took us years to get him there.
It's very possible that the parents who started homeschooling and then put their kids back, had kids with learning disabilities that would have put them behind anyway. Tell me THAT doesn't happen all the time in the school system!
I can't offer hard data to back up anything that I'm about to say, only my personal eye-witness account based on over 20 years of exposure to homeschooling.
Before marriage, I had direct experience with around 15 homeschooled kids from multiple families. While all of them were not academic superstars, most were performing at academic levels beyond their non-homeschooled peers, and none were performing poorly. The kids I met were consistently self-confident, mature, and impeccably polite. Most were very responsible and highly-motivated, although one or two were noticeably less-motivated than others. All in all, I was extremely impressed and sold on the idea.
After marriage, my wife, who holds two degrees, was not at all convinced, and as a former public school teacher, she held strong negative opinions about homeschoolers in general. When we moved to a very rural area, however, and were faced with the dirth of good education opportunities for our three daughters, she decided that she would be willing to consider homeschooling, but only if she could actually meet some positive examples for whom homeschooling had worked well.
I arranged for her to meet and talk extensively with some of the families that I knew, particularly the students themselves, all of whom were now college graduates with careers (and in most cases children) of their own. She raised many of the same questions noted in the article, and one by one her fears were laid to rest… not because she heard the answers she wanted to hear, but because she saw that homeschooling, like any educational endeavor can work well if done well. And if done poorly, the results are hardly surprising.
My wife is now highly involved in a local homeschool cooperative. They get together for field trips, social activities, cooperative classes, etc. And, they share the wealth of knowledge that each of them has developed over time. We laugh sometimes that we're called homeschoolers; between scouts, the gym, piano class, field trips, community events, etc., it seems like we're never at home.
Sadly, it is true that from time to time, we see blatant examples of the very worst that homeschooling can be. However, out of the sixty-something families in the group, only two seem to fall into that category. Of the hundred or so kids involved, only a scant few seem socially awkward.
In closing, if you are thinking about homeschooling, DO YOUR HOMEWORK (pun intended). Make an effort to meet several homeschooling families. Google up a homeschool group in your area. Most are quite willing to share their experience with you. If you aren't 100% convinced, DON'T! While I firmly believe in homeschooling, it is NOT for everyone. It takes an enormous amount of commitment, time, energy and discipline, and if you have any doubt, you would probably be better off pursuing other options. If you ARE convinced, however, don't go it alone. Homeschool groups provide LOTS of guidance and resources, but ultimately homeschooling is what YOU make it.
There are plenty of studies. Did you even look for them?
Every few years someone in my state (the same activist representative every year) presents a new law before the legislature proposing new heavy regulation on homeschooling. Every year it is defeated by studies focused on college graduates from homeschooled children vs. public and private school children which obviously favor home-schooled children.
I think the real issue here is selfishness. Parents who are adamantly against homeschooling are really just too selfish to ignorant to admit that they want their time at work or away from the kids while they are at school. They feel guilty and so they attack homeschoolers.
Let the flaming to this comment begin.
Here's one study.... took 2 seconds to find. Most negative comments here are so caught up in themselves that they will not spend the time to look at the facts. I'm confident few of you will even follow this link:
I don't get it. Why would you align yourself with a political party who's vast majority wants to take away the rights you enjoy?
Because there is a very big monitoring issue with homeschooled families, and some people still aren't sold on the idea that people are considered fully qualified to teach just because they had a baby.
Given, not all homeschooled children turn out to work for NASA or start multi-million dollar companies like the kids I grew up with did - myself included.
But, are you really suggesting that we allow government to come into our homes and tell us what we can / can't do with our children? Outright abuse is one thing. But, are you really willing to tell parents they aren't smart enough to teach their own children? Or, that they must obtain some sort of license? What's next – telling people with certain genetic disorders they can't have children?
I'm sorry, but while I feel for kids who's parents have issues with parenting them whether it's their education or other areas, unless they are being abused, government needs to stay out of it and mind their own business for the sake of the freedom of us all.
Whose freedom? Since when did mom's freedom to be terrible outweigh the potential of a child? However, you have little to lose from a nameless child suffering, but I imagine you do have something to lose if you believe the government can invade homes and check up on you... more so because you "make a lot of money" (you brought it up!)
If everyone were qualified to teach, teachers and schools would not exist.
Not going to respond to the insuitation that being succesfull is a crime. I worked 80 hours a week to get where I am today for 6 years. I won't appologize for that.
Did your mom feed you? Did she clothe you? Did you at least learn basic arithmatic? These are really the only things you need to succeed. Part of your issue is that you would rather place blame on everyone else for your problems than take any responsability for fixing your own social issues.
Anything short of abuse of a child is none of my or anyone elses business. And anything more than the government stepping in to prevent abuse or doing their duty to make it easier people to suceed in raising a child – is an abuse of power.
"If everyone were qualified to teach, teachers and schools would not exist."
Given, but it's not the government's place to decide who's qualified and who's not. They are my children and I will decide. If I want to raise them on a desert island with no education at all, that is my business.
The second you allow government into your life to decide how you raise your family, you cease being a free nation. That is the point. If there are children who are homeschooled who aren't getting a good education, then it's the government or communities role to try and make it easier for them to gain that education.
What about my tax dollars? Why do I have to pay for the public school to ruin other kids while I'm not even using the service? Maybe local governments should allow me to reclame some of that in services?
I didn't say government schools. I said schools. Generally. They way they've existed in all of human civilization.
And if your kids do end up on a desert island, at least tell the school system where the coordinates are.
You are talking about allowing government to restrict who can and can't homeschool. Correct?
Obvious from your comment: If someone decided to be an aboriginy and move to a desert island, you would feel that the american government should step in and take their children. And, furthermore you believe that the school system should have the power to execute that abduction.
You said it, I didn't.
No I said it should be banned. Verboten. For everyone.
Exactly... you want the government to have the ability to tell people exactly how they raise their children. And, you are arrogant enough to believe that you know better what's best for them than their parents who have raised them do.
You want it to be illegal to homeschool – period. And you want the government to be able to take people's kids away if they try.
What can i say, you and Stalin have a lot in common.
Yup. Mainstream public school is a Stalinist gulag. Same s.hit I was told throughout my childhood.
If families violate the ban it would become an issue for the truant officer. Same as anyone else who plays hooky for other reasons.
Look, I get that you had a good experience. It happens. But there is really no practical way to make sure that parents who are either abusive, or have no intention of teaching their kids anything, are kept in check without banning the practice of homeschooling completely; because submissions to the school board can be embellished and there is no way to know if there is real quality education going on. It's just social responsibility.
As a homeschooling father, so often I find these discussions to be quite irritating.
The woman who wrote this article was cogent and displayed a marked ability to think with duality; she was able to see both sides of a given issue. Following this, we have the usual tripe spouted by people who know little about homeschooling and yet seem to feel eminently qualified to enlighten us all.
Here is a simple fact: I see all the hand wringing about how ineffective homeschooling is alleged to be. We are all to believe that parents pull their kids from the public school realm only to submit them to vicious neglect at home. Seriously? As someone else stated above – if someone wants to neglect their children, they have a very easy default choice...let them go to public school. The kids will be out of your hair most of the day. For those who can't understand duality, I am NOT saying that all parents who send their kids to public school are selfish and neglectful. I am emphatically saying this: if a parent is selfish and neglectful, they would also be defining themselves as the very definition of the village idiot if they embarked on homeschooling. Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart or the chronically self absorbed.
Many parents would never consider homeschooling because it is -too much work-. With the Christmas season approaching, you'll soon hear it on the radio..."and Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again." Why? So they'll get the heck out of the house. If they are homeschoolers, it's just another day at home. Folks need to stop assuming that parents who homeschool don't care about their kids. If I didn't care about my kids, it would be FAR easier to just send them off on the little yellow bus.
a few fairly recent studies on the social competence of homeschooled and traditionally schooled kids:
Thank you for taking time to give us your thoughts, Alessandra. As a home school dad, I do have a few responses to those criticisms of "sheltering" or "being unprepared" ... and even I suppose a response to the stigma of home schooling / home-schoolers being counter-cultural or odd.
First off, I'd propose a quick revision to the home school label as it applies to my firsthand experience. I like the term parent-directed learning because it gets to the heart of what we do as parent educators. With so many tutors, online curriculums, social outlets, and business and real-world learning possibilities at the command of parents, educating in one specific physical location (home) is a misnomer for what most of us do (in my experience).
On to the sheltering response.
A statement below pretty-much sums up the "your kids are weird, unprepared" position:
"The statement is made that home-schooled kids are not social misfits and that they are immune from the pressures to smoke or to date too early. The latter makes them social misfits. Dealing with such pressure is part of the process of growing up and preparing for life. Learning to say no when it is necessary as a teen makes it easier as an adult."
I would suggest another point here. A child who is in a parent-directed learning environment learns to face these pressures in a supportive, honest and helpful way. They're not sheltered from exposure, they're sheltered from devastating exposure. I graduated from public school. It wasn't all bad, but I do wish I had the guidance I see provided to most kids in a parent-directed learning environment. It would have saved me years of course-correcting. ARE your kids going to say "no" as a teen when they're on the bus ... in the hall ... away from any positive support of any kind? Conversely - and perhaps even more important than what is said "no" to - what are they going to say "yes" to? What good passions, desires and inspirations are in them that need nurturing? And how might their educational environment function at supporting, or destroying those seeds of knowledge, understanding, and positive growth? These are questions ALL parents should ask whether they custom-tailor their childrens' learning environment or not.
Take a look at newly planted trees next time you see a landscaping project. In most cases, they're supported by guide wires against damaging winds. They're also usually watered, nourished, cared for as they take root and grow skyward. If tossed in the ground without support, they usually grow rigid, deformed, leaning, damaged or at worst ... they can die. The guide wires are not an effort to keep them from growing - or even from winds - but rather an effort to help them grow strong and straight IN winds. One day the guide wires do come off, absolutely. And the hope is for a more storm-ready tree.
So to the reader freaking out right now ... I know ... "But a traditional school also provides these guide wires! I love my kid's school! My child is doing great!" Fantastic. Please keep them there and don't take parent educators as a threat to your view. Please accept my apology on the behalf of any parents you have encountered who insinuate your choice is somehow wrong. You are the parent and hopefully have as many sleepless hours as I do thinking through their environment and if they're best positioned to grow. But along those lines, please be careful about looking out and judging other parents and their choices ... you're not in their shoes. It gets very granular, very specific when you're dealing with nurturing human souls. And quite honestly, there is much conflicting empirical evidence to the success and failure of parent-directed educating ... that debate can move forth and hopefully improve the educational environment for all children.
But beware of absolutes, which I believe is Alessandra's point in the first place.
Thanks again, Alessandra. Our kids have never flourished more than they do now ... and I love watching them be myth shatterers. I suspect you feel the same way.
It's hardly "devatsting" when most children are able to make the right decisions on their own with proper upbringing and preparation. Also unlike what you're suggesting, parental support isn't entirely absent in a public school education system. In fact, from grade 1 to 13, children spend considerably more time at home than school. Parents have plenty of opportunity for "course-correction".
Going with your arboriculture analogy, if not gradually adjusted the guiding structure can end up stunting the growth of the tree. Also a tree growing in a control nutured environment for an extended period of time will not be able to survive for long once transplanted into a wild environment. The key difference in our opinions is when it's "safe" to start cutting the guiding wires. But I think the tree takes root and is stronger earlier than what you seem to give them credit for STS. IMO the problem with todays parenting is that we treat children as children for too protracted period of time. I bet most kids will surprise you with the amount of maturity they are capable of if you start trusting them with adult responsibilities.
Home-schooling can be successful and can save you money on college. I am an engineer, my wife is a published writer and fluent in 3 languages. I teach a group of kids algebra, geomitry, trig, chemistry, physics, calculus. My wife teaches history, composition, french, and spanish. Other families we know teach writing, speach, government. Also, our kids take classes at the local colleges when they are juniors and seniors using credits in escrow. Both of my oldest graduated from high school with over 40 hours of college credit. My daughter got a 29 on her ACT and a half ride scholorship. My son started at Purdue University as a second semester sophmore in the engineering department. Both are extreamly well adjusted and making the most out of their college experience. I think I will continue to "play teacher" for the rest of my kids. By the way, I GUARANTEE you I can teach circles around any public school teacher in my area.
The amount of ignorance of those decrying homeschooling regarding their actual knowledge of homeschooling within this comment section is astounding. Many of you who denigrate those of us who homeschool cite your vast wealth of knowledge stems from knowing 3 maybe 4 homeschool families out of 4% of the total US population (current statistics reported by Education News).
According to Education News, homeschooling is up 75% due to dissatisfaction with the current public school system. Not only that, but homeschooled children excel in college, more so than their public school educated peers. "Based on recent data, researchers such as Dr. Brian Ray (NHERI.org) “expect to observe a notable surge in the number of children being homeschooled in the next 5 to 10 years. The rise would be in terms of both absolute numbers and percentage of the K to 12 student population. This increase would be in part because . . .  a large number of those individuals who were being home educated in the 1990s may begin to homeschool their own school-age children and  the continued successes of home-educated students.” [from http://www.educationnews.org/parenting/number-of-homeschoolers-growing-nationwide/%5D
I suggest those of you who spout off nonsense about something you have not experienced yourself or know absolutely nothing about except for biased assumptions and gossip, read the article cited above and do some further research to become better educated on the subject.
You know what I learned from a homeschooler? When a bunch of people jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of a trend, it clearly means that those people are "right."
No. Just, no.
I was homeschooled myself from 6-12, and I guess that puts me in a privileged position to say that it really, should not be allowed.
There are generally four types of families who embrace alternative education:
1. Ivy League educated liberal arts majors or academia (occasionally science) with the money to spend on tutors, high quality books, athletics, and other social activities. The kids turn out incredibly successful due to their superior genes, affluence, (relatively) perfect home lives, and elitist connections.
2. Those who have children with severe social or cognitive disabilities.
3. Fundies of all faiths. The kids tend to have strange beliefs but generally turn out alright because of the support structure offered through churches and other houses of worship.
4. The majority. The socially delayed adults who never quite overcame the abuse they endured in high school or at home; isolated, dysfunctional families; slovenly hygiene. They will often project their own internal turmoil onto their average kids by telling them how much of a horrible place public school really is. So the kids become conditioned to, well, hate the school rather than put any effort into schedules, social hierarchies, schoolwork, or generally being resilient. Once the kids withdraw from school, the parents naturally become very fixated on 1., and as a result their average kids are often given schoolwork way above their level, while never learning to properly manage time, read social cues, or take care of their appearance. So they shut themselves inside their rooms doing college-level work at 14-15 (or surfing the web) and only see daylight if Mom takes them to the homeschool coop to meet other pale, maladjusted undead.
And no, there is no monitoring aside from a semesterly report on academics submitted to the public school, which can easily be embellished. As a result there tends to be a lot of abuse going on, now that the child is cut off from guidance counselors and social services available at public schools.
Yes, needless to say I'm still dealing with the consequences of such an upbringing. It really should not be permitted just because there are a few success stories. The 1% can afford private schools and the rest can go to public, like everyone else.
*Homeschooled from grades 6-12 whoops.
The minority almost always speaks louder than the majority.
A a homeschool alumni
You clearly have a well-developed sense of subtlety.
BALONY. Almost all home-school families I know are hard working, college educated, trying to do what is right by their kids because the local public schools don't cut it. You sound like some bitter kid who for whatever reason has some giant chip on your shoulder and can't stand your parents.
And throughout the United States, you know enough homeschooled children to make such a prediction? What's the favorite color, day of week, and type of cheese that these homeschooled children in masses you know so intimately well prefer?
Can't say I have a healthy relationship with them. But maybe that's actually relevant to the discussion...
You have this idea that government should protect kids from bad parents. But for most of us, that idea scares the heck out of us.
Maybe it shouldn't, maybe there is some middle ground. But, I don't think outlawing homeschooling is that middle ground as the vast majority of commenters here who were homeschooled, appreciate that education. I'm sorry you don't and it's always worth asking the question, how can we prevent situations where you recieved a bad education from happening. But, more government control is not the answer. Consider anything and everything that the government has taken control over in this country and others. Do you really want them in nitty gritty of your daily lives and telling you how to raise your kids?
You did not comprehend anything I wrote.
Children who go to public school have better access to social services than people who are homeschooled. If we got rid of homeschooling, there would be increased access. I never said government should barge into people's homes.
I don't believe for one minute that you were homeschooled, and you know it.
Reality Check: Whether or not homeschooling worked for "you" is irrelevant and dare I say, bias. /egocentric anecdotal story
The point of this topic is to address homeschooling based upon how it "works" in a population sense and to "dispel" myths regarding it. The problem, however, is that there is no reliable data available to do this nor has a study been published that can prove-or-deny the "myths" named above because there is no feasible means to collect data comparing the two while accounting for extraneous variables on a population size large enough to be statistically significant.
In turn, we end up with nothing more than anecdotal recollections of zero significance in the real world. At best, you like homeschooling for X, Y, Z reasons and at worst, you dislike it for A, B C reasons. None of which has anything to do with the topic other than said person's individual/personal preference.
In sum, we ended up with a worthless initial article trying to redeem perceptions that cannot be proved true or false and likely are both – existing in certain situations and vacant in others independent of homeschooling.
I agree with many of your observations. And I read them in a Vizzini voice (from the 1987 major motion picture, Princess Bride) ... which made them all the more awesome.
A few facts- not opinions:
More than 74% of home educated adults between 18-24 have taken college level courses. This rate is much higher than the general US population, which comes in at 46% for the same age range.
Homeschoolers typically have higher GPAs than the rest of their class. Homeschool freshmen have higher GPAs in their first semester at college, with 3.37 GPAs for homeschoolers, and 3.08 for the rest. This trend continues with an overall freshman GPA of 3.41 vs. 3.12, and senior GPAs of 3.46 vs. 3.16.
The homeschool average for the ACT was 22.5 in 2003, compared with the national average of 20.8. The SAT was no different, with a homeschool average of 1092 in 2002, and a national average of 1020.
In the fall of 1999, Stanford University accepted 27% of homeschooled applicants. This doesn't sound like a lot, but it's an incredible number when you consider that this rate is twice the acceptance rate experienced by public and private school students admitted in the same semester.
A few well known figures that were homeschooled.
· John Quincy Adams
· Grover Cleveland
· James Garfield
· William Henry Harrison
· Andrew Jackson
· Thomas Jefferson
· Abraham Lincoln
· James Madison
· Franklin Delano Roosevelt
· Theodore Roosevelt
· John Tyler
· George Washington
· Woodrow Wilson
Douglas MacArthur – U.S. General
· George Patton – U.S. General
· John Marshall
· John Rutledge
· Sandra Day O'Connor
· George Washington Carver
· Pierre Curie
· Albert Einstein
Andrew Carnegie – wealthy steel industrialist
· Amadeo Giannini – Bank of America’s founder
· Horace Greeley – New York Tribune founder
· Soichiro Honda – creator of the Honda automobile company
· Peter Kindersley – book illustrator and publisher
· Ray Kroc – founder of McDonald's fast food restaurant chain
· Jimmy Lai – newspaper publisher; founder of Giordano International
· Dr. Orison Swett Marden – founder, Success magazine
· Adolph Ochs – New York Times founder
· Joseph Pulitzer – newspaper publisher; established Pulitzer Prize
· Colonel Harland Sanders – started Kentucky Fried Chicken
· Dave Thomas – founder of the Wendy’s restaurant chain
Facts selectively presented I might add. I randomly picked out a famous person out of your list and found out that Sandra Day Oconnor isn't homeschooled in the sense that she forgo her public education, but was merely homeschooled before she was of age to start attending public school. In fact her parents specifically send her away so she could attend school.
Aside from your blatant wiki-copy-paste, do you seriously believe those are facts? I mean how in the world does one compare the GPA of a person to another if they were graded on a different standard with potentially different instruction, assignments, graders, etc.
My opinion, not fact: you need to spend less time copying wikipedia and more time critically thinking.
You say we're comparing apples to oranges (in essence) in comparing the GPAs. Please explain how colleges use different criteria to determine GPA of homeschool graduates vs. public school graduates. I was unaware that such a system existed.
" Homeschool freshmen have higher GPAs in their first semester at college, with 3.37 GPAs for homeschoolers, and 3.08 for the rest. This trend continues with an overall freshman GPA of 3.41 vs. 3.12, and senior GPAs of 3.46 vs. 3.16."
I'm pretty sure that, in any reputable college, this is apples to apples.
What I'm seeing over and over again in these comments are clear cases of minds sealed up so tight that they cannot be infiltrated with facts and evidence. Any evidence that contradicts what the poster "knows" is immediately dismissed with some hokum logic. You cannot reason with someone who is unreasonable.
And in other news... I have a degree in education. I spent 4 years learning how to use a Circuit Cutter and a slew of classroom management techniques, that are completely useless in a class room of 3. Classroom professionals deserve a pile of respect for what they have to deal with every day; but those skills mean squat in a home educating environment. Yet many professional educators will continue to maintain that without proper certification, a parent can't possibly educate their own children (though statistics like ACT scores and such prove otherwise). Did you know that, through several studies, no correlation has been found between parental education level and the ACT scores of homeschooled students? Fascinating, if your mind is cracked open enough to grasp the significance.
@Steve – Correlation is not causation. The families that home school may have a home environment that selects for success. Way too many factors could have accounted for the success of the home school population to assert that homeschooling is superior. We can't even tell if those same kids would have scored higher or lower had they attended public schools.
I personally cannot believe the ignorance and anger of almost every single comment. I am one of 5 children, all of which were home schooled until middle school or high school. While my mom's choice to home school was originally for religious reasons, she later realized it benefited all of us academically and socially. We were able to get ahead in subjects such as Math and English, and stay active in sports and youth organizations. In high school each of us lettered in varsity sports, participated in clubs, won school superlatives, and remained at the top of our graduating classes. None of us suffered in social situations in the "real world" away from our mommy. My older siblings have degrees in Engineering from the University of Virginia, I recently graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Computer Science, and my younger brother is studying Chemical Engineering and Spanish at North Carolina State University. We all had plenty of friends in college and graduated with good jobs, which is more than I can say for many people I know who went to public school all of their lives.
I'm not posting to brag about my family or to say there aren't "weird" home schooled kids; I was in a home school group and know there are plenty of weird kids. However, having been through public high school and college, I can say from experience that there are plenty of weird kids that weren't home schooled. What I can't believe is the number of adults that are trashing this article and home schooling. How in any way does it affect or offend you? The number of people commenting on CNN under childish nicknames and calling KIDS weird is pathetic. Contrary to the stereotyping, I don't always think my parents are right and I challenge their beliefs. I'm guessing your children are the ones following in their parents' footsteps and judging others based on one or two examples. I would stop worrying about other people's kids being weird and start making sure your own children don't turn out as ignorant as you're appearing to be.
So you thought stooping to their level by hurling insults back is the best way to counter their ignorance? How do you think that reflect on your parenting?
The difference is that I'm speaking to adults, not making fun of children.
I noticed when I got to college that 90% of the people with an "A" on the final exam went to private school and 90% of the people with an "F" on the final exam went to public school – coincidence? Well, I don't think so. Teachers need to teach and students that do not study need to become more studious.
Dropping useless statistics to inflate the gravity of an anecdotal statement is generally perceived as poor form. Thank you.
I do not homeschool my child but do know few people who do. The one on one teaching and the ability to excel to new levels as fast as they can has been a great thing for all of these kids. One child is in the fifth grade but is doing 8th grade math. He is still reading and writing at 5th and 6th grade but the fact that he can change gears in math and science and move forward is a great thing that he would not be able to do in Public school. Even the gifted program he was in was a bit too slow for his math and science skills. He still hangs out after school with the same kids he did at public schools, still goes to the same birthday parties, is in scouts and plays sports in the local leagues. Home schooling is a great thing with a properly dedicated parent. I feel that it is very important to make sure they get the socialization through other things, church, sports, clubs, etc.
Let's be honest: homeschooling is not a feasible choice for most of America.
Homeschooling works well (often very well) for the families whose parents are educated, disciplined, motivated, and economically stable. For various reasons, however, many families attempt to homeschool their children without meeting the above criteria and as such, cannot provide the full experience. Thus, it is far from rare to see children who are socially or academically deficit.
I grew up attending the local public school system and once I graduated I enrolled in the local university. I always got decent grades but was never the brightest in any of my classes (~3.2 GPA). I met a few homeschoolers while I was enrolled in college and I was honestly impressed. I would assume that the quality of homeschooling would vary, but these people were bright, sociable, and athletic. (They participated in athletic programs through their local schools but were taught at home). They tended to get better grades than I did and when we shared classes I often went to them for help. I think it is sort of sad how most of the posts I have read revile these students as I personally have found very little basis for this. Oh, and a quick Google search seems to suggest that my experience is not entirely unique:
Seems to be a lot of negative reaction. Though I grant you the writer didn't prove her points as "reality" vs. "myth," I have to support her assertions. Homeschoolers ARE often perceived as weird, just because they don't comply with what are generally accepted cultural norms. Is that a terrible thing? Actually, it is the only way our culture will keep on growing (a growing culture is a healthy one–and not just in science labs!). Questioning the status quo is actually a good thing. Of course, this is IMHO.
I homeschooled my daughter, who is just about ready to graduate from the University of Virginia. She has done extremely well but was very disappointed. Turns out that universities are often all about the "grade" not about actually learning anything! Who knew? Luckily, she's used to learning things outside of a "class" and so we are getting a piece of paper from the University but an education from her own efforts.
For those who worry about older kids learning specialized subjects: Community Colleges are great for supplying those upper level classes often when the students are as young as 15. With many classes now online, it's very easy to pick up the advanced subjects.
For those who worry about socialization: Many children who are homeschooled (notice I didn't say ALL) are quite well socialized through interactions with lots of different people. For us, it was much more like "real life" than school is, and certainly encouraged my daughter to think outside the box. Of course, we did make homeschooling active, and were involved in lots of different co-ops, volunteer projects (talk about work experience!), and just plain fun activities (I don't think sitting around all day is particularly healthy, but that's just me!).
That's one other person's positive experience with homeschooling. I have met some homeschooled kids that I didn't particularly like. But I have met a much higher percentage of public and private school kids that I didn't care for.
All the critics here are probably public school teachers. The public schools in my area are not worth a CRAP.
So Move to a better area... What would you do if your area had no jobs? You'de move. High crime? You'de move. But your kids education is not worth it? Better to "play teacher", something in all likely hood you have never been trainined to do? Some of you poeple out there are scary in your logic...
No, we aren't trying to play teacher. We are trying to home educate. It's different. And it's been proven to be very effective.
Here's some research on the success rates of home education to (ahem) educate yourself: http://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html
PLAY TEACHER???? I am an engineer, my wife is a published writer and fluent in 3 languages. I teach a group of kids algebra, geomitry, trig, chemistry, physics, calculus. My wife teaches history, composition, french, and spanish. Other families we know teach writing, speach, government. Also, our kids take classes at the local colleges when they are juniors and seniors using credits in escrow. Both of my oldest graduated from high school with over 40 hours of college credit. My daughter got a 29 on her ACT and a half ride scholorship. My son started at Purdue University as a second semester sophmore in the engineering department. Both are extreamly well adjusted and making the most out of their college experience. I think I will continue to "play teacher" for the rest of my kids. By the way, I GUARANTEE you I can teach circles around any public school teacher in my area.
Great Jes! Then obviously I am all for it. As I said if you are a teacher or someone who is actually trained to do this, that is great. However, as has been discussed in virtually all posts here, most americans can not make the claims you have and they are still teaching their kids. Way to get up on that high horse though... you need help getting down?
I just get a little bit more than P.O.'d when I see some of the gross generilizations made by people who have no idea what they are talking about.
We home school our kids and I have to say it is a very tough job for my wife. We are lucky our kids are in a hybrid system and are on campus at their school two out five days a week. So the "social issues" are for the most part avoided. I myself am an introvert and my kids are 100% the opposite they handle themselves very well in public situations and we are constantly getting complements because of it. If you look at the scores of their school stacked against the local public schools in our area you can see the public schools are falling short. Our oldest was in public school for his first year, and we pulled him out when we received a letter from the school explaining they were on their third year of failing the "no kid left behind standards", the school had only been open for four years. You think the newest school in the district would have the best staff. Not the case. After their first year the entire administration was fired including the principal. Homeschooling as stated is not for everyone and certainly you will have those who are misfits and don’t fit in. I was very critical of my wife when she wanted to make the switch, did lots of research and checked into the system to make sure my kids would not come out of this behind. After looking at the school score and their provided curriculum and made sure it was up to par I have her the green light to proceed. I can say first hand my kids have excelled at this and have had lots of opportunities to go on field trips and learn away from school. That doesn’t happen today in our area due to budget constraints. So that is one major benefit you can turn lots of things into learning experiences. My wife may be better equipped than some since she has a degree in early childhood studies and was a pre-school teach for many years before we had our own kids. I think the hybrid system works well. I would be scared if we had to do this 100% at home. Class size was another big factor, when my kids go to campus their class averages 20 when public school we are slated for is well over 40. How does a teacher do a good job when she has to teach 40 kids a subject in 45 min. Not very well..
Here is our hybrid school:
Here is the public school my kids were supposed to go to:
Look at the api score and rank…
I also wonder where this lady got her facts, but here are mine:
One of my best friends homeschooled her two kids and they are now both doing very well at a university; the eldest is majoring in music and the other in pre-med. Also, my brother-in-law and his wife homeschooled all three of their children until highschool, when they then attended a private school; the eldest became very gainfully employed by major rail road as soon as he graduated, the second received a business degree and is a civil servant for an airforce base, and the third (after being named Homecoming Queen her senior year of HS) now attends a university where she is a Marketing major. None of these five have ever had any personality disorders or social anxieties. They are all intelligent, well-rounded, respectful, hard-working, and family-oriented. Yep, they certainly are weird by today's standard!
Be a parent, and an advocate for your child's education. Ask them about school. Ask what they're learning. When they say, "nothing," and they will, get to work. Talk to their teachers and administrators and counselors. Bad teacher, demand a schedule change. Get involved and quit blaming others.
Well stated Craig W. I have a couple questions. Assuming you have confidence in public education, why not allow your kids to attend publicly while pursuing a class schedule with the best teachers on campus? Would you say your wife is as qualified to teach across the curriculum as a staff of teachers with specific credentials?
I have been a public school teacher for 15 years. Grew up in public schools, graduated from a public school, BS, credential, and Masters degree. My wife (also a public school college graduate) homeschools our three young children. I have seen homeschooling work wonderfully and also seen it fail miserably. When the parents and kids do it right, it works much better than public schooling – several reasons for this (some mentioned above) and, again, I say that as someone who has experience in both areas. I really have to question how many of the negative comments left here were by anyone with any experience teaching in a classroom. It's not the same as just growing up attending school. And you can say the author is biased, but if you haven't tried homeschooling yourself, then all you're offering is your own biased opinion that's not even based on trying it out. Based on the majority of these comments, there's still a huge lack of understanding about schooling in general and home schooling in particular.
I am very sad to hear this from a public school teacher. tell me this, if it is so far beyond most people's understanding at this point, and there is such a lack of knowledge around it, then isn't it concerning that so many UN_EDUCATED partents are choosing to home school their children? Maybe for you and your wife, as academics, as teachers, this is the exception not the norm and to try to say that "it (home schooling) works much better" is a scary thought. I wonder what system you work in and wonder if maybe that is why you feel the way you do b/c in general, a well educated teacher giving a solid social foundation as well as education to kids as oppossed to a un-educated (meaning not a teacher) parent who teaches their child one-on-one, within their own home could not possibly be as succesful.
My wife and I had our kids in a private school for several years before we decided it was a waste of time and money. We considered public school (which as you say are very good in OC and they are) but my wife and I decided on homeschooling because of the great network of other homeschool families in our area, church, etc. Homeschooling is something that works (for now) for our family and our kids are flourishing, my wife enjoys it, and the kids do as well. My kids have many friends from there old school as well as friends from the homeschool groups we belong to. Our kids test Advanced Placement on all standardized test (same test that the public schools offer) and we routenly discuss with relatives, that are teachers, about the current practices, going-ons, in the local school system. My wife and I question the kids about the future and ask them on whether or not they are considering going to a public or private high school, they want to stay homeschooled for now but we will see how they feel down the road. We are leaving our options open.
Regarding whether or not my wife and I are fitted to homeschooling, until someone tells me otherwise or my kids no longer make progress in their education we will continue on the homeschooling path. The quality of California schools also has to get better, rated towards the bottom in the US (that is a fact). We are both college educated, public school taught, and blue collar raised. I have a very good job which allows my wife to stay home with our kids and she loves it.
Leaving in the OC is nice but it is not all what you see on TV. Lot of fake people who got a taste of reality when the economy went south.
Nicely put Craig.
PlantMan, Actually the fact you live in OC makes sense.. You are a scared conservative living in a liberal area and you are scared that your kids may come home talking about Darwin with a black and hispanic kids they met in class.... (joke). Really, if you live in OC where they have really good schools, how could you be so pompous as to think that you and your wife would be better educators for your kids? If you are teachers, I get it, but if not, then why? I ask this in all honestly despite my initial dig.
Ok, so I'm going to call out the elephant in the room...... Are any of you folks here advocating for home schooling voting this year. I am willing to bet that about 95%+ of pro home-schoolers are Republican. I know I will get all sorts of grief for saying it, but we all know its true...
Well I have several friends who homeschool. And to be honest I don't think a single one of them is voting for Romney.
That is truley shocking to me but I am happy to be wrong!
I think your probably correct. And why wouldn't they be republican?
I live a in state and was homeschooled in a state where every few years a democratic minority would attempt to impose huge unmitgated restrictions on the option to homeschool.
No one who enjoys the freedom to be homeschooled would vote for a democrat unless they are completely ignorant of what's going on.
Right, they just enjoy the freedom of limiting everyone else's freedom. I'm sorry, I apologize, I didnt mean you personally... I'm sure you are a middle-aged or older white person, living in the south or some remote area of the country so I'm sure the republican idea of "Freedom" works for you....
I have to agree with you. If you like the Socialists way of thinking and don't care about your freedom of homeschooling make sure you vote Demo in November.
BTW- My wife and I homeschool our 4 kids, we live in the Repub Hot Bed of OC California.
What does being white have to do with it? (not saying I am white, black or hispanic because it's irrelevant). And, no I don’t live in the south. I grew up in the northwest, attended a liberal arts school, spent 8 years working for an international consulting firm and now live a very liberal Midwestern city.
As far as republicans wanting to limit freedom, I can only assume you are speaking of the freedom to not work, live an unproductive life and still get free stuff like health care, education, food, cigarettes and dare I say – contraceptives: which I, who work on average 60 hours a week trying to make a life for myself and my family am forced to pay for?
Or, are you speaking of limiting someone’s right to kill unborn children and cause serious irreparable damage to themselves physically and psychologically? Oh, and regardless of whether or not I think that’s murder, I should have to pay for that too. Got it.
I homeschool and I'd say about half the homeschoolers we know are liberal and half are conservative. May be our state (Virginia) vs. other states, plus my own selection of people with whom I choose to be friends. I'm a pretty strong liberal mainly because I believe that we all should challenge the status quo when we see injustice. If you really want to know I'm part of an often unnoticed Liberal Christian group, who believe in practicing the teachings of Jesus, not browbeating others with a Bible.
I homeschool, and I am voting 3rd party this year. I switched from Independent to Republican this year ONLY so I could vote in the primaries for Ron Paul. Now I will switch back to Independent.
these aren't myths, they are generalizations... stereotypes even but much of what is listed is often true.
I'm disappointed with this level of reporting on CNN. Where is the data?
This is not reporting. It's an opinion piece, and clearly labeled as such.
This parent has obviously no idea what the scientific method is and has offered opinions to back up her opinions rather than tested facts. How on earth can she be competent to teach advanced math and science to her child when it is clear she has no clue regarding the most fundamental precept? While we're at it, unless she has multiple college degrees, how can she claim to know enough about history, English, geography, etc. to teach them at the high school level?
She seems to think that the pleural of anecdote is data.
Spot and Anti,
Do you know what an opinion piece is? Didn't think so.
No data required. Not a scientific journal entry. Opinion.
That is all.
Might I ask what your degree is in, and whether you have researched homeschooling. Your ignorance alone proves you have not, and are incapable of any intelligent insights into the matter.
Frankly, if you're incapable of teaching basic elementary knowledge; especially with the use of books, study guides, and online curriculums. Than maybe you shouldn't homeschool (or procreate). But most people can do such....
As for higher curriculums. Nearly every homeschooler I have encountered, simply begins auditing college courses at community college when they start reaching physics, trigonometry, calculus, etc.
Sadly, there will be several dozen people posting this same silly comment without ever researching the topic at hand. All decrying the abuse of the scientific method when they are failing to use it on a most rudimentary level.
Wow, you are pretty judgmental for someone who doesn't even know how homeschooling works. Parents do not teach their kids based on their own knowledge of math, science, etc. They use a curriculum for that. An accredited curriculum prepared by scientists, mathematicians, and so forth.
Bottom line is that education is what your child AND parent make of it. If a child applies himself and the parents are involved they will excel. Some kids will thrive in home schools, some will not. Same goes for public schools.
Is there anything to actually back up these debunkings? Because it sounds like the OP is just injecting personal belief and calling it 'fact' while describing dissenting opinion as 'myth'.
Personally, my interactions with home school kids once they hit college or the workforce has been pretty uniformly negative. Quite a few were unreliable, many were poorly socialized and couldn't cope with people outside the monoculture they were raised in (not to mention they could be VERY blindly offensive), never had their worldview challenged,... plenty were book smart but couldn't work with others, and a good number just burned out trying to make the transition.
Wow, you seem to have come in contact with allot of homeschoolers, what do you do for a living that you would work with so many homeschoolers and also how do you know that they were homeschooled ? We have a whole group of homeschoolers close to me and they get together quite often so the kids have plenty of social time.
A LOT is two words.
While it's not a requirement that homeschooled kids wind up weird and a bit socially off, it does happen far more frequently than with other kids. The author has a definite bias here, and we'd be silly not to take that into account. There are certainly downsides to homeschooling. I am fully capable of teaching my child most things at the elementary and middle school level, but once high school hits, I'm going to have a little trouble with chemistry, world history, and auto shop, to name a few subjects I'm horrible at. My son will need people qualified in what they're teaching, and I think there are very few parents who are even able to help with the homework in every subject, let alone be honestly qualified to teach them.
Really? How many homeschooled kids do you actually know? I homeschool my daughter and right now we are studying World History beginning with Ancient Civilizations, as well as World Geography, Latin & Greek root words, Math, Astronomy, and reading classical Literature. She is in her second year of Spanish. By the way, my daughter just started 4th grade. Next year, she will start learning Latin and Chemistry. By the 7th grade she will be reading The Iliad and The Odyssey.
As far as social skills, she attends the local elementary school to participate in Music and PE. She takes To-Shin Do classes each week and has a nice circle of peers as friends. She also easily converses with adults and loves senior citizens. She is not socially inept at all.
I think you need to re-evaluate what you think you know about homeschooling. You may have encountered some bad eggs, after all, there are bad eggs in every situation. However, it's ignorant to label the majority by your limited scope.
No it doesnt...
You just don't realize all of those weird kids you were bullying in school are cashiering at McDonald's or millionaire CEOs of dotcom start-ups.
Usually weird goes one of two extremes...
Interesting how 1 woman with 1 home school kid becomes an expert and can speak for all home schooled kids. The majority of home schooled children have encountered have 2 things in common. Number 1 they are less certain of the independent actions. They always look to mommy for guidance. Number 2, the parent providing the home schooling is usual an anal retentive control freak.
Big daddy, are you aware of all the scandels going on in public schools ? Teachers are changing test scores and falsifying attandance records instead of teaching. A total lack of control ! So You may consider a home school mother a control freak i doubt you even know any.
How can any parent, who quite likely knows NOTHING about advanced mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and other sciences, teach their children at home? I can see how someone can teach English, history, and a couple of other courses, but come on, it would be like the blind leading the blind.
It's called networking. I can't teach physics, but my son's scout master is a Physics Professor, so he's agreed to help teach my son. I can't teach music, but my neighbor down the street can.
There's also this wonderful invention called a textbook. Maybe you could open one up, and with a little assistance from the Internet, teach yourself something. :)
As for being a weird social misfit, I don't see that as such a bad thing.
what makes you think the teachers at you child school have advanced degrees in math, or science, most teachers in elementary, middle and high school are education majors. Based on the math education my kids got and the hours I had to spend showing them the correct way to work a problem I would say that the teachers didn't even understand the material they were teaching. I fail to see how homeschooling could have been worse.
Frankly, if you're incapable of teaching basic elementary knowledge; especially with the use of books, study guides, and online curriculums. Than maybe you shouldn't homeschool (or procreate). But most people can do such....
No where in your ramble did you show or prove other wise to that statement.
You say "Home-schooled kids have also been shown" yet don't back that up. Where has this been shown?
And on and on. If this is the best home school has to offer then it should be used as an example on why NOT to home school.
I have to disagree with most points. There are 4 families in my neighborhood that home-school their children. In each and every case, the children are "weird", social misfits that sit around the house all day. As a leader of a community group that interacts with this particular neighborhood, I've had a chance to be around all these children. They don't interact well with people outside their family and all are opposed to traditional schooling.
Sorry, this was meant to be a reply to the article, not your post.
This is an opinion piece – a viewpoint – not a scientific journal piece. No backup necessary. That's how the author sees things. It's OK.
For research that represents the best home schooling has to offer check out: http://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html
You kind of slant your articile to the very generalizations you don't like.
"In contrast, home-schooled kids are exposed to children of all ages, even adults, so they are better prepared to handle varied social situations." This has not been my experiance. So I am not going to generalize. The 5 kids I have had at my house for parties. Every kid is different. Some of the 5 do not follow rules very well at all and are reluctant to share.
"Colleges are quickly realizing that home-schoolers excel academically because they are more mature, have impeccable study and time management skills – typically things that are not taught in a classroom." It should be that some home schooled applicants. Not all home school children are better equiped and handle college life better than kids who went to public or private schools.
People in the end like to generalize. Some schools are great, better than any home school. Some schools are bad and could not begin to teach a child as much as the parents can teach them.
I hear and see allot of home schooling for elementry children. Which is completely understandable. Just wondering how home schooling stacks up with a HS grad from an honors program. How does the parent teach calc., chemistry, art, music theory, computer sciences, etc.
Give me a break...your kid can't cut it in real school, so you give them the easy way out and let an unqualified stay at home mom prepare them for the real world – where there is no "home school safety net". This is why America is losing to China.... you and your home schooled kids.
No America is losing to China because we have an education system geared toward making drones, who never question what they're told, or think beyond the rote knowledge they're forced to memorize.
And because our classrooms are more romper room than education facilities.
CHINA.....are you kidding me!!!!
When the Chinese start driving a SUV on Mars or put a man on the moon I will be impressed. Why do you think there are so many Chinese students in the US going to school?
my neighbor home schooled the first 3 of her 6 kids...when the oldest went off to a catholic college she ended up pregnant the first term ...the youngest 3 were immediately enrolled in public school
I've known 4 people who were home schooled in my life (to be completely forth-coming, 2 of them were brother and sister so they were raised in the exact same environment) and I can tell you that YES each one of the 4 were social misfits and weirdo's!
Maybe it was just bad luck that 4 out of 4 who I've met were like that and I will admit that there are certain cirmcustances where home schooling is right but it should be a LAST resort if you truly love your children!
They do NOT get the same social skills that regular students get and that effects them dramatically. 3 of th 4 I knew were what I would call above average in intelligence and the 4th was average but if you believe that alone will make your kids happy when they grow up then you are seriously mistaken. In the end none of the 4 had a clue about how to act around other people and none had any friends that I knew of. All 4 were obviously lonely and unhappy with their lives because of this!
I for one will not do that to my child unless I absolutely have to due to cirmcustances and if I do have to home school you can bet her evenings and weekends will be full up with Gymnastics, dance school, or what ever I can do to make sure she gets the social skills that are just as important as the learning skills!
I went to High Schoo.... and you just described about 10%-20% of my fellow classmates. Congratulations.
FYI, advantage to Home School Team, at least when the kids are weirdo's they're not picked on for 8 hours straight and physically assaulted.
Ever contemplate whether perhaps they're just weird, and weirdos do better when home schooled or in the Muppets?
Actually, many colleges – especially private ones – are actively recruiting homeschoolers and have been for a while. Oglethorpe in Atlanta for one.
This does not surprise me nor does it mean that it is good for the students!
Homeschoolers are generally good at passing tests and getting high grades which is the only thing colleges really want even though they try to tell you differently! (When it comes right down to it they could care less about "well rounded" as long as the students get high grades)
This does not mean that the students are or will be happy in their lives ... only that they will get an education.
I have yet to find a job that cares how well rounded I am....just saying.
As a father of 8 who have all been homeschooled since day 1, with the 6 oldest going off too collage and the remaining two close to being there, I will state that I agree 100% with what Alessandra has shared with us. Each family and situation is unique, but she provides a very clean and unbiased overview of what homeshcoolers' have been doing for generations. Thanks Alessandra – good job.
eeek...you taught them spelling? they went to bible colleges didn't they?
You spelled Bible wrong.
Aperantly us missded the gramar and spelin
LarryB and Big Daddy,
Spelling and grammar? You really want to go there? I work with a Fortune 100 company and the number of people who can't spell or use grammar correctly is breathtaking. All public schooled. Bad spelling and grammar is an equal opportunity epidemic in the US, not something brought about by home education.
But go ahead and have your fun – and your 15 seconds of fame...
What she provided is ANYTHING but "unbiased"
My wife was homeschooled. Went on to get a 4.0 GPA in college, and just finished her Master's with a 3.94 GPA.
Well then she must be a well rounded, socially adapt person b/c no one who ever got good grades could be otherwise (Please see any genious ever known to man). Smart people are smart, hard workers work hard and no one is suggesting home schooling makes you unintelligent. It may in fact help if we are srticltly talking about knowledge retention, home work, tests, etc. however a HUGE part of school is socialization and learning how to interact within the framework of a society of your peers. This is what is in question with homeschooling. There are bad teachers in public schools as well as home school but I dont feel that is what people's concerns stem from.
I thought your post was going a completely different direction.
I'd bet $10,000 that you like your wife because she has no friends to compete with you for her attention and she is totally dependant upon you for what little socialization she is capable of.
No matter where you go to school you have to work hard. As long as kids grow up to help their neighbor its all good.
Homeschooling generally offers kids a better opportunity to develop adult social skills that will help them later in life, but they may not be as good at ostracizing, bullying, backbiting, or lying, or blending in, which ware necessary skills for navigating the unreal social world of public school.
Howver, the most important thing for any kid in terms of life and schooling is that the parents stay aware of and involved in the kids' lives. This can be accomplished with or without homeschooling, though homeschooling is a more natural fit. However, is a parent wants to "check out" on their kid, they can do that whehter they homeschool or not as well.
One more note, it is difficult to take a kid who has been in regular school for a number of years, homeschool them, and expect them to understand and adapt to it, because they have already been conditioned to accept an alternate society, so it's possible that they may not get over that and will always miss it.
The bigger problem is the hard core imprint that is happening to the kid. Their exposure to real world adults and real world kids will be extremely difficult. I am also willing to bet that the rebellious period will be much shorter and much more dramatic and that home schooled kids will have a greater tendency towards adult depression.
I'm not an expert. I just play one in real life.
Reasoning as to why home schooled will be more depressed than the bullyied, harassed, public school student?
Wow! I went to public school, then to college. My dad was a math teacher. (Phd eq). My kids were homeschooled. Oldest recd full scholarship. Real life is NOT public school!
"Homeschooling generally offers kids a better opportunity to develop adult social skills that will help them later in life, "
Really???!!!??? On what planet?
You must live in Fantasyland if you believe that ... I'm guessing you've convinced yourself of that to justify your 'control-freak' like dominance over your child's life!
Talk to college professors and admissions people and high school teachers who have experience with then and you will hear the same, that homeschooled kids are better socially equipped for the real world (ie having conversation and shared experiences with adults) than traditionally schooled kids are. That is because their whole life is spent in the real world, a world where adults and kids interact in normal society, such as going to stores, playing sports and activities, church, all the stuff normal adults do. Kids who are traditionally schooled spend the majority of their time in an environment where they are led from classroom to classroom like zombies and quickly learn they must "fit in" to a certain clique of people who bond together to protect themselves from the class alphas/predators. They learn that academic mediocrity is expected and rewarded, and that innovative thought is too distracting for the group, because all that matters to the teacher is that the worst students somehow find a way to pass end of year exams so the school and teacher don't look bad.
Public school bears much closer resemblance to prison in terms of socialization than it does the real, free world. The more perfectly a kid adapts to the fake social world of public school, the worse their actual socializxation skills will be in the long run. That's why so many prom kings and queens peak in high school, and so many of the "outcasts" find new life and really flower post high school.
Your attempt at irony has been noticed! Well done. Although perhaps putting "truth" in quotes might be better. "'control-freak' like dominance over your child's life" – hilarious! You can't WRITE this stuff – oh, wait, I guess you just did.
If you read through the posts here, both pro and con, you'll realize (or maybe you won't) that your comments are at the far end of the continuum – the most "anti." So maybe it's you who are in fantasy land. It certainly is clear that you haven't met the home-schooled kids and their parents that I have.
I have 3 children. My oldest went to public school and finished two years of college by the time she graduated high school. I never thought I would Homeschool but because my middle child has severe allergies to dairy and soy and ADHD (He didn't like having to take medication.) We are now Homeschooling and it's been life changing for my son. He is not just doing well but thriving. What is perfect for one kid isn't for another.
I have not known a lot of home schooled kids but most of the few I have known could very well be classified as "weird." Most have been able to very well academically but have been handicapped socially and consequently y struggle in the “real” world. They do not interact well with others and in particularly do not deal well with difficult or stressful situations, anger or "expressive" co-workers. They seem to have a lack in picking up on social cues. They often do not seem to understand what is socially acceptable and as a consequence say and do things that make other feel uncomfortable.
I think this is a product of their environment. That being said, I think it is possible for a home schooled child to come out with the social skills they need. I suspect though that a great many of the parents who home school their children are doing so to shield them from the harshness of public school, the same difficult situation that will give them the skills they need to be successful in adulthood.
I have also met a few home schooled people and let me tell you.. I thought I knew weirdness and social awkwardness...then they came along and confirmed I had a lot to learn hehehhe They were pretty book smart, most played at least one musical instrument, were well-mannered & kind. Their common sense didn't seem very well developed.
Also, whenever I spoke on certain topics (which they were most likely not exposed to before) I could see in their eyes that they had no clue what I was talking about yet kept on smiling and nodding their head. And the way they socialized with others... it was just so...odd.
Just want to point out that all of the home schooled people I met were home schooled mainly for religious purposes. So it may be different for those that were home schooled because of the quality of the school system....which I agree, is not something to be proud about in this country :-(
I too thought about home schooling our kids but I wouldn't do it. Although I have a college degree, I have no business teaching/tutoring on subjects I know very little about.
Funny, I was the public school student. My wife the homeschooled. She picks up the social cues and interacts well socially. I'm the one that's screwed....yes, in large part from my public school experiences.
In Florida HS kids can take any number of classes at public school, so when we home schooled PS helped us in subject areas where we were less strong. High school was beyond us so we sent them to PS HS. In the end both graduated with highest honors from PS. One is getting his PhD and the other is about to graduate U TX. So we were able to benefit from PS and HS. Turned our great.
Since when does CNN allow people to write their own CNN articles? I just can't believe that with all the years of training teachers have to go through in order to teach, some parents can just "home school" their kids without that. It's amazing that is even an option.
I guess you should tell my son that. He graduated at the top of his class getting his MA at Harvard two years ago.
Public school teachers are trained to do public school – classroom. Home schoolers aren't trying to replicate that so they don't need that training.
They are allowed to do it because it works.
Of course, standardized tests for homeschoolers... But heaven forbid (I'd offer my apologies to those whose sensibilities that phrase may offend, but unfortunately my gut seems to say 'Suck it up') we suggest that sort of thing for 'Real Teachers', right?? Ah, yes... The progressive mindset.
Isn't it funny how that's always the case...
Standard Tests + Home Schoolers = GOOD
Standard Test + Public Teachers = BAD
Who does a home schooed kid take to the prom?
If a home schooled kid plays for the football team are they "home" or "away"?
Wasn't Tim Tebow home schooled?
Yes, he was. In Michigan we have 7 home school soccer teams that play against each other and also against small schools like Christian schools and charter schools. We also have 10 football teams.
As far as prom, my kids went to a home school prom in Kalamazoo that was attended by about 100 kids. In an area with a large home educating community, the things that seem only possible with public school numbers become more feasible. It just takes a little organization and money.
We just graduated our two kids from HS this year. In a ceremony with caps and gowns and diplomas – real ones, not something we did in PowerPoint and printed out on the family inkjet printer. Organized by parents whose kids participated in a music program that has 400 kids enrolled.
"Who does a home schooed kid take to the prom?"
Usually, the same person they are going to marry ... their 1st cousin!
Not in West Virginia, 1st cousins aren't close enough relatives.
I am personally not impressed with the quality of education the public schools are offering, and one of my closest friends homeschools her children and they are far beyond in their learning than the children their age in public schools. The first 5 years are the most crucial learning years of all children and our public schools and daycares are a let down.
The first 5 years are definitely the most important. However, those aren't public school years. Kindergarten doesn't start until the end of that 5th year, so most of that development is supposed to fall on the parent anyways. Most day cares aren't founded as schools, that's the issue. You can't blame public schools for faults, while at the same time saying the first 5 years are the most important.
Congratulations to your closest friend ... they are going to have a very smart kid with great grades who is MISERABLE because they don't understand how to socialize with other people!
Real nice life they are building for their kid ... NOT!
Tim Tebow was home schooled and does not display any of the liabilities you suggest. Most people that have a problem with home schoolers are fans of public school. That is fine but don't slam home schoolers. As far as being social, 20% of inner city public school kids end up in jail at some point and end up socializing in prison. The majority of Chicago teachers with kids will not send them to public schools, why ?
Why do you all think home school kids don't socialize?
While your kids are stuck at desks. Home school kids are going out to parks, playing with other home schooled kids.
And seriously, what is socialization in public schools?
a) Most of that time is supposed to be sitting in a desk listening to a lecturer or doing work NOT socializing. (I'm not paying taxes so your kid can socialize).
b) Okay, so they're socializing, let's be honest. They're goofing around. They're harassing the nerd (who'd be better off homeschooled because he's already weird, and always will be. At least he won't be harassed and will have better self-esteem).
c) Come on...it's 2012, almost 2013. Socialization for teens is a text or twitter message. You can do that from home!
1) If you have been reading my posts you will have seen that I acknowledge that there are certain cirmcustances where homeschooling is appropriate ... but only a few.
2) Tim Tebo is a millionair sports star ... you can not count on your kid to be like him ... for all we know he could be the most socially inept dolt who ever lived but he will always have "friends" around because of his fame an fortune ... bad example by you ... there is always an exception to every rule.
I can only go by my own experiences and 4 out of 4 people who I know who were homeschooled are weirdos and socially awkward to be generous!
Try to break it down any way you want to in order to justify making a bad decision in the raising of your children but the facts are the facts ... adults who were homeschooled are FAR, FAR, FAR more often misfits in society and weirdos and that is because they miss the normal socialization that kids get in school just from being there. Also, you think there aren't bullys in the business place ... think again ... and most are smart enough to not bully you in a way that would be considered harrassment by HR departments ... many of them are called your BOSSES. Kids need to learn how to deal with real life and school is a FAR better place for that then your living room "protected" from the real world. Kids who are "protected" are NOT prepared for the reality of the real world and that is a FACT!
My public school is generally pretty good but the elementary school my daughter is supposed to go to is the exception .. it's a MESS. So, I"m sending her to a Charter School ... but she WILL go to school because I care about her!
CNN’s Schools of Thought blog is a place for parents, educators and students to learn about and discuss what's happening in education. We're curious about what's happening before kindergarten, through college and beyond. Have a story to tell? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org