My View: Common myths about home-schooled kids
October 1st, 2012
04:27 AM ET

My View: Common myths about home-schooled kids

Courtesy Gabriela OliveiraBy 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.

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Filed under: Homeschooling • Voices
soundoff (576 Responses)
  1. John

    My wife and I plan on sending our children to public school, but also plan on supplementing their education at home. Between us we know English, writing, anthropology, archaeology, biology, chemistry, physics, math, history, drawing, painting, and sculpture.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  2. blahblahblah

    This author addresses "myths" with completely unsubstantiated conjecture on her part. If you want to contradict a "myth," you should offer actual evidence to the contrary, not merely say "is not! is not! is not!" Useless commentary.

    Personally, I deal with kids of all stripes for a living, every day. I treat them all kindly and equally. But I have to say, homeschool kids tend to be odd, and their parents odder still. With a simple one-word descriptor, "homeschooler," one can summarize a great deal of observation.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • bryan

      i feel for the children you work with. if you truly feel this way, you should find a new profession.

      October 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • WAKEUP48

      Typical, So you think your opinion is better because thats your job. The U.S educational system has done NOTHING but hurt our children minds. Whens the last time you looked at stats on where the U.S is in ALL subjects in the last 10-20 years, its SHOCKING

      October 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • thesaj

      I have three children....

      Each one is such a unique and differing personality wholly different from the others. That anyone who'd make such a statement of uniformity would be clearly 100% pulling their statements out their rear.

      And I sincerely think that's what's happening in the above post.

      October 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  3. Phil (D.C.)

    Homeschooling is child abuse, plain and simple.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • WAKEUP48

      Go read "The deliberate Dumbing Down Of America" Or youtube it...You will change your mind

      October 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • bryan

      you obviously don't know many home school families.

      October 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
      • WAKEUP48

        Ha, You don't know me first off. Second, just go youtube it, and stop being a typical lazy american

        October 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • thesaj

      Perhaps....

      But based on my experiences in public school.

      If home schooling equals abuse. Than public school is something akin to being waterboarded at Gitmo.

      October 1, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  4. C

    I was, unfortunately, home schooled and despised every moment of it after hitting ninth grade. You miss all of the normal experiences teens should have (prom, homecoming, ect), and it does make it a lot harder to make friends since you don't necessarily have those common topics to talk about with kids. My sister and I both became very shy (but now that's certainly gone out the window) as a result of it. So I do concur with the majority of people that say home-schooling stunts ones social skills (as it we were not the only home-schoolers I knew that were socially inept).
    I would never home-school my children.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  5. jzf

    i went to a public school, didn't fit in, im shy and socially awkward. Hated high school, and my peers. I now have a job, a wife and 2 kids. Public school didnt have anything to do with my success, but the support of my parents did.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  6. Ted from NY

    Okay, so does the reasoning that "homeschooling is bad because the kids are sheltered and don't learn how to cope with bullies, people of other nationalilties/races/reglious beliefs [etc.]," also extend to school situations - i.e. if your kids go to a good school with no bullying, are you depriving them of the opportunity to learn how to cope with it on their own? If you live in a mostly white suburb are you committing the same "abuses" because your kids won't have learned how to cope in a multicultural world? What if you and your fellow parents, being good and conscientious people, succeed in making sure your kids' sports coaches, scout leaders, dance instructors, etc. are not pedophiles - have you "deprived" your kids by sheltering them? I agree that over-sheltering kids is not good for their development, but no one seems to be listening to the point that home-schooling does not necessarily involve sheltering.

    Yes, you can do home-schooling poorly, but it's not a given, not built-in. My home-schooled kids (a) participated in tons of activities, with both home-schooled and non-homeschooled kids; and (b) lived in a racially mixed neighborhood with people of varying incomes. As for socializing: most kids have to "sit still" during class hours and do their socializing after school, on weekends, and during summers. After school hours, and all weekend, and during school breaks, and all summer, is when my kids would run around in the neighborhood playing with the kids who went to school.

    They had that IN ADDITION to our home-schooling group (150+ families, of all faiths, or of no religion at all) AND they had the resources of libraries, workshops, museums, online-resources, educational TV or video's or DVD's. They were most assuredly NOT isolated.

    Home-schooling may not be for everyone. Schooling may not be for everyone. Why not let there be several options, for the different situations which life presents? Why restrict our options instead of taking advantage of the best of both worlds?

    October 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Dan

      As someone else mentioned already, you should raise your kids to deal with situations they will faced as an adult. So unless you anticipate them constantly be threaten by molesters and rapists, your example of protecting them from pedophiles is hardly analogical of the topic on hand. As for your other examples, yes, I do think parents are doing their kids a disservice by isolating them from interacting with other children from varying ethnic background, especially in an increasingly globalized world. Individuals with experiences dealing with people of different ethnicity will have a leg up compare to your kids if they grew up surrounded only by children who are of the same skin. Want a perfect practical example? Take a look at who's ahead in our current presidential race.

      October 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "As for socializing: most kids have to "sit still" during class hours and do their socializing after school, on weekends, and during summers"

      Sounds like a poor school if they didnt have group projects, class discussions, break time, dinner time etc etc.

      'They had that IN ADDITION to our home-schooling group (150+ families, of all faiths, or of no religion at all) AND they had the resources of libraries, workshops, museums, online-resources, educational TV or video's or DVD's."

      so when do you stop becoming home schoolers and start just being a small school yourself then?

      October 1, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  7. Nogimus Prime

    Great article. I home schooled for 2 years (6th and 7th grade) and it wasn't a great experience for me generally bc I was into tackle football and our group didn't offer organized sports, plus I really enjoyed being surrounded by hundreds of kids at school all day long. One perk I did enjoy is that I could push myself to learn at a faster pace bc I didn't have to wait for the rest of the class to catch up, plus if I pushed really hard I could finish some days by 10:30 or so and have the rest of the day to ride my bike around Long Beach. It almost felt like I had the city to myself for several hours. My little brother home schooled his entire life and really enjoyed it. He went on trips around the world before graduating, was very involved in societal improvement, and now has a great job at Facebook. Guess what his job entails? Thinking. He paid all day to think of ideas to improve the company. How awesome is that?!

    October 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • thesaj

      Nogimus Prime

      And I'd give $100 to have a 10 minute conversation with your brother.

      October 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  8. WAKEUP48

    Anyone who opposes this idea of "homeschooling' or is in the education field should 100% read-

    Charlotte Iserbyt's "The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America"

    October 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  9. Christina

    I homeschooled my sons for 6 years . . . would I change this . . . NEVER. It was the greatest learning experience not only for my sons but for myself also. Would I recommend this approach for everyone . . . not at all . . . it requires a lot of commitment and dedication. For us it worked . . . we belonged to a homeschool program that had almost 300 children – socialization was not an issue, nor field trips, nor development. When my sons entered public schools they were three grades above their peers. They've entered college, one has graduated and is now serving his country as an officer in the Army. There are many times I look back at this time and miss the closeness, the excitement of learning new facts, the shared time.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • bluegillonthefly

      Great post! We're not in a position to homeschool our kids, but did send them to Catholic school after one year of experience with the pathetic public schools in our area. Our old public school was outstanding – it was everything one could possibly want in a school – but after we moved due to a job transfer, we lost that. I've met homeschooled kids and their parents, and the children – like their parents – were all intelligent, respectful and well educated.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  10. Mazrim

    Homeschooling does make having a crush on the teacher a bit awkward.....

    October 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      Ha ha. Good one!

      October 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • thesaj

      Finally a valid argument against home schooling!

      October 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  11. AuburnGrad

    Lastly, I do not think the weird is a myth. But, it can not be a general term used for all home-schoolers. No one would ever guess that I was home-schooled. I love being with people, and it doesn't matter if they are my age or my grandparents age. I can sit and have a conversation and interact with anyone.

    When I was in college though, I could guess correctly about 75% of the time if some one was home-schooled. You can tell based on how confident they are around others their age, or just general social skills. It is very important to be active outside the home in sports, music, or whatever other passion your child might have. They can play through the community, YMCA, or in most cases the public schools.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • thesaj

      I could too. I almost always could tell who was home schooled in college.

      1) They always seemed more serious and mature. Avoiding most of the pedantic college crap.

      2) They seemed to never be bothered when someone demeaned them or called them a name. As if they were so self-assured with themselves it didn't bother them.

      3) They always seemed to have only a small core of friends. But they were pretty close with that core.
      (And really, how many friends do you have tiem for in 'real life'. A small close core is all we really want, need and can devote too.)

      October 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  12. RichBNA

    Having sent two daughters (one with a Ph.D. and one with a BS and looking at grad school) through public schools, and having taught briefly in a high school in another school system, I offer these opinions. When the schools have strong parental involvement, as my daughters' schools have, they provide a great education and are socially better for the kids. When a school has minimal parental involvement, as the school I taught at has, seriously consider moving, or paying tuition for you child to attend another school, or if you're qualified then home school them.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  13. Isaac M

    I used to be home schooled and I do have to say that I disagree with the social misfit thing since it made me socially awkward. And furthermore I hate homeschooling

    October 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      Yeah, but there's plenty of socially awkward kids in public and private schools. Some people are just socially awkward no matter where they go to school.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
      • thesaj

        And they hated public school... ( I know, I was public schooled and I hated it)

        #1 reason I hear home schoolers disliked homeschooling is that they were envious of what they thought public school was like. Recently, a friend of ours who's daughter was home schooled decided she wanted to attend public school. After less than a year she returned to homeschooling so distraught with the horrible learning environment and quality of teachers – who were incapable of basic grammer.

        October 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • SAM

      Your 2 sentences here reveal a lack of basic grammar skills and a contradiction which tells me you either didn't receive a quality home education or you're still quite young and don't really yet understand how home schooling has benefitted you.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  14. kitty Cat

    I know a lot of home school families. I think a lot of people home school because they are control freaks and think nobody can do it as well as they can. They also want to shelter their children from society. I hear it is extremely difficult for these kids to adjust to the social environment of college. Personally, I love my kids, but would have a hard time being with them from the time they are born until when they move out of the house. To each their own!

    October 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • C

      I hear that public school kids are all drug addicts and delinquents. That being said, you look past your stereotypes and we'll look past ours...

      October 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
      • Nogimus Prime

        Ha ha. That sounds a lot like the private schools I attended.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
      • bra

        Sounds more like your parents are one of those crazy religious ones if thats what youve hear about public school. The difference between public school stereotypes is they base them from personal experience from home schoolers coming in, not from crazy parents.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
      • I

        Nowadays most of them are, though not all. I hear these kids saying things to adults and each other that there is no way my generation would have said, due to the consequences we would incur, and the fact that we were taught manners and respect for others.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • bluegillonthefly

      Could anybody teach my kids as well as I could? I doubt it. Not only do a I know them – and their learning styles – better than anyone, but I also have three years of teaching experience (there were non-teaching aspects of that career that I just didn't like, so I found something else to do, but I was good at it and loved the actual teaching part of it) The cost of that would be very high, because either I would have to quit my job or my wife would have to quit hers, so we send them to a good private school and they get a great education. They used to go to public school, but the low standards in our district just weren't cutting it.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Sonia

      I was home-schooled because I grew up in a show biz family and spent my youth traveling the world. I believe that the education I received not only through my schooling, but also by exposure to many cultures and languages has enabled me to be wiser than my peers. When I became a mother I allowed my 2 children to go to public school from k-5th grade. After that I began home-schooling them. We live in Las Vegas and the public school system here is seriously lacking. Both my children speak 3 languages and play musical instruments. We also make it a priority to visit a new country every year to help them expand their knowledge of other people and cultures. They also have their friends and enjoy normal teenage socialization. Unlike most kids their age, my children have learned how to converse with and develop relationships with not only their peers, but people of all ages and cultures. This would not be the case if they spent their days stuck in a room of 40 other kids.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • thesaj

      No, only 20% of public school students are drug addicts or delinquents.

      October 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  15. AuburnGrad

    I was homeschooled until 8th grade. I loved every minute of it, and also enjoyed going to the high school that I did. Part of it was that we did not have the best public schools in our area. The other is that my mom was a teacher prior to teaching me. She has both her BS and her Masters in teaching. I think this is key in home schooling. I think you have to have a back ground in teaching so that you actually understand and know what you are doing.

    There were a few other kids that started at my high school that had been home schooled longer, and they seemed to struggle in a few things. I think the key is to know where the material is over your head. There are other ways around it, and I havd a few friends that took classes at the community college or local advance classes on a specific subject.

    I did not have trouble adjusting to the "normal" middle and high school enviroment. I took most of the advanced classes, and felt well prepared for them. I was able to do some many different and special trips while l was home schooled.,We went on all sorts of field trips, and I took summer programs through the local universities that were offered for kids. I was able to see Poverati, and pianist, and go to NASA in Houston, and Washington DC, and so many classical plays, operas, etc.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • btldriver

      What I think makes homeschooling work, and this works for public schooling as well, is parental involvement. In many of the above posts there is mention of how parents are helping their children. I help my children and my wife helped our children before them and so far 4 of 6 have graduated and 3 of the 4 graduates are currently attending colleges for higher education.
      I am currently a teacher and have seen parents pull kids from PS to home school them without a good grasp on what that means. In the end the student returns to a PS not any smarter but now is behind their peers. Home schooling works when the parent does their homework on what program works for them, positives and negatives to home schooling and finding necessary resources to help them in the programs they choose. Also like many teachers, parents need to prepare to teach and not assume their child will learn by themselves, parents still need to be smarter than the child.
      In the end I don't think one is better or worse than the other, I think it depends on the amount of time and effort put into the one that is chosen that makes the difference.

      October 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
      • thesaj

        I was pulled out of public school in 6th grade. Did I return behind, only in that I had covered fractions while my class covered decimals. So I had to do a little catch up on that.

        But in everything else I was far more excelled than my peers. Oh, did I mention I got a full day's work done in about 2-3 hours. It's amazing what you can get done when you're not being bullied, harrased or held back by your peers.

        And your 6th grade teacher is not making fun of your speech impediment in front of the whole class.

        October 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
      • btldriver

        Thesaj, but did you do all of the learning by yourself, meaning your parents did nothing but buy, or get, you the book? Was your time learning spent whenever you wanted to or was it scheduled? Home schooling works for many students but sometimes it doesn't work. I'm glad it worked for you but there are others who think home schooling is the way to go but find out it is more work than they want to deal with.

        October 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  16. fun

    How is a home schooler supposed to learn and experience trades? They are stuck with what their parent is good at (assuming they are even good at anything).

    Just learning english, math, and science prepares you for zero jobs.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Ted

      I'm not a fan of home-schooling, but I don't see public schools preparing kids for career trades either. Or most college and university majors for that matter. It is the greatest flaw in our educational system.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Danny Boo Boo

      As far as learning a trade, it wasn't so bad. Our kids were in 4H and took Welding, Blacksmithing, Small Engines, and other programs. I also bought a welder, band saw, and chop saw. We have put together a few tractors and hot rods which have helped pay for the tools purchased. Today the oldest is the president of the SME chapter at his college and is programming CNC machines and building robots. The youngest works landscaping with one of his other homeschool buddies and is in the process of learning to make bio-fuel for his tractor and trucks they use on the job.

      It really isn't hard to find a co-op that will give kids the opportunity to learn from others who do have skills other than the three Rs. Ours has had knitting, quilting, cooking, budgeting, carpentry (as in build a house, not a bird house), metalworking, and electrical wiring. All skills that can be used later in life and are also open to boys and girls with no predjudice. How many high schools still have a shop class? Mine closed in 1988 or so.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      Dude, my little brother home schooled his entire life from K-12 and he gets paid to think of ideas to better improve Facebook. Again, he gets paid to THINK. So, what more proof do you need?

      October 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • rbrobertson

      Actually, students that are home schoolers also go to social gatherings, science fairs, college visits, co-op jobs, as well as sports and music participation with organized groups. (Ex. Tim Tebow playing high school football while being home schooled). From being employed by a major University, I've found that home schooled kids are generally prepared just like anyone else (if not then better). Lots of parents that home school their children have advanced degrees and actually are bright and intelligent. But anyways I guess that people can't get a job using science, math, english, or some other subject. So much for doctors, lawyers, engineers, and scientists.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • thesaj

      What trades does public school teach you? Heck, many public schools don't even have shop class anymore. And really, is hairstyling that great of a life career path?

      October 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  17. Schmackley

    Show me the data, Mr. Fact. I'd bet money that, even if you had the data, which you don't, you would find a pretty large standard deviation. That would indicate great heterogeneity. And that indicates there are a lot of different types of home-school parents and students.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • bra

      The data is here, everyone posting saying they were homeschooled admits to being weird and having issues adapting. The ones in denial like yourself admit to being religious. Is there evidence to the contrary?

      October 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • sport789

      Here is the data. It's worth looking at: http://www.hslda.org/docs/study/rudner1999/Rudner2.asp

      October 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  18. ttugly

    I'm not very impressed with these articles that keep recycling the same ideas about homeschooling, and at a shallow level. I'd be a lot more interested in hearing about homeschooling from other adults who, like me, were homeschooled. I'm guessing they mostly don't write about the experience because the topic got old 20 years ago, but I think we'd be among the best qualified to reflect critically on the advantages and disadvantages that our particular situations have afforded us now that we have some distance from school. I've looked sometimes for sociology articles or similar recent studies on homeschoolers as adults, and haven't been able to find anything. Regarding the "myths" this author points out: as much as parents would like to think their homeschooled kids aren't "weird," parents might not have the best grasp on what is "normal." Most homeschooled kids I knew as a kid, like those I know today, had different priorities and more focused interests than a lot of kids at public schools. And we weren’t up to date in fashion or music or movies. We were kinda weird. A more important question might be whether "weird" is problematic. If an unusual and early fascination with engineering or art or nanotechnology or anything else is a kid's thing, that might not be particularly detrimental in the long run, even if they seem unusual to their peers for a while. I’m 27 years old, I have a master’s degree, I have a successful business editing and translating, and I am PhD student in Europe. I’ve always found that caring about other people’s needs and interests is the fastest way of making friends at any age, in any country, even if the people I meet aren’t just like me. Others may learn how to do all that in public school or private school (and they certainly often do); I learned how to live like this by being homeschooled.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  19. hookiecop

    As a 30yr public school administrator, I can tell you that the Home-Schooler life this blogger paints is the exception and not the norm. I dealt with people for many years who used their anger against the local system as an excuse to avoid sending their children to school through the concept of 'home-schooling". Rarely, did those parents provide satisfactory educational experiences. My State, Indiana, could not/has not found the courage to clearly define equivalent instruction. Oh, our Governor and Legislators have taken great pride in regulating the public school and public school teachers into the ground, but have bowed to the conservative political pressure and failed to provide any regulations regarding "home-schooling". Sad.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      Ah, propaganda, propaganda. Why are public school personnel always so agitated at kids learning if it's not in their system. I realize that for every home schooled child in your district that means your school gets x amount less in funding, but get a grip.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
      • hookiecop

        I get agitated because I see kids not in school and not getting a decent (or any) educational experience from foolish parents who take their kids out of school for idiotic reasons and a State government too scared of its own shadow to do the right thing. Yes, Indiana is one of those states where the money is dooled out according to enrollment (I don't think that is a good system because it costs the same to heat a room whether there are 20 or 25 kids in that room).

        October 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        why is his response invalid?
        why is your response not propaganda as well?

        October 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • btldriver

        As a current teacher, I don't care where a student gets a quality education. What I do care about are those parents/students who choose to home school but have no idea what needs to happen. It bothers me even more when the parent barely has any education at all and then wants to teach their children and help them try to graduate. I'm not saying that PS is the only way to go or home schooling is the best for all children, but I am saying parents need to put the needs of their child first and if that is home school then put the necessary effort, and expect the child to put forth the necessary effort, to get the quality education. While a student might be able get a more meaningful education at home that is more tailored to the student, the possibility of failure is also present and the parents need to realize that also and vice versa for PS.

        October 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • thesaj

      To the school administrator (a.k.a. security guard – presuming that's what hookie cop means),

      Might I inquire of Indiana's successful education methods that has led it to rank #40 (near the bottom) of state SAT scores?

      http://voices.yahoo.com/state-education-rankings-sat-scores-6382040.html

      Just saying that your argument is rather unconvincing. And yes, some parents pull their kids out of school for various reasons. But that's a very small part of home schooling and is usually "short term home schooling", very different from the total picture.

      And I guess I should mention I was tortured by public school for nigh a decade. Where as my wife and her siblings were home schooled. My wife is an RN, both her siblings attended and graduated Dartmouth.

      Was my mother-in-law some Ph.D. degreed genius? Nope...

      So how did my wife and her siblings gain the high knowledge of things like math, calculus, physics, biology, chemistry, etc, etc? Well, once they reached that level they simply started taking college classes. Auditing at first, then for credit.

      October 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  20. rw

    The fact that they had too print this story reaffims my observation that (the parents of) Home schoolers are either social misfits or fundie's. Personally, I know several, and would hire none of them.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      I doubt you're in a position to hire anyone. Yeah, I'm callin you out on that one.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  21. jake1969

    Without making any clear judgements on home schooling, this article was too much fluff and little substance. No stats to back statements such as how much better home schooled kids are at a variety of things. Also, the responses to Myths 1 and 2 seem to assume that kids in "traditional" schools live in a bubble when they are not in school...ie, notion of not knowing how to deal with people of other ages or "diverse" situations. I think most traditionally schooled kids get lots of varied experiences outside of school with people of different ages. Of course, whether home schooled or traditionally schooled, it all comes down to the parents. Good parents of traditionally schooled kids will get their kids experiences...while good home schooling parents will try to get their kids socialized in a variety of ways. In the end though, if you choose home schooling, be 100% sure you're up for it, so many ways to fall short if not putting in the energy. I've only known a few folks taking the home school route, and at least in those cases they were pretty committed and did fine.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  22. MoCoach

    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.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Schmackley

      First of all, home-schoolers can still date. Unless you have data on what percentage are/aren't allowed to date to compare to the percentage of students in public schools, you can't begin to evaluate the effects of those differences. First you identify the differences, and then you can begin to test the effects of those differences. It may be that your hypothesis that "trial and error dating" is what helps people learn isn't really the best way to go. It may be that it's actually what promotes teen pregnancy. Don't blame me, blame science for demanding actual experimentation take place to draw valid conclusions.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
      • Chris

        HAHA! Schmackley "Unless you have data on what percentage are/aren't allowed to date to compare to the percentage of students in public schools, you can't begin to evaluate the effects of those differences. First you identify the differences, and then you can begin to test the effects of those differences. It may be that your hypothesis that "trial and error dating" is what helps people learn isn't really the best way to go. It may be that it's actually what promotes teen pregnancy. Don't blame me, blame science for demanding actual experimentation take place to draw valid conclusions."

        That is a statement from a true home-schooler! If that sentences right there does not tell you all you need to know about why there is a perception of home schoolers being awkwars or weird, I dont know what will. Just please re-read what you wrote. Who talks like that???? Socially awkward home schoolers!

        October 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
      • joeknockz

        No...because he's saying that if you aren't pressured to smoke and date then you are a misfit because the norm is to be pressured. No scientific data is required here other than if it's true that it's normal to be pressured in a traditional school. IF that is a fact then it is true that if you are not pressured as a home schooler than you could be considered a 'misfit' when put in comparison with traditional schooled students.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Ted

      Agreed. I've seen a lot of sheltered, home-school kids implode as adults because they had no preparation for setting healhty boundaries when the pressure came on.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      So do you make it a practice to push cheerleaders on jocks to help with the necessity of that social experience, or are you saving them all for yourself?

      October 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  23. thekitchenomic

    As a product of homeschooling, I hated it until I saw how better prepared I was to deal with life in general. I know that's a blanket statement, But I saw it with my own eyes how much more mature, respectful, thoughtful and patient I was than other kids my age. That being said, I would never home school my 3 girls. I would trade the big brains and large vocabulary for the life experiences and friendships that are forged in a traditional school environment any day of the week.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Chris

      "Amen"... Great Post!

      October 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • DJ

      That's called confirmation bias. Guess your home schooling didn't cover that.

      October 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  24. PP95

    The article is biased itself, only to the other direction.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  25. fact

    Stereotypes are based on some form of reality or they would never exist. Many stereotypes, if not most, are accurate. One of those accurate stereotypes is that home schooled kids are weird and absurdly religious.

    There are exceptions in every stereotype but most of them are weird and religious. I would guess they are more weird because of their religion than because of their home schooling though, since non home schooled religious kids are also very weird. But because so many home schoolers are extremely religious (or were removed from normal school due to special needs) that ends up skewing the results to most home schoolers being weird.

    Home schooled kids being weird is a generalization but an accurate one. Home school moms are in no position to judge what society thinks is weird.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • fact

      Also home school parents tend to be way more overbearing than parents from normal kids, that makes the kid weird since they may not be able to do normal things or dress the normal way because their parents have some idealistic way kids should be. If a parent will go so far as to take on a teaching position to control what their kid learns it is unlikely that their control will stop there.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • thesaj

      So you're saying the sterotype that public schooled kids are stupid has some basis to it?

      October 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  26. Orchal

    Preface: I was homeschooled as a child, (late 80's and on). It was fun, (seriously).

    That said, this author of this article makes quite a few generalizations, (speaking in terms of 'all homeschoolers', as if everyone's experience is the same just because they are home schooled). These 'myths' she lists aren't entirely myths, they just aren't what she experienced. As an example, Myth 2, (all homeschoolers are 'misfits'), implies that children who are home schooled will not develop conditions such as social anxiety because they're given the opportunity to meet a variety of people.
    ...both my sister and I were homeschooled. Both of us came out of it with varying degrees of social anxiety, (social awkwardness, appearing 'weird' to others, panic attacks in social situations, etc). Does that mean that all kids who are homeschooled have the same problem when transitioning to public school, or the general public? Of course not. That's just as silly as implying that all kids who go to public school are immunite from anxiety disorders.

    The point is – the success of homeschooling depends *entirely* on the child, the parent, and the environment. Both my sister and I graduated high school very early with stellar grades, and made it through college with engineering degrees. Other kids in our community that were homeschooled didn't make it to college. Our mother was not educated, so I would chalk a lot of the success up to her selecting the right course material, (or even the part of us that produces the social anxiety might have something to do with a need-for-acheivement).

    October 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • thesaj

      I thin he point is that these myths are no universal, applying to all homeschoolers. And I thin he' coec hee.

      October 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  27. Schmackley

    I love that #4 says "Home-schoolers are religious freaks" as if to say that anybody whose faith or religion is important to him/her is a freak – at least if it involves some form of Christianity. Guess what? Anybody who is stupid enough to stereotype the great majority of home-schoolers in any of these ways is probably not thinking independently in the first place. Rather, he's probably repeating rhetoric that he's heard from others, and that is based on little to no facts. I know it's hard to believe somebody so enlightened would be so narrow-minded, but as Botch said, "It's hard to believe that something so thick, is so quick ... "

    October 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • fun

      perhaps theyre basing it on.... faith

      October 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  28. Josh

    I was home schooled for 3 years and attended a tiny religious school (25 students total in grades K-8) for the remainder of my education until high school. Not only was my adjustment to a public high school incredibly awkward (given that I hadn't developed the social skills necessary to easily acclimate to a new environment), but even at the age of 31 I still feel remnants of social anxiety when in group settings.

    If I have children, I will never, ever home school them. Ever. The negatives far outweigh the positives (I was a straight A student in high school and successful academically in college).

    Not saying this is the case for everyone, but for me, the social isolation affected my development.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Jacob

      (Age 31) I was placed in a small home school environment from 1st to 8th grade till high school. I can relate 100% to what Josh just stated. Socially I was way behind others and to this day I have troubles in large groups of people. High school was very easy for me and college was not all that hard either. I did have a solid education but socially I had tremendous trouble adjusting. My son is in a public school system and I have no desire to change that. I do however try to educate my child out side of the classroom. There is no reason why you can't spend time and help nurture your own child even if he goes to a public school.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
      • Prefer Anonymity to being flamed

        Attending a public school didn't help me with being socially awkward. I'd argue that being socially awkward is independent of home school vs. public school. I *HATED* high school. Those people were VICIOUS. My mother said she didn't see a change in me until I got to college (also engineering), where I was among my academic peers. As a parent, I think we place far too much emphasis on the social and not enough on the academic. When a teacher would ask me if I was worried about my older son's socialization, I'd say "are you here to educate them or socialize them?" – My younger son is VERY social and had no complaints from his teachers on his socialization skills. But these same teachers never made a peep when his grades went from A's and B's in 6th grade to D's & F's in 7th (his placement tests were grade 14+) and he was being bullied by some of the Social Favorites.

        October 1, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
      • thesaj

        36 public schooled and socially awkward

        Oh, I wish you two could experience what I experienced in public school as a socially awkward kid. You'd come to your parents kissing them profusely for sparing you the crud I endured.

        In 4th grade, at age 10 I spent 3 days home because I was so depressed with the school environment. Ironically, high school was one of the few bright spots. But I went to a fairly unique and odd high school. So that helped.

        October 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Orchal

      (Age 29) Excellent observation. I also came out of the homeschooling experience with a touch of the social anxiety. Our parents, proud of us as they are, will of course say, "My kid came out just fine! Smart one, too!" To which many of us would reply, "Sure, but..."
      ...years of behavioral/cognitive therapy is what I needed in order to cope with being among peers. The social isolation aspect, (or even the lack of diverse thought in many cases), in the homeschool situations shouldn't immediately be dismissed as a 'myth' by parents considering homeschooling their children.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
      • thesaj

        I went to public school. And I don't think years of behavioral and cognitive therapy could heal the scars.

        Imagine if your social awkwardness got you hit, things thrown at you, called names, harassed....day in and day out. That's the life for about 20% of people in public school.

        Most awkward home schoolers, would likely be awkward public schoolers. Trust me, you don't EVER want to be one of those.

        October 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  29. Jon

    We home schooled our youngest son through middle school because we had the opportunity when I retired from the military. During that time we were able to travel Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Boston for field trips. Nothing like answering questions on the Gettysburg Address while sitting against a pillar in the Lincoln Memorial, or learning about immigration while on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. Our son is in public high school now and is excelling in advanced curriculum. We are also closer than ever, and I only wish I had the opportunity with my older two.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  30. GB

    This article is all opinion... Any studies on this?

    October 1, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • DB

      I had the same thought. How can one dispel myths if one is so clearly biased? My experience, which I admit is not based on systematic research, is that home schooled kids are a bit socially awkward but not always. Data?

      October 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • biggerdawg

      See above

      October 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  31. Will

    The issue, people, is tolerance. If you pull your kids out of the public school system because you think they are learning things you find unacceptable or because they are coming into contact with people you find unacceptable, or if the will have the opportunity to carry out biological processes that you find unacceptable, then you are a freak with a problem. In the end, if we are to be a coherent society, we must all get along with each other and all accept each others beliefs. We must not demonize each other and think of those with differences as "worshippers of Satan". That is no way to get along.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Homeschooler here

      "The issue, people, is tolerance" ... "you are a freak with a problem" ... "We must not demonize each other"

      ...While I agree with you on some aspects of your though process, there also seems to be some contradictions there will.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Jeff

      Will, you are over-generalizing and perpetuating a stereotype. When my wife and I took our daughter out of public school in 3rd grade, we did so because the school was doing a lousy job and had no inclination to change. We put her back into public school in the freshman year of high school. She went on to college getting her BA and MA, and now holds a responsible job that allows her to use her brains and creativity. Religion had nothing to do with it.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  32. Faith

    Being homeschooled does not make one different.You as a parent is responsible for what your kids being taught and how they learn.Peope think just because you send your kids to school it someone elses job to teach them and not the parent.God gave you the child so you can teach them not someone else.I have to agree homeschooling take alot of dedication and time,and the teachers at public school can also relate.Just like kids in public/private schools might struggle with certian subjects,doesnt mean homeshoolers cant struggle either.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  33. Kay

    Will, Just for you. I enjoyed your post the most. You remind me of my HS teenage son who debates everything with his father and I. We never give a good enough answer to satisfy him. I'm proud that he speaks up and lets us know that he really wants to understand. As for religious, I leave that for church. School at home is one thing. Church is another. I don't force it down his throat and anybody's. I tried a HS group once and they didn't like the fact that I wasn't Baptist. They also didn't like the fact that I mentioned in class that this universe was way to big for us to be the only ones here. Make your own opinions and then keep them to yourself. I don't play that way. I felt sorry for these children. Again thanks for all your comments. You've interrupted my day of teaching, but it was well worth it.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  34. Pedro

    Who cares were you went in high school or you study at home. Get top marks; Go to a Ivy league university, and problem solved.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  35. marshay & dylan

    in our school we have found trash and lost 🙂 bye

    October 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  36. Carea

    The state of Georgia has seen a growing trend of homeschoolers, so much so, they are offering free cirriculum to those children and they acutally earn a Georgia High School Diploma which make them eligible for the Hope Scholarship. Statistically, homeschoolers keep the hope scholarship more so than those who graduate from the public schools (you have to maintain a B average to keep the scholarship).

    When my daughter was homeschooled, she took more courses and was able to maintain a higher grade average than when she was in public school. It wasn't because I was easier on her than the public schools, if anything I was harder, but she wasn't distracted by other kids disrupting the class, I spent more one on one time with her and she wasn't afraid to ask questions (so she wouldn't appear stupid in front of the other kids). She had a full social calendar and was on a dance team that traveled to other states to perform.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  37. AccidentalHomeschooler

    My husband and I, a Phd in the humanities and PhD the in biomedical field, jointly homeschool our children. We did not intend to do so at first. However, our positive interactions with homeschooled children in our neighborhood and at the colleges at which we teach combined with the specific learning needs of our children led us to decide to educate our children at home. We have been thrilled at how much we have seen the “lights turn on” in our children’s eyes, as we have chosen a curriculum that fits their learning needs and adjusted techniques as we have noticed strengths and weaknesses. This personal attention is a far cry from what they were able to get from teachers who were overwhelmed with 28 students per classroom and no aides in a short funded yet award-winning-standardized-test-scores school district. I see it as our contribution to the public school system: we just lowered the student to teacher ratio, removing kids who needed much more of the teacher’s time than the average child. Eventually our kids may return to public or private school, but right now, we are making sure they have the personalized education they need. I realize one personal narrative is not a rational argument for all homschooling, but I wanted to add our voice to the many who are intentionally, thoughtfully, and successfully educating their children at home. (and yes, I'm alluding to the Ann Tyler novel with my "name")

    October 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • AccidentalHomeschooler

      oops– meant to spell that "homeschooling"

      October 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  38. Bo

    ....so us parents are weird, misfits???...but we have jobs, college degrees (I have a graduate degree), no criminal records, and kids that behave in the supermarket and don't go through sensitivity indoctrination. Weird and misfits in a culture that is fit for nothing but a hot mess.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Kikky56

      My niece and nephew were home school from grades 1 through 12 and they are very bright. They both graduated college in the past couple of years and have very good jobs. But, I do have to say they were both quite strange and weird when they were growing up. They did not interact very well in family/social gatherings. Since going to college, they are not as strange/weird and have better social skills.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  39. Anomic Office Drone

    Homeschooling can be good, but it's not for everyone. The parents filling the role of teachers must be capable and qualified to teach. That may sound simple enough, but the fact that you went through elementary, middle and high school doesn't make you qualified to teach elementary, middle or high school. A college degree doesn't necessarily mean you're qualified, either.

    While I'm sure there are many instances of successful homeschooling, you can also find many cases where it was detrimental to the child, leaving them way behind their peers both academically and socially. There are many parents who are not qualified to be teaching and others who are essentially using homeschooling as religious brainwashing. I have a branch of my family that believe in Bible literalism, and they homeschooled their kids so they wouldn't learn anything that contradicts their religious views. They're nice kids, but if you talk to them about any subject, it becomes immediately apparent that these kids were homeschooled by parents who had no business trying to be formal educators.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Carea

      No its not for everyone, but neither is public school. Every child learns differently.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • Anomic Office Drone

        I agree, but homeschooling with unqualified parents is good for nobody.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • C

      Actually, even many parents that you consider unfit to teach would teach their kids better than public school systems (notice I said many, not all). There are people who shouldn't home-school and do anyway. However, there are teachers who shouldn't be teaching and you can't get rid of them. When we can get rid of unfit teachers then we can worry about teachers being unfit to teach.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • Anomic Office Drone

        Sure there are bad teachers, and I don't mean to excuse them. However, since this article was about homeschooling, that's what I focused on.

        Here is a big difference worth noting since we're adding bad regular teachers to the mix. A student in a school, public or private, will get a new teacher every year, mitigating the impact of a bad teacher. A homeschooled student will not.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      And how exactly do you decide who is qualified to teach? Based off of results, there are lots of teachers, with teaching certificates who aren't qualified to teach. Meanwhile, there are many homeschooled children who excel despite the fact that their parents don't have any formal training in teaching.

      Indeed, from your perspective, your primary complaint about the homeschoolers in your family is that they give a religious view to most subjects? And what do you mean by most subjects? Did religion somehow come up when you were discussing grammer or mathematics with them?

      October 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  40. Ann

    The one kid I know best who was homeschooled (worked in a store with my husband) seemed very smart, mature, and not weird. However, when he tried to apply to the military, they basically told him his homeschooling wasn't worth anything. He can't apply until he gets a GED. So now, he has to go back to the community college and take classes to get his equivalency. Seems like he wasted a lot of time.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Jim

      Have to call BS on this. ANYONE can take the GED. If he was home schooled, he would be more than ready to take the test. No need to go to a community college to be able to take the test.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • thesaj

        For a while home schooling diplomas weren't being considered. And worse, the GED would rate lower than a diploma, and this was what many home schoolers did for a graduation exam. That's been changing in recent years. Largely in part due toward the growth and acceptance of home schooling.

        October 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Jon

      Your example is a good case of homeschooling gone bad. If he was adequately home-schooled then the GED should be easy, nevertheless if his goal was to join the military he should have strongly considered going to a public school, since the military doesn't look well on GED holders unless they have 15 or more college credits, and even have restrictions as to how many enlistees they can take with a GED, (as low as 1% for the Air Force).

      October 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
      • thesaj

        Gee Jon,

        Seeing as you just affirmed the poster's post. The kid is getting his GED but taking some community college classes. And you just stated that's what the military is requiring. GED+15 credit hours.

        Sounds like that's what this kid is doing. So why all the exclaim?

        Granted, I think he should join the U.S. Coast Guard over the Army or Navy.

        SEMPER PARATUS

        October 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  41. MajMajestik

    I know...it is amazing that with all of the failures of the public education system, the huge financial compensation to teachers, and the brainwashing that goes on in public schools that America actually built a middle class in the during the middle part of the 20th Century, went to the moon, built technology that all the world wanted, and developed as well as sustained Universities all over the US (which foreigners still want to attend)... Ya I think just because i graduated from high school I now have enough teaching experience to teach my kid all the subject matter they need to know about life, atoms, polynomials, language, communication, etc Stupid teachers! Who needs 'em???

    October 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  42. Blue Moon Mon

    Actually this article shows why home-schoolling parents can be a little annoying... for example, in her myth that HS kids are social misfits, her response is that no actually my children are better rounded than yours. So it is a slam to parents who send their children to school. It is a "my kids are better than your kids" article rather than exposing myths. I think this kind of thinking resuts from some HS parents being defensive so they have trouble just talking about HS, they have to say why it is BETTER! So it can be hard to have a reasonable conversation about it with them.

    Here is how I educate my child. I have her work with a person every week who is specially trained in art and she does great projects. My child even had her work in a gallery! I have her work every other day with a person who specifically studied physical activity for children. she plays all kinds of games, is a great runner, and has fun creative play. I have her meet twice a week with a literay expert for children. She is a voracious reader of fiction and non-fiction. She also spends time every day with experts in math and language arts!! Twice a week she works with a musician who is specially trained to teach music to young children. She has played all kinds of instruments and learned about songs from around the world. I am so thrilled that I have assembled this team of experts to work with her.

    All of these wonderful experts are ....public school teachers!! : )

    I think my child benefits so much from school. I think socially she learns to interact with peers, children of all ages (they do go on the playground you know!), and adults without ME being there. She is allowed to flourish independently without me hovering over her. I think going to school is such a great confidence builder. I would hate to deprive her of it.

    Even the school bus ... she was so proud when she was little to be riding the bus. I think it is kind of sad that HS kids don't get to have all these rites of passage of going to school, of growing independenly of parents hovering, of learning to navigate the school building, the teachers, the classes, the kids. Trust me these kids end up being very wellrounded.

    One thing HS parents dont' seem to realize. Our kids go on field trips at school and ...with us! My DD has recentnly visisted an organic dairy farm, an organic cider mill, a planetarium, a museum, a festival,, a corn maze...etc with school and with me. Parents teach their children all the time. Learning does not end at 3 pm. Meeting with people expertly trianied to educate children might end at 3 but not learning.

    Each myth "exposed" really slams kids in schools, for eg "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."

    I have know HS kids who are spoiled rotten, not more mature, because they have been brought up to think they are the center of the universe. They find themselves really struggling when they finally have to stand on their own. I would definitely not say HS kids are more mature. Some might be less mature beacuse they don't really know how to stand up for themselves or interact with peers; study habits are taught by parents, reinforced by paretns, and time mgt skill are truly taught in the classroom. IN fact, most of the slams HS ers make againts traditional schooled children are truly based on the fact that traditional kids are on schedules and in fact learning excellent time mgt schools.

    Lastly this quote stood out to me because my friend works at a private university and he has said that HS kids have the hardest time fitting in at college. They don't have good problem solving skills and come to the dean all the time insisting that he fix things. They seem to lack the skills that they 1) can fix things on their own and /or 2) in collge, not everything is going to be YOUR way.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Fred F.

      I completely agree with you Blue Moon Mon, the article is really about why Home Schooling is better and not about dispelling myths. When I was at UConn, there was a group of home schooled kids that got together and they only socialized with themselves, it was in fact, weird. They have no idea how to interact on a social level with their peers. Maybe they do fine in school academically, but when it come to navigating the complex social order that is life they seem to fail miserably. This is probably because they missed out on all the experiences that their peers had, nothing can compare to being in school every day with the same people.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
      • Homeschooler here

        I'm guessing that you are joking and indeed proving the point that homeschooling is better Mr. Fred. "There was a group of home schooled kids that got together and they only socialized with themselves, it was in fact, weird." AND THEN "nothing can compare to being in school every day with the same people". Bravo! Thank you for demonstrating to the world the prowess that a public school education can provide 🙂

        October 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • MarylandBill

        That's funny, when I was in College, the fine arts students tended to hang out together. So did the guys in the Rugby Club, And the commuters tended to hang out together to. The same was true of people in the Computer Science Department. Here is a news flash, people tend to gravitate to social groups they are comfortable in. Yeah, a few people drift from group to group as the mood takes them, but others will stick with one or two groups most of the time they are in college.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • Fred F.

        Comment 1: I'm glad that you picked out some quotes I made and used them completely out of context. The meaning behind what I said, as you well know, is that the home schooled people ONLY hung out together. When I referenced seeing the same people every day it should have been taken to mean that you interacted with a large group of peers everyday and that would prepare you for college or a work environment where you see the same people every day, who all come from diverse and different backgrounds, and learn to interact with them.

        Comment 2: Yes it is completely true that most people stick to similar groups, Rugby, Water Polo, etc. However, I was indicating that the home schooled people I interacted with ONLY hung out with home schooled people. They did not, in fact move from group to group. They stayed away from whoever was different thinking themselves to be better. And how do I know what they thought about themselves? Well, I was told by one guy that his education was better than any traditional school etc.

        So I'd appreciate it that if you are going to criticize me you do so without taking my words out of context. Thank you (insert smug smile)

        October 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • Fred F.

        And before someone rips apart my mistake, let me correct myself. I accidentally typed my words out of order because I was typing fast. I wrote.
        However, I was indicating that the home schooled people I interacted with ONLY hung out with home schooled people.

        what I meant to write was,
        However, I was indicating that the home schooled people I interacted with ONLY interacted with and hung out with other home schooled people.

        Sorry. But I figured I should correct my mistake because people love to totally disregard what someone is saying for a grammatical/spelling/whatever error.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • MarylandBill

        BTW, how do you know that these home schoolers never interacted with anyone but themselves? I personally can't speak for the interactions of anyone I knew in college except myself. Even the relatively small school I went too was too large for me to keep tabs on any of my friends, let alone a different clique all together. Sure, I know some of the people that they interacted with, but not others. Now you are claiming to know about a group that by your own admission never interacted with you (except of course when they did interact with you). You have exactly one smug kid's testimony. Excuse me if I am skeptical about that representing the opinion of the rest of the group.

        Also, another logical flaw. If I claim that my education was better than yours, that does not mean the same thing as if I claimed I was better than you. You may have inferred that, but you don't know that. My Dad had, by modern standards, a poor education... but despite the fact that I had many more years of education, and a good one at that, I would never claim that I was better or smarter than my Dad.

        And, now for the logical coup the grâce. Even if, you somehow have that knowledge, you cannot know if that group represented all the home schoolers at your school.. or even the majority of home schoolers. And of course, home schoolers who went to other schools might be vastly different.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Tom

      Very true on many points, Blue Moon. How can a child learn to be self-sufficient if they are around their parents all the time? Even in the collectives of parents who home school their kids together, they still are the parents, not a separate, distinct authority figure like a teacher, principal or coach.

      This article is definitely biased and doesn't offer any evidence to its claims. I have known many HS kids over the years. Some of them are very bright but socially awkward, some are average normal kids and some kids are home schooled for religious reasons and don't learn about the world as it is – just as it is taught in some religions.

      More so than the problems with HS kids, which are about as much as any other kids, there are problems with HS parents who think they can handle the curriculum and many of not most of them are not capable of doing so.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • thesaj

      So it's okay to say "You're kids are weird and not well rounded."

      But wrong to reply back "You're incorrect, my kids are more well rounded than yours."

      Um, how is that legit?

      October 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  43. Chuck

    As a teacher the biggest issue I saw with SOME, but not all, home schooled kids was a lack of adaptability; when presented with an approach or information that was not comfortable to them they often struggled. In these cases the biggest issue was a lack of intellectual flexibility.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  44. James

    Apparently, home schooling teaches contradiction as a reasonable form of argument? What is this garbage? The formula for this whole . . . what is it? An article? Column? . . . is ridiculous: "Myth 1 asserts X. The reality is Not X–which I will simply state in a conclusory fashion without resort to evidence or logic. Next."

    October 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • C

      I'm thinking that your public school forgot to educate you on the difference between a fact based study, and an opinion piece. That's alright.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  45. Raevyn

    I work as an independent music and art teacher and teach a lot of home-schooled kids. Sorry to say it but the first two "myths" hold fairly true. While I wouldn't use the word "weird", it's been my experience that home-schooled kids are quite different from kids who attend mainstream schools, and not in a good way. As well, pretty much all of them are what I would term "socially awkward". What stands out for me the most is their difficulties functioning as part of a group. When working in collective activities they are either shy to the point of tears or so pushy and obnoxious that no one wants to work with them. I also see huge gaps in learning. Someone stated above that if it's a subject they're not interested in they're "very, very bad at it" and I would totally agree with that statement. I've seen kids in what homeschool calls the 10th or 11th grade with virtually no knowledge of math or english. I mean NONE. Despite the shortfalls of the public education system, the mainstream kids always seem to have at least some skills. I also find homeschooling parents are determined to believe their children are more advanced and socially adapted than they really are. They tend to have their heads deeply buried in the sand much more than the parents of the mainstream kids. I'm not saying the mainstream families are perfect, but homeschooling families have very significant and specific problems that they're intent on denying, as indicated by this opinion piece.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Fred F.

      I agree, as I stated before the home schooled kids at UConn all hung out together and stayed in their own little group, and on the handful of times that I had to work with one in a class they were exactly as you described. They are completely socially awkward, more comfortable with the teacher than their peers. They are the ones that end up having a one on one conversation with a professor in the middle of a 300 person lecture. I hated being in a group with one of them, they either thought they knew everything, or they barely said anything. I'm sorry but most are strange and, a few of them were super religious, which is fine... unless you talk about it constantly and try and tell others why they're wrong.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  46. Steven

    The majority of home-schooled kids (or at least their parents) are weird and are social misfits...FACT.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • slh

      2 + 2 = 4 is a fact.

      What you stated has no basis. Even the definition of "weird" is subjective and as such, is not a "fact." Just because you want something to be a fact does not make it so, and I believe that statement we could both agree on is self evident.

      Perhaps if you would spend more time recognizing legitimate differences instead of calling them "weird," the world around you could be a little better place.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
      • Mike

        My only experience with a home-schooler was a teenager in my college algebra class (I was 20 at the time). He was 16 acing tests and assignments that most others in the class were averaging B's and C's. He was also enrolled n numerous advanced college courses. He was due to graduate with his bachelors from a major university by 18. He certainly looked normal enough, dressed normal enough,could hold a conversation, and was a very nice guy, BUT he was out of touch with his peers. His mom was his best friend and he'd talk about her all the time (he had invited me to come hang out with him and his mom a few times), he used an embroidered hankie, and was out of touch with mainstream media and entertainment. I'm sure he's going to be extremely successful if he's not already, but at what cost to his social life? I guess that's the main issue I see.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • thesaj

        Just curious, but I could of sworn 2+2=11

        (And yes, that is correct, but do you know when? or why?)

        October 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Bruce M

      The few homeschoolers I have known through the Boy Scout troops I have run have, in fact, been well adjusted people, both parents and students. The kids seem on top of things and in the social setting of Boy Scouts seem pretty well adjusted. I would never home school my kids, but I think it is a real option for those with the personality and motivation. All the problem kids I have had over the years would have had problems if they were home schooled or if they were in public schools.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • joe

      if you ask me...here is a list of weird kids:
      – Da Vinci
      – Mozart
      – Steve Jobs
      – Zuckerberg
      ...the list goes on...

      I guess is cool to be weird...NOW...remember the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. So, yes...if parents are "weird" then...but again...weird can be cool!

      October 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • Anomic Office Drone

        Note: Zuckerberg and Jobs went to public schools until college.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • Tom

        Not to sound morbid, but for every genius like the examples you describe, there are 10 or more students who commit suicide because they are overwhelmed by lack of social adaptability. If your parents are your only support group, what happens when they aren't there?

        Kids in traditional schools have dozens of people who are willing to help them, every single day – from the bus driver to the janitor.

        Everyone has the right to choose for their own children, but the social aspect of school is easily half the reason we have them in the first place. Everyone can learn many things from a computer, but that doesn't make a computer a good teacher.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • Moeness

        Leonardo, who has no known last name; Da Vinci being "from or of Vinci" had some of the best direct access to the masters of his time. As an orphan he had no home to be schooled from. Mozart also had a class of individuals in which he was in contact that could help him build his reputation in his art. I am a working artist, weird is often thrown about but what is important is that talent may not be taught but method and the "tools" are. As stated about Jobs and Zuckerberg they had a great deal of public schooling-Zuckerberg in particular suffered a unique social awkwardness that has caused him great issues. So no given two of your examples existed in times when there were no established public schools and the other two were subjects of and could be argued couldn't have achieved what they did without the influence, you have invalidated yourself.

        This article is ridiculous in the lengths that it went to uplift the idea or concept of home-schooling while directly attacking public schools and their students. It's shallow and lacked hubris. Alas my partner of five years was home-schooled her whole life along with her siblings and it makes her very socially awkward. She openly admits to having difficulty identifying other's intentions and otherwise reading people. There is a somewhat paranoia around it. So as much as I love my partner there are many things HS limited for her.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Dianawelsh

      "Weird home schooled kids" I guess my son would fall into that category. But, as he's autistic, he would be 'weird' no matter where he was schooled. It has nothing to do with home school and more to do with his disability and personality. There is a growing segment of the home schooled population who are special needs, because as school budgets are tightened by state and local governments, schools are less able to provide an adequate education for our children. Are we supposed to let them fall through the cracks and get passed with a 'certificate of attendance" or become behavior cases because they can't deal with 'traditional schooling'? Those of us who are capable of it, opt to bring them home and educate them, with much greater success than they ever had in public schools.

      October 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  47. Ripu

    Schools are meant to perform certain functions in our society, apart from a pressive cause (which cant be avoided) i dont think home schooling should be considered. If home schooling is as beneficial as portrayed then where is the need for actual schools. Also why dont we follow the same track for universities and do stuff like home masters or phd's. Again there is a reson for everything and home schooling is important to people who have limitations but should not be excised by choice.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • slh

      Schools are tools.

      Parents are primarily responsible for their kids' education. If public schools meet those needs, then great. If they don't, the it is imperative on the parents to find an option that does. That may be private school, and it may be homeschool. In cases like many of the Asian Parents in Silicon valley, it doesn't even fit into those categories and is, instead, kind of a hybrid since they may not be satisfied that schools help their kids to compete, so they supplement the schools with JEI, or the many other programs which the kids attend IN ADDITION to public schools.

      Kids have different needs. Kids are different. Kids react differently and respond differently in different situations. Parents are in the unique position to see these things and evaluate what is best for their kids. One thing that needs to happen is for more people to stop worrying about other peoples' kids in matters that are not really their business. Kids are being educated well in many different venues. Is the world view not wide enough to recognize these things?

      October 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
      • Fred F.

        a little defensive, no?

        October 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • thesaj

      Agreed, they're designed to create semi-autonomous and obedient automatons that are willing to labor or sit at a desk for 8 hours and do what the're told.

      But don't you think with unemployment at 8%+ that we could use a few less automatons in our society?

      October 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  48. dls

    I base my opinion on my observations of homeschooling in action. My cousin decided to homeschool their kids to keep them away from ideas they objected to that would be present in public schools. Things like evolution, Harry Potter and pretty much anything not directly referenced in the bible. They also started their own church because the one they were attending wasn't strict enough. Of course, they also claim that the earth is only a few thousand years old and that men and dinosaurs roamed the world together...

    My neighbor homeschools her boys, they seem to learn by digging up the backyard and not using the toilet. It reminds me of Lord of the Flies.

    OTOH, one of my co-workers homeschooled his son and he's just graduated from West Point.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Raevyn

      What your comment illuminates for me is the need for some kind of standardized testing and monitoring of homeschooling families. I think adults should have to undergo testing to prove they're fit to teach and then be monitored throughout the school year to ensure kids are getting what they need.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • Fred F.

        Exactly, often there seems to be very little or no accountability. I think many parents are doing their children a disservice by home schooling them. There are some things I don't agree with, like intelligent design, and I wouldn't pull my children out of school because of it. I would simply explain that some parents and administrators are less educated than others and their fear and ignorance require the teaching of a completely unfounded idea and that they should ignore it. I'd explain to them why it is wrong while explaining they should always be open to new ideas as long as they are grounded in reality. That is the benefit of school, the exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking that they would never be exposed to at home.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  49. Marcelo V Silva

    I loved the article, but wanted to understand why home-schoolers "have impeccable study and time management skills". How is it achieved ? And most important of all, how is such a child taught ? I imagine that parents, or at least one parent, has to stay as many hours with the child as teachers would. And how is such a parent prepared to teach everything that is taught at school ? At school usually there are many different teachers well knowledgable in each subject. How can a parent or a pair of parents be prepared to teach all different subjects ? It seems impossible to me. My 7-yr-old girl is at school and I try to not only do the homework with her but also teach more interesting things besides the ones taught at school. I imagine it is more efficient to her than this home schooling method. What do you think ?

    October 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • SoreThumb

      Marcelo-
      I do not believe ALL home-schooled children "have impeccable study and time management skills", though I suspect many do. This would be because they have to learn to manage their time more appropriately than most traditionally schooled children who have a bell system in place to herd them from room to room on a schedule. As for how the child(ren) may be taught, that would depend upon the person(s) providing the education. Admittedly, some parents are not capable of providing the necessary subject matter to teach their kids. However, I would never say that a parent cannot home educate based solely on his/her own educational background. Whether or not someone has graduated from college does not automatically mean there is a propensity for being able to provide a "proper education". In my own situation, when my daughter expressed interest in music, I sought and paid for a music tutor to provide what she would need, knowing that I could not do so. Along those same lines, there are many, many home-schooling groups offering socialization, group class participation, etc. The idea that home-schooling means that the parent(s) and ONLY the parent(s) provide the education is typically very wrong. Most parents home educating their child(ren) go above and beyond what the typical teacher/school district will to ensure the education is well-rounded and complete. I have never heard one of the home-schooling parents in our area tell a child it was time to begin the next chapter of mathematics whether the child truly understood the material or not. I cannot say that about the typical public (or private for that matter) school districts I have dealt with.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • C

      Successful homeschoolers (and there are those that aren't successful) have impeccable time management skills because there is they are self directed learners. They manage their schedule to learn at their pace. It's not taught so much as a nice bonus effect of being self directed learners.

      As far as teaching every subject that your children need to learn. Not all parents are capable. There are many programs that you can purchase that provide videos and online teachers to help your children. For other things there are coops where the parents pool their knowledge to teach their kids.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Homeschooler here

      Well, Marcelo, having been home-schooled myself I can tell you that I spent less than 3hrs a day on my studies and accomplished more than my public schooled counterparts in their 8 hours. While private schooling is much more effective, public schools tend to spend an inordinate amount of time working with a few very difficult students. This requires the teacher to GREATLY lower standards for the entire class. This also teaches children to NOT pay attention or work effectively. I however, in my less than 3hrs a day, started college at the age of 16, graduated from a top university with a 4.0 GPA, learned to fluently speak 4 different languages, and went onto professional school that enabled me to earn a salary in the top 1% of income brackets (for which now the country appears to hate me 🙂 Lesson: Hard work pays off, while lowering standards for the sake of the few wastes the human potential and brings everyone else down as well. Trust me when I tell you my IQ is now higher than the next guy's. But my work ethic and efficiency, coupled with the great early boost I had as a homeschooler, has made all the difference. As charles darwin said: "I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work". If only our politics would reward work more, what we might accomplish! Oh thats right, I'm not a religious fanatic,I love darwin and evolution!

      October 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • Tom

        Good for you, but singular academic achievement does not lend any credence to the supposed failure of public schools. There are just as many successful students, as you describe, that come from public school education.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • FJF

      On 16 and pregnant one of the girls left school and became "home schooled" all she did was read from a book and answer questions. Her parents had no input and gave her no help. She had to check in with the women that was organizing the home school kids and provided their materials every few weeks. When asked how she'd know the girl was doing the work the women replied that she would "be able to tell", just by talking to her on the phone. So there you go, a recorded example of why home schooling is a joke.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Dianawelsh

      I home school my two children. My son has high functioning autism and the school wanted to give him NO accommodations at all starting in middle school. He couldn't handle the environment at all. He couldn't even handle the *tour* of the middle school. Home schooling has been the best thing we've done. He learns better in a quiet environment the school district just can't provide.

      We're using college text books for history and biology this year (11th grade), augmenting with educational web sites (museums, the history channel, whitehouse.gov for the Presidents, college sites, etc). We're doing a purchased curriculum that uses video, white board examples, flash problems and traditional workbook pages for Algebra. We focus heavily on vocabulary (speech and language delay), in the past we used the SAT dictionary, this year we're focusing on prefixes, suffixes and roots and 'decoding' unknown words. Just for some examples, this isn't his complete curriculum. It takes him 3-5 hours a day to get his work done, because I can focus more where he has a problem and let him go and get things done at a quicker pace where he's capable of that.

      The key is flexibility. He handles social situations better now because he isn't forced to deal with things he can't handle all day. He's more pleasant, isn't bullied, and his personal behaviors improved 100% once he adjusted to being home schooled (change of routine can be an issue for autistic children). He's had a good strong core of friends he socializes with, some online, some in 'real life'. But he takes it on his own pace. He's learned how to handle many situations he was simply over whelmed by in public school because he feels safe in the first place.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  50. SoreThumb

    As the parent of one of those "weird", "religious-freaky" home-schoolers all I can say is "HA!" All the naysayers, including close friends and family, who chastised me for home educating my daughter have to swallow some humble pie. The "socially retarded" girl everyone claimed would result is now in her second year of college and has just recently turned 18. She graduated home-schooling early, began college early, and is now Student Government President. In addition, she is a member of a few clubs, the Honors Society, manages a full load of 18 credits AND works part-time at a local department store evenings and weekends.

    Yes, I'm a proud parent and I have no qualms about standing up to shout "HA!" to those who continue to believe home-schooling is a "bad" thing for kids.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Will

      Which "college"? Do tell...

      October 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • SoreThumb

        If you must know, one of the University of Wisconsin colleges in the northern portion of the state is where she attends. (That is the most specific information you'll be receiving. Just as you apparently believe home-schooling is "weird", there are plenty of "weirdoes" who don't need to have my or her complete address.)

        October 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
      • ok

        thinking saying the name of your college is your complete address or even remotely identifiable information is indeed weird and overly paranoid

        October 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • Fred F.

        I agree that it is important to learn how to deal with bullies. I'm gay and I was terribly bullied in elementary school, middle school and high school. But guess what I learned how to deal with it and by college I had many friends and I don't take anything from anyone anymore. I've learned that I need to either stand up for myself or walk away. Bullies only have the power that we give them, and it pretty clear they target the weakest people so the best advice is to not be weak. It's important to learn how to deal because you will find bullies at every single stage of your life unfortunately.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Concerned Parent

      Is that an acredited University she is attending?...

      October 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • SoreThumb

        Sorry to burst your implied bubble; we home educated due to bullying issues, not make-believe fantasy ones. Accredited state university system, not "jesus freak central", thanks!

        October 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • Will

        That's just as bad. How will you learn to deal with bullying by hiding from the problem? There are bullies at every level of society. If you never learn to deal with them you will be continually miserable.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • thesaj

        Will is absolutely right. Bullied kids should be given a gun and just learn to deal with criminals early.

        Is that what you're implying Will? Or do you really think some kid should be beat up and hounded every day of their life just because they're smaller, or wear glasses.

        And do you really think that's common in the workplace? No, because unlike public school. If you DO have to encounter a bully at work, you can find another job. Might not be as good pay. But you're not trapped in the one mandated school in your whole area – like public school.

        October 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Earthling

      There are exceptions to every rule. One case of success, however, does not guarantee universal success.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Fred F.

      That is all well and good, and I'm happy for her/you that she has achieved so much. But, does she have a social life?

      October 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • SoreThumb

        At the risk of coming across as crass as hotheaded, let me reiterate the portion about the clubs, student government and employment. Granted, I suppose someone could serve or be engaged in all of these and NOT be social, but considering that elections are held for the SGA positions, I think it would be difficult for an anti-social person to garner enough votes to win the presidency.

        No offense to you, Fred F., but I find all of the accusations and summations made by people "bashing" home education to be quite tiring. NO situation, home-schooled, public schooled, private schooled, etc., is the same for ALL students. Making blanket statements that attempt to lump ALL children into a category is plain ignorant.

        As for bullying, when my daughter's education was taking a backseat due to her fears for safety, I decided it was time to allow her to LEARN instead of spend each day waiting for the next "peer" to do some nasty thing to her. Regardless of where learning takes place, ALL children (and adults for that matter) deserve a safe place free of harassment and physical and/or mental abuse!

        October 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
      • Fred F.

        I recognize that this a subject close to home and that explains the tone of your speech, but I do think it is important to remain as objective as possible, because while what I said maybe doesn't apply to your daughter it sure does apply to many of the people who I've met that are home schooled. Honestly maybe home schooling was the right thing for your daughter, for some people it clearly is. What bothers me is people assuming that home schooling is some how better than the education everyone else has received. I don't think you've done that and I apologize if I included your daughter in with everyone else. Also many people 'home school' their children but the kids get little or no education in many areas, especially if the parent isn't knowledgeable, or the focus on one subject like reading or religion. Clearly that wasn't the case of your daughter. When I asked about a social life what I meant was is out side of organized activities does she interact act with people because, yes it is possible to get people to want to vote for you and support you but not be able to socialize normally at the movies or a party etc. Based on what you're saying, your daughter seems like a normal well adjusted person, and again I'm sorry if I have offended you. I was just trying to challenge the assumption that home schooled people are in some way 'better'. I don't think they are better, just different, like going to a public school vs private is different etc. So I hope that clears up my opinion, it was in no way meant as an attack.

        October 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  51. Karen

    Our children are in public school AND learning takes place at all times of the day. Just wanted to point out that home-schooling isn't the ONLY way to offer non-traditional learning opportunities such as math at the supermarket, marketing and business analysis at Old Navy, biology in the back yard, etc.

    One more thing. What was ever accomplished by such negativity as has been displayed in these comments?

    For the sake of our children, let's listen and learn and hold off on the judging.

    Numbers don't lie. If, over time, homeschooled kids are able to be successful in college, the working world, etc., then so much the better. Let's see what the statistics show over time. Anyone know who is running/analyzing these stats?

    October 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • C

      Look up Michael Cogans studies on homeschooler achievement.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  52. Virtual UnReality At Its Worst

    Home Schooling is great for parents who anticipate their children will evolve into adults who will evetually work from home and/or have their own businesses (or celebrities/Sports icon).But to deprive a child from the social interaction with multiple expectators (teachers/authority figures) and peers (future co-workers) is not a good idea. Only children and children raised with set values have to learn to respect diversity and engage with people who may not necessarily share their beliefs and/or culture. Children also must be trained to engage with authority figures other than their parents who typically find no fault with them. I have had more than 30 supervisors in my lifetime and not one of them is the same. I had to learn to adapt my style of performance to meet their expectations or I would not have been successful at maintaining employment. I agree that homeschooling is a wonderful tool; but I don't think it should be a total solution for the entire academic life of any child. Perhaps it should be used alternatively during odd years or certain times of year; but every year; for the entire 12 years of school is not a good plan.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • K

      John and Abigail Adams home schooled all of their kids. Besides speaking Latin and Greek, learning calculus (as it was still being developed), developing oratory skills, learning European history (in depth!) ... I guess they didn't learn much or go on to do anything but own their own business. Oh wait ... J.Q. Adams was an ambassador, a congressmen, and the 6th President. So much for that argument.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
      • Lane

        John and Abigale had 4 children. JQA became Secretary of State, US President and Congressman. Daughter Abbie died in middle age of breast cancer. The other two sons had life-long issues with alcohol and gambling.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
      • Earthling

        Call me a maverick, but somehow I have a tough time comparing the public school system from 200 years ago with the system in place today.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  53. DrDeeDot

    A few adults I know were home-schooled as children. Here are my observations, though I understand that it's completely anecdotal and small-number statistics are involved here.

    Myth 1: Home-schooled kids are weird
    Myth 2: Home-schooled kids are social misfits

    I found that the home-schooled adults I know are different socially. I wouldn't say they are weird or are social misfits outright, but their behavior is noticeably different from non-home-schooled adults I know. The home-schooled adults I know do act with an air of superiority though. They'll go to an Asian restaurant and state aloud that a fork is a "superior" utensil to everyone. That's just one example.

    Myth 3: Home-schoolers are against traditional schooling

    I think this is indeed a myth, however, the home-schooled adults I know also want to home-school their own children.

    Myth 4: Home-schoolers are religious freaks

    The home-schooled adults I know are quite religious, more so than any other people I know. They take jabs at atheism and agnostics whenever the opportunity comes up. I also know some strong atheists to do the converse as well. However, I can believe that not all home-schoolers are religious, I just wish I met some of them.

    Myth 5: Home-schooled kids sit around the house all day

    The home-schooled adults I know did spend a lot of the day around the house, but they were just studying.

    Myth 6: Colleges don't want homeschooled kids

    At least one home-schooled adult I know has been very successful in college academically. This person is finishing their doctorate in philosophy.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  54. Amobius

    I just feel sorry for the kids that don't get to learn about science because it doesn't mesh well with their parents religious beliefs.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Liberace; America's Greatest American

      And I just feel sorry for anyone related to Will.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
      • Amobius

        trolls will be trolls. But seriously, some parents refuse to let their children be taught about science. It's a little disconcerting.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
      • Liberace; America's Greatest American

        True – and some people cram racist ideology into their kids. Whaddaya gonna do? It's not as if the state can monitor the actions of every single citizen..............................yet.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • Will

        My children accept your gracious pity...

        October 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Charles

      What would make you think homeschoolers are not taught science? Is it just becuase the THEORY of evolution may not be taught as fact? That is where public school is lacking, not all views are taught, just the views that have an agenda.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
      • Earthling

        Evolution is a fact. The theory of evolution is the best explanation we have currently that explains the mechanism by which evolution occurs. Once the religious nutjobs can learn the meaning of the word "theory" in a scientific context, perhaps then they will be able to have an intelligent conversation about it. Until then, ignorance will continue to rule in the churches.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Dianawelsh

      My state has tried several times to outlaw the teaching of Evolution in public schools. So far they have been unsuccessful in that, but I can foresee a day when they might succeed. Then I'll be the one teaching at home because I don't agree with curriculum rather than the other way around. We don't home school for religious reasons and we're not anti-science. We are very pro-science and relatively anti-religion. Not every family is the same. For those who are anti-science, they will find a way to teach that to their kids with or without public school.

      October 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  55. sean

    The myth is that home-schooling is a good idea. Unless your are a trained teacher home-schooling is a very bad idea. Just completing high school does not mean you can teach. There are many more reason to send your child to school then just education.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • C

      Yes because trained teachers are doing such a great job...

      October 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • Tom

        I suppose you are one to say they aren't?

        Whose fault is it that a student doesn't do homework or show up to school? Teacher? or parent?

        Seriously. My daughter read before she ever hit Kindergarten.

        Parents need to step up and take responsibility for their kids. If you blame teachers for your kids not graduating, then you must also blame your doctor for your fat ass.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  56. Napoleon

    We home schooled our 3 sons. The two oldest started at 9 grade and youngest started at 6 grade. They have no problem in getting into a University. The two oldest have graduated one is in a Master program and the second he is in a professional/graudate school. The youngest has started University and is on his second semeter and taking upper science classes and doing well. We believe that home school is not for everyone but those who go through it they are better prepared to handle life after High School. Home schooling is a pro-active family affair where both parents/family members are involved in guiding and teaching the home school children. In addition, home schooling teaches the child to be self-reliant and self-taught. There is no social adjustment issues with home schooled children. We actually find them more mature for their age.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Will

      So how long have your kids been attending Oral Roberts?

      October 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • C

      I find the other problem to be true. Many homeschooling parents can't get their kids out of the house soon enough. I think the ones who can't let go are the ones who aren't with their kids all day teaching them. I'm not saying it never happens, but it's not the norm.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  57. ChicagoRob

    There are many pro's and con's for both types of schooling. I myself have kids in public school and couldn't be happier with their results. I do live in an excellent school district where as many people do not have that luxury. I think some of the home schooling parents actually do have a problem "letting go" as it where of their children. As children age they need to slowly gain indepence from their parents which needless to say is harder for them if they are home schooled. The main issue that need to be looked at is whether parents are doing a decent job of..well parenting. This will allow kids to take a stand when it comes to peer pressure, bullying etc.

    I do have concerns over the qualifications of some parents to homeschool, I know a few that are being homeschooled by parents that never even graduated high school which is quite scary. Now if a parent has a background in education a one on one teaching environment would be excellent.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • heather

      Well, let's see.... I have a 15 year old son who is now in his second year of home schooling. He's in the 10th grade and at the end of his 9th grade year, took the ACT and scored a 24 overall. Which means he still has room to boost that score even higher. Yeah, I'm okay with it!

      October 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  58. Edward

    I'm in college (senior) and all of the people I know that were home-schooled have got to be the weirdest most socially awkward people I have ever met. Now, I'm not saying this is the case for every child that gets home-schooled but I have yet to run into an exception so it's hard for me to completely rule that out. Admittedly, these people tend to be smarter than average but I worry about how some of them will be able to fit into the real world once they're done with college because while some probably get better, I know of some that are still as awkward as when they first started their freshman year.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • thesaj

      So the weird home school girl not only turned down your drunken breath attempt to hit on her, she put you in your place.

      I saw this happen a few times in college.

      October 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  59. Will

    Bottom line: everyone jumping on me is part of the problem I have outlined. Social services should look up your IP addresses, go to your homes, examine and interview your kids...

    October 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Smedley Butler

      I see that you're an advocate for a police state.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • Smedley Butler

        Will: statistics, please. You know – for the "facts".

        October 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • Will

        You, I bet only you and I know who SMedley Butler even was. He is one of my heros as well.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • TCS

      Will,
      What are your thoughts on children attending parochial schools? Is that OK, or are they just indoctrinating the poor defenseless children with their archaic ideas?
      Also, What is the national average of kids graduating (public, parochial, home-school)? Are public schools really doing that good of a job?
      Try and answer that in a way that doesn't read like you are shouting at the top of your lungs. Seriously when I read your comments I think of Phil Davison, GOP Candidate, Stark County Treasurer. Go look it up on the youtube, you would give this guy a run for his money.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • Will

        I am not saying that public schools are perfect by any means. In fact, I am not saying anything about public schools at all. All I am saying is that a majority of homeschoolers are religious zealots who homeschool to separate their children from the rest of our "sick" society. This is simply a fact.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  60. Was homeschooled

    I was homeschooled my entire life. Although I have seen SOME kids that seem to have come through homeschooling with flying colors, but the majority of us did not. Our education was not lacking because of my parents lock of dedication by any means. My mother and father sacrificed a lot to home school me and my sister. But I was miserable. Both my husband and I were home schooled through our entire education. We both feel strongly that home schooling for most kids and teens a bad idea. We feel that our education was lacking and so were our college opportunities. Our social skills for both of us left us feeling very socially inadequate when we started college and we were not prepared for what the real working world has to offer. I know that some home schooling parents, mine included, will sing praises to anyone who is thinking about home schooling all day long – but I can tell you from personal experience I feel like I did not have the proper education to attain a higher education and home schooling left me with a more sheltered view of the world not only from a religious standpoint but from a political one as well.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  61. Ted from NY

    Couple more quick comments: (1) some people seem to think homeschooling means the kids never go out, never interact. Nothing could be further from the truth! Our kids are always going out doing stuff; have many friends (the majority of whom are schooled kids, from the neighborhood, youth athletic leagues, music or art or dance classes, the Y, etc.), and do many, many more "field trips" than schooled kids. (2) You may point to homeschooling parents who isolate their kids or even abuse them. Unfortunately that's only too true. But there are parents of all stripes who do that. Abusive religious zealots who deprive their kids of normal lives are going to do that anyway, homeschooling is in no way the cause of it. (3) It's not like schooling yields such great results. Look at all the failures, dropouts, crimes, etc. (Despite the often heroic efforts of dedicated teachers.) Homeschooling can be great, mediocre, or poorly done. Schooling can be great, mediocre, or poorly done. Please just open your mind and look objectively at the evidence.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Will

      I like your comment Ted. There are legitimate reasons to homeschool and I acknowledge those reasons. However, in practice, a very large majority of homeschooling is due to the desire to instill religious indoctrination. I would outlaw homeschooling because, in my opinion, the damage it causes our society outweighs the good.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
      • PerceivedReality

        Will,
        So you would outlaw home schooling? So you think the Gov't has the right to tell you how to raise your own children? Do you even know what it means to be American? If I want to teach my child a religion that is definatly my right, you say it does more harm than good, that is your opinion and an idiotic one at that. I bet your leading a wonderful atheistic life, if only we could all see the shining example you set I am sure we would be blown away with how rightious it is..not.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
      • Will

        I am not an atheist. Does that shock you? But I am something even worse to people like you. I am tolerant. I am tolerant of all people, faiths, creeds, and beliefs. The problem is intolerance. You can teach your kid your religion no problem. That is your right. But you shouldn't isolate your kid so that he has access to no other thoughts and beliefs except your own. That's a problem...

        October 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • Tom

        Will,

        Do you really believe public schools don't indoctrinate?

        October 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
      • Will

        Anyone who would say something like that, Tom, has a problem. Public schools indoctrinate us with the beliefs and skills we need to get along together as a coherent society. If we reject that kind of "indoctrination", we will cease to function as a society. We will be torn apart by our own hate.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • joe

      thumbs up!

      October 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  62. Laura

    I am not sure why people who are not in favor of homeschooling have to be so angry towards those who do choose it. My mother had been a teacher before homeschooling my sister and I. She did such a good job, that we excelled in public school, college, and grad school after she went back to work, and enrolled us in public school. My parents are not religious fanatics, just people who had worked in the public school system, and thought they could do a better job. The stereotypes are very real though. Often when I tell someone I was a HS kid, their response is "But you're so normal". Most of the HS kids I have met are not "normal". They are smart, kind, well read, creative, and good at math. Not exactly the norm in America today.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Smedley Butler

      Look up the word "clover" in urban dictionary. It may help explain quite a few things about society in general.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Andrew

      I must confess I had this bias until I read this, most of the time however, I hear about homeschooling whenever it has to do with a crazy religious family that doesn't want their kids to be taught evolution or wants to indoctrinate them.
      I do think that homeschooling needs regulation to be sure that children all across the country can be guaranteed a minimum level of education. The author does make extremely good points about time management and exceptional self studying skills, ones which I wished I learnt in high school

      October 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • joe

        Andrew,

        do you really believe kids in public school all over US are getting educated? that's a parental issue not a problem of HS or Public schools

        October 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  63. Will

    Wow, I am sorry everyone. I have been posting the most ridiculous comments...I am an Idiot. I am sure everyone can agree that they are thankful I don't actually have any children!

    October 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Will

      I have four children. All in public school.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
      • slh

        And quoting you previously, you said in reply to me:

        "Well, I just learned two things about you:
        1. You're a religious freak
        2. You beat your kids except you call it "discipline" and will swear to your dying day that the bible commands such discipline."

        So tell me, when you're so far off base with something I know, what should I do with something I may be less sure of when you put that out there? I suspect most on here will follow the same.

        How much thought did you put into that? How old do you think I am? What is my nationality? Am I even in the US? If so, have I lived outside the US before? What kind of people do I work with? American? Not American?

        Will, I won't call you ignorant because that can be fixed. You, on the other hand, jump into a conversation without a clue, but you are so certain you think you have it all figured out. You seem to have two boxes that you are willing to put people in to, and all the world must be neatly placable into those boxes (religious freaks, and people like you). Much like you claim that people who are religious freaks can't admit they are religious freaks, you seem incapable of even addressing your own inability to see the fallacies in your own arguments (and I use that term loosely since it often means a logical and supported position – something you have not yet made in this discussion).

        It seems to me that you would like to take all people with a religious viewpoint of any type, put them into a place where they can be forced to come to the religious conclusions you have. Spare me the hair-splitting on whether or not you have a religious viewpoint since even atheism and agnosticism are religious viewpoints in that they reflect a person's opinions on God, afterllife, etc. Is this your position? If so, do you not see any irony in it? If not, then why are you spending the energy lashing out at "religious freaks" and worrying about whether or not they may homeschool?

        I doubt you'll spend the energy to actually think about the questions I've asked. I'm sure it's much easier to just dismiss someone by claiming they're a "religious freak" or whatever box you have in your world view that will allow you to quickly dismiss their position if it is inconvenient for you, but give it a try. Are you capable of thinking outside of your narrow set of boxes?

        October 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
      • Will

        I will think about what you have said because I enjoy intelligent conversation. Here's a litmus test for you. You are a religious freak if
        1. You hold your beliefs to be the only"right and true" beliefs. Yes, someone can be a religious freak and be an atheist. I completely agree. The key element is the intolerance.
        2. You refuse to learn (or allow your children to learn)about other peoples, religions, and cultures because you are already convinced of their wickedness and inferiority.
        3. It is so important for your children to accept your own beliefs that it is acceptable to use violence to make them conform.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  64. heather

    Sorry, dude, but as I said before, I know many who are home-schooled and not one is abused and I also live down South. I think there are those that are in unfortunate situations as you speak of, but that's not the norm.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Will

      You wouldn't know unless you live in the house. No one talks about it.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • heather

      Um, I beg to differ. If a child is being physically abused, there ARE signs. A happy go lucky child is NOT a typical portrait of an abused child and if they were being physically abused, you would see the signs in there personality. It's pretty obvious that a child being abused would not be happy. Any one with common sense could figure that out.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
      • Will

        Beg to differ all you want. Your beg to differing doesn't change reality...

        October 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • heather

      Will, you are a troll and I won't bother arguing with a brick wall. Good luck in life.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • Will

        My life is great. I would like everyone else to have the same opportunity that I have had. Religious freakazoid parents deny this opportunity to their children.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  65. Uni Student

    Unfortunately the socialization issues that are breezed through as myths one and two are the real issue for home schooling. While certainly non scientific I will rely on personal experience just as the author did. I went to Clark University and was one of the nerdy kids there. Even within the nerdy group there were kids with exceptionally poorly developed or oddly developed social skills. The majority of these people were home schooled. The key is exactly what is referred to in this article; they had not had the breadth of social interaction that a normal school provides. The ability to say no, or say yes to peer pressure had not been developed at all. The ability to interact with a group was at best poor in several cases. This is not to say they weren’t smart and didn’t learn great, but from a social skills perspective they were lacking. I am still great friends with one of these home schooled guys, but in his own words he spend more time learning/thinking about/developing his social skills than he did his school work his first two years of college.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • slh

      At the very best, I'd say you're employing "Post hoc, ergo proctor hoc" to arrive at your conclusion. There may very well be kids you think of as "weird" that were homeschooled. One reason for homeschooling can sometimes be that the student is a bit socially awkward for reasons such as mild autism, ADHD, or just not thinking like other people do – kind of like Edison. How do you evaluate which led to which when arriving at a conclusion on someone you think is "weird" who is homeschooled?

      Once that is recognized for what it is – a fallacy of reasoning – then you can open up to investigate whether or not these things really are myths.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
      • Mike

        Well said.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • Uni Student

        After it there for because of it is very much not the basis of my conclusions. To be blunt that would require that my data set come from an entirely different direction. I was not looking at home schooled kids and then saying they had poor social skills, I was looking at kids with poor social skills and seeing that a much higher percentage than average of them were home schooled. This is looking at a wide array of incoming students, then looking at a group that self-selects as nerds (I ran the nerd club) and then looking at those even within this group who have serious social skills deficiencies. Its not that they are weird, heck by most traditional standards anyone who signs up to play board games as an adult is weird, its that they were lacking many of the basic social awareness that is developed by consistent group contact. How to speak in a group, the usual uses of boasting or hyperbole, how to deal with being not the focus of a conversation. In general skills that one uses in peer group interactions. My hypothesis that home schooling was the cause of the issue is because there as a very noticeable increase as time went on, whereas folks with say mild autism don’t develop better social skills. My sample size is of necessity small as this is personal experience and not an actual survey but a bit of searching will find similar actual data to back it up.

        As far as Perceived Reality all I can say is that the folks that did the most of what you disapprove of once they hit college were the ones who had no exposure to it prior. The rest of your rant is not really worth a reply nor is it on the topic at hand.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • PerceivedReality

      The whole "social skills" argument is a bunch of BS! The typical person interacts with a handfull of people in a typical work day, I don't believe it takes much social skill to do it. Sorry if I would rather not put my child in the public sewer to be indoctrinated into liberal society, or the loose moral code that is prevalent in society today. My child does not need to learn about being g-ay, drugs, pre-marital s.e.x. how to roll a jay or have access to plan b, abo.r.tion or contraception. If you want that for your children you should be ashamed of yourself.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
      • Tom

        Wow. Last I checked none of that was taught in any public school.

        Are you using the Clint Eastwood method of arguing against a mythical public school system in an empty chair?

        Every problem you listed is a result of poor parenting and has little to do with schools.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
      • Earthling

        And there we have the exemplary "religious freak" alluded to so many times in these comments. Try a dose of reality once in a while, for both your children and yourelf. You are not doing them or yourself any favors by living in a fantasy world.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  66. Patrick

    To say that home-schooled kids are going to be better adjusted socially than public-schooled kids is hogwash. Complete hogwash.

    I will assume that your experience with homeschooling sounds great, but the majority of homeschooled kids are being indoctrinated into the same ignorance that led their parents into homeschooling in the first place. They are not able to cope with the melting pot that is America. They have to stay in their own little walled garden.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • slh

      Nothing like an unsubstantiated stereotype to address what you think is an unsubstantiated stereotype ...

      October 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • PerceivedReality

      A walled garden is far superior to the public cesspool, thanks.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • thesaj

      My wife and her two siblings, who were home schooled. A friend of mine as well, who was also home schooled. Are all more socially adjusted adults than I am. And more so than the average individual to be honest.

      October 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  67. lantenec

    Took me decades to undo the damage public schools wrought on me.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • bob

      Good thing you didn't go to a catholic school they are worse

      October 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  68. inkheart1

    Will, you are really ignorant. i was homeschooled and got inot college at age 14....i am not a religous freak...but i have a strong feelinng you are.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Will

      I am completely secular. I have no religious beliefs at all.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • thesaj

        But I wager you did when you were young and are rather bitter about it now.

        October 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  69. Tom W

    We homeschooled our 3 children starting in 1988 - K-12. When they became teens, we asked their input on continuing in home education or attending school with their friends...they asked to be homeschooled. There are areas that could be considered "weaknesses" of homeschooling, but there are weaknesses of public schooling as well. The key is knowing what those weaknesses of home education are and intentionally putting the infrastructure in place to compensate. Two of our children have Masters degrees and the third has his undergrad. All 3 are married now. All 3 have expressed a desire to educate their (future) children at home. We TOTALLY AGREE that home education is not for everyone...but everyone can home educate.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  70. Unhappy Homeschoolee

    Hi, I was homeschooled as a child, and I would like to make something perfectly clear. I AM weird., I AM a social misfit, and I DID sit around the house all day. Part of my being weird was probably just the way I was born, but honestly, homeschooling DID have a devastating effect on my social skills, and since I didn't even leave the home 3-5 days a week, I got fat, too.

    So, would-be homeschooling mom/dads, learn from my example, and don't destroy your childrens lives. You have no right to risk your childrens well-being just because you think they COULD end up happier. In the short term, I had fun being a lazy bum as an 8-year-old. In the long term, I'll never go to college, and I could die a virgin. I really, really don't want to do that.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Will

      Leave the house. Now. Just walk. It'll be tough at first but you'll make it.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • maplemale

      Some people are just strange. Some people blame all their social issues on their enviroment, upbrining, parents / whatever.

      Typical generation of adverting responsability.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Andy

      Don't feed the troll

      October 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  71. Vickeyd

    Just days ago my husband and I were enjoying a smorg lunch...A young woman with 3 kids 8,5 and 2 entered the restaurant and sat at the next table. My first thought was "oh great, now my lunch will be disrupted by brats ". I overheard her tell the server their ages, and that she was homeschooling. Being a nosy senior Granny I listened to their conversation..There was no cell phone... just good manners, calmness, even from the 2 year old, and a discussion led by Mom as to the different food groups they had on their plates. The kids got to pick out what they would like to eat...they had many choices to make, and they handled it quietly and in a civilized manner. I was very impressed ...whether what I saw has anything to do with the subject being discussed here , I don't know. But I do know that I liked what I saw and heard very much, and I wish more young parents would put their phones down and actually have a conversation with their kids around the table.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Will

      You can send your kids to public school AND withhold cell phones. Those two things are totally unrelated you know.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • I smell a troll

        Will,

        You're obviously a troll who is bored and has nothing better to do. Iignore him and he'll go away. Trolls go away when there is no audience for them.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  72. Will

    Lies, lies, lies. How many times did you beat your kid today, you homeschooling religious freak? When you keep them at home, they can't tell anyone about it, and no one can see the marks and the bruises. And don't bother denying it. I know you are lying.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • heather

      What type of family did you grow up in? WoW! I know plenty of people who home-school and not one of the kids are abused. That's a broad stroke to paint across all home schoolers!

      October 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • Will

        I grew up in a wonderful family. My parents never laid a hand on me. However, I have come to observe a lot of harsh realities here in the deep South. Not everyone is as lucky as I was. Obscene physical abuse is the norm down here among the uneducated classes.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • slh

      I've read through several of your comments and sometimes, a person just has to say something like, "Will, you're an idiot. You're embarassing yourself, but you don't even have a broad enough view of the world to recognize how."

      Fortunately, regardless of a person's religious, or lack of religious beliefs, there are most likely enough rational votes to protect people from narrow mindedness like you are displaying. You expressed an opinion (if it can be called that) that you may have to one day face these people on the battlefield, but I'd conjecture your intolerance is much more likely to precipitate such a situation than those you are trying to inpugn for a decision on schooling their kids.

      Bottom line: You need to get a clue. Fortunately for the rest of you, you're part of a tiny minority.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
      • Will

        Well, I just learned two things about you:
        1. You're a religious freak
        2. You beat your kids except you call it "discipline" and will swear to your dying day that the bible commands such discipline.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Alissa

      I homeschool and have never beaten my kids or forced religion on them. I chose to homeschool because I enjoy having them around and feel that I can teach them more from home than what they would learn in a public school. You really don't know what you are talking about and are making yourself look stupid on the forum.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Michael

      Will, sounds as though you have a projection problem and need to see a psychiatrist. I will pray the Lord Jesus heals your heart and the relationship with your parents you obviously do not have. I have not met nor have I taught a home schooler that meets your misconstreud perception. Besides, Mrs. Olivera did not homeschool her child bassed on religious beliefs. You missed the whole point of her article. However you proved to bring out the prjudices that she so blantently spoke of. I thank you for being so transparent in your bigotry.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
      • Will

        Jesus is not my Lord you hateful freak....

        October 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • Earthling

        In a drought, if people pray long enough and hard enough, eventually the rains will come. The same result will occur in the absence of prayer.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  73. troyison

    The anti-home school bigotry on this page is amazing. How hateful some of you are.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Will

      Stop beating your kids, forcing them to accept your religious ideologies, and telling them that evolution is a fantasy and I will stop pointing out that you are doing so.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • bob

      most people on cnn hate everything that is different from what they know, and they flock to forums to spread their narrow minded views

      October 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  74. Will

    How about CNN run a story about the horrifically violent things religious people do to their kids behind closed doors and about all the ridiculous lies they tell the public about peace, love and tolerance? I would love to read that kind of a story. How about some hard truth instead of all these sugar-coated lies?

    October 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • TIO

      You won't find it on the news: it's not newsworthy – it's run of the mill for non-homeschooled families.
      You may want to do some research on the academic outcomes and standardized testing of kids. Hint: they'll be hiring your kids.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  75. Veronica Frantz

    I chose to home school our only child. He is now 14 years old and graduating high school, taking courses at MIT & Harvard and applying to UCLA Film School (where we will move, as he is too young to live on his own!). He is a working actor, so we spend time on both coasts, he has plenty of friends, both adult and his own age and does your typical teenager things. So I think he's doing just fine. And to the poster that said ONLY religious zealots homeschool and we must be lying to ourselves, my husband is a dyed-in-the-wool atheist and myself and our son wouldn't call ourselves religious, but if forced to put a name to it, I'd say we follow Buddhist tenets of peace and kindness. So, unless I'm a closet fanatic without my knowledge, I'm afraid you're mistaken.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  76. Will

    If I were in charge, homeschooling would be illegal in America, just as it is in many other countries. Homeschooling will ultimately destroy our nation.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • WasabiPotPie

      okay?...?....?...? Care to explain 'how' they will destroy our nation?

      October 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • Will

        Imagine if there were not a single David Koresh with 57 followers, but thousands of David Koreshes with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers. That's what homeschooling produces: religious freaks who live in their own reality and see the world through their own prism of delusion and hate. When we allow homeschooling, we allow the kind of brainwashing that produces these kinds of people.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Dave

      I agree, it allows for entirely too much free thought.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • WasabiPotPie

      You lose right there. You started off your rebuttal with ‘Imagine’. Try again Will.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • Will

        Right now, something like 4% of kids are being homeschooled, up from 2% in the previous generation. If this rate of homeschooling continues, we will not have to "imagine". We will see it.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • schoolboy

      Because once the public school drones figure out they've been feed a steady diet of BS and their welfare checks run out, they will turn against the educated home schoolers

      October 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  77. allen

    I am a teacher, and I will give you what I have seen with homeschool kids. The subjects that these kids are really interested in, they are very, very good at. The subjects they are not interested in they are very, very bad in. Also I have had many kids who parent's could not teach everything they need to be fully rounded. I know I could not teach my children all the subjects that they need to become a productive member of society. I teach high school and I have no doubt I could teach my kids up until 10th grade, but after that how many people really have the knowledge to teach properly.
    The other thing I noticed is that the homeschool kids can interact with adults very well, but really struggle to interact with kids thier own age. This is a real problem for them not fitting in in a school setting.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • mrsjdmcd

      As a teacher, are you telling us that each and every one of the kids that attend your school have friends? They all interact well with their fellow students? They all do well in each and every subject? I doubt these are true statements.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • allen

        Please read what I wrote before you just get huffy and start typing. ALL KIDS have problems to deal with no matter what school they attend, or if they are home schooled. I do not want my kids to be smart but have no "street smarts". I can tell you common sense is not so commen in parents, and schools. You can defend homeschooling your child and that is fine, but do not attack my statement, I have 18 years of teaching to back it up.
        I will stand by what I said and I could say more, but I will not bash people who homeschool their kids, it is their right.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Dubhly

      i would rather my kids be able to interact with adults better then kids their own age, becuase at some point they will all become adults not kids. Social interaction does not just mean play time which is what an unfortunately large number of kids today feel it is. There is a disconnect between adulthood and childhood today that we did not have years ago. People took their kids to work with them and the kids saw how much their parents had to do to make a living, today they just leave home and come back and the kids rarely get to understand what work means. Society needs to involve kids more at an earlier age and get them to understand what it means to be an adult. This is actually easier with home school the public school.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Raevyn

      After reading your comment, I doubt that you would be capable of teaching your children up to a grade 10 level, especially in English. The poor quality of writing, I'm sorry to say, makes me doubt your claim that you're a teacher. However, I do believe that you are like the majority of parents that home-school. Most of them are not qualified to teach their children either.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • mrsjdmcd

      Allen,
      I'm not trying to attack you. I'm just trying to point out that not all public school kids have "street smarts" or "common sense" or friends or get along with other kids. I have two girls in public school (neurotypical) and one son (pervasive developmental disorder) and I can tell you without hesitation that he is not learning "street smarts" in public school. He's not the only kid in public schools across the country with this problem... and not all of them are on the autism specturm. Some people are just anti-social, and it doesn't matter where they attend school.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  78. Ted from NY

    I'm the father of 3 homeschooled kids. Fell into it... but it worked out great. Did not do it for religious reason - our homeschooling group has families of many religions, which we love. The kids are not isolated; they do activities constantly, interacting with kids of all ages, grownups, seniors, etc. In fact schooled kids may be more isolated: they learn to be comfortable with their age-peers but when out of that element they aren't comfortable. We're not anti-school; whatever works, DO. Some of us home-school some of our kids but not others, or do school for some years but not others - whatever's good for the individual kid and what works best. Homeschooling can take advantage of moments that present themselves, when they present themselves: learning often occurs on weekends, during summer, and/or evenings, not just 8-3, Mon thru Fri, Sep thru June. Last but not least: we love spending time with our kids. Which is not to say schooling parents don't love their kids, they DO; but we just love spending time with them and wish we could have more of it. It's a whole-family affair. We've loved it, and our group's kids have turned out wonderfully.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  79. Harry H

    Home Schooling limits the child's exposure to the real world. It prevents the child from from encountering
    those exciting personalities of a variety of teachers, teachers who have more in-depth education in English,
    in math, in science, in geography, in computer engineering, and so on.. What parent can have all the knowledge that a group of dedicated teachers can have gained in each of their specialties ?
    How many parents are equipped to teach, even from a book, an understanding of arrays in math ?
    Keep your child at home, and he or she may be "safe", but your child will be educationally limited to your level.
    Most parents want their children to soar to a level higher than the parents.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Ro

      It is unfortunate when someone replies in a "one-size-fits-all" thinking mode. Our kids actually learn in the "real world" as opposed to a grouped single age environment. when is that life style ever found in the real world? How are exceptional and special needs students really benefited by that style of classroom environment. Will, will homeschooling be the downfall of America? Only if you don't want an America where people are not sheeple.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Dan

      Not to mention parents might not have the passion or interest in particular area that their children might excel at and therefore not as suitable to nurture that talent as someone that chooses to teach the subject as a career.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Nancy

      I taught for 25 years in a public school system, and along the way encountered a number of home-schooled kids who went from 8 or 9 years of home schooling into a public high school with more than 2000 students. Most did just fine, thank you, and one of my very best chemistry students I ever had was home-schooled before he came to our school. He did splendidly academically, socially and athletically! Home-schooled kids have ample opportunities for interaction with others through athletics, clubs, churches, and just in their neighborhoods. These venues provide plenty of opportunities to encounter as many different relationships as one would find in a typical public school without some of the toxicity that can exist there. If home-schooling is truly a parent's choice, I say go for it! If not, there are lots of dedicated and qualified teachers in the public arena dedicated to helping young people grow into happy and productive adulthood. The student/teacher ratio is just lots better at home.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  80. Dan

    "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."
    In the short term that might be seen as an advantage but if the child never learn to deal with bullies or peer pressure on their own early on, how do you expect them to face the issues when they are in college or when they are adults? With statements like that, your article actually reinforced the common conception that home school parents are overprotective of their children. I understand the parental instinct to protect and provide for our kids, but parents need to realize that in doing so we are actually crippling the children's self confidence and self reliance.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • heather

      I can see your point Dan- however, it mainly depends on each individual kid. For instance, my child has been in a public school all his life but I chose to home-school him for his high school years. So, he is already acclimated to that type of behavior.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Nick

      Dan, this is a great point. It can go too far though. Bullying can change people for life, in very harmful and terrible ways. I don't know if those cases are rare or not, but it's something to think about. Speaking generally, I agree with you. As long as the child is given support in ways that will help him defeat the bullying and peer pressure. Permission to pop a few kids in their noses, for instance :).

      October 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Andy

      I'd like to see the proof that dealing with bullies or being faced with potentially life altering decisions like whether or not to try a drug has any positive effect on someone's development into adulthood. In fact, the argument could easily be made that it has the exact opposite affect. Bullying could lead to someone growing to be more reclusive, afraid of confrontation, depressed, low self worth, etc... Additionally, many many kids give in to peer pressure, quite often it is harmless and kids being kids, they get through it, but I've lost more than one friend to the bad choices they made in high school that they were unable to bounce back from.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • thesaj

      Public school is a pseudo environment. If I encounter a bully at work, I can always go to a different job. Not so with public school. There is only one school (usually) that you can go to in your region.

      Mind you, our school district just made Yahoo for being a "Pubic School"

      October 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  81. wow

    considering how horrible the public school system is so many of you feel it's better then you are at teaching.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • James

      With that grammar, I hope you didn't home-school your kids.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • DrDeeDot

      Not all public school systems are horrible, e.g., the Canada and Europe are pretty good. I think it's where and what you sink your money into that helps decide the quality of it.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  82. Art

    The primary reason for home schooling is racism according to my experiences. Most children left behind or those that are home schooled.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • sakura2000

      Or maybe homeschooler parents want to make sure their kids know how to write comprehensible sentences?

      October 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • JG

      Right. No public school kid has ever had any problems or ended up a criminal or working menial jobs their whole life. With public school's untarnished record of perfect success why would anyone want to keep their kid out of it?

      October 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Dan

      Why not talk to your kids about racism? Guide them through the issues instead of sheltering from them? These issues will invariably present themselves in their life time and you can't always be there to protect them from exposure. Children will remain as children as long as you treat them like one.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  83. kent

    Suprised by the rancor in this forum. My wife and I moved out to white picket fence suburbia to raise our children, 45 miles from work, but the top rated schools in the state. After viewing the curriculum at these top flight schools, we realized the entire system was to ensure high scores on the standardized test the state employs. There was actually very little education going on at all. So my wife, molecular biologist at a cancer research center, abandoned her career and now our oldest is in 3rd grade, reading on an 8th grade level and is an excelent basketball player, There is not an insect he cannot describe in anatomic terms, and he routinely holds court when a lizard, beetle or butterfly is captured. Wierd? He has no outer space death ninja toys. He is happy in his sandals and blue jean shorts. He gets teased by the local little girls club with who loves who, and he answeres them respectfully "when I'm in love with one of you, you'll hear it from me and nobody else...." Children are always moulded by their enviroment. Parents can have as much or as little influence over that enviroment as they elect. We are not fundamentalist christians, but there are MANY of them in the home school circles, we, like all parents, simply are doing what we feel is best for our son. Challenging the status quo is seldom met with welcome.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • equal burden

      Kent, your wife gave up 11 years of post-high school education plus her postdoctoral training and probably a good job to stay home and educate your son. I really hope you APPRECIATE the sacrifice she has made and I hope some day you will also sacrifice something great for your family. Merely bringing home your paychecks doesn't even compare.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  84. Will

    I don't believe you. Religious zealotry is the only real reason for homeschooling. You can say that you are not a religious zealot, but you are almost certainly lying. That right. I said LYING. You might or not be lying to yourself, but either way, you are lying to the rest of us.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • sakura2000

      Careful, your ignorance is showing.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Bill

      Will, Your ignorant.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
      • Will

        Religious zealots rarely, if ever, think of themselves as religious zealots. So of course you think I'm ignorant. You see yourselves as normal.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • RaymondM

        Come on man, it's "you're". Before you start calling people names make sure you are competent to do so.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • HZD

      Give me a break. Spoken by someone who clearly wants to cling on to their stereotyping and bigotry. In the homeschooling circles I frequented growing up, there were a large percentage of completely irreligious folks who home schooled because they felt like it would provide the right learning environment for their kids.

      I hope that my own children are home schooled too, not because I am a religious fanatic, but because between my years of graduate education and my household's multiple Ivy League degree, I think that we can do a better job providing an excellent education with one on one tutoring than a school can with thirty kids crammed into a single classroom that is designed with the express goal of producing acceptable scores on standardized tests.

      Obviously homeschooling isn't for everyone, and I am not saying that my kid will turn out better than yours. But my family is going to take our chances with our good educational background and try to give our kids the best education that we can find. I think that it will work out all right. That doesn't make me a religious zealot, and it isn't going to produce narrow minded kids.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • laughlivelovelife

      Homeschooling is not just for religious families. My sister pulled her kids out of their local high school due to the poor curriculum – they don't attend church, nor are they religious. And I'm a new step-mom to two teenage boys that need to be home schooled. Their mom has failed them by being too lazy to take them to school and keeping them out on days she works, as well as failed by the state system that has continually passed them to the next grade even though they've FAILED every class, every term for the last two years. We're bringing them to California and there isn't even a remote possibility that they could test into their grade, nor TWO grades lower. We have no choice but to home school them.

      To say that it's only done for religious reasons is narrow minded and short sighted. There are so many reasons that it's chosen. You are an idiot.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
      • Will

        Why does other people's religious zealotry make ME an idiot?

        October 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Brian

      Be careful, Lefty. My brother is a dotcom nerd, left-wing, and avowed agnostic. When his son was diagnosed with Autism he found that Government schools were completely ill-suited to provide for his unique educational requirements (brilliant kid, social misfit). So, my brother chose to home school to the shagrin of his left-wing nutjob buddies.

      Long story short, the boy (er... young man) is now pursuing his PhD in Astrophysics and is doing just fine. He's not a religious wingnut and is able to handle himself well in public. So, stop the hasty generalizations. You'll find that when you see the world as only black and white, you trip over lots of grey things called curbs...

      October 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Ernie LeDuc

      What a total Mah-roon....

      October 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Carl

      We homeschooled our son and we are athiests, so I don't buy your argument that the only reason for homeschooling is religious zealotry. Our choice was based on the lack of special education choices in our public schools, since our son has special needs.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • Will

        Not referring to special needs kids. Hope your child is doing well.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • October

      -Will- Will !!! calm down will ya. You sound like a scared little boy. Are you? Are you one of those teens that troll articles and then try to write a comment that makes you sound like you're older and have a hang of things? You're doing an– epic fail - here on your comments. Its ok. We know you have problems. Home schooled children aren't bad. They're actually brighter than alot of the goverment schooled children. Now, come on... do you really..really care if children are home schooled? Or do you have a little bitty burr under your saddle about something else? Now, go on and go outside and play- be a good little boy.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • Will

        Yeah, I've got a burr. I've got a big burr. All that need occur for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing. So I will do something. I will not let evil and religious intolerance overrun my country...

        October 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
      • Andrew A.

        Will, need I remind you that the country you are trying to "save" was founded on religious freedom?

        October 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Mike

      Will talk like Tarzan. Must prefer primate schooling.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Dubhly

      will i have read several of your post, i get it your a troll. enough said about being a liar, a troll by definition is a liar. We homeschooled our children for several years until our finances changed and we both had to work. It was for their education not for religious reasons, we are not religious. we attend no church or temple, we do not pray, we have left the kids to find their own paths in religion as they have become older. when we did put the kids into public schools they tested them and they went into the right age range they should have been, two of them almost tested higher, but they did not want to place them becuase of their age. We live in a small rural community and they are still rather backwards.
      Anyway, I have always felt that public schools are places to learn but seldom utilized as such. They are more places to get picked on, beat up, bullied and ignored. The kids that make it through may have more of an education then they would have without school, but its barely that. I have known kids that still cannot read, do math, hae no clue about history etc... Ie they come out about the way they went in. Thats why i did not want to put ours into that environment.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
      • Will

        Pulling your kids out of school to avoid bullying is just as bad. If you never learn how to deal with it, you are in for a lifelong headache. Bullying is a part of life...

        October 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  85. Instructor

    I agree with the posters who pointed out that this write-up is nothing but a mother trying to excuse her decision to keep her kid away from the mainstream. It's pretty obvious to say the least. I would not call hem social misfits, but, they do lack (to a great extent) the social interaction that comes with dealing with 20 different kids in an environment that may one day resemble a workplace. The children have to negotiate through life by interacting with their peers, learning conflict resolution, how to properly communicate, how to respect, etc. This only comes with observations not present in a home-schooled environment. I'm sorry but "home-schooled kids are exposed to children of all ages, even adults, so they are better prepared to handle varied social situations" is a load of crap. I would hate to see where that got pulled from.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Bill

      I grew up home schooled I carried a full time job and 15-21 credits a semester in college. I made the deans list almost every semester and also tried out and made the basketball team and two major plays. I am pretty sure I am not the poster boy for social repression. Oh I have also been married for 8 years too. and all that was from the age of 17 thanks to homeschooling. The hate for homeschooling comes from people who don't want to lose students from the public school because of the funding issue. They are the same individuals that think charter schools are evil as well.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Ellen

      We homeschooled our son for 8 years. He then entered a college prep private high school, where he is a 4.0 student. We both have Master's degrees, and although I did most of the homeschooling, my husband did the advanced math, since that is his strength. Our son attended a school district alternative school for once or twice a week classes in art, music, science, math – most taught by professional teachers from the district, with Master's degrees. We preferred this school district additional opportunity over the multiple homeschool co-ops in the area, where other parents take turns with classes. He also played two sports from a young age, with kids from the neighborhood and eventually across the region. We did all of the museums, zoo/aquarium, library group events, traveled with my husband on business trips to other cities where we would go to those science centers, museums, art opps. We also used tutors along the way. Most home schooled students do not sit at "home" for their education, and this is one of the greatest misunderstandings of how families approach home education. We used Teaching Textbooks for upper math courses(developed by two former Harvard math tutors, which seemed good enough for us. Tried a few online courses which were not a hit with our kid. He entered high school in 9th grade (okay, mostly to play high school sports), and after a first semester of 3.6, he has made 3.9 – 4.0 GPA each semester since. From early childhood, he was the one the parents always wanted to come over to their houses, because he was respectful and well-behaved, and he knows how to have fun. Are there wierd home-schooed kids? Sure. Are their weird public schooled kids? Same.

      Our reasons for homeschooling largely surrounded the fact that we are academic snobs, thought we could do better, and we enjoyed the freedom to come and go, study all-year 'round, take a day off to do something different. The overwhelming responsibility, wondering if we were doing the right thing, answering all of the prying questions while we defended ourselves to a lot of judgement calls from other families who thought homeschooling was nuts – all of that is not so great. The doubters all thought he would crash and burn in traditional school, but the evidence shows otherwise. Most of his friends from the home school alternative program have finished two years of community college by 18, and the older kid have gone on to finish college by 20, and begun their careers or moved on to graduate school. Before being so quick to criticize, I wish people would look at how these kids are turning out. They are not perfect, as some of them get a pretty big head over finishing college so young, acting a little superior to the masses. Along the way, most of them played one or two musical instruments, learned a second language, and often played a sport as well. None of that sounds so out of the norm to me.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  86. Trent

    Help the child that has her as a mom. Home school may or may not be the right thing for your child but this paper was written with no basis of logic. To dispell a myth you need hard proof that the myth indeed is not true. While she does this from time to time she injects her own series of myths on non-home school and thus debases her credibility.

    Myth #1: It is a pretty basic premis to show that home school kids are not weird but if the basis of your support is to shield them from peer pressure than who are you saving? At age 18 all peer pressure goes away and now your child will never have to deal with it? OH......you child is now a "mature adult" and is better able to cope with it. Right.....yeah you learn to cope with it by dealing with it. The "say no to smoking" peer pressure will seem like a dream to what your 18 yo will face as an adult.
    Myth #2 again a pretty simple argument to prove they are not social misfits yet you go off course again for your own agenda. Kids in public school deal with kids of all different ages and (shocking I know) adults too. Also, it is a pretty narrow minded point to say if they don't get it in school they don't get it somewhere else (scouts, sports, etc.)
    Myth #4 "home schoolers rarely sit around all day and do nothing".....YOUR home schooled child may rarely sit around and do nothing but you are not qualified to speak for all or even most.

    "I sincerely believe that knowledge is power and it can dispel prejudices and misconceptions." It woud seem more genuine if in supporting your arguments you did not do so by brining up arguments against pubilc school kids that are equally as lame.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  87. SmartLawyer

    It's amazing how open minded and tolerant and accepting those on the Left are, until one of their sacred cows is touched. The control of information and the indoctrination venue that Public Schools gives the Left on social and environmental issues (not to mention the unions that thrive off of them) have always been of utmost concern to liberals. The Left finds mass tastes repulsive and ignorant; that's why they argue we need centralized education planning. Of course, our student lag behind the world in every meaningful category, but the Left won't let facts get in the way of their ideology.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  88. Oakspar

    The repeated argument here is that "Not all homeschoolers are X."

    The problem is, there are some homeschoolers (and more than just a few) who are at least one of those five things listed.

    Sure, some children might run the gammet and avoid them all (some of them are child based, other's are parent caused).

    Therefore, I see this list as more of a warning of what not to create through your homeschooling that a revisoning of homeschool – too many of us have seen the exceptions far to often to consider them anolmolies of the system.

    Still, for slow and disabled students, homeschooling is the best choice. Public schools have to accomodate those children through IEPs, 504s, and other beurocracy. A homeschool environment can cater specifically to that child's need and will help them more than standard setting classrooms ever could.

    Gifted children benefit from having traditional school AND homeschool (often refered to as "enrichment"). The regular classroom gives them social normality and the oppurtunity to help out their community with their leadership and example. The enrichment keeps them from using their giftedness to become procrastinators or apathetic towards learning.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Nancy

      "The problem is, there are some homeschoolers (and more than just a few) who are at least one of those five things listed. "
      And none of the kids in public school fall into one or more of these categories?

      October 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  89. Duane

    We homeschool our four daughters. Our primary reason was because my wife wanted to and I, knowing that she was an award winning teacher before having kids, couldn't think of a better way to educate my daughters. Both of us were educated in the public schools, but both of us love teaching, so why not not do it ourselves. I also see in homeschoolers what Future Admin has seen in her students, but the same variations of socialization and insecurity occur in public and private school kids. Homeschooling does not protect a student from having problems, everyone everywhere has problems. It is simply one of the ways to educate your kids. I had friends in my public school experience who were far more sheltered than my kids are being homeschooled. School is supposed to be for educating our kids, not raising them. If a parent makes an effort to raise their kids and care about them, then the kid will do fine whether in a public, private, or homeschooling environment. Lets stop looking down our noses either way in this debate and just care about our kids.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Will

      That's load of crap. You homeschooled your daughter in some misguided attempt to save their virginities, you ridiculous religious freaks. Fine, you probably succeeded for an extra year or two. But your daughters will hate your guts for all eternity. Hope it was worth it...

      October 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
      • Ernie LeDuc

        Don't be angry just because you got repeatedly rejected and never got laid. Azzclown....

        October 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  90. Matthew

    To sum up the argument here, I feel we can state that there are great aspects of each system, and several bad aspects of each system. It is a free country friends, choose well and deal with the outcome!

    October 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Will

      No. I do not nor ever will respect homeschooling. Homeschooling will end American society as we know it. We have an army of religious freaks and zealots growing up with an alternative version of reality. We will have to deal with these people one day, most likely on the battlefield...

      October 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
      • Smedley Butler

        Who is this "we" that you speak of?

        October 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • Will

        We, the citizens of the United States of America. That means me AND it means YOU....

        October 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
      • Smedley Butler

        Rather presumptuous of you.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • SA

        Will, its obvious you are an irreligious freak and a complete nutcase. For some reason you are extremely intolerant and hateful, with zero credibility to speak on this topic. I was homeschooled from K-12 and after graduating at 16, finishing my college degree (3.94 GPA) and just having passed the CPA exam, I can tell you I am thankful for what homeschooling has given me. Did it have shortcomings? Yes. Did I turn out ok? Probably. I am a contributing citizen, have a large circle of friends, and am a well-respected colleague at my work-place. Public school/private school/homeschool is a personal decision, and parents decide based on a variety of factors. Please get some help Will. Public school obviously didn't cure your bent to fanaticism and extremist views.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
      • Will

        Will you beat your kids if they don't want to adopt your religious beliefs?

        October 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • SA

        Will you beat your kids if they decide to become religious? Will you beat your kids if they decide to homeschool THEIR kids? Your obsession with beating and hatred actually have me concerned for your kids.

        I don't think you're doing your cause any favors Will. Best leave that to the other parents who have decided NOT to homeschool for their own personal, logical reasons, as will my husband and I when our children are school-age and we make that decision. Just FYI, my husband is strongly pushing for homeschooling since he can see the differences in our upbringing and sees the benefits outweigh the cons. He went to public school and has to deal with baggage from choices he made largely because of factors that come with going to public school.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  91. kpkpkp

    Sadly the author of this article is trying to justify her decision to homeschool rather than dispel real concerns people have about homeschooling. Her first two "myths" are not myths at all. Unfortunately, the vast majority of homeschooled kids are socially inept and lack basic confidence and experience in social situations. They are weird. When confronted with other kids they are often at a loss as to basic information as the colloquialisms, simple interactive things that everyone learns in group situations such as sharing and empathy for others. Too often what the author calls a myth is a truth. There are some very good reasons to home school. Besides those with special needs there are those because of situational concerns need to home school. I think of the Australian kids who live on the big ranches 100's of miles from a school and boarding school isn't a good option. Those families work hard to overcome the social concerns through radio schooling and other means. People are social animals and need some time with others. Sadly the home schooling is not for the children's benefit but the parents. Home schooling is not all it is cracked up to be. Instead selfish parents need to seek other solutions which may require moving to a new community or school district.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • sean

      TO: kpkpkp

      From a professional (PhD) researcher, Your unsubstantiated pontification is complete nonsense. Opinion based on whatever bias drives it. Your comment: "the vast majority of homeschooled kids are socially inept and lack basic confidence and experience in social situations. They are weird. When confronted with other kids they are often at a loss as to basic information as the colloquialisms, simple interactive things that everyone learns in group situations such as sharing and empathy for others.", is based on what peer reviewable research? A comic book? With this unsubstantiated claim you immediately attack the author with "Too often what the author calls a myth is a truth". What are your credentials for either of these statements? As the father of both conventionally and homeschooled children my SUBJECTIVE (vice objective) observations from the center of the experiment conform more to the author's. And I'm sure that the thousands of kids and parents of homeschoolers appreciate your obnoxious labels. CERTAINLY (sarcasm inserted) conventional schoolling mitigates social ineptude and other "wierdness" and provides a rich and rewarding social environment for all of our kids. Just ask an expert like yourself who can point out how incredibly successful public schooling is. Niether expertise or wisdom seem to be your forte.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • steve

      No offense, but you have no idea what you are talking about. There have been many studies over the last couple of decades that dispel the entire socialization myth. Every child is different and has different needs. Two of my children are in public school and thriving. One child, my oldest, is home schooled and is thriving. She attends classes at a co-op on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She is involved in dance, girls scouts, and church group. She is an extremely well adjusted young lady who is excelling academically AND socially. She has many friends of all ages. Every child deserves the best education that is available to them. For many, home schooling is not just a good option but the best option. I should add that our neighbors child was homes school all the way through high school. She is now a freshman at a prestigious university on full academic scholarship....and she is doing well socially too!

      October 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
      • Lolo

        I think you really said it all! It's sad that people feel they have to judge another families decision on how to raise their kids. Every kid is unique, and we have to do what is best for them!

        October 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Lolo

      I homeschooled in grade school all the way through high school. I wouldn't say that I am necessarily for or against homeschooling. Each family has to decide what is best for their kids, and what their priorities or values are. For my family, we started homeschooling for religous beliefs. A learning environment where religion and the values that come with it was the priority for my family. Some of my siblings may be considered socially awkward ( I have 8 siblings), others made the choices to be more social and you wouldn't be able to tell they were homeschooled from their social interactions. For my family, their priority was an environment where the kids weren't exposed to some of the values that you see in public schools, and for my own family, I think it helped some of us become better people. For some kids, they might become better people in a larger setting. Social experiences may be the priority, which should be respected as well, and many kids may not be successful in a homeschooling environment. It's a decision that is different for each family. the truth is, for some homeschooled kids, they might not be what is considered "cool", and most of them are just fine with that. But, while a larger percentage of (not all) homeschooled kids might be "wierd', a larger percentage of them (but not all) might have values they wouldn't if they had been exposed to a public school. Our environment influences us whatever it is. We have to each make the decision "what do we want the influence to be?" There isn't a right answer, it is a choice. There is never a "this is what works for everybody" when it comes to kids. A family's choice should be respected either way. Sometimes a little diversity can be a good thing!

      October 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  92. PoliSciGurl

    The OPINIONS expressed in this commentary are solely those of Alessandra Oliveira. There is lots of research out there examining the "myths" you so easily dismiss with your anecdotal observations.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • sumday

      then by all means post the links to this research rather than just elude to it.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
      • Jim W

        I agree with your sentiment, but I think you meant allude to it, not elude, unless you're suggesting that she's trying to escape the research?

        October 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  93. pat

    I have seen many sorry examples of homeschooling where the desire to control the information presented was the emphasis or worse yet, the bother of getting a child to school on time and properly prepared was too much trouble. That being said, there is no intrinsic reason why a parent cannot successfully teach homeschool a child. Unfortunately, successfull examples are few and far between and the ability of the instructor to limit feedback on the effacy of their teaching to only that which he/she wants to hear constrains evaluation.

    October 1, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Nikki

      Maybe you should proof read your own reply before proof reading someone ekes mistakes. I you like me are typing on your phone, you know it's not perfect and should not reflect knowledge of the writer:)
      Successful. One l.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
      • Trey

        irony = "Maybe you should proof read your own reply before proof reading someone ekes mistakes."

        October 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Chris

      Unfortunately, successful examples are few and far between? Where do you get that information? Not saying you are wrong, just wondering.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Tim

      Pat, your statement that success stories of homeschooled children are few and far between is a false and extremely misleading statement. As a homeschooling father of 5 I can attest that homeschool children are extremely bright, socially engaged children. My children are excelling academically (my 7th grader tested higher than 80% of high school seniors in 4 subjects), growing socially through clubs, sports and other social outlets and are very active in their community. While every demographic has its successes and failures, I would recommend that you do a little more research in this area before posting in the future.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • C

      Successful examples are few and far between? Homeschoolers as a group completely obliterate public schooled children in testing. So, if successfully home schooled children are few and far between, then public schooled children are even worse.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  94. Peter

    There have always been, and will always be, good reasons to homeschool children and parents who do a superb job at raising their children in this way. But this article does not address the rising tide in homeschooling, which is not religious motivation or special needs of the student.

    Homeschooling has become the ultimate vehicle for helicopter parenting.

    Parents who want to control every aspect of their children's lives and by doing so engineer a child who turns out exactly to their specifications are choosing homeschooling. It doesn't even matter whether this is a legitimate goal or not– this particular approach to homeschooling is doomed to failure and invariably ends in frustration and a child back in public school.

    As with the small minority of parents who homeschool in order to avoid truancy fines, these parents aren't trying to achieve something– they're trying to avoid it. If you want to see how that can end badly, you need look no further than those homeschooling pro's, the Amish.

    So these five myths are, absolutely, myths. But there are a few other issues that could stand to be addressed.

    October 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • dulcimeramy

      The Amish do not homeschool. They, in their closed and generational religious society, really have nothing in common with homeschoolers who live fully integrated lives in modern, typical American settings.

      Helicopter parents exist within the public school paradigm. Ask any high school teacher who has ever feared for her job because she knew her students deserved to fail her class. Ask any college professor who finds himself confronted by an angry parent of a twenty-year-old adult over an exam grade.

      I don't agree that you have raised other issues that need to be addressed. I think perhaps you have merely introduced two more myths or stereotypes into the discussion.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • Peter

        Of course helicopter parents exist in public schools. But homeschooling allows them full expression of their desire to control every aspect of their children's lives in a way that public school thwarts.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Tim

      Peter, why are you broad brushing homeschool parents as "helicopter" parents. I homeschool my five children for exactly the opposite reason you state. I want my kids to learn logic and to think critically. Logic and critical thinking are no where to be found in the public education curriculum. Logic is all but removed from college courses. While I am not saying that there aren't parents trying to control every aspect of their kids lives, I am saying that an argument can be made that the public school system is doing that exact same thing.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Will

      Helicopter parenting is hugely influenced by religious ideology so...you are wrong. There is a serious religious element behind the explosion of homeschooling.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • Andrew A.

        Will, I knew several families growing up who homeschooled their kids, and only one or two of them were "religious" families. You are making a gross over generalization by saying that "religious nuts" are behind the explosion of homeschooling. The article itself said that secular homeschooling has become more popular in recent years.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  95. Virginia

    Love it. 😀 http://amazingsix.blogspot.com

    October 1, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  96. Future admin

    Although I don't directly disagree with any of the myths provided I would like to question Myth #1. I would love to believe that my own children will not have to take on the challenge of "being pushed to smoke or date before they are ready," and I don't think that not having these challenges makes one "weird." However, I think that there are certain social challenges that a child must face and receive from their peers.
    I work in higher education and have seen students who have gone through home schooling. Of those I have worked with, the majority have noticeable social anxieties that their peers do not have. With that being said, the few who were home schooled that did not hold those social challenges, excelled not only academically but socially as well.
    Therefore in my experience, I am not against home schooling, but I advise families to recognize these serious challenges that come with it when they make that decision.

    October 1, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Kendra Lewis

      I had to address your comment, because a) You are making a faulty comparison of the general population of one group to a specific one of another (eg. I have observed CERTAIN HS kids who have more anxiety than PS kids as a rule). I was public schooled, and thanks to brilliant administrators (I was very high IQ but also severely dyslexic) I was moved from a 'special needs' 2nd grade class to a GT 3rd grade class based on testing 6 weeks into the year. Academically, I fared quite well, but socially, I suffered greatly for quite some time, and over the years I became well aware that I was not alone in that experience, many other children in PS felt equally or more anxious in peer settings. I learned healthy peer group interaction much later, because none of my teachers concerned themselves with my social problems (how many can you honestly say ever do?) If I had to base it on my observations, I would conclude that HS kids don't fear their peers as PS kids do, so while they may come across as 'weird' because of their self confidence, and lack of desperation for peer approval, they are actually the healthier lot. Again, we are comparing my experiences of these groups versus your own, but this caution seems more like a Chicken Little approach, since the only parents that would need such caution would be a) those who don't recognize it as a problem (and would likely pass it along regardless of the form of schooling they chose for their child) or b) those sad few who don't concern themselves sufficiently with the needs of their child (which happens, again, in both forms of schooling with equally tragic results). In the course of being a loving parent, most adults would naturally help their child through these difficulties, where in PS, many teachers do not. Statistics do not bear out the necessity of your cautionary footnote.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
      • Will

        HS kids have high anxiety because their religious freak parents spend most of their time beating the living crap out of them. That's why HS kids have high levels of anxiety. You would too if you had to grow up in that kind of situation.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • p120ph37

      I attended a wide variety of schools growing up, including home public, private, international, and home school. I do not yet have children of my own, but when I do there is a high likelihood that my wife and I will home school in order to provide a more flexible, self-directed learning environment than is available through traditional education. (We were both a poor fit for the traditional education model and can only assume our children will be as well.)

      Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of children encounter social difficulty when transitioning from home school to a traditional school (but no more so than many of the brighter children who were educated traditionally but never integrated well with their "peers"), and to your comment above I wonder: Have you observed any common attributes of the home schooling styles which tended most to result in socially-well-adjusted students, as opposed to the styles which more often lead to difficulties?

      October 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • imjustsaying

      I am going to back future admin on the original comment. From my experience it is just simply the case that no matter how much HS parents try to socialize their children by taking them to public places or enrolling them in rec sports and public functions, these kids will be very much behind socially when they hit college. I also back the intelligence portion. HS kids that I have worked with in college just learn more and are better prepared for college. Of course some of them fall prey to the many social hurdles that come with college (drinking, excess freedom, relationships, etc.). I don't know that there is really a big diffirence between HS/PS when it comes to the college obstacles however. It's just foolish to say that HS kids are better prepared sccially, i doubt they have watched kids beat up others, get teased, cheat, badly break rules, see groups of kids interact purely from peer pressure etc etc in the home environment and these are important things to see and learn from even if not participating.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
      • C

        This is your own myth. My child spends more time interacting with others (children and adults) than public school kids do. Public school kids spend the majority of their time doing work. To get the same education for my daughter that she received in public school, it takes 2 hours. The rest of that time is spent investigating subjects on her own and socializing. If you actually investigated what was going on, you would realize that Home schooled kids are more socialized than public schooled kids. This is a fact that's been generally known for years in the home schooling community.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  97. WASP

    love the articule. thought of homeschool my children, but don't know how to start....and i feel a little out of place doing so. i may have to do more research first.

    October 1, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • pat

      If you are homeschooling your children, I hope you are not taking on the challenges of spelling, or proof reading...the word is spelled "article". Thank you for the absolutely best reason for not homeschooling your child... You may not be qualified.

      October 1, 2012 at 11:49 am |
      • JosephS

        Pat, you wrote, "Thank you for the absolutely best reason". You should have used "absolute" instead of "absolutely" or even better, left it out completely. Your grammar skills are implorable. I hope you don't plan to homeschool.

        It's not real fair to judge someone by a typo in a single post, is it? I bet you'd agree.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • livetlearn

        You do know that Einstein couldn't spell and after several years of public schooling he became home-schooled because the school told his mother he was dumb? Historically many prominant figures were homeschooled. Some could spell, some could not spell but they all found their way. Many public/private school educated children grow to adults who cannot spell but are strong in area's like engineering-it isn't the schools fault, nor the homeschoolers fault, some people are just better at spelling. Why waste your energy criticizing others spelling or their choices in life, you might be better served reading a book on how to win people over?

        October 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
      • jordan

        joseph...i think you mean deplorable (causing or being a subject for censure, reproach, or disapproval; wretched; very bad:) NOT implorable (to beg urgently or piteously, as for aid or mercy; beseech; entreat:)...pat's grammar may suck , but at least he knows what the words mean...

        October 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • sumday

        I have a degree in engineering and a minor in math but I am the worse speller in the world, so what is your point? I have never been able to spell not even with repeatedly writing the word over and over, but I’ve always been good at math, so then tell me what has advanced man kind further spelling or math? Spelling has but 1 simple purpose to convey a thought from 1 being to another. Once that is accomplished written languages entire purpose is complete and everything else is meaning less. If I write I went out last “nite” and the reader understands that I’m referring to night then the entire point of me writing was completed- IE I transferred a thought/meaning to another person- regardless of any spelling errors. In fact your brain doesn’t even read the letters in order. Instead it looks for the first and last letter and the rest of the letters can be out of place but your brain will still understand the word. Bottom line is those who complain about spelling errors are pathetic whiners complaining about trivial and meaningless things as if they were important.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • sean

      You have given yourself the best advice, WASP. 🙂 Do as much research as will leave you comfortable with your decision. Incidently, there is SEEMINGLY a subtle lack of knowledge of the homeschooling options articulated by many of these bloggers. "Homeschooling" although it implies a student schooling "at home" by parent(s) is a term that actually addresses many options that include 1 or 2 day-a-week classes followed by days of doing the schoolwork at home. There are various co-op models and other paradigms to consider. Most metropolitan areas have routine homeschooling fairs that are really worth the saturday or weekend to attend and gather information from. BTW, the socialization "issue" is a red herring. There are as many or more opportunities for your students to socialize in a HS environment as a "conventional" one, and the parents can have greater control in those envirnoments (vice virtually none in conventional settings). My HS children have never seen a fist fight at school or church. As a product of DoD, public, private, small and large conventional schools, I can remember schools where fights were a daily affair on the "campus" and whatever passed for transportation to and from. Just some things to think about. Unlike many of the opiners on this blog, my spouse and I spent a great deal of time researching this choice, including reviewing the peer review research on these "issues", before we made our decision. Good luck.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  98. Alex T.

    I think most people who have negative beliefs about homeschooling automatically dislike it because it is different from what they are used to. I have homeschooled my daughter and had her in public school back and forth all her life. She struggled initially in public school so I took her out and homeschooled for a year and got her caught up and then put her back in public school. This has been a trend with us I hate to say. I love homeschooling her, but she is a social girl and loves all the social interaction of public school. She is being homeschooled again now and will continue to be until she graduates. Homeschooing isn't right for every family, but it is right for some. I think people need to try to be a bit more open minded.

    October 1, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  99. Jane

    Love this article. Planning to pass on to my other home educating friends. My daughter graduated from home ed this past year and was accepted into the Honors College of a large public university. She is doing extremely well and as said by the previous commenter she has noticed the lack of participation by others in class. Her prof has complimented her on participation already. She is handling her time well and has shown herself to be a leader in several situations. Something that I didn't always see during the high school years. I think she's not "worn out" like I was after public high school 😉 . One of her classmates (who didn't know she was homeschooled) said "oh you're so normal" --we both thought it was so ironic. Going into this I'll admit we were a little nervous on how she would stack up. This is really giving me more confidence when it comes to my second child. Best of all she is genuinely interested and excited about her courses!

    October 1, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  100. shelli

    Great article. As a homeschooling mom, I agree. I'll also add that my husband is a college professor, and he has had homeschooled high school students take his classes in the dual enrollment program (for early college credit.). He says the homeschooled students have been some of the brightest and most participatory in his classes. This is in stark contrast to several college-aged students who don't participate and act like they don't want to be there. Many of those students don't know how to write either. This has influenced our decision to homeschool our boys. While some students do well in our public schools, many are losing the love of learning that is innate in young children. I homeschooled in order to tailor my child's education to his interests and abilities and keep that spark alive.

    October 1, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • John

      We homeschool for very similar reasons. Good luck continuing on your path Shelli!

      We live in MA and there has been an approx. 10X increase in the past 10 years in the number of homeschooled students. I have also heard from a doctor that works with homeschooled med-school students that they are much more engaged and have stronger foundations in a number of subjects. This is important to note because its not just the academics but how well-adjusted the students are. I don't want a 7-year old raising my 7-year old!

      October 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
      • shelli

        Absolutely, John. Critics of homeschoolers often say that socialization is an issue, but they do not consider how homeschooled students have the opportunity to socialize with so many more people of various ages and backgrounds! I realize there may be parents out there who are not taking advantage of this, but every homeschooler I know makes getting out and meeting people a priority! It's a much more healthy "socialization" in my opinion, and I think my boys will be more engaged learning from elders and older kids than they would have a chance while in school. Thanks!

        October 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Michelle

      Shelli,

      You are doing the right thing for your child. I can't count the number of former public school teachers I've met who now homeschool their own children. The system is not in place to encourage critical thinking. The system was created to crank out factory workers who don't question authority. If you haven't already read some of John Taylor Gato's books on education.

      I homeschooled my two children for two years. It was a huge responsibility and I had little support from my spouse. They are now back in an academic charter school for the second year and it is killing their love of learning. The curriculum used isn't as rich, they are tested to death and the hours upon hours of homework leave little time to explore their other interests or continue their extracurricular activities. I plan on bringing my youngest home again next year and am trying to decide whether my oldest who'll be in High School next year will actually go to High School, Community College or take online classes.

      When my children were home. They had extra time to read novels and to explore their interests. This isn't possible in the overscheduled chaos of traditional school. Also, about quirky homeschoolers. We felt that a return to regular school would eliminate some of that and we couldn't be further from the truth. Due to the epidemic of ADD, ADHD, Autism and Aspergers there are many quirky kids with behavioral and social issues in the regular school system to. That is the new reality. I hope that those so critical of homeschooling would realize that it is a very selfless thing for a parent to do. Many sacrifice time and income to ensure their children receive an appropriate education.

      October 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • Michelle

        too.

        October 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • shelli

        Thank you, Michelle. I agree with you. I hope you can bring both your children home and let them delve deeply into things that they care about. In my opinion, there is no reason why we can't teach the basics in a short amount of time so that we can give kids the freedom to do what excites them for the rest of the day. And I have been able to use my child's interests to teach some of the basics. He loves learning and exploring the world. Good luck to you!

        October 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
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