March 15th, 2012
06:25 AM ET

My View: Homeschooling: Marching to the beat of a different drummer

Courtesy Sue Coates By Joyce Burges, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Joyce Burges is the co-founder of the National Black Home Educators, an organization that empowers parents to educate their children for excellence. She and her husband, Eric, have been married for 35 years and have five children between the ages of 16 to 35.

It was a rainy afternoon. I was rocking my baby girl by the fire and enjoying a cup of hot chamomile tea. To me, life couldn’t get any better than this. Our three older children were in school, “getting a good education.” I received a call from my oldest son’s school. I was told that my husband and I needed to come to a school meeting. Unpleasant thoughts flooded my mind. But I was comforted because we were active in our children’s school. I was PTO president and chairman of the advisory board. So all was well, right?

Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to hear at this meeting. We thought that being involved as parents assured our children of an excellent education. I was mistaken. When we had met with the teachers, they informed us that our son Eric Jr. was doing fine academically. His 3.0 GPA dropped to 2.8 during the first six weeks of school. To me, this was a workable issue because we were still in the first semester. At this latest meeting, we were informed that our son was “failing.” According to his counselor, this was a “blight” on this school’s reputation. The school gave us two choices: We could place our son in a school across town, or he would have to repeat this grade next year. These options left me feeling that there was no hope for our son. I pleaded and said that we would work with him to raise his grade point average. This would not do. The administration’s position was firm. I begin to cry. My confidence was shattered. I thought that we had failed our son, and that we were unfit to be a part of this school system.

We discussed this problem when we got home that evening. Something began to stir my heart - a vision of me keeping my children at home with me. I was tired of raising money for equipment when overburdened teachers were making copies of books for children in overstuffed classrooms, and I was exhausted with rising early in the morning to whisk my children away to school.

I heard that a family at our local church was homeschooling. We met one evening, and the rest is history. I was forced to rethink my children’s educational life. If my children were going to succeed, become excellent learners and have a chance to go college, I had to rally my courage and start right now.
I learned many things during the first years of teaching my children. I didn’t realize the pressure we were under until we were set free of the educational “mess” of which they were part: The prepackaged curriculum, the one-size-fits-all model, the bullying and the negative socialization. Homeschooling allowed us to discover and experience pure, superior learning and a customized learning environment.

Some thought we were out of our minds. But, since then, my husband and I started an organization where parents are empowered to educate their children for excellence. The National Black Home Educators’ primary focus is to target African-Americans with the option of homeschooling. We also offer resources to parents of children that are still in the public and private schools, including learning materials that enable parents to engage in learning 30 minutes per day with their children at home.

The National Black Home Educators is not an exclusive organization. But, in my opinion, black children require a certain kind of attention and understanding. Many of us are concentrating on a more urban attitude - an attitude that, in my opinion, that does not promote excellence but a mindset that is mediocre and accepts the status quo. We need to raise the bar. We, as parents, must exert a powerful influence in determining the quality of life we want for our children. We do not want to produce “functional illiterates.” We must teach our children well. It’s time to raise the standard of our culture so that the minds of our girls and boys can be lifted to see beyond sports, bad music, sexual promiscuity, drugs and perhaps even tennis shoes.

Having shared the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I knew that our family was being given another dream, one that would encompass King’s and would rise and carry our family to a greater level. This is why we homeschooled our children. Homeschooling offered us a chance to pour into the lives of our children. We are very blessed and thankful that we were given that chance. We learned that sometimes your deepest challenges become your greatest blessings. We knew our children deserved a first-class education, and homeschooling was our path to take.

As for Eric, after 12 years of military service with the 82nd Airborne, serving two tours in Iraq and a season in Haiti, he lives in New York with his family and is homeschooling his children as well. He attributes his success to homeschooling. He says, “Homeschooling gave me a chance to see the leader in myself.” Our other children are also doing very well. They are productive citizens in their communities and are enjoying their families.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Joyce Burges.

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Filed under: At Home • Homeschooling • Voices
soundoff (371 Responses)
  1. Amy

    For those of you who think public school is so great please consider my journey through it. I grew up in a small town and went to public school. Kindergarten-6th Grade, I was bullied without mercy. I was physically, verbally, and emotionally abused by my classmates and others who were younger and older than me. I told teachers a lot of the time they did nothing but watch me get hurt and laugh. I struggled through school because of it. Skipped whenever I could get away with it. I told my parents, aunts, and uncles about it but to no avail the bullying did not stop. Even in the summer away from school I was bullied. It was a horrible experience for me. In 7th Grade I moved to a different state, somethings got better but I was still bullied by a few kids here and there. I was also scared to go to my new school because it had police men and women as security guards. I saw my share of children fighting, beating each other to a bloody mess. Once an incident happened where a kid beat up another with a baseball bat. If I ever have children I will find a way to homeschool my kids even if I have to hire a third party to do so. I would never want my children to see the things I did or ever know what I went through in school. I also would not want my children to be bullied or hurt in any way. At 25 years old, when I go back to the town I grew up I still look over my shoulder, terrified that someone is going to be around the next corner ready to beat me up. I don't think any child in America should have to deal with being bullied EVER!

    March 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  2. the truth

    Home schooling is for christian fundamentalist to hide their kids away from evolution.

    sad really how some parents try to hide the truth

    March 16, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Najosie

      Not everyone who homeschools does so for religious reasons.

      March 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Really?

      "The truth" – really? That is all you got? Because some parents are willing and able and fortunate enough to be able to provide specialized education for their kids, they are automatically "christian fundamentalists" and opposed to "evolution"? That is rather bigoted of you, don't you think?

      March 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Rome

      Stereotyping is fun!! Your response says volumes about you. I bet you are a product of public is never too late to learn. I read about a woman who graduated college at the age of 98. Maybe you still have time to break free from the bonds of anger and ingnorance. Good luck!!

      March 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • "the truth"

      "The truth" – Stereotyping is fun!! Your response says volumes about you. I bet you are a product of public is never too late to learn. I read about a woman who graduated college at the age of 98. Maybe you still have time to break free from the bonds of anger and ingnorance. Good luck!!

      March 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Kelly

      Truth: Your ignorance is showing. I am in an eclectic group full of pagans, universal unitarians, no one turned away. We are over 100 families now.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Wendy

      Really? I home school. One of the reasons is so that I can expose my children to many different schools of thoughts and ways of life. So I can teach them to accept and appreciate all people and their cultures/religions/lack of religion/political position or any other thing that might set them apart. I was not happy with the way the public school system was teaching my children that if you weren't a popular kid with wealthy parents you didn't matter. That if you didn't wear the right clothes you were less than another. I didn't like that they got a narrow world view shaped by others of the same small town southern community. I wanted their world view to be larger, their dreams bigger and their respect for others more ready and ingrained. I didn't want teens who were more interested in what some celebrity had done who was dating whom at school this week than they were in their grades and their family. There are many reasons for home schooling. Some want a better education, some for religious reasons, some so their children can escape bullying and social pressure. Don't assume that your stereotyping fits every home school family out there.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • an unbiased educator

      How about a debate with a 12 grade homeschooler? You take the pagan atheistic evolutionist point of view and they take the Darwinian critical theistic view. The question for the debate:

      Is "Darwinian evolution" a sustainable paradigm for a 21st century education?

      March 23, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  3. pam

    We started my grandson in the K-12 program when he started kindergarten. It is an excellent program, but if the child can't read it is a ton of work. Plus because of the way his parents work, socialization was an issue. He decided that he wanted to go to public school and is learning so much better than what I could do. I think home schooling is great if you have the skills to teach. Unfortunately I think there are a lot of lazy mothers that want to home school so they don't have to get up in the morning. I worry about those childrens future. I commend teachers for what they do and I commend the parents that put in the work required for home schooling.

    March 16, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  4. Teacher

    While I understand many positives of homeschooling, I question whether or not it can match the quality of education received at a school. As a Language Arts teacher, I spend countless hours planning and breaking down standards to teach children. That is only for one subject. Do homeschool parents sit down and disect standards in order to correctly teach each and every subject? If so, I commend you. Considering how much time I spend working on properly preparing to teach one subject, I can't imagine what an endeavor it would be for parents to teach all subjects properly. I don't think people realize how much work a quality teacher puts into planning and creating lessons for your children. If you can do the same, I would love to see some of you become teachers in a public school!

    March 16, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • KS

      There are many ways to home school successfully. Most people understand the prep and planning required by certified teachers to teach large classes of children, all learning at different levels.
      Teaching your own is just not the same and perpetuating the idea that to properly teach your own requires the home educator to replicate public school at home is nonsense. The home education community is filled with professional people, making mindful choices about home education. Teachers , doctors, lawyers and even law makers home educate their children, and do it well. Most will not do it on their own, rather we will use our own funds to pay for things like curriculum, tutors, Kumon, art class, pe classes. Notice a theme here? We home school so that we can provide more than just your gifts and talents. We want more!

      To all the teachers who take offense that we don't choose the services you offer–it's not you–it's the sysytem. With all due respect–you know that and so do we.

      March 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Krystan

      For "Teacher": Honestly, homeschoolers do not need to use "standards". Those are for teachers with a classroom full of children that need to get them all engaged in the same thing. To me, standards are just a lot of words. We delve into subjects, spending time where curiosity leads, take out books to read as interest dictates, and do experiments, projects, and field trips as desire and weather allow. Yes, I use a prepackaged program for things like math, but for the most part it is piece-meal. And even with those, we spend just as much time as necessary for them to "get it", and then we move on. They are learning how to learn, they are learning to be creative and come up with their own ideas, and, above all, they are not sitting in a classroom all day. Teaching a couple of kids at home and teaching a classroom full of students are two totally different endeavors. You can't compare the preparation for one with another. For a homeschool parent, it is more about being available to facilitate education than actually teaching a class.

      March 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Colleen G

      For the Teacher who wondered how ordinary parents could create and teach a home education program that was "up to the standards". The answer is we don't!! Well we sort of do just not quite the way you do. Scared yet? lol The so called standards are just tools that were picked in the hopes that if applied to a group of students the majority will be able to learn and go on to pass a test. The standards vary by curriculum publisher, state and federal requirements. In reality there is no set "magic" standard that teachers follow all across the nation it depends upon what school district you teach in. These so called standards are the break down of what someone decided children need to know in order to graduate high school and be considered educated enough to go on to college or get a job.
      Looking at the end goal of graduation first puts a different view on things. Most healthy loving parents who choose to homeschool know what information is necessary to gain entrance into college. They also know what skills and information are needed to be a functional member of society who can contribute to their world instead of detract from it. If they are lacking they know how to find out what they need. Homeschool parents start with the end goals and then customize their child’s education to fit both that end and their child’s learning style. Homeschooling is hyper customized on-on-one tutoring. Some parents choose to use pre made curriculums with a similar course of study to the average public school. Others choose to build their own systems based again on those ends goals of creating health functional adults who can either get a job or go to college. It takes far less time because we intimately know our children and have far more resources available due to homeschooling becoming a lifestyle of learning not just narrow classroom hours.
      I have chosen to build our own homeschool program because I have a mix of special learning needs that do not work well with a prepackaged curriculum. The “school day” nor the planning take all that much time compared to what it sound like you need to invest. However my children’s learning goes on through the day outside of traditional school hours because we constantly discover things that we can learn about. This informal learning boosts the information my children know and assists in retaining it. Learning does not have to happen in a special building, during certain hours to be real learning. It does not need to follow grades or ages either. Most of our informal learning involves everyone. It also continues throughout the off season as well. Life doesn’t stop and neither does learning. When education and learning are released from the confines of graded classroom walls it is simplified and made much easier while retaining a high quality. Just remember that modern public school and it’s methods are new to human history. It’s success it questionable not due to teacher passion but modern factory methods. Not all old methods are out dated. Homeschooling is simply a return to time tested methods of creating educated functional adults.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • better teacher

      Well , I am a better tchr than you b/c i had the sense to leave a system that is failing our children . you are brainwashed – you are one of its apes. How dare you even question the ability of a parent to teach their own child . Is is not fashionable among we educators to say " A parent is the child's first tchr! " You plan lessons and pay attn to scope and sequence , etc . , but this is not necessary with one or two children in the class ( at home ) . bEFORE YOU QUESTION MY CREDENTIALS , I hold a a PHD and have taught SPED AND SPED . more important , though , is that I am an expert on my own child . What do you know ? as a typical elem tchr you probably dont' even know how to teach reading n an ec\ffective , systematic way . AAAAGGGHHHH The government schools are plagued with so many problems people dont even know ut I do so go away since you are emotionally invested in the system and proud and dont see the truth

      March 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • an unbiased educator

      The subject is not the cognitive acquisition brought on by an excellent lesson plan it is the committed parents know their kids and have implicit authority. Restatement of that authority for formation is key. That is why homeschooling works.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  5. Shelley

    Abraham Lincoln,

    Funny you should choose Abe as your name as he was home schooled.

    March 16, 2012 at 3:30 am |
  6. j4silg

    I home-schooled my child last year. We loved it! This year we decided to put our child back into public school. He has a wonderful teacher who does her best. However. He is quite advanced. We supplement his education with programs like Mathnasium to keep him progressing forward. For a good part of the year he was at a table with one child, who could barely read the math instructions, and another with autism. How does a teacher have time to make sure the students are understanding the material taught with ratio's of 1/25 with only, say half, that understand what she is teaching?
    My son has begged me to take him out of public school. Next year we will do just that. I have nothing but respect for teachers, especially his. Who can argue with a 1/1 ratio vs. a 1/25 ratio. It isn't for everyone, but with what's going on with the schools right now, it's more than likely a pretty good option.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Teacher

      But, remember the ratio isn't everything. The expertise of a subject and standards is also important!

      March 16, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  7. jake

    Thank you CNN for this post. So often the mainstream media portrays homeschooling in a negative light. It's good to hear from homeschooling parents who aren't just white social conservatives

    I hadn't heard the term 'negative socialization' but it's a perfect term for what many in public schools face. So often the attack on homeschooling is that kids need school for socialization. Adults want to pretend about all the bullying and negative peer pressure in school. Kids who march to their own drummer or are different in anyway are not having the times of their lives in school, meeting friends and socializing- they're in survival mode trying to just get by. That's not conducive to learning.

    This post also brings up what's happening more and more in public schools when those who are struggling or don't test well are shunted aside in lower performing schools. Where I live in California, there are 2 amazing elementary schools, 10 out of 10 in great schools, but you can't just buy a house near by and enroll you kids. There's a lottery for the preschool slots. If you luck out and get your kid in, younger siblings can attend the school as well. After grade 2, kids who do well in other elementary schools can transfer into the 'good elementary schools', kids who don't do well in the 'good' schools get transfered into the 'bad' ones. I have a friend who's son is very smart, probably could qualify as gifted in another school district, but during a rough spell where his parents were getting a divorce, his grades dropped and he could no longer go to the best elementary school. He was transferred to a school with a 4 out of 10 rating and 76% of the kids being in poverty, half his class were english learners. His parents couldn't homeschool so they're spending 12K a year for private school. That's public school in America. Kid goes through a rough time, grades drop, he's sent to the 'bad' elementary school full of kids who aren't performing at grade level. No wonder homeschooling is getting more popular.

    March 16, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  8. Annuciata Akongo

    We need to understand the life of black american student in academic settings . Denald Wing Sue of teachers college , Columbian university has the answer. "Racial Microaggresion in Everyday Life" Racism has transformed into racial microaggression. I would like every concerned citizen to read his work. I am a student myself and feel microagression in education settings impacts black students health and acadenic performance. educators have to adress racial microaggression agaisnt black students in academic settings.

    March 16, 2012 at 12:33 am |
  9. Nubia

    It's so funny how everyone has a problem with race when Blacks bring it up. If you have a problem with race, stop identifying with it. Stop identifying with "white", "asian", "Latin", etc. As long as there is a box to check, it will be relevant and will shape people's thoughts, views, actions and lives.... Everyone wants to sound so humanistic, and that's cute, but its disingenuous, most people are very aware of race and the role it plays in their daily lives, so please miss me with the bull. I am certain most of the posters adamantly against homeschool education are teachers, not wanting to mess up their government pay and summer's off. There are organizations specifically for Jews, Catholics, Muslims, etc. But the one specifically for Blacks is a problem?? LOL!! Why should she have taken the "race" factor out of it?? She created what she wanted and it works for her and the people that need and use her services.... There is always a double, triple, quadruple standard when non-blacks discuss issues concerning blacks, the reason why we need to teach our own children........

    March 16, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  10. lancem

    With the access to all the educational tools on the internet, homeschooling is a wonderful option even through high school. In the past, it was difficult for some parents to guide a students education in all the necessary high school curriculum, but now there are 1000s of video lessons, online tutorials, interactive practice, etc. It is not for all students or all parents. Some students get great benefit from being engages in academics with other students. It is certainly that needs to be a parent decision with input from the child especially as they get older.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  11. rebecca

    I was home schooled from k-12 because my parents weren't happy with the school system we were zoned for and they couldn't afford a private education. Once I reached middle school they gave me the opportunity to attend a private school, but I turned it down because i loved the freedom of homeschooling. Every year after I made the deliberate decision to stay home. One of my brothers attended a public school and the other attended a private. In the end we were each given unique learning opportunities that were tailored to our individual needs. I succeeded as a homeschooler, whereas my brothers didn't do well at home and so they continued their education outside of the home. I think it's ultimately up to the parents to decide what is best for their child and do everything in their power to make it happen. For the record, I did fine in college. I came into college as a certified E.M.T. and had almost 20 credits completed. I also wasn't some type of awkward social outcast. I had no trouble making friends. After four years I graduated from a private liberal arts college with a G.P.A. above 3.5. I graduated from graduate school with a 4.0. I now teach at a University and intend on beginning my PhD within the next five years. Home schooling can be a fabulous education, but it all depends on the needs of the child and the commitment of the parents.

    March 15, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Wendy

      Thank you, Rebecca for speaking up as a former home school student! My children know they can return to public (or private) school at any time. THEY chose not to! I think it is important for the adults to understand that many, though not all as your brother and others I have known, students love home schooling. It isn't something their uber conservative parents shove on them but rather a way of life they love. As I am typing this, I have two very happy students hard at work in the next room. It a choice and for many it is the right choice.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  12. Lisa

    I started off against homeschooling and now, I've gone and purchased curriculum for my children to start homeschool when this school year ends in June. They have friends that are homeschooled and we have a ton of coops and groups in northern NJ where these kids get SO MANY opportunities that they'd miss out on if they were in school all day. Do I want my children's values to come from strangers and other kids? Absolutely not. Their values need to come from their family. Their education is what they're supposed to get at school, but I've looked at the homeschool packages and they're way ahead of where our public schools have my kids. I don't need the bullying, the teasing, the teacher having to constantly stop her lesson to discipline a bad kid or re-teach to a kid who doesn't get it. My kids will learn and they will thrive and they will do it without spending 8 mindless hours away from home.

    March 15, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  13. vpallo

    Reblogged this on forgiven but not forgotten.

    March 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  14. Al

    "The National Black Home Educators is not an exclusive organization. But, in my opinion, black children require a certain kind of attention and understanding. " Please explain how black children are different than non-black children and why you feel they require special attention and understanding compared to other children their age.

    March 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  15. PumpNDump

    Homeschooling your children guarantees a life of mediocrity and failure. As a result I support it for other kids losers, since we need ditch diggers and burger flippers. Now, make me some coffee, homeschooler.

    March 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • guest

      I know more home schooled children who have done better than your children, son!

      March 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Stanford Family

      I homeschooled all three of my children and they have all gone on to graduate from Stanford. I can assure you, not a ditch digger among them (although I would be equally proud of them if they were).

      March 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Lisa

      Actually, homeschooled children score higher on all tests than schooled children and have higher college rates... so rethink your ignorant statement and come to grips that the "quality" education you think you're getting in school pales in comparison to what you could learn outside of school.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Shelly

      I would agree that you need to rethink your comment. My husband and I as well as our siblings were homeschooled and we have all done very well in colleges and our career choices. I am a registered nurse (finished the program in 3 years total instead of the normal 4-5 years), my husband is an accountant and our siblings careers include a doctor, a plumber, a medical technician as well as a brother studying engineering with a 4.0, amoung other things. While we are just 2 families there are many other homeschool families I know who have similar sucess stories.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Penny

      Obvious troll know.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • T13

      "Homeschooling your children guarantees a life of mediocrity and failure. As a result I support it for other kids losers, since we need ditch diggers and burger flippers. Now, make me some coffee, homeschooler." Ah yes McDonalds is full of Homeschoolers, not wait those are Liberal Arts majors, the homeschoolers I know and there are quite a few, are let me think; computer programmers (just graduated with a computer science degree), running their own small business (been traveling back and forth to China), paramedic, the other have similar careers but I don't seem to remember any of them being menial laborers.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • an unbiased educator

      yea thats right my two daughters at 16 were working at a coffee house 5:30 – 10:30 every day to help formulate work ethic both got a full ride scholarship so how would you like your coffee served?

      March 23, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  16. kim

    i live in tulsa ok, if you lived here and knew what kind of education that they were providing, you would not want your child in the system! they do not care about kids who have speacial needs. i for one home school my kid, i will not put him back in for nothing. i dont trust the teachers or staff. to much crap going on here in oklahoma! i hear it on the news all the time, more cut backs on teachers and bigger class rooms. which means pretty soon one teacher will end up with 35 or more kids to worry about. that is not fit for a speacial needs child who needs one on one!

    March 15, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Pirate65

      You can't even write with correct grammar, syntax and punctuation. How is your kid going to learn what he/she needs to know?

      March 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  17. Ready

    So her son who couldnt succeed with the "prepackaged curriculum, the one-size-fits-all model, the bullying and the negative socialization" ended up joining the Army?? That doesnt sound right, but OK. And Dr. Kings dream didnt include African-American children not being able to learn on the same level as kids from any other race. His fight was to give us the right to get the same education as everybody else. If her child learned better from homeschooling then fine, but to say all African-American children will learn better only feeds the negative stereotypes we already have to overcome.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  18. Sheneille

    I am an African American female and I am a senior in high school. I have had my fair share of problems in public schools but I would never trade that up to be homeschooled. I guess in your case, Mrs. Burges, homeschooling your oldest son was a great idea because he didn't want to go to college. However for most teens, including myself, want a higher education. I have never seen my gpa lower than 3.0 and I wish to attend an ivy league school. Unfortunately most ivy league schools do not accept homeschooled students. So that should have been something that you kept in mind when thinking about the education of African American children.
    As far as keeping your faith instilled in your children, Dr. King's faith was increased because he knew that there was no way that he would be able to make a change in the world, if he didn't live in it, and without God. I have learned that watching my peers slowly through their lives away increased my faith because I know that through Him I can do anything. And I can honestly say that if it wasn't for my mother taking me to church and teaching me the importance of taking notes during service, I probably would be the biggest hypocrite. Being the Student Body President at my school I have learned that the way students act in school all begins with their parents and at home.
    So all in all, I have to say that I disagree with you on your idea of homeschooling for African Americans because I am living proof that the public school system works.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • kim

      i agree with homeschool! its not for everyone, i will agree. but i have even had some trouble with public schools. i have a adhd child who can not do well in a public system. my child only does 30 min on each subject. i am thinking that you know nothing about oklahoma. kids are leaving the public schools here like crazy and are being home schooled. i would not ever put him back in there. like i said its not for every one. i will not put my child back into public even if it the last place of school.

      March 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
      • Pirate65

        Kim, the only reason people are leaving public schools in Oklahoma is because this is a backwards, religious fanatic state full of skirt people who want to be able to infuse the public school curriculum with their narrow-minded religious views, and they can't do that in public school. If you are a public school teacher, I feel sorry for your students, because you obviously don't believe in your abilities to teach them. If kids aren't being served well, it's probably less of the school's fault and more of the parents'.

        March 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
      • guest

        Pirate 65 is an example of a public school education

        March 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • vi

      "Unfortunately most ivy league schools do not accept homeschooled students."

      That is completely inaccurate. Most colleges, even the ivies, are very happy to accept home schooled students.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Charlotte

      Hi Shaneille,

      Where do you get the notion that most ivy league schools do not accept home schooled children?

      March 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Lisa

      Actually, Ivy Leagues do accept homeschooled kids. Sorry to disappoint you on that front. Not only that, they're accepted earlier than schooled kids. Most homeschooled kids are done with high school by 16 or 17 and start their college careers early.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Jesus Says

      Hey Sheneille,

      Please do not take this the wrong way, but as a clearly accomplished student, I think you should at least Google something before you make a statement. Not a topic I really follow, but I was aware that Ivy League does accept home schooled students and actually at a pretty good rate. This is just one of many sites/stories that you can get if you Google Ivy League Home School Acceptance or something to that effect. I glanced at a few of the links and what it seems is that they are looking more at SAT scores, essays and accomplishments. Because you did not take the time to do that before making your statement, I would suggest that you are not Ivy League material, but no doubt ready for college and certain you will do well. I have known several folks that have attended Ivy League schools and they are sickeningly diligent (unlike myself and you apparently). Good luck, though I do not think you will need it, but seriously, rethink your Ivy dreams as they really demand better. Best.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
      • nyabzskn

        hahahahaha! This is the funniest response I've seen here so far!

        March 16, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • LovingMom

      Sheneille you have an interesting prospective however when stating something as fact it is prudent to verify the fact. "Unfortunately most ivy league schools do not accept homeschooled students." Is not a fact as stated in these articles:

      March 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  19. WDinDallas

    Home schooling is a good option if parents are able; a stay at home parent with a rounded education. In today's public schools it is all to often that most of the students are smarter than the teachers. The teachers can't pass their own tests! And don't even try to get the teachers tested or insist on continuing education...jeesh the unions will explode.

    The social interaction agrument is bogus. The kid's still tnterat with their friends and usually a group of home schoolers get together every week. You eliminate most of the "outside" interferences that cause kids to be distracted and not concentrate. There are even high school football programs in Texas for home schoolers.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Pirate65

      I'm a teacher, and I seriously doubt your kid is smarter than I am. However, parents like you who tell your children they're smarter than the teacher are the reason for the failure of public schools to succeed in handling disrespect and discipline problems.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
      • guest

        Pirate 65 – I know several home schooled children who have exceeded your abilities, sorry to break the bad news, hon!

        March 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
      • Pirate65

        You don't have a clue, guest. You don't know me, but I doubt your kids can come near what I have accomplished.

        March 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
      • Lisa

        Yes, parents who are so involved with and concerned for their children's educations are the reasons our schools are failing. Get a clue, sweetie. Watch The Cartel if you want to see why our schools are failing and why parents are turning to homeschooling in record numbers.

        March 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
      • Penny

        In 5th grade I got into an argument with a teacher because she said that the Grand Canyon was caused by a "skidding meteor" and she didn't like that I disagreed with that. I was 11. I was smarter than her in a lot of ways. I understood long division for a long time, but she didn't like my method. So she failed me even though I got the correct answers with the correct work. She simply didn't like my layout, my lack of zeros-place-holders. She cared more about her "method" than the learning and understanding of math. It was pathetic and I knew it at age 11.

        March 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
      • an unbiased educator

        Would you like to publically debate a 12 th grade homeschooler subject of your choice?

        March 23, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Teacher

      The idea that most teachers in the public school systems can't pass their own tests is outrageous. I am a teacher, and in all my years of schooling and teaching I have never met a teacher that couldn't have passed a test in their subject. Also, the idea that teachers are not working towards furthering their education in some way is also outrageous. Most states require as part of the license renewal additional education credits by classes, workshops, and online training. We are never done with our education.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
      • Teacher52

        I agree. Unfortunately those who are not in the profession have absolutely no idea what it means to actually be a teacher.

        March 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
      • Pirate65

        Absolutely! I'm sick of parents blaming everything on educators, when they are the ones who need to prepare their children to enter Kindergarten. (It helps if the kids have held a pencil, have been out of their neighborhood, have been read to, and haven't been thrown in front of a TV or video games all day. It also helps if they don't come to us damaged from parents' drug use, domestic abuse, alcoholism, and general lack of interest in their children. Teaching them a little respect would also be nice.

        March 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Jesus Says

      You do not need stay-at-home parents for homeschooling. Look at the return we get from Sesame Street on PBS. What they do destroys anything coming out of the public schools on bang for buck. Actually, I am wrapping up my MBA at this time and about a third of the profs have done absolutely nothing other than to write a syllabus. It is an online program and the lazy professors merely assign reading, use the publisher generated tests which are auto-graded and auto-loaded into the grade book. It is sickening. Of the remaining 2/3, most are bums. Seriously, about 15% have earned their check, which is about what I experienced in my days in elem – H.S. This is a state university and if only the taxpayers knew, they would storm the place. Technology will rule the day. I might add that the tests from the publishers are better than what you do get from any instructor anyhow.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  20. Fields

    ummm yea I homeschooled MY BLACK CHILDREN and a month later was held up in a WHITE COURT. I beat the educational "NEGLECT" charges but its the principal of it. I guess im "smart enough" to concieve them, feed them, house them and clothe them, yet not "SMART ENOUGH" to teach them.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Pirate65

      Principle, in this case, is spelled p-r-i-n-c-i-p-l-e, not princip-a-l. This is why you need a real teacher to educate your children.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
      • Jesus Says

        Hey Pirate,

        You ought to take a gander at some of the writings generated by some of my college professors at TX A&M before you go all Nazi grammar on someone. Sure some of them are typos, but others reek of illiteracy. And, as any educator should know, students can and will at times outperform their instructors. Public schools are far too expensive for the return we get. I pay over 60K a year in property taxes, of which most go to subsidize the school district and I just do not see a respectable ROI. Just as the compensation in government services lagged the private sector for some time, today the reverse is true and a day of reckoning is coming soon.

        March 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
      • Penny

        People who are this pedantic I have found lack depth of thought so they dive towards things that they think appear to be intellectual. Don't be a pedant. You are trying to appear smart and it's pathetically transparent.

        March 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  21. FifthGeneration

    I wanted to home-school our youngest, who is ADHD, dyslexic, and who was being both bullied by the other students and abused by the teacher because our child could not be put on the 'usual' medications for ADD kids. And, the school district REQUIRED consent from the (abusive) class room teacher to remove him from the class room.

    When I told the school district I would be withdrawing him, for the purposes of home schooling, it was made plain to me that both my husband and myself would be thrown in jail if we should not send our child to school, every single day - no matter the consequences to our chlid. No matter that, at that moment, our child had no assigned class room. Nor did it matter that the only meaningful education came during the summer break.

    Eventually, we were able to force the transfer to a more appropriate class room - and, the teacher's 'retirement' - but it was not until we had moved out of that district that our child was no longer in an unsatisfactory situation.

    Oh, the new district, too, had made it plain that, if our child was not enrolled, we would be incarcerated.

    March 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • R. Keffer

      If you are in the United States, you were misinformed. Homeschooling is LEGAL in all 50 states. Googling "homeschooling laws by state" will offer you several avenues of investigation. The different states have different laws, though. Please fully investigating the homeschooling laws in your state to make sure you are in compliance. Many school districts will attempt to require more than is required by law. This is an ongoing struggle for homeschoolers. You are ONLY REQUIRED to meet the state requirements. It is ILLEGAL for schools or districts to add any other obligations.

      March 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
      • FifthGeneration

        I held that belief, even then - this was twenty years ago. Even so, the school districts were ADAMANT that our child be enrolled. PERIOD. It all came down to $$$. They wanted the $$ to have our child in a class room in which abuse was the norm, & bullying on the play ground was never 'seen'. (If not 'seen', it didn't happen.)

        March 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • HH

      You need to contact the Home School Legal Defense Association immediately. Homeschooling is legal.

      March 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
      • FifthGeneration

        Thank you. It's good to know that there are options for parents who choose to home-school.

        March 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Cynthia

      I am sorry for all that you, your family, and your child have been through. It is too bad that there is not more simple love and compassion in government and the public school system. That could change everything.

      March 16, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • Wendy

      Your school system is playing bully. Go to to learn your rights by state.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  22. sftommy

    Home schooling prepares children to spend the rest of their lives at home, and what they parents prejudices are. The breadth of a proper education produces thinkers with social skills.

    March 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • traviskurtz


      March 15, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Shelly

      Were did you get that information? I believe that is being narrow minded which could be taken as the opposite of a "thinker." A parent’s job is to raise their children, so regardless of if the child is homeschooled or not, the parent’s ideology will affect the child. However, to say that homeschooled children lack social interaction/will stay at home is totally incorrect. There are countless numbers of home school social groups and coops which allow home schoolers to interact with other kids (and might I add kids of all ages which prepares them better for the real world, as they interact well with people of all ages). Additionally many times through coops students are given the opportunity to learn from specialists.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  23. Lola

    I love this. Public school is not for everyone. We need to be free to choose.

    March 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  24. Always Learning

    Good for the author! It's time people turn away from the stereotypes associated with homeschooling and realize that it is the ultimate investment in your child. Granted, not everyone can do it, but the people who can should not be ridiculed.

    March 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • It all depends...

      While I don't like the idea of ridiculing people, I do have to say there is plenty of room for disagreement on the merits and drawbacks of homeschooling. As you point out not everyone can do it, and not everyone should be doing it. Like anything else there are qualfied and unqualified people, successes and failures.

      March 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
      • traviskurtz

        Yet it is clear home school students outperform public school students

        March 15, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  25. Vegabern

    So your kid was failing and you didn't know until you were called into a meeting? I thought you were tooting your own horn for being involved. Why weren't you checking his grades through-out?

    March 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • JMN

      Thank you Joyce Burges for providing such a good service to African American families!

      It's sad that so many are ready to pounce on homeschoolers or the education system as a whole. I think the author explained it well, she knew her son was struggling but not to the point where they wouldn't let him stay in school. That has nothing to do with being a good homeschool teacher (which came later BTW). I used to not like the idea of homeschooling but now I see it has value. Why not teach your chiild if you feel he/she could benefit from customized learning and you can afford it? Kudos to those who can do it and do it well!
      Throwing money at education is not the answer. Do you realize how much less money schools got 30 years ago and yet so many still provided good education? It's also a society issue. Schools that are really struggling are in areas where there are a lot of social problems. Shools and teachers can't solve all a kid's problems if the rest of his environment is chaos.

      March 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • amused123

      Dropping from 3.0 to 2.8 is NOT failing. Furthermore, being giving that ultimatum is wholly **NOT** in the best interest of the child. Horrible out touch teachers and administrators and the school boards **ARE** are the primary reasons for the ills of the education system. "New Math", FCAT – need I say more. Dolt.

      March 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
      • amused123

        Furthermore not understanding"
        " I was comforted because we were active in our children’s school. I was PTO president and chairman of the advisory board. "
        apparently you didn't read or cannot understand how this addresses you myopic comment.

        March 15, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • sally

      thank you for pointing this out

      March 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  26. Jennifer Rohda

    I read a lot of Abraham Lincoln's comments. I agree that parents need to care about their children's educations. I was homeschooled. It worked out for me because my parents cared about my education. The number one thing students need whether their in public, private, charter, or homeschool is for parents to care. The parents that care find a better public school, put their kids in the exclusive private school, switch to a charter school or make the time and energy to teach them themselves.
    It is true some parents that homeschool their children "insulate" them, but at least they cared in the first place. The reason a good chunk of students perform poorly in public schools is because the parents don't care. We as a society can't make those parents care.
    If more parents cared in the first place there would be a lot less of a "need" for private schools, charter, and homeschooling. Parents get their children out of public school because too many of their peers act out. They act out because they want their parent(s) attention. Those teachers in public schools can try to get the parents involved but if the parents don't care then there is only so much the teacher can do.
    Right now in Charlotte NC I can safely say 50% of the public schools are great. Sadly the other 50% are rotten. They are rotten because the parents don't care. It is hard for parents to get their children to care about education when they are surrounded by peers with parents that don't.
    For parents in the rotten areas some can get their children in a better public school by moving. Sometimes though people can't afford to move and they can't afford private school. Then you ask yourself do you have to free time to homeschool.
    I understand where the lady in this article is coming from. Minorities (specifically blacks) have low graduations rates at schools where minorities are a high percentage at the school. Parents want their kids to succeed.

    March 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Penny

      Yes! I absolutely agree that parental involvement is the most important factor in any education choice.

      March 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  27. hsoi

    Reblogged this on Stuff From Hsoi and commented:
    (let's try this reblog thing...)
    We've homeschooled our kids their entire lives. When she talks about:

    "I didn’t realize the pressure we were under until we were set free of the educational “mess” of which they were part: The prepackaged curriculum, the one-size-fits-all model, the bullying and the negative socialization. Homeschooling allowed us to discover and experience pure, superior learning and a customized learning environment."

    I know what she means. And she's right when she says "we, as parents, must exert a powerful influence in determining the quality of life we want for our children." It shouldn't be left up to the whims of some budget crisis, or politics, or really, what some else wants to indoctrinate into our children's heads. We don't shelter our children - we know they have to enter the real world someday and we want to ensure they are best prepared for it, not just to survive, but to excel. It requires a lot of sacrifice of our time, our money, our quality of life in some ways... but in so many others, it leads to a far greater increase in quality that it's well worth it.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  28. jksu2

    Minorities are held hostage to the Teacher's Union, which has turned into nothing but a Super-Pac for the Democratic Party. Kudos to this woman for homeschooling. It works!

    March 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Penny

      Ew. You are the type of right wing mess that gives homeschooling a scary name. I'm a liberal, vegetarian atheist. Homeschooling is good if it works for that particular family. Conspiracy theories shouldn't be a part of that kind of decision.

      March 15, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
      • Todd in DC

        If it weren't for conspiracy theories, half of all teabaggers wouldn't have a thought in their brains.

        March 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
      • amused123

        being a liberal, vegetarian atheist has clouded your judgment.

        March 15, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  29. acme

    NCLB is one size fits all. Our children no longer get differentiate teaching under this law. The schools say they do but it's a lie. That is why they have tests. And they schools end up cheating for the money. Education starts at home and continues. We need strong PTAs to tell the schools what to do. We need PTA to tell Congress and State legislation what to do because right now it is all about the money.

    See what happened when her kid was failing, he was going to another school? She was forced to teach him at home? How many people can afford that luxury? Where are my tax money going if I homeschool my own children? The money is going into the pockets of the school administrators. How do we fight it? Join the PTA and be a voice in the school.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      I agree; if every parent participates fully in the life of the schools, the schools will have to respond. The trouble is that the active parents carry all the others on their backs.
      But what does one do if the parents are not able to homeschool, either because they must work during day hours, or they are not able for other reasons? There are lots of families that need schools, and it is the failure of the schools which points to the flaws in our society the most.
      If this family was going to a private school at first, it was because other schools were not very good in their area. Home school is an option, but it must be approached realistically and cautiously.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  30. Kevin M Malone

    Okay...what she is telling us is that her school wanted to kick out a student with a 2.8 GPA? So this has to be a private school correct? Does anyone know of a public school that has implemented such a policy?

    March 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Stephen

      It's gotta be a private school. A public school would never kick a kid out for a 2.8 GPA considering that's essentially a B/B- average. Most public schools would LOVE to have a 2.8 be their problem child, even the nice expensive suburban schools.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
      • Dalton

        Not to butt in, but 2.8 is a C- average.

        March 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
      • Joe

        Not to be a pain, but on a four point scale a 2.8 is a B-. In such a system, A=4 grade points, B=3 grade points, c=2 grade points, D=1 grade point and F=0 grade points. So, presuming that, 5 Bs and one C will get you a 2.83 GPA.

        March 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
      • Stephen

        No, it's between a B and B-. Think about it:

        4.0 is A
        3.0 is B
        2.0 is C
        1.0 is D
        0 is F.

        2.8 is nearly a 3. 3 is a B. In many schools that weight a + or -, the bonus/deduction is 0.3 Therefore a 2.7 is a B- (3 for the B and -0.3 for the -). Therefore a 2.8 is between a B and a B-.

        You must have gone to public school! j/k 😀

        March 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • amused123

        it's an issue of rounding or truncating. Depending on the school and 2.8 they may round up to a 3.

        March 15, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • kman821

      "His 3.0 GPA dropped to 2.8 during the first six weeks of school. To me, this was a workable issue because we were still in the first semester."

      "At this latest meeting, we were informed that our son was “failing.”

      Forget the math and work on your reading comprehension.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  31. Messymarsy

    I think part of the problem her is that there are numerous types of homeschooling families with divergent opinions and skills. I have friends who home school their children because of religious beliefs, special needs or extreme intelligence. However, even if it is right for the individual family, it may not be right for society. As pointed out homeschooling is often a choice that can be made in relative affluence, that means that children of divorced parents or those struggling can not benefit. If a sizable percentage of the society pulls their children then support for the public school system will be undermined. Some members of the community want this to happen as they have political beliefs that socialized education is bad per se. Even if it is not their goal, it still has an effect on how a public system is viewed. There are good public systems and bad ones, but the difference is often because of what a community demands. We need to demand that we have a system that allows our children to flourish.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      I agree that schools should be helped by society, but also don't sacrifice children who really can't deal with school. Politics, both right-wing and left-wing has hurt our educational system, and it is high time that all parents step up and fix the schools. Don't vote for people who cut education funding, for starters!

      March 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
      • Big Bob

        If children don't have the cognitive ability, that is, if they are of marginal intellect and have no interest in learning, you can throw billions at schools with no impact at all. It happens and it's happening. Lot's o' money down the drain. We could've landed on Mars by now with all that money.

        March 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  32. Stu

    It's funny that the only people who complain about the "one size fits all" education system are those who can't handle it.

    BTW, it doesn't say whether the kid actually went to college. You don't need a great homeschooled education to join the Marines.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • CMB

      You're right you don't need a great homeschool education to join the Marines; but the way in which you state your comment is somewhat offensive to those who do make the choice to join. What you MUST have to join the military is courage, honor, and the willingness to make sacrifices. I am the proud wife of a Marine and my husband is incredibly intelligent and selfless in a way that most of our society lacks. I could say that for most of the military members that I have encountered.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Dalton

      So the point is to "handle" the education system? It's not an obstacle course – the point is to serve the kids being taught. This obviously doesn't mean pandering to them and not enforcing discipline – quite the opposite – but what matters most are the results, which in this woman's case were quite poor. I would conjecture that most people aren't ideally suited to traditional classroom settings – if they were, they'd be getting A's.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
      • Pirate65

        He means that the only people who view the education system as being fatally flawed are the ones who can't seem to thrive like normal, well-adjusted students do. Either they blame ADHD, dyslexia, or some other problem for their inability to do well in school, or they want to infuse public school with religion.

        March 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • MIJohn

      82nd Airborne is US Army. Way to show your "intelligence" by not being able to check which branch of the service one of the best-known US Army Divisions is a part of. For the record, you don't need a "great education" to get into college or university either. Just memorize enough useless information and formula's to pass the SAT or ACT in the upper 10%. If anything getting into one of the most selective non-USSOCOM units, says a heck of a lot for the person. The US Army Airborne doesn't just want physically fit troops (they can train them for that) – they want troops who can adapt to a situation and succeed in it.

      Though I would be sorely tempted to demand to see that credentials for the schools staff. For a GPA to drop by 0.2 points in the first six weeks is normal – there aren't a whole lot of assignments to base that on so if there is one lower than normal grade on an assignment then it drags the whole thing down. It's what it's called a "Grade Point Average" – average means the SUM of the total divided by the NUMBER of data points. If you only have a few data points then the any outliers have a disproportionate effect on the whole; in statistical analysis that is called "an insufficient sample size" and you throw out the results.

      Personally I smell the typical foul play that goes on in private schools. Anyone else notice that the school didn't point to WHAT caused the GPA to drop? I know when was a teaching assistant in college that was a HUGE no-no – if anyone asked a student (or parents) in to talk abut grades if you couldn't point out to exactly what dropped the grades, well tenure or not you wouldn't have a job for long. That sort of "well the GPA dropped so he needs to go" to me screams more that something was very wrong, but it wasn't a students grades.

      March 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  33. Guest

    After reading several posts from parents who homeschool, I am seriously concerned about the poor grammar and punctuation they are using. Is that what you are teaching your children?

    March 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Penny

      Yeah, you should see all the grammar and punctuation mistakes from public schooled kids. Who is teaching these kids? Now, before you object, THINK about what you are about to type and apply that to homeschooling parents. Thanks!

      March 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
      • Pirate65

        That depends on the public school child, not the teacher. My kid does just fine in public school, and has excellent grammar and spelling. Why can't YOURS do the same? Maybe it's what you're not teaching at home, because perhaps you don't have the appropriate education to be a teacher.

        March 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
      • Kat

        Penny, I for one was educated in the Public School system in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO. I happen to be able to express quite well with proper grammer.. To say that public schools can not teach proper grammer is false. What an education needs to be successful is INVOLVED PARENTS!!!! Teachers are there to present and guide the education process. Parents need to take what the child learns in school and work on the materials with the child at home. My step-daughter is a teacher who LOVES her job and has stayed late and even gone to her students homes to help those who are having trouble and her additional help is requested by the parents.
        For the record my "public school education" has lead me to a successful career as a nurse, working on my masters degree in nursing education and a successful career in the Air National Guard serving my state and country as a military nurse. Please pull you head out of those clouds and acknowledge that public schools are not the only schools producing poor excuses for educated children.

        March 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
      • Penny

        Oh! So you don't like it when people generalize about YOU...Ok got it.

        March 16, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Bildad

      Hmmm, maybe they went to public school.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Bildad

      Also, if the hidden implication is that maybe homeschooling can't provide a quality education, think again. Comparative studies show that home-schooled students beat public-schooled students hands down.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
      • Stephen

        My thought on that is that kids who are homeschooled have smart, active, involved parents by definition otherwise they wouldn't be capable of pulling it off or interested enough to try. I don't think homeschooling is better by default, but it can certainly be better in the right situation.

        March 15, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Stephen

      I wouldn't worry too much about it. Comment boards are the internet equivalent of real-time communication, and who among us hasn't misspoken during a conversation? The nature of the medium leads to simple errors, and I wouldn't hold it to the same standard as academic or professional communication, although I do think people who take pains to be accurate come across as more credible.

      March 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
      • Bildad

        Good point, well articulated. Thank you Stephen.

        March 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  34. Susan

    I'm glad this had a good outcome for you, and it's entirely possible it was best for your child, that without doing this he would not have turned out as well as he has. However, I believe it is wrong to just isolate, run away, take your marbles and go home, etc. – instead of trying to fix your school, or move and try another school. There are so many experiences in public schools that will prepare you for life – and I speak as someone who is in a wonderful district, the schools being beacons in our community as places for kids to go to school by day, and every activity or sport imaginable by night. If you don't live in a town with a school like that, either change it or move. But keeping your kids at home away from the world, while you are their ONLY perspective on it (think about how many different – good and yes, bad, teachers and perspectives your kid will get through the years – we learn from bad, too)... just seems like a bad idea and a helicopter parent in the worst way, one who is not interested in her community but only her own family.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • CMB

      So you suggest that if a child is not getting the education that will benefit them the most that a parent should keep pushing for reform AND keep their child in school? What about the choice to remove your child as well as push for better education. Anyone who is a parent HOPES that their child will receive adequate education but the fact is many children in the U.S. do not receive that, and that is sad. If I make the choice to homeschool my child, it will not be detrimental to my child nor would I be considered a 'helicopter parent'. It is imperative that parents who homeschool ensure that their children receive socialization and that is entirely possible. If a parent has the capability to teach their child, there is no reason they should not do so.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  35. Shannon

    Every single adult who posted a comment should be aware of the fact that it depends on where you live as to the type of education your child will receive from the "public school system". Also, be aware that it is not possible in all counties to "choose a different school" if yours is not great. We recently relocated ( a 1000 miles from where I spent my entire life) and was shocked to find out how different the education is here. My son started bringing home school work he completed in kindergarten and the principal was not willing to work with me in any way. This was not OK with me. Rather than arguing about who is right and who is wrong, can't we simply agree that we are all responsible for our own children? I don't think anyone who is taking the time to argue about "the best education" has the desire to do any disservice to their children. I know for my family, homeschooling has been a blessing. I can also promise you it is not for everyone!! If you think your public school system can provide a better education for your children than you, you are probably right. If you think home schooling is better for your family, you are most likely right, also. As for the issue of social behavior and which children are "better", I say just take a look back over the comments posted today. The parents that are insulting and putting down their peers "choices"...well, I'll go out on a limb and say that those are the parents of the "bad seeds", whether taught at home or in the public school system. Think about it.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  36. James

    Good Job. If you have the time and desire Homeschooling allows you to give your kid/kids one on one attention, teach real world skills, and get away from the boring dreaded copies/dittos. I can teach my kids skills I didn't learn until Grad School. I just want to add that generalizing about home schoolers is like generalizing about people who drink coffee or play baseball, not really possible. People homeschool for many reasons and do it in many different ways.

    March 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  37. Josie Behnke

    I remember a similar meeting happening with my parents and me. I had one teacher that I truely clashed with in 8th grade, she had my councelor and principle of that school convinced I was a worthless student that would not make it past highschool. Thankfully I had two parents back me up, I made it through 8th grade...and we moved. I moved into a completely different state and school system. One that I thrived in actually (funny the first was in a small town and the second was in a city suburb). Not only did I graduate out of high school. I am in college and going for a a philsophy/theology degree. Sometimes it is a teacher that just can't teach a student in a way they learn. In my case I asked to many questions, and many teachers didn't care for me. I had those that encouraged that in me and I learned loads more from them and respected them more for it. Now I have teachers that want you to think, question, etc.

    My aunt and uncle have all homeschooled their kids, and one and only one have gone onto an actual college. They don't encourage college (considering both went to college themselves...kind of ironic). These kids were and are ahead of kids their own age; but as the one that left home put it, his first year was adjusting to the socializing part of school. I see the advantage of teaching at a level and style your kids can thrive in; I don't see a whole lot of socializing except for siblings and family. It's a mixed package. That and at least with my aunt and uncle, it was and still is very religioius orianted, so they didn't learn about certain things unless they studied it on their own (evolution anyone?) and have a very biased view of people of other faiths or cultures.

    March 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  38. megin

    It's a choice, in which there should be many options. Home school, public school, charter schools, private schools, religious schools, magnet, and now public/home school online classroom, college/high school. Isn't America great when you think of the freedom we have to educate. I think it is great that parents have so many choices may we continue to always have educational freedom.

    March 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  39. alex

    National Black Home Educators....

    Could I make a National White Home Educators... or would that be considered racist? Double standards confuse me...

    March 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • 23 from texas

      The group (as stated in the article) is a non exclusive group, which has a focus towards a specific group of people. If a group is called Catholic, that does not mean only Catholics can join and is not derogatory in any way. I think we live in an age that white and black can be stated, without the fear of being looked down on by anyone. After all, all that the color of your skin is what you look like, not who you are. I think this is a great group, with a great focus. More groups like this one should spring up and meet the needs of all sorts of homeschooling families all around the nation.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
      • Jim

        Come on – you didn't anwer his question? He didn't say he was excluding anyone either. He just asked how the name for his theoretical organization would be received / perceived. I thought it was a fair question.

        March 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • ramsmom

      You are so right! It is ridiculous to have a 'black' or 'white' educational group.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
      • stridermlr

        I disagree. I am not African-American, but it is certainly true that African-American (or simply, "black" ) is a minority group in our country. It is often true that minority groups have a different culture, and must learn to cope with being a minority. There is nothing wrong with establishing a group that focuses on the needs, culture, and concerns that are peculiar to the minority to which you belong. If it doesn't resonate with others in your minority group, they won't join. If it does, then the group meets a felt need. Caucasians are in the majority in our nation. They don't need a special group to focus on their needs, because they are in fact in the majority. There may be some subset of Caucasians that *does* have a common minority issue, in which case a group for them would possibly make sense. The group described in this article does not prohibit Caucasians from joining. It simply, by its name, alerts Caucasians to the fact that the focus of the group may not be germaine to their interests. You could establish a White Homeschoolers group without being racist – but the distinction "white" is not particularly useful in distinguishing the group from the majority.

        March 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • IA Home educator

      There are already plenty of white homeschool support group. We are so racist that we don't even consider that there is any reason to describe usourselves that way.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  40. Lynn

    I am a ex-homeschooling parent who homeschooled my two children 7 years before enrolling them into public school this past fall. My Son who was starting 8th grade wanted to try public school, where my 5th grader was a little hesitant. We went in with the understanding that this was a trial year to see what we think. They both LOVE school. They enjoy all the activities our particular public schools offer. They enjoy different approaches to teaching from different teachers other than just Mom. I ask them sometime if they would like to be homeschooled again. Their answer is always "No!" We had a great time homeschooling. It gave our family a terrific bond and close relationship. I have no regrets. I do have friends that still homeschool and they almost look at me now in pity. It's very strange. I definitely feel some homeschool parents are so against public school, that they shun those that choose public education. This is just my personal experience and everyone must do what feels right for their family. I just think more homeschool families should be willing to look into other options and not be afraid, if their child is making an interest in pursuing other options. Above all, do what works for your family!

    March 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • James

      Your last point is the best take home message here. If your child is learning and has good confidence and self esteem in school then that is where they belong. If the school fails your child then maybe you should try other options. Find what works best for them so that they can reach their best potential.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Lisa

      I don't mean to be rude, but it sounds like you didn't join any coops or homeschool groups for your kids to do anything more than be at home. If that was how I was homeschooling, my kids would prefer school too. Kids need some outlets.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
      • Lynn

        Actually, we were in several co-ops through the years. We even had a local center for homeschooling families that we could take classes with others. We were very involved in classes, volunteering etc. My child was just ready for more and I respected his decision. Every year we always evaluated if we wanted to continue. It was always a family decision. I think homeschooling is great for those who do it well. For others that want to try something different, there are lots of choices out there. My point is to keep all options open and not to close your mind to other options.

        March 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  41. homeschoolhero

    We homeschool our two children. They are in 2nd and 3rd grade. They are in school 8 hours most days. They've already completed a year of Latin, and should learn at least two modern languages in the next several years. The 2nd Grader reads at a 5th grade level and the 3rd grader an 8th grade level.....and oh, by the way they fit in great socially..They excel on their baseball and soccer teams and are constantly given compliments which should be credited to my wife for how they don't act like "normal" homeschool kids.

    By the way, two of my siblings are high school teachers. One in an elite school in Louisville, and the other in a rural school in Indiana.

    The Point...A homeschool education can be very beneficial if the facilitator is disciplined and purposeful. A public education has its own set of advantages. Parents must be invested in their child's education and choose to work hard regardless of what arena they are in.

    How did we become such a narrow focused society that it has to be one or the other?

    March 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • CMB

      Well said!

      March 15, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • ren

      I concur! I'm homeschooling my 5YO child right now, and considering putting him in school next year. Parents should be flexible and able to evaluate every year what would work best for them educationally, emotionally, socially etc.

      March 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Kate

      A few generations ago, it was not at all uncommon for children to be taught at home, with tutors, language instructors, governesses and music teachers brought in to broaden the children's educational experience. In the English educational system it is not unusual for the students to "read" their particular subject in a college at Oxford or Cambridge. That kind of instruction is student centered and individualized, with lectures interspersed with self-directed writing under the supervision of Professors. Many brilliant authors, scientists and musicians have contributed to the world's edification through this system.
      We should learn from history and have the ability to do what works. I have not homeschooled my children but I respect the parents and children who do.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  42. Zoltan

    None of you get homeschooling. These parents are bending the minds of their children to resist all the good that our culture has to offer. Something MUST be done to stop this otherwise the horde of home schooled adults will be obstructing everything. There are a few states that regulate home schooling but there needs to be way more regulation on what is being taught to ensure the kids will grow up to be total MUSH HEADS.

    March 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • James

      Thank you Zoltan. Did you learn to wildly generalize in public school? Even though I understand where you going with this I would not go so far to say that all homeschoolers are out to brain wash and control their children. Some do it because the schools bore their children and can't teach anyone who doesn't fit the mold.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Dalton

      I am going to hope that you are, in the parlance of internet message boards, "trollin'."

      March 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  43. Franklin

    First off, I have no argument against home schools, Most home schooled kids are respectful, intelligent, with capable social skills. Most parents only want the best for their kids with no ulterior motives. That said, I do have a problem with the parents who home school and conveniently paint a picture of a "mess" at the public schools, claiming overburdened teachers and overcrowded class rooms. They want you to think of some inner city school with gangs roaming the hallways and graffiti and drugs, right out of an Edward James Olmos movie. Fact is, the schools do a fine job for 95% of the kids they serve. To the author of this article, your sons grades dropped not because the schools were failing him, but YOU were. Were you helping him iwth his homework? Sitting with him as he struggled through math, English, etc? I'm glad home schooling worked out, but let's put the faults squarely where they should be: on both parties equally.

    March 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • TimZ

      "Fact is, the schools do a fine job for 95%"
      Where does this "fact" come from? Or did you just make it up?
      My local high school has a 30% drop out rate and 1/5 seniors who do "graduate" perform below 9th grade level on the state test.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Teila

      You must really be bad at basic math if you think schools are doing just fine for 95% of the student body when less than 60% nation wide are proficient in math (I'm not even talking about high level math or science!) and 95% of kids can't enter college without taking the level of Algebra that they should've already learned in high school. Face it, the public school system has long been in trouble and IS an absolute mess with so much time going towards "teaching" kids what no one cares about in the real world when it comes time to pass a standardized exam, get into a Masters program, or even to have the foundation to start ANY major of a student's choosing upon stepping foot on the college campus without having to stair-step their way to university physics, chemistry or calculus.

      You might snow most people on this thread, but you can't run that sad game past me because I know better.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • Sheesh

        Lots of public school kids test out of calc, chemistry, and physics thanks to skilled teachers and wonderful AP programs. Many of these same students go on to graduate school and do very well. In addition, and I know this is going to completely rock your world, lots of kids (public and homeschooled) show up at college without great math skills and still manage to thrive. If you are going to make such bold statements please give some concrete data to back them up. Otherwise, you are as full of it as you claim the person is whose post you replied to.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
      • Mark

        Sheesh, when you say "lots of kids are graduating high school after completing AP courses etc" I have to ask, what exactly do you consider "lots"??? I went to a A++ rated high school of 2400 kids. In my graduating class of 600, I was one of 30 kids in AP calc, and there were about 15 of us in AP Physics and AP Chemistry.

        So I'm not sure exactly what "lots" means to you, but to me, it means more than the top few percent of each class. Most homeschool parents don't think that if you go to public school you're destined to a terrible life of failure. We just recognize that we have the ability to negate a bunch of the deficiencies that public school leaves many of it's kids.

        March 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • guarg

      Teila has it right Franklin. I am a public school teacher, yet in Jr. high I was home-schooled(we were transferring to a better school and mom wanted to make sure we could handle the difficulty level of the new school). As such I have advised a lot of parents who choose to home school. There is nothing wrong with homeschooling provided the parents do three things

      1.Plan ahead and follow through on all activities
      2. work with an established curriculum with set standards
      3. provide socialization activities for their children.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      If schools are doing such a fine job for the "95%", why are so many college freshmen required to take remedial Math and English classes before they can take college level classes? Having to take these classes is one of the reasons so many kids drop out of college after less than a year. Unfortunately, as they were not well served by their schools, they are in many cases unprepared to even fill out a simple job application. Many of these kids also do poorly on the Military Placement tests, locking them out of advanced training jobs, too. And those who can get in to the military find themselves in the same remedial classes they couldn't handle in college.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  44. JusDav

    I believe home schooled children are much better behaved, better read, will eventually make for better citizens.
    But when I got to this statement in a seemingly intelligent article, I had to quit reading.
    "black children require a certain kind of attention and understanding"
    umm, racist at all? stupid black woman..err...sry, STUPID WOMAN

    March 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • David Freeman (my family bought their freedom in 1842)

      JusDav you're an idiot, when Israelites, (wrongly called blacks by our wicked European oppressors) seek self-determination after 310 yrs of slavery, 100 yrs of lynching, segragation and now police murders you always have something to stupid to say. You need a nice ghetto beatdown....

      Read Revelations 13: 9-10, its says the slavemasters will be enslaved by the slaves...get ready to get in that cotton field white devils will get justice from YAH, the Most High....lmao

      March 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • CMB

        Wow. You sound pathetic. Both you and the person who originally posted make yourselves sound like ignorant fools. Seriously.

        March 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  45. Matt

    Andrew Carnegie dropped out of school to work at age 13, but he always read and studied. How much curiosity is being snuffed in our cookie cutter schools? Kids spend more time critiquing each others appearance and antagonizing one other than they do learning. As long as the child is curious and industrious, he'll acquire the information he needs as long as he's provided the resources. Besides, schools are germy, they're full of kids you wouldn't want influencing your child and and the pace is slow.

    March 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Influenza

      Germy? It's called building up you immune system, which will allow the kids to be healthier in the long run.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • James

        There is a point where you have to weigh "educating" your immune system with creating the next black plague or super virus. I have nothing against public school but you have to admit that it is pretty "germy".

        March 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • Penny

        No...that "immune building" crap is just that, crap. There is no science behind that. Schools are germ frappes. Homeschooled kids aren't in bubbles. (Literally or figuratively.) The difference is the closed classrooms were one sick kid can infect an entire class because they touch everything and those things are touched by everyone else. Soon as school starts you see flu and colds coming about. I see it every year.

        March 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  46. BMark

    Hello Readers!
    Bravo to all parental figures (single or otherwise) who care enough to give our children a good education.
    This statement applies to both Public/Private school families and to homeschoolers; as I know many in each camp.
    But more to my point: interesting recent development...
    Tennessee has just this year (2012) enabled the average parent to enroll their student(s) into what we have found to be an exciting and very engaging program that is TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE TO ALL TENNESSEE RESIDENTS – regardless of location, income or socio-economic backgrounds! (the program covers all K -> 12 grades)
    This FREE PROGRAM is supplied by the state (ONLINE via the internet) and comes fully staffed with nationally CERTIFIED TEACHERS and a caring support staff to help even those not very familiar with computers to get up to speed...
    They even have regularly scheduled field-trips for those wishing to attend!
    While I do not ever "plug: for a particular vendors' product; I think that this "K-12" Internet-based Program is excellent in both its breadth of scope and quality of material covered (Note: almost 25+ ou our United States offer this same program as to their residents!)
    All one needs do is contact their county/state's Board of Education to obtain the necessary information and to see if this program is available in their state, and to see if it will work for them in their particular suituation.
    Our children ARE our future!!
    Thanks for reading!!

    March 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  47. futureShock

    National Black Home Educators…Why not "National Home Educators"?, or "American Home Educators"? Why insert "Black" into it, thereby alienating whole races? What would the headline be if it were "National White Home Educators"? I can pretty much assure you that it would turn into a racial issue instead of a home school issue.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • 23 from texas

      The group (as stated in the article) is a non exclusive group, which has a focus towards a specific group of people. If a group is called Catholic, that does not mean only Catholics can join and is not derogatory in any way. I think we live in an age that white and black can be stated, without the fear of being looked down on by anyone. After all, all that the color of your skin is what you look like, not who you are. I think this is a great group, with a great focus. More groups like this one should spring up and meet the needs of all sorts of homeschooling families all around the nation.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  48. Luke

    It's interesting how so many people commenting here are either PRO homeschooling or ANTI homeschooling. Having homeschooled through most of my grade school years I can safely say that it is a massive misplacement of theory to compare it with public school. They have different benefits and disadvantages which can only be assessed on an individual family's basis. The biggest single benefit for homeschooling vs. the generic public school experience is that students get to choose and prioritize their educational path themselves (so long as they get adequate support). The biggest single misconception is that children need qualified "teachers"—or parents trained as teachers.

    The reality is that children don't need teachers. A "teacher" is simply a person who can behave as educational facilitator and enabler. Children can always teach themselves using a clear curriculum, and access to resources fueled by the motivation of learning and succeeding (which is surprisingly powerful once the reins of that motivation are transferred to student and away from the "teacher"). This is not to say that teachers aren't valuable. They're the most valuable people in the world, but we ascribe too much responsibility to them. If you are able to give your children access to resources and if the only thing you are capable of teaching them is "how to learn," they will be successful—style of education aside. In the rush to teach different topics it's surprising how often this critical development is missed.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Lynn

      By far the most thoughtful and mature comment posted here. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

      March 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • LDarling

      This was beautifully expressed and I agree with what you have to say. As a homeschooling mother I do my best to be respectful of whatever education choice a parent has made. However, I will say that the fact that we homeschool does seem to challenge those who chose public/private school in and of itself. With regard to children not needing a 'teacher', I couldn't agree more. Just this year, our child is 12, I found myself feeling guilty because I wasn't spending enough time 'teaching' our daughter. Then it hit me, she is learning so much on her own and she is thriving!

      This is obviously a touchy subject for so many. And, echoing what others have said, we do ourselves a disservice as parents when we don't embrace choices for one another. I do believe that the majority of parents are doing the best that they can.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Wendy

      Thank you, Luke! This is beautifully expressed. I have home schooled my children for a number of years now and I always say: "I am most proud of what I didn't teach my children." What I mean by this is that they know things that I don't know, they know things I didn't teach them. Why? Because early on, even while I spent hours teaching them things, I more importantly taught them how to learn things for themselves. How to use the library, an encyclopedia, the internet and other resources.
      Whether a child is in public school, private school or is home schooled, a love of learning and the tools and to learn and to navigate information are the most important thing they can learn because then they never stop learning.
      Yes, I am still teaching my children, I am still pouring into them but even better, they are teaching me, sharing things with me what they have learned for themselves. If I never teach them another thing, they won't stop learning. Every parent, regardless of what option you choose, can and should teach their children this. Education, regardless of what method you choose, starts at home!!

      March 19, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  49. jj

    A respect for diversity is best found in a real school, not the home. Homeschooling thrusts the parents' values on the child and the child does not learn to deal with real life. Now maybe the parents prefer this but in the long run it does the child no good.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • w247

      JJ – do you actually know any home schooled kids??? I know quite a few and they are very well adjusted and intelligent kids, that are also excelling in their chosen intra-mural activites.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Buck

      Public schools largely indoctrinate students into one way of thinking, while pretending to respect diversity of thought. It's a myth. There's no such thing as an ideological vacuum. I'd rather know what my kids are being taught. Ultimately, that's my responsibilitiy as a parent.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Society does this too. It's the "real world". Sad but true.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Penny

      My daughter's local school would be filled with blond, upper middle class, Mormon kids. Real diverse.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • James

      So parents can't teach respect for diverse cultures and races at home? Homeschooling does not necessarily happen exclusively in the "home" either. We put our Caucasian children in a Martial Arts school where they were in the minority. They were young and the question of race was never was a factor. I guess it doesn't hurt that their cousins are half black. I believe that seeing your parents respect people of other races is more important than going to a diverse school. I attended school in LA and it was diverse but there were still racist kids. So just being around diversity isn't always enough.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • ApPARENTly

      As a parent, I don't consider educating my children with my worldview a liability, I consider it my responsibility. In fact, I educate them constantly when they come home from public school. We discuss what they learned about a subject that day, and what they didn't learn, too. I "uneducated them" about certain things, reeducate them, and further things they have learned. Teachers are no smarter than the rest of us, and they only have so many materials and time. Good luck explaining anything of value regarding philosophy, how to truly write, make a wise and calculated decision,, identify plants and animals by genus and species, understand theology, or design in 45 minutes with a textbook... That's the job of a parent, and we often have to overrule society and others to show our kids the best way.

      March 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Amy

      Heres the thing JJ, my husband and I are raising our kids. I do not want "someone elses values" being taught to them. It is not the public school systems job to teach my child values. That is a parents job. The school, whatever form of it you choose to use,
      is to educate a child. To give them knowlage, not values. Homeschooling, for some families can be a wonderful, amazing choice. For others, not so much. To knock it though on the basis that they need to be taught the values of the public education system is ridiculous.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  50. Sir Ken Robinson

    Changing Education Paradigms

    March 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • RMM

      Really great post. To bad that schools would not even consider this.

      March 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  51. Abraham Lincoln

    This is my final point. I have said it. Some parents are not qualified to teach their children same as some schools are not. But can you teach your kids 3 foreign languages? A school can. I will say this, before I would put my children in a home-school environment, I would try to get a taste of it by becoming more proactive in their current schooling scenario. Even if that means changing schools. Get involved with homework and do research and talk to the teachers. Push your children to give it there all and get a taste of what your responsibility would be if you homeschool. Then, I would try this for a while to see if this alone helps. Because maybe it does. Be a parent. Work with the school. If you are using the school as a resource, then its pretty much homeschooling anyway. Now, if your argument is the environment of public schools, then I would tell you to move schools. To a better one. One you researched. But I hear a lot of you stating that the school is the reason for behavior issues and other problems outside of education. That's not true. You are blaming the school for your inactivity and un-involvement as a parent. When those boys took those guns to Columbine H.S. all because they were bullied, whose fault was that? The bully? The boys? The school? Where were the parents at when their sons were building pipe bombs in the garage and they were stockading arms under their beds? Think about it. If you don't like what is happening to your children, fix it. And if homeschooling is right for you, Do it! But if you havent tried getting involved first, then what makes you think you will be successful when its ALL on you?

    March 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Buck

      I agree with you wholeheartedly about the need to be involved with your kids, knowing who they're with and what they're doing. That's called parenting. But saying that homeschooled kids do not have the options of learning foreign languages and other subjects that the parent isn't proficient in is simply not true. There are tons, TONS, of resources available to homeschoolers for all these things. And they work.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Better than a trained professional of my choosing who is not only trained in the curriculum as a subject matter expert, but also trained in how to teach the curriculum successfully? And don't say, "just as good". If its only just as good then why change? If it's not as good, well, you know.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
      • Penny

        Exactly. My daughter is already learning Spanish and she's 8. That is an option that doesn't happen here until she would be 13. My daughter is learning piano. That is something you can't even do in most schools. My daughter is learning swimming. Not something the schools here do as none of them have pools. Her and I go on field trips to places classrooms never go to. And we aren't there with 25 other kids who are distracting each other from learning. We go to hospitals and talk to real Doctors in their own place of work. We work at a pet shelter once a week. We take food to the food bank. The BEST parts of my daughter's education cannot happen inside a school building. I feel luck I get to do this.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Then again, online schools make for a happy medium to our argument. Just a thought.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Penny, that sounds like a sub-par school. The school in Katy, Texas my son attended taught foreign languages and swimming starting in the fourth grade.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
      • Penny

        Well, that is fabulous for you, but I live in a state with some of the lowest funding per student spending. We also have low test scores, crowded schools and no diversity. If I lived in an area with a lovely school like yours, maybe that would be different.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        There are always private schools or moving. A financial stretch, i know, but can you put a price on your child's education?

        March 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
      • Penny

        BTW, below someone mentioned Rosetta Stone and that is true, it is superior to any Spanish class and Spanish teachers will agree. And my daughter learns through talking to her Uncle who is from Peru. Now THAT is a Spanish teacher right there. Someone she can have enjoyable conversations with.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
      • J.

        @Penny: "Her and I go on field trips to places classrooms never go to. And we aren't there with 25 other kids who are distracting each other from learning. We go to hospitals and talk to real Doctors in their own place of work. We work at a pet shelter once a week. We take food to the food bank. The BEST parts of my daughter's education cannot happen inside a school building. I feel luck I get to do this."

        I hope "her and you" have outside help with grammar, capitalization, sentence construction and logic.

        March 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • w247

      Abraham Lincoln –

      I actually think that you do not have ANY kids. It is so easy to be judgemental about something that you obviously have no understanding of. Why are you even commenting here?

      March 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Think what you want W... but you know what they say about assuming, right? It makes an....

        March 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • w247

        yes Abe – so stop assuming you know anything about homeschooling to be able to disparage it as much as you do.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • Penny

        But Abraham, you made many assumptions about me. Doesn't feel good does it?

        March 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        My argument isn't based on an ineffective home school. It's based on the inability of the general public to be educated enough to teach. I'm not bashing home school, I'm bashing the general public who will believe they can perform a task they cannot. And who will suffer, but the kids?

        March 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        And sorry, Penny if i assumed anything about you. I do not know you.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
      • Penny

        Well, I agree, the idea of unleashing kids learning to people who aren't professionals is scary! But the proof is there. Homeschool kids to test higher. Learning isn't as difficult as people think it is. Teaching isn't as difficult as people think it is. My husband and I just happen to be people who LOVE learning, we are enamored with it. Our home is a home of constant education. We read constantly. We research everything. We discuss what we learn. We see every person as a potential teacher. Every activity, from grocery shopping to vacations are a chance to learn something, to incorporate it with other lessons taught. This might not be true for every home, but it is for ours.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • A&E5

      I homeschool my children and it has worked out really well for us. The oldest (12) now attends public school. She has made many good friends and she is the "go to" person when they need someone to talk to. She was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society yesterday. I had a parent tell me that she didn't think homeschool kids will get anywhere in the world because she isn't experiencing the "real world." In their 12 years in this world (or 6 and 9 for my other two), my children have seen and experienced much more than I ever have in my 43 years of life. They are happy, polite, and compassionate toward other people. I attended public school and taught in a public school, but homeschooling had always been what I wanted to do even though friends and neighbors discouraged us from doing it. When my boys are ready, they too, will attend public school (probably in the 7th grade). I think your view of homeschoolers are somewhat skewed.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  52. Voltairine

    Among a myriad of other perks to homeschooling, depending on the family of course, you could really cut-down on the vicious child-on-child abuse and assaults from bullies.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  53. mab18

    I went to a public school, and I intend to enroll my daughter in a public school when she reaches that age. BUT I grew up in a great town, with a great public school. I live in a great town, with a great public school system now. I can see both sides of the coin here. Put me in a different town or situation and I might choose to home school. I think that you will ALWAYS get kids who excel (or fail) in both situations. I do think it would be doing society a disservice in general if one or the other were to be "outlawed" (for lack of a better word).

    March 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  54. wwwFBCAKEcom

    Good article and glad you found a solution that has worked for your family.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  55. David

    I thank my parents every day for not homeschooling me. I went to a large city public school and loved it. I wasn't bullied and wasn't pressured to smoke, drink, or do drugs. My teachers were great and I guess they did a good job because I got into Oxford University, England, and later got a full scholarship to graduate school. I always wonder when I hear parents complain about public schools if they had a bad childhood. These parents complaining about public schools definitely aren't talking about my teachers. My teachers were awesome. I loved our pep rallies, band concerts, cheering with my friends at our Friday night football or basketball games, dances, and field trips. It would have crushed me if I couldn't have gone to the school where my neighborhood friends didn't go. Thank you teachers and thank you Mom & Dad for not homeschooling me.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • David

      Guess I better go back to school. (smile) I meant it would have crushed me if I could not go to the same school as my neighborhood friends.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Ally

      That was my viewpoint too, David. I know parents can enroll kids in city sports and other hobby classes to get similar group experiences. But I loved school. The joy of competing in conference sports, the travel, just being included in a group of friends who have the same experiences as I did.

      I don't know if someone who was homeschooled would even miss that sense of belonging that they wouldn't be able to get any other way? City sports and arts/crafts classes just aren't the same as being with your peer group all day every day.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
      • Penny

        My daughter will be part of a swim team in a few years. Through the local rec center. She is also part of a music group that as she gets older will compete together. Not sure why you assume these things ONLY happen in school. Even so, that is AN experience. It's not the end-all-be-all of experience. There are homeschool kids would have activities that they wouldn't trade either...and they would in turn feel sorry for those who missed THOSE experiences. It's just AN experience. One of many possible experiences.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  56. Saboth

    So after all that homeschooling, the best he could do was the military? No college education?

    March 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • rrn

      Wow! You imply that the military is stupid, which makes you not very smart.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • w247

      That you for just putting down all the wonderful soldiers who are out there risking their lives.

      My friend home schooled their son – he is now attending West Point and most likely more educated then you are.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Buck

      A college education is a great option for some, even for many. But it isn't the only good option.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Dave

      Military is a great career! I am getting ready to retire from the Navy and have loved every minute of it. It took me all over the world from South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. I've been snorkling and diving in some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. I saw the pyramids, traveled the Holy Lands, and went on Safaris in Tanzania. And I definitely can't complain about San Diego, Virginia Beach, and Hawaii. Every job in the civilian sector is available within the military. And none in the civilian sector can match the military benefits with TRICARE for Life, Thrift Savings Plan, and a pension that pays 50 – 100 percent of your salary depending on how long you servce. Then there is the commissaries, exchanges, fitness centers, and space available flights for retirees and their families all over the world. And now the post 9/11 GI bill provides 100 percent tuition for 3 years (or four if you don't go to school in the summer months) with $1,000 a year for books/fees, and tax free housing allowance. So I wouldn't put down folks for deciding to join.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
      • Stephen

        I'm curious as to when you joined the military, because people who joined in the last decade have had a very different military experience than those who got to enjoy the "peace dividend" years. The deal as you describe it sounds fantastic, but my friends who have joined the military in the last 5-10 years have had experiences ranging from being badly injured in a Middle Eastern hellhole to writing home asking for metal that they could MacGyver into an anti-RPG plating for their Humvee, things I wouldn't wish on anyone. It kind of seems like you are glossing over some pretty grisly details, but I understand that it's possible you joined in the 80's or early 90's and as a result didn't have to do your grunt years in I&A. Not a knock, just curious for the context.

        March 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Joe

      Homeschooling is for parents who are cowards to create children who are cowards & sure there are homeschooling events & gatherings the kids can go to...but we all know it usually will end with some strange awkwardly behaved socially inept child with a 3rd grade education. Most people in the military (yes including west point) have a very close-minded way of viewing the world & typically less educated. Sorry, I appreciate what people in the military do when they're protecting our country & not mindlessly fighting countries for oil politics....but they usually aren't the brightest people.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
      • Penny

        Wow...that is a old old old stereotype there. My daughter is 8 and she already has an above 3rd grade education. All of her public school friends want to be around HER. She has kids knocking the door down after school to play with her. She's the mediator of her group...if there is a disagreement she is the peaceful one, the one her friends see as helpful and friendly. I know there are SOME homeschooled like this...but there are public schooled ones too. I have a friend whose child is in school and she is in the classroom constantly, hovering over her. She isn't allowed to go to people's houses. She doesn't look people in the eye when she talks. Where did PUBLIC school fail her? Or is it simply poor parenting?

        March 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
      • Lolo

        After reading your rambling, badly written post, I can't see how you are qualified to judge the intelligence, education, or state of mind of anyone. Perhaps you should go back to school and learn how to organize your thoughts in a way that actually makes sense.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
      • w247

        Joe, Joe, Joe

        Wow, time for you to actually do some research and get some education.
        How many of our presidents had military careers prior to being elected? Are you going to call them stupid?

        March 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
      • jjr

        So you complain about people being closed minded, yet it appears that you are when you fail to see another parents point of view on education and that maybe there are other methods to achieve educational and social success. We started our daughter in a public school and it turns out she was being bullied (as a first grader), we will be moving her to a private school next year.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        I serve in the Military(Army) and it's true. Most of the guys outside of military intelligence and the officers are generally uneducated and a tad slow. However, Honorable men!

        March 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
      • BudBundy

        Wow, generalize much?

        I went to a public school and loved it. We enrolled our daughter in the local public school and she was head and shoulders above 95% of her class. The school just didn't have the resources to teach high achieving learners. We couldn't afford tuition to private school, so we decided to home school. She is taking piano lessons, involved in many community groups and has set up a visit to the local animal shelter with her youth group. To say that all home schooled children will stop social development to a 3rd grade level is not based in reality.

        Also, I have a very good friend that joined the army instead of going to college. He is now a major and is a dissertation away from his Ph. D. To demean members of the military by saying they are usually not smart reveals your own ignorance.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
      • squiggy

        We homeschooled our kids for 3 years. My son started back at public school as a freshman, is now a junior in high school, and is at the top of his class. He is also a leader in many different areas at school. You have no clue what you're talking about.

        March 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Lolo

      Wow, that is one of the most ignorant comments I have read in a long time. People from all walks of life serve in the military, and I would think very carefully before I said something so disrespectful about a person willing to die for his country.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • specialist

      I don't think Saboth is trying to insult military personnel (I am one myself), but stating that you only need the most basic acedemic requirements (high school diploma or equivilent) to join. Also upon getting out or retiring many of the skills learned don't transfer well to civilian life. So unless you have availed yourself of the excellent opportunities for higher education within or directly after the military you have the same problems getting a job or useful work skills as highschool or in this case homeschool grads.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • CMB

      My husband's in the military and has a master's degree in engineering...and he's enlisted. He's probably much more educated than you could ever hope to be.

      March 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  57. Bob T. Builder

    You mean homeschool marching to the beat of a different dumber.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • c

      'Statistics demonstrate that homeschoolers tend to score above the national average on both their SAT and ACT scores.
      For example, the 2219 students reporting their homeschool status on the SAT in 1999 scored an average of 1083 (verbal 548, math 535), 67 points above the national average of 1016. In 2004 the 7858 homeschool students taking the ACT scored an average of 22.6, compared to the national average of 20.9'

      March 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  58. Desert Rat

    It is fair to acknowledge that black students are often the victims of diminshed expectations and that peer presurre is often against academic excellence (acting white). For black homeschoolers to organize to help each other address those things is appropriate. I saw nothing in the original article that indicated racist intent or meaning.

    Homeschooling as other have posted here can be a blessing or a curse. Socialization is a key element of growing up in a society. I have seen both sides and beleive that quality results, often much better than public schools, are readily achieveable.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Nubia

      Exactly! I feel that many posters are out of touch with the issues that Black parents face. As long as there is a such thing as "white" and "black", there will be societal issues surrounding race, and that includes what is the best way to educate these "black" and "white" children. Kudos for Black parents finally stepping up and taking control of their children's education. I plan to homeschool my son in the fall, an 8th grader. There is so much research available regarding racial issues within the public education sector, so if anyone really wanted to understand why a Black family would chose to homeschool, there are many sources to chose from. Also, I find that having white teachers, who are not from the district, teaching Black children, to be a huge problem. The racial make up of the faculty should match the student body, so if there is a school predominately white, the faculty should be composed of mainly white teachers, male and female. There are too many incidents where the faculty is predominately white and the students are predominately black, that is not good for their development. Black boys especially are often criminalized for minor infractions, if their is an infraction at all!! Whatever Blacks as a whole decide to do, just be involved in every aspect of your child's educational experience, and tailor it as you see fit. After all, you know what its like to be "Black" in this society, you know what your child needs to learn, things they may feel........

      And, its possible he went to the military because he could not afford to go to college, not all "Black" people qualify for financial aid and welfare, contrary to popular belief.....smdh...

      March 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  59. c

    I homeschooled one of my daughters due to an illness. She is in public school now and her grades are going downhill fast. I dont understand it, she tested 2 and 3 grades above her age yet now she is failing. It makes me sad, however, I thought I was being practical because the older she got the harder I thought it would be for me to teach her. I didnt feel smart enough to lead her. But her teachers, well three of them, just dont give a hoot about the kids. I feel helpless. The administration wont help with tutoring because she doesnt 'fall' in the below level catagory. She would have to drop down classes, she is in honors classes, for them to just tutor her a little bit. I know homeschool moms, God bless them oh my goodness they are devoted. Their kids are well above average and the most respectful kind and polite children we know

    March 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Momof3

      Perhaps your child is failing because they can't deal with the issue that there is one teacher for 20+ kids at public school and they had you all to themselves? Time for your child to learn that in the real world, no one is there to tutor you one-on-one in school or at your job.

      I work at a large state university and I cringe every time I see a home-schooled kid come into my lecture hall of 200+ students. The failure rate by those students is very, very high.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
      • jjr "cringe" every time you see a home schooled young adult.....does that mean you are prejudging a person's ability? For someone that is as educated and worldly as you, you should know better!

        March 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm |

    I educated my kids at home! And I fondled them too!

    March 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • c

      you my friend are the product of public schools , idiot

      March 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  61. Buck

    quoting Abraham:

    "Abraham Lincoln

    NO BUCK.. You are making the assumption that we are only going to homeschool YOUR KIDS(whom you obviously aren't bias about). We are talking not about the prime conditions to be a home schooling family, but those other conditions. Families whose parents get too busy, or kids who don't learn as well and are the ones you say your child has to "wait on to finish". Or what about the kids with special needs...? Or what about the mom who's not that bright? Is she gonna learn with the kid? what advantage is that to the kid? Or what can you offer to your child when she or he says he wants to learn German... and then changes his mind to french? Can you do that? A school can! Your ideal of homeschooling id based on these pre-conceived notions of this bright child who is being failed by an inattentive school system. Well i got news for you, Buck, Not all kids are your kids and not all parents are you. Do you really trust all of America to raise and teach their own children? Would you bet the future on it over a flawed, but at least checked system that works for a slighted majority? Think about that."

    I never said homeschooling is for everybody. But you seem to think it shouldn't be for ANYBODY! Listen, I know all about public schools. I went to public school, was trained as a teacher in a public university, taught in public school and for the last 23 years I've been teaching an adult education class in GED prep for all the kids the public school failed. I don't care if you don't like homeschooling. If you don't like it, don't do it. But please quit trashing the whole concept, because there are thousands of homeschooled students who have a great education. And believe it or not, there is an answer to almost every argument you made against it. But I don't have the time or the space right here and right now. But you're an educated person. Look it up.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      Same goes for public schools.... we'd have to agree to disagree.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • AZ grandmother

      Well said, Buck. I am in my third year of homeschooling some of my grandchildren. It started with one of our grandsons requesting that we homeschool him when he was in the 6th grade. After two years he chose to return to public school for 8th grade for the socialization. We live 20 miles from his home, and he wanted to have more time after school with his friends. We used an online program connected to the public school system in case he wanted to return so the transition would be easy. He is in the National Jr. Honor Society.

      His younger brother has mild Asperger's and Sensory Integration Disorder, but cannot qualify for special education. He's very smart, but in kindergarten was already falling through the cracks of the system. He benefits from homeschooling and is on or above track in everything. We also homeschool his cousin. At 8 she still wasn't reading, but within 9 months has learned to read and is now reading at grade level. We have begun to homeschool her three year old sister on a limited basis. Because we were concerned about socialization for the older two, we have her in scouts and him in Karate. Since we live in an active adult community, socialization was an issue. In a normal neighborhood, it shouldn't be because there are other children to play with after school The socialization problem, as a whole, is a big myth. In our case, we acknowledge that it is a problem we needed to address.

      My husband is a retired high school math teacher. He handles their math and science. I take care of everything else. We do not use a canned curriculum, but make sure we cover grade level material in case their parents decide to put them into a public or charter school later. I have no fear that they aren't being well educated, and we are able to give them opportunities they wouldn't get in public school. I am aware there are some things (not all of them good) that public school has to offer that they might not be exposed to at home.

      We are not homeschooling them for religious reasons. We don't teach creationism. Any religious studies are taught from an historic viewpoint, and all religions are covered. They have access to scientific equipment such as microscopes, electronic kits, computers, math manipulatives, an entire library of books for various age groups, art supplies, music and musical instruments...pretty much anything they would have in school except, perhaps, an interactive white board. We go on more field trips than the public schools can afford, and we have the flexibility to take a day off if we need to and continue to educate part time in the summer. I see no severe disadvantages that these children have. We don't educate 8 hours a day as one homeschool parent does, but we don't need to. When they master the lesson, we move on. If they need more time, they have it.

      The greatest misconseption of education is that one size fits all with children. It doesn't. Public education has many flaws, but it isn't necessarily bad either. Some children do very well in it. Some don't. Some do very well with homeschooling. Others don't. Ultimately, you must do what is best for the children in your own life without any guilt or explanation needed.

      And to the person that made the vulgar comment about Santorum, I may not like Santorum, but to suggest that children who are homeschooled are usually molested is the height of ignorance and stupidity.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  62. Freddo

    The school administrators had the audacity to tell you your son was unfit for THEIR school? HELLO – IT'S NOT THEIR SCHOOL!

    Fire those people. They work for the community, not the other way around.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  63. Mark Russell

    Homeschooling is no panecea. I have worked withg many homeschooled students over the years, and while some of them are very well educated, many of them reach their teenage years knowing virtually nothing.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Buck

      As do a lot of public schooled kids. I know. I get them all in the adult ed GED prep class.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • c

      That's bull, I dont believe you for a minute

      March 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • BudBundy

      I agree that home schooling is not a panacea. I know a family that "home schooled" but in reality neglected their children. We home school and try to provide experiences at the local museums, aquarium, science center to expose our children to a range of subjects. I am not against public school, home school just works better for my family.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • FormerHomeschooler

      As a former homeschool student, I have to agree with you. There are certainly many homeschooling families whose children excell academically. However, speaking as a voice who has seen the inside.....there are a vast number of children whose parents deprive them of an appropriate academic education in the name of homeschooling. As adults, they can barely do third grade work. Many are functionally illiterate. These are the ones you won't see represented by the test scores, because their parents generally don't abide by the reporting laws. There are hundreds of these families in the Northeast. I speak from personal experience. The states do not pay attention to delinquent homeschoolers or investigate when those who do report show their children as being far below grade level. I speak from personal experience. There definitely needs to be far more rigorous oversight, because many children are being deprived of the education they deserve in the name of homeschooling.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  64. theamazingwhitebread

    For all the uninformed people making comments about homeschooling hindering socialization, there have been several studies which show that homeschooled children are, on average, BETTER-socialized than those who attend public schools.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  65. Paula

    Penny-how dare you assume all public school children are misbehaved. My children are public schooled and very polite, intelligent, and well-behaved in public. Your arrogance is hurting you and your daughter.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Abraham Lincoln


      March 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Penny

      I can only go by what I see. Sorry. I am sure there are well behaved public school kids. I've yet to meet them.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
      • drny

        Perhaps you've yet to meet them because you and your children are not as saocial as those of us who were educated in public schools....

        March 15, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
      • Penny

        (I figured it out, it doesn't like the word ent itled because it has the word t it in it. weird)

        I admit that it is possible that my views on this are possibly swayed because I life in an upper middle class neighborhood that teaches ent itlement as it's number one value.

        March 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
      • Penny

        Btw Drny, your assumption that I'm not as "social" as other people is an ignorant and old stereotype that anti-homeschooling people are always wrong about. My family is very socially outgoing. My daughter doesn't sit at the table learning all day. That is just for the basics which doesn't require SOCIAL time to learn. She has piano, swim, volunteer work, dozens of friends who beg for her to play everyday. We go to parks, rec centers and museums. We are MORE social than the kids in schools who simply interact with ONLY the same people everyday for 9 months straight.

        March 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • c

      While there are very polite public school children. What I find most interesting, I have four kids, is the line between child and adult no longer exists. I get very frustrated when my high school daughters friends very comfortably call me by my first name. I dont mind a 'miss' in front of it but when that is missing then I have a problem

      March 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Penny

      Why can I not reply to this thread of conversation? I don't get it!

      March 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
      • Penny

        Is it the word Ent itled? Is it the term mid dle class? I cannot for the life of me figure out why I cannot say this ONE thing I want to say.

        March 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  66. schmitthead13

    home school is an awesome idea, they can learn without critisizm from teachers, they also have a curiculum that they have to follow, and with all the horrible things i hear that teachers are doing to there student, well sorry, I may not be qualified but I will not let my baby be bullied or molested, so if you all want to go to a public school fine enjoy havin your child taped to a chair. and molested by teachers, I wont and refuse to put mine thru that.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      Then be a parent.. research the school and the teacher. Dont just turn your child over blind.. duh!

      March 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
      • w247

        AL- Do you have children? Most kids that go to public school are restricted to what schools they can go to depending on the districts they live in.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Penny

      I agree with Abraham here. Almost any form of education can be successful if you have parental involvement. Fearing strange. That is rare in schools. And assuming bullying happens just in school is just silly. That happens outside of school too. On the playground, in play groups. Anywhere there is an abundance of children there will be bullying and pestering. Kids are just like that. Especially kids whose parents think it's not their job to teach social skills. And that happens with homeschoolers and not.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  67. Christina

    If you go to their website, you'll see great examples of the type of home school teachers they are. Their bio is ripe with poorly structured sentances and misspellings. I'm not saying this is an arguement for or against home schooling your child, but maybe before your article is submitted to CNN, you should have someone proof read your own written work!

    March 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Check yourself

      Maybe you should have checked your own work before putting down others.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Mom2000

      "sentances"?? Who are you to judge other's mispelling? FYI: English is my 2rd language and I am not homeschooling my daughter, so no bias there.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
      • Mom2000

        Oops, soory, it should have been "others' mispellings"

        March 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  68. Qualified?

    I would be very uncomfortable homeschooling, Mostly because I would not feel qualified. There is a reason teachers get a lot of training in both educational methods and specific subject topics. I spend a lot of time with my child and teach him lots of things and offer him lots of experiences IN ADDITION to what he learns at school. But, despite having an advanced degree, I would never consider that I am qualified enough to offer him a comprehensive education. I would always be biased towards the topics I like and know well and only superficially cover other topics. Maybe excelling in some direction is good enough, but I would rather let him have the opportunity to discover new things and have his own experience exploring and deciding what is interesting to him.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • spm422

      I agree. My degree is not in education, I am not sure I would be best to take over. I love to work with my kids on their school work and give them 'life' opportunities to learn. As their parent I am of course an educator in their lives but I prefer to pair that with a great teacher who will also keep them on task. I have nothing against homeschooling, it is just not for my family. I feel fortunate that my kids are able to attend a great school. I might might be more pro-homeschooling if their school or teachers were failing.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Johnny

      I could barely get myself through math, there's no way I could teach it to someone else.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • BudBundy

      I hear you about not feeling qualified. At the same time, there are many resources to help in areas where our knowledge is not as strong. Khan Academy a great free website that can help with math for example.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  69. AnotherAtheist

    Maybe the Home School Mamas should try a few simple things before subjecting them to home schooling: helping kids with their homework; involving them in family activities; knowing who their friends are. School is where kids learn what OTHER people are, how to fit in, how to deal with bullys and all manner of unfairness. Creating an insulated environment for your kid isn't preparing them for the day they realise that no one else really gives a sh!t about them or their feelings.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      RIGHT! try being a parent before you go blaming the school for your short comings!

      March 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • c

      Home school is not equal to isolation. Many homeschool groups meet a few times per week. Share specific knowlege, my girlfriend helps kids with their language arts, another parent helps kids with math etc,. You watch too much tv, homeschooling is not a cult out in the boonies

      March 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • squiggy

      Kids should not have to learn how to handle a bully by being subjected to one at school.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  70. Decima

    I think homeschooling is a big mistake, mostly because it removes children from an environment where they're taught how to socialize with others. True, this doesn't always go well for all children, but isolating them in their home and keeping them from learning how to handle themselves in a social environment does nothing to prepare them for life in the "real world" after school is done.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Gil

      Our three child family changed from public school to homeschooling when our youngest was in third grade. The children became more "socialized" in homeschooling because they were involved in many community activities and related to multiple age groups. What type of socialization does a 7th grader get in public school – other 7th graders and peer pressure? What results appear because of school socialization? Our results – our oldest interned with the US Embassy in Denmark and currently works with a legal foundation's international department communicating and collaborating with US and foreign embassies around the world. Our son graduates from the College of William and Mary ready to begin his own business in health, and our youngest ( in college) daughter has been asked to serve on a panel for a national communication association to discuss community involvement and community communications.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • Q

        Congratulations on raising three successful children. For the record, schools don't consists of only one grade. A 7th grader can interact with children from many grade levels, as well as adults. My school provided the opportunity to be part of a variety of community and service organizations. The results of our public school education? My eldest brother is a programmer whose work helped his graduate school adviser to win a MacArthur grant. He currently works as a consultant for several international businesses. My middle brother holds several graduate degrees and works with troubled youth (who haven't had even the basic advantages most of us do) so they can improve their lives and hopefully the lives of their families. I am currently finishing grad school and am looking forward to a variety of opportunities when I finish. Homeschooling is fine, but other paths can produce wonderful results as well.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Buck

      That environment you're talking about is part of the problem. It's an artifical environment at best, not even close to the real world. At what other time in life are you part of a culture where 95% of your interaction is with people in your own age group? The public school model fosters a youth culture that is separate and apart from the real world. We as a society are doing a poor job of preparing our children for responsible adulthood. There are exceptions to this because there are public school parents out there who have not totally abandoned the raising of their children to the state. Newsflash: The state doesn't really care about your kids!

      March 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Chris

      Just a quick question. How "real life" is being put in a class room with 25 of kids within a few months of your age "real life"?
      Real life is handling situations with people of all different ages. My children have 0 problems dealing with their peers or with adults. I let them make returns at retail stores as I stand back and monitor. Homeschooling is a much more "real life" education than public school.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Gil

      To Q: I was public schooled also. Homeschooling is an individual family choice. It works for some and not others – just as public schools work for some and not for others. I have known homeschooling parents with only high school educations that were perfect teachers. They actually attended higher education classes a few years before they taught advanced subjects. Along with that I have known PDs that could not homeschool their children. And I know that 7th graders mix with other grade children (I taught Jr High). My point is that people make blanket statements (like socialization) without thinking. Families should have a choice of education whether homeschooling, public, private, charter, or magnet. Not all public schools offer the same quality of education as you and I might have seen. Homeschoolers have many resources today and the opportunity of Community Colleges for Sr High/College type classes.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  71. Q

    I have no problem with homeschooling, but there are potential hazards which have to be considered. I had a handful of friends in college who were homeschooled, and while they were all intelligent and interesting people, I was surprised at how far behind they were in certain areas, specifically math, science, and foreign languages. Kids should at least have the option of being able to learn calculus, physics, a foreign language of their choice (my high school offered French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin), and a variety of other subjects at both basic and advanced levels. I realize that some public schools are absolutely terrible, but the people I knew were taken out of the public education system because their parents were extremely religiously conservative. One of the great things about being in school is having the opportunity to interact with teachers who are specialists in individual fields. I would caution anyone who decides to homeschool to make sure they are not shortchanging their kids education and if they do not know enough about certain subjects to teach them, please find someone who is.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • homeschooling

      My kids started home schooling while in high school. They take college classes (4 credit classes) at Havard Extension School where they learn from Harvard professors. It is way way better than any public or even private school can offer. My oldest son was enrolled intotheir undegraduate program at the age of 16. No peer pressure, no drugs, no bullying, Harvard-class education- how can you get better than that?

      March 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
      • Jim

        Be careful, I went to Yale and wouldn't want any of the professors I had around teenagers!

        March 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  72. IA home educator

    Thank you for this essay, your perspective, and the link to your website.

    I am a white homeschooling parent who is a member of a small racially diverse church. Whenever the subject of education comes up, inevitably black parents complain about what a raw deal their kids are getting at the local public schools. But when i speak up about home education, they silence me with comments about how hard won the right to equal education was. It is hard to stand by knowing that there are options that just will not be considered.

    I have bookmarked the site, and I hope I can send someone there soon!

    March 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  73. Val

    How do you fail out of public school? And you still had hopes of college for this kids?

    March 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • c

      how do you not fail out of public school when there are 30 kids, for 32 minutes, integrated with special needs children who demand interruptions and removed assts in the classroom. A kid, with or without special needs has no chance. I have a child with special needs, the school is very inconvenienced by her, its sad

      March 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  74. Rebecca H

    I've been wondering when more people would wake up to the fact the public schools are ruining children's chances for a decent future. The fact is the academic skills acquired in schools are VERY basic and not hard to teach at home, while at home you can also protect your children from the negative social influences of schools. Any 2 parent home can homeschool, no matter how low your income is. It can be a sacrifice financially of course but it is so worth it! Obviously it's more difficult as a single parent but I have done it and know many others who have too. Child support plus side jobs from home as well as being very frugal have made it possible. By the way, for those who think it's too much work, I consider myself a very slacking homeschool mom, usually 2 hours 4 days a week for a 7-year-old, who is finishing her 3rd grade work now and reads and writes at a 4th to 5th grade level.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Val

      What does your kid do the rest of the time? Play video games? That seems super productive

      March 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • Buck

        I love how you jump to a conclusion, then pat yourself on the back for it. Homeschoolers don't have to wait for the rest of the class. They can finish in a couple of hours what it takes all day to do at public school. I wouldn't assume they spend the rest of the time playing video games. Homeschoolers are freed up to pursue hobbies and other areas of interest. Parents who homeschool generally are serious about their kids' education. It is a big commitment and quite a sacrifice to do this. It isn't something you take lightly. I do portfolio reviews for homeschooled high schoolers from all over the USA. I am amazed by the creativity and excellence I see on a regular basis. Also, we have homeschooled all 5 of our children. I'm proud of their accomplishments and what well-rounded socially adept people they have become. It's a shame that people are so quick to make assumptions without educating themselves.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        NO BUCK.. You are making the assumption that we are only going to homeschool YOUR KIDS(whom you obviously aren't bias about). We are talking not about the prime conditions to be a home schooling family, but those other conditions. Families whose parents get too busy, or kids who don't learn as well and are the ones you say your child has to "wait on to finish". Or what about the kids with special needs...? Or what about the mom who's not that bright? Is she gonna learn with the kid? what advantage is that to the kid? Or what can you offer to your child when she or he says he wants to learn German... and then changes his mind to french? Can you do that? A school can! Your ideal of homeschooling id based on these pre-conceived notions of this bright child who is being failed by an inattentive school system. Well i got news for you, Buck, Not all kids are your kids and not all parents are you. Do you really trust all of America to raise and teach their own children? Would you bet the future on it over a flawed, but at least checked system that works for a slighted majority? Think about that.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Ally

      I know the things that made me who I am were not just learning facts from books. It was interacting with 100 kids/adults a day who were all bringing something new and different into my life. It was being on sports teams and leading by serving in student clubs and learning to play instruments and to sing.

      Can a parent do all that by themselves? Yes. But I can't imagine how much effort that would take. You'd have to be running around from dawn til dusk.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • Buck

        We successfully homeschooled 5 kids who, so far, have turned out to be well-adjusted, successful, socially adept and accomplished. We did not run from dawn to dusk. We have given them a rich, full life, full of fun, learning, and every other good thing we could afford. I have no regrets.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
      • craptastic

        it's very easy to involve your kids in extracurricular activities outside of school. just because they don't have school doesn't mean they can't join local town sports teams, church, charity, classes for hobbies, and other things to expose them to other people. my kids are too young to worry about this decision quite yet, but if my local public school was terrible i'd consider it.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
      • Ally

        And good for both of you! My point was that it can be done, but you must be vigilant. And the original post I read was spending 2 hours a day...which to me may have been leaving out all the interactions that are critical to development.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
      • Penny

        But I don't do it "all by myself" either. My daughter learns all over the place. She has piano lessons and swim class and Girl Scouts. She has play dates and parties and sleep overs. She has dozens of friends of ALL ages from 2 year olds to grown people. She interacts with dozens of people a day of varying backgrounds, ages and genders. If she spent 7 hours in public school HERE she'd be with 25 blond Mormon kids her exact same age the entire time. How is that superior than going to events and public places with different kinds of people with different ideas and beliefs and talents?

        March 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Q

      My father was a public school teacher for 40 years, and I take serious offense to your statement that public schools are ruining children's chances for a decent future. I went to public school, my family went to public school, and one day when I have children they will go to public school. Kids graduate from public schools every day, go on to college and grad school, and become happy productive citizens. There are some bad public schools, but there are also many wonderful public schools filled with dedicated and talented teachers. If you want to keep your child at home you have my full support, but please do not make ugly attacks on others. You stated the academic skills acquired in school are very basic and not hard to teach at home. As your child gets older are you going to be able to teach advanced math, chemistry, physics, language, music, etc? If you can then I salute you. One final thought. Negative social influences, as you call them, are present everywhere in the world. What is going to happen when they leave you and haven't developed appropriate mechanisms for dealing with these sorts of problems? Kids need to learn this stuff eventually.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  75. Keel Hauler

    I'm not opposed to home schooling, but many of the parents that I see practicing it are active members of the lunatic fringe. They seem to be heavily religious or isolationists that want to protect their kids from things that most of us don't worry about. One woman I know, who homeschools two girls, won't let her kids be vaccinated or hold a cell phone up to their heads because of the radiation.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • proudmomof2

      I understand what you are saying, however we are not all like that. I began homeschooling my youngest when he reached grade 3. A new principle came to our school, and she decided that it was "inappropriate and unrealistic" (her words) for the school to be expected to continue following his IEP that they made (he was tested and found to be highly gifted in grade 1). She determined that it would be more appropriate to send him to a new school 3 miles away. We are not religious by any stretch of the imagination, however he does learn about all different types of religion and religious beliefs as part of his education, my children are all up to date with they're shots and my eldest would be lost without his cellphone. We struggled a bit at first as you would with any new "job", but we are now taking advantage of an online school and it couldn't be better. My eldest is still in the public school system and it works great for him. My youngest however.. homeschooling was the best thing we could have done. We had discussed it when he was 2, but decided we weren't able to do it because we weren't trained to be teachers.. we were parents. I now regret not doing it from day 1!

      March 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
      • PumpNDump

        You're delusional.

        March 15, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Penny

      There is that, but it's less and less. Homeschooling is becoming more mainstream. I'm not a fanatic at all. Well, in MY neighborhood I might be considered one. I'm an atheist and I'm a vegetarian. But as far as my general beliefs on life and humanity I'm pretty ordinary. No fringe here. I just enjoy homeschooling. I enjoy the time spent with my daughter. She is thriving. She socially outgoing. She has loads of friends. It just works for US. So that is WHY we do it.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • A&E5

      Some public school parents are like that too. Have you seen or read the news lately about parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids? Not all parents are that ignorant.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • FormerHomeschooler

      As a former homeschool student, I have to agree with you. There are certainly many homeschooling families whose children excell academically. However, speaking as a voice who has seen the inside.....there are a vast number of children whose parents deprive them of an appropriate academic education in the name of homeschooling. As adults, they can barely do third grade work. Many are functionally illiterate. These are the ones you won't see represented by the test scores, because their parents generally don't abide by the reporting laws. There are hundreds of these families in the Northeast. I speak from personal experience. The states do not pay attention to delinquent homeschoolers or investigate when those who do report show their children as being far below grade level. I speak from personal experience. There definitely needs to be far more rigorous oversight, because many children are being deprived of the education they deserve in the name of homeschooling. You may find this article interesting:

      March 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  76. kailee

    I think that homeschooling is better because everything that is happening in this world today is just crazy and unsafe to me.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Amused

      You can't isolate and shelter your children forever. Sooner or later they will have to learn how to interact with the big bad world on their own terms. The longer you put it off, the harder it will be for your children to learn how to negotiate real life!
      Good luck...

      March 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • John

      Children eventually have to grow up and live in the real world. You can't protect them from life.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • BC

      You are watching too much media – don't believe the hype.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Penny

      No...that's lame. Sorry. I don't homeschool because of irrational fears from headlines. Schools are no less safe than any other place, probably more so statistically. Your kid is safer in school than driving her TO school. No irrational fears please. Homeschool because you think you can do it, because you would enjoy it and mostly because you think your child will thrive that way. Not because of headlines taken out of context.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  77. Ari

    We homeschooled our 4 kids. They all turned out all right. It was interesting because you get to know your children as academics, especially once they are in their teen years. It was a very rewarding moment the first time my oldest and I had a discussion about symbolism in literature. I liked teaching my children, I liked that we were free to do more for them than we would have been if they had been chained to their school building. We took trips to the Smithsonian and Grand Canyon. We even took a month one year where we went and visited the grave sites of famous Americans. It was a great trip and an interesting way to teach about historical figures. Our kids learned about the world by seeing it. It was worth every sacrifice we made because I truly believe it made our children better people.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Az

      I am home schooling too .. i think its worth it when you see your child progressing so well

      March 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  78. taahpe

    I agree that this was a good article until it came to race. I would homeschool if I could because my son does struggle in school without guidance. Race has nothing to do with who struggles or who is failed.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      I have one question. Why would you limit such an "empower[ing]" organization to a specific race? You state that, "... in my opinion, black children require a certain kind of attention and understanding." What do you mean by that? What qualifies you as "black"? Is a half-black person black? A quarter-black? And yet, hypocritically, you name drop Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. I cannot fathom that a public/private school and all its "'mess"' could be any worse than subjecting, in a non-monitored environment, a child to old ideals of segregated thinking. Talk about "...negative socialism". Children go to school for reasons beyond simple education. They are to explore culture(s) and interact for social growth. This way, they can make up their own minds and become their own people without the indoctrination of tired, habitual thinking brought on by the bias opinions of old experiences. They need to learn what the world is now; not what the world was...or what 'Mom' thinks it is

      March 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  79. Sy2502

    Having being home schooled grades 1 through 5th, I can tell you it was the worst thing my parents could do. Academic achievement is NOT the most important thing, by a long shot. Social skills are at least as important. Knowing how to relate to your peers AND to adults that are not your parents is extremely important. Being exposed to conflict, social dynamics, group dynamics are invaluable skills, and home schooling parents are shortchanging their kids BIG TIME.
    Add to that the fact that too many home schooling parents do it to assure they can indoctrinate and brain wash their kids into their fundamentalist religion nice and early, and you can see what a recipe for disaster that is.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm |

      Well then, quite frankly, your parents did it wrong. You were secluded and educated. The two are not necessarily mutally exclusive in a homeschooling enviorment. You talk about "Social skills are at least as important. Knowing how to relate to your peers AND to adults that are not your parents is extremely important. Being exposed to conflict, social dynamics, group dynamics are invaluable skills" Well, I know many, many, many people who are graduates of the public school system who have ZERO social skills, can not relate to peers on any level, react to conflict with anger and are literally, socially challenged. What is their excuse? I get to work with some of these very "functional" people every day.

      I'm sorry homeschooling didn't work for you, but some of the homeschool children I know are among the brightest, socially functional, moral, empathetic, well behaved kids I've met. I've already started "homeschooling" my toddler.... I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my child.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Then be a parent and talk to your kid when the kid gets home FROM SCHOOL! How is sending your kid to school letting someone else raise your kid? And there are PLENTY of great schools... so be a parent... do your homework... research the school... research the teacher.... and talk to your kid... that way.. YOU are the one raising the kid!

        March 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • KJC

      I went to public school all my life and plan to do the same with my children. I agree that socialization is such an important part of learning, and I think I gained a lot from being in school with a lot of other individuals and peer groups. However, I do know people who have communities of home schooling, where many kids from a town home school together. I think it's possible that this sort of environment could still provide socialization skills. I have several adult friends who were home schooled, and they are among the most well-adjusted and socially competent people I know. I've never been in the home schooling environment, so I can't say for sure, but I don't want to rail against something just because it's different than what I did. I imagine that the experiences of different home-schooled children vary drastically depending on who the parents are, the methods of teaching, the subject matter, and the community involved.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Well put.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Be

      I am so tired of the social skills rant people try to throw out there. For instance, that little 15 year old who is getting bullied daily, yeah, he's getting some great social skills, especially when he breaks and commits suicide. Social skills at the least important in that matter. What those kids go through are not social skills, it's torture. Also, there is never, ever an occupation out there that solely involves other people in your own age group, so teetering along with your peers throughout school won't benefit you on that aspect.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        That little kid who's getting bullied and committed suicide... where were the parents? Sure, blame the school. Just like the kid who gets bullied and takes a gun to school... Where were the parents while he was loading up ammo? But no, it's the school's fault.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • jreynozo

      @Sy2502 – So your parents kept you locked up in your house and did not allow to go outside and play with other kids or deal with their parents? The fact of the matter is, the "socialization" issue is an overplayed and irrational arguement.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Tina

      I was homeschooled as well and my parents did not shelter me and my siblings. I went to college and knew how to socialize. I know how to speak and communicate effectively with people of all races and cultures. You can not say that all homeschooled children do not have socialization or are indoctrinated with their parents crazy beliefs. School for me was all about who I was going to see that day not about what I was going to learn. When I started homeschool my grades went up and I actually learned something. I used a curriculum from a Christian school in another state and it was perfect for me. The only thing I missed was playing basketball. Unfortunately there are not opportunities for homeschooled children to play sports at their local schools because that is the governments way of ensuring kids go to their public schools where they can indoctrinate children with their beliefs.
      Don't stereotype all homeschoolers and put them in one large group. All homeschooling families are different and do it for different reasons. I don't homeschool my children simply because I want them to play sports, but I do have to reinforce things they learn in school because the school system in NM sucks and I fear that if my husband gets stationed on the east coast that they will be behind in their grade. When my son was in 5th grade he tested at an 11th grade math level and I was told by his teacher that there was nothing he could do because he didn't have the curriculum to support his math level. If I had homeschooled him he could have been doing the math that was on his level. In public schools they are trying to create a bunch of clones and have all of the children at the same level, our school doesn't even give out awards for being on the honor roll because they don't want some students to feel left out. Well if those students feel left out they can work a little harder like my children do and they will be rewarded.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
      • Johnny

        So school sports are a way to ensure that kids are indoctrinated by the government? I find your theory interesting and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • PumpNDump

        Facepalm. Lol. The loons are out today.

        March 15, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • vince

      Home schooling does not retard your ability to develop social skills. Many kids go to school and still never develop it. Trust me, I am one of them. For my kids, I plan to introduce sports and numerous non traditional school relationships that can help them develop better social skills. I understand how important social skills but homeschooling may even be helpful in building it.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  80. Az

    Homeschooling is the best.. I saw kids well mannered and more focused in studies as compared to public schools

    March 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  81. sielingfan

    You know, I grew up pretty open-minded. I went to college and hung out with pretty much everybody, and you know what I realized about the home school kids? Couple things.

    1. They're smart. CRAZY smart. Like, cracking the human genome-smart.
    2. They ARE a little bit more awkward than the average bear, at first, but it works out after a little while.
    3. They aren't ^&*holes. Sure, not all public school peeps are &^%holes, but literally NONE of the homeschool kids are &*($holes.
    4. Pretty much all of them are objectively proud of themselves.

    Now yeah, I went to a pretty selective college so it's not a perfect sample, but that's what I saw, and that's my experience with it. Same thing was true in high school, btw, of homeschoolers who transferred in. It's a pretty good gig.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  82. RAWoD

    When my neighbor's son heard that 3 percent of all children in the US are now homeschooled he exclaimed that "Three is my favorite letter". Sigh

    March 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  83. Michael C. Hall

    My wife and I decided to homeshool our two daughters through their grade school years. It was a wonderful experience that enriched our lives and provided them wth a wonderful education. After that we enrolled them in a private Christian school. Our oldest graduated 7th in her class; the youngest was valedictorian. They both graduated from Purdue University and are completing graduate school. Homeshooling gave us the opportunity to provide a quality customized education that fit their needs. Our family has become much closer as a result.

    The decision to homeshool is not easy and requires considerable sacrifice withn the family. The research on educational outcomes supports the benefits of homeshooling both academically and emotionally. I would encourage anyone to consider this option for their family.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  84. george

    I think home schooling is a good alternative, particularly with the condition of many Public schools. It is is unfortunate that this writer lost any credibility by naming her organization "National Black Home Educators" which smacks of racism. Simple test...What would be the reaction if "Black' were replaced with 'white"?? We all know there would be an uproar. It is way past due to get rid of this double standard.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      I agree, and i love the verbage of "smacks of racism". This is why i think home schooling is more about a parent looking in and asking if they can be subjective and unbiased when presenting knowledge to their children. ARE YOU QUALIFIED? Even given resources. Some people shouldn't be teachers because they would be teaching the wrong things.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
      • w247

        Qualify your statement "Teaching the wrong things"

        What do you consider the "right things" ?

        March 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        ummm, Racism is wrong. Equality is right.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Not to mention that i read a good point about public schools. There are teachers who are proficient in different fields. How many of us can give our child the option to choose what foreign language they want to learn? Or how many of us can teach our children trigonometry and advanced calculus? This is what i meant by "ARE YOU QUALIFIED".

        March 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
      • Chris

        Almost any of us can give our child a chance to learn whatever foreign language they choose. Rosetta Stone is one of the highest ranked curriculums out there. My children are learning Spanish very well through Rosetta Stone. It's much more thorough than what's in the public classroom. I plan on sending them to converse with someone who is a native speaker to solidify their learning.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Oh.. you mean like a spanish teacher? -_-

        March 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        And much more thorough then they teach in WHAT classroom? ALL of em? I don't think so.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • lise

      Hummm... you have a point...
      I do agree with you to a certain degree. The "race" factor could have been her slogan, instead of in her business name... it would have progressed along with her business growth. When she starts growing beyond the black community, I wonder if she will change her org.'s name. Still... for now...
      I would give her the benefit of the doubt. Remember that the message she is trying to send is... "yes, there are black people doing it... and if you are black and are thinking of this option, you are not alone. you will have a support system." Look around you, George. They say hair is hair... so sometimes, I go to a hair salon, and a Caucasian woman does my hair. She forgets (or ignores) that I have dry, tightly curled hair, among the driest hair type on Earth. She just follows the process that she would on hers. Well... I wish I could show you pictures on styling gone bad. Now, some Caucasian women/men do a fabulous job on my hair. For the rest

      All of this to say that contextualizing a service is not bad... You should focus your strength on your area of expertise... and then expand your horizons to more neutral grounds.

      -------– All that being said... pretty soon (and it is already true today), it won't matter if you're black or white... it will be evident that the real demographics are the poor, vs middle class vs wealthy.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Rebecca H

      They are just trying to reach out specifically to the black community; let's face it black communities in general have HORRIBLE schools and many black folks may not be accustomed to the idea of homeschooling. If it makes them all feel more comfortable, who cares? I tried to hang out with a Christian homeschool group one time (I'm not a Christian) and it was so uncomfortable! I don't see anything wrong with it at all.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  85. KW

    Surprised to read that the PTO president and chairman of the advisory board did not notice her kid GPA dropped from 3.0 to 2.8 to “failing” until was informed by the school. The GPA does not change overnight. There many homework assignments, quizzes and exams during school year, did she ever pay attentions to her kid’s school work? While teacher play important role in our children’s education, they are not the only people who should be responsible. What are parents’ responsibilities? Should parent at least know how kids are doing at school on regular basis? By the way, I am a parent not a teacher.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • pj

      My question exactly. From a "B" student to "blight on the school" and this was a surprise? Something very big is missing from this story . . .

      March 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • w247

      All it takes is for the student and the teacher to have a personality conflict to change the kid from an "A" student to a "F" student. That happened to me when one of my teachers kept calling me by my olders sisters name (who was an admitted trouble maker at that age). I figured I didn't have a chance. BTW, Both she and I are college graduates with good paying jobs, thank goodness we survived the public school system..

      March 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  86. Flapper

    Once you mention race is an issue, I stop reading. Aren't we past this already? Hang on, let me see if there is an National Italian Homeschooling organization, Italy isn't that far from Spain, so it's kind of hispanic, that's a minority, no?

    Article could be so much more moving if the focus was on the disappointing experience at the school, not the special needs of a child because of the color of it's skin. Isn't this the argument made by the black community for so many years now?

    And yes, I know, once you discuss race relations in any capacity, you are an uneducated bigot... please excuse me!

    March 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • steve

      Absolutely. But CNN makes a lot of advertising cash by continuing to beat the racist drum, just like Fox makes a lot of money by continuing to beat the liberal boogy man drum. IMO Homeschooling is for religious folks who would rather make their children unaware and intolerant of the rest of society than giving them a good education.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • Kim

        You are implying that all "schools" give a good education. As a public school teacher I can assure that it does not. We do our best with what we have, but not all students are being served well. If I could afford it, I would pull my kids and homeschool today. Religion has nothing to do with it.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • KJC

        Unfortunately, a disproportianate number of schools which have high minority populations also have lower funding, lower test scores, lower paid teachers, etc. Race is still a major factor in socio economic status and thus in education. It's pretty hard to deny (even for a white gal). Unless you are stuck living in the bubble of your own personal tolerance, you will observe that our society is far from post-racial.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
      • Melanie

        Your opinion is ignorant. We are secular humanists. Our children are years ahead of their peers in science and history, because they are INTERESTED and ENGAGED. They are bright and literate with friends outside of the school system. They are free to learn beyond their peers. Our children have not been crushed by "Stand here, read this, do this, don't do that, line up...". There is RSAnimate video from a talk given by Sir Ken Robinson called "Changing Paradigms" that you might want to watch.

        March 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • yeti37

      I'm from Egypt, but am an American citizen living in the United States. So, can I join the African American group–I mean, I AM from Africa. If that is the politically correct why of referring to a group of people, then why is it the National BLACK Home Educators? It makes no sense and further divides a nation that is trying to move on. She goes between the two terms and compromises her credibility.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  87. Elmo

    Interesting she fails to mention the economics of it. Must be nice to be rich enough to not have to consider 'affording' homeschooling your children, but just decide to.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Buck

      You don't have to be rich to homeschool. We homeschooled all 5 of our children on one modest income, less than $40,000 a year at the beginning, and still less than $45,000. It's about priorities, not money. It is a sacrifice that we make for our kids. We would rather drive a 10-year old car, stay home to eat, and live on a budget than have all the material things and have our kids fall through the cracks in public school. It isn't for everybody, but don't fool yourself into thinking you have to be rich to do it. You don't.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
      • Elmo

        My point isn't that you have to be rich to homeschool. I didn't say that.

        My point is that she doesn't mention economics AT ALL, and therefore her perspective wreaks of privilege. No mention of sacrifice, no mention of what only one working parent would mean on the household economy. Topics that the majority of people in this country would have to discuss in great detail while considering homeschooling.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • Rebecca H

        Exactly. It's about priorities, not money. When our children's lives and futures are at stake, in almost every situation, where there's a will there's a way.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • Mark

        Elmo, you absolutely did say that you have to be rich enough to homeschool. How do you interpret "It must be nice to be rich enough to afford homeschooling" any other way???? Just admit you were wrong kthx.

        March 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
      • Guest

        If you are surviving on $45,000 a year with 5 kids, how will you ever be able to afford to send your kids to college? I guess you will qualify for a a great deal of government financial aid. I, on the other hand, am a public school teacher and my husband works so my daughter did not qualify for financial aid. Luckily, we planned ahead and saved so she does not have to take on any loans. But, we couldn't have done that on one income.

        March 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • warmfrost

      Buck is right. We did it as a one income family, 4 children and delivery man wages. But I put a lot of my time and heart into it, and I think my kids had pretty diverse experiences... even from each other!

      March 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  88. AnneSD

    I am glad you were able to do something positive for your children. I hope that you also made your story known locally at that time because it sounds like the school failed your oldest son badly. A child does not start failing school overnight. Why did they not let you know much sooner that there was a problem? Why was their response to get rid of the child to protect their reputation? How many other children did they fail this way? It is always sad when educators forget that the children are the reason for the school - ALL the children; without them, their reputation is meaningless.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  89. Abraham Lincoln

    I have one question. Why would you limit such an "empower[ing]" organization to a specific race? You state that, "... in my opinion, black children require a certain kind of attention and understanding." What do you mean by that? What qualifies you as "black"? Is a half-black person black? A quarter-black? And yet, hypocritically, you name drop Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. I cannot fathom that a public/private school and all its "'mess"' could be any worse than subjecting, in a non-monitored environment, a child to old ideals of segregated thinking. Talk about "...negative socialism". Children go to school for reasons beyond simple education. They are to explore culture(s) and interact for social growth. This way, they can make up their own minds and become their own people without the indoctrination of tired, habitual thinking brought on by the bias opinions of old experiences. They need to learn what the world is now; not what the world was...or what 'Mom' thinks it is.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Justin Bieber

      Yeah! Without public schools, people like me would never make it!

      March 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  90. 5280 Momma

    Great essay. I applaud you for taking charge of your childrens' lives and providing something for them that the schools could not – a decent education. I also homeschool. My son did not fit into the "one size fits all" mold at school, and was coasting along in the middle of the pack (not gifted, not struggling). His love of learning was diminishing, and I thought, "I can do better AND keep his interest in learning about the world around him." We are in our second year of homeschooling and he's thriving. And, GW, my son is NOT in a bubble. He is just as exposed to the world as any kid in school – he just has the benefit of learning in an environment free of bullying and other bad social morals. He's pushing 11 and still doesn't know what the F-word means. I love that I'm giving him a childhood for as long as possible, as the time to grow up will come too soon.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  91. Zima

    I used to think homeschooling is a bad idea. Now, I see the value in it, especially with all the bullying, drugs and peer pressure going around.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  92. HH

    The stereotype that your children will "lack social skills" and be raised "in a bubble" is a myth about homeschooling. Keep them active in church, scouting, a sport, community service, the YMCA, or such, and they'll get PLENTY of socialization. Kids in school DON'T gain positive social skills these days, and they certainly don't get time to play or interact with peers now that recess is gone. They're in class all day and told to be quiet. When do they "socialize"?

    March 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • sielingfan

      when they're cheating on their tests?

      March 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Penny

      My kid doesn't attend school or a church (we are atheists) and she has kids knocking the door down to hang out with her in the afternoons. Why? Because she is fun to play with because she is nice. That's a real world lesson right there. Be nice and people will want to be around you.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  93. Lisa

    Actually, home schooled kids are not in a bubble. They have been protected... which is a good thing. Who wouldn't protect their child. The world is their classroom! They have the opportunity to not only learn from their parents, giving them a wonderful opportunity to grow closer to their parents instead of away from them. They glean wisdom from their parents wisdom and experiences instead of repeating mistakes that could take them down a more destructive path than their parents had. They have the opportunity to be involved in community activities, help the elderly, and develop their talents and career interests. They have the opportunity to learn to think for themselves and not merely follow the crowd because they are fearful of being different. They are different and that doesn't bother them. It is their asset. They have learned to have a vision for the world and are not focused solely on themselves in a society that is me-centered.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Robin

      Well said Lisa!!

      March 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  94. enkephalin07

    School is only as good as the teacher. Having been homeschooled for a year by a guardian who was certifiably sociopathic, I would urge you to see multiple third-party assessments of your qualifications before confining your children to solitary exposure to you. I'm not saying you would tie them up and lock them in the closet for detention, but that's something to consider before recommending the homeschool experience to others.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • sielingfan

      ....mommy issues much?

      March 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  95. Ben

    Wow – courageous choice. On the other hand, it makes one ask about the real incentives and commitment of the "mass-production" engine. Are they managing to an average performance number, or committed to the success of each child? Good for you for taking control of the situation! Very inspiring.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  96. George Washington have kept your children in a bubble. Don't expose them to the world, as it may give them reason to question what you have taught!

    March 15, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Ben

      GW – the irony here is your bigoted exclusion of alternative education choices, and assumptions about the results (especially for a kid who grew up to risk his life to serve his country). Who's living in a bubble, genius?

      March 15, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • hammerfer

      really? if you think that home shooling means that you keep your kids in isolation, it may be you that lives in a bubble. Home schooling doesn't mean that the kids sit at the kitchen table with zero exposure to the outside world. if you google home school groups, you'll get 1.5 billion hits. there are more resources, groups, and group activities for home school families than there are for traditional school families.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      Given the way some parents are (as people) and the over-protective nature of the parental figure, I think its safer to assume that it is more likely that a parent(s) would over-do the teacher role and even create that bubble we're talking about. As if being a parent isn't hard enough. Controlling all aspects of your child's life is domineering and can be burdening and overbearing. Sure, use the excuse that you are keeping them safe and that you know best. I, on the other hand, agree with GW. And if I decided to home-school, I would hire a professional tutor to do it or at least collaborate with a professional third party. The kids have to leave the nest one day... highschool is a good place for them to take off the training wheels and learn to deal with bullying and drugs the correct way... like we taught them!

      March 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
      • Buck

        Homeschooling is not synonymous with domineering and controlling. If you are domineering and controlling, you will be whether you homeschool or not. Nobody is demanding that you homeschool, but don't be so quick to dismiss it as a negative thing. There's way too much evidence that is supportive of homeschooling. Educate yourself before you make comments like that.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • Penny

        Buck is absolutely correct. I have seen domineering and controlling parents in the public school setting and in the homeschool setting. There are all types of people in all types of rolls. I homeschool because I don't want my child to be overly domineered (among hundreds of other reasons) and controlled. I think learning can be much more organic and interesting than being part of a herd of other people who happen to be your same age. Talk about controlling. Learning shouldn't be capped off or pushed ahead simply because of age. Learning shouldn't exist only in one setting in only certain hours of the day. That is stifling.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Honestly, I cannot see how you think controlling all aspects of your child's life isn't domineering. But the point I am making is that if we are going to sob over a few kids being failed by the school system(I say "few" in the grand scheme of things) then imagine how many will be lost if we ALL considered educating them to each of our own standards. Some parents... well, you know!

        March 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • Penny

        Abraham, don't get me wrong. I LOVE and very much am for public education. But I ENJOY homeschooling and I feel it works best for my family. I have only one child and she is fairly easy going, so it works. I am aware that not everyone can do this. As far is the "controlling" thing goes, I don't know what to say to you. Control isn't present in our education process. We just learn naturally as we go. My daughter is very independent for her age, she's not a broken spirited person. Nor am I an over controlling person. The fact that I let her play outside alone freaks out most parents. I'm not in her face all day long. I'm not there to control her all day long. People think homeschooling means you are in the "home" all day.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Buck

      Public school is an totally artificial social environment. This society trains our kids for 12 years to interact with only people of their own age group. This is almost never the case in the real world. Homeschoolers learn to interact comfortably with all age groups. This is just one of a long list of the advantages of homeschooling. We've done it with 5 children, and I wouldn't change it for anything.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Penny

      There is no facet of the "real world" my daughter doesn't function in fully and capably. Her public school counter parts on the other hand do not know how to behave in public. They act like crazy animals let out of the zoo. My daughter knows what to expect, what is expected of her and what to expect of the the people around her. She gets along with adults and children alike. She is SCHOOLED IN THE REAL WORLD. Kids in public school spend HOURS in the "bubble"...they are the ones who aren't part of the real world. And they never seem to be a part of it until they are in College.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Uh hem! Your daughter knows what to expect because it's what you expect. She knows what is expected of her because YOU expect it of her. And she probably believes that all high school kids live in a bubble and are animals on the loose because you taught her that too! This only validates my argument that parents only want to home school to have more control over their children's lives and that parents cannot toe-the-line between teacher and parent without introducing opinion into the teaching. Good Job... you succeeded in turning your daughter into you.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
      • Penny

        Abraham, that is the point. Learning isn't just happening in a classroom. It's happening everywhere at all times, IN the "real world". You think I'm being a "teacher" and I'm not. I'm being a guide to the world. I address your "controlling and domineering" concerns above. As for turning my daughter into me, that's a huge assumption you've made. My daughter is only like me in as much as she is polite in public and knows how to properly behave in a public setting, "the real world". The discussion here was about the "real world" and I'm talking about how, compared to public schooled kids, she understands the "real world" and functions better in it at age 8 than some adults. Why? Because she spends TIME in the real world, not in a classroom bubble.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • Chad

        Well said Penny! Abraham, if you have kids, then I guess you are saying you completely trust some complete stranger(teacher) to infuse what he or she expects their behavior to be. Sounds pretty lazy to me.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Penny, You said she knows how to act in public... according to who? You? Your "rules of the public"? Is there a set standard? Wait, a standard for where? The world? Ask her to go to Saudi Arabia and act like she does.. what do you think they will think of her behavior? Take her to Korea. What is "rude" to one is NOT to others. What is right to one is not to others.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Chad, I'm a parent.. and i did the parent thing. I researched the teacher, i researched the school, i researched the curriculum.... I AM BEING A PARENT an not thinking that just cause they go off to school i cannot be a huge part of the equation. I ask how their day was and what was going on in class when they get home. I watch them and help with homework so i know where they are struggling and where they are doing well. I AM A PARENT and i am not blaming the school system for my short comings.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
      • Chad

        That's great Abraham. Glad you are involved. Penny is doing the same thing....she just already KNOWS all of these things, she doesn't have to ask. And if you truly believe your comment "What is right to one is not to others" then why even comment to Penny in the first place?

        March 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
      • Dee

        Your argument makes no sense Abraham. "Your daughter knows what to expect because it's what you expect. She knows what is expected of her because YOU expect it of her."...yeah, that's parenting. We all raise are kids with whatever beliefs, values, and expectations WE have for them and hope that they grow up to not necessarly be mirrored copies of ourselves, but to be decent productive human beings.

        I'm sure you expect your kids to behave a certain way. For instance, I'm sure you expect them to not harm others, to not beat each other up, to put effort into their education, and so on. So I really don't see what point you were trying to make with your comment.

        And for the record, I was raised with public education and taught in a public school and yet still plan to homeschool my children. I use to think homeschooling was strange until I bought my house next door to a homeschool family and wow, I have been in complete amazement o their kids and the kids from their homeschooling group. From young kids to teenagers, they are so different than their peers. My son was a newborn at the time and I had just given up teaching to be a stay at home mom when we moved, and let me tell you, I am seriously rethinking going back to college for another career since I've been researching so much about homeschooling versus public education and am not sure I ever want to go back to that system.

        So yeah, there's the 2 cents from someone who has seen it from both sides. As a former teacher I will admit that my homeschooled neighbors get much more undivided attention from their mother than any of my students ever got from me. I had 30+ students in class, there just wasn't enough time to give them each the attention they deserved.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
      • Penny

        Abraham, are you being obtuse deliberately? I'm talking about things like, not running and screaming in a store. Not grabbing toys and throwing them. Not begging for items. Saying please and thank you. Asking questions when she wants to know something. Talking with people of any age. Enjoying life without ruining the fun for others. You know, public behavior.

        March 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • Abraham Lincoln

        Right, the point i was trying to make is what we instill into them is then molded by outside influences to become "them". Everything we say as parents isn't right... some more than others, but you get me. So, when we teach them how to act in public, we should understand that they should not completely share in our ideals of public behavior. Sure, the no brainers like peeing on the floor or throwing things in a store, but whatever w give them should be molded to them.. so they are unique. And the best way to do this is to let them be with their peers. First, who are of their own choosing(which says a lot about what we did raising them), and second about what they keep and throw away of what we taught them. So now it is unique. get me? I dont know if that makes sense.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
      • Penny

        Abraham, my daughter spends hours a day with her peers. Just not in a school. She is with them at the playground, at the pool, running around the neighborhood. And I'm not there for any of it. (So don't get all worried that I'm a helicopter mom, I find that kind of parenting to be gross.) Sit down school work is such a MINOR part of her education. Reading, writing, math, geography, science...the sit down bookwork part of these subjects is MINOR. It takes a couple hours a day. The rest of the day is for the holy grail of "socializing"...

        March 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm |