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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

Want to homeschool, but...

Posted by on May. 20, 2011 at 6:37 PM
  • 18 Replies
I started homeschooling my three year old last September. In January my DH contacted early education to evaluate him for some issues we were seeing in his behavior. The evaluation was to last two days, but he was so hyper and unfocused that it took four days instead.

Back in September I had realized that Monkey (3 year old) had too much energy to sit long enough for paper work. Still, I taught him while he played or was active. He surprised me at how quickly he grasped colors, letters, counting /numbers, shapes, vocabulary, and simple science. The evaluation revealed he is academically at a kindergarten level. His vocabulary astonished the speech teacher. Anyway, his social conversation speech, hyperactivity, and his inability to follow two step directions qualified him for services through the state. We had two options: home therapy or send him to preschool early (his birthday was behind the cut off date, so he had to be special needs to go this last year). Because his issues are mainly social, DH decided we should try preschool.

Monkey started in February. For the last month he has thrown huge fits before school. He has even asked me to be his teacher again. I want to bring him home, again. The school wants to extend his school hours to full days by sending him to two preschool, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

DH and I had a pretty intense argument yesterday about it. I have continued Monkey's education at home. DH, though, thinks that Monkey needs public education. He says that he doesn't believe I can teach Monkey, because he saw me stop the formal schooling back in September. I told DH to test Monkey now and then again before preschool next year. If Monkey learns through the summer, then I want to homeschool. He won't budge, though. He says that homeschooled kids can't make it in society and I will make our kids stupid.

Someone help, please? How do you convince someone that public school isn't the only educational option that brings out well rounded adults?
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by on May. 20, 2011 at 6:37 PM
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MelodysLove
by on May. 20, 2011 at 6:43 PM

 Ask him what he thinks about the kids who have committed suicide because they hate public school so much. Also, if he feels that your son needs to be bullied and beat up everyday in order to learn that  you can do that too LOL! Seriously though here's some info to swing by him:

Home schooling first showed up on the national radar screen in 1997, when 13-year-old Rebecca Sealfon, all brains and awkward gestures, won the National Spelling Bee, showing a startled public that her unorthodox education must be doing something right. Today, though home schooling accounts for only 3 or 4 percent of America's schoolchildren, the movement's brisk 15 percent annual growth rate has become a powerful, hard to ignore indictment of the nation's academically underachieving, morally irresolute, disorderly, and often scary public schools. Side by side with public education's lackluster results, the richness of home schooling's achievement—the wealth of challenging subjects its pupils learn, the civility it inculcates, the strong characters it seems to form, and the nurturing family life it reinforces—embodies a practical  ideal of childhood and education that can serve as a useful benchmark of what is possible in turn-of-the-millennium America.

Though existing data are incomplete, everything we know about home-schooled kids says that they are flourishing academically in every way. This year, home-schooled kids swept the top three places on the National Spelling Bee, and Stanford accepted 27 percent of its home-schooled applicants, nearly twice its average acceptance rate. Small wonder that the public school establishment wants to regulate home schooling out of existence. It represents a silent, but eloquent, reproach to the professionals.

 

Only 20 years ago, home schooling was a far-out fringe phenomenon. No more than 50,000 children were then educated outside of school, their parents mostly graying hippies who wanted to protect them from what they considered the stifling conformity of "the system." In the early eighties, though, the ranks of home schoolers began to swell with Christian fundamentalists dissatisfied with value-free public schools. Today, the full array of American families—from religiously orthodox Catholics and Jews to thoroughgoing secularists—are joining the fundamentalists and the Age-of-Aquarius types in home schooling their kids.

Former Department of Education researcher Patricia M. Lines, writing in The Public Interest, estimates that now anywhere from 1.5 to 2 million children are being home schooled, considerably more than the 400,000 students enrolled in charter schools across the country. "The rise of home schooling," Lines judges, "is one of the most significant social trends of the past half century." All this sounds good, but how exactly do home-schooled children measure up academically to their counterparts in public and private school? The National Education Association—focusing, with its typical disingenuousness, on inputs rather than outcomes—has passed a testy resolution demanding that home-schooling parents go through "the appropriate state education licensure agency" and use only curricula "approved by the state department of education" before they receive state permission to home school. After all, if any dedicated parent can home school effectively, the teachers' unions' and ed schools' claim to the special, credentialized skills of "teaching professionals" collapses.

And indeed, the data show that the legions of parent-teachers are succeeding solidly. The largest study so far, authored for the Home School Legal Defense Association by respected University of Maryland statistician Lawrence M. Rudner, examined some 20,000 home-schooled students from 50 states. These students scored higher on standardized tests than public and private school students in every subject and at every grade level. The longer their parents had home schooled them, the better they did. The results shocked the left-leaning Rudner, who initially believed that home schoolers were a bunch of "conservative nuts." He has changed his mind. 

On standardized national tests of skills and achievement, Rudner found, home-schooled kids score better than 70 to 80 percent of all test-takers. Even more striking, he observes, "By eighth grade, the median performance of home-school students is almost four [grade] levels above that of students nationwide." By 12th grade, home-schooled students scored way up in the 92nd percentile in reading. Rudner cautions that his study doesn't compare home-schooled children, whose parents are generally richer and more educated than average, with equivalent public and private school kids. Moreover, the families whose kids he studied all sought testing materials from fundamentalist Bob Jones University, so they are a skewed sample.

Recent statistics from the SAT and ACT college entrance exams, though less impressive than Rudner's, are still solid. In 1999, students who identified themselves as home schooled scored an average of 1083 on the SAT, 67 points above the national average, and 22.7 on the ACT, compared with the national average of 21.

Sixty-nine percent of home schoolers go on to college, compared with 71 percent of grads from public high schools and 90 percent of private school grads. How do they get in without transcripts? Parents will put together portfolios with samples of their children's work and lists of their accomplishments. "If home-schooled students are required to take standardized tests, they take them," explains Cafi Cohen, a home-schooling mother and author of And What About College? "If they need a transcript, Mom or Dad sits down at the computer and writes up a transcript, with grades if necessary." More than two-thirds of American colleges now accept such transcripts, though some require home-schooled applicants to submit a GED or additional subject exams, and home schoolers now attend 900 colleges of all descriptions. Harvard accepts approximately ten every year. Oglethorpe in Atlanta actively recruits home schoolers.

Home-schooled undergrads do well, after the initial adjustment. Those who have enrolled at Boston University during the past four academic years, for example, have maintained a 3.3 grade-point average out of a perfect four. "Home schoolers bring certain skills—motivation, curiosity, the capacity to be responsible for their education—that high schools don't induce very well," a Stanford University admissions officer recently told the Wall Street Journal. The consensus among admissions officers across the country, a 1997 study reports, is that home-schooled students are academically, emotionally, and socially prepared to excel in college.

Critics of home schooling claim that withdrawing children from the classroom will retard their "socialization," to use educrat jargon. Charges Annette Cootes of the NEA-affiliated Texas State Teachers Association: "[H]ome schooling is a form of child abuse because you are isolating children from human interaction. I think home schoolers are doing a great discredit [sic] to their children."

Yet social science research suggests that home-schooled children aren't lacking in social skills. Grad student Larry Shyers of the University of Florida videotaped at play 70 home-schooled eight- to ten-year-old children and 70 children of the same age group who attended school. Trained counselors—who watched the tapes without knowing which group the kids belonged to—found only one behavioral difference: the home-schooled kids had fewer behavior problems.


For their part, home-schooling families reject the model of age-based socialization that the schools offer. "I don't know any adults who would choose to spend eight hours a day, five days a week with 20 to 30 people of exactly the same age," says Glorianna Pappas, a New York musician and home-schooling mother. Instead, home schoolers often meet people of widely different ages and outlooks when helping out at a homeless shelter or singing in a church choir. "This gives them a greater level of poise, experience, and maturity than can be had in the artificial confines of rigid, age-based classrooms," argues educational theorist Andrew J. Coulson.

Still, for home schoolers, family comes first. Historian Dana Mack sees home schooling as an important example of what she believes to be a growing "familist counterculture." This counterculture firmly rejects elite culture's contempt for traditional family values and its celebration of a me-first ethic in pleasure and work that has led to sky-high divorce and illegitimacy rates and a generation of sad and neglected kids. "Home schooling," Mack holds, "is one aspect of a new vision of family life that equates family time with children's well-being, and that puts family intimacy and child-parent bonds before self-realization and economic gain."

Home schooling seems to minimize the proverbial friction between teens and their parents. "Life with our home-schooled teens has been a joy—heaven," Laurie Runnion-Bareford enthuses. "It surprised us, because my friends who had teenage kids in the public schools were miserable." But, after all, argues home schooler Douglas Dewey, Chief Operating Officer of Theodore Forstmann's Children's Scholarship Fund, "Not so long ago, it wasn't considered natural or even tolerable for children to rebel against their parents."

The rise of home schooling has pressured the legal system to accommodate it. "From the early eighties through the next decade, there was a pitched war over whether home schooling was going to be legal at all," recalls Michael Farris, the lawyer and former politician who heads the Home Schooling Legal Defense Association. When his advocacy organization was formed in 1983, home schooling was illegal or strongly discouraged in all but three states, and school administrators and teachers' unions wanted to keep it that way. Parents who tried to teach their kids at home frequently faced jail terms and the loss of their children to foster care as school districts cracked down on them for breaking state compulsory education laws.

But because of the HSLDA, which has won virtually every legal battle it has fought, and because of the warm support of Republican legislators, home schooling is now legal in all 50 states, though the degree of state regulation varies. Texas's regulations, for example, are all but nonexistent: home-schooling parents must cover reading, spelling, grammar, math, and good citizenship, but they don't have to keep records or have their kids academically tested annually or follow any rigid timetable. New York's regulations, by contrast, require parents to teach "AIDS awareness," "substance abuse," physical education, and health (i.e., sex ed), among a host of other specific subject requirements, and they must do so on a state-determined schedule; parents must also file detailed quarterly reports with the local school superintendent. (Many states once required home-schooling parents to have teacher certification, but all have abolished that requirement.)

What level of regulation is appropriate for home schooling? The best arguments are on the side of a relatively laissez-faire approach. The New York–NEA model of constant school-district supervision and narrowly specified subject requirements implicitly presumes that the state does a good job educating kids and that parents are ignorant until proven otherwise—dubious propositions. Moreover, some states' subject requirements may offend a home-schooling family's deeply felt cultural and religious beliefs, subverting the very reason they've decided to home school their children in the first place. But the public does have a legitimate interest in making sure that home-schooled kids get educated and that, say, a dysfunctional foster care family isn't yanking its children out of school to use them as laborers. The most sensible regulations would be minimal, requiring home-schooled kids only to demonstrate—through taking a state test or some agreed-upon alternative means—that they were learning how to read, write, and do math by a certain age.

"In America in the twenty-first century," William Bennett recently observed, "no family should feel it has to educate at home to educate well." But until that day comes, home schooling will continue to grow—educating kids successfully, invigorating civil society, and reaffirming family values.

 It’s giving 2 million kids a good education, sound values, and a rich family life. If unaccredited parents can do it, why can’t the public schools?
Socialization Snobs!
Note: This column includes adult language.

Ask any homeschooling parent why they homeschool, and you're likely to receive as many different replies as there are families. Some of the common reasons include religious freedom, academic improvement, one-on-one tutoring and increased family closeness.

But for us, the single biggest reason we school at home correlates to the single biggest criticism homeschoolers get: socialization. Yes, it's largely due to the "socialization" children get in public schools that convinced us to homeschool.

Homeschooling allows us to be socialization snobs. We can filter out kids whose behavior offends us. We don't discriminate on the basis of race, creed, nation of origin, or other such nonsense. No, we discriminate on the basis of morals. If your kid insists on talking about the number of boys she slept with in the last month, I really don't want her around my kid. Call me fussy.

It's been said that too many rats locked up together in too small a cage will soon start tearing into each other. Same with kids. Schools force children to associate with other children based strictly on age. They are locked into cages containing dozens of rats … er, kids with one powerless and overworked teacher who is expected to be psychologist, counselor, nanny, babysitter and, oh yeah, teacher all rolled into one.

Manners are not expected and certainly not reinforced. If one child gets snarky with another, the other children encourage him until the snarkiness turns to meanness, which often leads to violence. This is the breeding ground for public school socialization.

I've been to homeschooling groups with up to 30 kids ranging from older teens to newborns. Everyone associates with everyone. Teens dandle babies. Twelve-year-olds play gentle tag with 5-year-olds. If one child gets snarky with another, there are five or six moms (as well as older kids) around to see the bad behavior and instantly correct it, so it seldom gets out of hand. Manners are expected and reinforced. This is the breeding ground for homeschooling socialization.

Why is this concept so difficult for the critics to grasp? I don't get it. I don't get it at all.

Recently, my husband came across a blog entry by a middle-school teacher that was so shocking that he waited until our kids were out of the room before calling me over to read it.

The blog entry [warning: obscene language] related a conversation this teacher overheard as she left school one afternoon. She passed a group of several boys and one girl (about 13) waiting for the bus. One of the boys had a plate of cookies. The teacher heard the girl say, "I'll give you a blow job for one of those cookies."

(Pause for a moment to marvel at how the heck a 13-year-old girl even knows what a blow job is.)

My husband e-mailed the teacher and expressed sympathy for the toughness of her job. The woman e-mailed back a weary verbal shrug and said it was all in a day's work.

Yes, all in a day's work to hear a child offer an intimate sex act in exchange for baked goods. And what does "all in a day's work" imply? That this type of social interaction is nothing unusual. Pretty typical, in fact. The teacher was just as horrified as we were, but she saw no solution. And people still have the gall to criticize homeschoolers for their … socialization skills? Or to criticize us for our parental desire to protect against this kind of exposure? I don't get it.

OK, so meanness, lack of manners and precocious sexualization are some of the "socializing" factors rampant in public schools. What about peer pressure and bullying?

We all remember bullying from our own school days. The fear of gym class. The avoidance of certain parts of campus such as the cafeteria, bathrooms or locker areas. The stomach-clenching dread of facing yet another day in which you were teased, threatened, snubbed or beaten up.

Kids have it tough. The desire to conform to peers is strong – strong enough to overcome parental influences, particularly when those parents are removed (by choice or by state) from being active in their children's lives. But even the children of good, involved parents can get mixed up with the wrong crowd at school simply because they desperately want to fit in. If you're not bouncy and pretty (as a girl) or athletic and handsome (as a boy), then you'll do whatever it takes to be accepted by the bouncy/pretty/athletic/handsome types, even if those types are bad influences in other respects.

"Homeschooling" implies that someone is at home. There are no latchkey kids. There are no after-school hours of "free time" before mom gets off work during which a 14-year-old with burgeoning hormones can get in trouble. Homeschooled kids are guided through the time of life when they have adult bodies but childish minds, a time when they can mature into competent adults or descend into horrifying mistakes. And yet people still have the gall to express concern over homeschoolers' … socialization.

Homeschooled kids don't live in a vacuum. While their publicly schooled peers are locked in a classroom for most of the daylight hours, homeschooled kids are out interacting with adults and children, picking up useful, well, socialization skills. And remember, one of the chief purposes of education is to teach children to become adults – productive, mature adults that contribute to society.

Academics are important, and studies demonstrate that homeschooled kids excel in this area. But there's more to life than academics, and that's one of the "balance" things homeschooled children learn in abundance. These are things like faith, honor, morals, patriotism, volunteerism, responsibility, family values, self-control and citizenship.

We sometimes hear the criticism that we cannot duplicate the benefits schools offer children, whether it's sports or music or chemistry labs. To which I reply, "You're right. We cannot duplicate your environment. We are merely trying to exceed your results."

Especially the results of socialization.

 

Kenre
by on May. 20, 2011 at 7:36 PM
Thank you. I will force him to read this, or take key notes and get him to read those. I have multiple books on homeschooling, reforming public schooling, and unschooling. DH refuses to read them, and yet demands he knows better. Thank you, again.

Quoting MelodysLove:

 Ask him what he thinks about the kids who have committed suicide because they hate public school so much. Also, if he feels that your son needs to be bullied and beat up everyday in order to learn that  you can do that too LOL! Seriously though here's some info to swing by him:


Home schooling first showed up on the national radar screen in 1997, when 13-year-old Rebecca Sealfon, all brains and awkward gestures, won the National Spelling Bee, showing a startled public that her unorthodox education must be doing something right. Today, though home schooling accounts for only 3 or 4 percent of America's schoolchildren, the movement's brisk 15 percent annual growth rate has become a powerful, hard to ignore indictment of the nation's academically underachieving, morally irresolute, disorderly, and often scary public schools. Side by side with public education's lackluster results, the richness of home schooling's achievement—the wealth of challenging subjects its pupils learn, the civility it inculcates, the strong characters it seems to form, and the nurturing family life it reinforces—embodies a practical  ideal of childhood and education that can serve as a useful benchmark of what is possible in turn-of-the-millennium America.


Though existing data are incomplete, everything we know about home-schooled kids says that they are flourishing academically in every way. This year, home-schooled kids swept the top three places on the National Spelling Bee, and Stanford accepted 27 percent of its home-schooled applicants, nearly twice its average acceptance rate. Small wonder that the public school establishment wants to regulate home schooling out of existence. It represents a silent, but eloquent, reproach to the professionals.


 


Only 20 years ago, home schooling was a far-out fringe phenomenon. No more than 50,000 children were then educated outside of school, their parents mostly graying hippies who wanted to protect them from what they considered the stifling conformity of "the system." In the early eighties, though, the ranks of home schoolers began to swell with Christian fundamentalists dissatisfied with value-free public schools. Today, the full array of American families—from religiously orthodox Catholics and Jews to thoroughgoing secularists—are joining the fundamentalists and the Age-of-Aquarius types in home schooling their kids.


Former Department of Education researcher Patricia M. Lines, writing in The Public Interest, estimates that now anywhere from 1.5 to 2 million children are being home schooled, considerably more than the 400,000 students enrolled in charter schools across the country. "The rise of home schooling," Lines judges, "is one of the most significant social trends of the past half century." All this sounds good, but how exactly do home-schooled children measure up academically to their counterparts in public and private school? The National Education Association—focusing, with its typical disingenuousness, on inputs rather than outcomes—has passed a testy resolution demanding that home-schooling parents go through "the appropriate state education licensure agency" and use only curricula "approved by the state department of education" before they receive state permission to home school. After all, if any dedicated parent can home school effectively, the teachers' unions' and ed schools' claim to the special, credentialized skills of "teaching professionals" collapses.


And indeed, the data show that the legions of parent-teachers are succeeding solidly. The largest study so far, authored for the Home School Legal Defense Association by respected University of Maryland statistician Lawrence M. Rudner, examined some 20,000 home-schooled students from 50 states. These students scored higher on standardized tests than public and private school students in every subject and at every grade level. The longer their parents had home schooled them, the better they did. The results shocked the left-leaning Rudner, who initially believed that home schoolers were a bunch of "conservative nuts." He has changed his mind. 


On standardized national tests of skills and achievement, Rudner found, home-schooled kids score better than 70 to 80 percent of all test-takers. Even more striking, he observes, "By eighth grade, the median performance of home-school students is almost four [grade] levels above that of students nationwide." By 12th grade, home-schooled students scored way up in the 92nd percentile in reading. Rudner cautions that his study doesn't compare home-schooled children, whose parents are generally richer and more educated than average, with equivalent public and private school kids. Moreover, the families whose kids he studied all sought testing materials from fundamentalist Bob Jones University, so they are a skewed sample.


Recent statistics from the SAT and ACT college entrance exams, though less impressive than Rudner's, are still solid. In 1999, students who identified themselves as home schooled scored an average of 1083 on the SAT, 67 points above the national average, and 22.7 on the ACT, compared with the national average of 21.


Sixty-nine percent of home schoolers go on to college, compared with 71 percent of grads from public high schools and 90 percent of private school grads. How do they get in without transcripts? Parents will put together portfolios with samples of their children's work and lists of their accomplishments. "If home-schooled students are required to take standardized tests, they take them," explains Cafi Cohen, a home-schooling mother and author of And What About College? "If they need a transcript, Mom or Dad sits down at the computer and writes up a transcript, with grades if necessary." More than two-thirds of American colleges now accept such transcripts, though some require home-schooled applicants to submit a GED or additional subject exams, and home schoolers now attend 900 colleges of all descriptions. Harvard accepts approximately ten every year. Oglethorpe in Atlanta actively recruits home schoolers.


Home-schooled undergrads do well, after the initial adjustment. Those who have enrolled at Boston University during the past four academic years, for example, have maintained a 3.3 grade-point average out of a perfect four. "Home schoolers bring certain skills—motivation, curiosity, the capacity to be responsible for their education—that high schools don't induce very well," a Stanford University admissions officer recently told the Wall Street Journal. The consensus among admissions officers across the country, a 1997 study reports, is that home-schooled students are academically, emotionally, and socially prepared to excel in college.


Critics of home schooling claim that withdrawing children from the classroom will retard their "socialization," to use educrat jargon. Charges Annette Cootes of the NEA-affiliated Texas State Teachers Association: "[H]ome schooling is a form of child abuse because you are isolating children from human interaction. I think home schoolers are doing a great discredit [sic] to their children."


Yet social science research suggests that home-schooled children aren't lacking in social skills. Grad student Larry Shyers of the University of Florida videotaped at play 70 home-schooled eight- to ten-year-old children and 70 children of the same age group who attended school. Trained counselors—who watched the tapes without knowing which group the kids belonged to—found only one behavioral difference: the home-schooled kids had fewer behavior problems.




For their part, home-schooling families reject the model of age-based socialization that the schools offer. "I don't know any adults who would choose to spend eight hours a day, five days a week with 20 to 30 people of exactly the same age," says Glorianna Pappas, a New York musician and home-schooling mother. Instead, home schoolers often meet people of widely different ages and outlooks when helping out at a homeless shelter or singing in a church choir. "This gives them a greater level of poise, experience, and maturity than can be had in the artificial confines of rigid, age-based classrooms," argues educational theorist Andrew J. Coulson.


Still, for home schoolers, family comes first. Historian Dana Mack sees home schooling as an important example of what she believes to be a growing "familist counterculture." This counterculture firmly rejects elite culture's contempt for traditional family values and its celebration of a me-first ethic in pleasure and work that has led to sky-high divorce and illegitimacy rates and a generation of sad and neglected kids. "Home schooling," Mack holds, "is one aspect of a new vision of family life that equates family time with children's well-being, and that puts family intimacy and child-parent bonds before self-realization and economic gain."


Home schooling seems to minimize the proverbial friction between teens and their parents. "Life with our home-schooled teens has been a joy—heaven," Laurie Runnion-Bareford enthuses. "It surprised us, because my friends who had teenage kids in the public schools were miserable." But, after all, argues home schooler Douglas Dewey, Chief Operating Officer of Theodore Forstmann's Children's Scholarship Fund, "Not so long ago, it wasn't considered natural or even tolerable for children to rebel against their parents."


The rise of home schooling has pressured the legal system to accommodate it. "From the early eighties through the next decade, there was a pitched war over whether home schooling was going to be legal at all," recalls Michael Farris, the lawyer and former politician who heads the Home Schooling Legal Defense Association. When his advocacy organization was formed in 1983, home schooling was illegal or strongly discouraged in all but three states, and school administrators and teachers' unions wanted to keep it that way. Parents who tried to teach their kids at home frequently faced jail terms and the loss of their children to foster care as school districts cracked down on them for breaking state compulsory education laws.


But because of the HSLDA, which has won virtually every legal battle it has fought, and because of the warm support of Republican legislators, home schooling is now legal in all 50 states, though the degree of state regulation varies. Texas's regulations, for example, are all but nonexistent: home-schooling parents must cover reading, spelling, grammar, math, and good citizenship, but they don't have to keep records or have their kids academically tested annually or follow any rigid timetable. New York's regulations, by contrast, require parents to teach "AIDS awareness," "substance abuse," physical education, and health (i.e., sex ed), among a host of other specific subject requirements, and they must do so on a state-determined schedule; parents must also file detailed quarterly reports with the local school superintendent. (Many states once required home-schooling parents to have teacher certification, but all have abolished that requirement.)


What level of regulation is appropriate for home schooling? The best arguments are on the side of a relatively laissez-faire approach. The New York–NEA model of constant school-district supervision and narrowly specified subject requirements implicitly presumes that the state does a good job educating kids and that parents are ignorant until proven otherwise—dubious propositions. Moreover, some states' subject requirements may offend a home-schooling family's deeply felt cultural and religious beliefs, subverting the very reason they've decided to home school their children in the first place. But the public does have a legitimate interest in making sure that home-schooled kids get educated and that, say, a dysfunctional foster care family isn't yanking its children out of school to use them as laborers. The most sensible regulations would be minimal, requiring home-schooled kids only to demonstrate—through taking a state test or some agreed-upon alternative means—that they were learning how to read, write, and do math by a certain age.


"In America in the twenty-first century," William Bennett recently observed, "no family should feel it has to educate at home to educate well." But until that day comes, home schooling will continue to grow—educating kids successfully, invigorating civil society, and reaffirming family values.


 It’s giving 2 million kids a good education, sound values, and a rich family life. If unaccredited parents can do it, why can’t the public schools?
Socialization Snobs!
Note: This column includes adult language.


Ask any homeschooling parent why they homeschool, and you're likely to receive as many different replies as there are families. Some of the common reasons include religious freedom, academic improvement, one-on-one tutoring and increased family closeness.


But for us, the single biggest reason we school at home correlates to the single biggest criticism homeschoolers get: socialization. Yes, it's largely due to the "socialization" children get in public schools that convinced us to homeschool.


Homeschooling allows us to be socialization snobs. We can filter out kids whose behavior offends us. We don't discriminate on the basis of race, creed, nation of origin, or other such nonsense. No, we discriminate on the basis of morals. If your kid insists on talking about the number of boys she slept with in the last month, I really don't want her around my kid. Call me fussy.


It's been said that too many rats locked up together in too small a cage will soon start tearing into each other. Same with kids. Schools force children to associate with other children based strictly on age. They are locked into cages containing dozens of rats … er, kids with one powerless and overworked teacher who is expected to be psychologist, counselor, nanny, babysitter and, oh yeah, teacher all rolled into one.


Manners are not expected and certainly not reinforced. If one child gets snarky with another, the other children encourage him until the snarkiness turns to meanness, which often leads to violence. This is the breeding ground for public school socialization.


I've been to homeschooling groups with up to 30 kids ranging from older teens to newborns. Everyone associates with everyone. Teens dandle babies. Twelve-year-olds play gentle tag with 5-year-olds. If one child gets snarky with another, there are five or six moms (as well as older kids) around to see the bad behavior and instantly correct it, so it seldom gets out of hand. Manners are expected and reinforced. This is the breeding ground for homeschooling socialization.


Why is this concept so difficult for the critics to grasp? I don't get it. I don't get it at all.


Recently, my husband came across a blog entry by a middle-school teacher that was so shocking that he waited until our kids were out of the room before calling me over to read it.


The blog entry [warning: obscene language] related a conversation this teacher overheard as she left school one afternoon. She passed a group of several boys and one girl (about 13) waiting for the bus. One of the boys had a plate of cookies. The teacher heard the girl say, "I'll give you a blow job for one of those cookies."


(Pause for a moment to marvel at how the heck a 13-year-old girl even knows what a blow job is.)


My husband e-mailed the teacher and expressed sympathy for the toughness of her job. The woman e-mailed back a weary verbal shrug and said it was all in a day's work.


Yes, all in a day's work to hear a child offer an intimate sex act in exchange for baked goods. And what does "all in a day's work" imply? That this type of social interaction is nothing unusual. Pretty typical, in fact. The teacher was just as horrified as we were, but she saw no solution. And people still have the gall to criticize homeschoolers for their … socialization skills? Or to criticize us for our parental desire to protect against this kind of exposure? I don't get it.


OK, so meanness, lack of manners and precocious sexualization are some of the "socializing" factors rampant in public schools. What about peer pressure and bullying?


We all remember bullying from our own school days. The fear of gym class. The avoidance of certain parts of campus such as the cafeteria, bathrooms or locker areas. The stomach-clenching dread of facing yet another day in which you were teased, threatened, snubbed or beaten up.


Kids have it tough. The desire to conform to peers is strong – strong enough to overcome parental influences, particularly when those parents are removed (by choice or by state) from being active in their children's lives. But even the children of good, involved parents can get mixed up with the wrong crowd at school simply because they desperately want to fit in. If you're not bouncy and pretty (as a girl) or athletic and handsome (as a boy), then you'll do whatever it takes to be accepted by the bouncy/pretty/athletic/handsome types, even if those types are bad influences in other respects.


"Homeschooling" implies that someone is at home. There are no latchkey kids. There are no after-school hours of "free time" before mom gets off work during which a 14-year-old with burgeoning hormones can get in trouble. Homeschooled kids are guided through the time of life when they have adult bodies but childish minds, a time when they can mature into competent adults or descend into horrifying mistakes. And yet people still have the gall to express concern over homeschoolers' … socialization.


Homeschooled kids don't live in a vacuum. While their publicly schooled peers are locked in a classroom for most of the daylight hours, homeschooled kids are out interacting with adults and children, picking up useful, well, socialization skills. And remember, one of the chief purposes of education is to teach children to become adults – productive, mature adults that contribute to society.


Academics are important, and studies demonstrate that homeschooled kids excel in this area. But there's more to life than academics, and that's one of the "balance" things homeschooled children learn in abundance. These are things like faith, honor, morals, patriotism, volunteerism, responsibility, family values, self-control and citizenship.


We sometimes hear the criticism that we cannot duplicate the benefits schools offer children, whether it's sports or music or chemistry labs. To which I reply, "You're right. We cannot duplicate your environment. We are merely trying to exceed your results."


Especially the results of socialization.



 

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
hailnbray
by on May. 20, 2011 at 7:41 PM

 first off more 3 yr olds have social issues. they spend there life with mommy and learning to interact with other children takes time. also my 8 yr old doesnt even do sit down book work. its crazy to think a 3 yr old would. We also have a child with special needs and they have never pushed extra preschool because of social issues. are you sure there isnt something more going on.

twyliatepeka
by Bronze Member on May. 20, 2011 at 8:55 PM

i LOVE  the reply by MelodysLove!

katzmeow726
by on May. 20, 2011 at 9:15 PM

 Just tell him that kids in public schools are strugglign in college, because all they learn is how to fill in a, b, c, or d.  Critical thinking, analysis, writing...all of it is second to standardized testing. There is proof to back this up!  Not to mention, home schooled kids are often ahead of peers, and develop skills and abilities that students in public (and in some cases, even private) education don't have time for.

  Home school allows you to tailor learnign to fit his needs, where as he will be expected to be another cardboard cut out of the public school system that says "one way to learn,a nd one way only."

Kenre
by on May. 20, 2011 at 9:15 PM
I don't know what is going on. Monkey's teacher called a few weeks ago to say he should attend Headstart next year along with his special education school (learning together). They have DH convinced that Monkey needs more time there to stop his tantrums, sit still longer, and is gone out of the house for hours... DH literally danced around the house Monkey's first day of school and said the best thing is that Monkey was gone out of his hair.

I have tried to explain exactly what you said to DH. He just says that public school does it, so it can be done.


Quoting hailnbray:

 first off more 3 yr olds have social issues. they spend there life with mommy and learning to interact with other children takes time. also my 8 yr old doesnt even do sit down book work. its crazy to think a 3 yr old would. We also have a child with special needs and they have never pushed extra preschool because of social issues. are you sure there isnt something more going on.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
SouthernMama08
by on May. 20, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Wow, not sure what to say.  My son, also 3, is very social, and he's homeschooled.  I think if a child is reserved (aka a little shy), then it'll be like that homeschool or public school.  I'm lucky that my husband supports me in homeschooling.

What does your husband think public school can offer your son?

silk72
by on May. 20, 2011 at 11:57 PM

You said you had 2 options, so can you go back and pick home therapy? DD has speech delay and they gave us the same options (dd also wouldn't sit or stand sit) the first year we decide on home therapy one hour every week. What I liked about it was that my dh and I where present in every session so we saw what  the therapist was doing so we can continue to help dd also. Then the second year we decide to sent her to preschool (only goes once a week for 45 mins.) and is with 2 children and she loves it. Every week after the session we talk with the therapist so she can tell us what she think we should work on with dd during the week. I honestly was going to sign my dd up for full time preschool but then decide that I would homeschool her because I think she is too young to go for long periods of time (3 now 4 in sep.)

I can't give you any advice about what to tell you about DH because I don't have that problem, but I would ask him why he feels and or thinks public school is better and the only was and then aks if he has any prove to his claims.

or you can do what I do when I feel that dh and I don't agree. I tell him it will be done my way and if and only if I feel it's not worry out then we try his way.

 

 

Michelle914
by on May. 21, 2011 at 12:48 AM

I'm not sure if this is pertinent to your situation but I just watched a video on learning styles.  It was saying that people learn best in different ways.  Some people will seem like they are not paying attention because they are pacing around or scribbling with a crayon or something but if you ask what you have just been saying, they have learned it and can go over it with you.  However if you make those people sit still at a desk and try to teach them something, they weren't able to retain it or learn it.  Public school wants everyone to learn the same way, sit still and quiet and listen but not everyone learns best that way.  With home schooling you can tailor your teaching to best suit your child's learning style.  The  video asks "Do you want your child to sit at a desk or do you want your child to learn?  Which is most important to you?"

twyliatepeka
by Bronze Member on May. 21, 2011 at 12:48 AM


Quoting Kenre:

I don't know what is going on. Monkey's teacher called a few weeks ago to say he should attend Headstart next year along with his special education school (learning together). They have DH convinced that Monkey needs more time there to stop his tantrums, sit still longer, and is gone out of the house for hours... DH literally danced around the house Monkey's first day of school and said the best thing is that Monkey was gone out of his hair.

I have tried to explain exactly what you said to DH. He just says that public school does it, so it can be done.

wow!! really!?!? that is crazy. i am sorry he is not supporting you.

*big hugs* i hope you can convince him to let you hs your son.

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