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Are most homeschoolers you know negligent?

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I'm not a fan of the perspective of this article, and from what I have seen this isn't the case at all with homeschool kids- what are your thoughts?

Who's Minding the Children?: Educational Neglect and the Homeschool Movement

The Religious Right touts homeschooling as the "responsible" educational choice. But what about the kids whose parents opt-out of the system -- and out of educating them, as well?
 
Photo Credit: jcjgphotography / Shutterstock.com

In recent weeks, homeschooling has received nationwide attention because of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s homeschooling family. Though Santorum paints a rosy picture of homeschooling in the United States, and calls attention to the “responsibility” all parents have to take their children’s education into their own hands, he fails to acknowledge the very real potential for educational neglect among some homeschooling families – neglect that has been taking place for decades, and continues to this day. 

While the practice of homeschooling is new to many people, my own interest in it was sparked nearly 20 years ago. I was a socially awkward adolescent with a chaotic family life, and became close to a conservative Christian homeschooling family that seemed perfect in every way. Through my connection to this family, I was introduced to a whole world of conservative Christian homeschoolers, some of whom we would now consider “Quiverfull” families: homeschooling conservatives who eschew any form of family planning and choose instead to “trust God” with matters related to procreation.  

Though I fell out of touch with my homeschooled friends as we grew older, a few years ago, I reconnected with a few ex-Quiverfull peers on a new support blog called No Longer Quivering. Poring over their stories, I was shocked to find so many tales of gross educational neglect. I don’t merely mean that they had received what I now view as an overly politicized education with huge gaps, for example, in American history, evolution or sexuality. Rather, what disturbed me were the many stories about homeschoolers who were barely literate when they graduated, or whose math and science education had never extended much past middle school. 

Take Vyckie Garrison, an ex-Quiverfull mother of seven who, in 2008, enrolled her six school-age children in public school after 18 years of teaching them at home. Garrison, who started the No Longer Quivering blog, says her near-constant pregnancies – which tended to result either in miscarriages or life-threatening deliveries – took a toll on her body and depleted her energy. She wasn’t able to devote enough time and energy to homeschooling to ensure a quality education for each child. And she says the lack of regulation in Nebraska, where the family lived, “allowed us to get away with some really shoddy homeschooling for a lot of years.”  

“I’ll admit it,” she confesses. “Because I was so overwhelmed with my life… It was a real struggle to do the basics, so it didn’t take long for my kids to fall far behind. One of my daughters could not read at 11 years old.” 

At the time, Garrison was taking parenting advice from Quiverfull leaders who deemphasized academic achievement in favor of family values. She remembers one Quiverfull leader saying, “If they can do mathematics perfectly but they have no morals, you have failed them.” 

The implication, she says, was that, “if they’re not doing so well academically, well, then they can catch up on that later. It’s not such a big deal. It was a really convenient way of thinking for me because I wasn’t able to keep up anyway.” This kind of rhetoric, Garrison notes, provided a “high-minded justification for educational neglect. I would not have gotten away with that if I’d had to get my kids tested every year.” 

Over time, Garrison lost faith in her fundamentalist ideology and became aware that her children’s education was being neglected. Eventually all but one of her six younger children ended up entering and excelling in the public school system

by on Mar. 15, 2012 at 5:12 AM
Replies (41-50):
KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 16, 2012 at 4:16 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting Liansmommie:




I completely agree! Both my Aspie & my neuro-typical boys handle social situations with aplomb. They are completely friendly & outgoing. They do not have restricted expectations like those taught through PS - they will willingly play w/ children from any gender, age, socio-ecconomic class, etc. seeing a child who dresses differently, speaks w/ an accent, etc just makes them MORE excited to get to know them. There are no clicks, there is no alienating one from a group, and they will happily do things their PS peers ould deem 'uncool' - for instance, they just completed a Folk Dancing class and had a great time!

I have seen 2 greatly different appoaches to HS parenting in public. There is the one group that doesn't really believe in rules & restrictions. These children are more free to express themselves however they wish, even if it is not an accepted behavior (loud in resturants, for example.) The other group tends to have very high expectations regarding beavior, respect, etc. i fall into the latter group. I demand my children respect their elders, behave in resturans, etc. Every family dynamic is different and it has little to do w/ educational choices.
mommy2b39465
by on Mar. 16, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I definitely understand that, to say that ALL homeschoolers are like that is to stereotype them. This is just what I've found with the ones I've known. By 'social issues' I don't necessarily mean not friendly, most of the homeschoolers I know are VERY friendly. It's just little things usually that make you look twice and think 'I bet they were homeschooled'. 

I agree that this article took a small amount of families and generalized it way too much. Pretty much every homeschooler I know is very intelligent and well taught. 

Quoting lucsch:

Quoting mommy2b39465:


most of the homeschooling families I know (I probably know a dozen, most with 4 or more kids), are very well educated and smart. I have noticed that most seem to have social issues. They're not quite good at behaving correctly in public, they tend to seem a little awkward. One family I know did a little better with this, by having the kids in as many social groups and clubs and sports as they could, but while they are much better socially, you can still tell they are homeschoolers.

Allowing that this must be true with all the families you know, I think to generalize this would be a disservice to homeschoolers.

I was public schooled and became more and more socially awkward as time went on. My daughter, who is homeschooled, on the other hand, is very friendly and talkative with just about anyone.

The profile of the homeschooling family has changed. It is much more mainstream now.

Also, your idea of "socialization" may not be what is acceptable to a homeschooling family. Just because they are different does not mean it is a bad thing. I don't want my dd to have the same outlook on life that is indoctrinated into kids in public schools. My dh agrees---he is a middle school principal in the city's public schools.


Now, back to the OP, I think this article is a very small percentage of homeschoolers. The Quiverfull movement IS a very small percentage of homeschoolers. I can see how this lady got overwhelmed by too many children (for her) and also that she apparently was blindly following the leadership for a while.

I don't like how the article made it look like public school is the answer to all educational  problems with homeschoolers. They went out and found ONE family and implied a generalization across the board. Bad, bad journalism!



0123456
by on Mar. 16, 2012 at 11:36 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting mommy2b39465:

I definitely understand that, to say that ALL homeschoolers are like that is to stereotype them. This is just what I've found with the ones I've known. By 'social issues' I don't necessarily mean not friendly, most of the homeschoolers I know are VERY friendly. It's just little things usually that make you look twice and think 'I bet they were homeschooled'. 

I agree that this article took a small amount of families and generalized it way too much. Pretty much every homeschooler I know is very intelligent and well taught. 

Quoting lucsch:

Quoting mommy2b39465:


most of the homeschooling families I know (I probably know a dozen, most with 4 or more kids), are very well educated and smart. I have noticed that most seem to have social issues. They're not quite good at behaving correctly in public, they tend to seem a little awkward. One family I know did a little better with this, by having the kids in as many social groups and clubs and sports as they could, but while they are much better socially, you can still tell they are homeschoolers.

Allowing that this must be true with all the families you know, I think to generalize this would be a disservice to homeschoolers.

I was public schooled and became more and more socially awkward as time went on. My daughter, who is homeschooled, on the other hand, is very friendly and talkative with just about anyone.

The profile of the homeschooling family has changed. It is much more mainstream now.

Also, your idea of "socialization" may not be what is acceptable to a homeschooling family. Just because they are different does not mean it is a bad thing. I don't want my dd to have the same outlook on life that is indoctrinated into kids in public schools. My dh agrees---he is a middle school principal in the city's public schools.



I agree that being outgoing is NOT being well socialized, and being reserved is NOT being socially awkward. Actually, most of the people that I would consider annoying and socially inept are "outgoing." They are the ones who don't leave you alone at the park, the ones who dominate conversations, the ones  who have to be on stage at everything, the ones who speak at inappropriate times, etc. 

Being socialized has nothing to do with being outgoing or reserved and everything to do with knowing how to behave in situations and having the self-control to behave appropriately.

That said, I think behavior has more to do with your family and your personality than your school environment. Weirdos will be weirdos no matter where they are in school. Granted, in home schooling, they are free to be themselves a little more, but let's not kid ourselves. They would have been weird in public school anyway, just maybe not so happy about it.


mommy2b39465
by on Mar. 16, 2012 at 11:48 PM

I think I see it most when they are around others of their own age. It kinda seems like they are more comfortable making friends with adults, then they have kids they have known forever and they are comfortable around them. 

But, when they are around kids their own age that they don't see all the time, there are awkward lulls in the conversation, or the conversation is one sided or just plain weird. It's like the kids who go to school don't know how to talk to them, and they're not quite sure how to connect with the school kids either. 

Quoting 0123456:


Quoting mommy2b39465:

I definitely understand that, to say that ALL homeschoolers are like that is to stereotype them. This is just what I've found with the ones I've known. By 'social issues' I don't necessarily mean not friendly, most of the homeschoolers I know are VERY friendly. It's just little things usually that make you look twice and think 'I bet they were homeschooled'. 

I agree that this article took a small amount of families and generalized it way too much. Pretty much every homeschooler I know is very intelligent and well taught. 

Quoting lucsch:

Quoting mommy2b39465:


most of the homeschooling families I know (I probably know a dozen, most with 4 or more kids), are very well educated and smart. I have noticed that most seem to have social issues. They're not quite good at behaving correctly in public, they tend to seem a little awkward. One family I know did a little better with this, by having the kids in as many social groups and clubs and sports as they could, but while they are much better socially, you can still tell they are homeschoolers.

Allowing that this must be true with all the families you know, I think to generalize this would be a disservice to homeschoolers.

I was public schooled and became more and more socially awkward as time went on. My daughter, who is homeschooled, on the other hand, is very friendly and talkative with just about anyone.

The profile of the homeschooling family has changed. It is much more mainstream now.

Also, your idea of "socialization" may not be what is acceptable to a homeschooling family. Just because they are different does not mean it is a bad thing. I don't want my dd to have the same outlook on life that is indoctrinated into kids in public schools. My dh agrees---he is a middle school principal in the city's public schools.



I agree that being outgoing is NOT being well socialized, and being reserved is NOT being socially awkward. Actually, most of the people that I would consider annoying and socially inept are "outgoing." They are the ones who don't leave you alone at the park, the ones who dominate conversations, the ones  who have to be on stage at everything, the ones who speak at inappropriate times, etc. 

Being socialized has nothing to do with being outgoing or reserved and everything to do with knowing how to behave in situations and having the self-control to behave appropriately.

That said, I think behavior has more to do with your family and your personality than your school environment. Weirdos will be weirdos no matter where they are in school. Granted, in home schooling, they are free to be themselves a little more, but let's not kid ourselves. They would have been weird in public school anyway, just maybe not so happy about it.



sha_lyn68
by Bronze Member on Mar. 17, 2012 at 1:04 AM
1 mom liked this

So why blame homeschooling for homeschoolers not being able to make a connection with someone who does know how to talk to them. Wouldn't the fault lay in the public schoolers who only know how to talk to those who also spend most of their time in a government institution? 

Quoting mommy2b39465:

I think I see it most when they are around others of their own age. It kinda seems like they are more comfortable making friends with adults, then they have kids they have known forever and they are comfortable around them. 

But, when they are around kids their own age that they don't see all the time, there are awkward lulls in the conversation, or the conversation is one sided or just plain weird. It's like the kids who go to school don't know how to talk to them, and they're not quite sure how to connect with the school kids either. 

Quoting 0123456:


Quoting mommy2b39465:

I definitely understand that, to say that ALL homeschoolers are like that is to stereotype them. This is just what I've found with the ones I've known. By 'social issues' I don't necessarily mean not friendly, most of the homeschoolers I know are VERY friendly. It's just little things usually that make you look twice and think 'I bet they were homeschooled'. 

I agree that this article took a small amount of families and generalized it way too much. Pretty much every homeschooler I know is very intelligent and well taught. 

Quoting lucsch:

Quoting mommy2b39465:


most of the homeschooling families I know (I probably know a dozen, most with 4 or more kids), are very well educated and smart. I have noticed that most seem to have social issues. They're not quite good at behaving correctly in public, they tend to seem a little awkward. One family I know did a little better with this, by having the kids in as many social groups and clubs and sports as they could, but while they are much better socially, you can still tell they are homeschoolers.

Allowing that this must be true with all the families you know, I think to generalize this would be a disservice to homeschoolers.

I was public schooled and became more and more socially awkward as time went on. My daughter, who is homeschooled, on the other hand, is very friendly and talkative with just about anyone.

The profile of the homeschooling family has changed. It is much more mainstream now.

Also, your idea of "socialization" may not be what is acceptable to a homeschooling family. Just because they are different does not mean it is a bad thing. I don't want my dd to have the same outlook on life that is indoctrinated into kids in public schools. My dh agrees---he is a middle school principal in the city's public schools.



I agree that being outgoing is NOT being well socialized, and being reserved is NOT being socially awkward. Actually, most of the people that I would consider annoying and socially inept are "outgoing." They are the ones who don't leave you alone at the park, the ones who dominate conversations, the ones  who have to be on stage at everything, the ones who speak at inappropriate times, etc. 

Being socialized has nothing to do with being outgoing or reserved and everything to do with knowing how to behave in situations and having the self-control to behave appropriately.

That said, I think behavior has more to do with your family and your personality than your school environment. Weirdos will be weirdos no matter where they are in school. Granted, in home schooling, they are free to be themselves a little more, but let's not kid ourselves. They would have been weird in public school anyway, just maybe not so happy about it.




mommy2b39465
by on Mar. 17, 2012 at 8:49 AM

haha VERY true......

Quoting sha_lyn68:

So why blame homeschooling for homeschoolers not being able to make a connection with someone who does know how to talk to them. Wouldn't the fault lay in the public schoolers who only know how to talk to those who also spend most of their time in a government institution? 

Quoting mommy2b39465:

I think I see it most when they are around others of their own age. It kinda seems like they are more comfortable making friends with adults, then they have kids they have known forever and they are comfortable around them. 

But, when they are around kids their own age that they don't see all the time, there are awkward lulls in the conversation, or the conversation is one sided or just plain weird. It's like the kids who go to school don't know how to talk to them, and they're not quite sure how to connect with the school kids either. 

Quoting 0123456:


Quoting mommy2b39465:

I definitely understand that, to say that ALL homeschoolers are like that is to stereotype them. This is just what I've found with the ones I've known. By 'social issues' I don't necessarily mean not friendly, most of the homeschoolers I know are VERY friendly. It's just little things usually that make you look twice and think 'I bet they were homeschooled'. 

I agree that this article took a small amount of families and generalized it way too much. Pretty much every homeschooler I know is very intelligent and well taught. 

Quoting lucsch:

Quoting mommy2b39465:


most of the homeschooling families I know (I probably know a dozen, most with 4 or more kids), are very well educated and smart. I have noticed that most seem to have social issues. They're not quite good at behaving correctly in public, they tend to seem a little awkward. One family I know did a little better with this, by having the kids in as many social groups and clubs and sports as they could, but while they are much better socially, you can still tell they are homeschoolers.

Allowing that this must be true with all the families you know, I think to generalize this would be a disservice to homeschoolers.

I was public schooled and became more and more socially awkward as time went on. My daughter, who is homeschooled, on the other hand, is very friendly and talkative with just about anyone.

The profile of the homeschooling family has changed. It is much more mainstream now.

Also, your idea of "socialization" may not be what is acceptable to a homeschooling family. Just because they are different does not mean it is a bad thing. I don't want my dd to have the same outlook on life that is indoctrinated into kids in public schools. My dh agrees---he is a middle school principal in the city's public schools.



I agree that being outgoing is NOT being well socialized, and being reserved is NOT being socially awkward. Actually, most of the people that I would consider annoying and socially inept are "outgoing." They are the ones who don't leave you alone at the park, the ones who dominate conversations, the ones  who have to be on stage at everything, the ones who speak at inappropriate times, etc. 

Being socialized has nothing to do with being outgoing or reserved and everything to do with knowing how to behave in situations and having the self-control to behave appropriately.

That said, I think behavior has more to do with your family and your personality than your school environment. Weirdos will be weirdos no matter where they are in school. Granted, in home schooling, they are free to be themselves a little more, but let's not kid ourselves. They would have been weird in public school anyway, just maybe not so happy about it.





0123456
by on Mar. 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM

It might also be that they don't have much in common. I have a much easier time talking to homeschool mothers than the mothers at baseball games who are WAYYYYY into baseball or the mothers who love to talk about their latest shopping excursion. It doesn't mean either one of us is right or wrong or backwards. It just means that we don't have a lot in common. I think it would be a boring world if we were all the same anyway.

As far as how homeschool kids get along with their same-age peers though, I really haven't noticed a problem. We have mixed up parties where the kids all get along just fine. I think it's because our families are similar regardless of where we send our kids (or don't send our kids) to school. Now, put us in a situation with families who have alcohol at children's parties, who spend their free time planning their next vacation without their kids, etc. and we probably won't have much to say to them. Different strokes for different folks.

Quoting sha_lyn68:

So why blame homeschooling for homeschoolers not being able to make a connection with someone who does know how to talk to them. Wouldn't the fault lay in the public schoolers who only know how to talk to those who also spend most of their time in a government institution? 

Quoting mommy2b39465:

I think I see it most when they are around others of their own age. It kinda seems like they are more comfortable making friends with adults, then they have kids they have known forever and they are comfortable around them. 

But, when they are around kids their own age that they don't see all the time, there are awkward lulls in the conversation, or the conversation is one sided or just plain weird. It's like the kids who go to school don't know how to talk to them, and they're not quite sure how to connect with the school kids either. 

Quoting 0123456:


Quoting mommy2b39465:

I definitely understand that, to say that ALL homeschoolers are like that is to stereotype them. This is just what I've found with the ones I've known. By 'social issues' I don't necessarily mean not friendly, most of the homeschoolers I know are VERY friendly. It's just little things usually that make you look twice and think 'I bet they were homeschooled'. 

I agree that this article took a small amount of families and generalized it way too much. Pretty much every homeschooler I know is very intelligent and well taught. 

Quoting lucsch:

Quoting mommy2b39465:


most of the homeschooling families I know (I probably know a dozen, most with 4 or more kids), are very well educated and smart. I have noticed that most seem to have social issues. They're not quite good at behaving correctly in public, they tend to seem a little awkward. One family I know did a little better with this, by having the kids in as many social groups and clubs and sports as they could, but while they are much better socially, you can still tell they are homeschoolers.

Allowing that this must be true with all the families you know, I think to generalize this would be a disservice to homeschoolers.

I was public schooled and became more and more socially awkward as time went on. My daughter, who is homeschooled, on the other hand, is very friendly and talkative with just about anyone.

The profile of the homeschooling family has changed. It is much more mainstream now.

Also, your idea of "socialization" may not be what is acceptable to a homeschooling family. Just because they are different does not mean it is a bad thing. I don't want my dd to have the same outlook on life that is indoctrinated into kids in public schools. My dh agrees---he is a middle school principal in the city's public schools.



I agree that being outgoing is NOT being well socialized, and being reserved is NOT being socially awkward. Actually, most of the people that I would consider annoying and socially inept are "outgoing." They are the ones who don't leave you alone at the park, the ones who dominate conversations, the ones  who have to be on stage at everything, the ones who speak at inappropriate times, etc. 

Being socialized has nothing to do with being outgoing or reserved and everything to do with knowing how to behave in situations and having the self-control to behave appropriately.

That said, I think behavior has more to do with your family and your personality than your school environment. Weirdos will be weirdos no matter where they are in school. Granted, in home schooling, they are free to be themselves a little more, but let's not kid ourselves. They would have been weird in public school anyway, just maybe not so happy about it.





JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Mar. 17, 2012 at 4:49 PM

I couldn't agree more.  And where did you get that photo, I'm ROTF - -that's SO true....

Quoting Bethsunshine:

A few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. I know some people who shouldn't be homeschooling, but I also know some who SHOULD!!


Bethsunshine
by on Mar. 17, 2012 at 4:52 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting JKronrod:


I got it from Facebook.


Join us in Christian Homeschoolers!!


http://www.cafemom.com/group/3200

jen2150
by Silver Member on Mar. 18, 2012 at 10:21 PM
1 mom liked this

I know many homeschoolers who are doing an awesome job.  My sons have more experiences than I ever had in school.  It is amazing how kids spending all day in one room with the same kids all year is the real world and homeschooling  is not.  My kids have more activities, friends, opportunities, creativity, curiosity, social skills, and field trips than I ever had in school.  Homeschooling is not for everyone.  It requires an ability to learn, time, and dedication.  I was taught so many things weren't even true in school.  As a homeschooler I am able to meet my children's needs in a way most schools can not.  

Quoting sexysiren1983:

I think it's one of those things where it can work for a few parents and their kids, but not everyone or even most or even many. I think there is a greater risk of the child having academic and social problems if they're homeschooled. In many cases, yes I think it's a form of emotional and educational deprivation and neglect----there are far too many "underqualified" parents homeschooling their kids. I also believe that in order to homeschool, certain educational background standards must be met.

Think about it: you wouldn't want a  mere highschool graduate teaching your child, would you? Then why should parents get exceptions? Just bc they're the parents? They should have and emet the same qualifications teachers have to: a bachelor's degree, and a credential or at least emergency teaching eprmit (which I have so techincially I could homeschool but I will choose not to...in fact she goes to preschool now).

There are also forms of socila isolation that people forget hoemschooled kdis go through. Chidlren do betetr when with their own kind. I personally beleiev the problem with many homeschooling aprents is that at the root of their desires to homeschool their child is a selfish goal: to keep the child to themselves, in a way, keep them a baby forever, and also it gives many parents an excuse not to work.


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