Homeschooling: Here's my take on it, What's yours?


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Trad climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 08:45pm PT
Thanks for some great "food for thought" -- yet another reason ST is so awesome -- connection to folks with ideas different than your own that really get you to thinking...and expanding your understanding and view of the world.

I never would have googled "home schooling", but your thoughtful post (as so many of your others) with pictures reached me on another level.

Last week the muppet's preschool teachers gave me an "evaluation" at least 10+ pages long where she is compared to other preschoolers nationally in I don't remember how many categories. She's 3.5 years old. She'll be evaluated again in the Spring. My own mind started to wander about three pages in because I couldn't make sense out of the format or what it was meant to convey. Words and lines and comparisons.

I realized reading your story that I am actually dreading putting the muppet in kindergarden. We don't enjoy sitting still for long periods of time, or learning from written materials. We like to "do"...we're kinesthetic. And we have an overabundance of energy that needs physical and creative outlets or we get temperamental (or worse, we retreat into ourselves).

There are concerns about all that energy, challenges with self expression, speaking ever so softly and inverting/getting things backwards. All of this I know intrinsically as reflections of myself in her. And I also know how it feels to have people all your life long trying to make you into something that you are not, for lack of understanding or simply a preconceived notion that everyone should fit a certain mold because different is not good and needs to be fixed (there are National standards, don't you know?).

Mark Powell told me last fall how and why the nickname "Dolt" came about. He said that the things that came out of Bill's mouth didn't make any sense, to which he would respond (affectionately, bluntly, as only a true friend can): "You DOLT!" I was in stitches.

"I know," I said, laughing, while trying to breathe and regain my sense of decorum. "No, I mean I REALLY KNOW!" (But I couldn't, at that very moment, explain why. There were too many emotions, ideas and words tumbling over themselves in my head to SAY anything. I promptly shut my mouth.)

While I didn't have the benefit of this mirror of understanding growing up (well, until 10 months ago that is -- lol), I don't want the muppet to suffer the feelings of having her wings clipped to keep her on the ground with the rest of the flock. Thank you for helping me realize that there are choices in teaching my little muppet to fly.


Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jan 25, 2013 - 08:46pm PT
Yeah, I'm struggling a bit with what to do with my daughter. Here in SLC, she's definitely in a minority as a non-LDS kid. And Asian on top of it. Even at 10, the cliquishness starts.
Don't know that I or my wife have the time or or patience to do the homeschooling thing even if we wanted to. But I can see some advantages.

OTOH, I would be very wary of the socialization thing. Getting kids out and doing things with others of their age is very important. Where I went to college, there was a home-schooled 16 yr old. Brillant kid, but absolutely lost socially. Classes were small, and he didn't have the first clue how to interact with others, which was essential. It was very hard for him.

Jan 25, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
Crag, In yer spare time can you post up all the famous public schooled folks? Just the success stories though keep it fair

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 25, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
If I may add, I know PLENTY of public school kids who are complete introverts, completely unable to converse with even their peers.

A child like this, whether homeschooled or in a public or private institution, are ALL products of their parents social skills.

It is completely unfair to pigeon hole a homeschool child as potentially being shy and introverted.

We have a HUGE network of homeschool kids here on the east side...hundreds.
I don't know of a SINGLE one that could be called introverted. Quite the opposite, actually.

EDIT: kennyt, it is unfair of you to attack something just because YOU think it doesn't work. Wise up.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 25, 2013 - 08:52pm PT
I'm sure an equally impressive compendium can be made with publicly schooled kids.
It is pretty meaningless IMHO.

My question is to all the college admissions people out there: it seems
that more and more these days admission to the more coveted schools depends
a whole lot more on stuff other than just your grades, right? It would seem more
difficult for the home-schooled kid to present an impressive extracurricular
curriculum vitae. But then I suppose too much cachet is given to getting a
BA at a 'premium' school. Some of my nieces and nephews went to 'premium'
schools and I am not impressed with what they came away with.

Jan 25, 2013 - 08:56pm PT
When my kids are old enough to belay We will start homeschooling. That's what would be best for me!
The Chief

Climber from the Land Mongols under the Whites
Jan 25, 2013 - 09:00pm PT
Here was my Homeschool...

Best Schooling any young man/women could ever have....

Trad climber
Living Outside the Statist Quo
Jan 25, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
I teach at a public HS and fully support the home school concept. I had a student on my debate team last year and he was in one of my classes. He was home schooled thru 8th grade and he was a straight A student. His presentations and debates were excellent. Like others said its all on how it's done and if it were my kids, I'd put the trust in the wife and I.

Sounds like your producing some great success.

I also support vouchers, what's wrong with a little competition?


Jan 25, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
Another famous homeschooled person Katie Morgan. Yeah
work this
work this
Credit: kennyt
pretty social I'd say
pretty social I'd say
Credit: kennyt
Katie was born and raised in Reseda, Los Angeles, California in an extremely religious family. She was home-schooled for the entirety of her school career. She claims to have lost her virginity at age 16 with her first boyfriend in a church parking lot where she was teaching Sunday School. She first married in 1998 at age 18 to another man whom she had known since age 12 through Church Camp.
Dave Kos

Social climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
All of you are right.

Like I said, my wife has a million stories about home schooling. She's been working with home-school kids for the past ten years and has worked with hundreds of them at every grade level.

There are plenty of examples of home schooling being very successful, and others that are a disaster. Just like the public school approach.

The socialization thing is important but socialization can cut both ways. There are no bullies in home-schools.

Lots of home-school programs today offer a balance. At my wife's school, kids can take some classes in a classroom with other homeschool kids, and even enroll in a few classes at the local public school.

They can achieve a "well-rounded" college application by joining clubs and participating in "club" sports. It is surprising how much stuff is out there that is not part of the school system.

It is true that there are a large number of people who home-school for religious reasons. At my wife's school, some try to game the system and use their public funds to purchase religious materials (part of her job is to enforce these rules.) Most of the strongly-religious families are very nice and respectful people. Some are outright whackjobs.

We've seen the nicest Christian-raised girls graduate high school and go straight to a life of promiscuity and drugs.

We've seen others go to Ivy League schools and West Point.

We do not home-school our own kids, but would not rule it out if at some point we felt that the public schools were not working for any of them.

The dominant component in any kid's education is the parents. When you home-school, it matters that much more.


Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Jan 25, 2013 - 09:36pm PT
Home schooling implies that some one needs to be at home in order to see to the children's education. This is no longer an option for the majority of the American populace. Quite simply it now requires two incomes to live the American Dream!

If you have the luxury of home schooling your children you should be very grateful, and you should realize that most of us cannot afford to do so.

The unwashed masses are left in the public school morass.
Dave Kos

Social climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 09:39pm PT
Most of the families my wife works with are probably below median income. They just make do with one income.

Others are dirt poor and really are doing a disservice to their children because they cannot provide a stable environment to educate them.

There really is no "typical" home-school student.

Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 25, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
Just to share a story. Most of the home schooled kids I know are great but...

I had two home schooled girls (age 14 and 17)and their mom working for me for a few seasons at The Ren-Faire. Mom was a single parent doing the home schooling.

The whole family was likeable, bright, whizzes at doing math in their heads and not socially awkward at all (extroverted if anything). They were my top sales people making triple the commission the other employees were.

... I was sad to find out after a few years that neither of the girls could read or write. (They were very skilled at hiding the fact). Mom couldn't read well, so she sort of left that part out of the home-schooling. It kinda made me mad when I found out. It seemed like a pretty critical skill for life in the real world. The kids were brilliant and mom basically slammed the door on a lot of opportunities for them. They were able to enroll in classes later to learn, but I'm sure it was a bit rough learning to read in your 20's.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 25, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
Micronut... Are your kids being homeschooled privately or under the auspices of your public school district? I was a district office administrator for most of my career and I administered our "homeschooling" programs. A public school district calls them "homeschooling" because that is easily understood. Legally, they are "full time independent study". All students in a district run full time independent study are legally allowed access to all the activities the district offers such as sports, dances etc. Many districts don't adhere to that or try to implement policies to circumvent that. I've been retired a couple years but I don't think that has changed for programs operated by the district. Just some info

Another thing....California still has compulsory attendance laws so "homeschooling" is technically illegal unless you do it through an authorized school or agency or get an "affidavit" usually from a county office of education....and typically they are just given out with no checking to see if the "teacher" is capable of educating.


Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 25, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
Homeschool is a choice on MANY of them is making a committment to your childs education, and a willingness to perhaps sacrifice the things a dual income family might afford.


Jan 25, 2013 - 10:08pm PT
Like, food, shelter and clothing. Cragman,please tell me I misread that your wife is a public school teacher but you homeschool your kids.

Kennewick wa
Jan 25, 2013 - 10:13pm PT
My take on it is it works because the parents are very involved. Most of those kids would do well in a public school because their parents would still be very involved. I worked with a great kid who was home schooled. She was so happy when, at 16, her parents let her go to a "real" school (a small private school). Why? She got to spend more time with other kids and teachers for a more rounded point of view (that was her reasoning). If all parents spent 2 or 3 hours working on their kids school work with them I think we would see the return of our high standards.

BTW I have a 1st and 5th grader. Both at an excellent public school. It's excellent because the parents at the school are some the most engaged and involved I have seen. We (and by "we" I mean mostly my wife, I'm at work :) spend a couple of hours every day on various school work (even during weekends and the summer).

EDIT: fortunately they take after their Mom. Those Indians don't fool around when it comes to education (haha)

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 25, 2013 - 10:17pm PT
Sorry, kennyt...let me clarify....yes, my wife taught public school for years...until our first child was born. She then became a stay at home mom, and we homeschooled our two kids.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Jan 25, 2013 - 10:18pm PT
If all parents spent 2 or 3 hours working on their kids school work with them I think we would see the return of our high standards.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 25, 2013 - 10:19pm PT
My take?

If you're doing it primarily to give your kids a Christian bible education, like millions are, it's terribly misguided.

Or for prayer in school reasons, again, terribly misguided.

This is the 21st century, parents. Your kids and theirs are going to have to compete against the Asian Indians and the Chinese in an overpopulated highly competitive world. Keep that in mind. Would your homeschooling include Chinese as well as calculus? Mine would. :)
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