Author Topic: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?  (Read 9491 times)

zolotiyeruki

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Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« on: February 18, 2015, 01:27:57 PM »
We've started quite the discussion in the comments on MMM's recent post.  So much so that we seem to have maxed out the commenting depth.  So I'm starting a topic here so that we can more thoroughly hash out our individual arguments for or against.

Jenny and Scott, have at it! :D

UnleashHell

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 02:22:02 PM »
Does school mean that kids only learn to socialize within their age group?

Define socialize within the context of school and how school cater for that?

Do schools that spend a lot of time testing kids and teaching them how to past tests actually educate Kids for the outside world?

Do schools have to ram commercials down the throats of the kids every day?

Can someone please explain the benefits of a pep rally vs teaching the kids?
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MrsK

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 02:42:24 PM »
I think the choice is important.  My son has only attended pubic school and is thriving.  He has had so many great teachers and he really, really enjoys school.  But if you have a kid who hates school like the MMM kid, this would be horrible and I can see why a parent would seek out a better solution. 

However, I don't think you can broadly say that kids in public school are taught no creativity just like you can say that all home school kids have ADHD. 


zolotiyeruki

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 02:49:44 PM »
I think the choice is important.  My son has only attended pubic school and is thriving.  He has had so many great teachers and he really, really enjoys school.  But if you have a kid who hates school like the MMM kid, this would be horrible and I can see why a parent would seek out a better solution. 

However, I don't think you can broadly say that kids in public school are taught no creativity just like you can say that all home school kids have ADHD.
Our kids have similarly enjoyed public school, but we eventually decided to homeschool for a number of reasons.  The math curriculum was terrible (we watched our kids actually *regress* because of it) and our kids weren't given the opportunity to advance as fast as they were able to.  There were a bunch of other smaller reasons, but those were two of the larger ones.

zinnie

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 02:53:37 PM »
This thread topic is my concern--I can't find the source anymore but I read a great article about this recently. The author was basically making the case that when the most involved/ capable/ wealthy parents leave the school for greener pastures, it degrades the quality of the school even more over time.

I went to fantastic public schools K-12. The courses I took my senior year of high school were a lot more challenging than most of my first-and-second-year college courses. It can be done with the right resources and parent involvement. As a country we can do better than we are doing--kids in poor neighborhoods shouldn't get low-quality schools while kids in rich neighborhoods get high-quality schools.

From a bigger picture perspective on how this impacts all children, it would be nice if the two parent family who who can afford to have one parent stay home was working to improve the public schools in addition to the single mom who has to drop her kids off somewhere so she can work for minimum wage and doesn't have time for many PTA meetings. Otherwise I don't see how this doesn't make the gap between rich and poor even worse over time.

ETA: I fully understand why a parent would remove their child from a school when there was a much better option out there. I also assume that most parents who remove their children have exhausted all options at the school first. I am just thinking about what it does to all of the kids left behind and what options are better for all children as a whole.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 03:30:24 PM »
I have a couple issues with the assertion that "the departure of children of involved parents hurts the remaining kids."  For the sake of this argument, let's say the kid who's leaving is academically talented, since there seems to be a fair correlation.
1)  The same teachers and staff are still at the school, teaching the same things.
2)  If only the high-performing kids leave, teachers have a narrower spectrum of kids to teach, which means they can tailor their lessons accordingly. 
3)  We're ignoring the positive impact on the child who leaves. High-performance kids are held back in the current system, just because you have a classroom with a wide range of learning abilities.  Leaving such an environment for one with more ability-specific teaching is a HUGE benefit to that student.
4)  What, exactly, is the positive impact of the high-performing student on the rest of the class?  I keep hearing the argument, without any rational explanation for this, other than "because diversity!"

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 08:39:25 PM »
I would think there is a much larger and more significant effect from parents moving to "better" (ie, whiter) school districts, creating a self-reinforcing cycle as the discrepancies between the "good" and "bad" schools get bigger with time. I witnessed this firsthand in the county in which I resided in Mississippi. It was pretty devastating to parents who couldn't afford to move out of the collapsing school district or send their kids to public school. One school district could attract and retain talent, and the other simply couldn't. Housing prices faltered in the failing district as well (I'm trying to sell my house in that district and it sucks).

I don't think homeschooling is widespread enough to cause the kind of cycle that we witnessed in that area, but maybe in some areas.
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deborah

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 10:26:46 PM »
The positive impact?

When I teach adults computerised embroidery, I find that some "get it" sooner than others. The ones that get it explain to the ones who don't in different words to what I used. Generally several different explanations really assist the others. Also, people who are working through the notes have "ah-hah" moments, and get thrilled that they can do something, so the others gather around to see what they are doing, and find the class even more exciting.  The high-performing students encourage the other students to go beyond the notes, and try techniques for themselves.

I do find that although there are a range of skills (from people who don't know how to drag and drop, to people who have worked with computers for years) everyone has their moment of being the high performing student. Everyone can learn from the others.

Adults are all in my classes because they want to learn. School students may not, yet if they had another student in their class who was finding it fascinating, I'm sure they could too.

Dimitri

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 04:14:16 AM »
I would think that in many cases it is beneficial to the children in the public schools.  Without the homeschool crowd they can actually learn about evolution without some -fundamentalist- interrupting the class to "inform" the teacher that Satan put fossils on earth to test the faithful.

[MOD EDIT:  let's be polite now.]
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 06:12:00 AM by FrugalToque »

Hotstreak

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2015, 08:38:44 PM »
The positive impact?

When I teach adults computerised embroidery, I find that some "get it" sooner than others. The ones that get it explain to the ones who don't in different words to what I used. Generally several different explanations really assist the others. Also, people who are working through the notes have "ah-hah" moments, and get thrilled that they can do something, so the others gather around to see what they are doing, and find the class even more exciting.  The high-performing students encourage the other students to go beyond the notes, and try techniques for themselves.

. . .


Adult learning is different from child learning, though.  In an environment where teachers require students to stay in their seats, and sometimes punish them for talking with other students, it's not worth the risk of helping the rest of the class (much safer to stay quiet and bored!).

freznow

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2015, 10:34:35 PM »
Oooh! I read a study somewhat related to this once. Let me see if I can find it...

Ah, here! http://economics.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/files/events/Gautam.Rao_JMP_latest.pdf

From the abstract:
Quote
I study impacts on three classes of outcomes: (i) prosocial behavior, (ii) social interac- tions and discrimination, and (iii) academic outcomes. First, I find that having poor classmates makes wealthy students more prosocial and generous. ...Second, having poor classmates makes wealthy students discriminate less against poor children, measured by their teammate choice in an incentivized sports contest. ...Third, I find marginally significant negative effects on test scores in English, but no effect on Hindi or Math. Overall, I conclude that mixing in schools had substantial positive effects on the social behaviors of wealthy students, at the cost of negative but arguably modest impacts on academic achievement.

So basically it's saying that introducing a few poor students into a wealthy school influences the generosity and social kindness of the wealthy students wayyyyy more than it negatively impacts the academic scores of the wealthy students.  Note that this is just ONE scenario and isn't quite the same thing as taking, for instance, a gifted child out of public school. But it does show that there are some effects (that you probably would expect) from mixing children of high socioeconomic status with those of low. (And, regarding policy, that's the more practical application than a parent asking "Should I keep my kid in school for the sake of everyone else's kid?", which is not a question that anyone can really answer when it's so individual and specific.)


So, you know, I don't actually think that homeschooling is really the issue if you're talking about having beneficial diversity of students in the classroom. For one, only 3.4% of students are home schooled compared to about 10% ish in private schools. Secondly, the socioeconomic status of homeschooling tends to be similar to that of the general population, compared to private school which proportionately draws upper class students. (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/homeschool/characteristics.asp) Private schools, have a much greater influence on the socioeconomic diversity of local public schools.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2015, 08:32:33 AM »
Oooh! I read a study somewhat related to this once. Let me see if I can find it...

Ah, here! http://economics.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/files/events/Gautam.Rao_JMP_latest.pdf
Thanks for posting that!  I wonder what the effects are when you have a group of students who are socioeconomically similar but academically diverse.  Or, what about a situation with socioeconomic diversity but not as much academic diversity?

Syonyk

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2015, 06:34:19 PM »
When I teach adults computerised embroidery, I find that some "get it" sooner than others. The ones that get it explain to the ones who don't in different words to what I used. Generally several different explanations really assist the others. Also, people who are working through the notes have "ah-hah" moments, and get thrilled that they can do something, so the others gather around to see what they are doing, and find the class even more exciting.  The high-performing students encourage the other students to go beyond the notes, and try techniques for themselves.

You mean you have students actively disrupting the class to talk, and students freely milling around the room?  What sort of madhouse are you running there? :p

(seriously, what you describe your students doing, while obviously useful, would be classified as "disruptive behavior" in 99 out of 100 public schools)
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velocistar237

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2015, 01:21:07 PM »
I've heard another perspective, which you might call "voting third-party."

Many of you have probably seen the TED talk by Ken Robinson about how schools kill creativity. Some people even think that institutionalized schooling is so far gone that it's impossible to fix without first dismantling the current system.

If true, you should consider whether you have a responsibility to pull your children out of school. When enough people vote third-party, the party in power will notice. You can see why I make the analogy, though, because trying to reform schools by abandoning them feels like throwing away your vote. But your vote doesn't matter already; nothing you do will keep schools from teaching to the test or executing zero tolerance discipline or teaching to the lowest common denominator, etc.

If you want to help your community, consider finding a way that doesn't prop up a system that needs a complete reboot.

MoneyCat

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2015, 01:46:21 PM »
Public schools are being privatized right now and teachers are being transformed from professionals to amateurs to cut costs.  Basically, your children are being turned into cash cows for companies like Pearson.  Get out while you still can.

Syonyk

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2015, 01:54:56 PM »
For argument's sake let's pretend that yes, homeschooling does harm those left at public schools.  If you are considering homeschooling, would you as a parent intentionally leave your child in a lousy public school system to benefit the children that aren't yours, even it's it's a detriment to your child?  I'm going to go with...no.

Well, you know, the common good, you being your brother's keeper, all that stuff... you should willingly sacrifice your child's education if it means that according to some theory somewhere the classroom might be a tiny fraction better!

(we plan to homeschool, and yes, I've heard and ignored this argument)
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Joshin

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2015, 03:25:01 PM »
I'm going for the third party vote. It's working in our district. There are now co-op classes run by the school district that cater directly to homeschooled kids, so you can have the best of both worlds if you so choose. This has allowed both single working parents and lower income working families to take advantage of homeschool options, because they can put the kids in school for a couple of days a week while they work, then homeschool in the evenings. It's actually been pretty cool to see. ***

We gave public schools a fair chance for 2 1/2 years with my eldest. I even worked as a "staff volunteer" with the underserved students -- which means I was an unpaid teacher for both the advanced and the struggling readers. Between dealing with the school, my son's problems with the school, the focus on testing to the exemption of all else, and what I witnessed working in the school, pulling my kids out and not going back was a no-brainer. This was a middle of the road school in an excellent district. Parents were active, to the extent they were allowed.

Finally, just because my kids aren't in the "system" doesn't mean we are not active in it. My younger son and I volunteer at area elementary schools, running science and astronomy demonstrations. My teenage son is a volunteer reading and math tutor in the nearby elementary school. It's not an either/or thing -- either you go to the school and help, or you stay home and hurt others. You can work to improve public education without putting your own kids up as sacrificial lambs.

***I do not think everyone needs to or even should homeschool. I do think everyone should have an option when it comes to educational methods. This includes more public educational models as opposed to the current one-size-fits-all factory school mode.

abhe8

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2015, 04:49:09 PM »
Umm.... Does it matter?? I home school because it is far and away the best for my kids and my family. Their needs come before the needs of the kids down the road at the public school. (But maybe we are exempt from the discussion as we never left that school... We have always homeschooled).

abhe8

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2015, 04:52:31 PM »
For argument's sake let's pretend that yes, homeschooling does harm those left at public schools.  If you are considering homeschooling, would you as a parent intentionally leave your child in a lousy public school system to benefit the children that aren't yours, even it's it's a detriment to your child?  I'm going to go with...no.

I'm thankful to live in a country where parents are free to choose, and a state where homeschooling is strong.
Yes! All of this.

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2015, 05:00:06 PM »
For argument's sake let's pretend that yes, homeschooling does harm those left at public schools.  If you are considering homeschooling, would you as a parent intentionally leave your child in a lousy public school system to benefit the children that aren't yours, even it's it's a detriment to your child?  I'm going to go with...no.

I'm thankful to live in a country where parents are free to choose, and a state where homeschooling is strong.

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libertarian4321

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2015, 05:06:33 AM »
I went to a public school and did fine.  Went on to college and got multiple degrees, a decent paying job, etc.

That said, I was bored out of my mind day in and day out.  I did attend class because my parents made me, but I usually spent my time reading books, comics, etc or drawing in the back of the class. 

It's an unfortunate truth that classrooms are set up to teach at a pace where the SLOW kids can learn.

What does that do to the brighter kids?  Leaves them bored as hell.  Twiddling their thumbs, reading something else, or (these days) probably surfing the net.  Kind of like "Ok, teach, I got it the first time, why are you explaining it for the 8th time?"

Today, I know the answer.  Teacher was explaining the same concept YET AGAIN because the low IQ types in the class still didn't get it.  But when I was 12, I just found it annoying and frustrating.

I don't know if "home schooling" is the answer for everything, but for kids who are really sharp, it might be a viable alternative.

This, of course, assumes that the parent or home school teacher is bright and up to the task.

It wouldn't be effective if the home school teacher is some dim wit who teaches science from the Bible. 

Having the home school teacher preach "And, as the Biiiible says, Noah loaded all the animals on the Ark two by two, and they went forth and populated the earth, Praise Jeebus" ain't going to cut it.  How did Kangaroos get from Mt. Arararat to Australia?  Did they fly on a 747?  What about all the plants, did Noah pack them onto his hand made boat, too?

So home schools could be part of the answer, I suppose, but they'd have to be used carefully to ensure that the "instructors" weren't dumb asses.


Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2015, 02:39:04 PM »
I was homeschooled k-12, and the idea that it's only the wealthy families is definitely an untrue stereotype - my family was far below the poverty line the entire time I was growing up. My parents were accidental mustachians. :D Parents chose to homeschool for a lot of different reasons, and if it's important enough, they make the finances work.


*random comments about teh dumb religious folk*
So home schools could be part of the answer, I suppose, but they'd have to be used carefully to ensure that the "instructors" weren't dumb asses.

Two things:
1. "Liberty" means people can do what they want. It's not particularly "libertarian" of you to say people should be free to do what they like as long as they don't disagree with you too much.
2. Love 'em or hate 'em, without fundamentalist religious people, there would be no option to homeschool at all. They pulled their kids out of school based on their beliefs, even though homeschooling was illegal at the time. Many of them spent time in jail and/or had their kids taken away from them. We have the luxury of debating good vs bad reasons to homeschool because they were willing to act on and stand up for their beliefs regardless of the consequences.

Alabaster

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2015, 05:13:06 PM »
I have a couple issues with the assertion that "the departure of children of involved parents hurts the remaining kids."  For the sake of this argument, let's say the kid who's leaving is academically talented, since there seems to be a fair correlation.
1)  The same teachers and staff are still at the school, teaching the same things.
2)  If only the high-performing kids leave, teachers have a narrower spectrum of kids to teach, which means they can tailor their lessons accordingly. 
3)  We're ignoring the positive impact on the child who leaves. High-performance kids are held back in the current system, just because you have a classroom with a wide range of learning abilities.  Leaving such an environment for one with more ability-specific teaching is a HUGE benefit to that student.
4)  What, exactly, is the positive impact of the high-performing student on the rest of the class?  I keep hearing the argument, without any rational explanation for this, other than "because diversity!"

This was partially addressed before but I'll chime in here. (My parents are both public school teachers...)

Your high performing kids also tend to be your better behaved and more responsible kids. They are an asset to the class room in several ways including:
1) Build your groups around them. You make sure your brighter students are paired with less well prepared kids.
2) The brighter students can help explain things to their peers.
3) They serve as good behavioral role models.
4) You don't have to worry as much about them. When they are not working with other students, you can leave them on their own. They can work ahead, read, ext. As long as they aren't causing distractions, you tend not to bother them. This lets you focus on the kids who do need attention.
5) They give you good examples to point out. i.e. Pretend you have the class doing book reports. Each week a few students present. You can put some of your better students on the first rotation or two. Their projects will likely be of good quality so your feedback will be all the more useful. This way the entire class will have a better idea of what is expected.

Mostly variations on that type of thing...

For record, I'm a big proponent of ability grouping. I received an excellent education in public schools. In elementary I started in pull out programs. (Classroom teachers typically encouraged kids that were ahead of the class to read privately or teach others). Then I moved to a full day 'gifted' classroom from 5-8th grade. I attended the local high school and leveraged the IB and AP programs there. I certainly wasn't bored!

It wasn't until I got to (public) college and started paying an arm and a leg to teach myself that the quality of my education dropped.

In defense of those who seem to think that accelerated students are undeserved in public schools, I did once end up in a normal high school physics class room (I was too lazy to take IB Physics...) and that was bad. The class was covering/using material I learned four years prior. That's when I understood why people drop out of high school.

That having all been said, I would never encourage someone to do anything for the sake of someone else. I claim that the only way to efficiently allocate resources is for each individual to do what they expect will work out best for them. I once read a report on a school system in the deep south who had, until recently, actually shipped kids across town to increase diversity. That seems absolutely crazy to me! I spent way too much time on a bus when attending college. That was not very productive time and I would not wish it on anyone!

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2015, 05:46:38 PM »
Regarding #4: This is part of why my wife and I plan to home school. When the best option for them is being left alone and ignored, that's not a great education.
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zolotiyeruki

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2015, 12:48:19 PM »
This was partially addressed before but I'll chime in here. (My parents are both public school teachers...)

Your high performing kids also tend to be your better behaved and more responsible kids. They are an asset to the class room in several ways including:
1) Build your groups around them. You make sure your brighter students are paired with less well prepared kids.
2) The brighter students can help explain things to their peers.
3) They serve as good behavioral role models.
4) You don't have to worry as much about them. When they are not working with other students, you can leave them on their own. They can work ahead, read, ext. As long as they aren't causing distractions, you tend not to bother them. This lets you focus on the kids who do need attention.
5) They give you good examples to point out. i.e. Pretend you have the class doing book reports. Each week a few students present. You can put some of your better students on the first rotation or two. Their projects will likely be of good quality so your feedback will be all the more useful. This way the entire class will have a better idea of what is expected.

Mostly variations on that type of thing...

Thanks for taking the time to help me understand.  Just to clarify, did you mean to say that accelerated students are "undeserved" in the regular classroom, or did you mean "underserved."  From the context, I'm thinking the latter, but you never know, and one letter can make such a difference ... :)

Alabaster

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2015, 07:17:38 PM »
This was partially addressed before but I'll chime in here. (My parents are both public school teachers...)

Your high performing kids also tend to be your better behaved and more responsible kids. They are an asset to the class room in several ways including:
1) Build your groups around them. You make sure your brighter students are paired with less well prepared kids.
2) The brighter students can help explain things to their peers.
3) They serve as good behavioral role models.
4) You don't have to worry as much about them. When they are not working with other students, you can leave them on their own. They can work ahead, read, ext. As long as they aren't causing distractions, you tend not to bother them. This lets you focus on the kids who do need attention.
5) They give you good examples to point out. i.e. Pretend you have the class doing book reports. Each week a few students present. You can put some of your better students on the first rotation or two. Their projects will likely be of good quality so your feedback will be all the more useful. This way the entire class will have a better idea of what is expected.

Mostly variations on that type of thing...

Thanks for taking the time to help me understand.  Just to clarify, did you mean to say that accelerated students are "undeserved" in the regular classroom, or did you mean "underserved."  From the context, I'm thinking the latter, but you never know, and one letter can make such a difference ... :)

Nice catch. I probably just saw a red squiggly and choose the first option to make it go away (Oddly enough, Chrome doesn't recognize underserved as a word) :v

I meant "underserved".

Bob W

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2015, 01:04:39 PM »


My answer =

No

My digressed answer =

My general impression is that public school goes off the rails around 6th grade and becomes an experiment in socialization at that point.   

From one perspective I would be more open to paying taxes for schools if they had viable alternatives for grades 6-12.  As it is public schools are one of the worst "investments"  tax payers could make.

Consider our local highly rated school -

Reported graduation rate 95% --- actual closer to 70%.  This number is almost impossible to nail down as the schools exempt themselves from reporting most drop outs.

Cost per 13 years =   195,000  Cost if the investment value of the money is factored yearly = 330-500K
Cost per classroom per year = 300K +  (I can never figure out where all the money goes?)

Our average child, in our county, at age 18 can either pay to continue school or be employed at around 18K per year. 

So a 400K investment in education for a child yields a  4% return with no return of capital. 

Conversely a  child who never attends public school but has the 15K per year invested on their behalf could expect a lifetime pension at age 21 of $17K  per year.

The easy but politically nonviable answer to this would be to offer every family the choice of homeschooling or public school.   Those that choose to homeschool would be tested yearly and awarded a 15K investment credit that could be drawn on at a 4% rate beginning at age 25.   

Better living through math.

velocistar237

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2015, 01:48:36 PM »
Conversely a  child who never attends public school but has the 15K per year invested on their behalf could expect a lifetime pension at age 21 of $17K  per year.

The easy but politically nonviable answer to this would be to offer every family the choice of homeschooling or public school.   Those that choose to homeschool would be tested yearly and awarded a 15K investment credit that could be drawn on at a 4% rate beginning at age 25.

That's ... amazing.

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2015, 10:27:25 PM »
Nothing like government programs to challenge the power of exponential growth...in waste.

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2015, 10:30:01 PM »
Nothing like government programs to challenge the power of exponential growth...in waste.

We'd better create a government program to look into the possibility of considering taking action to study that.
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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2015, 09:53:25 AM »
4) You don't have to worry as much about them. When they are not working with other students, you can leave them on their own. They can work ahead, read, ext. As long as they aren't causing distractions, you tend not to bother them. This lets you focus on the kids who do need attention.

^This is exactly what I don't want for my daughter in a public school. My cousin is in the same boat, she's in 2nd grade and her teacher puts her in a corner with workbooks to teach herself while the teacher has to dumb down the lesson plan to the lowest common denominator. This type of situation would make me rethink private school, or at least public school + some significant homeschooling add-ons, but we are starting out in public school since we can walk there and we'll take it from there. There used to be a separate class in my grade school for "the kids who do need attention" - that was called Special Ed back in the day. Every kid needs attention, that's why they go to school in the first place.
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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2015, 08:24:09 PM »
This was partially addressed before but I'll chime in here. (My parents are both public school teachers...)

Your high performing kids also tend to be your better behaved and more responsible kids. They are an asset to the class room in several ways including:
1) Build your groups around them. You make sure your brighter students are paired with less well prepared kids.
2) The brighter students can help explain things to their peers.
3) They serve as good behavioral role models.
4) You don't have to worry as much about them. When they are not working with other students, you can leave them on their own. They can work ahead, read, ext. As long as they aren't causing distractions, you tend not to bother them. This lets you focus on the kids who do need attention.
5) They give you good examples to point out. i.e. Pretend you have the class doing book reports. Each week a few students present. You can put some of your better students on the first rotation or two. Their projects will likely be of good quality so your feedback will be all the more useful. This way the entire class will have a better idea of what is expected.

In food processing and pollution management there is a phrase: "Dilution is the solution." Respectfully, it seems to me everything you've said here is basically, "A bright, well behaved kid can be ignored, will help dilute the inevitable chaos level in a classroom, and can probably work as an unpaid TAs if the teacher is lucky."

My school-aged kid is at a wonderful school, with wonderful teachers, but this look at what classroom management for a diversity of students really looks like seems like an excellent argument to homeschool.

amyable

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2015, 04:14:40 PM »
This was partially addressed before but I'll chime in here. (My parents are both public school teachers...)

Your high performing kids also tend to be your better behaved and more responsible kids. They are an asset to the class room in several ways including:
1) Build your groups around them. You make sure your brighter students are paired with less well prepared kids.
2) The brighter students can help explain things to their peers.
3) They serve as good behavioral role models.
4) You don't have to worry as much about them. When they are not working with other students, you can leave them on their own. They can work ahead, read, ext. As long as they aren't causing distractions, you tend not to bother them. This lets you focus on the kids who do need attention.
5) They give you good examples to point out. i.e. Pretend you have the class doing book reports. Each week a few students present. You can put some of your better students on the first rotation or two. Their projects will likely be of good quality so your feedback will be all the more useful. This way the entire class will have a better idea of what is expected.

In food processing and pollution management there is a phrase: "Dilution is the solution." Respectfully, it seems to me everything you've said here is basically, "A bright, well behaved kid can be ignored, will help dilute the inevitable chaos level in a classroom, and can probably work as an unpaid TAs if the teacher is lucky."

My school-aged kid is at a wonderful school, with wonderful teachers, but this look at what classroom management for a diversity of students really looks like seems like an excellent argument to homeschool.

That's a really draconian, undifferentiated model of instruction.  Former teacher, current school counselor here--the only thing I agreed with was 2.  I only agree with 2 because I feel like explaining things to others is a powerful tool for learning; however, I'd add the caveat that I expect all students to be able to explain things they're learning about.

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2015, 04:18:02 PM »
mmhmm.  And half the time, if a smarter kid tries to explain something, they're called many unpopular things that convey the message that intelligence isn't welcome.
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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2015, 08:16:04 AM »
mmhmm.  And half the time, if a smarter kid tries to explain something, they're called many unpopular things that convey the message that intelligence isn't welcome.

There's the theory, and then there's the carrying out. For example, it can work very well to have students teach each other (and not just the bright ones doing the teaching), but in practice, most American teachers lack the training to do it well, or their educational theories don't even allow for it. Same thing with a lot of the other points people have brought up; there's a gulf between the ideals and what actually happens in the majority of classrooms.

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2015, 12:43:46 PM »
4) You don't have to worry as much about them. When they are not working with other students, you can leave them on their own. They can work ahead, read, ext. As long as they aren't causing distractions, you tend not to bother them. This lets you focus on the kids who do need attention.

^This is exactly what I don't want for my daughter in a public school. My cousin is in the same boat, she's in 2nd grade and her teacher puts her in a corner with workbooks to teach herself while the teacher has to dumb down the lesson plan to the lowest common denominator. This type of situation would make me rethink private school, or at least public school + some significant homeschooling add-ons, but we are starting out in public school since we can walk there and we'll take it from there. There used to be a separate class in my grade school for "the kids who do need attention" - that was called Special Ed back in the day. Every kid needs attention, that's why they go to school in the first place.

I was this kid for several years in elementary school.  I was way advanced in reading (which I liked) and semi-advanced in math (which I did not like).  The teacher's response was to leave me to my own devices for much of the time.  This was no big deal during a reading lesson (as I would just go off and read a more difficult or advanced book), but in retrospect it was not so great in math classes, as I would often STILL just go off and read a book.  My self-directed education was extremely one-sided for a while.  Fortunately my dad was a math major and extremely aware that getting ahead in math would open up more options for me later on.  Eventually he stepped in--we spent the summer before I went into middle school working through the 6th grade math curriculum together so that I could advance to a class where I'd be more challenged in the fall.  He did something similar in HS--I hadn't done so well in my Algebra II class and the teacher refused to recommend me for the more advanced version of the next year's math class.  My dad felt the problem wasn't a lack of ability on my part but a mismatch between learning/teaching styles.  So, he bought a copy of the Algebra II textbook and spent the final quarter of the school year and most of the summer supplementing my in class instruction with review of the sections I had trouble with.  I wound up getting an awesome math teacher for the next three years of HS, aced a series of AP math and statistics exams, placed out of several semesters of college calculus (which was the most frequently failed course at my university), and was able to go on and fit several more advanced math classes into my university curriculum.  It was really helpful to have those classes under my belt when I then went on to grad school.

If my parents had left me entirely at the mercy of the school system, I probably would have been slowly shunted into progressively less advanced math classes, which would have really limited my options for majors when I landed in university (basically it would have been very hard to catch up enough to complete a science or engineering major within the 4-year timeframe).  Alternatively, my dad could have gone in and volunteered time to the classroom at large, but it's much less certain whether or not that would have helped me individually, and the school probably was less interested in having volunteers on evenings and weekends (when my dad would have been available) than it was with having volunteers during the school day.

I kind of get the argument that homeschooling may not serve the best social good, but if homeschooling (or supplementing the public school curriculum, as my father did) is the most effective choice for you and your kid, you shouldn't force yourself to continue going along with the status quo just because you think it's the "right" thing to do.  There's a limit to how much you should be willing to put yourself/your family on the line just to prove your faith in something, you know? 

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2015, 06:58:10 PM »
I have 5 kids, all of which are homeschooled.  None of them have ever attended a formal school, public or otherwise.  I can't see how their absence from public school could 'harm' public schooled students, particularly as compared to if they had never existed; which, from the perspective of their publicly educated peers, they do not.  But even if there was some form of quantifiable harm by this fact, I still would not care.  My obligation is to the benefit and welfare of my own children, any gain that other children derive from knowing my children is incidental to that end.  I am under no obligation, of any nature, to act in the best interests of other peoples' children; whether or not it would actually harm my own children.

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2015, 09:26:43 AM »
The best thing about homeschooling is that you can isolate your children from ideas you don't like.  So, you can keep them from seeing other viewpoints that might influence them against your own point of view.

Or maybe that's not a good thing.  Hard to tell these days.

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2015, 10:40:31 AM »
You can also actually educate them, instead of letting them be bored to death and more or less taught to hate learning.
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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2015, 01:51:27 PM »
The best thing about homeschooling is that you can isolate your children from ideas you don't like.  So, you can keep them from seeing other viewpoints that might influence them against your own point of view.

Or maybe that's not a good thing.  Hard to tell these days.

I don't know how many homeschooling families choose to isolate, but I don't think it's many.  Doing that with my own children would be a practical impossibility, and I'm sure that true for most.  It's certainly not the 'best' thing.

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2015, 01:17:39 AM »
I'm perplexed by the idea that it's home schoolers who "harm" the students left behind.  Far more in my district are in private, parochial & charter schools.  Their absence has an impact, positive & negative.  But the effects from the few who homeschool is marginal. 
Good students with motivated, involved parents are an asset, but for the school to rely on one specific student/family places an unfair burden. 

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #41 on: August 04, 2015, 09:31:43 AM »
I'm perplexed by the idea that it's home schoolers who "harm" the students left behind.  Far more in my district are in private, parochial & charter schools.  Their absence has an impact, positive & negative.  But the effects from the few who homeschool is marginal. 
Good students with motivated, involved parents are an asset, but for the school to rely on one specific student/family places an unfair burden.
With the rapid spread of homeschooling, especially in the past few years, we'll see a larger and larger percentage of students opting out of public schools.  What effects do you think might happen if, say 30% of kids are homeschooled?

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2015, 12:03:26 PM »
I'm perplexed by the idea that it's home schoolers who "harm" the students left behind.  Far more in my district are in private, parochial & charter schools.  Their absence has an impact, positive & negative.  But the effects from the few who homeschool is marginal. 
Good students with motivated, involved parents are an asset, but for the school to rely on one specific student/family places an unfair burden.
With the rapid spread of homeschooling, especially in the past few years, we'll see a larger and larger percentage of students opting out of public schools.  What effects do you think might happen if, say 30% of kids are homeschooled?

That seems like an irrelevant question to me.  If parents have the right to decide the best form of education for their own children, it matters not at all what the practical effects on other children might be; nor would it matter if that effect is significant once a significant minority of children are educated in that manner.  Keep in mind, there was a time in the United States that state sponsored education was abnormal for any class.

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2015, 12:10:51 PM »
I'm perplexed by the idea that it's home schoolers who "harm" the students left behind.  Far more in my district are in private, parochial & charter schools.  Their absence has an impact, positive & negative.  But the effects from the few who homeschool is marginal. 
Good students with motivated, involved parents are an asset, but for the school to rely on one specific student/family places an unfair burden.
With the rapid spread of homeschooling, especially in the past few years, we'll see a larger and larger percentage of students opting out of public schools.  What effects do you think might happen if, say 30% of kids are homeschooled?

30% of kids would have a better education than they otherwise would?
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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2015, 12:53:16 PM »
I have 5 kids, all of which are homeschooled.  None of them have ever attended a formal school, public or otherwise...... My obligation is to the benefit and welfare of my own children, any gain that other children derive from knowing my children is incidental to that end.  I am under no obligation, of any nature, to act in the best interests of other peoples' children; whether or not it would actually harm my own children.

Same boat here with 6. It's fantastic.
On the obligation 'to act in the best interest of other(s)' - oh but yes we do have such an obligation: "do unto others..." - the social contract. However, that priority is waaaay down the list from taking care of my own kids!
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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #45 on: August 04, 2015, 01:16:39 PM »
I have 5 kids, all of which are homeschooled.  None of them have ever attended a formal school, public or otherwise...... My obligation is to the benefit and welfare of my own children, any gain that other children derive from knowing my children is incidental to that end.  I am under no obligation, of any nature, to act in the best interests of other peoples' children; whether or not it would actually harm my own children.

Same boat here with 6. It's fantastic.
On the obligation 'to act in the best interest of other(s)' - oh but yes we do have such an obligation: "do unto others..." - the social contract. However, that priority is waaaay down the list from taking care of my own kids!

I have a different interpretation of that rule, and it doesn't involve a social contract.

kite

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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2015, 06:30:56 AM »
I'm perplexed by the idea that it's home schoolers who "harm" the students left behind.  Far more in my district are in private, parochial & charter schools.  Their absence has an impact, positive & negative.  But the effects from the few who homeschool is marginal. 
Good students with motivated, involved parents are an asset, but for the school to rely on one specific student/family places an unfair burden.
With the rapid spread of homeschooling, especially in the past few years, we'll see a larger and larger percentage of students opting out of public schools.  What effects do you think might happen if, say 30% of kids are homeschooled?

Doubtful that 30% of parents are up to the task.  And I think the push for Universal Pre-K will increase the percentage who enroll and remain with public school. 

But following your hypothetical as a thought exercise....  the 70% who remain will get better educations as they'll receive more attention, more time with school resources.  Of the 30% who homeschool, some will thrive and some will fall horribly behind.  Among those 30%, there would be parents who are lazy, some who have an inflated sense of their own abilities and some who are abusive and neglectful.  Their stories will make the papers, sponsoring letters to the editor and calls for new laws, tests, registration and oversight.  Conservative talk radio will have a field day. 


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Re: Does homeschooling harm those left at public schools?
« Reply #47 on: August 05, 2015, 12:55:11 PM »
Of the 30% who homeschool, some will thrive and some will fall horribly behind.  Among those 30%, there would be parents who are lazy, some who have an inflated sense of their own abilities and some who are abusive and neglectful. Their stories will make the papers, sponsoring letters to the editor and calls for new laws, tests, registration and oversight.  Conservative talk radio will have a field day.

So basicly what happens with 3%, just more so?