Author Topic: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.  (Read 63892 times)

TexasRunner

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Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« on: December 20, 2017, 05:40:57 PM »
...

Since homeschooling is generally associated with (Christian) religion there's certainly animosity from that respect. I think a lot of it comes down to violating the status quo. Educating your children outside the state-run public schools is very threatening to those that want everyone to fit neatly into secular society. It is also threatening to the education complex as its seen as taking money away from public schools since school funding is linked to the number of enrolled students.

This interests me.

So you are saying that some would object to a child not going to a school because the federal funding that is set on a per-child basis is going to be reduced.  But if the federal funding (that is given on a per child basis) is truly a payment for the associated costs of the number of children in a school, then either (1) my child's lack of attendance equals out the lack of funding that (logically) should be specifically used for my child OR (2) federal funding given on a per child basis is not actually spend on a per child basis.

I'll tell you why thats a big deal.  Federal funding has been linked to the number of kids because the assumption is that the spending should be based on the number of children.  My child's absence does not negate my 'portion' of the federal taxation and spending on schooling, therefore I am actually (technically) paying more than my fair share as I have resources available to use that I intentionally forego and still pay for.  That is without including property tax / state tax (though I have no state tax).

The 'hate' of homeschooling is logically inconsistent from a financial standpoint which only leaves (1) the educational standpoint or (2) the religious standpoint.

To address #1, homeschoolers consistent perform better than their peers on testing and have higher college GPAs given that parents include them in some form of structured education (whether that be a structured, solo lesson plan, homeschool group, or online education such as Khan Academy).
Source 1: https://www.nmu.edu/education/sites/DrupalEducation/files/UserFiles/Moreau_Kathi_MP.pdf (page 19 specifically)
Source 2: https://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html See 'Academic Performance'
Source 3: Ray, Brian D. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ682480
Source 4: http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE/article/view/10
Source 5: https://www.parentingscience.com/homeschooling-outcomes.html
Source 6: Kunzman R. 2009. Understanding homeschooling: A better approach to regularization. Theory and Research in Education, 7: 311330. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ860946&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ860946
Source 7: Martin-Chang S, Gould ON, and Meuse, R E. The impact of schooling on academic achievement: Evidence from homeschooled and traditionally schooled students. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science 43(3): 195-202.
Source 8: Rudner L. 1999. Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 7(1) 1-38.


....

So that leave us with #2, the religious standpoint.

Now, can someone explain to me why there is blanket condemnation of the travel ban but yet its ok to be against homechooling "Because Christianity!"

How can you rectify the disapproval on a religious-based travel ban but then disagree with homeschooling for religious (or anti-religious) reasons?  Why does one religion deserve the support of free will and exercise but another does not?

Those who are against homeschooling either (1) don't understand the data, (2) don't understand the positive financial implications or (3) disagree with it due to a religious or anti-religious viewpoint.  Show me otherwise.

I have copied this post in from the below linked thread for reference:

Original Post
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 05:47:11 PM by TexasRunner »
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Gin1984

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 05:51:22 PM »
My issue is that often those students miss certain pieces of information either because their parents don't want them to learn it (biology/evolution) or are not good at the subject.  I am fine if parents are competent and meet certain requirements.

TexasRunner

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 05:55:40 PM »
My issue is that often those students miss certain pieces of information either because their parents don't want them to learn it (biology/evolution) or are not good at the subject.  I am fine if parents are competent and meet certain requirements.

Thank you for posting!

Regarding your issue, if parents were missing critical pieces of information / educational aspects, why do homeschoolers do so well in testing and college?

The data seems to show that either (1) nothing is being missed or (2) whatever is being missed doesn't affect success rates.
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Michael in ABQ

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 05:58:13 PM »
When we tell people we homeschool the reactions generally fall into two categories.

1. That's great, the public schools are terrible.

2. Don't you worry that your children won't be socialized?


To the second point I'll just say briefly that the "socialization" that occurs in public school (or private schools for that matter) is not something we desire for our children. The fact that they are still innocent is good thing. My 9-year old still believes in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy because they haven't had other kids at school tell them that it's all made up. They also haven't learned new bad words or been exposed to bullying or teasing (except from their own siblings) or most importantly, been taught that up is down and wrong is right. They interact with other children, and teenagers, and adults in other ways. Be it family gatherings, neighbors, in public places (park, store, etc.), at church, etc. The fact that we have a larger family (5 kids) also means brothers and sisters to play with (and fight with) and to learn how to interact.
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sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 06:04:48 PM »
cross posting from original thread...

Now, can someone explain to me why there is blanket condemnation of the travel ban but yet its ok to be against homechooling "Because Christianity!"

I oppose the travel bans because it uses federal regulation to single out one religion over others.  It's fundamentally discriminatory against the freedom of religion enshrined in the Constitution.

I am NOT against homeschooling.  I love homeschooling.  I'm just against federal regulations that support one type of religion over another, for the exact same reason that I'm against the travel ban. 

I also love churches, but I don't think they should be getting tax breaks either.  If you love your religion, whatever it is, you should support it without asking the rest of us to do so, too.  I don't ask you to pay for tax breaks for witches or atheists.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 06:06:28 PM by sol »

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 06:10:43 PM »
My issue is that often those students miss certain pieces of information either because their parents don't want them to learn it (biology/evolution) or are not good at the subject.  I am fine if parents are competent and meet certain requirements.

Thank you for posting!

Regarding your issue, if parents were missing critical pieces of information / educational aspects, why do homeschoolers do so well in testing and college?

The data seems to show that either (1) nothing is being missed or (2) whatever is being missed doesn't affect success rates.

I assume that you home school.  The question I have, is if you child has developmental needs that would be aided by access to specialized individuals during the public school day such as hearing and speech professions would you enroll them in public schools? 

Also I would content those that do not "do well" in home school education choose not to have their children take a test or go to college.  I content that the doing better in college and in testing is in part based on self selection. 

Personally I do believe that there is a benefit to organized group professional education.     

TexasRunner

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 06:13:48 PM »
cross posting from original thread...

Lol I was doing the same thing.  See below.

I also love churches, but I don't think they should be getting tax breaks either.  If you love your religion, whatever it is, you should support it without asking the rest of us to do so, too.

Sol, you and I actually have something we agree on.  I wish all churches (regardless of religion or lack thereof) were not tax-free entities.  From the opposite side of the fishbowl, it would be much easier on everybody inside as well.  Personal political opinions wouldn't be stifled and any giving would occur at whatever level the 'givee' sees fit in lieu of the mental block of "I don't get any benefit beyond XXX number of dollars", which I consider to be counter-productive in both secular and religious donations.
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sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 06:19:55 PM »
Those who are against homeschooling either (1) don't understand the data, (2) don't understand the positive financial implications or (3) disagree with it due to a religious or anti-religious viewpoint.  Show me otherwise.

The thread that started this discussion makes the relevant distinction that people were generally not opposed to home schooling, they were opposed to the proposed new tax breaks for home schooling.  It's a subtle but absolutely vital difference.

I think you should be allowed to pursue pretty much whatever crazy shenanigans you like, up to and including teaching your children that animals can talk and magic is real.  That's totally fine with me.  But I don't think the rest of us taxpayers should be subsidizing your activities.

So...
homeschooling = totally fine
tax breaks for homeschooling = an affront to the Constitution

TexasRunner

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 06:23:33 PM »
I assume that you home school.  The question I have, is if you child has developmental needs that would be aided by access to specialized individuals during the public school day such as hearing and speech professions would you enroll them in public schools? 

Yes, possibly (probably, depending on circumstances).  I would also like to add that both school districts that I have lived in with kids offer speech therapy and other services both (1) as a part-day student (IE, one or two classes, then speech therapy, then home) and (2) as a stand-alone service.  I also pay property taxes that largely cover the cost of such service, even without considering state funding via sales-tax and federal support via federal-tax.  I would say any resources I use I overly pay for.

Also I would content those that do not "do well" in home school education choose not to have their children take a test or go to college.  I content that the doing better in college and in testing is in part based on self selection. 

Personally I do believe that there is a benefit to organized group professional education.     
Maybe....   But then why is homeschool college attendence so much higher.  If homeschoolers who 'self-select out' are altering the data, shouldn't we see lower college attendance?

Granted this source appear biased, and I'm digging for their source or more data, it appears homeschoolers have higher college rates than public.

Quote
The research base on adults who were home educated is growing; thus far it indicates that they:
...
go to and succeed at college at an equal or higher rate than the general population

-https://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html
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TexasRunner

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 06:26:47 PM »
Those who are against homeschooling either (1) don't understand the data, (2) don't understand the positive financial implications or (3) disagree with it due to a religious or anti-religious viewpoint.  Show me otherwise.

The thread that started this discussion makes the relevant distinction that people were generally not opposed to home schooling, they were opposed to the proposed new tax breaks for home schooling.  It's a subtle but absolutely vital difference.

I think you should be allowed to pursue pretty much whatever crazy shenanigans you like, up to and including teaching your children that animals can talk and magic is real.  That's totally fine with me.  But I don't think the rest of us taxpayers should be subsidizing your activities.

So...
homeschooling = totally fine
tax breaks for homeschooling = an affront to the Constitution

So an Atheist can't homeschool?  Jewish / Mormon / Islam / Whatever else you can think of can't homeschool?

How is a specific to homeschooling tax break a benefit to any particular religion?  Specifically when such a break is limited in nature to very tangible assets such as books/supplies/tuition/etc?
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mousebandit

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2017, 06:27:05 PM »
Sol, I am very interested in your opinion (if I understood it correctly from the other thread) that tax breaks (for homeschooling, secondary education, business, or any other reason) are a subsidy of the government (and thereby, other taxpayers) because all income we derive, whether from W2 employment, self employment, investment, etc, is only made possible by the infrastructure and society that government has paid for, and therefore, our tax dollars are basically a repayment of our overall debt to government, for making our ability to work and earn possible in the first place.  Did I understand your position correctly?  I find that a fascinating proposition that I have never come across before.

And, would you object to the use of pre-tax dollars to pay for non-religious homeschool programs (accredited, of course)? 

mousebandit

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 06:35:33 PM »
And, as to the question about children with extra needs, we have a child who is going to be getting some help with speech therapy.  We are paying for that ourselves.  Our health insurance covered an initial doctor visit, and a subsequent hearing test (after deductible and copay of course), and we are waiting for our first appointment with the speech therapist place, but it sounds like it will be considered a medical expense, and again, subject to health insurance, deductibles, and copays. 

Personally, I wouldn't expect the local school district to cover my childrens needs if I am homeschooling them, any more than I'd expect a hot lunch or transportation to and from activities. 

However, I do still pay my share of local property taxes to support our local schools, and I don't begrudge it (much, LOL). 

As to the students missing information in various subjects, I would love to see the numbers for public school graduates who don't have gaps, often huge gaps, in their learning.  How much of biology / evolution does the typical graduate retain?  When we pulled our older children out of public school to homeschool them, they had such huge gaps that I took them back 2 grades to make sure they had a solid foundation.  THey were both A/B students in public school, too.  I was not impressed, to say the least.  I think that it depends mostly on the child what they are interested in and their learning styles as to what information they will retain.  Yes, the parents need to present them the information in the first place, or at least make the information available to them, for older students, but ultimately, most high school students will have large gaps in subject areas that didn't capture their attention. 



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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 07:17:28 PM »
My "queasiness" about homeschooling is this:   I believe that "It takes a village to raise a child".   If homeschooling is widely prevalent, I believe that far more children would "fall through the cracks" than today, even with education the way that it is.   It would be very easy to hide neglect or other poor parenting through a guise of homeschooling.   These issues are often identified or corrected through wide interactions between the child and the community (e.g. school) because there is a new teacher every year, and many more people have a chance to interact with the child.

On a national scale, you could say that "North Korea" is an example of limiting access to external content for a child.
On a community scale, we do have past historical precedent of some communities putting their children at a disadvantage through limiting their contact with some forms of "common" knowledge and contact with the wider society.

This comment in no way says that the majority of homeschooling is not excellent, or that many home schooled kids actually interact quite a lot in their community (because of good parents).   It only points out that the ABILITY to control / hide behaviours is greater with widespread homeschooling.

Is there a place between public schooling and home schooling that would work for the majority of students?

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 07:33:12 PM »
As to the students missing information in various subjects, I would love to see the numbers for public school graduates who don't have gaps, often huge gaps, in their learning.  How much of biology / evolution does the typical graduate retain?

Forget complex science.  How many people graduate a public high school that are functionally illiterate?  Sort of the whole point of school?  How many can make a basic budget and stick to it?

I spent the vast majority of my public school experience bored to death and keeping sane by designing airplanes or, later on, hand assembling calculator programs (like, Z80 assembly).  Until that (incredibly useful) experience started interfering with my education in the form of me not having finished health class word finds and other nonsense (I wish I were kidding - in high school, homework for health class was word finds).

We plan to homeschool and let our kid(s) freerun in subjects they're interested in.

Also, the phrase "socialization" can be mostly translated as "Learning that other kids are little shits."  It seems to often come with undertones of hazing - "I had to deal with this, so it's only fair they should."


Is there a place between public schooling and home schooling that would work for the majority of students?

If public schooling isn't working for an awful lot of students (and I'd offer that it isn't, based on the miserable results of public schooling), it doesn't even need to work for a "majority of students."  It just needs to not suck as badly for a few more.
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mousebandit

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 07:43:24 PM »
I would counter the idea that it takes a village with the examples of the early American colonists and states.  Children being educated at home was the rule, the town schoolhouse was the exception.  Children were frequently, probably usually, not exposed to multitudes of adults on a regular basis.  Socialization, outside of their immediate family unit, was pretty minimal by today's expectations.  And, by and large, the people of that era were much better educated than our children are turning out, and you could certainly argue that they had better social skills and civic skills and understanding than many of our college graduates. 

I don't think it takes a village.  I do believe it takes interested and dedicated parents.  But not a village.  And yes, there will always be children who are being neglected, abused, all manner of wrongs.  As community members, we need to be aware of these possibilities.  But we do not need to subject all children to the scrutiny of the state, simply for the reason of ferreting out those children, especially when it comes with disadvantages to their education and social upbringing.  Not every child is going to flourish being homeschooled.  Many children are not flourishing in public school.  We need to prioritize proper parenting, and the responsibilities of parents, and then allow them made an educated decision about what is the best method of education for their own child, rather than declare parents unable to be trusted and usher in a nanny state to supervise the upbringing of our children.  IMO. 

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2017, 07:53:53 PM »
My "queasiness" about homeschooling is this:   I believe that "It takes a village to raise a child".   If homeschooling is widely prevalent, I believe that far more children would "fall through the cracks" than today

I guess this sort of makes sense.  I'm in favor personal home defense, too, but I recognize the necessity of a public police force.  Not everyone can defend their own property.  Corruption and organized crime thrive when people are left to their own devices.  We need publicly accountable police, and schools, as a backstop for those who cannot provide for themselves.

This perspective neatly reframes homeschoolers as doing their civic duty, as long as their activities don't interfere with the public good.  Like you can defend your home, but you cannot defend your home from the cops when they have a warrant.  You need to operate within the framework of our public services, not against them.

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2017, 08:12:45 PM »

Regarding your issue, if parents were missing critical pieces of information / educational aspects, why do homeschoolers do so well in testing and college?

The data seems to show that either (1) nothing is being missed or (2) whatever is being missed doesn't affect success rates.

I think it's more due to correlation and not causation.  If you homeschool your child, then there is a VERY strong chance that

a) your child's education is VERY, VERY important to you, and
b) you are very likely to be a in a two parent household and in one of the higher socio-economic social rungs to have the ability and skills to consider something like this. 

You are comparing the test scores of this subgroup against all other kids in the United States...which includes millions of kids who are more likely statistically to be:

- in poverty
- in single parent houses
- in the foster system
- with disabilities
- learning english as a second language

My bet is that if you compared homeschoolers to public school kids who belong to two-parent households who feel education is VERY, VERY important, and who come from higher than average economic means...you know, apples to apples, the gap in achievement would disappear. 

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2017, 08:17:50 PM »
Sol, I am very interested in your opinion (if I understood it correctly from the other thread) that tax breaks (for homeschooling, secondary education, business, or any other reason) are a subsidy of the government (and thereby, other taxpayers) because all income we derive, whether from W2 employment, self employment, investment, etc, is only made possible by the infrastructure and society that government has paid for, and therefore, our tax dollars are basically a repayment of our overall debt to government, for making our ability to work and earn possible in the first place.  Did I understand your position correctly?  I find that a fascinating proposition that I have never come across before.

That's really a new one?  I thought this was the fundamental underpinning of most western philosophy over the past 300 years.

Hume taught that the natural state of humans is barely above that of beasts, separated only by our unusual capacity for cruelty.  All of civilization is predicated on the social contact, in which we each voluntarily forsake some of our personal liberties for the greater good.  I give up my right to murder you, in exchange for you and everyone else giving up their right to murder me. 

This basic agreement is what makes society possible.  It's a natural progression from the no-murder contract to the no-theft contract to the no-coercion contract, all the way down to specialized professional services and fiat currency.  I don't have to grow my own food, because I agree to eat what society grows.  I don't have to build my own television, because I can trade my labor for money to buy one that someone else built.  I don't have to defend my homestead from the barbarians, because our communal diplomacy and communal defense force does it for me.  These trades benefit everyone, and they are the defining characteristic of human civilizations.  They are all built on the voluntary abdication of personal liberties.  I am not allowed to do certain things, and in exchange I am not required to do many many others.

One of the things I am not allowed to do is live in this fabulous advanced civilization for free, as a freeloader.  Why should I be allowed to hold and spend money that only has value because the government backs it, if I don't support the government that supports that money?  Or profit from a stock market that is regulated and kept honest by the government?  Or work in a labor market with rules (OT pay, child labor, OSHA, etc) that is only awesome for me because of government?  Part of our social contract, part of the trade we all make, is that we voluntarily accept these restrictions (and the taxes that go with them) in exchange for the benefits they provide.

Or don't!  You don't have to live and work in America.  You can start a business in Somalia any day of the week, and pay zero taxes, but look out for strongmen and warlords who will demand bribes and are likely to ultimately kill you.  Because their society doesn't have the same social contract that ours has.  Theirs is much closer to what Hume envisioned.  The strong eat the weak.

Quote
And, would you object to the use of pre-tax dollars to pay for non-religious homeschool programs (accredited, of course)?

Yes.  To extend the police force metaphor above, we don't use tax dollars to subsidize personal firearm purchases either.  You are free to take social services into your own hands, but you are not free to underfund or compete with the social services that make our society possible.  We need police, and I don't support diverting funding to pay people to buy guns with the argument that we will then need less police.  Police provide a vital public service.  Ditto for public education.  You aren't required to depend on it for your family, but I think you have to recognize that collectively we DO need it to be available to everyone.  I think our taxes should be used to fund our public services, not subsidize private citizens trying to compete with public services.  Do that on your own dime.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 09:41:34 PM by sol »

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2017, 11:00:47 PM »
I read a book a few years ago about a lady who home schooled her children and it really changed my mind about it.  I realized that exceptional results can be made if the parents take it seriously.

I also have a cousin who "home schooled" her children and she basically took them out of school and did nothing.  They are uneducated and didn't learn anything.  One of them has the most horrible spelling when she posts on facebook.  I know of a child whose mother "home schooled" her and her sisters and the mother just did drugs and none of the kids learned to read.  I don't think this is common, but it does happen sometimes.

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2017, 11:23:58 PM »
Forget complex science.  How many people graduate a public high school that are functionally illiterate? 

I think you've misidentified the goals.  I don't think public school is designed to turn out scholars and poets.

Public school is designed to impart the most rudimentary life skills, and that does not include how to pass the SAT.  I mean, that would be great too, but that's not the point.  The point is to teach kids to sit quietly and follow directions, to defer to artificial authority, to be routed into a trade or a university program that will keep them constrained and directed toward a goal that benefits our capitalist overlords.  We don't need or want a society of freethinkers!

Public school is also a place to send kids so they don't roam the streets of your town in packs every day, looting and pillaging.  So they don't deal drugs in dark alleyways and give each other herpes.  It's centralized daycare in a structured environment, and any book-learning they do along the way, while admirable, is kind of a secondary benefit.  The primary purpose is to avoid a society overrun by street children, like you see in major African cities without widespread public education.  Public school provides basic nutrition, and a warm dry place to spend 8 hours every day where you're unlikely to be robbed or sodomized.   

Some public schools are also fantastic academic environments, where kids who are currently not being robbed or sodomized get to read Shakespeare and learn geometry proofs.  Awesome, I'm all for that.  Not all kids are interested in that part, and public school needs to serve their needs too.  Some kids have terrible home lives, or no homes at all, and those kids do not deserve to be abandoned for the mistakes of their parents.

If you're a parent who has the time and inclination to home school, then good for you.  Hopefully you're not an abuser.  But please PLEASE don't use your wonderful experiences with homeschooling to undermine the value of universally available public education.  Don't advocate diverting public funds from public education.  Don't denigrate the quality of the education provided based on test scores, because that's not really the point of our education system.

And that's ultimately my (only) beef with homeschoolers.  They seem to think public schools are terrible and need to be torn down, instead of recognizing the great good they do (even the bad ones), and maybe working to improve it.  If you're so passionate about education that you're willing to take on home schooling your kid(s), think of all the good you could do for all of those kids without parents like you, who don't have that choice.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 08:35:17 AM by sol »

VoteCthulu

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2017, 12:00:32 AM »
One of the things I am not allowed to do is live in this fabulous advanced civilization for free, as a freeloader. 
I'm interested in what your definition of a freeloader is, since it somehow seems to include someone who pays tens of thousands in taxes that's redused a few thousand for homeschooling credits, while excluding someone with millions of dollars in the bank who gets free healthcare meant for the poor.

Villanelle

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2017, 12:09:29 AM »
Mostly just shaking my head at Sol's posts.

I know a lot of homeschoolers, and many of them are somewhat outside the typical (or sterotypical) homeschool demographic.  They don't homeschool for religious reasons, or at least not all do.  Due to moving so frequently and the messes that makes of a child's education, many military families homeschool.  Sometimes it is for a short time, like if they know they are moving 2-3 times in a school year or if they move mid-year and want to finish up a few months instead of reenrolling a kid in a new school.  Other times, it's only while they are overseas, either because they don't live the military school system or because they want to take advantage of the travel opportunities and the ability to teach their child about Rome with a visit to Rome or about communism with a trip to Vietnam.  And still other families are doing it long term, for various reasons. 

 I've seen people who are incredibly thorough and conscientious with curriculum, but whose children are incredibly, well... weird and I suspect will struggle when they finally leave the nest, simply because they don't understand some pretty fundamental parts of the social contract and expected social behaviors.  These kids are uncomfortable to be around and I suspect that will play very badly in job interviews or even when trying to make friends or find romantic partners in their late teens or 20s.  I've seen parents who nail the social aspects, but who seem lax on the educational piece, either because they aren't especially well educated themselves or because they just aren't good, dedicated, organized teachers.  (Like anything else, it is a skill set for which some have an affinity and others don't, and I think this becomes more important and relevant as the education moves on to more complex concepts.)  And I've seen some who seem to get it all right, and some who seem to get none of it very right.

Overall, it's a choice I respect and I don't think I'm judgmental about it one way or the other, perhaps because I've seen so many people do it in so many ways and for so many reasons, perhaps somewhat outside the typical experiences.  That said, I see it as ultimately a personal choice and something that therefore should be personally funded.  If I want to fly a helicopter to work instead of taking public roads, I shouldn't get taxpayer assistance with purchasing and running my helo.  The roads exist, and my not using them does cut down on wear and tear and thus theoretically saves the tax payers some money, but that still doesn't mean I should get a private transport tax break.  Homeschoolers shouldn't get a tax break any more than those without kids should.

And that's an argument that's been done to death so I hate to touch on it, but it does shed some light on another reason I'm agains the tax breaks.  I don't have kids, so I don't directly utilize the school system (my parents' taxed funded my own education).  But I am fully supportive of paying for public schools none the less because I benefit from being part of an educated populace.  So too are homeschoolers.  They, like me, aren't sending a kid to a taxpayer-funded building to be taught by a taxpayer funded teacher. But they are still benefitting from being a part of an educated society.  So like me, they should pay for that. 

englishteacheralex

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2017, 12:43:18 AM »
Maybe I shouldn't, but ok, I'll take this on.

Some context: I'm a fairly conservative Christian. Also a teacher. Worked at a public school for eight years. Now work at a private Christian school. Made the switch not for ideological reasons, but because a job came available at the private school teaching AP Literature, which is something I always wanted to do. I also live in a bizarre state as far as education goes, where around 20% of children attend private school because of a host of unusual historical and cultural circumstances. Anyway.

Used to attend and teach Sunday School at a conservative (but very friendly and relatively open-minded) Protestant church for eight years, until I married into a more liberal (but what I would still consider Orthodox) Protestant nondenominational church.

It's safe to say I have pretty wide personal experience with the three broad categories of education: private, public, and homeschooling. I've known a lot of homeschooling families over the years. I actually did a qualitative research project on homeschooling as part of my graduate thesis in education. I've also taught a number of students who came from homeschooling families, because it's not like once you decide to homeschool you have to do it forever.

Theoretically, I'm not really in favor of homeschooling, to be honest. I'm not super vocal about this opinion because I know how deep people's feelings on the subject are. In the end, families have to do what works for them, and I get that. I have two kids of my own, and I know that the gap between theory and practice is often a mile wide.

In theory, I think we should have universally good (not with over-the-top resources or anything, just a reasonable amount--but good luck getting anybody to agree on what that would look like) public schools that separate church and state (without too much fear of either, from either side) and focus on a (mostly) thoughtful, well-rounded curriculum that attempts to build critical thinking skills and a solid foundation for all children's future career hopes, whatever they may be. And I think everyone should have access to that, and the vast majority of people should participate in it, because unless the vast majority participate in it, the whole thing starts falling apart.

Some issues I've noticed with homeschooling over the years:

1. If I'm not using public education, why should I pay for it/care about it/support it/vote for it? But if it's bad, and it's a public resource, and we live in a representative democracy, than ultimately, it's our responsibility to help make it good. Right? When it comes to public services, I don't feel so comfortable treating them the same way I treat Wal-Mart or Starbucks. In other words, I don't see that boycotting a public service is really a great way to affect change. It just seems kind of selfish, and ultimately destined to make things worse. But hey, that's quite a potential political rabbit trail and maybe I haven't thought it through enough.

2. When I talk to homeschooling parents, so often the major justification for their choice is based on fear. And as a rule I've noticed that making major decisions based on fear is frequently a poor strategy. Fear of kids learning paganism. Fear of kids encountering bad influences. Fear of kids being told that God isn't real or that Christianity is stupid or that it's ok to have sex outside of marriage. Fear of secular normative cues leading to a questioning of the values taught by their families.

I understand these fears. I have them myself, honestly. But one of the most frequently repeated phrases in the Bible is "fear not". If I believe that Jesus is true and that my belief system is the only source of true peace, what am I so afraid of?  And it's not like private school or even homeschool = perfect environment with no horrible normative cues and no potential issues. There's sin everywhere. Even (oh, especially, let's get real) in my husband and me. Even in the Bible (been rereading Ezekiel this month. Boy howdy, I don't think my kids are allowed to read that one until they're in college).

3. I can almost always spot a homeschooled kid a mile away. Not saying they aren't charming. Just that they stick out like sore thumbs. Maybe that's a good thing. It's often not an easy thing...for them.

4. Some homeschooling families are amazing. They have children who turn into self-assured, accomplished adults. I applaud them, but I always think it's a little sad that those children weren't available to influence the cultural norms of the schools they could have attended. Salt and light of the world. I know those homeschooling families say that as children, it's not an appropriate thing to ask of them to be strong examples, but I'll tell you what, the brave Christian public school kids I've encountered over the years were pretty amazing at influencing their peers in positive ways. Many of the brave secular public school kids have also been amazing positive influences. As a teacher, I can say that it only takes one or two emotionally healthy, strong kids in a classroom to get the whole class going in a good direction. And that's the kind of thing that builds leadership skills in kids.

5. Some homeschooling families are not so amazing. Their children flat out don't get educated.  Those families have not been the majority among those I've known--they are outliers just as the exceptional ones are outliers. And I haven't done enough research to know if either group of outliers would have had similar outcomes in conventional school settings. But the nagging knowledge that families take on the education of their kids with very little oversight always gives me pause as a matter of public policy. It doesn't always go very well. That's just a fact.

I don't fault anybody their decision to homeschool, because what you do with your own kids is so personal and so fraught with emotion and unique circumstances and a huge desire to do the right thing. And what I see as the greatest value of homeschooling is not against more conventional schooling, but for the wonderful benefit of getting to spend a lot of meaningful time with your kids, hopefully deepening your relationship with them. That's a big argument in favor of the concept, at least in my book.

I just think it's a bit risky as public policy. The economics of the decision to homeschool will probably permanently render it a fringe choice, as far as I can tell. So I think this is really just an intellectual exercise; one that I like thinking about a lot, since education is my life's work. I can see both sides of the argument, and I'm not really a fanatic one way or the other.

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sherr

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2017, 06:34:36 AM »


+1 Alex, fantastic post. I'm a formerly-homeschooled Christian. I was at least fairly well educated and had good test scores and the like. But that's not nearly all you get at a regular school.

The amount of opportunities I had for things like AP classes and interesting electives was near zero. As a result I was at a severe credit-hour disadvantage when it came to entering an Engineering program in University, which made that experience much more miserable than it had to be. And it took me probably half a decade to really catch up to the social knowledge that everyone else seemed to have, which also was extremely unhelpful.

I will not do that to my children, and I don't want my tax dollars supporting people who do either. I understand they may have the best intentions in the world, my parents did. And there may be situations like military families where it makes a lot more sense than regular schools. If people an make educated non-fear-based decision to homeschool their children, fine, they should be able to. But it shouldn't involve help from me, because I do not think that children benefit from homeschooling in the general case.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2017, 06:42:08 AM »
As others have said, I don't support tax dollars for home school or private school.  I'm a catholic school kid.  My father wanted me to have religion included in my education.  My parents made a choice to pay for me to go to private schools.  It was their choice to do so.  They and I believe that they should not have been given an economic incentive to do so. 

When it comes to college, I'm ok with 529s mainly because all colleges, even public ones charge tuition so it is less about choice there.  To me it's more that the states have decided to subsidize public schools instead of 529s subsidizing private ones.

chemistk

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2017, 06:47:08 AM »
I have nothing productive to add to this conversation, I just want to say thank-you to sol, Villanelle, and englishteacheralex - I have never read such clear, thoughtful arguments on the pros and cons of homeschooling vs. public schooling and the related topics.

I will add that I was homeschooled for a brief period of time, I did well but it wasn't something my parents were cut out to do. It was very difficult to reintegrate into a traditional (albeit private) school environment. 4th Grade was a particularly traumatic year for me, so homeschooling is a subject I approach with caution and have told others to do as well. For all the good it can bring, it can also bring a lot of bad.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 06:50:14 AM by chemistk »

lemonlyman

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2017, 06:50:44 AM »
I plan on semi-homeschooling my children. Our district has programs in place to allow homeschooled children to take courses at public school. The program idea being that we're paying taxes anyways so we should have open access to those resources. Personally, I think it's a great compromise. The kids get to socialize and take courses we may not be comfortable teaching like advanced mathematics or even just a art class. I'm not religious or anything. I just think 7-8 hours a day sitting in a chair and standing in line isn't the most effective way to educate.

I don't believe parents who home school should be exempt from taxes toward public education or receive tax benefits to do so.

Sibley

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2017, 08:01:06 AM »
Englishteacheralex - your post really made a lot of sense to me.

My main concern with homeschooling is BAD homeschooling. If it's done well, I have no objections. The problem is can be used as a way to hide/perpetrate child abuse with much lower chances of anyone finding out. Note: I consider a lack of education to be a form of child abuse.

I do want each state/district/whatever to regulate home schooling to an extent. At a minimum, home schooled children need to be "registered" (keep a list of them somewhere) and minimum education standards determined by qualified teachers, not politicians. Periodically, homeschooled children should be evaluated in some way to make sure they're actually getting an education (qualified teachers figure out what makes sense). And ideally, there's some sort of face to face contact between the child and non-family adults that will serve as a check for overall wellbeing to identify if the child is being abused or neglected.

I want those standards to be consistent across states, and MUST include comprehensive sex education including birth control methods, regardless of religious or personal objections. Sex ed would start around 4th grade and continue though 15-17ish, with age appropriate topics being covered. There's so much stupid stuff that happens because people are ignorant of how their bodies work, I don't give a damn if you don't want to teach your kids about sex. Absolutely no good will come of it. And abstinence only education should NOT be permitted under any circumstances.

Obviously, this is an ideal and don't actually exist.

Noodle

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2017, 08:06:34 AM »
I don't think there's a lot of point to debating the "better solution" when it comes to home-schooling vs. traditional education. Home-schooling, well-done and for the right kids and parents, can be a life-changing experience. Traditional schooling, well-done, and with the right teachers and kids, can be a life-changing experience. Home-schooling, poorly done and poorly matched to the family, can be ineffective at best and soul-crushing at worse. Traditional schooling, badly done, can do serious damage to kids. Parents' job is to evaluate the kids and the resources available to them and to come up with the best solution possible in their circumstances. Most parents I meet make good choices for their kids, but some don't, as has been the case since the beginning of humanity. I don't think that can tell us much about the merits of either system.

And yes, we all have to pay school taxes no matter what we decide for our own family. School taxes aren't just for educating your kids--they're for educating all the kids, including the many, many children who shouldn't or can't be home-schooled or in private schools. I would like the nurses, doctors, mechanics and tax accountants they will grow up to be to be as well educated as we can manage, thank you very much.

partgypsy

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2017, 08:16:04 AM »
The people who home school are a very small self-selected group of people. It's less than 3% of the student population. I wouldn't say either the parents or the home-schooled students are representative of the overall student population. Most parents do not have the time and resources to home school. Therefore, like sewers, garbage services, fire departments, etc, I expect as part of our taxes for there to be decent, quality public education for ALL students. The benefits of a well educated populace are greater than the tax costs. Are all students being provided decent public education? I would say no. There are multiple reasons, but one of the bigger ones is much of public education is funded by local property taxes. Children from poorer districts, in addition to the burden of having parents/family units with less resources and stability, are also attending schools with less resources. I'm not anti home schooling. I'm anti-undermining public education.
 
The Federal government is supposed to make up the difference and even out some of this, but as one can see from the DeVos appointment, there is an active movement to weaken public education. Simply the fact Trump nominated DeVos, who knows close to nothing about public education and in her own state undermined public education, makes me highly suspicious of anything this administration is doing regarding public education. 

There is always the option of private and home schooling for those parents who have the money or time and will to provide those for their children. But it is the responsibility of our general society to provide decent public education for everyone.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 08:19:14 AM by partgypsy »

LaineyAZ

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2017, 08:20:33 AM »
Like others, I agree that homeschooling with some state oversight to make sure that basic educational goals are being met is okay.
And slightly off topic:
This does not mean that your share of the tax dollars used to fund public schools should be diverted to your household.  We here in AZ are at ground zero in the U.S. on this issue - there's a vote coming up about unlimited charter school funding.  To me it's the beginning of privatizing the public schools.  It's a $600 Billion industry and the Koch brothers want in.

acroy

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2017, 08:33:44 AM »
I do want each state/district/whatever to regulate ........

I want those standards ...........

Obviously, this is an ideal and don't actually exist.
It does in fascist countries, where the individual is subservient to the State and/or whatever the majority decides is 'greater good' (remember, true 'democracy' is mob rule). This country was built on individual freedom, with the State existing only to guarantee and protect those freedoms; especially from the mob.

Frankly I don't understand any arguments against freedom of choice in any good or services. You want decaf? vegetarian hot dogs? red? short hair? Saturday delivery? a small dog? Bob the plumber instead of Bill the plumber? whatever. who am I to infringe on your choice, unless it directly infringes on someone else's life/liberty/property?

Of course homeschooling can be done poorly. Yes child abuse exists. Surprise, people are flawed and evil is in the world. It particularly sucks to have poor parents. One of the scariest things in the world is to hear 'Hi! I'm from the Government and I'm here to ensure you run your life the way I think you should!'.
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partgypsy

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2017, 08:37:32 AM »
Having decent public education is not fascist.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2017, 08:38:43 AM »
The people who home school are a very small self-selected group of people. It's less than 3% of the student population. I wouldn't say either the parents or the home-schooled students are representative of the overall student population. Most parents do not have the time and resources to home school. Therefore, like sewers, garbage services, fire departments, etc, I expect as part of our taxes for there to be decent, quality public education for ALL students. The benefits of a well educated populace are greater than the tax costs. Are all students being provided decent public education? I would say no. There are multiple reasons, but one of the bigger ones is much of public education is funded by local property taxes. Children from poorer districts, in addition to the burden of having parents/family units with less resources and stability, are also attending schools with less resources. I'm not anti home schooling. I'm anti-undermining public education.
 
The Federal government is supposed to make up the difference and even out some of this, but as one can see from the DeVos appointment, there is an active movement to weaken public education. Simply the fact Trump nominated DeVos, who knows close to nothing about public education and in her own state undermined public education, makes me highly suspicious of anything this administration is doing regarding public education. 

There is always the option of private and home schooling for those parents who have the money or time and will to provide those for their children. But it is the responsibility of our general society to provide decent public education for everyone.

Washington DC has some of the highest funding per pupil and some of the worst results. More money != better results. While it certainly helps, throwing more money at the problem doesn't change the underlying fundamental problems with our public education system which was largely designed 100 years ago for a far different society.

As Sol pointed out, public education was designed to keep children off the streets and to teach them to conform to society in the industrial age. Any actual learning that occurs is secondary. Mandatory high school education didn't exist until around the time of the Great Depression as this helped remove teenagers from competing in the workforce against adults. I'm sure most teachers want to educate their students but the system that exists now does a poor job of that as evidenced by the fact that we continue to slip lower and lower in international rankings and student achievement by almost any measure has basically remained flat for decades despite massive increases in funding (even adjusting for inflation) over that time.
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dude

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2017, 09:13:53 AM »
Forget complex science.  How many people graduate a public high school that are functionally illiterate? 

I think you've misidentified the goals.  I don't think public school is designed to turn out scholars and poets.

Public school is designed to impart the most rudimentary life skills, and that does not include how to pass the SAT.  I mean, that would be great too, but that's not the point.  The point is to teach kids to sit quietly and follow directions, to defer to artificial authority, to be routed into a trade or a university program that will keep them constrained and directed toward a goal that benefits our capitalist overlords.  We don't need or want a society of freethinkers!

Public school is also a place to send kids so they don't roam the streets of your town in packs every day, looting and pillaging.  So they don't deal drugs in dark alleyways and give each other herpes.  It's centralized daycare in a structured environment, and any book-learning they do along the way, while admirable, is kind of a secondary benefit.  The primary purpose is to avoid a society overrun by street children, like you see in major African cities without widespread public education.  Public school provides basic nutrition, and a warm dry place to spend 8 hours every day where you're unlikely to be robbed or sodomized.   

Some public schools are also fantastic academic environments, where kids who are currently not being robbed or sodomized get to read Shakespeare and learn geometry proofs.  Awesome, I'm all for that.  Not all kids are interested in that part, and public school needs to serve their needs too.  Some kids have terrible home lives, or no homes at all, and those kids do not deserve to be abandoned for the mistakes of their parents.

If you're a parent who has the time and inclination to home school, then good for you.  Hopefully you're not an abuser.  But please PLEASE don't use your wonderful experiences with homeschooling to undermine the value of universally available public education.  Don't advocate diverting public funds from public education.  Don't denigrate the quality of the education provided based on test scores, because that's not really the point of our education system.

And that's ultimately my (only) beef with homeschoolers.  They seem to think public schools are terrible and need to be torn down, instead of recognizing the great good they do (even the bad ones), and maybe working to improve it.  If you're so passionate about education that you're willing to take on home schooling your kid(s), think of all the good you could do for all of those kids without parents like you, who don't have that choice.

sol, all I can say is I'm damn glad your voice is here in these forums!

shenlong55

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2017, 09:14:47 AM »
I do want each state/district/whatever to regulate ........

I want those standards ...........

Obviously, this is an ideal and don't actually exist.
It does in fascist countries, where the individual is subservient to the State and/or whatever the majority decides is 'greater good' (remember, true 'democracy' is mob rule). This country was built on individual freedom, with the State existing only to guarantee and protect those freedoms; especially from the mob.

Frankly I don't understand any arguments against freedom of choice in any good or services. You want decaf? vegetarian hot dogs? red? short hair? Saturday delivery? a small dog? Bob the plumber instead of Bill the plumber? whatever. who am I to infringe on your choice, unless it directly infringes on someone else's life/liberty/property?

Of course homeschooling can be done poorly. Yes child abuse exists. Surprise, people are flawed and evil is in the world. It particularly sucks to have poor parents. One of the scariest things in the world is to hear 'Hi! I'm from the Government and I'm here to ensure you run your life the way I think you should!'.

Frankly, when it comes to children I don't care about your freedom to be a bad parent.  I care about the child's life and liberty.  I get that you might not consider your children as separate individuals whose life/liberty you are able to infringe upon, but I do.  And considering how children are generally weaker than their parents I'm much more concerned with defending their rights than yours.

Psychstache

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2017, 09:16:41 AM »
Fun topic.

To get some BG out of the way, I want to throw out that I have spent my entire adult life working in public education. In that time, I have held positions that have given me the chance to encounter all kinds of schooling situations. My current role actually has me working on our district's school finance committee and supporting with private school and home-school coordination, so I feel like this is a perfect topic for me.

(Disclaimer: education law and policy is highly state-specific and all of my experience is in the state of Texas. so fair warning)

I would like to point out a couple of things.

1. There was some issue at the beginning of the thread about federal funding and WADA (weighted average daily attendance) as it relates to funding schools. This is not accurate. They are two separate things. In Texas, WADA is used for state and local funding. Federal Funding only covers about 2-3% of a districts budget and is reserved for specific programs like Special Education (IDEA Part B), Socioeconomically disadvantaged students (Title I) and food (National School Lunch Program). Minor quibble, but accuracy is important.

2. There was some conversation about home-schooled students and disabilities being separate. Just as a PSA/FYI, all children between the ages of 3-21 who have disabilities have a right to receive special education services, even those enrolled in private schools and home-schools. I work with our dept to coordinate these services and it is part of federal law, so for anyone who is homeschooling and thinks their kids needs speech therapy, please go notify your local public school ASAP.

So, on to some personal opinions.


In my experience, home schooling and private schooling are just like public school: some are great, some are okay, and some are downright awful. I have seen a number of parents who engage in home school in one fashion or another and I feel like they generally fall under a couple of major reasons (some of which have already been mentioned). WARNING: broad strokes picture painting ahead.

1. Parents wanting a religious education. In Texas, this is for sure the largest group. These are typically parents who would probably enroll in a private religious school, but can't afford it or need to have a parent home anyways to take care of younger kiddos, so they go the HS route.

2. Parents who don't give a ^%#$. This is the group of terrible people who just don't want to deal with the hassle of school and say they are homeschooling their kids and let them watch TV/play video game all day. In my estimation, these make up an extreme minority of home-school parents and are more a scary anecdote than a real representation of home-schooling, but it does happen.

3. Parents who want their child to get a very specific/specialized kind of education. This appears to be a growing case for kids with disabilities, particularly things like Autism Spectrum Disorders. Wealthy parents of a child with ASD want to have their child education using ABC methodology with this ratio of people who have this kind of training,etc,etc,etc. They spar back and forth with the school on their demands, and when they don't get what they want, they opt to pull their child out and educate them themselves.

4. The superstars who want to educate their kids. These are the parents of the kids that the OP is seeing pop up in the statistics about home-school kids performing strongly in college. These are the parents that make a concerted effort to support their kids with a individualized, appropriate education and get support through public or private programs (school share with the public school, home school educational co-ops, private tutoring groups) when the needs of their child cannot be met with their personal skill set.

5. Parents who pull their kids out of public school because they got in trouble and were going to be suspended/sent to alternative school. Yes, this happens. Parents will 'home-school' their kiddo for a year and basically wait for the discipline to fall off the record and re-enroll them. Organized districts will keep tabs on this kind of stuff, but some parents will try and enroll somewhere else then transfer back or pull other shenanigans to make sure little Billy doesn't get consequences.



So, that said, there is some good and bad to home-schooling. My big issue (which is the same for private schools) are two fold.

1. The complete lack of regulation. In the state of Texas, there are literally no restrictions of private schools, and home schools are treated as private schools. Ergo, there is no standard of any kind. If a parent of a child walks into our school and comes in a says "I'm withdrawing my child to home-school them", they check a box on a form and they are gone. There is no expectation that they do anything in particular, which is what gives us #2 and #5 above. That said, maybe they are a #4 or want something different and are a #1 or #3, but the challenge is you have someone making decisions (the parent) that will primarily have life-long impacts for someone else (the child), so I fee like we need a few guardrails in place. It is rare that a parent will say they are home-schooling and then do nothing for the child, but still something that could be somewhat mitigated by some minor protections.

2. Supported efforts to remove funding from public to private options. I have no issue with parents who want to enroll their kids in an alternative option, but I have no love for voucher systems and don't think they are good for students. If I wanted to hire a bodyguard because I don't like how my city's police force responds, I don't get a rebate on my taxes for it. I pay for the public good like everyone else, and then supplement on my own if I feel like I want something different. Some people argue this from a different philosophical foundation, which is fine but I disagree. Reasonable disagreements are fine and frankly important to a democracy, but please don't come back at me with a 'all taxation is theft!' argument, unless you want to be blocked by me.

Edit: spelling error

dude

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2017, 09:17:12 AM »
The people who home school are a very small self-selected group of people. It's less than 3% of the student population. I wouldn't say either the parents or the home-schooled students are representative of the overall student population. Most parents do not have the time and resources to home school. Therefore, like sewers, garbage services, fire departments, etc, I expect as part of our taxes for there to be decent, quality public education for ALL students. The benefits of a well educated populace are greater than the tax costs. Are all students being provided decent public education? I would say no. There are multiple reasons, but one of the bigger ones is much of public education is funded by local property taxes. Children from poorer districts, in addition to the burden of having parents/family units with less resources and stability, are also attending schools with less resources. I'm not anti home schooling. I'm anti-undermining public education.
 
The Federal government is supposed to make up the difference and even out some of this, but as one can see from the DeVos appointment, there is an active movement to weaken public education. Simply the fact Trump nominated DeVos, who knows close to nothing about public education and in her own state undermined public education, makes me highly suspicious of anything this administration is doing regarding public education. 

There is always the option of private and home schooling for those parents who have the money or time and will to provide those for their children. But it is the responsibility of our general society to provide decent public education for everyone.

Washington DC has some of the highest funding per pupil and some of the worst results. More money != better results. While it certainly helps, throwing more money at the problem doesn't change the underlying fundamental problems with our public education system which was largely designed 100 years ago for a far different society.

As Sol pointed out, public education was designed to keep children off the streets and to teach them to conform to society in the industrial age. Any actual learning that occurs is secondary. Mandatory high school education didn't exist until around the time of the Great Depression as this helped remove teenagers from competing in the workforce against adults. I'm sure most teachers want to educate their students but the system that exists now does a poor job of that as evidenced by the fact that we continue to slip lower and lower in international rankings and student achievement by almost any measure has basically remained flat for decades despite massive increases in funding (even adjusting for inflation) over that time.

And yet, those countries to whom we keep losing ground have well-funded public education systems.

acroy

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2017, 09:41:18 AM »
Having decent public education is not fascist.
Not by definition. If we volunteered our $$ to the public fund and some of us exercised our freedom of choice to use it, not fascist. However, forcing a good/service/behavior on a population is fascist. It's all in how it's done.

Frankly, when it comes to children I don't care about your freedom to be a bad parent.  I care about the child's life and liberty.  I get that you might not consider your children as separate individuals whose life/liberty you are able to infringe upon, but I do.  And considering how children are generally weaker than their parents I'm much more concerned with defending their rights than yours.
- Define 'bad parent', 'good parent' and how you would enforce 'good parenting'
- Of course children are individuals, did someone sate otherwise? What is a 'minor' and how minor's rights differ from adults is another interesting topic.
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Lichen

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2017, 09:44:28 AM »
We're non-religiouos homeschoolers (atheist, actually) and I think few people are actually qualified to homeschool. I live in a state with little to no regulation, and I also think that is awful. Background:

-We homeschool because private school was out of our budget plus at the time there were few non-religious private school options.

-We have kids on the gifted spectrum (tested, not mommy bragging) and the programs for this are still woefully awful in our corner of the state.

-We've done well by one thus far, he started college this year two years ahead of the traditional schedule and is thriving.

Caveats
-My kids have taken single classes at the local public school. Math in high school for my eldest when he was struggling and my explanations weren't cutting it, or when younger participated in Lego League at the local elementary, for example.

-Most of their social group is public schooled, and they are also awesome, intelligent kids. This also gives my kids access to plenty of public school socialization, including things like prom and attending school plays.

-My wife and I were public schooled. I thrived, she didn't.

-If we had access to good schools, my kids would have been there in a heartbeat. In fact, we will have access to good schools when youngest hits high school (we are moving cross state). We are seriously considering public school at that point, especially since he is interested in the NASA scholars program.

I always vote in favor of public schools. Tax me to educate the masses, please. I consider it my duty to ensure that as many people in this country are afforded the opportunity of an education as possible. This is partially for selfish reasons -- an educated populace benefits everyone. I need doctors that passed high school biology, retail clerks that can add, road crews that can read, and a populace that can think critically and vote well.

We tried to integrate with our homeschool community. We run an astronomy club through a local community outreach group, and many of these families have tried to participate over the years. Anecdotal, but probably 90% of these people failed at education. Their kids were 15 and functionally illiterate. 10 and unable to follow a basic direction. No special needs, just brats. Big families but without the guidance of responsible parenting, so the younger kids were half feral. I'd honestly never seen anything like it.  Parents were not dependable and flaky. The club had to start charging dues to weed out flaky parents that would bring their kids once then never come again. We didn't run into that with the public schooled kids or even the religious private schoolers. It was purely a homeschool phenomenon.

Many of these parents were failing their kids educationally. There is a joke of a "qualifying class" parents have to take in WA if they don't have a certain amount of college hours. It's taught by other homeschoolers and can be skated through online, as well. There is also required annual testing, but no one has to see the results so most families skip it or get a test from a homeschool group and administer it themselves. We were outliers, because we used public school testing (our right in the state, because I pay taxes to support the schools). I needed to know how my kids stacked up against their peers, damnit! I also needed to know any holes in their education so we could fill them. Others don't seem to care. They just purchase a curriculum and then proceed to do 15% of it before giving up and fake "unschooling."

I'm also not popular in homeschooling groups because I believe homeschoolers in WA need more oversight and need a more rigorous qualifying standard.  I am also against teaching fake "science" and sheltering kids from real scientific knowledge. No patience for it, will not be silent about it. As a member of the science community, this is my number one problem with a vast number of homeschoolers. These kids aren't being taught or even exposed to critical thinking, but instead head in the sand ignore what you don't agree with bullshit.

College numbers are also way skewed, I think. No data to back me up, but so many of the college educated homeschoolers I've met went to joke schools. Either University of Phoenix-like for profit scams, or super tiny private bible colleges that aren't accredited by anything other than the church they support. There are also plenty of homeschoolers thriving in real state and private colleges, of course, but I'd be interested to see more specific data. Plus, all the data I have seen show how many go to college, but never how many graduate with a degree. If that number is also higher than public schooled kids, I take back 20% of my rant. Otherwise, it plays out with my personal experience that many homeschoolers are unreliable and quit things easily (and at a much higher rate than public schoolers) when the going gets hard.

Of course, my anecdotal evidence could also be a regional thing.  Things may be completely different in the more urban areas where higher parental education levels, as well as higher income, are more prevalent.

Oh, and to address education as fascism -- education is not a good/service forced on the public. Education should be treated as a fundamental right and it is our duty to make it available/fund it for everyone. With holding an education because of one's narrow viewpoint is much more fascist, IMO.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2017, 09:44:39 AM »
...Due to moving so frequently and the messes that makes of a child's education, many military families homeschool.  Sometimes it is for a short time, like if they know they are moving 2-3 times in a school year or if they move mid-year and want to finish up a few months instead of reenrolling a kid in a new school...

Is this a recent trend or maybe specific to one service more than another?

Military brat here and Veteran, who only knew of one homeschooled child over the 22 yrs I was associated with the military (all those years were prior to 2000). I know my personal experiences don't reach very far, but I found it surprising that you mention "many military families homeschool" which was contrary to what I saw.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #41 on: December 21, 2017, 10:17:46 AM »
...Due to moving so frequently and the messes that makes of a child's education, many military families homeschool.  Sometimes it is for a short time, like if they know they are moving 2-3 times in a school year or if they move mid-year and want to finish up a few months instead of reenrolling a kid in a new school...

Is this a recent trend or maybe specific to one service more than another?

Military brat here and Veteran, who only knew of one homeschooled child over the 22 yrs I was associated with the military (all those years were prior to 2000). I know my personal experiences don't reach very far, but I found it surprising that you mention "many military families homeschool" which was contrary to what I saw.

My wife was an Air Force brat and she and here younger sister were home-schooled starting when she was in about 4th grade. I think her dad retired from the Air Force soon after that. At that time (in the 1990s) home schooling was pretty rare and there wasn't all of the ways the internet has allowed homeschoolers to connect and meetup locally. I've heard more military families homeschool now but on the other hand I know the Army has tried to stop moving people every 2-3 years and tried to keep them at one post for 4-5 years so as to lessen those constant disruptive transitions. I'm not sure how much the other services have followed suit. There's also the fact that with BRAC there's just fewer bases/posts than a few decades ago so its more likely you could stay at one duty station for longer since they tend to be larger and have more options for upward or lateral movement.

Totally anecdotal evidence here but my wife who was home-schooled from 4th grade on graduated from the same college as me with a 3.8 GPA vs. my 3.3 GPA and public school background. 
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shenlong55

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2017, 10:31:48 AM »
Frankly, when it comes to children I don't care about your freedom to be a bad parent.  I care about the child's life and liberty.  I get that you might not consider your children as separate individuals whose life/liberty you are able to infringe upon, but I do.  And considering how children are generally weaker than their parents I'm much more concerned with defending their rights than yours.
- Define 'bad parent', 'good parent' and how you would enforce 'good parenting'

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to define 'good parenting' and I don't think the state should either.  But I think we can all agree that parents who are physically/mentally abusive would fall under the 'bad parenting' definition and I see no problem with the state infringing reasonably on parental freedom to prevent such things.

- Of course children are individuals, did someone sate otherwise? What is a 'minor' and how minor's rights differ from adults is another interesting topic.

You may not have stated it outright, but dismissing Sibley's concern's for children's safety with the argument that we shouldn't infringe on parental freedom implies it.  Especially when combined with the statement below demonstrating that you understand that it may be right to infringe on some freedoms if those freedom infringe on some else's.  It may not have been what you meant, but it definitely makes it seem like your saying that children have no rights that could be infringed by allowing full parental freedom.

who am I to infringe on your choice, unless it directly infringes on someone else's life/liberty/property?

jlcnuke

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2017, 10:37:57 AM »
With regards to #1:

Sorry, but if you read the studies discussed you'll realize a fatal flaw in them - they compare "random samples/statistics from all public schools students" to "samples of only those who chose to provide the information for homeschooling" in pretty much every case. They are also almost all financially motivated (i.e. paid for) by people and/or organizations promoting homeschooling. In fact, the first of the studies linked includes the following in the conclusion:

Quote
They sometimes do not have the skills or funding to homeschool their children so the children do not get the education they should.


Even the "best" results from the large scale studies (Rudner, 1999; Ray, 2009) only use data from those homeschoolers who chose to respond to a voluntary study. Do you think the parents who homeschooled their kids and ended up with kids who couldn't get into college were likely to voluntarily report their failure??

Even Rudner, in his original report that proponents try to use as support, said "This study does not demonstrate that home schooling is superior to public or private schools. It should not be cited as evidence that our public schools are failing. It does not indicate that children will perform better academically if they are home schooled."

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mm1970

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2017, 10:39:12 AM »
My issue is that often those students miss certain pieces of information either because their parents don't want them to learn it (biology/evolution) or are not good at the subject.  I am fine if parents are competent and meet certain requirements.

Thank you for posting!

Regarding your issue, if parents were missing critical pieces of information / educational aspects, why do homeschoolers do so well in testing and college?

The data seems to show that either (1) nothing is being missed or (2) whatever is being missed doesn't affect success rates.
You can still do well in college if your parents don't teach you about evolution.

I know a large number of home schoolers.  I live in California.

They run the gamut of:
- Christians who don't want their children associating with others
- Highly educated folks, often immigrants, unimpressed with the local schools
- Crunchy types who are into unschooling and anti-vax
- Mama bears who have a hard time letting go
- Families with kids who are different and do not do well in large crowds.

So, why do homeschoolers do better on tests/ in college?  Well, some of that is simply going to be selection bias.
- The unschoolers / crunchy types are probably less likely to send their kids to college
- The highly educated PhDs are obviously in a category on their own
- Even the religious folks I know ALL have college degrees - again, some selection bias there
- Less time teaching to the masses, allowing you to focus on 1 or 2 kids.
- Involvement.  Duh. All the studies on student outcomes points to parental involvement as THE factor, and can you get anymore involved that homeschooling?

It's like saying how "look, our Charter School kids do better!" when Charter schools around here (or private schools, for that matter) are allowed to kick out or reject anyone they want.  And public schools cannot.  So why does my public elementary school score poorly?  50% English learner and a large population of disabled students.  We have 23 staff members (full/ part time) on staff for our 2 full classrooms of disabled students.  And those kids get tested.  Again, selection bias.  I cannot imagine a school where the kids are a lot more ... homogeneous.  I prefer the mix that we have.

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2017, 10:39:31 AM »
With only minor hiccups, this has been one of the more thoughtful and respectful discussions I've seen on the forum in months.  Which kind of shocks me, given the faux outrage that started this discussion.

Thanks to everyone who contributes constructively.

(I dont think comparing public education to fascism was very constructive.)

slappy

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2017, 10:51:01 AM »
Frankly, when it comes to children I don't care about your freedom to be a bad parent.  I care about the child's life and liberty.  I get that you might not consider your children as separate individuals whose life/liberty you are able to infringe upon, but I do.  And considering how children are generally weaker than their parents I'm much more concerned with defending their rights than yours.
- Define 'bad parent', 'good parent' and how you would enforce 'good parenting'

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to define 'good parenting' and I don't think the state should either.  But I think we can all agree that parents who are physically/mentally abusive would fall under the 'bad parenting' definition and I see no problem with the state infringing reasonably on parental freedom to prevent such things.


For what its worth, the state doesn't define good or bad parenting. It only cares about safe parenting. At least in the state that I work with foster families in. As a concept this is very difficult for many to understand, specifically the foster families who have to return children to "bad parents" that the state has determined to be safe. The way it was described to me was "D-" parenting. If the parents can be D- parents and keep the children safe from harm and fed/clothed, then they can have custody of the children.


marion10

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2017, 10:56:04 AM »
Lichen- my experience in activities somewhat mirrors your. I did not  homeschool  my children but was very involved in our children's choir at church whihc met on Wednesday afternoons and we did outreach to the community and got a number of homeschoolers whose parents were looking for a group activity. What you described in your astronomy club matched with observations. We have a very gifted choir director who has worked with children's choirs for many years- this one was for ages 6-12- and you need to follow instructions. Stand here. Don't talk. Open the book to page 120. Put your folder here. Most of the homeschoolers I saw couldn't do it or could not do it without disruption.

As for education in the past- in the North established  public schools (starting with the Puritans) much earlier that the South. Literacy rates were much higher in the  North. I know of no society that has anything close to universal literacy without public schools.

boarder42

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2017, 10:56:19 AM »
so whats this new tax advantage for home schooling?
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sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2017, 11:14:21 AM »
so whats this new tax advantage for home schooling?

Ted Cruz added an amendment to allow 529 (college savings accounts) tio be used for homeschooling expenses, as part of his ongoing crusade to use ever more federal money to support religious education.  He was not shy about discussing his motivations.

But the homeschooling provision was struck from the bill at the last minute.  They did expand 529 accounts, but only for private/religious elementary and secondary schools, seminaries, and religious colleges, not home schoolers. 

It's still an affront to the separation of church and state, but it only diverts federal dollars to support large institutionalized religion instead of privately practiced religion.  Something for everyone to hate!