Author Topic: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.  (Read 70233 times)

stealthwealth

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #100 on: December 22, 2017, 09:26:09 AM »
The issue I have with homeschooling is in many ways the same issue I have with private schools. 

Assuming the homeschooling isn't being done to misdirect the child's thinking into fundy dogma, then we can say the families that homeschool or that choose private schools, are also families that are invested in their childrens' education. 

Money from taxes, while important for maintaining facilities and paying professional level salaries to teachers and staff, is not what makes public schools great.  Community participation is.  So when people say "I don't mind paying my public school taxes and I'm doing a service by providing more funds for poor kids" etc, I see people contributing to the problem rather than the solution.  The most important means of support comes from those engaged families that prioritize education.  When we make it easier for these families to "opt out," then we are degrading the public schools in the sense that there is a lower ratio of education prioritizing families left in the system.  This makes it harder for the teaching staff to teach, it gives those remaining high performers a less competitive atmosphere, and it gives the lower performing students fewer peer role models.  It also lowers test scores, which impacts funding, which will eventually impact the district's ability to attract and retain teachers. 

I also believe on a social level, that children need to develop autonomy from their parents as well as their own moral compass and sense of compassion and empathy as they learn that not everyone is like them, and not everyone has the same advantages (or disadvantages) as they do.  Those muscles won't get flexed at home the way they will when the kids encounter other children that are rude, or misbehave, or behave better than them.  I've had lots of moral conversations with my own kids, prompted by the behavior of their school peers, both good and bad.  I think putting them in a nonselective school with all of humanity is a pretty good way to develop this aspect of their person, and as a family that does prioritize education, I believe that we are adding to learning environment. 

^One note re Shakespeare:  he's writing in a dialect full of words and grammar that are no longer standard.  Of course his work was much easier to follow in his own time - it is arguably a different language.  In four hundred years, they'll say the same thing about today's artists as the language evolves.

TexasRunner

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #101 on: December 22, 2017, 09:53:25 AM »
Those sound like mostly reasonable answers.  I think that the concerns you were responding to in your previous post were that there may be a level of cloistering happening when children are being homeschooled  . . . hence the comments about 'controlling' and 'confined'.
Correct, I was answering more than just your post in my post. 

There were a couple things that stood out to me from your responses.
- How do you strongly disagree with the day to day behaviour of someone without thinking less of them as a person, and while continuing to remain friends?
Its pretty difficult to explain.  I will grant you that, at first, revelations of that nature (or any similar 'not my tribe' type revelations) are difficult and emotions can be conflicting. What I would say is this, a mature Christian view of sin is such that you disagree with the actions (or even hate the actions) without hating the person.  CS Lewis describes this much more succinctly than I could with the following example.  He presents that there is one person who each of us has always hated actions that were harmful, but still loves the person.  His example is that we hate our own destructive actions (fighting with our spouse, losing our temper, stealing something, lying, whatever) but still go on loving ourselves despite those actions.  That is a mentality that is ingrained into our human being, and with intentional effort can be applied to others, though (in my belief due to sin) is extremely difficult to do.  I know he explains the topic in the book 'Mere Christianity', I believe around page 118.  If you hadn't read that book, it is an extremely succinct description of the core tenants of Christianity and its beliefs that is not displayed in American-centric Christianity very well at all (and for that I apologize).

- I really like the idea of exposing children to different schools of religious thought.  It would be great if you could expand outside of the Abrahemic religions (which all have the same basic roots/stories) to Buddhist and Hindu practices, as well as atheist arguments.

I agree.  I will discuss adding these to our plan with the wife tonight.  May have to go to Dallas for a day or two but its worth it for the expanded education opportunities (don't know of any Temples around here at all for Buddhism or Hindu).

Thanks for the suggestion!


We are already including atheistic arguments.  I missed defining those in my post,  Sorry about that. It is more difficult to 'organize' but we are planning on having exposure to Atheism as well, though it is more difficult due to a lack of (locale) 'concentric location'.

ooeei

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #102 on: December 22, 2017, 10:07:57 AM »
Stockbeard,
Here are two 8th grade graduation exams from the late 1800s/early 1900s: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/12/1912-eighth-grade-exam_n_3744163.html and http://www.indiana.edu/~p1013447/dictionary/8thgradeexam.htm. My guess is you won't find them so easy to answer and neither will the children of this time period.
Or we could mention Shakespeare. He wrote his play in the 1500-1600s for the COMMON man - not highly educated people. Yet most today find him difficult to understand.
So I would have to disagree with you on your assessment that today's children know more than those from the 17th century.

With no studying, sure they'd be a bit tricky, especially with the assumed knowledge of the time like how big a cord of wood is. With a bit of studying I'm confident a slightly above average 8th grader would do fine with that exam.

An important note is that the high school (age 14-17) enrollment rate in the early 1900's and late 1800's was around 10%, with only around 50% enrollment for age 5-17. The percentage of 17 year olds who graduated high school was around 5% in 1900. With this in mind, I have no doubt the top 10% of current 8th graders could ace that exam with a bit of studying.

In the 1800s if you couldn't pass tests like that you just quit school, probably well before 8th grade.

https://nces.ed.gov/pubs93/93442.pdf (page 27 and 31)

http://www.safeandcivilschools.com/research/graduation_rates.php


Shakespeare was written in another country hundreds of years ago during a time when literacy was for the privileged few. The "common man" who it was written for had to listen to someone else read it because they were unable to. https://www1.umassd.edu/ir/resources/laboreducation/literacy.pdf
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 10:11:36 AM by ooeei »

GuitarStv

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #103 on: December 22, 2017, 10:19:48 AM »
Its pretty difficult to explain.  I will grant you that, at first, revelations of that nature (or any similar 'not my tribe' type revelations) are difficult and emotions can be conflicting. What I would say is this, a mature Christian view of sin is such that you disagree with the actions (or even hate the actions) without hating the person.  CS Lewis describes this much more succinctly than I could with the following example.  He presents that there is one person who each of us has always hated actions that were harmful, but still loves the person.  His example is that we hate our own destructive actions (fighting with our spouse, losing our temper, stealing something, lying, whatever) but still go on loving ourselves despite those actions.  That is a mentality that is ingrained into our human being, and with intentional effort can be applied to others, though (in my belief due to sin) is extremely difficult to do.  I know he explains the topic in the book 'Mere Christianity', I believe around page 118.  If you hadn't read that book, it is an extremely succinct description of the core tenants of Christianity and its beliefs that is not displayed in American-centric Christianity very well at all (and for that I apologize).

I hate actions that hurt others.  That would include fighting with a spouse, losing temper, stealing something, lying.  These are harmful actions.  It's certainly possible to love someone who does these things . . . but opinion of that person could not stay the same.  I would think less of them as a person.

Homosexuality is loving someone and physically expressing that love.  That's the polar opposite of hurt and a harmful action.  I don't really understand why it would be classified as something 'bad' to begin with.  Learning that someone is gay would therefore not involve me thinking less of them as a person.

Your response made me wonder if you also mentally separate the bad actions that actually cause harm in the world (stealing, lying, murder) with the 'bad' actions that don't cause any harm in the world but are religiously proscribed.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #104 on: December 22, 2017, 10:34:11 AM »
Our family is Catholic and that's how we're raising our children. I'm a recent convert back as I was never really taught my faith as a child, just taken to church until I was about 10, and spent most of my life as an atheist. We originally started with a Catholic homeschool curriculum (Seton) which is what my wife used from 4th - 12th grade. It's very heavy on English and writing and the book reports and other tests are sent into to be graded rather than being done by parents. The school is accredited and children will receive a high school diploma assuming they meet all the requirements (i.e. so many classes in math, English, science, history, etc.). It definitely prepared my wife for college and she graduate summa cum laude with a BA in English from the same state school as me. Overall it's a pretty intensive program and with my wife also taking care of babies and toddlers it just wasn't working for us. Since then my wife has spent many, many hours researching curriculums, programs, books, etc. and she has put together our own system using The Phonics Road http://thephonicsroad.com/phonicsroad/ for reading, writing, spelling, and grammar and some other programs for math, history, and art plus a lot of reading. I can honestly say that my children are going to be more knowledgeable about the English language and grammar than I am. I probably can't diagram a sentence but I read voraciously as a child and so I was able to pick up on what looked/sounded right, I just couldn't explain the grammatical rules that made it so.

A lot of people on this forum are obviously more liberal/progressive than I am and the general consensus seems to be that children should be allowed to discover their own value system. I heartily disagree. I see it as one of my fundamental duties as a parent to teach my children what is right and what is wrong. I reject moral relativism, the idea that everyone can decide on their own version of right and wrong. There are moral absolutes. Murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, lying is wrong, etc. If I were to just hand my children off to society and say "you figure it out on your own" I would be abdicating my parental duties. My wife and I will teach our children our values, our religion, as well as how to read and write, how to do math, history, science, art, etc. If you see that as indoctrination and fundamentalism and sheltering them from the real world, well that's just fine. You're free to teach your children what you believe and I'll teach mine what we believe. When they go out on their own they'll be adults and free to decide if they disagree with those teachings at that point. Hopefully they will embrace those values we taught them and pass them along to their children in time.

tweezers

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #105 on: December 22, 2017, 11:15:55 AM »
It always surprises me that homeschooling isn't a larger part of the Mustachian world-view. They are such a perfect match.

We homeschool our children. We do it because schools aren't an optimal use of our children's time.
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If you FIRE with school-aged children you can spend your time with them. You can work on projects together that teach them and interest you too. You can travel whenever you want with no regard to externally imposed schedules from work or school. This is our first year after I FIREd in August and so far it's been going great.
[/quote

We homeschool our two children, and this is largely our driver, too.  We're not religious at all, or retired (my husband stays home with them), and are generally conventional in most ways (e.g. we're well-read and educated, make science-based decisions, vaccinate, etc.).  We just wanted more flexibility to spend time with our kids.  They're pretty advanced, and by homeschooling we can eliminate the school time spent on busywork and crowd control, and dedicate more time to exploring/pursuing other interests.  When I travel for work, my family often comes with me, so they've seen a lot of the US that aren't vacation destinations (e.g. small towns in the south).  We spend a lot of time outdoors, and our kids have a lot of social outlets and activities that are independent from us...camps, Girl Scouts, art classes, community parks-and-rec activities, etc.. We participate in a public school-based parent-teacher partnership for a half-day twice/week, in which both kids attend mixed-age classes with other homeschooled kids, but we also have friends in conventional school environments.  I also had the bias that you could pick a homeschooled kid out of the crowd because there was something weird or different about them.  I'm sure that's sometimes the case, but I also wonder if they would still be "those kids" if they went to public school.  We're taking a year-by-year approach, and will maybe enter the public school sphere at some point. Right now, this works great for our family, and we're not looking for a handout or tax benefit for our choice.       

BAM

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #106 on: December 22, 2017, 12:11:58 PM »
ooeei, but if you are going to argue that we are smarter, you shouldn't need to compare to the people that dropped out. And, while I can understand giving someone what would be considered common knowledge back then (like the size of a cord of wood), if you have passed high school, done grammar and history, etc all the way through, you should be able to pass the test without any additional studying.

I'm in agreement with Michael in ABQ about what I expose my children to and how/what I teach them. And we could throw the question back at you: how much do you expose your children to things you don't agree with? If you say your child gets that exposure at a public school, sorry teaching about God hasn't been allowed in a public school. Do you take your children to churches where you don't agree with the teaching? Do your children or you have Christian friends? If you aren't doing this, you have no business criticizing us if we don't.
I do teach them topics we don't agree with as they need to know it to live in the world when they graduate. Most, if not all, homeschoolers do. But we do it in an age appropriate way, in a compare/contrast beliefs way so they can look at the reasoning behind the ideas and learn where the wrong and right reasonings are.
And, socially, I doubt you could pick my children out of a crowd. Some are more social than others as you will see with any group of children but they all function well social as evidenced by jobs, college, making friends in all sorts of situations.

RangerOne

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #107 on: December 22, 2017, 12:42:29 PM »
People tend to reinforce their choices with all the reasons they are good choices. I get it we all do it. But if you go to far it is always insulting to people making different choices.

The notion that kids need public or even institutional private schools to get socialized is either overblown or flawed in my opinion. We all experience this battle in different ways.

My kids will go to public like I did but we are the odd balls out for preschool. Because my wife is stay at home with our toddler , she isn't going to a fancy 5 day a week private preschool. Yet my wife and I go to great lengths to make sure she socializes with other local children of a similar age. Yet I know if I push I could get an ear full about how its so much better for your kids to get into the 5 day a week routine...

I don't think any parents forgo teaching their kids their values. The hard part is being open minded when they become adults and maybe depart from some of your choices.


seattleite

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #108 on: December 22, 2017, 01:21:11 PM »
What kind of exposure to radically different cultures, religions, and sexual orientation do you provide your children when home schooling them?

Culture: The diversity of our friends is much higher than the population of the schools

Religion: We don't talk much about religion since our kids are young but when they ask about what that tall building is for (church) I tell them that people go there to tell stories to each other and we plan on mythologies including the major religions at some point. But again, religion isn't much apart of our life to be meaningful at all to our children. We have friends that are Hindu, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim so at some point they'll learn about those religions from them.

Sexual Orientation: Our children are young so we only talk about sex to directly answer their questions but we have friends that are gay and married and our kids know that some people marry boys and some people marry girls and it doesn't matter which one you choose.

BlueMR2

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #109 on: December 22, 2017, 05:35:48 PM »
Culture: The diversity of our friends is much higher than the population of the schools

I'm glad it's working out for you, but my experience is that your family is an exception.  I'm very much pro home schooling, but it demands a tremendous amount of work to not leave socialization gaps.  We've got a large amount of home schooling going on in my area and the typical result is poor (if any) social skills.  There are shining exceptions, but they're exactly that, exceptions.

MrsPete

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #110 on: December 22, 2017, 05:46:23 PM »
MrsPete, you're right, a casual observer wouldn't know the difference. Sad for that girl. Now instead of graduating early which she probably could have done by homeschooling, she'll probably graduate late or not at all.

... If I sent my kids to public school, the government would be teaching them from their view point ...
Sadly, the girl I described is the most recent example of "fake homeschooling" I've seen, but I've seen a whole bunch of them over my 25 years as a teacher. 

I don't really agree that kids will automatically mimic opinions taught to them in public school.  Being exposed to something doesn't equate to acceptance of it; in fact, having kids exposed to opposite opinions can be an opportunity for debate and discussion -- you don't want your kids to swallow your beliefs whole; you want them to think about them, digest them, understand them, and then accept what they believe themselves.

Here are two 8th grade graduation exams from the late 1800s/early 1900s: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/12/1912-eighth-grade-exam_n_3744163.html and http://www.indiana.edu/~p1013447/dictionary/8thgradeexam.htm. My guess is you won't find them so easy to answer and neither will the children of this time period.
I thought the questions were interesting -- and very easy.  Except for the question about the liver; I really have no idea about that one. 

An important note:  In the late 1800s/early 1900s, not all children went to school; thus, this exam would only have been presented to the "cream of the crop".  Poor kids and black kids weren't allowed to attend school in many areas. 

With no studying, sure they'd be a bit tricky, especially with the assumed knowledge of the time like how big a cord of wood is. With a bit of studying I'm confident a slightly above average 8th grader would do fine with that exam.
Hmm, I just assumed everyone knows that.  Perhaps, being a farm girl, I am a little better prepared for this than the average person.

My kids will go to public like I did but we are the odd balls out for preschool. Because my wife is stay at home with our toddler , she isn't going to a fancy 5 day a week private preschool. Yet my wife and I go to great lengths to make sure she socializes with other local children of a similar age. Yet I know if I push I could get an ear full about how its so much better for your kids to get into the 5 day a week routine...
You're not oddballs for not sending your kids to preschool -- most kids don't go -- and, assuming you're talking to your kids about colors, shapes, ABCs, etc. at home, it's completely unnecessary.  It IS beneficial for kids from educationally poor homes -- homes where kids haven't been exposed to books,  haven't learned to use scissors, can't count to ten.  The general public has adopted the idea that preschool is "good for everyone", when the research doesn't actually support that. 

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #111 on: December 22, 2017, 05:55:56 PM »
An important note:  In the late 1800s/early 1900s, not all children went to school; thus, this exam would only have been presented to the "cream of the crop".  Poor kids and black kids weren't allowed to attend school in many areas. 

All of those old tests are basically fakes.  They are designed to make people feel like "the good old days" were great, and that modern society is in decay, when in truth the exact opposite is true.  When those tests were administered, they were administered to children of elite families only, people who didn't need their kids to work on the farm or at the factory for 14 hours per day starting at age seven.

Black people weren't allowed any education at all.  Peasants got a decent education about how to farm, but basically nothing that we would today consider part of a universal curriculum.  While the Rothschilds and Rockefellers of the world were giving their kids tests about who fought at the battle of Brandywine, most kids were barefoot and dirty.  Women weren't allowed to work.  Daughters could not inherit property.  Almost nobody could vote.  Everyone in the country pooped in a hole in the ground, the average life expectancy was less than 40 years, and there wasn't wifi ANYWHERE.

I don't miss anything about that period of American history.  I am suspicious of anyone who does.

Gin1984

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #112 on: December 22, 2017, 06:10:43 PM »
ooeei, but if you are going to argue that we are smarter, you shouldn't need to compare to the people that dropped out. And, while I can understand giving someone what would be considered common knowledge back then (like the size of a cord of wood), if you have passed high school, done grammar and history, etc all the way through, you should be able to pass the test without any additional studying.

I'm in agreement with Michael in ABQ about what I expose my children to and how/what I teach them. And we could throw the question back at you: how much do you expose your children to things you don't agree with? If you say your child gets that exposure at a public school, sorry teaching about God hasn't been allowed in a public school. Do you take your children to churches where you don't agree with the teaching? Do your children or you have Christian friends? If you aren't doing this, you have no business criticizing us if we don't.
I do teach them topics we don't agree with as they need to know it to live in the world when they graduate. Most, if not all, homeschoolers do. But we do it in an age appropriate way, in a compare/contrast beliefs way so they can look at the reasoning behind the ideas and learn where the wrong and right reasonings are.
And, socially, I doubt you could pick my children out of a crowd. Some are more social than others as you will see with any group of children but they all function well social as evidenced by jobs, college, making friends in all sorts of situations.
My daughter goes to a Catholic school so yes, she gets taught things I don't believe in and we explain to her that people have different beliefs.  You may not want to assume people are only sending kids to public school.
ETA: Also I learned about other religions from other students who practiced that religion when I was in school. 
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 06:40:09 PM by Gin1984 »

calimom

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #113 on: December 22, 2017, 06:49:49 PM »
It's always fascinating to me how our people in our culture educate children. Some examples I find most curious are:

* Rich people who send their children to public school even though they could afford other options.
* Not-rich people who send their children to private schools, borrowing funds or begging money from family members because they believe private education - Waldorf, Montessori, religious education is best.
* Parents who home school, keeping one out of the workforce - usually the mother, sometimes (not always) creating a risky financial situation.
* People who un-school, in the belief that all structure is bad, and kids do best choosing their own curriculum or lack of it. Bonus being no lines, ever!

My own children are educated in not-perfect-but-pretty-good public schools in the medium/small California city we live in. There are ESL classes, Special Ed, GATE, and other programs. Sometimes too much emphasis on sports and not enough on art and humanities and science in my opinion. Where I'm able to complement those things is with my own home education with art, gardening, nature, and listening to my kids' interests. For example, my son is very keen on space exploration, so I was able to take him to the Jet Propulsion Lab at CalTech last summer for a tour, where he saw the latest version of the Mars Rover being constructed. When my eldest was growing up, we went to every museum we could get to and she ended up with a full scholarship to art school, where she excelled.We go to Shakespeare plays in Ashland, we go on hikes led by naturists. I would be a poor home school parent, lacking the time and the patience, and also the fact that I don't know All The Things, but their public school teachers do a pretty good job in that regard. One year they might have a Spanish teacher who just returned from a summer in Guatemala; another they might have a teacher who worked in politics in DC. I'm glad for the richness of their education, and glad that they mix with a variety of backgrounds, religions and experiences they might not otherwise encounter at home. This year my sophomore aged son has an American History teacher that my eldest had. His politics and viewpoints are rather Fox News which is an interesting juxtaposition to our fairly NPR household, so that has lit the fire for some lively dinner table discussions.



GoConfidently

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #114 on: December 22, 2017, 11:25:25 PM »
As a teacher and school administrator, I think homeschool can be a good option for the extreme outliers. No one system will work for everyone, and itís important to recognize that there are some children with special circumstances for whom home school is the best option. I do believe those children should meet standards (which are set locally - there is no one set of education standards in the USA which has been suggested upthread with some government conspiracy overtones). Those are the extremes of the spectrum. I have yet to hear any compelling arguments for why homeschool is better for typical children here or anywhere else. Sure, itís better for parents in a lot of cases. But parents arenít the important ones in this conversation.

Letís say your local district went to a new 3:1 student teacher ratio. Each teacher would have 3 children assigned to them for all their lessons, potentially for years. They could design any kind of lessons they wanted and keep the kids in class as long or short as they wanted. Of course, this increase means some of the teachers wonít be teachers at all - just people who like kids and graduated at least some college and signed up for the job. And testing is eliminated so you wonít know how well your kids are doing compared to their peers. That would never be acceptable in public education, but itís essentially what homeschool parents are electing to do.

On a personal note, as the child of fundamental Christians who were thankfully too poor to home school due to both parents needing to work outside the home, I am so grateful for public education. I was very sheltered (no after school activities allowed, school mates were considered ďbad associationĒ so werenít allowed to socialize outside of school, etc.) My parents meant well, the way all parents mean well when they donít allow for any variation in belief, but I was never a ďbeliever.Ē I always doubted. And I thought something was wrong with me until I was able to meet other people outside our bubble who had a variety of backgrounds and beliefs.

Those of you who homeschool and plan to teach your children about other religions, thatís admirable in thought. Itís fairly pointless though. Youíre biased. The materials you choose will likely be biased. Thereís a world of difference between you teaching what other people believe and the kind of building they use, etc.  and your children hearing from other believers what they believe and why and how it makes them feel. Religion is not fact-based. Itís not logical. Itís a set of beliefs based on feelings and experiences and faith. You canít teach that the same way you teach math. So all your lessons donít mean much in the long run without real world, ongoing interactions with people who are different than you. And those interactions are important, regardless of whether your children end up being believers or not. Itís not about the outcome. Itís about giving them agency to make their own decisions and become their own person.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 12:00:42 AM by GoConfidently »

englishteacheralex

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #115 on: December 22, 2017, 11:39:27 PM »
I've been tracking along with this thread as it's been updated. I forgot to include in my original post upthread another reason why homeschooling, at least in theory, makes me grouchy: as a teacher, I find it a little insulting that so many people are so confident that they could teach without any particular training or experience in the field.

I've taught 1500+ students in my career, grades 6-12. Sat through countless IEP meetings. Gotten a master's in curriculum studies. Graduated college with a certificate and a license to teach English and French from the state of New York. Seen almost every behavioral issue (at least the garden variety ones) that adolescent psych has to offer. Had teenaged eyes roll at me thousands of times (after the first 100 eye rolls you stop caring. Roll away, teen eyes. Roll away.). Listened to every possible misinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet and Great Expectations and Hamlet and Pride and Prejudice (it's in the REGENCY PERIOD!!! NOT VICTORIAN! NOT VICTORIAN!) imaginable. I know every common grammar mistake known to man, and a dozen different ways to make fixing those mistakes "click" depending on what that particular kid needs. I know how to be silly when necessary, and how to be serious when called for. Graded...oh, I don't even want to think about how many persuasive essays I've graded in my life. I am not persuaded.

Yeah, yeah, it's different to teach the general public than it is to teach your own kid. But...even having been a professional educator for my entire adult life, I wouldn't want to try teaching my own children pre-algebra. Totally different skill set. And...I know that a lot of home schoolers do co-op situations with other parents teaching kids subject material that's in their wheelhouse. Um...you know what does that co-op situation really, really well?

A school. One that's, you know, set up with various people who have made education in a certain subject material their life's work and have also developed (again, through explicit training and also a lot of experience) an elaborate repertoire of ways to get through to all the many, many varieties of teen crappiness (and elementary school crappiness, for that matter) that exist. You know how much your 13-year-old daughter is driving you crazy right now? I have seen infinity of 13-year-old girls. It rolls right off my back.

Ok, analogy is the weakest form of argument, but...When I have some kind of gnarly medical issue, I don't just "home medicine" myself (I know there's a certain subset of people who find this a popular treatment plan, and I think there's some overlap with the "homeschool" subset), figuring doctors these days suck and are a waste of time and medicine is natural and I'll just treat myself with some plan I'll research and buy online.

Some things are ok to DIY. But with a lot of things, when you try to DIY, you wind up spending a lot of time and money and making a lot of mistakes before you finally realize that we live in a society that has evolved towards a certain amount of specialization in various fields and a system of monetary remuneration that allows us to be experts in one or two things so that we can then compensate other experts to help us out in the things we didn't specialize in.

This is a little edgier than the first thing I posted, and it obviously reflects a massive bias. Go ahead and homeschool your kids if you want. Like I said originally, I've seen people teach their own kids way better than I could have done.

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #116 on: December 23, 2017, 05:16:58 AM »
Alex, I agree that a well-run public school with good teachers is a great environment.  I had that for my own time in public high school back in the day, and it was great. 

Here's the thing -- many public schools are not like that now.  I think they vary so much it may be impossible to say in general what "public school" is.  Our story, FWIW -- when our kids entered the local public school I was shocked at the state of affairs -- very poorly educated teachers, disconnected administrators, "lessons" that taught nothing.   Finally we concluded we could do better DIYing it at home, and we pulled our kids out and began homeschooling.  (If we had had a Catholic school, or any private school nearby, we would have gone that route for sure.  We are atheists, but would have gladly signed on with any school that actually cared about academics.  Unfortunately for us, there were no other options in a 20 mile radius, and moving was not an option at the time).  Homeschooling has been great for our family.  We love it, and FWIW I guarantee if you met our kids you'd never know they were homeschooled.  ;)

We continue to pay taxes, of course, and would never ask for any kind of tax break for homeschooling. I believe public schools are necessary, but wow -- some of them are not doing anything beyond day care and a hot meal.  We want more for our kids. I hear what some of the posters are saying, that kids like ours are valuable in public schools and should stay there as examples, but selfishly we were not willing to sacrifice our kids' education for that purpose.   I wish I had the answers, or even suggestions, for how to improve struggling public schools, but that is way beyond me.

I just wanted to add -- well done everyone to keep this thread meaningful and courteous.  This is a complex and emotionally charged topic, often not easy to discuss. 



 


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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #117 on: December 23, 2017, 06:42:04 AM »
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.
This is fascinating to me.  Why did you want your children to believe in these fantasies, and at what age are you proposing to disabuse your children of these fantasies?  (For reference, my parents employed both notions but always made it clear, with a nod and a wink, that they were fun fictions rather than reality.)

Our family is Catholic and that's how we're raising our children.
I didn't realise that Santa Claus[e] and the Tooth Fairy were Catholic beliefs.  (Yes, I know about St Nicholas, thank you.  He's not the one with the sleigh and the reindeer who is filling stockings and eating mince pies.)


P.S.  Sorry if this is a bit too snarky for what has been an interesting and constructive thread.  Not aiming this specifically at Michael in ABQ: it's mainly the "thought control" issues with any sort of education that I find worrying, along with the "doesn't even turn out kids who are functionally literate and numerate" issue that applies to varying numbers of children both to schooling and homeschooling.


FINate

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #118 on: December 23, 2017, 09:16:03 AM »
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.
This is fascinating to me.  Why did you want your children to believe in these fantasies, and at what age are you proposing to disabuse your children of these fantasies?  (For reference, my parents employed both notions but always made it clear, with a nod and a wink, that they were fun fictions rather than reality.)

Our family is Catholic and that's how we're raising our children.
I didn't realise that Santa Claus[e] and the Tooth Fairy were Catholic beliefs.  (Yes, I know about St Nicholas, thank you.  He's not the one with the sleigh and the reindeer who is filling stockings and eating mince pies.)


P.S.  Sorry if this is a bit too snarky for what has been an interesting and constructive thread.  Not aiming this specifically at Michael in ABQ: it's mainly the "thought control" issues with any sort of education that I find worrying, along with the "doesn't even turn out kids who are functionally literate and numerate" issue that applies to varying numbers of children both to schooling and homeschooling.

It's not constructive, not funny. If you want a substantive discussion about matters of faith, science, theology, then that's all well and good. But taking quotes out of context to make a point (and a bad point at that) is not helpful.

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #119 on: December 23, 2017, 09:35:17 AM »
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.
This is fascinating to me.  Why did you want your children to believe in these fantasies, and at what age are you proposing to disabuse your children of these fantasies?  (For reference, my parents employed both notions but always made it clear, with a nod and a wink, that they were fun fictions rather than reality.)

Our family is Catholic and that's how we're raising our children.
I didn't realise that Santa Claus[e] and the Tooth Fairy were Catholic beliefs.  (Yes, I know about St Nicholas, thank you.  He's not the one with the sleigh and the reindeer who is filling stockings and eating mince pies.)


P.S.  Sorry if this is a bit too snarky for what has been an interesting and constructive thread.  Not aiming this specifically at Michael in ABQ: it's mainly the "thought control" issues with any sort of education that I find worrying, along with the "doesn't even turn out kids who are functionally literate and numerate" issue that applies to varying numbers of children both to schooling and homeschooling.

It's not constructive, not funny. If you want a substantive discussion about matters of faith, science, theology, then that's all well and good. But taking quotes out of context to make a point (and a bad point at that) is not helpful.
I'm sorry you feel that way.  I don't see how the quotes are out of context.  The aim of education, as discussed in this thread, is to prepare children for adulthood, emotionally, spiritually and academically.  Both homeschooling and some forms of public schooling have difficulties over inculcating religious and other beliefs, but there tends to be much less control over homeschooling.  I can't imagine sending an 18 year old being sent out into the world believing in the reality of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, can you?  And if not, how do you differentiate between being taught to believe in a Catholic God and the Tooth Fairy?  Isn't that a fair question?  Teachers have 4 or more years of education and a complex support system to help them with these questions, homeschoolers don't.

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #120 on: December 23, 2017, 09:42:43 AM »
I can't imagine sending an 18 year old being sent out into the world believing in the reality of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, can you?

Careful, I've been moderated for similar comments in the past. 

Most of this forum sees a very sharp distinction between the kind of magic that they think is fanciful childhood story-telling and the kind of magic that they think is literally controlling their lives every day.  Personally I see very little difference, except that some people DO go out into the world as adults still believing in at least one of those. 

If you're going to hang on to one, I see no additional harm in hanging on to the others.

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #121 on: December 23, 2017, 09:47:10 AM »
I'm not sure you understand what subsidizing means.  We have decided that it is beneficial to use tax dollars to educate children.  Children go to public school, and it's paid for by tax dollars.  That's a subsidy. 

I agree that you do not.  Or are at least using the word in a different way than I intended.

Public schools are not a subsidy, they are a public service.  Like police or roads or buses, they are a service provided to everyone for the good of our society.  You don't have to personally use them to benefit from having them.  Everyone pays, everyone benefits, our civilization thrives.

Home schoolers are asking for additional personal benefits beyond this communal service available to everyone, if they want tax breaks.  A tax break to you, if you home school, does not benefit society.  It benefits you.  That's why it is a subsidy.

Sol,
I think you are saying that the use of 529 plan money to pay for an education at a private religious college is a subsidy and use of the account to pay for a private or public non-religious college education is not a subsidy.  Is that correct? 

FINate

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #122 on: December 23, 2017, 09:47:57 AM »
I'm sorry you feel that way.  I don't see how the quotes are out of context.  The aim of education, as discussed in this thread, is to prepare children for adulthood, emotionally, spiritually and academically.  Both homeschooling and some forms of public schooling have difficulties over inculcating religious and other beliefs, but there tends to be much less control over homeschooling.  I can't imagine sending an 18 year old being sent out into the world believing in the reality of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, can you?  And if not, how do you differentiate between being taught to believe in a Catholic God and the Tooth Fairy?  Isn't that a fair question?  Teachers have 4 or more years of education and a complex support system to help them with these questions, homeschoolers don't.

His kid is 9, they have a lot of time until adulthood.

We always explained to our kids that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are just fun stories. Mostly because we didn't want them to confuse God/Jesus with Santa (I suspect a lot of Christians end up with a fucked up theology because of Santa, a quid pro quo based faith that we behave so that God will reward us). As a parent you can separate the two, IMO it's just a little more tricky.

But I think Michael's point (which I get) is that kids grow up way too fast these days, and that an age of innocence is wonderful and nothing wrong with protecting this a big longer than the wider culture wants to allow.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 09:53:33 AM by FINate »

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #123 on: December 23, 2017, 09:48:06 AM »
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.
This is fascinating to me.  Why did you want your children to believe in these fantasies, and at what age are you proposing to disabuse your children of these fantasies?  (For reference, my parents employed both notions but always made it clear, with a nod and a wink, that they were fun fictions rather than reality.)

Our family is Catholic and that's how we're raising our children.
I didn't realise that Santa Claus[e] and the Tooth Fairy were Catholic beliefs.  (Yes, I know about St Nicholas, thank you.  He's not the one with the sleigh and the reindeer who is filling stockings and eating mince pies.)


P.S.  Sorry if this is a bit too snarky for what has been an interesting and constructive thread.  Not aiming this specifically at Michael in ABQ: it's mainly the "thought control" issues with any sort of education that I find worrying, along with the "doesn't even turn out kids who are functionally literate and numerate" issue that applies to varying numbers of children both to schooling and homeschooling.

It's not constructive, not funny. If you want a substantive discussion about matters of faith, science, theology, then that's all well and good. But taking quotes out of context to make a point (and a bad point at that) is not helpful.
I'm sorry you feel that way.  I don't see how the quotes are out of context.  The aim of education, as discussed in this thread, is to prepare children for adulthood, emotionally, spiritually and academically.  Both homeschooling and some forms of public schooling have difficulties over inculcating religious and other beliefs, but there tends to be much less control over homeschooling.  I can't imagine sending an 18 year old being sent out into the world believing in the reality of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, can you?  And if not, how do you differentiate between being taught to believe in a Catholic God and the Tooth Fairy?  Isn't that a fair question?  Teachers have 4 or more years of education and a complex support system to help them with these questions, homeschoolers don't.
That quote hits very close to my main issue with home schooling.  Teachers have training, schools have accreditation, there is oversight in schools.  Homeschooling in many states have none of the above.  Children have the right to an education.  If you can be better than public school, great but we as a society have a responsibility to children and we should be able to assure that they are getting no worse an education than is at their local public school.  And yes that does include being exposed to "others".

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #124 on: December 23, 2017, 09:53:06 AM »
My opinion is based on my own anecdotal experiences. I live in a state where homeschooling is primarily used by fundamentalist Christians. Oftentimes the parents were also home schooled or went to religious schools and don't have a breadth of knowledge or experience.

My husband was homeschooled for a period between 8-12, for religious reasons. His schooling was 100% based on religious video tapes and religious text reading, with some basic math thrown in. He liked to read, so he stole books from the public library (he was not allowed to get a library card). If his parents found any non-religious books, he was forced to burn them (along with toys and music that they did not approve of). Eventually his grandparents intervened and paid for him to go to a Catholic high school, where his education more or less caught up.

His sister went to public school the whole way through. She didn't fit in well, but she did have friends. Three of her friends killed themselves in a suicide pact. She felt strongly that the public school system was emotionally damaging for kids who don't fit a perfect mold. Her husband's brother was gay and was relentlessly bullied in school. He also died young. Their experiences made them feel that public school was destructive. She has homeschooled all 5 of their children from day 1. It was a little weird at first, because the various ages of the kids meant they couldn't be on the same curriculum and she was stretched thin with child care. As a result, the eldest fell behind. As they've grown though, everyone seems to have caught up and is excelling at language and reading. They have a healthy dose of science interests, but all of them dislike math. I suspect it's because their mother can't really help them. She uses a secular program designed and supported by the public school system.

Socially, things are iffy - she has tried to get them involved with extracurricular activities, but due to our locality, a lot of the other homeschooled kids are hyper-religious. Her kids don't fit in well with those kids. On the other hand, her kids seem to get into a lot of fights with neighborhood kids. So they just end up playing with each other. It's all very insular.

I see a place for homeschooling, but I don't understand how it's better to preemptively home school with the assumption that the child is going to have a problem in public school. It seems like they would be socially better off if the parents let them experience public school and then pulled them out if it wasn't working out well.

On the issue of taxes - the 529 plan proposal was interesting, but ultimately most of the people in my area who homeschool do not pay income taxes to any large degree. Usually the father works, the mother stays home, and there are two or more children in the family. On average they qualify for the EITC and sometimes other social subsidies. They pay little to no state taxes. As such, they wouldn't actually get any particular benefit from a 529 plan. They may pay a minor amount of property taxes toward the public school system, but they often don't choose high value homes (they aren't exactly worried about being in a good school district). Maybe it's different in other states.

The private school inclusion will have a much bigger impact. All of the local private schools are Catholic. They are used by higher-income religious families who will benefit from 529 plans.

FINate

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #125 on: December 23, 2017, 10:11:09 AM »
Most of this forum sees a very sharp distinction between the kind of magic that they think is fanciful childhood story-telling and the kind of magic that they think is literally controlling their lives every day.  Personally I see very little difference, except that some people DO go out into the world as adults still believing in at least one of those. 

As far as we can tell, we shouldn't really be here, and yet the fundamental characteristics of our universe are fine tuned to support life, and there is no rational explanation for what initiated this incredible universe (not talking Big Bang, but what preceded it, and what preceded that, ad infinitum). Some decided that it's unknowable, so not worth worrying about. Others decide that there must be some natural explanation we just haven't discovered yet, perhaps a multiverse (by definition, unobservable). Still others have even come to believe this is all a simulator hacked together in the next universe up. Others believe in a higher power -- similar to the idea of a simulator -- but the big question here is what is this higher being like, how (if at all) do we relate to it, and what (if anything) does it mean for us. My point is that, whatever your beliefs, the fact that we live on this beautiful, wonderful, vibrate, life giving little spec in the outskirts of the universe is mysterious, magical even.   

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #126 on: December 23, 2017, 10:28:27 AM »
As far as we can tell, we shouldn't really be here, and yet the fundamental characteristics of our universe are fine tuned to support life

You know what else is incredibly unlikely?  That out of all of the 7 billion people on earth, you and I  BOTH own personal home computers!  What an incredible coincidence!

Or maybe not.  Maybe the fact that we are communicating by personal computer presupposes that we both own personal computers, no matter how rare of a circumstance that may be.  The universe is the same deal.  Yes, it's unlikely.  It HAS to be unlikely or else we wouldn't be here to notice how unlikely it is.

Quote
there is no rational explanation for what initiated this incredible universe

Gravity.  Gravity created the universe.  Gravity is a fundamental property, like addition is a fundamental property.  It exists in the absence of anything else.  It does not, itself, need to be created, and more than addition needed to be created. 

Quote
(not talking Big Bang, but what preceded it, and what preceded that, ad infinitum).

Why are reductio ad absurdum arguments only applied to scientific facts, and not religious stories?  Why do people always ask "Yes, but what came before that" about the big bang, but never about their idea of God?  Doesn't a belief in God just remove the original creation story one step further away?  Where did he come from?

Quote
the fact that we live on this beautiful, wonderful, vibrate, life giving little spec in the outskirts of the universe is mysterious, magical even.

While I agree that the universe is wondrous and amazing, that doesn't mean the tooth fairy is real.


Side Note:  all of the ideas expressed in this post are the direct result of a public school education, which challenged all of my preconceived notions about the universe and pointed me at a wide variety of new sources of information.  You can deny your children access to this information for only so long, unless you teach them to value ignorance and thus not TRY to learn about the world.  Sadly, I worry that this is exactly the goal of many religious home schoolers.  Is it really "education" if you're teaching them NOT to learn?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 10:31:19 AM by sol »

dang1

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #127 on: December 23, 2017, 10:56:38 AM »
the idea of god- nice cute fairy tale, lol. After years and years of religious indoctrination starting at childhood, I'm so glad it's all behind me now.

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #128 on: December 23, 2017, 11:24:36 AM »
I'm sorry you feel that way.  I don't see how the quotes are out of context.  The aim of education, as discussed in this thread, is to prepare children for adulthood, emotionally, spiritually and academically.  Both homeschooling and some forms of public schooling have difficulties over inculcating religious and other beliefs, but there tends to be much less control over homeschooling.  I can't imagine sending an 18 year old being sent out into the world believing in the reality of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, can you?  And if not, how do you differentiate between being taught to believe in a Catholic God and the Tooth Fairy?  Isn't that a fair question?  Teachers have 4 or more years of education and a complex support system to help them with these questions, homeschoolers don't.

His kid is 9, they have a lot of time until adulthood.

We always explained to our kids that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are just fun stories. Mostly because we didn't want them to confuse God/Jesus with Santa (I suspect a lot of Christians end up with a fucked up theology because of Santa, a quid pro quo based faith that we behave so that God will reward us). As a parent you can separate the two, IMO it's just a little more tricky.

But I think Michael's point (which I get) is that kids grow up way too fast these days, and that an age of innocence is wonderful and nothing wrong with protecting this a big longer than the wider culture wants to allow.

Believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy at nine years old isnít sweet and innocent. Itís developmentally inappropriate. A nine year old should have the experience, critical thinking, and knowledge to know that flying reindeer donít exist and one man isnít capable of visiting every home in one night. They should also know that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Either this child is severely behind in critical thinking skills, or they have come to understand that there is a reward for making their parents think that they still believe things they know are untrue - either scenario is bad and should be raising red flags for parents.

Homeschool parents who are proud that their nine year old still believes fairy stories and simultaneously decry the idea that homeschool kids are weird or poorly socialized are a good example of just some of the hypocrisy in homeschool circles.

FINate

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #129 on: December 23, 2017, 11:25:10 AM »
sol, you and I completely derailed another thread earlier this year discussing similar issues. Perhaps we should start an off-topic thread for this? (unsure what the preferred etiquette is)

As far as we can tell, we shouldn't really be here, and yet the fundamental characteristics of our universe are fine tuned to support life

You know what else is incredibly unlikely?  That out of all of the 7 billion people on earth, you and I  BOTH own personal home computers!  What an incredible coincidence!

Or maybe not.  Maybe the fact that we are communicating by personal computer presupposes that we both own personal computers, no matter how rare of a circumstance that may be.  The universe is the same deal.  Yes, it's unlikely.  It HAS to be unlikely or else we wouldn't be here to notice how unlikely it is.

In your analogy you know the denominator. How many universes exist or have existed (even if briefly)? We don't know, it's not observable. If universes are the exception not the norm (e.g. there is no multiverse creating many trillions of universes over time) then we agree, the probability of our universe existing is diminishingly small.

Quote
there is no rational explanation for what initiated this incredible universe

Gravity.  Gravity created the universe.  Gravity is a fundamental property, like addition is a fundamental property.  It exists in the absence of anything else.  It does not, itself, need to be created, and more than addition needed to be created. 


Therein lies the problem with "science can explain everything about existence." It's either an infinite recursion, as each new discovery peels back a layer of abstraction the next layer is revealed. Or it bottoms out on on fundamental properties (axioms) that cannot be further explained other than to say that they are what they are.

Quote
(not talking Big Bang, but what preceded it, and what preceded that, ad infinitum).

Why are reductio ad absurdum arguments only applied to scientific facts, and not religious stories?  Why do people always ask "Yes, but what came before that" about the big bang, but never about their idea of God?  Doesn't a belief in God just remove the original creation story one step further away?  Where did he come from?

Interesting that you should ask. In the Judeo-Christian faith God reveals himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3) and gives his personal name as "I am that I am" or "he is that he is" and this personal name for God generally gets translated as "LORD" in the Bible (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLrGM26pmM0). In scripture God is simply because he is. This is why it was so offensive to the established religious order when Jesus says ďVery truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!Ē in John 8:58

You see gravity as a fundamental force that simply exists, I see God as just existing, which is how he's revealed himself.

Quote
the fact that we live on this beautiful, wonderful, vibrate, life giving little spec in the outskirts of the universe is mysterious, magical even.

While I agree that the universe is wondrous and amazing, that doesn't mean the tooth fairy is real.

Nor do I believe in the tooth fairy. But it's really not a good comparison to compare the tooth fairy or Santa (largely created for marketing purposes) to a faith tradition that evolved over 3000 years which has a beautiful metanarrative poetically woven throughout it's scriptures, and which over a billion people find truths about human nature, our ability for great love and creativity, but also our ability for selfishness and greed.


Side Note:  all of the ideas expressed in this post are the direct result of a public school education, which challenged all of my preconceived notions about the universe and pointed me at a wide variety of new sources of information.  You can deny your children access to this information for only so long, unless you teach them to value ignorance and thus not TRY to learn about the world.  Sadly, I worry that this is exactly the goal of many religious home schoolers.  Is it really "education" if you're teaching them NOT to learn?

Just to be clear, I (and many Christians) do not believe that the Bible speaks to material origins. I don't homeschool, but may in the future and if we do will be teaching them evolution and science. IMO it's more constructive to encourage people of faith to focus on the Bible as being concerned with issues of faith, ethics, and spirituality. Encourage Christians to stop thinking in terms of conflict between science and faith, which brings more clarity on what is really being said in scripture while also being good for science.

One of the things I love of science are the tools it has given me to better understand scripture. Archeology, anthropology, and other fields (and I should add, not necessarily Biblical or confessional scholars, but a secular approach) have uncovered a wealth of information about Ancient Near East (ANE) culture. Comparative Studies (essentially comparing and contrasting specific cultures) within ANE has provided great new insights and understanding. Instead of stepping into an ancient text and imposing a 21st century viewpoint on it (wrong on so many levels, and confusing) we now have a much better understanding of what the original authors were communicating in a high context ANE environment. Engaging these ancient texts on their own terms has, for me, caused them to come alive and become more vivid and compelling, and provide clarity on questions I once had and has deepened my faith. And I have science to thank for that.

(Edited for grammar, clarity)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 11:30:56 AM by FINate »

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #130 on: December 23, 2017, 12:59:14 PM »
My schooling was a mix of homeschool and regular school, on and off depending where we were living. The last stretch was when I finished my high school living in a tiny remote community where the local school only went up to grade eight or nine. It went pretty well. I followed the same curriculum as the normal school would, so there were no educational gaps. Actually, I'd say there was an educational advantage since I wasn't held back by slower kids, and could self-direct a lot of my studies into specific areas I was interested in. Picking my own books to study for English was especially nice.

The social aspect is interesting. I've always been pretty introverted and not had a ton of friends. I don't think more public schooling would have changed that - having switched back and forth a few times, it didn't seem to make a difference. But among friends who did thing the normal way, nobody really has had anything great to say about the social aspect of school, especially high school. The range of experience seems to be from ambivalence to outright hatred (from bullying, etc).

I was never interested in sports as either a kid or adult, so there was no loss there. I was actually very relieved to not have to participate in that stuff anymore with homeschool. I remember a lot of other people hating gym class as well, who probably would have been thrilled to not do it anymore.

There was no religious element at any point in my education. Religions have always just seemed like bullshit to me. All of them equally. I'm not a dick to people about their beliefs, but there's just no chance I could ever read a religious story and think "Yes, this is 100% true and factual". I actually suspect most religious people don't believe everything in their texts to the letter, because that would require completely abandoning critical thinking.

I can't really blame people for being anti homeschool though, because there are so many failures. I have a cousin who "homeschooled" her kids, and apparently neither of her now-teenage kids can even read. The problem is that the homeschool failures are way more visible, since the successes just blend into society.

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #131 on: December 23, 2017, 01:19:27 PM »
I'd say there was an educational advantage since I wasn't held back by slower kids, and could self-direct a lot of my studies into specific areas I was interested in. Picking my own books to study for English was especially nice.

Do home schoolers really think that kids in public school are held back by slower kids?  Like I wasn't allowed to read more books in high school than were required by the curriculum?  That my science education only included what my high school science teachers taught? 

Because that's entirely counter to the very spirit of education, IMO.  The whole point of my high school education, in science or english or anything else, was not to impart a specific body of facts but to inculcate a lifelong love of personal learning and growth, on my own time, outside of the classroom.  High school physics can never possibly teach you quantum mechanics, but it can teach you that quantum mechanics exists and is fascinating and hey there are books you can read about it at your local library! 

Similarly, my english teacher didn't assign compare and contrast essays because that was a check box on the lesson plan, she did it so that as an adult I would then voluntary contribute tens of thousands of words to public discussion forums as a productive and engaged member of American society.  Hi, readers!  Do I get an A+?

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The range of experience seems to be from ambivalence to outright hatred (from bullying, etc).

Right, that's the whole point of this argument.  Shielding kids from these negative experiences is NOT helping them, because some day they're going to have to go out into the world and deal with these same problems, in a less supervised environment with fewer avenues of support.  Everyone is going to get bullied at some point, and I'd much prefer it happens in 4th grade concurrent with a learning unit about bullying than in your first office job when your supervisor demands a blowjob after sending you to pick up his dry cleaning.

Yes, high school is sometimes traumatic.  Yes, kids are exposed to bad behaviors.  That's what you WANT to happen, as a parent, so you can help them deal.  Get those life skills down in a structured and supervised environment, while working with professionals who deal with them every day, instead of staying innocent of these problems until you're an adult.  Why do parents try so hard to handicap their kids?

Let them struggle and fail early, in a low consequence environment, as preparation for the day when it really counts.

Chrissy

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #132 on: December 23, 2017, 02:26:19 PM »
The wide variation in quality in this country of ALL the educational options makes it impossible for my husband and I to take a stance for or against any.  We had good public educations in the Midwest in the 80s and 90s, but we were each the youngest in our class and gifted*, so elementary was a social nightmare and a huge waste of time.  We had excellent experiences in high school, where we could exert more autonomy.

Our district public school in Chicago is not an option for our DD, currently a toddler.  It has abysmal scores and is 80% low income.  The hours/schedule are not humane:  start time is a full hour earlier than the private schools, even for kindergarten, one recess 20min/day, homework starts in kindergarten.  The class sizes are 30% larger than the district average, 45% larger than private schools.  Also, the racial makeup is such that DD would be an extreme minority.  If we stay in Chicago, we'll probably go with private schooling.  Husband says he would consider homeschooling if she outpaces her cohorts.

I only know one person who homeschooled... unschooled.  In this case, the parents were exceptional and highly educated.  They had two daughters.  First daughter did great in the public system.  Younger daughter did not.  At age 10, they pulled the younger daughter out of school and told her her education was up to her.  She spent the next year doing nothing, but the father described a situation in which the child had a lot of bad schooling experiences to process... I would liken the year to the "decompression" that is often mentioned as the start of FIRE.  At the year mark, as the father was planning to intervene, the daughter came forward with a program she had discovered and wanted to follow.  Turns out, in conversations with friends, it became apparent to the girl that she was falling behind.  She was finally concerned about her future, and took matters into her own hands.  She successfully competed her education in a timely fashion, I believe using a hybrid of traditional public school, online systems, and independent study.  Both daughters were in college when I lost touch.

*My husband JUST found out he was super gifted as a child.  His father recently confessed that he always scored a minimum of 2 years above grade level.  His dad was the school psychologist, and was the one administering the tests!  His folks never told him, because there was no point.  They were very rural, and there were no other options for education.

LiveLean

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #133 on: December 23, 2017, 03:37:00 PM »
Here in Florida, we have a a lot of homeschooling. Our older son is in competitive swimming, which also seems to attract a disproportionate share of homeschoolers. Here are my three main beefs with homeschooling:

1. You must accommodate us for sports. Yes, our kids don't go to your high school - or any high school. But we expect them to play for the local high school teams, even if they've never set foot in the building. If Tim Tebow could do it, so can my kid.

2. (Boy Scouts) You know, my son doesn't really like camping (so accustomed to home-school, helicopter parenting). Plus he'd like to work on the merit badges on his own outside the troop and summer camps. If we can homeschool regular schooling, why can't we homeschool Scouting?
(True story).

3. One of the major challenges of our current generation of parenting (I have 15 and 12-year-old boys) is instilling any sort of initiative or independence. Kids are wonderful sheep, following their overscheduled lives, being taught to the test, checking the boxes, etc. They do not play unsupervised, mow lawns or any sort of middle-school age job. The one thing that's at least somewhat independent in our helicopter parenting, micrromanaged world is going to school. Homeschool your kids and you've taken that away, too.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 03:38:47 PM by LiveLean »

gaja

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #134 on: December 23, 2017, 04:57:51 PM »
Let them struggle and fail early, in a low consequence environment, as preparation for the day when it really counts.
Thank you Sol. That pretty much sums up my parenting philosophy in one sentence. The real challenge is balancing the height they fall from and the cushion they land on. Luckily, my kids' teachers share that philosophy, and help finding suitable challenges for them.

MrsPete

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #135 on: December 23, 2017, 07:22:31 PM »
This is fascinating to me.  Why did you want your children to believe in these fantasies, and at what age are you proposing to disabuse your children of these fantasies?  (For reference, my parents employed both notions but always made it clear, with a nod and a wink, that they were fun fictions rather than reality.)
A related question:  Do the kids really believe in Santa, or are they perpetuating the fantasy because it's part of the holiday /part of the family fun?  I ask this because I am the oldest child.  I don't precisely remember "a moment" when I realized Mom and Dad were really Santa, but I do remember a period of years when I knew I was expected to pretend for the sake of the four younger children ... and I remember a number of years when ALL the kids knew the truth, but we continued to pretend because it was fun for everyone.  I can't remember how old we were. 

Even kids who don't go to school are exposed to society in other ways, and as their thinking ability moves from concrete to abstract, they're going to figure it out.  I can't imagine a normally functioning kid would not understand the difference between reality and fun stories by the time they hit their teenaged  years.

That quote hits very close to my main issue with home schooling.  Teachers have training, schools have accreditation, there is oversight in schools.  Homeschooling in many states have none of the above.  Children have the right to an education.  If you can be better than public school, great but we as a society have a responsibility to children and we should be able to assure that they are getting no worse an education than is at their local public school.  And yes that does include being exposed to "others".
Yeah, love it or hate it, public schools are something of a safety net for kids who may be in trouble.  For example, I have a girl in my class this semester who's come to school with a black eye twice.  I've known the girl for years and always assumed she came from a nice family, but I asked her about her eye (both times).  She said it happened during a sports practice -- I checked with the coach, and -- yeah -- the coach had witnessed both injuries.  No problem.  But what about kids who aren't getting their black eyes from sports?  School is one place where mandated reporters "notice" and question.  For the most venerable of our students, this matters. 

Similarly, public school has "checkpoints" to see that kids are meeting age-appropriate milestones in their educations.  What we're not very good at is FIXING those problems. 

She felt strongly that the public school system was emotionally damaging for kids who don't fit a perfect mold.
Eh,no.  I was a kid who didn't fit the perfect mold.  My kids didn't fit the perfect mold.  We all had positive experiences in public school.  As a teacher, I know LOTS of kids who aren't perfect -- some are bad at sports, some have anxiety, some have physical disabilities, some have different sexual identities, some are poor -- the this-or-thats that make them "different" is long; most of them seem to be doing pretty well. 

As far as we can tell, we shouldn't really be here, and yet the fundamental characteristics of our universe are fine tuned to support life, and there is no rational explanation for what initiated this incredible universe (not talking Big Bang, but what preceded it, and what preceded that, ad infinitum). Some decided that it's unknowable, so not worth worrying about. Others decide that there must be some natural explanation we just haven't discovered yet, perhaps a multiverse (by definition, unobservable). Still others have even come to believe this is all a simulator hacked together in the next universe up. Others believe in a higher power -- similar to the idea of a simulator -- but the big question here is what is this higher being like, how (if at all) do we relate to it, and what (if anything) does it mean for us. My point is that, whatever your beliefs, the fact that we live on this beautiful, wonderful, vibrate, life giving little spec in the outskirts of the universe is mysterious, magical even.
Thought #1:  I don't see Evolution and the Bible as being in conflict.  There's really no question that Evolution happened, but I don't believe it happened "on its own".  Too many coincidences.

Thought #2:  Does it really matter?  If you could pick up a book that explained -- with absolute certainty -- exactly how the Earth came to be, would you live your life any differently? 

2. (Boy Scouts) You know, my son doesn't really like camping (so accustomed to home-school, helicopter parenting). Plus he'd like to work on the merit badges on his own outside the troop and summer camps. If we can homeschool regular schooling, why can't we homeschool Scouting?
(True story).
You can.  It's called Independent Scouting.  The program is typically used by kids who don't live near a troop.  In Girl Scouting we tend to have medium-to-large troops for our younger girls, but by the time they're teens, the ones who are still "hanging in there" sometimes don't have the required 5 people to make a troop ... so the girls register as Independents.  Some girls do this so they can attend summer camp as "registered scouts", which means a lower cost.  Others do it so they can work on badges, etc. on their own.  Girl Scouts in the Independent program are called "Juliettes" after the founder (Juliette Gordon Lowe), and Boy Scouts used to call their equivalent Lone Scouts, though I sort of think they changed that title. 

3. One of the major challenges of our current generation of parenting (I have 15 and 12-year-old boys) is instilling any sort of initiative or independence. Kids are wonderful sheep, following their overscheduled lives, being taught to the test, checking the boxes, etc. They do not play unsupervised, mow lawns or any sort of middle-school age job. The one thing that's at least somewhat independent in our helicopter parenting, micrromanaged world is going to school. Homeschool your kids and you've taken that away, too.
You're painting with a broad brush.  Sure, this behavior exists, but it doesn't seem to be the majority of our kids.  At the high school level, I see more kids who are 100% uninvolved in anything (not in the band, don't play sports, members of no clubs, aren't part of a church youth group - they just go home and watch TV) than kids who are over-scheduled. 
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 07:30:46 PM by MrsPete »

Hula Hoop

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #136 on: December 23, 2017, 07:34:59 PM »
There are moral absolutes. Murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, lying is wrong, etc. If I were to just hand my children off to society and say "you figure it out on your own" I would be abdicating my parental duties.

You don't think kids learn these things at public school?  or private school for that matter?  My kids go to public school and they have been learning these things since day 1 of daycare.  I find it hard to think of any mainstream belief system - religious or not - that would consider these things OK.  I find this genuinely puzzling that you think that kids are taught that murder, stealing and lying are ok.

FINate

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #137 on: December 23, 2017, 07:55:23 PM »
As far as we can tell, we shouldn't really be here, and yet the fundamental characteristics of our universe are fine tuned to support life, and there is no rational explanation for what initiated this incredible universe (not talking Big Bang, but what preceded it, and what preceded that, ad infinitum). Some decided that it's unknowable, so not worth worrying about. Others decide that there must be some natural explanation we just haven't discovered yet, perhaps a multiverse (by definition, unobservable). Still others have even come to believe this is all a simulator hacked together in the next universe up. Others believe in a higher power -- similar to the idea of a simulator -- but the big question here is what is this higher being like, how (if at all) do we relate to it, and what (if anything) does it mean for us. My point is that, whatever your beliefs, the fact that we live on this beautiful, wonderful, vibrate, life giving little spec in the outskirts of the universe is mysterious, magical even.
Thought #1:  I don't see Evolution and the Bible as being in conflict.  There's really no question that Evolution happened, but I don't believe it happened "on its own".  Too many coincidences.

Agree.

Thought #2:  Does it really matter?  If you could pick up a book that explained -- with absolute certainty -- exactly how the Earth came to be, would you live your life any differently? 

How? Qualified no. Why, or for what purpose? Yes, very much. (The former is qualified beause it may relate to 'why.' E.g. if we're living in nothing more than a science fair project hacked together in the next universe up by a petulant teenager => there is no meaning or purpose to anything)

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #138 on: December 23, 2017, 08:02:45 PM »
if we're living in nothing more than a science fair project hacked together in the next universe up by a petulant teenager => there is no meaning or purpose to anything)

Isn't that kind of sad, that you think it matters?  Why should it matter?

I think about all of things in this world that I have loved, and I can't think of a single case where I needed that thing to love me back.  I don't think the universe needs to have any purpose except the one it creates for itself, through the creation of you and the purpose you decide on.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #139 on: December 23, 2017, 08:46:34 PM »
My issue with homeschooling is the arrogance of parents who think they are qualified to teach children the same as academic experts. Teachers spend years learning their profession, practicing and receiving feedback. They improve their skills over years working with hundreds of children and a wide variety of situations and contexts. But parents with no training or skill can download some books and teach? Iím sure some make it through well, just like their are some awful teachers. But on the whole, these parents arenít qualified and giving birth doesnít qualify you. I wouldnít want a doctor to treat me who used google as their training. I donít want unqualified parents teaching anyone. You want to homeschool, go and get a homeschooling license or training. Know what the hell youíre doing, be held accountable and keep your skills at the level expected for people who teach children. Is that too much for you? Then stay in your lane and leave the teaching to the people qualified to do it.

Mikenost12

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #140 on: December 23, 2017, 08:51:17 PM »
So glad your posting Sol!

I have my concerns about tax dollars going to private, for profit schools, let alone home schooling. In the case of private, they should have to follow the same laws that govern public schools as well as being open about what goes on, discipline, kids they remove, what they teach, not more opaque than public. Having worked in some for profit private schools, there were concerning issues.

In the case of home schooling I worry that part of the point of public education is to engender some common knowledge and basis for coming together. I wouldn't mind if we even had a bit more learning 'civics', America the Beautiful type songs, as well as increased education about our traditions, government, learning to think critically and civic duty in a democracy.

I think the exposure to different religions, ethic groups, ideas, dress, values, languages is helpful for finding common ground as adults. As mentioned by others the socialization and variety of activities is invaluable. Additionally I would imagine, as MrThatsDifferrent many home school situations can't match the expertise across all the various subjects taught in public school. If an issue is the level of education, I would think a parent could provide extra instruction after school, during the weekends and vacation, many groups in my area have Saturday School and after school programs.
 
 I feel like if the quality of education is not good enough then we should work as a society to improve it, if you want more than that, then provide extra. If tolerating other groups or 'radical' ideas is that abhorrent, then perhaps you can counter act the modicum of collective egalitarian ideals from public schools, at home in private and they will be able to be better inoculated against those ideas, having been mildly exposed. It is harder to come together as a national fabric if we don't share a few common threads and have some experience interacting with one another.

Come Together
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 08:56:20 PM by Mikenost12 »

hops

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #141 on: December 23, 2017, 09:38:01 PM »
Ok, analogy is the weakest form of argument, but...When I have some kind of gnarly medical issue, I don't just "home medicine" myself (I know there's a certain subset of people who find this a popular treatment plan, and I think there's some overlap with the "homeschool" subset), figuring doctors these days suck and are a waste of time and medicine is natural and I'll just treat myself with some plan I'll research and buy online.

I know quite a few pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists who are troubled by an increase in parents (some of them homeschoolers, others not) who think the time they've spent reading David Avocado Wolfe or Mike Adams nonsense on Facebook is somehow equivalent to four years of medical school and three to seven years of residency and fellowship. What's funny is the highly educated, high-earning parents who discover these online communities and become convinced they know more than some really great doctors, might look down their noses at the conspiracy theorist rural parents who think medicine (and everything else) is a scam. And vice-versa. But they share a lot of common beliefs that are simply marketed in different ways -- Goop on one side, Alex Jones on the other.

FINate

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #142 on: December 23, 2017, 11:25:09 PM »
if we're living in nothing more than a science fair project hacked together in the next universe up by a petulant teenager => there is no meaning or purpose to anything)

Isn't that kind of sad, that you think it matters?  Why should it matter?

I think about all of things in this world that I have loved, and I can't think of a single case where I needed that thing to love me back.  I don't think the universe needs to have any purpose except the one it creates for itself, through the creation of you and the purpose you decide on.

I don't think it's sad. This is based on my own personal journey, not trying to make any kind if grand philosophical statement or speak to others' experiences. Whatever works for you, great! But for the better part of a decade I walked away from my faith and am very familiar with the social contract model as a means to ethics in a universe otherwise devoid of meaning or purpose. For me personally I found it to be lacking. Although I was ethical (more or less) the overall experience was too transactional for me, and I found that I was becoming more attentive to self than others.

I don't want to not murder (or harm or steal from) people because they don't. I want to love them regardless, even if they hurt me or are mean to me or whatever. So for me a big component of returning to the faith was a renewed deepening of the concept that all humans are made in the image of God, the imago dei. Not just that we reflect characteristics of God (love, creativity, consciousness, etc.), but that we were appointed a sacred role in creation, to create for the benefit of others, to take care of creation and others, that are all equal in the imago dei which is not a function of skill or what someone can produce or offer to society. This is very much rooted in purpose and meaning. This has reinvigorated something within...an increasing focus on others, with less focus on self. Not self-loathing or shame (I seem to have increased grace for myself and my many faults), but what I think is best described as self-forgetfulness or perhaps other-centeredness and increased empathy which has rippled into my marriage, family, community, and so on. But it also includes a renewed vigor to protect the environment, take care of my body, and fight for the vulnerable just because this is a core part of the purpose we are called to in life.

Perhaps this makes me less than you...like I said, just my experience of the past 15 years or so. I guess YMMV.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #143 on: December 24, 2017, 02:41:15 AM »
Iíve been reading this thread and finding it very interesting, since possible homeschooling (Iím pregnant with our first child at the moment) is one of my financial goals. I think I would be a moderate homeschooler Ė not an unschooler, but not a bought curriculum. Mandated school/study time every day, but not all day sat down at a desk.

Just a bit of background first. You can skip this bit if you like, but I think itís important context for what comes next. Weíre English, and a lot of what Iíve read in this thread about school and religion doesnít really seem the same as it is in England. (NB: Your public school = our state school.)

Background

State schools vary hugely in quality depending on where you live, but I donít think what they actually offer varies as much as it does in America. Some schools wonít be able to offer some subjects but theyíll be the fringe ones like politics or certain foreign languages, not the core ones like science. The offering is pretty much the same at every school (following the National Curriculum) but varies in quality. You pick 8-10 subjects to study at GCSE with exams at 16, and 3-4 subjects to study at A Level with exams at 18. Then you go to university to study a single subject. If you donít want to send your children to state school, you either pay for private school (boarding or day) or homeschool. Private school range from mega-posh places like Eton whose fees are out of all proportion but offer loads of scholarships and bursaries, to total waste of money places where they are no better than the local state school. Most private schools are somewhere in between with varying levels of academic pressure/success and fees. If you homeschool, you get visited annually and basically have to prove that you have been educating your children. Itís not an onerous visit if you have actually been educating your children, but presumably if you have just been pissing around or teaching them obviously fake stuff, you would be referred to social services. When you go to university, they all cost the same but there is a clear hierarchy of quality (with a few exceptions for specialist subjects) so you go to the best one you can get into without comparing cost (except maybe COL).

I do not recognise a lot of the religion described as standard in America. In Britain, if you said to a Christian ďOh right, youíre Christian so you wonít want your children to learn about evolution, will you?Ē we would honestly ask you what you were talking about. Iím sure those people exist, but itís really not normal. Weíre Christian and believe in science. Adam and Eve frolicking with the dinosaurs is justÖ what? Not a thing in our country. Comparative religion is taught in all schools here up to a certain level, including (I believe) in Church of England schools. I am 90% sure itís a compulsory part of the National Curriculum Ė along with teaching about contraception. If a parent wants to teach otherwise, they are perfectly at liberty to sit little Timmy down when he gets home from school and explain that XYZ that he learnt today is actually wrong and we believe ABC, but little Timmy still has to go to the classes at school. I think the majority of religious people in the UK are totally fine with this. We certainly are. If our childís mind can be changed (or he can be BRAINWASHED BY THE STATE!!!) that easily then weíve done a terrible job at explaining our beliefs.

Actual Post
I was a high achiever at an excellent private school, and school sucked for me. It was just such a freaking waste of time. My entire frigging day was taken up by travelling to and from school, moving from lesson to lesson, doing admin like handing out worksheets, doing stupid non-work fill-time tasksÖand a few hours of actual learning. During my A Levels I genuinely considered asking my parents if I could stop going and just teach myself and take the exams at the end. I would have got more sleep and had more time to work on my hobbies (some serious, like coding or writing, some frivolous, like trying on all my clothes and painting my nails). I do believe I could have done it, but I also believe my parents would have hit the roof so I never asked.

Someone posted upthread about being held back by the slower children. Itís not that you never get to do the advanced stuff because one person at the back of the class is struggling, but rather that you waste so much time on everyone elseís problems and questions. So at least 50% of time at school for any individual pupil is wasted. That said, I generally respect teachers. I know several as friends, and they have a hell of a job. Itís just a structural problem with putting an assortment of 30 children in a classroom and trying to get them to all do the same thing at the same time.

So I am considering partly homeschooling our future child(ren). I do believe that I am perfectly capable of teaching the whole of primary school, academically. I can print out the National Curriculum to make sure our children are learning what they need to each year, and we can go at it in our own way at our own pace and not be total slaves to the school schedule. I believe that at primary school level, the full, structured school day is just silly. You donít need that much time to cover the material, and you donít actually get to do lots of important things like running around and interacting with/shadowing adult life like cooking and cleaning and shopping Ė and working (I freelance part time, largely from home). I think that we as a family will have a better, less stressful life if we homeschool. I also do not believe that primary school teaches children to be inquisitive and to start thinking critically. I believe I can do a much better job of that at home by engaging with my childrenís interests and encouraging them to ask and think about difficult questions.

But it will be mandatory for them to do one or more group activities. Maybe sports, maybe singing in a choir, maybe drama, maybe ScoutsÖ depends whatís on offer locally and what theyíre interested in. Because children do need to learn to take turns and play nicely with other children and follow rules set by other adults. I agree that the family dynamic and the friends/acquaintances/strangers dynamics are different and learning to interact with siblings under the watchful eye of parents is not the same. So I will make a big effort to seek out opportunities for them to interact with children of roughly their age outside the home.

However, I would send them to school for secondary school. I think I could teach some academics above age 11, but I would certainly top out at some point, and the start of secondary school is a natural transition point. Also, I would not be able to offer the Ďapprovedí structure to prepare them for university entrance. You just have to take GCSEs and A Levels and be funnelled through the application system. Sure, they might end up not going, but Iím not going to take responsibility for hamstringing them like that. I will be sad when they go to school. I will think of all the other things we could be doing together, and I will rue the day I committed to something that requires getting up at 6.30am. I will miss spending time with them in the evenings, when I now have to watch them doing their homework instead. But I think itís an appropriate age to start to learn that this is the way the system is structured, and they can fit in with it, fight it if they want to, or learn to work around it. I will respect the school rules, but I will allow my child to question them and face the consequences. If they donít want to do their homework, Iím not getting into a screaming match about it every evening, but they sure as hell are going to go to that detention. I would hope that by then I have taught my child the value of education and hard work enough that itís not a serious problem. Itís also a good age for them to feel like their parents arenít watching them all the time. School isnít real autonomy, but I imagine that as teenagers theyíll feel like itís better than being at home with their totally uncool, major saddo mum all day. But again, I think the major part of their critical thinking education will still come from us at home, involving them in adult conversation about difficult issues and asking them their opinion. Most of school is an information factory. Itís not where you learn to love learning and get interested in the world.

But oh, I so hope they get a scholarship and bursary to a good private school. Depends where we live, of course, but it would be so difficult to send my child to some shithole state school where a C is a major achievement. And in England we do not routinely have the de facto academic streaming that you have in America. We donít have an equivalent of AP classes. You do the same A Level course in either a good school or a bad school. It would a be dreadful thing to have to decide to send the children to the local shitty comp or try to patch together GCSEs and A Levels by ourselves/with tutors.

Sorry for the megapost, but the pros and cons of homeschooling is something Iíve thought a lot about.

Executive Summary
Reasons to homeschool for primary school:
-   Better and less stressful family life/schedule
-   I firmly believe I can teach all the necessary academics
-   I also believe I can better teach things that school doesnít teach
-   Less wasting my childrenís time
-   I believe I can find opportunities for them to socialise in groups with their age groups

Reasons to send them to school for secondary school:
-   My ability to teach many subjects will top out
-   Let them experience extended time without their parents and with their peers
-   Education system structure and the need to take particular formal exams
-   School schedule will become less burdensome on the family as they grow older and can sort themselves out (getting up, lunches, getting themselves to school on time)
-   Fingers crossed for a scholarship and bursary!

Trifele

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #144 on: December 24, 2017, 03:23:08 AM »
My issue with homeschooling is the arrogance of parents who think they are qualified to teach children the same as academic experts.

OK -- here's the disconnect.  Are there some public schools where the teachers are actually "academic experts"?  I'm sure there are.  But I haven't lived in those districts.  I wish I did!   

Any parent who cares can do a much better job teaching than a teacher that doesn't care who is dealing with 30 kids.  The parent has skin in the game and can focus on fewer kids. There are other factors that stack the academic odds in favor of homeschooling. One of them is time.  Once you get rid of all the 'filler' activities in school (line up here, go there, wait here) actual instruction time is a few hours a day. Our kids definitely spend more time per day on schoolwork than the kids in public school get.  Another factor that makes homeschooling (with a caring parent) better than the average public school (my opinion, based on my experience) is that the kids develop into more independent, curious learners.  After about age 11 or 12, the homeschooled kids I know are "lit."  You can set up a curriculum, guide them, and get them resources, but they are doing the work themselves.  And the thing about self-directed learning is -- it sticks.  It's real learning.

Look, I'm not attacking public schools. I'm a product, and had a good public school education in the midwest years ago. I think there probably still are many good teachers in public schools. But I take issue with your broad generalization that parents can't do a good job teaching.  So wrong. 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #145 on: December 24, 2017, 06:48:39 AM »
My issue with homeschooling is the arrogance of parents who think they are qualified to teach children the same as academic experts.

OK -- here's the disconnect.  Are there some public schools where the teachers are actually "academic experts"?  I'm sure there are.  But I haven't lived in those districts.  I wish I did!   

Any parent who cares can do a much better job teaching than a teacher that doesn't care who is dealing with 30 kids.  The parent has skin in the game and can focus on fewer kids. There are other factors that stack the academic odds in favor of homeschooling. One of them is time.  Once you get rid of all the 'filler' activities in school (line up here, go there, wait here) actual instruction time is a few hours a day. Our kids definitely spend more time per day on schoolwork than the kids in public school get.  Another factor that makes homeschooling (with a caring parent) better than the average public school (my opinion, based on my experience) is that the kids develop into more independent, curious learners.  After about age 11 or 12, the homeschooled kids I know are "lit."  You can set up a curriculum, guide them, and get them resources, but they are doing the work themselves.  And the thing about self-directed learning is -- it sticks.  It's real learning.

Look, I'm not attacking public schools. I'm a product, and had a good public school education in the midwest years ago. I think there probably still are many good teachers in public schools. But I take issue with your broad generalization that parents can't do a good job teaching.  So wrong.

They have a degree, theyíve studied education, theyíve spent hours doing supervised teaching and they are constantly assessed and have to keep their skills current. They didnít get their degree from the back of a cereal box. Teaching is a profession and a skill and no, parents who arenít qualified arenít naturally better.

MOD EDIT: Forum rule #1.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 01:28:10 PM by MrThatsDifferent »

furrychickens

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #146 on: December 24, 2017, 07:57:22 AM »
Still reading through the replies but wanted to chime in.

Homeschooling for religious reasons was very common 20 years ago but I doubt if itís even the majority of homeschooling families these days. We pulled our kids from school because my oldest really struggles in a traditional classroom but thrives in one on one instruction because of some mild language disabilities she has. My younger two could be fine either way but I love designing our own curriculum - theyíve learned more about space, world history, mythology, and a host of other topics at ages 11, 10, and 8 than most high school graduates.

FWIW my wife is a practicing Catholic, and our kids to receive basic religious education and attend church. Iím the primary teacher, however, and Iím a bisexual agnostic. I know many, many non religious homeschooling families, and even the religious ones I know do not fit the stereotype of sheltering kids from learning about science/evolution/whatever.

At the same time, weíre probably a bit behind in some things because I try to work with their natural progression rather than obsess over artificial grade level competency. We as society accept that toddlers start talking and walking at very different ages but demand that several years later their intellectual progress is in lock step? Thatís an odd disconnect in my book and does not fit with what we know about brain development.

The socialization claim is a bunch of shit and Iím so tired of it. The most concise counter argument is that socialization in school is an artificial environment defined by age, not personality or interests. My kids get lots of interaction with other kids but more importantly, theyíre constantly around adult conversations as well.

On taxes, I do NOT want any government funding. Almost no homeschool advocacy groups wants it either, the biggest group in this regard being HSLDA. The last thing we want is government intrusion, because then we will lose the ability to design our own curriculum, which is the whole reason many chose to homeschool in the first place. Many families do essentially ďschool at homeĒ with very structured education, but many more are like me that do things a lot differently than conventional education. The last thing I want is to be regulated as, essentially, a very small private school.

sol

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #147 on: December 24, 2017, 08:08:46 AM »
Once you get rid of all the 'filler' activities in school (line up here, go there, wait here) actual instruction time is a few hours a day.

I think that those filler activities are a vital part of the educational experience.  They teach structure and patience, and they give kids a chance to interact with other kids.  Now I'm wondering if missing those filler activities is part of the reason so many home schooled kids struggle with social cues, even when they are academically well prepared.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 11:24:48 AM by sol »

Zikoris

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #148 on: December 24, 2017, 10:03:43 AM »
I'd say there was an educational advantage since I wasn't held back by slower kids, and could self-direct a lot of my studies into specific areas I was interested in. Picking my own books to study for English was especially nice.

Do home schoolers really think that kids in public school are held back by slower kids?  Like I wasn't allowed to read more books in high school than were required by the curriculum?  That my science education only included what my high school science teachers taught? 

Because that's entirely counter to the very spirit of education, IMO.  The whole point of my high school education, in science or english or anything else, was not to impart a specific body of facts but to inculcate a lifelong love of personal learning and growth, on my own time, outside of the classroom.  High school physics can never possibly teach you quantum mechanics, but it can teach you that quantum mechanics exists and is fascinating and hey there are books you can read about it at your local library! 

Similarly, my english teacher didn't assign compare and contrast essays because that was a check box on the lesson plan, she did it so that as an adult I would then voluntary contribute tens of thousands of words to public discussion forums as a productive and engaged member of American society.  Hi, readers!  Do I get an A+?

Maybe held back is the wrong term? Having switched back and forth a few times prior to high school, I definitely found that the educational aspect of normal school suffered a lot due to having a lot of class time taken up by behaviour problems, or just doing the same stuff I learned the year before in homeschool. I would find that I learned way more outside of school from pursuing my own interests, which honestly made the whole school experience seem sort of pointless. For me, one of the nice things about homeschool was cutting all the crap and being able to spend all my "class time" actually learning. I mean, if you're going to waste seven or eight hours a day at school, then go to the library on your own time to do the real learning, you might as well just cut out the middle step, right?

Quote
The range of experience seems to be from ambivalence to outright hatred (from bullying, etc).

Quote
Right, that's the whole point of this argument.  Shielding kids from these negative experiences is NOT helping them, because some day they're going to have to go out into the world and deal with these same problems, in a less supervised environment with fewer avenues of support.  Everyone is going to get bullied at some point, and I'd much prefer it happens in 4th grade concurrent with a learning unit about bullying than in your first office job when your supervisor demands a blowjob after sending you to pick up his dry cleaning.

Yes, high school is sometimes traumatic.  Yes, kids are exposed to bad behaviors.  That's what you WANT to happen, as a parent, so you can help them deal.  Get those life skills down in a structured and supervised environment, while working with professionals who deal with them every day, instead of staying innocent of these problems until you're an adult.  Why do parents try so hard to handicap their kids?

Let them struggle and fail early, in a low consequence environment, as preparation for the day when it really counts.

I don't see forced-enduring of trauma to be a valuable thing. I think high schools are a very weird environment that is very different from the real world, where you have an entirely different set of options available to you. If you have a toxic job, for example, you can quit and go get a new one. A lot of the stuff that kids could do in high school without a lot of consequences would get them fired in a decent workplace. And as a general rule, as an adult you can eliminate or greatly limit toxic or unpleasant people's time in your life.

And for what it's worth, of people I know who had a bad time in high school, I have never heard a single one say "Man, that really helped me in the long run".

shelivesthedream

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Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
« Reply #149 on: December 24, 2017, 10:14:01 AM »
The "socialisation" I learned at school bears very little resemblance to any adult social interactions I have. Sure, you have to learn how to get on with different people and deal with rules and schedules and stuff, but you don't have to learn that in school any more than you have to learn fractions in school.

I would also disagree that teachers in general are academic experts. Surely an expert is someone like a university researcher, not a physics teacher. But I would argue that secondary school teachers are academic specialists. I am certainly capable of teaching all-round primary education, but at some point into secondary school I just wouldn't be able to deal with all the material for all the subjects by myself. I could absolutely teach higher level French or philosophy, but wouldn't be able to help my child at all with A Level maths or economics. Hey, maybe I'll get lucky and my child will only be interested in the exact things I'm interested in :) If not, I'll need to call in a specialist. Or, as we know them, a subject teacher.