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General Discussion => Welcome and General Discussion => Topic started by: TexasRunner on December 20, 2017, 05:40:57 PM

Title: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 20, 2017, 05:40:57 PM
...

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

This interests me.

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

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

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

To address #1, homeschoolers consistent perform better than their peers on testing and have higher college GPAs given that parents include them in some form of structured education (whether that be a structured, solo lesson plan, homeschool group, or online education such as Khan Academy).
Source 1: https://www.nmu.edu/education/sites/DrupalEducation/files/UserFiles/Moreau_Kathi_MP.pdf (https://www.nmu.edu/education/sites/DrupalEducation/files/UserFiles/Moreau_Kathi_MP.pdf) (page 19 specifically)
Source 2: https://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html (https://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html) See 'Academic Performance'
Source 3: Ray, Brian D. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ682480 (https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ682480)
Source 4: http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE/article/view/10 (http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE/article/view/10)
Source 5: https://www.parentingscience.com/homeschooling-outcomes.html (https://www.parentingscience.com/homeschooling-outcomes.html)
Source 6: Kunzman R. 2009. Understanding homeschooling: A better approach to regularization. Theory and Research in Education, 7: 311–330. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ860946&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ860946 (http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ860946&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ860946)
Source 7: Martin-Chang S, Gould ON, and Meuse, R E. The impact of schooling on academic achievement: Evidence from homeschooled and traditionally schooled students. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science 43(3): 195-202.
Source 8: Rudner L. 1999. Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 7(1) 1-38.


....

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

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

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

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

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

Original Post
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 on December 20, 2017, 05:51:22 PM
My issue is that often those students miss certain pieces of information either because their parents don't want them to learn it (biology/evolution) or are not good at the subject.  I am fine if parents are competent and meet certain requirements.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 20, 2017, 05:55:40 PM
My issue is that often those students miss certain pieces of information either because their parents don't want them to learn it (biology/evolution) or are not good at the subject.  I am fine if parents are competent and meet certain requirements.

Thank you for posting!

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

The data seems to show that either (1) nothing is being missed or (2) whatever is being missed doesn't affect success rates.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Michael in ABQ on December 20, 2017, 05:58:13 PM
When we tell people we homeschool the reactions generally fall into two categories.

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

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


To the second point I'll just say briefly that the "socialization" that occurs in public school (or private schools for that matter) is not something we desire for our children. The fact that they are still innocent is good thing. My 9-year old still believes in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy because they haven't had other kids at school tell them that it's all made up. They also haven't learned new bad words or been exposed to bullying or teasing (except from their own siblings) or most importantly, been taught that up is down and wrong is right. They interact with other children, and teenagers, and adults in other ways. Be it family gatherings, neighbors, in public places (park, store, etc.), at church, etc. The fact that we have a larger family (5 kids) also means brothers and sisters to play with (and fight with) and to learn how to interact.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 20, 2017, 06:04:48 PM
cross posting from original thread...

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for posting!

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

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

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

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

Personally I do believe that there is a benefit to organized group professional education.     
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 20, 2017, 06:13:48 PM
cross posting from original thread...

Lol I was doing the same thing.  See below.

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

Sol, you and I actually have something we agree on.  I wish all churches (regardless of religion or lack thereof) were not tax-free entities.  From the opposite side of the fishbowl, it would be much easier on everybody inside as well.  Personal political opinions wouldn't be stifled and any giving would occur at whatever level the 'givee' sees fit in lieu of the mental block of "I don't get any benefit beyond XXX number of dollars", which I consider to be counter-productive in both secular and religious donations.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 20, 2017, 06:19:55 PM
Those who are against homeschooling either (1) don't understand the data, (2) don't understand the positive financial implications or (3) disagree with it due to a religious or anti-religious viewpoint.  Show me otherwise.

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

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

So...
homeschooling = totally fine
tax breaks for homeschooling = an affront to the Constitution
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 20, 2017, 06:23:33 PM
I assume that you home school.  The question I have, is if you child has developmental needs that would be aided by access to specialized individuals during the public school day such as hearing and speech professions would you enroll them in public schools? 

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

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

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

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

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

-https://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html (https://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 20, 2017, 06:26:47 PM
Those who are against homeschooling either (1) don't understand the data, (2) don't understand the positive financial implications or (3) disagree with it due to a religious or anti-religious viewpoint.  Show me otherwise.

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

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

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

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

How is a specific to homeschooling tax break a benefit to any particular religion?  Specifically when such a break is limited in nature to very tangible assets such as books/supplies/tuition/etc?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mousebandit on December 20, 2017, 06:27:05 PM
Sol, I am very interested in your opinion (if I understood it correctly from the other thread) that tax breaks (for homeschooling, secondary education, business, or any other reason) are a subsidy of the government (and thereby, other taxpayers) because all income we derive, whether from W2 employment, self employment, investment, etc, is only made possible by the infrastructure and society that government has paid for, and therefore, our tax dollars are basically a repayment of our overall debt to government, for making our ability to work and earn possible in the first place.  Did I understand your position correctly?  I find that a fascinating proposition that I have never come across before.

And, would you object to the use of pre-tax dollars to pay for non-religious homeschool programs (accredited, of course)? 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mousebandit on December 20, 2017, 06:35:33 PM
And, as to the question about children with extra needs, we have a child who is going to be getting some help with speech therapy.  We are paying for that ourselves.  Our health insurance covered an initial doctor visit, and a subsequent hearing test (after deductible and copay of course), and we are waiting for our first appointment with the speech therapist place, but it sounds like it will be considered a medical expense, and again, subject to health insurance, deductibles, and copays. 

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

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

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


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

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

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

Is there a place between public schooling and home schooling that would work for the majority of students?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Syonyk on December 20, 2017, 07:33:12 PM
As to the students missing information in various subjects, I would love to see the numbers for public school graduates who don't have gaps, often huge gaps, in their learning.  How much of biology / evolution does the typical graduate retain?

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

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

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

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


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

If public schooling isn't working for an awful lot of students (and I'd offer that it isn't, based on the miserable results of public schooling), it doesn't even need to work for a "majority of students."  It just needs to not suck as badly for a few more.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mousebandit on December 20, 2017, 07:43:24 PM
I would counter the idea that it takes a village with the examples of the early American colonists and states.  Children being educated at home was the rule, the town schoolhouse was the exception.  Children were frequently, probably usually, not exposed to multitudes of adults on a regular basis.  Socialization, outside of their immediate family unit, was pretty minimal by today's expectations.  And, by and large, the people of that era were much better educated than our children are turning out, and you could certainly argue that they had better social skills and civic skills and understanding than many of our college graduates. 

I don't think it takes a village.  I do believe it takes interested and dedicated parents.  But not a village.  And yes, there will always be children who are being neglected, abused, all manner of wrongs.  As community members, we need to be aware of these possibilities.  But we do not need to subject all children to the scrutiny of the state, simply for the reason of ferreting out those children, especially when it comes with disadvantages to their education and social upbringing.  Not every child is going to flourish being homeschooled.  Many children are not flourishing in public school.  We need to prioritize proper parenting, and the responsibilities of parents, and then allow them made an educated decision about what is the best method of education for their own child, rather than declare parents unable to be trusted and usher in a nanny state to supervise the upbringing of our children.  IMO. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 20, 2017, 07:53:53 PM
My "queasiness" about homeschooling is this:   I believe that "It takes a village to raise a child".   If homeschooling is widely prevalent, I believe that far more children would "fall through the cracks" than today

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

This perspective neatly reframes homeschoolers as doing their civic duty, as long as their activities don't interfere with the public good.  Like you can defend your home, but you cannot defend your home from the cops when they have a warrant.  You need to operate within the framework of our public services, not against them.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: aceyou on December 20, 2017, 08:12:45 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

My bet is that if you compared homeschoolers to public school kids who belong to two-parent households who feel education is VERY, VERY important, and who come from higher than average economic means...you know, apples to apples, the gap in achievement would disappear. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 20, 2017, 08:17:50 PM
Sol, I am very interested in your opinion (if I understood it correctly from the other thread) that tax breaks (for homeschooling, secondary education, business, or any other reason) are a subsidy of the government (and thereby, other taxpayers) because all income we derive, whether from W2 employment, self employment, investment, etc, is only made possible by the infrastructure and society that government has paid for, and therefore, our tax dollars are basically a repayment of our overall debt to government, for making our ability to work and earn possible in the first place.  Did I understand your position correctly?  I find that a fascinating proposition that I have never come across before.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes.  To extend the police force metaphor above, we don't use tax dollars to subsidize personal firearm purchases either.  You are free to take social services into your own hands, but you are not free to underfund or compete with the social services that make our society possible.  We need police, and I don't support diverting funding to pay people to buy guns with the argument that we will then need less police.  Police provide a vital public service.  Ditto for public education.  You aren't required to depend on it for your family, but I think you have to recognize that collectively we DO need it to be available to everyone.  I think our taxes should be used to fund our public services, not subsidize private citizens trying to compete with public services.  Do that on your own dime.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MoustacheDArgent on December 20, 2017, 11:00:47 PM
I read a book a few years ago about a lady who home schooled her children and it really changed my mind about it.  I realized that exceptional results can be made if the parents take it seriously.

I also have a cousin who "home schooled" her children and she basically took them out of school and did nothing.  They are uneducated and didn't learn anything.  One of them has the most horrible spelling when she posts on facebook.  I know of a child whose mother "home schooled" her and her sisters and the mother just did drugs and none of the kids learned to read.  I don't think this is common, but it does happen sometimes.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 20, 2017, 11:23:58 PM
Forget complex science.  How many people graduate a public high school that are functionally illiterate? 

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

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

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

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

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

And that's ultimately my (only) beef with homeschoolers.  They seem to think public schools are terrible and need to be torn down, instead of recognizing the great good they do (even the bad ones), and maybe working to improve it.  If you're so passionate about education that you're willing to take on home schooling your kid(s), think of all the good you could do for all of those kids without parents like you, who don't have that choice.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: VoteCthulu on December 21, 2017, 12:00:32 AM
One of the things I am not allowed to do is live in this fabulous advanced civilization for free, as a freeloader. 
I'm interested in what your definition of a freeloader is, since it somehow seems to include someone who pays tens of thousands in taxes that's redused a few thousand for homeschooling credits, while excluding someone with millions of dollars in the bank who gets free healthcare meant for the poor.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Villanelle on December 21, 2017, 12:09:29 AM
Mostly just shaking my head at Sol's posts.

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

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

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

And that's an argument that's been done to death so I hate to touch on it, but it does shed some light on another reason I'm agains the tax breaks.  I don't have kids, so I don't directly utilize the school system (my parents' taxed funded my own education).  But I am fully supportive of paying for public schools none the less because I benefit from being part of an educated populace.  So too are homeschoolers.  They, like me, aren't sending a kid to a taxpayer-funded building to be taught by a taxpayer funded teacher. But they are still benefitting from being a part of an educated society.  So like me, they should pay for that. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: englishteacheralex on December 21, 2017, 12:43:18 AM
Maybe I shouldn't, but ok, I'll take this on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sherr on December 21, 2017, 06:34:36 AM


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

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

I will not do that to my children, and I don't want my tax dollars supporting people who do either. I understand they may have the best intentions in the world, my parents did. And there may be situations like military families where it makes a lot more sense than regular schools. If people an make educated non-fear-based decision to homeschool their children, fine, they should be able to. But it shouldn't involve help from me, because I do not think that children benefit from homeschooling in the general case.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Fomerly known as something on December 21, 2017, 06:42:08 AM
As others have said, I don't support tax dollars for home school or private school.  I'm a catholic school kid.  My father wanted me to have religion included in my education.  My parents made a choice to pay for me to go to private schools.  It was their choice to do so.  They and I believe that they should not have been given an economic incentive to do so. 

When it comes to college, I'm ok with 529s mainly because all colleges, even public ones charge tuition so it is less about choice there.  To me it's more that the states have decided to subsidize public schools instead of 529s subsidizing private ones.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: chemistk on December 21, 2017, 06:47:08 AM
I have nothing productive to add to this conversation, I just want to say thank-you to sol, Villanelle, and englishteacheralex - I have never read such clear, thoughtful arguments on the pros and cons of homeschooling vs. public schooling and the related topics.

I will add that I was homeschooled for a brief period of time, I did well but it wasn't something my parents were cut out to do. It was very difficult to reintegrate into a traditional (albeit private) school environment. 4th Grade was a particularly traumatic year for me, so homeschooling is a subject I approach with caution and have told others to do as well. For all the good it can bring, it can also bring a lot of bad.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: lemonlyman on December 21, 2017, 06:50:44 AM
I plan on semi-homeschooling my children. Our district has programs in place to allow homeschooled children to take courses at public school. The program idea being that we're paying taxes anyways so we should have open access to those resources. Personally, I think it's a great compromise. The kids get to socialize and take courses we may not be comfortable teaching like advanced mathematics or even just a art class. I'm not religious or anything. I just think 7-8 hours a day sitting in a chair and standing in line isn't the most effective way to educate.

I don't believe parents who home school should be exempt from taxes toward public education or receive tax benefits to do so.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Sibley on December 21, 2017, 08:01:06 AM
Englishteacheralex - your post really made a lot of sense to me.

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

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

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

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

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

There is always the option of private and home schooling for those parents who have the money or time and will to provide those for their children. But it is the responsibility of our general society to provide decent public education for everyone.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: LaineyAZ on December 21, 2017, 08:20:33 AM
Like others, I agree that homeschooling with some state oversight to make sure that basic educational goals are being met is okay.
And slightly off topic:
This does not mean that your share of the tax dollars used to fund public schools should be diverted to your household.  We here in AZ are at ground zero in the U.S. on this issue - there's a vote coming up about unlimited charter school funding.  To me it's the beginning of privatizing the public schools.  It's a $600 Billion industry and the Koch brothers want in.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: acroy on December 21, 2017, 08:33:44 AM
I do want each state/district/whatever to regulate ........

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

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

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

Of course homeschooling can be done poorly. Yes child abuse exists. Surprise, people are flawed and evil is in the world. It particularly sucks to have poor parents. One of the scariest things in the world is to hear 'Hi! I'm from the Government and I'm here to ensure you run your life the way I think you should!'.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: partgypsy on December 21, 2017, 08:37:32 AM
Having decent public education is not fascist.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Michael in ABQ on December 21, 2017, 08:38:43 AM
The people who home school are a very small self-selected group of people. It's less than 3% of the student population. I wouldn't say either the parents or the home-schooled students are representative of the overall student population. Most parents do not have the time and resources to home school. Therefore, like sewers, garbage services, fire departments, etc, I expect as part of our taxes for there to be decent, quality public education for ALL students. The benefits of a well educated populace are greater than the tax costs. Are all students being provided decent public education? I would say no. There are multiple reasons, but one of the bigger ones is much of public education is funded by local property taxes. Children from poorer districts, in addition to the burden of having parents/family units with less resources and stability, are also attending schools with less resources. I'm not anti home schooling. I'm anti-undermining public education.
 
The Federal government is supposed to make up the difference and even out some of this, but as one can see from the DeVos appointment, there is an active movement to weaken public education. Simply the fact Trump nominated DeVos, who knows close to nothing about public education and in her own state undermined public education, makes me highly suspicious of anything this administration is doing regarding public education. 

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

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

As Sol pointed out, public education was designed to keep children off the streets and to teach them to conform to society in the industrial age. Any actual learning that occurs is secondary. Mandatory high school education didn't exist until around the time of the Great Depression as this helped remove teenagers from competing in the workforce against adults. I'm sure most teachers want to educate their students but the system that exists now does a poor job of that as evidenced by the fact that we continue to slip lower and lower in international rankings and student achievement by almost any measure has basically remained flat for decades despite massive increases in funding (even adjusting for inflation) over that time.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: dude on December 21, 2017, 09:13:53 AM
Forget complex science.  How many people graduate a public high school that are functionally illiterate? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

sol, all I can say is I'm damn glad your voice is here in these forums!
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: shenlong55 on December 21, 2017, 09:14:47 AM
I do want each state/district/whatever to regulate ........

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

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

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

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

Frankly, when it comes to children I don't care about your freedom to be a bad parent.  I care about the child's life and liberty.  I get that you might not consider your children as separate individuals whose life/liberty you are able to infringe upon, but I do.  And considering how children are generally weaker than their parents I'm much more concerned with defending their rights than yours.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Psychstache on December 21, 2017, 09:16:41 AM
Fun topic.

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

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

I would like to point out a couple of things.

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

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

So, on to some personal opinions.


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And yet, those countries to whom we keep losing ground have well-funded public education systems.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: acroy on December 21, 2017, 09:41:18 AM
Having decent public education is not fascist.
Not by definition. If we volunteered our $$ to the public fund and some of us exercised our freedom of choice to use it, not fascist. However, forcing a good/service/behavior on a population is fascist. It's all in how it's done.

Frankly, when it comes to children I don't care about your freedom to be a bad parent.  I care about the child's life and liberty.  I get that you might not consider your children as separate individuals whose life/liberty you are able to infringe upon, but I do.  And considering how children are generally weaker than their parents I'm much more concerned with defending their rights than yours.
- Define 'bad parent', 'good parent' and how you would enforce 'good parenting'
- Of course children are individuals, did someone sate otherwise? What is a 'minor' and how minor's rights differ from adults is another interesting topic.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Lichen on December 21, 2017, 09:44:28 AM
We're non-religiouos homeschoolers (atheist, actually) and I think few people are actually qualified to homeschool. I live in a state with little to no regulation, and I also think that is awful. Background:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, and to address education as fascism -- education is not a good/service forced on the public. Education should be treated as a fundamental right and it is our duty to make it available/fund it for everyone. With holding an education because of one's narrow viewpoint is much more fascist, IMO.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Slow2FIRE on December 21, 2017, 09:44:39 AM
...Due to moving so frequently and the messes that makes of a child's education, many military families homeschool.  Sometimes it is for a short time, like if they know they are moving 2-3 times in a school year or if they move mid-year and want to finish up a few months instead of reenrolling a kid in a new school...

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

Military brat here and Veteran, who only knew of one homeschooled child over the 22 yrs I was associated with the military (all those years were prior to 2000). I know my personal experiences don't reach very far, but I found it surprising that you mention "many military families homeschool" which was contrary to what I saw.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Michael in ABQ on December 21, 2017, 10:17:46 AM
...Due to moving so frequently and the messes that makes of a child's education, many military families homeschool.  Sometimes it is for a short time, like if they know they are moving 2-3 times in a school year or if they move mid-year and want to finish up a few months instead of reenrolling a kid in a new school...

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

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

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

Totally anecdotal evidence here but my wife who was home-schooled from 4th grade on graduated from the same college as me with a 3.8 GPA vs. my 3.3 GPA and public school background. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: shenlong55 on December 21, 2017, 10:31:48 AM
Frankly, when it comes to children I don't care about your freedom to be a bad parent.  I care about the child's life and liberty.  I get that you might not consider your children as separate individuals whose life/liberty you are able to infringe upon, but I do.  And considering how children are generally weaker than their parents I'm much more concerned with defending their rights than yours.
- Define 'bad parent', 'good parent' and how you would enforce 'good parenting'

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

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

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

who am I to infringe on your choice, unless it directly infringes on someone else's life/liberty/property?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: jlcnuke on December 21, 2017, 10:37:57 AM
With regards to #1:

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

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


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

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

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 21, 2017, 10:39:12 AM
My issue is that often those students miss certain pieces of information either because their parents don't want them to learn it (biology/evolution) or are not good at the subject.  I am fine if parents are competent and meet certain requirements.

Thank you for posting!

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

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

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

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

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

It's like saying how "look, our Charter School kids do better!" when Charter schools around here (or private schools, for that matter) are allowed to kick out or reject anyone they want.  And public schools cannot.  So why does my public elementary school score poorly?  50% English learner and a large population of disabled students.  We have 23 staff members (full/ part time) on staff for our 2 full classrooms of disabled students.  And those kids get tested.  Again, selection bias.  I cannot imagine a school where the kids are a lot more ... homogeneous.  I prefer the mix that we have.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 21, 2017, 10:39:31 AM
With only minor hiccups, this has been one of the more thoughtful and respectful discussions I've seen on the forum in months.  Which kind of shocks me, given the faux outrage that started this discussion.

Thanks to everyone who contributes constructively.

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

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


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

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: marion10 on December 21, 2017, 10:56:04 AM
Lichen- my experience in activities somewhat mirrors your. I did not  homeschool  my children but was very involved in our children's choir at church whihc met on Wednesday afternoons and we did outreach to the community and got a number of homeschoolers whose parents were looking for a group activity. What you described in your astronomy club matched with observations. We have a very gifted choir director who has worked with children's choirs for many years- this one was for ages 6-12- and you need to follow instructions. Stand here. Don't talk. Open the book to page 120. Put your folder here. Most of the homeschoolers I saw couldn't do it or could not do it without disruption.

As for education in the past- in the North established  public schools (starting with the Puritans) much earlier that the South. Literacy rates were much higher in the  North. I know of no society that has anything close to universal literacy without public schools.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: boarder42 on December 21, 2017, 10:56:19 AM
so whats this new tax advantage for home schooling?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 21, 2017, 11:14:21 AM
so whats this new tax advantage for home schooling?

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

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

It's still an affront to the separation of church and state, but it only diverts federal dollars to support large institutionalized religion instead of privately practiced religion.  Something for everyone to hate!
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: lemonlyman on December 21, 2017, 11:19:06 AM
Not by definition. If we volunteered our $$ to the public fund and some of us exercised our freedom of choice to use it, not fascist. However, forcing a good/service/behavior on a population is fascist. It's all in how it's done.

I don't think fascist means what you think it means by any definition.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: goatmom on December 21, 2017, 11:34:01 AM
Hello  -  My children are currently in school but I have homeschooled in the past.  We were military and did find many homeschoolers living on base.   I lived on bases that had homeschool liasons, homeschool gym classes, and homeschool electives.  I think as homeschooling has grown in popularity, more military families see it as a good choice.   Many of the DOD schools have been closed.  It can be tough for military kids to go to the local public school.  Also, we found that moving was disruptive and left gaps.  Especially when states have such different start and end times for the school year.  I support homeschooling as a choice. I would not want a tax break for homeschooling but I appreciated all the services the military provided.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FIRE Artist on December 21, 2017, 12:01:33 PM
I am curious to know if there are laws protecting the states from future lawsuits due to people potentially receiving sub standard education through religious private schools and/or weakly regulated homeschools. 

The province of Quebec recently got burned by this issue.  Is it an issue in the US?  Is basic education a legal obligation of the state?

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/the-sunday-edition-october-8-2017-1.4327802/deprived-of-a-secular-education-former-hasidic-man-takes-the-quebec-government-to-court-1.4339058


Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Jrr85 on December 21, 2017, 12:15:15 PM
Those who are against homeschooling either (1) don't understand the data, (2) don't understand the positive financial implications or (3) disagree with it due to a religious or anti-religious viewpoint.  Show me otherwise.

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

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

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

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. 

If tax funds are made available for home schooling, that is still arguably a subsidy, or depending on the tax burden of the taxpayer in question, arguably not.   But it would almost certainly in every situation be a much smaller subsidy than the students that attend public school full time get.   
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MoseyingAlong on December 21, 2017, 12:23:54 PM
I am curious to know if there are laws protecting the states from future lawsuits due to people potentially receiving sub standard education through religious private schools and/or weakly regulated homeschools. 

The province of Quebec recently got burned by this issue.  Is it an issue in the US?  Is basic education a legal obligation of the state?

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/the-sunday-edition-october-8-2017-1.4327802/deprived-of-a-secular-education-former-hasidic-man-takes-the-quebec-government-to-court-1.4339058

If there are any such laws or lawsuits, I thing we also need to include our public schools, some of which are awful. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Poundwise on December 21, 2017, 12:44:24 PM
I'm actually not against homeschooling and have even considered it in the past.

But on the subject of giving tax breaks to homeschoolers, how is it different from the following situation?

Suppose a family feel that the local police force is not doing a good enough job keeping them safe and so they hire bodyguards. Or they live in a gated community and have a gatekeeper and guards to keep bad elements out.  Why shouldn't we give them a tax break, since they are presumably removing some of the burden on the local police force?
 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: BookValue on December 21, 2017, 12:47:49 PM
My wife and I are thinking of homeschooling our daughter. Public school failed both of us in different ways. I never learned how to study and coasted through with good grades. University was a rude awakening. My wife was told by her teachers (in elementary school) she would never understand the subject matter and should stop trying. She also was relentlessly bullied, so hooray for the socialization that is so important. She has a masters degree now and was top of her class, so clearly intelligence was never an issue.

Our daughter is very bright, way ahead of her peers. We have her in preK now and the first grade teacher at the school has told us she already knows material that is just now being covered in her grade. We don't want her to become bored and coast through school. The public school gifted programs amount to spending an hour a week in a special group. I'm sure that will keep her stimulated and engaged...

Public schools here allow homeschoolers to sign up for specific classes, join sports teams, etc. Same with some of the local colleges. State parks, museums and zoo's have a lot of activities during the day as well. There are tons of activities to learn outside of a home setting.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: RangerOne on December 21, 2017, 12:50:37 PM
Quote from: TexasRunner link=topic=83349.msg1818441#msg1818441
To address #1, [b
homeschoolers consistent perform better than their peers on testing and have higher college GPAs given that parents include them in some form of structured education[/b] (whether that be a structured, solo lesson plan, homeschool group, or online education such as Khan Academy).

Forgive me I didn't have time to fully read through your source for this, but I would posit one caveat not to dispute this claim but to put in some perspective.

The very act of homeschooling a child requires a great deal of effort and parental involvement which automatically places the student in question in a higher achieving category. Consistent parental involvement in a child's education is probably the number one marker for doing well. Motivation and handwork are the most important factors in doing well in college, not specific scholastic background. Kind of the same as in the workplace after college. Intelligence and previous course work are a wash after about 1 year in. You close the gap in the first year if there was one, and move on to course work that is new to everyone regardless of previous work.

Public school includes the performance of students who may have very little parental involvement in their scholastic lives and thus I would expect on average for their performance to get pulled down by those not provided with added family support needed to instill a strong drive to perform when individual motivation falters which it often does.

I think most of the reaction against home schooling is because their is a perception that most home schooling is done to shelter their children from the "truth" and bury them in what can be seen as religious propaganda. Which minus the negative buzz words, is true in my limited experience. Home schooling has become the last tool to escape a secular education or expensive private religious institution.

   I have had a couple co-workers who home school their kids and yes they are both very religious. And yes I have none trivial disagreements with them on issues like abortion and probably evolutionary theory. But in general they are good people just trying to give their kids a good education. And I see no evidence that their education or intelligence will prevent them from giving their kids a fine education even though they will believe a few things I certainly don't agree with.

I think the right move is to fully support private school and home schooling. And we should keep specific religious teaching out of public schools based on the foundation that secular science and teaching are not laid out as a specific attack on any particular religion and therefor are a good neutral standard even though yes there are cases where they are in direct conflict.

The price we should have to pay for having that secular neutral ground is we have to give some consideration to those who feel forced to avoid public school to provide an education more in line with their beliefs. That consideration most easily comes in the form of tax breaks to offset the added personal cost put upon them.

Parenting is extremely personal and there is probably not a parent alive who doesn't hold some belief or parenting tactic that I don't disagree with. But I think most of the time you just need to shut up and let people raise their kids. It is not our place to critique every parenting choice if they not putting the child under extreme physical or mental duress.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Jrr85 on December 21, 2017, 01:04:27 PM
I'm actually not against homeschooling and have even considered it in the past.

But on the subject of giving tax breaks to homeschoolers, how is it different from the following situation?

Suppose a family feel that the local police force is not doing a good enough job keeping them safe and so they hire bodyguards. Or they live in a gated community and have a gatekeeper and guards to keep bad elements out.  Why shouldn't we give them a tax break, since they are presumably removing some of the burden on the local police force?

If they were actually removing burdens from the local police force, there wouldn't be anything wrong with that.  But for the most part, while there is probably a deterrent effect, it's not actually deterring crime but displacing it to less protected areas.  And it doesn't remove the necessity for the police to respond to crime that takes place in the gated community.  So you're talking about maybe reducing the need for patrols in a small area.  But probably most importantly, even if they did actually remove the burden, you're talking about a burden that amounts to well under a $1,000 per person, even in poorly run citizens that spend a lot of "law enforcement" dollars on bloated pensions earned in the past, and if a community were to pay for private security, they probably would be paying less than $1,000 per person. 

Contrast that with removing $7k to $14k of burden per kid for each kid taken out of the public school, and spending say a $1k or $2k on the low end (and much more than that in personal time) if they home school or $7k per kid if they have a very cheap private school.   
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 21, 2017, 02:11:35 PM
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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Poundwise on December 21, 2017, 02:22:32 PM
I'm actually not against homeschooling and have even considered it in the past.

But on the subject of giving tax breaks to homeschoolers, how is it different from the following situation?

Suppose a family feel that the local police force is not doing a good enough job keeping them safe and so they hire bodyguards. Or they live in a gated community and have a gatekeeper and guards to keep bad elements out.  Why shouldn't we give them a tax break, since they are presumably removing some of the burden on the local police force?

If they were actually removing burdens from the local police force, there wouldn't be anything wrong with that.  But for the most part, while there is probably a deterrent effect, it's not actually deterring crime but displacing it to less protected areas.  And it doesn't remove the necessity for the police to respond to crime that takes place in the gated community.  So you're talking about maybe reducing the need for patrols in a small area.  But probably most importantly, even if they did actually remove the burden, you're talking about a burden that amounts to well under a $1,000 per person, even in poorly run citizens that spend a lot of "law enforcement" dollars on bloated pensions earned in the past, and if a community were to pay for private security, they probably would be paying less than $1,000 per person. 

Contrast that with removing $7k to $14k of burden per kid for each kid taken out of the public school, and spending say a $1k or $2k on the low end (and much more than that in personal time) if they home school or $7k per kid if they have a very cheap private school.

I think the financial issue is the easiest to solve, although because every student and school system is different, figuring out a fair amount to "reimburse" a home/private schooling family seems complicated. Although student education is most often described in cost per student, it seems to me that it would cost almost the same to run a classroom with 15 students as it costs to run a classroom with 20 students, but of course crowding classrooms over a certain threshold will deteriorate education for all.

But the point I'm trying to make is this:
The hire of a private bodyguard, or life in a gated community, has primary benefit to the person receiving these services. The protection is likely to be superior to that of the average taxpayer.  If we subsidize this protection with tax dollars, don't we get the right to say that he share some of his protection with other taxpayers?  Also,  what's this person's motivation to improve the local police force or safety in the community, once his safety needs are met?

Similarly, if we partially subsidize a homeschooling family or private school, doesn't the government get some say on what is taught? Or if the third grade is very crowded one year, can we ask the private school or homeschoolers to take on some extra students? Also, how do the subsidies affect the motivation of a private schooler or homeschooler to help improve the system for everyone once their needs are met? What will happen to public schools if we incentivize the wealthiest and the most engaged parents to leave the system?

However, the issues about how much control that other taxpayers should fairly expect to receive in any private or home school-- sticky.

And finally, I think a real issue that lies behind perceived anti-homeschooling attitudes is this (this is NOT my personal opinion, btw, so please don't get your dander up):
Choosing to pull your kids out of the local public school system implies a disengagement from the system and from the community.  It implies that you are going to put your dollars and volunteer hours not towards making everything better for everyone, but just to helping your own kids and a select few.  It might even imply that the rest of us are not good enough for you and your kids.

Obviously, neither of these implications are necessarily true. In many cases, the one-size-fits-all education that public school can provide is not sufficient for kids who are at extreme ends of various bell curves.  In many cases, people who give generously to their communities also wish to give their own children the very best education they can, and that doesn't seem to be wrong either. But to admit this,  goes against the egalitarian spirit of the US.

[Edit: Oh, Sol just stated one of my points in many fewer words.]
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: BAM on December 21, 2017, 03:07:57 PM
It's been stated on here that homeschoolers are trying to get subsidies for their homeschools. Actually most homeschoolers are not interested in government money for their homeschools. Why? Because with government money comes government control. Maybe not right away but it will eventually come. No thanks!

As far as the 529 (yes, I know it was rejected), I don't really understand what the issue would be with that being okay for homeschools. I know it's tax free but it would be my money that funded the account so why couldn't I use it for my homeschool?
But again, no thanks, on the vouchers, etc.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: seattleite on December 21, 2017, 03:16:28 PM
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.

For a quick background, we are atheists therefore we aren't doing this for religious reasons. We believe in medicine and science and vaccines. We believe in education but don't believe that the pieces of paper that say you have a Doctorate in Philosophy mean you are educated. My wife and I both went to college and earned bachelor's degrees in science and then went out into the corporate world to save money so we could FIRE.

School is great if the parents can't read and need someone educated to educate their children. And they are great for parents who are still working full time and need free childcare. And there are probably other great reasons for school. But if you have the time (and patience, LOTS of patience) then homeschooling (and honestly unschooling) are no worse than school and most of the time I think much better.

There are soooooooo many parallels between MMM and homeschooling (especially unschooling):

- Being able to do what you want with your time without a boss telling you that you have to be working during certain hours
- Forging your own path despite it being so different than what "normal" people do
- Dealing with haters who are probably just envious and scared that they made the "wrong" choices and don't want to own up to their fears
- Doing stuff yourself and learning how to be self-sufficient
- Investing in yourself (or your kids)

If our kids were in school they would be doing stuff like memorizing the 120 counties in Kentucky and getting an education aimed at the median child, or probably more likely, the slowest child. At home they can get everything they get in school (if you care) in like 3 hours and then have the rest of the day to play. And if you are more of a believer in unschooling, that is learning through doing, then it's hard to tell the difference between school and life. A project that's interesting covers many subjects but because you can't do that in a school and there are no good metrics that school administrators can hang their hat on they don't do it this way.

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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 21, 2017, 03:25:47 PM
There have been some extremely good points in this thread.  I'm also glad that it has remained rather civil, so thanks for that.

I'm actually with Sol on the taxes/subsidies...  I would rather not have subsidies/deductions/credits for religious or pretty much any other incentives.  Personally, I would prefer we have no deductions, including state or local taxes, mortgages or anything else.  I also wish that the corporate tax breaks would be removed (and inherent to that change, all loopholes removed).  My logic is as follows:  A business exists to make money, that is their sole directive and (optimally) they would do so in the most efficient method possible or consequently cease to exist.  Any government influence via taxation or deduction is therefore introducing inefficiency in the markets.  If government had not been subsidizing residential housing (but not apartments) sine the 80's, then maybe we wouldn't be having a housing crisis (and maybe 2008 wouldn't have been so severe, though I know that was a host of other factors as well).  There may have been more non-residential housing available in big cities, etc.  But we will never know because the federal government has screwed up the markets (for over 30 years!!!!!) through the mortgage deductions.

The same with homeschooling. I don't need the federal subsidy to make an elective choice (homeschooling my kids) especially when it could create incentive for swaths of 'unfit homeschool parents' to enter the 'homeschool market', thus requiring mandated testing or standards or whatever.  I would rather they stay out of it if it includes those new requirements / restrictions. 

Please keep up the other discussions.  I am seeing quite a few different viewpoints (outside of the federal subsidy discussion) that I hadn't considered.



(Edits because I don't prrof read or speil very well apparently lol)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: seattleite on December 21, 2017, 03:25:56 PM
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.

Errr, I don't expect a subsidy for my homeschool and I had never even heard of this stuff before this thread. The other homeschooling families I know know they are paying property taxes for schools they don't use and they are ok with it. Homeschooling is for people who are able to kick it financially and we help those in need by paying taxes for poor people to be educated.

I agree with you here. I just don't want you to lump all homeschoolers together as people who want public money for their essentially private education.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Michael in ABQ on December 21, 2017, 03:29:36 PM
It's been stated on here that homeschoolers are trying to get subsidies for their homeschools. Actually most homeschoolers are not interested in government money for their homeschools. Why? Because with government money comes government control. Maybe not right away but it will eventually come. No thanks!

As far as the 529 (yes, I know it was rejected), I don't really understand what the issue would be with that being okay for homeschools. I know it's tax free but it would be my money that funded the account so why couldn't I use it for my homeschool?
But again, no thanks, on the vouchers, etc.

If the Cruz amendment had allowed 529 money to be used for homeschool expenses I probably would utilize it and save a small amount. In no way would it provide an incentive to homeschool though. Contrast that with paying $5-10k per year per child for private school which is a much bigger tax break if you can put that money straight into a 529 and then draw it out to pay tuition.

If the state said "here's the $7k we would have sent to your local public school per child, you can take it to a private school or use if for homeschool expenses" that would be a much bigger deal (and very unlikely to ever happen). Frankly we could never spend close to that on homeschooling unless it was to just hire tutors or put our kids in various classes. Our homeschool expenses (aside from the opportunity cost of being a single-earner household) pay for textbooks/lesson plans, books to read, and supplies. Last year we spent less than $1,000 and this year we spent about $1,500. Mostly it was because we decided we would rather buy a lot of books then get then from the library so we could have them for the next child and didn't have to worry about taking them back. We also purchased some art supplies and an art course for our oldest son that he's enjoyed. The costs for our third, fourth, and fifth child will be much less since we can reuse much of the material and don't need to buy a lot of the books they'll be reading. On the other hand we might spend a few hundred dollars and some science things like LEGO Mindstorms since our boys love LEGOs and would love to be able to build a robot.

If the government is going to give me a tax break I'll take it. But I would much rather stick with the current system of paying for it out of pocket and the government control stay limited to an annual notification that we're homeschooling our children. Luckily New Mexico does not have the onerous requirements of some states that require you to submit lesson plans and curriculum for review or require standardized tests, etc.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 21, 2017, 03:40:30 PM
There was a post challenging the independence / veracity of the sources and self-selective data.

I was going to respond to it with more reference material and identify that those studies were mostly graduate thesis but it seems that post has been edited or removed......?

Anybody else find it?

No biggie if someone changed their mind, but its useful to the conversation to address arguments as they stand, even if the original author changes their mind (since others may be thinking the same thing...)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrsPete on December 21, 2017, 03:56:03 PM
In answer to your title question, it is okay to think whatever you wish about homeschooling -- pro or con -- because this is America, and we're all entitled to hold /express our own opinions.

Personally, I suspect if we could accurately measure ALL homeschooling families, we'd find that homeschooling families are not all that different from public school and private school families:  Some kids are doing fabulously well, while others are mid-range, and others are badly behind. 

I know a number of homeschooling families from church, and I see a great deal of variability in their kids.  One family I know seems to be doing really well -- their oldest has finished college with a nursing degree, their two middle kids are knocking the top of of college, and their youngest will begin in the fall.  Good for them all!  I know another family whose oldest child entered a small Christian college, and she left after a single day of classes -- she was afraid of being in a big class.  Yeah, the socialization stereotype doesn't come from nowhere.  In my personal experience, most of these homeschooling kids go to community college. 

And I see a small-but-horrible segment of students at the high school where I teach who leave "to be home schooled" because they're not making it in public school.  I am teaching one of these students right now in my elective course; she opted to leave public school because she was convinced that she could graduate earlier if she were home schooled ... but she remained in my online elective course.  She's been out of her core classes for about three months now, and she tells me she hasn't actually started any coursework at home yet -- she and I get along well, and she comes by to see me regularly.  My prediction:  She'll either return to public school or will drop out altogether; if she were going to home school, she'd have already dug into her work.  These kids are just as real as the homeschooling success stories, but no one ever includes them in the statistics.

The very act of homeschooling a child requires a great deal of effort and parental involvement which automatically places the student in question in a higher achieving category. Consistent parental involvement in a child's education is probably the number one marker for doing well. Motivation and handwork are the most important factors in doing well in college, not specific scholastic background. Kind of the same as in the workplace after college. Intelligence and previous course work are a wash after about 1 year in. You close the gap in the first year if there was one, and move on to course work that is new to everyone regardless of previous work.
Absolutely true.  Plenty of research shows that the #1 predictor of academic achievement is parental involvement in the child's education; by definition, GOOD homeschooling parents are involved. 

I think the financial issue is the easiest to solve, although because every student and school system is different, figuring out a fair amount to "reimburse" a home/private schooling family seems complicated. Although student education is most often described in cost per student, it seems to me that it would cost almost the same to run a classroom with 15 students as it costs to run a classroom with 20 students, but of course crowding classrooms over a certain threshold will deteriorate education for all.
I am strongly against any type of "reimbursement" for homeschooling.  Why?  Think it though:  Plenty of people in our society will do anything to get a bit of money.  If people were allowed to pull their kids out of school and essentially "get a paycheck" for doing it (in my county, the schools get something like $5,500/student per year), a fair number of people who have no intention of actually homeschooling would do it.  If these folks don't actually do much of anything, what's the fallout?  The kids don't learn, so either they aren't able to join the work world, or they return to the public school system badly behind. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 21, 2017, 04:08:25 PM
So far this school year, I've if my kids has been on the wrestling team, the after school science club, the national hint society, and now the swim team.  These are great opportunities for a kid, and they seem hard to reproduce in sa homeschool environment. 

How do you deal with that?  Do your kids just not do team sports or activities with their friends from school?  These are all "free" programs to our family provided by the school district by our tax dollars, and I'm guessing they make up a nontrivial portion of the schools budget.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: BAM on December 21, 2017, 04:16:27 PM
Michael in ABQ, I agree, it would be very difficult to spend that amount on homeschooling. We are currently homeschooling 5 (have a preschooler, toddler and two college kids too) and spend about what you do - between $100-1500 a year. If we had $7K a kid, the only way I could see to spend it would be to travel to study - go to Gettysburg to study the Civil War type stuff. And, like you, I prefer it to remain the way it is - no government funding, no government interference.

MrsPete, the girl in your online class isn't homeschooling. She's doing nothing. Just because she says she's homeschooling doesn't make her a homeschooler. If I said I was public schooled but didn't show up for class, I wouldn't be public schooled so...
But, yes, there are some good and some bad in homeschooling just like in public and private schools. But for those families who really do homeschool, I would say most of the kids do really well. Most of the ones I know go to colleges/universities not community colleges unless that is where they can get the degree they want. One of my sons is at a community college but that's because it's the only place he can get the welding degree he wants. The universities don't have that degree so. But then again, there is nothing wrong with a community college - it can be a great way to save money while getting your first couple of years under your belt.

Sol, many states allow homeschooled students to participate in extra curricular activities and/or take a few classes at the school if they desire. Two of my kids go to the local public school once a week to participate in a club. One of my now college kids did basketball for a little while at the local public high school. There is also dual enrollment at a community college or university. Or joining a YMCA to take classes or rec teams for sports. Or homeschool coops. There are many ways to find the things your kids want to participate in.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 21, 2017, 04:23:09 PM
How do you deal with that?  Do your kids just not do team sports or activities with their friends from school?  These are all "free" programs to our family provided by the school district by our tax dollars, and I'm guessing they make up a nontrivial portion of the schools budget.

Texas has provisions that homeschoolers get to do any of the extracurricular stuff with public school.  I had many homeschool friends when did Track and Field with me in High school.  We also already knew each other from summer training / competitive track and field outside of school, but as those parents pay taxes that thoroughly cover the extracurriculars, I have no problem with that system.

Someone upthread posted that only about 2%-3% of Texas school's funding comes from the federal coffers so homeschooler use of the programs is definitely not causing a financial burden (at least in my state).
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Lichen on December 21, 2017, 04:27:40 PM
So far this school year, I've if my kids has been on the wrestling team, the after school science club, the national hint society, and now the swim team.  These are great opportunities for a kid, and they seem hard to reproduce in sa homeschool environment. 

How do you deal with that?  Do your kids just not do team sports or activities with their friends from school?  These are all "free" programs to our family provided by the school district by our tax dollars, and I'm guessing they make up a nontrivial portion of the schools budget.

In my state we can participate in these through our local public schools, since they are supported via our tax dollars. We have done band, Lego League, art clubs, and an engineering club. My kids had no interest in school sports, so we never participated in those. We have to fill out a form to participate, which I believe then increases the funding of the school providing the club/class materials. Another option is private clubs -- YMCA, community centers, scouts, sports leagues through the rec center or one of the organizations like YSA or YAFL. There are also homeschool groups that run these sort of things, but they weren't for us. Too disorganized.

The funny thing is, around here you can get state money to homeschool. WA has the ALE program (Alternative Learning Environment). One of the ALE options is a parent-teacher cooperative school. You can take twice a week classes at the school and get reimbursed for certain homeschool materials. In exchange, the school district gets to claim the kid as a part-time attendee, which increases their funding and this is shared by the parent. Naturally, all materials purchased must be approved by the school, which means nothing religious in nature. We looked into the program, but the education standards were too low for our liking.

When my son decided to participate in running start so he could enter college early, we simply walked into the local high school and told them our plans. They wanted to test him before signing the forms, but waived the requirement after seeing his PSAT scores. The high school is motivated to let homeschoolers do the program under their name, I'm assuming because it adds another student to the roster for funding purposes.

Personally, I am against homeschool/private school subsidies. They would most definitely be abused. The ALE program homeschool subsidy has been abused often in WA. To the point where they used to simply give the parents a check, but now all materials must be ordered through the school to verify they are actually purchased. The amount has also dropped from a couple of thousand to a couple hundred.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 21, 2017, 04:28:13 PM
So far this school year, I've if my kids has been on the wrestling team, the after school science club, the national hint society, and now the swim team.  These are great opportunities for a kid, and they seem hard to reproduce in sa homeschool environment. 

How do you deal with that?  Do your kids just not do team sports or activities with their friends from school?  These are all "free" programs to our family provided by the school district by our tax dollars, and I'm guessing they make up a nontrivial portion of the schools budget.

It will probably depend a lot on the community.  Our community is big enough to provide these options.  Not for free, but not terribly expensive.

An extracurricular sport will run you a couple hundred dollars a year.  Baseball, soccer, track or cross country.  Swim teams will be more expensive, but those aren't available at elementary anyway.  True, there are free things at the elementary level above grade 3.  Basketball, soccer, track, and music being the big one.  My son has been able to learn flute at the school starting in 4th grade, and join the (free) district band.  Also gets to compete in the math superbowl.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 21, 2017, 04:35:06 PM
Quote
School is great if the parents can't read and need someone educated to educate their children. And they are great for parents who are still working full time and need free childcare. And there are probably other great reasons for school. But if you have the time (and patience, LOTS of patience) then homeschooling (and honestly unschooling) are no worse than school and most of the time I think much better.

I think this is going to vary a LOT.  Aside from the bullying (because in my rural area, being smart was not a popular thing), I had a great experience in school.  I learned a lot.  My teachers taught me a great deal.  They got me excited about the subject matter.  They encouraged me to go to college (something that my parents would have NEVER done).

I resent the implication that school is "free childcare" also.  Yes, I work FT because I like it.  I send my children to public school because I believe in public school.  I had a good experience.  My husband had a good experience. Our public schools were good enough to get us into our colleges of choice (top 10 engineering schools), and these were your run-of-the-mill public schools in blue collar areas.

The patience is a good point because I'm simply not a patient person (better than I used to be) and not a teacher.  Doesn't help that my eldest is resistant to learning from me, when I try to help him with math superbowl homework.  "You don't know how to do it!"  "Dude, let me read the stupid problem.  I'm an engineer, I CAN DO MATH."  My husband is actually the math superbowl teacher for my son's class. So he has a bit more patience than I do, but certainly doesn't want to be a teacher.  Or, he would have been a teacher.  Or gone on to academia after his PhD.

Your assertion that home schooling is better than public school is based on a pretty small section of population.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mousebandit on December 21, 2017, 04:56:58 PM
Sol, I have to say you have a lot of opinions that I've never seen.  I wasn't homeschooled, but was brought up in a poverty-based, very isolated area, and am realizing of late, how little I've strayed out of that mindset.  Anyways, I had previously been in the camp of not wanting to engage at all in the public education realm, feeling like I wasn't part of it, didn't want anything to do with it.  I can definitely say that I'm being persuaded otherwise.  I still want to home educate my children, but I am seeing everyone's points about funding the public school system as a safety net and need public service for those that need it. 

I think your description of the goals of the public school system, being more about babysitting and preparing for life as a worker, and much less about educating, is spot on.  And I think that is so sad.  Other countries manage to educate their children in a public system, why should we settle for just keeping them (mostly) from being out on the streets during the day?  As everyone keeps saying, I think it goes back to a lack of parental involvement and a lack of parents feeling responsible for their children's education.  When my older kids were in public school, the general consensus among parents was that it was the school's responsibility to educate them, we just had to feed them a good breakfast, dress them warmly, and get them there on time.  SHowing up for concerts and parent-teacher meetings was above and beyond, and marked you as a pillar of the PTA.  I probably would still want to homeschool my children regardless of the offerings at the public schools, but I do believe that they are failing our children and our society in the goal of education, and most parents just don't care.   

As to the costs of homeschooling, we have gone through a LOT of curriculum changes since we started.  We began with a curriculum that was going to run a couple hundred dollars per child, per year, when the initial costs for books was spread out, but have since made multiple changes and now utilize a program that costs almost $1000 per child / per year.  Still much less expensive than private school, but with 4 kids, it's an investment, and the bottom line for us is that it gets done, and the academics are solid.   

We are getting to the age now (oldest is 9) that are searching for outside activities to involve the kids in.  Our issue is more one of geographical isolation, rather than lack of options based on being homeschoolers.  In our little town, there's not much going on.  The middle school and high school kids have some sports teams, and very minimal choir / music options.  (In our state, we can choose to have our children participate piecemeal in these things, for the small costs of participation fees.)  Outside of the schools, there are Boys & Girls Club sports teams for basketball, and Little League in the spring.  Oh, and there's a few 4H groups.  If we go 50 miles away to the nearest big town, there's a YMCA with homeschool PE classes twice a week, lots of choices for martial arts, dance classes, gymnastics, drama clubs, chess clubs, etc.  I've just started checking them all out, and it's impressive.  We are intending to spend a lot more time in the "big town" specifically so our children can participate in these activities.

I'm also fascinated by the observations that homeschool families are flakey, not staying consistent in their participation with activity groups.  In retrospect, I can see we would have fallen into that category, as we have started participating with groups, both in our small town, and the big town 50 miles away, and ended up dropping them, for various reasons.  But I can see how that reputation gets earned, and I will be thinking on that a lot.   

I really appreciate this thread and the candid opinions being given in a civil manner.  As always, I get a lot to chew on when I hang out on the MMM forums.  Viewpoints that just don't come around much in my neck of the woods.  Thanks, guys. 


Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 on December 21, 2017, 05:03:38 PM
There was a post challenging the independence / veracity of the sources and self-selective data.

I was going to respond to it with more reference material and identify that those studies were mostly graduate thesis but it seems that post has been edited or removed......?

Anybody else find it?

No biggie if someone changed their mind, but its useful to the conversation to address arguments as they stand, even if the original author changes their mind (since others may be thinking the same thing...)
Why do you think that matters?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: JLE1990 on December 21, 2017, 05:10:02 PM
So I just want to comment as someone who was homeschooled with 6 siblings(A lot of friends from my hometown's college were homeschooled). The problem with homeschooling is that the vast majority of parents who do it are doing so for the purpose of controlling what the children learn both academically and behaviorally. You are taking upon yourself to decide what is important and not important for the child to learn. That is fundamentally narcissistic and will have debilitating impact on their futures in proportion to level of controlling you are. You are not depriving them of "socializing," you are depriving them of the ability to interact with their world independently and form their own opinions of the things they interact with. Not only that but you are depriving yourself of the ability to parent them. Do you plan to keep them at home for the whole lives and never let them interact with anyone who will say 'bad words' and tell them that Santa Claus isn't real? Whose going to help them through it when someone bullies them, or do you think that no one has to deal with difficult people as an adult?

Then there's religion. My family is very religious, for all the wrong reasons. Are you aware of the concept of free will in the Bible? I hope so, since each soul's individual choice to embrace God is what decides whether they go to heaven or hell. What you're doing is limiting their freedom by only allowing them access to what you decide they should learn so they will be good Christians. Are you teaching them objectively about other religions? Or are you implanting your own preferences to minds that are so young they don't know the difference between hyperbole and reality?

Quote
been taught that up is down and wrong is right
This illustrates so clearly what is behind you're thinking. What exactly do you mean by wrong? Let me guess one example: Homosexuality is a sin and anyone that is "queer" is going to hell. Please don't tell me how you're raising your kids to "treat everyone with respect no matter their race, religion, or creed." You simply cannot do that and teach them some of the things that modern day Christians (falsely) believe Christ said(LBGTQ is a great example; he never mentioned it).

Lastly, thinking interacting with siblings is going to teach him about to interact with other people is so shortsighted and ignorant I can't actually believe you think that. Do you think that will help him interact with girls and women sexually/romantically? Please say no. Do you have any idea how hard it is to learn the subtleties of creating interpersonal relationships when you are already an adult?

Homeschooling is an incredible opportunity to teach your kids to think for themselves and not fall victim to the pitfalls that are in any modern society. But you have to do that by teaching them to think for themselves and not take anyone's word, including yours. You can not be a good homeschool parent without being aware of the fact that any system you design is going to have flaws in it, and the more you can let your child experience the world on their own the better off they will be. Yes, you should teach them what things are wrong with modern society and why, but there is a lot of good in society and they need to be exposed to it to learn about both parts. You're job as a parent is not decide what person your kid will be, it's to mentor and train them to decide for themselves. Instead of sheltered they need to be flooded with as much experience of the world as they can handle, and that includes public school at some point.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of homeschool parents are controlling douchebags that think they know how to raise their children but are really destroying their children's ability to become well-rounded functioning members of society.

And just in case you don't want to take my anecdote that being sheltered and homeschooled is torturous once you become an adult look at this study: 45% of home-schooled adults reported having suicidal thoughts. To put that in perspective, that is 2.5x the national average of teenagers that think about suicide. But please tell me more about how home-schooling is protects kids from the mental anguish of bullying.

https://hareachingout.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/dear-homeschooling-parents-lets-talk-about-suicide/
https://www.childtrends.org/indicators/suicidal-teens/
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Poundwise on December 21, 2017, 05:17:36 PM
Texasrunner, is this the post you were looking for?

With regards to #1:

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

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


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

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

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Poundwise on December 21, 2017, 05:58:45 PM
Here's a local example from my state about what can happen when a group gets too disengaged from public schooling.  In East Ramapo, two thirds of the residents are ultra-Orthodox Jews, who do not use the public schools.  They ran for school board and won a majority.  After that they began steadily cutting funding for the public schools, which combined with a state funding equation unequipped for a situation where private school students outnumber public school students, led to the payment of $7.3 million to law firms by the school board over 6 years, and a funding crisis that led to a mass layoff of 90 teachers in 2012 and the closure of the beloved marching band for years.

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/education/2014/11/17/east-ramapo-monitor-wants-state-intervention/19191367/
http://www.lohud.com/story/news/education/2014/09/30/east-ramapo-band-director-returns/16500689/
http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/183757/east-ramapo-schools
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrsPete on December 21, 2017, 06:11:14 PM
How do you deal with that?  Do your kids just not do team sports or activities with their friends from school?  These are all "free" programs to our family provided by the school district by our tax dollars, and I'm guessing they make up a nontrivial portion of the schools budget.
Yes and no.  School sports (in my area anyway, and I assume everywhere) must be self-supporting.  So, in reality, football and basketball (and to a lesser extent, volleyball and wrestling) "carry" tennis and the other smaller sports.

MrsPete, the girl in your online class isn't homeschooling. She's doing nothing.
Totally right, but if you ask her, she'll tell you she's a home schooler -- and I know other kids who've left school, are similarly doing nothing, yet they call themselves home schoolers.  Would a casual observer know the difference between these kids and your kids?  No.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 21, 2017, 06:41:42 PM
Texasrunner, is this the post you were looking for?


Yup!  Thanks, I'll respond to it when I get the chance.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 21, 2017, 06:45:57 PM
I was going to respond to it with more reference material and identify that those studies were mostly graduate thesis but it seems that post has been edited or removed......?
Why do you think that matters?

Because they specifically said that that the studies I quoted were bought and paid for, thus implying the data was manipulated or corrupted.  Thats why it matters.

I'll reply to this post tomorrow when I have time.

[The Studies] are also almost all financially motivated (i.e. paid for) by people and/or organizations promoting homeschooling.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: BAM on December 21, 2017, 07:06:56 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.

JLE1990, I'm sorry you had such a horrible homeschool experience. It sounds like it has continued to cause you problems. It sounds like your parents chose to isolate you instead of just homeschool you.
Although most homeschool parents, me included, do teach their children from their belief system, that isn't a bad thing in most cases. Everyone does that - you will (or do) also if you have children. You can't help but do that. If I sent my kids to public school, the government would be teaching them from their view point. Again, that's just the way it works. I know for us, we teach them as we believe when they are young. Once they enter 7th grade and can think more critically and logically, we expose them to other beliefs and talk about them. They are allowed to have different opinions from us but they need to back up the opinions and be willing to listen to ours. So far, my oldest two (the others are still in our house - minors- so have not totally formed their own opinions) do have the same core beliefs as we do but different views on some things. That's fine - I realized while they were in the womb and kicking me when I wanted to sleep, that they were separate entities.
As far as the interacting with people by playing with siblings, Michael in ABQ (I believe that's who said it) still has young children - under age 9, if I remember correctly - so it wouldn't be appropriate for his children to learn to relate romantically/sexually with other people at all in any situation at this point. But a peer relationship with siblings is a good way to learn to interact.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate on December 21, 2017, 08:07:58 PM
We've considered homeschooling, may go that route in the future, but for now have decided for public school. We are Christians but don't see any conflict between science and our faith so this issue is not a problem for us (yes, we believe in evolution and don't think this in conflict with the Bible - for those genuinely curious this lecture sums it up: http://www.timmackie.com/science-and-faith/). In our area an organization exists for homeschoolers (technically organized as a charter school), so structure and support and resources are provided, and we get plenty of socialization through an extensive network via family and church. Our main motivation for considering homeschooling are the time and flexibility aspects. When I observe my kids at school, and when I ask about their day, it's clear that much of the time is 'filled' -- line up, do this, go here -- busy work really. Not the fault of faculty, just a reality of managing a class of 30 kids within a highly regimented schedule. So I'm drawn to the idea of being able to wake when we feel like it (DW and I are also FIRE), complete lessons in ~1/2 the time, and have the flexibility to incorporate travel and nature as part of the curriculum.

The decision (for now) to public school is motivated by a desire to be more fully integrated within our community. As Christians we want our kids to be exposed to the "world," different ideas and attitudes, it's not something we fear and, in fact, believe it's good for them to experience the difference in worldviews. At some point they will be adults in the real world and we'd rather they get exposed to things as they grow up, when we can talk and discuss at home, rather than just getting thrown into the deep end in college. In other words, we think this will make them more resilient, and actually deepen their faith. Already, starting in first grade, one of my daughters has experienced a little bit of bullying. We consider this part of her religious training, learning how to love overs, even her enemies, as Jesus taught. Obviously, if goes too far we will intervene, but for now our daily prayer with her is that God's love and grace will overflow to everyone around her, including those who aren't nice to her. Rewarding to see her genuinely nice to the problem girl.

That said, the schools in our area are solid and pretty well funded. I don't blame parents (of any creed for faith) for homeschooling or going the private school route in districts where schools (administrators and/or communities) fail to provide an environment conducive to education. 

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: tralfamadorian on December 21, 2017, 08:09:24 PM
Here's a local example from my state about what can happen when a group gets too disengaged from public schooling.  In East Ramapo, two thirds of the residents are ultra-Orthodox Jews, who do not use the public schools.  They ran for school board and won a majority.  After that they began steadily cutting funding for the public schools, which combined with a state funding equation unequipped for a situation where private school students outnumber public school students, led to the payment of $7.3 million to law firms by the school board over 6 years, and a funding crisis that led to a mass layoff of 90 teachers in 2012 and the closure of the beloved marching band for years.

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/education/2014/11/17/east-ramapo-monitor-wants-state-intervention/19191367/
http://www.lohud.com/story/news/education/2014/09/30/east-ramapo-band-director-returns/16500689/
http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/183757/east-ramapo-schools

I enjoyed the This American Life episode on this very much-
https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/534/a-not-so-simple-majority
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: PDXTabs on December 21, 2017, 08:15:20 PM
My personal experience is that the home-school movement attracts people at the polar extremes of society. The people in the middle feel adequately served by the status quo, it's the people at the fringes that want to pull their kids out of school.

Specifically, I know people that have horribly failed to prepare their children academically through poor homeschooling. I also know someone that graduated at 19 years of age with a BS in Biochemistry that got so much money in scholarships that she made an extra $10K in school.

The same is true politically. I know people that are super conservative Christians, and others that are crazy liberal.

EDIT - which is to say that I'm okay with home schooling, but I do know children that have been poorly served by it.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: PDXTabs on December 21, 2017, 08:23:19 PM
So far this school year, I've if my kids has been on the wrestling team, the after school science club, the national hint society, and now the swim team.  These are great opportunities for a kid, and they seem hard to reproduce in sa homeschool environment.

I don't necessarily disagree. With that said, my son is home-schooled by his mom (we aren't together anymore), and he too is on the local swim team and is currently swimming 6 days per week.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ysette9 on December 21, 2017, 08:37:43 PM
I find the topic of homeschooling interesting and also emotionally charged since I was homeschooled for a few years, went to a private Christian school, then public school, junior college, public university, and finally private university. I have pretty much seen the entire spectrum of schooling (charter schools weren’t a thing when I was a kid).

My personal experience is that home schooling is good academically, but it is crippling socially. This was true for my sister and me and I have seen it in others who spent substantial time being schooled home. Humans are social animals and much of success in life is related to dealing effectively with other people in social, academic, and work settings. Depriving children of this important learning environment is a big hurdle that has to be overcome later in life when it is harder to learn. We socialized a ton with neighborhood kids and yet still missed some crucial lessons in social interactions by not being in normal school.

Personally the religious overtones creep my out. That wasn’t the reason we were home schooled but we got plenty of the similar attitude going to private Christian school. “We are better than everyone else. The world outside is evil and full of sinners. Only our way is The Right Way.” Many parents sent their kids to the church school to ensure they were not indoctrinated with any mainstream ideas. To me, if your beliefs can’t hold up to the scrutiny of regular life then that is too shaky a foundation to be legitimate.

That was all a long time ago though. Perhaps things have changed substantially since then. I hope so for the sake of kids being homeschooled.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: JLE1990 on December 21, 2017, 08:52:58 PM
BAM
I'm not saying that all homeschooling is terrible. I plan to homeschool my own children(once I have any, scary thought lol) until 10-12 when they would go to hopefully an advanced prep school. What I'm talking about is not homeschooling but the danger of being completely in control of another human being without any oversight in any situation.

Unfortunately, a large amount of the homeschooled families I've encountered(where I grew up was quite the hotbed of them) keep their kids at home for the exact purpose of controlling them. People naturally self-correct to align when around other people and everyone doing this maintains society the way it is. It's good to teach them not to change their behavior to align with other people in instances such as buying a bunch of shit on credit. But a lot of the behavioral learning they will do in school is extremely is good and cannot be taught by interacting with a sibling. I connect with my siblings on a level I rarely if ever connect with anyone else on. They have to learn to interact with people on those more superficial levels as well. It's taken years and years of repeated failure to be able to interact normally and I'm one of the lucky ones. Others I know either became a statistic or completely lack self-awareness in social situations.

To go back to the controlling idea, it seems those families and texasrunner move to homeschooling from the belief that the public system and by extension society is morally bankrupt, teaching people what's "wrong is right." This implies the belief that they have moral authority over society and represents an extremely dangerous mentality in which they decide what is and is not righteous. Isolation is what happens when children are told that the "others" (society, public schools etc.) are bad and they need to stay away from them. Once isolation occurs the parents no longer do any of the self-policing that I mentioned earlier and this just opens the floodgates for any type of absurd(by society's standards) behavior. As the authority figure, the parents get to decide what is and isn't truth and there is no dissenting voice so the children absorb anything the parents' say. I've seen extreme bigotry and patriarchal bullshit(and subservience of women), too far worse. It's not a matter of whether a homeschooled child who is kept in a bubble of 'neighbors, relatives and the church,' will show abnormal behavior, but how much.

I don't mean people don't mean well when they start out but they fuck it up along the way. Personally, I think child-rearing should be done with extremely detailed planning like any investment discussed on here. You're literally creating a full-grown human being from nothing and spending 18yrs min. of your life doing so.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: StockBeard on December 22, 2017, 12:48:23 AM
I would counter the idea that it takes a village with the examples of the early American colonists and states.  Children being educated at home was the rule, the town schoolhouse was the exception.  Children were frequently, probably usually, not exposed to multitudes of adults on a regular basis.  Socialization, outside of their immediate family unit, was pretty minimal by today's expectations.  And, by and large, the people of that era were much better educated than our children are turning out
I don't think this statement is based on any evidence whatsoever, unless you use a very personal definition of "educated". To me there is no question that the average child today knows way more things than a kid from the 17th century.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ooeei on December 22, 2017, 06:34:50 AM
What I've seen in homeschooled friends is the fringe tendency someone talked about above. If the parents are smart/motivated, the kids will likely do better academically than most kids in public schools. Then again kids in public schools with smart/motivated parents also do better than most kids in public schools.

The more common reality I've seen is the parents are highly motivated not on giving their kid extra teaching, but on restricting ideas. They want to prevent their kids from learning about evolution, vaccines, whatever it may be. Rather than making their own argument against those ideas while their kid is in public school, they simply block it out by keeping the kids home. Many of them have this worry that schools will "brainwash" their kids into believing in evolution or whatever it may be, when the reality is the kids will just hear a very persuasive argument for it presented with lots of evidence and examples. It's not them sitting kids in a room with their eyes taped open repeating a phrase concurrent with electrical shocks.

I've also never met a homeschooled person who wasn't pretty weird. That's not to say bad, but they always seem to be socially awkward, and have a tough time talking with new people or casual friends. The same thing often happens with people who went to schools in very small towns (think 5 students per grade). The longer a group stays isolated, the weirder they get. I've noticed this same thing happen with friend groups from long ago who've never branched out and made new friends. Their sense of humor gets really strange. I think an occasional move to a new place with new friends, even if casual ones, is a good "reset" for social skills. Homeschooled kids generally only talk with the same group of people and the same ideas for the first 18 years of their life. I find it very hard to believe that's the optimum way to raise someone to give them the most opportunity in life. It is a great way to raise someone to make sure they believe exactly the things you want them to without question.

As for the question in the thread title, I think seeing the negative effects on kids/adults is a good reason for having an anti-homeschool attitude. It's the same reasons you can have an anti-fundamentalist attitude even though not all fundamentalists are bad. It's simply a system that gets taken advantage of very regularly to prevent people from getting all of the available information out there.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 22, 2017, 07:56:22 AM
To go back to the controlling idea, it seems those families and texasrunner move to homeschooling from the belief that the public system and by extension society is morally bankrupt, teaching people what's "wrong is right." This implies the belief that they have moral authority over society and represents an extremely dangerous mentality in which they decide what is and is not righteous. Isolation is what happens when children are told that the "others" (society, public schools etc.) are bad and they need to stay away from them. Once isolation occurs the parents no longer do any of the self-policing that I mentioned earlier and this just opens the floodgates for any type of absurd(by society's standards) behavior. As the authority figure, the parents get to decide what is and isn't truth and there is no dissenting voice so the children absorb anything the parents' say. I've seen extreme bigotry and patriarchal bullshit(and subservience of women), too far worse. It's not a matter of whether a homeschooled child who is kept in a bubble of 'neighbors, relatives and the church,' will show abnormal behavior, but how much.

Please don't inject your assumptions upon myself or my life.  If you want to take any arguments I have posted and present evidence for what you say you see from those, thats fine, or if you want to build an argument from any sort of data (rather than anecdotal) thats fine, but this is a HUGE strawman argument.

I don't mean people don't mean well when they start out but they fuck it up along the way. Personally, I think child-rearing should be done with extremely detailed planning like any investment discussed on here. You're literally creating a full-grown human being from nothing and spending 18yrs min. of your life doing so.

I don't think ANYONE on here who is homeschooling would disagree with you.  However, you making this statement implies that we are not "[planning] with extremely detailed planning like any investment discussed on here".  I do not believe that is the case.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 22, 2017, 08:06:42 AM
As for the question in the thread title, I think seeing the negative effects on kids/adults is a good reason for having an anti-homeschool attitude. It's the same reasons you can have an anti-fundamentalist attitude even though not all fundamentalists are bad. It's simply a system that gets taken advantage of very regularly to prevent people from getting all of the available information out there.

Just out of curiosity, how many non-socially awkward previously homeschooled people do you know?  If you can't think of any, its probably because you didn't even notice that they were homeschooled or never asked.  Humans always recognize the outliers, but we filter out the middle.

For some anecdotal data (useless I know), My kids (based on age and activities) have an exponential interaction with other kids, very similar to what you would find in public school.

At the following ages, my kids interact from about the following number of same-age kids (FYI, for several hours, typically at least twice a week, in anywhere from 2 to 15 different social settings):
- Age 3, about 10 per week
- Age 4, about the same, 10 per week
- Age 5, about 25 per week
- Age 7, about 25 per week
- Age 9, about 30 per week up to 50 if we are doing anything at the local theater
- Age 10, same
- Age 13, haven't gotten there yet, but our plans indicate that they will be around 100 different same-age people throughout the week
14 and above, about the same as 13 but we haven't made specific plans yet.

I would say that isn't a drastic difference from public school.  We don't 'hover' to 'control their conversations'.  We don't steer them away from certain other individuals.  We don't mitigate the conversations.  We allow them to have their own interactions, discussions and actions.  Now, if you want to call that 'controlling' or 'confined', be my guest but its still a strawman.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv on December 22, 2017, 08:28:07 AM
As for the question in the thread title, I think seeing the negative effects on kids/adults is a good reason for having an anti-homeschool attitude. It's the same reasons you can have an anti-fundamentalist attitude even though not all fundamentalists are bad. It's simply a system that gets taken advantage of very regularly to prevent people from getting all of the available information out there.

Just out of curiosity, how many non-socially awkward previously homeschooled people do you know?  If you can't think of any, its probably because you didn't even notice that they were homeschooled or never asked.  Humans always recognize the outliers, but we filter out the middle.

For some anecdotal data (useless I know), My kids (based on age and activities) have an exponential interaction with other kids, very similar to what you would find in public school.

At the following ages, my kids interact from about the following number of same-age kids (FYI, for several hours, typically at least twice a week, in anywhere from 2 to 15 different social settings):
- Age 3, about 10 per week
- Age 4, about the same, 10 per week
- Age 5, about 25 per week
- Age 7, about 25 per week
- Age 9, about 30 per week up to 50 if we are doing anything at the local theater
- Age 10, same
- Age 13, haven't gotten there yet, but our plans indicate that they will be around 100 different same-age people throughout the week
14 and above, about the same as 13 but we haven't made specific plans yet.

I would say that isn't a drastic difference from public school.  We don't 'hover' to 'control their conversations'.  We don't steer them away from certain other individuals.  We don't mitigate the conversations.  We allow them to have their own interactions, discussions and actions.  Now, if you want to call that 'controlling' or 'confined', be my guest but its still a strawman.

What kind of exposure to radically different cultures, religions, and sexual orientation do you provide your children when home schooling them?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ysette9 on December 22, 2017, 08:38:15 AM
I’m still perplexing over the difference in the quality of social interactions from when I was a homeschooled kid versus when I went to real school. As i mentioned before, i played with the neighborhood kids a ton, usually the one organizing and deciding what we were going to play. All of that was different enough from the structured social hierarchy of school to place me unwittingly and firmly on the very bottom of the social ladder due to my own social ineptness. The same was true for my sister.

I remember leaving the US as an exchange student and meeting up with a group of other 17-18 year olds at the airport getting ready to fly out together. There was one girl who immediately struck me as odd and it didn’t take long for it to come out that she had been homeschooled all the way through. These are all anecdotes but in my personal experience I associate home schooling with extreme social awkwardness. I’d like to see counter examples but I haven’t met anyone yet.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 22, 2017, 08:47:41 AM
What kind of exposure to radically different cultures, religions, and sexual orientation do you provide your children when home schooling them?

My concerns here are that sometimes, and I would hope not in the case of anyone present, the answer to this question is going to be "God hates fags" and "Ragheads killed Jesus".
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ooeei on December 22, 2017, 08:48:56 AM
As for the question in the thread title, I think seeing the negative effects on kids/adults is a good reason for having an anti-homeschool attitude. It's the same reasons you can have an anti-fundamentalist attitude even though not all fundamentalists are bad. It's simply a system that gets taken advantage of very regularly to prevent people from getting all of the available information out there.

Just out of curiosity, how many non-socially awkward previously homeschooled people do you know?  If you can't think of any, its probably because you didn't even notice that they were homeschooled or never asked.  Humans always recognize the outliers, but we filter out the middle.

I know one guy who's reasonably social, and his parents did include him in lots of social groups and activities. I met him in soccer when we were kids. I know around 15 others who are all a bit weird, 3 of which are his siblings. I guess I misspoke when I said never.

You're entirely right that I could've met normal people who were homeschooled that I didn't know about, then again I could've met more weird people who were homeschooled that I didn't know about. It's not like I ask weird people if they were homeschooled. Of the people I know who were homeschooled, most are pretty weird.

Quote
For some anecdotal data (useless I know), My kids (based on age and activities) have an exponential interaction with other kids, very similar to what you would find in public school.

At the following ages, my kids interact from about the following number of same-age kids (FYI, for several hours, typically at least twice a week, in anywhere from 2 to 15 different social settings):
- Age 3, about 10 per week
- Age 4, about the same, 10 per week
- Age 5, about 25 per week
- Age 7, about 25 per week
- Age 9, about 30 per week up to 50 if we are doing anything at the local theater
- Age 10, same
- Age 13, haven't gotten there yet, but our plans indicate that they will be around 100 different same-age people throughout the week
14 and above, about the same as 13 but we haven't made specific plans yet.

I would say that isn't a drastic difference from public school.  We don't 'hover' to 'control their conversations'.  We don't steer them away from certain other individuals.  We don't mitigate the conversations.  We allow them to have their own interactions, discussions and actions.  Now, if you want to call that 'controlling' or 'confined', be my guest but its still a strawman.

I'm not saying it can't work, I'm saying generally what I've seen is kids turn out weird. I'm simply providing reasons why people may have anti-homeschooling attitudes. If you think the average homeschooled parent is better than the average school at educating/socializing their kids, then it makes sense to be pro homeschool. I don't think they are based on what I've seen, so I'm not generally pro homeschool. I also don't think it should be illegal, and admit sometimes it works out well.

Having kids hang out with other kids for a few hours twice a week is way different from them being together 8 hours a day every day completely separate from their parents and siblings. I don't think we can discount the challenges kids have to navigate in a regular school, whether they are social skills, learning to deal with a person in authority who's stupid/mean, being forced to be around people you don't like, being forced into awkward/uncomfortable situations, or meeting people from different cultures/demographics. Can those things be done for someone homeschooled? Some of them can, others not so much. Maybe the lack of it can be made up for by other things homeschool has as an advantage, but I just don't think the average parent has the skillset to do it based on what I've seen.

Parents tend to want the best for their kids, but the real world doesn't really give a shit about them. School is a preview of that experience.

I sincerely hope your kids turn out great, and you caring this much and being this aware means they probably will. There are certainly plenty of homeschooled success stories out there.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 22, 2017, 08:55:00 AM
What kind of exposure to radically different cultures, religions, and sexual orientation do you provide your children when home schooling them?

Good question and I appreciate you asking.

Sexual Orientation:
Mostly, that isn't really open/discussed up to age 9 or 10.  Sexuality (from my parenting perspective) is developing internally but not externally discussed, just cued through flirtation or whatever...  We are just now getting there with our oldest, so the examples I am presenting on this topic (just because are kids are so young) are coming from my own experiences in the exact same environments that our kids will be in.  I had three openly homosexual friends who 'came out' at ages 12, 13 and 16.  Two of which were through a local civic theater and one through a school group.  We were friends before and remained friends after.  While I disagreed with their behavior, I didn't think less of them, but it did open me up to very important viewpoints about freedom and liberty of decision.  I completely expect my kids' experiences to be similar or at least a similar level of interaction (although that is an assumption, I cannot assume or define the decisions or actions of my kids based on my own experiences).  But overall, thats a 'check' if thats what you are looking for.

Religions:
Again, this starts about age 12.  As a kid I went through "confirmation" at our church (Methodist) and during that process we attended Synagogue, the local Mosque, a Latter-Day Saints Temple and had discussions with a leader of each of those places in a private setting afterward (for which I am very thankful).  From my recollection, our own leaders didn't manipulate or distort any of the experiences or conversations, etc, and considered it a learning opportunity.  For my kids, we plan on doing the same thing, through homeschooling, about grade 6 or so (about age 12).  Namely when we start going through social studies.  Our plan is to start off with a deeper view on our own beliefs and historically where they come from, then branch out to several other belief systems.  I do not believe 'sheltering' is appropriate, and I agree with someone upthread who mentioned that if your belief system cannot withstand exposure to the 'outside world', then it is not worth having.  I do, however, think this is an age-appropriate task that should be defined by the parent, though it does need to happen.

Cultures:
This one is more difficult.  According to US Census records from 2010, the population of East Texas counties is 65.93% White Non-Hispanic, 17.44% African-American, 14.29% Hispanic or Latino Origin and 2.34% Other (including native and Asian).  Numerically, that restricts much of the cross-cultural interaction that can develop.  That makes this pretty difficult...  However, one way we plan to expand our kids cultural breadth and knowledge is through international travel.  We plan on taking our oldest to Nicaragua possibly this year or next, and plan on taking all of our kids wherever we go internationally (or domestically) above age 10 or so.  Thats one of the great things about homeschooling, you can do in-depth cultural studies wherever you are.  It really does open up more possibilities.

As far as obtaining a consistent exposure, its pretty difficult with the percentages as stated above, but we do hope to have our daughter join a mixed soccer team (as in mostly Hispanic) in lieu of the self-segregating all white teams.  The draft team is usually good for this in our soccer district since it captures everybody without a 'home team'.  Outside of that and the international experiences, its pretty difficult and we are open to ideas.



Edit to clarify for my specific county: The racial makeup of the county was 88.50% White, 6.61% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.72% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 6.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. So ya, pretty difficult to find opportunities...  :/
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: BAM on December 22, 2017, 09:10:55 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. 

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv on December 22, 2017, 09:20:39 AM
What kind of exposure to radically different cultures, religions, and sexual orientation do you provide your children when home schooling them?

Good question and I appreciate you asking.

Sexual Orientation:
Mostly, that isn't really open/discussed up to age 9 or 10.  Sexuality (from my parenting perspective) is developing internally but not externally discussed, just cued through flirtation or whatever...  We are just now getting there with our oldest, so the examples I am presenting on this topic (just because are kids are so young) are coming from my own experiences in the exact same environments that our kids will be in.  I had three openly homosexual friends who 'came out' at ages 12, 13 and 16.  Two of which were through a local civic theater and one through a school group.  We were friends before and remained friends after.  While I disagreed with their behavior, I didn't think less of them, but it did open me up to very important viewpoints about freedom and liberty of decision.  I completely expect my kids' experiences to be similar or at least a similar level of interaction (although that is an assumption, I cannot assume or define the decisions or actions of my kids based on my own experiences).  But overall, thats a 'check' if thats what you are looking for.

Religions:
Again, this starts about age 12.  As a kid I went through "confirmation" at our church (Methodist) and during that process we attended Synagogue, the local Mosque, a Latter-Day Saints Temple and had discussions with a leader of each of those places in a private setting afterward (for which I am very thankful).  From my recollection, our own leaders didn't manipulate or distort any of the experiences or conversations, etc, and considered it a learning opportunity.  For my kids, we plan on doing the same thing, through homeschooling, about grade 6 or so (about age 12).  Namely when we start going through social studies.  Our plan is to start off with a deeper view on our own beliefs and historically where they come from, then branch out to several other belief systems.  I do not believe 'sheltering' is appropriate, and I agree with someone upthread who mentioned that if your belief system cannot withstand exposure to the 'outside world', then it is not worth having.  I do, however, think this is an age-appropriate task that should be defined by the parent, though it does need to happen.

Cultures:
This one is more difficult.  According to US Census records from 2010, the population of East Texas counties is 65.93% White Non-Hispanic, 17.44% African-American, 14.29% Hispanic or Latino Origin and 2.34% Other (including native and Asian).  Numerically, that restricts much of the cross-cultural interaction that can develop.  That makes this pretty difficult...  However, one way we plan to expand our kids cultural breadth and knowledge is through international travel.  We plan on taking our oldest to Nicaragua possibly this year or next, and plan on taking all of our kids wherever we go internationally (or domestically) above age 10 or so.  Thats one of the great things about homeschooling, you can do in-depth cultural studies wherever you are.  It really does open up more possibilities.

As far as obtaining a consistent exposure, its pretty difficult with the percentages as stated above, but we do hope to have our daughter join a mixed soccer team (as in mostly Hispanic) in lieu of the self-segregating all white teams.  The draft team is usually good for this in our soccer district since it captures everybody without a 'home team'.  Outside of that and the international experiences, its pretty difficult and we are open to ideas.



Edit to clarify for my specific county: The racial makeup of the county was 88.50% White, 6.61% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.72% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 6.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. So ya, pretty difficult to find opportunities...  :/

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'.

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?
- 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: stealthwealth 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner 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'.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ooeei 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
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Michael in ABQ 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: tweezers 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.       
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: BAM 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: RangerOne 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.

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: seattleite 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: BlueMR2 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrsPete 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. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 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. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: calimom 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.


Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GoConfidently 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 it’s 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, it’s better for parents in a lot of cases. But parents aren’t the important ones in this conversation.

Let’s 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 won’t 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 won’t know how well your kids are doing compared to their peers. That would never be acceptable in public education, but it’s 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 “bad association” so weren’t allowed to socialize outside of school, etc.) My parents meant well, the way all parents mean well when they don’t allow for any variation in belief, but I was never a “believer.” 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, that’s admirable in thought. It’s fairly pointless though. You’re biased. The materials you choose will likely be biased. There’s 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. It’s not logical. It’s a set of beliefs based on feelings and experiences and faith. You can’t teach that the same way you teach math. So all your lessons don’t 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. It’s not about the outcome. It’s about giving them agency to make their own decisions and become their own person.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: englishteacheralex 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele 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. 



 

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: former player 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.

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: former player 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Accidental Miser 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? 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 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".
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Cpa Cat 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate 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 (https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-concluded-that-the-universe-shouldn-t-really-exist), and yet the fundamental characteristics of our universe are fine tuned to support life (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fine-tuning/#FineTuniMult), 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 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KK_kzrJPS8) 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.   
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 23, 2017, 10:28:27 AM
As far as we can tell, we shouldn't really be here (https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-concluded-that-the-universe-shouldn-t-really-exist), and yet the fundamental characteristics of our universe are fine tuned to support life (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fine-tuning/#FineTuniMult)

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?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: dang1 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GoConfidently 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 isn’t sweet and innocent. It’s developmentally inappropriate. A nine year old should have the experience, critical thinking, and knowledge to know that flying reindeer don’t exist and one man isn’t 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate 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 (https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-concluded-that-the-universe-shouldn-t-really-exist), and yet the fundamental characteristics of our universe are fine tuned to support life (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fine-tuning/#FineTuniMult)

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 “Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!” 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.

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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)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Zikoris 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Chrissy 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: LiveLean 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: gaja 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrsPete 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 (https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-concluded-that-the-universe-shouldn-t-really-exist), and yet the fundamental characteristics of our universe are fine tuned to support life (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fine-tuning/#FineTuniMult), 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 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KK_kzrJPS8) 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. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Hula Hoop 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate on December 23, 2017, 07:55:23 PM
As far as we can tell, we shouldn't really be here (https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-concluded-that-the-universe-shouldn-t-really-exist), and yet the fundamental characteristics of our universe are fine tuned to support life (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fine-tuning/#FineTuniMult), 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 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KK_kzrJPS8) 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)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrThatsDifferent 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? I’m sure some make it through well, just like their are some awful teachers. But on the whole, these parents aren’t qualified and giving birth doesn’t qualify you. I wouldn’t want a doctor to treat me who used google as their training. I don’t want unqualified parents teaching anyone. You want to homeschool, go and get a homeschooling license or training. Know what the hell you’re 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Mikenost12 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
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: hops 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: shelivesthedream on December 24, 2017, 02:41:15 AM
I’ve been reading this thread and finding it very interesting, since possible homeschooling (I’m pregnant with our first child at the moment) is one of my financial goals. I think I would be a moderate homeschooler – 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 it’s important context for what comes next. We’re English, and a lot of what I’ve read in this thread about school and religion doesn’t 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 don’t think what they actually offer varies as much as it does in America. Some schools won’t be able to offer some subjects but they’ll 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 don’t 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. It’s 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 “Oh right, you’re Christian so you won’t want your children to learn about evolution, will you?” we would honestly ask you what you were talking about. I’m sure those people exist, but it’s really not normal. We’re Christian and believe in science. Adam and Eve frolicking with the dinosaurs is just… 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 it’s a compulsory part of the National Curriculum – 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 child’s mind can be changed (or he can be BRAINWASHED BY THE STATE!!!) that easily then we’ve 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 tasks…and 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. It’s 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 else’s 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. It’s 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 don’t need that much time to cover the material, and you don’t actually get to do lots of important things like running around and interacting with/shadowing adult life like cooking and cleaning and shopping – 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 children’s 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 Scouts… depends what’s on offer locally and what they’re 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 ‘approved’ 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 I’m 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 it’s 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 don’t want to do their homework, I’m 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 it’s not a serious problem. It’s also a good age for them to feel like their parents aren’t watching them all the time. School isn’t real autonomy, but I imagine that as teenagers they’ll feel like it’s 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. It’s 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 don’t 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 I’ve 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 doesn’t teach
-   Less wasting my children’s 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!
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele 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. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrThatsDifferent 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, they’ve studied education, they’ve spent hours doing supervised teaching and they are constantly assessed and have to keep their skills current. They didn’t get their degree from the back of a cereal box. Teaching is a profession and a skill and no, parents who aren’t qualified aren’t naturally better.

MOD EDIT: Forum rule #1.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: furrychickens 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 it’s 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 - they’ve 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. I’m the primary teacher, however, and I’m 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, we’re 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? That’s 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 I’m 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, they’re 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 “school at home” 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Zikoris 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?

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

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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".
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: shelivesthedream 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.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: arebelspy on December 24, 2017, 11:22:40 AM
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'm not understanding your "expert" vs "specialist" distinction.

They should all have training not only in their content area and be certified "highly qualified" in that subject matter, but also have training in the teaching of it, and teaching pedagogy in general. And they do ongoing classes and learning to renew their teaching certificate.

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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.

And that's why different experts are used once that level is reached, and they have 4-6 teachers/day at that point.


Teachers are experts, in general.

Homeschooling has a huge advantage in the difference in attention 1-3 children can get versus 30 children. Some parents, if they have the option should home school, due to that focused attention. Many should not, due to the content subject matter (many people struggle with basic math, even long division, or conceptualizing different addition and subtraction strategies, or lack of knowledge of reading strategies, techniques, etc. to help teach comprehension, analysis, etc.).

A reasonably intelligent person willing to research teaching methods and techniques can probably do better than an expert with 30 kids, at the low level content areas. I would not count most people in this category (reasonably intelligent, willing to seek help and able to do so, etc.) though.


Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 24, 2017, 11:29:38 AM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: shelivesthedream on December 24, 2017, 11:59:06 AM
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'm not understanding your "expert" vs "specialist" distinction.

They should all have training not only in their content area and be certified "highly qualified" in that subject matter, but also have training in the teaching of it, and teaching pedagogy in general. And they do ongoing classes and learning to renew their teaching certificate.

To my mind, an expert is someone who has really gone above and beyond and is at the top level in their subject area. A specialist is a rung down from that - someone who has done further study in their subject area but is at a level that any intelligent person could expect to achieve. For example, I don't regard myself as an expert in anything, but I do think I could reasonably call myself a specialist - for example, an art specialist (I work as a freelance arty type). Sure, a physics teacher has done an undergraduate degree in physics and a diploma in teaching. (That's how it works in England, anyway.) That doesn't make them an expert in either physics or teaching - but it does make them a specialist, and a damn sight better trained to teach A Level physics than me.

I don't think it is just semantics. I think it's important for a reasonable discussion about whether homeschooling is better, worse or adequate academically - to recognise that teachers are trained in both their subject matter and their teaching in a way that parents are usually not, but also to recognise that they are not super academic wizards who far surpass anything your average bright person could expect to achieve if they tried. "Specialist" is a more moderate middle ground than "expert".

Quote
Quote
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.

And that's why different experts are used once that level is reached, and they have 4-6 teachers/day at that point.
[/quote]

And that's why I said in my mega post upthread that I'd seriously consider homeschooling my children for primary school, but most likely not for secondary school.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: me1 on December 24, 2017, 12:21:19 PM
My spouse and I both have phds in science/engineering. We are pretty nerdy with a wide variety of interests outside of science from music to history to art to literature to philosophy. Yet, I still find it takes huge amounts of hubris to think that we alone could give him a better education than an institution that's been designed for that purpose. I also want him to be exposed to as wide an array of opinions, life paths, etc.. as possible. I feel like home schoolers want the opposite for their kids. I find that opinion somewhat anti-social. How will we all as a society be more understanding of each other's life paths and struggles if we just pass on what WE think is important to our kids, and they don't get any other input....all the same problems in society will just be passed on. I want him to be a better person than I am and know more than me, and he can't do that if his only source is me.

Also, I do math with my son constantly, and because it's fun for me, it's fun for him. But we also read books together, talk about all kinds of stuff at the dinner table and while going to bed and do a lot of educational activities/games. Just because he goes to school during the day doesn't mean we don't interact with him and try to challenge him when he is at school.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: calimom on December 24, 2017, 12:22:27 PM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

And don't forget "make kids stand in lines" There seems to be an obsession with lines and minutiae by many home schoolers. Because young people should be protected from such unpleasantries?

I feel I am reasonably well educated, but in no way would I feel qualified to home school my children. DIY is great for a lot of things, but some areas are best left to the experts, i.e., trained teachers. There is an interesting story of a California ranch family who home schooled the 4 children in their multicultural family, primarily due to living so remotely. 3 of their sons graduated from Harvard and all are high achievers. The Colfax parents were highly educated, the father had a Phd and the mother I believe a Masters in education.. While an Ivy League college is maybe not the end goal for many, this family was a home school success largely due to the parents' education. It's hard to think that many home schoolers, no matter how well intentioned, would have the skills needed to teach every subject.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GoConfidently on December 24, 2017, 12:38:44 PM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

And many homeschool families think primary education especially is “easy” to teach. That’s the foundation of learning, and if done poorly can have impacts well into adulthood. Look at the math debates sparked by common core. Parents who don’t understand new pedagogy think math strategies that are not based on memorization or the way they were taught decades ago are wrong or weird. Those strategies actually set up students for more complex math concepts later. Good elementary education is priceless, and that’s for typical children. Throw in some mild dyslexia, dyscalculia, or other learning disability and it could be a very very bad situation.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate on December 24, 2017, 12:50:20 PM
My spouse and I both have phds in science/engineering. We are pretty nerdy with a wide variety of interests outside of science from music to history to art to literature to philosophy. Yet, I still find it takes huge amounts of hubris to think that we alone could give him a better education than an institution that's been designed for that purpose. I also want him to be exposed to as wide an array of opinions, life paths, etc.. as possible. I feel like home schoolers want the opposite for their kids. I find that opinion somewhat anti-social. How will we all as a society be more understanding of each other's life paths and struggles if we just pass on what WE think is important to our kids, and they don't get any other input....all the same problems in society will just be passed on. I want him to be a better person than I am and know more than me, and he can't do that if his only source is me.

It really depends on the specific institution. Not as simple as "good" vs. "bad" schools, e.g. test scores. A lot depends on the culture of the institution which is a function of administrators, teachers, students, and parents. The public schools in our area are high functioning. Totally different story in the next county over where I grew up. Most of the time is spent dealing with behavior issues, chronic issues with lack of resources (yet they get grant money for stuff they don't really need), and high teacher turnover. I eventually bailed out to a private school because it was a toxic environment (middle schoolers coming to school drunk, drug dealing, gang fights, weapons). I was extremely fortunate that my parents could afford, just barely, private school. A reasonably educated and motivated parent will likely do a better job than a failing institution.

Also, I get the sense that people think homeschoolers totally go it alone. Not sure what the rest of the country does, but in my area we have a charter school for homeschoolers (http://www.ogcs.org/) which provides curriculum, assessment, support staff, community based instruction, training for parents, and so on.  The families I know of in this program are all thriving, the kids are well rounded and socialized.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Lichen on December 24, 2017, 01:01:26 PM


What kind of exposure to radically different cultures, religions, and sexual orientation do you provide your children when home schooling them?

This stands out to me as a homeschooling parent, because I can't see it coming from any other perspective than that of all homeschoolers are straight, white, christians.

My wife and I are part of the LGBT community, as is one of our sons. So lots of exposure to others in this category. Our friends and their kids hail from all over the world. In a town such as ours, any outsiders in culture, race, or sexual orientation tend to find each other. As Atheists, the kids have probably been exposed to more religions than their peers in public school, simply because most people in our area tend toward the same flavors of religion and shun those that don't fit it or at least give it lip service. We've made the effort to expose the kids to culturally diverse ideas so that they don't fall into that same type of prejudice (which to be fair, many of those perpetuating it aren't even aware that they have this prejudice).

The fact is, homeschoolers have a variety of different backgrounds and styles. It's a completely different beast than public or even private schooling, so comparisons are very much apples to oranges. Some families do it well, just like some public schools do it well. Some families abuse it or fail at key aspects, like socialization, others never have these issues. I agree there needs to be some form of oversight, to catch the outliers that fail on some major level. BUT many states have this oversight, some don't. (Hint: The ones you hear about are doing it extremely well or doing it poorly. You don't hear about the average families that run the gamut in between.)

The awesome thing? Don't like homeschooling? Great, no one will make you do it!
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: arebelspy on December 24, 2017, 01:08:16 PM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

I don't have a large enough sample size on homeschooling parent's opinions on that to have an educated opinion myself on what they think.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrThatsDifferent on December 24, 2017, 01:13:48 PM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

They have to devalue the education professions in order to justify their belief that they can do it as well as qualified practitioners.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Zikoris on December 24, 2017, 01:19:42 PM
We did not have a lot of exposure to different races/cultures during the elementary homeschool years, but that was more a factor of where we lived - there was no diversity at the local schools either. When I did homeschool again, it was living in the far north on an Indian reserve, so I got to be a minority for a few years.

I'm not sure if there's really some inherent need for a diverse environment for children, to be honest, as long as parents don't instill fear or hatred of other groups. My parents has always just taken the approach of "People do different things for their own reasons, it doesn't affect you so who gives a shit, just don't be a dick". I read a little bit about different religions and cultures out of interest in my own time, but until I actually moved to a major city, I really hadn't really encountered a lot of diversity. You just generally don't in rural places, at least in Canada. I think if parents generally teach their kids to be polite and respectful, and treat people equally, that's good enough.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: arebelspy on December 24, 2017, 01:20:39 PM
Speaking about groups monolithically does everyone a disservice.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate on December 24, 2017, 01:24:53 PM
Speaking about groups monolithically does everyone a disservice.

+1
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Zikoris on December 24, 2017, 01:27:57 PM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

For what it's worth, both of my parents are teachers (very good ones, in my opinion!), and they were still fine with the idea of homeschooling. They definitely would not advocate it for every family, but in our case, they saw that the stuff we were doing in class was way below our ability levels, saw that we weren't crazy about the whole thing and found it somewhat pointless, and gave us the option of doing something different, which we both decided to do.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrThatsDifferent on December 24, 2017, 01:32:04 PM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

For what it's worth, both of my parents are teachers (very good ones, in my opinion!), and they were still fine with the idea of homeschooling. They definitely would not advocate it for every family, but in our case, they saw that the stuff we were doing in class was way below our ability levels, saw that we weren't crazy about the whole thing and found it somewhat pointless, and gave us the option of doing something different, which we both decided to do.

Homeschooling by qualified practitioners is different than untrained amateurs.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Zikoris on December 24, 2017, 01:38:06 PM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

For what it's worth, both of my parents are teachers (very good ones, in my opinion!), and they were still fine with the idea of homeschooling. They definitely would not advocate it for every family, but in our case, they saw that the stuff we were doing in class was way below our ability levels, saw that we weren't crazy about the whole thing and found it somewhat pointless, and gave us the option of doing something different, which we both decided to do.

Homeschooling by qualified practitioners is different than untrained amateurs.

They actually didn't do much - they gave us the curriculums to work through on our own, though they were there when we had problems. That was pre-internet though - I think in this day and age, it would be a lot easier to find things like videos or tutorials in a parent didn't have the answer to a question. I do think parents who homeschool should probably be fairly educated themselves, but I don't think they need to necessarily be trained teachers.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Lichen on December 24, 2017, 02:57:07 PM
I think there are some major misunderstandings about what it takes to be a teacher in a public school on both sides. The bare minimum in my state for the elementary level is a bachelor in any subject (including underwater basket weaving) and a teacher preparation course. There are various courses of different depths, but the class listing I am looking at for the most popular one at the local state university that is aimed at elementary teachers primarily focuses on classroom/behavior management and learning differentiation across a class of 20+ students. This is combined with practical classroom hours. It is only a year long program. There are similar one and two year programs for secondary classrooms that have more subject focus. Judging from the verbiage used on the program website, these vary by state so some states may have more in depth programs. For all I know my state is lax with teacher accreditation :)

So anyone with a college education is likely qualified to teach a couple of kids until at least 6th grade, since ideally they don't have 20 kids of varying abilities and backgrounds to manage. After 6th, most homeschool families begin outsourcing a lot of subjects anyway to outside classes or online classes, so subject matter experts tend to teach the trickier subjects regardless.

So yes, a certified teacher is an expert. What they are an expert in that a standard degree holder is not is classroom management, which is necessary in a traditional classroom. I am not discounting any of the hard work or the education levels of teachers, I am thankful for teachers and vote with my tax dollars to support schools. It's just important to realize comparisons between classroom and homeschool environments aren't apples to apples.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrsPete on December 24, 2017, 03:50:57 PM
Any parent who cares can do a much better job teaching than a teacher that doesn't care who is dealing with 30 kids.
Are these the only two options? 
- A parent who cares
- A teacher who doesn't care and is dealing with 30 kids

I don't think so.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.
Yeah, I have two degrees plus a teaching certificate, and I learned a good bit in earning them.  I am not "a random adult" or a warm body willing to stand in front of the class.  Whether you want to call me a specialist or an expert in my field, I still know my subject better than the average homeschooling parent.  I know, I know, someone will say that the point of homeschooling is to have the student direct his or her own learning, but having a strong sense of where you're going is a positive. 

Makes me think about a scene from The Cosby Show back in the 80s: one of the younger kids said she intended to drop out of school.  When asked what kind of job she expected to get with only a 4th grade education, she answered with all the optimism of a child, "I'll teach 3rd grade!" 

I think there are some major misunderstandings about what it takes to be a teacher in a public school on both sides. The bare minimum in my state for the elementary level is a bachelor in any subject (including underwater basket weaving) and a teacher preparation course.
In my state, this would allow you to be a substitute teacher ... but not a regular classroom teacher.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 24, 2017, 04:07:01 PM
Quote
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.

I cannot speak for the other progressives on here, only my own.

It's not necessarily that I think my kids should develop their own value system.  It's my job to do that.

But I was raised Catholic, and in a word, it's bullshit.  Yes, I'm raising my children to be Atheist, I don't understand the belief in false things.  My children are being raised to know that stealing, lying, and murder are wrong, as well as racism, homophobia, and pedophilia.

I pretty much had it figured out at age 11 "wow, anyone who is not Catholic is going to hell, hm, do people really believe all this??"
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 24, 2017, 04:09:12 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.
God is everywhere, even in public school. Good luck avoiding the after school teacher who shows Christian videos, talks about church and God.  And my kid, who is on the student council, as part of his job gets to say the Pledge Allegiance over the loudspeaker...and what's in there?  Under God.

It's pretty easy to keep  your kid away from the idea of atheism in the US.  Not so much Christianity.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 24, 2017, 04:23:47 PM
Quote
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! 

Right?  I mean, I was that weird kid who just did extra math homework.  And made up my own problems to do when I finished those.  And read the Encyclopedia when I was bored.  And taught myself to program on the TRS-80 (too bad that skill didn't stick, lol!)

Quote
*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.

This is fascinating because I was the same way.  Gifted, always well above grade level (same as my 11 yo), high IQ, but I was just fine.  Maybe I just challenged myself, maybe my teachers were able to adjust (except that 4th-5th grade math teacher who shall not be named).  I'm also from a really small town, rural school - all of about 100 kids in my HS class (then my parents divorced and I moved to the next school over, also 100 kids).  It was about the same. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Villanelle on December 24, 2017, 06:57:20 PM
Still reading through the replies but wanted to chime in.

Homeschooling for religious reasons was very common 20 years ago but I doubt if it’s 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 - they’ve 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. I’m the primary teacher, however, and I’m 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, we’re 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? That’s 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 I’m 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, they’re 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 “school at home” 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.

I think you are a bit biased, and probably somewhat defensive, which makes sense.  But from someone who no real dog in this fight and who, as I said, isn't anti-homeschooling, honestly, it is a problem.  Maybe it isn't in your family, and that's wonderful.  But honestly, you really seem to be in the minority.  Just because *you* do it well doesn't mean that all or even most do, and doesn't negate the entire concept.  I don't think anyone would argue there are no exceptions.  I'm glad your family is one, but plenty aren't. 

And in a way, that highlights one problem with homeschooling.  The lack of oversight means  there is such a wide variety of experiences and approaches.  If everyone did it well--if the system even attempted to ensure that--I'd have no reservations (though I'd still be against tax policy that supports or rewards it).  But there's no underlying policy that makes sure everyone does it like it sounds like you do.

So no, the argument isn't shit.  I understand your defense of those who operate under the same banner as you, but perhaps that defensiveness blinds you to the reality of others who are doing things different than you are.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate on December 25, 2017, 12:30:20 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 it’s 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 - they’ve 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. I’m the primary teacher, however, and I’m 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, we’re 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? That’s 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 I’m 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, they’re 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 “school at home” 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.

I think you are a bit biased, and probably somewhat defensive, which makes sense.  But from someone who no real dog in this fight and who, as I said, isn't anti-homeschooling, honestly, it is a problem.  Maybe it isn't in your family, and that's wonderful.  But honestly, you really seem to be in the minority.  Just because *you* do it well doesn't mean that all or even most do, and doesn't negate the entire concept.  I don't think anyone would argue there are no exceptions.  I'm glad your family is one, but plenty aren't. 

And in a way, that highlights one problem with homeschooling.  The lack of oversight means  there is such a wide variety of experiences and approaches.  If everyone did it well--if the system even attempted to ensure that--I'd have no reservations (though I'd still be against tax policy that supports or rewards it).  But there's no underlying policy that makes sure everyone does it like it sounds like you do.

So no, the argument isn't shit.  I understand your defense of those who operate under the same banner as you, but perhaps that defensiveness blinds you to the reality of others who are doing things different than you are.

We don't homeschool, don't have a horse in this race, but I think the socialization argument IS shit. A one size fits all approach of traditional school is traumatic for some kids, especially for those who think differently or at a different pace. I would argue that this can set them back socially. Schools with rampant behavior problems are also problematic. I was an outgoing happy-go-lucky kid until attending a completely toxic public school. In hindsight, I didn't just need to change schools, I almost certainly needed therapy as well but didn't have the perspective as a kid to know this. It was horrible, took many years to recover.

Two biases we should consider:
1) Selection Bias: Kids who are naturally a bit off/odd/different are more likely to end up being homeschooled.
2) Confirmation Bias: That socially awkward kid, you guess they may be homeschooled, and find out from the parents that you are right. Wow, homeschooled kids must be socially awkward! However, you don't think to inquire about kids who are otherwise normal (why would you), and it's well known that people usually forget/discount information contradicting their assumptions (awkward kid goes to public school..."must be an outlier").
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Shane on December 25, 2017, 03:57:33 AM
Thanks to everyone who has posted thoughtful comments to this interesting thread.

In answer to the OP's questions: my family and I definitely aren't looking for any tax cuts from the government to support our homeschooling. And, just like it's never alright to make broad brush negative statements about Muslims or blacks or Jews, I can't think of any good reasons to justify why it would be okay to hold on to negative stereotypes of *all* homeschoolers, as clearly each family is different.

While I can understand that from a societal perspective some people might think it would be desirable to have more safeguards and regulations in place to monitor homeschoolers, we are personally very grateful that our state has not made any efforts whatsoever to check up on us since we pulled our daughter out of public school a little over a year ago. A few days before we left the US in 2016, I went into my daughter's elementary school and told one of the ladies in the office that we were planning to travel to Japan over winter break and weren't sure if/when we would return. A little bit surprisingly to me, that didn't seem to faze the office lady, at all. She just asked me to sign my daughter out of school and told me that as soon as we knew the address of our daughter's new school to let them know and they would forward her records. That was the last we heard from the public school system in the US, and, TBH, we're quite happy with that arrangement.

Since December, 2016, my wife, (now) nine year old daughter and I have been traveling slowly around the world, usually staying a month, or so, in each city/country we visit. So far, we've tried various strategies to educate our daughter as we travel. Early on, we enrolled her in a public school in Japan for a month. Then we tried some homeschooling, both with and without a curriculum, for a couple of months. Next, we enrolled our daughter in a private English language international school in Vietnam for 2.5 months, so she could spend some time around other kids her own age.

For the past six months we've mostly been Worldschooling our daughter, i.e., not explicitly teaching her any particular school subjects, but helping her to learn from the experiences we've been having as we travel. In the past year, both my wife and I have read dozens of books together with our daughter, and our daughter has read dozens of shorter, easier books herself. She's an excellent reader, far above grade level, and her comprehension of the books we read seems good, as well. Right now, my daughter and I are reading Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. My wife and daughter have read the entire Harry Potter series. My daughter and I recently finished reading the Hobbit. Before that we read Animal Farm. And she just recently turned 9 years old.

In addition to reading lots of books, we watch movies together as a family, sometimes on Netflix and sometimes in a theater, and we talk about the movies with her afterwards. We're constantly talking with our daughter, and she's constantly listening to my wife and me talking to each other and to people we meet during our travels. Our daughter hears us talking about racism, sexism, #metoo, Nazis, white supremacists and Antifa. She hears us talking with national park rangers about invasive species eradication plans, plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. She hears us talking with people we meet on the road, explaining to them that, "No, we did not vote for Donald Trump. No Americans aren't all racists. And, no we're not all fat." Using the Google Earth app on my phone, our daughter can easily point out all of the places we've visited in the past year. Ask her to find Kuala Lumpur, and she can easily spin the globe around and zoom right in to the correct spot on the west coast of Malaysia. Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, China, Cambodia. Ask our daughter where they are, and she can find them all on Google Earth and tell you a little bit about her experiences in each country.

Reading some of the comments above in this thread started to make me worry a little bit that maybe we were doing a disservice to our daughter, because neither my wife nor I are certified, professional school teachers with years of experience at modern pedagogical methods and techniques, but the more I thought about it, the less I was worried. Pretty sure, our daughter is going to be just fine. If and when she goes back to a regular public school somewhere in the US, someday, if there are any gaps in her knowledge, my wife and I can easily help her to get back up to speed in whatever areas she may be lacking. Probably, though, our daughter will be ahead of many of her classmates in some areas, as well, so hopefully her weaknesses and strengths will even out and she won't have to struggle too much.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele on December 25, 2017, 05:52:41 AM
Great post, Shane!  We too homeschool partly for travel freedom reasons. We are hitting the road for a long trip soon to do some worldschooling too. 

I feel like I unintentionally lit the match on some negativity above by sharing the experience we had a few years ago in public school.  That's all it was -- our experience, my opinions, that particular school district.  When I described how we had encountered some bad teachers, I was not saying that all public school teachers are bad.  I think there are lots of great public school teachers out there.  We just did not have access to them.  Which led us to homeschool out of total desperation, only to discover it was great for us.   

I firmly believe that any caring parent has the ability to adequately homeschool a child academically all the way through high school if they want to.  When you hit a subject you feel you can't teach, you find someone who can and/or use the amazing online resources that are available to all of us.  Or --use the public school curriculum, which is made available to all homeschoolers in the states I've lived in.  I agree with the poster above that many folks on this thread who don't homeschool seem to not understand what it is, or can be.  None of the homeschool families I know go it alone, sitting at a table with their kid all day, shutting themselves off from society.

Full disclosure -- we both have graduate degrees.  DH is a hard science PhD who taught for 25 years before he started homeschooling our kids. He will easily be able to teach any math or science our kids would study through high school level.  He also volunteer teaches many other homeschool kids in our town.  Another cool thing about homeschoolers is that they make connections like that between families, freely sharing knowledge.  Do I think we are the 'norm' for homeschoolers?  No, but we're not unique either.  Broad generalizations are tough.  I really have no idea what the 'norm' is.

The elementary/high school 'break' that many people described is common.  I have met many families that homeschool through the elementary years, then the kids go to public/private high school.  We may do that.  One of our kids says she wants to homeschool all the way through high school, but the other says he wants to return to high school for the upper grades.   

The lack of regulation seems to make many uncomfortable.  Our particular state is one of the fairly heavily regulated ones.  There are minimum education levels for both teaching and administering standardized tests.  We are inspected and meet with a state official at least once every two years. Prior to this we lived in an unregulated state, where all you had to was notify the state that you were homeschooling.

My opinion -- this lack of regulation will result in wide variation in the quality of home school education, but how is that much different than the huge quality variation we see in the public schools?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Fomerly known as something on December 25, 2017, 11:10:59 AM
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.


BAM, have you ever taken a HS or college level test 17 years after you graduated from college.  I did in the past 2-3 years.  I was attempting to go to college part time to get a geology degree mostly for fun.  Because I had been out of school for so long I was required to "test into" chemistry and math.  I "failed" both.  I did end up passing the chemistry test the 2nd time around by cramming for it using "Chemistry for dummies."  Instead of being allowed to take calculus, I was "told" I'd need to start taking Algebra II/Trigonometry (mind you I passed Calc 2 in 1998).  Yes I'd need to study for the 8th grade test, mainly because I'd need to relearn things I've completely forgotten. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Lichen on December 25, 2017, 11:51:32 AM
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.


BAM, have you ever taken a HS or college level test 17 years after you graduated from college.  I did in the past 2-3 years.  I was attempting to go to college part time to get a geology degree mostly for fun.  Because I had been out of school for so long I was required to "test into" chemistry and math.  I "failed" both.  I did end up passing the chemistry test the 2nd time around by cramming for it using "Chemistry for dummies."  Instead of being allowed to take calculus, I was "told" I'd need to start taking Algebra II/Trigonometry (mind you I passed Calc 2 in 1998).  Yes I'd need to study for the 8th grade test, mainly because I'd need to relearn things I've completely forgotten.

I'll match your anecdotal evidence with my own ;)

I'm currently in college working towards an advanced science degree. I had to take the entrance exams for some subjects (math and writing). The difference between our two experiences is probably because I prepared and didn't take the test cold. I didn't study for writing because I have been working as a professional in the subject for over a decade, so passed it with no issue.

I passed math up to the level I had previously studied 20 years ago. This is because I spent two weeks on Kahn Academy preparing myself ahead of time. This was little more than review, but necessary. Simple stuff like clearing the fractions first likely would have thrown me otherwise, simply because I hadn't thought of it in 20 years. This is no different than what I would do teaching one of my kids or any other student for that matter (I have tutored in the past and I currently run a club for gifted science kids). I prepare before I present new subject matter. Homeschooling is no different. We don't go in cold to teach a subject, we prepare just as we would for any test.

If after preparation I do not feel confident enough to teach the subject matter, I outsource it. This is why my eldest took some advanced mathematics at the local high school. I wasn't the right teacher and wasn't confident in my methods of ensuring he fully understood the material. My youngest is a math whiz. My job with him is only as a guide to make sure he doesn't have any holes in his knowledge or develop any bad mathematical habits as he works through things at his own, but very fast, pace.

Homeschooling, like any type of education, doesn't occur in a vacuum. (There are outliers of course, and most of the negative examples in this thread are of the outliers.)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: CindyBS on December 25, 2017, 12:30:07 PM

Two biases we should consider:
1) Selection Bias: Kids who are naturally a bit off/odd/different are more likely to end up being homeschooled.
2) Confirmation Bias: That socially awkward kid, you guess they may be homeschooled, and find out from the parents that you are right. Wow, homeschooled kids must be socially awkward! However, you don't think to inquire about kids who are otherwise normal (why would you), and it's well known that people usually forget/discount information contradicting their assumptions (awkward kid goes to public school..."must be an outlier").

Two additional biases we should consider:

1) Unless research into the social skills of homeschoolers vs public school kids corrects for parental involvement and SES, it is not really a valid study since that compares apples and oranges.
2) Most studies that access social skills involve questionnaires filled out by both parents and teachers.  With homeschooling, the parent and teacher are the same person, and the parent is pro-homeschooling, and the parent loves the child and is very emotionally involved (a good thing) - but that leads to a lack objectivity.    Can you imagine a reputable scientist citing a study of children in a public school setting where only the parents were consulted on the child's skills? 


My experience with homeschooling is limited, but I have worked with a few children in public schools as a teacher's aide that were former homeschool students.  The one boy I am thinking of had severe autism and was about age 7.  Mom had 4 other children under 5, which is a adult to student ratio that was multiple times higher than the classroom he came from.  His previous class had 8 students with 1 teacher and 2 aides.  The mom had pulled him out of school 18 month earlier.  When he was assessed upon return to school, he was further behind in all subjects areas than he had been before he left.  He also had a huge patch of hair missing from rubbing his head on the carpet - presumably from stress/anxiety.  It was unknown what sort of sensory friendly or "take a break" areas the mom had in the house (multiple ones were available at school), but I do know she lived in a duplex (probably 3 bedrooms) with 4 little kids.  The whole situation was very sad. 

I don't mind comparing homeschooling and public schools and for some people, homeschooling is a good choice.  But when the boy I mentioned above was assessed by the public school, his test results reflected on the school and not the homeschooling failure that caused a lot of the lack of progress.  Home/private/charter school failures virtually always end up in public school, and then when these kids failures show up in testing (which in our state is not required in these alternate schools) - these same institutions use these test results to say why public schools are bad.  It was a long time ago, but when I was growing up, every kid that came from the one Catholic school that went to the public high school immediately got put into remedial math because their math skills were so far behind.  Today that would reflect poorly on the public school, despite the fact that the majority of these kids were in a different school for most of their schooling career.

Any honest comparison of anything homeschool vs. public school needs to correct for the following: parent bias, SES, parent involvement, English proficiency and all public school students who are homeschool drop outs. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: SwordGuy on December 25, 2017, 12:39:04 PM
Is it really true that our public education system does a truly poor job of teaching American students?

Or is it really true that our American students do a truly outstanding job of avoiding learning what they are being taught?
And that our American parents do a truly outstanding job of empowering the kids to do just that?

Fix those two issues and the rest of the problems in American public education become imminently solvable very quickly.
Title: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ysette9 on December 25, 2017, 01:00:27 PM
I’ve read that the problem with the US system is the gap between those who achieve and those who do not. Kids from affluent areas do test well as compared to their international peers, but the underprivileged do poorly enough to drag down the average. So really, we do a poor job of serving those who need the help the most. The lack of early childhood education and care as compared to other developed countries (The Economist has reported on this) sets schools up to fail as poor kids start school far behind their rich peers and then never catch up.
https://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21701131-poor-children-fall-behind-early-life-better-pre-school-education-could-help
https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/07/why-does-america-invest-so-little-in-its-children/490790/
Title: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ysette9 on December 25, 2017, 01:04:07 PM
Another interesting tidbit I read, also from The Economist. High school students were tested in math for whatever standardized test is given to show how we stack up against countries like China, which usually shows strong scores. The US students didn’t fare well. However when students were bribed with cash for good test performance, their scores rose and rivaled the Chinese scores. The article argued that it wasn’t an ability gap but rather one of motivation and willingness to work hard.

https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21726745-when-greenbacks-are-offer-american-schoolchildren-seem-try-harder-effort-not
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 25, 2017, 01:15:43 PM
we do a poor job of serving those who need the help the most.

This neatly sums up America.

In education, there is an argument that having a population with widespread basic literacy and numeracy (the usual argument for public education) is less important than having a select minority of truly elite students get specialized training.  After all, what does it matter if your mechanic has read Shakespeare?  What matters is that we have the world's best engineers, to build laser defense missile systems and universal internet access.

The same argument is often used to support the great economic divide in our country.  What does it matter if everyone can afford a reliable car and cable TV?  What matter is that we have the world's wealthiest entrepreneurs, people willing to fund rocket programs and cure malaria. 

In both cases, America has apparently decided that we're fine with having homeless people freezing to death each winter, and high school graduates who can't read the newspaper, as long as we also have the best of the really exceptional people.

This is different from supporting trickle-down.  It's not an argument that allocating disproportionate resources to the privileged few is good, in the long run, for everyone.  It's an argument that most people genuinely don't matter, that progress is only made possible by the efforts of our best and brightest, and that we should voluntarily leave behind the unwashed masses in order to advance that minority of people who actually matter.

I could almost see supporting that argument, if America hadn't decided that it's definition of "best and brightest" was just "whoever has the most money" instead of being in any way tied to individual merit.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ysette9 on December 25, 2017, 01:25:33 PM
I took a philosophy class a million years ago in junior college and really enjoyed the mental workout it gave me. I remember the section about different bases of philosophical systems. The one that resonated with me was summed up as “what is right is that which brings the most good to the most people”. That system allows for sticky situations like lying to save someone’s life, or sacrificing few to save many, etc.

If we apply that idea to economic, health, and educational realms, the US system is not superior to more egalitarian societies. If we take Sol’s premise that we produce the best and brightest at <fill in the blank>, then those people aren’t great enough to make the sum total/average better or even as good as countries that allocate resources more equally. I realize that you aren’t actually making that argument like you believe it, but for someone who doesn’t actually care about homeless dying in the street if we make the best satellites, out average outcome across the whole country is still lousy as compared to others.

Anyway, I’m probably derailing this thread to some extent. I’m looking down at my sleeping baby in my arms, she who has every advantage in life by simply being born to me and my husband, and thinking how criminal it is that other babies will have such poorer outcomes statistically because they were born to people without advanced degrees or bucks in the bank. As adorable as my kid is, I can’t argue that she is better or more deserving of opportunities in life than any other 2-month old. However she is likely to thrive and be the beneficiary of inter-generational wealth transfer to boot. Yay unfettered capitalism?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ysette9 on December 25, 2017, 01:28:26 PM
It's an argument that most people genuinely don't matter, that progress is only made possible by the efforts of our best and brightest, and that we should voluntarily leave behind the unwashed masses in order to advance that minority of people who actually matter.

I could almost see supporting that argument, if America hadn't decided that it's definition of "best and brightest" was just "whoever has the most money" instead of being in any way tied to individual merit.
The part missing here though is that leaving behind the unwashed masses is a good recipe for political upheaval at some point.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrsPete on December 25, 2017, 04:27:58 PM
It's pretty easy to keep  your kid away from the idea of atheism in the US.  Not so much Christianity.
Disagree.  A few words in the Pledge /similar encounters are not really an encounter with Christianity.  It seems to me that most people today don't really know what Christianity is about -- but they sure THINK they do. 

Another interesting tidbit I read, also from The Economist. High school students were tested in math for whatever standardized test is given to show how we stack up against countries like China, which usually shows strong scores. The US students didn’t fare well. However when students were bribed with cash for good test performance, their scores rose and rivaled the Chinese scores. The article argued that it wasn’t an ability gap but rather one of motivation and willingness to work hard.

https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21726745-when-greenbacks-are-offer-american-schoolchildren-seem-try-harder-effort-not
I don't have a study to prove it, but this goes along with what I've seen in my own classroom.  A couple examples:  We give the SAT during the school day to all juniors -- whether they want to take it or not.  It seems to me that about 1/3 of the juniors are VERY glad for this.  They're glad they're not paying, and they're glad not to give up a Saturday for the test.  They take the review books, presumably complete the practice tests, and show up ready for the test.  About 1/3 are totally NOT INTO THIS, and they let it be known -- they complain that they aren't going to college or aren't going to university, meaning they don't need this test.  They put their names on the papers, then put their heads down.  Of course our averages look bad -- when the kids know there's no accountability for the test, a very big slice of the group just won't try. 

This is different from supporting trickle-down.  It's not an argument that allocating disproportionate resources to the privileged few is good, in the long run, for everyone.  It's an argument that most people genuinely don't matter, that progress is only made possible by the efforts of our best and brightest, and that we should voluntarily leave behind the unwashed masses in order to advance that minority of people who actually matter.
When it comes to schools, it's not that the resources aren't available -- it's that a whole bunch of our students don't choose to take advantage of their opportunities (in part because their parents have taught them that those opportunities don't matter).  I was one of those kids from "the unwashed masses" (and the parental guidance I received was lackluster at best), and it was public school that gave me the tools to lift myself out of that situation. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 on December 25, 2017, 05:24:28 PM
It's pretty easy to keep  your kid away from the idea of atheism in the US.  Not so much Christianity.
Disagree.  A few words in the Pledge /similar encounters are not really an encounter with Christianity.  It seems to me that most people today don't really know what Christianity is about -- but they sure THINK they do. 

Another interesting tidbit I read, also from The Economist. High school students were tested in math for whatever standardized test is given to show how we stack up against countries like China, which usually shows strong scores. The US students didn’t fare well. However when students were bribed with cash for good test performance, their scores rose and rivaled the Chinese scores. The article argued that it wasn’t an ability gap but rather one of motivation and willingness to work hard.

https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21726745-when-greenbacks-are-offer-american-schoolchildren-seem-try-harder-effort-not
I don't have a study to prove it, but this goes along with what I've seen in my own classroom.  A couple examples:  We give the SAT during the school day to all juniors -- whether they want to take it or not.  It seems to me that about 1/3 of the juniors are VERY glad for this.  They're glad they're not paying, and they're glad not to give up a Saturday for the test.  They take the review books, presumably complete the practice tests, and show up ready for the test.  About 1/3 are totally NOT INTO THIS, and they let it be known -- they complain that they aren't going to college or aren't going to university, meaning they don't need this test.  They put their names on the papers, then put their heads down.  Of course our averages look bad -- when the kids know there's no accountability for the test, a very big slice of the group just won't try. 

This is different from supporting trickle-down.  It's not an argument that allocating disproportionate resources to the privileged few is good, in the long run, for everyone.  It's an argument that most people genuinely don't matter, that progress is only made possible by the efforts of our best and brightest, and that we should voluntarily leave behind the unwashed masses in order to advance that minority of people who actually matter.
When it comes to schools, it's not that the resources aren't available -- it's that a whole bunch of our students don't choose to take advantage of their opportunities (in part because their parents have taught them that those opportunities don't matter).  I was one of those kids from "the unwashed masses" (and the parental guidance I received was lackluster at best), and it was public school that gave me the tools to lift myself out of that situation.
I was raised Catholic and I very much disagree.  Many Christians seem unaware of how much Christianity is a part of our society.  As an example, aa so called secular daycare, my daughter was taught to pray before meals and yet the school was like, this is not religious, we are just saying thank you before meals. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ysette9 on December 25, 2017, 05:29:33 PM
I completely agree with Gin1984. As someone raised religious who subsequently left all of that I am very aware of how Christianity is in the pores of so much of our regular lives, even living in a big coastal urban area. If I go to a southern state it is like being smacked up the face with it every where I turn. It really is inescapable.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate on December 25, 2017, 08:48:17 PM
Two additional biases we should consider:

1) Unless research into the social skills of homeschoolers vs public school kids corrects for parental involvement and SES, it is not really a valid study since that compares apples and oranges.
2) Most studies that access social skills involve questionnaires filled out by both parents and teachers.  With homeschooling, the parent and teacher are the same person, and the parent is pro-homeschooling, and the parent loves the child and is very emotionally involved (a good thing) - but that leads to a lack objectivity.    Can you imagine a reputable scientist citing a study of children in a public school setting where only the parents were consulted on the child's skills? 


My experience with homeschooling is limited, but I have worked with a few children in public schools as a teacher's aide that were former homeschool students.  The one boy I am thinking of had severe autism and was about age 7.  Mom had 4 other children under 5, which is a adult to student ratio that was multiple times higher than the classroom he came from.  His previous class had 8 students with 1 teacher and 2 aides.  The mom had pulled him out of school 18 month earlier.  When he was assessed upon return to school, he was further behind in all subjects areas than he had been before he left.  He also had a huge patch of hair missing from rubbing his head on the carpet - presumably from stress/anxiety.  It was unknown what sort of sensory friendly or "take a break" areas the mom had in the house (multiple ones were available at school), but I do know she lived in a duplex (probably 3 bedrooms) with 4 little kids.  The whole situation was very sad. 

I don't mind comparing homeschooling and public schools and for some people, homeschooling is a good choice.  But when the boy I mentioned above was assessed by the public school, his test results reflected on the school and not the homeschooling failure that caused a lot of the lack of progress.  Home/private/charter school failures virtually always end up in public school, and then when these kids failures show up in testing (which in our state is not required in these alternate schools) - these same institutions use these test results to say why public schools are bad.  It was a long time ago, but when I was growing up, every kid that came from the one Catholic school that went to the public high school immediately got put into remedial math because their math skills were so far behind.  Today that would reflect poorly on the public school, despite the fact that the majority of these kids were in a different school for most of their schooling career.

Any honest comparison of anything homeschool vs. public school needs to correct for the following: parent bias, SES, parent involvement, English proficiency and all public school students who are homeschool drop outs.

I agree that there are many factors/biases to consider. And they don't always go in a single direction. I know a kid who was having trouble fitting in at public school, was starting to get into trouble and was failing academically. The mom was tired of getting called into the school and fighting about not wanting to go to school. She ended up "homeschooling" for all the wrong reasons and, needless to say, there was nothing educational going on. In this case the assessments reflected poorly on the homeschool charter, though the kid was obviously already on a path to failing either way. I also know kids who were struggling in public schools and then thrived in homeschool, and vice versa.

I suppose what we're really arguing about in this thread is a spectrum of autonomy/independence vs. control/standardization. Every student is different, has different needs, so I tend to lean towards giving parents the freedom to choose what they think is best for their specific kid. Yes, parents will make mistakes, but I would rather they have the ability to make mistakes (can learn from, be corrected) than to be stuck in a one-size-fits-all situation without alternatives that's not working.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Fomerly known as something on December 26, 2017, 08:33:07 AM
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.


BAM, have you ever taken a HS or college level test 17 years after you graduated from college.  I did in the past 2-3 years.  I was attempting to go to college part time to get a geology degree mostly for fun.  Because I had been out of school for so long I was required to "test into" chemistry and math.  I "failed" both.  I did end up passing the chemistry test the 2nd time around by cramming for it using "Chemistry for dummies."  Instead of being allowed to take calculus, I was "told" I'd need to start taking Algebra II/Trigonometry (mind you I passed Calc 2 in 1998).  Yes I'd need to study for the 8th grade test, mainly because I'd need to relearn things I've completely forgotten.

I'll match your anecdotal evidence with my own ;)

I'm currently in college working towards an advanced science degree. I had to take the entrance exams for some subjects (math and writing). The difference between our two experiences is probably because I prepared and didn't take the test cold. I didn't study for writing because I have been working as a professional in the subject for over a decade, so passed it with no issue.

I passed math up to the level I had previously studied 20 years ago. This is because I spent two weeks on Kahn Academy preparing myself ahead of time. This was little more than review, but necessary. Simple stuff like clearing the fractions first likely would have thrown me otherwise, simply because I hadn't thought of it in 20 years. This is no different than what I would do teaching one of my kids or any other student for that matter (I have tutored in the past and I currently run a club for gifted science kids). I prepare before I present new subject matter. Homeschooling is no different. We don't go in cold to teach a subject, we prepare just as we would for any test.

If after preparation I do not feel confident enough to teach the subject matter, I outsource it. This is why my eldest took some advanced mathematics at the local high school. I wasn't the right teacher and wasn't confident in my methods of ensuring he fully understood the material. My youngest is a math whiz. My job with him is only as a guide to make sure he doesn't have any holes in his knowledge or develop any bad mathematical habits as he works through things at his own, but very fast, pace.

Homeschooling, like any type of education, doesn't occur in a vacuum. (There are outliers of course, and most of the negative examples in this thread are of the outliers.)

So you had to study. In a way I did too, I took the Chemistry test 2x because I barely failed the first time.  I was able to identify what I needed to relearn which I did so in a weekend using Chemistry for Dummies.

I would have done the same with Math, also using Khan because the test helped me identify to what point I had forgotten.  I would likely have made sure I was good to calculus and chosen to re-take Calculus but I shortly after figured out that 1) I didn't need to study for a 2nd career and 2) my current career was not going to let me take science classes at this time.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Psychstache on December 26, 2017, 09:09:51 AM
It's pretty easy to keep  your kid away from the idea of atheism in the US.  Not so much Christianity.
Disagree.  A few words in the Pledge /similar encounters are not really an encounter with Christianity.  It seems to me that most people today don't really know what Christianity is about -- but they sure THINK they do. 

I was raised Catholic and I very much disagree.  Many Christians seem unaware of how much Christianity is a part of our society.  As an example, aa so called secular daycare, my daughter was taught to pray before meals and yet the school was like, this is not religious, we are just saying thank you before meals.

+1

I was born and raised outside of Christianity in Texas, the buckle of the Bible Belt. The idea that the only exposure you will get is a couple of minor encounters with Christianity and that it is realistically possible to shelter your kids from it if you want to is laughable.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: CindyBS on December 26, 2017, 09:21:17 AM
Two additional biases we should consider:

1) Unless research into the social skills of homeschoolers vs public school kids corrects for parental involvement and SES, it is not really a valid study since that compares apples and oranges.
2) Most studies that access social skills involve questionnaires filled out by both parents and teachers.  With homeschooling, the parent and teacher are the same person, and the parent is pro-homeschooling, and the parent loves the child and is very emotionally involved (a good thing) - but that leads to a lack objectivity.    Can you imagine a reputable scientist citing a study of children in a public school setting where only the parents were consulted on the child's skills? 


My experience with homeschooling is limited, but I have worked with a few children in public schools as a teacher's aide that were former homeschool students.  The one boy I am thinking of had severe autism and was about age 7.  Mom had 4 other children under 5, which is a adult to student ratio that was multiple times higher than the classroom he came from.  His previous class had 8 students with 1 teacher and 2 aides.  The mom had pulled him out of school 18 month earlier.  When he was assessed upon return to school, he was further behind in all subjects areas than he had been before he left.  He also had a huge patch of hair missing from rubbing his head on the carpet - presumably from stress/anxiety.  It was unknown what sort of sensory friendly or "take a break" areas the mom had in the house (multiple ones were available at school), but I do know she lived in a duplex (probably 3 bedrooms) with 4 little kids.  The whole situation was very sad. 

I don't mind comparing homeschooling and public schools and for some people, homeschooling is a good choice.  But when the boy I mentioned above was assessed by the public school, his test results reflected on the school and not the homeschooling failure that caused a lot of the lack of progress.  Home/private/charter school failures virtually always end up in public school, and then when these kids failures show up in testing (which in our state is not required in these alternate schools) - these same institutions use these test results to say why public schools are bad.  It was a long time ago, but when I was growing up, every kid that came from the one Catholic school that went to the public high school immediately got put into remedial math because their math skills were so far behind.  Today that would reflect poorly on the public school, despite the fact that the majority of these kids were in a different school for most of their schooling career.

Any honest comparison of anything homeschool vs. public school needs to correct for the following: parent bias, SES, parent involvement, English proficiency and all public school students who are homeschool drop outs.

I agree that there are many factors/biases to consider. And they don't always go in a single direction. I know a kid who was having trouble fitting in at public school, was starting to get into trouble and was failing academically. The mom was tired of getting called into the school and fighting about not wanting to go to school. She ended up "homeschooling" for all the wrong reasons and, needless to say, there was nothing educational going on. In this case the assessments reflected poorly on the homeschool charter, though the kid was obviously already on a path to failing either way. I also know kids who were struggling in public schools and then thrived in homeschool, and vice versa.

I suppose what we're really arguing about in this thread is a spectrum of autonomy/independence vs. control/standardization. Every student is different, has different needs, so I tend to lean towards giving parents the freedom to choose what they think is best for their specific kid. Yes, parents will make mistakes, but I would rather they have the ability to make mistakes (can learn from, be corrected) than to be stuck in a one-size-fits-all situation without alternatives that's not working.

I agree and think homeschool is a good choice for some.

However, in my state there is such anti-public school bias by the legislature that while public schools are subject to rigorous and unreasonable tests, all alternative - private, charter, homeschool are exempt and just assumed to be better.  Even when charter schools are shown to be failures, the drumbeat is to still siphon more and more funding to them.

This trend will only continue as the Betsy Devos' of the world get more power in government.  We need accurate comparisons of schools and schooling options so parents can make informed decisions.   
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 26, 2017, 09:44:56 AM
I was born and raised outside of Christianity in Texas, the buckle of the Bible Belt. The idea that the only exposure you will get is a couple of minor encounters with Christianity and that it is realistically impossible to shelter your kids from it if you want to is laughable.

Anecdote time!

I am a scientist.  After finishing my PhD, I interviewed for faculty positions around the country, including at one of those famous Texas universities with a strong religious background.  During my interview (to teach a hard science to undergrads) I was told, quite literally and explicitly, that the university was not looking to hire a scientist who was also a christian.  "Whew!" I thought to myself, "maybe there is hope for the world after all..." except that was immediately followed up with "We're looking to hire a christian who is also a scientist."

Yea, that interview didn't last much longer. 

They're a private college.  They are legally allowed to discriminate against me in their hiring, regardless of my qualifications.  But the idea that Christianity does not weave its tendrils into every facet of modern life is laughable.  I had not sought out the judgmental derision of christians.  I was not able to avoid "exposure" to christian ideology while pursuing a wholly secular career in my professional life.  If my kids ever become scientists, they too will face the hostile work environment christianity creates for people like me.  I will not be able to shelter them from it.

My kids already understand that different people believe in different things, up to and including some patently ridiculous things.  We've had to offer some gentle course correction at times, like when they argued with some kids at school about whether animals in the bible could really talk.  How am I supposed to explain to a ten year old, who knows that animals don't really talk, that his principal apparently believes they do and he's supposed to defer to his principal's authority even when his principal is obviously wrong?  My kids recognize that magic exists in books and movies, not the real world, but christianity is such a vital part of modern American life that approximately half of all adults in the country don't agree.  There is no escaping the oppressive crushing force this problem applies to the free exercise of logic and reason in everything America does.

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Undecided on December 26, 2017, 09:52:13 AM
It's pretty easy to keep  your kid away from the idea of atheism in the US.  Not so much Christianity.
Disagree.  A few words in the Pledge /similar encounters are not really an encounter with Christianity.  It seems to me that most people today don't really know what Christianity is about -- but they sure THINK they do. 

The lack of awareness in posting that on Christmas—still pervasive and demanding of accommodation and deference—is astounding. Perhaps it was meant ironically, but the rest of the post makes me doubt it.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 26, 2017, 10:09:28 AM
Quote
I don't mind comparing homeschooling and public schools and for some people, homeschooling is a good choice.  But when the boy I mentioned above was assessed by the public school, his test results reflected on the school and not the homeschooling failure that caused a lot of the lack of progress.  Home/private/charter school failures virtually always end up in public school, and then when these kids failures show up in testing (which in our state is not required in these alternate schools) - these same institutions use these test results to say why public schools are bad.  It was a long time ago, but when I was growing up, every kid that came from the one Catholic school that went to the public high school immediately got put into remedial math because their math skills were so far behind.  Today that would reflect poorly on the public school, despite the fact that the majority of these kids were in a different school for most of their schooling career.

This is a very very good point, and one that is often missed when parents are judging schools. 

We have open transfers in our state/ county/ public school system.  Meaning, there are 9 elementary schools, 1 public charter that has its own attendance area, plus 3 charter schools that don't have an attendance area (but you must live in the district).  Often I have parents with preschoolers asking me about our particular school (if they are in the district) or other schools, and "why is this school so bad?"

Background: California, rich town, but a wide variety of people because you know, poor people live here too.  Someone has to do the cooking, cleaning, and gardening, right?  So our district is a mix of rich and poor, English learners and English Origin.  And how "good" a school is (test scores) can be predicted by the % of students at the school who are poor or English learners.  I know, I've pulled the data and done the analysis.  This means there are 3 "excellent" schools that are predominantly in white areas.  One has the GATE magnet program (where they pull students from all schools), one is the charter school with their own attendance area.  They generally don't have room for everyone in their attendance area each year, and funny that often the EL's don't learn about the lottery until it's too late to get in.  This also means there are 4 "bad" schools with >90% kids on free lunch, a large number of EL kids.  Then there are a few middling schools with a mix.

Our school is a mix.  Why do we score poorly?  Well, we are about 45% EL, about 65% on free lunch.  AND we have the primary program for the developmentally disabled on our campus.  Which means we get a lot of transfers.  We have many staff members dedicated to this and programs that work for these kids.  Charter schools and private schools do not have to accept these students.  We do.  And they are tested.  These students, whether autistic or with even more serious disabilities, DESERVE an education.  A number of families look at the numbers and don't give the school a chance.  A number of families try to escape the brown kids.  A number of families just get unlucky and have kids in a small year.  (Because of open transfers, if a lot of families transfer without giving it a shot, it might not be the best experience for those who are left).
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 26, 2017, 10:12:51 AM
Another interesting tidbit I read, also from The Economist. High school students were tested in math for whatever standardized test is given to show how we stack up against countries like China, which usually shows strong scores. The US students didn’t fare well. However when students were bribed with cash for good test performance, their scores rose and rivaled the Chinese scores. The article argued that it wasn’t an ability gap but rather one of motivation and willingness to work hard.

https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21726745-when-greenbacks-are-offer-american-schoolchildren-seem-try-harder-effort-not
That's interesting.  I was always self-motivated.  My kid?  Less so.  But still somewhat motivated.

In any event, when he was testing for GATE, he was in a group of about 6-10 kids in his grade.  He and one other kid were actually trying, the rest were mostly goofing off.  No surprise who passed the test.

One of his friends is smart but not particularly motivated.  Part of it is that her parents don't force her to do anything.  They believe that she needs to take responsibility for her own work, and her own homework.  Which, yeah I get.  Sort of.  But - she's 11.  And they have been doing this since she was 8.  Shouldn't you teach kids to work hard because...you should?  I mean, how many elementary school kids are internally motivated for school?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 26, 2017, 10:17:38 AM
It's pretty easy to keep  your kid away from the idea of atheism in the US.  Not so much Christianity.
Disagree.  A few words in the Pledge /similar encounters are not really an encounter with Christianity.  It seems to me that most people today don't really know what Christianity is about -- but they sure THINK they do. 

Another interesting tidbit I read, also from The Economist. High school students were tested in math for whatever standardized test is given to show how we stack up against countries like China, which usually shows strong scores. The US students didn’t fare well. However when students were bribed with cash for good test performance, their scores rose and rivaled the Chinese scores. The article argued that it wasn’t an ability gap but rather one of motivation and willingness to work hard.

https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21726745-when-greenbacks-are-offer-american-schoolchildren-seem-try-harder-effort-not
I don't have a study to prove it, but this goes along with what I've seen in my own classroom.  A couple examples:  We give the SAT during the school day to all juniors -- whether they want to take it or not.  It seems to me that about 1/3 of the juniors are VERY glad for this.  They're glad they're not paying, and they're glad not to give up a Saturday for the test.  They take the review books, presumably complete the practice tests, and show up ready for the test.  About 1/3 are totally NOT INTO THIS, and they let it be known -- they complain that they aren't going to college or aren't going to university, meaning they don't need this test.  They put their names on the papers, then put their heads down.  Of course our averages look bad -- when the kids know there's no accountability for the test, a very big slice of the group just won't try. 

This is different from supporting trickle-down.  It's not an argument that allocating disproportionate resources to the privileged few is good, in the long run, for everyone.  It's an argument that most people genuinely don't matter, that progress is only made possible by the efforts of our best and brightest, and that we should voluntarily leave behind the unwashed masses in order to advance that minority of people who actually matter.
When it comes to schools, it's not that the resources aren't available -- it's that a whole bunch of our students don't choose to take advantage of their opportunities (in part because their parents have taught them that those opportunities don't matter).  I was one of those kids from "the unwashed masses" (and the parental guidance I received was lackluster at best), and it was public school that gave me the tools to lift myself out of that situation.
I was raised Catholic and I very much disagree.  Many Christians seem unaware of how much Christianity is a part of our society.  As an example, aa so called secular daycare, my daughter was taught to pray before meals and yet the school was like, this is not religious, we are just saying thank you before meals.
Right - I was also raised Catholic.  I wonder what the atheist stats are - most atheists I know were raised Catholic or Christian, so yeah - I do know Christianity.

My kids have been exposed to church for funerals and when visiting family at Christmas.

My kids have been shown religious films at after school programs.

It's very very difficult to find a preschool here that is not run by a church, and thus has prayer as a part of the curriculum.

Christianity is literally everywhere.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: former player on December 26, 2017, 01:09:00 PM
I am a scientist.  After finishing my PhD, I interviewed for faculty positions around the country, including at one of those famous Texas universities with a strong religious background.  During my interview (to teach a hard science to undergrads) I was told, quite literally and explicitly, that the university was not looking to hire a scientist who was also a christian.  "Whew!" I thought to myself, "maybe there is hope for the world after all..." except that was immediately followed up with "We're looking to hire a christian who is also a scientist."

Yea, that interview didn't last much longer. 

They're a private college.  They are legally allowed to discriminate against me in their hiring, regardless of my qualifications.  But the idea that Christianity does not weave its tendrils into every facet of modern life is laughable.  I had not sought out the judgmental derision of christians.  I was not able to avoid "exposure" to christian ideology while pursuing a wholly secular career in my professional life.  If my kids ever become scientists, they too will face the hostile work environment christianity creates for people like me.  I will not be able to shelter them from it.

My kids already understand that different people believe in different things, up to and including some patently ridiculous things.  We've had to offer some gentle course correction at times, like when they argued with some kids at school about whether animals in the bible could really talk.  How am I supposed to explain to a ten year old, who knows that animals don't really talk, that his principal apparently believes they do and he's supposed to defer to his principal's authority even when his principal is obviously wrong?  My kids recognize that magic exists in books and movies, not the real world, but christianity is such a vital part of modern American life that approximately half of all adults in the country don't agree.  There is no escaping the oppressive crushing force this problem applies to the free exercise of logic and reason in everything America does.
Yikes!  How pervasive is that "we want a Christian who is also a scientist" form of Christianity in the USA? 

Speaking as someone from the English region of the UK, it seems extreme.  Yes, I know, we have an official "established" form of Christianity in the Church of England.  What that means in practice, though, is two big advantages.  The first advantage is that because the Church of England has legal status in the constitution it does not need to define itself or its member by beliefs; it just "is", and all are welcome without being required to adhere to any particular ideology (priests need a basic level of belief but even then there is wide scope for variation).  The second advantage is that because the Church of England occupies the public space for religion there is little room for more extreme versions of Christianity to take over and become the mainstream.  So the paradox is that an established religion the constitutionally areligious USA has ended up, over time, as having a much more extreme religiosity than a country with an official State religion.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate on December 26, 2017, 02:17:00 PM
My kids already understand that different people believe in different things, up to and including some patently ridiculous things.  We've had to offer some gentle course correction at times, like when they argued with some kids at school about whether animals in the bible could really talk.  How am I supposed to explain to a ten year old, who knows that animals don't really talk, that his principal apparently believes they do and he's supposed to defer to his principal's authority even when his principal is obviously wrong?  My kids recognize that magic exists in books and movies, not the real world, but christianity is such a vital part of modern American life that approximately half of all adults in the country don't agree. There is no escaping the oppressive crushing force this problem applies to the free exercise of logic and reason in everything America does.

Santa Cruz, California (where we live) is very post-Christian, almost no influence from the faith. For example, last year my kid's class started every day with a pledge of allegiance to Mother Earth (Gaia), and this year they are being taught Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation based on Eastern religious traditions. All fine with us. But even with little Christian influence this area has plenty of magical thinking in opposition to reason. The anti-vaxxer crowd here is mostly of the Mother Earth variety. Large segments of the population believe economic laws don't apply here, or that they apply inconsistently to match a preferred ideology. Taxes on tobacco, sugar, and carbon are regarded as effective for curbing demand, yet other taxes (income, sales, property) are believed to have zero unintended consequences. I'm not against taxes (they are necessary), but we need to honestly assess the full effects to make good policy. Supply and demand somehow does not apply to housing (https://techcrunch.com/2014/04/14/sf-housing/) - I'm not laissez faire, we need government oversight and support for the vulnerable, but that all needs to stand on an honest foundation of the economics. We have had devastating fires, in part due to climate change and urban sprawl, but also because of a belief that everything humans do is bad and everything 'natural' is good (nevermind that we're a part of, and have already altered, the ecosystem), so it's popular to let fuel loads build up to the point that we have huge crown fires obliterating entire forests. Our county is hell bent on building passenger rail in a low density suburban area (entire county is less than 270,000), which will require huge operating subsidies and their best estimates are it will be used by less than %1 of the population...mostly the wealthy folks living along the coast where the rail corridor is located, yet we're already having difficulty funding the bus network (critically important for the poor because it actually goes to where they live and work).

I don't know any Christians who go around believing in talking animals as a normal state of the world. For many the first chapters of Genesis are understood to be allegorical, so the only other instance of a talking animal in the Bible is a donkey that spoke in one brief instance (didn't go around carrying on conversations) - considered a miracle because it's not normal or expected, by its very nature is not something that can be analyzed or duplicated. Most Christians don't go around expecting a magic show, they believe miracles are possible but rare, even in scripture considering it was authored over a period of over 1500 years.

However, even if your school principal believes animals go around talking (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFXU7o0fYII http://www.koko.org/sign-language ?), at least that doesn't result in disease outbreaks (certain affluent counties in California are in danger of losing herd immunity), or devastating lives/the environment as people are priced out of housing and force to live in vehicles or add to urban sprawl.

[EDIT: Also, assuming the school in question is a public school, I don't think the principle should be talking about his faith with kids at school. If it's a Christian private school, well that's kinda expected.]
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Goldielocks on December 26, 2017, 05:18:40 PM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

I don't disagree, for the most part, but I do need to point out that parents don't need to have strategies for kids with disabilities, if their kids have disabilities.   They only need to be experts in strategies for their own kids.

Many parents, regardless of schooling choice, that I have met, have done a LOT of work to become specialists in what their own kids need.  Autism, high achievers, anxiety, dyslexia,  when a need is identified, interested parents often become that kid's specialist.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele on December 27, 2017, 03:57:26 AM
I was born and raised outside of Christianity in Texas, the buckle of the Bible Belt. The idea that the only exposure you will get is a couple of minor encounters with Christianity and that it is realistically impossible to shelter your kids from it if you want to is laughable.

Anecdote time!

I am a scientist.  After finishing my PhD, I interviewed for faculty positions around the country, including at one of those famous Texas universities with a strong religious background.  During my interview (to teach a hard science to undergrads) I was told, quite literally and explicitly, that the university was not looking to hire a scientist who was also a christian.  "Whew!" I thought to myself, "maybe there is hope for the world after all..." except that was immediately followed up with "We're looking to hire a christian who is also a scientist."

Yea, that interview didn't last much longer. 

They're a private college.  They are legally allowed to discriminate against me in their hiring, regardless of my qualifications.  But the idea that Christianity does not weave its tendrils into every facet of modern life is laughable.  I had not sought out the judgmental derision of christians.  I was not able to avoid "exposure" to christian ideology while pursuing a wholly secular career in my professional life.  If my kids ever become scientists, they too will face the hostile work environment christianity creates for people like me.  I will not be able to shelter them from it.


I agree with every word of your post, Sol.

More anecdotes!   My DH (scientist) has multiple stories like yours.  When he interviewed for one of his jobs (public university!!) the chair of the department asked him -- during the interview -- what church DH belonged to, and said if DH got the job, maybe he'd like to come visit his church to check it out.

Another time DH volunteered to spend a Saturday in his lab with a local Boy Scout troop to help them with one of their merit badges.  The troop leader took him aside a few days ahead of time and asked him what his plans were for working God into the day.  DH told him flat out, "Look, you guys can pray beforehand, or afterwards, or whatever you want, but this is science class, not religion class. I don't do that."  Boy Scout leader was not happy.  The troop went ahead with it, though.  I guess they decided, on balance, the good outweighed the evil (?)

Christianity is everywhere in this country.  We're all soaking in it.

Edited to add:  This happened in a northern 'blue' state. Nowhere near the "Bible belt."
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: gaja on December 27, 2017, 06:33:50 AM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

I don't disagree, for the most part, but I do need to point out that parents don't need to have strategies for kids with disabilities, if their kids have disabilities.   They only need to be experts in strategies for their own kids.

Many parents, regardless of schooling choice, that I have met, have done a LOT of work to become specialists in what their own kids need.  Autism, high achievers, anxiety, dyslexia,  when a need is identified, interested parents often become that kid's specialist.

I have two kids with disabilities. Yes, DH and I are experts on our kids, but we would never have gotten them as far as we have without regular (positive and negative) feedback from the outside. The outside input has ensured we are correcting the course regularly, rather than doing suboptimal things because we think we have found THE way to do this. They have been in local public schools all the time, excepts for 2-6 weeks a year where the oldest is in a residential school for the deaf (also public, btw). I don't always agree with the doctors, teachers, physical therapists, or other people who have strong opinions about what we should do for our kids. But my children definetly benefit from getting all that different input. We make 6 month work plans in cooperation with the teachers, where we typically put more of the social training and language skills in the school's box, while we at home will focus on the academic part.

I've stopped counting all the times a specialist (doctor, teacher, audiologist, etc) has suggested a new activity or approach, I've wanted to veto it because it sounds stupid or just the wrong type of thing to be focusing on, give them the benefit of doubt, and then the kid comes back from that training session with a completely new skill. Or the times we have gone to a meeting about the kid with palsy issues, happy about the development of one muscle, and the specialists have shown us that the kid has been loosing movement in a different muscle.

Most importantly, keeping them i public school ensures that we don't get too hyper focused on dealing with the diabilities, but remember the entire kid.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: CindyBS on December 27, 2017, 01:52:21 PM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

I don't disagree, for the most part, but I do need to point out that parents don't need to have strategies for kids with disabilities, if their kids have disabilities.   They only need to be experts in strategies for their own kids.

Many parents, regardless of schooling choice, that I have met, have done a LOT of work to become specialists in what their own kids need.  Autism, high achievers, anxiety, dyslexia,  when a need is identified, interested parents often become that kid's specialist.

My kid has cancer (for real).  I don't need to take him to an oncologist who will work with him, I just need to become an expert myself and I will give him the appropriate chemos.  After all, I am an expert on strategies for my kid.  I've done A LOT of work to become a specialist on what my kid needs.

Sound pretty reckless and irresponsible, right?  And with cancer, that attitude could kill him.

My kid has Autism too (for real) and a learning disability (for real) and is also Gifted/Talented (for real). 

I also find it reckless and irresponsible for me to try to teach him instead of a special ed teacher.  Because even though I know my kid and they don't, they have a lot of experience with kids with his disabilities.  He started high school this year.  His teacher has been teaching high school kids with disabilities for literally decades.  Not to mention things like the fact he is in an AP class for a subject that I didn't take a singe class of in college.
 On the first day of school, I had exactly 1 day experience working with a high school student with a disability.

From the wording of your post, I assume you do not have a kid with a disability.  I didn't just hear this or meet some people with kids with disabilities, I live it every single day.  Please don't presume you know enough to tell the rest of us why we don't need special ed teachers and that we should homeschool.

Homeschooling is a good choice for some, but for me, and the majority of people I know with kids with a disabilities - we recognize our limitations and turn to real experts and specialists.  AKA - we send them to school.

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 02:24:22 PM
From the wording of your post, I assume you do not have a kid with a disability.  I didn't just hear this or meet some people with kids with disabilities, I live it every single day.  Please don't presume you know enough to tell the rest of us why we don't need special ed teachers and that we should homeschool.

Homeschooling is a good choice for some, but for me, and the majority of people I know with kids with a disabilities - we recognize our limitations and turn to real experts and specialists.  AKA - we send them to school.

Who is saying we don't need public school, or public resources, or that we don't all benefit from an educational infrastructure.  No one who supports homeschooling is saying that.

Your attacking an argument that doesn't exist.  Want to send your kid to school?  Great, have at it.  Want to have your kid interact with the specialists at school?  Again, great no problem. 

Where exactly is this "homeschoolers hate public school" mentality coming from?  Just because people point out the deficits of many public schools (and there are many) doesn't dictate that those people are inherently against having an educational infrastructure (usually the opposite, we care very deeply about education).

I keep seeing this argument pop up and no one is saying this.  Biggest strawman here, in my opinion, unless you can find someone (ANYONE) on here who is encouraging the eradication of public education.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 on December 27, 2017, 02:52:15 PM
From the wording of your post, I assume you do not have a kid with a disability.  I didn't just hear this or meet some people with kids with disabilities, I live it every single day.  Please don't presume you know enough to tell the rest of us why we don't need special ed teachers and that we should homeschool.

Homeschooling is a good choice for some, but for me, and the majority of people I know with kids with a disabilities - we recognize our limitations and turn to real experts and specialists.  AKA - we send them to school.

Who is saying we don't need public school, or public resources, or that we don't all benefit from an educational infrastructure.  No one who supports homeschooling is saying that.

Your attacking an argument that doesn't exist.  Want to send your kid to school?  Great, have at it.  Want to have your kid interact with the specialists at school?  Again, great no problem. 

Where exactly is this "homeschoolers hate public school" mentality coming from?  Just because people point out the deficits of many public schools (and there are many) doesn't dictate that those people are inherently against having an educational infrastructure (usually the opposite, we care very deeply about education).

I keep seeing this argument pop up and no one is saying this.  Biggest strawman here, in my opinion, unless you can find someone (ANYONE) on here who is encouraging the eradication of public education.
The secretary of education.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 02:59:21 PM
From the wording of your post, I assume you do not have a kid with a disability.  I didn't just hear this or meet some people with kids with disabilities, I live it every single day.  Please don't presume you know enough to tell the rest of us why we don't need special ed teachers and that we should homeschool.

Homeschooling is a good choice for some, but for me, and the majority of people I know with kids with a disabilities - we recognize our limitations and turn to real experts and specialists.  AKA - we send them to school.

Who is saying we don't need public school, or public resources, or that we don't all benefit from an educational infrastructure.  No one who supports homeschooling is saying that.

Your attacking an argument that doesn't exist.  Want to send your kid to school?  Great, have at it.  Want to have your kid interact with the specialists at school?  Again, great no problem. 

Where exactly is this "homeschoolers hate public school" mentality coming from?  Just because people point out the deficits of many public schools (and there are many) doesn't dictate that those people are inherently against having an educational infrastructure (usually the opposite, we care very deeply about education).

I keep seeing this argument pop up and no one is saying this.  Biggest strawman here, in my opinion, unless you can find someone (ANYONE) on here who is encouraging the eradication of public education.
The secretary of education.

Specific examples? 

As I stated:
Quote
is encouraging the eradication of public education

Are your examples going to show the desire to eradicate public education or to drastically reconstruct it?Because those are very different things.  If you provide no sources (or even a real argument) than I'll just assume I'm right.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 27, 2017, 03:30:00 PM
This whole thread started with the presupposition that public schoolers "hate" homeschooling.  I think a little bit of turnabout is fair play, as part of the ongoing discussion.

Maybe don't be shocked by it? 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 on December 27, 2017, 04:07:13 PM
From the wording of your post, I assume you do not have a kid with a disability.  I didn't just hear this or meet some people with kids with disabilities, I live it every single day.  Please don't presume you know enough to tell the rest of us why we don't need special ed teachers and that we should homeschool.

Homeschooling is a good choice for some, but for me, and the majority of people I know with kids with a disabilities - we recognize our limitations and turn to real experts and specialists.  AKA - we send them to school.

Who is saying we don't need public school, or public resources, or that we don't all benefit from an educational infrastructure.  No one who supports homeschooling is saying that.

Your attacking an argument that doesn't exist.  Want to send your kid to school?  Great, have at it.  Want to have your kid interact with the specialists at school?  Again, great no problem. 

Where exactly is this "homeschoolers hate public school" mentality coming from?  Just because people point out the deficits of many public schools (and there are many) doesn't dictate that those people are inherently against having an educational infrastructure (usually the opposite, we care very deeply about education).

I keep seeing this argument pop up and no one is saying this.  Biggest strawman here, in my opinion, unless you can find someone (ANYONE) on here who is encouraging the eradication of public education.
The secretary of education.

Specific examples? 

As I stated:
Quote
is encouraging the eradication of public education

Are your examples going to show the desire to eradicate public education or to drastically reconstruct it?Because those are very different things.  If you provide no sources (or even a real argument) than I'll just assume I'm right.
You can assume anything you want, as evidenced by this thread.  But you'd be wrong.  And that would be obvious to anyone who has paid any attention to her or even did the bare minimum of research.
See a quote from time:
One of President Trump’s first acts was to appoint the most anti-public education person ever to lead the Department of Education. Betsy DeVos has called public schools a “dead end” and bankrolled a private school voucher measure in Michigan that the public defeated by a two-to-one ratio. When that failed, she spent millions electing legislators who then did her bidding slashing public school budgets and spreading unaccountable for-profit charters across the state. The result? Nearly half of Michigan’s charter schools rank in the bottom of U.S. schools, and Michigan dropped from 28th to 41st in reading and from 27th to 42nd in math compared with other states.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:27:34 PM
This whole thread started with the presupposition that public schoolers "hate" homeschooling.  I think a little bit of turnabout is fair play, as part of the ongoing discussion.

Maybe don't be shocked by it?

Nope.  I only said 'hate' once and was using it in the modern context (as in hating on something/someone)

Build a different strawman and lets get back to the discussion.

First post reposted:

...

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

This interests me.

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

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

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

To address #1, homeschoolers consistent perform better than their peers on testing and have higher college GPAs given that parents include them in some form of structured education (whether that be a structured, solo lesson plan, homeschool group, or online education such as Khan Academy).
Source 1: https://www.nmu.edu/education/sites/DrupalEducation/files/UserFiles/Moreau_Kathi_MP.pdf (https://www.nmu.edu/education/sites/DrupalEducation/files/UserFiles/Moreau_Kathi_MP.pdf) (page 19 specifically)
Source 2: https://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html (https://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html) See 'Academic Performance'
Source 3: Ray, Brian D. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ682480 (https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ682480)
Source 4: http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE/article/view/10 (http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE/article/view/10)
Source 5: https://www.parentingscience.com/homeschooling-outcomes.html (https://www.parentingscience.com/homeschooling-outcomes.html)
Source 6: Kunzman R. 2009. Understanding homeschooling: A better approach to regularization. Theory and Research in Education, 7: 311–330. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ860946&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ860946 (http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ860946&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ860946)
Source 7: Martin-Chang S, Gould ON, and Meuse, R E. The impact of schooling on academic achievement: Evidence from homeschooled and traditionally schooled students. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science 43(3): 195-202.
Source 8: Rudner L. 1999. Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 7(1) 1-38.


....

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

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

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

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

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

Original Post
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:38:23 PM
You can assume anything you want, as evidenced by this thread.  But you'd be wrong.  And that would be obvious to anyone who has paid any attention to her or even did the bare minimum of research.

So she wants to eradicate the availability of free education to all people?  Or does she just want to do something drastically different (and has shitty results along the way)?

Because those are still different things.  Wanting to do something different is not the same as wanting to eradicate public schools.  Besides, I was specifically asking who was saying [homeschoolers] did not want public school?  None of the pro-homschooler posts I have seen on here have discredited the value of public school, just noted its flaws in the system.

 
Who is saying we don't need public school, or public resources, or that we don't all benefit from an educational infrastructure.  No one who supports homeschooling is saying that.

Your attacking an argument that doesn't exist.  Want to send your kid to school?  Great, have at it.  Want to have your kid interact with the specialists at school?  Again, great no problem. 

Where exactly is this "homeschoolers hate public school" mentality coming from?  Just because people point out the deficits of many public schools (and there are many) doesn't dictate that those people are inherently against having an educational infrastructure (usually the opposite, we care very deeply about education).

I keep seeing this argument pop up and no one is saying this.  Biggest strawman here, in my opinion, unless you can find someone (ANYONE) on here who is encouraging the eradication of public education.

Besides, it would be great if this thread didn't devolve into one of the dozens of Trumpist / Trump-hate threads on the forum.  There are already plenty of those...
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:40:05 PM

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
But there are ways to have the same ‘socialization’ with homeschooling.  There are homeschool groups that include a wide swath of individuals, and many other activities that would occur outside the ‘umbrella of influence’ of a parent.  These lessons can be learned many ways outside of public school, if the parent cares to do so.
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
 
+1 on this.  I realized that my circle of friends (and their kids) has more diversity by percentage than our public schools…
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:40:37 PM
As a teacher and school administrator, I think homeschool can be a good option for the extreme outliers.

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, it’s better for parents in a lot of cases. But parents aren’t the important ones in this conversation.

My daughter was bringing home ‘coloring pages’ (which was the most educational thing she would do that day) completely filled in with solid crayon.  When we asked her about it, she said she did the activity but then had to sit around ‘for a very long time’ and got bored, so she colored in the whole page.  We flipped her page over and examined it with a bright light and yup- she had done the whole thing (and done it correctly).  But then she took a black crayon and had enough time to diligently, intentionally and carefully fill in the entirety of the page over what she had already colored.  I bet she spent twice as long filling in the page as she did coloring it to begin with.  You want to tell me that is a useful resource of her time or is somehow educational? 

Systematically, public school wastes TONS of time, all the way up through high school.  Compare it to college (class starts and ends EXACTLY when it supposed to, and all other time is discretionary) or work (you work, get stuff done and make money- go home) and I really don’t see how public school is teaching anything other than obedience through tedium and how to ride the clock.  Not exactly the skillset I think my kids need…

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 “bad association” so weren’t allowed to socialize outside of school, etc.) My parents meant well, the way all parents mean well when they don’t allow for any variation in belief, but I was never a “believer.” 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.

I’m sorry your parents were like that.  I would bet with a more accurate picture of Christianity and your (now adult) understanding of your parents, that they weren’t really fulfilling what the New Testament describes as Christianity. 

I used to be assistant you pastor at a previous church and had two girls who would occasionally miss and whose parents (specifically the dad) were very upset about them coming to youth group…  They considered the youth group to be ‘bad association’ and also did many of the things you mention (not allowing extracurriculars, friends are not welcome, etc).  I wouldn’t consider that a Christianity failure but rather a parenting failure, and have seen it on both sides.  Not exactly comforting and I’m not meaning to discredit your experiences, but I would not consider that ‘normal’ at all.

Probably not comforting but life moves on.  :/

Those of you who homeschool and plan to teach your children about other religions, that’s admirable in thought. It’s fairly pointless though. You’re biased. The materials you choose will likely be biased. There’s 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. It’s not logical. It’s a set of beliefs based on feelings and experiences and faith. You can’t teach that the same way you teach math. So all your lessons don’t 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. It’s not about the outcome. It’s about giving them agency to make their own decisions and become their own person.

Exactly.  That’s why my kids will speak directly with leaders / followers in the various religions (as I posted about myself doing upthread).  They will likely spend a week or so on each major religion, which, I would argue is more substantial than the education about religions that would be received from public school.

Beyond that, I anticipate more interaction between my kids any followers of other faiths or non-faith through extra curricular activities than they would receive in public school.

Data for my county shows 40050 respondents on religious association in the 2010 census, with 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses, 4 BahaI Faith, 122 Mormons and 324 no religious affiliation…  Leaving 39598 respondents claiming some level of mainstream Christianity…  Ya.. they’re not getting any association with other faiths through the Public School system so its really a moot point.  If they aren’t going to get it from public school either, than its really not a part of the conversation.

All of this is aside from the fact that public school teachers often have to hold back from discussing religions or teaching on them simply because of the potential blowback for potentially endorsing one over another.  In homeschooling, we don’t have that problem.  You see that as a bug but I see it as a feature.  If I want conversations with a regional Buddhist temple leader to be in my kids’ curriculum, I can knock myself out.  The public school would have 100 lawsuits on its hands.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:42:26 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.

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.

I can’t teach better than you, but I can teach my kids better than the public school system as a system currently can, and do so with more time to spare and more life flexibility than the public school system.

Congrats on the rant (really) but it’s a bit off-topic since most (all?) homeschoolers are discussing systematic problems and not personal teacher’s failures.  It isn’t the teacher’s fault that the system is flawed.  How much time do the upper 50% of your students spend not learning during the school day?  What if they could be sailing Indonesia instead?

Aside from that, there is a plethora of resources aside from just my wife and I.  There is Khan Academy, Dulingo, Three local homeschooling groups with curriculum on rotation, literally thousands of online homeschools, hundreds of online softwares and many options with a price of 15$ a year….  All of this is ignoring the personal connections and local options for education such as the librarian or college student that will gladly tutor their strong suite for a little side cash (or even for food, lol).

As much as the MMM community discusses online resources and the wide expanse of knowledge collectively found in the internet, you would think it would be a bit more pro-homeschooling.  There is an array of options where I am not the one solely responsible for educating my child.

Besides, as has been posted upthread, many of the skills regarding a bachelors degree in education are focused on learning styles, classroom management and behavior disorder management and recognition.  If your class only had three students, how much of that would have been excessive?

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:43:30 PM
Children have the right to an education. 
Nope nope nope nope nope…..   No one has the ‘right’ to an education.  We, as an advanced society, have the privilege to be educated through our common resources, but it is not an inherent right.  Or are you saying the kids in West Africa are having their rights withdrawn due to the lack of societal structure?

You are probably going to complain about semantics but it is a crucial difference to understand, and specifically alters the expectations of the social contract.

You have the right to not be murdered, and you have the right to have a dissenting opinion, but education is your privilege and not one to be taken lightly (by students or parents). 

Beyond that, by phrasing it as such, you have intrinsically accused those who homeschool (and do so not up to par with your standards) as infringing the rights of others, which is something the state, by its very nature, is expected to enforce. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:44:50 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.
If they can try out for and make the team, whats the problem….?  I really don’t understand the issue here as long as they can actually be good enough to make the team, regularly show up for practice as they should and fulfill all other considerations.  Whats your beef with it?

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).
That’s already a thing….  Though doing solo scouting when a troop is available is probably going to prevent you from getting your Eagle, or at least have a board very carefully consider the merits of such action.  Besides, it would be near impossible to complete a majority of the merit badges without going to summer camp or winter camp.  They require too many site-specific tasks.  Solo scouts are required to attend these to make progress.

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.
I’m not following this…  How exactly does it apply to homeschooling?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:45:20 PM
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.

An extremely good point.  And with intentional building of social functions / actions, this can be outdone in homeschooling.  IMO
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:45:44 PM
Disclaimer: My bias: I was a public school teacher for 7 years. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Then I was an instructional coach for teachers (as an "expert" regarding teaching itself), working with teachers to help improve their teaching, and leading professional development sessions for my last year before I FIRE'd. I very likely will homeschool my kids, when the time comes.

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

Nope.  Your impression is incorrect as far as I can tell.  Many homeschoolers think the world of teachers, it’s the systematic inefficiencies and soul-sucking mindlessness of the system that they cant stand.  Which you, yourself posted on quite clearly upthread and several times since. See below:


… The point is to teach kids to sit quietly and follow directions, to defer to artificial authority, to be routed into a trade or a university program that will keep them constrained and directed toward a goal that benefits our capitalist overlords.  We don't need or want a society of freethinkers!

Public school is also a place to send kids so they don't roam the streets of your town in packs every day, looting and pillaging.  So they don't deal drugs in dark alleyways and give each other herpes.  It's centralized daycare in a structured environment, and any book-learning they do along the way, while admirable, is kind of a secondary benefit.  …

If that’s the system you want to put your kids into, go ahead, but don’t force me and my kids to do the same.

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:46:12 PM
They have to devalue the education professions in order to justify their belief that they can do it as well as qualified practitioners.

That’s blatantly false and deconstructive to the conversation.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 27, 2017, 04:47:07 PM
I firmly believe that any caring parent has the ability to adequately homeschool a child academically all the way through high school if they want to.  When you hit a subject you feel you can't teach, you find someone who can and/or use the amazing online resources that are available to all of us.  Or --use the public school curriculum, which is made available to all homeschoolers in the states I've lived in.  I agree with the poster above that many folks on this thread who don't homeschool seem to not understand what it is, or can be.  None of the homeschool families I know go it alone, sitting at a table with their kid all day, shutting themselves off from society.

Exactly.  There is a stereotype that homeschoolers are walled into a basement with no windows and an indoctrination book from the 70s, and when they emerge from their ‘sheltered cocoon’ into the real world, they are socially awkward and unable to form normal relationships…  How come stereotypes of blacks or gays (or anyone really) are not OK but stereotyping homeschoolers and calling for regulation is fine?...   Seems a bit hypocritical.


My opinion -- this lack of regulation will result in wide variation in the quality of home school education, but how is that much different than the huge quality variation we see in the public schools?

A good point.  I would be fine with having some level of standardized testing, but really no one has discussed the compromises.  Right now, homeschooling has all the cards, why would they give any up?  Considering it isn’t the federal government’s job to determine education (despite the fact that we all kinda just ignore that ‘belongs to the states part of the consistution’) it is the state’s job if it so decides.  I’m happy with it being unregulated considering additional regulations could easily provide problems for me and my family and it still wouldn’t address the fundamental problem of the outliers.

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: big_slacker on December 27, 2017, 07:08:49 PM
Interesting thread. I went to public school early on till maybe 3rd or 4th grade, then home schooled till 7th grade where I went back in. I've also been a specialized type of teacher, to adults. So I've got some opinions but maybe not some as radical as those expressed and argued about.

I think that you should avoid using *ONLY* broad statistics to make locally based and individual choices. For example:

Me: Wife and I both work, me in a fairly complex, brain taxing field at a high level. We live in an area with very good public schools (one of the best districts in the state, one high school in the top 50 nationwide) that teach not only to test scores but also kindness, courage, character, good citizenship, conflict resolution. Teachers really care and parents are very engaged. We can supplement the excellent schools with subjects at home they like. Kind of DGAF if some study says more homeschoolers go to college, for our particular situation public schools are a no brainer.

Someone else, somewhere else (like where I grew up): Public schools are poorly performing. Lots of violence, bullying, drugs. Mom stays at home with the kids anyway. There is a low cost homeshooling program available via the church the couple goes to. Kids do really well on the lessons, have friends in the neighborhood to play with anyway and some get togethers via the homeschool group. Homeschooling, equally a no brainer.

Either option works fine if executed well. With the resources available today coming up with a good roadmap isn't hard. Executing it well and dealing with challenges that pop up will be the real work with either method. Doing that is part of parenting excellence, and it's something all parents should work on no matter who is doing the educating.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Lichen on December 27, 2017, 07:35:58 PM
Really, none of this proves nor disproves anything. Anti-homeschoolers are working off anecdotal info and cultural biases, and homeschoolers are doing the same. This is how these threads always devolve. Examples of broad generalizations thus far:

* A majority in the public school camp are going off about religion -- NOT ALL HS FAMILIES ARE RELIGIOUS.

* Helicopter parenting - hahhahahhhahahha... oh sorry. I've never been called a helicopter parent before. It was the public school parents I knew that thought I was irresponsible when I gave my eldest a bus pass and text-only cell phone at 13. I'm not a taxi driver.

* A notion that HS kids use public schools to no mutual benefit. This is a misunderstanding of the system in states that allow this. My kid does any activity at a public school, the school gets money for him as a part-time student. Plus, my taxes help fund the school. My eldest son's test scores were so high that I had two different high schools request he take the tests at their school instead of through the outreach campus. Why? His numbers would improve their numbers and their funding.

From the other side:

* HSers seem to always think public schools are failing. Some are, most are doing an adequate or even amazing job. One public school horror story is just one story. The vast majority of public schooled children are thriving, well adjusted, and getting a solid start in life.

* Gubmint is going to take away our rights. This always comes out as a huge deal. I live in one of the most liberal states in the nation. It also has some of the least regulation when it comes to homeschooling, and a huge option of services aimed specifically at home schoolers. We progressive pinkoes aren't taking away homeschooling rights.

* Blaming the teachers. Why? That's like shooting the messenger. I was a public school employee in a prior life (writing lab tutor, I have no teacher training), before I began homeschooling. I wasn't union but I still got the newsletter in my mailbox, so I got to see how the unions were fighting stupid policy and school board decisions. The things that upset homeschoolers about education in the classroom? Those are the same things that tend to upset teachers, too. We're on the same side.

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on December 27, 2017, 10:25:40 PM
re: Poster that asked if services were available to kids in schools, would we put them in school. Many of us, yes. If our kids were reasonably safe there, nurtured to thrive, and supported per their needs, we would. Many families identify as "involuntarily homeschooling", meaning the school system's whacky ways drove the family out and pushed the family very reluctantly into homeschooling. Many families who homeschool were scared to, before they made the leap.

My "queasiness" about homeschooling is this:   I believe that "It takes a village to raise a child".   If homeschooling is widely prevalent, I believe that far more children would "fall through the cracks" than today, even with education the way that it is.   It would be very easy to hide neglect or other poor parenting through a guise of homeschooling.   These issues are often identified or corrected through wide interactions between the child and the community (e.g. school) because there is a new teacher every year, and many more people have a chance to interact with the child.

[...]

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

Every homeschooler I know is in this situation currently. i.e., They are homeschoolers, but because they are in several community clubs, classes, or therapeutic sessions weekly, there are additional adults who have opportunity to observe them (emotional expressions, dress, weight, signs of injury). They have some adults for the long-term, and also regularly have new ones added to their world. I don't know any homeschoolers who don't have this interaction.

Imprisoning/secluding a child is not okay, but as posters here have noted that's very different than homeschooling.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on December 27, 2017, 10:40:49 PM
Homeschooling is a good choice for some, but for me, and the majority of people I know with kids with a disabilities - we recognize our limitations and turn to real experts and specialists.  AKA - we send them to school.

Interesting! A regional difference, maybe: The vast majority of kids I know who homeschool have disabilities, and this was the reason for HS.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: CindyBS on December 28, 2017, 06:47:40 AM
From the wording of your post, I assume you do not have a kid with a disability.  I didn't just hear this or meet some people with kids with disabilities, I live it every single day.  Please don't presume you know enough to tell the rest of us why we don't need special ed teachers and that we should homeschool.

Homeschooling is a good choice for some, but for me, and the majority of people I know with kids with a disabilities - we recognize our limitations and turn to real experts and specialists.  AKA - we send them to school.

Who is saying we don't need public school, or public resources, or that we don't all benefit from an educational infrastructure.  No one who supports homeschooling is saying that.

Your attacking an argument that doesn't exist.  Want to send your kid to school?  Great, have at it.  Want to have your kid interact with the specialists at school?  Again, great no problem. 

Where exactly is this "homeschoolers hate public school" mentality coming from?  Just because people point out the deficits of many public schools (and there are many) doesn't dictate that those people are inherently against having an educational infrastructure (usually the opposite, we care very deeply about education).

I keep seeing this argument pop up and no one is saying this.  Biggest strawman here, in my opinion, unless you can find someone (ANYONE) on here who is encouraging the eradication of public education.
The secretary of education.

Specific examples? 

As I stated:
Quote
is encouraging the eradication of public education

Are your examples going to show the desire to eradicate public education or to drastically reconstruct it?Because those are very different things.  If you provide no sources (or even a real argument) than I'll just assume I'm right.



I'm not really sure what the goal in all this is.  You want people to prove that it is ok to have anti-homeshooling bias.   A large variety of people have come forward and said why they are opposed to homeschooling and many of us have stated our reasons for sending our kids to public schools.  The vast majority of people, including myself, have stated that homeschool is a good choice for some kids. 

You obviously feel homeschooling is the right choice for your own kids.  Good for you.  For my own kids, I feel like public school is the right choice.   At what point does my opinion become bias? 

Frankly, aren't you overly biased towards homeschooling? I could say the same things to you that you have said to me.  Where is all this "public school parents hate homeschoolers" coming from?   Just because people point out the deficits of homeschooling does not mean they are inherently against having homeschooling.   Except when we do point out the deficits of homeschooling or even *gasp* the benefits of public school, we are accused of being biased.

It sounds an awful lot like you want to prove all us public school folks wrong and when we don't agree with you it is a problem.  Even the title of this thread is problematic.  Why do I have to prove anything to you?  Why isn't the burden on you to prove why your choice is ok?  Do you actually want anyone's opinion or do you just want to argue?  What do you want from people?  Is it just to be validated?

Seriously, what is the goal here?  Because you are not changing my mind, if anything you are reinforcing my opinion.   
 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: J Boogie on December 28, 2017, 07:49:46 AM
I was born and raised outside of Christianity in Texas, the buckle of the Bible Belt. The idea that the only exposure you will get is a couple of minor encounters with Christianity and that it is realistically impossible to shelter your kids from it if you want to is laughable.

Anecdote time!

I am a scientist.  After finishing my PhD, I interviewed for faculty positions around the country, including at one of those famous Texas universities with a strong religious background.  During my interview (to teach a hard science to undergrads) I was told, quite literally and explicitly, that the university was not looking to hire a scientist who was also a christian.  "Whew!" I thought to myself, "maybe there is hope for the world after all..." except that was immediately followed up with "We're looking to hire a christian who is also a scientist."

Yea, that interview didn't last much longer. 

They're a private college.  They are legally allowed to discriminate against me in their hiring, regardless of my qualifications.  But the idea that Christianity does not weave its tendrils into every facet of modern life is laughable.  I had not sought out the judgmental derision of christians.  I was not able to avoid "exposure" to christian ideology while pursuing a wholly secular career in my professional life.  If my kids ever become scientists, they too will face the hostile work environment christianity creates for people like me.  I will not be able to shelter them from it.


I agree with every word of your post, Sol.

More anecdotes!   My DH (scientist) has multiple stories like yours.  When he interviewed for one of his jobs (public university!!) the chair of the department asked him -- during the interview -- what church DH belonged to, and said if DH got the job, maybe he'd like to come visit his church to check it out.

Another time DH volunteered to spend a Saturday in his lab with a local Boy Scout troop to help them with one of their merit badges.  The troop leader took him aside a few days ahead of time and asked him what his plans were for working God into the day.  DH told him flat out, "Look, you guys can pray beforehand, or afterwards, or whatever you want, but this is science class, not religion class. I don't do that."  Boy Scout leader was not happy.  The troop went ahead with it, though.  I guess they decided, on balance, the good outweighed the evil (?)

Christianity is everywhere in this country.  We're all soaking in it.

Edited to add:  This happened in a northern 'blue' state. Nowhere near the "Bible belt."

It's everywhere in this world where the year is 2017 and soon to be 2018.

Some people call it Common Era instead of Anno Domini, but that's like calling the 13th floor the 14th floor. You know what happened in 0 CE/AD, and you know damn well you're not really on the 14th floor. Calling it something else doesn't change the fact that Jesus literally split time in half for the whole world forever.

But the date doesn't read Christian in such an obvious way, so I imagine no one would actually be upset or feel smothered in Christianity because of it. There's no viable alternative, so, like children receiving their father's surnames, we keep it even if we occasionally recognize its universal shortcomings.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: OurTown on December 28, 2017, 07:56:35 AM
Just to nitpick, there is no "year zero."  Also, the birth of Christ is commonly believed to be 4 B.C.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv on December 28, 2017, 08:39:51 AM


What kind of exposure to radically different cultures, religions, and sexual orientation do you provide your children when home schooling them?

This stands out to me as a homeschooling parent, because I can't see it coming from any other perspective than that of all homeschoolers are straight, white, christians.

That comment was posed to a straight, white, Christian parent who chose to home-school for what sounded very much like religious reasons.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 28, 2017, 09:05:30 AM
What kind of exposure to radically different cultures, religions, and sexual orientation do you provide your children when home schooling them?

This stands out to me as a homeschooling parent, because I can't see it coming from any other perspective than that of all homeschoolers are straight, white, christians.

That comment was posed to a straight, white, Christian parent who chose to home-school for what sounded very much like religious reasons.

/\
He makes a good point...

Though I have been pleased to see the diversity of homeschooling parents, though the MMM leftward lean probably magnifies this effect.  Either way, kudos to GuitarStv since the following line of debate led me to alter and add a few gaps in 'the plan'.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 28, 2017, 09:40:15 AM
I'm not really sure what the goal in all this is.  You want people to prove that it is ok to have anti-homeshooling bias.   (1) A large variety of people have come forward and said why they are opposed to homeschooling and (2) many of us have stated our reasons for sending our kids to public schools.  The vast majority of people, including myself, have stated that homeschool is a good choice for some kids. (3) 
Regarding (1) The original purpose was for me to explore and see if my presuppositions/understanding of anti-homeschool bias positions was correct.  It appears that my original understanding is pretty accurate, A- some disagree with the financial math (and homeschoolers generally don't want tax deductions *), B- some feel that the education you can receive at home is inadequate (see the GuitarStv concerns about social education, or the teacher posts from Sol and EnglishTeacherAlex about 'homeschool parents think they know better', whic appears to be concern for student welfare), though I disagree with their assumptions and conclusions, and finally C- Several have issues with the religious aspect of homeschooling (as posted above, several times) and while I can't speak for others, I personally find my faith logical and strong enough to endure scrutiny, and expect ,y kids to have the same.  Beyond that, many non-christian homeschoolers have posted and cited their various reasons, so I find that point settled.

Overall, I was exploring if there were other areas of concern or genuine weaknesses in homeschooling aside from the three in my original post to which I was blind.  If there was something other than the "financial", "educational" or "religious" reasons for being against homeschooling (hence the prove me wrong).  Really everything that has been posted about 'anti-homeschool' has fallen pretty cleanly into those areas (though an upthread point about abuse protection / discovery expands from those, but it has been discussed).  And I thank the pro-homeschool posters who discussed/debated the various merits or demerits of those posts.


Regarding (2) I don't want public schools defunded.  I don't think any of the pro-homeschool posters on here do either.  I fully agree with Sol that tax deductions for homeschool (and private school for that matter) is a bad idea.  And the comment towards DeVos was honestly kind of left-field, considering she is much more engaged towards charter schools than homeschooling (and I think shes a loon).  Considering homeschoolers still pay property taxes, I'm not sure how its relevant to the discussion- (and I really didn't want this thread going the mud-slinging everybody-gets-shit-on route... lol)

You obviously feel homeschooling is the right choice for your own kids.  Good for you.  For my own kids, I feel like public school is the right choice.   At what point does my opinion become bias? 
I agree completely with this statement.  Personally, I would draw the line when liberty is infringed.  I have the liberty to educate my kids in any way I see fit under our current system, and we can argue about the merits of that to no end, but what this thread was originally referencing were several 'anti-homeschooling' comments (both on this forum and elsewhere) that played on more than just the financial/tax-deduction aspect but also into the educational aspect.  I wanted to see if there was a wider field of dissension than my presupposition of anti-homeschool bias.  Either way, it appears almost all bias (from both sides) comes from a position of ignorance (IE not knowing the details of homeschooler % attendance or success in college (caring about the educational aspect) or not knowing the multiple reasons one may choose to homeschool (why would anyone 'isolate' their kids) to not understanding that homeschooling ≠ societal isolation (as some seem to think)) and a position of ignorance is never a good place to be...

Frankly, aren't you overly biased towards homeschooling? I could say the same things to you that you have said to me.  Where is all this "public school parents hate homeschoolers" coming from?   Just because people point out the deficits of homeschooling does not mean they are inherently against having homeschooling.   Except when we do point out the deficits of homeschooling or even *gasp* the benefits of public school, we are accused of being biased.

I would not consider noting the potential pitfalls of homeschooling as bias, nor would I consider pointing out the potential good things about public school as bias-  but what I do consider bias is the consideration that (1) homeschooling is wrong because of "heterosexual white evangelical christians" "brainwashing" their "funky dogma" into their kids.  That is bias, possibly with merit and possibly without.  Most everything in the middle has been fine.

It sounds an awful lot like you want to prove all us public school folks wrong and when we don't agree with you it is a problem.  Even the title of this thread is problematic.  Why do I have to prove anything to you?  Why isn't the burden on you to prove why your choice is ok?  Do you actually want anyone's opinion or do you just want to argue?  What do you want from people?  Is it just to be validated?

You know, you really didn't have to participate in the thread if you didn't want too...  No one is making you post here.

And I don't want to "prove all us public school folks wrong"...   I want to engage with the "anti-homeschool folks" to see what merits can be mutually understood.  This section seems to me like you are trying to take this political and group me into the DeVos camp...  I'm not in that camp.

"Why isn't the burden on you to prove why your choice is ok?"  Because I have the liberty in this country to educate my children in the best manner I see fit.  For me, that means stepping back from public school and into a different education model.  For others, it may be different things.  But what I will not tolerate is the accusatory methodology that many take on when discussing homeschooling (they'll be awkward, they won't fit in socially, their education will suffer, etc) when, in reality, many of those are demonstrably false.

Seriously, what is the goal here?  Because you are not changing my mind, if anything you are reinforcing my opinion.

The goal is to see if there are valid anti-homeschool concerns, specifically anything outside of the "major three" anti-homeschooling points in the first post, that I may be missing.  I'm not looking to change your mind- such a thing is extremely rare in online interactions anyways (hence the constant squabble of politics).  I am, however, enjoying the discussion and many of the points being made (on both sides) and would really appreciate it if it didn't tangent into the political BS.  If we want to discuss policy positions, that fine, but name dropping Trump or his associates is going to ruin the thread.





(Edit to clarify the first line, that read really poorly...)


*http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/28/why-homeschoolers-dont-want-school-vouchers/ (http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/28/why-homeschoolers-dont-want-school-vouchers/)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Nick_Miller on December 28, 2017, 09:59:34 AM
I am torn on homeschooling....

On one hand, I've seen how crappy many public schools are. It starts with parents. They are apathetic. They are lacking education themselves. They do not run structured, healthy households. They never should have had kids in the first place. So guess who gets the responsibility of trying to mold these kiddos into something resembling responsible citizens? Public schools. And unlike some corporation, they do not get a "Quality Control" department that lets them jettison problematic products. The products are the kiddos, and they have to do the best they can with each of them, regardless of the obstacles. When you think about it, that's an almost impossible task for ANYONE.

On the other hand, most parents, even highly educated ones, just don't have the depth or breadth of knowledge to replace a whole team of highly-trained teachers, especially once you get out of elementary school. I know I sure as hell don't. Teaching advanced math, science, etc., would be way beyond the scope of my abilities, and I'm one of the "smart" parents! I know some homeschoolers network, pool resources, bring in specialist teachers, and yes I can see the merit of that. But then I consider how many of these kids will be sheltered in little mini what I could call religious cults, where the parents' ideas are not challenged in any meaningful way. I know that does not describe all homeschoolers. But I fear it describes many of them, especially the ones I know. They are all rather cultish and their heads almost explode when I talk science to them.

They both have huge flaws.

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: clutchy on December 28, 2017, 10:06:18 AM
my only real concern about homeschool is that sometimes it appears it is falling into line w/ the anti-vaxxers. 


There should be a mandatory curriculum and state level testing as with other schools so your kids can function in society.  Other than that home school is just another arm of "parenting." 


I'm also biased as I have a cousin who is insane and shoots out babies like crazy.  6 now maybe?  They are manipulative leacherous profiteers.  They also homeschool.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Nick_Miller on December 28, 2017, 10:32:00 AM
my only real concern about homeschool is that sometimes it appears it is falling into line w/ the anti-vaxxers. 


There should be a mandatory curriculum and state level testing as with other schools so your kids can function in society.  Other than that home school is just another arm of "parenting." 


I'm also biased as I have a cousin who is insane and shoots out babies like crazy.  6 now maybe?  They are manipulative leacherous profiteers.  They also homeschool.

@clutchy, I have a similar cousin. Are we related?? Do you know Aunt Marlene??
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: me1 on December 28, 2017, 10:47:21 AM
Regarding (1) The original purpose was for me to explore and see if my presuppositions/understanding of anti-homeschool bias positions was correct.  It appears that my original understanding is pretty accurate, A- some disagree with the financial math (and homeschoolers generally don't want tax deductions *), B- some feel that the education you can receive at home is inadequate (see the GuitarStv concerns about social education, or the teacher posts from Sol and EnglishTeacherAlex about 'homeschool parents think they know better', whic appears to be concern for student welfare), though I disagree with their assumptions and conclusions, and finally C- Several have issues with the religious aspect of homeschooling (as posted above, several times) and while I can't speak for others, I personally find my faith logical and strong enough to endure scrutiny, and expect ,y kids to have the same.  Beyond that, many non-christian homeschoolers have posted and cited their various reasons, so I find that point settled.

None of these were really my main points about what I find objectionable with homeschooling, but maybe it was unclear. My main point is that it is not good for society if everyone homeschools and picks and chooses what their kids learn, and shapes their opinions alone (or by using only people they have approved of, and fall into their life philosophy). I understand in some cases it's unavoidable to homeschool (remote location, some special medical conditions, probably other things I am not thinking of right now, etc), but I think others do it for reasons of wanting to have complete control over what their kids think and how they think. I find this disturbing. To me the point of education is to learn to think, not memorize facts, or opinions that others want you to hold. Even if those others think they are doing a good thing.

And no, this is not an objection about passing on religious beliefs, but because of picking and choosing of what's important for kids to know, and then controlling what they are exposed to. I believe this leads to sheltered adults and to a splintered society where we can't have discussions when having differing opinions, it also makes it so those kids never have to explain those beliefs to anyone, and probably quite a shock when they run into people with other opinions as adults, and inability to form coherent arguments.

Of course, all of us whether home schooling or with kids in public schools, or private schools pass on our biases and our opinions to our kids. There is no way not to. It's just that when they are exposed to other teachers, other view points, just other people, they are better able to discern that these are just biases and opinions and not absolute truth.

I don't need my son to grow up to believe what I believe. Hell, if he wants to be a homeschooler when he grows up, I'd be fine with that. As long as he can articulate why with solid arguments.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on December 28, 2017, 10:51:54 AM
In some (only some) of this discussion, it sounds like some people are being as narrow as those they see as being too narrow.

i.e., Some are saying, "...homeschool families have too little exposure to other ideas/cultures/information..." But this is showing that a given poster is having too little exposure to homeschool families.

If we're not meeting the ones that are nonreligious/educating well without a degree in education/liberal/exposed to diversity/etc, we can be the first ones to increase our exposure to diversity -that within the very giant homeschool world- rather than make broad declarations about homeschooling families.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: gaja on December 28, 2017, 11:23:11 AM
When a homeschooled kid wants to go to college - how do they prove they have the necessary knowledge and understanding to get in? How does the system of SAT etc work? My limited understanding of the US educational system gives me the impression there are a lot of multiple choice tests with automical scoring? Do you cover all topics (biology, history, social science...) or just the ones where it is easy to do standardized tests? In Norway, you would have to go through the exams for all topics. To ensure that the student understands (not just is able to gulp up facts) many of the exams are verbal, and none of the others are multiple choice. For science, you would also have to provide proof of a set number of experiments, and the examination board will ask detailed questions to find out how much you have really understood. The example of the old test that someone linked to here is quite interesting in that regard. As a teacher, I could probably not give any of my students top grades based on that test, because the top grades here are reserved for students who show that they understand the topic. I could hardly see a single question that was made to show anything other than rote learning.

Homeschooling is not common in Norway. Partly because we are all blood red commies (according to our Swedish neighbors), and partly because it is very difficult to pass all the exams without going to school.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mr.mongoose on December 28, 2017, 11:40:25 AM
When a homeschooled kid wants to go to college - how do they prove they have the necessary knowledge and understanding to get in? How does the system of SAT etc work? My limited understanding of the US educational system gives me the impression there are a lot of multiple choice tests with automical scoring? Do you cover all topics (biology, history, social science...) or just the ones where it is easy to do standardized tests? In Norway, you would have to go through the exams for all topics. To ensure that the student understands (not just is able to gulp up facts) many of the exams are verbal, and none of the others are multiple choice. For science, you would also have to provide proof of a set number of experiments, and the examination board will ask detailed questions to find out how much you have really understood. The example of the old test that someone linked to here is quite interesting in that regard. As a teacher, I could probably not give any of my students top grades based on that test, because the top grades here are reserved for students who show that they understand the topic. I could hardly see a single question that was made to show anything other than rote learning.

Homeschooling is not common in Norway. Partly because we are all blood red commies (according to our Swedish neighbors), and partly because it is very difficult to pass all the exams without going to school.

Where we live, at least, homeschoolers have access to the same standardized tests that the public school students take. The difference is that the homeschool parents pay for the exams (at a neutral, 3rd party site) and grading. The test is administered at an away from home location that has neutral proctors, like for the public school students. Most folks we know who homeschool actually are taking advantage of these tests throughout their children's educations to see if they have any knowledge gaps that need to be filled relative to same-age peers.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: clutchy on December 28, 2017, 12:42:34 PM
my only real concern about homeschool is that sometimes it appears it is falling into line w/ the anti-vaxxers. 


There should be a mandatory curriculum and state level testing as with other schools so your kids can function in society.  Other than that home school is just another arm of "parenting." 


I'm also biased as I have a cousin who is insane and shoots out babies like crazy.  6 now maybe?  They are manipulative leacherous profiteers.  They also homeschool.

@clutchy, I have a similar cousin. Are we related?? Do you know Aunt Marlene??

nope, but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with insane cousins ;)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 28, 2017, 12:58:09 PM
...

Where we live, at least, homeschoolers have access to the same standardized tests that the public school students take. The difference is that the homeschool parents pay for the exams (at a neutral, 3rd party site) and grading. The test is administered at an away from home location that has neutral proctors, like for the public school students. Most folks we know who homeschool actually are taking advantage of these tests throughout their children's educations to see if they have any knowledge gaps that need to be filled relative to same-age peers.

+1 This is accurate from my understanding...

Also note that basically ALL of American testing is multiple choice.  Generally just how its set up.  (Including the TAKS/Starr Exams (Texas), SAT, ACT and non-writing portion of the GRE, CLEP and the ACCUPLACER.  Not sure about the GMAT but I would bet its the same...).  We just like our multiple choice tests.  (Some of those do have a FEW questions that are data-entry, but generally only if they are delivered online, like the GRE).

The tests are pretty useful (for homeschooling) and homeschoolers generally test higher, though in that example there is possibly self-selection occurring (though self-selection also occurs for public school students regarding the SAT, so its anybody's guess on how far that swings the numbers...). 

https://www.hslda.org/docs/study/ray2009/2009_Ray_StudyFINAL.pdf (https://www.hslda.org/docs/study/ray2009/2009_Ray_StudyFINAL.pdf)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele on December 28, 2017, 01:52:30 PM
When a homeschooled kid wants to go to college - how do they prove they have the necessary knowledge and understanding to get in? How does the system of SAT etc work? My limited understanding of the US educational system gives me the impression there are a lot of multiple choice tests with automical scoring? Do you cover all topics (biology, history, social science...) or just the ones where it is easy to do standardized tests? In Norway, you would have to go through the exams for all topics. To ensure that the student understands (not just is able to gulp up facts) many of the exams are verbal, and none of the others are multiple choice. For science, you would also have to provide proof of a set number of experiments, and the examination board will ask detailed questions to find out how much you have really understood. The example of the old test that someone linked to here is quite interesting in that regard. As a teacher, I could probably not give any of my students top grades based on that test, because the top grades here are reserved for students who show that they understand the topic. I could hardly see a single question that was made to show anything other than rote learning.

Homeschooling is not common in Norway. Partly because we are all blood red commies (according to our Swedish neighbors), and partly because it is very difficult to pass all the exams without going to school.

Where we live, at least, homeschoolers have access to the same standardized tests that the public school students take. The difference is that the homeschool parents pay for the exams (at a neutral, 3rd party site) and grading. The test is administered at an away from home location that has neutral proctors, like for the public school students. Most folks we know who homeschool actually are taking advantage of these tests throughout their children's educations to see if they have any knowledge gaps that need to be filled relative to same-age peers.

Correct.  In our state, homeschoolers are required to take the same standardized tests each year that public school kids take.  When a homeschooled kid finishes high school, the parent (a/k/a 'Administrator') of that homeschool issues a transcript and diploma, same as any private or public school.  Homeschooled kids take the same SAT test with everyone else, and then apply to college using their homeschool transcript and diploma.  From what I have read, colleges see it all the time.  I haven't heard of any difficulties with the college application process.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: robartsd on December 28, 2017, 02:54:01 PM
The point is to teach kids to sit quietly and follow directions, to defer to artificial authority, to be routed into a trade or a university program that will keep them constrained and directed toward a goal that benefits our capitalist overlords.  We don't need or want a society of freethinkers!
...
[Homeschoolers] seem to think public schools are terrible and need to be torn down...

I think the homeschoolers who think public schools are terrible and need to be torn down are thinking about real education as opposed to molding people into a state controlled society. I wonder how many in the "occupy" or similar protest movements were raised within the public school system vs. alternatives - it seems to me that they are rebelling against the artificial authority that they have been subjected too since they were children. I'd like to imagine that those who participated in alternatives realized that there are ways to minimize the artificial authority without smashng themsevles against it head on.

If the true benefit of public schools is the babysiting/keeping kids off the street/providing shelter and nutrition, we have major holes in this system from age 0-5 and from 4pm to 8am (not to mention weekends/school holidays). While I agree that more often than not those are the primary benefits public school systems actually provide, it is not what is sold to the voter/taxpayer and it is not particularly well designed to provide these things.

I agree with Sol that we don't need 529 funds going to private/religious/home school as a new tax break for the people who are already well off (single parent and dual full-time income families don't have the time needed for homeschool, below median income families probably don't have the money needed for private school). I don't see any reasonable arguments for treating home schools differently than other private education.

The homeschoolers that I am most familiar with actually used public school funding. A districit set up a charter school for homeschoolers. The students enrolled and were assigned an education specialist (I beleive they had teacher credentials) who visited the homeschoolers weekly to assess how homeschooling was going. This oversight came with resources (owned by the charter school - non consumables returned to the charter school when they were no longer being used). I think the situation was favorable for the school district because they counted the homeschool students as attending school. Although the pay to the education specialist was probalby aproximately equivilent to the pay per pupil of public school teachers, the district saved on facilities and may have spent less per pupil on other resources.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 on December 28, 2017, 04:21:16 PM
When a homeschooled kid wants to go to college - how do they prove they have the necessary knowledge and understanding to get in? How does the system of SAT etc work? My limited understanding of the US educational system gives me the impression there are a lot of multiple choice tests with automical scoring? Do you cover all topics (biology, history, social science...) or just the ones where it is easy to do standardized tests? In Norway, you would have to go through the exams for all topics. To ensure that the student understands (not just is able to gulp up facts) many of the exams are verbal, and none of the others are multiple choice. For science, you would also have to provide proof of a set number of experiments, and the examination board will ask detailed questions to find out how much you have really understood. The example of the old test that someone linked to here is quite interesting in that regard. As a teacher, I could probably not give any of my students top grades based on that test, because the top grades here are reserved for students who show that they understand the topic. I could hardly see a single question that was made to show anything other than rote learning.

Homeschooling is not common in Norway. Partly because we are all blood red commies (according to our Swedish neighbors), and partly because it is very difficult to pass all the exams without going to school.

Where we live, at least, homeschoolers have access to the same standardized tests that the public school students take. The difference is that the homeschool parents pay for the exams (at a neutral, 3rd party site) and grading. The test is administered at an away from home location that has neutral proctors, like for the public school students. Most folks we know who homeschool actually are taking advantage of these tests throughout their children's educations to see if they have any knowledge gaps that need to be filled relative to same-age peers.

Correct.  In our state, homeschoolers are required to take the same standardized tests each year that public school kids take.  When a homeschooled kid finishes high school, the parent (a/k/a 'Administrator') of that homeschool issues a transcript and diploma, same as any private or public school.  Homeschooled kids take the same SAT test with everyone else, and then apply to college using their homeschool transcript and diploma.  From what I have read, colleges see it all the time.  I haven't heard of any difficulties with the college application process.
And what evidence does the parent have to show proving the student mastered the knowledge within each class that was graded?  What evidence does the parent show of their own competency to review the student's knowledge?  I know many state colleges that are required to believe the parents, but I know of many private colleges that refuse to have home school students (that did not get an AA first) because of those issues.  I knew quite a few home school students who were in community college during high school because of this (as underage students) because our state gave free community college to high school students.  This caused some issues at that level (teenagers with adults does not always work out well).
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Undecided on December 28, 2017, 06:28:57 PM

And no, this is not an objection about passing on religious beliefs, but because of picking and choosing of what's important for kids to know, and then controlling what they are exposed to. I believe this leads to sheltered adults and to a splintered society where we can't have discussions when having differing opinions, it also makes it so those kids never have to explain those beliefs to anyone, and probably quite a shock when they run into people with other opinions as adults, and inability to form coherent arguments.


The fundamentalist Christian homeschoolers I know included responses to all the common arguments over faith as a major part of their children's educations.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele on December 29, 2017, 06:01:55 AM
When a homeschooled kid wants to go to college - how do they prove they have the necessary knowledge and understanding to get in? How does the system of SAT etc work? My limited understanding of the US educational system gives me the impression there are a lot of multiple choice tests with automical scoring? Do you cover all topics (biology, history, social science...) or just the ones where it is easy to do standardized tests? In Norway, you would have to go through the exams for all topics. To ensure that the student understands (not just is able to gulp up facts) many of the exams are verbal, and none of the others are multiple choice. For science, you would also have to provide proof of a set number of experiments, and the examination board will ask detailed questions to find out how much you have really understood. The example of the old test that someone linked to here is quite interesting in that regard. As a teacher, I could probably not give any of my students top grades based on that test, because the top grades here are reserved for students who show that they understand the topic. I could hardly see a single question that was made to show anything other than rote learning.

Homeschooling is not common in Norway. Partly because we are all blood red commies (according to our Swedish neighbors), and partly because it is very difficult to pass all the exams without going to school.

Where we live, at least, homeschoolers have access to the same standardized tests that the public school students take. The difference is that the homeschool parents pay for the exams (at a neutral, 3rd party site) and grading. The test is administered at an away from home location that has neutral proctors, like for the public school students. Most folks we know who homeschool actually are taking advantage of these tests throughout their children's educations to see if they have any knowledge gaps that need to be filled relative to same-age peers.

Correct.  In our state, homeschoolers are required to take the same standardized tests each year that public school kids take.  When a homeschooled kid finishes high school, the parent (a/k/a 'Administrator') of that homeschool issues a transcript and diploma, same as any private or public school.  Homeschooled kids take the same SAT test with everyone else, and then apply to college using their homeschool transcript and diploma.  From what I have read, colleges see it all the time.  I haven't heard of any difficulties with the college application process.
And what evidence does the parent have to show proving the student mastered the knowledge within each class that was graded?  What evidence does the parent show of their own competency to review the student's knowledge? 

These are good questions. I think you what you are really asking is, what is our basis to trust that the parent teacher (a) knows what they are doing, and (b) is being honest with their assessment of their kid. The short answer is -- we don't.  The long answer is -- you can't know or regulate such a thing with a homeschool system. There just aren't the resources to do it.  For this reason, I believe that many college admission offices put more weight on standardized testing than on grades for homeschool student applicants. 

Anecdote time!!  Just because a kid graduates public or private high school is also no proof that they have mastered the material they studied.  DH (longtime college professor) had a small handful of students each year in his science classes who could not do simple arithmetic.  I'm not talking calculus here. I'm talking questions like "What is 7 percent of 200?"  There was one student in particular that DH worked with very intensively to get his math up to scratch. (My hat is off to that guy. Most in that position dropped out of the class, but he didn't.  He dug in, and made up the ground.  Imagine -- with that drive -- what he could have done if he'd had a good education along the way!). The student honestly had no idea that he didn't know these things. He had gotten average to good grades in math in high school.

How on earth does this happen???  I can only conclude that the schools these kids attended aren't checking to see if the basics have been mastered, or not being honest about testing/grades. 

I don't think homeschool parents have any more incentive than public or private school teachers to inflate grades or "pass" students along.   Probably less.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: gaja on December 29, 2017, 06:23:15 AM
When a homeschooled kid wants to go to college - how do they prove they have the necessary knowledge and understanding to get in? How does the system of SAT etc work? My limited understanding of the US educational system gives me the impression there are a lot of multiple choice tests with automical scoring? Do you cover all topics (biology, history, social science...) or just the ones where it is easy to do standardized tests? In Norway, you would have to go through the exams for all topics. To ensure that the student understands (not just is able to gulp up facts) many of the exams are verbal, and none of the others are multiple choice. For science, you would also have to provide proof of a set number of experiments, and the examination board will ask detailed questions to find out how much you have really understood. The example of the old test that someone linked to here is quite interesting in that regard. As a teacher, I could probably not give any of my students top grades based on that test, because the top grades here are reserved for students who show that they understand the topic. I could hardly see a single question that was made to show anything other than rote learning.

Homeschooling is not common in Norway. Partly because we are all blood red commies (according to our Swedish neighbors), and partly because it is very difficult to pass all the exams without going to school.

Where we live, at least, homeschoolers have access to the same standardized tests that the public school students take. The difference is that the homeschool parents pay for the exams (at a neutral, 3rd party site) and grading. The test is administered at an away from home location that has neutral proctors, like for the public school students. Most folks we know who homeschool actually are taking advantage of these tests throughout their children's educations to see if they have any knowledge gaps that need to be filled relative to same-age peers.

Correct.  In our state, homeschoolers are required to take the same standardized tests each year that public school kids take.  When a homeschooled kid finishes high school, the parent (a/k/a 'Administrator') of that homeschool issues a transcript and diploma, same as any private or public school.  Homeschooled kids take the same SAT test with everyone else, and then apply to college using their homeschool transcript and diploma.  From what I have read, colleges see it all the time.  I haven't heard of any difficulties with the college application process.
And what evidence does the parent have to show proving the student mastered the knowledge within each class that was graded?  What evidence does the parent show of their own competency to review the student's knowledge? 

These are good questions. I think you what you are really asking is, what is our basis to trust that the parent teacher (a) knows what they are doing, and (b) is being honest with their assessment of their kid. The short answer is -- we don't.  The long answer is -- you can't know or regulate such a thing with a homeschool system. There just aren't the resources to do it.  For this reason, I believe that many college admission offices put more weight on standardized testing than on grades for homeschool student applicants. 
As described above: we have oral or written exams in all subjects. It takes some resources, but isn't an extravagant cost. The out of pocket cost for each topic is $100-150 if you haven't passed the topic, $250 if you want to improve your grade. Usually, the private students get a spot alongside the public school students, so the total cost for the municipality doesn't increase much.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: shelivesthedream on December 29, 2017, 09:02:02 AM
Please don't flame me for this idle thought, but is there anyone here who would advocate for testing for homeschooling parents? I.e. Not just testing the children post hoc but testing the parents before they are allowed to teach their children. Wondered if the "teachers are more qualified than parents" lot might support it.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on December 29, 2017, 09:24:26 AM
Please don't flame me for this idle thought, but is there anyone here who would advocate for testing for homeschooling parents? I.e. Not just testing the children post hoc but testing the parents before they are allowed to teach their children. Wondered if the "teachers are more qualified than parents" lot might support it.

I wouldn't -not for fear that we're incapable and would test as such, but because I don't support ANY irrelevant process in ANY area.

This idea presumes that post-secondary training is required in order to become a competent teacher. Many of us disagree with this idea. I accept that some people believe this to be so; I just don't believe the same thing. The evidence in front of me -comparing school results with unschool or homeschool results- tells me otherwise. But if someone insisted that my son's 12 homeschool teachers pass a test in their areas before we could teach him, meh, sure, no biggie. A waste of public time and funding, yes, but no real skin off our noses.

It's just such a difference paradigm. Some people believe that passing test = qualified to do x. Many see that not to be the case. At the same time, we do witness that many people who have not submitted to x test are wildly qualified to lead a child (or adult) in a given area.

Should everyone agree to buy in to the "test = qualified" paradigm? I think no. (I've had all my own best results with "unqualified" teachers in any given realm.) I think it's excellent, though, that there are schools for people who hold the strong belief that "tested = qualified" so that they, too, are comfortable re: their child's environment.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele on December 29, 2017, 09:25:46 AM
Please don't flame me for this idle thought, but is there anyone here who would advocate for testing for homeschooling parents? I.e. Not just testing the children post hoc but testing the parents before they are allowed to teach their children. Wondered if the "teachers are more qualified than parents" lot might support it.

My first thought:  Not sure how this would work with the things homeschoolers outsource.  In our state, when you sign up to homeschool the parent is the Administrator of the school (it's treated like a private school) but not necessarily the teacher for all subjects.  Different families do it differently, but our kids take some classes elsewhere, either with individual tutors or organizations. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Bucksandreds on December 29, 2017, 09:41:45 AM
My 2 cents from personal experience. Homeschooled children on average are socially awkward. I want my kids to be as good at every aspect of life as possible


Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: lemonlyman on December 29, 2017, 09:46:09 AM
Does anyone use Connections Academy? My state is getting it this year. It's free, online public school. Kids still have teachers, AP classes, etc. It's all just done remotely.

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 on December 29, 2017, 09:50:40 AM
When a homeschooled kid wants to go to college - how do they prove they have the necessary knowledge and understanding to get in? How does the system of SAT etc work? My limited understanding of the US educational system gives me the impression there are a lot of multiple choice tests with automical scoring? Do you cover all topics (biology, history, social science...) or just the ones where it is easy to do standardized tests? In Norway, you would have to go through the exams for all topics. To ensure that the student understands (not just is able to gulp up facts) many of the exams are verbal, and none of the others are multiple choice. For science, you would also have to provide proof of a set number of experiments, and the examination board will ask detailed questions to find out how much you have really understood. The example of the old test that someone linked to here is quite interesting in that regard. As a teacher, I could probably not give any of my students top grades based on that test, because the top grades here are reserved for students who show that they understand the topic. I could hardly see a single question that was made to show anything other than rote learning.

Homeschooling is not common in Norway. Partly because we are all blood red commies (according to our Swedish neighbors), and partly because it is very difficult to pass all the exams without going to school.

Where we live, at least, homeschoolers have access to the same standardized tests that the public school students take. The difference is that the homeschool parents pay for the exams (at a neutral, 3rd party site) and grading. The test is administered at an away from home location that has neutral proctors, like for the public school students. Most folks we know who homeschool actually are taking advantage of these tests throughout their children's educations to see if they have any knowledge gaps that need to be filled relative to same-age peers.

Correct.  In our state, homeschoolers are required to take the same standardized tests each year that public school kids take.  When a homeschooled kid finishes high school, the parent (a/k/a 'Administrator') of that homeschool issues a transcript and diploma, same as any private or public school.  Homeschooled kids take the same SAT test with everyone else, and then apply to college using their homeschool transcript and diploma.  From what I have read, colleges see it all the time.  I haven't heard of any difficulties with the college application process.
And what evidence does the parent have to show proving the student mastered the knowledge within each class that was graded?  What evidence does the parent show of their own competency to review the student's knowledge? 

These are good questions. I think you what you are really asking is, what is our basis to trust that the parent teacher (a) knows what they are doing, and (b) is being honest with their assessment of their kid. The short answer is -- we don't.  The long answer is -- you can't know or regulate such a thing with a homeschool system. There just aren't the resources to do it.  For this reason, I believe that many college admission offices put more weight on standardized testing than on grades for homeschool student applicants. 

Anecdote time!!  Just because a kid graduates public or private high school is also no proof that they have mastered the material they studied.  DH (longtime college professor) had a small handful of students each year in his science classes who could not do simple arithmetic.  I'm not talking calculus here. I'm talking questions like "What is 7 percent of 200?"  There was one student in particular that DH worked with very intensively to get his math up to scratch. (My hat is off to that guy. Most in that position dropped out of the class, but he didn't.  He dug in, and made up the ground.  Imagine -- with that drive -- what he could have done if he'd had a good education along the way!). The student honestly had no idea that he didn't know these things. He had gotten average to good grades in math in high school.

How on earth does this happen???  I can only conclude that the schools these kids attended aren't checking to see if the basics have been mastered, or not being honest about testing/grades. 

I don't think homeschool parents have any more incentive than public or private school teachers to inflate grades or "pass" students along.   Probably less.
They do have a fiscal incentive in high school because grades can affect scholarship money.   Then there was original issue, that parents don't always know why something needs to be taught.  Though I total believe your anecdote but my belief is the kids learn arithmetic and then get told their calculator for the next ten years and lose it.

ETA:  As someone who has experience with SATs and GREs and their correlation to good grades in college, the idea that schools would more heavily weigh them is inane.  They have a low correlation.  You need both grades and test scores to statistically get a high correlation with college success.  Which bring me back to the issue and why some of the private college I know, don't accept home school high schoolers (again, those without an AA).
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on December 29, 2017, 09:52:49 AM
My 2 cents from personal experience. Homeschooled children on average are socially awkward. I want my kids to be as good at every aspect of life as possible

I agree that a fair number of HS kids are socially awkward (while a great number are socially unawkward, and far more adept than most conventionally-schooled kids I've hung with).

A lot of our kids that left the system did so with a diagnosed disability that includes social impairment. All the years of sitting in classrooms with people their age isn't going to "cure" their disability, so we place them in environments in which they can thrive, while experiencing a much wider range of social opportunities. They continue to have neurological differences that impact their social ways, but they are now happy, well, supported, connected, and having fun while learning.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate on December 29, 2017, 10:05:04 AM
RE testing and verifying student competency: The State of California (not homeschoolers) has been known to award diplomas to students who cannot demonstrate proficiency in core subjects (http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/40-000-could-get-their-high-school-diplomas-under-6496556.php). More recently, instances of graduates who cannot read their own diplomas (https://www.aclu.org/blog/mass-incarceration/high-school-grad-cant-read-his-diploma).
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 29, 2017, 11:32:38 AM
RE testing and verifying student competency: The State of California (not homeschoolers) has been known to award diplomas to students who cannot demonstrate proficiency in core subjects (http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/40-000-could-get-their-high-school-diplomas-under-6496556.php). More recently, instances of graduates who cannot read their own diplomas (https://www.aclu.org/blog/mass-incarceration/high-school-grad-cant-read-his-diploma).
I remember the parent-teacher conference I had when my older kid was in 4th grade.  The teacher mentioned that her goal was to bring all students up 2-3 grade levels.  So, my son was 5th grade reader, she wanted him to become 7th grade reader.  Another kid would be 1st grade math, she wanted to bring him up to 4th.

All I could think was, how the fuck does a kid get to 4th grade while doing 1st grade math???


I don't really know what it does to a kid to be "held back", so maybe that's a reason.  And yes, a large % (almost 50%, predominantly K to 3rd) kids in our school are English Learners.  So I'm sure that's a factor too.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 29, 2017, 01:00:16 PM
My 2 cents from personal experience. Homeschooled children on average are socially awkward. I want my kids to be as good at every aspect of life as possible

How many non-socially awkward homeschoolers do you know?

(Hint: probably a ton, you just have never asked them)...

Humans tend to only notice those that are different.  Unless you always ask your adult friends 'where did you go to high school', you never know that half of them (exaggerating but you get the point) were homeschooled.  Its a selection bias in what you notice.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: wenchsenior on December 29, 2017, 02:37:21 PM
Overheard in shower room today at the pool,  exchange between two little girls about 8 years old, members of the home-schoolers' swimming team:

Girl 1, singing a song to entertain herself in shower: tra la la

Girl 2 (listening):  That's pretty! I wish I could listen to music!

Girl 1: I'm sorry you can't listen to music, 'cause of the Devil.

Me: :wtf!?:
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: slappy on December 29, 2017, 03:00:19 PM
My 2 cents from personal experience. Homeschooled children on average are socially awkward. I want my kids to be as good at every aspect of life as possible

How many non-socially awkward homeschoolers do you know?

(Hint: probably a ton, you just have never asked them)...

Humans tend to only notice those that are different.  Unless you always ask your adult friends 'where did you go to high school', you never know that half of them (exaggerating but you get the point) were homeschooled.  Its a selection bias in what you notice.

I know a bunch of socially awkward non-homeschooled people...
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 29, 2017, 03:30:48 PM
I know a bunch of socially awkward non-homeschooled people...

So how many engineers do you know?

(Bu-dunch-shhh)  /s
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: slappy on December 29, 2017, 03:32:08 PM
I know a bunch of socially awkward non-homeschooled people...

So how many engineers do you know?

(Bu-dunch-shhh)  /s

Haha. Only the ones that I see posting in this forum.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: me1 on December 29, 2017, 03:53:49 PM
The interesting question would be how many homeschooled engineers do you know?

I know none.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on December 29, 2017, 04:04:35 PM
The interesting question would be how many homeschooled engineers do you know?

I know none.

Anecdotally, Four.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv on December 29, 2017, 05:08:01 PM
More recently, instances of graduates who cannot read their own diplomas (https://www.aclu.org/blog/mass-incarceration/high-school-grad-cant-read-his-diploma).

Well, that's silly.  If they can't read, give them phonics worksheets and tell 'em it's a diploma.  It's not like they're going to know.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on December 29, 2017, 05:48:47 PM
I know a bunch of socially awkward non-homeschooled people...

+1. (Me, for example. Like many on this forum, as others noted.)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Shane on December 29, 2017, 10:04:00 PM
And what evidence does the parent have to show proving the student mastered the knowledge within each class that was graded?  What evidence does the parent show of their own competency to review the student's knowledge?  I know many state colleges that are required to believe the parents, but I know of many private colleges that refuse to have home school students (that did not get an AA first) because of those issues.  I knew quite a few home school students who were in community college during high school because of this (as underage students) because our state gave free community college to high school students. This caused some issues at that level (teenagers with adults does not always work out well).

Our daughter's only nine, so we've still got a few years, but when she's ready, maybe starting when she's fourteen or fifteen, we're hoping to help her sign up for online community college courses. Doing the classes online should, hopefully, eliminate any worries regarding teenagers going to school with adults. We're hoping our daughter will be able to get an AA by the time she's eighteen. Then she can start university as a junior and graduate with a B.A. or B.S. by the time she's twenty years old. If she takes four years to get her AA online, say from age fourteen to eighteen, she should have plenty of time to work at a job, at least part time, while she's going to school. Rather than going to high school for socialization, I'd rather see my daughter get paid to learn to get along and work well with others. That way, at the same time she's going to school, she can also be learning important life skills like how to balance her checkbook, opening and fully funding a Roth IRA and 401k if her employer offers one.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mxt0133 on December 30, 2017, 12:02:15 AM

....

Anecdote time!!  Just because a kid graduates public or private high school is also no proof that they have mastered the material they studied.  DH (longtime college professor) had a small handful of students each year in his science classes who could not do simple arithmetic.  I'm not talking calculus here. I'm talking questions like "What is 7 percent of 200?"  There was one student in particular that DH worked with very intensively to get his math up to scratch. (My hat is off to that guy. Most in that position dropped out of the class, but he didn't.  He dug in, and made up the ground.  Imagine -- with that drive -- what he could have done if he'd had a good education along the way!). The student honestly had no idea that he didn't know these things. He had gotten average to good grades in math in high school.

How on earth does this happen???  I can only conclude that the schools these kids attended aren't checking to see if the basics have been mastered, or not being honest about testing/grades. 

I don't think homeschool parents have any more incentive than public or private school teachers to inflate grades or "pass" students along.   Probably less.

This is how it is in the bottom 30-50% of public schools.  Think of the system as an assembly line and the students are the products being assembled together.  You can reject only so many, in the case of students hold them back, but you can't hold them all back if they don't pass inspection, don't understand the material, because there is another batch coming right behind them and the assembly line will come to a grinding halt.  If graduation rates drop then the principal and teachers are screwed.  So what does the system do, well they grade on a curve and pass those that have not learned all the required material, hence the review of subjects at the beginning of each year.  This is not just limited to public schools at the elementary level either, this goes all the way up to the college and university level, I know.

I experienced this first hand, I was bored to death in math, but my English was horrible, straight C student on a curve.  I should have been held back but the rest of my grades were good enough and not enough spots to be held back.  Mind you I graduated ranked #34 out of 500 students, so just imagine how ill prepared all the other kids that were ranked lower than I was.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mxt0133 on December 30, 2017, 12:14:03 AM

Our daughter's only nine, so we've still got a few years, but when she's ready, maybe starting when she's fourteen or fifteen, we're hoping to help her sign up for online community college courses. Doing the classes online should, hopefully, eliminate any worries regarding teenagers going to school with adults. We're hoping our daughter will be able to get an AA by the time she's eighteen. Then she can start university as a junior and graduate with a B.A. or B.S. by the time she's twenty years old. If she takes four years to get her AA online, say from age fourteen to eighteen, she should have plenty of time to work at a job, at least part time, while she's going to school. Rather than going to high school for socialization, I'd rather see my daughter get paid to learn to get along and work well with others. That way, at the same time she's going to school, she can also be learning important life skills like how to balance her checkbook, opening and fully funding a Roth IRA and 401k if her employer offers one.

Go read the "Brainy Bunch"* where the author sent her kids as young as 12 to community college.  I wouldn't have a problem doing so, I actually plan to as community college in my city is free for residents as soon as they are academically capable.  It's not like I'm going to leave them by themselves to party overnight.  They will attend class and group study and that's it.

EDIT:  What is wrong with teenagers going to school with adults?  I mean everyone is so hung up on socialization of homeschoolers so why the double standard when that social interaction has an age difference?  I see it as an advantage, my son who is 6 already has friends that are 9-12 years old.  I started working at 13 and worked with 18-50 year olds.  When I went to college I had adult classmates, hell I got hired by one of them.  When I started my first "professional" job out of college I was working with 60 year olds.

The only odd thing for me is to group people based on age and not capability in an academic setting.  It doesn't happen anywhere else in the real world outside a 'school' setting.




*https://www.amazon.com/Brainy-Bunch-Harding-Familys-College/dp/1476759340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514617811&sr=8-1&keywords=brainy+bunch (https://www.amazon.com/Brainy-Bunch-Harding-Familys-College/dp/1476759340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514617811&sr=8-1&keywords=brainy+bunch)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele on December 30, 2017, 05:23:18 AM
Our daughter's only nine, so we've still got a few years, but when she's ready, maybe starting when she's fourteen or fifteen, we're hoping to help her sign up for online community college courses. Doing the classes online should, hopefully, eliminate any worries regarding teenagers going to school with adults. We're hoping our daughter will be able to get an AA by the time she's eighteen. Then she can start university as a junior and graduate with a B.A. or B.S. by the time she's twenty years old. If she takes four years to get her AA online, say from age fourteen to eighteen, she should have plenty of time to work at a job, at least part time, while she's going to school. Rather than going to high school for socialization, I'd rather see my daughter get paid to learn to get along and work well with others. That way, at the same time she's going to school, she can also be learning important life skills like how to balance her checkbook, opening and fully funding a Roth IRA and 401k if her employer offers one.

That's our plan too, Shane. Only difference -- since our community college is quite nearby our daughter is planning to do the classes in person rather than on line.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele on December 30, 2017, 05:35:09 AM
Overheard in shower room today at the pool,  exchange between two little girls about 8 years old, members of the home-schoolers' swimming team:

Girl 1, singing a song to entertain herself in shower: tra la la

Girl 2 (listening):  That's pretty! I wish I could listen to music!

Girl 1: I'm sorry you can't listen to music, 'cause of the Devil.

Me: :wtf!?:

Ha ha -- I hear you.  I'm a Girl Scout leader in a very diverse area.  Our troop has everything from atheist homeschoolers, to middle-of-the-road public school kids, on over to super fundamentalist Christians who attend religious private school.  It makes for some super trippy conversations among the girls, and parents.     
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: LaineyAZ on December 30, 2017, 08:13:16 AM
My concern about young teens attending community college in-person is their vulnerability to social predators.  If they are attending with an older sibling or trusted older friend, that would be okay. 
I also think it would pressure them to "act older" in order to fit in, which could entail anything from dressing like an older teen, to trying smoking cigarettes or MJ, or becoming sexually active earlier than they would otherwise, etc. 
Big difference in emotional maturity and impulse control between ages 13 and 18.   
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele on December 30, 2017, 08:58:47 AM
Our local community college has a minimum student age of 16.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mr.mongoose on December 30, 2017, 09:01:48 AM
My concern about young teens attending community college in-person is their vulnerability to social predators.  If they are attending with an older sibling or trusted older friend, that would be okay. 
I also think it would pressure them to "act older" in order to fit in, which could entail anything from dressing like an older teen, to trying smoking cigarettes or MJ, or becoming sexually active earlier than they would otherwise, etc. 
Big difference in emotional maturity and impulse control between ages 13 and 18.

I've been an adjunct professor at community colleges off and on for over 15 years. I've had these kids in classes, by themselves. Trust me, your concern is not relevant. For any given possibility for one social predator to get their hands on one of these kids, there are 25 other responsible adults that will take those same kids under their wing and protect them. The kids have little to no social pressure to act older. In fact, the older students typically like the kids in there to ask the questions they are too embarrassed to ask because they "should have learned it in high school."

BTW, I was also a kid who took classes at the community college between my junior and senior years in high school (I went to public school many moons ago). I had an entire cadre of loving, caring adults that protected me and guided me. Many of them are still good friends.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mr.mongoose on December 30, 2017, 09:19:19 AM
Just to add a bit of texture to the discussion, please have a look at this video. This and other reasons is why we chose to homeschool our kids. It is approximately 11 minutes long, but has some very important insights from a man who was knighted for his services to education.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on December 30, 2017, 09:25:54 AM
A local family I know here in my town homeschooled their children and it was a disaster. The children were very poorly socialized and were three to four years behind their peers developmentally. In addition, they struggled with math because their parents were not very proficient with it.

Eventually, the parents had to give up because the mother needed to go back to work for income and the children were moved into public school. The children were so stressed by the move into a new environment with a rigorous curriculum that they developed serious emotional difficulties. The older child -- a boy -- threatened to commit suicide off a railroad bridge, but luckily a teacher at the school found him and talked him down.

Yeah, I'm not much of a fan of homeschooling.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on December 30, 2017, 09:46:13 AM
Yeah, I'm not much of a fan of homeschooling.

It sounds more like you're not a fan of multiple variables in this particular family's overall situation (including what their homeschooling looked like, among many other things). That family's experience isn't about/specific to homeschooling. If homeschooling automatically equalled that, I trust homeschooling would indeed be outlawed. This family had a lot more going on than their school path.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv on December 30, 2017, 11:10:16 AM
Yeah, I'm not much of a fan of homeschooling.

It sounds more like you're not a fan of multiple variables in this particular family's overall situation (including what their homeschooling looked like, among many other things). That family's experience isn't about/specific to homeschooling. If homeschooling automatically equalled that, I trust homeschooling would indeed be outlawed. This family had a lot more going on than their school path.

Homeschooling runs the gamut from potentially better than public education (at least better than the average) to far, far worse (socially isolated, unqualified instructors, failing to meet basic curriculum norms, religious indoctrination).  I don't think that anyone is raising concerns regarding the former, but the latter is common enough that most people have run into the damage it leaves in its wake some time in their lives.  Due to this, there is a reasonable case against homeschooling simply because there's no way to ensure that children in it receive a particular quality of education, just as there is a reasonable case to be pro homeschooling due to the potential benefits that can be reaped from it.

It comes down to what you believe is more beneficial for society - a requirement that a mandated standard of education be applied to all, or potential greater risk/reward by allowing homeschooling.  There's no clear 'correct' path.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on December 30, 2017, 11:39:36 AM
Homeschooling runs the gamut from potentially better than public education (at least better than the average) to far, far worse (socially isolated, unqualified instructors, failing to meet basic curriculum norms, religious indoctrination).

All schooling options (homeschooling, public brick and mortar, private brick and mortar, etc) face this wide range.

Some brick and mortar schools have a lot of violence (ours was inflicted by teachers as much as by other students), drugs, bullying and other forms of abuse, really shitty "teaching", etc. But we wouldn't want to say "I'm not much of a fan of schooling" just because some of each type of schooling includes these.

...there is a reasonable case against homeschooling simply because there's no way to ensure that children in it receive a particular quality of education...

This is true for all types of school.

(Surely I'm not the only one on this forum that attended brick and mortar schools with major issues.)

It comes down to what you believe is more beneficial for society - a requirement that a mandated standard of education be applied to all, or potential greater risk/reward by allowing homeschooling.  There's no clear 'correct' path.

Agreed.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on December 30, 2017, 12:20:23 PM
Yeah, I'm not much of a fan of homeschooling.

It sounds more like you're not a fan of multiple variables in this particular family's overall situation (including what their homeschooling looked like, among many other things). That family's experience isn't about/specific to homeschooling. If homeschooling automatically equalled that, I trust homeschooling would indeed be outlawed. This family had a lot more going on than their school path.

Homeschooling runs the gamut from potentially better than public education (at least better than the average) to far, far worse (socially isolated, unqualified instructors, failing to meet basic curriculum norms, religious indoctrination).  I don't think that anyone is raising concerns regarding the former, but the latter is common enough that most people have run into the damage it leaves in its wake some time in their lives.  Due to this, there is a reasonable case against homeschooling simply because there's no way to ensure that children in it receive a particular quality of education, just as there is a reasonable case to be pro homeschooling due to the potential benefits that can be reaped from it.

It comes down to what you believe is more beneficial for society - a requirement that a mandated standard of education be applied to all, or potential greater risk/reward by allowing homeschooling.  There's no clear 'correct' path.

I think it's important to remember that 49.9% of Americans have a below average IQ and these are the majority of people who are choosing to homeschool their kids. Hence the funny scene from "Mean Girls": "On the third day, God created the Remington bolt-action rifle, so man could fight the dinosaur. And the homosexual." "AMEN!"

I'm sure there are some great intelligent hippie parents who do cool stuff with homeschooling, but they are overwhelmingly exceptional.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on December 30, 2017, 12:56:53 PM
The interesting question would be how many homeschooled engineers do you know?

I know none.

Anecdotally, Four.
I don't know any, but that might be because homeschooling wasn't a "thing" when I was a kid.  I do know a few engineers homeschooling their kids though.  Well, their wives are anyway.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: PinsAndArrows on December 30, 2017, 01:41:32 PM
The interesting question would be how many homeschooled engineers do you know?

I know none.

Anecdotally, Four.
I don't know any, but that might be because homeschooling wasn't a "thing" when I was a kid.  I do know a few engineers homeschooling their kids though.  Well, their wives are anyway.

I was actually homeschooled K-12, and am now a software engineer.

Pros:
- Able to schedule family vacations in off season times (cheaper and fewer people around).
- Large focus on books (I hauled home a full bookbag every week from the library).
- A grudging nod towards facts...Other than the "evilution" shaped hole in my science education, I got mostly well rounded education.
- Pervasive bullshit about conservatism and KJV Bible worship led to me being deeply suspicious of authority and becoming a more logical thinker.
- I now amaze coworkers with my cursive handwriting.

Cons:
- Family drama was the main focus of my childhood, not education.
- Had to build my personality, hobbies, and friendships from scratch after I started working since friends were difficult to make or keep with my family's wacky religious standards.
- Creationist bullshit peddled as facts.
- Nightly viewing of the The O'Reilly Factor was a mandatory part of my civics education.
- Countless hours wasted on mandatory Bible verse memorization and Bible classes.

If you want a deep look into the Religious Right in America, there's a very left leaning chapter by chapter review of the slant and outright lies in my high school history textbook: https://wonkette.com/tag/a-beka-book).  Whether you lean left or right, I think everyone can see some measure of, "Wow, that's pretty far out there."

I'd only ever consider homeschooling my child if I literally had no other choice at all.  Yes, that is tainted by my experiences with homeschooling.  No, I'm not saying all homeschoolers are attempting to stifle their children for religious purposes, or that it's impossible to socialize homeschoolers properly.  But I do think that it takes extra special effort on the parent's part, and the humbleness to continually evaluate whether or not whatever you are doing is meeting your child's needs.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele on December 30, 2017, 02:12:26 PM
Yeah, I'm not much of a fan of homeschooling.

It sounds more like you're not a fan of multiple variables in this particular family's overall situation (including what their homeschooling looked like, among many other things). That family's experience isn't about/specific to homeschooling. If homeschooling automatically equalled that, I trust homeschooling would indeed be outlawed. This family had a lot more going on than their school path.

Homeschooling runs the gamut from potentially better than public education (at least better than the average) to far, far worse (socially isolated, unqualified instructors, failing to meet basic curriculum norms, religious indoctrination).  I don't think that anyone is raising concerns regarding the former, but the latter is common enough that most people have run into the damage it leaves in its wake some time in their lives.  Due to this, there is a reasonable case against homeschooling simply because there's no way to ensure that children in it receive a particular quality of education, just as there is a reasonable case to be pro homeschooling due to the potential benefits that can be reaped from it.

It comes down to what you believe is more beneficial for society - a requirement that a mandated standard of education be applied to all, or potential greater risk/reward by allowing homeschooling.  There's no clear 'correct' path.

I think it's important to remember that 49.9% of Americans have a below average IQ and these are the majority of people who are choosing to homeschool their kids. Hence the funny scene from "Mean Girls": "On the third day, God created the Remington bolt-action rifle, so man could fight the dinosaur. And the homosexual." "AMEN!"

I'm sure there are some great intelligent hippie parents who do cool stuff with homeschooling, but they are overwhelmingly exceptional.

I think the current reality of homeschooling is way more nuanced than this . . . I can't speak for what it's like in the 'buckle of the Bible belt', but around here, it's not easy to say what a typical homeschooling family is. I don't think there is a sharp line between religious and 'hippie' homeschooling, and in any event there are loads of families that wouldn't fit into either category.  It's not binary (religious/secular);  there are many different types of families and many different reasons for doing it.   And whoa partner -- careful with the generalization than it's mostly low-IQ parents that are choosing to homeschool. What is that?  Sounds like you need to get out and meet more homeschooling families instead of reading about some sad cases, then deciding that is the norm. 

Personally, I don't think the number of kids who are totally failed by homeschooling is any greater than the number of kids totally failed by the public schools.  To use GuitarStv's language, I don't think the risk of homeschooling is any greater than public schooling, but I think the potential upside is greater.  Grateful that we have the freedom to choose.


Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Shane on December 30, 2017, 02:17:23 PM

Our daughter's only nine, so we've still got a few years, but when she's ready, maybe starting when she's fourteen or fifteen, we're hoping to help her sign up for online community college courses. Doing the classes online should, hopefully, eliminate any worries regarding teenagers going to school with adults. We're hoping our daughter will be able to get an AA by the time she's eighteen. Then she can start university as a junior and graduate with a B.A. or B.S. by the time she's twenty years old. If she takes four years to get her AA online, say from age fourteen to eighteen, she should have plenty of time to work at a job, at least part time, while she's going to school. Rather than going to high school for socialization, I'd rather see my daughter get paid to learn to get along and work well with others. That way, at the same time she's going to school, she can also be learning important life skills like how to balance her checkbook, opening and fully funding a Roth IRA and 401k if her employer offers one.

Go read the "Brainy Bunch"* where the author sent her kids as young as 12 to community college.  I wouldn't have a problem doing so, I actually plan to as community college in my city is free for residents as soon as they are academically capable.  It's not like I'm going to leave them by themselves to party overnight.  They will attend class and group study and that's it.

EDIT:  What is wrong with teenagers going to school with adults?  I mean everyone is so hung up on socialization of homeschoolers so why the double standard when that social interaction has an age difference?  I see it as an advantage, my son who is 6 already has friends that are 9-12 years old.  I started working at 13 and worked with 18-50 year olds.  When I went to college I had adult classmates, hell I got hired by one of them.  When I started my first "professional" job out of college I was working with 60 year olds.

The only odd thing for me is to group people based on age and not capability in an academic setting.  It doesn't happen anywhere else in the real world outside a 'school' setting.




*https://www.amazon.com/Brainy-Bunch-Harding-Familys-College/dp/1476759340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514617811&sr=8-1&keywords=brainy+bunch (https://www.amazon.com/Brainy-Bunch-Harding-Familys-College/dp/1476759340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514617811&sr=8-1&keywords=brainy+bunch)

@mxt0133, Thanks for the book recommendation. I requested the Kindle version through our local library.

Agreed, there doesn't necessarily have to be any problems associated with sending kids to community college. If we are living physically close to a CC when our daughter is ready to start taking classes, we'll definitely consider that as an option. In the event that we are still traveling/living outside of the US, it seems nice for her to have the option of taking some or all classes online, at least to start out with.

Maybe @Gin1984 could clarify what she meant by her statement above that there are sometimes issues with sending kids to school with adults?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Shane on December 30, 2017, 03:11:37 PM
Our daughter's only nine, so we've still got a few years, but when she's ready, maybe starting when she's fourteen or fifteen, we're hoping to help her sign up for online community college courses. Doing the classes online should, hopefully, eliminate any worries regarding teenagers going to school with adults. We're hoping our daughter will be able to get an AA by the time she's eighteen. Then she can start university as a junior and graduate with a B.A. or B.S. by the time she's twenty years old. If she takes four years to get her AA online, say from age fourteen to eighteen, she should have plenty of time to work at a job, at least part time, while she's going to school. Rather than going to high school for socialization, I'd rather see my daughter get paid to learn to get along and work well with others. That way, at the same time she's going to school, she can also be learning important life skills like how to balance her checkbook, opening and fully funding a Roth IRA and 401k if her employer offers one.

That's our plan too, Shane. Only difference -- since our community college is quite nearby our daughter is planning to do the classes in person rather than on line.

If we're living in the US in a place where taking classes in person at a CC is an option for our daughter, we'll definitely consider it as well.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Shane on December 30, 2017, 04:13:15 PM
A really good alternative education related book I read recently was Free to Learn (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_13/137-3360417-5211001?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=free+to+learn+peter+gray&sprefix=free+to+learn%2Cstripbooks%2C1469&crid=JW0JEYW3GD7F) by developmental psychologist Peter Gray. Gray claims the most important way children learn is through play and not from sitting in rows in classrooms, following a curriculum and memorizing facts only to regurgitate them on a test.

In the book, Gray talks a lot about the Sudbury Valley School (http://www.sudburyvalley.org/01_abou_05.html) in Framingham, Massachusetts, which his son attended. The SVS exists in a totally different education paradigm from most conventional schools. At the SVS there are no regularly scheduled classes. Students choose freely what they want to do every day. If one or a group of students asks a teacher to help them learn something, the teacher may set up an impromptu "class" to teach them coding or art or woodworking or 3D printing or whatever, but as soon as the students indicate they have learned enough, the "class" ends. There are no tests. Everything at the school is done democratically. Students, teachers and administrators vote on all school rules, hiring and firing of all faculty and staff, and everything else to do with the operation of the school. One person = one vote. Which means students vastly outnumber teachers and administrators and therefore have more say in what goes on in the school than do the adults. All teachers and administrators work on one year contracts, and everyone votes, every year, whether or not to extend their contracts...

The original Sudbury Valley School, which was founded in 1968, is in Framingham, MA, but there are many so called "Sudbury model" schools or "democratic" schools all over the country and world. If we end up living in a place with easy access to a Sudbury model school, we'll definitely consider enrolling our daughter for a year or two or maybe more, as it seems like it would be a great experience for her.

 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on December 30, 2017, 04:30:23 PM
I think it's important to remember that 49.9% of Americans have a below average IQ and these are the majority of people who are choosing to homeschool their kids. Hence the funny scene from "Mean Girls": "On the third day, God created the Remington bolt-action rifle, so man could fight the dinosaur. And the homosexual." "AMEN!"

I'm sure there are some great intelligent hippie parents who do cool stuff with homeschooling, but they are overwhelmingly exceptional.

I can only trust your words are true to the region you're living in. They're not correct across the board.

Definitely meet more homeschool families! In my region, I've met zero meeting your first description, plenty meeting your latter one, and countless other sorts (intelligent nonhippies, etc).
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 on December 30, 2017, 06:00:26 PM

Our daughter's only nine, so we've still got a few years, but when she's ready, maybe starting when she's fourteen or fifteen, we're hoping to help her sign up for online community college courses. Doing the classes online should, hopefully, eliminate any worries regarding teenagers going to school with adults. We're hoping our daughter will be able to get an AA by the time she's eighteen. Then she can start university as a junior and graduate with a B.A. or B.S. by the time she's twenty years old. If she takes four years to get her AA online, say from age fourteen to eighteen, she should have plenty of time to work at a job, at least part time, while she's going to school. Rather than going to high school for socialization, I'd rather see my daughter get paid to learn to get along and work well with others. That way, at the same time she's going to school, she can also be learning important life skills like how to balance her checkbook, opening and fully funding a Roth IRA and 401k if her employer offers one.

Go read the "Brainy Bunch"* where the author sent her kids as young as 12 to community college.  I wouldn't have a problem doing so, I actually plan to as community college in my city is free for residents as soon as they are academically capable.  It's not like I'm going to leave them by themselves to party overnight.  They will attend class and group study and that's it.

EDIT:  What is wrong with teenagers going to school with adults?  I mean everyone is so hung up on socialization of homeschoolers so why the double standard when that social interaction has an age difference?  I see it as an advantage, my son who is 6 already has friends that are 9-12 years old.  I started working at 13 and worked with 18-50 year olds.  When I went to college I had adult classmates, hell I got hired by one of them.  When I started my first "professional" job out of college I was working with 60 year olds.

The only odd thing for me is to group people based on age and not capability in an academic setting.  It doesn't happen anywhere else in the real world outside a 'school' setting.




*https://www.amazon.com/Brainy-Bunch-Harding-Familys-College/dp/1476759340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514617811&sr=8-1&keywords=brainy+bunch (https://www.amazon.com/Brainy-Bunch-Harding-Familys-College/dp/1476759340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514617811&sr=8-1&keywords=brainy+bunch)

@mxt0133, Thanks for the book recommendation. I requested the Kindle version through our local library.

Agreed, there doesn't necessarily have to be any problems associated with sending kids to community college. If we are living physically close to a CC when our daughter is ready to start taking classes, we'll definitely consider that as an option. In the event that we are still traveling/living outside of the US, it seems nice for her to have the option of taking some or all classes online, at least to start out with.

Maybe @Gin1984 could clarify what she meant by her statement above that there are sometimes issues with sending kids to school with adults?
Sure, there were issues where discussions were more adult and seemed to make the kids uncomfortable (which seemed to limit the discussion), as well as a more limited knowledge base when in peer discussions, group projects which were limited on times for meetings (most of the adults worked as well) so the professor tried to match the homeschooling students together instead of adults for out of class work and third was an issue in some of the lab classes, where the professor had to be in loco parentis for some legal reason I am not aware of (my mom had to sign paperwork when I was 17 in two classes).
I did notice some of the high school kids trying to appear more adult but that did not happen with most because the majority had parents who picked them up and dropped them off for each class.  The ones who had multiple classes were more likely (and were more likely to cut a middle class because of lack of supervision).
ETA:  I was only aware of a couple times where young adult men seemed to target the homeschool girls.  Sadly IME not often did anyone intervene.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Shane on December 30, 2017, 10:37:57 PM
My concern about young teens attending community college in-person is their vulnerability to social predators.  If they are attending with an older sibling or trusted older friend, that would be okay. 
I also think it would pressure them to "act older" in order to fit in, which could entail anything from dressing like an older teen, to trying smoking cigarettes or MJ, or becoming sexually active earlier than they would otherwise, etc. 
Big difference in emotional maturity and impulse control between ages 13 and 18.

I've been an adjunct professor at community colleges off and on for over 15 years. I've had these kids in classes, by themselves. Trust me, your concern is not relevant. For any given possibility for one social predator to get their hands on one of these kids, there are 25 other responsible adults that will take those same kids under their wing and protect them. The kids have little to no social pressure to act older. In fact, the older students typically like the kids in there to ask the questions they are too embarrassed to ask because they "should have learned it in high school."

BTW, I was also a kid who took classes at the community college between my junior and senior years in high school (I went to public school many moons ago). I had an entire cadre of loving, caring adults that protected me and guided me. Many of them are still good friends.

Thanks for sharing your perspective. It's good to know homeschool kids are safe at some CCs.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv on December 31, 2017, 07:51:26 PM
Homeschooling runs the gamut from potentially better than public education (at least better than the average) to far, far worse (socially isolated, unqualified instructors, failing to meet basic curriculum norms, religious indoctrination).

All schooling options (homeschooling, public brick and mortar, private brick and mortar, etc) face this wide range.

Some brick and mortar schools have a lot of violence (ours was inflicted by teachers as much as by other students), drugs, bullying and other forms of abuse, really shitty "teaching", etc. But we wouldn't want to say "I'm not much of a fan of schooling" just because some of each type of schooling includes these.

...there is a reasonable case against homeschooling simply because there's no way to ensure that children in it receive a particular quality of education...

This is true for all types of school.

(Surely I'm not the only one on this forum that attended brick and mortar schools with major issues.)

I think you're overlooking the differences between a public school and homeschooling here.

There are educational requirements for public school teachers, and they have to meet a minimum proficiency level to be hired.  No such requirements exist for parents homeschooling.  There exist checks and balances in the public education system to prevent and reduce instances of poor education.  None exist for homeschooled students.

Please don't get me wrong, I completely agree that there are some crappy public schools.  The system's far from perfect, the teachers and principals in it are far from perfect.  The worst case for home schooling is an awful lot worse than for public education though, that is the point I was trying to make.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on December 31, 2017, 08:05:14 PM
I am highly suspicious that homeschooling is one of the main causes of the anti-fluoridation movement. People think they don't need an expert education and then they end up thinking that water fluoridation with sodium fluoride is harmful because fluorine gas can be dangerous and corrosive. That is kind of like saying that water is harmful, because it contains hydrogen, which is used in thermonuclear weapons.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on December 31, 2017, 08:07:11 PM
I am highly suspicious that homeschooling is one of the main causes of the anti-fluoridation movement. People think they don't need an expert education and then they end up thinking that water fluoridation with sodium fluoride is harmful because fluorine gas can be dangerous and corrosive. That is kind of like saying that water is harmful, because it contains hydrogen, which is used in thermonuclear weapons.

How do you feel about the anti-GMO (food) movement?  Because from my perspective as a professional scientists, the anti-GMO people and the anti-fluoridation people and the anti-public-school people have uncomfortable amounts of overlap.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on December 31, 2017, 08:17:48 PM
I am highly suspicious that homeschooling is one of the main causes of the anti-fluoridation movement. People think they don't need an expert education and then they end up thinking that water fluoridation with sodium fluoride is harmful because fluorine gas can be dangerous and corrosive. That is kind of like saying that water is harmful, because it contains hydrogen, which is used in thermonuclear weapons.

How do you feel about the anti-GMO (food) movement?  Because from my perspective as a professional scientists, the anti-GMO people and the anti-fluoridation people and the anti-public-school people have uncomfortable amounts of overlap.

The Anti-GMO stuff is crazy to me too. Just look at what we've already done to genetically modify stuff. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Collard Greens, Kale, and Kohlrabi are all the same plant. The difference today is that now we can manipulate the genetic code, which is composed of DNA made of naturally occurring substances. It's completely natural to do these things and genetic engineering has done wonders to reduce world hunger.

People don't seem to understand chemistry anymore. Absolutely everything in the world except for energy is composed of chemicals. Chemicals are not scary things. We don't need to be afraid of knowledge and we should stop treating science like it's a form of magic.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on December 31, 2017, 10:37:22 PM
There exist checks and balances in the public education system to prevent and reduce instances of poor education.

Like most services in my area, those exist on paper but prove to have little presence or effect in reality. i.e., The poor education in brick and mortar schools exists despite systems of proposed checks and balances. Kids are passed anyway. Kids are left to their own devices anyway. Kids graduate illiterate anyway.

I don't have reason to believe a higher percentage of kids in B&M schools are succeeding than kids in HS are. Some fall through the cracks of each.

The worst case for home schooling is an awful lot worse than for public education though, that is the point I was trying to make.

I agree 100% that if a child is imprisoned, secluded, or otherwise abused via the use of intentional isolation from people or education, the worst case possibilities are beyond horrific. We have laws to prevent those (abuse laws vs educational laws).

I just differentiate homeschooling -a scenario in which a child is usually interacting with a great number of people who can observe matters and are obligated to report- from those. To homeschool is not to imprison, seclude, or deny education to. It's important to separate these and talk about them as distinct matters.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Villanelle on January 01, 2018, 08:08:55 AM
My 2 cents from personal experience. Homeschooled children on average are socially awkward. I want my kids to be as good at every aspect of life as possible

How many non-socially awkward homeschoolers do you know?

(Hint: probably a ton, you just have never asked them)...

Humans tend to only notice those that are different.  Unless you always ask your adult friends 'where did you go to high school', you never know that half of them (exaggerating but you get the point) were homeschooled.  Its a selection bias in what you notice.

This has been said several times in this thread.  Again, I am surrounded by homeschool kids (and public school kids).  As a very rough guess, probably 20% of the kids around me are homeschooled.  And it's far, far more than me just thinking "awkward kid" and asking and finding out that yes, they are HSed.  I can (and have) been in a room with 30+ kids, and I personally know which ones are HS and which aren't.  And yes, the truly odd, awkward ones who don't seem to grasp the basic expectations of the American social contract (beyond the truly young ones) are almost exclusively homeschooled.  I'm sorry if that's an uncomfortable truth.  And I fully expect this to be explained away, or for someone else to suggest again that this is some sort of selection bias on my part, but it's not.  As I said, I don't really have anything against HSing, and I think it absolutely can be done in ways that are both socially and academically successful.  I just think that most of the time, it isn't. 

I get that this makes people defensive, especially those who homeschool or were homeschooled.  But it's not as though I'm saying there are no of even few exceptions.  If people are truly taking care of the social and academic parts, and being conscientious about both and finding what works for their children, that's truly wonderful, and those are some very fortunate children.  To dismiss these concerns as people just confirming their own biases actually suggests to me that when coming from a HSer, they are probably less likely to be conscientious about that because they aren't willing to accept that unless they proceed very thoughtfully, this is a downfall of the system they've chosen.  Is it really to hard to say, "yes, unfortunately, plenty of Hers suffer socially, and that can be a problem with the system because there is less forced interaction, less diverse interaction, etc.  And that's why I've gone out of my way to create social opportunities for my kids, and ones that allow for interaction with both lots of people and with some of the same non-family people for a sustained period, so that they have the opportunity to develop socially, too.  It can be in a problem with HSing, but since I accept that and am aware of it, I'm able to compensate for it."
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv on January 01, 2018, 08:10:18 AM
There exist checks and balances in the public education system to prevent and reduce instances of poor education.

Like most services in my area, those exist on paper but prove to have little presence or effect in reality. i.e., The poor education in brick and mortar schools exists despite systems of proposed checks and balances. Kids are passed anyway. Kids are left to their own devices anyway. Kids graduate illiterate anyway.

I don't have reason to believe a higher percentage of kids in B&M schools are succeeding than kids in HS are. Some fall through the cracks of each.

The worst case for home schooling is an awful lot worse than for public education though, that is the point I was trying to make.

I agree 100% that if a child is imprisoned, secluded, or otherwise abused via the use of intentional isolation from people or education, the worst case possibilities are beyond horrific. We have laws to prevent those (abuse laws vs educational laws).

I just differentiate homeschooling -a scenario in which a child is usually interacting with a great number of people who can observe matters and are obligated to report- from those. To homeschool is not to imprison, seclude, or deny education to. It's important to separate these and talk about them as distinct matters.

Your scenario (great interaction, lots of people involved in education, many knowledgeable instructors) is certainly a possible one when homeschooling.  Generally, I'd say that this sounds like a pretty good way to educate a kid.  However, you are ignoring the fact that it's perfectly legal to homeschool by secluding a child, surrounding the child with few completely unqualified instructors, and deny real education.  That's the other side of the double edged sword that is legalized homeschooling.

I support the right of parents to educate their child in the way that they feel is best . . . But I do so without putting blinders on to the risks and damage that this approach will cause to some children.  Checks and balances that exist on paper provide more safety than a total lack of checks and balances.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on January 01, 2018, 10:08:24 AM
I can (and have) been in a room with 30+ kids, and I personally know which ones are HS and which aren't.  And yes, the truly odd, awkward ones who don't seem to grasp the basic expectations of the American social contract (beyond the truly young ones) are almost exclusively homeschooled.  I'm sorry if that's an uncomfortable truth.  And I fully expect this to be explained away, or for someone else to suggest again that this is some sort of selection bias on my part, but it's not.

I explained it not only by saying awkwardness exists in both environments (and it does), but by saying some of our kids are diagnosed with neurological differences that result in social awkwardness, and we have had to pull our kids out of systems that destroy them.

In other words, for many HS families, the [reasons behind] the awkwardness causes the homeschooling. The homeschooling didn't create the awkwardness. My child's disability can't be cured by sitting in classrooms, so I put him in an environment (which also cannot cure it but) that allows him to thrive regardless (a thing B&M school could not do).

I get that this makes people defensive, especially those who homeschool or were homeschooled.

I don't feel defensive about social awkwardness (because I don't think it's embarrassing, etc).

I just don't like to see inaccuracies, the equivalent of red herrings, or myths. I'm passionate about accuracy, and I think this common myth re: homeschooling is an important one to address. Homeschooling doesn't cause social awkwardness. Some neurological differences do, some emotional issues do, and some cases of abuse do, but homeschooling doesn't.

...that can be a problem with the system because there is less forced interaction, less diverse interaction, etc.  And that's why I've gone out of my way to create social opportunities for my kids, and ones that allow for interaction with both lots of people and with some of the same non-family people for a sustained period, so that they have the opportunity to develop socially, too.  It can be in a problem with HSing, but since I accept that and am aware of it, I'm able to compensate for it."

But there isn't less diverse interaction. We (me, the HSers I know) don't go out of our way to create opportunities [above]. They exist naturally. In our experiences, HS is naturally engaged, interactive, etc. We're out in the world. Maybe it's the word "homeschool" that's throwing people? The kids are "out in the world learning." The kids in my HS community (four cities to date) naturally hang with 30-200 people in any given week. That's just a natural outcome of our way of being in the world, not a result of tripping over ourselves to compensate for a system of isolation.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on January 01, 2018, 10:14:25 AM
However, you are ignoring the fact that it's perfectly legal to homeschool by secluding a child, surrounding the child with few completely unqualified instructors, and deny real education. [...] Checks and balances that exist on paper provide more safety than a total lack of checks and balances.

I'm not ignoring this fact so much as I'm saying it's covered by abuse laws. If I were concerned about abuse, I would rely on abuse laws. If it's legal to abuse children in a given region, I would work to resolve the (lack of) abuse laws, not demand children go to B&M schools.

I agree that even a check/balance applied once in a blue moon is better than one applied never. Despite hanging with several hundred HS families -including some I consider even far weirder than ours- I haven't yet seen one that isn't engaged with an effective checks and balance system. I would 100% support that everywhere.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Trifele on January 01, 2018, 10:36:41 AM
I agree 100% with Jooniflorispoo.  It's so important to carefully separate the issues being discussed here, and challenge your own assumptions about cause and effect.

We have a kid who is different than other kids, and our local public school was unable to give him anything close to what he needed.  He was being crushed there, disappearing before our eyes.  We started homeschooling, and now he is thriving.  If you had met him a couple years ago, and noticed he was different, this was not caused by homeschooling.  It was the reason behind it.

And -- speaking for us -- the homeschooling communities we've been in (two different states so far) have been more diverse than the public schools we were in.   
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv on January 01, 2018, 11:30:48 AM
However, you are ignoring the fact that it's perfectly legal to homeschool by secluding a child, surrounding the child with few completely unqualified instructors, and deny real education.

I'm not ignoring this fact so much as I'm saying it's covered by abuse laws. If I were concerned about abuse, I would rely on abuse laws. If it's legal to abuse children in a given region, I would work to resolve the (lack of) abuse laws, not demand children go to B&M schools.

It is my understanding that none of the above are covered by abuse laws.  If I'm wrong, can you provide the abuse law number and subsections that you're talking about that cover what I was mentioning.  Specifically:
- A homeschooled child must be educated by competent people (degree in education for primary grades, post secondary degree demonstrating knowledge in secondary education).
- A homeschooled child must be socialized with a wide number and variety of different people.
- A homeschooled child must receive a certain minimum standard of education equivalent to that offered by the public school system.

I also don't think that what you suggested (attempting to regulate homeschooling through child abuse law legislation) makes any sense.  They should be regulated through the educational legislation that each state implements.



More recently, instances of graduates who cannot read their own diplomas (https://www.aclu.org/blog/mass-incarceration/high-school-grad-cant-read-his-diploma).

Well, that's silly.  If they can't read, give them phonics worksheets and tell 'em it's a diploma.  It's not like they're going to know.
PTF (great thread).

FYI there are 6.3 million students in California public schools.  Think a reporter can find a few problem situations?  Question GuitarStv, how many public school children have you taught?

PS, both wife and I are 100% CA public school taught Ivy League School Grads with advanced professional degrees.  We also happen to have multiple siblings and family members teaching in CA public schools  (while both of us are retired early, FI, ..our siblings are still working and teaching).  Your flippant comments are not respectful to the decades of work our families have made to public education in our great state.  Please respect their work and decades of personal sacrifices (including spending personal funds for student benefit) and in many cases possibly being the key influence in a bad home that changed a life from certain poverty to becoming a productive citizen.   I literally had a store manager at Staples on reading my name on a form tell me my sister saved her life, with a tear in her eye.

About three hundred children give or take during the period I spent teaching Taekwondo.  (Obviously this isn't comparable to what educators in a structured class do.)

My father taught special education, biology, and computer science during the 25 years he spent as an educator in Ontario's secondary school system.  My mom taught primary grades 2-4 for 30 years.  My step-mom spent 30 years teaching secondary school art, history, and later in her career became a consultant to help teachers develop more effective lesson plans.  I greatly respect teachers and all the hard work that they do (especially after years of observing just how much stuff goes on behind the scenes to make education work).  It's vitally important, and it doesn't get much credit.

I've always been against the idea of handing out a diploma to someone who hasn't earned it.  While the comment that I made was flippant, it is ridiculous to have a single high school graduate who is illiterate.  That's indication of a pretty huge failure of the system.  Pointing this out does nothing to disrespect the tremendous amount of good work that educators do.  The system that exists is very good, but sometimes people fall through the cracks.  Pretending that there's no problem does a disservice to everyone.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on January 01, 2018, 11:59:56 AM
It is my understanding that none of the above are covered by abuse laws.  If I'm wrong, can you provide the abuse law number and subsections that you're talking about that cover what I was mentioning.  Specifically:
- A homeschooled child must be educated by competent people (degree in education for primary grades, post secondary degree demonstrating knowledge in secondary education).

I don't view facilitation of learning by a nondegreed person as abuse. Several governments don't seem to either. (It seems some people might. I accept that some people might; I just disagree with that.)

- A homeschooled child must be socialized with a wide number and variety of different people.
- A homeschooled child must receive a certain minimum standard of education equivalent to that offered by the public school system.

Every region (country, etc) has its own laws. [Without spending endless hours cutting and pasting] I can't quote each law for each area.

But I can say that many regions have laws regarding a child's right to education, laws re: truancy, laws re: a minor child working during school hours or working more than x number of hours during school weeks, and laws against emotional abuse and neglect, which includes isolation. If a region lacks these laws, I would concern myself with getting these laws into place, in order to address concerns of child abuse (regardless of where the child is schooling/unschooling).

A warm, happy family of six living on their farm, homeschooling, socializing in their community four days out of each week, feeding the animals morning and night, with the kids heading out to Cadets every Tuesday night and swim meets every weekend isn't inherently abusive, including neglectful, so abuse laws that exist don't apply and we needn't be concerned.

If the crux of your concern is that facilitation of learning by nondegreed people is abuse, that could be an interesting conversation.

I also don't think that what you suggested (attempting to regulate homeschooling through child abuse law legislation) makes any sense.

I didn't suggest that. I suggested that abuse be addressed through abuse laws. This is in response to posts referring to abuse rather than to a homeschooling issue. In some cases, people are inappropriately conflating these, but they need to be addressed as the distinct topics they are.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Mustachio Bashio on January 01, 2018, 12:43:53 PM
Personally, I was homeschooled for 7th and 8th grade.  My mom had been a teacher before having me and my bro, and she has a Masters in Elementary Education.  I had been going to a "blue ribbon school" in a county with some of the top schools in the country, but sixth grade was ridiculous with terrible teachers, terrible group projects, and all around just not an optimal learning environment.  We checked out a bunch of private schools in our area, but none really fit for me.  My friend was dealing with the same situation, and her mom and my mom were friends, so we decided to do it together.  We got coursework we'd have to turn in regularly, and we always planned on going back to school for high school, but homeschooling really gave me a lot of advantages.  I was able to do so many more activities (piano twice a week, swim team, dance class almost daily, etc), plus we could go on field trips to see the places we were learning about (I'm from DC).  I was always strong in math, but my English had struggled, and by the time I was back in public school I had caught up and was in the honors classes.  We did go to a homeschooled science class once, but decided to never go again, cause it was filled with all of the stereotypical homeschoolers you tend to think of with all of the social awkwardness.  I think my circumstances made homeschooling a great option, and I grew a ton during those years, but I wouldn't have done it going into high school.  Also, my brother had the option to do it as well, but preferred to stay in school, so that's what he did.  I guess it's just not one size fits all.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Villanelle on January 01, 2018, 07:51:40 PM
I can (and have) been in a room with 30+ kids, and I personally know which ones are HS and which aren't.  And yes, the truly odd, awkward ones who don't seem to grasp the basic expectations of the American social contract (beyond the truly young ones) are almost exclusively homeschooled.  I'm sorry if that's an uncomfortable truth.  And I fully expect this to be explained away, or for someone else to suggest again that this is some sort of selection bias on my part, but it's not.

I explained it not only by saying awkwardness exists in both environments (and it does), but by saying some of our kids are diagnosed with neurological differences that result in social awkwardness, and we have had to pull our kids out of systems that destroy them.

In other words, for many HS families, the [reasons behind] the awkwardness causes the homeschooling. The homeschooling didn't create the awkwardness. My child's disability can't be cured by sitting in classrooms, so I put him in an environment (which also cannot cure it but) that allows him to thrive regardless (a thing B&M school could not do).

I get that this makes people defensive, especially those who homeschool or were homeschooled.

I don't feel defensive about social awkwardness (because I don't think it's embarrassing, etc).

I just don't like to see inaccuracies, the equivalent of red herrings, or myths. I'm passionate about accuracy, and I think this common myth re: homeschooling is an important one to address. Homeschooling doesn't cause social awkwardness. Some neurological differences do, some emotional issues do, and some cases of abuse do, but homeschooling doesn't.

...that can be a problem with the system because there is less forced interaction, less diverse interaction, etc.  And that's why I've gone out of my way to create social opportunities for my kids, and ones that allow for interaction with both lots of people and with some of the same non-family people for a sustained period, so that they have the opportunity to develop socially, too.  It can be in a problem with HSing, but since I accept that and am aware of it, I'm able to compensate for it."

But there isn't less diverse interaction. We (me, the HSers I know) don't go out of our way to create opportunities [above]. They exist naturally. In our experiences, HS is naturally engaged, interactive, etc. We're out in the world. Maybe it's the word "homeschool" that's throwing people? The kids are "out in the world learning." The kids in my HS community (four cities to date) naturally hang with 30-200 people in any given week. That's just a natural outcome of our way of being in the world, not a result of tripping over ourselves to compensate for a system of isolation.

for YOUR KIDS, there isn't less diverse interaction.  Again, I've fully acknowledged that there are many exceptions.  But being "out in the world learning" doesn't mean the are necessarily learning those social skills.  Going to a museum or a park or getting a tour of the post office are not really the same as interacting day in and day out.  It's the "naturally hang[ing] with 30-200 people" that probably does, but even then it matters what that hanging actually means.  Most of the HS families I know go on outings, but handing your museum ticket to a ticket taker doesn't constitute much social interaction.  They largely talk within the family group--siblings and parents.

Also, I differentiate between social awkward and not understanding some basic social expectations.  I'm incredibly socially awkward, made worse my my sometimes crippling social anxiety.  That's not the same as not really understanding how I'm supposed to interact.  I'd give examples, but that starts to wade into some privacy issues--I don't feel comfortable calling out specific behaviors of kids.  But we are talking about things that make adults and other kids extremely and visibly uncomfortable.  Everyone looking at each other like, "what the heck is happening, and how am I supposed to deal with this?" These are kids not diagnosed with anything relevant (and no, this is not an assumption).  Could there be spectrum or other issues at play?  Possibly, but the parents see no issues so aren't seeking anything (another possible issue with HSing, because there is no teacher or administration to bring up these possibilities to a parent not interested in seeing them).  So whether they are dealing with any kinds of specific concerns or not, they simply aren't learning how to move in the world in ways that are expected of them.  Cultivating originality is wonderful, as is teaching kids to resist pressures to conform.  But there's a point at which it becomes a disservice.

Again, I've known some wonderful HS kids and families.  Again, I think there are ways to do it extremely well and those kids are very fortunate.  They are probably some of the very best educational outcomes. But I'm not going to close my eyes to the very real issues that do exist in the homeschool community.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on January 01, 2018, 08:27:00 PM
...handing your museum ticket to a ticket taker doesn't constitute much social interaction.

I agree. I don't know any HS communities that are largely limited to this + their families.

I'm very curious about these isolated, distressed, unfortunate situations some of you are running into. It's such a very different one than any I've run into, from a very involved position with hundreds of families. We're not the exception in any environment we've been in -we're the norm. Is there something extra weird in certain locations? Are these locations exceptionally absent in opportunities? Is the local culture one in which people shy away from each other?

...they simply aren't learning how to move in the world in ways that are expected of them.

This is true of some folks with specific disabilities, and some folks without disabilities (diagnosed or undiagnosed, homeschooling or B&M schooling). I've never seen any of these people learn this in a B&M school, either.

Some people don't have these skills naturally and are able to learn them enough to "pass" socially for some minutes. Some seem unable to learn them. Simple exposure to a random group doesn't suffice for some of us to learn the stuff -we can be in large groups for 12 years and still have no idea why things are going poorly for us socially. We can hang with people who don't mind our ways or (my preference for me and my kid) we can move to a therapeutic environment and learn the stuff others learn intuitively. But simply being in a B&M school doesn't make us normal.

Personally, I don't highly value "expected social norms." I value kindness, honesty, friendliness...but not just social norms in general. I'm friends with mostly "weird" adults who don't manage social norms, but are solidly good people who create, produce, connect...  Good enough for me! I've known a handful of people that were socially awkward in the way of being belligerent jerks -some were eventually diagnosed with neuro stuff, some declined to be assessed. It's important to me that my kid learn how to not do those behaviours, but I don't need anyone to live out all norms.

Cultivating originality is wonderful, as is teaching kids to resist pressures to conform.  But there's a point at which it becomes a disservice.

I agree on both counts.

But I'm not going to close my eyes to the very real issues that do exist in the homeschool community.

Me neither. Nor those in any other system/community.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Villanelle on January 02, 2018, 11:05:59 AM
...handing your museum ticket to a ticket taker doesn't constitute much social interaction.

I agree. I don't know any HS communities that are largely limited to this + their families.

I'm very curious about these isolated, distressed, unfortunate situations some of you are running into. It's such a very different one than any I've run into, from a very involved position with hundreds of families. We're not the exception in any environment we've been in -we're the norm. Is there something extra weird in certain locations? Are these locations exceptionally absent in opportunities? Is the local culture one in which people shy away from each other?

...they simply aren't learning how to move in the world in ways that are expected of them.

This is true of some folks with specific disabilities, and some folks without disabilities (diagnosed or undiagnosed, homeschooling or B&M schooling). I've never seen any of these people learn this in a B&M school, either.

Some people don't have these skills naturally and are able to learn them enough to "pass" socially for some minutes. Some seem unable to learn them. Simple exposure to a random group doesn't suffice for some of us to learn the stuff -we can be in large groups for 12 years and still have no idea why things are going poorly for us socially. We can hang with people who don't mind our ways or (my preference for me and my kid) we can move to a therapeutic environment and learn the stuff others learn intuitively. But simply being in a B&M school doesn't make us normal.

Personally, I don't highly value "expected social norms." I value kindness, honesty, friendliness...but not just social norms in general. I'm friends with mostly "weird" adults who don't manage social norms, but are solidly good people who create, produce, connect...  Good enough for me! I've known a handful of people that were socially awkward in the way of being belligerent jerks -some were eventually diagnosed with neuro stuff, some declined to be assessed. It's important to me that my kid learn how to not do those behaviours, but I don't need anyone to live out all norms.

Cultivating originality is wonderful, as is teaching kids to resist pressures to conform.  But there's a point at which it becomes a disservice.

I agree on both counts.

But I'm not going to close my eyes to the very real issues that do exist in the homeschool community.

Me neither. Nor those in any other system/community.

I'd say 98% of the homeschool kids I know are part of the overseas military community.  I don't think they are isolated or that there are no opportunities.  Our community os nearly overflowing with kids.  There are sports programs around base, lots of play groups, etc. I'd say they spend more time in the "going to a museum" pursuits, or at home studying, than most other things.  Thus, when their kiddos come to larger group events (a summer picnic with a bunch of families, for example), the kids are ill prepared. 

You say that you don't value social norms.  I'm not sure what that means to you, exactly.  When I say that I'm talking about just walking up to a person, entering what is generally considered personal space (within 18 inches of another person), and literally standing motionless and staring, as one example.  It's, well... weird.  And not in a good way. And it's the kind of thing that is clearly overlooked in the family because it's just Timmy being Timmy.  But Timmy, who is apparently a generally neuro-typical child, has been ill-served because no one has told him that outside the family, that makes people--both adults and kids-- very uncomfortable.  It's incredibly unnerving.  It's hard to tell, but I think he kind of thinks it's funny because it makes people uncomfortable.  Admittedly, that's just a guess, but his motivation doesn't matter much.  I've seen his parents observe the behavior, not correct Timmy, and laugh about it.  "Timmy is such an original!"  Maybe we just disagree on whether this kind of thing is okay and whether it serves Timmy to allow it to continue.  But I worry greatly for Timmy's future.  I have no doubt he's bright and his academics are incredibly advanced and he's a smart kid.  I have no reason to think he's not a generally decent human being to that he's unkind or anything like that.  But I also see him struggling greatly at whatever point he actually leaves the nest.  Maybe that's high school if he's not always home schooled, or maybe it is when he wants to start dating, or when he goes off to college or when he tried to get a job, or what he's attempting to interact with coworkers or constituents or clients. 

Interesting, I see what I consider a related but different dynamic of families who send their young kids to the Japanese schools.  (I'm an American living in Japan.) What a wonderful opportunity!  And it truly is, when done thoughtfully.  I can't imagine what a leg up it is for a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 year old to be conversational in Japanese!  And many families do this and get all the advantages and none of the disadvantages.  Unfortunately, some families are not mindful of the fact that eventually, their children are going to return to the US and presumably go to US schools.  That means that things like reading and American vocabulary need to be supplemented at home, or the kids are going to struggle terribly when they get back to the US.  Another issue is that Japanese teachers are unlikely to notice things like speech impediments in their English students.  One child I know in particular (about 6 years old) has a very clear speech issue.  This is the kind of thing that is generally noticed by a teacher in a public school, so that the parents who either aren't aware of it or think it's just something Timmy will outgrow are made aware that is should be addressed.  Some parents are going to notice it and address it on their own, but others aren't, and those kids are at a disadvantage because there's no early intervention.  Again, that doesn't mean there's a problem with the practice of sending kids to local schools.  But it is a downside that does need to be address or the kids are going to pay a pretty high price. 

But that doesn't mean I don't think sending kids to the Japanese schools can be absolutely wonderful!  I just think that like with homeschooling (and public schooling, but that's not really what we are discussing), there are also possible pitfalls, and one needs to be aware of those and open to hearing about them, rather than being defensive, so that one can account for and address them. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FINate on January 02, 2018, 11:15:37 AM
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.   Whether reading is possible for all children and whether it should be a diploma requirement is an interesting topic.  Perhaps some different 'socialization' completion recognition diploma could be a compromise answer.

Eubonics as a recognition of some kids reality is not as rediculous as a white suburban adult might think, once you dig into the lives of real American urban youth and how they are living their lives.

As stated earlier, it helps society if a suffering kid is kept in school, receiving some sort of structure, vs roaming the streets in gangs. The ability to advance with peers, maybe play sports, etc can keep a kid out of a gang and ultimately dead, which is a real possible outcome here in Oakland. And yes, the possiblity to graduate can sometimes become an incentive that loses its meaning when offered to the ill prepared.  That said, some very functional people are unable to read.  For example, some groups in Laos did not have a literate history and an adult Laotian friend of mine is not literate, but a very functional adult.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Laos (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Laos)

Anyway, it is very different working with kids from that world and I assume you recognize that challenge for society.

Handing out undeserved diplomas undermines the incentive because it erodes the value of the credential, for everyone. Its value is diminished in the eyes of employers and society in general. There's a reason professional associations (e.g. Bar Association) are proponents of high standards for their profession.

If we're going to have standards for HS graduates then everyone must abide by those standards (incl. homeschoolers, via exit exams or other verification), otherwise the credential itself is worthless. Basic literacy is one of those requirements. If we're going to pass people along because the system decides it has done all it can, then at least come up with a different credential for this purpose. Otherwise such good intentions end up hurting everyone that actually completed the requirements.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on January 02, 2018, 11:54:26 AM
I just think that like with homeschooling (and public schooling, but that's not really what we are discussing), there are also possible pitfalls, and one needs to be aware of those and open to hearing about them, rather than being defensive, so that one can account for and address them.

I agree 100%. Whatever approach to school a family chooses or is forced into, we need to have our eyes open to potential issues in any, and work to keep those in check. I see that as a critical aspect of parenting. Kids are strong, resilient, smart, capable...and also vulnerable to effects of the systems and cultures adults create. Keeping our eyes open to the inevitable disadvantages in any aspect of a society's culture is vitally important. (I view this as exactly equally so in homeschooling, B&M schooling, child employment, child daycare, etc, with none being more or less inherently problem-filled than another for all people.)

I really enjoyed your notes re: "Timmy", the Japanese schools, etc. I have more to say about Timmy's presentation and social norms, etc, but that's probably better for another thread, since it's not homeschool specific.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: DumpTruck on January 02, 2018, 12:08:54 PM
I didn't know there was an anti-homeschooling sentiment. Who says they are ok?

Well, not reading all 300 responses but this is close to home. I was homeschooled from day 1 up to 9th grade, at which point I was in our church school, which might as well have been an extended home school. My graduating class was around 12 kids. All super christian, classical education.

Our classes went from 8am to 12 noon, Tues-Fri. So 16 total hours per week and the rest of the time was when you studied and did your homework.

College was a breeze (BSBA) compared to my high school education.

I also started working at age 15 and by 16 or 17, had met the public school kids through work, which was really exciting for me because I had an urge to party and socialize with females.

And how did I turn out? Well, on paper very well. I paid cash for every other semester of college and paid the loans off by the time I was 28. Make 6 figures, no debt besides the mortgage on my modest 780 sq ft home. Could easily get many different types of corporate jobs. I'm an attractive employee. I just ended up being disenchanted with what they teach kids in school. Basically it's wage-slave training with little do it yourself skills. Ah well. Perfect for the system.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrsPete on January 02, 2018, 07:04:17 PM
I completely agree with Gin1984. As someone raised religious who subsequently left all of that I am very aware of how Christianity is in the pores of so much of our regular lives, even living in a big coastal urban area. If I go to a southern state it is like being smacked up the face with it every where I turn. It really is inescapable.
Several people said similar things; assume I'm replying to all ...

I disagree.  I don't mean people aren't aware that Christianity exists; sure, the majority of Americans -- even if they go to church only for the occasional wedding or funeral -- are aware of Christianity, and most don't care much if there's a prayer before a meeting or whatever ... but more and more don't know what Christianity is actually about.  A couple things to consider ...   

Holidays:

Christmas is barely over -- my tree is still up -- but Christmas today is really a secular holiday.  People who never, ever attend church still celebrate Christmas.  Christmas may bear Christ's name, but Santa Claus and shopping is the real star.  Consider the things that've disappeared over the last decade:

- We used to hear about 50-50 religious vs. secular songs on the radio.  This year I heard plenty of Baby, It's Cold Outside, but I didn't hear Away in a Manger or Hark the Herald Angels Sing even once.  No one wants to offend the  non-religious.
- Similarly, it wasn't long ago that we saw many people wearing sweatshirts saying "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" or "Wise Men Still Seek Him".  I haven't seen any this year.  Not one.
- TV commercials (and other advertisements) have subtly left out the religious message ... while keeping some of the trappings of Christmas.  If you're not a Christian, you probably don't notice it.  For example, TV stars pose in front of a fireplace loaded with greenery, and they proclaim that the real message of Christmas is time with family -- or giving is better than receiving -- or it's a time to give to those in need.  Not bad messages, but absolutely not a religious message.  As I said, they do this subtly:  one commercial I noticed this year used geographic designs that looked rather like Christmas trees (but were pink and green instead of red and green) ... and girls carried bags that might've been gift bags or might've been gifts ... and the speaker proclaimed "That's the way we holiday".  Yeah, it's soooo close to Christmas, but it's really about shopping. 
- If you want to include anything religious in your Christmas celebration, you have to look for it.  It won't be in popular media or at the mall. 

Easter has almost dropped off the map for most people.  We get Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday off school instead of Good Friday now.  While I don't mean to insult that man in any way, given that he was a reverend, I have trouble thinking he would've wanted to take away Jesus' day. 

People really don't know what the Bible says /what Christianity is about anymore:


A decade ago my students understood Biblical references in literature.  I don't mean obscure references like the story of Susannah and the Elders; rather, today they don't understand that a David and Goliath situation means a little guy going up against a stronger opponent.  Our AP students now complete a unit that includes reading a children's Bible -- not for religious purposes, but so they'll understand the references. 

People mistakenly think old sayings are in the Bible; for example, Cleanliness is next to Godliness ... The Lord helps those who help themselves. 

Ask most people -- and I don't mean just kids -- what it takes to go to Heaven according to Christianity, and most will say something to the effect of, You need to do good deeds.  Or, Follow the tend commandments.  That's not in keeping with the Bible's message at all. 

Anecdote time!!  Just because a kid graduates public or private high school is also no proof that they have mastered the material they studied.  DH (longtime college professor) had a small handful of students each year in his science classes who could not do simple arithmetic.  I'm not talking calculus here. I'm talking questions like "What is 7 percent of 200?"  There was one student in particular that DH worked with very intensively to get his math up to scratch. (My hat is off to that guy. Most in that position dropped out of the class, but he didn't.  He dug in, and made up the ground.  Imagine -- with that drive -- what he could have done if he'd had a good education along the way!). The student honestly had no idea that he didn't know these things. He had gotten average to good grades in math in high school.

How on earth does this happen???  I can only conclude that the schools these kids attended aren't checking to see if the basics have been mastered, or not being honest about testing/grades. 
Yeah, I see similar things in my high school classroom:  Kids who are doing FINE in math class ask me how to average their three test grades.  Kids who zip through grammar worksheets neglect to capitalize proper nouns.  Why?  Because they don't generalize the knowledge.  They can complete a worksheet full of the same type of problem, yet when it's time to USE the information, they don't recall it /can't apply the proper skill.  Or, just as often, they're too lazy to think through which skill to use.

... Go read the "Brainy Bunch"* where the author sent her kids as young as 12 to community college.  I wouldn't have a problem doing so, I actually plan to as community college in my city is free for residents as soon as they are academically capable.  It's not like I'm going to leave them by themselves to party overnight.  They will attend class and group study and that's it.

EDIT:  What is wrong with teenagers going to school with adults? ...
That was interesting; I've never heard of this family before.  Clearly, however, they're not typical. 

As to "what's wrong with teenagers going to school with adults", it depends on the kid.  My oldest would've been fine with it; she would've enjoyed it and would've seen it as an affirmation of her intelligence; whereas, my youngest would've freaked out for no particular reason.  In fact, she came home from a freshman college class a few years ago and said, "Mom, an adult sat next to me today in class!"  I pointed out that SHE HERSELF is an adult, and she answered, "No, Mom, a real adult.  Like you."  It seemed odd to her, and it bothered her. 

Our local community college has a minimum student age of 16.
Ours too.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.   Whether reading is possible for all children and whether it should be a diploma requirement is an interesting topic.  Perhaps some different 'socialization' completion recognition diploma could be a compromise answer.
This exists.  My school houses the Special Ed program for our county, and we have three classrooms full of students who will never be able to read -- but they are learning skills that are within their grasp (self care, laundry, cooking, polite interaction with others, etc.).  At the end of their studies, they receive a diploma -- not the same one that the majority receive.  I forget what they call those diplomas. 

We actually have four levels of diploma ... but the vast, vast majority (more than 90%) receive the standard diploma. 

Handing out undeserved diplomas undermines the incentive because it erodes the value of the credential, for everyone. Its value is diminished in the eyes of employers and society in general.
I totally agree, and I think anyone reasonable agrees -- but the general public likes to read that 92% of the freshmen who enter our high school graduate within four years, and they want to buy houses in our area because of that.  And if we don't give diplomas to X percent of our students, we lose funding and our school will be taken over by specialists.  As it exists now, this is a lose-lose situation.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on January 02, 2018, 08:42:47 PM
Christmas today is really a secular holiday. 

Let me make sure I understand correctly the point you are trying to make.  You are unhappy that your religious holiday has become so popular, so universally celebrated, so ubiquitous, so necessarily interwoven into the fabric of our society, that the original message of religious superiority is lost under the avalanche of good will?

Yea, that's really terrible.  I feel so bad for Christians now.  It must be horrible to be so persecuted that the entire world celebrates your holidays.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Goldielocks on January 02, 2018, 11:24:19 PM

I get the impression that a lot of home schoolers feel like primary school and high school teachers are just random adults who like kids.  They don't recognize any value in getting a degree in education.  They have no exposure to pedagogy, or strategies for behavioral problems, or specialized support for kids with disabilities.  They think any moron can stand at a blackboard and say "reach chapter 3, test on Friday" and call themselves a teacher.

I don't disagree, for the most part, but I do need to point out that parents don't need to have strategies for kids with disabilities, if their kids have disabilities.   They only need to be experts in strategies for their own kids.

Many parents, regardless of schooling choice, that I have met, have done a LOT of work to become specialists in what their own kids need.  Autism, high achievers, anxiety, dyslexia,  when a need is identified, interested parents often become that kid's specialist.

My kid has cancer (for real).  I don't need to take him to an oncologist who will work with him, I just need to become an expert myself and I will give him the appropriate chemos.  After all, I am an expert on strategies for my kid.  I've done A LOT of work to become a specialist on what my kid needs.

Sound pretty reckless and irresponsible, right?  And with cancer, that attitude could kill him.

My kid has Autism too (for real) and a learning disability (for real) and is also Gifted/Talented (for real). 

I also find it reckless and irresponsible for me to try to teach him instead of a special ed teacher.  Because even though I know my kid and they don't, they have a lot of experience with kids with his disabilities.  He started high school this year.  His teacher has been teaching high school kids with disabilities for literally decades.  Not to mention things like the fact he is in an AP class for a subject that I didn't take a singe class of in college.
 On the first day of school, I had exactly 1 day experience working with a high school student with a disability.

From the wording of your post, I assume you do not have a kid with a disability.  I didn't just hear this or meet some people with kids with disabilities, I live it every single day.  Please don't presume you know enough to tell the rest of us why we don't need special ed teachers and that we should homeschool.

Homeschooling is a good choice for some, but for me, and the majority of people I know with kids with a disabilities - we recognize our limitations and turn to real experts and specialists.  AKA - we send them to school.

Whoa,  where's the attitude coming from?

On my earlier posts you will see that I am definitely pro-public school and "queasy" about the idea of home schooling becoming more than a fringe minority.   e.g., IMO, it may be a good thing for students laid up in hospital, or travelling a lot for film schedules or sports training, especially if they get home visits from the local district.   Also: taking kids out of school for a year, while the family travels, removing kids from gosh-awful school environments, etc.   There seems to be a valid place for it, as an exception.

My post you outraged on, was written to try to gently deflate a series of prior posts that seemed to be building to say that parents were worthless because they did not have specialized multi-year training for all types of learning disabilities, and should  therefore not teach their own kids.   I disagree that parents are unable to teach their kids, if they have the motivation to get the knowledge to do so.   I am glad the tone of the thread turned away from "other parents are idiots" themes.

Parents are the kids' best advocates, especially for kids with disabilities.  No one is going to care more about their kid getting the right tools than the parent.

Because you asked:
I have a child with a modest diagnosed learning disability.  Enough to get him extra supports for high school and a classification. Now that he is through elementary, he has developed many strategies to learn in the way he does best, and we should be smoother sailing from here on in.   I would say that I had a taste of what other parents go through, within the system, for a while.

In those elementary years,  I knew better about his needs than the untrained support workers at his small elementary who were mis-diagnosing him left and right.  He was not advanced to "full" testing because there was only funding for the lowest 3 kids in the grade, and he was #4, and a complacent, quiet sort that was easy on the teachers.   I had to take him to (and pay for) specialists for official testing and supports to get over the challenges they created through the wrong diagnosis.   Once the right diagnosis was made, the schools then came through with better supports.

.......

AND
I do hope you aren't taking your kid to your public school for their cancer treatments......[couldn't resist adding this, your comment is so extreme.]   I think that is a topic for a different thread, such as "Who should parents turn to if their kids have cancer?" ... this thread is about educational institutions and homeschool approaches.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Goldielocks on January 02, 2018, 11:50:12 PM
The interesting question would be how many homeschooled engineers do you know?

I know none.

Three... but hmm,  they are all computer programmers, so......
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Goldielocks on January 03, 2018, 12:19:07 AM
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.   Whether reading is possible for all children and whether it should be a diploma requirement is an interesting topic.  Perhaps some different 'socialization' completion recognition diploma could be a compromise answer.

Eubonics as a recognition of some kids reality is not as rediculous as a white suburban adult might think, once you dig into the lives of real American urban youth and how they are living their lives.

As stated earlier, it helps society if a suffering kid is kept in school, receiving some sort of structure, vs roaming the streets in gangs. The ability to advance with peers, maybe play sports, etc can keep a kid out of a gang and ultimately dead, which is a real possible outcome here in Oakland. And yes, the possiblity to graduate can sometimes become an incentive that loses its meaning when offered to the ill prepared.  That said, some very functional people are unable to read.  For example, some groups in Laos did not have a literate history and an adult Laotian friend of mine is not literate, but a very functional adult.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Laos (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Laos)

Anyway, it is very different working with kids from that world and I assume you recognize that challenge for society.

Handing out undeserved diplomas undermines the incentive because it erodes the value of the credential, for everyone. Its value is diminished in the eyes of employers and society in general. There's a reason professional associations (e.g. Bar Association) are proponents of high standards for their profession.

If we're going to have standards for HS graduates then everyone must abide by those standards (incl. homeschoolers, via exit exams or other verification), otherwise the credential itself is worthless. Basic literacy is one of those requirements. If we're going to pass people along because the system decides it has done all it can, then at least come up with a different credential for this purpose. Otherwise such good intentions end up hurting everyone that actually completed the requirements.

Our public school system has had a two tier diploma system for many years now.   When it works well, for the reasons you state, it works very well.  Keeps kids legitimately struggling to gain the basics the ability to still achieve one type of diploma, that has some value in the working world.  (They have graduated high school, but with a different diploma category).

The flip side is that some districts graduate FAR TOO MANY students with that diploma, it is like the teachers give up and second track the students by grade 10, and then feel success just to graduate them.  Some of these students have learning disabilities, and many have a home environment that causes them to miss a lot of school (for family activities or because they are rural and school is very far away).

 The effort is on now to challenge those schools to increase the # of students with full diplomas, without dropping any of the students along the way.  Tough to do!
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv on January 03, 2018, 08:43:39 AM
It is my understanding that none of the above are covered by abuse laws.  If I'm wrong, can you provide the abuse law number and subsections that you're talking about that cover what I was mentioning.  Specifically:
- A homeschooled child must be educated by competent people (degree in education for primary grades, post secondary degree demonstrating knowledge in secondary education).

I don't view facilitation of learning by a nondegreed person as abuse. Several governments don't seem to either. (It seems some people might. I accept that some people might; I just disagree with that.)

- A homeschooled child must be socialized with a wide number and variety of different people.
- A homeschooled child must receive a certain minimum standard of education equivalent to that offered by the public school system.

Every region (country, etc) has its own laws. [Without spending endless hours cutting and pasting] I can't quote each law for each area.

But I can say that many regions have laws regarding a child's right to education, laws re: truancy, laws re: a minor child working during school hours or working more than x number of hours during school weeks, and laws against emotional abuse and neglect, which includes isolation. If a region lacks these laws, I would concern myself with getting these laws into place, in order to address concerns of child abuse (regardless of where the child is schooling/unschooling).

A warm, happy family of six living on their farm, homeschooling, socializing in their community four days out of each week, feeding the animals morning and night, with the kids heading out to Cadets every Tuesday night and swim meets every weekend isn't inherently abusive, including neglectful, so abuse laws that exist don't apply and we needn't be concerned.

If the crux of your concern is that facilitation of learning by nondegreed people is abuse, that could be an interesting conversation.

I also don't think that what you suggested (attempting to regulate homeschooling through child abuse law legislation) makes any sense.

I didn't suggest that. I suggested that abuse be addressed through abuse laws. This is in response to posts referring to abuse rather than to a homeschooling issue. In some cases, people are inappropriately conflating these, but they need to be addressed as the distinct topics they are.

I'm stuggling to understand what point you're arguing here.

I initially mentioned that there are benefits and disadvantages to both public education and homeschooling.  Public school is regulated to provide a minimum quality of education and to ensure that instructors are knowledgeable and qualified.  Homeschooling does not have these requirements, but motivated individuals can provide an education specifically tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of a child.  Therefore homeschooling has the potential to be both better, and worse than public education.

You then claimed that abuse laws provide protection to homeschooled children regarding education and socialization.  Abuse laws do not cover education and proper socialization via homeschooling.  This is why you were unable to find any that do so when asked about it.  No, I don't believe that education from someone without a degree is abuse.  I do believe that many subjects are difficult to impossible for the average person without a degree to effectively teach though (advanced level physics, calculus, finite math, chemistry, other languages, etc).  Providing a child with a poor education is not legislated as abuse though, so people homeschooling are free to educate in whatever (good or bad) way that they feel is best.  No laws exist that require a child be allowed to play with other children of the same age.  If I wanted to restrict my child's interactions to the people in my immediate family only, that wouldn't be legally considered abuse (despite the detrimental pact it may have on his development) because it's not total isolation.  Standard of education for homeschooling is minimally regulated in a few US states, but the vast majority do not regulate it in any meaningful way.  (Canada's homeschooling minimum requirements are also pretty skimpy.)

As has been mentioned several times, I get why people would want to homeschool.  There are valid reasons to do so.  In many cases it can provide an excellent education.  What I'm having trouble understanding is why you refuse to acknowledge that a bad homeschooling situation can be detrimental to a child's wellbeing - while also not being serious to be legally considered abuse.  There are quite valid reasons to homeschool, but there are quite valid objections to how the practice is implemented by some parents.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Lance Burkhart on January 03, 2018, 09:47:27 AM
@MrsPete
Quote
People really don't know what the Bible says /what Christianity is about anymore:

A decade ago my students understood Biblical references in literature.  I don't mean obscure references like the story of Susannah and the Elders; rather, today they don't understand that a David and Goliath situation means a little guy going up against a stronger opponent.  Our AP students now complete a unit that includes reading a children's Bible -- not for religious purposes, but so they'll understand the references. 

People mistakenly think old sayings are in the Bible; for example, Cleanliness is next to Godliness ... The Lord helps those who help themselves. 

Ask most people -- and I don't mean just kids -- what it takes to go to Heaven according to Christianity, and most will say something to the effect of, You need to do good deeds.  Or, Follow the tend commandments.  That's not in keeping with the Bible's message at all. 

Barna has been polling Christians for decades.  The Christian church is not Christian in the US.  Read this (https://pastormathis.com/index.php/2015/10/12/how-can-the-american-church-survive-the-coming-troubles/).  This is why when I talk to homeschoolers about the Christian education they claim they're giving their children, I get frustrated.  They don't know the milk of the Christian faith.  They might even hold to heretical beliefs.  There's plenty of evidence on this thread of kids who've left the faith and their testimonies sound and awful lot like they were given a false gospel.  But the LORD -they believe- told their parents to homeschool for religious reasons.  I wonder how they know this.  They discern God's will so poorly in his Word when it comes to other matters of life and doctrine, how do they know they are called to homeschool when the Bible is silent on school choice? How many of these parents have daily family worship and catechism and take their kids to a gospel-preaching (https://www.amazon.com/Christless-Christianity-Alternative-Gospel-American-ebook/dp/B00B0VMJ8E/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514997993&sr=1-1&keywords=christless+christianity) church on Sunday?

Personally, I'm happy if anyone chooses ANY of the school choices available in the US for the RIGHT REASONS. My kids are public schooled but I'm thinking of sending them to Christian school because I don't like the state government's continuous pursuit of its values in our K-12 schools against the wishes of teachers and parents. 

I've been reading a lot on this topic lately.  This (https://www.amazon.com/Uniting-Church-Family-Shawn-Mathis/dp/1495489582/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442502689&sr=1-1&keywords=uniting+church+and+family) book is very good.  So is "The Collapse of Parenting" by Leornard Sax.  So is this one (http://www.amazon.com/Going-Public-Child-Thrive-School/dp/0801018196/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514997881&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=going+public+kids+can+thrive).

EDIT: fixed links
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Lance Burkhart on January 03, 2018, 09:54:09 AM
@DumpTruck I'm interested in what your parents taught you (which books, what curricula, what are their backgrounds).

@arebelspy Can you help me out here? Out here, public school parents with accelerated kids have trouble finding accelerated tracks for their kids.  There is a scramble for limited slots in charter schools, but some kids are left out and the state teacher's union is on a constant jihad against charter schools.  I may supplement my kids' k-12 education by teaching math at home (I am an electrical engineer). I'm interested in learning better teaching methods.

Quote
A reasonably intelligent person willing to research teaching methods and techniques can probably do better than an expert with 30 kids, at the low level content areas. I would not count most people in this category (reasonably intelligent, willing to seek help and able to do so, etc.) though.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: MrsPete on January 03, 2018, 11:36:48 AM
Christmas today is really a secular holiday. 

Let me make sure I understand correctly the point you are trying to make.  You are unhappy that your religious holiday has become so popular, so universally celebrated, so ubiquitous, so necessarily interwoven into the fabric of our society, that the original message of religious superiority is lost under the avalanche of good will?

Yea, that's really terrible.  I feel so bad for Christians now.  It must be horrible to be so persecuted that the entire world celebrates your holidays.
It's a fine twist on words with an excellent attempt to insert an attitude that wasn't present in my post; however, no.  Christmas wasn't originally about God's gift to the world, not superiority; and it isn't about good will today -- it's about material goods and commercialization. 

Barna has been polling Christians for decades.  The Christian church is not Christian in the US.  Read this (http://"https://pastormathis.com/index.php/2015/10/12/how-can-the-american-church-survive-the-coming-troubles/"). 
I'd like to read this, but the link doesn't work. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GoConfidently on January 03, 2018, 11:42:10 AM
I completely agree with Gin1984. As someone raised religious who subsequently left all of that I am very aware of how Christianity is in the pores of so much of our regular lives, even living in a big coastal urban area. If I go to a southern state it is like being smacked up the face with it every where I turn. It really is inescapable.
Several people said similar things; assume I'm replying to all ...

I disagree.  I don't mean people aren't aware that Christianity exists; sure, the majority of Americans -- even if they go to church only for the occasional wedding or funeral -- are aware of Christianity, and most don't care much if there's a prayer before a meeting or whatever ... but more and more don't know what Christianity is actually about.  A couple things to consider ...   


Some of us are very aware of what Christianity is actually about and think that the less religious our society becomes the better it will be for everyone. We have good reason to believe this.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-secular-life/201410/secular-societies-fare-better-religious-societies

"The correlation is clear and strong: the more secular tend to fare better than the more religious on a vast host of measures, including homicide and violent crime rates, poverty rates, obesity and diabetes rates, child abuse rates, educational attainment levels, income levels, unemployment rates, rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy, etc. You name it: on nearly every sociological measure of well-being, you’re most likely to find the more secular states with the lowest levels of faith in God and the lowest rates of church attendance faring the best and the most religious states with the highest levels of faith in God and rates of church attendance faring the worst."

The reason religion gets brought up in this home school conversation so much is because some parents can't see the difference between education and their beliefs. Overwhelmingly home school parents (on here and elsewhere) say that they don't want any government oversight in their home school curriculum. For many of them, that's because they want to teach religion in place of actual curriculum. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 91 percent of homeschooling parents want to offer a religious (64 percent) and/or moral (77 percent) alternative. That's a huge chunk of the home schooling families, and those children deserve a complete education. Refusing to educate children on certain topics, or purposely teaching outdated and incorrect information because it corresponds to one particular ancient text, is not an education, and it's dangerous for those children and our society as a whole.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: simonsez on January 03, 2018, 12:56:02 PM
Christmas today is really a secular holiday. 

Let me make sure I understand correctly the point you are trying to make.  You are unhappy that your religious holiday has become so popular, so universally celebrated, so ubiquitous, so necessarily interwoven into the fabric of our society, that the original message of religious superiority is lost under the avalanche of good will?

Yea, that's really terrible.  I feel so bad for Christians now.  It must be horrible to be so persecuted that the entire world celebrates your holidays.
It's a fine twist on words with an excellent attempt to insert an attitude that wasn't present in my post; however, no.  Christmas wasn't originally about God's gift to the world, not superiority; and it isn't about good will today -- it's about material goods and commercialization. 
Fine, let's call it Satanmas or Secularmas then.  If it's a secular holiday, then no one should have a problem with the name change.  But lo and behold, at least a quarter of the country gripes every year about keeping the "Christ in Christmas".

What percentage of the populace would take offense if Ramadan took the place of Memorial Day or anything like that because it wouldn't be 100% secular.

I pledge allegiance...under Buddha...

Doesn't our money say In Muhammad We Trust?

Happy New Year (the 2018th year of our Lord, of course)!
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: robartsd on January 03, 2018, 02:08:24 PM
Fine, let's call it Satanmas or Secularmas then.  If it's a secular holiday, then no one should have a problem with the name change.  But lo and behold, at least a quarter of the country gripes every year about keeping the "Christ in Christmas".

What percentage of the populace would take offense if Ramadan took the place of Memorial Day or anything like that because it wouldn't be 100% secular.

I pledge allegiance...under Buddha...

Doesn't our money say In Muhammad We Trust?

Happy New Year (the 2018th year of our Lord, of course)!
When people complian about religious references in the public space I wish they would remember that explicit atheism (the belief that their is no deity) is as much a religious point of view as one of the many forms of theism.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on January 03, 2018, 02:28:16 PM
explicit atheism (the belief that their is no deity) is as much a religious point of view as one of the many forms of theism.

So you think atheism is theism?

In that case, my favorite hobby is not collecting stamps.

Your argument fundamentally misunderstands (or perhaps intentionally misrepresents) what atheism is.  It is not a religion, any more than not collecting stamps is a hobby.  It is the absence of belief in counterfactual narratives.  It does not presuppose or require a complete understanding of a factual narrative, only that you willing abandon the obviously wrong ones.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: almcclur on January 03, 2018, 02:43:57 PM
So many thoughts. We are a military family with 3 kids and homeschool 2 of them. We've moved 8 times since my oldest started school--3 times in his high school years.

 

My daughter goes to the local public middle school. She loves it and does very well there, enjoying pre-AP classes and extra curricular activities. She also tells me about the drugs in the bathroom, the never-ending F-bombs on the bus, the weird kid who stands too close and stares at her constantly, and the class where the teacher tells them to read the book and then do the worksheet, every single day. The school is not interested in parent participation--I've tried. Despite the negatives, overall I'm mostly satisfied with her education, though I'm willing to re-evaluate at any time.

 

We homeschool my oldest who just turned 18. He has Asperger's (yes ASD) and school was failing him when we pulled him out in 1st grade. Even with a 1:1 aide, it was a very bad fit. If he had been made to suffer through it he would be a very different person today. He still has his challenges, but after years of therapy and homeschooling, he will be graduating this year with over 50 hours of college credits, and so far has been accepted into 3/5 of his preferred colleges with significant scholarships. We have been gradually preparing him for a college environment with more and more group classes and mandatory activities, though he still sometimes pushes back. If you met him on the street you might say, "oh there's one of those weird homeschoolers." But the truth is that we hs because he's "weird", not the other way around. PS might have ironed out some of his wrinkles a little better, but his actual education would have suffered immeasurably.

 

We also homeschool my youngest son, who is 11. I would consider him your typical kid. He's super smart in some areas and average or even below average in others. He's a kinetic learner and was miserable in kindergarten, which had no regular recess. By December he was in the slow reading group and had stomach aches every morning before school. In the end it was just not the best learning environment for him. We brought him home and he was reading at grade level within the month.

He is exactly the type of kid who would fall through the cracks in school. At home he gets all A's bc we don't move on until he learns something thoroughly. If left to his own devices he would put in the bare minimum and skate through with C's or D's even. He would be labeled dumb even though he just isn't interested. And he would start to think of himself as dumb, like he had already started to in Kindergarten. Instead he knows that he's great with tools and mechanical stuff, and animals, and cooking, and that if he has to he can diagram a sentence and plot the voyages of the early explorers on a map. We are always open to considering ps for him in the future, but I accept that his education will suffer if we do.

We found that homeschooling the early years is really easy. I can get them above grade level in about 3 hours a day up to 4th grade or so. I'm not an "expert," but one on one tutoring at that level just isn't hard. (Except for the patience factor!) Around 6th grade I start outsourcing certain subjects. By high school I'm more of a learning facilitator and overseer. There's not enough time in the week to fit in all the different activities, and groups, and clubs, so we have to pick and choose, but the options here (huge city) are limitless.

All this is to say that I strongly value the freedom to make whatever choices are best for my kids and also appreciate that our current state doesn't interfere with my choices at all.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: robartsd on January 03, 2018, 03:22:05 PM
explicit atheism (the belief that their is no deity) is as much a religious point of view as one of the many forms of theism.

So you think atheism is theism?

In that case, my favorite hobby is not collecting stamps.

Your argument fundamentally misunderstands (or perhaps intentionally misrepresents) what atheism is.  It is not a religion, any more than not collecting stamps is a hobby.  It is the absence of belief in counterfactual narratives.  It does not presuppose or require a complete understanding of a factual narrative, only that you willing abandon the obviously wrong ones.
Sol, you can be so poor at reading comprehension sometimes. I clearly stated that I think that the belief that there is no god is a religious point of view. I think agnostics (we don't/can't know if their is a god or not) are non-religious.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on January 03, 2018, 03:35:06 PM
clearly stated that I think that the belief that there is no god is a religious point of view.

It's not a "belief" to discard things that are factually disproven.  I do not "believe" that 2+2 does not equal 500.  This is not a matter of faith.

For example, prayer is a lie. It doesn't work.  Every single double blind study every conducted agrees that praying for something, anything, is a feelgood waste of time.  Unless you're praying for a feelgood waste of time.  I don't "believe" that prayer works or doesn't work, because we can test it and know the real answer.  I don't have to know what does work in order know that prayer doesn't work.

There is nothing religious about my knowledge of the efficacy of prayer.  It is not a belief, it is knowledge plainly there for anyone to see.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: birdman2003 on January 03, 2018, 04:12:49 PM
I had public school for K-3, homeschool for 4-8, and then a mix of both for grades 9-12.  Played sports and band at the public school.  Played sports and choir with the homeschool group.  Got a good mix of both.  I would prefer homeschool for my kids if we have kids someday.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: jeninco on January 03, 2018, 04:43:30 PM
explicit atheism (the belief that their is no deity) is as much a religious point of view as one of the many forms of theism.

So you think atheism is theism?

In that case, my favorite hobby is not collecting stamps.

Your argument fundamentally misunderstands (or perhaps intentionally misrepresents) what atheism is.  It is not a religion, any more than not collecting stamps is a hobby.  It is the absence of belief in counterfactual narratives.  It does not presuppose or require a complete understanding of a factual narrative, only that you willing abandon the obviously wrong ones.

Then what's agnosticism? There's probably lots more of that out there than anything else.

I mean, I can't be bothered with your un-provable beliefs and don't care what you do, until you start trying to enact policy and that affects other people based on your explicitly religious beliefs.

(And even then, I'll be standing right there with you, because it turns out "feed the hungry" and "clothe the naked" aren't merely Christian beliefs. It's when you get to dopey ideas like "don't teach children science" and "limit what adult women can do with their bodies" and "deny science in the name of furthering petrochemical profits" that I'll be opposed.)

Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 03, 2018, 07:03:04 PM
Most of the Atheists I have met will simply not shut up about how much they don't believe in God. They go on and on about it, even if everyone else is talking about the new season of The X-Files instead. It's like -- let it rest. We get it. Atheists are like those people who are really into Crossfit.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Undecided on January 03, 2018, 09:08:40 PM
Most of the Atheists I have met will simply not shut up about how much they don't believe in God. They go on and on about it, even if everyone else is talking about the new season of The X-Files instead. It's like -- let it rest. We get it. Atheists are like those people who are really into Crossfit.

No atheist has ever come to my door to educate me about atheism.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on January 03, 2018, 09:31:57 PM
I see this thread has veered into a number of subtopics since I was last here. But I want to respond to your post to me, GuitarStv, because I respect your focus and manner and appreciate the conversation.

You then claimed that abuse laws provide protection to homeschooled children regarding education and socialization.  Abuse laws do not cover education and proper socialization via homeschooling.  This is why you were unable to find any that do so when asked about it.

No. I was unable to paste any in because I didn't copy any. I'm familiar with the laws covering the items I specified and I know anyone here is able to locate them, too. If a person lives in an area lacking laws covering those items I specified, I'd be interested to hear about that (and then I would likely dig into legal info there, out of interest and curiousity).

No, I don't believe that education from someone without a degree is abuse.

We're agreed here, and I do appreciate the confirmation.

No laws exist that require a child be allowed to play with other children of the same age.

I, too, am unfamiliar with such a law. I'm glad it doesn't seem to exist, as I would feel that's a very weird one and unjustified. (I'm absolutely not opposed to kids of the same age hanging together, but I don't think it's necessary either. I do think it's vastly more helpful for a child to hang out with a wider age range, and specifically people ages 0-110 their whole lives. Naturally, that would usually include a few around their own age.)

What I'm having trouble understanding is why you refuse to acknowledge that a bad homeschooling situation can be detrimental to a child's wellbeing

I think what I'm saying is understandable. I see that certain things in any situation can be detrimental -just that those things are not specific to homeschooling.

I wonder if I'm just not communicating this effectively. I'm not sure how else to say it, though.

I agree that children should not be isolated or abused, in any context (homeschool, B&M school, daycare, child employment). There are valid reasons for homeschool, B&M school, daycare, and child employment. Abuse should not be permitted in any of these. Where abuse happens in one of these -and it does happen to children in every single one of these places- the abuse should be addressed, not the form of schooling or other healthy activity. Basically, not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

I'm sorry, I wish I could think of another way to phrase what I'm trying to say. I can't, though, so I'm essentially repeating myself, which is probably not going to feel like a productive contribution for you :(
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Shane on January 04, 2018, 04:07:11 AM
clearly stated that I think that the belief that there is no god is a religious point of view.

It's not a "belief" to discard things that are factually disproven.  I do not "believe" that 2+2 does not equal 500.  This is not a matter of faith.

For example, prayer is a lie. It doesn't work.  Every single double blind study every conducted agrees that praying for something, anything, is a feelgood waste of time.  Unless you're praying for a feelgood waste of time.  I don't "believe" that prayer works or doesn't work, because we can test it and know the real answer.  I don't have to know what does work in order know that prayer doesn't work.

There is nothing religious about my knowledge of the efficacy of prayer.  It is not a belief, it is knowledge plainly there for anyone to see.

@sol, If by prayer you only mean humans asking an imaginary magical sky father for favors, then you're right. It doesn't work.

In many ways, though, traditional prayer is similar to meditation and creative visualization, which do work. Many people use mediation along with creative visualization to help themselves achieve goals. If, for example, an athlete or student or employee closes her eyes and over and over again pictures herself achieving some goal, be it winning a race, graduating or getting a promotion or a raise, pretty sure her chances of succeeding increase.

Just because some people call their meditation and visualization exercises "prayer," doesn't mean it can't work. It's not a coincidence that the environment in churches, mosques and temples is similar to what people consciously try to create for themselves when they meditate. When people "pray," just like when they meditate, they calm their minds, focus their concentration and picture the things that they want to come true in their lives, over and over again.

It may be difficult to prove this point in an objective scientific study, but I'm pretty sure it works.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 04, 2018, 06:38:58 AM
Most of the Atheists I have met will simply not shut up about how much they don't believe in God. They go on and on about it, even if everyone else is talking about the new season of The X-Files instead. It's like -- let it rest. We get it. Atheists are like those people who are really into Crossfit.

No atheist has ever come to my door to educate me about atheism.

Nah, they have social media. It's the 21st century.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Bourbon on January 04, 2018, 06:54:56 AM
Most of the Atheists I have met will simply not shut up about how much they don't believe in God. They go on and on about it, even if everyone else is talking about the new season of The X-Files instead. It's like -- let it rest. We get it. Atheists are like those people who are really into Crossfit.

I'll break my rule and post on this, but I'm atheist and 99.9% of people I know don't know that. I would wager you know many more atheists than you know.

Atheism is a lack of belief.
Agnosticism is a lack of knowing.

The two aren't mutually exclusive.  People who label themselves as one verse the other aren't more virtuous etc, more of a confusion of the terms to try and vilify one over the other in the cultural dialogue.

That's all I will post on the matter.  Feel free to PM if you really want to hear more from me, but I don't really have much invested in and don't have much more to say.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gondolin on January 04, 2018, 07:03:59 AM
Quote
Many people use mediation along with creative visualization to help themselves achieve goals. If, for example, an athlete or student or employee closes her eyes and over and over again pictures herself achieving some goal, be it winning a race, graduating or getting a promotion or a raise, pretty sure her chances of succeeding increase.

This idea gets a lot of play in pop psych magazines and life coaching brochures but, has it ever been tested in a repeatable, scientific way with a large N sample size? Most of the evidence seems to be ex-post-facto anecdotes from already elite athletes coupled with a few small-N (N<=30) psych studies that have not been replicated. Given that social psychology is currently being staggered by a full blown replication crisis, I'm curious if any of the studies on visualisation have been validated.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: me1 on January 04, 2018, 07:09:07 AM
Most of the Atheists I have met will simply not shut up about how much they don't believe in God. They go on and on about it, even if everyone else is talking about the new season of The X-Files instead. It's like -- let it rest. We get it. Atheists are like those people who are really into Crossfit.

No atheist has ever come to my door to educate me about atheism.


Nah, they have social media. It's the 21st century.

I am a huge fan of your journal and your writing WhiteTrashCash, but I think you are generalizing here, and not advancing the conversation in any way.
I am an atheist. I never tell people I am an atheist, because (although I am a scientist) it could have negative consequences on my career. It also means people make stupid presumptions about what I believe based on some encounters they have had before, and then... generalize.
It's completely counter-productive to tell other people what YOU think they believe. I only ever bring it up if people start saying shit about atheists that is completely ridiculous. I've been told before "I can't believe you are an atheist, you are so nice." WTF? I don't think that's a compliment.
I think you have the right to believe what you believe. I do think that the dominant religion is everpresent, and infringes on the rights of those who are not a part of it. But I don't think you as an individual shouldn't have the right to believe what you believe. 
In my experience, the ratio of militant atheists to non-militant ones is quite low. But the loud ones are the ones you notice. Just like with religious people... proselytizing religions are more likely to grate on people than ones that have no converting agenda...
Anecdotally, I think I have only ever met one militant atheist in my life, and it was a friend of a friend, and he was super annoying. All other atheists I know are really not that into it. It only comes up in response to someone being an ass about your opinions, or someone trying to shove theirs down your throat. It's kind of hard to have something you don't believe in be central to your life. Most of the time I don't think about the fact that I don't believe in god, I just go on about my day. It's not like I have to make time to "not pray" or "not go to church."
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 04, 2018, 07:17:44 AM
Most of the Atheists I have met will simply not shut up about how much they don't believe in God. They go on and on about it, even if everyone else is talking about the new season of The X-Files instead. It's like -- let it rest. We get it. Atheists are like those people who are really into Crossfit.

I'll break my rule and post on this, but I'm atheist and 99.9% of people I know don't know that. I would wager you know many more atheists than you know.

Atheism is a lack of belief.
Agnosticism is a lack of knowing.

The two aren't mutually exclusive.  People who label themselves as one verse the other aren't more virtuous etc, more of a confusion of the terms to try and vilify one over the other in the cultural dialogue.

That's all I will post on the matter.  Feel free to PM if you really want to hear more from me, but I don't really have much invested in and don't have much more to say.

From what I've seen and experienced in talking/interacting with many atheists (not all, obviously), they think Neil DeGrasse Tyson is some kind of prophet who will bring about a utopia by doing away with "irrational thinking". There are even factions opposed to one another -- like different denominations of religions -- who can get aggressive with one another over perceived lack of "rationality" (i.e. Having different thoughts about things.) And then they post memes against water fluoridation.

All I'm saying is that a lot of atheists aren't really irreligious. They just view Science in a religious way, like it's some kind of magic instead of something used to observe and understand the known universe.

By the way, I was amused by Neil DeGrasse Tyson's "Cosmos" series because the very first episode focused on the Catholic Church's supposed evil anti-Science stance, when the reality is that the Church fully embraces Science and has for centuries and actually has helped develop many scientific fields and discoveries through their vast network of schools and colleges.

I guess folks just like to play victim, though, which I get. A lot of Christians pretend to be persecuted too.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: me1 on January 04, 2018, 07:23:28 AM
Oh, I see now. You actually have issues with people who are into scientism, not atheists. There is some overlap for sure, but it's not the same thing at all. I find scientism annoying too! Anyone who has actually done science, not just read about it, cannot possibly blindly believe in science.
I do think science is a very valuable pursuit, but cannot be used to explain everything. You are right, though, there are people who just need to "believe" in something, and so they just replace religion with science.
I don't think this is equivalent to atheism.




From what I've seen and experienced in talking/interacting with many atheists (not all, obviously), they think Neil DeGrasse Tyson is some kind of prophet who will bring about a utopia by doing away with "irrational thinking". There are even factions opposed to one another -- like different denominations of religions -- who can get aggressive with one another over perceived lack of "rationality" (i.e. Having different thoughts about things.) And then they post memes against water fluoridation.

All I'm saying is that a lot of atheists aren't really irreligious. They just view Science in a religious way, like it's some kind of magic instead of something used to observe and understand the known universe.

By the way, I was amused by Neil DeGrasse Tyson's "Cosmos" series because the very first episode focused on the Catholic Church's supposed evil anti-Science stance, when the reality is that the Church fully embraces Science and has for centuries and actually has helped develop many scientific fields and discoveries through their vast network of schools and colleges.

I guess folks just like to play victim, though, which I get. A lot of Christians pretend to be persecuted too.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Gin1984 on January 04, 2018, 08:19:22 AM
Most of the Atheists I have met will simply not shut up about how much they don't believe in God. They go on and on about it, even if everyone else is talking about the new season of The X-Files instead. It's like -- let it rest. We get it. Atheists are like those people who are really into Crossfit.

No atheist has ever come to my door to educate me about atheism.


Nah, they have social media. It's the 21st century.

I am a huge fan of your journal and your writing WhiteTrashCash, but I think you are generalizing here, and not advancing the conversation in any way.
I am an atheist. I never tell people I am an atheist, because (although I am a scientist) it could have negative consequences on my career. It also means people make stupid presumptions about what I believe based on some encounters they have had before, and then... generalize.
It's completely counter-productive to tell other people what YOU think they believe. I only ever bring it up if people start saying shit about atheists that is completely ridiculous. I've been told before "I can't believe you are an atheist, you are so nice." WTF? I don't think that's a compliment.
I think you have the right to believe what you believe. I do think that the dominant religion is everpresent, and infringes on the rights of those who are not a part of it. But I don't think you as an individual shouldn't have the right to believe what you believe. 
In my experience, the ratio of militant atheists to non-militant ones is quite low. But the loud ones are the ones you notice. Just like with religious people... proselytizing religions are more likely to grate on people than ones that have no converting agenda...
Anecdotally, I think I have only ever met one militant atheist in my life, and it was a friend of a friend, and he was super annoying. All other atheists I know are really not that into it. It only comes up in response to someone being an ass about your opinions, or someone trying to shove theirs down your throat. It's kind of hard to have something you don't believe in be central to your life. Most of the time I don't think about the fact that I don't believe in god, I just go on about my day. It's not like I have to make time to "not pray" or "not go to church."
My husband is mostly agnostic (leaning towards atheist but still not 100% sure) and he keeps it to himself for the same reason, harm to his career.  Maybe those who are willing to take the risk, have responded by being aggressive about it?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: RetiredAt63 on January 04, 2018, 08:36:13 AM
Oh, I see now. You actually have issues with people who are into scientism, not atheists. There is some overlap for sure, but it's not the same thing at all. I find scientism annoying too! Anyone who has actually done science, not just read about it, cannot possibly blindly believe in science.
I do think science is a very valuable pursuit, but cannot be used to explain everything. You are right, though, there are people who just need to "believe" in something, and so they just replace religion with science.
I don't think this is equivalent to atheism.


Huh?  Scientism?  I am a scientist (just because I am retired doesn't mean I am no longer a scientist).  Science is not a belief system, science is a way of figuring out how the world works.   So as a biologist, I do not *believe* in evolution, I *think* that the theory of evolution is a good explanation of how all this biological diversity developed.  And part of the way science works is that if well-supported evidence turns up that disproves part of a theory, the theory gets adjusted.  And sometimes the whole theory gets replaced by a new one.  And then the new one gets tested and adjusted.

I think the thing that sums up this attitude to me is a story a colleague told me.  He was in a geology class when his professor, who had just returned from a conference, walked into the class and told them to rip up all their notes, everything he had told them was wrong.  The professor had been to the conference where all the varying bits and pieces got put together and the theory of plate tectonics was sorted out.  Doesn't seem much like religious dogma to me.

On the other hand, people who are not scientists seem to often want scientists to speak in absolutes - if someone is willing to adjust theories as new information comes along, because they know they do not have all the information and their hypotheses are a reflection of truth, not truth itself, they are not going to want to speak in absolutes.   Is this scientism?  The expectation that scientists already know everything and have everything 100% right? 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: FIRE Artist on January 04, 2018, 08:42:05 AM

 It's kind of hard to have something you don't believe in be central to your life. Most of the time I don't think about the fact that I don't believe in god, I just go on about my day. It's not like I have to make time to "not pray" or "not go to church."
[/quote]

This sums up my type of "atheism" perfectly.  I use quotations because I don't even identify with the term atheist, I was raised without religion, and without a belief in a creator, and never felt the need to have a label to describe the lack of those things in my life.  My parents never used the term atheist to decribe us, not once.  Atheist is a term I learned later on in life, when someone tried to tag me with that label after explaining that I simply didn't have faith in my life.  I suspect that there are a lot of people out there like my family.

To me, the need to even have the term atheist, is like having to have a special name to describe a child who doesn't believe in Santa Clause.    In a way, I do understand some of the push back against those who do openly self label as Atheist, because I have observed that they tend to be more vocal about it.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: simonsez on January 04, 2018, 09:31:58 AM
When people complian about religious references in the public space I wish they would remember that explicit atheism (the belief that their is no deity) is as much a religious point of view as one of the many forms of theism.
First, I think you can use a simple modus tollens to prove atheism is not a religious POV (even though Sol's new fave hobby might be more fun).  Religion means belief in one or more deities.  With atheism we do not have belief in one or more deities.  Thus, we do not have religion.

As such, I do not think that explicit atheism is relevant nor was I specifically trying to complain - rather just trying to shed light on how ingrained Christian culture is in a country that is supposed to be founded on religious freedom (including freedom from religion altogether) and explicit separation of church and state.  Further, to act like the ingrained Christian culture is passe or rather secular comes from a place of privilege.  I do not think that is a bad thing per se and is to be expected for much of the country since the vast majority of immigrants have been Christian and have shaped (directly or indirectly) the basis for much of American society.

I'm not advocating for removal of Christian things/systems from the public just trying to express that IT'S THERE and it often gets overlooked because it is often the norm.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: me1 on January 04, 2018, 09:35:31 AM
On the other hand, people who are not scientists seem to often want scientists to speak in absolutes - if someone is willing to adjust theories as new information comes along, because they know they do not have all the information and their hypotheses are a reflection of truth, not truth itself, they are not going to want to speak in absolutes.   Is this scientism?  The expectation that scientists already know everything and have everything 100% right?

yes, as I understand it, this is scientism.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: zoltani on January 04, 2018, 09:52:14 AM
clearly stated that I think that the belief that there is no god is a religious point of view.

It's not a "belief" to discard things that are factually disproven.  I do not "believe" that 2+2 does not equal 500.  This is not a matter of faith.

For example, prayer is a lie. It doesn't work.  Every single double blind study every conducted agrees that praying for something, anything, is a feelgood waste of time.  Unless you're praying for a feelgood waste of time.  I don't "believe" that prayer works or doesn't work, because we can test it and know the real answer.  I don't have to know what does work in order know that prayer doesn't work.

There is nothing religious about my knowledge of the efficacy of prayer.  It is not a belief, it is knowledge plainly there for anyone to see.

@sol, If by prayer you only mean humans asking an imaginary magical sky father for favors, then you're right. It doesn't work.

In many ways, though, traditional prayer is similar to meditation and creative visualization, which do work. Many people use mediation along with creative visualization to help themselves achieve goals. If, for example, an athlete or student or employee closes her eyes and over and over again pictures herself achieving some goal, be it winning a race, graduating or getting a promotion or a raise, pretty sure her chances of succeeding increase.

Just because some people call their meditation and visualization exercises "prayer," doesn't mean it can't work. It's not a coincidence that the environment in churches, mosques and temples is similar to what people consciously try to create for themselves when they meditate. When people "pray," just like when they meditate, they calm their minds, focus their concentration and picture the things that they want to come true in their lives, over and over again.

It may be difficult to prove this point in an objective scientific study, but I'm pretty sure it works.

Overall I agree with you. However, if you are picturing/visualizing things that you want to come true in your life you are not meditating. Meditating is about acceptance, detachment and letting go, not holding on.

As people turn away from religion I think that they try and fill their spiritual hole with something. Take a look at crossfit, which resembles a kind of cult. And how about this site right here where people want to attach to something called "mustachianism" with its own prophet and everything. People need something to "believe" in, and if that is not religion it will be something else.

As far as science as a religion goes I think that it is mostly non-scientists that display the same fervor that many religious people do. They will ignore evidence and science when convenient for them. A good example of this is Bill Nye. Another good example is the James Demore memo, which was scientifically accurate but vilified.

I'm about to have a kid and I may consider homeschooling. As schools move more and more towards indoctrinating children with ideologies rather than educating them I question sending my child there. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: zoltani on January 04, 2018, 09:53:50 AM
When people complian about religious references in the public space I wish they would remember that explicit atheism (the belief that their is no deity) is as much a religious point of view as one of the many forms of theism.
First, I think you can use a simple modus tollens to prove atheism is not a religious POV (even though Sol's new fave hobby might be more fun).  Religion means belief in one or more deities.  With atheism we do not have belief in one or more deities.  Thus, we do not have religion.


I think we are talking about it by this definition:

Religion:
a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
"consumerism is the new religion"
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: gaja on January 04, 2018, 09:57:22 AM
My husband and I don't have religion, but for a few years my children said they believed in god, angels, and all that stuff. I think they are mostly over it now. We told them they could believe in what they wanted, as long as they didn't confuse science and religion. Unfortunately, in most day to day speach, many of us fall into scientism traps (great term BTW - never heard it before, but very true). For instance; when someone asks whether I believe in global warming, it is much easier to say yes, than to explain that I don't have any religion, but based on current knowledge it seams very likely that human activity is a main factor in the changing climate. It gets especially difficult when the only alternatives in the poll are "yes" or "no".

I've read a lot, including a lot of religious texts. When you connect that to a reluctance to share anything private in face to face settings, a very restrictive attitude to alcohol and swearing, and a tendency to dress conservatorly, you end up with a public image that a lot of people interpret as christian. Why should I bother to explain that they are wrong? Religion has no place in my life, so I have no interest in spending time discussing it with anyone. The only time I've been very clear (and rather unpolite) about the topic, is when I've met people who have tried to convince me I'm wrong, or who have tried to minister to my kids. Based on the Americans I've met, it could very well be that you get more loud atheists in the US because you have more intrusive religious people. But it could be some sort of selective bias, with a higher number of aggressive American christians going on vacation to Europe?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: zoltani on January 04, 2018, 10:08:35 AM
My husband and I don't have religion, but for a few years my children said they believed in god, angels, and all that stuff. I think they are mostly over it now. We told them they could believe in what they wanted, as long as they didn't confuse science and religion. Unfortunately, in most day to day speach, many of us fall into scientism traps (great term BTW - never heard it before, but very true). For instance; when someone asks whether I believe in global warming, it is much easier to say yes, than to explain that I don't have any religion, but based on current knowledge it seams very likely that human activity is a main factor in the changing climate. It gets especially difficult when the only alternatives in the poll are "yes" or "no".

To me this is what stifles the conversation and action on climate change. You either have to "believe" in it or not. From my point of view the planet is warming, but it would be doing that with or without humans, it is a natural cycle. Anyone that disagrees with this is not looking at the evidence. Now, are humans accelerating this phenomenon? Probably, but who cares. To me the conversation needs to be that the planet is warming, the cause of which can be debated but it doesn't matter. If we want to solve the challenges that climate change will bring, drought, extreme weather, etc, then we need to get over our "beliefs" and start implementing solutions. Both sides treat this topic with the fervor of religious people, it is amusing in a fucked up way.



Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on January 04, 2018, 10:13:51 AM
From my point of view the planet is warming, but it would be doing that with or without humans, it is a natural cycle.

Why do you think the planet would be warming without human intervention?

I agree that there is a natural cycle that influences global temperatures, but that cycle is currently in a cooling phase.  The current observed warming, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, has dramatically overprinted that natural cycle.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: zoltani on January 04, 2018, 10:30:09 AM
Perhaps I should have said "the planet's climate is changing".

I agree with you, due to human activity the rate at which the planet is warming is more rapid than in prehistoric times. Again, this doesn't matter as we need to implement solutions no matter what the cause.

Or maybe none of that will matter and a giant comet will wipe us all out. After all there is evidence that has happened in the past.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 04, 2018, 11:21:22 AM
Just wanted to reiterate that it seems like America's relationship with Christians/Christianity is hugely different to the UK/European one. Nothing y'all have described about either Christianity or aggressive atheism/scientism is something that I recognise. Maybe everything is just more public in America? I think that by and large in the UK we regard religion as a private matter and it would be enormously rude to comment on anyone's religion or lack thereof unless they brought it up first.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: TexasRunner on January 04, 2018, 11:27:04 AM
Just wanted to reiterate that it seems like America's relationship with Christians/Christianity is hugely different to the UK/European one. Nothing y'all have described about either Christianity or aggressive atheism/scientism is something that I recognise. Maybe everything is just more public in America? I think that by and large in the UK we regard religion as a private matter and it would be enormously rude to comment on anyone's religion or lack thereof unless they brought it up first.

I have found this to be very true in time spent outside of the states.

It seems to me, Americans are more assertive/aggressive in general, despite belief system, and therefore Religious/Non-Religious discussions seems more vocal.

In addition to that, pretty much every aspect of American subculture(s) have an extremely vocal minority, while the majority of the subculture's group is rather quiet.  This seems to be true across the whole political spectrum as well as religious and other subcultures.  That "loud" minority gets noticed a lot more than the quiet majority, and usually the "loud" ones are more extreme.

I would really like to understand exactly why this is (or seems to be) compared to other countries (as in where did this vocalism come from...?), but this is pretty far off topic.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on January 04, 2018, 12:46:23 PM
So many thoughts. We are a military family with 3 kids and homeschool 2 of them. We've moved 8 times since my oldest started school--3 times in his high school years.

 

My daughter goes to the local public middle school. She loves it and does very well there, enjoying pre-AP classes and extra curricular activities. She also tells me about the drugs in the bathroom, the never-ending F-bombs on the bus, the weird kid who stands too close and stares at her constantly, and the class where the teacher tells them to read the book and then do the worksheet, every single day. The school is not interested in parent participation--I've tried. Despite the negatives, overall I'm mostly satisfied with her education, though I'm willing to re-evaluate at any time.

 

We homeschool my oldest who just turned 18. He has Asperger's (yes ASD) and school was failing him when we pulled him out in 1st grade. Even with a 1:1 aide, it was a very bad fit. If he had been made to suffer through it he would be a very different person today. He still has his challenges, but after years of therapy and homeschooling, he will be graduating this year with over 50 hours of college credits, and so far has been accepted into 3/5 of his preferred colleges with significant scholarships. We have been gradually preparing him for a college environment with more and more group classes and mandatory activities, though he still sometimes pushes back. If you met him on the street you might say, "oh there's one of those weird homeschoolers." But the truth is that we hs because he's "weird", not the other way around. PS might have ironed out some of his wrinkles a little better, but his actual education would have suffered immeasurably.

 

We also homeschool my youngest son, who is 11. I would consider him your typical kid. He's super smart in some areas and average or even below average in others. He's a kinetic learner and was miserable in kindergarten, which had no regular recess. By December he was in the slow reading group and had stomach aches every morning before school. In the end it was just not the best learning environment for him. We brought him home and he was reading at grade level within the month.

He is exactly the type of kid who would fall through the cracks in school. At home he gets all A's bc we don't move on until he learns something thoroughly. If left to his own devices he would put in the bare minimum and skate through with C's or D's even. He would be labeled dumb even though he just isn't interested. And he would start to think of himself as dumb, like he had already started to in Kindergarten. Instead he knows that he's great with tools and mechanical stuff, and animals, and cooking, and that if he has to he can diagram a sentence and plot the voyages of the early explorers on a map. We are always open to considering ps for him in the future, but I accept that his education will suffer if we do.

We found that homeschooling the early years is really easy. I can get them above grade level in about 3 hours a day up to 4th grade or so. I'm not an "expert," but one on one tutoring at that level just isn't hard. (Except for the patience factor!) Around 6th grade I start outsourcing certain subjects. By high school I'm more of a learning facilitator and overseer. There's not enough time in the week to fit in all the different activities, and groups, and clubs, so we have to pick and choose, but the options here (huge city) are limitless.

All this is to say that I strongly value the freedom to make whatever choices are best for my kids and also appreciate that our current state doesn't interfere with my choices at all.

I just wanted to say that this whole post was lovely.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on January 04, 2018, 12:51:26 PM
Most of the Atheists I have met will simply not shut up about how much they don't believe in God. They go on and on about it, even if everyone else is talking about the new season of The X-Files instead. It's like -- let it rest. We get it. Atheists are like those people who are really into Crossfit.
I am going to go out on a limb there and say that it's probably a small % of the atheists that you know.

Only a very few people know that I'm atheist.  I don't go on and on about it.  I rarely talk about it at all (I really don't want people to try and "fix" me).  Luckily, I am an engineer who works with a lot of Asians, so there aren't a lot of people trying to fix me.  Honestly in my entire family, probably only one of my sisters knows (and only because my mother is dead).  I have 8 siblings and a passel of nieces, nephews, in laws, not to mention cousins, aunts and uncles.  Most of whom are very very Catholic or in some cases very Christian. 

I do know a fair # of atheists (due to my job and location) and ... we don't talk about it very much.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Shane on January 04, 2018, 12:54:04 PM
Quote
Many people use mediation along with creative visualization to help themselves achieve goals. If, for example, an athlete or student or employee closes her eyes and over and over again pictures herself achieving some goal, be it winning a race, graduating or getting a promotion or a raise, pretty sure her chances of succeeding increase.

This idea gets a lot of play in pop psych magazines and life coaching brochures but, has it ever been tested in a repeatable, scientific way with a large N sample size? Most of the evidence seems to be ex-post-facto anecdotes from already elite athletes coupled with a few small-N (N<=30) psych studies that have not been replicated. Given that social psychology is currently being staggered by a full blown replication crisis, I'm curious if any of the studies on visualisation have been validated.

The Effects of Visualization and Guided Imagery in Sports Performance (https://digital.library.txstate.edu/bitstream/handle/10877/5548/EKEOCHA-THESIS-2015.pdf?sequence=1)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GuitarStv on January 04, 2018, 01:33:20 PM
I do know a fair # of atheists (due to my job and location) and ... we don't talk about it very much.

That kinda makes sense.  There's not much need to get together and talk about God (or the lack of God) if you kinda see the whole thing as kinda silly.  It would be like a bunch of adults getting together to talk about the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy.  After you get past the 'yeah, kinda silly' comments . . . what else is there to say?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on January 04, 2018, 01:58:14 PM
I do know a fair # of atheists (due to my job and location) and ... we don't talk about it very much.

That kinda makes sense.  There's not much need to get together and talk about God (or the lack of God) if you kinda see the whole thing as kinda silly.  It would be like a bunch of adults getting together to talk about the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy.  After you get past the 'yeah, kinda silly' comments . . . what else is there to say?

Well there's still the book club angle.  "Lovely story, nice platitudes, some worthwhile life lessons.  Also lots of slavery and misogyny.  All in all, an important piece of our collective cultural identity.  Still kind of silly and of course none of it is literally true, but I liked the part about the washing of the feet."
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: PhilB on January 04, 2018, 02:43:17 PM
Just wanted to reiterate that it seems like America's relationship with Christians/Christianity is hugely different to the UK/European one. Nothing y'all have described about either Christianity or aggressive atheism/scientism is something that I recognise. Maybe everything is just more public in America? I think that by and large in the UK we regard religion as a private matter and it would be enormously rude to comment on anyone's religion or lack thereof unless they brought it up first.
Definitely.  As a Brit, the thing I have found most shocking in this thread have been the people saying they have to keep their atheism quiet to avoid damaging their careers.  That is so utterly alien to the culture here and is the kind of thing I would expect of a theocracy like Iran rather than a democratic Western country.  Seriously scary.  Unless of course the people saying it were ministers of religion.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: almcclur on January 04, 2018, 03:07:37 PM
So many thoughts. We are a military family with 3 kids and homeschool 2 of them. We've moved 8 times since my oldest started school--3 times in his high school years.

I just wanted to say that this whole post was lovely.

Thank you so much for that. I wrote this giant tome and then started to feel a little embarrassed bc I hadn't noticed the conversation shift to religion!
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: wenchsenior on January 04, 2018, 03:49:34 PM
Just wanted to reiterate that it seems like America's relationship with Christians/Christianity is hugely different to the UK/European one. Nothing y'all have described about either Christianity or aggressive atheism/scientism is something that I recognise. Maybe everything is just more public in America? I think that by and large in the UK we regard religion as a private matter and it would be enormously rude to comment on anyone's religion or lack thereof unless they brought it up first.
Definitely.  As a Brit, the thing I have found most shocking in this thread have been the people saying they have to keep their atheism quiet to avoid damaging their careers.  That is so utterly alien to the culture here and is the kind of thing I would expect of a theocracy like Iran rather than a democratic Western country.  Seriously scary.  Unless of course the people saying it were ministers of religion.

I was talking to a Canadian who had moved to the U.S. recently for work.  I asked what he found similar / different between the two countries.  And his very first comment was, "WHAT IS UP WITH YOU PEOPLE AND JESUS?!!!?   I had no idea your culture was so 'saturated' in Christianity. " Needless to say, he found it extremely weird.

I also agree that Whitetrashcash's experience with obnoxious loud atheism or 'scientism' (speaking as someone with two degrees in science and a scientist spouse, scientism is not something I've ever heard of, nor does it resemble actual science) is probably a small proportion of the actual atheists he/she knows.  I know tons of atheists and agnostics.  It rarely comes up in conversation (why would it?) unless the topic of conversation is a political issue that is being pushed from an anti-evidence, faith based position.  Admittedly, that will get a fair number of the atheists, agnostics, and secularists in a given group riled up. 

It's possible that the recent election and the radical divisions in politics along faith based lines has increased some of these discussions. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: zoltani on January 04, 2018, 03:59:08 PM
Perhaps they mean materialism rather than scientism.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: shenlong55 on January 04, 2018, 06:08:25 PM
Most of the Atheists I have met will simply not shut up about how much they don't believe in God. They go on and on about it, even if everyone else is talking about the new season of The X-Files instead. It's like -- let it rest. We get it. Atheists are like those people who are really into Crossfit.

I'll break my rule and post on this, but I'm atheist and 99.9% of people I know don't know that. I would wager you know many more atheists than you know.

Atheism is a lack of belief.
Agnosticism is a lack of knowing.

The two aren't mutually exclusive.  People who label themselves as one verse the other aren't more virtuous etc, more of a confusion of the terms to try and vilify one over the other in the cultural dialogue.

That's all I will post on the matter.  Feel free to PM if you really want to hear more from me, but I don't really have much invested in and don't have much more to say.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but my understanding is that...

Atheist = One who believes that there is not a god.
Agnostic = One who does not have a belief regarding whether there is or is not a god.

If that is the case, then I do believe that they are actually mutually exclusive.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Villanelle on January 04, 2018, 09:21:39 PM
Just wanted to reiterate that it seems like America's relationship with Christians/Christianity is hugely different to the UK/European one. Nothing y'all have described about either Christianity or aggressive atheism/scientism is something that I recognise. Maybe everything is just more public in America? I think that by and large in the UK we regard religion as a private matter and it would be enormously rude to comment on anyone's religion or lack thereof unless they brought it up first.
Definitely.  As a Brit, the thing I have found most shocking in this thread have been the people saying they have to keep their atheism quiet to avoid damaging their careers.  That is so utterly alien to the culture here and is the kind of thing I would expect of a theocracy like Iran rather than a democratic Western country.  Seriously scary.  Unless of course the people saying it were ministers of religion.

I think it also matters a great deal which part of the US you are talking about.  In more liberal areas, you are going to see far, far less of this kind of thing than in the red States. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: barbaz on January 05, 2018, 01:13:40 AM
Atheist = One who believes that there is not a god.
Agnostic = One who does not have a belief regarding whether there is or is not a god.
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: wenchsenior on January 05, 2018, 08:32:54 AM
Atheist = One who believes that there is not a god.
Agnostic = One who does not have a belief regarding whether there is or is not a god.
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.

I consider myself an atheist specifically because 'belief' plays no role in the question for me.  There is no compelling evidence for the existence of god/s; therefore, I assume there are no gods and proceed on my way.  I don't have any personal investment in the question at all, except that I think that relying on supernatural beliefs to set social and political agendas is in most cases far from optimal.

If compelling evidence came to light, I would revise my opinion accordingly.  However, one might call me agnostic as well because I approach the whole question as a scientist.  That is, is the existence of god/s ever a falsifiable hypothesis?  It doesn't seem very falsifiable to me, at least currently.  So even if very compelling evidence WERE to come to light, and I WERE to rethink my position, and we WERE able to rule out other plausible explanations for said evidence, I could never be 100% certain of the existence of god/s because I must always allow for the possibility of further evidence coming to light at some point in the future that might falsify or modify my working hypothesis.  In that case, I would consider the existence of god/s to be provisionally true as supported by current evidence and until such time as further tests to falsify the hypothesis could be devised.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on January 05, 2018, 08:49:43 AM
Maybe I'm mistaken, but my understanding is that...

Atheist = One who believes that there is not a god.
Agnostic = One who does not have a belief regarding whether there is or is not a god.

Literally and slightly more accurately...

atheist - does not have a belief in god (note this is not the same as having a belief that there is no god).
agnostic - maintains ignorance about the existence of god, literally doesn't know (and thus remains open to all possibilities).

Agnostics typically become atheists over time, as their lack of knowledge is replaced by life experience.  You can only lack knowledge for so long, when there is so much evidence there for you to find.  Once they have reviewed that evidence, most people either adopt a belief or discard a belief.

But that's the relevant distinction.  Atheists and theists do not believe one way or believe the other, they either believe or don't believe. 

Do you believe there is an all knowing and all powerful father figure who created the universe and everything in it as your personal playground?  If you don't believe that, or some variation of it, then you are an atheist.  Atheists can still become theists, if presented with new evidence, and that's actually not wholly uncommon either.  The brain works in mysterious ways.

I am an atheist about Zeus.  I don't believe in him.  And Vishnu, and the Flying Spaghetti monster.  Everyone is an atheist, about the vast majority of possible gods that humans have proposed, because you can't simultaneously believe in all of them.  So you don't believe, and are therefore an atheist.  Lots of people, though, stop one step short on that logical journey and refuse to discard their belief in the last god on their list even though they easily discarded their belief in all of the others.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: robartsd on January 05, 2018, 08:54:09 AM
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
I suppose the language really could use another term - perhaps anti-theist to mean belief that there is no God (explicit atheist as I used earlier) vs. atheist to mean lack of any belief in God(s). I consider anti-theism to be a religious POV and consider anti-theists attempting to use government enforcement to block non-goverment entities from promoting theistic messages in public contrary to the 1st Amendment. I do not consider atheists looking to avoid the government from promoting theistic or anti-theistic messages to be contrary to the 1st Amendment. It gets a bit sticky when you start to consider historically accpeted governmental messaging that supports theism in general (i.e. "In God We Trust") - is removing this type of message simply scrubbing goverment of religious messaging or is it promoting anti-theism?

Bringing this back to topic - some religious families may choose to homeschool in response to the impression that public schools are promoting anti-theism. I believe (and hope I am right) that most public schools are not promoting anti-theism.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: PhilB on January 05, 2018, 09:48:39 AM
I am an atheist about Zeus.  I don't believe in him.  And Vishnu, and the Flying Spaghetti monster.  Everyone is an atheist, about the vast majority of possible gods that humans have proposed, because you can't simultaneously believe in all of them.  So you don't believe, and are therefore an atheist.  Lots of people, though, stop one step short on that logical journey and refuse to discard their belief in the last god on their list even though they easily discarded their belief in all of the others.
Hmm.  That's a somewhat creative definition to suggest that atheism relates to specific gods rather than an absence of belief in any god which is the rather more accepted definition.
I think it's rather more useful to look at the whole thing in historical context.  For early man there were so many questions where the only available answer to 'Why?' was 'Because of the gods.'  As we learnt more about the world, and particularly following the widespread use of the scientific method as a way of evaluating theories, the gods had less and less of a place in explaining how the world worked to more and more people and for those people the existence of gods ceased to be something that was self evident.  Some continue to believe as a matter of faith and are deemed theists.  Some see no reason to believe and are called atheists.  It would be lovely is we could all just accept that and get along with each other, but that rather requires the atheists not to call the theists idiots and the theists to accept that 'because my holy book says so' is not an acceptable basis for public policy.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: brooklynguy on January 05, 2018, 11:07:57 AM
That's a somewhat creative definition to suggest that atheism relates to specific gods rather than an absence of belief in any god which is the rather more accepted definition.

As @FIRE Artist alluded to above, we have a specific label for a person who does not believe in God (or gods) only due to the prevalence of that specific affirmative belief.  But in a universe of infinite conceivable unfalsifiable claims, there are an infinite number of (unlabeled) nonbeliefs that we all can (and do) hold, including the nonbelief in the existence of an undetectable teapot orbiting the sun (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot).
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ysette9 on January 05, 2018, 11:17:18 AM

I think it's rather more useful to look at the whole thing in historical context.  For early man there were so many questions where the only available answer to 'Why?' was 'Because of the gods.'  As we learnt more about the world, and particularly following the widespread use of the scientific method as a way of evaluating theories, the gods had less and less of a place in explaining how the world worked to more and more people and for those people the existence of gods ceased to be something that was self evident.  Some continue to believe as a matter of faith and are deemed theists.  Some see no reason to believe and are called atheists.  It would be lovely is we could all just accept that and get along with each other, but that rather requires the atheists not to call the theists idiots and the theists to accept that 'because my holy book says so' is not an acceptable basis for public policy.
I like this perspective, perhaps because it is how I view it in my own mind. The world used to be a much more mysterious place than it is today. That isn’t to say we have all the answers (what causes autism? Why are half of pregnancy losses unexplained?) but we don’t need gods’ whims to explain crop yields or eclipses or illness or why the sun goes across the sky each day. It is like the raison d’être for deities has shrunk to a more mystical, personal, self-actualisation kind of realm instead of providing stories for the creation of the world. If that brings a sense of comfort to people then that is fine by me. Personally I have no hole and i don’t find anything missing so trying to shove a deity into my life would be uncomfortable at best.

On the other hand, I think Sol has a great point. How are the Greek gods any less legitimate than the Abrahamic storyline? How can you learn about the evolution of religion (Greek to Roman to Christianity, adopting and adapting ideas from the old to the new) and also believe that the most current iteration is The Truth? How about when religious leaders get together and decide that something new is right and make a course correction (plural marriage for the Mormons, divorce for Catholics, etc.). How does that square with an all-knowing being when it is obviously a manmade social structure very reasonably adapting to changing social pressures?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on January 05, 2018, 11:32:13 AM
That's a somewhat creative definition to suggest that atheism relates to specific gods rather than an absence of belief in any god

It's totally cool with me if you find the argument unconvincing.  This is the nature of religious freedom, everyone gets to decide for themselves.

I was just trying to highlight that "atheism" is not necessarily an affirmative belief in the absence of something specific, it is just an absence of belief in the affirmative existence of something specific.  In that context, we are all atheists about gods we don't believe in. 

Some of us just continue to take that one last step across the finish line, while some people fear that last step without realizing how far they have already come.

And while I'm always happy to offer my opinions on this topic, they are only opinions.  I don't go door to door.  I don't invite strangers to listen to sermons on Sundays, or moralize about the divine truth, our condemn you for eternity if you disagree with me.  I only ask that we each let others believe (or not believe) as they wish, without government interference or support.

Religious homeschooling arguably violates that position.  I don't support lying to children or forcing them to adopt your personal religious beliefs.  Moral and ethical guidance are great, but I don't think you need to make them dependent on a belief in the supernatural.  Sadly, my belief in religious freedom (for adults to teach kids that magic is real) usually outweighs my belief in religious freedom (for kids to decide for themselves). 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: ROF Expat on January 05, 2018, 11:35:58 AM
Quote
Many people use mediation along with creative visualization to help themselves achieve goals. If, for example, an athlete or student or employee closes her eyes and over and over again pictures herself achieving some goal, be it winning a race, graduating or getting a promotion or a raise, pretty sure her chances of succeeding increase.

This idea gets a lot of play in pop psych magazines and life coaching brochures but, has it ever been tested in a repeatable, scientific way with a large N sample size? Most of the evidence seems to be ex-post-facto anecdotes from already elite athletes coupled with a few small-N (N<=30) psych studies that have not been replicated. Given that social psychology is currently being staggered by a full blown replication crisis, I'm curious if any of the studies on visualisation have been validated.

I am not in a position to judge the quality of the scientific literature, but visualization has a long history among athletes.  I think the Soviets have been doing it since the 1960s or 1970s.  Personally, I believe very firmly that it works.  It may only be a placebo effect, but the placebo effect is real, too. 
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 05, 2018, 01:09:00 PM
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: lemonlyman on January 05, 2018, 01:43:21 PM
Separate topic for definitions of atheism and Christianity?

I don't think debates about religion change anyone's mind who isn't already on the fence. Doesn't seem like that's anyone here so debates are a bit boring. When Christopher Hitchens passed away, debates got EXTRA boring. Merits of homeschooling is interesting to anyone clicking on the topic though.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: marcela on January 05, 2018, 01:51:31 PM
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on January 05, 2018, 02:30:36 PM
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

Vishnu isn't insulting to people because it is an old myth instead of a new one.  FSM antagonize people because it highlights the absurdity of their situation.  I get that.

But Mormonism was a new myth less than 200 years ago, and people are fine with it now.  The jews made fun of the Christians when they were new, too.  We all make fun of the moonies and the branch davidians.  Every myth had to start somewhere.  The only dfference with the FSM is that the motivation behind the myth was to highlight hypocrisy instead of amass wealth and power over followers (see:  moonies and branch davidians).
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Shane on January 06, 2018, 04:13:41 AM
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
I suppose the language really could use another term - perhaps anti-theist to mean belief that there is no God (explicit atheist as I used earlier) vs. atheist to mean lack of any belief in God(s). I consider anti-theism to be a religious POV and consider anti-theists attempting to use government enforcement to block non-goverment entities from promoting theistic messages in public contrary to the 1st Amendment. I do not consider atheists looking to avoid the government from promoting theistic or anti-theistic messages to be contrary to the 1st Amendment. It gets a bit sticky when you start to consider historically accpeted governmental messaging that supports theism in general (i.e. "In God We Trust") - is removing this type of message simply scrubbing goverment of religious messaging or is it promoting anti-theism?

Bringing this back to topic - some religious families may choose to homeschool in response to the impression that public schools are promoting anti-theism. I believe (and hope I am right) that most public schools are not promoting anti-theism.

This bolded sentence above is a good point. Almost all of the outspoken "atheists" some religious people find offensive could more accurately be described as "anti-theists."
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: PhilB on January 06, 2018, 04:34:09 AM
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
I suppose the language really could use another term - perhaps anti-theist to mean belief that there is no God (explicit atheist as I used earlier) vs. atheist to mean lack of any belief in God(s). I consider anti-theism to be a religious POV and consider anti-theists attempting to use government enforcement to block non-goverment entities from promoting theistic messages in public contrary to the 1st Amendment. I do not consider atheists looking to avoid the government from promoting theistic or anti-theistic messages to be contrary to the 1st Amendment. It gets a bit sticky when you start to consider historically accpeted governmental messaging that supports theism in general (i.e. "In God We Trust") - is removing this type of message simply scrubbing goverment of religious messaging or is it promoting anti-theism?

Bringing this back to topic - some religious families may choose to homeschool in response to the impression that public schools are promoting anti-theism. I believe (and hope I am right) that most public schools are not promoting anti-theism.

This bolded sentence above is a good point. Almost all of the outspoken "atheists" some religious people find offensive could more accurately be described as "anti-theists."
The problem with that definition is that both your 'atheists' and 'anti-theists' will almost always 'believe' the same things regarding the actual existence of deities and the lack of validity of the many competing religions.  Where they differ is in to what extent they think religious belief is harmless or harmful to society.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 06, 2018, 06:52:17 AM
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

The entire purpose of FSM is the insult religious people. Full stop. Everyone is quite aware of this. And it makes religious people feel less inclined to be supportive of the rights of atheists. It's counterproductive.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: gaja on January 06, 2018, 07:05:39 AM
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

The entire purpose of FSM is the insult religious people. Full stop. Everyone is quite aware of this. And it makes religious people feel less inclined to be supportive of the rights of atheists. It's counterproductive.

Do you also feel that the only purpose of Monthy Python's "life of Brian" was to insult religious people?
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 06, 2018, 08:45:18 AM
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

The entire purpose of FSM is the insult religious people. Full stop. Everyone is quite aware of this. And it makes religious people feel less inclined to be supportive of the rights of atheists. It's counterproductive.

Do you also feel that the only purpose of Monthy Python's "life of Brian" was to insult religious people?

Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: me1 on January 06, 2018, 10:23:41 AM
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: sol on January 06, 2018, 10:35:04 AM
The entire purpose of FSM is the insult religious people.

Technically, the purpose of the FSM was to highlight the hypocrisy in the State of Kansas mandating Christian religious teaching in public schools, while forbidding the teaching of other religions.  It was literally a protest movement against religious discrimination BY Christians.  I find it hilarious that you now find it discriminatory against Christians.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: jeninco on January 06, 2018, 10:50:37 AM
Slightly curious -- how would both sides view the non-belief in monotheism?

Just because someone doesn't believe in a single god doesn't mean they might not believe in an entire fleet of 'em, just not a "head man" type of situation. I'm not sure there's nearly as much distance between polytheism (or pantheism) and atheism as between monotheism and atheism.

Also, Sol, I'm really enjoying your defense (without generally getting offensive) of ... let's call it the "non-monotheistic" persuasions. The "book club" description is particularly lovely -- thanks!
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 06, 2018, 10:59:33 AM
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.

Like I said, since we live in a majority Christian country, it's highly unlikely that there is going to be severe retaliation against those kinds of insults, which is different than many other parts of the world. Luckily, most of the country is "thick-skinned" as you say, which means they will just use words against people who insult. Where I'm from, it's different as I've written about a few times in my journal, but I've gotten used to the way Flatlanders deal with things, which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals.

As we can see from the last presidential election's results, there's a massive section of the country that does not possess my level of calm. If you think that insulting over 70% of the country is going to get you the results you want moving forward -- despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- then by all means do as you will. But reality is what it is and it's not going to end well.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: me1 on January 06, 2018, 11:28:44 AM
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.

Like I said, since we live in a majority Christian country, it's highly unlikely that there is going to be severe retaliation against those kinds of insults, which is different than many other parts of the world. Luckily, most of the country is "thick-skinned" as you say, which means they will just use words against people who insult. Where I'm from, it's different as I've written about a few times in my journal, but I've gotten used to the way Flatlanders deal with things, which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals.

As we can see from the last presidential election's results, there's a massive section of the country that does not possess my level of calm. If you think that insulting over 70% of the country is going to get you the results you want moving forward -- despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- then by all means do as you will. But reality is what it is and it's not going to end well.

What about ethnic minorities, or gay people? Should they also just take it and shut up and be glad they don't live in "many other parts of the world." Because it's counter productive, to point out injustices?
Or do you reserve that opinion only for religious minorities?

And for the record, I don't see how I was being insulting (or counterproductive) to anyone by pointing out that making fun of a minority,
because you have had a bad encounter with a few people seems unkind and not very logical. And also pointing out how being offended and playing victim while being in a majority is ridiculous.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: gaja on January 06, 2018, 11:43:48 AM
By the way, atheists should probably stop with the Flying Spaghetti monster stuff. I mean, they are within their rights to use it to insult religious people, but when religious people are antagonized like that, they usually don't have a positive view of atheism and that makes them much less likely to be friendly, helpful, or kind to atheists. In fact, it will probably create some animosity instead. Just FYI.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god or the Pastafarian religion. Does the mention of Vishnu feel like an insult as well?

The entire purpose of FSM is the insult religious people. Full stop. Everyone is quite aware of this. And it makes religious people feel less inclined to be supportive of the rights of atheists. It's counterproductive.

Do you also feel that the only purpose of Monthy Python's "life of Brian" was to insult religious people?

Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.

For me, there is a big difference between using humour to highlight the bad sides of something, and insulting someone. FSM and Monty Python are clearly within the first category, together with Terry Pratchett. He shines a light on all types of religion in many of his books, but I think the reader would have to be in a very specific mindset to get insulted.

Sometimes humour is just meant to be funny, sometimes it is meant as way to get someone to see things from a different angle. The Inuit insulting song contests* often ends in laughter, on both sides. Several other Arctic people have similar traditions, with the purpose to give a safe outlet to negative feelings, in societies where you spend long winters in very close quarters. Monthy Python is good old British humour at its best, and John Cleese has expressively said in interviews that the purpose of the film is to get people to think about what they believe in, rather than believe something because they are told to.

A different example of how humour is used in a way that avoids confrontation, is the Loldiers of Odin: http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/loldiers-of-odin-finland-1.3410837

*https://books.google.no/books?id=cngl1Ho6uFwC&pg=PA119&lpg=PA119&dq=insulting+game+inuit&source=bl&ots=7r6QE3WLmL&sig=HWtdkWbZhfICK5SrH6MzxS3yzpc&hl=no&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjetf-U98PYAhXIB5oKHQmNCe8Q6AEITjAI#v=onepage&q=insulting%20game%20inuit&f=false
Touristified example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWAHf5HOL7M
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 06, 2018, 11:52:43 AM
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.

Like I said, since we live in a majority Christian country, it's highly unlikely that there is going to be severe retaliation against those kinds of insults, which is different than many other parts of the world. Luckily, most of the country is "thick-skinned" as you say, which means they will just use words against people who insult. Where I'm from, it's different as I've written about a few times in my journal, but I've gotten used to the way Flatlanders deal with things, which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals.

As we can see from the last presidential election's results, there's a massive section of the country that does not possess my level of calm. If you think that insulting over 70% of the country is going to get you the results you want moving forward -- despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- then by all means do as you will. But reality is what it is and it's not going to end well.

What about ethnic minorities, or gay people? Should they also just take it and shut up and be glad they don't live in "many other parts of the world." Because it's counter productive, to point out injustices?
Or do you reserve that opinion only for religious minorities?

And for the record, I don't see how I was being insulting (or counterproductive) to anyone by pointing out that making fun of a minority,
because you have had a bad encounter with a few people seems unkind and not very logical. And also pointing out how being offended and playing victim while being in a majority is ridiculous.

Well, what is more effective: screaming and shouting about how horrible Christian fundamentalists are to gays or doing what Ellen DeGeneres does and demonstrating to the nation that gays are funny, friendly, and kind neighbors who are just like you?

Which was more effective during the Civil Rights era: Holding rallies to denounce "white devils" and talk about using "any means necessary" or holding rallies to talk about dreams of little black kids and little white kids being able to live and go to school together in peace and harmony?

There's effective and there's ineffective and I think it's important to recognize that what is cathartic is not always the same as what is productive.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: jeninco on January 06, 2018, 12:08:09 PM
<snip>

Well, what is more effective: screaming and shouting about how horrible Christian fundamentalists are to gays or doing what Ellen DeGeneres does and demonstrating to the nation that gays are funny, friendly, and kind neighbors who are just like you?

Which was more effective during the Civil Rights era: Holding rallies to denounce "white devils" and talk about using "any means necessary" or holding rallies to talk about dreams of little black kids and little white kids being able to live and go to school together in peace and harmony?

There's effective and there's ineffective and I think it's important to recognize that what is cathartic is not always the same as what is productive.

Um, both were effective. Because (to use a different analogy) having folks out there who burn down ski lodges in protected wilderness makes the Sierra Club look like a totally middle-of-the-road and reasonable organization to negotiate with. Or to go back to your question, I'd bet that the existence of Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam made the government much more keen to negotiate with MLK and affiliated Christian groups.

Plus, not all gays are outgoing, friendly, "jump on the couch" type, just like not all heterosexual people are. It's not the responsibility of the minority group to be cute and cuddly so that you can accept them as citizens with equal rights. If anything, "they" have the same responsibility as all of us: to be decent human beings.

If it were my job to be adorable so that I could somehow "deserve" equal rights, things would go extremely badly. I don't think it's fair to require any other "minority" to do that either.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 06, 2018, 12:12:11 PM
<snip>

Well, what is more effective: screaming and shouting about how horrible Christian fundamentalists are to gays or doing what Ellen DeGeneres does and demonstrating to the nation that gays are funny, friendly, and kind neighbors who are just like you?

Which was more effective during the Civil Rights era: Holding rallies to denounce "white devils" and talk about using "any means necessary" or holding rallies to talk about dreams of little black kids and little white kids being able to live and go to school together in peace and harmony?

There's effective and there's ineffective and I think it's important to recognize that what is cathartic is not always the same as what is productive.

Um, both were effective. Because (to use a different analogy) having folks out there who burn down ski lodges in protected wilderness makes the Sierra Club look like a totally middle-of-the-road and reasonable organization to negotiate with. Or to go back to your question, I'd bet that the existence of Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam made the government much more keen to negotiate with MLK and affiliated Christian groups.

Plus, not all gays are outgoing, friendly, "jump on the couch" type, just like not all heterosexual people are. It's not the responsibility of the minority group to be cute and cuddly so that you can accept them as citizens with equal rights. If anything, "they" have the same responsibility as all of us: to be decent human beings.

If it were my job to be adorable so that I could somehow "deserve" equal rights, things would go extremely badly. I don't think it's fair to require any other "minority" to do that either.

Well, you are, of course, free to have your opinions and feelings, as all people are. I'm just pointing things out and I think my observations are quite reasonable. Then again, I'm quite a student of history and I've interacted with a lot of different kinds of people over a long period of time, so my conclusions may be different from the assumptions that other people have.

All I can say is that experience can be quite instructive (though often the lessons can be really painful). Godspeed to you.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: GoConfidently on January 06, 2018, 12:19:14 PM
Yeah, that is the purpose of "The Life of Brian". It's very funny, but absolutely intended to insult religious people.

I'm not saying that people can't do that. It's allowed in Western countries and Christians in particular typically won't retaliate against it in any severe kind of way due to their peaceful religious beliefs. I know the population of United States isn't as overwhelmingly Christian as nations like Kenya and Namibia, but they do make up a solid majority.

I guess I'm just saying insulting the majority of people in the country where someone lives probably isn't going to help someone reach their goals. It's unwise.
I am not a fan of this attitude, that the minority has to submit to the will of the majority and shut up. Religious people are the majority in the US (a very powerful majority at that!), and the rest of us have to fall in line. If we point out how this is not fair, we are reprimanded. And the majority is presented as poor victims of jeering or whatever. It's really turning reality on its head. We live in YOUR world, and have to conform. And that's fine, there is more of you. But, can you at the very least grow a thicker skin?
It's the same way ethnic or gender or sexual orientation minorities are shot down all the time.
If you are going to be a majority in any way, a little compassion to the gripes of the minority goes along way towards being compassionate.  And my understanding of your religion is that it's supposed to be about compassion.

Like I said, since we live in a majority Christian country, it's highly unlikely that there is going to be severe retaliation against those kinds of insults, which is different than many other parts of the world. Luckily, most of the country is "thick-skinned" as you say, which means they will just use words against people who insult. Where I'm from, it's different as I've written about a few times in my journal, but I've gotten used to the way Flatlanders deal with things, which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals.

As we can see from the last presidential election's results, there's a massive section of the country that does not possess my level of calm. If you think that insulting over 70% of the country is going to get you the results you want moving forward -- despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- then by all means do as you will. But reality is what it is and it's not going to end well.

What about ethnic minorities, or gay people? Should they also just take it and shut up and be glad they don't live in "many other parts of the world." Because it's counter productive, to point out injustices?
Or do you reserve that opinion only for religious minorities?

And for the record, I don't see how I was being insulting (or counterproductive) to anyone by pointing out that making fun of a minority,
because you have had a bad encounter with a few people seems unkind and not very logical. And also pointing out how being offended and playing victim while being in a majority is ridiculous.

Well, what is more effective: screaming and shouting about how horrible Christian fundamentalists are to gays or doing what Ellen DeGeneres does and demonstrating to the nation that gays are funny, friendly, and kind neighbors who are just like you?

Which was more effective during the Civil Rights era: Holding rallies to denounce "white devils" and talk about using "any means necessary" or holding rallies to talk about dreams of little black kids and little white kids being able to live and go to school together in peace and harmony?

There's effective and there's ineffective and I think it's important to recognize that what is cathartic is not always the same as what is productive.

It would do you some good to revisit the Civil Rights movement. The aims of the actions of CR leaders were dependent on violence, and they used and invited that. You paint a picture of one single non-violent tactic that worked over time. That’s simply not the case, and it’s intellectually dishonest to pretend that the success of the CR movement wasn’t the culmination of many tactics by many different people with different viewpoints. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed,” MLK Jr.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: gaja on January 06, 2018, 12:20:59 PM
Satire has been proved to be very effective to get changes. One of the best known examples, is "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: Lance Burkhart on January 06, 2018, 01:50:42 PM
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
I suppose the language really could use another term - perhaps anti-theist to mean belief that there is no God (explicit atheist as I used earlier) vs. atheist to mean lack of any belief in God(s). I consider anti-theism to be a religious POV and consider anti-theists attempting to use government enforcement to block non-goverment entities from promoting theistic messages in public contrary to the 1st Amendment. I do not consider atheists looking to avoid the government from promoting theistic or anti-theistic messages to be contrary to the 1st Amendment. It gets a bit sticky when you start to consider historically accpeted governmental messaging that supports theism in general (i.e. "In God We Trust") - is removing this type of message simply scrubbing goverment of religious messaging or is it promoting anti-theism?

Bringing this back to topic - some religious families may choose to homeschool in response to the impression that public schools are promoting anti-theism. I believe (and hope I am right) that most public schools are not promoting anti-theism.

This bolded sentence above is a good point. Almost all of the outspoken "atheists" some religious people find offensive could more accurately be described as "anti-theists."

The system of philosophy taught in public school biology textbooks is called "naturalism."  While not a religion, naturalism is the philosophy behind modern astrophysics also so it makes claims about the origin of the universe, the formations of galaxies and planets, and the origins of life including human life just like a religion does.  Naturalism just says that all of these origins were of natural causes (not supernatural).  Charles Hodge (or maybe his father) said that naturalism is just old-fashioned atheism.  Christians can obviously not affirm naturalism.  Christian parents have several options if they want to leave their kids in public school but not affirm naturalism.  They can tell their kids to reply to test questions or verbal questions seeking naturalistic responses with, "Scientists believe..." or not reply at all.  We cannot affirm falsehoods.  This means your kids will get a lower score on the test.  REcently, the California legislature has required that children affirm novel sexual identities in history textbooks that contradict the categories affirmed by most religions.  These textbooks haven't hit most classrooms yet, but I've had the unpleasant task of explaining to my public school children that their government teaches various lies they cannot affirm or repeat.  They're growing up faster than I want, but historically kids grew up much faster so I guess it's ok.

The government could, of course, teach the mechanics of natural selection and genetics without teaching naturalistic human origins.  Similarly, all lower division physics and quantum mechanics could be taught without making naturalistic claims.  So I think the government could stop teaching atheism if it wanted to and every kid could learn at least as much STEM as I've learned. 




Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: mm1970 on January 06, 2018, 01:55:18 PM
Quote
which is why I'm simply and calmly telling atheists that the way they are doing things is counter-productive and won't help them reach their goals

The important thing here is *some*.  Fact of the matter is, everyone is different.  And the "in your face" atheists will be productive in some areas and not other.  And the quietly atheist, same way.

I just got into an, ahem, discussion yesterday with vegans which was much the same as the Christian atheist discussion, where in the end I was called stupid (because I suggested that you might want to actually keep a critical mind and check actual references, or read rebuttals to books, because many authors cherry pick data or misrepresent it!)

Which is eerily similar.  In the end, I had to say "I have no skin in this game, it doesn't matter to me WHAT you do."  Which is the same as this discussion.  I'm an atheist.  Leave me alone, keep your religion away from my choices in life.  I'm also an omnivore (who owns 20+ vegan cookbooks and eats a lot of vegan meals, so try not to be an asshole, mmmkay?)
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 06, 2018, 02:30:01 PM
Agnostic simply means “not knowing”. You can be agnostic regarding the weather (eg you bring an umbrella and sunglasses) and anything else. You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist, or you can be just agnostic. Technically, you are an atheist unless you have at least a tiny positive belief that gods exist, but most agnostics don’t like to think that way.
I suppose the language really could use another term - perhaps anti-theist to mean belief that there is no God (explicit atheist as I used earlier) vs. atheist to mean lack of any belief in God(s). I consider anti-theism to be a religious POV and consider anti-theists attempting to use government enforcement to block non-goverment entities from promoting theistic messages in public contrary to the 1st Amendment. I do not consider atheists looking to avoid the government from promoting theistic or anti-theistic messages to be contrary to the 1st Amendment. It gets a bit sticky when you start to consider historically accpeted governmental messaging that supports theism in general (i.e. "In God We Trust") - is removing this type of message simply scrubbing goverment of religious messaging or is it promoting anti-theism?

Bringing this back to topic - some religious families may choose to homeschool in response to the impression that public schools are promoting anti-theism. I believe (and hope I am right) that most public schools are not promoting anti-theism.

This bolded sentence above is a good point. Almost all of the outspoken "atheists" some religious people find offensive could more accurately be described as "anti-theists."

The system of philosophy taught in public school biology textbooks is called "naturalism."  While not a religion, naturalism is the philosophy behind modern astrophysics also so it makes claims about the origin of the universe, the formations of galaxies and planets, and the origins of life including human life just like a religion does.  Naturalism just says that all of these origins were of natural causes (not supernatural).  Charles Hodge (or maybe his father) said that naturalism is just old-fashioned atheism.  Christians can obviously not affirm naturalism.  Christian parents have several options if they want to leave their kids in public school but not affirm naturalism.  They can tell their kids to reply to test questions or verbal questions seeking naturalistic responses with, "Scientists believe..." or not reply at all.  We cannot affirm falsehoods.  This means your kids will get a lower score on the test.  REcently, the California legislature has required that children affirm novel sexual identities in history textbooks that contradict the categories affirmed by most religions.  These textbooks haven't hit most classrooms yet, but I've had the unpleasant task of explaining to my public school children that their government teaches various lies they cannot affirm or repeat.  They're growing up faster than I want, but historically kids grew up much faster so I guess it's ok.

The government could, of course, teach the mechanics of natural selection and genetics without teaching naturalistic human origins.  Similarly, all lower division physics and quantum mechanics could be taught without making naturalistic claims.  So I think the government could stop teaching atheism if it wanted to and every kid could learn at least as much STEM as I've learned.

You need to read my journal.
Title: Re: Prove to me why anti-homeschooling attitudes are OK.
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 06, 2018, 02:36:36 PM