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Homeschooling Smeared

Bryan Preston at JunkYardBlog looks a truly disturbing piece of "investigative journalism" about home-schooled kids.


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Comments (27)

Yeah, that's pretty much st... (Below threshold)

Yeah, that's pretty much standard practice. As someone who was home schooled from K-11 (spent 12th grade taking community college courses), I get sneers when I mention that I was home schooled.

On a more amusing note, my family once went to Burger King one Wednesday morning for breakfast. In line was a police officer. He looked at me and my younger brothers and frowned. "Shouldn't you be in school?" he asked my little brother, who was about 9 years old.

"Shouldn't you be at work?" he retorted.

I thought my mother was going to die from laughter.

I showed the article to my ... (Below threshold)

I showed the article to my daughter, who was home schooled from Grade 3 through high school, and who is now a straight A student at a wondeful university that recognized her achievements, and potential as a member of their community.

She rolled her eyes at the malevolent attitude of some towards home schoolers, but she's heard it all before, as have her mom (who did all the heavy lifting) and I.

I wonder if it's the religious bent of many home schooling families, or just many homeschoolers' dislike for 'group think' that freaks out the liberals?

Yes, without "groupthink" L... (Below threshold)

Yes, without "groupthink" Libs can't get anyone to follow their deranged bunny chases. If we aren't taught from early on that the will of the group is the highest moral authority, well shoot, all we're stuck with is that aweful Americanism again ;). As one who was homeschooled, the biggest challenge I faced (and not to insult anyone who received a good education at a public school) was having to "dumb-down" my speech and interests for other kids who went to PS. As for socialization, well I probably had more girlfriends than was good for me, but at least I had a chance to keep the focus on academics for the larger part, which I mostly did.

- The closer we come to tho... (Below threshold)

- The closer we come to those vouchers the more nervous the great "elitist" birdbrains get...They'd lose one of the last bastions of liberal demogogery and child brainwashing mills....

Okay, I suck...can't read t... (Below threshold)

Okay, I suck...can't read through it...

What baffles me is this:
If I want to have an abortion (thereby actually killing my child), well, then it's my right to do so.

If I want to educate my child (having not aborted he or she, of course), well, then, we just can't have that, now can we?

Is it not a parent's "right" to make the best educational choices for the child(ren) to which we have responsibly given birth? I don't get it. Why do they care if I don't "choose" to institutionalize my own kids?

And, yes, my incredible kids are homeschooled. And, no, I'm not fundamental in my religious beliefs...I just hate it when lefties get all up in my business!

Personally, I could care le... (Below threshold)

Personally, I could care less if parents want to isolate their children and homeschool them. I think it's unfair to the child (no socialization with peers) but hey, it's your kid.

Vouchers are another story. Not every kid can go to a private school (there aren't enough seats). When you issue vouchers, you ARE taking away from public education and therefore you ARE hurting my kid. Until the private schools are required to follow the same guidelines as public schools (FCAT, no religion, etc) then I will resist the movement of vouchers that the true "elitists" want. If you want to remove your child from public schools and put them in private schools then do it on YOUR dollar, not mine.

Last time I checked, PI, ch... (Below threshold)
John "Akatsukami" Braue:

Last time I checked, PI, children were sent to school to learn, not to become socialized...something for which there is about 80 hours/week outside.

If you are hopelessly inept at socializing your kids, feel free to send them to a social club to interact with their peers. But do it on your dollar, not mine.

Uh --- PI? I DID pay for m... (Below threshold)

Uh --- PI? I DID pay for my kids to go to private school - because the public schools weren't worth spit. Now it's gotten so bad that the teachers are sending their kids to private schools. There doesn't seem to be any lack of seats for their kids - nor do they seem to be worried about the lack of 'guidelines". And in fact, both private schools and home schoolers are required by law to meet standards that public schools are unable to meet.

As for the dollars - if there were fewer kids in public schools, then the public schools wouldn't need as many dollars to to do the same job. And theoretically, would be able to do a better job of educating your kids due to smaller class size.

In reality, those who have their kids in private school are paying for their kids education - and then paying again for your kids education. But the they're not getting the same value for the money that they put into your kids education - nor are your kids getting the same quality education as theirs.

You're worried about others stealing "your" tax dollars to educate your kids, but reality is that YOU are stealing their tax dollars to educate your kids - and we're all getting a second rate product for the price.

PI, please explain:<p... (Below threshold)

PI, please explain:

Hypothetically, it costs $1000 per student in my local public school, per year. Rarely do vouchers request the full per-seat amount, but lets assume, for the moment, that in our town I can get the full $1000.

If the school's population goes from 100 kids to 99 because my kid is vouchered to another school, how is that $1000 hurting your kid?

PIMullet, I suggest you get... (Below threshold)

PIMullet, I suggest you get your facts straight on vouchers.

First, a voucher IS my money being returned to me, not yours. It's a portion of MY property tax being returned to me to use for private education rather than public. So instead of MY money being sent to the public school system to educate my child, MY money is sent to a private school of my choice.

Second, the amount of vouchers is LESS than the cost per child in the public system. So, using a voucher and taking my child out of the public school system INCREASES the amount of money that the public schools can spend per child. This then HELPS your child and all the children remaining in the public schools. Yes, vouchers take money "away" from the public school but also take away a LARGER EXPENSE.

Third, your statement that "Not every kid can go to a private school (there aren't enough seats)" is simple ignorance of how a free market economy works. Businesses (private schools in this case) will step up to private the desired services by a larger consumer base. More private schools will open and existing ones will expand.

Fourth, I agree that private schools should maintain similar standards as public schools (e.g., FCAT) but why can't they be religious? Why don't you want MY child educated within a religious environment? I don't try and dictate that your child is raised in a particular kind of environment.

Vouchers are win-win for all parties. But some people are just too stubborn or brain-washed to understand that.

I spent k-8 in the public s... (Below threshold)

I spent k-8 in the public school system. I was breezing through just fine. Then my parents got the opportunity to send me to a large private school. I busted my ass trying to catch up to the kids that had been in that private school. I had no idea. I felt stupid. I could see a major difference in what I was being taught and what my friends in public schools were being taught. If I have kids,I will do whatever I can to get them into a private school or home school them myself. I just have no faith in the public schools.

Even the most ambitious and... (Below threshold)

Even the most ambitious and daring voucher programs, like those proposed in Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Florida, don't come close to offering vouchers for everyone. Instead, they are designed to give vouchers to some students at the worst schools. A common misconception is that, armed with a voucher, parents could enroll their children at any school - public or private. In truth, several obstacles would still prevent the majority of voucher recipients from ever using them: private schools are under no obligation to accept students, and would likely reject the majority of those with histories of behavior problems, learning disabilities, or unstable family situations. In many areas, the only existing alternatives to public schools are parochial schools, whose religious messages make them unappealing to many parents. Deplorable conditions await those doomed to be left behind in already struggling schools whose financial problems would be exacerbated by vouchers.

Quoted from PIMullet:... (Below threshold)

Quoted from PIMullet:

"Deplorable conditions await those doomed to be left behind in already struggling schools whose financial problems would be exacerbated by vouchers."

Okay, it's hard to respond nicely to such obvious stupidity. Did you not read the responses that point out the logic flaw in your statement? If you would go and actually research voucher plans and the per-child cost of education, you would learn that vouchers FINANCIALLY HELP public schools. The average cost per student in the US is $5,200. Proposed voucher plans range from $1000 - $3000. If you're employer pays you $3000 less per month but also takes away an existing $5200 per month expenditure from you, have you been hurt or helped?

"...you would learn that... (Below threshold)

"...you would learn that vouchers FINANCIALLY HELP public schools..."

I am rolling on the floor laughing. Nevermind, I didn't realize you were mentally challenged.

I'm a product of public sch... (Below threshold)
tee bee:

I'm a product of public school and (for my junior and senior year) private school. I sent my kids to private school for a year early on, when I could work at the school to pay tuition, then public school until the high school years, then private school, then quit my high-paying job to home school them for the final two years (with a purposely college-prep styled curriculum).

the hardest years were the public school years. one struggled, one soared and was everyone's favorite student (except for one hardass who was going to challenge the kid - nothing he did was good enough, the teacher admitted, because "I know he can do better"). both kids hated it, and the "socialization" was the worst part of it. in the grade school years, the petty games of cliques had them in and out of friendships like they were after-school snacks, which was very distressing. in junior high, their friends introduced them to drugs, smoking and sexual activity (the kids resisted, but they were more than exposed to it - it was part of the public school kids' culture).

the happiest kids I know are the home schooled ones. they are most confident with other people of all ages (I assume because they weren't segregated into bizarre groups who had nothing in common but their age), they often develop a number of talents in a variety of directions rather than doing ballet or clarinet for a year because they were prodded to it, they are well-spoken and well-mannered, and if they want to go to college, they do, often with higher scores than their public school peers. one of my sons is working, married and expecting his first child, whom he and his wife will home school, and the other has nearly a full ride to a very high-priced school with the economics program (where'd he get interested in economics, for crying out loud?) he was interested in. he was accepted to every college to which he applied. both are very happy, and prefer their home school days over their other schooling experiences. they both have more friends than most other kids we know.

thanks for indulging me in talking about my favorite things - my kids and learning. for the vast majority of home schoolers, being able to tailor and direct your education (which is what my kids did, as do many home schoolers) opened up vast realms of opportunity to not only learn, but to do things they were interested in, and meet wonderful people (politicians, craftspeople, artists and business people of all sorts).

so what do I say to people like PI? of course you want what is best for your child, and you are probably concerned that you are not "it", as far as teaching them. but there are wonderful curriculums and materials available, and associations (and private schools) to teach extras you may not be versed in, such as calculus or Latin. you are doing them and yourself a huge disservice by assuming others will do better and care more for your children, and robbing yourselves of great adventures and irreplaceable memories - not to mention raising people who are comfortable pursuing their dreams, whether they are about having a nice job and a family, or pursuing a PhD at Vanderbilt or Stanford.

Gee PI, I guess I'm mentall... (Below threshold)

Gee PI, I guess I'm mentally challenged (must have been all that public schooling). Here's the math problem I see:

You put 5 apples (per $1000) in a basket (school's budget). Then you take out 3 apples. How many apples are left? That's with the voucher.

Then you put 5 apples in a basket. Take out 5 apples. How many apples are left? That's the regular cost per student in a public school.

Certain commenters here, an... (Below threshold)

Certain commenters here, and in discussions of this topic generally, need to read the classic text on peer group socialization among school children, a book entitled Lord of the Flies.

My homeschooled son was not in any way isolated. He was active in 4H and Scouting (elected to the Order of the Arrow) and now at 25 has sufficient social skills that everyone at work is impressed with the productivity he gets out of the team of temporary workers he supervises.

As for vouchers, the correct way to use them is to issue them to every parent, and then let the government schools compete for students and justify their additional funding. Homeschooling parents would receive limited vouchers for access to facilities such as laboratories and shooting ranges.

Ok, I'll agree to that as s... (Below threshold)

Ok, I'll agree to that as soon as:

1. All children are required (regardless if they are public, private, or homeschooled) to take the same standardized tests currently required of public school students.
2. No schools are allowed to charge a tuition (this wouldn't be fair to public school students who have no means of raising money - other than the amount given as a "voucher).
3. Exclude any religious based organizations from recieving PUBLIC (vouchers) money.
4. Require all schools receiving public money to operate under the same guidelines.
5. Require homeschool students to submit more than a "portfolio" to prove they are indeed learning grade level material and are not instead (I know MANY people who fall into this catagory) avoiding arrest because of school compulsary attendance laws. I don't have a problem with home school, as long as they are held to same standards as everyone else.

"...you would learn that... (Below threshold)
shawn - mentally challenged and dang proud of it:

"...you would learn that vouchers FINANCIALLY HELP public schools..."
"I am rolling on the floor laughing. Nevermind, I didn't realize you were mentally challenged."

I notice that you have yet to provide any counter arguments.

"3. Exclude any religious based organizations from recieving PUBLIC (vouchers) money."

Why? You still haven't provided a rationale for that and this would totally shaft parochial school. The idea is that I should be able to use the money I pay for my child's education (currently in the form of property taxes) to send my child to a school of my choice. The so-called separation of church and state doesn't apply here. The only reason the state is involved is that it requires me to pay a certain amount for an education system that I don't want.

"2. No schools are allowed to charge a tuition (this wouldn't be fair to public school students who have no means of raising money - other than the amount given as a "voucher)."

Again, a statement with no (valid) rationale given. The public schools get money from several sources - federal funds, state funds, property taxes, etc. Unless a private school were eligible for the same funds, why can't they raise money else-wise?

"4. Require all schools receiving public money to operate under the same guidelines."

Okay, this is the kicker! LOL. Those "guidelines" are the reason why the public school system is failing - just like every other government run institution.

Well, I'm relatively new to... (Below threshold)

Well, I'm relatively new to this blog/message board, but I think I've found the first poster to ignore from now on: PIMullet.

This post shows his true liberal agenda and that he is no longer worth debating:


Oh no.....not that. ... (Below threshold)

Oh no.....not that.

And I'm a she....not a he.

A liberal, british, female,... (Below threshold)

A liberal, british, female, anti-religious, web developing fisher from Pine Island Florida near all the mermaids? What a combination. Next I assume that you don't like the crowd at Lob's?

Of course I liked the crowd... (Below threshold)

Of course I liked the crowd at the Lob. Before it was leveled by Charley that is.

Sorry, got the job wrong: b... (Below threshold)

Sorry, got the job wrong: bartender (same title for a female bartender?), not web developer.

I noticed the article was p... (Below threshold)

I noticed the article was precipitated by the series published by the Akron Beacon Journal. I live near Akron and read the whole series as well as all the articles that initiated the Journal's investigation into home schooling.

The case was a particularly sad child abuse situation that occurred in Kenmore, OH. Three boys were found severely malnourished after one of the boys escaped and was seen rooting through trash for food. The perpetrators were a lesbian couple that hated and starved three boys while feeding and caring a girl in the family.

The two females heading this family were not home schooling. They just did not send the boys to school. It was a case of truancy caused by these parents.

The Beacon Journal may site this as the instigation for their series on home schooling, but there is really no connection.

The lack of socialization a... (Below threshold)

The lack of socialization argument is a bunch of crap.

If you really feel that the reason your kids deserve public school is so they can meet other kids... well that says a lot about the value you place on education in the first place.

Aside from that, I was homeschooled 3rd grade through graduation. In high school i had two years where the majority of my friends were in public school, and 2 years where the majority of my friends were fellow homeschoolers. I won't make any comments on how they turned out, but I will point out that whatever you feel equals normality in a teenager could be found in either group. E.g. public schoolers don't equal cool kids and homeschoolers don't equal freaks as a rule.

But I digress. I just wanted to thank you Kevin for drawing attention to this fisking. As a former homeschooler it brings me great pride to never be pinpointed as a homeschooler because of the immenesly negative stereotype associated with the education system. However, I hope one day to homeschool my kids (if the day comes). So I appreciate any positive look I can find on the system. Props.

1. All children are requ... (Below threshold)

1. All children are required (regardless if they are public, private, or homeschooled) to take the same standardized tests currently required of public school students.

Setting aside the fact that part of the reason we chose to take full responsibility for our son's education is the fact that we wanted him to learn different things than the government schools were teaching, what penalties do plan to impose on the government schools when their students do poorly on these tests?

3. Exclude any religious based organizations from recieving PUBLIC (vouchers) money.

Setting aside the fact that it isn't public money (there is no such thing) but our money, this would be unconstitutional. "Congress shall make no laws restricting the free practice of religion..."






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