Ask a Homeschooler!

Andrew O'Hehir of Salon has written a compelling essay about his life as a homeschooling dad, written in something similar to a FAQ format: There's the frequently asked question, the vague reply he gave in real life, and then the longer full truth he doesn't feel like getting into when a stranger starts inquiring about his childrearing decisions. Like:

Mrs. GSP: Do you use a curriculum?

Me: Oh, sure! Absolutely.

Real answer: Give me a break! These kids are 5 years old. What curriculum was involved when you were in kindergarten? As I recall, it was mainly scissors and paste.

Read the whole thing here.

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  • ||

    As I recall, it was mainly scissors and paste.

    Yes, that must have been the easiest four years of your life.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    PASTE! Yumm!

  • Rich||

    PASTE! Yumm!

    MIMEOGRAPH! Ahhh!

  • ||

  • ||

    I'm not going to click your link, SF, but IME the problem with home-schooled kids is that they just don't get the basic social skills that come with a classroom. I salute any parent that wishes to tackle trying to educate their kid(s), but get them out into the general population once in a while for the love of God.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Why Are Home-Schoolers So Annoying?

    I don't think the author of that piece knows what the word "snootiness" means.

  • Jesse Walker||

    The author of the piece SF linked to, that is.

  • The Extispicator||

    I have known several home-schoolers and some do a better job than others at socialization. Sports teams help a lot, and so do groups that get together one day a week for social and group activities.

    Still, it's just not for my family.

  • Long time reader||

    I enjoyed that article, especially this quote , "She told me that one of her daughters was asleep at noon, because she'd been up all night studying the constellations,".

    The shit they teach you in K-6 can be easily taught through life experiences and a few books on history, 7-12 can easily be replaced by two years at your local community college. I hope I'd be able to home school if I ever (accidentally) had a kid.

  • anon||

    GLUE > paste!!!

    paste sucks. glue rules.

  • Mike in PA||

    Sage, I'd have to take a little bit of issue with that point of socialization. Yes, it's different, but is that so bad?

    The kind of socialization I got after I got out of school bore little resemblance to the kind I got in school. Trends, fashion, slang, and good-natured teasing of fellow students was fun in school, but I don't know that I see much importance in that now. I often see teens go through a socialization shift when they hit the real world.

    Could it be that the home-schooled kids don't need the shift? Perhaps they are already prepared due to socialization with all age groups.

    Don't get me wrong, most of them sure appear strange compared to other kids their age, but the other kids their age leave a lot to be desired. I'm just not so quick to say one way is better than another.

  • Anonymous||

    The multiple exhorations about being "lefty" and not "Bible-thumping" make me laugh. They're very worried about how they look to their East-cost Progressive friends, aren't they?

    This is a grand experiment. This is uncharted territory. This is neo-neuvo intellectualism. This is individualist glory. And I saw it all first on the internet! Wouldn't want to look like bitter, God-clinging, fly-over folk that have been doing the same thing in the the same country since before the pioneers hit LA, would you?

  • Mike in PA||

    I'm a new father and I wish I had the time and patience to home-school.

    Hopefully, I'll be able to afford a private education when it's time, but at least I know he'll get a stout supplemental education from his parents.

  • ||

    Unless children are socialized by other children, they won't be able to handle difficult cultural situations like fraternity hazing.

    Would you really want *YOUR* child to not be able to handle hazing?

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Home-schooling a five-year-old? You mean, hanging out with them, right? Ten years from now, is he going to be teaching them geometry, giving them swimming and guitar lessons, grading their term papers, etc? My guess is, he'll be sending them to a politically correct private school, using the big bucks he made writing a book on the joys of home schooling: "Jeannie collected leaves today! She was radiant!"

  • Long time reader||

    The only important social relationship learned in school relevant to the western lifestyle is the teacher/student one, which will later resemble the boss/subservient worker. Important lessons include: rules can and will be arbitrary! The teacher is often wrong, but always right! It's just as important to look busy as it is to be busy!

    Unless you're locking your child in the basement, they'll naturally socialize, humans being social fucking creatures and all. In fact, they'll learn how to deal with old people!

  • Alice Bowie||

    I have a 3 1/2 yo that just started montessori school and a 1 year old in gymboree and a wife that doesn't work, stays home, and manages the schedules of these two little snowflakes.

    I have no opinion on which approach is better.

    However, I'll stick to the usual.

  • hmm||

    For the record. The red crayons taste better than the green ones.


    I remember having to read and other things when I was young. I wasn't strictly home schooled, but my parents made me read, discuss, and do things outside of my school work all the time. I'm no fan of public education, but unless you have a serious ideological divergence from public school a little extra effort from parents instead of complete homeschool will go a long way.

    The socialization argument is bullshit. I grew up in the middle of fucking no where. I had a younger brother and a shit ton of land, barns, trees, trouble and other shit to get into. I do just fine socially. (by fine I mean I haven't climbed a bell tower with a rifle yet, so kinda' a low bar)

  • Jesse Walker||

    The multiple exhorations about being "lefty" and not "Bible-thumping" make me laugh. They're very worried about how they look to their East-cost Progressive friends, aren't they?

    You'll note that he distanced himself from "off-the-grid hippies," too. Maybe he wanted to make the point that there's more sorts of homeschoolers than the stereotypes acknowledge.

  • ||

    Like I said, this is just my experience. I have a seven year old and a three year old. We've had them to several functions where there was a distinct tendency by the home-schooled kid(s) NOT to share, etc. That could very well be the parent, though, FWIW.

    I'd like to home shool. But since I can't, I'm just trying to make sure I do what I can outside of school. My daughter is an avid reader and is picking up math quite well. During the summer we had her working out of a workbook to get her speed up in solving basic addition and subtraction.

  • ||

    I have a 3 1/2 yo that just started montessori school

    Which do you drive - Subaru, Saab, or Volvo?

  • Alice Bowie||


    I have a 3 1/2 yo that just started montessori school

    Which do you drive - Subaru, Saab, or Volvo?


    A toyota Sienna AWD. The BEST car ever!!!

    For families...that is.

  • ||

    Sure, lots of homeschoolers are weird, but then again, so are lots of public school kids. They may just be a different kind of weird.

  • Xeones||

    Nick, it's not necessarily a different kind of weird, it's just that homeschoolers don't get the weirdness bullied or ostracized out of them.

  • Zeb||

    I thought school started at age 6. What's with all the 1 and 3 and year olds going to school?

  • ||

    Nick,

    I think wierd kids tend to do better in home schooling. The wierder you are, the harder it is to fit in in school and the more you benefit from the individual attention of home schooling.

    The rise in home schooling if nothing else puts lie to the teachers' unions and the entire educational establishment. Ultimately, education isn't that hard. You don't need a multi million dollar school. You don't need a hoard of administrators. You just need a committed reasonably intelligent adult who has the good sense to either not know or ignore education theory.

  • hamilton||

    We (meaning my wife) homeschool. I was mostly against it. Now I'm mostly neutral. I do a lot of stuff with both homeschooled and public-schooled kids. My take on the difference is... meh. There are irritating brats in bot groups, and clever types in both.

    I'd generally say the homeschool kids are better behaved except that for certain occasions (like saluting the flag or othr fall-in-line sorts of things) the public school kids clearly have more experience. I am not sure this is good.

  • Anonymous||

    You'll note that he distanced himself from "off-the-grid hippies," too.

    For all I know, they equate "off-the-grid hippies" with Greenpeace killing people for pissing in the ocean. Or with people morally opposed to soap. Or with a modern Burning Man attendee. Once upon a time, self-reliance on the coast was not a passe pass-time for self-labeled "hippied" to write about on their blogs.

    Their concern with the image of centrist, non-ideological home-schoolers indicates to me that they don't fully connect this voluntary withdrawal from an assumed lifestyle (for their children) with other voluntary acts, like living simply for the glory of God or exchanging goods and services without government taking a cut or using drugs in a controlled environment because it one's own body.

    (Okay, I know, that wasn't the point of the article. But the FAQ style framed it to be exactly such! They are either holding back from the audience to head off offense, analogous to his short answers; or, more likely, they're lacking a bit of self-awareness in general. I'm sure the act of home schooling will improve that.)

  • DJF||

    """Sage writes

    I'm not going to click your link, SF, but IME the problem with home-schooled kids is that they just don't get the basic social skills that come with a classroom. I salute any parent that wishes to tackle trying to educate their kid(s), but get them out into the general population once in a while for the love of God.""""

    First you show your lack of socialization by refusing to click the link and actually read what the homeschooler says. What is wrong, can't you accept people with a different point of view?

    And then you think that a regimented activity where kids are arbitrarily put into groups by age and then lectured to by a government employee and that same government employee determines whether or not you are right or wrong is the kind of socialization that kids need

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Ten years from now, is he going to be teaching them geometry, giving them swimming and guitar lessons, grading their term papers, etc?

    He should be teaching her that stuff now, but INOMB.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I have a 3 1/2 yo that just started montessori school

    Caution! The third flakiest chick I ever dated went to Montessori (all the grades they had, IIRC).

    She was not even close to flaky like Hamas chick from Albuquerque, but still quite flaky. Well, maybe she was competitive with Hamas chick on the flaky and my memory mellowed over time.

  • Mike in PA||

    there was a distinct tendency by the home-schooled kid(s) NOT to share, etc.

    What kind of collectivist BS is that?! I'll share with you if you'll share with me, but I ain't sharing just for the sake of sharing!

    TANSTAAFL. If a kid is getting pleasure out of his toy and has no want for another's toy, then why should he share? He gains nothing but loses 1/2 of his pleasure.

    Was this what you meant by "socialized"?

  • ||

    First you show your lack of socialization by refusing to click the link and actually read what the homeschooler says. What is wrong, can't you accept people with a different point of view?

    I don't recognize the site and I'm not clicking to a strange site from work.

    And then you think that a regimented activity where kids are arbitrarily put into groups by age and then lectured to by a government employee and that same government employee determines whether or not you are right or wrong is the kind of socialization that kids need

    Holy strawtower, batman! Please feel free to go back and point out my comments praising public schools. Christ, you're new here, aren't you?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Ew! I sounded so Polanski at 10:50. I meant to say that she attended all of the grades. I met her when she was in her early 30's.

  • Xeones||

    ...and I'm not clicking to a strange site from work.

    Hit'n'Run's not a strange site? Warty posts here, you know.

  • ||

    There are folks who want to homeschool. If they can teach their kids to read, write, and rith, then they will be ahead of most elementary schools out there.

    If they can eventually teach their kids to teach themselves stuff, they will be ahead of most colleges.

  • ||

    Speaking from own experience being homeschooled, I would say that it was much more effective at educating me and instilling a desire to learn when compared to the assembly line procedure I had previously experienced in the public schools.

    There are obviously drawbacks, namely with hard sciences and math at an advanced level, and "socialization". But kids don't get there until high school, so they, like myself, can take the introduction to hazing, social stratification, and regimented learning via regurgitation of the teacher's lessons in one fell swoop.

  • ||

    Mike in PA-

    Any kid who does not have to endure state run re-education camps is, by definition, better off than the kid condemned to such an experience.

    Just as any adult who does not choose to be a public sector parasite is better off, by definition, than the "grown-up" who chooses to be a one of Caesar's toadies.

  • ||

    What kind of collectivist BS is that?! I'll share with you if you'll share with me, but I ain't sharing just for the sake of sharing!

    Sigh...how old is your kid again? I'm no pro at parenting (obviously) but I think one of two things are going to happen for you: (1) You will soften your stance as you are exposed to other parents and their kids, or (2) Your kid will be very lonely.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Home-schooling a five-year-old? You mean, hanging out with them, right? Ten years from now, is he going to be teaching them geometry, giving them swimming and guitar lessons, grading their term papers, etc? My guess is, he'll be sending them to a politically correct private school, using the big bucks he made writing a book on the joys of home schooling



    Alan, if you're suggestion that the average adult in the country can't supervise a child's education through the first couple of years of high school, then you are admitting that the public schools fail at their avowed mission: that they pass pupils through their doors and out the other end without teaching them the things on the curriculum.

    Or was you point just to disparage the author?

  • Spoonman||

    Eh. My kids will go to school, but they'll do most of their learning at home.

  • ¢||

    I'll send my kid to school to buy drugs for me.

  • Mango Punch||

    @ Sugar Free
    I thought your link was going to be about why home-schooled kids are annoying, not their parents, very dissapointing.

    @ John Tagliaferro
    I have a good friend (who is a girl) who went to all years of Montessori, not flaky at all, very down to earth and cool girl (also hot), so I guess it depends on the person and M school.


    I was surprised by how good the comments were on this thread.

    @ Everyone who thinks Socialization isn't important
    Like most other things, don't you get better at making friends and dealing with other people the more practice you get? Doesn't it make sense that home-school kids (or people like 'hmm' from the boondocks) would have a natural disadvantage in this regard (unless their parents work to socialize them). Dogs are socail creatures too, but unless you bring a puppy out to interact with other dogs it's a lot less likely they'll be good at it when older. Then again maybe under-socialized kids are better able to be content without close peer friends or being closest with their imediate family. I also think that shared experience generally makes it a lot easier to build relationships-once again might home-schooled be at a disadvantage.

  • T||

    I have no kids, yet. Instead, I have lots of friends that are public school teachers. Lovely people, for the most part. Would I trust my kid to them and what the public school system has become? Not a chance in hell. The schools have markedly gone downhill since I was in.

    My niece graduated at the top of her class from a well-regarded suburban high school. One story sticks in my memory. Anybody wanna guess what she was doing for her English Lit unit on Beowulf? Anybody? She built a shoebox diorama with a He-Man action figure illustrating a scene from Beowulf. In the 10TH FUCKING GRADE. Of course, in her defense, she knew it was goddamned ridiculous when she was doing it. But that's what they had the best and the brightest doing at this school. Go Publix Skoolz.

  • Jimbo||

    There are probably some good reasons to home school your kids. All the kids I know who are home schooled, though, are in it for the wrong reasons.

    Either it is crazy religious beliefs, the fact that they get bullied and mommy doesn't like it or some combo platter.

    All the home schooled kids (at least the ones I know) would be better off going to public schools. There they would learn that a) not everyone thinks that god talked to desert nomads but refuses to talk to modern scientists and b) you may take some lumps, but you need to learn to stand up to bullies.

    All three of my kids go to public schools. I don't think the education is spectacular, but with my wife and I supplementing it with conversations and flash cards they are doing well.

    If there were no public schools and each of my kids received a voucher for so much education, they would be going to some school. I wouldn't even be tempted to keep them home and pocket the $$. I think they need to learn in an environment where they aren't being spoiled rotten by mommy.

  • ||

    I don't want my kids socialized. I want them CIVILIZED.

    Socialization is for insects.

  • Warty||

    Hit'n'Run's not a strange site? Warty posts here, you know.

    Jesus, I loom large.

    So basically formal schooling is a bully-filled discipline machine that will turn your kids into pod people just so you can keep on being an "economic production unit."

    That was pretty much my experience with it, you condescending twat.

    Bonus from the jezebel link:

    Whoopi On Roman Polanski: It Wasn't 'Rape-Rape'

    Good thing Steve Smith can't comprehend such nuances.

  • robc||

    I went to an engineering school for college. Even the public school kids (like me) had no social skills. :)
    The homeschool kids seemed no different than the public school kids. Ditto private school kids. The Math&Science magnet school kids, on the other hand, were much weirder.

  • Joette||

    We tried the public school route for K and 1st with our (now 7 year old) son and it was an abysmal failure. Because he was ahead when he started school, he did the same curriculum two years in a row and now doesn't know how to even begin to approach learning something new. His "socialization" convinced him that he's stupid and no one will ever like him. His teachers allowed him to refuse to complete assigned work and now he thinks he can get away with that kind of behavior.

    We (by which I mean my husband) is now home schooling our son. I have a hard time fathoming how we could do much worse than public school did!

  • guy in the back row||

    One of my kids' friends got kicked out of parochial school and is now attending the local public school. The friend was eating over last night and saying how there are three teachers in his class of 21, one of whom only works with one student, and every day they get to go to music and dance classes.

    My kids will stick with the math and science.

  • ||

    Go Publix Skoolz

    They have schools in grociery stores now?

  • mer||

    I'd like to read the article, but there is a Lexus ad in front of it that won't go away. I'm very content with my two year-old Mazda, anyway.

    My kids are homeschooled. By me. Long story, etc. Socialized? Please. They have friends and go out and do stuff. Selfish? Too many of them to demand their own way all the time, plus they have parents who don't want them to be entitled whiners as adults.

    I would like to speak more directly to the article, but from what I was able to see, the father is doing no harm by wanting to start his kids out with a joy for learning. That's often ripped away by classroom convention, and anyone who says it's not true has not been paying attention.

  • ||

    "What kind of collectivist BS is that?! I'll share with you if you'll share with me, but I ain't sharing just for the sake of sharing!"

    I'm glad to see that some here are defending the ramparts of freedom at the toddler level. Jesus...

  • T||

    I'm glad to see that some here are defending the ramparts of freedom at the toddler level.

    It's never too early to raise the next generation of LP activists, B.P.

  • ||

    From the article,
    [Our local Public School is] a uniform school run on a paramilitary model, ruthlessly devoted to driving up the test scores. Oh, and last semester the principal was arrested for assaulting a teacher.


    Doesn't all of this pretty much describe all public schools in the nation?

  • ||

    The socialization issue is such a red herring.

    The real question is, who do you want socializing your kids? A state institution, or their parents?

    If you think a state institution will be better at socializing your kids than you will, by all means, send them to state school.

    That's the thing about a free country. You get to choose.

  • ||

    Re: Sage,

    [...] but [in my opinion] the problem with home-schooled kids is that they just don't get the basic social skills that come with a classroom.

    That is totally correct - just look at the anti-social behavior of these home schooled people:

    Mark Twain
    George Bernard Shaw
    Irving Berlin
    Charles Dickens
    C.S. Lewis
    George Washington
    Thomas Jefferson
    James Madison
    John Quincy Adams
    Abraham Lincoln
    William Henry Harrison
    Theodore F. Roosevelt
    Blaise Pascal
    Booker T. Washington
    Thomas Edison
    Benjamin Franklin
    Andrew Carnegie
    John Stuart Mill
    Anton Bruckner
    Felix Mendelssohn
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Francis Poulenc
    Abigail Adams
    Mercy Warren
    Martha Washington
    Florence Nightingale
    Phyllis Wheatley
    Agatha Christie
    Pearl S. Buck

  • ||

    The real question is, who do you want socializing your kids? A state institution, or their parents?

    You pointed out a red herring, then made a black and white fallacy. Naturally if that were the only choice I would say the parents. But the parents aren't going to be the kids' friends...their friends are. And if you don't have any, you won't know how to be one.

    For those parents that are lucky enough to have not only the time and skills to homeschool their kid(s) but also get them face time with their peers, I actually think that's the best combination. But it would seem that one or the other would be lacking - again for those parents that live in the real world and have to work and stuff.

    Old Mexican - yawn. And you might want to drop that handle lest Lonewhacko starts stalking you.

  • Michael||

    That whole socializing argument against home schooling is such a colossal crock of shit. The overwhelming majority of my friends during my teenage years didn't even go to the same schools. We all met because of the various punk bands we were in and their accompanying scenes. We basically sought each other out because that's what most normal kids do out of sheer curiosity. We all could just as well have been home schooled and the outcome wouldn't have been much different. Arguing that institutions are the primary catalyst for developing social skills in children only serves to reinforce the notion that the school system is designed for conditioning instead of teaching.

  • ||

    "The real question is, who do you want socializing your kids? A state institution, or their parents?"

    In my experience it's the fellow students doing the socializing and not the state institution.

  • Les||

    The responses to that column are perfect examples of bigotry and willful ignorance. It seems to be hard for ideologues to admit that homeschooling works for some and doesn't work for others.

    And anyone who brings up socialization when arguing against homeschooling might as well hold up a sign saying, "I have no idea what I'm talking about." As if the socialization in school looks anything like real life.

    Besides all the pro/con arguments, it's just so incredibly rude to denigrate such a personal choice. It's like grilling someone who admits that they recently joined a Lutheran church. "Oh, the Lutheran church? I met a couple of Lutherans once and they were so weird! Aren't you worried about that?"

    Part of me (the angry part) wants to just say, "Unless and until you have evidence that homeschooling is inherently less effective than public schooling, please won't you just shut the fuck up?"

  • ||

    ...the father is doing no harm by wanting to start his kids out with a joy for learning. That's often ripped away by classroom convention...

    Couldn't agree more. I started out a very eager student, but between being bored in school, and then having retarded homework after a day of that.....by 10th grade it had taken its toll and i was almost completely drained of any interest in "succeeding."

    I'd still pay attention if it was an interesting subject (math mostly), and i'd even pass those tests. The rest of the time i'd read or doodle (or sleep if i could get away with it). Homework was automatically not gonna get done though. Which as anyone knows, is gonna get you a failing mark come report-card time. No matter how many tests you aced that quarter.

    Anyway, long story short, i've learned more from the last 5years of wikipedia binges than i learned in my entire school career.

    Education is not a one-size-fits-all commodity (really, is there any commodity that does fit all sizes, aside from t-shirts and sweatpants?).

    If you child learns in public school more power to them, and all-the-better since you're already paying for it. If they succeed in homeschooling, that's just as good.

    The point here is that the kids are learning. If one option doesn't work, try another.

    By Any Means Necessary.

  • Abdul||

    I've worked in education for years, and I've found that almost everyone's opinion of homeschoolers is most influenced by the first homeschooler they met. If the kid was a dork, than all homeschoolers suffer from insufficient socialization. If the kid was decent, than homeschooling is the best way to raise children.

    Homeschoolers, like all lifestyle choices, come with all kinds of practioners and results.

  • ||

    You pointed out a red herring, then made a black and white fallacy.

    RACIST!

  • Warty||

    In my experience it's the fellow students doing the socializing and not the state institution.

    A.k.a, a Lord of the Flies reenactment. Hell is other students.

  • ||

    So, if socialization isn't really done by the teachers or parents, but by the kid's friends, then doesn't that mean that the whole socialization argument is, in fact, a red herring?

  • ||

    OMG, LUTHERNS?!?!?

    Seriously, very well said Les. Cmon people, stop dissin' a successful education.

  • robc||

    Old Mexican,

    C S Lewis attended a number of schools before he ended up at a private tutor. Of course, I think he considered the "socializing" he received at those schools as primarily negative.

  • robc||

    So, if socialization isn't really done by the teachers or parents, but by the kid's friends, then doesn't that mean that the whole socialization argument is, in fact, a red herring?

    Yes.

  • ||

    Re: Sage,

    Old Mexican - yawn. And you might want to drop that handle lest Lonewhacko starts stalking you.

    Why the attack? I totally agree with you - those people in the list were crazy nut-jobs that did not enjoy the socialization that State-mandated schooling offers. Home schooling must have made them that way, for lack of the much vaunted social skills that only State-mandated schooling can provide, right?

    What, don't you agree? Can't you defend your argument except with "yawn"?

  • ||

    Can't you defend your argument except with "yawn"?

    Get with the times. A (preferably bored) outright dismissal of your argument IS a valid defense these days.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Where would you rather your 13 year old daughter be? Home schooled by Roman Polanski or public schooled in Gaza?

  • Tomcat1066||

    Socialization is generally only an issue with an overprotective parent who doesn't provide for any kind of socialization activities. Cub Scouts, sports, various activity classes, martial arts, and whatever else can provide for socialization. In addition, I've seen homeschool co-ops where parents combine resources. These also have socialization happening as well, as kids from various age groups interact.

    Now, I'm the parent of a public school child. I'm not happy about it, because the school systems in Southwest Georgia suck...but generally they suck state wide. If we were in a position to educate my son at home, we would. We could hardly do worse than public schools typically have (and my son is a A-B student without much effort).

    Something else to think about regarding kids being picked on is they school's approach to situations like that. To start with, they tell the kids to go to an authority like a teacher. Then, the teacher does nothing and the ridicule continues, if not amplifies. So then the kid is in a bad spot. They either do nothing and suffer more ridicule, or they stand up for themselves and get punished for fighting or threats or whatever else. The kids can't win.

    So, some parents pull the kids out of that no-win situation and homeschool them instead. At least then they can feel good about standing up for themselves, rather that being told they're borderline criminal.

  • ||

    anyone who brings up socialization when arguing against homeschooling might as well hold up a sign saying, "I have no idea what I'm talking about."

    This is getting good. I only know what I'm talking about based on my experience seeing my kids with other kids, public, private, and home-schooled. And not just one, but several (of each). But please don't take that as an argument against home-schooling. It's not. It's anecdotal, as is every bit of evidence you see on this board.

    So, if socialization isn't really done by the teachers or parents, but by the kid's friends, then doesn't that mean that the whole socialization argument is, in fact, a red herring?

    Only if you're getting your kids out and around other kids, and if you are home-schooling, and doing the whole "job" thing in addition to that, it's hard to see how there's time for everything.

    Home schooling must have made them that way, for lack of the much vaunted social skills that only State-mandated schooling can provide, right?

    Another strawman. Where did I say that only state schools provide social skills? Go back and read my comments here. I'm not railing against home schooling.

    Get with the times. A (preferably bored) outright dismissal of your argument IS a valid defense these days.

    He did not provide an argument. He provided a list of well-known people that happen to have been home-schooled. What exactly does that prove?

  • robc||

    if you are home-schooling, and doing the whole "job" thing in addition to that, it's hard to see how there's time for everything.


    Maybe they just play with the nieghborhood kids after they get home from school?

  • ||

    "I'm deeply immersed in The Teapot Dome Scandal."

  • ||

    He did not provide an argument. He provided a list of well-known people that happen to have been home-schooled. What exactly does that prove?

    "Here's a list of successful people who were homeschooled, so homeschooling can work incredibly well"

    I'm not saying his argument is rock-solid, but it still classifies as an argument.

  • ||

    Don't try to simplify things, robc. Home schooling is the devil. That's what I've been saying the whole time.

  • Les||

    sage,

    Okay, that was harsh, let me try again.

    You've had experience with your kids and other kids. But that's just not enough experience to justify an opinion on the subject of what homeschooling does to kids. I don't have a lot of experience or knowledge in a lot of subjects, believe me, but after teaching for many years and meeting scores of homeschooled kids, I can tell you, kids are kids are kids. Some are awkward, some are cocky, some are quiet, some are confident, some are kind, some are rude, etc., etc. There's just no difference between homeschooled and non-homeschooled kids besides the way they're learning.

    The combination of personality and the relationship with parents is what makes kids who they are, not whether or not they go to school to learn things.

    Here's some interesting information:

    http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/29/e6/28.pdf

  • ||

    Re: Sage,

    Where did I say that only state schools provide social skills? Go back and read my comments here. I'm not railing against home schooling.

    This is what you said:

    but IME the problem with home-schooled kids is that they just don't get the basic social skills that come with a classroom

    What is one supposed to gather from this comment?

    Re: Sage,
    He [Old Mexican] provided a list of well-known people that happen to have been home-schooled. What exactly does that prove?

    That the idea that home schooled people lack social skills bu virtue of not being in a classroom is absurd - that is what it proves. It also proves your comment was a sweeping generalization. It also begged the question, as you assume these much vaunted "social skills" are somehow important to conclude home schooling *suffers* by the lack of access to them.

    Want me to continue? Maybe you want to retract from your perfunctory generalization?

  • Hottie16||

    Yo, fuck homeschooling

  • ||

    if you are home-schooling, and doing the whole "job" thing in addition to that, it's hard to see how there's time for everything.

    I guess it depends on what your kids are doing while you're working. If they're locked in the basement, then I will admit their socialization is probably subpar, or at least rather bizarre.

  • ||

    This is what you said:

    but IME the problem with home-schooled kids is that they just don't get the basic social skills that come with a classroom

    What is one supposed to gather from this comment?


    Do you know what IME stands for? In no case did I say that my experience means that no home-schooled kids have any social skills. You really should not be taking this so personally.

    That the idea that home schooled people lack social skills bu virtue of not being in a classroom is absurd - that is what it proves. It also proves your comment was a sweeping generalization.

    Even though I have repeatedly added the disclaimer "in my experience?" Come on.

    It also begged the question, as you assume these much vaunted "social skills" are somehow important to conclude home schooling *suffers* by the lack of access to them.

    I do think social skills are important. Sue me.

  • ||

    I guess it depends on what your kids are doing while you're working. If they're locked in the basement, then I will admit their socialization is probably subpar, or at least rather bizarre.

    That could very well explain what I was seeing. I noticed one kid kept shielding his eyes from the light...and we were indoors. ;-)

  • Mike Laursen||

    What I'm wondering is if any of youse have been called into the principal's office because your kid exhibited libertarian thinking in public school? I'm anticipating that it's gonna come up when my kids get to that age.

  • Tomcat1066||

    Mike,

    Not yet, but I expect it any day now.

    And damn I'll be proud! :)

  • ap||

    did the author of the salon piece get a copy of the hip left urbanite thesaurus and just go to town during proofreading? good fucking god. i don't know if i am more appalled that reason tricked me into reading that or that someone actually wrote it.

    the only thing compelling is the idea of home schooling...and i could have taken that from the piece's title and saved myself the nausea.

  • Mango Punch||

    I don't think anyone on here thinks that all home-school kids lack social skills or that there aren't parents who do a great job home-schooling their brood.

    That said why is it so offensive to say that a major issue with home-schooling is in socializing students, or that in our (collective individuals') experience, we've noticed a lack of social skills in home-schooled people?

    The choice to home-school is obviously complicated case by case where there a lot of trade-offs from parent's time, to curriculum, to peer interaction, to quality of education, to college application process.

    There's a NCES chart on the homeschooling wikipedia page that breakes out why parents homeschool their children, which is worth looking at... top reasons:
    Can give child better education at home:..48.9%
    Religious reason:.........................38.4%
    Poor learning environment at school:......25.6%

    @ Old Mexican
    Here are some other people who were home-schooled:
    Almost everyone born before the 18 hundreds
    Kanye West
    ElfMage86 [on World of Warcraft]

  • Les||

    I do think social skills are important. Sue me.

    Legal action is unnecessary. I think we can reach a settlement, though.

    I think school instills a lot of poor social skills in kids. It's something they have to struggle against if they want to not grow up to be judgmental and shallow.

    They learn not to mingle with kids younger than they are. They learn the power of exclusion and ridicule. They learn that friends are better sources of information than adults. They learn that, if assaulted, authorities will do little to protect you, if you're actually pathetic enough to report the assault. They become accustomed to a mob mentalities and reflexively distrust nonconformists.

    These are traits found in most every public school. They can certainly be dealt with by vigilant parents who have a strong line of communication with their kids (my dearest friends do a great job helping their kids deal with it all). But certainly, the notion that school provides social skills for adult life (inherently better than homeschooling) is unsupported by the facts.

  • Les||

    That said why is it so offensive to say that a major issue with home-schooling is in socializing students, or that in our (collective individuals') experience, we've noticed a lack of social skills in home-schooled people?

    Before it's offensive, it's merely ignorant, because socializing students is not a "major issue" with homeschooling. It's an invented issue.

    Think of it this way. A homeschooling parent (HP) is talking with a public schooling parent (PP).

    HP: So, are you happy with your school?
    PP: Oh, yeah, very much.
    HP: I've noticed that a lot of the public school kids I've seen are really obnoxious and cruel to other kids.
    PP: Yeah, I guess they can be.
    HP: Doesn't that worry you?
    PP: Of course not.
    HP: Well, what are you doing to make sure your kids aren't obnoxious and cruel?
    PP: Have you seen my kids being obnoxious and cruel?
    HP: No, I've never met them.
    PP: Then what in the living fuck are you talking about?

    In this instance, HP lacks social skills, because he is unable to grasp the implications of his questions and is creating an uncomfortable conversation. The implications are that PP is such a lousy parent that he hasn't given any thought as to the basics of raising his kids.

    And socialization (getting along with others) is an instinctive and basic parenting concern. Some homeschooling parents do a shitty job of it. Some public school parents do a shitty job of it. But there isn't a shred of evidence to suggest that one group is inherently worse at it than another.

  • jtuf||

    Actually, every public school lesson has to be based on a written lesson plan and aling with the curriculum for that grade. When your kindergarden teacher taught you how to use scissors and paste, he was following a lesson plan. This is one reason home schooling is better.

  • ||

    But certainly, the notion that school provides social skills for adult life (inherently better than homeschooling) is unsupported by the facts.

    Exactly. There are no facts that support or disprove the assertion, which is why I'm only going off of what I have seen.

  • Les||

    Exactly. There are no facts that support or disprove the assertion, which is why I'm only going off of what I have seen.

    Why do you need facts to disprove an unsupported assertion to keep you from asserting it?

    What you have seen (a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of the overall picture) is hardly enough for you to "go off" of.

    I mean, if you're going to call into question the parenting skills of a million plus Americans, shouldn't you have more than an anecdote to go on?

    And actually, there are facts that don't support the assertion that homeschooled kids have social problems at higher rates than other kids. I posted it above and I'll do it again, now.

    http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/29/e6/28.pdf

  • Mango Punch||

    Les,

    Clearly homeschool supporters don't know HTML

  • Les||

    This homeschool supporter is just too lazy.

    But if it will decrease the reflexive prejudice one encounters when the subject is brought up...

    Here are some research results regarding homeschoolers and here are the sources.

  • ||

    Do you know what IME stands for?

    Yes, I do.

    In no case did I say that my experience means that no home-schooled kids have any social skills.

    That is not what you typed. In my experience, the problem with rain is that it falls to the ground. Does my experience not mean that rain does fall to the ground?

    You could have said: It has been my experience that the homeschooled children I know seem to lack the social skills that other children I have known obtain in the classroom. In no way this means that other homeschooled children I do not know nor have ever met do not have these oh-so-precious-to-me social skills, only that those I know do lack them.


    I do think social skills are important. Sue me.



    I do thing they are important - I do not believe they can only be obtained in the sacrosanct venue of the classroom exclusively. Sue ME.

  • ||

    Sorry - "think", not "thing"

  • ||

    You could have said: It has been my experience that the homeschooled children I know seem to lack the social skills that other children I have known obtain in the classroom who are not homeschooled.

    As written above, that's what I could have said. And that's really what I meant. Sorry if that was not more clear.

  • zoltan||

    The Jezebel article had the best quote, by a public school teacher, no less: Educational competition is overrated.

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