Homeschool, but Not Unschool, Superior to Public School

There are pages upon pages of stories about homeschooled nerds beating public schoolers at spelling or geography bees. Published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, a new, if very small, study adds another win for the homeschoolers -- depending on how much you care about standardized tests.

Of course, not caring about standardized tests is the reason some people homeschool in the first place. But the bad news for those ultra-critical of curriculums? So-called "unschooling" is not as good as public school.

So says Time:

The researchers studied 74 children aged 5 to 10 living in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick: 37 kids were schooled at home, and the other 37 attended local public schools. Each child was asked to complete standardized tests of reading, writing and math.

Researchers found that the public-school kids tested at or above their grade levels, but home-schooled children tested even higher than that — about a half-grade higher in math and 2.2 grades in reading, compared with the traditionally educated children.

Alas says The Atlantic:

Children in the unstructured home-schooling group, however, performed the worst across all seven academic measures.

A recent Associated Press (AP) story looked at unschooling:

Reliable data is hard to come by, but estimates of children and teens home-schooled in the U.S. range from 1.5 million to 2 million. Of those, as many as one-third could be considered unschoolers...meaning their parents are "facilitators," available with materials and other resources, rather than topdown "teachers."

There's no fixed curriculum, course schedule or attempt to mimic traditional classrooms. Unless, of course, their children ask for those things.

The authors of the Canadian study said they allowed for differences in socio-economic background and parental education levels and the results remained the same. Not surprisingly, they suggested the academic excellence of the homeschoolers was due to individualized attention and teaching methods.

Reason on homeschooling

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  • Abdul||

    We just started homeschooling, and the in-laws gave us a bunch of crap. While scientific studies willnever change the mind of the already convinced, this is nice to have.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Abdul,

    We just started homeschooling, and the in-laws gave us a bunch of crap.


    Don't worry, that is what in-laws do. Mine more than yours, probably.

  • ||

    Hehe, you guys are clearly too nice to your in-laws. Mine know better than to challenge me about home-schooling. I will simply produce something my ten year old is doing and ask them if they can do it. He shames "educated" adults with his knowledge of history and geography and does algebra better than most people. A quick list of books he has read will also shut them right the fuck up. When I really feel mean I will question him about science.

    Stick with the home-schooling, the results will speak for themselves.

  • Abdul||

    My wife has this policy about being nice to her side of the family, so our standard rejoinder is "we hear your concerns, but this is he best choice for us."

    And OM is right--having children leads to everyone second-guessing how to raise those children. I'd rather have it from the in-laws then from the State.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Just do what I do and look them in the face and tell them to go fuck themselves.

  • Old Mexican||

    Children in the unstructured home-schooling group, however, performed the worst across all seven academic measures.


    That would be a good start for a dissertation on a comparison between the performance of public school students and Montessori school students.

  • ||

    This is precisely what I was thinking. Unless my full self-employment and homeschooling dreams come to fruition PDQ, my oldest will have to start school next year. I'm aiming for the Montessori school as the best alternative.

  • ||

    Since I can't afford to send three kids to Montessori school AND college, and I don't have time to teach the kids math, we'll have to settle for public schools. Personally, though, I think that smart kids raised by smart parents should do just fine with a public school education (I seemed to turn out okay).

  • toddb||

    ^This.
    Involved parents make the difference. A reasonably bright kid with parents that make sure gaps are being filled and push for their kids to get the most that they can from the (flawed) public system will get good results.

  • ||

    You're absolutely right.

  • ||

    This is very true, and I agree with you.

    I come at this from an odd POV, since I grew up on a company compound in Saudi Arabia. It was small enough and well-funded enough that I had all the individual attention I needed in a "normal" school setting. Kids with different learning styles and abilities were all taken care of. The fact that I can't give that to my own children at our local school just chaps my hide.

    Fortunately, the Montessori here is half the cost of the private schools, which puts it in line with what we're already paying for day care.

  • ||

    Leah LOVED her Montessori school, and if the one by us weren't so crazy expensive I'd be more inclined to look into it. As it is, we'll keep an eye on how things go (there are still magnet and charter school options available after this year) and if one of our kids runs into problems we'll reassess then. But I think it's a very localized decision and it just so happens that for us the local public school is pretty good (better than the Catholic school everybody else sends their kids to).

  • SIV||

    The Montessori school doesn't insist all the boys take amphetamines?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    www.khanacademy.com
    for all your math needs.

  • ||

    Buried alive, for all eternity?

  • ||

    On a serious note, thanks for that link. I suspect it well get a lot of use in my household.

    My kids just don't get how easy they have it.

    JW spawn: "I don't know how to do this problem!!1!11!!11!"
    JW: "Look it up on the Internet."

    Grumblegrumble...library..in the snow..uphill both ways...

  • ||

    I can't wait to tell my kids that I had to ride my bike to school in 110-degree heat with 75% humidity and my legs being scoured by blowing sand. And it actually was a little uphill both ways.

  • Brett||

    The Kahn Academy is non for profit online education program which uses video lessons, and proficiency exercises. It might be useful for homeschooling.

    http://www.khanacademy.org/

  • Cliché Bandit||

    SLACKER!!!

  • ||

    I started homeschooling my kids once I realized I was already doing so even though they spent all day in a public school.

    Every night, I'd have to teach my son everything he was supposed to have learned in order to do his homework.

  • Brett||

    Have you listened to Obama's speeches? He's basically admitted that parents educating children has been more successful in his experience and that parents should teach their children; he just hasn't figured out that that proves public schools are broken.

  • Juice||

    He knows public schools are broke and wants them to have more money.

  • robc||

    I can't afford to send three kids to Montessori school AND college

    Thats what jobs are for.

    That probably applies to college and not Montesorri, but YMMV.

    I seemed to turn out okay

    Ditto, for some odd definition of okay.

    I did attend PRIVATE kindergarten, so maybe that made all the difference. State school from 1 thru grad school.

  • ||

    Okay, I could afford Montessori, but I don't want to. The one by us is bat-shit expensive.

    The one thing I don't get is all the statist rhetoric. Your kids are going to have to learn to deal with statism at some point whether you like it or not. Just like evangelicals sending their kids to parochial schools won't keep them from going insane when they go to college, I don't think homeschooling is an effective way to shield kids from the state. Now if you want to homeschool because the public school sucks, I don't have a problem with that. But I don't think my kids will turn into statist thugs because they go to public schools. In fact, seeing the state in action may make them more libertarian!

  • robc||

    Okay, I could afford Montessori, but I don't want to.

    No, I meant put the kids to work.

    Yeah, agreed on the statism stuff, I just dont like them. If I ever have kids, I would prefer home-schooling, but public schools wouldnt horribly bother me, I would probably prefer it to the private school options locally.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    My son is in Montessori and I wouldn't have it any other way.

  • ||

    Researchers found that the public-school kids tested at or above their grade levels...

    Since "grade level" describes an arbitrary assignment of required knowledge at a certain age-level, the study is meaningless in terms of the success of unschooling.

    Pre-teen unschoolers simply aren't going to know the things their peers know because they aren't forced to.

    Test them at 17 and you'll get entirely different results. Test them at 22 for things like employment and happiness and you might have a meaningful study (especially if you can test more than a hundred of them).

  • ||

    I'm not too sure of that.

    I know a person who was home-scooled in unorthodox fashion.

    They all went to school and got self-crafted degrees on subjects they invented themselves. Then discovered that nobody wanted to hire them except people running "alternative" charter schools.

    It's not that these people are stupid, it's that self-directed learning sometimes results in someone creating their own alternate universe of ideas. And nobody seems to be there to try to reconnect them to the world the rest of us live in or inform them that "doing your own thing" is likely to be a lifelong endeavor that doesn't involve getting paid for it.

  • ||

    There are lots of anecdotes for successful and unsuccessful kids who were unschooled, homeschooled, and public schooled. Until we have real research, coming to hard conclusions will be difficult. But I suspect that success as an adult has much more to do with who you are and what you know and what you want out of life. There are many, many paths to success.

    http://www.lifelearningmagazin.....owalke.htm

    http://www.lifelearningmagazin.....owalke.htm

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    plus, I'd like to see what kind of improvement a two-week brush up class would do for unschoolers and homeschoolers and public schoolers as a group.

    My guess is that the unschoolers would benefit the most, followed by the homeschoolers followed by the publich schoolers.

  • Old Mexican||

    Children in the unstructured home-schooling group, however, performed the worst across all seven academic measures.


    Translation: Kids don't learn the useless crap required from regular students just so their teachers keep their jobs.

  • ||

    No. I think it means learning is hard and takes structured effort. You can't just have eight hours a day of play time and do what you want and learn anything.

  • ||

    For some, it requires structured effort. For others it doesn't. Complex individuals learn in different ways. Effort is certainly necessary, but whether or not it needs to be structured depends on the learner.

    http://www.examiner.com/unscho.....ompetition

  • ||

    For the occasional genius in a particular subject, sure. But that is the exception not the rule.

  • ||

    Well, what is the rule? That someone can't learn something unless they're in a classroom setting?

    Unschooling isn't about not deciding to learn at all. It's about deciding to learn the things that interest you in ways that work. Some unschoolers decide to take classes on their own.

    There are lots and lots of in college and college graduates who were unschooled. Very few of them were geniuses.

  • ||

    "Structured" doesn't necessarily mean a classroom setting. It could mean a lesson plan that starts from easy material and progresses in a linear fashion to more difficult material.

    It's certainly a lot easy to learn a subject if you have a guide to tell you what you need to know first.

    I saw a talk recently compating college courses to video game tutorials. One thing the video games do really well is start the student off doing really basic stuff and gradually add complexity. Video game tutorials are structured learning, and they do a great job at it. It's really difficult to tach a student in a classroom if you jump in over his head right away.

    If all you're providing the student is some random books and he/she has to figure out for himself how to organize the subject matter, he's going to lose interest fast. Think of all the video games you've attempted to play that have shitty or no tutorials. Does anyone actually sit down and read the book to find out what the controls do?

  • ||

    Indeed, "structured" does not mean a classroom setting, and I'm sorry if I implied that.

    Also, "unschooled" doesn't mean "untaught" or "unguided." I think it just refers to a method of learning that is devoid of coercion.

    Unschooled kids often choose to take classes in things that interest them, and I'm sure most of the video game players among them prefer tutorials to learning from the book!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: John,

    No. I think it means learning is hard and takes structured effort.


    Perhaps. Perhaps not. Unfortunately, the baseline happens to be what the pulbic skool seistem happens to teach. Did you learn about economcis in school? How about balancing your checkbook, or running a business, or at least how to write a fucking memo? No?

  • ||

    I learned a lot of economics in college. And to learn it properly took a lot of sitting down and doing the math and figuring out the graphs. It was a lot of grunt work like most things. It was nice to sit and wax philosophical about it sometimes. But that is not where the real learning took place.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: John,

    I learned a lot of economics in college. And to learn it properly took a lot of sitting down and doing the math and figuring out the graphs.


    Well, we're talking about K-12 grades here. Besides:

    a) You very likely not know economics before going to college, and

    b) You're paying the college to receive a comprehensive education on the subject.

    You don't need to learn the whole and extensive subject, just some basics to help you think better. That is perfectly possible to teach in school, but it doesn't happen - why do you think that is?

    I know a few reasons, one of which being the perverse incentive to stultify students to make them obedient subjects.

  • ||

    Like I say above, unschoolers often go on to college to study things that interest them.

    Unschooling is mostly having the freedom before college to learn what you want in the ways that work for you. That's it.

  • ||

    Free country. But I am old school. I think that you ought to learn certain basic skills in school. That means reading, writing, maths, some basic science and a good general knowledge of history and geography. No kid is going to find all those subjects interesting. And all of those subjects require hard nosed work to learn well. There is just no way around it. I don't see how unschooling can do that. And if it is not doing that, I think it is letting its subjects down.

  • ||

    My wife did some homeschooling. One book that she got was based on the classical curriculum. Very old school.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: John,

    Free country. But I am old school. I think that you ought to learn certain basic skills in school.


    Different strokes for different folks.

    That means reading, writing, maths, some basic science and a good general knowledge of history and geography. No kid is going to find all those subjects interesting.


    I think that's a sweeping generalization. Even so, kids do find interest in different subjects at different points. I became a history buff when I was in high school, especially American history, military history, etc. Before that, I really didn't care about history.

    I do agree with you that if you, as a parent, prefers a structured curriculum, you should be free to try it - my wife and I are trying that method with my 1st Grader. I don't agree, however, that other methods are automatically useless.

  • ||

    Well, like regular school, it depends on the student. Beyond the skills necessary for independence (reading, writing, math), all learning should be interest based.

    And, speaking as a former teacher, the ease at which reading, writing, and math are learned is dependent upon mostly the student and somewhat the teacher. For many, if not most, learning one or two of those things does not require hard nosed work, while one or two does.

    The way we learn is as individualized as the way we enjoy food or art or sports or sex or religion. Learning is such a complex phenomenon that there are no hard and fast rules to how it happens.

  • Robert||

    People should really be required to read as a pre-requisite for school. It hardly pays the other way around.

  • Gojira||

    Did you learn about economcis in school?

    We actually did have to take a semester of economics in Plano. It was full-bore Keynesianism.

  • ||

    Sadly that is what most macro economics is. But micro and labor economics is much more varied and interesting.

  • Gojira||

    Yeah even if the prof. didn't buy it, he gave different schools of thought and varied approaches in my college econ courses. The high-school one was just, "This is the way it is and anyone who believes any differently is a kook."

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I did one semester of Keynsian crap in highschool too. I smelt BS even then.

  • Robert||

    Memo to self: Remember to fuck.

    But seriously, folks, why is this any more surprising than that hand washing clothes gets them cleaner than a machine? Or that either of them gets clothes cleaner than leaving them in the hamper and waiting for someone to do them?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "Did you learn about economcis in school? How about balancing your checkbook, or running a business, or at least how to write a fucking memo?"

    Those are all things one needs to just figure out. I don't waste time balancing my goddamn checkbook, I just refrain from writing a lot of checks and make sure there is always a lot of money in there. Some idiots, like Tony, just can't grasp concepts of economics. It is intuitive for us. And people (academians) who think there is a right and wrong way to do things like write a fucking memo obviously have no idea what it takes to run a successful business.

  • Abdul||

    Check out Summerhill school--one of the leaders in no structure education.

    They produced http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_De_Mornay
    so sometimes, it works out.

  • T||

    I think our appreciation of Rebecca De Mornay has very little to do with her education.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    children can learn to read that way easily. as long as they can be convinced that reading is "playing", which isn't that hard if they haven't been ridiculed for being non-stupid (..... in a public school).

    math does take more structure for most kids.

  • ||

    Take a look at the study. They studied a whopping TWELVE unschooled kids. 1. This could easily mean all the unschoolers were in 3 or 4 families, and 2. The kids they were studying were between 5 and 10 years old--young to learn anything really useful even for the public schoolers and the school-at-home bunch. Unschoolers often will decide to learn a thing a bit later on, but will then do several years' worth of learning in just a few months.

  • O2||

    superior? across the board?...athletics, orchestra, socialization, girlfriends, prom dates,...dont think soo

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Double stupid asshole,

    superior? across the board?...athletics, orchestra, socialization, girlfriends, prom dates,...dont think soo


    Leave it to the dumb and stolid statist to believe that the black hole people call with a sick sense of humor "public schooling," is all about the prom or socializing, because there's NO WAY [it seems] kids can have those things without profligate government.

  • sevo||

    And kids can never, oh, play a game of baseball without going to public schools! Just impossible!
    And meeting other kids? The horror that they would do so in a neighborhood!

  • Lord Humungus||

    I would like to thank my neighbor Jenny.

  • teh rael o2||

    pick-up athletics arent scouted by college coaches for scholarships nor can one win league, district, region, or state titles

  • Brett L||

    Uhm. Wanna bet? Soccer and baseball competitive leagues are just as likely to be scouted. Playing for the best U-17 or U-19 team in your area will definitely get you attention.

  • teh rael o2||

    ur talking AAU (which is scouted) not "home school communities".

  • Sidd Finch||

    You don't think home schooled kids can play AAU, American Legion, etc.?

  • teh rael o2||

    of course, if good enough. its a big [IF]

  • Sidd Finch||

    It's a big IF if they're at a big public school also.

  • teh rael o2||

    interesting. ~5% of public athletes get scholarships, depending on the sport. do u know the home schooled figure?

  • sevo||

    "pick-up athletics arent scouted by college coaches for scholarships nor can one win league, district, region, or state titles"

    I'll bet you think that means more than a beer-fart, don't you?

  • teh rael o2||

    yep, tuition, room n board certainly is morez valued.

  • sevo||

    'Nother beer fart? Smells that way.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Leave it to the dumb and stolid statist to believe that the black hole people call with a sick sense of humor "public schooling," is all about the prom or socializing

    Well, it's clearly not about educating, so they had to think of something else to hang their hats on.

  • teh rael o2||

    yea cause getting along w teh [GIRLZ] isnt important...in life

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Money>Hoes.

    True story.

  • Fluffy||

    Yeah, there's pretty much no socialization failure that money can't fix, and that fucking right quick.

  • teh rael o2||

    ok got me there

  • ||

    Most homeschooling communities have dances and proms, athletic and music programs, too.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Les,

    The stupid idiot doesn't care, Les. He only cares about the State taking care of him.

  • ||

    The objection to home schooling really causes the mask to slip doesn't it? They don't give a shit about freedom. It just drives them nuts to think somebody somewhere might not be being indoctrinated.

    I bet if the ed schools were run by conservatives, liberals would think home schooling was just great.

  • Warty||

    The best part is the idea of Orrin pretending to even know what an education is. Delicious.

  • ||

    Yeah and I am sure he is just so fucking concerned that some Christian kid in Oklahoma gets a date to the prom or a chance to play football. Because you know he is just that kind of a guy. Just fucking comical.

  • teh rael o2||

    u mean my mechE degree doesnt count? dont tell my employeer please

  • ||

    Solv the polynomial equations (x2 + 22x -12) = (x2 - 10x) and find the value of x or shut the fuck up Orin.

    That is not even good advanced high school algebra. An mech E degree should eat it for lunch.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    can I answer?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    assuming "X2" means X² of course

  • this it||

    I hope so. That is what I used.

  • ||

    yes. my code knowledge is rather primitive

  • this it||

    x=3/8

  • Cliché Bandit||

    damnit I was going to answer

  • Nipplemancer||

    you're too retarded to have a degree in anything but eating Elmer's Paste. Fuck off -00

  • Sidd Finch||

    Here's one every ME should know.

    Under normal conditions in a pipe, transition occurs at what Re?

  • teh rael o2||

    my experience is usually >2k

  • Sidd Finch||

    Looks like he really is a ME. Yikes

  • teh rael o2||

    funny u mention that. for a project, ive recently been studying naval cavatation analyses which is similar

  • Sidd Finch||

    cavitation at propellers or pumps?

  • teh rael o2||

    both. trying to model turb v cav for similarity & diff

  • Sidd Finch||

    both. trying to model turb v cav for similarity & diff

    Isn't there an assload of literature on that already?

  • teh rael o2||

    yes but my eevil bossz wants original research for billing, subsidies, & grants. i gotta admit, this kinda modeling aint my strongest suit but i'll pull something together.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    not so fast...Google is your friend
    See Here

  • Sidd Finch||

    I googled "Re transition" and nothing came up. After I posted I googled "Re transition pipe" and the first link was Reynold's # wiki (Doh!), but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt because he posted only 4 minutes after me.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    fair enough

  • Spoonman.||

    2300

  • O2||

    no way if government doesnt do it it cant be done why do hate teh childrenz?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Doubly stupid and insipid asshole,

    no way if government doesnt do it it cant be done


    "Government is God!"

    You're an uninteresting bore. Fuck off.

  • teh rael o2||

    u responded to a spoofer. take it ez ok?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    OM, your spoof meter is broken.

  • Frédéric Bastiat||

    Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

  • teh rael o2||

    no, and it reads like a confession.

  • Frédéric Bastiat||

    If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?

  • Brett||

    Sure the YMCA runs youth athletic programs for starters.

  • teh rael o2||

    one doesnt get scholarships fm starter programs.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I used to live in a city whose schools might as well have been classified as minimum-, medium-, and maximum-security. The socialization that students received in those schools was the last thing that many parents wanted for their children.

  • ||

    tim tebow

  • ||

    the academic excellence of the homeschoolers was due to individualized attention and teaching methods.

    The benefits of *not* sitting there staring out the window while the teacher patiently explains the lesson (over and over) to the dumbest kid in the room cannot be overstated.

  • The Handicapper General||

    Blasphemer!

  • ||

    Think of the danger posed to society by children uneducated in the educratic doctrine of "fairness". Their moral growth will be stunted.

  • ||

    I've been in a position where I'm expected to figure out on my own an entire subject with no lesson plan. It's called graduate research. It's unquestionably easier to have someone provide you with a syllabus and a reading list and some lectures that condense the important points for you. "Unschooling" sounds to me like an idiotic "sink-or-swim" philosophy of education. The kid has to organize his own education with nothing to go on. Randomly arrange a bunch of K-12 level math textbooks around the room and hope he trips over the right one.

  • ||

    I agree. And even stuff you like isn't always fun. Learning and achieving is hard work. You don't do a kid any favors pretending otherwise.

  • ||

    Unschooling doesn't for a moment suggest that learning and achieving isn't hard work. It merely allows the student the freedom to choose what they're going to work hard in order to learn and achieve.

  • 95% of Boys||

    And the word I choose is "poontang".

  • ||

    "Unschooling" sounds to me like an idiotic "sink-or-swim" philosophy of education. The kid has to organize his own education with nothing to go on. Randomly arrange a bunch of K-12 level math textbooks around the room and hope he trips over the right one.

    That would be terrible if that's what unschooling was. Unschooling is just getting to choose what you want to learn and how you want to learn it. Unschoolers receive all the help they want to learn the things they're interested in.

  • CE||

    Just about everything I was taught at school I had already learned at home on my own, up until about 8th grade.

  • Robert||

    Right, because that's the grade where they start teaching you the useless shit.

  • teh rael o2||

    u mean useless shit like advanced mathmatics, physics, latin, etc?

  • ||

    But son, it doesn't do any good to mouth that stuff back on a test if you are still mind numbingly stupid.

  • Brandon||

    Latin? You must have gone to a very different public school than I did.

  • teh rael o2||

    evidently. i was in the IB program

  • ||

    I am unfamiliar with this "unschooling" phenomenon, assuming there actually is such a thing on any significant scale.

    If it is the modern equivalent of the life and times of Huckleberry Finn, it probably won't do much good.

  • teh rael o2||

    unschooling = [SomALiA]

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Unschooling sounds so awesome, its not even a word in Firefox. I'll do some math problems later, mom.

  • nicole||

    Not sure if the editor was public schooled, homeschooled, or unschooled, but the headline of this article implies the reverse of what the study results were. I think you mean "Homeschool, but Not Unschool, Superior to Public School."

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Usually I ignore Hit and Run commenters critiques on my writing, but that's a really good point. And now I can't unsee it.

    Thanks.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    The fact that I forget an apostrophe after "commenters" is really not giving homeschooling its due credit.

    I quit this thread!

  • robc||

    Apostophes are for the weak.

    Entirely unnecessary [Vernor Vinge has the exception].

  • Fygar||

    Were you homeschooled or unschooled? I assume homeschooled, but just wanted to confirm.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    The alt-text tries to express it best. We were homeschooled, but ran amok like unschoolers often.

    But after the (correct, for once) commenter copyediting, I am tempted to blame the gov'ment.

  • Warty||

    You're best off ignoring the groundlings at all times, Lucy. I'm continually amazed when writers here forget that.

  • Fygar||

    If you're interested in unschooling check out the following links.

    Astra Taylor on the Unschooled Life
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwIyy1Fi-4Q

    Comics-sans aside, here's Sandra Dodd:
    http://www.sandradodd.com/unschooling

    Standardized testing only makes sense to justify compulsory state education. Learning is not a war, and it's hard to quantify.

  • robc||

    Comics-sans aside

    I cant put that aside. That says something about the unschooled.

    Also, a few years back, my rejection letter from the Great Taste of the Midwest ticket lottery was in comic sans. That was not amusing.

  • ||

    I don't think that high scores on standardized tests and learning of stardardized curriculum are the objectives of most unschooling families.

    We are not trying to produce standardized kids to fit into standardized roles in a standardized world. We are trying to produce children who are self-directed, self-motivated and self-discovering.

  • T||

    We are not trying to produce standardized kids to fit into standardized roles in a standardized world. We are trying to produce children who are self-directed, self-motivated and self-discovering.

    Deliberately marginalizing your kids like that seems kind of mean.

  • Fluffy||

    Unschooling is homeschooling for parents who are too lazy and/or too indulgent to make an effort to plan and direct their kids' education.

  • Fygar||

    It's a shame you feel this way, Fluffy. I generally enjoy reading your opinion.

    My wife and I unschool our child. It actually takes a lot of sacrifices and thought to do so. I suggest speaking with parents who unschool or reading further before making a gross generalization like that.

  • ||

    Wow, that's "Rick Perry Talks Science" levels of ignorance.

    How many unschoolers do you know? How many examples of passionately involved parenting by unschooling parents would you need to see to alleviate your prejudice?

  • Fygar||

    I find it peculiar that many of the comments toward unschooling are mostly negative. I would suggest reading a bit about it before knocking it.

    Also, I'd like to add the following link: http://whyunschool.info/

  • bob||

    Clearly this study was performed by uneducated fools, and it is sad that not a single commenter has noted the myriad problems with the research.

    Really? You all really think that comparing home schooled kids, who are self selected by, *shock*, parents who are highly motivated and, by definition, highly involved in their kids' education can be compared with the *entire* student body of public schools, with its range of behaviour problems, learning disabilities, and totally disinterested parents?

    Clearly not. A meaningful study would attempt to correct for numerous factors and only compare home schooled kids with an appropriate subset of public school kids.

    The entirely obvious answer is the more involved you are in your kids education, the better off they are likely to be. And this is true whether you send them to public schools are homeschool.

  • ||

    The entirely obvious answer is the more involved you are in your kids education, the better off they are likely to be. And this is true whether you send them to public schools are homeschool.

    Yep.

  • GILMORE||

    I am a strong proponent of the 'lock children in basement with nothing but pile of books'-educational method.

    Worked for me!

    In all seriousness, I think the margin of error in these studies pretty much wipes out any useful data.

    Note that they're talking about *74 Canadians*. That's their sample. I don't think that's representative of even *Nova Scotians* much less making a point about the relative utility of educational models.

    What that means for either:

    - your self-motivated kid who will learn whatever he needs and then some whether its via private school or with a library card...

    or

    - your ADHD kid who could be given Aristotle for a tutor, or be sent to the Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye ....and still end up a blathering idiot...

    ...is that i'd guess 80-90% of the success of a kids education depends on 1) *their own attitude*. Do they or don't they like to learn things. And 2) not having a completely fucked up home-life.

    Homeschooling or Private School or Public or whatever... might skew the results 10%+/- better or worse... but it aint going to turn a born dingbat into an intellectual titan.

    Parents sometimes have difficulty accepting this.

    as a side note, 2 kids on my freshman college-dorm floor who got kicked out for academic failures ....(and btw, this school would almost NEVER kick anyone out, much preferring to bill the shit out of parents and politely look the other way)...went to Deerfield and Choate, respectively.

    Of course, it didn't matter at all. Both eventually bought their way into some other very-good university, and I'm sure they both ended up at Goldman.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Not surprisingly, they suggested the academic excellence of the homeschoolers was due to individualized attention and teaching methods.

    How long until someone suggests that we hire 1 teacher for every student so that they can get the same attention as homeschooled children? That would be the fair thing to do.

  • Nike Dunk Shoes||

    thanks

  • AAA||

    Some education is superior to no education. No shit. Homeschooling is BS too BTW.

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