25 August 2010

Homeschooling Becoming Just Another Option

The increase in homeschooled students, has given rise to two major things: more educational resources for homeschoolers and more support for their parents.

Several publishers, museums, parks and communities are capitalizing on the need for homeschooling curricula and programs. And parent-formed support groups that provide social interaction and opportunities for shared learning for homeschooled children are sprouting up in diverse communities. _ImpactLab
Homeschooling in the US has doubled over the past 10 years, with well over 2 million active homeschooling families. The resources to assist a parent to provide quality schooling to children have never been more widely available or of such high quality. And an ever-larger number of institutions of higher learning are catching on to the fact that homeschooled students are often among the best applicants available.
Back-to-school time for Heidi Pair of Milford means enrolling her two children in online classes, scheduling 4-H meetings, karate classes and Lego League, picking out math curricula and planning field trips. Pair, 40, is a homeschooler -- one of an estimated 2.3 million in the U.S., a number that has doubled during the last 10 years, according to the National Home Education Research Institute.

With a sea of available resources and a ballooning network of supporters, homeschooling is becoming more mainstream.

...A report in the summer 2010 edition of the Journal of College Admission showed that homeschooled students had higher ACT scores, GPAs and graduation rates when compared with traditionally educated peers.

Cotter said that it might be because of the homeschooling mastery philosophy -- with time and autonomy, students can keep at a subject or topic until they fully grasp it.

Although most of the past homeschool applicants have typically used a religious curriculum, Cotter said, the recent applicant pool of homeschoolers is split between religious and secular backgrounds.

...Pair said her kids are constantly around other children of all ages, from different backgrounds. They also are often out taking field trips and classes in the community.

"Teachers often work to create activities that teach kids about life," Pair said. "Homeschoolers do the same -- it is just easier for us because our kids are already in the real world observing adults in real-life situations. It is fairly easy to add in classroom experiences and test deadlines." _FreeP _via_ImpactLab

Government education is becoming a high priced ticket to perpetual failure for more and more attendees. While unionised teachers go on strike for ever higher wages, benefits and pensions -- which threaten to bankrupt municipalities, counties, and states -- students are at the mercy of a system which cares more for its own size and political clout than for the future of the children entrusted to it.

For parents who are working from home or fortunate enough to not have to go away from home every day to work, the options available for homeschooling in the internet age are making the process much easier, and not so very expensive. For parents who go that route, at least they have an excellent idea what their kids are being taught and how they spend their time during the day. Opportunities for building close family ties in such a situation are much more frequent. And if you want to teach your children practical competencies which you suspect will stand them in good stead -- but which government schools are not teaching these days -- teaching them at home would offer a good opportunity.

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Blogger PRCalDude said...

The biggest problem I see with homeschooling is socializing your children. Social intelligence in more important than IQ. I don't meet too many homeschool children who are well socialized.

I've also seen homeschool children having a tough time dealing with the pace of a modern work environment.

That said, homeschooling does appear to be a great option if you live in an area where the "schools" are more appropriately termed "prisons" (LA Unified, for instance). Also, PC brainwashing can be left out of the curriculum and you can teach the child as fast as he wants to learn.

Wednesday, 25 August, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

That is an interesting point.

As I see it, government schools socialise children into delinquency, drugs, drinking, teen pregnancy, and lifelong incompetence. Perhaps those are positive points in favour of government education, but I just don't see it.

Thursday, 26 August, 2010  
Blogger PRCalDude said...

As you said, there are certainly 2 types of socialization, or rather anti-socialization and socialization.

Having kids that are social cripples will only hurt them, though. I don't know what the answer is.

Thursday, 26 August, 2010  
Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

I am with Al Fin on this. Public school for me was a horrifying experience. Never in my adult life have I experienced, or would allow myself to experience, the crap I put up with in public school.

If I ended up in a private work place or neighborhood that was 1/10 of what school was like.. I would quit or move immediately.

Friday, 27 August, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Yes. My experience of the homeschooled is the opposite of that expressed by PRCD above. Far from being social cripples, they have been some of the most delightfully social children and adolescents that I have met.

The socialisation of government schools is not anti-socialisation. It is pure socialisation, of a most malignant nature.

Since public sector unions are in control of so many state legislatures, we are unlikely to see a change in the nature of government schooling anytime soon.

This is too bad, since the election of Obama was as true a sign of an emerging Idiocracy as one might hope for. If things get any worse due to a degenerating substrate of the voting population, the US and the world is in for very deep problems.

Friday, 27 August, 2010  
Blogger read it said...

Kids don't learn social skills from people who don't have them. Parents are better at helping kids develop good social skills than teachers and peers.

Unlike regular school students, homeschooled students go to different activities with different kids all the time. They have to socialize with whoever is there, so they tend to be more outgoing. Regular school kids have their classmates and are rather unfriendly and awkward around new people. When a homeschooled kid has a friend invite him to a party, often he will not know anyone else there but the others will know each other. He has to quickly break the ice and start negotiating or be left out. Finally, the one in group he has is his family. They are constantly there and have to be dealt with. This develops loyalty, friendship and love.

Sunday, 29 August, 2010  
Blogger William Jury said...

As a homeschool graduate ("class" of 1990), I can understand PRCalDude's perspective. I am certain that many homeschoolers do struggle to adapt to certain social sitautions. However, the vast majority are better prepared to function in a work environment than their state-schooled peers. As the number of homeschoolers increase, the options for socialization within the homeschool community are becoming difficult to miss. I, too, have met the occasional socially stunted homeschooler...almost as often as I have met the socially stunted public schooler. I should mention that I am also a certified teacher (high school/middle school English).
Peer pressure is a powerful force, but not one that necessarily leads to the development of adequate socialization skills. Sometimes it just produces an outsider, or it pushes teens into subcultural groups whose patterns might actually further inhibit their ability to function in general society.
I just figured I'd weigh in on this since I've been on both sides of the coin. Even though I personally had to overcome some social awkwardness, I would still choose homeschooling over public education. It might not be for everyone, but it was, in the long run, best for me.

Saturday, 04 September, 2010  

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