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    Some Homeschooling facts (US)

    A short article on the state of public perceptions toward Homeschooling, and its general legal status, in the USA...

    http://www.reason.com/0504/fe.gb.facts.shtml

    Homeschooling Facts
    Greg Beato
    April 2005




    How many homeschoolers are there?

    In 1999 the U.S. Department of Education, via the National Household Education Survey Program, estimated there were 850,000 homeschooled students in the United States. In 2003 it estimated that the number had grown to 1,096,000.

    Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Salem, Oregon, puts the numbers higher. He estimates that during the 2002–03 school year there were 1.7 million to 2.1 million homeschooled students in the U.S.

    In 1999 the Department of Education estimated that homeschooled students represented 1.7 percent of the country’s 5-to-17-year-olds; in 2003 it estimated that this number had grown to 2.2 percent. Based on Ray’s high-end estimate, homeschooled children represent 4.2 percent of the school-age population.

    What are the most popular reasons for homeschooling?
    As part of the 2003 National Household Education Survey, respondents who homeschooled their children were asked why they chose to do so. Their three most popular responses were: 1) concern about the environment of other schools, 2) a desire for religious or moral instruction, and 3) dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at other schools.

    In 2004 Brian Ray published Home Educated and Now Adults, a book based on his survey of 7,000 adults who had been homeschooled as children. Here are the top five reasons Ray’s respondents said they or their parents engaged in homeschooling: 1) can give child a better education at home; 2) religious reasons; 3) teach child particular values, beliefs, and worldview; 4) develop character/morality; 5) object to what school teaches.

    How does the general public view homeschoolers?

    More favorably than it used to. The Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll is an annual survey of the public’s attitude toward public schools. In 1985, when it first asked respondents if they felt the homeschooling movement was “a good thing or a bad thing for the nation,” only 16 percent of the respondents said it was “a good thing,” while 73 percent said it was “a bad thing.” In 2001, the most recent year the poll included questions about homeschooling, 41 percent said it was “a good thing” and 54 percent said it was “a bad thing.”

    What does the law say about home-schooling?

    Since 1993 homeschooling has been legal in every state, albeit with differing degrees of oversight. According to the Home School Legal Defense Association:

    * 10 states have no regulation. Parents aren’t required to notify the state that they’re homeschooling their children.

    * 14 states have low regulation. Parents are required only to notify the state that they’re homeschooling their children.

    * 15 states have moderate regulation. Parents are required to notify the state that they’re homeschooling their children, and they must also send test scores and/or professional evaluations of their child’s academic progress.

    * 11 states have high regulation. Parents are required to notify the state that they’re homeschooling their children; they must send test scores and/or professional evaluation of their child’s academic progress; and they must fulfill other requirements as well, such as using only state-approved curricula and allowing home visits by state officials.

    Greg Beato has written for dozens of publications, including SPIN, Wired, Business 2.0, and the San Francisco Chronicle..

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    Senior Member Mistress Klaus's Avatar
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    hmmm....I am in two minds about home-schooling.

    I like the idea of an exclusive & thorough way of education & control on who your child is mixing with......
    But then again...it may prove to encourage an unhealthy and 'weird' environment/outlook for the child.
    I think a child should grow up with other children...but the standard of todays education & the other students.... has much to be desired..

    The government is to blame.

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    With Homeschooling, how can you be sure the Parents have the nessecary skils to teach Children?

    I mean there is bad teachers going around as is, surely some parents would suck at educating their children?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKADI
    hmmm....I am in two minds about home-schooling.

    I like the idea of an exclusive & thorough way of education & control on who your child is mixing with......
    But then again...it may prove to encourage an unhealthy and 'weird' environment/outlook for the child.
    I think a child should grow up with other children...but the standard of todays education & the other students.... has much to be desired..

    The government is to blame.

    For sure, Skadi. I am in the same frame of mind when it comes to homeschooling. If I ever have children myself, I will certainly consider it but I also have my apprehensions about it. Not so much about myself as I have done a fair bit of teaching, have a good education, etc., but I have to wonder about the social skills of homeschooled kids.

    For a few years, I was employed at a science museum and worked with school groups that came to the museum on field trips--teaching environmental lessons. Sometimes we would get a group of homeschooled kids and there was a noticeable sense of isolation and yes, weirdness about them....which I attribute to seeing few people beyond their immediate family.

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    Senior Member Vanir's Avatar
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    Question

    A few rambling thoughts....

    The point to me is not whether Homeschooling is a superior alternative to state schooling in general, it is just that it a better alternative to state schooling at the moment. Government schooling has been given a fair crack of the whip, don't you agree? (and is failing OUR Children miserably) But have any alternatives been trialled thoroughly?

    Reading between the lines, there seems to be a smidgin of stigma attached to homeschooling from what I can see, that the phrase itself instantly evokes a pre-set negative notion of what it is, which I think is a little unfair, as since when, where and how has it even been given a proper go? Then only types who have tried up until now are the very fundamentalist Christian quacks or New-Age fringe types (ie "Shamani Healing Faeries of the Arch-Angel Gabriel speak to us via the Dolphins" etc like my Sister) I don't find it surprising in the slightest that children given an independant education by such people show symptoms that make one raise an eyebrow.

    Humans are very social animals, and need interaction with their peers to learn the ins and outs of social behaviour. Not hard to see this need. Equally not as hard to cater for it, it isn't the terminal obstacle made out to be.

    And as Egil stated in another thread (that I haven't had a chance to answer yet), that Homeschooling is deficient as children educated in such a manner are not properly exposed to differing ethnicities, and may thus hypothetically garner prejudices against them; I feel that is unfair on any parents, who are being condemned before they even get a chance to try it, and also flawed in that a Person's only responsibility is to their kith & kin: My children won't be Italians or Greeks or Somalians or Jews, and I shouldn't have to raise them immersed in their traditions in any way, or cowed to them.

    Looking after a baby to an infant to a toddler is a big responsibility for a parent, and it is one of the common standards of our society that a Parent take this responsibilty very seriously and conduct themselves maturely. It baffles me then, that suddenly, at the age of 5 parents should forget everything they were taught of parental duty, on the spot, and hand over their children to "The Government" for them to take over the reins.

    The major developments going on through the early years of education from what I can see are essentially literacy, and socialization. Through planning a system out for Parents to follow, tweaked by pooling of resources/feedback & trial & error, how & why is it beyond the realms of possibility for a young child to become competently literate, well socialized, AND grow up steeped in their own heritage and traditions, to be proud of their history and thus enter later education (High School, or whatever it is called in the USA) as complete people, with their identities fully formed, so that any latitude for The Government to imprint them with any form of Politically Correct indoctrination is eliminated?

    Any endeavour is going to be rusty, and need working on, in the beginning, but to condemn the idea before it is even given a proper try, due to the dubious half-baked attempts of religious & fringe types, is really unfair IMHO.

    I don't know about other countries, but here in Australia, the entire teaching fraternity is openly Left-Wing, supporting Multi-Culturism and Socialism, and they are allowed to get away with it! Like it is normal or something! Whenever there is a contentious issue regarding illegal immigration, or similar, you can be sure that the Teacher's Union will arrange for some group of students to attend the I.S.O organized "Say No to Racism" rally, or have "Why Racism is Bad" classes for the kids etc. Forcing children to do assignments on how Australians are intrinsically Racist, failing them if they don't submit an essay that voices the PC mantra., making them sit through "News for Kids" (Like "Behind the News" brainwashing for kids) shows that are blatantly Left-Wing and Multi-Kultist in agenda....Why should I allow anyone like that within 1000 kilometres of any child I have!?!?!

    When did it become my resposibility to raise my children understanding, or being cowed by, the beliefs, traditions or culture of alien peoples? And how does it immediately follow that if I do NOT raise my children around foreigners, that they shall be immutably dysfunctional.

    Multi-Kultism is a very recent phenomenon, indeed I can see that the standards of education are spiralling downwards rapidly, and seemingly in direct proportion to the growth of the Multi-Kultist agenda dominating schooling criteria.

    Literacy. Socialization with children of their own Nation and Blood. Basic Maths. Basic Sciences, and an
    understanding of precisely WHO they are. What is wrong with that? Why is it so flawed an idea that I must not even try or consider the option, and relinquish my children to the observably Left-wing agenda ridden system that is currently failing children in every way?

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    Senior Member Ewergrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Nationalist
    With Homeschooling, how can you be sure the Parents have the nessecary skils to teach Children?

    I mean there is bad teachers going around as is, surely some parents would suck at educating their children?
    Usually, the type pf parents who even entertain the idea of homeschooling are well educated, learned people with an eye open to what is going on. They choose to keep their children out of the damage path of the structure of the current school system. Any parent who views homeschooling as a realistic alternative probably would be more than adept at the task.

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    Where I live there is a huge homeschooling network, plenty of opportunity for socialization, and even co-op classes for parents who may need help in teaching certain subjects. I have not seen any "weird" or social inept kids who were homeschooled. There is a place here that is the hub of the homeschool network. It is where the co-op classes are offered, amongst other things. They have full organized sports teams that play against other teams (usually they playa against local private schools). They offer P.E. classes and various other classes. They have an entire bookstore with a wide variety of curriculums and even a used bookstore where people can sell their old curriculums. At the gym my daughter attends for gymnastics, there are at least 2 other families, that I know of, who also homeschool their daughters.

    The socialization recieved in public schools is not the type of socialization desireable. It's no wonder kids come home dressing like wiggers, listening to rap, and speaking a foreign language. When I saw the way my daughter came home and behaved when she began the second grade in a public school, I was very unhappy. I used to wonder what was going on at school for her to come home and act that way. Since I have homeschooled her, her behavior is back to her normal, well adjusted self.

    As far as education goes, my daughter recieves a much beter education at home than she could have ever recieved at school. Schools are so stuck on "no child left behind" that kids are getting "held back." Schools do not take in consideration that all children learn differently and at different levels. Teachers have so many kids in their class, that they cannot keep up with individualizing programs and enhacing learning potential. "Teachable moments" are often pushed aside out of time contraints and inquiring minds are silenced. My daughter is a non-traditional learner and has "special" educational needs that public schools do not meet. When I homeschool her, I can teach to her unique learning ability and individualize her curriculum. I have discovered that my daughter is not alone in her learning style and intellectual abilities. The problems is that so few children are like this that it is a relatively unstudied area and basically no one cares. I met a woman a couple of months ago who has a son that is like my daughter. This woman holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience and has worked as a researcher for years. After having her son and going through the problems with him in public schools, she quit her job to homeschool him and she is going back to school to obtain a PhD in Psychology. She studies and plans to study this unique learning style and intellectual abilities in children. She is currently working for an independent research company and is able to stay home with her son. Talk about dedication!

    My daughter is primarily a visuospatial learner. On measures of IQ, her performance score abilities are extremely high with her verbal abilities nearing just average. Since the Verbal abilities are often considered to be the best predictor of intelligence, these children are often neglected intellectually. What does their learning style and scores mean realistically? It means that in children like my daughter, they are extremely gifted in the areas of the Math and Sciences, but their verbal skills (such as spelling and reading comprehension) are often only average. Homeschooling my daughter allows me to individualize her program to meet her needs. I can place her at different levels per subject and also find curriculums that are designed to meet her specific learning needs in each. In total, I am currently using 6 different curriculums.

    Public schools often lack the funding to provide children with good programs in music, art, etc. When you homeschool, you have more opportunity to engage your child in these areas. These days, many public schools only have "art cart" programs where an art teacher comes to the classroom once a week, teaches a little craft, and tries to associate some huge vocabulary words with it that the students do not grasp. It's sad.

    Another advantage to homeschooling is the time. Since there are not 30 kids all trying to do the same assignment, half needing individualized attention, and half needing the extra time-- homeschooling doesn't take up an entire day. Kids are not sitting waiting around for 25 other kids to finish their work. What I do is begin with both my children together doing simple things like counting, months, ABC's, singing, etc. My daughter knows that this relatively short period is for her brother (who is in pre-school) and that she is modeling good behavior and learning for him. After this, she engages herself in an independant learning activity (Math) while I do a short learning activity with my son. Math is independent for my daughter because of her special learning style-- she rarely ever needs any help. When my son is finished, he plays, while my daughter and I go over her Math and do then do History together. Later in the day after lunch, we have a Spanish lesson all together, and then once again, my daughter does an independant activity (handwriting, spelling and reading) while my son does an activity with me. Then he plays while she and I go over Grammar and Science together. That is just a basic day. We also do art, my daughter is learning to read music and notes on the piano, we cook together, we have outside playtime, we go to the library and learn about the dewey decimal system and research skills, etc.

    Anyhow, I could continue to go on and on about the benefits of homeschooling. There is so much more I haven't even touched on areas such as the benefits of all those teachable moments that occur outside a traditional 8-4 classroom (lunar eclipses, the election night, etc.). I certainly believe in homeschooling and if anyone has any questions, you can feel free to ask me.

    By the way, this is the homeschooling place I mentioned in the beginning of this post:
    http://www.homeschoolfeast.com/

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    I spent the night over at a kid's house who had been homeschooled all his life, before I arrived back home I feared for my life. He had a steak knife in bed with him and kept talking about how beautiful it would be to see specific individuals dead, he also made threats to people in the school he was attending that one year's bathroom.

    Perhaps too much time being home schooled and not becoming socialized will drive one looney?
    SVMDEVSSVMCAESARSVMCAELVMETINFERNVM

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    I don't think that anyone can afford, these days, to be ignorant of other cultures. It is important to know and understand the values of other cultures, NOT to surrender to them, NOT to embrace them, but to know where they're coming from, if only from the viewpoint of "know your enemy." It is very likely that, in the process, one will learn something useful from them. I have very rarely met anyone from whom I couldn't learn something .Ignorance leads to prejudice, prejudice to contempt, and contempt to dangerously underestimating others' capabilities. Before WWII, the stereotype of the Japanese among Americans was that of a comical, insignificant, bespectacled, little man whose main occupation was manufacturing shoddy gewgaws to flood our variety stores. We learned otherwise to our great cost on Dec. 7, 1941. One of my great concerns about home schooling is that the parents' prejudices may be inculcated in the children, leading to such dangerous fallacies as the harmless comical Japanese of the pre-WWII period.Also, if the parents be Christian fundamentalists, will the concept of organic evolution be presented honestly, or will it be derided as impious nonsense ? Will the evidence for the extreme antiquity of the Earth and the universe be dismissed in favor of the 7-day account in Genesis ? Admittedly, public school teachers may, more subtly, impose their own prejudices on their students. I remember objecting to the excessively pacifist views and ultra-Keynesian economic views of my second grade teacher, only much later realizing that she was a Communist. However, her leftist ideas carried much less weight with me than the views I heard expressed at home. Parents, being more powerful authority figures (well, the were once, anyhow) than teachers, must be very careful in educating their children, to present the subject matter honestly and impartially.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan y Gwallt Du
    I spent the night over at a kid's house who had been homeschooled all his life, before I arrived back home I feared for my life. He had a steak knife in bed with him and kept talking about how beautiful it would be to see specific individuals dead, he also made threats to people in the school he was attending that one year's bathroom.

    Perhaps too much time being home schooled and not becoming socialized will drive one looney?
    There is no connection between homeschooling and mental illness. Perhaps the parents should be looked at and not the choice in education? Blaming a form of education for mental illness is like blaming a cat for pedophillia. If the child was not "socailized" that is the parents keeping the child in isolation, not the homeschooling. I would guess that many more publicly schooled children turn out with mental illnesses than do homeschooled children. Again-- no connection between the form of education and the illness. Other factors are at work.

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