Thursday, July 7, 2011

Coffee Talk with Runninghood! Let Me Give You a Topic...I'm Becoming Verklempt..Homeschool..Discuss Amongst Yourselves!

Yes, I kind of feel like I'm that lady from the Saturday Night Live Coffee Talk Skit.  This was my morning FB status.  I typically don't post on topics that might spark controversy or come with such opinionated responses because I don't care for controversy.  However, feeling a little feisty today after some relatively recent interaction with a person that is full of opinions that never cease to rub me the wrong way.  Opinions that are based on nothing other than the purpose of putting others down and finding something critical to say about their friends, family, or people they don't know.  We are all entitled to our opinions but come on people, be courteous of how you share them!

Homeschool. Not sure where people get the idea that home schooled kids are missing something with the education piece. I would say that the "majority" of home schooled kids that I know of end up being highly successful in college and life in general. Kudos to those parents who decide to do it and do it well! They may have to substitute some social pieces but I think if done right, they get a superb education!
about an hour ago · Privacy: ·  · 

    • Amanda random I know. Just sick of ignorance about ignorance and people that think they know everything about everything when really they know A LOT about nothing of importance and little of the things they think they know a lot about.
      about an hour ago · 

    • E
      I don't think the education is lacking - I think the social education and skills are what cannot compare to being in a school environment around other kids their age, having multiple teachers and role models, etc. That, and I don't think I have all of the answers and don't want my kid to be a carbon-copy of me in terms of opinion, views, or information. I want them to learn and grow and have their education and view be a compilation of mine, my spouse's, their teachers, role models, etc that they would be exposed to in a school environment. I want them to be so much more than what I would be able to offer them in home schooling. Just my thoughts.

      about an hour ago · 

    • Amanda 
      I agree with you Eric on several accounts. I wouldn't want to home school my kids and never plan on it but also respect my friends that do and do it well. I know of many friends in the past that were homeschooled and went on to be some of the most successful (socially, academically, etc) people I know! Engineers, teachers, doctors... but what I'm talking about here is the people that assume that home schooled kids are ignorant or not as educated for some reason. I mean, even speaking from the perspective of a public school teacher, there are a lot of holes in any educational system and I know a lot kind of stupid people that think they are really smart and like to make opinions about home school without knowing the whole picture. Annoys me. There are a lot of amazing parents out there who are home schooling for different reasons...some of them because they know that their kid WON'T get their special needs (whether that is because they are gifted or have a learning disability) met in the public or private schools. This is a real issue when there are 30 plus kids in one classroom with an over stressed teacher that isn't treated like a professional and can't possibly meet the needs of all her/his kids with the way many public school systems are. Anyway, so much here really...and from a pubic school teacher's perspective ...I like public school. Just like with public school or private school, home school is an option that can have good sides and bad. There are a lot of kids that come out of all of these systems that are ignorant and missing parts to their education.

      54 minutes ago · 

    • EAgreed. Ignorant judging makes me crazy. Kudos to people who successfully home-school their kids and they become well-adjusted, successful human beings.
      51 minutes ago ·  ·  1 person

    • I hear you on this though Eric...I want my kids to have these things too! :) I think a lot of successful home school parents provide these opportunities in other ways. I wasn't a true home schooled kid in any sense...didn't start until 7th grade and went back in 11th grade and still competed in track, swimming, cross country with public school. This helped. And I taught myself everything using the teacher manual and text books. As far as academics I think I was at an advantage in many ways when I got to college and really knew how to self teach and be focused. But I surely missed the social parts!! so much! And hearing things pronounced...ha ha.. since i read everything to learn, I didn't hear lectures so I just read things as I read in history..

      50 minutes ago · 

    • Mi completely agree. I used to nanny for a family at decided to home-school and both her daughters are very smart. The oldest just got her MBA at George fox.
      43 minutes ago · 

    • JMost of my nieces and nephews were/are homeschooled. Most of them had Associates degrees with their HS diplomas. The oldest are now a Marine Biology teacher, a linguist, etc. All amazing kids/adults!
      35 minutes ago · 

    • M The way public schools are these days...
      21 minutes ago · 

    • A 
      My experience with kids who've been homeschooled are that they're lacking education. They usually have no problem finding friends or mixing in, especially since everyone is "new" to school in 7th grade. Each year I have at least one student who has been homeschooled for most of or all of their elementary years and in every case, their math skills are 1-3 grade levels below benchmark. I was the contact person of a family (TAG kid) who was being homeschooled and he was BRILLIANT!!! Only one though and I never met the kid. I offered him TAG opportunities, but he chose to never participate. Based on those experiences, I always dread hearing from students that they've been homeschooled - especially for math!!! But, I look forward to meeting a student whose parents did it right because I definitely think it can be done and done well. It's just A LOT of work that apparently all my homeschooled families did not do.

      19 minutes ago · 

    • A 
      interesting ...thanks A Yeah, I found that math was the EASIEST for me to learn or teach myself. I taught myself Algebra 1 and 2 and geometry and when I returned to public school math was easy and seemed way behind what I had expected it to be. But then again, I wasn't home schooled until 7th grade. But math seemed so much easier to learn the language of rather than teaching myself to write (no formal education there until late high school/college). I guess the truth is...there are stupid people everywhere! ha ha ha. Thankfully genes play a part. My biggest motto in life is that : It isn't what you know, it is that you know HOW TO LEARN!! This is so important! And something I strive to teach my children and my students...knowing themselves as Learners and knowing HOW to learn and teach themselves, absorb information.

      12 minutes ago · 

    • Amanda  I was actually surprised at how "dumbed down" some of the curriculum in public school seemed to be when I returned. depended on the teacher and class of course but I was a little shocked at some of the classes I took that I was expecting to be a challenge. We needed better math teachers...thankful that you are in the public school system Angela!
      8 minutes ago · 

So, what are your thoughts here?  Talk amongst yourselves!


  1. I've always loved the idea of homeschooling my children, when it's my time to have them of course. I got a FANTASTIC education thanks to my amazing parents. I want to give my children a similar kind of education, while still being able to teach them more about the world. I think that there is so much to be said for going to see things, such as the national monuments in Washington DC, and Yellowstone. There is so much to be learned on a trip to see such places, and the learning can be so much more in depth when it can be tailored to a specific child's interests.

    I also like the idea of home school because the schedule can be tinkered with, because honestly, how much did we all hate being in school for eight hours straight? I know I sure did!

  2. As a 100% homeschooled kid now well into adulthood, I totally appreciate this conversation. And I think just like with anything, balance is warranted (rather than judgy attitudes). It's true that some homeschoolers are dumb (and I can relat...e to being math dumb. I was. But hey! Now I'm an engineer with a minor in math, so it wasn't really the end of the world!). It's also true that some private, public and co-op school kids are dumb. It's just statistics (see? I'm better at math already.). As for the social thing, I've seen a lot of changes in homeschooling since "back in the day" when my parents started doing it (coincidentally, that was also when it was illegal). Socialization? Not so much back then. Because there was a very real danger that if you were seen out of school you could end up in big trouble with the government. Nowadays, however, that's changed. The way homeschooling is (typically) done involves group classes with other homeschoolers, homeschool sports teams, outings, etc. Now that it's legal, it's much easier to inject social education into the mix. I really think it's grasping at straws (or just plain ignorance) when people condemn homeschooling based on "socialization." It's an antiquated argument that applied 25 years ago when I was in kindergarten, but has very little validity now. Unless you're talking about the small minority of homeschoolers who choose the social isolationism approach (there are still some of those. They tend to wear jumpers and bonnets, in case you're curious.). Then, again, socializing? Not so much.

  3. so interesting!!!

    mr. dawn and i have had several conversations along this line. mainly because he was homeschooled for the first 6 grades and he really enjoyed it. i guess his dad's work schedule meant that if he and his siblings had been in school they never would have seen him. and though i'm sure that we're still a few years away from needing to actually make these decisions he likes to have the idea of homeschool open. i guess it helps that i'm a math least in his mind :)

  4. oooh, this conversation can get my blood boiling! props to you and the general blog community, though, for keeping it very conversational and non-accusatory. i love homeschooling. i will not homeschool, however. i am not cut out for it, and recognize that in myself. my husband was homeschooled, private schooled and public schooled, and is now a public school teacher. i was private and public schooled, and my education was better in public, but the socialization i received was terrible - i learned nothing but social survival skills. i don't believe i learned real social skills until i met my husband, and watching him interact with the world taught me to positively interact with others (instead of manipulate). i really dislike the socialization argument, because in order for that argument to stand, there has to be a recognition of what each individual values as positive/good socialization.

    My personal opinions on homeschooling these days are limited to preschool (if it's necessary to call it that, though it seems it may be since my daughter is the only 4yo i know who doesn't attend "school" at least once a week). I think across the board, if it's done with an actively engaged parent, great. If kids are traditional schooled with an inactive parent, the results will still be bad. Basically, I think if parents are involved in their kids' education, the kid will succeed (a total generalization, i recognize that - there will always be outliers).

    i don't know about nationally, but around here 'university model schools' are picking up popularity - kids go to school 2-3 days a week and are homeschooled the rest. it's cooperative teaching between the parent and teacher, though the school/teacher is responsible for the lesson plan, and the parent simply carries out the learning plans at home. this is where we plan to start, and will most likely send the kids to my husband's public school district in the future.

  5. I don't homeschool b/c I don't have it in me (my way of saying I don't want to). We live in an area with vg public schools and I went to decent public schools. My kid's education is supplemented by GT programs and lots of good stuff at home. I think public school is very tough for those kids who are struggling either academically, at home, or both. Anyway, I know so many homeschooled kids who are incredibly well adjusted, social and doing VERY well. I think it's all about what works for the individual kid and family and there is no "right" answer.

  6. Very interesting! I guess I need to have a kid first for this to be relevant! Working on that...

    I worry about sending my currently-non-existent kid to public school but I don't think I could home school them. I'll have to be very picky with what school I chose, I guess!

  7. Did you get my "like" on this?? :)

    I don't like controversy ... nor hurt feelings so these type of things I just don't comment on. To each their own is what I say!

  8. I love this topic because I homeschool my kids. My husband's family hates that we do, and they're certain that we have ruined our kids' lives forever.

    It has gotten so bad that we don't let the kids spend time with them unless my husband is present (I won't go to family functions anymore). They have tried to manipulate our kids behind our backs telling them how fun public school is and how they get to 'have rest time and play outside'... because we don't let them sleep or play, ya know.

    They criticize every aspect of homeschool and yet they don't even know what the law requires. Seems to me that if they feel so strongly about something, they'd at least be minimally informed about it.

    I love being with my peeps, and I love going on field trips during off times when it's not crowded and we can linger at exhibits and talk at length with the docents. I love the flexibility of staying up late for a special event and not worrying about dragging exhausted kids out of bed the next morning.

    My husband works insane hours and homeschooling allows us to spend time as a family when he is [finally] able to take time off.

    It's not for every family, but it works for us.

  9. I don't have kids, so I don't have to think about homeschooling vs. public/private schools. But I will say this: if I had kids, they would go to public school. I would enjoy taking them to museums, teaching them stuff and giving them room to explore. I wouldn't feel qualified to teach my kids at home. Others may be, and that's great!

    Here's a story--and it's true. We have a customer at the bookstore who homeschools her children and she is a dumb bunny. She comes in to ask for suggestions, and when the bookseller recommended Steinbeck and Shakespeare, she did not know who they were. Seriously. Frightening. I worry for those kids!

  10. I think you can't generalize all public schools as terrible nor can you say that homeschooling is a bad choice. I think it depends on the family, the student's motivation, issues and the teachers (home or public school). I think it is just that, a choice.

    I am a teacher in a large public school district that is constantly under the microscope. We have a large number of students in poverty, homeless, english as a second language, learning disabled and behavior issues. I think it is important for my child to be exposed to people of different socioeconomic status, race, religion and ability. Sure you can do that in other ways as a homeschooler, but I'm just mentioning one of my favorite things about public schools in my area: diversity.

    I am pro-public school education, but I agree that it is a family's choice to homeschool.There are bad teachers everywhere, I'm afraid, public school or homeschool. In the public school setting, it is up to the parent to fill in gaps where needed or speak up for their child's needs. As a homeschooler you don't have to worry about that. It's a tough discussion, and although I am a public school supporter, I respect others' rights to homeschool or send their students to private school.

  11. I always wanted to homeschool our kids but I had to working in the public school system has given me many, many opportunities to work with kids who were home schooled for one to two years. I wasn't impressed. I expected more verbal, curious learners but I actually found that many of the kids were kind of lazy(yikes, don't shoot me)! They weren't as hardworking nor as diligent to solve problems. OK, that is a general observation after 20 years in the classroom and after working with ONLY 5 and 6 year olds that had been home schooled.

    Ultimately, I do respect a family's decision to choose their child's education. Thank goodness we have more than one or two choices.

    I feel like the public school system has improved in the past ten years and we are able to offer children a much stronger base in reading, phonics, and writing. I DO agree with you on the math issue, we DO need stronger math teachers and a curriculum that goes deeper rather than broad.
    Great post!

  12. Interesting read! I saw this on your FB. Sparked a little discussion at work actually. Enjoyed reading both the FB commentary and comments left so far! Although I have some thoughts, I'm gonna plead the "Jill" here and just enjoy reading this time!

  13. I was homeschooled, as were my 8 siblings, and I admit my parents did a bad job. I skipped YEARS of school (I had exactly five math books for all 12 years: Grade 3 [multiplication and division], two little booklets on decimals and fractions, Algebra II, and Advanced Math), had no outside social activities at all, EVER, did no sports, and was shut out of most scholarship opportunities. Actually I ended up "dropping out" of homeschool, because I never completed all the work (Since it was never assigned. I think this is actually called "unschooling" and it has a fan following). Despite all this, I had a 4.0 in college and graduated valedictorian from pharmacy school. Lesson? Maybe learning isn't just about classes. Maybe there's a part of it that relies on relationships, communication, and plain old hard work. I didn't have tests or handwriting lessons growing up, but I sure had to solve a lot of problems. Perhaps it paid off. I still don't want to completely let my parents off the hook, though - I disagree with the overall lack of structure. However, the relative successes of myself and my siblings makes me wonder if we focus too much on classroom learning in school.

  14. You know my thoughts.. Is it hard. HELL YES! Is it worth it? HELL YES!!!!!!

  15. Interesting topic, and I'm glad that its being addressed in an open-ended way. We've unschooled our children for the last 15 years, and not done curriculum, workbooks, or other trappings of more formal homeschooling. Both of our kids have found their passions and areas that they really concentrate on. My son (almost 15) is into robotics, computer programming, languages, writing, and inventing. This week, we're applying for a provisional patent on one of his inventions, and he has plans to try to license it. We'll see where that goes, I guess! He starts at the community college next fall.

    My daughter (11.5) is heavily into dance, theatre, and performing arts. Being homeschooled lets her do things like take the 8 dance classes plus theatre and music, she can be totally immersed in it. Her dreams lie there, and she may end up going to a performing arts high school, which would be a good fit for her.

    In our state, the kids have to take standardized tests every couple of years, and they've both done well. Although we don't formally teach them, we live at the library, the science center, the art museum, and we love to travel. They're learning every day. I'm sure there are things that a schooled kid would know that they don't, and there are things they know that school kids don't have the time to concentrate as fully on. It's a trade-off, but one that we're happy with.