Friday, February 13, 2009

Question of the Day

Theresa Coleman recently started homeschooling her children. She thinks that homeschooling can be a good option for some kids, but that the minimal state standards for homeschoolers need to be more vigorously enforced:

First, the law reads that the parent instructing must have a HS diploma or equivalent. However, reporting is not compulsory therefore the State of Georgia has no idea who has a diploma and who does not. For the most part, this is OK except there are some who are taking advantage of this loophole and the entirety of the homeschooling community/culture is suffering. Unless those of us who are diligent and following the law try to amend this ourselves, eventually the Government will indeed step in and "do" something about it. There is precedent for this.

What impressions have you gathered about homeschooling?


Bro. Dave said...

One mother I knew that homeschooled was just plain cookoo - she refused to vaccinate her children, so she had to keep them at home.
Another mother was a hyper-Christian. Even the local Christian academies were not good enough for her children. I discovered in that community that homeschool mothers joined together to create their own "school", even holding their own graduation ceremonies.
I'm a product of public schools -- I think that's best for forming well-rounded children.

DogBlogger said...

I think there are horror stories out there everywhere, but the adults I know who were homeschooled as kids seem to have turned out pretty well. I think it has a lot to do with the parents' motivation for homeschooling.

Divers and Sundry said...

There are many reasons behind school choice, and one size does not fit all. There are kooks and "hyper-Christians" in every school setting, including public schools. The Dover, PA., evolution/creationist lawsuit should be a good reminder of that.

Some homeschoolers do join together in support groups to have activities, classes, ceremonies, proms, etc. They feel the need for support and social gatherings outside their own families. Others find these needs met without making use of dedicated homeschool groups.

There's nothing magic about the way our public schools are organized and operated that makes them the most suitable learning environment for all kids.

truevyne said...

In my opinion, it's all good. I mean it. I put my son in a brand new public high school after 8 years of homeschooling this year. He's got great grades in honors classes, makes friends easily, and is on cross country/track with everyday practice. None of his teachers or students (except for the few he'd been in co-ops with) know he had been homeschooled.

When this son went to first grade public, I still taught him his math facts and how to read at home, because they did not have enough time to give him the individual attention he needed at school.

I wouldn't want to see tighter legislation of homeschoolers, because families usually turn out kids like themselves, whether they homeschool or public school. More legislation doesn't help in any failing school- public or home.
I was under the impression that if kids in GA falls below grade level for two years in a row, they might make the kids go to school. I'd fight that law tooth and nail. What do they do? Put the kids in homeschool if they fall below grade level while in public school. YIKES! I could be wrong.

There are next to no homeschool laws in TN, except that parents of homeschooling high schoolers must have a college degree OR be under and umbrella school of some kind. I am grateful. I don't need or want the government to tell me how or what to teach. I know much better what my children need than the state!

bob said...

Home shooling can have some real draw backs if not coupled with some kin of home shool association.
The children next door were H.S they seemed smart enough but their social skills were lacking.
when we first moved in they would just walk into our house or speak to my wife and I in a manner missing the proper respect. they did get better as they got older but seemed to be several steps behind in their social development.

Divers and Sundry said...

"Home shooling can have some real draw backs if not coupled with some kin of home shool association."

This is just not true. There are many opportunities in this world to be involved outside the family without grouping together with other people just because you happen to have homeschooling in common.

I've known plenty of kids in public and private schools that didn't have the same idea of "proper respect" as I did. That seems to me to depend more on what's acceptable in their families than where they get their academic education.

the reverend mommy said...

I've run into the Super-duper Hyper Christians (and am currently debating if I need to sign their "declaration of faith" just so my kids can interact with their friend (what a bad taste in my mouth that give)) I've run into lots of nuts and flakes but I've run into MORE people like me -- those who are disgusted with this particular public school system.

Because of my own particular sensibilities, I am insisting on using a SACS accredited curriculum and letting my kids go as fast as they want, as long as I think they are absorbing the material. According to the school, Chaos needed another semester of Algebra and Biology -- she passed two different End of Year and Course by Examination Exams with perfect scores. Even in our gifted programs, she would not be allowed to advance as fast as SHE wanted.

I believe strongly in not push -- to allow the kid to go as fast or as slow as they wish. But to keep them back just because it's inconvenient for the system is a crime.

Likewise, my youngest is also gifted, but also has a very definite specific learning disability -- she doesn't understand words in the same manner everyone else does. (long discussion here -- it's primarily handwriting and spelling) The system had no place for a child who understands many years ahead of her grade level but cannot express herself at that grade level.

It grieves me how their self esteem has suffered; how they feel 'different' all the time, how a girl is judged by appearance almost exclusively in the schools. In my system, the amount of violence is disturbing.

And I feel that I can give them MORE than the system ever will. It's not a thing that I would recommend for everyone and some of the abuses of the homeschool laws have shocked me.

Next week my 9th grader is starting AP Biology and Algebra II. She's feeling better about herself and finally is going to be able to explore for herself this wonderful world.

Bring on the critique, btw. I want to hear it -- I need to understand the pitfalls of this route.

Divers and Sundry said...

"am currently debating if I need to sign their "declaration of faith""

Nooo!!! "If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you it will..."

the reverend mommy said...

Thanks. I've decided not to and see what happens...