6 myths about homeschooled kids

Katherine - posted on 04/10/2012 ( 202 moms have responded )

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Myth #1: All homeschoolers are crazy eccentrics.



Actuality: A popular misconception is that homeschoolers are children of religious fanatics who want to keep their offspring separated from the evils of the world, or hippy-dippy folks who have opted out of mainstream structures. The truth is that people from all walks of life and all areas of the world homeschool these days. As more parents are breaking through the misconceptions of homeschooling, and recognizing the incredible opportunities available to their children, they are opting for the method.



Myth #2: Homeschooled children are lonely and isolated.



Actuality: No matter what path we choose for our children, we will be confronted by challenges. Ensuring that our homeschooled kids stay connected to other children their age is an important issue that needs to be addressed and not dismissed. Because there is not a built-in community of peers as found in the traditional school system, it’s important for parents of homeschoolers to provide play dates and activities with friends. The concern that our child might become isolated and lonely is valid, but it is also easily remedied by signing them up for activities like scouting, martial arts classes, sports, or 4H.



Myth #3: Kids who are homeschooled won't be able to function in the "real world."



Actuality: Homeschoolers spend their days in the real world, interacting with those of different age ranges, cultures, and economic levels. The misconception is that they’re sitting at home all day cut off from the world. In fact, they’re shopping, banking, interacting with others, and it’s through these interactions, that they learn to respect others, form friendships, resolve conflicts and cooperate with others. Many studies show that homeschoolers are actually better prepared to handle the realities of life because they are more confident and self-assured. They exhibit greater leadership skills and a stronger work ethic.



Myth #4: Kids who are homeschooled will never get into college.



Actuality: Homeschoolers are more likely to attend college (74% vs. 46% of traditional students.) More colleges like Dartmouth, UC Berkeley, and Yale are actively recruiting homeschoolers because they recognize the unique qualities that they offer -- they are self-motivated and self-disciplined. Homeschoolers have higher GPA’s than their counterparts, and they score 15-30 percentile points higher above public school students on standardized test scores. They also score higher on college admission tests like the SAT’s and ACT’s.



Myth #5: Homeschooling is just an excuse for kids to goof off all day.



Actuality: Homeschoolers can accomplish in a few hours what takes a typical classroom a week or more to cover. There is so much busy work and wasted time in the traditional school system. A common question among new homeschool parents is, “What were they doing in school all day?” Once these parents know how little time it takes to complete the course curriculum, they’re left wondering what was being taught during the 6-8 hours their kids were away (especially given the mountains of homework coming back each evening.) So what do homeschoolers do with all of their free time? They explore subjects that peak their interest. They visit museums and points of interest around their communities. They work ahead, read books that appeal to them, and experience the freedom to explore in depth topics that are only minimally covered in the classroom. They also have the time to do what kids are supposed to do -- play.



Myth #6: Even if I wanted to homeschool my kids, I wouldn't be qualified.



Actuality: One of the biggest misconceptions of homeschooling is that as a parent you have to have all of the answers in order to be qualified. Many parents don’t feel they have the education to tackle this task. Most school districts provide the course curriculum for your child -- and that includes the syllabus, tests, and the answer keys. Your child learns to work independently, and when needed, you job is to help them look up key information and answers to questions. With the right resources and commitment, you have everything it takes to succeed.



Do you homeschool your children? Would you ever consider doing so?







Image via jimmiehomeschoolmom/Flickr

Julie Ryan Evans

About the author

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JL - posted on 04/18/2012

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Some peeps need to lay off the high school drama TV shows and reality TV. They should not be viewed as sources of information.

Johnny - posted on 04/18/2012

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There is a giant leap of difference between parents having the right to impart their world view, be it political, social, religious etc. on to their children and having the right to stop their children from learning about a wide variety of topics altogether. If they want to turn their kids into racist homophobes because of their belief system, it's still possible if they go to public school. Plenty of people manage to do it. However, at least those kids won't be denied all opportunities to see that there is another path. I admit, I am intolerant of the encouragement of total ignorance. Children do NOT belong to us, they are their own people and they have the right to knowledge. I strongly disagree that parents have the right to screw up their kids in any way.

Johnny - posted on 04/17/2012

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"Over exposed to society as in drugs, gangs, bullying, smoking, drinking, partying, sexting, sex, pregnancies, stds, humiliating eachother, swearing, cutting, eating disorders, depression, suicide."



I think you might be watching/reading to much of the news and not getting out in the real world enough.



Obviously these are serious issues. But they don't actually statistically effect more than a minority of people out there. Like Meme said, these things can and do happen to anyone, regardless of schooling. They also happen to adults. Part of raising successful children is guiding them in coping with all of these things.



I have seen all these things you listed happen to people in life. Some due to bad choices and some due to mental health problems. Anyone can make a bad choice and depression and the other mental health problems aren't stopped by homeschooling. Luckily for me, my parents were open and talked to me about all these things, they helped me figure out how to cope and navigate a difficult world. It actually only gets more intense when you become an adult. Childhood is supposed to provide a safe training ground for a solid foundation as an adult.



We only improve our world by making positive change, not by going all ostrich and sticking our heads in the sand.

JL - posted on 04/16/2012

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Whether your kids are public schooled, private schooled or home schooled..PLEASE PLEASE teach them reading comprehension skills. If there is anything you emphasize educationally with your kids...let it be the skill to reason, discern, research and comprehend the value of what they are reading, writing and learning.

What does "over exposed to society" mean anyways?

Isobel - posted on 04/14/2012

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A poorly written report though, is a VERY significant warning sign that what you are reading is garbage.



In this particular case it turned out that the real article was linked at the bottom and it was much better than the part that we read (thank the gods).



BUT...evaluating the value of your sources is ALSO an EXTREMELY important skill to teach, and not one with an answer key.

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Erin - posted on 03/04/2013

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It's not my problem you like socialism and I don't care for it. I could care less how many socialists are on here and yes school is a socialist program and always has been, not that I don't like the idea to a degree some socialism is ok but the government uses school to drive it's propaganda and if you can't see it sorry for ya. They ought to stick to education not politics at least not in lower education where it has no place but I don't see what you're unproductive comment has to with the original post. Some people don't come here for education, advice or opinions clearly some come here to argue.

Jodi - posted on 03/01/2013

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You didn't say that. You just said that the parents, who home school, that live in that district be exempt from paying taxes that go to support that school. You said nothing about sporting teams.

Chana - posted on 03/01/2013

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So they should pay taxes that go to support a school that their children do not attend and can not participate in the sporting events? That is silly. I believe that if the family resides and pays taxes within the district they should be able to play on their
sport teams

Jodi - posted on 03/01/2013

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That would be silly, because then you'd end up with all sorts of people homeschooling their children for all the wrong reasons (i.e. JUST to get out of paying some of their taxes).

Chana - posted on 03/01/2013

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Then should the parents, who home school, that live in that district be exempt from paying taxes that go to support that school?

Bobbi Jean - posted on 01/22/2013

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In my opinion, there is "no one size fits all" when it comes to the needs of children. Good parents step up and do the best they can by their kids.

Hi, again, Jodie!

Levornia - posted on 01/22/2013

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I am not going to home school my child but I see a lot of people are starting to do it. I also found out that people are homeschooling their kids and turning their home into a school for parents who prefer to have their kids in homeschooling programs rather than a public school. I do love that homeschooling offers more of a 101 relation that sometimes teachers in school struggle with bc the school system can suck. I have thought about it but I don't want to do it. I want my son around what the world is really made up different people of all sorts plus learn to adapt to changes that public school has to offer.

Tracey - posted on 01/20/2013

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For Jackie Miller: I think it depends where you are. I know of number of Buddhist homeschoolers who aren't any variety of Asian; I know quite a few Pagans and Wiccans, and a number of atheists as well. And even for a lot of the Christian parents I know, religion is not their main reason for homeschooling. Quality of education (some school districts here are awful) and safety of the kids (um, we just had the worst school shooting in U.S. history) are their main reasons for most of the moms I know. For a few flexibility of time is another, more minor factor: either the school vacations don't mesh up very well with vacations for the annual family reunion, or the family really would like to go to Vermont in the fall or skiing in the winter.

I know one family whose final straw and entry into homeschooling was that everything had worked out for the family to take a vacation to DC, where the family planned on spending a lot of time at the Smithsonian (where the dad was consulting) and with a bunch of sidetrips to Civil War sites. The school was refusing to let the kids go on grounds that that wasn't "educational". HUH?? The kids were going to be *reading about* the Civil War during that time and the teacher didn't want them to miss it! Like reading about it is going to make a bigger impression, teach them more and help them retain more than being there? And reading their boring science books was going to be better than hanging out at the Smithsonian for days and watching people like Bones work? That was the tipping point. The parents felt like the teachers had seriously lost touch with reality and what learning is all about. They finally pulled their kids and haven't looked back.

Jackie - posted on 09/15/2012

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I wouldn't count home schooling out entirely . I am a very open minded Mom . My concerns are with safety in schools today ...let's be honest ...it's not what it was when I was a kid. It's scarier ! Because my son is an only child I worry about not having as much social interaction with other children on a day to day basis. He will be attending preschool for the first time so we'll see how that goes. He is a very social child so I think he will enjoy it . I just feel sick to my stomach of having to send him to kindergarten next year. Teachers these days have become glorified babysitters....now I know I am generalizing ..there may be a few who go the extra mile , I just have not heard of any..yet! With homeschooling I have heard it is hard to find support for both moms and kids unless you are Christian or Catholic...that won't do for me ...I am an Atheist Mom ...I do respect others beliefs I just don't want them forced upon me or my son . Have my work cut out for me here ...just a feeling I have .

**Jackie** - posted on 08/03/2012

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I wouldn't homeschool. I have a great deal of respect for parents who do, it's just not for us. I had an amazing school experience and we have GREAT high schools here. Of course, we will have some obstacles because no child is different and what was "awesome" for me may not be for my kids. My only concern is bullying. I'm petrified of bullying. I don't know what would be worse, my daughter coming home crying and asking me why they are so mean to her or having another mother call me and tell me my daughter made their kid cry so hard and for no reason. :/ aye

Chaya - posted on 08/02/2012

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Throughout history, we (humankind) has taught our children what is unproven. We later learn. When my dad was growing up, they believed that girls shoudln't bathe when having their periods, that was never taught in my lifetime, but nothing is ever totally unproven. Certianly, right is right and left is left, but even tht depends on which way you're facing. What we know now, scientifically, historically, ect. Is nothing compared to what we'll know 100 years from now, or later.

Chaya - posted on 07/26/2012

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Was homeschooled, wouldn't do it to my kid unless there were no other option

Jaime - posted on 07/20/2012

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I love homeschooling! With my son who is 8 now, it was a medical necessity after he ended up in the hospital after Kindergarten (he has severe asthma/immune deficiency). But even if my other children are totally healthy they too will be home schooled. We go on great trips in Maryland there are co-ops and a LOT of places that support home schooled kids and provide programs and activities for them.

Jodi - posted on 07/06/2012

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Oh, but she did Krista!! She whined about governments not wanting to fund schools or keep up with funding materials. When it comes to education, she's a socialist....

Erin - posted on 07/06/2012

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I think it's fantastic. Since I'm not done with my school and have to work when I am done I don't think I can find time to do it but I always wanted to. Too many people have nothing better to do than judge homeschooling. Most of the miscnception are false and in my opinion the government just wants to control what the kids learn and so they act like there's something wrong with it. Public schools waste time "teaching" things that have nothing to do with school subjects, or aren't their right to teach, the classrooms are over crowded and the kids have very little help. They get almost nothing done at school and send the kids home with work that should have been done at school. Government doesn't want to fund the schools or keep up the materials needed because they're so cheap. If a parent wants to do it no one should be allowed to stop them as long as they are following reasonable curiculum. I also don't believe children require any special outside contact with peers, in fact often most kids have to deal with being harassed, made fun off, pressured to be perfect etc. I don't find this contact to be of any real value. Kids can make friends other ways they don't need government schools to do that. Some kids are loners and there's nothing wrong with that at all. Our attempts to try to make people robot clones gets old.

Becky - posted on 06/08/2012

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I kind of like the idea of homeschooling. I think it could be fun and I think I'd actually enjoy it. I love the idea of learning at the child's pace, having flexibility, incorporating "real life" (like going grocery shopping, to the bank, etc) into learning, and not having to work our life around school schedules. But, I am not a very self-disciplined or organized person, and to be honest, I can be a bit lazy. So I am afraid that if I homeschooled, I would be doing my children a disservice, as I worry that I wouldn't be making sure they learned everything they needed to know. That said, my priority is their well-being and education, so I will do whatever is necessary to ensure that. We plan to send the boys to public school. However, if it turns out that the public school system is not meeting their needs, then we will look at alternatives, whether that be private school (which we can't really afford!) or home schooling. If it was the best way for them, or one of them, to learn, I would make it work. My oldest son is very bright and inquisitive. He is always watching questions, and I think knows a lot of things the average 4 year old doesn't know. (not inappropriate things! :) But, he's very active and busy and has little interest in sitting still at a table doing workbooks. This may just be his age, but it also may be his personality, and I could see him potentially struggling in a classroom where he is expected to sit and listen for long periods of time. If he gets teachers who are hands-on and understands how little boys learn, he'll do great. If he doesn't, well, I worry about that!
I went to a mixture of public school and a private, very conservative, Christian boarding school. I consider myself to be fairly bright and well-educated. And humble, lol. I also consider myself to be pretty open-minded and tolerant, despite the majority of my education being very, very conservative. But that has been a work in progress, and the result of me going to a secular university and doing a lot of my own study and research.

Alessandra - posted on 06/08/2012

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I started homeschooling my daughter this past year and it's been a wonderful experience for both of us.

I would like to point out that I happen to live in a Blue Ribbon School District and I have nothing against public schools. My older daughter goes to public school and I think she's getting a fine education. Although I have seen more and more the school put lots of pressure on her, she feels pressure from teachers as well and is constantly feeling overwhelmed. Looking back I wish I had homeschooled her as well, but now she's in HS and will graduate next year. So she wants to stay put.

My motivation with my little one was to be with her for a while longer. I realize kids grow way too fast and soon enough she'll be out in the world living her own life. I love being with my kids and want to be with them as much as possible. My other motivator was that she was wasting too much time at school and not learning as much as she potentially could. I wound up teaching her more at home anyway. So why not take the plunge?

My motivation was not religion or bad schools.

I actually agree with one commenter about homeschooled kids participating in public school sports. I think either you're in or you're out. If participating in sports is that important then go to public school. My daughter takes classes at the Y or other place where she gets to practice sports and be around other kids.

Jodi - posted on 04/22/2012

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Well, in my mind, both sides were written by man, one side is more scientific about their evidence that the other, although there is some science on each side to a degree, depending on interpretation, so IMO, teach your kid both, teach them the extent of the "evidence" (and no, the Bible doesn't count as proof, it is an anecdote of the Christian truth and a manifestation of organised religion) and then they can make up their own minds.

Kate CP - posted on 04/21/2012

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Rebecca K said it much better than I did. But my brain is currently high on Sudafed. Wonderful head cold. :/

[deleted account]

Tracey R: We can't go back in a time machine and duplicate your birth, so does that mean you weren't born? Or that we can't prove that you were born? The ability to duplicate results doesn't require you to duplicate events -- it requires you to be able to duplicate the testing used to substantiate an event. For example, you could repeat carbon testing.

Kate CP - posted on 04/21/2012

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I was commenting on the statement that we'd have to duplicate the creation of the universe as your statement that "scientific proof" can't be used to date the history of the earth.

Now, I do agree with your points. We can't know exactly how or what happened. There are so many missing factors to our creation and evolution. But I refuse to believe that the earth is only 6000 years old. That's just stupid. :P

Tracey - posted on 04/21/2012

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I didn't say anything about the age of the earth, did I? I mentioned duplicating results, which is how scientific proofs are defined. Does someone somewhere have a time machine so you can go back and duplicate the origins in another universe to prove how it all started and developed?



Case in point.



But if you dispute it's necessary to keep an open mind instead of just knee-jerk head-popping, take a look at this, from the Quarterly Notes of the Geological Survey of New South Wales (respected peer-reviewed journal) last June: (citation: J.J. Watkins, H.J. Behr, and K. Behr, “Fossil microbes in opal from Lightning Ridge — implications for the formation of opal,” Quarterly Notes Geological Survey of New South Wales 136:1-20, June 2011. (available online at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/...)



In a nutshell, one of the major tenets supporting the age of the universe is the time it takes opals to form. This time-frame has been figured by chemists.



But in the research above, some biologists jumped over boundaries, and discovered that there are marine microorganisms involved in the process. This was previously unknown. And the result is that it takes weeks to months to form opals (page 19 in the link above). The time-frame cited previously by chemists, therefore, is off by a factor of 10 to the 5th power.



And when I was in graduate school, at a secular state school, we spent a week discussing the margin of error involved in carbon dating. It's much higher than laypersons think.



Understand that I only brought up the age of the earth because you did. I don't even think it really matters, but my point in my previous post was that being dogmatic on either side makes it harder to get to the truth. And I think that kids that are dogmatically taught one side, *either* side, are being done a disservice.

Kate CP - posted on 04/21/2012

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Dear lord, we can prove how old the earth is by replicating carbon dating and other scientific methods. Just because we can't duplicate the creation of the frickin' universe doesn't mean we can't prove how old the earth is.

I think my head just popped. Fuck.

Tracey - posted on 04/21/2012

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If you want to talk strict science, nothing is "proven" until *results can be duplicated*. Can we duplicate how the universe began? NO! So neither side can really prove their points.



Then there's the entire matter of what to do with evidence that doesn't really support either side. Being dogmatic about *either* side means having to throw out this evidence--the exact opposite of having an open, inquiring scientific mind. I have plenty of friends not on this continent who are kind of boggled at the idea of people insisting that a theory is a proven fact--both sides of it. But to people who are determined that Christianity not be anything real, they're willing to insist a theory which cannot be proven already has been.



The fact is, we can't know, and the real answer may be something that no one has even thought of yet. Insisting that one of the two major theories on it is iron-clad correct in fact hampers real scientific inquiry. I know many Christians who openly say that it's best to just evaluate each piece of new evidence, rather than cling to dogma and refuse to think new thoughts on the matter. This doesn't sound like the stereotype, does it? It's really not even close to being the most important thing about Christianity at all, but I think the degree of open-mindedness I see is in contrast to what I see taught in the schools (I have nieces/nephews and my kids have friends, and I teach both sides myself, not saying "you have to believe this" either way).

Isobel - posted on 04/20/2012

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The fact that you will teach your child that it is unproven makes my head explode. I happen to know that you are a lovely person but WOW! It's proven, I promise.

[deleted account]

My son isn't at the age for school yet but I would never homeschool him. It works for some people but wouldn't for me. I need the break and the time to interact with adults and do something outside the home. I think it's good for him to have lots of friends and although I think you can give your child a chance to be with other kids if homeschooled, it's nowhere near the socialization they get in school. I just don't think it would be a good fit for my son and I

Merry - posted on 04/20/2012

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I too was taught the 6 day creation and while many here may think I'm a wack job, I happen to function in the real world wonderfully. People don't assume I'm a Christian, nor do they assume I was homeschooled.

The earth could very well be millions of years old, but fact is we can't prove it is or isn't. There's strong evidence to say its old, and many many many Christians believe that and teach that to their kids. Some think it doesn't really matter so much how the earth came to be so they teach both sides and don't linger on it.

And yes some take the bible literally to mean 6 days and teach that as truth and I don't think this is abuse. Might be confusing for the kid when they get out into the real world but no matter how you're raised it's going to be overwhelming and hard to adjust to adulthood.

Alison - posted on 04/20/2012

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I'm correcting my word choice. I don't think my teachers were incompetent or that it was even a majority of them. Some just didn't put effort into teaching and one didn't show up all the time. I shot the moon playing hearts on his classroom floor while he was gone.

Alison - posted on 04/20/2012

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Let's not go overboard. Everyone finds ways to prove their points and I don't think it is damning kids for life. My husband and I were both raised with the belief that the earth was created in 6 days, literally. We both function just fine in the real world. I got a bachelor's degree in English and my husband got a bachelor's in geology and is close to having a masters degree. Granted, his family was worried he would lose his faith, but it hasn't been a problem. I understand being passionate both ways, but let's have some perspective. Since we're not perfect parents, we're all bound to screw our kids up some way or another and we all have different opinions on what exactly that entails. I don't think a gap in science education should be considered abuse. Is it a disservice? IMO yes. However, I had many incompetent teachers in public school, and that's a disservice too.

Johnny - posted on 04/20/2012

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I've seen the Christian "take" on science discussed here many times. That isn't science, not even close. So yeah, I see that teaching that instead of actual science is damning kids to ignorance. I have been involved in a debate on this board in the past six months where people were claiming that the world started 6000 years ago. Since that is a total lie, it bothers me HUGELY that they are teaching this to their kids while telling them that real science is made up of lies. It's nice to have opinions, but holding on to them when all facts point in the opposite direction and then passing that on to your kids, it's sort of like teaching them that we cross the street on a red light. It's one thing to teach that God is responsible for everything, it's a different matter to lie about what "everything" actually is.



Being religious and accepting science are not mutually exclusive. Many many many people of faith are involved in real scientific endeavors and manage to reconcile that just fine with their faith. I know many moms on here who send their kids to private religious schools where they are also taught about history and science from a non-dogmatic perspective. This isn't about a blanket opposition to religion and schooling, it's about opposition to the teaching of ignorance.

Merry - posted on 04/20/2012

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I also agree with Johnny. Kids need to be able to learn about the basics. And math, science, history, reading, writing, grammar, etc are all things I feel kids need to be learning.

and all the homeschoolers I know of teach their kids all these subjects.

But, I'm pretty sure that some people wouldn't say that it counts because the curriculum is Christian

So, yes there's a Christian take on all these subjects. Which may invalidate them to some people looking in. But the Christian curriculum is legal and those using it believe that it's acurate and all inclusive.

I know most Christian homeschoolers do teach their kids the basics about other religions. They do not portray them as true,but they do teach them so their kids understand others

And I don't believe this is abusive.

Alison - posted on 04/20/2012

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I agree Johnny. haha, that might be a journal moment. :O) No, I wouldn't call it abuse, but I don't agree with it either. This is the world we live in and, unless your kids are going to live in an exclusive community for the rest of their lives, you have to teach your kids to live in it IMO. That's one of my arguments for public school. On sort of a side note, I had the best math teacher ever in high school. If all teachers were like him, I wouldn't have nearly so much of a problem sending my kids to public school. He had this magical mixture of passion for math, high expectations, tasteful humor, and caring for the individual. I had other memorable teachers, for good and bad, and some that hardly bothered to show up, but he was the best hands down. That's my shout out for public school.



And this is totally an offshoot, but I "hear" lots of mother praising the attributes of charter schools. I have no personal experience with them and there's none in my area, but if they have this secret recipe for awesome success, why can't it be copied in regular public schools? Is it because of a lack of parent volunteers or other regulations?

Isobel - posted on 04/20/2012

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most scholarships are not public funds...most are private donations that can be as discriminative as they like.

Tracey - posted on 04/19/2012

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Alison, I understand about having trouble finding an inclusive homeschooling group. I've started groups/activities at least twice now (thinking back) because I couldn't find what I was looking for. I know a few other parents who have done the same.



In one case, I couldn't find a Girl Scouts troop that met at the time I had open. My kids have always been very involved in sports, classes, clubs etc., and I figured that while our evenings were pretty booked, our days weren't. So why not start a Girl Scout troop during the day? Turns out there were other people out there wondering the same thing, so we ended up with a nice-sized troop.



The other time was starting a group for homeschooled teens. In my area, there's a college scholarship fund in place that is open to anyone *but* homeschoolers (someone should challenge it legally, I think, because the legal code doesn't make a distinction and it's clearly discriminatory to allow public funds to give kids educated otherwise a full ride to college, unless they're homeschoolers).



Anyhow, because of this law, many people will homeschool their kids until 8th grade, which is when that scholarship program dictates the kids have to be non-homeschooled. So that means while there are slews of clubs and activities for kids 7th grade and under, they suddenly dry up for older kids here.



So a friend of mine and I started a club for teens, incorporating a variety of types of activities each month, meeting weekly: field trips, service projects, one-time classes (or short-term classes of 2-3 sessions), and "Hang Time". Since its inception, the group has spun off two other similar groups around 45 minutes away, a Science Labs group (to do science labs that are better done in groups and teams than alone), and a literature club for college-bound students. In fact, it looks like we may soon launch an actual co-op for college bound and/or gifted kids. The only ones like that in the area are at the periphery of the city's region, and there's nothing like that centrally located.



It can be a real adventure, and I mean that in a good way. Sitting in a coffee shop with a group of kids who are laughing uproariously at something by James Thurber, or getting thoughtful about what it would be like to live in two dimensions (Flatland), is about as good as it gets.

[deleted account]

Alison: I've been having the same issues with co-ops. Even the ones that claim to be "inclusive" basically state that they freely share their "values", encourage prayer before meetings, and will throw out anyone that raises contrary views. Basically, it's OK for them to ram the Bible down your kids throat in the name of "inclusiveness", but dear Lord, don't offer your thoughts.

Johnny - posted on 04/19/2012

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Ack. There really is a big difference between teaching children about religion or not and choosing to entirely omit proper science, history and literature from their education. I'm not sure I would call that abusive, but it is certainly debilitating for their future. To not even have a basic grasp of how things function? Those kids are being handed a lowered potential. I could care less what religion parents choose to indoctrinate their kids with (something that can happen if the kids are publicly or privately schooled as well). Where I have a problem is when people don't have knowledge of basic science and history. I have met many women on here who think it is just fine to teach their kids that science is not true. They are consigning their kids to a lifetime of being unable to access a good portion of careers and knowledge. This isn't about faith, it is about choosing to be ignorant and pass it on. There is NO good excuse for that. Plenty of people manage to teach their faith without damning their kids to ignorance.

Merry - posted on 04/19/2012

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A lot of people view other parenting styles as abusive. I try not to use the term abuse unless there's obvious harm being caused but there's plenty of people that think that teaching your kids that God is just a fun story is child abuse.

It goes both ways Laura. And no one can prove the other wrong. So I just stay out of it and say parents are allowed to teach their kids whatever religion or lack there of that they wish.

If you are allowed to teach what you want, then so can I. And we don't have to agree!



But it's not abuse. It's just a different belief. And I was taught to respect others beliefs and not call them names.

Isobel - posted on 04/19/2012

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I remember a few homeschoolers keeping their kids home too though because they wanted to keep them away from the "liberal agenda", they believed that schools were indocternating children to prepare them to be slaves to Obama when he became our over-lord.



It also scares me to think about what they are teaching their children...other than how to load guns.

Isobel - posted on 04/19/2012

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I also hope that they are teaching their children math and science. It's fine to keep your child home to avoid them hearing about atheism or having their faith tested...it's quite another to not teach them anything other than the bible.



I think it's child abuse to tell a child that dinosaurs lived at the same time as Adam and Eve and that they had sharp teeth for eating coconuts because the bible says when Adam and Eve were alive that animals didn't eat each other.

JL - posted on 04/19/2012

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If you want to home school strictly based on faith....you have that right and I will not stand in your way to do so or profess any laws that would do so. However, I will hope that those parents who do so are not teaching their children to judge, look down, be intolerant and hate other people based on their faith. I feel bad for those kids if that is what is happening. The world is too full of intolerance as it is and I do find it sad that people would take their kids out of public school merely on the basis that they don't want their kids around...those sinners. But that being said, no I do not want Christianity included in the public school system unless it is in regards to elective classes that discuss ALL faiths...and by ALL faiths I mean even the non Christian ones. Until people are OK about discussing ALL types of faith and being inclusive of ALL faiths I will keep up with my Keep God out of Schools Hoopla. The simple fact is I send my kids to public school for a non faith based education.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/19/2012

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Laura---By the time they are 4, you'll be ready to send them away ;P

Hear Hear!! ;)

Alison - posted on 04/18/2012

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I don't think we should keep kids ignorant either. That leaves them totally unprepared for life. I just think the same people who are leery of homeschooling because of their intolerance for certain religious views would go berzerk if someone said something like: we shouldn't let atheists homeschool because their kids will never be exposed to Christianity. Anyway, I haven't made my mind up about homeschooling yet. My kids are not school age yet and it's a hard decision for me. One day I'm sure I want to and the next I know I'm crazy and the next I think maybe public school is realistically better and the next I think homeschooling is the best thing since...well, you get the picture.

Alison - posted on 04/18/2012

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I have gotten a little frustrated with the fact that I can't join a coop in my area if I do decide to homeschool because both of the ones available have specific statements of faith that don't exactly match my beliefs. And, even if I could afford it, I couldn't send my kids to a private school until high school because you have to agree with similar statements of faith. I could join a public homeschool program where my kids could attend some classes, but then I would have to jump through the reporting hoops. I understand why the statements of faith exist I guess--to keep from repeating the God-out-of-schools hoopla in public schools, but sometimes I think: would it really kill them to be inclusive? Maybe you just can't have the best of both worlds.

Alison - posted on 04/18/2012

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What I see as a common complaint about homeschooling is really a complaint about religion or "old-fashioned" values. I think some of those people's complaints really go something like this: "Oh no, those parents are going to teach about God and creation and we're not going to have any chance to teach them how wrong their parents are...or they're going to be taught homosexuality is a sin and won't get any other viewpoint from this book we managed to get into a kindergarten classroom." They have no respect for freedom of religion. I do see the value in being exposed to other viewpoints and lifestyles etc. and that is part of my debate on whether or not to homeschool, but c'mon, just because you don't agree with something doesn't mean you get to regulate what people teach in their homes or to regulate where a child gets his/her education. On the other hand, I was public schooled K-12 and managed just fine. I still go to church every Sunday with my family and am not irreversibly scarred in any way. I had some questionable teachers and some embarassing moments, but overall it was ok. I don't think parents should choose to homeschool JUST because they're paranoid. Choosing to homeschool or not to homeschool is a decision that should be made carefully knowing that it will affect the rest of your child's life in different ways. It's not perfect, no person and no system is.

Isobel - posted on 04/17/2012

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I think our job as parents is to prepare our children for the world they are going to live in. If you truly believe that they stand a chance of NEVER running into bullies, rape, drugs, alcohol, etc...then hell yes, shelter them.



I know for a fact that my kids WILL run into these things eventually...It's my job to prepare them in how to handle these things... and school (like I said earlier) is a perfedt microcosm for ALL the positive and negatives that the world contains.

Jodi - posted on 04/17/2012

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Actually, I still think you are still all missing my point. Firstly, I used religion as an example of the parents reasons being what they think is to better their child's education may in fact be stunting them, depending on their belief systems. Secondly, when I stated that many people homeschool their children due to their religion, I was not specifically talking about Christianity, but obviously you took it that way. I also did not say that homeschoolers who are Christians do this, I said there are many homeschoolers whose reasons are religious (the word religious doesn't refer exclusively to Christians, just putting that out there, because it concerns me that it was automatically interpreted to mean Christian). I was NOT insinuating that you fall into this category just BECAUSE you are Christian.



"There's tons of religious private schools who teach their faith as the one true faith" so, homeschooling is really not the main culprit of religious children being raised in one specific faith."



I am going to address this. There is a difference between a school teaching their faith as the one true faith and schools teaching ONLY that faith. Children still LEARN about other faiths in a religious school. In fact, the religious schools here accept children of other faiths. So yes, my children may be in a Catholic school, and follow the Catholic faith, there are Muslims attending the school, there are non-Catholics attending, there are many varied religions who attend. They also learn about various religions and the symbols of those religions and what they mean.



30% of homeschooling parents in the US who were surveyed indicated religion as their primary reason for homeschooling (the second most common reason). Now, why would they choose not to allow their children into a public school? Because they want to indoctrinate them into their religious practices. That is the ONLY reason someone could want to homeschool their kids for religious reasons. If it were merely so that they could receive religious instructions, that is different. The kids can get that at home if the school is not providing it.

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/homeschool/p...

Tracey - posted on 04/17/2012

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Like Laura Zoey, I'm also a Christian, although that's not the primary nor original reason I started homeschooling. But I do not quite a few non-Christian families who homeschool, including a few atheist families, quite a few pagan/Wiccan families, a few Jewish families, a few Muslim families, and even a couple of Buddhist families. Oh, and one Hindu family. I'm in a largish metropolitan area, but not all these families are in my area. A good number of the pagan/Wiccan families are in rural areas, which makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it.

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