Archive for Monday, February 2, 2009

Home school enrollment on roll

The LePage family joins in an exercise on Norway. From left, Abigail, 8, listens to sister Hannah, 9, talk about the country, as Lydia 3, sits on mom Beth’s lap and Josiah, 6, takes notes.

The LePage family joins in an exercise on Norway. From left, Abigail, 8, listens to sister Hannah, 9, talk about the country, as Lydia 3, sits on mom Beth’s lap and Josiah, 6, takes notes.

February 2, 2009

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Home schooling has been on the rise for the past five years, and at the end of 2007, 1.5 million children were learning at home.

That’s a 74 percent rise since the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics started keeping track of the number in 1999.

Shaun and Beth LePage are among the parents who have decided to home-school their five children, ages 1 to 9.

“We just began to meet families who were home schooling and at first we thought they were freakish and had no idea why they would do that,” said Shaun, senior pastor of Community Bible Church in west Lawrence.

They were living in Texas where they first met families who home-schooled their children. They moved to Lawrence three years ago.

“The more we came into contact with more families, the more we started seeing a lot of things we liked in the kids and just in the closeness of the families,” he said.

Now the LePages’ children Hannah, 9, Abigail, 8, and Josiah, 6, are home-schooled by Beth. She teaches lessons Tuesday through Saturday, which is based on when Shaun is working. Beth cooks breakfast while her children do their assigned chores. School starts with Bible study and then hits the core curriculum subjects.

“We’ve tried different things every year, but this year we’re using a curriculum that has a lesson plan laid out for us, and we just follow that,” Beth said.

She said home schooling was intimidating at first.

“It just gets easier every year,” Beth said. “It’s not that it’s never challenging or anything, but it’s certainly more and more fulfilling, and I’m just loving it more every year.”

The 2007 report found that there were a number of reasons for home schooling. Those included moral or religious reasons, family time and finances.

The LePages chose home schooling for several reasons, such as an individualized curriculum and socialization skills.

“There’s those who think the best socialization is the traditional school model where you have a bunch of kids together and then a few adults,” Shaun said. “Our experience has been that home-schooled kids will typically interact with parents or adults better, as well as younger kids and kids of different ages.”

Jeff McPheeters kind of fell into home-schooling his children. He retired so he could help his wife, Priscilla, with the administrative work in her Mary Kay business.

“I didn’t think that would be enough for me to keep me busy,” he said. “My degree was in education and I like teaching, so I suggested to her we consider home schooling.”

McPheeters has graduated two of his sons, Isaac, 21, a junior at Kansas University, and Paul, 18, who will be enrolling there in the fall. The third and youngest son, 13-year-old Benjamin, keeps his father on his toes and just might head to a bricks-and-mortar school for his last years of school.

“We have to be a lot more creative in what we do because he has benefited with the older boys being with him in school and helping him,” McPheeters said. “It may be that he’ll go into a more traditional route before he graduates. We’ll just have to see.”

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 5 months ago

Anything that lessens the stranglehold the KNEA has on our children is a good thing. More power to the home schoolers.

Shardwurm 6 years, 5 months ago

Home schooling is great. My nephews were home-schooled. One is an attorney and the other is in LA working in the film industry.I predict that within 20 years there were be a great many of our children either home-schooled or attending school via distance learning (i.e. internet.) So much time is wasted in the classroom that it makes sense to do it at home - especially for at-risk kids.

stalmer7 6 years, 5 months ago

waka1: Your post is so insipid and ignorant it hardly deserves an intelligent answer... But I'll give you one anyway. If I'm following your logic correctly, it is one of the reasons education has been dumbed down to the extent it has over the past generation or two.These parents you accuse of being selfish are doing what they firmly believe is what is in the best interest of their children. They make tremendous time and financial sacrifices to do it And about 95-99% of them are doing a stellar job; statistics clearly relect this. Nothing selfish about that whatsoever. Homeless families are an American tragedy, but to suggest that the fact they exist justifies a "no homeschooling" mentality is beyond any rationale or comprehension.

LadyJ 6 years, 5 months ago

stalmer7 -Well said, I homeschooled after the public school district practically tramatized my child for life. Now at college, he is a better student than most there. Financial sacrifices were considerable but well worth it.

flux 6 years, 5 months ago

Waka1 has convinced me home schooling is the way to go.

Mary Darst 6 years, 5 months ago

Working in a middle-school, you see all kinds of things. At times I think home-schooling is a good idea. There is a lot that kids are exposed to. If a parent is qualified to teach the kind of curriculum that is taught at public school, I think it is a good idea. Those kids would probably get a more rounded education. School is very demanding and challenging. For those who are not as smart it can become very frustrating. The testing has become so important, that many other things are lost.

Mary Darst 6 years, 5 months ago

invictus "School is very demanding and challenging." I'm talking about the testing part. I do agree that the intelligent are waiting. The state demands you spend more time on the slower kids. They use the more intelligent ones to tutor. They are more concerned about bringing up the scores of the slow kids.

Ronda Miller 6 years, 5 months ago

I am surprised that so far most comments favor homeschooling...I home schooled my children until sixth and third grades and would have throughout their education if it weren't for some personal problems...They learn quickly, the parent/teacher knows exactly what the student/child does not know, knows well, where their strengths and weaknesses are. Much less time is spent on rote memorization and waiting for the slowest member of the class to catch up - sometimes, unfortunately, an impossibility. Until we start spending the same amount of money on our brightest students that we now do on our slowest learners, we will remain well behind other countries in education and all that follows. Get a support system, get books, travel a great deal, social with appropriate people of like interests and home schooling rocks public and/or private schooling.

joykotewall 6 years, 5 months ago

If schools are functioning in an effective manner, and there is a good teacher to student ratio, the different learning levels will be handled in a way that doesn't waste time, leave anyone behind, or "waste" the time of the "intelligent" students.Not everyone can home school. Not everyone thinks it is a good thing. It's fine for those who want to do it, have the time to do it, and can afford it. But we cannot forget that quality public schools must remain available to all of us. It seems to me, that some of the reasons people support home schooling over public school are faults with public schools that need to be fixed. If people feel there isn't a quality education available through public school, it is an issue that needs to be addressed by making public education better.I am from a small town in Western Kansas, and I feel I had a fine public education. I also had a loving home. I think the two are important to every child. I was lucky. We didn't have any violence worse than some fist fights in the parking lot or on the play ground. We didn't have a lot of money, but we had good teachers. I think any public school can offer a good education. It takes the child having some presence of character and wanting to learn, and that comes from their home. And it also takes a community which wants to provide its children with good public schools.

feeble 6 years, 5 months ago

waka is the best troll on this forum, second to none. sure, Tom and Marion can breakout the snark, and are well schooled in the arts of flamebait, but waka, wow, just amazing. Tell me, did you learn your trolling skillz on the Something Awful or 4chan forums?

Confrontation 6 years, 5 months ago

I think it's a great idea for parents who are home schooling to use one of the available curriculums with a lesson plan. I know a mom who chose to "home school" her daughter when she was 13. The mom had dropped out of high school at 16. The daughter never received any schooling, and started working by helping her mom clean hotel rooms. This girl is now in her 20's, and she's a lost cause. There has to be a way to monitor parents like hers.

been_there 6 years, 5 months ago

You can report parents that you think are not actually doing the homeschooling to SRS. They can investigate and order that the child go to school. Parents like the one above give every homeschooler a bad name and need to be reported.

KansasVoter 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with spacehog. Homeschooling, for the most part, is a bad thing.

Bud Stagg 6 years, 5 months ago

Homeschooling is good for the needs of the few, but what happens to our society as a whole? Way to step up and help the community people! Thank god for the educators that came before you to write the text books you use. I find homeschooling to be very selfish way to educate your children and not good for the community. Next, you can be your own fireman, police, street repair, garbage man, etc. I'm sure you can do that better too!

ThatGirl2 6 years, 5 months ago

The homeschooled folks I met while in college were very socially awkward. I can't say with certainty that it's linked to being homeschooled, but it is one thing they all had in common.

habeogladium 6 years, 5 months ago

I'd like to respond to spacehog. Homeschooling actually was not started by a religious movement. Homeschooling was often the only option available to many families before the institution of free public schooling. If you take a look back in history you will see that many major historical figures were homeschooled, simply because there was no other option. When free public education became available, some people chose to continue teaching their children at home for a variety of reasons. While religious reasons are the ones most often featured by the media, the majority of homeschoolers I know chose to homeschool because of academic deficiencies in their local school districts, or because their children had special needs (gifted or special education) that were not being met by the district. I was homeschooled third through twelfth grade. I received an excellent education from my parents and scored well on college admissions tests. I was taught sexual education, including all the necessary facts about birth control should I choose to be sexually active. I did not live in a bubble. I was active in swim team, fencing, Civil Air Patrol and writing clubs. I volunteered in a local emergency room and worked as a lifeguard. I am currently a graduate student at KU and doing well. My social life is quite average. All of the people I am still in touch with that were homeschooled have gone on to college and productive careers. All are active in their communities.I explain these things not to try to hold homeschooling above public or private schooling. There is no one perfect model of schooling. I did well as a homeschooled student; my husband received an excellent public education. It is important that parents consider what is best for each of their children, as well as the great amount of work and expense that goes into homeschooling. Homeschooling does not make a child antisocial any more than public schooling ensures that they will be well adjusted socially. I would never say that homeschooling is the only way or the best way to educate a child, it is simply an option for those who choose to do so.

jumpin_catfish 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm with waka, selfish mean people suck man. waka waka waka

jonmagic 6 years, 5 months ago

Anyone else getting an insane number of pop-up/pop-under ads all of the sudden?

badger 6 years, 5 months ago

I have mixed thoughts on homeschooling.In some cases, where a student really benefits from individualized attention and the parent has the time and skill to give it, homeschooling can be great. You can more deeply indulge a young student's interest in science or history if you've got a little more flexibility in the curriculum.But a lot of current cases of homeschooling are getting attention as people who don't want their kids taught things that contradict the Christian Bible, and I don't know that I favor that. I also think that there need to be some pretty strong checks on whether a homeschooled child is really learning an equivalent curriculum or better when compared to a public or privately schooled child.My big concern is parents who don't have the knowledge base to meet their children's needs. My sister was taking advanced Calculus and Physics in high school. I was taking a lot of upper-level Biology and Chemistry, and neither of my parents would have been able to explain some of the concepts to us properly. I think homeschooling makes a reasonable amount of sense for the K-8 years (especially if the child does have a focused interest in something you can emphasize), but a good brick-and-mortar high school may have things like Advanced Placement classes and College Prep courses (both of which I was enrolled in) that will offer kids a better basis for college, and my high school had a lot better laboratory equipment, dissection specimens, and chemical inventory than my mother could have gotten her hands on legally.

Left_handed 6 years, 5 months ago

badger,You're uncertain about the whole religious freedom thing, huh? Read the constitution.

MaryKatesPillStash 6 years, 5 months ago

I would never choose to homeschool my child. But to each his/her own.I don't see why "homeschooling" and "public schooling" have to be so mutually exclusive. Think your kid isn't being challenged? Engage them in some creative activities during the 128 hours of the week s/he is not in school.

habeogladium 6 years, 5 months ago

"The problem with this logic is that it assumes that a parent is more qualified to teach than a certified educator."This argument does not hold up because it assumes that all certified educators are qualified to teach. Studies have shown that a surprisingly large number of professional educators fail basic competency exams. These teachers are usually allowed to take several years to reach this competency. I don't know what the standard is in Kansas, but in Texas, a teacher can teach in the public school system for three years after initially failing the basic competency exam before they must pass it. A quick Google search shows that this is not unique to Texas. Often to pass basic competency tests, the teacher must simply not outright fail the exam, the equivalent of a D in the standard grading system. Are these teachers more qualified than a parent? Because of the teacher shortage in some areas of the country, programs like Teach for America take students with bachelors degrees and put them straight into the classroom with only a few weeks instruction on teaching. Are these kids more qualified than a parent?In addition, there are no standards in place in most states that regulate who teaches in a private school, and many are not professional educators. I've known private school teachers that do not hold an undergraduate degree, or who hold a degree in an area other than the area they are teaching. Does this make them qualified educators?You also assume that the parent does not seek assistance in teaching their child. There are internet classes, satellite classes, homeschool co-ops and other groups that help supplement the parents' ability to teach. I have yet to meet a homeschooling parent that is so incompetent that they cannot provide or acquire a satisfactory education for their child, either by teaching everything themselves, or using a variety of the many resources available to them. There are some out there of course, but they are the minority, just like we hope that unqualified professional educators are the minority.The reality of the matter is that if a child attends a public or private school, they may have a sequence of unqualified or under qualified teachers. If a child is homeschooled they may have an unqualified or under qualified teacher. A parent is responsible for ensuring their child is receiving an appropriate education, regardless of the method of education they choose. When educators are required to pass national standardized tests on a regular basis with a good grade (not merely above a failing grade), then we can consider testing parents. Until then, I see no reason a parent should have to jump through more hoops than a private school teacher to teach their own children.

been_there 6 years, 5 months ago

I see a lot of homeschooling myths here. There are excellent homeschool programs out there for parents to purchase. If you need more for math and science, you can take that class at your local school, or as we did, have a tutor. We also drove to a school in Overland Park for a math class at a private school for homeschoolers. Religion had nothing to do with our choice. Just got tired of my kids getting beat up. I usually spent $2,000 for the programs alone, we didn't have the virtual school at that time that Lawrence have access to for free. For a bonus, no wanna-be gangs to deal with.

Confrontation 6 years, 5 months ago

I have friends who are teachers. If some of them were set to instruct my children, then I'd move or homeschool. The standards for teachers are incredibly low. I know someone who flunked the teacher's exam twice. Many of them weren't responsible students in college, either. Sure, some of them are teaching at the K-6 level, but isn't that where we really need good teachers? Teachers want more pay without being more intelligent. Sorry.

rusty2 6 years, 5 months ago

homeschooling.....keeping America ignorant another bad idea from the neocon evangelical fascist right.

been_there 6 years, 5 months ago

My homeschooled kid scored in the 98th percentile when she took placement tests for college and I am in no way qualified to be a teacher. You don't have to be to do a good job. And if by "socially awkard" you mean they don't want to party and get drunk at every chance and actually put their best effort into their work, count my kid in.

stalmer7 6 years, 5 months ago

There are a variety of options available for the upper-level homeschooled student. Private tutoring, community college, distance learning, correspondence courses, selective classes taken at a private or public school are all things that homeschool families can (and do) take advantage of to make up for a parents lack of knowledge in a particular subject matter. The amount of learning support available for home educators in most areas is quite high.As to socialization - grouping children solely with children of their own age is not the only way to socialize or learn, and perhaps is not the best way. In fact, this was not even the norm until the one-room schoolhouses disappeared in the 1940's.One of our nations greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was self-taught. So, while having some state requirements for homeschooling is fine, making them all "professional educators" is unneccesary. Many home school parents have their children participate in standardized testing to ensure their students are "making the grade" with their public school peers. The public schools worked a lot better when parents were more involved in their child's education than they are today, and didn't expect teachers to be everything to the child (teacher, psychologist, nurturer...). Parents, not teachers, are primarily responsible to see that their children get a good education. The ivory tower mentality that only a professional educator knows what is best for the child is false. The founding father of public schools, Thomas Jefferson, clearly understood this. Parents and teachers should work together with mutual respect. Mind you, the problem with public education today does NOT lie with many fine public school teachers out there... it's the system that's broke.

FFAF 6 years, 5 months ago

All the other issues aside.....Home schooled kids are so socially challenged it is amazing. It is a great way to guarantee your child a lifetime of dorkiness and deny them opportunity of sports and co-curricular activities at school.Have fun playing World of Warcraft when you are 40, and living in Mom's basement.

coolmarv 6 years, 5 months ago

I always found that when I did not do well in public school and I had to bring my grade card home, my dad would "home school" me until I got it right.

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

FFAF (Anonymous) says…All the other issues aside…..Home schooled kids are so socially challenged it is amazing. It is a great way to guarantee your child a lifetime of dorkiness and deny them opportunity of sports and co-curricular activities at school.Have fun playing World of Warcraft when you are 40, and living in Mom's basement.********Call me a dork!!! I wasn't homeschooled, but I'm 35 and like playing World of Warcraft!!! Oh, and I don't live in my mom's basement either! LMAOOk, so on the serious side. I visited with a friend of mine this weekend, whose children go to the Paola schools. I was chatting with her teenage daughter who is in 11th grade. Apparently, the way the grading system in Paola is, if the students get a 70% or higher in a quiz, it's counted as an automatic 100%. Also, their homework is looked over, but nothing is marked wrong. It's only based on completion. As long as the answer has SOMETHING to do with the chapter, it's accepted. It doesn't matter if it's the correct answer for the question, just as long as it pertains to the chapter as a whole. Now, tell me how you think that child is going to do when she graduates and goes to college? She's going to have one heck of a time, because the colleges aren't just going to grade for completion! They also aren't going to give her a 100% on a paper if she makes 70% or higher on her assignments. Anymore, our schools are set up so kids "feel good about themselves". It doesn't matter if the kids fail or succeed at their homework, just as long as they felt good about what they did. No wonder our society is falling apart! No wonder employers are having a hard time finding people who know how to write or speak in complete sentences.My children are in public schools. I used to home school them many years ago. And let me tell you, after hearing the things I heard from the teenager this weekend, and seeing the things that are lacking because of the "No Child Left Behind", the thought does cross my mind to home school my children again. At the very least, they will get grades based on the quality of work they turn in, not just graded to make them feel good about themselves!

been_there 6 years, 5 months ago

FFAF needs to show documented proof that homeschooled kids are "so socially challenged" or quit spreading myths. They also participate in sports, either through the school district, yes you can do that, or the parents pay for sports activities.

imastinker 6 years, 5 months ago

I have seriously considered home schooling, and am not looking at private schools. Religion has nothing to do with this. I simply want my kids away from the kids that do not want to be there and whose parents don't care. No matter how you spin it, the kids that do not want to be there ruin public schools. Public schools spend all their time discipling these kids and they disrupt class constantly. I think that by putting them in a school where the parents are paying for it, it will ensure that the parents are involved and are taking care of these situations.I think public schools have an obligation to provide everyone an OPPORTUNITY to an education, but do not have an obligation to provide an actual education.

rusty2 6 years, 5 months ago

No doubt that the 'preacher man' James Bush running for commissioner would support home schooling for dummies.

been_there 6 years, 5 months ago

I wonder how many long-term welfare moms were homeschooled and how many went to public school, not to mention the fathers of their kids. Well at least they were "well socialized" and smart.

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm not against homeschooling. However, I thought education is supposed to teach us how to communicate with different types of people, and learn from real life experience? I wonder how much real life experience can a kid learn at home? Well, schools need to do better job of teaching our kids, but how can we learn how to tolerate others, and live with others... if the only thing we know is.... well, our parents' lifestyle?

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

imastinker (Anonymous) says…I have seriously considered home schooling, and am not looking at private schools. Religion has nothing to do with this. I simply want my kids away from the kids that do not want to be there and whose parents don't care. No matter how you spin it, the kids that do not want to be there ruin public schools. Public schools spend all their time discipling these kids and they disrupt class constantly. I think that by putting them in a school where the parents are paying for it, it will ensure that the parents are involved and are taking care of these situations.I think public schools have an obligation to provide everyone an opportunity to an education, but do not have an obligation to provide an actual education.******I agree with you there. We had our children enrolled at Veritas Christian school, and let me tell you, that was probably the biggest mistake we ever made. Our son, and oldest child has Asperger's and ADHD. The combination of the two creates a very head strong, bull headed to the point of stupidity, attitude. The current school administrator, was totally convinced that this child was "mistreated, and didn't know what proper treatment was", because we had several issues with him at home that spilled over into school. I explained to him the situation, and even printed out information for him to read and distribute to his teachers. I sent him links for websites that had additional information and explained to him the reasons our son was displaying the behavior he was. Our son isn't the only child on the planet that has this combination of disorders and has issues at home and at school as a result.That man called SRS on us, and threw an absolute fit, when I went to his office and told him that he was not to speak with my son again unless we were present, and if he didn't comply with our wishes, we would seek legal counsel. The man came up out of his chair and was yelling and screaming "Don't you threaten us!" blah, blah, blah. Well, then he proceeds to tell me (how it was relevant to the conversation I still don't know) that he could have lied and it would have been Biblical because of some story in the Bible. Needless to say we pulled all three of our children out of that school in a hurry! He called an begged us to bring them back, but after seeing his display of aggression and anger, we refused to re-enroll them. In our opinion and the opinion of many, many other people who have had dealings with him, his sole purpose for Veritas Christian school is to use it as leverage for his religious ideals. That is not right at all.I'm sure not all Christian schools are that way, but I'm not going to spend the amount of money that we shelled into that school, and have another horrid experience like we did. I won't support that.

Christine Hammon 6 years, 5 months ago

I have home schooled my youngest son since we moved from a great school in Lawrence. My son excelled then, and he's still excelling now. He has scored exceeds standards or higher on the state assessments in the last two years in both, math and reading.My oldest just began home schooling. This is his junior year in high school. We discussed the pros and cons. He is a product of the public school system, and hated to read, write, or do much of anything academic. Within a month his entire attitude towards learning had shifted and become positive and motivated. He told me one day that in science class, the previous year, he'd learned to sleep without the teacher knowing. He also shared a story about his math teacher who told the entire class, "if you learn this or not, I still get paid the same". These were the events that had stuck out the most and created a situation where he didn't care to learn. Since last fall he's read more books than he's read in years, and he's reading books for fun!! He took his ACTs and is ready to start community college in the fall.I worked in the Lawrence Public School system, and I witnessed teachers who made rude and demeaning comments to students. Teachers who mocked the methods used with special needs kids. The time wasted on transitioning between activities/classes.I hold advanced degrees, and I have taught at various levels in academic settings. Does this make me a more qualified educator? I work with special needs students, does that limit my range or abilities? I do know that I AM selfish. I love working with my kids and seeing the results of our efforts. I love seeing the look on their faces when they get "it". I find it completely rewarding to have them tell me about what they've learned with enthusiasm. I am proud that they know more than I did at their ages.

denak 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm going to jump into the fray here. Personally, I think homeschooling is a bad idea. I don't feel that home schooling is the same or better than what one would receive in a public or private school setting. I think it is too often used as an excuse to hide child abuse and I think that most parents go into it with very little teaching experience and unrealistic expectation. And I definitely do not believe that homeschooling is the way to go with a special needs child. For two reasons, one if a child is special needs, that child needs a teacher that has the qualification to teach that child. A parent, although they mean well, may not have the ability to teach their child. Teaching a special needs child isn't just a matter of being diligent. A special needs child needs a teacher that understands his or her language (ie ASL or Braille) or the technology that the child needs, or can give the child the services he or she needs. And most parents can't do that on the level a teacher can. Secondly, the parent is too close to the situation. When you have a special needs child, there is a lot of guilt and there are a lot of dreams hinged on that child's sucess. And even though the parent means well, they may be to close to the situation to see it for what it is and their guilt, anxiety and impatience will hinder the child's ability to succeed in school. Also, from personal experience, I have never met a child who was homeschooled for religous reasons who was well -educated. There is usually huge, huge, huge holes in thier education. And not just in science but in other areas such as history,psychology, philosophy, anthropology and cultural studies. Everything tends to be taught from a religious emphasis and there is very little critical thinking or analysis taught. Anything that contradicts their religous teaching is either discarded or minimized. For those who homeschool for non-religious reason, they may do better, I don't know but in my experience children whose parents homeschooled them for religious reason tend to be less educated than their public school counterparts and are not able to see different viewpoints. Dena

alm77 6 years, 5 months ago

I know a few home schoooled kids who are "socially awkward", but I also know some public schooled kids who are too. Who's to say that either wouldn't have been that way anyway?? I've also known even more home schooled kids who were the "cool kids". I've known homeschooled kids who are brilliant and I've known some who were deficient. All that to say I have serious doubts that being home schooled has any bearing on one's cranial capacity or ability to navigate social situations either way. For those of you who are over 30, home schooling ain't what it used to be. The kids I know are anything but sheltered.

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

livingstone (Anonymous) says…I'm not against homeschooling. However, I thought education is supposed to teach us how to communicate with different types of people, and learn from real life experience? I wonder how much real life experience can a kid learn at home? Well, schools need to do better job of teaching our kids, but how can we learn how to tolerate others, and live with others… if the only thing we know is…. well, our parents' lifestyle?******Having home schooled our children, I can tell you that there are parents out there, myself included, that exposed our children to all kinds of different things. We went to church, we went to home school organizational events, such as weekly get togethers with other home schoolers. My children learned how to make a quilt, they designed their own plates and cups, had book clubs, cooking sessions, took small field trips to various places, and many other things. I have seen children who lived such a sheltered life that you could really tell they were lacking in the social skills. That to me is a disservice to the child. When they get out into the "real world" it's going to hit them hard and they are going to have a hard time adapting to that. But someone who is truly dedicated to home schooling their children because they want them to have a very well rounded education is going to work hard to make sure they have a very well rounded social education as well.

james bush 6 years, 5 months ago

When I was school-age (1940's/50's), my parents were not educated enough themselves to home school but neighborhood schools had acceptable standards. When my children were school-age (1960's/70's), the neighborhood school systems began failing to uphold standards socially and academically, and we moved to a locale where the school system still had good standards. Since then it seems to me that parents in big school districts must be wealthy enough to send their children to parochial schools where learning and social standards haven't been spoiled by liberal teachers produced by liberal university professors and where distributing condoms isn't an important school function.

bdawg 6 years, 5 months ago

pinballqueen, what an excellent story..thank you so much for sharing, two of my sisters home school their children and I intend to do the same. They love school, are very attentive and relate very well to adults and their peers. It truly was a blessing to me to read your thoughts!!.... And to livingstone, I'm sorry your parents did not know how to teach you to "tolerate" others. Schools do not teach this at all. I learned the value of how to treat others with respect, not just "tolerate" them, from my parents. My parents are wonderful people who truly care about other people.

kssux 6 years, 5 months ago

Does having you hair cut qualify you to cut hair? There are good reasons you have to be educated to be an educator..

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

denak, your comments on home schooling just to hide child abuse is taking you somewhere you don't want to go. That comment offends me personally, because my children were never abused. In fact, the reason why I chose to home school in the first place was because my child was given "busy work" at school when he finished things long before anyone else did. We had spoken to her several times about the possibility of moving him up a grade, or giving him more challenging work. She said she would, but never did. He began to hate school. This was in 1st grade!We had just moved to Lawrence, my husband was away on business and I get a call from the teacher explaining to me that she was going to call SRS because my son had a small bruise on his head that he couldn't explain. What!?!!I've had bruises all the time that I couldn't explain! My son was 7 at the time. What 7 year old boy doesn't have bruises!!! My husband was away on business for a week, so I was home by myself with the kids, and a phone call from the school saying they were calling SRS. I was panic stricken! I had no idea what in the world was going to happen. I had never had SRS called on me before and had no idea what to expect. That very evening, my son picked up his little plastic rocking horse to take it to his room. He moved to far to the left, and hit the door jam, which in turn, cause the plastic horse to hit him in the forehead! I'm thinking, "Holy crap, he's going to go to school with another bruise, and this teacher is going to think he's abused!" So for a long time, I "coddled" this kid. I carried things for him, held his hand so he wouldn't fall down and bruise himself, moved things out of the way, so he wouldn't hit things. It was crazy. Then shortly after that, there were two police cars parked across the street from my house. I absolutely thought I was going to die. I was so nervous I shook like a leaf, thinking they were coming to take my kids and there would be nothing I could do about it! It turned out they were checking out the house of the elderly woman across the street. I refused to be "bullied" by a teacher who refused to work with us to help my son enjoy school and actually learn something instead of becoming so bored he began to hate school.

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

witchfindergeneral (Anonymous) says…A typical home school exam question from the Bible Belt:1. Where did human beings come from?A) Jesus magic!B) Jesus/God/Holy Ghost magicked humanity into existence some 4000 years agoC) Monkeys/science-y stuffD) “Just tell me the answer, mom”––—The correct answer is B).********I personally don't believe that we came from monkeys, and do believe we were created as human as Genesis describes. You may call me whatever you want to. However, I did, and still do teach my children about evolution. Why? Because the world is made up of many, many different people, with equally as many different beliefs, and thoughts on things. In order for a child to be a well rounded individual, they need to learn all kinds of different things, even if they themselves don't believe it personally, or the person teaching it doesn't believe it personally.I myself study different religions all the time, for the same reasons. I'm curious to know what other people think and believe. You never know when what something someone else believes makes sense to you too!!

bdawg 6 years, 5 months ago

kssux, your username says too much about your disposition in life already. Of course you disagree with home schooling does it sux?

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

I remember hearing on the radio that someone conducted an experiment and had several 16 year olds take the state educators test, and they passed. I'm looking to see if I can find any reference to that online somewhere.The nice thing about home schooling, are there are organizations out there where you can take your child for classes in whatever subject you are not able to teach. For example, chemistry would be beyond me, but there are licensed teachers who home school and they have classes to teach chemistry to other home schooled students.

bdawg 6 years, 5 months ago

logicsound04, It seems as though people are catching on that public school teachers get paid to read and follow a curriculum. They don't have special reasoning skills.

bdawg 6 years, 5 months ago

parrotuya, please visit the nearest prison and see for yourself that about 100% of the inmates are a product of the public school system...

denak 6 years, 5 months ago

Parrysmom,Homeschooling, in and of itself, does not mean that a child is being abused.However, homeschooling is sometimes used by abusers as a way to shield themselves from detection.There have been stories about this in the New York Times, on CBS news and in 2003, the House Ways and Means Comittee formed a subcommitee on homeschooling and child abuse to investigate whether or not there needs to be more oversight from the state to insure that all children who are home schooled are actually being home schooled for the right reasons and not as a cover for abuse. Dena

bdawg 6 years, 5 months ago

logicsound04, please read my post to parrotuya...how is that for oversight?

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says…“However, I did, and still do teach my children about evolution. Why? Because the world is made up of many, many different people, with equally as many different beliefs, and thoughts on things.”––––—Forgive me for interrupting Parrysmom, but if you were teaching evolution from the perspective of it being an alternate, but still incorrect theory, then I have a hard time believing you taught an accurate account of evolution.**********How much more accurate can you get then a school textbook? And telling my children that they can make their own decisions on what they believe and don't believe. Do you teach your children things that you don't necessarily believe but you want them to know about? I do believe in evolution to a point. Remember how Mules could never reproduce because they were always sterile? Well they aren't anymore! Hear about the snakes that can reproduce without a male anywhere near it? I do think that is evolution, however I don't believe the whole basis of evolution.First and foremost, as time passes more and more things are discovered that either add to or are taken away from evolution. Not to mention that you hear so many different stories from people. How do you know that what you are taught and what you see and hear is the whole story and not just what "they" want you to hear and see?

bdawg 6 years, 5 months ago

dena, you just cited the most liberal media outlets their are. Homeschool is not the magic word for abuse. I'm sorry if you did not know what it's like to grow up in a home where a mother and father work together for the best of a child. You stereotype and discriminate against the mothers that want the best for their children. You can decide the best for your children, but you stand on a mountain top crying and ranting that we should have more "oversight." Who oversees the hours of neglect when your children comes home from school? Who oversees you parents who don't care if you child gets their homework done or not? Who oversees your child coming home to hours on end of tv, computers, facebook, wow games?? Unless the government intends to oversee every choice a parent makes, hang on that day is shortly approaching, they should not discriminate. THe above examples are far more abusive and damaging to the social development of a child than interacting with a parent teacher.

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

denak (Anonymous) says…Parrysmom,Homeschooling, in and of itself, does not mean that a child is being abused.However, homeschooling is sometimes used by abusers as a way to shield themselves from detection.There have been stories about this in the New York Times, on CBS news and in 2003, the House Ways and Means Comittee formed a subcommitee on homeschooling and child abuse to investigate whether or not there needs to be more oversight from the state to insure that all children who are home schooled are actually being home schooled for the right reasons and not as a cover for abuse.Dena*****I understand what you are meaning now. And I agree. I'm sure there are children who are being home schooled to hide abuse. I apologize for mistaking what you wrote as meaning all home schoolers use it to cover up abuse.

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

witchfindergeneral Thank you! I appreciate the fact that you and I have differences, and yet we can have a decent adult conversation. Cheers to you! You would be surprised, or maybe you wouldn't be, at how many people having differing view points turn conversations into hostile, heated arguments.I can understand your view on the angles in which evolution would be taught by someone like myself who doesn't believe all of evolution. It is hard to keep your personal beliefs out of things when you are teaching your child such things. I don't home school my children anymore, but of course, I teach them things every day. I LOVE watching the discovery channel, and TLC channel and we often record evolution segments and other topics, such as, dinosaurs, etc. I encourage them to watch things like that.I enjoy science very much, and you can often times find me making messes in the kitchen. "Mom what does it look like when you drop an egg on the floor?" I don't know lets find out! Splat! I guess the one thing that stops me from believing whole heartedly in evolution is: If we evolved from monkeys...why are there still monkeys?!?!?But that's for another forum. Anyway, I'm rambling. I do understand your perspective. Cheers!

ThatGirl2 6 years, 5 months ago

been_there (Anonymous) says… .... And if by “socially awkard” you mean they don't want to party and get drunk at every chance and actually put their best effort into their work, count my kid in.----------------------------------------------------------------------No, that's not what I meant. I meant socially awkward. As in--they did not seem to know how to interact in larger groups of people, or relate to their peers. One of the girls that I worked with at an on-campus job was literally on the phone with her mom for an hour or two every afternoon b/c that was the only person she interacted with on a daily basis growing up. Maybe that's nirvana in mom's eyes---but it was actually kind of sad. She seemed like a very lonely and sheltered girl, but she was unable to get beyond it. And yeah, that seemed to spring from little to no social interactions growing up. That's what I meant.

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

logicsound04 I'm genuinely curious—how do you believe in evolution “to a point”? What components do you find unbelievable and why?********I did state in a post to witchyfindergeneral one of the things that I have a hard time with. I encourage you to check that out. I need to go get the kids from school, so work on that and I'll finish when I get back. Cheers

stalmer7 6 years, 5 months ago

As to the comments about a homeschooled student being socially awkward-homeschooled children don't have the monopoly on that. I'm sure all of us can remember someone from our public school days that was very socially awkward. Is the public school invalid because there are socially awkward people there?Claiming that homeschool students are “ignorant” (as Rusty2 did) is in itself statement showing ignorance of the many studies that show homeschoolers consistently scoring higher than public school students on standardized tests. Keeping them ignorant of things like metal detectors and stabbings (both of which have occurred in the public Jr. High and High school that I attended) is not a bad idea. FFAF’s statement is laughable that homeschool students are “dorks” who will be stuck in their parents’ basements at age 40 playing video games. I would be a lot more concerned about the school age student in the basement playing “cool” video games now, and knowing and caring way more about that than school. The public school breeds conformity, and a passive attitude towards education. Count my kids out of that. Homeschool students tend to take a lot of responsibility for their own education, and know how to talk to people of all ages (adults included), which is an important social skill. Also, homeschool kids do have sports opportunities. There are some great homeschool teams around, and other homeschool students participate in the public school sports, if they are so inclined. My intent was not to insult public school students. I know that homeschooling is not for everyone, and that there are fine students from public schools. My point was that homeschooling is a valid option, with its benefits. People who emphasize personal freedom and open-mindedness can seem closed to the idea of homeschooling, which I find peculiar. It seems like there is only one definition of open-mindedness that is acceptable-conformity to whatever the public school says. Learning the history of education and public education shows that many of the changes implemented in the last half a century have hurt, rather than helped, the cause of public education. But, history is not emphasized a lot in public education, so I am not surprised that many people don’t know very much about it. Is every homeschool successful? No, a small percentage is not. Does that mean that homeschooling is not a valid option? Of course not. Is every public school successful? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Isaac McPheeters 6 years, 5 months ago

It's amazing to me, reading all of these comments. Let me just address a couple issues.Exposed to the real world: I was home schooled from 2nd grade onward. My father is quoted in the article. I have had the opportunity to partake in a drama club, plays, competitive basketball in junior high, competitive fencing and even a term studying at New College in Oxford England. Almost all of the students studying in my group in Oxford were home schooled, and we all did very well. Because I was home schooled, I wasn't constantly surrounded by peers my own age. I had to learn to meld with other people both older and younger than myself.As for the agenda of the parents, there is a concern that a few parents will want to home school their children towards a twisted ideological philosophy, but I tend to trust the parents of a child rather than some state bureaucracy which already has an ideology.Qualification of parents. Frankly, a parent knows how to teach a child best. Take my family's example. We had a curriculum which we bought from an education company. My father could answer most questions. When it came to English though, one year I joined a small class of home schoolers being taught by an English professor who decided to teach some home schoolers. How many public schooled kids get a college prof as a junior in high school? There are similar groups for biology which really requires some good lab work and equipment.Besides, I have had many instructors at KU (including a professor) who basically read out of the textbook. A parent can do that, but a teacher can't always know their students well enough to know how to teach. Being a good teacher is not just factual knowledge.

FFAF 6 years, 5 months ago

I love commenting on here because you can get the most hilarious stuff. There are so many funny comments from top to bottom on this thing. And I quote "dude some of you people anit to brite"

alm77 6 years, 5 months ago

parrysmom, kuddos to you for sticking with this bunch! And I also admire your willingness to expose your kids to things with the knowledge that they have to make their own decisions (our camp counsellor once said "God doesn't have any grandchildren only children."). We're considering home schooling or using the virtual school for our kids for Jr. High (maybe sooner and longer if our situation calls for it). I hope I can have the attitude you do and even more so, I hope I can have a network of friends that supports those ideas.

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

logicsound04The problem, Parrysmom, is that teaching evolution from a “read and decide for yourself” perspective is no more correct than teaching that the Sun will rise in the East form that perspective.I would much rather that my children "read and decide for themselves" than just have information poked down them, instead of teaching them to make their own decisions, and form their own beliefs. This can apply to any subject in school, not just evolution.Not sure that this is the appropriate thread to be discussing evolution, but here goes...You stated: "This is a fundmental misunderstanding. As time passes, we certainly find more fossils and other evidence that supports evolution, but there have been no discoveries that provide a serious doubt to evolution. This is what I mean when I wonder how you can teach evolution."I did some research, and let me tell you it's hard to find info that is not skewed by someone's beliefs. Hence my biggest concern: How do you know what you read and are taught is really scientific and not based on someone's perspective. I think this is something that you are concerned with as well.Moving on:Obviously evolution goes far beyond Darwin's book on "Theory of Origins" or "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life " published in 1859. According to his beliefs, everything is related, as all life evolved from a single origin. Obviously being written 150 years ago, the scientific community has had to "refine" his beliefs, or theories as they are now called.But there is one thing that scientists have not been able to answer and in fact, have stated that the odds of it happening are one in 10 to the 100,000,000,000th power.Sir Fred Hoyle, an agnostic, by the way, wrote a book published in 1981 called "Evolution from Space". In it he proposed that the odds of, this one particular thing that scientists have yet to prove, were one in 10 to the 40,000th power, or the same as the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard could assemble a 747.What is this one thing? Spontaneous generation. Where did the very beginning life forms that created ALL life forms originate.So we have "The Big Bang". Well, where did all the gases originate that formed the planets and stars during "The Big Bang"? Where did all the molecules, and atoms originate to form those gases?And further more, as any microbiologist or geneticist will tell you, the DNA molecule is an amazing thing. It is incredibly complicated and the information code that this molecule holds and uses to construct organisms is just incredible.Continued on next post....

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

So the question there is... where did the DNA molecule get this information? How did it learn to use it in the way it does? Science keeps making tremendous discoveries that just leave jaws dropping all over the place. It is hard for me to believe that something so incredibly and amazingly complex just "spontaneously" came to be. It just all of a sudden appeared, from nothing?And by the way, I am very much enjoying the conversation with you thus far, as I hope you are too.Cheers

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

alm77 (Anonymous) says…parrysmom, kuddos to you for sticking with this bunch! And I also admire your willingness to expose your kids to things with the knowledge that they have to make their own decisions (our camp counsellor once said “God doesn't have any grandchildren only children.”). We're considering home schooling or using the virtual school for our kids for Jr. High (maybe sooner and longer if our situation calls for it). I hope I can have the attitude you do and even more so, I hope I can have a network of friends that supports those ideas.Thank you for your kind words. A good support system is always a great thing to have! Good luck to you on your endeavors!

MaryKatesPillStash 6 years, 5 months ago

Parrysmom, I went to Paola from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The school system is excellent - I felt extremely prepared for college and outperformed most of my classmates at both Georgetown and KU. Also, it's beyond ridiculous to teach evolution--something that is, at the very least, regarded as scientific theory--as just another "belief."

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

been_there (Anonymous) says… "You can report parents that you think are not actually doing the homeschooling to SRS. They can investigate and order that the child go to school."Based on what, pray tell? Under Kansas law, a homeschool just has to have a qualified teacher. There is no definition under Kansas law as to what makes a person qualified (or unqualified), so SRS can not say this requirement is not being met. The only other requirement is that the kids spend the same amount of days and hours per day in educational activities as the kids in school - guess what, there's no definition of that, either. SRS would have a pretty hard time saying a homeschool doesn't meet standards when there ARE no defined standards.****logicsound04 (Anonymous) says… "The problem with this logic is that it assumes that a parent is more qualified to teach than a certified educator."To steal an answer from another member (maybe pilgrim?) on another thread, I can answer that with just three words:Kansas City, Missouri.***denak (Anonymous) says… "I think it is too often used as an excuse to hide child abuse..."Or perhaps to avoid it. How many stories have we heard just recently and just in the area around us of teachers abusing kids?*****We are registered with the state as a home school. The primary reason was that my daughter was coming home on a regular basis with evidence of being victimized at school. The teachers & administration alternately denied everything, tried to blame my daughter, or basically chalked it up to 'kids will be kids.' It was not until we informed them we had registered and threatened to pull her out of school that any action was taken (it's a small district, they don't like to lose the funding for even one child). The primary reason she's still there is because of socialization reasons. It certainly isn't academics. She has had a few illnesses this year resulting in missed school in lumps of a week or more at a time - and in no case did it take her more than an hour to make up the week's worth of work that was sent home. The teachers regularly inform us of how far ahead of the other kids she is, and mostly credit my wife's work with her as the difference (and believe me, my wife is about as far from a 'certified teacher' as you can get). But while we believe being around other kids is good for her, there are obviously limits. And when she comes home with bruises and worse at the hands of the other kids with the full knowledge of the school officials, the 'benefits' of being around other kids seem to diminish somewhat.

Juergan Mader 6 years, 5 months ago

Waka1, there is no excuse for ignorance, even if you are self taught.

BigEdsGirl 6 years, 5 months ago

If you're interested, this link will take you to an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle on June 11, 2007. The research shows that home education works. Some of the comments here indicate a lack of contact with homeschoolers or understanding of what homeschooling looks like. Homeschooling is not families shutting themselves off from the rest of the world. In any group you can find bad examples, but is it fair to characterize the whole group by the few bad examples?If the link doesn't work, just google "San Francisco Chronicle June 11, 2007 Richard Sousa"http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2007/06/11/EDGKOP3DE31.DTL

Angela Heili 6 years, 5 months ago

logicsound04 you are a sweetie. I agree with your post, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for you. That coming from the fact that you and I could have such a wonderful conversation about something that has proven hard for a lot of people to have a civil conversation about...evolution. It also comes from you defending me, if you will, when tumbilweed thought I said something that was actually your quote. I certainly hope that we find ourselves discussing topics like this again in the future! You, my friend, have a wonderful week!!

spankyandcranky 6 years, 5 months ago

It's clear to see that this subject is very personal to a lot of people ... and that waka is probably just more bored than ignorant. I think the point of the article was to show that the rate of those choosing homeschooling has been on the rise (at least until 2007, where the data apparently ends), and to give perspectives from a few families who have chosen homeschooling. In no way was the article saying that one method of schooling was better than the other.In my opinion, both systems have benefits and downsides, as many people have pointed out. Neither system is going to be the perfect solution for every student or parent ... thus the multitude of opinions.I, myself, went to public school. Had my parents been able to afford it, they probably would have chosen homeschooling. Both of my parents went to college to become teachers, so it's something they enjoy doing. However, even though I was in public school, I've met homeschooled friends through other activities such as church and community choir. Those friends have gone on to college with similiar to better test results than most people I knew from public schools. But as discussed by others here, results in either situation can vary depending on who is doing the teaching and learning as well as variences in funding.

Isaac McPheeters 6 years, 5 months ago

I think Spanky has made a good point. Home schooling is not right for everyone. For my family, the pros and cons showed us that it was a better outlook than the pros and cons of public schooling. For others, it will depend on the family situation and even the state of the local public schools. Everyone who knows anything about American public education knows that in the public sector, there are good and bad schools as well.

storm 6 years, 5 months ago

LOL, waka1 myself and others always look forward to your posts dude

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 5 months ago

"Parrysmom (Anonymous) says…Having home schooled our children, I can tell you that there are parents out there, myself included, that exposed our children to all kinds of different things. We went to church, we went to home school organizational events, such as weekly get togethers with other home schoolers. My children learned how to make a quilt, they designed their own plates and cups, had book clubs, cooking sessions, took small field trips to various places, and many other things.I have seen children who lived such a sheltered life that you could really tell they were lacking in the social skills. That to me is a disservice to the child. When they get out into the “real world” it's going to hit them hard and they are going to have a hard time adapting to that.But someone who is truly dedicated to home schooling their children because they want them to have a very well rounded education is going to work hard to make sure they have a very well rounded social education as well."Again, I applaud you for doing such a great job. However, not everyone can be like yourself. On the other hand, if our children begin working, they'll face all kinds of distractions and people from all walks of life, and that include people wasting time and people giving nasty comments. Bosses can be really nasty, and things may not be as good as they seem. I personally think that even kids that go through the craps in school, that's necessary because in life... there're plenty of craps... don't you agree? If our children are not put through those craps, like the previous generation that goes through WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War.... how can our children know that there are craps in life and they do have to deal with them? Well, of course, there are some teachers that do not do anything at all.... it's us, parents to tell our kids, and then dedicate some time at home to teach them after school. My own children learn plenty of craps in school..... and my wife teaches them the "right" things after schools and let them know that they have to make the "right" decisions after looking at the wrong. That's just my personal point of view... again, not every parents do what I'm doing right now..... maybe homeschooling works better for some families, like yourself, and public schooling plus some "homeschooling" works for the others....Again, I don't think I want to blame the teachers.... well, even those who work in non-teaching positions do crappy works too..... even at KU..... I can see many irresponsible behaviors.... faculties, staffs, and students. I see faculties compromising education quality to get higher students' evaluations.... staffs compromising work quality to satisfy their "bosses", and students "forcing" faculties to teach less stuffs. If this goes on... I'll be very worried about our future generations....

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