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Do you think home schooling is a good option?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 14, 2007

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Photo of Jeff Scott

“I think it is as long as they’re serious about it and maintain regular course work.”

Photo of Erin Ross

“No. I understand why people think it’s a good idea, but I don’t think it provides adequate socialization.”

Photo of A.J. Jones

“Yes, because it gives that family the opportunity to teach their children the things that they want them to know. A lot of times, the schools aren’t the best at teaching them everything they’ll need to know.”

Photo of Vaishali Gala

“Yeah. I think it’s a good option as long as the children have plenty of interaction with other kids their own age through sports and activities.”

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Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Homeshooled children do not live in caves. How can children not be socialized?

Homeschoolers do not need a lot of conventional testing because the parent(s) know what their students are doing everyday. So in a way they are tested everyday. Many homeschools do not break for the summer by the childrens' choice. Most children are very bright and want to learn which is the bottom line. My wife was a paid homeschool teacher with Oak Meadow and had many students from around the USA and of USA families living abroad.

Homeschooling with depth:

Waldorf Home School:

Calvert Home School:

John Holt

Homeschooling Magazine


Einstein was a homeschooler and so was Frank Lloyd Wright

Field trips involved the crayola factory,Franklin Institute,Louisville Slugger factory,bathing in the hot springs outside of Seattle,cheese factory in Putney,Vermont, discovering black flies in Vermont, Olympic Mtn. Biking in Mt.Snow Vermont, the Denver Mint,Waxmans Candles, KU Natural History Museum & Zoos around the country. In the St Louis area dog shows(their dogs), baseball museum,Cahokia Mounds and hands on science museum. Locally Flint Hills,Prairie Park Nature Center& local wetlands. Hiking the New Mexico mountains was always a favorite. Cave of the Winds, Art Museums, Toy Museums,Doll Museums etc etc. Vacations become a definite education adventure for homeschool families.

USD 497 has always friendly toward homeschoolers with an open door policy if a family needed a science course, music instruction etc etc.

jonas 11 years ago

It would take an immense amount of time and energy on the part of the parents, with relatively low chance for comparative success. That's my opinion. If you think you can do it better than the school system, then maybe you can. (maybe not) If you're trying to hide your kid from an evil world, you'll all end up having significant problems.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Are ivy league colleges the best for everyone?

Was President G W Bush properly socialized?

Our homeschool group LAUGH was able to establish classes for our children at the KU Natural History Museum once a month and had access to free tickets for events at the Lied Center. The resources are endless. All age groups played together which we considered valuable.

Is homeschooling for everyone? no

Is the public education system a complete disaster? No absolutely not.

sourpuss 11 years ago

I am completely against home schooling, but if we as a society are going to allow it, then there should be a great deal of government oversight. Homes should be inspected, parents should be required to pass proficiency exams in all subjects themselves (including the sciences for you Fundamentalists out there), and children should have to take the same tests as district kids.

I still firmly believe home schooling is a poor option in most cases.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 11 years ago

The homeschooled kids that I've met are some of the smartest kids I've ever seen. From my understanding, there are educational standards that are adhered to in homeschooling, as well as online exams, etc. Considering the sad state of public education these days, home schooling seems like a good option.

paladin 11 years ago

No. Dysfunctional social institutions are indicative of a failing society. They don't meet the needs of the members of the society. Hiding the kids away from sex, drugs, and rock and roll won't work to alter the decline of the institution of American education or of American society as a whole. Schools work with what they're brought. Fundamental social change must begin elsewhere. Alienation of kids from the social environment in which they live will, necessarily, further fragment society. Government is representative of the people it serves? This family oriented trend for providing kids with a quality education is a noble effort, but is doomed to failure as a catalyst for social change. All in all, its just another brick in the wall. All in all you are all just other bricks in the wall.

enochville 11 years ago

Like so many things, sometimes homeschooling is done very well and sometimes it is done quite poorly. The same goes for public or private education.

monkeywrench1969 11 years ago

I have come to know several home schooled kids. In most of those cases they were homeschooled because they were not getting along with the other kids or were having problems socializing anyway. The other problem is they sometimes get less experinece dealing with diversity issues and a broader spectrum of subjects. THey may do some very great things but then sometimes they don't

And then sometimes they don't

Rudy's Pizzeria cook Phil Mitchell, far left, leaves leftover
pizzas for Kalinda Dalton, left, Vanessa Hays and J. Phoenix last
week. Rudy's, 704 Mass., and other Lawrence businesses hand out
their leftover food at the end of the day, though the practice is
taboo for others.

Rudy's Pizzeria cook Phil Mitchell, far left, leaves leftover pizzas for Kalinda Dalton, left, Vanessa Hays and J. Phoenix last week. Rudy's, 704 Mass., and other Lawrence businesses hand out their leftover food at the end of the day, though the practice is taboo for others. by Scott McClurg/Journal-World Photo

Flap Doodle 11 years ago

My home knows as much as it needs to know. If it were to become self-aware & start talking to the computer, who knows what they'd get up to.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Our daughter is graduating the Kansas City Art Institute(not a piece of cake) with a 4.0 and has a job waiting. Also is receiving $60.00 per hour for freelance commercial projects from the same company who will be employing her. Our daughter mentored under Pat Nemchock two years and went on to KCAI. They still keep in touch. Not only that our daughter married a photographer and they bought a home.

This is but one success story of which there are plenty other documented cases. Homeschooled children do fine in the real world just as public schooled children. Several children from our homeschool group are attending or graduated college.

beatrice 11 years ago

Yes, if you want your child to be the winner of spelling bees. Beyond that, no.

Charla Welch 11 years ago

I knew some homeschoolers when I was in junior high and high school. They were in my ballet classes and on the swim team with me. They were involved in tons of local clubs and activities including 4H. They were smarter than many of the kids I went to school with. Their social skills were much better than most of the kids our age.

I also work with a woman who homeschooled her girls for most of their education. The youngest decided to attend a public high school, and her mom said "sure!" These girls are not naive, not stupid, not socially inept. They are smart, talented, and well-developed.

Homeschooling is not for everyone. I will never do it, but I do believe there are people out there who can homeschool and homeschool well. You just never realize they were homeschooled unless they tell you, because they are just like you.

craigers 11 years ago

All the home-schooled kids I know are brilliant. One is 16 going on 17 and is getting straight A's in all his collegiate work. He pretty much puts to shame others from the public school system when it comes to intelligence. His sister is about to take a couple college courses too and she is about 15. I know it doesn't work for all but they are sure excelling. And you can do just what another poster was talking about and join the band among other clubs for the socialization aspect.

mick 11 years ago

Secondary and higher education is not just about socialization but also indoctrination. Children are taught political correctness, a rewritten modern history and the latest psedoscientifiic fads of psychology, nutrition, medicine, etc. Success in school depends on the non-critical acceptance of these ideas.

prioress 11 years ago

Mick: "Secondary and higher education is not just about socialization but also indoctrination. Children are taught political correctness, a rewritten modern history and the latest psedoscientifiic fads of psychology, nutrition, medicine, etc. Success in school depends on the non-critical acceptance of these ideas."

Your comment has little to do with homeschooling. Your fantasy about public education is, however, quite startling.

Centrist 11 years ago

The ignorance here today is astounding.

Oh yes, the fascinating assumptions about "society".

Homeschooling is simply another way to educate one's child, without the distractions of 'society' like drugs, violence, (c)rap culture, American Idol wannabes, peer pressure, GUNS, idiotic teachers, a faulty (or sometimes non-existent) 'system', bad facilities, ignorance, intolerance and all of the many other things that get in the way of a quality education.

As a homeschooling parent, you make sure that you educate your kid about 'socialization' skills, you make sure they have contact with other kids, you take part in your child's upbringing. Sure, parents needs to be monitored - to a point.

Homeschooled children are BETTER equipped to deal with the 'real world' because they are usually 150% confident when they enter the workforce. They BELIEVE in themselves, so when life tries to knock them down, they get up again instead of blaming their rotten public school childhoods and falling into the abyss that so many of us have in our lives.

The way to change 'society' is to produce a better one, not make excuses for the garbage culture we seem to have created through 'the system'.

The more homeschoolers, the more pressure on public schools to perform.

What the heck is wrong with that?

David Klamet 11 years ago

I would think that home-schooled kids have the advantage that their parents are willing to expend a great deal of time and effort for them. That can't be bad.

The flip side is that with parents taking such control over their children's education, there must sometimes be a tendency to emphasize some things and filter out others. Although I can imagine that being very good, I can also see a scary side.

Confusing that matter still further, for me at least, is the performance of our public education system. There are a number of issues, but for me, since I have three sons, it is the widening gender gap. All three loved to read, loved science, enjoyed the arts, but were totally disinterested in school. Do a Google search on "college gender gap". I don't say this as an attack on our schools, but to point out a problem that I don't hear much about.

And finally, of course, not everyone who might like to do more to improve their child's education, has the background, ability, or resources to home school them.

Linda Aikins 11 years ago

Would family reunions also be considered class reunions? I'm just wondering.

karensisson 11 years ago

It depends entirely on the parents who are home schooling!

It can be a wonderful thing or a terrible thing, depending on the parents and children, so there is no way to make a blanket judgment on home schooling.

Schools are hampered by the horrible No Child Left Behind law and it's getting harder and harder to teach anything but That Test. For that reason home schooling is looking a lot better than ever to some people.

The only group that benefits from No Child Left Behind in Kansas is the Center for Educational Testing at KU that has the juicy contract with the state to provide the testing. Everyone else is hurt by NCLB: teachers, students, parents, taxpayers. NCLB is a tool for the right to undermine and burden public education and shame the schools, to make way to charter schools and vouchers and other items on their plate.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years ago

Now that is 3, count them, T-H-R-E-E things in the paper about home schooling. Now I'm convinced that LJW has an agenda here.

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

Sure, home schooling is a great option...but the parent and child both have to be willing. The home schooled kids that I know are all very bright kids, but they had a very dedicated parent teaching them. All of them are now in public school...usually started public school in the 7th grade or so. One boy even skipped a grade. It seems that there are a lot of home school "groups" that get together on a regular basis to socialize and to trade off on subjects that one parent likes to teach and the other doesn't, etc...

I usually "home school" all summer with reading, art, cooking, science, etc... I don't think I'd want to do it full time, year round, though!

Centrist 11 years ago

roger ... the ljworld must not have enough news. Either that or you're right - they're pushing this issue. They do have a habit of 're-doing' articles, so ..

samsnewplace 11 years ago

sourpuss 7:45am.......I totally agree with everything you've already said.

Flap Doodle 11 years ago

greyheim, then I have done something valuable today & I can coast the rest of the time....

mom_of_three 11 years ago

I have read some of the articles, and I don't think, no, I know, my kids have never been called dumb by a teacher. Bullying - only twice in a total of 20 school years between 3 kids.... That's a real world problem, and we dealt with it accordingly.
I read some great reasons for home schooling, and some not so great reasons.... But I know it's not for us - I have one with Dyslexia and related learning disabilities, and although I help with her homework, and advocate for her at school, I am not equipped to teach her.

beatrice 11 years ago

I have to laugh at all those claiming home schooling to be the greatest thing for children, and a way to avoid "idiotic teachers" and the problems of society today, such as guns and American Idol. Problem with this line of thinking is -- what if the parent is an idiot, careless gun owner who likes Kelly Clarkson? The instruction will never rise above the intelligence of the parent, and that is a scary thing.

But at least you can make sure your kids grow up to believe that dinosaurs and man lived side by side and the planet was made just 6,000 years ago.

galfromku 11 years ago

I have a son that is 22. He went to public school for Kindergarten. He could not cut as straight, run as fast, or color in the lines as well as his peers, even as early as Kindergarten. The teacher loved to have volunteers come in and assist on a regular basis, so I helped weekly in the classroom on a weekly basis. To this day, many of the kids still tell me that they remember me fondly.

galfromku 11 years ago

We found out during the year that he had some physical & learning disabilities (dyslexia & tourette syndrom) and that made learning for him difficult. Instead of moving on with his peers to first grade, he went to developmental first grade to "give himself more time to catch up".

During that year, instead of receiving special assistance to help him get caught up, it was just the opposite. Again, the new teacher welcomed help with reading, art etc. in the classroom because of course extra hands and eyes are always welcomed. I found myself frustrated with expecting special assistance for my child in areas he needed help with, but found Developmental first grade was at best a glorified daycare. The teacher would ask for volunteers to come and help on a specific day. When we got there, instead of using our help to provide more individual attention for the students, frequently we sat in the back of the room "volunteering" our time while the kids were left simply to watch Disney videos while the teacher went off to the teachers lounge.

My husband and I realized that we could do better than that. At the semester change during the winter, I quit my job and stayed home to help our son learn to read and write, along with the disipline that goes hand in hand to help a person be successful and confident.

galfromku 11 years ago

We started over with Kindergarten because he had regressed so far back. We only got to home school for two years because his father & I got divorced and I was forced to get a full time job. During that two years we schooled at home, we covered Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade and began some fundamentals in Third grade. We also participated in the wo different home school co-ops. The primary one was a group that Cathy Barfield was in at the time. There were parents in that group that WERE college educated teachers and could teach things like music (that I know nothing about); fine arts (I actually learned about impressionists like Monet and Gogan, etc. there while I sat in on them teaching the kids.) I never learned things like this in public school. Cathy Barfield is a science teacher and the kids could not wait until they could hit a specific grade and do discetion with her. The kids experience learning sign language, played the recorders and learned music fundamentals. Although I did have a religion lesson in my curriculum, there was no more emphasis on that subject than any other.

When he went back to public school at the fall to a third grade classroom, he was back on track with his classmates. Although he still had his learning disabilities, he knew he'd have to work harder than others to do the same work. We continued to work on his coping and study skills throughout his entire academic career.

During his junior high school years he worked hard to stay at level with the others. Even though my son is an only child, he was in baseball, basektball, gymnastics, scouting and active in church events.

galfromku 11 years ago

We did not choose to homeschool for "religious" reasons, or to protect him from the evils of the rest of the world. We simply chose to because I was a parent who was able to take the time to spend with our child and give quality education in a way that no one else could begin to commit to.

My son and I met some of the nicest people in the world during that time. Every week a different family would invite kids over for lunch and socialization, just so the kids could have interaction. It was a great way for the parents to get ideas and share curriculum as well.

Although I spent hours and hours each day by my son's side, teaching him as well as lesson planning while he did his work, I'd never trade those days for anything.

Although many of his "normal" friends attended public school their entire lives, and if you tested them would probably have a higher I.Q. than him, he made the honor roll while some of them got F's and even quit school without their high school diplomas. I believe it was because of the foundation he was able to recieve, and the knowledge of how important an education is from a homeschooled perspective. He certainly does not take education for granted.

My son is a well mannered, polite, kind, respectful young adult. He was able to have a lot of socialzation, but at the same time got the individual time and help he needed for his health and learning styles.

My son received a couple of scholarships in high school and afterwards. Due to his learning disabitlities, it took him three years to complete an Associates Degree because he knew better than to take on more of a load than he could handle. Next week he will graduate from Johnson County Community College. He will be the first in our family to EVER graduate from college of any sort.

All this from the kid with learning disablities that was homeschooled.

galfromku 11 years ago

People have different reasons why they homeschool. Not all do it for religios reasons, or because they are afraid of exposing their kids to sex or violence. I tell you what though... when all the "other things" not condusive to learning are eliminated, it is much easier to focus on the academics of what school is really supposed to be.

No, homeschooling is not for everyone. Public school is not for everyone. I know that my son and I are extremely close and both of us cherish those few years we were able to bond and be together.

People that have never homeschooled should not say the horrible things they do and make assumptions that they have a clue what home schooling is about. I never in a million years dreamed I would do it, but I just thank God that I was allowed and able to invest the time and love with my son to be fortunate to homeschool him.

By the way... If any of you know Eric Saler, be sure to tell him congratulations on his achievements. At his graduation Friday night, I will be one of the proudest parents at the ceremony.

I love you, bud, and I am SOOO proud of the fine young man you have become. I know you will continue to do well as you pursue your Bachelors in Accounting and Business.

jonas 11 years ago

galfromku: It seems like you put a lot of time and energy into it, in intelligent and well-thought out ways. That's respectable.

gogoplata 11 years ago

If they want to homeschool their children, its their choice. If you don't like it, send yours to public or private school. The decision belongs to the parents. I'm pro-choice all the way on this one. I wonder how many who are pro-choice on abortion are against parents being able to choose to home school their own children.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Above all else the greater majority of children are very bright and eager to learn.

Public schools become victims of unfunded politician mandates which is quite undemocratic. NCLB has little to do with teaching or learning. USD 497 and JOCO districts generally speaking happen to be quite good and public school is necessary. Public education like homeschooling require substantial parent involvement for the desired result. Neither is a piece of cake.

IMO there is way too much emphasis on socialization which is not a problem and not enough on the substance of the matter.

Let's get a look at a small bit of the substance which are the tools of the matter. Some homeschoolers use some of many sources including and beyond these particular sources. For a small town Lawrence has mountains of resources some of which are in the kitchens of all homes.

Homeschooling with depth:

Waldorf Home School: ( Some public and private schools have adopted this approach)

Calvert Home School:

John Holt

Homeschooling Magazine

motomom 11 years ago

galfromku.......congrats to all of you. eric is one lucky guy to have such a"well-in tuned" mom like you! please tell eric best wishes on his new adventures!

samsnewplace 11 years ago

galfromku, girlfriend, you are one of the exceptions to the whole topic. I know the time and efforts you put into it with Eric, but I also know alot of others who have done very little and they seem to be more the norm.

Flap Doodle 11 years ago

merrill, could you copy/past those same links a few more times? I don't think I caught them yet.

beatrice 11 years ago

RI: so are you suggesting that those fundy, or spelling bee homeschoolers don't exist? I believe you need to quit looking at the world through rose colored glasses to realize that some bad things do happen in the privacy of people's homes. If you want to ignore science and force-feed your child religious beliefs, doesn't home schooling provide a perfect situation in which to do so?

While gal's story is quite touching and I do believe she did the best by her son (and I really don't intend this to sound as mean as it is going to) but, she begins with "I have a son that is 22." It should be "... who is 22." My only point is that with multiple instructors one is likely to have all of the bases covered. We can't expect parents to be expert in every subject. However, gal is correct in saying it is her choice. I wouldn't want to deny that.

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

RI, Does your CPSC trip count as one more for the "less than 4 states away" payback?

greengoblin 11 years ago

Attending public school is not an option for some children. My niece was born with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She attended kindergarten in public school, but was usually running late due to her stiffness. On some days it took her four hours just to be able to move in the morning. But, she is not a complainer and she managed to complete the year in school. The problem was, she was on enbrel and methotrexate (a drug most commonly used for cancer). These drugs weaken her immune system, causing her to catch every illness floating around in a room. She got scarlet fever and had to be hospitalized. This year my sister has opted to teach her at home, and my niece is already at a third grade level (she's six). My sister is able to show her things in a more tangible way (going on outings to see the subject as she learns about it). My niece is the most social child I've met. I do not agree with fundies keeping their children home to brainwash them, but for some children homeschooling is a blessing.

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

RI, did you not see the signed books?

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

There are some folks who do it right, but there has to be oversight. I've know too many parents that have "homeschooled" their children just so elder kids are there babysit the others while the parents work just to avoid the expense of daycare. In one case the older boy would roam the nieghborhood and was found to have inapropriate contact with a couple of pre-K kids on the block. Then there's the gal who "homeschools" her daughter so they can shop and go to movies and never crack a book. In the cases I mention here, these kids were all kept out of public school so as not to be infected by secular instruction. I know there are Christian folk doing a good job at it., and non-Christians, too. My cousin and his wife are Wiccan like me andhome schooling their daughter (Well, she is doing homeshcooling and he's working) and it's going very well. But there must be oversight to ensure the children are really being educated.

imastinker 11 years ago

Nobody has yet mentioned the fact that as a whole our public and even private school system is very bad compared to the rest of the world. Our kids will be very poorly prepared to compete in a global economy and people seem to think that is OK. School in this country is still a part time affair. Kids go 9 months out of the year and 4 days a week, on average. Kids in India go three times that much and work ten times as hard as our kids to have a chance in life.

I wonder who is going to be flipping burgers in 20 years!

At least homeschooling is an attempt to do better than this.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years ago

All this time and I never realized RI's posts were "tongue-in-cheek". Way to stay in character.

marxisnotdead 11 years ago

Merrill, I once knew a chinese guy who spoke fluent spanish...does that mean I extrapolate and use that to hold the belief that all chinese guys speak spanish....or that I once knew a college graduate that worked as a laborer...does that mean all college graduates will work as laborers....I once knew a few home-schoolers that were successful...does that mean all or a majority of home-schoolers are successful? We cannot make statements based on personal experiences about general populations or sub populations. Statistically, home-schoolers are granted admission into fewer top tier colleges and unilversities than traditional school graduates. Does that mean home-schooling is not as effective as the traditional route? No, it simply means that the social perception, testing, and application materials may be tailored toward traditional school activities. For me, and I have home-schooled, private schooled, and public schooled, my son and I will opt for what will benefit him the most in society and not tailor to my sometimes wish of being an ideologue.

beatrice 11 years ago

RI, when it gets closer just let me know.

sgtwolverine 11 years ago

I think it can be a good option. There isn't a simple yes or no here.

Sigmund 11 years ago

For once, and probably the only time ever, I agree with merrill. Those that believe only public or religious schools can educate children are sadly mistaken. Many of the brightest and most successful people I have met were educated outside of the traditional schools. There are a ton of reasons why the public school system is failing kids, too many for this discussion. But that they are failing, especially in the inner cities is undeniable and there is little relationship to money. KCMO schools were de-certified and despite the court system involvement, MO legislature intervention, and record amounts of money they are doing little better.

trollkiller 11 years ago

Homeschooling is bad for the kids and society. Most serial killers have been home schooled as was Adolph Hitler. As Freud pointed out, homeschooling produces weak, dependent, mama's boys...and the girls usually turn up on girls gone wild videos; most of them are pregnant as soon as the homeschooling ends This has all been documented on the Internet, I forgot the location. Was it River City something? This is all true; you're reading it on the internet.

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

All too often the little relationship to money is that there is very little money. MO may have a ton of money but that is the exception and not the rule. I attended several inner city schools in Chicago that were broke, broke, broke and they aren't any better now. My sister is fortunate she's able to send my niece to a Christian school in LA (yes, Virgina there are religious schools in Los Angeles) because the public school she'd have to go to is crap. Let's ask Detroit how they're doin'?

greengoblin 11 years ago

4th grade education: That was awesome! And, apparently you caught it before the LJW. Were you home schooled?

sgtwolverine 11 years ago

I can't believe I missed this the first time around, but hooray for the CMU student. Nice to see Michigan represented again.

janeyb 11 years ago

I just finished reading the LJW articles. The timing is interesting considering all the intelligent and successful public school students who will be celebrating their graduations and will also be going on to be successful college graduates. These graduates have the additional accomplishment of having left their homes each school day to apparently be bullied, subjected to stupid secular teachers, the Theory of Evolution, violence, etc., and yet here they are -- some of the best and the brightest! What an accomplishment!! The homeschool parents seem to need constant reinforcement that they made the right choice, and feel a need to constantly defend their decision. Maybe there is a sense of melancholy for homeschool parents at this time of year as students are walking across the stage in cap and gown and receiving their diplomas. Proud families are cheering in the stands, Pomp and Circumstance is playing, and everyone still remains standing for the benediction. High School Commencements are a wonderful tradition and an important right of passage in this country that has been denied the homeschool student. Homeschool families can get together and arrange their own ceremonies, but it will never be the same. One last thought; which of these graduates will have better ideas about how to improve the public school system? Those who made public schools a successful experience, or those who were kept at home? Congratulations to all graduates of all schools : pubilc, private and home---just a little heartier contrats to the graduates and the parents who support public schools and contribute to making them successful.

woxy 11 years ago

Beatrice says, before she attacks another's minor grammar error:

RI: so are you suggesting that those fundy, or spelling bee homeschoolers don't exist?

I'm not suggesting that those homeschoolers don't exist. I am, however, suggesting that the comma following fundy is incorrect. Perhaps one of your mulitple instructors missed the comma base with you.

I would not have felt the need to mention it had Beatrice not attacked one minor grammar point from a long, well-written story of one homeschooling family. Most people can't dash off 500 or more words (I'm guessing at the length of the story) without requiring some editing. Don't professional writers have editors? Forum postings are rough drafts. Unless they are riddled with terrible grammar and horrible spelling, I always assume that the writers are well-educated people who don't have time to edit their posts as if they were going to be graded by their college professor.

Public schools have oversight not for the good of the children, but because they are spending government money. Private schools have no such oversight unless it is demanded by the parents. Private schools answer to PARENTS, not government regulation. Homeschoolers are private schoolers who are eliminating the middle man.

woxy 11 years ago

Well, Beatrice, part of my point was that I presume (correct me if I am wrong) that you were educated either in public or private schools, by multiple instructors, and in the same post in which you point out the needle-in-a-haystack grammar error of another poster, you made a glaring one of your own. Normally your posts are well-written and easy to read and understand. This one was really no different. But the irony of that comma in a post suggesting that multiple instructors could help prevent such grammar errors could not slide past me. I, too, worry about children who are educated by the uneducated. I think some of these parents (but certainly not all) probably step up and learn right along with their children. I just think that your use of a minor error by this poster was uncalled for, given the rough draft nature of comment posting. I have certainly come across worse errors in printed communications from the school district.

I think it's safe to say that most of the misspellings, terrible grammar, and horrible punctuation on these boards (and all over the internet) are posted by people who have been educated in public or private schools, since the majority of Americans have been. Who's to say that parents do any worse with their own children?

galfromku 11 years ago

Thanks, Woxy. You are correct. I had a lot to say in a short amount of time. I did not go back and edit my post. You'll also have to excuse me because I was NOT homeschooled and must not have learned in public school the proper way to write. Either that, or I have been out of school so long that my memory is not as good as it used to be. After all, I have been our of school for almost 30 years. Thank God I knew how to spell third grade words twenty years ago though. I STILL did the best thing for my child and did a better job than any help my son was getting through the public school system. LIke I said before, if you have never done it, or don't know the personal reasons people choose that forum... you really don't have any room to speak about what other people do with their kids.

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

I also learned in public school (from people I knew in school) that it is possible to graduate from high school and still not know how to spell the word "street."

Teachers don't always use grammar or punctuation correctly all the time either, beatrice. I didn't know it was a requirement for life.

I once had an English professor in college who assigned a paper on a particular book. When I wrote mine, at one point I inserted a quote from said book. When he graded my paper, right after this quote (which had the correct citation), he had written, "best words to use?" in red ink.

I told him that perhaps they weren't, but he'd have to take that up with the author.

Even well-educated teachers sometimes make mistakes, huh? Even teachers don't always know everything.

galfromku 11 years ago

well, 4th grade.... The president does things that affect others. Our choices were what was best for OUR family. Good thing I stopped teaching him in third grade. I have been out of school long enough that at least I can admit: "I AM NOT SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER" . How about you?

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

What did I learn in public school?

I learned that people can be cruel and heartless to each other. I learned that the authority figures in your life will not always protect you from such cruelty. They either don't have the time, the resources, or sometimes the inclination to do so.

I learned that the bully who has taunted you and made you miserable a thousand times will never be caught. But that just as soon as you retaliate, you will be.

I learned that people form cliques, and if you are excluded from all of them, and categorized in a certain way, that this label will stick to you like glue all through school, and you will always be shunned, be excluded, be rejected.

I learned that what I thought about myself was apparently much less important in life than what others thought of me.

I learned that guidance counselors are not usually worth the money they are paid. Most of them are totally clueless about what opportunities some of us have or don't have in this world, and that it isn't always going to be possible to get what you want out of life, no matter how badly you want it. And they will never believe you when you tell them that the reason you cut class was because of the little horror that sits behind you and terrorizes you every day.

I learned that there are a handful of teachers who will stand up for you, give you any extra help you might need, and go to bat for you if necessary. The others either didn't care or didn't know how to help. Same outcome.

Would you rather that students learn these things in public school, starting at the age of 6, when they have no idea of how to deal with it, or be homeschooled and come in contact with it first at the age of 18, when they are older and better prepared for it?

I learned that school in no way prepared me for college, even years after I completed public school. (and it's even worse now) High school students who go to college now don't know how to deal with professors who suddenly expect them to already be adults.

Oh, yeah...and somewhere along the way, I learned about English, math, social studies, music, health, and government.

beatrice 11 years ago

woxy, you actually prove my point. So I demonstrate, improper use of, commas and you called me on it. What if, I did this, all the time and, then tried to teach english to my, child? No other teacher, like yourself, would be there to catch it. Exposure to multiple teachers is a good thing. That is my only point. I am allowed, to use commas, and grammar, incorrectly -- I am not a teacher.

justsaynope 10 years, 12 months ago

Some famous Americans who were homeschooled: George Washington. Benjamen Franklin. Thomas Edison. (he was expelled because his teacher thought he was "addle brained"!) Most of our founding fathers. The author of Eragon.

Compulsory government controlled education has not always existed in this country. How did kids get educated before its advent? Also, most kids were finished with school and beginning their careers or college by their early- to mid-teens. And that was BEFORE the government got involved. This country had a MUCH higher literacy rate BEFORE the government got involved in education. How did that happen without government oversight and "certified" teachers? Literacy rates among blacks has fallen dramatically since the mid 1900s. That in spite of ever increasing government involvement. Can anyone explain that to me?

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