4/21/2005

Homeschooling Is Not A Good Idea

[My NEW SITE is Coming Soon and the ONLINE HOMESCHOOL CONVENTION IS UP and you have to check out this blog]

I'm going to get tons of hits from google on this one. Of course, it will be better than hits from the guy who searched for "Amish Speaking in Tongues."

Scott Thomas believes Homeschooling is a bad idea. So do I agree with him? Nope.

So why do I not agree with him and his article?

Well, first of all, Mr. Thomas makes a few decent points, saying that public schooled teachers are trained to be the best in what they do. They go to college and get degrees, Ph.D's and whatever else. Most homeschooling parents would go under the "untrained" category.

Point made and filed.

So he goes on to say:

"From my observation[s]...parents choose to home school as a form of protection for their children."


And then goes on to list some of the bad things that homeschoolers may want to protect from.

"I don't like all of that junk, either. But, at what price, protection?"


So his next point to make is that homeschooling parents are not qualified for the job.

"As one public school teacher told me, "As a teaching professional, I am deeply hurt by the Christian community's pull-out from the public school system. The (public school) teachers I know are excellent! And many of them are Christians! They have a wealth of experience and resources that can't be matched by home schooling parents. Not only are teachers highly-educated (all having Bachelor's degrees, and many having Master's or Ph.D's), but they are specialists in their fields. We go to conferences, read up on the latest research and have teams of Master Teachers who mentor educators new to the profession.


"Most parents do not have the level of expertise that we do. The parents that I have seen home school their children often struggle along needlessly, comparing various curriculums, uncertain of what their children should know. Add to that children who are struggling with disabilities or learning to read, and the gap between what parents know about teaching and what the trained professionals know, widens. Most adults wouldn't rewire the electrical system of their home on their own, they lack the expertise to do it right. Many would hire a professional. That, in one sense is what teachers are hired to do."


He's stuck on the knowledge only.


"Let's give parents, most of whom are NOT great teachers, the option to send their kids to real, professional, great teachers."


Let's just take a look at some official stats Mr. Thomas:

"Dr. Brian Ray, in the most in-depth nationwide study on home education across the United States, collected data on 5,402 students from 1,657 families. Homeschool students' academic achievement, on average, was significantly above that of public-school students. In addition, the home educated did well even if their parents were not certified teachers and if the state did not highly regulate homeschooling.
--Home educators are able to be flexible and tailor or customize the curriculum to the needs of each child.
--In study after study, the home educated score better, on average, than those in conventional state-run schools (see table).

[Table states that in Reading, Language, and Math those in Public schools scored 50, and homeschoolers 65-80 (percentile).]

For learning disabled students, there are higher rates of academic engaged time in homeschooling and greater academic gains made by the home educated."... [P]arents, even without special education training, provided powerful instructional environments at home..."


In regards to being socially able to function, you said "If you perceive problems with your public schools, you can choose, as a family, to be part of the solution, or you can run from the problems and home school."

Well, as to those avoiding the problems:

"--Studying actual observed behavior, Dr. Shyers (1992) found the home educated have significantly lower problem behavior scores than do their conventional school agemates.
--Multiple studies show that the home educated have positive self-concepts.
--Homeschool students are regularly engaged in field trips, scouting, 4-H, and community volunteer work, and their parents (i.e., their main role models) are significantly more civically involved than are public school parents."


You were probably expecting all these stats and rebuttals, etc.

I'd like to ask you if the teachers are bad and unqualified, how are homeschoolers getting such good stats when taking these tests? All of these homeschoolers are able to have a tailored education that many times is robbed them in public schools. Yes, there are teachers in public schools who are great teachers and are even Christians, but you can't assure me that all my teachers will be able to effectively and personally teach me so that I can learn well.

And even if I had a Christian teacher, how would that help since the curriculum is totally Atheistic.

Quoting from Jake Smith of Virtue Magazine answering the question if he missed anything from being homeschooled:

"Of course you do! I missed hearing evolution being taught as a scientific fact; I missed the chance to be in a clique; I missed people trying to pressure me into drinking and smoking; I missed the chance to ignore people, just because they look, act or talk different than me."


He's homeschooled and goes to a technical school with those in public schools, so he would know something about it.

We do have to be careful thought that we aren't so protected "that we don't know how to engage those who don't share our values."(From the mailbag--My Uncle) He went on to say that sometimes we as Christians do the same, getting stuck in our protected churches, and not going and sharing to the society around us. But of course that doesn't mean that we need to send kids to public schools to do it. Most times, we are better grounded in our faith and are ready to respond to the society when the time comes to do so better than those in public schools.

Now, before anti-Homeschoolers email me in droves, I hope you'll ask yourself if you really are, at the end of the day, someone who can honestly say that the public schools are showing the best statistics knowledge wise and social wise. Please show me the stats...and keep the response clean.