Homeschooling vs failing school systems

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When you have a hillbilly failing school system would it be a better choice for parents to seek alternative education? Due to schools failing to provide an adequate education, many are opting out of the public schools here for homeschooling. Many seem to think that means sheltering children from the world, but from what I have been seeing recently, it isn't that, it is the schools are so bad they are being forced to educate their children themselves so that the child will have a proper education. More and more universities are offering highschool diplomas and alternative homeschool courses for younger students.

My sister is considering pulling her young children out of the school system that is so bad the state is threatening to shut them down. These schools really are that bad, and honestly if I were in her shoes I would have done so already. The teachers do not have degrees, they have one of the highest illiteracy and drop out rates in the state, and an extremely high rate of teen pregnancy. The schools there shut down for rodeo, but require that parents send their kids to schools when they have head lice thus infecting everyone else. Four of the teachers at the school also work at the local church and spend more time preaching than they do teaching academics. YES, it is that insane.

When looking at my neighbor, whose 13 year old daughter will have an associates degree by the age of 16 only because she was homeschooled, I am thinking that the homeschooling options for many are probably better than what is currently offered in the public schools in many areas. My neighbor tells me that her daughter was failing reading and grammar in public schools when she removed her at 10 years old, yet completed a writing course at the local university at 12 since she chose to homeschool instead.

With the options increasing for online education, I am thinking that this may very well be the better option for many parents facing failing school systems. What would you do if you could not afford to relocate and your kids were attending these schools? Would you consider homeschooling?

IMHO, homeschooling is a very bad option. However, if the schools are sufficiently awful, it might be a less bad option.

I am not sure how much homeschooling would help in areas with crappy schools. I mean, wouldn't the parents who serve as the teachers be mostly graduates of those exact same schools? Not to mention the correlation between crappy schools and poverty, meaning the parents very likely don't have the time to homeschool...

That is, if we are talking about the type of homeschooling where the parents teach the kids. If we are just talking about the kind where kids take online classes instead of in-person ones, that could work, but it requires good internet speeds and solid infrastructure, so it presents its own set of problems.

BreakfastMan:
I am not sure how much homeschooling would help in areas with crappy schools. I mean, wouldn't the parents who serve as the teachers be mostly graduates of those exact same schools? Not to mention the correlation between crappy schools and poverty, meaning the parents very likely don't have the time to homeschool...

That is, if we are talking about the type of homeschooling where the parents teach the kids. If we are just talking about the kind where kids take online classes instead of in-person ones, that could work, but it requires good internet speeds and solid infrastructure, so it presents its own set of problems.

In my sisters case, she moved there because her husbands job forced them to. So, no, she was not educated there, nor were many of the other young families that are there due to her husbands employer. However, I am thinking that the online options, especially those now being offered by accredited universities, would offer a far superior education than they would receive in bad school systems. Now they have so many options being offered, with mail in labs, video lectures, and forums for class discussion, I am not seeing them physically needing to be in a classroom to accomplish what they need to as important as it used to be for highschool and under education.

thaluikhain:
IMHO, homeschooling is a very bad option. However, if the schools are sufficiently awful, it might be a less bad option.

How is homeschooling now a bad option? With accredited universities now offering many options for younger students, it is appearing to be the superior option compared to many public school districts. I would like to better understand the cons here, because from what I am seeing, there are far more pros than cons compared to what many public schools offer.

Is a poor area very likely to have families who have the luxury of being able to survive on a single income though? If you are struggling with two salaries you are not going to be able to have a stay at home mom. (Because let's be real, it's the mom who would be doing the homeschooling). Not to mention the fact that most parents aren't remotely qualified to teach anything beyond basic reading, writing and math. Plus many children, especially in poorer areas sadly, will come from broken homes. School might be more of a "vacation" from home for them than anything else. What I'm trying to say is homeschooling is not a viable alternative to a functioning education system. At least not if by homeschooling you mean a kid being educated in his home by his mom and maybe a little by his dad. The best solution would be to simply look at trying to fix up the school to the best of your abilities. If you can muster up the strength to take care of your kids entire elementary school education then you should be able to muster up the strength to organize some sort of group that focuses on making your school better. You might have to do it without government funds but frankly the government can't do everything and people need to actually take the primary responsibility for their own neighbourhood.

I wonder though if you couldn't achieve some results with some sort of collective homeschooling where the neighbourhood as a collective organizes the homeschooling and pool their funds so that kids both A) Get the traditional social growth that they need and B) Get thought a broader set of skills than with traditional homeschooling. This collective homeschooling group might even be able to raise enough funds to hire a private tutor to fill in the educational gaps. It's not something I'm seriously advocating. Just a thought.

Atrocious Joystick:
Is a poor area very likely to have families who have the luxury of being able to survive on a single income though? If you are struggling with two salaries you are not going to be able to have a stay at home mom. (Because let's be real, it's the mom who would be doing the homeschooling). Not to mention the fact that most parents aren't remotely qualified to teach anything beyond basic reading, writing and math. Plus many children, especially in poorer areas sadly, will come from broken homes. School might be more of a "vacation" from home for them than anything else. What I'm trying to say is homeschooling is not a viable alternative to a functioning education system. At least not if by homeschooling you mean a kid being educated in his home by his mom and maybe a little by his dad. The best solution would be to simply look at trying to fix up the school to the best of your abilities. If you can muster up the strength to take care of your kids entire elementary school education then you should be able to muster up the strength to organize some sort of group that focuses on making your school better. You might have to do it without government funds but frankly the government can't do everything and people need to actually take the primary responsibility for their own neighbourhood.

I wonder though if you couldn't achieve some results with some sort of collective homeschooling where the neighbourhood as a collective organizes the homeschooling and pool their funds so that kids both A) Get the traditional social growth that they need and B) Get thought a broader set of skills than with traditional homeschooling. This collective homeschooling group might even be able to raise enough funds to hire a private tutor to fill in the educational gaps. It's not something I'm seriously advocating. Just a thought.

The poor areas also have the benfit of low income housing options, so it actually costs less to live there than it does elsewhere. For example, my sister is living in a 1500 sq ft home with a huge yard with a swimming pool in a low population/ low crime area and her mortgage is only $200 a month. So yes, they are actually saving money when they consider cost of living and no longer having daycare costs for her younger children.

They already have a homeschooling group formed there that travels to museums has dances and offers music, athletics and arts. Most areas here already have groups that do these things due to how bad the schools have been in Texas, so that isn't that hard to find as it used to be. I think that those groups combined with the online education can actually be better than what they deal with in public schools. I also really like what I am seeing in regards to free online education as well such as what Harvard and MIT are doing here:
https://www.edx.org/
There very well could be a shift in the education system as a whole if more and more jump onboard with offering free courses for many different age groups. Currently there is already online homeschool for free being offered, but I am happy to see that being expanded upon by universities as well. I don't think a full tutor is necessary with what they have now available in regards to video lectures, mail in labs and utilizing forums and skype to have group discussion.

EDIT: As for "trying to fix your school up" that only works when all the other parents who actually want to make changes haven't left already. When you come in after they already left, you get the luxury of being the " only pto member" and no one else helps. It isn't a good place to be. I have heard the horror stories, and I would not wish that upon anyone.

Lil devils x:

How is homeschooling now a bad option?

- Lack of interaction with other children (although I understand there are "homeschool meets" where homeschooled kids can make friends)
- May not have the same opportunities to develop independence, teamwork, resilience, punctuality, public speaking skills, organisation, etc
- Difficulty in assessing the parent's teaching ability and the child's progress
- Anything above elementary level will require a degree of subject knowledge that many parents just won't have, leading to them teaching straight out of a textbook or encyclopedia, or worse, not teaching certain things at all (or bullsh*tting their way through)
- Ties up most of a parent's day
- Reduced opportunities to go on educational trips or receive educational visitors/speakers, less access to sports equipment or musical instruments, specialist after-school clubs, etc
- Runs the risk of a child receiving a very polarised education - what if the parent is a creationist and decides not to teach evolution? Or does, but prefaces every sentence with "the heathens falsely believe..."? The child would have reduced exposure to a variety of political and religious viewpoints, people of different races and cultures, etc.

Mind you, if the school really is that shitty, then homeschooling may well be the lesser of two evils.

Batou667:

Lil devils x:

How is homeschooling now a bad option?

- Lack of interaction with other children (although I understand there are "homeschool meets" where homeschooled kids can make friends)
- May not have the same opportunities to develop independence, teamwork, resilience, punctuality, public speaking skills, organisation, etc
- Difficulty in assessing the parent's teaching ability and the child's progress
- Anything above elementary level will require a degree of subject knowledge that many parents just won't have, leading to them teaching straight out of a textbook or encyclopedia, or worse, not teaching certain things at all (or bullsh*tting their way through)
- Ties up most of a parent's day
- Reduced opportunities to go on educational trips or receive educational visitors/speakers, less access to sports equipment or musical instruments, specialist after-school clubs, etc
- Runs the risk of a child receiving a very polarised education - what if the parent is a creationist and decides not to teach evolution? Or does, but prefaces every sentence with "the heathens falsely believe..."? The child would have reduced exposure to a variety of political and religious viewpoints, people of different races and cultures, etc.

Mind you, if the school really is that shitty, then homeschooling may well be the lesser of two evils.

I know Texas doesn't have the requirements that other states do, but maybe requirements should be an issue as well. My neighbor works from home and doesn't actually do the teaching, instead she utilizes online AP courses and takes her child in for testing to get credit for them. Actually in Texas, they have less opportunities to have field trips and public speakers in public school than they do with homeschool groups. When I was in public school in Texas, I only went on one field trip from k-12. Homeschool groups have them going on multiple times a week, and you get to pick and choose what you want to participate in.

Batou667:

Lil devils x:

How is homeschooling now a bad option?

- Lack of interaction with other children (although I understand there are "homeschool meets" where homeschooled kids can make friends)
- May not have the same opportunities to develop independence, teamwork, resilience, punctuality, public speaking skills, organisation, etc
- Difficulty in assessing the parent's teaching ability and the child's progress
- Anything above elementary level will require a degree of subject knowledge that many parents just won't have, leading to them teaching straight out of a textbook or encyclopedia, or worse, not teaching certain things at all (or bullsh*tting their way through)
- Ties up most of a parent's day
- Reduced opportunities to go on educational trips or receive educational visitors/speakers, less access to sports equipment or musical instruments, specialist after-school clubs, etc
- Runs the risk of a child receiving a very polarised education - what if the parent is a creationist and decides not to teach evolution? Or does, but prefaces every sentence with "the heathens falsely believe..."? The child would have reduced exposure to a variety of political and religious viewpoints, people of different races and cultures, etc.

Mind you, if the school really is that shitty, then homeschooling may well be the lesser of two evils.

But from what I seen and I would have to obtain the data soon, or someone might have it. Home schooled children tends to do better than public school children. Also Home schooled children seems to be the same as public school children when it comes to whether they are social, dealing with others,or group thinking. So it should be more of what is taught when it comes to homeschooling than anything else.

Lil devils x:
My sister is considering pulling her young children out of the school system that is so bad the state is threatening to shut them down. These schools really are that bad, and honestly if I were in her shoes I would have done so already. The teachers do not have degrees, they have one of the highest illiteracy and drop out rates in the state, and an extremely high rate of teen pregnancy. The schools there shut down for rodeo, but require that parents send their kids to schools when they have head lice thus infecting everyone else. Four of the teachers at the school also work at the local church and spend more time preaching than they do teaching academics. YES, it is that insane.

I'm one of the drop-outs, and I was friends with quite a few people who were illiterate, teen pregnant or fell into one of the other failure stereotypes. The truth is; every person who fell into this categories did so because their life at home was awful first and foremost - the schools usually were pretty bad, but it was the home life that really destroyed us. It's unfair to place the blame solely, or even the majority of it, on schools.

Home schooling may well be the choice for your sister; I know the school I went to taught me practically nothing - and nothing practical. Just realise that this leaves the child no escape what so ever from the parents failings until they are old enough to up and leave. If the parent has not taught them how to leave and survive on their own at this point, it's going to be extremely tough on the kid. Having a variety of teachers, hopefully, gives the child a variety of perspectives. That said - it doesn't sound like your state is really going to provide this.

My advice? She should move the fuck out of her area and put her kids into a decent education system.

Lil devils x:

thaluikhain:
IMHO, homeschooling is a very bad option. However, if the schools are sufficiently awful, it might be a less bad option.

How is homeschooling now a bad option? With accredited universities now offering many options for younger students, it is appearing to be the superior option compared to many public school districts. I would like to better understand the cons here, because from what I am seeing, there are far more pros than cons compared to what many public schools offer.

Depends on the age, whereas an older highschooler/university student might do swimmingly, there is the fact that a lot of what school provides on top of the actual information is experience, and whereas the school might be crap at relaying said information, there is little option in a homeschool to do work in larger groups, meet new people, and establish well. Friendships. A few lucky ones might meet dozens of equal age through family, but most are not so lucky. While Adults/University Students/Older Highschool students would already have these contacts or at least learned the very basics of these skills already.

I'd also say that Homeschool is different from studying from home in University, mainly because in many of those systems you still meet a couple times a week/month aswell as receiving group-assignments, from an actual physical located university.

So yea, Homeschool = Crap for Information, Crap for Social Skills. Potentially better on Information but will rarely, unless in extreme cases (Radioactive wasteland in the schools back yard, to name an example) be the better option of the two.

Homeschooling is an excellent option. For the right children.

Those would be the kids who have parents with the competence and free time to teach them better than a school, or the resources to afford tutors to teach them better than a school could, or those lucky enough to have a competent acquaintance to teach their kids charitably. I would warrant, however, those circumstances would not apply to the vast majority of children. Particularly the children who tend to live where the schools suck.

Obvious wider problems that can exist include that if well-resourced, concerned and influential parents remove their children from the state school system, it will considerably reduce political pressure to improve standards in state schools.

Ugh, really bad idea. Isolationism, lack of proper standards etc.. We have made schooling a legal requirement for good reason: Parents shouldn't be allowed to mess something so essential as their child's education up to the most fundamental of degrees. It'd be child-abuse to allow that. There are proper certified private schools and teachers available for when children can't or shouldn't go to public school, but homeschooling is an atrocious concept. With the obvious exception of the parents themselves being certified, I suppose. See, for every child that would get good/better education from their uncertified parents, there must be numerous more that would suffer an awful lack of education. Overall, it'd do much more harm than good to allow such a thing.

Agema:
Homeschooling is an excellent option. For the right children.

Those would be the kids who have parents with the competence and free time to teach them better than a school, or the resources to afford tutors to teach them better than a school could, or those lucky enough to have a competent acquaintance to teach their kids charitably. I would warrant, however, those circumstances would not apply to the vast majority of children. Particularly the children who tend to live where the schools suck.

Obvious wider problems that can exist include that if well-resourced, concerned and influential parents remove their children from the state school system, it will considerably reduce political pressure to improve standards in state schools.

I've read that Bush 43 was against school choice because many of the families most in need of help are already up to their eyeballs and hitting the ceiling on their abilities, and then you want to add what can be a daunting task of choosing a great school (or home school) your kids? It's an argument about the need for greater government action.

In my own life, I have had to teach my failing son things that he told me he understands much better when I explain it rather than a teacher. Honestly, I wish I could have home schooled him but I have neither the time or money (and while he liked my teaching, he would rather jump off a cliff than lose the society of friends in public school setting).

My own two cents: we need to run public schools efficiently. Leave people with as much liberty to make education choices for their own family as reasonable while keeping a sort of education safety net for those without means to choose a different path.

Gorfias:

I've read that Bush 43 was against school choice because many of the families most in need of help are already up to their eyeballs and hitting the ceiling on their abilities, and then you want to add what can be a daunting task of choosing a great school (or home school) your kids? It's an argument about the need for greater government action.

In my own life, I have had to teach my failing son things that he told me he understands much better when I explain it rather than a teacher. Honestly, I wish I could have home schooled him but I have neither the time or money (and while he liked my teaching, he would rather jump off a cliff than lose the society of friends in public school setting).

My own two cents: we need to run public schools efficiently. Leave people with as much liberty to make education choices for their own family as reasonable while keeping a sort of education safety net for those without means to choose a different path.

It can be an odd thing. A friend of mine year below me was failing at my school - not badly behaved, but low grades. He moved to another school (state) and ended up with straight As and won a place at Oxford University. He had all the talent he needed, but just didn't like or felt he fitted in at our school. Although that might be because his year was particularly abundant in obnoxious dickheads.

I suspect concern over school standards may well have increased centralisation as the government has tried to respond by tightening controls, oversight, tests and so on. It is entirely possible this has either been detrimental or simply replaced some problems with different problems.

Nikolaz72:

Lil devils x:

thaluikhain:
IMHO, homeschooling is a very bad option. However, if the schools are sufficiently awful, it might be a less bad option.

How is homeschooling now a bad option? With accredited universities now offering many options for younger students, it is appearing to be the superior option compared to many public school districts. I would like to better understand the cons here, because from what I am seeing, there are far more pros than cons compared to what many public schools offer.

Depends on the age, whereas an older highschooler/university student might do swimmingly, there is the fact that a lot of what school provides on top of the actual information is experience, and whereas the school might be crap at relaying said information, there is little option in a homeschool to do work in larger groups, meet new people, and establish well. Friendships. A few lucky ones might meet dozens of equal age through family, but most are not so lucky. While Adults/University Students/Older Highschool students would already have these contacts or at least learned the very basics of these skills already.

I'd also say that Homeschool is different from studying from home in University, mainly because in many of those systems you still meet a couple times a week/month aswell as receiving group-assignments, from an actual physical located university.

So yea, Homeschool = Crap for Information, Crap for Social Skills. Potentially better on Information but will rarely, unless in extreme cases (Radioactive wasteland in the schools back yard, to name an example) be the better option of the two.

Why is it assumed that Homeschooled children receive crap for information and social skills? Everything I have read on the subject states the opposite. The homeschoolers are out performing public school students, have higher test scores and college graduation rates and have better social skills. I know that even in Texas they have a " good citizenship" requirement for homeschoolers where they actually volunteer in their communities. With what is being offered online now, homeschooling has better information than what is available in public schools. They work in groups for anything they wish, they just utlize technology to do so now, without being worried the teacher is going to give them a detention for talking.

Skeleon:
Ugh, really bad idea. Isolationism, lack of proper standards etc.. We have made schooling a legal requirement for good reason: Parents shouldn't be allowed to mess something so essential as their child's education up to the most fundamental of degrees. It'd be child-abuse to allow that. There are proper certified private schools and teachers available for when children can't or shouldn't go to public school, but homeschooling is an atrocious concept. With the obvious exception of the parents themselves being certified, I suppose. See, for every child that would get good/better education from their uncertified parents, there must be numerous more that would suffer an awful lack of education. Overall, it'd do much more harm than good to allow such a thing.

Everything I have seen shows just the opposite. I think the requirement issue could be addressed, but not necesarily teacher certification, as public schools here are not even required to have certified teachers as well, and many do not, yet the homeschooled children are outperforming public schooled kids by around 30% on average. Instead, from what I have seen coming from online education options, there isn't as much the parent actually needs to do other than transporting the child to and from events. Due to the existing support networks that allow for instant discussion at any time, they can discuss subjects at any time without the problems they receive in class for doing so.

You might consider it to be child abuse to send a student to a bad school where they are raped, beaten or killed as well. When looking at the actual numbers from homeschoolers vs public school students, the homeschools are graduating college more often, have higher standardized test scores, and are more active in their communities.

Lil devils is pretty much hitting the nail on the head. I took a year of online education and it was incredibly better than the current public education. My parents work at a school and they say it's a requirement to have at least one online class while IN the school now.

There really is no downside to the online schooling, you get to choose your own work hours, because it's not a live classroom, you can have more 1 on 1 with the teachers, there were near daily live group discussions to help out if you don't understand a certain section, etc etc. You can chat with other students, attend events hosted or sponsored by the school, or just keep to yourself. You pretty much set the amount of outside interaction you have yourself.

thaluikhain:
IMHO, homeschooling is a very bad option. However, if the schools are sufficiently awful, it might be a less bad option.

Not sure how accurate this infographic is(the consistent 50% score looks odd), but it's basically a summarization of the things I've found. And it lists its sources, which is nice.

image

Batou667:

- Lack of interaction with other children (although I understand there are "homeschool meets" where homeschooled kids can make friends)
- May not have the same opportunities to develop independence, teamwork, resilience, punctuality, public speaking skills, organisation, etc

Then get the kids out of the house once in awhile. There are so many social opportunities beyond school, particularly when local schools will even let home schoolers participate in their programs like sports or plays.

- Difficulty in assessing the parent's teaching ability and the child's progress
- Anything above elementary level will require a degree of subject knowledge that many parents just won't have, leading to them teaching straight out of a textbook or encyclopedia, or worse, not teaching certain things at all (or bullsh*tting their way through)

It's admittedly not a could indicator before the fact, but homeschooled children having more academic success post-high school then public school students would indicate parents have the resources to teach their child. And considering we're in the age of high speed internet and near instantaneous communication, parents have more resources at their disposal than ever.

- Ties up most of a parent's day

This isn't an argument against homeschooling, really. It's a simple statement that homeschooling wouldn't be as viable for households with both parents working, which is understandable.

- Reduced opportunities to go on educational trips or receive educational visitors/speakers, less access to sports equipment or musical instruments, specialist after-school clubs, etc

Which do you think is easier to arrange: a class field trip to a museum or taking your kid to the museum? I wanted to use a less bland example than the museum, but I can't think of...oh, a local pizza factory. We did that once. Anyway, the point is that most field trips are just as suitable as a parent and child. Educational speakers aren't much of a problem either as the internet has made it so much easier to gather educational material and set up a correspondence with the creator of said material to answer the child's questions. For the rest, I'll re-emphasize that besides public schools(or at least the ones I've ever been around) allowing home schoolers to participate in their activities, clubs exist outside of school.

- Runs the risk of a child receiving a very polarised education - what if the parent is a creationist and decides not to teach evolution? Or does, but prefaces every sentence with "the heathens falsely believe..."? The child would have reduced exposure to a variety of political and religious viewpoints, people of different races and cultures, etc.

I'm glad I got my unbiased public education where STDs float effortlessly through condoms, the Founders established America as God's country, and evolution is just a "theory", not a Theory. Besides, if someone wants to indoctrinate their child, do you think public education is going to stop that? An involved parent, even if it's in a negative way, is going to trump the school.

Mind you, if the school really is that shitty,

I went to probably one of the better public schools in the country, despite the religious conservative leanings, and homeschooling is still better. There isn't anything evil or bad about homeschooling. It's simply an option that parents should have if they have the time and dedication to it.

It seems some people have made a similar point in the time it took for me to post.

Batou667:

Lil devils x:

How is homeschooling now a bad option?

- Lack of interaction with other children (although I understand there are "homeschool meets" where homeschooled kids can make friends)
- May not have the same opportunities to develop independence, teamwork, resilience, punctuality, public speaking skills, organisation, etc

Neither of those rely on schools and bad schools harm that.

- Difficulty in assessing the parent's teaching ability and the child's progress
- Anything above elementary level will require a degree of subject knowledge that many parents just won't have, leading to them teaching straight out of a textbook or encyclopedia, or worse, not teaching certain things at all (or bullsh*tting their way through)

Online classes and objective testing.

- Ties up most of a parent's day
- Reduced opportunities to go on educational trips or receive educational visitors/speakers, less access to sports equipment or musical instruments, specialist after-school clubs, etc

Most schools don't do those things.

- Runs the risk of a child receiving a very polarised education - what if the parent is a creationist and decides not to teach evolution? Or does, but prefaces every sentence with "the heathens falsely believe..."? The child would have reduced exposure to a variety of political and religious viewpoints, people of different races and cultures, etc.

but it's ok for schools to do the same?

I'll just leave this vid about Khan Academy here:

Whether home schooled or public schooled, the internet can now offer students everywhere an equal education with lectures by the most talented teachers.

EDIT- I'll also add that while everyone wants to invent problems (with no evidence to them) for home schooled kids, I think it only makes sense that home schooled would likely be more well adjusted because of all the negative influences and general stressful atmosphere a public school can have. Also people want to assume the kid will get a worse education but that doesn't make any sense when you got a dedicated parent behind the wheel who wants nothing less than to have the child graduate collage.

I just want to bring up a little factoid I have seen crop up again and again over the years: the single greatest influence on whether or not a child succeeds is the parents involvement and interest in that success.

A parent that wishes to get involved in their child's education enough to homeschool them is probably going to have a more successful child. Parents that get involved in their child's education while they are in public school also tend to have successful children.

In the United States, one of the greatest problems I have seen with the school system is actually culturally derived and reinforced. We are an anti-intellectual nation to a very great degree. Homework is not seen as a means to practice (and thus perfect) skills taught in class, but as a burden and often punishment (Imagine any exasperated parent and the question "Don't you have homework to do?") The schools are crippled by lack of interest, lack of properly applied resources, lack of respect (within the system and from without), and a heavy skewing of priorities.

http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ucomics.com/litt130516.gif

Parents who wish to homeschool are going to need to be VERY involved and active in their children's lives if they are going to succeed. In a nation where the television and/or computer is seen as a babysitter by far too many people, I am uncertain how widespread the success will be.

But then again, I am a pessimistic cynic.

LetalisK:
I'm glad I got my unbiased public education where STDs float effortlessly through condoms, the Founders established America as God's country, and evolution is just a "theory", not a Theory. Besides, if someone wants to indoctrinate their child, do you think public education is going to stop that? An involved parent, even if it's in a negative way, is going to trump the school.

Mind you, if the school really is that shitty,

I went to probably one of the better public schools in the country, despite the religious conservative leanings, and homeschooling is still better. There isn't anything evil or bad about homeschooling. It's simply an option that parents should have if they have the time and dedication to it.

Well, obviously I'm not advocating a poor school over a capable parent, and it sounds like your school had some very poor teachers in it.

FreedomofInformation:

- Ties up most of a parent's day
- Reduced opportunities to go on educational trips or receive educational visitors/speakers, less access to sports equipment or musical instruments, specialist after-school clubs, etc

Most schools don't do those things.

Do they not? Those are all fairly standard in UK schools. Damn, and I thought we had it bad!

- Runs the risk of a child receiving a very polarised education - what if the parent is a creationist and decides not to teach evolution? Or does, but prefaces every sentence with "the heathens falsely believe..."? The child would have reduced exposure to a variety of political and religious viewpoints, people of different races and cultures, etc.

but it's ok for schools to do the same?

No, of course it's not.

Perhaps it came across that I was opposed to homeschooling. I'm not, I was just answering another poster's question of "what's wrong with homeschooling?". Also, for what it's worth I don't think homeschooling would have worked for me - I would happily have never socialised or left the house if it wasn't for school, and I wouldn't have responded well to one of my parents becoming a teacher figure. But hey ho, horses for courses.

Its something of a prisoners dilemma situation, and it is the same as the argument of public vs state schools. If the Parents with the resources to take those options do not participate in the state school system, the state school system suffers and becomes worse. When they do take get involved with the system, joining PTAs, putting their kids (who will tend to be more aspirational) through state schools, then the state school system improves and everybody wins.

But on an individual level, it can be perfectly rational to opt out of it.

Home schooling isn't when the parent teaches the kid anymore.

Its when you are given a bunch of work from the state, do it at home, and send it back for a grade. Once a week you go in, talk to your "teacher' about any problems learning the material for about 30 minutes to an hour, and you go.

Only a handful of states don't regulate home schooling at all. I know this because I had to go through the system after I had to pull out of an awful charter school.

Generally speaking, im against homeschooling. I know the public education system is going straight down the crapper, but the parents are part of the reason WHY its going down the crapper. I'll admit, Bush got the ball rolling, but parents attached jet engines to the ball.

Two, if you only have one teacher, any biases/misconceptions that teacher has will most likely be inherited by the student. In public school system with dozens of different teachers over the course of 12 years, this is less likely.

Three, homeschoolers seem to be socially inept. As unforgiving as the environment in public schools can be, it does serve a purpose.

That said, there are always exceptions to the rule.

ClockworkPenguin:
Its something of a prisoners dilemma situation, and it is the same as the argument of public vs state schools. If the Parents with the resources to take those options do not participate in the state school system, the state school system suffers and becomes worse. When they do take get involved with the system, joining PTAs, putting their kids (who will tend to be more aspirational) through state schools, then the state school system improves and everybody wins.

But on an individual level, it can be perfectly rational to opt out of it.

You still have to pay the school taxes regardless. I went to a private school for a few years and my parents still had to pay school taxes for the public school we weren't using. So the public school loses nothing, in fact they gain resources as now they don't have to spend any on your child but you still have to pay them the full amount regardless.

thaluikhain:
IMHO, homeschooling is a very bad option. However, if the schools are sufficiently awful, it might be a less bad option.

Home schooling being bad is something a lot of us are pretty well ingrained to believe, due to what people claim to be the lack of socialization a kid gets in such an environment. I don't see it that way, but I haven't actually seen the effects of somebody home schooled to know this for a fact.

I also object to the OT's contention of "hillbilly schools," since NYC and Chicago have some of the worst schools in the country. And the city of Reading has the nation's worst literacy rate. Reading is in PA, a state above the Mason-Dixon line. Inner cities have some of the nation's worst high school graduation rates, especially for black males.

If the OT is from a country that is not America, then I can excuse his lack of knowledge about this. But somebody who lives here should know the South isn't the worst place for education. (You really have to break it down by city as each has a different school district and, thus, a different school board that sets standards.)

Batou667:

Well, obviously I'm not advocating a poor school over a capable parent, and it sounds like your school had some very poor teachers in it.

Crappy state legislature, actually. They dictate what the schools teach and how they teach it. When we started learning about evolution we had to waste an entire class giving a great big disclaimer so as not to offend the sensitivities of the religiously inclined. We even had to have our parents sign waivers saying it was okay for him to teach us about evolution. It was obvious our biology teacher thought it was complete bullshit to go through all this.

Ryotknife:
Generally speaking, im against homeschooling. I know the public education system is going straight down the crapper, but the parents are part of the reason WHY its going down the crapper. I'll admit, Bush got the ball rolling, but parents attached jet engines to the ball.

Two, if you only have one teacher, any biases/misconceptions that teacher has will most likely be inherited by the student. In public school system with dozens of different teachers over the course of 12 years, this is less likely.

Three, homeschoolers seem to be socially inept. As unforgiving as the environment in public schools can be, it does serve a purpose.

That said, there are always exceptions to the rule.

Most home schoolers had jobs, or actual talents that regular school doesn't allow. They know more about real life than actual school kids.

You also get different teachers there.

A lot of the rumors are bullshit from the American south, which doesn't do the regulation.

LetalisK:

Batou667:

Well, obviously I'm not advocating a poor school over a capable parent, and it sounds like your school had some very poor teachers in it.

Crappy state legislature, actually. They dictate what the schools teach and how they teach it. When we started learning about evolution we had to waste an entire class giving a great big disclaimer so as not to offend the sensitivities of the religiously inclined. We even had to have our parents sign waivers saying it was okay for him to teach us about evolution. It was obvious our biology teacher thought it was complete bullshit to go through all this.

I like how a discussion about failing schools always ends up harping on the evolution debate when the crowd is largely liberal.

I think the unions are to blame for bad schools for the most part. I'm not a big fan of unions. I've seen the corrupting influence of them on politics. Unions of every stripe essentially control the state I live in, which includes both parties. They do this by a union representing almost every conceivable constituency in my state. It kind of sucks.

Big_Willie_Styles:

thaluikhain:
IMHO, homeschooling is a very bad option. However, if the schools are sufficiently awful, it might be a less bad option.

Home schooling being bad is something a lot of us are pretty well ingrained to believe, due to what people claim to be the lack of socialization a kid gets in such an environment. I don't see it that way, but I haven't actually seen the effects of somebody home schooled to know this for a fact.

I also object to the OT's contention of "hillbilly schools," since NYC and Chicago have some of the worst schools in the country. And the city of Reading has the nation's worst literacy rate. Reading is in PA, a state above the Mason-Dixon line. Inner cities have some of the nation's worst high school graduation rates, especially for black males.

If the OT is from a country that is not America, then I can excuse his lack of knowledge about this. But somebody who lives here should know the South isn't the worst place for education. (You really have to break it down by city as each has a different school district and, thus, a different school board that sets standards.)

She* and from Texas. The school district I was discussing is actually a "hillbilly" school. I was not using that as a term to describe all "failing schools" in general, but rather directly to describe a school that has pastors teaching the bible in class, all grades in one school, an excused absence is going to a stock show or rodeo, but an unexcused absence is if your child has head lice. Where the teachers are not only not certified, but some did not even graduate from high school themselves. Where they keep their doors open if there is no running water or sanitation but close for harvest festival. I also do understand the issues facing the inner city schools to be a separate issue, and also have had the unfortunate experience to endure those myself first hand in the ghetto. With ghetto schools the children have far more to worry about than grades, they are more concerned about being targeted and how they are going to eat.

The issues facing rural areas are they do not have the manpower and resources to have a functioning school district in the first place and their only alternative besides homeschool is to send their children to schools 3-4 hours away. when they have no qualified teachers in the area to take the jobs due to their location, and do not have the resources to offer pay high enough to get teachers to relocate to the area, their options for improving the school district are greatly diminished. The area I was discussing only has a total population of around 5,000 people, and the vast majority of those work on the oil rigs. The state may very well shut down the only existing public schools in the area in the next 5 years as they have been threatening to for a while now.

I'm sure homeschooling is fine. I'd prefer trained professionals are the ones teaching subjects firsthand so you don't have to email in questions or hope your parents still remember high-school math.

Though results don't lie much and every study I've seen says homeschooling is a fine option.

I could mention my own anecdotal evidence that every home-schooled kid I've ever met has been extremely far behind where they should be, which has left me with a negative personal opinion on it, but clearly they didn't include the people I've met in the numerous studies showing it's a viable option that should be considered.

Lil devils x:

Big_Willie_Styles:

thaluikhain:
IMHO, homeschooling is a very bad option. However, if the schools are sufficiently awful, it might be a less bad option.

Home schooling being bad is something a lot of us are pretty well ingrained to believe, due to what people claim to be the lack of socialization a kid gets in such an environment. I don't see it that way, but I haven't actually seen the effects of somebody home schooled to know this for a fact.

I also object to the OT's contention of "hillbilly schools," since NYC and Chicago have some of the worst schools in the country. And the city of Reading has the nation's worst literacy rate. Reading is in PA, a state above the Mason-Dixon line. Inner cities have some of the nation's worst high school graduation rates, especially for black males.

If the OT is from a country that is not America, then I can excuse his lack of knowledge about this. But somebody who lives here should know the South isn't the worst place for education. (You really have to break it down by city as each has a different school district and, thus, a different school board that sets standards.)

She* and from Texas. The school district I was discussing is actually a "hillbilly" school. I was not using that as a term to describe all "failing schools" in general, but rather directly to describe a school that has pastors teaching the bible in class, all grades in one school, an excused absence is going to a stock show or rodeo, but an unexcused absence is if your child has head lice. Where the teachers are not only not certified, but some did not even graduate from high school themselves. Where they keep their doors open if there is no running water or sanitation but close for harvest festival. I also do understand the issues facing the inner city schools to be a separate issue, and also have had the unfortunate experience to endure those myself first hand in the ghetto. With ghetto schools the children have far more to worry about than grades, they are more concerned about being targeted and how they are going to eat.

The issues facing rural areas are they do not have the manpower and resources to have a functioning school district in the first place and their only alternative besides homeschool is to send their children to schools 3-4 hours away. when they have no qualified teachers in the area to take the jobs due to their location, and do not have the resources to offer pay high enough to get teachers to relocate to the area, their options for improving the school district are greatly diminished. The area I was discussing only has a total population of around 5,000 people, and the vast majority of those work on the oil rigs. The state may very well shut down the only existing public schools in the area in the next 5 years as they have been threatening to for a while now.

Well, that area seems to be one of the agricultural/rancher type areas(but clearly near an ocean or refinery) in transition away from those two professions (Texas being a very high growth state quickly adapting to the realities of the 21st century faster than a lot of other states.) It is a developing area, which will have bad schools for a while, but such kids will probably have little chance of escaping their zip code to begin with. Rural kids of insanely low population density over a large area typically don't. But they'll get good jobs doing oil rig stuff and other well-paying physical labor jobs. Those are not bad jobs, they're necessary. While I wouldn't dream of my kid becoming an oil rig technician, it is a job that needs to exist right now.

I just find it interesting that even with all those bad things going on, a suburban/urban city near Philadelphia still has the worst literacy rate in the country instead of a random Southern or Midwest town in the middle of nowhere.

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