Don't want to go to school? It's OK, God said so...

LouZiffer wrote:

That's my opinion up there, and I shouldn't have stated it as fact. (This is a forum, right? Making sure I didn't stumble upon wikipedia.)

It is, but we're pretty serious (when not making jokes) to make sure we can back up what we're presenting as a statement of fact. I might suggest something along the lines of "It's my opinion that..." when you're saying something that you want only to be interpretted in that way. That's why I only make jokes or ask questions most of the time in P&C!

Given the huge amount of people who jumped on {citation needed} for homeschooling => public schooling, I'm going to go ahead and return that on the assumptions I'm seeing posted through most of this thread. Please show us why home schooling provides a qualitative difference to education and quality of life. Also, for those who seem to imply that those pulled out of school for religious reasons receive NO education, please show why you believe that other than opinion or prejudice.

Public schooling is better than homeschooling - {citation needed}

Homeschooling for religious reasons is equivalent to no schooling - {citation needed}

LobsterMobster wrote:
LouZiffer wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

I think a homeschool education is incomplete, no matter how thorough and quality it is, simply due to social factors, but I've known enough people who were homeschooled to see that they are not unequivocally doomed by the choices of their parents.

Incomplete or not comparable? What social factors?

School is where people learn how to deal with people outside of their family. It's where they learn how to form friendships, how to deal with antagonism, and how to meet the expectations of people who honestly do not give a crap about them as a person one way or the other. It's where they first step outside of their comfort zone and learn how to grow from that sort of challenge. It's where they expand their horizons beyond the same people and surroundings in which they've spent their entire lives. For some, it's their first exposure to systems of ethics and morality outside of their family, including the consequences of upholding - or breaking - social norms. And, most importantly, it's an opportunity for a student to learn how to handle him or herself in conflict with people who are not their mom or dad, in situations where they do not have the direct support of their mom or dad.

In other words, it's where they learn how to become people.

I disagree, and the homeschool co-ops which our kids have been a part of would too. Co-ops provide a very large variety of environments, peers, and adults which fit what you're describing and then some. That doesn't describe all homeschooling methods, but it's a large part of the movement.

If you were saying it's not comparable then I'd agree. You don't have the static environment and social controls that public school provides. The environments are more varied and display more differences in social situations as well as expectations. Kids have to learn to adapt more often in a co-op setting.

LobsterMobster wrote:

I think a homeschool education is incomplete - no matter how thorough and quality it may be - simply due to social factors, but I've known enough people who were homeschooled to see that they are not unequivocally doomed by the choices of their parents.

This is the biggest issue from home schooling. They're not prepared to handle the complexities of the real world. They're stunted in this regard.

PDF Warning
www.austincollege.edu/wp.../Homescho...

Now you must first assume that socialization outside of your race, creed, class is beneficial to a person/child. But this small private college took a look at least and also talked with parents.

But what is showed was in Texas, Home Schooled students tended to have less social intereaction outside of their own race or creed. They also tended to shy away from math or science curiculum in college, also showed lower proficiencies in math or science.

And we can also look to some of the home school proponents.

http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/144135.aspx

The National Home Education Research Institute disclosed that the 36 to 54 hours that students spend in school-related weekly activities make peers and adults outside of the home the primary influences in children's lives - not the parents.

Realizing the harm that this constant exposure can produce, especially if it's not countered by involved parenting, most homeschoolers are well aware of their children's need for close one-to-one contact throughout the education process.

Home school to counter the harm that outside influences can do.

And then we get to fun parts there about godly and biblical socialization as opposed to evil secular socialization.

And we get to what I said earlier, quantifiable or not people think these are facts. So let's treat it as a fact that many proponents of home schooling are doing so to have a focussed homogenous influence on their own kids. So you have a subset bent on society at large is bad, and seek to instil opposite values in their home schooled kids.

I also sadly read this last bit in a printed paper(over 10 years ago), so I cannot find a link. At Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee it was the home schooled students away from home who tended towards higher incidences of drinking and drug use. But that is anecodatal drops oin the bucket of college binge drinking, methinks.

ranalin wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

I think a homeschool education is incomplete - no matter how thorough and quality it may be - simply due to social factors, but I've known enough people who were homeschooled to see that they are not unequivocally doomed by the choices of their parents.

This is the biggest issue from home schooling. They're not prepared to handle the complexities of the real world. They're stunted in this regard.

For kids who are only schooled at home, in their own house... I agree. Parents can only give their side/take on anything. That only describes one type of homeschooling. The good thing about public school is that the social portion is often (not always, but as a rule) built-in. You can still homeschool kids and give them a better social education than that, though.

Well we are in the territory that is geting bigger here. Some parents will always make the objectively best decisions for their kids, and for them governmental guidance or oversight is redundant largely. You then get into territories like the Minnessota case or in a growing subset by removing your child from public school you skirt requirements like vaccinations. That is a growing concern in California's private and home schooled students. We then get to, politely put, religious nutjobs getting unfettered control of their children to teach them to do well on the GED but also that the earth is 6,000 years old, gay people are evil, who have barely interracted with Arab Americans, Mexican Americans, etc, and they were home schooled because American culture is evil.

So we do not get down to a false dichotomy of home school vs a traditional school, more an area of accredation and oversight vs none.

KingGorilla wrote:

So we do not get down to a false dichotomy of home school vs a traditional school, more an area of accredation and oversight vs none.

This is what we should be talking about.

It's possible to get an amazing education in school or at home. It's possible to get a sh*tty education in both places too. The goal should be to prevent a child getting a sh*tty education, regardless of how or where they're educated.

Having no enforced standards on homeschooling does not go anywhere near achieving that.

It's really the oversight thing, Lou. When I have a question, I want to get the answer from an expert in a relevant field. Not an expert in some other field, and not someone I know and love who just happened to be around at the time.

But once you get into co-ops with multiple people involved and facilities, how is that homeschooling and not a private school?

ranalin wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

I think a homeschool education is incomplete - no matter how thorough and quality it may be - simply due to social factors, but I've known enough people who were homeschooled to see that they are not unequivocally doomed by the choices of their parents.

This is the biggest issue from home schooling. They're not prepared to handle the complexities of the real world. They're stunted in this regard.

Citation needed. I'd argue that a high school experience is farther from a "real world" environment than, you know, actually interacting with the "real world" as I did during those years.

I know a handful of adults that were homeschooled like myself (among them are my 3 siblings). I don't see any evidence that any of us came out of that period of our lives socially stunted. In my personal case, I'd say any potential stunting was more than compensated for by graduating at 16 and entering the workforce and college. Conversely, I'm terrified at the thought of having to live through high school life in Idaho as a gay teen. Being sheltered at home was a boon even with my ultraconservative parents.

EDIT: To get back to the original topic... why is this religious exemption clause any worse than states like Idaho that don't have any requirements at all?

LobsterMobster wrote:

It's really the oversight thing, Lou. When I have a question, I want to get the answer from an expert in a relevant field. Not an expert in some other field, and not someone I know and love who just happened to be around at the time.

But once you get into co-ops with multiple people involved and facilities, how is that homeschooling and not a private school?

I agree it is mainly an oversight thing. Kids may have a bad teacher one year at public schools, but what if their parents are bad teachers? There's little in our state to help with that. There's even less in states like Texas and Idaho where parents don't even have to notify that they are homeschooling, let alone apply any standards.

As far as co-ops, they might be considered a private school but they're much less structured than one. It's more like dealing with people in real life where the rules change a lot more depending on the environment you're in and the people you're with.

From my experience it's fairly common to have local homeschool groups in areas with a large enough population of homeschool students. Those groups have co-op sessions available throughout the week as well as on weekends. Around here, they're also very ethnically/culturally diverse.

The facilities in the groups we were a part of are mainly other people's homes, libraries, and parks - along with historical sites, museums, the zoo, and trips further afield. The parents participating in the co-ops usually teach what they know, but sometimes it's also standard curriculum or something they wouldn't mind learning. There are also events such as an ethnic foods night where the kids cook a dish, set up poster boards science-fair-style with facts about the country/region it's from as well as a recipe, and the families tour around tasting everything. Families can host or attend as much as they want on their own schedule. The only requirements are that they have registered homeschoolers, and there is a minimum hosting requirement per family.

I think a lot of evidence can be seen weekly on TV with the show: "Breaking Amish".

Hey the VA thing can only be good for the public schools and the children left in them. The families opting for the exception still have to pay school taxes and the kids left in school have a lower child to teacher ratio. Then if the GOP reduces/eliminates welfare assistance these familiies that opt to not comprehensively educate their children will reap what they sow.

Nevin73 wrote:

Hey the VA thing can only be good for the public schools and the children left in them. The families opting for the exception still have to pay school taxes and the kids left in school have a lower child to teacher ratio. Then if the GOP reduces/eliminates welfare assistance these familiies that opt to not comprehensively educate their children will reap what they sow.

Not sure about that. I have several friends who home school at my church. One of them uses Fairfax county school resources for speech therapy for 3 of their 4 boys. They have a teacher come to their house to work with their boys several times a week. I am not sure how much that costs, but it isn't cheap.

The families that I know who home school are those with 2 parents and are very involved with their kids. I think that they would have been fine in or out of Public Schools.

ultimately, the idea that you can pull your kid out of any type of educational standards for purely religious reasons really bothers me. I can easily see some parents stating that, for example, working all day on a farm, is a form of education that was good enough for their parents and is good enough for them and that they do not need any of the "book learnin'". I can also see some of the small messianic families using this to keep their kids from any outside influence.

and, since the exception is for religious purposes only, I am going to stand by my topic title.

Keep in mind, I'm talking about those who opt out of public school but don't choose to homeschool which is the point of the OP. It seems that they kind of leave their kids in the dark.

Regarding homeschooling, I've known several families that have homeschooled their kids. Or I should say to be more accurate that I've known several fathers whose wives homeschooled their kids. All three of the guys I knew in that situation were intelligent engineers/systems analysts. I got the sense that their wives were all former teachers and that their children were being educated well. And, of course, all three were frightening religious conservatives (the Girl Scouts was considered far too tolerant of an organization for the one guy). Even though my sample size says that these home schooled children are getting a good education, I don't believe that there are that many parents at home that have the patience and intelligence to properly educate their kids.

And I've never met someone who I knew to be homeschooled in any aspect of my life or career. Take that for what its worth.

Ego Man wrote:

and, since the exception is for religious purposes only, I am going to stand by my topic title.

So would it be better if Virginia's home school law was changed to match the legal code in states like Idaho?

Idaho:
Required Days of Instruction: Not applicable.
Required Subjects: Children must be “instructed in subjects commonly and usually taught in the public schools” of Idaho.
Home School Statute: Idaho Code § 33-202.

A child shall be instructed by, or at the direction of, the parent or guardian, in subjects commonly and usually taught in Idaho public schools. (§ 33-202, Idaho Code, effective 7-1-09.)
The statute, § 33-202, specifically recognizes the right of parents to teach their own children.

  1. Homeschools do not have to initiate contact with the school district or have their curriculum approved.
  2. If a parent so chooses, she may have another family, relative, or individual homeschool her children because the law allows children to be instructed “at the direction of” the parent.
  3. The legislature specifically amended this statute in the 2009 session removing the vague requirement that children be “comparably” instructed thereby demonstrating its intent that hour
    and day requirements do not apply to homeschoolers.

Homeschoolers are also not required to respond to inquiries about their home school program. Burden of proof that the home school program does not comply with the law lies with the school district bringing the claim.

The effective change going from Virginia's religious exemption clause to Idaho was nil.

Nevin73 wrote:

And I've never met someone who I knew to be homeschooled in any aspect of my life or career. Take that for what its worth.

My coworkers don't know they work with someone who was homeschooled either.

RoughneckGeek wrote:
Ego Man wrote:

and, since the exception is for religious purposes only, I am going to stand by my topic title.

So would it be better if Virginia's home school law was changed to match the legal code in states like Idaho?

Yes. Not because it would be better for the kids, but because 'religious exception' should in no way be a get-out-of-jail-free card for societal responsibilities.

My solution would be to fix it in Idaho, too.

momgamer wrote:

My solution would be to fix it in Idaho, too.

+1

momgamer wrote:

My solution would be to fix it in Idaho, too.

I'm torn. I agree that there should be some standardization and oversight involved. I'm grateful there wasn't in my case.

The first two years I was homeschooled we did so under Virginia's "normal" homeschool statutes. They were miserable. For each student, my mom had to prepare a letter to the local school board seeking their approval to homeschool for that year. The letter had to outline all of the curriculum my mom would be using that year and how it would meet each of the standards of education for that grade. A denial meant the student would be attending public school that year. There was a family of 3 kids I knew in Virginia where the two youngest were approved and the one my age denied. The end result is that she and other parents that were homeschooling often went with full curriculum packages like the one available from Bob Jones. It was costly, sh*tty material, but it was a comprehensive package so it made the approval process less nerve wracking.

Once we were schooling under the religious exemption clause, the whole approval process went away. Mom wasn't freaked out for the last two months of summer each year waiting for confirmation we were all approved for another year. Bob Jones went away. Every bit of curriculum we used was picked based on how good it was at presenting a particular subject. As an example, Bob Jones' science books teach creationism only. Evolution is mentioned only enough to teach how to argue against it from a creationist's point of view. Bob Jones (obviously) weren't the best textbooks around for teaching science, so they were ditched in favor of a publisher that covered evolution. My parents still taught me creation, but my coursework didn't. Math, literature, grammer were similarly replaced.

I took my GED at 16. I had a 33 composite on my ACT. For the last 3 years I was schooled at home (before college), I was never doing traditional coursework past noon. I was required to do another 2 hours a day of something my parents deemed educational so I picked things I was interested in and taught myself. Neither of my parents are educators. Neither even attended a day of college. My mom was just disciplined and determined to do the best for her kids. I'd say she did pretty well.

RoughneckGeek wrote:
momgamer wrote:

My solution would be to fix it in Idaho, too.

I'm torn. I agree that there should be some standardization and oversight involved. I'm grateful there wasn't in my case.

The first two years I was homeschooled we did so under Virginia's "normal" homeschool statutes. They were miserable. For each student, my mom had to prepare a letter to the local school board seeking their approval to homeschool for that year. The letter had to outline all of the curriculum my mom would be using that year and how it would meet each of the standards of education for that grade. A denial meant the student would be attending public school that year. There was a family of 3 kids I knew in Virginia where the two youngest were approved and the one my age denied. The end result is that she and other parents that were homeschooling often went with full curriculum packages like the one available from Bob Jones. It was costly, sh*tty material, but it was a comprehensive package so it made the approval process less nerve wracking.

Once we were schooling under the religious exemption clause, the whole approval process went away. Mom wasn't freaked out for the last two months of summer each year waiting for confirmation we were all approved for another year. Bob Jones went away. Every bit of curriculum we used was picked based on how good it was at presenting a particular subject. As an example, Bob Jones' science books teach creationism only. Evolution is mentioned only enough to teach how to argue against it from a creationist's point of view. Bob Jones (obviously) weren't the best textbooks around for teaching science, so they were ditched in favor of a publisher that covered evolution. My parents still taught me creation, but my coursework didn't. Math, literature, grammer were similarly replaced.

I took my GED at 16. I had a 33 composite on my ACT. For the last 3 years I was schooled at home (before college), I was never doing traditional coursework past noon. I was required to do another 2 hours a day of something my parents deemed educational so I picked things I was interested in and taught myself. Neither of my parents are educators. Neither even attended a day of college. My mom was just disciplined and determined to do the best for her kids. I'd say she did pretty well.

Frankly, the approval process sounds like the right thing, and the exemption allowances sound really bad. I don't think it is unreasonable for a home-schooling parent to put in the effort to develop a curriculum that meets or exceeds that put forth by the public school's, which is arguably the minimal acceptable in many areas. It sounds like you got lucky in that your mother was capable of putting together a sufficient schedule in time to teach it, but I would argue that there is a reason teachers and schools work on developing/updating their curriculum over the summer. Having that plan of what to cover, when to cover it and what resources will be needed ahead of time is very important. Why shouldn't home-schoolers be held a standard that is in the same ballpark as the public schools?

I guess my point is that the requirements exist not to make the lives of good actors like your mother worse, but to make the bad actors actually accomplish something rather than letting their kids play outside all day. When you develop a policy for a group of people, you have to account for the range of behaviors/traits which that group encompasses.

Edit to add:
We require professional teachers to have degrees and get licensed. We expect them to develop a lot of their material in advance. Parents who home-school are taking on the same class of responsibility, so I don't feel it is unreasonable to expect them to be held to some standard.

I wish your mom had the resources the people I know that homeschool in my church do.

The school district here partially funds a Homeschooling Resource Center that is run by the local homeschool co-op and provides cirriculum help, materials, and group activities (including sports teams) for the several hundred students on homeschooling. They support the families to meet the requirements and are there all year to help them get carried out. One of the ladies who runs it now goes to my church and hometaught all her 7 children that way, while working as a nurse and managing her small farm and household.

That's what I wish she had had, and that they had in Idaho and everywhere else.

Kraint wrote:

Frankly, the approval process sounds like the right thing, and the exemption allowances sound really bad. I don't think it is unreasonable for a home-schooling parent to put in the effort to develop a curriculum that meets or exceeds that put forth by the public school's, which is arguably the minimal acceptable in many areas. It sounds like you got lucky in that your mother was capable of putting together a sufficient schedule in time to teach it, but I would argue that there is a reason teachers and schools work on developing/updating their curriculum over the summer. Having that plan of what to cover, when to cover it and what resources will be needed ahead of time is very important. Why shouldn't home-schoolers be held a standard that is in the same ballpark as the public schools?

The drawback to the approval process is that it doesn't allow for any flexibility. There were several years we added and/or changed curriculum mid-year. There were publishers that put out curriculum that worked great for me for certain subjects, but not at all for my sister. Mom was able to modify the material we were learning and how we were learning it as needed because she wasn't tied to a what she was able to get approved prior to the school year starting. Being able to tailor the curriculum to the student is one of the great advantages homeschooling has. That advantage doesn't mean much when you have to tell the student that even though this new textbook works better for you, we're stuck with either doing the old one you don't understand or both because you're required to show records they're still using the original one approved by the school board.

momgamer wrote:

I wish your mom had the resources the people I know that homeschool in my church do.

Those resources exist where we lived in Virginia now (or at least they did by the time we left the state). The very beginnings of that didn't start until the second year I was homeschooled. The year I left, I only knew of one family in the area co-op that was NOT homeschooling under the religious exemption clause.

I fail to see how these kids wouldn't get the same level of education or better and perhaps be the heads of their classes in a public school with that much parent involvement.

This makes it very difficult to not see it as either an attack on public education, which I see as a very bad thing. Or the results are being misrepresented/inflated. Or the goal is to not educate the kids.

The world is shrinking all the time. What works on a local level will only lessen, with a shorter duration and with the effect will be increasing in speed over time.

No matter how successful you are or what you have managed to survive, you must think globally or your development is being (purposefully?) stunted.

fangblackbone wrote:

I fail to see how these kids wouldn't get the same level of education or better and perhaps be the heads of their classes in a public school with that much parent involvement.

I went to school through the 3rd grade. I got As on everything that I did that received a grade. I was also bored out of my skull. Parent/teacher conferences always resulted in my being punished because I was a problem child. My mom was involved in the PTA, but other than making sure my homework got done was not involved in any way that had an impact on my education.

I clipped the rest of your post because I couldn't figure out what point you were trying to make.

The point is that without standards and credentials, your home schooling runs the risk of stunting the global outlook of its students. And thus, is ill preparing them for an increasingly global workplace, environment, and society.

Even now you are getting defensive about your education at the cost of the big picture. People should be looking forward to learning about what their education lacked instead of holding steadfast and validating what was good enough to survive or achieve X.

fangblackbone wrote:

The point is that without standards and credentials, your home schooling runs the risk of stunting the global outlook of its students. And thus, is ill preparing them for an increasingly global workplace, environment, and society.

I'll grant you a point here. We didn't discover just how huge a drawback trying to go to college with a GED was until I tried to do so. My siblings got high school diplomas from an accredited high school so they wouldn't have the same issues. They did that by going through much of the same curriculum I did while completing all the needed tests for the correspondence school. But really, that says more about how poor a credential the GED is.

fangblackbone wrote:

Even now you are getting defensive about your education at the cost of the big picture. People should be looking forward to learning about what their education lacked instead of holding steadfast.

I find it hard to be anything but defensive when I'm being told my form of education prepared me to be a ditch digger, or that I missed the part of schooling that would have taught me how to be a person. Even you are stating that homeschoolers are ill prepared for the "real world" while just dressing it up with the phrase "global workplace, environment, and society". I agree wholeheartedly with your final statement. I just don't think it should be solely leveled at homeschoolers.

I believe the ditch-digger commentary was rather about "non-schoolers", since the original complaint is that no schooling of any sort is required. It is, of course, unclear who would want to treat their children that way. I suspect you'd agree that not providing any schooling at all ought to be rather beyond the pale.

Hypatian wrote:

I believe the ditch-digger commentary was rather about "non-schoolers", since the original complaint is that no schooling of any sort is required. It is, of course, unclear who would want to treat their children that way. I suspect you'd agree that not providing any schooling at all ought to be rather beyond the pale.

This is also my interpretation of the original discussion chain.

Kraint wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

I believe the ditch-digger commentary was rather about "non-schoolers", since the original complaint is that no schooling of any sort is required. It is, of course, unclear who would want to treat their children that way. I suspect you'd agree that not providing any schooling at all ought to be rather beyond the pale.

This is also my interpretation of the original discussion chain.

I'll give up the ditch-digger comment then. Instead I'm merely socially inept, don't know how to interact with people and ill prepared for the global workplace.