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Home schooling vs. Institutionalized Schooling

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by ElBajista, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    *A fellow TBer and I started to debate about homeschooling in another thread, but I started this one so as to not derail the original.*

    As the title says, I'd like to know what people here have to say in favor of both options for the education of minors.

    I'd also like to know how many people here are or were homeschooled. If there are any parents here who homeschool their children, please explain why you chose to do so.
  2. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Well in my case it didn't work out so well, the child has to be very self motivated, any so do you. It's a job.
    There are different reasons for doing it. I had a problem child who rebelled against authority and was thrown out of every schooling option. I had to home school by default. Due to her lack of motivation, it didn't work so well.
    My Aunt,( she's actually my age) has to home school her girl because of learning disabilities, there again no choice. I think that is working out as well as can be expected.
    I believe motivated gifted children can do very well and surpass the other kids their age. It tends to be learn at your own pace, so someone motivated can just tear it up.
    I guess it depends on the situation. In some inner city neglected schools, if your kid has anything on the ball at all, I think it's a good idea.
  3. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    EVERY instance I've seen of home-schooling worked out to be a failed experiment, & did nothing but result in kids that never got a REAL diploma, & cant get into college. Hell, they had to get thier GED just to join the army. They also grew up socially handicapped, because they never HAD to get along w/ others.

    Then again, I'm talking about well-to-do families, who for religious motivations sought to keep thier kids out of public schools. Occasionally, they tried to integrate into public schools... but the knowledge level of the kid, as well as the social skills of the kids, were so far behind the average student in a public school,, that they ultimately reverted back to home schooling. In effect, home schooling had retarded the capabilities of the kids I'm thinking about.

    It's a shame, too. Their father is a doctor, so there's clearly intelligence there. But, thier overbearing mother, basically ruined these kids w/ her ideas.
  4. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    As silly as it sounds, I think that the South Park episode with the home-school kids actually made some very good points in that "near the end of the episode speech given by Stan or Kyle that wraps everything up and lets you know that the writers aren't a bunch of morons after all."
  5. Yorkiebassist


    Dec 20, 2005
    I was home schooled for over a year, due to behavioural difficulties. I could only do 6 GCSEs due to the time I was given by the council with my tutors(only 8 hours a week), and also the facilities we had available. I managed 3As and 3Bs. I found that it meant I could get a more thorough explanation of topics, and this enabled me to be knowledgable on only a few subjects and do well, rather than too many subjects and do badly. If I had had more time with my tutors, I may have been able to do mroe subjects and get decent grades in those too. The downside to it is that you lose contact with friends, and you forget how to socialise with people.
  6. buenafortuna


    Jan 17, 2006
    N. Florida

    You must not know very many home schoolers:

    FACT: By eighth grade, the average home-educated student “performs four grade levels above the national average” (Basham, 2001, 12).

    FACT: Homeschool students have consistently surpassed the national averages for ACT (22.7 vs. 21) and SAT scores (1,083 vs. 1,016) (Basham, 2001, 12).

    FACT: Of the general U.S. population ages 18 to 24, “46.2% had attained some college courses or higher” while “74.2% of the home-educated had attained some college courses or higher” (Ray, 2004).

    FACT: Over 900 public and private colleges and universities readily accept homeschool applicants including many prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale (Bunday, 2000).

    FACT: The typical homeschooled pupil engages in 5.2 extracurricular social activities outside the home like sports, church groups, dance, scouts, play groups, etc. (Basham, 2001, 13).

    FACT: 71% of homeschooled s actively participate in ongoing community service projects compared to 39% of the general population (Ray, 2004).

    FACT: Home-educated students have significantly lower behavioral problems than their conventional school peers and have a higher self-esteem (NHERI, 2004).

    FACT: Homeschooled children are “more mature and better socialized than are those sent to either public or private school” and data suggests they are “friendlier than their public school peers, as well as more independent of peer values as they grow older.” They are also found to be “happier, better adjusted, more thoughtful, competent, and sociable children“(Basham, 2001. 14).

    FACT: Each state has at least one homeschool association and 85% of homeschoolers either belong to one or plan to join one. Such organizations “offer students the chance to interact with other home schoolers” of various ages (Basham, 2001, 14).

    FACT: Dr. Knowles, from the University of Michigan, found that of the home-educated [adults] he interviewed for his study, none were unemployed or on welfare. 94% stated that their homeschooling had prepared them for life as an independent person. 79% indicated that they were better able to “interact with individuals form different levels of society,” and nearly all would home school their own children (NHERI, 2004).

    The bottom line is, the family that Mr. McHack mentions might be one very disfunctional one, but it certainly doesn't apply to all of us


    Basham, P. (2001). Home schooling: from the extreme to the mainstream. Public Policy Sources, 51, pp. 1-18.

    Bunday, K. M. (2000). Colleges that admit homeschoolers. Retrieved September 15, 2004, http://learninfreedom.org/colleges_4_hmsc.html

    NHERI, (2004). Home education research FACT SHEET I. Retrieved September 15, 2004, http://www.nheri.org/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=17

    NHERI, (2004). Home education research FACT SHEET III. Retrieved September 15, 2004, http://www.nheri.org/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=19

    Ray, B. D. Ph.D. (2004). Home educated and now s: their community and civic involvement, views about homeschooling, and other traits. Retrieved September 15, 2004, http://www.nhrei.org/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=27

    Rudner, L. M. (1999, March 23). Scholastic achievement and demographic characteristics of home school students in 1998. Retrieved September 15, 2004, http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v7n8/

    Some other good web resources:












  7. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    The beginnings of the debate:

    I did not mean to offend, I was just stating my opinion. The last part was a statement made in jest, because as both my fiancee and I are high-school homeschoolers, we never hear the end of people who are absolutely certain that we are hurting ourselves by not "socializing" with our peers as much as public-schooled kids. Ask any parents of homeschooled children about this and they'll have quite a few stories to tell of people rabidly attacking their decision. You wouldn't believe some of the things that these ignorant people have said, or rather, shouted, to my parents.

    Despite popular belief, socialization in itself is not always a good thing. Socialization is only as beneficial as those whom one is socializing with. In fact, a homeschooler has more chance of varied socializing opportunities, especially if that child has siblings. People put so much stress on the importance of a child interacting with peers, when it is more important, in adult life, to know how to interact, converse, and deal with people who are both older and more experienced, or younger and less experienced. The ability to learn from those with more experience, and teach those with less is a crucial skill that requires more than just socializing with peers.

    One person specializing in one subject, in theory, might be more informed and experienced in that subject than another person teaching 6 different subjects, but, also in theory, one person teaching one subject at a time in a one-on-one situation with their child will be able to better suit the needs of that child, helping more where help is needed. One teacher teaching 30 or more students has to teach to the average student, bringing those who are advanced down to the level of the average ability, therefore not providing said advanced students with the challenges they need, and not providing the lower-than-average student with the extra attention they need. In a homeschooling atmosphere, a child gifted in math will be able to greatly advance as fast as they can work, and not be held back by those who aren't as gifted. On the other hand, if that same child has great difficulty with math, they'll be able to recieve as much extensive teaching in that subject as they need in order to learn.

    Homeschooling can be beneficial to the parents as well. Truthfully, most parents have to relearn the material before they can properly teach their children, therefore they become re-educated, so to say. Many parents learn alongside their child, promoting not only a review of material for the parents, but a closer bond between that parent and child. Also, when multiple children of different grades are learning alongside eachother, the older children learn to assist the younger, and the younger children look up to and strive to

    Another plus of homeschooling is the fact that a child doesn't have to deal with all the disruption and distractions of other kids, so a typical homeschooler's "school day" takes much less time than the typical 7 hours. Even though I'm in high school, my typical school day lasts about 3 hours.
  8. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I'm 100% educated in the examples I've seen employed by highly educated individuals. You can NOT disagree with my REAL world experiences. To tell me I'm wrong, on my OWN experiences is 100% ignorant.

    Clearly I dont know ALL homeschoolers, just as you dont.
  9. buenafortuna


    Jan 17, 2006
    N. Florida
    I apologize if I made it seem that way, but I never told you that you're wrong on your own experiences. In fact, I specifically said that the family you encountered is not the typical home school family, and I provided many facts and links to show you so.
  10. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    My neighbors homeschool their children and fall into most if not all of those described by Buenafortuna in his above post.
  11. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ah, kind of seemed that way. No harm, no foul. Point is, you can get a high level education in a good public school. It's up to the informed home owner. Case in point, Columbus City schools are absolutely dreadful, but the 'burbs around here have some pretty decent school systems.

    Using averages to support an argument one way or the other on this topic, really doesnt provide that much value because anyone who's interested in seeing thier kids get a GOOD education, is certainly going to stay away from the poor systems, which drag the national percentages into the toilet.
  12. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I don't have much experience with homeschooling (though I've got an odd story or two of very specific examples that don't really add much to the discussion) but here's something I like to think about.

    I believe that the most important part about elementary school isn't the education, and it isn't the socializing that we commonly think of (playing with friends, doing activities, etc). I'd say the most important part is the negative social interaction. Today's society has a wicked hate on for bullies, but learning to deal with adversity by learning to deal with people who don't like you and enjoy picking on you is a fairly important skill. Now I remember from the bully threads that happened a few weeks ago that many people here have some deep seated resentment from their childhoods, and that's something that has to be dealt with. If, however, we manage to pull off the utopian idea of school where everyone smiles and gets along merrily, what happens when a kid grows up and meets someone who takes a dislike to them? As much as we hate to admit it, there are plenty of people who don't get along with us, and a big part of life is accepting and learning to function despite that fact.

    I'm curious as to what the homeschoolers think on this topic. Most of us have been bullied and it's taken me a while to realise just what that has meant to me personally from a developmental standpoint. Does homeschooling remove or reduce the amount of negative social interaction a kid sees and, as a follow up question, does it effect their development?


    PS: I didn't spend nearly the time required to make this post properly worded, but I hope everyone gets the gist. Also, I'm not condoning bullying, but I think there has to be some sort of negative stimulus in order to develop into a well rounded person.
  13. buenafortuna


    Jan 17, 2006
    N. Florida

    Just for future reference, Buenafortuna is in fact, a she. :D
  14. buenafortuna


    Jan 17, 2006
    N. Florida

    Just like in institutionalized school, there's always the bully in your home school group, the bully in your extra-curricular activity, or the bully of a sibling. It's inavoidable whether you study at home or in a building.
  15. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    In general, one might be better than the other, but that's not really a good way to make a decision on where you're going to send your kids. It depends what school they're going to be sent to (private, inner-city, etc.). I'm most likely sending my children to a private school.

    Also, am I correct in presuming that all of the data from the studies posted are from the US?
  16. buenafortuna


    Jan 17, 2006
    N. Florida

    The problem with those "facts", is that some represent nothing.

    Precisely what do you mean by they “represent nothing”? Facts aren’t supposed to represent things – they tell you things exactly as they are. Symbols represent things.

    FACT: By eighth grade, the average home-educated student “performs four grade levels above the national average”

    How is that quantifiable?

    I’m not sure what you mean by “quantifiable”, but quantity really has nothing to do with these facts, does it? Do you want exact numbers or something?

    FACT: The typical homeschooled pupil engages in 5.2 extracurricular social activities outside the home like sports, church groups, dance, scouts, play groups, etc.

    What about the atypical pupils?

    By definition, atypical pupils are obviously in the minority and are rare cases. I don’t see the relevance in discussing them, when talking about the overall effectiveness of homeschooling.

    FACT: Home-educated students have significantly lower behavioral problems than their conventional school peers and have a higher self-esteem

    How is that quantifiable?

    Again… not sure what you’re looking for here. In fact, you may want to look up the word quantifiable (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/quantifiable) and make sure you’re not mistaking it for some other word.

    FACT: Homeschooled children are “more mature and better socialized than are those sent to either public or private school” and data suggests they are “friendlier than their public school peers, as well as more independent of peer values as they grow older.” They are also found to be “happier, better adjusted, more thoughtful, competent, and sociable children“

    How is that quantifiable?

    Again, your question isn’t pertinent.

    I think you see what I'm getting at...

    No offense, but I really can’t.
  17. jkritchey


    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    I think the questions were pertinent, and I think I understood why they were asked. They seemd to be applying statistical certainty to abstract behaviors. Therefore the question, how are abstract behaviours quantifiable? Pardon me if I am wrong or intruding...

    The other thing I would like to point out in your otherwise well researched list is that a great deal come from the "Basham" source which was not linked. Based on the title of the source and the data presented, it came across as an advocacy piece, and not empirical data.
  18. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    As for the facts, giving an average can be deceiving without knowing the other statistics, like standard deviation, etc.
  19. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    This is a fantastic thread!

    I'm just going to sit back and watch from here, after throwing this in:

    Facts are only as good as the source, and their reliability is subjective to some extent. Keep in mind that I think home schooling can be a great thing!
  20. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Especially when some of the facts are based on XX% of home-schooled people saying that it did something.