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Old 2003-09-03, 17:54   #1
eepiccolo
 
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Dec 2002
Frederick County, MD

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Default Home schooling

OK, looks like this is going to be the first discussion.

I am a big advocate of home schooling. I was home schooled from K-12, and I graduated from college with my EE degree and a 3.88 GPA.

The only issue I ever hear anti-home schooling people talk about is the socialization issue, so I'm going to address that now. However, if someone has a different issue about home schooling they want to debate, I'll be glad to debate that also.

First, I'll give my personal example. My wife and I met when we were both still in high school. We met because we were both working at the same McDonald's part time. Anyway, she will testify that she hated high school primarily due to group school socialization. She was considered a geek, and she was constantly picked on and tormented by the conformist students. This happens to many kids in group school because they are considered fat, geeky, ugly, weird, or any other trait that doesn't conform to the "social norm" of group school. This "socialism" my wife received during high school did not help her maintain proper relationships with our fellow students at college at all. She wanted as little to do with others at college as possible, and it wasn't until our senior year that I was able to get her to hang out more with some of my friends.

The socialism I received during my younger years, however, did nothing to hurt me during college. I was as social as the other Physics and Engineering geeks, and I was a member of KME, the math honors society, and SPS, the physics honor society. I was actually vice-president of KME my senior year.

I’ll mention here also that my wife strongly agrees with me that once our daughter is school aged, we will home school her.

My point behind all of this is that not only does home schooling not hurt a child socially, but is actually better for a child than group school. Sure, all you think this is just a crock that I am giving you, but the studies exist that support this claim. Here is a link to a nice summary of ten different studies: http://www.hsldacanada.org/school/social.htm.

You can go and read it yourself, but I'll list the headings to the seven points of the summary.

[list]Home schooled students have a higher self-esteem than conventional students.

Home schooled students are less concerned about peers when compared with private school students.

Home schooled students are not isolated from social activities with others.

Home school students have demonstrated leadership ability.

Home schooled students are better socialized and more mature than their public school counterparts.

Home schooled students do not lag behind conventional students in social development.

Home schooled students grow into adults who meet or exceed social norms.
[/list:u]
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Old 2003-09-03, 20:28   #2
NickGlover
 
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Default

I agree with eepiccolo, but I wanted to add an argument in favor of home schooling with regards to socialization.

To me the reason home schoolers will have better social skills are that convential school students learn their social skills primarily from other children, who also have undeveloped social skills. The goal when teaching someone social skills is that they work towards acquiring adult-level social skills, not child-level social skills. So the best means for developing a child's social skills is that they interact with adults and preferrably do so close to the level of an equal (which definitely does not occur much in conventional schools). I believe this does occur with children in most home schooling situations.

Of course, the are at least three other issues related to home schooling that we could also discuss.

1) The benefits and drawbacks of "unschooling", which is basically home schooling but with emphasis on a lack of enforced structure.

2) The benefits and drawbacks of Montessori schooling, which I actually don't know much about, but I here a lot of people talk about it.

3) To what extent schools should be privatized and government removed from involvment in the actual schooling and paying for schooling.

By the way, I went to public school, so I have first-hand experience with public schools, but not with any other type of schooling.
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Old 2003-09-03, 20:45   #3
NickGlover
 
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Default Re: Home schooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepiccolo
Here is a link to a nice summary of ten different studies: http://www.hsldacanada.org/school/social.htm.
About this study, I would like to note that for #4, leadership, that Bob Jones Univerisity is an ultra-religious (Southern Baptist) university in Greenville, SC. Oral Roberts University is also religious. Religious universities seem limited and potentially biased as a sole source for these studies.
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Old 2003-09-04, 11:44   #4
eepiccolo
 
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Default Re: Home schooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickGlover
About this study, I would like to note that for #4, leadership, that Bob Jones Univerisity is an ultra-religious (Southern Baptist) university in Greenville, SC. Oral Roberts University is also religious. Religious universities seem limited and potentially biased as a sole source for these studies.
I would like to clarify something about point four. Three of the sources were cited under point four, but only one was sponsored by a university, Oral Roberts University. And only statistics were cited from the study from Oral Roberts, not conclusions.
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Old 2003-09-04, 13:36   #5
kwstone
 
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Shanghai, China

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Default Re: Home schooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepiccolo
This "socialism" my wife received during high school did not help her maintain proper relationships with our fellow students at college at all.
The socialism I received during my younger years, however, did nothing to hurt me during college.
I'm not sure whether the slipping between "socialization" and "socialism" in what you write is a simple mistake, a Freudian slip, or a deliberate attempt to make a political point. There does seem to me to be a lot that is done in schools (at least in my native country, the UK) that is trying to grind a socialist political agenda into kids, under the name of "socializing" them.

My personal solution to my family's education problems was to move to the Netherlands, where you can choose what kind of school to send your kids to (Catholic, Protestant, Montessori, Socialist, Islamic, whatever) and they are all guaranteed government funding under the Dutch constitution. This seemed like a practical solution (for me). The Dutch certainly seem pretty happy with it. The problem in the UK and US, as I see it, is rather the antithesis between state-funded, state-controlled schools on the one hand, and the expense of private schools on the other. The Dutch have resolved that by constitutionally cutting the link between state funding and state control.

I don't see any particular merit in home schools as such; they are simply another form of private education. Since, for some people, they are a relatively low-cost private schooling option they have gained popularity. But I would hesitate to recommend them for everyone. For many (most?) people, I would think it is beyond their capability to give their children a high quality education in today's technically specialized world.

The successes that you cite for home-schooled children don't surprise me in the least. Children of home-schoolers are almost by definition, a very select sample of the genetic offspring of highly-motivated, above-average intelligence people with a strong interest in education issues. It would be surprising if they did NOT outperform other kids in almost every respect.

Lest this sound too critical, let me say that I admire and support anyone who homeschools. I believe they strike an important blow for freedom from State control of our children. But I would not single out home schools as the only, or maybe even the best, alternative.
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Old 2003-09-04, 13:56   #6
eepiccolo
 
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Default Re: Home schooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwstone
I'm not sure whether the slipping between "socialization" and "socialism" in what you write is a simple mistake, a Freudian slip, or a deliberate attempt to make a political point. There does seem to me to be a lot that is done in schools (at least in my native country, the UK) that is trying to grind a socialist political agenda into kids, under the name of "socializing" them.
I think that must have seen a grammatical mistake I made, although it does give it a bit of interesting ambiguity.

Also, you bring up another interesting point which might be good to start another thread. The way you describe school in The Netherlands sounds like it's along the same lines as the school voucher movement here in the States.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwstone
Lest this sound too critical, let me say that I admire and support anyone who homeschools. I believe they strike an important blow for freedom from State control of our children. But I would not single out home schools as the only, or maybe even the best, alternative.
Maybe I came off too strong, but I'm not advocating home schooling as the single best soultion for everybody. But a lot of people have mis-informed impressions about home schooling, and a lot of people think it should be strongly regulated. I present my argument to show that home schooling is an alternative that works, and studies have shown it to work well.
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Old 2003-09-04, 17:23   #7
Xyzzy
 
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Default Re: Home schooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwstone
But I would hesitate to recommend them for everyone. For many (most?) people, I would think it is beyond their capability to give their children a high quality education in today's technically specialized world.
I was home schooled for a little while sometime around late middle school and early high school... I have never recovered from the experience... I'd post more about it but I don't know where to begin... :(
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Old 2003-09-04, 18:15   #8
nomadicus
 
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Default Re: Home schooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwstone
I don't see any particular merit in home schools as such; they are simply another form of private education . . . For many (most?) people, I would think it is beyond their capability to give their children a high quality education in today's technically specialized world.
I tend to agree that it is beyond many parents capabilities, but that is due (in part?) to the educational decline over the last few decades.

I would have loved to had a chance to home school my kids -- at least then I would be sure they knew how to do basic math, have an appreciation for the arts, know their history, etc., and have a foundation to do work and become specialized in "today's technically specialized world." But that's me. Public school didn't teach me squat, 80% of what I know and do today is via self education. I am really down on the public school system (as opposed to the teachers who work their fanny's off).

I have a more that I can speak to on the scocial aspect, but I'll let it rest here.
-=- john
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Old 2003-09-04, 20:39   #9
NickGlover
 
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Default Re: Home schooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepiccolo
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickGlover
About this study, I would like to note that for #4, leadership, that Bob Jones Univerisity is an ultra-religious (Southern Baptist) university in Greenville, SC. Oral Roberts University is also religious. Religious universities seem limited and potentially biased as a sole source for these studies.
I would like to clarify something about point four. Three of the sources were cited under point four, but only one was sponsored by a university, Oral Roberts University. And only statistics were cited from the study from Oral Roberts, not conclusions.
My point was not about sponsorship, but about where the data was gathered. Citing primarily studies that collect data from religious universities seems limited and potentially biased.
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Old 2003-09-05, 12:34   #10
eepiccolo
 
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Default Re: Home schooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickGlover
My point was not about sponsorship, but about where the data was gathered. Citing primarily studies that collect data from religious universities seems limited and potentially biased.
I'm not quite sure I see how you can make that point, unless you are contending that home schoolers who tend to have leadership ability also tend to go to religious universities. Or maybe you are saying that religious people make better leaders? I'm just exploring your statement to posible logical conclusions.

However, if you are saying that a religious university would intentionly only provide data that sheds home schooling in a good light, you could apply the same logic to state schools, but in reverse. Following this logic, a state school would provide only data that sheds home schooling in a bad light, because I think it is easy to demonstrate that the governement is in general against home schooling. All because they allow it doesn't mean they don't dislike it.

But I think that when a person makes a study, they go out and look for specific information, rather than just taking whatever the source feels like giving them.
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Old 2003-09-05, 12:37   #11
Xyzzy
 
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Default Re: Home schooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepiccolo
All because they allow it doesn't mean they don't dislike it.
Wow, now that is a sentence! :)
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