The case against homeschooling

Dear readers,

In a move I should have made long ago, I have taken this post off the site. If you’d like to read the original post, do a Google search or check the comments–it has been re-posted numerous times across numerous blogs. I wanted to delete the post almost immediately after posting it, but I thought that wasn’t fair–I wrote it, I should have to take the consequences. But now that it’s been spread enough I feel like I can delete this without deleting history (to be a bit melodramatic about it).

First things first: I wholeheartedly apologize to the homeschooling community for the post. It was written in a satirical, not-to-be-taken-completely-seriously voice. This intent was lost in the delivery, and instead the post came off as disrespectful, caustic, and flagrantly immature. Any good that resulted from the post–I received dozens of supportive emails–was nullified by all of the bad. The post was divisive and ugly, plain and simple. When I realized the effect it was having on homeschooling readers I was mortified. I tried to explain myself in the comments and follow-up posts, but the damage had be done (and most people only read the original, and not the comments or follow-ups).

To be very clear, once and for all: I’m sorry for this post. It was written early on in my blogging career, and it remains, by far, my most regrettable post. If I could go back in time I would never had written it.

While my heart and energy will always be with the public schools–and I dream of a world where our most dedicated and resourceful parents all send their children to public schools–I fully endorse and support a parent’s right to have educational choice, including private schooling and homeschooling. There is much we can all learn from each other–and much that I have learned from homeschooling friends new and old since this post.

I hope that you all will accept that not everybody blogs on their best day (I posted the original rant jet-lagged and with the flu after spending a day flying back from a service trip to South Africa), and that everybody deserves a second chance–especially those that admit their mistake, and humbly ask for forgiveness.

Sincerely,

- Jesse

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1,231 Comments

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1,231 responses to “The case against homeschooling

  1. D. M.

    I like your picture above that I am guessing is supposed to be in support of public schooling. FIRST, there is a kid flashing negatively connotated hand signs, and secondly referencing “geeky” kids, look at the clearly older boys dressed in newspaper. My child is well socialized with homeschoolers and with public schooled kids. My child, yearly, runs a lemonade stand to benefit the local Humane Society. While we were running it recently, we were told their were 3 other stands going on in town and that ours was the only one benefiting a charity. How many public schooled children do you know that willing without direction CHOOSE to do such a thing? I can go on and on but I think this suffices my point. Good luck in your life being so closed minded, I hope it gets you far!

    • D.M.,

      First of all, thank you for caring and writing. Disagree with you I might, but I appreciate your passion.

      My responses:
      1. You assume those are gang signs, why? Because the kids are Latino and black? (Why else?) There are a lot of “hand sings” kids do you probably don’t know about, including ones promoted by WWE wrestlers and Jay-Z, for example.
      2. I should have used a more specific/sensitive/useful word than geeky, I’ll admit. But I ask, how do you know that your child is well socialized and not geeky? That your kid does a lemonade stand benefiting the Humane Society is a clear indicator is a good person, but not that he is ungeeky.
      3. To take a quick look at the word ‘geeky’… I think it connotes a social awkwardness, and an inability to assimilate well with diverse groups. To think homeschooled kids would be more/equally socially adapt as their public schooled peers is illogical. How can you possibly discount all those hours and months and years of real socialization? Homeschooling might be okay educationally, but socially, I cannot believe that it is a benefit to our kids.

      • I am very glad to see your students are so well educated on the hand signs made by wrestlers and other social icons, as homeschoolers, most of us are more concerned about the three R’s than hand gestures.

        If the fact my children can read and write well and perhaps not know the latest hand signs makes them a geek, then geeks they are, and that makes me proud not ashamed!

        Is school meant to educate children or to socialize them? Listening to you and other anti-homeschoolers speak, I am really beginning to believe more emphasis is put on socialization than proper education.

        Again, I really believe that the public school setting, is not real life. Nowhere else in life will students be seregated by age, income, and ability level. Not even in college. Last time I visited a college I saw classrooms with students of all ages.

        Seeing how it seems the emphasis in school is really socialization and not education, is a psychology degree now needed to teach? Are there special teacher training courses in proper socialization techniques?

        Is it better to have my child properly socialized and well versed in hand signs made by wrestlers than to be able to read and write?

        Yes, I guess our society is well on it’s way to failing…..

        • Camille B

          Unfortunately, yes, there are special teacher-training classes on proper socialization techniques. There are seminars, in-service days, faculty meetings, etc… Teachers are taught how to prevent bullying, how to teach children to problem-solve in social settings, how to preserve equality (Don’t let anyone get too far ahead!!! Focus more on the children who are falling behind!), and many other lessons which are not focused on academics.
          Our society is well on its way to failing and the majority of children who grow up to be the “problems” come from public schools. Personally, I’d prefer a socially-awkward, law-abiding, better-educated child. And, yes, home-schooled children have, in general, a much better education.

          • Sharon

            I would like to address some of the misconceptions of home schooling.
            10. When my daughter entered college, her professor called her after class and remarked, “You have never spent a day in public school, have you?”
            He went on to praise her, yes, praise her on her organizational skills, her ability to not only research but to properly complete a research paper.
            9. Where better can a child learn than where they feel the most comfortable and loved.
            8. Yes, we are selfish. We decided that our children would learn in an environment condusive for learning. Quiet, free from peer pressure, bullies, disruptions, drugs and sex.
            Have you watched T.V. lately? Please address the violence, sex and lack of respect for authority.
            7. God instructs us to train our children. Train means to teach. Where has your head been, in the sand? Children are not allowed to pray in school, wear crosses or anything pertaining to religion. Their Christian rights are gone and the reference you speak of, instructs us to witness but the ACLU has tied their hands.
            6. I am a retired teacher, enough said.
            5. Why because we are doing a better job.
            4. You are making judgments based on ignorance. The majority of home schooled children are members of home school co-ops. The co-ops consist of all races, sexes and backgrounds. Please do your homework.
            3. Socialization in our home consists of friends, family, church and charity work. Hour for hour my children spend as much time enteracting with their peers as any child in public school. They participate in organized sports with our local leagues, by the way, with a mixture of race, sexes and backgrounds.
            They’re home schooled, for goodness sake, not living in a bubble.
            2. Our family’s choice is to home school because I saw personally the lack of education going on in the public school system.
            1. I challenge you to meet my very socialized children and call them anything but happy and well adjusted.

            • Sharon, you are solid, wise, and strong. I can tell just by your 10 points.Thank you for replying to J. Scaccia with such truthful, factual, and well written counter points to all of her silly points. Thank you for standing up for the Lord and our children, and brilliantly pointing out the consequences of the ACLU’s demands that shamefully, and to this country’s detriment, became laws.If J. Scaccia’s main concern with homeschooling is that those children become geeks (which is so shallow and ignorant, and a concern not even worthy to be listed), then she needs to read “Bringing Up Geeks-How To Protect Your Kids Childhood In A Grow-Up-Too-Fast World”, by MaryBeth Hicks, a columnist, author, and mother. This book has been highly praised and endorsed by Dr. Kimberly Thompson, Associate Professor, Harvard School of Public Health, L. Brent Bozell, founder of Parents Television Council, and Chris Hassen, Dateline NBC correspondent and author, to name only a few. I also would like to inform Scaccia that, by his own admission, Bill Gates was considered a geek too. Further more, if Scaccia’s views represent the typical teacher in public schools, then I’d take caring and concerned Mom’s- without double Masters- any day. And, J Scaccia, for your own sake and for the sake of the children you teach, please re-think your thinking and, not trying to be rude, but get a grip on real reality.

            • Emma

              I just wanted to point out… Students ARE allowed to wear crosses, pray in school, etc, etc.

              Also, nearly all homeschooling families are white, middle to upper class, Protestants.

              I am seventeen and recently switched from public school to homeschooling. However, this was due to medical issues. Public school certainly has its faults, but in the lower grades, it is very useful. Students learn how to deal with bullying, peer pressure, et cetera early on, while the circumstances are not yet so serious. As a homeschool student, the only benefit I find is that I work when I want on what I want. Self-learning isn’t for everyone, and it is very rarely something good for younger people.

              A foundation is required for proper development. I can’t tell you how many teens I’ve met who were homeschooled during the early grades and… ho-boy are they behind. I mean, I’m sure adults love them and all, but they’re the kinds of kids who end up with very few friends because they are awkward and say and do a lot of socially inappropriate things. I feel really bad for them because they tend to be awful at adapting to new social situations.

              • Debbi

                You mean socially awkward things, like calling others names and making fun of others…just as you have done?

                Nice way to show how “socialized you are”.

                You are only 17, so you still have time to mature and actually think that part of the grown up world is learning to deal with bullying and peer pressure. lol If I go to work and get bullied I sue, if I get pressure to do drugs at work, I report it.

                Public school is nothing like that. You become brainwashed to keep your head down and your mouth shut…no matter how popular you are. This is from experience.

                I am just laughing at the anti-comments on this. You guys and gals are a barrel of laughs.

              • Carole

                Emma says nearly all homeschooling families are white, middle-to-upper class Protestants. Hmmm, our homeschool group has blacks, whites, Muslim, Christian, New-Age, Pakistani, British, American….the list goes on. It’s a more diverse group than the kids pictured above and certainly doesn’t fit Emma’s description.

              • Adelita

                Actually this depends on the school and the school districts. There are many schools where you are not allowed to wear or say/do anything religious.

              • Liz

                Excuse me, I beg to differ. I was homeschooled for three years; first, second and third grade. I now go to public high school and I admit that I enjoy it. However, I think that those years that I was educated at home were a vital part of my development. I actually learned that I like to learn (shocking I know). I became closer with my family and also made some very close friends (both who were in and out of public school). Perhaps I am the rare case but I have plenty of friends and find that I am just as adjusted as any other student in my school.

              • Ranie

                Kudos, Emma. Good luck with homeschooling. I was homeschooled for 3 years and then switched schools. I’ve never regretted anything more than homeschooling. All the parents want to argue with you, Emma, but were they ever homeschooled? Parents keep saying it is what is right, it is what is good, it is what protects children, it is what God wants, etc. etc. etc. Next time you want to argue for homeschooled children, go ask the actual homeschooled children how they felt about it, after they’re out of school and can reflect back on it without fear of hurting their parents’ feelings. I as a matter of fact was a devout Christian until I was homeschooled, and quickly decided their is definitely no God. Now I am just an angry atheist, with three years of wasted time.

              • Can we even take this 17 year old serious?! lol….become a responsible adult, have children of your own, and then we’ll talk ;)

            • Mike

              This statement is a good example of the true reason for home schooling, “Children are not allowed to pray in school” Not true. This isn’t about a better scholarly education, it’s about indoctrination.
              Anyone can pray in school, but your children have been told other wise.
              America is pushing nations like Saudi Arabia to crack down on their schools that teach Islamic extremism. Of course the Islamic parents react the same way as evangelicals home school parents react.
              Public schools need to be fixed because with out them, we will become radicalized and dumb; our constitution will fail.
              The more secular a nation the more moral, just and fair it is.

              • Kristi

                “The more secular a nation the more moral, just and fair it is.” Really? Wow! That is the most rediculous and ignorant statement I have ever read. Where do morals come from if the nation is secular. If everyone believes there own thing then there is no truth and there are NO morals.

              • Catharine

                You mean secular nations like Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and China?

            • Eric

              Sharon I totally respect your writing and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t agree with homeschooling. I went to a public school and I feel that I learned a lot (both educationally and socially). I have been opened to many things in the social world that I would never have seen if my parents taught me at home. I met all kinds of kids from poor to rich, LD to genius, and kids from other countries. I’m not trying to bash homeschooling at all, I’m just stating that I think you are open more to the world as a whole in a public school. I agree, the education is probably better at home because you are forced to listen to your parents, but schooling isn’t just about education, it’s about gaining experience with others and seeing a ton of situations you wouldn’t see at home. I also just thought about what if I didn’t go to school, I wouldn’t have 80% of the friends that I do now because I met them through the school. I think school made me more of a social person also. Thanks for listening

              • J.

                I agree, the education is probably better at home because you are forced to listen to your parents,

                >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

                No, homechooling is not better because “you are forced to listen to your parents.” It’s better because my child (who is finishing her public high school journey) learned independently, nourished her love of learning, did geometry as a 12-year old by the fire in her jammies, read to abandon, and bonded with family.

                Because we used our time wisely (my biggest beef with school), my daughter had more time for friends and field trips and what we in school call extra-curriculars. We didn’t waste our time on NCLB. We had more important things to do. And I’m just getting started on all she (and by extension, the family) were able to do. Carpe diem. Seize the day. Don’t waste time. Would that school heeded this call as well.

                My daughter awoke when she was rested, ate when she was hungry, went to the bathroom when she needed to go to the bathroom, and she learned at the most optimal time of day for her. You know that saying, homeschoolers can do twice as much in half the time? We didn’t waste time and had plenty left over for yet more learning.

                “Being forced to listen to your parents” is what school is all about. It’s called homework.

              • Catharine

                My kids have always been home schooled, are not geeks, get university scholarships and meet many people from many cultures. Also, I like the ones who are geeks. More geeks! Yay!
                And, not all of us home school for religious reasons. We are Catholics but we have home schooling friends who are Buddhists, atheists, Protestants, Unitarians, etc….

            • Brenda

              I’d like to thank you for the descriptive explanations of why parents choose to home school. I’d like to add another reason to it. I used to get calls from my son’s school at least once a week complaining to me about his behavior. He was caught with pocket knives, he would give inappropriate notes to little girls, he would get into fights with his own friends, etc. How he learned all of this by the age of 8, I don’t know. But I do know that he didn’t learn it at home. I assumed the school wanted me to do something about it, because they certainly didn’t want to. So I chose to home school him to keep him from learning any further bad behavior from the very school that had the nerve to complain to me about him. If that is selfish, then I am guilty. I am home schooling him to protect him.

            • Suzie

              Sharon: #8–You spelled something wrong. I’ll let you figure it out. SO many self righteous, arrogant homeschoolers who frequently spell things incorrectly. Yet, they are “teaching” their children. I wonder what else they are getting wrong? If people want to homeschool, fine, but the “I’m so much better than you” attitude has got to go!

              • Kathy

                Suzie: I just wanted to point out that Ms. “Double Major, Two Masters” also made an error in her article. “If any of you are interesting in writing for us, send me an email:” I’ll let YOU figure it out. Evidently, SO many self righteous, arrogant public school English teachers frequently write things incorrectly. Yet they are “teaching” other people’s children. I wonder what else they are getting wrong? (BTW – I could also point out a major sentence fragment in your response, but that is beside the point and would probably come across as “arrogant”) Maybe homeschoolers could drop the “I’m so much better than you” attitude if they did not constantly feel like they had to defend themselves against hateful, baseless articles like this one. If you truly believe that it is “fine” if we want to homeschool, then leave us alone and let us do it, and we will let you educate your children the way that you feel is best. Can’t we just agree that we ALL have our children’s best interests at heart?

            • Helen

              Very well said Sharon! I have been home schooling for 11 years now. My daughter volunteers at the zoo in Palm Desert and our local horse, dog and cat rescue. She did so well on her PSAT test that colleges are after her. Although she know what college she wants to go to and what is wants to do with her life. She is going after it now. My daughter as friends of ALL races, and females and male, not to mention ages too. So, homeschooler come from wealthy families, that’s funny! My husband has Parkinson Disease and spent a year on Disability. We are in no way “wealthy” as far as money is concerned.

              The person who wrote “The Case Against Home schooling has NO IDEA what he or she is talking about.

              • chillanoot

                chill helen, yeee dude your daughter volunteers at the zoo, ya you guys dont have fun, should have let your kid go to school, when shes 50 years old talking with her friends about the old back in the day and “dude jordan rember that party on 6th ave, or the food fight” or just like chillin in the parkin lot of stuff like that, your daught will say yee well i sat at home and watched alot of youtube videos and had 700 friends on facebook

          • Laura

            I absolutely have to second this. I was nearly at the end of my Elementary Education certification classes (I already held an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Child Development), when I realized I wasn’t buying anything they were selling.

            I packed up my books, pretend lesson plans, and notes and never looked back. I had a 3 year old at the time who was in preschool, and we chose to take him out of preschool and he’s been homeschooled ever since. He’s 14 now.

            Homeschooling offers him (and his sister and brother) a freedom he would never have had in school. My kids are able to spend as much time on something that interests them as they like, and hey… they still have time for subjects they don’t care for as much too.

            Socialization in schools? I’ll pass. My kids are authentic and kind. They aren’t caricatures of people on t.v. Oh wait… we don’t do t.v. either. We don’t even have one. Too busy I guess.

            –Laura

          • Krissy

            The only reason that “the majority of children who grow up to be the “problems” come from public schools” is because there are many, many, many more public school students than homeschool. There are also many “problems” that never get caught. The one’s that are caught are probably the one’s that come from low income areas.

          • Samuel Lang

            I am a Pentecostal minister and I am very concerned with how we as Christians have let Satan deceive us to the extent we have let and is letting him rum rampant in our society and especially our public schools while destroying our children. I blame the Church, as I know God does. The Church has not truly fast and prayed to bring about revival in this nation or the world. We have been too busy trying to satisfy our flesh, the pride of life and the pride of the eye. In doing so, we have voted in unsaved men and women into public office that cater more to the needs of the wicked and ungodly than to the satisfying our Lord Jesus Christ. We have embellished the believe that God’s will is to have a ‘separation of Church and State’ but the Bible historically shows us that God has been and is our King as he reminded Israel when it chose Saul for their King, and King Nebuchadnezzar when he claim God’s glory for himself and was turned into to wilderness for 7 years while being dispossessed of his throne.

            When the governments of England, Europe and other nations sought to diminish God’s sovereign will in their lives and abuse his church by enacting laws that oppressed his children while seeking to squash the anointing in their lives and their triumphant perfection in Christ Jesus, God brought a seed to AMERICA. This seed was to establish a new beginning where there would be pure religion. Where Jesus could be world and without bonds and God’s Kingdom could advance in the hearts of men and in turn evangelize the world. God brought the Puritans over and other religious group who were not perfect but they all acknowledged that Jesus Christ was Lord. Lord means King, ruler. Paul reminds us in II Corinthians, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty”

            Individuals have questioned who America was named after but AM ER I CA was named after it’s maker, “I AM THAT I AM.” Here is what we find when we look at “What’s in a name?!” I and AM refer to God even as Jesus, the Son, referred to himself numerous times as “I AM” i.e. I am bread, I am light, I am drink, I am life, I am truth. CA refers to the word came. ER means where from. ER is also the abbreviation for Europe.

            There are many more names, terms and phrases that witness to fact that Jesus chose America for a special purpose. Space here prevents me from going into if further. Yet should you wish more information on this you may email me at (tmclendon@hot.rr.com) I have two books currently our entitled “Satan Loose in Public Schools and Loving It or Psychology of the Devil Course I II and II, and Satan Loose in Public Schools and Loving It Part II or Reverse Psychology of the Devil Backfired.” To look at the last book check out https://www.createspace.com/3444773. Jesus will bless you if you share this with other who may wish to share the truth.

          • marieblue

            I wish some of my teachers had been taught how to prevent bullying. Any of them. In any of the 8 schools I went to. I was homeschooled after a particularly violent incident in which I ended up in the hospital.

            My eldest is in public school now, but that is elementary school. The minute her school shows an inability to keep her safe, she’s out.

        • How can you say that ‘real life’ and colleges are not segregated by income, race, age, etc… etc… ????? When was the last time you heard that a graduate from a Detroit charter school attended Harvard? The ‘EC’ activities (take special note of the ‘E’ in ‘EC’, please), which are so highly regarded by Ivy League colleges in the United States, are hardly enough to make a student stand out from the tens of thousands whom apply, unless they spend $1,000’s of their parents’ money to go ‘above and beyond standard expectations’.
          To scoff at the kid in the above picture, and the teacher who wrote this blog, indicating that they are ‘less educated’ because they flash a hand gesture made popular by Jay-Z, or a WWE wrestler, shows how close-minded you are.
          I attended public schools. I ended up going to a private art college, only because it had, hands down, the best design curriculum out of a huge pool of public colleges who offer a mundane ‘fine art program’ (our world is made up of art, whether it’s in the design of your shoes, the vehicle you drive – my personal major, or a painting hanging on your wall… Just sayin’). I am also a very accomplished pianist, as well as artist. Surely someone who homeschools their child can appreciate the value of ‘the arts’.
          I’ve known homeschooled kids, as well as those who graduated… And I emphasize the word “graduated”… from public schools. I am more than happy to say that I had a chance to grow up with a myriad of people from different backgrounds – whether it be age, race, social standing (or that of their parents). There’s nothing in the world I would trade it for!

        • Joel

          “Is school meant to educate children or to socialize them?” I am in college as we speak. More specifically I am studying U.S. Government and not two days ago one of the test question was stated as follows,”T/F the government wants to socialize the youth.”

          “is a psychology degree now needed to teach?” not quite but I have taken 4 psychology classes as I AM studying to be a teacher. combine these two facts and you get the idea education is not the main goal here.

          My two cents.

      • Amy

        The issue I have with the “social awkwardness” argument is, with whom are they socially awkward?
        I was home schooled for part of my growing up years and was admittedly a “geek”. I was a geek in private elementary school, I continued to be a geek while home schooled in 8th and 9th grade and I was a geek in public high school.
        I was always socially awkward around kids my age (because I found them to be silly), but related very well to adults and to younger children. The school classroom environment does not mirror the social environment at any work place I have ever been in. In school it is the child, 30 other kids of their own age and 1 older person who the child never really develops a relationship with (in my experience that adult spends most of their time working at controlling the crowd of students in their charge). In my workplace and in my family (the 2 places we all must assimilate ourselves into as an adult) I am around very few people of my own age and many people younger and older than myself. My socialization n my family and with the adults I developed relationships with as a child have served me very well in adulthood.
        The folks my own age who considered me to be a geek may have been right, but who cares? I am a successful, socially responsible member of society!

        • Heather

          I was a complete geek as a kid. I was completely educated in public school. Unfortunately going to public school does not guarantee you will be accepted or fit in. Quite the opposite, my peers made every attempt to help me stand out. Regardless I went on to college and to be a productive member of society. Of course lots of therapy helps. My kids go to public school. I just found out from my daughter that one of the boys likes to expose himself all the time and the teacher doesn’t believe her when she tells him. She is in 2nd grade. There has to be a better way.

      • vladimir998

        The IDIOT wrote:

        “10. “You were totally home schooled” is an insult college kids use when mocking the geeky kid in the dorm”

        And those dumbass college kids matter why?

        “9. Call me old-fashioned, but a students’ classroom shouldn’t also be where they eat Fruit Loops and meat loaf … Students–from little ones to teens–deserve a learning-focused place to study. In modern society, we call them schools.”

        I think students should have a place to study as well – in fact most homeschoolers do as well. That’s why they set aside a room in their house, if they can, for no other purpose. Also, look at any public school and you’ll see students texting on their cellphones, not learning, buying drugs, etc. That’s modern society.

        “8. Homeschooling is selfish. According to this article in USA Today, students who get homeschooled are increasingly from wealthy and well-educated families.”

        Yet you condemn homeschooling? Let me get this straight. You admit that increasingly the best families in terms of wealth and education are choosing to homeschool and yet you make no connection between that fact and the families’ wealth and educational SUCCESS? So they should send their kids to crappy public schools to be UNSELFISH? You’re a moron. Clearly you went to public school.

        “7. God hates homeschooling. The study, done by the National Center for Education Statistics, notes that the most common reason parents gave as the most important was a desire to provide religious or moral instruction. To the homeschooling Believers out there, didn’t God say “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”? Didn’t he command, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me”? From my side, to take your faithful children out of schools is to miss an opportunity to spread the grace, power and beauty of the Lord to the common people. (Personally I’m agnostic, but I’m just saying…) “

        Kids can be great beacons of light in dark places, but they also have to be properly cared for and raised AND EDUCATED. If parents decide that means homeschooling them, then guess what?

        “6. Homeschooling parent/teachers are arrogant to the point of lunacy. For real! My qualifications to teach English include a double major in English and education, two master’s degrees (education and journalism), a student teaching semester and multiple internship terms, real world experience as a writer, and years in the classroom dealing with different learning styles. So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me? Well, maybe you can. I’ll give you that. But there’s no way that you can teach English as well as me, and biology as well as a trained professional, and history… and Spanish… and art… and counsel for college as well as a school’s guidance counselor… and… and…”

        Again, you’re an idiot. Homeschoolers don’t need guidance counselors. They can learn almost any subject that is taught in a regular school with greater speed and retention than the poor deprived kid stuck in a classroom. Also, they will avoid child rapists working as teachers, liberalism couched as lessons, morons like yourself and other fools who think that education is only reducible to pieces of colorful paper called degrees (I have five of them by the way so cut me some slack. I know what I’m talking about.)

        “5. As a teacher, homeschooling kind of pisses me off. (That’s good enough for #5.)”

        Why? Why would success and family togetherness piss you off? Isn’t that rather childish on your part? Do public libraries also piss you off? Gee, someone might be learning something in there without you controlling them!!!

        “4. Homeschooling could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism.”

        And, gee, we know public schools have no problems at all with racism or intolerance or, for that matter, anti-Christian attitudes, liberalism, socialism, communism, homosexuality, “free love”, drug use, anti-Americanism, reverse racism, affirmative action, waste, fraud, low standards, stupidity, and ignorance, right?

        “Unless the student is being homeschooled at the MTV Real World house, there’s probably only one race/sexuality/background in the room. How can a young person learn to appreciate other cultures if he or she doesn’t live among them?”

        First, why exactly does he have to appreciate other cultures, and what exactly does “appreciate” mean? Secondly, is this America? Last time I checked it was. If I raise him to appreciate America – the country he lives in – how am I in the wrong? Also, why do you assume that “other cultures” is analogus to racial identity. That’s racist in itself. There is no American race. You might want to look at a successful school – a successful public school – probably unlike the one you work at. Look at the American Indian Charter School in Oakland, California and then realize what a typical liberal fool you are. The LA Times just did a fascinating – and sadly left-wing – article on that excellent school yesterday.

        “3. And don’t give me this “they still participate in activities with public school kids” garbage. Socialization in our grand multi-cultural experiment we call America is a process that takes more than an hour a day, a few times a week. Homeschooling, undoubtedly, leaves the child unprepared socially.”

        BS!!! The most socially retarded morons I ever met were products of public schools.

        “2. Homeschooling parents are arrogant, Part 2. According to Henry Cate, who runs the Why Homeschool blog, many highly educated, high-income parents are “probably people who are a little bit more comfortable in taking risks” in choosing a college or line of work. “The attributes that facilitate that might also facilitate them being more comfortable with home-schooling.” More comfortable taking risks with their child’s education? Gamble on, I don’t know, the Superbowl, not your child’s future.”

        They aren’t gambling on their kids’ future. Notice, they’re not sending them to public schools!!! I would want my kids to be risk takers. They might fail often, but they will also find success. If I left them to you, you would sissify them and make them dependent upon Uncle Sam. You would make my children left-wing, empty headed wage slaves/parasites like yourself. I have to support your lazy, barely working, unionized carcass with my tax dollars and for what? So kids can graduate barely able to read? Idiot!

        “1. And finally… have you met someone homeschooled? Not to hate, but they do tend to be pretty geeky***.”

        Strange. I always thought of the homeschooling kids I met as successful scholarship winning students at major universities. One I know especially well is studying for a PhD. Others I know have gone to college, gotten degrees, married, had kids, work good jobs and don’t put self-embarrassing crap on the internet as you have. Who’s the geek here?

        “One last note, to those homeschooling parents out there: it’s clear from the number and passion of your responses that TeacherRevised is missing an important voice in the teaching community. If any of you are interesting in writing for us, send me an email: jessescaccia@gmail.com. I would love to have you as part of our conversation.”

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Wow, you threw in the towel pretty quickly. You went from hating them to wanting to hire them! Fools.

        • miraculousmom

          Well Said vladimir998. I don’t have much to add except that the only sign of intelligence this blogger has show is that she (he?) has chosen a topic of controversy which has drawn attention to her blog. Perhaps her real talent is not teaching but marketing.

          • dina little

            I think vladimir998 said it all and said it best. I love homeschooling. I have a blast with my kids! I wouldn’t trade my life for anything and I am grateful to my husband who is willing to be a sole ‘breadwinner’ so I may pursue my fabulous career as a home school mom.
            I did, however, google that Indian charter school article from the LA times that vladimir998 mentioned and found some fascinating reading. If I couldn’t home school, that is a school I would have my kids in….at least I know they would NOT have representatives from GLSEN (http://www.massresistance.org/docs/issues/fistgate/index.html)
            come in to teach the kids about “fisting”. (Warning: DO NOT google THAT!)
            dina

        • Juliette

          if I had ever attended public school I would say something like “CHA-CHING!” but “That was a great post!” will have to do!

        • Candyce

          I completely agree with vladimir998. The only thing I might add is that in this article it talks about being tolerant and accepting differences and how home schooled kids would have trouble with that. It is interesting to me that this article seems attacking and not tolerant of any opinion about home schooling that is different from the writers. So, I suppose the writer must have been Home schooled as a child because he comes off pretty intolerant and arrogant as well.

        • Mike

          “And, gee, we know public schools have no problems at all with racism or intolerance or, for that matter, anti-Christian attitudes” Like I said, has nothing to do with scholarly education, it’s about indoctrination and with the free flow of information truth wins, home schooling prevents the free flow of information.
          Not all parents are qualifies to home school and not all public schools are qualified to teach. At least the schools can be monitored and fixed.

          Calling someone an idiot for their opinion is rude.

        • Oh my…I don’t even know where to start…the writer of this article is the most ignorant, intolerant, arrogant person of all…so, going by the definition of “homeschooler” in this blog entry, that means he/she is a homeschooler, right?

          Homeschoolers have the opportunity to learn so much more than public schools offer. When my children were in public school, they were bored because the school can only teach as fast as the slowest learner can understand. My daughter BROKE HER ARM and the school kept her at school, still forcing her to write in class, and never called me. My daughter (who is 7, doing 3rd & 4th grade work now) graduated Kindergarten without knowing how to read. My daughter learned more about sex, drugs, bullying, and crime than she did academic subjects.

          Now, my children get a great education tailored to their style of learning. They play sports. They discuss current events every day.

          If this is having “ignorant” and “geeky” kids, bring it on! I live in TX; we have lots of different cultures here, and my children are certainly exposed to it all on a daily basis.

          To the author of this article: you make negative claims about homeschoolers, based on your ignorance of the topic. I think you should look at yourself before you begin casting stones at others.

          • Owl

            Maybe the author is this article is ignorant. I don’t know and neither do you. I have met many, many home schooled children. I have NEVER met one yet who is well adjusted, well spoken, and well educated. The children I have met and known are extremely defensive, like you, withdrawn, and not outwardly well educated. Maybe they are very scholarly, maybe not. Several of the homeschooled children I have known begged their parents to be allowed to go back to public school.

            The homeschooling parents I have known were only interested in one thing; control. They wanted to control every aspect of their children’s lives. They were not interested in educating their children, not really. Those children were terrified of their parents. I would have been too.

            I am a teacher by trade and education. Public schools are not perfect. Neither are the people running them. Home schooling parents are not perfect either, even though a lot of them seem to think they are. How many of them have even taken a college class? Taking a college class or having a degree does not make anyone qualified to teach but if you were in a public school setting and your child’s teacher introduced him/herself by saying that they had made it through high school and intended to teach the children in their class, the parents would be apalled, wouldn’t they? How does the average person know how to teach? Where did they learn? What did they study? How did they train? Getting materials from the internet or from tv does not tell anyone how to teach. No one is an expert in all the subjects they will need to know if their children are to be properly homeschooled.

            Where are the statistics that tell how homeschooled children do once they are grown? If there are any, please point them out.

            Oh, and by the way, my son fell off the monkey bars at school in the second grade and the nurse sent home a note saying he had scraped his wrist, when in fact he had broken his arm. We were doing something fun that night and he didn’t want to miss it so he didn’t tell us how bad his arm hurt until bedtime. Did I go in a flame the nurse? No. I wondered how she missed the break but I know it was because my son didn’t want her to know. That does not make the school or the nurse bad. It is just part of this thing called life.

            My children went to public school. I have one who has a master’s degree, one who is working on a physics degree and one who is working on a computer degree. Oh, and they teach Sunday School, tutor students after school, play several instruments, are in band, love to read and take care of our myriad of rescued animals. They all have jobs also.

            A Public School Teacher
            I am one who sees the faults and works around them rather than tear down what you disdain.

            • tiedyedeb

              Um…. I have not one but two education degrees, thankyouverymuch. I am a certified public school teacher, have taught many years in public school, can’t imagine doing anything else, and while my kids go to public school for now while we catch up on financial stuff – too many things went kerflooey in too short a time for one paycheck to keep up with – I can hardly wait to go BACK to homeschooling. We did it for two years, were completely happy with it (except for the house falling apart around us), and both my kids and I would be more than happy to return to it. Not that it matters, but we aren’t Christian, but Unitarian Universalist.

              My older daughter has learned from me (while homeschooled, mind you!) that her public school teachers can make math and especially grammar errors ranging from the mildly amusing to the divinely egregious (“fragrent” from a TEACHER describing a flower? PLEEEEASE!), but my younger is now learning the most incredibly rude social behavior imaginable in public school, while at home she was THE most naturally empathic child I’d ever seen even as a baby before she could say a word.

              I am a teacher also by trade and education. I’ve been teaching since I myself was in high school, and I can’t imagine anything else. Maybe I can’t teach my kids, say, chemistry, BUT you can bet that I know another homeschooling family who CAN, and I can teach THEIR kids the subjects in which I specialize. When they’re old enough, homeschoolers can skip straight to community college and take the coursework that will NOT bore them to tears and in fact pretty much guarantee them a decent college education should they wish to pursue one.

              As far as “geeks” go – there are kids in almost all the classes at my kids’ school who are in desperate need of help with social skills. The System is failing them right and left; there are 4th- and 5th-graders getting ZERO help in navigating social skills, and even at 7+ hours a day being with their peers, they’re not magically “getting” “socialization.” I myself managed 13 years of public school and two college degrees and it wasn’t until I had one special-needs child of my own that I realized that I was very likely undiagnosed Aspergers, completely NOT helped at ANY time in my public school career but put down a lot and nowhere near my potential as a student in any of those environments except possibly grad school. It was as a homeschooling parent that I was able to work with my older child and help her learn the social skills that her won school couldn’t teach her while also managing medical conditions that her school wasn’t able to handle. After two years of homeschooling, she returned to public school as a remarkably well-adjusted young lady and has been nominated by her teacher for a number of opportunities based on her academic achievement and leadership qualities, so I can only assume I did *something* right, even with *only* the two college degrees (but not much income to speak of, so we don’t fall into that “privileged” or “wealthy” category of homeschoolers Jesse seems hell-bent on hating on.

              Yes, there ARE homeschooling parents hell-bent on controlling every aspect of their children’s lives – and there are parents of publicly-schooled children who do likewise. There are also public schools that are failing the children who attend them Every. Single. Day. Neither of these is a good thing, but my children would not have benefited from being stuck in failing schools, nor do they benefit from the time their schools do spend on standardized test prep and NOT on now to be real human beings. They’re doing all right, for now, but we are all considering a return to homeschooling if circumstances permit it. And I say this not just as a certified teacher, but one of many public school teachers I know who homeschool or have already brought up their kids through homeschooling and sent them off into the adult “real” world.

            • Lisa

              Wow! Where shall I begin? I pulled my oldest two children out of public school following a particularly nasty IEP meeting. My son was in sixth grade. He had been struggling in the DoD school for a year. Prior to our military move to Germany, he had been in an upstate New York school where he received occupational, physical, and speech therapy. The DoD school refused these services because he did not have an IEP. New York offers related services without an IEP and refused to give him one. I argued, to no avail, that it would make receiving services in future schools difficult. We are active duty military. It is a fact that we move. Back to the IEP meeting. My son is mildly dyslexic. The school officials were arguing that he should be on Ritalin. My son does not have attention deficit disorder. My daughter does, but my son had been evaluated, at my request, in first and third grade, and I had been told both times that he did not have it. I had asked for this meeting because I wasn’t happy with what was on his original EIP.Chris been labeled as mentally disabled with high anxiety. The psychiatrist had said that it was not pathological, but was induced by the lack of support he was receiving in his public school. My son had been bullied at the DoD school so much by students and his fifth grade teacher that he had stood in our living room and told us that if he had a gun he would shoot Stephen, his biggest tormentor. I had kept him home the next day and called the school. I assumed they would want to speak with my husband and me. No, they merely gave my son an unexcused absence and carried on. I filed an Inspector General claim against the school, and I involved my husband’s leadership and our medical community. My husband was in Iraq during all of this. The school was forced into addressing the issue. I was finally able to at least get the occupatioi therapist to observe him. He was, also, finally tested for a learning disability. Our special education laws use the acronym CONUS. We were OCONUS, outside the continental United States, so the laws did not protect him, and my written requests for an evaluation had been ignored over the prior year. His IEP had only one directive, extra time on the standardized test, and it would be taken in the special ed room. That’s it! No occupation therapy, much less speech or physical therapy. Nothing would be done in the classroom to help him compensate. Even though their o.t. had recommended a higher chair for him to raise him up and making writing a bit easier, and she had recommended a letter guide to be taped to his desk. No, he would receive neither of those fairly simple things. One big reason he was being bullied was his bathroom problem. He had been diagnosed with an extremely small bladder and was taking medicine to help stretch it. He was seeing a urologist. The urologist had even stated, in writing,the my son should be allowed to use the bathroom as needed, but his teacher had refused to allow him. My son would then have multiple accidents and would come home drenched. It is now wonder that Stephen nicknamed him Pee In The Pants boy. I kept dry clothes at the school, but he was never sent down to the nurse’s office to change. He was left to walk around school like that. He had worn Good Nights before this, but after another student tried to pull his pants down on the playground he had refused to wear them again. The IEP meeting. I was laughed at, literally laughed at, when I suggested when I suggested remedial work for my son. While I sat in tears at the meeting, humiliated and frightened for my son’s future, I was handed his report card. My son should have failed everything. True to his dyslexia, he lacked organizational and time management skills. Purposefully, I had stopped assisting him in this area with hpes that he would fall flat on his face and finally receive the help he desperately needed. I asked how he managed to get all of his passing grades and was told they had replaced all of his failing grades with passing grades before they averaged out his grades. My son was going to be one of those children that you year about on the news. He would someday graduate without a real education!! I started homeschooling the next day. For the records, my son is a very intelligent, well adjusted young man now. He is attending college and is in an honor society. He plans to get his doctorate in physics. As a high schooler, he was chosen to be one of three student representatives for our local Intel Computer Clubhouse. He went to the Boston Teen Summit for a week and ended up being the head coder in the workshop he attended. He was involvd in robotics and eventually became the coach. He volunteered at our library’s summer reading program each summer. My other two children are doing very well in our homeschool despite their teacher only having some college and not a degre. Some highlights, my daughter was also chosen to go to Boston three years after her brother went. She has volunteered extensively at the library, reenacted at a living history museum for three years as a junior docent, completed a nine month internship at a local radio station where she wrote news stories and was offered a full time job at the end(she declined the offer because she plans to attend college), been heavily involved in our community theatre both on stage and behind for years, and she has taught a theatre class for homeschooled students for two years now. She has strong language arts skills and will be taking remedial algebra at our community college, just as many of her public schooled peers do in the end. My youngest has SPD, and he is being evaluated for Aspergers. He attends speech, occupational, and physical therapy through our insurance. He taught himself to read at age two. He is musically gifted and plays his keyboard beautifully. He loves cars and wants to write the music for video games some day, just like many of his other twelve year old peers traditionally or nontraditionally schooled. I have no doubt that he continue to shine as well. He is very shy and some what socially awkward, but I know this would be the case no matter how he was schooled, hence the Aspergers eval. He would perhaps be more so in the public school setting. Homeschooled kids seem to be more accepting of children who are not in the norm, and I am afraid he would have been the victim of a lot of bullying in a traditional setting. So there is my life storing in regards to homeschooling. My one regret is not homeschooling my older two from kindergarten on.

              • Lisa

                I just reread my post. There are so many errors and so many awkwardly written sentences. I apologize. My excuses are my awkward fingers on this small virtual keyboard and auto correct. Please, make allowances for me because I do know better ;).

        • Irene

          Well said, for the most part. If not for the bigotry, yours would have been the most convincing argument of all. For someone who is seemingly intelligent, I’m surprised you subscribe so readily to any partisan political agenda, but it’s pretty obvious you’ve bought wholesale into the “right-wing” program. Christian, Anti-Gay and Classist.

          I’m sure you’re raising perfectly educated intellects. Hopefully, they’re not as angrily ignorant such as yourself.

        • can'twegetalong?

          okay, look – I appreciate you trying to stand up for us homeschool kids, I really do, but calling the author an idiot is not going to convince her that she’s wrong. In fact, it supports the argument that homeschoolers are arrogant (an argument, by the way, which I have never heard of before today – I’ve never personally met a homeschooler or homeschool parent who goes around boasting about their intelligence, but there may be some out there).
          Homeschoolers and public schoolers don’t have to be enemies! This is not a war and we are not children who must resort to name calling (geeks, idiots, etc.) to make their point.

        • peanut

          homeschooling sucks

        • Dee Grant

          You absolutely rock! The person who wrote this article is an idiot! Just because you are a teacher, it does not meant that you are qualified. I went to college with a girl that was born in the U.S. and failed ENGLISH twice! She has been a teacher for 15 years. Scary! Education degrees are not exactly the hardest to earn. I am not saying that there are not bright teachers, but there are a lot that have no business doing what they do. I started homeschooling this year because my daughter is exceptionally bright and in this school district those students are shoved to the side. We like it and my child is in 4 activities and is not too tired to do them because she is in school half the time and gets twice the work done. Not many 1st graders read a novel while their mom works out. I said all this to say that I am proud to teach my child and I may not do it forever, but for now it works. Thanks for being so honest, funny and for making the person that wrote this out to be the idiot that she is!

          • Dee Grant

            I was giving props to you Vladimir, but I did not realize that my post would be so far below. If you start your own blog, I will follow it. This one-not so much!

      • Educadora en Casa

        Funny how you don’t like that some one assumes the kids in your picture are throwing gang signs, but it is okay for you to assume all homeschoolers are geeky. I guess knowing the latest hand gestures make you cool, and not geeky. That is what’s important, right?
        By the way, I am glad my kids don’t have to be around an adult that resorts to put-downs and name calling of children to make herself feel better.

      • Bridget

        Oh honey, you are SOOO missing the boat on the socialization issue. I have an anecdote for you. My oldest, at 18, went to college, and Ohio State University branch campus focused on Agriculture, Horticulture and Business. The first time I visited the campus (on parent’s day) we were walking from one building to the next and I swear every single person we passed said “Hi Rachel”.
        The really funny socialization story happened in her second year. She worked on campus and was very friendly with several of her instructors. One day she was eating lunch at a table with one other student and three instructors, two of whom knew her well and one who had never met her. The subject of homeschooling arose because a local newspaper had just done a very negative series on the subject. The instructor who didn’t now my daughter said, “Well, they may get a good education, but what about socialization – how do they ever learn to function with people?” One of the other profs, pointed to Rachel and said, “Ask her. She should know, she was homeschooled.” I think knowing that one of the most popular kids on campus, one who was equally popular with the instructors was homeschooled changed that woman’s whole outlook on homeschooling.

        What I find most humorous about the socialization issue though, goes back to my own days in school. First, there was the number of times I heard a teacher say, “We aren’t here to socialize, people. Quiet down and put your noses back in your books”. Second, there is the number of friends I had in school compared to the numbers my kids had away from school. When I was in school I had one friend at best and most of the socialization I got was definitely not the kind that served me well as an adult. I learned that much later in college and after college.

        At this point, I’ve been homeschooling for 15 years and I’ve met hundreds of homeschooled families along the way. I have only met one family out of those hundreds who restricted who their kids could socialize with. The rest have had kids who could not only socialize with their own age group, but with adults and children younger then themselves too. I’ve actually met more students in various school settings who seemed sheltered to the point of inability to socialize. But I don’t blame that on the schools. No matter the setting, the few fundamentalists who are that extreme will be that extreme with their children.

      • I find it fascinating that you think young people who spend almost their entire day with their peers are better able to “assimilate well with diverse groups”. My now grown children, who were all totally or partially homeschooled have had no difficulty in assimilating into society, either in their jobs, or in college. I will point out, however, that I am very grateful that they have not chosen to accept the premise that being “part of the group” is preferable to being true to their individual likes and dis-likes.

      • amy

        1. I see your idea of public school, according to your picture, does not include the caucasion race. Notice on your picture, there is not one white kid. So according to your argument, these kids are not getting the education they need becuase not all the races are represented in their school. Oh, wait, I forgot, white people don’t count becuase they are the only racist people in the world and should be excluded for their racist ideas, unless they are liberal of course.
        I find it funny that in order for my kids to be raised properly they must embrace every race except their own. In fact, it would be better if they rejected their race and pretended to be another. Every other race in America is encouraged to embrace their heritage and culture to keep it alive, except mine. Becuase my heritage is Christian, and white.
        So I suppose your narrowminded view is, you can exclude and be prejudice against me, but I am not socially adept unless I embrace every other race that rejects me. Hmmmm.

        2. Don’t quote the Bible until you’ve read it, ALL. Taking one scripture out of the context of the entire Bible, is not the proper way to build an argument. But with all your degrees and writing experience, I’m sure you know that to be true of any literature, including the Bible. However, even the best writers, well no, just the liberal writers, fall victim to using resources out of context in order to prove their point, becuase it can’t be proven without deceit.

        The Bible clearly states over and over again, that parents, especially mothers, must train their children. Nowhere does it say that parents must allow their children to be taught by liberal agnostics, like yourself.
        In Matthew 28, I believe Jesus was commanding those adults who are mature enough to withstand the temptations the world offers, to go make disciples. I’m pretty sure not one of the people standing there when He said those words were 5 year olds. In fact, He commanded Peter to “feed my lambs”, not send them out to the wolves for slaughter.

        3. I may not have a degree in every subject I am teaching my children, but I did go to school myself for almost 20 years, and learned the very same subjects they will be studying. Am I weak in some, yes. But it’s amazing what our library holds, and what can be found on the internet these days.
        I find it interesting though, that you believe I cannot teach English as well as you, and shouldn’t be allowed to teach my children English becuase I don’t have multiple degrees in it (just one minor), yet you feel you have enough religious knowledge as an agnostic that you can use the Bible (which I do have a degree in) to argue your point with me.

        Also, are you not aware that your public school system is hiring teachers without a teaching degree, and allowing them to earn it as they teach? My friend has a degree in psychology and is teaching Kindergarten. Hmmm, can’t really find the connection there? My sister-in-law has a degree in religion, yet is teaching Jr. High English, literature and history. Hmm, again, no connection.
        You really should, as an experienced writer, think through and research your arguments better before you publish them. But I guess that’s the best public school could do with you, teach you to be one sided rather than fair. I wouldn’t hire you as one of my writers (and yes, I worked as the assistant editor on my college newspaper), purely based on the fact that you think the fact that it pisses you off is a reasonable enough point to publish. A well educated writer would know that to convince your readers of your point, you should come up with well thought out, factual, reasonable arguments, not your own opinion as a nobody in the homeschool culture.
        Seriously, is just the fact that it pisses you off the only thing you could come up with? I could do better arguing your point and I disagree totally.

        • amy

          Just one more thing. If you actually researched something that isn’t just liberal, you would find one study that showed children that were homeschooled by parents that were not certified teachers, scored higher in academics than those homeschooled by parents that are certified teachers.
          And Camille said that teachers are trained not to let any children get ahead and focus on those that are falling behind. Which means, if my child proves to be a step ahead of his class, he will be encouraged to hold back and not reach his full potential, while being ignored by his teacher so she can work more with those students who struggle. Sounds like a good system that’s worth risking his intellectual growth just so we can make sure he can “socialize” in a way he will never be required to socialize as an adult. Thanks Camille for just one more reason I feel confident I am doing the rigth thing.

          • Linda

            I was planning to read all the responses before posting my own reply. But all this liberal bashing is more than I can take! *I* am a secular, liberal homeschool mom! There are as many homeschoolers like me as there are of the right-wing religious fundamentalist types.
            There is nothing “liberal” about the hyper-authoritarian, undemocratic, totalitarian, dog-eat-dog-competitive, soul-crushing way in which our public schools are run!
            I’ll post my response to the original article later.

            • PeggyU

              That is refreshing, Linda. I am a conservative parent, and I agree with your points. The truth is, we home schoolers frighten the establishment. Schools lose funding when students are pulled from their enrollment. Of course they don’t like that!

              Public school administrators and teachers are predominantly liberal, if the information I have read is correct. I think this accounts for the tendency to typecast home schoolers as right-wing Bible thumpers. Since home schoolers compete for students, we are the natural enemies of public schools. I would not be surprised if this teacher is completely blind to the fact that many liberal families also home school. We are not a homogeneous lot, and our reasons for taking on this challenge are as diverse as our backgrounds.

              However, I do believe that there is one common thread: we see it as our responsibility to provide the best we can for our children. We will not be bullied into sacrificing them on the altar of the public good. Who are the teaching professionals to determine what is best for all of society and to engineer it to their own vision?

              • Stacey

                Educators liberal, hmm. I left teaching for a big part because I felt unable to teach anything the least bit creative or “out of the box” schools are hardly liberal. We homeschool, as two ex-teachers, precisely because the schools were too conservative and that they taught through a exclusively Christian perspective (try explaining to your child why his class gets a Christmas party and treats Chanukah as a foreign event to be studied). Yes there are some very liberal people in education but there are just as many conservatives.

              • Well said, Linda and Peggy U, and others weighing in on the liberal versus conservative thread. I am a liberal homeschooling mom with two master’s degrees, who has written for national magazines, taught at the university level and works as a writing coach. One of the reasons I so love homeschooling is the fact that my friends are diverse, not only in their ethnicity, income levels and religious outlooks, but in their political views. I am delighted that such a diverse group of us can get together so often and form a community that is based on common interests and values. We don’t focus on what divides us. I believe that this is one of the long-term benefits of homeschooling that gets overlooked: we are raising children who are inclusive and make connections with those with different belief systems. When our homeschooling children reach a critical mass in adulthood, I hope they are able to quell the modern tendency to break into political factions that can’t work together. Some people say we aren’t being patriotic enough because we aren’t subjecting our kids to school. I say we are creating a solution to the divisiveness of our political and social systems.

              • MSS

                ‘we are raising children who are inclusive and make connections with those with different belief systems. ‘

                I can see you are being inclusive of those with different belief systems right here. Good job! And nice “assumption” that only home schoolers do that. I’m glad to hear you are an authority on how parents of public school children raise their children.

            • Hope

              I think the “Liberal” in which most these posts are referring is the liberal leaning of the public school’s curriculum, in general. I do wish that folks would take the time, when posting, to be more reflective and exact when expressing their thoughts, but I think bashing is an quick and easy response (on either side) when commenting on blogs. (In this case, a “blah”g.)

              Homeschooling ought not be an “anti-liberal” campaign. Actually, by it’s purest definition, Homeschooling is very much against the status quo, and some would identify that as Liberal.

              For the record, our homeschool lifestyle is very free-spirit and family oriented, interested in pursuing what we love and love to learn while not terribly concerned about performance, other than personal responsibility to guard against laziness, apathy and strife towards others and family members. However, we are a praying family and acknowledge God as final and ultimate Authority so that would probably classify us as the “right-wing fundamentalist type”.

              You know how; for every child you have there’s a different kind? Same is true for Homeschools. Observe enough of them and you’ll find 1 of each type. Glad to know you’re out there!

            • dina little

              Linda, you are a classic ‘old school’ liberal. The new liberalism is quite different, and I dare say intolerant even of fellow liberals…look what the Obama campaign did to Hilary supporters. I even got to feeling sorry for them.

              If you don’t believe me, can you imagine conservative college students being allowed to have an old fashioned sit in like they had in the 60’s?

              No way!
              d.

            • Linda..thankyou, from yet another moderately liberal homeschooling family.

            • Kirsten

              Linda,

              As neither a parent, nor homeschooled student, I feel a little out of place here, but I’ll push on. In reading many of the comments, I noticed a distinctive “right” lean to many of the comments. I appreciate your “liberal” perspective, as I find myself somewhat more inclined that direction. I agree with you wholeheartedly, and as a liberal Christian, it is heartening to see I won’t be entirely alone. :)

              Mu husband and I are starting the process of researching our educational options for our future (hopefully near!) children, and I find many of the opinions here…if not entirely in line with my own beliefs, at least they are enlightening.

            • Monique

              Hurrah, Linda! I am peeved to no end by religious homeschoolers who claim they have a lock on home education. And I am tired of the assumption that I homeschool for religious reasons. I am secular and liberal. I chose to homeschool because my daughter’s school thought her extra-curricula activities were interfering with her academics. When I realized that her activities were more valuable, and that she could actually do both in a more efficient and effective way at home, I took her out of school. That was in 5th grade. She is now in college, having graduated a year early, has a full academic scholarship, and carries 19 credits a semester so she can graduate in four years with a double major. Oh, and yes, she works too. As she readied herself to leave the nest, I realized that my most important job as a parent was to prepare her to be successful and responsible citizen. Check and check. Neither of these required a) a public school education; b) a religiously moral upbringing.

            • Catharine

              What she said! (Although we are Catholics…)

      • Jan

        I have public schooled my older kids and am now homeschooling. While you extol the socialization opportunities of school, my kids were told repeatedly that they were there to learn, not socialize. Recess has been eliminated in many schools. Where exactly do you see the socialization in the public schools?

        Further, if one were so inclined, one could point out that your photo of kids supposedly being exposed to many other cultures shows only 2. Has the variety of cultures in the US suddenly shrunk to this degree?

        • Jan

          Sorry…I hit send too early. I also meant to ask you how, if you are an English teacher, you have trouble with a simple English word like “selfish”:

          You wrote, “Homeschooling is selfish. According to this article in USA Today, students who get homeschooled are increasingly from wealthy and well-educated families. To take these (I’m assuming) high achieving students out of our schools is a disservice to our less fortunate public school kids.”

          My child is NOT myself. If I want what is best for my child, I am not being selfish. Maybe I’m being “childish”.

          • PeggyU

            “… you think you can teach English as well as me …”

            As well as I, perhaps? I believe that’s an elliptical clause. But then what do I know? I’m just an idiot home-school mom. I have degrees, but not in English, by the way.

            • PeggyPenguin,

              As I’ve written elsewhere, I consider this you-vs.-I usage a choice. “as well as I” just sounds stuffy and elitist to me, so I never use it.

              • PeggyU

                You are a study in contradiction then, aren’t you?

              • AndyZ

                Shockingly, your decision to reconstruct the English language, may not have universal acceptance. If you are a teacher, then your choice is imposed upon the families of the children in your class. This is the problem, many of the choices teachers make are in conflict with the views of the parents. Many teachers feel an entitlement to rewrite the rules as they see fit, rather than abide by them. They often times have a different view of what areas of education should be focused on as well. A Liberal arts education, in what is really a vastly easier area of study than many other majors does not make you infallible, only prone to thinking that you are.

                A student taught by you, who goes on to College, will learn that if “Me think you can teach English” sounds wrong, then “You think you can teach English as well as me.” is also wrong. Unfortunately they will learn this lesson to the detriment of their GPA.

              • Greta Hoostal

                What a load! Using proper grammar “sounds stuffy and elitist?” News for you: proper grammar is inexpensive or free to learn for everyone, an EQUALIZER! The inquisitive one can buy a grammar book (hint: the pre-progressive-ed, i.e. pre-1920, ones tell you straight, what is correct and what is incorrect, and an original costs often only $10 or $15 on Amazon), check one out of a library, download a free e-book version from Google Books or Internet Archive, or ask questions of an English teacher, one who learned it right in the first place, has no intentions of withholding any of it from students or pupils, and desires to PROMOTE, rather than THWART their rise in society.

              • Stay Classy

                As a parent on the fence about whether to Homeschool my 2 kids or offer them up to the state, this article and pompous attitude has definitely shifted my stance. I know you don’t speak on behalf of all “education professionals” out there, but I don’t see any true wisdom here. Regurgitated myth only, and juvenile tactics using insults. I am more certain than ever that Homeschool is right for my kids, and they will b better off without ‘mentors’ such as yourself.

        • Greta Hoostal

          “Two cultures” is overly generous. We all can see clearly it’s one culture, of the lowest sort: gang. I don’t buy that suggestion about the wrestling. Where is the proof of pro wrestlers making these very signs? Regardless of the origin of the signs, we know they glorify violence, and because they are commonly SEEN as gang signs, it is utterly shameful that the behavior has been encouraged by an authority figure, publicized, and used in a masthead.

      • Paul

        Here is the alternative to home schooling…glad that teaching credentials are “proof of concept” that an educated professional is somehow “better” for ALL children…

        • Laura

          Wow! You are passionate about your beliefs. Unfortunately, your glaring grammatical errors reduce your argument to mere opinion.

          Here are two examples:
          “…double major in English and education”
          [Comment: leaving out the preposition "in" prior to the word, education, changes the meaning.]

          “… you think you can teach English as well as me [sic]? Well, maybe you can. I’ll give you that. But there’s no way that you can teach English as well as me [sic]…”
          [Comment: the grammatically correct case is the subjective, not the objective. You should have written, …”as well as I (can teach)?”

          Laura
          Ivy League graduate, former middle school math and Latin teacher, current homeschool parent who is teaching her children grammatically correct English all by herself at home

        • Terrabeth

          Here’s one of my favorites:

          http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/may/24/30gtteacher-lets-students-vote-out-classmate-5/

          A public school teacher stands an autistic child up in front of the classroom, asks the class to tell him what they don’t like about him, and then has the class vote on whether or not he can stay.

          Nicely done, public school!

          What I mean to say is that just because a person has a teaching degree doesn’t mean s/he is a better teacher for a child than the child’s own parents and all the other children, adults, resources, and experiences that homeschooled children can enjoy.

          I love how Secular Homeschooling Magazine’s “Bitter Homeschooler’s Wishlist” addresses this issue (and so many other common stereotypes, misconceptions, ignorances):

          “11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn’t have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don’t need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can’t teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there’s a reason I’m so reluctant to send my child to school.”

          http://www.secular-homeschooling.com/001/bitter_homeschooler.html

          This list includes some great points about the great “socialization” debate. I’m with most homeschoolers: Being stuck in a classroom with 30 kids of the same age and usually the same socioeconomic background, getting checkmarks of badness by their name as a form of public humiliation to deter “socializing” is -not- our healthiest or best option for “socialization.”

          Or, as the Bitter Homeschooler list tells it:
          “2 Learn what the words “socialize” and “socialization” mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you’re talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we’ve got a decent grasp of both concepts.”

        • Neens

          I’m sure you were part of the 27% who passed, correct?

          I came to this board to support homeschooling parents as I am a practicing educator interested in the area, however the complete slander towards ANYONE who teaches in public education is outlandish on this board.

      • Della, a homeschooler

        Oh yes, I’m sure I would be much more socialized if I participated in Public Education where the teachers use inhumane discipline methods, and the children are so “socialized”.

      • L.J.

        No, I think that would be “nerdy”. Must be a result of your public schooling.

      • DM did not say they were gang signs, you did. DM said they were negatively connotated hand signs, which they are. In other words it appears they are making a statement with their hands which is clearly a negative statement.

      • Crystal L

        “hand sings” . . . really? And you’re the highly educated English teacher?

      • Hope

        Jesse,

        If you were to homeschool your kids, how would you do it? Would you keep them isolated? Would you allow chaos in your home? Would you make purposefully them afraid of others? Would you keep them away from being trained for the future in technology, arts, sports, etc? Would you really care if they were geeky?

        What would your homeschool look like?

        I am assuming the best of you. I am assuming, that because you are an educator and obviously very passionate about children and education. Therefore, my thoughts would be that your homeschool classroom and lifestyle would be one that other homeschool families would admire. I am not being sarcastic here, seriously. I think you would set out to the best of your ability to provide the best opportunities for your own children, based on your knowledge and your personal goals for your family. Some things would be vitally important to you, and others would not; and the versa would be true for your homeschooling friends.

        Your opinions in this blog assume the worst of homeschooling families, which reveals much about you, I’m afraid. That would be something you maybe ought to consider.

        We homeschool for all the PRO reasons~ not because the schools are bad, the system is corrupt, the kids are worldy, the curriculum is liberal, etc….Actually, on the face of it, the philosophy and practice of homeschooling is a very Liberal approach in itself. It goes against the Conservative “status quo”.

        My kids were in traditional school. A good one, where the teachers cared and tried and the Principal supported the teachers. I dropped them off at 8am, picked them up at 3:15. They had not been together all day, but yet within 60 seconds inside the car they were already quarreling. 1 1/2 hours later, after brain-fried and homework, we headed out to soccer or dance, etc, returned home for more homework, exhaling thru dinner time, baths and maybe signing the endless teacher papers, tweaking homework, finding out about last minute details for the next day. All the while (though academically the kids were doing well) my family lifestyle was competing with the sub-culture of “school”. We simply did not want to live this way anymore.

        If a single-mom sees a way out of a drug/gang infested ghetto or trailer park, works hard to make a better life (in her opinion) for her children, she is praised. I wanted a way out of my “curb and gutter” suburb-good-school district, high expectations but low family priority lifestyle. You seem to disrespect that. You have no value that we are working diligently to produce 4 well-balanced, educated, respectful adults for our society. Frankly, bringing them home~ simply to take the time required to learn to serve and love one another~was the best thing, and the only thing I knew to do. You call me “selfish” for this, but that adjective is as pointless as labeling a non-homeschooling parent as”lazy”. I’m certainly busier than ever before, but I was not lazy then either. And Dad is over-seeing more than ever, when before he was relying heavily on the schools, teachers, systems to do the job. This gave him more time for golf, chill time with his buddies, veg time with the remote. I would call that selfish.

        My children could have been kept in the school where they were with their fine teachers and glorious transcripts. But I’m not certain that they would have a future that meant that they could look back on their childhood and remember days of Peace, Serenity, Laughter, Quiet, Fun, Grace, Ownership, Parent-governed, Sibling focused, Self-responsibility. These are all the PROS I mean, and this was the vision I desperately wanted for my family.

        I understand that there are pros in the traditional school model. I’ve been there, and I’ve experienced them. So, I think then, it really comes down to what the heart vision is for that child and for your family as a whole. If your point is that education is the rainbow label for a myriad of “subjects”, then I agree with you. But you are forgetting that these years are more than just subject learning, but are formative for future lifestyle choices.

        The world needs more kids like mine. With their father, I’m hoping to change my family tree by producing children and grandchildren who know how to put aside a personal agenda for a higher call, bottom line. I’m not saying a school system cannot do that. I am saying that homeschooling is the only way I know how, and now that I’ve been there for 7 years, I’m seeing the fruit. And it’s all good.

        • PeggyU

          That was beautifully said!

        • bugmyers

          I agree with you about homeschooling for the PRO reasons. Our family is contemplating homeschool. While there are certainly concerns we have about public school, both my husband and I have mostly good memories of it. My oldest daughter just entered kindergarten and is thriving. BUT… She’s there from 9am – 4pm! What they do with that much time (besides justify the teachers salaries) beats me. When I think about the way we could spend that time learning together it’s appealing. Not only would it give us the freedom to move at her pace (she hasn’t learned a single thing yet that she didn’t cover in preschool last year) but it would give us the flexibility to teach on a year round schedule and take more “field trips.” Plus no more limiting family vacations to the same few weeks as the rest of the world. The thought of learning all over again with my children and the bond that would build in our family is thrilling. From my view point children in this country aren’t suffering from lack of socialization but rather from too much. Too the extent we can turn out better
          educated children and closer families we should. THAT is a benefit to society!

      • Homeschooler

        HAH! My three homeschooled children are far more social than their cousins & friends who attend various public & private schools. My children are willing to play/interact with boys and girls, of all ages, infants to adults. Their cousins/friends in school on the other hand discriminate based on age, gender & appearance. When reading this I see that some teacher’s foster those choices. Based on your criteria, my children are very social and fit into many, dare I say any, social situation with grace & ease. Not so for the school students I’ve witnessed in many & various social settings.

      • dccarlson

        This is not to agree or disagree with homeschooling, but to simply explain why my wife and I did not do it.

        Both of us have the skills necessary to educate our 3 daughters to college level, and we would have had we stayed in Arizona. Where we were living was ideal. We were in contact with a homeschooling group of about a dozen families. Our kids would have been able to learn social skills in addition to school work.

        I got laid off from my job and we moved to my hometown of approximately 5000 people. After many lengthy discussions we decided that public school was to be it.

        As I was reading the comments to this thread I’ve seen only arguments either for proper education or for proper social skills. How can you have one without the other and still call your kids “well-rounded?” It sounds to me like you all are wanting either a well-educated monk or an imbecilic socialite.

        I’ve known many home-schooled people as well as publicly-educated people, and see no difference in either group. When they get into the real world they will all have the same issues as any adult does and it’s up to us as parents and educators to help our children cope the best way we can.

      • Jan

        I would like to point out that the original poster did not say that the kids were making gang signs, only “negative”. You are the only one associating the students with gangs based on race.

        And, while you may consider it “illogical” that homeschooled kids would be “socially adept”, that is not a well-reasoned argument that it is not, in fact, the case. Kids in public school socialize with lots of other people–all of them within about 9 months of their own age–for 5 minutes at a time before and between classes. Many (admittedly, not all) homeschoolers socialize with many people of varying ages for hours a day. Which of these is measurably “better”? I certainly don’t know, but I’m not willing to admit that the former is based entirely on your own world view. Evidence, please?

        I also note that you only reply to ranting comments and completely ignore any that are well thought out. It’s easy to feel superior to people who make ridiculous points, isn’t it?

      • Carolyn

        I keep hearing about socialization. So, in your view spending 12 years in public schools with people your same age and one or two adults is diverse socialization?
        Most home schoolers I know are able to have friends and carry on conversations with people of all ages comfortably. Not only are they able to socialize with people of all ages, but the friendly attitudes of these kids are able to accept others no matter of race, background, religion or handicap difference without any bias whatsoever.

      • Mary L.

        I’m happy to say the only “hand signs” my homeschooled kids know is Sign Language.

      • Oh Geez. Now I’m going to bite and respond. You are making this way too easy.

        Homeschooling: Great for any family who is willing to give up many material goods, for the gift of time to embrace life to the fullest.

        Top 10 reasons to homeschool:

        10: “You were totally homeschooled” (with a laugh and often said with shocked amusement) has led to deep relationships for many young adults with differing educational backgrounds.

        9:Your kids can eat fruitloops and meatloaf in the living room (maybe together) as they braid the dog’s hair, play with legos and take turns reading The Chronicles of Narnia.

        8.Homeschooling is an amazing way to nurture servant-leaders in our homes and communities. I have seen this done in more families than not.

        7. Are you really putting God in a box to argue that kids should go to school?

        6.As a general rule, if a family makes the lifestyle leap into homeschooling, the parents are bold risk-takers who think outside of that box.

        5. As a homeschooling parent, I love our families lifestyle. Sorry to hear that our existence somehow offends you.

        4. We pulled our kids out of school because of racism and religious intolerance. (I know..and yet we live in the 21st century) We are now in a community that is more accepting of all people. Nice change;)

        3.We have the gift of numerous, daily interactions that time would not allow if our children were in school 8-10 hours a day. We are blessed not to be segregated by abilities, age or school attending. You see, we don’t care..we just build relationships.
        Feel free to come visit our house sometime. you will realize how insane this statement is. In the words of my friend Carol, our children may be sometimes unruly, but never unsocialized.

        2. Oh..that’s right, risk-taking equals arrogance? By the way, check the homeschooling stats with the 2000 census..you might be surprised at the broad spectrum involved.

        1. Homeschoolers don’t have a hang-up with geeky. You are right, they are not preocuppied with perception.

      • Carrie

        How nice that there aren’t any geeky kids in your school! Although I do think it’s a shame that the kids in your school, immersed as there are in a monoculture of coolness, don’t get the opportunity to develop their socialization skills among geeky kids. Who do they beat up? How will they ever learn to give a wedgie, if there are no geeky kids in public school upon which to hone these important life skills?

      • Kirsten

        Dear Ms. Scaccia,

        In response to your #6, perhaps you ought to take the time to edit your own work. I quote from your final paragraph, “If any of you are interesting in writing for us, send me an email: jessescaccia@gmail.com.”

        Perhaps this was just a type of “Freudian-slip” on your part; however, after such a boastful statement on your qualifications, a grammatical error makes you look even more foolish. By the way, I am not an English major.

        On another note, I wonder how the “geeky” public school kids feel sitting in your class knowing you frown on their “geekiness”? I was a public school kid. We had geeks then, and I know you have geeks now.

        Tread lightly, Ms. Scaccia. Your intolerance breeds intolerance. You really should get out of the classroom from time to time. The world is changing all around you.

        Mrs. Kernc

      • What is your problem with geeks exactly? I am a former Amish, and was partly homeschooled (a few years) and now I am into computers. I see nothing wrong with a school kid getting smarts.

      • Adelita

        If you mean socialization to be bullying, impertinence, swearing, acting crudely toward the opposite sex, disrespecting those around you, verbally abusing those who do not have the same opinion as you do or generally acting in a hideous manner–then NO my children have not been socialized in the manner you suggest. Hours and months of being polite and helping others outweigh your belief that we need more public school bullies. Real socialization is being involved with multiple age groups, races, creeds, religions in the real world. To assimilate in the manner you are referring would mean your school has ages 0-100 and they all work together. You have every race, every creed, every gender, every belief right there in your classroom. Is this true? You have elderly individuals and 2 year olds? Wow. (heavy sarcasm there.) In truth you can not “socialize” in a public school. If you are talking about creating social structure in regard to rank and status you are doing a lovely job keeping that going. The inequality of the system is inherent and quite apparent.

      • Brandy Madison

        TeacherRevised: My now homeschooled children have between them 14 years of PS experience, and I myself have 13. Of all those years of experience we’ve had with PS, the very LAST thing I would EVER say we got out of it was proper socialization! Such a JOKE!

        It’s teachers like you that reinforce my choice to homeschool.

      • Dawn

        You ask how D.M. knows that thier child is well socialized? Well, I do not know D.M. personally, but, I know how I can tell that MY child is well socialized. That’s easy. I KNOW HER! I see how she interacts with her friends, which are made up of public schooled, private schooled, and other homeschooled kids, of many different ages. I see how she reacts to certain people I know she is not fond of. I watch her in situations where she is the youngest child, oldest child, the “new kid”, ect… In all these situations she is comfortable. She is able to walk up to someone of any age and start a conversation. She helps co-teach a Sunday school class for residents in a nursing home, as well as being a “mom’s helper” to a neighbor mom with toddler triplets. She has many friends around her age that she does the “regualar things” with. Parties, texting, sleep overs…You really believe one 15 minutes recess and passing notes in the hall “socailizes” a child? In public school most kids are only around children within a year or two of thier age. That’s being social? Gimme a break.. As an adult I am not limited to people within a year or two of my age. Yes, some homeschooled kids are “geeky” as are some public schooled kids.. I am a firm believer that children should be encouraged to be what they are. Whatever that is. Even if it’s a “geek” however, for my homeschooled 10 year old daughter, that is being a natural born leader and an athlete. I don’t know too many that would consider that “geeky” Now, her love for reading, and always having a book in her hand (when not a ball) could earn her the title “geek” I suppose.. But so be it if it does…

      • Keenan M.

        I am a 14 year old homeschooler. I know more about… everything than most of my public school friends. So in the words of Weezer, “Imma do the things that I want to do I ain’t got a thing to prove to you I’ll eat my candy with the pork and beans exuse my manners if I make a scene I ain’t gonna wear the clothes that you like I’m fine and dandy with the me inside one look at the mirror and I’ll take my pick I dont give a hoot about what you think.”

      • amandaRN

        Teacherrevised,

        I appreciate your post, though I find it a bit unnecessarily sarcastic. I agree that homeschooling might be okay educationally, but socially detrimental. “You were totally home-schooled” is a common insult…I’ve even muttered it to a friend when seeing a family of blue-jean-skirt-clad women walking along with their heads down. 99% of the time I am right. I also agree with your assessment that the home and school should be separated- give kids a place of solace. My husband talks about coming home from public school and being excited to be home because it was a place of rest. I don’t know what that must have felt like because I was home-schooled for the last 8 years of my education…which was probably 7 years too long. I don’t at all think that homeschooling should be illegal- my parents initially used it as a transitional tool while looking for a better school for me…they just never got around to finding the better school. I have had no academic struggles as a former home-schooled student, and graduated from college with a BS in nursing at age 21…but I do miss now some of the opportunities I didn’t have. I wish I had HS friends to have had experiences with, been able to be mentored by a teacher who was not hand picked by my mother, and been able to play organized sports that weren’t lame (if you think girls basketball is lame, try homeschooled girls basketball). I, by no means, am socially awkward or unaware ANYMORE, but that took some painful “education” in my early twenties from my profession, many non-homeschooled ex-boyfriends, my husband and friends I met along the way. I agree with your assessment that one can please God in the public school as a witness. I appreciate you saying that even as an agnostic because I think you hit a rationale for homeschooling between the eyes. Kids don’t have to be sheltered to remain Christian. In fact, I find that being liberated from the “shelter” of homeschooling and exploring the culture has made me more convinced of my faith because I see it outside the context of Christian homeschooled culture. My husband says though that had he been brought up like me, he would have rejected Christianity…and I think many homeschooled kids do. The only part I disagree with you on is #8. I think most parents are selfish when it comes to which kids their children hang around. If we choose to live in an area with a “good” public school district or send our kids to private schools we are doing the same thing- keeping them around kids that will keep their academic standards high. I believe that we should consider poor children, support legislation that supports their education and promotes greater opportunity, but I don’t think this requires allowing our own children to be dumbed down so that all can be equal. If keeping high-achieving students and less-achieving students together is done without sacrificing the integrity and standards of the educational system, then I am all for it.

      • laura bois

        I am a public school Science teacher. I love my job. i love having a positive influence for children of all backgrounds. However, I have not had a very positive experience with public school when it comes to my own children. My daughter has been bullied, ignored by teachers. I feel she has been allowed to slip throught the cracks. I am so frustrated with the education system. I give 110% to my students. i just can’t understand why my children can’t receive the same. My daughter’s IEP was consistently ignored even though the accomidations were very minor. My son on the other hand, is gifted. He has been labeled as a daydreamer because he is unhappy sitting at a table completing worksheets all day. I feel each year that I am playing the lottery when assigned a teacher. A lot of teachers care but ,unfortunately, many do not. I will be homeschooling both of my kids next school year. I can teach my children in one week what they would learn in almost a month in public school. (I homeschooled for a few months due to bullying). I do not worry at all about socialization. The social interactions at school are mostly negative. I do value public education. Homeschooling is simply more efficient and more fun!

      • First, let me say that I am not a homeschooler. With that out of the way, I am the product of both church and public school and have always been, as you say, “geeky.” I was ostracized by my peers for being different (more bookish, not enjoying the same pop-culture nonsense, etc.) in both settings and my social awkwardness has been driven to a very large degree by *their* behavior. I see nothing wrong with my differences from others and also nothing wrong with being geeky. Group dynamics in schools can do very ugly things to kids, see the bullying epidemic. You seem to have an overly positive view of children’s social interactions.

      • teacherrevised- you are extremely arrogant. First off, i want to start by saying i was homeschooled my whole life, so i know first hand everything your talking about. i very much agree that there are a lot of “geeky” homeschooled children, but there are also a lot of “geeky” public school children. if socializing is having sex, doing drugs, participating in murders, gangs, bullying and suicide is “cool” and not “geeky” than id’e MUCH rather be geeky. I am black and Mexican, so im not racist but could you have found a better picture to support your argument? Oh my gosh these kids are geeky! I love how none of your arguments are supported scientifically, or statistically, its obviously just some close mined, public school teachers opinion. And seriously bringing the Bible into this? Im a christian and you TOTALLY misused those verses. Jesus walked, and talked with his disciples 24/7. (I’m assuming you know who Jesus is as i carry on.) He didn’t trust some random people with their teaching did He? And I really don’t get number 9. Oh im sorry i get it now, cherios and meat loaf TOTALLY affect the way you study! (FYI: we have a designated school room) You catagorize all homeschoolers the same way. locked up in the house with books in hand, not getting to “experience” the real world. Soooo your saying public school kids are locked up in a classroom for seven hours a day, five days a week, same faces, same rules, and homework everyday is “Socializing?” Honey, i finish my schoolwork in three hours and have the rest of the day to do whatever i please! (going to the mall with friends, traveling while everyone else is in school ect…) and number 5’s my favorite. real detailed, thanks for that. The truth is that YOUR selfish because the more homeschooled kids there are, the less $$$ you make. ;) oh, by the way, thanks for that bragging session in number 6. My turn to brag-
        I finished high school when i was fifteen and when i took the test to get into college, i had on of the highest scores out there. yeah, me, the stupid geeky homeschooler. there was a study released by the National Center for Home Education on November 10, 1994. According to these standardized test results provided by the Riverside Publishing Company of 16,311 homeschoolers from all 50 states K-12, the nationwide average for homeschool students is at the 77th percentile of the basic battery of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. In reading, the homeschoolers’ nationwide grand mean is the 79th percentile. This means, of course, that the homeschool students perform better in reading than 79 percent of the same population on whom the test is normed. In the area of language arts and math, the typical homeschooler scored in the 73rd percentile.In South Carolina, the National Center for Home Education did a survey of 65 homeschool students and found that the average scores on the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills were 30 percentile points higher than national public school averages. In math, 92 percent of the homeschool students scored above grade level, and 93 percent of the homeschool students were at or above grade level in reading. These scores are “being achieved in a state where public school SAT scores are next-to-last in national rankings.
        So mr. teacherrevise.. Do some research, you might learn a few things. *(PS: you need to do a WAY better job at teaching if you want to catch up these geeky homeschoolers academic wise. After all, Isn’t that what schools all about?)

        I want to remind you this: It was Theodore Roosevelt who said, “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”

      • Anonymous

        If all the world focused on not being Geeky and Schools sole purpose was to socialize, then we would not have had Einstein! It is incorrect to state that all Homeschool Moms are socially phobic. A study on how our public school system came into existence might be of interest for those who would like to be well educated on the matter I believe the bottom line is a good education. For some that choice is found in the local public school and for others at home. Please educate yourself a little further and stop using stereotypes to generalize large groups of people that make a choice alternate to your own. Lastly, just because as a teacher it pisses you off is not a reason. It is a feeling and one you should examine as that anger may enlighten your reasons for even posting this list.

      • NB

        If public school teachers did their jobs, rather than hide behind their union, so many people would not be seeking an alternative. Fact of the matter…public schools suck. I cannot count the number of things I have taught my children this year alone which are not even mentioned in public school.

        My children are FEMA certified, CPR certified, and First Aid certified. They participate in numerous activities benefiting the community. Right now as I am writing you, they are assisting at the funeral of a career vet who served 5 tours in hell.

        Wealthy, I think not. Further, I have yet to meet a wealthy homeschooler even in our extensive circles. You have drawn your conclusions of stupidity and intolerance from, what? a sample of one…maybe two children? As usual you are just another liberal shooting off your big mouth with no evidence to support your arguments.

        Selfish…hell yeah. I’d stand in hell itself to protect my children from teachers like you. Teenage pregnancy, STDs, guns in the school system. Thanks, you are all doing such a fine job on raising other people’s children. If it’s all the same to you, no thanks.

        One more thing…my responsibility is not to raise someone else’s children. It is to raise mine. While many circumstances are less fortunate than my own, it is not my job to sacrifice my children so they have a good influence. So mind your own business.

        Keep up the good work, moron.

      • NB

        How can you believe that existence in an age-segregated environment that exists nowhere else in society (aka illegal) is “real socialization”? Talk about illogical. Again I say…guns, STDs, teen pregnancy, drugs, peer pressure to “fit in.” Oh, wait. Fitting in was one of your “for” public school arguments.

        Mother Therese, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Tesla…need I go on? There are pages upon pages of names of extraordinary people who were homeschooled. Personally, fitting in was never a goal I envisioned for my children. Standing out, now that’s another story.

        Why exactly do I want my children to imitate WWE wrestlers or Jay-Z? My children may not be able to identify the pop culture whores of this decade, but they can identify quotes by George Patton, MLK, JFK, FDR, TR, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Susan B. Anthony etc. How many of your students can? Further, my children are 10, 13, and 14. So, again, how many of your students can? How many of them have read The Odyssey in its unabridged form? How many? Do any of them understand the electoral college? My littlest daughter can explain it.

        My eldest daughter wrote her first book at the age of 11. Yes, I said it book–186 pages. She is continually writing–for fun, now.

        When my daughter was in public school, in third grade, she was asked to do an assignment in preparation for the PSSA (a test designed to evaluate the students because the union won’t allow authorities to test the teachers). She did the assignment to the best of her ability, even using a mind map. She turned in all of her rough drafts, etc. However, she didn’t understand the assignment and did it incorrectly. They yelled at her, ridiculed her in front of her peers, and made her miss recess to redo the assignment. I went to the teacher in question. Her response was, “these tests are important (basis for money to the school) so we (3 teachers in charge) decided what the punishment would be if the assignment wasn’t up to standards.” Just because 3 people made a bad decision doesn’t make it okay. Further, I only wanted an apology for my child. I wanted the teacher to acknowledge the work that went into the assignment and to apologize. Good lesson, right. My kid learned if you have a union behind you, it is okay to be an ass.

        My middle child was being passed from first to second grade without knowing how to read because “it might damage his self-esteem to hold him back.” You don’t think it might damage his self-esteem if he cannot read! While he excels at mathematics and science, reading is still not his favorite subject. However, he regularly reads books up to 500 pages in length. He just finished a six-page paper on Alexander the Great. Oh, btw, did I mention he is autistic? The public school teacher gave him a bean bag chair on the floor so he wouldn’t interrupt with his questions.

        When he was at the end of his first grade year, he looked at me with tear-filled eyes and said, “Mommy, why am I so bad? I never have recess like the other kids.” This was the “plan of education” the TSS and special education department came up with. It was a system of demerits (lose so many minutes for each infraction). I pulled him out and never looked back. How dare they self-righteously stand in judgment of my child. God, gave him to me. Nobody is going to abuse him. Had I decided to treat him that way Children and Youth would have intervened. Not so with a public school teacher. The union supports them. With Asperger syndrome he simply was not capable of doing as they asked.

      • Jonathan

        Food for thought…
        As a lifelong Home-school graduate, 4.0 college student, and senior pastor of a church, I would have to say that my home education has effectively prepared me for the “real world.”
        I have had to difficulty socializing, or incorporating into the real world. I entered ministry as an ordained minister at 17, and at 18 I served as a missionary in the United Kingdom. I am married and a father at the age of 21. There are very few individuals who have the opportunity to lead a church by the age of 21. I have not had any problems as far as socialization is concerned.
        What is more I find it ironic that the biggest complaint against homeschooling is the socialization issue, while that is the biggest issue that public schoolers get in trouble for.

      • Kevin

        Must have been so difficulty for the following homeschooled people to adjust to society:
        Constitutional Convention Delegates

        · Richard Basseti – Governor of DE
        · William Blount – U.S. Senator
        · George Clymer – U.S. Representative
        · William Few – U.S. Senator
        · Benjamin Franklin
        · William Houston – Lawyer
        · William S. Johnson
        · William Livingston – Governor of NJ
        · James Madison – 4th U.S. President
        · George Mason – Justice of VA
        · John Francis Mercer – U.S. Rep.
        · Charles Pickney III – Governor of SC
        · John Rutledge – Chief Justice
        · Richard D. Spaight – Governor of NC
        · George Washington
        · John Witherspoon
        · George Wythe – Justice of VA
        Presidents

        · John Adams

        · John Quincy Adams

        · Grover Cleveland

        · James Garfield

        · William Henry Harrison

        · Andrew Jackson

        · Thomas Jefferson

        · Abraham Lincoln

        · James Madison

        · Franklin Delano Roosevelt

        · Theodore Roosevelt

        · John Tyler

        · George Washington

        · Woodrow Wilson

        Statesmen

        · Konrad Adenauer

        · Henry Fountain Ashurst

        · William Jennings Bryan

        · Winston Churchill

        · Henry Clay

        · Pierre du Pont

        · Benjamin Franklin

        · Alexander Hamilton

        · Patrick Henry

        · William Penn

        · Daniel Webster

        Military Leaders

        · Alexander the Great – Greek Ruler

        · John Barry – Senior Navy Officer

        · Stonewall Jackson – Civil War General

        · John Paul Jones – Father of the American Navy

        · Robert E. Lee – Civil War General

        · Douglas MacArthur – U.S. General

        · George Patton – U.S. General

        · Matthew Perry – naval officer who opened up trade with Japan

        · John Pershing – U.S. General

        · David Dixon Porter – Civil War Admiral

        U.S. Supreme Court Judges

        · John Jay

        · John Marshall

        · John Rutledge

        · Sandra Day O’Connor

        Scientists

        · George Washington Carver

        · Pierre Curie

        · Albert Einstein

        · Michael Faraday – electrochemist

        · Oliver Heaviside – physicist and electromagnetism researcher

        · T.H. Huxley

        · Blaise Pascal

        · Booker T. Washington

        · Erik Demaine – Popular Science Mag: One of the Most Brilliant Scientists in America

        Artists

        · William Blake

        · John Singleton Copley

        · Claude Monet

        · Grandma Moses

        · Charles Peale

        · Leonardo da Vinci

        · Andrew Wyeth

        · Jamie Wyeth

        Religious Leaders

        · Joan of Arc

        · William Carey

        · Jonathan Edwards

        · Philipp Melancthon

        · Dwight L. Moody

        · John Newton

        · John Owen

        · Hudson Taylor

        · John & Charles Wesley

        · Brigham Young

        Inventors

        · Alexander Graham Bell – invented the telephone

        · John Moses Browning – firearms inventor and designer

        · Peter Cooper – invented skyscraper, built first U.S. commercial locomotive

        · Thomas Edison – invented the stock ticker, mimeograph, phonograph, and perfected the electric light bulb

        · Benjamin Franklin – invented the lightning rod

        · Elias Howe – invented sewing machine

        · William Lear – airplane creator

        · Cyrus McCormick – invented grain reaper

        · Guglielmo Marconi – developed radio

        · Eli Whitney – invented the cotton gin

        · Sir Frank Whittle – invented turbo jet engine

        · Orville and Wilbur Wright – built the first successful airplane

        Composers

        · Irving Berlin

        · Anton Bruckner

        · Noel Coward

        · Felix Mendelssohn

        · Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

        · Francis Poulenc

        · John Philip Sousa

        Writers

        · Hans Christian Anderson

        · Margaret Atwood

        · Pearl S. Buck

        · William F. Buckley, Jr.

        · Willa Cather

        · Agatha Christie

        · Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

        · Charles Dickens

        · Robert Frost – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

        · Charlotte Perkins Gilman

        · Alex Haley

        · Brett Harte

        · L. Ron Hubbard

        · C.S. Lewis

        · Amy Lowell

        · Gabriela Mistral

        · Sean O’Casey

        · Christopher Paolini – author of #1 NY Times bestseller, Eragon

        · Isabel Paterson

        · Beatrix Potter – author of the beloved Peter Rabbit Tales

        · Carl Sandburg

        · George Bernard Shaw

        · Mattie J. T. Stepanek – 11-year-old author of Heartsongs

        · Mercy Warren

        · Phillis Wheatley

        · Walt Whitman

        · Laura Ingalls Wilder

        Educators

        · Amos Bronson Alcott – innovative teacher, father of Louisa May Alcott

        · Catharine Beecher – co-founder of the Hartford Female Seminary

        · Jill Ker Conway – first woman president of Smith College

        · Timothy Dwight – President of Yale University

        · William Samuel Johnson – President of Columbia College

        · Horace Mann – “Father of the American Common School”

        · Charlotte Mason – Founder of Charlotte Mason College of Education

        · Fred Terman – President of Stanford University

        · Frank Vandiver – President of Texas A&M University

        · Booker T. Washington – Founder of Tuskegee Institute

        · John Witherspoon – President of Princeton University

        Performing Artists

        · Louis Armstrong – king of jazz

        · Charlie Chaplin – actor

        · Whoopi Goldberg – actress

        · Hanson – sibling singing group

        · Jennifer Love Hewitt – actress

        · Yehudi Menuhin – child prodigy violinist

        · Moffatts – Canadian version of Hanson

        · Frankie Muniz – child actor

        · LeAnne Rimes – teen-prodigy country music singer

        · Barlow Girl – Alyssa, Rebecca, and Lauren Contemporary Christian Music

        · Jonas Brothers – Kevin, Joe, and Nick Performers

        · Jacob Clemente – Broadway Actor

        Business Entrepreneurs

        · Andrew Carnegie – wealthy steel industrialist

        · Amadeo Giannini – Bank of America’s founder

        · Horace Greeley – New York Tribune founder

        · Soichiro Honda – creator of the Honda automobile company

        · Peter Kindersley – book illustrator and publisher

        · Ray Kroc – founder of McDonald’s fast food restaurant chain

        · Jimmy Lai – newspaper publisher; founder of Giordano International

        · Dr. Orison Swett Marden – founder, Success magazine

        · Adolph Ochs – New York Times founder

        · Joseph Pulitzer – newspaper publisher; established Pulitzer Prize

        · Colonel Harland Sanders – started Kentucky Fried Chicken

        · Dave Thomas – founder of the Wendy’s restaurant chain

        · Mariah Witcher – founder of Mariahs Famous Cookies

        · Daniel Mills – founder of Salem Ridge Press

        Others

        · Abigail Adams – Wife of John Adams; mother of John Quincy Adams

        · Ansel Adams – Photographer

        · Susan B. Anthony – reformer and women’s rights leader

        · John James Audubon – ornithologist and artist

        · Clara Barton – Started the Red Cross

        · Elizabeth Blackwell – first woman in the U.S. to receive a medical degree

        · John Burroughs – Naturalist

        · George Rogers Clark – Explorer

        · Davy Crockett – frontiersman

        · Eric Hoffer – social philosopher

        · Sam Houston – lawyer; first president of the Republic of Texas

        · Charles Evans Hughes – jurist; Chief Justice

        · Mary D. Leakey – fossil hunter; wife of Richard Leakey

        · Tamara McKinney – World Cup Skier

        · Harriet Martineau – first woman sociologist

        · Margaret Mead – cultural anthropologist

        · John Stuart Mill – Free-market Economist

        · Charles Louis Montesquieu – Philosopher

        · John Muir – naturalist

        · Florence Nightingale – Nurse

        · Thomas Paine – political writer during the American Revolution

        · Bill Ridell – Newspaperman

        · Will Rogers – Humorist

        · Bertrand Russell – Logician

        · Jim Ryan – World Runner

        · Albert Schweitzer – Physician

        · Sir Ernest Shackleton – Explorer

        · Herbert Spencer – philosopher, sociologist

        · Gloria Steinem – founder and long-time editor of Ms. magazine

        · Jason Taylor – plays in the National Football League

        · Mary Walker – Civil War physician; recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor

        · Lester Frank Ward – “Father of American Sociology”

        · Martha Washington – wife of George Washington

        · Frances E. C. Willard – educator, temperance leader, and suffragist

        · Frank Lloyd Wright – Architect

        · Elijah ben Solomon Zalman – Jewish scholar

        · Balaram Stack – Award winning Surfer

        · Lia Del Priore – Award Winning Gymnast

        · Taylor Gladstone – Ballerina

        Oh wait, those include almost all our founding fathers.

    • Jerry

      I am a college graduate and a retired computer programmer. I took almost all the classes in pursuit of a masters in secondary education before I decided to give it up. I also did substitute teaching for three years after I retired from programming. My daughter home schools her children.

      You speak of socialization. From what I have seen in the public schools nowadays, I am glad my grandchildren are not being socialized in the drug culture, sexting, and the filthy language I heard out of the mouths of pre-adolescent students. I am glad that they all read on a level higher than the grade they would be in public schools.

      When you say, in rebuttal to one parent, “Yes, your choice is selfish. It benefits your children at the expense of the other students in the district. When something is good for you but bad for someone else, that makes it selfish, no?” I must conclude that you are opposed to advanced classes for gifted students, no? If not, why not?

      In my experience there is no direct correlation between the knowledge one has, i.e. number of college degrees, and the ability to impart that knowledge to students. You may be a gifted teacher, but I have seen more than enough well-educated teachers who were totally lost in a classroom. One thing that every home school parent has, that I have witnessed, is total dedication the the education of their children. That is something no one can claim for every teacher in our public schools.

      You accuse home school parents of being arrogant. Considering that is coming from an elitist teacher, I find it rather amusing. It reminds me of what Benjamin Franklin said about one of his thirteen virtues… humility. He said that pride (arrogance) was impossible to totally eliminate from his life. He said that should he ever manage to do so… he would be proud of the accomplishment. You do well to point out the arrogance of home schoolers. Arrogance is something you are totally familiar with.

    • Christina

      Jesse, it seems that the only person teaching intolerance is you, a public school teacher, who is passing on your view points to your students. If you replaced “homeschooler” with “special needs”, you would be considered cruel. Parents choose to homeschool for many different reasons, and a large percent do so due to Autism or other mental illnesses. In fact, as parents, we should have the freedom to choose which route is best for our children. I’m very relieved that in our school system, your rhetoric wouldn’t be tolerated in our district. Instead of a “thank you” from society for taking the burden off of the tax system, we deal with hate opinions such as your blog. As a parent of two children, one being homeschooled and the other in a large public school system, our homeschooler has a much greater empathy for people, can socialize with every age range comfortably, and doesn’t judge people on what they wear and who they hang out with. I call my daughters PS social education as “negative socialization”.

    • Mom2Many

      Jessica, Jessica, Jessica. Your blog is a prime example of why soooo many parents homeschool. Let me take this comment by comment.

      10. How many colleges have you worked at? None? Didn’t think so. I have and as a registrar and having done screening for several programs plus done outreach at public and private schools getting kids into college, I have yet to hear comments such as your’s. I’ve heard, as have the homeschooled kids I’ve helped, “wow, wish I could have been homeschooled.” Now, I have heard geeks/nerds who came out of public schools and private schools mocked and bullied for being geeks/nerds. Seems to be a “normal” part of the “socialization” process of public/private schools. Surely you aren’t too old to remember that and surely you see it on a daily basis if you teach at a school.

      9. Well, call me unrealistic but I think people who voice opinions about where classrooms are should actually have some experience about the subject they are talking about. Yes, *some* families use the kitchen table. And, yes, *some* families may use the family/livingroom to study in. HOWEVER, so do public/private schooled kids to do their homework. Are you saying that studying shouldn’t be done in these rooms? Or only by homeschoolers?

      8. Now, you say you are college educated. I don’t know this to be a fact but, IF you are then you have to have been in school for at least 17 years. Over all those years you should have learned two things: do your OWN homework, and polls, surveys and statistics say exactly what the person doing the poll, survey or crunching numbers for statistics want them to say. A poll, survey or statistic is only as good as what went into them. Surely you know that.

      7. “(Personally I’m agnostic, but I’m just saying…)” Nah, what you were doing there was being obnoxious, sarcastic and making a fool of yourself.

      6. All that going to college proves is that you went to college. It certainly doesn’t prove you can teach whether you majored in a subject or not. If this were true then schools wouldn’t be failing the children of America! It is pure unadulterated arrogance for people to think simply because they went to school longer than someone else that they are better at doing something than someone else.

      5. Ah, see #7 above.

      4. Hmmmm, interesting concept except it’s pure conjecture. However, we do know that public schools breed hate. We do know that private schools are havens of intolerance and the elitist “we’re better than *them*” thinking. Are you perhaps projecting what you’ve seen in private schools?

      3. Again, besides a brain fart, what are you basing this on? We get that you are ignorant of and biased against homeschooling. However, as a supposed educator shouldn’t you practice what public/private schools preach — do you homework, do your homework, do your homework. For 13 years public/private schooled kids have some adult standing over their shoulders or standing at the front of a classroom pounding them with “do your homework.” Ah, could I suggest you practice what you preach!

      2. Do you really teach? You quote *one* person’s *opinion.* And opinion, might I add, loaded with qualifiers of “probably,” “might,” etc. Sorry, so far I see a failing grade on this particular blog.

      AND, as far a playing Russian roulette with a child’s future, ah, take a look at the report cards on schools. Take a look at the Department of Justice stats on abuse in public/private schools BY teachers. Take a look at the stats on the potential to be sexually abused in public/private schools. Take a look at the potential for a child to fail who comes out of a public/private school.

      1. “And finally, well,” I think you lie. Sorry, I really don’t think you have met many, if any, homeschoolers.

      Now, as to your answers to others and your blog in general, as an English teacher, or so you say, it is frightening that you didn’t head for your dictionary before you wrote this blog (geek: a carnival performer who does disgusting acts; eccentric: a person with an unusual or odd personality (Princeton); or Geek is a common term for someone who is obsessed by their computer, and has achieved a high level of expertise in their chosen area (Science Technology glossary); short for computer geek, an individual with a passion for computers; a term similar to nerd). I would think a mother could easily tell if her child was a geek.

      BTW, you “get” an education. You “are” homeschooled.

      Now, if you are doing a survey, I have homeschooled my children, my nieces and nephews and a couple of dozen “throw away” children that came in all ages, sizes, colors, ethnic groups and races. I am a minority. I am not rich. I’m not a college graduate and I’ve done a better job with the “throw away” kids my children brought home than the public schools they had all dropped out of did. All the kidlets learned Spanish, Italian, French, German (won an award in German poetry) and/or Russian (none of which I speak), sign language, biology, economics, history, chemistry, government, physical science, English (they won Young Writers Awards in national competitions), dance, art, sewing (won many awards and Best in Show), ag (won many Grand Champions), riding (won hundreds upon hundreds of local, state and national awards and championships), auto mechanics, auto body work. Most of them read all of Shakespeare. At least half read War and Peace. They are all proficient using the computer. Oh, and sports — basketball, baseball, football, softball, gymnastics, soccer, tennis and the list goes on and on and on.

      Each and every single one of these children were, dare I say, . . . Perhaps you should sit down before you read any further. ALL of the kidlets were UNschooled. Yup, they never sat down around the table from 8 to 3. They were never required to study anything. They all wanted to learn and learn they did. Each and every single one that wanted to go to college went to college. Each and every single one of them that wanted to learn a marketable skill did so. They have gone to community colleges, four-year colleges and universities. Why, even universities in other countries. They have apprenticed. They now manage companies or own their own companies. They are in the Marines and in the Navy. They are accountants and special ed teachers and work with the developmentally disabled.

      My house was filled, on a daily basis, with public, private and charter schooled children. Their graduation parties were held at my house because their schools wouldn’t allow them to have a party. My *homeschooled* children went to public school proms. Many went to proms at multiple schools which they couldn’t have done if they were public schooled. They all did volunteer work. They are all politically savy, active and vote. And, before you jump, not necessarily the way I would want them to.

      I don’t know where you got your notion that homeschoolers don’t socialize unless what you mean is that they aren’t locked up in an artificial environment where their only social interaction is with children of the same age. Or you define socialization as learning to bully or be bullied. Or you define socialization as being beat into submission where they have to have permission to use the bathroom.

      In fact, while I’m thinking about, my life would have been a bit more peaceful if there had been less socialization! Not that I’m really complaining but facts are facts.

      • kim

        Mom2Many:
        Do you have a blog? I would love to read it and learn from it. We are a family of adopted kids (2 started out as our foster kids). I would love to hear more of your experiences and how you guided the learning of all these children.

        Thanks!!

      • Marcy Muser

        Mom2Many:

        GREAT response! THANK YOU for the tremendous, difficult work you have done with these kids over the years, and thank you for being willing to share that with us. You are an amazing example to those of us who are still “in the trenches” of home educating our own kids.

        I really appreciate your comments.

      • Mom2Many-
        Yes, you should have your own blog if you do not already! I loved your post. I would have loved to be there, learning in your house, instead of stuck in the school I attended. I do agree that the thing schools best teach is how to be mean.
        BTW your words remind me of a speech that I heard Winona Laduke give in 2000: wise words from a wise woman.

        • Michele

          Mom2Many
          Wow! I ‘d read your blog! We home educated for 12 years, then charter schooled, had 2 kids attend public school & then attend Catholic school. My 13 year old presented me with a matrix why she should/should not come back for home education. We made the decision to bring her home, along with 2 other kids, and use the charter school again. Basically, she is sick of the wasted time at school and being held back by other students who aren’t interested in learning.

          You Go!

          Mom to 8 & hoping to foster some eventually

    • Vanessa

      I must say, you have to be high up on the list for well educated ignorant people. You complain about many things to which you have no understanding and prbably have never researched yourself. You take bible verses completely out of context and try to twist it to suit your needs, you say we create prejudice, but what are you doing. My best friend is a highschool teacher! I can’t help but wonder if you have evn read the bible yourself, more than just a verse or two but actually read it.
      First of all the scripture that you mention is found in Matthew 28:18-20, 18 And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded YOU. And, look! I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”
      Jesus was speaking of making followers of God. True a person does usually require an education to be able to read and write and teach others, but nowhere does it say, “send your children to school to be properly educated”. If it does than I am truly sorry and I better get some new glasses! Jesus’ life’s work was to make disciples of God & he always took time to show love and respect for all children and all people. No matter what race or religion or financial means they had. He showed love and caring for others.
      A person needs to do thier own research on a subject before showing up for debate class. I’m not just talking about looking at someone else’s notes and opinions, I’m talking about going and really finding out the truth. You have all these potentially true things about homeschoolers, but in reality you are merely talking about individuals. I myself as a homeschooler find the occasional fanatic that is a little extreme but overall we are pretty down to earth people that want the best for our children. Nothing that you mention in your list of reasons cannot be said of children that are in public school. It is my personal opinion that the school system is filled with teachers that are overworked, understaffed & underpaid so if one less child has to be stuffed in a classroom what’s the problem? The only thing I see is that you are trying to increase the intolerance by just assuming and making judgement. Many people homeschool for many different reasons and unless you know thier circumstances you have no right to judge and since you want to bring God into the subject, according to the scriptures you have no right to judge anyway. That privilege belongs to him and him alone. We need to all work together as human beings and fight indifference not continue it with ignorance. True I have seen homeschool parents that are arrogant but I have seen some rather arrogant parents when my daughter was in school and you yourself are acting arrogant! I personally could care less about my child being called “the homeschooled geek” when she is in college, what concerns me more is her being picked on when she is a young vunerable girl that is more hurt by words. An adult can hadle themself a lot better than a child. I really don’t know what you consider to be proper behavior of a child in a social group but I have seen some of the most well behaved and self confident people with homeschooled children. Cramming them into a room and making them sit with each other while doing schoolwork and having them play for one or two lack of supervised hours outside a day does not guarantee that they will be socially fit either. I have seen some of the worst intolerance taught at school. In no way is public schooling superior to homeschooling because public schooling faces all the same issues so you are in no way different than the rest of us. If you truly feel you are right and really have passion about it than go out and personally prove it. you might actually learn something about understanding other people. I have the deepest resect for teachers as a whole but I feel the best thing for my child is homeschool. Some parents out there might not have any business homeschooling thier children but I have also seen teachers that have no business teaching children. My daughters 3rd grade teacher would yell at the students, I in no way hated her, I felt bad for her. But honestly, what bussiness does she have yelling at our kids? Not to say all teachers do that, I absolutely adored some of her other teachers and thought the world of them. I also cannot speak for other homeschoolers but my daughter has an actual classroom that is her very own and I know of other parents that have done the same. What is wrong with what the room looks like though if the child is being taught in a loving enviorment?

      Unfortunately in this world we take a gamle no matter what choice we make in life, we just have to hope we take the time and make the right choices!

    • Dr. Patricia Donoghue

      Thank you for your piece. I showed it to my kids. This reminds me of the multitude of reasons why I homeschool.

    • powerintruth

      Please visit.

      I need your help.

      http://powerintruth.worpress.com/

    • Jennifer

      So you would rather have my two children with their multiple food allergies in your class? Would you like to discuss how to totally remove food from the classroom – presentations, celebration parties, hands on curriculum. And while I understand that you are an English instructor and this may not come up for you much – think about how my kindergartner feels on a daily basis when he has to pass on every treat sent to school or sit at a table alone to keep him safe from his food allergens which include wheat, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. Because when I mentioned it to the supervisors of the school, I was told my needs to keep him safe were too strict for them. Then there is the fight over where the Epi pen is kept, because a reaction is inevitable. So the administrators say in a whisper, a shush shush voice they don’t to hear their lawyer say (because my children are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act) that maybe we should homeschool. Because he’s a freak in school and he will be a freak out of school and cruel people like you point him out as one instead of inviting him to join your group. Because you have already labeled him – food allergic homeschooler and he’s not worthy.

    • Frank

      This is priceless:

      “One last note, to those homeschooling parents out there: it’s clear from the number and passion of your responses that TeacherRevised is missing an important voice in the teaching community. If any of you are interesting in writing for us, send me an email: jessescaccia@gmail.com. I would love to have you as part of our conversation.”

      Apparently, the English teacher with a double major in English and education and two graduate degrees doesn’t know how to properly proof his or her own work. Right, I want my kids in that classroom.

      • Andrea

        I would just like to say to all of those comments that read “Teachers like you remind myself why I homeschool”….Well not all teachers are like that! I have never in my life seen a teacher as crude and ignorant as this one and I have been through 7 different public schools for moving. You can’t compare this teacher to other public school teachers. dccarlson says it beautifully! (I am not the same Andrea that says she isn’t a teacher or something like that)

    • Kay

      Thank you so much for your post.

      As an out of the box, open minded, agnostic, person who enjoys learning and sharing this joy with my children, I will keep your blog post as a reminder of just how narrow minded, simplified, uninspired, intolerant and shallow, teachers & schools are.

      For those who want to hear an insightful teacher’s case FOR homeschooling, please read John Taylor Gatto (once New York State Teacher of the Year)
      http://www.cantrip.org/gatto.html

    • Bernadette

      Jesse,

      I have taught as a Public School teacher and I must say that this post is very insulting and makes me feel ashamed that another teacher could write this and readily declare she teaches in the Public School system.

      Where I live in North America, every parent has the right to decide what is in the best interests of their children and that right includes choices around how to educate one’s children. I have the utmost respect for parents who choose to take the challenge of educating their child at home while sacrificing their own personal time and careers as the case may be.

      In your post you opened with the statement “Homeschooling: great for self-aggrandizing, society-phobic mother”. I find it intriguing that you refer to women alone and interestingly we are often condemned in North American society for making the choice to stay home and be with our children. We are not seen as contributing members of society unless we hold paid positions in the work force like yourself.

      Having a child has changed me personally and has made me re-prioritize my life. I am choosing to stay at home with my daughter while working on my Masters in Education at a more leisurely pace so that I enjoy watching her grow and develop. Does being a “stay-at-home mom” when my daughter is 16 months now make me a “self-aggrandizing society-phobic mother” too? Are you also one of the many people who would label me as “lazy” for being home instead of returning to teaching? I realize you are not making mention of mothers like myself but can’t help wonder what words you’d have for us after reading your disparaging comments.

      You refer to home-schooled children as “geeky”. Did you ever consider that some children are at home because they wouldn’t have otherwise lasted another day in the public school system you so highly appraise? I knew of a family friend whose son had severe bouts of seizures; he was constantly taunted by other peers and the school staff/administration did not do much to stop it. By the time he was 15 years old, he was becoming suicidal. His mother, who is not affluent, stayed home from her minimum wage job to home-school him so he could get back on track academically and emotionally. I hope mothers like her did not come upon your rant which I might add is being labeled as a need for attention within one of the blogs I read by another teacher who also respects the right for parents to choose how to “school” their child.

      Although I realize I am unlikely going to change your view of homeschooling in my post, I felt the need to share my views as another teacher of the public school system taking a break to be with her child. I also want to use this space to make clear to the many parents you have offended that not all public school teachers share your dim view of homeschooling.

    • CMS

      I am always willing to hear another person’s point of view on homeschooling. It is very clear to me that you are not as well experienced with meeting and getting to know these kids. Grant it, there are some parents that should NOT home school as it certainly is not for everyone. However, on the social matter and the college experience you have commented on, I must disagree. I base my disagreement purely on experience. As a university professor I must say, my best students (all round) are those that were homeschooled. The do much better, they care about what they are doing, they are committed, they are mature, and they are ready to contribute to the world we live in today.
      I don’t know if you are looked around lately, but our society is pathetic. As a world traveler (study abroad experiences) I see that other cultures have a lot less crud to deal with than we do in the good ole USA. I am not knocking our country, but we have fouled up somewhere in our societal makeup. I want my students and my children to be leaders and those that will make this world a better place to live.
      Please note that I do not base my point of view on emotions (such as being “pissed off”) – but strictly on qualitative observation.

      cms

    • mary

      So what’s this thing about homeschooling allegedly being selfish because “rich” kids are then “isolated”. First, the majority of homeschoolers are middle-class and don’t want to be in a public school but I haven’t seen anyone advocate to close down private and parochial schools for this reason. I wanted to ask the author of this article if they would be willing to give up owning a car and start riding the bus so that more people are riding public buses. I doubt they would do that !

    • AndyZ

      It is sad, but true that many teachers teaching eighth grade English do not have an eighth grade understanding of Science. Fortunately many parents, smarter than you, understand both. If you provided a superior teaching environment then you would get superior results and you do not. The benefits of not exposing their children to idiots like you is far too attractive for many parents to pass up.

    • Racheltea

      DM

      To me, it look as if those ‘hand signs’ are simply a child saying “hook em’ horns” because he is a diehard University of Texas fan. He probably plans on going there (with his public school education) and becoming a doctor, probably one who will save your life.

      By the way, I agree with most of this and must say I found many of the points to be very interesting.

    • Ian

      Wow, D.M., that’s pretty closed minded of yourself. Of course, since I’m in that horrible PUBLIC school I would never dream of helping a charity! Actually, every Wednesday my *PUBLIC* school lets us out early for teacher meetings and me and several friends attend Campus Life (a Christian meeting) and then proceed to volunteer until 6PM at the local food pantry. And the thing is, WE’RE NOT AN ANOMALY! Most large student organizations in the school run at least one school-wide food drive. All the profits generated by our business department go to charity. (That was a STUDENT idea.)

      And Sharon, you’re just plain ignorant. Children are allowed to wear crosses. I do. I see all sorts of biblically-themed shirts. I’m not saying that everyone is a devout Christian, far from it. But we do have several religious student organizations that meet in the school’s rooms. And the co-ops consist of all races and backgrounds that happen to be white, affluent, and Christian.

      And to the commenter who said that kids are instructed to all blend in and be the same, HAVE YOU SEEN SOME OF THE THINGS PEOPLE WEAR IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS? They are wildly different. We have hijabs, crucifixes, Sikh combs and all manner of everything in between. I, personally, am not incredibly popular, but not disliked or unpopular. I am eccentric and say and do all sorts of non-mainstream things and nobody tells me to keep my head down and mouth shut. I’m a Protestant, I listen to 60s and 70s classic rock and rant about the deterioration of culture. And no one excludes me!

      And no, the classroom doesn’t always resemble the real world. But the kitchen table being taught by your mother or father is even further removed from it.

      • Jen

        Frankly, sitting around the kitchen table is where I have learned the most. I went to public school and taught 9 years in the public school. But my most important learning came from my mother and father, and usually, at the kitchen table. I learned about states and capitals, countries and their capitals while eating dinner… and it wasn’t from a place mat. It was my parents investing in me and brother.

        Even as an adult, it is still the place where I glean wisdom that could never have been taught in a classroom.

        That is my real world, and I hope it’s yours too. To have a relationship with parents is precious, whether one is homeschooled or not.

      • From Utica NY...

        Allowed to wear crosses? The schools in the area where I live is extremely ANTI-Christian. Kids are given out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for refusing to remove crosses and Christian-themed clothing (or turn items inside-out.) The ACLU and the local government officials agree with this and they are all VERY pro-ISLAM, although most of them profess to be Christians. Kids can wear head coverings if they are Muslim, but they can’t otherwise, even if it’s for a medical condition. They allow the Muslim kids to leave class to pray facing Mecca, but Christians (and Jews) are removed from the lunchroom if they are heard thanking God for their lunch. And this is just in little ol’ Utica, NY. I attended several schools in other districts in the Madison-Oneida County area, but it’s the same all over here. I called the schools out on this on the local media’s websites, but I was subsequently banned from all of them (IP address is blocked.)

        I WISH I was homeschooled. I was in a different school every year, sometimes twice a year, until high school, as an Air Force brat. I wouldn’t have had to deal with getting my head slammed into lockers, getting pushed down the stairs, literally being thrown off the bus, and the daily death threats- usually in front of the teachers who claimed ignorance. My parents went to the principal to pull me out and homeschool me, but were told that it was illegal to do so with a myriad of false reasons (Vernon Verona Sherrill High School.) I ended up dropping out, getting my GED (six months before my class graduated, mind you), getting a job and going to college.
        I TOTALLY support homeschooling if for no other reason than to keep children from the amplified chaos and lack of actual learning that occurs in the public school system, at least in this region. I do, however, have to give high marks to the Department of Defense Dependents Schools; the first three years of my educational career were spent there (Zukeran Elementary and Bob Hope Primary, Okinawa.)

        A preacher’s wife in Utica, NY

      • from someone who's seen both sides

        Alright, Ian, it’s great that you’re involved in charity. Good for you.
        It’s also great that you have a Christian club at school. If, however, it is truly a public high school then I can guarantee you it is not really a sanctioned club. Do they allow it? Yes. Do they like it? No.
        I attempted to start a Bible club my freshman year. I was told it had to be student initiated and student led. Faculty members could be present, but they could neither lead discussion nor (in some cases) even get involved in the discussions. We couldn’t even call it “Bible Club” – the middle school (as it was both a middle and high school club) insisted that we call it something nonreligious. We ended up with “Freedom Fellowship”. No one knew what it was and it eventually just died out.
        As for Christian t-shirts, of course they’re allowed! So are clothes which promote sex, drugs, and gang violence (at least in my high school). But only man looks on the outward appearance – the Lord looks on the heart. Having a heart for God in a public high school is anything but easy. Every day I was surrounded by people who not only thought I was crazy for not smoking, swearing, or dating but who also assumed I was constantly judging them for doing so (I wasn’t, by the way – all have sinned and it’s Jesus’ job to convict them of their specific sins. My job is to lovingly point to way to salvation). I had to sit through classes teaching evolution, abortion, sexual freedom, and – worst of all – that my faith was nothing more but a nice story. Don’t tell me public schools are a faith friendly environment.
        As for diversity, it’s certainly promoted – in theory. As long as your differences don’t define who you are, that’s fine. Joining public school in sixth grade, however, as the smart, nerdy-looking, loud, homeschooled Christian freak does not exactly place one in the popular crowd. Not dating in high school brought patronizing or incredulity. Telling people I want to be a missionary in Africa brought the same. My best friend, also a Christian, wears a head covering – try explaining that one to teenagers.
        I’m not saying public school is inherently evil or that it can’t be a viable educational option. I am saying, though, that without a solid base in elementary school – homeschooled, allowed to grow up as I was without peer pressure – I would not be as comfortable with myself as I am today.
        One last note – I have never regretted homeschooling. I also had some wonderful experiences in public high school. I can tell you, though, that every time I drive past the school I graduated from this June I am grateful that I am no longer going there.

    • Tracie

      I think this article is disgusting. My 13 year old is in 7th grade in a public middle school. I have to say I have thought about homeschooling more than once in the past month. The teachers are lazy, they never get back to you and it always seems like they feel they have better things to do. My son brought home 2 B’s on his report card and that is a first. He always says how totally bored he is and now “I hate school” has become part of his vocabulary. I won’t even get started on the kids and how they act and dress. My son is very bright yet it seems that only the kids that need extra help or the one’s who are in trouble ALL THE TIME get the attention. I am very torn over homeschooling only because I don’t know if I am smart enough to help him LOL. Jesse you are way to harsh in your article to each his own or haven’t you learned that one yet????

      • Greta Hoostal

        Don’t worry you aren’t intelligent enough; you almost definitely are. And caring about your child counts for a LOT. Since you care as much as you do, you will be able to find a way around difficulties. For instance, if you happen to have trouble with a certain subject, there are a lot of things you can do. You can teach yourself as much as you are able (what I am doing, mostly with free e-books). You can find others home-schooling and teach their children and your son a subject you are good at, while another parent teaches them the subject you have trouble with. You can use software for countless things: foreign-language practice, explaining algebraic techniques, simulated dissection for biology, and so on. He can enroll in online classes and tutorials. If the subject is something really advanced, like calculus, you can get him in early enrollment for it at least at state universities if he has a good foundation for it. As you go along teaching, you will learn new things at the same time and reinforce and review what you’ve learned already. And the older he gets, the more he will be able to teach himself. So don’t think something like, “Calculus! Chemistry! Physics! How could I ever teach them?” Think about what you can teach yourself and do all you are able, then make a way for him. Some hints though: The school has probably taught him very little in the realms of higher arithmetic and grammar, and no Latin or logic. These subjects are fundamental to higher learning. I recommend starting with them immediately, not just you, but everyone who hasn’t and has learned reading, grammar, and lower arithmetic. The best sources, which I am using personally, are free online: Ray’s Higher Arithmetic, Reed and Kellogg’s Higher Lessons, Nutting’s Latin Primer, and True’s Elements of Logic. Good luck!

    • johnny

      dont try to give attitude first think

    • Jay

      just so you know, lemonade stands are now illegal. So yeah you might want to check your facts.

    • Amelia Reddington

      Hi,
      I am writing a news story on homeschooling and I want both sides of the argument presented. I was wondering if whoever wrote this article would be willing to answer a few question for me? If so email me at reddingtonaj@vcu.edu.
      Thank you.
      Amelia

    • cody

      I am 19 and I know that the sign they are making means hang loose, which means to relax and go with the flow, it is not a gang sign

    • Anne

      Wow, I think your reply kind of supports the original statement, because I find the statement “how many public schooled children do you know that willing (by the way should be willingly”) without direction CHOOSE to do such a thing [run a lemonade stand for charity]?” The author states that homeschooling parents are arrogant, and I can tell you that many kids in our community who are schooled at public and private schools have willingly made choices to run lemonade stands for charity, donate locks, donate money to pet shelters instead of receiving birthday gifts, and have sold hot cocoa to benefit a charity, etc. This comment is ridiculous and unfounded, and frankly, arrogant.

    • tmcano@comcast.net

      10. As is “You’re a total nerd” but are you really taking what an immature college students consider insulting as a valid argument?
      9. Invalid, most homeschoolers that I have had personal interaction with designate an area to complete school work. And a “learning-focused place to study”? A designated place in a home is learning focused, but last I checked most high school kids are more focused on hanging out with friends.
      8. And there’s a problem with wanting to provide your children with the best education you can in a safe environment?

      7. As has been previously stated I’m sure, there are many restrictions on public expression of faith in schools.

      6. Most homeschooling parents get in contact with other parents who have direct knowledge of the field. this happened with my education many times. My mother in fact is a college teacher as well as teaching homechoolers in our home for their English classes.

      5. As I stated above my mother is a teacher and chose to homeschool.

      4. As a homeschooler I was part of many co-ops that had all gender/race/sex/socioeconomic standings as well as being involved with sports year round.

      3. As a homeschooler in high school it was often remarked to me that I was more socially aware and communicated better than most public schooled kids. In fact it was remarked that what set me apart was my ability to be comfortable communicating with adults, not just peers of my age.

      2. So it’s a good idea to take the thoughts of one man and apply it to all people associated with him? That’s not close minded at all.

      1. Have you considered that it might be that they are home schooled because they are geeky and not the other way around? Correlation does not imply causation.

      As a final not I do not think homeschooling is for everyone, it’s very situational depending on both parent and child, but I had to reply because your reasons against were honestly just bad, surprising for a English teacher.

  2. wow…someone really doesn’t like homeschooling now do they? Someone apparantly didn’t research the subject very well either did they? And this person is concerned about my homeschooled children becoming narrow minded and intolerant? Wow…

    So I am selfish because I wont put my children in a local failing school so that children in a lower income bracket can have my children to look up to?(8)

    God hates homeschooling? Really? As a self proclaimed Agnostic who are you to judge what God loves or hates? I don’t think God intended my five year old to go into “all the world” without proper training from a Christian parent, rather than a agnostic teacher. (7)

    Apparently I can teach English as well as you with my measly highschool diploma, as my oldest son scored in the high 90’s on his ASVABs for military enlistment. I don’t seem to have done so bad in other areas as well, as his overall score was rather high, making him highly desirable by all branches. We covered Biology included all labs, and our college profesor friends have commented on his education(in a positive light) and ability to carry on an educated discussion and were quite impressed with his knowledge of History. Me, Arrogant? No, but proud of what we have accomplished!(6)

    Homeschooling pisses you off? Why? Do you take it as a personal threat or insult or lack of regard of your education? As a homeschooling parent of twelve years, I have nothing but the upmost respect for public and private school teachers who spend years and lots of money recieving their education obviously out of a true love of what they do, as they sure don’t get paid what they’re worth. I think most homeschooling parents feel the same. Our choice to homeschool isn’t about the teachers in the schools, it’s about an overall failing system. I often hear many college professors complain that students are entering college completly unprepared academically. I don’t feel this is a result of the teachers, but school boards and curriculum planners who are more concerned about teaching political correctness than academics.(5)

    One of several reasons we homeschool is that we live in an area where there are whites, and native americans, period. I once found a lost cell phone and called the owner, and we agreed to meet at the local ball field to return the phone. I asked how I’d know who he was and his reply ” I’ll be the only black man there, I’ll be easy to spot.” While I found it amusing, sadly it was true. Because we homeschool and have the time, we participate in a variety of activities. One of these activities is Tae Kwon Do, which we got very involved with to the point of my oldest going to the Jr. Olympics. One result of this was an immersion into the Asian culture and many friendships. Our involvment with ministries and outreaches brings us in touch with many cultures and races. Even though we are a Christian family, the majority of our friends are Buddhist and we have several who are Muslim and Jewish. If our only involvment was our local public school this wouldn’t be possible because of the neighborhood we live in. Intolerance and racism is alive and well in our local school as there is a race war that has been going on for generations between the two perdominant races(4)

    Number three is mostly covered in number four. Again, because of having extra time as our school day is about half of the public schools, we are involved in martial arts in another town 40 minutes away, Boy Scouts, church groups, the homeschool support group I founded, missions work and many other activities. So no, we aren’t “socializing” them with public school kids, but private school children as well as public school students and other homeschoolers. Our children know how to relate to those younger than themselves as well as older children and adults. Unlike public school students, my childrens peers are of all ages, backgrounds and races. It seems to me our activities and peers are far more diverse than what is offered in a public school setting. Anyway, when was the last time you applied for a job, and was told to go to the room with the other 40 year old workers? A public school classroom and socialization isn’t really “real life” now is it? (3)

    Have you met more than a handful of homeschooled students? I must really wonder, as I have met that nerdy or geeky homeschooler, but I have also met several who would be considered quite “cool.” I have also met many a nerdy or geeky public schooled student as well. Could it possibly be that such traits are inborn and not a result of schooling methods? Anyway what is wrong with being a geek? I am sure Bill Gates was probaly a “geek.” (1)

    This article is quite narrow minded and is very much what you are claiming homeschooling parents to be, including arrogant.

    • Tara B,

      I am delighted by your defensiveness!

      First, credit where credit is due: you sound like an excellent homeschooler. I applaud your commitment to giving your children a diverse childhood/educational experience.

      I’m curious, where are you from?

      – Yes, your choice is selfish. It benefits your children at the expense of the other students in the district. When something is good for you but bad for someone else, that makes it selfish, no?
      – God, I’m sure, wants us all to live together in peace and harmony. Jesus preaches, to paraphrase, that we’re all in this together. God does not think your child should be afraid of the average lower middle class student. This much I know.
      – If you think you can teach all the subjects as well as trained professionals (who, in most cases, live their subject area), then you are more than arrogant; you are a little insane. As far as English, for example, do you know about spell check? Punctuation?
      – Furthermore, your child is missing out on the diverse perspectives those dozens of teachers would have given him/her. Are you so sure your perspective is right? I hope not… and that’s one reason our kids have new subject teachers every year.
      – If you think the schools are failing–and thus, our society is failing–wouldn’t it be more Christian to do something about it than to hide away? And couldn’t you send your kids to public school and then supplement their learning at home?
      – Finally, if you think that interacting with young people who go to church, homeschool, are in the boy scouts (and the like) represents a healthy cross section of society, you are wrong. You child is missing out on the rainbow of classes and types and sexualities (etc.) that can only be found in the public school system.

      – Jesse

      • I am afraid you missed alot of what I said. Again, you are speculating that by our choices in activities, I am limiting my childrens awareness of other backgrounds. Where, if you read all I wrote, you would have seen we make our choices to give our children an awareness that just can’t be had at our local school.

        We live in Southern California in Riverside County, Hemet School district to be exact, in a rather low income area. My children spend plenty of time with the students that attend this school, but I don’t feel they need to be educated with them.

        Yes, I feel the system is failing and as a result, society will soon be behind. We are not hiding, we are out in the world, not secluded in a classroom with others of just our own age, just our own race, just our own religion. How “real life” is a classroom? I know of no other time in life where I have been secluded with other peers of my exact age, income level, and academic ability.

        In regards to spelling and punctuation….I am responding to a blog post, not writing an English essay, therefore not overly concerned with the like. The proof is in the pudding, and in this case it is a sons rather impressive ASVAB scores. From my understanding far above the norm. Somehow, thankfully he managed to become educated, rather well, inspite of some sloppy spelling, and run-on sentences on my part!

        Why should I have to supplement learning at home after my student spent 8 or so hours in the classroom? I hear of MANY parents doing this. But if the school was doing their job properly, why would that be needed? I can do a fine job in 3-4 hours at home, and still have plenty of time for a little real life socializing.

        Afraid of lower income students? I am not sure where you are getting this one from. First off, we fall into that category ourselves, as many homeschool families do. Our outreach takes us to some of the lowest income and poverty stricken areas you can imagine not only out of the country, but here in our own neighborhood. By schooling at home we have the time and opportunity to be involved in food assistiance programs reaching out to those right here where we live as well as in far away places many children publicly educated probaly couldn’t even locate on a map.

        Again, I have to go back to the classroom. Can you please explain how my local schools classroom of other 12th grade students who are more than likely either white or Native American and most likely claiming Christianity as their religion is more diverse than a martial arts class with people ranging in age from 4-90 something, of all skin colors and religions? Or more diverse than the people we meet on a missions trip to Haiti or Mexico? Or more diverse than a Scouting troup? This is leaving me a little confused….

        Selfish? I guess call me selfish when I am concerned about raising up children who can read and write rather than my neighbors childs education. I love all children, but God gave me mine to raise, not my neighbors. I am willing to help my neighbor with their homework, but not willing to subject my child to a less than quality education on my neighbors behalf.

        Arrogant and insane? Sure, guess I must be because little you say can convince me that I have accomplished excactly what you claim can’t be done by an ordinary parent without a higher education. That’s not just my opinion, but those test scores you trained teachers like to put so much emphasis on speak for themselves!

      • Susan G. Mule, M.Ed.

        Reading this article I must assume that this is meant to be a joke. No one could possibly be this uneducated about homeschooling, could they? Certainly not in this day and age?

        Surely, no one actually believes that sitting in a classroom with only your age mates as “peers” is socialization? Right?

        And, of course, no one believes that every parent tries to teach their older children every subject? Fathers and mothers generally have different areas of expertise and often both parents are involved. And of course the writer must be aware that parents of homeschoolers help each other in their areas of expertise and that we have “classes” via co-ops and at each other’s homes so that the Biologist is teaching Biology and the Attorney is teaching Government? And, the author must be aware that there are wonderful resources such as The Teaching Company, Thinkwell, Teaching Textbooks to pull from?

        And, certainly, in today’s day and age, no one actually believes that all homeschoolers are all white and middle class or part of the Christian Right? Again, the author must have meant that as a parody. In our homeschool group, for example, we have Christians, Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, and multiple other beliefs. We have whites, hispanics, blacks, and people from various countries. We have wealthy people and we have people in very low income brackets. We have kids with disabilities and we have kids who are profoundly brilliant. Yet, there are no real cliques, there is no bullying, there are no drugs and our teenagers are out doing community service rather than making out under the stairwells.

        So, of course, this article must have been meant as a parody — since no one in an enlightened society could actually believe that any of the author’s claims are true. It would be impossible for anyone with a teaching degree to be that ignorant, would it not? So, of course it must merely have been written for amusement.

        Yet, amazingly, I am not amused.

        • What you have sounds more like an alternative school than homeschooling, doesn’t it?

          • Caroline

            “alternative school”??? huh? There’s no such program with that name.

            Homeschooling IS alternative schooling. Obviously by definition, that’s what we’re talking about. That’s why so many people take issue with your article, Mr. Scaccia. You don’t appear to have done your homework on this article. You know not what you speak!

            For argument sake, if it were to be called “alternative schooling” instead of “homeschooling”, would you be ok with that? Is that what you’re hung up on? The name?? If a rose were called by any other name, would it not still smell as sweet?

          • Melinda S.

            Perhaps what you are missing here is that this “alternative school” does not occur every day. Most of the time, these are 1 day per week (sometimes 2 or 3), though the teachers may assign work for the rest of the week.

            It’s not really what most of us would call “alternative school,” but rather a bunch of parents, getting together to each give what they know.

          • Susan G. Mule, M.Ed.

            No, it’s not an alternative school. We all homeschool as individuals, but parents offer each other help and support. That is what a homeschool group does. Our classes or seminars meet about once or twice a month and the rest of the time the kids work at home. What we offer is in no way a full curriculum, but rather either supplements or enrichment. However, since the kids usually end up having at least two classes every week and with park days, special events, dances, etc. they spend a lot of time together, even if it is not everyday. Not everyone in the group goes to every class and not everyone in the group goes to every event. If we did, there is no way our kids would have any time to do any “normal” academic work.

            However, unlike the stereotypes, most homeschooled children are very socially well adjusted. They are aware of the counter culture their peers are in and do encounter it. They are not isolated. However, homeschooled children learn to socialize with all age groups and homeschooling is also becoming more diverse.

            This is why people like this author feel threatened and need to write insulting articles like this one. Parents are doing a much better job than the so called professionals. Being one of those so called professionals myself, and having worked in public and private schools before becoming a mother, I feel very confident that in most cases homeschooling offers both a superior education and better opportunities for socialization.

            • Judith

              Well said, Susan!

              I have trouble believing the academic achievements of the author with such poor grammar.

            • Bernadette

              Thank you Susan for your refreshing responses to this disparaging rant.

              I posted my thoughts as well and also was a public school teacher before the birth of my daughter. I am working on my Masters of Education degree but balancing my academic commitments with my time enjoying my daughter. I am tiring of judgmental people who question why I have not put my child in daycare where she would greatly benefit from becoming socialized with other peers. Firstly, they like Mr. Scaccia fail to understand that a parent has the right to choose what is in the best interests of her/his child. Secondly, they often ascribe to the importance of paid work, placing little importance on the value of spending quality time with one’s own children.
              The argument against homeschooling reminds me of John Fiske’s work on myths established within a culture to suit the needs of individuals who exert significant influence on society.
              Homeschooling, like choosing to be a stay-at-home parent or homemaker, are frowned upon in our society thanks to how media depicts these groups and individuals like Mr. Scaccia who perpetuate these myths. My hope is that more individuals like yourself will continue to advocate for the importance of choice as a parent. John Taylor Gatto’s and Alfie Kohn’s works are certainly substantive enough to look at when making a case for home schooling.

              Thanks again, Susan and to all the TRULY educated posters here who do not hide behind their credentials alone and raise them in defense to justify their arguments.

              Bernadette

          • Pamela

            Homeschooling IS an alternative schooling option.

            If by homeschooling, you mean only those that teach every single course from Kindergarten through 12th grade at the kitchen table and in the living room, then there are considerably few homeschoolers in this country. Obviously, some people do it that way. And a lot of people do it that way for certain years (we did also).

            My mom calls what most of us do hybrid-schooling. People in the congregation get together to discuss various topics. Clubs are formed for certain interest groups. Park days and field trips are arranged by people in the community. Testing is done at the local public school. The local private school is a great place for a couple classes, yearly pictures, sports, etc. The community colleges as well as state and private universities allow concurrent and dual enrollment. Some even have programs for all ages of homeschoolers. Homeschool co-ops meet for classes–some for fun, some for credit. Online programs allow for literature discussions and German practice. But the majority of the work, over 11-13 yrs (depending) is done *from home.*

            VERY few children are simply tied to the kitchen table getting no socialization and a mediocre education. Instead, mom chooses curricula, teaches, and finds outside resources as necessary. The idea is to provide better for the child. And most homeschoolers do get better across the board–socially, academically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and family wise.

            And as for socialization? When is all this socialization taking place in schools? In the 4-6 minutes between classes? As Johnny shows his rear in class again and the teacher yells at him again? Maybe it’s during the 30 minutes of P.E. twice a week? Or during silent lunch periods and bathroom breaks? While he’s “tied” to the kitchen table crying over 2 hours of homework after being in school 6.5 hours and riding the bus 45min each direction?

            REAL socialization happens in all situations the child is in. It happens in the real world all day every day. It happens in activities. It happens at the park and in the neighborhood with other free kids and when schooled kids finally get a break. But the most important socialization happens in the family–good or bad.

            Sure, I’m selfish. I want the BEST for my children. I’m not willing to sacrifice them. Period. However, on that note, I’m not sure where you get the idea that we just take our kids out and never think of other kids and society at all. Many homeschool families DO work with public schools. They work tutoring kids. They work in community projects. They help their neighbors. They are part of organizations. They pay their taxes and buy from fundraisers. They read in Kindergartens and staple papers for the local school. They donate. They provide local ministries. Some homeschoolers, no doubt, pull out never to be heard from again, but not all. The rest of us are quite active, to our ability, in our communities.

            But hey, you don’t have to like us :)

            BTW, as a teacher , I think I’ll just take the attitude that I’m glad there is a group of people who care so passionately for their children that they are willing to do *whatever* it takes to give them the best childhoods, educations, and opportunities possible.

          • Alternative schools in Virginia are for children with profound behavioral problems… I can’t imagine how homeschooling and alternative schools would be remotely similar!

          • Jenan

            “Alternative school”, in this district, is a term for a facility which attends to the educational needs of the functionally illiterate and educationally at risk. So no, actually, it does not.

            Do you truly believe that homeschooling can only be defined by the Duggar Family model? If so, might I suggest that “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy”?

        • Linda

          Well said, Susan! If I didn’t know better, I’d say you must be a member of the homeschool group my family belongs to. LOL.

      • Rhona

        Excuse me? As far as grammar goes, you actually aren’t one of the highest on the totem pole: “So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me?” Do you mean I? Because I’m pretty sure that’s
        what you meant.

        ~Rhona

        • Paul

          LOL! That jumped off the page and assaulted my “home-schooled” senses!

          This whole article is the personification of of the “audacity of opinion” found in public educators today. This vacuous phlegm of regurgitated thought reveals an educator, deviod of rudimentary research skills, caught in meme, and struggling with the concept of critical thinking.

          Thanks mom…at least I knew when to use “I” in place of “me”.

          • Ian

            Your mom who taught you probably has an opinion too. Plus, this isn’t a classroom, this is a blog. It’s possible to teach children neutrally and blog with an opinion. And there is no way you can possibly generalize all of the workers in one of the most common jobs in the world as all being “devoid of research skills.”

            And nobody talks like that. With the “I” in place of “me” thing. There is formal and informal writing, and blogs generally fall under the “informal.”

            • Jen

              I believe the mentioning of the double majors in English was meant to impress and dazzle those of us who only have high school diplomas, A.A.’s or only declared one major when earning their B.A.’s. It would seem impossible for someone so educated to make such mistakes, even if it was “just a blog.”

      • Michelle

        Please explain how a rainbow of sexualities has any relevance on educating a child. Isn’t the purpose of education to learn to read, write, mathematics, and history?

        Also, I’m curious from what scripture reference you are paraphrasing when you claim Jesus said, “We all in this together?” It’s not selfish to take our children out of the classroom. In fact, there’s more money left for the children still there now that the homeschoolers are not taking up valuable educational resources. If all students get a mediocre to bad education in this country what will become of it? Don’t kid yourself or try to make us believe that you really think any of us homeschoolers could help the public education in this country by putting our kids into the system. All the local school would do is say, Thanks little parent. We’ll take it from here!” The system is broken and all you bureaucrats don’t really want to fix it.

        What you hate about homeschooling is that it makes obvious the problems with the public schools in that “unqualified” parents have just as good or better results doing the teaching themselves!

        • Ian

          The public school system is not perfect but neither is homeschooling. I go to church and am friends with many homeschooled kids. A few have confided in me that their parents give them the answers to standardized tests. Public schools vary greatly by location; take for example New York City. In Forest Hills and Rego Park, Queens, middle income neighborhoods, the public education is excellent. But about 6-8 miles north in the Bronx housing projects, the education is terrible. Don’t “themify” public schools and their students and faculty just because you think you’re right.

      • Jesse,
        I am an observer in this conversation, since I have no children and the topic does not concern me one way or the other, except in the quality of our future.

        I would advise you to retreat and dress your wounds. You are definitely losing this argument, you have given nothing but emotional temper tandrum arguments. I can almost see you kicking your feet and flaying your hands as you scream, “My way, My way.”

        You have not given one shred of evidence to support public school other than the old tired arguments and disproven arguments that have been used for years. Yet your opponents have given well-founded, proven facts and arguments to support their cause.

        I do want to respond to two statements in your “reasons” to hate homeschoolers and hate is what you are displaying.
        1. If you are going to make a statement about a person’s belief, you best do it from the viewpoint of the believer, if you are an agnostic you cannot speak of the Christian values without knowing what they are from the Christian viewpoint. You have totally spoken out of turn and you are displaying an intense intolerance of Christians in your usage of knowing what the Christian God thinks. In fact the Bible clearly states that no one can know the mind of God. Not even a devout Christian would make such an assinine statement presuming to know what God thinks. No where even with a Jessica paraphase version does Jesus say we are all in this together, he clearly delineates the goats from the sheep, the Pharisee (this would be you, the one who thinks they know it all and are perfect) from the tax collector, (the humble Christian attempting to teach moral values in a sinful world). He says, it is easy to follow the world but it is hard to follow Him and the world will hate those who do follow Him. (I think you have properly demonstrated this point.) He NEVER says we are in this together, what He does say is that all of us have a choice “Whosoever will” That is a choice, not a group statement. Jesus did not get crucified because He said, “Can’t we all just get along.” He was crucified because He said, “Follow Me.” There is a world of difference in those two phrases. One requires a lazy noble sounding response with no obligation, the other is total commitment.

        This leads to the second idiotic statement you made,
        “Poorer students with less literate parents are more reliant on peer support and motivation, and they greatly benefit from the focus and commitment of their richer and higher achieving classmates.”

        Since when do parents need to send their kids to school to teach other kids, isn’t that your job? As a taxpayer I am paying you to do your job, not to push it off on another child who has the good fortune to have parents that provide a safe, moral environment that allows the child to learn better.

        Underpriviled or less apt students, need parents, especially fathers, not other students to help them excel.

        As one of the responses said, “You are an idiot.” The more you talk the more you prove her right.

        • Ian

          She’s losing, but only about a quarter of these posts are balanced, thoughtful rebuttals. Most of them are hate-induced rants by people so entrenched in their own ways that they refuse to see both sides. And you and I both know that a child WILL do better when surrounded by well-meaning, determined peers, as compared to being surrounded by low-life, unmotivated peers (which is possible in public school but won’t happen if YOU raised them right) or compared to no peers at all. I am Christian and while I didn’t necessarily agree with the “we’re all in this together” condensation, you cannot possibly claim that Jesus instructed us to be judgmental. And tax collectors were not generally “humble, moral Christians” as you say they were. In Biblical times, tax collectors were seen by the general public as (and usually were) scoundrels who took kickbacks from the people for themselves and were unkind and unmerciful to their victims. (As opposed to Jesus; one of Jesus’s most famous personality attributes is “merciful.”) And I haven’t seen anyone prove anything here with statistics, verified research, or specific numbers. Mudslinging and calling people idiots doesn’t help. You are as closed-minded and Pharisee-like as the people you are angry at.

      • Marcy Muser

        Jesse,

        I’m confused by your response to Tara here.

        1) You tell her that her choice is selfish. “It benefits your children at the expense of the other students in the district.” But your own definition of selfish is specific to what is “good for YOU” – not what is good for your children. Generally speaking, sacrificing oneself for one’s children is considered UNselfish. And homeschooling certainly involves sacrifice for the sake of one’s children. It would be a lot easier for me to send my kids off to school all day than to spend my whole day with them, making sure they get the quality education they need. If that means someone else’s child is deprived of my child’s presence, I’m sorry. But in the long run, the good my kids can do in society depends on my making sure they grow up happy, healthy, well educated, and well adjusted – and homeschooling makes that far more likely than sending them to school. I don’t see how giving up my own time and my own career so my children can have a solid education and become positive, contributing members of society is in any way selfish – even if it means that for a few years they are not mixing with other kids exactly their own age.

        2) If you are in fact an agnostic, by definition you don’t know whether you even believe in God, much less what He wants. However, I would agree with you that He wants us to live in peace and harmony. I believe that teaching my kids at home, where I can guide them in their interactions with others of different ages, races, social classes, gender, and so on, will produce much more peace and harmony than putting them in a public school, where most of their interactions with others are unmonitored and uncorrected. As to being “afraid of the average lower middle class student,” that’s just plain ridiculous. Did you know that 1/4 of all homeschooling families are below the poverty line? The claim in the USA Today article you quoted about homeschoolers being “increasingly wealthy” based that statement on the fact that in 1999, 63.6% of homeschoolers made under $50,000 per year, but today 60% make over $50,000 per year. Did you know that the median income went up from $38,883 per year in 1999 to $50, 283 in 2008? Do you believe that making the median income equals being wealthy? And do you realize that means 40% of homeschooling families make less than the median income? So who’s “afraid of the average lower middle class student”? Certainly not most homeschoolers, many of whom are lower middle class students themselves. (And by the way, the wealthy can afford to send their children to private schools, and most do that rather than deal with the inconvenience of homeschooling them.)

        3) As for qualifications to teach, I’m sorry, but I don’t see it. As a teacher, you are forced to use a curriculum written by committee and chosen by education professionals, not by those who are actually experts in their fields. I’ve worked and taught in the schools myself, and I know how little choice most public school teachers have in the material they actually teach. As a homeschooling parent, my responsibility is to make sure my child is learning what she needs to, and I have almost unlimited resources to draw on. I can buy books written by experts who actually work in their fields; I can purchase the foreign-language computer program the government uses to train its linguists; I can arrange for tutoring in math or computers by my computer-programmer brother-in-law; my child can join a community orchestra (since our local public high school doesn’t have one) or drama troupe; she can become a volunteer for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (since she actually has time to do that); I can enroll her in an online class, a class at our local high school (if I feel that’s a good choice), or a community college class; I can arrange for her to intern with a scientist or other expert in a given area; or I can otherwise choose any way that seems best for her to learn what she needs to learn. I can integrate what she’s learning in English class with what she’s learning in history or art or music or all three. As a public school teacher, surely you recognize the value of having that kind of flexibility to be sure your students get the education that will best help them learn.

        4) Hmm – diverse perspectives? Did it ever occur to you that my children’s interactions with people of all ages and all sorts of different social and economic status, as they are out in the world a significant part of every week, gives them far more diverse perspectives than your students get being shut in a classroom for almost 40 hours every week with other students just like them? And how much diversity can there really be in a few dozen teachers over the course of my child’s life, compared to the amount of diversity she experiences as she constantly interacts with hundreds of other people in the real world?

        5) Absolutely, I think Christians ought to do something about the failing public schools and the failing society – and I think keeping our kids out of those schools and giving them a solid, healthy education is the first step. I don’t think kids can really have much influence on the public school system; thus, it seems to me it’s far better for ADULTS to do something about that system, either from the outside as concerned members of society and as taxpayers, or from the inside as teachers and administrators.

        6) It’s possible that you are right: if my child were only interacting with kids their identical age who go to church, homeschool, or Boy Scouts, their exposure to society would be limited. But kids in school are also not being exposed to a healthy cross-section of society: 30 other kids from the same neighborhood, of exactly the same age and most likely of similar socioeconomic backgrounds and even races, hardly comes close to what our society as a whole is like. A healthy cross-section of society is not present in the public school system – it’s present in society, in the world as a whole – and my homeschooled kids, who have much more time available, are far more out in the world as a whole than public schooled kids are. My kids haven’t learned that black kids, Asian kids, Hispanic kids, and white kids are supposed to stay in their own little racial groups – they actually go up to kids of all ages and interact with them. Not only that, because I’m there with them, if they start to act squeamish about someone’s race, we can have a conversation about that. If they are rude to someone because of their social status, we have a conversation about that, too. If we go to the museum for a couple of hours, and stop for fast food in the neighborhood, my kids befriend the other people in that neighborhood (children and adults), though it is a lower-class, African-American community very different from our suburban one. If my daughters perform a dance routine at the local nursing home, they have no difficulty going up to the people in their wheelchairs, touching them, and talking with them. When they are at the park, my 13-year-old is happy to interact with another 13-year-old, a 10-year-old, a 6-year-old, or a 2-year-old. Even my 9-year-old willingly helps a younger child or plays with an older one. Instead of learning stereotypes from other children, they learn respect, kindness, and acceptance directly from adults. I’m sorry, but I think my children are getting a far healthier cross-section of society than your students are, and they’re getting it under adult supervision and guidance, so they actually benefit far more from it.

        I hope you have a chance to actually interact with some real-life homeschooling teens sometime soon. I think you’ll find that across the board, the majority of homeschooled teenagers are wonderful kids, who are going to become great contributors to society as they go out into the world.

        • Hope

          Very well stated. Thank you.

        • Ian

          While I disagree with you, I do like that you have avoided name-calling and mudslinging, which most posters here cannot say they have done. I am in high school, and while I do know a few homeschooled kids who are great people such as your own children, the majority of the ones I know are screwed up in one direction or the other. One I know is 16 and so incredibly sheltered that he cannot go anywhere or do anything without adult or church supervision and cannot hold an articulate conversation with anyone his own age or older. All of the people he talks to are like 10 years old. His 5th grade brother still sucks his thumb. On the other hand, the homeschooled kids at this other church that I go to youth group at are 9 times out of 10 wild partiers who have sex and drink alcohol every chance they get because they were sheltered for so long and rebel at the first sight of freedom. I wish I knew more homeschooled kids like yours!

      • You’re kidding about the “sexualities,etc.” part, right? It’s not ANY school systems place to discuss sexuality at all with minor children. Yours, mine, someone else’s, regardless of the personal choices they make – it’s private, and inappropriate conversation in the context of a CHILD’S (as in, they’re not little adults) academic education. That it is even an issue is baffling. Oversexualizing elementary aged children, and sending teenage angst into hyper-drive by virtue of introducing concepts that should not even be items for consideration by their hormonally challenged brains is not education, it’s inappropriate socialization.

        Your idea of socialization is disturbing, fraught with narcissism and self-indulgence – you’re so fab that you can single-handedly change the rules of grammar? Really, or should me ask “fer realz”? Exactly the kind of children I don’t want to raise, and not the kind I want my kids hanging around with. And it’s interesting, I used to laugh off the notion that public schools were the government venue for indoctrination of children into lives of substandard education and liberal group-think. But you’ve convinced me, they absolutely are.

        It’s my responsibility, according to God and the laws of the state I live in, to protect my children from people like you, regardless of class and income. Not only are you completely wrong, you’re dangerous. But hey, thanks for the head’s up!

      • NB

        It almost seems like you, as a teacher, misses out on an opportunity to spread your hateful rhetoric…to infuse your own belief-system into each child unfortunate enough to come into your care. But don’t worry…Hitler and Dewey also thought much of the public school system. The hand that rocks the cradle…

    • Joy

      Thank you for your post- very well done! I echo what you have said. I especially appreciate your line, “God hates homeschooling? Really? As a self proclaimed Agnostic who are you to judge what God loves or hates? I don’t think God intended my five year old to go into “all the world” without proper training from a Christian parent, rather than a agnostic teacher.” Well put. Even Christians often and sadly misuse the whole “Salt and Light” argument…I wonder how can we send our precious children out into a world that will eat the alive without properly preparing them Spritually beforehand?
      Thank you again for taking the time to write out all of your well directed thoughts!
      Sincerely,
      A Fellow Homeschooling Mom

  3. NC Teacher

    There have been many well thought out, pointed arguments against homeschooling. This is not one of them. I feel that the only decent point here is that an untrainded parent simply isn’t trainded to teach all subjects. On the other hand, until about Middle School, many well educated parents are; but I digress.
    The religious argument: you must read the Bible from all its angles. There is much guidance to be learned. The Jesus does give us the Great Commision to go into all the nations and preach his word, however, he also says to bring up a child in the way he should live and when he is older, he will not depart from it. So where does this leave the Christian parent who is weighing the pro’s and con’s? Well, as a Christian, the best place to start would be on your knees in prayer for guidance. Maybe, God would have you to homeschool your child for a certain amount of years. Maybe not. As Christians we are to offer ourselves and our families as living sacrifices to Him. This rebutle take care of the “selfish” issue as well. As a seemingly well educated person, I know you can understand this logic.
    Your choice of the word geeky, I will admit, makes you seem a bit like a previous jock yourself. Isn’t it the job of a great teacher to make better the moral fiber of our students. I doubt this particular vernacular is the best way of modeling good citizenship. You are the teacher however, that is for you to decide.

    By the way, I’m a public school teacher as well.

    • Andrea

      I am not a teacher but I think that if I were I’d be happy these people are homeschooling. I doubt there’d be any pleasing them and I’d rather not have to deal with them.

      • Caroline

        Thanks for saying what all the hs parents know. THAT is the point and the very sad reality of schools, teachers and people like you–you refuse to raise the bar.

        The homeschooler parents have a MUCH higher expectations than what the schools provide. While the majority of school mottos across the country say essentially the same thing (“educate each child to reach his potential”), in reality, that is not practiced. I admire you for saying what most schools will not admit–that they are not equipped to accommodate each child, AND they are not even close to successful in satisfying the basic educational goals of the majority of the children.

        And with that said, the schools should be GLAD that there’s SOMEONE there who will educate these children, especially when the schools won’t or can’t. They should be THANKING the parents, instead of calling them names.

        • B Knotts

          The reason for the hostility is simple: public schools are paid by the head, so homeschooling cuts into their revenue stream.

          It is sad, but true, that public education has become–at least to some extent–little more than a jobs program for education majors.

          • Cheryl

            It’s true that the local district won’t get “per head” funds if I homeschool my child, but I still pay education taxes, and don’t use any of that funding, so, financially, the school system comes out on the plus side somewhere…

          • Heidi

            If the public schools are paid per head then how come I’m still paying taxes to them even though I homeschool? HMMM! Makes you wonder.

      • Hope

        In my school district, 9% of the school-aged children are homeschooled. Another 15% is private-schooled. Our public schools are already over-crowded and some classrooms are in trailer settings. I don’t think those in the system would know what to do if the student population increased by 25%. The School Board knows this, and leave us alone.

    • Robyn

      Of course you’re a public schoolteacher. You’ve misspelled both ‘trained’ and ‘untrained.’ I’m guessing you’re the shop teacher.

      • Heather

        I caught that as well as “Commision” and “pro’s and con’s”. It’s Commission and pros and cons! Even my homeschooled 5th grader knows that.

  4. Luanne

    As a long-time homeschooling parent who is a year away from graduating my oldest child, I have confidence that what we’ve done has been the best choice for our children. My son earned a 25 on his first attempt at his ACT (several points above the average for our local school district) and that was the first standardized test he had ever sat for.

    You talk about diversity of ethnicity, sexuality, etc, but what about some tolerance for lifestyle choices? Different does not equal wrong, and history has shown that innovation and experimentation often lead to better ways of accomplishing a goal. Think of us as thousands of miniature education labs, testing theories that you can choose to use or reject in your classroom of the future. :)

    Your comment in #2, about gambling on our children’s futures, made me laugh out loud. Our local school has approximately a 50% graduation rate, so you’d actually find it a safer bet that my child would fall on the right side of those odds??

    Because parents have a vested interest in the future success of their children,we WANT them to become independent adults, not lazy couch potatoes. Homeschooling parents have made the difficult choice to sacrifice career goals, personal time, and LOTS of research and energy to prepare our children for whatever their future direction.

    If you think homeschooling parents sit in front of the tv and toss a book in the children’s direction and call that good, you don’t know many homeschoolers at all. Most of us spend as much or more time networking and researching curriculum, learning styles, and supplemental methods as we do actually teaching.

    In my home, where I educate5 sons, that means I have precious little ‘me time’ so to call me selfish or arrogant only reveals your ignorance of the topic. Homeschooling is a sacrifice I make because I love my children, and in the same way childbearing, nursing, and changing diapers wasn’t the absolutely most thrilling part of my day, it was worth it to provide the best I could for my child. It’s just what parents do.

    I find it a bit hypocritical of you to say that because our children don’t spend every day in a classroom where they’d be exposed to real-life diversity they can’t possibly be tolerant. Does that mean because your students only read about history they can’t apply it to real-life situations? or that because your student hasn’t had sex yet they don’t understand about STDs and birth control? Some subjects can be taught through conversation and example BEFORE it becomes necessary for application. Because I spend many hours of each day with my children, we have plenty of time for those discussions AND we have a close relationship so they come up naturally and are not contrived or awkward at all.

    One final (and admittedly very minor) point:

    quote: As far as English, for example, do you know about spell check?

    To this I say “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. I chose to ignore your grammatical errors in your original article and in your reply to the first comment because when issues are emotional we’re sometimes thinking faster than our fingers or our training can keep up. Another reason for silly errors is environmental, for example while I’m typing this the tv is on, my husband has interrupted several times to talk to me, my youngest son has been showing me successive LEGO creations, and my ‘n’ key is missing from my keyboard. Please let’s give one another some grace on these issues and stick to the point. :)

  5. You are so ignorant. Every point you made is wrong, wrong, wrong!

    #10. Who cares what the jocks and popular kids are saying about homeschoolers? They fail out of school, while the intelligent ones get degrees and become leaders of our country.
    #9. We have a separate school room with desks, posters, and a marker board. We do our school work there, and live in the rest of the house–separately. We don’t watch TV during the week either.
    #8. Of the homeschoolers I know, NONE are rich and most are middle-class working families who wish to give their children the best possible education while also remaining close to them. They sacrifice a lot to make sure they can homeschool. How is that selfish?
    #7. Not all homeschoolers are fundamentalists. We are secular homeschoolers and do not attend any kind of church, but we do study all religions as a subject.
    #6. Yes, I do believe I can teach better than you. I received a BA in English and also have minors in education and history. I graduated with a 3.9 and got many awards and recognition for honors work. I had been trained to become an English teacher and spent 160+ hours working at schools. I now work as a writer while I homeschool my children. My husband also has a degree, a BFA with minors in art education and zoology (he was going to be a vet, but fell in love with art). We are both returning to graduate school next year and will continue to homeschool our three children.
    #5. Sorry that homeschooling pisses you off. Perhaps when you have children, you will feel differently. Don’t be offended. There are plenty more parents that don’t care for their children, and surely they will send them to public school.
    #4. Is your family interracial? Perhaps this is why you are ingnorant. We have people in our families and well as our circle of friends that are all colors, creeds, and religions.
    #3. Homeschooling produces intelligent and caring individuals that are mature beyond their years. When we go to the park, swimming lessons, sports meets and other activities, it is the public-schooled kids that don’t know how to behave in social settings.
    #2. There are many risks in life. It’s a part of growing up. I feel that my chances are much better with homeschooling than public schooling.
    #1. Again, your own ingnorance shows. Most celebrities choose to homeschool their children. Are they “geeky?”

    I think your experience with homeschoolers has been very limited, and you like to classify people into stereotypical groups. Next time, open your mind to the possibility that homeschoolers are intelligent people who are self-sacrificing when it comes to the welfare of their children.

  6. jill

    “So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me?” Hey English expert, correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t it be, “… you think you can teach English as well as I can?”

    While I am a public school teacher, I have had plenty of experience with a variety of alternative schooling – my own (at various points) and as the parent of a child who attended both private and charter schools and eventually graduated high school through an independent studies program at our local public high school. My other child has gone public school through the 8th grade so far. They are two very different kinds of people and learners and we have been lucky that my son is the kind of student who can do well at a traditional public school. My daughter, being more artistically inclined, impulsive, easily distracted, etc… did not do so well in this setting – she needed something else. I wish that I had had the luxury of staying home with her to teach her, I thought about it a lot, but being a single-parent, that was not an option for me.

    While I think that it is the responsibility of the members of society to hold schools, districts, and the state accountable for having quality schools, I also believe that some of the beautiful things about our country (did I just say that?) are that people have choices and that, as a nation, we consist of all kinds of people. That includes having different kinds of families that raise and educate their children in different ways.

    Philosophically, I don’t agree when people from higher income brackets keep their kids out of public schools to put them in homogeneous private schools. Unfortunately, putting the kids all together doesn’t solve every problem, and actually creates new problems. I graduated from Berkeley High School, probably one of the most diverse high schools anywhere. From my experience there, I benefitted from going to school with kids from all ethnic backgrounds and from a range of socioeconomic statuses. The advantages of that included being exposed to a variety of ways of thinking – including ways I don’t agree with.

    What is problematic at BHS, is that, generally speaking, the Asian and White kids did the best (best test scores, college bound, etc.) while the Black and Latino kids did the poorest. This is part of a larger social problem and, so far, has not been properly addressed by our school system or society. So while the school, with a student population of 3,000 can claim they are diverse, they are not doing right by those children – any of them- to be only properly educating SOME of them.

    I have seen two examples in my community where African American parents homeschooled their kids with other parents and eventually those families grew into two different small private Afro-centric schools. I spent time in these schools and saw lots of time and care and attention given to these students. There was deep critical thought and students got lots of support in their intellectual growth. That doesn’t always happen in regular public schools and so those parents were doing the best they could for their kids. The kids were being raised with love and attention and they would grow to know themselves well, and therefore, would be able to accept others as they are (or intellectually challenge them if necessary).

    I think that raising compassionate tolerant kids happens mostly in the home and that it is our job as teachers to be an extension of that learning. Unfortunately, sometimes school is the only place where that happens, but public schooling is no guarantee of future open-minded and open-hearted people. It would be oh-so-lovely if that was the one characteristic we could give our kids, wherever their formal education happens… we would live in a different world.

    It sounds to me like Tara is doing a fabulous job of exposing her kids to a variety of people and ideas. While it gave me shivers to hear her say that her son scored high for a “military entrance exam?”… everything else in your post showed me that you are making every effort to have your children learn about the world and it’s wonderful diversity.

    What is surprising and disappointing to me is that this post got so much reaction. Jesse has posted many other entries that I felt have been quite offensive. I would love to hear some reaction to his ideas whether they are about issues that affect you directly or not. We should all be ensuring that EVERY child in our society gets a solid education, our children, as well as our neighbors.

    • Julie

      I, for one, am deeply indebted to Tara and her child who took the military entrance exam. Thank God (or not, if you wish) for the people who are willing to make these sacrifices so you have the right to say what you want, and worship (or not) whomever you like.

      • PeggyU

        I agree with you. Kudos to Tara for raising a son of honorable character. His military experience will provide a broad exposure to and understanding of other cultures. I’d be willing to bet money that he will learn more than many who go straight to college.

      • Mimi

        ABSOLUTELY, Julie. Thank you, Tara!

        jill, that degree of ingratitude is disgusting. You do not deserve the protection you are being given and should be too ashamed to benefit from it.

  7. ryan

    This takes on a bit of a Michael Moorish tone, but the 4 core points of Jesse’s position seem rock solid to me.

    A parent cannot cover all of the disciplines of a high school education.

    There is a stigma attached to homeschooled kids like it or not.

    There is a certain selfishness and arrogance to homeschooling, which seems to me rooted in a hyper-inflated sense of trying to protect your kids.

    A moral education and a social education are interrelated and to deny your kids the social education of public schools is denying them a moral education.

    • I have posted a rebuttal on my blog Mr. Scaccia’s diatribe. The addendum asking if any homeschoolers would like to cooperate with this website is laughable. No, really, we don’t enjoy being kicked around. Thanks anyway!

      But as for public schools being the foundation of a moral education, I can think of few things farther from the truth. Exactly what morals are being taught in public schools? Eleven of my 13 years of schooling were at public schools. I learned what clothing you needed to wear to be popular. I learned who was having a party on the weekend when their parents were away. I also learned math and grammar and stuff like that. I did not learn morality – things like Thou shall not kill and Thou shall not name call and Thou shall treat others the way you wish to be treated. Nope, mom and dad taught me that stuff.

      • Michelle,

        I am much, much, much more ignorant to the world of homeschooling than you are. I am comfortable admitting that. My opinion is based on my experiences as a classroom teacher and as a human in society.

        I have no problem asking for other to help fill in my knowledge gaps (and that of our readers). Hence, my call for one or some of you to write for us.

        Even though I write with confidence bordering on aggression… and even though I think I’m right… it is a subjective world we live in, and I am never Right. None of us are.

        So I ask you (and whoever else) to consider my offer. I would love to read about a homeschooling parent’s day to day experiences.

        Our differences aside, to all homeschoolers:
        Thank you for being a teacher.

        • Caroline

          teacherrevised/article author–

          If you lack information, I think it’s irresponsible of you to write an article as an “expert”, with an article titled, “The case against…”. It implies that you have done the proper research and this is your guided conclusion. So, you already made the first mistake of Journalism 101. You didn’t do your research!

          If you were just wanting to gather information and learn more, than you should have asked for it via a bulletin board or a Q&A forum.

          Furthermore, I’m appalled of your admittance that you haven’t even researched (or read) about homeschool parents to find out what a typical day (newsflash: there’s no “typical day” for a homeschooler) is. I would have thought that would have been your first assignment of research before you even wrote down a single letter towards the article. How can you criticize homeschool parents and their children when you haven’t even shadowed one, or interviewed one, or even read over their reports, etc.???? Now, I’m just dubious about all of your credentials. Even an 10-year-old child knows to do the research before writing a report.

          Furthermore, while you are allowed to be subjective, I did not draw the conclusion that your article was an editorial. THAT is where the subjective articles need to go. And they need to be marked as such.

          What a complete quack!

        • Cato

          There is a delicious irony in your citing the purported arrogance of homeschooling parents as an argument against homeschooling, when you have written your entire article with such overweening arrogance that you don’t think you have to know anything about home schooling to condemn it. Attitudes from school “professionals” such as you display go a long way towards explaining why so many intelligent, well-educated parents now home school if they do not have good private schools available, or choose not (or cannot afford) to send their children to private schools.

          One of my daughter’s best friends in high school was home schooled in Manhattan – that’s right, New York County, New York. Our daughters met at the pre-college division of Manhattan School of Music, where they both studied on Saturdays. Her home school experience at the high school level included a number of groups assembled for particular courses — science courses taught by Columbia doctoral candidates, literature, language, economics, history and philosophy courses taught by moonlighting faculty from universities such as Princeton, Pennsylvania, NYU and Columbia/Barnard. While taught with a more traditional bent than is currently fashionable, the academic standards were high, and the texts were always at an AP level. Athletics were mostly with various AAU clubs in the area, or riding in summers working on relatives’ Midwestern farms. The only thing she “missed” was the political indoctrination, crime, poor teaching and time spent on extraneous matters in her neighborhood public high school.

          The young lady went to the same college as my daughter who attended a good suburban public high school — with which we were increasingly unhappy — and did at least as well.

          Life is about choices. I refuse to accept the premise that it is selfish for a parent to want to ensure that his or her children are taught in a safe, nondisruptive learning environment with a primary emphasis on the academic content being taught.

          When I was a student in what were generally considered above average California public schools in the 1950s and early 1960s, it was my observation that even in those halcyon days something like 3 out of 4 public school teachers were incompetent, stupid, or burned out. In my more recent experience with my own children in a nationally recognized suburban school system, that’s still a fair estimate.

          At the elementary level, few of the teachers had completed majors in an academic subject (as opposed to elementary education). At the middle and high school level, the majority of the faculty were simply not that bright, and politically they were almost all somewhere to the left of the Gang of Four. Those with whom I crossed swords within my areas of doctoral level expertise — history, philosophy, and economics — hadn’t read the most significant literature in the fields and didn’t present alternative interpretations because (when questioned closely) they didn’t know them. No thank you. I would home school in a heart beat were I to do it over.

        • Michelle from GA

          If it’s subjective than you can not claim to be right, nor can you claim that homeschoolers are wrong.

          And if your “experience” is wrong and you are basing your opinion on that “experience”, than your opinion is also wrong.

          Personally, your “experience” seems so far off from the hundreds of homeschool families that I have known and currently know, I find it hard to believe that you are basing your opinions on your “experience”.

        • Mimi

          >it is a subjective world we live in, and I am never Right. None of us are.

          Oh, the IRONY!

          You are an amazing specimen. I am saving your writing for my children to study when they are older. I have told acquaintances that people like you exist, but many can’t believe me.

          Despite your degrees, you lack the simple grounding in logic to understand how ridiculous this claim is.

          If you cannot be right, then you CAN MAKE NO ARGUMENT. WHATSOEVER. Can you understand this? Let me try in simpler terms:

          Without right, there is no wrong.

          Truth values do not exist except in a subjective sense.

          At BEST, you are indulging in the only moral infraction possible in such a system–that is, trying to change other people’s beliefs. You are doing it here, and you do it EVERY DAY at school when you try to teach students ANYTHING.

          It is one of the great ironies of moral relativism that relativists are so aggressively polemical about their beliefs. The problem is that the existence of non-relativistic beliefs cause a fundamental, irreconcilable paradox. A relativist must believe that all other viewpoints are as valid as his own, AND YET the existence of a non-relativistic viewpoint invalidates relativism. Unable to accept this, the modern relativist attempts to destroy the non-relativist viewpoints by labeling them “intolerant” (even though objective intolerance CANNOT EXIST in a relativistic universe!).

          I believe it was Socrates who put down the first Western relativist so succinctly and completely that relativism disappeared from the West for thousands of years. The argument went approximately like this:

          “Everyone’s subjective belief is equally valid.”

          “I believe that you are wrong.”

          From this conundrum, relativism CANNOT BE RESCUED. It is only since education has become debased to such a point that logic is completely neglected and the validity of an argument is judged emotionally (just as your entire argument was formulated emotionally) that people have been stupid enough to buy into this.

          The scariest thing of all is that getting people to reject objective reality is the first step in getting them to accept a reality of someone else’s devising. You are the ultimate example of a modern American mind-slave.

    • Caroline

      Ryan–

      (1) Most homeschooled students score higher than the public school counterparts, so I guess they ARE covering all the disciplines of a h.s. education.

      (2) There is a stigma associated with lots of things. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. There’s a stigma for girls to be better than boys in math and sports. Are you going to tell your daughter to not do her best based on the stigma?

      (3) Of course there is a selfishness to homeschooling, the same one that makes some parents choose private schools or parochial schools, or magnet schools. As well as the same selfishness that makes sure their child has a computer or a safe neighborhood to grow up in. It’s called…wanting the best for your child. If someone has a child, and they don’t have that “selfishness”, then THEY are the ones I’d be concerned about.

      (4) To argue that public schools are the only places to gain social and moral skills is VERY absurd. In fact, I’d argue the opposite. I would say that kids in public schools these days are less socially ready and definitely more morally corrupt that the average homeschooled child.

      • Greta Hoostal

        Absolutely. Thank you. As far as moral education goes, my family attends church and the children are about to start Sunday school. My daughter and I read the New-England Primer. It says “The sabbath is to be sanctified by an holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days, and spending the whole time in public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.” We do our best to keep the Sabbath in this very manner. So, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, in all free time, we try to be reading the Bible, the Primer, and catechism, and working on crafts, puzzles, and the like that teach children about Christianity. During the rest of the week, we spend a lot of time on McGuffey, Town, and Sanders readers, which are replete with moralistic stories. My daughter has also read (and enjoyed!) Struwwelpeter, a book of cautionary tales, and I read Goody Two-Shoes to her. George Washington’s Rules of Civility is being shipped to us as I type this. We also have many serious discussions, normally more than once a day, about ethical concerns, and she loves to read the Ten Commandments. As of yet, she is only four-and-a-half. Is she being denied a moral education? What more could I do?

    • Susan G. Mule, M.Ed.

      My guess that part of the stigma against homeschooled kids is that they don’t have to get up before daylight to catch a bus to sit through a very long day of drudgery for 13 or more years of their lives. Instead, they get to live rich and meaningful lives while they are still children and teens. They have time to play, to work, and to volunteer. When they go to a museum, they are not shuffled through like a herd of cattle, but instead get to enjoy the exhibits. If they have to go to the bathroom, they go to the bathroom without a pass. If they are hungry they don’t have to wait for the bell to eat. They can walk down the hall without getting groped and they can work and learn at their own pace.

      Yes, I can see where a child in school would have resentment for a homeschooled child. They have lives.

      • Cindy Fox

        This is so true. At one point, my schooled teen came home complaining about the field trip they had just taken to an Art Museum that my unschooled young one had so often enjoyed. When we asked him:
        Did you see the frozen explosion?
        Did you see the Diorama Rooms?
        Did you see the Asian Art Room?
        Did you see the Endless Star room?
        For each of these questions, representing all the parts we most enjoyed, his answer was “No.”

        So, we took him out of school for a day in order to experience the Art Museum as the ‘real world’ does. He had a great time choosing where to go and reading the display signs and discussing the exhibits and what they made us feel and think.

        I’m glad that on this occasion, he was able to unlearn the disdain he had felt for the museum, which from his description was a series of lectures punctuated by security guards reminding them not to touch, all in a single section of the museum.

        While I respect the need for information transmission and the desire to focus on a single area, his school field trip could have been more positive if they had allowed for some exploration, discussion and enjoyment.

        Lectures can be done at school. Imposing them on a field trip detracts from the joy of learning, something sadly missing from most school experiences.

    • saj

      Do you realize by saying that I, as a parent, can not cover all the disciplines of a high school education, that you are calling me an idiot? Please give me a break. Public high school is really not that hard and they will graduate just about anybody anyway.

      Regardless of the fact that you say it’s not possible, for the last 14 years I’ve somehow managed to raise/homeschool a responsible, polite child who is an athlete, a musician, a writer, a roboticist and who was admitted to college at 13 years old. He has lots of friends of all ages from toddler to adult. The public school teens in my neighborhood hang around the clubhouse parking lot smoking, drinking beer and cussing. Am I supposed to feel bad that my son isn’t a part of their “non-geeky” group, or that he’s probably out doing charity work instead of wasting time on facebook? Oh brother!

      • Mom2Many

        Weeelllllll, seems to me, Saj, that what this person is saying is that the public schools failed you if you can’t handle the subjects you were taught by these *supposed* experts on teaching.

    • Homeschooler

      Who says all of the disciplines need to be covered by a single parent? There are so many resources for homeschoolers, many have been mentioned in posts preceeding this one.

      There are social stigma’s attached to individuals for a miriad of reasons, so what?

      Maybe, I suppose that would all be in your perspective.

      I suppose a homeschooler could deny their child any social contact with the outside world thereby denying them a social education. I would venture to guess most don’t though.

    • Hope

      Hey Ryan!

      #1 Parents are proving you wrong every day. SAT, ACT and CAT scores, required for college entrance are proving it out. If they don’t care, why should you?

      #2 Oh well

      #3 We’re not at the hyper-inflated state yet. Just inflated. And, we’re not “trying” to protect our kids. We ARE. I also protect my rose bushes in the Winter.

      #4 Exactly! I would add that there are a lot of things I am “denying” my children. But I am most definitely not denying them a moral education. It just depends on whose morals you are talking about: yours or mine?

    • Ryan, you’re wrong.

      First and foremost, there is not, with rare exception ,any such thing as “a hyper-inflated sense of trying to protect your kids” – it’s a parent’s primary job. Parents should stop abdicating that responsibility to others, rather than expecting others to do their job and then whining that it’s not up to their standards. Or laying blame on others when their child becomes a criminal, a victim, or both.

      Yes, I can cover all the core educational requirements of high school, and then some. Again, regardless of where or how my child learns, it’s my responsibility and my decision with regard to approach, cirriculum, outside resources, etc. I’m looking forward to all of us learning Latin together. Care to join us? Or are you off to socialization class? There’s no such thing. It’s the difference between real learning and time-wasting, something our public schools, and many of our public institutions, have elevated to an art-form.

      The only stigma attached to homeschooling is perpetuated by ignorant or self-serving people who begrudge others their free-thinking. Scary. And guess what – because homeschooled children are properly socialized, most of them couldn’t care less what those ignorant people think of them.

      Since when is public school a “moral” authority on anything? Everything they do, from funneling students through hallways on colored tape lines like inmates, to so called “healthy” school lunches that are perpetuating the obesity epidemic and general ill health of our children in the interest of giant collective industrial farms, is abjectly immoral.

      Sorry, but you do sound just like Michael Moore. He can be very entertaining, but his movies are always in the wrong category at the video store – documentaries are by definition required to be based in fact, he belongs in science fiction.

    • Mimi

      >A moral education and a social education are interrelated and to deny your kids the social education of public schools is denying them a moral education.

      Exactly. All the more reason to home-educate.

      Only the ignorant, stupid, and envious stigmatize homeschooling. Only the ignorant and stupid stigmatize interracial marriage. And I care, why?

      There are plenty of people who can, indeed, successfully homeschool every single high school subject. Those who can’t have many, many options: co-ops, correspondence courses, online courses, community college, tutoring, special camps and other classes. There are also many, many public schools who turn out fewer than a dozen college-capable graduates a year. I don’t see you arguing that this is an intractable problem of public schooling.

      You think homeschooling is overprotective only because you know nothing about it. For many, it is instead inspired by a desire to get kids OUT of the false world of school and into the real adult world. If you know not of that which you speak, why talk at all?

  8. Caroline

    Wow! This article sounds like it was written by an angry, immature 12-year old…what’s up Jesse? Did a homeschool kid just outsmart you in the grocery store or something?

    First of all, you lose all credibility with me when you start out by insulting both parent and child (“society-phobic mother” and “geek homeschool child”). In all your self-proclaimed years of journalism, teaching and writing training, didn’t you learn that in a persuasive essay, alienating your opposition is generally not the way to gain respect and win the argument?

    Secondly, you lost credibilty in your grammatical errors (“…you can teach English as well as me?”) in the very sentence that you’re trying to persuade me that you are more versed and more qualified TO TEACH ENGLISH than I am.

    Thirdly, most of your arguments were based on opinion, not fact. I don’t care if you think the family home “should not” be used for learning. That’s irrelevant, if not crazy. Where do children learn the minute they are born? THE HOME! The family house is the first learning center. Are you going to outlaw home learning for toddlers too??

    With your logic, I’ll be expecting your next article to be an argument against adults who work from home, and the outlaw of home offices. The title could read: Work should only be done in office buildings, and not homes. ?!

    More obviously, since you’re only QUALIFIED to teach English, you seem to have forgotten your history. Schools are a new concept. Learning, for many centuries, was ALWAYS done at home. Everyone was homeschooled. Are you going to argue that “those homeschooled children of many centuries ago” were arrogant, unsocialized, and stupid too?

    Lastly, you’re accusing homeschool parents and children of being arrogant. But your entire article was based on your own arrogance, prejudice and lack of openness. I’m not sure why you don’t understand that it’s public school teachers like yourself, with your close-mindedness and arrogance, that are the EXACT reasons why loving parents are running away from public schools and deciding to homeschool.

    My children attend public school most of the day, but I am open enough to realize that there are other options. If one of my children were assigned a teacher like you, I would immediately ask the principal for a class change. It’s people like YOU, not the actual school, that parents want to avoid–YOU are the bad influence!

    • The poll question for tomorrow: Why are homeschooling parents and students so defensive?

      (Possible answer: They weren’t teased and challenged enough at public school, and thus never learned how to have an unemotional conversation about a topic that impacts them.)

      Let me make one thing clear first: I value a parent’s right to homeschool their child; it is a choice I would never want to be taken away.

      Of course my article was extremely one-sided: It was called “The case against homeschooling.” There is much to be admired about homeschooling, starting with the strength of the parents to make what is, we must admit, an anti-social choice. So cheers on that point, and on the commitment you all have made to your children. Though it may be somewhat misguided in my opinion, your children all (should) know that they are very loved.

      That said…

      In no way was I trying to convince an existing homeschooler to send their kids to public school. Homeschoolers are a fringe group, and their single-minded dedication to their cause is not going to be dampened by a blog writer. It’s interesting… in the frothy passion of your responses I get hints of the arrogance it takes to believe one is a better teacher than the combined skill of the dozens of trained educators your child would have learned from in schools.

      How can a person possibly believe that? It is like believing that one newspaper gives you all the news (and every side of it). It is like thinking that one religion has all the answers. It is thinking that homeschooling father (or mother) knows best.

      Yes, OF COURSE, you think that you’re giving your child a good education. But you’re also feeding them a pre-packaged set of ideas/ideals/morals. Who is to say that this is the right tv dinner for your child’s soul? And if you answer ‘yes,’ how do you know? Why should I trust you alone with your child’s mind? You’re passing on your biases as facts!

      Even though I’m a teacher, I don’t believe that education (or test scores) is the most important thing in a person’s life. Feeling full-filled, and finding oneself, are far more important. My path to finding myself took me to washing dishes in a national park; to studying in Florence; to teaching swimming in Florida; to Brooklyn and San Diego and Cape Town… If my parents had sheltered me through homeschooling, would I have had the confidence to see how my personality fit in all these places? Would I have become myself, or a doll that my mother and father spent every school day creating?

      In response to if I would call “those homeschooled children of many centuries ago arrogant, unsocialized, and stupid too”… First of all, I’m calling the parents arrogant; the children are the victims. And stupid, no. Maybe unworldly or uncultured, though, sure. Unsocialized? Definitely. To be socialized within one’s family does not make an individual socialized. Being able to communicate and understand and live and flourish in various environments does.

      I ask homeschooling parents, do you want your children to be citizens of the world, or citizens of your home?

      You all have made fine, thoughtful points, but on this I will not budge: Homeschooling denies the child the grab bag of viewpoints needed to form a self-actualized adult. No parent-or teacher-understands all of the world’s phenomenon, facts and perspectives thoroughly enough to say they are the only teacher their child needs. That, I will always submit, is a small lunacy.

      • Caroline

        wow. You are calling Aristotle, Socrates, Beethoven, Mozart, and even Shakespeare “victims”, “unsocialized”, and my favorites…”uncultured” and “unworldly”.

        Please let me know where you “teach” so that I can definitely avoid that school and your classroom like the plague. It’s very saddening to know that you, as a TEACHER, have been given the gift of having an impact on children, and this is what you would teach them.

        Like I said before….it’s “teachers” like you that our school systems (and society) do not need.

      • Megan

        The poll question for tomorrow: Why are homeschooling parents and students so defensive?

        Um. Maybe it’s because you labeled us as self-aggrandized and society-phobic, and our children as geeks?

        If you really want to start a dialogue, maybe you should NOT start out with the classic “playground bully” method of name-calling.

        • Caroline

          Don’t worry about it Megan. You know what they say about people who resort to calling others names….it’s because they have a limited vocabulary. Maybe he skipped one too many classes or missed the kindergarten lesson on playing “nice”.

      • Melinda S.

        OK, this is really funny–your comments are supposed to be an “unemotional” conversation? Perhaps all the teasing has made you forget what it means to be nice. (Sorry, that was not nice.)

        Have you looked at studies of homeschooled children? It turns out, they are MORE likely to be happy and fulfilled, MORE likely to read a variety of newspapers and publications, MORE likely to vote and be active in their communities–all the things you are lauding as signs of a good and proper education.

        It turns out that public school students are more likely to be depressed, to drop out of school (and often life), to not care enough to vote.

        Note, I am NOT saying this is true of all, in either group. I am discussing the over-all statistics, and they just do not support your points.

        I want my children to be citizens of the the world, not just subjects of their bureaucratic employer or school.

        I want my kids to know about a variety of cultures, and we study them in more depth than most public schools.

        I want my kids to play with kids from all over town (as they do on homeschool field trips), not just the ones from my neighborhood.

        I want my kids to not notice whether kids are black, white, or purple (which they cannot do in our local schools, where the kids themselves segregate themselves into groups of “their own kind”).

        Is it selfish of me to want this for my kids? Maybe.

        It is equally selfish for the school to want my kids, in order to raise their own test score results or have more kids who can “help” with underpriviledged kids. I’m sorry–no, I’m not sorry–it is not my child’s job to rescue your school. It is MY job to provide the best I can for the children who are my responsibility.

      • I don’t think going to a government school offers childrens enough viewpoints for them to be citizens of the world. In the school we just left:

        EVERY single teacher:
        Was a registered democrat
        They all the same POV on every topic that came up -all towed the party line, same pat responses to every question, etc.
        They were majority white females
        All hated to read for pleasure, and were math phobic.
        None could write a letter without errors.
        All were ignorant on what I feel is basic educational theories, teaching methods, etc.

        The same view given by 20 different people is not a variety. Out of 7 teachers, my kids learned the same black history year after year: Martine Luther King is the greatest man that ever lived. He freed the slaves. Every white person that existed owned slaves and all black people were slaves. Black people invented everything, wrote everyting, drew/painted everything. Every Feb, out came the same pictures of Beyonce, Whoopi, Chris Rock, Snoop Dog and all the other pillars of the community. You had to do a report on black person. No other race was allowed any year. This is not diverse. Focusing your history on any one race is just plain wrong!

        The teachers worked as a “team”. They were told what to teach, when to teach. Everyone in the grade had the exact same homework, etc. Textbooks were selected by a committee (I was on the committee lol but outvoted because the book I chose didn’t come with any free gadgets for the teachers). Teachers came and went every year but the same lessons were taught (what my daughter got in grade one, my son got in grade one despite different teachers). I had a teacher tell me that she would only differentiate if it was built in the curriculum.

        Teaching creationsim only is not diverse but teaching evolution only apparantly is (BTW, our family is theistic evolutionsists, we teach both)

        Yes, I am arrogant enough to think I can give my child a better education, especially for grade school and middle school. Our school didn’t teach phonics, spelling rules, grammar rules, math facts, history other than black history, or the scientific method. This is not my opinion. I was told by principal “We don’t teach____”. In high school,we plan to dually enroll with a local college for math and science. I personally don’t think that feeling I know what is best for “my” child is any more arrogant than saying that a government employee who doesn’t even know my child knows best.

        You say being full-filled is one of the most important things in life. I agree. By homeschooling, my daughter now has time to pursue her interests in animal care: Doing intense research on birds, horseback riding lessons, shark and worm dissections, creating a blog about animals, doing research papers on animals, shadowing a vet for a day, volunteering at a raptor rehabilitation center and a local dog park, and starting a dog walking business. She was unable to do this all after school as she is a competive cheerleader.

        Because we are not tied to school schedule, we can take school with us. We’ve rafted the Nantahala, kayaked Palm Coast, airboated in the Everglades, hiked the Blue Ridge Mountains, gone rock climbing, explored Mammoth Caves (all in the past year). My kids are currently too young, but many of our friends’ older teens have gone out of the country on missions trips with and without their families. Almost all take outside classes at one of the local colleges or university or in a co-op that hires professionals. Almost all have a passion that they pursue and either have a job or do volunteer work that relates.

        So why are we all so defensive because the majority of us are not society phobic, religous fanatics that keep our kids in a vacuum of ignorance. Twenty years ago, that may have been the norm but today’s homeschoolers a different breed. We know homeschoolers of every color, religion, political persuasion, etc. We know single parent mom homeschoolers, homeschooling dads, work at home homeschoolers, homeschoolers who bring their kids to the office, homeschooling grandparents, rich homeschoolers, poor homeschoolers, large families and families with an only child. There is also a variety of teaching methods, curriculums, etc. There is a lot of variety in the reasons they homeschool too.

      • Amy

        “My path to finding myself took me to washing dishes in a national park; to studying in Florence; to teaching swimming in Florida; to Brooklyn and San Diego and Cape Town… If my parents had sheltered me through homeschooling, would I have had the confidence to see how my personality fit in all these places? Would I have become myself, or a doll that my mother and father spent every school day creating?”

        Why do you equate confidence with public schooling? How does public schooling give one confidence? The doll statement is quite funny. Homeschooling isn’t about creating a doll. It isn’t about making my child be what I want them to be, but individualizing their education so they can reach their full potential.

        “I ask homeschooling parents, do you want your children to be citizens of the world, or citizens of your home?”

        How is going to public school make my child a citizen of the world? When I worked in a public school most of the elementary children I worked with thought the world was their state and had no idea about the world. My children are engaging in an in depth study of the world and it’s cultures. They are learning several languages. The world is full of people of all races, ages, and economic levels. Forced segregation into age groups in one specific location isn’t helping my child become knowledgeable about the world.

        “Homeschooling denies the child the grab bag of viewpoints needed to form a self-actualized adult. No parent-or teacher-understands all of the world’s phenomenon, facts and perspectives thoroughly enough to say they are the only teacher their child needs. ”

        That would be an incorrect assumption in the way I homeschool. Sure I don’t understand everything, but neither do the teachers at the local public school. Yet, I am focused on teaching my children to think and to consider different viewpoints. I teach them viewpoints that are not my own. I teach them the difference between facts and theories. I spend a long time studying a topic before I teach my child so I can present him with a variety of perspectives. I am entirely capable to study and present my child varying viewpoints.

      • Melinda S.

        And you do not think you will be feeding them a “prepackaged set of ideas/ideals/morals”? Yes, they may have several different teachers, but nearly all discussion of “ideas/ideals/morals” is not allowed in public school, leading to a fairly homogenized answer, after all (that such things are irrelevant, as they cannot even be discussed much).

        And, “why should I trust YOU with my child’s mind?” You obviously have some pretty strong biases, yourself, which you are trying to convince us are facts.

      • Susan G. Mule, M.Ed.

        And the public school isn’t teaching kids a prepackaged set of ideas?????? Oh come on. That is another joke, right?

        Remember, I’ve taught in both public and private schools. There is no wool over my eyes.

        And, I can promise you that back in my own childhood I was teased and tormented in public school quite enough to have learned to take it.

        If we sound defensive it is because ignorant people who think our children are sheltered and antisocial want to take away our right to give them a better education with a broader base of socialization. We want them to live their lives in the real world instead of an institution, but the rising number of homeschoolers threatens that institution.
        So, while you claim that you would never take that right away, that is exactly what articles like yours are designed to do.

      • “No parent-or teacher-understands all of the world’s phenomenon, facts and perspectives thoroughly enough to say they are the only teacher their child needs.”

        Agreed. And the point you are missing in our supposed “defensiveness” is that we, the homeschooling parents, are not our children’s only teachers.

        Let me try it this way: I have a BA in Elementary Ed. The state says that I am fully qualified to teach every subject through 8th grade, even though I don’t have so much as a minor in every subject.

        Say it’s my first year in my own classroom, but I feel I’m not qualified to teach science or math (for example). My job depends on teaching those subjects anyway, and the principal and other teachers assure me it’s not big deal, so I do my best with the curriculum the committee chose and my nose in the teacher’s manual and hope no one notices I don’t know what I’m talking about until the year is up.

        At home, if I feel I’m not qualified to teach a subject, I find a curriculum, an online class, a co-op class or a tutor in those subjects to make sure my students/kids are learning what is difficult for me to model and explain. If they want to learn something I’ve no experience in (like Latin), we find a book and learn it together. If whatever I’ve chosen isn’t working, we look for something else that fits their learning style and their academic needs.

        Homeschooling is the ultimate in school accountability. I can’t pass the buck to next year’s teacher–I *am* next year’s teacher. I can’t blame the parent’s poor attitude–I *am* the parent. I can’t justify poor test scores by comparing to the whole neighborhood, or blaming the diverse student population or being an urban district. (I’ve heard all these excuses from teachers and administrators across the country.) I’m accountable to someone even more important than the district or the state department of ed. I’m accountable to my kids. If I don’t prepare them for college and life in the world, that’s my fault. And if that didn’t matter to me, I wouldn’t be homeschooling in the first place.

      • Ken Crosson

        A few brief points:

        First, while it may be true that I (and my wife) cannot teach a broad curriculum as well as a full faculty of specialists, the comparison is of apples to oranges. None of those specialists would spend a single percent as much instructional time one-on-one with my son as we do. I won’t bore you with a catalog of the knowledge and skills my oldest son, whom we pulled from first grade in early March, has acquired since we started homeschooling, but he already knows more about a whole range of subjects than I ever learned in twelve years of public school. Yes, we are teaching him some things we know nothing about, and yes, it works. Next year he starts Latin; I’m looking forward to learning it myself.

        Second, school is by no means the only avenue for healthy socialization. My son misses some of his school friends (although he has joined his old class for field trips and returned as a guest reader), but he is on a soccer team and a swim team, and involved in Cub Scouts (not to mention playing outside with the neighborhood kids), all of which has him mixing it up with as diverse a group of kids as he would encounter in school.

        Third, the socialization to be had in school is by no means necessarily desirable. A small but unignorable segment of school kids cheat, lie, steal, bully, and tease, and in upper grades do and sell drugs, and engage in sex acts in the bathroom (if not the classroom). You act as if children will learn to cope with social pathologies merely by encountering them in school (have you never read Lord of the Flies?), when it is at least as likely they will adopt them, or at least be inured to them. You ask “who is to say” if my morals are the right ones for my children. Your question was rhetorical, but it has an answer: I am, of course.

        Finally, your grammar is atrocious. Even in as casual a forum as a blog, an ENGLISH teacher bloviating on the superiority of public school education to homeschooling should make a point of polishing his writing a bit more than you have done. Also, you persist in engaging strawmen. I’ve seen no evidence here of “frothy passion” in your commenters, much as it may boost your ego to strike the pose of the voice of Reason.

        • Judith

          I didn’t have time to read all the respondents last month so I’m indulging this week. This is a veritable feast of information and insight. Ken, yours is an elegantly crafted rebuttal. If you weren’t able to convince Jesse of your intelligence, capability and commitment, I don’t know who can.

      • Paul

        Looks like somebody needs to spend some time with Ayn Rand, John Taylor Gatto, and perhaps Emily Post….

      • saj

        Why is the choice “citizen of the world” or “citizen of the home?” Do you seriously think homeschoolers sit in their houses all day?. Every day varies but today we started off our morning at a 7:30 am swim practice, then headed to the dog park. After dropping the dogs back off at home we went to the grocery store and the library. Later after the toddler naps we’ll meet some friends at the playground and after dinner we’ll be out again for piano lessons and math tutoring. If it were Friday it would be our day to do charity work. We’re gone all day volunteering on Fridays. Weekends we are at softball tournaments or swim meets.

        If public school is anything like it was when I went there 25 years ago, those kids are sitting in their classroom for 7 or more hours with the same people all day every day like they do year after year for 13 years. And this is being a “citizen of the world?”

      • Kim

        I’m enjoying this blog very much. I’d love to know what school is so lucky to have you on the payroll so I can run right over and enroll my kids in your district. Hallelujah! Someone who wants to take responsibility for educating my profoundly gifted, twice-exceptional 1st grader. He’s already mastered (via osmosis) most of the State Standards for our state, but I’m sure you can work in something special for him besides grading papers and tutoring the majority of the class that is still learning CVC-level words. He read Lord of the Rings trilogy in Kindergarten, and loved it… I’m sure your Dr. Suess library will be fine though. As for the 2e… The local school system thought proper placement was with the “Social Skills” class which contained mostly non-verbal autistic kids. What’s your solution to this? Remember, he needs to be learning something new or it isn’t education! Don’t neglect the other 56 kids in your class, either… That’s not fair to them.

        My solution was to homeschool. My son is involved with children of all ages, colors, beliefs… He has fun, is relaxed, and is enjoying a very difficult, challenge-filled childhood. I had a retired Harvard professor offer to mentor my child in math, and offered to ask his Yale associate/friend to mentor in Science. Our overscheduled calendar includes activities such as volunteering, private swimming, foreign language with a native speaker, environmental groups, field trips out the proverbial wazoo. We have birthday parties, play groups, overnights *during the week* to out-of-state grandparents… He has had enrichment activities at four different highly selective universities. We are exhausted and broke, but committed to tailoring an appropriate education for him–and for his younger preschool drop-out brother.

        When he is tired, he rests. When he is hungry, he eats. When he needs quiet time, he reads in his room. When he wants to play, he is surrounded by kids and adults.

        History is littered with amazing success stories of homeschoolers who’ve had terrible experiences in public school. Why is it so undesirable for me to do the right thing by my child? When the local school is unable and/or unwilling, and I am ready to step up to the plate, am I still expected to subject him to the disaster waiting to happen which is public school? My friend’s daughter was bullied by her teacher within the same school system we would attend, and I’m unimpressed by the way it is playing out on the part of the administration. Also noteworthy is that every single group I belong to has former teachers who chose to homeschool *because* they know how badly the system is broken. Many college professors are represented as well, and they bring the further anecdotal evidence of public school kids ill-equipped to succeed in the university environment. They have some great things to say about their homeschooled students, however. Funny how that is supported by various research (plentiful online, so look it up!).

        It’s too bad you’re so close minded to the truth. Your previous post illustrating the many ways in which you “found yourself” sound very much like your preferred learning style would have thrived in a homeschool environment. Too bad your parents didn’t love you enough to homeschool–you would have been more open-minded *and* had a jump start to finding yourself.

        Gosh, that was mean-spirited and uncalled for–much like your blog, by the way. Ignorant, uninformed, pompous, and full of holes. Of course your parents loved you. You seem like such a kind and gentle sort. What’s not to love?

        Dolls? Hardly. That’s what the public schools turn out.

        The other responses addressed your hypocrisy and fallacy-filled non-argument well enough, so I will end on that note.

        Be well. You need all the help you can get.

        • Kim, this is *THE* best response I’ve read yet. I laughed out loud! Do you have a blog, because I’d LOVE to read it. :)

        • Judith

          Kim writes: “Someone who wants to take responsibility for educating my profoundly gifted, twice-exceptional 1st grader.”

          Honestly, Kim, I’m not sure Jesse ever heard the term, “twice exceptional” before many of us here brought it to his attention. If he has, he has not addressed it, although I’ve raised your question as well. PG 2e. What are you going to do about these kids on the other side of the curve? Are you even going to bother? I’ve asked this question on this blog, haven’t gotten a response. Not even a dialogue.

          We have a group of kids whose needs are completely not being met. But we are supposed to keep them in school, regardless. As if it weren’t bad enough that these children’s needs are ignored, many teachers and administrators haven’t even bothered to learn the simplest facts about this population. But it’s still not okay to pull them out. After all, schools sure like the monster test scores these kids produce.

          A friend whose son is PG was told by the principal, “what are you complaining about? His test scores are awesome!” Forgetting, of course, that a lot of parents don’t give a hoot about test scores, the tests are not about the children anyway. It’s “No Principal Left Behind.” So what *do* we want? An appropriate education would be nice.

      • Mom2Many

        The homeschooling parents who have responded, in general, are not defensive. They are totally amazed at your ignorance. Some you haven’t heard from because they are simply speechless at the way your mind works. BTW, it is fulfilled. Not full-filled.

        As my Gramma used to say, “engage your brain before you open your mouth and no one will think you a fool.” The same applies to the keyboard!

        Homework! And, you might have listened more carefully to one of Obama’s speeches — “people don’t know how to listen.” You obviously have not “heard” a word that has been said here.

        You need to read for content. You have been told six ways from Sunday that the majority of homeschoolers aren’t isolated, that a single parent isn’t the only source that parents use.

        That said, and obviously to be ignored, I think another one of Gramma’s little sayings apply here — “goes in one ear and out the other.” I don’t think anything is sticking around long enough for you to learn a thing.

        Enjoy wallowing in your ignorance.

      • Hope

        I stopped at “Why should I trust you alone with your child’s mind?”

        This is an arrogantly asked question, that pre-supposes that you are who I answer to, with regards to why we homeschool. And yet you are curious about defensive answers?

        Short answer: Because it’s my child’s mind. Not yours. Not the States. Not my neighbor’s. I do not answer to you. I answer to the same One that you do.

        You don’t have to trust me. That’s the beauty of it.

        I won’t budge either. Only, I have to compromise because my tax dollars are at work towards the education of the majority of children in my community. I have a direct and vested interest in making sure that their education is working for them.

        I see absolutely no connection for you to be thusly concerned about the success or failure of my children becoming “self-actualized” adults.

        Surely, if you were to homeschool your own children this goal would be of upmost importance to you and so you would make certain that quality is there, in your own way.

        I’m so relieved that I do not have to answer to you. I’m sure you are too. But understand, homeschooling is not going away. And the day may come that we will have our first President who was homeschooled, thereby making policy for you.

        Oh wait. That’s already happened. Washington, Lincoln….just as a start.

      • Jen

        You are misinformed… There is no way around it. I am a liberal, open minded, humanist. I believe that each person must come to his or her own understanding of the world (an even God). Am I a typical homeschooler? No, but I would argue that there is no typical homeschooler. We are not a homogenous group. Maybe in the past most homeschoolers were Christian fundementalists, but that simply isn’t true now. Additionally, I think it is almost indisputable that the majority of homeschooled children are exposed to a far more diverse population. If my kids went to public school they would spend 6 hours a day in a box with 25+ middle class white kids. Our homeschool group has kids from different races and social classes.

        In retrospect you may wish you did know some “geeky” homeschoolers who could have helped you through this “social situation”. You obviously could use a refresher course in structuring a logical argument. We could help you with that as well.

      • bw

        Nice attempt at backpedaling, but the original post is there in black and white. Own it.

        “in the frothy passion of your responses I get hints of the arrogance it takes to believe one is a better teacher than the combined skill of the dozens of trained educators your child would have learned from in schools.”

        Dozens of educators who, based on incoming SAT scores for education majors and MENSA’s correlation tables, have an average IQ of 91. Dozens of educators fewer than 30% of whom could pass a basic math test straight out of school. A graduate degree in education isn’t worth an Associate degree in any hard science. All those educators have is a several years of leftist indoctrination.

        With every arrogant word you type, you make the case for homeschooling by painting yourself and, by extension, your colleagues, as complete idiots. Go back and read your original post, and ask yourself what grade you would give a student who submitted it in a class on rhetoric.

      • Michelle from GA

        Why are we so defensive?

        Hmmm. I tend to get that way when I’m attacked.

        Why am I so defensive?

        Because it took a lot of fighting to get where we are today, and I know that if I don’t challenge these ridiculous, verging on the absurd, attacks, we could easily lose our freedom to do what we feel is best for our kids.

        Now your turn. Why are you so aggresive, and why do you feel so threatened by homeschoolers?

        • PeggyU

          We decided to home school after we saw how well it worked for my husband’s brother’s family. We had also had some bad experiences with the public school system.

          I will say that there are many public school teachers who are dedicated to their work, do an exemplary job, and are worth their weight in gold. However, as with people in other professions, the majority are competent if uninspired. There are a few awful teachers and even fewer stellar ones. It takes only one lousy teacher to undermine years of enthusiastic learning. We learned that the hard way with our eldest son who graduated from public school. If I had it to do over again, I would have intervened when the education “experts” said not to.

      • I’m not sure where you come from with your comments about homeschoolers not being students of the world. My son, at 14 has had more contact and exposure to multiple world views than most of his peers. As a tennis player, he’s made friends and visited with people from England, Austrailia, South Africa and more. He’s traveled around the U.S. playing tennis and has open invitations to stay with friends in London and Melbourne, Australia. He’s currently planning a month long trip to play tennis in Europe next summer and is doing all his own fundraising to pay for the trip including starting his own lawn care business.

        He also gives back to the community on a regular basis and organized his own Relay for Life tennis fundraiser where he raised nearly $800 and coordinated adults and teen players. He’s learned business skills, writing skills, and most importantly how to communicate with adults and people his own age.

        I’ve yet to make sense of your comment that only teachers in a classroom can provide those types of experiences.

        By the way, I’m also a college professor and work with public schooled students daily. Most of whom start college needing to take remedial math, writing and reading courses because they never learned in public school.

      • WA mom

        I have spent way too much of my time reading this blog entry and the responses up to this point. I am amazed that the author, having read all the same responses that I have, and most probably the rest that I can’t take the time to read, still hasn’t gotten the point almost every rebuttal has stated.

        Homeschooling parents generally do not teach every subject to their child. In fact, I don’t know any homeschooling family that teaches all subjects themselves, and I know hundreds. Even a friend who homeschools through online courses offered by an online school where she is only responsible for grading the coursework still uses a Co-op for Drama.
        Get real. We do this because we want the best for our kids, so we get the best teachers we can get for them.
        Beyond that, you need to realize that we are creating quality people who will be running our nation, and since this is worldwide, maybe our world. It is in this way that we are improving society, and thus our schools.

        There are millions of reasons why we homeschool. I can give a different, honest, reason every time I am asked why we homeschool.
        And can you answer one question for me?
        How is taking a student out of the already crowded classrooms hurting those who remain? They should be able to get more one on one time with the teacher. Of course, not nearly as much time as the kids sitting at home with mom, in their jammies, being read classic literature in elementary school, but that is what makes us elitists.
        Funny, growing up I never would have thought myself possible of being an elitist since I was a lower class kid with both parents working. I guess I really moved up in the world by making this choice for my kids. Thanks!

      • amy

        “Why should I trust you alone with your child’s mind? ”

        This is communism at it’s worst. Why should I trust YOU with my child’s mind?

        Are you going to be responsible for all of your students in every way? Should we trust you to feed them, clothe them, teach them morals, provide transportation to their events, as well as the many other responsiblities parents obtain the day they become parents? If I can’t be solely responsible for my child’s mind, then I can’t be solely responsible for any part of their lives.

        So, do you think the Muslims should allow someone else to teach their children about how their religion is wrong, and women SHOULD be treated equally to men? Do you believe a child of yours should be taken to church by a person like me and told that you are lying and just teaching them one idea, when in fact, there truly is a God, and he loves you and your child very much?

        How would you feel if I told you that you cannot be responsible enough on your own to raise your child correctly, and I need to teach them some of my ideas?

        I think you would probably think differently.
        Because God gave my children to ME! I am responsible for ever part of them and I will give them the very best I can, which means the best schoools, or homeschool, the best home, the best food, the best opportunities I can. I will not allow them to eat junk food all day long, nor will I let them be taught lies by liberal communists until they are old enough to understand it and make their own decisions.

        You see, your idea of Christianity is perverted. We don’t force our children into our beliefs, or make them live like we want them to live. That is what is so hard about Christianity. God gives us free will, and we give our children free will. We give them all the information they need to make the right decision, but that’s not always enough.

        Other cultures however are not so tolerant. In other countries, religions like Islam will kill a daughter or son for converting to Christianity or another religion, or for living a homosexual lifestyle.

        If my child chooses to live as a Buddhist, he will still be welcome in my house, and I will love him just the same, although my heart will break.

        So, you are so arrogant as to think you can raise my child better? This is why very soon, we will all be living in a communist country who thinks they can tell me what to do with my family, my home, and my life. Our freedom is slipping away becuase of ideas like yours, and intolerance like yours.

        Oh, and my biases are facts. There IS truth in this world, and unfortunately you believe the lies. You may believe the sky is pink, but it will never change the FACT that it is blue. You can believe there is no God, but it will never change the FACT that God exists, created you, and loves you. Look around you, He’ll show Himself to you if you will just look for Him.

        • Ian

          Ok, one, sending your children to public school is not sending them to a Muslim country. Two, liberal does not equal communist. Dumbass.

        • Ian

          Ok, one, sending your children to public school is not sending them to a Muslim country. Two, liberal does not equal communist. Just because they don’t agree with you doesn’t mean you need to mudsling. Three, no one is trying to raise your child. They’re teaching your child the subjects that they studied in college to teach, and that you most likely didn’t. You’re still responsible for raising them.

        • Greta Hoostal

          “You see, your idea of Christianity is perverted. We don’t force our children into our beliefs, or make them live like we want them to live. That is what is so hard about Christianity. God gives us free will, and we give our children free will. We give them all the information they need to make the right decision, but that’s not always enough.”

          You’re absolutely right. For instance, my DAUGHTER, age four-and-a-half, is converting ME to Christianity.

      • Mimi

        >The poll question for tomorrow: Why are homeschooling parents and students so defensive?

        Why do you resort to constant ad hominem attacks? Why are you so incapable of formulating a coherent argument?

        Calling children names is unemotional? Claiming that you don’t like something is unemotional?

        Sorry, but 95% of the homeschooling posters have used logic and, yes, humor to get their points across. You, on the other hand, keep throwing temper-tantrums.

        >Let me make one thing clear first: I value a parent’s right to homeschool their child; it is a choice I would never want to be taken away.

        Of course my article was extremely one-sided: It was called “The case against homeschooling.” There is much to be admired about homeschooling, starting with the strength of the parents to make what is, we must admit, an anti-social choice. So cheers on that point, and on the commitment you all have made to your children. Though it may be somewhat misguided in my opinion, your children all (should) know that they are very loved.

        That said…

        In no way was I trying to convince an existing homeschooler to send their kids to public school. Homeschoolers are a fringe group, and their single-minded dedication to their cause is not going to be dampened by a blog writer. It’s interesting… in the frothy passion of your responses I get hints of the arrogance it takes to believe one is a better teacher than the combined skill of the dozens of trained educators your child would have learned from in schools.

        >How can a person possibly believe that?

        Want to know why I believe that?

        First, the evidence is FIRMLY on my side. SAT/ACT scores, the disproportionate number of homeschoolers who excel at academic competitions and gain academic scholarships, various standardized tests–they all support us. What data do you have? You don’t. Why? You don’t believe that such things as objective truth matter. Your emotional feeling that homeschoolers are “arrogant” is all the evidence you need. And you call yourself a journalist?

        Second, I’m not trapped into the institutional view of education that you are. You CANNOT believe this because you don’t understand what education–REAL education–is. You think that it’s sitting in a classroom being spoon-fed information. This is why you are incapable of synthesis or analysis and why you cannot construct a coherent argument, much less maintain one. You have been taught a lot of “stuff,” and you mistake this for education.

        Third, I knew more than MOST of my teachers about the subjects that they were teaching back in high school. I’m better educated now that I was then,

        >Yes, OF COURSE, you think that you’re giving your child a good education. But you’re also feeding them a pre-packaged set of ideas/ideals/morals. Who is to say that this is the right tv dinner for your child’s soul?

        I am. I am the parent. See, that’s what being a parent is about, and that’s what frightens you so much.

        You want the pre-packaged set of ideas/ideals/morals to come from YOU. You want to teach them that Christianity is arrogant. You want to teach them that facts don’t matter because there is no truth. YOU want to take them away and brainwash them into identical, unthinking copies of yourself.

        >Why should I trust you alone with your child’s mind? You’re passing on your biases as facts!

        Who do you think you are, to believe that you have that kind of right over my children? They are MY children! Not YOURS, to take away and brainwash to your will. Can you even HEAR yourself? You hate homeschooling because you disagree with our politics and you think our children should be taken away and indoctrinated with YOUR biases and your “emotional truths” (since you do not have and cannot understand FACTS).

        I teach my children, above all, to think, and it is thinking that is destructive to the elaborate, incoherent mental worlds that people like you build. THAT is why you fear me. I have a right over my child because the child is mine. This is not some Huxley dysutopian fantasy world, as you wish it to be.

        >My path to finding myself took me to washing dishes in a national park; to studying in Florence; to teaching swimming in Florida; to Brooklyn and San Diego and Cape Town… If my parents had sheltered me through homeschooling, would I have had the confidence to see how my personality fit in all these places?

        You are not a thinking individual. You are a poor pastiche of badly-articulated, dead-standard leftist propaganda. You haven’t expressed an original thought once in this entire diatribe. You haven’t constructed any argument. Maybe, if you had been homeschooled, you would be capable of THINKING, for goodness sake, not just regurgitating the things that appeal the most emotionally to you. Then you’d know that none of the “life-shaping” experiences you describe are excluded by homeschooling. And you would have been capable of analytical thought when undergoing those experiences so that you would have become a whole person instead of a sad, broken-down, cobbled-together recording of fractured ideas and phrases uttered by people who impressed your unformed mind.

        >Being able to communicate and understand and live and flourish in various environments does.

        You can’t do this. You can’t accept people with viewpoints different from your own. You want to take away their children and indoctrinate them with “proper” views.

        You are one of the most intolerant people I have ever encountered, and you won’t even see your intolerance.

        >You all have made fine, thoughtful points, but on this I will not budge: Homeschooling denies the child the grab bag of viewpoints needed to form a self-actualized adult. No parent-or teacher-understands all of the world’s phenomenon, facts and perspectives thoroughly enough to say they are the only teacher their child needs. That, I will always submit, is a small lunacy.

        This is sad but unsurprising. Your emotional response to something you know nothing about has caused you to be incapable of forming any kind of educated viewpoint.

        Good job, there, citizen of the world. A few more of you, and we’d be all set, eh?

      • I believe I’ve come to the conclusion that this must be a joke. It truly cannot be serious.

        You, sir, are clearly oblivious to all of these 700-and-something comments. What we say seems to make no difference. Have you ever MET a homeschooler? You obviously have no idea what on earth they’re like and what on earth they do while their un-homeschooled friends are locked in a sterile classroom.

        If you won’t listen to all of these fantastic homeschooling parents out there, will you listen to me – one of the “victims” of my “arrogant” parents?

        I am *not* fed a “pre-packaged set of ideas/ideals/morals.” I’m deeply insulted that you think that homeschooled children simply swallow whatever their parents give them – and I’m insulted that you accuse my parents of “brainwashing” me. You seem to underestimate homeschoolers criminally.

        Different religions and different cultures are my passion – it’s my dream to travel the world as a photojournalist and experience every culture imaginable. My parents never have and never will suppress my dreams for the sake of brainwashing me. Yes, they have taught me that Christianity is the correct view – with ample evidence to back them up, but they have *not* “made” me believe in Christianity, they haven’t tried to limit my knowledge of other beliefs – they haven’t ever done any of the things you accuse them of doing. They merely lovingly directed me in the path that they believed to be right, but I’m completely capable of making decisions on my own. I’m not a robot my parents constructed to respond with text-book answers about God and the answer to life. I’m a living, breathing individual who is sitting here, hearing you call me a “doll” that my one-sided, biased, jailer-like parents are creating.

        But what surprises me even more is that you believe that public school is the answer to the “pre-packaged set of ideas/ideals/morals” “problem.” Public school hardly presents every side of an issue. At the Bible study I attend and in my youth group, support and courage in school are always at the top on the prayer request list. I’m constantly hearing about my Christian, un-homeschooled friends getting beaten down for their beliefs, ridiculed by teachers, teased by classmates – tormented in every possible way because they are Christians, not the “main-stream” atheist, evolutionist who believes there’s no right and wrong. Public school is hardly the answer.

        All this said – I’ve come to the conclusion that you know nothing about homeschooling. You’ve based your opinion on rumors and stereotypes that have been circulating, but you’ve never done you research, met more than a few homeschoolers or listened to any of the words these homeschooling parents have to say. I pity you – you’re missing out on a large portion of the world’s free-thinkers.

        • Ian

          Oh please. “Mainstream atheist.” 78% of American adults self-identify as Christian. “Tormented in every possible way.” Bull. You make it sound like they are being crucified. “Ridiculed by teachers.” Doubt it. Teachers can’t “ridicule” anyone for fear of losing their jobs. If it’s true, and these kids aren’t exaggerating or being attention-mongerers as it seems they are, then have them tell the principal instead of going somewhere where everyone feels sorry for them.

      • Carolyn

        “starting with the strength of the parents to make what is, we must admit, an anti-social choice”

        What a riot- since most replies here have debunked the social issues.

        You also say that Homeschoolers are a fringe group- I’d hardly call a few million people a fringe group. If it is, it’s growing every year as dissatisfaction with public schools grows.

        You keep on with the argument “To be socialized within one’s family does not make an individual socialized. Being able to communicate and understand and live and flourish in various environments does”

        You obviously expected replies to your article, so why are you not listening to anyone here? Homeschooled kids are able to socialize, communicate and flourish as well as or in most cases better than kids who have spent their entire childhoods with people their own age.

        I find it funny too that people such as Einstein’s mother and Edison’s were arrogant when as kids they were failing in public school for having been labled learning disabled and retarded!

        As for finding yourself after highschool? Most of our kids are able to find themselves way before then. One of the “perks” I love about homeschool is that we can go on family trips to different places on “off season” times, where we don’t have to compete with crowds of people who can only go when public school is out. Whether a simple trip to the beach, where we can learn oceanography and marine biology, or a trip to a historical landmark or museums. We are able to show our kids how big the world is by being in it- not being stuck in a overcrowded school all day.

        As for citizen of the world? Not all of us are interested in globalization. Not to say that we don’t interact or study other cultures and such, but as for being a legal resident of what I believe to be the most free country in the world- I want my child to know the history of the country he was born in, and to be proud of his heritage, just as globalization proponents allow people of other cultures to be proud of theirs.

      • Cindy Fox

        Again, you make statements without data to back them up.

        Most homeschool parents that I have personally met or read about have NOT been homeschooled themselves; in fact, I’ve only met one who was.

        Many homeschool parents I have personally met or read about are previous teachers from the public schools.

        My survey group numbers in the hundreds. What is your information based on? You could ask questions here rather than make blind, blanket claims.

        You appear to be a teacher without a desire to learn about something you know nothing about.

        Many parents hire tutors, form co-ops or send their child to college early (12 is the minimum age in my county).

        In your child development classes, you might recall that most of a child’s personality is formed by age 5, so it’s unlikely that will be drastically changed in ages 6-12, no matter which path a child takes and choosing the right path for each child as an individual, be it public, charter, private or home should be the only criteria.

      • Greta Hoostal

        You say “homeschooling…is, we must admit, an anti-social choice” but do you know “anti-social” describes a pathological state of a personality disorder? The anti-social person disrupts and subverts society and its institutions. Such people refuse to follow rules and laws, just not caring to follow them, believing they are above the law. This does describe a lot of the children in the city school here, but I fail to see how that, although when home-schooling, parents do it because they care greatly about their children’s well-being, they would do such things that are against society.

        You say, “Would I have become myself, or a doll that my mother and father spent every school day creating?” but what of your self which was created was created largely by peers, because you spent the most time with them. Mine too. We have innate nature too, which everyone retains.

        You ask, “Why should I trust you alone with your child’s mind?” Well, I won’t trust you with it. Anyway, is that any business of yours? She is solely the responsibility of my husband and of me.

        You ask “homeschooling parents, do you want your children to be citizens of the world, or citizens of your home?” and present a false dilemma. My daughter is a citizen of the United States and will remain so. I certainly would not allow her to become a “citizen” of the world or allow the sovereignty of our country to be otherwise threatened.

        You tell me I am “feeding [her] a pre-packaged set of ideas/ideals/morals,” and other people have rightly pointed out how this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but still, here, you have assumed I am taking what is given me by someone else, which is not the case. Beginning when my daughter was a small baby, I researched methodologies until understanding there is classical methodology, which has been relatively uniform and successful throughout history, producing our great thinkers, statesmen, scientists, and artists, and that the rest of the methodologies are progressive, generally producing the mess we have now. She will have classical schooling. Then I began to research the components, beginning to discovering the best textbooks and literature from throughout human history. I am reading each one and teaching myself with them to determine the best materials and approach. So really who is the one feeding children this prepackaged set?

      • Dylan C.

        “Why are homeschooling parents and students so defensive?” Really!?! Sorry, I forgot, you’re a public school teacher. Our desire to defend ourselves violates your zero tolerance policy. When we are attacked we should curl into a ball and under no circumstances fight back.

    • Linda

      Well said, Caroline! Thank you.

  9. aaaaahhhhhhhhh, my homeschooling kid is a geek. NOOOOOOO. Truly, there is no worse punishment than being a geek ~ or being labeled a geek because I truly don’t think my kids are geeks but whatever.

    And I am not being defensive, I am being redundant by saying
    5. As a homeschooler (and a person who attended and graduated from both public school and a state [public] university), public schools kind of pisses me off. (That’s good enough for #5.)
    r

  10. Thought provoking post, my thoughts turned into a blog post of my own.

    http://spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2009/05/case-against-homeschooling.html

    • Caroline

      good for you Spunky!

    • Tamara

      It is easy to just send your kids to school, live your own life, and make the teachers at school be responsible for your kids. I enjoy homeschooling my kids and I get to see them be excited when they learn something new. I think it is just plain lazy if you dont want to take the time out to teach your own kids when there is so much you can teach them. Teachers with degrees think they are better than homeschool teachers just because of a piece of paper. Alot of them are jealous that homeschool moms can do what they can do if not better and want to put us down. Homeschooled kids are smarter because they learn all the time opposed to and arent placed in front of the TV or video game.

  11. And by the way, I am a homeschool mom who is not the least bit defensive. I just enjoy a good debate, you know, geek to geek.

    • Obviously I’m a geek… I’ve been writing on this blog all Saturday (and it is BEAUTIFUL here in Virginia today.)

      Thank you for calling me out.

      (I’m going to check out your blog now.)

  12. ryan

    What I am enjoying most about this vigorous debate is that in a metaphysical way it is a reflection of this topic itself.

    Practical education takes sides, perspectives and people. Something incredibly challenging to get in a pedagogical environment with a parent and a child.

    To an earlier point about morality and public schooling, social settings are where the rubber meets the road for morality. It is the test. It’s where thou shall not becomes here’s why I shouldn’t do this because of this set of consequences on this set of people. The formal structure of standardized tests, achievement, college pressures makes it difficult to see this in the short term, but one of the most long tail educational imperatives is given students a framework for handling the complicated decisions you’ll have to make as an adult.

    • Paul

      LOL!

      As if anyone’s critical thinking skills, much less their “moral compass”, can be attributable to the internal tome of …”what I learned in high school”.

    • Marcy Muser

      Ryan,

      And do you really think that homeschooled kids aren’t just as capable of reading and interacting on blogs as public schooled kids are? Or do you really think that as homeschooling parents we don’t challenge our kids’ assumptions by confronting them with different belief systems? Or do you really think that homeschooled parents have their read one book and feel they’ve taught them a given topic? Or do you really think that when Abraham Lincoln read and wrestled with the ideas in books, he didn’t get a good education? Or do you really think that high school teachers in a given public school are such a terribly diverse group of people?

      Sorry – the interaction kids need with other people is far easier to come by when they are homeschooled than when they are stuck in a classroom with a bunch of other kids of the same age and socioeconomic status. Most homeschoolers (especially in upper grades) learn by wrestling with the ideas of many – MANY – prominent thinkers, whole books by recognized experts in their fields and original sources. Can you say the same for most public schooled kids – kids whose textbooks are written by committee, whose literature books consist of bits and pieces of this and that author (rather than a whole work), whose history books include only limited amounts of original source material?

      Sorry, I don’t buy it.

    • PeggyU

      This isn’t so much of a debate as a debacle. An imbecile playing pinata with a hornet nest couldn’t have provoked a more predictable attack.

      After reading the writer’s follow-up comments, I think this may be a bored blogger, baiting home school advocates for the fun of it – kind of a reverse troll, in a way. That would be the best explanation. The alternate possibility – that this really is a public school teacher who believes what she wrote – is less amusing. Either way, this person doesn’t want to be enlightened by people she considers to be her inferiors. It’s a waste of spit, folks! There’s not much to be gained in arguing with an idiot. However, it was pleasantly surprising to see how many well-spoken home schoolers responded. It’s encouraging!

  13. Annie

    Hey Jesse,

    In regards to homeschooling here’s some stuff…turned out longer than i thought-sorry about that!

    Homeschooling: great for self-aggrandizing, society-phobic mother…… but not quite so good for the kid.

    Here are my top ten reasons why homeschooling parents are doing the wrong thing:

    10. “You were totally home schooled” is an insult college kids use when mocking the geeky kid in the dorm (whether or not the offender was home schooled or not).

    10. True- most complementary insult i’ve ever received! Normally however, at least in my case this is in regards to “corruption” and used jokingly, not really an issue. The fact that i didn’t know what exactly a blow job was until college never really affected my ability to socialize.

    9. Call me old-fashioned, but a students’ classroom shouldn’t also be where they eat Fruit Loops and meat loaf (not at the same time I hope). It also shouldn’t be where the family gathers to watch American Idol or to play Wii. Students–from little ones to teens–deserve a learning-focused place to study. In modern society, we call them schools.

    9. Bothers me for a few reasons.

    • Generalization about the families that are home schooling –thanks image of conservative 50’s mom with the meatloaf— little insulting any parent (or student) that homeschools particularly liberal homesteaders – way to promote sterotypes, how open minded.

    • “Students–from little ones to teens–deserve a learning-focused place to study”
    Most families that homeschool have very separate school areas. Both my brother and I had/have our own desks/shelves etc for “school” One difference about “school” at home is that if the way that you learn doesn’t fit into sitting at a desk, there is the option to lay on the floor, pace if need be (the only way i learned lines in play’s as a kid was to walk around), stand up, sit down, be near a person or be completely alone. This is important particularly for kids that have some kind of learning or social disability. I know several instances where parents have decided to take their kid/s out of school and have them learn at home because they don’t believe that pumping them full of medicine is the right way to deal with it. My cousin has ADD and while she learned at a different pace and in different ways than “normal kids” at home, she has turned out a well-adjusted college student.
    —Also side note- Homeschoolers are more likely (due to their education/parents etc) to do something other that plop down on the couch and watch American Idol or play Wii. I did this fun thing called read when i was growing up…

    8. Homeschooling is selfish. According to this article in USA Today, students who get homeschooled are increasingly from wealthy and well-educated families. To take these (I’m assuming) high achieving students out of our schools is a disservice to our less fortunate public school kids. Poorer students with less literate parents are more reliant on peer support and motivation, and they greatly benefit from the focus and commitment of their richer and higher achieving classmates.

    8. True but…
    • This is a good point and is an inherent problem with education in general. In almost every case the students from wealthy and well-educated families will receive a better education whether they’re in the public school system or not. Within the school system they live in better neighborhoods with better schools, get transferred out of bad neighborhoods to charter schools, get pulled from public schools to go to private schools, to be homeschooled, sent to boarding schools. While this is a very important issue the problem isn’t with homeschooling, its a problem with the distribution of wealth and privilege.
    • “Poorer students with less literate parents are more reliant on peer support and motivation, and they greatly benefit from the focus and commitment of their richer and higher achieving classmates.”
    – I don’t have any experience about this and I don’t doubt its the case.
    However, it depends on lots of different factors other than the “richer and higher achieving classmates” which is not always the case. One of my friends grew up in a home adding water to soup but she is an excellent and driven student despite the fact that neither of her parents went to college, and I’m sure you’ve encountered the myriads of un-motivated rich kids at college who are there because daddy said so. Once again, this is an interesting and important issue but you don’t even begin to look at the actual problem.

    • The students not being in public school doesn’t affect the schools except that the school’s don’t benefit then from the test scores of these more privileged students. –this is a problem with the way schools are funded. For a school to get money based on test scores only solidifies inequalities between high and low income areas where children start off with an income disadvantage and have a poorer education because the schools (generally-there are some great schools out there) have less money because the students do worse, because they’re low income. I’ll stop with this because I’m assuming I’m preaching to the choir….

    • Also- Parents being selfish- well duh. They try and get the best clothing, the best education, food, etc that they are capable of or that they think is important. Human Nature. Doesn’t just apply to these selfish homeschooling parents you talk about. –technical note in terms of money- we still pay taxes for schools even though we don’t use them or any resources-

    7. God hates homeschooling. The study, done by the National Center for Education Statistics, notes that the most common reason parents gave as the most important was a desire to provide religious or moral instruction. To the homeschooling Believers out there, didn’t God say “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”? Didn’t he command, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me”? From my side, to take your faithful children out of schools is to miss an opportunity to spread the grace, power and beauty of the Lord to the common people. (Personally I’m agnostic, but I’m just saying…)

    7. mmm why is this a part of an intelligent person’s arguement?

    • Oh religion. While that is the most common reason, it is not the only one. I can definitely see you’re point I have indeed met some conservative evengelical homeschoolers that are really quite weird. Also, I know a lot of very close minded homeschoolers who are in for a shock when they get to college(if they don’t get married and start makin’ babies for God first). They’ll be shocked, either find a way to defend what they were taught, or learn and accept. Once again. I also know some very close-minded conservative families who’s children went to public school who did the brainwashing at home afterwards.
    • Also- if I were a parent, and as a teacher I would think that you would have noticed, that many of the years that children are in school are extremely formative in terms of the way that children learn to relate to one another, and for no other reason I can see how parents would like to avoid the negative influences that can sometimes happen.
    Also if a person’s religion is something they want to instill, or if they have a different moral standard it make’s sense to keep children out of it until they are old enough to rationally think about things for themselves –I know several families(Christian and other) that only homeschooled through junior high for this reason.
    So anyways, aside from the facts about reason’s for homeschooling your argument for why they ought to stay in public school isn’t logical even to “those homeschooling believers out here”…

    6. Homeschooling parent/teachers are arrogant to the point of lunacy. For real! My qualifications to teach English include a double major in English and education, two master’s degrees (education and journalism), a student teaching semester and multiple internship terms, real world experience as a writer, and years in the classroom dealing with different learning styles. So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me? Well, maybe you can. I’ll give you that.

    But there’s no way that you can teach English as well as me, and biology as well as a trained professional, and history… and Spanish… and art… and counsel for college as well as a school’s guidance counselor… and… and…

    6. Arrogant to the point of lunacy. Well. How fortunate for you and your students that you are well educated and are good at conveying that information. Unfortunately within the school system(including college) , there are teachers who while they might know a lot about a subject, have gotten their masters 50 years ago, and taught for 40 years, can’t teach. I know of several teachers at the local schools that everyone said they didn’t learn anything from (believe it or not i had public school friends).
    • It is definitely true that most parents do not have the qualification to teach their children everything they need to know about every subject. How lucky then that there are people that are qualified and who write books for those who aren’t.

    • Also- especially for elementary and junior high education, the subjects being taught—basic things like reading, math, history—don’t require an in depth knowledge of a subject the way that they do in high school or college prep. There is an enormous amount of material and curriculum out there for parents and teachers . In most cases it is not a parent sitting there trying to remember what he/she learned in junior high history and repeating it to the kid.

    • Part of homeschooling that was incredibly important for myself and most of my friends was taking classes out of the home. Not every day for 8 hours, but once or twice a week, with a small group often working with someone who IS qualified. We are lucky in this area to have a lot of educated people. I did a weekly writing class with a retired writing professor in the area, we did biology and chemistry with one of our friend’s mother’s who used to teach high school science, French with my mother who is a high school French teacher, theater with the double theater and music major, independent music lessons. There are more and more educated people as time goes on. While it takes effort on the part of the parents to find them and see if they are willing to teach on the side, the education that is received in many ways can be superior because of smaller class sizes and the more adult relationship between the students and teacher.
    • That being said. There are things that I was unable to learn because i wasn’t in public school. I missed a fantastic Latin teacher. Most of the college-bound students at the local high school take Latin because the teacher is phenomenal. My dad and I tried to learn Latin for 2 years, didn’t get far. I quit and learned Russian at a local tutoring center instead.

    5. As a teacher, homeschooling kind of pisses me off. (That’s good enough for #5.)

    5. That’s dumb. As a teacher you ought to realize the value of a varied education. but whatever, we can’t control other people’s opinions. I’m a homeschooler(or was), Teachers don’t piss me off. Good teachers in our school system are incredibly important and I wish there were more of them.

    4. Homeschooling could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Unless the student is being homeschooled at the MTV Real World house, there’s probably only one race/sexuality/background in the room. How can a young person learn to appreciate other cultures if he or she doesn’t live among them?

    4. Yes Homeschooling Could. Being a member of a religious group could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Growing up in rural WV could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Being a staunch atheist could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Growing up in the ghetto could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Being a member of a union could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Being in the military could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Accepting everything told to you by a teacher could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism.

    • Ok. Anytime anyone is in a situation with people who only believe one thing this can happen. Homeschoolers are generally not secluded within their house. Part of homeschooling for many parents is exposing them to things that they would not necessarily even be exposed to in the public school. Where I live there predominantly white people of European decent, most of who came to WV to work in coal mines generations back, the rest were hippy homesteaders who moved here 20 years ago to live in shacks. There are a few mostly Black neighborhoods, but we live right on the edge of the VA,WV border and in the town closest we have a statue of a confederate soldier. It has gotten more diverse recently and there are now more Asian and Latino populations but for the most part its pretty white. But, around here generally, even in the public schools there was probably only one or 2 folks of diverse race/sexuality/background.
    • “living among them” –yes I totally agree. No reason to argue here. Being exposed and having the opportunity to befriend people of differing race/sexuality/background is incredibly important in producing an open-minded student however (again thank goodness) school is not the only setting where that can happen. It happens at play grounds, festivals, musical events, while traveling, theater groups, dance classes, many different extra-curriculars. –This is an issue though in places where the minority (whatever that may be) is low income because as I said before, they don’t have the resources to get as good of an education.
    • Also you don’t mention age as something diverse. There is an incredible amount of knowledge gained by knowing and being friends with people of all different ages.

    3. And don’t give me this “they still participate in activities with public school kids” garbage. Socialization in our grand multi-cultural experiment we call America is a process that takes more than an hour a day, a few times a week. Homeschooling, undoubtedly, leaves the child unprepared socially.

    3. See above. How so? “Homeschooling…leaves a child unprepared socially.” …to do what?
    • Homeschoolers miss out on the worst of the catty fickle social scene of junior high and high school.
    • Homeschoolers miss out on learning to blindly follow authority, they miss out on learning not to question what is in the textbook, they miss out on learning that its not cool to talk to adults and therefore can have an intelligent conversations with people not of their own age before they graduate high school. My brother while he was in school stopped looking people in the eye and wouldn’t even say hello to other adults. The sulky teenager (while some of the conflict that comes with puberty obviously can’t be avoided) can be because students never relate to anyone (other than their parents maybe) as the absolute authority. This allows them to learn how to think for themselves earlier- Thinking=good
    • I firmly disagree and would argue public schooling leaves a child unprepared socially- how is it “prepared” when most junior high-highschoolers won’t even look adults in the eye or talk to them? In my experience my peers didn’t begin relating to the world like real people until college.
    • —the authority issue is one that is very important. Not to sound like some sort of crack-pot conspiracy theorist but the way public school system works right now is an excellent way to subconsciously teach people to not question authority and “fall in line” and do what everyone does. This is the result thoughout. kids with ADD get medicine so that they act “normal”. Be a good sheep for 12 years so after college when you make it to the business world you work up the ladder, suck up to your boss, work very hard, but don’t question.
    Obviously this is not the case with every school and definitely not the case with every teacher. The teachers i know don’t teach for the purpose of training sheep. But, the way the system is set up it is inevitable because to have control of a classroom (or government) the teacher either has to win respect (democracy) or suppress the opposition (tyranny). My mom and I have had numerous conversations about this in regards to different classes she has sometimes. Some she’s the dictator. Some she’s imparting knowledge. However, with larger class sizes and the diverse ways/and stages of learning more often than not it is necessary to be the dictator if only because of one or 2 kids that can’t pull it together.

    2. Homeschooling parents are arrogant, Part 2. According to Henry Cate, who runs the Why Homeschool blog, many highly educated, high-income parents are “probably people who are a little bit more comfortable in taking risks” in choosing a college or line of work. “The attributes that facilitate that might also facilitate them being more comfortable with home-schooling.”

    More comfortable taking risks with their child’s education? Gamble on, I don’t know, the Superbowl, not your child’s future.

    2. “Attributes that might also facilitate them being more comfortable with home-schooling”
    Yes…
    Gambling? I would say not. I don’t want to repeat myself but no offense, most people if they’ve taken the time to consider homeschooling their kids, have thought about it a fair amount and probably have a lot more invested in terms of research, finding good curriculums, finding good tutors/teachers, taking the time to take kids to extra-curriculars. To call it a gamble makes no sense. And in terms of the children succeeding? (conservative evangelicals with shotguns and 5 years of food in their basements excepting) most of the homeschoolers I’ve come in contact with have done remarkably well. All the colleges I applied to were excited that i was homeschooled and aside from having to take the SAT and the ACT (as i didn’t have a GPA to give them) They were fairly anxious to have me.
    Something education at home does is establish personal responsibility for your own education much earlier on. Throughout high school I basically did less intense college work. I’d have stuff that I had to work on by a certain time and it was mostly up to me to make sure it happened. My folks of course kept tabs and it was something that i was not capable of doing in elementary/junior high but I was basically doing the same stuff i did freshman year of college the last few years of “high school”

    Parents are only “gambling” if they are unschooling (terrible idea by the way-no your 2nd grader doesn’t know what he/she wants to learn) or if they hand their kids over to someone else without questioning what their children are being taught. Saying that the parents are risking their childrens’ futures is absurd

    1. And finally… have you met someone homeschooled? Not to hate, but they do tend to be pretty geeky.

    1. Thanks- once again I enjoy being stereotyped- its a very good reason to bring up.
    —also though i have met some very strange homeschoolers… But what is strange? Strange because they don’t watch MTV (or even have cable?) or don’t read and love twilight just cause all the other 13 year old girls do and instead reads Jane Austin? For arguing that homeschoolers are close-minded you weaken you’re entire piece by being rather blatantly close-minded yourself.

    Ok. Sorry to respond with an epistle but you asked :b- few more things.

    • -There are all these studies about how stressed people are these days etc. Lots of high-schoolers who have no time because they spend the whole day in school and then have extra-curricular activities etc till late, then do homework, sleep 6 hrs, repeat.
    I know a lot of homeschoolers who were able to pursue hobbies, professions(one of my friends 2 years younger is now a wooden boat-maker), music and art in a much more thorough way than they would of if they’d been in school because the amount of time wasted in school can be huge.

    • My friend is absurdly intelligent. He literally thinks all the time. Anyways. He had problems in school because he was smart and always did well and the school didn’t have anything more accelerated for him to do, so the last few years of high school he got bored and just smoked pot, drank, and partied, and got good grades. Was it a good use of his time to sit in school bored all day? Was it good for him overall? –he turned out ok hah-on that note he just recently started getting migraines and the doctor told him he’s probably starting to get them now because he just stopped smoking haha. But anyways..

    • Also my friend Fiona is a professional violin player, she’s half-way through her masters at CIM (Cleveland Institute of Music) she practiced between 4-6 hours every day in high school- something that wouldn’t have been possible if she’d been in public school. In fact the reason she was home schooled was so that she could pursue her music. And it paid off she got scholarships to CIM and that’s what she’s doing now. –the same thing happened to me on a much smaller scale in that I was able (because of having more time cause i was homeschooled) to practice 4 hours everyday the year leading up to college auditions and was able to go to a decent liberal arts school thanks to scholarships instead of the huge state school (not that that’s not a good option).

    • Having been homeschooled I feel that i had an extremely well-rounded education. It allowed me to travel all over the country with my dad on business trips. Real-life things can become school projects. It allows more flexibility for what students are interested. One year I was really interested in the mythology from the British Isles and Scandinavia and so my dad helped me find some books and info on the subject and I did a semester of concentrated study on it. I’ve had lots of good friends of all different ages. I never felt that because someone was in a different grade I couldn’t talk to them or something. Many homeschoolers are strange only in that they are more mature for their age than people think they should be—mature in the sense of the way they communicate not necessarily their worldliness. (me being a huge case in point…hah)

    Well there’s that.

    Maybe I’ve convinced you and maybe not. More likely you encountered some crazy home school mom and have a permanent grudge but its worth a shot!

    Take care ☺
    -Annie

    Oops real quick…reading a response you gave on your website– Even though I’m a teacher, I don’t believe that education (or test scores) is the most important thing in a person’s life. Feeling full-filled, and finding oneself, are far more important. My path to finding myself took me to washing dishes in a national park; to studying in Florence; to teaching swimming in Florida; to Brooklyn and San Diego and Cape Town… If my parents had sheltered me through homeschooling, would I have had the confidence to see how my personality fit in all these places? Would I have become myself, or a doll that my mother and father spent every school day creating?

    mmm…i spent 3 months in Europe right after college, just spent 4 months working in Ireland, traveled all over, I went to France with my mom when i was 12, I havn’t had as much time. Been in 46 states…and last i checked i’m a far cry from a doll my folks created. There is this funny thing that happens around puberty where your parents realize they’ve taught you and now its up to you to make your decisions. I know more people in school (college) who are dummy’s of their parents still and haven’t realized it yet.
    Ok sorry. Yup we do get defensive-you can’t say you’re making the case for or against something if you don’t know anything about it!

    • annie

      P.S.
      “Maybe unworldly or uncultured, though, sure. Unsocialized? Definitely. To be socialized within one’s family does not make an individual socialized.”

      Uncultured? Hardly. I think you have a misconception that homeschoolers don’t ever leave their home! There is much much more than that. In many ways homeschooled children are more “cultured” than many in public school because they are exposed to more than just what is approved by the Board of Education.

      Also, in terms of open mindedness what about banned books in public schools?

      http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/censorship/11416res20030919.html

      Just a few:

      Huckleberry Finn-Mark Twain

      I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings-Maya Angelou. Reason: Rape scene, “anti-white”

      Of Mice and Men-John Steinbeck.
      Reason: Profanity

      The Catcher in the Rye-J.D. Salinger

      One Hundred Years of Solitude-Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    • Adesa

      Annie:

      While I appreciate your thoughts on this absurd blog post and the time you took to convey them to Jessie, I do take umbrage with one of your points. You say, “Parents are only “gambling” if they are unschooling (terrible idea by the way-no your 2nd grader doesn’t know what he/she wants to learn).” I’d suggest that your opinion of unschooling is based as much on a stereotype as Jessie’s opinions regarding homeschooling are.

      Yes, a 2nd grader most certainly knows what they want to learn! Even an infant knows what s/he wants to learn, even if s/he is not cognizant of it. Though the unschooling process looks very different from traditional learning, it is equally effective and almost always is more so! Please remember to make your points without copying the irresponsible methods of the original author: know your subject before deciding to condemn it.

  14. SM

    Yawn. An ignorant, prejudice-filled rant about homeschooling by someone who presumes to speak as an authority even though she hasn’t got a clue about home education. Nothing to see here, folks.

  15. Homeschooler/Journalist

    Jesse — Some points I haven’t seen made above:

    1) The “wealthy” parents cited in the USA Today piece make over $50K a year. For a family of 4 or more, this is NOT a lot of money. In some parts of the country, you could not live a middle-class life on that income.

    2) The homeschooling kids I know, including my own, are wonderful people and very comfortable with adults and other kids. The teasing and bullying that goes on in school doesn’t help people develop healthy social skills. And believe it or not, outside of school teasing and bullying is not how most people interact. (You should get out more!)

    3) The people you deride as “geeks” are going to be the same people regardless of whether they attend public school or not. And if I don’t believe bullying is a positive experience, why should I subject my kids to it? I find it incredible that college kids are still calling each other names. It says something about how immature young adults are today.

    4) In my experience public school kids segregate themselves pretty rigidly, when they’re not being separated out by ability (read: income and background). Homeschoolers live in the real world, not the artificial environment of schools.

    5) Why can’t learning take place over a box of cereal? If school was such a great place to focus, there wouldn’t be so many kids on Ritalin.

  16. Mia

    “self-aggrandizing, society-phobic mother”

    I love irony.

    “two master’s degrees (education and journalism), a student teaching semester and multiple internship terms, real world experience as a writer, and years in the classroom dealing with different learning styles. So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me?”

    and

    ” And finally… have you met someone homeschooled? Not to hate, but they do tend to be pretty geeky***.”

    Funny!

    Hey, I also like the way you baited homeschoolers into responding to you by using the lame tired old arguments that have been regurgitated many times over, and then “jessica” asked them if they’re interested in writing for this web site. I like the “good cop”/”bad cop” theme – it never gets old to me!

  17. Mia

    I apologize for calling you “jessica” – I don’t have my glasses on! ;)

  18. Caroline

    To all the anti-homeschoolers on here, especially the author of this article….

    It sounds like you guys don’t even know WHAT homeschooling is. I’m not even a homeschooling mom, and I KNOW! As I’m reading/skimming some of your posts, I feel like yelling out “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”.

    I have a feeling some of these shallow comments are coming from the “idea” that homeschooling is sitting around a table in isolation with your mommy, practicing flash cards that mommy made up, never seeing anyone, never going anywhere. Wake up and look around. There are so many learning opportunities outside of the public school that one could literally be “homeschooled” 24/7 OUTSIDE of the home.

    All you homeschooling nay-sayers, do you realize that homeschooling includes online classes, separate brick & mortar institutions, library programs, and even community college and university classes?!?! It is very possible, and VERY PROBABLE that the child is NEVER at home, or the parents aren’t the child’s primary teacher. The role of the teacher and parent are to GUIDE the student and teach them to be independent thinkers and learners. That saying is on posters hung on every school I’ve ever visited.

    I think a lot of the anti-homeschoolers need to take a look at what the true definition and reality of homeschooling is because from this group of people here, I’m getting the feeling that most don’t even know what it is.

    • Caroline

      I meant to mention also–pre-packaged curriculum programs which are, the same, if not better, than the ones that schools provide. If you want a “school duplicate” homeschooling experience, you can get one with those programs.

      If you want a real life experience, you can get one by personalizing your own program with a mix and match deal. You can even “unschool”, but I’m not going there because it would confuse too many of you.

      All these options, as well as “daily routine” journals, etc are available in bookstores and libraries. In case you haven’t visited recently, the homeschool and self-self education section has been growing for some time now. There are even many magazines.

      Get out of your public school chair, expand your horizons, think outside the box, and get into the REAL world and learn what’s available these days! I’m sure you’ll be blown away!

  19. Caroline

    P.S. Don’t ever confuse “defensive” with “passionate”. BIG DIFFERENCE!

  20. This is the funniest thing I have heard all week. I almost fell out my chair laughing at this. Yet, I was saddened at thought a person who claims such high degrees spews such ignorance, unfounded claims, hatred and reliance on stereotypes.

    10) It may be an insult to be called a homeschooler (I’ve never actually heard this and I work with teens at church). When I went to school, it was an insult to be called a geek or a nerd. As an adult, it’s the geeks and the nerds are the ones making the high salaries. However, years before I knew homeschooling existed, people were insulted by referencing their “fine, public education” and the phrases “good enough for government” and how about “those who can do, those who can’t teach.”

    9) Personally, I didn’t find that a classroom filled with 25 very loud kids, some actually standing on desks cursing the teacher, others knocking over bookcases and having temper tantrums that led to whole classrooms being evacuated was an effective place of study for my children. I also don’t think that switching classrooms every 50 minutes, sitting doing busy work because you are faster than the others, having to stop something you like because the bell rang, being distracted by the cute girl or boy sitting near you, being bullied, dealing with lock downs, gang fights, and the myriad of other things that go on in government schools are very learning focused either. I also don’t think learning should be restricted to the classroom. Most of us grow up and leave the classroom environment one day and need to know how to handle the real world. We are out in it constantly. We have learned a lot shadowing naturalists and other professionals in their jobs, as well as attending lectures at the local university and museums. They don’t need to do worksheets on money problems because they are out at real grocery stores weekly, comparing prices, working with coupons, and comparing ads.

    8. If you feel that I am selfish that is your perogative. Isn’t just as selfish to want my kids to stay in a school to benefit others when it’s detrimental to them? Isn’t it selfish for you to hate homeschoolers because it threatens your job? For the record, my kids were in a magnet school district that was 60-70% low income children. After 5 years, I never witnessed one child improve by my children’s presence (or from any other factor either). Instead I witnessed the academic and moral decline of many.

    7. I don’t recall there being public schools in the Bible? By the way, while religion may be the most common “most important reason” given by homeschooling parents but it was still only 36%. Since you are merely an English teacher and not a math professor, I will help you out: 64% have another “most important reason”. Most homeschoolers I know have a myriad of reasons and I don’t know a single family who homeschools for strictly religious reasons.

    6. I am ignorant? I have to laugh. I went to government school and graduated with honors. Therefore, I should have been taught what I needed to know by grade 12. Yet, teachers feel they teach so poorly that I can’t pass on that knowledge to my children. However, despite all the professionals teaching (most without any actual experiencein a non-educational field), kids are going through school not knowing how to do basics. I speak multiple languages and am a trained geopolitical analyst. I have spoken in front of two Presidents, dozens heads of states, and more generals and admirals that I can count. I had to teach Marines, most taught in government schools and some with college degrees, basic history and geography so that they could be efficient in their jobs. I don’t have a degree in English but I have written professionally and I did manage to teach both of my kids how to read well enough that my 8 yo is reading Pilgrim’s Progress in Old English. I am not a biologist but my kids have learned to identify over 50 birds by site and many by bird song, type of nest, type of egg, silhouette, etc. participated in bird research projects through Cornell University, taken classes and nature walks with naturalist at various parks, museums, and eco-stations, raised baby chickens, worked with wildlife rehabilitators, etc. I don’t know any children in government school who get this specialized training in birds.Most of the homeschooling materials that I have used were written by professionals with doctorate degress who are quick to respond to emails when you have a question. My immediate circle of friends includes: two women with degrees in immunology, a vet tech, a person with advanced degrees in math and stats from MIT, IT professionals, pyschologists and a psychiatrist, college professors and former teachers, nurses, etc. Most of whom homeschool and help teach co-op classes. I may not know everything but I am smart enough to seek out those who know what I don’t. Furthermore, grade school teachers are no subject matter experts in any area. I looked over the requirements for grade school education. It’s mostly how to teach large, diverse groups of kids which I am not doing. I don’t need to know how teach multiple kids. I need to know how to teach my kids. One of the reasons we homeschool is that that the teachers at our previous school could not handle my son’s special needs. I gave books hat went read, I offered conferences that went unattended. I have read everybook that I can find on his needs, talked to actual experts and parents of similar children. Yet, I am supposed to leave my child with a “professional teacher” who doesn’t even know what Sensory Integration Disorder is, much less how to handle it in the classroom. I can pick curriculum and methods that fit my children instead of forcing my children to fit the curriculum. Anyway, I think the question is do you think you can teach English as well as I?

    5) This reasons sounds like a personal problem to me.

    4) Yes, it could. I found that the government school we attended bred racism. Despite that the school was majority black, the only history taught in grades K-3 was black history and it was very poorly taught at that. My son had one teacher that would only read stories that featured African Americans. The only whole thing the whole school worked on was an annual black history program. At this program, we would be asked to stand for the black national anthem. When a child sang the national anthem for talent show, nobody was asked to stand (in fact, I was only one who stood and I teachers coming up and asking me questions in the middle of the performance!). The school had awards for best minority student. When kids asked why they only studied/read black history they were told because “blacks are a great race.” At this school, there was poor blacks (almost all who were failing and amost all were discipline problems), middle class whites (almost all labeled AG), and Hispanic immigrants (all ESL) and two Asians (only ones allowed to grade skip or subject accelerate). There was no rich blacks, poor whites, academically average Asian, etc. There was not much intermingling. Now at home, yes we are “white”. We are a blended family (Yankee Italian dad/IrishSouthern Belle mom). Our neighborhood is 50% non-white. Our homeschooled friends include black, Asian, Hispanic, Arabic, and Jewish. We have homeschool friends with many different special needs, such as Autism,Aspergers, Deafness, Muteness, Down’s Syndrome, etc. In fact, my one of my own children is special needs and my non-special needs child volunteers once a month to be a peer to special needs kids. We know homeschooling families who are very wealthy to point of our eyes bulging when we go to their house and friends who are very poor and barely making it and depend on our good will at times. I am conservative Protestant Christian, but we interact with families that so conservative, I feel like a hippie and others that are so liberal that I feel like a fundamentalist. We study other religions -last week we made mandalas and discussed the Dalai Lama. Our materials are living books from various authors who hold various viewpoints, some of which differ from my own. Reading, research, analysis and debate are major factors in my teaching style.

    3. What socialization are they learning in school? How to be a good friend or how to be a bully? How to follow directions enough to get by or how to be self-directed? How to stand in line or how to run a business and a household? How to walk on the third tile or how to lead a hike? How to sit for silent lunch or how to cook meals and take to families who in crises and work with Meals on Wheels? How to interact with 20 or more same age kids or how to interact with groups that include teens, adults, babies, toddlers, elderly etc? My kids have deep friendships instead only superficial ones (though they still have superficial ones in some of their activities). They know how to sit still in a lecture, ask appropriate questions, etc. They know how to include the shy child and avoid the obnoxious one. I am not sure what social skill needs 13 years of practice in a public school atmosphere? Sex? Drugs? Bullies? Profanity? Gang Fights? School Shootings? Lockdowns?

    2. Personally, I don’t consider homeschool a “risk.” I consider government schools a higher risk. In fact, my selfishness to not take that gamble rendered me selfish in point 8. Regardless, the article doesn’t say that homeschooling is a risk. It points out that many homeschoolers are risk takers. They are the movers and shakers, the innovators. They are not afraid to go against the norm and don’t feel they should accept mediocrity because that is “the way it is”. These “highly educated, high income parents” that now make up the majority are the ones who are changing the face of homeschooling.

    1) I knew geeks in high school. The sheltered ones, the socially inept ones, etc. You know the ones that nowadays end up going on shooting sprees after years of bullying. Apparantly government school failed to properly socialize them. Ditto all the criminals in our jails. Most of the geeky, homeschool kids I know would be just as geeky in school. Perhaps, like my son, they are homeschooled because they are geeky and not geeky because they are homeschooled. My son has Aspergers, ADHD, and sensory issues. He’s made more progress in our year of homeschooling than in his first three years combined. He went from zero friends to four friends (two are homeschooled and two are not. His best friend is a nonreligious black female w/ no special needs, with a single mom, that goes to a public charter school. How much more diverse can you get?). He has a penpal that he occasionally chats with (biracial lol). Now, my daughter is not geeky in the least. She was popular in school and is popular out of school. She is invited to sleepovers, parties, playdates on a constant basis. She is a nationally competive cheerleader (and is a minority racewise what it is worth), an award winning writer, involved in the community, politically aware nine year old girl who has more friends that I can track. She is still just like your average preteen girl -goes to sleepovers, hangs out with her friends on the trampoline, talks on the phone and emails with her friends, owns webkins, shops at Justice for girls, knows everything about the Jonas Brothers, Hannah Montana and all the other Disney idols. While in school, she was popular but very peer oriented and constantly worried about fitting in (she had some ostracization moments since she was only 4th grade girl without a boyfriend -she had options just we are the old-fashioned, over-sheltering type of parents that don’t believe that 9 yo girls need to go on dates). She was very much afraid to be her own person. Since homeschooling her, I feel like I am witnessing a butterfly emerge from a cocoon.

  21. Melanie

    Mr. Scaccia:

    I’d like to point out before I begin, that I’m a former homeschooled teenager.

    My mother is not society-phobic. In fact, my mother wasn’t even the parent that homeschooled me, and currently homeschools my two younger siblings.

    I was homeschooled for four years by my father, and it has turned out the be the absolutely best thing I have ever done in the way of education. I learned so much in those four years than I ever did in my years of public schooling.

    On a side note, my father continues to homeschool my siblings today.

    10. Oh wow, because that’s entirely insulting. Just because someone was homeschooled makes it an insult. So what if you’re considered an outsider? Almost everyone is in one way or another. This point doesn’t make a plausible argument.

    9. …You’re really in tune with families that homeschool, aren’t you? Many homeschoolers don’t even WATCH television or play Wii. My family doesn’t own any gaming device whatsoever. And public school definitely isn’t learning focused. It’s more focused on conforming the minds of children to meet government and school district standards and socializing with their friends.

    8. Wealthy and well educated? My family may not be poor, but we are in NO WAY wealthy. I’m a normal middle-class child here, thanks. Well educated on the other hand, not all of homeschooling parents are well educated and still do an excellent job.

    On another note, one thing that just sends me over the edge is how intelligent students either have to downplay their skills in the classroom, get ridiculed because of their intelligence or they’re copied off of in the class. I know this experience, because I’m one of those students. People in school always look towards me as someone to copy from because I get good grades. These “less fortunate public school kids” need to learn how to think for themselves and actually LEARN FOR THEMSELVES. Don’t depend on intelligent student.

    And in what way is it a disservice!? This entire point is illogical.

    7.How do you have a right to say this? GOD hates homeschooling?

    Yes, the Bible does indeed say to make disciples of all nations, but it is also in the Bible that PARENTS are supposed to educate their children, not push them off onto other adults. Homeschooled children have an even GREATER ability to spread their faith than public school children. They don’t have to be in a certain place for eight hours a day, then go home to tend to homework. Homeschooled children have the ability to leave their home at any time and witness through their actions in public.

    6. I’ll give you that point. Many parents don’t have a degree necessary to teach in a public school, but they still do an amazing job at educating their children! As I’ve said before, my father taught me so much in just four years of homeschooling, and he doesn’t have a degree in anything related to education. Parents are the best teachers and the best counselors.

    5. As a former homeschooler, anyone that knocks homeschoolers and their families pisses me off. That’s good enough for a retort to this point.

    4. I am in no way whatsoever a racist or intolerant of any background or sexuality. I may have beliefs about sexuality that regard to my religion, but I’m not intolerant of people that are gay, bisexual or any other thing in between. I have atheist friends, agnostic friends, black friends, Indian friends, friends of totally different religions (Hindu, Mormonism, Catholicism, etc.) and I even have gay friends. I also have friends of both genders, from a huge range of ages, from elementary/middle school to college graduates. You name it, I probably have friends that fit your descriptions.

    Now if I was racist or intolerant, would I have friends from across the spectrum? No. I’d have only white, rich, Christian bigot friends. At least, that’s the kind of friends I would have according to your comments here… But personally, I’d dislike having friends like that.

    3. I completely disagree with your point here. Socialization is NOT a “grand multi-cultural experiment.” Homeschooling does, in no way, leave the child unprepared socially. It’s not like the parents lock the child inside the house and they never see sunlight. As I mentioned before, the flexibility of homeschooling actually allows the child more free time and freedom to leave whenever they or the parent wishes, thus letting them meet people they usually wouldn’t meet if locked inside a public school for 8 hours a day.

    2. Notice the word PROBABLY in this man’s sentence. Last time I checked, probably doesn’t mean “all the time.” My parents thought for YEARS before pulling me out of public school, they’re definitely NOT risk takers with my education. And they’re also not arrogant.

    1. Throughout this entire post, I’ve been able to see your side of the argument, and believe me, I still am. Some children are, I will admit, slightly “geeky,” but that’s not because of lack of socialization. Most of those “geeky” children have mental disabilities or other handicaps, from the ones I’ve personally met or seen interviewed on TV.

    But, I’m not a geek. I have the ability to communicate in diverse social situations, whether it’s with my friends at school or with adults at other functions.

    I’d like to thank you for your time. I was not trying to sound rude or condescending in any comment I’ve made. If I came across as offensive, I sincerely do apologize. Again, thank you so much for your time.

  22. Mark S

    As an educator (with advanced degrees in both English and Education), and a homeschooling father, I don’t necessarily want to give your post too much ethos by refuting it point by point- as Musafer Sherif’s Social Judgement Theory would attest there would be no real value in it anyway. But, I would like to say that the angle you take concerning the “selfishness” of homeschooling families is actually based on a logical fallacy- we only need to look both qualitatively and quantitatively at the ideas of W.E.B. Dubois and his visions of a “talented tenth” compared to the 10% college admissions policies of the state of Texas to see that the standardized educational system is the real selfish standard.

    Simply put, if you are going to claim that homeschooling as a system is selfish because it doesn’t adhere to your utilitarian philosophical viewings of the purpose of education, then you may want to show your audience that the education you’ve gained from the public system you’ve attended actually made you into a critical thinking being…

    And, yes, I get irony and sarcasm- do you?

    • Kathy

      Beautiful!!! I love it! I noticed that Jesse chose not to respond to your post. I guess he didn’t want to bring his “knife” to your “gun” fight. You are obviously much more educated than he is.

  23. Lynn

    What would you do with an eight year old who is AT LEAST three years ahead of his peers accademically? And, that’s a conservative estimate.

    Said child also lives in a school system with no budget or programs for gifted children and will not advance him grades…”he needs to be with his peers”. Said child just “completed” second grade (by his age) and ASKED to take Physics this summer because, “math plus physics equals astronomy”.

    Oh, said child is also very personable, verbal, well-liked, plays rec basketball, and is an “All-Star” baseball player three years running, and performs in a local theatre where he is exposed to various “sexualities”.

    So, what would you do?

    • Caroline

      I feel for you Lynn. I have 2 just like that. Homeschooling is the ONLY answer for children like that. I’ve visited dozens of schools, and every single one of them told me that they cannot accommodate my children. Jesse, did you hear that? What was your point #6 that said that schools are better equipped to teach because they are experts?! You forgot to mention “experts…who can only teach to the average.” What I decided to do for my children is put them in school part-time for the regular classes (PE, health, etc), and they take the “real” classes online and at home. It’s far from perfect, because they are still bored in the school classes and it’s very time-consuming. You might want to look into the Davison Institute in Reno, NV.

      • Gary

        What intrigues me is just how many of these homeschooling moms have children too precious, advanced and special for regular schooling – at least according the moms.

        • Caroline

          I do, but not because, I (the mom) says so, but because the school says so, as well as his scores and grades. When you have a 12 year old who walks into an ACT test and scores a 28, with no prepping, studying or practicing, and at 13 years old is doing high level calculus, most schools are going to say the same to you too. “We cannot accommodate him.”

          When that middle-schooler is doing more advanced work and thinking than the highest high school students and classes, don’t you think “regular schooling” is a joke for him?? Or do you think he should just stay in 8th grade, work on adding and subtracting fractions, just for the sake of it, in order to blend in?

          Or how about the upper elem age student who is doing trigonometry, scoring high school grade equivalency on ALL subjects across the board in school administered standardized tests. YES, I think they are “too precious, advanced and special for regular schooling”. Do you disagree? Can your child do that?

          Does your child play baseball? Do you go to the batting cages with him?? If so, why? Do you think he’s too advanced to just be satisfied with the school PE program??? Why are you homeschooling him in sports?? And I’m sure you’re one of those parents who sees no hypocracy in putting your child in community select sports teams, or playing on teams OUTSIDE of the school because you don’t think school PE is adequate enough. Why is it ok to challenge your child in sports, but not in academics? Because he’s going to have a career in sports and couldn’t possibly have a need for academics?

          • Gary

            Your analogy does not work. My kids played sports outside of school but they were involved in school sports as well. Your child is completely out of school academically. Also, you seem to insinuate that because a child is in school the parents don’t or can’t challenge her academically at home.

            • Mimi

              Yeah. So my kid should sit in government daycare for six hours a day and THEN have to actually have real school?

              I thought about that. Then I thought, “Hey, why not skip the daycare altogether?”

              While your kid is standing in line, mine’s on the swingset. While your kid is coloring his math sheet (got to keep those fast kids busy and out of trouble somehow!), mine is in the sandbox. And while yours is on the bus, mine’s playing with his Snap Circuit set.

        • AL

          I find it interesting that you don’t understand just why that is, Gary!

          Which came first? Do the parents simply think that their “special snowflakes” are just too good for the schools, or were the schools not up to the challenge of teaching children who are 3+ years grade-advanced, hence the mass exodus of these kids from an inadequate public school system?

          My child belongs to this group. There is current research, by several Instututes
          (Davidson, Belin Blank) studying these kids, suggesting that the schools are, at best, Ill-equipped to take on children such as these. There are also no curret plans on the part of the system to rectify the situation. Private schools are a bit better, but still lack teh vision necissary to meet these “challenging ” children.

          There is no fabled “average” child. That is a construct which makes it easier for schools and their administrators to blow off genuine parental concern for the education of thier children.

          This entire article is genuinely laughable. Never before have I seen such a childish and ill-concieved argument against Homeschooling. I think the motivational factors for this article are fear, prejudice, anger and jealousy.

          The fear that homeschooling parents could do very well without teachers is eating this person alive, clearly.

          The prejudice against homeschoolers seems to be motivated by this person’s ignorance of the subject, as evidenced by citing a “USA Today” article for evidence.

          This person is clearly angry that all of his/her degrees are not enough to earn the respect “deserved” on this subject. ( Note that our culture, partially steered by that same culture he/she advocates as being desireable in the public school setting, has the same distate for “folks with too many degrees”–I know of no such prejudice in the Homeschool Setting. I think I’ll keep my child right where she is, thanks.)

          It is also apparent that the author is wonderfully jealous of the ability and freedom that homeschooling parents have to build an optimal program, individualized to each student. Is that not every teacher’s dream? I must say, it has been exteremely exciting and a barrel of fun to teach my daughter, who readily grasps subject material as if she were eating a bag of M& M’s!
          Actually, Wouldn’t the school setting be wonderful if folks like this author would help make it so, rather than defending a washed-up system, steeped in bureaucracy, meritocracy and ageism?

          I appeal to, nay CHALLENGE , the author of this rant, to look your beloved schools and change them from within, rather than casting aspersions at those who would dare to make their own world a better place.

        • Melinda S.

          Well, to be honest, I don’t know of any other 5 year olds who were reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, by themselves, for fun, and commenting on the symbolism involved (and only 1 of mine did this), but perhaps you are right, and I am only a biased mom who has no clue what most kids are doing.

          Maybe I should also be glad–I probably also don’t know enough to say that this same child’s writing skills were 2 years behind, so that was probably not true, either.

          Or perhaps I should be glad that I DO know these things, so that I could help her to continue to grow in reading, and make up what she was lacking in writing, rather than forcing her to read Dick and Jane in kindergarten, because that’s what “all” 5yos need, and write a few paragraphs by 3nd grade, because that’s what all 8yos should be able to do.

          I think this combination of advanced and behind skills would be hard for any teacher to deal with. I suspect most kids have areas they could be far ahead of the norm in, and others they struggle with and would benefit from extra time and help in, if they were in a situation where that could occur.

          (For the record, at the end of 7th grade, she reads widely and aggressively, and about the middle of 6th grade, she finally picked her writing skills up to a “normal” level.)

          • AL

            LOL ! Good on her:) Mine read similar at a similar age, but would not have picked up on the symbolism in LWW, given that we are Atheists! The point, however, is that your little girl should not be forced to read “Dick and Jane” by a bunch of Administrators who met in a committee. How silly and sad it is that the notion would even be on the table in the first place, given her ability level.

        • Sam

          Yup. My kids are too precious to send to government funded daycare 7 hours a day. Plus I am not going to trust strangers with my food allergic/asthmatic child.

          We are all different and we all have different reasons for homeschooling. I think it’s safe to say that homeschooling families like to think outside the box, instead of putting our kids in the box.

        • Marcy Muser

          Gary,

          I can’t believe how ignorant your argument sounds. Do you honestly believe that my 12-year-old 7th grader who just completed Algebra I and is halfway through high school biology, who scored in the 99th percentile across the board on the 8th-grade Iowa test (taken a year early), whose high school counselor in our one-day-a-week homeschool enrichment program (a professional high school counselor in a public school for many years) told me she needs to take the ACT in June, would be well served by sitting in a 7th-grade classroom 6-8 hours a day, bringing home a couple of hours of busywork every night, and having me “challenge her academically at home”?????! In our local public middle school, a slightly older friend passed algebra with flying colors in 7th grade, and was told she had to take algebra again in 8th grade, because that’s the highest math class they offered, and she had to have a math class. Just exactly WHAT would my child learn from that experience? That education is a waste of time? That it’s not “cool” to be smart? That there’s no point in living up to her potential, because she’s only going to be penalized anyway?

          I’m sorry, but I see no value in that. I’d much rather she be allowed to progress at her own pace, and to take college at age 15 if she’s ready for it, rather than giving up or becoming a troublemaker. I refuse to harm my child just because you or someone else happens to think I’m “arrogant” if I think she’d be better off at home, where I can help her find the resources to learn what she is capable of learning.

          Oh, yes, and by the way, did it ever occur to you that part of the reason there are so many moms here whose kids are “too precious, advanced, and special for regular schooling” is because public schools do a tremendous disservice to kids who ARE gifted? Maybe there are so many parents of gifted kids here because parents of gifted kids aren’t willing to let them waste their talents sitting in a school classroom waiting for their peers to catch up.

        • Mimi

          Maybe that’s because we HAVE to homeschool because schools refuse to teach our children at their level. See, that would be anti-equality. No special treatment here! My DS, though reading 7th grade level books, CLEARLY should be starting primers in 1st grade next year. Because that’s FAIR, right?

    • Lynn

      Well, Gary, yes my child is precious. Both of my children are.

      Regarding whether I think he’s advanced or not, he scored in the 99th percentile over all in a nationally-recognized standardized achievement test – not a big deal, eh? SOMEONE has to be in the 99th percentile, right? This test was for two years above his current grade level by age.

      My daughter, by the way, is an academically advanced Duke TIP student. Perhaps some children are simply more intelligent than others?

      So, what would you have me do to school my children? I’m anxiously awaiting your answer!

  24. Tammy

    After reading your article, I can see you are doing a
    wonderful job teaching your students. However,
    looking more closely at the photo, this is all the more reason why we choose to homeschool our
    5 children.

    PS
    My in-laws are from Costa Rica!!!!!

  25. mary

    Sigh….
    This is a throughly weak piece – hardly something one might hope for from someone who puts themself forward as a person of noteworthy degrees. In fact, were your writing indicative of a learned individual in the stated fields, you have efficiently diminished the value of my education because we seem to share a common background.

    Tighten up your verbage or expand your mind.

    You have not convinced this mother of a child attending a public school that homeschooling is wrong. Your stabs at wit weren’t even effective.

    Sigh.

  26. Time was when I would have agreed with *almost* everything you wrote. In fact, my older children are still in public schools and doing well.

    My autistic child, “Elf,” however, doesn’t do well in social situations. The school staff’s response to his difficulty was to lock him in a closet on several occasions. They call these “safe rooms.” My son’s story is true and has been featured in the COPAA report that was presented to Congress about four weeks ago. Children, especially disabled children, can be and ARE abused in public schools.

    Not always. But our story is not the only one out there, not by a longshot.

    Missouri law is such that I have no real legal recourse. In fact, they could put him in these rooms and not inform me because safe rooms are a part of many, many schools here. Without a lot of money and clout, parents like me have NO way to fight the system. If the school doesn’t help or do the right thing by these kids, it’s a long, hard road.

    We chose homeschooling rather than fight. My son is not a pawn in this game, and we acted in what we felt at the time to be his best interests. It’s not what I would have chosen for him at the beginning of our educational journey, but it’s where we wound up and I have to say that I’m glad that this is an option.

    I am GLAD that I could pull him out of that environment without their “approval” of my educational program. I am GLAD that I can now teach him at home without worrying about what the school is going to do to him next, or hold that little shaking child in my arms and hear him beg me PLEASE not to send him back there.

    I might send him back someday. If things change. When he is older and qualifies to go to the middle school building, and IF I think that he is ready. I would like for that to be MY choice, because I feel I could look out for my son’s needs way better than the staff at this elementary ever could. Or perhaps I may decide to do cyber-schooling for a time through the state if I feel that I’m unable to teach a higher-level class. Did you know that many curriculum providers also sell/ lease DVDs with certified teachers doing the instruction? There are other programs that include tutoring help online or by phone, etc. if your taste runs more toward a standard education.

    I hear your point about teachers being so well-educated… maybe better than most parents. But I’ll tell you something: I think he can learn from me a wholllle lot better in my living room after he eats his Fruit Loops than he can while he’s sitting in a concrete 5-by-7 closet with a metal door. Does that sound like a “least restrictive environment” to you?

    I do understand your concerns about homeschooling. But can you understand where some homeschoolers have concerns about public education?

    You have my email address and if you’re truly interested in a private conversation, I’d encourage you to email me. If you check out the “blogs I follow” link, you’ll also see a goodly number of black, biracial and mixed-race homeschoolers. You’ll see (of course) that I am also connected to people who are homeschooling their autistic children because they found that the school district was not responsive to their needs.

  27. Kelly H.

    I have no beef with however a parent chooses the educate their child. Their child, their choice. Why are you so angry?

  28. Melinda S.

    You’ve gotten some great answers, so I won’t cover ” Which, I would argue, is a likely result of being educated in an environment without peers. It’s hard to get by in such a diverse world as ours! And the more people you can hang out with the more likely you are to succeed, both in work life and real life.” This is your opinion, of course. Unfortunately, it is not born out by statistics. (And who said that homeschoolers are “without peers”?)

    You make a big point about diversity and learning how groups are different. It is my impression (from what I remember several years ago, as well as from more current news reports), that there are few genuine differences of opinion deeply discussed in high schools. Eg, most high schools do not allow much discussion of any overtly religious viewpoint, any discussion of evolution versus intelligent design, or much discussion of anything relating to dead white men. Most homeschoolers I know, whatever their own perspective, discuss such things in great detail.

  29. Stephanie

    Seems that most of the homeschooling parents that came around here covered everything pretty well. :-) I just have on interesting point that I observed recently, and just commented to my friends about yesterday.

    When speaking about homeschoolers and their inability to live in the “real world,” did you ever consider that public school is nothing like the real world? I know that this point was touched on quite a few times (in previous comments), but I have yet to see you acknowledge this. Stuck in a room for 7 hours a day, with the exact same 20 same-age peers, for 9 months out of the year- is that the real world? Really? That’s sad.

    I think that public schools limit free thought and expression for so many children. They learn to become “followers” and do what everyone else is doing. For example, I take my children to parks frequently (several times a week). 2 weeks ago we show up and realize that there are 5 school busses in the parking lot (a school picnic had come to the park). I told my boys, Deuce and Dakota, to “behave and have fun,” as they ran off. Within 3 minutes (long enough for me to get my toddler fastened into the baby swings) I look up and see Deuce (9 yrs old) leading a large group of 5th-7th graders in a game of tag/war. Clearly, he was “in charge” and he had never met these children before. They were willing to follow him because he had the confidence to appear to be “in charge” and they just accepted it- probably because that is how things are at school.

    I know that we always had the 1 popular kid that we all followed and tried to emulate. They were the most confident and we accepted them as our “leader.” Not much has changed (we have tons of ps friends and their moms feel the same way).

    This was just one of many times that this same scenario has played out, but it was the most telling for me because there was a LARGE number of classmates that still accepted a child they had never met as their leader. There are many other examples, but as I said before- other parents have covered this fully (and I have not yet read Spunky’s response, but I know she is usually most thorough in this type of discussion… don’t want to risk repeating, LOL).

  30. Carletta

    As an educator, you should be aware that a true “case against homeschooling” should be supported by verifiable facts instead of generalizations, unfounded personal opinions and juvenile stereotypes.

    In answer to your question:
    “So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me?”

    Yes. If you truly are an English teacher, I think you should consider taking some additional courses in composition and grammar.

  31. Caroline

    Stephanie, I agree with you. My kids go to ps, and I can’t tell you how many times this sort of thing happens. What really annoys me is this (not so latest) idea that you can’t have winners, or one winner (again, how is THAT representative of REAL LIFE?).

    You have to give everyone a certificate–a “participation” or “trying” award because they don’t want to make anyone feel badly. Once upon a time, kids not getting a certificate WAS the motivation to do better . NOW, the PC way is to give everyone the same award despite their results. Just another instance of creating and fostering a bunch of average followers, rather than expecting and rewarding leaders. No wonder all the ps standardized scores keep going down.

  32. It almost seems overkill to add a comment, since most every point has been discussed… but there are two points I just can’t help but make.

    #6: First, you state that “students who get homeschooled are increasingly from wealthy and well-educated families.” Then you say that these well-educated families aren’t qualified to teach their children. Please make up your mind.

    But for what it’s worth, my mom is a public school teacher with three degrees, one of which is a Masters in education. She considers my husband and I to be more qualified to teach our children than she is. Personally, I think that speaks volumes.

    #4: Yes, it’s too bad no homes are made up of more than one race….
    My parents kept poor college students in our house when I was little so they wouldn’t have to pay dorm fees. Most of them were black – my family is white. We called them our “big sisters”, treated them just like family, and thought nothing odd about it. Now that I’m grown, I am in an interracial marriage with an Asian man who is the first generation born in the US. We would like to adopt a child from another country someday. Somehow I don’t think our children, homeschooled though they may be, will be racists.

  33. Kathy

    Be careful. Your arrogance and your intolerance are showing. But your multiple English degrees and years of experience in teaching aren’t. Your grammar in point number 10 (as well as other places) is terrible. If you are really going to have an intelligent discussion on the merits, or lack thereof, of homeschooling, you might try checking the MULTITUDE of studies demonstrating that homeschooled kids outperform their publicly schooled peers academically. For evidence of this, all you have to do is look at this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. The top 3 spots were filled by homeschoolers, and even though homeschoolers make up only 2% of the school age population, 11% of the participants in this year’s spelling bee were homeschooled. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=15380 But instead of discussing the merits of homeschool vs. public school, and the quality of the education received by the students in each method, your “case” against homeschooling is full of nothing more than opinions and innuendo. It’s hard to take you seriously when you obviously have not done your homework on homeschooling.

    Oh, and one other thing. If you really want to make the case that homeschooled children are geeky and racist, you really should do further investigation before making such a claim. Many famous Americans were homeschooled, including our 16th president – the man who signed the Emancipation Proclamation – Abraham Lincoln. Your ignorance is blinding.

  34. Julia

    I have found this whole discussion incredibly interesting, though at times far to antagonistic for a group of who I presume to be are adults.

    I agree with most of the points that Jesse made, though he could have been slightly more diplomatic in his presentation–oh well, that’s the nature of this medium and I think that there’s nothing wrong with it.

    I am in no way an expert on homeschooling, but I can share my experiences with the public school system. I was in the situation of many of the children of the previous respondents, being well above grade level in every subject (I took the ACT at 15 and got a 35), but I can honestly say that being homeschooled would have been a terrible solution, if not a “cop-out” in my situation. I went through 12 years of public schooling in a pretty average district, and now I’m studying International Relations at Brown University where I’m happier than I thought possible. Public school didn’t hold me back, but rather allowed me to develop as a person and a learner in ways that would have been close to impossible in a homeschool environment.

    One of the things that so many parents have mentioned is the importance of “non-academic” lessons in education. In public school I learned how to engage with the given curriculum and go above and beyond what was expected of me. This was due in no small part to the plethora of adult wisdom that surrounded me throughout school. If we were studying a subject with which I was already familiar with, I would sit down with the teacher and ask for book or movie recommendations to supplement class work or replace it. (In the “real world,” as so many of you seem fond of referencing, your mother or father won’t swoop in to rescue you from boring or uncomfortable situations. To learn to adapt is an essential skill, in my opinion). I have never had a negative response to this and I firmly believe that 99.9% of public school teachers would be absolutely delighted if students came to them with similar requests. Of course, the request can’t be presented in an antagonistic way, presenting yourself (or your child, if they are too young to advocate for themselves) as the victim.

    This brings me to another invaluable public school lesson: social interaction. It is, of course, not impossible to be well-socialized and homeschooled, but public schools give students more opportunities to interact with various people and within the types of systems which they will encounter later in life. I needed to understand how to approach my teachers in the right way to request extra or alternate work, just as I had to learn how to approach working in groups with classmates from diverse backgrounds. I actually haven’t encountered the issue that many of you attribute to public schooling re: interacting with adults. I’m 19 and probably 60% of my closest friends are over the age of 30. A lot of my comfort in dealing with adults comes from my learning how to interact with teachers and other people at school. It’s helpful that you’re able to work on these social skills in a forgiving environment–if I were to end up botching a social interaction with a teacher and offending him/her, in (at most) 9 months I can start all over again. If I were to say the same thing to my mother or my parents’ friend, it could do lasting damage to a relationship.

    A few other points, in no particular order:

    –I think that public school serves as a common cultural basis of understanding in our society more so than in many others. We do not have and have never had a single cultural history or long set of homogeneous traditions upon which to rely when interacting in society. In fact, with our increasingly diverse media, etc. it would be difficult to find one song, tv show, or author with which every person of my age is familiar. This point became very clear to me when I moved across the country to go to college and began volunteering in a local urban high school. My experience in my own high school helped me connect to my students, from small things such as being able to (sort of) identify a popular rap song, to relating to their larger experience as students interacting with 8 or 10 teachers every day and struggling with where to sit in the lunchroom. The public school experience is especially important for immigrants or students raised in a community where a particular culture (be it ethnic, religious, etc.) dominates. It gives these students the chance to interact with people outside of that community on a sustained basis, whether thy like it or not. It is in this way that we develop ideas of what our shared values as Americans are and where our personal beliefs differ from those of others. We also learn how to maintain our own identities and belief systems (and still keep the peace) in a world where not everyone is in agreement. Looking back over the comments, it does seem that many of us could use a refresher on productive dialogue and constructive criticism. This whole idea of a “shared experience” may not mean a lot to some people, but the idea that (most) “everybody’s been there” is a great way to connect with others.

    –You absolutely cannot discredit the value of sustained relationships with such a diverse group of teachers. Setting aside the question of qualifications (about which I fully agree with Jesse), the mere experience of learning from 12 different English teachers over the course of one’s primary and secondary education, all with different life experiences and perspectives on the subject, is invaluable. Even if a homeschooling parent has 15 degrees in History, his or her child will only experience the teaching style and particular interests of one history teacher and that is very sad to me. I have had great teachers and not so great teachers, but I have learned something from every one of them and would not trade in my experiences for anything. I still correspond with many of my teachers and just last week I visited my old High School and ended up having dinner and a four hour conversation with a former teacher about everything from Foucault to Argentinian politics. I would not trade my relationship with her and or any of my other teachers for anything. I already get to hear from my parents on a daily basis and benefit from their perspectives, so why on earth would I want to substantially limit my educational exposure?

    –As for the “selfish” comment, I’m conflicted. I absolutely understand and appreciate the urge that many of you have expressed to try to attain the absolute best for your children, be it in education or any other genre of need that they may have. That being said, I can see how damaging both private schools and homeschooling are to our public schools. The school in which I volunteer now has consistently been one of the poorest-performing schools in the region. It is 89% minority and a remarkable percentage of students have a least one parent in prison. That being said, it’s not a dangerous school at all and the children are absolutely wonderful, but suffer due to the circumstances. This school is across the street from three wonderful private schools who send multiple students down the street to my university and other Ivies every year. Every time I pass them, I can’t help but think that if all of these students were learning together, everyone would benefit. The parents of the private and homeschooled children would still be as involved in their children’s education, but they would also be helping children whose parents aren’t as able. Speaking from experience, your children who are so smart and driven wouldn’t be “held up” by the other students, but would make great friends and learn so much by interacting with the public school kids. It’s difficult to say whether the quality of the public schools deteriorated and then parents moved their children to private schools or started homeschooling or whether it was the other way around, but now the students who have the fewest resources and whose parents are least able to be involved are left to suffer while everyone else is just following their parental instinct to acquire the best for their children–maybe a balance could be struck somewhere?

    Anyway, I didn’t intend for this to be so long and it is obviously by no means a comprehensive response to many of the thought-provoking issues you all brought up, but I thought that the public school voice was slightly underrepresented in this discussion and I felt that I was in a position to discuss anecdotally at least a few of the questions raised. That being said, I really appreciate the effort and dedication you homeschoolers put into you children’s’ education–I did some cursory research before responding and I was very impressed at the level of dedication and discourse I observed on many of the homeschooling blogs and discussion boards! Of course, I’d love to hear any reactions or discuss any points of contention!

    Thanks for taking the time to hear my two cents–I hope you all are having a great weekend!

    • mz.w

      Julia,
      You rock! You have given one of the better, well-reasoned arguments presented on this thread and I applaud you.
      While I understand that the public school system isn’t the appropriate venue for every child, it benefits many other children for the reasons Julia gave.
      As someone who went through the public school system, attended both private and state universities and now teaches in a public school, I think that many of the experiences one has in dealing with other people–both students and adults–is actually very much like “the real world.” New topic of discussion: What is “The Real World” anyway?

    • Mark S

      Julia:

      While I admire your intrinsic motivation, and applaud your successes, I think we both may agree that your story is quite anecdotal- most students, whether homeschooled or mainstreamed, will not make it to an Ivy League college, and learning environments in either situation become acts of behavior modification and cultural assimilation.

      The real question with regards to socialization, I think that this post posits is whether or not I agree with the type of socialization each situation typically brings. The question becomes one of control, really- who controls it- a system that doesn’t value my beliefs or one that does. May I recommend (in all your free time!) that you read Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire- it is theoretically based, I admit, but may still be enlightening

      • Julia

        Mark–

        Thanks so much bringing up these great points!

        I do admit that my experience is just that: my experience. Clearly not everyone will end up where I am now, nor do I have the same goals as many other people. I do think that my post responds to Lynn’s question: “What would you do with an eight year old who is AT LEAST three years ahead of his peers accademically [sic]?” My point was that, with some creativity, public schools can absolutely provide a great education to children of above-average intelligence, even without a designated G/T or TAG program. I don’t doubt that Lynn did what was right for her son or daughter, but the public school system absolutely DOES have the capacity to deal with these children, and homeschooling is not the inevitable choice in situations such as these.

        As for your point about socialization, I think you have clearly stated the issue that many are arguing about in much more nebulous terms! I would question (what I believe to be) your assumption that the public school system doesn’t value your beliefs. It certainly as a system does not endorse them over the beliefs of others, but it has been my experience that no one belief system (or lack of belief system) is endorsed by the schools (apart from the hopefully “common ground” ideas such as tolerance and respect that allow society to function smoothly). It’s the diversity of beliefs under the same roof that I think makes the experience the most valuable. I’ve had wonderful evangelical teachers and wonderful atheist teachers who have taught under the same system, as well as interacted with students of all faiths and creeds. I think that learning how to deal with people who believe a whole diverse set of things while still maintaining one’s own values and the beliefs of one’s family is a challenging and rewarding experience that public school offers. I’m sure that there are some school systems where this attempt at impartiality on the systemic level is not achieved, but I think it is a lofty goal!

        Thanks as well for your your book recommendation–I’m sure it will clarify some of your points and actually, after looking at a syllabus for my upcoming course “The Craft of Teaching,” it seems that I’ll be reading it next semester!

        Again, I appreciate your comments as they were stated respectfully and have given me much to ponder!

        • Mark S

          No problem- I don’t want you to think that my comments about socialization in any way were meant as disparaging- my views are not religiously based, even if you could have read it that way (although I would like to think I’m a true liberal, and I don’t believe I have the right to take away religious-based homeschooling curriculum either) Systems are just that, systems. They perpetuate beliefs through cultural logic, and I think I should have the primary say in how my children are taught to interact with this cultural logic- I chose more of a kinestetic approach . I just tend to think that the people that will change the world will come from an upbringing and viewing that is different from the mainstream.

          Acculturation has both its plusses and minuses. Be careful, though, assuming that the value of diversity must only be measured by quanities of difference. As I’m sure you know, hanging around Thayer Street gives you a myriad of opportunities to socialize with different people (maybe even more than you did within your grade-school days ), and truth be told, my homeschooled children (as well as many others like them) get the same opportunities that you now have, just earlier in life (I’m from Tiverton R.I. but we live in Houston now- we do travel a lot, and visit Providence often. Homeschooling allows for much pedagogical freedom).

        • Bugbait

          “public school system absolutely DOES have the capacity to deal with these children”

          This is incorrect. Glad it wasn’t very noticeable in your case. FYI, in my own 15 years of observation of why parents remove their children to homeschool, in the sub-set of those who feel that the schools are not meeting or can not meet the needs of their children, fewer parents remove their children because they are high achievers than parents of learning disabled children or those with children who have other differences or disabilities that affect their ability to learn in institutional/traditional educational settings. Just an aside.

          While your comments about socialization are thoughtful, they are fairly in-the-box and not supported by any research that I know of.

          Another aside: “Looking back over the comments, it does seem that many of us could use a refresher on productive dialogue and constructive criticism.” This strikes me as vaguely passive-aggressive for some reason. Considering the tone of the original essay, you were expecting what?

          Another aside: “You absolutely cannot discredit the value of sustained relationships with such a diverse group of teachers.” Of course I can. I can think of several different ways to do so off the top of my head. (But I’m glad you enjoyed it and find it valuable.) You should examine your assumptions and objectivity whenever you feel tempted to write such a blanket statement.

          • Julia

            Bugbait–

            If you glance at my responses to other’s comments and reread my original comment you’ll find responses to most of the points you criticize. I won’t waste time going over them again here.

            The “these children” to which I refer are children who are gifted and inquisitive, as I was. I make no statements about what percentage of the homeschool population are in this situation, but rather provide my experience as a response Lynn, as I stated in the comment to which you responded.

            As for your point about what you refer to as a “passive aggressive” statement, what I would expect from adults who are so aghast at the tone of the original article would be that they not mimic it.

            As for my “objectivity,” I’m clearly not objective. I had a great public school experience and I want to share that. I never participated in homeschooling, so I obviously can’t write about it with any authority. I am writing from one subjective standpoint, as are you.

            • PeggyU

              Gifted students can work within a public school system, but there is a lot of variability between public schools. Each school has its own “personality”, and some are more congenial than others. Some seem to resent success.

              I tutored a math student, a boy who was years ahead of his peers in that subject. He also had a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome, and therefore had an IEP. His parents tried very hard to work within the framework of the system, but the school was quite hostile from what I could see. The administrators grudgingly allowed him to use his regular math time to go to a corner of a multi-purpose room to study at a level more appropriate to him. He took online classes, which his parents paid for, through Stanford University’s gifted program. He brought his own laptop, and his parents had to convince the school to allow him to have a tutor on site (the parents paid for my services). In no way did we disrupt the school’s schedule or place a fiscal demand on them, but we were treated very poorly.

              This was not one of the “special snowflakes” one of the other commenters so rudely referred to, but an accelerated student with atypical needs. Denying him the intellectual stimulation he needed, I believe, would have been disastrous.

              I can’t begin to tell you of the frustrations his parents felt in working with the school system. It pained me to see it, because they are a really nice family and they were reasonable and flexible in their dealings with the school. At times, they had to invoke the input of the boy’s psychologist in order to get the school to follow the IEP. On more than one occasion, I saw his mother break down in tears because of the constant battle with school officials to honor their contractual obligations. At times the parents considered legal action, but never quite went that far. I do, however, know of other families who brought suit because of IEP issues.

              I am happy to say that thanks to the diligence of his parents, this boy is now a 15-year-old high school student who has just completed his third year of calculus. He is doing this because he left the standard public school setting and opted for a combination of online classes and local community college courses. I don’t believe there is a way the public school system we have could have adequately accommodated this student, as the administrators were adamant about teachers not performing services outside of what they were contracted to provide.

              • Hope

                Well said Peggy!

                The point should be made that there is LIBERTY to do this! That freedom to choose our path, without the State’s approval (“allowing”or “granting”) to do so should be highly valued and closely guarded or we all lose.

                Frankly, one big reason that we homeschool is because we CAN!

    • Jerry

      You’re 19 and already an expert on the world. Funny thing… when I was 19 I was an expert too. I’m 66 now and I laugh at the child I was at age 19. And I’m laughing at your naive, pseudo-intellectual discourse on something you know nothing about… home schooling.

      • Julia

        Jerry–

        One thing that public school has taught me is that you miss out on a lot of life by dismissing people’s opinions simply because of who they are or their station in life. If you’d rather laugh at those who believe differently than you do instead of considering their opinions and contributing positively to the discussion, this type of forum may not be the place for you.

        –Julia

        p.s.–Nowhere do I claim to be an expert. In fact, I preface my comments with the statement: “I am in no way an expert on homeschooling, but I can share my experiences with the public school system.” I think I at least deserve a thorough reading before you laugh at me and call me naive.

    • Caroline

      Julia–
      In your words, without realizing, you are defending the homeschool movement. You say that you are 19 and 60% of your friends are over 30. THAT is one of the main ideas of homeschooling–that you should not be grouped by your age. So, you feel that it’s fine for you, at 19, to have older friends, but not at 16 or 14 or even 9. Our of curiosity, what AGE do you think it should be ALLOWED for students to be able to interact with non-same age people? WHAT is that MAGIC AGE?

      Again, like the author of this article, you have a very strong opinino against homeschooling, but yet, never once mention having researched, befriended or learned about homeschoolers. How can you expect to persuade others if you haven’t done all your research?

      In contrary, just about EVERY homeschool parent knows FIRST HAND about ps education. They either attended themselves, their children attended at one time, their relatives attend, their friend’s children attend, etc. etc. They are not speaking about an unknown. In many cases, they are doing daily studies and re-evaluations every time they interact with ps children. Can you say the same?

      • Julia

        Actually, at 16 or 14 or 9 I also had adult friends. That portion of my comment was meant to respond to the assertion made by Annie that public school children “miss out on learning that its not cool to talk to adults and therefore can have an intelligent conversations with people not of their own age before they graduate high school.” She says “my brother while he was in school stopped looking people in the eye and wouldn’t even say hello to other adults. The sulky teenager (while some of the conflict that comes with puberty obviously can’t be avoided) can be because students never relate to anyone (other than their parents maybe) as the absolute authority. This allows them to learn how to think for themselves earlier- Thinking=good”. I was merely pointing out that coming from a public school background I was perfectly able to have these relationships and that the inability to interact with adults is not an essential product of public schooling as was suggested.

        As for your comments about me not having researched homeschooling, I did say that I hadn’t participated in the system and therefore didn’t have personal experience with it, but I do know many homeschooling families and am good friends with people that have been homeschooled. They’re all wonderful people and I can still have them as friends without agreeing all of their decisions. Also, I did say that “I did some cursory research before responding and I was very impressed at the level of dedication and discourse I observed on many of the homeschooling blogs and discussion boards!” I am by no means an expert, nor did I claim to be, but I feel that my experiences with public school run counter to many of the characterizations I’ve seen presented here–I prefaced my offerings by saying that my experiences were merely anecdotal and should be viewed as such.

        It’s unfortunate that you’re so eager to shut people out of this conversation instead of offering resources or examples to counter any of my assertions–I would be absolutely open to discussing particular points, but this type of attitude is why so many people in our culture see homeschoolers as a radical, fringe group which is unfortunate because of all of the wonderful, dedicated homeschoolers out there. I respect the work that you do and that homeschooling may be right for your children and I’d appreciate the same amount of respect for my opinion that public school is the right option for many other students.

        • Melinda S.

          Being able to communicate well with adults from a young age often comes more from the family or the personality than from the schooling per se. I was also able to do this from early on.

          However, I know of few homeschoolers who do NOT have this skill, and most of the public high schoolers I know will not talk to adults, unless they have to, and then usually in few words.

          • Julia

            I agree with your observation that much of this comes from the home as well as from schooling!

            You and I have had different experiences with public school students–the vast majority of my classmates had no major issues interacting with people of different ages. I guess since we’re both relying on our own experiences and anecdotal evidence, we’ll have to agree to disagree until some conclusive research is done!

            (If anyone knows of any such research, I’d really appreciate you pointing me towards it!)

            Thanks, Melinda, for your observations!

    • K.T.

      dear Julia –
      Its easy to fall into the trap of an us vs. them discussion. There is huge misunderstanding on both sides. A big one is that the homeschooling community isn’t, in fact, extremely divers and active in their communities, just like the public school community. A second one is that homeschooling is always superior to institutional education.
      Neither of these statements is true.
      The common denominator of both sides of the debate is that all children be given the opportunity for an excellent academic foundation and good life experience on which to build a productive adulthood.
      The process of doing that is going to be different for different families. Homeschooling is not the enemy, nor is institutional schooling. The obstacle is attitudes that make sweeping, disparaging generalizations about groups of people.

      • Julia

        K.T.
        I really appreciate your thoughtful response! Rereading my comment, I can see where you could interpret it in such a way and that was by no means my intention.

        I recognize that homeschoolers are incredibly diverse and that children are homeschooled for many different reasons. I have a good friend who is dyslexic and wasn’t receiving the proper support at his private school so his father decided to homeschool him. I think that it was a good decision for him and I can think of many other reasons why particular circumstances would compel a parent to make a similar decision. I also take your point about community involvement, as that has been my experience with many of my homeschooled friends, but I would still emphasize the value of exposure to and participation in activities that you or your parents wouldn’t necessarily choose. Sociology tells us (through a broad application of the Tiebout and grouping models) that people with like values, socioeconomic statuses, etc. tend to engage in the same activities, join the same groups, etc. so I think that we could all use prompting to venture out of our comfort zones. Public schools, in my personal experience, offer this type of exposure–I for instance, would never have joined 4-H and met so many great people through that program if it hadn’t been for a good friend in public school who lived on a farm and shows dairy cows.

        My comment was intended to address some of the broader, more ideological issues brought up by other respondents as well as the notion that some kids are just “too smart” to be well-served by public schools.

        I would love to get into more specifics and address some of the minutiae of this issue, but it seems to me that with the vitriol and broad characterizations from both sides, this forum is not the place for that.

        Thanks again for your respectful, thoughtful response!

        • K.T.

          But Julia – children are curious by nature. Any parent of any kid will tell you that they find their children getting into and asking questions about stuff they never saw coming in a million years. Across the board.
          My son has gained an interest in HAM radio thru his involvement in boy scouts and his own driving curiosity. Talk about accessing the outside world! One day, he taught himself how to knit by watching online tutorials. I don’t know how to knit. He wanted to know and went and found it himself.
          My middle daughter wanted to learn to ride horses. We can’t afford the expense, so she struck a deal with the owner ( on her own) and she works at the barn two days a week to pay for what she wants to do.
          My teenager wanted more spending cash than we could give her. Now she works at a landscaping nursery making good money and dealing with the public and co-workers. Social skills? You Betcha!
          Its not an either or/ us v. them proposition.
          Any good teacher will admit that there is no one-size-fits-all education. Even a teacher in a classroom of 20 or 30 will employ several different teaching styles to teach the same material. The same thing happens in a home school environment. Perhaps 30 or 40 years ago when home schooling was the realm of missionaries abroad and elite athletes and the like the argument for the limited scope of contact may have had merit. But times have changed; with the advent of technology and networking opportunities that’s just not the case anymore.

          • K.T.

            I guess the gist of what I was trying to say is that home schoolers tend to be a demographic of adventurers, explorers and non conformists; not the commonly held belief that we are isolationists, rigid and over scrupulous. I’m not saying there are none like that. There are some. And they stick out like sore thumbs. But that’s a very small part of the whole.

    • Melinda S.

      Julia, I appreciate your well-thought-out comments about your experience. I do think that, as you get a bit older, your viewpoint will change, somewhat, but you have done a lovely job of expressing what you think with kindness.

      I do not think your experience is typical. I spent many of my growing up years outside the US, but I know for me, the years I was in school in the US, I never built the type of relationships with teachers that you describe. We had to be in the next class within 5 minutes, and my ride was ready about 15 minutes after school (barely time to get to my locker and out the doors). I did have ONE teacher who said she was available after school, if we needed to talk.

      What I learned from public school, as a “gifted” child, was
      1) that I didn’t have to work to succeed. It never occurred to me that I might get more if I tried harder. I did what they said, and I knew the topic, and that was it.
      2) that it didn’t matter if I already knew it or could work faster–I would just have to sit around and be bored, anyways. I learned to put down my pencil and listen to the teacher explain it for the fourth time, though I knew it before she finished the first time, because I skimmed the directions. I learned not to bother trying hard, because it didn’t matter, anyways.
      3) most kids don’t really want to be your friend. They may want to play with your toys or they may close the clique ranks to you, but you will rarely find one who really cares about you. (It also turns out, the socially questionable are also the most likely to be kinder to others, though I am not a geek, and never have been.)

      What I learned from my dad, when we were out of the country and I studied by correspondence:
      1) I could find anything, by looking it up in the right place
      2) I could figure out how to solve any problem, if I just asked the right questions and used the resources I had (usually, that meant the index of the textbook)

      I understand your point about wishing to encourage and help the kids who are in the school you work with, Perhaps, if there were a mass incoming of all the private school kids, the school culture would change. However, most of their parents have become tired of battling the system “by themselves,” it seemed, and have dropped out one by one, from a system they could not get to care.

      • Julia

        Melinda,

        Thanks so much for this thoughtful response! I enjoyed hearing about your experiences and I feel that there’s not much about which we disagree!

        I know gifted students who have had the same issues with particular schools and school districts as you had and I absolutely respect the desire to get away from teachers and students who it seems don’t care. I could very well have been in this position myself if it weren’t for my parents’ fundamental attitudes about education.

        In the end, my parents weren’t concerned with my report cards or how I did in school according the “grading” system, but rather with whether I could come home every day having learned something. Even if I had over 100% in the class, they were disappointed if I was sliding through without any thought or effort. They made it clear that I shouldn’t sit passively by and be “educated,” but rather work with teachers to set goals for myself and be held accountable, regardless of the level of the other students. The minute I started taking that approach, I loved school and was frustrated or bored only infrequently. Obviously, many students don’t have this type of support at home or don’t have the the ability or desire to work closely with teachers, but it worked out wonderfully for me and it turned out that the problem was my approach, not the school’s.

        Clearly, this is not the case in every situation, and if I had had the opportunity to travel around the world at a young age like you, I probably would have jumped on it, but I did love going to public school and found it to be an incredibly educational and valuable experience!

        Thanks again for your comments! I’m sorry that you had a negative public school experience, but I am glad that you found an educational model that worked for you!

    • Susan G. Mule, M.Ed.

      Julia,

      Congratulations on your initiative. It is wonderful that you were able to have such a positive public school experience and supportive teachers. Unfortunately, your experience is very rare and the reason that many gifted children spend some of their school career homeschooling.

      I strongly suggest that you pick up and read the book “Genius Denied” by Bob and Jan Davidson for an accurate view of what is normally experienced by your intellectual peers.

      Congratulations on your wonderful achievements.

    • “In public school I learned how to engage with the given curriculum and go above and beyond what was expected of me. This was due in no small part to the plethora of adult wisdom that surrounded me throughout school. If we were studying a subject with which I was already familiar with, I would sit down with the teacher and ask for book or movie recommendations to supplement class work or replace it.”

      Based on this comment and what I know about Brown, you are home schooled, honey. Or should I say, self-educated. It’s the same thing once you hit high school.

      The only difference is, if my son was studying a subject he was already familiar with, we’d go on to something else, not make him sit in a particular chair in a particular room for an hour a day all year to get a credit named “English 10″ or “American history.”

    • Hope

      Julia,

      You make good points for your own education, and I’m glad you can look back on a successful academic environment. That’s what homeschoolers are focus on too. But remember, the whole point of Jesse’s blahg was that homeschooling is bad, public school is good~ and he/she goes so far as to say that public school is really the only way the good things can happen. Simply because you, Julia, experienced all these good things doesn’t mean that they way you did is the only way you can. Or the only way the are acquired.

      Then you start your response with: “I’m no expert in homeschooling but”. If I began a statement with “I’m no expert in public schooling but” I think you would dismiss my opinion immediately. The fact that several have taken the time to actually read your thoughts on this speaks loudly about the general receptiveness of the homeschool community.

      Your point about everyone working together is valid, but naive. If I need a surgeon, I will seek out the best that I can. It won’t be Bill Gate’s surgeon, or the President’s surgeon, but it will be the best that I can afford and find. The fact is, some can only choose the Health Department (and there may be fine doctors there) but I probably will not choose the Health Department. Perhaps everyone would benefit from a Mayo Clinic-Health Department relationship, but that’s not the way our culture operates right now, and personally I’m not willing to risk my own health just to make that vision happen.

      It’s the same with the Public school/ Private school/ Homeschool systems to which you refer. The truth is, most of us parents are extremely occupied with our agendas~which do include serving our community and taking care of others outside our four walls~ but cannot possibly include each and every poor school district out there.

      Where you are working now, you are in an unique situation to try and better the world around you and you seem to have the passion for it. So go for it! You do your thing, and I’ll do mine. But please don’t judge me for not taking care of the poor kids in the lowest performing district in my community.

      My taxes (my husband is a medical professional and gives away much of his resources, time and materials, while paying a lot of taxes) go towards these schools you mention. When it comes to homeschooling, or private schooling, we pay forthat ourselves. If we weren’t taxed so high already, we may be more inclined to see your point and be more benevolent towards the poorer public schools. Maybe taxes aren’t a big deal to you yet. But if you ever own a business, provide your own insurance, save for your family’s future and still work for 6 months before you keep any of the dollars you make, it becomes a big deal and it should. Especially when you observe failure with that money~ as you articulately stated. So, we do what we can with what we have left over.

      Truth is, if every parent just worked hard to take care of their own to the best of their abilities and to the utmost of their resources, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, or seeing the problems in the world that we do. I’m desperate to change the cycle of my own family, and give my kids the best advantage possible. This is the path I’ve chosen because in every way, the fruit is good. All that you’ve mentioned about your own education can be achieved, while at the same time our family life is valued and serene, which is something I do not observe in the high-competitive, stress performance world of traditional school. There is enough time for that kind of burden for years to come, if they want to live that way.

    • Mimi

      Julia, you’ve quite swallowed the propaganda, haven’t you?

      First, I hate to disappoint you, but you are merely bright. You aren’t nearly smart enough for there to be a substantial mismatch between what you know and what the school is trying to teach. You went to school and, you know, LEARNED THINGS. And you went to a GOOD school, where you didn’t have to deal with any of the things those underprivileged kids you’re so eager to talk about did.

      Why did you not ATTEND the bad school, if that is the morally worthy thing to do? Why are you going to Brown instead of to a low-ranked school? Yet you believe that OTHER parents ought to deliberately put their children in such schools to make them better.

      YOU were never threatened or assaulted. You had classes appropriate to your moderate but not inconsequential intellect made available to you, and so you got an appropriate education.

      Do you know what happens to most very intelligent children? They suffer from depression and isolation in public schools because they have no peers. They become angry and arrogant. They learn laziness and scorn of others, and they learn to fear hard work because they never had to learn how.

      You are what’s called “pleasantly gifted.” You’re gifted enough just to be a bit better than most other people at most things. But you still had to work some in school, and you still had to study some, and you still learned new things. None of these things is true for a very gifted child.

      It’s nice that it all worked out well for you, but it is astonishingly arrogant of you to take your incredibly narrow experience and declare that every other “smart kid” must be just the same.

  35. Becky

    I have to admit I laughed through most of this. And that is a fundamental difference between you, teachers like you, and most homeschool parents. I do not care if you teach hundreds of students a day, or, for that matter where you teach them. I cannot fathom why some teachers are so antagonistic toward homeschoolers unless they are worried about job security. Don’t worry too much. I think you’re safe for a little while.

    Why do you care what we do with our own children? I don’t care what you do with yours – unless you are my neighbor and it was your public schooled son who tried frying an egg on my driveway last month. In that case you could at least try explaining to him, or better yet, have his science teacher explain to him that August would have been a much better month for his little experiment.

    I have homeschooled my children now for many years and they have had ample opportunities to socialize with a wide variety of people. It is above ridiculous for all of the public school enthusiasts to continually bring up socialization as a reason against homeschooling. You are all begining to sound rather ignorant. Homeschooled children, by and large, are much better able to socialize with people of all ages, and ethnicities. There are all sorts of studies out there with regard to that. I am begining to believe that it is all of you who are living in a bubble. To be honest, upon reading your article, one would think that you have never talked to a homeschooled child in your life, let alone really gotten to know one.

    I also find it interesting that you mentioned the USA Today article. That you would use it in support of your argument does you no favors. This article is clearly biased, poorly thought out, poorly written, and full of unsubstantiated suggestions about who is choosing to homeschool. All the writer had to do was mention a poll or report to make you believe he/she (I can’t honestly remember which) has some proof for their claim or suggestion. Maybe the widespread inability of people to reason through an aritcle like this has something to do with how many people in this country are being educated in the public school system. Of course there are more homeschoolers in 2009, as compared to 1999, making above $50,000/yr. Could it simply be that incomes, in general, have risen in the last 10years? My husband certainly makes more per year now than he did 10 years ago, don’t you?

    And my final thought here has to do with your argument about homeschoolers being selfish by keeping their children at home. You seem to, rather erroneously, think that enthusiastic scholars provide some sort of peer-pressure that spurs underachievers on to greater heights of exellency in their studies. So, you believe we are depriving the rest of society by keeping our children at home. My answers to that are this:
    1. Peer-pressure can only be obtained in a peer-group, which is the most damaging form of socialization there is. The overall intelligence and morals of a group are at their lowest in a peer-group environment. Do you really think something good can consistantly come from something that is inherently negative. Age diversified groups are the ones in which we most often receive positive interaction with others. And I don’t mean 30 students that are all within 3 years of each other in age. I mean a wide variety of ages.
    2. As a product of the public school system, I am amazed that you would hold this position. Are you really that optimistic/naive? I was a good student, graduating with honors, but I neither strived for anything better because someone else received better grades than me, nor, do I believe anyone else tried for better because of my good grades. In fact many poor students are resentful of the high achievers.
    3. You are welcome to call this selfish if you like, but other people’s children are not my responsibility. Contrary to the book, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes really responsible, interactive, uncompromising parents to raise a child. That is, if you want to do it well. I do hold a general concern for other children. I would love to be able to convince everyone that it would be in their childrens’ best interest to bring them home to teach them, and I am willing to inform and encourage anyone to that end. However, I am not willing to sacrifice my own children’s education, or well being on behalf of other people’s children. Ultimately, the decision to homeschool a child rests exactly where it should – on the shoulders of that child’s parents. You really should not be so angry with parents for making what they feel to be the best decision for their children. You would not want the rest of society to tell you how to raise your children, if indeed you have any. As I often tell my children when they are angry about something, you need to ask yourself about the REAL reason behind your anger. It almost always boils down to some sort of selfishness on the part of the one who is angry. Usually for some perceived wrong. When you are truly secure in yourself and your decisions you rarely, if ever, feel the need to attack others.

    • Melinda S.

      You remind me of a good point–if all parents were willing to unselfishly put time into their kids’ education (be it helping with public school homework or homeschooling or being involved with a private school), VERY FEW of the kids would need the “positive example” of currently-homeschooled kids. Why should I be labeled “selfish” because I will do this, while other parents abdicate their responsibility entirely?

  36. Wendy

    10. I attended both public (K-9) and private (10-12) schools. I was a geek in both places. And I never minded being called one, because in my opinion those who were the antithesis of geek-dom were generally shallow, immature, and often cruel. I’d rather NOT be included in their exclusive popularity club, and am perfectly content that my children aren’t either. Being dependent on the group opinion is a result of peer-dependency and a lack of self-confidence. Peer-dependent children and teens will attack ANY quality that is different from the accepted “norm”, whether it’s school background, religious differences, or choice of clothing. I would consider the above “insult” as a compliment.

    9. Why not?? Why should “education” be an exclusive act instead of a natural part of our day? We are capable of learning in any place and at any time, and the BEST learning takes place in settings that do NOT include rows of desks and uninterested classmates. Just for the record, our family DOES have a separate schoolroom, but it’s mostly a dedicated storage area so I can have easy access to all our paraphernalia. We use the desks there so the dining room table stays cleared off, not because the kids learn “better” in a specified area.

    8. Two points to argue in this one.

    A) By this logic we should all send our kids to the worst school district just so they can encourage those who are less fortunate. From what I have read about inner city schools, and remember from my own public school experience, those “less-fortunate” kids tend to ATTACK those among them who excel academically, so how is putting my kid in that environment going to help anybody?

    B) You are assuming that only the BEST students are being homeschooled. A large percentage of homeschoolers are dealing with learning disabilities, or are simply very active little boys. The schools do NOT do these kids much good. The kids who learn differently are stigmatized, left behind, and often quit school before graduation because it is totally pointless for them to be there. I’d much rather teach my kids through their strengths and give them an education that can truly benefit them, than let them flounder in a system that does not know how to handle them and thinks the best way to teach an active little boy is to drug him.

    7. That a self-proclaimed agnostic claims to understand God’s desires for my kids is the ultimate in arrogance. Those verses you quote were given to ADULT believers. More appropriate quotes:

    Mark 10:14 “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” If anything, the public schools definitely “forbid” the teachings of Christ.

    Deuteronomy 6:6-8 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.”

    This verse is one that many families take as their primary reason for homeschooling. How can we possibly teach our children to live Godly lives when they spend the majority of their day in a very UNGodly environment? Statistics show that the majority of kids from Christian families that attend public school abandon their faith as adults. My children will be very well-grounded in what they believe, and therefore better able, when they are adults, to follow the commands to witness.

    6. You’re right…to a point. But very few homeschoolers even attempt to be the authority in all these areas. There are MANY options for teaching the advanced subjects other than Mom attempting to do so. There are video and on-line courses, community colleges (who happily take homeschooled high-schoolers), co-operative classes, private tutors, and in many states we can pick-and-choose classes at the local public schools. I would also argue that not all students need highly-trained teachers for all subject areas. Homeschooled students are usually taught to seek out resources and learn for themselves from the best they can find. Motivated learners do not NEED a “trained professional” to force-feed them in a subject they enjoy.

    Also, I know MANY homeschool moms who are also certified teachers. EVERY one of them will tell you that their professional training in NO way prepared them to homeschool, and in many ways was a detriment. Homeschooling and classroom teaching are two very different animals.

    5. Lots of things in this world piss me off too, but that doesn’t give me the right to condemn other’s choices.

    4. In many parts of the country, the schools are just as segregated as the homes. The schools reflect the population of the community, and many communities are pretty homogeneous. Personally, I have lived in at least 8 states and 2 foreign countries. Only ONE school district I lived in was anything near “multi-cultural”. And that district had the MOST racially prejudiced population. My kids will grow up to be less prejudiced in a home where they are frequently reminded that skin color is irrelevant, than they would in a school where racial divisions are evident in the lunchroom and where the social pressure of the various “cliques” forbids the inter-mixing of the students.

    3. How do you define social preparedness? My kids are empathetic, friendly, able to converse with anyone. They are the kid on the playground who is helping the injured toddler, or including the “social outcast” in their game. My daughter just graduated from college, and on more than one occasion her stating that she was homeschooled resulted in “Really? but you seem so normal!” (or something to that effect). Obviously homeschooling didn’t hamper HER social development. My own experience with the snobby, cliquey, hurtful social hierarchies of public school is more than enough to convince me that school is NOT the place to learn the KIND of socialization I want my kids to learn.

    2. Though that quote might apply to some homeschoolers, it certainly does not apply to all of them. For starters, I don’t know ANY homeschoolers that qualify as “high-income”. Most are one-income households who clothe their kids from garage sales and thrift shops. Our budget for school books is generally in the hundreds for the entire year- not thousands. Many homeschoolers would choose a private school if they could afford it. As for risk-taking, we generally feel that to homeschool is LESS of a risk to our kids’ future than putting them in the hands of the public school. We ARE less afraid of public opinion, which is NOT the same thing.

    1. I refer you back to reason #10. This is hardly an insult in my book. Homeschoolers may be less able to “integrate and communicate” in the world of popular (Hollywood) culture, but they will be more able to carry on a coherent conversation on history, or politics, or other subjects of REAL significance. They WILL be naive in subjects that kids SHOULD be naive in. (What idiot decided that kindergarteners should understand homosexuality???) Homeschoolers are proving themselves to be valuable assets to colleges and businesses, who like their self-sufficiency and their work-ethic. THESE are much better goals than knowing who is dating who, and what happened last night on the current R-rated TV show. Public schools turn out their own fair share of geeks. This is largely genetic, NOT taught!

  37. Veronica

    I am very appreciative of the fact that you decided to post this blog. I find that if you feel you represent the teachers in public schools, I am very happy to NOT have my children go to your schools.

    I am happy I do NOT have to send them to a school where a teacher would feel free to insult them because of how they were educated previously. I am happy to NOT send them to a school where the English teacher with several degrees, in her post about her degrees, can not use proper grammar. I am happy that I do NOT have to expose my children to people who obviously have such a hatred and lack of respect for those who believe differently. I’m glad they don’t have to hear their teachers calling people “geeky” and “idiots” without making an effort to undertand the people whom they are name-calling.

    I am happy to NOT have them become desocialized in public school by hanging around with people who are so critical of others and unforgiving.

    10. If being called a homeschooler is the worst that happens to a child in the name-calling departement in college, I would find that to be very impressive.

    9. I don’t think I could call you old-fashioned in this belief, because if you had been properly educated, you would know that for thousands of years, people were educated in the home, and that public school is a recent development of the last couple hundred years.

    8. I’m failing to follow your logic on this one. If you were to remove from a classroom all the students whose last name demands more time and attention; whose “money” demands the teacher pass them no matter what, and demands that other children pay attention to them, it would follow that teachers would have more time to focus on those who truly need the education to move up in the world. Namely, the underpriviledged.

    7. God sent MEN out to be apostles and to spread the Gospel. Not children of 5 years of age. If you are going to criticize another religion, it would really be to your own benefit to find out what you are arguing against before you start. The Bible tells PARENTS to raise a child up in the way he should go, and he tells PARENTS to teach their children about God. Not teachers.

    Do we send 5 year olds to be diplomats to another country? Do we send 8 year olds to lobby in congress? Why should we send young children out to witness for the faith before they have fully learned it. The Bible, in case you haven’t noticed yet, isn’t something a child can learn in a month or two.

    6. In order to argue that someone else is arrogant, it would really be benefical not to do it in an arrogant way. And, while being arrogant about your double major, it really would be beneficial to say “Do you think you can teach English as well as I do?” rather than “as good as me?” which is really grammatically incorrect. It doesn’t really do your point a whole lot of good.

    5. As a teacher who is strongly agaisnt homeschooling, I would really think it would make you happy not to have these types of students in your class. But, you are free to feel angry about whatever you choose. It’s nice to know that out of all the things to really hate, you managed to really get your priorities straight on this one. Sure, get mad at all the little kids. No, don’t worry about the government or politics, or global warming. The only thing really important in the world is that some people don’t send their children to public school.

    4. Having children who are born into two cultures and are being raised among many cultures, I have no idea to what you are referencing. Oh, perhaps you are referencing my public school, where there are no students of color. There are barely even students with black hair. Yep, there’s racial diversity for you at its finest.

    3. Public schools are grounds for desocialization. Where else can you get placed into a classroom with students, not based upon ability, or work ethic, but on nothing else except having the same birthday. And, then explain the whole “no note-passing, no talking in class” thing and how that promotes socialization. And the shooting the teachers and killing your classmates, that must be great socialization.

    2. I find that sending a child to school where one can find drugs of various types and classifications, alcohol, hard liquor, tobacco, sexual education, pornography, knives, guns, threats, bullying, teachers harrassing and name calling (hmm, would that be you), swearing, racial discrimination, gangs, fights, and countless other interesting yet illegal or disrespectful but still potentially life-threatening, to be a much greater risk than teaching your child at home. I guess it all depends on what you call risk-taking. Should I risk my child’s education, or would it be ever so much better to risk their life?

    1. Yes, I have met many homeschooling parents and homeschooled children. I find very few of them to be geeky, but yes, there are some geeky ones among them. Because I’m pretty sure public school must never have had a geeky child, the way you talk about it.

    But, I am proud to consider myself geeky. Because it indicates that since you are not geeky, and I am geeky, and your children (if you have any) should not be geeky, and I would like my children to be geeky if they wish to; my children have a statistically higher chance of becoming better educated and receiving a higher salary than yours. Not to mention, my children are at much lower risk for losing their job related to discriminatory comments, rude insults, and lack of general knowledge than you and your children are.

  38. Laura

    Mr. Scaccia,

    Like many of the other posters, I agree with many of your points. I know many homeschooling parents who have limited educational backgrounds. Homeschooling CAN be socially and culturally limited and can indeed remove resources from the public schools.

    So why, against all of my natural inclinations, did I find myself teaching my first-grader at home 10 years ago? I had a child who had dyslexia and an anxiety disorder and was very stressed in the classroom setting. At home, she learned much more quickly with one on one attention and her anxiety was manageable.

    As time went on, I met many well-educated, broadminded homeschooling families and became aware of the great array of resources available for teaching at home. I have an MD and all of the homeschool moms I socialize with have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher. I am perfectly competent to teach English and science but have used tutors and private classes for other subjects like art and geometry. Homeschooling has allowed us to spend more time together as a family, to take long, interesting trips in the off season, pursue subjects in depth rather than teaching to a test. It made it possible to have lunch with their Greatgrandma every week until her death.

    My kids are not geeks. They know the stories of the Odyssey and the Iliad. They can discuss intelligently the US use of the Atomic Bomb. They also dress like average teens, attend a city church with lots of kids of different ethnic backgrounds, kids who are in foster care and kids being raised by grandparents. They do sports and volunteer work.

    Perhaps “society” would be better if my kids attended the local school but I’m not convinced that my kids would be…and they’re really my primary responsibility. Learning as a family, learning at each child’s pace, pursuing the subjects that catch your interest, being involved with the community-these are as much a part of homeschooling as your stereotype of rightwing religious nerds.

  39. Jesse, may I suggest that you are just as defensive as the home educators commenting here, perhaps even more so. After all, your blog post was not even in response to some article about the case against teachers, but just a simple article about homeschooling. Your fifth point, in particular, highlights your defensiveness.

    I am (was) a teacher myself and I recognise the difference between teaching a class of approximately thirty children, many of whom struggle to understand the concepts I am introducing them to and homeschooling my own children. It really is not difficult to teach the basics of the three r’s to individual children, especially when you do it when you see that they are developmentally ready, which is what most homeschooling parents do. My second and third children learnt to read without being taught at all, in fact.

    When homeschoolers are older, they are able to learn things with a minimum of parental intervention (or teaching) thanks to packaged curricula, online resources, etc. A homeschooling parent is thus not subject to the same requirements as a teacher.

    If you were just looking for more traffic to your blog, you certainly hit on the right method with this rant!

  40. homeschooler

    To the author of this article–I find this piece annoying in a very similar way I find Sarah Palin— ignorant, misguided, and drawing ridiculous conclusions from the information given.

  41. Christina

    I find this article reflective of a closed mind. You speak often against intolerance, and yet this article reflects your own intolerance. I’m surprised that someone with “a double major in English and education, two master’s degrees (education and journalism), a student teaching semester and multiple internship terms, real world experience as a writer, and years in the classroom dealing with different learning styles,” would embarrass themselves by writing such a childish, arrogant and uneducated piece like this. If you were teaching my children and I read this intolerant garbage, I would immediately withdraw my children and begin homeschooling them.

  42. Caroline

    I think all these accusations of homeschoolers being arrogrant and selfish comes from teachers like Mr. Scaccia and non-homeschooling parents who are JEALOUS!

    Teachers are jealous that parents (without all the amazing credentials they hold) are actually able to educate children who produce scores and grades better than they/their school district can. The teachers are threatened–as they should be!

    Non-homeschooling parents are jealous because they don’t like the fact that the homeschooled children are getting advantages that their own children aren’t getting. They are too lazy, busy, uninterested, or unable to dedicate their time to their own children so they resent the others who do–who’s selfish now??? And I also think that many ps parents resent hs parents’ free, non-rushed lifestyle.

    Bottom line is that if you, as a teacher, don’t like losing students to homeschooling or private schools, then IMPROVE your schools, change your attitude, and make the school a place the other parents and students WANT TO COME to, instead of trying to FORCE THEM to go to. I have tried working with many schools. Most don’t want to be bothered because it’s too much work to differentiate for my kids since they are so advanced.

    For ps parents who are against homeschooling. Why do you care what they do with their children? How is it any of your business? Are you this angry on the choice of their vacation destination too?? Although my children are at the ps, I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when I see moms out with their kids during the school day. In a world where kids are distanced from parents, depressed 1/2 the time, and are lost, I’m glad that there’s at least one sector out there that still believes in family values. I know that THOSE kids aren’t going to go on a shooting rampage one day. Can you say the same for the ps students that are imprisoned in the ps down the street, confined to their chairs, being bullied, made fun of, and being bored to tears, watching the clock until dismissal time?

  43. Jerry

    One more thing. My daughter, the home school mom, taught herself how to read before she entered first grade. Anyone who can do that is fully qualified to teach others how to read.

  44. Dear Jesse,

    I am a homeschooling parent who has two kids in college (though my 12 year old is only part time) and two younger kids who are learning exclusively at home. My family has sacrificed a second income so that I can be home with the kids, and we are certainly not what anyone would call wealthy. Homeschooling works for us, and that’s enough for me.

    I am saddened by your polarizing argument against home education. It seems as pointless as the endless debates on working vs. stay at home moms. I have been in both camps, and I don’t see any good coming out of artificially dividing people this way. I have been a working mother and a mother with schooled children as well as a stay at home, homeschooling parent. If you feel I am arrogant, I assure you that I am the same person now that I was then. Maybe I was an arrogant working, kids in school mom?

    Mom and/or Dad do not have to be experts in every subject. We have access to online courses (many are free!), outside tutors, and co-op classes. Gifted students can enroll in college courses or work with a mentor. In addition, the children have more time to explore with all of their senses on field trips that can happen much more frequently than public school policies allow.

    Your accusation that we are robbing the public schools of top students frightens me a bit. Are public schools set up to serve the individual, or do you feel that the individual should serve the school? Are you a communist? Last time I checked, America was a place where individualism was celebrated; not conformity.

    I come from a family of professional educators and school administrators. I have the highest respect for teachers, and I think their work today is tougher than ever before. But I also know that homeschooling parents have the ability to customize educational plans for each and every child in the family. Most schools do not have the ability to be as flexible. You claim that parents are not qualified to teach, yet there is no denying that homeschoolers have a record of high achievement in national competitions and on standardized tests. How do you justify the success here, if homeschoolers are not well educated?

    For more information on homechoolers and socialization, please see Rachel Gathercole’s book:
    http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art27055.asp

    Thank you for your time,

    Lorel

    • Caroline

      Lorel,
      How did you get your 12 year old enrolled in college courses? In my city, there is a strict “minimum-16-years-old” policy.

      • Hi Caroline-

        Many schools claim an age policy. Your best bet is to keep smiling, and be persistent. If you have high SAT or ACT scores in hand, a record of high school level work, and a student who is articulate and can self-advocate, you should have a good shot at getting through the red tape. No school wants to be accused of age discrimination. Look for your college’s information regarding “ability to benefit” and age discrimination. A letter of recommendation from an instructor or adult friend who knows your child well may also be helpful.

        good luck!

        • Yay for going to college early! Just wanted to encourage you all to find a way to send your kids as soon as they are ready. I started at 14 years old at our state university and it was perfect for me.

      • saj

        At our college the age is 16 UNLESS the child can pass a test, called the Compass, to prove they’re ready for college level work. Many homeschoolers are ready for college level work at a young age and so they easily pass the Compass test. You might ask under what circumstances they will make exceptions or ask if they offer the Compass.

  45. hahahahaha!
    Let’s see now
    Your School socialization? gangs, sex, drugs, teen pregnancy, unending drama, not to mention teachers who sexually abuse students and routinely use humiliation in the classroom ….

    Your School academic excellence? American students ranked way behind other countries in the world. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/04/AR2007120400730.html)

    Your School preparation for the real world, college and beyond? Most kids don’t know how to give change in a store (ask any storekeeper who hires them) or figure percentages in their heads – most kids have very inadequate life skills from being able to prepare a meal for themselves to doing laundry – most kids have an extremely limited knowledge of history or economics and certainly do not understand how government works or what their rights and duties are as citizens.

    I would trade a homeschool “geek” over the average government schooled and government indoctrinated kid any day of the week!

    Can you honestly say you are proud of the level of competence and ability of independent thought demonstrated by America’s “school educated” graduates? If you are – you are seriously in denial and deluding yourself. I would suggest that before you mock and throw stones at the choice to homeschool, that you clean up your own backyard.

    • Caroline

      Right before reading your entry, I was reading an online TIME article that precisely supported your opening sentence:

      “A 2004 Education Department study found that about 10% of the nation’s 50 million public-school students had experienced some kind of improper sexual attention from teachers and other school employees.”

      http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1901762,00.html?xid=newsletter-daily

      10%!!! That’s a lot! If I homeschool, they’ll have 0% chance. hmmm… Is that your definition of selfish, Mr. Scaccia?

  46. K.T.

    For someone who seems concerned about social and cultural diversity, you have made quite a sweeping generalization yourself that home schooling children are upper middle class, Caucasian, socially awkward, isolated, naive bigots. ( forgive me, potential bigots).
    The only debate point you make that is defensible is that homeschooling pisses you off.
    Sorry you had a bad day.

  47. PB

    Folks, you’ve been trolled. The author of this piece has written a counter-argument in his piece :

    Those students threatening to drop out?… Let them, I say

    His posts are all about creating tempests. After reading some of his other posts, I understand why he quotes USA Today. He writes to the standard of “puff” news: 3 minute reads which generate a strong emotional response. Facts, research and analysis are not relevant to his goal.

    By giving these replies, you are bringing traffic to the site & building its credibility. Sadly, I’ve just done the same by posting this.

    An internet blog gains significance by generating traffic. If we ignore the site, then the traffic numbers drop & his ability to reach people drops. In particular, when you post links to this site in your blogs or on newsgroups, you increase traffic. Ignorant reporting should have as small an audience as possible. May I suggest ignoring this site & letting it fade into background of internet bloggers.

  48. Hi all,

    I just posted a follow-up. Check the main site.

    And remember… this writing is an opinion. I don’t claim to be an expert on homeschooling… just one teacher with a voice.

  49. Chris

    Frankly, your attitude is likely to promt more parents to consider homeschool. Also, your attitude is probally held by the majority of public school teachers these days, although they are unwilling to admit it.
    As states around the country continue to implement school to work policies and curriculum changes in line with the 21st century skills, you will be seeing more and more parents pulling their kids out of public schools when they come to realize that it is not about education anymore but social training for “worker bees” to “compete” in the global market. You admit that you feel it is about the collective and not the individual child and their needs, in your opinion, of course.
    For example, you might be interested that a high number of twice exceptional children, an issue that knows no racial or economic boundaries, have to be homeschooled.
    As a public school teacher you would know why parents would be forced to pull them from public school. Most public schools resist services and interventions in those who don’t fail, often true for gifted children as they are able to compensate.
    What about Yale University’s study that found 20% of the population have dyslexia. We all know how public schools feel about dyslexia. Isn’t it the “D” word these days. No intervention for most, unless of course, they are failing.
    Just the tip of the iceberg really, and really quite a travesty.
    I would have to disagree that most who choose to homeschool are wealthy. The wealthy usually will choose private school. Many who homeschool can’t afford that option.
    Thanks for giving us a glimse into the hidden attitude that prevails in the public teacher population.
    Don’t worry, someday, You will probally get your way, and homeschooling will be banned. History has proven tyranny will follow.

    • FYI, Chris, I haven’t taught public high school for a few years now.

      And as I stated in a previous comment, I would never want homeschooling to be banned. Choice in education is a vital American right. Do I think our society would be better if private schools and homeschooling were banned? Yes. But I would not want to live in that society.

      • You said: Do I think our society would be better if private schools and homeschooling were banned? Yes. But I would not want to live in that society.
        ****************************

        *grin* If it would be a better society, why wouldn’t you want to live in it?

        • Caroline

          That’s what I was wondering as well. Just goes to show you more of the hypocrytical bs that this writer is all about.

  50. Amy

    2006 records (http://ftp2.census.gov/govs/school/06f33pub.pdf) show that state spending ranged from 5K-15K per student depending on the state. Wow! This would mean a minimum of 10K would be spent if my 2 children were in public school. Teaching them at home saves at least 10K. Are you sure I’m being selfish here? If I had 10K to spend every school year we would have to travel the world with them in order to spend it all. Sometimes I wonder if we should keep feeding an inefficient system that does not yield positive results. (http://www.fcd-us.org/resources/resources_show.htm?doc_id=711495). Alberta gives homeschooling parents $1000 per child each year. I think they may be on to something.

    • At least in our district, if the kids aren’t in public school, the district gets nothing for them. Which is why the superintendent has gone way out of his way to get my homeschoolers back into public at least part-time (that and the test scores. Wouldn’t want to be selfish with our test scores.)

      • Amy

        Yes, they want the money homeschoolers would bring. But by homeschooling I am saving our debt ridden government the money the district would get. The district still gets the money I pay in property taxes. I don’t even spend as much on homeschooling as the portion of my property taxes going toward the local school district. What we have is an inefficient system funded by a debt-ridden government.

  51. Carol Ryan

    “As a teacher, homeschooling kind of pisses me off.”

    No really? Why not lead and end with that point as it was the only true and honest one made.

    “Personally I’m agnostic” but yet a solid view on how others should manage their faith.

    We witnessed various families testify before the Ohio House representatives on a host of educational issues. One Muslim woman spoke in favor of an online school her child attends from home. They made their choice to end the physical abuse on her sons to and from school. Many moved to charter schools or homeschooling because No Child Left behind finally destroyed education for many top achieving students.

    “But there’s no way that you can teach English as well as me,…” What was the word you used, arrogant?

    Thank for supporting my belief that my child’s current role in the classroom is just to help a teacher and other kids with their work ethic. It is a comfort to know while we aren’t learning much that we are making the world a better place.

    Funny thing. I’m not a homeschooler. I hope not to become one. But you’ve clearly NEVER walked into an urban school. You clearly NEVER shared a compassionate chat over tea with parents of a profoundly gifted child. You do however mock in a strange forum for a professional. What’s next autism, stay at home moms, catholic schools?

    I’m not an English grad – but I did do well in debate. You speak of intolerance breed by homeschooling? Do you really want to go there? Your entire rant is an example of ignorant, type casting, intolerance. I’m so glad you consider yourself a teacher – a clear hater of the geeks (and no you didn’t just mean socially awkward). Great. How can I find you and sign my family up for a hate mongering class.

    Yes, I did meet a homeschooled adult recently – he is one of our State Senators.

    Jesse Scaccia, don’t try to defend yourself. Your blog was the kind of inward attempt of politically incorrect humor best kept in a wine bar – not publically posted. It would serve you well to take down the post and replace with an apology.

    A graduate of public schooling, a mom with public school kids, who knows God doesn’t hate any child, but finds little glory in the intolerant.

    Carol Ryan
    Ohio

  52. Sherene

    quoting you: “first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me?”
    =====
    Considering that you should have ended that question with an “I” and not a “me”, I think I can safely say that I probably could teach English as well as you could, if not better than you could.

  53. silverchelle

    Oh, my gosh. I read this, hoping to see some concrete arguments against homeschooling, and all I got was nonsense.
    The majority of your reasons are stereotypical and shallow, such as ”homeschooled kids are geeky”. Um, who cares about the nerd-status of a child? Do all children need to be conformed to a certain status quo? No way. And your number ten reason–what’s the big deal if someone makes fun of these children? I mean, if a person can’t stand up to a little bit of teasing, then he/she is going to have a rough life. People are going to make fun of you for many reasons, homeschooling being only one of them. You can’t tell someone not to be homeschooled because he/she will be mocked. Homeschooling parents are not arrogant all the time. I’m sure there are some because there are all kinds of people on this planet, but I know quite a few of these parents, and they are very sweet and caring. And in regards to being socially inept, it is true that many homeschooled students have social issues. But not all do. And many students in school also have social problems.
    Okay, and the last thing I want to discuss–the reason dealing with dependence upon wealthy peers. This one actually made me laugh, I have to admit. First of all, not all homeschooled students come from wealthy, upper-class families. I know several who do not. Secondly, poor people do not necessarily have less literate parents, and even if they do, why the hell would these students rely on “wealthier peers”? Students need to rely on themselves and their teachers to get through school, not other students. In fact, my family is little money and receives some necessary welfare benefits, and all of us are very smart students. I personally receive straight A’s and B’s, and I am academically able because of potential learning traits I possess. The process of learning has nothing to do with your parents or your wealth.
    In conclusion, I certainly do not agree with your reasoning against homeschooling, and I hope you do not remain so close-minded about the topic.

    • Melinda S.

      OK, another funny thing, which Silverchelle almost brings out–first, we are not to homeschool, because our kids might be teased. Then, in a comment response, maybe we as parents weren’t teased enough?

      Logical consistency, at least, would argue that if the latter is a deficiency, the former must be a good thing?

  54. Linda Lou

    Wow, this was a pretty poor argument. I would like to just touch on a few points — so many have already done a wonderful job pointing out some of the fallacies here. In random order:

    #5 — Since there are many teachers who either currently or have at some point homeschooled their own children, while continuing in the profession, well — I do think that says something. Feel free to interpret it as you wish.

    However, as a teacher, I think you have a false fear for your profession. There will always be a need for quality teachers. Public schools will never completely vanish — there will be a need for them. There are some people who should not homeschool (for a number of possible reasons) or cannot, and they will continue to need some educational system.

    Yet, even if ALL parents opted to homeschool their children, there would be a continuing need for good teachers. Homeschoolers have often “outsourced” various bits of their child’s education, both in the community with classes developed by teachers sensitive to the unique needs and goals of the group, and online. I chose to use an online resource for my writing-reluctant son, something that was of great help. Far better than if he had been in a classroom with a number of disenfranchised students. It gave him the help to be able to write a reasonably decent essay for his SAT, certainly more than adequate for his needs.

    10. Yes, my son is a geek. He would be regardless of how he was educated. He was a geek-in-training all the years before we began homeschooling him when he was 10.5. He is a current geek in college.

    But he is a socialable geek. Gets along with a wide variety of people. Although his major in college is computer science, he takes, for fun, French, he hangs out with people who play guitar, or kick a hackysack around, or — okay, this one’s geeky — solve twisty puzzles. (Think Rubik’s cube. Only with a wider variety.)

    And — get this. Even though I officially graduated him last year, he is still teaching himself at home. Not academic things, but things he is interested in. The guitar I mentioned? Self-taught — though a music major with guitar emphasis friend of his has given him some pointers. Those twisty puzzles? He has taught himself to use a CAD program to design an entirely new mechanism for one that he later intends to build. And to fund that? He makes chainmaille footbags (hackysacks) for a local buisiness who had lost his supplier, and remembered that my son made chainmaille as a hobby. A hobby learned because he homeschooled, btw.

    This is a boy who, during his time in public school, was bullied. Was odd-man out. He was bored, literally out of his mind. He took constant mental vacations. It took my YEARS to undo the damage, to guide him to stop letting his mind wander, a behavior he learned out of boredom in the classroom.

    I didn’t teach him to read. But neither did the schools. He figured it out, just from being read to, before he was 4.

    8. Selfish, huh? So, the reason I ran all over creation to meet my son’s educational, social and emotional needs was because I’m selfish. Wow. And the others I know who homeschool out of sheer, unadulterated desparation because their children were not learning in school, or had health issues, or were emotionally battered at school, they are terribly selfish, too, right?

    And as far as income goes — remember, most homeschoolers are single-income families. Many have challenging children — often a reason a parent will begin homeschooling. So these are the children that would actually cost the state MORE to educate than the “average” child.

    I’ve known dirt poor homeschoolers, and middle income homeschoolers. Occasionally well-off ones, but those were far fewer in my experience.

    4. could breed intolerance or racism — hm… that could be said of anything.

    But let’s look at some facts, not speculation. I have homeschooled my son in 3 different states. The last one is as lily-white, fundamentalist as you can imagine. And yes, there are many fundamentalist homeschoolers, too. But — if my son were in the public schools here (and he is of an age that, had we followed the public school schedule of when he should start K and graduate from high school, he would still be in high school), he would likely be in an all white class, of most if not all Christians. (He’s agnostic.) Instead, he has a WIDE variety of friends, different races, different religions (from Buddhist to Jewish, to Christian to atheist and pagan.)

    He did, for a couple classes, attend a local charter for some AP classes — geeky ones, with other geeky kids, all of whom were public school students other than my son. He fit in just fine, had a reasonably good time with them, learned well. Just the pace wasn’t great for him — he needed more.

    2. Gamble? Why would I gamble on the public school meeting his needs? When we first enrolled him in public school, for 2nd grade (he had been in private before that to get around the age cut-off — he showed every kindergarten readiness trait, but was denied a public education at that time), we were told that he would be given reading at his level.

    7. Let’s see — you, a self-proclaimed agnostic, make a RELIGIOUS argument against homeschooling? Very silly. Said by a former homeschooling agnostic, who homeschooled for academic reasons.

    We were lied to. When we realized that he was inutterably bored in school, that his attitude towards school had gone from loving it to hating it, that his favorite class went from math to PE, art and music (all fine subjects, but shouldn’t be the only area in which a child is learning every day!), we realized there was a problem. We debated keeping him there and trying to work within the system — and risking him losing even more educational time — or pulling him and putting him back in the little private school that at least tried to accommodate his needs, we opted to pull him.

    So that may be selfish — but since we weren’t then homeschooling, perhaps you would have accepted that decision. But the gamble — that would have been the case, had we opted to keep him in the public school system.

    Rather than call these your top ten reasons you, perhaps, should have called them your top ten unsubstantiated opinions. Just a thought.

  55. CB

    I graduated as valedictorian from my public high school and graduated cum laude, in three years, from my public state university. If I’m not qualified to teach my kids how does that reflect on the education I received?

    I do believe my kids are getting a better education than I did. Check out the rigorous curriculum suggestions of Well-Trained Mind, Ambleside Online, Sonlight and Tapestry of Grace. Those are impressive standards and popular with homeschoolers.

    • I hope none of your kids ever wants a career in medicine or any other field involving biology — which of course is rejected by most Christian-based homeschooling as it backs (gasp!) evolution.

      • Stephanie

        Nothing like a little ignorance, LOL. All Christian homeschoolers that I know teach biology. *Of course,* maybe you are more knowledgable about what Christian homeschoolers are teaching- you, at least, present the arrogant air of *knowing it all.*

      • Melanie

        Because, of course, there aren’t ANY doctors, scientists, botanists, etc. that are Christians.

      • CB

        Really? I taught my first grader animal classification last year, using correct terminology. I don’t think that’s covered in as much depth in public school. This year, we studied astronomy. Next year, anatomy. The following year, botany. I’d say that’s pretty good biology for elementary school. We don’t hide from evolution either. ;)

      • And where does CB claim he’s a creationist? I must have missed that.

  56. EA

    Wow, so much to respond to. I only have 30 minutes before I have to meet someone for a walk, but we’ll see how far I can get.

    10. “You were totally home schooled” is an insult college kids use when mocking the geeky kid in the dorm (whether or not the offender was home schooled or not). And… say what you will… but it doesn’t feel nice to be considered an outsider, a natural outcropping of being homeschooled.

    I’ve not heard our son mention this kind of “insult” being tossed his way, but will note that there is a difference between being “an outsider” and having your own background and mature people accept and learn from others with different backgrounds. The rest merely need some time to grow up.

    9. Call me old-fashioned, but a students’ classroom shouldn’t also be where they eat Fruit Loops and meat loaf (not at the same time I hope).

    Okay, you’re oldf-fashioned (you asked me to call you that, and I can aim to please on this one). ;)

    As for modern society calling a learning-focused place to study schools, I have two comments. One, I’ve yet to hear of any American school that doesn’t assign HOMEwork, so clearly, even schools feel homes are places to learn/focus/study. Two, what is modern changes, as centuries ago, more people learned via homeschooling than going to a building outside of the home to learn with a bunch of people around their same age. Since homeschooling is gaining in popularity, it appears the “modern” trend is back to what was “old-fashioned” – learning at home.

    8. Homeschooling is selfish.

    So is my not opening my house up to the homeless. When was the last time you invited a homeless person to sleep at your home? Have you ever shared your home-cooked meal (or even left-overs from home) with the homeless? Have you donated a kidney to someone in need? No? How very selfish as you only need one, you know! I am far more concerned about being good to family first and community second. I will not risk my own family member’s education, health, safety, etc. so those who have less can have more. Once you’ve donated one kidney from each of your children to others who need a transplant, get back to me and we can chat some more.

    7. God hates homeschooling. (Personally I’m agnostic, but I’m just saying…)

    I’m agnostic, too. I’m just saying – as the above complaint again matters not to me as I’m not so sure anyone can really know if there truly is a God let alone His/Her hates and loves. But I love that people are allowed to believe what helps them live happier lives so long as they aren’t killing people and such over their beliefs.

    6. Homeschooling parent/teachers are arrogant to the point of lunacy. For real! My qualifications to teach English include a double major in English and education, two master’s degrees (education and journalism), a student teaching semester and multiple internship terms, real world experience as a writer, and years in the classroom dealing with different learning styles.

    Gee, complaining about an entire GROUP isn’t arrogant or lunacy at all, I guess, and having a laundry list of qualifications in attempt to show how you are better than everyone else in a group isn’t at all arrogant, huh?

    So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me? Well, maybe you can. I’ll give you that. But there’s no way that you can teach English as well as me, and biology as well as a trained professional, and history… and Spanish… and art… and counsel for college as well as a school’s guidance counselor… and… and…

    You really do miss the big picture. The best “education” is one that allows for the student to learn on one’s own as well as select their own “teachers” to learn specifics from. Our son applied to our state U at 8 and was accepted (though we didn’t allow him to start till 9) and despite his having had no formal math work beyond algebra I, he still placed into calculus and was one of the top students in the class at age 9. He also lacked the pre-requisites of a year of high school bio and a year of high school chem for the pre-med intro bio (at the U with more students in Harvard’s Medical School first year than any other college in the world other than Harvard itself), but the professor invited him to take the class based on his verbal SAT score at age 8 (which was higher than most college bound high school seniors) and his overall score for the course was in the 99th percentile in his section where over 300 students had registered (and he scored higher than any of the students in the other section with another 200+ students), and this was with his only bubble test experience prior being an SAT. He took more English, foreign languages, humanities, social sciences, etc. than needed for his dual degree (in CS and math) and never got anything less than an A in any of those areas (and this includes upper level honors courses). He earned his undergraduate degrees with all sorts of honors (including Phi Beta Kappa) and has since earned an M.S. from MIT at age 16 with a 5.0/5.0 GPA, so I think he learned his basics rather well here at home. He’s also had his essays published in a best selling book each of the last three years, as well as having a research article published (which he presented in Bristol, England) in a tech book . In addition, he has taken part in all sorts of activities in his still rather short life span of 17 years (won $ in a comedy contest on campus and in a statewide business plan contest for undergraduates and graduate students while in undergraduate school, won a geography contest for graduate students at MIT, won a couple cash awards for volunteer work at his graduate dorm, played open mike nights, sung in an a cappella group, gave handchime performances, sold over $8 of his photography and fractal art to raise money for his study abroad programs (he has been to over 30 countries and had study abroad programs in about a dozen countries), and I could go on if I didn’t have this walk to get to in a minute, but trust me, if you want to start comparing your students or your resume to that of homeschoolers (not just my son, but homeschoolers in general), I think you will regret the comparison. For one, homeschoolers don’t drain society’s resources by collecting welfare, needing mental health services, teen pregnancies services, juvenile detention services, etc. at anywhere near the rate of traditionally schooled children.

    5. As a teacher, homeschooling kind of pisses me off. (That’s good enough for #5.)

    Yes, clearly, just as people who knock homeschooling kind of piss me off. ;)

    4. Homeschooling could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Unless the student is being homeschooled at the MTV Real World house, there’s probably only one race/sexuality/background in the room. How can a young person learn to appreciate other cultures if he or she doesn’t live among them?

    Because they indeed LIVE among them, not just with people from their own “hood” at school. Our son read to inner city youth (though living in the burbs), delivered food to the homeless, visited sick children in the hospital and volunteered weekly at a local retirement home from ages 7 to 14. He has volunteered in over 100 ways, which has resulted in his being nominated and winning national and international volunteer awards, though he has never volunteered in order to satisfy any school requirement or win anything.

    3. And don’t give me this “they still participate in activities with public school kids” garbage. Socialization in our grand multi-cultural experiment we call America is a process that takes more than an hour a day, a few times a week. Homeschooling, undoubtedly, leaves the child unprepared socially.

    This one cracks me up the most. This why our son has more compliments about his social skills than on his academic or intellectual accomplishments, right? I won’t even laundry list his social life activities and such, but this is another thing that is lame – to think that it would be superior somehow to force someone to socialize with only people from their own neighborhood and about their own age for most of the day 5 days of the week would give nearly as good a social skills background as socializing in more diverse environments each and year year.

    2. Homeschooling parents are arrogant, Part 2. According to Henry Cate, who runs the Why Homeschool blog, many highly educated, high-income parents are “probably people who are a little bit more comfortable in taking risks” in choosing a college or line of work. “The attributes that facilitate that might also facilitate them being more comfortable with home-schooling.”

    More comfortable taking risks with their child’s education? Gamble on, I don’t know, the Superbowl, not your child’s future.

    I think the gamble is more an educated guess on what is best as I researched the topic rather heavily before “placing my bet” here. Sorry for typos – have to go and don’t have time to edit.

    1. And finally… have you met someone homeschooled? Not to hate, but they do tend to be pretty geeky***.

    *** Please see the comments for thoughts on the word ‘geeky.’ But, in general, to be geeky connotes a certain inability to integrate and communicate in diverse social situations. Which, I would argue, is a likely result of being educated in an environment without peers. It’s hard to get by in such a diverse world as ours! And the more people you can hang out with the more likely you are to succeed, both in work life and real life.

  57. Homeschooling is only as good as the parents doing it. The best homeschooling parents are, ironically, those who were teachers themselves or whose own parents were teachers.

    All too often, homeschooling results in kids who are not only unsocialized, but illiterate as well. Daniel Hauser, the boy with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was found to be unable to read, much less to understand why chemotherapy was essential to his survival.

    • Mark S

      How do you judge “best homeschooling parents?” What are your criteria? One sensationalized, sad situation does not directly relate to all homeschooling situations (and whether homeschooling played a role is itself questionable). It’s like saying p.s. is bad because the majority of schools are like Columbine. Illogical, unfortunate, and to be quite honest, a bit dangerous.

    • K.T.

      So what? A local middle school teacher just got arrested for having sexual relations with a 13 – year old. Does that mean most school teachers are sexual predators?
      You can’t use anecdotal evidence as a characterization for a whole group.
      The studies don’t support you, nor the fact that universities are actively recruiting home schooled students, nor the fact that the SATs of home schoolers are graded separately because they consistently score higher and skew the data when scored together with the institution-schooled graduates tests.

    • Stephanie

      You have contact with *how many* homeschoolers on a daily basis? Or or you just pulling this out of thin air? Read any studies that show that homeschoolers are lacking? I doubt any exist- if they did, the NEA would be shouting it from the rooftops. But, if you would care for some interesting reading, go to the SAT and ACT sites and look at their test scores for the last few years. Every year that I looked at showed that homeschoolers score higher than their public schooled counter-parts.

      And the little boy with lymphoma- he had a documented learning disability that affected his ability to read. I do not, in any way, agree with his parents withholding treatment, but if we are going to judge, let’s do so on facts.

      • Kathy

        This is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand, but since it has been brought up, and I can relate from personal experience, I will add my comment. I am the mother of a pediatric cancer survivor. My 7yo daughter was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (an extremely aggressive cancer) when she was 5. As a result of our own journey, I have crossed paths with countless other pediatric cancer families. I have known several parents who have decided to forego or stop treatment for one reason or the other. I have known a few teenagers who have told their doctors and their parents, “I’ve had enough. Let me die with dignity.” Until you have walked this road, you cannot ever understand what it is like, and you will never be able to judge the decisions made by cancer parents and cancer patients. It would serve everyone well, if everyone would leave the medical decisions of this family and others like them, to the parents of Daniel and his medical team, and mind your own damn business.

        When my daughter was fighting her own battle, and we were faced with countless decisions that no parent should ever have to make, we had complete strangers calling and emailing us with their advice or to tell us about this wonderful new herb they had heard about (or most often, were selling). The medical decisions parents make for their children are nobody’s business but their own. Like I said, you cannot understand until you have walked this road, so mind your own damn business.

    • Actually, being a teacher is a handicap to successful homeschooling, as many teachers who start homeschooling their own children have discovered.

    • Kathy

      Phoenix Woman, you are a bigot. Plain and simple. If you were to replace the word “homeschooling” with “being black” in your sentence “All too often, homeschooling [being black] results in kids who are not only unsocialized, but illiterate as well”, it would be more evident. You are a bigot, plain and simple.

    • “The best homeschooling parents are, ironically, those who were teachers themselves”

      So, if the public schools are so great, why are those teachers choosing to homeschool their children? Wouldn’t the teachers know best where to get the best education for their children?

      I have to say I became much more interested in homeschooling when I found out that my sons’ teachers didn’t have their own kids in public school.

    • Mimi

      “All too often?”

      Less often than the public schools leave kids illiterate.

      And there are very few teens who can understand chemotherapy. Few adults, in fact.

  58. Mia

    I went to a private Kindergarten and through 12 years of public schooling that did nothing at all to help me socially, unless you count making me fear and hate my classmates as “socialization”.

  59. Jo Ann

    This is one of the most predjudiced, assinine articles against homeschoolers that I have ever read. All I can say is that if you are an example of a public school teacher, I am elated that my children did not have to sit in your classroom. I don’t know if your points were meant to be funny, but I found them pathetic. There was not a serious objection among them. Is this supposed to be satire like the “Onion”? You fall far short. It is neither serious discourse or humor–so what is it?

  60. Christine

    sir, you really can’t be as foolish as this article you composed made you sound, can you? If someone were to write such a complimentary commentary on public schools, I’d have to guess you’d be one of the first to cry foul! I must say that as an adoptive parent of 4 human children that have more melanin that I do, and knowing many other home educating families that are in a similar situation, I find the statement you made about homeschoolers being racist particularly idiotic!

  61. Julia–

    If you would like a thoroughly researched and well-written look at how one of the nation’s “top” school systems is currently failing gifted children/accelerated learners, I suggest you visit Switched on Mom’s blog, The More Child. (http://themorechild.com/) My sister and niece are experiencing similar difficulties across the river in one of Northern Virginia’s “prestigious” school systems. I’ve done my homework where we live and can honestly say that I have no confidence in our local school system’s ability to accomodate my children’s needs either.

    As far as the original post, I can’t be bothered to comment except to say that I think the author actually very effectively did the opposite of the title of this post and made a excellent case for keeping our children out of institutional schools.

  62. p.s

    ROTFL! This couldn’t have been written by a teacher. Somebody tell me that this level of stupidity is NOT teaching in our schools please.

    If she is indeed a teacher…her comments are reason enough to homeschool. She is clearly a moron.

    Somebody needs to take away her computer AND teaching credential. Her obtuse observations make my eyes bleed. She is an embarrassment to the profession.

  63. Winnie

    Homeschooling is anti-social?

    Anyone who has any real knowledge and understanding knows homeschooling is very pro-social. I don’t have any children of my own but frequently work with both homeschooled children and public school children as a music teacher, and I see homeschool families frequently. The public school children do not come to me with their families while the homeschoolers almost always do – over the years I have decided this illuminates the whole situation. The homeschoolers among my students are – as a whole – much better socialized because they are indeed with their families instead of spending so much time in government institutions, no matter how well-operated, which some are. Of course, I have several well-socialized public school students as well – but comparing population to population, the homeschoolers are hands-down the kids I want to be around and that I see as operating more normally. (Have you ever noticed that Chik Fil A has outstanding help at a lot of their franchises? If you ask at one that has good service, you may find it is one of their restaurants that has focused on hiring homeschoolers because of their outstanding work ethic and social skills. I stumbled on this quite by accident when I complimented the staff at a restaurant near me).

    Homeschooling may be the minority choice, but that does not make it at all anti-social in some kind of pathological way. Some choices people make are not popular but are better choices than the more popular choices. This is why we worry about peer pressure, isn’t it? It seems to me that in this case, the parents of schooled children are making the “peer pressured” choice of sending their kids to institutions, and they reinforce one another that this status quo is the norm, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. It is homeschoolers who are making the positive choice of standing up to peer pressure, not going along with the crowd to keep doing something that doesn’t work. On the other hand, my local school has about a 60% graduation rate and does not seem to be working well at all – it does not exactly seem to be churning out well-socialized adults ready for higher education or work, while without exception, each of my homeschooled music students has pursued higher education, a trade, or something entrepreneurial that they launched after careful preparation.

    I think there is too much blind acceptance of homeschool stereotypes going on with the original post. I respect your right to have these impressions and to write about them, but I feel sorry that you do not seem to have real knowledge of the pro-social nature of homeschooling.

  64. Annie

    Wow… as a former K-6 schoolteacher, I found your biting commentary rather harsh. Have you ever met a homeschooling family? I taught for 15 years in the public schools, was a district mentor teacher, served on county/statewide committees to rewrite textbooks, got stellar awards and more. But, I am now a homeschooler and loving it. I have no idea where you are getting your info — but you are way off the mark. BTW, most homeschoolers are not rich (one income family — but both spouses are typically college educated in my experiences in CA & TX) and the kids seem to be quite well adjusted. I also have 3 of my former teaching colleages now homechooling their children.

  65. michele

    You are the very reason my children aren’t in public school. Thank you for giving me yet more ammunition against public school teachers. Congratulations! (And, for an English major, you might want to check on your grammar. Ironically, you have a glaring grammar error in the very sentence you brag about being an English major!–Public school much?)

  66. Kimberly

    Mr. Scaccia:

    I am posting this response to your article “The Case Against Homeschooling”. I have homeschooled my two daughters for the past 5 years. Previously my elder was in private school from kindergarten through the third grade, and the younger, kindergarten and first grade. My elder daughter flourished and was basically a straight A student, but the younger struggled.
    After paying a hefty tuition for my younger, we then had to pay for a private tutor because in first grade we realized she couldn’t read. After an evaluation it was discovered that, because the school taught “ALL” children cursive writing on the first day of kindergarten, and then expected them to read the printed word, that she was confused and her brain was not making the connections and/or transitions. She is not “ALL” children, and all children do not learn the same way. I believe you mentioned in your article that you have experience with different learning styles. Have you discovered that all children learn the same? I highly doubt it.
    After homeschooling her for 2nd grade and doing all the reading for her, and having her follow along, in the beginning of 3rd grade she began begging me to let her read. I gave her the time that she needed to catch up with herself academically. The school would have seen her as a failure and possibly held her back. She is smart and did all the same curriculum work that the private school used, she just needed a little extra time with reading. She is now finishing 6th grade and literally outreads some kids that are publicly educated. Homeschooling works for her.
    My younger also struggled greatly with spelling. I did not push her. I figured with all the reading that she does, and some writing, eventually she will learn to spell hard words correctly. Half way through 6th grade she was in a group writing class in which they had spelling bee. My two daughters were the last two standing. Yes, she almost beat her older sister who is a phenomenal speller. I am so proud of her. Homeschooling works for her.
    My younger also has severe neck and shoulder issues from a minor injury that causes writing to be very difficult for her. At home she is given the freedom to take as long as she needs to write something. She can lay down, she can take an Advil, she can dance…..whatever it takes for her to loosen up. She loves to write plays, skits and dramas, but she is not forced to write boring essays that stress her out. Homeschooling works for her.
    I don’t even care if you choose not to read this lengthy post, I feel better just getting this information in print. However, I read your whole article!! You have made accusations against homeschoolers that are totally unfounded. What about all the “failure” stories of kids that go to public and/or private school? Yes, the system has failed many. Homeschooling may not be perfect all the time for everyone, but it does work for many. Have you bothered to research the many great men and women from history that were home educated? Where would our country be without them? There is a challenge for someone that is so highly educated as yourself: Do some research! Have you read the book “The Element” by Ken Robinson? Homeschooled kids are graduating and going on to college and doing just fine in our world.
    As for your point in #10, my daughters are not geeks!!! Are you saying that the public education system never produces a geek? If you are, then once again you are wrong. I was one of those geeks in public school. In high school I had braces, glasses, curly hair that I could not control, and I am not a magazine beauty. My parents didn’t have money to buy me all the latest trends. Yes, I was a geek. I don’t remember being made fun of though, like what you are doing to home educated kids. Where is your tolerance and acceptance? They are people too. Because of my experience in high school I have made sure that my “home educated” daughters were trendy while still upholding my Christian standards for modesty and behavior. My daughters fit in just fine.
    As for your point #9. Life is a classroom. My philosophy for homeschooling is that education will be part of your every day life for the rest of your life. Whatever we do as a family becomes a lesson in schooling. What is wrong with that? And by the way, my children don’t eat fruit loops. We do teach health and nutrition in our house. Very often when we are shopping (yep, they know how to grocery shop and do self check out all by themselves at 12 and 14) or cooking, or eating a meal, we are discussing nutrition and the human body. Did you ever do homework while having a snack? Do business people all over the world do work while eating a quick sandwich or having a cup of coffee? Have you ever graded papers while trying to eat? Our family gathers on the couch all the time to watch American Idol (hmmm, I think some of those trying out could be called geeks. Were they homeschooled?), but we also watch the Weather Channel, the History Channel, Mythbusters (science), Animal Planet (that my kids have watched since birth), and yes, the news. Our favorite is Fox and Friends and Glenn Beck. My 14 year old is falling in love with history and politics by watching the news. I never watched the news growing up because I didn’t have an interest. I make sure that my children are interested in what’s going on in the world.
    Point #8. Selfish. Are you kidding? First of all, as far as being the parent I am anything but selfish. I run the house, I pay the bills, I prepare meals, I play taxicab driver, I am the nurse in the middle of the night, and I teach two different grades, all subjects for hours each day. It is downright exhausting and because of that, my family is always changing methods to find a new way that works for us.
    Oh, and point #7. Have you spoken to God about this fact lately? Go read your Bible, but not during public school hours or you might get taken to court and lose your job. God blessed me with my children to raise and nurture and teach. I choose not to ship them off to be indoctrinated for 8 hours a day on things that we totally disagree with. God does not hate homeschooling, and I am certain he doesn’t hate public or private education either.
    On point #6, sir, I am anything but arrogant. I have a high school education, ten years in law enforcement, and 1 ½ years working as a legal assistant. I am not stupid despite the fact that I did not choose to stay in college. Believe it or not, it wasn’t for me. My husband is a mechanical engineer and is able to contribute greatly to our daughters’ math and science education. I am the fun, free flowing, creative force in our school, he has all the brains. I have a never ending supply of resources at my disposal to educate my children. We use (in part) a “real” curriculum with a real teacher’s edition and everything, but the parts of their studies that they are really interested in come from actual books…not just textbooks. We have many public school teachers in our immediate family (none of whom have ever ripped us apart for homeschooling — on the contrary they are very supportive of our efforts and they see the fruit of our labor). I am the first to tell my kids that I don’t know everything, but we can find the answer. Do you, sir, know the answer to everything? We have had five successful years of me, a humble housewife with a high school education, teaching our children. I don’t need a public school guidance counselor counseling my child either. I will give the advice that I want my children to have from a Biblical, Christian, motherly viewpoint. I don’t agree with some of the things being taught in public schools, so why would I want a public counselor telling my daughter what is right or wrong or giving her advice? No thanks. We also defer to highly educated family members for their opinions and viewpoints. We may not always agree, but they have a vested interest in our family and children, a guidance counselor does not. Can you teach Godliness and a life of morality and values to my daughters like I can? I think NOT!!!!!!!
    Regarding point #5, I kind of feel the same way about your article, but I choose to use other words than profanity to articulate my feelings.
    Point #4. Intolerant? You mean the way you are concerning home educated kids? Nope, we are not intolerant. Most of their friends go to pubic and private schools. These kids are at our house all the time and we love them like they are our own. We go to a multi-racial church, in which we are the only homeschooling family. However, there are public school kids and private school kids that attend our church. So again, we are not intolerant. If you are referring to sin: the Bible says to hate the sin, not the sinner. We are called to be a light in a dark world. Called to love people to repentance and a relationship with Jesus. Yes, sin is sin, and sin is wrong and we do not condone it, but we love the people. And yes, my opinions come from the standards of God’s Word.
    On point #3, my children are totally prepared to be in society, and they do actively function in society. They do NOT participate in public school activities, only because they are not interested. They have, however, played numerous seasons on a soccer team, shadowed a veterinarian at our local animal hospital, volunteer at a pet store twice a month to help with pet adoptions, and our family is involved with a local charity at Christmas time to ensure that struggling families have gifts under the tree for their kids. They go to the mall and movies with their friends, they order drinks at Starbucks and restraunts all by themselves, and even walk around our great town with friends. Correct me if I am wrong but these are all occurring in society. People love my homeschooled daughers. They are active on a dance team at our church, and are currently pursuing drama in our church. One has competed in dance, singing and drama in front of judges and has won awards.
    Point #2…..arrogant part 2? Did you run out of outrageous accusations?
    And finally we get to point #1. You have got to be kidding me. I dare you to pick my family out of a crowd and nail us as homeschoolers. We don’t look any different than anyone else. And why do you have to pick on people’s “appearances”? Does that really matter? I have a picture in my mind of what a “geek” might look like, but I don’t try to call them on the carpet publicly. Without being specific: some scientists are rather geeky, I have seen some geeky teachers, I have seen some geeky public school kids, and yup, some geeky homeschoolers too. You are insinuating that all homeschoolers are geeks. Get out from under your rock and wake up and smell the coffee. You have a problem.
    Now for my closing statements:
    1. Most people that are just meeting us are shocked to find out that we are homeschoolers. We must look rather normal.
    2. In this country I have the right to educate my children at home in the best way I see fit. I am their mother and I care more about their education and upbringing than the likes of you.
    3. Are you sitting down? This one is shocking! My main goal is to give my daughters the best education that I can. If they choose to go to college, I will support them. However, if they choose not to, I will support them. It is more important to me that I raise Godly young women for the next generation than raising a rocket scientist. If they choose the life I have chosen — wife and stay at home mom — I will be more proud of them than if they became the first female president of the United States.
    4. I think your article is offensive, and yes, hateful, judgemental, intolerant and arrogant. I am glad that they don’t have to sit in your classroom.
    5. For the record…….I know that there are many public and private school teachers out there that are amazing. Thank you for all that you do to pour into the lives of these children. You give so much and get so little in return. Kudos to you, the excellent ones. As in all areas of life, there is always one that gives a bad name to the bunch. Mr. Scaccia, you are one of them.

  67. Momof6

    I clicked on this link thinking I would read a well thought out, well written, insightful bit of anti-homeschooling rhetoric that might challenge my views.

    What I got instead was so laughingly absurd I almost didn’t comment.

    Shame on you! Degree in journalism? Perhaps a bit more fact checking, research, and digging on your part? Do you even know any real life home schooling families?

    I don’t feel the need to defend myself or my decisions as my children are thriving and happy. I do hope that you take the time to really get to know some of the amazing home school families in America. The ridicule does nothing to benefit our children. I am delighted that they are not (and will not be) sitting in your class learning how to be narrow minded and petty. :)

  68. Marseilles

    Phoenixwoman, homeschoolers DO go to med school. And plenty accept evolution, learn and teach it and defend it to Creationists Google “evolution homeschool”. It may even lead you to the homeschooling wiki for homeschool evolutionists.

    It is too bad that people unthinkingly accept stereotypes rather than researching things they wish to express strong opinions about. Inclusive homeschoolers are of many faiths and/or are aetheist, agnostic or humanist. They are of all political stripes, study real science, have tolerance for differing backgrounds. As in the red state/blue state divide, they probably make up 50% of all homeschoolers.

    And, just in my small circle, I know one homeschooler in med school and one physician. One of my homeschool friend’s daughters jokes she’s going to get her “PhD without her GED” – and without a high school diploma from a public school. She’s very nearly finished that PhD and picked up her R.N. along the way. By the way, stunningly, she was “unschooled” through her entire K-12 educational career – google that and have your schooly socks entirely blown off.

    Don’t confuse education with school!

    And don’t confuse stereotypes with reality!

    • Kathy

      Very good post. But as for your second to last sentence, I think it would be better said, “Don’t confuse school with education”, given the very sorry statistics on the graduates our public schools are spitting out.

  69. Zedd

    10. “You were totally home schooled” is an …………..
    10A – Home-schooled kids do not have peer pressure, by the time they get to Uni they could give a fig about what the product of the mind-controlling system flushes out after their final year. You see, home schooled kids are taught about moral turpitude and don’t resort to the feeble uneducated level of bullying that the average institute schooled kids do. They understand that life is sacred and what’s more their minds are not the products of their so called peers.
    9. Call me old-fashioned………………..
    9A – Where did you get the idea that homeschooled kids had to sit between the dregs of last nights supper and this mornings breakfast? Yes, you are not only old fashioned but also misinformed.
    8. Homeschooling is selfish……………
    8A – You contradict yourself here. It is not up to our so-called more affluent and educated kids too take up the slack for those less fortunate and educated. The apparent richer and higher achieving classmates are a myth in the dumbed down schools. You do realize that the schools are the festering pits of non achievement and are designed to be that way?
    7. God hates homeschooling…………
    7A – God? I beg your pardon? Is this the same god in whose name innocent people are being murdered even as I type this? Is this the same god you put your trust in on your coinage in America? But of course, money is your god isn’t it? The biggest evil! My dear. A lot of people are beginning to wake up and realize that this so-called god that man made in his image is merely a tool of division.
    6. Homeschooling parent/teachers are ………………
    6A – I think you are talking about the so-called “Christian” home schools here. And I couldn’t agree more. If indeed you mean the normal parent schooler, then they are merely a reflection on their bigoted religion and this is to be expected.

    5. As a teacher, homeschooling kind of pisses me off. (That’s good enough for #5.)
    5A – As a teacher your ignorance really frightens me. If I was your pupil I would have really pissed you off. You too are a product of the government manipulation perpetrating the soulless sausage machine. Ensuring that you pump out as many “consumers” as possible. Don’t ask question Johnny, just do what the text book says. There is no such thing as over unity Johnny, where did you read that crap etc etc etc

    4. Homeschooling could breed intolerance………………….
    4A – I get the distinct feeling that you are American, they lock people up without trial, without evidence because “they MIGHT’ be a danger. What a sick sick situation, what a sick sick mind. Remember my dear, not all people are bigots and mutual love and respect is the keystone to a lot of the homeschoolers.
    3. And don’t give me …………..
    3A – Ah, more worrying about being competitive, must be better at running, must win at the hoop, whatever. This is another cancer that divides people. We are pitted against each other rather than being taught how to be the helping hand, how to put others first. Competition is directly against every tenant of spirituality and don’t get on your high horse and confuse spirituality with religion. They are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
    2. Homeschooling parents are ………..
    2A – You keep quoting these people, do you really have an original thought in that manipulated head of yours? Really, when last did you do something original? Hmmm? Oh yes, let me reming you that it is the risk takers that have shaped this world, not those who have conformed to the will of government sponsored clap trap. What do they say, those that can’t do teach?
    1. And finally…
    1A – You are a teacher? Really? Thank Christ (whoever he is) that my kids don’t have you looking after tem, you by your own words are the personification of why we home school. You spew out all this crap you read in blogs and government controlled journals and you believe it!!! You scare the shit out of me. Not as a person but as a symptom of what is happening in so-called education.
    *** Please see the comments for thoughts on the word ‘geeky.’
    ***A – Let me enlighten you dear teacher. My kids have been homeschooled because of the nature of my work. They probably more than any other have led a rather secluded life and this worried me tremendously. Guess what. These kids are incredible, they interact with adults, old and young. They are exemplary young men and incredibly self confident.
    One last note, ……………..
    Why? Because you can’t hold your own?

  70. Jenni

    I am a homeschooling mother of two elementary-aged daughters and I have a few points to address.

    First, I was a public school student for my entire K-12 education. While I had a few excellent teachers, the vast majority made no impact on my life whatsoever. I was a “gifted”track student and was pushed into some classes, namely math, because I excelled in most other areas. My math education was allowed to slide through even though I never really understood the concepts. For my homeschooled children, I can work at their speed. If they do not understand a concept, I can work at it until they do. Schools cannot do that as they have too many children to accomodate.

    I am not arrogant enough to believe that I can teach my children everything they need to know. I am however smart enough to get help. My science minded child takes science classes at the local science museum, which by the way, has many more resources at its disposal than even the most equipped public school.

    One of the best benefits of homeschooling for us, is that I have two students to worry about. I am not burdened by overwhelming teacher-student ratios.

    In high school, I graduated 9th in my class of 236 students (which by the way had no diversity, my class was 99 % white). What I learned in social skills had more to do with how many wine coolers I could consume before passing out and how far I could push the sexual envelope without getting pregnant. If it is selfish to keep my daughters from those influences, then I am happily guilty of being selfish. In my experience in the community, the homeschooled children function far better than their public school counterparts, if they are given the tools to do so. Some parents do not give those opportunities, but they are the minority.

    Finally, as to the question of whether I want my children to be a citizen of the home vs the world, I fully believe that to be a good citizen of the world, you need to start with being a good citizen of your home. There is no better place to learn how to respect other people and for conflict resolution than your home. Perhaps if more people learned to be better citizens of their own homes, society would not be facing some of the problems in this area that they are.

    I urge everyone to educate themselves fully about homeschooling before making such blanket statements about the perceived evils therein. While homeschoolers “piss you off”, ignorant condemnation of the choices I have made for my family piss me off.

  71. grandma

    You fail to recognize that most homeschool children aren’t taught. They do all the work themselves. You can’t teach anyone anything they don’t want to learn. If a child is interested, they teach themselves. They teach themselves to be expert on what they have a great deal of interest in without anyone “teaching” them. I homeschool grandchildren. Some things they do greatly, others not so well. But when they have an interest, you can’t stop them from learning.

    They are not “imprisoned” in a classroom with peers who demonstrate their boredom, wasting their time in classes they don’t want to take. They read everyday, good things, on their own, and with me. They have an active social life with a group of homeschoolers of varying ages, so they aren’t ONLY interacting with kids their own age, and unaccepting of younger, unaccepted by older. Their socialization is actually much better. They can communicate with adults.

    You couldn’t “teach” them anything they didn’t willingly learn. That’s one of the most wide spread myths about education. It comes from the student, not a teacher. A good teacher is just a guide, and provides encouragement. Helps them to correct facts, and communicate clearly.

    Public school children I know haven’t got these skills. One wonders why.

  72. I’m a geek, and I went to public school, k-12. My husband is a geek, and he went to public school, k-12. All those months and years of real socialization taught us that we were outcasts, and to be laughed at.

    Public school will save our kids from geekiness? Somehow, I think the odds are against it. We should put our genetically-likely-to-be-geeky kids in that same situation to be socialized as we were? Gosh, that sounds like a great idea!

    Or, you know … not.

  73. Unbelievable. This IS a parody, correct?

    If it isn’t , then thank you for making such an eloquent case FOR homeschooling. There’s a fine line between ignorance and arrogance, and I do believe you’ve done a good job of erasing it. Thank God that my kids never had to encounter such elitism as you display here. Thank God my wife and I took advantage of a classical education – hard to come by these days outside of home-schooling venues. Thank God our kids received the same sort of education that we did despite the Marxist, multi-cultural garbage that comprises the bulk of today’s public education curriculae. Thank God they had parents who took them through the classics and taught them to value literacy, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively and to stand up for their beliefs and convictions – and without apology.

    And finally, thank God our kids grew up to philosophers, warriors, patriots and spiritually sovereign individuals – just like their parents. No thanks to people like you.

  74. Stephen Parrish

    My son has the following individuals teaching him:

    BA Fine Arts
    BS Nuclear Engineering
    MS Nuclear Engineering
    MS Mathematical Finance
    Cleveland Museum of Art, Editor (former)
    Montessori Teacher (former)
    Montessori School Owner (former)

    He also doesn’t have the spend the better part of the day with other people’s F’Ups.

    One last note, my father said I would be horrified when I went to college and met the people going to college to learn how to teach him. He was right. I don’t know how many times I had to explain fractions to ElEd students.

  75. Hannah

    Dear Sir,

    My name is Hannah. I am 14 years old and about to enter 9th grade. I am one of the (as you put it) “geeks” although most people are very shocked to learn that I am a homeschooled child. I have been homeschooled for 5 years and personally I wouldn’t want to sit under your teaching. You (not to mention many other public school teachers…just talk to my friends) are the reason I choose not to go to school. I am not being constrained in any way. I was given the choice from my parents to either go to school or to continue to be homeschooled. As I stated before, teachers like you are the reason I choose not to enter a public school system.

    I go to a church with many races of people and I love them all. I am not racist in any sense of the word, and neither are any of the other members of my family.

    Now, back to the “geek” subject: One of the reasons people are shocked to find out that I am homeschooled is because my friends have told me that I dress better than some of the people in the public schools that they attend, I also dress myself to God’s standards, unlike many public school students. I do NOT believe that God is against homeschooling, nor is He against any other form of schooling or people — God loves everyone. Homeschoolers can spread his word as well as any one else.

    Did you know that the following Presidents were homeschooled?

    George Washington
    Thomas Jefferson
    James Madison
    John Quincy Adams
    Abraham Lincoln
    William Henry Harrison and
    Theodore F. Roosevelt

    Would you have the nerve to tell them that they were geeks? I suggest you do your research on the so called “geeks” of history that — in my opinion — did MORE than succeed.

    • Hannah,

      Thank you for writing. You’re obviously being educated well.

      I’m wondering, do you get a chance to interact much with people not part of your faith?

      What do you think would happen if you were in my classroom? What do you think you know about me other than this one article?

      JS

      • Mimi

        You would attempt to teach her that she is bigoted for being a Christian and that only your beliefs are tolerant and everyone else’s is intolerant and that she should have no tolerance for “intolerance.”

        I think I’ve summed it up, yes?

        As for the faith part…

        What do you think she’s doing now? Are you REALLY that clueless? If she were being sheltered, how is it that she’s posting in response to your views?

  76. agitator

    10. Only an idiot is concerned with the criticism of other idiots.

    9. Too silly to respond to.

    8. I’m not interested in bringing my children down to the level of whatever is lowest in your classroom. Perhaps if teacher’s unions insisted on teacher testing to a level above d-grade highschool literacy, what’s in the average classroom might be sufficient.

    7. Yeah, I’ll believe you’re concerned about my faithful children setting an example. Is this satire or are you serious?

    6. Given the current state of what passes for college education in this country, all of your degrees mean NOTHING to me and this piece demonstrates that they never taught you critical thinking. I’ll take somebody without your worthless degrees who is capable of an original thought over a brainwashed-drone Marxist-bot-Taliban of Ward Churchill any day.

    5. Yeah, nice union mentality. When Taxxachusetts insisted on testing teachers, the union threw a fit because numerous members of theirs couldn’t pass a test – when allowed to take it repeatedly – that I could pass without any preparation. “Oh, but she’s a great teacher!” whined the union reps. Thanks, no thanks.

    4. Yeah, multi-culturalism. Like I want my kids to be exposed to the worst aspects of society that people like you are so tolerant of. Maybe if they “axe” the right question of the LBGT freak show facilitator, they’ll learn something. (Shakes head)

    3. “Homeschooling, undoubtedly, leaves the child unprepared socially” – you mean un-brainwashed.

    2. Homeschooling is gambling. Yeah, right. Public schooling is a sure thing. Mediocre – AT BEST.

    1. Geeky? This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    You and your pathetic, self-righteous, pseudo-intellectual arrogance are the reason I wouldn’t send my kids to one of your multi-cultural, Marxist cesspools.

  77. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read! I thank my fellow homeschoolers for taking the time to send a rebuttal. I graduated from high school, have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nursing yet my family has chosen to live off one income (<$50,000)so I can be "selfish" and keep my kids at home to learn. I work far harder at home than I ever did as a nurse and I spent 15+ years as an ICU nurse! The whole article would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

  78. Iowa Mom

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read! I thank my fellow homeschoolers for taking the time to send a rebuttal. I graduated from high school, have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nursing yet my family has chosen to live off one income (<$50,000)so I can be "selfish" and keep my kids at home. I work far harder at home than I ever did as a nurse and I spent 15 years as an ICU nurse! The whole thing would be funny if it were not so pathetic.

  79. Zedd

    amendment to item #6
    6. Homeschooling parent….
    6A – Do you really have a degree? You can be honest now, please let me know where you bought it, I need a few myself but I need a better quality one than you purchased, yours sucks.
    As someone pointed out, in the very paragraph you sing your own praises about your proficiency, you make the biggest grammatical errors.
    Not only can we do a better job than you in English, but we do a better job in all the languages our kids take, and in music to boot. They are all highly skilled musicians and writes, as you will see when I get my son to answer this blog for himself. Yes, my geeky useless freak of a home-schooled son.

  80. A Homeschooling Mom

    You ask, “So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me?”

    Apparently. At least I’m aware that the correct way to write that sentence would be with “I” rather than “me”. Also, there should be a “do” before the first use of the word you.

    If the other teachers my children would have encountered in public school have as little expertise in their subject areas, public education is in a sad situation, indeed.

    Additionally, your ignorance about socialization and homeschooling is appalling. Before I began homeschooling, I was a public school teacher, and the brightest, most accomplished student I ever taught was a girl who had been homeschooled until entering public school at the age of thirteen. Much to the chagrin of the many faculty members who prophesied doom, she was almost immediately one of the most popular girls in our school and remained so. In fact, most of the homeschooled students I’ve known who’ve entered public school, generally for high school, have done extremely well academically and won the respect and admiration of their peers.

    Having taught in public schools for many years, I know that there’s no magic conferred by a degree in education, and now, having homeschooled for many years, I’ve discovered that most parents are far better teachers of their children than we so-called professionals are.

  81. Russ

    Wow there is no way I would allow such a closed-minded bigot near my children. Thank you for affirming our decision to homeschool.

  82. John

    Here’s one good reason TO homeschool:

    Not having my children taught by the kind of people who author (honestly) such uninformed drivel.

    I don’t know why I’m wasting my time replying to ANY of this, but here goes on a few points, at least:

    > “You were totally home schooled” is an insult college kids use when mocking the geeky kid in the dorm a students’ classroom shouldn’t also be where they eat Fruit Loops and meat loaf Homeschooling is selfish. God hates homeschooling. Homeschooling parent/teachers are arrogant to the point of lunacy. As a teacher, homeschooling kind of pisses me off. Homeschooling could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Homeschooling, undoubtedly, leaves the child unprepared socially. Gamble on, I don’t know, the Superbowl, not your child’s future. have you met someone homeschooled? Not to hate, but they do tend to be pretty geeky <

    I'll tell you the differences I've noted.

    * As far as I can tell, all of my kids compare academically with high achievers in the public school. The oldest may or may not get that National Merit Scholarship, but Semifinalist is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

    * All of them are capable of talking intelligently with adults. In fact, they're comfortable with people of any age. If an adult asks them a question, they get an intelligent answer. NOT "Um… nothin'… Idunno…"

    * They are confident in themselves with a low degree of peer dependency.

    * They are all of good character and are on track for becoming kind, intelligent, decent human beings as adults.

    Until you can say the same for all of those you teach, then maybe you'd better not be so quick to condemn others who frankly know a heck of a lot more about what they're doing than you do.

    And that's all I have to say about that.

  83. Lady Lorna

    Just want to point out–it’s not “So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me?” It should be “So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as I?”

  84. Susana

    Please, from one public school teacher to another – SHUT UP! You’ve made such a fool of yourself that I don’t want folks to think all public school teachers are as ridiculous as you.

    • K.T.

      Don’t worry Susana, we know there are many professional teachers at all levels of education who love it, ignite passion in their students and truly care about their students.

  85. A Homeschool Senior

    LOL! I read this article and actually laughed out loud! This is great! My boyfriend’s brother (Who is a graduated homeschooler) posted this on facebook and sent it to me. I am homeschooled senior this year and after reading this article it is CLEAR that you have NO idea what you are talking about. First off, I’m amazed that you’re an English teacher because you’re English sucks. You may want to get a refresher course, honey. Secondly, I just finished up Eng 102 at my local community college this past semester and the whole class talked about how to argue your point. You obviously do not know how to do this. Your points are flawed in every way and have logical fallacies all over the place! It’s actually quite hilarious to read.

    You have obviously done no research on homeschoolers and are making a TON of assumptions. First off, have you ever talked to a homeschooler? I can totally understand how you homeschoolers come across as geeky…10 years ago. But have you looked at homeschoolers today? A vast majority of them get better grades than public school students and end up doing better in the work place, because they know how to think for themselves. I’ve been homeschooled since 1st grade. Now, I will admit there were times during my homeschool career that I wished I went to public school so I could make more friends. However, this when we had just moved to another state and I didn’t know ANYONE. The feeling of wanting to go to public school lasted about 9 months. What happened during those 9 months? I met people! Amazing right! Although, looking back now, I don’t know why I wanted to go to public school because most of them are a bunch of idiots. Most of friends are older than me. I’m 17 and my best friend is about to be 19. I work with all adults and they tell me all the time “Oh crap, I probably shouldn’t be cussing right now you’re only 17!” And the thing is? Homeschooler don’t act older, they act their age. It’s just the public schoolers are so stupid that everyone thinks homeschoolers act older. When really, they are being normal, it’s just all the public schoolers are idiots.

    I will admit there can be flaws in homeschooling. It is hard to teach all different kinds of subjects and to make friends. However, the resouces out there to homeschoolers are everywhere! My mom didn’t teach me any science or math in high school (Nor did my boyfriends more. Hey look, I have a boyfriend, I must be social!). I learned from a book. LIKE PUBLIC SCHOOLERS DO! :O What a shock! Parents do have to make sure that they push their child socially, but in the end it’s better for the child. It pushed the kid to learn how to make friends and function in the REAL world. Public school is the last thing like the real world.

    I will admit that I think there are pros and cons to both sides of homeschooling and public school. This article would be much more convicing if you had taken the time to actually research homeschooling. But instead this article is purely emotional and now just pissed people off! Not smart.

    Oh and by the way? As far as homeschooling god hating homeschooling, you have no clue what you’re talking about. Why can’t you be a light to public schoolers without going to school with them? If a person is a christian who goes to public school then they should be a light as well. ….I’m not seeing much Christian change happening in the public schools. And I know about 30 devout Christians who go to public school. You get back to me when there is a change.

    I’m a homeschooled senior and I have a 3.9 GPA. I work 20 hours a week, every week and my manager loves me because I actually do my job. I am involved in theatre and directed my own show at 16. I plan on going to college and majoring in Musical Theatre. I have a boyfriend and many other friends that I can not keep track of. I am a normal social person in society who plans on making a difference in this world. I thank for my mom homeschooling me who helped me learned how to function in this world correctly and for actually making me stand out and be different. Being different is the new thing? Don’t cha know?

  86. Dan

    Jesse, you’re cracking me up here! To quote your reply to one of the early comments: “I’m delighted by your defensiveness!”

    You’ve reminded me of an eye-opening moment in my “pre-home-schooling-dad” days when I was sitting in a master’s level university seminar course on current issues in elementary ed. We had spent an entire semester investigating a number of promising and (at the time) cutting edge trends in public education: multi-age classrooms, real world (out of the classroom) mentoring, multi-year same teacher looping, reduced class sizes, year-round schools, increased individualized instruction… hmmmm. Anything creative that might benefit kids was on the table, but when home schooling came up for discussion, there was suddenly no reasonable discussion, just a roomful of defensive professionals whose credentials and expertise were being challenged. The professor cut short the subject with a suggestion that home schooling might have racist motivations, and that was that. Wow.

    As former classroom teachers (both public & private schools), my wife and I have a ton of respect for public school teachers like yourself as you take on the frustrations and joys of an inherently challenging task: educating many INDIVIDUALS in a group setting. However, we would ask you to consider extending that same respect to others who make different choices than yourself as they seek to raise their children.

    I’m not offended by your post, of course… obviously you’re getting some enjoyment out of stirring up a little controversy (and venting!); this is what blogging is all about. I do wish you the best in your classroom!

    OK, here are some things about your OP that tickled me:

    1. “You were totally home schooled.” Man, I wish. I wasted soooo much time as a kid in public schools. And I saw firsthand how the whole comparison/standardization thing contributed to arrogance in the successful kids (myself, and maybe you too??) and hopelessness in those who were “behind.”

    2. “Call me old-fashioned.” OK, your views do seem a bit narrow and old-fashioned, if you believe learning only takes place inside four walls directed by highly trained professionals.

    3. “Homeschooling is selfish.” Yep, maybe so. Our family’s sure lovin’ it.

    4. “God hates homeschooling.” Wow. He told you this?

    5. “Arrogant to the point of lunacy.” Then a list of academic credentials. ROTFL. Look, I’m glad you enjoy the formal classroom environment so much, good for you, but didn’t you learn somewhere along the way that promoting the idea that your choices are the only right choices pretty much defines arrogance?

    6. “As a teacher, home schooling kind of pisses you off.” Well of course, you’ve invested your life in the public school establishment. It’s a little unsettling to think that an ordinary mom or dad might be enjoying success with her or his kids… kind of threatens your whole profession; I get that. Here’s the irony: every teacher wants his or her students to become lifelong learners, willing to take risks, empowered to use the tools of knowledge to overcome challenges… hmmm, I’ve just described many of the home school moms and dads I know.

    5. “Home schooling could breed intolerance, maybe even racism.” I guess so, if the parents are that way. Of course, racism and intolerance can be learned from public school peers (I sure encountered a lot) and from prejudiced teachers (I had a few). Raising kids who care about others is pretty much dependent upon good parenting, no matter the school context. I know as a public school student I became quite prejudiced against those who weren’t in my age cohort, including adults.

    4. “Socialization…” Ahhh, the S-word, which assumes that socialization is an inherently positive thing. Thanks for bringing that up; it’s one of the strongest points in favor of home schooling.

    Here are some lessons of socialization I encountered from my peers during thirteen years as a student in public schools: Conform or be mocked. Only those your same age are cool; younger kids are to be despised. Adults are out-of-touch idiots. Kids who are different than the cool kids are geeks (can I use that word?) :]. You will be rated according to your physical appearance. Mind your own business and you won’t get beat up. Pick a social group: jocks, nerds, preps, band, stoners, rednecks (OK, I’m dating myself I know)… choose wisely because this will define you for life (yeah, right!).

    And here are a few additional socialization lessons I learned from the system itself: “Gifted” students deserve more creative experiences than ordinary kids. Worship the all-powerful permanent record. You are the sum of your test scores. If you’re good at test-taking, grown-ups will praise you and give you awards. Career preparation is the most important part of life.

    OK, having said all that, I did enjoy school and there were tons of positive experiences for which I’m grateful; just making the point that you can’t assume socialization is helpful, just because its context is the public school.

    And please don’t assume you know anything about the diverse kinds of experiences my kids have had time to explore. (What do you picture, my kids locked in the house listening to my wife and I standing at a chalkboard for six hours a day?)

    2. “Home schooling parents are arrogant.” You seem to be saying that it’s arrogant to explore options and take risks that fail to conform to the path of the majority. I really don’t understand that perspective.

    Your point about gambling assumes there’s zero risk in sending your child to whatever teacher they may be assigned in school. I sat in undergrad and grad classes with tons of prospective and current teachers; some were fantastic, some were scary. It’s a crap shoot, in more ways than one. Look, every parent takes risks with their kids every day… this is called life. Choices are made and there are no guarantees. If I take a different parenting path than you, it’s only arrogant if I call you names because you went the other way. Hmm.

    1. “Have you met someone homeschooled?” Well, yes. My entire life has been spent working with children, so I’ve known literally thousands of kids in public, private and home school contexts. Geeky and socially adept. Violent and bashful to a fault. Delightful and annoying. Creative and repressed. I’ve seen each of these within each of the school context options, and it seems to depend more on the parents’ personality and involvement than whatever school setting they’ve chosen for their kids.

    Thanks for an entertaining post, and for creating a great forum for this discussion! I really do wish you the best as you serve in your classroom, Jesse; enjoy those kids… –Dan

    • Dan

      D’oh, the blog auto-editor kept “correcting” my numbers… talk about forced standardization…

      Yes, I can count, even though I’m a home school dad…

      :] –Dan

  87. Robert

    Your belief that your teaching ability is superior to that of the people actually providing the teaching to homeschooled children is unfounded. While you may have a lot of degrees, like many professional educators they come from schools and programs that are far less intellectually challenging than the schools and programs that a lot of homeschooling parents attended. See, for example, Thomas Sowell’s 1993 book “Inside American Education”.

    In addition, you assume that the process of educating your own child mirrors the process of managing and teaching a room full of perhaps 20 children, or teaching a subject to hundreds of students who spend 45 minutes a day in your classroom. That assumption is no more valid than assuming that a chef at a 4 star restaurant does the same thing you do when you cook dinner at home.

    You also seem unaware that homeschool parents frequently use outside experts as a part of their educational program. My homeschooled high school student currently has 9 teachers, each a specialist in their subject. Several of them teach classes at the college level as well. Are you suggesting you are more qualified than they are?

    I encourage you to learn more about homeschooling, perhaps by reading one of the many books on the subject, before sounding off and making yourself look foolish.

    • Robert,

      I state that yes, the homeschooling parent might be a better English teacher than me. What I doubt is that they are better at teaching every subject than the team that would teach their child in public schools.

      As far as learning more… today I put a post up about wanting to visit some homeschoolers homes. I’ve had hundreds of angry responses to my post, but thus far no invitations.

      • Quinn

        I can’t take it anymore… once could be an oversight; twice means you don’t know the difference.

        “…the homeschooling parent might be a better English teacher than me”????? THAN I. Might be a better English teacher than I.

        And given that this is the second or third time you’ve advanced this particular incorrect usage in this passage alone, I would eliminate the word “might” from the sentence.

      • Mimi

        Please, come visit mine. I am emailing you offline with an invitation. We even have a guest bedroom you can stay in!

  88. Pingback: arrogant to the point of lunacy « Treasure Seekers

  89. Lucy

    I have met some very dedicated teachers who have immersed themselves over many years to teach and mentor children and young adults especially through those awkward teen years. Not all of them are in formal school settings. Some of them are at home quietly providing for their own children a quality education. It is not for you sir or me to judge the reasons why parents pursue homeschooling or why others send their children off to a private school vs. public education. You are both arrogant and a fool to think that you know and understand why some prefer homeschooling, others private and still others public education. We chose public education for our children but do not for one moment believe that excused us of our responsibility to teach them at home. We are and will continue to be the most influential persons in our children’s lives.

  90. Pingback: Rhetorical Outbursts : Classic Anti-Homeschooling English Teacher

  91. Fred Woolf

    You claim to have:
    “double major in English and education, two master’s degrees (education and journalism), a student teaching semester and multiple internship terms, real world experience as a writer, and years in the classroom dealing with different learning styles”,

    yet you incorrectly used “me” when you should have used “I” in this sentence:
    “But there’s no way that you can teach English as well as me”

    And you wonder why people are turning to homeschooling as a better alternative?

    And you call homeschoolers “arrogant”?

    Your arguments sound reasonable on the surface but are not borne out by statistics and facts. I would be happy to research these facts for you but I have no illusion that facts would have any impact on your opinion.

  92. Stripe

    You said:
    9. Call me old-fashioned, but a students’ classroom shouldn’t also be where they eat Fruit Loops and meat loaf (not at the same time I hope). It also shouldn’t be where the family gathers to watch American Idol or to play Wii. Students–from little ones to teens–deserve a learning-focused place to study. In modern society, we call them schools.

    I say:
    Who says all homeschooled children do their work at the kitchen table or in the living room, instead of a dedicated learning-focused place to study?

    And if the kitchen table and living room in particular, and the home in general, are such poor places for learning, then why on earth do so many public schools expect parents to supervise their children for hours’ worth of homework every day? Why is it that that lesson couldn’t be completed during the school day?

    If a school can have a gym, bathrooms, a broom closet, a cafeteria, and classrooms, then surely most homes have more than one “environment.”

    Last time I checked, American society has a more expansive view of what a “learning-focused place to study” is. Libraries sure seem to fit the bill. And private libraries existed before public libraries ever did.

    Furthermore, perhaps you’re not aware of the long history of home-based tutoring. Maybe in some of your reading (since you did say you have an English degree) you recall young women with their governesses. Some of the brightest minds in history were tutored at home, and often genius ran in families, and well-educated parents instructed their children.

    I can count myself exempt from your concern of a lack of diversity in the home. But perhaps you would be interested to know that African-American families, unlikely to be chosen as the poster child for public school success, are fast embracing homeschooling. As one mother said after being confronting with ignorant teachers, and deciding to teach them herself, at least she’s not *afraid* of her own children. And I urge you to read Jonathan Kozol’s “The Shame of the Nation” if you really believe public schools are that racially diverse.

    Perhaps it would be instructive in a future article to address the concerns many parents have of teachers who are unqualified, unmotivated, and who hate kids, but like the vacation and pension plan. Perhaps it would be helpful to explain to parents why there need to be metal detectors (to check for guns), drug sniffing dogs, urine tests, and random classroom visits to check for weapons, drugs, and other prohibited substances at school. Perhaps you can explain why so many students are afraid of going to school. Perhaps you can explain why there have been a rather surprising number of indecent sexual acts committed in American classrooms, some of them involving students during class time, and some of them involving teachers who are sexually involved with their students. Perhaps you can explain how and why schools do and do not involve parents in their children’s education. These issues are surely more relevant for you to focus on, since you are a teacher and are presenting yourself as an expert on the American school system, rather than making blanket, misinformed statements about a movement that you have a vested financial interest in making sure does not become too popular.

  93. TJ

    I will begin by saying that as a persuasive essay you would receive an F. Rule number 1 for any persuasive essay is that you’re trying to PERSUADE somebody, and by throwing off random insults to entire groups of people you not only alienate the very people you are trying to persuade but also anybody with common sense or moral standards. I will address your points in order.

    10. Unverified and inaccurate. Studies continuously prove that Homeschoolers do better in college than Public Schoolers, and to generalize like that is absurd.

    9. 100% opinion based and therefore irrelevant. Also, as it so happens, untrue; I entered a decently-rated high school the other day during school hours. A 10th grade math teachers was slouching in his chair while some children had make-out sessions in the back of the room and others played the guitars they tote around the school for their guitar classes. If this is a school that scored a 7/10 from GreatSchools.com, I shudder to think what might go on in schools that receive failing grades.

    8. I seriously laughed out loud at this one. It totally undermines every other point made in the article and makes you not only seem like a baby but also makes me seriously doubt your critical thinking and persuasive argument skills. The entire rest of the essay features you ragging on why homeschooling is so bad, and in this one point you concede that homeschooled children are obviously smarter and better-able to help their peers and that it is therefore selfish to let them learn at their own pass. I mean… come on. Your entire mirage shatters here.

    7. Spoken like a true agnostic. If you knew anything about religion you would laugh at your comments: implying that teenagers who don’t go to school can’t spread the word of God is stupid. Not only that, but… it’s totally irrelevant, especially if you yourself don’t believe it.

    6. Here you go on generalizing again. Are their homeschool parents who are arrogant to the point of lunacy? Of course! Does that mean the majority are? No. Once again you speak about a topic you know virtually nothing about. If you’ve spoken to more than a handful of homeschool Moms in your entire life I would be VERY surprised. Oh, and good luck with your Teacher’s Salary after all of that “higher education” that you obviously exaggerated. ;)

    5. Couldn’t think of a tenth point, huh? You lose all my respect for this one. It makes the whole article seem unprofessional and petty; like a Homeschool mom just rear-ended your car or something and you need to burn off steam.

    4. Racism is abundant in schools and to deny that is pure ignorance. In homeschool communities kids in minorities don’t get beaten up for no reason. Can’t say the same about your precious school system, can you?

    3. Yes, there are homeschooled children who are complete shut-ins. Yes, there are homeschooled children who don’t get enough socialization. No, this is not the fault of homeschooling in and of itself; plenty of homeschooled kids participate in Co-Ops, Extracurriculars, Sports and everything else needed to learn to socialize. Once again, by generalizing your argument loses all validity and it proves you know nothing about what you’re talking about.

    2. Petty and taken out-of-context. If homeschooling isn’t right for a family then there’s nothing stopping them from quitting. This argument is, once again, irrelevant.

    1. Think of all the people you know of and admire for their abilities or accomplishments. How many of them were “popular” in school? Geeks are more intelligent, friendlier, and, when they seek out a friend-group with other people friendly, non-judging people, they wind up being far more successful in life. Take yourself for example. Your essay proves you were obviously a “popular” kid in school. Look where it’s got you: you’re a public school teachers pulling in 25,000 a year. Way to live the dream, sweetheart.

    In conclusion, if you want to write a persuasive essay, use fact-based points that can’t be dis-proven by ME, a 15-year-old High School Freshman.

  94. vhc

    The homeschooling test performance statistics speak loud enough for the homeschooling community….look at how more economically efficient homeschooling families get the job done as compared to the “cost” of public education

  95. Heather

    I believe many other people leaving comments have spoken what was on my mind while reading your article.
    I only want to share one thing about your reason #8. You wrote: “To take these (I’m assuming) high achieving students out of our schools is a disservice to our less fortunate public school kids. Poorer students with less literate parents are more reliant on peer support and motivation, and they greatly benefit from the focus and commitment of their richer and higher achieving classmates.”
    My husband was one of those students with less literate parents who relied on peer support. His grades somewhat benefited from the presences of higher achieving classmates. However, now that I have seen the way he has struggled with college classes that he should have been prepared for, I am that much more motivated in homeschooling our children. I realize that he was able to ride on the backs of the students who knew how to write a paper properly during the group assignments and skate through classes without having to actually be accountable for his education. It may have helped him get by in grades K-12, but it did him a disservice for college and independent study. Because I was a ‘geek’ in public school that was motivated to teach myself the subjects that my teachers did not teach effectively, I am tutoring my husband in his basic college courses as well as teaching my children. My children will NOT skate by. They will be held accountable to learn skills that they will need for their path in life. Having upper-class children in the public school setting is not the factor of success for a lower-class child who is struggling. Having a system that actually cares about the children and the skills they are learning would be a start. I don’t believe that system exists.

  96. Jennifer

    Given the fact that I was teased relentlessly from kindergarten all the way up until high school, I think you’re full of it. Public school was an utter nightmare, and I personally know that my kids are better off at home with me.

    And just and FYI, my kids do not eat Fruit Loops or meatloat (although I was offered these food items in public school), we do not have Wii, and we do not watch American Idol. My kids are above average per the PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM review board, and my children are happy and thriving.

    I think it’s people like you who are scared of parents like us. We are the first educators of our children from birth, and we extend that into the later formative years.

    Some kids need to be in public school. My kids are one of them. And given the fact that you did not give birth to my children, do not feed them, raise them, or take care of them when they are sick, and could care less about their personal well being, but only your own personal agenda and narrow minded viewpoints, I think you should mind your own business concerning homeschooling.

    If you don’t like it, don’t do it.

    It’s our choice. Our children. Our families.

  97. Wow, you are a teacher? I’m SO glad we homeschool! LOL

  98. I say to you one thing. Shame On You!

    My children have attended Detroit public schools and I know WELL the atmosphere our children would have to endure day after day, hour after hour, were they not home educated. You hold us up as racists and geeks, while spouting radical ideas that it is our “duty” to send our children, our priceless souls over to a broken system?! My God! You have not only drunk the punch but you’ve swallowed the pill!

    When a better alternative is available, parents owe NOTHING to you or the school system that you hold as your God. Send your children to that forsaken place. You can hope your child is one who succeeds in spite of the rubble, as for me and my house, we choose the path that has been proven to work over and over again. We choose the best for our children and owe the system NOTHING but our taxes.

    You’ve obviously done little to no research regarding home education. I now know why you did not become an attorney. You’ve lost your case. I can only wonder if you are woman enough to concede.

    When your worshiped system spits out teens of all races, and economic backgrounds who are achieving Associate Degrees and Bachelor Degrees before they are 19 years old, I will listen to your view. But until your system rises to the excellence that home education provides, have the sense to hang your head in shame.

  99. Mater Magistra

    Pissed off! Ha, ha! Now THAT’S articulate! I’m not sure I believe that you have multiple degrees in English! I’m glad my kids (including my well-adjusted Notre Dame graduate) did not have YOU for an English teacher.

  100. Carrie

    My two best friends were homeschooled. I went to public school, was very active in athletics and social groups. There never was, and never will be, a difference in who we are as people. These girls are so brilliant. Homeschooling was definitely the RIGHT CHO