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#31 of 44 Old 07-04-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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There is really no negative research about homeschoolers.  The only negativity I've ever read/heard about homeschooling is anecdotal.  For instance, as just one example, I have a friend who was homeschooled throughout, and he claims that he was not homeschooled at all; rather, he says he was "homed."  In other words, his parents did not focus on the SCHOOL part of things in any way.  He is absolutely brilliant, an avid learner.  His early childhood lack of education was a tragedy.

 

This was not unschooling, in which parents follow the educational interests and lead of their children.  It was plain educational neglect, which can also happen (perhaps with greater frequency) in regular school.  He said most of what he learned after age 6, he learned on the internet (which would have been fine, but he didn't get internet access until he was maybe 11, so that's five wasted years where the only thing he learned was Bible verses, which is fine as far as it goes, but he was interested in branching out a bit educationally and his mom couldn't/wouldn't do so). 

 

As an adult, he is a successful computer programmer and has a happy life, but he really regrets being "homed" and feels he could have done much more in his life if he had been able to have a more enriched educational experience as a child.  But I feel like a standard homeschooling parent (or even an unschooling parent) would have provided this experience to his/her child.  This is not about homeschooling, but about educational neglect. 

 

I do see a lot of educational neglect among the homeschoolers in our area (mostly when their children become adults and still don't grasp the basics of grammar, spelling, and math), but then there are some parents who do it with excellence.  About 75% of homeschoolers I know receive an excellent education.  Most of the homeschoolers I know do it for religious (rather than standard educational) reasons, so that number may very well be higher in a non-religious population.  IMO it's not about homeschooling itself, but about how much the parent puts into it and the quality of the instruction.

 

For what it's worth, we do currently think my husband will homeschool our children (I'm expecting our first).  That could change when we actually meet them, but it is the plan right now.  thumb.gif

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#32 of 44 Old 07-06-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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I'd just like to chime in a bit with my two cents: (and I just joined the Mothering Community) I've been homeschooling my 4 boys now for five years, and we love it. But I also think that to jump in thinking there are no negatives would be naive. I guess I am filing this under "What I Wish I Had Known Before Homeschooling".

 

These are just anecdotal thoughts about the negative side of homeschooling for our family, and what could have been negative, were it not for some serendipity in our lives:

 

1. You really will need to work on your relationship with your kids. Okay, in the end, this is an immensely positive experience, but getting there was emphatically *not* positive. We worked and worked at it, and it was difficult. We are now extremely close, really like each other, and consider homeschooling together fun. But, ah, yeah....year one was hell for us.

 

2. You will need to become aware of all your unconscious notions about school and get over them : ) That was another really difficult thing for me to do.

 

3. I am fast realizing that I live in homeschool Nirvana/Heaven (British Columbia) The support and encouragement I get daily from fellow homeschoolers, and the attitude in the province accepting homeschooling, really helps. I *would* find it difficult to homeschool in an unsupportive area. In some areas, homeschooling can be really isolating and lonely...and I think that can negatively impact the experience.

 

4. We are really lucky because there are four boys in our family, and they get along really really well. I have heard from some families that keeping up with their kids' social needs can get tiring.

 

5. Money: or lack of it. It is something to think about, and can be a real negative. I know it's worth it, but it absolutely has been hard at times for us, and there have even been brief moments where the kids considered school, just so they could have the "stuff" that would be possible if I were working...

 

I am convinced that homeschooling is a far superior choice for us...but then (and I hope this isn't stretching too much) you could also argue that becoming a Carmelite nun is a far superior way of expressing one's religious beliefs...perhaps, but at a cost...

 

Again, we are having a blast with homeschooling now, and all the hard work has been done. But I would consider it very seriously, and know that there can be negative moments.

 

 

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#33 of 44 Old 07-06-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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I'd just like to chime in a bit with my two cents: (and I just joined the Mothering Community) I've been homeschooling my 4 boys now for five years, and we love it. But I also think that to jump in thinking there are no negatives would be naive. I guess I am filing this under "What I Wish I Had Known Before Homeschooling".

 

These are just anecdotal thoughts about the negative side of homeschooling for our family, and what could have been negative, were it not for some serendipity in our lives:

 

1. You really will need to work on your relationship with your kids. Okay, in the end, this is an immensely positive experience, but getting there was emphatically *not* positive. We worked and worked at it, and it was difficult. We are now extremely close, really like each other, and consider homeschooling together fun. But, ah, yeah....year one was hell for us.

 

2. You will need to become aware of all your unconscious notions about school and get over them : ) That was another really difficult thing for me to do.

 

3. I am fast realizing that I live in homeschool Nirvana/Heaven (British Columbia) The support and encouragement I get daily from fellow homeschoolers, and the attitude in the province accepting homeschooling, really helps. I *would* find it difficult to homeschool in an unsupportive area. In some areas, homeschooling can be really isolating and lonely...and I think that can negatively impact the experience.

 

4. We are really lucky because there are four boys in our family, and they get along really really well. I have heard from some families that keeping up with their kids' social needs can get tiring.

 

5. Money: or lack of it. It is something to think about, and can be a real negative. I know it's worth it, but it absolutely has been hard at times for us, and there have even been brief moments where the kids considered school, just so they could have the "stuff" that would be possible if I were working...

 

I am convinced that homeschooling is a far superior choice for us...but then (and I hope this isn't stretching too much) you could also argue that becoming a Carmelite nun is a far superior way of expressing one's religious beliefs...perhaps, but at a cost...

 

Again, we are having a blast with homeschooling now, and all the hard work has been done. But I would consider it very seriously, and know that there can be negative moments.

 

 

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#34 of 44 Old 07-07-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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wow!  i just checked through ERIC database, expecting to find something.  Everything seemed positive, including this

 

Hadderman, M., & ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, E. R. (2002). Homeschooling. Trends and Issues. Retrieved from EBSCOhost

 

that mentions briefly the negative perceptions and then addresses them with positive info: "Homeschoolers have also been shown to be above average on standardized test scores. Public schools have increasingly reached out to the homeschool community and most colleges are now set up to evaluate and accept homeschooled students. A survey of 513 public and private higher education institutions found that only two lacked policies to critique homeschooled applicants during the 1998-99 school year. "

 

There's this that i didn't read: Isenberg, E. J. (2007). What Have We Learned about Homeschooling?. Peabody Journal of Education, 82(2-3), 387-409. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

 

that has as the abstract:

This article discusses quantitative research on homeschooling, including the available data, pitfalls of using the data, estimates of the number of homeschooled children, part-time homeschooling, and why families homeschool. I compare research on homeschooling to research on charter schools, voucher programs, and private schools. 
 
there might be something in that one, though.
 
 
 
I also found this quote from a different article, " It is estimated that about 50% of homeschooled students attend college."  (sloppy research from me, sorry...)
which could be a negative.. but i guess comparatively, not so much.  that's from
Wood, P., & ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, W. C. (2003). Homeschooling and Higher Education. ERIC Digest. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.  (pardon my lack of formatting the citation)
 
that article also states "some colleges have admitted home-schooled students only if they have earned a General Education Development (GED) diploma or have passed a federally approved test.so... i guess a negative might be a challenge for college entrance without jumping through hoops of stupid. though it's from 2003 and kind of conflicts with info presented in the first article...
 
let us know what else you find!
 
 

 

 


Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#35 of 44 Old 07-08-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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I think that there are many decisions that it makes sense to look at the "data".  But to me, homeschooling is not one of them.  To me, it is like comparing what the effect of kids wearing blue t-shirts vs. red t-shirts would be.  It is so completely individual, and there is no perfect "result".  It's not like you can say, "85% of homeschooled students attend ivy league schools" or "85% of homeschooled students go on to get a master's degree" and have that equal success.  Success and happiness are just so individual, it will be different for everyone.  Do I know, with 100% confidence, that I am doing everything that I possibly can to get a good result in the end for my kids?  Of course not, no one does, homeschooling or not.  There are a million variables, and we make tiny decisions all day long that affect our kids and the course of our lives.  For me, I am choosing to focus on what makes sense and feels right for our family.  I strive to fill our lives with a love of learning and a sense of exploration and discovery about the world, and for us, that includes homeschooling.  I want my children to grow up and be who they are, not some ideal that I or society has predetermined for them.  So I feel like it's my job to just facilitate that happening.  I read something the other day that suggested that instead of focusing on what our children are going to grow up to be, that we celebrate who they are now.  We aren't preparing them for life, they are already living life.  They are not waiting around, preparing to be live an adult life, they are people living life now.  I am not saying it nearly as well, but hopefully I am getting the point across.

 

Good luck with your decision.  For me, I have trusted my instincts and always known that this is what feels right for our family and for our kids.

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#36 of 44 Old 07-08-2011, 07:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by riversmommy View Post

I can see how that information might be desirable to you. But it's not really possible. It's like defining success. It means different things to each individual. Also, I think it's important to note that homeschooling does not equal lack of affiliation. It also does not equal learning alone. Homeschooling is not really something that can be tested or quantified. It's a life choice encompassing the whole family, the whole child, the whole community. It will be questioned constantly, your children will be(at times) scrutinized and teased for being "hometeached", and there will be good days and bad days. But it IS a choice! It may be frustrating to be making that choice with no research-based evidence, but I think I wouldn't want my life to be a part of that research. (I just had a very funny little vision of my life being evaluated and examined in a research paper; charts for successful social interactions, graphs for number of times in a year I was quizzed by well-meaning people about random things, and percentages/success rates for who I am as a person.
Then, the final analysis- TA-DAH! This is your life! You dun good! )

I'm sorry I ranted there. My intention is only to encourage each other to define success and failure on our own terms. Our children will become amazing people if we continually stay attuned to them and help them get to where they want to be. School or not, I think this is the crux of it.


I totally agree!  And I had a homeschooling friend tell me once years ago that each year, she sat down with each of her children and asked them, what do you want to do, be, prepare for, learn about, get into, etc, not sure exactly how she worded it, but the basis was that she wanted to help them achieve their goals.  And together, she helped each child set a plan for the year on how they would spend their time and what they wanted to learn about and do.  I love that idea because that could include anything from getting through an algebra curriculum, if that's what the child is interested in, to learning to basket weave.  I mean, to me, that is what homeschooling is all about.  There is SO much information in the world.  It's endless.  No one can know everything.  Personally, I don't want some committee who doesn't know my child to decide what he should be learning at a certain age and by a certain time.  It just makes no sense to me whatsoever.

 

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#37 of 44 Old 07-08-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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mises.com

 

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#38 of 44 Old 07-08-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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I've been mulling over this idea of researching the effectiveness of homeschooling. It's a tough one. When we jumped in to homeschooling 5 years ago, we did so on blind faith, headfirst. (The image that conjures for me is frightening, even now, five years later...)

 

When we hit our heads on the rocky bottom (just to continue the metaphor), we woke to the need for some deep healing in our family, which we did. We reassessed what we needed and how we were going to get there...

 

When I see a statistic saying the 50% of homeschoolers go on to college, I don't know how to interpret that, since what I think homeschooling removes you from institutionalized learning...and allows you to frame your life as you see fit. So not attending college for a homeschooler may be a wonderful thing; not an immediate "failure" of the "system" of homeschooling.

 

I think a longetudinal study needs to be done, tracking homeschoolers at least 10 years after adulthood is reached to see where they are. I think something like that could be meaningful information.

 

Until such studies are completed, though, I think it is such a personal journey, not one to be taken lightly. And I think it is wise to remember that it is not necessarily permanent. Jumping in to homeschooling and then back out again is perfectly acceptable, and often smart.

 

Very much enjoying this discussion!

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#39 of 44 Old 07-08-2011, 11:22 PM
 
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Here's a great article that I just read.  I think a valid point, if you are looking for research, is to look at all the research on approaches to learning, because there is a ton of that and what works in terms of learning, and think about where you see that kind of learning happening better for your child. 

 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=the-educational-value-of-creative-d-2011-07-07&WT.mc_id=SA_Twitter_sciam

 

Two studies linked in that article:

 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010027710002258

 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010027710002921

 

 

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#40 of 44 Old 07-09-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy Kelly View Post

I think a longetudinal study needs to be done, tracking homeschoolers at least 10 years after adulthood is reached to see where they are. I think something like that could be meaningful information.

 

Until such studies are completed, though, I think it is such a personal journey, not one to be taken lightly. And I think it is wise to remember that it is not necessarily permanent. Jumping in to homeschooling and then back out again is perfectly acceptable, and often smart.

 

Very much enjoying this discussion!

 


Home-Education: Rationales, Practices and Outcomes

http://pjrothermel.com/phd/Home.htm

 

Fifteen years later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults

http://www.hslda.ca/cche_research/2009Study.pdf

 

We've Grown Up and We're Okay

http://www.illinoishouse.org/a05.htm

 

Welcome to the National Home Education Research Institute!

http://www.nheri.org/

 

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Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#41 of 44 Old 07-09-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momofmine View Post

I totally agree!  And I had a homeschooling friend tell me once years ago that each year, she sat down with each of her children and asked them, what do you want to do, be, prepare for, learn about, get into, etc, not sure exactly how she worded it, but the basis was that she wanted to help them achieve their goals.  And together, she helped each child set a plan for the year on how they would spend their time and what they wanted to learn about and do.  I love that idea because that could include anything from getting through an algebra curriculum, if that's what the child is interested in, to learning to basket weave.  I mean, to me, that is what homeschooling is all about.  There is SO much information in the world.  It's endless.  No one can know everything.  Personally, I don't want some committee who doesn't know my child to decide what he should be learning at a certain age and by a certain time.  It just makes no sense to me whatsoever.

 



I feel really stupid because this is such a brilliant idea and it never occurred to me. My kids are still little (5.5 almost 3) so I can still do this and we haven't lost anything, much. I'm curious to see what my 5 year old wants to learn.

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#42 of 44 Old 07-09-2011, 10:40 PM
 
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YES!  I only want my kids to go to college if their passions lead them there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy Kelly View Post


 

When I see a statistic saying the 50% of homeschoolers go on to college, I don't know how to interpret that, since what I think homeschooling removes you from institutionalized learning...and allows you to frame your life as you see fit. So not attending college for a homeschooler may be a wonderful thing; not an immediate "failure" of the "system" of homeschooling.

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#43 of 44 Old 07-12-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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We ask our kids what they want to learn at the beginning of the year, and we do love this...my eldest is nearly 14, and I can definitely see the benefits. He truly knows what he wants to learn, and is never bored...

 

Another benefit to this is that, quite honestly, the kids get some pretty ambitious ideas about what they want to learn...I do let them change their plan mid-year (they're kids, after all) but often they don't want to change, even when things start getting difficult.

 

 

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#44 of 44 Old 07-12-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post



 


Home-Education: Rationales, Practices and Outcomes

http://pjrothermel.com/phd/Home.htm

 

Fifteen years later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults

http://www.hslda.ca/cche_research/2009Study.pdf

 

We've Grown Up and We're Okay

http://www.illinoishouse.org/a05.htm

 

Welcome to the National Home Education Research Institute!

http://www.nheri.org/

 

That second link is awesome! Thank you so much!!

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