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#211 of 221 Old 07-12-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I'm really curious as to who you think should do a study? the govt? the local public schools?  I really can't see any government funding a study or wanting one done. Special interest and money is not going HS's way!

 

most people complain now about taxes and want so called less government / intervention in their lives- I can't see a study being done, so we might find that HS is positive- what  happens next? we have megga institutions that cost tons of money---I know in my area with the housing bubble and people leaving certain area school taxes are going up (we tax in my state for schools based on property---regardless if you have children in PS or not - building still cost money to run regardless of the number of student)

 

what would they want to do should the results be positive? 


I don't have a problem at all with studies being done by homeschooling groups.  Many are curious about the achievements of their homeschooling peers.  Homeschooling groups tend to be really tight.  If homeschooling groups want to get a feel for the rest of the group as a whole, that's great.  To clarify, I don't think that testing should be mandatory for homeschoolers.  One of the benefits of homeschooling is that for most students, the parents can easily have a feel of where their children stand academically.  I believe that homeschooling parents would seek help in some form or another if their child seemed to be struggling with a particular subject or concept.

 

But you have to admit, to make sweeping generalizations about the achievements of all Canadian homeschoolers versus their PS counterparts based on a sample of 226 former homeschool students (which is a very small fraction of the Canadian homeschooling population.  A quick Google search estimates that there are 60,000 homeschooled students in Canada, so the study's sample is roughly about .4% of the homeschool population) is misleading, and is not generally considered ethical in the world of research.

 

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Originally Posted by SaveTheWild View Post


Indeed the fact that it is funded by a homeschooling group limits its usefulness a lot.  Frustratingly, almost all homeschooling research is conducted or compiled by homeschooling support groups.  hence my coming here in search of some truly neutral social science research leads.  Unfortunately, it appears there isn't much (though the group learning research is certainly applicable).

 

 


Just to clarify, I wasn't being snarky when I said it was an interesting read.  It really was.  I think it is valuable to know the first-hand reflections of former homeschooled adults as they age and enter the workforce and/or higher education.  I just object to how the results were interpreted.

 

To further clarify, I do not believe that homeschooled students perform worse than PS students.  If I had money on this, I would wager that homeschooled students perform within a few percentage points (+/-) than public school students.  Education is so very individual.  What is best for my child, based on where we live and our family's values, may be vastly different from what is best for another child.  Perhaps even the child who lives next door.  I am very confident that my child is receiving a much higher quality education in our local school than I could have provided for her in our home, that this school is the best for her, that she is absolutely thriving there both socially and academically.  (Sorry for the excessive emphasis, I just wanted to make it abundantly clear that this was a specific statement about my specific child and our specific family and our specific school, and not a general statement about HS v PS).  

 

I simply object to anyone using general PS standardized test scores to tout the benefits of homeschooling when there aren't comparable statistics for homeschool students.  If someone said that they have no doubt that their child is performing as well as or better than they would have in the schools in their area, I won't argue that.  I'm sure it's true.  I require no proof.  But to say that public schools suck because a certain percentage don't meet state standards is a leap since there is no proof that homeschooling kids do any better.  Or any worse.  Sure, if you have the test scores of the specific school that your child would have attended and saw that their scores were lacking, by all means, make a decision to homeschool that takes that information into consideration.  Heck, I'd be a total hypocrite if I didn't admit to doing that myself.  Fact of the matter is, our local school has an extraordinary percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards.  You better believe I looked at those scores before we moved here (obviously, scores don't stand alone, and weren't by any means the only factor in my decision.  I also wanted to make sure they didn't "teach to the test")

 


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#212 of 221 Old 07-12-2011, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SaveTheWild View Post

 

Does anyone know of good material/articles/research that focuses on the cons to homeschooling?  Not just articles ranting about socialization issues, but real research or scholarly materials? 

 

I would also be interested in personal experience from folks who homeschooled, but the decided to return to traditional schooling with their children.

 

Any guidance would be much appreciated!

 

 

Thanks! 



In the past we wouldn't host 'debates' between the merits of homeschooling against the merits of learning outside of the home, because they generally would devolve without anyone on either 'side' learning anything new. These days we are trying to let more discussions proceed with the understanding that everyone needs to be respectful and handle diverse opinions without getting too distressed.

 

For the most part, this thread is a civil discourse. There are those that are getting unnecessarily defensive and causing stress for other members.

 

We would like to leave the thread open because it does seem to be meeting the needs of the OP.

 

Going forward, please refrain from judging one another harshly. Try to believe in the best intentions of other members in discussing this topic. It would be nice if a thread like this could proceed without crashing and burning.

 

Focus on the needs of the OP and all shall be well!


 
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#213 of 221 Old 07-12-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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The problem with research in this area is this:  You are your child's first teacher.  The more involved you are, the better your child will end up performing in either home school or in group school.  Data and test scores will include neglected home schoolers (yes they are out there) who are parked in front of a computer screen for their learning, to keep them away from the evils of school.  The data will also include public schoolers who bake, sew, travel, read, play music, knit and climb mountains with their families in their time away from school.  In other words, it is hard to measure success and even harder to measure "why" the success.  There are also HUGE differences in curriculum for home schoolers that would effect measurable data.

 

I have lots of great, positive feedback regarding home schooling, but if you are specifically looking for negative feedback then I can give some I have received.  Two grown women I know who were exclusively home schooled (never attended school ever), are both irritated with their respective parents because they each feel ill at ease in social situations and extremely awkward in groups.  They both think they missed something important and do not plan to homeschool their children.  But, they are both successful professionals too  (One is even a public high school teacher)....

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#214 of 221 Old 07-12-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ramama View Post


I don't think it's too much to ask that psers have a safe place to discuss how they arrived at the decision to public school, and the issues and concerns they have relevant to their own public school experience, whether they have tried homeschooling in the past or not.  Really, the last thing we need is avid homeschoolers popping up here and implying that failure in homeschooling is a parental problem, or due to a faulty parent-child dynamic, or simply not trying hard enough or for long enough.  We don't need avid homeschoolers here telling us about "studies" that show that hsed kids outperform ps kids on testing.

 

Fair enough. But, I will point out that this whole thread was, and is, about homeschooling, not public schooling. I don't think it's surprising that this generated a lot of responses from homeschooling moms. I know OP was advised (in the homeschool forum) to come here. Maybe that was a mistake...

 

In any case, I'm not putting the blame on "failed" homeschooling anywhere. It works for some children and families. It doesn't work for some children/families. It works for some limited period of time for many families, from what I can tell. And, I'm not even wedded to homeschooling for my children's entire education. We revisit it regularly (and dd1 is only goiing into third grade!), and if the kids prefer to try school at some point, we'll give it a whirl. (I really hope they don't, to be honest - but we'll still try it, and I'll give it an honest try...no sabotage.)


 



 


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#215 of 221 Old 07-12-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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 who are parked in front of a computer screen for their learning, to keep them away from the evils of school. 

 

 

we also have have a form of this it's called public schooling in my state--cyber/charter ---not HSing----run by charters overseen by the state-not the parent

 

 

 

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 I know OP was advised (in the homeschool forum) to come here. Maybe that was a mistake...

I don't think so - it gives a good view of how "others" feel and what the OP may run into ITRW-------real world people aren't very nice sometimes and strangers (and well meaning family/friends) are often more than welcoming to let you know what kind of choice you made and how they feel about it

 

 

what the OP wants is not what is here - now, studies, etc--------and as long as resentment (by some) and negativity exists I don't see that a "fair" assessment can really be archived - again, it come down to money-IMO and since HS is not in mass numbers compared to PS I don't think balanced reviews (with large numbers of students) are in the  near future


 

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#216 of 221 Old 07-12-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post


 

I don't think so - it gives a good view of how "others" feel and what the OP may run into ITRW-------real world people aren't very nice sometimes and strangers (and well meaning family/friends) are often more than welcoming to let you know what kind of choice you made and how they feel about it

 



When I said that it was maybe a mistake, I was referring to the effect this thread has had on this forum and its regular posters. People have obviously been upset by having homeschoolers pop over here and sing the praises of homeschooling, with some bashing of public school thrown in for good measure. I don't really blame them. I, personally, was focused on the thread content, not on the forum that the thread is in. But, I can see this feeling like an invasion, and I think maybe advising the OP to come to the Learning at School forum, to ask about homeschooling, wasn't the greatest idea.


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#217 of 221 Old 07-12-2011, 10:25 PM
 
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I think the some homeschoolers have done wonderful job showing the OPer what sort of treatment she can expect from the homeschooling community if she  homeschools for a while, stops homeschooling, and then says anything negative about homeschooling.

 

 

 

 


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#218 of 221 Old 07-12-2011, 10:49 PM
 
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I think this thread has taken a very common thread -- many homeschoolers seem to believe that school is a big waste of time and that they can accomplish much more.

 

I was not a homeschooler when I reached this conclusion. I'd never even heard of home school. I was an A and B student. For me, sometimes the only relief from the utter boredom of hearing things repeated for the umteenth time was when a teacher said, "go ask Rose." When I was given the task of teaching a fellow student who was struggling, suddenly it became interesting, and the rest of the class could go on while I helped the struggler. I wasn't left out of anything, either, because that would be time for seatwork, silent reading, trying out the homework, something like that.

 

To this day, I abhor people telling me the same thing twice. I also abhor having to tell someone the same thing twice! The exception is when I am teaching, and even then, if I'm asked to repeat stuff, I ask myself, is this genuine need or just dodging the assignment? Do you remember the "gossip" bit from HeeHaw? "Oh' you'll never hear me repeating gossip, so you'd better be sure and listen close the first time." I think many people of normal mental capacity who insist on many repetitions are just not applying themselves. Sometimes the best thing for them is to let them know they will hear it once, and after that, they will somehow have to pay for repetitions.

 

When I was a child, I wanted to learn EVERYTHING. I remember thinking I wanted to try each profession by turns and know all there is to know. Now I know that is impossible, but I still want to know a whole heap of a lot, and there isn' tmuch I don't care to know. So, when in public school for 12 semi-wasted years, I had to listen to teachers repeating things I'd already gotten the first time, I tried hard to tune out and think of something else. I wanted to keep on learning, not sit around waiting for others to "get it." If I had not had to wait around so much, if perhaps I had just been allowed to read independently, I could have learned so much more. Some of my best teachers did let me read independently, and some even offered direction for my self-directed learning.

 

You might wonder how I got on so well with all the kids refered to me for me to teach them after the teacher gave up. Simple. Instead of asking what my student wanted me to explain again, I ask my student to explain or show how much s/he did understand. Most didn't need anything more from me but that bit of encouragement. And if there was some part that really had evaded my temproary pupil, I'd rephrase, give new examples, or whatever seemed right at the time.

 

I know many of you are thinking that I must have been an advanced student, a really bright kid, whatever. Of course I was, and still am. But I figured out lots of things about public school while I was still trapped in it, although at the time I felt priviledged to be in a place that was all about learning, like I was/am. I saw lots of the politics that happens between teachers, principals, other teachers, parents, etc. I learned a lot about teaching methods. I learned a lot about teachers as human beings. Most of what I learned about public schools is still not flattering.

 

In sixth grade I was released from regular reading time to work in the reading lab. I worked with younger children and with those "learning disabled." I made some good friends among the "retarded" kids, who are mostly just as shy and lonely as anyone else. (The extrovert? That's just a cover for feeling different and -- shy and lonely! I married an extrovert, BTW.) And all of the kids I worked with in special programs at different schools through my own school years just needed one-on-one attention in a non-competitive setting. Oddly, I was never a misfit in special ed, although I was rated a misfit by my so-called peers of my own age.

 

Another thing I found a total waste of time in public school was all the "social" stuff. Most of that was not social at all, just kids trying out what they knew was was wrong. Boyfriend and girlfriend garbage. Rebellion against adults garbage. Swearing and smoking garbage. Drug garbage. None of that gets you anywhere! At least, not anywhere that is nice to be. I skipped nearly all of that, and I got quite fed up with the teachers, guidance counsellors, etc, who thought there was something wrong with me for avoiding it. Most of them did mean well, and a little due deference make these sessions go more smoothly.

 

One teacher, a real sweetheart, a role model in nearly every other matter, got bothered that I wanted to play softball with the boys, rather than volleyball with the girls. She thought I was trying to get attention from boys. Yeah, I guess I was, but I spent many years on a farm with nothing but my brothers and my oodles of boy cousins, so I was a wee bit tomboyish. But it wasn't worth it to correct the teacher, so I played with the girls. "No harm no foul."

 

Sure, I was smarter than some of the adults, and I knew if I just avoided telling them so, it would go better. How different is that from not telling my classmates I was smarter than them? H D Thoreau says in Walden Pond that many people mistake the once-and-a-half witted for the half-witted, because they only comprehend a third of their wit. I find that if you are different, it is usually more tactful to keep it to yourself.

 

When I finally learned about homeschool, and chose it for my own children (K-12 and beyond), it was a revelation and a relief. It was a revelation because I realized that my suffering and boredom was not necessary or normal, just the result of people thinking there is only one way to have school. It was a relief because I had an alternative to inflicting that on my own children "for their own good."

 

My children are not quite the quick studies I was. One has a big problem with dyslexia, and used to say I was a mean mom. She was hardly my first dyslexic pupil; first there was my brother, and then I realized I have dyslexia too, i'm just high functioning. (Yes, ladies and gents, dyslexia is the "learning disability" for geniuses, like Michaelangelo and Edison and especially daVinci. Now I know I'm in such good company, I feel not at all bothered that I confuse right and left, or that I have a terrible time memorizing my phone number. Non-dyslexic people can't do a lot of things I can!)  

 

I had a rather different goal for my children than to get all the same stuff all the public school kids get. Instead, I wanted to give them tools to learn whatever they want to learn, and that has turned out very well. They all read for the fun of it. They all have gone on to some kind of further education and none has struggled with formal settings or with trying to fit in. They all have jobs, even in this down economy, and they all have coping skills for "bosses from hell." The one who most rebelled against homeschool, who said I was mean, now is training in early childhood education. She says a lot of the stuff is easy because she learned so much of it from me. In a word, I raised three seemingly average kids to be autodidacts.

 

Let me leave you with a quote to ponder. It is from the collected sayings of Poor Richard. You may have to look up the context, such as that here "dear" means wildly expensive, but it is very apt to this whole conversation.

"Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools will learn in no other."

 

 

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#219 of 221 Old 07-12-2011, 11:38 PM
 
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OP here again.  I think there are so many interesting thoughts and perspectives coming through this thread.  It is unfortunate that it is taking such an emotional and impolite turn, however.  I do hope folks can keep the info flowing.

 

re: Homeschooling parents joining the discussion.  I really don't think that discussions are limited to only one group or another.  That is part of the whole problem in my opinion. If homeschoolers stick only to the Schooling at Home forum and traditional schoolers only read and contribute the learning at school forum we have lost a lot of the value of this community.  Hearing only from one perspective is exactly what I want to avoid.  This thread has gotten a lot more action than the one in the other forum, so it isn't surprising that this is where people are coming to add in their thoughts.  Personally I welcome the discussion.

 

re: the personal situations of individual families.  While of course those experience are very real and very valid, they can't be universally applicable.  Someone homeschooling because they are religious and want to shield their child from other viewpoints is going to have a very different story than someone homeschooling because their kid is gifted and can't get gifted education at their school. Likewise someone schooling their ADHD child in a school setting specifically tailored to that kid will have a different schooling experience than someone with a child in a poorly performing and under-funded school.  None of those (or any) specific situation will be able to speak to the larger issue.

 

There are some universal facts regarding both homeschooling and traditional schooling, as far as I can tell.  I am framing these all neutrally, and am not trying to suggest any pro or con to any of these facts:

 

1) Homeschooled children will spend more time with parent(s) than a child attending school.

2) Homeschooled children will spend more time with siblings than a child attending school.

3) Homeschooled children will often (though not always) receive their teaching through their parent.  Schooled children will often (though not always) receive their teaching through a teacher.

4) Homeschooled children will learn in an environment with fewer peers and schooled children will learn in an environment with a larger number of peers.

5) Homeschooled children will often learn in a multi-aged environment (assuming siblings are present), schooled children will often learn in an environment with others their same age.

6) Homeschooled children will have curriculum chosen by their parent(s), schooled children will have curriculum chosen by their school or district.

 

I am sure I am missing some, but you get the idea.  To me, ideally, there would be information available about how each of those facts plays out in terms of educational policy and research.  I.e. is there any research to show that children do better or worse in multi-aged environments.  Or is there research to show that one particular curriculum is better at conveying information or teaching thinking skills than another, and is that curriculum available at schools or only through homeschooling, etc.

 

I am learning that there is very little research on any of these things, unfortunately. But ideally one would be able to look at data about those facts and help them make an informed decision.

 

 



Save the Wild - I remember looking for info, data, analysis - anything factual - when we were trying to make the decision about pulling my oldest out of school.

In the end, like you, I couldn't find much that seemed solid enough to base my decision on. I distinctly remember having a conversation with my DH about it and coming to the conclusion that really the stats wouldn't matter because we needed to make the decsion we felt was right for him regardless of what the data showed. Up until that point he has proven to us that he wasn't reading the same books we were anyway orngtongue.gif and was definitely following his own path. It felt like such a huge decision to be making on his behalf and it felt a bit like a forever choice and winging it just didn't feel...valid enough.

 

I think there is data about some of the things you are interested in but honestly it's not going to necessarily apply to your particular scenario and there is likely a similar, equally valid study that suggests the opposite.

 

If your instincts call you to homeschool then do it. You can re-evaluate at whatever point you need to. As in all choices you will be giving up one thing (some good and some bad) for another thing that has a similar mixed bag of pros and cons. But as someone pointed out above, for most kids the most important element of an education is an involved, informed, aware parent - which clearly you are.  The particular structure of the system you choose, the type of school/hs environment, or choice of curriculum matters most if there are real mismatches for the child.  But I'd venture to guess that most kids, with interested parents like you would do well in a variety of situations, or their parents are able to make whatever adjustments are needed to make it work. 

 

Good luck with your decision!

Karen

 


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#220 of 221 Old 07-13-2011, 12:15 AM
 
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It's an interesting read.  But it is faulty through and through.  It was funded by a special-interest homeschooling group.  And the results are very strange, or at least the way they are interpreted is very strange.  From the responses of a sample of 226 previously homeschooled adults from 121 families, they feel that they can make a broad statement like, "Overall, young adults who had been homeschooled were better educated than similarly aged Canadians."  From a sample of 121 families?  Wow.



Anything written or funded by the HSLDA in Canada needs to be taken with a boatload of salt. They are struggling to find a way to be relevant to the homeschooling/educational realm and their studies and lobbying (yuck) are ways they are trying to secure their future.

Sample sizes for homeschooling research will likely be statistically insignificant because most homeschoolers imo aren't interested in participating in it so there is a self selection bias.

I did come across data for comparing the SAT scores of self declared homeschoolers vs non-homeschoolers (presumably including all forms of public and private schools). The data suggested a slightly higher score for homeschoolers in English and similar scores in math.  But even that data is difficult to tease apart as many homeschoolers go back to highschool, attend community college or are part of umbrella schools. I've been looking for where I found that info and haven't come accross it.   For interest sake however, I did find this info page from the NC branch of government that oversees homeschoolers, talking about testing requirements, approved test, how homeschoolers perform etc. They do note that homeschoolers perform at or up to two years ahead of their broader peer group. Children with identified learning differences tend to perform lower but it doesn't say whether those children's data are included, or whether modifications etc are available (I presume the data is included based on their no exceptions rules but the website isn't crystal clear on that).   It looks like NC requires annual testing of all homeschooled students and that their data could be reliably compared to public schooled children.

 

There are lots of potential demographic, economic and sociological explanations for the difference in test scores though - so again I am not sure it would be solid enough for the OP to base a decision on.

 


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#221 of 221 Old 07-13-2011, 03:50 AM
 
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Thanks for all the great information. After some thought and discussion, we've decided to return to the general 'philosophy' that the merits of learning at school vs. schooling at home should not be debated either on LAS or LAH. This has worked well for many years and the Learning at Home forum maintains that way of dealing with the topic as well.

 

I'm going to close the thread. Thanks for all your understanding.


 
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