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Is this an isolated case?

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:39 am
by concernedoutsider
My wife have been married for four years and we are very happy. I went to public school (and, incidentally, wish I hadn’t) and she was homeschooled her whole life and seems to have benefited from it for the most part. Apart from a few missed pop-culture references every now and then you'd never even think twice that she was anything but an average mid-twenties, American. We are both College Educated and reasonably successful.

My wife’s younger brothers (twins) on the other hand are another story. Their Mom got sick when they were 12 or 13 (a few years after my wife had graduated) and has been bed ridden off and on for years, dad has to work and never had much interest in homeschooling, they were left to their own devises, and they are likely years from a high school graduate level education. A year after they would have graduated from high school were they in public school, they are barely able to function outside of their home. They are totally cut off from life and leave home only with their father to go to the grocery store or other errands.

They now spend most of their time reading sci-fi novels and playing world of warcraft. I hesitate to use a word like pathetic but it's the only one that works. I fear they will never be able to make it on their own and I truly pity them.

Is this an isolated case? Is there any accountability to make sure homeschooling doesn't turn into neglect? What prevents this kind of thing from happening?

I pity my wife brothers but I also worry that kids all over might be receiving no education at all. I’ve know plenty of kids who were homeschooled and are likely better off for the experience, so please don’t take this as a blanket accusation. I hope this is a very rare case but if it isn’t you all need to find a way to prevent this or your real critics will beat you over the head with cases like this until Homeschooling is outlawed.

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:09 am
by 4given
I would think this outcome had very little to do with HSing. It is the easy target. My oldest son is shy so we've had a couple of folks nod and say, "that's to be expected since he is HSed." I was way more shy than he and NO ONE thought to blame PS! I could go on and on...

Here's my take... the Mom was holding it all together. She becomes ill and everything falls apart. Sounds as if there are some marital dilemmas that have nothing to do with HSing or illness. Perhaps the boys should have been placed in PS sooner. Or maybe loving family members (you, your wife, others) could have stepped up to the plate and helped.

See how easily the blame can be directed elsewhere? Who gets the blame when PS puts out such "pathetic" and "pitiful" individuals?

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:34 pm
by crazymammaof_4
I know in my state we have to send progress reports, and have to give the children assessment tests at the end of the year to make sure their progress is sufficient. Not every state is this way, but honestly no matter where you put your kid, you take the good with the bad. I was told not to homeschool, because my kids wouldn't learn to write and read as well as they should. Yet in reality, there are kids graduating here all the time, speaking broken english, and have poor writing and reading skills.

It probably would have been better for the twins to be placed in public school if there education wasn't meeting standards, but who's to say that they would have done well in a PS with so much stress going on at home. I just hope they will be able to live a normal life at some point. Good Luck

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:12 am
by Lily
There is no guarantee that a child will be educated with any kind of schooling. It's that simple. Public and private schools fail to teach children all the time, why should hs'ing not have a few bad apples as well?

Although, given the description you posted of the twins, I doubt they would be educated in any setting. Education takes an internal drive. If they want to change their circumstances, they need to choose to. They need to choose to continue learning and broadening their views. There's a world of opportunities out there.

So........what are YOU doing to help mentor them and foster that drive?

Re: Is this an isolated case?

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:17 pm
by elliemaejune
concernedoutsider wrote:Is this an isolated case?

It's an isolated case.

Is there any accountability to make sure homeschooling doesn't turn into neglect?

Define "neglect." Individual states make their own requirements for homeschoolers, but those requirements deal with academic, not social or personal issues, which is right. It isn't the government's job to make sure its citizens are well balanced.

What prevents this kind of thing from happening?


There have always been children who grew up strange. Didn't you have them in school? I did. I don't know how to "prevent" it.

I pity my wife brothers but I also worry that kids all over might be receiving no education at all. I’ve know plenty of kids who were homeschooled and are likely better off for the experience, so please don’t take this as a blanket accusation. I hope this is a very rare case but if it isn’t you all need to find a way to prevent this or your real critics will beat you over the head with cases like this until Homeschooling is outlawed.

No, "we" don't need to find a way to prevent anything. I doubt seriously that homeschooling will ever be "outlawed." We're actually quite successful in helping our children to grow up educated, well adjusted, productive adults, in many cases more so than government schools. How would you have gone about "preventing" those kids at Columbine? Extreme example, I know, but still...

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:24 am
by MelissaM
Parents of children who public school don't seem to be expected to prevent "other" children from falling behind. We do our best to provide our own children with the best education we can.

My of my work colleagues were educated in public and private schools and have shocking spelling.

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:26 am
by janaleigh
I would say that it has more to do with parenting expectations and less to do with homeschooling. I'm sure many public school kids are in the same boat but they are not the ones you hear about.