What can you say? Or should you just say nothing at all?

Share everyday things like field trips, homeschooling experiences, or just anything that doesn't seem to belong elsewhere!

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What can you say? Or should you just say nothing at all?

Postby jasuoie » Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:32 pm

I am new here, and it’s an interesting place here with a lot of things regarding homeschooling that I had never considered. I don’t come here as a parent homeschooling a child or as a child who was homeschooled. Instead, I come here as someone who sells curriculum to parents on a daily basis. When I first started my job at this bookstore in Texas, I was sixteen and knew nothing about state laws concerning home education, nor anything about the curriculum we sold, other than that much of it was costly and came in brightly colored packages with smiling children on the covers. So after a week of sounding like an idiot when current and prospective homeschoolers would come to me with questions, I did the only thing I could do: research. I checked out a book published by the Texas Homeschool Coalition from the library, and surfed around a few websites about homeschooling, browsing through laws and statistics. Needless to say, I was surprised.
In Texas, homeschools are considered private schools, and are in no way regulated by the state save a few suggestions about teaching math, language arts, sciences, and good citizenship. I kept an open mind, thinking that public schools that were regulated by the Texas Education Agency really couldn’t guarantee the success of a child’s education any more than a private home school could. That’s not mentioning that the positive statistics surrounding homeschooling spoke so highly for it. So after a few weeks, I got more comfortable explaining the ins and outs of home education and various curricula to parents.
Then I started meeting parents who did homeschool. I saw a lot of seasoned veterans and some newbies ready to dive in. I heard their stories. I even discovered that I worked alongside several homeschooled people. And that’s where my optimistic feelings about homeschooling really began to become conflicted. My two coworkers were as unalike as night and day. One had been homeschooled since the second grade and had never looked back. She and her brothers and sisters were all in college by that point, and this particular girl was smart as a whip with a good sense of humor: a clear success story. Yet there was another girl who really seemed to struggle. She had also “graduatedâ€

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Postby keptwoman » Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:22 pm

I don't know the answer to your question, I agree with you that there are people who are homeschooling who should not be.

In the state we live in in Australia homeschooling has been vaguely legislated, but not strongly enough that the state can do anything about children such as these.

This has changed and registration is about to be compulsory, there are a lot of people who are very upset about this, saying that the state is interferring and next we will be told what to teach etc.

I see it as a good thing. We don't have to provide learning plans or anything to be registered, but if someone in this state reports neglect or unsatisfactory education of a homeschooled child, the state is now able to look into and act on this and I think that this is necessary to protect the rights of all children to a good education. If someone reports I am not educating my children, I have the proof that he is learning and so any government person looking into my schooling practices gives me nothing to fear.
Sandra, Homeschooling Mum in Australia

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Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:35 pm

Postby Calla_Dragon » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:34 am

No matter where you go, no matter what you do, there will always be bad parents. These are most likely the same parents who "wouldn't have time" to help their public school child with their homework. Unfortunately, public schools drop kids through the cracks all the time and it's almost always due to having bad parents. Getting a public education because the parents don't have time to homeschool doesn't ensure a better education than the one they would have gotten at home. Parents are so critical to a child's education that bad parents can literally destroy it - no matter where the actual instruction comes from. Homeschooled kids are capable of learning on their own, but the parents must provide the foundation - basic math, good reading skills and a love of learning. Homeschooling parents may or may not provide this (most do, fortunately). Schools hit the mark some of the time - they may give the child basic math, but more and more studies show how illiterate graduating seniors are and they certainly do not instill a love of learning in most kids. The only way I made it through public school in one piece is because my parents worked hard to preserve the love of learning in me - and I consider myself one of the lucky ones who loves to learn and still goes back to school even though I'm graduated from high school.

Fortunately and unfortunately, I think the number of homeschooled kids with bad parents who fall through the cracks are outnumbered by the number by the parents who work hard to give their kids the best education they can. There are also a lot of parents who are undereducated themselves who work their tails off to stay ahead of their kids in terms of material they're teaching them - this benefits both parent and child since the parent is now more highly educated and is giving their child a good education. There are lots of homeschool studies that show a parent's education doesn't affect a child's performance in homeschool. What matters is parental involvement and unfortunately, that's not something you can legislate. You will always have people looking to pass off their responsibility off onto someone else and some of those people use homeschooling as an excuse for certain ideals, yet do not accept the tremendous responsibility that goes along with it. Unfortunately, it's parents like these that get used as an example by anti-homeschoolers when attempting to regulate all homeschoolers - they are not the norm, but they're the only ammo against homeschoolers they have since it's proven to be a successful type of education over and over, when it's taken seriously and the parents are responsible.
To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

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