Teaching content

Some of you in that education-related post of a few days ago, expressed concern about homeschooling that many parents do not know enough about certain subjects to teach them to their children, who would do better to learn them from teachers who are the experts. Have you ever seen the college curriculum required for an education major to become an elementary school teacher? They have to take virtually all education courses. The typical elementary school teacher in a math class has likely not had math since she was in grade school or maybe high school herself. They don’t study the subjects they have to teach. It’s better in high school, since teachers at that level do have to have courses in a specific subject area (math, science, history, English, etc.). But it’s hard to teach children on a more advanced level when they do not have a solid foundation.

Please note, I am NOT blaming elementary school teachers, who often do a heroic job. I am blaming the contemporary educational theory that so often thwarts their best efforts. My point here is that homeschooling parents generally have just as much content-area expertise as public school teachers on the elementary level. But they are generally committed to teaching content, which they do by means of the content-rich curriculum that most of them use.

By the way, homeschoolers deal with the more specialized subjects of high school that their parents can’t handle typically by taking advantage of some excellent on-line courses, by forming co-ops around a subject-matter expert, and/or by reading and working through challenging curriculum.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://theupwardcall.blogspot.com Kim in ON

    I homeschooled my three kids for eight years. I have a degree in history, but I was still not considered a “real” teacher. Our friends have a daughter who went to Teacher’s College after university. She learned about making visual presentations, and she learned about child psychology. She called is “majoring in coloring.”

    My sons are now in high school, in the public system. My son had a French teacher in 9th grade who had not taken French herself since high school; she was the librarian, and they needed her in that class. The teacher my son had for math last year in 11th grade had less mathematical training than my husband, who has a degree in math. When my daughter was in 9th and 10th grade, we homeschooled her and outsourced the some of the subjects.

    I found in my experience that the early years, grades 1-4 are far better spent in gaining a solid foundation in areas such as literacy and numeracy than in some of the activities typically found in a classroom. We read and we we read a lot, together and silently. We read about science and history and we read good literature. One of the hallmarks of homeschooled kids is that they are very literate and have read widely. My son in 9th grade last year was the only student out of 27 who had read To Kill a Mocking Bird on his own already. My daughter is in her 3rd year of Honors English. She said that her 15 year old brother is a better writer than her classmates.

  • http://theupwardcall.blogspot.com Kim in ON

    I homeschooled my three kids for eight years. I have a degree in history, but I was still not considered a “real” teacher. Our friends have a daughter who went to Teacher’s College after university. She learned about making visual presentations, and she learned about child psychology. She called is “majoring in coloring.”

    My sons are now in high school, in the public system. My son had a French teacher in 9th grade who had not taken French herself since high school; she was the librarian, and they needed her in that class. The teacher my son had for math last year in 11th grade had less mathematical training than my husband, who has a degree in math. When my daughter was in 9th and 10th grade, we homeschooled her and outsourced the some of the subjects.

    I found in my experience that the early years, grades 1-4 are far better spent in gaining a solid foundation in areas such as literacy and numeracy than in some of the activities typically found in a classroom. We read and we we read a lot, together and silently. We read about science and history and we read good literature. One of the hallmarks of homeschooled kids is that they are very literate and have read widely. My son in 9th grade last year was the only student out of 27 who had read To Kill a Mocking Bird on his own already. My daughter is in her 3rd year of Honors English. She said that her 15 year old brother is a better writer than her classmates.

  • Pingback: Physics Jeopardy with Mr. Noon: Waves | Science Games

  • Pingback: Physics Jeopardy with Mr. Noon: Waves | Science Games

  • http://clifgriffin.com Clifton Griffin

    Excellent points.

    I was homeschooled, for all intents and purposes, K-12 and finished my bachelors 2 years ago.

    While I would concede that there are potential social and extracurricular drawbacks to homeschooling, in my experience I was better prepared educationally than most of my peers. I do not believe I am an exception; most homeschoolers I have talked to about this have found college to be relatively easy.

  • http://clifgriffin.com Clifton Griffin

    Excellent points.

    I was homeschooled, for all intents and purposes, K-12 and finished my bachelors 2 years ago.

    While I would concede that there are potential social and extracurricular drawbacks to homeschooling, in my experience I was better prepared educationally than most of my peers. I do not believe I am an exception; most homeschoolers I have talked to about this have found college to be relatively easy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01763924682909630509 Orianna Laun

    Having been through an education program, I will agree that the subject level needed to pass the program is rather limited. I was shocked when I had to take the Pre-Professional Skills Test, which tests the basic level skills for entry into teaching programs. I think the SAT was harder than the PPST.
    On the other hand, I have come across parents who chose to homeschool because they were told that’s what they were supposed to do to be good parents and found that their skills were lacking. Maybe it wasn’t the content level; rather, it was the lack of skills regarding how to teach the content. These people shortly found themselves enrolling their students into schools shortly after the experiment. Homeschooling is not something to be entered into lightly.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01763924682909630509 Orianna Laun

    Having been through an education program, I will agree that the subject level needed to pass the program is rather limited. I was shocked when I had to take the Pre-Professional Skills Test, which tests the basic level skills for entry into teaching programs. I think the SAT was harder than the PPST.
    On the other hand, I have come across parents who chose to homeschool because they were told that’s what they were supposed to do to be good parents and found that their skills were lacking. Maybe it wasn’t the content level; rather, it was the lack of skills regarding how to teach the content. These people shortly found themselves enrolling their students into schools shortly after the experiment. Homeschooling is not something to be entered into lightly.

  • CRB

    Here is a wonderful commencement speech by
    Dr Victor Davis Hanson, well worth a read!

    http://www.fresnostate.net/Classics/StJohns2.htm

  • CRB

    Here is a wonderful commencement speech by
    Dr Victor Davis Hanson, well worth a read!

    http://www.fresnostate.net/Classics/StJohns2.htm

  • EricM

    My wife and I have home schooled our two boys. Our oldest is now a freshman in college and our younger son is a sophmore in high school. Does it take work? Yup. My wife and I have learned with our boys. Some subjects we have taught while others we have directed and let them learn the material. For some courses we did “outsource.” Our local community college has a very good program catering to homeschoolers so we could take advantage of college classes when my wife and I did not feel we could do an adequate job.

    In the end the decision for us was where our boys could get the best education. The choices of materials and resources is huge! MIT puts courses on their web site with tests and sample problems. The various publishers have great resources out there.

  • EricM

    My wife and I have home schooled our two boys. Our oldest is now a freshman in college and our younger son is a sophmore in high school. Does it take work? Yup. My wife and I have learned with our boys. Some subjects we have taught while others we have directed and let them learn the material. For some courses we did “outsource.” Our local community college has a very good program catering to homeschoolers so we could take advantage of college classes when my wife and I did not feel we could do an adequate job.

    In the end the decision for us was where our boys could get the best education. The choices of materials and resources is huge! MIT puts courses on their web site with tests and sample problems. The various publishers have great resources out there.

  • http://jen-lehmann.livejournal.com Jen

    When I went through an education program in California, we either majored in Liberal Studies and took classes in all the subject areas or had to pass the MCAT, which tested general knowledge in all the subject areas. Many of the Ed classes were also directly related to how to teach a specific subject. I also remember from those days that many of the best professors, in any subject, were those who had training in education as well as in their subject area.

    This is not to say that there aren’t problems with education programs and our schools, and I do believe that homeschool is good and right for many families. But I worked hard for my education degree and my credential, and I do think it makes me more qualified to teach.

  • http://jen-lehmann.livejournal.com Jen

    When I went through an education program in California, we either majored in Liberal Studies and took classes in all the subject areas or had to pass the MCAT, which tested general knowledge in all the subject areas. Many of the Ed classes were also directly related to how to teach a specific subject. I also remember from those days that many of the best professors, in any subject, were those who had training in education as well as in their subject area.

    This is not to say that there aren’t problems with education programs and our schools, and I do believe that homeschool is good and right for many families. But I worked hard for my education degree and my credential, and I do think it makes me more qualified to teach.

  • Anne

    very few student get to play varsity football anyway, and even fewer play at the college level, so I don’t know that it’s a big advantage. Extra-curricular activities like dance and martial arts are good options for home schooled students.

    I’m glad we home schooled. It was a great education choice for our family, and our grown and still-growing children are reaping the home school benefits of being self-directed and self-motivated.

  • Anne

    very few student get to play varsity football anyway, and even fewer play at the college level, so I don’t know that it’s a big advantage. Extra-curricular activities like dance and martial arts are good options for home schooled students.

    I’m glad we home schooled. It was a great education choice for our family, and our grown and still-growing children are reaping the home school benefits of being self-directed and self-motivated.

  • DonS

    We, as parents, ARE the primary teachers of our children, regardless of the educational model we select. So, even those of you who don’t feel “qualified” to teach your children, for some reason (because the “experts” are whispering in your ear, perhaps, seeding doubts in your mind?),are teachers, like it or not.

    We have homeschooled all of our 5 children, all the way through from kindergarten. Our oldest is now a chemist, our second will graduate from college this year, with outstanding grades. Our third is a senior in high school, etc. We do all of the teaching ourselves, or in team teaching groups. I taught physics lab this morning for my son and three other students from other families. My wife and I have learned ten times as much going through the curriculum with our children as we did the first time, going through our respective public school systems.

    Don’t let the teachers’ unions discourage you from fulfilling your vocation as a parent/teacher. I agree that homeschooling is not for everyone, but it is clearly the way God originally intended that children learn.

  • DonS

    We, as parents, ARE the primary teachers of our children, regardless of the educational model we select. So, even those of you who don’t feel “qualified” to teach your children, for some reason (because the “experts” are whispering in your ear, perhaps, seeding doubts in your mind?),are teachers, like it or not.

    We have homeschooled all of our 5 children, all the way through from kindergarten. Our oldest is now a chemist, our second will graduate from college this year, with outstanding grades. Our third is a senior in high school, etc. We do all of the teaching ourselves, or in team teaching groups. I taught physics lab this morning for my son and three other students from other families. My wife and I have learned ten times as much going through the curriculum with our children as we did the first time, going through our respective public school systems.

    Don’t let the teachers’ unions discourage you from fulfilling your vocation as a parent/teacher. I agree that homeschooling is not for everyone, but it is clearly the way God originally intended that children learn.

  • Stephanie

    As many (mostly math and science) TAs in college taught me – knowing a subject, even knowing it extremely well, does not mean you can teach it.

    My mother is a math teacher. In a public school. She has an excellent foundation in the basics. And the advanced stuff. But what makes her a good teacher is not that she knows math. It is that she is constantly looking for ways to improve her skills. She attends workshops on how to better prepare kids for AP tests. She reads about ways to help kids who struggle. She makes sure that she can explain each concept multiple ways (for people with different learning styles).

    I don’t think good teaching can be broken down to just one or the other. I think you need both the subject matter knowledge *and* the knowledge of how to teach what you know.

  • Stephanie

    As many (mostly math and science) TAs in college taught me – knowing a subject, even knowing it extremely well, does not mean you can teach it.

    My mother is a math teacher. In a public school. She has an excellent foundation in the basics. And the advanced stuff. But what makes her a good teacher is not that she knows math. It is that she is constantly looking for ways to improve her skills. She attends workshops on how to better prepare kids for AP tests. She reads about ways to help kids who struggle. She makes sure that she can explain each concept multiple ways (for people with different learning styles).

    I don’t think good teaching can be broken down to just one or the other. I think you need both the subject matter knowledge *and* the knowledge of how to teach what you know.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Regarding content, we should probably simply remember that if a child reads at a 12th grade level and is competent at arithmetic, he’s doing better than most high school graduates, not to mention a distressingly high portion of college graduates. (I was a TA in college math and engineering….yes it was depressing)

    In other words, a lot of what one learns in college may not matter in K-12 education. It certainly didn’t to my great aunt, who took over a K-8 schoolhouse after only 10 weeks of college.

    It also doesn’t matter much to homeschooling parents. There’s not a lot of difference between results for the kids of highschool dropouts vs. those with Ph.Ds, and a teaching degree actually correlates to slightly LOWER student achievement. (NHERI data, see http://www.hslda.org)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Regarding content, we should probably simply remember that if a child reads at a 12th grade level and is competent at arithmetic, he’s doing better than most high school graduates, not to mention a distressingly high portion of college graduates. (I was a TA in college math and engineering….yes it was depressing)

    In other words, a lot of what one learns in college may not matter in K-12 education. It certainly didn’t to my great aunt, who took over a K-8 schoolhouse after only 10 weeks of college.

    It also doesn’t matter much to homeschooling parents. There’s not a lot of difference between results for the kids of highschool dropouts vs. those with Ph.Ds, and a teaching degree actually correlates to slightly LOWER student achievement. (NHERI data, see http://www.hslda.org)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    As one of the people who “expressed concern about homeschooling that many parents do not know enough about certain subjects to teach them to their children”, I’d like to point out that I was especially referring to high school in my comments. That is where I read John Donne and learned AP physics. Had my parents attempted to teach such things to me, they would have had to teach me straight from the book, since they don’t know these subjects.

    My wife is a high school teacher (chemistry, private school, and yes, she has a Master’s in chemistry, from Berkeley), so I know how ridiculous much of the general coursework for a Master’s in education is: very ridiculous. Of course, that doesn’t preclude anyone who’s good at math or science from getting such a degree. The problem, in my opinion, is that our society doesn’t encourage people who are good at the “hard” subjects to teach our elementary-school-age children. It’s almost like it’s viewed as a waste of talent to do so. Instead, elementary-school teachers tend to be those who “love children”, but often don’t love math or science. And yes, this does show up down the road, such that many of the people who like math or science in high school do so in spite of their elementary education, because they were self-motivated.

    “The typical elementary school teacher in a math class has likely not had math since she was in grade school or maybe high school herself.” Okay, but has the typical elementary homeschool teacher done any better?

    I also wonder how any home-school situation could allow for the kind of musical education I had, with a top-notch wind symphony with many dozens of members. And that musical education is something that I still use.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    As one of the people who “expressed concern about homeschooling that many parents do not know enough about certain subjects to teach them to their children”, I’d like to point out that I was especially referring to high school in my comments. That is where I read John Donne and learned AP physics. Had my parents attempted to teach such things to me, they would have had to teach me straight from the book, since they don’t know these subjects.

    My wife is a high school teacher (chemistry, private school, and yes, she has a Master’s in chemistry, from Berkeley), so I know how ridiculous much of the general coursework for a Master’s in education is: very ridiculous. Of course, that doesn’t preclude anyone who’s good at math or science from getting such a degree. The problem, in my opinion, is that our society doesn’t encourage people who are good at the “hard” subjects to teach our elementary-school-age children. It’s almost like it’s viewed as a waste of talent to do so. Instead, elementary-school teachers tend to be those who “love children”, but often don’t love math or science. And yes, this does show up down the road, such that many of the people who like math or science in high school do so in spite of their elementary education, because they were self-motivated.

    “The typical elementary school teacher in a math class has likely not had math since she was in grade school or maybe high school herself.” Okay, but has the typical elementary homeschool teacher done any better?

    I also wonder how any home-school situation could allow for the kind of musical education I had, with a top-notch wind symphony with many dozens of members. And that musical education is something that I still use.

  • EricM

    tODD,

    Homeschooling does not rely 100% on the knowledge of the parents. It relies 100% on the participation of the parents. My wife and I use other resources as necessary to teach our boys. I taught my older son calculus as I know that subject pretty well. However, even though my wife is a musician, we made use of the local youth orchestra so that he could play violin with a larger group.

    Just because parents are homeschooling does not mean they are doing it alone.

  • EricM

    tODD,

    Homeschooling does not rely 100% on the knowledge of the parents. It relies 100% on the participation of the parents. My wife and I use other resources as necessary to teach our boys. I taught my older son calculus as I know that subject pretty well. However, even though my wife is a musician, we made use of the local youth orchestra so that he could play violin with a larger group.

    Just because parents are homeschooling does not mean they are doing it alone.

  • Josie

    tODD,

    Another homeschooling mom here. I completely understand your concerns as they are common ones. But it is amazing how far homeschooling has come in recent years, and how willing many states are to work with homeschoolers. One of the great benefits of our homeschooling is that my son does have the time and energy to devote to his musical pursuits. There are also many school districts (have lived in FL, Japan, and now CA) that allow a hs’d student to participate in their band/sports teams not to mention the fact that a student who is truly industrious can often start taking college level classes at a much younger age. Here in CA one of the girls in our group took Latin at the local comm. college…she’s 15yrs old. They allow students as young as 12 here. You might also be surprised at just how many resources are out there for homeschoolers. I see that you’re married, don’t know if you have any kids, but if you ever consider it check out one of my favorite books “The Well Trained Mind” by Susan Bauer.

  • Josie

    tODD,

    Another homeschooling mom here. I completely understand your concerns as they are common ones. But it is amazing how far homeschooling has come in recent years, and how willing many states are to work with homeschoolers. One of the great benefits of our homeschooling is that my son does have the time and energy to devote to his musical pursuits. There are also many school districts (have lived in FL, Japan, and now CA) that allow a hs’d student to participate in their band/sports teams not to mention the fact that a student who is truly industrious can often start taking college level classes at a much younger age. Here in CA one of the girls in our group took Latin at the local comm. college…she’s 15yrs old. They allow students as young as 12 here. You might also be surprised at just how many resources are out there for homeschoolers. I see that you’re married, don’t know if you have any kids, but if you ever consider it check out one of my favorite books “The Well Trained Mind” by Susan Bauer.

  • WebMonk

    I “get” tODD’s concerns as I have heard them in conversations and in direct questions for 20 years. There are a LOT of different things that can be brought to answer those concerns, and it can be a good education to cover them all, but for the (generally) brief discussions which happen on blog comments, it’s easier to point to the results of home school as the answer to whether or not parents are capable of educating their kids, even through high school.

    Home schooled students’ SAT/ACT scores are significantly higher than those of public school. College rates are higher. Employment – higher. Reading skills – higher. Writing scores. Etc.

    Twenty years ago, it was a very serious question that was, at the time, unanswered: can modern parents teach their kids well enough to keep up with modern, public education?

    Since then, there have been a multitude of studies and statistics released which have pretty resoundingly answered the question in the affirmative.

    The concerns are real and reasonable, but for whatever the reason may be, the concerns do not generally come to pass. There can be lots of discussion about why something is a valid concern and why it might be mitigated, but the end answer as seen through stats and studies, is that the concerns don’t ultimately come to fruition*.

    *They do in individual situations, but on the statistical whole, they do not, or at least they show up at much lower levels than in public education.

  • WebMonk

    I “get” tODD’s concerns as I have heard them in conversations and in direct questions for 20 years. There are a LOT of different things that can be brought to answer those concerns, and it can be a good education to cover them all, but for the (generally) brief discussions which happen on blog comments, it’s easier to point to the results of home school as the answer to whether or not parents are capable of educating their kids, even through high school.

    Home schooled students’ SAT/ACT scores are significantly higher than those of public school. College rates are higher. Employment – higher. Reading skills – higher. Writing scores. Etc.

    Twenty years ago, it was a very serious question that was, at the time, unanswered: can modern parents teach their kids well enough to keep up with modern, public education?

    Since then, there have been a multitude of studies and statistics released which have pretty resoundingly answered the question in the affirmative.

    The concerns are real and reasonable, but for whatever the reason may be, the concerns do not generally come to pass. There can be lots of discussion about why something is a valid concern and why it might be mitigated, but the end answer as seen through stats and studies, is that the concerns don’t ultimately come to fruition*.

    *They do in individual situations, but on the statistical whole, they do not, or at least they show up at much lower levels than in public education.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    tODD wonders, more or less, how a young Mozart would get his education in a homeschooling family; well, it turns out that that’s exactly what happened. The same applies for Beethoven and Bach, Mahler and Handel.

    For those not born into musical families, there are “music teachers” around, and quite frankly, as I look back upon who excelled in music in my government school education, it was….

    ….those who were taught privately. The same applies for most young ‘uns who excelled in athletics; apart from events where pure physical ability made all the difference, the greatest athletes were those….

    ….trained mostly at home, or members of private clubs. And in the same way, the kids who excelled most in the academic subjects were….

    ….wanna guess? You got it, the kids who had serious books around the house,and whose parents trained them to love learning.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    tODD wonders, more or less, how a young Mozart would get his education in a homeschooling family; well, it turns out that that’s exactly what happened. The same applies for Beethoven and Bach, Mahler and Handel.

    For those not born into musical families, there are “music teachers” around, and quite frankly, as I look back upon who excelled in music in my government school education, it was….

    ….those who were taught privately. The same applies for most young ‘uns who excelled in athletics; apart from events where pure physical ability made all the difference, the greatest athletes were those….

    ….trained mostly at home, or members of private clubs. And in the same way, the kids who excelled most in the academic subjects were….

    ….wanna guess? You got it, the kids who had serious books around the house,and whose parents trained them to love learning.

  • WebMonk

    tODD 12, just for anecdotal purposes, yes, homeschooling certainly can allow for a musical education like what you described.

    I well know three home schooled students (one just finished college, another is in college, and the other one is in high school) who have been in the Loudoun Symphony Youth Orchestra. From what they’ve said, somewhere around a quarter of the orchestra is made up of home schooled students. (which means home schoolers are massively over-represented in this county’s orchestra) Loudoun is prime wealthy-yuppy land just outside DC, and the competition for the symphony is vicious.

    For myself – I was able to have a world-renowned concert pianist for a teacher for eight years through high school and college, and have played in a variety of public venues. (not just church, though I have played for them too)

    But, like I said – this in anecdotal.

  • WebMonk

    tODD 12, just for anecdotal purposes, yes, homeschooling certainly can allow for a musical education like what you described.

    I well know three home schooled students (one just finished college, another is in college, and the other one is in high school) who have been in the Loudoun Symphony Youth Orchestra. From what they’ve said, somewhere around a quarter of the orchestra is made up of home schooled students. (which means home schoolers are massively over-represented in this county’s orchestra) Loudoun is prime wealthy-yuppy land just outside DC, and the competition for the symphony is vicious.

    For myself – I was able to have a world-renowned concert pianist for a teacher for eight years through high school and college, and have played in a variety of public venues. (not just church, though I have played for them too)

    But, like I said – this in anecdotal.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I feel like people are replying to me without replying to me. I’m not arguing against homeschooling, even at the high-school level. I am saying, as I’ve said elsewhere, that home-schooling is not for everyone because, to use Veith’s words, “many parents do not know enough about certain subjects to teach them to their children” and, more importantly, many parents simply are not good teachers (cf. Stephanie @10).

    Of course, many parents do know their subjects and are good teachers, and their children will no doubt do well being home-schooled. Or in a public school.

    I do wonder, though, WebMonk (@15), if these studies attempted to account for all the variables involved. Home-schooled students are, I would imagine, a self-selected group (falling along two lines, as I’ve observed: those who home-school (1) because they think it’s better for their child/their child can acheive more that way, and/or (2) owing to some political/cultural belief that it’s the right thing to do). I wouldn’t be too surprised that home-schooled kids perform better on average, because their parents are more involved, on average, and this affects all those things, doesn’t it? But to suggest that every student would do better if home-schooled is, I assert, to go beyond what those studies can measure or, at least, have measured.

    Josie (@14), as to college classes, I knew people in my public high school who simultaneously took classes at a local college (I myself earned about a year’s worth of college credit, even at my private university), and I know students at my wife’s private high school who do the same. Again, I’m not arguing against home-schooling, but rather arguing that it’s not always the best or only way.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I feel like people are replying to me without replying to me. I’m not arguing against homeschooling, even at the high-school level. I am saying, as I’ve said elsewhere, that home-schooling is not for everyone because, to use Veith’s words, “many parents do not know enough about certain subjects to teach them to their children” and, more importantly, many parents simply are not good teachers (cf. Stephanie @10).

    Of course, many parents do know their subjects and are good teachers, and their children will no doubt do well being home-schooled. Or in a public school.

    I do wonder, though, WebMonk (@15), if these studies attempted to account for all the variables involved. Home-schooled students are, I would imagine, a self-selected group (falling along two lines, as I’ve observed: those who home-school (1) because they think it’s better for their child/their child can acheive more that way, and/or (2) owing to some political/cultural belief that it’s the right thing to do). I wouldn’t be too surprised that home-schooled kids perform better on average, because their parents are more involved, on average, and this affects all those things, doesn’t it? But to suggest that every student would do better if home-schooled is, I assert, to go beyond what those studies can measure or, at least, have measured.

    Josie (@14), as to college classes, I knew people in my public high school who simultaneously took classes at a local college (I myself earned about a year’s worth of college credit, even at my private university), and I know students at my wife’s private high school who do the same. Again, I’m not arguing against home-schooling, but rather arguing that it’s not always the best or only way.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bubba (@16), I really think you didn’t read my question (@12) very well. Josie and WebMonk did, and I think they answered my question nicely. I do think it’s interesting, though, that Josie pointed to teaming up with the local public high school to fill in this potential hole in home-schooling.

    Of course there are private music teachers — I, too, had them, and guess what? Nearly all of mine were organized through my public high school! (Because hey, there’s not much need for oboe or marimba teaching in the world at large outside of such public-school music programs. My piano teacher was not, however, school-affiliated.)

    But yes, if there’s a local youth orchestra, then home-schoolers can take advantage of that. Great! If there isn’t, however, then the public school may be the best opportunity for a student to play in a symphony-level ensemble.

    But, again, this is all at the fringe of the actual topic.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bubba (@16), I really think you didn’t read my question (@12) very well. Josie and WebMonk did, and I think they answered my question nicely. I do think it’s interesting, though, that Josie pointed to teaming up with the local public high school to fill in this potential hole in home-schooling.

    Of course there are private music teachers — I, too, had them, and guess what? Nearly all of mine were organized through my public high school! (Because hey, there’s not much need for oboe or marimba teaching in the world at large outside of such public-school music programs. My piano teacher was not, however, school-affiliated.)

    But yes, if there’s a local youth orchestra, then home-schoolers can take advantage of that. Great! If there isn’t, however, then the public school may be the best opportunity for a student to play in a symphony-level ensemble.

    But, again, this is all at the fringe of the actual topic.

  • WebMonk

    Apologies for the multiple posts. I decided to break up what was becoming a mega-post.

    tODD, yes, you have brought up the standard question(s) about the studies. I thought about addressing them preemptively, but decided against it. I’m kicking myself now! :-)

    When researchers are doing sociological studies, they are quite aware of self-selection and how it can affect results. There are a variety of ways that these are handled when random selection isn’t possible. One is to look at very specific cases in which self-selection effects are minimized. Another is to quantify the effects of self-selection, and take those effects out when considering the final observations.

    I can’t possibly state that all home school studies take these issues into account, but I do know of home school studies which certainly do take these things into account. The results are as I stated – across the board, home schooled students out-perform their public schooled counterparts even when wealth, parental education, single parenthood, working parents, religion, reasons for educating, testing selections, etc are taken into account.

    One study I remember, looked at the before and after test results of kids whose parents started homeschooling. After home schooling began, test scores made significant jumps. I just mention that as an example of a test that took parental involvement into consideration – same parents, but the difference was the home schooling.

    Home schooling has been a relatively popular research topic, and not just by pro-home school groups, especially now that home schooling has been around in force long enough to support longitudinal studies.

    An interesting thing to do is to look at court cases involving home schooling – civil or legal. Twenty years ago, the objections put forward in the cases were the academic concerns brought up here. These days, court cases involving home schooling aren’t nearly as concerned about the academic effects since those have largely been shown to be unnecessary. Individuals may be challenged as a home schooling parent, but the academic concerns about home schooling in general have been pretty solidly addressed, in home schooling’s favor.

  • WebMonk

    Apologies for the multiple posts. I decided to break up what was becoming a mega-post.

    tODD, yes, you have brought up the standard question(s) about the studies. I thought about addressing them preemptively, but decided against it. I’m kicking myself now! :-)

    When researchers are doing sociological studies, they are quite aware of self-selection and how it can affect results. There are a variety of ways that these are handled when random selection isn’t possible. One is to look at very specific cases in which self-selection effects are minimized. Another is to quantify the effects of self-selection, and take those effects out when considering the final observations.

    I can’t possibly state that all home school studies take these issues into account, but I do know of home school studies which certainly do take these things into account. The results are as I stated – across the board, home schooled students out-perform their public schooled counterparts even when wealth, parental education, single parenthood, working parents, religion, reasons for educating, testing selections, etc are taken into account.

    One study I remember, looked at the before and after test results of kids whose parents started homeschooling. After home schooling began, test scores made significant jumps. I just mention that as an example of a test that took parental involvement into consideration – same parents, but the difference was the home schooling.

    Home schooling has been a relatively popular research topic, and not just by pro-home school groups, especially now that home schooling has been around in force long enough to support longitudinal studies.

    An interesting thing to do is to look at court cases involving home schooling – civil or legal. Twenty years ago, the objections put forward in the cases were the academic concerns brought up here. These days, court cases involving home schooling aren’t nearly as concerned about the academic effects since those have largely been shown to be unnecessary. Individuals may be challenged as a home schooling parent, but the academic concerns about home schooling in general have been pretty solidly addressed, in home schooling’s favor.

  • WebMonk

    Apologies for the multiple posts. I decided to break up what was becoming a mega-post.

    tODD, you may intend to just say that home school isn’t the universal best option for everyone, but what you are communicating, is that you don’t think it is possible for parents to provide specialized instruction in the range of needed topics.

    Obviously, no parent is going to have degrees/experience in all those areas (music, biology, chemistry, advanced math, literature, history, etc), so your statements come across as saying parents in general can’t adequately educate their kids in all the needed areas of education.

    Whether or not we think they can or can’t, somehow they are succeeding better than their public schooled peers.

    As for using public school resources to accomplish various ‘rare’ activities, that is a pretty wide-ranging topic. It’s also an increasingly moot point. Using symphony as an example -

    1) the locations with no symphony (or symphony-like) experience available outside the public school is becoming quite rare. Unfortunately, this isn’t because symphonies are becoming so wide-spread, but because music is being cut from public schools so much. This is true of many “non-core” areas, not just music.

    2) Home schooling has become so wide-spread that home school co-ops can develop their own symphonies purely on their own. My wife’s family, from VERY rural KS, home schooled their kids and the one child who was enough interested in music to join a symphony wasn’t able to join at the public school (no symphony), but was able to join with the home school symphony (clarinet or flute or something). Interestingly, speaking to my point 1), I heard that there are/were two public schooled students in the “home school” symphony since the public school doesn’t have one.

    For every situation where you find a steel drum band/marimba/chess club (just examples) in a school where nothing else is available outside, there are many more where you will find less inside the school than there is available outside the school.

    Unfortunately, that trend is growing in the wrong direction – fewer and fewer option in public schools.

    I’m not sure anyone here is arguing that home schooling is the best option for everyone. (there are those who argue that, which just goes to show home schooling isn’t free from nutcases) However, for those who want to do it, the results are better than the general public school result. The challenges of academics in home schooling, such as things like symphonies, sports, and ‘obscure’ or advanced classes, are not ones that are insurmountable or even particularly difficult to overcome.

  • WebMonk

    Apologies for the multiple posts. I decided to break up what was becoming a mega-post.

    tODD, you may intend to just say that home school isn’t the universal best option for everyone, but what you are communicating, is that you don’t think it is possible for parents to provide specialized instruction in the range of needed topics.

    Obviously, no parent is going to have degrees/experience in all those areas (music, biology, chemistry, advanced math, literature, history, etc), so your statements come across as saying parents in general can’t adequately educate their kids in all the needed areas of education.

    Whether or not we think they can or can’t, somehow they are succeeding better than their public schooled peers.

    As for using public school resources to accomplish various ‘rare’ activities, that is a pretty wide-ranging topic. It’s also an increasingly moot point. Using symphony as an example -

    1) the locations with no symphony (or symphony-like) experience available outside the public school is becoming quite rare. Unfortunately, this isn’t because symphonies are becoming so wide-spread, but because music is being cut from public schools so much. This is true of many “non-core” areas, not just music.

    2) Home schooling has become so wide-spread that home school co-ops can develop their own symphonies purely on their own. My wife’s family, from VERY rural KS, home schooled their kids and the one child who was enough interested in music to join a symphony wasn’t able to join at the public school (no symphony), but was able to join with the home school symphony (clarinet or flute or something). Interestingly, speaking to my point 1), I heard that there are/were two public schooled students in the “home school” symphony since the public school doesn’t have one.

    For every situation where you find a steel drum band/marimba/chess club (just examples) in a school where nothing else is available outside, there are many more where you will find less inside the school than there is available outside the school.

    Unfortunately, that trend is growing in the wrong direction – fewer and fewer option in public schools.

    I’m not sure anyone here is arguing that home schooling is the best option for everyone. (there are those who argue that, which just goes to show home schooling isn’t free from nutcases) However, for those who want to do it, the results are better than the general public school result. The challenges of academics in home schooling, such as things like symphonies, sports, and ‘obscure’ or advanced classes, are not ones that are insurmountable or even particularly difficult to overcome.

  • Joe

    tODD said: “I wouldn’t be too surprised that home-schooled kids perform better on average, because their parents are more involved, on average, and this affects all those things, doesn’t it?”

    I agree with this statement in general, but I think one of the biggest benefits to home-schooling is the flexibility it allows. My daughter started out in a public school, she was doing really poorly in math. Since we began home-schooling we have been able to find a curriculum and method for teaching math that works for her.

    We were very involved parents before we pulled her out of public school, but the real difference was the ability to tailor the curriculum to her.

  • Joe

    tODD said: “I wouldn’t be too surprised that home-schooled kids perform better on average, because their parents are more involved, on average, and this affects all those things, doesn’t it?”

    I agree with this statement in general, but I think one of the biggest benefits to home-schooling is the flexibility it allows. My daughter started out in a public school, she was doing really poorly in math. Since we began home-schooling we have been able to find a curriculum and method for teaching math that works for her.

    We were very involved parents before we pulled her out of public school, but the real difference was the ability to tailor the curriculum to her.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    tODD, I did understand your question, and quite frankly, your answer is historically myopic. What prevents homeschooling and the private sector from generating the next Bach, as it did the first?

    In my experience, it’s only the assumption that the government schools must be involved. We put a lot of trust in credentials these days; I’m going to suggest that we might do well to learn how to learn, and those credentials won’t be so important.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    tODD, I did understand your question, and quite frankly, your answer is historically myopic. What prevents homeschooling and the private sector from generating the next Bach, as it did the first?

    In my experience, it’s only the assumption that the government schools must be involved. We put a lot of trust in credentials these days; I’m going to suggest that we might do well to learn how to learn, and those credentials won’t be so important.

  • Booklover

    “My point here is that homeschooling parents generally have just as much content-area expertise as public school teachers on the elementary level.”

    Speaking from direct experience, I agree with you completely. I have an elementary education degree. I could cry at what I didn’t learn in college, and at how ignorant many of my fellow classmates were. *And they are teaching your children.* I did not have even one history class required in my elementary education curriculum. That was the biggest loss, but there were many. I remember having three required p.e. education classes, but not one history class. Also, almost all of my college education classes were almost totally bereft of content.

    Perhaps the most tragic thing about the teaching majors’ curriculum was a fourth grade math class in which we learned about sets. Yes, sets. I thought surely we would learn how to teach it; but no, we were taught it as if we were fourth graders. And the sad thing was, there were some college students in the class who didn’t know it. :-(

    I never truly knew how to teach until I read my homeschool catalogs. Then I knew exactly what to teach. I also knew some from my gut, from Lutheran catechism classes from when I was small. Otherwise, my college education was a total loss.

    So I have to laugh at people who say that homeschoolers don’t teach elementary school as well as school teachers.

  • Booklover

    “My point here is that homeschooling parents generally have just as much content-area expertise as public school teachers on the elementary level.”

    Speaking from direct experience, I agree with you completely. I have an elementary education degree. I could cry at what I didn’t learn in college, and at how ignorant many of my fellow classmates were. *And they are teaching your children.* I did not have even one history class required in my elementary education curriculum. That was the biggest loss, but there were many. I remember having three required p.e. education classes, but not one history class. Also, almost all of my college education classes were almost totally bereft of content.

    Perhaps the most tragic thing about the teaching majors’ curriculum was a fourth grade math class in which we learned about sets. Yes, sets. I thought surely we would learn how to teach it; but no, we were taught it as if we were fourth graders. And the sad thing was, there were some college students in the class who didn’t know it. :-(

    I never truly knew how to teach until I read my homeschool catalogs. Then I knew exactly what to teach. I also knew some from my gut, from Lutheran catechism classes from when I was small. Otherwise, my college education was a total loss.

    So I have to laugh at people who say that homeschoolers don’t teach elementary school as well as school teachers.

  • Booklover

    I forgot to mention how horrifying the reading curriculum was in my teachers’ college. Phonics was never once mentioned, unless it was to be laughed at.

  • Booklover

    I forgot to mention how horrifying the reading curriculum was in my teachers’ college. Phonics was never once mentioned, unless it was to be laughed at.

  • DonS

    Regarding the issue of access to extra-curricular activities like symphony, band, athletics, etc., never underestimate the motivation of homeschooling parents to find a way to expose their children to these types of opportunities. Our homeschooling support group provides specialized high school level math and science classes, often taught by credentialed teachers, to fill in gaps where parents do not feel comfortable teaching themselves, and cannot find a suitable team teaching arrangement. We also have three choirs (covering grades 1-12), as well as an instrumental band. Local youth symphonies, choirs, and drama companies cover the need for those students having a particular and advanced interest in music or drama. We also offer art classes, taught by parent artists. As for athletics, in CA public schools typically refuse to accommodate home schoolers, despite the considerable property taxes we pay for our schools. So, private schools have stepped up to fill the need. Two of my sons have played high school baseball through a local private high school. In San Diego County, a home school dad started a private school and became a member of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), fielding a number of high school athletic teams competing in their local high school league.

    A trait of home schoolers is that they do not tend to be consumers. Rather than waiting for someone to provide a service, they typically go out and provide it themselves. Patrick Henry College is probably the ultimate example of that mindset.

  • DonS

    Regarding the issue of access to extra-curricular activities like symphony, band, athletics, etc., never underestimate the motivation of homeschooling parents to find a way to expose their children to these types of opportunities. Our homeschooling support group provides specialized high school level math and science classes, often taught by credentialed teachers, to fill in gaps where parents do not feel comfortable teaching themselves, and cannot find a suitable team teaching arrangement. We also have three choirs (covering grades 1-12), as well as an instrumental band. Local youth symphonies, choirs, and drama companies cover the need for those students having a particular and advanced interest in music or drama. We also offer art classes, taught by parent artists. As for athletics, in CA public schools typically refuse to accommodate home schoolers, despite the considerable property taxes we pay for our schools. So, private schools have stepped up to fill the need. Two of my sons have played high school baseball through a local private high school. In San Diego County, a home school dad started a private school and became a member of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), fielding a number of high school athletic teams competing in their local high school league.

    A trait of home schoolers is that they do not tend to be consumers. Rather than waiting for someone to provide a service, they typically go out and provide it themselves. Patrick Henry College is probably the ultimate example of that mindset.

  • Booklover

    I just can’t stop coming up with examples of how poor the required elementary education classes were in my college career.

    We learned lots and lots and lots of how to make “learning centers” and bulletin boards and “work jobs,” whatever those are; but we never learned about beautiful literature, WWI, WWII, the reasons behind the Civil War, theology (of course not theology). . .

  • Booklover

    I just can’t stop coming up with examples of how poor the required elementary education classes were in my college career.

    We learned lots and lots and lots of how to make “learning centers” and bulletin boards and “work jobs,” whatever those are; but we never learned about beautiful literature, WWI, WWII, the reasons behind the Civil War, theology (of course not theology). . .

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk (@20), I can’t possibly respond to all these studies you mention, in part because I don’t have time, and in part because you don’t actually give me any specifics to go on. I’ll have to trust you.

    One note, though, on this: “One study I remember, looked at the before and after test results of kids whose parents started homeschooling.” Doesn’t this seem an obvious conclusion? Why would a parent switch from public school (I assume — you didn’t mention it) to home-schooling? Well, it’s possible the parent has undergone a rapid cultural shift leading him to believe it’s the right option. But I’m going to bet that in most such cases, it’s because the parent has come to the conclusion that such a switch is best for the student. Perhaps he’s bored in public school. Perhaps he’s falling behind the rest of his class. Perhaps he has behavioral issues in such a large class setting. Regardless, I can’t imagine too many situations where such a switch wouldn’t result in improvements. I wonder if there were any studies done for students switching from home-schooling to public schooling.

    Of course, all of this talk assumes that (standardized?) test scores are the best metric for measuring the quality or effectiveness of a schooling method.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk (@20), I can’t possibly respond to all these studies you mention, in part because I don’t have time, and in part because you don’t actually give me any specifics to go on. I’ll have to trust you.

    One note, though, on this: “One study I remember, looked at the before and after test results of kids whose parents started homeschooling.” Doesn’t this seem an obvious conclusion? Why would a parent switch from public school (I assume — you didn’t mention it) to home-schooling? Well, it’s possible the parent has undergone a rapid cultural shift leading him to believe it’s the right option. But I’m going to bet that in most such cases, it’s because the parent has come to the conclusion that such a switch is best for the student. Perhaps he’s bored in public school. Perhaps he’s falling behind the rest of his class. Perhaps he has behavioral issues in such a large class setting. Regardless, I can’t imagine too many situations where such a switch wouldn’t result in improvements. I wonder if there were any studies done for students switching from home-schooling to public schooling.

    Of course, all of this talk assumes that (standardized?) test scores are the best metric for measuring the quality or effectiveness of a schooling method.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk (@21), what can I say? At no point did I say, “I don’t think it is possible for parents to provide specialized instruction in the range of needed topics” or “parents in general can’t adequately educate their kids in all the needed areas of education.” I told you what I mean, but you don’t believe me. Frankly, you seem a bit defensive here.

    I’m glad home-schooling worked well for you (all of you). I’m happy to concede that it works well for many. And you know what? Public schooling worked really well for me. I’m not really getting the impression, however, from you home-schooling fans that you believe public schools can be a good idea, a good option, and even — for some students — better than home-schooling. That’s what I’m responding to, here.

    But the arguments from home-school defenders seem to assume some kind of ideal home-school that is an alliance of various parents with diverse, specialized knowledge and great teaching skills, all. That’s great if that’s how your “home-school” works, but you can’t tell me every home-schooled child has that experience. I feel like I’m being asked to defend the worst examples of public schools against this “home-school” ideal. If you think that reflects reality, then great.

    Bubba (@23), I’m not going to reply, because I didn’t make any arguments that you’re responding to. Sorry. You probably have me confused with someone who thinks home-schooling is always a bad thing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk (@21), what can I say? At no point did I say, “I don’t think it is possible for parents to provide specialized instruction in the range of needed topics” or “parents in general can’t adequately educate their kids in all the needed areas of education.” I told you what I mean, but you don’t believe me. Frankly, you seem a bit defensive here.

    I’m glad home-schooling worked well for you (all of you). I’m happy to concede that it works well for many. And you know what? Public schooling worked really well for me. I’m not really getting the impression, however, from you home-schooling fans that you believe public schools can be a good idea, a good option, and even — for some students — better than home-schooling. That’s what I’m responding to, here.

    But the arguments from home-school defenders seem to assume some kind of ideal home-school that is an alliance of various parents with diverse, specialized knowledge and great teaching skills, all. That’s great if that’s how your “home-school” works, but you can’t tell me every home-schooled child has that experience. I feel like I’m being asked to defend the worst examples of public schools against this “home-school” ideal. If you think that reflects reality, then great.

    Bubba (@23), I’m not going to reply, because I didn’t make any arguments that you’re responding to. Sorry. You probably have me confused with someone who thinks home-schooling is always a bad thing.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD, I don’t really see where anyone advanced the preposterous claim that homeschooling is the best option for every family. I think people are just responding to the general concerns you are raising that have plagued homeschoolers for the last several decades and that have been resoundingly refuted over and over again by numerous scientific studies; thus, we/they are tired of dealing with the questions. You are quite right in pointing out that most homeschoolers already have certain variables weighted for them, though: involved parents, stable households, etc.

    I will say this much: public schools may have been a good option for you and for many, and some may still be, but I will say that (regardless of your views on whether everyone should have equal access to free education) public schools as a system are currently fraught with many, many problems that, in my opinion, are coming increasingly closer to disqualifying them as a viable educational option–and when I say that, I am thinking of curriculum deficiencies, ideological and philosophical divergences which have eroded the quality of education provided (at best), and a general social atmosphere that is not at all beneficial or salubrious for children, amongst other things. Even undergraduate professors at my state university complain that the majority of their incoming students are not at all prepared for even the basic material covered in survey courses, not to mention the fact that the students who hail from the “millennial generation” (i.e., my own generation or a few years younger) are, as a group, the most vile people I have ever met, of any age and any location: their use of language, sexuality, media, substances, and their withered spiritual and intellectual faculties are supremely depressing. I am generalizing of course, but it is largely a valid generalization: these are the products of your vaunted public schools.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD, I don’t really see where anyone advanced the preposterous claim that homeschooling is the best option for every family. I think people are just responding to the general concerns you are raising that have plagued homeschoolers for the last several decades and that have been resoundingly refuted over and over again by numerous scientific studies; thus, we/they are tired of dealing with the questions. You are quite right in pointing out that most homeschoolers already have certain variables weighted for them, though: involved parents, stable households, etc.

    I will say this much: public schools may have been a good option for you and for many, and some may still be, but I will say that (regardless of your views on whether everyone should have equal access to free education) public schools as a system are currently fraught with many, many problems that, in my opinion, are coming increasingly closer to disqualifying them as a viable educational option–and when I say that, I am thinking of curriculum deficiencies, ideological and philosophical divergences which have eroded the quality of education provided (at best), and a general social atmosphere that is not at all beneficial or salubrious for children, amongst other things. Even undergraduate professors at my state university complain that the majority of their incoming students are not at all prepared for even the basic material covered in survey courses, not to mention the fact that the students who hail from the “millennial generation” (i.e., my own generation or a few years younger) are, as a group, the most vile people I have ever met, of any age and any location: their use of language, sexuality, media, substances, and their withered spiritual and intellectual faculties are supremely depressing. I am generalizing of course, but it is largely a valid generalization: these are the products of your vaunted public schools.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@30), okay, what “concerns” did I raise that “have been resoundingly refuted over and over again by numerous scientific studies”?

    I do think it’s funny how little you think of public schools given that you’re currently enrolled in one — by choice, no less.

    For some reason, the college level seems to get a pass in all the arguments for home-schooling. No one seems to be making the argument for home-schooling being a good idea after the high-school level. Why is that? Why was it a good idea for you to stop being home-schooled and move on to a private university, and now a public one?

    And nobody here has demonstrated that home-schooling is immune to “curriculum deficiencies, ideological and philosophical divergences”. One can make anecdotal claims, of course, but there is no systemic reason why parents wouldn’t make the same mistakes. In fact, some here, in defending home-schooling in general, have lamented the deficiencies in a number of popular home-schooling curricula.

    “The ‘millennial generation’ … are, as a group, the most vile people I have ever met.” Well, you should thank God that you are not like those other people of your generation, hmm, that your spiritual and intellectual facilities are that much superior to theirs.

    Also, your conclusion that “these are the products of your vaunted public schools” fails to address the fact that the several preceding generations were also products of public schools.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@30), okay, what “concerns” did I raise that “have been resoundingly refuted over and over again by numerous scientific studies”?

    I do think it’s funny how little you think of public schools given that you’re currently enrolled in one — by choice, no less.

    For some reason, the college level seems to get a pass in all the arguments for home-schooling. No one seems to be making the argument for home-schooling being a good idea after the high-school level. Why is that? Why was it a good idea for you to stop being home-schooled and move on to a private university, and now a public one?

    And nobody here has demonstrated that home-schooling is immune to “curriculum deficiencies, ideological and philosophical divergences”. One can make anecdotal claims, of course, but there is no systemic reason why parents wouldn’t make the same mistakes. In fact, some here, in defending home-schooling in general, have lamented the deficiencies in a number of popular home-schooling curricula.

    “The ‘millennial generation’ … are, as a group, the most vile people I have ever met.” Well, you should thank God that you are not like those other people of your generation, hmm, that your spiritual and intellectual facilities are that much superior to theirs.

    Also, your conclusion that “these are the products of your vaunted public schools” fails to address the fact that the several preceding generations were also products of public schools.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus:

    I’m a baby boomer. I’ll stack up our vileness against your vileness anytime.

    For that matter, my youngest daughter (your fellow millenial) recently watched the movie “The Duchess” and continually expresses her shock to me at how vile people were in the late 18th century: supposedly a more Christian era than our own.

    Vileness is pretty universal, I think.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus:

    I’m a baby boomer. I’ll stack up our vileness against your vileness anytime.

    For that matter, my youngest daughter (your fellow millenial) recently watched the movie “The Duchess” and continually expresses her shock to me at how vile people were in the late 18th century: supposedly a more Christian era than our own.

    Vileness is pretty universal, I think.

  • http://www.pottersschool.org/MrSpotts Dave Spotts

    As someone who homeschools, provides online support classes for homeschoolers, and who has taught in face-to-face classrooms on the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels I can attest to this simple fact. Educating anyone in serious content, and doing it well, is a lot of work.

    I also would affirm that the credentials don’t matter much. I happen to have an advanced degree in my field, granted with high honors from one of the top institutions in the country. I have done a lot of re-learning and filling in the gaps in my education over the years, as has any academic worth his salt. Is that kind of work and integrity recognized? No. I stopped tutoring students some years ago when my state government advised me I had to collect sales tax for those services. You see, I am not a professional teacher. I’m counted as unskilled labor. What would make the difference? If I had a teaching certificate I would be a professional.

    Thankfully there are myriad both professional and non-professional people in this country who care about their content and about helping children. I am blessed to be able to carry on that vocation in a setting which has little governmental regulation. I can worry about discipleship, socialization, Latin, and Greek without fussing with some of those other issues my colleagues in the public sector do. I pray that more people will have such an opportunity.

  • http://www.pottersschool.org/MrSpotts Dave Spotts

    As someone who homeschools, provides online support classes for homeschoolers, and who has taught in face-to-face classrooms on the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels I can attest to this simple fact. Educating anyone in serious content, and doing it well, is a lot of work.

    I also would affirm that the credentials don’t matter much. I happen to have an advanced degree in my field, granted with high honors from one of the top institutions in the country. I have done a lot of re-learning and filling in the gaps in my education over the years, as has any academic worth his salt. Is that kind of work and integrity recognized? No. I stopped tutoring students some years ago when my state government advised me I had to collect sales tax for those services. You see, I am not a professional teacher. I’m counted as unskilled labor. What would make the difference? If I had a teaching certificate I would be a professional.

    Thankfully there are myriad both professional and non-professional people in this country who care about their content and about helping children. I am blessed to be able to carry on that vocation in a setting which has little governmental regulation. I can worry about discipleship, socialization, Latin, and Greek without fussing with some of those other issues my colleagues in the public sector do. I pray that more people will have such an opportunity.

  • WebMonk

    tODD 31, as far as the home schooling for college levels, there most certainly are many people who do advocate that. I agree with many of the reasons.

    College has many sociological aspects, too, which are desired along with the college education and aren’t accomplished through home schooling. Also, college typically comes at a time when the students are approaching an age to leave the home anyway.

    I don’t think home school college (as a method distinct from taking distance learning courses from a college) will ever catch on. But, I think that at least through the BA/BS level, home schooling certainly could provide an equivalent education compared to most colleges.

  • WebMonk

    tODD 31, as far as the home schooling for college levels, there most certainly are many people who do advocate that. I agree with many of the reasons.

    College has many sociological aspects, too, which are desired along with the college education and aren’t accomplished through home schooling. Also, college typically comes at a time when the students are approaching an age to leave the home anyway.

    I don’t think home school college (as a method distinct from taking distance learning courses from a college) will ever catch on. But, I think that at least through the BA/BS level, home schooling certainly could provide an equivalent education compared to most colleges.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X