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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Re: Home-schooled and illiterate

I read an article yesterday called Home-schooled and illiterate at Salon.com. The writer begins by describing a family she knew when she was younger that homeschooled poorly. They were conservative Christian and it seemed, from her looking in that the family did not value education for the girls most especially. The article goes on to state that other homeschooling moms usually from the quiverfull movement, bless their hearts, try, but get overwhelmed by  just having and caring for the kids they have, never mind actually educating them, and so they get lost in the fray.  It infers that even the most the most well meaning homeschool moms, fool themselves that they can handle homeschooling but they can't.

Of course the article throws in that there are some very diligent homeschooling parents who can and will  do a stellar job. But they add that in order to make sure that kids get the best education while homeschooling, there should be severe oversight.

 That's how I read it anyway. Let me know if you glean something different from it.

If I didn't find the article frustrating enough, the comments section sent me into a seizure. I'm twitching as I write this.  The comments ran the full gamut from "homeschoolers abuse their kids", to "if we are going to have oversight, we might as well embrace communism".  Yes, we like to overreact, don't we?

My problem is who are these people the article talks about, and why don't people ever look at the average homeschoolers? The ones who are kicking butt and taking names?!

I have about 10 years of blogging here. Look back. You will see that I am for the most part normal and very diligent about the education of my kids. Over the years, my personality and strong held convictions have softened, and happens with age, but you will see that we homeschooled because the schools left us no other option, and yes, I feel like my kids are better off for it.

And... there are millions of families like mine who started off in public or another form of school and then ran away screaming and waving their hands because their kids were being mistreated and/or swept under the rug. We homeschool diligently, with the goal being college, or post homeschool training of some sort. Our first goal is to make sure our children are educated well, and they are happy, and they are well adjusted.

And if you were to ask my kids, their list of things they would change is short... and that list is written in retrospect, a couple years after homeschooling. They have also given me a list of things they would do again if they had that choice... actually, see my last post.  I don't just pull these blog posts out of my butt.

I guess my final response to the article, is back off.  Don't look at the most fringe groups (I'm sure they will hate being called that) and make blanket decisions about all homeschoolers.  Don't look at the abusers and blame it on homeschoolers, blame it on abusers.  Finally, I really don't know about oversight.  The oversight we used to have here in GA was annoying and basic. Take an attendance sheet and send it in. Take a standardized test every few years and hold on to it just in case.  It was silly.  But more strict oversight will surely be enforced unevenly and haphazardly, so how would that work.  My biggest worry about oversight is that who is to say what is best for the child. The person who knows the kid or the person who drops in twice a year?  And what would that do to the uneven education that often happens in homeschooling that is actually brilliantly successful.  (What I mean by uneven education is that even if a kid is struggling in math and is a year behind, that should not stop them from being 4 grades ahead in language)... Traditional schools don't lend to well to this,  but it works well.  The kid will eventually catch up in math, but be literal geniuses in other areas.  I'd hate to see that controlled.

That's all I have for now, I would love to open this up to comments.  Please read the article and let me know what you think.




2 comments:

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

This Vyckie chick is a puppy dog for anti-homeschooling websites and causes. She did a crappy job with her kids and now she is trying to justify it by blaming homeschooling and/or fundamentalism. That's my take on it. I see her about everywhere, whining and crying about having too many kids and this and that. Her choices. But oh! In retrospect, she shouldn't've gotten a choice?

For that matter, plenty of public- and private-schooled children turn out rather badly. I'm going to assume this recent news story does not involve homeschoolers or ex-homeschoolers for the specific reason that it isn't in the headline (journalistic bias much?).

http://abcnews.go.com/US/brothers-accused-kill-parents-georgia-home/story?id=33570595

Usethebrains Godgiveyou said...

Oh, my...one couldn't possibly come up with a more one-sided view. How do they explain the preponderance of museum, fitness, and political entities that offer classes for homeschool kids? Have they all been cleared for religious correctness? The community is ready to accept these kids.

From what I saw from my 'special needs' son---his special need was for the public school to teach dyslexics, the 20% of the school population whose needs they ignore in order to label, drug, and call lazy. Teaching them is just "too hard". (And it is. It's damn hard to wrap your mind around a kid who is wired differently from you. What the world needs is more dyslexic teachers like my son had in 5th grade...)

That article, it seems it was meant to keep up the "othering" of homeschool kids, when nothing could be farther from the truth. In our case, it was homeschool, or dropping out. As it is, Benno is will graduate with his associates in machine tooling. He plans to work a couple of years and go on to Georgia Tech, possibly, to go into Mechanical Engineering.

What the hell are you supposed to do when your kid needs you, and the school could give a hoot? Schools fail 25% of our kids. Let's just tuck that little item away...look over there, it's a homeschooler! I bet far fewer than 25% if homeschooled kids are failed by their parents. Eleven years old and not reading? What if the kid was Dyslexic and untaught in our public schools. Like the 19% of highschool graduates that can't read, spoken of here--http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/06/illiteracy-rate_n_3880355.html I guess that doesn't include the 25% of kids who fail out of school, who probably weren't taught to read, either. Could it be that public schools fail to teach 44% of our kids to read? Could homeschooling do any worse?

I get a little hot under the collar on this one. My views are very one-sided. Think of them as a counter-balance to that article. Except, I'm telling the truth, ha!