Homeschooling: Real Time Experience

08 July 2012
I came across a website called eNotes and a discussion was going on about:  Homeschooling: Are you for it or against it? Why?

I suppose we all have had the privilege of reading the comments below and they are especially fantastic when they come from public school teachers and administrators.  I do have an issue when the only debate for NOT homeschooling is socialization.

Some of the comments were

I have known home schooled children who excelled socially, but they were involved in church groups and club sports which helped them with socialization.  I have also known home schooled students who were practically shut off from the rest of the world, and they have struggled mightily to adapt to the real world.
I am neither for it nor against it.  I have chosen not to homeschool my children because I think they (especially the older) need to socialize in a way that would be hard to provide in a home school setting.  In that sense, then, I am against it.
Homeschooling - properly done- is one of the most effective educational programs. It has produced scientists, philosophers, and teachers with amazing stories to tell the world. However, homeschooling is all about organization, detail, consistency, and ongoing data collection. This is not for typical lazy and whiny parent that us teachers encounter at least twice every year of our career. This is work cut for a champ. I basically completed my doctorate in education and there is no way I would home-school my child.Why? Because I canNOT do it However, if I were organized, patient, and less critical of my own kid I would definitely do it. 100% for sure     ---this coming FROM a teacher?
Too often children who are homeschooled not only are denied the opportunity to develop social skills, they often develop a false sense of superiority because the parent--who generally is not an educator-- has instilled in the child how "special" he/she is. More often than not, home schooling is a tragic mistake which ultimately will negatively impact the child's emotional and intellectual development.

Needless-to-say, it goes on. 

I had to write my reply:

As a homeschool teacher/mother....a lot of your statements misrepresent what homeschooling is about.

Homeschooling is

1. a relationship - family, sibling to sibling, extended family, friends

(debunk for "socialization")

2. a personal, imitate curriculum/education - the curriculum is tailor-made to the student (not to the teacher)

Our curriculum for next year:

3. Freedom in learning - like someone mentioned above, homeschooling is a great eduation when done right. Are there bad homeschool teachers?? Yes. Are there bad public school teachers? Yes. Actually more since the ratio is greater.

4. Accountability - parent(s) who decide to homeschool their children are making a decision to be accountable for their education... it's not lightly taken or made.

(It does take some organizational skills) --- but patience and critical comments? Talking to #7 --- Not all homeschool teachers are GIFTED with patience. Frankly, I would think a public school teacher would NEED more PATIENCE, ORGANIZATION to teach 20-30 kids who are NOT their own children.

5. Socialization is such a medieval word these days to homechool teachers.

Where to get socialization:

a. siblings

b. parents

c. friends (yes, homeschool kids have friends)

d. co-ops

e. church activities

f. homeschool organized sports (yes, they can compete in organized sports -even in Texas)

g. ministries - we have been going to a NURSING HOME ministry every week

f. camps

Shall I go on??

6. Education of the homeschool parent - Now, I get a little perturbed when teachers (of any kind) say a homeschool teacher cannot teach without a degree.

If you research (just a tad) you'd find that a parent who homeschooled their children (not a fluke homeschool teacher) and the teacher had a High School diploma only compared to a homeschool teacher with a higher education -- the homeschool student did just AS WELL (maybe a few points under) as the homeschool teacher with a degree did with their student(s). AND, AND far better than their counterparts in a public school setting.

a. Homeschool Scores vs Public School Test Scores:

b. Homeschool Advantage:

You can go on and research and you'll always find that homeschooling is more productive for any student 

who has parents who are serious about their children's education.

(So, no. A homeschool parent/teacher does not need a Doctorate in Education to teach.)

7. As for being less socially immature -- I am going out on a limb and say that you mean he or she is NOT in tune with what the world is doing/teaching. Actually, as a homeschool parent this is a KEY reason to homeschool.

(Didn't you hear about the 10 boys in English class watching Porn & masterbating WHILE IN CLASS?? ---was that teacher teaching and/or keeping the environment safe for others?) Sadly this might be an extreme example, but lets face it ---it's not far behind elsewhere in a public school setting.

8. Colleges and Universities are WAKING up and actually looking for and recruiting homeschoolers. They just are that MORE prepared for college.

Homeschoolers EXCEL in College:

Finally, as a homeschool mom/teacher....

It's my right as a parent to decide what kind of education my sons will receive. I just wish more parents understood that...yet, they are lied into thinking there is nothing better out there. Personally, I think ALL parents know that's what is best for their own children, but homeschooling is WORK, SWEAT, and a HUGE COMMITMENT.

And they want none of it.

I am not sure if it's right to respond to a teacher's forum, but in this case, sometimes a little of real time experience is necessary for discussion.  

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Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations said...

You got guts, Ma'am. :)

As for socialization opportunities, I would add "running errands with parent". My kids are very social, educated and know how to have a conversation just by going to the grocery store with me.

It's like night and day the difference between a public school kid and a homeschooled one. The public school kid needs and waits for authorization in order to speak in public. They don't know how to talk to adults and have a hard time making friends.

My kids or the homeschooled ones I know will talk to anybody and know how to carry a conversation. And I am talking about kids who are 9 y.o. and under, not teens.

anyway, nice meeting another homeschooling Mom. :)

Heather Lynn said...

This is a great post! I totally agree with all you have said. I get so tired of the "socialization" comment and many others that mimic those above. I wonder if the nay-sayers will EVER find a new argument? It's the same tired stuff. The people against homeschooling who say "I knew homeschoolers that ___________________ (something negative) so that is why I feel the way I do". Well, let us sit down and talk about public school children I have known and what *THEY* did that made me think that PS is not for my family.

Mary said...

Amen, Sister.

Amanda said...

Amen, amen, and AMEN!

Anonymous said...

Ok first let me say that I am NOT against homeschooling. But I am getting sick of being told
that kids that go to public school are not good kids, run amuck,get in trouble and have no morals!! My 15 year old son has been in public school his whole life. He is a straight A student,NEVER gets in trouble,has awesome Christian morals and Values, doesn't follow his peers but blazes his own trail, Doesn't follow the ways of the world,and is a AWESOME kid!! Not everyone feels like they have what it takes to homeschool and not every family can financially homeschool. For me I have always been a stay at home mom up until year and a half ago. I could of homeschooled and actually thought about it constantly,but was afraid I couldn't do a good job. The thought of being with my son all day was amazing because we are and have always been very close. Every time I dropped him off at school I went home and cried. My son is planning on going to Texas A&M to be a animal Vet and I have no doubt he has what it takes.

Jessica Stemmerding said...

Dear Anonymous,

This post wasn't about the character of a child (although homeschooling provides that personally from PARENT TO CHILD), but the option of education for our children. There are plenty of children who are homeschooled and those who attend gov. school(s) whose character is questionable, but obviously you have had some resentment for not homeschooling your child. I am sure he'll do just great in college. MOST do.

I, myself, went through public school (and so did my husband), but let's face it --- public school isn't the same public school as 10 or 20 years ago.

My question for you is WHY did you not think you could homeschool? I would really like to know your answer.

And as far as being good...the bible says that "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
-Romans 3:23

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" - Romans 3:10

If all he does is the for glory of have not failed your child. That's the important thing for us ALL TO REMEMBER as Christians.

I am not perfect and neither are my children and I didn't say so either. Homeschooling is a matter of principle for most homeschool parents, but I'll say's a parental choice, not the public school teacher's choice, the neighbor's choice, the in-laws choice (you get the idea).

When I took my child out of the public school, at the last teacher's conference with his teacher...she was very adamant in giving me all the wrong examples of homeschooling...she asked (interrogated)me about education, about curriculum, etc. etc.

Finally, when she knew we were serious and were going to pull him out... she chuckled a said, "Okay, I guess we'll (the school) let you homeschool."

Wrong. I don't need your permission.

I apologize that you took offense to my post.

Mother of Action said...

I also want to comment to some that say it's wrong to divide the issue of homeschooling vs public school.

As parents we have already done this by the decisions we make. So whatever decisions you make for your child (children) in their education path -- Stand your ground on your decisions you make for them and stop sitting on the fence when it comes to discussions.

I am not pointing fingers AT ANYONE. I am just simply standing my ground.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! Come back soon! Sincerely, Jessica

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