Friday, June 16, 2006

Bad Argument For Homeschooling

There are plenty of good reasons for homeschooling. My personal thought is that if school districts wanted to get in on the action, they'd have downloadable lessons available for homeschoolers, home/hospital students, expellees, etc.

Of all the reasons I've heard for homeschooling, though, this one is among the worst: a teacher might molest your kid. Granted, there have been plenty of stories in the news about teachers (often women, it seems) doing the dirty with their students, but what is the probability that it will happen to your kid? And how does that probability relate to getting struck by lightning, or of dying in a car accident?

Sounds like hyperbolic hysteria to me.


40 said...

I know you might find this hard to believe, but I think homeschooling is a terrible choice.

To take your kids away from the social interaction and competition of a school is disasterous in my opinion.

There is just too much good that can come out of the public school experience to prepare a kid for what they'll have to do in life. Just ask any cubical bound corporate whore. (i used to be one, i know all about it)

Darren said...

The only children I've ever had extensive interaction with, who were homeschooled, were the most articulate, friendly, brilliant, well-adjusted kids I've ever met.

As for competition and social interaction, they got lots of that in places like Little League--and the fact that all the neighborhood kids hung out at their house after school!

There are some homeschooled kids down the street from me but I don't know them all that well. My son plays with them on occasion. They seem fairly well-adjusted, too.

Sometimes I think the best argument for public schools is that they're already paid for! But I won't go that far--I got a pretty good education at what is *still* a pretty average school. But they're clearly not for everyone.

Eric said...

20 or 30 years the socialization argument could've held more validity but not now. Hmmm....let's think about this one example my child is in a classroom for 6-7 hours a day with other children the same age all doing identical things compared to being homeschooled where he/she is able to be out in the community interacting with people of various ages and backgrounds (not to mention more diversity in thought and ideas). The homeschooled children I've interacted with have been able to hold there own in a much better and more appopriate way with adults than the majority of public school children I've worked with. (Oh, by the way, I am one of those ppublic school teachers who thinks that if a family has the resources that it is much better to homeschool.)

Seems to me that the past few years there has been a preponderance of homeschooled children in the finals of the national "bees" (spelling, geography etc).

EllenK said...

My experience with homeschooled kids hasn't been that positive. Since I teach in a public high school in a fairly affluent neighborhood, most of the homeschooled kids are involved with athletics programs such as Junior Olympics that preclude regular attendance. For the most part, we never see these kids and when they are enrolled in "regular" school they sometimes end up behind or absence failing due to lack of attendance. One girl in particular was a gifted writer, but was at the skating rink from 4 in the morning until 9 and then from 5 until 9 at night. The kid was exhausted.As for kids whose parents homeschool them due to a wide range of fears, many of them come from backgrounds that are so fearful of any type of diversity that they keep their kids separate from all outside influences. Think Ned Flanders on steroids and you have a prime example. Then there are the kids who are so rebellious, and so mad that their parents put them in private schools away from their friends, that they act up and get kicked out. The parents really don't want to teach them, often don't know how to teach them, but due to the social climbing nature of a private school education, refuse to enroll their kids in school until high school. While most of these kids can read and write well, they are often far behind their peers in math and science and have often been spoon-fed narrow doses of art, history and geography. Then the parents bring them to school and are furious when we can't fill the educational gaps like magic. I know there are stellar examples of homeschooled kids getting into Ivy League schools, but every time you see some horrific tale of fundamentalism religious gone rampant based child abuse, the kids are almost always homeschooled. Or at least that is the way it's played out in our state.

Suzi said...

I think Mr. Rockwell was overtaken by the horror of it all. No, child molestation is not a good reason to homeschool. Children can be molested at the library, at camp, at scouts, at church... And have been. Would we keep our children from being molested if we could? Yes. Can we? Maybe not.

I actually expected, when I clicked on the link, to see a more humorous response. Some of the homeschoolers whose blogs I read would cite the statistics and say something like "Reason 7,543, 221 to homeschool."

I would say that this reason is not a good reason to homeschool.

rightwingprof said...

No, it's not a good argument for homeschooling, but over the last five years, I've gotten more and more homeschooled students, and they're by far the best students I get. As for socialization, well, my nephew came home from first grade and my sister-in-law asked him where his stuff was (the things they'd bought him for school). He said the teacher had taken everything from them, put it in a big box, and redistributed so the "disadvantaged" students wouldn't feel bad, or some such Marxist nonsense. My brother and sister-in-law took him out of school the next day, and they homeschool, rather than have their kids "socialized" into being little communists.

Darren said...

I'd have gone to visit the teacher first.