Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's Right About Home Schooling?

Texas Court Rules Against Homeschoolers
By: shawn

Posted On 11 Aug 2014
They say it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. Last week, the Texas Eighth District Court of Appeals determined that parents who had stopped homeschooling their children because they thought Jesus was soon to return were not exempt from the state’s education regulations. The parents – Michael and Laura McIntyre – took their nine kids out of private school in 2004 in favor of home school.
The case came to a head in 2006, when the El Paso Independent School District received an anonymous tip that the children were not being educated at all. When the district attempted to recover curriculum data from the McIntyres, they were stonewalled. This led to truancy complaints. The McIntyres filed a lawsuit against the District, claiming that their freedom of religion was being hampered by school district regulations.
In their ruling, the district said, "No parents have ever prevailed in any reported case on a theory that they have an absolute constitutional right to educate their children in the home, completely free of any state supervision, regulation, or requirements. They do not have an absolute constitutional right to home school." Naturally, the case is being met with unrestrained mockery from observers on the left. It fits only too well into the widespread assumptions and stereotypes they have about homeschooled religious kids.
"The fact that these parents believe in the rapture shows the consequences of a poor education, case closed," said the top comment on a Reddit post.
Liberals love nothing more than to take one bad example and hold it up to the light, making sure that it confirms their worldview in every possible way. What is that worldview? In many cases, it’s that Christians are stupid, homeschooling creates social misfits, and that public, secular education is always the best choice.
Well, that’s hogwash.
The truth is that there are very good reasons to consider homeschooling your children, especially if failing public schools are your only alternative. Today’s classrooms can house more than 40 students in states that haven’t passed a class-size amendment. This is going to severely limit the amount of personal attention each child gets. Homeschooling is the only way outside of expensive tutors that you can ensure your child is getting the best, most attentive education. Then there is crime and safety. I can’t find any numbers on how many homeschooled children are attacked by their peers in a given year, but suffice to say that it’s probably a fairly low percentage. Compare that to the 2010 numbers from the CDC about public school violence, which showed that there were around 828,000 nonfatal victimizations involving students from the ages of 12 and 18.
When you have dedicated parents who understand the hard work and discipline it takes to make homeschooling successful, it can be a very viable alternative to the public school system. With Common Core creeping into schools across the country at an alarming rate, this might indeed be the perfect time to consider every option.


The Growth of Homeschooling
Wednesday, 2 July 2014
The News Story - Common Core upsets homeschooling parent

Recent repeal of the Common Core educational standards in Oklahoma was largely backed by support from homeschool advocates. An ABCNews article explains how the Common Core requires standardised testing in math and English, aimed to better prepare students for college and future careers. While homeschool and private school curriculum do not need to abide by the Common Core standards, such standards will nonetheless influence the feasibility of using different kinds and sources of instruction and learning.
Home-school advocates expressed concern, and in particular, some "home-schoolers fear that as textbook publishers incorporate the standards, it will lead to a smaller number of non-Common Core based-textbooks." Additionally, many worry that "the ACT and the College Board, which owns the SAT, are moving toward aligning with the standards…[which] would leave home-schooling parents no choice other than to follow the standards if they want their kids to do well on the college entrance exams.
Oklahoma homeschool advocates have currently won the battle to freely educate their children; not all home-school families are so lucky. But recent research indicates that this educational trend is still on the rise, in spite of such efforts to quash the very reasons that parents choose to homeschool.
The New Research - Dramatic growth of homeschooling
Most have noted the exponential growth that has occurred in the homeschooling movement in the last several years. What began as something of a fringe group has developed into one of the leading competitors in the educational marketplace. But what accounts for such a dramatic shift? Why have so many decided to take education back into the home? Joseph F. Murphy of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College seeks to answer just this question by examining transitions in America’s "social, economic, and political fabric.
In an overview of homeschooling that covers the span 1970-2010, Murphy posits that the usual reasons cited for the growth of homeschooling—biblical mandates for parental authority, coupled with "visible shortcomings of schools"—certainly have something to do with homeschooling’s growth, but also suggests that "homeschooling is thriving because the essential pillars of society that made it anathema for over a century are being torn down . . . ."
First, Murphy highlights, the growth in homeschooling was made possible by changes in the social landscape. In the transition to a new market economy, "schools could help socialize workers into accepting the emerging changes associated with the industrial revolution." Murphy also highlights research demonstrating a "plummeting support for government," which includes government-run schools, and also "a reassessment of the interests of public employees.
Along with this dismantling of ideas crucial to the continuance of government schooling, however, the past 40 years have also seen what Murphy calls "the evolution of a new social context supporting homeschooling," a context that favors personal choice and democratic impulses. Murphy also outlines transitions in economic thinking, most important of which is the concept of "privatization"—"the transfer of activities from the public sector to the private sector [including] contracting out as well as reducing or discontinuing the provision of some goods and services by government." Homeschooling, with its focus on individual freedom of choice, is among the more radical types of privatization
Murphy points out that an estimated two million U.S. children are homeschooled today, and that there are far more children being homeschooled than are schooled in either charter schools or private Christian schools. Given the social benefits and family strengthening that this important, historic mode of education represents, let us hope for 40 more years of homeschool growth
(Source: Bryce J. Christensen and Nicole M. King,
"New Research," The Family in America Vol 27 Number 4, Fall 2013. Study: Joseph F. Murphy, "Explaining the Change in Homeschooling, 1970-2010," Home School Researcher 29.1 [Nov. 2013]: 1-13.)
This article has been republished with permission from The Family in America, a publication of The Howard Center. The Howard Center is a MercatorNet partner site.

Does Homeschooling Create Shyness? Homeschooling and Socialization
Many people worry that the supposed lack of homeschooling socialization opportunities will create shy kids. In fact, the opposite is true.
Can Homeschooling Cause Shyness?
Can the supposed lack of homeschooling socialization opportunities create shy kids?

First of all, there is no lack of socialization opportunity in homeschool. (See How to Socialize for Homeschoolers for examples.)
But still, it is perfectly true that no matter how many outside social opportunities homeschoolers take advantage of, they are not with a large group of kids all day, every day, the way students are in institutional schools.
So the question is: is it possible that children who are somewhat disposed toward shyness will be pushed into shyness by being homeschooled, but would be pulled out of shyness by being placed into an institutional school setting?
Shy Kids in Public Schools
If homeschooling creates shyness, then ...
This idea that shy homeschooled kids are shy because of homeschooling contains a very big, if unspoken, assumption: institutional schools have no shy kids.
Well, are there any shy kids in institutional schools, whether public schools or private? Here's a shocking fact: yes, there are! How did that happen, if homeschooling causes shyness? And if shy homeschoolers should be put in school to make them not shy, then what should we do with shy public schoolers?
The truth is, homeschooling does not cause shyness. Many things can contribute to shyness, but at least one causative factor is forcing introverts into social situations where they cannot retreat when they feel overwhelmed. Situations like, I don't know, forcing them to be with hundreds of other kids all day, every day, with nowhere to go to get away from bullying, unkindness, or even just the relentless school-day hustle and bustle that is so draining to the introvert.
How do I know that being forced into unwanted social situations can cause shyness.
Well, it did for me.
Why Are Shy Kids Shy?
Should we keep kids from becoming introverts so they won't be shy?
Most people hear "introvert" and think "shy," but that is not quite the case. Introverts are certainly more likely to be shy than extroverts; but an extrovert can be shy, and an introvert can be not shy. Introverts usually are more comfortable in one-on-one situations than in crowds and need more alone time, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are shy. clarifies:
EXTROVERSION: the state of being concerned primarily with things outside the self, with the external environment rather than with one's own thoughts and feelings.
INTROVERSION: the act of directing one's interest inward or to things within the self.
SHYNESS: bashful and retiring; or easily frightened away and timid.
So introverts are not just shy extroverts!
Extroverts are externally focused (doers) while introverts are internally focused (thinkers). Introverts are perhaps more likely to be shy, but it is not an automatic condition; conversely, extroverts can be shy but by nature are probably less likely to be.
My Experience as an Introvert and a Shy Girl
I'm an introvert, and I'm not shy. But I used to be.
Shyness and introversion are not the same thing, but they are often close companions. I was born an introvert. I became shy in third grade, and I very deliberately worked myself out of my shyness over a three- or four-year period as a young adult. But I'm still an introvert and always will be.
Introverts do not enjoy social chit-chat, not necessarily because they are shy but because they prefer more meaningful conversations. Forced into an unceasing social milieu (such as institutional school) where lightweight chit-chat reigns supreme and anyone who doesn't participate is automatically labeled "odd," shyness may develop.
In my own case, my family moved around a lot. If we hadn't moved between my second and third grade years, perhaps I might not have developed shyness, but we moved, and I did.
I remember the first day of my second-grade year: I walked into the class, saw a new girl, and thought, "She looks interesting!" so I went and sat down beside her and asked her name. We became best friends.
We moved that summer, and the new school situation combined most likely with the increasing self-awareness of age caused a loss of confidence in my ability to make new friends. I walked into my third-grade room, saw a girl across the room and thought, "She looks interesting!" but I couldn't imagine sitting down next to her and asking her name. I turned and walked to the other side of the room and sat down, and rarely exchanged more than a hello with that girl for the rest of my career in that school system.
There's nothing wrong with being introverted!
Neither E=mc2 nor ‘Paradise Lost’ was dashed off by a party animal.
~ Winifred Gallagher, science journalist
My Experience as a Mother of Introverts
Three of my four children are introverts.
I have four children. My youngest, seven at this writing, is an all-out extrovert who tires the rest of us out. My three older children all fall in varying places somewhere on the introvert side of the scale ... but none of them are shy.
Would they be shy if they were in public school? It's impossible to say, of course, but certainly the possibility is there. One of my children has mild Asperger syndrome (high-functioning autism), but instead of being a social outcast as such children often are, has a wide and stable circle of friends; has frequent social interactions with them such as field trips, parties, and sleepovers; and even more frequent interactions with them online, writing stories and drawing together.
The Homeschooling-and-Socialization Question
Homeschoolers sometimes get tired of answering "the S question" and might resort to a bit of sarcasm.
But ... Introverts Must Learn to Deal with Social Situations!
Introverts should go to school so they'll have socialization opportunities, right?

Wrong. Yes, of course introverts need to learn to deal with social situations, but they don't need to attend an institutional school to do that. In fact, as we've already noted, it often can hinder social development. Shy kids who feel certain they will have a retreat when they need it are more likely to outgrow their shyness - as I did, once I was out of the artifical social environment of public school.
As an adult introvert, I move in social situations where I am comfortable. I'm actually the leader of my local homeschool support group and new members are often shocked to learn I am an introvert, as I welcome them as new members and have no trouble conversing at length (often too much length) about homeschooling practice and advice. Like most introverts, I can talk quite easily about things that are real and interesting to me. I can still freeze and appear shy in some social situations (such as my husband's office parties), but I've learned some social tricks to deal with my own difficulties in this area.
I worked several jobs before I stayed home to have children, and despite recently outgrown shyness, was fully capable of functioning in the social work world. I found jobs that suited my personality, working quietly in proofreading and editing.
But ... School Teaches How to Deal with Difficult Social Situations!
Everyone should know how to deal with bullying and other situations.

An adult in a situation with a bully or other uncomfortable social situation should certainly be able to deal with it. In school days, all most of us can do is learn to bear it. But adults have the power to change their situation. A complaint to a superior or a move to another department is sometimes possible; and in worse situtations, one can get a restraining order, institute a lawsuit for harassment, or even have the offender arrested. Quitting the job is also a possibility.
In no case should an adult feel constrained to stay in a bullying situation ... unless perhaps the adult had been conditioned to accept such things as "normal" somehow.
Shy Kids in Homeschool
There are still shy kids who homeschool.

Of course there are homeschoolers who are shy kids. There are many causes of shyness, and being forced into the social stew of public schools is only one possible factor in its development. The point is, homeschooling neither causes nor prevents shyness, just as institutional schooling is neither the cause nor the cure of shyness. Either could be a contributing factor, as public school was in my own case, but some kids will be shy no matter what their social situation; other kids will never develop shyness no matter what their social situation.
Research on Homeschooling Socialization
The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling
More About Homeschooling and Socialization!
This article is one of a series on homeschoolers and socialization skills.

Believe it or not, it's not that hard for homeschoolers to find opportunities to socialize and learn healthy socialization skills!
Homeschooling & socialization is like peanut butter & old shoes, according to most people! In reality, the peanut butter of homeschool goes great with the jelly of socialization.
Resources: Homeschooling, Socialization, and Shyness
What Is Wrong With Being "Shy"?
"I just don’t understand the perspective that it’s important that young children have the personality trait of going up to complete strangers and being able to talk to them – or rather *wanting* to talk to them. How is that a "better" social trait than to stand back until one has become comfortable with someone before talking to them? Especially for children?"

Homeschooling a Shy Child
"Homeschooling can help shy children to become well-adjusted and confident in social settings by allowing them to develop social skills at a pace that suits their individual needs."
Can Homeschooling Help Anxious or Shy Children?
"The best way to help him out of his shyness and anxieties would be to homeschool him and gradually and tactfully expose and support him to mingle and interact with others."
Develop Self-Esteem Through Home schooling
"Thrusting a child into the crowded hallways of school can be quite overwhelming for them and they may end up having social anxiety attacks."
How to Start Homeschooling a Shy Child
"While most parents agree that it is important to provide their homeschooled child with plenty of opportunities for peer interaction, it can be difficult if your child is naturally shy and reserved. Here are some tips on how to help your shy child become more comfortable in social situations."
Homeschooling and Socialization Go Together Like T-shirts and Torsos!
A collection of the very best sassy answers to the "S" question on t-shirts, hats, hoodies, and more gear for homeschoolers!
Also See:
Common Core: Public Education or is it Indoctrination?
(Part 1)
02 April 2013
(Part 2)
23 October 2013
(Part 3)
03 March 2014
(Part 5)
22 November 2013
(Part 6)
05 May 2014
Your Children Don't Belong to You!
09 April 2013
Corporal Punishment in Schools!
29 January 2012
Agenda 21! The Death Knell of Liberty!
(Part 1)
02 March 2011
(Part 2)
22 January 2012
Socialism is Not Disappearing!
15 November 2011
Should We Have Prayer in Schools?
06 July 2011
Don't Blame the Teachers! Blame the Parents!
18 March 2011
Parents! What do You Know about Whole Child Education?
13 August 2010
Sex Education in Ontario Elementary Schools is Going Too Far!!
24 June 2010
Teaching Propaganda or American History?
25 April 2010
What Happened to Education?
30 August 2009
Homeschooling - What About It?
18 June 2009
Who Writes History?
23 July 2007