mellyrn on March 08, 2011, 08:11:04 am
About homeschooled kids and "socialization":

Here's a question for ya:  do hearing children of deaf parents learn to talk by watching TV?

As a matter of fact, they don't.  If they don't see actual live adults talking, and get no chance to interact verbally, they won't learn to talk.

Do you seriously think it works any better for behavior?

Formal schooling constitutes institutionalized abandonment:  a bunch of age-mates, all equally ignorant, are thrown in together and told about correct behavior but very rarely get a chance even to see it, because in the institution, when two or more adults interact, there is generally something wrong.  And then they (the kids) are expected to act right.  They are cast out from real interaction -- which is how we learn how to be human -- and are abandoned to mere instruction.

Homeschooled kids, otoh, get to not only watch adults go about acting like adults, they also get to interact with adults:  their own parents, of course, but also all the adults their parents interact with.  They also get lots of opportunity to practice.  They get included by their community, not segregated away from it -- and thereby learn what their community wants & expects.

Its not just the kids who look at you funny when you announce your kid is home-schooled, but normal people do too.
Not the intelligentsia, nor the unions, nor the Fox Newsers, but normal people.  This idea had to come from somewhere, and, while I am sure it has been blown out of proportion by the media, someone, somewhere had to have a bad experience with a home-schooled kid.

In this society, "normal" people have themselves been institutionally-schooled; of course they're going to think homeschooling is weird.  No need for a bad experience -- "normal" people look at you funny when you announce that you're gay, or interested in medieval science, or if you'd rather go pony-trekking across Iceland than casino-hopping in Las Vegas.  Is that because they've had bad experiences with gays or Oresme nerds or pony treks -- or simply no experience?

Homeschooled kids have, at minimum, waaay more experience practicing their society's behaviors than any institutionally-schooled kid, so they typically come across as mature for their ages.  Still, I'm sure that some parents, themselves badly damaged, will not teach well.  If that invalidates home schooling as a process, then institutional schooling must have failed long since given how many institutionally-certified "teachers" are inept -- if not outright abusive.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 08:12:56 am by mellyrn »

terry_freeman on March 08, 2011, 08:26:56 am
I have some advice. Read the research, including the not-so-wild-west paper.

Then post.

Doing it the other way around leads to having to retract stupid theories which have already been refuted.

Regarding vigilante committees: in Real Life, they arose when needed, were often led by people who had established good reputations, and were disbanded when "the people" objected. Since they were voluntary forms of organization and the "leaders" were not considered to be miraculously elected to godlike status, they tended to do more good than damage.

Hence, observers reported that the "mild mild west" was at least as safe as the government-heavy cities back East. However, folks back East, who had a vested interest in extending their power, carped about the "strange" customs in the West.

What else is new?

Today, government-fed schoolmarms carp about the "lack of socialization" among home-schooled kids. Hoplophobes claim that private citizens with guns are a terrible danger to themselves and others.

True story: just last night, I was asked "But do your kids do anything about their children's social development?"

To which I replied with a heavy dose of sarcasm "Yes, every third Tuesday, they unlock the chains and let my grandkids out of the closet to get some sun and talk to other kids."


I do have a question about home-schooled kids.  Since you appear to have some experience in the matter, I will ask you:
Because your kids/grandkids are home-schooled, what do they do for after school activities?  Do they play football, or other sports?  Are they as successful as other kids at making friends?

Do you or they feel intellectually superior or otherwise snobbish and arrogant toward other kids?

I just dont know, so I am asking.

Home-schooled kids have _more_ time for socialization than others; they are not locked in a box for six hours per day. Think about the implications of being able to teach more in less time; compressing that six hours into one or two, and having lots of extra time per day.

There are recluses everywhere, both home-schooled and not; these are atypical.

Home-schooled kids can be as athletic as they want to be, and the number of ways are as numerous as the imaginations of the people involved. Anybody who is home-schooling tends to be on the high end of the creativity scale; instead of sitting around asking somebody else to fix their problems, they tend to look for solutions.

Put on your thinking hat, CG. What would you do? Assume that you actually have neighbors, like most home-schooled kids do. Would you close the blinds and pretend the neighbors don't exist? Probably not. Would you say hello, introduce yourself, and ask to join in with the neighborhood games? Invite them over to play? This is ordinary behavior for kids anywhere - why should home-schoolers differ?

There are many physical activities which don't require formal school buildings. Informal sports teams of all sorts. Martial arts dojos. Ballet classes. Trips to the rock climbing / skateboarding emporium. Etc.

As for whether they are snobbish, yadda yadda. Bright children everywhere, in formal schools or not, learn that being snobbish tends to limit social opportunities. In formal schools, they may, however, find self-reinforcing cliques which encourage such silliness.

The advantage of home-schoolers is that they do not live in boxes, neither in real terms nor metaphorically speaking. Schools, as they are organized today, stuff children into arbitrary boxes. You will spend the next six hours - a box of time - stuffed into the physical box of your classroom. You will be boxed in with children within a precise chronological box, plus or minus so many months. Every 45 minutes, you will move from one mental box ("math") to another mental box ("art") and so forth through the day. You will engage in physical activity as and when we permit; another box. You will stuff your mind into a tiny little box to fit the tiny little box of educational system.

You will not learn negative numbers in first grade; you are not permitted to stretch the boundaries of the "first grade box."

Any half-way gifted child can easily outstrip the knowledge of his teachers, especially in the elementary years. In many, many cases, their teachers take this as an affront. Home-schooling parents, however, are delighted and take pride when their progeny excel; they can, after all, take credit for both nature and nurture. What's not to like? This is why Ivy League schools advertise in home-schooling magazines; they know that home-schooled children will be curious and independent learners. Past experience has borne this out.

The "what about socialization?" myth has been blown to smithereens by Real World data.

terry_freeman on March 08, 2011, 08:37:41 am
As a teacher I can assure you most teachers do not have a problem with homeschooling or privates schools.  Some kids do well, other not so well.  That is true in both systems.

The good news for us is that we still get your education tax dollars whether you send your kid to public school or not. 

Its like you are paying money to McDonalds but still eating at home.  Its sucks for you but the system makes out like bandits.

That won't long remain the case, Glenn. When the schools are empty, they'll be shut down.

Home-schooling is growing at about 8% per year. By the rule of 72, that would be a doubling ~ every 9 years. Current market share is 4%. 8, 16, 32, 64 - four doublings in 36 years. Odds are that a political crisis will happen before then. ( The trend might slow down - but it also might speed up. )

In addition, free-market schooling is also making inroads. As people discover the negative impacts of school regulations and demand an honest free market, support for government schools is going to collapse. People will look at the parent-supported schools of India, China, and Africa ( see The Beautiful Tree by James Tooley ) and ask why we can't have something as good and as affordable here.

SandySandfort on March 08, 2011, 09:24:16 am
For those of you with an honest interest in home education, you might check out my daughter's home schooling blog, The Homeschool Advocate:

Christine was a victim of public school, also went to private school and has brilliant parents who taught her a lot at home. She have two daughters.

The eldest was taken out of public school where she was constantly subject to harassment by fellow students (because she was "too smart") and teachers/administrators, because she defended herself against bullies. Under home schooling, she flourished and quickly caught up to and surpassed her age group. She is now a self-sufficient young adult.

The younger child is bright and happy. Her school room is her home, including the vegetable garden and chicken coop, plus field trips throughout the community. She often has "play dates" with other home schooled kids. Hey, it's working.

spudit on March 08, 2011, 10:41:44 am
This started as an illustration about how vigilanties need to be extremely careful because they have no special protections under the law, as its minions do.

I assume everyone who commented read the articles. The guy who was shot did not attack the cop. In fact the cop closed the distance with him. This was on a busy noisy street in broad daylight. The victim was drunk, I believe, and a hard drinking street person. He was well known in the area, no angel for sure, well maybe he is now, anyway alive he may have been no prize.  Still murder was commited and, once again out of context, the pigs are still more equal than the other animials.

What scares me most is that the cop walked away, civil court will strip him of everything, but he walked away without arrrest. It could have been anyone there dead with 4 rounds in him at 10 feet and that mad dog of a cop needed to be put away. This is the same state I live in, the same state law that protected him applies here. It frightens me. I don't hate cops, but despite the years of propaganda I don't automaticaly like or trust them.

I am done with the subject.
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spudit on March 08, 2011, 11:12:40 am
Home schooling brings high school dropouts to mind.

Terry, I believe it was, is correct about the brightest getting bored and leaving. Why waste 2 extra years in those boxes when you can take the GED in a day and it's 99% as good?

Pulling these inexact numbers from my backside, it is the kids with an IQ as recognized today below 90 amd above 120 who drop out. Is IQ another hot button subject like the A word? Oh Boy, hit the dirt, incoming!

I pulled very approximate numbers from the nether reigions to illustrate the fact that the kids who stay in school are in the middle fat part of the intellegence bell curve. They are also in the middIe of the behaviorial curve, we call that normal, the boxes fit.

I would like to see the highschool junior college line blur, if the kid can best be served by college level math he should be. The other end too, why force a natural mechanic to take math he doesn't need, want or like when his skills lie elsewhere. School funding as it is in the US today keeps them apart, a highschool money bucket, a college bucket, a voc school bucket. It's nothing we can fix here.

Socialization includes the Columbine situation. Throw strong and weak kids, mentally and physically, together with very limited supervision and you get a Lord of the Flies situation, seldom that bad but you do.

Socialization happens everywhere, many home schooled kids' families are regular church goers, plus scouts, sports and street corners.
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ContraryGuy on March 08, 2011, 11:29:03 am

As for the facilities that school building have, but homes have not; have you tried buying a crustal radio set, or a kids science set?

What?  Has Radio Shack stopped selling kits?

Apparently not:

For other crystal radio kits:

Google "science kit" and get nearly a half million hits. Sounds as though CG didn't do his homework... as usual.

Its not not doing homework, its a relief that "the government" has stopped intercepting shipments of "hazardous materials" for terrorism concerns.

Oh, a question for Sandy, since these kits are mail-order, will the post office deliver them?  I dont know how long Sandy has been out of the US, but the Post Office bans shipping any chemicals through the mail.
If the shipper uses Fed-Ex, and declares the honest contents of any science or chemistry sets, Fed-Ex will refuse the shipment.  Fed-Ex will not knowingly ship any container, even empty, that has chemical symbols printed on it.  Not even "dihydrogen monoxide".

spudit on March 08, 2011, 11:38:00 am
CG, Dude,

It just ain't about the postal orifice, where the mail comes out, any more.

Or FedEx

UPS delivers live amunition right to anyone's door, bulk epoxy right to mine, you can "mail order" stove butane canisters, lead acid batteries, lots of nasty stuff.

I use a PO box and almost no one will ship a package there.

Added, give it some thought, you are Acme Chemicals and you need to get something to somewhere or you don't get paid. FedEx won't move it, oh no, bankruptcy! No wait, someone else will, the business is saved!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 12:07:41 pm by spudit »
Vote Early and Vote Often
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macsnafu on March 08, 2011, 11:44:07 am
Its not not doing homework, its a relief that "the government" has stopped intercepting shipments of "hazardous materials" for terrorism concerns.

Oh, a question for Sandy, since these kits are mail-order, will the post office deliver them?  I dont know how long Sandy has been out of the US, but the Post Office bans shipping any chemicals through the mail.
If the shipper uses Fed-Ex, and declares the honest contents of any science or chemistry sets, Fed-Ex will refuse the shipment.  Fed-Ex will not knowingly ship any container, even empty, that has chemical symbols printed on it.  Not even "dihydrogen monoxide".

Oh, please!  Walk into Radio Shack in person and see what they have available.  Last time I was in one they still had kits on the shelves.  If not, they can order it for you.  It can be delivered to the store and then you go pick it up.
Besides, electronic kits don't come with "chemicals".  A chemical set would be something different--it's not the kind of thing Radio Shack goes in for.
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

Plane on March 08, 2011, 01:13:31 pm

I like Mouser,  good fun kits,but digikey is better  if you are useing yor own design, or buying in quantity.