On home schooling …

My PRIVATE thoughts on home schooling is that it is an extremely bad idea. Kids need to come together into a context where they can learn together. Sure, schools are government (or religous centers’) tools but you do not only learn in class, you learn on the breaks when you socialize with other kids and you learn other valuable lessons – not only those being printed into a book. Of course parents should devote more time to their kids and share their knowledge, but I also the kids in our world deserve profesionals on the field that are educated for what they are doing. I also believe it is a bad idea because there is a great risk of that the kids will be social outcasts due to that they do not participate within the “normal” child community.

POLITICALLY I think of course that home schooling ought to be legal. If some families choose to home school their kids it shouldn’t be any of my concernes, neither for the politicians who run your country.

To sum it up, home schooling should exist and should neither be supported nor bashed down by governments. It’s simply none of their concern. However, I would never do it to my own kids.

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About tegis

This blog belongs to Carl-Mikael A. Teglund - tegis. Swedish emigrant with a heart for languages, philosophy, history, and politics (classical liberalism in the European tradition). Go ahead and look, read, or listen. I'm sure you will find it interesting.
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17 Responses to On home schooling …

  1. Sara says:

    POLITICALLY I do not agree…… 🙂

  2. tegis says:

    Why? If some parents find it best to home school their kids, why should we stop them?

  3. From a home school parent’s perspective, it is interesting to read your thoughts.

    Home schooling is:
    a) easier on the environment (less travel, less lunch packaging, fewer buildings and resources required, etc.)

    b) easier on the economy (parents pay for the education of children, with no cost to the tax payer)

    c) an efficient educating method (much lower ratio of adult to child, even in the largest of families!)

    All that is beside the fact that it is a great lot of fun for both parents and children!

    It is unfortunate that many people under estimate the social opportunities of home schooled children, both within the family, the home school community, and the community in general. School is not the only place children congregate. 🙂

  4. John says:

    I actually do not agree with you. You present facts that maybe stresses the economic situation (i.e. less tax burden for the people) but you’re dodging the concern the blog owner had about that the children are missing out on a lot of quality time with learning other lessons than merely educational ones, like for instance socializing and getting friends.
    Maybe it is better for conservative families who want their family to have a strong bond and that the children shouldn’t be left out and be home more, but how will it be for the kids when they finish the school? Maybe they will be more educated but I think they will be socially handicapped.

    Another thing – home schooling is a female trap. Who do you think stays home with the children teaching them?

  5. John, it is with pleasure that I will extend my thoughts on the socializing opportunities for home schooled children. I was not dodging, but more conscious of my tendency to be verbose, when my opinion was not actually courted. But now that you’ve given me free licence.. 😉

    I have four daughters, and in the course of a normal day, we have many opportunities to learn co-operation, consideration, thoughtfulness, taking turns, and many other desirable character traits, because as you know (unless you are an only child) life with siblings is not always a bed of roses! There are many times when tolerance is needed, and your own interests must be laid aside for the love of another. This is a firm foundation for becoming a good friend.

    Outside of the home, we have neighbours and community members that the children interact with. We do voluntary work which introduces them to a wide age range of people, which if you think about it, is more natural than a school setting. After all, how many times in your life will you be in a room with 30 people born in the same year as you?

    When I left school, each place I worked contained people of all ages. Likewise, once out of the institution that is “school”, I made friends with people who held similar interests to me regardless of their age, again, a seemingly more natural circumstance.

    Children who learn at home have access to sporting teams, scouts, chess clubs, home school groups, toastmasters groups, bush walking clubs, musical bands, choir, churches, etc. It also leaves time to work part time without stressing study habits, thus opening other avenues to interact with all kinds of interesting people.

    Without the rose coloured glasses of institutional thinking, homeschooling is a much more natural socializing model than school. How often do you, as an adult, meet with your friends? Everyday? School is not a very realistic preparation for life, to hold this expectation.

    It is very thoughtful of you to consider the role of women, and the disadvantages they may face when staying home to educate their children. It is a matter of perspective though. I consider there is no greater joy and privilege for me than to stay at home and teach my children. As I value them highly, I don’t consider it a sacrifice to nurture and train them.

    Contributing to my acceptance of this situation is the support and thanks of my husband, who is able to see the benefits it brings to our family, and so, willingly works to supply our needs without resenting that he bears that burden alone.

    I hope this has provided a different perspective in which to consider this alternative learning circumstance.

    kindly,
    🙂

  6. Tanya says:

    Tegis!

    I hope I didn’t scare you off on the Purple States site. Please don’t leave us!

    Anyway, I see your point about the socializing aspect. I used to think that it was a big issue as well. However, in the U.S. it seems to have evolved. Parents are teaming up with other parents and keeping their kids active outside of the home with other children after their home studies.

    Luckily, I don’t have to make that decision since I don’t have any kids, only nieces and nephews. If I did I would consider home schooling but only because I no longer have much faith in our school system. I think more and more parents are beginning to feel that way and that is why we are seeing more of it.

    Also, I do agree with you that the government no right to tell parents that they cannot homeschool their kids.

  7. tegis says:

    Honey =) Thank you for your concern, but I am not leaving PurpleStates. You just misinterpret my message, those things happen.

    Yes, of course these things evolve, and maybe that is one way this could be dealt with – but both of you Tanya and beyondbluestockings, don’t you think your kids deserve a professional to teach them? A person who studied at college level or University level and knows what he/she is talking about? I’m NOT saying that parents are morons who don’t know a jack, but if you are working with something completely different usually, or if you have no education whatsoever – how could you possibly compete in competence and pedagogic methodology with a real teacher?
    Sure there are a lot of bad teachers as well and probably a lot of naturally talented moms (probably like you beyondbluestockings 🙂 ), but wouldn’t it be safer for the kid to be in a school with real teacher where you actually then can have a higher demand of quality as well?

    Question, does the state subsidize you anything when you stay home teaching your kids? Would be interesting to know .. I sure want to know more about this, I think it’s intriguing, and, as I said, I would never go for this on my own, but I think it is a good way of challenging state monopoly on education. And that is every real liberal’s wet dream :). (Liberal = classical liberal, i.e. right-wing)

  8. tegis says:

    Uhm, I would take a wild guess on that there is some sort of school voucher system behind this, am I right?

  9. “Sure there are a lot of bad teachers as well and probably a lot of naturally talented moms (probably like you beyondbluestockings 🙂 )”

    Tegis, let me first say, flattery will get you everywhere. 😉

    Seriously, teaching academic subjects is a very natural progression from teaching the skills a child learns before they reach regular school age. Mothers who teach their children to read before the child attends a regular school will utilize resources available to them to do so. And so it continues!

    There is an enormous (in fact an overwhelming!!) choice of curriculum written specifically for home school situations. Much of it is self teaching, and may be accompanied by DVD’s or internet support. Many homeschoolers have co-ops where they share teaching, often with a parent teaching his/her area of special interest, or hiring a teacher for a specific subject. We also have among our personal friends and family many teachers and souls university educated in the sciences. They are all pleased to share their skills and knowledge with us, and to inspire a love of learning in my children.

    While I am not a teacher basher (honestly, there does not exist enough money to induce to me face the challenges of a classroom, my hat off to the brave who do!) the results of school education do not stack up to the belief people have of it’s superior learning opportunities.

    Every important political year involves promises to address the numeracy and literacy problems inherent in the school system. This leads to often ludicrous “reforms”, which are a shocking waste of resources, everyone knows will make no difference, and yet they implement as a show action.

    Education is also subject to ‘fashions’ which try to address these issues – “spelling by writing” (now that was a disaster), the “look-say” experiment of the ’70’s (which produce a generation of people who couldn’t pronounce new words), and every few years there is some new thing. The real issue is that children do not learn in the same way, or at the same pace, or gain mastery, all at the same time just because they happen to be born in the same year. No amount of skillful teaching can change that in a large classroom.

    The critical time for a child to develop confidence as a learner is the first year or so of school, precisely when many boys are required to sit at a desk, when they are lacking the fine motor skills the girls have already gained, when they are still young enough to gain more from a romp outside in the garden. Home learning allows for a gentle transition for boys, without them being shamed for their lack of readiness. Professional teachers, revamped learning programs and government initiatives will not compare to the individualized program that a parent can tailor to a child.

    I hear you asking, “What about highschool?” O.k maybe you weren’t, but most people do. 😉 We have a lot of time on our hands, without the peer distractions, to pursue learning. If there is something that is unclear in the materials we have chosen to use, part of the education journey is to find a source of information to help us understand.

    Our Latin studies are one example. I did not learn Latin at school and am learning with my children. If there is something we don’t understand on the DVD’s, and the books don’t clear it up for us, it’s hello internet! What a glorious resource! You can study Henle on line in a Yahoo group, there are Latin resources galore, generous souls who will answer questions and point you to useful sources of further information, the opportunities to find what you lack are endless.

    While teachers are important, valuable, precious members of society, they simply do not have the time at their disposal to follow the progress of every student, to help each to pursue interests to a deeper level, to spend time explaining in sometimes lots of different ways how a maths principle works. Parents have many resources available, and where there is a lack of expertise, there is always the option to seek outside tuition to compensate.

    I will try to be succinct on my next point, but I warn you, it doesn’t come naturally to me 🙂

    The money? I have been educating at home for many years. I have paid in full, with no assistance from the government, for all of the teaching resources, private tuition (music), educational excursions, etc for my children. In Australia, if you choose to use the state system of distance education for homeschooling purposes, you actually have to pay around $1000 per year, per student.

    This year, for the first time in this country, there is talk of a tax refund for approved resources. This may include the purchase of a computer and some books, but it will be only to families who meet the criteria of educating with methods approved by the government. It is not something we are jumping up and down with joy about, and doubt it will make much difference. It is not something that concerns me as I consider it my responsibility to educate my children, therefor do not resent that process costing me money.

    Now I did warn you that I was given to verbosity…

  10. tegis says:

    First, I sincerely appreciate your willingness to debate the subject – both because of the importance of looking for alternatives when it comes to funding and administrate education but also because this is my field of study. I will now answer you with another topic..please write more under that one. I’m sorry for doing this but my answer was so long so I thought it would look better with a new contribution to the page. 🙂 Hope you understand.

  11. Pingback: Homeschooling: Does it Work? « ~beyond bluestockings~

  12. Tegis, it’s a big subject, and as you can see I’ve answered you in a post with links back to here and your new article. If you have difficulties with my copying your article, I will of course change the format of my post.

  13. queenstuss says:

    A very interesting discussion. I’m a prospective home-schooler, and just see my future role as a home-schooler as an extension on my current parenting role.

    My husband and I are both fortunate enough to be trained teachers so have zillions of resources to fall back on.

    But being a trained teacher, I have the privelege of seeing first hand what teacher training involves.

    Most parents have the ability to teach their children, but many of those don’t have the resources to be able to, and few have the confidence to do so. I put this mostly down to the increasing institutionalisation of our children.

    Much of what teachers learn is classroom management, and how to actually read and understand those wretched curriculum documents!

  14. Queenstuss, which country are you living in?

    If you haven’t already, it can be useful to join an online homeschool community. This facilitates meeting other homeschooling parents in your area, which is very helpful when you start to research your choices. (some things that work well and are designed for the class room are not so user friendly, or are overly cumbersome, in a one-on-one situation.)

    A forum allows you to ask a lot of questions that may help you decide if educating at home is the right option for you, and gives insight into a lot of varying educational philosophies within the very broad tag “home schooling”.

  15. queenstuss says:

    I’m in Australia. I’ve started following your blog, and a few other homeschooling blogs. Can you point me towards any online forums? My son is only two now,so I’ve got a little time, but i’m hoping to start meeting other homeschoolers in my area in the next year or two to start thinking more about it.

  16. A good place to start is a general forum, such as;

    http://aussiehomeschool.com/

    If you do choose to homeschool, you can then seek out more specific forums. There are forums and Yahoo groups for natural learners, classical educators, FIAR users, Sonlight users, Catholics, Muslims, etc.

    There are also yahoo groups for different locations, to give notice of activities and events. If you join the Aussie homeschool forum, you can then go to the “contacts” section, and see if there is a homeschooling group operating near you, or a yahoo group for your area.

    If there is nothing listed for where you live, you can leave post requesting those in your area to contact you.

    Hope that helps 🙂

  17. I think home school or formal education are important and good, the bad is how to make education a teacher teaches to their students. Every individual has different thoughts and is a human right to express opinions as long as it is good

    Keep Posting

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