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  1. #191
    Oberon
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    Here are a few links from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) that might help explain my perspective:

    The Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998

    Strengths of Their Own-Home Schoolers Across America: Academic Achievement, Family Characteristics, and Longitudinal Traits

    HomeSchoolAchievement.pdf

    The above links are from an advocacy source, so I thought I would also include the Wikipedia article on homeschooling. Wikipedia as we all know is not academically rigorous and is hence useless for citations in serious research, but it does provide a fair introduction to many subjects including this one:

    Wikipedia: Homeschooling

    Notably, the Wikipedia article includes the following:

    Numerous studies have found that homeschooled students on average outperform their peers on standardized tests. Homeschooling Achievement, a study conducted by National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), supported the academic integrity of homeschooling. Among the homeschooled students who took the tests, the average homeschooled student outperformed his public school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects. The study also indicates that public school performance gaps between minorities and genders were virtually non-existent among the homeschooled students who took the tests.

  2. #192
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    IMO part of that effect is what I mentioned earlier, that homeschoolers are a self-selecting group. My parents chose homeschool for me in high school because I was already doing college level reading and writing in the private middle school I went to. So yes, I was a high achiever as a homeschooler. But that was WHY I was homeschooled- because I was ready for post-HS work and there was no reason to go backwards. (Only in some areas- I still have math deficits to this day because my parents was not capable of teaching me HS level math and I wasn't capable of teaching it to myself.)
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  3. #193
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Well, if I might pitch in here, my home school evaluations usually put me several grades ahead and eventually even in college level when I was an adolescent.

    Now I'm a candidate for having the best transcript of anyone attending my college. Even if I'm not the best, I'm surely in the highest tier.

    So, by the standard measurements of the very conventional system my parents side-stepped, I am very well educated.
    Just to add some additional anecdotal background (not necessarily as a refutation of the premise that a higher percentage of homeschooled children fare better/worse on standardized tests), but conventional education worked very well for me. I took the SATs when I was 12 and scored a 34 on my ACTs when I was a sophomore. What's more, throughout my school tenure, I consistently scored at or above the 95th percentile in almost every major subject (sans music theory).

    So, it probably doesn't make much sense to draw lines of distinction centered around anomalous academic behavior within the context of the OP. More likely, these types of activities have more to do with things like genetics and prevailing interpersonal influence on academic performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    IMO part of that effect is what I mentioned earlier, that homeschoolers are a self-selecting group. My parents chose homeschool for me in high school because I was already doing college level reading and writing in the private middle school I went to. So yes, I was a high achiever as a homeschooler. But that was WHY I was homeschooled- because I was ready for post-HS work and there was no reason to go backwards. (Only in some areas- I still have math deficits to this day because my parents was not capable of teaching me HS level math and I wasn't capable of teaching it to myself.)
    This.

  4. #194
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    IMO part of that effect is what I mentioned earlier, that homeschoolers are a self-selecting group. My parents chose homeschool for me in high school because I was already doing college level reading and writing in the private middle school I went to. So yes, I was a high achiever as a homeschooler. But that was WHY I was homeschooled- because I was ready for post-HS work and there was no reason to go backwards. (Only in some areas- I still have math deficits to this day because my parents was not capable of teaching me HS level math and I wasn't capable of teaching it to myself.)
    Along with accommodating advanced skill students, I think the parents are self-selecting too, to some extents. Yes, my parents didn't teach me math very well, but for the most part, I think people who have the knowledge and more importantly have the interest in their children's education are more likely to home school. The people who are least appropriate for the job are also the least interested in it.
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  5. #195
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Along with accommodating advanced skill students, I think the parents are self-selecting too, to some extents. Yes, my parents didn't teach me math very well, but for the most part, I think people who have the knowledge and more importanty have the interest in their children's education are more likely to home school. The people who are least appropriate for the job are also the least interested in it.
    Yep, very much agreed. My mother was a BEAR when we were in schools. The administrators just barely hid their dread when she came on campus. And my parents both reinforced critical thinking and intellectual curiosity at home. IMO, that's 90% of education anyway. IMO, my parents were educating us whether we were technically in homeschool, public or private.
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  6. #196
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Oh, right. Well, the three that have started school are scoring over the 95th percentile in three-quarters of the categories on their CAT tests. They're getting exposed to deeper history, more writing assignments, and WAY more primary-source books than their public-school peers. They are learning to be self-directed in their study habits, and they have enough freedom and free time to devote more than one class period per week to an art project, say for example.

    For me, that's what "better" means.

    In addition, they are developing habits of thought and cultivating exposure to a body of literature that will probably put them at variance with their public-schooled peers on a great number of public-policy issues at some point down the road.

    For me that's also "better," but I imagine that for you that's considerably "worse."
    That's great, and it's good to hear the homeschooling is working well for your kids.

    I'm not sure you can extrapolate from that any information on whether it's a better education system though, unless their skills dramatically changed when switching between the two teaching methods.

    Some kids are just bright or academically inclined. Many kids in the public school system score well on those tests,too. I always made very good grades in our public school system despite a lack of initiative/motivation and was reading high school- and college-level novels in early elementary school. If I was homeschooled (longer than the 4 months I was "homeschooled" anyway) this would probably not have changed much since I've always loved reading independently anyway.

    I also agree with the statement that more involved parents will tend to have kids that do better academically, and just by definition homeschoolers will be more involved - but that's not to say non-homeschoolers couldn't be just as involved, even academically. For example my parents taught me to read before kindergarden which probably affected my reading skills/love of reading later. I remember my dad trying to teach me math that was far more advanced than the stuff I was learning in school but that didn't work as well (never really liked math much).

    I really think parents should be frequently teaching their kids semi-academic and nonacademic things outside of school even if they aren't homeschooling.

    Not trying to pick on you Oberon, I'm just not sure we can say that one method is universally better than the other - it really depends on the personality of the parent(s) and child(ren).

    edit to add: a more personal anecdote to say that imo not everyone who is involved with their kids and has a high drive to teach them academically will be good at homeschooling (though many are). my mom very much wanted to homeschool us despite firm opposition from my dad, and when she got the opportunity to do it for 4 months she was terrible at it - I learned almost nothing. I think I may have a particularly bad personality for homeschooling (think "I don't want to do work and you can't make me") or maybe my mom just had the wrong personality/methods to deal with me and to a lesser extent, my siblings. this despite the best of intentions, her researching into various homeschooling methods, her intelligence and willingness to be involved with teaching us. I highly doubt I would be a university graduate or in grad school now if she had been allowed to teach us for longer. But afaik, there aren't really regulations or anything that would prevent these things...for us, it was just my dad putting his foot down that brought us back to school.
    -end of thread-

  7. #197
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Not trying to pick on you Oberon, I'm just not sure we can say that one method is universally better than the other - it really depends on the personality of the parent(s) and child(ren).
    You know, I think people just generally aren't getting what I mean on this point. I think that the homeschooling model has advantages over the public school model that are not outweighed by its disadvantages, and that therefore homeschooling is in general a better method that produces a better-educated young adult.

    That isn't the same as saying that homeschooling produces better results in every particular case. Citing particular cases in which homeschooling doesn't work, therefore, doesn't invalidate the statement.

    And yes, I do think the model is better. The homeschooling teacher has a class size small enough to facilitate real mentoring, is invested in the outcome, has full authority to maintain class discipline, has the flexibility to do remedial work or skip ahead as best serves the student, and will never have to face political pressure from administrators or parents.

    This looks to me like every public school teacher's dream assignment.

  8. #198
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    You know, I think people just generally aren't getting what I mean on this point. I think that the homeschooling model has advantages over the public school model that are not outweighed by its disadvantages, and that therefore homeschooling is in general a better method that produces a better-educated young adult.

    That isn't the same as saying that homeschooling produces better results in every particular case. Citing particular cases in which homeschooling doesn't work, therefore, doesn't invalidate the statement.

    And yes, I do think the model is better. The homeschooling teacher has a class size small enough to facilitate real mentoring, is invested in the outcome, has full authority to maintain class discipline, has the flexibility to do remedial work or skip ahead as best serves the student, and will never have to face political pressure from administrators or parents.

    This looks to me like every public school teacher's dream assignment.
    I am in favour of home educating.
    If you have the time,organizational skills, money, wisdom/intelligence/knowledge and inclination then it's great.
    I'm not sure i understand what the "home education model" is, is it a particular religious model? or is it a curriculum for home schooling?
    In the uk there is no such "model" or "program" for home education that i am aware of. I know there are various private programs which can be bought but they seem individual i.e maths, english, science.
    I would agree that children are more likely to be educated to a higher standard in home education because they get more individual attention and time, less pressure, and a wide variety of interesting topics adapted to each individual.
    I also believe that some, though very few, schools are excellent. The problem is they are few and far between.
    I would much prefer to home educate than send my children to awful schools.
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  9. #199
    Senior Member Dark Razor's Avatar
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    I am German and I support the ban on home schooling in Germany. The material taught in public schools is based on a broad consensus of the responsible administrative bodies, and additionally, curricula in Germany are the responsibility of individual states, i.e. are not determined / dictated by the federal government.

    Personally I believe that certain viewpoints held by some people (like religious fundamentalism) are backwards and in todays society are completely invalid. Any progressive society shold work to eliminate those viewpoints because they are detrimental to the overall development and well-being of the majority of individuals that compromise "society".

    That doesnt mean that public scholling is perfect, but overall it offers better control mechanisms as to how children develop and therefor offers the opportunity for early intervention if problems are detected. Though I am opposed to excessive intrusion into the private lifes of students / parents, one has to find a blance here between prevention of problems and having faith in people's ability to solve their own problems.

    It does appear to me though, that homeschooling is in part responsible for all the (religious and other) crazyness you see in the USA that just doesn't exist in other countries of the West. From outside it kind of looks like the US is always just one step away from descending back into the 13th century, which is kind of scary actually.

    I would question if people that have crazy religious views are even fit to raise children at all, and I view "devout" religion as something backwards that the state and public education system should work to overcome to create a more tolerant and peaceful society.

    If we allowed homeschooling we certainly would need some kind of test if parents are actually able to teach their children. I dont think anyone without college level education should be allowed to homeschool ever.

    So in summary, I am very sceptical of homeschooling as a valid means to prepare children for their later life and I do fear that homeschooling helps to preserve backwards and dangerous attitudes in society. I do recognize that potentially in a repressive state / environment it can actually be the opposite, but presently such an environment does not exist in any country of the west. I udnerstand that people like evangelical christians feel they are protecting their children from a repressive and dangerous / sinfull environment, but they are unfortunately wrong / delusional. By overcoming their delusional viewpoints, the overall quality of life in the areas where they dominate could likely be increased.

  10. #200
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Okay. That post was way scarier to me than any paranoid apocalyptic stuff I've ever heard from the worst Religious Right nut jobs.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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