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Sunday, June 09, 2013

Homeschooling hits critical mass

Even as a strong advocate of homeschooling, I'm a little surprised to see how rapidly it is growing:
As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows, apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling. Educational researchers, in fact, are expecting a surge in the number of students educated at home by their parents over the next ten years, as more parents reject public schools.

A recent report in Education News states that, since 1999, the number of children who are homeschooled has increased by 75%. Though homeschooled children represent only 4% of all school-age children nationwide, the number of children whose parents choose to educate them at home rather than a traditional academic setting is growing seven times faster than the number of children enrolling in grades K-12 every year.
It can be almost amusing how easy it is to derail an outspoken critic homeschooling.  Asking them how old they were when they took calculus usually does the trick... it's a rhetorical tactic that is particularly effective on adults who never made it that far in mathematics.

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99 Comments:

Anonymous Niall June 09, 2013 2:15 PM  

In my rural area the comment that I'm homeschooling my children can elicit one of two reactions: either a kind of mild sneer, and some fatuous question like "how will they be socialized?" (into what?) or "who will teach them math?" (I will); or the confession that the interlocutor wishes they could -- or could have, if their kids are grown -- made the same decision themselves.

In the cities one's view of homeschooling tends to correspond with one's political orientation, but since people in the country are not as sharply divided along ideological lines, the divergence in opinion seems to do more with temperament: the more conformist and/or status-conscious people are more likely to disapprove, because after all sending your children to public school is what everybody does, right? To stand out from others in a socially unapproved way is something to be avoided at all costs. This is one way in which social conservatism with its traditional respect for institutions and authority has failed to catch up with the reality of our times, in which these things have largely been subverted by our enemies.

Anonymous tbell June 09, 2013 2:34 PM  

Good.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo June 09, 2013 2:36 PM  

Let me leave this here. It could be of use to anyone considering homeschooling.

Anonymous tbell June 09, 2013 2:37 PM  

Many people in Texas feel the public education system is lacking any substance based on recent surveys. Sorry about multiple posts, folks. My internet service sucks.

Anonymous Yorzhik June 09, 2013 2:37 PM  

Follows Everett Rogers diffusion of innovation. Must be real. The government will have to create something fake to stop it.

Anonymous Van June 09, 2013 2:39 PM  

It's not an immediate need for me, but any advice on how to go about this. My wife and I can handle the teaching (plenty of time for me to refresh the higher level math), but I'll only have limited time. Anyone have experience with on-line resources, setting up a co-op, etc.?

Anonymous The One June 09, 2013 2:40 PM  

The number would be higher if people didn't have to pay taxes for government schooling even when not using it.

Anonymous SugarPi June 09, 2013 2:52 PM  

I'm a stay-at-home grandmother who assists in the boys' classical, home education, including teaching seminars in their program. Here's the phenom that's nipping at my heals: Just like the yamn dankies who move south to get away from high taxes, then work diligently to initiate statist programs that raise taxes,
the rise in homeschooling is fueled by the those fleeing public school...
who promptly want to contaminate the classical program with govt school propaganda and methodology,
complete with the dumbing down of subjects.

Honestly, I have quoted Vox's MPAI principle to parents who don't understand why learning Logic is a good use of time!!

Anonymous Zek June 09, 2013 2:56 PM  

Here is western PA, it's getting huge. My kids are in a homeschool gym class - they had their field day and had about 300 all-age kids attend.

They are required to take the standardized tests - when the doubters ask about their test scores, that shuts 'em up real quick.

"But but but but your kids get to sleep in until 9, that's not fair!"

Anonymous Stickwick June 09, 2013 3:04 PM  

Not at all surprised by this news. People are finding it increasingly difficult to defend a system that ranks waaaay down the list in math, reading, and science in spite of the huge amount we spend per student. If posts on my FB news feed are any indication, more and more parents are realizing schools are little more than a public babysitting service, and a lousy one at that.

As for rhetorical tricks to deal with critics, another good one is to point out that homeschooling virtually eliminates the performance gap for minorities.

Anonymous allyn71 June 09, 2013 3:07 PM  

Anecdotal evidence to support this from another alternative education source. In my local area parochial schooling is seeing record levels of enrollment.

I spoke to my kids' principal at a reception held for the outgoing 8th grade class. During our conversation I asked about recruitment levels for the school in part of the conversation about this class leaving. She said they were to the point of having to consider turning down historically acceptable students due to space limitations or look at expansion and new facilities. They said it was most apparent in the lower grade levels which were at max capacity. The growth rate was far outside the areas population growth rate.

In addition to that, one church was opening another school and a non-denominational Christian school k-12 had just opened up in the last few years and was seeing record enrollment rates. In short at least in my little corner of the world, parochial education is on a similar trajectory while public schools are noting reduced enrollment and bitching about the resultant financial loss as they are funded on a per student basis.

In support of the OP the % of people I know socially that are utilizing homeschooling is sky rocketing.

People realize that like everything else government touches, government education is jacked and now education = indoctrination.

I will be interested to see what the next step in the homeschool education system will be. As it grows I think it will morph into a larger multi-family system (I know that is already happening but at least in this area it is not mainstream in the homeschool community yet). When that happens I expect the .gov and unions will start to fight back (more than they already are currently). They can't let this trend continue. Like everything in statism, there can be no alternative to the .gov to highlight their failings.

Anonymous The Voice Of Raisin: Public School Advocate June 09, 2013 3:10 PM  

But how else can aspiring young women earn a degree in Environmental Engineering? What, tending to gardens on the farm? Having multiple babies? Not much paperwork or managerial oversight in that. I very much doubt a Powerpoint presentation can be projected on the side of a barn effectively.

STOP TELLING OTHERS HOW TO LIVE!!!1!

Anonymous Somers'61 June 09, 2013 3:15 PM  

Of Course Eric Holder said parents don't have any recognized rights to homeschool their kids... Hitler outlawed homeschooling too...and it's still outlawed in Germany...The Germans tried to purge themselves of all things nazi ....except homeschooling and a disarmed public

Anonymous Thales June 09, 2013 3:18 PM  

...and some fatuous question like "how will they be socialized?"

They mean bullied by NAM's, of course.

They won't. That's the point. :)

Anonymous allyn71 June 09, 2013 3:18 PM  

"the rise in homeschooling is fueled by the those fleeing public school...
who promptly want to contaminate the classical program with govt school propaganda and methodology, complete with the dumbing down of subjects." - SugarPi June 09, 2013 2:52 PM

That isn't a surprise and is a trend that I bet strengthens as single family schooling moves towards multi-family for efficiency sake.

It is something we deal with by choosing the parochial system. I know we would do a better job than them on all subjects if we homeschooled. We don't due to comprise for other reasons and try and supplement areas of deficiency with spot homeschooling. So far it works for us and if/when it doesn't we will have to make a new decision. Something you will have to decide for you and your grandchildren, is it worth it to co-op with others.

Blogger Magister Wood June 09, 2013 3:18 PM  

STOP TELLING OTHERS HOW TO LIVE!!!1!

Take your own advice. I think these people are making their own choices without anyone "telling" them what to do. You just sound like a dumbass.

Anonymous Curlytop June 09, 2013 3:21 PM  

I was an honors/AP student. Excelled in math and passed the Cal AP exam my senior year. Took formal Logic in college. Thought I was a pretty smart student... until we began home-educating.

At the rate our home-educated children are going, they'll complete Calculus by the time they are 16 with at least 3 semesters remaining to delve into higher level math. And our rising "8th grader" will be taking formal Logic in the fall. All of our children can carry a delightful conversation w their peers, younger children on through adults well into their senior years. In fact, the commentary we have received w relatives when visiting around holidays and other family functions is what a blessing and help they are in dealing with elder members of the family as well as entertaining themselves and those around them.


@ Van
I recommend The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer, and Classical Education Made Approachable by Co-Authored by Jennifer Courney to help you in your research. We use Saxon Math.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo June 09, 2013 3:22 PM  

@ Magister Wood

I think it was a joke.

Anonymous allyn71 June 09, 2013 3:23 PM  

"But how else can aspiring young women earn a degree in Environmental Engineering? What, tending to gardens on the farm? Having multiple babies? Not much paperwork or managerial oversight in that. I very much doubt a Powerpoint presentation can be projected on the side of a barn effectively.

STOP TELLING OTHERS HOW TO LIVE!!!1!" - The Voice Of Raisin: Public School Advocate June 09, 2013 3:10 PM



"'STOP TELLING OTHERS HOW TO LIVE!!!1!'

Take your own advice. I think these people are making their own choices without anyone "telling" them what to do. You just sound like a dumbass." - Magister Wood June 09, 2013 3:18 PM

I think the adjustment on your sarcasm meter just went out.

OpenID otiswild June 09, 2013 3:26 PM  

Take your own advice. I think these people are making their own choices without anyone "telling" them what to do. You just sound like a dumbass.

You may wish to have your sarcastometer checked..

Anonymous A Visitor June 09, 2013 3:27 PM  

Impressive that they score so high on standardized tests! I was 18 when I first took calculus; ah, the halcyon hell that was first year engineering.

Anonymous heh June 09, 2013 3:39 PM  

Who will teach them math - or indeed anything - is a better question to ask of kids in public school, heheh.

Who will teach them to avoid black thugs? Oh no worries, it comes naturally!

Blogger Doom June 09, 2013 3:40 PM  

I would guess, without the luggage of public ed and useless teachers more worried about you doing what they said, rather than learning let alone learning to think, I would, should, have been hitting calculus by "6th-8th" grade... It's not that bad, with a decent teacher. Professors usually aren't much better, and can be far worse, than public ed teachers. Bastards, the lot of them.

Anonymous farmer Tom June 09, 2013 3:43 PM  

Somewhat related.

I worked very hard last year here in Iowa to help get a personal friend of mine (a homeschool dad) elected to the Iowa State Senate.

He's a solid Christian guy who shares my concerns about the government indoctrination centers, and home schooled for some part of their lives 5 children. One adopted daughter finished her schooling at the local high school because of conflict issues with the mother.

Anyway. At the beginning of the legislative session. The Repugnant governor purposed an increase in the funding of the State education system. The State Senate is controlled by the Demonrats, and the Repukes control the house.

My friend, lead by a couple of hard core personal liberty loving patriots vowed not to pass an education budget which did not have something to benefit homeschoolers. As one of them told me, I'm willing to trade the governors increase in spending for your homeschool freedoms.

The educrats wanted a 4 percent budget increase, the governor wanted some new programs with increased teacher pay and incentives for teacher retention. (BTW, I can't stand the governor, he's a RINO of the highest order.)

So the good guys asked for four things. First, that private church based, Christian or religious schools would no longer have to be accredited by the State, but could do so through a private accreditation system.
Second, That parents(home schoolers in particular)but all parents, could teach their children drivers education. (Something I have personally been to the State Capital three years in a row lobbying for)
Third, That home school parents would no longer have to file any paper work with the school district or the State related to their child's education. (No supervising teachers, no lesson plan portfolio, or an annual assessment of some kind like, ITEDs (Iowa Test of Educational Development)
No paper trail from the parents to the public school system, zip, zero, nada.
Fourth, That a homeschool parent, could if they chose, educate up to four children not their own, without filling any paperwork. (Under existing law, grandparents could not teach their grandchildren, and my wife could not teach the child of the divorced gal from church who needed to work full time.

As the legislative session came to its end, the education lobby and the governor began to resist. They wanted their money, but they did not want to give more freedom to homeschoolers or to private schools. Yet my friend and the other liberty loving patriots held firm. The Demonrats and the education lobby wanted a $200 million dollar budget increase. The governor wanted his programs and about a $140 million dollar budget increase.

In the end the rats took the cheese. The liberal education lobby screamed and wailed, moaned and whined about how the homeschool movement would hurt public education. How the children would have no one to protect them from the worthless parents. How the kids would not be socialized, and on and on, but in the end, the education lobby gave up all jurisdiction over homeschoolers and accepted a phase out of jurisdiction over private schoolers in exchange for their $160 million dollars.

Thanks to my friend,Dennis, and several others, especially Tom Shaw, Iowa homeschoolers do not have to give any information at all. None. To the education establishment.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera June 09, 2013 3:46 PM  

16, homeschooling FTW.

Course, I'm also socially maladapted and I work for minimum wage for people who can't spell "Calculus". Interpret that as you will (Jartstar's perennial question withstanding).

Anonymous Curlytop June 09, 2013 3:47 PM  

@Heh, and Doom

Yes, and there's a reason. You'll find that the most popular reason women go into Elementary Ed instead of Secondary is because they have a "fear of math." A fear! These women literally FEAR a subject that they are required to teach! So naturally they will skip around, outright avoid, and incorporate teaching fads to the students, which always break down when the kids reach Pre-algebra or Algebra I... if they reach those levels.

Anonymous SugarPi June 09, 2013 3:50 PM  


@allyn71

Yeah, my daughter and I are in the process of evaluating cost/benefit to this program. I think what we're seeing is such a decline in society that we're becoming an anomaly even among homeschoolers. My 20+ yrs experience w/homeschoolers has been all good until recently. Now I have to admit some of the criticism of homeschoolers is warranted, though that doesn't negate the dismal failure of public school.
And don't get me started on Saxon Math signing on to Core Curriculum...

Anonymous Curlytop June 09, 2013 3:51 PM  

Excellent news, Farmer Tom! :-)

Blogger El Borak June 09, 2013 4:10 PM  

Asking them how old they were when they took calculus usually does the trick...

We get that a lot with kid #4 (she of the "ain't got no chili"). She's 15 and starts her second semester of college in August. It's pretty amusing that she plays on a traveling softball team that has high school sophomores older than she is.

When she tells them she's a freshman, she invariably gets, "I don't remember seeing you in school last year." No, you sure don't.

Anonymous Anonagain June 09, 2013 4:13 PM  

Having seen what spills out of the public schools when the last bell rings, I would imagine that white parents who can't afford private schooling are turning to homeschooling as the only alternative to having their little ones fending for themselves in those pits of vibrancy.

Anonymous Schmidt June 09, 2013 4:14 PM  

But, but, but... if the chitlens don't learn how to endure mind numbing nonesense, how will they ever make good corporate slaves?

Blogger Shimshon June 09, 2013 4:31 PM  

I remember reading circa 2000-1 that homeschooling was at the 2% mark. I say a clean double in 13 years is pretty impressive. And it sounds like the growth rate is increasing.

Blogger tz June 09, 2013 4:35 PM  

14. I took 3 math courses in high school at the same time (Algebra 2, Advanced Algebra & Trig, Calculus). They had two really stellar teachers (early 1970's), and I was top in my class and passed the AP exam with a 5 in calculus (also chemistry and physics, also good teachers). There were also two duds as teachers, one was an english major, the second came in and read the local paper while the students put the problems on the board for the first few minutes. I had the best calculator but rarely assisted there (one of the first programmables). Once this teacher was asking the class to get the calculators out to find where to plot the focus of an ellipse. I said you don't need a calculator, and when he asked I went up to the board, picked up the chalk compass, opened it up to a distance, drew two arcs, and watched his jaw hit the floor. I was lowest in his class. It was calculus.

There is so much math instruction all over the internet. But back then there were (and I assume they still exist) a handful of practical, instructive books.

I'm not sure what they teach in schools today, but from the stories, it is anti-knowledge, i.e. that you will not only not know the subject, but you will be stuffed with lies, errors, and falsehoods which you will have to un-learn before you can be effective. Do you know anyone that can speak a foreign language without a thick accent that learned it in school (even in a bilingual spanish-english school?).

Look at cattle and chickens at factory farms, then look at babies who are vaccinated, fed formula, then put into the factory-"schools"...

Anonymous Luke June 09, 2013 4:41 PM  

I read somewhere that homeschooling is actually closer to 6% of the kids now, when you factor in the below-the-radar types.

My wife and I have two little girls that we're going to homeschool. When anyone with some gravitas asks us why, we tell them first about how the Founding Fathers were homeschooled, and how HS kids take over 40% of wins in national spelling bees/geography bees/math bees/etc. For the not so competent people, we either tell them that all the time THEIR kids spend in line, ours spend learning, or that we figured out we could take care of beating them up and stealing their lunch money ourselves, without having to subcontract it out to strangers.

Oh, and Saxon Math is widely deemed to be the one essential missing part to the Robinson Curriculum for HSing kids.

Anonymous Stingray June 09, 2013 4:49 PM  

Curlytop, not too long ago you mentioned that Saxon Math is switching to the Core Curriculum. I called them shortly after you left that comment and they said that they have no plans to change the Saxon Homeschool program at all. They said that they would help me figure something out so I could follow the Core if I wish. No thank you, I said. I am calling to make sure you are not switching, because if you are switching the homeschool math then I need to find another program.

The lady on the phone was a bit surprised by this.

Anonymous Sensei June 09, 2013 5:12 PM  

16, which was freshman year in college for me, hooray for homeschooling. My parents' decision was made after they mentioned to a teacher that I was bored in class and she explained that they shouldn't worry, as I'd drop back to the same level as the normal children after a few years in the school system.

Socializing is not of -no- importance; my most socially awkward phase involved using my full vocabulary in normal conversations and trying to talk to other teens about Plato or Tolstoy because I was desperate for intellectual companionship and hadn't learned to contextualize yet, something I picked up in college.

ah, the halcyon hell that was first year engineering. -A Visitor

Makes me all nostalgic to think about it...

Anonymous Jill June 09, 2013 5:12 PM  

I don't know why I just constructed a comment and erased it. I guess I'm not in the mood. I've been homeschooling for far too long to do anything but yawn over others' idealism of it. The best thing about homeschooled kids--in my opinion--is their ability to have conversations with adults, deep or otherwise. If somebody were to ask me why I do it, I wouldn't mention calculus lest I look like a self-righteous prig. I would probably be honest and admit that I hate school teachers. That way, somebody could just shake her head and wonder if I was corrupted by Twisted Sister in my ill-spent childhood.

Anonymous Curlytop June 09, 2013 5:22 PM  

Hey Stingray!
I would guess that the nice lady on the phone is not privy to the long-term plan given that the ACT/SAT are moving in line with Core, so that is driving everything.

I can tell you that the very fact that Saxon and others are even catering to Core is worrisome. Once there is an agreement to provide curriculum specifically for Core, then it's not much of a stretch to do a phase out of older versions. I have seen that in other disciplines. Maybe they won't, but I know many in my circles who are buying the 3rd Editions of the 5/4- Alg. 1 levels and the...2nd Editions onward to be safe.

Core Curriculum is being handled in a stealth way unlike OBE where they held information meetings to sell the public on the program. In that case, my mother was personally involved in keeping them out of Spartanburg for a few years. What happened is that the proponents simply waited out the opposition and pushed it in piece meal. Much like publishers are doing by providing a choice...for now.

Anonymous SugarPi June 09, 2013 5:35 PM  

Jill,
I don't care who thinks I am self-righteous prig. I make sure I'm in similar company. (i.e. if I'm the smartest one at the table, I find another table) ;-)

Anonymous Stingray June 09, 2013 5:42 PM  

I can tell you that the very fact that Saxon and others are even catering to Core is worrisome.

I agree wholeheartedly. I watched the youtube video you recommended and have been reading more about Core and the whole implementation is, well, it's just like everything else in this administration.

I try to buy up our school books a couple of years ahead and do this a couple of times a year. I will be doing this more with the Saxon program and I will likely keep calling them as well. I have no idea how much homeschoolers fuel their business, but they cannot be completely obtuse to how many feel about the Core. Not that they'd care, but maybe. . . . Argh!!

Anonymous Jill June 09, 2013 5:58 PM  

SugarPi, you're going to sit at the table w/ the other idealists? Have at.

Anonymous tbell June 09, 2013 6:03 PM  

I was a substitute teacher several years ago due to a layoff. (have to eat folks) Kids couldn't write or understand simple subject matter.Simple math, forget it. Next door neighbor homeschools 5 kids. Good kids and high scores on all tests required by the state and colleges. Far ahead of public education kids. Public education sucks: lazy and worthless teachers. Public schools need to be burned down. God bless homeschoolers.

Anonymous Curlytop June 09, 2013 6:05 PM  

@Stingray
We do the same on this end w School books...course, w Classical education, it's definitely easier on the budget. :-)

Definite OT: I think you're the fellow CurlyGirl Ilk who recommended the Handbook. A thousand thank you's! Humidity doesn't effect me now....er, ok it does a little since I live in South, but nothing like before. ;-)

Anonymous SugarPi June 09, 2013 6:08 PM  

Jill, I like folks w/high standards not necessarily idealists. At 60+, my idealistic days are long gone (actually never were). More like "to whom much is given, much is expected." I'd rather go home, but the Lord keeps giving me more to do.

Anonymous rubbermallet June 09, 2013 6:09 PM  

Farmer Tom,

The work he did along with all those who worked on it is the reason why we now are able to expand our search into Iowa for our home purchase (we were looking in Illinois where we currently reside)

We do Classical Conversations currently. Our group went from 15 people just 2 years ago to well over 100 already signed up for this upcoming year.

Blogger ajw308 June 09, 2013 6:17 PM  

Jill's not gonna take it anymore!

Anonymous Stickwick June 09, 2013 6:24 PM  

I can tell you that the very fact that Saxon and others are even catering to Core is worrisome.

My kid won't be ready for homeschooling for at least another five years, but I like to get my worrying in ahead of time. Are there good alternatives to Saxon that don't cater to Common Core?

Also, I've heard varying reports that CC affects homeschoolers, but it's unclear whether that's indirectly (i.e. a lot of the more popular curricula catering to CC) or directly (i.e. mandated by law). Anyone know what the deal is on that?

Anonymous Curlytop June 09, 2013 6:37 PM  

@Stickwick

Happy Motherhood! Glad the little Ilk is doing well. :-) As long as Saxon offers the three options: Original Saxon line, Singapore, and the new "Core" approved one, you can get the original line. Those books are easy to find on websites and because it's a popular line, you can find those editions everywhere from Amazon, to www.childsbooks.com. Also, check out local homeschooling book sales. There's one here about twice a year, I think?

That said: I have recently heard of a few classically-minded families switch to Ray's Arithmetic. However, I don't know enough to make an evaluation right now.

As far as HOW Core affects home-educators, it is probably through the Standardized Test REquirements since the tests are being formatted to the Core Curriculum. Some states require a Nationally accredited Test to be administered at grades 3rd, 6th, and 9th, or every year depending on the state law. Then there's the ACT/SAT tests that are being formatted to the CC.

Right now, there are at least 10 states that are actively fighting back bc of grassroots organizations.

Anonymous SugarPi June 09, 2013 6:43 PM  

Stickwick, here's my suspicion. Standardized tests will drive the agenda. Social issues, faux science, and the like will continue to show up in questions. I reviewed some tests w/director of a Charlotte Mason school where I taught over 20 yrs ago and we could identify pc creep then. Of course homeschoolers won't do well on these. Then on math... just swamp homeschool bookstores w/inferior math curricula and voila, dropping scores all around.
Once homeschoolers don't do well on standardized tests, gov't will have the argument to sell the sheeple on banning home education.

Anonymous geoff June 09, 2013 6:55 PM  

@ joetex

progressives unsatisified with current education system? i think my brain just exploded.

Anonymous Stickwick June 09, 2013 6:55 PM  

Thanks, Curlytop. The standardized tests are what concern me the most. We're trying to move from Texas to Washington or Oregon, and both states have adopted CCSS and require regular testing. At least we have a few years to see which way the wind blows on that.

Anonymous RC June 09, 2013 7:03 PM  

This morning my pastor admonished parents to send their children to Christian colleges to protect them from the PC brainwashing of the state schools. He sent all his kids through the public schools K-12. I don't understand, truly, a well-raised kid will be more able to separate truth from lie at 18 than at 12. Whatever.

The homeschool numbers are fantastic news, about the only consistently good news these days. It must drive the powerseekers mad.

@Farmer Tom: Nice job up in Iowa!

Anonymous farmer Tom June 09, 2013 7:28 PM  

rubbermallet,

I have friends here in North Iowa doing Classical Conversations. There is a group in Forest City
If you are looking for a place with a reasonable cost of living, and lots of jobs, you should consider North Iowa. Two hours out of Minneapolis, one and a half out of Des Moines.

Got questions, let me know, here.

Blogger JDC June 09, 2013 7:28 PM  

My wife still struggles with homeschooling disagreements (she has many friends who are public school teachers). Her friends know better than to play the socialization card, or the "one must support the public school system" nonsense with me. I'm polite when appropriate, and an absolute dick when the circumstances call for it. I like Vox's calculus response - I have used Latin and Greek in the same context.

The homeschooling laws in MI are quite lax. No required testing, one doesn't even have to notify the local school system, and students may participate in local extra-curriculars (two of my little ones are joining band this year, and my oldest will be taking German). Of course you would have to live in one of the coldest and economically depressed states in the U Ess of A, but, the fishing and hunting are great!

Anonymous Van June 09, 2013 7:41 PM  

Thanks to all who gave advice. I've got a little time to figure it out, but this seems like a big undertaking, so never too early to get organized.

Anonymous Stilicho June 09, 2013 7:47 PM  

Asking them how old they were when they took calculus usually does the trick

Wicked. Once a child has a firm grasp of the three R's (i.e. should be by 3rd grade for most I expect), public school doesn't even allow the opportunity for them to progress further until high school. They spend the intervening years endlessly repeating things that they have (or should have) already mastered or simply bombarding the children with leftist propaganda. I wonder how public school teachers as a class would perform on that shock-the-puppy experiment. It seems they have quite a bit of experience.

Anonymous Curlytop June 09, 2013 8:40 PM  

Actually, Stilicho...and I wish I was being tongue and cheek here, the first 3-4 grades are spent methodically teaching the youngsters obedience and compliance training. This includes important things like keeping one's head down on the desk, or learning how to walk in a straight line with one finger touching the nose and the other on one's head as they parade them from the cafeteria(a 20 minute break) and back.

Under the OBE model, there were no stated objectives for reading until the 4th grade. But you're correct: phonics is thoroughly mastered btw 7 & 8 yrs of age unless there's a specific learning issue.

An amusing observation: My father worked for Bellsouth, so he worked many of the elementary schools phone lines. He'd tell my mother that he was convinced that most of those teachers wouldn't be able to find their way to their cars in the afternoon if it wasn't for those yellow painted feet from the door to the parking lot. ;-)

Blogger Positive Dennis June 09, 2013 9:10 PM  

Saxon is working fine for us. My daughter skipped a year and will probably do three years over the next two years. My guess is that she will do calculus at 16. Maybe later as I think probability and statistics is more important.

I really do not want to relearn trig or calculus so I do not know what I will do at that time. My daughter is 10. I plan to take probability and statistics with her.

In her last year in public school she was first in her class for math.

This brings me to my final p. Homeschoolers are a self selected group, I would be surprised if they did not do better on tests

Blogger Positive Dennis June 09, 2013 9:16 PM  

The posting clogged up on me so I posted it before it disappeared. But why in the world would I want to socialize my daughter, my desire not to do this is the main reason we homeschool.

Anonymous Shamus June 09, 2013 9:24 PM  

Father of seven. Homeschooler. 16 year old daughter starts college in the fall. Quick aside: it ain't a woman's job. I carry the lion's share of homeschooling duties. It's split by innate gender role: I carry math, science, anatomy, craftsmanship, electrical, and languages. She carries home economics, crafts, reading, and the lioness' share of early education.

We considered private, classical Christian schools but opted to continue home schooling. At the crux: no matter how "good" the school, it's the individual teacher with the most effect.

I know how good their individual teachers are and will be when home schooled and don't have to worry about poor quality instruction despite an excellent school model.

Anonymous The Voice Of Reason: Milgram Graduate cum laude June 09, 2013 9:37 PM  

It's worth noting that home school examples championed here are by people who admittedly fall in line with patriarchal thinking, who have family and children and presumably work for a living. Which by extension would be an artifact of what your immediate surroundings more than likely tell you to do, norms imposed upon you from outside, maybe even brainwashing. Not like those who decided to forgo the patriarchal tradition, rejecting limiting identity roles, and choose boldly which liberal arts degree daddy's money's going to invest in this time around.

Anonymous Lana June 09, 2013 9:58 PM  

I'm with Jill. I homeschooled because I hated school. I wasn't able to teach anyone calculus, nor did I aspire to do so. I just figured that my children not being indoctrinated little drones would make up for what I might be lacking in the schooling department. I was right. Even though I'm not remotely well educated in Math by Ilk standards, all my kids could pass our states pitiful high school exit tests by 13 or 14.

As an example for those who just do not understand the conformity and compliance beat in kid's head, (which everyone here surely does, but for those reading who aren't regulars) this is the purpose. Not education.

My kid went to public school in junior high, D1 sports dream, not for education. Second day there, some monitor stops the kid in the cafeteria, prevents kid from leaving and says where do you think you're going? Kid is outraged, gets in the guys face and says something like, Who the hell are you and why is it your business where I'm going? Get out of my way.

Everyone was so paralyzed and surprised that the kid just walked out. And then comes home, still pissed and asking me what is wrong with these people? It was a fruitful conversation.

Anonymous BrentG June 09, 2013 10:17 PM  

Stickwick said...Thanks, Curlytop. The standardized tests are what concern me the most. We're trying to move from Texas to Washington or Oregon, and both states have adopted CCSS and require regular testing. At least we have a few years to see which way the wind blows on that.

......

We live in Washington and have to take the standardized tests. I don't care for them, but it is funny to show them to some of our teacher friends. We do zero test prep and the kids demolish the tests - over 95th percentile on everything. Granted, that could still mean we're behind Africa.

Anonymous BrentG June 09, 2013 10:35 PM  

I really love home school and how it allows kids to be kids and grow at their own pace. Nobody has sexualized my kids and they still aren't quite sure what cuss words are (no going in the shop while Daddy is working on the car yet). They both have an innocence and inquisitiveness that government education would have dulled or beaten out of them. They both understand sin and salvation and the necessity of Grace better than many life time churchiantity attendees.

I'm betting that most others who homeschool can say the same about their kids and this is why the government/education complex cannot let this continue. I surprised my wife a few months ago by telling her that I believed we would have to relocate in the coming years to finish our homeschooling eduction due to increased government interference.

Anonymous Teenage Jail June 09, 2013 10:49 PM  

"My kid went to public school in junior high, D1 sports dream, not for education. Second day there, some monitor stops the kid in the cafeteria, prevents kid from leaving and says where do you think you're going? Kid is outraged, gets in the guys face and says something like, Who the hell are you and why is it your business where I'm going? Get out of my way.

Everyone was so paralyzed and surprised that the kid just walked out. And then comes home, still pissed and asking me what is wrong with these people? It was a fruitful conversation."

Like a frog being thrown into boiling water.

When I was in kindergarten I wanted to eat at my own pace, not the pace of the bells, and wanted to learn something interesting, not things I had already learned on my own by then. Why yes, I was on Ritalin by January, why do you ask?

Thanks to a few sane people in the school system, I began calculus at 15, but educated at a reasonable speed (for my abilities, not for what was convenient for the school) I probably could have done it at 11 or 12. Maybe even earlier, but like another poster said, I'd teach a child basic statistics (possibly some other things too) first anyway; math education shouldn't be a race to calculus.

At the time I was in school, homeschooling was, in the common perception in my parents' social milieu anyway, the province of crazies. I'm really glad to see it growing, and wish I could have been homeschooled. Oh well. Autodidacticism is an option at any age.

Anonymous The Voice Of Raisin: Public School Advocate, Milgram Graduate cum laude June 09, 2013 10:52 PM  

It is most ironic that people here do not want to be told how to live their life, yet are advocating a particular way to live as mandatory.

It is most ironic that people here say that they do not want public schools to brainwash their children, yet they engaging in their own form of indoctrination.

Anonymous RC June 09, 2013 11:08 PM  

"It is most ironic that people here say that they do not want public schools to brainwash their children, yet they engaging in their own form of indoctrination."

They are my kids Raisin. I made them, I pay for their every need; therefore, it's only indoctrination if someone teaches them something that I deem incorrect.

Blogger kudzu bob June 09, 2013 11:21 PM  

It is most ironic that people here say that they do not want public schools to brainwash their children, yet they engaging in their own form of indoctrination.

It's hard for some people to believe that parents might want to impart their own values to their kids rather than leaving the matter up those moral and educational giants known as Ed majors. It's also hard for some comments to use the word "irony" properly.

Anonymous Teenage Jail June 09, 2013 11:25 PM  

"It is most ironic that people here do not want to be told how to live their life, yet are advocating a particular way to live as mandatory."

And which way might that be?

"It is most ironic that people here say that they do not want public schools to brainwash their children, yet they engaging in their own form of indoctrination."

Is this like the pop-philosophy nonsense where there's no such thing as freedom because you can't do whatever you want, because there are such things as laws of nature?

Education is teaching someone to think. Indoctrination is teaching someone what to think and what not to even think about thinking.

Learn the difference; educate yourself.

Anonymous The Voice Of Reason, apparently White Knighting AA to no end June 10, 2013 12:26 AM  

And what's most ironic of all, believe it or not, besides all of the obvious pavlovian responses to the questioning of their sacred beliefs, and my picking apart of the patriarchal overpopulation fascism that's constantly pushed on unsuspecting commentators here, is that Sunny still hasn't hit me up online. Maybe she uses Skype instead of AIM. I should check that. I mean, shit, it's not like I haven't obviously cleaned up on these threads, parthian bow in hand. I don't know why she hasn't come back.

Anonymous Lana June 10, 2013 12:37 AM  

"It is most ironic that people here say that they do not want public schools to brainwash their children, yet they engaging in their own form of indoctrination."

Not really. What's funny is that homeschool kids could probably argue your point more effectively that you can. That would be the difference.

Anonymous Lana June 10, 2013 12:44 AM  

"When I was in kindergarten I wanted to eat at my own pace, not the pace of the bells, and wanted to learn something interesting, not things I had already learned on my own by then. Why yes, I was on Ritalin by January, why do you ask?"

Drug the non-conformist! I'm glad you made it through anyway and got some good instruction. Many do not. My nephews have been drugged their entire lives. I would be willing to bet? The only time they weren't was when they spent a week or two with us. The parents tried to hand me the drugs and instruct me on dosage and I just said, yeah. Not at my house. You can keep that. We had a wonderful time and they still remember it. Every little bit might help.

Anonymous Stickwick June 10, 2013 1:35 AM  

Drug the non-conformist!

That seems to be a uniquely American solution to non-conformism. Perhaps Markku can confirm, but it doesn't seem like they drug the non-conformists in Europe all that much; they do, however find other ways to grind them down. We just heard that our six year-old nephew in Finland is being moved to the new "special" school, where they'll stick all the mentally-retarded / mentally-deranged kids and kids with other assorted learning and behavior problems. He's perfectly sound of mind, but he's being forced into this school because, and I quote: "He questions everything, is too self-motivated, and always wants to have the last word." I sh*t you not, that qualifies as a mental deficiency in Finland. He's not a bad kid at all, just very much an individual, and these cretins in the school system want to squash him.

Anonymous Wald June 10, 2013 1:47 AM  

That'd sad. I never made it past pre-calculus.

Anonymous Hermit June 10, 2013 1:53 AM  

"Thanks, Curlytop. The standardized tests are what concern me the most. We're trying to move from Texas to Washington or Oregon, and both states have adopted CCSS and require regular testing. At least we have a few years to see which way the wind blows on that."

Stickwick, FWIW, a family we know that homeschools here in Oregon told us that they've never had their kids perform the required testing. They have 4 kids ranging 10 to 18. I'm not sure on the details, if they've just never been contacted or what's going on. My oldest won't be required to test for another year, and if I can get away with it, I won't make him.

Anonymous The Voice Of Reason, apparently White Knighting AA to no end June 10, 2013 6:10 AM  

Then again, Sunny is a first-hand witness of my Chip Douglas tendencies, so why should she call me?

Anonymous Rufus June 10, 2013 6:48 AM  

Stick,

my nephew is a boisterous little boy with tons of energy. Occasionally he needs to blow off steam. His mum, a teacher, told me that if they had still lived in Holland, "they" (whoever they are) would have probably doped him up on Ritalin to calm him down. Here in NZ he can run wild in the large garden and yard outside their house. He's a great kid, just very, very energetic and intense. Ritalin-ning kids to make the teachers' or parents' lives easier is an evil, evil thing to do.

Anonymous Stingray June 10, 2013 8:31 AM  

Curlytop,

I'm really glad that book worked out for you. It has made a HUGE difference for me, too. ;)

Blogger David F. June 10, 2013 8:44 AM  

I'm surprised by the praise for Saxon math. I used it in high school and have a pretty low opinion of it. The exercises are extremely tedious, but mathematically not challenging enough. It bored me to death, and did little to prepare me for genuinely tricky algebra and trig problems.

I suppose it does drill in computation, which is better than what most students get. I don't consider it adequate for students who wish to study the hard sciences or formal mathematics, though.

Anonymous clk June 10, 2013 9:01 AM  

"Data demonstrates that those who are independently educated generally score between the 65th and 89th percentile on these measures, while those in traditional academic settings average at around the 50th percentile. In addition, achievement gaps between sexes, income levels, or ethnicity—all of which have plagued public schools around the country—do not exist in homeschooling environments."

Read this again and lets hear from some of the statistical experts here.

1) The average is 50 percentile ... wow

The problem with public schools, or rather the success of the public schools (depending on who is doing the talking) is that all children much be accepted, educated and tested. As you statistics grown to include 99% its not surprising that the distributions of results would reach as described above.

2)"Independently educated generally score between the 65th and 89th percentile on these measures" ...

If the number was >100 percentile you might have made an argument of the educational success of HS (and I am not talking anything other than academic success .. there are other areas were HS may shine) but what this shows is that the kids fit within the PS distribution for kids taught in public schools -- and intact says that the smartest kids are actually in PS (the > 90 percentile group)

When the statistics of PS education is based the entire population pf children in the US - poor, middle class, rich, non-English and handicaps/special needs, illegal etc the statistics show a normal distribution peaking at 50%. The fact that the HS fit within that population means that's there is little educational difference.. and if you are really smart these numbers show you actually do better in PS where the access to good, qualified teachers and involved concerned parents.




Blogger James Dixon June 10, 2013 9:09 AM  

> ...clk blathers...

Math is hard.

Anonymous CLK June 10, 2013 9:55 AM  

James my friend .. you have proven my wrong once again with you well reasoned and detailed reply. I surrender to you obvious superiority.

May the south rise again and we all learn under the gentle and wise hand of our southern masters...

Blogger James Dixon June 10, 2013 10:03 AM  

> ...you have proven my wrong once again with you well reasoned and detailed reply. I surrender to you obvious superiority...

The math is self evident to anyone who chooses to look at it CLK. My detailing the problems with your analysis isn't necessary. The mere fact that you think there can be a >100 percentile in a closed group is only the beginning of the problems.

Anonymous Carlotta June 10, 2013 10:23 AM  

Curlytop and Stingray what is the Handbook? If you Ladies dont mind.

Anonymous CLK June 10, 2013 10:37 AM  

You try to confuse and in the process missed the most important point so lets review... .. based solely on the quote...

HS score in the 89th percentile statistically -- that means is 100-89 = 11 percentiles that are populated by PS which means that give a standard test the best PS did better than the best HS -- per the quote which is all I am commenting on. I am not even picking a side vs HS or PS -- just the numbers sir..

Tell me where that is wrong ? Nothing else for you here until you do that...

"Our Dixie forever! She's never at a loss!
Down with the eagle and up with the cross
We'll rally 'round the bonny flag, we'll rally once again,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!

Anonymous Edjamacator June 10, 2013 10:54 AM  

James my friend .. you have proven my wrong once again with you well reasoned and detailed reply. I surrender to you obvious superiority.

"Me." "Your." (Twice.)

Just saying. It always strikes me as ironic when someone supposedly trying to sound intelligent and degrade others writes like an barely literate Youtube commenter.

Anonymous hausfrau June 10, 2013 1:53 PM  

One of my most unpleasant memories from public grade school was being forced to pair up with other kids for activities and assignments. One by one the kids who had friends in class would pick their buddies and I and another girl were always the last two remaining. The teacher would quite publically pair us up together because, yet again, we were not picked. This was my experience of public school socializing. One of the myriad less than subtle ways schools use humiliation and ostracizing to stamp kids into conformity. I don't believe pairing up has anything to do with "learning" as we traditionally understand it. You cannot pursue your own talents and interests as an individual. The boredom is intense and prolonged. You can't even go to the bathroom without permission. If you conflict with the teacher you are always wrong even when you are right. The school is relentless forcing students to subdue the aspects of their personalities that it finds inconvenient or distasteful.

We plan on homeschooling our children, Presently 3, 2, and 2 months. Its kind of daunting though. I signed my son up for a Montessori preschool to buy time while I figured out how to homeschool. I don't know where they are supposed to be and I'm not sure what I should teach and when. Do any of you have suggestions or information on preschool homeschooling?

Anonymous Stingray June 10, 2013 2:01 PM  

Carlotta,

This is it. It's been a great find for me.

Anonymous Carlotta June 10, 2013 2:24 PM  

Thank you! We have curls here too.

Anonymous Cail Corishev June 10, 2013 2:36 PM  

Do any of you have suggestions or information on preschool homeschooling?

I can tell you how my mom got four kids reading well before kindergarten, back when preschool was rare and no one had yet uttered the phrase "preschool homeschooling." (Granted, we were all smarter than average, but you can't learn to read in a house where no one else reads.) She wasn't a Tiger Mom at all, but she gave us the materials and encouragement.

Get alphabet and number toys. We had blocks and fridge magnets that got a ton of use. Get Dr. Seuss and other books and read to them every day, tracing the words with your finger so they get used to following along and looking at them. Have them help you with tasks like cooking: they can count the eggs as you crack them. (Cooking is like math and science class rolled into one.) Everything is a learning opportunity. Their minds are always soaking up something; it's up to you to give them the right things to soak in. Encourage them to be curious, to ask questions, to draw or build things.

Most of all, don't sweat it much. Head Start has spent billions proving (according to their own data) that even when you put kids in accelerated learning programs designed specifically for their socio-economic class, they settle back to the level of their peers soon after they reenter the general population. Kids seem to learn stuff when they're ready to handle it, and no sooner. Put good learning material in front of them so it'll be there when they're ready, but focus most of your efforts on teaching character. Character will be more important in the long run than whether they started reading at 3 or at 7.

Anonymous Carlotta June 10, 2013 2:49 PM  

Www.donnayoung.org has great stuff. At that age I include in my own activites, have them listen to the Bible, pray, dance, paint, read with me and lots and lots of play. Youtube has tons HS videos. Pray for wisdom and guidance. He will provide it.

Anonymous Carlotta June 10, 2013 2:52 PM  

I second this. And the Character is first. Agreed.

Anonymous Rufus June 10, 2013 3:18 PM  

"Me." "Your." (Twice.)
Just saying. It always strikes me as ironic when someone supposedly trying to sound intelligent and degrade others writes like an barely literate Youtube commenter.


"a".

Your welcome. :)

Blogger James Dixon June 10, 2013 4:06 PM  

> Your welcome. :)

I'm going to assume that was deliberate. :)

Anonymous Lana June 10, 2013 7:51 PM  

Stickwick,

"He's perfectly sound of mind, but he's being forced into this school because, and I quote: "He questions everything, is too self-motivated, and always wants to have the last word." I sh*t you not, that qualifies as a mental deficiency in Finland."

It appears they squash 'em, regardless of the method. It's truly child abuse. Every single young boy in my husband's family, aside from ours, was put on drugs for all those reasons. Many of the girls too. They are all very bright. Another one they never list, but always happens is, they figure out early their teachers are not particularly bright and have no respect for them.

I always make a point to tell them as often as possible that there is nothing wrong with them, they are just like everyone in our family, and if most other people don't understand them it is not their problem. It just makes me incredibly sad for them.

Anonymous CLK June 10, 2013 9:38 PM  

"just saying. It always strikes me as ironic when someone supposedly trying to sound intelligent and degrade others writes like an barely literate Youtube commenter."

So you cant win the argument so you attack my poor typing skills ... --- is it my fault that this damn soft touch keyboard on the tablet is so hard to use ? One of the problems of having large man size hands -- maybe that's not your problem.

I asked a question.. James --- you didn't answer.. per the rules you are done ...

Blogger James Dixon June 10, 2013 9:41 PM  

> HS score in the 89th percentile statistically -- that means is 100-89 = 11 percentiles that are populated by PS which means that give a standard test the best PS did better than the best HS -- per the quote which is all I am commenting on. I am not even picking a side vs HS or PS -- just the numbers sir.. ... Tell me where that is wrong ? Nothing else for you here until you do that...

You know, I really don't like demonstrating that a person has no idea what they're talking about in public. It's a waste of my time and usually a waste of theirs. Which is why I normally just point it out and leave it to the readers to figure out the details. But some people are insistent, so...

It means nothing of the kind. 89% is not the top score of the home schooled students. It's the average. Just as 50% is the average for all the students.

The percentile average for all students who take the test is 50%. The percentile average for the home schooled students only is 89%. The average home schooled student scored 39% higher than the average student. That's all it says. Those are the averages. We know nothing about the distribution of the scores in either case.

We can make some reasonable guesses about the distribution, of course. We can probably safely assume that it is a standard bell curve in both cases, and that it approximates the standard deviation of the IQ bell curve. Needless to say, those reasonable guesses do not support your claim.

If you don't understand basic statistics, you should probably leave arguments using them to someone who does.

Anonymous JuanColorado June 11, 2013 3:09 AM  

We socialize our dogs.
We educate our kids.

Blogger AMDG June 11, 2013 10:34 PM  

Mother of divine grace, seton, Math u see, Laura Burquest. Catholic homeschool b/c the parochial schools are watered down and taught by laity. Very little difference from suburban ps. Ask your pastor.

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