It's believed that two-million U.S. kids are homeschooled. Parents do it for many reasons. Some do it for religious reasons. Others do it because they've lost faith in the public school system. Others still simply because they want to protect their kids from bad influences and bullies at school. What is the process for a parent to homeschool their child? And, do homeschool children learn more or less than traditional students? And, how do we know parents can make good teachers?
My wife has educated our children for many years. Although I do not always agree with her methods, there can be no argument with the results. They are all successful, intelligent, and well spoken. Our oldest daughter (the only one old enough to be on her own) has lived on her own for seven years. We do not give her money, she makes her own. We did not pay for her college education, she took the responsibility to pay for her classes and her books upon herself. We did not pay for nursing school, she paid for that herself. We did not give her money for her vehicle, she paid for that herself. My wife is providing each of our children with the ability to think and reason and and the desire to learn and succeed.
Yes, many would consider us extreme. But that is OK.
I cherish what our family has become.
That we eat dinner at home together six nights a week.
That we (including each of our children) cook our own food.
The amount of family friends that we have.
That we do not subscribe to cable TV, HBO, Showtime, Cinemax.
That we don't each have a stash of personal electronics to occupy our time.
That we are involved in the life of our family. Together!
Michael –Jul 28, 2011 12:42:54 PM
I was interested in the topic and I wish your guests would have answered a single one of your softball questions with a straight answer, instead of pulling out selective "statistics" to evade them. E.g. "Q. How do you measure success? A. It's not about benchmarks, it's about learning to live in the world through my kind and attentive guidance." HUH? I'm sorry, but a child that cannot read by AGE NINE is either being neglected or needs special education that you cannot provide. It is a shame that most homeschoolers are Christians that just don't want the world to interfere with their fantasy. I think it gives the idea of homeschooling (which I support a great deal) a bad name. Adam –Jul 28, 2011 11:42:14 AM
The day you are blessed with a disabled child, you will look at education differently. There are disadvantaged children that take longer to learn particular tasks. Even the public school system recognizes this.Michael –Jul 28, 2011 12:46:59 PM
I would never choose to homeschool my children for various reasons. I believe children should be exposed to various teaching styles and personalities throughout their academic life. They need to learn how to deal with a variety of people, including difficult personalities. That's the real world and that's life. Mommy isn't always going to be there to wipe their chin and baby them through homeschool with a bowl of Cheerios at their side and their blankie.
It's ridiculous to be both mom and teacher. I have a role as a parent to make sure my child does well in school and learns the skills necessary to grow up to be a responsible, contributing member of society. But I do that by forging a relationship with their teachers and by monitoring their schoolwork, not by selfishly keeping them at home and teaching them everything myself. I am convinced the percentage of parents out there highly qualified to teach their children every single subject taught in public schools is zero to none. Why would anyone want to shortchange their children?P. Cruise –Jul 28, 2011 11:20:55 AM
Unfortunately, the picture of homeschooling portrayed on today's State of Nevada is not an accurate one. The woman who runs the Homeschooling Organization has photos of her children posted online without shirts and shoes on in her dirty, cluttered home. Additionally, I visited her homeschooling website and it appears her events are often cancelled. The clothing swap she touted on the radio? Not happening. But that's just a small piece of the deception. It turns out most of these homeschoolers are just xenophobic, jingoistic, ultra-conservative "bible-based curriculum" whack jobs who don't want their children exposed to science, history, government/civics and cultural/social studies. I've met homeschoolers who freely admit they scrapped the entire science curriculum from homeschooling because it isn't based on the bible. I've met other homeschooler parents who admitted they don't teach P.E. because they don't like to leave the house (direct quote: "my fat a** doesn't like to leave the house"). And yet others who say they take days off whenever they feel like it. I feel sorry for their kids.P. Cruise –Jul 28, 2011 11:16:58 AM
I would like to add that Many abused children are pulled from school so outsiders cannot observe abuse. This is one dark side of Home schooling we MUST address! Not all parents are enter into HS for the true benefit of their child's education. We are aware of one family who pulled their son from traditional school when he started to tell others his father and step mother were abusing him. Next thing you know, he is never allowed outside to play with other children. We are very concerned for his welfare and safety and know there are many more like him. Sometimes a teacher is the only lifeline a kid has and when that goes away the child has little future and his very life is in danger. We need to inspect home school environments for the sake of the kids. As a HS mom I would have had no objection to that because I had nothing to hide. Jacquelyn Romero –Jul 28, 2011 10:14:29 AM
I wanted to comment on the idea of standardized testing. It does not tell how much a child knows, just how well they take tests. It shows recognition, not recall, which are very different. I started homeschooling my children in the 1980's. When working with your children, you know where they are in their education, as well as, their understanding and ability to apply the information. It is more important to teach (and be an example of ) love of learning and how to be a life long learner. I want to raise thinkers, not parrots.Lauriann Bradford –Jul 28, 2011 10:08:15 AM
We home schooled our daughter for 6 years through Clark Co school dist Distance learning programs which provided certified teacher interaction once a week, Standardized testing and the curriculum was designed around their basic standards but we always added to that. My daughter was a presidential Academic Award recipient three years running.So we found it to be very successful but our daughter wanted to pursue a education in veterinary medicine and decided to enter into a magnet program focusing on bio medic which she loves. However, we have seen both the best and worse scenario for home schooling. We are aware of one family in which the child is home schooled however she noticeabl below level in every regard yet she is not handicapped,the primary problem Mom sees her more as a housekeeper, cook and diaper changer than actually getting a true home school education. They do a conservative Christian curriculum and do belong to a home school group however what goes on at home is very different than what appears on the outside. This little girl has been BEGGING her parents to go to traditional school and mother says until God gives them a sign she must stay at home. The dark side ofHSJacquelyn Romero –Jul 28, 2011 10:06:18 AM
I think that this is true whether they are homeschooling or not. I was abused at home and attended public school. I am not saying that there is not a problem, just that public school may not necessarily be the solution.Lauriann Bradford –Jul 28, 2011 10:12:11 AM
My Daughter and I will start homeschooling this year (her kindergarden year). My questions is; How do you know when its time to back off, step back, take a break or push on? I'm very afraid that by the end of the semester she and I will do nothing but yell at each other. Kayla C –Jul 28, 2011 10:04:54 AM
Kayla, what an awesome age to begin homeschooling! You really can take this opportunity to share this amazing world with your child. I wouldn't push academics but rather get to know your child's learning style as well as your own educational philosophy. Go outside and explore nature, look at the stars and the moon, plant something and watch it grow, read all those great books at the library, listen to different types of music, bake something, write letters to family and friends, draw pictures of all those beautiful nature finds and keep a journal of them or start a collection, learn to knit, make a chore list, go to museums, but above all, enjoy one another as you embark on this incredible journey. I believe this will set a tone of education as a lifestyle and will ultimately minimize conflict over math or some other subject that needs to be done but isn't particularly liked. Best wishes to you and your family. Happy homeschooling!A. Smith –Jul 28, 2011 17:12:11 PM
As a single Dad I began homeschooling my 10 yr old son and later my 12 yr old daughter withing the past academic year.
In our case CCSD was not responsive to my son's special needs (ASD) and due to the economy we became homeless. For us home school was really the only option.
We employ K12.com which administers the NV virtual academy.
Troy Lovick –Jul 28, 2011 10:03:23 AM
Paul - The thing to remember is that just because a child goes to public school doesn't mean that they will succeed. Also, just because public school says a child should learn XYZ, by such and such an age doesn't mean it has to be mastered by that age. I have always homeschooled my children. My 9 year old boy only started really reading last year, he knew how, but he chose not to. Once he realized that reading meant he could choose which specific episode of a show he is watching on Netflix or read the text in his video games he started reading. Now he finds things to read all the time. In contrast my daughter just turned 5 in June and she is reading quite fluently already. Each child is different.
Missy –Jul 28, 2011 09:36:17 AM
My parents have 6 kids, and homeschooled 3 of them. Now, my 2 sisters, who attended public school, are homeschooling their children. My 9 year-old nephew & 7 year-old niece cannot read. They can barely spell more than their names. Whenever I have visited their homes, the kids rarely do more than play videogames. The problem with homeschooling is that for every success story, like today's guests, there are so many more tragedies.Paul –Jul 28, 2011 09:26:42 AM