Homeschool Confidential, A Series

17

Part One: Leaving Generation Joshua

“Generation Joshua wants America to be a perpetual
city on a hill, a beacon of biblical hope to the world around us.  We
seek to inspire every one of our members with faith in God and a hope of
what America can become as we equip Christian citizens and leaders to
impact our nation for Christ and for His glory.”

~ William A. Estrada, Esq., Director of Generation Joshua

The story that follows is a cautionary tale.

It is the story of a generation, overwhelmed and frightened by the
1960’s and 70’s, that wanted to create an isolated bubble in which to
raise kids untouched by the chaos and depravity of the American world.
It is the story of a generation that partied so hard that, ashamed of
its doings, wanted its progeny to not do the things it did. It is a
story of how you can so easily throw the proverbial baby out with the
bath water — or, put another way, how babies always grow up and have to
make their own decisions, no matter how hard their parents try to avoid
that day.

***

This story is not meant to antagonize people, though it will surely
antagonize many. It is not meant to attack anyone, but it will involve
some serious disagreements. This story is first and foremost a personal statement of my personal experience — my experience of the conservative, Christian, homeschooling subculture in which I grew up.

I didn’t just grow up in the subculture. I was one of its most
outspoken advocates and champions. I wasn’t merely a conservative,
Christian homeschooler. I was raised and groomed to be a model for its
tenets, an inspiration for my peers, and someone who trained my peers to
also be advocates and champions.

I have struggled most of my life with sorting through everything I experienced as a homeschooler.
Not the education, mind you — I can read, think, write, speak, and
debate. But as I have been increasingly dealing with major depression,
panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, and all sorts of other problems, I
have been reflecting on my childhood. And I realize that the pressures
put on me by the conservative, Christian homeschooling subculture have
contributed significantly to my problems today.

Written By: R.L. Stollar
continue to source article at homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com

17 COMMENTS

  1. A rather long, rambling, and repetitive introduction, but I’m interested to see the actual events that nudged this person into apostasy. I’ll look for the sequel. Someone should tell him not to use so much boldface.

    I knew a man who home-schooled his children, but he was a drooling Christian fanatic. He once announced to me that he had forbidden his kids to read the Harry Potter books because they were offensive to Christianity. I could only hope the poor kids would one day realize he had deprived them of some of the basic joys of the common culture. Not to mention the benefits of Enlightenment.

  2. I couldn’t help but notice how he kept going back and forth trying to defend and then challenge his upbringing. No wonder he suffers from panic attacks, depression, etc.

    I had always been a rabble-rouser in homeschooling circles, but one from within being self-critical. So I am not unfamiliar with making waves and being chastised.

    He also gives his schooling credit by saying that he can read, write, and reflect due to his “smart” Christian homeschooling. It sounds as if this questioning is his innate temperament and was not learned.

    The fact is — I am my own human being. And I always was. I just was raised to not think that way.

    This is not “smart” education.

    …many of us were in speech and debate leagues, moot court, summer camps dedicated to worldview training, and all sorts of other activities meant to make us articulate defenders and proponents of our beliefs.

    But clearly something was missing, perhaps a realistic world view. Home schoolers typically lack in the area of science. Also teaching children to fear or dislike those that get pregnant, think differently, hate gays and others considered “sinful” is not a “smart” tactic. Learning an agenda does not lead to free thinking and exploration which is paramount to a progressive society.

  3. Thinking a christian madrasah can provide a good education is vestigial evidence of the complete brainwashing this author experienced. If he thinks a complete educational experience is simply learning how to string letters together to form words, he is sadly mistaken. I can’t shake the humorous idea of Christian homeschoolers drawing pictures of people riding dinosaurs and claiming knowledge of science.

  4. The thing that I would need to see is a series of actual achievement tests administered to home schooled children to ensure that they are learning age appropriate lessons and are keeping pace. I’d think that people who home school their children would love to get the opportunity to show the effectiveness of their decision and the positive impact it has on their kids.

    I know that there are tons of homeschoolers who get great lessons and experiences. They are going about the task of educating their child the right way. My fear is that they are the minority and that the majority of homeschooled kids are being robbed of the richness of what education has to offer.

    I do not know if my fear is a reality and would welcome other opinions. This author adds to my fears; not only was his home schooling “suspect” but it seems it was for purely religious isolationist reasons. By teaching the student at home, these parents seek to produce a sycophant who is essentially their “perfect” robotic child. Too bad, it don’t work that way!!!

    • In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

      The thing that I would need to see is a series of actual achievement tests administered to home schooled children to ensure that they are learning age appropriate lessons and are keeping pace. I’d think that people who home school their children would love to get the opportunity to show the effectiveness of their decision and the positive impact it has on their kids.I know that there are tons of homeschoolers who get great lessons and experiences. They are going about the task of educating their child the right way. My fear is that they are the minority and that the majority of homeschooled kids are being robbed of the richness of what education has to offer.I do not know if my fear is a reality and would welcome other opinions. This author adds to my fears; not only was his home schooling “suspect” but it seems it was for purely religious isolationist reasons. By teaching the student at home, these parents seek to produce a sycophant who is essentially their “perfect” robotic child. Too bad, it don’t work that way!!!

      I think even non religiously motivated homeschooling is a problem. How would any one person be able to provide the expertise or experiences to give the richness of studying 15 or so subjects? I was taught music by people with music degrees, art by art graduates, english by english grads and so on and so forth. How could any parent match that sheer amount of learing?

      Then there is the loss of objectivity. I know the values I want my daughter to have, but do I want them imposed by lack of exposure to other values or do I want her to choose from a range of different experiences of different folk? I would both love and hate her to be a clone of me.

      Lack of freedom to choose friends as well. Lack of acess to sport or drama or orchestras or all the other experiences that need a certain number of people around to work. Lack of practise of getting on with others in large diverse groups.

      Add religious fundamentalism into the mix and the poor child is going to have the most precious years of their life warped.

      • I agree. You often hear the complaint that kids who are home schooled lack the social abilities that kids who go through the public school system acquire by having to deal with peers from a variety of backgrounds, etc. I’m sure there is truth in that. But I also think that it’s not good for kids to get all their information from the same source. After all, one of the main points of religious homeschooling is to winnow out any and all information that is contrary to the faith. This leaves these kids at a distinct disadvantage because they lack the ability to deal with conflicting information.

        Another thing that home schooled kids often miss out on is learning the politics of succeeding. That is, how to play the political game of getting the best grade from a tough teacher, etc.

        I personally think that homeschooling should only be allowed if the parent, or those who will be administering the classes, are qualified and certified teachers with credentials from a respected institute.
        .

        In reply to #7 by atheistengineer:

        In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

        The thing that I would need to see is a series of actual achievement tests administered to home schooled children to ensure that they are learning age appropriate lessons and are keeping pace. I’d think that people who home school their children would love to get the opportunity to show the effectiveness of their decision and the positive impact it has on their kids.I know that there are tons of homeschoolers who get great lessons and experiences. They are going about the task of educating their child the right way. My fear is that they are the minority and that the majority of homeschooled kids are being robbed of the richness of what education has to offer.I do not know if my fear is a reality and would welcome other opinions. This author adds to my fears; not only was his home schooling “suspect” but it seems it was for purely religious isolationist reasons. By teaching the student at home, these parents seek to produce a sycophant who is essentially their “perfect” robotic child. Too bad, it don’t work that way!!!

        I think even non religiously motivated homeschooling is a problem. How would any one person be able to provide the expertise or experiences to give the richness of studying 15 or so subjects? I was taught music by people with music degrees, art by art graduates, english by english grads and so on and so forth. How could any parent match that sheer amount of learing?

        Then there is the loss of objectivity. I know the values I want my daughter to have, but do I want them imposed by lack of exposure to other values or do I want her to choose from a range of different experiences of different folk? I would both love and hate her to be a clone of me.

        Lack of freedom to choose friends as well. Lack of acess to sport or drama or orchestras or all the other experiences that need a certain number of people around to work. Lack of practise of getting on with others in large diverse groups.

        Add religious fundamentalism into the mix and the poor child is going to have the most precious years of their life warped.

        In reply to #7 by atheistengineer:

        In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

        The thing that I would need to see is a series of actual achievement tests administered to home schooled children to ensure that they are learning age appropriate lessons and are keeping pace. I’d think that people who home school their children would love to get the opportunity to show the effectiveness of their decision and the positive impact it has on their kids.I know that there are tons of homeschoolers who get great lessons and experiences. They are going about the task of educating their child the right way. My fear is that they are the minority and that the majority of homeschooled kids are being robbed of the richness of what education has to offer.I do not know if my fear is a reality and would welcome other opinions. This author adds to my fears; not only was his home schooling “suspect” but it seems it was for purely religious isolationist reasons. By teaching the student at home, these parents seek to produce a sycophant who is essentially their “perfect” robotic child. Too bad, it don’t work that way!!!

        I think even non religiously motivated homeschooling is a problem. How would any one person be able to provide the expertise or experiences to give the richness of studying 15 or so subjects? I was taught music by people with music degrees, art by art graduates, english by english grads and so on and so forth. How could any parent match that sheer amount of learing?

        Then there is the loss of objectivity. I know the values I want my daughter to have, but do I want them imposed by lack of exposure to other values or do I want her to choose from a range of different experiences of different folk? I would both love and hate her to be a clone of me.

        Lack of freedom to choose friends as well. Lack of acess to sport or drama or orchestras or all the other experiences that need a certain number of people around to work. Lack of practise of getting on with others in large diverse groups.

        Add religious fundamentalism into the mix and the poor child is going to have the most precious years of their life warped.

        • In reply to #12 by Booska:

          I agree. You often hear the complaint that kids who are home schooled lack the social abilities that kids who go through the public school system acquire by having to deal with peers from a variety of backgrounds, etc. I’m sure there is truth in that. But I also think that it’s not good for kids to get all their information from the same source. After all, one of the main points of religious homeschooling is to winnow out any and all information that is contrary to the faith. This leaves these kids at a distinct disadvantage because they lack the ability to deal with conflicting information.

          Another thing that home schooled kids often miss out on is learning the politics of succeeding. That is, how to play the political game of getting the best grade from a tough teacher, etc.

          I personally think that homeschooling should only be allowed if the parent, or those who will be administering the classes, are qualified and certified teachers with credentials from a respected institute.
          .

          In reply to #7 by atheistengineer:

          In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

          The thing that I would need to see is a series of actual achievement tests administered to home schooled children to ensure that they are learning age appropriate lessons and are keeping pace. I’d think that people who home school their children would love to get the opportunity to show the effectiveness of their decision and the positive impact it has on their kids.I know that there are tons of homeschoolers who get great lessons and experiences. They are going about the task of educating their child the right way. My fear is that they are the minority and that the majority of homeschooled kids are being robbed of the richness of what education has to offer.I do not know if my fear is a reality and would welcome other opinions. This author adds to my fears; not only was his home schooling “suspect” but it seems it was for purely religious isolationist reasons. By teaching the student at home, these parents seek to produce a sycophant who is essentially their “perfect” robotic child. Too bad, it don’t work that way!!!

          I think even non religiously motivated homeschooling is a problem. How would any one person be able to provide the expertise or experiences to give the richness of studying 15 or so subjects? I was taught music by people with music degrees, art by art graduates, english by english grads and so on and so forth. How could any parent match that sheer amount of learing?

          Then there is the loss of objectivity. I know the values I want my daughter to have, but do I want them imposed by lack of exposure to other values or do I want her to choose from a range of different experiences of different folk? I would both love and hate her to be a clone of me.

          Lack of freedom to choose friends as well. Lack of acess to sport or drama or orchestras or all the other experiences that need a certain number of people around to work. Lack of practise of getting on with others in large diverse groups.

          Add religious fundamentalism into the mix and the poor child is going to have the most precious years of their life warped.

          In reply to #7 by atheistengineer:

          In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

          The thing that I would need to see is a series of actual achievement tests administered to home schooled children to ensure that they are learning age appropriate lessons and are keeping pace. I’d think that people who home school their children would love to get the opportunity to show the effectiveness of their decision and the positive impact it has on their kids.I know that there are tons of homeschoolers who get great lessons and experiences. They are going about the task of educating their child the right way. My fear is that they are the minority and that the majority of homeschooled kids are being robbed of the richness of what education has to offer.I do not know if my fear is a reality and would welcome other opinions. This author adds to my fears; not only was his home schooling “suspect” but it seems it was for purely religious isolationist reasons. By teaching the student at home, these parents seek to produce a sycophant who is essentially their “perfect” robotic child. Too bad, it don’t work that way!!!

          I think even non religiously motivated homeschooling is a problem. How would any one person be able to provide the expertise or experiences to give the richness of studying 15 or so subjects? I was taught music by people with music degrees, art by art graduates, english by english grads and so on and so forth. How could any parent match that sheer amount of learing?

          Then there is the loss of objectivity. I know the values I want my daughter to have, but do I want them imposed by lack of exposure to other values or do I want her to choose from a range of different experiences of different folk? I would both love and hate her to be a clone of me.

          Lack of freedom to choose friends as well. Lack of acess to sport or drama or orchestras or all the other experiences that need a certain number of people around to work. Lack of practise of getting on with others in large diverse groups.

          Add religious fundamentalism into the mix and the poor child is going to have the most precious years of their life warped.

          It’s pretty sad to think that one of the “benefits” of school is learning how to play the game in a way that gets you the best possible grade. Without grades, kids will (believe it or not) focus on actually learning something.

      • In reply to #7 by atheistengineer:

        In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

        The thing that I would need to see is a series of actual achievement tests administered to home schooled children to ensure that they are learning age appropriate lessons and are keeping pace. I’d think that people who home school their children would love to get the opportunity to show the effectiveness of their decision and the positive impact it has on their kids.I know that there are tons of homeschoolers who get great lessons and experiences. They are going about the task of educating their child the right way. My fear is that they are the minority and that the majority of homeschooled kids are being robbed of the richness of what education has to offer.I do not know if my fear is a reality and would welcome other opinions. This author adds to my fears; not only was his home schooling “suspect” but it seems it was for purely religious isolationist reasons. By teaching the student at home, these parents seek to produce a sycophant who is essentially their “perfect” robotic child. Too bad, it don’t work that way!!!

        I think even non religiously motivated homeschooling is a problem. How would any one person be able to provide the expertise or experiences to give the richness of studying 15 or so subjects? I was taught music by people with music degrees, art by art graduates, english by english grads and so on and so forth. How could any parent match that sheer amount of learing?

        Then there is the loss of objectivity. I know the values I want my daughter to have, but do I want them imposed by lack of exposure to other values or do I want her to choose from a range of different experiences of different folk? I would both love and hate her to be a clone of me.

        Lack of freedom to choose friends as well. Lack of acess to sport or drama or orchestras or all the other experiences that need a certain number of people around to work. Lack of practise of getting on with others in large diverse groups.

        Add religious fundamentalism into the mix and the poor child is going to have the most precious years of their life warped.

        You misunderstand how “home” schooling works. The kids aren’t taught primarily by a parent but by a rich and diverse community outside of the four walls of a school. I know kids who are taught by people with advanced degrees in the chemistry, microbiology, botany, pharmacy, English, philosophy, law, foreign languages, computer science and engineering and by professional musicians, artists, actors, comedians, writers and dancers. How can a few teachers with bachelor’s of education degrees compete with that?

  5. Oh, and BTW, there is a very disturbing trend in education now. It is called “cyber school” and it allows kids to sit at home and do nothing all week and then have a couple hours of working and submit their work totally on line. Sounds good???? I can tell you that the number of students going to cyberschool is growing but the amount of work actually submitted is not.

    Teachers set up these elaborate and time consuming lessons, video tape themselves doing lessons and labs, and post it all along with assignments. the cyber students promptly sit on their ass and do nothing. We even have cases of the parents submitting the work — It is a clusterfuck.

    • In reply to #6 by crookedshoes:

      Oh, and BTW, there is a very disturbing trend in education now. It is called “cyber school” and it allows kids to sit at home and do nothing all week and then have a couple hours of working and submit their work totally on line. Sounds good???? I can tell you that the number of students going to cyberschool is growing but the amount of work actually submitted is not.

      Teachers set up these elaborate and time consuming lessons, video tape themselves doing lessons and labs, and post it all along with assignments. the cyber students promptly sit on their ass and do nothing. We even have cases of the parents submitting the work — It is a clusterfuck.

      Cyberschooling is still a good idea, even if it’s open to abuse. It seems tailor-made for those who for whatever reason are unable to attend an actual bricks-and-mortar place of learning but have the desire to complete a stage in their education and perhaps get some qualifications.

      Kids who have been excluded; kids who refuse to return to school because of bullying or because it’s just too damn scary given that attacks by gun-wielding maniacs seem to be a dime a dozen these days.

      And kids who are the wrong gender to attend school. We know the internet plays a big part in modern protest movements: the Arab Spring comes to mind. I love the idea of guerrilla schooling for those whom God has cursed by giving them innie genitalia rather than His preferred outie type.

      A campaign to parachute millions of iPads and iPad minis (other devices are available) and dongles into areas that deny females an education would receive my support, financial and otherwise. That stuff must only cost pennies to make, and if companies like Facebook and Google could be persuaded to get on board, some real good could be effected.

      The internet could become what it was intended to be: a means of disseminating knowledge.
      I think that was the original goal anyway before the medium became saturated with porn, pictures of kittens being cute; people saying things like “Eating a sandwich. Totesamazeballs!” and “Go drink the koolade, libtard, yure Nasi overlord Oblamer tolld you to.”

      • On paper, it is a good idea, I agree. But, so far in practice (as far as my year long experience with it), it has really fallen short. I support all the reasons you listed for it being a possible alternative for all the types of kids you mentioned. Again, it isn’t working so well so far for us.

        Perhaps some tweaks and a little evolution of the medium and we will be able to turn it around.

        In reply to #10 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #6 by crookedshoes:

        Oh, and BTW, there is a very disturbing trend in education now. It is called “cyber school” and it allows kids to sit at home and do nothing all week and then have a couple hours of working and submit their work totally on line. Sounds good???? I can tell you that the number of students going to cyberschool is growing but the amount of work actually submitted is not.

        Teachers set up these elaborate and time consuming lessons, video tape themselves doing lessons and labs, and post it all along with assignments. the cyber students promptly sit on their ass and do nothing. We even have cases of the parents submitting the work — It is a clusterfuck.

        Cyberschooling is still a good idea, even if it’s open to abuse. It seems tailor-made for those who for whatever reason are unable to attend an actual bricks-and-mortar place of learning but have the desire to complete a stage in their education and perhaps get some qualifications.

        Kids who have been excluded; kids who refuse to return to school because of bullying or because it’s just too damn scary given that attacks by gun-wielding maniacs seem to be a dime a dozen these days.

        And kids who are the wrong gender to attend school. We know the internet plays a big part in modern protest movements: the Arab Spring comes to mind. I love the idea of guerrilla schooling for those whom God has cursed by giving them innie genitalia rather than His preferred outie type.

        A campaign to parachute millions of iPads and iPad minis (other devices are available) and dongles into areas that deny females an education would receive my support, financial and otherwise. That stuff must only cost pennies to make, and if companies like Facebook and Google could be persuaded to get on board, some real good could be effected.

        The internet could become what it was intended to be: a means of disseminating knowledge.I think that was the original goal anyway before the medium became saturated with porn, pictures of kittens being cute; people saying things like “Eating a sandwich. Totesamazeballs!” and “Go drink the koolade, libtard, yure Nasi overlord Oblamer tolld you to.”

  6. In reply to #7 by atheistengineer:

    Lack of freedom to choose friends as well. Lack of acess to sport or drama or orchestras or all the other experiences that need a certain number of people around to work. Lack of practise of getting on with others in large diverse groups.

    Add religious fundamentalism into the mix and the poor child is going to have the most precious years of their life warped.

    Perhaps even their health, too. Interaction among children doesn’t only supply them with social skills; it’s also essential if they’re to build up a healthy immune system. When little Ezekiel or Jeremiah does eventually leave the nest and heads out into the big wide world to spread the message of Christian love, he’s probably going to find himself waylaid before he’s a few miles from his parents’ house because a person on the other side of the street coughs without covering her mouth and some germs, as germs will (germs’ favorite movie is John Travolta’s The Boy in the Plastic Bubble), make a beeline toward the sucker whose bodily defense mechanism is still in diapers.

  7. For a different view of homeschooling, come to Portland, Oregon, one of the most liberal cities on the planet. Here, homeschooling is common among secular parents, who often give their kids the option of being educated outside of school. Rather than seeing it as a source of new ideas, these parents see compulsory schooling as a stultifying, sterilizing obstacle to free thought.

    We don’t need no education. / We don’t need no thought control.

    ~ Pink Floyd

  8. In reply to #14 by Portlandia:

    You misunderstand how “home” schooling works. The kids aren’t taught primarily by a parent but by a rich and diverse community outside of the four walls of a school.

    Unless these are the children of very rich parents buying in tuition, this does not add up in terms of hours of teaching. Are you talking about the amateur teaching of children in groups?

    I know kids who are taught by people with advanced degrees in the chemistry, microbiology, botany, pharmacy, English, philosophy, law, foreign languages, computer science and engineering and by professional musicians, artists, actors, comedians, writers and dancers.

    While interacting with skilled people can benefit children, there is no reason to suppose that people without education training, will have the capability to match stages of child development to teaching materials or teaching techniques.

    How can a few teachers with bachelor’s of education degrees compete with that?

    They have facilities such as science laboratories, workshops, a whole range of specialist books and materials, together with personal subject specialist skills, and lots of experience working with, and communicating with, children in different age ranges.

    Attending school does not preclude interacting with educated members of the family or friends for additional learning and experience. Working parents simply do not have the time to carry out whole days of schooling.

    It’s pretty sad to think that one of the “benefits” of school is learning how to play the game in a way that gets you the best possible grade. Without grades, kids will (believe it or not) focus on actually learning something.

    There are certainly elements of this where there is pressure on schools to base their reputations on league tables, which may or may not reflect the whole picture, but without some objective testing of quality and coverage, children’s education can fail without anyone noticing until it is too late.

    Without grades, kids will (believe it or not) focus on actually learning something.

    What properly constructed independently set exams and grades show at all levels, is where learning is failing to take place, and children / students need to re-study the course with a new teacher or a new syllabus, or incompetent teachers need to be removed.

    They also show fitness of students to progress to careers or higher levels of study.

    • In reply to #16 by Alan4discussion:

      In reply to #14 by Portlandia:

      You misunderstand how “home” schooling works. The kids aren’t taught primarily by a parent but by a rich and diverse community outside of the four walls of a school.

      Unless these are the children of very rich parents buying in tuition, this does not add up in terms of hours of teaching. Are you talking about the amateur teaching of children in groups?

      Yes! Said computer scientists, lawyers, etc. dare to consider themselves qualified to teach kids about things they’ve spent their lives studying! Without a single class in elementary education and for a very low price or even for free! Just for the fun of it!

      I know kids who are taught by people with advanced degrees in the chemistry, microbiology, botany, pharmacy, English, philosophy, law, foreign languages, computer science and engineering and by professional musicians, artists, actors, comedians, writers and dancers.

      While interacting with skilled people can benefit children, there is no reason to suppose that people without education training, will have the capability to match stages of child development to teaching materials or teaching techniques.

      How can a few teachers with bachelor’s of education degrees compete with that?

      They have facilities such as science laboratories, workshops, a whole range of specialist books and materials, together with personal subject specialist skills, and lots of experience working with, and communicating with, children in different age ranges.

      Attending school does not preclude interacting with educated members of the family or friends for additional learning and experience. Working parents simply do not have the time to carry out whole days of schooling.

      I’m not arguing that some people are economically dependent on the government-paid childcare aspect of public schools, and we can talk about pedagogical methods all day. My point is that conflating homeschooling and fundamentalism is the result of fallacious inductive reasoning. It doesn’t follow that because some homeschooler ar Christian fundamentalists therefore all homeschoolers are Christian fundamentalists. Many fundamentalists also drink coffee in the morning, mow their lawns, pay their bills, etc., etc. We don’t equate those behaviors with fundamentalism, but we are ever so eager to go down this illogical path when it comes to one particular pedagogical choice.

      It’s pretty sad to think that one of the “benefits” of school is learning how to play the game in a way that gets you the best possible grade. Without grades, kids will (believe it or not) focus on actually learning something.

      There are certainly elements of this where there is pressure on schools to base their reputations on league tables, which may or may not reflect the whole picture, but without some objective testing of quality and coverage, children’s education can fail without anyone noticing until it is too late.

      Without grades, kids will (believe it or not) focus on actually learning something.

      What properly constructed independently set exams and grades show at all levels, is where learning is failing to take place, and children / students need to re-study the course with a new teacher or a new syllabus, or incompetent teachers need to be removed.

      They also show fitness of students to progress to careers or higher levels of study.

      • In reply to #17 by Portlandia:

        In reply to #16 by Alan4discussion:

        I’m not arguing that some people are economically dependent on the government-paid childcare aspect of public schools, and we can talk about pedagogical methods all day. My point is that conflating homeschooling and fundamentalism is the result of fallacious inductive reasoning.

        There are plenty of shortcomings in homeschooling without even mentioning fundamentalism. – such as the absence of the range of teaching techniques and subject expertise at the appropriate levels for each stage of a child’s development.

        It doesn’t follow that because some homeschooler ar Christian fundamentalists therefore all homeschoolers are Christian fundamentalists.

        Many are not. In the US many are!
        There are certainly SOME highly educated parents who can make a reasonable job of homeschooling, if they are aware of its shortcomings , and take appropriate action to have their children engage in social activities along with bringing in expert advice and tuition. However most will not have the training or perception to recognise these issues.

        Without grades, kids will (believe it or not) focus on actually learning something.

        The real world does not work like that. Children get satisfaction and reinforcement from achieving targets:- as any competitive athlete will tell you. (Distance badges in swimming illustrate the point) They will also benefit from friendly rivalry with children of comparable capability from within the wider group.

        People running advanced courses and employers, also need some confirmation that levels of skills have been achieved: – Especially where people’s perceptions of their own abilities do not match reality.

        Yes! Said computer scientists, lawyers, etc. dare to consider themselves qualified to teach kids about things they’ve spent their lives studying! Without a single class in elementary education and for a very low price or even for free! Just for the fun of it!

        There are many enthusiastic amateurs who THINK they are better than the professionals, but teaching skills, just like engineering skills, laboratory skills, or business skills, have to learned. Unfortunately many people THINK they are experts in education, just because they have been to school. (Watching a professional make a job look easy, is not the same as having the capability to do it.)

        Some of the most profoundly ignorant people on the planet, are those who have intensively studied some narrow specialism, to the exclusion of everything else!

        Academic knowledge of a subject, is not in itself a capability to communicate this knowledge or motivate young children to learn. Those are different skills based on an understanding of child psychology and child development.

        Yes! Said computer scientists, lawyers, etc. dare to consider themselves qualified to teach kids about things they’ve spent their lives studying!

        They can certainly add value to a child’s school education, but would not be capable of managing a whole curriculum without expert advice and help , or without training in educational teaching methods. – particularly with young children.

        Attending school does not preclude interacting with educated members of the family or friends for additional learning and experience. Working parents simply do not have the time to carry out whole days of schooling.

        BTW: My daughter is a trainee lawyer with two law degrees and a business diploma, while one of my sons designs and writes high value business software. Both attended school with additional learning from family members.

        While interacting with skilled people can benefit children, there is no reason to suppose that people without education training, will have the capability to match stages of child development to teaching materials or teaching techniques.

        I can understand the concerns of parents where the quality of schooling is poor in their areas. I think people should do more to help their communities improve these schools.

        For my own children, I was already chair of the board of governors of their school when they started attending.
        Shortly later it was rated as a top performing school by government inspectors.

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