Home Schooling

There is more than one way to learn something. Sitting in a large classroom listening to someone trained in education is certainly one way to learn something (HowMuchDoYouLearnInSchool).

Some alternatives are: The process of programming has some similarities to (and some important differences from) the process of teaching/learning. So perhaps really good programming techniques can help us discover really good learning techniques and vice versa.

Many of our early presidents were schooled at home and many famous figures from all over the world. One could build an impressive list of home-schooled figures... I've seen T-Shirts sold at homeschooling conferences that list a bunch of them.

Interesting, but not all that relevant, as the public school system we have now did not develop until the latter half of the 19th century

This seems to be an AmericanCulturalAssumption. HomeSchool? is unfortunately quite an American phenomenon, I guess. --OleAndersen

Why unfortunate? Different is not necessarily bad.

It's illegal in the Netherlands. The police will come and escort your children to school. -- StephanHouben I certainly believe there is a time and place to learn in some sort of institutionalized learning, but I've found the rewards of homeschooling are hard to beat. My best learning has happened from SelfDirectedStudy? and LearningFromMentors?. I'm a much more effective teacher when I'm given freedom to provide JustInTimeTeaching?.

It's certainly a lot harder than sending people away to be trained, but the payback is worth it.

You can find out more about KenAuer's views on training[1] on his website[2]

[1] http://www.rolemodelsoftware.com/moreAboutUs/apprenticeship.php

[2] http://www.rolemodelsoftware.com/people/kenAuer.php

Yeah, okay, but a warning to those unaware: be prepared to either 1) enjoy, or 2) wade through thick layers of Christian ideology when reading anything of his.

So? Maybe people who are offended by other peoples God-talk aren't as tolerant as they claim...

There's a subtle but important difference between being offended by God-talk and simply not wanting to put up with it. I don't want to read someone blathering on about how God has done this and that for them, but if someone wants to come up to me and talk about what they'll believe, I'll counter every single one of their claims with an equally possible claim. That is to say that I enjoy talking about religion with people but do not enjoy reading about the beliefs that various people hold. I find no need to advertise my thanks at every turn; do the "God-talkers" think that God is looking and will be somehow impressed by seeing His name every other sentence?

Is your browser rendering these articles differently than mine is? I caught a couple bible references (all in one place) in the first link, and nothing obvious in the second. You should switch to Netscape (ah, browsers: the One True Topic for a ReligiousWar).

You should also consider whether someone referring as scornfully to the Buddhist elements that are woven through the XP material would gain or lose respect from you. --GeorgePaci

It's one thing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and quite another to continually give thanks to Him. ...or am I the only one that thinks there's a difference here? I am not "bugged" by people following the word of the Bible, but unless they're really adamant about being a missionary, I don't understand why they need to push it on others. --TomPlunket

Who forced you to read any of it?

I don't know of the "politics" of suggesting this, but WhyClublet seems more appropriate for this interesting discussion.

Might be interesting to see a list of folks who were home schooled. I'll start it:

I openly admit to my blatant bias, which is that America (which is the context of this discussion) already has more than enough superstitious, xenophobic, and intellectually undisciplined participants in our culture. In my opinion, "home schooling" is another great big red flag about the parents that causes me great concern. I feel empathetic and sorry for the children victimized by their parent's self-centered attitudes, and I don't doubt that some children acquire fine educations this way. I wonder how many of those children learn languages that their parents don't know, become proficent in musical instruments that their parents don't play, and become exposed to philosophies and ideas that their parents don't embrace. In short -- I wonder how many home schooled children receive an education at all.

The issue at stake is not so much whether a home schooled child receives an education, as is it whether or not their inborn curiosity about the world is beaten out of them by the 'school system'. Home schooling is about waking up interests in a child's mind and empowering them to learn on their own, therefore being an ideal environment for them to start on the path to learning languages their parents don't know, etc.


My two kids (now 17 & 18) were in the 2nd and 3rd grades (see AmericanSchoolSystem) when we had an incident of conflict between one of the kids and one of the teachers (class play, kid didn't want to be in it). At the parent-teacher meeting which followed, my wife was told that the school interpreted this conflict as evidence of "abuse at home" and recommended "medications" to correct this behaviour.

There were 30 days left in the school year. My wife signed them out of school the following day. They had been getting grades of "A" and "B" in almost everything. We purchased the components of an apporpriate curriculum for the two of them and set about teaching them ourselves, at home.

It was immediately apparent that they could not read, could not write, could not do math, knew almost nothing of what I consider basic history (did't know the name of our first president, stuff like that). I don't mean they did these things poorly, I mean they couldn't do them.

Because our kids were now reclassified as "Home Schooled" (although we had them for only the last month of the school year) there was a state exam that they were required to take. We delivered them as required, they took the test, they did terribly on it. The kids in the "official" schools did not have to take this test. The teacher's grading was considered sufficient and trusted.

The following year, during which we had taught them ourselves, the same test was administered. They scored in the top ten percent of some subjects, and the top 20 percent in others. We continued to teach them at home.

The year after that, following a petition and legal action filed with the state by the Home Schoolers' Association (wherein it was demanded that any test administered to home-schooled kids also be administered as a standard test to those in the system), the testing requirement for children taught at home was dropped.

Three years ago we placed them back in the system. There was an immediate decline in scholastic and behavioral performance. We actively intervened and managed to keep them in and keep their grades up so that they can have the normal "high school graduation" credentials. It is my belief that this effort was misguided, and that we would have had better results if we'd kept them at home.

As it is, my son teaches two of his classes (he's better at computers than his teachers) and my daughter's art and photography has been selected for public display. My son has also been tasked with designing the graduating class diploma. They both still struggle with math. They both get by with about 50-60% effort. More is not really required.

I have to tell you, the school system is badly broken. Anyone with even a moderate level of competence and the will to see it through can do better than the system is doing.

-- GarryHamilton

See also:


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