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[P]
Which is the Better Classroom?

By uriah923 in Culture
Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 11:44:52 AM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

Homeschooling came into focus in the late 20th century but is still a relatively seldom used method of educating children. As of 2003, 1.1 million children in the United States are were homeschooled (2.2% of the school age population), up from approximately 850,000 in 1999 (only 1.7% of the school-age population). Those who have been through the homeschooling experience, however, are usually firm defenders of its educational merits and sometimes even have the documentation to back it up. There are those who oppose the homeschool movement, though. Some argue that a responsible citizen should participate in the improvement of the public school system instead of "taking the easy way out" and abandoning it, while others emphasize the professional qualifications of public school instructors.

As both the public/private and homeschool environments implement more of today's technology, which classroom has the upper hand?


Perhaps the first question is what is motivating families to switch from public or private schools to homeschools. Some movements center on the freedom of the homeschool environment, such as "unschooling," and others are motivated by the values they think are lacking in the public forum. According to the 2003 study cited previously,
"Thirty-one percent of homeschoolers had parents who said the most important reason for homeschooling was concern about the environment of other schools... Thirty percent said the most important reason was to provide religious or moral instruction. The next reason was given about half as often; 16 percent of homeschooled students had parents who said dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at other schools was their most important reason for homeschooling."
Others, such as OmniNerd's Catherine Christian, list "nearly one-on-one attention," the absence of a "mean to accommodate," control of the lesson plan, freedom to travel extensively, earlier entrance into college and college preparation as the main factors in choosing home-school over public or private schools.

On the other side of the fence, opponents of homeschooling take a different approach. They don't usually argue the advantages of participating in public schooling for the individual, but instead downplay the significance of the homeschooling reasons and statistics and emphasize a personal responsibility to the community. Specifically, there are proven characteristic differences between those who choose to homeschool and those who don't. A 1999 study lists some of those characteristics: grade equivalent of homeschooled students, students' race/ethnicity and sex, number of children living in the household, number of parents living in the household and labor force participation, household income, parents' highest educational attainment, and urbanicity. One thing is certain, homeschooling is a totally different experience than public schools. There is a lower percentage of minorities, less television watching, more parental education, more two-parent homes and more families with only one parent participating in the work-force.

While this debate has raged for years, and will likely continue, things have changed in recent years due to developing technology. The advent of the internet has made information easy to obtain, including a vast variety of resources available for homeschooling parents (such as Jon's Homeschool Resources and The Home School Mom). Previous hands-on advantages such as biology dissections and extra curricular activities seem to have lost any public school leanings, as dissection kits are available online and public schools are starting to offer homeschooled children the opportunity to enroll in certain classes and participate in school sports.

Public schools are also headed in an increasingly tech savvy direction. Educators all over the country are looking to make the technology leap, and some abroad are even seeking to embrace high-tech items like popular handheld devices that are usually thought of as distractions.

Given today's technologies available to homeschoolers, is is possible that the home is becoming a better classroom than those found in public/private schools? Additionally, even if that is the case, could it possibly hope to become a popular course of action, given the sacrifice that must be made in a country where families are more and more dependent on the two-income model?

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Poll
How were you educated?
o public school, vast majority 61%
o home school, vast majority 1%
o private school, vast majority 13%
o combination of public & private 14%
o combination of public & home 3%
o combination of private & home 0%
o combination of all three 4%
o edumacated? 2%

Votes: 95
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o came into focus
o 1.1 million children in the United States
o 850,000 in 1999
o documentat ion to back it up
o unschoolin g
o motivated by the values
o 2003 study
o OmniNerd
o choosing home-school
o 1999 study
o characteri stics
o Jon's Homeschool Resources
o The Home School Mom
o dissection kits
o public schools are starting to offer
o technology leap
o popular handheld devices
o Also by uriah923


Display: Sort:
Which is the Better Classroom? | 141 comments (105 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden)
As the critic says, "It stinks!" (1.09 / 11) (#11)
by Lemon Juice on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 06:27:58 PM EST



Um... (none / 1) (#13)
by uriah923 on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 07:19:03 PM EST

How about something constructive?
-brandon
[ Parent ]
please click (2.50 / 2) (#15)
by creativedissonance on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 07:50:41 PM EST

on this link plxokthxbye.


ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
[ Parent ]
In the end... (2.64 / 17) (#17)
by jd on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 10:48:16 PM EST

...it depends on your objective. If your objective is to teach a child how to think, then most modern schools won't suffice. They tend to go by the book, to a set syllabus, with standardized exams. There is very little room for independent thought, independent research or independent conclusions. (This is not a requirement of formal education, it's merely the way it is done.)

If your objective is to bring up an emotionally stable individual, who can distinguish between types of authority and weigh their respective merits, and who can effectively communicate with peers, then home schooling often falls short. Again, this is not a requirement - it isn't inherent in the system - it is merely a product of really crappy implementations by the average home-schooling parent.

If your objective is to bring up an independent thinker who is emotionally stable, rational and well-balanced in both intellectual and social skills, then forget it. Although this is the logical ideal, regardless of the method by which it is achieved, almost nobody actually does this. It requires effort, it requires time, it requires money, it requires patience. The return on the investment is absolutely staggering and infinitely worth it, but nobody thinks beyond the next five minutes.

(If Governments backed education according to the return they'd get, then nobody would have less than a bachelor degree, there would be no student loans - the Government would pay you to learn, teachers would get a livable income, student:staff ratios would average out at 10:1, exams would be based on reasoning not rote, and both ignorance nor xenophobia would be about as common as either scurvy or Yellow Fever.)

You assume a great deal... (2.50 / 2) (#60)
by cdguru on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 09:27:24 PM EST

and one of the things you assume is that it is reasonable, possible and in everyone's best interest to eliminate a "worker class" from society.

There are some people that just are suited to get a bachelor's degree and do what some call "brain work". Some actually prefer physical labor or menial tasks to "brain work". Of course, I'm not sure why and I personally find it a little odd, but then I sit at a desk and type all day long. Some people would find the lack of outdoor activity utterly distateful. OK, great for them.

The point is that you have to have an education system that allows people to reach their own level and not force everyone to be a success at something an outsider decides as the best outcome. This is one of the fundamental problems with "No Child Left Behind" - it fails to comprehend that some children are not going to be as skillful readers as others.

[ Parent ]

I just have to say (none / 0) (#80)
by Fon2d2 on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 02:44:40 PM EST

although I am voting +3 on your comment, I went through public schooling the whole way, and I did not leave with the skills of emotional stability, being able to weigh the merits of different types of authority, or effective communication.

[ Parent ]
Homeschooling (2.85 / 7) (#19)
by neuroplasma on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 11:09:44 PM EST

allows the parent to corrupt the child's mind with possible mistruths instead of the government doing it for us!

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
I'm extremely puzzled (2.25 / 4) (#21)
by livus on Sat Oct 08, 2005 at 02:10:24 AM EST

Are you trying to suggest that more people involved in homeschooling will cause the parents to remain married to each other, or cause a family not to be a "minority"?

If not, then why do you cite the "proven characteristics"? What is their relevance to your article?

That aside, I was under the impression that poorly socialised, funnily dressed, or religiously brainwshed children were one of the main objections to homeschooling?

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

Lacking in insight (2.60 / 5) (#23)
by michaelmalak on Sat Oct 08, 2005 at 08:08:08 AM EST

  • The reasons for homeschooling are surprisingly diverse -- from "my kid was getting beaten up" to "needed extra help in one area" to "school was too far away" to "wanted year-round schooling". According to ed.gov, 22% of homeschooled students gave reasons other than one of the top 15 reasons. Lumping reasons into three broad categories as you did does not convey this diversity of reasons.
  • The "socialization problem" is a myth. Being forced into a classroom with a narrow one-year age range is unnatural and is especially constraining in the 6-12 age group. The best way for that age group to learn is to mentor and to be mentored. A large family is the best way to achieve this, but homeschool co-ops are a great substitute for smaller families. And to drop a one-liner, it's the public school students who more often exhibit anti-social behavior. A lot of people are commenting on "socialization" and you neglected to even mention it.
  • Why is homeschooling so effective? Obviously there is the one-on-one aspect that you mentioned. But also compare the salaries. A homeschool parent can typically go out and get a job for a higher salary than what a teacher makes. Homeschool advocates like Gatto point to the education via private tutoring that the U.S. founding fathers received. That is perhaps the ideal, and a lot of homeschoolers see parent-as-tutor as a financial compromise.
  • A large number of homeschoolers are opposed to using technology for education, especially in the areas of tutoring and drilling -- not so much in the area of reference, but of course there are those who fear the Internet.
I voted 0-Abstain because you neglected a lot of important issues and seem to be attempting to speak for all homeschoolers in your advocacy for technology.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
No evidence, no support (3.00 / 7) (#24)
by The Diary Section on Sat Oct 08, 2005 at 09:15:47 AM EST

You claim a priori some things are "myths" whilst others are "unnatural". I assume you learned logic and rhetoric in the home because you certainly didn't learn it at school.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
+3 strongly encourage your style. n (none / 0) (#38)
by livus on Sat Oct 08, 2005 at 10:11:38 PM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
nay sir (none / 1) (#43)
by The Diary Section on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 03:28:25 AM EST

I must yield to you on this on occasion, you got the pithier reply in this time.
Sound of Music? ROFL.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
Science Behind the Genius (none / 1) (#56)
by michaelmalak on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 06:43:27 PM EST

I assume you learned to rely on scientific microscopic measurement over human reason from public school, because you certainly didn't learn it from a tutor.

In general, there is a dearth of statistical studies in pedagogy for at least two reasons: 1) ethics (double-blind is more taboo in education than it is in medicine), and 2) the educational industrial machine (e.g. NEA) just wants to maintain the status quo.

However, in this case, there happens to have been a book just published 9 months ago that addresses what I labeled as "unnatural". The book is called The Science Behind The Genius and finally reestablishes in science what Maria Montessori observed a century ago and the educational system she devised.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]

Hrm (none / 1) (#82)
by The Diary Section on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 03:26:11 PM EST

I certainly think scientific measurement is superior to "human reason". I'm not alone, so does everyone else since Descartes more or less.

I have no idea what it says in that book, but its quite easy for me to compare children educated by year group with children educated in more horizontally integrated classes because both exist in the English state system (I say English, Scotland has a different system altogether in this case). I've been in both myself. Now, I was under the impression that when this was most fashionable (the 1980s, early 1990s) it was an American import. Perhaps I was misled.

The problem is that whatever the bottom-end of the ability spectrum gain in a mixed-age class, the top-end lose out (and vice versa).

I'm afraid I can't subscribe to anything in education as "natural" because "naturally" children were uneducated and sent to work as soon as possible. "Childhood" is an Edwardian/Victorian invention, just as adolesence is a mid-20th century phenomenon.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

Depends on environment (none / 1) (#85)
by michaelmalak on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:15:46 PM EST

Montessori didn't believe in grades. If students are graded solely on their own work, then the more capable students will only begrudgingly help the less capable students and hurry up to get back to their own work. Any teacher will tell you that there is no better way to learn something than to try to teach it. If mentoring is encouraged, then the more capable students will have a powerful teacher -- themselves -- of the more fundamental concepts.

It's like birthing order. The older children are more responsible and conservative and often given a head start due to undivided attention from the parents, while the younger children are more adventurous and reach developmental milestones sooner.

And to take your comments on adolescence and cast them in a Montessori light, Montessori recommended a break from school for the 12-15 age range -- she recommended they go work on a farm for three years, or do some other kind of apprenticeship. She claimed that the 12-15 age range was an echo of the 0-3 age range, that it is a second infancy. The Science Behind The Genius describes the scientific validation of this -- that the brain is literally rewiring itself during those years.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]

weird. (2.75 / 4) (#37)
by livus on Sat Oct 08, 2005 at 10:10:23 PM EST

Unless you're talking about The Sound of Music I have to wonder why exactly you think a family heirarchy necessarily provides more and better mentoring possibilities than a mixed age school.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Yes, Sound of Music (none / 0) (#55)
by michaelmalak on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 06:26:38 PM EST

I am in fact speaking of families with 4+ children, which are overrepresented amongst homeschooling families.

Large families aren't for everyone (if they were -- we'd be overpopulated :-). Homeschooling isn't for everyone. But those with small families who wish to homeschool have to do more driving around (though not necessarily more than a public schooled family).

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]

The Obvious Answer (none / 0) (#74)
by virg on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 01:35:16 PM EST

> Unless you're talking about The Sound of Music I have to wonder why exactly you think a family heirarchy necessarily provides more and better mentoring possibilities than a mixed age school.

I find it obvious that the reason is because the grades don't intermingle. Is there some public school near you where this sort of thing does take place? I attended public school my entire life, and for the most part I knew nobody in the other grades unless I knew them through sibling or out-of-school contact, because we were specifically separated.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
my experience was quite different (3.00 / 2) (#83)
by livus on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 04:27:55 PM EST

so it's completely not obvious to me.

I attended both a smaller country school (for all ages, which was great) and then a large city high school, and in both cases I knew older and younger people through a range of activities, most of which (such as mentoring, supervision of study, or activities, and general helping out) were built into the formal structure of the schools. These were perfectly normal state schools, too, not anything weird.

To me it seems quite bizarre that the limited options, homogeneity, and sibling heirarchy built into a family would seem preferrable to what could be more readily and democratically achieved at a state school.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

The only thing that homeschooling cannot provide (2.50 / 4) (#46)
by harrystottle on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 10:41:00 AM EST

is the social context that others have mentioned. It is, unfortunately, necessary to learn how to deal with primitive primate behaviour and the only way we can do that is by mixing with other primitive primates. I just wish I'd been born with access to the internet and been allowed to teach myself (with adult mentors on hand for the difficult bits). I've certainly learned far more, and far more easily, since I escaped from school and was allowed to pursue my own curiousity. But I can't deny that I couldn't have picked up those essential social skills anywhere else.

Mostly harmless
But you can pick it up elsewhere... (2.33 / 3) (#47)
by issachar on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 12:40:43 PM EST

I went to public school and I currently teach in an semi-private school. (50% government funding). However I have friends who went through home schooling and they did get the socialization you're talking about. School isn't the only place you get that sort of thing. Church, sports teams, social clubs such as Scouts or Boys & Girls clubs are just a few examples. Then of course there's simply making friends with kids in the neighbourhood. I don't think I would have liked home school, but it isn't true that school has exclusive jurisdiction on certain social skills.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
essential social skills (2.60 / 5) (#49)
by Eight Star on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 01:21:38 PM EST

More than anything else, school taught me to hate people and distrust authority.

Primitive primate behavior has absolutely nothing to do with cramming 30 kids all within 1 year of age into a box and letting them 'socialize'.

It also has nothing to do with 'Zero Tolerance'.

[ Parent ]

I don't get it. (none / 1) (#65)
by DavidTC on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 11:17:38 PM EST

Primitive primate behavior has absolutely nothing to do with cramming 30 kids all within 1 year of age into a box and letting them 'socialize'.

Either that, or you don't get it. The resulting behavior is exactly what I expect from primates unchecked by their elders.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

you don't get it (2.33 / 3) (#73)
by Eight Star on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 12:35:33 PM EST

Primitive primates have the option to escape, and to some extent to choose their peers in the first place.
A natural social structure CANNOT form if kids only interact with others the same age.

A group of primitive primates would rarely have 30 kids the same age congregating, let alone the hundreds in some schools. How many kids do you think would be born in any given year in a tribe? (and survive)

Primitive primate offspring would not remain unchecked by their elders indefinitely, if only due to their option to return to their parents.

You might think that modern education is good, but don't pretend for  moment that it is natural.

[ Parent ]

Yeh, like I told my daughters... (1.50 / 4) (#51)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 03:20:50 PM EST

"You need to learn about rape, horrible as that is." So I abandoned at age 13 naked in the worst part of town. They never made it back, but at least they got to learn about it.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
umm (2.00 / 2) (#58)
by speek on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 08:31:24 PM EST

It's homeschooling, not locked-in-the-basement schooling.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

depends (none / 1) (#94)
by Viliam Bur on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 05:14:00 AM EST

For some people "homeschooling" may mean "locked-in-the-basement schooling". Without schools, is there anyone going to check how much time do kids spend out of the basement?

[ Parent ]
well (none / 0) (#98)
by speek on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 12:34:33 PM EST

For idiots, there is no schooling that will help.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

public schooling is beyond repair (2.42 / 7) (#48)
by expostfacto on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 12:48:20 PM EST

any monopolistic system tends towards corruption and inefficiency, and US public schools are no exceptions.

if we wanted to socialize schooling, we should have gone with a redistributionist voucher system.  at least then some form of consumer choice (hence, competition) would have been preserved.
--
Carnage Blender: over 50 million battles served

inefficiency, corruption and flaws (none / 0) (#132)
by Cornelius on Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 03:08:48 PM EST

First: in order to measure efficiency you have to decide what to measure. There are many goals of schooling some are not easy to measure. Indeed some of the most wirthy goals of education are extremely difficult to operationalize

Second: corruption is not limited to monopolistic systems. Corruption can be found in all manner of organizations and societies.

It's too easy to blame public education for its many flaws, but those flaws are just mirror-images of the flaws of the society it is working in.


Cornelius

"Your suffering will be legendary, even in Hell", Hellraiser
[ Parent ]
Socialization in public school (2.62 / 8) (#52)
by strlen on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 03:38:08 PM EST

Heh, here is what I "learned" during my "socialization" in public school:
  • There is no morality outside of the eleventh commandment: "thou shalt not get caught".
  • Bullying and tormenting people who've done you no harm is perfectly fine and should be actively encouraged!
  • Relevant topics for a discussion should be limited to a) getting drunk and getting head from a girl four years your younger on school property b) professional athletics c) other people's own business.
  • If you're interested in anything besides sex, athletics, getting trashed, carrying out property crime and assaulting others you're an evil and "anti-social" person.
  • If you're an athlete, you're above the law.
Sarcasm aside, who would you rather live next to? Someone who may hold a religious belief that you don't agree with; or may be more shy, reclusive, quiet and bookish or perhaps not as physically fit or aggressive as the football team's president; etc... or someone whose view of their relation to society (including to you) can be describe by the above bullet list?

For those that are still stuck in the public (K-12) education system, or are about to enter high school, here's some advice: see if your school offers a program which allows you to attend the local community college for your junior and/or senior year(s) [or even earlier]; if that is not available, drop out and enroll at your local state university or community college -- and for the time before you can do either of those two options, follow the rules suggested for yet another wonderful, messianic, "public" institution -- prison; that is, "kick someones ass or become someones bitch".

And when you're over it, drop by the Burger King where the most "popular kids" from your school work and say "I'd like fries with that, bitch."

(Coming from someone who nearly dropped out of high school, hating every day of it, graduated high school with nearly a 2.0 gpa [due to the mind boggling stupidty of required classes, my only A's being AP -- that is advanced placement, or college level -- US history and AP Computer Science], attended community college for two years gaining a 3.7 gpa and transfered to a comp. sci BS program at a fairly reputable local university [which I'm due to complete in less than six months]]).


--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

That depends on the parent, doesn't it? (2.00 / 3) (#53)
by Rainy on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 04:16:39 PM EST

That depends on how good of a teacher is the parent.. Besides that, a school teaches you to deal with different kinds of people, and tells you right away that things are not very good around us. I think if you were growing up in a good family, and getting your education there, coming to work could be quite a shock, and you have to keep in mind that children adapt much easier than adults.

Perhaps in vast majority of cases, work environment is a lot like school, except of course milder (your boss does not mug you for lunch money, as an example).

Our goal is to be adaptable, to be able to act in different environments effectively. An exceptionally good parent may be able to arrange for that, even while home-schooling, but how many parents are that exceptionally good? Maybe half a tenth of a percent? Besides, even if he sent his kid to school, would he not be able to guide him properly and make sure school does not have too much of a bruising effect on him?

Neither solution is bad in itself. You win something with one and with the other.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

School environment is not like the real world (2.50 / 4) (#76)
by Fon2d2 on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 02:28:39 PM EST

I remember my school experience being pretty hellish around the age I was in middle school. There were a lot of threats and verbal abuse. Physical abuse was fairly rare and minimal but I suspect it may have been due to my terror at being threatened. It most certainly wasn't a healthy environment or a place to learn how to deal with difficult people.

A child in school generally has no recourse. If he does have the courage to speak out (very rare), there is very little parents and teachers can do. This is not representative of the real world. In the real world we have courts and prisons. In the real world, we have the option of removing ourselves from negative environments. In the real world, authority figures don't act with unimpeachable impunity.

What children need is a healthy environment where they can learn to love and respect other people. And children can learn to deal with difficult people but not without the backdrop of a healthy, supportive environment.

[ Parent ]

Crazy people (none / 1) (#54)
by Basselope on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 05:22:58 PM EST

Ok, so I periodically read this website written by this crazy family in Ohio; it cracks me up.  Among the interesting things they do is homeschool their strange child, Missy.  All of the batshit insane ramblings are at naebunny.net

You can read about homeschooling in specific here:
http://www.naebunny.net/homeschool.html

Some of my favorite pictures:
http://www.naebunny.net/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=36
http://www.naebunny.net/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=3064
http://www.naebunny.net/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=1570
http://www.naebunny.net/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=1630
http://www.naebunny.net/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=1876
http://www.naebunny.net/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=2038

Learn to link your fucking URLs jesus christ (none / 0) (#57)
by xmnemonic on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 07:01:49 PM EST

no I'm not doing for you.

[ Parent ]
Or you can use greasemonkey (none / 0) (#59)
by strlen on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 09:21:15 PM EST

Or you can use Firefox, with the greasemonkey and this
extension.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Let me see... (1.50 / 2) (#71)
by hummassa on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 11:03:49 AM EST

You are pointing me towards a site of an emotionally unstable borderline insane mother, with four drop-out girls and no idea of what to do to help them, that will HOME SCHOOL them?

[ Parent ]
I was home schooled grades six through eight. (2.60 / 5) (#61)
by skyknight on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 09:34:19 PM EST

Instead of spending those years subjected to what is perhaps the most inane environment imaginable, I spent my days reading books and engaging in creative projects of various flavors. I kind of wish that I had continued it through high school, if just because most people in this world are worthless pukes, and the high school environment serves only to amplify this.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
unschooling (2.33 / 3) (#69)
by speek on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 08:41:46 AM EST

Unschooling appeals to me because I have one overriding interest for my child's life (who will be born before the end of this month): that he be self-directed. I'm less concerned that he be smart or likable to everyone. I just don't want him to go someplace where the primary concern is to make sure he doesn't go off on his own inner quest of discovery, because then he'd "fall behind" on their state-mandated curriculum and disrupt the teacher's control of the classroom. School teaches kids to wait for instruction, and I don't want that for him.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

School teaches learned helplessness... (2.50 / 4) (#70)
by skyknight on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 08:47:30 AM EST

School, primarily, serves to break the spirit of children so that they can go onto jobs in factories, offices and the armed forces. School is not about cultivating genius. It is about enforcing conformity, grinding down individuality, and stamping out machine parts to be used by what is effectively the ruling class. School most decidedly does not cultivate independence and genius. If anything, it tries deliberately to stifle it, sub-contracting the task to the children, outright encouraging them to be cruel to their eccentric peers. If you don't play football and date a brainless bimbo of a cheerleader, you must have failed in life.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
well, that certainly was the model (none / 0) (#139)
by modmans2ndcoming on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 08:32:28 AM EST

and as long as baby boomers are in the school system, that will still be the prevailing mode of education. Today however, education programs teach teachers how to foster critical thinking in all subjects and teach how to get children to learn the material for themselves rather than spoon feeding the info.

I think in 25 years, public education will be in a much better place than where it is now. I am going to be a HS teacher, so I have a lot of fixing to do when the kids get to me, the issue is getting new elementary and middle school teachers into those positions so that they can start teaching our kids to learn rather than teach our kids facts to pass a test (which BTW is why NCLB is wrong headed)

[ Parent ]

And regarding income limitations... (2.50 / 6) (#62)
by skyknight on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 09:40:30 PM EST

Home schooling would be much more practical if the current rate of taxation were not best described as "confiscatory". There's no reason that people ought to have half of the product of their labors consumed by government, and given how wasteful and corrupt government can be, it is utterly appalling that tax rates are so high. In general, government is not hot for the idea of leaving money in the hands of citizens, as those citizens would quickly become aware of how much better they can spend it themselves, never mind the onerous overhead involved in collecting and managing tax revenues.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
homeschooling doesnt waste a kids time.... (2.71 / 7) (#63)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 10:00:45 PM EST

during middle and high school I left home at 6am and got back at 430pm. About 4 hours of that was actually school related. And then my father had the nerve to bitch about me not doing enough homework.

Its a horrible drain on kids, especially if they are enrolled in a Magnet / AP / IB type programs which have drastically increased work load.

So no surprise that I was a bitter little asshole after highschool.

Now, I'm struggling to find the time to learn about the things I wanted to learn as a kid but was simply to exhausted to try.

Ditto (2.60 / 5) (#64)
by strlen on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 10:18:56 PM EST

When I started college, I was amazed and how much less time was required for me to achieve far more than what I could in high school and how more spare time I had.

Seems to be that teachers in high school had no concrete measure of work done, since it is now considered politically incorrect to judge the actual outcome of students work, they seemed to only measure the amount of time you put into it; the best students would be the ones who slept less and a semi-coherent, ten page paper full of logical fallacies would be considered superior to a five page one, irrespective of its content.

I did actually, as my previous post show, ignore most ``homework'' in school: I've taught myself how UNIX, Perl, C, networking; and I've read, I've written (including on kuro5hin, to which I got addicted towards the end of my junior year in high school), I've argued -- about politics, about philosophy, educating myself in the mean time.

I came out with a 2.0 GPA (my only A's being the only classes which I've actually found interesting and intellectually stimulating -- AP US History and AP Computer Science), didn't even bother applying to any colleges as a freshman. However, I could do that since the local community college (where I've already taken classes and passed them with A's) had ``guaranteed transfer'' opportunities to a dozens of highly respective colleges (the entire CSU system, most of the UC system and several privates). Unfortunately those opportunities aren't available to all -- especially those living outside the US and in countries which require mandatory military service of those who do not attend a four-year university right away.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

I did the same damn thing. (2.50 / 4) (#66)
by DavidTC on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 11:38:53 PM EST

I was always prepared, had always read the chapter, hell, I'd usually read the whole book within the first month of class, always knew the answer (Although eventually I caught on this annoyed other kids, so I tried to let them go first.), and made 95 on the tests without trying. I'd never take notes in class, I'd just sit there and read fiction if the teacher let me, or read the book or doodle or just zone out if they didn't.

Some teachers got annoyed at this, but with the ones who tried to 'catch' me not paying attention I got in the habit of faking a hearing problem if they called on me, asking them to repeat the question because I didn't hear it. I could usually come up with the answer even if I wasn't paying attention.

And I never, ever, ever had the homework unless it was a paper or some long-term assignment.

And made low 80s. I did so poorly I got booted out of the Gifted program.

Hilariously, I made that no matter what classes I was in, so took all the hardest classes anyway. What mattered to my grades what what percentage of your grade was homework, and nothing else. (1)

And came up one credit short of an college prep seal because the one damn Chemistry teacher hated my attitude. She'd also flunked me in biology, twice, but I went into 'learn at your own pace' night school for that one and took a test on a chapter a night, as fast as you can go, and aced it.

If, God forbid, I ever have kids, and teachers ever complain they aren't paying attention in class, I'll ask them, point blank, if this is because they already know that stuff, and if it is, I'll pull them out and home school them if at all possible.

1) This isn't exactly true. I actually had trouble in trig, and haven't passed a college calc class to this day. I keep telling myself I'm going to teach myself it, but haven't got around to it yet. I think it's because I actually understand math, and try to learn new math by grasping it, instead of learning the formulas and then grasping it over time. (On Trig tests, I often had to reinvent formulas or take the extremely long way around, while other kids just wrote them down and breezed through.)

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

given your experience (1.50 / 2) (#68)
by speek on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 08:37:11 AM EST

You would still send your own kid to school? What is it about people that causes them to do what authority tells them to do even when their own experiences demonstrate so strongly how wrong it is?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Who said anything about authority? (2.00 / 2) (#72)
by The Amazing Idiot on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 12:19:32 PM EST

If it's about us "Amerikans", its more about laziness and 'not making money in time lost' than it is about our kids. There's a few intelligent ones (well, the stat posted in the article, for one) and they were smart enough to give them education outside of a "school".

And you wonder why we run in the back of the pack when it comes to education.

[ Parent ]

I meant authority very generally (none / 1) (#97)
by speek on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 12:33:25 PM EST

When you mention something like homeschooling, or starting your child on meat first and not rice cereal, people get all "omg, you fool, don't you know how bad that is?!?" because they believe the "common wisdom" by default and that is what I meant by "authority" here. It's also peer pressure and traditionalism and going with the flow and believing in people simply because they are in positions of power (teachers, doctors, etc). My comment was not at all specific to Americans, and in general, I think Americans are actually less prone to this sort of thinking.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Doh. (none / 1) (#79)
by DavidTC on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 02:42:45 PM EST

Apparently, one of the things I needed to learn in school, but did not, was how to post to the correct post. Pretend I posted this here.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]
Because... (none / 1) (#78)
by DavidTC on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 02:39:28 PM EST

...unlike a lot of people here, I didn't have a problem with other students in school. I was fairly asocial and a computer nerd, but never got bullied and only rarely teased. All my problems were with a few teachers.

Ergo, until teachers start complaining about their behavior, or they start complaining about teacher's behaviors, everything is fine.

The second there are any complaints, I will immediately assume the problem is with teachers and remove them from the situtation.

And saying I would remove them to home schooling 'the instant' there were any problems wasn't correct. First I would politely ask for less boring teachers for my child, or at least that they stop punishing my child for their shortcomings if he is keeping up in the class.

You know, when I said this same thing a decade ago, in high school, I was assured this one of those beliefs that would change when I was an adult. Well, apparently not. Looking back from the POV of someone who's been in three colleges, and actually managed to make it though one of them, grade school sucked, education-wise.

Not that college was some amazing education experience, but at least it wasn't, in general, boring makework.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

you're still saying grade school SUCKED (none / 0) (#99)
by speek on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 12:38:08 PM EST

Emphasis yours. I don't think even you believe it was just a problem of a few teachers. I think you recognize the problem is fairly endemic to the grade schooling system (at least in America). So, I still have to wonder why you'd send your kid there.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

is English your second language? (none / 0) (#117)
by trav on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 04:40:42 AM EST

Seriously.

I did actually, as my previous post show, ignore most ``homework'' in school: I've taught myself how UNIX, Perl, C, networking; and I've read, I've written (including on kuro5hin, to which I got addicted towards the end of my junior year in high school), I've argued -- about politics, about philosophy, educating myself in the mean time.

Maybe ignoring your homework wasn't such a good idea.

[ Parent ]

It is my second language (none / 0) (#118)
by strlen on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 05:12:46 AM EST

English is indeed my second language; and it is much better than your Russian.

Not that I've dedicated too much time to proof reading that post (grammar Nazism is so passe these days); I've also gotten an A in every single English/Literature class that I've taken in college/university.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

I don't live in a country of my native tongue (none / 0) (#119)
by trav on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 07:29:50 AM EST

So believe me, I'm more than lenient when it comes second (or third, or fourth) languages.

Unfortunately, online, it can be hard to tell if someone is non-fluent or if they are simply incompetent.

[ Parent ]

They are an incredible drain (3.00 / 2) (#75)
by Fon2d2 on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 02:04:11 PM EST

That's why I was so tired with the IB program by the time I was done with high school. And I was a bitter little asshole as well. College was immensely easier for at least the first year and a half.

I still carry some of that bitterness. It's been dissippating over the years but the chances of my ever looking favorably upon the public school system are pretty slim. There are just too many problems.

[ Parent ]

My school life (2.33 / 3) (#67)
by richarj on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 03:00:18 AM EST

Could only be described as torture, and I don't even live in the USA. That doesn't however mean I will homeschool my children even if my wife is a fully trained primary school teacher. Getting home schooling right is difficult, time consuming and expensive. No matter how many techno-gadgets you have without a firm curriculum your kids will be left behind.

I believe in more parent participation in schooling. By that I mean that I will be more involved in my children's education than my parents were (my parents were involved but didn't truly understand my needs). I won't know my children's needs but I can at least learn from my parents mistakes. I understand a lot more about the psychology of bullying than my parents did. I believe that teaching your children about the true nature of bullying before they hit kindergarten is important. Also learning about some of the aspects of psychology such as cognitive distortions is important for young adolescents.

Another thing that worries me is the lack of proper math. My children may use calculators at school but I will require them to be able to do arithmetic on paper if not in their heads



"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
You think that knowing... (none / 1) (#77)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 02:36:50 PM EST

Why the other kids are bullying them will protect them?

That's like teaching them about WWII, and the next day tossing them in a foxhole with artillery shells going off 10 yds away.

You can't protect your kids by explaining that some people are mean and will try to torture them. You do it by protecting them from the fucking torture. Retard.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Personally... (none / 1) (#81)
by bgarcia on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 03:13:30 PM EST

I'm trying a different approach with my kid. He's taking Tae Kwon Do, so all that should be left to do is to teach him not to be the bully.

;-)

[ Parent ]

Well. (none / 1) (#84)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 04:27:56 PM EST

At least they won't be able to beat the crap out of him. If that was their only tactic, he'd be 100% safe.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
Actually yes (2.00 / 2) (#90)
by richarj on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 12:03:26 AM EST

Knowing that bullys bully because they are propping up their low self esteem does help. Because then you say to yourself, why is this kid saying these things, because he is himself having trouble? Why did you call me a retard? Because you yourself have a low self-esteem? Not to mention that in Australia there are many systems designed to eliminate bullying in school and they do work. The problem is you cannot guarantee you can get into one of those schools.

Your allegory is meaningless BTW, school is nothing like WWII, school is more like Vietnam or Iraq.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

Said from the perspective of an adult's (none / 1) (#96)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 12:17:00 PM EST

psychobabbly justifications.

When you're the 8 yr old bully getting the shit beat out of you by a highschooler on a bus driven by a deaf old man, well, then I suppose you can reevaluate it.

Oh, but it won't be you, will it? It will just be a little kid, who may not even be able to process exactly whatever it is you're saying, but that's ok too.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Heated debate (none / 0) (#86)
by uriah923 on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 05:16:20 PM EST

There was a pretty heated debate going on OmniNerd in response to the article cited here. The thing that seems obvious to me (although there most definitely is not a representative sample of either) is that homeschoolers usually put together more coherent arguments.

I wasn't homeschooled and I consider myself reasonably smart, but I can recognize the limitations on my learning process because of public schools. After my research and reading the comments in the discussion above, I think homeschooling provides a better opportunity to educate your kids.

Of course, doing away with public schools is not the answer, as they are necessary for many who do not have the time or resources (or who simply do not choose) to homeschool. However, I think that public schools could actually improve their services if a decent percentage left. They then wouldn't have classrooms bursting at the seams and would be better able to concentrate on those who needed them.
-brandon

I'm all in favor of home schooling (2.28 / 7) (#87)
by shinshin on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 09:20:22 PM EST

Let the religious nuts keep their mongoloid spawn at home where they can foist their Intelligent Deisgn/Creationism crap on them and keep it away from our impressionable children. We have enough problems with science education in this country without the bible-thumping fundie illiterates trying to bring us back to pre-Scopes Monkey Trial days.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
Is that a bad idea? (1.50 / 2) (#88)
by strlen on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 09:52:05 PM EST

You know, what I'm afraid of is, that by the time I have children (if I decide to do so), home schooling or private schooling would be the only option if I didn't want them fed garbage such as cretinism.

It would truly be amazing, if within a few years, in several municipalities, the only place one would be able to send their kids if they didn't want them to learn cretinism would be a Catholic school.

(Misspelling of creationism, is of course, fully intentional).

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Definitely (2.50 / 2) (#89)
by shinshin on Mon Oct 10, 2005 at 11:26:03 PM EST

I'm certainly glad that the option exists. I think that most people that currently take advantage of it do it for the wrong reasons (because of religious extremism, anti-intellectualism, or just plain bitterness that they always got picked on in high school themselves), but I think it's great that we have the option. Marginalization is a two-way street, and with the direction of things these days, I can foresee a not-too-distant future when the state-sanctioned curriculum is so repellant than no right thinking person would subject their children to it. However, I would do it for purely educational reasons, not because I'm some embittered anti-social misfit who never should have had children in the first place.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
"Bitterness" and "anti-social" (none / 1) (#91)
by strlen on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 12:23:02 AM EST

My own plan is to send my children to an excellent secular private school, and provided I myself remain employed as an engineer and marry someone else who is likely in the same capacity -- and continue living in a metropolitan area where this is an option -- this is a reasonable expectation.

However, would I ever send my kids to a public school? No. Is it because I am bitter, or "anti-social" (I don't know if you use the colloquial sense, that is "not very socially active" -- in which case this is certainly true -- or the psychological sense "hates everyone and has no respect for the rights of others" -- in which case it most certainly isn't)? No, it is because a) public school had a rather negative impact on me b) it was a torturous ideal that I wouldn't want my children [were I to have any] to go through. Childhood would be a wonderful experience, adolescence should be an exciting time -- when you already have the mental capacity of the adult, but are still free of obligations and have a relatively large amount of time on your hand that you could actually do "what you want" -- not a time one would look back and say "those were the most horrible years of my life".

Likely my solution to that is not to have children, unless I am sure I will be able to afford to send them to a private school. However, you can't foretell the future and I will most certainly agree to give up my job to be able to give them a both a solid education and "socialize" them to be the kind of people I (and you) would want as a neighbour.

There is indeed a drawback to home schooling, that it seems to be a favorite of the religious right. But I think both of us agree that there's no way to say that the public education sphere will be free of its influence (truth it, it never has been -- there's a reason Catholics and Jews needed to start their own educational system and Protestants [in the US] didn't -- education will always reflect the moral and religious beliefs of the populace, whether intentionally or not).

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Private schools, adolescence & Protestants (2.50 / 2) (#92)
by shinshin on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 12:57:13 AM EST

My own plan is to send my children to an excellent secular private school [...]

Call me a hippie (most people do), but I strongly feel that putting children in private school is selfish and will only lead to the accelerated decline of public education, which is bad for society as a whole. The more wealthy and educated people that put their kids in private schools, the worse the public schools will get, leading to an ever widening class gap.

Childhood would be a wonderful experience, adolescence should be an exciting time

Adolescence is hell regardless of whether you are being educated by nuns, gym teachers, or space aliens. Show me a happy and well-adjusted adolescent, and I'll show you a Normal Rockwell caricature of reality.

truth it, it never has been -- there's a reason Catholics and Jews needed to start their own educational system and Protestants [in the US] didn't -- education will always reflect the moral and religious beliefs of the populace, whether intentionally or not

Well, Jews and Catholics would have been perfectly happy to play the Protestant educational reindeer games if they hadn't been actively discriminated against. You should take a look at Malcolm Gladwell's very pertinent article in this week's New Yorker (with a great closing quote of "If Harvard had too many Asians, it wouldn't be Harvard, just as Harvard wouldn't be Harvard with too many Jews or pansies or parlor pinks or shy types or short people with big ears.")



____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Re: (none / 1) (#93)
by strlen on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 01:19:02 AM EST


Call me a hippie (most people do), but I strongly feel that putting children in private school is selfish and will only lead to the accelerated decline of public education, which is bad for society as a whole. The more wealthy and educated people that put their kids in private schools, the worse the public schools will get, leading to an ever widening class gap.

Hippie! Call me republican, but I tend to think people have a greater duty to their children then to society as a whole (since they chose to have their children).


adolescence is hell

But there is a crucial distinction between private schools (at least secular one, the importance of this I'll show later in the paragraph) -- is that those who don't want to study, those who want to bully others, those who wish to interrupt other people studying are kicked out of private schools, but not out of privates. In short, they aren't founded on an egalitarian premise -- that is, that everyone has a right to be babysat through school, although that may be less true for religious schools (which do, after all, blanketly cater to an entire segment of population, rather than expressively to those who wish to have a better quality of learning).

The distinction is even more obviously true for home schooling: I get to decide who's with my children and who isn't.

In short there's lots of assholes who tend to congregate around schools who derive pleasure from tormenting others. Private schools rely on parents giving them money, hence they will not put up with students who cause them to lose customers. Private schools also have no mission to the masses and can select who they can kick out and who they can't; and if there is bullying going on at a private school where I send my children, I can always threaten to take my children out -- and they will certainly care about avoiding that -- whereas, in a public school, that won't be much of a threat, as they'll continue to receive my funds irrespective of my children attending it or not.

I think you have pretty much showed my point, re: Protestants vs. Jews and Catholics, (I'll read your article at a later point), in that for a large part of history the mainstream educational establishment was about catering to the "WASP" clientele, largely because that is what majority of the people were (or at least majority of those with influence). Hence it reflected their values and their views. Given memetics, the idea of creationism may as well spread to majority of people in this country (which would be highly unfortunate), or at least to a significant minority -- hence it would only be logical to expect that (whether right or wrong -- and it is certainly wrong), that the educational system will reflect that.

Cliff's notes: I care more about my family then society as a whole, family is where society starts in the first place and no one can be a citizen without a deep regard for those close to him. Indeed, one can't call himself a good member of society, if [s]he is willing to sacrifice his own children for a political end. Public schools have no incentive (or even a legal right) to expel bullies, trouble makers or simply those who do not want to learn. Lastly: if majority, or even a significant minority of this country become cretinists, it's almost sure that cretinism will be taught in public schools.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Society & cretinism (none / 1) (#95)
by shinshin on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 05:16:27 AM EST

Indeed, one can't call himself a good member of society, if [s]he is willing to sacrifice his own children for a political end.

That's a perfectly valid personal view, but I don't think it is held by most people outside of Ayn Rand's pulp novels. Out society actually holds in very high esteem those who make sacrifices for the good of the rest of the society. For example, people really seem to dig war veterans, even for a war as lame as our current one. Firefighters, school teachers, nurses: those people who could have easily made more money but instead worked for the public good are very widely respected and admired.

Lastly: if majority, or even a significant minority of this country become cretinists, it's almost sure that cretinism will be taught in public schools.

What do you mean "if"? From the Harris Poll:

"Which of the following do you believe about how human beings came to be? Human beings evolved from earlier species. Human beings were created directly by God. Human beings are so complex that they required a powerful force or intelligent being to help create them."

22% Evolved From Earlier Species
64% Created Directly By God
10% Powerful Force/Intelligent Being
4% Unsure


____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Slight correction (2.33 / 3) (#100)
by godix on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 12:39:04 PM EST

Out society actually holds in very high esteem those who make sacrifices for the good of the rest of the society.

Add two words into that statement and you got the truth. Sacrifices OF THEMSELVES. We admire the EMTs that will drive into a riot to try and help a victim. We don't admire the doctor standing in the background saying 'Uh, you do it.' We admire the man who will dive into a raging river to save a drowning kid, we don't admire the guy who says 'Here, let me hold your coat while you dive in there'. Some of us admire the teachers who are willing to work in urban schools to try and improve them but I don't see anything admirable in saying 'Son, I'm tossing you to the wolves. Do your best to improve things will ya?'


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
+3 (none / 0) (#101)
by Fon2d2 on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 01:19:49 PM EST

If only I could've voted higher.

I find it surprising this even needed to be stated explicitly.

[ Parent ]

"tossing you to the wolves"? (none / 1) (#109)
by shinshin on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 07:16:37 PM EST

Making your child hang out with the normal kids and get a regular education just like everyone else is hardly "throwing them to the wolves". Such phraseology when describing public schools has the haunting white flight overtones from the recent era when uptight bigoted parents pulled their kids out of school rather than allow them to mix with those bussed-in coloreds.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
oh calm down... (none / 1) (#112)
by issachar on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 09:25:08 PM EST

his words do not imply any sort of racism and shame on you for saying they do. You're just slinging mud at him and muddying the issue while you're at it.

He's talking about bullying.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

I am quite calm, thank you very much (none / 1) (#113)
by shinshin on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 09:42:18 PM EST

I wasn't accusing him of being a racist. I was saying that those sorts of phrases are the sorts of things that were heard quite a lot during the bussing riots. The whole public school/private school debate in America is based quite solidly in the era of bussing and the white flight backlash. Pretending that that isn't so is the same as pretending that the phrase "Culture of Life" just refers to an abstract principle, rather than a direct coded reference to abortion.

Frankly, I'd say that as far as overblown language goes, comparing the act of sending your child to a public school to an indifferent bystander watching a child drown is a tad more extreme, don't you think?

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

certainly it is more extreme... (none / 0) (#115)
by issachar on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 02:13:30 AM EST

but racism is a hot-button issue in our culture and you need to be more careful when you reference it. The USA is your country and not mine, so you may be right on the history of public/private schooling in the US.

On the other hand, it would be a bit suprising if the USA were the only country in the world in which the public/private schooling issue wasn't centred around quality of education. It's a black/white issue in the states but it's a "quality of education" issue everywhere else? That would be surprising.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

I don't know where you are from... (3.00 / 2) (#116)
by shinshin on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 02:43:33 AM EST

... but it's not about quality of education in America. It's really not. Public schools outperform private ones (at least in mathematics achievement, according to The Christian Science Monitor). It's about class. And race. Or both. It's about keeping your child sheltered from their nasty peers and pretending that they don't need to share a society and environment with them. It's about pretending to shield their children from the ugly realities of mixing with the great unwashed masses, all the while exposing them to much more insidious snobbery and torture from other children with an overblown sense of over-entitlement.

I don't know where you are from, but this isn't just an American phenomena. The British system is much the same (although they very weirdly call their private schools "public school").

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

I'm from Canada's west coast... (none / 0) (#131)
by issachar on Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 02:25:55 PM EST

You know I would have said it was primarily about quality of education, but your comment about nasty peers made me realize that it's also about school violence. I teach in a private Christian school and while quality of education is an issue, so is the environment of public schools, bullying etc. I'm in my third year teaching here, and we've had one fight. One. And the two boys involved are getting along again.

Class just isn't a issue. I guess it is elsewhere which is unfortunate. Of course we've got the "snobby" schools, but the snobby schools are such because they're providing a higher quality of education. (As defined by our somewhat controversial Fraser Institute school report cards). They're snobby over quality not blood.

One thing to realize is that quality of education isn't just in the math and sciences although I'll admit I find those subjects to be particularly important. One surprise to me when I started working here is the quality of our senior level Christian Perspectives class. I've sat in on a few, (I teach InfoTech), and I've been thoroughly surprised by the quality of critical thought taking place. Discussions of social issues rarely reached that level in my high school. I sometimes suspect that our school is atypical among Christian schools, but I don't actually know.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

you bring up something I'm very curious about (none / 0) (#120)
by speek on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 08:40:16 AM EST

What goes on with homeschooling in other countries - particularly countries like Canada, UK, Germany, France, and Sweden?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

In The Netherlands it's non-existant (none / 0) (#125)
by jandev on Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 12:07:15 AM EST

Over there, you bring your children under the age of 16 to school. If you don't, you will be fined.

Seriously.


"ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
[ Parent ]

I'm not surprised (none / 0) (#127)
by speek on Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 08:38:23 AM EST

It's what I feared and expected :-(

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

not sure about Europe but in Canada we have a mix (none / 1) (#130)
by issachar on Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 02:13:00 PM EST

I live in British Columbia and we can send our kids to private or public schools or homeschool them. Public school is the most popular, homseschooling the least.

Private schools are subject to regulation such as minimum hours/days of classtime. The curriculum is set in place by the ministry of education and all schools have to teach it. Private schools may add additional material, but they need to teach all of it.

If private schools limit their expenditures and tuition according to a formula, they can receive partial government funding. The school I teach at receives approximately 50% funding that way.

Home schools also have curriculum requirements. Basically, everyone has to get the government approved curriculum. Some places are better than others for learning of course...
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

I'll be upfront in that I never read Rand (none / 1) (#104)
by strlen on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 03:16:33 PM EST

Her novels never really appeal too me, far too much pulp, not enough meat. For moral and political philosophy, I'd rather read Aristotle, Nozick, Hume and (for a view that I don't always agree with, but respect) Kant.

Incidentally it is Kant that mentioned not treating human beings as a means to an end, hence I will not use my children (or anyone else's children, or any other human being that isn't myself) for a political end.

In addition I don't consider considerations for people I love as egoism. Altruism -- at least for me -- begins with those I love. (Incidentally, I'm told, Rand novels never contained children; however, I'd rather not argue about Rand, as I'd be positing a straw-man).

As for an example of selfishness: I view the middle and lower-upper class families who own two BMWs yet send their kids to a sub-par public school as selfish; far more selfish than a family that is willing to live with less in order to be able to provide their children with a better education.

As for the statistic, that downright has me scared (I was under the impression that this was strictly limited to fundamentalist churches, which I thought to be only accounting for 30% of Americans) -- I guess living in Bay Area sheltered me from the rest of society. So the "Scopes trial" scenario is becoming a reality -- and of course the latest Bush initiative of giving "equal time" to cretinism is a good indication of that.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Be afraid (none / 1) (#108)
by shinshin on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 06:51:26 PM EST

Incidentally it is Kant that mentioned not treating human beings as a means to an end, hence I will not use my children (or anyone else's children, or any other human being that isn't myself) for a political end.

I'm not really clear on this "political end" you are referring to. Are you saying that anyone who believes in the public school system, and therefore believes that they should send their children to them in order that the system be perpetuated, is working towards some sort of "political" goal? It's a little bit like saying that anyone that picks up litter off the street or volunteers their time is just being political. Some people just believe in long-standing community institutions and in aiding their perpetuation.

As for an example of selfishness: I view the middle and lower-upper class families who own two BMWs yet send their kids to a sub-par public school as selfish; far more selfish than a family that is willing to live with less in order to be able to provide their children with a better education.

You seem to be suggesting that anyone who has enough money to send their child to public school but chooses not to (and instead uses that money to buy other things) can only be acting out of selfishness. That's just silly. There are plenty of reasons to not send kids to private schools. In my experience, kids that went to private school tend to have a snobbish chip on their shoulder that stays with them for a very long time. They are also frequently subjected to much subtler and nastier forms of bullying that can undermine their confidence for a long, long time (much longer that a bloody nose from the public school bully takes to heal). Parents who think that a private school is going to be a magic pill that will spare their children from some trauma they may have themselves experienced in public school are in for some unfortunate surprises (non-certified teachers, institutionalized classism, overtly discriminatory policies, repressions of student speech, just to name a few).

As for the statistic, that downright has me scared

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

yes, that's political (none / 0) (#121)
by speek on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 08:43:09 AM EST

Are you saying that anyone who believes in the public school system, and therefore believes that they should send their children to them in order that the system be perpetuated, is working towards some sort of "political" goal?

Sending your kids to school to get an education: not political
Sending your kids to school "in order to perpetuate the system": political

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Flawed Poll (none / 1) (#106)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 05:50:28 PM EST

Since it is entirely possible to hold that 1 and 2, or 2 and 3 are fully compatible with one another (whether they really are compatible is another question entirely, which is largely irrelevant), which is, by the way, the position of Catholic church, the largest denomination in America.

In any case, why get your undies in such a twist over the issue? I frankly can't even begin to understand why it is some people think its so important what the masses believe about evolution. Why, for instance, is it any more important than what they think about nature of the thermonuclear reactions going on at the heart of a star? Or, for that matter, whether they believe Schroedinger's cat is in the box or not.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Evolved From Earlier Species (none / 0) (#107)
by shinshin on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 06:30:41 PM EST

Since it is entirely possible to hold that 1 and 2, or 2 and 3 are fully compatible with one another

I disagree that anyone would hold "[man] Evolved From Earlier Species" and "[man was] Created Directly By God" as compatible statements. "Created Directly By God" clearly implies "Created Directly By God [in man's current form]" (although the poll would have done well to explicitly state that). Anyway, look at the other polls. They aren't that far off from this one.

I frankly can't even begin to understand why it is some people think its so important what the masses believe about evolution.

s/evolution/the earth being round/g
s/evolution/the heliocentric solar system/g
s/evolution/whether all educated women are witches and need to be burned/g

It's not so much that I think that an understanding of evolution is necessary to be a functioning member of society, as much as how worried I get about the evidence that so many people distrust this "science" stuff so thoroughly. I don't mind ignorance, I just mind self-righteous ignorance and the tendency for those sorts of people to want to force their ignorance on others for the purposes of making them easier to control. That doesn't worry you?

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

No (none / 1) (#110)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 07:25:46 PM EST

"Created by God" does not imply "created by God in man's current form." As I said before, the compatibility of the two statements has long been the mainstream, and Papally sanctioned, view in the Catholic church.

In any case, you're expecting far too much logical consistency of people. Analytically speaking, demonstrating that a is the case is equivalent to demonstrating that -(-a) (sorry for the irregular notation), but the beliefs of real people in the real world don't usually operate that way. This is due somewhat to people's irrationalism, but also because natural language assertions don't always translate well into a formal schema.

how worried I get about the evidence that so many people distrust this "science" stuff so thoroughly

But common acceptance of scientific truths operates exactly like common acceptance of religiously accepted truths. People generally believe on authority, because they don't really care all that much. When it comes down to it, your average peson has no more need of an intimate familiarity with the operations of the physical world than is required to avoid attempting to walk through walls.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Eat your liver. $ (none / 0) (#133)
by skyknight on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:39:42 PM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Pardon?$ (none / 1) (#134)
by shinshin on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 03:15:17 AM EST



____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
I was home schooled grades six through eight, (none / 0) (#135)
by skyknight on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 07:08:16 AM EST

and I am probably the least religious person that you could ever meet. As such, I find your blithe stereotyping to be odiously misleading.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
I never said that all homeschooling was religious (none / 1) (#136)
by shinshin on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 04:37:31 PM EST

I just said that it is good to keep the option available, because it allows people who would otherwise try to corrupt the educational system to instead keep their kids at home and thereby minimize the damage they cause to the greater population.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
You need to learn to deal with people (none / 1) (#103)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 01:58:30 PM EST

This is the most important thing you gain in your education.  If you can read, write, and perform arthimetic then the next most important thing for you to learn is how to deal with people who aren't your mommy and daddy.

You need to deal with teachers and peers to be a well adjusted person.  This is far more important than reading Chaucer or whatever.

And by the way, I suspect that most of the home school parents are bat shit crazy and we'd do the children a favor by allowing them to escape from them and see the real world.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

By deal (none / 0) (#105)
by strlen on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 03:33:59 PM EST

By deal do you mean "torment"? Or perhaps you mean "cheat"? Home schooling can teach you how to deal with people -- including people in unpleasant situations -- in many other ways, such as summer camps (not dependant on school) and other social gatherings, or perhaps by being allowed to enroll in college level classes (a much more serious social setting) at an earlier time.

Plus, you do learn how to deal with people by reading fiction (and non-fiction) and especially classical literature. One of the reason Chaucer and Shakespear are so widely read is that there are plenty of examples of people dealing with other people in their books.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 1) (#111)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 09:13:15 PM EST

You have to learn to deal with torment and cheating and you need to learn how to cheat and what have you.  In life, you deal with people a lot and you can get ahead simply by making friends.

Those other settings are insufficent because you can avoid people well enough.

And you do not learn how to deal with people by reading.  That is a ridiculous statement.  It's kind of like saying that you can learn to drive by watching videos of people driving.  You eventually have to do it yourself.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

In real life (none / 0) (#114)
by strlen on Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 10:42:49 PM EST

People who bully, cheat and torment are either fired from their jobs, lose the company of their friends, or are sent to a place where large African-American men have their way with their anuses.

Public school seems to be the only environment (besides, again, that place I've mentioned above), where this isn't true.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

I strongly disagree (none / 0) (#122)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 10:13:54 AM EST

Those people are often successful politicans and businessmen.  They don't all make it to the top but you most certainly need to deal with that type of person in your professional life.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
I've never had to deal with them (none / 0) (#128)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 10:04:23 AM EST

Admittedly, there are some schemers and back-stabbers, but dealing with them is totally different from dealing with HS bullies. The above poster is correct that HS only prepares you for prison, not business.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
I disagree (none / 0) (#129)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 01:17:34 PM EST

They are pretty similar.  There are people who will talk smack and scheme so it's pretty similar.  Furthermore, many of the people are bullies in the manner many of the school teachers are.

Besides there more than bullies.  There are lots of kinds of different people in a high school, even if the bullies make the strong impression.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

I have never (none / 0) (#137)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:27:27 PM EST

encountered anyone at work who will threaten you physically just because they're bigger than you, or get 10 of their buddies to beat you up if they aren't. That only happens in schools & prisons.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Socialization outside of school (none / 0) (#138)
by Krakhan on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 07:28:03 PM EST

You can learn to deal with other people other than your immediate family outside of the schoolyard through several other activities as well outside of home.

For me, this has been martial arts I took from my teenage years.  It has served me well in not only making me physically fit, but also had helped me get along with all kinds of people there.  There were other hobbies of mine as well, but that was the main one back then (I've had no time since I started university to get back into it unfortunately).

So, I don't really see the necessity of having to send a child off to place that supposively will gather you social skills when in fact the school yard scenario is more reminiscent of Lord of the Flies.  

Well, that's my two cents anyways.
~ Krakhan
[ Parent ]

Thoughts on being homeschooled (none / 0) (#123)
by nate s on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 11:23:22 AM EST

I was homeschooled.  First for a half-year or so around fourth grade.  After sixth grade I didn't set foot in another public school.

The reason?  I got into a gifted program around sixth grade, and the school's solution was to give me more homework, harder math/science classes, and "adult"-level novels (everything from Tolstoy to Asimov) when I was still 10 years old.  My parents eventually decided that I could effectively do that at home.  

It was a good thing.  I have mixed feelings only on a single aspect, which is university.  I tested high enough at 12 to get into a university with a scholarship, but my parents were afraid that my social development would be irrevocably harmed if I was allowed to attend.  So instead, I spent my teenage years reading books and 'wasting' my time programming or playing games.

Of course, nothing is completely useless, and I use some of those skills on a regular basis now - and if I hadn't been homeschooled, maybe I wouldn't have learned any of them.

In any case, I have no problems being social.  The only social awkwardness I've ever experienced has been directly attributable to my childhood under fundamentalist Pentecostal religion and not in any way to the homeschooling experience itself.

Even though it worked for me, I am not sure that homeschooling's for everyone.  My brother had much more difficulty being at home; the lack of structure made it hard for him to focus on anything educational during the day.

Sex, right? (none / 0) (#124)
by guidoreichstadter on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 10:21:58 PM EST

Same here. Fundamentalist protestant childhood can be a real mindjob.


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]
Indirectly. (none / 0) (#126)
by nate s on Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 12:15:34 AM EST

By the time I got around to sex, I was a few years removed from any such influences, so that part went smoothly.  

It was actually more comical. I distinctly remember the first time some random girl tried to give me a hug and I completely froze up, just sorta stood there. She gave me a funny look, of course.  It wasn't a 'fear' of the hug, just a complete lack of knowledge of proper social protocol in such a situation due to the "six-inch rule" of segregation between the sexes that I grew up with.  It took a year or so to really get out of that sort of awkardness, and then everything was fine after that.

[ Parent ]

i think (none / 1) (#140)
by wampswillion on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 11:34:58 PM EST

it's ok to homeschool if you want to but what i don't understand is why students who are homeschooled are not subject to the same tests of standard mastery that children in public schools are.   i'd say that if they keep up with or surpass grade level standards in math, language arts, social studies, and science, then who cares what people do with their children as far as education is concerned?  

i had a personal experience with this, because while my daughter was ill for a period of her life, i did homeschool her.  i took a leave from my job at the time (which was teaching) and did this.  anyway, what i want to say is that it's a lot of work if you really try to keep to task and i don't really see why anyone would want to do it if they didn't have to.   and well? i guess i just think that a lot of people who do it have agendas other than the education of their children. like indoctrination into a certain religion or something- and i don't like that but on the other hand, why do i care?

another thing is i do not understand why you don't want your child interacting with as many people (who have all kinds of ideas that you might not have) as possible.  i guess i just think more is better in this case.  so why limit your child to just you as their teacher?  

as far as technology goes?  technology is only as good as what you do with it.  whether it's at home or at the public school.

yeah (none / 0) (#141)
by noOo on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:45:54 PM EST

i think homeschooling is a nice idea, and if the kid really wants to do it they can. Here is one problem though, that i think i have with that. The child who is being home school misses out on the social interaction that helps everyone develop a personality and friends. I think that is a big reason why going to school with other people is very important. Homeschool though is more of a 1 on 1 aspect which may be the kind of attention a child needs to get good grades.

Which is the Better Classroom? | 141 comments (105 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden)
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