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Teacher's comment questioning the qualifications of homeschoolers

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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 7:39:29 AM PDT
Lisareads says:
"Prove it."

I just did. My statement made you reply.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 7:43:29 AM PDT
Lisareads says:
""Qualifications" are no more than rules of "authority" games. "
That is very true until you have experience of cause and effect. Then some knowledge of the understanding is noted in some way.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 7:53:23 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 14, 2012 7:54:22 AM PDT
That was a proof? I don't think so.

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 8:08:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 14, 2012 8:18:16 AM PDT
Mavatee says:
I thought this was a thread about homeschooling and qualifications for teachers. Meanwhile you two have argued for days about whether or not we have souls, the existence of God, and man vs. machine. Why don't you start another thread and argue nonsensically there? You guys are boring and you've killed the conversation here.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 8:24:36 AM PDT
Lisareads says:
"You guys are boring and you've killed the conversation here. "
Because the problem is not about who teaches but what they teach. Life is much more than standardized tests. It is about life test on what you do with the finite time.

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 9:11:12 AM PDT
Mavatee says:
Because the problem is not about who teaches but what they teach. Life is much more than standardized tests. It is about life test on what you do with the finite time.
Okay, so does this mean that all of this back and forth about souls and God is really a back and forth about curriculum selection? And about worldview? And the important role that a student's schooling (and the curriculum to which he is exposed, and the worldview/s presented) has on life outcomes?

If so, then I guess I'll add something too. The focus on political correctness and the emphasis on presenting history, sociology, and geography "objectively" have reduced textbooks to collections of mutually agreeable and mutually-acceptable factoids. The key issues surrounding each event, and the actual (and maybe even defensible, if not agreeable) positions of the different parties, are not contained within these texts. Human and national history are not so simple as good guys and bad guys, winners and losers. Furthermore, the actual writing (and vocabulary) in these text books is simplified more and more throughout the decades. I would argue that without abandoning text books, and instead going to source texts, we really aren't teaching much, and we aren't challenging our students to learn how to read increasingly difficult texts.

Today the schools are very concerned about preparing students for their future careers. The big concern is not just that our future workforce won't understand how to use important job tools (such as computers), but that it is impossible to know what tools and skills will be needed 15 years from now. However, if students can read well, assimilate what they read, write and speak well, and achieve basic numeracy, they will have the necessary tools to learn whatever it is they need to learn down the road. For this reason, I would argue that time in the classroom spent learning technology is time taken away from learning the skills that are needed to learn technology (or whatever else) down the road. Besides, technology is becoming more user friendly, not less -- as can be easily observed when watching a 3 year old interact with in iPad.

The last consideration I will add right now has to do with standardized tests. There are some state-level tests which determine specifically which state-standard factoids have been ingested that year. These only apply to (some) state schools and private institutions do not use them because they teach different curriculum. I would argue that these tests are pointless since they do only test which facts have been dropped into the student's mind and do not test for understanding, comprehension, or the ability to make connections, find universals, and learn. In contrast, the batteries which are administered to students (for example, the ITBS, Stanford Achievement Test, and the CAT) which are administered in all schools, actually do test for reading comprehension, vocabulary, and basic math and science conversancy. I think the tests are needed because they help to gauge individual student progress (when looking at changes year over year), but I disagree with the reliance on them for determining school performance.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 9:17:59 AM PDT
Lisareads says:
"Today the schools are very concerned about preparing students for their future careers."
School should never be about a career. That is the goal of the corporate world who needs slaves. School is about obtaining wisdom no matter how you prefer to live or spend your time.
Job training is the responsibility of those that need workers. Wisdom is every one's responsibility and the parents need to know that before they become parents.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 9:19:27 AM PDT
Kristen says:
Thank you Mavatee; I was wondering to what post they were orignially replying! This has nothing to do with homeschooling pros and cons!

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 11:42:59 AM PDT
Mavatee says:
Lisareads seems only willing to (capable of?) scanning this dialogue for one sentence at a time -- searching for something to pluck out, copy, and respond with vague disagreement -- without really acknowledging the conversation partner or "listening" to their statements...Oh, and without realizing that her point may already have been made, albeit in a more subtle (or eloquent) way. This thread has been rendered into a one way conversation, dominated by Lisareads -- and the dialogue is dead.

Lisareads, I don't know if you're trying to be intellectual or abstract, but your impertinent platitudes show a lack of social maturity and isolation. This isn't 1994 when talking to the "intranets" was some sort of cosmic abstract impersonal thing. There are real people on this thread, who are interested in the topic at hand, and you're wasting their time.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 11:46:31 AM PDT
Mavatee says:
kjpa, thanks - unfortunately I have been on this thread since Lisareads took it to the stars and I'm about done. I was disappointed to see the dialogue die since this is an area of extreme personal interest (and research) of mine and I am eager to learn what others have to say on the matter and to join in the conversation with them. After all, that is the purpose of such a board. There are many threads one can join, without acting like a cosmo-crasher.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 1:24:22 PM PDT
Lisareads says:
"There are real people on this thread, who are interested in the topic at hand, and you're wasting their time. "
Then find some real people. The educational system has died years ago.

"The Underground History Of American Education- John Taylor Gatto"

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 2:46:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 14, 2012 2:49:01 PM PDT
Okay, game on and back on topic.

Here's my anecdotal take on NCLB and aggressive state testing. In NY we used to test math in 4th and 8th grade. Now, of course, we test every year. Most private schools give state exams for recruiting purposes. Results are everything, believe me. Yet, there has been a definite loss through all of this. Formerly, a teacher or group of teachers could assess a student, and work with them to develop certain key competencies. Believe me, this did happen and there are lots of seasoned professionals out there that know exactly what I am talking about.

Now, every year is a race to cover a mile wide and inch deep syllabus, filled with a plethora of tiny tidbits of information. Every year, beginning on September 1st, the race begins. Yet, there isn't a lot of depth to the curriculum. There is very little mastery or fluency in anything anymore.

Of course, this would be a plus for home schooling. A child could work on fractions to the point of mastery, and mastery with this and other key areas of mathematics, or any subject, can have a lasting impact on the life of a child.

Six years ago my son took drafting in 9th grade in a public school. On one the first projects students had to find half of 3/8. My son was the only one in the whole class who could do this. And, this was in the best high school in Niagara County.

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 3:12:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 14, 2012 3:16:32 PM PDT
Jamo says:
This thread was started because of a post quoting a teacher questioning the ability of parents to educate their own children, homeschooling, because parents had not the training that teachers received.

Defenders of the teacher's position are,

1) Teachers have certain degrees and have attended certain training sessions and are therefor more qualified than parents to educate their children.

2) Schools have complete and organized curriculum to impart necessary skills to students.*

3) Schools are structured and provide an environment conducive to education that home schooling does not equal.*

Defenders of the home schoolers have three counter arguments.

1) Teacher training is not rigorous nor is there any kind of professional organization that oversees the competency of teachers, such as doctor, lawyers or other true professions have that can pull the license to work in the field, so there is no reason to view teachers as having the weight of expert opinion, such as a cardiac surgeon might have.

2) The teachings and enforced (a)morality of public schools is a violation of individuals' freedom of religion, so they have a right regardless of what public school proponents say to home school.

3) That public schools in fact fail to teach so frequently, that the system is hopelessly flawed, making the argument that home schooling is inferior to public schooling a fallacious argument to make.

As far as I see no one has made the argument that home schooling can be preferred to private schooling for the same reasons and/or the fact not everyone has the ability to attend private schools. But I might have missed that.

In addition, Lisareads throws in the occasional rational, insightful, illiterate, irrational, and/or irrelevant comment which sometimes touches someone's nerve and a response ensues. I have fallen for that also. I kick myself for that because even if you agree with her she will post a message essentially saying you are wrong or misguided. But she is everywhere it seems.

*These arguments can be inferred at times when not actually stated.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 3:51:54 PM PDT
Jamo says:
Testing is a necessary and useful part of education. Currently my state mandates milestones of curriculum just as you say. Teachers rush from one concept to the next, some even without attempting to place this week's lesson in context with last or next week's. This is a terrible system. Why do we have it? If one thinks that it is for no reason or because there are those who are trying to sabotage education, then one would be a product of said education.

The reason is clear in my state. For years, teachers, schools, unions, and politicians in the pay of unions, all clearly stated that students were getting "the best education possible." This in spite of the fact that student were functionally illiterate and whatever the equivalent in math is named. The "system" was monolithic in size and unresponsiveness to concerned parents. There was no accountability and evaluations of the system were subjective.

Public concern became so great legal reforms such as NCLB and similar state reforms came about as laws and regulations are the politicians response to anything. It has worked, academic achievement by whatever way it can be measured has improved year on year, every single year since the 'reforms' went into effect.

I agree with you that what we do now is insane. But it is better than what was before. It is in no way the solution to the problem because it does not address the problem.

It is as if you were crossing an ocean in a great ship with a leaky hull. Instead of addressing the problem of the leaks, the Below Deck's union does not want workers who fail to patch the leaks to be fired, so pumps are bought to pump out the water. That works, but so much power is diverted to the pumps to pump out water that the ship looses headway. The union wants to hire more Below Decks worker to run more pumps. More workers, more pumps is the cry. As the leaky ship struggles to make progress, many passengers decide that they can make better progress by leaving the ship for another.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 4:10:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 14, 2012 4:11:16 PM PDT
I wouldn't agree that NCLB is better than what came before, at least in an unqualified way. I think it hurt better schools, but perhaps helped schools on the other end of things. I happen to live in an area that has fairly good public schools.

I do think that something needs to be done about poorly performing schools, however. And, no, government grants, more money and the unions will not fix things.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 4:37:17 PM PDT
Lisareads says:
"*These arguments can be inferred at times when not actually stated. "
The scope of the problem is our systems have failed and are not sustainable either way. We have failed to define the reasons for schools or the reason for formal education. Then we fail to agree on the reasons.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 4:39:30 PM PDT
Lisareads says:
"It is as if you were crossing an ocean"
Why are you crossing the ocean?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 5:08:12 PM PDT
Here's my unvarnished opinion about parents' ability to home school their children, in light of alleged professional training of teachers.

My wife and I decided from the beginning that our children would attend a parochial school. We are Lutheran, and my wife is a trained Lutheran school teacher. In the Lutheran system, teachers take a minor in theology, and also have professional training in general pedagogy.

In our area, we had a choice of 7 Lutheran schools, and 6 Catholic schools, in addition to one public school. We asked a lot of questions, and chose the best school with the best teachers. Being on the inside of education, this was fairly easy.

Not only did we choose a very good school, but our children were sheltered, at least much more so than they would have been in a public school. I know public school teachers, and even in good school districts 2nd and 3rd graders know way more than they should. My children also were taught the theology of our choice. That is our God-given parental right.

The schools and teachers we chose did a very fine job in educating our children. So, yes, there is a certain professionalization of the teaching profession that works. These teachers did a much better overall job than my wife and I could have. But, we had our choice of schools.

If our only choice was the public school, we would have home schooled, at least through 8th grade.

As far as pedagogy, the private school teachers, on the average, had a great perspective. They generally ignored most of the worst excesses of the past 30 years, and used common sense where it was called for. They also turned our kids into responsible students by teaching them good study skills, etc. But, again, we had a choice.

If our only choice was one public school, then chances are, my kids would be educated with a plethora of goofy ideas that I know wouldn't have worked. Believe me, there is a whole sea of goofy ideas out there. And, goofy ideas in the hands of an inexperienced dullard is a recipe for disaster. It happens quite often in the teaching "profession." Any concerned parent with sound home school materials can do a way better job than an inexperienced dullard with goofy ideas. Home school materials tend to use more of a traditional approach, and tend not to get carried away by the latest goofy trend.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 5:22:11 PM PDT
Lisareads says:
"We are Lutheran, and my wife is a trained Lutheran school teacher."
I grew up going to a Lutheran church. The minister told me to memorize the catacisum. I told him no, as it did not resemble reality and I did not believe it. He told me to leave the church so I did.

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 6:02:26 PM PDT
JAF says:
I have been following several discussions about home schooling or public schools or private schools or Christian schools. I spent 29 years teaching in public schools. Sometimes I did some really good teaching and saw some really good learning. Sometimes I was handed a package and told to follow the curriculum. Those packages always worked for some students because there are some students who will learn inspite of how they are taught. For a few years in the '70s, I was required to teach values. Some of the curriculum was easy to teach because I agreed with it and some of it was not. Then we no longer taught values. Then we were told to not teach or discuss values. Then we were told to accept values that were contrary to the Bible, the Constitution and to the Bill of Human Rights.
Where a child is schooled is not a simple answer. Some students can do well anywhere and if they have direction they can make judgements about right and wrong. Many classrooms have to deal with numbers and the greater the number the less attention each one recieves. If a family can make the time commitment to home school that can be an excellent choice. There are plenty of ways to learn socialization separate from the time spent learning to read, write, and problem solve.
I spent one year teaching in a large Christian school and 6 years in a small Christian school. The large school had lots of money for pretty props and new books. The small school has teachers that teach from the heart. We love our kids and teach them to read, write, communicate, and problem solve. We know that we don't have fancy technology and we know that students elsewhere might create fancy powerpoint. Our kids can learn to do that someplace else. The parents of our students have not chosen home schooling for reasons such as they want to work, they don't feel capable, or they want their children to have playmates.
I have met home schooled students when they returned to public school. I have met some home school students when attending functions they were part of. I know a few home school families.
When parents choose a school method I hope they don't feel they need to choose one method and stick to it forever for every child they have. Home school may be great for one child and not enough for another. One child may thrive in public school and another may only do average or below because of the numbers. Some curriculum is clear and easy to present. Some students learn whatever is presented. Some students need a special teaching style. I hope all parents evaluate how well their child/chldren are learning and consider each year whether to continue the plan or make a change. Some parents teach well and some choose home schooling to avoid the sturcture of dealing with school rules.

One more comment. I considered quitting my job as a teacher in the public schools to home school my son. I was concerned that I would find excuses to not have class or that I would focus on the 3Rs and neglect science. I was also concerned that I would not find resources to teach some of the material that he would get at school. I certainly wanted to remove him from the social situations he was finding in public school. I left him in public school but reinforced the curriculum with home activities. He succeeded and is now a NASA engineer.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 6:08:39 PM PDT
Lisareads says:
What turned me off in public school is the pledge of allegiance. What turned me off in Christian school is prayer. Each had an agenda that they wanted followers and not disagreement.
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 6:31:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 14, 2012 7:47:25 PM PDT
That was some interesting commentary about teaching values in the 1970's.

About the professionalization of teaching, teaching has always been a profession of sorts. But, the National Education Association worked very hard in the 80's and 90's to increase the professional image of teachers. I was a card carrying member for years, and I read this over and over again with each issue of their bulletins. It seems (at least to me) that a lot of this professionalization is window dressing, and also, that things are at times over complicated to increase the professional image of teachers. And yes, I believe this was a ploy to get more money.

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 8:01:38 PM PDT
JAF says:
Professional teachers act professionally whether they are in a public school a "charter" school or at home with their children. But every school also has teachers who are there for June, July, and August. Professional teachers are also lifetime learners and will change as the decades go by.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2012 9:58:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 15, 2012 10:00:45 AM PDT
Bruce Bain says:

I think several rational people have attempted to engage "Lisareads" on an objective level, but the posts that "Lisareads" publishes are indicative of a kind of severe thinking disorder.

For example, in my dialgues, "Lisareads" indicates that she does not even adhere to the Rule of Law.

This is a person who will not permit herself to be held accountable for anything, and could not find a substantiating fact for anything argued.

So, your remarks are in excellent contrast, because you think reasonably, and prefer to discuss issues in an objective manner. You and I and some others in this forum, can hold ourselves accountable for what we publish in the media, but it is a rare thing to find an advocate of Public Ecuation who will hold themselves accountable. It does reflect the subliterate standard which Public Education produces.

I certainly enjoy reading you, and find that your comprehension of factual matters is very instructive for us all.

Morover, this contrast serves to demonstrate that in a Secular World, few if any persons who endorse Public Education, can find either Objective Facts or Logical arguments to advance their published claims.

-Warm Regards, Bruce


In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2012 10:56:37 AM PDT
Lisareads says:
Thanks for the complement but it is just wasting time to flatter me.
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