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Teacher's comment questioning the qualifications of homeschoolers

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Posted on Apr 18, 2010 4:24:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 18, 2010 4:27:02 PM PDT
A. Chai says:
I am saddened by the negative comments about homeschooling. Clearly, the authors of those views have a very narrow perspective that is colored by their own personal prejudice. I have a couple of anecdotes to share regarding "qualifications" of teachers:
I was helping a friend of mine study to pass teacher certification testing. This friend had been teaching in the public school system, but she was not familiar with the test and I wanted her to pass. I thought the cert test was kind of easy, so out of curiosity I gave it to my 11 year old (homeschooled) daughter. She aced it. Guess what? My 11 year old is "qualified" to teach your child.
My 15 year old was taking higher math at the local community college. He got a job there as a tutor, teaching college students how to do college level math. I guess that is because I homeschooled him. That means my 15 year old is "qualified" to teach your college student.
A girl from Ireland wanted to "socialize" with other high school students. They bullied her to death. Guess what? My (homeschooled) kids are polite, kind, and would never dream of tormenting a peer. I guess that is because they haven't been "socialized" with evil monsters. Have you ever read "Lord of the Flies?" Well, there is your typical public school socialization. Oh, and if you don't wear Abercrombie, you might as well just go home.
So, yeah, I am unqualified. NOT.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2010 4:33:33 PM PDT
A. Chai says:
I am so sorry for your daughter. I was also bullied to the point of becoming suicidal during that time of my life. It is one of the main reasons why I now homeschool. I have never met a mean homeschool kid! My kids are very happy and friendly, and they can relate to just about anyone. Good luck, you will do well. You can try Calvert school, which is a "school in a box" it comes with all you need for K-8th.

Posted on Apr 18, 2010 8:25:07 PM PDT
S. Guest says:
I am finishing my degree in American Studies in August-October 2010. I love teaching kids, and I've subbed for the local school system for 15 years. I am qualified to teach my children and other as well, and have had many kids I know ask me if I'd teach them at home along with my kids. So, I know my children, and to figure out the way other children learn isn't as hard as many may think. Yes, some teachers are qualified to teach, and some it's just not their knack even though they have studied. I've studied like everyone else, and I feel that a homeschool mom from our church is a fabulous teacher as she's homeschooled her 6 children, and even teaches many things at church and at a local homeschool fine arts academy. I don't know her credentials as far as her education, but I do feel that parents teaching their own children should be left up to them, and it's like teaching your children anything, it's up to the parent to know how their children learn best. I applaud anyone that has children that they want to teach and want to dedicate their time to. Some parents have taken it as a joke, but don't put down everyone that has their children's best interest at heart. I have two middle schoolers that I am going to homeschool next year. They know how to deal with conflict, but I feel this is the best choice for us. My 5 year old is going to stay in public school for a while to learn how to socialize with kids his age, as he's the youngest of 4 in our home and needs to learn to be with kids his own age. So, I feel that there are benefits to both,but have to find out what is best for your family and as long as you make your values known to your children, the public schools won't influence your kids as much as you think. I've never heard sodomy encouraged in public schools as someone stated earlier. Just do what is best for you and your family.

Posted on Apr 26, 2010 11:23:34 AM PDT
SB says:
Mary Alice,

Where do you live? I live in Southern California. My children mix with children from different faiths, races and economic groups. Maybe homeschoolers are different here but I don't know anyone who tries to hide their kids from anything. The homeschooling parents I know are either moderately religious or completely secular (I'm an agnostic myself). These are parent who see serious failings in the school system and most have actually taken their children out of school. If they were trying to hide their kids from the outside world, why would they have put them into school for 3 or 4 years? I know a mother who pulled her 7th grader out of school for 2 years because he was reading at a 3rd grade level. She got him up to grade level in reading and put him back into school. Does it sound like she was hiding her son? No, she had to make up for the failings of his school. Yes, there are some parents who don't want their kids exposed to certain things. But it isn't fair to assume that all homeschooling parents are like this. Many are simply fed up with low academic standards and feel that they can do better.

You have completely ignored my original posting. How can anyone question the qualifications of homeschooling parents when so many teachers are incompetent themselves? Your criticisms are the kind of standard bs that gets tossed out. That way you can ignore the very real problems of academic failure. You can ignore America's poor performances on international assessments. Just use ad hominem attacks and label all homeschoolers as ignorant people who fear what their children might learn and you can avoid a real debate.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2010 1:01:49 PM PDT
Angela M. says:
Yes, this country has both freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but we also have separation of church and state. Thus freedom of religion guarantees Americans the right to choose their own religion or to choose to be not-religious. If all schools espouse Judeo-Christian beliefs, then we're taking away freedom of religion from the children who are indoctrinated. I'm all for families following their own moral and/or religious beliefs, but the proper place for the beliefs to be taught and modeled is in the home or church, not in school. It's the parental right, of course, to enroll students in private schools at their own cost or to homeschool their children, but public schools are supposed to be open and available to students regardless of their religious beliefs and backgrounds.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2010 1:14:28 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2010 1:18:05 PM PDT
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Posted on Apr 26, 2010 1:45:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2010 1:52:12 PM PDT
S. Cameron says:
I feel I need to add to this discussion.

My wife and I home schooled our two daughters when they were really young. To be specific we home schooled for pre-school for our youngest and Kindergarten for our oldest. Due to the fact that I decided to enter a graduate program we decided to forgo homeschooling for a year or two because we did not feel we would have the proper amount of time to dedicate to it.

So currently our youngest is finishing Kindergarten and our oldest is finishing 1st. You may be thinking to yourself "Well, that is too young to be considered "home schooled" or something along those lines.

I need to point out that my wife and I wanted to home school because we wanted to instill the love of learning in our children. Neither of us "knew what we were doing" or had a "degree in teaching" but we knew our children better than anyone. We were able to know by instinct what would foster this love of learning best in our kids.

So when we decided to put our kids into public school we were a little hesitant. Here is what has happened this year:

Both of our children are their teacher's favorite student. Our youngest who is in Kindergarten tested in the 99th percentile and got the highest scores on her "tests" than any Kindergartner in all 5 Kindergarten classes at the school. The teacher absolutely adores our daughter. Why? Because she LOVES to learn. (Yes my Kindergartner can read at an almost end of the year 1st grade level). Another reason? We taught our daughters respect and kindness. They entered school knowing how to respect their teachers and respect the learning process.

Our 1st grader is reading at a 3rd grade level. The teacher told me, with tears in her eyes, that my daughter gives her the joy needed to teach each day. Every time I talk to the teacher she has a lot of positive things to say.

My daughters both said to me last weekend. "Dad we we want to be home schooled next year." I said "Why?" My oldest says "Because the only thing I like about school is my teachers and friends. I don't like the school work and am really bored." I said "Won't you miss your friends if we home school again?" she says "I don't care, I can hang out with other friends and can always visit them on the weekends. I enjoyed what we learned more when I was taught at home."

This makes it hard. I can speculate why they are bored. When we home schooled they learned what I wanted them to learn (Math, Reading, Science, Social Studies) but after that we learned about what THEY wanted to learn about.

I don't know about you guys but I didn't get to start learning about what I wanted to learn about, in school, until I was in college.

Say what you want about home schooling. I did not do it to shelter my kids. I did it because I love them and wanted them to love learning! There is a great chance we will return to it as well.

Posted on Apr 27, 2010 7:10:21 AM PDT
shevrae says:
Ah, but WHY do education majors have to study child development and psychology? Probably because most education majors are relatively young people with no children of their own. I've been a parent for 8 years - every day is a lesson in child development and psychology. Also, the premise that homeschoolers don't know anything about education is faulty - just about every homeschooler I know has a big row of books on their shelf about educational philosophies, learning styles, homeschooling methods, and plenty of other relavant topics. The idea that you can only learn something and become competent by paying for a credited course keeps colleges and universities in business, but if you really think about it - is that how you learned the things you know the most about? For example, I've never met a green thumb who majored in gardening in college.

I'm not trying to knock teachers - I know some great ones (and some not so great ones). But obviously I disagree that they are the only holders of the keys of knowledge and that children only learn by sitting in a classroom for 6+ hours a day with their peers.

Posted on Apr 27, 2010 7:59:34 AM PDT
Carolyn says:
Re: "By the way I am a teacher, I had to study years of child development and psyc, as well as subject material, how everyone now thinks they can home school is a joke. Even Judge Judy asks what university did you graduate from? when someone says they home school.How do they feel so qualified!"

Answer: Well... we homeschooled six children all the way through high school. The first thing I taught them was to read phonetically, to talk with correct grammar, and to write using correct punctuation and spelling (placing periods at the end of sentences and beginning their sentences with a capital letter). They have all grown now and have become engineers, business owners, pastors, and doctors. Our second oldest makes just under $700,000 a year. Yep! You're right! They were sheltered. It's obvious that they have NO socialization skills. Can you imagine? When I homeschooled them, I didn't even have a college degree.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2010 11:44:46 AM PDT
HSC000 says:
S. Cameron,

I know a woman who homeschools through the local school district. She said that the assignments from the school are very superficial and largely useless. Her daughters don't enjoy the assignments they get from the teacher but they love the extras that their mother assigns. For example, if the school assigns volcanos in science, the coverage is very basic and uninteresting. This mother supplements everything that the school provides. So, she will get books from the library about volcanoes that cover the science, historic eruptions, and novels (like the Magic Treehouse). She will also look online for information about volcanoes in the news. She then requires her daughters to do various assignments. She said that if she just depended on what the school provided her daughters wouldn't learn very much about any particular topic. One of her daughters told her one day that she really feels sorry for kids who go to school if they are stuck learning such boring stuff.

I talked to another mother who said that her son who is in 5th grade loves to read and learn. She used to read to him all the time when he was a preschooler. She said they used to leave the library every week with a heavy stack of books. Now, however, it has become a big problem. Her son is bored to death at school. He cries a lot and is frustrated. This mother actually said that she has avoided teaching or reading too much to her now 5 year old daughter because she is worried that her daughter will be bored "if she knows too much" before entering school. How sad that you actually have a parent who feels that she has to keep her child dumb to avoid future frustration in school.

One last thing. I picked up a 4th grade science textbook recently. The coverage of the topics was so basic and superficial that it was worthless. The authors kept coverage of every topic to 2 to 3 paragraphs. This wasn't nearly enough to present these topics in a meaningful or comprehensible way. I come from Ireland originally. Fourth grade textbooks there go into far more detail and do a good job making the information understandable. American textbooks, at least at the elementary level, are too simple and short to be understandable.

So, I can understand why you children are bored. They know too much and unfortunately that is a bad thing in too many American schools.

Posted on May 1, 2010 11:24:50 AM PDT
Regarding socialization? Is that why they have that ARMED GUARD in public high schools? I guess that's just to keep all of those "well-adjusted" teenagers from killing one another? If you're against homeschooling, ok, we understand. But please, get informed. Get the fact before you make silly comments. Every homeschool family I know is tremendously committed. As a matter of fact, because one parent must be home, most have made great financial sacrifices to be able to stay home and teach. Gosh, 3 million kids are home-schooled in America. Wake up NEA.

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2010 5:54:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2010 10:22:36 PM PDT
DRM says:
The NEA will never wake up. I like some teachers in the public schools but the teacher's unions exist to force others to give them what they want. They are anti-freedom. The union's actions are anti-child development because they are setting an example of force, lack of choice, and disregard for the common good, not to mention the price we are paying as a society because of their strong tendency to force themselves into our lives and our children's lives whether we want them to do so or not.

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2010 2:26:13 AM PDT
'probabilist says:
I have no problem with homeschoolers who are willing to teach real science to their kids as part of the curriculum.

Real science will always include a proper introduction to the well-established scientific fact that the earth is billions of years old, of course.


In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2010 6:39:41 AM PDT
Well first of all, since teachers follow a curriculum which shows them how and when to teach a skill, JUST LIKE HOMESCHOOLERS DO, I believe the schooling is more to learn different children's personalities and approach each child with a style that fits their personality...which is hard to do when you have 20+ students in one class...some above the rest, others very behind the rest. Parents, know first hand, their own child better than anyone else knows them. They can give them one on one attention and get through the material quicker because they get it. Teachers go to school to learn how to be PAID for teaching SEVERAL different kinds of children. Parents do it because they know and love their children and can give them a quality eduction. Most children that are homeschooled are much more farther advanced than those in school. I have nothing against the public school system...well, here at least. But, as other posters have stated, public schools teach very secular, worldly things that I as a parent, would rather not teach to this particular age, and would have a say over WHEN it is taught. My kids have been in both public schools, AND homeschooled. They enjoy their days in homeschool much more, and have a better understanding of the materials, and because they are not rushed through it, retain what the learn much better....and are farther ahead in their curriculum than their schooled friends. They are learning here, far more, not only academically, but, life skills, than they would learning being in a school desk for 7-8 hours. They are not rushed through their lunch, they get more than enough exercise, plenty of 5 year old and 8 year old know how to sort and do laundry, make/bake several foods, have outdoor life skills, have resposibilties in the home in which they live that we all share...they are exposed to Spanish, American Sign Language, are learning to touch type on a of them is even learning how to sew this year. We are not Amish or Mennonites. We live in the city with plenty of friends, culture learning, field trips, fun days, and everything is a learning experience. And my child is learning every day about our wonderful God!

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2010 10:09:42 AM PDT
Michael Hill says:
Lisareads - you wrote: "Did you see that little lost girl did not try to find her way out of the swamp because she was taught that God would help her. Is there not a quote in the Bible that God helps those who help themselves."

That quote is not in the Bible. But there is a grain of truth to it; the Bible clearly teaches industry (hard work) rather than passivity. By your online name and your presence on Amazon, I infer that you are much more informed than the average person, so I invite you to read the Bible, if only for its literary value. Many of us have read it cover to cover in a year or less.

And I hope you're not offended if I say ... Maybe God did help her! She survived for days in a dangerous environment, and was found against all odds. Hmmmm, I wonder ... <grin>
God bless ya,

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2010 12:22:19 PM PDT
C. Fink says:
I think I'd rather be raised having no academic knowledge than have ANY of you teaching my children ANYTHING at all. All of you are so judgmental. We should not be teaching our children intolerance. We, as adults, teach our children by setting an example. What kind of example are any of you setting??

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2010 12:37:23 PM PDT
heidi says:
Have you TRULY researched the statistics you are quoting as 'norms' or 'exceptions' or are you giving your opinion? I think the second. Do some research - not based on your personal opinion or only on the few homeschoolers you may have heard about or think you know about. You will be surprised at how inaccurate your statements are.

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2010 12:41:41 PM PDT
heidi says:
yep. I am a surgical nurse as well as a homeschooling mom...

Posted on May 3, 2010 12:53:48 PM PDT
heidi says:
Interestingly enough, my sister in law is a severe behavior handicap school teacher in a fairly large public school district with a masters, yada yada yada...

I had to help her pass her most basic classes in high school, and her college level courses up until her masters classes when she started 'getting it'. Now, I love this woman dearly and I do think she is 'good' at what she does. Do I think she is better qualified to teach my children because she has this level of education to teach? Absolutely not! Not when I taught her how to pass those classes to receive those degrees! Me, who took a whapping 6 months of elementary education classes before I decided that public school teacher was not something I wanted to be.

I don't know what the huge debate is really about. Not really. Public school teachers are 'taught' to teach in a public school setting. That is a setting that is tightly controlled by government and district. That is a setting where so very many of the decisions is decided for them. That is a setting where teaching to pass the next latest and greatest evaluation/test is fast becoming the norm. Does that make them an expert on the material to cover? No. It teaches them to teach IN THAT SETTING. We as home schooling parents are NOT in THAT setting. We are 'taught' to teach in our setting when we give birth. We are 'taught' to teach in our setting when we see the for the very first time that our child is understanding what we are showing them to do with each and every task they learn. Does that mean that we are experts on the material that we cover? Nope. But, you can bet the vast majority know how to find that information. We homeschoolers are a resourceful lot. The public school teachers may be the experts in their setting of education. But, we are th experts in ours.

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2010 7:48:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 3, 2010 7:59:24 PM PDT
As a certified teacher with a cousin-in-law who is an outstanding home schooler, I think I can offer a little insight from both sides. I have directed community theatre for years and have had home schooled kids participate in shows with casts that are quite diverse. The kids may be a bit shy around the diversity, but they are quite willing to join in discussions, eat pizza at with all at cast parties, and give their best for the production. On the other side of the aisle, if you will, are the kids that are home schooled because their parents are tired of facing truancy charges. I teach in a juvenile justice facility, and I see the entire range of kids and backgrounds. Whether in public, private or home school situations, kids can be lead into questionable and dangerous behaviors by their peers. Parents cannot be with them 24/7. It is up to the parents to provide the kids with a moral compass by example and by voicing approval or disapproval. Whether in home, public, private, or special schools, kids can develop into thinking sub-adults, ready to grow into adult-hood. Or they can become addicted, uncaring, prejudiced, violent, or uninterested in being other than someone's dependent. If you home school, also "home model" reading, tolerance, helping in the community, maybe even making sure the neighbor kids heading off to school are escorted to the bus stop before you start your in home classroom. If you send your kid to outside schooling, the same applies. Read with them at night, on weekends. Do things with them. Show them that you care about the world they are growing up in and will need to protect. In both cases, start when they are young. Since there are both bad and good (teaching and temptations) out there, be part of the good.

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2010 8:57:22 PM PDT
J. Haveman says:
I am sincerely offended by your post. You love your children no less than I do, I guarantee that. My husband and I made a careful decision to move to an area where the schools are exceptional. We pay close attention to what they are learning, contact the teachers with any and all concerns, and use reason and our sincere love for our children to make sure that they are 1) getting a first-rate education from people who are trained to offer them that, are 2) exposed to a wide social group that allows them to experience both kindnesses and hurt from others, and to learn to deal with the bad stuff in ways that build their character and their ability to cope in the world outside our home, and 3) know beyond any doubt whatsoever that we support them in their individual endeavors. We have dear friends who homeschool, and their children ARE lacking in some ways despite their mother's best efforts-- and my children would probably benefit from homeschooling in some ways that they are missing-- but NOT that I love them any less than you love yours.

I am a trained teacher. I have my MAT as well as my MLS; I stayed home for the last 13 years in order to be fully available to my children. I also know that I do not have the training to adequately expose them to all subjects to the extent they will need to do well beyond my teaching. If you can do it, kudos to you. Just keep in mind that your decisions are different, but not necessarily either worse or better.

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2010 10:07:14 PM PDT
"A younger child home schooled and exposed to community events and neighborhood friends is not under socialized. In fact they do better than those who are free who explore all the vices in life."
Is this your opinion or do you have the research to support this claim? I am curious.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2010 6:03:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2010 6:06:00 AM PDT
heidi says:
Elaine, I think you make some good points. There are both good and bad with both communities in varying degrees, I am sure. I can honestly say that there are a few people that I would not want to see the outcome of their attempting to homeschool, but then, I think that they know it as well and their kids are in public schools. ( I am thinking of direct family members, here that I love dearly, but they would be a good example of who should not try to teach at home. The desire is not there.) There are also equally appalling situations in the public school system parents. I know this is true and I am sure that you have all seen situations such as these in both arenas.

I think the 'issue' that I have had here is when some public school teachers automatically dismiss that a genuinely interested and concerned parent can educate their children effectively. I think that statistics have proven that they can. It really does not require loads and loads of training to teach your own small number of children effectively. It may take some research. It may take some searching for the correct method or sources. It may require starting over with a subject or topic repeatedly in varying ways, but it can be done and very well.
Of course, parents need to be parents whether they teach their children at home or not. They are always needed as guides and mentors as to accepted morals and ways to handle themselves when outside of the home setting. I honestly don't know many homeschooling families, however, that totally isolate themselves and their children away from society. That is simply not the norm. Yes, they spend a lot of time with their families and that is not necessarily a bad thing, but vast numbers of homeschooling families are out and about in the community doing various tasks and pursuing various interests.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2010 6:09:02 AM PDT
Lisareads says:
"Is this your opinion or do you have the research to support this claim? I am curious. "
One of the problems with the national education dept. is they depend too much on statistics. One size does not fit all and when people are involved there is not an average they are individuals. Social science has a long way to go before it captures the essence of humans.
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