Friday, February 01, 2008

Thoughts on the Independents Article on Homeschooling

First why do they always showcase Fundamentalist Christian Homeschooling Families and their Bible Studies? There are plenty of secular homeschoolers who do not start the day with Bible Studies. It would be nice IF articles on homeschoolers showcased the wide diversity amongst homeschooling families instead of making it sound like only Fundamentalist Christians Homeschool.

For some reason the reporter felt in necessary to mention anti-homeschooling Rob Reich's criticisms of homeschoolers.

For the few independent researchers looking at homeschooling, Reich points out, there's simply no good data. Most discussion centers around what Reich calls the "glorified anecdote." Kids have won national spelling competitions and aced the SATs based on what they learned at the kitchen table. Some take these examples and conclude homeschooling must work.

But, Reich asks, "What's the average homeschool? The answer is, "We have no idea.'"

Answer there is no average homeschool. Each homeschooler is FREE to tailor their methods to suit their child's individual learning style. Some methods homeschoolers chose to use; the Charlotte Mason Method, Classical Education, Eclectic Homeschooling, Enki Education Method, Montessori Homeschooling, Unit Studies, and the Waldorf Method. That's the beauty of homeschooling being able to use what works best for your child. There is absolutely no reason homeschoolers should have to use the same methods as failing public schools and submit to regulations and testing just so educators like Reich can have the data they want. Public Schools which are regulated regularly fail the students they are suppose to be educating even though they provide the Reichs of this world with plenty of data.

At least the reporter did mention why homeschooling is so popular today.

It wasn't until the 1960s and '70s that John Holt and other educators started making a case that schools failed many children. Holt's notion that kids learn best when allowed to pursue their own interests lies at the heart of the modern "unschooling" movement.

And Lane at least mentioned that all homeschoolers are not Fundamentalist Christians.

Yet it's not fair to say all homeschool families believe the same things or are motivated by a religious worldview. In a 1999 federal survey, religious reasons were the second most common explanation given for homeschooling, at around 38 percent; 49 percent responded they believed they could do a better job at home.

Unfortunately he didn't choose to elaborate on what a wonderfully diverse bunch homeschoolers really are. In fact ANTHONY LANE seems to be completely unaware that there are atheist, liberal and Democrat homeschoolers. He apparently buys into the malarkey spread by Michael Apple that the majority of homeschooling is done by Christians wishing to brainwash their children.

Lane then finds it necessary to bring up the Murray tragedy.

Several homeschooling families intersected Dec. 9 when Matthew Murray ended his murderous rampage at New Life Church. Having killed two people at a missionary school in Arvada, the 24-year-old shot his way across the New Life parking lot as Sunday services let out, killing Rachel and Stephanie Works, teenage sisters who were homeschooled. Their father was also injured. Judy Purcell, administrator of the High Country Home Educators enrichment program that meets at New Life, was shot in the shoulder as she and her family prepared to leave that day.

Murray, who raged in multiple Web postings against his homeschooled upbringing in a strict Christian family, killed himself after he was shot by a New Life security guard.

We all know about Columbine, we have all read about children who have killed themselves after being bullied in public schools, but nobody blames public schooling for these tragedies. Why when tragedy befalls a homechooling family does the media rush to blame it on homeschooling?

Kerry Kantor sums up nicely why regulation of homeschool families is unnecessary.

Kerry Kantor, with the Colorado Academy of Independent Learners, says regulations are unnecessary to ensure most homeschooled kids get a good education.

"Parents really do have their best interests at heart," she says.


  1. Lane's brilliant expose of what is REALLY in Christian textbooks used by Christian homeschoolers was astonishing! WOW! I had no idea that people might practice their religion at home, and even use materials to reinforce their beliefs. It's a conspiracy! Somebody call Mulder!

    OK- I'm kiddin' around here, but I thought Lane's whole approach was ridiculous. Does he think he is exposing some secret society? You don't have to be religious to not want your son's 9th grade teacher to seduce him in the janitor's closet, or some kids to hang your 7 year old on a coathook by the back of his shirt and leave him to asphyxiate (saw this on the news today). It isn't 'fearful' to think that some of society's values are detrimental to impressionable minds, and wish to remove children from such a harmful environment.

    And Murray was 24 years old- 24- as in he had graduated 6 years before. Hello? This is really doing the "the 50 year old man murdered 14 people because he was dropped on his head when he was 3".

    In his article "Long Story Short", Lane says "The scarier part of parents controlling their kids' education: It's a largely unchecked phenomenon. In many cases, no one outside the family really knows what's going on, and researchers say good statistics on homeschooled kids are hard to come by."

    I think reporters are scary. Somebody needs to take his laptop away and make him stand in the corner.

  2. Reporters no longer actually report. For the most part they don't do research, they slap together articles (often with biased views) and make outrageous claims that the general public is suppose to swallow hook line and sinker.

    A teacher in my area (Biloxi, MS) had sex with her 15 year old student.

    And they wonder why parents are taking their kids out of school?

  3. What really annoys me is how critics interpret the NCES statistic about 30% of homeschoolers doing so to provide moral instruction to mean that those are all superfundamentalist Protestants. I know plenty of other Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Unitarians, atheists, agnostics, etc. who want to teach their children in accordance with their family's values. Regardless of what certain individuals may believe, the fundamentalists don't have a monopoly over morality in this country...

  4. True I know an Muslim family & a Pagan family that homeschool for religious reasons, but the media always makes it sound like only Fundamentalist Christians homeschool for religious reasons


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