First there is the same old tired socialization bugaboo.
The biggest one, obviously, is socialization. Yes, I know homeschoolers have friends. Yes, I know there are activities they can join, but playing with other kids on weekends doesn't begin to match the same kind of cooperation learned by being around them in a structured environment 5 days a week.
Most of the activities homeschoolers engage in involve more then weekends. Here is another edutard who assumes that homeschoolers sit at home all day, nothing could be further from the truth. We belong to recreational soccer teams, robotics teams, scouts, church groups, homeschool groups, 4-H the list is endless. Many homeschoolers join homeschool co-ops, others take art history classes at local museums, science labs at local colleges that have classes especially for homeschoolers the list of opportunities for homeschoolers to socialize is endless.
Next he takes issue with this
Public schools can destroy your children’s self-esteem, destroy their ability to read, strangle their love of learning, put them inUh, yeah, I'm gonna need a cite for that. "Put them in physical and mortal danger?" Is he serious? Anyway, here's a sampling of the points to this crazy agenda. (Again, not all the reasons on this list are bad, but some are truly warped. Those are the ones I've gone into here).
physical and moral danger, and wreck their future.
Apparently Watcher doesn't watch the news much. Go here for a depressingly long list of school shootings. They have 56 listed and that doesn't include the recent school shooting in Mobile, AL March 6, 2008. "Mobile County Spokesperson Nancy Pierce addressed the media this morning after 18 year old Jajuan Holmes shot himself in the Davidson High School Gymnasium. "
Then there is the bullying, and the beatings, among other things. I don't think anyone in their right mind would believe that students today are not in "physical and mortal danger" from their fellow classmates. The scary thing is you have no way of knowing what public school is going to be the scene of the next tragedy. You can't blame any parent for trying to minimize the danger their child is in as much as possible.
* A commenter pointed out that the original quote says moral danger. I personally don't see kids being in any moral danger in the public schools. I do see plenty of physical danger to worry about.
5. Be totally aware of the state and progress of your child’s education.Now that sounds innocuous enough. And it truly may be, but I still get this feeling like it's included here because Laura and Joel want to watch their kids like hawks, so they never have to worry about learning things their parents don't want them to. Again: STIFLING.
The majority of parents want to be totally aware of the state and progress of their child’s education. I can't tell you how many public school parents have expressed frustration to me because they didn't know their child was struggling in a subject until it was too late to bring the grade up. This isn't meant to be stifling as Watcher maintains, but rather a tool for ensuring your child has mastered the material taught.
9. Make learning fun.As if that were possible! And don't you think teachers try to do this as much as they can?
The sad thing here is that Watcher doesn't think learning can be fun. This is more of an indictment against public schools then anything a homeschooler could have written. And yes public school teachers do try to make learning fun but with large class sizes, discipline issues, worries over testing, NCLB and other mandates their attempts to make learning fun get harder and harder. I am proud to say I have fostered a LOVE of LEARNING in my children and that we do find LEARNING FUN!
10. Make learning as “experiential” as you wantYou mean like performing science experiments in a lab? Which, unfortunately, most houses don't have, but public schools do?
This shows how behind the times Watcher is. We have a very nice microscope here at the house. We have also done dissecting. But for those homeschoolers who don't want to tackle these things at home or want to add to what they do at home, colleges are offering all sorts of science labs for homeschoolers. Other homeschoolers are forming co-ops and banding together to buy lab equipment. Perhaps Watcher should take his own advice, "Why don't you do some research before you start accusing people of things? "
What "assumed limitations?" My schools had all kinds of extracurriculars and gifted and talented programs that kids could participate in. From first through third grade, there were three different levels of reading group.
13. Teach your child without any “assumed limitations.” Teach multiple languages, develop one skill or subject—the sky’s the limit.
Unfortunately all public schools are not created equal. Public schools vary not only from state to state but from district to district. Just because one public school has something doesn't mean they all do.
16. Avoid educational “labeling”
Does this mean, if your kid has ADD, you can happily pretend that he doesn't? It's fun what you can do when there are none of those pesky "experts" around to tell you things you'd rather not hear!
This one doesn't apply to my family, but I am going to tackle it anyway. I know homescoolers who have chosen to homeschool because their child had a learning disability and would have been labeled and stuck in a special education class. They don't 'pretend' the disability doesn't exist but their child isn't singled out as 'different'. A sure way to get picked on in public schools. The current vogue these days is to to put the learning disabled student in regular classrooms but send them to 'special education' classes for certain subjects. This seems a good idea on the surface as in former days those stuck in 'special education' classes often were taught less advanced subjects then those children in regular classes and were kept separate from the 'other' kids for their entire public school sojourn, but one of the flaws is the bullying they endure from the 'other' kids they are now classmates with.
19. Allow your child to do, think, discuss, and explore in ways not possible in a rigid classroom setting.Yeah? then why do so many pro-homeschooling fundies want to quash this so badly?
Watcher is making an assumption here, where is the evidence to back this assertion up?
20. Constant positive reinforcement and gentle correction. No abusive words or actions that scar your child’s psyche.Bullshit. Teachers spend years learning corrective discipline techniques. A good teacher can easily be better at positive reinforcement than most parents.
Yeah right. That's why we read about all the public school teachers male & female having sex with students, physically abusing students & verbally abusing students ( Many adults mention past incidences of verbal abuse by the teacher as the most overwhelming negative experience in their lives. The present study examined (1) the course and stability of verbal abuse by the teacher from kindergarten through grade 4 and (2) the link between verbal abuse by the teacher and children's behavioral, emotional, and academic adjustment.).
22. Develop your child’s life skills such as cooking, cleaning, and organizing that are easily learned with the additional time spent at home.
Ah, I see. We won't waste no time with all that book-learnin'! We's got to teach our kids how to be house slaves!
What an ignorant statement from Watcher. I don't know of any homeschooling parent who short changes their child academically in order to teach them life skills. On the other hand I know numerous public school graduates who are unable to make change or balance a checkbook. Why? because they didn't learn it in public school and their parents perhaps assuming they did learn it in public school failed to teach them. Besides academics children need life skills in order to survive. Some things all children should know how to do cook, clean, do laundry, put gas in the car, change a tire, change the oil, make change, balance a check book, manage money. Why? because when they are out on their own they need these skills.
26. Never have your child beat up by a bully. Teach self-defense skills that will enable him (her) to deal with any situation, but not until he (she) is mature enough to handle the emotional aspects of confrontation.
What confrontations? You're keeping him chained up in the basement, remember? He'll never have to deal with being beaten up!(Oh yeah, and what about girls? Don't they need to learn self-defense also?)
I doubt Joel Turtel intended to exclude girls from the self-defense lessons, but it gets tiresome having to type him/her, he/she so ignoramuses won't accuse you of excluding one sex or another. Again Watcher assumes homeschoolers don't interact with others, to the contrary homeschoolers often have public school children, private school children and other homeschooled children as friends. And Gosh Watcher I don't even have a basement.
33. Develop your child’s imagination and teach diverse problem-solving skills, instead of one institutionalized method of thinking.
Have you two idiots ever actually been in a public school?
I graduated from the public school system. In the majority of my classes imagination and diverse problem solving skills were not utilized. In fact rote memorization seemed to be the preferred method of teaching.
34. Unlimited possibilities for extra curricular activities that interest your child.
Woo-ee! That sounds like a lot of fun! All kinds of clubs and activities that give you the opportunity to hang out with the same three people! Your parents and your little brother!Poor Watcher just can't get it through that numb skull that homeschoolers hang out with a variety of diverse people not just their family or other homeschoolers.
37. Avoid traditional school “group activities” that may leave one student doing all the work or ruining it for everyone else.
You know, the point of group projects is so that kids who don't have cooperative skills can learn them. All this would do is make sure the kids never learn.
Really as a product of the public school system I can assure you no one in my high school learned cooperative skills from all those stupid group projects. What we did learn 1.) If you don't want to do the work you don't have to do anything. The students who actually care about their grades will do the work for you. You'll still get an A 2.) The teacher doesn't care that only two of the students in the group did any of the work the whole group gets the same grade no matter how much or how little effort they put into the project. 3.) Make sure you have some smart students in your group so they will do all the work and you'll get an A and 4.) If you are one of the smart students be prepared to do everything yourself. Even if student X promises to do _______ more then likely he/she won't and unless you are willing to settle for a bad grade you need to have ______ done yourself just in case.
45. To make sure your child doesn’t end up graduating without knowing how to read or knowing other basic skills, due to educational failings of your local schools.
I went to public school and I can read just fine, you arrogant prick.
The sad fact is too many public school graduates do graduate without being able to read or knowing other basic skills. See John Stossel's "Stupid In America".
49. To easily pass on your unique heritage or language to your child.Now, at first, this actually sounds somewhat reasonable (as long as you discount the fact that you can do this whether the kid's in school or not). Passing on your heritage is important, especially if you're a minority. That was my thought at first. And then I started to consider the source. These jackasses don't care about minorities! Knowing what I know, this comment is probably a veiled swipe from the usual racist ideology; the one that thinks Spanish is invading our pure, white, English-speaking nation through schools.
There Watcher goes making assumptions. Watcher for your information many minorities homeschool.
There are many reasons to homeschool. Some are shared by the majority of homeschoolers and other are unique to the individual homeschooling family. Parents who choose to make the commitment of time and money to homeschool their children should be supported not criticized by the Watchers of this world.