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#21 Joel C

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:27 AM

Well, obviously missed as it wasn't embedded. :)

For those still making a stink about homeschoolers and socialization, here's a study for you.

...And another study from 2003, with similar results.

Edited by Joel C, 19 January 2012 - 01:28 AM.


#22 NBooth

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 08:50 AM

Well, obviously missed as it wasn't embedded. :)

For those still making a stink about homeschoolers and socialization, here's a study for you.

...And another study from 2003, with similar results.


FWIW, the Canadian survey actually points to socialization as one of the regrets most mentioned by homeschoolers:

More than one-third
mentioned an aspect of the social challenges
of being home educated. These comments ranged
from simple reflections such as “I feel I could have
had more social interaction” to more angst filled
ones such as “[I was] so different from others my
age and [felt] somewhat awkward”.


I also notice that these studies fail to mention with whom these kids are interacting. I suspect that the majority of homeschoolers interact with members of their own class/race/religious preference; that was certainly the case in my own education. And yes, I'm aware that public schools are often segregated by demographics--and the "private school" boom in the South immediately following desegregation didn't help that. My point is simply that there seems to be even more splitting going on when you get to homeschoolers. This(decade-old) study from census.gov seems to bear my assumptions out:

Home schoolers are like their peers in many respects. Table 2 shows how they compare, using data from all three surveys under consideration. Home schoolers are not especially likely to be young or old. They are about as likely to be of one sex or the other, with perhaps a slightly greater percentage female. In some ways, however, home-schoolers do stand out. Home schooled children are more likely to be non-Hispanic White, they are likely to live in households headed by a married couple with moderate to high levels of education and income, and are likely to live in a household with an adult not in the labor force.


These numbers seem to have stayed consistent through 2007, though the number of homeschoolers doubled.

In this case, the problem isn't (as it's often assumed to be by pro- and anti-homeschooling people) how well the kid can hold up a conversation. It really has to do with richness of experience. If a parent believes that encountering (and becoming friends with) people of many different backgrounds is important in a child's development, that parent will have to work a bit harder to make sure it happens. Because it probably won't at the regular home-school co-op.

EDIT: Here's some numbers ("number and percentage distribution"). These numbers aren't meant to prove anything; I'm just posting them because they're interesting in themselves.

Edited by NBooth, 19 January 2012 - 09:01 AM.


#23 Joel C

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:51 AM

FWIW, the Canadian survey actually points to socialization as one of the regrets most mentioned by homeschoolers:

More than one-third
mentioned an aspect of the social challenges
of being home educated. These comments ranged
from simple reflections such as “I feel I could have
had more social interaction” to more angst filled
ones such as “[I was] so different from others my
age and [felt] somewhat awkward”.

Well, let's put into perspective that a third isn't even a majority of the homeschooled individuals surveyed, and that even the people in that third weren't unified in answering the same way. I'd be interested to see the ways in which people would feel about their socialization in public school, but unlike homeschooling, there don't seem to be many studies available to reference.

I also notice that these studies fail to mention with whom these kids are interacting. I suspect that the majority of homeschoolers interact with members of their own class/race/religious preference; that was certainly the case in my own education. And yes, I'm aware that public schools are often segregated by demographics--and the "private school" boom in the South immediately following desegregation didn't help that. My point is simply that there seems to be even more splitting going on when you get to homeschoolers. This(decade-old) study from census.gov seems to bear my assumptions out:

Home schoolers are like their peers in many respects. Table 2 shows how they compare, using data from all three surveys under consideration. Home schoolers are not especially likely to be young or old. They are about as likely to be of one sex or the other, with perhaps a slightly greater percentage female. In some ways, however, home-schoolers do stand out. Home schooled children are more likely to be non-Hispanic White, they are likely to live in households headed by a married couple with moderate to high levels of education and income, and are likely to live in a household with an adult not in the labor force.


These numbers seem to have stayed consistent through 2007, though the number of homeschoolers doubled.

Actually, the studies are saying different things. If we just take ethnicity as a reference point for a moment, one is showing the actual percentage breakdown of the entire homeschool population, and the 2007 census numbers you're quoting are showing the percent of homeschooled children in each ethnicity compared with school-aged children in that ethnicity as a whole. In the census survey, the ethnic breakdown actually diversifies fairly significantly from 1994 to 1999. White children drop down to 71% from 91%, the percentage of hispanics doubled, and the percentage of blacks nearly tripled. The more mainstream homeschooling becomes, the more diverse it will become as well.

However, I do want to drop back and make a point I was going to make earlier, but had thought against it for the sake of avoiding a long argument. People make a big deal about homeschooling diversity, but there are some very troubling problems in the public school system as well. In my mind, a socially-diverse school setting—if such a thing can even be found by most parents—does not a diversity-friendly child make. It presumes that interaction alone will sort things out. It's also based on the presumption that a majority of schools will not only have a diverse makeup (which is increasingly not the case as schools become economically segregated), but also that such a school would do a good job in helping a child synthesize those differences in a meaningful and mature way.

I'm not saying that by turns, it's therefore easy to provide a diverse environment for a child other places. It's hard in any setting. However, I personally tend to think that there are plenty of ways to expose a child to different economic, racial and religious backgrounds than their own, besides putting them in a school environment. A parent who is invested in such interactions themselves have the potential to draw their children into a much deeper and profound understanding of race/income/religious differences than simply putting them in a school setting. If the home doesn't reflect the values of interacting with diversity in a meaningful way, then any lessons learned in an outside environment will likely be wasted, and any problems with classism, racism, income inequity or any other kind of injustice experienced in a school setting will only have the potential to be widened.

Edited by Joel C, 19 January 2012 - 12:11 PM.


#24 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:22 PM

FWIW, the Canadian survey actually points to socialization as one of the regrets most mentioned by homeschoolers:

More than one-third mentioned an aspect of the social challenges of being home educated. These comments ranged from simple reflections such as “I feel I could have had more social interaction” to more angst filled ones such as “[I was] so different from others my age and [felt] somewhat awkward”.

Alright, so I attended private school, public school and was homeschooled all at different times. Depending on the circumstances and the child, I can see resorting to all three as a parent.

I've always found the socialization objection to homeschooling meaningless. How involved your family is in the community and how many different sorts of friends (from all different walks of life) your child makes entirely depends upon the parents and the individual child, no matter what type of schooling you are engaged in at the time. When my brothers and I were homeschooling, we still played on so many different sports teams (city leagues and public school teams, many of whom will let you in if you can win a spot on the team) that we always had a large number of other friends (even outside the homeschooling community). Playing baseball, football, basketball and soccer all year round, with a father who coached teams with other dads, we didn't have a problem being sheltered or "protected" from the outside world.

But it wasn't just sports - one of the advantages of my homeschooling years was getting to work jobs that my schedule didn't allow during my non-homeschooling years. You make friends on the job. You make friends if you regularly attend a church. You make friends with all the other kids your age in the neighborhood. You make friends in within the homeschooling networking community. You make friends when your parents take you to other events in the local community. Finally, the problem of some kids not having social skills existed during the years I spent in the homeschooling community and the years I spent in private and public school. Some of us were good at socializing. Some of us were not. In other words, socialization is only going to be a problem particular to homeschooling unless your parents are protectionist reclusives or just plain crazy. Instead, socialization is going to always be a problem for some (the shy, the outcasts, the uncool), and a test of character for everyone else when deciding how to treat them.

Also, by the way, bullying and peer pressure exists with any group of children, anywhere, period. Human nature is the same no matter what type of school your kids attend. One of the worst bullies I met as a little kid was another homeschooled kid. So you're not going "protect" your children from bullying by homeschooling them, unless you just forbid them to hang around with any other children.

Yes, there's a protectionist "religious right" element within homeschooling. And yes, they may even still be a majority (they certainly were in the '80s and '90s). But if your family is actually not shut off from the rest of the world, then all that rhetoric isn't going to matter when your children meet and make friends with other children. I had homeschooling friends who were socially awkward and sheltered and the blame lay 100% with their parents. I had public school friends who were socially awkward and sheltered and the blame lay 100% with their parents.

#25 NBooth

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 02:24 PM

Golly, I seem to be playing devil's advocate today.

Well, let's put into perspective that a third isn't even a majority of the homeschooled individuals surveyed, and that even the people in that third weren't unified in answering the same way. I'd be interested to see the ways in which people would feel about their socialization in public school, but unlike homeschooling, there don't seem to be many studies available to reference.


It's not a majority, but it's a healthy minority. I don't know how it is in Canada, but in the U.S. there seems to be a significant problem with people over-reporting their own happiness and minimizing levels of distress. If you factor that in, the numbers at least suggest that the socialization concern isn't just a bogeyman that can be exorcised by quoting a few statistics/survey-type studies.

Actually, the studies are saying different things. If we just take ethnicity as a reference point for a moment, one is showing the actual percentage breakdown of the entire homeschool population, and the 2007 census numbers you're quoting are showing the percent of homeschooled children in each ethnicity compared with school-aged children in that ethnicity as a whole.


Actually, they're not. The second link addresses the question "how many children are homeschooled?" and has this to say:

More White students were homeschooled than Black or Hispanic students or students from other racial/ethnic groups, and White students constituted the majority of homeschooled students (77 percent). White students (3.9 percent) had a higher homeschooling rate than Blacks (0.8 percent) and Hispanics (1.5 percent), but were not measurably different from students from other racial/ethnic groups (3.4 percent).


That's pretty much exactly what the previously-quoted section says: "Home schooled children are more likely to be non-Hispanic White, they are likely to live in households headed by a married couple with moderate to high levels of education and income, and are likely to live in a household with an adult not in the labor force."

The link I put in at the bottom--the demographic stuff--wasn't added because it did anything at all for my point. I just wanted to get some general data in there for the heck of it.

In the census survey, the ethnic breakdown actually diversifies fairly significantly from 1994 to 1999. White children drop down to 71% from 91%, the percentage of hispanics doubled, and the percentage of blacks nearly tripled. The more mainstream homeschooling becomes, the more diverse it will become as well.


Sure. The question then becomes how much these groups will interact. Unfortunately, the studies don't seem to address the question.

However, I do want to drop back and make a point I was going to make earlier, but had thought against it for the sake of avoiding a long argument. People make a big deal about homeschooling diversity, but there are some very troubling problems in the public school system as well. In my mind, a socially-diverse school setting—if such a thing can even be found by most parents—does not a diversity-friendly child make. It presumes that interaction alone will sort things out.


It doesn't, really, presume anything of the kind. It does suggest that a diverse environment is more helpful for producing diversity-friendly kids.

It's also based on the presumption that a majority of schools will not only have a diverse makeup (which is increasingly not the case as schools become economically segregated), but also that such a school would do a good job in helping a child synthesize those differences in a meaningful and mature way.


[1] There are problems with school systems in the U.S. Part of the decision i/r/t home- private- or public-schooling involves looking at the local schools and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

[2] No child is going to synthesize anything in a meaningful or mature way. Their brains aren't even done cooking until the college level. Schools can and should take measures to make sure that difference is respected--by cracking down on bullying and so on. That, however, takes us far afield of the subject at hand.

I'm not saying that by turns, it's therefore easy to provide a diverse environment for a child other places. It's hard in any setting. However, I personally tend to think that there are plenty of ways to expose a child to different economic, racial and religious backgrounds than their own, besides putting them in a school environment. A parent who is invested in such interactions themselves have the potential to draw their children into a much deeper and profound understanding of race/income/religious differences than simply putting them in a school setting.


Sure. But if (for instance) you live in a state where you're required to have a covering, aren't you more likely to seek out like-minded people? So we have Christian groups (probably middle-class and white, almost certainly heteronormative) and atheist/nonreligious groups. If I'm involving my kid in activities mandated by the covering, they're almost certainly going to be interacting with people just like themselves.

If the home doesn't reflect the values of interacting with diversity in a meaningful way, then any lessons learned in an outside environment will likely be wasted, and any problems with classism, racism, income inequity or any other kind of injustice experienced in a school setting will only have the potential to be widened.


Doubtful. The home environment is important, but the phenomenon of rebellion that occurs during the teen years suggests that it's not a determining factor. School can just as easily be a way of escaping a bad home life (though that's obviously not an issue for the folks considering home-schooling here). Besides--if you actually interact with someone of another race it's harder to maintain bigoted opinions (racism and classism--as social-structure issues--are better addressed in the previous point i/r/t declining diversity).

All of this is pretty far afield, though. The point I was trying to make isn't that public schooling is to be preferred--it's that homeschooling has its own set of unique challenges.


I've always found the socialization objection to homeschooling meaningless. How involved your family is in the community and how many different sorts of friends (from all different walks of life) your child makes entirely depends upon the parents and the individual child, no matter what type of schooling you are engaged in at the time.


I think I mentioned that my own family isn't known for joining things. I tried 4-H and was bored out of my skull. But my point in bringing up the socialization quote was to point out that a significant number of homeschooled individuals (myself included) do feel that they missed out on certain kinds of social interactions, and it's the sort of thing one wants to keep in mind when considering the issue. (FWIW, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the most unhappy kids came from the most protectionist/regressive homes).

When my brothers and I were homeschooling, we still played on so many different sports teams (city leagues and public school teams, many of whom will let you in if you can win a spot on the team) that we always had a large number of other friends (even outside the homeschooling community). Playing baseball, football, basketball and soccer all year round, with a father who coached teams with other dads, we didn't have a problem being sheltered or "protected" from the outside world.


...which underlines the point about the socialization issue being very individualistic. I never played sports (except a brief stint at a baseball camp) and I felt little desire to interact with other people. That's fine and all--but as a result, I tend to not maintain social relationships as well as I should. This isn't directly because of my education, but I don't think it helped, exactly.

But it wasn't just sports - one of the advantages of my homeschooling years was getting to work jobs that my schedule didn't allow during my non-homeschooling years. You make friends on the job. You make friends if you regularly attend a church. You make friends with all the other kids your age in the neighborhood. You make friends in within the homeschooling networking community. You make friends when your parents take you to other events in the local community.


See above.

Finally, the problem of some kids not having social skills existed during the years I spent in the homeschooling community and the years I spent in private and public school. Some of us were good at socializing. Some of us were not. In other words, socialization is only going to be a problem particular to homeschooling unless your parents are protectionist reclusives or just plain crazy. Instead, socialization is going to always be a problem for some (the shy, the outcasts, the uncool), and a test of character for everyone else when deciding how to treat them.


I don't know how a shy person might feel being characterized as a "test of character," but these points are well taken.

Also, by the way, bullying and peer pressure exists with any group of children, anywhere, period. Human nature is the same no matter what type of school your kids attend. One of the worst bullies I met as a little kid was another homeschooled kid. So you're not going "protect" your children from bullying by homeschooling them, unless you just forbid them to hang around with any other children.


Yup.

Yes, there's a protectionist "religious right" element within homeschooling. And yes, they may even still be a majority (they certainly were in the '80s and '90s). But if your family is actually not shut off from the rest of the world, then all that rhetoric isn't going to matter when your children meet and make friends with other children. I had homeschooling friends who were socially awkward and sheltered and the blame lay 100% with their parents. I had public school friends who were socially awkward and sheltered and the blame lay 100% with their parents.


This is key, and it's why I'm trying not to get too broad in my arguments here. I don't get the impression that anyone on-board here who homeschools/wishes to homeschool is a protectionist. Obviously not. The homeschooling community is pretty varied (even if it's not exactly "diverse") and broad arguments and statistics simply don't apply to individuals. In the end, it's up to the parent and their understanding of what's best for the child.

Edited by NBooth, 19 January 2012 - 02:32 PM.


#26 Joel C

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 04:44 PM

Golly, I seem to be playing devil's advocate today.

So this is all hypothetical to you?

It's not a majority, but it's a healthy minority.

I'd hate to see what an unhealthy minority looks like. :) The way I've always seen it, the majority is usually the mandate on how a particular group feels in general. If this were not true, we'd have very different elected officials today. :)

I don't know how it is in Canada, but in the U.S. there seems to be a significant problem with people over-reporting their own happiness and minimizing levels of distress. If you factor that in, the numbers at least suggest that the socialization concern isn't just a bogeyman that can be exorcised by quoting a few statistics/survey-type studies.

Can I ask what your source is for these "over-reporting" people"?

Actually, the studies are saying different things. If we just take ethnicity as a reference point for a moment, one is showing the actual percentage breakdown of the entire homeschool population, and the 2007 census numbers you're quoting are showing the percent of homeschooled children in each ethnicity compared with school-aged children in that ethnicity as a whole.


Actually, they're not.

I kind of feel like we're arguing semantics here.

Sure. The question then becomes how much these groups will interact. Unfortunately, the studies don't seem to address the question.

The likelihood is that given the fact that homeschooling is already a somewhat marginalized group—and I would suggest from my own experience in homeschooling circles—most homeschoolers stick together, wherever they are, and regardless of what background they come from.

However, I do want to drop back and make a point I was going to make earlier, but had thought against it for the sake of avoiding a long argument. People make a big deal about homeschooling diversity, but there are some very troubling problems in the public school system as well. In my mind, a socially-diverse school setting—if such a thing can even be found by most parents—does not a diversity-friendly child make. It presumes that interaction alone will sort things out.


It doesn't, really, presume anything of the kind. It does suggest that a diverse environment is more helpful for producing diversity-friendly kids.

My bad for mixing up personal and impersonal terms. I think if you look closer, you will notice I was referencing people who have often repeated the same, old, tired line about diversity in schools, not the studies we were speaking of before.

[1] There are problems with school systems in the U.S. Part of the decision i/r/t home- private- or public-schooling involves looking at the local schools and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

[2] No child is going to synthesize anything in a meaningful or mature way. Their brains aren't even done cooking until the college level. Schools can and should take measures to make sure that difference is respected--by cracking down on bullying and so on. That, however, takes us far afield of the subject at hand.

No, I don't think it does. It's actually at the core of the problem here. I think we have very different perspectives when it comes to the responsibility of training a child. I actually don't agree with you either on the "can" or the "should" in regard to respect and good behavior. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're suggesting behavioral training is the responsibility of a school. I find this to be very problematic. Not only do I not think that there is a biblical precedent for it, I think it goes against the grain of common sense. Sure, as David pointed out earlier, a school can enforce discipline and punishment for intolerant behavior, but no public school is going to take responsibility for helping a child internalize a moral code. There's a good reason too, beyond the bazillion lawsuits waiting in the wings. The responsibility for engendering a moral conviction—not just enforcing discipline but also training and guiding a child's moral path—falls on the shoulders of parents. I would even go so far as to say that if a child displays systemic prejudice in a school setting, there's a good likelihood that he/she is emulating behavior at home. If that is the case (and I think studies would confirm that more often than not, it is), then there is no way a school is going to be able to change that or abate it, apart from expelling that child. Discipline, but not moral development.

Sure. But if (for instance) you live in a state where you're required to have a covering, aren't you more likely to seek out like-minded people?

It totally depends on how important diversity is for the parents at hand. This is just as entirely true of public schools, especially in light of the studies I posted above, outlining the segregation happening in public schools today. I doubt most caucasian, middle-class, public-schooled children and their parents are any more deeply involved in seeking out "un"like-minded people than their homeschooling counterparts.

Doubtful. The home environment is important, but the phenomenon of rebellion that occurs during the teen years suggests that it's not a determining factor. School can just as easily be a way of escaping a bad home life (though that's obviously not an issue for the folks considering home-schooling here). Besides--if you actually interact with someone of another race it's harder to maintain bigoted opinions (racism and classism--as social-structure issues--are better addressed in the previous point i/r/t declining diversity).

I think you assume a lot when you imply that people of all ethnicities meet on a neutral playing field without any preexisting notions. Racism and classism are far more complicated than you're giving them credit for.

All of this is pretty far afield, though. The point I was trying to make isn't that public schooling is to be preferred--it's that homeschooling has its own set of unique challenges.

Most certainly, I can 100% affirm that statement as well. I'm not wanting to pick a fight with you here, but I feel like the examples of challenges you are bringing up about homeschooling are tired generalizations, which are just as problematic in the public school system as they'd ever be in homeschooling.

This is key, and it's why I'm trying not to get too broad in my arguments here. I don't get the impression that anyone on-board here who homeschools/wishes to homeschool is a protectionist. Obviously not. The homeschooling community is pretty varied (even if it's not exactly "diverse") and broad arguments and statistics simply don't apply to individuals. In the end, it's up to the parent and their understanding of what's best for the child.

Here we can agree wholeheartedly. I would certainly not claim to say that public school is the wrong choice for children, or that homeschooling is the superior choice. I would suggest that the sunny outlook on public school as a prime paradigm in which to teach tolerance, as well as meaningful social integration, has been blown way out of proportion in general. There are systemmic problems in the public school that pose serious challenges for children attending those schools, issues just as vital as any homeschooled child faces.

Edited by Joel C, 19 January 2012 - 04:46 PM.


#27 NBooth

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:52 PM


Golly, I seem to be playing devil's advocate today.

So this is all hypothetical to you?


Well, all argument is autobiography. My pushback is actually not too dissimilar from your own--just from the opposite direction. As a homeschooler, I spent all my life surrounded by people who would poo-poo the very idea that socialization might be a problem. For some folks it might not be; and I certainly don't want to suggest that home-schooled kids are by and large less socially adept than kids who go to public school. What I am suggesting is that there's a particular sort of experience that I--and kids like me--missed out on, and it's unserious to dismiss it with a blithe "oh, well, they turn out ok after all." We do turn out ok. The question is--what did we miss?

Since that's all I'm saying anyway, I'm not going to parse through the entire reply--I'm a Literature person, not an Education person anyway--but I'll hit a couple of high notes.

I don't know how it is in Canada, but in the U.S. there seems to be a significant problem with people over-reporting their own happiness and minimizing levels of distress. If you factor that in, the numbers at least suggest that the socialization concern isn't just a bogeyman that can be exorcised by quoting a few statistics/survey-type studies.

Can I ask what your source is for these "over-reporting" people"?


Oliver James suggests as much in The Selfish Capitalist. For instance, on p. 197, James observes that "around 15 per cent of English-speakers have 'repressor' personalities--will say they are happy whatever their true state.' He goes on to point out the self-esteem culture (again, USians generally score themselves as 'high' in self-esteem because that's what the culture wants).

Ok, so 15% might not be as 'significant' as I was remembering it, but I think it does suggest a problem with any sort of self-reporting survey (keeping in mind that a 'bad' survey is whatever doesn't prove the point I'm trying to make at the time. ;) ). And given how embattled homeschoolers tend to feel (I certainly felt it, and that kid in the video feels it), I wouldn't be surprised to discover that homeschoolers generally over-report satisfaction. That's not a hard argument, though.



[1] There are problems with school systems in the U.S. Part of the decision i/r/t home- private- or public-schooling involves looking at the local schools and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

[2] No child is going to synthesize anything in a meaningful or mature way. Their brains aren't even done cooking until the college level. Schools can and should take measures to make sure that difference is respected--by cracking down on bullying and so on. That, however, takes us far afield of the subject at hand.

No, I don't think it does. It's actually at the core of the problem here. I think we have very different perspectives when it comes to the responsibility of training a child. I actually don't agree with you either on the "can" or the "should" in regard to respect and good behavior. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're suggesting behavioral training is the responsibility of a school. I find this to be very problematic.


I have no idea where you're getting that interpretation of what I wrote. My comment is specifically directed toward disciplinary matters. Kids should learn not to be jerks. If they're at school, they should learn it at school. That's the place of the school.

Not only do I not think that there is a biblical precedent for it,


We do many, many things for which there is no biblical precedent. Voting, for instance.

I think it goes against the grain of common sense. Sure, as David pointed out earlier, a school can enforce discipline and punishment for intolerant behavior, but no public school is going to take responsibility for helping a child internalize a moral code. There's a good reason too, beyond the bazillion lawsuits waiting in the wings. The responsibility for engendering a moral conviction—not just enforcing discipline but also training and guiding a child's moral path—falls on the shoulders of parents.


See, I have this odd idea that once a kid figures out that being a jerk is a bad idea with significant consequences, s/he will toe the line. Moral instruction? I'll settle for well-behaved.

I would even go so far as to say that if a child displays systemic prejudice in a school setting, there's a good likelihood that he/she is emulating behavior at home. If that is the case (and I think studies would confirm that more often than not, it is), then there is no way a school is going to be able to change that or abate it, apart from expelling that child. Discipline, but not moral development.


I don't disagree, actually. But this is all a separate question from the socialization one. The objection isn't that you're less likely to be nice to people of other backgrounds--it's that you're less likely to meet them. Sure, we've got problems in the public schools with racism and classism and every other ism you like. But the Other is right there all the same.


Doubtful. The home environment is important, but the phenomenon of rebellion that occurs during the teen years suggests that it's not a determining factor. School can just as easily be a way of escaping a bad home life (though that's obviously not an issue for the folks considering home-schooling here). Besides--if you actually interact with someone of another race it's harder to maintain bigoted opinions (racism and classism--as social-structure issues--are better addressed in the previous point i/r/t declining diversity).

I think you assume a lot when you imply that people of all ethnicities meet on a neutral playing field without any preexisting notions. Racism and classism are far more complicated than you're giving them credit for.


Again, I have no idea where you get the "neutral playing field" out of what I said. Let me break it down:

[1] Home environment is not the sole determining factor in a kid's development.
[2] Bigotry--which is a bit different from racism (racism being largely systemic--at least, as I understand it)--is difficult to maintain when you actually know someone of a different race/culture/sexual orientation/whatever.

Nothing in there about neutral playing fields--just an observation. Note the "harder" and "more difficult" parts--it's nowhere near an absolute statement.

All of this is pretty far afield, though. The point I was trying to make isn't that public schooling is to be preferred--it's that homeschooling has its own set of unique challenges.

Most certainly, I can 100% affirm that statement as well. I'm not wanting to pick a fight with you here, but I feel like the examples of challenges you are bringing up about homeschooling are tired generalizations, which are just as problematic in the public school system as they'd ever be in homeschooling.


Not to pick back....;) But I feel like the responses you offer are slightly above the level of "So's your old man!"--and are the very type of tired arguments I've heard my whole life. Keep in mind--I was homeschooled. I gave a list of "pros" and "cons" a page back. I--personally--feel that I missed out on a diverse circle of acquaintances. I don't think attacking public schools really answers the objection--what it does is point out that both methods have a huge problem that needs to be fixed. But that's not advocacy at that point, it's an observation.

Here we can agree wholeheartedly. I would certainly not claim to say that public school is the wrong choice for children, or that homeschooling is the superior choice. I would suggest that the sunny outlook on public school as a prime paradigm in which to teach tolerance, as well as meaningful social integration, has been blown way out of proportion in general. There are systemmic problems in the public school that pose serious challenges for children attending those schools, issues just as vital as any homeschooled child faces.


When I meet someone with a sunny outlook on public school I'll tell them all wet. ;) I'm glad we agree on this last point, at least.

TL;DR version: I don't think that public school is ideal. I do think that homeschooling presents special problems i/r/t socialization that simply pointing out the problems with public school does not address.

Edited by NBooth, 19 January 2012 - 07:16 PM.


#28 Joel C

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:50 AM

Well, all argument is autobiography. My pushback is actually not too dissimilar from your own--just from the opposite direction. As a homeschooler, I spent all my life surrounded by people who would poo-poo the very idea that socialization might be a problem. For some folks it might not be; and I certainly don't want to suggest that home-schooled kids are by and large less socially adept than kids who go to public school. What I am suggesting is that there's a particular sort of experience that I--and kids like me--missed out on, and it's unserious to dismiss it with a blithe "oh, well, they turn out ok after all." We do turn out ok. The question is--what did we miss?

I certainly don't want to belittle or dismiss your own perspective. We all have experiences that engrain themselves into our way of looking at the world, and homeschooling is certainly a strong catalyst in that regard. While there are many ways in which my homeschool experience is very different from what you've described of your own, I admit that I can't claim to have the comprehensive perspective on homeschooling. I would only ask that you concede the same point. :) And for the record, I don't see why public school kids should be any less willing to ask that same question you just asked.

Oliver James suggests as much in The Selfish Capitalist. For instance, on p. 197, James observes that "around 15 per cent of English-speakers have 'repressor' personalities--will say they are happy whatever their true state.' He goes on to point out the self-esteem culture (again, USians generally score themselves as 'high' in self-esteem because that's what the culture wants).

Ok, so 15% might not be as 'significant' as I was remembering it, but I think it does suggest a problem with any sort of self-reporting survey (keeping in mind that a 'bad' survey is whatever doesn't prove the point I'm trying to make at the time. ;) ). And given how embattled homeschoolers tend to feel (I certainly felt it, and that kid in the video feels it), I wouldn't be surprised to discover that homeschoolers generally over-report satisfaction. That's not a hard argument, though.

We've probably reached an impasse here. Either a longitudinal, peer-reviewed study is accurate, or it isn't. Besides, it sounds like what James is referring to are casual interactions, not formal survey questions which ask respondents for honest answers. I guess for my part, I trust the experts to do their job.

I have no idea where you're getting that interpretation of what I wrote. My comment is specifically directed toward disciplinary matters. Kids should learn not to be jerks. If they're at school, they should learn it at school. That's the place of the school.

I apologize, I must have misunderstood you. It wasn't so explicit in your initial comment. Perhaps, though, discipline has become the role of the school because so many parents have first passed along that stewardship.

See, I have this odd idea that once a kid figures out that being a jerk is a bad idea with significant consequences, s/he will toe the line. Moral instruction? I'll settle for well-behaved.

Hmm. I'd be interested to hear you elaborate a bit more on that. From my perspective, there are plenty of people with no moral fiber who are well-behaved, as long as they think they'll avoid punishment. If it's true that American culture has settled for simply "well-behaved" children in our society, then I'd personally conclude that we are facing a very, very big problem.

I don't disagree, actually. But this is all a separate question from the socialization one. The objection isn't that you're less likely to be nice to people of other backgrounds--it's that you're less likely to meet them. Sure, we've got problems in the public schools with racism and classism and every other ism you like. But the Other is right there all the same.

As far as seeking to help a child interact meaningfully with diversity, this seems a little pessimistic to me.

Again, I have no idea where you get the "neutral playing field" out of what I said. Let me break it down:

[1] Home environment is not the sole determining factor in a kid's development.
[2] Bigotry--which is a bit different from racism (racism being largely systemic--at least, as I understand it)--is difficult to maintain when you actually know someone of a different race/culture/sexual orientation/whatever.

I think I would just submit the important clarification that while home is certainly not the sole determining factor in a child's development, it most certainly is the primary determining factor.

I don't think the differentiation of "bigotry" from systemic racism/prejudice would hold up under close inspection. Bigotry, in my understanding, is more or less an outworking of an underlying racism/classism/etc.

Not to pick back....;) But I feel like the responses you offer are slightly above the level of "So's your old man!"--and are the very type of tired arguments I've heard my whole life.

I'm sorry you feel that way, and I apologize if I came off as abrasive. It's unfortunate my rebuttals were received as only slightly above the level of rash retorts. I've tried to give good precedent, both philosophical and statistical, for my thought process.

Keep in mind--I was homeschooled.

Believe it or not, I haven't forgotten. :)

I gave a list of "pros" and "cons" a page back. I--personally--feel that I missed out on a diverse circle of acquaintances. I don't think attacking public schools really answers the objection--what it does is point out that both methods have a huge problem that needs to be fixed. But that's not advocacy at that point, it's an observation.

I don't mean to demean your sense of missing out on those things. Of course your perspective is legitimate, and I'm certain you're not alone in your experience. I, however, had a very different homeschooling experience, and I think that while each of our respective experiences are legitimate, they're probably not representative of the complete picture. 2.9 million students are going to represent a fairly diverse (see? I worked it in!) group of people.

I think, perhaps, you misunderstand my intention in this conversation. I really don't want to demean public schooling, but rather point out what seems rather obvious to me, which is that homeschooling is no more inherently problematic than any other schooling paradigm. While public schooling certainly has some good selling points, it also has some significant drawbacks. More often than not, it seems that public schooling is taken as a given, and homeschooling is treated like a second-class idea, like the thing someone turns to when they've eliminated every other option. Perhaps it's because I had a very positive experience with homeschooling, but I feel like it's as strong a schooling concept as anything else out there, and gets an unfair shake much of the time. I guess I'm willing to go to bat for it, because I feel like it has just as much potential to be a successful and meaningful schooling paradigm as anything else out there.

When I meet someone with a sunny outlook on public school I'll tell them all wet.

I'd be happy to introduce them to you. There are several who have already posted in this thread. :)

Edited by Joel C, 20 January 2012 - 01:06 AM.


#29 NBooth

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:50 AM

I think this is getting a bit too involved at this point. Please don't think [1] that I mean to dismiss your own experience, or [2] that I devalue my education. I don't. I'm just trying to suggest that the trade-off here is a very real thing.

I had a long quote about repressor personalities and the difference between racism and bigotry--and I would be happy to continue the discussion of morality vs. not-being-a-jerk in another thread or in PM--but really, it's all so far afield that it's not really worth pursuing here.

Apologies if I came across as abrasive, myself. But honestly--doesn't all this seem a tad too familiar? I think it's a sign of how tired the whole discussion is, rather than any lack of insight on either side. The studies you link are helpful, and there's certainly more like them; Richard G. Medlin's article "Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization" (Peabody Journal of Education , Vol. 75, No. 1/2, The Home Education Movement in Context, Practice, and Theory (2000), pp. 107-123) is one example. In it, Medlin comes down strongly on the side of homeschooling, but only after carefully considering survey data that indicates dissatisfaction among homeschooled kids and so on and so forth.

(Meanwhile, in the same issue, we find "Participation and Perception: Looking at Home Schooling through a Multicultural Lens" by Susan A. McDowell, Annette R. Sanchez and Susan S. Jones. I've not read either article in depth, but the latter has some interesting stuff--such as, apparently, the fact that Whites both tend to home-educate in far greater numbers than minorities and tend to be more negative about it).

All the same, while socialization is a valid concern, I can't help but think that the discussion will always end up in an argument about which method is worse. It's a very negative direction for the whole thing to take. There are lots of good things about homeschooling that have already been mentioned: the ability to self-pace, the ability to study arcane subject matter, etc etc etc. There are certainly good people involved in it. By the same token, there are fantastic opportunities and experiences that homeschooled kids miss out on, and I don't think it's bashing homeschooling to say that. A balanced consideration should admit these limits without feeling the need to go on the defensive--particularly when (it seems to me) there's not really anyone on the attack.

#30 M. Leary

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:13 AM

This is all really good stuff to evaluate here. Thanks for all the insight shared.

Taking this from a different angle, I have been probing my daughter for her preferences on this issue. Granted, her knowledge and experience base is very small at this point, but I do like to talk things through with her. She expressed an excitement about going to school, and a little light bulb went off for me based on some of the nature of her responses.

She likes school. She likes the process, the community of learning, putting her pencils away, hanging her stuff in her cubby. This is exactly what I felt about school as a child. I really loved going to school, so much so that I have since spent my entire life in schools as a professor, administrator, and policy developer. Both of us just really like school, and homeschooling may not appeal to her on that basis.

Ultimately, it is our decision to make for her - but I found this little discovery interesting.

#31 Anna J

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:13 PM

As an extremely shy person by nature, homeschooled until freshman year of high school, I will add: going to a public school doesn't necessarily teach kids to socialize with the *right* kind of people they need to be around to learn social interaction; sometimes the result is enclaves of like-mindedness, shy and bookish kids hanging out with other shy and bookish kids, just like in homeschool groups.

And despite my sheltered existence, I never once in my whole life did anything that could be considered "rebelling." That is, until I started working at IMAGE. (My parents pray for my soul daily now. Ha.)

#32 Joel C

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 04:00 PM

I think this is getting a bit too involved at this point. Please don't think [1] that I mean to dismiss your own experience, or [2] that I devalue my education. I don't. I'm just trying to suggest that the trade-off here is a very real thing.

I'm not offended in the least, and I've enjoyed this discussion thus far. I absolutely agree with you that there is a trade-off, I'd be shortsighted not to. But my intention, as mentioned above, is to promote the idea that people aren't necessarily getting the lesser end of the stick if they decide to homeschool. That's really all I'm interested in affirming in this discussion.

I also appreciate the extra studies you mentioned. We're probably more on the same page than it may seem in consideration of the last few posts. I'm not interested in having an argument for argument's sake, nor do I want to lionize homeschooling beyond reason; but I do feel like this is a worthwhile discussion to have. I don't think we've been disagreeing about whether one or the other is worse; at least that's not my intention. Any schooling paradigm—including both homeschooling and public schooling—will include both strong upsides and challenges. I hope I've not berated public schooling unfairly, I certainly have plenty of friends who come from a very positive public school experience. I guess for me, I see it more as the parents than the paradigm that defines how well a child will do in any respective setting. I'm a strong advocate of the home as the place which most shapes a child's understanding of life. I liked what John said earlier, which is that while they don't homeschool, they treat their home as a source of education and personal development, a place to shape the hearts and minds of their children. I think that's fantastic.

Ultimately, I'm advocating so strongly for homeschooling because I think it deserves as fair a consideration as anything else. Like I said before, I don't consider it to be a second-tier choice, but rather just as legitimate an option as any school-based setting. This discussion may be familiar—"tired"—to you, but I daresay it's brand new for some people tuning in. Call me a homeschool-awareness advocate, if you like. :) I strongly believe in homeschooling as a viable and equally important schooling option for parents, and for those who are unfamiliar with it, I want to help provide some balance and perspective to the picture.

I think we're both coming to this discussion with very strong personal experiences with homeschooling. For myself, I don't have as much of the feeling you expressed that there were things you missed, that your public schooled friends experienced. My parents were willing to let me venture out into a lot of different experiences, but helped to shape those experiences according to the bounds of my personality. To me, that's part of the beauty of homeschooling, that parents can involve their children in an unlimited array of classes, experiences, and activities, but at the pace and amount appropriate to each individual child. In the end, however these kinds of things are very subjective, especially considering all the different homeschooling methods out there. Not really worth arguing about, as neither of us can detach ourselves from our own past experiences.

I had a long quote about repressor personalities and the difference between racism and bigotry--and I would be happy to continue the discussion of morality vs. not-being-a-jerk in another thread or in PM--but really, it's all so far afield that it's not really worth pursuing here.

That's fine with me. I personally feel pretty strongly about the need to help children develop and own a personal sense of moral and ethical conviction, instead of just affirming or chastising behavior. However, I don't know if having a back-and-forth about it is going to change either of our minds. The same is probably true of the racism/bigotry argument.

Edited by Joel C, 20 January 2012 - 04:02 PM.


#33 NBooth

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:55 AM

We're probably more on the same page than it may seem in consideration of the last few posts.


I think that's undeniable. I want to emphasize that I'm not bashing homeschooling, and my own experience was on the whole a good one. What regrets I have hardly outweigh the satisfaction I feel for being able to study at my own pace, follow my own interests, and so on.

I will also note that these issues of socialization/diversity will probably vary greatly depending on where one lives and what kind of covering the state requires (if any). Small towns in South Georgia have fewer opportunities for either than larger cities presumably do.

#34 bloop

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 08:05 AM

Yes, there's a protectionist "religious right" element within homeschooling.


Yeah, my biggest problem with homeschooling is where the parents' goal is to not educate i.e. teaching evolutionary theory as "crazy godless people say we came from monkeys". BZZZT!

If a parent can do a better job than their public school system, and has the time and resources, then they should go for it.

Full disclosure: I'm a public school mathematics instructor.

Edited by bloop, 23 January 2012 - 08:11 AM.


#35 Thom Wade

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:02 PM

We've probably reached an impasse here. Either a longitudinal, peer-reviewed study is accurate, or it isn't. Besides, it sounds like what James is referring to are casual interactions, not formal survey questions which ask respondents for honest answers. I guess for my part, I trust the experts to do their job.


In my experience with people, it is accurate when a person agrees with the results and not accurate when they disagree. :)

On the homeschooling front, outside of a few times, my experiences with homeschoolers have been the angry "I am not gonna let the godless liberal schools get their hooks in my kids" variety. So, I appreciate hearing from folks who do not fall into that category.

#36 Joel C

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:49 PM

In my experience with people, it is accurate when a person agrees with the results and not accurate when they disagree. :)

Potay-to, potah-to. This is silly rabbit-hair splitting. [EDITED TO ADD:] :)

On the homeschooling front, outside of a few times, my experiences with homeschoolers have been the angry "I am not gonna let the godless liberal schools get their hooks in my kids" variety. So, I appreciate hearing from folks who do not fall into that category.

Yeah, my biggest problem with homeschooling is where the parents' goal is to not educate i.e. teaching evolutionary theory as "crazy godless people say we came from monkeys". BZZZT!

Well, I've met public-schooled kids and parents who have similar sentiments. However, I don't form my conclusion around those extreme exceptions. Perhaps the problem you both have is less to do with the paradigm, and more to do with the lack of exposure to a wide variety of people from the homeschooling circles. Consider that none of the eight admitted homeschooled or homeschooling people in this thread have affirmed such a skewed stereotype.

However, I will admit that this video may contradict my more reasoned perspective of homeschoolers.

Edited by Joel C, 24 January 2012 - 03:11 PM.


#37 NBooth

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:12 PM


In my experience with people, it is accurate when a person agrees with the results and not accurate when they disagree. :)

Potay-to, potah-to. This is silly rabbit-hair splitting. [EDITED TO ADD:] :)


I have a less polite version that goes something like "statistics are the trollops of reasoned argument."

On the homeschooling front, outside of a few times, my experiences with homeschoolers have been the angry "I am not gonna let the godless liberal schools get their hooks in my kids" variety. So, I appreciate hearing from folks who do not fall into that category.

Yeah, my biggest problem with homeschooling is where the parents' goal is to not educate i.e. teaching evolutionary theory as "crazy godless people say we came from monkeys". BZZZT!

Well, I've met public-schooled kids who have similar sentiments. However, I don't form my conclusion around those extreme exceptions. Perhaps the problem you both have is less to do with the paradigm, and more to do with the lack of exposure to a wide variety of people from the homeschooling circles. Consider that none of the eight admitted homeschooled or homeschooling people in this thread have affirmed such a skewed stereotype.


Not entirely affirmed, perhaps, but in my experience it's hardly an unfair stereotype--particularly since the best-selling homeschool textbooks tend to cater to exactly this isolationist tendency. Perhaps those of us who aren't fringe-dwellers are the real exceptions.

Then again, perhaps it depends on exactly what part of the region/nation/world you live in. I would expect homeschooling families from rural areas like I grew up in to be more inclined to isolationism/distrust of science-liberals-whatever than homeschooling folk in the more urban areas, where there's already a far greater variety in the jostling mass of humanity. Similarly, I would expect income/education of the parents to be related to how isolationist they actually are. But I have no easy way to test either assumption.

However, I will admit that this video may contradict my more reasoned perspective of homeschoolers.


Dear sweet merciful heavens. I couldn't make it more than a few seconds in.

Edited by NBooth, 24 January 2012 - 03:25 PM.


#38 Thom Wade

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:27 PM

[quote name='Joel C' date='24 January 2012 - 02:49 PM' timestamp='1327434549' post='265826']

[/quote]
Well, I've met public-schooled kids and parents who have similar sentiments. However, I don't form my conclusion around those extreme exceptions. Perhaps the problem you both have is less to do with the paradigm, and more to do with the lack of exposure to a wide variety of people from the homeschooling circles. Consider that none of the eight admitted homeschooled or homeschooling people in this thread have affirmed such a skewed stereotype.[/quote]


The eight minority members? :) The few I have known who did not fit that mold often complained that they felt awfully alone in their homeschooling communities because their reasons for homeschooling were so...out of whack with the norm. They also complained about the dearth of textbooks out there that were not of the "Man rode on dinosaurs to work!" variety. ;) Understand I went to a church that was really into homeschooling...to the point that most married members felt obligated to come to a decision quickly on the birth of their child. People would talk about not being sure with a tone of "I would not admit to the pastor I am unsure". So... my experience suggests that the eight members here are the fringe, but hopefully a rapidly expanding minority. :)

#39 NBooth

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:40 PM


Well, I've met public-schooled kids and parents who have similar sentiments. However, I don't form my conclusion around those extreme exceptions. Perhaps the problem you both have is less to do with the paradigm, and more to do with the lack of exposure to a wide variety of people from the homeschooling circles. Consider that none of the eight admitted homeschooled or homeschooling people in this thread have affirmed such a skewed stereotype.



The eight minority members? :) The few I have known who did not fit that mold often complained that they felt awfully alone in their homeschooling communities because their reasons for homeschooling were so...out of whack with the norm. They also complained about the dearth of textbooks out there that were not of the "Man rode on dinosaurs to work!" variety. ;) Understand I went to a church that was really into homeschooling...to the point that most married members felt obligated to come to a decision quickly on the birth of their child. People would talk about not being sure with a tone of "I would not admit to the pastor I am unsure". So... my experience suggests that the eight members here are the fringe, but hopefully a rapidly expanding minority. :)


Emphasis mine, because this is definitely an issue. My own upbringing wasn't exactly evolution-hostile; it was more evolution-indifferent.We didn't study Answers in Genesis-approved textbooks, but we did have plenty of AiG material laying around the house, and I wasn't exposed to any real science on the matter until college. Fortunately, my parents instilled enough of a love of learning--and respect for, y'know, actual scientists--that it didn't take long for me to synthesize the science and move on. Not everyone is so fortunate.*

______________
*The link refers to declining church attendance, not homeschooling per se, but insofar as the two seem linked, I think it's not an unreasonable connection to make.

#40 Joel C

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:01 PM

I have a less polite version that goes something like "statistics are the trollops of reasoned argument."

And yet you had no problem using statistics of your own in our previous discussion, no?

Not entirely affirmed, perhaps, but in my experience it's hardly an unfair stereotype--particularly since the best-selling homeschool textbooks tend to cater to exactly this isolationist tendency. Perhaps those of us who aren't fringe-dwellers are the real exceptions.

I'm feeling a lot like a broken record player here, and I don't have the time to get deeply involved in another long discussion, but why is it assumed that homeschooling has any more of a problem with this than the very loud, embarrassing culture war battles to get creationism to be taught in public schools? Fundamentalists Christians of every ilk, and in every corner of education, are peddling creationism. If a lot of Fundamentalist Christian public school parents had their way, such textbooks would be included in public school curriculum.

Then again, perhaps it depends on exactly what part of the region/nation/world you live in. I would expect homeschooling families from rural areas like I grew up in to be more inclined to isolationism/distrust of science-liberals-whatever than homeschooling folk in the more urban areas, where there's already a far greater variety in the jostling mass of humanity. Similarly, I would expect income/education of the parents to be related to how isolationist they actually are. But I have no easy way to test either assumption.

I can't speak to that, but I do agree that environment has a lot to do with it.

Dear sweet merciful heavens. I couldn't make it more than a few seconds in.

Oh no, don't tell me you missed the punchline! :)

The eight minority members? :)

I'm sorry, when you said the eight minority members, did you mean the only homeschoolers who posted here? :)

The few I have known who did not fit that mold often complained that they felt awfully alone in their homeschooling communities because their reasons for homeschooling were so...out of whack with the norm. They also complained about the dearth of textbooks out there that were not of the "Man rode on dinosaurs to work!" variety. ;) Understand I went to a church that was really into homeschooling...to the point that most married members felt obligated to come to a decision quickly on the birth of their child. People would talk about not being sure with a tone of "I would not admit to the pastor I am unsure". So... my experience suggests that the eight members here are the fringe, but hopefully a rapidly expanding minority. :)

Referencing what I said above, sometimes parents try to force their school district to accept creationist curriculum, sometimes they take their kids out of school and push it themselves. Fundamentalists are everywhere, in every schooling paradigm.

Another thing, building off of your last sentence, which is admittedly conjecture on my part, but perhaps also a strong educated guess (no pun intended), is that there is a whole generation of homeschoolers who will be coming of age in the next couple of decades, and I imagine that whatever weird ghosts that do remain in the closet of homeschooling will be shooed away by these adult homeschoolers, as they become parents themselves, begin to homeschool, and negate the stereotypes. Homeschooling will only become more mainstream looking forward.

Emphasis mine, because this is definitely an issue. My own upbringing wasn't exactly evolution-hostile; it was more evolution-indifferent.We didn't study Answers in Genesis-approved textbooks, but we did have plenty of AiG material laying around the house, and I wasn't exposed to any real science on the matter until college. Fortunately, my parents instilled enough of a love of learning--and respect for, y'know, actual scientists--that it didn't take long for me to synthesize the science and move on. Not everyone is so fortunate.*

My parents took me to hear both Ken Ham and Hugh Ross. I read Creation Ex Nihilo, and Francis Collins. My parents were never pushed "old earth" or "young earth", they presented us with both and gave us the freedom to decide. Peddling Creationism might or might not be a problem, but if it is a problem, it's one that is shared in all educational arenas.

Edited by Joel C, 24 January 2012 - 05:29 PM.