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Homeschooled tropers, Unsocialize!:

 1 Jimmmyman 10, Thu, 13th Oct '11 11:33:11 AM from polan Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
cannot into space
Okay, so the title is a horrible joke on an unfortunately large stereotype. But after noticing that there are a lot of Homeschooled tropers, I figured we should have somewhere to discuss how school is going, at 10:15 in the morning, when we should be doing school, but aren't.

So who else is on here?
Go play Kentucky Route Zero. Now.
I was homeschooled all of my life. Currently a freshman in college, bent on discrediting those who say homeschoolers are poorly prepared for it.
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 3 Jimmmyman 10, Thu, 13th Oct '11 3:30:51 PM from polan Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
cannot into space
High Five!

-Misses high five, because he has never actually high fived anyone-

oops.

edited 13th Oct '11 3:34:25 PM by Jimmmyman10

Go play Kentucky Route Zero. Now.
Misanthropic Wiccan Nerd
I was homeschooled for about a year and a half in high school. That doesn't really count, does it? :/
 5 Jimmmyman 10, Fri, 14th Oct '11 7:28:06 PM from polan Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
cannot into space
Nah, you can come! We won't judge you... when you are around!

Just kidding.
Go play Kentucky Route Zero. Now.
 6 feotakahari, Fri, 14th Oct '11 7:48:26 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
My mother's one of those people who acts as a "teacher" for homeschoolers (since they can't legally be without a teacher in California.) She once argued that teaching a kid middle-school classes is functionally equivalent to teaching them how to use the toilet. (Which seems kind of an odd argument for someone with a teaching degree to make, but I'm not about to argue . . .)
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
名無しさん
I've never been home-schooled, and really the only home-schooled types in the area I'm from are of the Plymouth Brethren persuasion, so my experience with this is minimal. I've a few questions I wanted to ask, though, so if it's no imposition:

  • What reasons, apart from religious something-or-other and geographical isolation, might there be for home-schooling a child? The prevalent image seems to involve not-quite-normal parents (which, admittedly, may include a big chunk of the religious something-or-other, but that's an issue that I think we can say no more about), and I'm sure that this doesn't really explain things... So, home-schooled Tropers, do you know, if not for religious or geographical reasons, why you were home-schooled?

  • Is this more common in the USA than elsewhere? I'm not sure whether it's due to the media being largely American, or perhaps the relatively greater presence of "obscure" religious groups and inhabitable-but-isolated regions in the States that leads to this impression, but it seems that almost everything I hear about home-schooling comes from the US. Is this representative of the reality?

  • I'm sure this varies by area and the like, but how comprehensive is a home-schooled education? Are home-schooled kids held to the same standards as they would be at a normal school? Are there compulsory subjects, rules about passing and failing, external moderation, and the like?

edited 15th Oct '11 6:18:00 AM by ekuseruekuseru

 8 Jimmmyman 10, Sat, 15th Oct '11 7:03:36 AM from polan Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
cannot into space
[up]
  • The main reasons people home school are because they want to teach religious stuff, they want a better education then the school system can provide, or (rarely) their child is special needs and would not function well in a normal school. Most homeschooling do it for the first or second reasons, and end up graduating quicker and with higher grades, allowing us to thumb our noses at you. (That was sarcasm, I'm not a jerk.)
  • I think it is much more common in the US, but I am not sure.
  • Yes and no. Different states have different laws, from requiring students to take the FCAT, to allowing them to do pretty much whatever they want. Regardless, 99% of homeschoolers get taught the exact same stuff you get taught in school, with perhaps some changes as to where the emphasis is. The thing is, Homeschoolers can customize their education however they want. Instead of reading a textbook on the battle of Gettysburg, it is not uncommon to hear of a homeschool group that decided to drive to Gettysburg instead. In the end, 99% of the time we learn the same stuff School kids do. It's the other 1% that are the nut-jobs, but those exist in any group of people. (Note: In Florida, the rule is that all homeschooled students must either take an exam like the FCAT, or else have a teacher come and do an evaluation with them.)
Go play Kentucky Route Zero. Now.
名無しさん
[up]Gee, if I wanted a better education and higher grades for my kid, I'd just send him to a private school.tongue

Thanks for explaining. Cleared a few things up. Of course, if more people can give insight, I'd be glad.

 10 Rottweiler, Sat, 15th Oct '11 8:50:45 AM from Portland, Oregon
Dog and Pony Show
What reasons, apart from religious something-or-other and geographical isolation, might there be for home-schooling a child?

Well I've given considerable thought to doing it when I have children, that they learn an excellent curriculum efficiently rather than a mediocre one inefficiently (i.e. because the teacher has 30 students to control, any number of whom will be problem students).
“Love is the eternal law whereby the universe was created and is ruled.” — St. Bernard
Is that cake frosting?
I have not been homeschooled, but I too would seriously consider homeschooling if I ever have children.

The schools I went to were relatively good, at least compared to some stories I hear; but still, the whole system was incredibly inefficient, with the teaching programme going on at a snail's pace and a lot of time wasted in pointless busywork.

I, at least, got much more socialization-wise out of school than in it, so that does not strike me as much of an issue.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

@ekuseruekuseru:

1: Geographical isolation is only a factor for a tiny fraction of homeschool students (although frequent travel is a somewhat more common issue). Generally, the most common motivations are:
  • Religious or moral objections to elements of school curriculum.
  • Dislike of school culture, bullying, drugs, etc issues.
  • Disillusionment with the ability of the school system to teach effectively.
  • Learning disability or other handicap which makes school difficult for the child.

2: Certainly homeschooling is a much more visible movement in the US then elsewhere. I don't think isolation has much effect, as very few areas lack a school here. However, American culture places a very high value on individuality, which encourages parents to "buck the system". Also, the massive upsurge in homeschooling over recent decades has its roots in several American groups.

3: The style of instruction varies massively from family to family. In my case, I had almost no structure at all to my education. My mom simply laid out subjects for me to study and I more or less learned on my own. On the other hand, some of my homeschooled friends have parents who handle it almost exactly like a regular school, right down to waking their kids up at 8:00 and having set "class periods" throughout the day. The quality of the education is generally no worse than a standard school education, and by most measures homeschoolers perform much better on average.

As for the legal side of it, in the US it depends entirely on the state. Some states do not regulate it at all; the parents can just stop sending their kids to school. Others (generally the dirty liberal ones :P) have very rigid requirements for curriculum and benchmarks. In most states, homeschool parents are required to notify their local school board in writing when they first take their kids out of school, and then have their kids take some sort of exam every year or two. Generally nothing happens if the kids do poorly on the exam, unless it is a persistent problem or the parents are already in trouble for something else.
<><
 13 Jimmmyman 10, Sat, 15th Oct '11 7:59:33 PM from polan Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
cannot into space
Florida has what is quite possibly the best virtual school in the country, Florida Virtual School (FLVS). (If you don't know what I mean, we have an American History course that was made by game designers to be a video game. Suck on that!)

For homeschoolers in Florida, ITS FREE. YEAH, BABY!

Seriously though, Florida has some of the best home school stuff in the nation.
Go play Kentucky Route Zero. Now.
[up] That is true. I have been a homeschooler in Florida, and we practically owned the state government.

Up here where I live now, they are more well-intentioned-but-ignorant as regards homeschooling.
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 15 feotakahari, Sun, 16th Oct '11 1:35:19 AM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
I was homeschooled because I had a horrible school experience. I've explained it more elsewhere, but the gist of it is that some of the teachers disliked me for reasons beyond my control, and they gave tacit approval to bullies who targeted me. I left school and went straight into psychiatric counseling, and I didn't go back to school until seventh grade, when my mother thought I was ready to handle it again. (There were a lot of other homeschoolers in the area, and my mother both organized and made me attend events for them, so I wasn't completely isolated.)

As for my homeschooling experience, I worked from a set of textbooks specifically designed for home use. I'm not sure how great the workload was compared to normal school, but I think my education was comprehensive for the grades I was supposed to be in.

edited 16th Oct '11 1:36:56 AM by feotakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
 16 Jimmmyman 10, Sun, 16th Oct '11 11:19:43 AM from polan Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
cannot into space
[up][up] It rocks.

The best part about homeschooling is having a flexible schedule: If you feel like skipping a day and driving to disneyworld/land/any other local amusment park, you just get extra school done the day before. My best friend does literally no school at all during the day; he just sleeps in, and stays up late at night doing it.

edited 16th Oct '11 11:20:20 AM by Jimmmyman10

Go play Kentucky Route Zero. Now.
skipping a day and driving to disneyworld *in the first week of December when everyone else is taking finals*

This is one of the things I miss about Florida.
<><
 18 Jimmmyman 10, Sun, 16th Oct '11 7:50:26 PM from polan Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
cannot into space
[up] Been there, done that, multiple times, in fact.
Go play Kentucky Route Zero. Now.
[up] Have you ever gone to Fort Wilderness just to ride the boats and the monorail around without paying anything?
<><
名無しさん
I'm not sure that flexibility in your education is necessarily a good thing. Most people don't have that luxury when they enter the workforce, so the idea seems to be that you should get used to it before it costs you a job.

[up] Well, if you see the primary purpose of school as being practice in accomplishing pointless drudgery on time, then yes, that is true.
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 22 Jimmmyman 10, Mon, 17th Oct '11 8:44:33 AM from polan Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
cannot into space
[up][up] That's what college is for. Also, I do have a pretty scheduled life. But in a real job, I would be able to take vacation days, just like I can with homeschooling.
Go play Kentucky Route Zero. Now.
名無しさん
I'll be honest, it was far too easy for me to get around the "pointless drudgery" in high-school, spend most of my time doing whatever I felt like, and actually enjoy what I was studying. But most people don't manage that. Also, I'm hoping that I'm in for a rude shock with university, because I really want something to give me the kick-up-the-arse I need to get organised and enter society. If it doesn't come, I guess it never will.

So, in short, it seems like home-schooling is not, in the end, so very different from regular high-school, unless the parents are unhinged. Which brings me to my next question:

Would you consider attending university by correspondence? That means online courses, and only coming on to the campus for major exams. Home-tertiary-schooling - yea or nay?

 24 Rottweiler, Tue, 18th Oct '11 8:14:08 AM from Portland, Oregon
Dog and Pony Show
@Carciofus:
The schools I went to were relatively good, at least compared to some stories I hear; but still, the whole system was incredibly inefficient, with the teaching programme going on at a snail's pace and a lot of time wasted in pointless busywork.

This is what worries me. According to my parents, at age three I knew all the phonics-compliant CVC words and would type them into a computer to stave off boredom when they were in an electronics store. By the time my motor skills had advanced enough to write my name near the end of kindergarten, I was reading Hardy Boys books. By the time I had arithmetic homework in first grade, I'd memorized the multiplication table to 9*9. This meant I was already a disciplinary problem, because I'd rush through assignments and then do stuff instead of sitting silently while the slower kids worked.

The efficient thing to do is to let advanced children go through a grade's curriculum as fast as they can, not effectively put them in Time Out at the end of each assignment.
“Love is the eternal law whereby the universe was created and is ruled.” — St. Bernard
 25 Jimmmyman 10, Tue, 18th Oct '11 9:09:46 AM from polan Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
cannot into space
[up][up] Well, for me, no. Simply because what I want to study can't be done through correspondence.
Go play Kentucky Route Zero. Now.
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