Saturday, June 30, 2012

~ The Magic Number ~

There seem to be lots of magical numbers out there. Like 5. That is the age when all of a sudden as a parent you become too stupid to teach your children. They must go to public school to learn, to become bright, prosperous adults who productively contribute to society. Only public school teachers have this ability. Home education was recently compared to taking on your own kids dental work?? 


I once had someone ask me how much that state paid me to home school my kids, "ya know, for books and stuff" Shouldn't I at least get a portion of what a school would get to educate my children since I was taking responsibility for my children's learning., I can get a tax deduction on state approved curriculum (which isn't much) but the benefits of teaching my children at home are priceless to our family.

I'm not trying to bash public schools or school teachers. Hopefully my friends/family who are teachers know me well enough to know they're doing a good job with a difficult situation and they're fulfilling a vital role. However, I believe the *system* itself is flawed and tends to stifle creativity and independent thought. 

The Top 15 Benefits of Homeschooling
You get to...
  1. Control what your children learn and when they learn it.
  2. Show your children that learning is not boring, but exciting.
  3. Build intimate and meaningful relationships with your children.
  4. Tailor your teaching to fit your children's dominant learning styles.
  5. Give your children in-depth, personal attention in any subject with which they struggle or excel.
  6. Create a weekly schedule that fits your needs and allows you to do things without the constraint of a traditional classroom schedule.
  7. Transfer your values and beliefs to your children and address their questions when they have them.
  8. Protect your children from the negative influences they may encounter outside the home.
  9. Teach more effectively by interacting with your children 1-on-1.
  10. Nurture your children's natural (musical, artistic, mathematic) talents so they thrive and grow.
  11. Address "big issues" with your children when you feel they're ready.
  12. Share with your children the common, everyday joys of life.
  13. Help your children mature through the difficult times in their lives.
  14. Share the joy of teaching your children with your spouse.
  15. Take vacations during the school year and make them educational.
You may have to...
  1. Spend 24 hours a day with your children for several days at a time.
  2. Justify homeschooling to family and friends who oppose your decision to learn at home.
  3. Be very patient with your children when it seems they aren't learning anything at all.
  4. Deal with the frustrations of sometimes being "behind."
  5. Spend more money on your children's education than you're accustomed to.
  6. Get out of your comfort zone to learn how to homeschool effectively.
  7. Encourage your children even when you don't feel like it.
  8. Seek advice from other homeschooling parents when you encounter problems you're not equipped to handle.
  9. Research a few curriculum programs before you find one that works for you and your family.
  10. Put forth more effort to find children with whom your children can build quality relationships.

What about Socialization? This is the most asked question I get. Silly me, I though school was supposed to be about education.

(the following was something that I copied a long time ago, I do not know who to give credit to)

When people talk about and debate the issue of homeschooling socialization, they are discussing whether children are acquiring the proper social skills in a home educational environment as opposed to the 
traditional classroom. Some critics will say that a homeschooling environment where social interaction is limited, is detrimental to a childs growth and development. 

But sociological and scientific studies have proven this perception to be wrong of social skills. We need good social skills for all of the important relationships in our lives; career opportunities, healthy marriages, 
good parent/child rapore, etc. The question here is whether a childs ability to acquire social skills depends on an abundance of peer interactions such as children experience in public schools, or whether 
they are improved more rapidly in a healthy home education environment. In part the answer to this question lies in where the child will develop the healthiest measure of self-esteem, as this factor greatly 
influences the level of confidence and others-centeredness with which they relate the research so our readers can judge for themselves according to the evidence. 

1. Dr. Raymond Moore, author of over 60 books and articles on human 
development, has done extensive research on homeschooling and 
socialization. "The idea that children need to be around many other 
youngsters in order to be 'socialized,'" Dr. Moore writes, "is perhaps 
the most dangerous and extravagant myth in education and child rearing 
today." Children often do not respond well to large groups. They become 
nervous and overexcited by noise and too many people. Learning becomes 
difficult. Behavioral problems develop. After analyzing over 8,000 early 
childhood studies, Dr. Moore concluded that, contrary to popular 
belief, children are best socialized by parents -- not other children. 

2. Dr. Thomas Smedley believes that homeschoolers have superior 
socialization skills, and his research supports this claim. He conducted 
a study in which he administered the Vineyard Adaptive Behavior Scales 
test to identify mature and well-adapted behaviors in children. This 
test evaluates communication skills, socialization, and daily living 
skills. Smedley found that the home-schooled children were more mature 
according to the scores of the Vineland scales, scoring in the 84th 
percentile, while the public school children scored in the 23rd and 27th 

3. The Discovery Institute, a Seattle research facility, published an 
extensive report on homeschooling in 2000 written by Senior Fellow Dr. 
Patricia Lines. She describes several controlled studies comparing the 
social skills of homeschoolers and nonhomeschoolers. The homeschoolers 
scored as "well adjusted." In one study, trained counselors viewed 
videotapes of mixed groups of homeschooled and schooled children at 
play. The counselors didn't know the school status of each child. The 
results? The homeschooled kids demonstrated fewer behavioral problems. 
Dr. Lines' conclusion? "There is no basis to question the social development of homeschooled children." 

4. Here is an excellent link for several different studies of Canadian research on the socialization of homeschoolers: 

5. Gary Knowles, University of Michigan Assistant Professor of 
Education, released a study done at the University of Michigan which 
found that teaching children at home will not make them social misfits. 
Knowles surveyed 53 adults who were taught at home because of ideology 
or geographical isolation. He found that two thirds were married, which 
is the norm for adults their age. None were unemployed or on welfare. He 
found more than three fourths felt that being taught at home had helped 
them to interact with people from different levels of society. He found 
more than 40% attended college and 15% of those had completed a 
graduate degree. Nearly two thirds were self-employed. He stated, "That 
so many of those surveyed were self-employed supports the contention 
that homeschooling tends to enhance a person's self-reliance and 
independence." Ninety-six percent of them said that they would want to 
be taught at home again. He stated, "Many mentioned a strong 
relationship engendered with their parents while others talked about 
self-directed curriculum and individualized pace that a flexible program 
of homeschooling permitted." (From University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 
study of home school adults by Assistant Professor of Education, J.Gary 
Knowles, Associated Press article entitled, "University Study Says 
Home-Taught Children Won't Become Social Misfits," appearing in the 
"Grand Haven Tribune" 9 March 1993.) 

6. Susan McDowell, author of "But What About Socialization? Answering 
the Perpetual Home Schooling Question: A Review of the Literature," has 
researched 24 clinical studies on the socialization of homeschoolers, 
according to Bristol Herald Courier. "It's a non-issue today," said 
McDowell, who earned her Ph.D. in educational leadership from Vanderbilt 
University. She said the research showed homeschooled children to be 
doing well. 

7. Dr. Larry Shyers Ph.D. recieved his degree at the University of 
Florida in part by conducting research on the "Comparison of Social 
Adjustment Between Home and Traditionally Schooled Students". Shyers 
looked at how homeschooled children related with other children. Shyers 
found no significant difference between his two groups in scores on the 
Children's Assertive Behavior Scale. But in direct observation by 
trained observers, he found that home-schooled children had 
significantly fewer problem behaviors (as measured by the Child 
Observation Checklist's Direct Observation Form), than traditionally 
schooled children. This was observed while children played in mixed 
groups from both kinds of schooling background. This observational study 
was reported in some detail in the 1992 Associated Press article. 
Shyers conclusion was that contact with adults, rather than contact with 
other children, is most important in developing social skills in 

Those are just a few of the studies done on homeschooling socialization. 
Socialization which occurs when 15 to 30 kids of the same age are 
placed in a classroom together week after week, is not of a healthy 
nature. Many children who are put into the very competitive school 
environments often end up lacking the confidence to hold a conversation. 
How many public schooled children do you know who show genuine interest 
in conversation and interaction with people of various age groups, 
especially their elders? Conversely you will often find such to be the 
case with homeschoolers. 

Peer pressure is enormous in the traditional classroom. This results in 
rivalry, ridicule, and competition. Kids feel like they need to look and 
sound and be like everyone else, at the risk of forgetting their own 
values or perhaps never discovering who they really are. Does this 
environment foster healthy socialization skills? 

Many homeschoolers are often found enjoying social experiences such as 
museums, parks, church and educational activities. They travel, 
participate in Girl and Boy Scouts, 4-H, and sports. They take art, 
dance, drama, and music classes, just to name a few. Children who learn 
at home are more aware of their purpose in life and ask intelligent 
questions and make accurate observations. As you can see there is much 
evidence to support the positive results of homeschooling socialization.

And just for fun...

"On Mondays and Wednesdays, I will personally corner my son in the bathroom, give him a wedgie, and take his lunch money. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my wife will make sure to tease our children for not being in the in crowd, taking special care to poke fun of any physical abnormalities.
Fridays will be Fad and Peer Pressure Day, in which we will all compete to see who has the coolest toys, most expensive clothes, and the loudest, fastest, and most dangerous car all while dyeing our hair the same color and ripping our jeans."

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