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Author Topic: religion, culture, biology and parental roles  (Read 22244 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 28, 2008, 05:52:35 PM »

In a world where, as wasn't the case during much of humanity's history, at least one of the parents of nuclear families has to work outside of the home, what do you feel is the 'ideal' solution for families and why?

Both parents working part time? Having a SAHM? Or a SAHD? Both parents working full time?

What is the reason behind your 'ideal'?

For instance, if you believe a woman should stay at home full time with her children, is it for:

a) religious reasons: 'God ordained it so', etc.

b) cultural reasons: 'It is traditional in my culture and this is the way I was brought up' etc. or

c) biological reaons: 'Women breastfeed and that is why they should stay with their babies'. Would you change your mind if a woman was given a long maternity leave, like in my country (a year) after which the toddler would not really need to be breastfed ALL the time and could be taken care of by daddy (too)?

To what extent do you think each family should find their own perfect mode of existence? To what extent do you in fact judge others' choices and think there is an outside ideal to be followed? To what extent do you believe there is a particular Orthodox way of dealing with this decision?

What has been your personal experience?

Thank you.

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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008, 07:32:19 PM »

I think each family should do what works best for them.  I just saw a nasty flame war on another board (not a religious one) with SAHMs vs. mothers who work outside the home.  One person wrote that putting kids in daycare means somebody else is raising them.  Another person wrote that because women keep dropping out of the workforce to become SAHMs, women still don't have full equality in the workplace: they're discriminated against because they're expected to leave the job, etc.  That's the problem with extremes: One side has the mistaken assumption that women who work outside of the home--for whatever reason--don't care about raising their kids and just want to foist them onto other people.  And now I've seen another side that has the mistaken assumption that equality in the workplace is important enough that every woman should work even if all her money goes to daycare, even if she really longs to stay at home.

I thought about staying at my job when I became pregnant.  But I was working part-time at a clerical job, so paying for daycare just didn't make sense.  My boss retired just a few days after I left, so it all worked out in the end.

I hear that many women would go crazy at home all day.  I can see why that would happen.  I also hear of men who would love to be stay at home dads.  In many couples, this makes sense, because the wife makes good money and the husband doesn't.  Why use tradition to force such a couple to have the wife at home and the husband at work, when the family can barely survive on his income?






 
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 07:56:45 PM »

I agree, I think what works best is what should be done.  For instance, I could quit my job and stay at home but my family would be without health insurance and I feel it would be unfair to expect my husband to do all the work outside the house.  And yeah, I think I would go a little crazy.  So I work part time and carry our insurance and just barely enough paycheck to cover daycare.  But hey, it works. 
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2008, 08:13:46 PM »

I believe the decision is definitely a personal one and should fit each circumstance, but I do consider myself fortunate in that my husband was making good money at the right time and I had the opportunity to be a SAHM. My younger daughter has taken it one step further and is a SAHM homeschooling Mum (with me doing most of the teaching - how did I get roped into that?). Homeschooling is, however, something I certainly would have done when my kids were at home if there had been the opportunity. I guess it suits my over-protective personality, or something.  Tongue



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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 08:33:42 PM »

Before my wife and I were married we discussed this and we agreed that she should stay home with or kids.  And of course this is personal decision for every couple, but the one factor is essential:  discuss it before you get married and do not avoid the topic because a nasty battle is likely to ensue if the two of you don't find out that you have differing opinions until she is pregnant.
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2008, 02:57:46 PM »

Before my wife and I were married we discussed this and we agreed that she should stay home with or kids.  And of course this is personal decision for every couple, but the one factor is essential:  discuss it before you get married and do not avoid the topic because a nasty battle is likely to ensue if the two of you don't find out that you have differing opinions until she is pregnant.

Indeed, and an argument with a pregnant (read: hormonal) wife is not something you want.   laugh
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2008, 05:19:08 PM »

In a world where, as wasn't the case during much of humanity's history, at least one of the parents of nuclear families has to work outside of the home, what do you feel is the 'ideal' solution for families and why?

Both parents working part time? Having a SAHM? Or a SAHD? Both parents working full time?

What is the reason behind your 'ideal'?

Ideally, both should work. Now if the best job one spouse can get is McDonalds then there may be practical reasons for that person to stay home, their job probably wouldn't even pay for daycare. But I do believe that women dropping out of the workforce to stay at home (generally) causes both social and economic ills. I don't even think it's necessarily healthy for a child to stay at home just with their parents until they go to school and at that point what difference does it make if they come home at three or stay in daycare for two hours and come home at five? In our evolutionary history we were social animals, so while children would stay with parents the wouldn't stay just with parents, they'd continuously be with the entire tribe or society, the tribe or society that would possibly define the limits of the remainder of their lives. It's important for children to be able to socialize with other members of society outside their immediate family from a young age, having a time when they're at home with their parents and a time when they are learning to deal with others is a very healthy thing.

Quote
To what extent do you think each family should find their own perfect mode of existence? To what extent do you in fact judge others' choices and think there is an outside ideal to be followed? To what extent do you believe there is a particular Orthodox way of dealing with this decision?

The economics of the situation always plays a role, but I personally would never marry a woman who did not intend to work and have her own career. Then again, I wouldn't want any more than two children at the absolute most.

Quote
What has been your personal experience?

Both parents worked when I was really young, then my mother stayed at home after I was about four or five. I've long believed that she'd be much happier than she is if she got a job outside of the house, despite her protests to the contrary.
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2008, 12:08:59 AM »

It really is a case by case issue. In Seattle a good childcare center is over $1000 a month for a newborn, about $800 for a child that is 2-3 and $500 for a preschooler. And then a private school is about $1500 a month. Factor in the cost of extra gas, take out food (because when we both work we eat our MUCH more often) and the various other costs (diapers or diaper service) and it would actually cost us MORE if we were both working than it does now for me to stay home. Once all this deployment stuff is more settled I will go back to working part time a couple days a week. But at the moment it costs us less money in the long run if I stay home.
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2008, 10:25:48 AM »

$800 per month for a 2 - 3 year old?  I would sy that is pretty cheap.  I would say that $1000  month is a cheap one and $1200 a month is average; but I suppose it's different everywhere you go.  In Ontario we get a working families supplement which is based off income.

But I agree, if one spouse isn't earning $40,000 a year +, it's hardly worth it for them to work when you factor in the cost.  I'm not saying they shouldn't work but fiancial reasons shouldn't be the primary reason.

In my case with 4 kids, there would a considrable financial burden having them in daycare.
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2008, 10:57:47 AM »

My wife and I like our solution.  She always wanted to stay at home with the children and homeschool, I'm a hard worker and don't mind be the soul bread winner.  The results have been great with our 5 children.  The two oldest who are now home schooled excel.  They are noticeably ahead academically of other children their age.  We have them tested to make sure we are up to speed. Isaac, my 8 year old, is reading books most High Schoolers read, he just finished the complete, original Sherlock Holmes for instance.  We have him write reports to make sure his comprehension is matching his reading skills.  Our 7 year old, Mary, is doing well.  Her reading and writing is were it should be but she really excels in art and we let her spend a lot of time on that.  We have entire walls covered with her art work. The younger kids are in the school room and just mainly do constructive playing.

In order to socialize our kids, we have the older ones in club sports and other activities pretty much year round.  Between this, Church,  piano lessons, and cousins we have seen no socialization issues.  On the contrary, they thrive with other kids.  Sports is great.

Finally, this allows us the flexibility to do things how we choose, we don't have to follow or plan according the school year, etc.  If we want to go on a trip we go, if we want to take the kids to a museum we go.  If my wife and I get a wild hair and want to get lost for a few days, we pack everybody up and go.

This life is not for everybody, but its the best life for us and our children.  My son and I left Friday morning to go to a monastery.  We could not have done that if we were in public schools.  Saturday services started at 4am and Sunday services at 6am.  He was up and dressed sitting on the edge of his bed waiting for me to get up 15 minutes before each service.  I doubt if we lived our lives any other way our son would be so disciplined and excited about God.

My wife gets all the credit.  None of this could happen with her. She's constantly amazed more people don't try to raise their kids this way.  It is worth the effort.
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2008, 05:57:00 AM »

Thank you for your replies! It is wonderfully reassuring to see that Orthodoxy can never support a "one-size-fits-all" cultural ideology. You guys helped me a lot.

My situation:

I live in Serbia, where we never really had a "provider husband + homemaker wife" model. This situation may have only happened to a few fortunate bourgeois families in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, like my great-grandparents. My mother and my grandmothers worked. Maternity leave is paid, a year long, and can easily be prolonged for minor reasons ("my child was sickly in early infancy, so..." etc.). The working hours are reasonable (both parents are usually at home by 3-4 PM), day care is excellent, and grandparents and other family members are usually close and willing to help with childcare. Besides, salaries which would actually feed a whole family are virtually nonexistent. Basically, in Serbia, this is a non-issue. I just always assumed I would work.

I am very energetic and go insane if I don't get out of the house at least once a day. I'll be getting my MA this fall and starting on my PhD. I love what I do. I was offered the perfect job, starting when my daughter is 19 months old - teaching a college course for 5 HOURS A WEEK compressed into only TWO DAYS A WEEK, for a salary that can almost support my family. I'll probably still go out for a few hours every day (to work on my thesis at the library, to teach a few more classes for some extra cash, etc.), but I'll actually be home most of the time!

My husband is a nurturing, calm, gentle high-school graduate, who is such a homebody that he gets irritated if I suggest a walk   Roll Eyes. He plays the guitar and keyboards in a band and they have gigs a couple of nights a week, but he is free during the day. For him, not having to find a "real" job and taking care of kids is a dream come true. Besides, the way things are in Serbia, it is highly doubtful he could ever find a job - doctors and lawyers sometimes have to wait for years to be employed.

My daughter is equally bonded to both of us, and the only time she exhibits a slight preference to me is when she wants to be breastfed.  Wink

Our situation seems clear to rational people, right? By accepting the job, I make my whole family as happy as humanly possible: I get to do the work I love, my husband never has to leave the house, and my daughter gets to spend lots of time with both mom & dad.

However, for the first year of my baby's life, I was in absolute wilderness, cut off from family, friends, and my spiritual father. I spent a lot of time on the Internet, especially CAF - Catholic Answers Forums, a very conservative US-based site. The women there were either SAHMs or trying desperately to become that. The unspoken (actually, often spoken) general opinion was that a woman has to stay at home with children unless it is absolutely financially impossible, after every conceivable corner has been cut. (You get crazy stuff on the Internet. Only yesterday I found a site that claims women sin if they go to college or work even before marriage... Shocked)

So I started feeling guilty about wanting to work and wanting to ever desert my precious child. I thought maybe we should both change and make sacrifices so we could fit this "perfect model" and be not who we are, but who God wants us to be. When I finally visited Belgrade (where I'm from), I discussed all this with my spiritual father. He was confused and asked me where on earth I read that women shouldn't work - he'd never even heard of the notion (His wife works, of course. Women in Serbia just do). When I explained about the cultural expectations of certain circles in the US, he rolled his eyes. That was enough for me to know what to do.  Cool

It is incredible how culture can be influential, even if it's not your own! I'm actually scared by the experience (of how mere culture can be influential on our moral and spiritual values, etc.) and can't stop thinking about it. I keep googling stuff like "role mother wife God ordained" etc. and am fascinated by some of the opinions out there. This is why I started the thread and wrote this long post. Sorry for boring everybody!
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2008, 10:27:48 AM »

Just to be clear, what you describe is not American culture: it is a cultish, fundamentalist subculture, which is fortunately rarely encountered here in the American West (though it's more common in certian regions of the South). We may have a large fundamentalist minority in certain parts of the country, but it's hardly fair to judge our society and culture by these sects; the overwhelming majority in this country would agree wholeheartedly with the sensible standards you put forth in your post.

Your spiritual father seems like a sensible person, good for you, that's not always easy to come by.
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2008, 12:02:38 PM »

Just to be clear, what you describe is not American culture: it is a cultish, fundamentalist subculture, which is fortunately rarely encountered here in the American West (though it's more common in certian regions of the South). We may have a large fundamentalist minority in certain parts of the country, but it's hardly fair to judge our society and culture by these sects; the overwhelming majority in this country would agree wholeheartedly with the sensible standards you put forth in your post.


Of course, I wasn't implying this was "American culture", don't worry  Smiley. That's why I said
Quote
the cultural expectations of certain circles in the US
. It's just that they're so loud, and they're all over the net - which is why they can be so influential to the likes of me, who can at present only socialize with 'virtual' people.   TongueEmbarrassed

I guess it's only natural - if you have a sane, balanced view on any such issue, you're not going to spend a lot of time and affort trying to tell people what to do.
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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2008, 03:53:45 PM »

I don't think the positive view of full-time mothers should be dismissed as a "Catholic" or "American" peculiarity.  Both of the Orthodox priests I have spoken with about this have stressed the importance of mothers to Orthodox family life, and I have found this advice very helpful.

A full-time wife and mother can provide material and spiritual benefits which are tremendously valuable, and probably impossible for a "SAHD" to duplicate.  Recently my wife read an article about the fact that a mother's hormones are tuned to the developmental stages of her children as they grow.  The mother's brain actually re-wires itself to help her cope with the particular challenges of raising and educating children.  Not that biology alone can provide answers, but the intricacy of God's design never ceases to amaze.

Of course, we have to deal with the hand we are dealt.  For instance, Americans in most states are blessed with relative freedom to educate their children at home, or in an alternative setting to the classroom.  I know that this is actually illegal in some countries (such as Germany), which means that the issue of home education simply never comes up.  Similarly, if it is difficult for men to get jobs which can support a family in Serbia, then you have to work within that reality.  As in most things, there will always be trade-offs.  As long as we move forward with prayer and spiritual consideration, we can trust that God will guide us along the path.
 

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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2008, 05:27:28 PM »

I don't think the positive view of full-time mothers should be dismissed as a "Catholic" or "American" peculiarity.  Both of the Orthodox priests I have spoken with about this have stressed the importance of mothers to Orthodox family life, and I have found this advice very helpful.

A full-time wife and mother can provide material and spiritual benefits which are tremendously valuable, and probably impossible for a "SAHD" to duplicate.  Recently my wife read an article about the fact that a mother's hormones are tuned to the developmental stages of her children as they grow.  The mother's brain actually re-wires itself to help her cope with the particular challenges of raising and educating children.  Not that biology alone can provide answers, but the intricacy of God's design never ceases to amaze.

Of course, the value of motherhood is strongly stressed everywhere in Orthodoxy, but that does not automatically translate into an obligation for mothers to be physically present with their children 24/7. Fathers' role and presence can also never be duplicated by a mother - that is why children have both. It is a sad reality that some kids with SAHMs rarely get to see their fathers, who have to work LOOONG hours to provide for the family, and I think this absence of fathers is just as worrying as an absence of mothers. Ideally, we'd never have to leave our kids. Ideally, we wouldn't have to work or labor in pain - but we live in a fallen world. 

What is an American peculiarity, and probably justifiably, is the prominent notion of a stay-at-home parent. I believe this has practical causes in some other American peculiarities:

1) the often insane working hours - try getting most Europeans to work the long hours that Americans do. No way!  Grin There are mothers and fathers in the USA who almost never get to see their children , b/c they arrive home around or after their bedtime! This is inconceivable in Serbia! My parents, who both worked, were both home by 3.15PM. Then we had the whole day before us! It is indeed cruel to children to grow in circumstances where they don't see their parents, but this is not a problem only mothers should be made to face.

2) the commute - America is big; Serbia is small. I'll be able to reach home from work and vice versa in 7.5 minutes of light walking. So I just factor in 15 more minutes into my absence due to work.

3) the lack of significant maternity leave - it is true that infants need their mothers at all times, if this is at all possible, but this exclusive need diminishes in time, and the child is then ready to socialize with other loving caretakers as well. In Serbia, mothers get a full year of paid maternity leave, so it is not an either/or (work/stay at home) situation. We are not made to leave tiny infants in daycare.

4) the distance (geographical) from and lack of close relationships with other relatives. Mothers are important, but they are not the only person in a child's life. There are other indispensable, or at least very important, people in childrens' lives: first fathers and siblings, then grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins... I fondly remember being taken care of by both sets of grandparents at times. It is customary in Serbia for kids to be minded by grandparents until they're 3 or so, and then to be enrolled in preschool. In America the SAHM has to replace all these people with whom a Serbian child grows up and is comfortable with from birth.

5) the cost and difficulty of finding good daycare - there are absolute horror stories out there! of infants being left in cribs all day, with bottles propped against the wall and inserted in their mouths... Shocked In Serbia, if you want to work in daycare/preschool/kindergarten, you have to study AS MUCH AS a future lawyer! That takes dedication and real love for this vocation. I remember loving my preschool so much that I was angry when my dad came one day to pick me up early. "We're in the middle of something - wait!", I told him.

6) not enough general love for children in society - children viewed as 'personal choice' and thus personal responsibility, so working mothers tend to receive little understanding and flexibility from their employers. In Serbia, undergoing rapid depopulation, children tend to be viewed as little treasures, bearing them as a patriotic act, and mothers as heroes of some sort. That results in understanding and flexibility.

7) school and after-school activity proximity - my kids' school will be in our street, only two buildings away. Any sports or arts my kids want to take part in are likely to be within easy walking distance. That will hardly require someone to drive them around and make sure they arrive safely. There is no 'suburbia' in Serbia, only urban areas and actual farming villages.   

These American 'peculiarities' make the SAHM thing a painful, burning issue not likely ever to be resolved. In Serbia, for instance, the stakes are just not nearly as high. If a woman works, it will just not be as big a deal.

Of course, we have to deal with the hand we are dealt.  For instance, Americans in most states are blessed with relative freedom to educate their children at home, or in an alternative setting to the classroom.  I know that this is actually illegal in some countries (such as Germany), which means that the issue of home education simply never comes up.  Similarly, if it is difficult for men to get jobs which can support a family in Serbia, then you have to work within that reality.  As in most things, there will always be trade-offs.  As long as we move forward with prayer and spiritual consideration, we can trust that God will guide us along the path.
 



Amen. God bless.  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2008, 06:14:07 PM »

FYI, Homeschooling with the mother staying at home is a nationwide movement.  In California there are over 200,000 homeschooled children and one of the strongest areas is the San Francisco Bay Area, hardly southern or christian.  When we lived there my wife helped a homeschooling stay at home mom who was as liberal as you can get.  When California had the recent ruling that was threatening to homeschooling, one of the most outspoken  groups was SF Bay area liberal homeschoolers, you should check out the comment section of the article at the SF Chronicle online to see how riled up they were. Many of the posters joked that it was the first time they had agreed with Christians on anything! Grin
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2008, 06:29:33 PM »

Mississippi, a very SOUTHERN state, has about 14,000 home schooled children.  Minnesota, a traditionally liberal state, has about 17,900 home schooled students. Arizona and Alabama have an almost equal number of school age children, and more children are home schooled in Arizona than Alabama. Oregon and Kentucky have a similar number of school age and Oregon has more home schoolers.

If you look at the numbers and check your prejudice at the door, you'll see homeschooling is a nationwide movement that while it started in the south for religious reasons, has spread across the country to all types of groups and people because more and more are disillusioned with public schools and feel compelled to do it themselves.

It's not for everyone, I by no means think it should be an ideal that everyone should try, but people on the whole do this for one reason, they think it is better for their children and their family.

Here's a link to the numbers on homeschooling. To say it's a southern specific movement is wrong, and sad when its used to make fun of people.

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/weblinks/numbers.htm
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2008, 07:37:58 PM »

Thank you for your replies! It is wonderfully reassuring to see that Orthodoxy can never support a "one-size-fits-all" cultural ideology. You guys helped me a lot.


However, for the first year of my baby's life, I was in absolute wilderness, cut off from family, friends, and my spiritual father. I spent a lot of time on the Internet, especially CAF - Catholic Answers Forums, a very conservative US-based site. The women there were either SAHMs or trying desperately to become that. The unspoken (actually, often spoken) general opinion was that a woman has to stay at home with children unless it is absolutely financially impossible, after every conceivable corner has been cut. (You get crazy stuff on the Internet. Only yesterday I found a site that claims women sin if they go to college or work even before marriage... Shocked)

So I started feeling guilty about wanting to work and wanting to ever desert my precious child. I thought maybe we should both change and make sacrifices so we could fit this "perfect model" and be not who we are, but who God wants us to be. When I finally visited Belgrade (where I'm from), I discussed all this with my spiritual father. He was confused and asked me where on earth I read that women shouldn't work - he'd never even heard of the notion (His wife works, of course. Women in Serbia just do). When I explained about the cultural expectations of certain circles in the US, he rolled his eyes. That was enough for me to know what to do.  Cool

It is incredible how culture can be influential, even if it's not your own! I'm actually scared by the experience (of how mere culture can be influential on our moral and spiritual values, etc.) and can't stop thinking about it. I keep googling stuff like "role mother wife God ordained" etc. and am fascinated by some of the opinions out there. This is why I started the thread and wrote this long post. Sorry for boring everybody!

I know what you mean!  I've always wanted to stay at home with the children, at least in their early years.  I also wanted to be a housewife--but that was so I could have time to pursue my writing.  But I usually held the moderate position that each woman was free to choose for herself whether she should work outside the home or not.  After all, my own mom stayed at home with us for a while, but while I was a small child, my brothers started babysitting me while she started working again.  For a while she cleaned houses and businesses, so she could take me along.  I believe she was tired of being at home all the time. 

Then I started hanging out online with people who felt that working outside the home was leaving a child to be raised by others.  I started to wonder if they were right.  I eventually left that group, for various reasons, and now my position has moderated again.  It's so easy to be influenced by the people you hang out with.   Tongue
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2008, 07:44:05 PM »

What is an American peculiarity, and probably justifiably, is the prominent notion of a stay-at-home parent. I believe this has practical causes in some other American peculiarities:

You've hit the nail on the head with all your points.  The commute, BTW, is also the reason why we fuss so much about gas prices.  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2008, 08:13:04 PM »

I am in the liberal NW and there is quite a homeschooling movement. And up until fairly recently it was illegal to homeschool in the state of Oregon.

The costs I listed previously where mine if I worked at the place where my kids were going to childcare. I would have a 50% discount on tuition. I made roughly $2,000 a month when I worked there and I would have been paying $1000 a month for tuition if I went back to work there after the birth of my first child. Now there is no way I could do it. Once you hit child #3 working and having your kids in childcare are MUCH more expensive. And we chose to have more than two children.

I don't hear of many families where both parents work outside the home that have more that 2-3 kids. The only people that do are those where both parents hold a professional degree or two. And here in the US a professional degree either equals TONS of debt or rich parents. You see a ripple effect of education. If the great grandparents paid for their childrens education who then paid for their childrens education and so on a so forth you see more professional degrees in a family today. But no parents EVER pay for their childrens education after highschool in my world.

I don't really buy the whole "it would drive me crazy to stay home" logic because you AREN'T home all the time. I spend about 50% of my time running around town getting this and that done. Groceries, gas, medical appointments, parks, libraries, post office runs ect. And frankly it is just sort of insulting to think that when you are a SAHM that you don't go anywhere or do much outside of your home. I would be experiencing MUCH more boredom in the workforce than I would be at home. And I would be stuck in one place much longer also. As a homeschooling mom I wish there was more time in the day. My working counterparts actually have more free time than I do because they have lunchbreaks ect. But many first time moms or those with toddlers think that you don't really go anywhere or do anything outside of the home Roll Eyes The amount of running about goes UP a great deal with the age of your children.


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« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2008, 03:09:58 AM »

I am in the liberal NW and there is quite a homeschooling movement. And up until fairly recently it was illegal to homeschool in the state of Oregon.

Nothing wrong with that, provided the parent doing the teaching has knowledge of the subject comprable to that expected for a bachelors degree in the same. If you can't manage Real Analysis and Abstract Algebra, you have no business teaching highschool mathematics, if you don't get quantum mechanics and geneal realitivity you probably shouldn't be teaching highschool (or even Junior High School) science. The problem with homeschooling is that most parents don't actually fully grasp the subjects they're teachings...but if you have three or four Ph.D.'s in a variety of subjects, go for it; otherwise, it should be illegal.
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« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2008, 11:02:51 AM »

If only public schools had the same standard for themselves you have for home schoolers!

Public schools have a 30% drop out rate nationwide, and 50% in big cities, and struggle to find qualified teachers in the sciences and math.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080401184532.kxjxy7xo&show_article=1

Home schooled children consistently test higher than public school children across the board (http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200410250.asp), and are actively courted by major universities.  This is one of the main reasons homeschooling has spread nationwide across all economic and political groups.



Nothing wrong with that, provided the parent doing the teaching has knowledge of the subject comprable to that expected for a bachelors degree in the same. If you can't manage Real Analysis and Abstract Algebra, you have no business teaching highschool mathematics, if you don't get quantum mechanics and geneal realitivity you probably shouldn't be teaching highschool (or even Junior High School) science. The problem with homeschooling is that most parents don't actually fully grasp the subjects they're teachings...but if you have three or four Ph.D.'s in a variety of subjects, go for it; otherwise, it should be illegal.
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« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2008, 11:15:29 AM »

Nothing wrong with that, provided the parent doing the teaching has knowledge of the subject comprable to that expected for a bachelors degree in the same. If you can't manage Real Analysis and Abstract Algebra, you have no business teaching highschool mathematics, if you don't get quantum mechanics and geneal realitivity you probably shouldn't be teaching highschool (or even Junior High School) science. The problem with homeschooling is that most parents don't actually fully grasp the subjects they're teachings...but if you have three or four Ph.D.'s in a variety of subjects, go for it; otherwise, it should be illegal. 

Right.  Except (a) the school districts don't follow such a strict standard, which is why you have many teachers teaching classes in subject areas they don't have degrees in, and (b) more important than a parent's education level is their involvement in a child's education.  Homeschooling and active parental tutoring while children are in public schools both testify to this, as both provide significant boosts in parental involvement and in child performance.
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« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2008, 11:51:18 AM »

If only public schools had the same standard for themselves you have for home schoolers!

Of course the standards for public schools are terrible as well...that's the problem with barely paying teachers a living wage. But in general people teach subjects they have degrees in and have to pass tests to teach other subjects. Homeschooling should at least have the same requirements: a college degree and proficiency demonstrated through testing in all subjects taught.
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« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2008, 01:03:43 PM »

Of course the standards for public schools are terrible as well...that's the problem with barely paying teachers a living wage. But in general people teach subjects they have degrees in and have to pass tests to teach other subjects. Homeschooling should at least have the same requirements: a college degree and proficiency demonstrated through testing in all subjects taught.

They don't have those standards here. You could have a degree in literally ANYTHING, go in and get a teaching certificate and then teach whatever there is an opening for.  And to say that the quality of teaching is low because the pay is low is ridiculous. I enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables that I get from my local stores. The migrant workers are paid nearly nothing to harvest it. The one issue has nothing to do with the other. You don't change harvesting techniques of humans just because the pay is lower. But the better the machines used in harvesting and processing the fruits and vegetables the better the resulting crop. And teaching quality has more to do with the money put in to materials than the pay rate of the teachers. Good materials used by even the worst teachers will result is a pretty good education. I would love to see more money put into materials rather than pay raises. Then the really good teachers wouldn't be going into debt to provide for their own classrooms. And cut the pay of all the superintendants Smiley

And when it comes to subjects I am not very knnowledgeable in I will be having a private tutor either online or in person to do the bulk of the teaching.
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« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2008, 01:20:15 PM »

I'm a SAHM, and I have a friend that is a SAHD.  We BOTH get flack that we don't do anything, and that the spouse shouldn't help out when they get home, because after all they bring home all the money. I'm sorry, when did I last get to punch out of my 24/7 job???

sorry, that irks me.

Families should work out what works best for them.  I stay home because I cannot afford the daycare, let alone gas for 2 cars to go back and forth. I'd owe people money every week!
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« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2008, 03:03:59 PM »

Of course the standards for public schools are terrible as well...that's the problem with barely paying teachers a living wage. But in general people teach subjects they have degrees in and have to pass tests to teach other subjects. Homeschooling should at least have the same requirements: a college degree and proficiency demonstrated through testing in all subjects taught.

Homeschooled children test way better than other children across most if not all categories.  There is no evidence your standards are needed.  In our experience, and it's rare, the only instance where kids don't do well is when parents drop the ball and don't teach the kids.  They then either very quickly put them in school so they are educated, or authorities do step in when the child isn't being taught and get them in school. Which I would agree should happen in the very rare instance when homeschooling becomes neglect.  But of course, I would imagine the frequency of neglect in home schoolers is far less than neglect in the general population that sends their kids to school.

Also, advocating government intervention into how a parent chooses to educate their child seems contrary to your extremist libertarian agenda, especially when there is little to no evidence intervention is needed in this area.  You seem to want intervention because you just don't like homeschooling and want to paint people who home school with a broad stereotypical brush, which comes across as being a fundamentalist and close minded position.  Considering your hate for "fundamentalist" people, I'm surprised.
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« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2008, 03:08:01 PM »



Also, advocating government intervention into how a parent chooses to educate their child seems contrary to your extremist libertarian agenda,


(Knowing this will get under GiC's skin...  Wink )

Perhaps GiC's libertarianism is so extreme that he has 'rounded the political spectrum', so to speak, and become totalitarian in his libertarianism...

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« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2008, 03:11:51 PM »

Considering how quickly he's been resorting to name calling lately you might be right! Shocked

But I have faith in GIC!


(Knowing this will get under GiC's skin...  Wink )

Perhaps GiC's libertarianism is so extreme that he has 'rounded the political spectrum', so to speak, and become totalitarian in his libertarianism...


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« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2008, 04:15:45 PM »

They don't have those standards here. You could have a degree in literally ANYTHING, go in and get a teaching certificate and then teach whatever there is an opening for.  And to say that the quality of teaching is low because the pay is low is ridiculous. I enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables that I get from my local stores. The migrant workers are paid nearly nothing to harvest it. The one issue has nothing to do with the other. You don't change harvesting techniques of humans just because the pay is lower. But the better the machines used in harvesting and processing the fruits and vegetables the better the resulting crop. And teaching quality has more to do with the money put in to materials than the pay rate of the teachers. Good materials used by even the worst teachers will result is a pretty good education. I would love to see more money put into materials rather than pay raises. Then the really good teachers wouldn't be going into debt to provide for their own classrooms. And cut the pay of all the superintendants Smiley

Unlike with picking fruit, quality teaching requires intelligence and innate ability, people who have these qualities also have better opportunities in the private sector. Businesses are willing to pay top dollar to attract them, schools are not. So, in general, schools end up with people who couldn't cut it in industry (I know there are exceptions, but I'm talking economic generalities here)...making about a quarter of what they could in the corporate world. The people I know who would make the best teachers inevitably go into the private sector.

As far as standards go, I just know what's required in California...it, of course, varies from state to state. The tests are far easier than I believe they should be and I'm amazed that there are people who have degrees in the subject and still have trouble passing them.
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« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2008, 04:20:54 PM »

Homeschooled children test way better than other children across most if not all categories.  There is no evidence your standards are needed.  In our experience, and it's rare, the only instance where kids don't do well is when parents drop the ball and don't teach the kids.  They then either very quickly put them in school so they are educated, or authorities do step in when the child isn't being taught and get them in school. Which I would agree should happen in the very rare instance when homeschooling becomes neglect.  But of course, I would imagine the frequency of neglect in home schoolers is far less than neglect in the general population that sends their kids to school.

Parental involvement is a very significant factor, if these same children went to a regular school and their parents were just as involved they would do at least as well, in most cases probably better...notable exceptions being if both parents are highly educated professionals.

Quote
Also, advocating government intervention into how a parent chooses to educate their child seems contrary to your extremist libertarian agenda, especially when there is little to no evidence intervention is needed in this area.  You seem to want intervention because you just don't like homeschooling and want to paint people who home school with a broad stereotypical brush, which comes across as being a fundamentalist and close minded position.  Considering your hate for "fundamentalist" people, I'm surprised.

My libertarian ideals apply to the right of an individual over their person, it does not extend to one's family. Allowing each person to do as they will to others within a family setting is allowing each person to become a petty tyrant if they so desire: hardly consonant with libertarian ideals. As distasteful as the very concept of authority is, where it must exist it should be held collectively by a republican government, not placed into the hands of random individuals.
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« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2008, 05:47:33 PM »

My libertarian ideals apply to the right of an individual over their person, it does not extend to one's family. Allowing each person to do as they will to others within a family setting is allowing each person to become a petty tyrant if they so desire: hardly consonant with libertarian ideals. As distasteful as the very concept of authority is, where it must exist it should be held collectively by a republican government, not placed into the hands of random individuals.

With all due respect, what you describe is not libertarianism but instead libertinism.  Libertarians qua libertarians do not consider the "very concept of authority" to be "distasteful".  Clearly, we voluntarily accept authority in various ways simply by being part of the Church, within an Orthodox marriage, and so on.

This is not at all at odds with "libertarian ideals".  Libertarianism is concerned with minimizing centralized involuntary authority.  For instance, by preventing secular bureaucrats from dictating how families educate their own children.  While my wife's Orthodoxy is an important teaching qualification in our eyes, it goes without saying that a secular "education expert" will not agree.  The beauty of freedom is that we don't need to concern ourselves with their opinions, except insofar as they attempt to legislate that freedom away.
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« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2008, 07:05:52 PM »

With all due respect, what you describe is not libertarianism but instead libertinism.

Semantics...

Quote
Libertarians qua libertarians do not consider the "very concept of authority" to be "distasteful".  Clearly, we voluntarily accept authority in various ways simply by being part of the Church, within an Orthodox marriage, and so on.

You can speak for yourself on that one.

Quote
This is not at all at odds with "libertarian ideals".  Libertarianism is concerned with minimizing centralized involuntary authority.  For instance, by preventing secular bureaucrats from dictating how families educate their own children.  While my wife's Orthodoxy is an important teaching qualification in our eyes, it goes without saying that a secular "education expert" will not agree.  The beauty of freedom is that we don't need to concern ourselves with their opinions, except insofar as they attempt to legislate that freedom away.

The individual is the fundamental unit of society, families are secondary social units. These 'secular bureaucrats' don't dictate to families, they don't even deal with families, they deal with individuals. They are there to protect certain individuals, namely the children, from harm at the hands of other individuals, namely the parents. Generally, the interests of the 'secular bureaucrats' and parents are the same, and this isn't even an issue. But when one individual, namely the parents, attempts to abuse their position and undermine the interests, rights, or physical well-being of another individual, namely the children, the 'secular bureaucrat' is there to protect the rights and interests of the disenfranchised party; just like the police officer protects the rights of one individual, say the shopkeeper, from being usurped by another, say the armed robber.

This is the essence of a social contract, individuals collectively agree to ensure that each individual's rights are respected and that no one can have the means to usurp those of another. So you have the right to believe whatever you wish, you have the right to express and ignore whatever opinions you wish, but you do not have the right to physically or psychologically abuse or harass another individual and in doing so usurp their rights. Likewise you have a right to teach and share your opinions with your children, but you do not have the right to indoctrinate them or, by use of force (physical, psychological, or otherwise), deprive them of their freedom of conscious. You can decide what you will teach them, but you have no right to say what they cannot be taught...for to do so would be to usurp the right of two individuals, the child and the one teaching them. Libertarianism does not afford you this authority over your neighbours.
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« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2008, 07:45:14 PM »

Parental involvement is a very significant factor, if these same children went to a regular school and their parents were just as involved they would do at least as well, in most cases probably better...notable exceptions being if both parents are highly educated professionals.

This is incorrect.  In the case of almost every parent we know who has taken their kids out of public schools, the children do remarkably better at home than they did at school, and test better to prove it.  Most, remarkably better.

My 8 year old is reading high school level books.  He reached this level because he has the time, and my wife can tailor the program, so he can excel.  This would not have happened in a public school. When the kid is at school for 8 hours of the day, it's impossible for a parent to be as involved than if the child was home schooled.
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« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2008, 07:51:27 PM »

My libertarian ideals apply to the right of an individual over their person, it does not extend to one's family. Allowing each person to do as they will to others within a family setting is allowing each person to become a petty tyrant if they so desire: hardly consonant with libertarian ideals. As distasteful as the very concept of authority is, where it must exist it should be held collectively by a republican government, not placed into the hands of random individuals.

Society does not protect children, families protect children.  And when they don't, children get hurt, then government comes in after the fact.  That's why more and more people are taking the education of their children into their own hands, why wait for the government to do a bad job.
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« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2008, 08:52:58 AM »

Quote
This is incorrect.  In the case of almost every parent we know who has taken their kids out of public schools, the children do remarkably better at home than they did at school, and test better to prove it.  Most, remarkably better.


Yes, but some of us have neither the patience, the knowledge or the desire to home school our children.  I certainly don't. You may think that selfish, but at least I am up front in admitting it. If I could afford it I would consider private schools, but I can't so I have to work with what is available.

My one daughter  is in 4th grade, reading at 9th grade, and encouraged and expected to pick books at her level to read for school (by her teacher, well, and me too  Wink )  My other daughter is struggling under a rigid authoritarian teacher who does nothing to inspire her to learn.  She'd probably be a better candidate for home schooling, but we would kill each other inside of three days, not to mention the fact that I don't do math, and my husband is at best a lousy teacher, no patience at all. So we just have to work with her school on this one.  I depend on the school for speech therapy for the twins, and other services that I could never afford to provide for them.  If my kids don't know something I think they should, I teach it to them.

I think as long as parents care to keep track of the deficiencies in their particular school system, and fill in whatever gaps they think need filling, public school can be just fine.  My oldest did fine, shes off to a good start in life now.
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« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2008, 09:44:54 AM »

I've not said that I believe everyone should homeschool. If the best thing for your family is to send your kids to public school or private school, you should do that with absolutely no guilt. My only point is that those that have the desire, means, and time to homeschool should.  The main reason I've posted in this thread was to encourage people who want to homeschool, and I don't like it when people stereotype home schoolers in order to propagate their own prejudices.  I did well in public school, I thank God we try to educate our children as a country, although we could do it much, much better.  If that is what's best for your family, you should do it because you know better than me or anyone else.


Yes, but some of us have neither the patience, the knowledge or the desire to home school our children.  I certainly don't. You may think that selfish, but at least I am up front in admitting it. If I could afford it I would consider private schools, but I can't so I have to work with what is available.

My one daughter  is in 4th grade, reading at 9th grade, and encouraged and expected to pick books at her level to read for school (by her teacher, well, and me too  Wink )  My other daughter is struggling under a rigid authoritarian teacher who does nothing to inspire her to learn.  She'd probably be a better candidate for home schooling, but we would kill each other inside of three days, not to mention the fact that I don't do math, and my husband is at best a lousy teacher, no patience at all. So we just have to work with her school on this one.  I depend on the school for speech therapy for the twins, and other services that I could never afford to provide for them.  If my kids don't know something I think they should, I teach it to them.

I think as long as parents care to keep track of the deficiencies in their particular school system, and fill in whatever gaps they think need filling, public school can be just fine.  My oldest did fine, shes off to a good start in life now.
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« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2008, 10:10:22 AM »

Quote
My only point is that those that have the desire, means, and time to homeschool should.

Oh I agree with that, sorry if it sounded like I though you meant that everyone should.  I was just pointing out that some of us don't/can't. The only problem I have is when it is like the case of the neice of my BIL...they live on a farm and home school, which is great and she does very well academically, but (I'm told by BIL) they haven't made any effort to join the other homeschoolers in the area that do the group field trips or play groups or any of that kind of thing. And it isnt as though they have neighbors to run off to play with. So she is very isolated.  In fact my SIL is taking her and my daughter to Williamsburg and DC in a few weeks, they are hoping my kid can help break her out of her shell a bit. (if she doesnt talk her ear off, lol). Should be a fun trip, I'd like to stow away.
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« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2008, 05:03:02 PM »

As someone who is getting ready to leave the workplace to "change careers", i.e. become a stay at home mom. Honestly, I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my life. Dirty diapers, housework and all!  Grin  However, I am open to the possibility of going back to the workplace if it is in the best interest to our family.  My husband and I made this choice together and discussed it at length prior to my pregnancy. 

Bottom line, it's a family decision. 
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« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2008, 04:30:18 PM »

In Missouri, to be a public school teacher, you must have a bachelor's degree in education and pass a competency test to be able to teach a particular subject. Granted, you don't actually have to teach what you have a degree in, but you do have to know how to teach. For example, I double-majored in English and education and minored in Spanish. I teach Spanish and drama, but I do not teach English. However, I did have to pass a competency exam in both English and Spanish in order to receive my teaching certificate, and I have to fulfill a number of professional development requirements in order to retain it. I agree with GIC that the minimum requirements for educators should all be the same, whether they work in public schools, private schools, or home schools.
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« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2008, 05:30:34 PM »

Gic and Mr. Y;

Have either of you ANY experience with homeschooling whatsoever?
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« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2008, 08:47:38 PM »

Gic and Mr. Y;

Have either of you ANY experience with homeschooling whatsoever?

 laugh

Mr. Y was homeschooled until 16 when he graduated and went on to college.  I'd say he has some experience in home school.
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« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2008, 09:06:15 PM »

Gic and Mr. Y;

Have either of you ANY experience with homeschooling whatsoever?

I was homeschooled for one year...had tutors and everything, but was still the biggest waste of a year of education (yes, it was even worse than going to school at Holy Cross, if you can believe that). If homeschooling is going to be allowed, competency exams should have to be passed by the instructor and a bachelors degree in something should be required (of course, I don't believe that the education classes should be required, but I don't think they should be required for public school teachers either).
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« Reply #43 on: April 07, 2008, 10:01:08 PM »

I was homeschooled for one year...had tutors and everything, but was still the biggest waste of a year of education (yes, it was even worse than going to school at Holy Cross, if you can believe that). If homeschooling is going to be allowed, competency exams should have to be passed by the instructor and a bachelors degree in something should be required (of course, I don't believe that the education classes should be required, but I don't think they should be required for public school teachers either).

GIC lowering his standards so quickly, from requiring 3 or 4 PHDs to a college degree and compentency exams!  Grasping for straws on this one! Wink

And interesting to see the consistency, GIC has a bad experience with something and thus, it must be a bad thing!
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« Reply #44 on: April 07, 2008, 10:33:04 PM »

GIC lowering his standards so quickly, from requiring 3 or 4 PHDs to a college degree and compentency exams!  Grasping for straws on this one! Wink

And interesting to see the consistency, GIC has a bad experience with something and thus, it must be a bad thing!

Well, if you don't have 3 or 4 Ph.D.'s, you'd probably be better off sending your children to an exclusive private school than homeschooling...if you're actually concerned about their education, rather than indoctrination, that is. But as a bare minimum, you should be able to provide the same level of education that is expected of a public school teacher. But with that said, I think the standards for public school teachers are too low and expectations for both public school teachers and homeschooling parents should be raised to ensure that the teacher has the level of knowledge that should be expected of one holding a bachelors degree (a type of comp exam, if you will).

But I'm practical enough to say that if you can prove you are fluent in classical mechanics, relativity, quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, and solid-state physics...whether you learned this in a classroom or through teaching yourself, you should probably be allowed to teach physics at the highschool level. I would imagine that the appropriate tests would be comprable to the GRE Subject-Specific tests.
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« Reply #45 on: April 07, 2008, 10:50:41 PM »

laugh

Mr. Y was homeschooled until 16 when he graduated and went on to college.  I'd say he has some experience in home school.

Oh! So he is bitter about being homeschooled, that explains it Cheesy

And Gic, well, he has no need to have an excuse......He is afterall Gic-devils advocate extraordinaire.
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« Reply #46 on: April 07, 2008, 11:32:44 PM »

But as a bare minimum, you should be able to provide the same level of education that is expected of a public school teacher.

While you set us straight, even stupid people are doing a better job educating their children than better educated, better qualified teachers.  Actually, more like WAY better.

"Poorly educated parents who choose to teach their children at home produce better academic results for their children than public schools do. One study we reviewed found that students taught at home by mothers who never finished high school scored a full 55 percentage points higher than public school students from families with comparable education levels."

"The research shows that the level of education of a child's parents, gender of the child, and income of family has less to do with a child's academic achievement than it does in public schools."

"Research shows that almost 25 per cent of home schooled students in the United States perform one or more grades above their age-level peers in public and private schools. Grades 1 to 4 home school students perform one grade level higher than their public- and private-school peers. By Grade 8, the average home schooled student performs four grade levels above the national average."

From this 2007 study, http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=777310
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« Reply #47 on: April 07, 2008, 11:46:58 PM »

My six year old (kindergarten age for our area because of her birthday) reads at a third grade level. There is absolutely NO WAY that she would be able to do so if she were in a public school. She likely would have been bored with the material, slacked off and labeled "below average" because no one would have actually tried to give her more challenging reading material. This is precisely what happened to me.

What kindergarten teacher hands their student third grade level books?
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« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2008, 11:49:13 PM »

My six year old reads at a third grade level.

Awesome!! Good work to the both of you!
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« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2008, 11:52:36 PM »

Awesome!! Good work to the both of you!

I was shocked myself. I ordered my curriculum with 2nd grade readers only to find that they were too easy! I knew she was a bit ahead of the curve, but WOAH! All this from "The ordinary parents guide to teaching reading." We only made it a third of the way thru before I bought the readers. I will be picking up again on the lessons soon. For now she is devouring every book in the house she can get her little hands on.
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« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2008, 11:58:54 PM »

Here is my problem with public schools; grade classification.

My daughter reads at a third grade level, GREAT! And she is advanced in other areas also. But she isn't consistantly grade-able. She has skills that are all over the spectrum. So putting her in a "gifted" class wouldn't be right since in some areas she is on grade level. And socially she couldn't be moved up because she isn't EMOTIONALLY ready for a 2-3 grade social life.  Add all that in with her sensory processing disorder and the only option I really have is to homeschool. So when asked what grade she is she looks at me quizically and I say; "Kindergarten/First grade-ish since we homeschool."
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« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2008, 12:09:58 AM »

While you set us straight, even stupid people are doing a better job educating their children than better educated, better qualified teachers.  Actually, more like WAY better.

"Poorly educated parents who choose to teach their children at home produce better academic results for their children than public schools do. One study we reviewed found that students taught at home by mothers who never finished high school scored a full 55 percentage points higher than public school students from families with comparable education levels."

"The research shows that the level of education of a child's parents, gender of the child, and income of family has less to do with a child's academic achievement than it does in public schools."

"Research shows that almost 25 per cent of home schooled students in the United States perform one or more grades above their age-level peers in public and private schools. Grades 1 to 4 home school students perform one grade level higher than their public- and private-school peers. By Grade 8, the average home schooled student performs four grade levels above the national average."

Does your research include psychological profiles of these same kids when adults?

Of course, the data really isn't meaningful since it doesn't take into account level of parental involvement for those in public schools, it fails to weight according to rural or urban area, it considers different parts of the country comprable, and fails to take into account the genetic factor of relative intelligence. I'd be more interested in seeing how children of children of comprable IQ's, with highly involved parents of comprable IQ's, from the same region compare. It would be a bit more meaningful. But then, the significance also depends on the test in question...I place far more value in the results of AP tests to measure general academic achievement than state standards.

But even then, grades do not measure social skill and abilities in interpersonal interaction which are just as important to success. And while I am sure there are numerous exceptions, most people around here homeschool inorder that they can indoctrinate their children into their system of belief, which is extremly unhealthy from a psychological perspective.
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« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2008, 12:12:35 AM »

Could you qualify your statements anymore GiC? You flip flop more than the all the presidental nominees combined! You remind me of my 6 year old. If I tell her something she has to find SOME WAY to disagree merely on principle.
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« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2008, 12:28:38 AM »

Could you qualify your statements anymore GiC? You flip flop more than the all the presidental nominees combined! You remind me of my 6 year old. If I tell her something she has to find SOME WAY to disagree merely on principle.

You want me to be blunt? Fine.

Point A: The research presented has too many gaps in it to be useful.

Point B: Most people who homeschool arn't psychologically fit to be parents, many should be committed, they certainly shouldn't be given free reign to indoctrinate their offspring.

Pretty much, all I've been saying the whole time, along with the fact that you shouldn't be teaching something you're not qualified in. There are certainly problems with our education system, but homeschooling creates more than it eliminates.
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« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2008, 12:34:13 AM »

But according to you most children shouldn't exist since their IQ's are too low. So the poor parenting should be applauded by you. Lower educations and poor parenting drastically shortens lifespans. And according to you we should stop having children anyway. So your viewpoints are pretty much worthless on this topic.
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« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2008, 12:34:45 AM »

Does your research include psychological profiles of these same kids when adults?

Wasn't my research, it was done by The Fraser Institute which specializes in studying market solutions for public policy problems. A group of luddite PHDs I'm sure! Wink

By the way, here's what MIT thinks about homeschoolers.

http://www.mitadmissions.org/topics/apply/homeschooled_applicants_helpful_tips/homeschooled_applicants.shtml

And here's some more from the illiterate rag, The Wall Street Journal. http://www.oakmeadow.com/resources/articles/WSJArticle.htm

And lets not forget to let Stanford get a word in about socialization and these poor psychology unhealthy, indoctrinated homeschool children, "Home-schoolers bring certain skills -- motivation, curiosity, the capacity to be responsible for their education -- that high schools don't induce very well," says Jon Reider, Stanford's senior associate director of admissions

And I've yet to find a study where homeschoolers don't do academically better, nor any studies where homeschoolers in general have psychological problems.  Your one year experience does not make a study. And show me ANY study that homeschooling creates more problems than it eliminates.

I agree though homeschooling isn't for everyone, nor should be expected by everyone.  I've known bad homeschoolers, but they either stop homeschooling or they get their kids taken away and these instances are rare. But if you have the means, time and desire your kids will do better regardless of your educational level.  That being said, I speak in public schools and I help teachers learn to deal with troubled youth.  If parents who can't homeschool their kids would get more involved at school, schools would be better.  I'm afraid they're just turning into baby sitters.

You're even more enjoyable when you are blunt GIC!!! Wink
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« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2008, 12:59:45 AM »

And more, this extensive study found that "home school children outperform their public school peers on several national standardized exams), including the Stanford Achievement Test and the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and at nearly all grade levels (Rakestraw 1987, Frost 1987, Wanes 1990, Ray 1990, Rudner 1999)."

Then they talked about a study that seemed to be examining whether homeschoolers were cooking the books, i.e. inflating grades, concentrating too much on testing, etc. and compared the first year college performance of kids with similiar GPAs, SAT scores, etc between homeschooled children and others.  I.e. they examined how a homeschooler with a 3.8 GPA and a 1210 SAT did his first year compared with someone in public schools with the same scores.  You would also think that this would be an indicator of how a homeschool kid was socially prepared for school.  If he wasn't mentally ready, you'd think his grades would suffer.  What the study found was that across all observable date, a home school kid with a 3.8 and 1210 Sat did just as well as the public school student.  Combine that with the fact that homeschool children test better, it's hard to argue, except if you had some bitter homeschool experience, that the data shows anything but that homeschooling is a good thing.

Furthermore, the study found that when you just compared homeschoolers as a group with public students as a group, homeschoolers scored better their first year in the college.  Which you would expect as homeschoolers test higher than other incoming students.

I encourage everyone to check it out.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3955/is_200404/ai_n9383889
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« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2008, 01:22:39 AM »

And I've yet to find a study where homeschoolers don't do academically better, nor any studies where homeschoolers in general have psychological problems.  Your one year experience does not make a study. And show me ANY study that homeschooling creates more problems than it eliminates.

Perhaps not, but I've had rather substantial contact wth that particular community in this area. Perhaps it's only here, but most tend to be religious nutcases who fail to integrate into general society, have less than a college education, and have zero grasp or understanding of the sciences beyond the most rudimentary levels. Perhaps this area is an anomoly, but doing a few quick google searches, I'd seriously doubt it.

Quote
I agree though homeschooling isn't for everyone, nor should be expected by everyone.  I've known bad homeschoolers, but they either stop homeschooling or they get their kids taken away and these instances are rare. But if you have the means, time and desire your kids will do better regardless of your educational level.  That being said, I speak in public schools and I help teachers learn to deal with troubled youth.  If parents who can't homeschool their kids would get more involved at school, schools would be better.  I'm afraid they're just turning into baby sitters.

I don't think it should be completely outlawed, but a basic understanding of the subject being taught should have to be demonstrated (if you were truly dedicated to teaching your children, you'd read the books, learn the material, and pass the tests...if you don't, you're obviously not that dedicated). And I'd probably throw in that you should have to be given a clean bill of health by a state psychiatrist.

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You're even more enjoyable when you are blunt GIC!!! Wink

You're one of the few who think so. Wink
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« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2008, 01:25:35 AM »

Then they talked about a study that seemed to be examining whether homeschoolers were cooking the books, i.e. inflating grades, concentrating too much on testing, etc. and compared the first year college performance of kids with similiar GPAs, SAT scores, etc between homeschooled children and others.  I.e. they examined how a homeschooler with a 3.8 GPA and a 1210 SAT did his first year compared with someone in public schools with the same scores.  You would also think that this would be an indicator of how a homeschool kid was socially prepared for school.  If he wasn't mentally ready, you'd think his grades would suffer.  What the study found was that across all observable date, a home school kid with a 3.8 and 1210 Sat did just as well as the public school student.  Combine that with the fact that homeschool children test better, it's hard to argue, except if you had some bitter homeschool experience, that the data shows anything but that homeschooling is a good thing.

Any data on their financial success later in life? I came across a couple articles online that said they included this data in their abstract...but I wasn't going to pay $30 to get the whole article.
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« Reply #59 on: April 08, 2008, 01:54:08 AM »

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Point B: Most people who home school aren't psychologically fit to be parents, many should be committed, they certainly shouldn't be given free reign to indoctrinate their offspring.

Greeki, the rest of the world is bigger than the living rooms of the Jesus Camp-type of Home schoolers. People may be indoctrinated, but sooner or later, these same people find out how different things are for themselves. That's what the teenage years are for: rebellion and discovery! Wink
You and I both came from families that were fundamentalist Christian, and yet we have discovered that God doesn't have us by the front of our shirts when we sin, and the six-day Creation thing isn't true. Though some home schooled kids will probably not escape being as crazy as their parents until they either hurt someone or die, I have confidence that most of these kids won't be interested in filling out an application for God's Army or anything.... Grin
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« Reply #60 on: April 08, 2008, 02:23:36 AM »

No, they'll just undergo considerable psychological damage...but I guess it's nothing that some meds and a few decades of psychotherapy can't fix.
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« Reply #61 on: April 08, 2008, 07:00:39 AM »

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What kindergarten teacher hands their student third grade level books?

Ours does, to challenge him.  Smiley

Of course we are still trying to figure out how much he understands, because he likes to be silly and give the wrong answer on purpose (does it all the time on Dora the Explorer, and giggles the whole time).  Wink
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« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2008, 07:55:28 AM »

Oh! So he is bitter about being homeschooled, that explains it Cheesy

No, not at all.  He's just seen enough homeschooled kids who know nothing when they do come to public school.  Tongue  I'll let him speak for himself now.  LOL!
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« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2008, 10:58:23 AM »

No, not at all.  He's just seen enough homeschooled kids who know nothing when they do come to public school.  Tongue  I'll let him speak for himself now.  LOL! 

I have two close friends who were homeschooled to a point, and then went to high school (one only for his senior year, the other for her junior and senior years).  Both found the "workload" at High School to be laughable (they were used to a much more strenuous reading and homework regimen), and quite frankly did exceptionally on tests and whatnot (much better than average).  One could argue genetics in this case (they're of the same family), but it is my only firsthand experience with the subject.
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« Reply #64 on: April 08, 2008, 12:59:48 PM »

.

Point B: Most people who homeschool arn't psychologically fit to be parents, many should be committed, they certainly shouldn't be given free reign to indoctrinate their offspring.


On the contrary, you may be surprised to know that there is a lot more diversity in the home school community. Not all home school families are homespun, denim skirt wearing, snake handling, half educated idiots who want to seal their tender little snowflakes from the harms of this world.  In my line of work I deal with families who for many reasons have decided to homeschool their children. I'm happy to report that many of the families I work with are "educated" with "real" Bachelor's degrees (and higher! I recently worked with a family where both parents where PH.D's) from credible colleges and universities. Also, there are many who have worked as educators prior to making the commitment to homeschool.
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« Reply #65 on: April 08, 2008, 01:03:53 PM »

On the contrary, you may be surprised to know that there is a lot more diversity in the home school community. Not all home school families are homespun, denim skirt wearing, snake handling, half educated idiots who want to seal their tender little snowflakes from the harms of this world.  In my line of work I deal with families who for many reasons have decided to homeschool their children. I'm happy to report that many of the families I work with are "educated" with "real" Bachelor's degrees (and higher! I recently worked with a family where both parents where PH.D's) from credible colleges and universities. Also, there are many who have worked as educators prior to making the commitment to homeschool.

Which is an entirely different situation than the one that worries me. I hope what you describe is closer to the status quo in most regions, sadly it isn't here.
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« Reply #66 on: April 08, 2008, 01:28:26 PM »

GiC: Your curly white tail is showing. The people that you "know" that homeschool are from  "Jesus camp?" You argue that we should fight the mob mentality and you are getting your views on homeschooling from a TV show? Can you say "Baa baa, I am part of the TV watching masses that believe everything I see on TV?"


And there HAS to be more to Mr. Y's hostility towards homeschooling then that. He is FAR to angry about the subject for it to merely be his experience with homeschooled kids in his..what... 3 years as a teacher? That is hardly enough experience with homeschooled kids in a public school setting to base even a crappy study on. Once he has 25 years under his belt I will actually take his views without a pound of salt.
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« Reply #67 on: April 08, 2008, 01:38:07 PM »

My husband actually attended a private school 1-4, homeschool 5-8 and a public highschool 9-12. I was homeschooled for the 10th grade until  my mom gave up. So I earned my GED. And outside of my own reading, 10th grade education and my vocational training as a cosmetologist I have no education. And guess what? Next year I plan on teaching my daughter Latin! I am POSITVE that she wouldn't be learning that in ANY public school.
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« Reply #68 on: April 08, 2008, 01:45:19 PM »

GiC: Your curly white tail is showing. The people that you "know" that homeschool are from a Jesus camp? You argue that we should fight the mob mentality and you are getting your views on homeschooling from a TV show? Can you say "Baa baa, I am part of the TV watching masses that believe everything I see on TV?"

I don't even have a TV...so much for that thesis. The only shows I watch are Two and a Half Men and BSG, both of which I download from the internet and watch without commercials. Of course, I do read papers from secular humanists...which is probably a bigger intellectual influence on me.

Quote
And there HAS to be more to Mr. Y's hostility towards homeschooling then that. He is FAR to angry about the subject for it to merely be his experience with homeschooled kids in his..what 3 years as a teacher. That is hardly enough experience with homeschooled kids in a public school setting to base even a crappy study on.

I've noticed that the education/indoctrination of the youth can be a fairly emotional issue in general, considering we live in a republic and they will eventually have a role in choosing our government...thus making these issues social problems. If you read some of the stuff coming written on this subject coming out of England there is also a fair degree of emotion, even though homeschooling there is restricted to the standards I presented (as well as a teaching certificate)...it's ultimately a political issue.
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« Reply #69 on: April 08, 2008, 01:46:37 PM »

My mistake, you refered to the television show in a previous post. Why did you mention it if you haven't seen it?
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« Reply #70 on: April 08, 2008, 01:51:04 PM »

Gic; so then if all public education was faith based you would then argue that we should all homeschool so that our children aren't indoctrinated? It seems you have a problem with faith having any part in education.

The majority of homeschoolers here in the puget sound are militant atheists in my experience.
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« Reply #71 on: April 08, 2008, 01:51:41 PM »

My mistake, you refered to the television show in a previous post. Why did you mention it if you haven't seen it?

Because if GIC can't win a debate he pushes buttons to make it emotional, then when the dust settles tries to sound reasonable.  And sometimes he does it just because he thinks it fun.  Once you see his predictable pattern, he can be fun to watch! Wink
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« Reply #72 on: April 08, 2008, 01:53:02 PM »

Because if GIC can't win a debate he pushes buttons to make it emotional, then when the dust settles tries to sound reasonable.  And sometimes he does it just because he thinks it fun.  Once you see his predictable pattern, he can be fun to watch! Wink

Oh, it is fun to watch. Much like watching my dogs turn in circles in order to lick their rears is quite amusing. Or putting tape on my cats paws and watching him try and shake the tape off is hilarious.
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« Reply #73 on: April 08, 2008, 01:53:36 PM »

My mistake, you refered to the television show in a previous post. Why did you mention it if you haven't seen it?

I did? Where?
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« Reply #74 on: April 08, 2008, 01:55:05 PM »

Ours does, to challenge him.  Smiley

Of course we are still trying to figure out how much he understands, because he likes to be silly and give the wrong answer on purpose (does it all the time on Dora the Explorer, and giggles the whole time).  Wink

That wouldn't happen in any public schools here. There is a small chance it would, but I wouldn't gamble my childs education on it.
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« Reply #75 on: April 08, 2008, 01:56:11 PM »

Gic; so then if all public education was faith based you would then argue that we should all homeschool so that our children aren't indoctrinated? It seems you have a problem with faith having any part in education.

No, I'd just advocate that religion be removed from schools. It really has no place before graduate level theological studies. The recognition of this is why we stopped accrediting undergraduate Batchelors of Theology degrees in the U.S.

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The majority of homeschoolers here in the puget sound are militant atheists in my experience.

Which is probably not healthy either. Indoctrination with extreme ideology is unhealthy, the more moderate approach (generally) found in the public school system, as well as in non-religious private schools, is preferable.
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« Reply #76 on: April 08, 2008, 01:58:21 PM »

There is no moderation in the schools here. When I taught preschool I had to teach the 4-5 year olds about homosexuality. "Tolerance" based teaching IS indoctrination.
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« Reply #77 on: April 08, 2008, 01:58:43 PM »

Because if GIC can't win a debate he pushes buttons to make it emotional, then when the dust settles tries to sound reasonable.  And sometimes he does it just because he thinks it fun.  Once you see his predictable pattern, he can be fun to watch! Wink

Eh, in most contexts I could just say, 'too many homeschooling parents are religious nutcases, period.' And that would be enough to put a convincing argument out against it. On OC.net...'religious nut' doesn't quite carry the same stigma as it does in general society, so I have to play around with the issue a bit more. Even though we have different fundamental assumptions, it's still fun to kick around the issue.
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« Reply #78 on: April 08, 2008, 01:59:44 PM »

There is no moderation in the schools here. When I taught preschool I had to teach the 4-5 year olds about homosexuality. "Tolerance" based teaching IS indoctrination.

Nothing wrong with that, children should be taught to respect such differences. 'To each their own' is hardly extremist indoctrination, it's the basis of a free society.
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« Reply #79 on: April 08, 2008, 02:05:52 PM »

Teaching about homosexuality is sex education. Knowledge before readiness is damaging. And all a 4-5 year old needs to know is that a baby comes from a mommy and daddy. Not; "Your mommy and your mommy really wanted a baby but couldn't have one so they went to another man to give them "seed" to make you."

If everything is OK then everything is also NOT OK. It is amazing how "intolerant" you are of my "alternative lifestyle" GiC.  If I am in the minority for my beliefs then my lifestyle is an "alternative" one. As such you should be more tolerant of me. Cheesy
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« Reply #80 on: April 08, 2008, 02:07:48 PM »

I haven't taught my 6 year old about sex yet. But I also haven't opened up my copy of the Anarchist cookbook and show her how to make napalm either. Both lessons will come in good time. Grin
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« Reply #81 on: April 08, 2008, 03:13:13 PM »

Teaching about homosexuality is sex education. Knowledge before readiness is damaging. And all a 4-5 year old needs to know is that a baby comes from a mommy and daddy. Not; "Your mommy and your mommy really wanted a baby but couldn't have one so they went to another man to give them "seed" to make you."

If everything is OK then everything is also NOT OK. It is amazing how "intolerant" you are of my "alternative lifestyle" GiC.  If I am in the minority for my beliefs then my lifestyle is an "alternative" one. As such you should be more tolerant of me. Cheesy

I'm tolerant of it, but my libertarian ideals apply only to the person...not their family. There is a social responsibility to educate children in a manner consonant with the general expectations of society at large. Sex is a perfectly natural and healthy thing, whether or not it is discussed is not as important as when it is brought up an open and tolerant view is presented. What is unhealthy is indoctrinating them to believe that sexuality is taboo except under a certain set of socially acceptable conditions (not that these expectations are representative general society, only certain subcultures).

In general, religion and sexuality should be treated the same way. Tolerance and respect should be taught to child...as for the engaging in it, what consenting adults do with themselves or each other in privacy is their concern.

I haven't taught my 6 year old about sex yet. But I also haven't opened up my copy of the Anarchist cookbook and show her how to make napalm either. Both lessons will come in good time. Grin

Understandable, I didn't make Napalm until I was almost 8. Wink
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« Reply #82 on: April 08, 2008, 09:16:10 PM »

My six year old (kindergarten age for our area because of her birthday) reads at a third grade level. There is absolutely NO WAY that she would be able to do so if she were in a public school. She likely would have been bored with the material, slacked off and labeled "below average" because no one would have actually tried to give her more challenging reading material. This is precisely what happened to me.
There is absolutely no way? None at all? No, for instance, gifted programs? No summer reading programs? No after-school tutoring? No parent-teacher organizations? No libraries? Sheesh, if that's the case, come on down to Missouri. We'll have all your children reading at a third grade level in no time.

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What kindergarten teacher hands their student third grade level books?
All of them worth keeping around. Take a look at some elementary curriculum, and you'll see that "reading groups" are par for the course. They may have cute names--Puppies, Kittens, Bunnies, Giraffes--but both adults and kids know these are code names for groups that read below grade level, at grade level, or above grade level. A good teacher will create as many groups as are necessary, tailored to the actual children in that particular class.
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« Reply #83 on: April 08, 2008, 09:19:55 PM »

Oh! So he isI am bitter about being homeschooledin public school, that explains it Cheesy
I fixed it. You're welcome.
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« Reply #84 on: April 08, 2008, 09:28:09 PM »

Some home school socialization info from a digest on the Indiana University site, 

Stough (1992),looking particularly at socialization, compared 30 home- schooling families and 32 conventionally schooling families, families with children 7-14 years of age. According to the findings, children who were schooled at home "gained the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to function in society...at a rate similar to that of conventionally schooled children." The researcher found no difference in the self concept of children in the two groups. Stough maintains that "insofar as self concept is a reflector of socialization, it would appear that few home-schooled children are socially deprived, and that there may be sufficient evidence to indicate that some home- schooled children have a higher self concept than conventionally schooled children."

This echoes the findings of Taylor (1987). Using one of the best validated self-concept scales available, Taylor's random sampling of home-schooled children (45,000) found that half of these children scored at or above the 91st percentile--47% higher than the average, conventionally schooled child. He concludes: "Since self concept is considered to be a basic dynamic of positive sociability, this answers the often heard skepticism suggesting that home schoolers are inferior in socialization" (Taylor, 1987).

From http://www.indiana.edu/~reading/ieo/digests/d94.html
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« Reply #85 on: April 08, 2008, 10:00:06 PM »

Not a study, but a good article on the breaking down of Homeschool stereotypes and the reality of the situation from that fundamentalist evangelical right wing rag, The Boston Globe! Wink

"No longer just for the religious fundamentalists, home schooling has gone main stream, especially in Massachusetts. It's estimated that as many as 20,000 children here have abandoned test-crazy public schools and high-priced private schools for the comfort of the living room couch. But most surprising of all is that Harvard, BU, Brown, and other colleges are welcoming home-schoolers like all other students"

"As home-schoolers get accepted into the Ivies and prove themselves worthy in the eyes of the mainstream educational institutions, it would seem inevitable that cultural stereotypes about them will eventually break down."

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2004/03/21/schoolhouse_rocked/?page=1


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« Reply #86 on: April 09, 2008, 12:31:02 AM »

I fixed it. You're welcome.

Actually I was homeschooled for one year, my 10th grade year. And if I were to decide on the issue of homeschooling soley on my own experiences I would NEVER EVER homeschool. My mother chose a program that would have me graduating at the age of 20. And the history textbooks were like some ultra conservative text on speed. I hated every second of homeschooling. And I was more then happy to go get my GED at 16.
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« Reply #87 on: April 09, 2008, 12:42:09 AM »

My public schooling was great! I attended two grade schools and two middle schools in my 9 years of public education. My first grade school was great. It was in a higher income and class area. And so there was computer classes for us even though computers were just catching on. (I am dating myself, this was in the early to mid 80's). I started 1st grade at the age of 5.

And I started skipping classes at my new grade school around the age of 8-9, no one noticed or even cared. And for my 7-9th grade years I was able to go to classes at my two schools stoned out of my gourd and still pull off passing grades. The teachers would even get high with me! The sign launguage interpreter was great since he had left over pot from when his deceased wife was in chemo.

My school district was small. There were 4 middle schools to chose from in the entire city and I went to two of them. And from what I heard my experiences were not that unusual. That was in my home town of Salem OR.

I was convinced that we needed to homeschool when I voted the first time in our city at a local highschool in the richest area of Seattle. The textbooks in the library were about 20 years old. They still had Germany split and the USSR on record. And then you add in the whole WASL and the schools here are awful. My children will have a MUCH better education at home. In fact the requirements that I have to fufill are much more stringent than my public school teacher counterparts. I have to teach my children art and music and neither subject is offered here until you are in highschool. I have to teach my child so that she will meet or exceed grade standards, and the teachers here only have to give a test, they are not responsible for the results of the test. If my children don't keep grade level I can't teach them at home anymore. If they don't teach my child well enough to keep at grade level they just pass them off to someone else.

They teach to the WASL and that is it since all their funding is based on test scores. I can actually teach subjects that are...gasp...useful.
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« Reply #88 on: April 09, 2008, 01:43:38 AM »

I just started my teacher's assistant job last week at a public middle school in Northern California. I have spent most of my time trying to teach six graders how to write a five paragraph essay. Most of these kids can't even write a complete sentence let alone a whole essay. Correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar are skills that have not been taught. In order to help the worst cases pass the writing assessment test I was instructed to type the test for them as the child dictated their essay to me. The teacher told me to not worry about whether the child could spell small words but that I should only have the them spell the large words. Some of these kids couldn't even spell everyday words like: different, crawl, cricket or beautiful. After one week I am shocked by the extremely poor writing abilities of these students. Most of the families in this district are high income, high education, and Caucasian. Scary! I can only imagine how horrible it must be in the low income districts around the state. Public education in California needs to be completely overhauled. The first thing that needs to go is the California Teacher's Association.
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« Reply #89 on: April 09, 2008, 02:04:05 AM »

I hear of people here who homeschool and find they only need to school 2  1/2 hours per day in order to teach the required curriculum (in a classroom setting, the teacher spends the majority of the day on classroom/behaviour management, transitions, etc.) They are able to spend the rest of the day doing a variety of things they wouldn't be able to do as much of if the kids were schooled institutionally (sports, various fieldtrips, volunteer work, etc.). These other things provide the socialisation required and the school district actually provides a class one day per week where all the homeschooled kids can come together with a teacher in a classroom atmosphere. Sounds like the best of all worlds to me (and I am a teacher in an international baccalaureate private school). Let's not forget too that the reason we school in institutions the way that we currently do is because it is supposedly the cheapest method (in an institutional setting), not because it is the best. The schooling system as we know it was originated in places like Germany where the powers that were wanted soldiers and factory workers who would fall in line, and not think for themselves (now, most teachers I know personally nowadays work hard to foster critical thinking in their classrooms, but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that the institutional approach is always superior.

There is a lot of ignorance and myths surrounding homeschooling. Yup, some of it is done by ignorant fundamentalist half-wits, but most is not (at least around here). There really is a huge variety. I know one family, for instance, that intend on doing it when their babies are bigger - they are a very liberal, non-religious couple who managed to purchase beautiful, rural waterfront property that they will run an outdoor school off of, and want to rear their children with their environmentalist, simple living, outdoor ethos.

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« Reply #90 on: April 09, 2008, 11:05:12 AM »

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They teach to the WASL and that is it since all their funding is based on test scores.
I'm assuming this is Washington's standardized test, similar to our MAP (Missouri Assessment Program). If that's the case, then no, not all their funding is based on one test. For us, MAP scores are only one way to get funding: there are also grants, both publicly and privately funded; property taxes, which also fund police and fire districts as well as other services which vary by location; contributions from the parents (especially with field trips or club activities); and fundraisers such as bake sales or concessions at athletic events. Some districts get very creative and come up with entirely new ways to get funding.

Besides, these state assessments are (in theory) designed to test whether the students are learning essential skills. I have no problem with this theory, nor do most teachers; heck, we formally and informally assess our students' learning all the time! What we dispute is whether the assessments, which are usually written by test-writing companies like McGraw-Hill or ACT, are better evaluative tools than the assessments of classroom teachers.

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I can actually teach subjects that are...gasp...useful.
More useful than, say, reading, writing, arithmetic, algebra, American history, world history, music, art, drama, P.E., psychology, geography, foreign languages, journalism, speech, debate, biology, chemistry, physics--shall I go on? Yes, all of these and more are taught at my high school alone, with a faculty of about 20 teachers serving about 150 students.
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« Reply #91 on: April 09, 2008, 03:16:26 PM »

You know absolutely nothing about schools here. You are young, you haven't been teaching long and you assume that you know how all school districts work. No, they do get their funding based almost entirely upon those test scores. Those grants, taxes and other sources are also divided based upon WASL scores. Every single teachers union here is AGAINST the WASL. The goal for this year? Hopefully the kids can pass ONE of the WASL tests in order to graduate. Then the graduation rate will inch above 50%.

And you DIDN'T READ MY POST. They have liminated almost everything outside of reading, math, very basic science and PE at every school below 9th grade here. There ARE NO art, foreign launguage, field trips, drama or music classes for ANYONE below the HS. NOTHING. Not in the classroom, not in another classroom. There IS NOTHING until you are in highschool. And even then there is no funding for keeping up the materials. The HS close to me just built a new football field. They said they could make money on it to justify the MILLIONS of dollars it cost to build. Years later the school has no computers.

In CA it is worse. They get their funding based almost entirely on attendance. So if you bring your child to school late they fine you. And their idea of scoring your child in PE is to watch them on the playground and score it that way.

Just because you teach does NOT MEAN that you know ANYTHING about how other states do so. You are assuming that you are right when you are just plain wrong.

You teach HS. You DON'T teach grade school. You don't know how horrid grade schools are. They are cesspools here. And I am not placing my children in a public school hoping that they can make it until HS when everything will be a bit better. There are wonderful school districts and schools OTHER PLACES. But I can't drive several hours to get to them just so my child has a public education. I have NEVER said that all public schools everywhere are horrible. I have always said they are bad HERE. It doesn't matter how good they are where you are. They suck here.You really have quite the chip on your shoulder against homeschooling. And whether you know it or not (and soon you will because you have a child) education and ones attitude, aptitude and ability to learn start BEFORE highschool.
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« Reply #92 on: April 09, 2008, 03:20:22 PM »

20-150? That is 7.5 to 1. That is a DREAM ratio here. I think the only schools that have that ratio are the private schools that cost about 50k a year. That is a lower ratio than the PRESCHOOLS here have. Try 300-15, or in some areas 10-300. The highschols here have even higher ratios then that! You have it EASY.

We have schools here that are Spanish language exclusively which have lower grade standards because we can't assume that Hispanics can pass our Caucasion tests. How stupid and racist is that?
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« Reply #93 on: April 09, 2008, 03:24:01 PM »

You likely don't have 7.5 children in your classes. But the ratios are based on the total number of students versus total faculty.
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« Reply #94 on: April 09, 2008, 03:29:03 PM »

My grade school growing up was 360-14. And we had a PE and Music teacher!
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« Reply #95 on: April 09, 2008, 03:51:59 PM »

Phew, it's getting stuffy in here with all that shouting. I'm going to step outside for a moment.

But you did prove the point I made earlier:
Oh! So he isI am bitter about being homeschooledin public school, that explains it Cheesy
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« Reply #96 on: April 09, 2008, 04:12:00 PM »

My public schooling was great! I attended two grade schools and two middle schools in my 9 years of public education. My first grade school was great. It was in a higher income and class area. And so there was computer classes for us even though computers were just catching on. (I am dating myself, this was in the early to mid 80's). I started 1st grade at the age of 5.

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« Reply #97 on: April 09, 2008, 04:14:12 PM »

What, did you get dipped in boiling oil everytime you got a question wrong when you were homeschooled? Or did you get that atomic wedgie every day once you hit public highschool? I remember harassing those naive homeschoolers that came to public HS well. That deer caught in the headlights look. The ceaseless taunting. It was great! Cheesy

Ah, to be a couple years fresh out of college and to assume you know everything! Must feel great. You have been teaching for a year or two and think you have the students and the world by the tail. Oh how I loved breaking your kind when I was in school. Grin Either they broke or they toked in order to deal with me. laugh
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« Reply #98 on: April 09, 2008, 04:23:07 PM »

And then there were the teachers that had been around a few years and actually had grown past the young idealism that were really awesome that genuinely loved their job, loved their kids and made a real difference. I learned more than I could say from those types of teachers. I never skipped their classes, and if I did they noticed and so did I. But even they admitted that they started off as young punks that assumed they knew everything about teaching.

I pray that you have a long and wonderful career in education Mr. Y. But I do hope that you outgrow this young arrogant know-it-all attitude about all things public school. Once you can admit that not all public schools or teachers are perfect then you will make even more headway then you already do. And you will win the respect and admiration of your collegues AND your students.
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« Reply #99 on: April 09, 2008, 04:29:44 PM »

^ I see you're still pretending this thread is about me. I think I'll go for a walk.
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« Reply #100 on: April 09, 2008, 04:34:40 PM »

Time to take a breather while I decide whether or not there are any ad hominems in the recent copious posting - Cleveland, Global Moderator
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