I was a teacher for ten years, teaching in junior high, high school and college. I taught kids who had been home schooled and I can say that there were usually only two kinds of kids: those who were home schooled very well and those who were home schooled HORRIBLY. I never saw too much in between. I really think it all comes down to the parents. If the parents have a passion for learning and education and can explain things at their child's level, it tends to work very well. But if the home school teacher (like this one scatter brained mother I knew personally) means well, but is unorganized, unable to focus, and uninformed about what should even be included in an educational curriculum, it does not tend to turn out well. I have also noticed that even the best home schooling parents often decide to send their children to public high school when the curriculum and subject matter become too labor-intensive or simply too difficult for the parents. For example, my public high school taught French, Spanish, German and Russian. I wanted to learn German and French. How would I have learned those languages if my parents were home schooling me since my parents only spoke English? I also wanted to take Advanced Placement English. My parents, even though they were high school graduates (and that's ALL you have to be to home school your kids in South Carolina, being a college graduate is NOT required here), knew NOTHING about the intricacies of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats or Dostoevsky, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also wanted to take Advanced Placement U.S. History and I did and while my parents might have been able to teach me the mere facts of U.S. history, I sincerely doubt that they could have done it as well as Mr. Knighton did. Mr. Knighton's class was a sheer joy because he taught us how to think critically, how to debate in a logical and respectful manner and how to write and argue persuasively.
I know there are bad teachers out there because I saw them when I taught. But I also remember the great public school teachers I had that inspired me, and some of my colleagues when I taught who were so outstanding. Its kind of sad that the home schooled kids miss those great public school teachers. Nevertheless, I understand why parents home school and if I were in a bad school district, I might consider it myself if I had children, at least for the primary grades.
I agree with you.
There are some parents who even do "unschooling" which is "just letting your child learn by watching you". No curriculum.... I would be AGAINST that.
My family uses Rod & Staff curriculum. It ends at 8th grade officially, but has subject matter until 10th grade. AFTER that we are going to a more computer based curriculum.
However, I am downright impressed with Rod & Staff. It teaches things that WE NEVER learned in regular school (I went to public school).
For instance, there is an entire course on "How to construct a home from the ground up, plumbing, insulation, wiring, and installing appliances & Cabinets". It gets VERY detailed. Even down to putting in the disposal in the sink.
I can't even say how much this would have helped me when I was 18 years old, because I didn't know ANYTHING. Not good with home repairs or cooking etc.
Some homeschooled children learn based in "practicality" and "life skills", vs. things like Julius Caesar. Some may clash with nothing but curriculum.... Some may not.
My sons for sure WOULD NOT like sitting still in a classroom all day. But they are both smart, read great, know math wonderfully.... My younger son (8 years old) has great penmanship (better than mine). My older son... well there is room for improvement on his penmanship. Still though, they both do well in the books but SHINE with tools.... I've never seen anything like it.
I can buy a faucet from home depot come back, realize I forgot a tractor oil filter at Autozone, come back and my 11 year old installed the faucet up under the sink. No leaks. Plumbers taped perfectly. Nice & tight.
But you are right, there are some children where I don't agree with the way their parent's home school... But I view that as their choice.
Some parents emphasize life skills much more than books, some books more than life skills. It varies.
Point being, so long as they are learning enriching things, that's the point of an education. "Learn to think for themselves" and "find answers to questions". After you "give them" that drive of curiosity, you can pretty much sit back....
Except you can't sit back for Algebra with my Daughter....
I gave her a break one day from it and I came in to two fresh loaves of bread and 3 pies. Bribery!