Home-school parents battle towns, state

Home-school parents battle towns, state

There are 27 comments on the Connecticut Post story from Jun 1, 2008, titled Home-school parents battle towns, state. In it, Connecticut Post reports that:

Home-schooler Isabel Salmon, 15, goes over a stack of lesson plans with her mom, Anne Lowe-Salmon. Isabel has flourished since she started home schooling, winning numerous awards for her academic achievements.

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Floral Park, NY

#23 Jun 3, 2008
Aderryn wrote:
I know this is a bit off topic but I wonder this often when speaking with friends of mine who have already involved their very young children in the political process. How many people who are upset at the messages kids are bringing home from school are upset simply because they aren't messages that match with the beliefs of the parents? I'm not saying that any beliefs are right or wrong and I certainly do believe that many teachers or school environments can preach a certain political leaning (and depending on the school that can be EITHER very conservative or very liberal - my 11th and 12th grade years were spent at a VERY conservative leaning school). Do parents REALLY want kids to think for themselves? Or do they simply want their kids to share the same beliefs as they possess?\
My one girlfriend is so proud that her 5 year old daughter can "talk politics" and is a huge Obama supporter and brags at how her daughter has become this way all on her own. Except....she lives in a household where conservative ideas are constantly belittled and Obama-love is preached constantly. So...how much of what our children become is really from their own choice? Knowledge of the world, and choices we make, and belief systems we grown up with, are always determined by our OWN personal upbringing...it seems disingenuous to me to say that we want our kids to be independent thinkers who develop their own ideas and opinions when it comes to their moral development. As a parent myself I have to admit that I would be upset if my child ended up having very extreme beliefs in either direction, and I feel that part of my job as a parent is imparting morals and values that I believe in. So basically it seems that a lot of the time parents with one set of values are running up against schools with divergent values and so the two clash.
Sorry if this makes little sense. I still need coffee :-)
That poor kid, not being allowed the freedom of thought. And its a parent that is indoctinating her. Terrible!

Rochester, NY

#24 Jun 3, 2008
are you successful wrote:
<quoted text>
Just curious, how did home schooling work out for you? Are you successful in your career? Weere you able to make it in college?
Our homeschooling program was different from what most people consider being home-schooled. We had a group of families with similar goals for their children's education and it was more structured than just being taught at home. So I would say that my homeschooling experience was very successful, but not necessarily typical. There was a lot of socialization that was more like what is experienced in an actual school environment, it just took place under the guidance of parents rather than teachers. I didn't really suffer any kind of rough adjustment when I moved to a "real" school and that's probably because our days were structured into more of a school-like schedule and less free-flowing than many home-schooled children experience. That being said, we each had varying interests and it was not unusual to go and experience things that were more specialized - shadowing physicians, lab volunteering, etc, for me...spending time with directors of art museums, and taking college art classes for my sister.

I would say that my education prepared me quite well for college and beyond. I graduated from a Medical Scientist Training Program a few years ago and just received a tenure-track position at the University that I received my MD/PhD from.

Homeschooling works well for some. It's not necessarily for every student or every family. In a lot of ways it's far more work than just going to school in a regular school system where the programs are established already. I appreciate all the work my parents put into educating me and my siblings.

Rochester, NY

#25 Jun 3, 2008
indoctrination wrote:
<quoted text>
That poor kid, not being allowed the freedom of thought. And its a parent that is indoctinating her. Terrible!
I don't know whether it's terrible or not. I'm just curious as to how COMMON it is on both ends of the political spectrum. Don't most parents view their children as reflections of themselves? And if that's the case, doesn't it make sense that most parents strongly attempt to instill similar values in their children to the ones they themselves possess? I'm not trying to say that it's right or wrong just that I think it happens.

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#26 Jun 3, 2008
Similar values is one thing. Encouraging your children to parrot your thoughts without thinking things through is another. And a 5-year-old is way to young to get involved in politics anyway. YMMV

Northford, CT

#27 Jun 3, 2008
I support home schooling having tried both public and private as well. I wonder about Atty Stevenson's choice to send her children to college at ages 10 and 11. Granted you don't experience some of the good amenities of high school days like the dances and high school proms when you homeschool, you still have the opportunity to meet other boys/girls your age among the homeschool community. Some teens date in high school so the kids are not getting that experience if they go to college at 10 and 11. More importantly, usually when you get out of college, you either get a job or gone on for your master's degree.

At ages 14 and 15 I wonder what happens after graduating college? They can't date college boys as they are not emotionally ready for that, and they can't work at that age, so then what?

Just curious how the emotional aspects are handled...my daughter had a girl in her class just short of a year younger than the rest of the class, and she had such a hard time when it came to going to dances. She wasn't emotionally ready. She couldn't relate to her other classmates, and she wasn't able to go to the supervised dances with the grade below as they were not part of the mix (at the time it was only 7th and 8th grade). She was lost for years all because her parents pushed for her to be a grade ahead (she was experiencing a lot of physical problems as well).

Although I agree with homeschooling, I don't think I'd want my child to attend high school or college before his/her time.
Magster Mae

Ackermanville, PA

#28 Jun 6, 2008

Homeschoolers in CT might want to consider joining the HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association). They are a Christian organization. Those who are not Christian should consider joining anyway. It's a small annual fee and, if you are a member, and a school district bothers you, they will represent you for free (even if the case goes to court).

Newington, CT

#29 Jun 6, 2008
I don't see a problem with home schooling as long as it's done properly (i.e. the child actually gets educated). My cousin home-schools her kids in a setting very much like others described here; a group of parents "pools" their kids and their resources to either teach the kids themselves if qualified or to pay for a competent teacher if no one in the parent group has the necessary education. For instance, one father was a chemist, one mother was a math teacher, and my cousin, as a nurse, taught basic biology. They hired a physics teacher and took the kids to museums and nature centers for their educational programs.

The problems come in when the parents doing the home schooling are not qualified. There was a group that met at a friend's church to home-school the church's kids. My friend's mother volunteered to teach reading. But she couldn't spell and knew nothing of proper grammar. She may have been enthusiastic, but those kids didn't learn to read well or write properly until the church school closed and they had to go back to regular schools (public or private). The same thing happened to the Jehovah's Witnesses that lived across the street; they home-schooled their kids, and as teenagers they still couldn't do basic math (like count back change).

For the record, I'm NOT saying that religion is the problem. I went to a Catholic elementary school, and while the school was too small to have fancy labs and equipment, we certainly did learn the basics; we consistently out-scored the public school kids in algebra, reading comprehension, spelling, and grammar. Most of us went on to Advanced Placement classes in high school. I hated that school for a number of other reasons, but I could never fault their educational standards.

We have enough trouble now with kids passing through school and coming out the other side unable to read simple instructions or balance their checkbooks. Home schooling is not a guarantee of solving that problem. It depends on the parents recognizing and admitting when they aren't qualified to teach a subject and seeking out resources that are qualified.

There should be some kind of testing system that home-schooling parents can use to make sure their children are learning at levels AT LEAST appropriate to their ages. Learning faster is not a problem. Learning significantly slower may signal a learning disability that should be addressed before the child gets too far behind.

All forms of education have their problems, public, private, and home. In all cases, the emphasis should be on educating each child to the best of that child's abilities. Considering that there have been cases in the news where children have been pulled from school to hide abuse (or even death), DCF is right to be concerned if a child drops off the face of the earth. They are NOT right to harrass parents who have signed the right forms, notified the right authorities, and can show that education is taking place. The schools are NOT right to harrass such parents, either.

BTW, my mother was a teacher. Incompetent teachers with tenure pissed her off worse than it can possibly annoy you. It made her work that much harder trying to correct the idiot's mistakes when she later got those same kids in her classes. Her focus was always on teaching the kids. If the child actually wanted to learn, there was no length she wouldn't go to to help, to the limits of the child's ability and patience (her own was endless). She also tutored those same JW kids when they wanted to go to college and found that they couldn't even comprehend the application instructions (yes, it was that bad, but they could sure spout off those tracts by memory).


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