My Word: Amy Platon: Home-schoolers, ...

My Word: Amy Platon: Home-schoolers, don't quit system

There are 442 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from May 25, 2009, titled My Word: Amy Platon: Home-schoolers, don't quit system. In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

Budget cuts seem to be pushing more Orange County parents toward home schooling.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Orlando Sentinel.

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#1 May 26, 2009
Schools are new world order indoctrination centers with a very subversive, sinister agenda. I say home school!

Deland, FL

#2 May 26, 2009
Are you kidding me? Have you even talked to a homeschooler? Homeschoolers are very much a part of the oommunity. In fact, they have more time to be a part of the community.

As for sending the well-parented child to school to be a good influence, well, you do what is good for you. I for one, would like to avoid the drinking, smoking, drugs, profanity, etc. that are rampant at the ELEMENTARY school that my children are to attend.

Did you happen to take advantage of surrounding yourself with these homeschooled children and parents at the conference this past weekend? If so, you would have seen some very happy, mature, industrious children and some very caring parents that are doing what is best for THEIR child. That is the beauty of this nation, FREEDOM for all.

I encourage you to rethink your position and visit a homeschool family or enrichment group in your area.

United States

#3 May 26, 2009
Homeschooling should be encouraged provided the parent has some education and is qualified to teach. However, it can be damaging to the child if the parent is just on an ego or shelter-the-child trip. There must be some standard testing to keep the parent accountable.

Sun City, FL

#5 May 26, 2009
You worry that we'll end up with adults who think they have to look out for themselves? You want a child dependent upon government, and it's lowest-common-denominator mentality? Their idea of "no child left behind" is to hold all children back to the weakest. Pooling ignorance will only cripple us as a community.
Funny how you don't consider yourself qualified to teach your child because someone knows more about a subject than you. Perhaps I have better parenting skills, will you give me your child to raise?
a homeschooling mother

Deltona, FL

#6 May 26, 2009
Obviously, Amy, you did not bother speaking with an actual homeschooler before you formed your one-sided opinion. I’m used to being judged so I do not take your comments personally. Homeschooling is not for everyone. It is most certainly for us, and we will continue homeschooling through high school graduation. Contrary to the image you leave your readers of homeschoolers being chained to the dining room table without any social interaction or positive influence in our community I would like to educate you on a few aspects of homeschooing.

Homeschooling begins at birth not when they are old enough to formally attend school. I’ve been academically homeschooling my children for 10 years. They just completed 8th and 6th grades. My children are zoned for a “D” grade school. For the past 7 and 5 years respectfully both of them have scored above the 95th percentile in standardized testing with the past two years in the 99th percentile. Both participate in Duke TIP which is a program designed for the academically gifted. My daughter took the high school SAT at age 13 and my son took the Explore test in 5th grade instead of 8th grade. They achieve these scores because they are well rounded and balanced students who are serious about academics. Yes, they do dance and sports but they also care about their studies as well. We are a part of the public school system because every year the system gets my tax money, which based on most news accounts, is promptly squandered. They can have my money, but they are not getting my children.

You are narrow-minded in your opinion concerning the future social ramifications of homeschoolers in the community. My children have been and continue to be perfectly capable of being good influences without subjecting them to the public school system. It is not their responsibility to offset the bad parenting of the students you want my children to befriend. Parents need to step up to the plate and raise their own children by example and not depend on infiltrating the public school system with the well-parented homeschoolers as you have suggested.
A Homeschool Mom


#7 May 26, 2009
Amy, just as you have decided to send your child to public school and we do not judge you, please do not judge us. We have made the decision that is best for our family. We do not know what is best for your children, so please don't assume you know what is best for ours.
Also, at least do some research on a subject before you decide to let everyone know what your opinions are.

Orlando, FL

#8 May 26, 2009
Though I appreciate your feelings regarding the effect homeschooling has on our state/nation, I feel it is important that you consider some information and experiences from actual homeschoolers. Firstly, your idea that homeschoolers have social issues because of their “sheltered” situation needs to be addressed. When it comes to being able to engage people in society, there is no location in the real world where a person is living or working alongside only individuals the exact same age. Imagine a corporation where all of your coworkers were born in the same year as you. School situations are completely unnatural environments where students begin to only think they can relate to their peers. Homeschoolers, on the other hand, are usually surrounded by multi-aged students, traveling with other families on field trips, and experiencing their education with much older and younger individuals. They are well prepared to face the “real world” because they can easily converse and identify with individuals of every age.

Secondly, in a homeschool situation, the parents have the freedom to assess their student’s learning style and adjust the curriculum so that they can best learn the subject. Obviously, this is much more difficult in a large classroom situation. Our country has benefited greatly from those who think “outside the box,” and it is a given that there are many ways an individual processes information. Homeschooling allows the parent to tailor their student’s education to enhance his or her skills while improving areas that need extra work.

Thirdly, homeschooled students have a more flexible weekly schedule so that they can engage their community and develop a compassion to better it. Most homeschoolers log volunteer hours well and above the 75 hours required for the Bright Futures scholarship. I personally know several students who have racked up hundreds of hours working for local shelters, political campaigns and food drives.

Our goal for our children is most likely very much like yours. We want our children to be well educated in all academic areas so that they will be active contributors to our society and can successfully provide for and run their own households. We desire them to be well-adjusted individuals who have a great sense of self worth and desire to serve those in their community around them.

Since: Apr 08

Butler, New Jersey

#9 May 26, 2009
Naz wrote:
Funny how you don't consider yourself qualified to teach your child because someone knows more about a subject than you.
I think that is why we have college, and vocational training programs Naz. And, yes teachers are more qualified to teach core subjects, unless we get qualified outselves we may cause the child problems. How about the 13 year old boy who has cancer and is on the run with his mother. He can not read and is homeschooled. Do you really believe that all public schools are the same? Do you also perform your own Automotice, Home AirConditioning repairs, Plumbing repairs, home construction, water service to your home, electricity generation, and electrical repairs to your home, just to mention a few skills that you probably do not have? If you want to home school your child, then do it, it is your right, but don't assume that all public schools are bad, because they are not. It depends on where you live because public resources are not always equitably allocated, not to mention that lower economic housing areas have the poorer families with the poorest schools.
high school teacher

Orlando, FL

#10 May 26, 2009
I agree. Many of the home schooled students I have taught, not all, perform way below grade level. Many are also socially inept. My heart breaks for them. This year, I had student who missed my 1st period almost every day because he couldn't get up in time. The class starts after 9am. He was used to sleeping in as late as he wanted, and he says that he did work for a couple hours a day. The demanding nature of high school, which isn't really THAT demanding, is entirely too much for him. I don't know how he is ever going to handle college, or a job. I am worried. I agree with your MY WORD column wholeheartedly, for the reasons you stated and for many others. Thanks for writing it. Good parenting = great students in a public school. That is the bottom line.

Rock Rapids, IA

#11 May 26, 2009

I seriously think you need to re-evaluate your reasoning and check your facts. You really expect your son to be the savior of all the problems that currently exist in the public school system? Talk about child abuse.

Secondly, homeschoolers are one of the most actively involved groups within the community. They're the ones at home reaching out to neighbors and helping above and beyond what is the norm for most of today's busy two-income families.

Winter Garden, FL

#12 May 26, 2009
Budget cuts are not what push parents to homeschooling.(I did laugh, I promise.)

My personal issue with public schooling is the red tape and abundance of administration. Educators are limited by such an extreme of rules that what they are allowed to teach is often a set of ethics, morals, or propeganda with which I and my family disagree. We are not alone. The choice of many concerned parents is evident by their actions.

I will submit to you we are not opting out so much as returning to our roots. In the early days of America education was received primarily in the home, from mentors who loved and individually nurtured children. If a parent does not believe they are capable of home educating, I feel sorry for them. There is no experience so rewarding, or trying, or incredible. This is what true parenting is meant to be.

The public school system has become too much the large impersonal government that our forefathers fought. By taking my family the private education route I am speaking louder than my singular overlooked vote, stating that our school systems are not working. Eventual reform will be the result if enough of us pull out. I for one am all for it.

And, as a gentle encouragement to those who debate, there are strong societies of homeschooling families who support one another, hold co-ops, draw on our communitive strengths and form powerful friendships. This is a trend that will continue to grow until the government corrects itself and remembers it is not to dictate the way people will live or believe, but rather to maintain order and law.
Homeschool Mom

Houston, TX

#13 May 26, 2009
I certainly respect Ms. Platon's decision regarding the education of her children, but she puts forth a poor analysis of homeschooling based on popular misconceptions. It's these same misconceptions that homeschoolers are faced with every day. Honestly, most of us are exhausted from trying to explain what doesn't want to be heard.

I am a homeschool mom. I've always been such, since I believe that learning happens from birth. I felt that for my children and my family, that homeschooling was simply a better fit. I never deserted anything, and have even tutored many a high school math student. I'm not adverse to helping the system. However, that does not mean I should be placing my kids in a situation that is not an ideal fit just for the sake of "the system".

I homeschool because my children deserved time to play. I don't think hours of homework after already being in school for 7 hours for 3rd graders is appropriate. There is no time for play, for chores, or for just being a family.

I homeschool because my children aren't cookies, and can't be forced into a cookie cutter mold. I'd like to be able to challenge their strong skills, and give more individualized instruction to areas where they struggle. The attention span of a child who has just spent 7 hours in school is typically shot, and not as conducive to enrichment or tutoring as a homeschool environment.

I homeschool so that we can have more opportunities to serve in the community, and to discuss current events as they happen. There is simply more time to do this, since we have more than double the amount of time available to think and process the goings-on of our world. The idea that a homeschooled child isn't part of his community is ludicrous. School isn't the only part of the community. Indeed, school is the only part of society that more resembles a prison than the real world. I'd like my children to be learning to be part of the real world.

I homeschool so that my children can have time for their passions, to let them delve more deeply into what interests them.

I find it sad that these misconceptions continue to abound, especially when there is so much information to refute these ideas. However, the moment one becomes open minded enough to find out what really happens, the moment one becomes drawn to it. I understand that this is a scary proposition.


#14 May 26, 2009
Constitutional Convention Delegates that were homeschooled:
Richard Basseti - Governor of DE
· William Blount - U.S. Senator
· George Clymer - U.S. Representative
· William Few - U.S. Senator
· Benjamin Franklin
· William Houston – Lawyer
· William S. Johnson
· William Livingston - Governor of NJ
· James Madison - 4th U.S. President
· George Mason - Justice of VA
· John Francis Mercer - U.S. Rep.
· Charles Pickney III - Governor of SC
· John Rutledge - Chief Justice
· Richard D. Spaight - Governor of NC
· George Washington
· John Witherspoon
· George Wythe - Justice of VA


#15 May 26, 2009
Homeschooled Presidents:
John Adams

John Quincy Adams

Grover Cleveland

James Garfield

William Henry Harrison

Andrew Jackson

Thomas Jefferson

Abraham Lincoln

James Madison

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

John Tyler

George Washington

Woodrow Wilson


#16 May 26, 2009
Statesmen that were homeschooled:
Konrad Adenauer

Henry Fountain Ashurst

William Jennings Bryan

Winston Churchill

Henry Clay

Pierre du Pont

Benjamin Franklin

Alexander Hamilton

Patrick Henry

William Penn

Daniel Webster


#17 May 26, 2009
Military fingers are starting to get tired from alllll this typing..MY sooo many homeschoolers:
John Barry - Senior Navy Officer

Stonewall Jackson - Civil War General

John Paul Jones - Father of the American Navy

Robert E. Lee - Civil War General

Douglas MacArthur - U.S. General

George Patton - U.S. General

Matthew Perry - naval officer who opened up trade with Japan

John Pershing - U.S. General

David Dixon Porter - Civil War Admiral


#18 May 26, 2009
Supreme Court Judges..that were homeschooled..however did they do it? They are soooo socially inept. HAU.S. Supreme Court Judges

John Jay

John Marshall

John Rutledge

Sandra Day O'Connor


#19 May 26, 2009
Homeschooled scientists:

Must've been rough for be so brilliant, yet perform below grade level. <g>

George Washington Carver

Pierre Curie

Albert Einstein

Michael Faraday - electrochemist

Oliver Heaviside - physicist and electromagnetism researcher

T.H. Huxley

Blaise Pascal

Booker T. Washington

Erik Demaine - Popular Science Mag: One of the Most Brilliant Scientists in America


#20 May 26, 2009
Homeschooled Artists:

Hey, Amyyy, getting tired, yet?

William Blake

John Singleton Copley

Claude Monet

Grandma Moses

Charles Peale

Leonardo da Vinci

Andrew Wyeth

Jamie Wyeth


#21 May 26, 2009
Religious Leaders that were homeschooled: BTW, Amy...I speakfor my child and she says, "I don't want to fix YOUR broken educational system, but thanks for thinking so highly of homeschoolers that you depend on us to save your schools." LOL

Joan of Arc

William Carey

Jonathan Edwards

Philipp Melancthon

Dwight L. Moody

John Newton

John Owen

Hudson Taylor

John & Charles Wesley

Brigham Young

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