Teacher and Mom of 4 Highly Capable Children Shares Why Homeschooling is Bad

by Karen
(Seattle, WA)

Seattle public school teacher shares why she thinks homeschooling is bad...


There is a hidden curriculum in public school. A curriculum that you will not find on state assessments or lesson plans. It's called how to be a member of a large complex social group "society". A society where "don't judge a book by it's cover" is so often used that we forget why. Because we are judged every minute of every day by friends, peers, clients, even the cashier at the grocery store. If you do not understand proper chain of command (who to go to first and why), following directions of those placed in charge of you, or trying to be a part of the society in which you live. This includes proper dress, dealing with peers in small and large groups, dealing with adults on your own, understanding that your sense of "syle" may need some rethinking unless you enjoy being made fun of. How about puncuality and attendance, keeping a smile when you don't want to smile, dealing with people of all types every day in every capacity. You learn not everyone loves you unconditionally, maybe the "bedazzled" pants you love is a poor choice for a 6th grade boy, and yes you must finish your homework when you are too tired to think. Someday you may have a legal brief due and have to work all night, even though "homework isn't fun" and may detract from your quality time exploring a museum.

We have exactly 18 years to do our very best to prepare our children for everything academically, socially and beyond,for the world in which THEY LIVE. Last time I checked that world was a very big place. We must groom ideals into them such as perfect attendance, pride for their social group like the school's football team or drumline, wanting to be a part of something bigger than themselves. This will serve them well as CEO's physicians and leaders. The ones who don't like having to wait for Johnny before moving on, may start a lesson late because they were up at an event late the night before have no idea how unforgiving the real world is. So unless you plan to keep them in a bubble with you forever get involved and support your local public school, spend all that extra time you seem to have being a volunteer. Allow your child to experience the society they live in or you may be limiting them to a subculture of people who just CAN"T fit in.

Sure there are a few homeschooled kids that are awesome (way to go mom and dad) but I have seen many homeschooled students who attempt to go to public high school and a large majority are like a fish out of water. They missed their learning window and may never be able to be a part of the social world that is thriving around them.They do not speak and are filled with anxiety or they are so inappropriate they have had referrals for aspergers. Apparently their newfound independance learned as a homeschool student will tell them it is ok to not fit in as an adult and feel like they have always been close but miles away. We live in a social world and these children are being pulled from the structure to placate their parents need to prove their "selfless" unconditional love. Perhaps the kindest gift is teaching children the hidden curriculum of how to live in our world with 7 billion other social creatures.

Hi Karen,
Although I disagree with many of your points, I do appreciate the time you took to share your opinion with others.
Blessings,
Heather

Comments for Teacher and Mom of 4 Highly Capable Children Shares Why Homeschooling is Bad

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Nov 01, 2011
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CRAZY
by: Anonymous

Really? My kids actually went to a private school. Although the private school was OK it went only to 8th grade, they then would have to go to public school. Home school is the best thing we ever did! My kids are not bullied, sexually harassed, victims of peer pressure, victims of gang initiation, and believe it or not see teachers do drugs, see teachers get beat up, etc. At the local high school they have 4 or more cops on duty at all times! Do you really think I want my kid to go to that school? All for "understanding that your sense of "syle" may need some rethinking unless you enjoy being made fun of"

My home school kids are in sports, boy scouts, junior auxiliary, church youth and anything else they can fit in. AND my kids test way higher than public school kids.

We have 6 public schools in our area that are being taken over by the state because of poor test scores.

Just sayn'

Nov 01, 2011
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Eloquence personified.
by: Anonymous

Yes, I agree having your own sense of "syle" is a bad idea. If syle was an actual word. And how about that puncuality. If the spelling errors in this teacher's article weren't enough of to make you side-eye the quality of education she's providing, her message sure does. You homeschooling parents are crippling your children. They need to be like everyone else. Follow whatever anyone with more seniority, power or clout tells them - always. And DO NOT stand out. Because it's obvious the most successful and innovative people have always done what they were told by the herd. Just look at history. Insert eye roll here.

If homeschooling parents are selfishly trying to keep their children to themselves and creating backward, anti-social people who can't cope, then why is it nearly all the ones I've ever met seem more confident, better able to interact with people of all ages and are more familiar with real world situations than their peers?

Learning how to deal with narrow-minded and judgmental people doesn't require experiencing public school. Becoming one of them does. Good luck to the kids under your tutelage lady. They're going to need it.

Nov 01, 2011
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Too Full of Errors to Take Seriously
by: Anonymous

I hope this public school teacher does not teach writing and composition. It appears that this error riddled post was written in frustration.

I'll let everyone else comment on the other stuff. :) I must go do something for this steam coming out of my ears.

Nov 01, 2011
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And another thing ....
by: Kay

I am the third anonymous. There are more than spelling errors in this post. The majority of the sentences are fragments or run-ons, and several of them make no sense at all.

As the mom of a child on the Autistic Spectrum, I am incensed by the Asperger's comment. My son spent several years in the public school system, and he is doing much better in the home-school environment. Like many home-school families, we are involved in a co-op as well as other outside activities.

After years of test prep drudgery and being either frustratingly ahead or behind, my child is learning and enjoying it.


Nov 01, 2011
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Teacher and mom of 3 highly capable children shares why this article is bad
by: Marcia

Teacher and Mom of 4 Highly Capable Children Shares Why Homeschooling is Bad

Teacher and mom of 3 highly capable children shares why this article is bad. I am a public school teacher, and my three boys have always been in public school. One of my sons is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and it seems the author of this article knows very little about the syndrome. My twelve-year-old son, who has been in public school from pre-K to sixth grade, has Asperger's Syndrome. It is a syndrome people are born with, not one they acquire as a result of homeschooling. Despite his diagnosis, he is doing well in public school and has straight A's. It has its challenges, but he is okay. I would love to homeschool him, but due to finances, I work full-time. I am a public school teacher. As a teacher, I know that each child has a unique learning style. Some thrive and excel in public school, while others do well in different types of learning environments, such as home. I know several homeschooled children who have superior social skills. If I were to homeschool my children, I think my oldest son would do very well, but I believe my two younger ones would do better in public school. There is nothing wrong with parents choosing what type of education works for each of their children. The teacher/writer of this article does not seem to understand the need for differentiated instruction and finding what works for each child. I fear for the children in her classroom as she seems to believe that one way works for all. Additionally, she does not seem to understand that even thought some children may be in public school their whole lives, that does not mean they will automatically fit in. That is a difficulty for many. I take additional offense in her opinion that parents choose to homeschool their children "to placate their need to prove their "selfless" unconditional love." I believe that parents choose to homeschool because they believe it is in the best interest of their child. It's an individual decision, and although I have never homeschooled, I support a parent's decision to do so without derision.

Nov 02, 2011
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UTTER NONSENSE
by: Anonymous

Public school is like a prison run by the inmates. What a load of garbage. My 3 sons were in charge of a Nursing Home Meeting one Sunday when My husband was working out of state. Normally my husband preaches and several other men facilitate the meeting. My 3 sons- ages 14, 13, and 9 Greeted the residents of the nursing home, set up chairs, passed out song books. My 9 yr old lead the singing, my 13 yr old asked for prayer requests and prayed aloud for the group. My 14 yr old son Preached a 15 min sermon and lead in prayer. My daughters and I sang in the service and my oldest 20 yr old daughter played the piano. Afterwards, we shook hands, cleaned up the chairs and left. SHOW ME ANY other public school kids in the State of Idaho who 1- would take the time to do this and 2. would be capable of running such a service.
UTTER NONSENSE from this lady.

Nov 02, 2011
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Arrogance and Ignorance on Display
by: Arby

I still haven’t decided whether or not to take Karen’s letter seriously. It was so poorly written, I suspect it was a parody. I attempted to number all of the spelling and grammatical errors in the original post in a futile effort to identify all of them, but I ran out of numbers. The main thrust of her reasoning was the commonly misunderstood “socialization” argument. She expressed concern that homeschooled children will be unable to “understand proper chain of command (who to go to first and why), following directions of those placed in charge of you, or trying to be a part of the society in which you live.” She also explained that, “we are judged every minute of every day by friends, peers, clients, even the cashier at the grocery store. “ Karen may have a point. We all know how devastating it can be when the elderly lady running the express checkout lane at Wal*Mart disapproves of your pants.

Karen’s evidence for her concerns was completely anecdotal. If we take her observations seriously, all homeschooled sixth grade boys wear “bedazzled pants,” are incapable of “dealing with peers in small and large groups,” are incapable of “dealing with adults” on their own, struggle with “puncuality,” do not smile when they do not want to smile (there’s a capital offense), believe that everyone loves them unconditionally, and do not finish their homework when they are too tired to think. The answer to those flaws is for the parents of homeschoolers to volunteer their free time at the local public school. Homeschoolers should attend a public school, maintain “perfect attendance,” and take “pride for their social group like the school's football team or drumline.” She explained that this drum line fervor “will serve them well as CEO's physicians and leaders.” I do believe that the late Steve Jobs’ last words were, “God, I loved my high school’s drum line!”

As if Karen did not already supply ample evidence in favor of mandatory homeschooling for all Seattle area children (would you want your children taught by a woman who thinks and writes so well?), she saved her best comments for the end of her blog post when she explained that “many homeschooled students who attempt to go to public high school and a large majority are like a fish out of water. They missed their learning window and may never be able to be a part of the social world that is thriving around them.They do not speak and are filled with anxiety or they are so inappropriate they have had referrals for aspergers.” I’m not certain who should be more insulted, homeschoolers or Aspy kids. I can’t wait to read the responses when the autism crowd reads this one.

Karen’s own words speak volumes. They reflect arrogance and ignorance, as well as a lack of critical thinking skills, writing skills, discernment, and judgment.

Nov 02, 2011
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Get Real
by: Anonymous

The only thing I see "thriving " socially in my local schools are drugs, depression, teen pregnancy, sexual harrassment, bullying on every level and loose-mouthed uber-liberal teachers giving not just lessons, but their unwanted opinions...and very little else. I have one child that went through the public school system, to much the social butterfly to try and teach at home. I have another that did so for a few years but is now home-schooled. I substitute-taught, if you could even call it that, in our local high school. I am stating fact from observation when I say that I wish I could have home-schooled my daughter, who was bullied, back-stabbed socially and even sexually assaulted in her own school. NO-ONE IN HER SCHOOL SYSTEM TAUGHT HER ANYTHING ABOUT HOW TO DEAL WITH THAT REAL LIFE SITUATION. And further, no one stood behind her or supported, or protected her when theses things occurred, instead she took half the blame, and too much social abuse. How did she learn to deal with it? Act like one of the guys, dress like a slob, dumb yourself down to fit in....Oh that's real healthy! To say home-schooling is bad is like saying, "I ate an apple and it upset my stomach, so ALL apples must be bad for ALL people." Get real!Every child is different, learns by different styles, and at different paces. (and in different social situations) Public school lumps them all into one box, and often passes them on even when they are earning F's. This is also experience talking. How my daughter graduated is beyond me! She will now need remedial courses to enter her desired degreee program. Great public school education did that for her. Common sense says learning requires mastery of the subjects before progressing to the next. Who wouldn't want to be taught by a teacher that actually knows them, loves them and will give them the very best in time, curricula and experience, without the mandatory six and a half hours of cattle-call-I must fit in activity per day. No mam. You are completely biased and uninformed. I'll bet you're not even 30. Talk to me when you have opened your eyes and lived a while.

Nov 02, 2011
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I disagree with the school teacher...
by: Leah

I think homeschool is a great option. We have just started and even tho I am a little nervous I think that we will succeed. In 2nd grade my son had already started to hate school and he went to a private school with only 11 in his class. He was bored and they could or would not challenge him. He would do great with his homework and studying but then miss things that he knew on the test. She was giving him 40-50's on some things without explaining or remediating so he wasn't learning from that experience anyway. They didn't do anything to try to find his learning style but wanted him to always sit still. First of all a boy is not going to do that and with his learning style he is kinesthetic/auditory I am sure! Those learning styles don't sit still nor stay quiet! I think that an individual needs to have the opportunity to learn the best way they can and sometimes it is without the other unnecessary distrations that children sometimes have to deal with. There are many opportunities for children to learn how to be a part of society and I believe that the first step is learning how to be a part of a family. If they can learn that then they will learn respect, kindness, etc...

Nov 02, 2011
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Large complex society
by: Anonymous

You answered your own issue "we live in a large complex society" studies show that public school actually does not properly reflect that large complex society and because of that have come up with other ways to do so! Like requiring volunteer hours to graduate also finding ways to partner with the community IE local businesses, the elderly JROTC etc! Public school does not reflect our larger complex society but rather can have the tendency to be more of a pressure cooker if not properly connected to the world outside of the school! Check the research! Based on your seemingly very narrow veiw I will assume you come from a very some what secluded envirorment and have resorted to be opinionated in areas outside of your group and are not properly socialized yourself! I would suggest you go hang with many diverse backgrounds cultures environments and even different types of homeschoolers a few years! Then come write about it again!

Nov 03, 2011
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Pathetic
by: Cindy

Bad writing, worse reasoning. The kind of person our schools allow to teach is one of my TOP reasons for keeping my kids out of public schools. Seriously? This person is teaching other people's children? She should homeschool. Then at least she'd only be messing up her own children.

Nov 07, 2011
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An interesting perspective
by: Hayley Solich

I can see your point, that schools can prepare us for the tough stuff that life can dish out, but what I don't get is why you think that school is the only way that children can develop the skills necessary to be socialised? And why you think that there is any select group in society that is normal because I ask you, normal by whose standards?

If we go back in time, comparing the last 1800 years to the past 200, many children were raised by their parents and didn't have schools like we know it. They seemed to survive life.

And certainly parents who choose to home school do not do so to prove how fantastic and sacrificial they are. In my case, homeschooling became the only option when my son, who has a soiling issue, started to become the centre of his peers attention because he smelled. I would NEVER leave a child in a situation where they become the kicking bag for their peers, as was my cousin's experience at school who had a similar health problem.

And I have to ask the question why more and more parents are choosing to home school their kids if the public system is so great? From my personal experience, I spent more time in the Principal's office dealing with issues with my children when they were at Public School than I had as a naughty child myself. And I had the shocking experience of standing outside a classroom and listening to a teacher cutting a child down for asking a question, only to learn that was my child. And that attention was not always warranted, I might add and some of it very threatening to our family, including the older child who sexually molested my youngest daughter in the playground at lunchtime.

I would rather teach my children the valuable lessons of how to live life with good morals, a community focus, as contributing, well grounded society members, then leave their education in the hands of a system that is teaching 13 year olds how to put condoms on bananas, "just in case" they decide they want to sexually experiment. Who in the public system is saying "Stop, it's not okay to have sex until you are much older and know yourself???"

I think that people should have the right to choose, without judgment, the pathway that best suits their family situation.

Feb 13, 2012
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I agree with this letter.
by: Anonymous

I have quite a few friends who were home schooled and they all feel like they did not receive enough education and to be honest, they are very gullible people. I graduated from a public school that catered to every students needs. I have ADHD and anxiety so I had a 504 plan set up with my guidance counselor and all of my teachers helped me tremendously. Complaining about how the public school in your area is not good enough or even safe is no excuse. You are allowed to move to another district with higher standards. I feel that most parents are too caught up in being responsible for what their children do learn and forget that they are going to be judged mostly on what they DO NOT learn. A pecking order is a fact of life. If your children do not understand this aspect in society they will most definitely have problems with authority when it comes to having a career, I know people like this also. As a parent you should be able to guide your child enough and give them great morals and values so that they can navigate through a public school system successfully. This also goes along with religion. I was always told to let my Light shine. How am I supposed to do that at home? If you feel like your child does not have enough common sense and good moral standing to not succumb to negative peer pressure based on what you taught them, do not blame the school system; blame yourself for failing to prepare your own children for the real world.

Nov 26, 2012
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I also agree with this article....
by: Anonymous

I would just like to say that I'm blown away by the prideful disdain and contempt shown by so many commentators of this article. I think some people need to realize that home school is NOT for everyone and THAT'S OKAY. Home school is a great option for the right parents, but not every parent, or MOM as it usually ends up being, is born a teacher. It's true that families can choose a different school district now if the one they are in is lousy. There are many public schools still out there with old fashioned values and a love for the kids who attend. I'm a little tired of feeling like a failure as a parent just because I'm not teaching my middle school child about the American Revolution, while folding laundry, while writing a perfectly spelled, grammatically correct letter on the internet, while teaching my kindergartner how to read, while planning our next great adventure to the local museum! Seriously! Can't we all just live, let live, and have our own strengths and weaknesses without being eaten alive?!

Mar 29, 2013
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A "complex" society?
by: Anonymous

I take issue with nearly every point in this article, but the one I found most laughable was the author calling a public school a "complex society". Since when is spending your entire day with people your exact age, with very little contact with adults, a model of actual society? The last time I checked, traditional schools were divided into these things called "grades". Third graders are lumped together with all of the other third graders and forced to spend class, lunch and free time with these other third graders and only a few adults. Being a homeschool mom myself, I spend most days locked away in my basement trying carefully to avoid things like sunlight, but society as I remember it involved a wide and varied mix of ages and races all cooperating and working toward common goals. I never once had a boss who was given their position based solely on the fact that they were older than me. I was never required to sit at the thirty-year-olds table during lunch breaks, or made to share an office with only other thirty-year-olds.

However, the major stumbling point of this "complex society" idea isn't even the age thing. Has no one noticed that public schools are nearly just as racially divided as they ever where? Wether it be an intercity public school, an elite private school, or a tiny village school, there is always going to be a majority and a minority. It is more than just a little foolish to believe simply being exposed to other races, cultures and religions is going to create an environment of happy mingling and acceptance. No matter what you believe, that is a lesson that is always learned at home.

I want to address one more point in my rant. There seems to be this prevalent belief that homeschooling is an easy way out. That it allows us to be lazy and gives us an excuse to sleep in by avoiding the 6:30 bus pickup. That couldn't be farther from the truth. For me, personally, the easy out would be putting my kids in school and spending the next eight hours blissfully alone or in the company of other adults. It wouldn't be cooking three meals a day, staying up until midnight doing the chores that I couldn't get done during the day, cirriculum shopping for months to build a school year for each child, chafuring four kids to every art lesson, sport, homeschool field day, or convention in a hundred mile radius.

I speak from experience when I talk about the public school system. I was a dismal product of it. What I wish now is that every proponent of the state institution who wants to bash the homeschool community spend just one year homeschooling their kids. I would be much more willing to listen to the criticisms of someone who speaks from experience, rather than passing judgement based on hearsay and outside observations.

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