Skip to comments.Home Schools Run By Well-Meaning Amateurs (Barf alert!)
Posted on 07/25/2005 7:26:05 PM PDT by Millicent_Hornswaggle
Schools With Good Teachers Are Best-Suited to Shape Young Minds By Dave Arnold
There's nothing like having the right person with the right experience, skills and tools to accomplish a specific task. Certain jobs are best left to the pros, such as, formal education.
There are few homeowners who can tackle every aspect of home repair. A few of us might know carpentry, plumbing and, lets say, cementing. Others may know about electrical work, tiling and roofing. But hardly anyone can do it all.
Same goes for cars. Not many people have the skills and knowledge to perform all repairs on the family car. Even if they do, they probably dont own the proper tools. Heck, some people have their hands full just knowing how to drive.
So, why would some parents assume they know enough about every academic subject to home-school their children? You would think that they might leave this -- the shaping of their childrens minds, careers, and futures -- to trained professionals. That is, to those who have worked steadily at their profession for 10, 20, 30 years! Teachers!
Theres nothing like having the right person with the right experience, skills and tools to accomplish a specific task. Whether it is window-washing, bricklaying or designing a space station. Certain jobs are best left to the pros. Formal education is one of those jobs.
Of course there are circumstances that might make it necessary for parents to teach their children at home. For example, if the child is severely handicapped and cannot be transported safely to a school, or is bedridden with a serious disease, or lives in such a remote area that attending a public school is near impossible.
The number of parents who could easily send their children to public school but opt for home-schooling instead is on the increase. Several organizations have popped up on the Web to serve these wannabe teachers. These organizations are even running ads on prime time television. After viewing one advertisement, I searched a home school Web site. This site contains some statements that REALLY irritate me!
* Its not as difficult as it looks.
The it is meant to be teaching. Lets face it, teaching children is difficult even for experienced professionals. Wannabes have no idea.
* What about socialization? Forget about it!
Forget about interacting with others? Are they nuts? Socialization is an important component of getting along in life. You cannot teach it. Children should have the opportunity to interact with others their own age. Without allowing their children to mingle, trade ideas and thoughts with others, these parents are creating social misfits.
If this Web site encouraged home-schooled children to join after-school clubs at the local school, or participate in sports or other community activities, then I might feel different. Maine state laws, for example, require local school districts to allow home-schooled students to participate in their athletic programs. For this Web site to declare, forget about it, is bad advice.
When I worked for Wal-Mart more than 20 years ago, Sam Walton once told me: I can teach Wal-Mart associates how to use a computer, calculator, and how to operate like retailers. But I cant teach them how to be a teammate when they have never been part of any team.
* Visit our online bookstore.
Buying a history, science or math book does not mean an adult can automatically instruct others about the books content.
Another Web site asks for donations and posts newspaper articles pertaining to problems occurring in public schools.
Its obvious to me that these organizations are in it for the money. They are involved in the education of children mostly in the hope of profiting at the hands of well-meaning but gullible parents.
This includes parents who home-school their children for reasons that may be linked to religious convictions. One Web site that I visited stated that the best way to combat our nations ungodly public schools was to remove students from them and teach them at home or at a Christian school.
Im certainly not opposed to religious schools, or to anyone standing up for what they believe in. I admire anyone who has the strength to stand up against the majority. But in this case, pulling children out of a school is not the best way to fight the laws that govern our education system. No battle has ever been won by retreating!
Dont most parents have a tough enough job teaching their children social, disciplinary and behavioral skills? They would be wise to help their children and themselves by leaving the responsibility of teaching math, science, art, writing, history, geography and other subjects to those who are knowledgeable, trained and motivated to do the best job possible.
(Dave Arnold, a member of the Illinois Education Association, is head custodian at Brownstown Elementary School in Southern Illinois.)
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NEA or its affiliates.
Normally a true statement. I will note that professionals in other fields work in a competitive environment where if some other professional can do it better and cheaper, they are out of a job. Competition makes sure the nitwits and retards are put out of business by virtue of bankruptcy. Further, only the better people succeed and the rest find another line of work.
Not so with the MONOPOLY PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM. Some public school systems graduate less than 10% of their students. Anyone want to hire a plumber with that success rate ?
So how does this "authority" explain the achievements of those who are/have been home-schooled?
"So how does this 'authority' explain the achievements of those who are/have been home-schooled?"
The funny thing is, I know a few different custodians homeschooling their children and doing a tremendous job. If only Dave knew how capable he would be, too...
Btw, the story continues... Yes, this article has been circulating for awhile, and a homeschool dad wrote a sarcastic letter to Mr. Arnold, who didn't recognize the sarcasm (as probably only homeschoolers would) and replied to thank him. It turns out, he knows a family homeschooling and just doesn't think they're doing the right thing:
I actually feel bad for the guy at this point. He is being flamed all over the internet.
I would prefer a competitive marketplace for schools. Give all the kids vouchers and let them pick the school. Professionals usually are better except when they are a monopoly.
Well said Congressman. That is exactly what the NEA needs, competition.
'Clean cup! Clean cup! Move down! Move down! Move down!'
Since this guy's just a janitor at the school maybe he's worried that all the pretty little girls or boys won't be available to look at every day if too many parents remove them from publik skool.....I smell a perv alert!
They don't choose. The union appoints all construction/maintenance labor.
Absolutely! What seems to me the hardest thing about classroom teaching is finding out what each kid knows, how they think, what they are interested in and the best way to approach them. Then, somehow putting that into a "whole" that can reach each student.
Parents know these things about their own kids.
Nice. Comparing teaching children to that of auto & home repair. The NEA is thrashing in the tar pits.
ROTFLMAO....OMG! That's just too funny. This guy couldn't buy a clue with a pocket full of yen. LOL
He probably just knows where where his money is coming from.
Wow... Where to start here...
OK, a little background on myself. While my current position is "Senior Compu-Geek" (Senior Systems Engineer) for a very large computer and network system VAR, I did spend 4 1/2 years as an "Educator," teaching people how to setup, run, and troubleshoot network systems. I've been a CompTIA SME (Subject Matter Expert) where I helped write some of the CompTIA tests, like the A+ exam. In college, I worked as both a math tutor (at a junior college level) and a computer TA to EE students at a rather well known engineering and science college.
So, why am I blowing my own horn? Because nowhere in those accomplishments will you find a degree from a school of education. Did I get some training in "teaching?" Well, yes. IIRC, I attended a 1 hour lecture before becoming a math tutor, and before I was able to teach classes for Novell, I had to attend a 2 day class on effective teaching techniques, and read a short manual (less than 20 pages, IIRC). That's about it.
On the other hand, I've been in classes taught by people who had all sorts of teaching credentials, who didn't have the faintest clue about the subject they were supposed to be teaching. I've also been in college classes taught by some people who were brilliant in their fields, but wouldn't have been able to teach an eskimo how to make a snow ball.
The simple fact is that there are some people who can teach, and some who can't. Just because you've got the credentials to do so doesn't mean you will be an effective teacher. And the old saying of, "Those who can, do; Those who can't, teach" is only true for really ineffective teachers. The best teachers are those who know their material inside and out, and really want to pass on that knowledge to others.
So, why do I bring this up? Well, ask yourself, "Who's more motivated to do a good job teaching my kids?" Is it the school teacher, who has to deal with lots of students, and may or may not acutally know something about what they're supposed to be teaching. Or might it be the parent, who's actually got a reason and motivation to pass on the knowledge to his or her child. And it's a really wonderful experience to be able to learn with your parents. While I've never been home schooled, for a very short time I took music lessons from my father who was a professional musician and music teacher. It was really cool learning from him.
This whole artical is a bunch of BS. You don't have to have an MA in education to teach math to a child, any more than you need an MS or Phd in Math. All you need is a good book, a place to call for help if you ever get stuck (and you will) and the motivation to be a good teacher. Not everyone is cut out to be an "educator," but it really is a wonderful job, and I really miss it, after being away from it for more than 7 years.
No kidding! I graduated from a public highschool, and I have no social skills whatsoever...
I hope that I got through to her that the main reason that people have problems with math and science is that their teachers are no good! I told her that if she wants to become something... Anything, then there isn't any reason that she can't accomplish it, provided she works hard, always trying her best. I told her that if she doesn't understand something in math or science, then she needs to find someone who does, so they can explain it so she understands. I really hope I got through to her.
Skoos Wif Good Skoo marms Is Best-Suited t'Shape Yo'ng Minds By Abner Ole Jeb Thar's nothin' like havin' th' right varmint wif th' right experience, skills an' tools t'accomplish a specific tax. Sartin jobs is bess lef' t'th' pros, sech as, fo'mal ejoocayshun. Thar is few homeownys who kin tackle ev'ry aspeck of home repair. A few of us might knows carpentry, plumbin' an', lets say, cementin'. Others may knows about eleckrical wawk, tilin' an' roofin'. But hardly ennyone kin does it all, ah reckon. Same goes fo' cars. Not menny varmints haf th' skills an' smarts t'perfo'm all repairs on th' fambly car. Even eff'n they does, they probably dont own th' right tools. Heck, some varmints haf their han's full jest knowin' how t'drive. So, whuffo''d some parents assoom they knows 'nuff about ev'ry academic subjeck t'home-skoo their chillun? Yo''d reckon thet they might leave this hyar -- th' shapin' of their chilluns minds, careers, an' futures -- t'trained professhunals. Thet is, t'them who haf wawked steadily at their professhun fo' 10, 20, 30 years! Skoo marms! Experienced Pros Thars nothin' like havin' th' right varmint wif th' right experience, skills an' tools t'accomplish a specific tax. Whether it is window-warshin', bricklayin' o' designin' a space stashun. Sartin jobs is bess lef' t'th' pros. Fo'mal ejoocayshun is one of them jobs. Of course thar is circumstances thet might make it necessary fo' parents t'larn their chillun at home. Fo' example, eff'n th' chile is sevahely han'icapped an' kinnot be transpo'ted safely t'a skoo, o' is bedridden wif a serious disease, o' lives in sech a remote area thet attendin' a public skoo is near impostible. Wal-Meanin' Amateurs Th' number of parents who c'd easily send their chillun t'public skoo but opp fo' home-skooin' instead is on th' increase. Sevahal o'ganizashuns haf popped up on th' Web t'sarve these wannabe skoo marms. These o'ganizashuns is even runnin' ads on prime time tellyvishun. Af'er viewin' one advahtisement, ah searched a home skoo Web site. This hyar site corntains some statements thet REALLY irritate me! * Its not as difficult as it looks. Th' it is meant t'be larnin'. Lets face it, larnin' chillun is difficult even fo' experienced professhunals. Wannabes haf no idea. * Whut in tarnation about socializashun? Fo'git about it! Fry mah hide! Fo'git about interackin' wif others? Is they nuts? Socializashun is an impo'tant component of gittin' along in life. Yo' kinnot larn it. Chillun sh'd haf th' oppo'tunity t'interack wif others their own age. Wifout allerin' their chillun t'min'le, trade ideas an' thunks wif others, these parents is creatin' social misfits. Eff'n this hyar Web site incouraged home-skooed chillun t'join af'er-skoo clubs at th' local skoo, o' participate in spo'ts o' other community ackivities, then ah might feel diffrunt. Jawja state laws, fo' example, require local skoo districks t'aller home-skooed students t'participate in their athletic programs. Fo' this hyar Web site t'declare, fo'git about it, is bad advice. When ah wawked fo' Wal-Mart mo'e than 20 years ago, Zephaniah Walton once told me: ah can larn Wal-Mart assosheeates how t'use a computer, calculato', an' how t'operate like retailers. But ah cant larn them how t'be a teammate when they haf nevah been part of enny team, dawgone it. * Viset our online booksto'e. Buyin' a histo'y, science o' math book does not mean an adult kin autymatically instruck others about th' books corntent. Gullible Parents T'other Web site axs fo' donashuns an' posts noospaper articles pertainin' t'problems occurrin' in public skoos. Its obvious t'me thet these o'ganizashuns is in it fo' th' money. They is involved in th' ejoocayshun of chillun mostly in th' hope of profitin' at th' han's of fine-meanin' but gullible parents. This hyar includes parents who home-skoo their chillun fo' reasons thet may be linked t'religious cornvickshuns. One Web site thet ah visited stated thet th' bess way t'combat our nashuns ungodly public skoos was t'remove students fum them an' larn them at home o' at a Jedtian skoo. Im sartinly not opposed t'religious skoos, o' t'ennyone stan'in' up fo' whut they believe in, as enny fool kin plainly see. ah admire ennyone who has th' stren'th t'stan' up aginst th' majo'ity. But in this hyar case, pullin' chillun outta skoo is not th' bess way t'fight th' laws thet govahn our ejoocayshun system, dawgone it. No battle has evah been won by retreatin'! Fry mah hide! No Trainin' Dont most parents haf a tough inough job larnin' their chillun social, disciplinary an' behavio'al skills? They'd be wise t'he'p their chillun an' themselves by leavin' th' responsibility of larnin' math, science, art, writin', histo'y, geography an' other subjecks t'them who is smart, trained an' motivated t'do th' bess job postible. (Abner Ole Jeb, a member of th' Illinois Ejoocayshun Associashun, is haid cestodian at Brownstown Elementary Skoo in Southern Illinois.) Th' views expressed in this hyar column is them of th' autho' an' does not necessarily refleck th' views of th' NEA o' its affiliates.
Any school that hires nut cases like my SIL as an "Aide extraordinaire" would have me keeping my kids home pronto.
BTW, I knew how to read the average comic book before I started school at 4 years 10 months of age. I remember being reprimanded for it in school and the teacher writing a note to my mother stating they wanted to teach students how to read "their way". Mom would have made a great home school teacher.
Let the fanatical ranting begin.
I stopped at nea.org. What is the article gonna say after that worth reading?
"I dunno about Illinois, but down here the "head custodian" is the janitor-in-charge...."
ROFLMAO! After that, I HAD to read the article...and the head custodian lectures homeschoolers on how tough it is to teach, but how the hell would he know?!?!?!
Go back to cleaning toilets, Dave.
I have a friend who is a janitor in a Junior High School. He received his masters degree in business from Ohio State. This is what he chose to do with his life and he is quite happy.
Then again, he has invested very wisely and lives in a half million dollar home and both his kids go to prvate school. He frequently publishes articles in business trades and he has published a couple of books.
The job is irrelevant.
So, at what point did a custodian become the voice of the NEA? Maybe I should run over to my local high school and ask the janitor which HS science he thinks is best: Abeka or Wiley? And as long as I have his ear, maybe he can give me some advice on how to make "Ben Hur" interesting enough to keep us awake?? What a load!
Isn't that awesome? I homeschool as well and seeing those scores come in and he consistantly scores in the 97th percentile, just blows my mind.
IMHO, well-meaning amateurs are always to be preferred to maleficent professionals.
The nea "shapes" pleanty of minds by giving as many little boys as much ritalin as possible.
The nea gives lip service to parental involvement but it seems this is pushing parental NONinvolvement.
even if you do not homeschool, this article is VERY disturbing.
BTTT... for later input.
OK--so I'm getting tired of this "holier than thou" attitude from both sides----and the cavalier attitude towards the Head Custodian.
I'm a high school clerk (12 month position) and although I can't teach the kids who pass through my office, math or science, I can teach them how to behave in a business setting and correct their English grammar (and I do it all the time).
I believe there is a place for homeschooling in many parts of our country, but there is also a place for public education. Your child will do best when you take part in their education, not necessarily run the entire thing.
All too often I see parents who have had their children for 14 years, suddenly expect us, in the course of 5 hours to not only teach their kids, but change their behaviour as well.
I've seen kids from homes where their parents (or more often parent) don't know what their kids are doing and don't care---as long as we don't upset their lives.
So, before you make a blanket statement and call all NEA members morons please consider the value on each side of this issue. I am an NEA member---not because I want to be, but because I'd have to pay 85% dues anyway---and I'm not a moron.
By the way, I had to laugh when you said that many Social Studies teachers are called "coach" because they are, but those I deal with here are also some of our best teachers, too! (and many are also conservative)
But that does not exist. You do have the option of educating (or 'educating') your children in public schools, private schools or in a home school environment.
Don't get angry at the people who are seeing the dirty work of the NEA. Get angry at your own leadership.
Who said anything about being a janator.
The nea is established to protect the mediocre teacher NOT the extraordinary teacher.
The fact the nea puts out anything attacking homeschooling has now given legitimacy to homeschooling as a valid and legitimate competition to public school education.
The nea is always going to be "turf" oriented. More home schooling means less teachers to be hired.
How many children are homeschooled now? 1 to 2 million? How many teacher jobs does that represent?
THAT is what the Nea cares about.
but you STILL have to pay for the public school you do not use.
True competition would not have that.
"Dave Arnold, a member of the Illinois Education Association, is head custodian at Brownstown Elementary School in Southern Illinois"
HE"S A JANITOR!!!!!!!!! I didn't know janitors belonged to teacher's unions.
A history of Homeschooling, Legislative battles
From the Home School Legal Defense Association
A number of courts in other states ruled against educational freedom, however. By the early 1980s, homeschoolers in many states were left with difficult choices: hide, move, or persuade the legislature to create a new legal option for parents who educate their own children in their own homes. Remarkably enough, homeschoolers were able to persuade one legislature after another to pass homeschool statutes in the 1980s:>> 1982 Arizona and Mississippi legalize homeschooling.
>> 1983 Wisconsin and Montana follow suit.
>> 1984 Georgia, Louisiana, and Virginia pass homeschool statutes. Rhode Island gives superintendents the authority to "approve" homeschool programs.
>> 1985 Arkansas, Florida, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming all enact homeschool statutes.
>> 1986 After homeschoolers won a federal court case, Missouri legalizes home education.
>> 1987 Maryland, Minnesota, Vermont, and West Virginia all permit homeschooling.
>> 1988 Colorado, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania allow parents to teach their own children at home.
"The Evil Empire"
Three states (North Dakota, Iowa, and Michigan) prosecuted homeschoolers so fiercely that they became known as the "Evil Empire." One family after another was prosecuted for teaching their own children in their own homes, and the courts were quick to convict. Finally, in 1989, after seven fruitless appeals to the North Dakota Supreme Court, homeschoolers finally won. The legislature legalized home education.
The next state in the Evil Empire fell in 1991, when Iowa finally enacted a homeschool statute. One official within the Iowa Department of Education still did her best to block homeschooling through restrictive state regulations, but freedom-loving families in Iowa worked even harder to keep the freedom they had earned. (In the end, the homeschoolers won, and the disgruntled official left the Iowa Department of Education to work in another state agency.)
By 1993, only one state still routinely prosecuted homeschoolers: Michigan. Then, on May 25, 1993, five judges on the Michigan Supreme Court overruled four dissenting judges to allow sincere religious parents to teach their own children at home without a teacher's license. It was not until 1996 that the state legislature finally allowed any parent to teach a child at home without some assistance from a certified teacher.
There is zero place for public education as it is now constructed. Public education spends 8-12 thousand per year per pupil. Or for a class of 20, about 180,000 per year. A teacher might get 60,000 of that and 120,000 goes for the building, and overhead. Building and overhead should not cost 120,000 dollars.
This is a monopoly situation and monopolies never serve the public. They don't have to, because they are a monopoly. It is time to give every kid an 8k voucher and let the private sector do this job. Tuition at Stanford is only 24,000 per year (does not include room and board and students do have the option of off campus living). And that includes state of the art everything, Rodin sculptures everywhere, in the most expensive location in the US.
Those statistics are amazing. They seem much higher and starker than other homeschool studies that I've seen. I'd like to compare those statistics to other studies.
But I'm sure that we all know some parents who we'd never want to see homeschooling their kids.
That said, remember that professionals built the Titanic and amateurs built the Ark.
"Without allowing their children to mingle, trade ideas and thoughts with others, these parents are creating social misfits."
Interesting. That is what I say about schools who put kids together only with kids their own age.
"Theres nothing like having the right person with the right experience, skills and tools to accomplish a specific task."
Like thinking out loud. That is not a skill for janitors.
Did you catch that? The author is a freakin' janitor!
Wait...have I fallen for it...this is the Onion, right?
What a hoot!
"They just follow the book with indifference"
if they can read, that is....
"Teaching is easy; learning and discipline are hard as Hell."
Damn, that is well put!
(Could I add one little addendum...not related to this thread, but just flushing out the statement generally. how about this: good teaching is also a way of learning since you are synthesizing, repackaging and passing on what you have learned...sort of a finishing touch. once you know it, and then you teach (or written about it) it, then you have mastered it).