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Home Education vs. Public Education ^ | August 2, 2002 | Jacki LeClair

Posted on 08/03/2002 8:49:44 AM PDT by Korth

My alarm clock blares loudly at 7:30 a.m. I open my bleary eyes and reach towards the offending noise. Just then, my door opens. My mother, cheery at any hour, bounds into the room. "Wake up, wake up, rise and shine," she proclaims. When I mumbled and roll over, her voice drops an octave. "Get up. It’s time to do your school work!" Who said home schoolers have it easy?

Looking back on my education, I feel privileged to have been home schooled through all my school years. Yes, that’s right – grades kindergarten through 12. Most people don’t realize this, but being home schooled was not some type of prison for young people. I didn’t gaze longingly out the window in the direction of the local public school. I did not yearn for mystery-meat lunches or early morning bus rides. For I did reap all of the benefits of school: friends, sports, lunchboxes, recess, music lessons, arts and drama, math, history, English – well, the list goes on and on. Yet when people discover my educational history, they tend to assume immediately that I was either an ignorant child who couldn’t hack it in the sophisticated world of public education, or an overachiever who studied textbooks straight into the weekend.

Since I was neither, I seem to surprise some with the statement that, yes, I am normal. It’s almost as if those who are pro-public education expect a tale of woe, but the fact is that I simply can’t recall any time that I suffered from home education.

Throughout my home-schooled years, many mothers of publicly "educated" children would approach either my mother or me, and with sincere curiosity ask about the benefits of home schooling. It didn’t take a long time to convince these concerned mothers that home schooling has many benefits over public schools; for instance, the ability to control what is being taught to your children. My mother and father are religious people and do not like some of the subjects taught in the public school systems such as evolution and sex education. They feel strongly that these topics are best left to the parents to teach their children as they see fit. But here’s the conundrum, folks – government-funded schools won’t give parents an option. Instead, they prefer to regulate what is being taught to produce a self-serving pro-government viewpoint.

As the failure of public education becomes ever-more obvious, more parents are chaffing at the restriction of free-thinking afforded our children in public schools, and by free thinking I do not mean the movements to save our salmon, hug our trees, or adopt an indigenous person. I refer to free thinkers as those who embrace individual responsibilities and ideas; those who practice time-tested rules and morals without restrictions imposed by the left-wing public school system. Hence, there is a movement afoot for parents to take more responsibility for their children’s education.

Once upon a time there was a thing called education. Defined by Webster’s Dictionary, to educate means "1: to provide with schooling 2: to develop mentally and morally." The word carries a simple definition, but one that has been clouded by a left-liberal society’s definition of the word. Somewhere between reading and ‘rithmetic, public schools replaced mental development with liberal-agenda brainwashing. As a recipient of home schooling, my educational training was never compromised by the liberal collective or spoiled by unmotivated teachers, but instead was nurtured by my mother, the one person who had no ulterior motive other than providing a quality education. I was given the opportunity to focus on true academic studies instead of being drawn into the social and political subculture of public school. I was given one-on-one attention that allowed me to fully comprehend the subject at hand. Without the distraction of a crowded classroom, I was able to ask questions about the subjects I studied, and I was able to retain and comprehend the lessons taught to me.

Scholastic education aside, what about moral education? Public schools are teaching high schoolers proper condom usage, while staying away from such alternatives as chastity. Pro-homosexuality and anti-gun sentiments are being hurrahed in schools, yet prayer is banned. School nurses tell parents that children are not required to receive permission before obtaining abortion referrals through the school. Any aspect of moral education has been wiped out and replaced with an "if it feels good, do it" mentality. As a result, the rebellious attitude and scholastic disinterest of today’s youth are fostered by a permissive and indulgent educational system.

When parents look at their child’s educational well being, on a whole, they will notice that this extends further than simple academics. Since the mid 1990s, there has been an increase in violent incidents in public schools. Throughout my years of home education, I never once feared for my safety. From the moment I opened my textbooks until the end of the day, I knew my one purpose: to learn (be it academic or moral lessons). I didn’t worry about knives in lockers or guns hidden in waistbands. I never heard threats or taunts; classmates never disrespected me. I received an environment of total and uninterrupted peace where I was allowed to focus on learning and not on whether I’d make it home from school in one piece. Going back to the basics, this should be what one encounters when receiving an education. School should be a place of learning, not a melting pot of violent, misguided youths.

While we struggle with the issue of school violence, another concern comes to light. Peer pressure has long been a negative factor of public education. I realize that peer pressure can be found in many places, not just our public school system. However, school is a place where children spend five days a week, eight hours a day with their peers, making the chances for caving to pressures such as smoking, drinking, sex, and drugs much higher. A member of my family attending public high school has smoked and drank since she was 14. Raised by morally aware but often busy parents, she turns to her friends for companionship and guidance, and often succumbs to the pressures of fitting in amongst the students with whom she spends most of her days.

In a home-school environment, the parents have the ability to be more "hands on" and reduce some of the pressure children face on a daily basis. So many people asked me while I was being home schooled, "Don’t you wish your parents were less strict," somehow equating home education with a way to exercise stifling control. I can’t count the times some well meaning individual took it upon themselves to inform my parents that I was suffering from a lack of social interaction that I could only find in a public school. These people seemed to label those who home school their children as ignorant and uninformed, though it takes a high level of intelligence and dedication to properly educate your children at home.

I look back at my teen years and acknowledge all the pressures my parents kept me from having to face until I was mature enough to make wise choices. Home education carries into more areas than just the academics. It helps the individual to grow creatively, without the worries of popularity and peer pressure. Due to this, I was able to express myself in many areas without the fear of what others would think. I developed a stronger sense of who I was and for what I stood.

For those of you with a few remaining questions, no, I did not study on Saturdays; yes, I had plenty of friends and no, I didn’t get lunch money. No, I didn’t need therapy because of it. And no, I don’t lie awake at nights dreaming of the prom I never attended, but yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; constitution; education; educationnews; freedom; homeschool; homeschooling; homeschoollist; homeschools; liberty; publicschools; school
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1 posted on 08/03/2002 8:49:44 AM PDT by Korth
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To: Korth
This might be a good place to grouse about my latest dealings with public education, something I've not had to deal with for a long time. After looking at my job prospects during the past month since I relocated my family from Asia, I decided that I would set aside my negative attitude towards public education and apply for a teaching job in the field of ESL (English as a Second Language). There are supposedly a fast-growing number of jobs in this field around here and since I have an MA in linguistics, several years experience teaching English, was an editor for a professional ESL journal, and developed and taught a training course for people wanting to learn how to teach ESL, I thought I had a pretty open door.

WHAM! That was what it sounded like yesterday when a big door was slammed in my face. I had talked to an administrator at a nearby school district who confirmed that she was trying to fill a position for an ESL job. She admitted she was not at all satisfied with the one applicant she had and was immediately impressed with my experience. But soon after I sent her my resume, she responded that her supervisor (probably the superintendent) would not give her permission to even consider me for the job. Regulations dictate that if one person with a teaching license applies for the job, they cannot hire someone who does not have a license no matter how much experience they have.

In the past couple of weeks, I've heard from several people who complain about the stupid hiring rules the public schools operate on. They set up barriers to keep out the best and brightest and thereby make themselves all feel especially qualified because they alone can get these high-paying jobs.

My attitude was already pretty low towards the whole system after yesterday's rejection, but when my daughter came home from her first day in public school in her life yesterday (she's 14 years old, homeschooled since age 5) and said that she's supposed to sell magazine subscriptions to raise money for the school -- not for any particular function such as a band trip, but just to go into the school coffers -- I blasted the whole system and almost got sent out of the house for my tirade.

Anyone else have similar experiences with our public schools?

2 posted on 08/03/2002 9:12:01 AM PDT by Mr. Mulliner
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To: Korth
Good post.
3 posted on 08/03/2002 9:33:05 AM PDT by jimkress
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To: Korth
Excellent article. I was so impressed by my husband's intelligence (gained via homeschooling) that I decided to homeschool my eldest daughter when i began having trouble with the public school system. I'm glad I did, and I would recommend homeschooling (or private school carefully chosen) to any parent. We need to get our kids out of these socialist indoctrination factories!!!
4 posted on 08/03/2002 9:33:50 AM PDT by goodieD
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To: Singapore_Yank
Yes, I remember the numerous fund raisers and begging for simple school supplies like pencils, kleenex and notebook paper from school officials. Selling magazine subscriptions, over-priced wrapping paper and thousands of candy bars were a constant when my son attended both private and public schools. Kids (and parents) who didn't pitch-in were sent home notes by the under-paid teachers and over-paid administrators stating that so-and-so was not behaving with proper "school spirit." Though time-consuming (on top of LOADS of busy-work, er, homework) and frustrating, fund raisers were not the only reason that I finally pulled my son out of public school and began to homeschool him. (My list is long. I have already posted my reasons on many homeschool-related threads!)

My question to you is: After years of homeschooling, why has your daughter started attending a public school at the age of fourteen? Even though homeschooling has been a smashing success in my household, I am a realist and know that homeschooling is not for every child or parent. Were things not working out? Not being judgemental. Just curious.

5 posted on 08/03/2002 9:39:39 AM PDT by demnomo
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To: Singapore_Yank
I used to think home-schooling was kind of odd, but you can't argue with the results. It's another proof of the old adage, "If you want something done right, do it yourself."
6 posted on 08/03/2002 9:53:30 AM PDT by Skwidd
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To: demnomo
The main reason for the change is that we've moved from Asia to America. I think they were doing well with homeschooling, but my wife has been offered a good job there at the same school where my daughters attend. I have to admit that it's a pretty good school and my sister, who has worked there for years, attests to that. We're at least giving them a chance and so far we have pretty good expectations.

I think my tirade against the fund-rasing scheme is fueled by the fact that earlier in the day I was not even allowed consideration for a teaching job that I am supremely qualified for simply because I'm not licensed. I am willing to get provisional licensing, but can't even apply for an interim license without being hired by a school district. And that probably won't happen unless there are literally no other applicants. I'm tired of hearing about schools being short of money when they won't be open about their hiring policies.

7 posted on 08/03/2002 10:26:44 AM PDT by Mr. Mulliner
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To: 2Jedismom; homeschool mama
8 posted on 08/03/2002 10:27:41 AM PDT by Mr. Mulliner
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To: Skwidd; demnomo; Korth
Here's another editorial, also from, that discusses the problem of lack of healthy incentives in public education.

Incentives and Motivation

9 posted on 08/03/2002 10:31:52 AM PDT by Mr. Mulliner
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To: Singapore_Yank
I'm tired of hearing about schools being short of money when they won't be open about their hiring policies.

I agree. I also am tired of the rising percentage of over-paid administrators who mostly push paper, (no wonder they generate so much red-tape!) eat up a lot of school funds and spend their time (when not dining out at fancy restaurants or attending yet another "Education Conference" at a resort location on the taxpayer's dime) devising insipid, unrealistic, politically correct rules and regulations that restrict rather than alleviate the precious money, time and energy that sincere teachers and students alike spend on their education. Maybe it's not like that in all public school systems, but it sure was (and still is) the case in my area. (I live in Northern California.)

I have friends who live in NC who rave about how good their public schools are. FReeper Mombonn was very satified with her children's schools in Michigan.

Of course, there are always acceptions to the rule of whether or not a parent is happy with a private or public school system. Sadly, I don't think that satisfaction with many schools is the least in today's world. Before the PC thought police and socialist indoctrinators from the Sixties came onto the scene, public schools were acceptable to most families. Hey, I went to public schools. ;) I'm happy to hear that you are satisfied with your school situation. Good luck to you and your family.

10 posted on 08/03/2002 10:48:30 AM PDT by demnomo
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To: Lizavetta; wasp69; cantfindagoodscreenname; BallandPowder; wyopa; joathome; Momto2; RipeforTruth; ..
11 posted on 08/03/2002 11:10:03 AM PDT by 2Jedismom
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To: 2Jedismom; homeschool mama; BallandPowder; ffrancone; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA; WIMom; OldFriend; ...
12 posted on 08/03/2002 11:29:32 AM PDT by TxBec
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To: goodieD
Four of our grandkids are being homeschooled. Their intelligence is simply amazing. They are way ahead of their counterparts and cousins. WAY AHEAD!!

From what we've seen, the HOMESCHOOLED children also seem emotionally stable and happy.

I would vote for homeschooling any day! And thats over our kids who are in Private schools and Charters. Most definetely over PUBLIC schools. I also really like the competition of a voucher system, that would force competitiveness in educating our kids. If you aren't good, parents can remove their child and shop elsewhere. PERIOD.
13 posted on 08/03/2002 11:47:02 AM PDT by Vets_Husband_and_Wife
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To: Skwidd
I used to think home-schooling was kind of odd, but you can't argue with the results. It's another proof of the old adage, "If you want something done right, do it yourself."

Nice post. Well, I have been looking for a place to crow. We got Ben's first (5th grade) state mandated test results back on Thursday. He took the tests during a week in May, and evey day, he came in and said, "It was easy."

97th percentile, nationally normed.

And, also he is a good kid, kind to his little brother and blind grandfather who he walks to the senior center every day, server in church, takes piano, plays sports, hustles odd jobs, keeps his chores mostly done, treats his elders and peers with respect....

Shameless brag mode off - and the credit goes to Mrs don-o who truly lays down her life for our sons.

I got some more good news recently. My baby sister is finished with the public schools, even in a small town in eastern North Carolina. She is quitting her career (legal secretary in a big city law firm) and bringing her two home.


14 posted on 08/03/2002 11:57:12 AM PDT by don-o
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To: *Education News; *Homeschool_list; madfly
Index Bump
15 posted on 08/03/2002 12:07:00 PM PDT by Free the USA
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To: don-o
Shameless brag mode off - and the credit goes to Mrs don-o who truly lays down her life for our sons.

It ain't braggin' if you can do it. I'm sure that your devotion will pay off in the future.

16 posted on 08/03/2002 12:10:23 PM PDT by Skwidd
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: Singapore_Yank
SY - -
A story in a similar vein - - my daughter's best friend got her degree in education and was looking forward to teaching. She went on a job interview (she was going to do an internship before going full time) and the folks interviewing her (I think there were three in the room), didn't ask her about her teaching credentials or what she hoped to accomplish.....nope, their first question to her was to ask about her feelings about the abortion issue. She is pro-life and said so. Needless to say, they didn't have a place on the facilty for her.

She's now working as an account manager for a large insurance firm - - and, she feels, she's happier than she would be swimming upstream in the filth that is now the public school system.
18 posted on 08/03/2002 12:23:53 PM PDT by duckbutt
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To: BibChr; Aquinasfan
Check out the story in #18.

Do you have any idea if someone in that situation could sue for discrimination?

19 posted on 08/03/2002 12:42:55 PM PDT by Artist
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To: 2Jedismom; TxBec
Great article. Thanks for the ping!
20 posted on 08/03/2002 12:43:45 PM PDT by Artist
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