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Homeschooling and feminism

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by genuinemommy, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    What are homeschooled families like in your neck of the woods?

    What do you think about the current trend of homeschooling?

    Do you think you would homeschool your children?

    What are the educational opportunities in your area like?

    Do you think that the practice of homeschooling keeps women "in their place"?
    Homeschooling families are often hyper religious zealots.

    The mother is the stay at home parent. Often the mothers were homeschooled themselves, having little to no formal education.

    They barter or operate with cash only.

    The more time I spend with these people, the more I feel like I'm venturing into this crazy alternate reality.

    I've always been curious about what homeschooling is like. Every homeschooled individual that I met as a child, teen, and young adult was really sweet, brilliantly smart, and adorably naive.

    After a month of serious exploring my homeschooling options in this part of East Texas, I now have zero interest. I have so little respect for the practice that I have every desire to infringe on these families' perceived religious freedoms and shut it all down with some sort of mandatory public school requirement.

    These people are so out of touch with reality, they think public education is some sort of a post apocalyptic hell. They think that everyone in the world wants to molest or kidnap their children.

    They are... Unwell.

    Surely this is not the case for everyone. But this is the trend I've seen here. What about where you are?
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
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  2. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize.

    Large City, TX
    The only homeschooling (HS) family that I knew well were our next door neighbors. He had a fair number of college hours, but no degree. She had a BA or BS in education, and worked off and on as a teacher in the public school system.

    Their main reason for HS was religious. They felt that the removal of god, the bible, and creationism from the schools was the devil's work and the beginning of the end. Him more so than her.

    They, again him more than her, felt that the rampant and open sexual promiscuity in PS would be a bad influence on their children. Interesting note: He was extremely protective of his daughters, but I got the very distinct impression--he stopped just short of actually saying it--he would be proud when his son "got some." And even more proud if he got a girl pregnant. Unhindered and unlimited procreation was a big part of their religious beliefs.....just as long the females waited until they were married to have sex.

    Kidnapping and molestation were two of their big fears, even when the children were at home.

    They also liked to deal in cash as much as possible.

    Note: Their "church" operated an unofficial bank, including making loans for vehicles--which the "church" also bought and sold--and even home mortgages. This is illegal, and goes against the teachings in the bible. The "church" was very good at justifying their defying laws they didn't like, and interpreting the bible to fit their ideas.

    BTW this is the same family that I've previously mentioned, the one that very nearly killed (untreated meningitis) one of their children because of their anti-medical establishment beliefs.

    "Unwell" is a great description. Another one comes to mind: "Frequently wrong, but never in doubt." And I would add "with a justification for every clearly wrong action."

    EDIT: My wife the teacher has dealt with HS parents, and didn't see any obvious problems. But she didn't know them in a close personal way.
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  3. I have some things to say on this subject. I will be back!

    Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk
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  4. ralphie250

    ralphie250 Fully Erect Donor

    Jonesboro ga
    I will be waiting
  5. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Honestly, the homeschooling that I've observed over the last handful of years is much better than what was common in my area a decade or two ago. I knew a few kids of my generation or a bit younger who were home schooled. Many had extremely poor educations, some even struggling to read as adults. Most of them were very shy and introverted, as they weren't used to be around many people other than family on a social level. Today, I know a few people who home school their kids, or who at least tried it for stretches. Purely based on my observation, most of them take it seriously. Some have actual classrooms in their house and/or a set schedule that is kept. Almost all of them use nationally recognized programs, so it's a reasonably balanced education. Most make a strong effort to socialize their children outside the home. Some even do regular gym classes and field trips. There are definitely exceptions, but most of the ones that I know recently who have tried it and not done well returned their kids to school.

    I'm very conflicted on home schooling. I think a lot of the benefit of a normal school environment comes socially. Dealing with conflict, disappointment, competition, structure, and the general social interactions are pretty healthy IMO, even when some of them have negatives to them. However, I do think that a lot more can be taught, and better focus can be given, in the same amount of time, when home schooling the right way. The challenge is doing it properly, being disciplined, and making sure that both your weaknesses as a teacher, and your child's weaknesses as a student/child are compensated for instead of enabled.

    No, I don't think I would home school.

    Public schools in my community are favored. Most of the towns surrounding me have pretty highly regarded schools as well. Private schools are more common deeper into suburbia, but there are a few out here, mostly religious.

    I've never really considered home schooling as a way of keeping women "in their place" I guess. Most of the ones that I personally know that do it successfully are pretty smart and driven women. They are just driven to dedicate most of their efforts to something other than a career. To my knowledge all of them personally made and support the choice to do it because they think it is what is best for their children. I would be totally against a husband insisting his wife home school if that were the reasoning behind it.

    For the most part, I've personally been against it in the past. Over the last several years I've seen more of a trend in my area of parents taking it seriously, not doing it strictly for religious reasons, and ensuring it is well rounded. So now I'm more of the opinion of "if you do it, you better do it the right way, it's not an excuse to stay home, keep your kids home, and just have everyone be lazy about everything".
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  6. Fangirl

    Fangirl Very Tilted Donor

    Still pretty new here, so don't really know. This is a wealthy, hyper-religious area with many private schools--which may be indicative of less homeschooling?

    Is it a trend? IDK. It strikes me as an extremist behavior. The most recent firsthand knowledge I have is of my BIL and SIL deciding that their 2nd graders who were public schooled in central Illinois would be pulled out at Christmas not to go back, due to the public schools failing their twin children.
    My mid-forties BIL is/was unemployed with a long history of job instability. He will school his daughters. Last time I spent time with him and them he struck them above the shoulders, with an open hand while we dined out celebrating his mother's birthday. It was not the first time. I do not think it wise, given his temperament that he stay home to teach his children.
    Broadly speaking, much of what I've read of homeschooled kids involves some kind of familial dysfunction.

    It would be hypothetical grandchildren at this point and the answer would be no, never, I do not have the temperament.

    If you live in a nice neighborhood, fine. If not, among the worst (49th) in the country.
    Probably. I believe organized religion does, absolutely.
    Seems like you gave it a very fair try. Good for you! Unfortunately you confirmed what I suspected--that oftentimes homeschooling is keeping some "unwell" behavior behind closed doors.
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  7. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage Donor

    I am not convinced that homeschooling is something I would want for my kids. I am also suspicious of the idea of homeschooling in general (I feel similarly about private schools as well).

    That said, I come from a place with strong Public Schools.
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  8. Finally got back to this. Skip down past the break to avoid the boring details!

    QW and I homeschooled our children. It didn't start out that way. Our eldest spent most of 6 years in "formal" education environments, but it didn't go well for a few reasons. We tried both public and private schools, but it wasn't a good fit for him, so we decided to teach him ourselves. We felt it was working so well, we never even considered not homeschooling our 2 younger children.

    We are not hyper religious, nor are we shunning society. QW is a Christian, non-denomination, and I am a skeptic, maybe an atheist. Neither of us feel compelled to force our ideas and beliefs on others... especially our children. We were more concerned with teaching our children to think critically, give them actual useful life skills, strong reading and math skills (rough, because our youngest is quite dyslexic), and the broadest general knowledge we could provide.

    We understood our limitations. We are not college graduates, but still fairly intelligent. QW did a great job of networking and finding a group of like-minded homeschoolers. We had professional educators, business men and women, scientists, woodworkers, mechanics, and several others with particular talents and experiences who were enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge. We were all progressive thinkers with a desire to give our children the best learning experiences possible.

    Maybe "homeschool" is a misnomer for what we did. We had regularly scheduled group lessons in science, math, art, music. There were many field trips to art and science museums and most children in the group became members of Michigan Youth Theater, producing and performing both classic and contemporary plays. At home, we used both online and hard copy teaching materials to expand our kids minds in math, history and language skills... although we did not establish a formal classroom setting like some do. We did monitor their activity and progress, but left them a lot of leisure time to have fun with the things that interested them.

    We joined a local gym with a strong youth program and the kids interacted with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Youth and family bowling leagues expanded their experience even more. They all made lasting friendships through those venues. Our middle child caught the chess bug and we were all exposed to yet another group of smart, passionate people. There was a lot of travelling for tournaments and child 2 won several state and national championships.

    I give QW all the credit for how great our kids have turned out (although she insists that all of the years of working 60-70 hour weeks with no vacations that I did were just as important a contribution as her unrelenting efforts as a (supposedly) stay at home mom). Son 1 went to work at Conrail and is now a railroad engineer, husband and father. Son 2 has a degree in psychology, works with troubled youth, teaches chess and still competes on a very high level. Our daughter, despite her dyslexia, has earned a degree in International Studies, has made many mission trips to Mexico, Turkey and around the US. She leaves for France in a couple of weeks. (She came about her religious convictions independently and honestly) When she is state-side, she has just been promoted to lower management in the Hilton hotel chain and her potential in that field appears unlimited. We are very proud of them... and ourselves, for that matter.


    We found a lot of options available in our area. Yes, there are a lot of hyper religious, society shunning homeschool families. We scandalized more than a few of them with our "liberal" ideas. I feel sorry for their children.

    We had a family of our acquaintance that liked how things were going for us, so they decided to pull their kids out of public school. But they were lazy and let the kids just goof off and didn't really work very hard with them. They were convinced that everything was great. We removed ourselves from their lives. I feel sorry for their children.

    To answer the questions posed by our wonderful OP:

    Yes, a large majority of homeschooling families are ultra religious and looking to shield themselves from the realities of society.
    ***You can avoid them, but you have to really shop around for like-minded parents. They are out there, but they blend into life so well they are not obvious.

    We are several years past our homeschooling days. If there are "current trends," we aren't in the loop. Can't comment.
    ***You create your own homeschool environment. States do have educational guidelines; Michigan has, can't speak for Texas. Meet the minimum requirements and expand on them.

    We did homeschool, and our kids are leading happy, successful lives. They all have great jobs, passionate interests, more friends than I could count and love their mother with all of their heart (me too, I suppose ;))
    ***Most rewarding work we even engaged in!

    Public education around here is spotty, at best. Even within districts, performance varies. Private schools are almost all hyper religious. Until one gets to the collegiate level, things are a crapshoot.
    ***It depends on the parents and the school administrators. Without dedication from both of these, we're doomed!

    Refer to the answer for question 1. I see many women trapped in a life dominated by their "Lord and Master" husband. Their children are victims, in my opinion. QW is a wonderful, independent woman. Our daughter is one, too, and our sons treat the women in their lives with respect as equal partners.
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  9. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you for this!

    Last night I was visiting with my friend and mentioned that all I'm finding are hyper religious families. She agreed and said it's why she hasn't pulled her son yet from school. A friend tipped her off on a Unitarian Universalist homeschool group that she is going to check out. That sounds promising.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
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  10. I wish you well in your journey. Don't compromise when it comes to your family's welfare! Think of your goal as "unschooling" rather than homeschooling. That opens up a world of opportunities. And, do it all with all of the love that I know you have in your heart.:)
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  11. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    Alaska has both sides of the coin as well.
    The office manager home schooled her son (at great personal expense) because he has autism and the public schools were doing a shit job of it.
    There are a lot of folks living out in the boontoolies or off the grid where school is hard to reach and so they do it themselves.
    And we have the right wing nuts.
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  12. martian

    martian Server Monkey Staff Member

    I don't really have any experience with home schooling. I'm not opposed to it in principle, but I don't think I'd want to do it for my daughter. It feels too much like I'd be limiting her based on my own and/or her mother's knowledge. I prefer to leave educating to the educators.

    I think there's plenty of room for improvement for the public education system in Ontario, but I also recognize that it works well for most students, and do think it would be highly preferable to any learning environment I could provide on my own.

    I don't think we have as many religious crazies around here as there might be elsewhere, though they certainly exist. My town is small and conservative by Canadian standards, but most of the folks here still agree that public education is a good idea.
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  13. Fangirl

    Fangirl Very Tilted Donor

    I spoke with a local Phoenix mom who has both her younger teenagers enrolled in what I thought was private but what turns out to be public school via lottery. The school is described as an "organization of tuition-free, public, charter schools." I hadn't really paid attention to charter schools until the recent publicity about the U.S. Secretary of Education and her support of them. My new first-hand information doesn't contradict what I'd read, namely the beneficiaries of charter schools are often well-off folks choosing to have their progeny not attend the larger public school system.

    Twenty years ago we moved specifically to a town due to it's reputation for excellent public schools. I thought that would be a good indicator of my children's potential for success but neither kid did particularly well, with the first being expelled at the beginning of his sophomore year. My second child was only an average student despite being smart. In both cases, their lack of conforming to pressure to be more like their wealthy peers (we were not) appeared to impact their desire to succeed educationally. Their high school was massive in size and they both seemed to get lost in the system. If anything, I've learned that when it comes to schools, bigger is not better and a school's reputation is only as good as how your child fares when within it.
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  14. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member Donor

    While I think it can certainly be suitable in the right contexts, I would personally use it as a last resort.

    I attended public school. I'm the child of an educator. I am an educator. Whatever deficiencies our public school system had where I was growing up, my parents made sure to supplement that. I was a TAG kid, so I really needed--and wanted--the extra stuff my parents did.

    I wouldn't homeschool. I don't have time. But I'm sure that when the time comes, my kids will have access to whatever they need to succeed as well-rounded, compassionate people.
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  15. Derwood

    Derwood Slightly Tilted

    Columbus, OH
    We purposely bought a home in a good school district so that our kids would be properly educated.

    I've never been presumptuous enough to think I was better suited to educate my kids than trained professionals
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  16. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member Donor

    Thanks. I spent a lot of time and money preparing to be a teacher. On top of that, I spend countless hours doing professional development, as well as designing professional development.

    An irritating fact about being a teacher: since everyone's gone through some form of education in this country, they typically think they know my job well. They think maybe they could do it. They think they have an informed opinion about Common Core because they saw some nonsense meme on Facebook about multiple mathematical strategies, and suddenly math didn't make sense because they didn't understand the strategy being used. The problem isn't really Common Core--it's that what we are teaching kids in high school now is harder than what their parents learned, and parents feel adrift when they don't understand the homework.

    I have spent a lot of hours mastering particular parts of my discipline: British literature, Shakespeare, argumentative writing, and New Historicism, to name a few. The other part of teaching is to be a jack of all trades. Except for calculus and geometry, I can explain core subjects pretty well. What gives me the advantage over a layman is that I have the pedagogical experience to assist me in figuring out the best way to illustrate or explain a concept, even if it's not directly in my discipline.

    I know parents can work hard to educate their children. I know that pedagogy can be learned--I've learned it. But the real art of teaching comes from practice. Every learner I meet and every lesson I teach has something new to reveal. That's invaluable in its way. And I understand that not every teacher is like me. Not everyone loves their calling like I do.

    The flip side of my ability to practice my discipline is that parents get the benefit of smaller class sizes--that's hard to beat.
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  17. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

  18. Olympian

    Olympian Vertical

    The way I see it the question is about values. What values do public schools have, what values do private schools have and what values do parents have? It is complicated because most countries have adopted un-scientific views that are actually being taught.

    In my own country as a six year old I was mostly allowed to play around and they taught me swimming. Not much else. Sure, they had some feminist ideocies, like one time when one of the directors had a birthday and he made a cake for us. For the first time girls and boys were put aside, directed to different floors. Then they gave us extremely small portions of the cake and as we requested more we got more. The boys were in the basement and I was one of the kids who really liked the cake. I got probably like 3 or 4 plates but each of them contained not much more than one small maruingy each. Then they said that they were all out of cake on that floor, but the girls had cake in abundance. They said that I could get more if only I was brave enough to go up to the second floor and I did. Then for days and days they tortured me and the others about how little cake the girls had and how the boys took everything. A girl which I had previously hung out with, who asked to marry me though I didn't know what marriage was, wouldn't speak to me after this. Even she didn't confirm what the adults said about the cake being a reason, but all this built up some resistance for me. It became clear from an early age that girls are unreliable.

    Although I can't be sure of that first example actually been orchestrated I had plenty further experiences of brainwashing being played on me. I tried to avoid public education but even that didn't help. I've always been taught socialist ideals and how it's always right to steal but never to produce. I've always been told that weakness makes right, that obediance is key and that democracy is freedom.

    If a parent was not to do these things then that might be a step in the right direction.
  19. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    It all depends on the personality of the child if homeschooling would work or not. It also depends a lot of the parents and the desired outcome. If I were a stay at home Dad and could come up with a lesson plan, it might work. But, I can barely work from home as it is, I couldn't imagine trying to teach a kid from home. It wouldn't be very effective.

    Would I tweak quite a bit of the things when I was in public school, yes for sure. Do I think that everything would be fixed by homeschooling or unschooling, no. Learning a few different languages happens easier at home or by traveling to a place where they speak it. And on-line programs might work better too. But, the on-line schools will just have the same issues I'm afraid, just trying to use video conferencing instead of being in class in person. Well, the germs and sickness part wouldn't be there...

    From K-6th grade, the public school does a fine job. 7-12th is where improvements could be made. 7-10th especially. 11th and 12th it would be better back in public school for the teenage experience and high school diploma. Homeschooling and focusing on topics and real world experiences could be more educational for those four years from 12 years old to 16 years old.