Monday, February 24, 2014

Homeschooling Myth vs Reality

For us it started when our local school district chose to protect a teacher rather than the students.  As the year went by and her mental illness became more and more apparent to the administration they did nothing as the children in her classroom became more and more upset with her mood swings.  Parents began sitting in during the day but she would hold it together until the parents left the room.  The 7 year olds in the classroom would return home each day demonstrating behavior that included upset outbursts and they would begin crying at very little things.  For that second grade class the entire year was a waste of time in education.

For many residents of this little rural community there were no options.  For us homeschooling seemed to be the only option.

Every family comes to homeschooling for their own reason.  Every homeschooling family comes to the decision to homeschool for their own very personal reasons.  And because of this there are many misperceptions and myths about "The Homeschool Family"

Monica Swanson wrote an article for the HuffingtonPost titled "5 Myths about Families that Homeschool".  It is a great article.

What myths have you had to deal with?  Chime in on the Internet Homeschool Association Facebook page.



Schoolhouse seen in this post is not from our school district.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Are Homeschooling families Hiding behind the lack of regulations?

There was really no reason to read the rest of the article.  The Headline read "Hiding behind home schooling: Why some Oklahoma children are missing out on education".  This article was part of a television news report and news reports do have to sensationalize their headlines to get people to watch their news shows.

Read the full article HERE.


But there are just so many problems with the article that it seems as though (just perhaps) the author should spend some time working with a home school parent to craft a better report that makes sense. In my opinion, it is ok to ramble a little bit in an editorial blog post like this one.  But if you are making an assertion like the one made in this news "report" then your article should back up your headline with more than specious arguments.

In the article they report

"Here in Oklahoma, if you say 'my child is home schooled' that's it. They can't follow up. DHS can not come in the home. Truancy officers can not come to check on them," said McGinnis.
It's a problem she said she sees in the neighborhood where she works.  She's a property manager in the area of 61st and Peoria.
It's a part of town 2NEWS has covered a lot and not for good reasons.  Tulsa police say it has one of the highest crime rates in the city.
"Growing up with brothers, uncles, fathers that are all gang members and they are involved in a lot of drug activity crime, things like that and that's what they are learning," said McGinnis.

This is an article that you have to read a couple of times to try and figure out what the author is really getting at.  It seems what she is really saying is that this portion of this city in Oklahoma has a gang problem and not necessarily a home schooling problem. Are all of these kids home schooled or are some of them in the public school? The assertion does not really make it clear.

The headline of this article is inflammatory to good homeschooling families and conveys a sense that all homeschooling is some kind of scheme.  The only quotes in the article are by homeschooling parents that claim the anecdotal virtues of homeschooling.  While I do appreciate that the author included these two people in the article I think it is lazy reporting and sensational headlining used just to fill time in a news report.  It would have been great if there were actual numbers and some data to back up the assertion that homeschool parents are hiding behind the lack of regulations.  Census figures should be able to tell us approximately how many kids are registered in the local school districts vs. how many kids live in the area.  Saying that this news channel often covers that neighborhood and not for good reasons doesn't really help us get closer to the core cause of the problem. It doesn't really help us get any closer to understanding if there are kids in this neighborhood that are really affected by this problem.  It is just too vague to be anything other than news sanctioned gossip.

Yes, I want all children to have the opportunities that a great education can provide.  But hammering down good homeschooling parents to gain a market share on a news program does not help get any of us closer to a solution.