Home Schooling

Jason at Antioch Road does a book review of Home Schooling: The Right Choice, by Christopher Klicka. It got me to thinking.
I have been around the homeschooling movement for about 25+ years and have seen it from different angles. What always impresses most is the young men and women who have been homeschooled most of their lives. These 20+ year olds are impressive and do seem to be a bit different in a very positive way.

I wonder if the key to their success is that they mainly interact with adults and are not exposed to unhealthy peer pressures at school. I think that the evolution of the public school system was one of the main changes in 20th Century American culture. Before this time schooling was either at home or in a small school atmosphere.

Maybe homeschooling works so well because it capitalizes on an environment that bonds parents and children ... one where peers and teachers are not the predominant influencers in children's lives.

Have you had any experience with this phenomenon? Any suggestions for people considering this education alternative. And for the record we did not home school our children.


  1. Thanks for the link and for your thoughts on homeschooled children, which are an encouragement to us as we prepare to home school our children!

    I know a number of home schooled children as well. They, in general, appear more respectful of adults and, also, tend to act more like adults, than their public schooled peers. There are always exceptions, of course, but we believe, for a number of reasons, that home schooling is the right choice for us.

  2. Hi Bob,

    I too have been following the home school movement for a long time but I have mixed emotions, to be honest. I agree that the home school movement has produced many impressive young men and women...but...I also believe "some" Christians use homeschool to "indoctrinate" their children to their way of seeing the world...and...I question to what degree many of them are introduced to ideas and thoughts foreign to their own...Just one man's thoughts, who happens to be a public high school teacher but also personally knows a lot of homeschool parents and children....

  3. We homeschooled our kids for 6 years, then they went to charter schools for a few years. The oldest graduated from a charter school; he's in honors in college, an Eagle scout. Well prepared in class. The youngest made it in public high school for nine days. I HS'd him for 9th grade. That was tough because he was older and he's not as much of a passionate learner as his brother. I had to sift through all of his assignments and tailor them for his learning style and personality. He's still ahead of his peers, even though he is a good 6 months younger than some of them. He is a typical 15 year old, but very respectful of adults; great with younger scouts, and is doing well with an interest in architecture.
    It was the best choice for us at the time. Home schooling is best taken one day at a time, with a great deal of flexibility.

  4. I have seen both sides of homeschooling. Unfortunately in the church I attended for years there was a "rivalry" of sorts. The home schoolers looked down on the non-home schoolers and some even taught their kids that families that did not home school were not "good Christians". My son begged me to be home schooled when he heard that (at about age 8).

    Anyhow, I know thats extreme. Most of the kids I know that were home schooled are much more mature, better educated and responsible. But really - I think that has more to do with parenting.

    One family I know was SO strict with their 2 girls that one rebelled and is now living in a juvenile detention center :(

    There has to be a balance in everything.

  5. A quick follow up and qualification regarding my comments about "indoctrination"...Indoctrination can mean to teach another what is considered "proper" or truthful doctrine. I am not suggesting there is anything wrong with this although that could be implied by my earlier comments. My concern is that "some" withold critical information about what others believe or they distort, exaggerate, or in some cases lie about those they disagree with. I am not implying that homeschoolers are any worse about this than anyone else but I have met and do know a number of homeschoolers who, imo, are doing their children a disservive to their children's education by witholding and distorting what others believe...and while...this may serve the short term goal of keeping the faith of the youth it can backfire and lead to disallusionment, cynicsm, and loss of faith when and if our children go to college and find out we may not have been telling the truth. Education is a precious gift we all give to our children and I feel we need to handle it with great care and a lot of fear and trembling....

  6. I am NOT anti-public school. Nor is my wife. But we have seen the stats on homeschooled children and have been quite impressed. So...

    My wife and I made the decision to homeschool about 5 years ago (basically, right after our first was born).

    Right now, David is kindergarten age. We have loosely applied some of the homeschooling teachings to him as if he were in kindergarten. Right now, with 1st grade staring at us in September, he already reads simple books like Hop On Pop. He writes some. He does addition and subtraction. So I am convinced that his ability to learn is just fine.

    The only issues we were concerned about were his social skills. He is my special little boy. He is a charmer. He is high energy. He has the most amazing imagination of any child I have ever met. He is vulnerable with his feelings. He is extremely social and desires friendship with EVERY person he meets. (Quite often he will invite himself over to a total strangers' house just because he had a conversation with him or her. And yes...we are ALWAYS present!)

    When David is calm, he will charm the socks off of any adult with his concern for how their day went and all the stories of the things that HE did that day.

    When we go to the park to try to get him around other kids, he does what we taught him. He walks up to a kid and says, "Hi. My name is David. What's your name? (...answer...) Do you want to play?"
    The problem is that many kids his age don't relate to that and kind of shy away. But when he DOES get a little buddy, the boys want to wrestle. (My boy is not a very good wrestler. Aggressive, yes...but not a wrestler.) And most of the girls want to play with other girls. So as soon as another girl shows up, she's off.

    Right now, most of his good friends (42 at last count) are girls. And a few of them are boys. He has a busier social life than I do, by far. So his social skills are being strengthened and honed.

    I know how the kids are at that age. A kid like David would have a hard time with the other kids. And the teachers would want to have him examined for ADHD. He would be labeled a "special needs" kid at a terribly young age. And he is NOT a special needs kid. But he IS a special kid!

    We don't know how far we will homeschool our kids. We are thinking we will take it a year at a time.

    (Whew!!! The DK guy does go on, don't he?)

  7. . I have seen home school work and not work. I know of two adults that were home schooled that have no motivation to grow up and get jobs. One still lives with the parents and has no intention of moving on with his life. Neither one want to go to college. My son is very smart, smarter then I could offer. My husband and I made sure that he was in the classes he needed. He will take the ACTs soon that’s something I wouldn’t have been offering if I were home schooling him, he’s in seventh grade. In kindergarten his teacher told me he’d probably end up skipping classes.

    As for how home school kids are more respectful with adults. I think it depends on how they were raised. My son loves to work at the mission down town serving food to those in need, we taught him to respect all people. In the school system they promote character counts, it’s a great program about how to treat people.

    I think that some kids need to be home schooled and some don’t. My children need to be in school with lots of friends they need to hear that there is more beyond high school. If I lived in a different area with less of the school system then I most likely would give it a lot of thought.

    It’s important that we as a community support each other, after all we are in this world together

    My son would get looks from kids like he had two heads at times because he talks above their level. Check out the school, meet the teacher that works with the gifted kids. I’d bet that he/she would tell you that other parents feel the same way you two feel. I cried the first time I heard a teacher say “We celebrate being different” We were blessed to have teachers who fell in love with him. No kidding they would stop me in the hallway to tell me how he helped in teaching that day because he was able to break it down for them. Two of the teachers put him method to practice after years of trying to figure out how to teach kids about some math problems. A good teacher will allow that stuff. Had she shut him down he would have kept it to himself and the world would have missed out. He is currently in ninth grade algebra and advanced classes so by the time he graduates from high school he will have college credits. Look at the school system now check out what they do and how they work.

  8. I getcha, Mil-Gurl. Thanks for the thoughts.

    You have to keep in mind that we decided to homeschool way before David began blossoming into such a dynamic persononallity. We didn't base the decision on him. My wife and I REALLY WANT to homeschool.

  9. Danny,

    I'm not against home schooling. I just know that it isn't for us. I've seen some great co-ops
    I was listening to some high school class mates talking at a reunion about how much the school we graduated from sucked. It’s true that some of the teachers were horrible, not all. I pointed out that learning begins at home. One of the girls admitted that her family didn’t sit around reading. My husband’s family didn’t, I was always with a book or a Bible when I’d go to visit my in-laws we spend a lot of time in the car so I tend to read. My mother in-law stared reading more after talking to me about books. My husband learned to sit down and read books after being with my family. You will do a great job home schooling because you will always be encouraging them to learn more and seek the world for knowledge.


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