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  #201  
Old 05-19-2020, 05:26 AM
Urbanredneck is offline
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Now, back to the HSLDA. It turns out that they have their own online academy. It lets you browse their courses, so I checked out the Math section and went from there to the Physics page. Looking through the description sounded like a pretty standard physics class. Then I made my first mistake; I clicked on the official booklist (PDF) link. Turns out there is just one book, "Physics for Christian Schools" by Bob Jones University. What in the fuck is Christian Physics? Is it like particle physics, but only three particles?

Now that I realized what was behind that facade, I knew where to look next, Biology, and it did not disappoint! Below the description they have two links. The first is an intro from the course developer herself, Master Teacher Dr. Kris Mayo. It's short, so I'll give you the full transcript: Okay, they probably are going to skip over that whole evolution thing and focus on dissecting frogs. Then I clicked on the second link, a (3 minutes and 5 seconds long) sample clip from a live class session. HOLY FUCK! Keep in mind that this clip of a discussion is the portion of the entire course that they chose to highlight and share with potential customers. It's way too fucking inane and insane to try to follow long enough to get a transcript, so choose to view it or not, it's up to you. If I had to summarize it, it boils down to the likelihood of tossing a bunch of car parts (which were the result of an explosion, for fuck's sake) in the air and having them spontaneously form a fully functioning automobile. If this is the shit that even the legitimate organizations are peddling, then we need standardized testing of some sort to make sure these poor kids aren't just wasting everyone else's time when they hound their Biology 101 professor about the the farcical notion that eyes are due to natural selection. College preparatory my ass.

The longer this thread goes on, the more I learn and what I'm learning isn't positive for my understanding of the home schooling movement.
As a Christian parent I also have looked at the Bob Jones material and like you, I was floored by some of it.

Now the basics I thought were taught well. For example, how to tell a plant cell vs. an animal cell. How cellular respiration works. The parts of a plant, etc... The periodic table. Force equals mass times acceleration. The basics were all there. But then they go off on some tangent about creationism. Frustrating.

As for evolution. Well its part of the state standards and I think its on the SAT and the ACT so students, even those using books pushing creationism, do learn it.

Would this homeschool curriculum alone prepare them for a college science program with rigorous standards? Doubtful. I think you would need to go to a high school with a good AP program to learn to handle the loads of homework and academic demands college science programs require.

But I cant say the right kid who is smart, focused, and motivated might do fine.

To be honest, just because one goes to a public school and learned from a normal McGraw Hill textbook would not ensure success either. I'm more concerned does the textbook explain things well? Does it include worksheets, labs, and review questions that accurately test and apply the students knowledge?

I remember being blown away by Physics I at The University of Kansas (along with about 50% of the other first year students). Not because I didnt grasp the physics part, but all the advanced math, the homework, and the difficult exams because I wasnt prepared for that. I had to go back to a juco and learn all that and then I went back to KU and did fine.

So I can see where your coming from by reading some of the material. I just dont think you can measure student motivation and aptitude purely from it which frankly might be equal to or more important.
  #202  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:35 AM
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First off I want to apologize. I've been studying for the GRE and that wasn't what I meant at all. I meant GED.

Secondly, I think you could draw up a fair system of jail for all. Say a home schooler parents kid fails their GED the parents goes to jail for 10 years (13 school years × 9 months per year). If a public school kid fails their freshman math teach would be responsible for 9 months in jail divided by their total number of students so say 150 or about a day and a half of course that should be split by all of the other teachers so it should be about 3 hours.
If we are operating on the assumption that failing to educate children is abuse and punishable by jail, why do you offset it by the number of children who were not abused? If I beat one of my children, do I get my sentence reduced in a pro rata fashion because I didn't beat the other three? If I would have had ten kids, then I would be golden.

So the comparison is not apt. If the teacher fails even one child, he or she should get the full sentence under this hypo.

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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Jail? No, no jail.

But give a Homeschooled kid a test on reading and math, say at 3rd grade. If kids cant pass 2nd grade level, kid cant be homeschooled. Another test @ 5th and 7th. Some science there @7, kid should understand evolution as a basic concept. And the US Constitution.
Why does this only apply to home schooled children? Why isn't a public school child removed from his or her school if the same test is failed? The school has failed in the precise way that a homeschool parent has failed yet there is little to no accountability for the school but an absolute ban on the parent.

Maybe give that child a voucher.
  #203  
Old 05-20-2020, 06:03 AM
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Jail? No, no jail.

But give a Homeschooled kid a test on reading and math, say at 3rd grade. If kids cant pass 2nd grade level, kid cant be homeschooled. Another test @ 5th and 7th. Some science there @7, kid should understand evolution as a basic concept. And the US Constitution.
Ok, try this scenario:

Lets say you have a public school system with 90 3rd graders and in that area are 10 home-school kids at that age. The state institutes a rule where all all 3rd graders must pass a test showing they have reading and math skills at that grade level. All the kids get tested on one big day.

The results come back. Of the 90 public school kids, 30 have failed. What should happen? Should the public school hold back those 30 kids?

And lets say the home-schooled kids grades have averaged way above the average for the public school kids and indeed, the home-schooled kids got some of the best grades. Would the public school administrators want it to get out that the home-schooled kids out performed the public school kids and "maybe" cause more parents to pull their kids from the public schools?
  #204  
Old 05-20-2020, 06:42 AM
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Why isn't a public school child removed from his or her school if the same test is failed? The school has failed in the precise way that a homeschool parent has failed yet there is little to no accountability for the school but an absolute ban on the parent.
That's the trouble with putting your educational eggs in the one-student-one-teacher homeschooling basket: every individual failure means a per-school failure rate of 100%. No school survives with a failure rate of 100%.

Personally, I'd be fine with giving homeschooling parents whose children fail basic competence tests an opportunity to improve and reform their teaching with stricter scrutiny, the same as schools with high failure rates get. But the homeschooling movement would probably squawk even louder about that "interference with their rights as parents" than they would about simply disqualifying homeschooling parents of failing children from continuing to homeschool. It would also be extremely resource-intensive if supervisors had to make individual home visits to help incompetent teacher-parents improve their teaching.
  #205  
Old 05-20-2020, 07:01 AM
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That's the trouble with putting your educational eggs in the one-student-one-teacher homeschooling basket: every individual failure means a per-school failure rate of 100%. No school survives with a failure rate of 100%.
One could use the same ""all eggs in one basket" when describing public schools. In some areas public schools are just bad and I feel parents should have an alternate choice.

However they might not be able to afford a private school or afford to move to an area with better public schools.

What should they do?

Homeschooling offers a good alternative.

I'm also ok with testing provided public school kids also get tested and they publish the results.
  #206  
Old 05-20-2020, 07:16 AM
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One could use the same ""all eggs in one basket" when describing public schools.
I think you might be misunderstanding how I was using the expression. My point wasn't to make any claim about the pros and cons of having all students homeschooled or all students public-schooled.

My point was just that one of the intrinsic weaknesses of individual homeschooling is that the failure of any individual student implies total failure for their "school", because their enrollment consists of one pupil and consequently their failure rate is 100%. A public school (or a private school or homeschooling collective, for that matter) that enrolls multiple students is naturally going to take less of a performance hit if one individual student fails.

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Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
In some areas public schools are just bad and I feel parents should have an alternate choice.

However they might not be able to afford a private school or afford to move to an area with better public schools.

What should they do?

Homeschooling offers a good alternative.
This is not in dispute. Once again, nobody is saying that homeschooling can't be a good alternative to other forms of schooling. Everybody acknowledges that there are plenty of high-achieving homeschooled students.

The argument is simply that we shouldn't take it for granted that homeschooling with no oversight or assessment will automatically produce better education than the alternatives. And we should not naively assume on the basis of inadequate data that homeschooling is overwhelmingly successful while the failures of homeschooling are just negligible anomalies.
  #207  
Old 05-20-2020, 08:59 AM
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If we are operating on the assumption that failing to educate children is abuse and punishable by jail, why do you offset it by the number of children who were not abused? If I beat one of my children, do I get my sentence reduced in a pro rata fashion because I didn't beat the other three? If I would have had ten kids, then I would be golden.

So the comparison is not apt. If the teacher fails even one child, he or she should get the full sentence under this hypo.



Why does this only apply to home schooled children? Why isn't a public school child removed from his or her school if the same test is failed? The school has failed in the precise way that a homeschool parent has failed yet there is little to no accountability for the school but an absolute ban on the parent.

Maybe give that child a voucher.
Actually, I think your correct if there are home schooled twins and one fails and one passes that's possibly an indication that it wasn't the parents fault and it should be a mitigating circumstance. Likewise with a teacher if 80% pass its an indication its not the teacher.

The problem is most home schools aren't teaching twins so they only get one bite at the apple. If we have to use your system rather than Urban's we have to wait until the kid is 18 rather then testing, and helping along the way. If they fail on their first kid out of the gate why should we give them 2 more years to complete screwing up kid number two.

I think the best proposal is annual testing to ensure minimum advancement across all forms of primary and secondary education. Teachers (and homeschool teachers) are investigated if their pass rate falls below a given percentage to determine what is causing the problem. If it is the teacher they can be sent for additional training over the summer to improve. After three years of failures over a 5 year period they are removed from teaching. If a home school parents has three children they would have to fail over 2 years not just a single year prior to being removed.
  #208  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:14 PM
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I'm starting to get hung up on the horrid quality of the curriculum that is considered appropriate for home schooling. Is there a reason we can't simply provide (and test on) the curriculum used by the public schools in the area?

I watched the course samples for the other topics from the aforementioned HSLDA Online Academy.

The English and Writing course sample is discussing Call of the Wild (nice choice!). Unfortunately, only a minute into it we're discussing the problem is that Jack London is an atheist and didn't believe in the Law of Love and Fellowship between God and man. I didn't even know about London's religious leanings until watching this and I certainly don't see why in the fuck it matters one iota.

The Logic and Critical Thinking course sample is covering chapter 3 of Stott's "Your Mind Matters", which is a book that goes on to tell the horrors of the "Catholic Christians", the "Activist Christians", and the "Pentecostal Christians". It also shows the word "Christian" on the whiteboard 18 times. I'm going to slowly back away from this shit.

The US History course sample shows the teacher spending the entire time, in the words of one of the students in the session "trying to sell us on his ebook side hustle." Yes, this teacher wrote an ebook about Japanese submarines off of the Oregon Coast that were (according to him) sunk by blimps and remain there to this day (although no one has found them). This is US History?

If the above is any indication of the state of education among home schooled students, this shit should be outlawed yesterday.
  #209  
Old 05-20-2020, 01:30 PM
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I'm starting to get hung up on the horrid quality of the curriculum that is considered appropriate for home schooling. Is there a reason we can't simply provide (and test on) the curriculum used by the public schools in the area?
Provided by, say, the ever open-minded Texas State Board of Education. No thanks. We don't provide and test on curricula to private schools either, and nor should we.
  #210  
Old 05-20-2020, 01:35 PM
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I suppose if you really want to get the Fundy homeschoolers to start agreeing to restrictions, we could get some homeschool Madrasas going (or stories about them) and watch the panic.
  #211  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:14 PM
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Provided by, say, the ever open-minded Texas State Board of Education. No thanks. We don't provide and test on curricula to private schools either, and nor should we.
And your solution? No matter how bad some local board of education may or may not be, what I linked is not even in same universe as any government-issued curriculum that I've seen, so I'm open to options.
  #212  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:34 PM
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And your solution?
Leave it be. I wouldn't choose those options but I'm not sanguine about letting my neighbors veto mine.
  #213  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:41 PM
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Leave it be. I wouldn't choose those options but I'm not sanguine about letting my neighbors veto mine.
The thing is, of course, that the neighbors who "choose those options" of misinformation and ignorance in their homeschooling curriculum aren't merely making personal choices for themselves. They're also depriving their unfortunate children of the educational attainments and basic knowledge that they're entitled to.

Indifference about parental abuse and neglect is not actually a good defense of individual liberties.
  #214  
Old 05-20-2020, 04:03 PM
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The thing is, of course, that the neighbors who "choose those options" of misinformation and ignorance in their homeschooling curriculum aren't merely making personal choices for themselves. They're also depriving their unfortunate children of the educational attainments and basic knowledge that they're entitled to.

Indifference about parental abuse and neglect is not actually a good defense of individual liberties.
Nothing DMC describes constitutes abuse.
  #215  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:04 PM
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Nothing DMC describes constitutes abuse.
Actually, leaving it be does invite abuse. One of the nice outcomes of participating in this thread (thanks OP!) is that I learned of individuals that were harmed in the process. Prior to this thread, I had never heard of Tara Westoever. Now I have her book "Educated" ordered and on the way to my house. Aside from the other forms of abuse, I would classify her home schooling experience as abuse all by itself. While she's accomplished amazing things, it was despite her experience, not because of it. I would also consider someone who went through K-12 of the curriculum that I've been diving into abuse, even if it's not as bad as no education at all. While students could go through that and come out ahead of someone who was taught nothing at all, it's still far short of what I would consider an acceptable level of education, and I happen to believe that children do have a right to that.
  #216  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:05 PM
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Provided by, say, the ever open-minded Texas State Board of Education. No thanks. We don't provide and test on curricula to private schools either, and nor should we.
We might not test private school students ( or we might or the schools might voluntarily administer the tests) but whether private schools are expected to follow a particular curriculum kind of depends on your definition of "curriculum" - if you're talking about a specific textbook, then no, private schools aren't generally mandated to use a specific book, but neither are public schools mandated to use a specific book statewide.The whole Texas/California textbook thing isn't because every third grade math class is going to use the same book - it's because the publisher wants to get on the list of multiple approved books.

But if you're talking about a more broadly defined curriculum, then some states do. First, you have states that require that private school students receive substantially the same education as public school students. And then you have states with more detailed requirements - here's a partial list of NYS requirements from here


Quote:
What subjects must be taught in nonpublic schools?
In grades 1-6 the following subjects must be taught:

arithmetic
English language
reading
spelling
writing
music
geography
health education
physical education
science
United States history
New York State history
visual arts
There's a list for grade 7 & 8 and another for high school.


And there's been a fairly recent bit of controversy in NYC about whether certain private school followed the rather loose rules and whether politicians agreed to delay a report for political reasons.
  #217  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:22 PM
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Nothing DMC describes constitutes abuse.
You've apparently forgotten the discussion of "educational neglect" back in post #143 et seqq., where I pointed out that educational neglect can indeed qualify as a form of child abuse.

We're not talking here about parents merely teaching their kids their religious beliefs. We're talking about parents (really, ideological movements preying on credulous parents seeking curricular support for their homeschooling efforts) trying to ram demonstrably false religious dogmas into children's heads as a substitute for the fact-based education and cognitive skills training that they're entitled to.
  #218  
Old 05-20-2020, 06:10 PM
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I would also consider someone who went through K-12 of the curriculum that I've been diving into abuse, even if it's not as bad as no education at all.
The objections you listed in #208 were to religious content and a sales pitch. Content you don't like isn't abuse. That doesn't mean abuse doesn't occur; it does. But there's no cause to ban the content you listed.
  #219  
Old 05-20-2020, 06:13 PM
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You've apparently forgotten the discussion of "educational neglect" back in post #143 et seqq., where I pointed out that educational neglect can indeed qualify as a form of child abuse.
Which isn't what DMC described.
  #220  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:33 PM
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The objections you listed in #208 were to religious content and a sales pitch. Content you don't like isn't abuse. That doesn't mean abuse doesn't occur; it does. But there's no cause to ban the content you listed.
It wasn't content I don't like. I don't like that we don't mandate home ec for all students at all high schools. I don't like that many public schools focus too heavily on abstinence in sex ed. My main problem is the lack of actual useful content. If the biology class was pretty standard except they "taught the controversy" when it came to evolution, I wouldn't like it, but I could probably tolerate it a bit more. When the entire first chapter is fucking up the discussion about the scientific method and pretending that science still thinks that maggots spontaneously generate in meat, then I have a problem. The book I'm referring to is an award winning home-schooling biology course titled "Exploring Creation with Biology" and the title alone shows the problem. The entire fucking book can't help but spew garbage as they have to view everything through some fuzzy God-lens. At least hold the shit in until you actually start covering evolution/creation, which is chapter 8.

The first 6 or 7 pages at the very beginning of the book where they define what makes something "alive", toss around DNA, autotrophs and heterotrophs, asexual reproduction, etc. and then suddenly:
Quote:
What gives life the characteristics that we learned in the previous sections?... It is the creative power of God.
Then you realize that the entire beginning of the book was simply a setup as they want to stress this:
Quote:
Science has its limitations. We say that this is probably the most important thing that you will ever learn because we know a great many people whose lives have been ruined because they put too much faith in science...Had they only placed their faith in God, who has no limitations, they would have lived fulfilling lives and spent eternity with the ultimate Life-Giver.
And that glurge is there to introduce the very next section, the Scientific Method, which it turns out is simply a front as what they really want to show is that abiogenesis is bullshit (well, the Aristotle version, which they pretend is what scientists still believe today).

It turns out they have occasionally teach a few facts, but they seem to exist primarily to support the shit that they are about to toss out. I guess that's why the title isn't "Exploring Biology with Creation", which I'd probably find a bit more palatable.
  #221  
Old 05-21-2020, 02:21 AM
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Actually, I think your correct if there are home schooled twins and one fails and one passes that's possibly an indication that it wasn't the parents fault and it should be a mitigating circumstance. Likewise with a teacher if 80% pass its an indication its not the teacher.

The problem is most home schools aren't teaching twins so they only get one bite at the apple. If we have to use your system rather than Urban's we have to wait until the kid is 18 rather then testing, and helping along the way. If they fail on their first kid out of the gate why should we give them 2 more years to complete screwing up kid number two.

I think the best proposal is annual testing to ensure minimum advancement across all forms of primary and secondary education. Teachers (and homeschool teachers) are investigated if their pass rate falls below a given percentage to determine what is causing the problem. If it is the teacher they can be sent for additional training over the summer to improve. After three years of failures over a 5 year period they are removed from teaching. If a home school parents has three children they would have to fail over 2 years not just a single year prior to being removed.
My issue is that it is not scientifically or statistically accurate to use a sample size of one to make any kind of objective or predictive judgment on the quality of that child's teacher.

You wouldn't say that if the kid passes the GED, then that parent has a 100% success rate and therefore is a far better teacher than anyone in the public or private school system. So why do you do the opposite and assume that the parent must be a terrible, horrific teacher with a 0% success rate?
  #222  
Old 05-21-2020, 05:41 AM
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It wasn't content I don't like.
And then your go on to complain about the content. I find it objectional as well. It is not, however, abuse.
  #223  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:01 AM
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And then your go on to complain about the content. I find it objectional as well. It is not, however, abuse.
Yeah, it is not how I would educate my child nor how I would want her to be educated. But if you (the general you) want to educate your child in that manner, then I don't see how it remotely approaches the term "abuse." The child is still learning cognitive thinking skills, even if from a religious perspective.

When the question about the origin of life, the universe, and everything comes up, a child is going to wonder how God comes into it all. Wanting to provide your own answer is your job as a parent, not a thing to be shirked. And for too long there are atheist science professors in schools who all but tell young minor children that science has this covered and your parents are wrong and there is no God. Parents push back against that so we have home schooling.

I'm not saying that we should substitute the first chapter of Genesis for biology class. But a reminder to teachers that they should be respectful of religious beliefs and a disclaimer that we just aren't sure about the ultimate source of matter and life so that you should search your own conscience about that is appropriate.
  #224  
Old 05-21-2020, 07:06 AM
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It wasn't content I don't like. I don't like that we don't mandate home ec for all students at all high schools. I don't like that many public schools focus too heavily on abstinence in sex ed. My main problem is the lack of actual useful content. If the biology class was pretty standard except they "taught the controversy" when it came to evolution, I wouldn't like it, but I could probably tolerate it a bit more. When the entire first chapter is fucking up the discussion about the scientific method and pretending that science still thinks that maggots spontaneously generate in meat, then I have a problem. The book I'm referring to is an award winning home-schooling biology course titled "Exploring Creation with Biology" and the title alone shows the problem. The entire fucking book can't help but spew garbage as they have to view everything through some fuzzy God-lens. At least hold the shit in until you actually start covering evolution/creation, which is chapter 8.

The first 6 or 7 pages at the very beginning of the book where they define what makes something "alive", toss around DNA, autotrophs and heterotrophs, asexual reproduction, etc. and then suddenly: Then you realize that the entire beginning of the book was simply a setup as they want to stress this: And that glurge is there to introduce the very next section, the Scientific Method, which it turns out is simply a front as what they really want to show is that abiogenesis is bullshit (well, the Aristotle version, which they pretend is what scientists still believe today).

It turns out they have occasionally teach a few facts, but they seem to exist primarily to support the shit that they are about to toss out. I guess that's why the title isn't "Exploring Biology with Creation", which I'd probably find a bit more palatable.
You seem big into the evolution debate. I see your frustration with the homeschoolers curriculum on this but I have to ask, do you know how this topic is taught in the public schools?

Public schools teach to state standards HERE are the science standards for Kansas. Scroll down to page 55,58 (middle school) and 91,95 (high school) for the ones regarding evolution (called Natural Selection, History of the Earth, and Evolution). Do you find those acceptable? I do because I think they cover the topic well.

Any homeschooler or public schooler for that matter, could easily cover this material in a week or so. They are at most 4-5 questions on a state standardized test. HERE is an example of the questions regarding evolution for middle schoolers. HERE is a practice test for high schoolers. Obviously they wouldnt be able to ask all those plus all the other topics on a 2 hour test.

Are those acceptable to you? Again, I think they do because they show understanding of the topic.

Again, in schools that I know of this is at most a week or so and frankly I consider these topics to be less important (and frankly boring) than the nuts and bolts of science like dissecting frogs or watching chemicals react. Ok, things evolve and change. They get that. Kids like doing things hands on and these topics mostly consist of watching videos, looking at charts, or maybe looking at some fossils. HERE is a sample lesson plan on Evolution for high schoolers.

Why do I say a week or so on evolution? Because a teacher has 9 months or less to cover LOTS of material, most of which is more "fun" than evolution.

And the thing is one doesnt even have to believe it. A student just needs to be able to answer questions on it on a test.

As for careers. Lets say a college student goes into a job interview for an internship with a scientific lab which would lead to a career in a science field. Would they even ask questions about fossils and age of the earth?

So while I see your frustration with the homeschooling curriculum, I dont think you should toss out homeschool education for the much superior public school education because of it.
  #225  
Old 05-21-2020, 07:35 AM
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FWIW here are the policy recommendations from a pro-homeschooling organization that also supports some measure of regulation: https://responsiblehomeschooling.org...commendations/

My apologies if that's a repeat; I haven't been following closely.
  #226  
Old 05-21-2020, 09:16 AM
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You seem big into the evolution debate. I see your frustration with the homeschoolers curriculum on this but I have to ask, do you know how this topic is taught in the public schools?

Public schools teach to state standards HERE are the science standards for Kansas. Scroll down to page 55,58 (middle school) and 91,95 (high school) for the ones regarding evolution (called Natural Selection, History of the Earth, and Evolution). Do you find those acceptable? I do because I think they cover the topic well.
Actually, evolution is one of the few areas that I fully expected to be full of religious instruction and while I'm against schools, public or private, "teaching the controversy", I'm certainly not shocked by it. Here in Atlanta, one school board was even trying to get it into the public schools again. I also feel if that was the only area affected by homeschooling, kids could have a pretty well rounded educational experience.

What I didn't expect was for English, Math, Physics, etc. to be wasting so much time on useless religious topics in some of the curriculum.

Regardless, and despite the fact that we'll likely never completely agree on this topic, I sincerely appreciate you starting this thread. I found myself far more passionate about this topic than I would have imagined and learned quite a bit more than I do from most threads here. So thanks!

Last edited by DMC; 05-21-2020 at 09:20 AM.
  #227  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:04 AM
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My issue is that it is not scientifically or statistically accurate to use a sample size of one to make any kind of objective or predictive judgment on the quality of that child's teacher.

You wouldn't say that if the kid passes the GED, then that parent has a 100% success rate and therefore is a far better teacher than anyone in the public or private school system. So why do you do the opposite and assume that the parent must be a terrible, horrific teacher with a 0% success rate?
Unfortunately, life doesn't give you perfect information to make decisions. All we can do is make the best decisions we can based on the information we have. If that information is that a parent homeschooled their kid for 13 years and the state discovers that kid can't read the home school teacher needs to go to jail.

If we can test annually and discover that a 1st grade graduate can't read we can send the parents to school to help them learn to teach reading better if after 3rd grade the kid still can't read then we can put them in public school and there is still time to recover.

As far as the other end of the spectrum, I'm ok with a home school teacher telling people they are the worlds best teacher because their kid got their GED. They could even get the same prize as other amazing teachers their students can come to their retirement party and tell them how much they impacted their life.
  #228  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:09 AM
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Actually, evolution is one of the few areas that I fully expected to be full of religious instruction and while I'm against schools, public or private, "teaching the controversy", I'm certainly not shocked by it. Here in Atlanta, one school board was even trying to get it into the public schools again. I also feel if that was the only area affected by homeschooling, kids could have a pretty well rounded educational experience.

What I didn't expect was for English, Math, Physics, etc. to be wasting so much time on useless religious topics in some of the curriculum.

Regardless, and despite the fact that we'll likely never completely agree on this topic, I sincerely appreciate you starting this thread. I found myself far more passionate about this topic than I would have imagined and learned quite a bit more than I do from most threads here. So thanks!
Thanks, I am surprised how much discussion this started.

FWIW when my kid attended a private Christian school I wondered also why every lesson had to weave in bible verses and such. But its a popular school, beats the public schools in SAT, ACT scores and number of kids going on to college. And the other parents really like it. We only left because my son wanted to take classes not offered.

I hate the public school monopoly (thanks NEA) and I truly feel we should do education with an "umbrella" approach. Under this umbrella parents would have the right to chose public, private, alternate, homeschool, or a magnet school. All the kids would be required to take the same standardized tests. So if a test determines whether or not a home school kid gets to stay in that, the same test should say if a kid in a public school is allowed to advance up a grade or not or whether that teacher or school is doing a good job.

I'm glad your passionate on homeschooling and its good and bad points. Homeschooling, or a variation like say 3-4 families doing a private/semi-homeschool together, or a regular school where kids only attend 1-3 days a week, is vital in these times where public schools are failing or times like right now when schools are closed or simply where parents want an alternative. They need good resources and support.

BTW, what did you think about Kansas science standards?
  #229  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:12 AM
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As far as the other end of the spectrum, I'm ok with a home school teacher telling people they are the worlds best teacher because their kid got their GED. They could even get the same prize as other amazing teachers their students can come to their retirement party and tell them how much they impacted their life.
You might be surprised about home many home school kids earn national prizes in science, art, spelling bees, geography bees, etc... A kid with a passion for one subject might actually do better in a home school environment where they can devote more time to it.
  #230  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:13 AM
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FWIW here are the policy recommendations from a pro-homeschooling organization that also supports some measure of regulation: https://responsiblehomeschooling.org...commendations/

My apologies if that's a repeat; I haven't been following closely.
I don't believe that that is a repeat and if they were in charge of it, I think I'd be a staunch defender of home schooling as an option. I appreciate you finding them as I didn't run across them while digging around. Their staff seems to come from predominantly home schooled backgrounds, some with wonderful and some with horrible experiences. They also seem to be focused on what is best for the children. I'll stop using the term abuse as a replacement for what they call educational neglect as it seems more descriptive.

In short, I find them pretty awesome! Does anyone see any issues with their policies?
  #231  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:19 AM
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In short, I find them pretty awesome! Does anyone see any issues with their policies?
Some are a touch too vague to evaluate, but seems a starting point with rational thought behind it. If I have time I'll consider a line-by-line.
  #232  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:30 AM
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BTW, what did you think about Kansas science standards?
They appear to reference, sometimes verbatim, from this source (Google Books), which is put out by the National Research Council. I don't have any issues with that whatsoever.
  #233  
Old 05-21-2020, 03:19 PM
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Unfortunately, life doesn't give you perfect information to make decisions. All we can do is make the best decisions we can based on the information we have. If that information is that a parent homeschooled their kid for 13 years and the state discovers that kid can't read the home school teacher needs to go to jail.

If we can test annually and discover that a 1st grade graduate can't read we can send the parents to school to help them learn to teach reading better if after 3rd grade the kid still can't read then we can put them in public school and there is still time to recover.

As far as the other end of the spectrum, I'm ok with a home school teacher telling people they are the worlds best teacher because their kid got their GED. They could even get the same prize as other amazing teachers their students can come to their retirement party and tell them how much they impacted their life.
But the information is so horrifically incomplete to be meaningless. If I open a restaurant and have one customer who gives me 5 stars nobody says that my restaurant is the greatest in the entire world, better than anything Gordon Ramsay has done because he only has a 4.9 rating. With a sample size of one you basically have no information from which you can make any sort of meaningful extrapolation.

Why don't we treat like things alike? Why, if a child in the public school system goes 13 years and cannot read, is a teacher or an administrator not going to jail? Because a hundred other kids can read? They still neglected that one child. It is like my earlier hypo that I get a sentencing discount for the kids I didn't beat.

And again, I think for the third time in this thread, why do we remove children from homeschooling when they fail, but we continue to allow the public schools to fail children? If the price for failure is the removal of children from a home school, why do we not give a voucher to a kid who the public school continues to fail?
  #234  
Old 05-21-2020, 04:24 PM
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Why don't we treat like things alike? Why, if a child in the public school system goes 13 years and cannot read, is a teacher or an administrator not going to jail? Because a hundred other kids can read? They still neglected that one child.
Nah, in reality those aren't "like things" at all. This is why in responsible systems of education we have things like standard school curricula and teaching protocols, student tracking, administrative supervision, electoral control of school boards, and so forth. The purpose is to make the public education process as transparent as possible so communities can tell whether teachers are actually abusing or neglecting kids.

Because we have mechanisms in place to assess whether teachers and administrators are doing their jobs properly, we don't send them to jail if they are doing their jobs properly but nonetheless a small minority of their students fail in education. If too many of their students fail in education, they may get restructured or retrained or fired, but we don't send them to jail unless we know they've outright violated the legal conditions of their employment.

When it comes to homeschooling parents who insist on carrying out their alleged educational mission on individual children under a cloak of complete secrecy, on the other hand, we don't have those assessment mechanisms available. Like I said, if a school's enrollment consists of one child, then that "school" has either a 100% success rate or a 100% failure rate. And if educational authorities aren't allowed any oversight on that "school"'s educational practices, then the only yardstick by which we can measure their performance is that success or failure rate.

Myself, I'd be delighted if we had a far more energetically and transparently regulated homeschooling system, where homeschooling parents were actively engaged with educational authorities to work out what their responsibilities and duties as education providers would be. We could assess homeschooling parents on whether or not they were actually carrying out their agreed-upon duties, not just relying on the crude yardstick of whether or not the educational efforts succeeded for one particular kid.

But it's the extreme "parental-rights" ideologues themselves that have been stridently advocating for the "crypto-schooling" system with no effective regulation or supervision of their methods or goals. They have only themselves to thank if they are consequently getting judged harshly on the basis of their outcomes alone. If the crypto-homeschooling movement doesn't want to lie in that bed, they shouldn't have made it in the first place.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires
And again, I think for the third time in this thread, why do we remove children from homeschooling when they fail, but we continue to allow the public schools to fail children?
See above (likewise not for the first time). If you refuse to allow your educational activities (which are supposed to be providing the schooling that the state is legally obligated to provide to children) to be monitored and evaluated, then the only thing we can use to assess your effectiveness is the simple binary of whether or not your pupil-offspring is adequately schooled.

If you insist on making childhood education a black-box affair with no meaningful oversight of what you're actually doing, you can't expect to be allowed to go on using your black box when it's obviously not working. "One strike and you're out" is a reasonable rule for the sort of zero-supervision, zero-assessment "crypto-schooling" system that these ideologues are championing.

(Personally, I think it's even too generous a rule; I'm not in favor of even letting people get up to bat in that kind of situation with no umpires and no scorers. Not with the educational fate of children at stake.)

Last edited by Kimstu; 05-21-2020 at 04:27 PM.
  #235  
Old 05-21-2020, 05:46 PM
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(Personally, I think it's even too generous a rule; I'm not in favor of even letting people get up to bat in that kind of situation with no umpires and no scorers. Not with the educational fate of children at stake.)
I think the problem with that idea is who should do it and who pays them?

The local school already has enough problems on their plate and having to also supervise the home school kids probably wont work.
  #236  
Old 05-21-2020, 05:59 PM
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You might be surprised about home many home school kids earn national prizes in science, art, spelling bees, geography bees, etc... A kid with a passion for one subject might actually do better in a home school environment where they can devote more time to it.
I wouldn't be surprised at all. I'm well aware of the success stories from home schooling from an academic standpoint. From what I can tell the educational success of students can be directly impacted by their student:teacher ratios. So having a 1:1 or 3:1 ratio should beat out a 30:1 all else being equal. But yet my point stands that the award for a great teacher is a hand shake and a plack and I'm ok with home school teachers receiving those rewards too.


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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
But the information is so horrifically incomplete to be meaningless. If I open a restaurant and have one customer who gives me 5 stars nobody says that my restaurant is the greatest in the entire world, better than anything Gordon Ramsay has done because he only has a 4.9 rating. With a sample size of one you basically have no information from which you can make any sort of meaningful extrapolation.

Why don't we treat like things alike? Why, if a child in the public school system goes 13 years and cannot read, is a teacher or an administrator not going to jail? Because a hundred other kids can read? They still neglected that one child. It is like my earlier hypo that I get a sentencing discount for the kids I didn't beat.

And again, I think for the third time in this thread, why do we remove children from homeschooling when they fail, but we continue to allow the public schools to fail children? If the price for failure is the removal of children from a home school, why do we not give a voucher to a kid who the public school continues to fail?
If you get 5 starts on Yelp from your only customer then I'm total ok with you calling yourself the world's greatest restaurant. Likewise if you're only customer dies because you decided to serve bleach instead of water then you deserve to go to jail not see if the bleach kills your second customer. Or maybe we could have health inspectors come into your restaurant and ensure you're being safe before you kill someone and then we just need to teach you that bleach isn't for drinking.

I've already said that I'd be ok with teachers and administration going to jail for any educational neglect they force on children in proportion to their contribution to that abuse but unlike home school no one person is responsible. To run with your beating a child analogy a person that walks by and punches a 10 yea old in the face deserves jail time but way less than a person who does it 100 times even if 100 people come by and punch the kid.

For the second time, we do remove children from teachers every year. I had one math teacher 3 times as a maximum and I could have chosen to stop going back after the first time. My first grade teacher was different from my second grade teacher and I had no repeats until high school. You are trying to swap in entire schools for individual teachers and even then kids will have three different schools (in most cases) in their academic career. And even if you substitute entire school districts fo a single home school teacher we currently have the means to remove school boards that are failing too.

I do think we need to come up with ways to help failing teachers/schools/and districts but the solution is not allowing parents to be completely unsupervised in their attempts to educate.
  #237  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:02 PM
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I think the problem with that idea is who should do it and who pays them?

The local school already has enough problems on their plate and having to also supervise the home school kids probably wont work.
Some states do some version of this already as part of their legal regulation of homeschooling. Homeschoolers in Connecticut, for example, have to teach certain mandated subjects and do a portfolio review with school authorities. Some states require homeschooled students to participate in standardized testing or employ a certified teacher, as in Iowa:
Quote:
Parents must submit an annual private instruction report. For students age eight and older, instruction must be by or under the supervision of a certified teacher, or alternatively, provide instruction which results in "adequate progress" for the student. For students not under the auspices of a certified teacher, yearly assessments are required. Several options are available to satisfy the assessment requirement.
In Massachusetts,
Quote:
Students are excused from compulsory attendance laws if they are being instructed in a manner that has been approved in advance by the superintendent or the school committee. Required subjects are reading, writing, English language and grammar, geography, arithmetic, drawing, music, history and constitution of United States, citizenship, health, physical education, and good behavior. There are no teacher certification requirements. Students must take standardized tests or submit to an approved, alternative form of assessment.
In New York,
Quote:
The law requires specifies numerous required subjects that vary depending upon grade level. Instruction must be "at least substantially equivalent" to public school instruction. Parents must provide notice of homeschooling, file individualized instruction plans, and file other required reports in a timely manner. Teachers must be "competent." Most students are required to take one of five approved standardized tests at specified intervals. The student must achieve a composite score above the thirty-third percentile.
There's nothing impossible or excessively burdensome about having responsible administrative monitoring of homeschooling education. The reason so much of the US doesn't provide it is AFAICT mostly because of ideologues with aggressively extreme views about the absolute supremacy of "parental rights".
  #238  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:21 PM
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You might be surprised about home many home school kids earn national prizes in science, art, spelling bees, geography bees, etc... A kid with a passion for one subject might actually do better in a home school environment where they can devote more time to it.
There have been cases where that was the ONLY thing the kids learned, because they had stage parents. Finding this online is difficult, but there was a family in the 1990s who had multiple children advance to the finals of the National Spelling Bee (which, BTW, isn't going to be held this year) and after the youngest one turned 18, they revealed that this was why they were HSed and that their father regularly threatened to kill them if they didn't make the cut.
  #239  
Old 05-22-2020, 07:02 AM
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With a sample size of one you basically have no information from which you can make any sort of meaningful extrapolation.
As I mentioned up-thread, measuring teacher efficacy is extremely difficult even in a school setting with large sample sizes. Success is when a teacher improves a student more than other teachers could have. But we can't run the same six year old through first grade 100 times. So the best we can do is look at averages over time. But even then, the performance of a single child says little about the performance of a teacher or a school, because nobody knows how that child could have done elsewhere.

So there's not much point arguing these silly hypotheticals about jailing people if a kid doesn't hit targets. Nobody is seriously proposing it anyway.
  #240  
Old 05-22-2020, 09:49 AM
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FWIW here are the policy recommendations from a pro-homeschooling organization that also supports some measure of regulation: https://responsiblehomeschooling.org...commendations/

My apologies if that's a repeat; I haven't been following closely.
I cited them previously in this thread, but you are forgiven.
  #241  
Old 05-23-2020, 12:11 PM
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I work with underprivileged people and frankly for every argument you have to ban the schools, I can see the exact same behaviors in children that went to public schools.

I've seen so many socially awkward adults that went to public schools it isn't even an issue in my opinion that that socialization depends on school. As a psychologist, I can tell you socialization is largely an individual thing.

Quote:
Elizabeth Bartholet told Harvard Magazine that it gives parents “authoritarian” control over their kids — and can even expose them to white supremacy and misogyny.
This right off tells me this person has an agenda as it would no more be likely than black parents having children and exposing them to black militancy and racial blaming, but that is conveniently laid out.

Not all types of schools are right for everyone but this person is really out for a 'My way or the highway' type deal.
  #242  
Old 05-23-2020, 04:14 PM
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This right off tells me this person has an agenda as it would no more be likely than black parents having children and exposing them to black militancy and racial blaming, but that is conveniently laid out.
Why do you think it would be "no more likely than" black parents seeking out homeschooling for the reasons that you suggest? Do you have a cite for that?

Because according to Dr. Bartholet's paper (which it seems that you, like most or all of the other posters criticizing Bartholet in this thread, haven't read), your claim is wrong:

Quote:
Homeschooling as we know it today began in the mid-twentieth century as the result of political movements that were very different in nature. One was a left progressive movement, personified by John Holt’s rejection of traditional education as stifling the child’s natural creativity and instinct to learn. The other was a conservative Christian movement, which rejected many of the views and values reflected in public education and the larger society as inconsistent with religious beliefs. As time went on, the conservative Christian wing became the clear majority of all homeschoolers. Estimates of the number of homeschoolers who are religious, or for whom religion is a primary reason for homeschooling, range from over half to 90%.
As you can read in great detail and with numerous references in the article, white conservative Christianity is in fact a far larger influence in the current homeschooling movement than black anti-white militancy (if there even is any significant black anti-white militancy component in current homeschooling practice at all; do you have any evidence for it?).


You know, folks, it's good to read critically and skeptically, but it's not so good to just reflexively jump to the conclusion that anybody who expresses criticism of something must be arguing dishonestly because they "have an agenda" of ideological opposition to that something.

Sometimes, people who criticize something---call it "Phenomenon A"---know what they're talking about and have evidence to back them up. If you take it for granted, without even bothering to examine the details of their critique, that they must "have an agenda" against Phenomenon A because it naively seems to you that Phenomenon A is "no more likely than" a hypothetical Phenomenon B that you pulled out of your ass, that's not really an effective rebuttal of their critique. ("Ass"/"butt" pun not intended, sorry about that.)
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