Home schooling part 2

Homeschooling in Action

Homeschooling in Action (Photo credit: Robbi Baba)

Rick Santorum home schools and so do millions of other parents. I home schooled my son for one year and I loved the closeness it entailed. However, home schooling is not easy. I would like to know how well prepared home-schooled children are for college and to be good citizens. This is a question I will pursue in the near future and report on my findings.

In particular, I wonder how Rick and his wife are preparing their children. Are they learning to think for themselves or are they learning to repeat some of Rick’s crazy ideas? We in the West criticize the Saudi financed madrassas in Pakistan and elsewhere because the students there learn to memorize the Koran and little else. Does home schooling in the US do a better job preparing children for life than the Muslim madrassas?

Please see Home schooling  | One child

14 thoughts on “Home schooling part 2

  1. walthe310 – The basic question is this. Why is the government running our school system? The answer? Citizens in local communities banned together to establish local schools. Then state government stepped in to “fix problems.” And now the Federal Government is stepping in to “fix problems”. And the more problems state governments and the federal government “fix” the more bureaucratic and costly the system gets.

    What is the problem we are really trying to fix? We want to make certain children get an education. For that to happen, does government have to run our school system? No.

    So why does government need to be involved? For the most part (particularly if taxes were lower), parents could afford to sent their children to a private school (either religious or private). If government did nothing, religious charities would happily help the parents of poor children. Unfortunately, there are a few parents who not very good parents. These parents need to be forced to send their children to some kind of school. Moreover, government has a role in regulating almost any kind of market, including the marketing of educational services. What we don’t want is government regulating itself. The creates a huge conflict of interest, and that is our current situation.

    Anyway, for the foreseeable future, our government will assist poor parents some how some way. Some state constitutions actually mandate a “right” to an education. What I think can be stopped is government-run the schools. That is socialism, and it is just plain foolhardy to put politicians in charge of the education of our children. Such a system must inevitably become corrupt. Given the opportunity, too many politicians will succumb to the temptation to teach children wrong ideas or not teach them at all.

    • I believe that Jefferson advocated a free education through college for all free males. I don’t recall how he wanted to pay for it. Probably taxes, but I don’t know for sure. I think that the number of poor(financially and morally) parents is much larger than your estimate. Local school boards responsive to local citizenry is the model we have used in the past. Part of the problem is that the elderly and others don’t want to pay property taxes or see those taxes increased to pay for the education of children when their children are no longer in school.

      • What my estimate does not account for is that huge waste that results from government-run education. I sent my own children to private schools.The cost of those private schools never approached what the public schools cost per student. Nonetheless, one of my children is a doctor and the other is a registered nurse.

        It is true that during our child-rearing years we do not earn as much as we do during our empty nest years (before retirement). However, I expect most grandparents would be happy to subsidize the education their own grandchildren. I know I would (and probably will).

        As we get older, we want our children, our grandchildren and children in general to benefit from the lessons we have learned. And that is the advantage of nongovernmental schools; such schools have more incentive to involve parents, grandparent, and the community at large. And without all the red tape and politics, private schools and religious schools can respond more easily to the desires of their customers, helping parents to instill values as well as knowledge in children. In the long run, when children learn the right values, they learn more and better.

  2. walthe310 – Socialism corrupts a society, but it does not happen in a day. The process may take decades.

    Public education goes back to the days of Horace Mann. Yet what we have today looks nothing like what Mann contrived. We have replaced the one room school house with bureaucratic institutions. And modern educational pedagogy is full of dogma. You worry about Santorum’s dogma? Why? With parental choice whose dogma is going to matter? Government dogma or a child’s parents?

    Think of it this way. Are you are familiar with the phrase, “economy of scale”? If I have a factory that assembles cars, the more cars I produce in that factory, they more I can reduce my cost per car. The only catch is a trivial concern. The cars the factory produces all be very much the same. That’s why monstrously huge public schools have not worked so well. Their students are not as identical as they would like. Thus, the poorest students in a school tend to set the standard.

    • I went to a large high school that was overcrowded, with 4000 students on a split, double shift. We were divided by ability and IQ so that the slower students did not hold the brighter students back.

      • Consider the implications. We create a big school, one where children threaten become anonymous. Then to straighten out the defects that result from that over sized school, we start creating class structures.

        Yep! Big brother creates a problem. Then to fix the problem he creates yet another problem. Thus, based upon their scores on standardized tests, tests taken at an early age, we assign children to peer groups and confine their career decisions.

      • But how would you avoid the problems? Not everyone can home school. I took the standardized tests myself and was assigned to the average learners. I worked hard and was then re-assigned to an advanced group of really bright students. I was able to keep up, but it was hard for me and easy for them. I attended school with a pair of genius twins. But then this is a problem in any large group and leads to bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is not bad in of or by itself, but it is used as a pejorative.

  3. I am really baffled as to why you wrote this nonsense. Why did you undercut your previous post with this one?

    If you know anything about home schooling, then you know that on the average home-schooled children do better on standardized tests. Moreover, many states (the vast majority I would expect) regulate home schooling. If a child’s parent can’t (or won’t) do what is required to educated their child, state official can apply pressure to force the parents to send their child to a public school. That is, after all, where the teachers unions want every child to be, and the unions the unions twist arms to make sure that happens. Moreover, whenever home schooling fails, the news media will play it up.

    • I don’t know how well the home-schooled do on tests, but I intend to find out. What I do know is that there is a tremendous amount of ignorance in the US and it is coming from somewhere. It could be the schools, the dropouts or the home-schooled. Can you suggest any other sources of ignorance in the US?

      • The vast majority of children are educated by a combination of the public school system and the mass media.

        Supposedly, the public school exists to serve children. However, politicians, not parents, serve as the customers of school administrators. Politicians, not parents, control their budgets. So what happens as a result? Politicians direct school administrators to respond to the organized political constituencies that support their campaigns. The fact they do not control the money leaves parents in a very weak position. Isn’t the public school system effectively a monopoly? Don’t the alternatives require parents either to pay additional money (They already pay taxes.) to send their children to a private school or to home school?

        You want evidence of the incompetence of the public school system? Here in Prince William County the public school system suffers under four levels of “management”. The following committees all have input: the school board, the board of county supervisors, the General Assembly, and Congress. Therefore, nobody is really in charge.

        I would imagine you have similarly layer management in charge of the public schools where you live. As a result, I would expect you public schools also tend to respond to interest groups instead of parents.

        Why is the mass media a problem? Kids spend hours every day watching it, but the mass media does not exist to serve them. The mass media exists to provide an audience for advertisers, not to educate. “Educational content”, such as there is, is intended to produce a benefit for the people who pay the bill, not a benefit for the audience.

      • I agree that the mass media is letting all citizens down. I also agree that schools respond to various interest groups and observe various levels of supervision. HOWEVER, public education served this nation well for many years. I had a good public education at the same time in the 1950s and 1960s inner city children received lesser educations. So what has changed? I believe that inner city education has gotten worse, for a lot of reasons. What I do not know is what kind of education is provided in the wealthier districts? Home schooling was not an option in my day, I think. Either the growth in home schooling is the result of poor schools or poor schools are the result of more home schoolers being unwilling to continue to pay for public education. I can’t draw conclusions just from Rick Santorum’s home schooling, but he seems to exemplify a trend away from rational thought toward dogma. That concerns me. Democracy cannot survive mass voter ignorance.

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