Friday, December 12, 2008

Home Skool

I was talking with a young fella about home school yesterday and I was reminded of a skit I saw on SNL recently.  They were mocking the home school kids and it wasn't that far from how I viewed home schoolers 8 or 10 years ago.

I didn't know much about home school and certainly didn't understand how it worked.  In Pennsylvania I met a bunch of home school students and was surprised by how emotionally mature many of them were.  I just sort of assumed they'd be socially awkward and a little behind.

Some of them are.

That's just it though, some of the folks at my local public school are socially awkward and academically behind.  Some of the folks at the local private school are too.  Some are smart, some aren't.

I'm not sure how to measure how effective it is - but we can look at the actual numbers.  Home school kids test higher nationally than both private and public school kids on the SAT's and the ACT's.  I don't know of a teacher that wishes they had more students in their classrooms or one who would deny that one on one attention definitely helps.  Academically it's hard to argue against it (unless we just want to argue based on opinions).

I coached at a school for a while that was undefeated in one sport.  They were the best...almost.  They went to the state championship three years in a row...and lost three years in a row to a team of home school kids that put together their own team.  They'd known each other for years and played together as a team.  They were decent athletes that weren't drooling down their shirts every time a cheerleader walked by.

All of this to say that I'm not sure I had it right - in fact I was way off base.  That's what we do when we put people in a box...

Plus, who doesn't want to be class president, vice president, and homecoming king every year?


  1. From what I've heard, in Ireland, artists don't have to pay taxes. So yeah, I'm in.

  2. I think homeschooled kids are probably more intelligent overall. And if parents are strategic about socializing them in sports and clubs and other group activities, homeschooled kids can socialize just like any other kid.

    My problem has always been the intangibles. Some of my best memories from childhood involve school. And I learned a lot about life from Joey Haffer, the bully who picked on me my 4th grade year.

    To each their own, but school is about more than education.

  3. Anonymous3:16 PM

    The lunchroom, the hallways on the way to class, homeroom, and the bus are all really good times to learn how to interact with others. Also, homeschoolers miss out on learning how to work in a group. You can't really do a group project or a presentation by yourself.

  4. I agree that they miss out on stuff by making that choice - and I assume that I missed a ton of stuff by going to a public school that private school kids would point to...and home school kids probably have a few dozen things that they could point to as well. I wonder if the home school kids would say that we weren't prepared for the independent study/discipline skills we'd need in college?

    I do know that there are lots of home school groups that meet up once a week and work on projects together - maybe the best of both worlds?
    I'll probably never know...

    None of us had everything - all of us missed out on stuff - I just wanted to think aloud about some of my ignorance towards the positives of home school.

  5. Anonymous3:55 AM

    I happened on your blog... and I had your same opinions about homeschoolers. I spent part of my years growing up in central PA - Altonna, for those interested. At any rate, I went to public school and private school, attended college, got a degree in engineering, and a husband... we started a family, and here we are homeschooling. And homeschooling today is not the homeschooling of the 80's, where strange kids dressed like those Mormons on TV who all have the same dad but different moms are afraid of people. Homeschooled kids attend classes with other kids (usually once or twice a week instead of every day like institutionalized children, make group presentations and work on teams. They participate in soccer, basketball, cross country, math leagues, chess tournaments, spelling bees, Young Life events, and other things. They volunteer and serve. We aren't doing the die hard homeschool until college thing (although I know families that do) but don't knock it until you understand more. I have a great relationship with my 3 daughters. They are able to sleep in every day, unless we have an appointment someplace. We spend ton of family time together. We have fun and go on great vacations. SNL has a myopic view of life and people. Don't trust them to judge people for you.