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Author: Eyago Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 5113  
Subject: Re: GRRRR!!! Date: 4/22/2004 11:51 PM
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In looking at this article, I actually see this author as an advocate for home-schooling everywhere.

For example:

If education were as simple as good grades, perhaps valid arguments could be made of the superiority of home schooling children. All that would have to be done is compare the grades of home-schooled children to the ones educated in the public system. However, any perceptive parent knows that there is more to education than grades. Rather, it is the setting up of conditions where a young person can learn and grow...

After all, it has been clear for decades that our school system has jettisoned academic achievement in favor of a plethora of social ideals. I wonder what measure s/he (is Dale male of female?) is referencing in the admission that academic success is higher in home-schooled children than in public school children? One thing I have heard is that our colleges and universities are concerned about the academic skills of its incoming freshmen citing the number of remedial courses they have to provide just to get the new students up to college level. If public schools cannot accomplish their primary goal, what makes this teacher so confident that it is achieving any secondary goals?

As one astute poster already referenced, public school is hardly the environment for "setting up the conditions where a young person can learn and grow." Instead it sets up the conditions where young people learn the fine art of cruelty to their peers; how to conform to the system; how looks, sports ability, wealth, or the right social group are the main measures of a person's worth; how to properly obtain and use controlled substances; the various joys of sexual promiscuity; and many other life enriching skills.

What is most telling about this article is the complete absence of useful and supporting data for his/her assertions.

1. The student teacher relationship. (and all the feel good imagery of Magellan)
What relationship do most teachers have with their students? I had almost zero relationship, and I doubt most other students of public school had any either. At least not something of real consequence. True, some students can point back to that one exceptional teacher that helped them or inspired them, but that is rare for that person, and even rarer for most others. But then, I have no statistical data to support THAT either.

2.Education is like a mother bird teaching its young to fly. It is a gift of freedom that allows children to truly define themselves. It allows children to throw back the protective covers of their parents, and have them see and experience the world with the help and encouragement of minds whose primary purpose is not to protect but to explore.

What support does this person have to show that students in home schools are somehow blanketed in their parent's covers? It certainly seems possible that parents would prefer to smother their children and keep them from knowing anything, but the home-schoolers I know seem to be rather intelligent themselves and encourage their children to seek out knowledge. Academically challenged people do not generally take on the daunting challenge of home-schooling.

Primary purpose to explore rather than protect? And you want me to put my child in your care as you explore any old idea that YOU deem permissible while scoffing at the ideals that I might espouse?

3. Scientific thought progresses not because it is told what should be researched or invented; rather, scientific knowledge is developed according to its own laws -- laws that students are free to explore independent of religious or moral impositions

A nice slam on anti-evolutionary thought. However, if this person really understood the evolutionary debate, s/he would know that more stifling is done in that arena due to moral impositions than is done in any other academic field including creation based science.

4.In the artistic world, true art is created out of the mind, full of feeling and emotion, and is a life-giving force. Five hundred cloned prints that look exactly like the original in every detail equals a bastardized kind of spirit-deadening art.

Clones like the ones our schools crank out? Where is the evidence that home-schooled kids are not artistic, are not creative, are not scientifically astute? In our state about 3 years ago, a home-schooled student won the award for composition in music. According to this author, this student is simply a clone of his parents with no creativity at all.

5. Even Jesus preached that humans have free will- and choice.

Uhh, what passage is that in? Christian thought has fostered freedom and choice (though in the past it has also been the agent for repression and slavery.), but I don't think Jesus actually spoke on the subject Himself. The author must be the product of a home-school where s/he was stifled and prevented from actually learning the truth or taught how to look it up for him/herself rather than parroting the words of his/her parent.

6. Isn't it wonderful that in Canada a doctor can raise a truck driver

Ok, fluff here, but I can't resist the dig... Maybe all you will GET is truck drivers if no one is academically skilled enough to get INTO medical school. Just a thought.

7. Granted home-schooled children might be, as Hunter says, "healthy, well adjusted and successful," but they will pay with their freethinking minds...

However, what is dead in the home-school movement is the imagination.


Ok, show me the data. Show me studies that demonstrate how home-schoolers are unfit for college and the process of free thinking, how they are under represented in the creative arts, how they are incapable of reason and debate, etc.

8. Great education, like scientific discoveries, art and ideas, must define itself regardless of outside influences or opinions.

And just how does this relate? Is public school devoid of outside influences and opinions? I'm not sure what the connection is here. Maybe the author has failed to adequately support the thesis and thus the comment becomes a non-sequiter.

8A child's mind must be stroked and allowed to expand and not struck down and made into a print of a previous mind.

For what it's worth, no child I have ever met has become an imprint of either parent, home-schooled or not. In fact, most have a tendency to go in a significantly different direction. The exceptions to this rule are parents who are very overbearing, but then this occurs in families whether home-schooling occurs or not. I teach in a number of venues about 15-odd students that are home-schooled. None of them are clones of their parents. They all hold opinions that differ from their parents. However, one thing is certain, they are all astute, articulate, sharp thinkers, allowing me to challenge them well beyond what I would have expected for people their age. (oh, and one of them happens to be attending college on a music scholarship, probably helped by the State award he won three years ago.)

Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that this author provides no basis for his/her opinions and fails to establish any connection between the supposed cause and the imaginary effect.

And s/he wants me to send my children to him/her to learn how to think?

Ron
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