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NY Times Article Reveals Homeschooling Misperceptions Abound

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NY Times Article Reveals Homeschooling

Misperceptions Abound

Confused homeschoolingBy Linda Dobson

The homeschooling community was abuzz with news that  New York Times magazine ran a story written by someone who homeschooled in the 70s. I’m sure the title, “My Parents Were Home-Schooling Anarchists,” helped sell the magazine on the article, possibly allowing the editors to overlook a major factual error. “In the ’70s, home schooling was still against the law; it wasn’t until 1993 that it became legal in all 50 states” Not true.

However, the even more interesting aspect of all of this, though, is that the paper’s blog, The Learning Network, “Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older,” devoted time to this question:

Would you like to be home-schooled, whether abroad or where you live now, or would you prefer to go to a traditional school? What do you think are the benefits and drawbacks to home-schooling?

Answers about Homeschooling

The question garnered 60 responses as of the time I write this. The answers are telling, frighteningly so in a mental programming kind of way. Here are a few examples.

In my opinion, i would never turn to home schooling. When you are home schooled, you automaticly loose the whole social experience of school. In the real world you need to be social. Otherwise you’re going to get know where. I understand that the learning education might be to an advantage while homeschooling because its all one on one and you are the only student reciveing all the help you need whenever you need it. I would never home school my child because I would be holding them back from friends and the social life they will need in the feature. I would never even consider home schooling. — Macie P.

I think home schooling can be benificial to the children but then its not always. Homeschooling wont really prepare the children for the world because they are not around many people and I think going to a traditional school is better because they will be more used to other people and the world or learning and with with others. I think the children would miss out on social skills and learning because all depending on the teacher depends on what the children learns— Eileen

I think homeschooling is dumb. I think homeschooling doesn’t prepare kids for the real world. they don’t learn how to socialize with other people. Some parents may sugar code the kids. So they might not know everything there suppose to know. no i do not agree. — Leslie R

(Do YOU sugar code your kids?)

No. I have had experience being home schooled for some time at the end of 8th grade and I have to say i absolutely hated it. It only lasted 2 hours, which was good, but it didn’t matter when all I felt during it was isolated and that i wasn’t normal like the kids who still went to school… — Kevin

I’m not sure but I think this may be the world record for shortest homeschooling experience.
…You might be smarter if you are home schooled but you still will not know how to make good friends if you get accepted into a college where you are met with other kids. If your are home schooled and you go to college you will fell as if the class is going too slow or if you know something before other kids then you will be frusterated that you are learning the same thing and nothing new. Overall I think that home schooling is not something that you should consider because you are not social with other kids, and later on in college you will not learn as much as you should be learning.— Jordan T
‘Cause if you get too smart at home you’ll be bored in college.
See also “Homeschooling Myth 4: You Need Teacher Training, Dearie

I don’t now I thinke gust do what you want. — Kyle

Kyle has a good attitude but spelling needs a bit of attention.

Homeschooling Proponents Have Their Say, Too

About half-way through the comments we find this:

This is amazing…a bunch a comments from non homeschooled kids, speculating about why homeschooling is bad. These comments say nothing at all about homeschooling, but are a stark illustration of an intellectual poverty and lack of critical thinking skills that are a shameful artifact of our current educational practices. — Deborah

Is Deborah a homeschooling student?
Some of the respondents state they are, in fact, homeschooling.

Hi, I am homeschooled and I am having a great experience. Its not like homeschooling blocks you out from the real world. Most people who are homeschooled have other activities that involve other people. I use to go to public school and was bored to death because it was way to easy. Homeschooling is much more challenging and you learn a lot more. Also, I could move at my own pace which gives me the opportunity to skip a grade. — Emily

I have been home schooled my whole life and I LOVE it, it is the best thing that has happened to me. My sister was home schooled for her whole life too and she is now studying neuroscience and loving it. I disagree with with all the comments saying that when you are home schooled you cant get the skills needed to survive in the real world. I find it is quite the opposite, I think you get more knowledge of what happens in the real world when home schooled, as you are living in the real world. Now what I don’t like about it is, the fact that I live in a small town with very few other home schoolers. All I needed to do was travel and join clubs such as karate to meet other people my age. I have many friends of different ages, but wanted to meet more in my age bracket. I just went to the Not Back to School Camp and met LOADS of other people living outside of the conventional idea that kids need to be in school. — Sean.C

We’ll end with Rachel, who seems a bit conflicted about it all.

Home-Schooling means there is no room for socializing with other people your age, so I would not like to be home-schooled. But if you look at it another way where there is no homework, and you are free to learn whatever you want, I would like to be home-schooled. So it’s got it’s bad points as well as good ones. But overall I would not like to be home-schooled, but the education system needs some reviewing. — Rachel

Yes it does, dear Rachel. Yes it does.

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Reader Feedback

7 Responses to “NY Times Article Reveals Homeschooling Misperceptions Abound”

  1. Aside from all of that, I have two problems with the article. There *is* research – going back 20 years or more – about homeschooled adults. And the author apparently stopped homeschooling when she was five, which makes her somewhat less than an expert.

  2. Chloe says:

    These replies are all just what you’d expect, but they crack me up when I think of the post I put on FB yesterday …

    D’s best observation of the day. “We really must make an effort to take B away for a weekend or something, M is getting so much better social opportunities because she’s home schooled”. SCORE!!!! I thank you!


    • Thank you for sharing the “reality,” Chloe! All of the responses were so similar, I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s part of the school curriculum and a question on the big test!?!

    • Julie says:

      Don’t worry about what others think or say. I home edceatud my son too. I was told by my aunt a schoolteacher that I wasn’t smart enough to teach him all he needed to know. You know what I told them , your not changing my mind about this. I home edceatud him , with some curriculum , but mostly unschooling & clear through high school. He wanted to take the GED & did & passed easily.Do what you know to be right & forget all the rest. He works at a factory & was moved up in it to quality control after only 6 months.He makes wise decisions& even asks our advice. We rent an apt. & all split the bills. He is responsible.

  3. Cristina says:

    I spent two days reading these comments with my kids. Here is an observation: I am reasonably certain that the commenters who pasted in the original topic question were from the same class. They probably had a discussion about homeschooling, where the instructor helpfully pointed out the flaws with homeschooling and then had them to submit comments. Being schoolkids, they parroted the discussion because that is what they assumed the instructor wanted them to do. Too bad their teacher didn’t take the time to proofread what they wrote.

    Peace and Laughter!

    • Great observation, Cristina; I’d bet you’re right! It very well may have been a writing assignment…well observed! If they parroted the discussion, spelling doesn’t matter. 😉

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