Home school is as home school does

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During one of many family laden dinners this week, my sister in law, who home schools her two children, voiced her alarm and concern regarding recent developments in California. What did I do, aside from pour another drink? I stole a few minutes between siding the table and, well, drinking, to sit in front of the computer to figure out what was what.

Parents of the approximately 200,000 home-schooled children in California are reeling from the possibility that they may have to shutter their classrooms — and go back to school themselves — if they want to continue teaching their own kids. On Feb. 28, Judge H. Walter Croskey of the Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles ruled that children ages six to 18 may be taught only by credentialed teachers in public or private schools — or at home by Mom and Dad, but only if they have a teaching degree. Citing state law that goes back to the early 1950s, Croskey declared that “California courts have held that under provisions in the Education Code, parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.” Furthermore, the judge wrote, if instructors teach without credentials they will be subject to criminal action. Read more: time.com

She told me, flat out, that Governor Schwarzenegger was “ready to let them do it.”

That’s not exactly, well, accurate, for lack of a better word.

“Every California child deserves a quality education and parents should have the right to decide what’s best for their children,” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement today. “Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children’s education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts and if the courts don’t protect parents’ rights then, as elected officials, we will.”

Yeah. I was suspicious about him burning up the bible vote to begin with. He’s a lot of things, Conan, Terminator, Commando, the Last Action Hero, but he ain’t fucking stupid.

I think her concerns were a bit, well, to be generous, overstated & inflated. I can’t imagine home schooling will ever go the way of the dinosaur in this country. Will they be subjected to more oversight? Maybe. And, rightfully so in my opinion. I think society has an interest in what is taught to our children, no matter how well intentioned the educator in question may be.

And, as a side note, it is peculiar how one who home schools with a marked biblical leaning is utterly defensive of one’s own curriculum, but simultaneously dismissive of, say, Muslims who also choose to home school.

It was interesting talking with her none the less.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

20 thoughts on “Home school is as home school does

  1. I remember when the whole ‘Home-School’ phenom was getting started in CA a while back. Someone did a story that showed that home schoolers had the ability to understand concepts better and knew how they applied to the real-world. Not just rote memorization like in public schools, but they had grasped the ideas of abstract thought and were able to understand things better, not just in and out, #2 pencil test on thursday bullshit.

    But then the jesus-babies got a hold of the idea and it warped into where if you say you are home-schooling your kids, they are being ‘indoctrinated’ with jeebus and all that sky-wizard crap.

    I do think there should be standards set for home schoolers and i think they should be trained and maybe even certified somehow. I DONT think they should have a specific curriculum forced upon them, but if their kids end up like some complete retard with no concept of basic history, science, biology; shit like that… well, then it’s all the school’s fault ain’t it ?

    And by fail miserably I mean getting laughed out of the classroom when offering up the 6000 year old answer in geology class, or saying evolution is a lie and threatening the teacher with a banana.

  2. Ah yes, the “advantages” of home schooling. My cousin decided to home school her kids. Her credentials include repeating a grade in grade school, being a marginal high school student then getting a degree in graphic design. I’m sure that her pastor husband could fill in the gaps.

  3. In California it’s obvious, just by looking around, that if we don’t educate & train better than China, India & who else knows where, we’re are going to loose. Economically, politically, …everything. I don’t care where they put the 10 commandments, who gets a feeding tube, or how many dozen wives fit in a single family. IF the kids can’t run stats, look at code, do the math, know a history that doesn’t spring from daddy’s preacher’s imagination….we are all severely screwed.
    Charter schools & home school are disasters that will leave this country short for generations.

  4. perhaps we could do away with the hyperbole and look at the situation a little more objectively? hmmm?

    the vast majority of home schooled children enter college with a better education than their publicly schooled peers. most home school parents join networks which help teach subjects that the parent might be uncomfortable or unable to teach.

    while it’s certainly more entertaining to envision home schooled kids as yocals whose parents want to keep them tucked away, the reality is that many, if not most of them do so because they deem the existing system to be inadequate. they realize the world marketplace is getting more competitive and don’t want their kids being slowed down by the public school system.

    “Charter schools & home school are disasters that will leave this country short for generations.”

    this is an absolutely amazing statement. did you really think about it before you wrote it? do you know of a single charter school than performs worse than it’s public counterpart? did you take the time to read ANY stats on home schooled kids?

  5. I was a gunna home skewl my kids, but I was kinda a hopin they wood turn out smarter then me. Thats a why I sent em to that there skewl down the road.

  6. Yeah, Dru, they are the ruin of our country, your pathetic ignorance aside.
    Charter schools suck, and they produce stupid children. I said it and I meant it. Anyone who believes a priori that some mythical god made earth and that science is a blasphemous cult is doomed to failure. Sure, they might be good t graphic design, BUT WHO FUCKING CARES?!
    Our economy is not going to prosper on cute bunny drawings. We need engineers, we need science. Technology is the only things that will make our economy strong again, and it ain’t the bible thumping, jesus sucking freaks that are going to do it. Its people who know math and science. Period.
    If you think that education could be better, perhaps the solution is not to educate a few kids better. All of these fucking programs to provide alternate educations do nothing more than usurp money that could be used to provide a real fucking education to every child. Do a lot of public schools suck? Yep. Is it the fault of people like you who think we could prefer to spend money elsewhere? Yep.

  7. Which is funnier?

    The fact that Judge Crosky thinks that parents aren’t intelligent enough to teach their kids;

    Or that he thinks your average education major, who can’t calculate a 15% tip w/o a calculator, is intelligent enough to teach your kids?

    I can think of a vast majority of secular & educational reasons to avoid most public schools.

  8. hey, hey, hey. people. come on. see, this is exactly what happens when big baby jesus tries to present some information, albeit information that comes with a little dose of opinion.

    mr. otto, it seems like your daughter may have peed on your bagel this morning while you were reviewing the basic shapes of a bunny with her. just because home schooling is especially challenging for your own family unit doesn’t mean you need to be so mean to dru. i mean, dru likes bikes. dru likes sauce, and i’m sure you do too!

    have you considered sending your precious little wee to a charter school so you have more time to ride and sauce it up? it might help with your anger!

  9. Jonny,

    Thanks for starting a classic perfect storm on home schooling…

    This is great.

    – Bobbo

  10. Home & Charter..you do not understand education if you think they are good things.
    My parents were smart, and gave me every bit of information they could. What parent wouldn’t?
    But the thing my best teachers did for me, many of them, not all…they did what Socrates did. Think of the old European tradition of honest rigor, what makes ballet, musicians, philosophers…a tradition that’s handed down from one to the next. My teachers, one was taught by Alma Mahler, another taught the pianist Bill Evans when he was young, my 9th grade public school english teacher was the first black reporter on a major paper in Houston.
    Home School? Charter?
    My teachers gave the world to me.
    You defame them, sir.

  11. Speaking from the perspective of a public school teacher (just finished my last day….no work for the next 2 1/2 months. Yay Me!)- Every year we have kids who leave for various reasons to instead have “home-school” or “cyber-school”. 9 times out of 10 they’re back in a couple months because they’re either not motivated to make themselves do work or they miss their friends. Our staff always just rolls their eyes when they hear “home-school” or “cyber-school.”

  12. Homes schooling seems to create very socialli awkward children. Send them out in the world adn see what they can do.

  13. My kids are not allowed to play with kids from those school districts

    Parents want to protest their kids from shit that doesnt exist really.

  14. Guys-

    Up in this neck of the woods- Pugetropolis, perhaps the most secular major urban area in the world- “home schooling” is literally synonymous with religious fundy wack jobs. They strictly isolate their children from society (to keep them ignorant) and spend FAR more time on scripture than any other subject, and typically totally avoid math and science. “Indoctrination” is a far more precise term for home schooling than “education.”

    This is what holds the human race back: bone head stupidity.


  15. …one of the greatest gifts that can be bestowed on a child is the “ability to learn” & the “joy of learning new things” which can last you a lifetime & it doesn’t much matter where it comes from…

    …i was total crap in school but i’ve always enjoyed learning new truths…

    …& while a lot of disparate truths have been mentioned above, every case will be different…

  16. I am suspicious of claims that homeschooling produces significantly better educated students. Show me some proof.
    Homeschooling presents the hazard of information being presented by a biased teacher – one who obviously knows what is and isn’t good for their child(ren), no? I think experience, both good and bad, is critical to developing a well rounded person ready for some harsh realities of the real world.

    I think homeschooling can be a great thing but from what I have seen in recent years, it appears to be prone to abuse and probably needs some better regulation. Seems like a lot of homeschoolers are a little too isolated.

    Personally, I was all public schooling and am glad for it. My parents were both educators and could surely have done a fine job educating me but I can think of thousands of good and bad experiences I would have been denied if homeschooled.

  17. So true bikesgonewild, but we live in a world of total judgements
    and things that really put people down for just being people.
    (smart or dumb we all long for happiness) kinda like heavy
    labling. ahh shit beer time, ive had a hard work week tring to
    avoid the bummer life! home schooling is really not for all!.

    yea i jump around when i talk and post, sorry :)

    peace all rubber side down…

  18. People who homeschool often come from two opposite camps. The crazy religious right, who are afraid that learning about evolution will turn their children gay, and the tin-foil hat left who feel that their children shouldn’t be constrained by the machine. Of course there are plenty of exceptions. Home schooling only works when the parents are smarter and better equipped to give their children the educational opportunities which they need than the local school system is, which can happen, just not as often as most homeschool parents think. Most don’t have the training or desire to learn themselves. Too often, it is used as an excuse to “protect” (read: isolate) children from the world because the parents are afraid of it, instead of allowing them to be exposed to the world, learn how to think critically, and to make their own decisions.

  19. I was homeschooled for my 9th grade year. I don’t come from a famly of religious nuts or tinfoil hat-wearers, but my mom and dad were definitely trying to protect me. I was very young and very shy and, at thirteen years old, they didn’t think I was ready for high school. My parents are both teachers with masters degrees in education. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything educationally … but their protection backfired because I went back to school even further behind socially than I’d been when I left … and, as a nice little bonus, I was suddenly the homeschooled freak.