|By O71394658 (O71394658) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 07:00 pm: Edit|
First of all, I'm completely ignorant on the topic of homeschoolers. So if I offend you in any way, I probably didn't know any better. I do have several questions for people who are homeschooled. Don't you feel that your social life is hurting? How many people do you interact with on a daily basis? Do you think colleges have a right to be wary of homeschoolers? How much time do you spend on schoolwork a day? How are grades alloted? Who grades them?
Just some questions. Appreciate it if you feel like answering.
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 07:42 pm: Edit|
All of the afterschool, week-end, and summer activities that school kids are involved in are open to homeschoolers also. Plus many homeschooler communities are large enough for a full array of activities during school hours. Where I am, there is homeschooler chess team, soccer, drama, Great Books, Math/science team, scouts, various classes taught by parents, newspaper, social club, year book. They also take advantage of their flexible schedules to have jobs, internships, and volunteer experiences. Homeschooled kids can have as much interaction with other people, of all ages and walks of life, as they want to.
How many kids do you "interact" with in a day? Your school may have 2000 kids, but how many people do you actually have meaningful contact with in a day? And for how long? 5 minutes snatched here and there between classes to chat with a few friends, plus whatever you can squeeze into a 30 minute lunch break? And how many of those people are a different age, a different social status, or in a different walk-of-life than you? How much opportunity do you have to observe adults at work who are not teachers? How much time do you spend with your family? With young kids? How well do you feel that school prepares you for being in the real world in all of its messy heterogeneity?
Grading varies. Some families provide external validation of the student's work through standardized testing, correspondance courses, college courses, a portfolio. Colleges don't need to be any more "wary" of homeschooled applicants than of any other group of applicants. Homeschoolers come in spectacular, average, and awful, just like school kids. You might be interested in looking at the lists of finalists for the various math and science olympiads for the past couple of years - homeschoolers are on all of them, wildly out of proportion to their numbers.
Homeschooled applicants have been particularly well recieved at Stanford, where they are accepted at twice the rate of even privately schooled applicants. Interesting article on this at:
|By O71394658 (O71394658) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 07:55 pm: Edit|
You seem to have gotten really defensive there. My thread wasn't an attack. It was just me trying to gain more knowledge on the subject.
You seem to have contradicted yourself here?
how many of those people are a different age, a different social status, or in a different walk-of-life than you?
How well do you feel that school prepares you for being in the real world in all of its messy heterogeneity?
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 08:24 pm: Edit|
Oh, I wasn't being defensive at all! If it sounded that way, it wasn't meant to and I apologize. I didn't feel that your thread was an attack on homeschoolers, and my response was not meant as an attack on school kids. It's just that people who ask about the social lives of homeschoolers have frequently not given much thought to the social limitations inherent in a traditional school setting. And personality probably plays a bigger role in social experiences than whether people are homeschooled or traditionally-schooled anyway. You can be a loner or be gregarious in either setting. Kids who have lots of interaction when they are in school also tend to have lots of interaction during the summer, and would have lots of interaction if they homeschooled. And loners are loners, even in a crowd.
I think the term "homeschooler" is very misleading. It conjurs up images of mom at the kitchen table with a couple of kids and a math work-book. That is not the reality for many homeschoolers, esp. when they reach high school. By that time most of them are really in charge of their own education to a large extent. Their educational activities may or may not resemble "school", and may or may not occur at "home". I think "individually tailored education" would convey the essence a lot better.
If this is something you are considering for yourself or someone you know, you might be interested in Grace Llewellyn's book, "The Teenage Liberation Handbook".
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 08:29 pm: Edit|
0713.. I think you DO know better, but I'll take a shot at all of your NEGATIVE questions:
Most homeschoolers are a fairly studious lot, but they get to go to many parties with friends of a wide age group. This is called socializing. Homeschoolers do NOT hang around with 25 people of their exact same age all day long---that would be a huge waste of time, and a situation that encourages immaturity, bullying, excessive competition...and negativity.
Colleges are most certainly NOT wary of homeschoolers. Home schooling is considered a big fat hook at many colleges. Homeschoolers get into all the best colleges.
What you call schoolwork is what home schoolers call educating themselves. They enjoy being able to read in the direction they want to go in. They don't keep track of the hours spent in an enjoyable activity.
Grades? What are those? Colleges don't even ask homeschoolers about grades. Do you need a grade to tell you how well or poorly you're doing? Can't you tell??? Homeschoolers know exactly how they are doing--because they aren't distracted by roomfulls of bozos that don't care about anything but themselves.
Did I offend you in any way, I probably didn't know any better...
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 08:57 pm: Edit|
Whoa, Morgantruce. Chill, Dude. Sounds like you've eaten too much pot-luck today ;-)
Unfortunately, the stereotypes the first poster refers to are real. Even people who have made the decision to homeschool ask questions like that before they know much about it.
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 09:26 pm: Edit|
Musta'been that garlic bean dip!
Maybe I misread the poster's intent---but usually when someone apologizes in advance, and then proceeds to ask a pile of negative questions, that is a pretty good indicator of his motives. I might have been swayed a bit if he/she sounded the least bit curious...
Gotta stay away from that dip! Happy Father's day.
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 09:40 pm: Edit|
Morgantruce - Where is your son going to college? Did he get any particular feed-back from the colleges he applied to about being a homeschooler? If you have another one coming along, you might be interested in the homeschool2college email list on Yahoogroups. Even if you don't have another one, you might enjoy sharing your experiences.
|By O71394658 (O71394658) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 10:06 pm: Edit|
Yeah. I know absolutely no homeschoolers nor have I even heard of anybody (in conversations) mentioning they know one. I live in Central NJ, and I guess they're really not popular around here. To tell you the truth, I think homeschooling is a great idea, but only if its done properly. I (obviously) go to public school, and I'm taking 6 AP classes. I think from being at school you just learn a lot about the people around you, and thus learn about yourself, as much as when it comes to academics...so perhaps I'm a bit biased.
Morgan, reading them now, I do see that they probably came off as negative. But, like I said above, all I have is the stereotypes, and those are the stereotypes...just rying to find out if there was truth behind them.
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 10:12 pm: Edit|
Texas: No son here (yet??) but I have two daughters.
One is a junior in Wellesley, the other is starting at Kenyon in the fall.. Both received extremely positive feedback about homeschooling from all colleges--except Vassar which insisted on a diploma or a GED (we were not going to accomodate them on either demand.) Both were accepted to their first choice ED schools.
Of course I'm just guessing, but I think they got in on the strength of their reading and language skills.
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 10:20 pm: Edit|
0713: I grew up in New Jersey and attended public high school there. Candidly, I did not like what I learned from the people around me in high school, but your mileage may vary.
Texas: That's pronounced: New Jer'sey???
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 10:23 pm: Edit|
071 - I think everyone is biased towards what they know. My son will graduate from homeschooling with a boatload of both APs and college course work, far beyond what he would have been able to do if he had some high school sucking up 30 hours a week of his time (or more) doing busy-work. He's at the extreme academic end of the spectrum for our local community, including both schooled and homeschooled kids. But even at the other end of the spectrum, all of the other homeschooled teens I know do at least a few community college courses during their high school years in addition to being able to follow their interests to a very high degree. It is a fascinating group of young adults to be around.
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 10:39 pm: Edit|
Morgantruce - Ah, yes, daughters at Wellesley and Kenyon. I remember that now. And of course the year in a sail boat is unforgettable!
We are not at the college application stage quite yet, but we've had mixed reactions when asking about homeschooling policies at college info sessions. All the college reps say they take homeschoolers, and no one seems worried about the strength of their academic preparation. But several of them have followed up with some version of the socialization question. Not that they seem to think homeschoolers are socially deficient as a group, but they seem to assume that teacher recs will give them some clue if a particular school kid is a social misfit and that that might be missing from homeschooler applications. They seem to want some evidence from outside the family that a particular homeschool applicant has not spent 12 years chained to a radiator reading religious tracts. The places we're looking at generally don't offer interviews. That might be a factor.
|By O71394658 (O71394658) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 10:40 pm: Edit|
I grew up in New Jersey and attended public high school there.
I think everyone is biased towards what they know. My son will graduate from homeschooling with a boatload of both APs and college course work, far beyond what he would have been able to do if he had some high school sucking up 30 hours a week of his time (or more) doing busy-work.
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 10:56 pm: Edit|
Yes, many homeschooling friends around here took a few courses in the community college.
My wife and I came out of a very traditionally segmented education. We thought that infancy should be infancy (not all gussied up with advanced classes). We thought that grammar school should be grammar school---and not a proving ground for advanced theories. We also thought that high school should be, you guessed it: high school---not a place to take college courses.
It's not like the education system in this country is doing such a superb job that they should be taking on tasks that they were not designed for. If each level of school would just do ITS OWN job, then, when the student actually gets to college, he/she might just be properly prepared.
It seems that at the very point in time when huge numbers of students are reading words one... at... a ... time... with little understanding and enthusiasm, their teachers are encouraging them to take AP courses!!! I figure that just as the whole system comes tumbling down, they will be insisting upon a 200 page thesis for entry into Middle School.
It's like: let's hide our failure by making believe we're moving on to the next level. I think it's called Three Card Monty. Whatever it is, it made me very nervous about entrusting my girl's education to what I perceived as a huge experiment that changes with seasonal regularity.
We used Calvert School materials for K-8 and then the girls developed their own high school program---which was just as traditional. They stayed within traditional bounds.
It seems to have worked in their cases.
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 11:02 pm: Edit|
I went to Asbury Park High School.... rode the (steam locomotive) train there from Belmar.
There, now I must really seem like a fossel to you. That was at the tail end of the 1950's.
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 11:32 pm: Edit|
"It seems that at the very point in time when huge numbers of students are reading words one... at... a ... time... with little understanding and enthusiasm, their teachers are encouraging them to take AP courses!!! "
Don't you think the smart kids need something worthwhile to do while the educational system deals with the deficiencies in basic skills which have accumulated at lower levels? It isn't the lumpen proletariat of high schools who are being encouraged to take AP courses.
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 11:43 pm: Edit|
Yes they certainly do need something worthwhile to do... but why does that something have to be "college level" work.
You're from Texas... and you ought to be able to recognize the smell of bull___t when it's floating by!
The education experts have convinced the slow kids that they are deficient... and the fast kids that they are too bright to continue doing high school work. Doesn't that smell funny to you?
|By O71394658 (O71394658) on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 02:42 pm: Edit|
I went to Asbury Park High School.... rode the (steam locomotive) train there from Belmar
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 03:33 pm: Edit|
If that's insane, how about this?
Something I've always wondered about: does the "Fun House" still exist near the boardwalk in Asbury Park? I remember a large revolving wood drum that the tourists would walk through (and fall down in, of course.) There was a section of wobbley floor segments on a balcony, and lot's of darkened walkways with surprises for the unwary.
Is all of that gone?
The huge indoor carosel?
The bumper cars?
|By O71394658 (O71394658) on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 05:14 pm: Edit|
Sorry. I don't know if you've been there since, but its a slum. Ever see City By the Sea? The new movie with Robert DeNiro? Well, that piece of C-rap town? That's Asbury Park.
They're making an effort to restore it. Along with Long Branch...
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 05:56 pm: Edit|
I saw the movie, and thought it was filmed partly in Long Beach, NY---another place where I have lived. I remember thinking the scenes looked strangely familiar--but not at all what I remembered Long Beach to be!
It would be generous to say that at least I know when to leave a place...
|By O71394658 (O71394658) on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 08:33 pm: Edit|
Ha. Yes, indeedy. Seems you were the only thing holding them together, eh?
|By Anonrs (Anonrs) on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 03:24 am: Edit|
To Morgantruce and Texas 137:
I'm assuming that you have read some of the other collegecon homeschooling-focus threads. Back when Nathan was moderating the homeschool section, several of us participated some very interesting homeschooling / college discussions. The gist of some comments that Nathan made in the *Homeschooling and College Prep* thread back in September 2001 has stayed in my mind since then.
**Most homeschoolers aren’t greatly motivated to go to college. Many seem indecisive about it, and take a lackadaisical approach to the entire issue. The reason I got involved so much is that I’m a chronic worrier. I saw college looming ahead, and so I started researching about the application process and college in general starting my sophomore year. My friends don’t have this mindset, so there isn’t really the “peer support” that you spoke of.
You said your friend’s son has been in community college classes for a long time. I would suspect that he therefore has a bunch of credits racked up, and has at least some idea of 1. what college is like and 2. what areas of study he is interested in possibly pursuing further. I would further speculate he could be “burned out”.**
I know that your own students are quite motivated and focussed on continuing their education, but I was wondering if your own students' plans to attend 4-year college were relatively unique or the norm within your (area) homeschooling cohorts? (MT, do most high school homeschoolers in your area take CC classes?) I have a friend who homeschooled until her kids reached high school and since then has maintained close contacts with homeschooling friends and keeps current with homeschooling issues in our area. When I recently asked her about homeschoolers in our greater Seattle area matriculating to 4-year colleges she said that the numbers are surprsingly low -- like Nathan, she thought CC burn-out was major contributing factor.
Texas, I don't know when (this coming year?) your son will be applying to college and graduating from homeschooling. How many CC credits will your son have? Are you expecting him to apply to colleges as an entering freshman or a transfer student? Are you receiving different answers about his application status from different colleges?
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:11 am: Edit|
Well, you've managed to press on my hottest button... (sorry...not your fault! Texas understands that I get peculiar when I eat garlic bean dip...)
I've had the good fortune to travel quite a bit-- and I am not the sort who looks at old buildings. I'm much more interested in how other people live. In Europe, for example, you would need to be legally blind to not notice that "children" there are older. What I mean is---it is very common to see 15 year old children playing in the same manner as 9 year old children in the US. The same is true of all the other age groups. Their children are treated like children, behave like children, and seem to thoroughly enjoy their childhood.
We, on the other hand, seem to delight in stealing every single aspect of happy carefree childhood from our children. We do it for many reasons---but mostly we tell ourselves that we want them to "get ahead"---whatever that means.
So, we audition them for pre-school, we make a huge fuss over getting them into the "right" this or that, we push them to learn high school stuff while they're in grammar school, we push them to learn college stuff while they're in high school.
We dress them not like children, but like "singles" on the make. We always encourage them to act and think like they were a decade older than their years.
My children learned to read because they saw their parents enjoying reading---not because we forced it upon them to stay ahead of their peers. My children have still not lost their ability to play as "real" children do. Their peers forgot how years ago---they are too busy with so-called activities that are thinly veiled attempts to curry favor with admissions committees, and seeing shrinks to calm their anxieties brought on by thier increasingly pushy parents. On College Confidential I've actually been reprimanded for referring to students as children.
If stealing your children's childhood were a felony, there would be more parents in jail than at home.
No, my children did NOT take college courses while they were in high school.
|By Anonrs (Anonrs) on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 12:56 pm: Edit|
MT, what about the majority of homeschool students in your area? Was / is enrollment in CC more common or not? Are the majority of homeschool students in your area as eager as your daughters to continue their education by matriculating into 4-year colleges?
I'm wondering if there ~is~ a "low figure" of homeschoolers choosing to go to 4-year college? And if so, is this figure is ~actually low~ or, in reality, is it comparable to the percentage of traditional students who do not continue on to 4-year colleges? Though it could be hard to measure because many traditional students DO start out at CC -- and some continue on to 4-years and some don't. Many homeschoolers have already experienced CC and the decision to not continue into a 4-year school may just be coming at an earlier age due to an earlier exposure. Does what I'm trying to ask / say make any sense???
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 03:28 pm: Edit|
Sure it makes sense. But it's difficult to answer in a way that wouldn't be misinterpreted...
Without doing a physical survey, I'd say about half go directly to a 4 year college. Some of those tasted community colleges while in the last few years of their home schooling. I'd say CC was a way for them to get out of the house a bit--most of what's taught there is fairly tame for a home schooler. None of these kids attended CC "full time" in the hopes of making it into a regular college. These kids had no trouble getting into good colleges as soon as they were old enough.
Now about that other half....
First of all, any parent would die to have one of these non-college bound homeschoolers as their own child. Is that enough of a ringing endorsement?
One took up an appreticeship as an electrician, quickly advanced himself into starting a contracting business that is growing by leaps and bounds with several employees. He's running a faily large operation at an age when college graduates are just looking for work.
One took her many years of ballet and theatre experience and is now touring in a national show "Copa Cabana". She will return to her theatre studies at college---until her next gig.
One played fiddle with touring rock group for several years until she entered college recently in a dentist program that is a very long haul.
So, I'd summarize by saying that its hard to draw any conclusions about homeschoolers if you only look at where they're at in the October after they "graduate."
|By Anonrs (Anonrs) on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 08:02 pm: Edit|
I certainly agree with your very last statement. The same could be said about many traditional students, too. There are many roads to success AND many measures of success.
|By Crbanks (Crbanks) on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 10:55 pm: Edit|
MT, I loved reading about the homeschoolers who followed nontraditional paths as adults, too. I've been a homeschool mom for 11 yrs. & my firstborn is heading off to college this fall, w/ number two possibly following next yr. They haven't taken any CC classes (so far; #2 wants to take a CAD class in the fall & maybe a Japanese class, too.) #1 will still be 16 for the first semester, but that's something of a family tradition anyway. As the university is only about 100 miles from home, I'm not quite as concerned as I might be otherwise. Two academic scholarships were awarded, covering most of the tuition, so it seems that some folks at the univ. think this will be a successful venture, too.
#2 also plans to go to the same university, & at 16 as well. I'm encouraging some career explorations this year & a possible postponement of college, but in the end it's not my decision.
We started off as very structured homeschoolers, using Seton Home Study School's program (a Catholic curriculum in Front Royal, VA.) After a couple of years of tweaking the structure, we left all that behind for a more relaxed approach. It's been a wonderful adventure, and in some ways I hate to see it coming to an end.
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 07:33 am: Edit|
" We started off as very structured homeschoolers...."
That is a very sensible way... of taking on ANY undertaking! My wife and I had very traditional grammar school backgrounds, and there was no way we were going to start out home schooling our children without a tried and true structured environment. By the time our girls finished 8th grade, they knew VERY well what a currriculum was, and they had a good handle on how to develop their own for the next four years.
In many cases their search for the "right" textbook would lead them to read several textbooks until they finally landed on the "meaty one" which they would then devour with joy---having already experienced the pain of trying to understand a subject using "lightweight" texts. It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with textbooks--many of the best ones do not have current publishing dates...
"It's been a wonderful adventure, and in some ways I hate to see it coming to an end."
It doesn't end. Word gets around. "Aren't you the lady who......?"
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 02:55 pm: Edit|
My local homeschool support group has about 500 families. Almost all of the families have at least one parent with some college, and I would guess that 100% assume that their kids will go to college. The numbers of teens who have actually "graduated" is still pretty small, maybe 20 kids in all. But I think all but one or two have gone on to college. My group may not be typical, since we are the alternative to a much larger Christian based support group, and the Christian homeschoolers probably outnumber the secular homeschoolers in most of the country.
My family has not actually done any CC courses. The families whose kids take CC courses seem to view it sort of like a la carte high school. The local 4 year university also offers a very limited program for a few dual enrolled high school students to take upper level math courses (beyond calculus)not available at either the CC or the local high schools.
|By Kelly216 (Kelly216) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 12:11 am: Edit|
Hey, I was just reading the posts and two of you are talking about asbury park and ocean township. I just graduated from ocean township high school. i can't believe the coincidence! That's all I wanted to say; it was just too weird to leave without posting that..
|By Monarch (Monarch) on Thursday, January 08, 2004 - 01:51 pm: Edit|
I am a homeschooler in "12th grade" ( grade level has only become an issue since I began thinking about college).
I have been taking CC classes for a year now. I started off with two in the spring, then went to an 18 hour load in the fall, and now I'm somewhere in between. I would say that yes, it is a way to get out of the house, and to prepare for entering the world of institutinalised education (I've been homeschooled through all 12 grades). Ironically, I also see it as a logical extension of my "unschooling" philosophy of taking advantage of all available resources to follow my interests.
On another note, I'd like to comment on one of 0713's early messages:
You seem to have contradicted yourself here?
how many of those people are a different age, a different social status, or in a different walk-of-life than you?
How well do you feel that school prepares you for being in the real world in all of its messy heterogeneity?
In fact I do not see a contradiction at all. (unless maybe you mistook heterogeneity for its antonym, homogeneity?) It is true, at least in my experience, that homeschooling prepares you for dealing with all sorts of people that you might come across in daily life. I find that many of my schooled friends are less mature in that way than my homeschooled friends. It's only natural: while school prepares one for life as part of a "herd" of people of similar ages, "intelligence levels", etc. homeschooling prepares one for life in the "real world" not by teaching about it, but by actually experiencing it.
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