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PostPosted: October 20th, 2003, 6:20 am 
When I was looking at my options for educating my daughter, I read a lot of articles on home-schooling and yes, very little was said about the disadvantages. Like some parents mentioned on this thread, I considered home schooling out of fear. Fear that my daughter, who does not make friends easily, would not be able to cope with large groups of children and adults. that she would be so paralysed by shyness that she would not learn much. That she would learn values contrary to mine. (I'm a born again christian)

In the end, I had to do what was best for her: let her into the world and let her experience the good and unfortunately, some of the bad. If I didn't let her experience more of the world then, when would she? When she was an adult and didn't have the skills and knowledge most adults are assumed to have?

I think parents should do a lot of soul-searching before they decide on homeschooling. And they should also evaluate each of their children, because there are children who don't have the temperament for it, or children who need to be put in an environment where they have to interact with others.

Your book sounds autobiographical, but hopefully, some of these points will be made and I'm sure ordinary parents who want the best for their children will read it with interest.

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 Post subject: Fears??
PostPosted: October 20th, 2003, 11:24 am 
We did not elect to home school our child out of "fear" of the outside world nor did we attempt to push a singular view of the world on her. I find it interesting that people assume our daughter is "missing" out on things by being home schooled - missing out on such things as: guns, drugs, ridiculous p/c theories, teen pregnancy, etc.
Take a look at what it takes to be successful in the world - an ability to communicate with many people of different ages, backgrounds, etc and see if that's what you get in a classroom of 25-30 other 9 year olds who have to raise their hands to ask a question or go to the restroom. Gee, that's real life, isn't it!
Katherine, I wish you the best, but for those who want to paint with a broad brush that all home schoolers are simple-minded religious zealots trying to hide their children from the real world, it just doesn't fly!
The CBS story was ridiculous, the social workers dropped the ball early on and home school was a secondary issue. More regulation of home school would not have done anything different in that case, besides violate the rights of all home schoolers.

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PostPosted: October 28th, 2003, 4:30 pm 
I've worked in adult education for the past three years, and in those years I've seen people who've been home schooled come in for educational improvement for a number of reasons. Some students are after a GED. Some students are after Chemistry or Biology classes because they need lab sciences to go on to college. While others have educational gaps so large that remedial courses are needed. Home schoolers seem to come from all walks of life, and there seems to be very few common threads. Some programs of study are successful and others are not.
I think there is a story here, but for it to address the educational disparities that exist among home schooling programs than it needs to be done by an independent group with scientific data to back it up.
From some of your responses to the comments posted to you, I'd say that your story isn't about home schooling as much as it is about you and your experiences. I'd do some more thinking about what you want the reader to understand or feel. Is it spiritual, emotional, philosophical, and from that decide if there is a better category for your story.
Good luck

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PostPosted: October 28th, 2003, 6:14 pm 
It disturbs me to see so many sweeping generalizations posted about this topic. It is also disturbing to see the high levels of hatred, bitterness, and bigotry (as well as the low levels of education) contained in some of these postings, especially Katherine's.

The "real truth" (as opposed, perhaps to the "unreal truth?") about ALL education--be it public, private, or at home--is that it is administered and carried out by human beings, each of whom has his/her own faults, frailties, talents, biases, strengths, goals, accomplishments, and failures.

At one point in my family's life, we had one child being home-schooled, one in a private religious school, and one in kindergarten at the local public school. Every one of them went through some very hard times, and all of us had seasons of frustration and doubt, excitement and joy.

The home-schooled daughter went on to obtain two bachelor's degrees at MIT and a master's degree at Harvard. She is employed in a software engineering firm, is happily married, and hardly considers her life ruined.

The private-schooled son spent about five years after high school wandering about trying to find his place in life, having many adventures (including living in Alaska and working in a children's home, caring for kids with serious emotional problems). Then he went to aviation school, became a pilot and flight instructor,and is now supporitng his wife while she attends college to become a teacher.

The third child, a daughter, became pregnant during her senior year in a public high school. She got married in April, graduated in May, and gave birth to her little girl in August. She is now a sophomore in college, making the dean's list while taking honors level courses in education.

We are born-again Christians, and would probably be regarded by some of you as extremists or just plain "whackos." What we want for our children is that they (1) learn to know, love, and serve God, and (2) find the satisfaction and joy of discovering the purpose for which they were created and carrying out that purpose. Along our educational journey, we have run across public school teachers and administrators who had their own agenda (such as making sure they collected every penny of our tax dollars while doing absolutely nothing to educate our children). We have met public school teachers who whispered to us that "I wish I could do what you are doing." We have met public school teachers who did everything possible to help and encourage us, because they genuinely care about kids. We have encountered "home schoolers" who were only keeping their children home to do hard labor in the fields and earn money for their parents. We have met home schoolers who are so ignorant I could weep. We have met college professors who are so ignorant I could weep. We have met home schoolers who have so much dedication to their children's lives, and have given their children such amazing and wonderful opportunities, that they make me ashamed of my own efforts. We have had to overcome obstacles placed in our path by public school administrators who were angry at us for withdrawing our daughter from school because "smart children should be held back, and not allowed to do any better than the average student" (this from a county superintendent of schools!).

As I look back on it, there are many things I wish I had done better, and many memories that bring a smile to my face. Each of my children is now responsible for his or her own life, and what he or she chooses to do with it, but I recognize that their father and I have had much to do with the shaping of their lives.

That brings me to you, Katherine. You are obviously a very bitter and angry person. I am sorry that your parents failed you--or, at least, that you feel that they failed you. But your life is not over, and what you do with it from this day on is entirely up to you. I don't know your age, but I suspect you are fairly young. There is still plenty of time for you to get a better education, take pride in your accomplishments, and to turn your attitude from one of vengefulness and self-pity to becoming someone who takes charge of her own life and uses her life experiences to help others avoid the mistakes your parents made. That could be the value of a book about the "real truth" about home schooling.

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 Post subject: Katherine's story
PostPosted: November 13th, 2003, 5:52 pm 
Hi, Katherine,

I think your story would make an interesting article, but I doubt that it could fill a whole book. As the author of 21 books, I'm often approached by people who think that a good idea is all you need to write a coherent 200 or so pages.

What's your angle? Just as authors can't write about the Entire History of the Universe, wilh sidebars on Parallel Universes....you need to focus on one particular aspect of your story. Are you going to start by telling how your parents kept you away from a certain school/schools? Are you going to focus on how your present life has been ruined by your early experience? How will you prove that it's not just because of your family...or perhaps because of your own outlook on life...that things turned out the way they did?

Who is your audience? Is your intended book/article for people who want to homeschool...but you think you should warn them? Is it for public school principals who want to "prove" that homeschooling is reserved for religious fanatics? Or is it for people who are currently homeschooling and ....and what? Is it for the people on this listserv?

Again, you might try a magazine or newspaper...especially one of the tabloids, which would relaly eat this stuff up.

Good luck!

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