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Thanksgiving and Homeschooling

I love getting together with my extended family on holidays.  This time, we had three generations, about ten grown-ups and another ten kids. Some of these kids are now deep in college and are bringing boyfriends to some of the family festivities. 

We get along extremely well in my family and we invariably talk philosophy of life, politics, about ourselves, and then, of course, all the questions regarding homeschooling come up. Do I think homeschooling is good for society? Doesn’t it lead to a loss of a shared community?  Won’t each extremist group tend to “in-grow” which will reduce mutual understanding and lead to a more fragmented society?

The questions are provocative and I do not have glib answers to them. In fact, for many of the questions, I share their concerns.  OH, please note, there were no questions on socialization or the quality of education. All the questions had to do with how segregated our society becomes if people withdraw from one has previously considered the question builder of common vision.

So I had an interesting and great Thanksgiving. And I’m glad to be home. Happy holidays to all of you.


Do we homeschool only because the schools stink?

I read a post which got me thinking about the overall homeschool movement from a statistical point of view.

I’ve written before about a homeschool silent majority and that, despite the shrill tone of many websites, we’re mostly pragmatic people trying to do the best thing for our kids.  I’m going to solicit ideas on this topic.

Most homeschoolers seem to start in schools and decide to homeschool as a second choice when the schools don’t workout. They homeschool not out of principle but as a pragmatic problem solving move.  I’ve talked about them as accidental homeschoolers.

When i wrote on this, I cited the last in-depth report on homeschooling statistics that I’ve found, the National Center for Education Statistics Study of 2001. I organized their categories into principled vs pragmatic  and found the pragmatic group totals  61% of those surveyed. (There were 9% who had “other reasons” and 30% who were homeschooling for religious reasons.)

I’m now really curious about these questions.
1. Did most homeschoolers start in schools and then switch?
2. Would they have stayed in school if the experience had been better?

What do you think?


Are homeschool kids different when they get to college?

Here’s a question that i’d like to hear some college students thoughts on.

From what you see in college, what are  your thoughts on homeschooling for K12?

Do you know kids in college who were homeschooled?
Are they better/worse prepared than the rest of you?
More or less mature? Are they generally different than the kids who went to public or private or parochial schools?