Teachers Who Have Seen Homeschooling Fail

Jill Manty writes: “I’d like to point out something that is seldom mentioned, but should be more often, to teachers that think that homeschoolers aren’t doing a good job academically. I was one of those teachers. The only homeschoolers I ever came in contact with were parents who got tired of the school system, so they pulled their kids out of school, then didn’t really want to homeschool, so they put their kids back in school, then they got tired of the school, so they pulled their kids out, then they put their kids back in, etc., etc. Generally, these were kids (or parents) with serious emotional, social, and/or academic problems. As a public school teacher, I never met a successful homeschool family. Why? Because they were busy homeschooling, and their kids weren’t in and out of the school system. So, there is actually a reason that public and private school teachers tend to think homeschooling isn’t successful– they seldom teach successful homeschoolers. The next time a teacher tells you they doubt homeschooling works, you might want to point this out to them.”

Thank you Jill for pointing this out. Defintely food for thought.

If you would like to make a comment, please go to this entry at the new Just Enough Blog.

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6 Responses to “Teachers Who Have Seen Homeschooling Fail”

  1. JoVE Says:

    Funny. In our board we have a homeschooling liason officer and he called me a couple of months after I took Tigger out of school to check in. We had a really nice chat (he phoned again recently, an annual check in) and seemed very supportive. At some point in the conversation he said something like, “It is so refreshing to talk to you. I’m sure you will be fine but phone me if you need anything.” I asked him what his difficult phone calls were like and he said they were usually the parents who took their kids out of school in anger and didn’t really have much idea of what homeschooling might involve. He said that in those cases he often gave basic advice like suggesting they join the local homeschooling network or the provincial organization, thinking about having a set time set aside for learning and maybe a place in the home to do that sort of work (He was supportive of unschooling in my case, but said this as if it was a suggestion for those not sure where to start), etc.

    Maybe those of us who either have always homeschooled or who have researched, are part of networks, blog, etc. might forget that not all homeschoolers are like us. Many are, and we shouldn’t be regulated or criticized on the assumption that we aren’t doing a good job. But we need to remember that some people are using “homeschooling” as an excuse to be lax about school attendance. These are people who are probably not fabulously supportive of their kids learning in school either. But bad parenting exists. Even amongst homeschoolers.

    Jill is right though. The bad ones are more likely to end up in and out of the school system.

  2. Anna Says:

    This is one reason that I am still in the closet with my family. My mom, my dad and my sister are all public educators (teachers and admin). Like Jill, their view of homeschoolers is horrific. My sister did have one little girl who started in her second grade class this year who she said “was able to adapt to school”. She said the mom was sad that the little girl did not seem to miss being homeschooled.

    My family definitely sees where it fails and leaves kids empty. My mom had one family come back after three months and the little boy had only watched soap operas and played video games. I tell her the things that my homeschooling friends are doing as a lead in to what is sure to come for us. They know that we are not sending W to kindy next year, but they don’t know that we aren’t planning to send him after that.

  3. Vicki Says:

    I chose to put my son back in school this year after a year of successful homeschool. We homeschooled for a year because of a dreadful public school system, and he now attends a private school. I had to wait a year before an opening was available at his current school. A very telling comment to me was when he received his first report card with straigh A’s and the teacher remarked, “We don’t see that very often here.” I couldn’t quite decide if they thought he’d just gotten to lay around during his year of homeschool, or if we hadn’t taught him anything. They continually make comments about how well he does academically.

  4. Michelle Says:

    I was homeschooled for a year and it has many advantages but it is up to the parent, and the child, if they want to succed or fail that year. Parents can choose an advanced curriculm or a standard curriculm. I was with Abeka and my parents bought me the videos and books. I would take the tests, send it to them, and they’d give me report cards. I’m just saying that students that aren’t diligent in their studies, and parents that aren’t aware of them will probably not do well. By the way, I did everything by myself, my parents didn’t need to spend ours schooling me.

  5. Chris Mahar Says:

    I’ve told others the same thing. Teachers see only homeschooling failures. If homeschooling is going well, why would you ever put your kids back in school?

    The only time teachers encounter homeschooling success stories is in academic competitions where homeschoolers are trouncing their schooled students.

  6. M.C. Says:

    Good for Michelle! She is a reminder that self-motivated students can achieve as much as they want while homeschooling.

    However, if a student isn’t motivated to learn while homeschooling, chances are this student will do no better in regular school and would probably be in danger of quitting. I met a nurse whose son was homeschooled for high school. She said he was not motivated to learn at all and wanted to drop out when he turned sixteen. She got him a homeschool program and he took the test for GED and passed. At least he has a high school diploma.

    Not all kids who are homeschooled – just like regular schooled kids – are destined for college. Some just aren’t interested or motivated, or they would rather do something that doesn’t require a college degree.


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