October 2, 2014

The Harms of Homeschooling? Where Are the Premises?

The Harms of Homeschooling?

Where Are the Premises?

by Brian D. Ray, Ph.D.

Context

Data-based research has consistently revealed favorable things related to the modern homeschool movement for about 25 years. Theoretical philosophical research, on the other hand, argues conflicting things about home-educating families and students. For example, professor Robin West recently published a controversial piece entitled “The Harms of Homeschooling”[1] that will be the main subject of this article. To set the stage for this discussion, a very brief summary of research on home education is important.

Repeated studies by many researchers and data provided by United States state departments of education show that home-educated students consistently score, on average, well above the public school average on standardized academic achievement tests.[2] To date, no research has found homeschool students to be doing worse, on average, than their counterparts in state-run schools.

Multiple studies by various researchers have found the home educated to be doing well in terms of their social, emotional, and psychological development.[3] Further, the limited research on the topic to date reveals that adults who were home educated are typically doing well on all measures considered, and they appear to be happy, on average, productive, and civically engaged members of their communities. No research has controverted these two general conclusions.

Finally, regarding empirical studies, this author is not aware of any research that has involved collected data and has shown that the practice of home-based education, homeschool parents, homeschool students, or adults who were home educated are harming, on average, one another, their neighbors, their communities, or their nations.

The purpose of this article is twofold, to show that the “harms of homeschooling” that West alleges basically have no foundation in research evidence and to note that West’s proposal for the state to control homeschool parents and their children is based on a worldview that it antithetical to one held by a significant portion of Americans.

Overview of West’s Article

West, in her piece, attempts to do two things. She begins by asserting that homeschooling that is not regulated more by the state is likely to harm children in several ways. She then moves on, from a particular but unspecified worldview, to propose government law and policies to control private homeschooling so that children and youth are less likely to be harmed. Her basic thesis and most of her ideas are not new. For example, Reich[4] has argued that the state must control home-based education to make sure that the students learn basic knowledge and skills, become psychologically autonomous, are not “ethically servile,” and become decent, civil, and respectful. Similarly, Yuracko[5] argued that the state must increase its control over home education to make sure children and youth are exposed to “liberal values” (p. 10) and to “… check rampant forms of sexism in homeschooling” (p. 11).

Seven Claims

Read the seven claims” here: http://www.nheri.org/Latest/The-Harms-of-Homeschooling-Where-Are-the-Premises.html

Read what Brian Ray says about West’s “Harms,” Solutions, and Worldview, and the Problem” here: http://www.nheri.org/Latest/The-Harms-of-Homeschooling-Where-Are-the-Premises.html

Read Brian Ray’s Conclusions and Cautions” here: http://www.nheri.org/Latest/The-Harms-of-Homeschooling-Where-Are-the-Premises.html

Please like & share:

The video clips below are an absolute must.

The video clips below are an absolute must.

Copenhagen conference, in session right now (Thursday 10 Dec 2009 NZ time), is planning to set up a type of world government that will heavily control economics in the name of (the total fraud called) global warming.

“Climategate” is the fraud of global warming that was only recently exposed, but which has hardly been mentioned in NZ…it is huge in the USA and UK.  http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/KiwiSmithFamily/World%2BViews%2Bin%2BFocus/

Craig & Barbara Smith

Home Education Foundation

Ph. +64 6 357-4399

craig@hef.org.nz

Lord Monckton Returns to Alex Jones TV To Talk About The Scientific Fraud Taking Place At Copenhagen
Alex Jones of Infowars.com welcomes back to the show Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, British politician, business consultant, policy adviser, writer, columnist, inventor and adviser to Margaret Thatcher’s policy unit in the 1980s. Monckton is a vociferous critic of the climate scam gang. He reports from the summit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZW-BF70TsI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHSjCulvb_o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6bXxC1d_rE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V22Eda8qwXY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0gyFXKvvFs

Please like & share:

Free internet showing of The Mysterious Islands

New Zealand time Pre-movie 2-4pm this afternoon

Movie begins at 4pm New Zealand time.

see a clip of the movie at their website here. http://www.themysteriousislands.com/.

Here is a great review of The Mysterious Islands from the American Family Association. We watched this movie a couple of nights ago as well and it is excellent. Here is an opportunity for you to be able to watch it for free over the internet tonight – 7-9pm CST.  Well if you live in the Southern Hemisphere it is 2-4pm this afternoon

Hi,
There is an exciting new movie out called The Mysterious Islands that is produced by Vision Forum. We ordered it and watched it last night, it is an excellent film contrasting and describing Charles Darwin’s trip and observations of the Galapagos Island with a recent trip that the Phillips family took to the Galapagos Islands.  The filming is exceptional and for those of you who love a good soundtrack this one is right up there. :) You can read more about it here http://www.visionforum.com/booksandmedia/productdetail.aspx?productid=47850&categoryid=216 and see a clip of the movie at their website here. http://www.themysteriousislands.com/.
Another exciting thing is that you can view it online free tonight courtesy of American Family Assoication.
You do have to register, but that is all.  You can register here. http://action.afa.net/Webcast/Default.aspx?id=2147489972

Watch a live interview with Doug Phillips online tonight, then stay tuned to enjoy “The Mysterious Islands”…for FREE! Courtesy of the American Family Association. You have to register, but there is no charge.  Tell all your friends!

Illinois time 7-9pm tonight

New Zealand time Pre-movie 2-4pm this afternoon

Movie begins at 4pm New Zealand time.

see a clip of the movie at their website here. http://www.themysteriousislands.com/.

In Christ,

Robin

Please like & share:

Crime Against the State: Why Progressives Hate Homeschooling

http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/print.aspx?article=41&loc=b&type=cbtp

Crime Against the State: Why Progressives Hate Homeschooling
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. - 02/14/08

 

The homeschooling movement in the United States has reached a level of institutional maturity that few could have predicted only a decade or two ago. A massive infrastructure is in place, from curriculum companies to social groups, catering to the millions of people who engage in homeschooling. The movement remains as unpopular as ever in fashionable circles, to be sure, but by now the standard arguments against homeschooling are so trite and predictable that families who practice it are able to parry them with little effort.

Once in a while, though, we get a glimpse of the real reason homeschooling is so despised.

By now a great many bloggers and homeschool activists have heard about the case of fifteen-year-old Melissa Busekros of Germany and her three-month ordeal with the authorities. Having fallen behind in her math and Latin, Busekros had been kept home by her parents to receive private tutoring. That unthinkable offense violated anti-homeschool statutes in place since the days of Adolf Hitler—who of course demanded state control of education—and Busekros found herself expelled from school.

Oh, and on February 1, 2007, the government placed the girl first in a psychiatric ward and then in a foster home. She had “school phobia,” you see.

Although her parents were permitted to see her, they were not told where she was staying. In March, Busekros wrote an open letter in which she pleaded for her “right to go back to my family, as I wish,” and insisted: “I am not sick as the doctor said and my family is the best place for me to live.” The latter remark is a reference to the psychological evaluation, so vague as to be a parody of psychiatry itself, on which her removal from her family was justified. (The state’s own testing later found the girl to be perfectly normal.)

Now none of this has anything to do with homeschooling, German officials insisted. They were just concerned for the well-being of this young girl.

But Wolfgang Drautz, consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany, gave the game away. First, in defending the importance of school attendance he explained that school “teaches not only knowledge but also social conduct.” Such a claim is risible enough: one of the reasons some of us intend to homeschool our children is precisely that we don’t want them learning “social conduct” from the slobs and vulgarians who roam the halls of the typical public school. It takes time and effort to raise well-mannered and civilized children, and we do not intend to see that good work undone by sending them to the local savage factory.

Still, that misplaced objection to homeschooling is not unusual. But things turned rather sinister when Drautz went on to warn that “the public has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion or motivated by different world views and in integrating minorities into the population as a whole. If we are to achieve integration, not only must the majority of the population prevent the ostracization of religious minorities or minorities with different world views, but minorities must also remain open and engage in dialogue with those who think differently or share different beliefs.”

He neglected to add: or we’ll take their children.

German officials have complained about comparisons of their actions and rationales to those of Hitler. But consider the Führer’s words: “We have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.”

With which of these sentiments does Herr Drautz disagree?

All of this talk about countering parallel societies and integrating minorities into the population might have been drawn from the rhetoric of the American Progressive Era. In my book The Church Confronts Modernity, I chronicled an overlooked but central aspect of the Progressives’ thought: they sought to construct a new American ethic in which the citizen’s primary loyalties were to the “national community,” rather than to states and localities, and to a new, nondogmatic, nondenominational ethic instead of to any revealed religion. America, the Jesuits’ magazine, described the Progressive attitude this way: “You may hold any faith or religion you please, but then you must not belong to any specific sect or be bound by any dogma.”

For John Dewey and the Progressives, children in the new age needed to be taught procedural rules rather than substantial goods. In other words, they should be taught toleration, open-mindedness, and flexibility, for in this world of change and flux citizens must be readily adaptable to new situations. The last thing children needed, therefore, was unchanging religious dogma taught as truth. As William H. Kilpatrick said, “We must free our children to think for themselves. Anything else is not only to refuse to accept the facts as to the unknown changing future, but is at the same time to deny democracy and its fundamental demand that we respect other people, even our own children.”

Now it is one thing to say that since a great many belief systems coexist together in the United States, we must make an effort to devise some kind of common moral vocabulary by means of which we can speak to each other fruitfully as we tackle divisive issues in the public square. Whether or not such a thing is possible, the mere suggestion is not obviously foolish or contemptible; if a natural law that binds all men really does exist, it is at least plausible that people of diverse backgrounds might be able to recognize common values. But the Progressives were going much further than this.

Sociologist Albion Small spoke explicitly of the need to invent a new religion, a national creed that could unite Americans on essentials and lift them out of the dual parochialisms of geography and religion. “By 1915,” writes historian Eldon Eisenach in The Lost Promise of Progressivism, “Small is really codifying the results of a long-standing theological-ethical enterprise when he concludes that the symbolic centerpiece of this ‘new’ national religion is the now historically recovered ‘Weltanschauung of Jesus’ excavated from barbarism, superstition, church, and dogma.”

According to Eisenach, Progressives held that “all social knowledge deserving a hearing must be cosmopolitan in origin and national in import.” They “invented a conception of citizenship that stipulated that the possession of social knowledge entailed the duty of reflecting on and articulating ideas of national public goodunmediated by party, interest, region, or sectarian religion” (emphasis added). No parallel societies allowed.

Not surprisingly—but again, unfortunately overlooked by scholars of the Progressive Era—the period was marked by numerous efforts to devise a new ethical system and a new foundation on which to ground moral behavior. The ethical culture movement, founded in 1876, sought to do exactly this: to construct a nonreligious ethic that could serve as the foundation for a better and more humane world. That sentiment persisted into the Progressive Era. In 1918, the National Institution for Moral Instructionawarded $5,000 to Oberlin College professor William J. Hutchins for his code of morality, which began with an exhortation “to be physically fit” and concluded by declaring loyalty to humanity to be the highest law. Another such proposal came from Lake Forest College’s professor Henry W. Wright, and still another from Harvard president Charles Eliot. In the Harvard Theological Quarterly Eliot proposed a nondenominational, nondogmatic “religion of the future.” In place of the personal God of old-fashioned Christianity he would substitute a “sleepless, active energy and will” that is recognized “chiefly in the wonderful energies of sound, light, and electricity.” Naturally, the religion of the future would also abandon “the official creeds and dogmas of the past.”

The rationale behind all these systems, in an eerie anticipation of modernbanalities, was that they had the potential to unite rather than to divide. That none of them survives as anything more than an interesting curiosity is perhaps a fair indication of how well they resonated with the population.

Education was a central plank of the Progressives’ plan to bring about the national community they sought. If children were to be emancipated from the stupid prejudices of their parents, educated in the values of progressivism, and lifted out of their “parallel societies,” they would have to be instructed in a government-run school staffed by people who shared the Progressive outlook. Private and/or religious education only compounded the problem that Progressive education aimed to solve. No wonder John Dewey said, with regard to the Catholic school system, “It is essential that this basic issue be seen for what it is—namely, as the encouragement of a powerful reactionary world organization in the most vital realm of democratic life, with the resulting promulgation of principles inimical to democracy.”

This had been a Progressive theme from the beginning. William T. Harris, the most prominent figure in the American educational establishment after the Civil War, and who possessed the mystical reverence for the state so characteristic of Hegelians, warned in an 1871 address to the National Educational Association: “Neither is it safe to leave the education of youth to religious zeal or private benevolence,” since “our State [will] find elements heterogeneous to it continually growing up.” We certainly can’t have that.

In my experience, the average homeschooled student is far more likely than his public-school counterpart to show good manners, to interact well with others, and to be able to hold a serious conversation with an adult. And, significantly, they are better equipped to interact with people unlike themselves (their unusual maturity and knowledge base serve them well in such situations), one of the very reasons they are typically said to need public education. (If a dignitary from a non-Western country came to town for a visit, would you expect a public-school student or a homeschooled student to be more likely to do or say something stupid and embarrassing? Does the question not answer itself?)

Someone who truly cared about the welfare of children would be delighted by homeschooling and the astonishing fruits it has borne even as it continues to receive no mainstream cultural support. But homeschooling is the ultimate repudiation of every grandiose scheme to pull children away from their families and train them in the values of social democracy. That, and not transparent claims about child welfare, is why all the usual suspects detest it, both in Germany and at home.

Please like & share:

SONNY SCOTT: Home-schoolers threaten our cultural comfort

From:

http://www.djournal.com/pages/story.asp?ID=274594&pub=1&div=Opinion

SONNY SCOTT: Home-schoolers threaten our cultural comfort
6/8/2008 9:39:01 AM
Daily Journal

You see them at the grocery, or in a discount store.

It’s a big family by today’s standards – “just like stair steps,” as the old folks say. Freshly scrubbed boys with neatly trimmed hair and girls with braids, in clean but unfashionable clothes follow mom through the store as she fills her no-frills shopping list.

There’s no begging for gimcracks, no fretting, and no threats from mom. The older watch the younger, freeing mom to go peacefully about her task.

You are looking at some of the estimated 2 million children being home schooled in the U.S., and the number is growing. Their reputation for academic achievement has caused colleges to begin aggressively recruiting them. Savings to the taxpayers in instructional costs are conservatively estimated at $4 billion, and some place the figure as high as $9 billion. When you consider that these families pay taxes to support public schools, but demand nothing from them, it seems quite a deal for the public.

Home schooling parents are usually better educated than the norm, and are more likely to attend worship services. Their motives are many and varied. Some fear contagion from the anti-clericalism, coarse speech, suggestive behavior and hedonistic values that characterize secular schools. Others are concerned for their children’s safety. Some want their children to be challenged beyond the minimal competencies of the public schools. Concern for a theistic world view largely permeates the movement.

Indications are that home schooling is working well for the kids, and the parents are pleased with their choice, but the practice is coming under increasing suspicion, and even official attack, as in California.

Why do we hate (or at least distrust) these people so much?

Methinks American middle-class people are uncomfortable around the home schooled for the same reason the alcoholic is uneasy around the teetotaler.

Their very existence represents a rejection of our values, and an indictment of our lifestyles. Those families are willing to render unto Caesar the things that Caesar’s be, but they draw the line at their children. Those of us who have put our trust in the secular state (and effectively surrendered our children to it) recognize this act of defiance as a rejection of our values, and we reject them in return.

Just as the jealous Chaldeans schemed to bring the wrath of the king upon the Hebrew eunuchs, we are happy to sic the state’s bureaucrats on these “trouble makers.” Their implicit rejection of America’s most venerated idol, Materialism, (a.k.a. “Individualism”)

spurs us to heat the furnace and feed the lions.

Young families must make the decision: Will junior go to day care and day school, or will mom stay home and raise him? The rationalizations begin. “A family just can’t make it on one income.” (Our parents did.) “It just costs so much to raise a child nowadays.” (Yeah, if you buy brand-name clothing, pre-prepared food, join every club and activity, and spend half the cost of a house on the daughter’s wedding, it does.) And so, the decision is made. We give up the bulk of our waking hours with our children, as well as the formation of their minds, philosophies, and attitudes, to strangers. We compensate by getting a boat to take them to the river, a van to carry them to Little League, a 2,800-square-foot house, an ATV, a zero-turn Cub Cadet, and a fund to finance a brand-name college education. And most significantly, we claim “our right” to pursue a career for our own
“self-fulfillment.

Deep down, however, we know that our generation has eaten its seed corn. We lack the discipline and the vision to deny ourselves in the hope of something enduring and worthy for our posterity. We are tired from working extra jobs, and the looming depression threatens our 401k’s. Credit cards are nearly maxed, and it costs a $100 to fuel the Suburban. Now the kid is raising hell again, demanding the latest Play Station as his price for doing his school work . and there goes that modest young woman in the home-made dress with her four bright-eyed, well-behaved home-schooled children in tow. Wouldn’t you just love to wipe that serene look right off her smug face?

Is it any wonder we hate her so?

Sonny Scott a community columnist, lives on Sparta Road in Chickasaw County and his e-mail address is sonnyscott@yahoo.com.
Appeared originally in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 6/8/2008

–ends
http://www.djournal.com/pages/story.asp?ID=274594&pub=1&div=Opinion

Please like & share:

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)