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jdavidb (1361)

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J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Monday July 14, 2003
01:14 PM

Home schooling

[ #13439 ]

Last Saturday I had a very important conversation with Sarah. We have decided that when we start our family, we will homeschool our children. Sarah was homeschooled and is extremely well-read and intelligent. I am a product of an excellent public school district in Texas and a son of a public school teacher in that district.

The decision was not without some compromises, and I emphasized that I want to leave the door open for any or all of our children to enter the public school system at certain points, particularly when they enter high school.

Unlike many Christian homeschooling families, we aren't choosing homeschooling for religious reasons. From my point of view, it is more about quality of education. Yes, Hurst-Euless-Bedford provides a wonderful education for free. However, we will also be providing a wonderful education. I happen to be the best math teacher I know, actually. (I'm slowly bringing Sarah around to my viewpoint that it's important for the kids to get more math than she did.) This choice will allow our children to maintain closer contact with their parents, something we both prize highly.

I'd like to solicit opinions. I hear a lot of geeks discount formal education at the college level, and I often hear them complain about the feeling that public school pressed them into a mold, stifled individuality, interfered with true learning, and many of the other arguments I've heard (numerous times now) from the various homeschooling websites. Anyone out there wish they were homeschooled? Anyone out there actually homeschooled?

Coming from a public school background, I'd like to hear if anyone has a word to say in support of school. The school system gets routinely trashed in public discourse, and I've been sick of it for years. While I'm sure there's plenty of problems, my parents raised me in an excellent district that provides a top-notch education. One of the things that has hampered our discussion on this issue has been the fact that while all the homeschoolers tend to have lots of rationale and justification out on the internet, there is no similar information available on the public school side to convince a family not to homeschool. It seems people just don't feel the need to justify a compulsory government monopoly. ;)

Here's an article some of you might be interested in about America before and after compulsory education. Something you might not be aware of is that America had staggeringly high literacy rates before compulsory education. Yes, homeschooling appeals to my libertarian nature. ;)

While I advocated public school for our children, I also believe homeschooling is an excellent choice (shoot, being an involved parent is the main excellent choice, no matter what kind of formal education the kids get), and I am happy with our choice. I'm looking forward to the things I believe I can teach more uniquely and personally for our children than the impersonal school system: reading, mathematics (Sarah cringes when I talk about teaching them Calculus ;) ), programming, music. If Sarah is any indication, homeschooling works, and it works well.

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  • Homeschooling one's children is a risky business at best. It's a very popular option here in Oregon and I know quite a few people who are homeschooled. One of them was giving a speech in college about how wonderful homeschooling was and how the stereotype that homeschoolers are not well socialized is rubbish. He pointed to himself as proof. In the question and answer period after the speech, no one touched on this topic because this individual was so inept socially that we were embarrassed for him. I a

  • I was home-schooled for two years. Mind you the years were primary education (3rd and 4th grade) and the situation dictated home school (only Americans on for 200 miles).

    I did well for it. I was already advanced in my education, thanks to great accelerated learning program. My bother and sister loved it as well. We got loads of one-on-one attention, and focused learning on our weak-spots.

    The down side was when we moved back to the States, and down-shifted to public school. We all suffered socialy for
  • The biggest argument for homeschooling is that the US public school system is almost totally inept at challenging students. The goal is to babysit and hopefully impart basic skills, not to educate.

    Case in point: In the US in the 50s and 60s, civics was a basic part of high school education. Being civic minded was important, as was a basic understanding of how government works. Today, civic mindedness is no longer part of the standard curriculum, and many if not most high school graduates don't know ho

    • We are homeschooling. Primary reason: we can offer better educational opportunities for our children that way. Second reason: most schools, public and private, are filled with undisciplined children and an overall unsafe, emotionally and psychologically, and sometimes physically, environment. Tertiary reason: I don't trust people I don't know with what they will try to tell my children (and even some people I *do* know).

      The primary reason might need some explanation: it is not so much that there are not
  • I'm from a different country (VERY different), and different culture.. but have you considered that the piece of paper/papers/high school diploma/what have you counts a bit in the real world ?

    See, its the difference between knowing the stuff and knowing that you know it, and having a piece of paper that says you know it. Yes, knowledge is important, but sometimes you get your foot in the door because of the piece of paper..

    Personally, I hated school. I still wouldnt swap any time, not a single minute of m

    • Thanks for the perspective. I do consider the piece of paper important. One concern I addressed with Sarah is that I consider grades more important than homeschoolers -- fortunately, she does, too. I think I'd like my kids to get GEDs [high school equivalency degrees] if they homeschool all the way through high school, just so they'd get that piece of paper. (Thanks for the reminder that I need to mention that to her.)

      One more thing about bad influences.. Your kids, IMNSHO, are going to meet bad infl

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers