Sunday, March 11, 2012

If you don't like it, Suck an Egg

Since we decided to "come out" and announce our decision, we have found more haters than those that embrace our choice.  Amazingly enough, the haters stem from our own family and relatives more than strangers.  Strangers embrace the idea of home school without judgement or question.
In the interest of fairness, before I say to go suck an egg, let me also say when you have your own children you get to choose how to raise and educate them.  You get to make those decisions.  And I have seen plenty of public school educated adults fail.  I have seen too many parents spend their time fighting with the system, fighting with their kids to fall in line with the system, and in general fighting more than educating.  Isn't that a lot of stress?
Even in public school, they expect the parent to be a full time teacher in the evening.  You walk hand in hand with your child's education process but you only get to see them a few hours in the evening after work/school before bed.  Where is the time in that to be loving, joyous family unit?  You only get your child a limited amount of years before they grow up.  Do you not want quality family time?  Do you not want to make enjoyable family memories?
As to questioning my credentials, let me just say that I did go to school for early childhood education.  I didn't finish.  I decided I didn't want to spend my life in a class room with thirty unknown children everyday trying to make them listen and follow rules in a society so screwed up a parent can't discipline a child, much less a teacher.  I didn't want to spend more time fighting officials over every little move I made than I did expanding minds.  I didn't want to do that.  Plain and simple.  Do you think every teacher with a degree is qualified and outstanding to teach every child?  If you let a piece of paper tell  you what you can and can not do your entire life, than you are going to miss out on life.
So here are some facts:

1. In 1997, a study of 5,402 homeschool students from 1,657 families was released. It was entitled, "Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America." The study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects. 

2. This was confirmed in another study by Dr. Lawrence Rudner of 20,760 homeschooled students which found the homeschoolers who have homeschooled all their school aged years had the highest academic achievement. This was especially apparent in the higher grades.

3.  In a study released by the National Center for Home Education on November 10, 1994. According to these standardized test results provided by the Riverside Publishing Company of 16,311 homeschoolers from all 50 states K-12, the nationwide average for homeschool students is at the 77th percentile of the basic battery of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. In reading, the homeschoolers' nationwide grand mean is the 79th percentile. This means, of course, that the homeschool students perform better in reading than 79 percent of the same population on whom the test is normed. In the area of language arts and math, the typical homeschooler scored in the 73rd percentile.

4. In 1991, a survey of standardized test scores was performed by the Home School Legal Defense Association in cooperation with the Psychological Corporation, which publishes the Stanford Achievement Test. The study involved the administering of the Stanford Achievement Test (8th Edition, Form J) to 5,124 homeschooled students. These students represented all 50 states and their grades ranged from K-12.   These 5,124 homeschoolers' composite scores on the basic battery of tests in reading, math, and language arts ranked 18 to 28 percentile points above public school averages.

5. The Bob Jones University Testing Service of South Carolina provided test results of Montana homeschoolers. Also a survey of homeschoolers in Montana was conducted by the National Home Education Research Institute. Dr. Brian Ray evaluated the survey and test results and found:On average, the home education students in this study scored above the national norm in all subject areas on standardized achievement tests. These students scored, on average, at the 72nd percentile. This is well above the national average.

6. In North Dakota, Dr. Brian Ray conducted a survey of 205 homeschoolers throughout the state. The middle reading score was the 84th percentile, language was the 81st percentile, science was the 87th percentile, social studies was the 86th percentile, and math was the 81st percentile.  Further, Dr. Ray found no significant statistical differences in academic achievement between those students taught by parents with less formal education and those students taught by parents with higher formal education.

7. Stanford University accepted 26% of the 35 homeschoolers who applied--nearly double its overall acceptance rate.

8. 2001, homeschoolers scored an average of 1,100 on the SAT--a full 81 points above the national average--and 22.8 on the ACT, compared with the national average of 21.

9. The homeschooling population in the United States has grown from some 10,000 to 15,000 children in the late 1960s to over one million children in 2001

10. In 1997, the winner of the National Spelling Bee was a homeschooled student. Every year since then, the winner has been a homeschooled student. This year, the first and second runners up were also homeschoolers. (2004)
More Info can be found at:

So in summary, if you have something negative to say, use researched facts to back your argument up.  And don't be such a gossip.  Say it to the home school parent's face and be willing to listen to their reasoning, logic, and statistics as well.  You will find out that most of us did not come to this decision lightly.  Most of us researched.  Most of us thought it out.  Most of us have multiple reasons and various layers for our choice.  And most of us work harder than you could imagine to find curriculum that is advanced, informative, accurate, and offers a variety of choices to meet our needs.  Just because you have chose a traditional system with flaws gives you no superior right to knock someone else's choices for deciding to use their own system which may also have flaws, but they are flaws they can work out and mend themselves.  

In Short, Haters can:

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