Comments about ‘Back (home) to school: Thousands of Utah children return to class in their own kitchens, living rooms’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 23 2014 5:30 p.m. MDT

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Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT

If the first student cited can finish his school work in 3 hours, how much education is he getting?

Home school parents usually feel their children have an education as good as, or better, than that available in public schools. I wonder if they participated in testing programs that the state requires of public school students if that would be substantiated. There is no requirement that the home schooled students take any of the state required testing in Utah. Perhaps there should be.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

I extend my commendations to home schooling parents. I have taught school in public schools and private schools, and I see definite advantages to good home schooling that outweigh any disadvantages. Of course there will be some negatives to home schooling, but if the parents are dedicated to the task, their children are very fortunate.

Portland, OR

It's absolutely amazing how teachers think the world revolves around them. Keep your kids out of school long enough for them to think with the values you've taught them, and recognize the values that you don't. I raise my kids the way I what. I don't care if the governmental education system doesn't like it.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

That is an interesting set of names those kids have. Parents need to realize that their children will be having to explain their name to their teacher over and over again unless they are homeschooled all the way through college.

Lifelong Republican
Orem, UT

Good the more kids we can get to home school, the less crowded our schools will be. I'm all for it if the parent is capable. I've seen some excellent kids come from home schooling. Unfortunately they are the exception to the rule. Someone needs to check up on these kids once in a while and make sure they are achieving the appropriate benchmarks for their age.

Rae of Sunshine
West Jordan, UT

"Just because someone goes to college and attends and studies history, what they did to study history was to read lots of books," she said. "Well guess what? You can read lots of books about history and be able to teach history just fine. Or math, or whatever."

This makes my heart hurt. Reading books about math does not qualify you to teach math... Being able to read in general does not qualify you to teach. I believe that home schooling is the best choice for some kids and families but saying things like this does a disservice to the teaching profession and home schooling in general. My degrees in education required a lot more than just reading books, and I am still required to do more than read books as a practicing teacher for ongoing professional development. And I agree with Steve above: a child in 5th grade should be spending 3 hours just on reading, writing, and math practice each day. Of course he can whip through a worksheet faster than that, but how much is he really learning?

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00


The reason parents don't need more time to teach is that studies have shown that the total instruction time a child gets in a public school brainwashing session is only 3-4 hours a day The rest of the time is spent repeating instructions, taking roll, and generally going to the pace of the slowest child. In CA where I home schooled my kids, I was only required to do 4 hours of instruction a day. My kids consistently placed in the higher scoring percentages when tested through the state.

All that aside, the best reason for home schooling your kids is to get away from the socialist, godless indoctrination that has infested public schools.

Northern Utah, UT

@ Steve- I am a public school teacher, and believe it or not, most public school children only get around 3 to 4 hours of education a day. 3-4 Hours of instruction on the core subjects, plus 1 hour of recess per day, plus library, P.E., Art, Computer Lab, etc. You get the picture....One advantage a home-schooler has that a public ed child doesn't have is the full attention of the teacher! There is a lot of wait time these days for behavior and large class sizes. I had my class do a math problem with wait time and if we only wasted 10 minutes per day it would be 1800 minutes per year, or roughly 30 hours of class time a school year. Unfortunately, there is a lot more wasted time at school than you would think!

As a mother and a teacher, I can see some advantages to home-schooling if done well. I have seen both. I agree; however, that there should be some type of assessment done for homeschooled children to ensure that they are getting an appropriate education. This would ensure that those at home are being taught well.

Draper, UT

If there are object public school teachers they are rare. Public school teachers think they are giving an objective view of a child that parents can't see. More likely than not the real problem is that if a student doesn't fit into the current teaching style fad, there must be something wrong with the student, because it can't be the teaching style, or the teacher. Also, many teachers have a cause and they think they are doing the world a favor by using their position to spread the message. There doesn't need to be any science behind it. Some of the things teachers have taught my children are weirder than many superstitions. A teacher today probably would never teach that breaking a mirror will actually deliver 7 year of bad luck, but they have no problem teaching that releasing a helium balloon will kill a sea turtle, or if you drive an SUV you are killing the world, and if you flush the toilet we will all die of dehydration. Exaggeration is not objective. Seeing students through a narrow set of criteria is not objective, it is narrow minded. Saying only certified teachers can teach is ridiculous.

Heber City, UT

"Just being among different people with different points of view, I think, is a good thing," she said. "I think a lot of parents that home-school like the fact that they have more control over the message that their kids receive, but there’s also something to be said for being exposed to different ways of thinking."

If this is what students learn at home, fantastic. Too often it seems it's this: "I am glad my kids are not associating with other kids their age except for those that are in our general neighborhood that I approve of," she said.

The wisest people who have ever lived all share a variation of this: the answer to the world's problems is learning to tolerate and even celebrate our differences, not trying to achieve sameness, which is impossible.

Attleboro, MA

I home schooled several of my children. But that doesn't mean I taught them everything. When I couldn't teach them I found someone who could. These days there are so many more online resources than ever before. The ones that have the most home schooling have gotten scholarships to college. Several of my family members are public school teachers. Kids learn just as many bad things in public school as they do good things. I have seen many more great kids come from home schooling than not. I have only seen a few bad situations. Home schooling, statistically, ROCKS.

Terrie Bittner
Warminster, PA

The public school principle encouraged me to start homeschooling because my children were too advanced and were passionate learners. District rules prevented him from teaching my children at the level they wanted to be taught. When they decided to take a few public school classes later, I looked at the textbook and saw it said Columbus proved the world was round. I cringed, hoping the teacher knew better. We skipped the error-ridden textbooks and used real books by professional scholars. The principal at that school asked how I taught them to write so well and then admitted they couldn't use that method in school due to time. My children learned not one point of view, but many. We studied all sides of each issue. I had no political agenda, unlike the schools. We focused on learning life-long independent scholar skills and they all did very well in college, with the youngest currently in law school. They were, in fact, puzzled that their peers resented learning in college; they loved it. They'd been taught to learn for the joy of it, not for an artificial test.

Mark l

I heard stories that some home schooled children don't learn to read at the same time time as their peers in public schools, but they learn later when they are ready too. Home schooling is a great option because the individual child can learn subjects as he likes, and at the rate he wants to. Let different people be different.

Bountiful, UT

"I am glad my kids are not associating with other kids their age except for those that are in our general neighborhood that I approve of," she said. "Especially when my older two were in school, they didn’t know how to say ‘no,’ and ‘that’s not right.’ Even though I had taught them, they didn’t know when they were hearing jokes that weren’t appropriate."

I personally think that children must be taught to be able to choose their friends wisely and most of all. to say no by themselves. A parent cannot be with the child 24 hours. Yes, they will make mistakes but they are supposed to learn when they are little to deal with peer pressure, not when they are adults. Our father in heaven sent us here as little children knowing we will not be perfect and we will learn from our mistakes. As parents, we cannot be that overprotective. Ia she going to chose their spouse too?

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Like any job, some people are good at home-schooling, some are terrible at it.

Layton, UT

The universities are full of professors who have never been taught how to teach. I have been on high school evaluation teams and have seen teachers write a reading assignment on the board then sit down and read a paperback. My wife had a math teacher who wrote the assignment on the board and left the classroom, every day. Thankfully, that kind of "teaching" is rare. On the other side, there are many great public and private school teachers. The problem remains that there are too many teachers at all levels and all classroom settings that are not great or good teachers. Parents are ultimately responsible for their children's education and environment. The results can be tremendous to devastating.

Provo, UT

I homeschooled my own children for 8 years, and am now teaching at a charter high school where we see many homeschooled students come in, either part time, or to finish high school in a classroom setting. Homeschooling is great! I loved it when I was homeschooling with my own children, and see many wonderful and well adjusted students, who were homeschooled, come through my classes. My hat is off to the wonderful parents who decide to educate their own children at home, and am so grateful for the fantastic resources that are available through the community, for those that choose to do so.


You can also test children at public schools as to how well they are doing. If t hey are not succeeding, of course, there may not ultimateely be much that can be done about it. Perhaps such children should be sent home to see if they will do better there.

Saint George, UT

My compliments to Mr. Wood on a well balanced article on a controversial subject. Good juxtaposition of contrasting ideas. Personal background- I started lst grade in a one room public school, with one teacher attempting to teach six different grades with fifty students in the room. How did I ever get my Ph.D.?

Springville, UT

@Manly Me:

"All that aside, the best reason for home schooling your kids is to get away from the socialist, godless indoctrination that has infested public schools."

You say that like teachers and public schools are the only ones who can brainwash kids. Let's face it. There are plenty of religions groups out there which indoctrinate their children with some pretty dangerous stuff.

Also, Utah is one of the most politically conservative states in the U.S. and statistically speaking that would mean most teachers in Utah are politically conservative. I know all but two of my teachers in Utah who shared their politics were professed Republicans. Wouldn't that mean that most of the indoctrination which might be taking place would be to instill conservative viewpoints?

I think it best we admit some people (but not all) are capable home school teachers, and some students (but not all) might actually benefit from home schooling. We should also admit that some (but not all) teachers should move on to different professions.

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