No kid is an island: Homeschool co-ops give social opportunities to children who learn at home

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  • CodyCougar Madison, SD
    May 30, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    What's this? Home schoolers acting like public schools? So it comes full circle.

  • mtgrantlass Camden Wyoming, DE
    May 29, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    re: benevolus: I agree about the myth of socialization - invented by the education establishment. after all, kids are numbers that equate to funding.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    May 27, 2013 2:05 a.m.

    When my daughter learned that her 7 year old son was in a classroom of over 30 other 7-year olds, it changed her perspective on home schooling. There is no way a student can learn as much in a over-crowded classroom as he can at home with a conscientious parent and the excellent home-schooling programs available today. It also saves the state money. My suggestion is that the state encourage home-schooling by providing the parents a stipend of about half as much as the school gets. With the stipend, the parent would be responsible for demonstrating that the student is progressing satisfactorily. It's a win/win. Lower cost to the state and better educated children.

  • DistantThunder Vincentown, NJ
    May 26, 2013 2:14 a.m.

    Most parents are trying to protect their children FROM the values of many in the children's peer group. Public schools have become a toxic catchall for all the cultural and societal ills the children absorb through media and in their dysfunctional neighborhoods. A high school in Chicago had 29 students shot in one school year - 8 died. The school acknowledges that 15 different gangs claim the school as their territory. Yet, NPR highlighted a conversation between a concerned parent and a school administrator with the administrator trying to lure the child into coming back to school. The mother finally says in exasperation - "His grandmother doesn't think it's a good idea for him to return to this school, due to the violence in the area." The school itself had 16 security guards for only 500+ students. It makes sense that parents are trying to shield kids from the toxic, deadly values and behavior which have become common in the inner cities.

  • David8 RALEIGH, NC
    May 25, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    @Midwest Mom:

    "We see the home-school spelling bee wiz kids, etc., but a poster child is not a scientific study." Did you bother to read any of the doctoral theses or other scientific studies on the effectiveness of homeschooling? I did, that's what helped persuade me to look in to home schooling.

    "Accountability is the problem." And our government schools are accountable? Not according to the many complaints I hear from my public schooling friends.

    "...the majority are behind academically, some have been abused" No, from my personal acquaintance with dozens of homeschooling families, the majority are ahead academically. Also, some parents start homeschooling to protect their children from the bullying and abuse their children receive at school, that officials are powerless or incompetent to prevent.

    "Parents are a child's most important teachers, but if they take on schooling, they should be required to prove that they're doing the job." Public teachers' unions have successfully resisted having to provide precisely this kind of proof. And it's nearly impossibly to fire the bad ones.

    Thanks for trying to help that YW get into college. That's the spirit of homeschool co-ops, helping each other!

  • I Choose Freedom Atlanta, GA
    May 24, 2013 7:14 p.m.

    We home schooled our six children for nine years. Our only regret is that we actually had them in the government schools for as long as we did. Fortunately, we realized how destructive that environment was to them and pulled them out.

    We discovered that there was a direct relationship between how long they spent in home schooling and how well they did in college. Our four kids that spent the most time home schooling excelled in college, each earning academic scholarships. And our baby, who was home schooled the longest, just finished his first year of college with a 3.94 GPA. Two that have finished college graduated with GPA's greater than 3.9. Not bad.

    I will admit that it is possible to become well educated in spite of the government school environment if you choose to send your kids there. But the "socialization" that is so highly touted regarding government schools is the exact reason we pulled our kids out. Ask your neighborhood kids about the things going on in the government schools and you will be shocked with the depravity. If you can, get your kids out!!!

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    May 24, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    Home schooling has worked well for our nine children. We have done the co-op thing at times, but the most powerful thing we have associated with is the Commonwealth School movement. Since we started working with that, our children have dramatically increased their knowledge and ability in things such as acting, science, debate, critical thinking, public speaking, statesmanship and a number of other skills. We only meet with the other families once a week and each family is asked to participate in the instruction and management. You can learn about it by googling LEMI (Leadership Education Mentoring Institute). The principles of education and personal growth are amazing. It would be a great topic for another article.

  • UtahMaus Orem, UT
    May 24, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    So true, Benevolus! With such an active homeschool community here along the Wasatch front, I found this last year that I had to cut back on our "socialization" so that we had time to actually get something academic done.

  • Benevolus Fruit Heights, UT
    May 23, 2013 10:29 p.m.

    After homeschooling our children I've found "socialization" is a non-issue, only brought up by people who know nothing about homeschooling.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    May 23, 2013 10:22 p.m.

    "Concerns about the academic viability of homeschooling have faded" Really? Not for me. We see the home-school spelling bee wiz kids, etc., but a poster child is not a scientific study.

    I have a beef with homeschooling for several reasons. As a YW leader, I worked to help a home-schooled girl get into college, but her mother could not, or would not, produce a transcript of what she had been taught. This girl and her siblings were very bright, but home school turned out to be "un-school" and these kids were at the mercy of their parents to prove that they had any education at all.

    Isn't accountability the real problem? Children are not property. They have a right to an education. The home-school movement would do well to out the bad actors, but they don't ... ever. I know of only a few families that have done this well -- the majority are behind academically, some have been abused, and many are underemployed and not seeking higher education. Parents are a child's most important teachers, but if they take on schooling, they should be required to prove that they're doing the job.

  • Something to think about Ogden, UT
    May 23, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Home schooling can go either way, just as public education. For every success there will be a failure. True for both! I've seen kids succeed and fail in public schools, private schools, and home school settings. The knock on home school is the social aspects. My personal perception of the kids I know who've been homeschooled is that they are socially 'odd'.

    However there is no easy answer with the vast diversity of kids today. To argue that one setting is better than another "across the board" if foolish! What works for one child/student will not necessarily work for another.

    Re Sasha: My children have all attended public schools. Some of those schools are rated higher than others, yet all my kids have been successful with their gpa's, ap classes, college scholarships, etc... So any setting can work. Glad your's is working for you and your children.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    May 21, 2013 9:21 p.m.

    We have eight children and are home schooling with great results. Our children learn to read by 6 on average, some as early as 4. Our 14-year-old son felt confident enough to take 4 AP tests this year and we are awaiting results. You can take AP tests without being enrolled in an AP class - just ask a local high school. Even if they are not teaching the course, they can still order the test - they do not grade it, only proctor. It costs $89 per test. 5 on Calculus BC takes care of Math 112 and 113 at BYU, so for $89 this is a great deal. To get into BYU you do not need a high school diploma - just score high on the ACT, and seal the deal by a decent AP test performance.

    For those who have a lot of children and go to church the social aspect is no big deal. You have lots of church youth activities, and plenty of interaction with siblings.

  • Kris Highland, Utah
    April 8, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    A homeschool co-op is a group of homeschool students or whole families who get together on a regular basis to study one or more subjects as a group. Students are frequently divided by age-group, depending on the type of activity.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 31, 2013 9:28 p.m.