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

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  • bpachev US, UT
    Aug. 27, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    I was homeschooled and am now a 15-year-old sophmore at BYU. I've adjusted just fine to college life despite being, on average, 5 years younger than the general student population.
    Many in this thread have brought up the concern that homeschooled children will develop a limited world view or impaired social skills. This concern is unfounded. Public school can help children develop social skills because it is a social avenue. Children can develop social skills by participating in extracurricular activities, friends, church, and other social avenues besides public school. They can get exposure to other points of view through those same social avenues and also through the Internet.
    Another concern brought up both in the article and in the comments is that homeschool parents are not qualified to teach, or that homeschooled children are limited by the knowledge of their parents. So? With the wealth of knowledge accessible on the Internet and in textbooks. children can learn what their parents don't know or can't teach on their own. That is the strength of home education. It allows children to become self-learners.

  • bastianj1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    @ xert. Let's be careful before we decide these homeschooling parents don't know what they are doing because of a mistake in a sentence on the comment board. I made one such mistake and I've been kicking myself ever since because I cannot change it - I recognized it just a moment too late. Such mistakes happen to all of us. I've seen very knowledgeable people do the exact same thing - professors, lauded in their field, making spelling errors once they get to a chalkboard. Are they thus incapable of teaching their own children? No. I've seen plenty of public school kids and teachers do the exact same thing. I am certainly willing to forgive the occasional mistake and not assume the one making the error is foolish and uneducated simply because of that one instance.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 26, 2014 6:11 a.m.

    The remarks in the supporting posts and by the parents themselves are telling. One person, writing in support claims that he "raises my children the way I what." Hmm. If one were to simply go by the way these parents put sentences together in their own speech, it's fairly obvious they don't possess the skills to pass along what limited knowledge they themselves possess.

  • Terrie Bittner Warminster, PA
    Aug. 26, 2014 3:59 a.m.

    For those concerned about homeschooling taking only a few hours: We homeschooled fifteen hours a week and in that time, my children were always far ahead of the public schools. One reason is that we didn't wait for the teacher to explain things the children already knew. Once they mastered a subject, we moved on. We didn't count pep rallies, Disney movies, or Weird Hat Day.

    However, those fifteen hours were the formal learning times. Homeschooling homes tend to be education-rich. We had a great deal of informal learning going on most of the day. Home ec class was unnecessary--we just cooked as part of our regular life. Trips to museums were family outings, not field trips. We talked about ancient Egypt over dinner. We played a Middle Ages game during our family time. Writing stories, poems, and articles was a hobby at our house. The children had a great deal of time for hobbies and their hobbies led them to research things. Our real lives were very educational, even though they weren't held during formal school hours.

  • Utah Keith Roy, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 8:30 p.m.

    My Brother In-Law was home schooled, Now he has been in college for like a lot of years working on masters and such. He helps teach and he does this and that and is pretty much a genius career student. He has been to prestigious schools such as Minnesota, BYU, Arizona State, and on and on. He is really smart. Home schooling hasn't hurt him at all, or his sister either.

  • Jack of trades SLC, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 5:58 p.m.

    Why are our children falling so far behind?

    Many start in daycares as early as INFANTS! Even more start in daycares as toddlers! Almost all start in kindergarten's at age 6 (still too young). What are these places missing? Parents! These poor children arrive in these places as early as 7AM and leave as late as 6PM. It's so sad. Many are driven through the Mcdonalds drive through for dinner if they are lucky, and then get maybe 2 hours tops with Mom or Dad before having to go to bed and repeat the same thing the next day, summers included.

    These places are where most all of our children are being raised. It's survival of the fittest, toughest, most sociable. Learning? Just street smarts. It's so sad. They are holding tanks, not places of individual love and attention.

    What they need is a loving home where at least one loving parent nurtures them and teaches them. I know, I know, parents can't afford to raise their own kids. They both have to work. But I don't accept that anymore. You choose to have a child. You should also choose to raise them. Figure it out.

  • David RI SLC, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 5:36 p.m.

    Walk into any public high school right now and what you will see is armed cops and countless kids goofing off. They are actually more like public prisons than places of learning. Huge brick buildings with armed cops to keep kids from leaving and break up fights. More time is spent actually trying to call roll and contain everybody than actual instruction. Teachers are trying to keep control of 50 plus kids coming and going during the course of a class period, half of them asleep on the desk, the other half texting on the phone. It's a madhouse.

    The public school system is a new thing. It's not like its been around forever. And new does not make it right. A loving parent with a half a brain can teach a child far more than a child will ever learn in the public school setting. As long as these home schooled kids are getting extra curricular opportunities with friends, such as (sports, arts, music, clubs) I think its much better than the local prison.

  • bastianj1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    I want to put a plug in for homeschool. I was older - in 8th grade - when I started homeschooling because I was bored out of my mind at public school. My mom said I could homeschooling if I was disciplined and taught myself. So I did. I had taught myself math from algebra and geometry to calculus by the time I was in 10th grade and had the satisfaction of truly understanding math for the first time. It was wonderful to take charge of my own education. How did it turn out? I scored high on the ACT, received great scholarships to a fantastic private school (Hillsdale College), and ended up with a masters. I believe in homeschooling. It was what I needed to excel.

  • bastianj1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 2:21 p.m.

    @Steve Cottrell. You are absolutely right that the boy finishing school in three hours should do more. At least double. It is also true from my personal experience (I did public and home school at various times) that usually, so little is covered in a public school that I could easily have finished all I learned in a typical public school in three hours. That is how it was at my school at least. If that boy is capable of doing the work in three hours, he ought to push himself more and get ahead, as most homeschoolers I know did.

  • UtahMaus Orem, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    IS the article well-balanced? It initially appears so. However, all six persons interviewed here share the same reason for homeschooling, the belief that public schools are teaching values contrary to their own. The article makes just one brief statement hinting at other motivations, "Families leave public schooling for a variety of reasons."

    I do know many homeschooling families who believe that, but I know many others homeschooling for other reasons. Many homeschool, as we do, because one or more of their children has a special need not well accommodated at school.

    We also homeschool because the strict attendance rules imposed by public schools would keep us from taking our children out into the world to meet a true diversity of people, of all ages and cultures, in other states and countries, and not just 29 other kids born within 365 days of themselves, and living less than three miles from us.

    Likewise, the homeschoolers we know don't keep their kids isolated at home. We get the book-work done quickly and use the extra time we gain to go out into the community to take classes, visit museums, volunteer service, etc.

  • Terrie Bittner Warminster, PA
    Aug. 25, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    To those suggesting the homeschoolers should be tested: please remember that standardized tests do not measure how well one was educated--they only measure how well people take tests. True education cannot be measured with a multiple choice question taken out of context. We avoided those tests, but I did have my children tested at public schools prior to starting fifth grade. These tests were one-on-one with a professional who could ask the children to explain the thought processes behind their answers. They were always far, far ahead of their peers, reading at a post-graduate level. However, one year we decided to prepare for a possible standardized test and gave up a few weeks in. Wasted hours of learning trivia upset us all. We preferred to actually think in our educations, not learn to recognize the right answers from a list--or even to only focus on things that had right answers. While some homeschooled children may end up not reading or writing well, many public school children do as well. I am an editor--I can assure you few people write well.

  • sometimes_I_wonder West Valley City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 12:53 a.m.

    Wow, some of the comments make me wonder! Many are calling for the standardization testing of homeschooled students but I am willing to bet the same dislike common core... Standardization testing does what again? Is it a fair representation of what a child knows or does not know?
    Second, subjecting your kids to the wonderful joys of JR High as a - good for them- experience is crazy. Public schools have become a place where mediocrity is "the standard", full of immorality where good is shadowed by the overwhelming negativity in classes. Teachers who have the passion for teaching and are wonderful teachers are so burdened by the bureaucracy and of teaching to the test there is little time to do imaginative and creative lessons. Just get through the material - teach them to pass the test so the ratings allow them to keep employment. I feel for them.
    All of us can think of a child from our childhood that was awkward and out of place that was homeschooled. BUT with the resources available to us today, that is just not the same!

    Yes, homeschooling is wonderful if done correctly, can go horribly wrong if not, but same with PARENTING.

  • lib1 Provo, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 10:02 p.m.

    I also had some apathetic ones. I spent a depressing amount of time in middle school and high school doing word searches, or watching "historical" films like Spartacus and the Princess Bride. And when you add the other problems with public education (such as violence, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity), I think that as a parent, I want my children to have a better experience than I received from the public education system.

    I am proud to say I am a home school parent. Our children work hard, and they love to learn. We can tailor their curriculum to them as individuals. They can learn at their own pace. They learn reading, writing, math, science, history, art and music. They also learn topics that the public school system tends to pass over (like the founding of the American republic). They learn in an environment that fosters their spiritual and emotional growth instead of tearing it down.

    I resist the idea that the State should come to our home to "check up" on us instead of checking up on, let's say, the number of functionally illiterate students who graduate from high school.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    This article is nothing more than an opinion piece. The facts are that home school kids not only do better in colllege, are more likely to get a college degree, but are more socially adjusted than their public educated peers. See "Homeschooled Students Well-Prepared for College, Study Finds" in the Huffington Post.

    As for teachers in Utah being conservative, that is false. The older teachers can be conservative, but the teachers teachers younger than 40 are very liberall. I even have had one tell me that they would be willing to give up freedom for security.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 24, 2014 7:39 p.m.

    Even with the very best teachers, children won't get a good education if the teacher has 20+ kids in the class with a wide spread of abilities. What happens is that the teacher "teaches to the middle" and the kids who are bright or who have learning difficulties don't receive the special attention they need. This is one of the advantages of home schooling, each child gets individualized instruction.

    Regarding the social aspect, the home schooled children in our neighborhood integrate very well with their peers in other youth groups (church, teams, etc.). I don't see a difference in social skills.

  • Oak Highland, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 5:52 p.m.

    @Steve Cottrell, why is it anyone's business how a parent educates their children at home? Why should we make the state play policeman and force families to educate their children in the way "we collectively" decide children should be educated. There are many, many educational paths and we should give families the freedom to pursue those paths as they see fit for their children.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 4:25 p.m.

    Really??? - I'm quoting my daughter from her own observations. Most of her peers are overly dependent on the teacher.

    As far as world view, most homeschoolers I know made a point of preparing their child for all kinds of views. In my own teaching, I'd present all the views I knew about (and that included online research). We'd talk about each one, why people believed the various ones, what I thought, and respect for the ones I didn't agree with. On science, we'd talk about how theories developed over the years, what the current understanding was, and how they might change in the future. It's not rare - it's common. That kind of teaching is the goal, not an accident.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    Aug. 24, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    While I believe a good home school program can be better education than public classrooms, what is missing is Diversity. When will the children, isolated at homes and neighborhoods of the same color, economics, and religion, be able to interact and work across different cultural values? How will they perceive another persons different story of life and values, if all they ever did was stay in two influential places while growing up?

  • Oak Highland, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    >"Riddle said home-schooled children are at a disadvantage when it comes to the developing qualitative or "soft" skills — like working with others to reach a consensus — that a potential employer expects of their staff."

    Has this person ever lived in a family with siblings? Working to reach a consensus is a regular thing.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 2:56 p.m.


    It's great that your daughter knows how to teach herself, but please don't continue fooling yourself into believing that her peers who go through the public school system cannot. Many children in the public school system learn independence and have the self motivation to learn on their own.

    The one thing I believe a public school can do better than any home school can is to teach students to gain a world view. The kids see and understand that people are different in many ways, and when done properly they learn tolerance and empathy for those differences. It's a rare home-school parent who can instill that sort of a worldview for their children when they rarely leave the confines of their home or associate with a variety of people.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 24, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    I tried to visualize myself as a child being home schooled. It made me giggle.
    Then I visualized my life without Mrs. Pinnock, my 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Tak, my fifth grade teacher, my remarkable choral teachers and history teachers and debate teachers and French teachers, and I cannot conceive of my life without them.
    Being homeschooled would have been a desert indeed. At least for me.

  • fiddlinem Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    Even if parents send their children to a school outside the home, they should also be "homeschooling". Teachers will concur that it's clearly evident which children are worked with at home. Full-time homeschooling seems to be misunderstood as a method. It's just a place. The methods are countless.
    And, interestingly enough, uneducated and intolerant comments are being made on both sides of this dialogue.

  • Howey ,
    Aug. 24, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    Home schooling is appropriate when it's goal is appropriate. Taking a child out of a school because you don't agree with a particular teaching point (i.e., gay marriage or evolution) to teach hatred of your fellow man (gays) or pass off ridiculous talking points (Jesus walked with dinosaurs or Earth was created 6,000 years ago) is harmful to impressionable children and is tantamount to child abuse.

    Leave the teaching to the qualified. Leave the prosetylizing to the Church.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    I homeschooled my kids for several years. The oldest had Asperger's and was reading at a 4th grade level prior to kindergarten. He was the reason we started, but I loved homeschooling for many reasons. Maybe I didn't have classroom management skills or the latest pedagogical theories under my belt, but I knew my kids. I spent massive amounts of time studying various curriculum choices and reading reviews, to see what would be the best fit for my kids, my budget and me. Today, the oldest graduated from a public charter school with a 3.47 GPA, and is currently employed and successful. His sister has had a 4.0 since 7th grade and another charter, and will graduate a year early from the same high school, heading to BYU with all the scholarships we can round up. Her opinion of home school was that it taught her independence and maturity her classmates sorely lack. She can teach herself, they can't.

  • One opinion west jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    I've been very impressed with so many of the home schooled children. I think it is sad that our schools can't do a better job of teaching our children and keeping them safe from bullying and the things that make it necessary for families to do home schooling. I worked in a school district for a while and found that the teachers and leaders have their hands tied in doing a job they know would be much more efficient.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    Please don't trash the public school teachers since it is someone up the line who determines what they teach. Whenever one talks about education, a good education must have some sort of a certification tied to it. There are so many who are drop outs from education who educated themselves and succeeded to the highest levels. One parent I know home schooled until the 11th grade and then sent her children to public school to learn social skills. They have all succeeded including a daughter going to the Miss America Pageant. It all proves that education in whatever form is good.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 24, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    That's so great. These parents can avoid any of those uncomfortable discussions about how science or politics go against their beliefs by just not exposing their children to any ideas they might disagree with. Fabulous!

  • LoveBoxesCkTops Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    When the public schools are no longer dedicated to truth, the benefits of an experienced teacher are far outweighed by a loving parent.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    Homeschooling may have some benefits but the reason to homeschool may be lacking in some of the process. If you tell your school children that you teach them at home because public schools are fraught with dangers such as socialist or government interference, those children will grow up with a view that may not be beneficial in society. Social interaction with a variety is also good that may include friends of all backgrounds, even the rough and tough. Your children can have an impact on helping other children be better. Sharing beliefs along with good education can be a blessing for children. There are a lot of good children in the 536,000 Utah children in public education. Teachers and administrators are some of the best in the USA. Many are of the primary religion in Utah due to the population and are very good people as a rule. The legislators have been influenced over the years to not trust the public school system and try to undermine the boards and administrators statewide that public schools in Utah are not good.

  • caf Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    @ Steve C
    Unfortunately, our public school days are not longer because the children are learning more. They are longer because the children are all at different levels and teachers must take that into consideration. Also, time is spent on recess, announcements, getting the children settled, answering everyone's questions, lunchtime, reading time, and so on. In all actuality, our public school days could be much shorter. I have tried both methods of educating my children. Homeschool parents (who do it right) have a difficult job which I find I would rather not do.

    Parents on both sides should be supportive and kind. We are all learners here on earth. Education is always evolving or we wouldn't have "the newest miracle solution to education" - Common Core. We are fortunate that the State of Utah recognizes the right of parents to decide the best way to educate their children.

  • bill in af American Fork, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    I commend parents who can home school their children well. Unfortunately, it is rare that parents can do alone what good public schools have to offer. The problem I see is the attitude of many home school parents that their children are better than anyone else. The article gives a good example when a mother says she does not want her children to associate with other children other than those they know and approve of in their neighborhood. Also, the comment by Mainly Me is also typical of home school parents that public schools are socialist, godless places of indoctrination. How can attitudes like that make these children better to function in society as responsible citizens?

  • Denverite Centennial, CO
    Aug. 24, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    Having home-schooled my 7 kids, I can safely say--some people really should not do it. Not only are those people not up to it, they give the rest of us who are up to it a bad name.

    At least, the people interviewed for this article sound like they're up to it. So congrats, and good luck!

    Working in the education business with a lot of teachers and a few past or prospective a group, they're not nearly as smart as the union leaders tell them they are. I have more than one story of teachers phoning me to say they don't know how to open or read the PDF file I just e-mailed them, e-mailing to say they can't find any public-domain reading passages on the subject they got their master's degree in, etc.

    But yes, I am in favor of regular testing or portfolios or something to demonstrate the kids have actually learned something.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    @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.

  • Coyoteghost Saint George, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    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.?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    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.

  • greengrin Provo, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    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.

  • Chas Layton, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    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.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 7:24 a.m.

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

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    "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?

    Aug. 24, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    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.

  • Terrie Bittner Warminster, PA
    Aug. 24, 2014 5:47 a.m.

    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.

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    Aug. 24, 2014 5:28 a.m.

    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.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 2:56 a.m.

    "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.

  • Delcore Draper, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 12:13 a.m.

    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.

  • teachermom6 Northern Utah, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 10:50 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Aug. 23, 2014 10:42 p.m.


    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.

  • Rae of Sunshine West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    "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?

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    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.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 9:40 p.m.

    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.

  • Peeves Portland, OR
    Aug. 23, 2014 9:15 p.m.

    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.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Aug. 23, 2014 8:17 p.m.

    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.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 8:05 p.m.

    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.