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  •  I think failure to educate a child is a crime (27+ / 0-)

    whether it's done under the homeShariaschooling blanket or not.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 09:08:00 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Come tell that to (29+ / 0-)

      the liberal homeschoolers in my adopted hometown, some of which are atheists.

      This kind of crap right here from the public school system is one of the reasons some of us lefties avoid it like the plague it is.

      Public K-12 veteran here, and I mean that very seriously.  Districts in two countries and four states.  I was educated in spite of them, not because of them.

      School is mostly a free (at point of sale) babysitting service for parents who must work, and a place where minds are standardized.  They care more about making us all think alike than anything else.  But education is taken, not given.  Surely you know people who have graduated from college and still can't think their way out of a wet paper bag.

      These days when I think of public education, I think of public libraries.  I also think the "training" of children should more involve teaching them how to live as adults then telling them what to think about subjects that have nothing to do with whether they can work and pay bills.  All the best thinkers go their own way anyhow.  We don't tend to beatify sheep in our Western intellectual canon--every one of them had something new to say.

      And if a right-winger wants to keep their child home it's not much to me.  At least they won't be in the schools harassing the other kids.  And how many adults from strict Christian homes do we know about who rebelled against their parents once they had the freedom to do so?  It's practically a truism--the Preacher's Kid and all that.  Even Fred Phelps has lost a couple.  At least one has spoken out against him.  But that's their business.  They can think what they like.  My only problem with them is when they try to make me conform to them.  But I can solve that without using schools.  It's not like schools have never taught offensive, anti-humanist messages anyway.

      •  Schools are the places we first meet (49+ / 0-)

        those not affiliated with our churches / members of our families. We need those opportunities to mingle.

        The same is true of being enlisted -- in a public college or in the military or in a service program like the Peace Corps or VISTA -- we need those exchanges, to keep us from devolving into hostility and xenophobia.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 09:58:09 AM PST

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        •  Many homeschoolers, (26+ / 0-)

          especially liberal ones, provide plenty of places for their children to meet others outside their flock -- Girl or Boy Scouts, theater programs, art classes, science groups at the local science center…things that appeal to the child and their interests.

          And many liberal families are homeschoolers because of the hostility and xenophobia present in the public schools where administrators turn a blind eye. Any child who does not fit the cultural norms is a target for those who would do their best to fit everyone in the same round hole, no matter how square the peg.

          Used to work with a non-profit that served the disabled community, and many parents were homeschooling their disabled children because they were not being educated in the public schools.

          Yes, there is a problem with indoctrination in some cases (Young Earth folks and all that), but we can't deny everyone the right to the best education they feel their children deserves just because of a few idiots.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 10:52:55 AM PST

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          •  I still suspect the religious reasons for (11+ / 0-)

            homeschooling are the big financial basis for that.

            I realize the public schools of today are not what they were in my now-four-decades-ago youth. That's not kids' fault: it's politicians' fault, and the kids shouldn't have to suffer for that.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 10:58:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (9+ / 0-)

            From a homeschooling parent. We opted to give our children an education customized to their learning styles, to ensure they learned not only the requisite regurgitatable factoids, but the critical thinking skills and epistemological tools to maximize their ability to learn how to learn.

            While Vermont has excellent schools relative to most of the rest of the country, they are simply not able to budget to provide completely customized educations for each child's learning styles and passions. We've been extremely lucky to be able to provide that for our children.

            The stereotype of whack-o religious homeschoolers is an anachronism.

            The homeschool demographic is now 50-50 secular vs religious, and becoming more secular over time. There are pockets where the religious homeschoolers outnumber secular homeschoolers, but there are also pockets where the opposite is true. Most secular homeschoolers are well-educated, dedicated to quality education, and to maximizing the opportunities available to their children. In general, our children are MUCH better socialized than traditionally-schooled children, because our children participate as equals with people of all ages in activities in our communities.

            We can't guarantee our children the best futures, but we can guarantee that they will know the skills and techniques necessary to learn anything they need to learn - which may be an advantage in an uncertain economy.

          •  OK but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackSheep1

            The problem I see is that you need to meet others outside of your flock in areas that don't appeal to you, either. Most of us are going to have to get us to the idea of leaving wherever it is you call home in the morning and being gone for long stretches of time and is many, if not most instances, these periods of time don't involve activiies that "appeal" to us. For example, jury duty, which is mandatory of called and vital to our judicial system but most people hate being called. We have to get used to getting outside our comfort zones and working with those who aren't our naturual friends and whom we choose to be with.

            •  No, we don't. (0+ / 0-)

              That may be a demand of the Marine Corps, the jury system down at the local Court House, or of our modern industrialized society in general, but it is not how human beings evolved into the family-oriented social creatures we are. It's certainly not a necessary ingredient of raising a child to "toughen them up" and "get a few bloody noses" along the way. That style of parenting went out around the time of the Hitler Youth.

              Children grow up in a circle of families, either their own extended families or a "habitual village" of neighborhood familes and friends. A tribe. A hothouse.

              And well they should. They are incomplete people, still growing their physical brains, internal glands, organs and muscles, and most of all discovering themselves and their natural inclinations and interests. Leading them at the tender age of five to a brick building filled with hundreds of other children and trying to make them tougher than they need to be crushes whatever you might have gotten growing inside them.

              American public schools don't nurture -- they standardize, and they do this because American public schools are based entirely on the 1880 Prussian model of Otto von Bismarck, a model designed to produce good soldiers for future wars, and it did this quite well.

              Homeschooled kids pick and choose their friends by common interests, lifestyles, or just proximity and they learn to give and take within this smaller group, which changes over the years as all things do. It's a big enough world to test their tender wings within.

              They get more real world exposure than public school prisoners because they are out in the real world every day, not locked up in a brick building where following rules and timetables is everything because that's how you teach to the test and that's all that matters and all that goes on.

              "The 1% have no wealth. They have our wealth."

              by antifa on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:33:23 AM PST

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              •  Who's talking about (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BlackSheep1

                bloodying kids up or forcing them into boot camp? I am talking about growing up and leaving the friendly confines of your family, which the overwhelming majority of us have to do.
                And sorry, no, public schools are not prisons. Unless you know of prisons where the prisoners get to go home every day, take field trips, study in foreign countries, play on sports teams, go to prom. etc.

              •  ? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BlackSheep1

                What kind of life do you live where you don't have to leave your home for extended periods of time and don't come into contact with people who aren't not your bestest buddies? Maybe some freelance artists and journalists can do this, but for most of America, this is not an option.  Even Stay at home Moms (and Dads) even have to attend parent teacher meetings, go shopping, take the kids to soccer practice etc.

        •  Public School doesn't provide diversity. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Treetrunk, gerrilea, 43north, sawgrass727

          Unless you live in an area with School Choice, your public school will provide the exact same demographics as your neighborhood.

          •  It's almost assuredly more diverse (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackSheep1

            Than most households, though.

            •  No, it isn't. (0+ / 0-)

              In public school, the prisoners very quickly find a small clique of friends, prisoners they are like, prisoners they trust and share interests with. Then these cliques stick together more or less throughout the school day, surviving the insane ways, means and rules of public schooling with their sanity as intact as can be.

              Given the 50% admitted users and abusers of prescription drugs, alcohol, pot and worse among elementary and middle schoolers in America's public schools, and the utterly casual sexual "hookups" than now begin around 5th or 6th grade, it
              indicates their sanity is under considerable assault.

              Psychiatrists have long understood that most human beings are incapable of being really close with more than about 5 to 7 people. Usually it's only one or two really close friends.

              Beyond that number, people are not your buddies, just people you know to one degree or another. You can work with people for decades and never call them friends. You just don't click. You go to the same church, you see each other around town, you have desks in the same room at work, but you just know each other is all.

              It's like that for the prisoners in public school. They find their clique right away, their crew, their gang, and go through school with them. They don't know or care about the other thousand kids doing the same thing in their school, just their circle of friends. It's not a wide open exchange of diversity in there, it's a highly segregated experience, based on who is compatible with you.

              You survive public school, you don't grow and become. Your real world learning all starts after you get out.

              Homeschoolers start decades before then.

              "The 1% have no wealth. They have our wealth."

              by antifa on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:45:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree...homeschooled children tamed this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          43north, sawgrass727

          continent.

          George Washington, Ben Franklin, FDR, Abraham Lincoln, Sandra Day O'Connor, Albert Einstein, Booker T. Washington,...just to name a few.

          http://www.homeschoolacademy.com/...

          You really have a misunderstanding of what homeschooling is and does.

          The fundamental question you need to ask is: Do you want your child to be emotionally manipulated & conditioned into becoming the "worker of tomorrow", as is the goal of our current educational system.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 01:58:24 AM PST

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        •  My hunch: You have no experience with homeschool (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Amber6541

          In many discussions on dkos about homeschooling, I've found that those who are most critical have zero experience with homeschooling, or know "someone" (n=1) who has failed at it.  

          Your description of schools as the proverbial mixing pot is based on...what?   My daughter has been home-schooled, has been in private school, and is currently in public middle school.  

          She had the most diverse experience in the first two cases.  In her too-large public middle school, birds of a feather are flocking together, and she attends a school where enrollment is by choice.   Just because you happen to sit in a classroom with someone not like you doesn't mean you mingle.  

          And the idea (not stated in your comment) that schools have provided great leavening experience in American history tends to overlook the segregation that existed for most of that history...and still persists in some regard.

          As a parent, I wouldn't rely on the school system to mingle my daughter.  No one should, and that shouldn't be a public school policy goal anyway.  Does mingling happen sometimes?  Sure.  Nice if it happens but it can't be planned.  God knows the public schools have so many ills that it'd be a huge injustice to our kids if "mingling" was the primary reason for sending them to school.  In our case, we deliberately seek opportunities and events to achieve that goal.  

          I do tend to agree about the effects of the military experience though.  But a huge difference between being in the military and being a public school student, and two experiences shouldn't be conflated.

          •  I actually have nephews & neices homeschooled (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Swig Mcjigger, Catte Nappe

            but it's because their parents' church-based private-school choices became too expensive. (They live three blocks from an Exemplary school in a reasonably good district in a medium-sized West Texas city, but they preferred to drive their children 12 miles each way to a church-based private academy, until she lost one of the 3 jobs she had year before last. He's a stockbroker; she's a registered dietician and college instructor.)

            The kids don't get music, don't get exposure to different cultures, don't get history, don't get sports -- the oldest at 15 decided basketball and volleyball were too hard because she had to run too much to actually play during the games, and the youngest "gets all the exercise he needs in Royal Rangers".  They live in Texas. They've never shared a classroom with a Hispanic child or a black child because there are no Hispanic or black families at their churches or in their church-based Scouting-alternative program -- their hardcore Rush-is-Right evangelical all-white communities, where children with disabilities are shunned as "defectives".

            And yes, their mom has told me flat out she doesn't want her kids exposed to "defectives, homosexuals, illegals and blacks" because if God wanted her kids to be "indoctrinated" that such people are actual humans equal to straight "normal" whites, He'd've put that in the Bible.

            Sigh.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 10:01:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  homeschooling leftie here too (30+ / 0-)

        i got sick of my daughter crying everyday because she hated school so much (at 13).     it just wasn't worth it.   her teachers were overworked and cranky and the classrooms were overcrowded....   and that was in what was supposed to be one of the BEST public middle schools in my city.   her grades were steadily falling and i just couldn't watch her fall apart anymore.    i have run into SOOO many other moms who are taking their kids out of the system for the same reasons.    public schools need an overhaul for sure.  

      •  Good points (15+ / 0-)

        There are good points you make here, but I also have to think that school providing some level of "sameness" is a provision that allows for the continuation of a community and a society. There are aspects of how we behave as a society, our participation in society and its mechanisms for choosing leaders and care for each other that seem to be the purpose of our "indoctrination." I agree that we should educate to create, but we must also approach education with a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of us all - something that the sequester of homeshoolers sometimes misses. NOw to be sure not everyone should be painted with the same brush, but even before MSNBC hosts and Michelle Obama - I believed that children were not our own to do with what we pleased.  Everything that I do, and my offspring will do has an impact on others - their lives, their choices, and their outcomes in life.  Even in a public school setting, many do not get this - ORielly was educated at Harvard as was Cruz, Paul at Duke, some of our nations finest.  So the role a parent can play in the acceptance of a lesson does lie on the shoulders of a parent. But wouldnt you agree that the tools offered by the experience of school can aid in that "teaching" and provide for experiences that must be if we as a species are to survive and flourish?  I personally have found the lessons my daughter brings home from school well outside my own experiences and a valuable lesson from which deeper thoughts and conversations can springboard. I would argue that to be active and intelligent parts of society, to be the agents of change in society, we must first BE a part of society.  

        •  Indeed (7+ / 0-)

          Isolationism and tribalism are dangerous. The right does those things far better than the left does.

          "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

          by sagesource on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:07:55 PM PST

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        •  But what IS "society"? (5+ / 0-)

          And what society, specifically, do you want your children (our children) to be part of?  Anything you say here defines your particular paradigm, but not necessarily someone else's.

          In terms of the vast expanse of human development and history, the entire concept of public schooling is a miniscule blip.  It has existed for at most 150 years.  And it was to a good extent instituted not to teach children their parent's values, but to deliberately wean them away from their personal ties and families into an individualistic Brave New World of service to industry, consumerism, and mass marketing -- a world where the bonds of family, community, and extended but real relationship were deliberately severed so as to REDUCE individuals to powerless statistical averages and nonentities dependent on government and industry rather than the resilient network of friends, family, and community.

          Public schooling has always had at its core as much a purpose of "re-education" -- cutting away traditional beliefs, values, morality, misnomers, myths, and superstitions -- as of any real education.  The most important things children learn in elementary school from the point of view of "society"'s leaders is how to arrive on time, do what they are told, respond to the standardized ringing of a mechanical bell, watch the clock, and regurgitate the answers that they are spoon-fed regardless of what they might mean.  The vast majority of new jobs in the next thirty years are going to be in fast food, call centers, and other low-paying, low-responsibility service industries where the last thing management wants are employees who think for themselves.  Is it good for "society" to give that management what it wants?  That kind of depends on what you envision "society" as being, or what you think it SHOULD be.

          •  Exactly, consider this a virtual rec +100. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            43north

            Especially this part:

            "but to deliberately wean them away from their personal ties and families into an individualistic Brave New World of service to industry, consumerism, and mass marketing -- a world where the bonds of family, community, and extended but real relationship were deliberately severed so as to REDUCE individuals to powerless statistical averages and nonentities dependent on government and industry rather than the resilient network of friends, family, and community."

            And this is what we've become:

            I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.

            -cut-

            You will remain among men, but you will be deprived of the rights of mankind. Your fellow creatures will shun you like an impure being; and even those who believe in your innocence will abandon you, lest they should be shunned in their turn. Go in peace! I have given you your life, but it is an existence worse than death."

            ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 02:24:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Sameness and Connection are different things (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ManhattanMan, Treetrunk, sawgrass727

          You are equating "lack of diversity" with "community," and conflating "learning outside of school" with "isolation."

          While there are some common things all children should be exposed to (literature, writing, arithmetic, history, etc.), nothing about that is prerequisite for forming community bonds. In fact, our homeschooled children know more people in our community than their traditionally schooled peers, and are more comfortable working together with a wide variety of community members on community scale projects because that's how they spend their time. In their minds, adults are not authority figures to be either avoided or obeyed, they are co-members of the community. Ditto for other children - of any age. They don't feel the need to shun younger children or adulate older children. They don't feel the need to dress a certain way to gain the approval of the "in" kids. Nor do they feel the need to join cliques. They take great joy in their community activities, whether it's sports, drama, community service events, political meetings, and they do so while considering themselves equals with the others there, rather than as "lessers" or "other."

          We constantly receive feedback about what helpful, polite, friendly, and self-assured children they are from the people they work with on various community endeavors. They have lots of friends of a variety of ages, and are very engaged and connected.

          You are envisioning a type of homeschooler that seems only to exist in the imaginations of people who don't actually spend any time with homeschoolers. Heck, even the religious fundamentalist homeschoolers we know involve their children in the community far more than most of their public school peers.

        •  I agreed upto this point. (0+ / 0-)

          I believed that children were not our own to do with what we pleased.

          You're denying the very foundation this nation was created to protect, freedom of choice.

          The esoteric beliefs you hold in regards to "surviving as a species" leaves me wondering why you believe my existence must be defined by society?

          Shouldn't I be able to decide this?

          And I say this as the transgendered woman I have always been.

          “Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannise but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
          ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 02:13:24 AM PST

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    •  I couldn't agree more! nt (0+ / 0-)

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 08:58:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  prosecution or persecution (0+ / 0-)

      it would not surprise me in the least to hear that they also charge homeless parents who do not see to the education of their children. Perhaps we should just reopen the violent and victimizing poor farms, the frightening asylums and the foster home facilities where apparently well-meaning old maids would steal children from their homeless parents and put them up for private $$$$$ adoption.  

      Ever feel like maybe the street corner prophets who preach about the end of the World are really on to something?

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