Monday, January 26, 2004

A Positive Report on Homeschooling...

Thanks to World Magazine's Blog for a link to an AP story on homeschooling. In Colleges Noticing Home Schooled Students we see a report on how the misunderstood students of homeschools are now being admitted to mainstream universities. Regarding homeschooled students the article states, "Such young people have grown up academically with a greater emphasis on learning - rather than testing - compared with conventionally educated students." Examples of homeschooled students in a college environment dispel the myth that they have poor social skills. Holly Porter, homeschooled from K-12 and now at the University of Denver, argues that it was the conventionally educated students that had a difficult time adjusting to the new environment of the university. She states, "It was kind of a shock, I had been given a lot of independence and a lot of freedom inside my parent's home. And I kind of got the feeling that there were all these girls that had never been away from their families before and they just went hog wild." What is interesting are the comments generated on World Magazine's Blog site. There was a question from a prospective homeschool parent on the pros and cons involved with such a venture. Here is one response from a homeschooled student: "Mr. Steve H, as a homeschool senior looking back and looking around me, I encourage you to homeschool your children. Mr. Perry’s advice is right on. Being read to by both Dad and Mom, well, really ever since I can remember, has led me to a joy of reading that enables me to learn from a book. Partly because of this I can concur with the idea that homeschoolers, "have grown up academically with a greater emphasis on learning - rather than testing - compared with conventionally educated students." The other reason that I can concur with this is because around 7th or 8th grade I began literally to teach my self (though with more sufficiency in some subjects than others). Mom became more of a goal setter than a teacher. I don’t think that that can happen, at least to that degree, in public school. To Mr. Perry’s advice to “love your wife and your kids” may I add love God. I never really thought about it until now, but I always saw homeschooling as something that God wanted my family to do. It was an extension of my parents commitment to God. As I look back, I’m very thankful for that. Some bring up the question, “Well what about a social life?” Being around your family so much teaches the things that are necessary to have a “good” social life - forgiveness, self-control, tact, wisdom, patients. Besides that, you can be involved in sports, church, homeschool groups etc. It’s not like you live in a monastery! If I could have chosen whether or not to homeschool I would have chosen the possibility of being socially deficient to having to face what kids in public school face every day now. At times I wonder how they can learn at all having to deal with what they do. Speaking about what public school children face, probably the best advantage of homeschooling is the spiritual one. These years at home provide a wonderful time to instill in your children a biblical, godly wordview. You get to shape their minds Christward instead of state filling their minds with garbage and the world squeezing it into it’s mold. It’s a wonderful opportunity that should not be missed. In brief, homeschooling is a great idea because you have no need of worrying about a social life, and have the benefits of great academic possibilities and a wonderful spiritual advantage. Only one word of caution Mr. Steve H - it’ll be an adventure with downs and better ups that you’ll never forget!" Let the gist of that comment be encouragement for all homeschool parents out there.

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