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Yes, My Grown Homeschooled Children Are Odd — And Yours Will Be Too!

Yes, My Grown Homeschooled Children Are Odd — And Yours Will Be Too!I am sick and tired of defending homeschooling from the question, “What about socialization?” Members of the modern homeschool movement have insisted for thirty years that homeschooled children are well-socialized. We laughingly refer to socialization as the “S word.” We deflect the socialization question by insisting it’s a myth. And yet, it persists.

We trounced the academic argument long ago. Very few people challenge the notion that homeschoolers are intellectually curious, self-directed learners who match or exceed the academic prowess of their school-going peers. So, why do you think we can’t shake the socialization issue?

I’ll tell you what I think. The truth is, homeschoolers are not well-socialized.

There. I’ve said it. Someone had to.

I say this with the greatest respect and affection for the homeschooled or unschooled. Nevertheless, in my experience, homeschoolers deviate from the norm. They are not well-socialized in the traditional school sense. They are odd ducks swimming in a big, standardized social pool. They stand out from the crowd, and a trained eye can spot them a mile away.

Now, please understand that for years I’ve been a champion for homeschooling and have countered the socialization argument with rational explanations and practical examples of how homeschoolers are well-socialized. You know the drill:

  • Homeschool parents model appropriate social behavior and teach their children how to interact and get along with others.
  • Homeschoolers interact and play with other children and students through homeschool support groups at Park Days, in co-op classes, and on field trips, etc.
  • Homeschooled children participate in (and win!) math olympiads, spelling bees, geography bees, science competitions, and debate teams.
  • Homeschoolers join choirs, orchestras, book clubs, athletic events, and they even go to homeschool proms!
  • Homeschoolers take classes and compete academically in community college, adult education programs, museum events, online forums, summer school, and at camps, etc.
  • Homeschoolers participate in community activities such as Scouts, 4-H, Little League, Pop Warner Football, AYSO soccer, theater classes, martial arts classes, dance classes, etc.
  • Homeschoolers volunteer in the community.
  • Homeschoolers play with neighborhood kids from both public and private schools.

I’ve also pointed out the advantage homeschoolers have because instead of being socialized by interacting with the same 30 children in a classroom, who are the exact same age, on the exact same academic track, from the same geographic and socio-economic area — homeschoolers get to interact with people of varying ages, abilities, ethnicities, and socio-economic diversity on a day-to-day basis in the real world.

Click here to read more…

Heads Up, California Voters!

A Vote for Leonard Martin is a Vote Against Homeschooling!
 
On June 8th, California voters will elect a new Superintendent of Public Instruction.
 
Michelle Huelle, the San Bernardino County Contact for the California Homeschool Network (CHN) sent a query letter to all of the candidates asking for their position on homeschooling. She is posting the candidates’ responses on CHN’s Yahoo List. Michelle provided permission for people to reprint/repost the responses
she has received. (I’ve posted them below.)
 
One candidate, Leonard Martin, is OPPOSED to homeschooling and stands out as SERIOUSLY IGNORANT about it. His INSULTING RESPONSE was among those she received. Here it is… 

Home schooling’s appropriate for children who have special difficulties that make it impossible for them to participate in traditional schooling. But under California law, a parent has the right to home school provided the parent is qualified to offer instruction.

Personally, I believe nearly all kids would benefit more from being in traditional schools. Many parents home school for religious reasons, because they still hold outdated views on race or ethnicity, or for what they consider to be moral reasons. 

Since we have provisions for students to attend a school outside of their local community when there are legitimate reasons to do so, home schooling as an alternative to “unsafe” campuses is hardly a legitimate alternative. For the most part – overwhelmingly – the public schools of California are not only safe but are providing a high quality education. Yucca Valley should be no exception. If it is, as Superintendent I would like to hear the complaints.

There has also been a tremendous amount of fraud connected with home schooling. Corporate organizations have sprung up to drain precious taxpayer dollars from the state budget to “supervise” home schooling.  That has been to the detriment of those children, who by necessity, must be home schooled.

My advice? Send the kids to a traditional public school.

http://leonardmartin.us/wordpress/
http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=353608
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/17/BA1J1DF1CR.DTL

FaceBook Profile:
http://www.facebook.com/

Best Regards,
Leonard J. Martin
 
Home (661) 297-4815
Cell (661) 400-0059

 

Another Homeschool mom caught wind of Martin’s response and blogged about it.   http://enchantedmusing.wordpress.com/  She decided to contact him and offered to provide more information about homeschooling.
 
Here is his response:

I did not expect any home schooler to be satisfied with my response. Nor will I  change it to appeal to the thousands of home schoolers who are voters. If this election were in the 1950s I would have received a question from someone representing tens of thousands of parents who opposed the racial integration of  our public schools.  They would have been looking for a candidate who  agreed with them. 

My response would have turned them off and they would  have urged me to read all the arguments in favor of segregation.  I know  those arguments, as I know the arguments for home schooling. Now, I’m not equating home schoolers with segregationists, but the situation is the  same.  As I would not edit my response to the segregationists to win their votes, I will not shape my response to home schoolers to seek their votes  either.

I explained before that there are legitimate reasons for home schooling. If you meet those conditions, I fully support home schooling.  But that is not why most home schoolers engage in it.  And while they have a legal right to do so, I do not support home schooling in those situations.

Best Regards,
Leonard J. Martin

I was astonished by his reply! Since the candidate provided his phone number, my husband decided to call him today, May 24th. Martin answered the phone. My husband identified himself, explained that he is a CA voter, and told the candidate that he’s misinformed on homeschooling and will not be voting for him. Mr Martin was confused and wondered how we had gotten his number. He didn’t seem to understand what a firestorm his comments will ignite among California homeschoolers.

Some of you may not remember California’s position on homeschooling under Delaine Eastin’s watch – but that’s a time I wouldn’t care to revisit. Jack O’Connell was a welcome change. A vote for Leonard Martin is a vote against homeschooling.

This is an important election – I hope everyone gets out there and votes to support homeschooling!

Here are the other candidates positions on homeschooling:

________________________________

Karen Blake “I fully support home schooling.” 5/20/2010

________________________________

“I believe home schooling is the right of a parent. I believe some parents do the job well, while others do not. If you chose to home school your children through the K-12 years or to only do it through a certain
grade level, I hope you do the job well enough to allow your children to continue their education and work well with other members of the community with whom they will be associating.”

Grant McMicken
Candidate for SSPI
(916) 792-5970

________________________________

From Henry Williams Jr.
Hi Michelle,

My wife and I homeschooled in the Bay Area for 12 years. We intimately understand why parents homeschool their children. I will see to it that homeschoolers are protected while in office.

Sending you an attachment so you have a better idea of our campaign. Take time to view the links too.

Thanks for asking–
Henry

 ________________________________

 

Dear Ms. Huelle,

I support and encourage families who privately homeschool their children. As long as the parent(s) have sufficient education, they should be left alone by government to teach their own children. If anything, government could and should do more to support homeschooling parents in their efforts, by providing teaching materials and other educational support requested by parents in order to be the best homeschoolers they can be! If elected I will educate myself to learn as much as I can about the homeschooling movement and the laws pertaining to it in California.

Thank you for asking me.

Best wishes,
Dan Nusbaum
www.danielnusbaum.com

2010 Vancouver Olympic Games: Free Lessons & Learning

Special Guest Blogger Marie-Claire Moreau

The Vancouver 2010 Olympics are here with a boat-load of teaching opportunities for you and the kids! Coming only once every two years, the Olympic games won’t be here long…you don’t want to miss the learning and fun while it lasts!

Children of all ages can learn by studying the Olympic games.  In fact, adults in the family will enjoy it, too, making it a great family activity all-around.  With the great variety of events and daily television coverage, everyone will find his or her favorite sport, athlete, or country to support.

At a time of year when so many families become bored with the homeschooling routine or antsy for spring to arrive, studying the Olympic games can bring about a welcome change of pace and fresh enthusiasm for daily lessons. From locating countries on a world map or charting scores and medals, to following individual athletes and observing flags, costumes and customs, no other world-wide event brings about so many learning opportunities and fosters such good feelings all at the same time.

Asking yourself how you’ll squeeze Olympics units in with your already existing curriculum? The answer is, don’t do it!  Choose instead to focus on the Olympics for just one subject, one hour, or one day at a time. Studying the Olympics in lieu of any “regular” social studies, geography, or physical education curriculum will allow you to enjoy the events without causing much disruption to the teaching you already do. At times like this, it’s impossible to predict all of the different paths your learning may guide you but, guaranteed, the learning gains out-weigh any other missed lessons, hands-down.

Watching and learning about the Olympics can be distributed across the curriculum in many different ways. There are many outstanding teacher resources already available on the Internet, so don’t bother creating any of your own.  Sit back, start clicking, and find something you think your children will love.  Start with this list of links, and off you go!

Suggested Olympics lesson plans and ideas (note: some of these activities date back to earlier Olympics but they are just as relevant for the 2010 games):

Enjoy the winter games and have a great homeschooling experience all winter long!  Go team USA