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Are Homeschoolers Socialized?

Are Homeschoolers Socialized?

“One of the most persistent criticisms of home-schooling is the accusation that home-schoolers will not be able to fully participate in society because they lack ‘socialization’,” began an article in the Washington Times. I’ve had the privilege of attending public schools, and participating in homeschooling. I even did both at the same time for many years. Have I only been half as well socialized as I could have been? – Indeed, “socialization” is often the biggest concern cited by those unwilling to homeschool their children. Is there good solid evidence for believing your child will end up unable to cope with our complex society as a result of receiving his or her education at home? – – First off, what exactly IS socialization? Here are a few definitions:  – The modification from infancy of an individual’s behavior to conform with the demands of social life. A continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position. The act or process of making socialistic. – It sounds to me like the first two definitions are what most people are concerned with when they throw out the word, socialization. – I sure hope they don’t mean the third definition, although that is quite possible, seeing as the public education system was founded by socialists. (See Weapons of Mass Instruction, John Taylor Gatto) – In general, those who fear un-socialization from home-schooling, or use this fear as an argument against the model, are using the word in the sense that—by home-schooling—your children will not be well adapted to... read more
3 Reasons Why Boys Should NOT Play Football

3 Reasons Why Boys Should NOT Play Football

“Gentlemen, it is better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football.” – John Heisman –Last week I wrote about the 6 reasons boys should playfootball; however, there are reasons NOT to play football as well. – 1. Time Commitment:  – In my post last week, I listed the heavy time commitment football requires as a positive, but it is a double-edged sword. –  While the time football requires can teach one to work hard and commit to something difficult, it does chew-up a lot of time that could be put elsewhere. There were many times where football interfered with my family’s schedule, and I wasn’t able to be home for dinner. Practices were supposed to go from 3:00pm to 6:00pm during the school year, but sometimes they ran longer, which also disrupted our family.  – I was also unable to travel with my family during the summer because I had football camps or two-a-day practices. I had to stay behind. Family time and togetherness is something that is very important to my family, and it seemed that football would often interfere with that pursuit. – The great Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” I think there is a lot of truth to this statement. We should strive to always win. Even if your team doesn’t end up with the most points at the end, you should always put forth a winning effort. On the other hand, there is a downside to this attitude, and so often football (or other things) get elevated above the more important things in life. –  The... read more

6 Reasons Why Boys Should Play Football

Ronald Reagan, “Going to college offered me the chance to play football for four more years.” –  There seems to be an idea among some Christian homeschoolers that sports are bad, silly, or simply a waste of time. – I’ve even detected an attitude of haughty condescension at times, and the idea that, “I may not be athletic, but at least I’m not a dumb meathead and I have all ‘A’s.”  – I can certainly understand this, “geeks will inherit the earth,” sort of perspective. It’s a natural backlash to our culture’s unhealthy obsession with sports, and indeed, there are a lot of negatives that have arisen out of the sports culture. But are sports themselves, bad? Are sports to be avoided by Christians? – I played football for 11 years, basketball for 7, soccer for several, and lacrosse for 1. Sports have been more a part of my life than writing, or homeschooling even. In fact, I voluntarily attended public school so I could play sports, and if you know anything about me or have read my blog, you know my opinion of public school is less than stellar.  – This is not a, “Confessions of a Christian-homeschooler-sent-to-public-school-athlete,” article, which means I’m either stupid, crazy, a hypocrite, or maybe there was something about playing sports that justified my attendance at public school. –  I believe my participation in so many different sports and for such a long period of time gives me a perspective that many who have never played sports, don’t have. From the outside, sports can look pretty bad. Many athletes tote around gigantic egos, men... read more

Time Wasted In School Part 4: The Core Classes

In part 1 of this series, I examined all of the time spent outside of class during the 7 total hours in the school building. Part 2 showed how no time is spent teaching during study halls. Part 3 described the wasteful nature of electives. In part 4, we will be moving on into the core classes. Surely less time is wasted in such important classes as Math, English, Science, History, and foreign language. It’s harder to actually assess how much time was wasted in these classes, as it would fluctuate depending on teacher and time of year. However, in pretty much every class I’ve been in, only about half the class is actually spent on actual instruction. What I’ve learned about teachers, is they like to talk. I may have had to teach myself most of Honors Algebra II, but I did learn a lot about my teacher’s personal life and personal opinions on social issues. For example, she once expressed her opinion that she didn’t think it right that the woman should always have to take her husband’s last name when married. This led to class time being consumed with debate on a social issue, not mathematics. Debate is nice, but not when you’re paying a lot of taxes to be taught Math. What was especially frustrating was when we would get to the end of the class time and the teacher hadn’t finished teaching all the material. She would blame us for being too talkative, and then just tell us to figure out the rest of the material for ourselves and do the homework (homeschooling).  There... read more

Time Wasted In School Part 3: Electives

Now that we’ve cut away all the trimmings of public school, we can now get to the meat—the actual classes. In public school, you have the four core classes: Math, English, Science, and History. On top of these four, a foreign language—usually Spanish—is often taken, along with two other electives. I usually avoided electives, as they were deemed too wasteful by my parents and me; however, there were a few electives that we thought would be beneficial, such as Public Speaking and ACT/SAT prep. Looking back, I didn’t receive much benefit from these classes, and there was a lot of time wasted. In fact, the reason many of my peers gave for taking these two classes was that they were looking for easy electives which required little attention and came with a light homework load. In the whole semester I took Public speaking, I only had to give three real speeches. There were a total of five “speeches,” but I don’t count the other two. One speech involved reading a children’s book aloud to the class, which, in addition to making me feel pretty foolish for reading such a book to a bunch of teenagers, didn’t seem like public speaking to me. I already knew how to read a children’s book. I wanted to learn public speaking, you know, like standing up and having to give a speech in front of a lot of people. The other speech I didn’t count was our end-of-the-year project, where we had to give a “how-to” speech with a partner. I ended up showing how to make and decorate a gingerbread house since... read more

Time Wasted In School Part 2: Homeschooling At School?

Continuing on from part 1, we have homerooms and study halls at public school. Homerooms are where students check in and get their attendance marked off. They also receive any important announcements here—such as schedule changes. Homerooms are roughly 15 minutes long. No educational learning takes place. Also, everyone usually has at least one study hall in their schedule, and many have two. Now, as the name indicates, a study hall is supposed to be a time where—instead of having another class—you spend the entire period studying, or working on homework. This is not what happens, typically. From personal observation, what takes place in study hall in order of frequency is as follows: Chatting with peers Playing free online computer games (in my day “Crush the Castle” and “Run ‘N Gun” were all the rage) Texting and/or doing whatever it is people do on their smart phones Flirting Homework So depending on what kind of student you are, what your priorities are, and whether or not you even have any homework to work on…study hall can be either completely unproductive, or a helpful way to get your homework out of the way. However, since I’m only counting the time spent being instructed, study hall doesn’t count. Any learning that does take place during study hall is accomplished by the student and by the student alone. They are reading the text book and figuring the problems out on their own. Study hall becomes homeschooling at that point, since the student is not being instructed by a teacher in a classroom, but by a book and their own mind—homeschooling. Like I... read more

Time Wasted In School Part 1: Outside of Class

It’s a common fear I’ve heard expressed among those who homeschool: too much time is wasted, or more specifically, “Are we doing as much as the public schooled kids are doing?” I’m not going to juxtapose these two different modes of education in this post; however, I will give an account of my experience in the public schools in regards to how and where time is spent to illustrate just how much time is wasted in our government-provided education institutions. I can’t speak for everyone’s experience in public school, all I can speak on is my own experience in the schools I was in. Now, just what kind of public schools did I attend? According to Newsweek, all three of the high schools in my school district—including the one I attended— are considered to be among the best high schools in the country. As the school district’s website says, “The district has received the State of Ohio’s highest possible rating, Excellent with Distinction, for nine consecutive years, bolstering its statewide reputation for academic and extracurricular excellence.” I attended the public elementary, middle, and high schools in this top school district. You would be hard-pressed to find better schools in the country. So if there is any public school standard you want to compare your homeschooling with, I would say you can’t go wrong with my school district.   And yet, as “perfect” as these schools are, the amount of time wasted is unbelievable. With this post, I decided I wanted to add up the time spent in school each day, and subtract from that total all the time wasted... read more

College Advice From My Neighbor

Last week, after finishing school for the day at my grandparents’ house (where it’s quieter), I prepared to head home. I went into my grandparents’ garage to retrieve my bike, and I ran into my grandpa talking to the neighbor from across the street. They were both standing in the driveway, and I said “hi” hoping to avoid a conversation as I needed to get home to help make dinner. My hopes were dashed. “So is this the new library or what?” my friendly neighbor asked. “I guess you could say that.” I answered. He burst out laughing. Then, the inevitable question came. “So where are you going to college?” Great. I thought, not thinking it very great at all. “Well I’m sorta doing college on my own.” More laughter, and my neighbor turned to my grandpa and asked, “Whose idea was this? “Not mine,” my grandpa answered, no doubt just as confused as to why I hadn’t bugged out of town yet. “I’m studying for what are called CLEP tests, where you study for a test in order to test-out of certain college classes.” A look that was a mix of curiosity and surprise came over my neighbor’s face. “Okay, testing out of classes.” “Yeah, to save time and money, and then next year I’ll probably end up going to Ohio State or somewhere,” I continued. Trying to explain my counter-cultural approach to the point in life where you either go to college or people think you’re a loser. “Do you know what you’ll major in?” my neighbor asked, obviously puzzled-by and interested-in my strangeness. “No, I don’t... read more

A Little Banged Up

Football is a violent sport, and that’s the way it should be. I’ve played football for the past 11 years, and now I’m done. Over the course of my playing career, I’ve picked up my share of nicks, bumps, and bruises. Contusions were in abundance, and I was usually bleeding from somewhere by the time a game was over. It was great. (No, I didn’t get hurt on this play. It was most exhilarating!) This past year, though, I picked up some more severe hurts and injuries. In fact, this past year was the first time I’d ever been injured in a game, and it was a doozy. But it was totally worth it!So, to get an idea of what football can do to you, here are a few pictures of some of my more…severe injuries. (Warning. This isn’t pretty.) Okay, I’ll start off with something neutral. This isn’t so bad, just a big bruise on my arm (and a faint scar). The scar came when I got sliced with a facemask, and the bruise came from the same facemask. Didn’t really feel much. Pretty shade of purple wouldn’t you say?  (another view) Okay, this next one will be a little more gruesome, but still not too bad… Here, I got the tip of my ring finger sliced off. The culprit: another darn facemask. Haha! The finger itself also got jammed, so it swelled up and went a little purple. I don’t know exactly how this one happened. I went to block a guy, and somehow my finger lodged in his facemask, and the tip got cut off. I was... read more