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Showing posts with label rebuttals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rebuttals. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An answer to Greg Landry's critiques of homeschoolers

The following article had been passed around homeschool blogs and email groups since August:

(reprint is allowed as long as article if copied in entirety)


College Professor Critiques Homeschoolers
copyright 2009 by Greg Landry, M.S.


I teach sophomore through senior level college
students - most of them are "pre-professional"
students. They are preparing to go to medical
school, dental school, physical therapy school,
etc.

As a generalization, I've noticed certain
characteristics common in my students who were
homeschooled. Some of these are desirable,
some not.

Desirable characteristics:

1. They are independent learners and do a great
job of taking initiative and being responsible
for learning. They don't have to be "spoon fed"
as many students do. This gives them an advantage
at two specific points in their education;
early in college and in graduate education.

2. They handle classroom social situations
(interactions with their peers and professors)
very well. In general, my homeschooled students
are a pleasure to have in class. They greet me
when the enter the class, initiate conversations
when appropriate, and they don't hesitate to
ask good questions. Most of my students do
none of these.

3. They are serious about their education and
that's very obvious in their attitude, preparedness,
and grades.

Areas where homeschooled students can improve:

1. They come to college less prepared in the
sciences than their schooled counterparts -
sometimes far less prepared. This can be
especially troublesome for pre-professional
students who need to maintain a high grade
point average from the very beginning.

2. They come to college without sufficient
test-taking experience, particularly with
timed tests. Many homeschooled students have a
high level of anxiety when it comes to taking
timed tests.

3. Many homeschooled students have problems
meeting deadlines and have to adjust to that in
college. That adjustment time in their freshman
year can be costly in terms of the way it affects
their grades.

My advice to homeschooling parents:

1. If your child is even possibly college
bound and interested in the sciences, make
sure that they have a solid foundation of
science in the high school years.

2. Begin giving timed tests by 7th or 8th grade.
I'm referring to all tests that students take, not
just national, standardized tests.

I think it is a disservice to not give students
timed tests. They tend to focus better and score
higher on timed tests, and, they are far better
prepared for college and graduate education if
they've taken timed tests throughout the high
school years.

In the earlier years the timed tests should allow
ample time to complete the test as long as the
student is working steadily. The objective is for
them to know it's timed yet not to feel a time
pressure. This helps students to be comfortable
taking timed tests and develops confidence in
their test-taking abilities.

3. Give your students real deadlines to meet in
the high school years. If it's difficult for students
to meet these deadlines because they're
coming from mom or dad, have them take
"outside" classes; online, co-op, or community
college.
_______________________________

Greg Landry is a 14 year veteran homeschool dad
and college professor. He also teaches one and
two semester online science classes, and offers
free 45 minute online seminars..
http://www.HomeschoolScienceAcademy.com
© 2009 Greg Landry, M.S.

While I  do agree somewhat with the pros AND cons of the article, I am troubled by anyone who creates a sense of security only to offer that solution.  The fact that Mr. Landry is offering online science classes while warning us that homeschoolers are ill-equipped is a bit of a conflict of interest.  For this reason I tend to take the whole article with a grain of salt.

That said, let's explore the issues a little closer: 

"They come to college less prepared in the sciences than their schooled counterparts - sometimes far less prepared. This can be especially troublesome for pre-professional students who need to maintain a high grade
point average from the very beginning."

This is not true across the board.  However, for those of use who only teach  creation science, there can be a bit of a handicap.  It might be better to teach that "while we believe in creation science, this is what the scientific world believes..."  This way students can better understand science they are expected to know for college.


"They come to college without sufficient test-taking experience, particularly with timed tests. Many homeschooled students have a high level of anxiety when it comes to taking timed tests."
This is also not true across the board.  I, myself have a great test taker, and a poor test taker.  The poor test taker is probably a more gifted learner, but testing causes anxiety.  He had the same issue in public school.  I wonder if children who are poor test takers end up homeschooling more often because the school model does not work for them?  Meanwhile, the occasional timed test won't hurt in eliminating anxiety later in life.

"Many homeschooled students have problems meeting deadlines and have to adjust to that in college. That adjustment time in their freshman year can be costly in terms of the way it affects their grades."

Ok... so he hit this one on the nose! Whenever I assign a project to my kids, they take it less seriously than when a "teacher" assigns it.  To eliminate this issue later on, I have them take some classes outside of home so they will learn to deal with the expectations and deadlines of various instructors.
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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Why I wouldn't Use Scholastic for Homeschooling

I noticed some time ago that the Scholastic website had featured articles with homeschooling advice. I found this advice cursory at best as a way to make homeschoolers, who were also their clients, feel a little warm and fuzzy.

Today I came across and article that cemented my feelings about the level on insincerity of Scholastic's dedication to homeschoolers. I find the article Why Homeschooling Isn't Right for Us by Carole Moore just as surface and insincere as many of their other articles like 8 Steps to homeschooling which includes watching for common pitfalls like lack of socialization for parents and kids.

I could go on, but you get the point.... you won't catch me purchasing homeschooling materials from a company that doesn't respect homeschooling enough to write articles that lack any depth at all and continues to perpetuate stereotypes about homeschooling.

Read more Notes From a Homeschooling Mom

Visit Free Home Ed. Homeschool For Free!

Friday, January 04, 2008

It is Ignorant to Assume Homeschoolers don't Socialize

When are people going to stop beating that dead horse.


A homeschooler not socializing with other homeschoolers, neighborhood friends, relatives, church friends, friends at sports events is as unnatural as:

bees not buzzing
fish not swimming
dogs not barking
teens not kissing.

Do you get the point yet. Homeschoolers have lives too!

Right n ow my 13 year oldson is at a party from which I will pick him up in the morning... and no, it is not church sponsored!... oh, and there are girls there (who will sleep at another house).

I drive my kids around so much I am thinking about putting a taxi meter in my car... but then I'd have to raise their allowance so they could pay me.

The only real difference between homeschoolers and non homeschoolers is that we teach our own kids, or facilitate our own kids education.

UGH... I don't know why I bother... I am probably just preaching to the choir again.

What set me off today. Unofficial (Evil) homeschool (anti-society) networks (subversion groups)

Read more Notes From a Homeschooling Mom

Visit Free Home Ed. Homeschool For Free!

Monday, December 31, 2007

What is the Problem with Being a Christian Homeschooler?

What's the problem with being a Christian Homeschooler? I asked this question in an article that was recently published on Associated Content.

I should have known better. People don't necessarily mind Christians... homeschoolers only scare a select few, but to homeschool your child as a Christian, well that's just crazy. Here is the response I got, and there are sure to be plenty more:

The problem is that many, if not most, Christian homeschoolers do so in order to
indoctrinate their children, to brainwash them with their distorted world view.
This often includes devaluing scientific fact, such as evolution, in favor of
the Creationist fairytale. The children often become socially awkward at best,
mentally ill at worst. While there is nothing wrong with homeschooling your
children, in many cases it actually borders on child abuse. Children are not
born Christian, they're born to Christian parents, and they should not be
indoctrinated with myth and superstition.

I mean how do you answer amateur namecalling like "Creationist fairytales", "mentally ill", and "child abusers". There was nothing intelligent about his tyrannical rant. This person has got to be about as crazy as he thinks we are. How dare I teach my children my beliefs!.. For some reason it seems that any other religion can freely teach thier kids and are respected, but lately it seem that Christians are under fire.

I guess it is a good think that my kids don't have to deal with this attitude in school.

Read more Notes From a Homeschooling Mom

Visit Free Home Ed. Homeschool For Free!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In defense of the homeschool blog

I read what must have been the longest blog post ever, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Timothy Power of Sometimes I am Actually Coherent laid some ground rules for commenting on his blog.

It seems his family members got under his skin, and into his blog and wreaked havoc in the comments section. I think this is why my family members don't know much about my blogs. If they did, where would I complain when they got on my nerves?!

Anyway, in setting his ground rules, he also manages to relay his respect for teachers and demands respect for his decision to blog his own kids.

I would have left a comment, but apparently he has had enough for now, and shut off comments for that post.

In the end, what his post relayed to me the most is that in homeschooling, no one is trying to take anything away from public schools, and in homeschooling blogging, no one is trying to shame public schools. We, the homeschool bloggers are here to share with other homeschoolers and support those who choose to do the same. Period.



Read more Notes From a Homeschooling Mom


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Homeschoolers: Well intentioned Amateurs

In response to NEA Article http://www.nea.org/espcolumns/dv040220.html



Sticks and Stones

A recent NEA article ridicules homeschooling and calls us wannabees and well meaning amateurs.

Here is an excerpt:

Home Schools Run By Well-Meaning Amateurs
Schools With Good Teachers Are Best-Suited to Shape Young Minds
By Dave Arnold

There's nothing like having the right person with the right experience, skills and tools to accomplish a specific task. Certain jobs are best left to the pros, such as, formal education.


There are few homeowners who can tackle every aspect of home repair. A few of us might know carpentry, plumbing and, let’s say, cementing. Others may know about electrical work, tiling and roofing. But hardly anyone can do it all.

Same goes for cars. Not many people have the skills and knowledge to perform all repairs on the family car. Even if they do, they probably don’t own the proper tools. Heck, some people have their hands full just knowing how to drive.


you can read the rest here is you feel so inclined.

All I really want to say in response to this ridiculous diatribe is sticks and stone may break my bones... but words.. they'll never hurt me.

Seriously, any homeschooler worth their weight in salt knows when they are capable of teaching a subject themselves and when to look for outside resources.

If you want a cute analogy like the writer supplied... we all know when to brush our teeth, and when to take go to the dentist for a root canal. We're not idiots. Few homeschooling families attempts all subjects at home.

You know and I know that teaching really isn't as hard as it looks. Now teaching 30 kids... I would equate to walking through hell in gasoline underwear, but teaching 1,2, or 10 kids that you know intimately, well, that's much easier.

Oh, and socialization... fuggedaboutit! It's a crock.

What people like Mr. Arnold needs to realize is that comparing teachers to homeschooling moms, or school to homeschooling is like comparing apples to carrots.

Both are nutritional. One just makes it allot easier to get a child to swallow.