Friday, July 14, 2006

Rants, Raves and Comments - part 1

We recently had someone post an anti-homeschool rant on our blog. It was a response, in part, to two comments left by Joel Turtel. The rant was full of emotion, but no facts.

Usually, someone will respond in this way if they are frightened by something they don't understand. I imagine there are many people who don't post messages that share the same attitudes based on no information or prejudice.

So here are the facts in response to the first comment.

JEANNE said...
Don't come to Florida homeschoolers!!!! We have the Florida Comprehansive Assessment Test, ALONG WITH THE other REQ. TESTS.


Fact: Homeschoolers score very well on standardize testing.

From Education Policy Analysis Archives, Volume 7 Number 8 March 23, 1999
(ISSN 1068-2341 )

"....the median scores for home school students are well above their public/private school counterparts in every subject and in every grade. The corresponding percentiles range from the 62nd to the 91st percentile; most percentiles are between the 75th and the 85th percentile."

".....In every area and every grade, the median scores for home school students exceed the median scores of students enrolled in Catholic/Private schools."

"...students who are home schooled for their entire academic life do better than students who have been home schooled for only a few years."

I am very ANTI HOMESCHOOL. IT IS "i WON'T PAY TAXES, I am not going to get my child in a class that is color diverse, I don't want to help the local school districts, I am more holy or more Catholic than the Pope" attitude.


Fact: Homeschoolers pay the same taxes as families who send their children to public school.

Homeschoolers and families who send their children to private school pay the cost of their children's education, as well as paying for the education of other people's children. Tax money from these families supports the local school district. By educating their own children, they are helping to decrease over-crowding.

Fact: Parents are motived to homeschool for a wide variety of reasons.

From the National Center for Educational Statistics, the most common reasons to homeschool are (a) can give child a better education at home (79.5%), (b) religious reasons (76.7%), (c) teach child particular values, beliefs, and worldview (73.5), (d) to develop character/morality (69.2%), (e) object to what school teaches (61.7%), and (f) poor learning environment at school (56.1%).

Fact: People resort to name calling and personal attacks when a difference of opinion is based on an emotional response, not fact. It is a technique used to avoid looking at information that could be psychologically painful or that reminds the individual of an unpleasant truth.

For more see Rants, Raves and Comments - part 2

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Karen said...

Janine, you rock!

christinemm said...


Love the part where the comment leaver thinks we HSers don't pay taxes, LOL!!

Some people in my own town also tell me they assumed that we did get some kind of tax break or a state tax break and also that the school staff was consulting with us and helping guide us (not) and also they thought either the school in town or the state Dept of Ed GIVES us books and curriculum. Not.

Yes, people resort to name calling when they have nothing else to say.

Off to read parts 2 and 3 now...

BTW I was so annoyed by a rude and stupid comment left on my blog this week that I wouldn't publish it, it was the first time I ever did that.

Janine Cate said...

That's too bad. I think we've only removed one or two comments (besides spam).

Alasandra said...

Thanks for making linking to your post so easy.

Janine you did a great job responding to the negative comments.

The Thinking Southerner said...

I homeschooled in Florida quite happily for years.

Until we moved back to South Carolina because most of the people we met while living in the Tampa Bay area were nowhere near as friendly, community-oriented, and thoughtful as those back home. :-)

kanagawa said...

Citing the EPAA study is interesting, but I wonder if it's misleading. The median scores are high for the general population, but home-schooled children don't represent the general population, so making that comparison isn't fair. To be fair, home schooled children would have to be compared against a "cohort" that controlled for all variables except the home-schooling part. The EPAA study doesn't do that.

Home-schooled children are more than twice as likely to have parents with college degrees. And, they are nearly twice as likely to come from homes with higher than average earnings.

So, shouldn't we _expect_ them to score better, even if the quality of education is not as good? Because, you know. They're probably just smarter kids to begin with.

I'm not saying that your point isn't correct, the study does point out that the mean performance of home schooled children whose parents _do not_ have college degrees is still better than the overall averages.

However, it's possible that the reasons home-schooling works so well have little to do with the "home" part and more to do with the "schooling" part.

Anyways, the data is interesting.

Janine Cate said...


I think you are correct that homeschool kids often have well educated parents.

I think the most telling comparison is not in test scores, but in life style choices.

The dramatically lower incidents of binge drinking is a good example of this.