Homeschool isn’t the same as school

Michael Jackson's children, Michael "Prince" Joseph and Paris-Michael Katherine, are attending school in L.A. this fall after Prince expressed interest in greater social interaction with other kids after years of homeschooling. Courtesy of MCT

Have you ever asked yourself “How important is an education?” or “How essential it is in a person’s life?” Education is having the ability to obtain everyday knowledge and having the ability to grow towards higher goals.

In today’s society there are two major types of education, public schooling and homeschooling. I believe that public schools provide a student with better education than homeschooling ever could.

Public schools provide qualified teachers, suitable learning facilities and proper social interactions between students.

In order for teachers to teach in California they need to have received a credential, which takes many years of schooling in order to be qualified to work with students.

For parents who chose to homeschool their children, they are only required to have a high school diploma.

One could question if these parents have the knowledge of the material.

Parents feel that they can provide the best education for their children because they know how the child excels and believe that they are able to tend to the child’s needs in a more efficient way.

On the contrary, public schools provide tutors that are on campus to help students with their studies.

Public schools also provide resources for special needs children, giving families access to the proper classes that their children may need.

Homeschools can provide “special needs services, (but if) a student (does) not fit neatly into the system (they) can fall through the cracks,” according to the book “The Unofficial Guide to Homeschooling” by Kathy Ishizuka.

Public schools also provide organizations such as band and sports teams, which teach a student the ability to learn teamwork and how to get along with their peers.

It also provides interaction between teachers and students, providing students with an essential part of communication and experience of how to interact in different situations.

Homeschooled students only interact with their parents and/or siblings that they see on a day to day basis. This does not allow a child to learn and practice social behaviors and cope outside of the home with others their age.

I had the opportunity of knowing a student that was homeschooled until her first year of college and she felt very overwhelmed by all the new experiences.

She said that people did not like her because she was quiet and because she did not know how to interact with other students. This was a difficult change for her and she even struggled in her classes.

She was too shy to ask her professor questions. She said that homeschooling socially dwarfed her for the real world.

I believe that parents who homeschool their children do not know the proper curriculum for teaching.

Public schools have to follow a curriculum, and know the needs of the children. Since education is a very important part of children’s lives, it is best to leave the teaching to the teachers in public schools.

Jacqueline Espinoza contributed to this report

  • ONLINE?

    WHY CAN’T WE JUST GET ALONG?

  • Erica

    It seems this article has stirred up quite the little hornets nest. Honestly, I would like to see how you back up all the “research shows” and according to “statistics” statements– on everyone’s part. A simple .com website clearly does not justify “statistics” or “research” (as used in most comments here). I stumbled upon this article while attempting to do my own research, and have learned basically nothing (no offense intended).
    Obviously, schooling, of any kind, depends greatly on where you are. It will never be the same everywhere and anecdotes testifying and swearing that homeschooling is best or that public school is best are just not good enough.
    So to anyone else who finds this article, looking for answers, please take not of this: Do a lot more research. Answer these questions: where are you? How long will you be there? How big is your family? How much time do you have? How far are you willing to go? And many more, of course (these are just a few to get you started). Don’t be afraid to try out more than one thing. If your children have problems with any one type of schooling, try another and see if it helps. None of your children will be the same. Maybe all of them will be fine with one particular kind… except for one, so help that one find something that works.
    Let us try to keep our wits about us and be a little more open-minded.

  • Regena

    Nearly every statement in this piece contains error, so I’m a little daunted in beginning a response. (Did you see the piece about “mainstreaming” of homeschoolers that just ran nationwide this week, by the way? http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/39342787/ns/today-parenting )

    “Education is having the ability to obtain everyday knowledge and having the ability to grow towards higher goals.”

    Why on earth would you think a parent isn’t the best person to facilitate such an important task for their child? Most humans have been homeschooled for most of recorded history (right through the early part of the 20th century, in most places, and into the 21st, in others)….

    “In today’s society there are two major types of education, public schooling and homeschooling.”

    While I’d love to see homeschooling as one of the two major forms of education today, I’m afraid this is just not true. Private secular schools, charter schools, Christian or other religious schools, boarding schools and a host of other sorts of schooling other than “public” make up a far larger portion of education today than does homeschooling….

    “Public schools provide qualified teachers, suitable learning facilities and proper social interactions between students.”

    Really? You state this as if it’s a foregone conclusion in the majority of public schools within our nation. Sadly, this is just not true and our yearly test scores reflect that clearly. There are few “qualified” math and science teachers within our school systems (where I live, at least); many, many teachers are teaching in areas where they have no expertise whatsoever.

    I’ve seen so very many run down schools in the states where I’ve lived that I can’t imagine you making a valid argument for “suitable” learning facilities.

    And your assertion regarding “proper” social interaction is just laughable given the huge amount of bullying, early sexualization and abuse prevalent within our school system. Really. Just do a google of something like “teacher abuse of students” and see how many hundreds of thousands of hits you get….. Let’s not even talk about randomm shootings and other school wide disruptions….

    “In order for teachers to teach in California they need to have
    received a credential, which takes many years of schooling in order to be qualified to work with students.”

    I’m sorry, but it takes no more years than it takes to get any bachelor’s degree for any other subject, AND the courses offered for teachers in any given subject are not as in depth and difficult, in general, as those offered to those actually majoring in that subject outright (i.e., a science teacher does not take the same courses as a science major, etc.)

    Those who have degrees in a particular field of study, plus perhaps experience in the workplace managing their own work and that of others are probably better equipped to “teach”, at least to a single or a few students, than those equipped with teaching degrees, fresh out of school, with perhaps only an edge in how to manage a crowd….

    “For parents who chose to homeschool their children, they are only required to have a high school diploma.”

    This actually varies from state to state and is quite irrelevant. There are MENSA members who don’t have degrees who still have IQ’s higher than the majority of teachers in the U.S. Why on earth couldn’t they teach if they so desired?

    Teaching is not some sort of alchemist’s trick that can only be accomplished by those with a certain piece of paper (indeed, many who acquire teaching degrees find very quickly that they are not suited at all to teaching, and leave the field). Don’t get me wrong – there are many wonderful teachers in this country, with and without advanced degrees….

    “One could question if these parents have the knowledge of the material.”

    If one can read one’s curriculum, teacher guide, etc. or obtain outside tutoring for subjects in which one does not feel proficient, why on earth would any sort of degree matter?

    “Parents feel that they can provide the best education for their children because they know how the child excels and believe that they are able to tend to the child’s needs in a more efficient way.
    On the contrary, public schools provide tutors that are on campus to help students with their studies.”

    Huh? There are no tutors at our public schools here “on campus” and ready to “help”. In fact, many students can’t even get the help they need from their teachers, imagine that. Who, between a parent and a teacher, might have more incentive to see to it that their child gets the help they need in an immediate way in a particular subject?

    “Public schools also provide resources for special needs children, giving families access to the proper classes that their children may need.

    Homeschools can provide “special needs services, (but if) a student (does) not fit neatly into the system (they) can fall through the cracks,” according to the book “The Unofficial Guide to Homeschooling” by Kathy Ishizuka.”

    I have no idea what this means, sorry! Homeschoolers may obtain services from public schools if they have a special needs child (at least that’s true here). They may also take their children to any sort of counselor, OT, PT, etc. who they deem necessary and appropriate. Schools which are strapped for money and personnel to provide services are much more likely, in my personal experience, to allow children to “fall through the cracks” than a child’s own parents….

    “Public schools also provide organizations such as band and sports teams, which teach a student the ability to learn teamwork and how to get along with their peers.”

    And in many states, homeschoolers are allowed to participate on these. In other states, homeschoolers join other public performance orchestras, choirs, church related groups, club sports of various kinds, etc. You act as if there is no outlet for these things for homeschoolers when there is a plethora of pasttimes from which to choose….

    “It also provides interaction between teachers and students, providing students with an essential part of communication and experience of how to interact in different situations.”

    And students interacting with their parents and other adults within their family, community, etc. does not provide the same thing?

    Homeschoolers are some of the only students I encounter on a regular basis who actually feel comfortable talking to and interacting with babies, toddlers, children of all ages, youth, and adults of all ages – because they do this on a regular, daily basis – rather than being warehoused with 30 other same age individuals – a “peer” group that will never be replicated anywhere else in life, anywhere in the world….

    “Homeschooled students only interact with their parents and/or siblings that they see on a day to day basis. This does not allow a child to learn and practice social behaviors and cope outside of the home with others their age.”

    Wow, this is so erroneous for most homeschoolers that I know that it’s hard to even imagine a response to it!

    Right now, this month, my 12 year old son has an hour meeting on Mondays with his algebra teacher and another student; he has an hour piano lesson with a teacher he loves; on Tuesday, he has a small group class with a native speaker of Spanish; on Wednesday, he works for 90 minutes with a local artist who is wonderful with children (another small group); on Thursday, he has a class with a terrific writing teacher, followed later that day by an hour of group volleyball, an hour long group guitar lesson, and an hour long drama class. We do field trips (mostly with groups) most Fridays. He plays rec soccer. He’s in a LEGO League. He has tons of interactions on a daily/weekly basis with other children of all ages as well as other adults.

    Most kids I know who homeschool do similar things….

    “I had the opportunity of knowing a student that was homeschooled until her first year of college and she felt very overwhelmed by all the new experiences.

    She said that people did not like her because she was quiet and because she did not know how to interact with other students. This was a difficult change for her and she even struggled in her classes.
    She was too shy to ask her professor questions. She said that homeschooling socially dwarfed her for the real world.”

    And I have the opportunity to know my own, older son who homeschooled from second through ninth grade. He went back to a private school because he wanted the “high school experience”. He realized by his senior year what a waste of time it was. He’s at a prestigious university now and is having a blast (hopefully not too much fun – but we’ll see when grades come round)…. He’s participating in college sports and is planning on pledging a fraternity.

    For every single “failure” story you can give me, I can probably give you a hundred “success” stories…. There are “failure” stories from public schools, too – way too many of them, in fact. Have you looked at high school graduation rates nationwide lately, by chance? How about college graduation rates?

    “I believe that parents who homeschool their children do not know the proper curriculum for teaching.”

    Do you have any clue, whatsoever, as to how many curriculums especially designed for homeschoolers there are out there now? There’s so much avaialable that the main problem most have is in deciding WHAT to use out of the many good, sound things that are available….

    “Public schools have to follow a curriculum, and know the needs of the children. Since education is a very important part of children’s lives, it is best to leave the teaching to the teachers in public schools.”

    In case you haven’t noticed, there is NO national curriculum in the United States. Teachers may have to follow “some” sort of curriculum, but even within a single school district chances are that every single fifth grade, etc. teacher is teaching something different over the course of the year…. Yes, there are “standards” and “guidelines”. Have you read them? They are so amorphous and wishy washy that they say NOTHING and serve NO purpose….

    And lastly, you would use Michael Jackson’s children as an example of homeschoolers? Really? Geesh…..

    • ricardo

      Wow regena, you have a lot of time on your hands.

  • Jane Bahls

    I’ve lost a lot of respect for this newspaper. Even though this is obviously an editorial, I would think the newspaper would think twice about publishing anything that had blatantly wrong facts.

    I don’t homeschol, but I have read a lot on the topic. Not only is this opinion piece full of misrepresentations, but the fact that there is no author’s name attached it makes it even less credible.

    Unfortunately, being a single mom, I have to work full time. I wish I could homeschool. My neighbor homeschools and they’re always doing something . . .drama, chess club, plays, science fair, full day co-ops, etc. Her children are the most mature, polite kids I’ve met. I’ve also read that homeschoolers always test several grades ahead of their peers and that colleges actively seek them out. They also do so much better socially because they experience so many different social situations with people of all ages. They are not in an artificial environment where they’re only with a teacher and peers of their own age. Where else in life will they have that?

    There are some good public school teachers, but most are not highly qualified. Perhaps the author should watch “Waiting for Superman” and come forward with his/her name.

    • Kevin

      Jane, the contributing writer’s name is at the end of the article (Jacqueline Espinoza). She is not listed in the masthead for the paper.

  • phoenix

    If this is the level of research and writing that products of public schools are creating, I’m glad we’re homeschooling.

  • James

    As a teenager who was homeschooled from grades one to nine (I’m currently in tenth grade; I had to repeat ninth grade because my state does not accept homeschool credits), I am one of *MANY* students who were homeschooled and came out having a lot of knowledge and very good social skills.

    My mom is an educated lawyer and accountant, and has taught mathematics at Devry. I think she can teach eighth grade education (considering she’s far more educated than, say, whoever wrote this article).

    On the subject of parents knowing less than teachers, are you KIDDING me? I had two different English teachers last year. One couldn’t explain how symbolism was a necessary facet of literature, and the other told me that the Iliad had nothing to do with ancient Troy in a research paper.

    You’re fooling yourself if you think that teachers are educated in the subjects they teach. Most of them are reading out of a book and don’t even know anything past what said book says. It’s retarded.

  • Sarah Cannon

    For those interested, here is a better researched article: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_08/b3972108.htm

  • Regena

    Nearly every statement in this piece contains error, so I’m a little daunted in beginning a response. (Did you see the piece about “mainstreaming” of homeschoolers that just ran nationwide this week, by the way?)

    “Education is having the ability to obtain everyday knowledge and having the ability to grow towards higher goals.”

    Why on earth would you think a parent isn’t the best person to facilitate such an important task for their child? Most humans have been homeschooled for most of recorded history (right through the early part of the 20th century, in most places, and into the 21st, in others)….

    “In today’s society there are two major types of education, public schooling and homeschooling.”

    While I’d love to see homeschooling as one of the two major forms of education today, I’m afraid this is just not true. Private secular schools, charter schools, Christian or other religious schools, boarding schools and a host of other sorts of schooling other than “public” make up a far larger portion of education today than does homeschooling….

    “Public schools provide qualified teachers, suitable learning facilities and proper social interactions between students.”

    Really? You state this as if it’s a foregone conclusion in the majority of public schools within our nation. Sadly, this is just not true and our yearly test scores reflect that clearly. There are few “qualified” math and science teachers within our school systems (where I live, at least); many, many teachers are teaching in areas where they have no expertise whatsoever. I’ve seen so very many run down schools in the states where I’ve lived that I can’t imagine you making a valid argument for “suitable” learning facilities. And your assertion regarding “proper” social interaction is just laughable given the huge amount of bullying, early sexualization and abuse prevalent within our school system. Really. Just do a google of something like “teacher abuse of students” and see how many hundreds of thousands of hits you get….. Let’s not even talk about randomm shootings and other school wide disruptions….

    “In order for teachers to teach in California they need to have received a credential, which takes many years of schooling in order to be qualified to work with students.”

    I’m sorry, but it takes no more years than it takes to get any bachelor’s degree for any other subject, AND the courses offered for teachers in any given subject are not as in depth and difficult, in general, as those offered to those actually majoring in that subject outright (i.e., a science teacher does not take the same courses as a science major, etc.)

    Those who have degrees in a particular field of study, plus perhaps experience in the workplace managing their own work and that of others are probably better equipped to “teach”, at least to a single or a few students, than those equipped with teaching degrees, fresh out of school, with perhaps only an edge in how to manage a crowd….

    “For parents who chose to homeschool their children, they are only required to have a high school diploma.”

    This actually varies from state to state and is quite irrelevant. There are MENSA members who don’t have degrees who still have IQ’s higher than the majority of teachers in the U.S. Why on earth couldn’t they teach if they so desired? Teaching is not some sort of alchemist’s trick that can only be accomplished by those with a certain piece of paper (indeed, many who acquire teaching degrees find very quickly that they are not suited at all to teaching, and leave the field). Don’t get me wrong – there are many wonderful teachers in this country, with and without advanced degrees….

    “One could question if these parents have the knowledge of the material.”

    If one can read one’s curriculum, teacher guide, etc. or obtain outside tutoring for subjects in which one does not feel proficient, why on earth would any sort of degree matter?

    “Parents feel that they can provide the best education for their children because they know how the child excels and believe that they are able to tend to the child’s needs in a more efficient way.

    On the contrary, public schools provide tutors that are on campus to help students with their studies.”

    Huh? There are no tutors at our public schools here “on campus” and ready to “help”. In fact, many students can’t even get the help they need from their teachers, imagine that. Who, between a parent and a teacher, might have more incentive to see to it that their child gets the help they need in an immediate way in a particular subject?

    “Public schools also provide resources for special needs children, giving families access to the proper classes that their children may need.

    Homeschools can provide “special needs services, (but if) a student (does) not fit neatly into the system (they) can fall through the cracks,” according to the book “The Unofficial Guide to Homeschooling” by Kathy Ishizuka.”

    I have no idea what this means, sorry! Homeschoolers may obtain services from public schools if they have a special needs child (at least that’s true here). They may also take their children to any sort of counselor, OT, PT, etc. who they deem necessary and appropriate. Schools which are strapped for money and personnel to provide services are much more likely, in my personal experience, to allow children to “fall through the cracks” than a child’s own parents….

    “Public schools also provide organizations such as band and sports teams, which teach a student the ability to learn teamwork and how to get along with their peers.”

    And in many states, homeschoolers are allowed to participate on these. In other states, homeschoolers join other public performance orchestras, choirs, church related groups, club sports of various kinds, etc. You act as if there is no outlet for these things for homeschoolers when there is a plethora of pasttimes from which to choose….

    “It also provides interaction between teachers and students, providing students with an essential part of communication and experience of how to interact in different situations.”

    And students interacting with their parents and other adults within their family, community, etc. does not provide the same thing? Homeschoolers are some of the only students I encounter on a regular basis who actually feel comfortable talking to and interacting with babies, toddlers, children of all ages, youth, and adults of all ages – because they do this on a regular, daily basis – rather than being warehoused with 30 other same age individuals – a “peer” group that will never be replicated anywhere else in life, anywhere in the world….

    “Homeschooled students only interact with their parents and/or siblings that they see on a day to day basis. This does not allow a child to learn and practice social behaviors and cope outside of the home with others their age.”

    Wow, this is so erroneous for most homeschoolers that I know that it’s hard to even imagine a response to it! Right now, this month, my 12 year old son has an hour meeting on Mondays with his algebra teacher and another student; he has an hour piano lesson with a teacher he loves; on Tuesday, he has a small group class with a native speaker of Spanish; on Wednesday, he works for 90 minutes with a local artist who is wonderful with children (another small group); on Thursday, he has a class with a terrific writing teacher, followed later that day by an hour of group volleyball, an hour long group guitar lesson, and an hour long drama class. We do field trips (mostly with groups) most Fridays. He plays rec soccer. He’s in a LEGO League. He has tons of interactions on a daily/weekly basis with other children of all ages as well as other adults. Most kids I know who homeschool do similar things….

    “I had the opportunity of knowing a student that was homeschooled until her first year of college and she felt very overwhelmed by all the new experiences.

    She said that people did not like her because she was quiet and because she did not know how to interact with other students. This was a difficult change for her and she even struggled in her classes.

    She was too shy to ask her professor questions. She said that homeschooling socially dwarfed her for the real world.”

    And I have the opportunity to know my own, older son who homeschooled from second through ninth grade. He went back to a private school because he wanted the “high school experience”. He realized by his senior year what a waste of time it was. He’s at a prestigious university now and is having a blast (hopefully not too much fun – but we’ll see when grades come round)…. He’s participating in college sports and is planning on pledging a fraternity. For every single “failure” story you can give me, I can probably give you a hundred “success” stories…. There are “failure” stories from public schools, too – way too many of them, in fact. Have you looked at high school graduation rates nationwide lately, by chance? How about college graduation rates?

    “I believe that parents who homeschool their children do not know the proper curriculum for teaching.”

    Do you have any clue, whatsoever, as to how many curriculums especially designed for homeschoolers there are out there now? There’s so much avaialable that the main problem most have is in deciding WHAT to use out of the many good, sound things that are available….

    “Public schools have to follow a curriculum, and know the needs of the children. Since education is a very important part of children’s lives, it is best to leave the teaching to the teachers in public schools.”

    In case you haven’t noticed, there is NO national curriculum in the United States. Teachers may have to follow “some” sort of curriculum, but even within a single school district chances are that every single fifth grade, etc. teacher is teaching something different over the course of the year…. Yes, there are “standards” and “guidelines”. Have you read them? They are so amorphous and wishy washy that they say NOTHING and serve NO purpose….

    And lastly, you would use Michael Jackson’s children as an example of homeschoolers? Really? Geesh…..

  • finalword

    Seriously people, the author is not a real journalist, just a hack on the net. The author obviously doesn’t know the first thing about homeschooling, research and writing. Homeschooling doesn’t need to be justified. Look at the statistics. Homeschooling not only works but scores far excel those of public and private school counterparts. No worries.

    • ricardo

      final word!! your a hack on the net!! I bet you just blog all day and comment like all the other losers on here!! By the way it is really courages not to use your real name!! ass-hole

  • Cadam

    It is laughable “journalism” like this that inspires me to teach logic to my children. This opinion piece is a fallacy of Induction by the way; in case you were wondering.

  • Gabriella

    Studies show that homeschoolers are more mature and socialized than kids that are sent to public school.

    A lot of people assume homeschoolers are unsocialized and that public school is the way to go for a healthy, well-rounded life. In the article Homeschool isn’t the Same as School, contributing reporter Jacqueline Espinoza, myopically defined socialization as being outgoing and bold; not shy and awkward. With only two examples – celebrity kid Prince Jackson’s expressed interest in greater social interaction and a classmate’s intimation of being dwarfed socially – Ms. Espinoza made an argument against homeschooling.

    While it is true that in public schools you are more exposed to people, seeing people on a daily basis is not socializing. Also, it does not follow that such exposure will eliminate shyness. For example: A few weeks ago at a home school support group, one of the parents introduced me to her daughter. It was both our first time in the setting. She didn’t talk much, but every once in a while would say a few sentences like, “I don’t like my sister”. She hardly participated in group because she was shy. Turns out, she had just been pulled out of public school.

    Chris Klicka, Senior Counsel for the Home School Legal Defense Association had this excerpt in an article: Thomas Smedley prepared a master’s thesis for Radford University of Virginia on “The Socialization of Homeschool Children.” Smedley used the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales to evaluate the social maturity of twenty home-schooled children and thirteen demographically matched public school children. The communication skills, socialization, and daily living skills were evaluated. These scores were combined into the “Adoptive Behavior Composite” which reflects the general maturity of each subject.

    Smedley had this information processed using the statistical program for the social sciences and the results demonstrated that the home-schooled children were better socialized and more mature than the children in the public school. The home-schooled children scored in the 84th percentile while the matched sample of public school children only scored in the 27th percentile.

    Smedley further found that: In the public school system, children are socialized horizontally, and temporarily, into conformity with their immediate peers. Home educators seek to socialize their children vertically, toward responsibility, service, and adulthood, with an eye on eternity.

    I disagree with the article by Jacqueline Espinoza in the Daily Sundial where she said, “In today’s society there are two major types of education, public schooling and home schooling I believe that public schools provide a student better education than home schooling ever could.” What is the difference between home and public schools? Studies prove that that the scores of the average homeschooler are 30-37 points more than the average kid in public schools.

    (Chart)
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://oregonfaithreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/chart-homeschool-aug09.jpg&imgrefurl=http://oregonfaithreport.com/2009/08/homeschoolers-test-37-above-peers-study-shows/&usg=__KRDaHR8t-BlnsOI1l8vBF1am8YE=&h=299&w=479&sz=33&hl=en&start=0&sig2=6kIw23pQHKFqaDJqYfEHsQ&zoom=1&tbnid=K6d7vfd8kYE35M:&tbnh=109&tbnw=174&ei=XvKcTN-BPYb6sAPeiKXVAQ&prev=/images%3Fq%3Diq%2Bof%2Bhomeschoolers%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26gbv%3D2%26biw%3D1024%26bih%3D578%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=615&vpy=94&dur=433&hovh=109&hovw=174&tx=150&ty=81&oei=XvKcTN-BPYb6sAPeiKXVAQ&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0

    Espinosa also said, “Public schools provide qualified teachers…For parents who home school their children they only need a high school diploma. One could question does these parents have the knowledge of the material.” That is why there are teacher guides to help the parents step by step. And if teaching was about credentials, then how come not all public school students do well? Also, the success of the public school hinges on the support the student receives from home particularly from parents.

    Also, Espinoza said, “Parents feel like they can provide the best education for their children because they know how the child excels and believe they can that they are able to tend to the child’s needs in a more efficient way.” Well, who better to look out for their children’s best interest? My mother had home schooled all of my siblings. My eldest sister was home schooled until 6th grade, took a placement test that got her into first year high school, a week into the semester qualified for a free course in computers from a Computer Technology Institute, then went to college the following year. Her first collegiate year saw her as class vice president, her second she was part of the student body, then her junior year she became governor of her college (the governors were usually seniors). She was favored by classmates and teachers alike. She was also on the Dean’s List for three semesters. My second sister took a test when she turned fifteen that placed her for college entrance not having attended a day of school outside our home her entire life. Last May she earned a degree in Child and Adolescent Development and a minor in psychology from CSUN. Although a transferee from the Philippines, she graduated in three years with honors at the age of 20 while she was in 5 clubs, held a part time job, was a faithful church member, and still spent time with family and, yes, friends.

    Because someone is home schooled it does not mean he or she does not hang out with friends. Late last August I was talking to one of my new friends at the pool where my brother trained for junior lifeguard and I trained for synchronized swimming. She asked what school I go to, and I said that I was home schooled. Then she said to me, “Really? Megan, Ryan, and the sisters are also home schooled. How come all the cool kids are home schooled?”

    I do admit that there are families that took away the “real world” from their child’s life and there are the people that say they are home schooled as a fancy way of saying “not in school.” But I still believe that home school is a right school, why? You can still enjoy the privileges of public school such as clubs, sports, scouting, contests, etc., you can study in an environment that appeals to you, plus you get to spend time with your family! Now how cool is that?

    Gabriella de Asis

    12 year-old community member

  • Danielle

    Ms. Espinosa,

    I appreciate your fervor in holding the public school system in such high esteem but I do have a couple of problems with your article.

    1. You failed to take into account private schooling. You began your article with identifying only two forms of education – public and home school. When writing an article, you need to be accurate in your claims.

    2. Why is Michael Jackson’s kids the main argument for your stand on the issue of home schooling? One person or family does not make up a statistical argument, especially not a family who would be considered “outliers.” The Jacksons do not represent the general population. For one, being in the entertainment industry, they have a different lifestyle. Secondly, their father just died. It is quite normal for the children to be withdrawn!

    3. The caption of the picture claims that Prince and Paris Jackson “expressed interest” to go another route in schooling. I also know of many students who “expressed interest” to be pulled out of school and study at home instead. That does not mean one or the other is wrong.

    4. It is painfully obvious that you did not do enough research if at all. Have you looked at the average scores of home schooled children versus those that attended traditional (public or private) school? If you watch the National Spelling Bee, you will notice that a majority of the contestants are home schooled (but beware in assuming that all home schoolers are great spellers)!

    5. Home schoolers cannot be looked at as a whole group. Just as much as every home is different, every school in a home would be different too. One family’s way of home schooling would be different from another family’s.

    Look at statistics and studies on student performance. Children do better when their parents are involved in their education and extra curricular activities. Well, how much more can a parents get involved in their son or daughter’s education that by being the teacher?

    I personally believe that home schooling is the way to go because parents can personalize the environment and curriculum towards their children’s needs.

    You are right in one aspect: Home schooling isn’t the same as school – it’s better.

    Let me conclude by saying the choice of school is for every family to decide. As long as parents make sure their children get the best education, be it at home or at school, then they have done their part.

    Danielle, Alumni
    Home schooled
    Graduated CSUN at age 20

    • Juan

      So what do you do now after graduating at such a young age? Congradulations by the way that is pretty impressive I must say.

      • Danielle

        Thanks Juan.

        I got employed the week after graduation which is such a huge blessing. I was starting to get worried. =P

        I am also taking an online master’s degree.

        • ONLINE?

          Hi Danielle,
          Online Master’s? WHOA what are you studying?
          Also what did you get your bachelor’s in?

  • Maria

    “This is a(SIC)article in the opinions section of a COLLEGE paper…”

    A college student wrote this? I thought it was written by an elementary-aged student. It’s awful! Judging by this particular student, it doesn’t appear that academics are high on their list of priorities.

    At any rate, homeschooling isn’t supposed to be the same as public schooling. And there are much more than two kinds of schooling. You forgot about private schools, charter schools, Montessori schools, online schools, magnet schools, private tutoring, religious schools, and independent schools.

    • Aaron

      Maria is misinformed she obviously does not see the purpose of the article. She needs a new pair if glasses and a new head on her shoulders because her argument is weaker than a five year old girl doing push ups. Please Maria enlighten me on the other types of school so I can see your “magnificent” mind at work.

      • Maria

        There is no purpose to this article, other than to inflame. This is not a reputable paper. Aaron is a five-year-old troll who has no reading comprehension skills. I did list other educational options. It’s not my fault you can’t read.

        • Aaron

          As well I read them I guess what I meant to say was yo define them but I know your a little slow. And by little I mean a lot. I am amazed you have seen trolls that must mean you come from a mystical where you think you are smart but in reality your as ignorant as a sperm.

    • Terrie Lynn Bittner

      Maria, few of the links on this website work, suggested a poorly run paper, but a quick Google search shows Cal State Northridge has a newspaper by that name. It’s difficult to tell, in an online situation, if this is a letter to the editor or a real editorial. Let’s hope it wasn’t a real editorial. In any student paper I ever worked for that would have required both the student editor and the professor to review it first. Our tax dollars at work.

  • ricardo

    This is a article in the opinions section of a COLLEGE paper, for the people putting comments that could be a couple of pages long, why dont you take all that effort and get a hobby of some kind, I mean come on. And to the writer, good paper, way to get put on the paper. Power to you sister, dont listen to these people, all they are doing is making you famous.

  • Terrie Lynn Bittner

    This article was not only filled with errors about homeschooling, but it was also in error about public schooling. First, few schools provide tutors for children who are behind. Instead, a child who is behind is held back, thrown into special education, or ignored. His self-esteem is quickly destroyed by being made to feel stupid, rather than simply being a child who learns differently or at a different pace. A child who is homeschooled really does receive private tutoring. He can learn at his pace and in the method best suited to his learning style. Adaptations are provided for children with disabilities. When I was a learning disabled student, I was told I was lazy because I was gifted and therefore couldn’t be disabled. My daughter’s school actually told it was against district policy to be both learning disabled and gifted, as if we’d chosen for her to be either. They were hardly qualified to meet her needs.

    While many teachers are excellent, many do not know their subjects well. One daughter had an English teacher whose sample papers were so filled with grammatical errors I had to spend hours unteaching my daughter what she learned in school. History teachers continued to teach that Columbus proved the world was round. (He didn’t.)

    What did my children do when they passed me up? They soon did, because the public schools never did figure out how to teach me math and science. They located mentors, took outside classes, read books, researched, and did their own experiments. I taught them how to teach themselves.

    Today, two are in college and one is a wife and mom. All of them are doing well because they know how to learn, something the schools did not teach them–I did. I taught them that they can teach themselves anything they want to know whether or not they’re in a position to take a class and whether or not their teachers are any good. Their only frustration–coping with poorly educated public school students who bog down the classes with their lack of motivation and inability to do their parts in group projects. Too many of their classmates lack discipline or excitement for learning.

    Even if you were educated in a public school, as I was, you are an adult now and it’s time to learn how to research and to write an unbiased article. You’re responsible for your own learning.

    • Aaron

      Do you live in a hick country like Alabama? I have never seen any grammatical errors from any handouts that an English teacher has given me. You just like to make yourself seem supperior even though you are really not. In any case your arguments are really based on your experiences. So you should do some research besides describing your “fantabulous” life.

      • Terrie Lynn Bittner

        Aaron, people are trying to help you see you’ve disproven the thesis of your article. I am an author with one traditionally published book out and one on the way. The one currently published has excellent reviews from places like Publisher’s Weekly. I have thousands of published articles and a content writing business. I am qualified to speak to your writing skills.

        You suggested I hadn’t researched homeschooling. I have interviewed many hundreds of parents who have educated their children in a variety of ways. I have participated in both the good and the bad of traditional education and homeschooling and I have listened to stories and read the research.

        If you wish to be a writer, particularly of editorials, there are several things you need to do. First, you need to put your name on your writing. A writer should have the courage to stand by his work. You’ll note my full name is on my comments.

        Next, you must be prepared to accept criticism. You could write an article saying it’s morally wrong to kill innocent people and still get hundreds of angry responses. No editorial pleases everyone. You must never respond by losing your temper or insulting your readers, particularly when your insults demonstrate the points the points the readers are making.

        Third, you must learn not to stereotype. You insulted everyone in Alabama by calling them hicks. There are many educated and intelligent people in every town in America. For future reference, this was in Tacoma, Washington, a large city. You might also realize your article was filled with grammatical errors and poor sentence structure, so it is not likely you would have known if your teachers used poor grammar. It’s also not likely you fact-checked your textbooks, so you didn’t know when your history and science books were inaccurate.

        Fourth, a writer must learn to write. Study grammar and spelling. Learn how to make a good argument. Learn from the comments being offered instead of being insulted by them. When my daughter, during her homeschool years, published an article using a circular argument, she didn’t lash out at readers who told her this. She found out what a circular argument was and rewrote the paper. There is a great deal of research about both public and home schools. Take some time to study them and then rewrite your article.

        Unfortunately, your article demonstrated that you were not well-trained by your schools in either writing or analytical skills. However, as I said before, it’s not too late to teach yourself. Any homeschooler can show you how to teach yourself.

        • Kevin Strauss

          Hi Terrie,

          This article was written as a contribution to the Daily Sundial. It is not an editorial. As a journalism student here at CSUN, I can vouch that this is a real college paper Web site, but that this article was not written by a member of the staff. The opinions editor is Aaron Helmbrecht, as noted in the masthead. He does use his name in his comments on this site. This “Aaron” you respond to is not the same. I have worked with Helmbrecht previously.

          The contribution is attributed to Ms. Espinoza, so there is really no point interacting with this “other” Aaron. I don’t see why the editor would weigh in to defend the piece he didn’t author or tear you down for your constructive criticism. I encourage you to read other opinion articles here to see how the editor normally interacts with the readers online.

  • Phyllis (National Homeschooling Examiner)
    • Danielle

      Fabulous. Very well said. I could not agree more. Home schooling isn’t the same as school… it’s better!