Doe home-schooled=personality defect?
I am a fan of Chef Ramsey’s Hell Kitchen and have watched the last several seasons with interest. This year one of the contestants, Maria Torrisi held my interest for awhile until she got booted off in Round 4. I probably should be embarrassed to tell you this, but I was wondering if anyone else out there thought she might have been home schooled?
The reason I say this is because she seemed to have problems dealing with her emotions and conflict. I guess I was wrong because it turns out, according to the Hell’s Kitchen website she was in some school system because she credits her 6th grade home economics teacher with being her first influence and cooking inspiration.
Are home schooled kids at a disadvantage or can home schooling be beneficial?
Until recently I thought that kids that were home-schooled would be at a disadvantage working with others. That is until I attended college online and realized I had become a home-schooled college student and probably faced many of the same challenges that parents and kids face when becoming educated at home.
Socialization in business
Having been employed in the public sector for roughly the last 30 years, I have some experiences dealing with other personalities in business and frankly I can tell you that it is the toughest part of any job. Getting along with others is not always easy. A child who is educated at home may be at a disadvantage when dealing with conflict but that doesn’t mean those that are educated in public or private schools are any better at dealing with conflict then their home-schooled counterparts.
Why would someone choose to home-school?
Parents who want to home-school their kids want the power and control to influence their kids’ education. In 1999, three reasons for homeschooling were the most frequently cited: 49 percent of home-schooled students had parents who cited the ability to give their child a better education, 38 percent had parents who cited religious reasons, and 26 percent had parents who cited a poor learning environment at school (Bielick, Chandler, & Broughman 2001).’
The HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) cites several statistics of controlled studies that show that home-schooled students may have higher academic achievements. For example, “in 1997, a study of 5,402 home-school students from 1,657 families was released. It was entitled, “Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America.” The study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects.” (HSLDA academic statistics)
If you were considering home-schooling your kids, there seems to be a lot of support. In fact, HSLDA states that home-schooling has been the traditional method of educating young students for centuries.
In the US, in the 1600’s, education was paid for by the elite, provided in private schools and usually given only to the men. Girls might be taught to read for religious reasons but it was only after 1776 that the idea of educating females because they might influence the nation gave rise to the beginnings of generally funded public education. (Wiki, History of Education in US). Massachusetts passed the first compulsory attendance law in 1852; by 1918 all states had enacted similar legislation.(Youcanhomeschool.org)
So academics are good, what about social needs of students?
The HSDLA shows statistics that 98 percent of home-schooled children attend 2 or more activities with an average of 5.2 activities per student, engaging them in social skills such as scouts, ballet/dance, volunteer work, ministry work, bible classes, outside classes, music, sports, Sunday school, field trips and playing with people outside of the family.
College on-line – at home study
After attending 10 years of secondary level school exclusively on-line, starting with my associate, then bachelors and then an MBA in International Management, I have had the opportunity to talk to many other college students who have opted to either take on line classes, web-based teachings or traditional brick-and-mortar schools.
I have often been asked the question about how you can deal with going to school without having instructor or peer interaction, and the truth is, with the school I attended, Phoenix University, part of the curriculum requires team learning, and another part of the curriculum requires interfacing with the professors and other class members in discussions on topics of relevance to the class. I enjoyed being able to complement the rest of my busy life with additional education.
In this environment, students are challenged to meet heavy demands that require time management, social interaction, research and having the ability to formalize an opinion based upon research, study and debate.
How many kids are home-schooled in the US
As of 2003, the US government census department reports there were approximately 1.1 million students getting home-schooled in the US compared to the approximate 50 million students (ages 5-17) attending public or private schools. (National Center for Education Statistics)
Not every student will do well in a public school situation, and not every student will do well in a private home-school setting, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the best education is one that meets the needs of the student on multiple levels. We’ve all met people who have I.Q’s and G.P.A.’s that are stellar and yet these same people have no ability to follow a road map or socialize in a party setting. We’ve also met other folks who are mechanically proficient or have a passion about something that could provide them with ample financial means to support themselves and their families. After all, that is the main reason we go to school, isn’t it -to become financially self-sufficient and socialized?
Public settings aren’t that great all the time
With the proliferation of bullying, peer pressure, alcohol & drug addiction, un-planned pregnancies and a host of other social issues that affect teens in public schools, perhaps home-school and selective socialization is not as bad as it seems at first glance. In my work experiences, I’ve met victims of bullying and drug and alcohol abuse, as well as those who had learning disabilities. Some of these folks were also severely challenged to get along with others and they weren’t home schooled, so in essence, maybe it is more about what the education entails, and how the student applies it, rather than the actual location of the school and the teaching methods employed.