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Does anybody find out that home schooling is extraordinarily popular in US?

I can understand why some parents prefer Home Schooling. If you live in a remote small town in Montana with 250 population and you have to drive 40 miles under minus 20 degrees in the winter to send your kid to the closest High School, then Home Schooling is your natural choice.

However, in Honolulu where I live that everything is close by and every school is accessible by bus and weather is perfect almost year round, it is weird that seom parents still prefer home schooling.

Okay, undeniably most public schools are junks. But there are many outstanding private schools in the city. So what is the excuse?

And surprisingly the parents who prefer home schooling for their kids are very affluent and highly educated. Those I know are either MDs or lawyers or accountants.

The excuse that I often hear from them is that their kids cannot stand the "stress" in private schools.

But C'mon.....The homework assignment workload is not even half what I had when I attended High School back in HK.

Chinese education values emphasize 德智體群美. But where is the if your kid is homeschooled?

I recall in HK two years ago a parent also preferred homeschooling for his daughter. He was detained by police and indicted in court (It is a felony if you don't send your kid to school in HK.) And the media called them "abnormal" parent!

Anyway, so far I haven't seen any Chinese parents homeschooling their kids here!

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wushijiao

For me, almost without exception, all the homeschooled kids i knew growing up had very, very Chiristian parents. I think homeschooling probably isn't that bad of an idea, if done for a few years only and if the parents are well educated. But most of the homeschooled kids I knew were very socially awkward. Public schools in the US are very barbaric, with tons of beatings, fights and harassment. I think it's essential to learn how to avoid harassment and protect yourself. Also, just my opinion, but homeschooled boys really weren't nearly as comfortable around the ladies as we, suave, public schooled kids were. 8)

I guess all of this social awkwardness could be off set by having the kid play in organized sports and other activities?

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TCcookie

Yeah, I've noticed the same. Even if homeschooled kids aren't necessarily "socially awkward," there still seemed to be something a little "off" about them.

I did know one marvelous exception though, but her parents only homeschooled their kids until junior high and then sent them into the publics. I think kids should definitely go to the public schools at least for some programs so they can be socialized properly.

Also, has anyone in the US noticed that (perhaps this is a function of affluence and where one lives) the kids who end up getting homeschooled are in a position to attend even high-enough quality public schools that they probably aren't very advantaged, or are maybe even disadvantaged, by private school.

Also, let it be known that I went through US public schooling and feel like I got a great education from highly qualified teachers. Of course, I lived in relatively affluent areas, but I think a lot of educational quality suffers simply for social (societal?) reasons like low value placed on education and not being able to afford good teachers. Granted, I'm only going on limited personal experience, but it always seemed to me as I went to school that people really hype up the problems of public schools and overinflate them a bit. I'd be interested to hear others' experiences as the subject of education interests me.

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wushijiao

I would say there are a few reasons why I wouldn't homeschool my kid:

1) A kid can learn from a variety of teachers. My high school education in the US was good in part because I had teachers who were wacko religious extremists, idealistic hippy liberals, and various teachers who taught to a variety of learning styles. Although I feel my enlightened worldview is what I would like my kid to have (hehe :D ), I still think it is very valuable to have a wide variety of influences and experiences in life, especially when young. A diverse body of teachers will always influence an intellectually curious child more than one good parent can. So, I think that's one thing homeschoolers miss out on.

2) The social factor. Schools in the US stress group activities, teamwork and the such. I always thought this was BS, to some degree, until I came to China and saw the awkward way Chinese students of the "One Child" policy generation deal with each other. I think homeschoolers miss out on this dealing with wide segments of society, unless they can find it somewhere else.

Besides, high school was damn fun, I thought.

On the other hand, I think there are some valid reasons to homeschool. Maybe there are certain things you want to teach the kid (Chinese?/ World History, not just European and American). Maybe a solid religious fundamentalist education is too important to leave to the immoral, secular demons (as some of my family friends thought). Lastly, what was gained by attending Junior High in the US? Nothing. For me at least, it was a huge waste of time. And, as Ian Lee pointed out, many American schools are shoddy.

And surprisingly the parents who prefer home schooling for their kids are very affluent and highly educated. Those I know are either MDs or lawyers or accountants.

It makes sense. The uneducated/poor don't have the money, leisure time or educational background to homeschool. Sad to say. My mom used to teach special ed in a poor, inner city. About 10 parents out of every few hundred would show up for parent-teacher conferences.

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2) The social factor. Schools in the US stress group activities, teamwork and the such. I think homeschoolers miss out on this dealing with wide segments of society, unless they can find it somewhere else.

Most home-schoolers in the U.S. are Christian fundamentalists. They are usually very involved with the local church (attending the church four, five times a week), and so their kids may actually get more social interaction than an American kid (who doesn't get much social interaction outside the school).

I always thought this was BS, to some degree, until I came to China and saw the awkward way Chinese students of the "One Child" policy generation deal with each other.

An even more important contributor to this is probably the over-emphasis on academics in Chinese schools. If you're studying and memorizing trivia all the time, you don't have the time and energy to developed more complex social skills.

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wushijiao
memorizing trivia

That's a hilarious phrase. True though. I think many Chinese educators know what reforms should be made, but it's not easy to overhaul the education system every few years since "Reform and Opening". To make matters worse, it's all privately done. Some kids I tutor in Shanghai probably get a better education than most kids in the US because their parents are loaded. On the other hand, poor kids in rural areas can barely afford books, have 70+ kids per classroom, and are screwed if they have a learning disability or have vision problems. It's also much easier to go to college if you are from the rich East Coast than if you are from a poor province. And yet the government is buying any expensive weapons system possible. I guess this is to ensure China permanently becomes like a Latin American country, with an rich, poshly-accented, educated elite completely seperated from the plebian working masses, who aside from a few random geniuses, will have no opportunities to advance.

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Home schooling isnt necessary unless you live in the rural areas.. and besides, kids don't develop the social skills without school mates, friends and hardships they experience at school :P

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