Re: Home Schooling
Sun, 19 Oct 1997 11:52:49 -0400 (EDT)


I have to disagree with some of the following:

<<Dear George,

The answer is "yes". Home-schooling does have exactly that effect, but it is
a little more subtle than most people want to think. Home-schoolers do have
some contacts with peers, usually, and often a lot. But that contact is
almost always a home turf (one of theirs) situation, under the watchful eye
of a parent, or at least with a parent nearby to solve problems. The contact
may also be in particular structured situations, and they usually do not get
the luxury of prolonged contact in unstructured situations. It also usually
isn't nearly enough contact to make the kids feel that their lives are
perfectly satisfactory. There also may not be the variety of contacts that
they would choose. I have met dozens of home-schooled kids, and they usually
feel lonely and less than totally fulfilled socially. What also sometimes
happens is that they miss the opportunities that other kids have at a fairly
early age to learn how to operate somewhat on their own. Kids seem to have a
little trouble untying the apron string after a certain age, maybe about 7 or
8, and then they sometimes rip the ties off the apron later on instead, or
stay tied up. They seem to pass a certain critical point of becoming
independent, and it seems to be harder later.

What kids really want (IMHO) is to be in a Sudbury School! There they have
contact with a wide variety of people of all ages and can make friends freely
and be unstructured or structured at will.>>

I've known several home schooled children who are not at all like this. If
anything they tend to be more confident and accoplished in social situations
than is normal at their ages. The subset of homeschooled children treated
most similar to those in Sudbury type schools is the "unschooled."
Unschooling means to trust the child's natural tendencies to learn over
anything imposed from the outside. It does include role modeling and
abundant opportunities to interact with the rest of the world. Unschooled
children seem to be able to function well socially with all age groups.

Bob Reiland