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Is your kid doomed if he or she's homeschooled?

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Homeschooling is more popular than ever - but is it right for your kid?   Print
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Is your kid doomed if he or she

Homeschooling is more popular than ever. Researchers from Vanderbilt University say that more than 2 million kids in the U.S. are being homeschooled these days. back in the 1970s, that number was more like 15,000. So are all these kids growing up  with zero social skills? Are you a bad dad if you take over teaching your kid? Should students be out on the playground getting into scraps and playing kickball or allowed to sleep in late and play video games during "recess"?

The list of pros and cons for homeschooling is long and extremely divisive. Parents who homeschool say it's a great way to spend time as a family. It frees up schedules, and you can teach your kids exactly how - and what - you want.

On the other hand, it can isolate kids from friends. They don't get the benefit of school clubs or sports, either. And maybe worst of all, you're missing out on some free babysitting.

So when you're making the tough decisions required of all great parents, make sure you sit down and hash out your own pros and cons list. Take your family's needs and values into account. And read up on the information out there - like the Vanderbilt professor's three-year study on homeschooling in America.

Homeschooling might seem like it works in a vacuum, but it doesn't. Get the information you need to make an informed decision.

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By libby,   From san Francisco
I'm Libby. I like this article because it gives both pros and cons and doesn't attempt to answer this question for me. We are trying to work this out right now. It's amazing how some people are very b&w on the issue.

By art,   From Seattle
Wow, what a poorly researched article. I homeschool to improve the boys socialization. Ill be skipping articles from you in the future.

By Suzie,   From Tampa
This article is ridiculous! Yes, you should be informed before you make the choice to homeschool. I would think that the author of this article should have done the same. My daughter is homeschooled and participates in many activities. She goes to our local school twice a week for P.E., takes chess, archery, dance, and does theatre. Homeschooling allows her to have this flexibility and offers her the option to socialize with many different groups, not just with the other 25 children that a school system tells her she should. It's terrible that you have spoken of homeschoolers and their parents choice to do so in such a low light. It's not the 1950's more research and become a bit more enlightened!!!

By Carolyn,   From Southeastern PA
I'm really disappointed to see this (low) caliber of article in this day and age. I'm not even a homeschooler, and I know that homeschoolers in many districts and states (including mine!) are permitted to participate in special subjects, sports and clubs, and at the high school level, even advanced math and science classes. Homeschoolers are often better prepared for college than their "schooled" counterparts, as this June 2012 USNews article points out.
Home-Schooled Teens Ripe for College: Myths about unsocialized home-schoolers are false, and most are well prepped for college, experts say.
[link deleted to allow post; please Google the article as titled above to read it.]

A Canadian study (2009) shows that socialization isn't an issue for homeschooled kids, as discussed in this Washington Times article:
HOME-SCHOOLING: Socialization not a problem
[link deleted to allow post; please Google the article as titled above to read it.]

I'm just sad to see that the unnamed author didn't bother to let his or her fingers do the walking through Google, to find out about homeschooling before posting this "article."

By John,   From Flagstaff AZ
Wow. This article has little information and is incorrect on the sports and social issues. The worst line is here is about the free babysitting that you miss out on! Really? Schools are now just babysitters? That's very selfish if parents see schools as that.

I am all for parents choosing the best possible education choice for their kids. If it is home schooling, great! Public school works best, wonderful! Private or parochial school? Awesome!

Unfortunately, there is not a byline on the article so this might be the only way to express frustration.

I invite you to come spend a day or a week at our house. Seriously. If this site is really seeking to serve, then they should pull advice columns like this until they get all angles of the story.

By Sunshine,   From Chicago
Is this even an article? There is absolutely NO information contained here.

Yes - my kids are homeschooled. My oldest spent 2 years in a PS classroom and didn't learn anything except bad behavoir. We are urban and my kids are extroverted. My kids do sports, clubs, activities, music lessons, theater, etc etc etc.

Next time you take the time to write an article, a little research and background might be in order. HTH.

By Jane,   From Marysville WA
I'm a second generation homeschooler and agree that this is offensive and uninformed. I played with my friends nearly everyday. My children are younger so they don't run around the neighborhood all day like I did (I'd sit outside reading a book till they got off the bus and off we'd go till the street lamps came on) but they play with other kids several days a week. They're in sports already as well s homeschool groups, dance, and piano lessons. It is a rare day they play video games and I'd certainly never count it as p.e.. You know in some schools they only get 15 minutes of reccess? There are very few cons and many more pros. Do your research.
And why the heck is this thing telling me to enter a valid first name!? My name is Libby!

By Green,   From G.C. Ill.
I homeschooled two older kids and worked out great for both. Attended colleges and pursuing MA and one is married. Their personalities were fit homeschool environment but can't say about my youngest who just started attending local jr. high for the first time in her life. I think we made a right decision to send her to public school with her personality and her needs for more interactions and activities that were lacking in homeschool unless we drive all over out of town since there isn't much in our town. It wasn't easy decision but necessary after much thoughts and tried everything we could to meet her needs. So homeschooling is not for everybody even within family. Happy to say we gave very solid foundation and taught her to have a good study habit so the tradition to ps was not so bad.
I have to say despite all the negative views on public school, it still provides many things kids need without having to travel or pay for different activities. There are some negative aspects but that goes with both side. Too bad we just can't have it just right...either way.
I agree people need to weigh on pros and cons before making a decision to homeschool.

By Misty,   From Marysville
As a homeschooling mom, I find some of the points rather offensive. First, my three kids have active social lives-they are involve in scouts, dance and sports. Second, recess is not playing video games-it's going to the park to play, or the trampoline gym, or playing in the back yard, and yes sometimes, it is playing on the Wii (Fit and sports). Third, it's not just about them being taught what I want them to learn, it's about them learning what they want to learn as well. They are able to devote the time to studying their passions-whether it be the history of space exploration, medieval history, As for socialization, they socialize with people from all ages all the time which is much more real world than the artificial confines of a classroom.

Homeschooling works outside of the vacuum. There is plenty of research out there that shows it does.

By Penny,   From Tomball
This is clearly biased, you are very uninformed on homeschooling and have no business writing an article. Learn how to be an investigative researcher before you write.

By Judy,   From Meadville PA
In Pennsylvania the law states that legally homeschooled kids can participate in sports and extracurricular activities in their local school districts. Why don't other states offer this?

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