Ignore My Rant on Homeschool Bias...Is It?

Final round of yearly pediatric appointments today...what interesting questions they ask!

Do Doctors and their nurses ask these questions of public or private schoolers?

* Do you get to play with kids your own age?

* Do you have any enemies?

* Do you trust your children?

...even a laughing comment from the nurse about keeping them in a bubble!


My Doc even brought up evolution and "young earth" like he was baiting me. I didn't bite. Does the world think all homeschoolers are creationists?

Early in the conversation they heard that my children played on ice hockey sports teams and having known them since birth always remark on how "really nice" they are and yet....do they get to play...daily...with other kids their own age??? That just seems so biased to me.

Can they really be unaware, as doctors and nurses OF CHILDREN that studies on homeschool children show them to be emotionally and socially stronger than their counterparts?

"...several studies have been done to measure homeschoolers' "self-concept," which is the key objective indicator for establishing a child's self-esteem. A child's degree of self-esteem is one of the best measurements of his ability to successfully interact on a social level. One such study was conducted by John Wesley Taylor, using the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale to evaluate 224 home-schooled children. They study found that 50 percent of the children scored above the 90th percentile, and only 10.3 percent scored below the national average.

Another researcher compared private school nine-year-olds with homeschool nine-year-olds and found no significant differences in the groups in virtually all psycho-social areas. However, in the area of social adjustment, a significant difference was discovered: "private-school subjects appeared to be more concerned with peers than the home-educated group."This is certainly an advantage for home-schooled children who can avoid negative peer influence.

In 2004, Dr. Susan McDowell wrote “But What About Socialization? Answering the Perpetual Home Schooling Question: A Review of the Literature” following a challenge to document the common idea that homeschoolers are not socialized in comparison to those students in public schools. McDowell, whose PhD from Vanderbilt University is in educational leadership, claims: “It’s a non-issue today. All the research shows children are doing well.”

See HERE for more from above.

Is socialization at "schools" really that great, that desirable?

These quotes from studies would lead me to say no. "The mass socialization conducted within schools has brought about a proliferation of delinquent behavior within this nation's youth, reports education researcher, Dr. Michael Slavinski. He notes that student bodies are increasingly riddled with violence, drugs, promiscuity, emotional disorders, crime, contempt for authority, desperate behavior, illiteracy and peer dependency - just to name a few.

When the Direct Observation Form of the Child Behavior Checklist was administered by education researcher Dr. Larry Shyers to identify 97 problematic behaviors in two groups of children, traditionally schooled students exuded eight times as many antisocial traits than their homeschooled counterparts. This lies in direct contrast to claims by public school advocates that exposure to campus life leads to proper socialization."

Studies...studies...studies.... and yet people still have the misconception...but what about socialization?

Indeed! What about it?

Is what we mostly see in "schools" really the definition of the word socialization? No...it is social-izing and it's not all that good for children's self-esteem or their learning focus or for their virtue many times.

What's a more closed and unrealistic environment? Couldn't it be the one where you are closed in with 30+ other kids all your same age? Does that ever happen in the real world? Or are you more likely to need to relate to others of all age ranges...in real life? Not to even mention or delve further into the epidemic of those children only relating to the values and peer pressure of those peers, and not the values and best interests of their parents.....

Should my Pediatrician and his nurse ask those students about how much time they are spending with their peers and what they are learning from them? What kind of bullying and enemy making may they be engaging in on the school bus and cafeteria and internet?


My husband says put your head down and pray. You can't boil the ocean. Let them see it in your smile and your kids.

I do like my Pediatrician. I've know him so long he's like an old friend. I have no doubt he means well and is very bright.

Committed as I am to home educating I am perhaps over sensitive to misconceptions about it. Yet, I am so grateful to be home! And while I know many nice kids and families who go to "school" I think our "bubble" is making for some happy kids who are learning and living with less of the vices I see out there.

And I am reminded of the metaphor that we don't build battleships out in the open, rough seas...we build them in safe harbours.

That way they are ready...for the battle.


Barbara said...

It seems to me like there are so many families homeschooling these days that your children would certainly not be the only ones your pediatrician sees. I understand your husband's point of view and it is probably better not to "make waves," but if you feel strongly, and pray about it, maybe a note to your pediatrician about how off-putting his comments are would make you feel like you're "doing something," as opposed to just sitting by and letting someone misjudge your children? Wouldn't you think if your children are well-behaved, polite, and healthy that would be enough proof for your doctor that your children are thriving?

I completely understand your frustration.

PattyinCT said...

I feel your pain! My pediatrician is actually a very good man, and I shouldn't say that with such surprise:) That having been said, I am trying to find a way to prepare for the confrontation I know I'm going to have when I have to turn that new vaccine down, the one for cervical cancer, the one that they want to give TO MY SONS (?!?!) in the likely even that when they're sexually active in their teens they might pass off to their multiple partners...Sigh...

I have another thought. It seems more to me that public school children are in the bubble. That way they can be indoctrinated with the agenda that pushes global warming, homosexual "marriage", sex with whomever/whenever, Christians are evil, Muslims are super heroes...and on and on and on...Nope, I prefer a breath of fresh air!

Thanks for the articles, I enjoyed it! And you know that your family is having an effect when people can't help but comment on them. Let your children answer these questions, it's grating, and I understand that, but I know your children blew those professionals away. Ask the same little ones who don't see their parents for upwards of 10 + hours a day how "well adjusted" they feel. And believe me, your Dr's office sees these children day in and day out. They know there's a major difference, and your children broadcast that without intending to.

Praying for you!

Kathie Hogan said...

I have homeschooled for twenty years, and can sympathize with your comments of today. However, I have found (through personal experience!) that often people are just plain curious, and express themselves in a very combative way (at least from my perspective). I have replied with less than charity, and have, on several occasions, regretted my words. You obviously have a good relationship with your doctor. Be vigilant (don't let your children get in the middle of the discussion), but courteous and professional in your manner (homeschooling moms are not the world's oldest profession...but they must come close!) The conduct of your family will speak volumes in the end.
Remember what St. Francis said; "Preach always, and if necessary, use words!"
God bless,
Kathie Hogan
Mom to five and wife to one.
Parry Sound, ON P2A2W9

Laura said...

Love the battleship metaphor!
I've never posted here before, but I enjoy your blog and it was very helpful when we made the decision to homeschool last spring.

Laura said...

Great post! Fortunately for me my doctor also homeschools :) I love the battleship metaphor, also. What a great way to look at it.
God Bless.

Sweetness and Light said...

Excellent post and know that you are not alone in this, it's everywhere!! Praying that you don't feel the need to dwell on the Dr.'s insensitivity, as learned as he may be, he is still the ignorant one. Many blessings to you and your sweet family!

Gardenia said...

Oh I love your post, and your reference to preparing them for the battle that is out there in the world. and it IS indeed there. I ike your husband's advice, but I do so love your rant!! It is important to speak out as you have.

Allison said...

Thank you dear ones for your support.

I'm not too upset or wounded, just surprised and curious about homeschool perceptions eventhough it alone is producing optimum results. Feel called to defend it, at least here...

You're all so kind to comment and we are lucky to have such a great community.

Jamie Jo said...

I always get so mad at the media and how they portray homeschooled kiddos in such a wierd, negative way, especially with the statistics and how good they actually do!!

That is too bad about your doctor, maybe he was having a bad day and venting or just not really thinking about what he was saying.

Kathleen's Catholic said...

Excellent post, Allison. You really did your research for this. And I love the battleship metaphor. Perfect!

One famous homeschooler I can think of was Abigail Adams. And look what she produced! :-)

Monica said...

If I got those comments from a Ped, I'd switch docs and tell them why. That's ridiculous!

Thank you so much for your comment to me on the MA forum. It's a great idea to remind my son of what sort of behavior he sees as friendly, and ask him to try to mirror that back.

Unknown said...

At the doctors one fall morning the nurse asked me about getting the flu shot. I declined and said I felt we were low risk. And then (knowing our homeschooling background) she said , "Well don't your kids play with other kids?" And I responded, "No, we're unsocialized!" She laughed and that conversation still brings a smile to my face!

Stephanie said...

Wow! I love your blog, your openness, that you don't have back! LOVE IT!

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