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German Family Gets Political Asylum in U.S. -- Over Homeschooling - Light One Candle

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March 3rd, 2010


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11:13 am - German Family Gets Political Asylum in U.S. -- Over Homeschooling
This story is absolutely fascinating. As most of you know, I was homeschooled from 3rd grade up through high school, and since that was mostly in the '80s, I had a front row seat to political discussions about the benefits or drawbacks of choosing to homeschool; we had people moving to our Oregon town because their states were still, essentially, persecuting parents for this.

Mind you, people who want to talk about this subject (including reporters) need to do their research before they start spouting the out-of-date crap about homeschooled kids being "undersocialized," etc. It only makes them look like idiots to anyone in the know, and perpetuates false stereotypes.

(And yes, if you want to discuss such things in the comments, I am fine with that; but if you don't know things about homeschooling, I will tell them to you. Don't comment along those lines unless you want to be SCHOOLED. *g*)
Current Mood: curiouscurious

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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:jedibuttercup
Date:March 3rd, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
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My brother's wife was homeschooled for religious reasons, and defends the practice vigorously; my parents thought about it for me, but rejected it for (a) those "undersocialized" reports, and (b) because the placement tests wanted to put me in 7th grade when age-wise I should have been attending 4th. They decided eventually to just send me to 5th grade public school and keep me more-or-less with my age group. I'm still not sure, to this day, whether I would have been better off if they had taken the accelerated homeschool option.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:March 4th, 2010 08:00 am (UTC)
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It's not that homeschooling is for everyone--it's that I object to the option being taken away from kids it might be best for. Yeah, we can't really know what might have happened--I'm glad I was homeschooled, but I'm sure I would have survived public school, too, just with different baggage. *g* (I had public school friends who were so unpopular they were receiving threatening letters. I was happy not to be in high school.)
[User Picture]
From:scionofgrace
Date:March 4th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
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Heh. I'm a public-school grad, but all my close childhood friends were homeschooled at least partly. I've seen several sides of it: I know some homeschooled kids who have weird gaps in their education because their parents weren't good at some subject or other, and I know other kids who absolutely thrived.

There's just so many factors: money, the quality of the local schools, the local culture, time, effort, etc etc. If I have kids, I'll seriously consider it - and I actually have a teaching degree!

But yes. Stereotypes and old info. Perpetuated stupidity. But then, research just makes too much sense. ::g::
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:March 4th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
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I know some homeschooled kids who have weird gaps in their education because their parents weren't good at some subject or other

Interesting. That's one I haven't seen, really; perhaps because within the groups I saw most, there was a lot of cross-teaching, group organization, and so on. I was in ballet classes, theater classes, and took high school lab science from a homeschooling couple who happened to be a chemist and biologist, respectively. And instead of honors classes, most kids I knew started taking first year college courses at the local community college when they were 15 or 16.

You're right, there are a lot of factors. It works best when the parents are committed to their child's education (when it's for academic reasons as much or more than religious ones), and when there are supportive groups in the area. (Our local public schools were even supportive--I knew guys who were on the football team although they were homeschooled.)
[User Picture]
From:rose_griffes
Date:March 4th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
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My sister home-schools her soon-to-be-seven children, and they are the nicest and most brilliant children I know. Not that I'm biased or anything. (hah!)

Seriously, though--they know how to have fun without a computer/video game, they behave well around adults and other children, they're really funny... I teach in a public school, but I'm definitely an advocate of home-schooling for those who want to do it.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:March 4th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
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I'm definitely an advocate of home-schooling for those who want to do it.

That, for me, is the key. For those who want to do it, it should be a viable option; it won't work for all kids or families or situations, but for some it's absolutely the best idea.
[User Picture]
From:fpb
Date:March 4th, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
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It only makes them look like idiots to anyone in the know, and perpetuates false stereotypes.
Well, isn't that a journalist's job?
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:March 4th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
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Well, it shouldn't be. *g*
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:March 4th, 2010 07:50 am (UTC)
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I will now enjoy a hearty laugh at the idea (put forth in the article) that public school promotes tolerance and prepares the student for the wider world by being a representative microcosm of same. Because I have nothing special against public school, but...ha. No.

Also...apparently some European governments are worried that homeschooling might lead to the formation of a sect? Ooooo, not that, we can't have any scary scary sects! *eyeroll* I wonder if the people who put that statement out know how paranoid they sound.
[User Picture]
From:fpb
Date:March 4th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
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What beggars belief is that there is a body called the European Court for Human Rights, whose current members are spending their time trying to remove the crucifix from Italian schoolrooms and courtrooms and forcing the Polish state to implement gay marriage - neither of which has anything to do with human rights - while studiously ignoring the scandalous behaviour of the German authorities. Court Against Human Rights, more like.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:March 17th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
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Also...apparently some European governments are worried that homeschooling might lead to the formation of a sect?

I am in no way condoning their paranoia, but I do wonder a bit if it's less paranoid over there, given the long, long history of religious wars and the current spread of fundamentalist Islam in Europe.
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:March 18th, 2010 05:54 am (UTC)
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Probably true, I guess I'm speaking from the viewpoint of someone who lives in a country founded on the idea that you should be allowed to form scary sects to your heart's content as long as there aren't illegal assault rifles involved. But I don't think the Europeans have anything to worry about: homeschooling tends to be a result of scary sects rather than a cause thereof. *grin*
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:March 5th, 2010 12:01 pm (UTC)
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I've probably told you this story, but when I worked at the PAC, we'd have several home school groups sign up for our matinee shows for the school, regularly. Just like the public schools. And my boss would always make skeptical comments about the validity of home schooling and socialization and the like. And I often tried to point out that that's why there are groups of home schoolers and why they take the kids on field trips (like to the theatre), and that the kids have to pass the same state educational standards as public school kids.

I'm glad I was public school educated. But what I read nowadays, the public school system is far scarier than it was when I was in school.
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:March 8th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
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The famously funny "Bitter Homeschooler's Wishlist" has an item that goes something like "Please don't interrupt my child's choir practice, track meet, scout meeting, 4H event, or play rehearsal to ask her if she isn't being under-socialized because she's homeschooled." Heh.

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