84th Skeptics’ Circle

Unsocialized homeschooler

The 84th Skeptics’ Circle is now up over at Archaeoporn. There’s a lot of good reading. Archaeologyknits provided great summaries and excerpts, so it will be real easy to skim the entries looking for stuff that appeals to you.

Some people around here think I dislike all homeschoolers. Nope. Just the religious ones. One article from this week’s Skeptics’ Circle that addresses the issue is by Steve Shives: “Homeschoolers Who Don´t Learn Science Shouldn´t Receive a Diploma”. Well said. Check it out.

11 Responses to “84th Skeptics’ Circle”

  1. Parrotlover77 Says:

    There’s a homeschooler at my alma mater (UF) by the name of Tim Tebow who is quite well loved in the hometown, even by homeschooling skeptics like myself. But he’s a football player. I only expect him to understand science well enough to figure out the physics of where the ball is supposed to go… 😉 His parents are quite the fundies. Yet somehow he managed to grow up fairly intelligent and sociable. I guess there are exceptions to every rule. He probably doesn’t believe in evolution, though (I’m speculating – I don’t actually know). But then again, he’s a football player and his major is Family, Youth and Community Sciences, so I don’t really care, as long as he doesn’t advocate legislating creationism into public schools. So far, he hasn’t. Although I do feel bad he was probably never exposed to real science in his home schooled environment. But, again, he’s a football player. 😉

  2. Jalestra Says:

    I homeschool for educational reasons. My children are all highly gifted, and at these grade levels the schools have nothing to offer them. High school is wide open to such opportunities, unfortunately the lower grades are not. Anyhow, I have gotten the impression at times that you hate all homeschoolers, however I can read between the lines and see that most times it’s targeted at certain behaviors of a certain group of homeschoolers. I look forward to reading the article you’ve linked.

    However, I can assure you that proper science is taught in my home. 😉 LOL

  3. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I think there’s more to school than just the books and some (certainly not all) homeschoolers do not provide the proper social contact with diverse groups of people. At public school, you meet kids of all different backgrounds and ethnicities. It’s an eye-opener for a young impressionable child. Of course there are many ways to socialize properly (and diversely) even if learning is done at home, but not all homeschoolers take advantage of such opportunities. Think of the home schooled fundie who only interacts with other fundies and is never exposed to any form of real science nor any other social groups and possibly not even any other races… To me, that’s bordering on child abuse.

    Just to clarify, from the sound of it, Jalestra, you do not seem to fit into that group, but I think that’s where Ron was going here. A sheltered homeschooled fundie is basically a completely brainwashed child. That is quite different from a child who is homeschooled, properly educated, and given plenty of opportunities to expand their social horizon.

  4. Jalestra Says:

    Oh, I’m usually pretty certain Ron doesn’t mean my type for the most part, just sometimes his comments hit a little close to home for different reasons. Ron has some great points about socialization and sometimes they hit home. It’s good though, by seeing it pointed out I can move to fix it, change it, etc. Which is why we are moving no later than the end of the year. But at least when I do it, it’s an accident…LOL

  5. Ron Britton Says:


    To my recollection, I’ve only mentioned homeschoolers maybe three times. Yes, some of those comments were overly broad, but I didn’t think I was exhibiting a pattern of homeschool bashing. (I did think twice about using the image above, in case it furthered that impression. But it is funny!)

  6. Jalestra Says:

    Maybe I’m confusing you with someone else, because I could have swore you’ve gotten onto homeschooling fundies several times…Ron, blow me off hon. I am offensive without meaning to be and I just had a new baby so I’m sleep deprived. I do recall one incident clearly where it seemed like you were bashing all homeschoolers as fundies and I remember I pointed out otherwise and we had a nice conversation. Perhaps I’m also remembering someone else who does it and merging the two together. I’ll try again after I get some more sleep.

    And the image is very funny.

  7. Jalestra Says:

    Ok, Ron has said that I’m making stuff up. 🙂 Actually, he never said that, but he did prove that I’m totally off the mark and *I* said I’m making shit up. All I can say in my defense is I’m sleep deprived and ought to know better than to talk shit until I get some rest. I think I’ll quietly lurk in the background ’til I get it together.

    Thanks Ron and my most humble, sincere apologies if I’ve offended you in any way. I hereby swear to be sure I know what I’m saying before I post again, or at least know there’s no way for someone to prove me wrong. 😉

    BTW, no, I’m not homeschooling the kids right now. My husband is. Can you imagine ME teaching them when I can’t even get my conversations straight??? lol

  8. Rik Says:

    Shives wrote: “Homeschoolers Who Don´t Learn Science Shouldn´t Receive a Diploma”. The same can be said of public school kids, and in all fields! Our local school system has English Literature as an option, meaning that less than 25 % of our graduates getting those diplomas have any exposure to Shakespeare or Milton. About half took Algebra 2 and 85% took only the 2 general ‘science’ courses. I sat in on a History ‘class’ and came away very discouraged. While writing my report, I was suddenly reminded of Bismarck’s comment about not watching sausage or laws being made and mentioned this to the teacher (master’s with 28 years in classroom teaching history), She had no idea what I meant. Afterwards, I found out she had been voted best teacher there 3 times.

  9. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Rik, I agree. A lot need to be done to our education system. I feel the battle over science is more important than English Literature, but that’s just my opinion. The whole system needs an overhaul with fundies excluded from the decision making process.

  10. Ted Goas Says:

    I am also skeptical of homeschooling since it can be easy for the ‘teacher’ to teach anything they agree with (like religion) and conveniently exclude anything they don’t. The student is none the wiser. I am certainly not going to tell anyone how to raise their kids (religious or not). But these homeschooled children will eventually be let out into the wilderness that is life…

    As with religion in public and non-religious schools, can’t we keep the church and state separate? We have Sunday school and other education programs for the church… But I suppose this is a whole separate discussion.

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Honestly, looking back, I really enjoyed my public education. Not because I feel it was a supremely “high quality” education nor because I have good social memories (I was a freak/geek/misfit with very few friends). I enjoyed it looking back because of how it primed me to come out of my shell later in life. I lived in a white suburban neighborhood where everybody went to the same church and everybody had the same outlook on life. The school was a melting pot, thanks largely due to the way students are divided up by “affirmative action” policies that conservatives hate so much. It was simply an eye-opening experience to get the interaction I otherwise would not have with people of different cultures, backgrounds, and views. I didn’t fully appreciate the experience until much later in life.

    I worry some homeschoolers (and even private schoolers) miss out on these opportunities. I know many home schoolers do all types of extracurricular activities, but I worry about a potential lack of diversity in some cases. This isn’t a blanket statement (I’m sure many get a great education and exposure to many different people), but it is a concern. Fundie homeschoolers, for instance, likely seldom interact with non-fundies. I think that’s dangerous and damaging.

    Besides, how bad is the public school system anyway? I’m a product of it and I went on to a great university and now a fantastic job that I love. I’m not saying it doesn’t need work or room for improvement (I am all for an overhaul and increased budget in many ways), but is home schooling and/or private schooling really that much better?