The educators were caught off-guard. The parents were caught off-guard.
Let's not make decisions about what method works and doesn't work. These are unprecedented times. Just make sure your child reads about topics they enjoy, and do activities they enjoy.
Reading and Writing are the most important skills. This is for a short period of time anyways. Relax, you only need an hour or 2 a day. Ensure your child is happy and healthy. Those are the most important measurements.
All the best.
I fear the same will happen to the notion of home schooling.
(Other than extreme edge cases).
I see no issue with home schooling receiving a negative rep.
Unless you're a trained educator, I see no benefit to home schooling children and depriving them of standard curriculums and socializing.
(I'm biased having only experienced positive public school environments in Russia and Canada. Perhaps there is some dystopia with the American Public School system, but the root problem is America, not public schools)
Personally I learned nothing (edit: not much) in school, was bullied, it was an awful experience and all I remember is watching the clock all day waiting for it to pass while daydreaming. Elementary school was like one year to learn to make additions, one year multiplication, for how many hours in school? To finally get a lot of children struggling to read in 6th grade. Middle school was more or less the same for me. I feel like I was the subject of an ideology too.
I think partly because I never had the fine tuned sense of social interaction that many are naturally blessed with and paired with a dangerous tendency to let pigheaded curiosity be a guiding principle.
But, the the stuff it has taught me is indispensable. It was never taught explicitly, but without school I would have grown up completely oblivious of the invisible walls, thorns and highways that inhabit the society we live in.
Like if you want to infiltrate into a rebel base as a spy, you would want to spend a lot of time learning their mannerisms and adopting a persona. School helped me tremendously in fitting in, because my type of person would have certainly ended up an outcast in this society, if I was to be homeschooled.
I read this essay a few years ago and it really resonated, it does obviously a way better job at putting my feeling into words: http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html
My small town school had instances of missing teeth, broken jaws, one kid beaten far enough to require hospitalization for 2 weeks, etc. 10 years later, the popular kids say that there was no bullying and it was all intended in good fun. My therapist didn't even believe me at first when I discussed the things that were going on at my school, but luckily I do have some reminders of those times on visible places.
Your school sounds awful, I'm sorry. I went to a pretty diverse school with >2000 students, so there was some violence, but it was either mutual or gang-related. Petty teenager dickishness existed, but nothing like the kind of Stephen King bullies you describe. As far as I know, at least.
I admit I could've been oblivious, but for that to be possible already indicates a friendlier environment than these descriptions.
There are so many things that happen when you are sitting in a class of 32 students that could be far better. Delays simply due to lagging students, teachers not having time to properly explain things, or get to understand and correct holes in their students' knowledge, tailor subjects to their tastes and interests, etc. Some random acquaintance who home schooled her children pointed out to us that their biggest problem - after finishing the government mandated curriculum for the day in 2 hours - was finding things to actually keep the kids busy for the rest of the day. It makes me wonder what an optimised education system could actually achieve.
There's also the issue that in a home schooling environment, the student is vastly freer to just ask questions. In a school, there's a curriculum and a lesson plan to follow, so the only questions that get answered are along the lines of "how do I do (this thing you just asked me to do)".
Another way to put that is that public schooling has the same problem, and institutionally at least the solution is to just discourage those questions.
A parent teaching their child for months and years gets a pretty good idea of how their child learns. They don't need to know how to accommodate every learning style, they just need to figure out one.
On the flipside, I have had several real teachers about whom I frequently wondered why they had chosen teaching as a profession. It was like they lacked both the aptitude for it, and had an intense dislike of students. To be fair, most were not like this, and there were a few truly excellent ones. But to make the argument that they are all highly trained, excellent professions is a bit of a stretch.
That being said, you don't need to know all the material on day one. My mother did not know algebra when she taught it to my older brother the first time. She simply worked through the book a few lessons ahead of us, and if we ran into a problem we really couldn't answer, she reached out to friends and/or family who might be able to help. And I'm sure that wasn't the first or last time she encountered material that was new to her.
There are a significant number of resources and support organizations that can provide material, lesson plans, cooperative support, and many other things for those who aren't experts in a given field. I know many groups who collectively trade subjects leaning on friends who have a particular specialization.
If you teach your child how to learn on their own, they will be able to, at some point, take over their own education. That's what happen with myself and my two brothers. We all started taking primary responsibility for learning as we matured, and going into high school only occasionally leaned on our mom for assistance in a given subject.
The important thing here isn't that you as a parent know everything, but that you as a parent are willing to leverage the resources at your disposal and to invest time in learning when you need it.
As for education at high schools/middle schools, that also really depends. States usually have a teaching certificate/degree as needed, but sometimes a math degree is fine for teaching a math class even if you haven't taken any classes on education. Typically this happens in cases where there's a shortage of teachers for a subject. It doesn't help that a lot of states pay pretty mediocre for teachers.
I can say personally one of the high schools I went to, most if not all of the teachers had not done a degree in education and their background was pretty much entirely having studied the associated subject in college. I think for my other high school my teachers typically had education backgrounds, but even there I remember my chemistry teacher did not (she happened to be excellent anyway). My chemistry teacher had a chemical engineer background instead and wound up choosing to teach.
Extra anecdote I know my dad has been teaching for decades now as a professor, but back when he got his PhD he never TAed. He had 0 teaching experience/education until he taught his first class. I think TA requirements are less common in europe which is where got his PhD, although he did get it awhile ago so maybe things have changed since then.
Home schooling has a number of outsize advantages that neither public nor private school has:
* Individualized attention and instruction especially in the early grades.
* An emphasis on self learning and self instruction in the later grades.
* It is more time efficient allowing young children more time for play.
* It encourages development of social skills by imitating adults not you peers. In my particular circle of home schooled children this resulted in being more comfortable holding a conversation with other adults and in general less problematic social behaviors with other children.
* In many of our cases including my own personal case it resulted in a better education than the public school was capable of providing. (I was on the path to failing if my parents had not intervened in this way.)
The trade off is that our family had to be single income for most of my childhood and thus very low income. We were poor though I didn't know it at the time. My mom and dad had to sacrifice quite a bit to make it work. Home schooling requires a large investment in money and time to be done efectively.
I by no means think that home schooling is for everyone. My wife and I had to choose a different route for our family due to a number of personal circustances. However for those who are prepared and capable of doing what it takes it can be a superior education for many children.
I also do not think that public school is evil. It's an incredible tool to empower people to better themselves. But like homeschooling it's effectiveness is a function of the community and society they are in being willing to make the tradeoffs and sacrifices needed to have an effective education system.
For those families who are in a society where that is not the case home schooling can provide a way out where there might not have been any other way.
When learning a language, the worst thing you can do is practice with fellow learners. It encourages propagation of mistakes, and can result in a miniature broken dialect among your group. I can see an argument that socialization is similar.
I believe that a side benefit of home education is that the process does not destroy a persons respect for learning and accomplishment.
And if you’ve never met a religious homeschooler then your sample size is quite skewed. According to the Department of Education they account for more than 66% of homeschoolers.
affluential = affluent + influential
In case I wasn't clear in the above - if you went to school in a middle or upper class area, count your lucky stars, and consider the fact that your experience may not be representative of everyone's.
This is probably the biggest factor.
I can't imagine being schooled and not being socially mal-adjusted.
The big problem is that most of the socializing we know, is never explicitly taught, rather it's implicitly imprinted on us as we go through the same stages of life. Skip one of those, and it becomes immediately visible.
In a less egregious example, in Grad School, it took less than an hour of knowing someone to intuit if they have ever had to share their private space with someone else before. (ie. if they dormed in UG or shared rooms growing up). Similarly, spending your formative years in a non-standard environments leads to mannerisms that people similarly pick up on. Often, the differences are not taken kindly.
Socialization has never been the exclusive domain of the School Building/Environment. I would expect the most significant factor in any person's socialization skills would be the parents, as those are the people the child spends most the first 6 years of their life interacting with. And that doesn't change when a child goes to school. They'll still spend a more significant amount of time around their own family than with other people.
And who says that a school building is the only place that a child is going to encounter people who aren't in their own family? Churches, sports, a child's own neighborhood, and a wide array of social opportunities exist outside of school yards and classrooms. All offer opportunities for a child to encounter people who are different from them.
And, though anecdotal, I have met just as many socially maladjusted people who have gone to public or private schools as I have in the homeschool communities I've been a part of.
You can get more effective education from a couple of hours employing an educator to work 1-1 or in small groups; you can get more effective socializing from going to sports and hobby clubs which don't have to be segregated by age and where you can leave if it isn't working out - this teaches you how to value your time.
This. I haven't read a single comment on Facebook from anyone complaining that their kids will get less knowledge this year.
If this flailing response from the US gov't is typical, we can expect incompetence and denial to make coordinated response to outbreaks impossible. Even a sane administration would have limited options without universal healthcare, a strong social safety net so that people can survive without jobs, and dare I say a Green New Deal to drive the economy and avoid the next catastrophe.
Antibiotic resistance is a looming threat to modern healthcare, and covid-19 may worsen it: https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-may-worsen-the-antibiot... If antibiotics lose their effectiveness, the world will not be the same.
It's also not possible to understate the threat of the potential spread of anti-science sentiment, including anti-vaxxers. Good policies could be defeated by enough people simply refusing to follow them.
TL;DR: The benefit of home schooling protecting people from disease will remain relevant.
I might look at working remotely more often after this is over. My commute isn't bad, around 30 minutes (half of it's walking, which is nice to stretch my legs), but it might be nice to work from home just to have my own space and wear nothing but underpants for a day or two a week.
It would also be nice to go on some "workations", visiting another city/country and working during the week and doing vacation things in the evenings and weekend. I've got friends and family I want to visit, but I only get 4 weeks of paid leave a year. Most of them also work during the week so it would be a good way to spend my time.
I haven’t visited other countries, but I do working visits every other month when I see my family. Best benefit is keeping normal structure/routine while having more time to visit.
One of the things that a lot of people used to say before the pandemic was that chatting on Slack is wasting time. However, without something like Slack your productivity can just go down to zero. To be fair, I'm completely happy with IRC. I'm also completely happy with email. But you need to be spending time typing out those thoughts and receiving thoughts from your teammates. It seems counter-productive, but it's really important.
Especially because I'm 9 timezones away from my colleagues it's particularly tough -- there is nobody to chat to when I'm working. So what I do is just start a monologue on IRC. I start a thread (if I'm being kind... sometimes I forget) and I just type what I'm doing: "I've started story X. I ran into problem A, but I fixed it with technique T. Boy this part of the code stinks. What do you guys think about refactoring next time we get a chance? WTH??? How does B work? It just looks borken. Oh... Derp. I figured it out. I thought it did R, but actually it does S".
This makes a massive difference. One thing it does is show your colleagues what you are doing. It also shows them that you are doing something. It also forces you to do something even when you don't feel like it. But it also allows your colleagues to join your monologue and turn it into a dialog (I wonder if it used to be spelled dialogue...). Even if they only type "LOL! I know, right? That code is the worst!" it's enough. Someone has touched you. Someone cares.
In the best cases you get, "Oh wait! You need to do Y when you do that otherwise the data will be corrupt" followed by, "Hey, let's get together in chat and take a look at this together". Because otherwise you get your PR in and people are shitting all over it and you think everybody hates you (and they feel exactly the same way). In the absence of information, the mind imagines a hostile environment. I don't know why, but it just seems to work that way. So if people are not regularly touching minds, then you just end up getting more and more grouchy.
Taking some vacation can help to get your head in a better place, but just make sure that you look at your work situation and realise that you need to change it to make it better. Thinking that you will work harder (or better) and that it will solve the problem is the typical mistake. Once you have a work habit that works for you, it will not be difficult. You do not need to work harder or concetrate better. You need to work differently.
Hope that helps you out. Feel free to email me if you would like other pointers. The way you seem to be feeling is really common and I have a lot of experience with it ;-)
There's going to be a lot of that. I know a couple people working in big orgs where major decisions like going paperless on certain forms -- which they had begged for for years, and had numerous meetings to work out how they could ever be paperless, and what the path to get there would look like, target dates, etc. -- suddenly happened one day to the next, because it had to be done.
Will be interesting to look at business management changes in the future. What do decisions look like if you just say they simply have to happen?
I agree with that and would add that I think a huge part of the difficulty comes from a rift in culture. If a CEO does not consciously make an effort bridge the culture between remote and in-office work, it creates a strange divide that chokes collaboration and can even be catastrophic to turnover.
Having a mix of remote and non-remote can work great, just keep in mind there's a particularly difficult dynamic that will constantly need management and maintenance.
Still it's hard for people who aren't used to it.
My kids are being schooled by their teachers remotely, not by me - this process has little in common with "traditional homeschooling" other than the room it happens in, everything else is different.
Oh man, this is the truest thing I've heard since the quarantine started.
I loved that my team had a flexible WFH policy year round. On days with chores, I could stay at home and get some work done. I could travel while working. If I work up late or on the wrong side of the bed, I could avoid the trouble of dressing up and just login while brewing myself a coffee.
But now, I hate it. I've realized, I love remote work precisely because I can work from the office the rest of the time. The loss of productivity, communication and socialization doesn't feel like much if it is 1 day a week.
But, all the time. God No!
For me personally, I can do my work just fine, I just miss being around other my coworkers and having a clear separation between my work environment and my home environment. I look forward to returning to my office when it's possible.
One outcome I expect will be fairly common is that some subset of people will happily rush back to the office as soon as it's safe to do so. And they'll find out that many of their coworkers aren't in nearly as big a hurry to shift back to the office full-time and will shift to continue working remotely a significant percentage of the time.
Will depend on the company and the work of course. But I suspect that people who really like to have their whole team physically with them on a day-to-day basis aren't going to like the shift that will happen in many cases.
For example, I had a good experience working from home before Covid 2-3 days of the week while the kids were at school and kindergarten; however, in the current circumstances the work from home is very, very different due to the need to combine it with doing childcare at the same time.
I mean, consider evaluating the merits and drawbacks of working in an office during a mandated "bring your kids to the office" day.
Of course some people will hate it, but horses for courses.
Furthermore, it's not uncommon for homeschooling groups to arrange to have adult tutors for some subjects, especially in the higher grades.
> I know that by the time our child was in 2nd grade he was already doing most of his lessons without any adult intervention,
You're very fortunate. For my kids that kinda/ sorta true for the high-school one. And from what I've seen, they're not the exception. It even gets worse with teenage children, because they'll challenge your authority - so while they may work on stuff that teachers gave them, they won't easily take suggestions from you (e.g. what to study, for the high-school exams).
You switch to being a single income family.
One parent, most usually the mother, gives up their career progression for the duration of their children's education.
Actual homeschooling isn't that difficult for the simple reason that there is a massive amount of resources available online - from distance learning organisations or individual tutors offering tuition on specific subjects, to distance learning organisations handling the whole curriculum, to mixing and matching DIY learning together with enlisting the help of distance learning organisations for more 'difficult' subjects - think Maths, Chemistry and Physics (the route we took).
It just depends on how deep your pockets are and your level of commitment i.e. if the homeschooling parent is willing to put in the hours to prep ahead of lessons or they'd prefer to leave it all up to a distance learning organisation and they just act as the facilitator.
We're currently putting our two girls through UK GCSEs, it's a mix of my wife teaching them English and a couple of others subjects and me teaching them Computer Studies, and us then also paying for online tuition in Spanish and the services of a local Music teacher.
It's one thing to thoughtfully decide that it is best for your family to outsource education for various reasons. It's quite another to think that it is, by default, impossible to do it yourself.
> It's quite another to think that it is, by default, impossible to do it yourself.
It's not, if they chose the same career path as I did, or my wife did. But I don't see how we could plausibly expose them to different options. Case in point - the older child plans to study architecture; the exam involves quite specialized drawing skills. Both of us would have extremely limited knowledge to guide her.
This is a ridiculous comparison. There are a lot of things I took a class or two in that I am not qualified to teach.
Most people are not qualified to teach most subjects at s high level.
I’m a professor and there are only certain topics that I am an expert in. I could tech myself high school chemistry again, but it’s been a few decades.
I’d say the majority of people who are still employed and have no kids are having a fairly pleasant time at home.
School is, for the vast majority of kids, a good framework for life.
Back when public schooling started in the US, I gather that it was about preparation for factory work. And military service, I guess.
But I do agree with the dead comment that it tends to kill off creativity, curiosity and playfulness.
Lately I've been working a couple hours in the morning, then a lot more after the kids go to bed a few nights per week.
We started the first week of the stay-at-home order here with a 6 hour/day schedule for the kids (including reading time, neighborhood walk, etc), but that fell apart after about 4 days.
At this point, we try to have them do something fairly educational in the morning for an hour or two, and then just let them play. We've only barely touched the surface of what the teachers are sending us. Obviously this isn't going to put them behind, being 5 and 7 years old. The Zoom meetings with their teachers are mostly just to stay connected to their friends, and I think that is completely fine.
This morning, my 7 year old learned about calculating area by figuring out how many pieces of yarn she'd need for a "latch kit" rug thing. She didn't even know she was learning math!
Children are a lot more resilient than we give them credit for, they will bounce back education-wise.
That doesn't make them unfit parents!
A cat, a goldfish or even a houseplant are 'healthy and happy'.
I'm hoping we as human beings strive to move beyond a simple vegetable existence.
That would be interesting.
How do you define happiness ? If "happy" is the baseline for existence a lot of us don't even exist.
Some people spent their lives working on this very topic:
Unfortunately it is not.
It's one of the most common goals in life, but it's not so widespread as one might think.
Many live non-happy lives, still exist and still try to make their lives better, one way or another.
We have been homeschooling our eldest son for a year now and can never imagine going back to full time school. It has brought an immense amount of freedom and bonding to our family, not to mention an incredible amount of life experience for him with various activities (grocery shopping, museums, parks, hikes, etc). However, it was miserable to start primarily because we tried to mimic the exact school environment and schedule at home; a complete disaster! Schools are designed to teach a large amount of children; parents and homes are designed to teach individual children.
Would you use an entire cafeteria kitchen to cook lunch for your kids?
If you take a hard look at the time spent during school, you will see tons of filler. If you were _only_ going for schooling, you wouldn't need homeroom, lunch, PE (get your activity at home), and several subjects.
Not to mention, at home you can tailor the lessons to your kids, and you don't keep getting interrupted because some kids out of 30 in your classroom are being disruptive.
I know this is a popular opinion but it’s ahistorical. Compulsory education was introduced in the late 1800s when about half of Americans still worked in agriculture, by far the largest sector of the economy at the time. Most families did not need childcare outside their home.
Today, school ends well before the professional workday does—pretty poor childcare.
The fact is that the main purpose of school is to educate kids, which is necessary to prepare them to live in a complex society. But, to teach kids you also have to care for them, hence the “fillers” like lunch and exercise.
Sadly, it’s true that for some kids, school is a major source of food and care in their lives. This is a failing of society, not of schools specifically.
> at home you can tailor the lessons to your kids, and you don't keep getting interrupted because some kids out of 30 in your classroom are being disruptive.
Which is why it’s legal to home school your kids if you want to, even when there is not a global pandemic. :-)
90% of secondary school is not necessary for living in modern society.
As long as you can do arithmetic, percentages and fractions and can read and write? You've got all you need really.
If you want particular jobs there may be extra requirements of course.
It teaches a huge amount of stuff in a manner that does not help at all in forming opinions on public policy while failing to instil the most important basics, such as an understanding of sampling bias and appreciation for nation-level scale.
This is far from universal btw.
This point has been especially proven by the fact that a lot of countries right now have reopened schools, but only for children whose parents can't supervise them at home because they have jobs that require them onsite still.
It does not proves that is the purpose of the school is babysitting. Moreover, schools are currently doing online education for kids at home. As flawed as it is and as it requires involvement of parent, it is organized by the school.
That depends on if you have multiple children and one starts flipping out.
Overall your point is pretty valid though
and you will grow up unprepared to real life facts, such as people interrupting.
We're debating what to do come August. We have a 5 year old entering Kindergarten. We live in a good school district, but we don't want to be part of an experiment as they figure out how to do online learning. Online learning for 5 year olds sounds disastrous too. So we've thought of trying home schooling.
The thing is, that 5 year old comes with twin 2 year olds. And the 5 year old has a huge attitude when dealing with us, but not teachers. She is way more productive when it comes to learning stuff in pre-school than with us because she flat out ignores us at least half the time. Can't imagine how my wife would manage that along with twin toddlers running around destroying everything.
Days are already frustrating as hell for her. A majority of the day is spent with at least one of them crying over something. Trying to stack learning on top of it sounds like a recipe for bad times.
Edit: especially with social distancing. Any other time we could lean on grandparents or local families in similar situations. Right now we can't. Not everyone can use extended family in normal times, much less the current problems we're facing.
The one, couldn't read or write until the age of 8 or 9, when his mum found books under his pillow he had decided to learn because he liked the subject matter, she left him alone and provided help when he asked, and within 7 months he could read and write and was completely and utterly fluent, moreso than some adults I have met who have a complete schooling.
The other, was not much of a reader, and was barely fluent, picked up reading and writing at around 9. He read lord of the rings at around the same age (10 or 11) and ripped through the series in a handful of months.
A lot of people treat learning as something you have to sit the child down to do, but that cannot be further from the truth were they removed from the exposure of school.
Personally for you I would look up Autonomous Home Education, and Unschooling. Children are extremely gifted at learning -- I mean, they're built to learn -- and if left to mostly their own devices (which is extremely terrifying at first), and occasional passive action (like say, buying interesting books, not communicating it, and leaving it on the shelf to be discovered -- brains are good at picking up when the environment changes C: ), they will find interest in learning and discovering subjects of their own accord.
(Do note, however, that many parents find that you have to give them a rest from learning and allow them to recover from the stress of school and discover their own rhythms! the average is 6 months, in my case because of a mathematics teacher that got me so stressed out I was unable to perform the act of adding up numbers in my head, it was 2 years!)
And even if they don't, a lot of people treat childhood as the absolute holy grail of learning -- if you don't understand it as a child you are doomed! However think about how much adults could learn if they decided they wanted to make a concrete effort, muted the distractions, and sat down for 2 hours total a week? They cannot because they find learning to be a chore! Ultimately your job as a parent is to make sure the adult that forms is capable and able to continue to learn. At best, schools fail disastrously at this, at worst, they actually hinder and set the resulting adult against learning forever more.
It takes some adjustment because they may be used to having you full time. You can also start your 3 year old doing "school work". They can look at books, play with toys, watch leapfrog letter factory, color a page, etc.
The other thing to remember is that a 5 year old with attitude is always better than a 15 year old with an attitude. If you don't deal with it now, you are just going to push it off till they are older.
Note: we homeschool our 5 kids.
The 7yo is fine. 5yo is learning to read and can look after herself with some programs but needed help now and then - she also learns better with teachers. The 2yo disrupts everything unless you put her in front of an iPad for hours on end. The older two went back to school today and the 2yo back in childcare a couple of days a week. Depending on your work situations, I'd suggest leaning on formal schooling and get the 2yos in childcare a day a week to get a break for work or even just catching up around the house.
I think it'd be difficult to do the 5yo's homeschooling justice with 2yos helping.
The problem with treating it as a holiday holiday is that campgrounds are closed, restaurants and attractions are closed. So it's a home-bound holiday heading into winter. Otherwise I'd happily get the kids out of school again and drag them around AU or even just SA.
That said, you could just do 3-6 months of mucking around at home. Cooking, gardening, stay up late, informal learning, projects. I don't think kids would be catastrophically worse off from something like that.
- play groups gives play time w/ mixed-age kids
- piano lesson gives (non-parent) teacher-student setting
- living every day life has child interact with adults for various things (e.g. ask the cashier if they have X for you to buy)
- tight knit parish community gives very diverse age range (babies, toddlers, teens, seniors, etc) for both play, service, hikes, etc
- siblings close in age
Full disclosure, I was very skeptical of homeschooling to start and am myself a product of one of the best Bay Area private schools. I only chose to give homeschooling a try as I had a flexible remote-work situation and thus a year of not being tied to a school schedule seemed worth a shot. It has been a success beyond my imagination and my son is not only ahead of where I expected scholastically, but also socially.
Also, where I live, driving around to all those activities would add up to a lot of time. I assume you live in a more urban area where those things are in close proximity/within walking distance?
Sorry to sound snarky, but the idea that homeschool kids are somehow socially stunted is a myth that needs to die. If anything, it's the other way around. Homeschool kids are exposed to a much wider variety of social situations which develops a broad base of social skills and preparation for adult responsibility much more effectively than the stifling and artificial environment of public schools does.
I'm sorry, but it's not a myth. It's something that can and does happen in many cases, depending pretty much entirely on the attitude of the parents. I was homeschooled. My religious parents viewed it as an opportunity to shelter me from the evils of the world. I now have social anxiety, difficulty relating to other people, an inability to make and keep friends, and several other mental health issues.
The majority of "homeschooled" students I knew (and know) were barely homeschooled - starting in middle school or high school, most of their classes were taught co-operatively by other homeschooling parents, or paid community college professors looking for some extra money. (I took several math and science classes this way.) Full homeschooling (where every single "class" from K-12 is done in the home) needs to be undertaken with extreme caution, if at all, especially when the kids get past grade school, and need to be hearing the ideas and input of peers as they relate to the things they are learning. The also need to be having social experiences with peers many times per week, which becomes very difficult even for dedicated parents.
We don't do education otherwise, we wanted to flexischool (UK) but the teachers vetoed it. However, we know quite a few families who homeschool and they have an incredible bunch of socially active, artistically skilled, intellectually capable kids. Socially, they seem to be ahead of other groups, to me, because (I contend) they get/got a lot of inter-age interaction. There's probably a lot of selection effects too.
My own kids seem, in contrast, to have gotten more out of clubs fitted in around schooling, as opposed to their socially fulfilling time seeming to be more co-terminous with educational experience.
One thing I'm concerned about with school is that up until 12yo the kids only regular day-time contact with men is the janitor ... it's a slightly orthogonal issue, but I guess in general "you can't pick your teachers" applies for most people and even in our pretty nice neighborhood a couple of the teachers have had lasting negative effects on our kids.
My guess is yes, but I have no direct evidence of that. The thing I think I can say with certainty is that there's a long tail of parental effects on socialization for homeschooled kids. Very severely conservative or religious parents are very likely to have kids with these problems to a moderate or strong degree. And quite a few homeschooling parents in the United States are like this - you might very well be in a liberal or urban bubble if you don't see this in your local homeschooling community.
> My own kids seem, in contrast, to have gotten more out of clubs fitted in around schooling
I don't mean to sound like I'm totally opposed to homeschooling. I actually think it can be much better than public schools with the right parents, the right environment, the right amount of money, and so on. I'm not clear on exactly how old your kids are, but I would warn that I do think it's significantly harder to encourage the best social development once they become teenagers.
> a couple of the teachers
By "teachers" I assume this means you are hiring outside instructors or doing co-op classes with other homeschooling families where your kids and there kids are being taught at the same time. This is a very different kind of experience and not what I referred to as "full homeschooling" in another comment in this thread.
It's something that can and does happen in many cases, depending pretty much entirely on the attitude of the parents.
Also, can you use ">" to offset quotes instead of four spaces? Because HN uses that for code, it's not readable for mobile users.
For sure, I'm not denying that, I'm just saying there's a difference between the possible outcome of having an awful time and being so socially abnormal that you get panicky talking to the cashier at the Burger King and can't make any friends.
The absolute worst-case, most socially-awkward homeschooler I ever met ended up just fine after a couple of years of college, which fully made up for any socialization deficiencies he may have suffered from being isolated from his public school peers.
>Our preliminary research suggests that homeschooled children are at a greater risk of dying from child abuse than are traditionally schooled children.
>In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, Knox seemed to confirm that. Examining cases of severe and fatal child abuse, Knox found that 47 percent of the young victims had been removed from school to be home schooled
I agree with everything you’re saying about social experiences. I think making sure kids have plenty of opportunities to interact with people outside of their immediate circle is super important. It’s just as doable with homeschooling as with traditional schooling but it requires more intentionality because it might not happen naturally in the same way.
On the other hand, I can understand the frustration that homeschooling parents feel when other people assume that homeschooling will cause their kids to grow up weird.
I’m also annoyed when a discussion about the pros and cons of choosing to homeschool one’s kids leads to people citing cases of child abuse (further down the thread; I’m not talking about any of your comments).
The fact that some parents homeschool as a cover for abuse isn’t relevant to my decision on whether or not homeschooling is a good path for my kids.
I plan to homeschool my kids. My parents did a decent job with me, but I can do much better with my kids (in part because of my experience with my parents’ choices).
This site is filled with introverted engineers -- not exactly a representative sample. 3.4% of kids are homeschooled, 64% of which are doing so in order to provide religious instruction.
Most friendships are based on serendipity and closeness and repeated interactions.
While public schooling does have its drawbacks, and some bad bullying scenarios (we’ve all been there), it also does have some good things. And you meet a variety of other kids, that comes from different walks of life, that may positively (or negatively) influence your own life.
Sure, you can supplement your kid’s social activities with going to church, or karate, or ballet, or piano, or other extracurricular activities, but it’s not quite the same.
Church, for one, is too cohesive, and results in groupthink. And that’s if you really want your kid to worship a bible, instead of understanding science. The other extracurricular activities on the other hand, lacks cohesion, that you don’t build lifelong friendships through that.
The other thing is, home-schooling tends to shelter your kids. You need them to build the toughness and mental resilience, from peer competition with other kids at school, in order to face the real world.
Because in the real world, you now compete with other adults, and a lot more is at stake. And you tend to learn these lessons along the way, as you grow up.
If you’re home-schooled, then how do you make childhood friends? How do you meet that dreamy girl, that you remember after all these years, just because she did something nice for you once.
While public schooling does have its drawbacks, and some bad bullying scenarios (we’ve all been there), it also does have some good things. And you meet a variety of other kids, that comes from different walks of life, that may positively (or negatively) influence your own life.
Sure, you can supplement your kid’s social activities with going to church, or karate, or ballet, or piano, or other extracurricular activities, but it’s not quite the same.
Church, for one, is too cohesive, and results in groupthink.
And that’s if you really want your kid to worship a bible, instead of understanding science.
The other extracurricular activities on the other hand, lacks cohesion, that you don’t build lifelong friendships through that.
The other thing is, home-schooling tends to shelter your kids.
Is an online class with a diverse crowd a sufficient replacement for actually going out, interacting, and being next to people of various racial, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds?
I've spent half of my life on online communities. If I went out into the world thinking the average person I interact with online was the same as the average person outside, I'd be very stunned by the reality and very ill-equipped. The types of people I encounter on Hacker News and other communities/groups I participate in online, well, I've almost never encountered similar people outside.
Is an online class with a diverse crowd a sufficient replacement for actually going out, interacting, and being next to people of various racial, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds?
I know there is plenty of diversity in small monocultural towns. But it is of a qualitatively different type.
When home schooling is used as one aspect of minimizing broader social contact for your children, it can be an issue. But it's not the home schooling per se that is the problem, but the attempt to narrow their world. And I agree it's totally unfair to paint every home schooled child with that particular brush.
But they do exist, and where they exist, most would highly benefit from traditional schools if for no other reason than it breaks the bubble a bit.
Having know a bunch of people who were home schooled in various ways I think your claim of clear superiority of preparation for adult life is also a bit too strong. On the whole I'd say it's a bit of a wash.
You need to elaborate, it is not at all clear how homeschooling will lead to a kid being exposed to a much wider variety of social situations.
If a homeschooled child never leaves the house, then yeah I can see it being a problem. But if they are allowed to go out and experience the world with their parents then they learn social skills by interacting with people of all ages, but mostly with adults who (most importantly) are already socialized and therefore model proper behavior instead of the insanity that goes on in age-segregated classrooms.
A shared culture is important, and each generation has their own touchstones.
You're basically just saying "if your parents socialize you then you'd be socialized." Sure, but if your parents don't socialize you then at least you'd have a slight chance to pick it up at school, if you're also kept away from school then you're just completely fucked.
I'm speaking as someone whose parents didn't socialize me.
On top of all that, even when engaging in core curricular study, homeschool kids are usually doing so in mixed-age groups, according to subject ability level--especially if they are part of a co-op.
Personally, I don’t think the occasional shared class or meetup with their peers compares to 8 hours every day being around hundreds of different personalities. Sometimes it can be hell, but you learn a lot about social interaction.
All that said I live in an area where most people that homeschool do it for religious reasons, so that could definitely be skewing things.
I’m saying this as an unschooler, who was entirely without a mandated curriculum from 2nd grade until adulthood.
A lot of it depends on the reasons for home schooling. My mum was just hippie-crunchy enough that when 6 year old me said I didn’t want to go to school, she just let me leave at the end of the year.
I’ve met incredibly awkward homeschoolers who were not in school due to religious parents. I’ve met families who just travel so much, it was easier on everybody to just homeschool their kids - these kids tend to be more socially developed than average IMO - May be because that lifestyle rewards kids for being outgoing. I’ve noticed many more trends, but there is ALWAYS an exception to the rule.
I should note that “successful” homeschooling does seem correlated with economic and social privilege; for me this was the case - I had the privilege of being raised in the greater Boston area, near enough public transport I could go into the city whenever I want. Personally, I can’t imagine raising kids in a rural environment where they can’t take bus anywhere, and don’t have easy access to other kids their own raise. But, of course, I know several people who were raised like that and are way more mature adults than most. I think this point is obvious, but traditional homeschooling also requires the privilege of having a parent who is not working, or the money to hire tutors (unschooling and co-op based homeschooling obviously has less of a dependency here).
No, that wasn't me. I certainly spent a lot more time interacting with other kids my age during weekdays, but quantity isn't quality.
I'd be curious to know if there's been any long-term research on this subject, but I'm not aware of anything.
1. Students and teachers are not always good role models and schools are not always a good environment for learning soft skills. Some schools are quite toxic. I'm sure many here can relate.
2. Who better to teach you social cues than your parents who love you and will be patient with you?
3. It depends on the child and the parents. Our oldest daughter is extremely introverted and was homeschooled yet has better social graces than her mother and I combined. Our middle daughter (extrovert) has a strong network of online/offline friends through various programs and activities. She will be starting a private school in the fall.
4. Homeschooled children get used to interacting with adults who are not in a school environment and tend to communicate in an adult like manner (IMHE).
5. The successful homeschoolers tend not to advertise it, yet they are everywhere. Unsuccessful home schoolers often become the subject click bait articles or books (ala Tara Westover's experience).
School for me was a horrible experience socially for me. I wish I'd been home schooled.
Truthfully, the bullying by other kids didn't even bother me in the least because it was so mild compared to what my parents dished out non-stop.
While homeschooling can work wonderfully in some places, it is exceedingly irresponsible to advocate for unregulated homeschooling while knowing the terrible home life some children have.
There are plenty of ways to intentionally foster and coach leadership skills without putting your kid into a public school, and there are plenty of ways to give your kids freedom without them running around and getting into trouble.
These things are in no way things that are strictly exclusive to the common public school experience. If anything, you are more likely to have success by being intentional with your approach in a homeschooled environment that is free from things like peer pressure and drugs and lack of supervision.
IMO the two big issues are teachers who have difficulty with the online model and more importantly parents or caregivers who cannot control their kids.
We’re lucky in that our teachers get it and are doing a college like schedule with weekly assignments and three days with 2 one hour live sessions with two days of office hours and recorded sessions.
I suppose I just imagine most people have an idealised view of their child's education, and then decide they need to home-school to realise it. But perhaps that just wrong, I've no experience, first-hand or otherwise.
They had decided how, it just turned out they found a better way after giving it a try.
>I suppose I just imagine most people have an idealised view of their child's education, and then decide they need to home-school to realise it. But perhaps that just wrong, I've no experience, first-hand or otherwise.
They do, and they also have idealized views of their children. If you go into home education with a rigid plan of execution, you (and your children) are likely going to have a bad time.
Teaching is hard. Striking out on your own vector of pedagogy is a large risk that, if done well, can yield very large rewards...it can also be a disaster.
I can barely attend several hours worth of digital meetings, and I'm an adult. Imagine a 7-year old trying to do the same thing. Ridiculous.
I feel like public schools are more interested in just ensuring an equitable lowest common denominator result at the maximum budget possible to satisfy economic, social, and political grievances.
Parents of kids in public schools have dropped the ball on education. They rubber stamp yes votes on budget increases yearly, and never ask themselves why it continues to fail and get worse year by year.
There are some benefits to public education that I think many on HN gloss over due to their privileged perspective when they make sweeping generalities.
Fitness and access to a nurse is a benefit. For some kids, gym class is the only time they are physically active, and a checkup in the nurses office is their only source of medical care. Access to role models is another function. Sometimes a teacher or coach is the only positive role model a kid has in their life. Another benefit of schools are that they are a safe space for kids from abusive households.
Families in poverty also rely on meals from their school district. In the face of this crisis, LAUSD is still making meals for students and their families, at times giving away 500,000 meals in a single day (1).
Public education employs a rigid, inflexible curriculum focused on large scale standardization. Teachers unions ensure there are no performance evaluations for teachers; the only relevant metric is tenure. Teaching performance is dissociated from reward. Teachers also have expensive long term pensions which drag down balance sheets and create demands for even more funding.
Private school is able to avoid many of these issues, and charter schools are attempting to expand that model with government funding, although not without heady resistance from entrenched interests.
Property taxes can only pay for so much school if you have a large population not paying into it, and if the earmarks for the money aren’t actually going towards quality education, well, you get what you get.
My local school district, Mesa Public Schools, used portables when I was a child, and many campuses were simple, boxy, and ugly, now the campuses each resemble mini colleges. I can’t imagine the extra cost this has added while the education has arguably declined and budgets have sky rocketed.
We were just dinged with a huge property tax increase that was voted in because the schools claimed a funding shortfall. Their response to passing the vote was a huge pay increase to administrative staff and bonuses that resulted in the superintendent quickly and quietly resigning.
It’s these things you see in public schools that raise the ire of people and why they don’t mind chopping the legs out.
Conversely, these same parents are happy to pay money into a private school because they know what they are getting. Quality and their moneys worth.
Proposition 13 in particular was quite insidious to public education in California. Overnight, school district funding was slashed by a third. California public schools went from the best in the nation before prop 13, to like 38th in the nation today. The school district budget deficit has never recovered even after all the education bills passed since 1978.
Neither argument is rooted in critical thought, and neither argument is interesting - much less persuasive. In fact, critical thought really only leads to one outcome: this back and forth certainly doesn't work - ie: the education system should not be at the whim of the political system.
In other words, your argument helps convince me _against_ the point you're trying to make.
All that said, I find it fascinating (economically) that schools are rife with drug abuse. The public good of education appears to follow the public rules of the war of drugs less than any private property I've ever set foot on. I should add, emotionally, that I do not find it fascinating at all, and I miss a lot of lost friends.
The argument you're making, that schools simply lack funding, couldn't possibly ring more hollow to me. If you care about children, you should see those florescent-lit, cinder-block prisons for what they are.
> degenerate logic
Logic is logic. There is no logic for "degenerates".
Imagine what giving all those 13 year olds $2/hour jobs would do to the labor market.
I appreciated the work training from early experience in the job market. The skills learned from getting mentored by the business owners for the small business I worked for as a teenager was invaluable as I got older.
I wouldn’t have traded that for anything. Teenagers now only get their head filled up with lofty ideas as to how it should work, then go into the market at 18 with no experience in a job, no employment training, and no real concept of what it means to actually work and run a business.
Either at 13 or at 18, the thing is the same though. With the difference that at 18 they’re suddenly expected to know things that weren’t ever taught to them.
I was a product of public schooling, the my way or highway attitudes of some teachers, the social isolation, cliches, bullying, teasing, all severely stunted my social development until I was a teenager and began competing in sports team environments, working jobs, and interacting with the public outside of school.
After a couple years I was far more developed socially than anything the school environment provided in the decade prior to that.
When I hear this reason often used, I fear it’s from people who enjoyed their social life in school due to reasons not actually involving the school, and place too much value in those social dynamics, ignoring the really ugly parts of it that hamper growth for a lot of students, including themselves.
My own experiences show they lack any real application to life outside of school. I’ve never had a decent job that worked socially like any school environment I’ve been in, and the one or two I did have were quickly left.
Based on the data I've seen, what I describe is a typical or even better-than-average public school experience.
Private school was infinitely better once I started going, and my homeschooled friends (who I met at university) are, on the whole, vastly better adjusted than the people I attended public school with.
Let's be honest - public schools' primary functions are to act as a daycare center and subsidized food distribution site. If you child is at all intelligent, you're probably better off leaving them at home with some books than sending them off to PS17851. I know I would have been better off that way!
Would you have been though? There's a core curriculum that I really doubt most kids would learn if they had their own way. Even with intelligence there's lots of stuff kids would never learn as it never interests them. What are the odds that a child is interested in Shakespeare, civics, biology, and trigonometry? We're drug through a lot of it kicking and screaming (to an extent), but it has value to have gone through it.
Insofar as kids learn (and retain) things at all, chances are they were going to learn it on their own anyway.
The preponderance of evidence suggests that it basically doesn't matter what you forcibly try to teach kids between the ages of zero-13; their later academic outcomes aren't going to change much anyway.
This matches my anecdotal experience; kids who end up being good in some field are always way ahead of what public schools (which are forced to cater to the lowest common denominator) can teach them anyway, and kids who end up not being good at a field will probably pick up the same information they're being taught naturally, at a more natural and less painful pace.
> What are the odds that a child is interested in Shakespeare, civics, biology, and trigonometry
High? Lots of kids choose to read books on various topics with their free time and focus, which they would have more of if they weren't swamped with pointless make-work.
Plus, it's not like you're actually going to get a comprehensive or even useful understanding of any of those things from the bottom 80% of schools.
> but it has value to have gone through it
Even if this is true (but I suspect the "kicking and screaming" might actually be net counterproductive), I really doubt it's worth the cost of spending something like 25% of your waking hours in Factory Labor Simulator for the first 13 (or whatever) years of your life.
On the flip side, I can't possibly imagine how an average parent can homeschool their child in advanced calculus or chemistry. The knowledge simply isn't there. And saying it can be replaced with videos or books is missing the point of education.
We did notice! How have you not noticed? Almost everyone comes out of public school marred in some way that they then have to unlearn as a young adult.
It's just a rough, toxic place. Sure, while it is harming you (some mildly, some significantly), it also delivers some benefits. But it is a net loss.
Because in fact I learned bullying in (high) school. How to be bullied and how to bully others. (I actually remember being given a informal class about how to to it properly, by other pupils) There were allways at least on person in class who was the bottom of the social order, who would get everything. But everybody got its share, who showed any weakness or lack of "coolness" which could mean anything at that time, like not smoking.
And I know many people who never sing anymore, because they have been traumatized in the school singing presentation. Likewise with other presentations. I could always sing without problem, as I learned singing from my mother, but others whose parents did not sing with them, were always scared of the singing and embarrasing themself in front of everyone, but accepted that as a 2 times a year ritual and just reinforced their trauma every time.
But in compensation I got a trauma with presentation. I don't know exactly how it started, but probably with a teacher who liked to destroy childrens self confidence, if they were not perfectly prepared for the boring assignment and a class who was either sleeping or annoying. Got me a stuttering habit, too.
Today I can give presentations, but I had a really hard time learning it later in life.
So I am not sure what I will do, once my baby gets old enough, as I am located in germany and germany does not like homeschooling and I also would want other homeschoolers to be around, because I also think, that learning in small groups mostly beats learning alone or one on one.
Have you seen evidence that schools contribute more to social skills than their alternatives might? I'd like to agree with you, but I am a little skeptical.
No idea why that would be but of the 12 or so I've meet they've stood out as above average.
Just for math alone, often times to complete a single day's activitiy, four different websites are involved, usually all requiring different login/password information.
Get assignments from Google Calendar
Watch instruction on youtube. Do lesson on Zearn.org. Watch video on Khan Academy. Complete quiz on iReady.
Take picture of your scratch work so you can upload to google calendar.
I am a technology junkie and always have been, but I definitely miss the days from my own schooling where everything I needed to both learn and do in Math for the day was in a single textbook... It's sad how much we have complicated things with technology.
Now they have completely changed how math should be done, require many extra "steps" that seem to be unnecessary that parents were never taught, and do not provide a book at all for reference of what these new methods are. It almost seems like they are trying to make learning as frustrating as possible.
I'd also love just a simple (please, just the plainest of HTML, it does not need to be another fucking app or "webapp") checklist of what's due for the current week, per day, with a check for "submitted", a check for "received/acknowledged", and a check for "graded" (so don't bother submitted or updating if you didn't already). Maybe make the name of each thing linkable when relevant.
[EDIT] Oh and
> Now they have completely changed how math should be done, require many extra "steps" that seem to be unnecessary that parents were never taught, and do not provide a book at all for reference of what these new methods are. It almost seems like they are trying to make learning as frustrating as possible.
Yes. Ugh. "Word sentence". No. It's a fucking equation. I swear I can't figure out what they even want half the time because they're using weird terms. And this is first grade math.
I do think gamification can have positive externalities as well, though. Comparing high scores in Number Munchers was the first time in my early 90s grade school that it was socially cool to stand out academically. That can be socially liberating for smart students afraid to be uncool (or academically liberating for cool students afraid to be seen as caring about school). I don't think you get the same effect if the status signal comes in the form of praise/grades from the "uncool" teacher.
They could implement this tomorrow but choose not to.
And its no wonder. 15% of students have yet to be in contact with their teachers during this survey period (1). In south central, 16% of students lack basic internet access. It's hard to imagine this perspective for a lot of the HN demographic, where we imagine internet has been ubiquitous in the U.S. for decades, but this is still not the case for low income areas in one of the largest cities in north america.
Maybe children with academic parents will get some home-schooling, but children from poor backgrounds won't. Those are the ones who will be paying the price of the lock down. Two, three months without schooling will significantly hamper their development.
This will further bake in the inequities already present in our garbage education system. Those that have, will have more, better experiences due to involved parents (because they have flexible or even just able-to-be-completed remotely jobs). This will be an enrichment period for those students. If I had a high achieving middle schooler at a high income district, this would be amazing for their development. For those that don't have, they're losing 3-6 months of education, at a minimum. For my child, even with two highly educated parents, due to a lack of resources and access to technology, this will be a loss.
Source: My career in rural, urban, and suburban education, both k-12 and higher education.
This is a very unfair characterization. I live in a "high income district" and have a strong relationship with several of my kids' teachers.
None of them is "excited" about this, and neither is the district. It's a shitty situation and they're doing the best they can. That it's possible for them to do it is great but even in high income districts, you have kids who can't attend , and the impact of the delivery is weak compared to in-classroom (double for special needs kids).
Everyone is losing out, and some kids in rural or low-income districts are going to greatly suffer education-wise.
Few, other than with a dedicated non-working parent will benefit from this.
We have three kids (8, 6, and 3) and my wife and I are just happy if we can get through the day without anyone breaking an arm, which I’m sad to say we failed at a few days back. Oops!
There's a lot of us that are able to do our jobs remotely, but are still struggling to home school our children. Sure, it's better for us than it is for people that must go in to work, but please don't portray it as some sort of utopia. It's physically, emotionally, and mentally draining doing your normal, full time job AND home schooling your child.
Plus, I'm a horrible teacher.
> This will be an enrichment period for those students
It certainly isn't for my child. We're trying; we're trying really hard.
not to minimize the struggle you and other parents face, but that seems to frame the problem as one of being able to structure the learning in a certain, standardized way.
kids are innate, natural learners. they'll learn things by you just letting them be a part of whatever it is you're doing, for even part of the day (totally understand needing a break from kids too). this kind of learning also reaches farther down into, and better engages, the whole brain vs. classroom learning. it's ok if they don't perfectly learn about past participles, acute triangles, and the magna carta this school year.
It's worth noting, her teachers have been great. As much as I'm frustrated by some of the online stuff, they're doing a great job with very little time to prepare for it.
I see the point you're trying to make about rural areas having it even worse, but it's inflammatory to paint the picture in the stark contrast you portrayed.
First off, there's a sizable chunk of the US that can't access online learning, whether it's due to poverty or just living out in an extremely rural area where all you can get is satellite internet that may or may not work.
Second, there's something to be said to being there in-person learning something. Having the teacher explain it to you and go over it with you is something that just can't be done as well on video for all students. Yes, some can get it and do great with self-directed learning and video explanations, but some students do need the extra work that they can get in school; there's more to school than just babysitting, even if some parents (and others) don't think so.
That said, if we could guarantee students had internet access, I'd totally be for a flipped classroom, especially in math and science. Students could then practice with the teacher present and able to give feedback and correct understanding during the school day, without having to use two days for a topic (which is what I currently do; one day explaining a concept, the next letting students practice it with me answering questions).
> Factory owners required a docile, agreeable workers who would show up on time and do what their managers told them. Sitting in a classroom all day with a teacher was good training for that. Early industrialists were instrumental, then, in creating and promoting universal education.
To explain the seemingly arbitrary and stifling demands of a typical Prussian-style universal education system, the obvious place to look first would be cost--instructors, facilities, organization, etc.
Also, the beginning of industrialization coincided with the end of serfdom in much of Europe. Were capitalists trying to create and exploit compliant workers, or were they trying to create workers, period? That is, there were no workers beforehand, just serfs or recently emancipated serfs, depending on territory. Social reforms were so wildly successful in Prussia that they swept the Western world, even places like the U.S. where industrialization (but not universal education) was already well under way. Was that because it produced virtuous, Christian workers, or just because it was efficient at improving basic literacy?
By 1900, 34 states had compulsory schooling laws; four were in the South. Thirty states with compulsory schooling laws required attendance until age 14 (or higher). As a result, by 1910, 72 percent of American children attended school. Half the nation's children attended one-room schools. By 1918, every state required students to complete elementary school 
the builders of tomorrow are getting even better education right now? is that what you're saying? that sounds great
The kids who were already statistically bound for a positive outcome due to family and income are fine, and locking that in even tighter. The kids who have hurdles have EVEN HIGHER hurdles now.
That would be a sad indictment of our society if true.
You say that like it's evidence against (rather than for) it being true.
Giving better schools to students that highly achieve at least has some justification, but is probably unnecessary if we get all the schools up to 'competent' and have some money for various kinds of advanced placement programs.
I'd actually be interested in the data if anyone has it. If you have no dad and mom is working then you're at a huge disadvantage no matter what.
These same kids ruin school for everyone else. Dead beat parents treat school like a day-care and ruins the learning experience for everyone else.
Also poor kids go to poor schools. 35 kids to a class, teacher who has mentally checked out 3 decades ago, gang activity in the halls, books are literally falling apart.
Going to a poor school sucks more than learning from home. Bullies and gang activities are rampant. School administration doesn't care because those stats make the school look bad. Yuck
There were definitely racial and socioeconomic biases baked into my high school, but despite being poor we have produced a great community and great people. High quality education can be provided even to poor kids, and it makes a difference. Public schools can make a difference.
Teaching yourself English from YouTube works for some, but it's not the norm. Education matters.
Source - hopped around 6 poor schools
Are you sure about that? Having gone through lots of school, I'm fairly certain that missing three months of it would have no negative effect on anyone's development.
Reading, especially early on it life, has been found to correlate with academic and life achievement. Kindergarteners and 1st graders who have parents or caretakers able to keep them reading and learning at home will be better off than those who don't. Even if the absence just causes some delays in learning, it can easily lead to bullying and self esteem issues.
Is it going to destroy their lives irreparably forever? No, probably not; but suggesting it has no negative effect (the opposite extreme) is also wrong.
I'm positive the quarantine will be noticeable in student assessment programes. The longer the quarantine, the larger the drop in test results.
This sounds like a cultural failing, not some law of nature.
I do have problems now that I'm older (than you even). Things were very different when I was K-12 age. We sure weren't rich, but I was naturally curious and had reasonable access to books. All I really needed from the school system was for them to stay out of the way.
That said, I was baked in my parents' near-reverence for education. There are a lot of parents who probably regard academics the way my parents regarded sports (i.e., as useless), and those kids largely aren't going to do well.
Not having to deal with bullies, constant distractions, sharing the teacher with 30+ other kids, most of whom would rather be anywhere else, doing things at your own pace, is no small thing.
The problem is that parents who are being thrust into the homeschooling role typically _do_ have constant distractions, including their day job, watching other siblings, worrying about their financial situation, etc.
But if you build a discipline slowly and steadily, change what you associate your current environment with then you can effectively focus on things that should matter.
Only within the rigid schedule set for them in the default school curriculum. I doubt they’re ultimately going to notice a difference of 3 months.
Pressuring the government to do something that's a terrible idea on the basis that they must be wrong because they're the government isn't "accountability". It's making the world a worse place for profit.
Suggesting that closing schools is pointless because they 'might' be more of a vector because their parents lack the competence to instruct or control their children seems unnecessarily pessimistic. Were I in a position of authoring public policy around this kind of event, I'd a) vigorously adopt the precautionary principle, and b) assume we could convince the parents and the parents could then convince their own children.
I'm confused by the last claim you make -- I thought the 'for profit' camp was very much against closing schools (or indeed closing anything for very long).
That's a big claim. Care to provide a reference?
Just because kids don't die of it does not at all establish that they don't transmit it.
You shouldn't generalize from your own experience like that.
Summer vacation is highly beneficial and better than typical schools in so many ways: getting to choose more of what you want to do and pursue your own interests, under your own motivation, without stressful testing and evaluation, at your own pace. You also get more exercise and the chance to play less structured games that aren't organized or controlled by adults.
But even if kids sit at home and play video games all day, I'm pretty sure their math, language, and problem solving skills will improve more than they would if they spent the same amount of time in a typical LA classroom.
I believe that this sort of exceptional free time does wonder for the psyches of those kids. The sense of "occupying" the public parks that are usually dominiated by grown ups is something kids these days don't often have. Back in the days we still wandered around in groups and had a chance to explore a forest or whatever.
Australia has long been a world leader in distance education, likely because they had such a large problem, and a head start on solving it.
My options are deal with this, move, or have no internet. Internet provider choices will weigh heavily when I'm apartment hunting after this lease.
> (so, more affluent areas)
no. criteria is population density, that's what makes it profitable.
It was challenging for me and my spouse, despite both having jobs that switch to WFH and flexible schedules, plenty of computers, and internet access.
This is what I suspected. I couldn’t imagine parks and rec or LAPD not shooing people away and putting up physical barriers if they were actually closed.