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Just to annoy everyone I wanted to share a link to this UK TV series about poorly-behaved homeschool kids.

Feral Families

Of course they're trying to make homeschoolers look bad, to caricature and sensationalize the whole thing in order to attract viewers. How much freedom is too much for young kids?
 
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How much freedom is too much for young kids?



I don't think kids can be given too much freedom.

They need support, understanding, real conversations, and cheering.

Yes, they need to be taught that actions have consequences. I let them make their own mistakes. I'll warn them if they are likely to get hurt. I talk them down from things that will likely land them in the hospital. When they were little I'd give them a swat on the rear if they did something extremely dangerous (try to run out into the street, etc.).

Yes, they need to be taught to respect other people and volume. My kids know to go outside if they want to be loud or rough house.

Yes, they need to be helped to express themselves, especially when they are younger.

Of course, I've helped to raise six kids and every one of them was very different. I learned a lot... made a lot of mistakes... but feel that they've turned out pretty well so far.

If I had it to do over again the main thing I'd have done differently is teach them at home. No, not home schooling... probably more like unschooling.

I'd have taught them to work on cars, build structures, do plumbing, do electricity, build web sites, weld, etc. And I'd have had to learn some of these things with them.

Once you teach them to read and write I think the next thing is to show them how to teach themselves and be there for them when they need advice or a hand.
 
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I think freedom to explore, learn, figure out the world are one of the most important things you can give a child.  They can also learn to avoid bullies or stand up to them.  In adult controlled situations a lot of times they can't get away from them and however the adults try, they can't keep a handle on all of the social interactions and the kids don't really have a chance to stand up to the bullies because it's the second punch that gets caught.

I was talking with one of my older sons about my youngest son, who has decided he has no social skills and he needs to just avoid people.  The problem is, I can see he likes to be around people.  He just got beat up emotionally by so many disfunctional assholes in high school and junior high (I'm pretty sure he's somewhere on the ausbergers spectrum).  My older son made the observation that trying to develop normal adult social skills in jr high and high school is kind of like Jane Goodall trying to learn to be human by interacting with gorillas.  

I have raised 9 kids, each one unique, with their own brands of genius and foolishness.  (We didn't home school, but we actively tried to supplement what they learned as much as we could).  I would summarize my ideas in a few words.

1.  Kids need to know they are loved, valued, and their opinions matter.
2.  Kids need to know that their opinions don't necessarily matter more than everyone elses.
3.  Kids need to know that everyone's opinion should be measured against the truth.
4.  Kids need to be taught how to think logically, recognize illogical thinking and con jobs.
5.  Kids need to know that there are limits.  They need to know where the limits are.  They need to know there are consequences for stepping over the limits.  The consequences have to be significant enough to keep them within the limits, usually.
6.  Kids need to be educated.  There are lots of ways to educate.  I like stories, examples and hands on experience.  Children are born little animals.  We make them human as we raise them.  They make us better humans as we raise them.  Keep examples of bravery, honor, toughness, intelligence, caring and wisdom before them as often as you can.
7.  Kids need freedom, within the limits.  One of the big problems I think we've created is the lack of unscheduled, child controlled, free time.  Time to play, to make friends or fight, to explore, to figure out who they are.  It's how they internalize and learn.  
8.  You need to know that it isn't all about you.  Your 'me time' ended when the kids were born and you may never get it back for an length of time.  Your mission, whether you choose to accept it or not, is to love and raise these kids into competent caring adults.  
9  You need to model the behavior you want to see in your child.  Admit it to them when you do something wrong (and you surely will).  Show them how to live a life with integrity, love and a sense of humor.  Show them joy.
10.  Have Fun!!!
 
pollinator
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When I was a little kid we ran wild through the rattlesnake-infested canyons of Southern California. And then later we ran wild through the fields and woods of Central Texas.  But somehow* I learned how to take turns, share, and treat others with respect.

*good parenting
 
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Mick Fisch wrote:I think a video about rude home schooled kids is odd, because the home schooled kids I know are unusually well mannered.  



I've had the exact opposite interaction with home schooled kids. I had a bunch of Moms over to my house to do a play date/learn how to make pasta. A lot of them brought their home schooled kids with them. They ripped up the flooring in the reading nook. I didn't even know you could do that. In general it was such a nightmare that I never, ever had them over again, even when they asked.
 
gardener
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My experience has been that the kids whose parents want them to be well-educated will make them into well educated little adults when they are still pretty young. The socialization thing.

Homeschool kids who are kept away from other children for religious reasons, can be really weird. Not only were these kids poorly socialized, key elements of their education was missing, because everything was put through a religious filter, which makes it very difficult to teach science.

My brother Jeffrey showed me some of his math problems and they were filled with disciples each having this many of this and Angels doing other things numerous times, in a ridiculous attempt to teach multiplication. It was completely nonsensical claptrap.

I don't blame the kids for being weird. Parents will either choose to teach their children useful things or they will take some lazy route and let them run completely wild. I know one little girl who was kept out of school because she was being picked on. She was bigger than some of the kids who picked on her, but she came along at a time when people weren't supposed to defend themselves from bullies. So rather than teaching her a few devastating moves to use against her assailants, she was kept out of school which didn't make her any less weird. They were picking on her because she's weird and I don't think 24/7 with her mother has helped that situation.

My dad wasn't the world's most sensitive guy. My brother Robin was weird and irritating as a child. I forget what he did, but I remember dad saying, "You see, Robin, this is why none of the kids at school like you." It was harsh, but it was true.
 
Mick Fisch
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I guess it depends on the family and their reason for homeschooling.  

The ones I have known had real sharp parents.  My son has told me of some he has met who where the whole family was pretty messed up.  

Sometimes people home school for religious reasons, sometimes for other reasons.  Some religious people are obviously a little off, many are well adjusted.  I've got a geology and EE degrees and I will be the first to agree that I've seen some pretty sketchy home school science stuff.  Although as an enthusiastic amature history buff, I have some real issues with some things I've seen in school history textbooks also.  Seems like everyone has an agenda and they want to indoctrinate the kiddies.  As someone once said, "tell the truth, but tell it slant".  I've seen some truths that were pretty much tilted sideways and you had to squint to see the truth.

Not every kid that makes it any type of school is a shining example of of the system.  We need to make sure to discern between the individual and the system sometimes.  Ideologies are a net that catches every kind of fish.  I've seen screwed up athiests relying on science, just as I have seen screwed up religious people.  Religion is often the final hope of the desperate, but mental illness and just plain stupid don't discriminate.  People suffering from either seem to latch on to whatever seems like it may keep them afloat.  There may even be one or two permies who aren't the best ambassadors for permaculture (perish the thought).  
 
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Not sure the line s/b drawn between home-school and conventional-school. There are good/bad people in all camps.

Dale, I don't think religion is another word for foolishness, denial and fakery. It's like any other aspect of life, it can be used and abused. I have had some good conversations with Amish and Mennonite folk. There were areas of zero comprehension on both sides, but not necessarily contradictions or anathema. To my mind science and religions are _not_ opposites or even hostile camps. There _are_ hostile camps, but they don't follow necessarily from either science or religion but from basic human nature.

Rufus
 
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