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Topsy
08-04-2010, 11:15 AM
Laura Brodie, PhD., has been blogging about her year of homeschooling (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-in-time-homeschooling/) for the magazine Psychology Today. In her last two posts, she has posed the question:

Should homeschooling parents have college degrees?

Not all states require that homeschooling parents do. Some require a high school graduation. Some don't specify any requirements for a parent's education. So what do YOU think??

StartingOver
08-04-2010, 11:38 AM
I feel that a parents education has nothing to do with their ability to educate their children. I think most parents have their children best interest at heart.

I am proof that even a high school drop out can successfully homeschool through high school. I didn't even enter the 9th grade. I did get my GED later, when the kids asked me. I have three graduates that are all in college now. My daughter is in nursing school, my sons both attending college while one is in the Navy, and the other in the Army. I am 3 for 3 despite my lack of education. I don't feel that they missed out on anything. We did a lot of learning together.

Public school was a waste of time for me, I was an A student and bored to death. My father would have pulled me out and homeschooled if he had known what it was at the time. When my oldest was born, I told my father I wanted to homeschool and he was tearfully supportive ! He felt that the public school system had been failing our children for many years already. He is my biggest supporter to this day. I also want the government to stay completely out of my homeschool.

Do I believe everyone should homeschool? NO ! Homeschooling takes a sincere desire and a ton of dedication. Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart.

(I also find it curious that of my mothers 31 grandchildren ( 5 of which are not old enough to graduate ), 7 graduated high school ( that is including my 3 ) and only 5 are in college. Although all of my other siblings have college degrees. Not really any statistics to be gained from it, it just makes me wonder sometimes.)

InstinctiveMom
08-04-2010, 11:42 AM
That's kind of a tough question, if you ask me... which you did ;)

Ideally, everyone who wants a college degree should have one. In the real world, however, that's not always a realistic expectation. As for homeschooling parents, I don't think it is a matter of what education they have as much as their willingness to learn. I would much rather see a relatively uneducated homeschooling parent work to give his child the best education and access to information than a complacent college degree holding parent who takes it for granted.

I think that in either case, assuming that the parent is at the same level of motivation, the uneducated one will find it more challenging but not impossible. I would also think that if a parent was uneducated - not holding a high school diploma at the very least, then the process of homeschooling would prompt him to get his GED. It seems to me that the parent's education level will, in some way, impart the value of higher education to the child. I can also see how a parent who only had a high school diploma might place more value on higher education; how it might have benefitted their family and how they might push the child to go to college.

I picked 'doesn't matter' because, again, I think attitude is more important than achievement, and because a high school diploma from public school in a world where athletes get passed just to play a game is not always a good measuring stick.
~h

Shoe
08-04-2010, 11:48 AM
I have to agree with both Jana and Heather. I do have a college degree (in fact, I've attended in total six different universities and community colleges and have lots of certificates, diplomas and degrees), but most of the content is irrelevant to the content I'm teaching to my kids. A willingness to learn and a desire to facilitate the child's learning is more important than any formal education.

And the studies speak for themselves-homeschoolers do better as an aggregate than their public schooled counterparts, regardless of the level of state regulation (which would include state requirements for parental education level). Since it does not appear to make any difference in results, there is no need to regulate that.

Busygoddess
08-04-2010, 11:48 AM
I don't think a college degree should be required. In fact, I don't think it would make homeschooling any easier or better. I've read countless posts by homeschooling moms who used to be public or private school teachers, saying that in order to homeschool effectively, they had to unlearn everythng they learned to get their degree. I've read posts by parents with degrees in various subjects, that say they prefer to use online curriculum, co-ops, etc for the subjects in which they have degrees.
The bottom line is this - just because you know a lot about a subject, that doesn't mean that you'll be able to effectively teach it to someone else.
Also, just because someone didn't pay to go to college & get a degree, that doesn't mean that they aren't intelligent, aren't capable of teaching, etc. Just because a person has a college degree, that doesn't mean that they are more intelligent or better at teaching/facillitating an education than someone without a degree. Hell, even if a person has 5 or 6 degrees, that doesn't mean they are more intelligent or a better teacher than someone with no formal education past high school.
So, no I don't think we should be required to have a degree to be allowed to homeschool.

ESNQueen
08-04-2010, 12:28 PM
I'm not sure what I think. I've met some very intelligent high school dropouts, and I've met some very ignorant PhD's. That said, I do have a BA in psychology (that I didn't finish until a week before I turned 30) but I don't think it's really relevant to educating my children. My husband has a BS in mechanical engineering which also isn't really relevant to teaching elementary age kids. So... I don't know.

warramra
08-04-2010, 12:42 PM
I read Laura Brodie's Book "Love in a Time of Homeschooling" and the feeling I got at the end of the book was that she did not REALLY enjoy homeschooling. I have issues with her becoming a spokesperson for homeschooling. She homeschooled for 1 year, constantly pointed out that she thought her daughter would have more/better socialization in public school. She is a proponent of short-term homeschooling, but not long-term in her book.

As far as educational background, even she admits in her back that the things she wished she had done differently are all based on just knowing her daughter better. The things that were most successful in their school was child-led or participating in the community. Nothing to do with educational attainment.

I have seen PhDs that should never have been allowed to reproduce, much less educate a child, and I have known people with no high school diploma that have taught themselves high-level mathematics and better read than most people. Truth is some families can and should homeschool and others shouldn't...and it has nothing to do with educational levels of the parents.

Amy

paganmomblog
08-04-2010, 01:11 PM
I voted for at least high school although I am not sure that that is really true either. Here is my thinking, if you have attended high school you theoretically can read and add. Those are the only two real reason I feel someone should have a high school diploma. Perhaps I am wrong but how could I teach my kids to read and add if I cannot do it myself? The other thing is that by high school, one can figure out how to find resources to cover subjects they cannot teach. Unfortunatley we have a high rate of illiteracy in my town. Most of those people don't have the resources or knowledge to find the resources available that would allow them to at least lead their child. College is irrelevant, one who attended college isn't necessarily smarter than one who didn't. I never finished college while my husband has 2 degrees. He rarely studies anything and bases his "knowledge" on his opinions. I take the time to research and educate before I open my mouth (well most times anyway lol).

MamaB2C
08-04-2010, 01:27 PM
As an autodidact, I made a conscious choice not to attend college, but I never stopped learning. I don't think my lack of a degree will harm my son.

rxte1
08-04-2010, 03:03 PM
I don't think there should be a degree requirement.

I think there is a lot of overlap between the skills required to be a good parent, and the skills required to be a good homeschooling parent.

But I don’t often hear people arguing that you should have a degree before you should be allowed to have children. I imagine the argument would be similar, and would be equally disturbing.

Rick

QueenBee
08-04-2010, 09:22 PM
I don't believe in a degree requirement - in my opinion, a degree (or lack thereof) is simply irrelevant.

ETA: Good topic, btw!

schwartzkari
08-04-2010, 11:02 PM
If you can read, write and have basic math skills, you can homeschool.
I had several teachers throughout my public school years who could NOT perform all three basic skills, but they were still regarded as acceptable teachers. I don't see why homeschoolers should be held to higher standards especially when statistics show that homeschool students continue to out-perform their public school peers.

farrarwilliams
08-04-2010, 11:58 PM
I actually blogged about this earlier this week...

http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/making-your-own-path/

The question annoyed me. It's the question of someone who knows nothing about homeschooling, not the question of someone who wrote a book about it and has a paid blog on a professional website. The basic idea behind homeschooling is a value in self-education or education by non-professionals. If you can't also value self-education for the parent, then I don't get it. Not to mention that college is so overvalued in our society.

I do understand the idea of needing to have a high school diploma, GED or seek an exception, which is the law here... though I don't know that I agree with that either. Why should you have to have a piece of paper to prove in order to exercise what I think is a basic right - to educate your own kids.

Melyssa
08-05-2010, 12:11 AM
I don't think college should be a requirement to homeschool but I do think it can really add to the experience. I went to college for three years. I'm a drop-out. ;-) But I feel that the things I was exposed to and what I learned and being around different viewpoints of various subjects as well as different types of people, etc was an asset in our conversations especially now that my daughter is older (11). I think college made me a more well rounded person.

Theresa Holland Ryder
08-05-2010, 09:29 AM
The best homeschooler I've ever met was a high school drop out who got a G.E.D., who then went to Community College but didn't finish that either. In the co op we belonged to, there were a bunch of college educated people and two college professors, even. The G.E.D. mom's kids were doing much better and were more rounded people than the professors' kids, and the kids that were the most behind average grade level belonged to the woman who was getting a degree in Education to help her with her homeschooling. It was an eye opener.

Previously, I was a snob who thought that people who weren't highly educated should not be homeschooling. G.E.D. mom taught me that it's how dedicated and engaged you are that matters, not what degrees you hold. G.E.D. mom's kids were at or above grade level when she gave up homeschooling because she didn't think she was "smart enough". Her kids did so well because she was there every day facilitating her kids' learning. She was genuinely enthusiastic about what her kids were learning and what she was learning with them.

I should have known better, really. My dad taught me to read when I was three, despite the fact that he never went to school at all and didn't learn to read himself until he was 20.

Kylie
08-06-2010, 05:22 AM
Personally I feel that 99% of people homeschooling their children are doing so because they generally want to and are in most cases self starters and able to do whatever it takes to educate their children(even if they are not highly educated themselves)......this may take place via many trials and tribulations but I do believe that in this day and age it is so easy to access information and in most cases for free that I feel even just the strong desire to the best for one's child will in most cases be more than enough.

I've known a few homeschooling teachers in my time and all have agreed that most of the time this has been more of a hinderance than a help.

I come from a trust your gut instincts philoshopy over the experts most of the time though, we live in an era where so called experts call way too many of the punches and us poor parents are just left feeling inadequate in so many ways.

So we might not always get it right, but neither do the experts!

Dana
08-08-2010, 12:00 PM
I've read countless posts by homeschooling moms who used to be public or private school teachers, saying that in order to homeschool effectively, they had to unlearn everythng they learned to get their degree. I've read posts by parents with degrees in various subjects, that say they prefer to use online curriculum, co-ops, etc for the subjects in which they have degrees.

But you're conflating having a degree in education with having a college degree. I have a M.A.T. (Master's of Arts in Teaching) and the graduate-level education courses I took for the degree were generally easier and with less content than any courses I took for my undergraduate degree. If you read discussion boards by college faculty, there're a lot of dismissive attitudes (and rightfully so in my experience) for those in the education programs. I believe there are some schools that have good educational programs with good faculty and students who are held to high standards, but I believe that far far more of the degrees in education aren't any better than having a high school diploma.

I've read the studies that say the educational level of the parent doesn't matter; what matters is the desire for their children to learn. I can believe that.
I'm also conflicted. A college education ideally teaches you how to think more effectively. It teaches you to question. It shouldn't just be about checking off courses.

For the poll, I said a person should be at least a h.s. graduate (and I'd include GED in that), but ideally, I'd like someone to have college as well. I just don't think I'd be comfortable legislating it.

Busygoddess
08-08-2010, 12:45 PM
But you're conflating having a degree in education with having a college degree. I have a M.A.T. (Master's of Arts in Teaching) and the graduate-level education courses I took for the degree were generally easier and with less content than any courses I took for my undergraduate degree. If you read discussion boards by college faculty, there're a lot of dismissive attitudes (and rightfully so in my experience) for those in the education programs. I believe there are some schools that have good educational programs with good faculty and students who are held to high standards, but I believe that far far more of the degrees in education aren't any better than having a high school diploma.

I've read the studies that say the educational level of the parent doesn't matter; what matters is the desire for their children to learn. I can believe that.
I'm also conflicted. A college education ideally teaches you how to think more effectively. It teaches you to question. It shouldn't just be about checking off courses.

For the poll, I said a person should be at least a h.s. graduate (and I'd include GED in that), but ideally, I'd like someone to have college as well. I just don't think I'd be comfortable legislating it.

If you're going to quote something I said & respond to it, at least take the time to read the entire selection. Did you miss the part where I mentioned parents with degrees in VARIOUS SUBJECTS? The first I mentioned was education specific, yes. I mentioned education degrees separatly due to the fact that they can actually be a hinderance, when it comes to homeschooling. However, if you had paid attention to the rest of what I wrote, you may have realized that I did not ONLY mean degrees in education. I've known people (online & IRL) that have degrees (of varying levels) in many different areas, that were NOT ABLE to teach the subjects in which they had degrees. The point I was making, is that the level of knowledge you possess about a subject or topic has ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on your ability to impart that knowledge to others. Someone who has studied Ancient Egypt (either in formal schools or on their own) for 30+ years would not automatically be capable of teaching a child about it in a way that would make sense to the child. However, if you know how to reach your child & have the ability to do the research to find appropriate materials, you can help your child learn about something about which you have very little knowledge.
It is not about how smart you are, how many years you spent in school, or how much money your edcuation cost. There is a HUGE difference between KNOWING a lot about a subject and actually being able to convey that information, to an induvidual, in a way that allows that individual to truly comprehend it.

Also, not everyone needs to go to college to learn how to think effectively or how to question. Many people get degrees simply because a degree looks better to potential clients or employers, than saying "I taught myself." Most people would feel more comfortable knowing that their accountant got a degree in Accounting, instead of just picking up some Accounting books from the library to learn on their own. There are just some areas in which a degree is preferable (though not always necessary). While I admit that a degree program offers a more well-rounded education than something like a vocational school or certificate program, there are other ways to learn about those same additional things, without spending the money to do it at college.

schwartzkari
08-09-2010, 12:32 AM
I already commented once in this thread BUT, I wanted to add another of my two cents here...
While I don't think that parents should have to hold a college degree to homeschool their children, I do think it can be beneficial. I'm using myself as an example. I'm currently studying to finish my teaching degree in early childhood education. I have learned alot of valuable information so far from my teaching classes and also just the basic classes I'm required to take (like Biology and Math). It has been a really nice refresher for myself and also for the skills to teach and keep up with my daughter's interests. I've gained alot of personal fulfillment so far, plus the added benefit of studying the inner-workings of the public school system has really reaffirmed my decision that homeschooling is a great choice for my family. :)

InstinctiveMom
08-09-2010, 02:05 AM
A college education ideally teaches you how to think more effectively. It teaches you to question.


I think that's kind of an odd assertion to make. If it's not already in your nature to question, then college isn't necessarily going to help with that. A college education may expose you to more ideas, but if you're interested in learning, then college is only one way to accomplish that, especially in today's information-rich society.

mommykicksbutt
08-09-2010, 10:15 AM
Some of the most brilliant people I know didn't finish high school* yet some of the biggest idiots I've ever met have Ph.D.s and M.D.s! IMO an illiterate parent can properly educate their children. It has already been done. Such parents either hire or persuade someone else to teach their children how to read. The parent can (and in all likelihood does) have teachable skills like farming, cooking, mechanics, astronomy, etc; skills that require critical thinking, use of abstract concepts, planning, maths, and science applications. What is required from both the parent and child regardless of the level of education of the parent is the desire for the child to learn.

*like my uncle and my brother; my uncle, the inventor, invented the self-cleaning fan exhaust system for catalytic crackers for oil refiners which is still used today and my brother is an information technology securities expert (i.e. he is a professional hacker that companies pay to find their loopholes in their computer networks).

sis92y
10-14-2010, 08:06 AM
At first I thought I'd go with the "they should have graduated high school" option, but then I thought about it. Einstein never finished school yet he is considered to be a man of great knowledge. So why should a high school diploma matter?

I have a diploma, and as I'm teaching my girls I've come to realize that I have forgotten more stuff shoved down my gullet while sitting behind a wooden desk listening to the ramblings of a teacher who did not have any particular care as to whether or not I learned a darn thing, than my girls have learned in their one year of preschool education thus far. As far as I can tell my supposed status symbol of being a high school graduate is as meaningful as having a college degree in basket weaving. Both seem pretty useless at this point.

Riceball_Mommy
10-14-2010, 11:36 AM
At first I thought I'd go with the "they should have graduated high school" option, but then I thought about it. Einstein never finished school yet he is considered to be a man of great knowledge. So why should a high school diploma matter?

I have a diploma, and as I'm teaching my girls I've come to realize that I have forgotten more stuff shoved down my gullet while sitting behind a wooden desk listening to the ramblings of a teacher who did not have any particular care as to whether or not I learned a darn thing, than my girls have learned in their one year of preschool education thus far. As far as I can tell my supposed status symbol of being a high school graduate is as meaningful as having a college degree in basket weaving. Both seem pretty useless at this point.

I agree with you. Recently I've been thinking that with all the curriculum I don't have to have much prior knowledge, I can learn right along with my daughter, and if we both need more help there are plenty of resources out there. Of course studying any one topic doesn't make you an expert either, I'm an artist but I still look for curricula and activity ideas for art.

archibael
10-14-2010, 12:33 PM
As a person with a college degree, I don't find it necessary that a homeschooling parent have one. I suspect there are certain aspects of the curriculum which might be easier to teach if they had been covered before, but I am firmly of the belief that it is the interest and dedication the parent is willing to put in rather than the specific knowledge they have.

outskirtsofbs
10-22-2010, 12:57 AM
I chose atleast a high school diploma but, really, if you have your child's best interest at heart, you will do whatever it takes to educate your child.