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marnixR
Post  Post subject: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:09 pm
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that's what came to mind when i read the following short article :

Homosexuality will lead to race of super-ducks, claims homeschooler in local newspaper

especially the following passage :

Quote:
I don't want my children to have to compete with ducks. I want them to evolve further than I have. Any self-respecting human would aim for that too. None of this really bears any weight for me, because I do not believe in evolution. However, the powers that be believe in evolution, and have made many decisions based on it. They should be consistent: If you believe in evolution, you can't be in favour of homosexuality, or the ducks will get you in the end.


shows that the writer of the article doesn't have the first clue what evolution really is or means - she seems to be under the misconception that it's some form of self improvement, something that will go away if you stop believing in it

if that's the result of home schooling, then it confirms one of my prejudices i've had on the subject : that home schooling merely allows warped ideas to flourish because they're not allowed to wither away in the full light of public enquiry

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tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:37 pm

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Very worrying indeed, that's the problem with home-schooling - no calibration against an independent standard - i.e. no quality control.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:10 am
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and as a child, you accept what your parents tell you as gospel truth, don't you (at first, anyway)
hence misinformation never gets questioned

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Ascended
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:36 am
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Well if these are the kinds of things we can expect from home schooling I would be quite in favour of introducing mandatory firstly to ensure the parents are upto teaching their children properly and secondly to help pick up and strange or unusual misconceptions. We expect teachers to have a reasonable standard of ability so surely it's not unreasonable to expect that parents have at least some competency. I wouldn't be in favour of banning home schooling altogether though, even though I'm certainly not a fan.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:24 pm
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i wasn't advocating banning, but yeah, some sort of quality control should apply + maybe some way of forcing educators to see the wider world rather than their own little backyard

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tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:09 pm

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Unless the child's life is to be restricted to the backyard, in which case, they'll be well prepared :?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:58 am
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I'm not exactly a huge fan of home schooling myself, as it is generally used as a way for religious nutters to indoctrinate their kids and prevent them from being exposed to facts and counter ideas. There are, however, a few parents who do it quite well and with great intention (because the schools are failing their kids and they love them too much to let that happen).

However, to expand this conversation a bit...


Isn't it the right of every parent to decide what their children learn and do not learn? In a free society, are parents not directly empowered to dictate what food, facts, or fictions their children ingest?

The only conceivable counter argument I can think of is one related to abuse, but I'd be unable to explain where that threshold exists between "abusive" versus "not abusive."

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:27 pm
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iNow wrote:
Isn't it the right of every parent to decide what their children learn and do not learn? In a free society, are parents not directly empowered to dictate what food, facts, or fictions their children ingest?


until what age can they be considered to be children ?
and whilst i must agree that the primary people responsible for a child's upbringing are the parents, i doubt whether this amounts to an exclusive right against any other points of view
e.g. should a parent be allowed to say that a child won't attend part of the official curriculum because they don't like it ? i know it happens, but is it right ?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:50 pm
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marnixR wrote:
should a parent be allowed to say that a child won't attend part of the official curriculum because they don't like it ? i know it happens, but is it right ?

More specifically, do they *have* the right to make that choice/decision?

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tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:48 pm

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No, regardless of any potential legal 'right', imo parents do NOT have the exclusive right to dictate the fate of their children. They do not OWN their children; their children are not commodities or objects to be OWNED by the parent until the child reaches the age at which they shall be deemed officially 'adult' in the eyes of the law. This kind of thing really makes me angry, as you will have noticed. Children are just as much human individuals as are their parents. Granted, parents are the primary caregivers, but too much sheltering from influences and viewpoints outside of the immediate family unit can be incredibly damaging and limiting both intellectually and emotionally. Such circumstances also lend themselves more easily to familial abuse. It is for these reasons that enrolling in a conventional school and becoming involved in community activities is, usually, the kindest and healthiest option for the child. If I ever have children, I am going to allow them to make their own decisions as far as possible, as far as can be done without exposing them to harm. I will allow them to visit multiple schools and make their own decision as to which one they would most like to attend. There is even a playroom planned which they can decorate at their own discretion, including painting whatever they like or throwing paint on the walls - self-expression is very important for everyone, but especially for children :D

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:30 pm
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tridimity wrote:
No, regardless of any potential legal 'right', imo parents do NOT have the exclusive right to dictate the fate of their children. They do not OWN their children; their children are not commodities or objects to be OWNED by the parent until the child reaches the age at which they shall be deemed officially 'adult' in the eyes of the law. This kind of thing really makes me angry, as you will have noticed. Children are just as much human individuals as are their parents. Granted, parents are the primary caregivers, but too much sheltering from influences and viewpoints outside of the immediate family unit can be incredibly damaging and limiting both intellectually and emotionally.

(please note, I'm being intentionally provocative here because I think it's an important point to dissect and understand)

If parents don't have the right to decide what their kids are taught, then how do we allow them to bring them to the church of one religion instead of another? If parents lack that right (as you just argued), then why are they allowed to raise their children as baptists instead of catholics, or muslims instead of jews?

You see, I think parents DO have these rights given the free nature of our society. What I question, however, is where the threshold exists for when that right becomes too abusive to the child to be allowed by the rest of us... When is a barrier crossed where we as society have more say in the protection of that child than the parent does?

When someone mentions homeschooling, these are the broader questions with which I struggle myself.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:05 pm
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tbh, as a parent i must admit that it's risible to think that you're going to have all that much say about how your children turn out in life
you may try to set them off in a certain direction, and in some way try to lead by example, but you're NOT the only influence in their life, and from a certain point in their lives not even the main one

it's with a certain degree of pride that i can state that both my children lead their own lives + can think for themselves, even though i hope that i've been able to transmit some of the values that i hold dear in life

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tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:13 pm

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Well, of course, in practise parents currently have the 'right' to determine which religion shall be indoctrinated in their children - it is not illegal. Perhaps I should be more careful in expressing my point. What I meant is, I do not believe that parents should have the intrinsic, unquestioned right to indoctrinate their children in this way. It's astonishing, when you think about it: we live in a relatively liberal, multicultural and tolerant society: we would be rightfully appalled if adults from any section of society were forced to believe and practise a religion against their own will, or against even their own comprehension of their being ternative religions or alternatives to religion. Why? Because that is to undermine a fundamental human right, it is to subvert another person's will. So then, why is it that we - as a society - silently accept the familial indoctrination of children? The parent has passed on their genetic code to the child (well, not in its entirety, but you know what I mean). Does it then automatically become the right of the parent to hothouse whatever memes he or she wishes, in the brain of the child? I think the crux of the argument rests on the matter of ownership: itvis almost as if we accept, u.questioningly, that the parent owns the child, precisely because the parent has contributed genetic material a.d energy in raising the child. Followed to its logical conclusion, the assumption that the parent owns the child, breaks down. The parent owes the order contained within their own genome to their own parent - that is, the child's grandparent. If the child were to belong to anyone, he or she would need to belong to their entire ancestry, all the way back through Evolution. Presumably, thetefore, the child could just as rightfully be indoctrinated with the religion of the ultimate common sncestor of all life? (I doubt very much that it had very strong religious leanings!). I am being tongue-in-cheek here, but there is an important point to make. Children ought to be provided with the opportunity to experience different relugionns as well

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tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:19 pm

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As well as Godless and rational perspectives on the meaning of life, morality and lufe codes - which is essentially what religion boils down to - and then be allowed to choose for themself, once they have the intellectual capacity to make an informed choice. It's too large and important of a decision to be left to the arbitrary luck of tge draw as to parentage and geography. In fact, subjecting children beyond their will to religion is perhaps a greater crime than it wpuld be to subject an adult to religion: evolution has granted children an enirmoys capacity to uncritically swallow whole and absorb information put forward by perceived authority figures, especially caregivers to whom they bond i.e. parents. The relative benefits of this break down when parents feed tgeir children intellectual BS.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:25 pm
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ah, but don't you also sometimes force your children to go to school, even if they don't feel like it ? and isn't that even seen as the duty of any self-respecting parent, that you make them go to school, for the greater good (unless you feel you can have a better stab at it than the professionals) ?

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GiantEvil
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:35 pm
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from a purely material perspective the best meme program for a child will be the one that allows the child to survive a selection pressure. Unfortunately we don't know what exactly the selection pressure will be. From a genetic perspective the best meme program for a male child is the one that gets that child laid as frequently as possible, for a female child the best meme program is a little more selective than the one for the male child. The genetic and social perspectives don't always coincide.
I really hate to think of children being indoctrinated into BS, but it seem's to me that a diversity of meme programs is a necessary evil.

*I've introduced the term "meme program". I hope it is self explanatory.

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tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:53 pm

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You make a good point, Marnix, that sometimes compulsory education contradicts libery of the individual pupil. It is a difficult balancing act, the objective of which must always be the ultimate welfare of the child. I think therevis a good case for modification orcrelaxation of the rules of the current education system, e.g. allowing children some control over the use of their own time and the methods that will best help them to learn i.e. less rigid timetabling and more classes based on audio-visual, peer group interaction, kinaesthetic and day trips to Museums and natural havens etc as opposed to temporally static, didactic teaching. There may also be a case for raising the age at which pupils start formal schooling and in favour of a more democratic approach to education generally - empowering pupils to decide for themselves their preferred lesson content and methods of delivery. Why do we act as if adults have got everything in life figured out, and are tgerefore somehow in a position to dictate the best course of action for younger generations? Oftentimes education actually has a numbing effect on children, since it delivered strictly top-down with zero consultation of pupils' thoughts or feelings. How overwhelmingly disempowering for children. How boring for them. How little tgey must feel that their opinion matters to anyone, that anybody out tgere cares.

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tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: home schooling, warped ideas ?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:57 pm

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Oh, and I agree that a diversity withon the meme pool is not necessarily a harmful thing - rather, it is probably a hallmark of freedom of thought and expression. What I am arguing, is that children ought to be given the opportunity to experience all memes without being pressurised into acceptibg whole ideologies before they are intellectually mature enough and ready to do so - say, as a general guide, 18 years should be sufficient for reaching independent, well-informed decisions.

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