April 20, 2020

Harvard Magazine gets attention for an article about the "risks of home schooling."


I first saw that at Instapundit, where Glenn has written a funny-mean headline: "ELIZABETH BARTHOLET, THE 'KAREN WANTS TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGER' PROFESSOR OF LAW AT HARVARD, DOESN’T LIKE HOMESCHOOLING."

Let's look at the article. First, "arithmetic" is spelled correctly (so the illustration was either edited by Harvard Magazine or by somebody who wanted to make it look stupid):

The article is written by Erin O'Donnell, based on interviewing Elizabeth Bartholet, who is the Wasserstein public interest professor of law and faculty director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program. Bartholet "recommends a presumptive ban" on homeschooling.
“We have an essentially unregulated regime in the area of homeschooling,” Bartholet asserts. All 50 states have laws that make education compulsory, and state constitutions ensure a right to education, “but if you look at the legal regime governing homeschooling, there are very few requirements that parents do anything.” Even apparent requirements such as submitting curricula, or providing evidence that teaching and learning are taking place, she says, aren’t necessarily enforced. Only about a dozen states have rules about the level of education needed by parents who homeschool, she adds. “That means, effectively, that people can homeschool who’ve never gone to school themselves, who don’t read or write themselves.” In another handful of states, parents are not required to register their children as homeschooled; they can simply keep their kids at home.

This practice, Bartholet says, can isolate children. She argues that one benefit of sending children to school at age four or five is that teachers are “mandated reporters,” required to alert authorities to evidence of child abuse or neglect. “Teachers and other school personnel constitute the largest percentage of people who report to Child Protective Services,” she explains, whereas not one of the 50 states requires that homeschooling parents be checked for prior reports of child abuse. Even those convicted of child abuse, she adds, could “still just decide, ‘I’m going to take my kids out of school and keep them at home.’”
Reading those paragraphs,  I thought of the great memoir Educated, by Tara Westover, and then I saw that the next paragraph has Bartholet citing Westover as an example of a child who is kept out of school, left uneducated and subjected to physical abused throughout childhood.
[S]urveys of homeschoolers show that a majority of such families (by some estimates, up to 90 percent) are driven by conservative Christian beliefs, and seek to remove their children from mainstream culture. Bartholet notes that some of these parents are “extreme religious ideologues” who question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy.

Children should “grow up exposed to...democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people's viewpoints.”...
Bartholet's idea of a "presumptive ban" would put the burden on the parents to meet some sort of standard that would be set by legislation. Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

247 comments:

1 – 200 of 247   Newer›   Newest»
Darrell said...

What better time to print this article than when we're all on a stay-at-home order. Home schooling, no?

Idiots. Shut it down. Harvard, too. Or move it to China to be with their masters.

Paco Wové said...

"a mere claim that they are educating their children"

You mean, like the one the government schools are making?

Unknown said...

God forbid children should be educated by those "extreme religious ideologues" who run Catholic parochial schools or schools run by synagogues. Or Protestant churches. Or mosques. Let's stop them, too.

JackWayne said...

Yes

MikeR said...

"Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?" Hmm. Can we put a presumptive ban on public school as well, requiring them as well to convince us that they are capable of educating our children?
"Better than nothing is a high bar." Don't tell me about the problems of home schooling unless you are willing to try a fair comparison with the local public school.

donald said...

Wow. A: There has been a stealth edit. Way to be on top of things. B: The parents? As opposed to the hundreds of thousands of teachers and administrators who don’t give one fuck about your children? Yeah I said it.

Fernandinande said...

Shruti Rajagopalan

He misspelt "Bob Smith".

parents are not required to register their children

Gasp! What if they get rabies?

rehajm said...

who question science

Scientists question science as a career. Should we ban them too?

brylun said...

They've done such a horrible job of education in the inner city schools, they ought to expand to homeschooling...

rehajm said...

You mean, like the one the government schools are making?

Exactly. Free up the choices instead of forcing socialized public education on everyone except the wealthy.

JackWayne said...

I’ve read something somewhere about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What’s that mean to you? On the practical side, about 90% of NY kids can’t read or write on graduation. How can home schooling be worse?

Pookie Number 2 said...

Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

1) Not everyone disagreeing with Bartholet is insulting her.

2) Yes. Comparing a negative caricature of what those “conservative Christians” are doing against an idealized version of what public schools accomplish is not useful.

wendybar said...

Yeah, because Public schooling has done so well with teaching tolerance, and other Democratic things. Tolerance like the tolerance Democrats have shown Tea Partiers?? or tolerance in how they treat Trump voters??? Thanks, but no thanks.

Fernandinande said...

You mean, like the one the government schools are making?

US gummint schools educate about as well as US non-gummint schools, and also about the same as, or slightly better than, European gummint schools.

Levi Starks said...

Education is easy,
It’s Indoctrination that gets tricky.

sykes.1 said...

Of course, by staying home, little girls avoid getting raped by transgenders in the "girl's" room, and everyone avoid being beaten up by the local thugs.

Considering that we have now had about three generations of largely illiterate teachers, who are nonetheless committed lefty ideologues pushing leftist indoctrination, our children would be better off without the public schools.

The country would be better off without the Ivies, especially if the Ivy faculties were blacklisted.

Darrell said...

Don't home schoolers test better?

Ralph L said...

Now do the risks of sending children to public schools.

J. Farmer said...

Shared this article on Facebook a couple of hours ago...

What a load of patronizing garbage: “Bartholet notes that some of these parents are “extreme religious ideologues” who question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy.”

I used to be down on homeschooling when I was younger because of the "fundamentalist" connotation and because I bought into the bogus socialization argument. Over the years, several friends of chosen the home schooling option, and it would definitely be my choice as a parent. There's an impressive community out there across a variety of ideological spectrum. So much of public schooling is glorified daycare. The cookie-cutter, fall to spring, age-segregated K-12 system is a totally antediluvian model.

buwaya said...

Extensive experience with California public education leads me to wonder about the writers sanity. Hundreds of thousands of children in the CA public schools would probably do much better out of them.

Levi Starks said...

Or to put it another way it’s not so much that children may not be learning what they’re supposed to, it’s that they may be learning things they not supposed to.

Fernandinande said...

Bartholet notes that some of these parents are “extreme

How many is "some" Two?

who question science

The education complex is almost completely science-free to begin with.

J Melcher said...

First, child education is a state, not national, function. "We" don't all do things identically. NY or CA may gripe about TX or WI but each makes rules for itself.

Next, by the fruits shall we know. There is by now a statistically valid sample of young adults who have emerged from some kind of homeschool. What can be measured and how does this group compare to those from a city school system, a private school, a parochial school, a charter...? "Presumptive" and anecdotal claims are a poor basis for what "we" "must" do.

Third the covid 19 response indicates for many city districts the biggest concern for enrolled children is feeding them cafeteria meals. Classes are cancelled but lunch is on. Parents aren't considered competent enough to plate a bologna sandwich. So it follows such parents can't be considered competent to do instruction. Sad? But that is how these city folks see it.

J. Farmer said...

Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

Yes

Shouting Thomas said...

My grandkids really miss the social interaction of school during this period of isolation.

My opinion is that kids need that a lot more than what passes for education in the public schools. And mommy and daddy and grandpa need the babysitting as a relief.

The choice of books in the illustration makes me skeptical of the Harvard folks. Reading, writing and 'rithmatic is probably what the public schools should be primarily focued on teaching, and yeah, they should be teaching literacy in the Bible as a foundational text.

The Bible is the foundation of Western literacy and culture. Even if not taught as a religious document, it should be taught as the beginning point of our cultural and literary heritage. Back in the day of standards in colleges, a course in history and study of the Bible was a requirement, and for good reason.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I won't read the article because I have an evolving policy of avoiding putting obvious bullshit in my head, but does the other bother to compare that gold standard of most education policy wonks, test scores? Because homeschooled kids kick ass and take names, every time, on every metric.

exhelodrvr1 said...

How closely have you observed public schools over the past 20 years? Parents are at least as trustworthy when it comes to providing an education as the public school system, and in most cases more trustworthy.

Darrell said...

No books on anal fisting?
H8rs!

rehajm said...

On the flop side of the argument, what if the people at home are leftie assholes? You can't graduate out of their class...er...actually that sounds like the public school system in most places.

MikeR said...

@Fernandistein "US gummint schools educate about as well as US non-gummint schools, and also about the same as, or slightly better than, European gummint schools."
Which is why I carefully said, local public schools. I live in Baltimore and everyone here knows that you better pick your neighborhood if you care about your kids and their education. Or their safety.
Thanks for the sneering, though. Always helps to make your point.

Mike Sylwester said...

I have not read the article.

How often does it happen that a home-schooled child is actually not being taught?

I suppose it happens sometimes. Maybe, though, it's just a tiny portion of home-schooled children.

Is a case like Tara Westover common or rare?

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

A couple weeks back I saw a short article, maybe from LA Times, about how teachers were experiencing between 40% and 80% absenteeism on these alleged “online classes” schools are depending on during shutdown. Not one word since on this very important subject! Is our children learning? We don’t know. So let’s throw a preemptive punch at those hideous homeschoolers instead! You know the ONLY PEOPLE actually doing TEACHING right now in person. Yeah this is another reason we hate the media and the NYT in particular. They are shameless in their defense of the Ignorance-Indoctrination Industry. And ruthless in their disdain for average Americans.

Todd said...

Sure, cause they are NOT your kids. It takes a village you know. How can you dumb, bible thumping, clinging to your religion and guns, fly-over rubes POSSIBLY actually know what is best for your kids? You should be grateful that progressives even allow you to breed now that they are (were) pushing open borders, they were bringing in a new "support staff". One that is MUCH more compliant and "adaptable" to the new rules.

All this "home schooling" had just GOT to stop. Can't have the plebs actually seeing first hand what is taught to the "wards of the state" that currently reside at their address.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

School means different things to different families. No, marginally functional lower quintile families filled with drugs and violence should not be homeschooling their kids, not that they want to (although I'm not going so far as to claim they don't have the right to). Those kids need to go to school so they can have some notion, some visibility into, a normal functional life, and they need to be monitored and fed and nurtured, imperfectly but better than being isolated in their crappy homes.

Highly functional families with intelligent, committed parents with abundant resources should do what they want. Public school, private schools, charter schools, unschooling, homeschools, whatever. The kids will be fine regardless of what path is chosen. The quality of the parenting and the home is what matters.

Mr Wibble said...

Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

Yes.

Ken B said...

I wonder if I am reading “presumptive ban” the way Althouse is. I don’t read it as a demand that parents prove their children are learning. That would be a demand for licensure or certification, not for a *ban*. I read it as a ban on home schooling entirely, until those Wasserstein approves of can attest to its efficacy. I think she wants an FDA for home schooling, and take her at her word: she wants a *ban*.

iowan2 said...

[S]urveys of homeschoolers show that a majority of such families (by some estimates, up to 90 percent) are driven by conservative Christian beliefs, and seek to remove their children from mainstream culture.

I've known parents and children of maybe 2 dozen home schooling families. They have no desire to shun mainstream culture. They have recognized public schools have long since given up on education, and seek only to indoctrinate. These families are doing everything Public School families are doing. The home schoolers take part in music, drama, and athletics at school.
This just illustrates how the 'experts' are far detached from the subjects they expound on. It's like they are more interested in indoctrination, and not education.

Wince said...

You mean to tell me first grade isn't supposed to entail regular cold water enemas on the kitchen table?

CWJ said...

“We have an essentially unregulated regime in the area of homeschooling,”

The cat's out of the bag with the first quote.

Ken B said...

Billie Eilish is the most famous of the homeschooled. Her parents were not fundies.

Oh Yea said...

Imagine my pleasure when I opened my new the other day to read the following about this person who was in my son's FORMER school:

A retired...police officer, and onetime DARE officer, was arrested Thursday morning on child pornography charges. ...is charged with producing, distributing, receiving, transporting and possessing child pornography, and tampering with a witness or informant...
(He) retired in August 2018 after 25 years with the Beavercreek Police Department. He worked as a patrol officer, crime prevention specialist and DARE officer with...City Schools.

This creature was in the school all three years my son attended. I won't go through the litany of issues we had dealing with the teachers and administrators of our highly rated school system before we started home schooling. By the way we must me state standards to home school.

narciso said...

what are kids learning under the indoctrination centers, not the three r's, rotten core makes it particularly hard to teach them to do math, but they know 57 genders, they know thanks to 1619 project, America was built on slavery, they know not of the sacrifices that have been born for at least 175 of the last 200 years,

Jamie said...

I do see the problems laid out in the article (as reported by Althouse; I didn't read it). But it seems to me to be one of those situations where, in order to maximize civil liberties for all, a small few may be harmed. And, yes, in this case they'll be children, which is dreadful, and the repercussions can spill over into the rest of their lives. There will be the Educated situations out there.

But look at the much more common case of badness: a child is taught by a parent who is an incompetent teacher. How is that different from the child's being taught by any incompetent teacher? The argument for outside schooling will be that in a "real" school, there'll be tests that will show the deficiencies in the child's education - but don't we all know that those tests are generally interpreted as showing the deficiencies in the child, not the teaching? And don't those results often prompt a child to end up stigmatized as a "special needs student"?

Come on. Educated is a terrible story and a "great" memoir because it's so unusual. And it was hardly just the homeschooling that was presented as the problem there. To say "homeschooling is bad because some parents abuse their children" is as dumb as to say "public schools are bad because some teachers abuse their students." Both things happen, both things are tragic and criminal, and in neither case would doing away with the particular kind of schooling do away with the problem.

Bob Boyd said...

You mean to tell me first grade isn't supposed to entail regular cold water enemas on the kitchen table?

I don't think that's what she's saying. She just doesn't want anyone praying they'll stop.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?"

Letting? Who is the parent?

Wa St Blogger said...

When I fist moved into a rural town after living in Seattle for 10 years, I discovered a church were most of the families home-schooled. I thought, "What a bunch of crazy, backwards people! I would never home-school my kids. They need socialization skills and a proper education." At the time, I did not have any kids. Then I met all the kids who were home-schooled. Every one of them was bright, social, intelligent, could speak respectfully, and intelligently. I became a home-school tutor in math for many of them because many of the parents, capped out around algebra and wanted their kids to learn upper level math. I even ran full classes from algebra through pre-calc (and helped a few with Calculus as well.) I also did some econ classes and tutored science The thing is, home-schooled kids were not limited to the parent's skill set. Parents were more than willing to bring in the resources they needed to make sure their kids got what they needed. And these were the "religious nuts who "hated science" supposedly.

I have 6 kids of my own, all which are home-schooled. I decided to home-school my first because she was visually impaired and we could tailor her education to meet her needs. My oldest 2 are now heading to 4 year colleges (if they actually re-open). Both were admitted to the University of Washington, among other schools, and one is considering accepting Lawrence's offer which, with scholarships is as cheap as our local state school. This after getting 3.9s after 2 years in their local community colleges.

The author is showing her own prejudices. Much like I once had. It isn't home-schoolers who are ignorant, it's the intellectuals who are willfully ignorant.

Heartless Aztec said...

I taught public school social studies for 37 years. I sent my daughter to Catholic schools and I'm neither Catholic or religious. To have my daughter in the public schools I taught in would have been parental malfeasance.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Tara Westover is a big liar. She's all over her home town newspapers as a kid starring in community musicals. Definitely not isolated the way she tells it in her memoir or how this article cited. But no one wants to call her out because the lie is useful to them.

Neo Neocon had a post over the weekend about the unreliability of memoir as a genre. I read them from time to time, but I always go into them assuming that maybe a generous 50% of the story is factually true and the rest is artistic license. Many people do not understand that and believe everything they read--whether it's Angela's Ashes or a story on CNN--but it's impolite to point out others' gullibility. I wish it were not!

Fernandinande said...

Bartholet citing Westover as an example of a child who is kept out of school, left uneducated and subjected to physical abused throughout childhood.

Bartholet invokes magic to explain Tara: (pg 5)
"Tara represents the extraordinary success story—the magically resilient child, the child capable of escape, the child whose brilliance enabled her to overcome gross educational deficits."

iowan2 said...

How often does it happen that a home-schooled child is actually not being taught?

I suppose it happens sometimes. Maybe, though, it's just a tiny portion of home-schooled children.


The actual question would be. What percentage of A)Public School, B) Private School, C)Home School, students are reading at grade level?

There's a metric not mentioned in the article. But why would you use hard numbers to evaluate home schoolers? Feels, are whats important...according to experts in education.

MartyH said...

Progressives are always about reducing our choices. Always.

narciso said...

when was the last time, the authors were in a public school, not the terra incognita, they pretend to speak of, job's shells loaded with trash music, makes it particularly hard for students to focus, if they have the aptitude to do so,

J. Farmer said...

seek to remove their children from mainstream culture.

Wanting to remove your children from mainstream culture is a perfectly rational and legitimate desire. That Ms. Bartholet associates this with "female subservience and white supremacy" shows you exactly what the "mainstream culture" thinks of you if you don't dare champion the "right" values.

gilbar said...

Can we All Agree; that the Evil of Home Schooling is improper religion?
Do we WANT to live; in a world where PARENTS, not Administrators, get to decide?
The (living) Constitution CLEARLY states that children are to be brought up in the Correct, State sponsored religion of Big Brotherism

IF we allow parents to decide, GAIA only knows, WHAT myths kids might pick up
EVEN WORSE! There is a Possibility, that Children Might Start Thinking For Themselves!!

https://babylonbee.com/news/teachers-warn-parents-arent-properly-equipped-to-indoctrinate-children

Heartless Aztec said...

I taught public school social studies for 37 years. I sent my daughter to Catholic schools and I'm neither Catholic or religious. To have my daughter in the public schools of my city would have been parental malfeasance. They were so poorly run, Administered so badly they resembled teenage day care at best.

Oso Negro said...

Yes! I support letting parents homeschool their children for ANY REASON WHATSOEVER! Public education is all about social control and indoctrination. It is my belief that were it outlawed, the fraction of society that could benefit from rigorous education would be more likely to get it and the fraction that can't wouldn't waste years of their lives. And no more free meal, either! You breed 'em, you feed 'em!

narciso said...

listen to the eloi claxons people

MikeDC said...

C'mon Althouse, quit trolling these folks.

Starting with a presumption that parents aren't fit to parent their children (and implicitly that the state is) is a ridiculous attack on freedom. Premising such an attack on a prejudicial presumption about those exercising their freedom makes it even worse. I'm not inclined to 1984 comparisons, but when I see supposedly serious people writing articles like this, it's hard not to.

papper said...

"[S]urveys of homeschoolers show that a majority of such families (by some estimates, up to 90 percent) are driven by conservative Christian beliefs, and seek to remove their children from mainstream culture. Bartholet notes that some of these parents are “extreme religious ideologues” who question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy.

Children should “grow up exposed to...democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people's viewpoints.”..."

This is exactly the problem with the author's piece. Who decides what is an "extreme religious ideologue", liberals like Bartholet? Who is more bigoted and intolerant of other ideas than today's liberals? Liberals are tolerant of other people's viewpoints? That is absurd. I don't home school, but send to private religious schools that more or less represent my viewpoint. Guess what, my children have not indoctrinated by liberal academia. Perhaps not so good to the liberal child snatchers who like the communists hope to indoctrinate the young.

GatorNavy said...

File this article and it’s author under; ‘None so blind as they who would not see’.

TreeJoe said...

The author and publisher take the stance that schools are the standard by which home schooling should be measured.

As if that standard, that measure, is self-obvious.

My wife and I started down a road of home schooling and only stopped due to birth of a 3rd child. My wife was a public school teacher, I went to public school. When we home-schooled I looked at what a child does in school in elementary. The schedule looks something like this:

7:50-8:10am - Getting the kids together, doing attendance, getting prepared for the day
8:10-9:30am - Education with wrangling ~20-30 kids and coordinating them
9:30-10am - Break, recess, etc.
10am-12noon - Education with perhaps 2 15-minute breaks for organization, moving around to different stations, etc.
12noon-1:30pm Lunch plus transit time to and from cafeteria plus recess time
1:30-2:45pm - Education with wrangling 20-30kids and coordinating them
2:45-3pm - ending the day and distributing to bussing/pickup

I highlight this because I'm not exaggerating when I say in an elementary school there is usually about 3-3.5 hours of teaching in school plus some homework. And some of that is done very inefficiently due to large group education.

Now dumping kids into home-schooling in a pandemic is not "home-schooling". That's emergency, unprepared distance learning.

But if a parent really wants to home-school for, say, 4 hours a day - and actually does their best to educate - I can say with a high degree of confidence that child is receiving a far better instruction and education at least in elementary school ages.

Lurker21 said...

Conveniently, while lauding “teachers and other school personnel” as mandated reporters, Bartholet fails to cite or even acknowledge that there is plenty of child abuse that happens on school property, by school employees, and maybe there are just evil people who do evil things to children because they have the opportunity to do so. Giving someone the title of “mandated reporter” does not magically make them into an upstanding citizen and defender of children.

Bartholet – and by extension, O’Donnell – makes no rational argument against homeschooling. It’s only her gut feeling that if the nanny state isn’t over the shoulder, trying to mold “young skulls full of mush” (as Rush Limbaugh has said more than once) into educated and functional adults, then there could be shenanigans afoot! Why, these children might end up RELIGIOUS. *GASP!*

...

Right now, the homeschooling is not by choice, and those who aren’t used to it are struggling with it. So of course we need a dictatorial scolding by a “professor” about how all of this is bad, and we should feel bad about it, and then Harvard Magazine should DEFINITELY publish it in the middle of a pandemic with school closures and “stay at home orders” – which means no socializing, which Elizabeth Bartholet argues is also very very bad for homeschooled kids. Before this went to print, did Erin O’Donnell bother to ask Bartholet for a comment about the current situation, or did the editors simply decide to leave them both out to dry by printing the piece exactly how it was, RIGHT NOW? It doesn’t really matter. Bartholet’s imperiously snotty take was always going to be hot garbage. It’s just that all parents right now happen to be in the boat that she wishes to sink. Let’s all wave at her and yell two words – and they aren’t “help me.”


Homeschooling Under Attack By Harvard Magazine

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

and seek to remove their children from mainstream culture

Also, she says that like it's a bad thing. Mainstream culture is garbage.

Tina Trent said...

I've met some people who claimed to be homeschooling but were just acting out using their children. They had no business doing it.

They're a drop in the bucket compared with the teachers who are besotted with the most terrifying, anti-Western, anti-American, pro-fascist ideologies.

Remmeber, the largest association of teacher-training professionals in the U.S. elected Bill Ayers as their national vice president of curricular studies. And that's typical.

Owen said...

Bartholet is a great spokesperson for the interests of the State. The State wants its property protected, and if its livestock abuse their offspring by trying to raise them outside the indoctrination system so carefully and expensively designed and run by the State, the State can end up with badly-behaved and inefficient production units. This is unsatisfactory and must be crushed.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Mainstream culture is: believe every bullshit lie your stupid friends got from CNN and repeated on social media without any critical thinking or knowledge base to evaluate it at all, and spend your nights and weekends smoking weed and watching superhero movies when you're not playing video games. While your betters are robbing you blind because you're too dumb and indolent to be aware it's happening.

Fernandinande said...

This is probably the most important paragraph:

"A very small body of professional, methodologically sound homeschooling research exists. This work tells us something, but not much, relevant to the important public policy issues at stake. It does not capture the generality of the homeschooling population, because given the absence of data, it cannot. It does not provide any basis for concluding that homeschooling has a positive or negative causal impact on academic outcomes."

and

"Wilkens et al. used data from the national survey FICS math to examine first-year college calculus grades. On average, students who were homeschooled for a majority of their high school years scored 5.2 points higher than their traditionally schooled peers—a statistically significant difference."

...but that "homeschooled" kids are less likely to go to college and tend to earn less money than regular-schooled kids.

Gahrie said...

Children should “grow up exposed to...democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people's viewpoints.”...

Unless of course, those viewpoints are determined by Conservative Christianity... fuck them!

gilbar said...

Bartholet's idea of a "presumptive ban" would put the burden on the parents to meet some sort of standard that would be set by legislation.

here in Iowa, the people i know that home school their kids have to
a) use 'approved' course material
b) submit attendance records, etc
c) take and report standardized tests

after which, they get diplomas from their district

Tina Trent said...

I did learn how to spell remember in school.

Jamie said...

I think I would have been terrible at homeschooling my three kids, because I would've had a hard time maintaining my own focus sufficiently. This is borne out by the many times I've instituted some family thing or other - kids' cooking night, family game night - and failed to follow through after just a few weeks. So I'm grateful to their schools for having done what I believe I would have failed to do well.

But my kids can all cook and all enjoy playing games as a family despite my inadequacies, and they are (or were - one grad) also all excellent students, so I suspect their innate abilities have more to do with their education than the efforts of any teacher or school.

Most humans, especially kids, are capable of and enjoy learning something, especially if they have some choice over what it is. One of my biggest beefs with the education industry is how it has systematically stripped all the joy out of even reading.

rehajm said...

Well we've done a fine job lampooning Harvard Magazine this morning...

Ken B said...

Wow Althouse. Someone calls Westover a liar and you freak out. Shouting Thomas wishes death on Inga and you didn’t cavil. Rank has its privileges.

MartyH said...

Seen vs unseen...

One Tara Westover vs tens of thousands of drop outs, illiterates, bullied, drug exposed, undisciplined students...

Freder Frederson said...

Wilkens et al. used data from the national survey FICS math to examine first-year college calculus grades.

I took calculus Senior year of high school, as did many of my friends. I doubt very much that many parents who home school their children are competent to teach calculus.

MartyH said...

When was the last time there was a homeschool shooting?

JAORE said...

Suppose all of them were required to commit to having the next three generations of their family attend the worst rated schools in NYC.

Home schooling, private schools and charter schools would be enshrined in the next Constitutional amendment.

Ken B said...

I taught for a year in Georgia. When my ex wife died my son was about to enter high school and I was in Michigan. I and my parents went to great expense and trouble to keep him out of the US school system, and have him go to Canadian schools.

I know home schooled kids in Mississippi. Their parents are indeed fundies, but the kids are extremely accomplished and well educated, and did not strike me as “indoctrinated”.

iowan2 said...

I sent my daughter to Catholic schools and I'm neither Catholic or religious. To have my daughter in the public schools I taught in would have been parental malfeasance.

A little, layman history.

Public education became universal. There were a few Catholic/Jewish schools, they had to jump through the govt hoops, to stay open. Life went on.
Then in the last part of this Century, I started to see Christian Schools sprout from nothingness. In a short ~2 decades, these Christian Schools have grown and become very Scholastically competitive with the Catholic Schools, of course outshining public schools.
But why did Christian Schools sprout all of a sudden?

My observation, Public Schools were the Protestant schools. Local boards actually ran the schools and set the culture, the local culture. That local culture, was already served by the Catholic Church.And Protestant interests were served by local protestant leadership, in the public schools. Madison WS, did its thing, Pascagoula MS did its thing. But then the Education Colleges and bureaucracies, took over the running of the schools. Doctorates of Education took over, local culture had to be taught against,Protestant culture got big-footed local control is no longer. Education decisions are made in the Education depts of colleges, and legislatures pass the legislation written by those Doctors of Education.
Now we see the rise of Protestant Christian Schools.
Public education experts see this happening. The Dr's will fight. Not adapt. Because we must, at the cost of educating our children, listen to the experts. Parents(customers) are a speed bump to navigate, not a weather vane to follow.

Lurker21 said...

A little bit of research leads to the conclusion that homeschooling actually is more regulated than the article says or suggests. My impression is that if you can't read or write and aren't teaching your children to read and write, the state won't let you get away with it. One curious fact is that homeschooled children in states with much regulation, do not necessarily do better on standardized exams than students in states that regulate less, but every state exercises some supervision and applies some standards to homeschooling, so far as I have been able to find out. You will always be able to find abuses in anything, but the professor and the writer may not really have done much serious study of the matter.

Jamie said...

Freder, it's pretty unusual for homeschooling parents to be the sole teachers of their kids, I understand. Just as it's damn rare for a high school kid's lit teacher also to teach calc. Homeschoolers seek outside resources.

narciso said...

more hive minding

Big Mike said...

First, "arithmetic" is spelled correctly (so the illustration was either edited by Harvard Magazine or by somebody who wanted to make it look stupid)

Or, once the authors found out that people were laughing at them, they hurriedly fixed the illustration.

@Freeman Hunt, I believe that you homeschooled your kids? @Althouse, would you care to match the learning of Freeman's kids against randomly chosen children the same grade level from a Madison school?

Michael said...

I only know one family who homeschooled. The daughter graduated Harvard last year.

whitney said...

I don't know how anyone could not realize that public schools are day prisons and for white children in the minority, they are deadly

traditionalguy said...

The best educated and self confident teens that I have met are homeschooled by Christian parents. They do it with 10 times better curriculum and never fail to challenge their beloved children. But that truth must now be replaced with propaganda about Christianity being the enemy of education. That is as stupid as it gets. The people who started education in this country were all dedicated Christians.

wendybar said...

Tina Trent said: Remmeber, the largest association of teacher-training professionals in the U.S. elected Bill Ayers as their national vice president of curricular studies. And that's typical.
4/20/20, 8:25 AM

Obama's buddy and neighbor.. Unrepentant Domestic Terrorist Bill Ayers that is. Typical small "c" Communist...teaching our kids. THIS is what excites Democrats!!!

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Again I emphasize the real question, are children learning right NOW during the shutdown or not? Debating homeschooling is a distraction from the fact that only 20% of students are logging in for the full lessons during the shutdown. And the teachers union in WA wants to “give All students an A” for this lost semester. LOLGF as they say. Ain’t no learning going on now. What about that?

Ken B said...

I think it revealing that Althouse never even imagines Big Mike's rather obvious other possibility: that the error was corrected after it was mocked. That was my first thought since I saw the misspelling yesterday, but the correct spelling only in Althouse’s more recent retrieval of the story.

Bob Boyd said...

The Ax Helve
by Robert Frost, 1917

Do you know, what we talked about was knowledge?
Baptiste on his defense about the children
He kept from school, or did his best to keep—
Whatever school and children and our doubts
Of laid-on education had to do
With the curves of his axe-helves and his having
Used these unscrupulously to bring me
To see for once the inside of his house.
Was I desired in friendship, partly as some one
To leave it to, whether the right to hold
Such doubts of education should depend
Upon the education of those who held them?

But now he brushed the shavings from his knee
And stood the axe there on its horse’s hoof,
Erect, but not without its waves, as when
The snake stood up for evil in the Garden, —
Top-heavy with a heaviness his short,
Thick hand made light of, steel-blue chin drawn down
And in a little—a French touch in that.
Baptiste drew back and squinted at it, pleased:
‘See how she’s cock her head!’

-entire poem at the link

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I took calculus Senior year of high school, as did many of my friends. I doubt very much that many parents who home school their children are competent to teach calculus.

They find someone who is competent to teach it, which you would know if you knew anyone who homeschools, which I doubt very much that you do.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

Let's stop forcing kids to go to government indoctrination centers.
You know, what used to be schools, where learning occurred.
First schools go back to reaching, then let's talk about compulsory attendance.

Narr said...

FWIW many of the best students, student workers, and staff that I ever had were home-schooled.

When you consider what passes for public education nowadays, homeschooling is a very valid alternative.

Narr
Retired public academic

Michael K said...

Look at the kids in national spelling bees. How many are home schooled?

Lots.

Bay Area Guy said...

The article is written by Erin O'Donnell, based on interviewing Elizabeth Bartholet, who is the Wasserstein public interest professor of law and faculty director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program.

Professor Barhtolet -- I advocate that you go fuck yourself.

Bruce Hayden said...

“The actual question would be. What percentage of A)Public School, B) Private School, C)Home School, students are reading at grade level?”

“There's a metric not mentioned in the article. But why would you use hard numbers to evaluate home schoolers? Feels, are whats important...according to experts in education.”

We all know that overall public school students are at the bottom. Home schoolers tend to beat out private schoolers, but not by as much. We had one kid, and a broken marriage. So we picked private school, spent a lot of money, and were satisfied with the results. We might have done better with math and science (I had our kid doing derivatives around 6th grade), but I think that since both of us were math/science types, our teaching of the humanities and social sciences might have lagged.

A lot of this sort of attack on home schooling is like cosmetology boards arguing to continue their existence, and why hair braiders should be required to learn how to die hair before they can be allowed to practice their trade. This sort of regulatory capture argument inevitably claims to be for the good of society, but just as inevitably is mostly about protecting the insiders, in this case, public school teachers and administrators. Also keep in mind that public school teachers have long been a major constituency in the Dem party - it was calculated at one point that roughly 1/5 of all delegates to the Dem National Convention were typically public school teachers. The reality is that they very often do a shitty job, so have to use the state to force their customers to keep using their services. Little different that cosmetology boards justifying hair braiders needing t3ir licenses, or taxi commissions trying to ban Uber and Lyft.

What they skip around is that for a lot of public school teachers, their priority is not teaching the kids, but rather their pay and pensions. They pointedly ignore that parents are more often than they interested in the education of their own kids (moreover teachers more often than the rest of the public send their kids to private schools). Parents will often go to almost any lengths to get proper educations for their kids, and that usually means anything outside the public school system. They will work second and third jobs to pay for parochial schools, or stand in line for many hours to get them into charter schools. Etc. Anywhere besides the public schools.

Think about it for a minute. Public school teachers and administrators are government bureaucrats, little different from DMV clerks in their motivations. DMV clerks don’t set out every day to be surly and uncooperative. But they quickly get that way thanks to the strictures of working for the government.

iowan2 said...

I doubt very much that many parents who home school their children are competent to teach calculus

Wow, somebody is wholly ignorant of home schooling.

But. It does bring up something Public Education is willfully blind to. Outside experts. The community is teeming with people that are eager to lend their skills to public schools for a short term basis. A vet, that would do on quarter a year in biology. A Financial Adviser, do one Econ course. That engineer building the newest version of a grain thrasher(Combine) would teach that Calc course and give it real life context. The community is full of people that would lend their brains, education, and experience to the local school...But no. Public School Teachers Unions specifically ban such a notion.
Its for the children, don't you know.

Michael said...

The actual time spent in learning in public schools is akin the the time when there is actual play during a football game. Homeschooling, I have been told, is way more focused on instruction. And clearly with one child she gets the most attention, the most praise, the most criticism, the most guidance.

RK said...

American schools, at least in the Midwest, began with parents getting together and hiring a teacher on the their own. It's been all downhill from there.

M Jordan said...

I know many conservative Christians who homeschool, mainly to isolate their kids from mainstream cultural values. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well. Many of the families I know who have gone down the homeschooling path have ended up producing young adults who were everything their parents didn’t want. In my own extended family my niece ended up divorcing her husband with whom she’d had two kids, becoming a lesbian, then becoming a man (true story) before finally, years later deciding she was a heterosexual woman after all and asking her former husband to take her back (so far he hasn’t). She is not an outlier. Several of my homeschooling friends have spent long nights bailing their kids out of jail, getting them into rehab, the list goes on.

I always preferred the Mosaic approach: educate your children in Pharoah’s courts getting the best education of the day that the world had to offer. But be sure to inoculate them in the early years as Moses’ mother surely did when she surreptitiously became her own child’s wet nurse. Moses was trained to be a Pharoah but he never forgot he was first a Hebrew. And that’s what got him out of Egypt.

Michael K said...


I took calculus Senior year of high school, as did many of my friends. I doubt very much that many parents who home school their children are competent to teach calculus.


That must be where Freder learned Economics and Military History, too.

My grandson's 4th grade teacher told his mother that she could not do the math using Common Core either. She suggested his mother teach him at home using traditional methods. They got the kids into a charter school, fortunately.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

I favor home schooling for older students who are self-disciplined. I gave all my kids the option of blowing off school and staying home and teaching themselves. My eldest son took the option, didn't go well. Ended up going back to school. My youngest daughter is now considering it. She has enjoyed not going to school during the lockdown and is disciplined enough that she is, if anything learning more now, although this is due in large part to the efforts of her teachers. Without that support I suspect it would not be a successful.

CWJ said...

iowan2,

Interesting theory on your part.

tim maguire said...

Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

She makes some good points about the need to ensure a bare minimum, but, as has been pointed out elsewhere, reading, writing, and arithmetic don't seem to be among her desired bare minimum standards.

"Surveys of homeschoolers show that a majority of such families (by some estimates, up to 90 percent) are driven by conservative Christian beliefs"

Oops, the mask slipped off.

CJinPA said...

Bartholet's idea of a "presumptive ban" would put the burden on the parents to meet some sort of standard that would be set by legislation. Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

Do most states not have legislated standards for homeshooling? PA does. California, where my sister homeschooled four sons does.

I've read through the Harvard materials. It's the first time something posted here made me angry. It's not enough that the left so utterly dominates our culture, including increasingly politicized public schools. Now they are openly plotting to cut off attempts for parents to offer their kids limited sanctuary.

A culture can be family-centered or state-centered. For the first two centuries of our republic, society has revolved around the family. The shift to state-centered society is nearly complete.

gspencer said...

Statist view of home-schooling,

Benito Mussolini, "Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state"

I'm Full of Soup said...

It's same old same old MSM bias combined with a major objective of the Swamp to dilute the influence of the white, Christian majority in America. It is embedded in every Dem party policy even though the Dems would never intentionally utter it in public.

tim maguire said...

Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

Do you, or Bartholet, support making children go to school on the mere claim that the government is educating their children in an institution? Is there any evidence that homeschool kids are less well educated than children at school? Or is it just the people who don't want to use the government option who have to defend their choice?

Bilwick said...

"I know many conservative Christians who homeschool, mainly to isolate their kids from mainstream cultural values." Is the melange of junk economics, magical thinking and State-cultism we call "liberalism" one of those "mainstream cultural values," by any chance?

Sally327 said...

I think there are already laws on the books that require accountability from the parents who elect to homeschool their children. Perhaps this is like gun control. The existing laws aren't enforced so let's pass more of them.

CJinPA said...

One of the Twitter replies to the original Twitter post cited above:

"Those parents just don't want teachers of color teaching their kids history. Real history."

"Real history."

A fine advertisement for home-schooling. (My kids attended public school and I served eight years on a public school board.)

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Ken B said...
Shouting Thomas wishes death on Inga and you didn’t cavil.


Threats of violence by a few of the more unhinged commenters here is how most of the moderate and left leaning commenters were driven from this site. There used to be a much greater diversity of views but a few straight up nuts threatening violence drove them off. Very few understand the psychology of the people making these kinds of threats well enough to perform adequate risk assessment. As I remember, Inga worked on a psych ward for a while.

Dave Begley said...

Bruce Hayden's fifth paragraph nails it. Public schools are all about the adults; not the kids.

MayBee said...

I've known several homeschooled families. The only one I knew who wasn't amazing at it had the flaw of just wanting to be out and about with her little kids in nice weather, which was a lot of the year in Fayetteville Arkansas. I have no idea how that all turned out, because I moved away.

The family I admired the most- and my young boys were the most jealous of- were Christian, but he was a doctor so they obviously appreciated science. But they homeschooled because they thought schools took the kids away from home for too long during the day, then sent them home with hours of homework. It was just too monopolizing of kids' and families' time, and I agree with that.

If I ran the public schools, I would eliminate homework for elementary school. And I'd ban full day kindergarten. I had kids because I really really really wanted to have my kids around.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Public School Teachers Unions specifically ban such a notion. Its for the children, don't you know.

One of the reasons being, safety. One of those people might spontaneously molest a child in the middle of a demonstration about veterinary science!

Meanwhile, I have to provide six pieces of ID and a blood sample and be provided an escort to even enter a school in the district I've had four kids in for ten years .... and 27 year old bimbo teachers having 'relationships' with 14 year old boys in their cars continues apace.

One of the assistant band directors at a neighboring school was arrested a couple years ago for child pornography. Wheee!

Clearly it's an excellent system.

Leland said...

“but if you look at the legal regime governing homeschooling, there are very few requirements that parents do anything.”

In Texas, they are required to take the same standardized testing.

Even apparent requirements such as submitting curricula, or providing evidence that teaching and learning are taking place, she says, aren’t necessarily enforced.

I don't know why submitting curricula should be required. One problem with public schools is they assume one (or just a few) size fits all when it comes to the pace of teaching. Testing is still required, which is proper science based evidence that teaching has occurred.

All 50 states have laws that make education compulsory, and state constitutions ensure a right to education

Many school districts have now cancelled the remainder of this school semester, so much for the compulsory education. And "a right to education" is sufficiently met when a child is provided home schooling, as we as a nation are learning.

Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

No, it is simply returning the insult that Bartholet gave by criticizing parents using lofty arguments that ignore key facts. Bartholet is lying by omission and her agenda is clear when she then decides to particular insult Christians. Using a Christian concept, Bartholet has cast the first stone against people who believe that you do unto others as you would them do to you.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

It's like they are more interested in indoctrination, and not education.

Government schools were created specifically to indoctrinate children and give them just enough education to make them useful cogs in an industrial society. This isn't some conspiracy theory, the people involved in the initial creation of government schools were quite open about what they were doing because they felt is was a good thing. And I remember seeing some news articles about a couple in Germany being prosecuted because they were home schooling their children. The German government forbids homeschooling because they want the kids to learn the "correct" values. The law that forbids homeschooling states that as the reason.

Unknown said...

I have a good math/science background, including a PhD in Physics. So it is experience that lets me say that many public school teachers of mathematics and physics do not know Tuesday from breakfast. I may not have formally homeschooled, but I sure taught my kids math--and what made it harder was that I had to correct the wrongs their teachers were comitting. One 'teacher' told the class that an hyperbola is really the same as a parabola, don't worry about the difference. REALLY.

MayBee said...

I find Tara Westover very interesting, and her memoir Educated is a very good read. I'm surprised Althouse gets so upset over her.

ISTM important to take all memoirs with a grain of salt. I have no problem believing Westover that she was abused by her brother. That is heartbreaking. But all the brain injuries her family overcomes seem like perhaps they are coming from a child's memory.
Her description of her father's burns don't match pictures I've seen of him. And her mother and sister run a really successful Essential Oil business and support the family.

My heart breaks for every child who is mistreated in this world, and in Westover's case home is the place that mistreated her. I don't think that's a great argument agains homeschooling, though. Especially considering Westover and her brother did very well in college and beyond.

buster said...

It's remarkable how influential publications like Harvard Magazind and people like Bartholet routinely speak of Christianity as if it were a form of bigotry.

iowan2 said...

RK said...
American schools, at least in the Midwest, began with parents getting together and hiring a teacher on the their own. It's been all downhill from there.

Yes.
I had a farmer customer that posited, the reason Iowa (at one time) rated number one in education. It was those exact circumstance. Rural Iowa parents advertising for a teacher, that brought young single(requirement) women to the area. Soon to meet and marry a local man. That "new" genetic material, breaking the string of 3rd,4th,5th cousins breeding. This customer did in fact marry that young single teacher arriving in the community, in answer to an advertisement.

MayBee said...

Shall we all stipulate that for the purposes of this article, Science = Global Warming.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I took calculus Senior year of high school, as did many of my friends. I doubt very much that many parents who home school their children are competent to teach calculus.

Home schoolers usually belong to an association and if there is no one in the association capable of teaching a particular subject they can hire a tutor. And now there is the internet with online resources.

Narr said...

John Taylor Gatto (he may still be alive) has an excellent critique of the general worthlessness of public education, pointing out that it was indeed designed on the Prussian model with the production of obedient workers and taxpayers as the primary goal, a hundred years ago and more.

American public education, as already noted, was intended to Americanize millions of immigrant children into the norms of WASP culture.

My mother's family was chockablock with school teachers, and I toyed with the notion myself.

One of the most chilling conversations I ever had was with a couple of old friends who were teaching in a small rural system. They were talking about the problem of girls getting knocked up, and said they would gladly arrange, if they could--and of course, without parental involvement or knowledge--an abortion if one of their top students got preggers.

THAT is who teaches in our public systems.

Narr
Might as well flush it all now

iowan2 said...

HOmeschooled children can spend hours and hours and hours per day on memorizing those word lists if that is the parents' preference as the subject in which their child will excel.

You are ignorant of spelling bees. My limited exposure is the students study etymology. Probably have learned or learning Latin, and a third and forth language. So, not memorizing a spelling, but learning how language is built.

Similarly, they have some "hockey schools" in Minnesota where a child can be taught the basics in academics for an hour or two daily, then spend hours and hours and hours drilling shots into the net. Parental preference for how their child will "shine".

I am 100% in favor of this.
Let the jocks be jocks. I don't care, I am not in charge of others. I suspect in time, real schools would (should) win out.
In the same breath, Athletics has gotten out of hand. The investment in facilities cannot be justified, A disproportionate amount of capital invested in non-education activities.
I'm an ex-jock, love Football, but I always know that last game as senior was the last time I put the gear on.
But since tax payers vote yea on the bond issues, I'm talking into the wind.

Kevin said...

I took calculus Senior year of high school, as did many of my friends. I doubt very much that many parents who home school their children are competent to teach calculus.

Good. Now do the one about how incompetent public school math teachers are screwing our kids up 30 students/class for five periods a day.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV5s9_11S44

Jack Klompus said...

Harvard mag went back and stealth edited the misspelling of arithmatic (sic) and closed the comments within a day. I can hear the exasperated tone of the editor's remark of "this is what happens when Christian Fox News watching white trash" is allowed to read highbrow intellectual discourse. She then emails work study student David Hogg and tells him to fix the graphic.

I doubt very much that many parents who home school their children are competent to teach calculus.
I doubt very much that you're capable of reaching such a conclusion based on anything other than being a smug ignoramus. Even if this were the case, do you think maybe they put a flar up on that thar bulltin berd at ther Jesus cherch and ask enniwon know bout this here numberin' stuff?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

You are ignorant of spelling bees. My limited exposure is the students study etymology. Probably have learned or learning Latin

Latin, Greek, French, and German since that is the four main languages that contributed to English. You may not speak them, but you learn the root suffixes and prefixes and rules regarding spelling.

Third Coast said...

Ahh yes. Public schools have progressed so far over the years. Here's a 8th grade exam from the year 1912 that students had to take in that backward, retarded state of Kentucky.
https://www.bullittcountyhistory.com/bchistory/schoolexam1912.html
It'd be interesting to see how the average 8th grader today would do on that test. Not too well I imagine.

Maillard Reactionary said...

J. Farmer @8:16 AM is correct: Considering the vulgarity, coarseness, intolerance, and ignorance of our "mainstream culture", not only is wanting to remove your children from it is "a perfectly rational and legitimate desire", I'd say it's a parents' duty to at least try to do so. And there are many of us who feel that way absent any motivation due to religious beliefs.

It is very revealing that members of the Leftist educational establishment find this so threatening. Their attitude seems to be "Thou shalt not put false gods before Me", to paraphrase from that little-read foundational document that Shouting Thoms mentioned earlier.

The educrats needn't worry too much though. These days, the IPad and the smartphone are modern-day electronic babysitters for many lazy parents, like the TV was when I was a kid. They'll get their message of nihilism and dependency disseminated to the youngsters just fine using those.

Birches said...

Althouse, one of your posts come up when I google Tara Westover liar.

And no, I haven't read her book but I've heard from people who live in the area and call BS on her. I thought it was pretty conventional to be skeptical of memoirs.

minnesota farm guy said...

Ann don't assume that the editors did not correct the photos after they got caught with their pants down!

Kevin said...

You know who really value the public schools and have no interest in homeschooling?

Illegal immigrants.

Cassandra said...

Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

Ann, this is an emotional straw man argument.

I home schooled our sons for 1 year when they were in 7th and 10th grade. At the time, I had only a HS education. I was required to submit grades, curriculum material, and quarterly reports (as well as ensure our sons took state standardized tests)... and this was in a deep southern state Harvard types sniffily dismiss as backward, snake handling bitter gun/Bible clingers. The public schools there were absolutely abysmal, and our sons had previously attended a pricey private school. So much for the 'right to an education' - the public schools were YEARS behind grade level, and frankly the private school was better, but not by much.

When we moved to California the next year, the school district actually wanted to put our sons BACK, despite standardized test scores at 95th+ percentiles and great grades. To call their attitude parochial and bigoted would be the understatement of the century. I pushed back... hard, with years of standardized test scores (notably, showing the most marked improvement after a year of home school!). Both sons ended up in California honors and AP classes, in which they were bored and unchallenged because standards were so low there, too.

Do facts even matter here? The single most important factor in student success is.... *parental involvement and standards*. That is true for home school, and it's true for public school as well. Home school students test quite well against public school students. A 2007 study of 12K students had home school students averaging right around 85th percentile, where public school students averaged around 50th.

I would argue there's selection bias there (not all home school kids take standardized tests so they're not dragged down by poorly performing students). But it's also hard to argue that home school *per se* is the problem.

People who argue for 'presumptive bans' on home schooling are little proto-fascists.

*full disclosure: my oldest son and DIL are public school teachers, and my son talks all the time about how depressing it is to teach kids who are in middle school and can barely read or write. Again, so much for this woman's Ivy League notions of the supposed quality of public education. After 30 years spent moving from state to state, we almost always opted for private schools because the public ones just weren't very good.

Parental standards are the best predictor of academic success... period. That's unfair and tragic. But some things just can't be delegated to the government. I support home schooling and charter schools with the understanding that there are no guarantees and quality is uneven. It's just that w/public school, that seems more a feature than a bug.

Jupiter said...

"Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?"

Before I answer that question, who authorized you to ask it? Do you have a blogging license? Perhaps someone should look over your posts before we allow you to put them up. That way you wouldn't publish anything that was bigoted or incorrect.

Bruce Hayden said...

“I took calculus Senior year of high school, as did many of my friends. I doubt very much that many parents who home school their children are competent to teach calculus.”

As Unknown pointed out above, neither do a lot of public school teachers. A surprising number of public school math teachers don’t have math or science degrees. And just as surprisingly, some trying to teach Calculus never took it as undergrads. Instead they have all purpose Education degrees.

To Unknown - the difference with private school is that the teachers are competent because they have to be. The parents won’t tolerate subject matter incompetence. Our kid had two years of both Calculus and Physics in HS, and I closely monitored both. They became the fourth generation in my family to earn a math (along with physics - the math major was an easy add on for a double major) undergraduate degree (and their STEM PhD utilized a lot of partial differential equations). But I also monitored their History, Government, etc classes. I was apparently their Government teacher’s favorite parent that year, because we always spent parent teacher conferences arguing political philosophy (he was a rarity- a thinking liberal). Not so much English and Spanish, but trusted the other parents were diligent there.

My point there is that public school teachers are not really accountable for their inability to teach a given subject, because, as I noted above, they are government employees, who are subject to multiple, often conflicting, priorities. So, for example, the math teacher may never have had Calculus in HS or college, but does well in affirming transgendered students’ sexual identities, and can remember everyone’s preferred pronouns. The multiple, incompatible, priorities is one of the inherent weaknesses of any decently large government bureaucracy. And the inevitable result is most typically unaccountability.

Static Ping said...

It appears the article is motivated by pure animus against certain people the author does not like with any justifications as afterthoughts. Regardless of the pros and cons of homeschooling, her article cannot be condemned enough.

Kevin said...

I had a discussion with my daughter who's a freshman in high school today about distance learning.

When going to school:

- Up early to meet school start times
- Come home upset about things that happened at school - bullying, cliques.
- Class time lost to discussions about politics and political correctness
- Lots of group work and struggles when others don't complete their assignments
- Often doing homework late into the night or early morning.
- Sleepy, grumpy, short-tempered
- No time for family activities

Learning at home:

- Sleep in until 8, goes through day with proper rest
- No outside distractions or productive time lost to class issues
- All work done by 3 or 4PM, all work turned in, clearly staying on track
- No forum for group work in class, so group assignments aren't being given.
- Time for dinner and relaxing with family
- Time for individual activities she enjoys (guitar, computer games, etc.)

She has two clubs she enjoys, and has already converted the one she founded into on online version.
She'd like to make more friends, but after three years at her school she acknowledges there is more opportunity for that in out-of-school activities.

The experiment is showing the costs to benefits of public schooling are not looking good.

Jack Klompus said...

Teacher certification is a money maker for states as well, not to mention ETS which has a monopoly on PRAXIS, the certification standardized tests. Some states charge out of state applicants hundreds of dollars just to have their credentials reviewed by some bureaucrat who scans the transcripts and says, "well you need 3 more credits in..."

According to the state of PA (when not running the liquor racket) a newly minted "certified" teacher with no experience is somehow more qualified to teach than a successful private school teacher with years of experience and no official piece of paper. That teacher wouldn't qualify to teach in the Philadelphia public school system, a colossal shit show beyond repair that pens up bored students in crumbling warehouse structures while many of their teachers dole out worksheets and say, "just keep it down."

Unknown said...

Kids are a state resource

You can't trust parents to do what's best for the state...

But isn't the easy thing to leave it to the state?

The unions think so

and educrats love licensing

Browndog said...

Yes, the original article has arithmetic misspelled in the drawing.

The correct spelling had to be photo shopped, not edited. You cannot edit a drawing.

Kevin said...

The multiple, incompatible, priorities is one of the inherent weaknesses of any decently large government bureaucracy. And the inevitable result is most typically unaccountability.

Well said, Bruce!

Like university professors who publish or perish but often get no credit for teaching, our primary school teachers are facing such a growing basket of social directives that subject teaching ability has less and less impact on their career.

Browndog said...

Government schools actually have bars on the windows. And chains on doors.

Todd said...

Third Coast said...

Ahh yes. Public schools have progressed so far over the years. Here's a 8th grade exam from the year 1912 that students had to take in that backward, retarded state of Kentucky.
https://www.bullittcountyhistory.com/bchistory/schoolexam1912.html
It'd be interesting to see how the average 8th grader today would do on that test. Not too well I imagine.

4/20/20, 10:11 AM


Have you reviewed the civics section? There are a fair percentage of college graduates that could not get a 70% on just that section!

I would be very much in favor of questions 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10 being required for someone to be able to vote as well as name your own representatives to Congress, the name of the President, Vice President, and at least 3 SCOTUS!

Drago said...

Less kids in public school = less public school teachers = less public school union members = less union dues = less donations to the democrat party.

The indoctrination part is very important to the left but is secondary to the cash.

stever said...

We used Calvert School and it was not driven by religion. We realized that people are ignorant about the subject, to include professors.

Jack Klompus said...

"The indoctrination part is very important to the left but is secondary to the cash."

During the paper work fill out station-o-rama for new teachers in the Philadelphia school district one of course is where they say, "...and this is your paper work for the union membership." Not, "If you wish to join the union..." It's closed shop. You WILL join the PFT and have no say in where the dues taken out each pay period actually go. I'm sure it's the same with most public school districts. Randi Weingarten who has made a career as the AFT president is a labor lawyer. She didn't even last a year as a classroom teacher.

chuck said...

support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

Yes.

Freeman Hunt said...

You are suppose to register as a homeschooler here. I know one dad who thought the requirement was outrageous, so he never registered his son. His son went to college at thirteen and graduated a few years ago as a chemistry major. He's in grad school now.

That is to say, you can make whatever requirements you want, but the Westover families of the world will ignore them entirely, and their kids might often turn out well despite avoiding your meddling.

MayBee said...

Freeman- exactly.

Marc said...

Do those who like Bartholet's argument support forcing parents to keep their children in a horribly dysfunctional school on a mere claim that they are educating their children?

Why do I get the feeling that Barhtolet is also anti-school choice?

Marc said...

And why do I always put hyphens in the wrong place?

Calypso Facto said...

Public schools: so good we have to make the alternatives illegal!

Jack Klompus said...

What difference does your education or competence or talent make to the admissions committee of Harvard, anyway? If you're not white and slightly above mediocre, you're in. It also helps if you cut off your genitals and claim you're the opposite sex or if you're an obnoxious noodle-armed twit railing against "gun violence" while standing on the corpses of your dead classmates in order to get attention.

Big Mike said...

I might add that my sons’ experiences with public school education a quarter century or so ago, were so negative that nearly every day I feel as though I should grovel in apology for doing so.

rcocean said...

The Left always advances their agenda under the guise of "Helping" or "protecting" people. We need censorship to help protect people from "offensive" speech. And now we need to stop homeschooling to protect children from "child abuse".

Notice we don't get any statistics. How many home-schoolers in the USA v.s how many children are found to be abused, for instance. Why not? because the stats would probably show that for every case of child abuse their are probably 1,000 home schooled kids.

IN any case, Home schooling doesn't shield abusive parents from the law. Nor does sending kids to public school prevent them from being abused. Again, what are the statistics?

rcocean said...

On one hand, we're told the schools are full of bullies who MUST BE STOPPED. OTOH, kids must go to school to be with their schoolmates. To prevent that is child abuse or something.

Again, disingenuous arguments to cover up the fact that the Education industry wants to indoctrinate kids and also get $$$ for them. Every kid that shows up, the public school gets $X - so naturally "educators" don't like homeschooling.

rcocean said...

Personally, I'm surprised some Federal judge has not ruled homeschooling of white kids "Racist" and ordered they all be forced to public schools to experience "Diversity". Or that Homeschooling violates the separation of church and state.

Rocketeer said...

Do those who are insulting Bartholet support letting parents keep their children out of school on a mere claim that they are educating their children at home?

Yes, with barely any reservation.

"Better than nothing" is a high bar. "Better than a public school education" on the other hand is a very, very low one.

Red Devil said...

When I was stationed at Andrews AFB, near Washington DC, the Prince George's County School System was notoriously bad. The elementary school where my daughter would have gone to fifth grade was in a neighborhood that I didn't even feel comfortable driving through. Many on-base personnel chose to home school their children. The school system sent us a list of vetted and approved home school programs and outlined the reporting requirements. We also relied on a network on-base of Air Force spouses who supported each other by sharing resources.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It's not clear that Bartholet looked at college performance by home schooled students before she made judgmental characterizations about them and their parents.

Fortunately, here's the conclusion of psychology academicians at the University of Minnesota:
"...while homeschooled students can be as successful as their traditionally schooled peers in college, there is no indication that having been homeschooled is an advantage or a disadvantage in college. When matched on characteristics such as ethnicity, income, SAT score, and high school GPA, homeschoolers look very much like their traditionally schooled peers when it comes to their college performance."

This finding ought to set minds at rest. Homeschooled kids are not weird; instead they're like your kids and the kids you see in your neighborhood.

Freeman Hunt said...

And Westover could just as easily be interpreted as an indictment of public school as of homeschool. In her memoir she claims that she and her siblings were not educated and left fend for themselves. Three of the children end up with PhDs. Does that mean the public school system is so terrible that merely being kept from it leads to better educational outcomes?

JohnAnnArbor said...

Harvard's even holding a convention in order to figure out how to deal with these non-conforming homeschooling weirdos (as they see them).

They probably would like Germany: no homeschooling allowed. Because Germany is an ORDERLY society, you see.

Jupiter said...

Note that this is a prototypical example of the scam these vermin always try to run. Someone, somewhere, is in danger of a bad outcome. Therefore, you must give us control of everyone, everywhere.

Birkel said...

The only point for Leftist Collectivists is power. Thus, this Harvard idiot wants to exercise power over far-flung parents. She believes herself better than. Above. She thinks the letters PhD confer some authority that she should be able to exercise.

Exercise over others.
Raw power to command.

Freedom is antithetical to Harvard's current purposes.

Jupiter said...

I am a member of the Home School Legal Defense Association, a large and growing organization devoted to protecting home-schoolers from the depredations of the tax-assisted Left. Every month they have new stories of people's homes invaded by force, their children strip-searched, taken away from them, often for months, for the crime of home-schooling. In most cases, the persecution is not even legal in the state it occurs in. The Left Fascists just take it upon themselves to make up rules and impose them on home-schoolers. Nonetheless, there are more of us every year.

If your kids aren't criminals, don't send them to prison. Home-school!

Big Mike said...

Elizabeth Bartholet, is she by chance descended from Elizabeth Bathory?

JohnAnnArbor said...

Note that this is a prototypical example of the scam these vermin always try to run. Someone, somewhere, is in danger of a bad outcome. Therefore, you must give us control of everyone, everywhere.

Good point. Sometimes, bad things happen. Sometimes, they can be prevented by a new system/regulation/etc. If simple, that can be fine. If technological, that can be fine (laminated glass prevents car injuries). But if the "solution" infringes on rights or is a burdensome imposition on thousands of people just to catch a vanishingly few cases (however sensational) then it isn't fine. It's a problem.

Some people forget: life isn't perfect.

Jack Klompus said...

I wonder if the general public from South Boston, Lowell, and other working class Massachusetts communities will be invited to participate in the symposium on home schooling and offer their opinions. I think the Harvard fart-sniffers could use some input from the likes of Dickie Eklund.

n.n said...

Harvard is infamous for classes of bigotry, not limited to diversity.

Martin said...

'Children should “grow up exposed to...democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people's viewpoints.”...'

More accurate to say their real intent:

'Children should be exposed to left-wing agitprop that undermines their parents' authority and counters any feelings of patriotism and religious belief, with the new catechism of grievance in all things, that white males are the root of all evil in the world, that minorities have no hope except to the extent that trust-fund elites look after them, and so on. And if it requires force of law to do so, that's fine.'

Freeman Hunt said...

Harvard Law School Calls for Ban on Homeschooling; Homeschooled Harvard Graduate On Why This is Wrong

Jack Klompus said...

Harvard is infamous for classes of bigotry, not limited to diversity.

And they're frankly not that impressive. I've worked with a number of Harvard grads and never found their intellects or creativity all that awe-inspiring.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Why aren’t the children playing in that illustration IN SCHOOL!? I’m calling CPS!

SGT Ted said...

She thinks the State is the only institution that should be trusted to instruct everyone's children in values determined by her and people who think like her. She distrusts religious people based on a bigoted worldview that lumps them all in with extremists.

Elisabeth Bartholet is just a modern Fascist.

Bill Peschel said...

I agree with this, so long as there's also a presumptive ban on admitting students into college. Colleges should show the benefit of an education.

I'll bet they can't do it.

SGT Ted said...

Progressives have always been fascists with better manners and PR. But, the mask always comes off under stress.

John henry said...

Ed schools and departments of education are for those who are neither smart enough or motivated enough to get into journalism school.

I am an ed school grad. (MSBE, SNHU, 2004) but I also have several real degrees.

My wife is a teacher but back in the day, in Puerto Rico there were no ed schools. Those wanting to become teachers majored in a particular subject (history & political science) in a regular department and took a couple courses in basic educational stuff like classroom management.

The majority of teachers in the US do not have a major in the subject they teach. The calculus teacher mentioned by someone above probably has a number of classes in how to teach, maybe even some in how to teach math. But likely has taken no classes at all in calculus.

John Henry

SGT Ted said...

Government school kids are socialized in a barely policed Lord of the Flies environment of their feral peers, which leads to school shootings by the ones at the bottom of the social order.

Home schooled kids are socialized in an adult environment, which leads to earlier maturity and self responsibility. Home schooled kids are likely far more scholastically and socially advanced than their Government school peers.

Normal sane people can tell which one leads to better outcomes.

Bill Peschel said...

"All 50 states have laws that make education compulsory, and state constitutions ensure a right to education, “but if you look at the legal regime governing homeschooling, there are very few requirements that parents do anything.”

That. Is. A. Lie.

Flat out. As blatant as anything The New York Times and The Washington Post has said.

In Pennsylvania, I homeschooled my stepson in the sixth grade. I worked with him five days a week, using the books supplied by a homeschooling company.

We had to get permission from the school district at the beginning of the year. At the end of the year, for him to pass, I had to submit to the school a notebook containing his work. All the papers he wrote, the math and science tests he took, everything.

I remember it in particular because it was this way that I realized he had a learning disability. I asked him to write an essay about something -- summer vacation I guess. He sat there, doing nothing. Puzzled, I asked him to just write a paragraph. He couldn't do it. (I admit, I got angry. I thought he was defying me.)

When he started crying, he broke my heart (well, I did), and I had to think about this, and realized it wasn't that he wouldn't write, he couldn't. It was like his brain simply couldn't process what I wanted.

So I worked with him, patiently and slowly. I got him to write a sentence. A simple sentence. I told him not to worry about what he wrote. Just get something down on paper. When he did that successfully, he moved up to two sentences, then three.

Back in school, he was able to write essays, and he graduated from high school.

Would he have gotten this type of help in school? It's possible; we moved to a very good school district.

But that's not the point. The point is that this Harvard bitch lied to further her agenda.

John henry said...

remember a few years ago, here in these very Althouse pages, the story about the Pennsylvania public school that gave all kids Apple laptops.

And school administrators were, without the knowledge of the student, turning on the cameras and observing kinds in their bedrooms. Occasionally in states of undress?

Remember what happened to the administrators? I do.

Nothing.

If your kids computer has a camera on it, physically disable it. Take a knife and destroy the lens. If they really need a webcam, buy them a $30 USB cam at Walmart and have them unplug it when not in use.

John Henry

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

John henry said...
If your kids computer has a camera on it, physically disable it. Take a knife and destroy the lens.


Or, put a small piece of tape over the lens and maintain its function and resale value.

John henry said...

Blogger MartyH said...

When was the last time there was a homeschool shooting?

I would suspect yesterday. Maybe even this morning.

The difference would be that it is the parents teaching kids firearm safety and shooting at targets.

As opposed to public school shooters shooting at students.

John Henry

Earnest Prole said...

Like all things Harvard the subtext is deplorable.

John henry said...

Blogger Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Or, put a small piece of tape over the lens and maintain its function and resale value.

Nope. I don't think the resale value of a 2-3 year old laptop is significant so that is not an issue. I don't want the kid to have to remember to put the piece of tape back on every time.

They are more likely to pull the USB on the camera.

I destroyed the lens on my laptop AND have a piece of tape on it. Also deleted the drivers. Am I paranoid enough?

Of course, there are some people who have Alexa/Siri/Echo in their kids rooms. So if they care so little about their kids, what harm can a bit of snoopy video do? Enjoy the show, folks.

John Henry

Inga said...

After this pandemic, there will be less people playing around with the idea of home schooling. They’ll send their kids back to school with a huge sigh of relief that forced homeschooling is a thing of the past. LIBERATE those parents!

VenezolanaMari said...

Inner-city public schoolteacher here. I think it's wrongheaded to base policy on scary stories. There are good and bad public schools, private schools, and home schools. You can find scary stories about all of them.

In my own circle, I have seen many successful home school families: usually mom is a certified teacher! I've also known people damaged by years of overprotection and control, let alone academic deficiencies. I believe home school can be good for younger children whose brains develop from hands-on experiences, but less so for teenagers who miss the opportunities offered at a large school. My oldest daughter was able to take Biology II and advanced art classes that helped her win a scholarship. My son is making good money tutoring a Texas A&M Calculus student during this quarantine (using shared screens). His 3rd year Physics and advanced Math classes served him well. The school choir was family to him.

But public school has not been so good for my 3rd child, who has autism. Frazzled teachers with 150-180 students don't always keep up with 504 requirements. They still give her assignments due at the end of the period. She panics and doesn't even put her name on the paper. A friend whose son has dyslexia told me that the school followed the accommodation to test him separately, but it was in a room where they were also reading the test aloud to several kids, an accommodation he didn't need. It was a huge distraction to him. Public schools do better with GT and neurotypical students. The others can fall through the cracks.

What is driving a lot of families to home school is the state of our inner-city schools. Though our schools provide quality academic opportunities, they are filled with children broken by poverty and family instability and (sometimes) the behavior that follows. The families who homeschool can't afford to move out to the suburbs or put their children in private schools.

SGT Ted said...

After this pandemic, there will be less people who support government schooling, as they will have been exposed to a different idea. LIBERATE the children from the fascists!

The idea that sending kids to mandatory government indoctrination is "liberating" is Orwellian.

Tomcc said...

I stopped reading at: Elizabeth Bartholet, who is the Wasserstein public interest professor of law and faculty director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program.
A "public interest" professor AND child advocate...I would tremble in her presence.
My assumption is that she is really advocating for the state.

John henry said...

Blogger Jack Klompus said...

It's closed shop.

Technically no.

Under the Wagner Act as amended by Taft-Hartley, that is a "union shop". In a union shop the employer can hire whoever they want, but the employee must join the union. And the union must allow the employee to join.

"Closed shop" means that the employer can only hire people who are already union members and the union gets to decide who gets in.

Closed shop is technically illegal under Wagner. "Technically" is the key here. There are some industries like construction that run hiring halls that are closed shops for all intents and purposes but are "technically" union shops.

Wagner does not apply to government employees so state and municipal governments can, if local law permits, run closed shops. But that doesn't sound like the case in yur example.

John Henry

Narr said...

Hell, I put a post-it over the lens on this thing as soon as I realized it had one. I'm sure
they can still thermal-image me though. (Hands up, don't shoot!)

And I never discuss anything important around my wife's smartphone.

Narr
Ears, everywhere . . . eyes, everywhere

Jack Klompus said...

Thanks for clarifying the term, John. I should know this having lived forever in the union stranglehold city of Philadelphia where the IBEW hand picks city council candidates regardless (or perhaps because) of their indictment status.

I appreciate solid corrections like this as opposed to pedantic nitpicking like the previous poster who said, "You can only photoshop a picture. You can't edit it." Gee thanks, Captain Know It All.

John henry said...

In Westover's Wikipedie entry it says her brother taught her how to read. It makes it sound like there is something wrong with that.

My grandaugher is just 4. She knows how to count to 10 in both English (with me) and Spanish (with anyone else)

Her brother is just 2. He amazed us all the other day by counting to 4 (again, english and spanish, though barely intelligible in either)

It turns out that his "big" sister taught him.

The other day the GD learned to write her name. Handwriting is even worse than mine but, as the good doctor teaches us, get them to do it approximately right then work on improving it.

Both are fully bilingual, English/Spanish though the 2 year old is very hard to understand in either language. Just learning to form words.

John Henry

robother said...

"Some" children are subject to abuse under the cover of homeschooling. Therefore we should presumptively ban homeschooling.. Some children have been subject to abuse in Catholic schools. Therefore, we should presumptively ban religious schools. Some children have been subject to bullying in public schools, therefore we should presumptively ban...oh, wait.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

John henry said...
Am I paranoid enough?


Probably passed optimum levels on this parameter. Maybe should review optics however.
One piece of sticky tape, once. You can even remove it and replace it when you want to have a zoom meeting.

Lurker21 said...

In the age of the Internet, homeschool students may learn more about calculus than those attending a regular public school. As was noted above, the parents aren't really the teachers. They are something more like the administrators of home schooling programs.

I always thought there was a certain amount of needless obfuscation and mystification in calculus and statistics classes, but then I was never that good at doing math - and my instructors weren't that good at speaking English.

Freeman Hunt said...

There are more options for advanced classes for homeschoolers than there are for public schoolers. The percentage of the most advanced students who homeschool is higher than it is for students generally for that reason.

John henry said...

Blogger Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

when you want to have a zoom meeting.

Even you should be paranoid enough not to participate in a zoom meeting.

Skype
Teams
Webex
Jitsi

Just a few free, non-Chinese spyware alternatives to Zoom.

I've been attending meetings on Webex for years and really like the platform. It is designed for business so has pretty tight security. Now they have a free version. I've not tried it but it is supposed to be the same as the commercial version but with a limit of a dozen or so attendees and 45 minute meeting length.

I used teams last week with people in 4 locations, including Costa Rica, to do training on equipment I had installed remotely in CR. It worked very well once I figured out how to join the meeting. (Invite was badly formatted)

I've used Skype 10 or more years for audio calls. I pay a small fee to have the ability to Skype to regular phones anywhere in the world.

My son uses Jitsi and we did a video call with him, my daughter and I the other night. It worked just fine.

So not Zoom. "Don't trust China. China is asshoe!"

John Henry

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