Skip to comments.Homeschooled teens have it all
Posted on 06/08/2002 6:14:23 AM PDT by Valin
For homeschoolers, it's not hard finding a date to the prom. Got an itch for performing arts? No problem. Looking for a little pomp and circumstance? Done.
The lack of social opportunities one of the myths of homeschooling is not a worry for many metro-area families who have made the choice to teach their own children.
As homeschooling has shifted from emerging trend to an educational choice, resources for homeschoolers have blossomed. Homeschool students now have their own prom, graduation and theater classes. Local colleges cater to homeschooled teens with exclusive science lab classes. Co-ops arrange field trips and specialized language classes. Institutions like the YMCA open their doors for homeschool swim days.
Parents aren't left out, either.
Two statewide organizations the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators and Minnesota Homeschoolers' Alliance coordinate annual conferences and networking for parents. And bookstores offer curriculum discounts to homeschool educators.
"We're a market now," said MHA President Amy Leinen, who homeschools her three children in West St. Paul.
Indeed, they are. More than 15,000 students in Minnesota are homeschooled.
Ariel Lopez, 18, who graduated Friday night, went to prom several weeks ago. Lopez, recently named a National Merit Scholar, will head off to Indiana's DePauw University in the fall.
Mother Linda Lopez said she homeschooled Ariel from the day he was born. Her son's extracurricular activities match his academic achievements: soccer, 4-H, choir, theater and photography.
"It's very antisocial to be in a class with 30 kids who are all the same," said Linda Lopez, a former school counselor.
Ariel Lopez said his daily structure is a perfect fit. He's been able to take college classes for homeschoolers and, he said, "I do enough activities outside of the home. I'm able to interact well with adults and 5-year-olds."
One of his sources of socialization has been Youth Educated at Home, which sponsored the commencement ceremony. Formed in 1988, its purpose is to provide outlets for fun to youth age 12 and older.
In any given month, 200 to 300 youth, mostly from the Twin Cities metro area, bowl, roller-skate, take hayrides or watch movies. YEAH also organizes a prom.
"It makes them feel part of a group, which I think is important for teens. It's a sense of belonging or community. That's where the socialization comes in," said Cher Baumhoefner, director of YEAH.
Often, parents feel ill-equipped to teach high-school courses to their children; many don't have backgrounds in science or foreign language. YEAH facilitates tutor groups as well as an academy that offers supplemental courses in subjects ranging from Greek to algebra.
Parents also receive coaching in how to prepare high-school transcripts and college applications.
The growth in homeschooling has prompted more targeted assistance: Last weekend, the University of St. Thomas hosted the Minnesota Catholic Home Education Conference.
Homeschooling can't match public high schools for the numbers of dances and student clubs, but homeschool parents are determined to provide their children with opportunities to be with other children.
STAGES OF LEARNING
In the basement of a South Minneapolis church, the set to "Pollyanna" hasn't been dismantled since the spring show. This space is home to Theatrix, a community theater for the homeschooled.
"We didn't expect it to be as big as it's gotten," said co-director Kira Bundlie, who has had to turn away kids at auditions.
"Pollyanna" starred 40 children dozens more than the first play Theatrix produced. Participants do their own make-up, hair and sound effects. Bundlie, 22, said the theater serves youth ages 4 to 18 and appeals to different types of homeschool families.
Bundlie's mother started Theatrix in 1995 as a way for Kira and her younger sister to try acting when they were "unschooled," a looser form of homeschooling.
"I never felt like I didn't have any friends," Bundlie said. "Age becomes a non-issue. You're not always with kids the same age in homeschooling."
Roger Schurke, MACHE president, teaches a class at Northwestern College for parents on how to homeschool. Schurke, a former community baseball and softball coach, said parents should look to the community for socialization opportunities for their children, not the traditional school setting.
"Socialization is a non-issue. Kids aren't born in a litter. Why do we have to raise them that way?" Schurke said.
Natalie Y. Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 228-5452.
I don't see why some people can't understand that there is nothing natural or necessary about herding a child with several thousand others of the same chronological age.
And once again, that pesky Constitution subverts the cultural cancer of the Left.
The homeschooled kids were the only group that ever seemed engaged in the tour. Polite, intelligent, and obviously sociable kids.
The people who put their children in day care need to
justify their decision.
It is an excuse also used to justify absentee parenting.
Remember when latchkey kids were good because they learned responsibility?
The academics who publish such studies, (publish or perish),
are able to sell their conclusions to a receptice audience.
(ie I would like a gov grant to show the benefits of daycare.
vs a grant to show harm of day care)
I see parental involvment as the seperating factor between home and public schooling.
If taken to its revolutionary extreme, if public school parents
start getting involved in public school curicula
the teacher's unions are in trouble for encouraging mediocre performance.
By the way: "socializing" for what?
How else are they gonna learn the joys of gay sex and the dangers or global warming?
Exactly! Parents, you're raising your kids to be adults, not perpetual children, so what is the best way to do that? If you want your children to be mature, then most of their time should be spent with mature people whom you would want them to emulate. When my daughter babysits, she can always tell the days that the kids have been in preschool, because they are cranky, rebellious, and mean to their younger siblings. Kids in herds sink to the level of the worst kid in the group. The society of schools resemble those of maximum security prisons.
Of all the reasons to homeschool, socialization is at the top.
About 16hrs AFTER there are frost warnings in the 9th circle.
Why, for spending their entire day in a social group of people born the same year they were, that's what.
Socializing for accepting the NEA's agenda as regards sexuality, politics, and general world view. Socializing that will help them understand how stupid and out-of-date their parents are. Socializing that will allow them to make fool use (excuse me, I meant full use!) of their NEA-approved lessons on how to put on a condom.
Socializing to encourage them they must always do their best to be like their peers, and to emulate really deep personalities -- like Britney Spears. Conform to the same kinds of dress, same kinds of behavior, etc.
Socializing that will accustom them to accept groupthink, foolishness and disdain for learning as normal and natural.
Socializing in how to have your self-esteem assaulted by a$$h0l#s on a daily basis and accept that as normal. Socializing in how we ought to punish people for "violating" the stupidest of zero-tolerance rules -- such as throwing an honor student out of high school for talking a fellow student out of a suicide attempt and retrieving her knife to take home to give to mom and dad.
After all, what better preparation could we give them for, say, political leadership? Or for service on the local school bored?
Stop it! You're speaking too much sense.
Makes my head hurt... 8-)
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