The High School Learning Experience: How Do Homeschoolers Compare?

So, homeschooling parent, think your teens are learning as much at home as they would learn in high school?

We know from our own childhood experience that the school day is full of interruptions and inconsistencies. Whenever you put 30 kids in a room, you create an environment that’s not exactly conducive to concentration.

But something’s changed since we were young, something that makes it even harder to learn: cell phones. Where I live, the high schools banned cell phones until 2007, when they allowed students to carry them as long as they were turned off and put away during class.

Guess what? It was too hard to enforce that rule, so now kids text throughout class. Teachers are worried that students could be texting test answers to each other. Perhaps, but at the very least, I think we can assume they aren’t paying attention to the teacher if they’re busy texting:

“Cell phone use continues to grow. Texting is more common, and many students are adept at sending silent text messages from their pockets. They don’t even look at the keypad.”

One teacher said, “Every kid has one, and they’re used covertly, regularly.”

I understand that today’s kids are good at multitasking, but I doubt that they can absorb much information while they’re busy corresponding with other people via texting.

Homeschooling parents needn’t worry whether their kids are learning as much as their publicly schooled friends. I’d say they’re way ahead of them if their home life affords them regular uninterrupted periods of time for reading, writing and doing math. Seriously, if kids can text during class, public high school has become a joke.

7 thoughts on “The High School Learning Experience: How Do Homeschoolers Compare?

  1. This year we are hosting an exchange student, so I am getting a very real glimpse into our local schools. One thing that has bothered me all year long is that now the school has “smart boards” in many of its classrooms, and in our exchange student’s English class, they use class “cell phones” to text their answers to the board. In fact, when another student asked what a word meant (a very basic word, just not one she was familiar with the use of) during the first week, rather than directing her to a dictionary, or just explaining the usage of the word, the English teacher took 5 minutes to explain how she could use the cell phone to click on the word on the smart board, connect to the internet and get a definition.

    I am very glad that my homeschooled girls do not have to deal with classroom technology like that!

  2. Well, that’s eye-opening, MM! Seems like the teacher could have defined the word instead of sending the girl to the Internet where she would then miss whatever happened in the classroom next!

    That said, our daughter-in-law teaches at a small private school and uses a smart board in her classroom. She does have the capability of having the class “vote” on answers, etc. (which helps her see who’s getting it and who’s not), but the way she demonstrated it to us, it’s especially valuable for use as a visual learning aid for the entire class, ex. for looking up countries, maps, etc. on the Internet very quickly and with a large enough picture for everyone to see.

    Of course, those of us at home can use a computer for the same thing. :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Smart board? Is that like a computer they have to use to compensate for dumb teachers? Sorry, that was mean. Let me back up and take another run and go at it.

    Smart boards sound like just another distraction from actual learning. I’m just in awe of the ways school systems find to spend money to “update” education by undermining it.

  4. Wow! I feel so sorry for those kids, and for the parents who rely on schools to teach their kids.

    That being said, there are excellent schools, and some teens do manage to learn a lot at schools.

    I’m just very grateful that our teens can learn at home.

    Annie Kate

  5. Cindy, check out the comment before yours. There are good uses for Smartboards. That said, I’m sure there are also teachers who just use them to keep the kids entertained.

    We are fortunate, Annie Kate, to be able to teach our kids at home, aren’t we? :)

    Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

  6. Well, in the years since that comment, things have changed at our house! My homeschooled son is online as well, except during tests, because Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha are his main tutors. LOL

    But being online is a constant temptation for him to check the news and his stock app. Now, these are relatively good things to be tempted by, but we’re working on getting him to manage his own online time/study time. It’s hard, but next year he’s at university and will have to manage his phone without reminders from me.

    Thanks for all your input for my panel! That’s exactly what I was looking for.

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