Homeschoolers or dropouts?

Homeschooling stats are soaring in Texas. State officials suspect schools are disguising dropout rates by claiming that missing students are being taught at home, reports the Houston Chronicle.

According to high schools in Texas, the homeschoolng rate has nearly tripled in a decade, including a 24 percent jump in a single year.

A 2008 audit of one of the Houston-area districts with the highest number of home-schooled high schoolers — Clear Creek ISD — concluded that only 167 of the 276 students had sufficient documentation from parents to meet the state’s definition. Information was lacking in the other 109 cases.

Schools face penalties for high drop0ut rates.

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  1. Frankly, this has been an open secret. I’ve heard of parents of students who have quit coming to school being told that they will face truancy charges unless they withdraw the student and enroll him/her in another school or certify that the child is being home schooled. Voila! Instant home school student, and one less kid counting on the dropout rate..

  2. Homeschooling Granny says:

    I don’t know anything about the situation in Texas; I do know that documenting homeschooling can be a pain and a distraction from actually researching what the kid wants to know and preparing ‘lessons’.

    How good is documentation? What school cannot document what has been taught only to have children do very poorly on tests and wind up in remedial classes in college. We assume that if a child is in school with prepared (ie documented) lessons, the child is learning. A kid at home who looks like he or she is playing may be learning a great deal. Yesterday my granddaughter and I were goofing around on YouTube watching videos about money. I’m sure it didn’t look much like a lesson but she was learning a bit of history, geography, money math, how money is made, can be counterfeited, and is destroyed when it is old. I find writing this sort of thing up in educationese annoying and a distraction from educating her.

    This goes to the heart of the problem that there really is no science of education. We all want all children to have a meaningful education but there is no science as to how it is done.

  3. I’m seeing this at an alarming rate. I know of about 8 families who “homeschool” (about 17 kids). One family started, then they all followed suit. The kids spend from about 8am to late playing in the streets, playing video games at one kids house, going to parks on field trips, or riding bikes. Most of these were struggling at public schools. They are now self-motivated enough to be homeschooled? One student, when asked, hasn’t actually started yet (it is now May), since they don’t have the money to buy the books or get internet access. This young woman said girls don’t need to have an education (I couldn’t write it the way she said it. My conscience wouldn’t allow me to perpetuate that.) The other day, I mentioned, to my daughter, an idea coming to fruition. This young girl jumped in and said she loves that yogurt. I explained to her what that word meant. She got mad that I was trying to trick her. She knew it was yogurt. Her aunt called the school, but since the parents say they are homeschooled, the school can’t do anything. Her parents were dropouts. I mean homeschooled.

  4. I do want to add. Not all homeschoolers are dropouts. I believe some parents are making informed decisions that allow their kids to have a better education. I commend a parent or grandparent who takes the time to give these kids a quality education. Unfortunately, many kids aren’t receiving an education. They are just disquising their lack of schooling as homeschooling. Unfortunately, the homeschoolers’ suffer the scrutiny.

  5. Why worry about the incredibly small percentage of people pretending to homeschool when public schools are far from successfully educating all students? Many times more students stagnate and waste away the years in failing public schools. I think people like to get all worked up about small beans because it’s so much easier than reforming our public schools.

  6. It doesn’t cost very much to homeschool, but the parents need to be motivated enough to put together a curriculum using free/low-cost materials. I just picked up a bunch of books at our Friends of the Library sale that were priced at 3/$1. These were good quality science, history, and literature titles. But I had to make the effort to go down to the book sale and browse their selection.