Homeschooling measures up

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Brandon Dutcher, whose wife homeschools their four children, reacts to State Sen. Mary Easley's plan to regulate homeschooling by requiring families to register with the local school district and provide progress reports. He tells Sen. Easley he'd like to see progress reports from the public schools so he can know, for example, just how far behind his children are from the public-schooled kids:

For example, when my oldest son was in 8th grade, all he was really able to learn that year was Algebra II, Henle Latin I, intermediate logic, physical science, grammar, and composition. Well, plus he read and discussed The Epic of Gilgamesh; The Code of Hammurabi; The Odyssey; The Histories; The Oresteia Trilogy; Plutarch's Lives; The Theban Trilogy; The Last Days of Socrates; The Early History of Rome; The Aeneid; The Twelve Caesars; Till We Have Faces; The Unaborted Socrates; Genesis; Exodus; I and II Samuel; I and II Kings; Isaiah; Jeremiah; Chosen by God; and Socrates Meets Jesus, among others.

Now, I'm not naïve. I realize that 8th graders in Oklahoma's world-class public school system are learning all this and more. Who among us didn't have an 8th-grade history teacher/football coach wax eloquent on the influence of Stoic philosophy on Gaius Gracchus? Heck, as a retired teacher you know better than anyone that the 8th graders in your hometown of Tulsa (or Owasso, or Grand Lake Towne, whatever) are learning all this and more.

Later, he points out that his family has saved Oklahoma taxpayers over $200,000 by homeschooling their children.

Oklahoma's freedom to homeschool has encouraged the growth of a diverse homeschooling community, with all sorts of co-op groups, special classes, sports, field trips, clubs, and other school activities to provide learning opportunities beyond what parent-teachers can easily provide at home. Instead of breaking something that works well, we ought to promote the state to attract homeschoolers from across the country to move here. Who knows -- we might grow enough to get back that 6th congressman we lost 10 years ago.

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Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

I'm for the best education a child can get. If that is unregulated homeschooling, then it works for me. It appears that like Mrs. Dutcher is doing fine.

I have anecdotal experiences wherein a mother was homeschooling her children, and she clearly had no business doing it. She thinks she's doing right by her children, but she's doing an indelible disservice to them, and to the social services in which her children will be enrolled, once they predictably enter the "system."

So there probably should be some compromise.

brad andrews said:


as you know, my family is moving to tulsa this year to plant a church. we are excited!

we homeschool our two oldest (7 & 5) and wondered if you (or anyone else that reads your blog) could direct us to some resources to engage with the tulsa homeschooling community. much appreciated!

I know from personal experience, Jeff, that your example there is very rare. I have known literally hundreds of homeschoolers, and I can only think of one family that should not have homeschooled (and they were relatives...).

Brad: Here's a link to the main Tulsa-area group, Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Oklahoma (CHEF). There's also OCHEC, based out of Oklahoma City, but also statewide; and NOAH, which is the main homeschool sports group.

These bills are not going to be heard in committee in the State Senate, according to Sen. John Ford. They won't go anywhere.

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

Muskogee: It's good to know it rare.

G Webster Wormleigh said:

I was fortunate to teach Project Business classes for JA for several years. I taught in two private schools and then went to Nimitz for a government/civics class. We discussed supply and demand and how the price of commodities caused the rise or fall of various items; oil/gasoline, wheat/bread, etc. Then we discussed the stock market. At one point, I suggested each student pick a stock, follow it for a week until the next class, and report back. I was met with blank stares, and was then informed by the teacher that they "didn't do homework". This was not the case in the private schools. Sort of self-explanatory, I think.

mmclassics said:

We are currently homeschooling our oldest, the second is in a classical christian school and the toddler is definitely homeschooled. My first advice for a Tulsa homeschooling family is to visit Bibliomania, the homeschool consignment bookstore. They are a center for almost anything related to homeschoolers in the area. Call ahead to be sure they are open before visiting. The second resource is the T.H.E. Newsletter by Linda Duntley. It is a monthly subscription newsletter that works as a clearing house for the area's homeschoolers. It is DEFINITELY worth the price.

From the Batesline homestead

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 27, 2009 11:52 PM.

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