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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/6/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 21,043 times Debate No: 37440
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




You stated in your post that public schooling was the only way to ensure that the required curriculum is "actually being taught" to students and that no ideological spin is put on things correct? Have you ever tried homeschooling yourself? While homeschooling does offer enormous flexibility in time management and teaching style it has many pros. For example, it allows kids who learn at a slower pace to really grasp a concept and other kids who grasp things easily to move forward and not have to stay behind waiting on other students to finish. To assume that homeschool students do not follow a curriculum is faulty, on the contrary the majority of homeschoolers academically perform multiple grade levels higher than their actual age. I have gone to both public school and homeschool and i can tell you the academic performance and expectations are much higher in homeschooling-in public school kids and even teachers, don't really care about what they are learning. They simply learn things for the test not really caring about long term effects or consequences. I have found public schoolers often cheat, skip class, are belligerent, sleep through class, or are under the influence. Public school kids are often very rude and disrespectful-a major contrast to homeschoolers who are taught from the beginning not only class room subjects but life lessons in manners and the level of respect and propriety you should hold yourself to. As for the ideological aspect-why does it matter to you what a child's parent's views are? Parental views are going to differ no matter where you go to school. I presume that you will teach your children your views and expect them to follow suit; it is the same with homeschool parents and their kids. Homeschooling is not a "brainwashing" or anything of that nature-it is simply a parents choice exercising their right to make sure their children receive a proper and WHOLESOME education-instead of one that wastes time and tax payers money with out any real positive outcome.


First of all, I'd be quite happy to debate this topic with you. Good luck, I suppose.
Secondly; you joined an hour ago and you're already getting straight into a debate? That's the spirit!

Now, on to my argument. Yes, I'm well aware of the enormous flexibility offered by, and time management headaches that home schooling can save both the children and the parents, and I don't simply discount them; I merely believe that this benefit does not outweigh the potential downsides.

The curriculum that home-schooled children are required to be taught is the same as that for children in public schools; the only way to verify that they are in fact being taught, however, are *voluntary* end of term tests, rather than continual teacher oversight and compulsory tests. As long as the child passes the test, then it is deemed they are being taught 'correctly'. The same argument that you have stated applies to children in public schools also applies here; students in public schools are supposed to be taught in a way that engages their interest and makes them want to learn enough to pass the test.

Your argument that "the majority of homeschoolers academically perform multiple grade levels higher than their actual age" has more to do with the fact that these children are receiving tutoring, rather than class learning, and thus are unable to be distracted from their learning whilst 'in class', assuming their parent is doing their job. This has nothing to do with home schooling itself being 'better'; teachers are supposed to help individual students who are having problems with the coursework, and arrange for private tutoring lessons if they feel they need it. That argument only works in schools where the teachers aren't in fact doing their legally appointed job correctly. Also, as I stated above, in many states these tests are completely voluntary on the part of home schooled students; there's a lot of wriggle room for selection bias there.

Your arguments that publicly schooled children are "...often very rude and disrespectful", that they "...often cheat, skip class, are belligerent, sleep through class, or are under the influence" or that they "simply learn things for the test not really caring about long term effects or consequences" are incredibly subjective, and dependent upon the individual student and schooling environment. The school environment is supposed to be conducive to learning; if it isn't, that isn't a problem with public schooling so much as it's a problem with that particular public school.

Publicly schooled children are supposed to actively socialize with other students in their school regardless of differences; your argument that home schooled children are "taught from the beginning not only class room subjects but life lessons in manners and the level of respect and propriety you should hold yourself to." is incredibly subjective, and in fact not nearly as conducive to a good education as actively socializing with one"s peers, as opposed to simply being moralistically taught how one 'should' act. As socialization itself is a *vital* part of learning how to interact with others, and society, outside of immediate family members, not allowing them to be in an environment where they are made to socialize is tantamount to robbing them of one of the most important facets of their learning.

As for the "ideology" aspect, it"s quite simple; public schools teach facts, and only facts. Unless we count science as a 'bias', which makes no sense, then there is none being put on the information. As stated above, the only way to ensure that the home schooled child is actually being taught relevant curriculum are *voluntary* tests. Theoretically, a parent could teach their child anything they wished and pass it off as 'fact'; as long as they don"t sign up for that voluntary test, there"s no way to ensure they"re teaching their children what they"re supposed to be teaching. As to the "Parental views are going to differ no matter where you go to school. I presume that you will teach your children your views and expect them to follow suit" argument, one isn't *supposed* to teach *their* values to children; they're supposed to allow them develop their own.

As to your "brainwashing" and "WHOLESOME" education theory, its simple; there's no guarantee that parents *won't* brainwash their children whilst teaching them, because as stated there are no regulations ensuring they are being taught 'correctly'. And what constitutes a "wholesome" education is so subjective it"s not even an issue; education isn't supposed to be "wholesome", it's supposed to be *informative*, regardless of what one may think of that information.

I apologize if I appeared to ramble, or be a little bit "everywhere at once".

Information sources, in no particular order:

Debate Round No. 1


Luck isn't necessary but thanks anyway.
Before we begin I would just like to touch on the sources you used....You do realize that wikipedia is able to be edited by anyone correct? A biased, faulty, ill-researched opinion with little credibility. Also mommy blogs probably aren't the best resource because they tend to be a bit biased and one sided.

Now to have stated that you believe our end of course testing is optional? It's not. North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education has a standard that must be met every year and is not optional. Just because homeschool students have flexibility during the school year does not mean that they are exempt from accountability and actual learning. Our EOC testing is actually even more specific than that of public school testing. It not only shows if you passed or failed but gives you a detailed report of not only how you did in each subject but breaks it down into sub-subjects and allows you to see where you fall grade-wise. These tests are given in groups and online. The scores are private and are sent to the department for review and credibility.

You have argued that homeschool educated children are "tutored" rather than actual classroom time correct? If you had bothered to research farther than surface deep you would have discovered that the majority of homeschool student take classes. Often modeled like a college class they attend once or twice a week and are given a syllabus to complete for the rest of the week. Instead of tutoring we are more on our own than public school kids because we only see our teachers once or twice a week. A quick side note, you had also stated the phrase "teachers doing their legally appointed job correctly" as if the word "legal" had merit. The fact that the government had control over it makes it all that much more susceptible to corruption and lethargy.

I do agree that part of my argument is subjective and judgmental; forgive me for allowing three different public school experiences cloud my judgement. But is it not a double standard? Society groups homeschool students into one massive group of uneducated, brainwashed, socially awkward, religious freaks who cannot fit into modern day society-which is insanely wrong and prejudice. For every socially awkward homeschooler there is a drug addicted public schooler-every situation has its outcasts but the majority shouldn't be judged because of one rotten apple.

As for the "socialization" aspect you didn't do much past surface research did you? Homeschool students have a greater opportunity to socialize than public schoolers do. You spend 8-10 hours per day sitting in a classroom while we finish earlier and are out in society socializing. If you had looked at any new (and CREDIBLE) research you would have seen that homeschoolers have whole organizations devoted to the developing of sports teams, community services, proms, clubs, and other extracurricular activities.
Knowing the standard of propriety you are held to and actually doing it is much better than the type of socialization that goes on within the classroom, on the bus, at parties, or any of their other...."extra curricular" activities.

Your ideology aspect is flawed; you claim that "public schools teach facts and only facts" but in reality any teacher is susceptible to allowing their beliefs and view points to influence their teaching. (You might argue that it's the teacher's fault and that i must have had a teacher who did not handle themselves professionally. But when these example are coming from multiple kids, in multiple schools, in multiple districts, I think one should step back and consider all the facts)
A homeschool parent wants their child to exceed in their schooling (that's usually the main reason they are homeschooled) that would make no sense to teach them something random and incorrect. These test are not voluntary. They are required by every state department of non-public education in the U.S. We have a standard we are held to-we just can't help it if we exceed that standard.

What you do not see (which I won't fault you because you have never experienced a non-public education) is that you are being taught a certain way whether you realize it or not. Who sets up the standards you are taught to? Who provides your books? Who provides your school? Who pays your teachers? You are taught what they want you to believe. The difference between homeschool students and you is that we have simply decided to think for ourselves. Your education should be an awesome, and amazing experience. You should crave knowledge about your world. Intrigued to learn about the minute details; that's why education, a good education, is wholesome and not just informative-because it is a passionate discovery and appreciation for life.


Thank you for that counterargument.

To begin, you do realize that Wikipedia is managed by a team of hundreds of professional moderators, a majority of which are holders of PhD's or other higher academic accreditations in their respective fields? You also realize that, in order to edit Wikipedia, one must register as a member, and more than three very incorrect/stupid 'edits' to the site in a reasonably short amount of time will result in one being permanently banned from ever joining or editing again? I'm sure there is a little bit of bias, but Wikipedia prides itself on its outstanding *lack* of bias; if it's there, it's pointed out, or removed in a short frame of time. You do also realize that all information contained within Wikipedia must also be referenced using reliable, fully cited sources, yes? Honestly, it's in the top 0.2% of most reliable Internet information, and whoever told you otherwise doesn't know how the site works.

As to your argument that the end of term testing is, in fact, compulsory, that simply is not the case everywhere. In fact, in a *majority* of states and countries where it's allowed it's entirely voluntary. I accept your position that it's compulsory where you live, but that is not the case everywhere, and that by no means refutes my arguments relating to this factor. The specific nature of this test also varies by state and country, and citing the test where you live as being top notch only minimally aids your argument.

I'll accept your argument that "...the majority of homeschool student take classes", as I have little to refute that statement, at least in your state. You don't see the fact that you are "...more on our own than public school kids because we only see our teachers once or twice a week" to be somewhat detrimental to your education? There's a reason that teachers are supposed to be available to help their students both in class and out. I also disagree with your claim that the government's involvement in education would somehow make it "...that much more susceptible to corruption and lethargy". How? The government's only job is to pay the teacher's salaries, and set the standard of education. The exact same standard that home-schools are *supposed* to be following as well.

Your third paragraph is meaningless. I never stated belief or leaning of any sort toward that point of view, nor is it important. I don't think any save possibly a minority of home-schooled children are "uneducated, brainwashed, socially awkward, religious freaks", nor do I think it's okay to brand them as such. I agree that "every situation has "outcasts", but that also doesn't matter; that isn't grounds for pulling them out of school to try and teach them yourself. Unless the person teaching you also has a higher education of the same level paid teachers are *required* to have, the standard of education being offered *will* otherwise suffer because of that choice.

I'm well aware that home-schooled children have "opportunities for socialization", and I am aware that there are, in many cases, organizations specifically for them to socialize. Those organizations should be unnecessary, though; genuine, informal socialization, of the sort that occurs in the school environment, is somewhat more 'healthy', from a psychological perspective, than having to specifically go out of your way to socialize, or being made to 'be social' in what is supposed to be your own free time.

I'll have to agree with your argument that a teacher can, and in fact likely will, put some of their own 'ideology' onto the information they're passing to children when teaching. The fact is that teachers, in publicly funded schools, are supposed to teach facts, with no influence on what or how they teach from their own view on those facts. A parent who really wants their child to succeed academically could also just tutor them privately at home in addition to sending them to school. As I have stated, regardless of your "being held to a standard", all schools, public, private and home, are held to that exact same standard; there's no reason for there to be significant differences in academic achievement levels between them aside from the individual levels and types of incentives given to learn in individual schools.

I agree in part with your final paragraph; your education *should* be "an awesome, and amazing experience", you *should* crave knowledge about the world. *All* schools are supposed to provide that standard of education; any that don't aren't indicative of what a public education is *supposed* to provide. I understand that all who are being taught are being "taught a certain way". That's simply how education works, and it by no means is restricted to government funded schools. Every single school, public, private and home, in every country, simply by definition *must* teach their students "a certain way" in order to get that information across to them. There aren't any truly, 100% objective ways to only teach fact with no kind of input of any other kind, because that simply isn't how the human mind is designed to take in information. Public schools are designed to try and keep the education process as impartial and informative as possible, however. All students are supposed to have to "think for themselves"; if they didn't, they would never actually take in any of the information they're being taught, and would be relegated to less intellectually challenging classes and topics regardless of how or where they were taught.

More sources:
Debate Round No. 2


alyssaann forfeited this round.


As my opponent has forfeited the final round of the argument, I have no rebuttals or counterpoints to address, and do not feel the need to introduce any new points or refine old ones at this stage. I'd just like to say that this has been enjoyable, and to anyone who may actually have been observing, your vote would be appreciated, as would any constructive criticism you'd care to give.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by MoralityProfessor 8 years ago

Now obviously that example is not representative of every scenario in every school but as a general rule, conformity is encouraged. While there's nothing wrong with me walking outside barefoot *inherently*, that doesn't stop people from giving me strange looks when I do.

Who gets to decide what should constitute a value and what shouldn't? You write that public schools teach facts and only facts. Values don't comprise facts. So why should a school and/or government get to have the final say in which values children are being taught as opposed to their parents?

Lastly, you write, " is inherently hypocritical unless one is also perfectly fine with their own belongings being stolen." Now, as stated before, I need to have a better understanding of your position on morality, because the implication here is that someone who is perfectly okay with their belongings being stolen is allowed to steal someone else's.

Thank you for your thought provoking comments.
Posted by MoralityProfessor 8 years ago

Thank you for your response.

It would seem that the essence of your comments (and mine) fall straight into the depths of morality - what it is, how it is defined, if it is subjective, etc.

In order to understand your position better, I'd like to know how you view morality in general.

I gave a very extreme and obvious example in regards to theft. But there are many 'values' that are not so clear cut. Take modesty for example - it certainly has its benefits (in case anyone is interested in them - I believe that a person who dresses modestly exhibits a certain respect for themselves - they believe that who they are intrinsically is enough - they don't need to flaunt their bodies in order to get attention or take make up for a lack within.) Yet many schools don't teach that as a value.

Another example (and this one's a biggie): Conformity. Schools teach conformity. Not just to rules (which is most often good) but more importantly, they teach that conformity *in general* is a good thing, though it may actually discourage independence and creativity.
As a personal example, I volunteer in a preschool during the mornings. During lunch, one little girl who finished her lunch went to read a book in the 'library'. (It gets quotation marks because it only consists of one bookshelf.) The teacher admonished her sternly, explaining that we don't read books during lunch and had her sit down with her friends again. Now, reading a book after she finished her lunch does not fall under the category of inherently hypocritical and in fact can be seen as positive. On the other hand, it might be good for that girl to socialize and to learn to listen to the teacher. But on the third hand (we're clearly getting into unchartered territory here) from what it seemed, the only reason the girl was asked to sit was because everyone else was doing it.

To be continued due to character limitations......
Posted by Jingram994 8 years ago
Well, I suppose that's just the way I look at things. We 'teach' children so that they will be able to function in the real world. It's not our place to tell them who they should be as individuals; whether or not *you* think your belief system, or even specific lack thereof, is worth living by, it isn't up to anyone but the individual in question to decide who they are and what they believe. Continuing to practice your own beliefs, and allowing your children to follow your example if they wish to do so, is fine. Specifically 'teaching' them to believe certain things, for no greater reason than you believing them, is brainwashing, regardless of the specifics of how it is done or the beliefs being 'taught'.

And, obviously, children shouldn't simply be allowed to do exactly as they wish all the time, with no consequences. That ill prepares them for the real world, and then makes them fail to realize that other people are just as important as they are. Failing to punish them for stealing, or for any other infringement on another's rights, would be a failure to teach them that other people matter, and that real actions in the real world always have consequences. And clearly, 'being able to remove various paraphernalia off another unobtrusively' is not a valid 'value' in the real world, as holding it is inherently hypocritical unless one is also perfectly fine with their own belongings being stolen. Allowing a child to grow with inherently hypocritical personal values not being pointed out would be another failure on the part of those bringing the child up.

Basically, children *should* actually develop their own values and ideals; but those ideals do actually have to be able to work in a non-hypocritical manner, and they must also be aware of the potential 'consequences' of their values. Deliberately imposing values, however, is different.
Posted by MoralityProfessor 8 years ago
This is a response to Jingram994's arguments:

While I understand your concern in regards to ideology, I don't believe it is a valid argument. We *are* supposed to teach our children our values. It would seem (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that by adopting an expectation of 'let them develop their own value system', we open up for any/all possibilities. They may decide that being able to 'remove various paraphernalia off another unobtrusively' (aka, stealing) is an admirable value. And while that is obviously an extreme example, my point is that there are some values we want to be able to teach our children - such as responsibility, respect, generosity, etc.
In regards to a 'religious' ideal, I have two points to make. The first is not so much an argument as an observation:
1) If I did not feel that a religion's values were "worthy" enough to be teaching it to my children, I would not be practicing that religion. In other (yet still similar) words, if I felt that my religion was not important/integral enough to raise my children with, why would I want to practice it?
2) There seems to be a double standard going on here. You seem to be implying (and once again, please correct me if I'm wrong. I could very well be taking this out of context.) that in regards to religion, children shouldn't be made to follow the beliefs of their parents, but rather left to decide for themselves. The double standard here is you're assuming that a position of non-conformity to religion is more valid than a position of conformity. But then again, that would probably spiral into a debate about G-d, religion, and morals, which I do not have the time nor space for at the moment.

Anyway, if you have any thoughts, disagreements, or criticism on the above (and who's to say they're not all the same thing?) I'd be very interested in hearing them.
Posted by Jingram994 8 years ago
Noticed you forfeited the final round. If you were going to post any arguments or counterarguments, you could just post them here as a comment, and I'll try and address them. Otherwise I'll probably just think of some sort of smug final statement to make.
Posted by Jingram994 8 years ago
I know you're actually *really* new here, so if you need any pointers or anything with this, just ask.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 8 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm undecided on this issue; both homeschooling and public schooling can be done right or wrong; CON gets conduct because of PRO's forfeit; CON gets S&G due to PRO's run on sentences and generally awkward verbiage; PRO loses arguments by her argument being from personal experience and/or overly generalized; CON wins sources because he backed up his claims with sources, while PRO only made unsupported claims.

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