Monday, August 20, 2007

Effects of Home Schooling



I have written elsewhere about the Catholic Church's support for parents as primary educators to home school their children, provided they seriously investigate the Catholic school option. In this article, I intend to present my own views on the effects of home schooling on students based on my experience of 22 years, observing these students as they integrate into Catholic school environments in high school.

Since what I will say is likely to be controversial, not just to the anonymous reader but also within my own family, I would like to make a few preliminary comments. First, I do not mean to suggest my comments are universally valid for every student and every circumstance. Each kid is different and responds differently to different conditions. Second, it is not my intent to judge people's motivations or intentions; parents I know who home school are some of the very best parents I've met--serious in their commitments to their children, active in their parish and typically well educated themselves. Finally, I am not a psychologist, nor do I presume to speak with the authority of one with advanced degrees in adolescent psychology.

These, then, are my observations:

1) First, as to professional educator's concern that these kids may be academically unprepared, my experience is exactly the opposite! In general, home schooled kids receive an excellent education from their parents, who are usually well educated themselves and serious about passing on their knowledge to their kids. In addition to having a solid core foundation, they are more likely to have toured local museums, attended literary and fine arts offerings in the city, and to have traveled broadly. The flexibility that home schooling affords families allows families to do these things, and most of the home schooling families I know have used these opportunities effectively. At Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School, though we review the academic credentials of incoming home-schooled students, we generally don't have concerns about their academic preparation.

2) On the other hand, in-coming home school kids tend to be socially awkward. This is not a failing on their part or their parents, but the natural result of being separated from their peer group during their formative years. I think that every parent of a home-schooler knows this intuitively; in fact, many parents embrace it as a good thing, not wanting their children to be part of the stereo-typical "in" crowd, with the attendant vices associated with socially skilled teenagers.

Sensitive to this concern, most home-schooling families I know make real efforts to schedule joint programs with other families, giving their children the chance to inter-act as they go to museums together, join parish athletic teams or take part in common community activities. But as helpful as these things are, they are programs which are typically highly structured and dominated by adults, not typical of the unstructured, free-lance interaction of peers on the "play-ground" (used heretofore as a metaphor for unstructured time with peers). There is a lot learned on the play-ground, and not all of it is bad! How to brush off an unkind comment, how to go outside of oneself and start up a conversation with a stranger, stumbling through embarrassed conversations with the opposite sex, and yes, even how to "defend oneself" in verbal banter, are all things that kids learn over many years afforded them by "traditional" schooling.

Some of the things experienced on the play-ground may not be desirable, such as cursing or bullying. I contend, however, that learning how to deal with the bully, however painful, is very much a part of growing up, as is the learned ability to bracket off other behaviors which are inconsistent with our faith. We cannot ultimately shield our kids from being hurt by others, but we do want them to learn to handle hurt and persevere through it.

Often, too, the social awkwardness is exacerbated by the child's language and diction, which is typically more sophisticated than their peer group. Astute educators can pick out a kid who has been home-schooled almost immediately: they use phrases and make comments that reflect the fact their dominant social interactions have been adult-adult, rather than peer-peer. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, as it will certainly help the child on future standardized tests! But it does make his separateness more apparent to his peers and his integration that much more difficult.

3) As a result of the social awkwardness, very few home-school children become leaders in their peer group. They don't have the social skills within their age group to be so. Further, even if the child desires to be so and runs for a class office, for example, his peer group will generally not allow it as a result of the awkwardness they feel.

This, in a nutshell, is my greatest concern about home-schooling as an educator and as a parent. Because these kids come from such good families and because they have unusual attention and care from their parents, if one were projecting their future while they were younger, one would expect them to become real leaders of their peers by high school. It simply doesn't happen (very often). My greatest desire for my children, second only to having them become people of faith, virtue and wisdom, is that they become leaders to help others live with faith, virtue and wisdom. By taking them out of their peer group at such a formative time, I believe home-school children are stripped of this opportunity--and the whole suffers from it.

Controversial? I suppose so, among home-schooling families, but not among educators who have the ability to compare kids from different backgrounds and training. In general, the effects on home-schooling I note are less pronounced the earlier home-schooling parents place their kids back into traditional schools. Arguably, the social effects of home-schooling on a first or second grader is minimal, since if one watches the typical child that age, one notices the child isn't socializing much whether he's around peers or not! As the child moves on to 4th, 5th and 6th grade, however, the desire to interact with peers becomes more innate and thus more important. With-holding kids from traditional middle school has a pronounced effect, making the high school years very difficult.

So if you're a home-schooling parent and you're still reading this article without having written me off completely(!), I recommend considering traditional schooling by 3rd or 4th grade, and definitely by middle school. If you do so, I believe your child can have the best of both worlds: your undivided attention, with all the love, security and flexibility that home-schooling affords, with the opportunity to grow socially and become a leader later on.

15 comments:

Maureen said...

Becoming leaders of grade school and high school peers is not a goal for our family....becoming leaders in the Church and community are our goals. And while the traditionally-schooled children we know are drowning in homework, we are working within our Church family and community fulfilling the tenets of the Beatitudes.

Opportunities for service and leadership roles are much more abundant in the real world than the school world. And our flexible schedule allows us to serve night or day.

Anonymous said...

"While the traditionally-schooled children we know are drowning in homework, we are working within our Church family..."
Saying that traditional schools handicap their children by making their days inflexible is a desperate and insufficient rebuddle to this article. I just graduated from a traditional Catholic high school, and I honestly don't think Maureen has any idea what the life of a motivated, Christian high school student can be like, with all due respect to your intentions, Maureen.
Although I graduated fifth in my class with a 3.9 overall GPA, took every AP course and Honors course offered to me, earned the Outstanding Student in Theology award, earned three fives on AP exams, earned National Merit, and got into the UNiversity of Notre Dame, I was also a serving member of my Church Pastoral Council for two years, president of the SGA (which means continuous community and service involvement), a varsity athlete with the chance to build my teamwork and leadership skills, as well as an extremely active member of my state's Youth In Government program, debating the ethical and political issues that face our state on a day to day basis. And that's really just the tip of the iceberg. I regret Maureen and others can't see the opportunities traditional schooling opens up for their children; clearly it is possible to achieve academically as well as liturgically.

But I believe the most important thing about saying all this is that I can also say that I'm socially balanced. I can speak in front of crowds, make friends from all different faiths, relate to strangers, and most importantly- the most important of all- I have gained the skills to spread the Christian message. How desperately the world needs normal people who present Christ's message in a believable, socially compatible way. Christ was POPULAR with the common person; he did not confine his interactions to the faithful or the holy. He called a tax collector down from a tree and asked him on a dinner-date.

The more we depart from the Christian "it's us against the world" attitude,-the idea that it's at okay to stay leaders within your Church without staying true to the Church's evangelical mission, the CLOSER we get to realizing that God's deepest desire is for every human being to be a member of His Body.

Maureen said...

Dear Anonymous,

Respectfully, I never said all traditionally-schooled students are handicapped by their inflexible school days. I too was traditionally schooled and found a good amount of time to serve in my Church and community. But we have not met kids around here that are my kids ages (12, 13 & 14) doing the same.

Nor am I attacking any form of traditional school. I DO know what a motivated Christian high school student can be like. My oldest was traditionally schooled for twelve years, president of her class, Salutatorian of her class and went through 6 years of college on merit scholarships. I'm merely responding to the author's generalization that children (and she specifically references grade school children, not high school and university students) should not be homeschooled because they are not demonstrating leadership within their traditionally-schooled peer group. I know schools DO provide ample opportunity for leadership and service. But homeschoolers see they have a bigger REAL world to practice these same skills.

Your comments imply homeschoolers don't turn out to be "normal people" and then you digress from the topic of discussion. So let me digress along with you.

Each Catholic parent has been given the Catholic Church's mandate and responsibility to be their child's primary teacher. And it is ONLY the decision of each Catholic parent to decide when that responsibility should be contracted out to others. (CCC 2223)

Faustin N. Weber said...

Maureen,

I agree that it's the parent's responsibility to make decisions about the education of their children, including the right to home school. Our Church is clear on this point. I will add, however, the Church is equally clear that parents should entrust their children to Catholic schools, unless unable to do so (canon law, 798). The word "unable" is the operative word--I believe that means both the physical sense (there aren't any) and the moral sense (parents believe the local Catholic schools are insufficient in their academic, moral or religious instruction for their child).

Where there are good schools--and by good I mean academically, morally, religiously--I believe parents are obligated to seriously consider them--and even more so as the child gets older, for the reasons stated in this article.

I also believe that Catholic schools need parents like you (as I say in the article, home-schooling parents are typically committed and well educated) if the they are to be effective instruments in augmenting the Church's evangelistic mission. We are quite frankly less without you.

Still, it is not my intent nor presumption to say the argument in my article is universally true for all children, and the Church trusts parents, as do I, to make the right decision for their child.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Catholic, though I could have been, Irish on one side and Italian on the other, so I do not understand canon laws, but I have a personal relationship with the Lord and if a homeschooler told me she was homeschooling because He called her to do it, I would be satisfied with her answer.

I really posted here to address the assumption that homeschooled children are social misfits. *Maybe*, just maybe, its not that they are misfits, though I'm sure some are (although I must confess I've met many adults who went through the public school system who are socially inept). Anyway, my point is, is that its possible that maybe they are more mature, that they in fact do not find humor in what some teenagers nowadays (and kids in general) engage in. Sponge Bob? Drivel.

I have an advanced 7 yr old, just turned 7 a few weeks ago. She is reading years past her grade level, well, she's reading at the 6th grade level to be precise. I never taught her to read, she did it all on her own. Now, having been exposed to the written word in higher level books like she has, its quite possible that she won't find the same things interesting or entertaining as other newly turned 7 yr olds would.

I don't know, I think part of the reason you feel homeschoolers don't fit in is because they haven't succumbed to the group mentality. I just don't picture teenagers of 100 yrs ago engaging in the same kind of silliness that is so prevalent now. I went through the public school system and I found most of the kids in my classes immature back then, and it just seems to have gotten worse..

Just my .02 cents,
Ginnie

Anonymous said...

I had to run, dinner bell was chiming and hubby was coming up the driveway...

I did have a question, this Catholic private school, are most of the kids enrolled there from K-12? Do these kids attend the their whole schooled life together?

Anonymous said...

OK, one more thing, then I've got to stop.

I truly don't understand the problem of sophisticated language, I thought we were EDUCATING our children. I thought I was raising adults, not children, and as an adult, where my children will eventually spend the bulk of their time on earth God willing, I want them to be all that God has called them to be, based on their talents and His will for their lives. And its not about standardized tests, I personally don't care about standardized tests, they are just hoops I have to jump through. I don't teach my children to the test, they have knowledge that they wouldn't be tested on, so the test really is mute.

And about a former homeschooled child not being able to get voted in a leadership position in a Catholic private school, maybe its not all the homeschooled child's fault. That's why I asked if these kids in the private school attended this school for the bulk of their education, its probably kind of hard for a new kid to fit in, and if you had been homeschooled, well that just makes it harder once the other kids find out. There is quite a bit of misinformation out there perpetuated by others not in the know, and the other kids hear that and pass judgments.

I'm raising my children to be leaders, but not to seek approval from other children. I don't want them to be social misfits, but they need to learn early on what really counts. Men? God? ;o) They need to seek HIS approval first, and their Dad's and Mom's.

Thank you,
Ginnie

Anonymous said...

Hi- Fringey from Homeschoolblogger.com here. I have homeschooled from 1-11th grade so far and I have seen socially inept homeschool kids and I have seen leaders, servants and highly involved kids also. Hmm..just like in the traditional schools. Do private Catholic schools count as traditional schools? :)
My daughters participate in church and 4H programs, the eldest went to state level competition this year. She has no problem speaking before a group of any age. She has served in church in many ways and has been vp, secretary, historian and reporter for 4H. But this is our thing. She was an only child for a long time and we made an effort to invovle her. She has "playground" time once a week with kids her age at church and then various playdates with smaller groups.
Homeschool parents do need to look into groups and actitivies outside the church so our kids understand being wise as serpents. Most people I am involved with do this although there are a few who don't. Thinking that children need a lot of unstructured time together so they can grow up well rounded- I disagree. The Bible says that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child so throwing a lot of fools together in a fenced yard doesn't sound wise to me.
"Traditional" schools have only been mandated nation wide since 1918 so that is not a very old "tradition" in light of 1000s of years of raising children. Massachusettes was the first state to go that route in the 1830s and their literacy rate has declined steadily. I highly suggest the book by John GOtto entitled The Underground History of American Education. Some pretty amazing statistics!
Boy, this was a pretty brave and controversial subject with validity to both sides.I think -percentage wise -homeschoolers tend to produce a larger body of productive, law abiding citizens (no stats available here)strictly because of the time parents spend with their kids. I am thankful that so far in this nation, we as parents have the rights to raise our families (within safety limits) as we see fit and called by God. Not all nations have this luxury.
Some stats are interesting if you want to visit the HSLDA website-look for a parent survey they did about 5 years ago now. 20,000 people surveyed (which is a huge demographic for a survey)The most telling statistic at the time? 1 in 4, yes,25% of homeschool families had a least 1 parent whose occupation was in education. We are also one of the largest users of private schools. Why do so many of us educators choose to do this? Good question. Yes, I have a credential and my husband is going into special education. I know personally half a dozen families with one parent who holds a state credential that chooses to homeschool thier own children-through high school.Why? oh Why?That is the question.
Some things to think about!
I think I have digressed from the main topic, but hope I have given some interesting points to ponder on in the topic of homeschooling in general and through high school specifically.

Faustin N. Weber said...

Ginnie,

I don't want my kids to seek the approval of their peer group--that's not leadership!-- but I do want my kids to be credible witnesses to others--not only to be evangelized, but to evangelize. Isn't that what we all want for our children?

Also, I would never call home-school kids "social misfits", which is an extremely pejorative term. I did call them socially awkward, and frankly, as a parent, I'd have no problem with my kids being socially awkward (indeed, in some situations, I prefer it!) except to the extent I want them to have tools to lead others.

Frigey--I also never suggested that home school kids would not turn into good citizens...I have no doubts about that, given the attention and love of their parents.

Again, the issue for me is leadership.

I appreciate both of your thoughtful comments to my blog, and hope we can continue the discussion.

Clanclave said...

I am a devout Roman Catholic homeschooler. I'm also a military brat and married to the military, ergo my children are military brats as well. I attended all forms of schools (to include Catholic school) before graduating from college and from my perspective, pretty much all forms of "class leadership" is a popularity contest. Kids will ostracize for any stupid reason, not necessarily because a kid was previously homeschooled.

My children are with their peers alot. From homeschool programs to athletic activities to playing at the playground. My children's personalities are what dominates with whom and how they interact with others and their schooling has NOTHING to do with it. My children are complimented many times over on their ability to reason through difficult (and immature) situations that their "peers" have brought up and they have NO problem telling their peers "I just don't want to partake in that, it's not right." and finding something else to do. They don't succumb to peer pressure or feel a need to "mix in" with their peers. Our own society is not built on age groups hanging out with each other, so why would I want my children to only associate with their peers?

Speaking from experience, children don't learn leadership from their peers. They learn it from responsible people that promote the ethics and standards of a true "leader". My 7 year old is NOT going to learn how to be a leader from a fellow 7 year old that thinks Bratz dolls and mouthing off to an adult because the adult said no, is cool. My 7 year old is learning how to be a leader by living the standards we apply to her that will make her learn to side step the idiocy of popularity contests, or having to take that "hard right" when everyone around her is telling her to take the "easy left."

While I will always respect the parents role in how they raise their children, I'm not trying to get my children into Harvard. I'm trying to get them into Heaven. So whether or not they can converse with like minded kids their own age, pass a standardized test, or even lead a second grade class, is not a priority of mine. They'll have more opportunities in their entire life outside of school to show their true leadership skills, whether it's as the leader of the home or at work will be up to them.

You have interesting thoughts that it makes me wonder what is the accurate percentage of homeschoolers you've witnessed try to integrate in your 22 years. I would assume that it's rather low and they, unfortunately, are children that most of their parents "gave up" on homeschooling because the children were difficult in the first place. (Not all parents "give up", so please don't think I'm labeling this to all parents)

However, I think there might be a few steps you're missing from going from point A to point B because it's a rather broad brush stroke to lump the reason these children have a hard time integrating being the result of homeschooling. Having been the "new kid" 13 times over, it's not an easy task for most kids and I found the majority of my peers really immature. Although I wasn't homeschooled, would I be lumped into your group of "failure to assimilate" based off your perception because I didn't seek leadership roles in my classes? (however I did turn out be an Army officer and Captain of my volleyball team in college... so I must have learned leadership from something)

Again, thanks for posting this entry. I do appreciate your perspective. Thanks for letting me post a comment. Have a blessed day!

HM said...

I can't leave this blog without giving my perspective as a former home-schooling mom who now has her kids at MCPS. I have to agree with the last post, your experience with home-schooled children seems limited. During our time in the military and our multiple moves, we have seen tons of home-schooled kids (and have been able to track them over the last fifteen or so years). At one of our bases, practically everyone we knew home-schooled their kids. When we home-schooled, the kids would finish their school work around noon, then all the kids would play outside for hours, not the few minutes of recess they get at a regular school. When we switched to a Catholic school, this was the biggest problem my kids had- the lack of social interaction with their peers. I felt my kids were much more confident and free-spirited in their home-school environment. My oldest has been in school since fourth grade, but has lost her care-free, able-to-make-friends-easily disposition for one which is fraught with nervousness about cliques and popularity. Part of this is obviously just a fact of growing up, but there will be no leadership future in her; she's naturally very shy and introverted. The home-school environment worked out great for her and she seemed happier and more confident. You say, "very few home-school children become leaders in their peer group" when they go to school. But how many kids in general become leaders in their peer group? Isn't the very nature of being a leader pretty exclusive? Not every child is cut out to be a leader. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Just as not every child can earn straight A's or be the fastest runner or funniest comedian, some children will not seek out leadership positions. Hopefully, MCPS stresses that everyone has been given different gifts and being a leader may be one person's gift, but if it's not yours you shouldn't feel bad about it. Hopefully, the school teaches that having the gift of being a good listener, or a great babysitter, or artist, or anything else are just as valuable and desirable as "becoming a leader in their peer group." I have a sinking feeling this might not be the case. I miss my home-school days and sometimes think about returning. In fact, depending on where we move next, it's nice to know it's an option. Your article seems thoughtful, but without actual home-schooling experience, I think it's hard for you to understand how great it is.

Faustin N. Weber said...

Dear HM,

Thanks for your articulate response. I welcome this kind of discussion--we have too few civil discussions over things that matter these days!

Several thoughts:

Though it is true I am not a home-schooler myself, responding that my perspective is "limited", is an ad hominem response--is the argument flawed, or am I flawed? As I said, I think there are great things about home-schooling, and I suspect if I was in the military and there were no good local schools available, I'd be home-schooling my children right beside you! Still, I'd be concerned, as you clearly have been, that my kids would be learning socialization skills. Sounds like the 8-12 home school, afternoon play is the best of both worlds.

My only issue with home-schooling is does it help our children become leaders. I don't mean "leaders" exclusively in the sense of student body presidents or captains of sports teams. I accept your point that God didn't make us all to be those kind of leaders--God help our society if he did--! By leaders, I mean do our children have the capacity to influence others to do good--whether one's style is overt, or quiet. In my mind, regardless of our personality, God calls all of us, and all of our children, to be leaders defined as such. Feeling socially awkward around peers makes it difficult to influence those peers to do good. Although I agree the FIRST step to being a leader is to BE good yourself, and that almost every home-school child I know IS good, that is still one step away from the ablity to influence others.

Annika said...

Wow - this blog sent me into a tailspin for a bit. (I'm illiteratepoet of homeschool blogger)

First, I have heard the social comments before. Often the problem mentioned is opposite yours so perhaps the issue is about how children naturally unfold and what are our expectations?

An article on msnbc.com mentioned that homeschool children were lacking in social skills and from the description I took that to mean they still acted like children -- they were not, at 8 and 9, discussing the hot boys/girls and other such things. They play games as children used to play, rather than worrying about carrying on "the more adult conversations" of make-up and fashion and how to be cool.

Your claim seems to be in the opposite direction, but I would say that in school, for all my academic success, I had a large vocabulary, was social unsure of myself, and was not a classtoom leader. This didn't stop me from becoming one later in life, just as many of the social leaders of my high school days never met with much success in life, spiritually thus far or materially.

Two of my children, homeschooled, are adults -- successful in their places of employment, comfortable starting conversations with strangers (they were 6 when they were required to talk to the librarian on their own, after all, no intervention from teacher or mother), and able to direct their own learning whether as responsible college students or the things they choose to learn on their own.

Looking back at my peers, I didn't notice that Catholic schools in America were really more successful than public at preventing eating disorders, teenage pregnancies, worldly mindsets and so on and so forth. Likewise homeschooling is not a panacea, but it does provide children with the security of knowing they are really enjoyed and appreciated and wanted. Many homeschoolers are also more successful than you seem to think at finding opportunities as their children mature that are outside the home and away from mother's eye... but even if they weren't, I wouldn't assume that because the lessons of the playground weren't learned on the playground, doesn't mean they won't learn the same skills (and sometimes with more ethics) for the workplaces and other gathering spots which are the playgrounds of adults.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I would like to address your comments concerning leadership. You seem to hold the assumption that all children enrolled in Catholic school will graduate as self-assured "leaders." I am sure that in Catholic school, as well as in public school and in homeschools, some children will become leaders and others will be less sure of themselves. Are you insinuating that there isn't a single child in your school system who is socially awkward? The majority of homeschoolers that I've met are very far from being socially awkward. Why not admit that any educational environment will hold a variety of personalities? I know that you speak from your experience as an educator, however many educators have spoken to the contrary, saying that not only are the previously homeschooled students in their classrooms at the top when it comes to academics, they also fare very well socially. Have you ever observed a homeschooler and a traditionally schooled child interact with others in the community, outside of the classroom? More often than not, the traditionally schooled child will be the "socially awkward" person when confronted with people of varying ages, and the homeschooled child will be able to confidently communicate with people of all ages.

Secondly, you write that the activities in which homeschoolers participate are "highly structured and dominated by adults, not typical of the unstructured, free-lance interaction of peers on the "play-ground." Exactly how much unstructured time, not dominated by adults, do your students experience on a daily basis?
My daughter is homeschooled. After comparing notes with friends of traditionally schooled children, I am confident that she spends just as much time "on the playground" as any child in school. She has played "on the playground" both locally and internationally, and has had to deal with being left out, being bullied, etc. She has also made wonderful friends. She must deal with such issues in classes and other activities in which she participates without parents being present. Why assume that these experiences only occur in a traditional school building? If these experiences do not occur outside of school "in the real world," then why do children need to be prepared for them while in school?

Lastly, couldn't each of your arguments be used to argue that students should participate in public schooling instead of the social confines of a private Catholic school? How can they become leaders in this country, much less in this world, if not exposed to a more varied experience during their school years?

Anonymous said...

A lot of angered parents have furiously scribbled down justifications for their child's predisposed seclusion from traditionally-schooled teenagers.

As a student of a Catholic school, I have seen many previously homeschooled students venture into the world of traditional schooling. This is almost overwhelmingly frequently a very slow, painful process. I do say, with much jubilation, most of these children eventually filter into the crowd within a couple of months.

It is obvious from day one which new kids have been home-schooled and which have not been. The very essence by they exist in the room, the visible and likewise awkward deliberations going through their head as they soak in the surroundings, the way in which they answer questions posed by teachers, their mental and social stature. Simply put, they have a certain "air" about them that lets others know: "Yeah, he was probably homeschooled."

These students are almost always very skilled academically and have great work ethic. They are often good at certain class activities, such as debates or skits, etc.

However, what sets the two factions of students apart is the utilization of down-time! Down-time entails: waiting outside of the classroom if a teacher is late, waiting outside for lunch, break, the period of time between classes, the small portion of time in class when the teacher is idle or has stepped out of the room momentarily.

Once the cycle, the norm of routine or adult-run and supervised activity has been broken, social awkwardness ensues. They are thrown into a pack of dogs and do not know how to get out. The ability to utilize this time talking to friends, meeting new people, or simply chatting about the day is essential to the health and well-being of not only the individual student, but the student body as a whole!

Do not get me wrong, I have many friends who now have groups of peers at school and succeed both academically and with regards to extracurriculars. One in particular, I became friends with after noticing how uncomfortable he was during a lunch period my freshmen year. Now, a senior in high school, his physical gestures and conversational ease indicate someone entirely comfortable in down-time situations; something seemingly absent his freshman year.

To isolate your gifted child on the basis of fear that they will be WEIGHED down by "less worthy" children of the same age is a selfish and fundamentally unethical ideology. Every student, regardless of intellectual capacity or athletic ability, contributes to the health of the student body as a whole. FOR ANY SCHOOL.

The relationship between every student is one of symbiosis. We feed off of each others' differences and consequently grow as individuals.

We need you child to join the traditional school. We need your child's input and social presence. Quite frankly, we are at a loss without them.

Thanks