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  • Home schooled scouts

    Yes, I'm about to go there.

    I have one young man in my troop that is home schooled. As a qualifier, this is the first home schooled Scout I have ever led, and actually one of the few I've ever met.

    The young man appears to have a lot to learn about social interaction. Perhaps this is why he is in Scouts. But I have never met an 11 year-old child that puts himself on equal terms as adults like this boy does. He was on his first camping trip with the troop a couple of weeks ago. Of course, his dad came along to make sure he would be ok. Some of the highlights of the weekend include:

    * A two-finger "come here" wave at me as he looked at me and said, "Hey, come here a minute".
    * Not being "hungry" during his patrols breakfast on get-away morning, but his dad needing to make "a couple of stops" one their way back home.
    * When they were ready to leave and go home, him looking at his dad and saying, "Dad get in the car. Let's go." And dad obediently following direction.

    There are some other instances, and I have been discussing the issue with my ASMs about the best way to work with the boy. I hate to use such a crude terms, but it almost seems as if we need to "break" him.

    Has anyone ever worked with a home schooled boy that lives in a world revolves around him home as this one seems to? I want to stress this is not an attack on home schooling on my part, just seeking some experienced advice on a specific situation. I know the behavior displayed by this scout can be displayed by any scout, public, private or home schooled. But I can't help but think the home schooling plays a part, or is at least a symptom, with this one.

  • #2
    I've dealt with a number of home schooled youths. Generally speaking I find their achievements and deportment to be much above that of public school students.

    In particular, I'm thinking of a Webelos Scout who is home schooled. His father was Cubmaster for two years, and is an insurance salesman.

    Two years ago the Scout won first place in the council popcorn sale, selling $6500 in popcorn. Last year he came in second place with $13,000 in popcorn sales.

    The boys and his father spent a lot of time together selling popcorn. The boy is a very personable kid and a model of good and respectful behavior.

    There are parents of every stripe and variety who spoil their children in one way or another. I think you just found one of them. But I don't find that to be common among home schooled children at least in my experience.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes I have

      There are all sorts of home school folks.....

      there are many that are exactly what you have seen. There are many more who love being one of the guys.

      The worst home schooled boy I had dealt with was a young man who would burst into tears if someone other than him received an award. It was to the point that I asked mom not to bring him to the pack meetings. He did not have the social skills to interact appropriately with his peers....He was 8 and acted 5 or 6.....

      We had one home school mom bring her scout waffle house because he called her and told her he did not like our breakfast.....I can imagine what and how it was said.....I remember telling him sorry you don't like breakfast sandwiches but that is what is on the menu, if you don't like it there is the peanut butter and bread.

      He lasted 6 month in the troop, made only one camp out....


      The best you would never know they are home schooling, they are just one of the guys.

      I would make sure that dad drops off and picks up at the CO from now on. That will stop that crap or scout will quit

      Comment


      • #4
        We have a lot of home-schooled boys in our troop. Maybe a quarter or a third of the troop? Hard to keep track. Some of them switch back and forth.

        We have all kinds of home-schooled kids, just as we have all manner of public school kids and all manner of private school kids. I'd be hard-pressed to say whether I can notice any overall average difference between any of those groups.

        At least in our group, I definitely do not see a trend of helicopter parents with the home-schooled boys. The last few cases I can think of where the parents were overly attentive all involved kids who attended school.

        So I'd say you try to break the helicopter parent pattern the same way here that you would do with any other kid. Remind the adults on a trip that they are troop leaders and that anything they do for their own son they should be willing to do for all the boys. Buying waffles? Bring them for everyone. We try to develop a culture among the adults of reminding each other to steer our boys to other adults when they have issues. We talk about the goals - we're trying to develop independence, self-reliance, teamwork, etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          My troop is at least 1/3 home schooled scouts. The behavior you describe is not, in my opinion, related to his schooling. It's related to his raising!

          As a group, the home schoolers I've seen usually have these attributes:
          1) Proper manners at all times. Yes, sir. No, sir.
          2) Behavior and speach 2-4 years advanced for their age.
          3) Smart and well read. They HAVE read the book! (the handbook)
          4) Self motivated (not all, but most)
          5) able to stake out a campsite on Friday morning, ahead of the masses!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            I have worked with a few homeschooled Scouts, many Public School kids, and a few Private School ones, the only difference between them is how they are raised.

            Once in a while there is a kid with severe behavior issues and that is part of the reason he is homeschooled, but that's an exception to the rule. I know just as many kids with behavioral issues who are in public school.

            I think kids act the way they act because of genetics and raising. Not whether they were public, private or homeschooled.

            Just my two cents, feel free to disagree,
            Sentinel947

            Comment


            • #7
              We don't have a single one. I have no idea why a home-schooled boy should be any different from any other boy. We HAVE had one or two who had unrealistic expectations based on their pampered life at home. But they weren't home schooled.
              Even though I am opposed to home schooling, I still wouldn't make this kind of association, much less imply that home schooling is the cause. I think it can happen in any educational environment and depends mostly on life at home.

              Comment


              • #8
                I home school, and it's not the fact that he is home schooled. I've met folks in public and private schools who do the same.

                As to how to work with them, I'd have the PL, or possibly even the SPL talk to him, and you talk to dad about how scouting works, what's expected, etc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We have several home schooled boys in our troop, all of whom are sons in the same family. They are the most polite, responsible, well-rounded boys in the troop.

                  The two who are the biggest problems are ones whose parents don't just do drop-and-run, the boys have to do duck-and-roll before mom or dad speed away in the car. These are the two that when I mentioned to my daughter that they are in scouts she said, "You've got to be kidding--they are always in trouble at school and are swearing all the time."

                  So it's not where the boys are schooled, it's how they are raised.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    While I agree with Packsaddle to a degree, the issue IMHO, built on my experiences is often a lack of socialization from getting outside the home.

                    1)I've had homeschoolers who were by far the best educated in the Troop but who couldn't talk to an adult and many times their public schooled peers to save their soul. (By far the most prevalent as I have seen it)
                    2)I've had homeschoolers who were nearly uneducated but were greatly responsible and interacted with adults better than with their peers.
                    3)I've had homeschoolers who thought they were the adults and everyone needed to bow to them due to their superior education and especially their superior moral stance of being home schooled.

                    Barring the public schooled peers part of part 1 and the superior moral stance part of part 3, I've also had the same kid from the public schools.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The I troop I was in had such a scout, addressed adults as peers, would interrupt in adults conversation to give his thoughts. Total domination over his father. You would have thought he was just a rude spoiled child but wait, there's more

                      He had MS and was nearly blind. He had spent so much time around adults (Medical staff) that he didnt know how to act like a kid. yes, his father had to do everything for him, but the youth was having a hard time with boundaries. Thats what scouting was for. To give him a chance to interact with same age youth. He didnt have that opportunity and it took him awahile to adjust.

                      Its all on what they live at home. Had totally spoiled brats that were public schooled as well

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, 2/3 of our troop is home schooled. 100% of our last troop was home schooled, 100% of our pack was home schooled. I think I've got some experience.

                        Can I say we've never had any issues? No.

                        Are the kids just normal boys? Yes.

                        Of interest, we have a boy in our troop who is not home schooled who exhibits all the behaviour you mentioned. To a T. Is he a bad kid? No. What you see has nothing to do with home schooling, it has to do with parental choices.

                        Many parents would rather be a friend than a parent.

                        Now, on the flip side, we constantly receive compliments on the behaviour of our rapidly growing troop. Last year was our first year. Only 3 kids had any Boy Scout experience and only one other was a Cub Scout. I've been told by our DE that he uses our brand new troop of brand new boys as an example. Our popcorn sales were huge, in total and certainly for our size.

                        Something that is starting to happen a lot is what I've eard called Home School Refugees. The regular schools can't handle a kid, or in some cases, the kid is always getting sick and missing school, so the administrator says "oh, I know, you should home school, yea, that's the ticket." THose are the ones where it doesn't work and end up in some sort of trouble. Like scouts, home education is a lifestyle choice, and like scouts, those who do best go all-in.

                        No offense, but you must get over your prejudice. It will poison your relationship with this scout. I don't know if this would be helpful, but NHERI.org has some good home education research and statistics form some long term studies.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We've had a few. If you're going to generalize, frankly, I'll take the home-schooled kids over the private school kid seven days a week and twice on Sunday.

                          I've got the same kid you describe in my troop with three differences: he goes to public school and his father would let him starve and walk home before putting up with that sort of bull. The biggie is this kid had some serious health issues when he was little and spent a couple years in and out of hospitals. I think one year he was officially home-schooled, but the rest of the time he was in a program with the public schools which sent tutors to the hospital and tried to keep him up. He is, however, a grade behind.

                          I've always attributed his attitude toward adults to having spent a couple of his most formative years hanging out with a lot of adults most of whom have upwards of 10 or 12 years of post-graduate education. The kid has a very familar, peer-to-peer attitude toward most adults which was especially inappropriate and grating when he was younger; less so now that he is older.

                          By comparison, I have two brothers who are both home schooled by parents who are well educated themselves, take home schooling very seriously and are very disciplined in their approach and expect the same from their sons. Probably the most well-adjusted, mature boys in the troop.

                          Point is, I don't think you can blame the kids' attitude/behavior on how they are schooled. If kids are being home schooled because mommy can't powder their butts while they are at school, you get one result. If they are home schooled because mommy can't KICK their butts while they are at school, you get another.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've dealt with kids from public, private and home schooling and they all vary within each category. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to kids.

                            I have had 2 experiences with boys identified in this thread, neither were home schooled.

                            As mentioned, it has more to do with parental attitudes than it does with the boys.

                            I had to drop the "A Scout is Courteous" bomb on the boys a couple of times when they treated their parents in an inappropriate manner, but when they realized I meant it, they backed off. The parents of one of the two boys said he carried that back into his home life and they were very appreciative. I never heard from the other boy's parents, the boy dropped after a few months.

                            Stosh

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you all very much for your input. I hope my comments didn't come off as being negative towards home schooling Scouts, but I can definitely realize how they can sound that way. Like I said, I don'y have much experience with a home schooled boy, so I just want to see if there is something specific out there I need to know.

                              All I know is in 14 years of parenting and 7+ years of Scouting, I have NEVER seen anything like this kid.

                              Comment

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