homeschool vs public school

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Rachael - posted on 12/18/2008

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hi I am a mother of a 5,4,3 and 16 month old! I homeschooled my son this year for 3 months.I had a hard time trying to keep the younger ones busy so I could teach my son.It got to be to hard! He would then be bored the rest of the day when we werent doing school.So I just put him in school on Monday and he LOVES it.He is VERY smart and needs to be challanged more then I can do for him at this time.He loves having library and gym class and little friends too. I will be sending all my kids to school untill there in 5th grade then I may pull them out and homeschool that way it will give the younger ones a chance to get to the school age but in the mean time have time with mommy. I need to be able to meet there needs as well. So this is working out great for us! And I did love homeschooling I tought him to read and write! And I too was homeschooled from 6th grade untill I graduated and I loved it!

Michelle - posted on 12/07/2008

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Ooops, I just noticed a mistake in my post. I meant to say the cost of sending our kids to private school was prohibitive. LOL, obviously public school is free. ;)

Jen, I'd like to encourage you to look further into homeschooling. Getting started can, indeed, be daunting because there are so many options and choices. You may want to start by visiting a homeschool store or a convention to get a feel for the curricular options, but keep in mind that you aren't stuck with a program just because you start with it. There's a huge used homeschool curriculum market, so the best thing is to buy used, see if you like it, and if it doesn't work sell it to the next person. (This is true even with computer software. The companies will try to tell you otherwise, and they may not offer support, but they cannot legally prohibit you from buying, selling, or using secondhand software no matter what their license says -- as long as the first owner completely wipes the program from their system.)

Also, don't feel like you have to have everything figured out to get started. It's recommended that when you first start you take a break -- an adjustment period -- that is equal to one month for each year your child attended school. You and your children have to get used to them being home all day and you being the teacher. Use that time to do fun educational things, like science projects and field trips, to get involved in a local homeschool group, and to establish new routines and habits.

As far as dealing with the establishment, I have two pieces of advice:

1) Don't believe anything the school district tells you without verifying it independently. The school districts are notorious for trying to make parents follow "requirements" that don't exist.

2) Join a homeschoolers group that will help you navigate the laws and defend your rights as a parent. One such organization is HSLDA (http://hslda.org). Dealing with the state and the school district is much easier when you know your rights and responsibilities and aren't at the mercy of bureaucrats who may not even be supportive of homeschooling in the first place.

One day you may get to a point where your kids excel you in academics and you can't keep up anymore. This does happen, especially when high-schoolers are taking dual-credit college classes or simply outpacing their public school counterparts. Fortunately there is a wealth of resources available for homeschoolers, from self-teaching curricula that allows kids to learn independently to homeschool co-ops where parents band together to teach their best subjects -- like a homeschool dad / chemical engineer teaching chemistry or a math geek turned stay-at-homeschooling-mom teaching algebra. I think we all hope that our kids eventually learn more, do better, and go farther than we ever did ourselves, and homeschooling is absolutely NOT a barrier to that!

PS, in response to Alicia Hill: Homeschooling does not require a lot of money. When we started we had three kids and my husband made about $35,000 a year. Now we have seven and he makes about $75,000. I don't work, but having one parent stay at home is not actually a requirement for homeschooling! There are resources for parents who work and homeschool, although that does require extra commitment. And while you CAN spend a lot of money on your curriculum, you don't have to. With ingenuity and creativity you can put together an excellent program for practically free. Go to your library and look for the book Homeschool Your Child for Free by by LauraMaery Gold and Joan M. Zielinski or check out http://www.homeschoolingonashoestring.co... Or you can just check out eBay and the many used curricula websites. I recently bought a $350 program for $75 on eBay -- everything you need for third grade, reusable for all of my kids without having to buy anything else ever. Oh, or try Robinson Curriculum.(http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/), which claims to be a complete K-12 system that you can use for all of your kids for a one-time fee of $275 plus buying the Saxon Math books. So essentially having a complete school system for the cost of only having to buy one subject every year (and Saxon Math is really good).

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Levornia - posted on 01/22/2013

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Public school. Not that I am against homeschool but I am not about to look at you all day. School gives me some free time to breathe. hahaha... but I am nowhere near against homeschooling. I think homeschooling has improved a lot. It has turned into a school but it gives a one on one relation so the child can improve academically.

Rachel - posted on 01/20/2013

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I was homeschooled for several years and I also went to public school and private school. My 5 year old just started kindergarten and is in charter school. With homeschooling, it is nice for students who are advanced and also have the opportunity to be very involved with their peers and other opportunities in their community. If the parent is able to do the work with their child and able to ensure that their child is able to meet all of the academic requirements to achieve the same level as their peers, while also interacting a great deal outside of the home, I think that it can work well. I was always a few grade levels ahead on standardized tests, but I found that when I went to public school for high school, a lot of the knowledge did not translate over or count for credit and I had to retake courses, so that is something to keep in mind. Some children also become very secluded and struggle even later in life and are unable to engage in any form of social situations. I know a few of these individuals and they are not even able to maintain jobs or function in society because they have been so sheltered. I preferred public school personally, but I think that a lot depends on the individual and also the parents' ability to be very active with that child.

Deborah - posted on 01/11/2013

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Homeschool is great. We get to determine and live our educational philosophies and views, which if you actually sit back and evaluate them may not be compatible with public or private school for that matter. That is what happened for us. Top and bottom of it is this. We want our children to have an excellent education, not a great or average education, and not simply in academia either, but in character, morals, and a whole breath of cultural literacy. One of my 3 children who have been to school had 1 excellent teacher for 1 year... and I simply am not prepared to leave their education to chance.
http://childrenaretreasuresfromheaven.bl...

[deleted account]

Since this thread has started I went from 3 kids to 4 kids and have homeschooled a year and a half. We love it! I want to share some resources I use. For my preschooler we use starfall.com. They alsohave an extendedversion which isn't free, but it is worth the fee IMO. Lessonpathways.com is also free and is a complete curriculum K-5. I use it as a supplement. Free Homeschooling 101 is also a fantastic resource for those who don't have a lot of money to spend on curriculum :)

I never thought I would ever HS and now I am loving it! am learning so much that I had either forgotten or never learned! My kids also love being HSed and hve told me they are so glad I let them learn "what they like"

Richelle - posted on 02/09/2011

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I have 3 kids - 12, 10 and 7. My oldest is now homeschooled because of severe anxiety and moderate depression due to bullying in his school. The elementary school he went to (and my other 2 go to now) did a very good job at trying to be fair to all the kids and tried to teach them that bullying was wrong, but the middle school he started at this year was horrible. Our younger two kids will definitely not be going there. The homeschooling has helped our oldest gain some self-confidence and self-esteem back. We're going to get him enrolled in one of the online charter schools for next year, but he will never go back to a traditional classroom again.

ANYONE can homeschool if you have the patience to work with your kids. There are tons of helpful websites online that can give you helpful information as well as lesson plans. A good book series to get is "What your -th Grader Needs to Know" by E.D. Hirsch, Core Knowledge Foundation. They give an overview for each of the core subjects for each grade. They're a great series!

Rebecca - posted on 01/20/2009

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I also have my child (7yo) in a virtual school (WIVA). We enjoy it. I get to do things with her that i would be unable to if she was in the public school system. She actually loves school and has gained a lot of confidence since joining this school.

Marie - posted on 01/19/2009

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I have learned not to judge others decisions on schooling.  I think if you have prayed about the decision for your family and listened, you will be doing what is best.  I also believe for some children homeschooling is better, and for others not.  I think especially in the early years unless your child is very giften or struggles a lot with learning public/private/homeschool all can be good learning environments.  I do believe it gets harder for Christian kids to stand up strong in their faith in public schools.  But eventually they have to decide what their beliefs are.  It is just that going through puberty, peer pressure, and figuring out your future can be so hard an;yway that the extra stress of defending your beliefs can be very difficult for many students.  I am a homeschool mother of 3, 1 college bound senior in high school, 1 8th grade and a 2nd grader.  I have always homeschooled, but don't know if I will continue forever with my younger two.  I just take one year at a time.

TNell - posted on 12/18/2008

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Nicole, I am glad that you and I are able to make the choices we make regarding our kids' schooling. I hope you know that when I endorse homeschooling it is not to be cruel to the public schools. I was in public school myself and had many wonderful teachers. It is the curriculum and timing of some of that curriculum that has prompted me to make my choice for homeschooling mostly. I wanted to be more involved in what my children are learning and lately there have been more "wars" over the parent's rights in the school systems here. I think parents should be the first ones to have a say in their child's education no matter where it is. That is why I made the choice I did since I had the option. For your peace of mind, homeschoolers still have to take all the tests and are held accountable for what they are learning and at what pace. P.S. I have had college classes in teaching and also the program I go through has qualified teachers to keep track of the students. I hope all you ladies have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year!

Melissa - posted on 12/18/2008

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I don't think you should worry about being a bad teacher, you are their mom and the best teacher they could possibly have! I homeschooled my older two and my third was younger but he got some of it too. When they entered the school system, believe me I struggled with the choice too, they went to the top of their class! They both made honor roll and enjoyed it. My younger son is also at the top of his class with the extra he got. The freedom was amazing! We went shopping in the middle of the morning to avoid the ruch of evening or weekend, and that is a learning process for them as well. Maybe they wrote the list or one is doing the math. We looked at price p/lb and if something was 2/$5 then how much is one? Just be strong and know in your heart why you chose this route, because believe me there are people out there who will question you! Mine was my mother who just could not understand why I didn't have them in school! But she stopped asking and accepted it. I do wish I had the patience to continue but as babies kept coming and things were too much for me, I had to send them to public school. I believe that the school they are in is a good school. there are obviously flaws at every school, but I have trust in my kids to make the right decisions and so far they have done good. So good luck to you, and remember not to worry about failing them, be possitive and believe that this is the best thing you can do for your kids. Also, don't fuss over how much it costs. There are many companies out there who sell ready made materials to use, but I chose to create my own. The local school district gave me a list of the things the child should know by the end of each grade and I went to the book store and walmart and bought material to help get them there. We actually did 2 grades in one year! When you think that they only require less than an hour of math and english in one week but you give them that in one day! You move 2x as fast as a class room teacher! The one on one is amazing too. You should also check into places that offer things for homeschool kids. For example there is a theme park a couple hours south of us who had a "homeschool" day where the park was open only to homeschooled children. It was cool.

[deleted account]

just to add... if people want to homeschool that is their choice for their family. As long as they socialize their children and they learn everything they need to know to get into a college or university should they want. You wouldn't want to deprive your child of becoming a doctor one day because of your choice to homeschool. University would be quite the shock because your class size is often in the hundreds.

[deleted account]

I'll never homeschool. I don't have the education to teach a child what they need to know. I've graduated from college but certainly do not have a teaching degree. I also don't have the patience for it. At least I understand what kind of person I am.

If I felt the school our child is going to, was not teaching her well enough, then I'd find another school. We do have the option of private schooling as we only have one child, but both of us were public schooled. While I did have some problems with teasing and bullying it wasn't anything so severe that didn't make me stronger as a person later on. He never had any problems at all.

TNell - posted on 12/17/2008

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I am a mother of three, 5, 3, and 2. We just started using COVA, (Colorado Virtual Academy), and their program is actually nationwide. I have the best of both worlds because COVA is a public school online. This way I can have their curriculum for free, with the organization helps, class field trips, etc. but still get to install the values I want my children to get as well. I have found that certain subjects must be done during my youngest's naptime or my oldest won't get it done from distractions. Otherwise I just help her with her work and give the other two some attention as needed. It helps that my 3 almost 4 year old likes pbskids.org and she gets some "school time" too. Also, I agree with the moms who mentioned having school be in every day life too. For example when I am at the store, my oldest now has a budget with her own money. We discuss how much she brought and figure out if what she wants is within that (including the tax). She earns the money by doing chores around the house or helping me with various things. When we are in the car, she is starting to read road signs and speed limit signs. I like to cook and so we incorporate math and language arts into that as well. When we wash the dishes by hand (big items lol) we talk about what can float or sink, how do bubbles form, etc. (science)... be creative! Fortionately I do get to stay home though so for Trudi it would be harder for you. However, if you are willing to try, I would recommend setting a schedule so they know that "this time is for school" only. The little ones will get ahold of it quicker than you think. Don't feel bad about the situation you are in. Your kids love you and are just trying to deal with all of this mess like you and your ex. My dad was raised by my grandma who'd been divorced, worked full-time, etc. He has such respect for her because she did what it took to take care of her family. And by the way, I am not the most organized person but what counts is that you love your children and let them know that that will never change. It goes much farther than you think. Maybe you could also incorporate your older ones in helping you with the new lifestyle: each person is in charge of one chore, or learning how to cook so they can help you, etc. It's ok to take a day off of the housework too and just enjoy your kids. Sorry if I am rambling... I am writing this at an extremely late hour lol! I will be praying for you Trudi. Let me know if you just need an "ear" to listen! God bless!

Colleen - posted on 12/17/2008

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As a mom of six, most of whom have been homeschooled for some part of their lives, let me encourage anyone interested in homeschooling to TRY IT! What a great opportunity to interact with your kids, in a physical (snuggle and read on the couch) and intellectual way! I love the discussions that we are able to have because we share a frame of reference. I always led with a literature based curriculum (Sonlight-and they give you the lesson plans too!) that combines history, reading, language arts into the same reading list, chose a science theme, then added math at whatever level the kids were on. The TIME invested in your kids will be appreciated by all!

Jen - posted on 12/17/2008

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You can incoroporate learning into everything. When my girls were toddlers I used to sing to them in the bathtub, then eventually they would sing along. My oldest daughter loved writing, so I bought special markers for glass and let them draw all over the sliding glass door. Set the little one up with a snack, or a craft that's age appropriate. Or you can wait until naptime. There are also a lot of support groups out there for homeschoolers, and if you have a computer there are a lot of online lessons.

Trudi - posted on 12/17/2008

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So here is my situation. I am a single mom of four, the kids dad has always wanted me to homeschool. I have never really felt that I could I am extremely impatient when people around me just "don't get it" the first time i explain it. The kids father and i just recently split up and it has had a tremendous effect on the kids especially in school. I would really love to give it a try, but Im currently in school and work full time I also have a 5, 6, 9, and 18 month old. How do you juggle everything? I could probably get away with the school age kids, but what do I do with my baby while we are "in school" I really need some options and a plan. Please help...I also need some help in organizing my new life as a single mom it is just overwhelming me right now and I'm feeling like I'm not the mom that I should be, but I can't seem to eer get ahead and organized and I'm afraid that is effecting the kids also. Thanks for any advice you can give.

[deleted account]

I have to agree with Michelle that homeschooling does not impact social well being. I know many, many people who have either been homeschooled or are homeschooled right now. Their social abilities are 98% in born. Some people are just awkward. In truth, the homeschooled kids seem more balanced. That said, I am not against public or private schooling either. The choice is the parents' to make.

Michelle - posted on 12/15/2008

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Katie, I have a friend who was of the same opinion as you. She was very worried that our children would be socially awkward because she knew of a homeschooling family where the kids never quite "fit in" with other people. Until I let her in on the secret that my husband, one of the most charismatic, outgoing, socially engaged and charming men I know, was homeschooled. (On the other hand I, a shy, awkward, completely socially inept nerd, was public schooled.) Some people just are the way they are.

On a larger scale, outside the friend-of-a-friend anecdotes we've all heard, homeschoolers are not more or less likely to have trouble fitting in. Homeschooling does not involve sitting alone in a room with no social interaction all day. In fact, homeschoolers tend to have broader real-world experience interacting with the public at large, since they are not sequestered in a schoolroom about as far removed from real life as possible. I mean, where in the real world do you interact with only people born within about 9 months of you, all of whom are in the exact same place academically and experience-wise, and typically in your same economic class, too?

Jen - posted on 12/15/2008

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I want to thank everyone for their advice. And after much prayer and research, we have decided that after Christmas break we are going to be a homeschooling family. I'm in the process of setting up a homeschool support group in my church, and I really think we're off to a good start. We're all feeling really positive and can't wait to get started.

Rachel - posted on 12/09/2008

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I highly recommend the book "Dumbing Us Down, The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Education", by John Taylor Gatto. He was a public school teacher for many years, and gives great insight into school. People learn what they need to learn when they are ready. School does little to educate our children. My children are currently in school due to my single-mom circumstances, but I'm an unschooler at heart. I watched my daughter teach herself to read, add, subtract, and so much more. I did little to no "teaching" as we know it to facilitate her learning. Learning is an amazing process when you allow it to happen naturally. I would highly recommend homeschooling. It is very helpful to find a homeschooling group in your area to support you on your journey, and to help you find out what will work for you. Best wishes!

[deleted account]

Michelle, thanks for the info. I have been looking into educational alternatives for my children and your info helped. My first grader is thriving in public school, but he is at a third grade level and I am afraid he will soon get bored. My almost 5 year old will be starting K fall 2009 and I do not think he will succeed in a public school situation. He has SPD and just cannot handle all the stimulation of a normal classroom. My 2 year old has numerous allergies and one of them is incredibly severe. She would not be able to eat in the cafeteria and everybody in the entire school would have to wash their hands and face after eating--I don't think a school system would like that too much. So, here I am looking at my options. You saved me some time and energy. Thanks. I am also looking into hiring a private tutor for the kids...we'll see ;)

Jen - posted on 12/07/2008

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Homeschooling is a possibility that we are approaching. My biggest worries are getting started, dealing with the formalities (through the state and public school system), and then the feelings of inadequacy. I'm so worried that my children will be far more advanced than what I could possibly teach them as they get older.

Alicia - posted on 12/07/2008

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If I had the patients & we made the money I would homeschool. But since I don't have either I will have to settle with sending them to school, and teach them morals, values, right and wrong the best I can and be there when they need me. Good luck w/ your decision.

I have a friend who has 1 in school and 1 is homeschooled they are teenagers and that was partially their choice.

Michelle - posted on 12/06/2008

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I homeschool and I love it! We have many reasons for homeschooling, from not feeling that we can trust the schools to do a good job of raising our kids for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week to just really enjoying having my kids around all the time.

When I first became a mom my husband (who attended private school, then was homeschooled, and finished up in public school) made clear his strong objection to sending our kids to public schools. He had a horrible experience there. I was rather ambivalent, since I had a decent public school experience but always felt that I could do a much better job than any of my teachers. (I had wanted to be a teacher until I found out that staying home was an option.) So I started looking into public schools, but the cost was absolutely prohibitive -- and at that time we had no clue we'd end up with seven kids! One day I'd been researching online, and my MIL brought my husband home from work, and as they walked in I said, "How do you feel about homeschooling?" My MIL literally started jumping around for joy! I started working on preschool activities that summer, and we've been homeschooling ever since.

These days my kids use a computer program for school and my role is more supervisor / helping when they get stuck. But I still get to enjoy watching them learn, and I have much more influence in their education, training, and character development than I would if we were separated all day.

Lisa - posted on 12/05/2008

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I think that is up to the individual parent....my friend home schools her kids and she loves it and they love it....me..I am far too impatient to effectively teach my children at home not to mention I own a restaurant and work 6 days a week so I wouldn't be able to do it!

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