homeschooling

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

Alright ladies, I know this topic could turn into a debate, but I chose to post it here because I wanted a calm honest conversation on it.

I've been thinking a lot about it lately because a few of my cousins and my sister-in-law have recently begun or are about to begin homeschooling. I live in a fabulous public school district, but if I didn't (which they don't) I would probably homeschool also.

Up until recently, I always thought of homeschool parents as those that couldn't let go of their kids and wanted to shelter them from the world. And I thought the homeschoolers themselves were unsocialized and strange.

I've changed my mind. There are more ways to socialize a child than sending them to school. And you can show them so much of the world if you have all day every day to do it. You can work at their level and go as fast or slow as needed. In a classroom they will either get bored or frustrated as the teacher has to teach to the middle level.

Plus I've seen great results. There are several families I know with homeschooled kids who turned out "normal" and are highly intelligent and doing well in college or in the work force.

I do realize that some parents "homeschool" and then let their kids run wild. The homeschool families I know did not do this.

My questions: Do any of you have any experience with it? Was homeschooled or is/will be homeschooling their kids? Do you have any opinions on it? Be honest. But don't debate!

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Krista - posted on 06/02/2010

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It all depends, in my opinion.



Homeschooling to shelter your children from things like sex ed and evolution? Not good.

Homeschooling that consists solely of letting your kid learn about what interests them at the time? Not good.

Homeschooling that is done in a half-assed fashion? Not good.



Homeschooling that is done conscientiously, with efforts made to expose the child to arts and culture and other people, that is comprehensive enough that the child can pass standardized tests and keep up with their peers? Great.



Personally, I would not homeschool, as I live in a small rural area, and school really IS the best opportunity for kids to socialize and make friends. A homeschooled child around here would be so unusual that isolation and ostracization would be probable.



But if it's something that you'd enjoy, that you can make work, and that can provide just as good (or better) an education as formal school, then go for it.

[deleted account]

Thanks ladies, you all brought up great points.



I'm really drawn to the idea of working around the kids' interests. It makes if so personal. I'm not saying if they hate math, leave out math. THAT I am against. I'm saying if the kid is really into insects, base the math lessons, reading lessons, writing lessons, and field trips around that topic. It just seems like the kids would get more out if it. I was able to do that to an extent within my classroom when I was a teacher, but you can really run with it if you are only planning lessons for one or two children.



The home school group one of my cousins is in, really support each other. If a parent is weak in a certain subject area, they will partner with another family that is strong in that area. My cousin teaches a science lesson with an experiment once a week in her home. Then she provides the other families with supplemental activities that revolve around her lesson. The way it works, kids *should* not be left behind.



I understand that many home school parents don't have training as a teacher. I'm a trained teacher, so I have full confidence in my ability to teach my own children. But for those that don't there are trainings they can go to. It would be irresponsible for parents not to attend as many trainings and conferences as possible if they are taking full responsibility for their children's educations.



IF I were to home school, I probably would chose a religious curriculum, but I wouldn't be home schooling for religious reasons. Does that make sense? I don't want to hover and shelter my kids. That is so the opposite of me. But I would like to provide them with a first class education.



As it is, we do live in an amazing school district. So I'm not worried about my kids getting a first class education. They'll get it in our public schools. But under certain circumstances, I would home school. If my husband ever fulfills his dream of have 10 acres on the river and we move out of this district, I would home school. The private schools that are in our price range are crap. Or if one of my kids had an illness that kept them out of school, I would home school. So that's where we stand.



Thanks for contributing! And keep the comments coming! I'm always open to other view points!

[deleted account]

My nephew is home-schooled and I think my sister-in-law does a pretty good job. She is dedicated to the process and he is home-schooled via the School of Distance Education so he follows a set curriculum and has input from other teachers over the phone and on occasional days when he attends the SDE facilities. He also sometimes meets other students and also goes on school camps through SDE.

But, I do think she is failing him in many regards. Despite the advantages I mentioned, he really doesn't get to socialise much with kids in his own peer group, he spends most of his time in adult company. His mother and grandmother rule and dominate his world. Even with a set curriculum I don't think he is getting an adequate exposure to structured education and this is going to be to his great detriment should he ever wish to attend university or ever go to a formal school.

I think my SIL's reason's for home-schooling are selfish and insulated, she has fears that he will be teased at public schools and 'lost' in the system, she doesn't want to send him to private religious schools. She enrolled him in a Steiner school but pulled him out after he was labelled with learning difficulties. These were based on a eyesight problem and also the fact that she didn't enrol him in any school until he was 7 years old as the lived in japan before that and he wasn't schooled there.

She chose home-schooling because she says she wants to give him intensive schooling to enable him to catch up in the hope that he will be able to eventually attend a small public school without the fear that he will be teased or kept behind because of his learning difficulties. I think she is trying her best and has gone about it as best she can but that she is misguided and it is possible she will instead keep her son from achieving his very best. I think attending a school of your peers is unparalleled in the opportunities it provides for emotional, intellectual and academic development. And there are many fabulous public and private schools in our district she could choose to send him to, many of which have excellent learning assistance programs to help kids like him.

I have known many kids who were successfully home-schooled, but they were all home-schooled for a period of time (usually primary school) and then transitioned into formal schooling to complete their education.

[deleted account]

There was a family who home schooled in the community where I grew up. They kept themselves isolated and I always felt bad for the 2 kids. They weren't allowed to interact with anyone. The kids are grown now and from what I've heard they went a little wild. I don't think homeschooling was good in this case.

My BF homeschools her 3 kids and she does a great job. They are invovled in sports as well as a homeschooling group so they get plenty of social interaction. The kids are really smart. I know my BF recieves a ciriculum from the province at the beginning of the school year that she follows and she submits the children's work at the end of the year for grading. I think she's homeschooling the right way.

Me, I don't think I would have the patience to homeschool. The schools in my area are pretty good so I don't have any worries in that area. As long as we stay where we are my son will be attending the public school just up the road.

Lady - posted on 06/03/2010

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I home schooled two of my kids when we lived in America just to save getting them all settled into a new school for jusy a few months.-- NEVER AGAIN. It was TOOO hard. I had the books from school and I'm a nursery nurse so am used to being with kids all day but I was about at the point of killing them.



I was a crap teacher and we had either PE at the pool or project time going out exploring or at the park. It was dull and boring trying to teach them maths and comrehension and I don't really have the patience.



I have a really hard time letting my kids go to school - I had nightmares before my first started, I had panic attacks and private crying fits before my second started and am not much better about my third starting after the summer. But I think it's important to let the go. The get so much from it - from the interacting with other kids and adults. They learn more than just what is taught in class and I think it would be imposable for any parent to cover everything in the curriculum.



Each teacher brings something unique and imparts something on your children they can use later in life - by all means keep involved with your childs education - make yourself part of it and keep good relations with the school but let them go and let them learn and let them grow - they will still always be your babies!!



But that's just my opinion!!

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Lady - posted on 06/10/2010

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In England although primary schools are all prety much the same, (some great ones some not so great), they all teach more or less the same things. But High schools are different, although they all have to follow more or less the same curriculum, each one had a field that they specialise in - such as science or technology or art or sport - so it is possible to try and get a tailored education which suits your child - if the are quite arty or like the performing arts then you can send them to a school which specialises in that area - same for science or sport or whatever.
That's the idea anyway, it doesn't always work out that way - they tend to want to just go to the school that all their friends are going to - my son goes to a performing arts specialist and hates going up on stage - singing and dancing. But they are also into sport so he likes that. We choose the school because it was the one he wanted and the fact it is a really good school with great marks in maths, English and science and I do feel the extra stuff is broadening his horizons and introducing him to knew things - if I had homeschooled him I probably would have focused on the things he was good at and ignored the things he didn't like such as art and dance but then he might have missed out! He still does a lot of the back stage stuff like lighting and set design and I think it has given him a greater confidence - he will actually have a go at dancing in public where as before he never would - he's discoved it can be fun and doesn't really matter if he is the best or not.

[deleted account]

I think if you wanna give your child the worst possible chance in education go ahead homeschool them. I think as othe rpeople have said that to homeschool you should have to be a qualified teacher and as for the social aspect, during the day the only way they can socialise with children their own age is by going to school.

Sharon - posted on 06/03/2010

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I only know 2 families that homeschool and they are both WEIRD.

Both families are morbidly obese. They aren't related, each thinks the other is stupid and lazy. The kids are BEYOND smart. they are just crazy smart but they don't seem to be doing jackshit about it. The parents in one family seems to be trying to get their kid lined up as a cartoonist. yes a cartoonist, not graphics designer or anything, a cartoonist. Think anime'. they creep me out with their mouth breathing.

The other family - I'm at a loss for words. They never seem to like anyone else.

in both families the kids are insular. (I think thats the word I want) 1 family - they do NOTHING. the house & their pets, thats it.

the other, 4-h is it. No movies out, no 4th of july picnic at the park, no checking out the memorial day parade, no day trips to check out local historical sites,... nothing.

Rosie - posted on 06/03/2010

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i think to home school you should be a qualified teacher (think about it would you send your child to public school and be ok with him having a teacher who didn't have a teaching degree?), and beings as you are qualified i don't see the problem with it. i would take into consideration other children being in the mix cause i know you want more. having more than one child changes things dramatically. i personally wouldn't want to do it, but that's just me :)

as for my experience. i was much like you and thought kids would have weird social issues and stuff. i know of one guy i worked with who was home schooled. he was a senior whose parents had him attend public school once high school started. he was awesome, and seemed to have no socializing problems. he may have when he first started highschool, but i didn't know him then, even if he did he grew out of it pretty quick.

LaCi - posted on 06/03/2010

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I had some friends in high school that were homeschooled. They were for religious reasons, parents were mormons, they pretty much taught themselves. Apparently their exams were open book, they seemed to just surf the net all day lol. They were (and still are) brilliant, so it didn't matter that they were slackers, normal high school behavior. Also very social and happy, they never had a single complaint about being homeschooled.

I don't have the patience for it. I'm going with a good non-religious private school, but I totally see the allure with homeschooling. IF I had the patience I would probably go for it, but I only have the patience to supplement the education he'll get there.

Tanya - posted on 06/03/2010

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I had cousins who was home schooled because of religion. They were very strict. They had rules like: Girls have to wear longs skirt, can't cut their hair, no secular music, no tv, no magazines, no make up. The one girl is 19 now and has never been on a date.
So I can't say that home schooling made her the way she is. She never talks. Its so strange. I know that she can't really know whats going on in the world.
That being said I have thought about doing it, but I am awful with geometry so i cant see how I would teach it.

Beck - posted on 06/03/2010

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I am also debating home schooling but have a few years to decide. I have early childhood eductation background and my mum is a school teacher (who I didn't think would support by decision but does). My hubby slightly worries about the socialising but I feel there are lots of oppurtunities outside school.
I feel that school is such a 'one size fits all' and kids are so not like that especially boys. I would love to win lotto and start a boys school with lots of 'boy style' learning - lots outside, motor related maths etc etc...but thats just a dream!

So we will see, where we are living and what schools are available at the time, but it will remain an option.

Emma - posted on 06/02/2010

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I have to go with No for home schooling,
I don't think the average parent is qualified to teach a full school curriculum,
Teachers study to become teachers in there chosen subject they learn all different types of teaching methods ect ect

Plus i know School is not the only way kids get socialised but it is a valuable social lesson that you will not be able to give them through other social activity's.
Learning to navigate the student clicks, learn with distractions ect ect the list goes on .

Im all for parents picking up the slack where the schools are lacking,

I personally would never choose to do it i don't have the patience or the organisational skills to pull it off myself .

*Lisa* - posted on 06/02/2010

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Well my only experience with homeschooling is my cousins and some friends of mine. In my cousins case, they were homeschooled in a small town but could have gone to school. They were fairly social kids so that was ok. I'm not sure if it's related to the homeschooling or if they had a weird mum, but they all went wayyy off the rails at young ages. I think their parents were trying to shelter them so they rebelled BIG time. One of my cousins had to be sent to live with my family when she was 15 because she was in such a bad way.
My friends who were homeschooled are smart, but EXTREMELY socially inappropriate!! I think after making some real friends that weren't homeschooled and entering the real world they have calmed down a lot, but they were what you would call 'weird' at first and very emotionally needy, had very strange relationships with each other (2 sisters and one brother). Weird. However, you say Sara that you know of kids who are fine after being homeschooled! So I think it may have a lot to do with what Krista said about the reasons for being homeschooled. And whether their parents are normal or not hehe.

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