Home school or public school???

Tanya - posted on 01/22/2009 ( 59 moms have responded )

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Hello ladies!

I'm wondering what your opinions are about home schooling? I've heard it's better then sending children to public school. What do you thing about it??

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Bethany - posted on 01/24/2009

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I would say home school is definitely better... if you are committed to actually teaching your kids and it's not just for them to goof off.

The biggest argument against homeschooling is social skills. Why we think that children learn good social skills primarily from a bunch of kids who don't know anything is beyond me. Public school is notorious for being a cruel, popularity-driven place. If that's how you want your child to think and act, then homeschool is not for you. However, if you want to teach your kid how to think, how to interact with other people (not just peers), and how to be self-disciplined, then consider going against the stream.

Also, there are plenty of ways to let your children interact with peers. Homeschooled kids can participate in public school sports. They can take dance classes. They can join public school choir. They can volunteer. They can take college classes at age 16.

I was homeschooled until the last year-and-a-half of high school, and was much better-prepared for college and the world beyond high school than the majority of teens my age. Even more prepared than many college grads. Because my parents decided to take the time and effort required to teach me I was reading college graduate-level material at age 12. And I only did "school" for four hours a day because we didn't waste our time with "fillers" like the high school teachers did when I went to public school. We just did the work and got on with life.

There is no comparison between the quality of education received in correct home school vs public.

Kelly - posted on 01/22/2009

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Homeschooling is a lot of work.  I believe it is well worth the time and effort.  It is a personal decision and I think you need to know your reasons why.  I would recommend going to your public libarary and check out some books on homeschooling.  It really helped me to learn more about it.  I don't agree with the socialization. They don't need to be in public school to learn that.   Their are many homeschooling groups you can become involed in.  You also can put your daughter in sports and dance.  If you think about it.  You want your daughter to be able to talk to all ages of people not just kids her own age.  I have been told by several people to start homeschooling while they are young it is must easier than pulling them out of school.  Do some research.  Good luck.

Corey - posted on 01/22/2009

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I know the big "warning" against homeschooling is their socializing but I've seen quite the opposite. My kids are comfortable with all ages and interact easily with adults as well as their age and young ones. I've actually seen a difference in their ability to interact for the better. In school they are herded into a certain group and it's very hard to break out of that stigma. (my kids were in public school) Plus there are so many excellent curriculums out there and you can design your own if your child has a specific interest. Also, my kids are involved in the local school activities - ski club, tennis, wrestling... I find that our relationship as well has strengthened considerably as well as with their syblings. When are children are out of the house are we going to be happy we had enough "me" time? There are plenty of co-ops and activities to be involved in if you desire. All of my children (3) say they would much rather be home - this is our 2nd yr. homeschooling. It's definitely a commitment but I'm so grateful for the opportunity to really speak into my childrens' lives & not allow their peers to dictate what they learn (socially!). God has given much grace in the past couple of years for our whole family.

Kara - posted on 01/22/2009

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You are definately going to find that this is an issue on which people have extremely heated feelings.  As an educator myself, I would not homeschool my child.  I also wouldn't insist that they have the "best" teacher in the school.  We won't always have the best boss, will we?  However, I thought that I would list out what I thought were some pro's and con's to each.



Homeschool Pros:  Customized to the child's learning style and interest.  Ability to take make learning more interactive with education field trips.  Small class size.  Ability to travel whenever desired, not just on long school breaks. 



 



Public School Pros:  Ability to share in a common experience of the society.  Ability to learn to work with all different levels of intellegence/beliefs.  Teachers have been educated, and constantly stay updated, on new instruction techniques.  Easier access to socialization without parent present.



 



Homeschooling Cons:  Only see the parents view on an issue.  Parents may not always know what material needs to be covered and when it is appropriate to do so.  Not as much time for parent/child seperation.



 



Public School Cons:  Can learn things from peers you'd rather they didn't, pressure for teachers to teach to the test, larger class sizes.

Tara - posted on 01/22/2009

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It is a personal decision to make. I VERY strongly disagree that homeschoolers have trouble with socializing. They have so many homeschool groups that you can join. There is the Y and other sports organizations. There are boy scouts and girl scouts. The list is endless. If the kids aren't being socialized, then it is the parent's fault, not the fault of homeschooling in and of itself. I've been a stay at home mom since my dd was born 6 years ago. My children have gotten plenty of socializing from church, playgroups, and the like. Since I found a good school for my oldest, I opted to send her to school. She has not had any problems making friends. Of course, she's had friends since she was 3!



Anyway, it is a personal decision to make, and what works for your family and your situation may or may not work for others!

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Emily - posted on 02/22/2011

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I was both sent to government school, and home-educated as a child. I have seen both sides of the issue. In my opinion, home education is the far better option, with one caveat; you must be committed to your decision and put your all into it.

I look at the subject of teaching my children no differently than I look at my marriage. Once the commitment is made, you must do everything possible to make it the very best it can be. You don't just teach the basics, any more than you just cook frozen pizza every day for dinner. You don't abdicate your responsibilities to anyone else. You sacrifice your "me time" for the good of the children (and your spouse.) This too shall pass, and the kids will grow up, and then you'll have more "me time" than you know what to do with. I don't have a high school diploma. (They didn't provide them to home-schoolers "back in the day".) However, I am perfectly capable of teaching my children any subject known to man. There are seemingly endless ways for parents to teach subject they know nothing of, such as Latin, the which I am teaching my 7 and 9 year old boys. There are scientific resources, like dissection kits and chemistry sets, geared to all ages and abilities. There are lessons in higher math geared to the "self taught". The list goes on and on. Having been home educated myself, I never lost my love of learning, and I eagerly soak up whatever information comes my way. I'm learning some things right along side my boys.

What government school can boast that they teach Latin, 8th grade biology, algebra, and ancient history in the 1st grade? Because that's what the children WANTED to learn? Of course, these things are possible because my boys are not limited in any way, beyond the number of hours available in a given day. They pursue their interests at will, in addition to what they "have" to learn. This has allowed them to cultivate interests in history, government, sociology, various sciences, and language, and so on.

It's true, if you approach home education the way some people do marriage; selfishly, with little care or consideration, ready to divorce the whole thing at the first sign of real difficulty - then yes, it is probably best that you just hand your children over to the government. You just aren't ready to commit. However, if you can unselfishly devote your time and efforts to others for a number of years, it will return to you as abundant blessings.

As for the socialization myth - children aren't "socialized" by hanging out in groups with other children, any more than dogs are "socialized" by hanging out in packs with other dogs. It makes for very poor social skills. Society is done a disservice when we neglect our children in this manner.

My own children were never "socialized"... consequently, they've never learned that they might be rejected for how they look, or how much they earn. They never learned what racism is; they don't even know that "black" and "white" refer to skin color. They see only character, and they look to the good side of that. (Once, my sons ran into a bully, at the local playground, who picked on everyone... they decided that the bully was lonely and sad, and needed a friend. So they invited him to play. The boy ceased to be a bully to anyone after that.) They engage total strangers in conversation, speaking with both adults and children with equal ease and aplomb. They are natural leaders who successfully encourage others to play and work together, even when they would normally have shunned each other. And they respect and admire other cultures. If this is "lack of socialization"... well, I'll take it.

Dawn - posted on 02/01/2009

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My husband and I are planning on home schooling our son from the start. We hope to teach him through elementary school, and then re-evaluate middle/ high school. We want to start early and instill our values. The public schools start indoctoring the children as soon as they can. Some things we just don't want to have to unteach when his school teachers tell him one thing and we believe the opposite. As far as socialization, there are so many opportunites to get you child involved in activities these days. If a child is not socialized, it is the parent's fault for not doing their research. Home schooling can be great or horrible for the child depending on the work and research put into making it work.

Dawn - posted on 02/01/2009

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My husband and I are planning on home schooling our son from the start. We hope to teach him through elementary school, and then re-evaluate middle/ high school. We want to start early and instill our values. The public schools start indoctoring the children as soon as they can. Some things we just don't want to have to unteach when his school teachers tell him one thing and we believe the opposite. As far as socialization, there are so many opportunites to get you child involved in activities these days. If a child is not socialized, it is the parent's fault for not doing their research. Home schooling can be great or horrible for the child depending on the work and research put into making it work.

Tanya - posted on 01/25/2009

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Hello ladies!!
What great suggestions and opinions!! Again, I want to thank you all.
My daughter is an only child and she's very gentle in nature. With so many opinions with education, I find it slightly overwhelming. I have exposed my daughter to various programs, gatherings and events since she was born. Socializing my daughter is very important as well as picking the right route for education. Each of you have guided me with knowledge, experience and personal stories. I am endlessly grateful. Plus: all of you taught me...If one route isn't working out, there's always another solution. That's a wonderful choice to be given. I was educated in the public system in a very small community. From Gr. 1 to Gr. 6, I was in very small classes with mixed grades (Gr 1and 2 together and on and on). Many advantages and disadvantages... Ladies, thank you again!

Traci - posted on 01/24/2009

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Tanya,



I am deciding this same question right now. My daughter is four and half and is reading. So I guess I haven't done too bad.. I know socialism is very important among our children but its not always about that. Here is my story.. I have been a part of a homeschool group called hope here in my community. There is also one called PECHE here in town. The group is designed to do several things, For instance, all the moms sit down and decide which fieldtrips we are going on for the year, You can choose to participate or not, We have park days and field days. We also rent a church and meet one day a week and teach a particular subject related to the students. This year is was on Creation Science. My daughter loved it. Spmetimes a few of us moms will pull together and do breakfast at chick fil a and let the kids play. And we have fun talking. We also talk about issues with our children and how to resolve them such as problems with math, reading and so on, even if there is an issue at home that hasn't been easily resolved. There is a lot of information out there on this but a lot do not know of it. We are currently trying to decide on a curriculam for Alexis.



All I can say, is you really have to decide for yourself, but I feel strongly that public school is not the way in this day and age if you can help it at all. Private is much better. But it can also be about the teacher you have. I would also suggest asking the school if you can sit on a class one day and just observe.



Here is book to read that I am currently reading and its a bit scary to see what going on..



Public Schools against America.. By Marlin Maddox



I hope this helps.. If you would like I can also see if there is homeschool group in your area that you talk to the other moms and such, Just let me know..

[deleted account]

It really depends upon your local school(s) and what your purpose for homeschooling is.  I am a public schoolteacher and have nothing against public schools, but if I didn't have to work, I would homeschool my children for the simple reason that they are very different from each other and learn very different.  They would benefit from the individualized instruction that is not as readily available in the public school (and even less so in larger schools.)



We teach karate, as well, and have many, many students who are homeschooled.  I find that, for the most part, they are sufficiently socialized.  There are also many good co-ops out there that can help fill in areas that maybe you as parents may not be as strong in. 



As a teacher, I've seen both ends of the spectrum when it comes to children that have been homeschooled.  You have to be disciplined and the school day has to be as consistent as a job or any other school.  I've taught 1st grade where I had a student who was nearly 7 come in who had been "homeschooled" for Kindergarten.  He didn't even recognize the first letter of his first name (and I've seen many several instances such as this.)  I've also known a family who sent their girls to public school through 1st grade to get the basic foundations of math, reading, etc., but have now produced 2 National Merit Scholar finalists and a 3rd one on her way (and I've seen multiple examples of these, too.)



Basically, most of it really depends upon your commitment as a parent, your resources (both personally and externally), and your intent.  Good luck whatever you decide.

User - posted on 01/24/2009

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A BIG THANK YOU to all you ladies who advocate home schooling.We need to let the world know that we home schoolers are not lacking in any way. We're smart intelligent well rounded individuals.

Phyllis - posted on 01/24/2009

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Great post Kim Houk. It is amazing how much we grow through teaching our children! We become lifelong learners and teach our children the same. It comes home in a real way that even though we grow up, we are never "finished". There is so much to learn and take in. It is a journey and like any journey it is exciting, interesting and sometimes scary and frustrating. We have been told since we were children that anything worth having is worth the price. As we approach the end of our homeschool season, I can say with confidence that my husband and I will continue as students and our two young adults will also.

Kim - posted on 01/24/2009

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I have two children. An 11 year old daughter and a 6 year old boy. My daughter went to Christian school through second grade and when we relocated we put her in a public school for third grade. She began to strugle academically and was also bullied. By the end of third grade my husband and I made the descision to homeschool. I have been homeschooling both of my children ever since. I don't know about you, but I have witnessed first hand the type of "socialization" others are talking about and that is not the type of "socialization" I want my children to be a part of. I keep my children active in other activites like church, homeschool programs, etc. I have learned so much myself through homeschooling and I would not change a thing. Unfortunately our nature is to conform to society and those who prefer public school over homeschooling do not have the information. Before I made the descision I did quite a bit of research and prayed. I would say to research homeschooling and continue to ask others who homeschool. Homeschooling opens up a new world of learning that you could never attain or appreciate in a public school setting.

User - posted on 01/24/2009

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We homeschooled our son from K  to 12...he is currently attending a private college with a full tuition scholarship due to high ACT scores. He loved being homeschooled and has in NO way suffered socially. He's had more friends than he knows what to do with (Homeschoolers don't keep their children locked up and away from everyone-at least the ones I know don't). He can be thrown into any social situation comfortably due to interacting with all age groups on a consistent basis and not learning his social skills strictly from his public school peers (where discipline is not usually allowed anyways). We had prayer in our school and it wasn't government regulated. We were able to identify his strengths and encourage him to grow in them and to teach him based on those strengths. Here's how he's suffered: He was a Youth Deputy in the county's Explorer program throughout all of high school, being able to spend his time making a difference in the area he has a passion for, law enforcement. He was the commander of the Honor guard and drill team, was in charge of admin, and ranked about 13th in the nation for sharpshooting. Our house is full of trophies...He had at least 800 hours of community service by the time he graduated high school, and was involved with his youth group. He won contests playing his trumpet, and West Point wanted him. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. THIS IS NOT AN UNUSUAL STORY. I currently work in a private school covering for homeschoolers with over 1000 students enrolled and know many, many families with the same kind of success stories. I have been surrounded by homeshooling families for the last 13 years and know personally many homeschooled kids who are excelling. Homeschooling has enabled our family to be together more than if our son had gone to an institutional school. Our relationship with our son has always been wonderful and we now have a fantastic adult relationship with him. Homeschooling is a huge commitment and is not easy, but it has been well worth it for us! I hope this helps...

Stacey - posted on 01/24/2009

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Hi, I am a mother of 5, and we home schooled the oldest 2 from jr high on.....I get so frustrated when I hear people who have no knowledge of home schooling give such an uneducated opinion on it! First of all there are still state requirements you have to go by, but you can really hone in on their personal interests as well. You have so much more available to you to explore. As far as the "they won't get the social skills", please give me a break!!! My daughters went to more sports activites, and each girl went to 3 proms a year! I think that is alot of social interaction, but it also is one we choose and are not forced into. I am sorry but there are situations that are kids are put into in the public school system that is out of their control, and ours, and whether we like it or not we have to deal w/it. At least w/home school those situations are not common place. My next oldest (3rd in line) is finishing his 8th grade yr in public, and we are going to try going the public route, however both of my sons have asked to be home schooled too. One of my daughters graduated 1yr, before her actual class graduated, I think that speaks volume! Thanks for the chance to share some info from one who has experienced it!

Melinda - posted on 01/24/2009

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I would strongly recommend public school. The number 1 factor in determining success in a public school system is parent support- it sounds like you would be a very supportive parent. Try it out! Kindergarten is an amazing little world. Volunteer in the classroom to get a good idea of how things work. Most educators are experts in educating young children- take advantage of their expertise. If you do decide to homeschool- hook up with some other homeschool moms and definitely look at your state core curriculum. If you ever decide to have your child go back to the system, you don't want them to be behind. I guess I'm biased being a Kindergarten teacher, but I truly believe that most public schools are excellent places to help a child learn and grow.

[deleted account]

This is definitely one of those controversial issues, as you can tell by the responses.  There are people that say public school all the way, but I think a lot of people are saying that homeschooling can be a great thing for children but have seen instances where it is not such a great thing if the parent does not do it correctly.   They are saying that a school has a set curriculum to teach students what they need to know each year academically and can see where a child is falling behind in and offer programs to help them catch up (yes, some schools are better than others).  Obviously, by the response, people have seen instances where homeschooling has not worked and there is obvious concern there for the children.  Like I said, no one person can say what is the best type of schooling for your child, only you know if you are able to put the effort forth that is needed and if it is the right thing for you and your family.  Again, good luck to you.

Susanah - posted on 01/24/2009

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i have been reading the posting, most people are saying if you are home school you will not have friends and you will not know how to act around other people...this is just not true



I was home school my hole life..I have friends..I got married and now have a son.. I went to prom  both my Jr. and Sr.  I think in anything its all what you put in to it...if you are going to do it you have to put all your time to it...My mom had me in 4-h and a home school group...I was in FFA and when I was older i  was in a youth leadership group.....I think over all you will get out of life what you put in to it....but I will say this ..I can't spell or typ for crap so who knows

Margaret - posted on 01/24/2009

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Home schooling isn't for everyone,  It requires alot of devotion and family committed.  It is a big decision.  Children learn social skill in school so outside sports, music and volunteering is a most when you home school.   My children went to private school from grades 7-11.    They were introducted to many talent stutdents.  The public school system dosen't modivate gifted students and distribution in the classroom isn't good for student who require silence to learn.  Good luck in your decision

Margaret - posted on 01/24/2009

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Home schooling isn't for everyone,  It requires alot of devotion and family committed.  It is a big decision.  Children learn social skill in school so outside sports, music and volunteering is a most when you home school.   My children went to private school from grades 7-11.    They were introducted to many talent stutdents.  The public school system dosen't modivate gifted students and distribution in the classroom isn't good for student who require silence to learn.  Good luck in your decision

Margaret - posted on 01/24/2009

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Home schooling isn't for everyone,  It requires alot of devotion and family committed.  It is a big decision.  Children learn social skill in school so outside sports, music and volunteering is a most when you home school.   My children went to private school from grades 7-11.    They were introducted to many talent stutdents.  The public school system dosen't modivate gifted students and distribution in the classroom isn't good for student who require silence to learn.  Good luck in your decision

Ann - posted on 01/24/2009

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I would most agree with the comments from: Posted by Tara Paisley (January 22, 12:53 pm)

One huge thing I would like to add is that if you are married, your spouse MUST be in agreement with your decision and willing to be a part of that. Mine was not, and it is only in hindsight that I wish I had done things differently (I homeschooled my 2 boys from 3rd - 5th grade due to difficulties in learning styles). They were negatively affected by his non-participation.

Danielle - posted on 01/24/2009

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Honestly! it really depends on your dedication to your childs education. Will you have the time and devotion thats needed,  for a child being schooled @ home? Public schools aren't always a bad thing. My children go to public schools, but there either (charter schools, or theme schools). Which I find to be very benificial to my childs education. So good luck!

Danielle - posted on 01/24/2009

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Honestly! it really depends on your dedication to your childs education. Will you have the time and devotion thats needed,  for a child being schooled @ home? Public schools aren't always a bad thing. My children go to public schools, but there either (charter schools, or theme schools). Which I find to be very benificial to my childs education. So good luck!

Phyllis - posted on 01/24/2009

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I have already posted once as a parent of successfully home educated students. At the risk of sounding contrary, I would suggest, no matter what the subject, you look for sources that speak from real experience. There are many here that are fully entrenched in the public school choice and have had a "brush" with home educated students and base their less than positive opinion upon a small amount of information. Whereas, most home educators have been brought up in the public system and have chosen to do something different, so have both experiences.



A good resource to start with is: http://www.nheri.org/. Also, your local library may have information on your own local home school or state level home school support groups. Just about every state and region has annual homeschool conventions which are great for seeing all the available resources, networking with other home schoolers and getting training. Home education is big. It is international and no longer the domain of just a family here or a family there.



Ultimately I am in the camp that believes parents have the right and responsibility to direct their children's education as they see fit. Most parents want the best for their children, even though the very few that don't care about their children grab the headlines. I actively promote school choice and believe parents should have tax credits/vouchers to make whatever choice they believe is in the best interest of their children.



Contrary to popular opinion, home educated students are not stowed away in the family basement, isolated and hidden from public. Rather, they are actively involved in civic, religious, academic, arts and sports groups. In interviews with college admissions officers, we are told that colleges and universities vie for home educated students like division 1 athletes. Home educated students as a whole are self directed, self motivated, are capable researchers and most have done some college courses during their high school years. Their college resume usually has a very eclectic assortment of activites that encompasses interaction with many cultures and and age groups.



At age 18 our daughter was hired as the site manager for English As A Second Language in a nearby town. The public school systems in our area is struggling to manage a large immigrant community that serves about 2 dozen language groups. ESL is critical in our area. She was chosen above 2 people with masters in ed degrees. The reason stated was that she had, by 18 amassed a resume that spoke of fabulous people skills, something that is not necessarily gained with more classroom work. Hers was all gained by life skills-volunteering at our local senior center, working with children, travelling overseas to work with orphans and the destitute, serving through civic and church organizations. Things she had time for because her time was her own. At 19 she was invited to work for a non profit organization, which meant that she had to move a long way from home to be on her own. For a year and a half she lived as an independent adult in a city. She managed her own apt, bills, job, etc. She jumped through the GED hoop and is now a college student as well. She is only 20, but knows what she wants to do with her life. She is not in college for the party, she is there preparing for whatever is next in her life. There is no sense of entitlement or wastefulness.



Our son, age 17, has an interest in law enforcement. He works for the state as a Youth Enforcement Agent for the Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Services. He is one of a handful of teens that tests tobacco selling outlets for underage tobacco sales. He has been able to get hands on experience working with investigators as well as local and state police. Again, possible because his time was his own.



Over the last 20 years, I have had contact with hundreds of home educated kids, so can share many more stories like this. Yes, there are the less than successful stories, but I would venture to guess that whatever education system you look at-public-private-home, you will find both good and bad. The difference maker or the game changer if you would like, is the will of the parents and their willingness to match their efforts with their desire to see their children succeed. I guess that begs the question, "What is success?" " What do you ultimately believe is important?"



We wanted children that grew up to be responsible, thoughtful people. We wanted them to care about others and always strive to do their best in whatever they put their hand to. We felt that having them home, being able to mentor them one on one was the best way to produce this result. They have had many tutors besides ourselves over the years, but we were able to choose those who we believed would add to the results we wanted. We wanted children that grew into adults that lived uprightly because it is the right thing to do, not because mommy and daddy may be watching.



They were not sheltered and we were free to bring every issue to the table for discussion at the time we deemed most appropriate. Our children are able to engage and debate most any "popular" issue and many more besides. In other words, they not only have a core set of beliefs, but they know why they believe. They have had the time to grapple with deeper thinking, while not being immersed in the completely unreal world of their peers. Once one leaves school, where in life are you segregated by peer group? No, instead real life is populated with people from all walks of life, all cultures, all ages.



The most successful people are those that can interact without fear, situations that are full of all kinds of people. The most successful people are those that have a sense of responsibility for what they have been blessed with and live accordingly-ready to give a helping hand, being good stewards. The most successful people have a sense of destiny or purpose. They realize that they have something they were created for and put their efforts into achieving that purpose. 



Shepherding, mentoring, discipling all words that describe hands on parenting that for us was best fulfilled through home education. I hope I have not stepped on any toes. I would instead challege every caring parent in this group to be very intentional about raising your children. We have them in our care for a very short period of time, in fact, only really about 18 summers. Make every day count no matter what your educational choice. Be proacvtive in deciding who and what has influence over your children. Speak up even when it may not be popular. You are the best parent and teacher your children have. 



 

Nancie - posted on 01/24/2009

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Public school think of all the things they will miss if they are home schooled!!

Anne - posted on 01/24/2009

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I didn't homeschool my children who are 18- twins , and 16, but the children I have met who were homeschooled are highly intelligent, are very socially mature, some more than the public schools.  If you ever watch that national spelling bee on tv each year, most of those children are homeschooled.



I do know that children who are homeschooled participate in field trips and activities with other  homeschooled children.  The socialization thing is definately a misconception.



My 3 children, my twins who are 18 and my 16 year old, all with special needs, high functioning, even though they had all the special services/full IEP services, do not socialize all that great. 



Go with your heart on the issue, especially if you are a person of faith- Christian or Jew.  The public schools aren't like the way they were when we were children.

Lina - posted on 01/24/2009

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I think public school is better cause children need 2 be away of their parents & u need that &they need to treat &react with other kids away of u to &they need friends .

[deleted account]

I wouldn't say one or the other is best; it is what the child learns academically and the socialization that the child gets.  I would say if you decide to homeschool, you need to be willing to put everything into it and make sure that your child gets the proper education/testing and is involved with other children outside the home because if you should decide to home school until say only middle school or high school it makes a big difference if the kids have social skills and friends or not because if you send them into a school without those skills those other kids are going to pick up on that and will walk all over them.  



My children are in a public elementary school and I am very happy with the education that they are getting and the school itself has been a wonderful school to attend.  We have our issues with other kids every once in a while but nothing my children have not been able to handle themselves which I think is a skill they also learn there, to stick up for themselves and be able to problem solve.  I let them pick and choose what battles they feel they can fight and step in when/if needed and I haven't had to yet.  I myself could never do home schooling for them.  I am a student myself at the local university and I don't think I would have the smarts to teach them everything they need to know to make them well-rounded.  It takes a lot of effort and I applaud the ones that do it and do it well.   



Good luck on your decision.  It is a big one!

Susanah - posted on 01/24/2009

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just my thoughts on this  itI was homeschooled and loved it...but you have to  have your heart in to it...it is hard work..I remeber my mom going to all kindas of stuff to keep us up to date with everything and  find your self a home school group as well so your kid/kids have other kids to play with and make friends with other then family 

Beth - posted on 01/23/2009

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I was home schooled. I was on a dance team. a Basketball team an went on field trips along with camps an sooo much more. I loved it. My Dad was very supportive of homeschooling an I loved every thing about. Though I have nothing against Public school I would say home schooling is for parents who are very very committed to the long run.



And I met a ton of ppl...and we even got to go on field trips that wasn't open to public schools. also my friend that was home schooled was in gymnastic and on an ice skating team. so I totaly dis agree with amanda there are a million events that you can put your kids in while you home school.....but like i said I have nothing against public thats just as good but i just wanted to let you know there are groups an get togethers with home schooling as well.....

Stephanie - posted on 01/23/2009

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I was homeschooled for 11yrs and earned a high school diploma. Homeschooling is not for everyone... It was great for me!
I am 31yrs old and am currently homeschooling my 2 sons, they love it! I've been thrilled to teach them to read.They enjoy learning and doing diverse activities. I go out of my way to introduce my children to many people, activities, events, cultures, & faith. They have many friends and love to go places. They are also content at home.
As a homeschooler I am required to complete the same curriculum as the public school. So our kids learn the same materials. All in all You are in control of your child's education! So you can determine what's best for them and you. Public school or Homeschool, You have the Freedom to choose! I am grateful that I have a choice!
Feel free to ask any questions...

[deleted account]

I would like to add that I agree with "Mother of 1".... don't hide your Light! My husband, as a public educator, has had wonderful opportunities to share his Christian faith (which, in fact, is legal) with his students over the years. As with anything, including the public school system, there are those who "fall through the cracks." It is definitely a very personal decision to homeschool. It's a lot of work! If you are weak in a certain subject area, there are usually co-op classes or tutors you can get involved with (even on-line and correspondence classes.... it's amazing what's available!) One thing I have noticed is that often, once a child hits his/her high school years, families are tempted to put their kids in public school. And, sometimes they do get "eaten alive." But, and this is my opinion, it's typically because the value systems are VASTLY different. Homeschooled teens typically don't get caught up in the pop culture prevalent in public high schools. Their priorities typically are very different.

Deborah - posted on 01/23/2009

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I am a teacher and have been teaching for 7 years. I agree that it is a personal decision. From my experience, home-schooled students that I have interacted with do lack social skills (working in groups, teamwork, sharing, accepting cultures different than their own). However, they have been extremely intelligent with a great wealth of knowledge. I have students that I would recommend home-schooling for (because of academic/adapting concerns) and Ihave others that I would not (need to structure & socialization with peers). It all depends on your child, his/her needs, and YOUR patience to be understanding, nuturing as a teacher (not as a mom), and holding him/her to reasonable expectations.

Rebekah - posted on 01/23/2009

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It depends on what you want to achieve by home schooling. If you want to teach a different curriculum or incorporate your religious beliefs, make sure that you teach the grade level standards for math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. Your child needs to be ready to take the tests that will allow them to enter college or vocational training.



Also be sure to link up with other parents for social events, field trips, physical education, art, music, and holiday celebrations as these are significant components experienced by school age children. Many school districts have home school liasons that can provide you with contact information and may even plan events you and your child can attend!



You should also consider how qualified you are to teach all of these subjects. If you struggled with math, you may want to link up with a parent who is skilled not only in using math themselves, but teaching it. A lot of people can read, but teaching reading is another skill altogether. There are consortiums of home schooling parents who may provide training. You might also consider taking some classe at your local teaching college to provide your child with the best possible instruction.



As a public education teacher, I have not had good experiences with the level of academic achievement of students who return to public school. They frequently have gaps in their instructional skills. For example one our recent students aces her multiplication facts, but can not subtract double digits and is now in 4th grade struggling to keep up with her peers.



So, if you are going to home school, do it right. Get educated, get organized, get connected, and enjoy your time together.



The other option is to get very actively involved in your child's school. Volunteer! Be the change you want to see in your public school. Concerned about safety? Join the safety committe, start a watch dogs program (www.fathers.com/watchdogs), or start a neighborhood patrol for getting kids safely to and from school, ect. Education is a partnership!



If you are considering home schooling for religious reasons, consider an afterschool program like Logos, or joining an on campus program (often at high school). ALL religious groups/clubs who apply must be given equal access, so there may be groups that you disapprove of, but they open the door for your child to start or join the one that suits your beliefs.



As a committed Christian myself, it breaks my heart to see parents take their Light and hide it under a bushel at home, depriving the public schools of the good witness that we are called to live out. While you can't teach your beliefs while you volunteer, your goodness and kindness will brighten the lives of the children you touch. Remember... whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Jesus! Additionally, in a diverse society, knowing how to live your faith in the "real world" is a skill best acquired over time, not suddenly upon joining the work force!



Whatever your choice, I wish you and your kids the best!

Lori - posted on 01/23/2009

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If someone gives you their opinion that homeschoolers are lacking in socializing then they are certainly lacking in knowledge of homeschooling.  It doesn't have to be that way at all. It is what you make it.  You also are allowed to participate in school activities in your district if you choose to do so.   If you have a desire to homeschool then try it. I think you will find what a joy it is to be with your child.  If you are able to stay home with them why woudn't you want to.  This "ME" time is really a selfish thing if you think about it.   I hope you try the homeschooling path to see for yourself .  you are already doing it if you think about it. Who teaches them to hold their spoon, eat, clap, patty cake, tie their shoes, alphabet, colors, ect... hopefully you get to.  Just keep the learning going.   Lots and Lots of curriculum to choose from.    Take it one year at a time and see what will work for all of you as a family.

Shannon - posted on 01/23/2009

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I work in a Christian school teaching High School English.  I can tell you from experience with kiddo's who come in from Home Schooling that they tend to have a harder time socially.  They almost tend to be a few years behind socially, but ahead academically.  I have cousins who are home schooled as well, and although they are very smart, if they were to go into public school for any reason, they would be 'eaten up', since they don't have the social skills to cope.   My opinion is to be EXTREMELY  up to speed with your local school, your child's teacher, what goes on, etc.  At that point, you can determine what you feel is best for your kiddo.  Private schools are always an alternative, but they are pricey.  I have 3 girls, and they go to public school, however, I do the above....I try VERY HARD to keep up with EVERYTHING....from myspace to piczo....it's challenging, but it can be done. :)  Good luck with your choice!

[deleted account]

Wow! So much to say!!! First, we homeschool. Second, my husband has been a public school (middle school math) teacher for over 20 years. I am also a certified Parent Educator for the Parents as Teachers program in the state of Missouri (nothing to do w/homeschooling... it's for families w/children under 5). LACK OF Socialization???? THAT, my friends, is the BIGGEST misconception of homeschooling there is. Here in the St. Louis area, the opportunities open to homeschoolers are amazing! We have to turn things down because there's so much to choose from. My kids are 17, 14, & 11 and we've been homeschooling for 8 years. While public school kids learn to establish relationships primarily with kids their own age, homeschooled kids are acutely equipped to handle themselves around and relate to people of all ages. They aren't crammed into a classroom with 20+other kids there own age, day after day. We don't sit in our house for 8 hours a day, either. Our kids take choir, history, and drama classes offered by local homeschool co-ops. We also belong to a homeschool curriculum group for field trips, art/craft activities, and history/geography/government discussion. The curriculums are OUT OF THIS WORLD terrific! That's a whole other post, in and of itself!

Those who knock homeschooling usually have very little knowledge/experience with homeschooling. What you hear are typically huge misconceptions/myths!

Melinda - posted on 01/23/2009

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I have 2 kids that are still in public school and doing really well. My middle girl would come home crying everyday. She was in title one, and other speciality classes that pulled her out of the main classroom for about 2 hours a day. Then she was being teased by the other school kids, because she wasn't in class. When I talked with the school counselor, principal and teacher; I was told to tell her it's okay to be different. I can appreciate the need for socialization, however, my child was too sad for me just to sit back and do nothing. We started a virtual acadamy online this year. She has a teacher and once a month meets with other kids in her school, she also meets online once a week for math, and reading. She has the safety of being at home, and still interacts enough to build her self esteem. When I was looking into my options for my child I was given some advice, "homeschooling allows you to control who your child is exposed to, they still have to learn how to deal with them." I agree homeschooling is a very personal decision, and for our house we are split, because each child is different.

Tracey - posted on 01/23/2009

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public school will assist your child with social activities as well as an increase congnitive development witch is essential , if you feel your child is not doing well in a public scholl aonly home school later in life not in the vital early learning stages.

Phyllis - posted on 01/23/2009

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Hi Tanya. We successfully home educated 2 through high school and would not change it for anything! They are both self motivated, take personal responsibility for themselves, have been able to jump through the "hoops" for college entrance just fine, are socially well adjusted (always the first argument of anti-homeschooling people) and have great relationships with each other and us-their parents. Lots of excellent resources available-no need to fear! If you need more info, let me know! Warmly, Phyllis in CT

User - posted on 01/23/2009

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Please don't let anyone tell you that home schoolers are socially retarded, because it's just not true. My husband and I both were home schooled and have no trouble with our social interactions. There are plenty of home school groups to join. If you feel that home schooling is right for your family than go for it.

Tanya - posted on 01/23/2009

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Ladies,
I want to thank you all for responding to my question! Everyone of you brought up excellent points on both sides. It's a personal decision and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. I'll research both sides with great detail before molding an opinion! Thank you all again!

Kara - posted on 01/22/2009

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You are definately going to find that this is an issue on which people have extremely heated feelings.  As an educator myself, I would not homeschool my child.  I also wouldn't insist that they have the "best" teacher in the school.  We won't always have the best boss, will we?  However, I thought that I would list out what I thought were some pro's and con's to each.



Homeschool Pros:  Customized to the child's learning style and interest.  Ability to take make learning more interactive with education field trips.  Small class size.  Ability to travel whenever desired, not just on long school breaks. 



 



Public School Pros:  Ability to share in a common experience of the society.  Ability to learn to work with all different levels of intellegence/beliefs.  Teachers have been educated, and constantly stay updated, on new instruction techniques.  Easier access to socialization without parent present.



 



Homeschooling Cons:  Only see the parents view on an issue.  Parents may not always know what material needs to be covered and when it is appropriate to do so.  Not as much time for parent/child seperation.



 



Public School Cons:  Can learn things from peers you'd rather they didn't, pressure for teachers to teach to the test, larger class sizes.

[deleted account]

I really think that it is about what works best for your family. I belong to a MOMS group in our community that includes a family that homeschools and they have many support groups to help moms create the curriculum (following the government guidelines) and help the kids to get together in social groups. Some of the moms even trade days, teaching each others children so that another mom can have a day off. We seriously considered homeschooling but my daughter and I have very similar personalities which makes even helping her with homework difficult. But the public school system in our area wasn't a good fit for our family. After attending several board of education meetings and trying to become active on some parent councils it seemed clear to me that the focus was more on the financial aspect of running a school board instead of the education of the students or their social, emotional and mental well being. We live in a small community which means we have few options when it comes to education. We choose to look at a catholic school board (our only other option besides public) and although we are not catholic and had to be interviewed, fill out applications and be accepted... this was the best fit for our family. The focus is where it should be, on the children and their education. They teach morality and life lessons along side the reading, writing and math skills that are essential. I would advise anyone whose child is about to enter the education system to DO YOUR RESEARCH. My daughter started out in the public school system because I didn't realize that I had options. When you know what is available you can decide what is best for your family. After all, isn't part of the point of school to teach our children to make educated decisions?

Christian - posted on 01/22/2009

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I think home school is great,but you will need to put you child in activites so he/she can interact with other children. I wanted to home school my daughter, but she refused so do make sure it is in the best intrest of both of you! My daughter loves school and is friends with almost every child in the elementry side!

Katie - posted on 01/22/2009

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I agree with Tara.  Homeschoolers definitely DO NOT miss out on socialization!  I homeschool my kids and we are involved with a great homeschool group.  We go to park days, creative learning classes, and a wonderful reading program.  There are so many extra curricular program geared specifically to homeschoolers.  Also, when you homeschool, you have a bit more control over who your child is socializing with.  My children picked up really bad habits from their peers in elementary school.  My daughter learned all about the birds and the bees from a classmate on the playground in THIRD GRADE!   Both kids learned all about name calling, bullying, cussing, inappropriate behavior at elementary school.  Now, my kids can carry on an intelligent conversation not only with their homeschool friends but with adults as well. 



I thoroughly enjoy being with my kids and I consider myself extremely fortunate that I am able to be there for them and all the new exciting experiences they encounter...we encounter...together.



Check in your area for local homeschool groups.  Google it, search Yahoo groups.  Attend their events and find a group that fits your beliefs, morals, etc.  You'll be pleasantly surprised.



Here's the bottom line:  As their mother, only you know what's best for your children. Follow your mother sense.



Best of luck!



 



 



 



 



 

Tara - posted on 01/22/2009

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I should add that my daughter learned to read at 4, and the concern was not about drugs, bullies, or any other social problems. My worry was that she would not be challenged academically. Here they learn to read in K, and my dd's teacher had to tell her that she needed to give other children a chance to try to read words and answer questions. Her reading level did go from an ending K to beginning 2nd grade by the end of the year, so I'm confident that she is still learning at school.

Tara - posted on 01/22/2009

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I went to public school, and still felt like an outsider. It was and still is part of my personality. I go to a large church, and still have not made what I consider a close friend. I have yet to feel comfortable enough with a person to call them up just to chat.



Homeschooling experiences can be good or bad just like school experiences. It just depends on the teacher! Again, I say it is a personal decision. If I felt like my dd was not learning anything in school then I would have no qualms about pulling her, and homeschooling her. Homeschooling doesn't work for all families, nor does public school.

[deleted account]

I am an elementary school teacher and I would advise public school for the socialization and teachers who have had training to cover the curriculum. Just my opinion :) I've seen the results of both situations.

Angee - posted on 01/22/2009

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It is a personal decision and I do believe it has everything to do with the teacher. It the teacher and your child clicks and she loves it. Let her go. Kindergarden rarely has drug/bully problems. A good teacher will leave them loving school. If however the child and the teacher don't connect and the child hates school, I''d suggest switching classes 1st. If that doesn't work out, pull them out and homeschool! There are lots of others doing it and places and times to meet up with them, museums, library programs, county/city sports give your child the opportunity to socialize. It will only be a problem if you don't give them the opportunity to interact with other kids.
I am very serious about insisting your child be with the best teacher, whether it's at the school or you, it makes all the difference in what and how much your child loves to learn.

Katie - posted on 01/22/2009

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My husband was homeschooled with 3 other siblings and from what he has told me he would have rather have gone to public school. His parents put him in sports and boy scouts to get the social interaction but he always felt like an outsider. Now being older and helping our daughter with homework he realizes how much he did not learn about. Most of the homeschooling guide lines are pretty basic and unless you expand your lines to teach the kids don't learn as much as a child would in a class room.
Good luck :)

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