homeschooling

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Laura - posted on 01/02/2009

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I've seen both sides, good homeschooling, bad homeschooling and good public school experiences and bad public school experiences. I don't think the question is really at home or at a school, but how involved is the parent in the education of the child? The higher the parent involvement, the better the results and it doesn't matter if the child is at home or at a school. That part is just personal preference, apples and oranges so to speak.

Just for the record, I am a public school teacher and of the 28 students in my class, none of them are doing exactly the same thing in everything. I can't imagine trying to get them all to work at the same pace - impossible! No one has to ask permission to go to the bathroom (although they have to let me know they are leaving the room, which you often have to do at work as well, depending on your job). They vary in age by almost 2 years and their levels of experience and knowledge vary a great deal. I have some 2 years below grade level and some that are close to 2 years ahead. Their experiences differ from homeless (living in a camping trailer in their cousins driveway) to the 500K homes in the new subdivision.

If it's done right, it doesn't matter how you educate your child and it can be done right in or out of the public school system. And THAT'S what will better prepare your child for the workforce.

Tammy - posted on 01/01/2009

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I have only been homeschooling since this fall with my 15 year old but I would highly recommend that you get connected to other homeschoolers in your community. It is to big of a job to undertake without the support, knowledge, wisdom, and experiences of those who have been doing it for a while. Also, I would highly recommend that you research learning styles, teaching styles, goals, etc before making decisions about cirriculum. There is a lot of good curriculum out there but you need to try and find the one that is right for you and your child. Everyone is different and one blanket cirriculum may not be the right choice. I don't know how long you have been considering this and how much research you have done but it's not a decision that should be made lightly. It is a huge commitment and a lot of work. Best of luck!!

Jane - posted on 01/01/2009

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Regarding A Beka: I have used aspects of it over the years and found it to be an excellent resource. I have also used Bob Jones, Math-U-See, Horizons, Unit Studies, Teaching Textbooks, Alpha Omega for history and "The Story of the World" by Susan Wise Bauer. After doing this for 9 years, the most important thing to remember is that the curriculuum serves you - not the reverse. This means that you should not expect to pick up a program and find that it fits your child completely from start to finish. You are the teacher, you are in charge. It's up to you to decide when to use a particular program, and when to ditch it.

Now the next question is, "But how do I know if my child is getting enough academic stimulation?" The answer is if you teach at home consistently, you will get them where they need to go eventually. Some kids get to the finish line ahead of time, others on time, and still others cross that line like turtles. It's not a race. Relax and enjoy your time with your children. I have taught both of my girls, the oldest now 13 and the youngest 9. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Torie - posted on 01/01/2009

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Much like public school, homeschooling depends on the quality of education and environment they are getting. Homeschooling has a bad rap people unqualified people give it one.

I would love my children to be homeschooled however I know that *I* cannot teach them properly. I don't have the patience or self discipline to do it. Not everyone can homeschool, it just isn't for every parent.

Erica - posted on 01/01/2009

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I think that the regular interaction with their peers is very important. That's why I would not choose homeschooling, even though the learning materials are probably the same. As for getting a head start and advancing more quickly, I think that I am going to try montessori schooling which starts at 3. Montessori school will allow my child to advance more quickly if she is ready but also allow the peer socialization that I desire. I just feel that a few group activities isn't enough for me. I also like the fact that most montessori schools allow parents to volunteer during the day; so, the family time would still be there. However, I fully understand that public montessori schooling is not available in all areas.

Victoria - posted on 12/28/2008

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We used A.C.E. and really enjoyed it. We did use A Beka for Home Ec though. A.C.E. seems to be more self taught, so it kinda depends how much time you want to put into it. My brother and I pretty much were on our own, as the PACE's teach you as you go. With the A Beka I remember needing more help. So for one child it might now make much of a difference, but if you plan on schooling more than one down the road A.C.E might be easier to handle.

Elena - posted on 12/28/2008

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Hello again. Your responses have been wonderful and extremely informative. I am going to bite the bullet and register my son for homeschooling starting January. I have been reading, reading and reading and I plan to go with the A Beka Academy curriculum. For all your homeschoolers out there, what do you think about the A Beka curriculum? Any other recommendations I can look into?

Victoria - posted on 12/23/2008

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Home School... I love it. My brother and I were homeschooled K-12. We both went on the college and my Brother was runner-up for Valedictorian his graduating year. I also pursed University, I was accepted, but due to family circumstances I was unable to go. As for being deprived... we were in no way kept from anything. We attended a very large church and our yard was where all the neighborhood children gathered after school. We also joined 4-H where we both won Grand Aggragate Awards and 1st place for speech competitions. My brother is a minister and a welder who is considering Politics and I, by choice, am a stay-at-home mom.

I think one of the most important things I could say we received from Homeschooling is that we know who we are and what other people think has never affected us. Peer pressure has never had an affect on us.

[deleted account]

home schooling has amazing benifits.but you got to make sure they interact with other children all the time...i was thinking of homeschooling the first few yrs and then sending them to school.this way they get a head start,like my now 2 yr old already can spell her name abc shapes colors,address....she is also begining to draw shapes now.i havent pushed her very far shes got an amazing memory and has learned most from cds in the car....there is nothing like a teachers undivided attention(keep in mind i wanst homeschooled at all)

User - posted on 12/23/2008

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I don't see an actual question on here, but I figured I would add my opinion and experience with homeschooling.

We do online public school. We LOVE it so far. The materials are provided for us, and it is free. The curriculum is set up and approved for the state. We log on each day and get her assignments, then do them with her (they are not done online, though there are occasional resources supplied online like photos). Oh, and it is free, since it is public school. :) Actually, they reimburse us for internet, so it is more than free.

As far as socialization, I am very happy with the people my children are becoming. They can relate to and befriend children and adults of various ages. They are polite and considerate. They are also not learning certain things earlier than I would like them to, if you know what I mean.

I have a master's degree in elementary education, and taught in various settings for 10 years before having children. A lot of my decision came from those experiences. It is a very personal decision, and has advantages and disadvantages as does public or private school.

For us, we are very happy with our schooling choice this year and plan to continue for next year with both children.

Connie - posted on 12/22/2008

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I homeschooled my oldest son through highschool and he was on the Dean's list last semester. My 7 year-old is in his 3rd year of homeschooling. He is at level, 2nd grade, for spelling and grammar, above level for reading, doing 5th grade geography, and 7th grade geometry/algebra and science. Would he EVER have the opportunity, in 2nd grade, to conduct chemistry experiments, create a microscope slide inventory, study Indonesia, or be getting ready for trigonometry? He has friends from church, scouts, his homeschool academy, and my gym childcare that he sees at least weekly, without the pressure and influence of school cliques. In public school he would be placed in a GRADE and expected to dumb down or man up to the across-the-board curriculum. No child is exactly the same level in every subject, and until the USA gets some European multi-grade school settings where children are placed by their development rather than age, children will always feel stupid in one subject, bored in another, and fine in a pitiful few. We get jobs doing what we enjoy and are good at. No child, homeschooled or otherwise, should fall below level, but in homeschooling, our children are allowed to soar where they excel. My children have also been exposed to a level of humanities that many college graduates haven't experienced. They can recognize most major composers and compositions (classical, jazz, zydeco...) artists (by piece-Wyeth, Moses, Renoir, Adams...). They attend the symphony, ballet, opera, theater. They play on sports teams and play instruments. My oldest recently rebuilt an engine. They aren't geniuses. They are children. Curious sponges that absorb what is fascinating and interesting to them if only given encouragement and opportunity. That's what homeschooling can provide.

Amie - posted on 12/22/2008

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I don't agree that home schooled children are deprived of anything. My children aren't though. Being in public school has helped them a lot though too. The extra resources that the schools have is not always open to home schooled kids or the parents have to pay for them. My own is in special classes to help her with her learning disability. Her teacher at that school(she goes to two) has the experience and abilities that we as her parents just don't have to teach her properly.
As two other moms said NO public school kids are not stuck in their desks all day or even in their classrooms. Their is structure though and they do have to sit to do their lessons but they are entirely free to roam around when they are not working. They have daily gym classes, recess and more than a few field trips a year. There is nothing wrong with asking to go to the bathroom either, it lets the teacher know where you are at all times. It's responsible. They have to ask instead of kids shouting out all the time I'm going to the bathroom and walking out, the same message is giving to the teacher but with control and patience that kids should learn.
The kids are also not all taught at the same pace. Even with in our daughter's home school & special school the kids are not taught at the same pace. That is why you see teachers wandering around the classrooms so much, except during quiet time. They are all learning what they need to but at the pace they are able to. This is why teacher aides are hired! For certain lessons where the kids are not all on the same page they get split into groups, my daughter's class has 4 aides, and the teacher spends time with each group for the specific level the kids are at.
I've learned though since joining circle of mom's that school's are run different in different countries. In the states there was one mom asking advice about homework for her 2nd grader. :S To me it is very strange, in Canada kids don't get homework (other than their weekly spelling test they need to study for) until about the 5th grade. This also has not deprived our children here of anything though either. Canada is ranked second for our education system. =) I'm proud to live in a smart country, where school is cheap and easily accessible for all and we don't leave our children behind at all either. If a problem arises everyone gets involved to figure out a solution. From teachers, principals, parents, psychologists & doctors if needed.
So homeschooling is entirely a personal choice, but where I can get such better service for my kids why would I home school my own and deprive them of things I can't personally do for them? Check out your own public school's and see how things are run though. There's always private school too if you can afford it. My hubby is a private school graduate but his education was no better than mine. ;) I still bug him I'm smarter. lol!!

Michelle - posted on 12/22/2008

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I do not agree with the sentiment that public school better prepares children for the workforce. How many people here have jobs where all of their co-workers are within nine months of your age and have the exact same level of experience and knowledge as you? How many of you have jobs where you must sit quietly at a desk all day, never speaking to your co-workers, and must ask permission to go to the bathroom? There are just so many things about sitting in a classroom all day doing the exact same work as everyone else at the exact same pace that are absolutely nothing like being out in the real world.

Elizabeth - posted on 12/22/2008

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I was home schooled from K-12 . Like Ashlieigh, I think it was the best thing for me. I also graduated early, 14 1/2, and went on to college. I graduate from College with a BS before I was 19. I had the opportunity to work, travel the world, and live on my own before I was married.I have to address the comment that home schooled children are deprived by being in the same environment all the time. Actually it is quite the opposite. When you are home schooled you are free to live and go through life with your family; out and about. Sitting at a school desk is only part of your day. When you are in school, you live at your desk or at least in your classroom all day every day. With the exception of a field trip or two, the school is your whole world. When you home school the real world is opened up to you on a daily basis. I know that it is not for everyone. IN fact, because of different things this year, both of my children are in school. We just have to consider each child, each year, and go from there.

Angela - posted on 12/22/2008

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There is a wonderful family phyciatrist , James Dobson, who said that they have found that children who are homeschooled at least through elementary school are MUCH less peer-driven than kids who aren't. Now, I don't believe anything is "across the board" true. There are people who give homeschooling a horrible name, for sure. But there are those of us who work hard at it every day. My kids are learning & happy & socialized & very "not wierd" !!! They are both on a nationally competitive gymnastics team, and are active in our churches children's choir. We are also members of a homeschool group that organizing field trips, outings & parties on a regular basis. My children have a totally customized curriculum, help their weaknesses & encourage their strenths. We have alot of friends who go to either private or public, and you know what? No a bad parent in site!! They are all doing the best for their children. SO am I & so will you!!

Ashleigh - posted on 12/22/2008

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My mother homeschooled myself and my older brother and sister. For us i know it was a great thing. I started to work early and get a sence of responsability. I also graduated early (15) and had the chance to work full time and develope work skills and interacting with other people. So i think it's a great idea if your willing to stick with it. I know that there are some programs out there that involve more or less interaction with your children ande they do thier work. Do depending on the age of your children and your job ( if you have on) there are all aorts of programs to fit everyones needs.

Lynn - posted on 12/22/2008

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I homeschooled our five children for five years. The oldest was in 7th grade and the youngest was preK when we started. It was a great time to learn that family will be the ones to be with you as long as you live. We had plenty of times to socialize with other children both homeschoolers and non through other groups. Keeping up with the schoolwork was made easier with some of the homeschool programs available. Two things kept me going, seeing my youngest daughter learn how to read and loving to learn. And the second was watching my children become their own persons. Would do it again today but with so many new helps would probably change the curriculum we used. Let me know if you need any suggestions.

Fazleen - posted on 12/22/2008

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Is a personal preference i guess. In my opinion home schooled children are a lil bit deprived, imagine being in the same environment yourself. I would also imagine that its going to be alot of work for the parents. Going to school will also prepare them for work force and build their confidence. But i'm sure you will have a lot of mums telling you that homeschooling is the best thing they have done. So the choice is your. All the best and let us know.

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