Homeschooling

Krista - posted on 08/30/2010 ( 78 moms have responded )

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In several places here on COM I have seen mothers who talk about how they homeschool their children. This is fine and dandy, but in several of these posts, it is apparent that the mother has severe issues with spelling and grammar.

If a parent wishes to homeschool, should they be required by law to take an IQ test, a certification test to make sure that they at least have 10th grade reading and writing skills or some other form of testing? Or is it a violation of their privacy by the state to insist upon this testing?

Should the child have the legal right to be taught by someone who knows the difference between "there", "their" and "they're"? Or should the parents have the legal right to teach their kids without government interference? And because this post is critical of others' spelling and grammar, with how many typos and grammatical errors has fate punished me?

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[deleted account]

I don't think you are "taking a chance" with homeschooling. If you do your research, get a good curriculum, join a co-op, attend conferences and workshops, then I think you are giving your child a better education than most of the public schools across the nation.



As far as socialization, homeschool kids get that too (with the exception of the few who do it to "protect" their children). That's part of what a co-op is for. Plus there is church, girl/boy scouts, sports, etc.



The other reason for a co-op is so that a parent with expertise in science (or math, English, social studies, etc) can teach a lesson to all the kids in the co-op (once a week/month), then pass on resources to the other parents to help them with that subject matter. Parents are not relying solely on their own knowledge and skills. They have support from other families and a curriculum to work with.



If it were "taking a chance" then we wouldn't see homeschool kids with "30 percentile points higher in all subject areas." (the link I posted) I honestly believe most people's opinions on homeschooling is based on the few that give it a bad name. If you spend time with homeschool families that do it right and look at research, then you'd see it's really a great option for a lot of families.

Tara - posted on 08/30/2010

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As I am the only homeschooling parent yet to offer a response, I will answer a few of the questions or concerns, but please remember that every family and situation is different, what we do is what has proven to work and still does, as well please keep in mind that I did my research before deciding this was the best for our family.
In Ontario where I live there are no regulations in place, every hs'ing family must send a letter to the local school board every year to inform them that I am providing education at home for my children. If they receive any kind of complaint that my kids are not being schooled they can conduct an investigation if they choose to.
I use a curriculum that I purchase through the ILC.org site for 3 of my kids, my oldest is now 17 and is completely self taught in all he does and learns including things like chemistry, physics etc. he was taught from a young age how to source and use information.
My style of homeschooling is a hybrid of home education and unschooling. I do not have set times each day when the kids must do math for 30 minutes and then spelling and grammar for 30 minutes etc. every day all day is school. We can work on fractions on our chalkboard, and then we can bake cookies using various sizes of measuring cups, then we can build a birdhouse another day again using fractions as well as measurement and geometry etc.
We can study ancient Egypt and mummify a chicken (we did this a few years ago fun fun fun), cook Egyptian food, watch a short film about Egypt, read some books look at art etc. etc. etc.
You can get the general idea I imagine,
I could write a book on the benefits homeschooling has brought to my kids and my whole family in general, but I have found throughout the years it is difficult to get across how it works until someone can see it in practise.
:) Tara

Petra - posted on 09/01/2010

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Krista - aside from a few comma splices, your post was grammatically correct :-)



Speaking as an educated woman raised by two educated individuals (one of whom is a teacher), I am of the opinion that education is something you can not get enough of. That being said, our public school system does not do much for children whose learning styles do not jive with the standardized system.



I am from Canada and our public school system is pretty good - there are more and more schools opening up to the idea that you can't use one model to teach everyone. I have friends and acquaintances who have enrolled their children in schools catering to kids with artistic, musical or athletic inclinations, though there are usually only one or two such schools within the urban area. The school system is slowly evolving and less kids are getting left behind due to having talent and intelligence outside the standardized norm.



However, my exposure to homeschooling has been through the news and documentaries, where you see extreme and/or scandalous examples and not those who are educating their children successfully and comprehensively (such as the moms who have posted on this thread). 'Jesus Camp' is a documentary that scared the crap out of me due to the large number of families therein who homeschooled to avoid having their children exposed to ideas other than their own. It is for reasons like this that I firmly believe there should be some sort of federal standard for homeschooling one's children - education is a right, not a privilege. On top of that, educating your children is a huge responsibility to undertake and perhaps not everyone is cut out to take it on.



It is because of parents who are neither capable of nor interested in providing their children with a real education at home that I feel there should be some sort of regulation in place for hs'ing - they give those doing it right a bad name.

Jacquie - posted on 08/31/2010

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So as this is a debate board I am going to try not to take this personally, but I can't help it. I work really hard to make sure my daughter gets a quality education at home, and I am neither a teacher or college educated. I chose to leave college to take care of my daughter when she was two and diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. While I do believe their are some extreme cases of parents who should not be homeschooling their children, that is an exception, not the norm.



"If you wouldn't be comfortable sending your child to a school to a teacher that doesn't have a degree, why on earth would you think that it's ok to do yourself with no degree?"



That would be a viable argument if it were that simple. It's not. In my state especially, it has become less about credentials and more about crowded classrooms, substandard funding, and disinterest by a lot of educators who have been overwhelmed and underpaid. I can provide one on one to my child that most teachers cannot. I have researched all of her curriculum before the start of each year so that I am aware of what she needs to know for each grade level. If she has a problem with a particular lesson, I can pinpoint the issue a lot quicker than most teachers with 40 other kids in their room could have. If I don't have an answer to a question, she and I research it together. If I am unsure of how to teach something to her, I enlist help from a friend, family member, co-op member, or my husband. I may not have a college degree, but she is progressing a lot better with me than she was is public school. We follow a Classical Education curriculum- so in reality, she is getting more learning here. She is understanding it too!



"But how can they possibly give that to their child if they are not willing to educate themselves as well?"



It's not that most of us are not willing- it's that we are not able to as quickly as we need to. I take a college course online at night each semester. That is the best I can do right now. I would have finished college had it not been for Abby's autism diagnosis.



Speaking of special needs- when your school system tells you that they do not have a proper placement for your child due to lack of funding, do you continue to let them go? Even if the only program they will put her in makes her worse? What if you don't have money for an attorney to sue? Or the four advocates you get couldn't get help for her? Is it still more responsible to keep her in?



"I agree - I think a lot of people homeschool because they are racists."



WOW. Um. Okay, thanks for that. Way to prejudice against a group of parents you know nothing about.



Jodi A. you are right on. There are many that shouldn't, but there are A LOT of us who are doing it for our children, and being responsible about it.



Laura ? I wholeheartedly agree and would be willing to take a homeschooling test if there was one, but I would hope it is given at the federal and not state level, because I do not think my state has any right at this point to tell me whether or not I am qualified.



Sara Hopkins WAY TO GO!!! Couldn't have said it better myself. I love my co-op and my resources. Abby loves all of her home-schooling buddies. Abby is a more enthusiastic reader now too!



Tara K- RIGHT ON!!! You rock!!!!



My spelling and grammar mistakes are usually evidence of a long day- not my capability of teaching my kiddos. I hope you guys understand that most of us do take pride and ownership of what we are doing. We do it so our kids have better opportunities, not so that our schedules work better.



Was my spelling and grammar okay?? :) lol

Johnny - posted on 08/30/2010

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I think everyone makes typos now & then. And everyone has a different & unique writing style, particularly on the net. But it's pretty clear from reading some posts here on COM that there are simply some people who lack anything more than the most basic of literacy skills, and are even troubled by those they have. I've never really seen that here on DM (certainly not amongst anyone who posts here often or even occasionally). But some days a perusal through the Welcome page is a lesson in the importance of education. I don't see that as an attack on anyone's occasional grammatical errors or typos, as I said, we all make them. In fact, I suspect I've personally been guilty of not paying enough attention to my there, their, and they're usage. I don't think that was really the OP's actual point. I think if we all are honest, we would admit that we've noticed posts from people who should not be homeschooling even a kindergartner.

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Tara - posted on 09/09/2010

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@Emma
Of course they need friends who are not family. That's why people join homeschooling co-ops or groups so that they can make friends with people who are like minded as well as to share experiences such as field trips and gatherings etc.
That kind of blanket statement makes us seem like we live in the woods and only allow our children to be with their family. Which is nothing close to the truth for most hs'ing families.

Tara - posted on 09/09/2010

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@JueLeigh

Of course there are things children need to learn in order to learn to read, phonetics, whole word recognition, there are parts of speech and use of descriptive language and proper pronunciation and punctuation. Of course I know that, do you honestly think any homeschooling parent who chooses to spend their entire day with their children would be simply handing them worksheets without any explanation of the mechanics and skills needed to complete them?
I spend more individual time with my children and I understand how they learn better than any one else. I keep myself updated on current methods of teaching and I rely on what I know works, I have 6 children. The oldest is 17 and is completely auto didactic at this stage of his life and learning.
I think your view of homeschooling must be skewed by experiences that fall outside of the normal homesschooling setting.
Tara

Stifler's - posted on 09/08/2010

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I would never homeschool, kids need to make friends that aren't their family.

Stifler's - posted on 09/08/2010

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HAHAHA. So true. They should definitely have to take a test that qualifies them to teach children.

Janessa - posted on 09/08/2010

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I agree with majority of you who have responded. I also think there needs to be regulation done for those who wish to home school their kids. I am not a huge fan of my sister in law i truely hate her. She was a teenage mother but my brother married her. She has 6 kids and having their 7th in early 2011 she will not be 30 yet. Anyways she is homeschooling her kids because she believes she wants to protect her kids i am not sure from what. I can already see her kids are suffering from being homeschooled because my younger sister who is only a year older then our nephew and he does not know many things that my younger sister is learning he is behinde. My sister in law is those crazy self-righteous christian bitch that teaches her kids mostly all about the bible and how to put people down and teaches her kids that their fathers family is not a christian. My family are christians but because they do not go to church every sunday and because i have a child out of wedlock that i am not a christian. Anyways she is not teaching her kids real education but mostly about christianity. She only has grade 12 education barely passed high school and she is not educate and not all there. I am not against homeschooling but only if they are educated. My parents have friends who homeschooled their kids but those people are very smart both went to university and one is still a teacher the other decieded to homeschooled their kids. I think those are the kinds of people who should homeschooled their kids because those kids will get a great education then those whos parents are like my sister in law.

[deleted account]

JuLeah, I haven't seen any homeschooling moms (on here or in real life) just hand their kids worksheets. They can and do provide hands-on learning. Maybe you should talk to some of the teachers I've had the misfortune to work with, though. (not all or most teachers, by any means, but yes there are plenty of teachers out there that just throw worksheets at the students.)

JuLeah - posted on 09/06/2010

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There is more to teaching a child .... you don't just hand them worksheets and expect them to learn.



Reading for example .... you pick up a book and read, but the process of learing ..... people talk to you as an infant (introduce you to words/langauge) you play ryhming games - learn to hear the 'sounds' words make - sounds that are 'same' and 'different'



You learn to see the letters, see the same and different in 'b' and 'd' - this is not as easy as it looks, a cup you drink from is still a cup, even if it is upside down on the table, but a 'b' is not a 'd' and it takes practice to see the difference



you have to learn the sounds the letters make - how to blend the sounds -



There are sight words that have to be learned .... and all of this has to be done at the right time for that child, when they are at the developmental stage to take in the information .....



I could go on and into more detail, but you get the idea .... Math, don't even get me started .... so many people think if they can do a math problem, they can teach it ... NO



You have to understand what is happening with the numbers, abstract ideas, and be able to break down the problem into steps your kid can understand given their age and development ..... it is SO much more then getting worksheets off the web



There is a reason teachers are required to have a masters degree (at least six years of college) and there is a reson teachers are required to spend their summers gaining additional training/education



Very few that I have seen have the skills/training to homeschool and their kids suffer for it

Tara - posted on 09/06/2010

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I found this on another COM forum, it's a quote from somewhere, and I LOVE it!!

In regards to socialization of homeschooled children.....


When my wife and I mention we are strongly considering homeschooling our children, we are without fail asked, ‘But what about socialization?’ Fortunately, we found a way our kids can receive the same socialization that government schools provide. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I will personally corner my son in the bathroom, give him a wedgie and take his lunch money. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my wife will make sure to tease our children for not being in the ‘in’ crowd, taking special care to poke fun at any physical abnormalities. Fridays will be ‘Fad and Peer Pressure Day.’ We will all compete to see who has the coolest toys, the most expensive clothes, and the loudest, fastest, and most dangerous car. Every day, my wife and I will adhere to a routine of cursing and swearing in the hall and mentioning our weekend exploits with alcohol and immorality…. And we have asked them to report us to the authorities in the event we mention faith, religion, or try to bring up morals and values.”

hee hee
:)

[deleted account]

I agree that homeschooling can be fantastic when done properly, when it is not it is detrimental to the children. There are very negative reasons why certain people wish to homeschool their children this is why I feel that homeschoolers should be regulated to reduce abuse of the 'system'.

I feel that people who choose to homeschool should have at least a high school graduate level education but preferably higher. Also I feel that there should be a set curriculum with aspects which children have to learn within each school year (Sept-July) to ensure that children are all learning basics; the parents can expand and teach these compulsory aspects in the way they feel to be best. I also think it is necessary for children to be tested at least once a year to ensure they are being schooled adequately (not to see the intelligence of the children but to see progress in their learning).

I think that homeschoolers should have to be part of a co-op because it is important that children are exposed to different teaching styles and so they can learn social skills (and have proms etc). It also allows homeschooled children a break from their parents which is also really important IMO.

Tara and Jacquie you guys sound as though you are doing a fantastic job, if only all homeschoolers were like you :-)

[deleted account]

@Paige, I agree with what you are saying! But there are already support systems in place for homeschool families called co-ops. They are not mandatory though. It would be helpful to make it mandatory.

Jacquie - posted on 09/02/2010

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Ditto Tara- thanks Cindy!!! I am a grammar snob though- unless I am very tired or feeling goofy. I am more concerned about the text speak kids are picking up. Abby literally said TTYL to me. She meant, "talk to you later." Thank goodness I have found such wonderful Grammar curriculum.

[deleted account]

People who are homeschooling their children are brave to take on such a daunting task, but on the other hand, there needs to be some kind of regulation. I'm not saying they need to have a degree in something to teach their own children, but I think the parent should at least have a high school education. There needs to be a system set up that tests these parents just to make sure that they are capable of giving their child a proper education, and if they fail, then they shouldn't be allowed to homeschool their children. I'd also like to see some sort of support system set up for parents who decide to homeschool. Basically, all I want to see is 1) the parent is competent enough to teach their child (who cares about spelling and grammatical errors on a forum, as long as they can TEACH it to the child so the child understands) and 2) If they're having issues explaining or getting the child engaged in what they're learning, then they can talk to someone else who is homeschooling and see if they can offer a different approach to the subject. To all you homeschoolers out there, good for you, you have a lot of patience and commitment, though I do not envy you :)

Tara - posted on 09/02/2010

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Thanks Cathy S. :)
Not perfect and never will be, but what I do, I do well. And I love doing it.
Over the years I have met all kinds of hs'ing families, everyone seems to do it for different reasons, some do well, others not as well.
It's not for everyone but it works for us!

Krista - posted on 09/02/2010

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Yeah, I think you're missing the point of my post, Cindy. I'm talking about the value of homeschooling, when the homeschooling parent doesn't even have the most basic grasp of grammar and spelling, and whether or not the homeschooling parent should be required by law to pass some sort of basic standards test before being allowed to homeschool.

On COM, I don't give a damn about spelling and grammar, as long as everybody's posts are legible enough to understand what they're trying to say.

But if some mom on here posts "I homscul my boy becuz i dont want him lurning bad things from other kids," then I'm sorry -- I'm going to sit here and think, "That poor fucking kid doesn't have a hope in hell."

Ez - posted on 09/02/2010

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Cindy, people are referring to poor grammar and spelling as a way to illustrate why some people may not be up to the task of homeschooling. Of course typos and random mistakes happen. But if a parent lacks a simple high school education, how are they going to guide their child through this stage? You can not teach what you do not know. I support homeschooling, and love the idea of doing it (though it is VERY unlikely). But I would never contemplate embarking on that journey if I hadn't even graduated high school.

[deleted account]

Is this an English class? Who cares about how people type? Some don't type as well as others. What's the big deal. This is suppose to be a place to express our opinions about HS. People who put other people down because of grammer & spelling are just trying to make themselves feel big!

Sharon - posted on 09/01/2010

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To the OP - I think that if a person chooses to homeschool, they must at least demonstrate the ability to do simple maths, basic grammar, and have an education beyond highschool.

How can you teach what you do not know? have never experienced? Its not a violation of privacy - its taking care of the children. If you don't know how to spell - I can't see a person teaching and using larger words. A girl at work told me "I have some affectation for him." I said "what?" She repeated it. I asked "um, you said "affectation" did you mean affection?" She asked what the difference was. UGH. she is an example of a highschool graduate around here.

The whole point of public education is to get a basic education to every child. But if the parent never availed themselves of said free education - how in gods name can they provide that for their kids when they're stumbling over words in the "coreculoam" I saw that on a homeschooling forum years ago when I looked into it.

Kate CP - posted on 09/01/2010

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I totally understand about the school not giving the services she needed. When I was in public school I was diagnosed with my immune disorder and I couldn't attend full days of school. If I was late for a class, or missed too many classes, the teachers were "supposed" to just let it slide as I was frequently out sick or in the hospital. Time and time again I was given detention for tardiness, frequent absences, and a normal home-work load when I was only supposed to receive half of what the other kids got. Finally my mother got too pissed off dealing with the stupid teachers and the politics so she pulled me out of school. I was tutored for a while and then I just got my GED. Public schools suck. I will never send my daughter to one.

Jacquie - posted on 09/01/2010

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*blush* Thanks Kate- I am not trying to show off or anything- I just want people who may have the wrong idea about home-schooling and the families that do it to understand that it is not something that all of us take lightly. Our decision to do this was five years in the making, ever since Abby was three and the school would not give her the services she needed. Not all of us go into this lightly. We did a lot of research into what we needed to do. We still have bumps in the road- but not nearly as many as we did with her in public school.

Kate CP - posted on 09/01/2010

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I am greatly encouraged by Jacquie. Most of the people I have come into contact with who do home school or have in the past have not had the determination or education to really give their kids what they need. It's a lot of work and I think Jacquie deserves an extra round of applause for working so tirelessly with her kids. *claps* :)

Jacquie - posted on 09/01/2010

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"Acceptance that your child has some special needs means getting the therapy & help from people who are trained & know what they are doing."



Don't worry Cindy- I undoubtedly accept that my child has special needs- I am doing that just fine without the schools being involved- it comes out of my pocket and is twenty times better than the school could afford. And we aren't rich by any means. We just know what is important.



And I do take care of another child, cook, clean, AND teach at the same time. Abby tested well out of her grade level on the last test given to her by the psychologist. Both girls get my attention and love. We have our morning routine. We have our school routine. The baby loves to play at our feet when we do lessons, and she loves it when her sister recites her lessons to me. She thinks Abby is talking to her. Ava loves the books Abby and I read because some come with pretty colorful pictures. We have our afternoon and evening routine.



Sometimes a load of laundry may not get done. Sometimes it is convenience organic instead of fresh and homemade organic. My house stays clean though- because we have an eight month old, and she is crawling. It is all about balance and learning how to manage what we have going on. Especially with autism and bi-polar disorder, it is important to have a schedule. This computer time, right now, is scheduled.



Last time I checked, my girls were happy, and the husband is extremely supportive. We don't have fancy things or take big vacations, we are still saving for a house. We are always busy doing something. We have co-op meetings, TaeKwonDo, Girl Scouts coming up soon. We have one day on the weekend that we do NOTHING but hang out as a family. We eat together as a family every night.



This is the best decision we ever made for our daughter. I will be homeschooling the little one too when she gets older, because of how well it works for us.

[deleted account]

I think homeschooling a special needs child while multi-tasking is not a good idea. You can't take care of the house, another child, cook & teach at the same time. A special needs child needs structure. If your going to homeschool your child, at least focus on the child, and give her/him your time and attention. Acceptance that your child has some special needs means getting the therapy & help from people who are trained & know what they are doing.

Tara - posted on 08/31/2010

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@Jodi, I get that now, thanks for clarifying Sara and Jodi.
I understand your frustration, when my older two were still attending public school I volunteered as well 2 times a week for reading help and math activities. I also feel that too many parents feel that as soon as a child enters school their responsibility to educate them ends.
It's so not the case, if there is no consistency between school and home, then there will kids who fall behind, a school is a place for learning, but that learning must stretch through all facets of their lives if it is to be remembered and used effectively.
Kids with no support at home, who only learn during school hours are at a disadvantage over those whose parents take a keen interest in what their child is learning, where their strengths, interests etc. are.
Anyhow, thanks for clarifying.
Tara

Jodi - posted on 08/31/2010

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@ Sara, thank you for clarifying that. Yes, it is kids who get NO support from home, who are still at level 2. Reading isn't the only area in which they are struggling. My point was really the attitude of parents who believe the buck stops with the school and that we, as parents, don't ALL have to contribute some level of homeschooling for our children.



Parents are the greatest teachers children can have, because we know our children best. That doesn't mean we all need to homeschool, because I think there are so many benefits in mainstream education, for me, homeschooling would never have been the solution. BUT it does mean we should keep in touch with what the school is doing, what our children are doing in school, and following through at home consistently.

Ez - posted on 08/31/2010

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I love the idea of homeschooling, and give major kudos to Tara and Jacqui for making that commitment to their familes. I have to believe that the vast majority of parents make this choice with their children's best interest in mind, but I do think a high school education should be a minimum requirement.

Tah - posted on 08/31/2010

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My sister's stepdaughter was supposed to be getting homeschooled, at least thats what her mom said, the problem is that she wasn't actually doing any of the work, for 3 years she did next to nothing, while the mom worked part-time on the school bus as a n aid, yes she cared for other people's children on the way to school while her kids sat in pj's and did zip all day, The oldest boy actually ran away to live with his father who enrolled him in high school and he is doing well now. He goes to class, has a job and bought a car. My brother-in-law took her to court for custody but by the mom convinced the daughter who used ot cry to stay here with them at the end of the summer, and guilted her into telling the judge she didnt want to move so far away. So she and her little sister are still doing nothing. They went to an open house with my sister and b-i-l for their younger 2 daughters and when they asked what grade she was in, she couldn't answer, They were mortified and stepped in to say that she is being homeschooled and the system was a little different so that they didnt look like cornballs to the teacher. The girl is 16 now and nowhere near where she should be. I think it needs to be closely monitored and you should have to obtain some sort of certification to teach.

[deleted account]

Tara, I understand what you are saying. But a child that is strong in one area, but weak in another typically has a parent behind them helping them with BOTH areas. And teachers can recognize when there is a true weakness. The children Jodi is talking about are the ones that are not just a little weak in an area, they are behind in ALL areas because of no help or support from home. I don't mind teaching a child that struggles with reading (and may be talented in science) that has a parent at home working with them. These kids would be bringing back the readers that Jodi organizes. They would likely be further along that level 2 despite their weakness, because they are getting help from home. But there are children out there whose parents don't help them with homework or even make sure it's done and those are the ones that Jodi is talking about.

Tara - posted on 08/31/2010

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I would like to address the issue that Jodi brought up regarding reading and kids being at or below or above the level they "should" be at.
There are three primary modalities of learning, auditory, visual and kinetically. Teachers can not teach to each specific child's style of learning. One of the BIG issues I have with school is the system of grading children. Putting parameters on when kids should learn things is fine as long as it allows for personal strengths and weaknesses and does not imply failure in kids who are below the "average". A child who reads below his grade level may be above his grade level in Maths or sciences. A child who reads above his grade level may be delayed in his maths or sciences, but if you allow them to draw on their strengths, focus on what they do well, the rest will come when both sides of their brain are ready to learn the new information.
It's like the early walker/late talker scenario, some kids are simply more focused neurologically on certain aspects of learning. My 10 year old daughter, has loved math since she was little, she did not want to learn to read at all, she preferred being read to. We didn't push her to read beyond reading recipes, making and reading lists, reading road signs, instructions, directions etc. she chose this past year at 9 years old to start reading more. She now reads all the time, in the tree in the park, on the dock, in her room, at breakfast etc.
She would have been labeled in school as below her peers, she would have been made to feel as if something was wrong with her and I would have been made to feel as if I were not doing enough to get her up to par so to speak.
I allow my kids the freedom to follow their strengths and work on their perceived weaknesses at a pace that fits their development.
I understand the need in school to grade kids and to pass them onto the next grade level, it's necessary for progression through the grades, but it's not ideal for real core learning.
tara

Kate CP - posted on 08/31/2010

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Personally, I think the public school system in the US frickin' sucks. My daughter goes to Montessori school and she's doing great. Would I ever home school? No, but I don't have the patience, the interest, or the knowledge for it. Plus, I'm lazy and I know my daughter would probably never see another kid if we did home school just because I would have a hard time getting her out of the house for extracurricular activities. My cousin was home schooled and he is just one f'ed up individual. He has a speech problem, his capacity for logical thinking is nil, his social skills just suck, and he's just not that bright. And the real kicker is his parents have told him all his life how much smarter he is than other people so he's stupid WHILE thinking he's super intelligent. It's actually rather sad. But, I think some kids do well with home schooling...provided their parents aren't nuts or just dumb as rocks. ;)

Krista - posted on 08/31/2010

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That's exactly what I meant, Carol. I probably came across as a grammar snob, which wasn't my intent. We all make typos and errors. However, it's pretty easy to tell who is just being a little sloppy with their typing, and who is really just woefully uneducated and ignorant. And unfortunately, some of those women do decide to homeschool -- and it is often not to enhance their kid's education but to keep them sheltered. Because of that, I do think it would be worthwhile for the parent to have to attain a certification level, or for the child to have to be tested annually to make sure that he is keeping up with his peers.

[deleted account]

@ Lindsay, maybe it's because we have a large homeschool population here, but I don't see much lacking in the form of school-like social interaction. There is a large group that holds a homeschool Prom, has a yearbook, and the public schools allow homeschoolers to take part in sports. But I can see how kids would feel like they missed something by not going to school.

However, for many families here, there is just not much of a choice. I happen to live in a fantastic district and there is one other district close-by that is good. But travel north (just 5 miles) and it gets very poor and rural. The schools are crap. Even the private schools are not up to par. So for families that can't afford to live in one of the two good districts, or can't get to the city for a good private school, homeschooling really is the only option. I know so many homeschooling families, and they all seem to be doing it right, so maybe that's partially where my opinion comes from.

And I agree, everyone should NOT homeschool. That is why I agree that there should be some kind of test and parents should join a co-op and attend workshops and such.

Lindsay - posted on 08/30/2010

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Jodi, I think you bring up a great point. I've never really thought of what goes on after the school bell rings as homeschooling, more so as being an involved parent. But regardless of the name given, it's invaluable to a child. Whether your child goes to public school, private school, homeschooled, or whatever, if they do their "school" and nothing above, the results will be sub-par or minimal.

I have mixed feelings on homeschooling as a whole, but not fully based on the academic education side. My views on this come strictly from a family I grew up with that decided to pull their children out of school and homeschool starting early in elementary school. They all recieved great educations and are now successful adults. It's no lie that they had success academically. One is now a music teacher at a public elementary school. The next is now in medical school and the third is in college now trying to figure out what she wants to do and trying to launch a music career. All 3 admit though that they feel like they really missed out on the experiences that come with attending school. They couldn't play sports once they reached a certain age because at a point the city sports cut off and they couldn't play for the schools. They missed the proms and homecomings and dating. They all have feelings that it took part of the typical childhood away, and as successful as they are now, it's a void in their life. They've all said that when they have children, their kids will attend school.

So I guess that's where my "issue" or "stigma" comes from. I feel that the things kids experience and learn on a social level are so important. I just personally don't feel that it can be duplicated outside of a school setting. They will have good experiences and bad ones, but they are all part of life lessons. I want them to experience it all.

Tah - posted on 08/30/2010

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i know on here i tend to get a little lazy with my spelling and I do sometimes edit, but it is not a reflection of intelligence, at least not for me. I caught myself telling my son the difference between the meaning of two different words such as those and typing them in the worst way yesterday...lol...now, answering your question, I do believe that some type of requirements should be mandated to be able to teach your children at home.

~Jennifer - posted on 08/30/2010

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As a transplanted Jersey girl living in NC - I have to say, I have seen exactly what Cindy is talking about (between religion and racism)

Jodi - posted on 08/30/2010

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I find it sad when people choose to put their children in mainstream schooling, and then expect that the school does it all. It doesn't. Regardless of the fact that they are in mainstream schools, ALL childrens still need varying degrees of homeschooling. It is a total misconception that some parents seem to hold that if they have been at school all day, that should be enough.



I just wanted to share an example of how important a degree of homeschooling is even if your children are in mainstream schools.....



I volunteer to change readers for my daughter's Kindergarten class to mornings a week (takes about 1/2 hour). Just this morning, when I went through with the teacher the list of kids who hadn't returned their readers or hadn't done their reading, the teacher, obviously frustrated, pointed out to me how it is always the same kids, and they are the kids who are still only on Level 2 reading because there is no consistency or support at home. We are almost at the end of our 3 term, and half way through 4th term, she has to decide which kids can't continue into Year 1, and one of their general criteria is that the kids need to be at Level 7 or 8 in their reading. As an example, my daughter is on Level 7 already.



It is really sad that parents think school is the only place their children need the education. We should always be finding ways to encourage our kids to learn, whether it be academic or about the world around them.



Anyway, the result of that conversation is that I am volunteering to stay an additional 1/2 hour twice a week to help those children with their reading. If they can't get consistency at home, it's not their fault. They deserve to be able to have a little one on one attention to help them if their parents won't do it.......



Sorry for the rant, Carol's post prompted me to express that example, because it was very close to home :)

Tara - posted on 08/30/2010

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@Jenny,
I know in some communities they have homeschooling co-ops, a lot of moms and dads do switch shifts to accommodate their schedule and their homeschooling. A friend of mine is a nurse, she loves her work, but for about 5 months when her husband started a new job, she was working nights wed-fri mornings at 7. So... her 3 kids, stayed with me for 3 days a week. So I had my 4 youngest, (this was 2 years ago) plus her 3, it was a lot of fun and there were all kinds of opportunities for group learnig and field trips etc.
If you look you might find some interesting alternatives to your current situation.
In Ontario we have the right to put our children in school part time if we choose, or allow them to attend for certain classes like PE or a second language, the only requirement is we are responsible for transportation. I personally have never taken advantage of this as we feel no need and the kids have no interest in going to school.
My oldest lives with my ex husband, he works, has two volunteer positions, is taking two college level culinary arts classes at the same time as he is completing his grade 12 diploma through ILC. He loves his life and the opportunities he has had through out the years. The wealth of knowledge accumulated is amazing.
:)

Jenny - posted on 08/30/2010

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Tara, it would be a wee commute from Kelowna lol. I'm the kind of Mom who needs to work outside the home albeit for only 5 hours a day. I could not give that up and feel satisfied in life.

I would love to do Waldorf if it wasn't so much money. I wish there was a better alternative because I'm not satisfied with one size fits all public education. Although, it's not the public part I have a problem with.

[deleted account]

People type differntly on the net to how they would write a letter in the real world. I think it's a bit harsh to assume that gramatical errors in a post and would translate to low inteligence in the real world. My own spelling and grammer are sometimes shocking on here, but I never handed in a bad paper when I was earning my degree. I tend to type the way I speak in every day conversation and I have yet to download a spell checker since I rejoined DM after moving and getting a new computer. I apologise in advance for the bad spelling and grammer in this post.

To the issue in question. Yes, I think all homeschoolers should be capable of graduating highschool in order to teach it, but I don't think it's necessary to obtain teaching qualifications or a certain score on an IQ test. I also think that law abiding homeschoolers with no history of abuse should be as free as everyone else to go about their business without government interference.

I personally don't homeschool, but I'm a big supporter of those who do. I have a few friends who homeschool and their kids are academically advanced for their ages. I don't see why people have recently decided to become so concerned for other peoples homeschooled children. There are bad examples of homeschooling, but they are a very small minority.

Krista - posted on 08/30/2010

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Tara, my post was definitely not directed at you. I was talking more about some of the women I see on other forums who make it only too evident that they are really just as dumb as fence posts. A lot of these women do not appear to choose homeschooling because they feel that they can give their child a more comprehensive education, but because they want to create an insular, sheltered environment for their kids. It distresses me and makes me worry that these mothers will not put the proper effort into making sure that their children have the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the "outside" world.

Johnny - posted on 08/30/2010

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I support the concept of homeschooling, although I would never personally choose to do it. I do plan to support the learning my children do in school at home. If I feel that they are missing important lessons or experiences, I will find a way to teach those. I do not think a school is the be-all and end-all of learning, and people who do are often disappointed with the results. When I was in school, my parents occasionally felt that I was not getting what I needed in some areas. They either supplemented on their own, sent me to extracurricular classes, or hired a tutor (Math 12). To me, however, the public school experience is an invaluable one, and I don't want my kids to miss out on what it has to offer.

I do think homeschooling is right for some families, and definitely for those who feel that the "liberal education of the public school system will brainwash their child". That is the reasoning I have heard from the few homeschooling families I have met here. It is incredibly rare in my city, as we have a fairly good public system and many private options. Although I worry about those kids abilities to think critically in the future, lol.

I do think there should be guidelines, rules, expectations, and qualifications required to homeschool. I actually think that this would benefit & support those parents who are actively doing it the right way now, and perhaps also improve the public image of the practice.

Marabeth - posted on 08/30/2010

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i think the internet idea is nice, maybe two days a week go to the classroom and the other three go from online (unless the child was some sort of special need). it would certainly allow schools to operate at a lower cost, it's not like they're getting very much funding anyways.

and this whole thread came to my mind when i read this today:

http://stfuparents.tumblr.com/post/10394...

:)

[deleted account]

Tara, you make a VERY good point. The purpose of school is not to gain and bunch of information and then spit it back out on a test. The purpose is to learn HOW to learn and how to think. There is no way someone can learn everything there is to know, so how can that be the purpose of school? Once you research something and figure it out on your own, you are MUCH less likely to forget it. Whereas how many of us don't remember anything from the endless notes we took in school?

Tara - posted on 08/30/2010

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Exactly Sara,
The way we learn is very natural, very family oriented. Whenever we have come across something that I myself do not know or do not know enough about, we learn it together, there is nothing wrong with not knowing things, it is the inability to source out and use information that is detrimental to future learning.
So when we learn together they see that if you don't know something *you* can find out, you just have to know how!
I love our life, wouldn't trade it for the world, I love having my kids with me as much as I do and love watching their little brains, grow and develop into free thinking young adults. :)
Jenny, there is a HUGE hs'ing community in BC particularly on Salt Spring Island. As well as on Vancouver island. It's a great place to hs. If you're ever interested I can provide some links to hs'ing friends I know out there!!
:)Tara

[deleted account]

I know right? If everyone homeschooled like that, it wouldn't have such a bad stigma to it. In fact, more people would probably give it a go!

[deleted account]

Tara, I don't think Krista had you in mind! (I hope you don't mind me speaking for you Krista.) You appear to be knowledgable and intelligent from what I've seen on here. But in other communities on COM, you will often see one long paragraph with no punctuation, the SAME word misspelled or misused over and over, and so many other annoying things. I *think* that's what she's talking about.

Tara - posted on 08/30/2010

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LOL,
I am a grammar freak, however I often leave errors if I am in a rush. People who use their there and they're wrong irritate me, but only when I am reading it in printed form or on a website, on a public forum not so much as I am guilty as well of not fixing my own errors or sometimes omission of whole words! Gasp!
I used to do freelance writing as well as proof reading and editing. If I had a dollar for every grammatical error I read on University papers, corporate proposals etc. I would be one very rich homeschooling mom.
So... if your post was directed at me directly, you can be rest assured that I am teaching my children proper grammar, parts of speech and spelling. (remember when you read my posts that I am Canadian so we spell some things differently than you do.)
:)Tara

[deleted account]

All the homeschool families I know use a curriculum. There are so many different curriculums to choose from, so it takes some research to know what works best for your family. The one I looked at (a friend of my sister-in-law's, my sis-in-law was thinking about homeschooling and borrowed the curriculum) was heavily based on real literature. Each grade level had a large set of books (fiction, non-fiction, biography, etc) that history, English and reading lessons were pulled from. Science and math were separate from that. From what I could tell (I just looked at it for about an hour) it was generally in line with what students are expected to learn at each grade level.



I'm not exactly sure what the laws are, but apparently parents are not required to use a curriculum. Hence the reason "unschooling" is a growing trend. THAT, I cannot get behind.



**edit to add** Yes, learning a second language is an option (at least with the curriculum I looked at). In our state, to graduate from high school you MUST have taken foreign language, art appreciation ,etc. I should look into this, but I know homeschoolers that have graduation ceremonies. I would assume that means they've met the state's requirements for graduation.

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