Why do moms choose to homeschool?

If your kids were home schooled, why did you decide to go this route? What was your experience like?

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40  Answers

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I choose to home school my children because God gave them to me alone to raise. I alone am responsible for them. I'm responsible for their education, their spiritual state, their moral value and how they view life. If they can't function in this life as a husband, wife, parent, employee or friend the blame falls on me. I see no distinction between teaching them to clean up after themselves, love one another or read. I want them to love learning and continue to learn throughout life because they're curious, not to pass a test. They are not perfect just as we are not perfect. There will be holes in their education just as there was in mine. My hope is that what they learn from books in our home school will only be a small part of their education. In the end, we are trying to raise independent, confident, loving members of society who do all for the glory of our Lord.

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Well said. We can put our faith in the hands of the Lord and ask Him to take away our fears of failure in the most important role of our lives. Then work our @sses off to raise up the little ones!! Great job and have fun.

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I love everything you have to say. I own a teacher supervised home school business

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Every time I open this page, this reply pops to the top and offends me yet again. I can only suggest one read the little parable about the bloke who begged God to help him, while refusing the helicopter, and two rescue crews. When he died, he asked God why He didn't help, and God replied, "But I did! I sent you the rescue crews AND the helicopter!". Even if you have a strong faith in God and home school for that reason, this is not cause to reject the wide range of educational opportunities available in your community. Your God created them for your children, surely. I partially home schooled one of my children and am a supporter of home schooling but I also availed myself of the many opportunities available in our community to ensure their education did NOT have gaps in those areas I was not highly skilled enough to cover.

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I went to public school & I certainly have gaps in my education. When I pulled my daughter out of the public school system here in FL she didn't even know proper letter formation. So no matter what your choice is home school or public school there is going to be a gap somewhere. No educational system & no one's education is perfect. There are many resources out there & I encourage this mom to get plugged in to a local home school co-op. I also suggest that old rule, "If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all."

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Current study show that nothing builds a better strong esteem in a person than spending the first seven years of their life 24 hours a day with their mother. This builds strong feelings of love and safety. The lack of mother’s presence does the opposite. So the more of the early years that a child is homeschooled, the better. Anne http://HomeschoolingOption.com

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I homeschool my kids because I love having them around, they aren't being bullied, they have great friends, and they love it. Our homeschool group has around 70 families at any given time. We get our school work done in just a few hours each day, and then can spend the rest of the day playing, visiting friends, etc. My kids have more close friendships than I ever did as a public school student. We can also plan our school schedule however we want to, and take the days off that we want to. My kids work at their own pace, which is usually above grade level, and when they know something we just move on. If they are struggling with a subject, we can spend extra time on it, or find another way to teach it.
The thing I like the best is that we don't have to spend our evenings doing homework!

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I am trying to find a homeschooling group in Northern New Jersey. Would you happen to know how I would go about finding that? Thanks.

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I"m in MN, but a few sources to check would be local church homeschool groups, groups you can find by googling your location and "homeschool", and also searching Yahoo Groups for a group in your area.

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ASAGN.info Teacher supervised homeschool business

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I would be remiss if I didn't point out that "You're" in the above sentence is grammatically incorrect. THEN, I'll use that as an example of why we homeschool.

We homeschool because my husband and I can provide superior instruction as compared with local schools. We have the freedom to teach to our children's interests and do not have to teach to the test.

We are able to tailor-make a curriculum that sates the educational needs and desires of each of our four children and use the world as our classroom.

Because I do not have to wait for 30 other students, our "school days" last mere hours (usually around 2.5 hours) instead of locking our children in age segregated classrooms for an 8 hour work day.

We have the freedom to explore our environment, socialize with people of all ages and professions, take advantage of local artisans and mentors offering classes tailored to homeschoolers, have our own sports leagues (hundreds strong), and are actively sought out by Ivy League schools because our children are already independent learners.

We traditionally score in the 97% for testing (including SATs and ACTs) and enter colleges earlier than our oppressed public schooled peers.

Throw all of that in the pot with a great opportunity to experience life together as a family where our teens actually LIKE us and we like to think this is the best education the world could offer.

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After reading your critique I feel like I should go back and proof my post. I do know proper sentence structure. When I wrote it I wanted to communicate my thoughts and didn't take time to write correctly. I apologize for those who find it hard to overlook!

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Shelley - I am glad you pointed that out. I saw it too and wasn't quite sure what to say.

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"sates" or "states" wow homeschooling really is far superior!

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@Lindsay Borg- Maybe you should look into purchasing a dictionary or using the internet as a resource as you clearly are in need of one. The wording of Shelley's statement is correct. The word "sates" means to satisfy. So in more simplistic terms that you may be able to understand, "We are able to tailor-make a curriculum that "satisfies" (sates) the educational needs and desires of each of our four children and use the world as our classroom."

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Lindsay, ironically, I'd bet the person you criticized attended public schooling. whoops! *laughs*

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My husband and I are considering homeschooling for our future children. I believe in the potential of the public school system, but teaching to the test rather than teaching critical thinking skills is a waste of everybody's time and brain. My niece attends the top-ranked public high school in our area, is in honors classes, and makes straight A's, yet she uses your, too, and their incorrectly. I ask her what she's learning in school and she only tells me about tests or if she's having trouble in math. She isn't inspired. All of that potential wasted.

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Lindsay, I'm not sure what your "sates" or "states" comment is inferring but in case you are unaware, "sate" means to satisfy.

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I do not homeschool...but clearly you guys are way too critical of one another. RELAX!

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No, she meant "sates". sate 1  (st) tr.v. sat·ed, sat·ing, sates 1. To satisfy (an appetite) fully. 2. To satisfy to excess. [Probably alteration of Middle English saden, from Old English sadian; see s- in Indo-European roots.]

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WOW who care's if some one don't write or type right who are you to tell anyone that? Did you do it to make a point or what? I think you did it just to show that your home schooling is great and that your better than she is. Let me tell you something your no better than her or anyone , just because you know or speak right online and tell people their faults, your NOT our mom this is just a site to help and to vent some times. its not a site that parents have to watch what or how they say some thing. I am not ashamed of how I talk nor how my son talks . I feel ashamed of you for making these women feel bad because of some thing as little as this. Just because you can choose to talk/ type/write like you do does not make you any better we are just as good if not better than you just cause of the fact that we don't put the other person down and we respect the other one.

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Wow, even on this websites we have trolls who comment on spelling etc.I love the message Shelly, but guess what, this is the real word and fingers slip off the keyboards and people speak in some states saying ain't , ya'll and I have heard southern teachers say "fixin" AND THEY WERE ENGLISH TEACHERS...The kids in public schools post things like Wat U be doin ...and so I choose not to judge.Too many chiefs and not enough Indians nowadays if you ask me!

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Actually Lindsay she meant 'sates' as in 'satisfies'. No error there.

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Let me start by saying that I truly support and believe in the public school system. However, that being said, at this time I am homeschooling my kids. My kids have been in public school in several different school districts. When we moved to our current area we put them in public schcool and it simply wasn't a good fit for our family. I made the decision to homeschool my children because I could give them a better education, a better experience, and a better atmosphere than they were receiving at the public school. This isn't to say that nobody in this area can have a good experience in public school, but it certainly wasn't for us.
Homeschooling shouldn't be a 'movement' or a 'cause'. It should be a choice made by individual families for the betterment of the kids. Everybody has their own reasons for homeschooling or for sending their kids to public school or private school. We should all respect each other's choices and also follow our own hearts and listen to God and our gut. I was always afraid to homeschool thinking there was no way I could be an adequate teacher and mother and wife and friend all at the same time. I knew that homeschooling was the right choice when God took the fear away and I could literally see how it could work in our family. I occasionally miss my free time and sometimes wish I could keep the house cleaner, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the extra time with my kids, the joy of watching them learn new things, and the opportunity to make a difference in their lives. There are great days and there are tough days, but we get to expereince it all as a family.
As parents, we all need to remember that most who choose homeschooling aren't 'radical' or 'too controling' or 'overprotective' or 'unwilling to let their kids grow up', and most who choose public school aren't 'lazy' or 'bad parents' or 'nieve' or 'uninvolved'. We have to help each other make informed decisions and at the same time support each other in the decisions we make. In the end, only you can make the best decision for your children.

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Naive

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That's a really negative reply! Disappointed in the level of support!

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I homeschool my daughter, and we both love it. We do it for a large number of reasons some of which are: more quality education (she is at least 2 years ahead in most subjects), one on one time, being able to focus on her specific strengths and weaknesses, a lot more family time, time to teach life skills, a place to focus on religion, etc. Homeschooling allows my daughter to play piano and violin and also do taekwondo and tumbling, and she still has plenty of time left over for just being a kid. I haven't regretted my decision once! :)

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haha my son is homeschooled and does violin,teakwando and swimming lessons to get on to the kiddie swim team when he is old enough :)

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I've been home schooling up to grade 8 for 16 years now. I like the results that I see. My kids are thoughtful, thinking, bright, social people. Don't let anyone throw you the "what about socialization?" line. Ya, what about it? The kind they get at home, with one-on-one adult mentorship, is far better for them than the blind-leading-the-blind teaching they get at recess and lunch hour at school. My kids have true friendships, no anxiety about bullying, and are secure in who they are. They are reaching their teens and adulthood with their self-esteem intact. Academically, they are learning how to work independently. It is all good.

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This. This is why. Thank you.

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Your children have never had full one on one contact with a bully. Your child has never learned to deal with one either. I am sorry to say but your child has lost the social skill of standing up for them selves and others. Your child will not know how to handler difficult or rude people in life. They will not have the confidence to speak at public events or speak up to people and stand up in what they believe in. That is your fualt

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We chose to homeschool our children after one of our daugters was continually bullied. She is also ADHD and has an anxiety disorder. Since we have made this decision she has made a large turnaround. She is no longer on medication and is no longer having major behavioral issues. We do use a structured cirriculm but be have the flexibility. We are currently homeschooling 3 and will add our 4th daughter in the fall. The girls have thrived and couldn't be happier about our decision.

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My son has ADHD to still on meds but he was not treated right in school they told me he wasn't smart because he couldn't read 150 words a minute even though he was on the top of his class in everything else and when I showed them the testing for the adhd and intelligence testing he scored 87% out of 100 he was bullied a lot even though the school had a striked policey i home school with K12 and love it

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Twenty seven years ago my son was five and just started school. His personality seemed to change. He became aggressive toward his younger siblings and I found that alarming. I started looking at alternative schooling, Montessori and Steiner, private schools, you name it. Around then my closest friend took her eight and ten year old sons out of school to homeschool them. I had never heard of it before. I thought it was a courageous thing to do, but I couldn't do it. By the end of that first term I had changed my mind on that and financial pressures precluded changing to any kind of private school. I took my son out of school for the rest of the year, to homeschool and consider his future educational needs. Within two weeks I had my gentle loving son back. Life changed forever! Our lifestyle changed forever, for the better. It was quite a revolution in thinking and after a while I became convicted that it was my responsibility, no one else's. We never looked back and my other children never went to school. I started off quite formal, like school, but eventually developed an un-schooling approach which seemed to suit my children's learning styles perfectly. I have also home educated my two foster daughters, who had been at school, had dreadful experiences, and responded beautifully away from the bullying (from the teachers) and the peer pressure.

I have no regrets about the time and commitment it has taken to raise my children myself, mostly on my own. I happily take all the credit for my five adult children, and one nine year old, for their happy and successful lives, for their kind hearts, sociable natures (maybe they all take after me) and for being people I am proud to know and love.

The hardest part of home schooling? The persecution and criticism from family and alleged friends. If I hear one more "but what about socialisation?" I will scream, seriously. I have been asked a thousand times, and that's a very conservative estimate ; ) I have been asked at homeschooling support group gatherings, with seventy children of all ages playing outside!! Now I just recommend people speak with my adult children, they speak for themselves.

People have said all kinds of negative things to me directly, when my children were younger, telling me I am irresponsible and disadvantaging my children, that I was wrapping them in cotton wool, that I wasn't teaching them how tough it is to be in the "real world"! How offensive, how ignorant of them, how rude! It used to upset me, but now I have the evidence to refute every claim and I can just laugh at the audacity of them.

Home schooling is a lifestyle I love, can recommend, and have the results to prove it works! I don't think it suits everyone, I have never said all children should be home-schooled or schooling is wrong, I think respect is essential. You do what you believe is best for your children, there are many choices open, home schooling is just one of them. I have no regrets and as a single mum I know a woman on her own can do it and do it very well. Happy to give support if needed, buckets of encouragement to spare, just ask : )

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What about if your child in high school, can we homeschool them. Will it work for their college education?

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We homeschool because I want my kids to be able to be themselves. I want them to think freely! I do not want them being molded and formed into what someone else thinks they need to be. Free thinkers are the people who will be able to change the world.

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I first decided to home school because I liked the idea. I also realized that since I had taught her so much in the first 5 years that there wasn't a compelling reason to send her to school simply because she was 6. Home schooling was best for my 2nd dd as it gave her the time to mature and gain the confidence she needed before entering a classroom situation. She has bi-polar, OCD, and social anxiety. We sent our son to public elementary school but switched to home schooling starting in 6th grade. Thrusting him into middle school was not in his best interest, given the large disparity between his intellectual level and his social interaction level.

Being able to chose between your and you're (or there, they're, and their for that matter) has nothing to do with classroom vs. home school. i had notes home from my son's elementary school teachers with that mistake as well as from my daughters' high school teachers. I most often encounter those kinds of mistakes online because the poster either doesn't bother to go back to proof read, posted too fast, or relied on spell check.

Excelling in school has nothing to do with being able to home school. Having the knowledge that learning doesn't begin or end within the 4 walls of a classroom does. Acquiring knowledge is life long and doesn't end with graduation. One-on-one tutoring is closer to how home schooling works that the ratio of 1 teacher to 20 + students in a classroom.

Chris

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129 0

My daughter's school has the teacher, a teacher's aid, a classroom parent & a student teacher with a class of 15 students. The idea that one teacher is responsible for a class of 20-25 students is incorrect. At least not in areas with a good educational system like where I live in CT.

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I attended one of the highest ranked school districts in the nation, and there were over 20 kids in each class in grade school. On a bad year it might reach 30. 15 students is highly abnormal; be grateful instead of entitled.

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yea your right when your say in your 'area' and that the 20 kid thing is incorrect... i wish was only 20 or so kids. my son will be homeschooled next year... but this year there is 32 students, one teacher and one part time 'learning' teacher. she comes a few days a week, for a few hours each time. TryNig is right that is abnormal. we have been to several places in a few states and the lowest he had in his class to start was 18, teh most, 40 with two teachers. most places average 20 or more students per teacher

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With both of our daughters we employed the use of private, public and homeschooling. All three had their pluses and minuses but we did what was right for each daughter and that particular time in their lives. One has her Masters and works for a non-profit grant department and the other one just finished her first year of law school. They both have fond memories of homeschooling during their middle school years and were both ready to enjoy their public high school years as well. Deciding which schooling choice to use is very important for each child and each family. Remember that it is a decision that can be changed if you find that it isn't working for you or your child.

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I really didn't choose to homeschool, it chose me. Let me sum it up, I really felt a "call" to do it and haven't looked back since. So, I like homeschooling because of : Freedom. I have the freedom to educate my children in their gifts and talents. I have the freedom to take vacations when we feel like it and not have to wait till school is out. I have the freedom to tailor make their educational plan to suit them. I have the freedom to cuddle up and read to them no matter what their ages are. I have the freedom to let them discover their gifts and talents. I have the freedom to have field trips any day of the week. I have the freedom to let them move ahead if they have mastered a subject. I have the freedom to let them go at their own pace. I have the freedom to let them slow down if they haven't mastered a subject. I have the freedom to instill in them the moral values that are important to our family. I have the freedom to have "snow" days anytime. I have the freedom to let them learn by doing and experiencing. The list goes on and on. Do I believe homeschooling is for everyone... no. I believe you have to know this is what you want for your family. I went to public school and even thought it wasn't so great, it wasn't so bad, but that was twenty-one years ago. Did I mention that I have freedom? Oh yeah, I did.

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I totally agree with you on your post!!!! We live where we don't have any close family so when we want to take off, we do:)

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Thank you! I totally agree with you!

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We had a really good experience. We just wanted to keep them near us longer. We figured they were a gift from God and if we could we should do our best to educate them and try to keep unwanted influences to a minimum. Yes it was exhausting. Yes, we made sacrifices. Yes, I would do it over again. And, yes, they have become productive contributing Fine Christian Citizens.

Oldest three were homeschooled through 8th grade. One, now a chemical engineer for Conoco Phillips.
Second graduated in Letters. Is director of a daycare/preschool/kindergarten in her church.
Third has a degree in international studies. She is helping children in a nonprofit organization and volunteers for a group that helps recovering prostitutes.
They are thankful they were homeschooled. although there was a time when the second one resented it.

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because they cant let go of their kids.. Its the helicopter parent gone crazy.. Yes of course there are bad people in schools that may pick on your kid but they will learn a lesson on how to handle life situations. What will you do keep them at home forever? locked in a box so no one hurts them or they dont see anything bad..? thats a parents job ..to teach them how to handle whatever life throws at them ..

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I think you need to do some research before you make such negative comments Maddy. My eldest is thirty one. He was unschooled all the way through. He also competed in hockey and cricket to state levels, as well as playing soccer and tennis. He started his own business at seventeen and married at nineteen. He has three children now and is a stay at home dad while working during the night to support his family. He is an intelligent, kind, loving person, a fine husband and a great father. He is sociable, like me, and spent his childhood days with many friends and a huge extended family. Oh sorry, have I blown your narrow uninformed point of view int tiny pieces, I sure hope so. My five daughters are equally sociable and successful, one is a Case Worked for a fostering organisation and is a professional tennis coach who also shoots competitively, dances and rides mountain bikes. Another runs her own hairdressing business as well as being a fine Irish dancer and raising her daughter. Another is an apprentice baker, a black belt in karate and a sporting shooter at a competitive level, working towards having her own business. Another works at a five start hotel and wins awards for her cross stitch work in shows. The youngest has a disability and is only nine years old. Did I say I was a foster carer? oh yeh, home school mums often volunteer in the community, hardly isolated or depriving their children of social contact, on the contrary actually, the children have a far more balanced kind of socialising with a range of people of different ages, not like school where their peer group are all their own age. I have effectively taught my children how to handle all the challenges and ignorance that may come their way, to be kind and gracious in the face of it, and to consider others needs before their own. Will you be able to say that about your children? I guess only time will tell.....

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You obviously have NO IDEA Maddy. Do some research, figure out what you're talking about, and then come back. My kids do more activities than most public school kids. We get school done in a few short hours each day, then they are free to do what interests them. Most homeschooled kids are out of the house doing things almost every day. I hardly think that's locking them in a box, lol! Many of our kids do PSEO starting in 11th grade and are their teachers' favorite kids because they're very smart and well behaved. Life throws lots of things at my kids, it's called education and FUN :o)

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Parents who just cant let go

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This is WRONG WRONG WRONG! I homeschool my 5-year-old (soon-to-be 6) daughter because she is WAY ahead of the curve of normal kindergarten. I also don't happen to agree with fitting every child into one classroom and *making* them all learn the same things, in the same ways. My daughters makes friends very easily, and we have play dates at least once per week. At age 5 it is not important for her to have a best friend or sleepovers. She learns to handle many different situations while we are in public, with friends, or at the playground. These are not things she will learn while attending school for 2 hours per day. When she is older, maybe she can decide if she wants to go to public school. Until that day, however, she is way better off here. I think most parents who look down their noses at parents who homeschool are just jealous that they aren't able to do the same for their own children. I take a great deal of pride in the way that my daughter is educated, and I plan to homeschool my son (now only 8 months old) as well. She is a very happy and well-adjusted child. I can see that Maddy has received a brilliant public education, just by the looks of her use of grammar and punctuation. Way to go, Maddy! Go public education! HAHA.

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let me get this straight... you want your kids bullied, or are your kids the one doing the bullying... jw it has been proven over and over, bulling dont ever help a child... eather the one doing it, or the one that is bullied. dont belive me, ask the thug down the streat, that is really a jerk that no one likes, and he has no one to turn to cause he bullied all his friends away, cause his parent didnt care enough to stop him your child being bullied, think that is ok, and will tuffen em up... well ask the parents of the kids that commited suicide becauseof bullies... bad people are 'NOT' ok, and it isnt a good idea to 'let'your child get those life lessons.. having been molested in the 3rd and 5th grades by those 'bad' people, and having to live my life with it... just makes me wonder why people think it is ok, or a thing kids just need to 'go through'...

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We initially looked into it because our oldest child was very obviously gifted. We had several meetings with our public school that bent over backwards to keep her somewhat interested, but we all agreed she shouldn't skip a few grades for social reasons. She was not thriving there, and her interest in learning was dwindling. Also, she was gone all day, with an hour bus ride each way and I really felt we were losing any opportunity to train her in normal parenting things. We decided to give it a year and see how it goes, and she has thrived. We have not looked back and are about to start our 3rd year. Now her little brother is coming up in the ranks and we will homeschool him without hesitation. He has some attention problems, and has trouble reading when he's sitting, but can do a lot of amazing learning while standing. He worked through 3 levels of reading while in kindergarten (so he's now working on 3rd grade) which he can manage if his body is allowed to move. Sometimes we go outside, and that helps him too. The public school wouldn't be able to help with his learning issues. He would need a specialty aid at his school to help manage his attention problems. It has opened up a world for our family. We've been able to travel more. Our relationships have blossomed. Our kids meet so many people from so many walks of life they would never have had the opportunity otherwise. I know I always left it as a "last resort" but now I scratch my head at me thinking that. It has been wonderful for all of us. Were I to do it again, I would have started earlier. Our kids still have so many friends in their homeschool group, and get to be in several activities that the public school schedule always prohibited us from doing before. Most of all, I love that now my kids love learning. We are a Christian family, although I don't feel like we were doing it for religious reasons exactly. However, in hindsight, I know that God brought us here.

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I decided to homeschool because, as a child, I hated school and was extremely bored. This way, my children can learn at their own pace, versus waiting for the slowest students in the class. Also, we don't have the peer pressure or negative influence of children who receive zero discipline at home and act out in class. I don't think homeschooling is for everyone as it can be a challenge. I have an MBA and a teaching background, so I am comfortable with my choice to homeschool.

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My kids have done public schooling and homeschooling. Homeschooling has been great for working at their pace. One child need a lot of one on one help, the other needed to be challenged, and even though she was in the "Gifted" program, she still wasn't getting that. The flexible schedule and extra family time is awesome. A HUGE plus was the extra time they had to pursue their interests with classes in music, arts, drama, ice skating, gymnastics, languages, and many other subjects. When they did public school, there was never any time. The homework was so extreme (and so much of it busy work), even in 2nd grade, that they kids NEVER had time for chores, family time, or outside interests. My biggest insecurity was that I wouldn't keep up with the public education, but both kids have done fantastic on the state standardized testing every year.Even though my kids are going back to public next year (due to me having to work more), I will never regret the extra years that we got to enjoy together, learning, playing and growing. I am not a mom who thinks there is ONE right way to educate only. I think it's very idividual, what's best for a particular family or student. We found benefits with both public and homeschooling. Next year it will be public, but we remain open to whatever works best for each year as we go through life. :)

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Homeschooling allows you to educate your child in life skills as well as "book" knowledge. Our children have been very successfully homeschooled, and not being tied into the time frame of public school has allowed our family to travel and take advantage of many opportunities that would not have been possible otherwise.
Children become what they are most influenced by, and for us it was very important to train up our children in the way they should go. To be morally responsible, contributing members of society who could finction effectively in whatever situation they might find themselves.
Homeschooling has been a lifestyle for us that has been full of blessings.

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We're entering our second year of homeschooling and plan to continue as long as it works for us.
One of my main reasons for homeschooling is not to shelter but actually to provide more "real life" experiences for my children that I don't believe they get in a school setting. School is a very controlled and sheltered environment with institutional and social rules to conform to. Not all of these rules and norms are bad but many of the good ones can be provided through day to day living.
We are very active in our community and have plenty of social time-if anything I plan to tone it down a bit next year!
We are still in the beginning stages of academics (first grade) but I feel confident that with a college education (oriented toward becoming an elementary teacher) I can provide at least an eighth grade education for my children before using public or private school. There are many good curriculum programs that walk parents through teaching skills that we may have missed in our own education (for example: Susan Wise Bauer's The Well Trained Mind). With all of the resources available to homeschoolers these days I shouldn't have to do it all alone and can tailor education to my children's interests and abilities.
Bottom line is still I have to trust that God will provide all that we need to succeed. For me homeschooling has required so much faith in God and I see that faith mirrored in my children. That makes it all worth the sacrifice! God Bless You in your family's journey.

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it will work for you Meghan because you have a positive attitude and you are obviously a warm intelligent mamma. I don't think you need any courses to homeschool, just a big heart and a glimpse of "the big picture". You just keep on doing what you are doing, we all home school from birth whether we realise it or not ; ) You know what, the person who learned the most through my twenty seven year journey has been me! Keep up the great work, you are on the right track : )

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I directed a question about subject mastery to Tracy R. but it is truly for all "veteran" homeschoolers. My questions is-Were your children able to excel in subject areas that you did not particularly excel in? Also, not counting tutors, co-ops or other groups where parent shares the job of teaching we're you able to find adequate resources to teach complex subjects such as online tutorials or step by step guides?

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Hi Stacie, resources abound and you can afford tutors if you don't have school fees, uniforms, transport costs etc associated with going to school outside the home. The internet is a huge resource, one that was not available when I first started home schooling. I used to frequent the local shop that supplied the schools with books on all subjects, things like maps and educational games and work books. There is truly something for everyone. Now with the internet it is so much easier. You can do courses online, you can order resources online, you can do research online and your children have all these advantages as well. One of my daughters selected an online book keeping course (I have never been good at maths, that's where a good tutor can be priceless if a child has more than a basic interest) So far my daughter has received two high distinctions for assignments and has not yet completed the course. Another daughter is an apprentice baker, don't ask me how to make and market bread ; ) Another daughter worked in hospitality at a local five star hotel and is now a case worker for a fostering agency. Another daughter is a hairdresser, excelled and finished twelve months ahead of time and won many awards for her cutting. (I wouldn't even risk cutting a fringe, not my gift I am afraid) My son started his own courier business at seventeen after working various part time jobs since he was fifteen. None of my children has showed any particular academic interest, they are all practical learners like me and all had many opportunities to learn a range of subjects depending on their individual interests. If there had been extra interest in any particular subject I would have employed a tutor, as I did in fact do for maths and art at one stage. My children all excelled in their chosen sport or Irish dancing, and all had piano lessons (I am not musical myself) and tennis coaching (I was a basic player but developed arthritis and couldn't play any more) One daughter, the foster child case worker, is a qualified tennis coach. Anything is possible, opportunities are everywhere. I know I have advantaged my children in every way and still home educate my nine year old disabled foster daughter. I also believe travelling is a huge bonus to children, whether it be short trips into your local area or further afield and particularly overseas when they are a bit older. Nothing broadens your understanding like travelling. My children have been overseas/around the world with me twice and two of my daughters became camp counsellors in the USA and were away for three months. Hope that gives you some insight into what has been a lifetime commitment to enabling my children to have the best life possible!

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I homeschooled my 3 boys from kindergarten through to graduation. We choose to homeschool because our children were ahead academically but we didn't want to put them with older peers. Homeschooling allowed us to teach them at the level they were at while puting them in social settings that were age appropriate.
A 6 year old can be working at a 8 year old level academically yet be physically, emotionally, and scocially still at their 6 year old level. This was the case for us and it worked out great.
Two of our boys are college graduates and the 3 one is working towards graduating.
I do not regret homeschooling our boys at all.

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We chose to homeschool after a LONG process (which included PS for 2 years and a move halfway across the country). I love these kids and enjoy teaching them and watching them learn. We had considered me becoming a teacher so that I could be on their schedule, but then realized, why would I do that when I could be my child's "private" teacher. They will get our values, a better more customized education and I get to watch them grow up! Not see what they learned when they get home from 6 hours away. We love it and wouldn't have it any other way!

Feel free to join us on our journey!
http://arewereallydoingthis.blogspot.com/

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I love homeschooling. I have 3 kids - Kindergarten, 1st grade and 3rd grade. Each child is SO unique and I love that with homeschooling, I can really cater to each one. I love that we can do some of our subjects as a family and I love the closeness my kids share with me. I also love the fact that I have so much more time with them and that we don't have homework in the evenings regularly. For us, we feel like we are able to give the kids an excellent Christian education that really fits each child.

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We chose to homeschool our 7 yo a third of the way through his 1st grade school year. When we took him out and tested him for the curriculum we decided to use he tested at the end of the 2nd grade level. In public school he was bullied, for reasons from the color of his shoelaces to the fact that he was finishing his work before everyone else. Also the school refused to give him extra work when he finished ahead of the rest of his class saying it would not be fair to the other students for them to have to wait for him to finish any extra work. Apparently they felt it was ok for him to be in trouble for talking because they would not give him anything else to do. We have been homeschooling for a couple of months now and he loves it. I plan on homeschooling my 16mo when he is ready to start.
Also we chose to use an accredited program so that if he wants to go to public High School he can.

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I am homeschooling my children because I believe it is the best way to educate my children. My oldest son is incredibly smart, but he is also very energetic. This is a very bad combination for traditional schooling. Since most classrooms have 20 or more children, he would get very little attention. And, since the teachers have to target the average student's needs, my son would be bored. We sent him to preschool and saw how quickly he became bored. Once he was bored, he got fidgity. At that point, he was no longer paying attention and likely to get into trouble for not listening. Kids get labeled bad so easily. We did not want him to go through school with such a label. We decided to homeschool. I am so glad we did. The benefits have been wonderful. I am able to cater schooling toward each of my children's needs and interests. My son is very scholastic and my daughter is very creative. They each learn differently. Even though I have to repeat information to my 1st grader that I did a few years ago with my now 4th grader, it seems totally different and interesting through a new set of eyes. Also, the amount of time required to school is so much less at home than in a school with so many kids, so we have a lot of time left to go on field trips and do projects. In addition, we love to travel, and I can take their schooling with us, not being concerned about them missing school to go on adventures. Finally, I believe homeschooling is so much better of a nurturing environment free of bullying, peer pressure, and bad influences. I can hardly wait to begin my toddler when he is old enough.

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This is the 2nd comment I saw about 20+ children. I must live in a very special state. I have always know my state exceeded others in education, my high school one the Blue Ribbon Award form the White House in my freshman year, but I didn't realize how much better it is. We are also the highest taxed state in the country, but I guess it's worth it. My daughter has a teacher, room parent, teacher's aide & a student teacher. There are also special subject teachers like the Certified Reading Teacher that comes in a few times per week. Her class size is 15 students.

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I agree..I too have a very spirited child.I tried public schools and he was a distraction to the entire class.He would read the story out loud during story time and was very bored with the whole humdrum routine!

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Tammy, that's what my son would probably have done as well.

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I did not homeschool, I taught school, but a number of families in my area do homeschool. I'm looking at a question from someone who has confused the use of "you're" with "your". I have seen some very successful young people homeschooled by educated parents. I have also seen some not so great results from parents who were not well educated. I would not go this route if you did not excel in school and did not do well in writing and math particularly. That's not fair to your children.

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Hi Ardie (and anyone else who is interested). What your homeschooling options are depends a lot on where you live. Homeschooling is very popular in my area. There are several homeschooling groups in my city and I know of one that has over 200 families involved. Because there is so much interest here, there are hundreds of classes offered specifically for homeschooled children during weekdays. Besides the classes I listed below, my daughters have taken geography, science, writing and math classes. Here it would be easy to get a full weekly schedule in any courses desired. We use a public charter homestudy program, which in essence means: we still get to use public funds (although we receive less than the state allotted amount per student at a traditional public school), but we get to pick and choose where those funds go, by picking our own curriculum and classes. (Sorry to ramble, but I am assuming this question was asked by someone interested.) If I lived in an area without all these local resources, I don't think I personally would have been as comfortable.

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I have found that I have learned way more in teaching my own children than I did in my years of being a public school student. I would bet that the person asking the question was taught in public school, and if they do decide to homeschool their own kids, will learn the proper forms of the words while doing that. I must say that I have found, through Facebook posts, that even the most educated people will not take the time to get it right.

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Your or you're right! Now how about we follow you around and watch for mistakes that you make? I homeschool because it was a calling from God. Our life was so centered around earthly things and be way to busy. We left an amazing christian school that we go back often to visit. My daughters former teacher and I always brainstorm on new ideas together. We use an amazing curriculum called Abeka and I am able to instill Christ like qualities in my children not just by what I say, but what I do. If anyone questions me, they should talk to God about it. I am just being obedient.

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I also want to mention that this world will need a lot of different types of children in 10 years! My children are being raised to be leaders and missionaries not grammar correctors.

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I also know many children who attend school that can't read or spell well, so I guess I don't really see your point. In the end doesn't the responsibility always fall on the parents?

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Grammer shouldn't limit teaching home school, I home school through a charter program that provides me with books to guide my children along the path. If I learn about English or math or history as I prepare and help them, how much more exciting and involved in your child's actual thinking and understanding. Any teacher has strengths and weaknesses, homeschooling allows you to focus on your child's needs.

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I originally began home schooling my daughter in the middle of eighth grade, after she was threatened by some very rough girls who were involved with criminal activity and the school administration told me point blank that they could not guarantee her safety. I can't tell you how much I wish I had started sooner; the first thing we discovered was that the quality of instruction had been so poor that although she'd been in enrichment classes and getting good grades, her foundations were very weak in core subjects. The second was that so much time is wasted in the traditional school day that we were able to cover 2-3 times as much material in less than half the time. The third was that many of the interests that had been ground out of her in the public school system began to return almost immediately--she was reading more, no longer "hating" math, etc. My plan at that time was to home school her for the rest of the school year and then put her in a private school for high school; by the time we reached that point (approximately six months after I'd taken her out of school) she'd written and recorded a CD, written eight chapters of a novel, designed a novel/history project for herself to work on over the summer and was using all that previously wasted time to volunteer, paint and work on independent films as an actress and a production assistant. There was no way I would have let the school system slow her down again the way it had for all of those previous years.

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Ardie, we don't know if the person who wrote the question was home schooled or not. You are making an assumption. Perhaps she learned her grammar from a public or private school.

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From my experience in an area where MANY families choose to homeschool (including mine), most parents who do choose to homeschool are very well-educated, themselves. I can't imagine that a poorly educated parent would want to homeschool their children; that very idea doesn't make sense. The less educated a person is, the better they see the public school systems, I would imagine. I more educated a person is, the better off they see their own children being homeschooled. I don't know why anyone would *discourage* anyone to homeschool if that is what they desire. Even if a person doesn't have a Master's degree in Calculus and Physics, that doesn't mean that they aren't capable of homeschooling children, at least up to eighth grade.

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wouldnt it be fair to say, that i have seen some very good results from public school and some not so good results... just saying... has been said, and i belive you was saying as well, it is not for every one.. however it did seem that you was trying to put a lil bit of a negtive spin on home schooling... just throwing that out there

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I ask myself this all the time.Then when my kids are asleep, I know that they are safe, not being bullied, and learning what they need to know.Not just educationally ,but real world skills as well.The world is not as it used to be and I have never in my life needed to know the square root of pi! I am allowing my children to see the world through their eyes and to learn cause and effect from all experiences! I have an older daughter who believes in the big bang theory and needs proof of a higher power(whom I choose to call God) in order to accept him.And I have a young son who believes in God and says prayers.I am allowing them to become who they are.I will challenge them til the day the good Lord takes me, but I , in turn will also let them question everything..I am just a messenger, what they do with that message is up to them.Hopefully , one day they will look back and say "Thanks Mom" ♥ ~~~ Blessings All~~~~

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I homeschool my daughter because I love having her around. Children grow up far to quickly and I don't want to miss out on her chilhood. I love growing and learning with her. I am able to tailor a curriculum that suites her educational needs and interests. She is able to focus on the things she loves for greater periods of time. She can devote more time to learning who she is, without peer pressure. We use the world as our classroom, a trip to the bank can be turned into a math lesson, a trip to the market can be both used as math and health class. Every experience can be used as a lesson if you let it. Plus we have the added benefit of exploring our community together interacting with people from all walks of life.

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I love this - it's exactly why I homeschool - and the world is our classroom, the car our schoolbus. I love that we are mobile and tactile, and we can learn and be together. Time flies so fast (I just went college touring with my oldest), and I am glad I can say that I was there for my kids, present in their daily lives, they had plenty of time to play and grow, and I taught them well.

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I was homeschooled, my mom said she chose homeschooling because "I spent my whole childhood wanting to have kids, I didn't want to then send you all off for 8hours a day 5days a week for most of your childhoods!" I loved being homeschooled. As did all my siblings. My husband was also homeschooled, he came to be homeschooled as the last child because he had such a horrible experience in schools. He was bullied and misunderstood and blamed for trouble and labeled due to his size. Teachers disliked him due to his endless questions and intense curiosity. So he begged his mom t homeschool him and finally she agreed and both of them enjoyed it. We both want to homeschool our kids and really never considered other choices. It feels right and every thing I read or hear or see or experienced has backed up the thought that homeschooling is the only option I can imagine.

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We started homeschooling our 2 children after we moved to a new town. The lunch lady...of all people were bullying my kids (long story)...the last day of school it came to a head, so I promptly took my kids out of school 3 hours early and told the administration that my children would not step foot in their doors again.

We had a friend that was homeschooling (in the town we moved from) that helped us get set up. She helped us find the community Homeschooling association. From that point on it was fairly smooth sailing.

I did go back to college to finish my degree in Music Education and began teaching 6-12 music (Band/Choir/General Music). As my daughter was ending 8th grade she asked to go back to public school. I told her she could, only if she went to the school in which I was teaching. The H.S. Principal was "anti-homeschooling" and immediately said she would have to go to 8th grade instead of being a 9th grader because she would be behind all the other students academically and socially. That said, the Iowa Basics test that we gave our children every year to make sure they were staying on track came back...she was in the 99 percentile...the counselor wanted to move her up to 10th grade. I kept her in 9th which I sometimes regret and other times not. Needless to say, due to my daughter having been homeschooled then returning to public school opened eyes for the administrator to realize that homeschooling is legit and the negative reports of homeschooling are only a small fraction of people who claim to be homeschooling. We are proud of her achievements...Our son did graduate from Homeschooling and is in college working on a degree in Computer Graphic Arts (Photography emphasis). My daughter was in college until she met and married her Husband and provided us with our first grandchild. She is an assistant manager of a clothing retail store and loves it.

Homeschooling is not for everyone and I can attest that I've seen students thrive on Homeschooling and other wither in homeschooling. I also welcome homeschooled students into my music programs!

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Like Jennifer, I love having my son around we have fun doing school work together every day. We both plan the weekly lessons and outings, can take time off when ever it suits our family. I am very anal when it comes to school work, i got sick of teacher telling me what my son is'nt doing and how i can help him at home learn better. So i thought i might as well do it all myself, that way i know where he's at, there is no one else here to distract him from his work, and most importantly is a positive environment, if he's stuck we work on it (can be 2hrs or 2 days) he learning it not having to rush to try and keep up and miss out on half of it (as teacher has 30 kids to teach, I have 1 at the moment).

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I have been unschooling for twenty seven years now, have been in involved with several homeschooling support groups in two different cities, met thousands of home educated children and parents and have yet to find one child "withering". On the contrary, every one has been thriving, excited about learning, full of life and embracing every learning opportunity they are given, from music lessons to competitive sport to volunteering and making their own movies. Creativity abounds, ease with people of all ages is prevalent. I have seen many children "wither" in school. Seriously "wither", be crushed and give up. Two of them live with me and are my foster children. I rescued them, so this issue is very close to my heart. They have both blossomed being home educated. One is almost eighteen, the other is nine and has a disability. Both were bullied by staff at schools because they were different to the mainstream, compliant, quiet, resigned child. NOw they can be themselves, be loved and accepted, have hope for the future, finally have their individual needs met in a safe environment where they don't have to be anxious and afraid anymore.

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I homeschool my daughter because when she was in public school she was bullied. Also when she was in public school she struggled in the classroom and she has an IEP. In the IEP it was stated she learned better in small group (used to be a class of 8) then the school district stopped that so for children such as her well they can't cope so well. Now it's one on one and unlike public school we don't spend 40+ minutes on one subject. I also love homeschooling for the fact that just things you do in everyday life such as dishes,laundry, trips to a beach,etc are credit. She has done equally as well at homeschool as she had done in public school so obviously I couldn't screw her schooling up anymore than they had. She loves the idea we create our own schedule so we don't have to get up so early in the morning and we tend to take Mondays off but work Tuesday-Friday and still follow vacation weeks that the public schools would.

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I homeschooled part of my youngest child's years. In her case, it was because she has special needs and was performing poorly in public schools and I couldn't afford the private that might have better suited her needs. Smaller than the other children, she had an above average IQ paired with severe ADHD, and high functioning autism/PDD-NOS (different specialists all have their own opinions on that one). There was a LOT more to it, a small school which simply was failing to meet her educational needs while failing to cope with her disabilities, it was just too much for me to deal with. I worked full time outside the home as a single parent and her brother who has Aspergers was struggling to complete and graduate year 12; I simply didn't have the energy to fight all the battles and pulling her out to homeschool was the wisest route. She THRIVED at home, remembered how to actually enjoy learning again, and was emotionally ready to return to school 1.5 years later. My only concern would be she had moved even further above her grade range while home schooling which made the unmet educational challenges all the greater upon her return.

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I would be remiss not to point out the socialization angle; while I agree that it does NOT need to fall victim, socializing your home schooled child is more work. In our case, we made liberal use of community supports which included attending arts classes hosted by the school district for home school families, attending 4-H and scouts in addition to our entire family being deeply involved in the SCA (medieval recreation - see www.sca.org for more information). I agree with other parents here, however, that by controlling the social experiences, you provide a POSITIVE social experience rather than the bullying and emotional damage that can occur in the public school environment.

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One other positive point I would like to mention was that home schooling allowed us to incorporate our family holidays into her education. An example would be year 8 when we were planning a trip through the California Gold Fields and Nevada. In the weeks leading up to that trip, I focused her history lessons on the Gold Rush and Western migration, thus turning our family holiday into an extended field trip. There is nothing like walking the paths and touching the things talked and read about to gel a lesson into permanent memory. I still think the best moment was our scariest, when we were nearly stranded by a snow storm while touring the site where the Donner party was stranded in the California mountains! Talk about a learning experience my daughter will never forget, complete with huge snowflakes falling so fast as to nearly blind us! That was over ten years ago now but I'll guarantee she knows and remembers more today than the average American about the Gold Rush!

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Hi, I just though I would put in my two cent on homeschooling. My boys are not yet old enough for school (2.5 and 1 month) but I plan on homeschooling them. I was homeschooled from 4th grade all the way through high school. I loved being homeschool and so did my two other sisters and my brother. Homeschooling allowed my mother to tailor our education to our learning styles and focus on things that we excelled at. I know a lot of people have concerns over socialization and such, but I have no such concerns. I didn't have many friends growing up. We had friends through our church and also were involved in a homeschool support group, but my siblings were my best friends. When I was in 10th grade I went on a student exchange group trip. I was exposed to people and language and situations that I never delt with at home but I don't feel that it put me at a disadvantage or at a lower level than any other person. I felt like I had a better foundation to deal with those situations and experiences. After high school I even went on to work on a cruise ship and experienced much of the world and got to know many people from many different cultures.

I believe that it is an individual decision that each family has to make on their own. For some families it doesn't work and for others it might just work for a certain period in their lives. I plan on homeschooling my kids through all their school years up until college if it works for us.

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I would suggest you take a few courses in your local community college on writing skills before taking on the challenge of home schooling your little ones.

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Jax S- Not trying to be rude or nasty but I find it to be rather tactless, unkind, judgmental, and highly rude, for you to make such a comment in regard to Meghan's post. If I were you I would look over my own comment before saying that, because in your one sentence reply I found a few grammatical errors. You don't know her, nor do you know the frame of mind she was in while writing, or if her children where in need of her assistance or bothering her while writing. As these could be causes for why she made very few spelling and grammatical errors in her post. maybe she was bothered by some of the rude responses posted within this thread in regard to homeschooling as she stated she was home schooled and plans to do the same with her own children. I have my own personal experience with attending public schools, being bullied by not only peers but school staff as well, in addition to having a 2 children in public school 1 bullied by peers another by teachers because she inherited a learning disability from her father and an emotional disability from myself. I see no problem with either side i excelled in school but in no way attributed to the school or staff itself, it was due to my own study habits and desperate need to excel as quickly as possible to break free from an abusive home life. You get treated terribly by staff when you do not do well but are ridiculed and verbally abused when you either ask for help or ask too many questions to ensure you understand the material and assignment directions. I too am planning on homeschooling my youngest, my daughters want to stay in public school with their friends so I will let them make that choice for themselves but my youngest has adhd and cannot sit still and learns in his own way his only 3 yet is smarter than most 5 and 6 year olds I have met. I also live in an area where the schools feel it is not their responsibility to protect a child from students or outside predators while on their campuses they will only protect them from the employees of the exact campus your child attends. I would much rather my child be where I know he is safe and protected and is learning in a safe, calm environment more conducive to his thriving academically without the fears of being hurt by peers or worse. Unless you are the exception to the rule of the human race and have not one flaw and are the true definition of perfection, i suggest you not make rude and judgmental comments to others. I'm sure you have heard the cardinal rule from your own generation and those who proceeded you, "if you don't have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all", it applies online just as it does in physical relations.

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Jax S is obviously another jealous parent of children who are probably not thriving in public school. I have had other mothers give me back-handed compliments like, "I don't know how anyone can homeschool children. I would be the worst mother EVER," and other such comments. Just because a person cannot write a Pulitzer-worthy strand of thought online does not in any way indicate that they are of lesser intelligence than others, or unworthy of educating his or her children at home. That idea is complete ludicrous and shows a lack of foresight on the part of Jax S. Keep your negativity to yourself, Jax. Homeschoolers are known to be extremely determined, intelligent and willing to make incredible sacrifices for their children. We are a bunch of optimists, and we'd like to keep the negativity out, thank you.

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We home schooled to help our son's grow & learn. In the school's they were in had a policy if you didn't get a fact or concept in math or what ever, you moved on anyway. They both were behind in math & English. We didn't start homeschooling until they were in 6th & 8th grade. I didn't want too I thought it would take more time and alot of extra work on my part. How wrong I was.

In one year they both advanced 3 gr levels, in math, reading, science. We had placed them back in the curriculum, had them start in 4th & 5th grade level. We used Accellerate Christian Edu. ACE. Pace. Which meant they moved at their own pace through the books. We used cooking to learn measurements for math. Went rock, leaf, bug hunting for some science. We ca,ped out in the back yard to learn the constellations.

Today one is a Journeyman Electrican and our Youngest is in Construction. Both are very good in their field of work, math is very important in both fields. And to think their public school teachers whom we really liked, couldn't help them advance, through help, they had to keep moving on. If we had ignored their lack of advancements in school who knows where they might be today. Possibly the same, but you just never know.

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This is one of many reasons why parents choose to home school their children. it is not just mom's but fathers are a huge part of that decision as well..

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/public-school-moves-free-condom-jar-back-room-available-kids-13-and

the reality is, they pass condoms out to children as young as 12 years old at this particular public school.

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When I worked in a group home for disturbed youth, the children (ages 11-17) routinely entered our program pregnant or worried they were pregnant, sexually active at ages 11 and 12. Most of them had active STD infections as well as lice. We would have been thrilled to see a free condom jar in the classrooms. It is better than twelve years old, pregnant, and carrying 2-3 active STD infections, as well as sharing those with their multiple sexual partners! We saw an average of 10 pregnant 14 year olds per year in that centre. Now which sounds worse?

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Unfortunately there are some children that do not have the proper parental guidance. I personally spend a lot of time with my kids, doing activities that show them that I care about spending time with them because they are important to me. Not all children have parents like that & when they don't feel loved & want attention, they will seek it out the only way they can get it which unfortunately will end up being from a teenage male seeking sex. It is better that these children have access to protection than to ignore it & have them wind up pregnant. That makes for an intelligent & proactive school, which should not be condemned. Just because the school takes steps to help these children, doesn't mean that your children will end up becoming like that just because they may be in close contact with other children who are starving for attention. If you are an involved parent, then having children see a place where they can access free condoms will have no bearing on how your children behave.

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I homeschool my children because I enjoy having them around me and I want them to have a great education that incorporates lots of opportunities for growth and development, the classics and doesn't involve bullying or things we don't want them to be taught. They get lots of social activity and no, I don't mind them learning things we don't agree with, as long as they have a strong base in their home. The flexibility in scheduling is also a real bonus. My children get to explore all their interests and talents and they learn from each other as well.

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I started homeschooling because I wanted the best educational option for my kids. I'd read lots of research, and everything I saw pointed towards homeschooling producing not just the best academic scores, but the kids most involved in the community, emotionally the healthiest, and most satisfied with their lives. I didn't start it because of religious reasons.

My kids are now 15, 13, and 7. I've learned a lot of interesting things:

Kids don't learn in a straight line. Their minds make starts and stops as they grow, just as their bodies do. Most formal education penalizes kids for these natural growth patterns.

Figuring out your child's learning style makes everything so much easier. It's one of the primary strengths of homeschooling (and there are many). If a resource isn't working, it's pretty simple to try something else! No need to go through a curriculum committee, only to have it changed after your child graduates. Mismatch of homeschooling method and learning style is the leading cause of homeschooling burnout.

"Home" schooling is a misnomer. It's a rare day when all of us are home all day. There are so many things to be involved in, from sports to lessons to clubs to service projects, that it's easy to be overscheduled.

It's a lot easier to keep a handle on my kids' health and diets. I hear parents lamenting that their kids are putting their lunch money in vending machines and having Twinkies and Coke for lunch. Guess what? No vending machines in my kitchen! As long as what I bring into my house is healthy, my kids eat healthy diets.

While I didn't start out homeschooling for religious reasons, it eventually became important to me as I saw what kind of people my kids were growing into and what a contrast that was to most of the kids around us, and as so many of our friends experienced very negative things at their schools.

How we've fared:

We got in touch with a support group immediately (my oldest was 4). We've never not had a support group, but we've moved to different groups as our schedule has changed and as their makeup has changed.

Academically, it's been excellent. My son is doing college Calculus and Statistics *for fun* this summer. He was stuck on Algebra for 3 years, and suddenly a couple of months ago it just clicked for him. He zoomed through that and Advanced Algebra and then picked up a Calculus book and started on it before he even got his Geometry book, which he's now zooming through as well. He's finished so much coursework in various subjects he's technically a junior, but this is the end of his freshman year.

My next one is in 7th grade and doing algebra, as well as several high school subjects. And my youngest is 3 grade levels ahead in reading.

From a social standpoint, that's gold as well, too. They have more friends than I did at their ages, and better friends! They are confident everywhere. They have no problems in talking to anyone of any age for any reason. My 13-year-old went to Manhattan without us for an international ballet competition the week before she turned 10 (the school had a chaperone for her, but no parent was there). They've performed on major stages and have a Youtube channel. They've spoken with Congressional representatives, college professors, celebrities, and little Indonesian women they've met at the grocery--and spoken to them all with respect but no fear. They've frequently been mistaken for "student leaders" by people who don't know they're homeschooled. I guess they are.

Another thing is how much it frees up our schedule as a family. We've been able to go to Vermont during the Fall Color season, to Disney World in the off season when it was less-crowded, to other amusement parks, museums, and attractions during the week, when we got better pricing and less-crowded conditions. We've also been able to spend a week at a time during the school year with older family members, allowing my kids to learn from people of other generations.

I was pleasantly surprised by all the variety of activities there are out there! My son has done competitive gymnastics, baseball, pre-pro ballet, Tae-Kwon-Do, and now football. My daughter has done softball, Tae-Kwon-Do, pre-pro ballet, and cheer. My youngest has done pre-pro ballet so far.

My son started getting college mailings at the age of 13. My next-oldest is now getting them as well. I've been told that homeschooled students stand out to admissions officers, not only because they get higher test scores than other students, but because their highly individual transcripts require a closer look than the formatted transcripts used by schools. When your Biology class includes working part-time for a vet, doing a scuba dive workshop dealing with coral reef conservation, and reading original source materials instead of a textbook, that's different than the 200 applicants from Washington High who all used Scott Foresman Biology.

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I love reading about what other homeschoolers are doing. I'm just starting out so it encourages me. I like how you added your son spent 3 years on Algebra before moving on. Would it be too much of an assumption to think he was mastering one skill before moving on to the next? We seem to accept this so readily with toddlers (he just starting walking so the language skills are lagging), I'm beginning to think it's true across the board. One question I have for you, are there any subjects you had not mastered that your children were still able to excel at?

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Stacie, I missed this question of yours because my browser doesn't take me to new posts as they happen, and this is a very long thread. Yes, he was most definitely mastering one skill before moving on. That's how I learn as well, for the most part: learn as much as I can grasp at the time about a subject. Once he had that part of math mastered, he was able to then understand everything that used that particular piece of it, meaning he could just zoom. He is more advanced in math than I am, I think, at this point. I had an odd math education myself: I had "Advanced Honors Algebra", which mixed all of high school algebra into one year. I then had the only Geometry class our school offered. They also offered Trig and Pre-Calc, but instead I took 3 years of chemistry and 1 of physics. So I did get the higher math, but in a more application-presented way. I think that's why when I've picked up his calculus book I was able to understand as far as I read in it, and the same with his Honors Geometry book. So far he's not done anything that I haven't already done myself. But I haven't been doing the "teaching". I've gotten resources for him, both books that are meant to self-teach, and live classes. There are also online resources like KhanAcademy.org and Coursera and Udacity, so I'm really not terribly concerned. He *has* taught himself a few things like how to set up a computer server and how to reprogram video games. I would really like him to learn computer security--very lucrative. It's something I don't know. He's also learned a little Arabic from some friends, college students from Saudi Arabia. And he will likely be learning Italian when he goes to stay with some friends of ours, also homeschoolers, who just became missionaries to Italy. Homeschooling doesn't mean you have to do it all yourself. :-)

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I was raised in a family where we were pro public education - my father was a school administrator in our public school district in southeastern Illinois for 30 years. When my daughter and I relocated to the state of Florida, I was very unimpressed with the way that the public school systems were run down there. Not to mention the fact that I originally enrolled my daughter in a school in Gulfport, and then Largo, being impressed with neither one. And in the latter high school, it was a COMPLETELY UNSAFE environment there. There was a constant police presence there and in the month that my daughter attended, there were three (3) different incidents at the school involving serious violence, that last one of which involved a lockdown and there were students that were seriously injured (including a pregnant girl student) and SWAT was called to the scene plus several other police units. No way was I going to allow my daughter to continue attending there. So I began homeschooling her and she thrived so well with it that she graduated a year early and began attending college early as well. She is an exceptional student and I am very proud of her achievements despite these setbacks.

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We are just starting on this journey with our daughter. While her teachers in public elementary were all excellent, the school system as a whole is completely unprepared for a child who is both gifted and special needs. They have models for special needs with academic challenges, but not gifted. Her Aspergers, OCD, and other issues have made her a target for bullies and invariably she gets in trouble when she reaches her breaking point. No child should have axiety issues about facing elementary school every day because the "system" hasn't caught up to ensure they are "left behind".

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In SA the average child is lost in High school unless they excel in sport !!! I home schooled my daughter from her 8th year of schooling to completion. The only problem was that I used Unv of Cambridge and there was little to no support in SA. The level was also much higher than that of the SA schooling and I really struggled to find a Maths tutor for "O" level who could assit her !!!!!! Despite all of this if I had the choice I would do it again.

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