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Old 03-24-2015, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,156,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsMeFred View Post
Yeah, it's hard to be counter-cultural.
I did it because it's far and away the best solution for one of my kids. He's extremely bright, but dyslexic... Was struggling, frustrated and drowning in school.
I decided others' opinions weren't nearly as important as giving my kid his best shot.

Interestingly, despite the flack I got in the first few years, I'm now routinely questioned by friends, neighbors, other school parents I know who are considering doing the same.
And, while very few have joined me in being "weird," I find it interesting how many have come around to being fully supportive.
Yes, this.

We chose to homeschool because my daughter, and to a lesser extent my son, were both poorly served by many aspects of our school system. I felt that in many cases I could do a far better job-- not necessarily for all kids, but certainly for those two kids.

Most of the people I'm friends with who are homeschoolers-- and I am not suggesting that anecdote = data, merely offering my observations-- have changed things up from time to time. They/we have used Virtual Schools, classes offered for homeschoolers by museums and aquariums and science centers, partial enrollment at the public or at a private/charter for a specific academic class or for extracurriculars like marching band or drama, or sent their elementary schooler in one day a week for the gifted pull-outs. Many kids I know have homeschooled some years and gone to school others. We went year by year: what do you want to do next year? Homeschool? Okay. Then the following year perhaps one or both would go to the neighborhood school. Overall, my daughter mostly homeschooled, my son did about half and half. Both are finishing high school and in the top five percent of their class, so despite my lack of a teaching credential I don't seem to have broken them. In fact, I'm often told that they are more focused and more serious students than their peers, which I ascribe to having been a partner in much of the decision-making during their homeschooling. When they got to exercise choices, and help in the planning, they developed much more of a stake in the outcome.

OTOH, I will also freely admit they're finishing high school in a traditional setting because I am not a bean counter and record keeper and bureaucrat by nature. The local school is much more adept at generating the paperwork (transcript, counselor's letter, etc) involved in college admissions. So there's that.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,156,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javacoffee View Post
Homeschooling requires a commitment that many parents cannot fulfill. It isn't just teaching them the schoolwork from the books a few hours a day, it's a matter of find a suitable replacement to the social aspect of the classroom, school spirit and school ties and friendships that can last forever. The children need to be socialized at an early age...every day, not just once or twice a month.

I commend any parent who can homeschool their children, but I also won't condemn those who can't or won't.
I will say I never, as a homeschooler, gave a single thought to school spirit or school ties. It simply was a non-issue. And honestly, they were far better socialised as homeschoolers-- and ironically, were exposed to a far more diverse group of people than they would have been at most local schools, where they spend their days in a group of individuals who are very similar in age, social class, and (frequently) ethnic background.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,156,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenstyle View Post
And there it is. Homeschooling takes a potential earner out of the workplace.
Not always, as others have indicated. But is it necessarily a bad thing when it does? Given recent rates of unemployment, the idea that at least some people are out of the workplace by choice seems like a good idea to me.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,079 posts, read 3,053,026 times
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I do giggle a little at the thought that my homeschooled children, who are out in the Real World most days, are somehow not as well prepared for the Real World as those who go to school. My Real World does not look like a school classroom at all. I am not surrounded every day by 24 people who were born the same year as me and who live in the same zip code.

I am not saying that there is no value in school, not at all. But I don't count "teaching children how to live in the real world" as one of its benefits, to be honest.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,718 posts, read 1,524,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javacoffee View Post
Homeschooling requires a commitment that many parents cannot fulfill. It isn't just teaching them the schoolwork from the books a few hours a day, it's a matter of find a suitable replacement to the social aspect of the classroom, school spirit and school ties and friendships that can last forever. The children need to be socialized at an early age...every day, not just once or twice a month.

I commend any parent who can homeschool their children, but I also won't condemn those who can't or won't.

The bolded is the typical concern I hear from non-homeschooling parents (and I grabbed your post because it is representative IMO, not that I am directing this specifically at you, or your post).

I think the assumption about socialization is terminally flawed. The better question is why do we, as a society, consider an environment with 25-30 kids, all within a year of age, being led by a single adult as the only authority figure in the dynamic, where all children work on the same thing, at the same pace, at the same time, as some sort of optimim for "socialization?"

It has far closer parallels to standardization and some forms of indoctrination than socialization IMO. Early education theory did this to produce factory workers for a manufacturing economy, and "standardize" new immigrant children from multiple language and cultural backgrounds in American values and culture (the antithesis of todays focus on diversity), not as a method to properly "socialize" kids.

Outside of the classroom, there is absolutely nowhere this type of dynamic (and social construct) exists, and yet it is the home school kids, working with different age groups, on different projects, at different paces, with multiple authority figures who are thought to be "unsocialized."

Now, all four of my kids were lousy at the petty vindictive crap that makes up functioning socially with a school age peer group, but were exceptional at dealing with a wide variety of ages, intellects and capabilities (sometimes at the same time), because that is what they learned was the "peer group" in home school.

I think the "socialization" concern is at best over-rated, and IMO is initially detrimental for actually functioning in a work environment in our society until the kids are "socialized" to a dynamic peer group with varied tasks and responsibilities within their work roles.

Food for thought from a different perspective...
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,562 posts, read 6,046,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Yes and the high rates of illiteracy before mandatory public schooling speak for themselves.
Pierre du Pont de Nemours studied American education in 1800 and he measured a literacy rate that was already over 99% among the youth, the highest in the Western world at the time. Other contemporary figures, as Cremin studied in 1970, suggest that the American colonies in the 18th century had a adult male literacy rate between 70% and 100%, comparable to the most literate Western countries at the time. So the notion that illiteracy was rampant before the state forcibly put children in public schools is false; not that it would matter to present-day people anyway, seeing as children's circumstances were quite different then.

Children that are raised in a literate environment will at some point want to learn how to read the symbols that they see all the time and that they see other people reading; at that point any parents with the slightest interest in their children will help the children to learn how, much like they would with most other topics. Today the vast majority of children are raised to some extent in a literate environment; two centuries ago a large number of children were not. It was simply much easier then to not have contact with writing or to not see much of people reading than it would be now; the mass poor and working class would be in this situation unless deliberate effort was made to expose kids to writing and reading, whereas now the same people would have to exert deliberate effort to have kids not be exposed to writing and reading. The Internet alone has 85% penetration and rising, and if you are raised an Internet user there is compelling incentive to become literate; the other 15% at bare minimum have ample exposure via products in stores and shops, signs, and advertising. As far as basic education is concerned, the current mass population in outlook and environment are closer to the affluent of 1800 than the poor of 1800.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonybaloneytoys View Post
It narrow minded because they don't know and most who have negative comments are only repeating things they've heard others say that are against it.
The first sentence encapsulates most people's primary objections to homeschooling; shatter those and a lot more than 10-20% would really like the idea and would use the same methods disadvantaged and single-parent homeschoolers are using to make it work now. That's where the possibility* of a majority-homeschool population I mentioned comes in. The way I look at it is that the natural instinct* of a family makes it a rule to raise the children at home until they become adults/adolescents; breaking that rule daily is only accepted if some benefit necessitates it. Once people no longer believe sending kids away every day for education is necessary or beneficial then homeschooling will become the norm, with daily school outside of home being the province of students under unusual circumstances.

*Mind you, the possibility, not the certainty. If we're honest we'd all admit that none of us knows what the percentage will eventually be; just different possible economic and social changes would affect that figure a lot. My view is that eventually percentages will have little meaning, because the eventual endpoint will be various blends of homeschool, tutoring, and flexible incarnations of private school along a continuum. Some schools will be built on a model like homeschoolers use; other schools will start offering specific classes and other services to lure homeschoolers who would otherwise shy away from them entirely, compete for students that need a school but like some of homeschooling's features, and the existence of such options would enable many to homeschool that would otherwise need to stay in school full-time to fill their needs. Hybrid programs already abound, and now some elite private schools mimic the offerings of home education, so such a future isn't much of a stretch.

*Think about it: among households who could help it (in most eras that's aristocrats), when in human history has it been the norm for (pre-adolescent) kids to be sent away from their home or primary caregiver daily, which is what we have today? Not in the hunter-gatherer environment humans evolved in, not in classical or medieval times, and not later on (in the latter three tutoring at home was the most common teaching method). Education away from home for children, even daily, has existed for thousands of years and was accepted for most of that time but only in the past century or two has it been the norm.

Quote:
I find that public school teachers are probably the most outspoken against home schooling. That is personal experience as well. I wonder if they feel threatened?
Then again, I've seen many threads on this board where public school teachers decide to homeschool their own children, citing their experience with public education as a factor driving them to homeschool, no less. I personally suspect that opinion of homeschooling is more polarized among public school teachers rather than being unusually hostile, in that public school teaching attracts both those friendly to homeschooling (think the "helping those lovely kids" type) and those hostile to homeschooling (think the "public school is the best thing since sliced bread" type) more than other occupations. However, this is mere speculation, so take it with a grain of salt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
We can't keep our children in a world created by us. Well... we can. But I think it's a bad choice.
Just what do you think (public) schools are if not "a world created by us"? They certainly didn't arise spontaneously, and adults designed them for the sole purpose of holding large numbers of children. Aside from daycare centers one can't say that of any other built environment anyone uses on a daily basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherTouchOfWhimsy View Post
We live in what's considered a good school district, but I don't know what the districts are "graded" on... if it's how many kids pass the standardized tests, though, then that's probably not the school for my family. I don't care for the constant prep-test-prep-test-prep-test cycle that seems to be going on lately.
Standardized tests only measure a student's ability to take the test - the hope is that the ability to take the test correlates in some meaningful way to the quality of education one is receiving, but those hopes are rarely fulfilled in reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
1. They can't stand the idea of that much time with their kids. [...]

But usually #1. Which makes me wonder why they had kids.
Indeed. If I didn't want to spend my life with my children and raise them as a family in our home, then I wouldn't have children, since to me there wouldn't be any point in doing so. It must be one of those cases of minds being wired differently .

Quote:
Once the very rich and privileged had their entire schooling through one-on-one private tutoring.
Why?
Because it's the best and fastest way to teach anyone anything.
Aristotle's tutelage of Alexander the Great is perhaps the ultimate example of this and of the ideal of classical education; it would be hard going to top Aristotle as teacher and Alexander as student .
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Texas
42,186 posts, read 49,689,244 times
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My friends ask why we don't send our 3 year old to "school." He just turned 3.

What are they learning at school?
Oh, ABCs, numbers, shapes, etc.

He can read. He can add and subtract. He can tell you not only colors, but shades. He can tell you how many sides an octagon has. He can tell you the ingredients of a chocolate chip cookie, make you a cup of coffee, and feed the dogs.

He can name each type of construction vehicle (excavator, backhoe, backhoe loader, the difference between grader and scraper, etc) and its parts (boom, shovel, gripper, wrist, etc).
He can name pretty much any fruit or berry. He has been doing 12-16 piece puzzles for almost a year. Different dinosaurs, all the animals, and the difference between carnivores and herbivores. He does tricks on a scooter and rides a balance bike. He does various sports.

Why? Not bc he is some genius or anything. But bc 4 adults routinely take their time to educate him instead of send him off to some dumb ass cattle call.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:53 AM
 
15,281 posts, read 16,810,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
My friends ask why we don't send our 3 year old to "school." He just turned 3.

What are they learning at school?
Oh, ABCs, numbers, shapes, etc.

He can read. He can add and subtract. He can tell you not only colors, but shades. He can tell you how many sides an octagon has. He can tell you the ingredients of a chocolate chip cookie, make you a cup of coffee, and feed the dogs.

He can name each type of construction vehicle (excavator, backhoe, backhoe loader, the difference between grader and scraper, etc) and its parts (boom, shovel, gripper, wrist, etc).
He can name pretty much any fruit or berry. He has been doing 12-16 piece puzzles for almost a year. Different dinosaurs, all the animals, and the difference between carnivores and herbivores. He does tricks on a scooter and rides a balance bike. He does various sports.

Why? Not bc he is some genius or anything. But bc 4 adults routinely take their time to educate him instead of send him off to some dumb ass cattle call.
Three year olds don't have to be in school, but they often enjoy preschool because they get to play with other children their age. My kids went to preschool at 3 because everyone in their neighborhood was going. It was half days for 2.5 hours a day. They could go 3 or 5 days a week.

At 4, they went to half day preK 5 days a week. It isn't a *cattle call* unless the classrooms are too big. Ours were small and had more than one teacher. The kids did have some *learning* activities - story time for about 15 minutes, a few special art activities and reading and math readiness, but that was not the point of preschool for us. Note that the time allowed me to run errands without kids along (once the younger one went to preschool or with only the toddler when her brother was in preschool). They also went to the playground every day, weather permitting. And they did art activities that were messy and moms didn't have to do the clean up. It was partly for the kids and partly for the parents.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,718 posts, read 1,524,465 times
Reputation: 5664
Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
My friends ask why we don't send our 3 year old to "school." He just turned 3.

What are they learning at school?
Oh, ABCs, numbers, shapes, etc.

He can read. He can add and subtract. He can tell you not only colors, but shades. He can tell you how many sides an octagon has. He can tell you the ingredients of a chocolate chip cookie, make you a cup of coffee, and feed the dogs.

He can name each type of construction vehicle (excavator, backhoe, backhoe loader, the difference between grader and scraper, etc) and its parts (boom, shovel, gripper, wrist, etc).
He can name pretty much any fruit or berry. He has been doing 12-16 piece puzzles for almost a year. Different dinosaurs, all the animals, and the difference between carnivores and herbivores. He does tricks on a scooter and rides a balance bike. He does various sports.

Why? Not bc he is some genius or anything. But bc 4 adults routinely take their time to educate him instead of send him off to some dumb ass cattle call.
Stan4, totally agree with this post.

My grandson was getting frustrated by his inability to communicate at about 1 YO. My daughter "speaks" ASL, so she began signing to the little bugger. He picked it up almost instantly, and the only problem they have run into is he assumes everyone (adults) knows ASL, so he signs to everybody.

He is two now, and starting to verbalize pretty well, but still uses ASL for more intricate communications with his mom and dad.

Kids that get positive interaction with adults in a regular, recurring manner can do far more than we think they are capable of.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:48 PM
 
3,672 posts, read 5,773,054 times
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i wonder that all the time. i don't even have children yet but i started going to some of our local school board meetings and i've been scared off lol.
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