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Old 03-18-2019, 06:44 PM
322 posts, read 52,904 times
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For those who homeschooled their children: What were the factors that led you to decide to homeschool?

The purpose of this thread is to leave an artifact for those who are considering home schooling to read written by those who actually home schooled. It is not to debate the merits of home schooling.

For homeschoolers only. Please explain the following:

01) What was your background?
02) Your reasons for home schooling.
03) What type of homeschooling did you do. (traditional classroom, casual (laying on the floor or around the kitchen table, unschooling, etc)
04) Did you use an established curriculum, a virtual/on-line school, create your own, or create a hybrid plan?
05) What were your objectives?
06) Do you believe you met your objectives?
07) What surprised you about home schooling?
08) What would you have done differently?.
09) What were the end results.

I’ll go first.

01) What was your background?

My wife was an elementary school teacher, preschool teacher, and Sunday school teacher. I had been a part-time community college instructor teaching business classes (for fun) though professionally I was a serial entrepreneur. I also had taught children recreation activities since my teens. Both of us possess one or more Masters degrees. Neither of us feel our academic background was a factor in our success at home schooling although our public school exposure was the primary motivation for us to homeschool.

02)Your reasons for home schooling

We elected to home school for the following reasons:

We both observed that a number of public school teachers opted to send their children to private schools. That started our critical assessment of the public school system. We wanted the best academic education for our children. Both of us had spent a great deal of time as instructors and both of us had made note of the positive intellectual development and interpersonal skills of private school and home schooled children when compared to the their public school counterparts. At the community college I taught at I was very impressed by the early teen students who were homeschooled and attended college; they stood out in terms of their maturity, ability to focus, academic preparedness, polite demeanor and critical thinking ability. We both felt homeschooling or a private schools were superior to public schools; that is what we wanted for our children.

03) What type of homeschooling did you do. (traditional classroom, casual (laying on the floor or around the kitchen table), unschooling, etc)

We did a hybrid of K-8th grade traditional book based learning while laying on the floor and munching cookies, supplemented by the real world examples indicated, family learning vacations, and unschooling in terms of letting them explore any topic they wished as deeply as the wanted. So lots of supplemental materials.

04) Did you use an established curriculum, a virtual/on-line school, create your own, or create a hybrid plan?

We used a hybrid approach. We ended up using ABeka’s curriculum based on recommendations from other home schoolers and supplemented by real world applications. We also believe in “America” and wanted a curriculum that accurately portrayed the positive attributes of the Founding and our Founding Fathers. Though we both appreciate religions various aspects neither of us had very strong religious convictions. However we both felt since our nation’s principles are founded in Judeo-Christian beliefs it is an intrinsic part of the education needed in order to understand our nation. We also wanted a very strong Math and Science focus and ABeka excels in those areas.

However we supplemented out children’s education with real life experiences.

As examples:

We grow a significant percentage of our own food. So a typical pre-kindergarten type real world activity would be to give the children an assignment. For example is we wanted to plant snow peas we would hand the child the packet of seed to read. And then tell them how many feet of peas we wanted to plant and left it them to figure out how many peas were in a foot, how many peas were needed to plant the row, and them count them out and bag them. The point being they had to apply and chain together basic concepts.

All of our children could balance a check book by the time they were 6 years old. Their job was to balance the checkbooks etc each month and do a family balance sheet.

Their allowances were given to them with a pay stub and their allowance had actual deductions for SS, Medicare, state and federal tax.

They learned how to calculate the interest on a bonds and CDs.

At tax time, they did the 1040 long form (we verified it).

We also supplemented history lessons with visits to Williamsburg, Mt. Vernon, Carter’s Grove, Monticello, D.C. Independence Hall etc.

As a matter of civics and political science they also worked for the political candidates of their choosing on various campaigns. One of them did all the database administration, created walking lists after doing voter database analysis. One created websites for multiple candidates. One drafted all the responses to petition challenges and read campaign law. They also went door to door canvassing.

05) What were your objectives?

We wanted out children to get a classic liberal education so they would be free thinkers and be able to challenge vested authority, in particular government. We also wanted out children reared with our personal values. We had children to pass on our traditions and beliefs and did not want our children indoctrinated in government servitude by the public school system or to absorb the personal beliefs and ethics of public school teachers. This was a major factor. Both of use had experience with the education system and were horrified at the thought of having our children’s minds programmed by the State.

We did not necessarily intend for our children to go to college. We were open to them becoming professionals, tradesman, or small business owners; whatever they desired. we wanted their work to be meaningful to them and bring them satisfaction.

06) Do you believe you met your objectives?

Yes. All of them are active politically and of Libertarian persuasions. They all ended up going to college and are happy and successful in their professions. Their core values, more or less are the same as ours, though they each express them in their own manner.

07) What surprised you about home schooling?

How little time it actually took to instruct the children. ..We were very worried about how little time it took to cover the days lessons. Actual instruction the curriculum never exceeded an hour – ever. That concerned us at first. And we tested and retested them, puzzled as to why. We then came to realize that much of traditional classroom time in public schools is spent not teaching but in disciplining. When I say less than an hour, understand that is instruction time. The children then had their assignments to do, which took them one or more hours. But the actual instruction time, coving the lessons was always measured in minutes.

We were also surprised of the quality of the education provided by the curriculum. Our children only went through K-8 and then started college when they turned 14(their choice). They needed no remedial education and each one of them gradated with perfect 4.0/4.0 GPAs in business or STEM. They had no difficulties in college despite only having an 8th grade education.

We were also totally shocked by the vitriol expressed toward home schoolers. As an interracial couple, in an interfaith marriage we thought we had already experienced every type of bigotry imaginable. Nope, you have not been oppressed and negatively stereotyped until you have home schooled. The ignorance displayed by some people is unbelievable. And even more surprising is their ability to loudly espouse their ignorance, many wear their bigotry as if a badge of honor.

We were also surprised at how little support to out an out negativity was displayed by so called friends and family members.

08) What would you have done differently.

We might have given them more spiritual guidance or told them it was okay to believe in God. Despite using ABeka they all are agnostics. Even though they had a religious curriculum we fell down on conveying the idea of faith or belief is okay in the United States of America.

Knowing what we know now, in particular after looking at education in the Amish communities, we would have planned to only home school to the 8th grade (we rather stumbled into that) and planned to have them spend their summers from the 6th grade on, abroad.

09) What were the end results?

All our children started college when they were 14. They all had a broad general liberal arts education and then homed in on their area of specialization. They all opted to be professionals. They graduated with business or STEM degrees. All finished college in their teens and were immediately professionally employed. The all had 6 figure salaries or earnings by the time they were 23 and are all on track to have a 7 figure net worth by the time they turn 30. Two founded their own businesses. Any relationships with the opposite sex have been respectful. They will likely home school their own children pending spouse approval.
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Old Today, 04:21 PM
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Reputation: 10
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