Any homeschool kids or parents here?

Discussion in 'Community' started by njmac, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #1
    I am researching home education and just thought I would try and get some opinions from people here. The problem with asking on homeschool sites is that those parents (and their kids) seem to only discuss the rosy side of homeschooling.
    If you are a home educated kid - what are your experiences? The good, the bad and the ugly.
    Parents - how are (were) your experiences? Most parents who don't homeschool tend to say "what? your crazy... too much work.... too much time with your kids...." etc.
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #2
    As an (ex-)homeschooling parent, I'd say it can be incredibly rewarding, but it's quite demanding and very time-consuming. You've also got to be pretty well up on the subjects you're teaching. I covered English Language, French, Italian, Math, Geography, History and Physics, my wife did the Art and English Literature, and various friends provided for Sculpture and Metalwork. But home schooling doesn't have all the associated political connotations over here, and the local Council paid just one visit, were suitably impressed, and buggered off again. Very pain-free.
     
  3. Guitarius macrumors 6502a

    Guitarius

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    #3
    My sister used to homeschooled, and it seems (in my opinion, from my POV) that homeschooling only exists in the extremes. There are the incredibly rewarding things about it, as well as incredible draw backs. My sister in incredibly smart. She got, without a doubt, a better education than at any private school around here. She learned stuff in 7th grade that I didn't learn until highschool, especially the math. She was learning basic highschool algebra at the begining of her 7th grade year, and she understood it all perfectly. She has some of the best spelling and grammer of anyone I know (even though sometimes she chooses not to use it. ;) ). And on top of it all, she works extremly hard, because she genuinely wants to learn.

    Now, for the negatives. She is, for lack of better term, socially retarted. She was incredibly shy before she started homeschooling, and that made it worse, as she has basically alienated the outside world. The only time she leaves the house is to go to horse-back riding lessons. She has no friends, and doesn't know how to act in a social situation. Also, the reason she was homeschooled I was very much against (but hey, no one listens to me). It was after we moved to a new town, and she was picked on at school, and would run home crying. Instead of teaching her about self-worth and esteem, my parents took her out of school and homeschooled her. Children are cruel, they have been since I can remember, but that was no reason to start homeschooling. She is going back to school next year, and I am very concerned as to how she is going to cope with it.

    With all that being said, I know many people who have been homeschooled. And as long as a healthy social life is balanced out with it, it can be a great thing. It can also be very detrimental. And as you can tell by the horrible spelling in this post, I went to public school. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    #4
    I know a homeschool girl, who, like your sister, is amazing smart, but as far as social skills, sucks. Isolation from everyday things teens see is the main drawback (a really big one at that).
     
  5. sjpetry macrumors 65816

    sjpetry

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    #5
    I know a home school boy and he is very social. But his sister is the opposite.

    It can be a trade off.
     
  6. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I was homeschooled approximately from grade 2 to grade 6 (8 in some subjects), after which I started with the University of Nebraska - Lincoln Independent Study High School, an accredited correspondence program that got me ready for college better than just about anything. If you're looking at it for the high school level (including middle school, which can basically be skipped), distance education is probably a preferable alternative to outright homeschooling, because you get a real diploma when you are done.

    I am now about halfway through college at a large public university and have a GPA of 3.925 -- so being homeschooled didn't hurt me any.

    Be active in organized religion and have some other things to do, and any isolation present in homeschooling (or for that matter distance education) is mostly mythical.
     
  7. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    #7
    Is Homeschooling for you?

    My children just finished their 6th year of Homeschooling.

    The big question being asked about Homeschooling pertains to socialization.

    The question you have to ask yourself is do you want your children to learn to socialize or to learn socialism?

    Government run schools will teach your children socialism. There is so much corruption in our government today, do you trust apointed individuals that you do not know to bring up (brainwash) your children?

    How they socialize with other people is part personality and part learned response. In other words, you have to teach them how to socialize. There are lots of kids in public and private school who do not know how to socialize with other people. In "school" they are told to sit down and shut up, line-up and shut up. (A little side story, we actually had someone ask us how they would learn to line-up.) Also, in "school" students are only allowed to interact with people their own age. Homeschooling students are taught to interact with people of all ages. I've seen my 15-year-old son take a 2 year old by the hand and help her find her mother at a park and my 10 year old hang out with 15 & 16 year olds.

    My kids are involved in many different activities that expose them to various groups of people from toddlers to great-grand parents and they interact very well. Our 15 year old is very comfortable sitting with a group of senior citizen aged men, conversing in long, deep discussions. Many times we have been around public high schoolers and they seem to look at you with a shallow look and seem to be afraid to speak with you, far from even conversing with you. The times when we would try to speak to public school kids, most of the time their answers are short and mono-toned. On the other hand, when we are around high school home schoolers they are always eager to speak, many times they are the initiators of the conversation. They are always pleasant and fun to be around and seem to be unique, intelligent mini-adults.

    As for the education side, you have a curriculum to follow just like public and private schools. My wife "guides" our children through their lessons, but the learning is up to them. Basically, once they know how to read and write and do basic math skill the rest is gravy. Everything else is based on those skills.

    Everyday things can be turned into "school work". Take baking brownies as an example. It involves reading, math, economics and social skills. Reading of course to read the instructions. Math to convert fractions if you want to change the amount of brownies you are baking. Economics can be worked in 2 ways. The first way involves purchasing the things needed to make the brownies and the second would be if you discussed how much each brownie cost to bake and how much money should be charged if they were going to be sold at a bake sale, the old profit / loss lesson.

    You have to make learning fun. My 10 year old loves to read. He just finished reading 52 books for the school year ending. Real books, not kid books. If you teach your kids to love reading, the world is theirs in self-education.

    What is your goal in "schooling" your children? The world has so much information and the school systems have so many requirements today. What we want is for our children to have the highest moral standards, have the ability to contribute to society, make a career out of something they enjoy doing and enjoy living a peaceful, productive life here on earth. Most importantly, is to know the meaning of life and its purpose. How often do public schools succeed in this? The world would certainly be a better place if it did. We believe there is a new generation and new "sub-society" of peoples that are being brought up to change the world, for we know that the world is deteriorating and in desperate need of such people.

    We are part of a church based school. In our state, parents can be under an umbrella church school organization or have a teaching certificate. Each state has it’s own laws. I suggest you get in touch with a local home school group and Home School Legal Defense Association (www.hslda.org).

    Good luck!
     
  8. rosalindavenue macrumors 6502a

    rosalindavenue

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    #8
    There's all you need to know njmac-- non-homeschooling is for godless commies, all government is corrupt, and public schools are for brainwashing. Aren't you glad you asked? :eek: Close the thread!
     
  9. Guitarius macrumors 6502a

    Guitarius

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    #9
    rjphoto, it sounds like your kids are doing great, and I'm happy for you. I think it all depends on the kids myself, and the people doing the homeschooling.
     
  10. sjpetry macrumors 65816

    sjpetry

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    #10
    Rjphoto I think you are the on the is brainwashed. ;)



    1000TH Post! :D
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    I apologize for making everyone read 1000 of my posts. :cool: :p
     
  11. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

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    #11
    While there are lots of advantages to home schooling the biggest disadvantage I can think of is acceptance into college or university, all the people I know who have been fully home schooled did not attend univiersity until their mid-twenties when they got accepted as mature students, if at all.
    When and if I have children I plan to have them attend school for reasons other than the academic and supplement their education with home schooling and tutoring.
     
  12. njmac thread starter macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #12
    Thank you all for your insight. One thing that I am not worried about is the socialization factor. My kids, not yet kindergarten age, already have social activities that I would never stop. They will always have cousins their age, neighborhood kids and other people from groups they may join like Little League, Boy/Girl Scouts, rocket club or whatever may interest them. I would never isolate them.

    It's the actual "school" part that makes me a little nervous. I am encouraged though by the positive experiences of rjphoto, Skunk, guitarius and JeffTL.

    The very first time the idea of homeschooling popped into my head was when I realized kids in my neighborhood take the bus to school - aproximately 1 hour each way. That seems like a sin to waste 2 hours when you are 5 years old.

    Now that I am looking into it more, I see a lot of other benefits including individual attention, flexible schedules, and flexible (to an extent) subject matter.

    The life benefits that rjphoto talks about surely can be learned by dedicated parents who send their kids to public school. I like the example of baking brownies, and rjphoto, you're right that's a fantastic learning experience that is probably not going on in too many schools. But there is always after school for that, right? Regardless, I get your point and aside from a few posts about socialization, I have not heard from anyone with any real negatives about homeschooling - which is great news for me because it's the route I'm pretty sure I want to follow.

    Thanks again for all the input.
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    It doesn't just sound like "one" of the major drawbacks. It IS the major drawback, and is the reason homeschooling is a bad idea. I'm not saying that ALL homeschooled kids end up socially retarded, but I'd say the chances are higher. I've read papers on this. Its like kids who aren't allowed to watch television when they're younger......its harder to be "in the know" and on top of popular culture, and make friends, if you don't watch TV as a kid. Its just another way to make your kid less relatable. Oh, and kids who enter a daycare and "junior" kindergarten (ie: when they're 4 years old) are better socially and more confident at speaking than kids who only enter the public education system when they're 5 years old for kindergarten.

    And taking guff from other kids is a part of life. Its painful, but you end up tougher in the long run. What happens when an associate or coworker says something hurtful later in life? How would they deal with it? They did not experience things like that nearly as often as in regular or private school.

    Being smart is important, but knowing things and being good academically isn't the only part about being smart. And you definitely don't need to be all-knowing to have good friends and enjoy life.
     
  14. njmac thread starter macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #14
    Several people have already posting about this part of rjphoto's post, and I just wanted to add that this kind of thinking is extremely popular in homeschool circles -or at least on a lot of the websites on homeschooling I've seen.

    To be honest, it was a big turnoff for me at first. After all, I myself am a public school graduate and so is every single person that I know. But.... I can see a point to it, to a point that is :rolleyes: The government has not really been known to run anything without bureaucracy and a good dose of incompetency. So yes, I can see where it comes from but I don't really care because that is not one of my reasons for homeschooling. Just wanted to put that thought out there.

    Leareth - We posted at exactly the same time! Great point though about college. That is very important to me that my kids have the same opportunity as others do to get into college. Hmmmm.. I really need to check that out. Thanks for the post.
     
  15. njmac thread starter macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #15
    Really though, I don't think this applies to my particular situation. My kids watch TV. They do spend a lot of time with other kids. I can't imagine that homeschooling will shelter children from getting picked on. My kids will still get part time jobs when they are teenagers, will still play community sports, will certainly be able to go to movies, watch tv, hang out with friends, and will almost certainly get picked on by peers. No it won't happen at school, but what about camp, or sports teams or whatever... My little boy gets toys taken from him now by bigger kids and without school, he is learning to deal with it.

    Now maybe if a parent wanted to isolate their kids from the world then yes Abstract you are right. They would probably without exception be socially and emotionally "retarded".

    Right? Remember I haven't done this yet, but it makes sense to me...
     
  16. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #16
    Instead of putting all that energy into home schooling, why not put that energy into a combination of both teaching your kids the things you believe public school education leaves out and helping out and being involved with your children's public school. If more parents take that approach, it will improve not only their children's education but the education of other children as well.

    By taking your children out of public school, you deprive that school and its students of your potential contribution to the school, your child's potential contribution, and funding (most schools are funded on a per-student basis).

    There are also all the socialization reasons. And there is also the reason that children should grow up aware that there are many different types of people in the world. Homeschooling is insular and can shield your children from a lot of realities that could contribute to their being a more complete and more aware person.
     
  17. njmac thread starter macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #17
    That's an excellent point, sounds like it could be called "afterschooling". Its interesting to me that people seem to be thinking that kids who are homeschooled are isolated from the harsh realities of the world. I just can't see it happening with my own family. My kids will not be isolated. I have no plans to hide them from the world. Its a wonderfully diverse yet tough world out there and they have to deal with it just like anyone else has to - public school or not.
     
  18. emaja macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Very well put.

    My wife is a middle school teacher and I can say for a fact that most of the people in my area that we have talked to about homeschooling do it for two reasons - religion or social issues.

    A lot of these people do not want evolution or other things taught to their children that conflict with their church affiliation. They are extremely conservative religiously and I can respect that, but when they refuse to believe in the scientific facts of carbon-14 dating of dinosaur fossils or other "devilish deceptions" we run into problems. Furthermore, many of these people doing the "teaching" barely squeaked through high school and have such limited knowledge that I am horrified that they feel they can do a better job teaching than a person who has dedicated 18 plus years of education along with several years of classroom experience.

    In addition, I do not know a single person that is homeschooled that has anything approaching the most basic social skills. ALL - and I do mean ALL - of them are clearly uncomfortable in groups - even of their own relatives - and have learned no way to deal with conflict or opinions that are contrary to their own in an acceptable way.

    Another big strike against homeschooling is that children respond best to a variety of voices, and too much contact with any single voice tends to increase the "tuning out" of that voice. I love my children and my wife dearly, but being with them every single moment of every single day would be a strain on our relationship, and not a benefit. It is just human nature to want time out from the same people and such intense around the clock scrutiny would be counter-productive.

    Finally, I think that homeschooling feeds into a parental control issue where some parents just can't let go and have "their baby" be with someone else. It tends to lead to a child looking to their parents for all answers and solutions instead of trying to discover things and work out issues themselves. In my observations, it leads to a more close-minded approach to learning - compartmentalizing knowledge instead of an interlocking relationship of disciplines where facts are unrelated to each other and exist in their own bubble.

    I understand that there are people out there that are qualified and that there are circumstances in which homeschooling is a good thing. Recovering from and major illness or injury can be hard, but I think that trying to do that and attend a traditional school would be harder. Many special needs kids can benefit from a certain amount of homeschooling, but in my opinion and experience, most homeschoolers are doing their children a serious disservice by pulling them from schools and trying to do it themselves.

    In my opinion, the best way to handle it is to send your child to school - public or private - and monitor them and their development closely, helping them along the way with their homework and projects as well as any sticky social situations.

    I think that homeschooling may be a reaction to too many parents relinquishing too much control to the school for their child's upbringing in recent years. A lot of parents are not involved enough in their children's lives to notice much of anything. We all knew kids whose parents were busy working and took little interest in their schooling, then wondered where the time went and "What's wrong with Johnny?" Some parents today see the way to "take back" their children is to teach them themselves.

    Just because you are a parent, does not mean that you can be the best teacher for your children's academic development.

    Of course this is just my opinion, and I don't want to offend the qualified homeschoolers out there. I am afraid of those who can't do it who do not realize it.
     
  19. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    #19
    The good and bad go together.

    To quote my wife, "The greatest thing I have done in my life is teaching my kids how to read. It's greater than teaching them how to walk or talk."

    Home schooling isn't for everyone. You must make many sacrifices. With small children you will spend a lot of one on one time with them. As they get older, they will become more independent.

    The biggest problem we have had is not having free time for personal hobbies, but that can be changed around to be learning time.

    One of the first things we dealt with was weaning ourselves to one income. After doing the math on our income and expenses, my wife’s job was only bringing in about $300 extra a month. So we made a few cutbacks. No shopping sprees, no fancy cars, expensive restaurants or new computers (I’m typing this on a 5 year old hand me down PowerBook). But, we are getting by after 6 years. (It's nice not to have a big car payment.)

    We cut off the Cable TV not only to save money but also to get the garbage out of our house. That's a personal choice. We are so busy we end up only having time to watch the news anyway, so what's the point of paying $60 a month for something I can get for free.

    One post questioned why didn't we get involved with the public school system. We tried. They didn't want any interference. They wanted to keep parents in the dark about what they were teaching and how they were handling problems. (That's another LONG story.)

    As for the college question, the percentage of college acceptance is higher among home school students than public school students. You should see some of the scholarships some of the kids we know have received.

    Your concern about the bus trip is very real. 2 hours is a lot of wasted time for a 5 year old. You can spend 2 hours in the morning with a 5 year old and get the entire days schooling done. Our youngest son finished the entire K-5 curriculum in 8 weeks. He then finished the first grade by the end of the year.

    As you could see from the negative post people are very opinionated and the battle gets heated. Why are they so belligerent? What's their problem? Are we harming them?

    It does take a lot of your time and energy, but in the long run it is worth it.
    It’s the hardest job you’ll ever have.

    Don’t believe all of the negative stuff you hear about home schooling, most of it is opinion not facts.
     
  20. njmac thread starter macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #20
    Great point. Everyone needs a break - the parent from the kids and vice versa. Kids should also be exposed to different opinions. Certainly something to think about. Thanks. Any actual homeschoolers care to tell me how they work around this or if this indeed is just inherently a problem?I can see the problem in theory, what about in practice?

    Once again, why is it being said that school is the best place for socialization to occur? This really is baffling to me. I whole heartedly believe that it must be possible for children to be socialized outside of school especially if you make a concerted effort to do so by making sure your kid is enrolled in all kinds of extra curricular activities ranging from camp to volunteering to a part time job to community sports, let alone from after school neighborhood kids getting together to play?
     
  21. njmac thread starter macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #21
    Thanks for bringing that point up. Moving closer to school is no way an option. For this one reason alone (keeping in mind that I am willing and able to teach my children) I think homeschooling will be worth it. Really, think about it; a 5 year old on a bus for 10 hours a week. especially when kindergarten is only 2 1/2 hours long itself. Silly.

    Great, thanks.

    Its great to hear from people who actually homeschool. This seems to be one subject where everyone has an opinion that is based on what they *think* homeschooling is and what kind of citizen it makes you.
     
  22. Guitarius macrumors 6502a

    Guitarius

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    #22
    If this homeschooling trend keeps up, I'm going to be screwed, as being a teacher is what I plan on doing when I finish college. I dunno how long that will be. I really want to go to grad school.

    A great friend of mine, one of whom I cherish very highly and love to death, was homeschooled. She was a very social person, but I think that's just a bi-product of being involved in community theatre (where I met her). But even still, for some reason I get a feeling that she is still a bit naive.

    To be totally honest, I would have to say that I am against homeschooling. The pros are great, but the cons far outweigh it. There are other ways to get a great education. Depending where I live, my children will either go to public or private school. Probably public, unless there is a good non-religious school. I went through 6 grades of Catholic school, and I despised it, and will not put my children through that.

    But hey, that's just me.
     
  23. Phobophobia macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Don't you sound credible.
     
  24. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #24
    Why don't you tell us your long story.

    It's a public school. Any parent is allowed to sit in any classroom. Anyone is allowed to run for the school board. If you volunteer to help out in a classroom and develop a relationship with your child's teacher (this is what the PTA is for), you could help by tutoring some children while the teacher concentrates on other groups, or vice versa. You can help by tutoring after or during school. You can help by monitoring children during lunch and recess. You can help by preparing extra materials for students to learn (my mom researched and wrote a history of my elementary school so students, including my brother and I, could learn a little about the history of our school and the history of our city).

    And lastly, as an added bonus, by volunteering and being involved you'll teach your children a great lesson by setting a good example: be involved with your community--not just a selected subset of your community, but your whole community.
     
  25. Veldek macrumors 68000

    Veldek

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    #25
    When I read this, I just had to say something about it. If I understood you correctly, you say, that kids have to watch television, preferably programs that tell them what is hip and cool.

    So, as a kid you can only make friends if you wear branded clothes, know the top music stars in and out and so on? And to achieve this, your only chance is to watch TV?

    Pardon me, but I just have a completely different point of view in this case. Perhaps when we're talking about kids we mean different ages, but for me younger kids shouldn't grow up with the help of the TV. It's the parents that have to teach them how they can make friends and that there are more important things than being "on top of popular culture".

    But perhaps I just misunderstood you.
     

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