Homeschooling? Any of you wondering about doing it?
I have been struggling with the choice between homeschooling and public school. So I wanted to get a discussion going. What are your views on it? I went to public school my entire life and my husband was home-schooled his entire life. It's not a decision based on "Well this was how I was raised" but a question because of school violence, controversial school subjects, and that sort of thing.
The social aspect is not a big deal for us because our children are already exposed to a variety of cultures and other people and children. They will also get a sort of "extracurricular" of their choice (dance, sport, etc.).
Any thoughts? What do you plan on doing? I still have time to decide (my oldest is going to be 3 this summer).
We are going to homeschool our sons when they are old enough. The public school system around our area is NOT good, and we'd also like to do ours with a Christian basis. Both my dh and I were public school raised, but after seeing several of our neighbors' kids, hearing from friends, and seeing my dh's brother's kids, we want better for our kids. My sister who lives in Colorado does the homeschooling program "COVA" (a "K12" program) with her 3 kids and I've gotten to see a lot of how it works. She's lucky, in that CO pays for all of her homeschooling supplies and the program... it's kinda like public school, but done at home and a lot of it is on the computer. They even provide a free computer for the homeschooling. Don't know if you've seen, but here in MO the rules for homeschooling are VERY lax... there really aren't any rules; you can even do "non-schooling", but they also don' t pay for anything that I've seen. We are going to eventually probably use a program like "Mountain View Christian Homeschooling" which uses "paces" for their curriculum, and you can move ahead at your own pace. I just don't feel comfortable doing my own curriculum without some sort of guidance.
We plan on only doing it up until high school (junior or senior, I"m not sure), as I think it's important then for our sons to have to get some "real life" experience and also to be part of school clubs/activities/sports. We aren't worried about his younger years, because there is plenty of things that we already have to involve them (play groups, music, church groups, etc).
Anyway, we are going to give it a go, but if our kids seem to be falling behind, then we'll probably go private schooling. I just want to give them a leg-up on their peers, but if my homeschooling isn't accomplishing that, I'm not too prideful to say I've failed and try something else. Our neighbors on the one side have 17 kids, and are "suppose to be" homeschooled... but they are out playing and goofing off 99% of the day, and I've caught their mom doing her childrens' end of year tests for them. She says that they get enough schooling from the real world interactions and dealing with each other.... of course, her oldest daughter had to take the GED test 4 times to finally pass-- and only did then because they let her keep the 3 previously failed ones to study off of, and the 4th time it was one of the same previous versions. Sad. When I was down babysitting a few weeks ago, I took some "Go-Fish" cards along, and was horrified that the 9 year old couldn't even read the wording on the cards.
I know I have a while before I have to choose between public and homeschooling, but I am with SeeingSpots on this. I want better for our daughter too than what I got from public schools. I actually did not graduate, I got my GED because my nerves could not take high school. I cried like a kindergardner everyday before I went in, I just didn't want to go, I was scared. I hated that time in my life!
I have seen parents that take their kids out of school, and not do anything with their home schooling as well. My aunt took my cousin out when he was 9 and did not do ANYTHING to school him... he is now 22 and pretty much dependant on her and my uncle.
If I were to do home schooling I KNOW my daughter would learn a tremendous amount... education is VERY important to both my fiance' and myself.
my daughter is turnign 3 too. i chose to keep her at home until a few months ago. and now she goes to daycare for a few hours only. i think it depends what state you live in. i live in california and no offense to anyone who will disagree, but public schools here just too messed up. kids pregnant at 12 years old. drugs and all. i will put my child in private school. i think that more good comes from putting them in school then bad. the goods are
1. they will be exposed to cultures and people differences
2. they will learn to deal with the outside world
3. they will learn to deal with hurt, sadness and happiness
4. they will learn to have friends and companions
5. they will love to be outside outdoors and feel a bit independent
6. they will do better in the outside world in the future when you wont hold their hands
7. they will learn to fall and get back up. you know?
8. they will have stories to come and tell you
so much good comes from it . i say that the bad that schools come with, those bad stuff is very necessary . it opens your eyes to the outside world so they know how to deal with all kinds of **** that life will throw at them. pick a really good school. do your research. dont deprive them of their right. as dr. phil says "the more give them and the easier you make things, the more youre taking away and depriving them of the experience they need and deserve". just pick a good school. your kids are young you have lots of time . do your research. let me know how you do . i am very intrested. i am totally against kids going to preschools before the age of three though. to be honest. but thats my opinion.
and i forgot to add. whats the point of having the education adn knowledge of the books when you wont know how to apply it and use it in the outside world. i say people differences and al the ups and downs is what they need to learn about for their own future careers and relationships. you know?
I currently go to a community college and in my Spanish class last semester I met a 17 year old girl that was home schooled K-12. She was very advanced intellectually but struggled with social skills. I think that is the biggest fall back of homeschooling but since your children get that interaction with other children it sounds like you may have the "ideal" homeschooling situation for them. I too have struggled with the public/homeschooling for my daughter. I did enroll her full time in head start though and she and I both love it so I think for her, public school may be our choice.
Just a thought...have you ever considered becoming involved in the public schools yourself to help make them a better place? The sad fact is that there are many parents out there who don't give a darn about their kids, let alone their kids' education. Those children are part of our society, too. I understand why you may want to keep your children home and away from the issues that they may face in public schools, but just think of the good you could do for your own children as well as the many others who could use your help.
It really drives me nuts that home schooling in some states is funded to the point of giving them computers to use at home! (hadn't heard of that one until now). So, say one computer goes to a family of two kids...meanwhile, down the street at the school, one computer may need to be shared by 50! It may end up benefitting your kids right now, but how does it benefit society as a whole? One day your kids have to live and work in the same world as those other kids...what happens then?
I am a public school teacher, so I do have some bias admittedly. But I also know how hard I try everyday to help each and every child achieve success. I am also a volunteer at my child's school and am very active in the PTA. My daughter is able to share with me the good and bad of what happens at school and it provides us with some great discussion and many teachable moments.
I would really like to see an objective, long term study done on homeschooling vs. good public schooling. (We all know that bad public schooling is very very bad, so let's take that off the table and compare good homeschooling to good public schooling).
Homeschooled kids tend to do significantly better in academic testing than public school kids, but they don't interact with their peers smoothly. They stick out in social situations and don't understand social nuances - with peers.
They do seem to be very good at social interactions with adults, and adults often prefer home schooled children's company over public school children's company because homeschooled kids tend to be more polite and respectful of adults.
I'd like to see a study done, though. The objectives would be to determine:
1. In the long run, to homeschooled kids do better in college than kids in excellent public schools?
2. In the long run, to homeschooled kids make better employees?
3. Do homeschooled kids have better success in social relationships as adults - i.e., marriages, parenting relationships, and adult friendships?
4. How do homeschooled vs. public school kids rate as far as general satisfaction with their lives as adults?
It's really an interesting topic, Joy, thanks. I am heavily in favor of public school - I think kids need to be able to deal with social interactions on their own, and experience a very wide variety of personalities that they have to endure.
i also fear that no matter how much you think you introduce your child to different perspectives, the knowledge that can only be derived from active classroom discussions would be lacking. you can describe and try to teach different views on a topic, but not have a healthy debate truly showing someone else's perspective. you can even pretend and role play, but you will never be able to accurately represent the experiences and views of a child from a single parent family, a black child, a white child, and english language learner, etc...
you can tell your child that everyone has different skills and abilities, but your child won't understand this and learn how to deal with it until he or she is a class with 20 other kids. you can read books about ADD, vision impairment, hearing impairment, physical disabilities, autism, etc... but your child won't truly understand what it is like to work with and along side people with varying abilities unless they are exposed to them.
how can a child learn about healthy competition when learning in an isolated environment? the social interaction from the extracurriculars is good, but cannot be compared to the social interactions one would receive in a school setting. When you're on a team, you are with many people who have a similar interest to you, which is very different from real life.
and a word of caution- when i went away to college, the girls that were the most irresponsible were those who came from strict, religious households. it was scary. they had no idea what to do with their new found freedom and were the first to get wasted, sleep with strangers, etc... of course none of their parents suspected a thing. there has to be a middle ground somewhere. sheltering your child from society's problems will leave them ill-prepared to deal with them when the time comes.
i understand your fears and concerns, and i do see that there are many benefits to homeschooling. i don't want to pretend to know what the right answer is, but these are some concerns i would have about homeschooling. i guess it's also hard for me to understand where you are coming from, since where I live, the majority of kids graduate high school and go on to college. we had no violence in my high school, and the "cool" kids were the smart ones.
Yeah, I think it would be an interesting study... but probably too many variables to really objectively do. Like I mentioned above, my neighbors kids are definitely NOT benefitting from homeschooling, but to put them in a study along with, say, my sister's homeschool kids wouldn't be fair. I think if you are going to homeschool you also need to really make efforts to be sure your kids are socialized in other ways. The program my sister's kids use (COVA) does require that the kids do extracurricular activities and has get-togethers for the homeschool kids in the same class. When I lived in CA, the homeschooled kids in Ramona/Julian area were actually getting money from the state for horseback riding lessons (a form of P.E.) with a group of other public schooled kids (one of the girls was using my horse). All of the kids had a great time, and you really couldn't tell which were the homeschoolers and which were the public. While yes, my neighbor's kids down the street are GROSSLY behind as far as social interactions with their peers. So yes, I agree- it's definitely something to think about and watch; and if homeschooling an extra effort needs to be made to keep these kids integrated in social situations with their peers. For us it's going to be sports, 4-H or Gymkhana (riding) clubs, youth group (church), as well as interacting with other homeschooled kids. There's also a local group where moms homeschool together-- one subject is assigned to each mom (they all use the same curriculum), and then the kids go to the different homes (with their kids) to do their lessons.
I agree with you 2ndBaby, in that it is crazy that some states give so much to homeschooling, while the kids in classrooms get so little. My sister's kids not only get the latest and greatest computer, but they also pay an allowance for the internet expenses per month. From your point of view as a teacher, I totally understand how unfair that is... they also get all the supplies- globes, art supplies, visual aids, etc. But from my sister's point of view I can also see why she loves it so. Her kids get all of this for themselves and don't have to share time on a 'puter or quickly get to handle a learning aid and pass it on; it's theirs privately to learn from. Also, if they are doing well in a certain subject and picking it up quickly, they can move right along to more difficult lessons (and not be held back waiting for other students to pick it up)... or vice versa, if they are having trouble, they can slow down and take as much time as needed to master something, and not get left behind.
For us it's also a matter of wanting to integrate Christian lessons in to our sons' schooling. We don't agree with all that public schools require kids to learn, and would rather it be Bible based. In my generation things were quite different, but nowadays when kids can't even have a Christmas party in the classroom, are given condoms in the classroom (my dh's 11 yr old niece was last week), and required to read books I find offensive, well, that's partly the reason that we feel the benefit of homeschooling outways any "risks". If we don't homeschool, we would use a private Christian school instead. Yes, our kids will have to integrate in society with other public school raised adults someday, but we feel that giving them the best head start we can now is our highest priority.
I live in the inner city. I'm white and my children would be a minority in a school that has little to no funding, is over-run with gangs and drugs and prostitution. It is not a good school whatsoever. On the last day of school, armored cars and tanks sit outside the school, with police in protective gear. I'm NOT joking. This city has been trying to turn it around for years upon years. Teachers are underpaid and depressed, and kids are disrespectful and bad influences.
My taxes are already paying for this school. It stems from these kids' homes (or lack thereof). They have no parents parenting them, so they run the school to death. There isn't anything I can do that isn't already being done.
I totally see your point! And I know all about the girls in strictly religous households being absolutely crazy, without abandon. I know a few of them! I'm still young enough that I "get it" in those regards (LOL).
As for being isolated, that's something I want to be very careful about. There are Homeschooling Associations that get kids together for field trips, studying, class activities, dances. But it's more tight-knit than public schooling. It's also run by the parents, not by teachers (I LOVE teachers! I am NOT dissing teachers whatsoever... just an fyi for anyone reading). The parents choose the curriculum (so Christians could do a Christian curriculum, a antagonist could do their thing, etc., etc.).
I live in a VERY culturaly diverse community. My next door neighbors (I have 5 apartment buildings that we see from our front porch) are mostly Hispanic and African American. There are also Asians, Muslims, Hindus (the women wear their garbs and everything around here), etc., etc. So I'm not worried about cultural diversity.
And my children already have many friends. One of which is Persian, others who are African American. I was joking with my husband since my first daughter was born that she'd marry a black man. I love people of all colors, races, cultures! We are definitely a minority (being white) but that's not a big deal.
My firstborn already knows basic Spanish because we have missionaries on sabatocal (basically a vacation) from Bolivia and they teach her Spanish.
You have definitely opened my eyes to some things I should consider as well (as far as getting different point of views, debates, etc.).
We would also want it to be Christian-based. This is one reason (not necessarily the main one). My SIL and I were thinking about joining a Homeschooling Association and also trading classrooms. She would teach subjects I completely stink at, and vice versa. My husband is a musician and would teach Music. My MIL is an artist and amazing cook and could teach them Home Ec. Everyone wants to play a role in schooling our kids. They would not be like your neighbor's poor kids.
We'd have to be vigilant about it. That's the part that worries me. Can I do this? Can I be organized enough? My 2 1/2 year old knows all the main colors (plus brown, black, white, pink), can count to 5, knows some alphabet letters, knows all her body parts (even tiny ones like wrist and ankle), talks in complete sentences, etc. So I feel like I'm doing SOMETHING, right? I guess I'm just looking for affirmation here, but it's hard for anyone to know since they don't see my kids.
It's great having my SIL involved in this too (our kids are the same age). We already started planning field trips (zoos, museums, parks, etc.) and I have already bought books of Science and Math Experiments.
And my kids have to pick an extracurricular activity of their choice. Some schools let homeschoolers join their extracurricular activities (like sports)! And I know some homeschoolers take college courses really young, too (like they actually GO to the college and sit among peers).
I think it depends on the child, too. Like a child who is a wallflower and has a hard time interacting with other children should be exposed (gently) to situations that will help them to socialize. It can't always be siblings. My firstborn is a "cautious" child. She'll watch people for a while and then happily join. So her social interaction is VERY important to me! My second baby is still so young that I don't know how she interacts with other kids yet. She seems to be very vivacious (outgoing).
Anyway, I like all the points you pointed out. I was a preschool teacher (only for one semester) and I was a teacher to a 2-year-old. He did great! So I don't know about going to school younger than 3. Like I said, I guess it depends on the child and if the parent thinks they're ready. Daycares can be like preschools. I speak from experience. I practically grew up in a daycare and public school system. But anyway, my kids aren't in school and won't be until 4 probably. Again, thank you for the points! I'm going to look them over and think about them a while.
"I can't do anything that isn't already being done..."
That is a very sad situation that you describe and although I wish I had the 'magic solution' to fix all that, of course I don't. While I certainly feel for you and understand your concerns, I certainly hope not everyone feels what you stated above.
I have worked with a young lady this summer (18) who was home schooled, then went on to Bob Jones University (a VERY Christian School). The poor girl behaved like a 13 year old. She did not know how to interact with us a ALL let alone customers. I felt so bad for her and could see the pain all over her face. She was extremely shy and would almost cry if anyone looked at her the wrong way. She also said she longed to go to a community college near by and work part time. She was tired of being forced to be in an environment where everyone acted and thought the same(and basically looked the same--mostly white) She herself was half hispanic. I don't think as other posters said that you can shield your child from everything in the world.,...also another thing ---they have to learn that there are others who think, act, and believe differently and how to deal with it. Utlimately you want to raise a confident well adjusted child so that the child can cope with life. Everyone knows that some of the most successful people in an office are those who can cope with difficult situations and people. You have to look at the long term effects.
wow. I can see why you would be so concerned. one of the reasons why we live where we do is because of the school system. of course, we can barely afford to live here, and i have to work because of it, but for me, it was more important to live somewhere safe with good schools than somewhere cheaper where i could stay home. Not to imply that anyone else has wrong priorities, or that moving should be an option you consider, but for me that was a huge factor. if i were in your position, i would probably either do private school. good luck with your decision- it's a tough one. at least you have some time to research and think.
i keep erasing my post!! anyway i will keep it short. if your schools and city are that bad then move. simple as that. dh can commute if his job is something he cant find elsehwere. if the schools are that bad, and your neighborhood is full of crime, h.s will just ruin them. what i mean is if you give them a "little house on the prairie" lifestyle how will they cope with the real world out there?? that could actually make it worse for them when they do enter the "real world". that is something to seriously consider. i say move
There is a reason why people have to go to college to become teachers. You have to be educated to be a teacher, not just any old schlep off the street can do it. Many of the people that I've known who have home schooled their children didn't even graduate college and many are religious fanatics or socially inept themselves. Then, the kid gets out into the real world and can't handle it so they get pregnant right away as a way of feeling grown up. They think having a kid will make them acceptable and grown up b/c that's the only way they know to prove their worth to the world.
I went to 5 different elementary schools b/c we moved around so much. I was exposed to so many types of people that now I fit in anywhere. School exposed me to a lot of things. Yes, some were bad but there was also a lot of good too. There were my physics and math teachers that I loved. I also had a great creative writing teacher. They opened my eyes to new ways of looking at things. Don't discount the wonderful teachers that your child could come in contact with. A teacher can make a big difference in someones life.
If you are afraid of the schools your kids might go to, move to a nicer neighborhood or try a private school. Or, join the PTA and make a difference.
mayflowers, I'm not a schlep. I'm a very educated, intelligent person. I grew up in public schooling and have MANY teachers I still think fondly of but there are also teachers who are teaching some things I do not agree with and that is a major reason I am considering homeschool. My kids would have multiple teachers, other Christian moms with the same convictions and beliefs as myself. We wouldn't just paint Noah's ark and read the book of Matthew. It would be the same as public schooling, but with a Christian basis.
2nd baby & pertykitty, my husband is becoming a pastor. We live in this city because we're trying to make a difference. We aren't trying to change the education system, but the PEOPLE and the atmosphere of this city. THEN the education system will follow. If you don't change the people, how on earth can you change the systems set in place? I'm not talking about changing them by force, or anything like that. For example, if we don't teach these kids in our youth group about respecting authority (which we emphasis they need to do at home and school), they aren't going to make a difference.
Also, how can we help change this city if we don't live here? It's like, "I'll live in the suburbs and come into the city and try to change all of you and then run home to my comfy, perfect little neighborhood while you guys are still struggling with gangs, graffitti, break-ins and drive-bys." It's just not what we believe.
decogrl, as I said in previous posts, social interaction and classroom interaction is important to me. Thus we would join a Homeschool Association for Christians. Thank you for your post! I found it informative. And I feel so awful for that young girl!!!!!!!
Others- Gosh, I was trying to get a discussion going and I feel as though I'm being personally attacked. There is no need for people to try to judge my position. As I said, I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I love teachers (I was always teacher's pet and got straight A's) but I also know that parents as teachers can sometimes be more invaluable in the long run, considering a parent is consisent enough (which I would be).
im at a loss for words, you say you cant send your kids to the public schools because of the crime which is the same as saying you are better than they are, and then you say you are trying to make a difference. not sure where you are coming from now. nobody judged you, they simply answered your question but like many on this board they only hear what they want and dont accept any other input. i think its great you want to make a difference, do as the advice given, go to the public schools, volunteer and get involved and when others see you believe in the system, maybe then they will follow. if they see you home schooling because the system is failing, they will wonder why try. good luck
We have home schooled for seven years. People home school for many different reasons, not just religious.
It always cracks me up to read people's perception of home schooling and their assumptions about children who are home schooled. I think it's hard to give an accurate assessment unless you've experienced both.
We have a huge home school community here. There are three co-ops, where teachers teach classes to home school kids one day a week (for each co-op)--classes like French, World Geography, Ancient Civilizations, Creative Writing, Chemistry, Fencing, Tae Kwon Do, Life Science, Algebra, etc. There are programs, classes, organizations, support groups. And many, many home schooling parents are teachers. Several of my home schooling friends are former public school teachers (are still certified) and there are many home school dads who are still public school teachers. When people who are considering home schooling question their own ability to home school, wondering if they are capable, these home school teachers tell them that being a good teacher is more about being a good facilitator of learning--teaching a child how to seek information is far more important than being an expert on a subject and trying to get him/her to learn what you know.
Home schoolers use hundreds of resources and inspire the love of seeking knowledge and learning in their children. We use the library, field trips (to places like museums, naval air force base, working ranches, police stations, planetarium, seismology department at the university, asphalt plant, etc.), co-ops, classes, tutors, the Internet, curricula, supplemental materials, hands on activities, computer software, educational board games, IMAX movies, archery clubs, science centers, 4H club, scouts, newspapers, periodicals, magazines, workbooks, card games, projects--there's a home school band and a home school orchestra, we see plays, full dress rehearsals of professional opera and ballet companies, musical performances, we are involved in government and the political process, we volunteer in the community (at the animal shelters, PBS, Ronald McDonald House, soup kitchens, planting flowers, food pantries), etc., etc., etc.
So I know that many teachers take personal offense when parents think that they can educate their children without a teaching degree, but it truly is not rocket science. You discover your child's learning modality/modalities (linguistic, kinesthetic, logical/mathematical, etc.) and you find a curriculum that suits him/her. Then, you supplement and do unit studies, research papers, etc. when the child shows a special interest in a topic. A child (actually ANYONE) learns best and retains the information when he/she is interested as opposed to being force-fed something you (or anyone else for that matter) think they need to learn at a particular time. And you teach your child how to seek information and knowledge. It's one thing to memorize something, it's another thing altogether to know how to obtain knowledge and apply it.
And the "socialization" comments are something that home schoolers find to be quite humorous. My child "socializes" with other kids of all ages far more hours per week than he would if he were in school. I think that how children interact has much more to do with their personalities than anything else. A child who sufferes socially in school (either because of misbehaving or being picked on) would likely suffer socially in a home school environment to some degree. But to be honest, home school children in general tend to be very accepting, forgiving, and inclusive. While I hate to label, you will always find wallflowers and geeky kids in public school and you find them in the home school community, too. And there are good schools and bad schools, good home schoolers and bad home schoolers--but I have to say, that if you commit yourself and take on the responsibility of educating your children (not an easy task that anyone I know has taken lightly), you are likely to be reasonably good at it and successful.
There is a huge home school teen group here and at least 50 kids attend each outing/get-together/event. They have pizza nights, movie nights, they go bowling, roller skating, ice skating, sledding, skiing, swimming, goofy golfing, etc. They have a year book and year book committee, they have class officers, class rings, class pictures, sports teams, class jackets, huge formal proms (the local country club makes an exception and allows them to hold events there when they do not normally allow teen events), and they have huge, formal graduation ceremonies.
My son's friends are all polite, well-mannered, well-spoken, and appropriate over all, but they all have their moments when they behave like kids and yell or climb a wall or annoy someone. Many are outgoing and some are shy and quiet. They are all individuals with individual personalities.
To generalize home schoolers would be like generalizing institutionalized children--they are not all the same. You have good teachers, quirky kids, learning disabilities, gifted kids, behavioral issues, overprotective parents, etc. in both situations. Like someone else said, there really is no way to truly compare the two because there are so many variables.
I am all for parents doing whatever it is they believe is best for their children and I'm thankful that we get a choice in the matter.
Hey JoyRenee, I just wanted to tell you that I don't think your kids will turn out socially inept if you homeschool them. I've known many parents who homeschooled their kids and they had them involved in sports, church, scouts, etc. They had plenty of opportunities to mingle with other kids. One thing I noticed is homeschooled kids seem well ahead of kids in public school. They also seem more polite, less rebellious. At least my friends kids that I observed.
I do know that sometimes kids that are too sheltered can rebell once they leave home, but not the kids that are strong in their faith. Someone said that strict religious homes produce these type kids. The key here is, are they super religious, following rules, etc., but have no real relationship with the Lord? Believe me, there are many, many people who go to church every week, know the Bible inside and out and yet have no personal relationship or love for the Lord. If someone has a true relationship with God, everyone would be able to see that.
I wish now that I would have gone with my first instinct and pulled my daughter out of school and homeschooled her back in 6th grade when she was being bullied. I let everyone talk me out of it, teachers, my mom, everyone. They all said that she needs to learn how to handle that. Well, let me tell you something. I saw my sweet, loving daughter change while she was in middle school. She became depressed, moody and angry. She met a girl who really dragged her down into the darkness. She started cutting (like this girl) to deal with stress, etc. We've had her in counceling for a long time. I attribute a lot of this to her peers and how badly she was wanting to be accepted and fit in. Every time she had a break from school, like Christmas break, she'd relax, she'd start to seek God again even. Then as soon as she went back to school, I could literally see it; the sress level went way up and she'd change back again. We did finally put her in a new charter school and she seemed much happier starting over but there are still kids that she's friends with that worry me. I look at their myspace pages.
Let me tell you something, I truly think our schools are much, much worse now days than they were when we were growing up. Yes, I went to a big public school and we knew kids that did drugs, but they were the weird ones. Yes, we'd have fist fights, etc. But now days, there's just something different. There's more darkness, more violence, weird stuff like satanism, witchcraft, goth stuff. Yes, kids were having sex back then too, but now days it's so accepted. They feel like the oddball if they're not having sex. I feel sorry for kids now days and all that they have to deal with. There's been a loss of innocence, I think, at a much younger age. They know too much but are too immature to handle all that they are exposed to. Does that make sense?
My daughter has been traumatized because of her peers. I can't go back and fix things now. All I can do is help her pull out of this.
I have a three year old and I've been thinking of homeschooling him. He's just so sweet, I don't want to see him get messed up. I feel like I already made a mistake with my daughter and not protecting her enough.
You have to do what you feel is best for your child. If you have the dedication and organization to homeschool, I think that's great. Don't let anybody talk you out of it.
Also, I noticed someone said something about COVA. I have a friend who pulled her daughter out of high school her first day because she was getting sexually harrassed and the school didn't really do anything about it. She's been using the COVA now for a year and a half and LOVES IT! Her daughter loves it too and wanted to get out of the public school system.
Like I said, do what you feel is right in your heart. It's up to us as parents to protect our kids and do the best we can for them. Take care and God bless!
I wasn't trying to personally attack you. When I wrote schlep, it wasn't to call you a schlep but I just meant that teaching is not for the faint hearted. Not everyone is cut out to home school their kids. Some of the people that I've seen who home schooled their children did not seem to me to be qualified for such an undertaking and were doing it for religous reasons. Most of these parents had not graduated from college.
The main point I was trying to get across what that I feel that teachers are special and should not be discounted for what they can contribute to a person's life.
If you feel that you can do a better job than whatever school system you are in at the time, then go for it and I wish you the best.
But what kind of example are you setting by trying to 'change the people' if you don't allow your family to be part of them? That message seems to be "People: change. Be like me. And when you are like me, than my family can mingle with yours. Until then, let's be separate."
A comment I would like to make about home schooling--is that if a parent is going to do this they better make sure they are qualified (Joyrenee sounds like you are)...but what if you don't teach your children enough about life--I am Catholic, actively participate in my faith (for faith based eduacation)--but don't believe everything that the public schools teach is bad--so what if they show kids what a condom is when they are young--not enough parents teach their children about sex, puberty and growing up--they do leave it up to the schools..so I would rather my child have a teacher teach them the basics (if I was not) than learning about it from a friend. Look at how many times we have posts from people wondering how they got pg... or if they could get pg from being in a pool.
I do know in my area a family (home schooled) had a major problem with the school when they would not let their children participate on the school athletic team...and that should be the way it is--if you go to the school you get to be on the team--if you are home schooled no high school activites should be available to you--unless the school is a pay to play school.
But I do agree if you are a qualified parent and feel you can handle all the demands of home schooling your child and make sure that they understand about life in general with out the hum drum of regular school life then go for it. I beleive the family on TLC does home schooling and it shows how they biult there house from the ground up, how they get together with other families that home school...but these families are really hand picked for your kids--they are not giving them the real life experience of having to deal with people that their parents may not approve of--or people from other faiths. So in a way that is unfair to the children where they are almost being kept in a closeted community and not experiencing what real life does have to offer in differences of opinions and beliefs.
I know that for myself--I am not confident enough that I would give my children the education and life skills they would need and I do have a college degree.
I haven't read through all of these posts, but I wanted to put in my experience as a child who grew up in all school systems--public, private, year-round charter, and homeschool. My 12½ yr old sister has been to public, private, and charter. So I feel I could provide you with some decent insight.
I've never been to a "bad" public school. I've been to a few excellent ones, ones that have been even better than the private schools my sister and I have been to. However, I think that really depends on the area you live in. The excellent public schools I've been to were in cities with high populations of white-collar occupations and in rural but quickly developing areas. I've been to three mediocre public schools in my lifetime, and my sister to two. The three I went to were big-city, or soon to be big city. One of the ones my sister went to was very rural, where most students came from families of blue-collar careers or farming. Like I said, neither one of us has been to a "bad" public school, but there have been some better than others.
Both my sister and I would tell anyone, we prefer private/charter (charter schools are public schools with less government involvement and operated more hands-on by parents and teachers) and homeschool over public school, hands down.
The difference between most private schools and public (however, some private schools are really no different than public--believe me, I know), is 1) More parental involvement in a child's education as they're paying thousands in tuition, or 2) There is a very strict set of religious/moral/ethical standards in the school and the parents enforce at home as well as the school does when the children are in their care. I'm not saying public schools and parents of public school children don't provide this, BUT it is more noticeable in private schools. Needless to say, that is why in many cases (not all), private schooling produces better education.
Those two points also make the case for homeschooling. The key to educating any child is the time the parent puts into helping the child instead of just leaving it up to the teachers. Homeschooling provides this 100%, because the parent(s) is either doing all the teaching or hiring the tutors and private lessons, rather than someone else determining where field trips will be or what topic will be covered in a given time frame. The parent(s) teaches their child according to how their child learns best. It requires *huge* dedication from the parent(s)!
As for the socialization, or lack thereof, that responsibility lies with the parent(s) also. There is *no excuse whatsoever* for homeschooled students to not get socialization skills. There are so many things, from sports to church groups to scouts to musical bands (I tried out for the Junior Orchestra of my city, I took martial arts lessons, and I was on a school baseball team for a season).
My mom chose to homeschool me because we moved from a place where I was in an excellent year-round charter school to a place where the public school I attended was waaaay behind where I was at that grade level (3rd grade). Plus, I was the kind of kid who was self-disciplined, motivated, and compliant, so my mom knew I'd do my work (she was a full-time software engineer) while she was gone and left me in the care of my step-father and his parents (they had a self-owned business). Then she'd review everything with me in the evening. She never homeschooled my sister for that reason--my sister needs to be in a school under constant authority and supervision.
All-in-all, though, as a student in all three education systems, I can personally say that it does not matter what system of education in which you put your child; what matters most is that you are involved in your child's education and that you feel content with what they're learning. If you don't, then you need to be the one to ensure that your child reaches your standards, whether it be you keeping them in public school and teaching them extra curriculum in your free time, sending them to a different school, or pulling them out and homeschooling them. You're the parent and you know what's best for your child, no one else.
As for me, my son will either go to private school or I'll homeschool him, depending on my career, income, and marital status in the next year and a half (he's 3 yrs old). He absolutely will not ever go to a public school, ever. I don't like how they're turning out as the years press on--kids being sexualized younger and younger, teachers pushing political agendas, school violence rising, teacher-student sex scandals (esp. between female teachers and male students), and just in general it being a tempting, peer-pressure-filled environment. I don't want to have to fight tooth and nail to defend my son and his impressionable little mind because he's there 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I saw the point made that maybe parents should be more involved with the schools to make better environments for the kids, but sorry, protecting my child is my first priority, not putting him in an envirionment where I have to help parent an entire school where the government has the final say anyway. Just my opinion.
Also, I graduated from a university that is one of the top in the state of AL for turning out education majors and teachers. I attended a few English classes (my minor study) that were required for education majors, so therefore most of the class would be education majors. And believe me, now knowing what kind of teachers are being turned out to educate our generation of children is just flat-out apalling! These classmates I had could barely write an English paper (I did a lot of proof reading and insane amounts of editing), and their speech was filled with slang and gramatical errors (example: "That was the most funnest time I ever had! You might could try it sometime."). Jeez--need I say more?
. And believe me, now knowing what kind of teachers are being turned out to educate our generation of children is just flat-out apalling! These classmates I had could barely write an English paper (I did a lot of proof reading and insane amounts of editing), and their speech was filled with slang and gramatical errors (example: "That was the most funnest time I ever had! You might could try it sometime."). Jeez--need I say more?
Again, GET INVOLVED! I have to say your comments were pretty offensive to those of us who do take pride in our own education and the education we provide our students. Those people that you describe in your English class are a product of today's society. If you don't appreciate today's society, GET INVOLVED to help make it better. I just don't feel you do that by taking your kids out and providing them with their own little perfect world to learn and socialize within.
How am I involved? Well, in addition to teaching elementary students, I am also an accredited mentor for new teachers (through University of Wisconsin) as well as student teachers.
We can all cite example after example of things we've seen or heard about in regards to public schools and the students they produce. But if you're not doing anything to help the situation, how are you helping?
Now before I am condemned for a personal attack, let me say that this is a topic near and dear to my heart. And I sure would want my children to work with an accredited teacher versus the neighbor kids' mom. Most any woman can give birth and call themselves a 'mother,' and look how that turns out in many cases! Same goes for teachers-I guess anyone can say they are one.
"If you don't appreciate today's society, GET INVOLVED to help make it better. I just don't feel you do that by taking your kids out and providing them with their own little perfect world to learn and socialize within."
You are actually going to criticize a parent because they want to create their childs "own little perfect world to learn and socialize within"? What is so god awful wrong with that?
I certainly didn't mean to offend you. I just have a different perspective on being involved; a more personal rather that social perspective.
I feel that by providing an education for my son myself or by teachers I choose to pay, that my contribution to society is my son, who will be able to have an advantage with a good education to make a better society for his generation should he contribute by becoming a teacher himself, an influential politician, a bestselling writer, a doctor scientist who may find a cure for a disease, etc.
That's part of my personal involvement. The other things I do to contribute to society (which I admit, is a little hard for me right now as a single working mom) is help others with the education I have. As I said in the statement you quoted above, I have always been the "proof reader" from the time I was in middle school--my classmates had me singled out my entire academic life from 6th grade to my senior year in college to help them write papers. That's why I'm making my career out of my communications degree writing documentation for an international telecommunications company.
I take pride in my education as you do, and I owe it all to good teachers, including my mom. But as you said, anyone can say they are a teacher. So, if I feel that my son's teacher isn't as qualified to teach my son as the neighbor kids' mom, then I'm going to ask the neighbor kids' mom to tutor him.
So again, I had no intention of offending you. I was stating my opinion, and I honor your way of being involved to better the public education system; that takes a person who really knows what they're doing in a social enviornment. But not everyone can function that way, like me, so I try to make a difference on a more personal level.
I don't think one way is particularly better than another, just a different way of operating in educating our kids enough to prepare them for functioning in society as adults.
I can see why you are very upset. I think I'm just confusing everyone, so let me try again. There are so many different causes and things to "fight for", "defend", and volunteer for. I do not have enough hours in the day to fight for every single thing I believe in! I do volunteer, at a crisis pregnancy center, because that is something very near and dear to my heart.
The education system that I am specifically referring to here is our public highschool. All of our youth group kids, whom we minister to, go to this highschool. Our goal is to help these kids to become wonderful citizens, we honor them when they graduate, we have a mentoring program every Monday at our church, we have a Backpack and School Supply Giveaway where kids from the projects can "shop" (for free) for school supplies.
We take these inner city kids to musicals at the theatre, to go swimming (specifically the mentoring group if they got good grades throughout the year), to Worlds of Fun and all sorts of activities. We are encouraging these kids to be intelligent, to finish school, to study hard. Many of our youth kids graduate and GO TO COLLEGE (which I can't say for the majority of the others because that highschool has a heart-stopping drop-out rate). One girl we are very proud of joined a military service. One of my best friends is going to college to be a sports newscaster right now.
We are very involved.
I am sorry if you were led to believe I wasn't involved whatsoever. But as far as actually going into this school, becoming a teacher, or whatever, that is NOT my gifting and I shouldn't feel pressured or guilty for not doing so. I am already doing what I CAN. I took your comments as a personal attack and a guilt-trip for not being a teacher. But I want to be a teacher---to MY kids. Because the teachers at THIS SCHOOL are NOT doing their job.
Again, I think I just confused you. Sorry about that. Please read the above post so it may give you more insight as to what I'm trying to say. I do not believe I'm better than anyone... but I do believe my children deserve better than what our current situation has to offer. One of my fave Bible verses is "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought." So I definitely practice that verse! Please don't get me wrong.
And please understand that I'm learning as I go. I am still unsure about what I want to do with my childrens' education thus the reason my posts probably sound so scattered. I tend to speak what I'm thinking at the moment. But no matter what I choose, I want it to be something I am peaceful about. I want my kids to be outgoing and many many many diverse experiences.
I understand what you were trying to say. I'm sorry for insinuating something else entirely! I LOVE teachers. When I was younger that's what I wanted to be. I had a chalkboard and old school books and would "teach" my stuffed animals. So while I do not want to be a public school teacher (honestly not my gifting), teaching is definitely something I love to do with small children. Thank you for your input!
Thank you for your invaluable information and insight. My MIL taught all four of her children (just finished teaching the baby of the family a couple years ago). All of her children are wonderful people, very sensitive and encouraging to others, outgoing, not lacking for anything. They're well-rounded individuals who have been exposed to much and to many cultures. They're parents are very supportive.
Also, their kids turned into adults who have a great depth for perceiving other people (body language, tone, etc.). They have many abilities (all of them musical, some sing, they're artistic, organized, etc.). I swear one of them is a genius!
If I had to say one bad thing about their upbringing as homeschooled individuals it would be that they were "outcasts". My MIL homeschooled when it was unpopular. And the reason she homeschooled was because a teacher told her, "Your daughter comes to our school, therefore we parent her, not you." Ouch! It was probably just THAT specific teacher, but it was enough for my MIL to pull her oldest out of school and homeschool the rest.
My husband has been made fun of and criticized for being homeschooled, as if he were inferior. My husband is very intelligent, he is a self-taught musician and he sings (you can hear his music at http://www.myspace.com/danielhopkinsband if anyone cares to).
Anyway, I will definitely be thinking of everything you guys have said. I just feel sort of lost because I don't know the first steps to take. I don't think I could afford private school (we only make 24,000 a year). I could ask my MIL but things are a lot different now (she didn't have an organization or association to be involved with).
Look up homeschooling and the standards it requires in your state. Just google "Homeschooling, Missouri."
That's what I did--I found and bookmarked this site called "Homeschooling in Alabama." Sites like that should tell you how to get started, the state laws for it, homeschooling curriculums, buying textbooks on a budget, etc.
Thank you for your personal insight. I can see what you're saying, most definitely. My goal is not to shelter my children from the world. I look at it sort of like this: I would not have my child wait for a train on the tracks. I'd have them wait on platform. I feel if I were to use our local public schools, I'd be placing them on the tracks. Our public schools are under investigation by local government authorities and with upcoming elections, I hope some more things can change. There is still plenty of time for that by the time my children get to highschool.
Anyway, I see what you mean about them needing to learn about life. But could you be more specific? My husband and his siblings were homeschooled and none of them has once done drugs. A couple of them have had alcohol. And two of the four had sex before marriage. I don't think they're lacking anything because they didn't experience those types of things. So I guess I'm just confused about what you mean about "learning about life"?
My goal would be to teach my children everything possible. They would be taught what evolution is, from a Christian standpoint and not as a truth. They would be taught controversial issues. My MIL made her kids watch the news and watch the Political Debates growing up so they knew about issues we face and how to make an educated decision. I wouldn't try to protect my kids from hard things. I believe hard things build character.
>>>But what kind of example are you setting by trying to 'change the people' if you don't allow your family to be part of them? That message seems to be "People: change. Be like me. And when you are like me, than my family can mingle with yours. Until then, let's be separate."<<<
Again, I didn't not explain myself very well. We are very much a part of people. I guess our goal isn't to "change" them but to educate them, encourage them. I don't want everyone to be like me, whatsoever! So I'm sorry I confused you. I have friends of many different backgrounds and ineptitudes and giftings.
(I lost my post! Let's see if I can remember what I said)
Look, I do not think I am better than everyone because I am a teacher. I do not think everyone needs to be a teacher to help make a difference in this world. That isn't what I mean when I say to get involved. My daughter attends a different school than I work at (and I have a year of leave right now for maternity leave). But I am still involved in her school through the PTA. I do things for the teachers and the school so they can spend more time with our kids. And I do most of it at home because I can't be there always during the day. I also write the PTA newsletter, letting other parents know ways they can be involved in our children's education.
As far as the perfect world comment, if one is choosing their children's classmates, choosing their activities and who they participate with, choosing the curriculum...that is an artificial world. I just don't think that does our children any favors in the end. The world is full of diversity these days and our children will need to know how to deal with it appropriately. I value the diversity my daughter is exposed to daily. With that said, I would never let her stay in a hostile/dangerous environment, though. I do understand there are lines that cannot be crossed.
JoyRenee-thank you for your thought out replies to my comments. I appreciate how kindly you worded your responses. I'm often in a hurry and type out my first thoughts-not having time to make sure they're the nicest of word choices. I know you only want the very best for your children. I just wonder about all those other children who need you and the resources allocated to the much fewer in number home-schooled children.
It's interesting that people think that home schoolers should not be able to participate in any public school classes, functions, groups, sports, etc. Home schoolers pay the same amount of taxes to the school district as everyone else, so why can't any child in the community (whether privately educated, home educated, or educated in the public schools) participate in tax-funded classes and activities? It should be available to all children. Unless, of course, you also think that those who choose to home school should not have to pay school taxes. In that case I would agree with you--if home schoolers don't pay school taxes, they should not be permitted to participate.
You are welcome. And you can also go to HSLDA (http://www.hslda.org) for info on laws and support groups. There are interesting articles there, too.
I love your husband's music and I admire what you are trying to do. And I don't think that you need to put your children (whom God entrusted to you) in harm's way for your personal cause. You don't have to sacrifice them for your cause (to do so would be irresponsible and wrong, imo.) You can have youth groups, be involved, volunteer, etc. You don't have to subject your children to a currently bad and potentially dangerous environment to prove some point in order to make a difference in your community.
"As far as the perfect world comment, if one is choosing their children's classmates, choosing their activities and who they participate with, choosing the curriculum...that is an artificial world."
When I was homeschooled, and as far as I know from every other homeschooler I've been associated with, the only thing "chosen" for them is the curriculum. They get to choose their friends and activities in which they wanted to participate. I got to choose which musical instrument I wanted to play and if I wanted to pursue private music lessons, I got to choose to take martial arts and horseback riding lessons, I got to choose who I wanted for friends, and I got to choose where I wanted to go and/or what I wanted to do after I finished my day's schoolwork--whether it was run errands with my step-grandmother, help my step-dad with his job deliveries, be dropped off at a friend's house, the list goes on and on.
My world was in no way artificial, apparently, because I'm 23 now and a college graduate with a career and a home that I own. Wouldn't an artificial world have delayed or eliminated that possibility?
I planned to homeschool my kids since I was pregnant. In fact that was the reason I started with the ECE program in the first place. The district we were in wasn't bad, but I wanted better. There were no private schools available without the religious curriculum, so that was out.
We bought a house and moved to a rural school district last year and my son was to start Kindergarten in the Fall. I went back and forth, and we decided it just wasn't fair to Jonathan to have to battle for my attention with 2 younger brothers at home who are demanding of my time (nursing baby) and attention. So we decided to give school a try.
While I am not thrilled about some of the things he has picked up, I am happy with my decision. All of the work over the last 6 years has paid off with me teaching him at home. He is at the top of his class across the board, he reads, writes, understands math concepts, and every adult that has worked with my son says he is like talking to a miniature adult as his reasoning skills and ability to articulate his thoughts are staggering. But he did have an adjustment period getting used to be around so many kids (20 including him) but the district is great, I email his teacher often, I actually give her resources, volunteer my time doing home projects for the class, attend lots of school functions. am on the PTA, and it has been great for all of us.
I came to realize that we can give our kids the best of both worlds by letting them experience life in school AND supplement their learning at home. I am still my son's teacher, only now I have a helping hand during the day.
There are a ton of options for homeschoolers to get the most out of their child's education. Again, I spent years researching this, obtaining materials, essentially treating our home as a classroom since my oldest was born. I think this is a personal decision, just make sure you aren't doing it for the wrong reasons. A child cannot be sheltered from the world forever.
Here's some other homeschooling sites that we have bookmarked for the future for our sons...
Here's a great quote from http://www.athomeinamerica.com/node.php?id=7 He goes in to depth of the four key advantages of homeschooling:
"Oh yes, I've heard the critics. They say we're protecting the child, sheltering him. Yes, I certainly hope so. When I want to grow a tomato plant, I do not take the seed and put it directly into the garden. I carefully cultivate it in a special growing pot. I control the light, water, temperature, and nutrients. When the roots are deep enough and the stem strong enough, I then put it in the garden to be exposed to the elements. Timing is everything. A good start means everything. Let me further illustrate.
When my son, Stephen, was 4 years old I was a social worker at a state institution for the severely mentally retarded. During a day off, I had to return to the institution to retrieve some papers from my office, so I took my son along. As we got out of the car, a colleague met us and said there was a little parade planned on the grounds, and she invited Stephen to go with her. Stephen was excited and we knew the lady well, so I granted permission. When I arrived at my office I pondered what it would be like if I brought Stephen with me to work everyday. I wondered -- what would my 4-year-old be like if he spent 8-9 hours every day with his age equivalent peers at the institution for the severely retarded? What would he be like after 3 or 4 years of this, day in and day out ? I believe he would have acquired the behaviors of the peer group -- he would act retarded, talk retarded, walk retarded, and generally take on the mannerisms and behavior of that peer group. However, when my son was 14 years old -- just 10 years later -- he was 5'11" 198 pounds, and had been homeschooled for 5 years. At fourteen I could have dropped him off at that institution, and even if he stayed there for 20 years, he would not have acquired the behavior of the residents there. The point is, there is a time for exposure to the influences of peers and there is a time for being very selective with that exposure. And with homeschooling, those elements are under the parents control, not the institution's control.""
There are so many good things written above, that I really don't have much to say, but will make a few short comments. Background: public-school raised, have my BA, have homeschooled my 5 children (age range of 12 years) since 1991 in 2 states. Three of them were also in public school for 2 years while I returned to school after becoming a single parent. (I'm now homeschooling again, in addition to working full time-plus.) My 3 eldest have graduated and are excelling in life -- socially, academically, in faith, etc. (That's not to brag -- see #2 below.)
1. You can be involved in the public school system, even if you homeschool. Go to school board meetings. Get to know and encourage teachers and staff. My kids have even tutored and served as helpers in public school classrooms (while being homeschooled).
2. All the problems you see in homeschool can also be found in public school ... and vice versa. It is what you make it. When you see the problem families in homeschooling, determine not to repeat their problems and think through what your personal solutions will be. On the other hand, remember that no family, school (public, private, or homeschool), child, etc will ever be perfect. Our children are going to have strengths and weaknesses, no matter their education. It's also important to remember that they have free will. I know people who were given every opportunity in life and wasted it; and people who came from the worst possible background and have done great things with their lives. Do the best you can to provide them with every advantage you possibly can ... but then remember that they have a responsibility to themselves.
JoyRenee, I just want to encourage you. You sound like you have a head on your shoulders and your heart is in the right place. I so applaud what you and your husband are doing. Since you're coming from a strong Christian perspective, I'd like to share particularly with you one important piece of advice: Pray about it. You understand the difference between legalism and relationship. There is only so much weighing of pros and cons that you can do. The final step is to ask the One who promises you wisdom in any decisions you make.
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