Author Topic: Thinking of homeschooling....should I/shouldn't I? Any homeschoolers out there?  (Read 14698 times)

LadyStache in Baja

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Hi Mustachians...who else would I turn to for important life decisions but the forums?!

Let's cut to the chase:

Pros:
--science says individualized learning is better
--doing is better than teaching to the test
--I currently pay for private school, so $4200 pesos in my pocket saved (oh, and whatever doesn't get spent on homeschool curriculum out of that monthly amount could be sent to college fund....very enticing for a mustachian)
--no rigid schedule that stresses everyone out
--currrently spend at least 1.75 hours on drop-off and pick-up, hate it.

Cons:
--no more automatic alone time everyday (i'm an introvert)


But the biggest PRO of all is that it's something I've always wanted to try and I'm only gonna get one set of kids, so I better at least try it now, right?!

Kids are 5, 4, 4, and 2.  I'd always kinda considered homeschooling, and thought I would from the beginning.  But when they were this young it was too tough for me as a mother, and I needed a break.  So the three oldest have been going to school / daycare for 1.5 years now.  But they're getting a little more civilized, and I feel like I could handle it.  And like I said, I'd like to TRY.

So what do you think?

LatteLaura

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It sounds like you should go for it!  My kids used to be in public school and we are now on our 4th year home schooling.  I love reading together and you listed some of the other pros like a more relaxed schedule and less time in the car.  For an hour or so in the afternoon we have "quiet time" where the kids have to do their own things and are not supposed to bother me.  It is cliched but true that they grow up so quickly!

MBot

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I was homeschooled for elementary. It was overwhelmingly positive. . It's a great thing if you can swing it and it seems to make financial sense.

These days it's easy to customize curriculum, get extra language apps and tutors if necessary, watch online videos and modules and search for curriculum by educational theory.

It's also a great age to start!

Three  quick cautions:
These days some groups and materials have swung further to the right/very conservative so I'd say pick curriculum and join homeschooling groups carefully, but I know a Mustachian already would!

You will still need a routine for your sanity and your kids development. Think of it as a skeleton or trellis for the day upon which  many things can grow. 

Coming from a gifted kid who had a very unstructured homeschooling experience (good curriculum but complete at your own pace, wherever/whenever you want) I've still struggled with getting up early when I don't need to and with learning that isn't self-directed and independent. I'm not a fan of the very rigid types of homeschooling, but kids need structure for now and for future  habits.

Finally, I was the only one out of my siblings who got significantly bullied at activities and had a hard time socially adjusting to school. I already did things with other kids 2-4 times a week with sports and language and church and community activities, and I know homeschooled kids usually have better social skills especially intergenerationally.

But I do think if my own kids have similar issues we will work on emotional intelligence, social skills/cues and friendship-making more intentionally. I feel a bit left behind here and elementary teachers I know are well versed in this type of thing.

frooglepoodle

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Posting to follow! My son isn't 2 yet but I'm interested in the prospect of homeschooling him when he gets to school age.

LadyStache in Baja

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Thanks for sharing your experiences!!

Rufus.T.Firefly

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I was home schooled and grew up knowing many other families who were doing the same. I saw both the positives and negatives.

My experience was extremely positive. At the start of every year, we were given a choice: do we want to go to public school or be home schooled? This empowered my sibling and me to own our learning experience.

It's hard to summarize everything into one post, but I would say the overwhelming difference maker is the parent and their motivations for home schooling. I received a fantastic education while being home schooled and knew other kids who did as well. All of our parents had the same motivation - wanting us to get a great learning experience (in an area where only 30% of high school graduates attend college). Both my sibling and I received college scholarships. So Mom must have done something right.

On the other hand, I knew kids who were receiving sub-par education compared to the already lackluster local public school. These parents were motivated by making life easier on themselves and sheltering their kids.

It sounds like to me that your motivations are in the right place.

If your primary desire to home school is a better education for your children and a closer relationship with your children, go for it!

If your primary desire to home school is a moral upbringing and a sheltered life for your children away from harmful influences, don't do it.

School is for learning. Raising moral and well-behaved kids is separate. There is nothing wrong with wanting to raise good kids. But controlling their education is the wrong means to the end.  I knew nice kids and terrible kids who were home schooled. I knew nice kids and terrible kids who went to public school.

A word about social development since this is usually a major concern. It's really very simple: be intentional about creating opportunities for your kids to get out of the house and make friends. This can be sports, clubs, social groups, church, etc. It doesn't have to be every day, but a couple times a week is good. A lot of people assume we need to socialize with our peers all day, every day. I grew up never feeling cheated on opportunities to socialize.


« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 09:34:13 AM by Rufus.T.Firefly »

LadyStache in Baja

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Rufus T Firefly,

Thanks for your post!  I'm definitely in the Good camp, lol.  Glad to hear you had positive experiences personally. 

I think you're right about the extracurriculars.  School takes up so much time and is so exhausting (for me and them), that there's no way I want to put them in extra stuff.  But if we homeschooled, we could definitely do sports and horseback riding and whatever else we come across.

Thanks!

acroy

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GO FOR IT
DW and I were both Homeshooled, very thankful to our parents for it.
We are homeschooling ours. DW is SAHM. Ages 11, 8, 7(twins), 4, 1

Just a few notes:
- never a better time to homeshool. Infinite resources & options. Structured, unstructured, etc. we've got it easy compared to my parents, forging the way in the 80's
- we chose fairly structured routine: set schedule for get up/eat/chores/school. Standard 'grades' following a standard annual schedule. Flexibility to skip (or double up) classes, days, etc
- Majority of the effort goes into kid #1. All the others hear it and absorb some by osmosis. For serious ;)
- It is work. It is fun... for the first few weeks/months. Then it is work. Good work, don't get me wrong, but it's not butterflies & daisies every day
- structure/discipline etc has been good for DW and kids. The kid eventually 'gets it' and realizes the faster they get school done, the sooner they can go play.
- School hours for us are generally 9am-2pm.  There is one 15min and one 1hr break in there. So the school generally is only about 4hrs. Sometimes a kid gets on a roll and is done by lunch. Sometimes they left their brain somewhere and it goes to 4, 5pm.

Go it! Good luck!!!

Vanguards and Lentils

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I was homeschooled and I would suggest it, not for everyone, but for people like you who give a sh**.

A large, active homeschool group would be a great way for your kids to interact with other kids. I would even say that the "religious right" groups that another poster warns against, are nothing really to be worried about. I've gone to and known about a few, and even though my perspectives have shifted in adulthood, I would still recommend you join, especially if that is the only busy homeschool group in your area. The people that go to those tend to be very interesting and talented in my experience, even if they believe in short-day creationism. (Isn't it funny the reversal that has happened? Progressives trying to "shelter" their kids from dangerous ideas like conservative Christianity)

The second big suggestion I would make is to let your kids participate in the public school's sports - let them do whichever ones they want (maybe not football) because they will have the time and energy for it. I enjoy a lot of physical activity nowadays, but I know my body would be a lot better if we had known that I had the legal right to participate in my town's sports teams (look up Tim Tebow laws in your state). The academic side for me was well taken care of through homeschooling, but darn I wish I had done wrestling and maybe track in my younger days.

AZDude

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Yep, nothing wrong with homeschooling if you are willing to put in the work and if you/your children have a robust social network. School is about more than just learning. They need to be around other children and learn social skills and make friends.

DesireeD

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   I homeschooled my children from pre k to junior high. They are 25 and 22 now and we all look back fondly to that time period. Both have a love of learning and are fully functioning adults. Best of all, we have a great relationship. Every child benefits from an education custom tailored to them, constructed and implemented by someone that loves them. No private or public school can do that.

LadyStache in Baja

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Thanks guys!  So glad to hear this!

Carlin

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Coming from a former homeschoolee (3rd grade-college), if you are going to homeschool, please...please do it for the reasons.  I greatly appreciate the excellent education I received, but apart from that my childhood was kind of crappy.  I was over sheltered, and never allowed to do anything.  There were no extra curriculars (except piano lessons, which are not a social activity), no fun times with friends, no boyfriends, and no chance to ever develop and mature on my own. 
I was socially and emotionally stunted when I went off to college, and I was the one that paid the price for that.  Give your kids space and don't shove religious dogma down their throats and call it "education."  Kids need secrets, and opportunities to develop some things on their own. 
I think that homeschooling can be a wonderful thing if done correctly, but I don't believe that my parents did it correctly.

ysette9

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I imagine home schooling is somewhat different now that it is a little more mainstream. My mother homeschooled my sister and I for three years, and while we did very well on the academic front, we were both very stunted socially and really paid the price for that for years once we entered regular school. This was despite the fact that we played frequently with neighborhood kids. It is just not the same. My interactions with other homeschooled kids has been very limited, but I distinctly remember leaving the country as an exchange student and recognizing the one girl in the group who had been homeschooled through high school almost just by the way she carried herself and spoke. She absolutely stood out as awkward.

Granted, this is all totally anecdotal and not necessarily a reason not to home school. I encourage you to make the decision well aware of the downsides as well as the benefits.

Carlin

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I imagine home schooling is somewhat different now that it is a little more mainstream. My mother homeschooled my sister and I for three years, and while we did very well on the academic front, we were both very stunted socially and really paid the price for that for years once we entered regular school. This was despite the fact that we played frequently with neighborhood kids. It is just not the same. My interactions with other homeschooled kids has been very limited, but I distinctly remember leaving the country as an exchange student and recognizing the one girl in the group who had been homeschooled through high school almost just by the way she carried herself and spoke. She absolutely stood out as awkward.

Granted, this is all totally anecdotal and not necessarily a reason not to home school. I encourage you to make the decision well aware of the downsides as well as the benefits.

I know the look...round shoulders, head pushed slightly forward, hands ALWAYS touching each other.  It's the look of being completely unsure of what to do with yourself.

mxt0133

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Great thread OP.  As as homeschooling family it's always good to hear other's real world experiences.

I'll focus on your question and not go down the pro's and con's of homeschooling, which I could spend hours on.

You mentioned that you do better with older children, civilized in your own words, I don't know if you have tough about homeschooling your older kids and sending the youngest to day care.

Alternatively you could wait until they are all older and then give homeschooling a try.  If the school is not to competitive it might not be that much different from homeschooling.  Just be aware that they might choose to stick it out because they will miss their friends.

I totally get the needing a break being an introvert and this is something that should not be overlooked or dismissed.  We homeschool but if I had the primary responsibility of staying with the kids, it would not be a pleasant experience for me or the kids.  I can do well 1:1 but if you ada more people I would not be able to handle it and get very frustrated and short-tempered.  I can handle taking care of the kids but then i'm exhausted by the end of the day.

One more thing I want to add is it doesn't have to be all or nothing.  A mom in our homeschooling group was having a difficult time with her oldest because they had very conflicting personalities, one might say they had the same strong personality that clashed.  They eventually decided that the older one would try school and the youngest would stay being homeschooled.  So far it's working for them and the oldest is enjoying being in school and their relationship overall is improving.

I personally don't believe that one way or the other is better.  It all depends on the individual, the home environment, and motivation for it.  Try not to be result oriented and compare how you are doing to others.  Focus on what is right for your family and be open to making adjustments along the way.

Edit:  Typos.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 01:46:15 PM by mxt0133 »

LadyStache in Baja

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Carlin and Ysette...I wonder if some of that stunted social ability comes from your own parent's stunted social ability.  We learn by imitating our models, so just wondering if it comes from that rather than the actual homeschooling.  Also, yeah, not going to do any religious isolation or anything like that.  I'm the opposite of a helicopter parent...my kids are pretty capable so far because I let them do stuff.  So I imagine that will continue as they get older.  But THANK YOU for sharing your experience and concerns!

Thanks mxt!  Lots of good stuff.  You're right about the personality thing...I'm excellent 1-1.  I was just thinking of maybe having a calendar where they take turns being mommy's helper.  So the rest can go outside and play while 1 helps me with chores.




mxt0133

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I imagine home schooling is somewhat different now that it is a little more mainstream. My mother homeschooled my sister and I for three years, and while we did very well on the academic front, we were both very stunted socially and really paid the price for that for years once we entered regular school. This was despite the fact that we played frequently with neighborhood kids. It is just not the same. My interactions with other homeschooled kids has been very limited, but I distinctly remember leaving the country as an exchange student and recognizing the one girl in the group who had been homeschooled through high school almost just by the way she carried herself and spoke. She absolutely stood out as awkward.

Granted, this is all totally anecdotal and not necessarily a reason not to home school. I encourage you to make the decision well aware of the downsides as well as the benefits.

Would you be able to elaborate a bit more on your experience and what you think were some of the contributing factors?  This is one of the things that concerns me the most as a homeschooling parent.

What do you consider limited interactions with other homeschooled kids?  What is "frequently playing with neighborhood kids"?  Did you just play at the park, or did you spend time in their homes and actually get to know them?

For now trying to be objective as possible my oldest has no issues playing with his friends, homeschool group, or even cousins.  I don't know if it his personality or the variety of interactions he is exposed to.  When we are out and about we encourage him to speak for himself.  For example when we are at a store or library he checks out books by himself or pays for things.  When adults ask me how old he is or other things about him, I politely tell them to ask him directly.

When we go to the park he used to always ask me to play with him, which was making me concerned that he was not comfortable playing with other kids.  After talking to him he just really wanted to play with me, he has no problem running of with a group of kids and not be attached to me or his mother.

My youngest is on the shy side even though we do the same to encourage him to speak up for himself.  It takes a while for him to get comfortable with speaking to new people.  He has always been kind of a loner but has no problem playing in groups or one of his BFFs.  He tends to identify one person and just hang out with them while everyone else is running around in groups.  It's something that I am closely monitoring and sensitive to.

Again this is one of my biggest concerns with homeschooling but so far they seem like normal sociable kids.  So far they have not been identified as homeschooling kids outside of taking month long vacations during the school year.  But then again I won't truly know until they are older and out in the work place or more structure social settings.


ysette9

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Carlin and Ysette...I wonder if some of that stunted social ability comes from your own parent's stunted social ability.  We learn by imitating our models, so just wondering if it comes from that rather than the actual homeschooling

So you're making me sit back and reflect. As a kid I didn't think about my parents' social interactions or lack thereof. The beauty of being a little kid is that whatever you grow up with in normal, no matter whether it really is or not. Looking back, I think my parents had fairly typical social interactions. My mother is an introvert and so always had fewer and closer friends. My father is a bit of a loner, preferring his family above all others, but is gregarious and extroverted in a social group. I can certainly remember potlucks with lots of people coming over and whatnot, and my parents seemed to be well liked by their wider social group.

Personally I feel that there is a difference in social interactions between adults who are primarily civilized and mature, and kids who are still figuring out how all of this stuff goes. Kids can be incredibly insensitive and downright cruel, especially (in my experience) at the 5-8 grades age and especially those in religious private school ("I am better than everyone else because my parents love me more because they pay to send me to a better school"; "We are superior because our religion is the only right one, everyone else are poor fools worthy of ridicule"). I'll set aside the unhealthy crazy religious aspect since that isn't applicable to your situation. Again, just in our situation, we entered regular school in 5th/3rd grade (me/my sister). By the time we became aware of the fact that there is a social hierarchy among kids, we were firmly entrenched at the very bottom of it. I can remember a kid in class passing me a note in 5th grade that said "Fuck you". I didn't know what that meant at the time. The parent in me today hopes to the gods that my kid won't know what that means by the time she reaches 5th grade as well, but because she will be among nice kids, not because she was the clueless one.

That is a lot of rambling that probably isn't relevant to your situation, so please feel free to ignore. That was a very hard time in my life and I'll do whatever it takes to spare my own kid that experience. The lesson might be that homeschool is tough on social development. The lesson might also be to not send your kids to private religious school, or it might be to not send your kids to private religious school if they were previously homeschooled. I'm not sure of the exact cause and effect, I just know that I'll do differently with my kid and watch very closely to ensure she is socially mainstream and treated well. Thankfully the public awareness of bullying seems to have greatly improved since when I was a kid.

ysette9

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What do you consider limited interactions with other homeschooled kids?  What is "frequently playing with neighborhood kids"?  Did you just play at the park, or did you spend time in their homes and actually get to know them?

My interactions with home-schooled kids were very limited, as in brief social gatherings with people I mostly didn't know and didn't form friendships with. As for playing with neighborhood kids, the interaction was frequent and on-going. We'd ride bikes outside or roller skate. The neighbor boy across the street would frequently come over to play hide-from-my-younger-sister, a favorite of both of us. (Off topic: I'll never forget how, when he decided it was time to go home, presumably to pee, he would say "a man's got to do what a man's got to do"!). I'd go over to the houses of some of the kids and play with them, or invite them over to our house. I was very much a natural-born leader and my mother loves to comment about how I would organize the kids into playing what I thought we should do; I didn't lack for confidence in the early years.

Thinking back on it, perhaps part of the difference was that the interactions were fluid, with more one-on-one socializing than a big group of kids that was constantly thrown together. I think it is harder to be mean to someone if it is just the two of you together, versus if you are in a group that might have peer pressure to behave a certain way, or put one person down to make yourself look better in the eyes of a third party.

Trifele

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LadyStache -- Definitely go for it.  Your kids are a great age, and you'll never know until you try. And it isn't a one way street.  If you try it, and it doesn't work for your family, the kids can go back to school. At least in the US, all the states I know of have no restrictions on re-enrolling in school after homeschooling.  (Are you in Mexico? Assuming you have checked Mexican homeschool laws? Countries are VERY different when it comes to homeschooling laws and regulations . . . )  Plus, it doesn't have to be all-or-nothing for your family either.  We know many families where some of the kids are in school, and some are homeschooled.

FWIW, here is our story. [SPOILER ALERT:  We love it! Homeschooling is great nowadays.]  We are in our 4th year of homeschooling our two kids in the US (now ages 10 and 13) and it has been overwhelmingly positive.  Like one of the other posters, we give the kids the option each year of whether to homeschool or go back to public school, and so far neither one has expressed the remotest interest in going back to school.  Our 10 year old is in a one-day-a-week co-op that focuses on artsy creative topics, and our 13 year old attends both that co-op and a one-day-a-week rigorous classical academy (Latin, Logic, etc).  Otherwise they do their academics at home.  Academically they are both doing great. Both are in sports and do other extracurricular activities. 

The best thing in making the switch is the complete flexibility.  You and the kids can tailor the experience to be what you want, from your daily schedule, to homeschool co-ops, to play groups, to private lessons, to sports teams, to quiet time at home, to whatever.  When a kid expresses a deep interest in something -- they have the time and flexibility to pursue it.  Our 13 year old likes to immerse herself in art projects that require careful focus for hours, and because she's homeschooled, she can.  We have met wonderful new friends homeschooling, too.     

We did not fully realize how restrictive the school "box" was until we stepped outside it.  In addition to opening up opportunities for the kids, homeschooling freed our family from the school calendar.  Aahhhh!   Take a family vacation in September? Sure we can!   Go for a hike on a Wednesday morning?  You bet!

Good luck on your adventure!  ;)

« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 05:39:41 PM by Trifele »

Carlin

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Carlin and Ysette...I wonder if some of that stunted social ability comes from your own parent's stunted social ability.  We learn by imitating our models, so just wondering if it comes from that rather than the actual homeschooling.  Also, yeah, not going to do any religious isolation or anything like that.  I'm the opposite of a helicopter parent...my kids are pretty capable so far because I let them do stuff.  So I imagine that will continue as they get older.  But THANK YOU for sharing your experience and concerns!

Thanks mxt!  Lots of good stuff.  You're right about the personality thing...I'm excellent 1-1.  I was just thinking of maybe having a calendar where they take turns being mommy's helper.  So the rest can go outside and play while 1 helps me with chores.

I will concede, I was a bit awkward before I started homeschooling, but the thing is, is the school was working on it.  I was making friends, and I did activities, and I had an odd little group of oddball friends I was happy with.  Then my parents joined the fundie movement, and suddenly those kids weren't Christian enough for me to hang with.  The girls in my church were MEAN to my bright color wearing, rule bending, ambitious, creative musician self.  My self worth just massively spiraled downward, and the constant close quarters with my parents was awful for me.  I was regularly beat for getting caught masturbating because I couldn't get 5 fucking seconds to myself.  My choice in clothes, even though they technically followed the rules weren't conservative enough.  I couldn't just go out for ice cream with my friends or go out on a date in my teen years.  When I DID start dating, if I managed to get 5 minutes alone with the boy my parents relentlessly grilled me assuming I was having sex.  I had to hide music I liked.  I didn't know what my period was when I got it.  My whole life was cleaning the house and caring for my younger brother.  I got grounded from reading for fun because it was all they had to take away from me.  Some of the social problems may be inherited, but this upbringing certainly didn't help. 

alewpanda

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It sounds like you guys are great candidates for trying out homeschooling.  First and foremost, remember that if after a year, its not working out, you can simply...stop.  Easy as that.

I was homeschooled all 13 years of my education.  It was mostly positive for me.  There were some family dynamics that made certain years a bit more difficult, but otherwise I wouldn't have traded it.

If you homeschool, you choose your daily interactions, you choose many of the influences on your kids, you and your kids can work together to choose curriculum, most beneficial learning mechanisms, and to develop life skills.  Many students that graduated out of high school at the same time I did lacked simple decision-making skills, couldn't do independent study (and suffered in private colleges because of it), and had much less work experience.  Homeschooling also allows you to expose your children to experiences outside of the four walls of a classroom, everything from additional flexibility for high school work experience to trips and tours. 

The most important thing I learned as a home school student was independent study.  Hands down.  There were 5 kids in my family, and I was the oldest.   By midway through my education, I was very self-driven and capable of doing most of my work on my own.  I had more time to work in the workforce, was involved in community extracurriculars, took trips during the normal school year, and had close relationships with my siblings.  During high school, we were given the option to choose to attend public school, but not one of us took them up on it...we had already tasted too much freedom ;)



Downsides: when family dynamics are bad, everything feels bad.  Thats why it is important to be open to options like private or public schooling if a major life change takes place.  Or to simply take a month off in the event of a family emergency. 

Scheduling takes some work on your part.  Lots of curriculum companies provide suggested schedules, but my mom ended up created a binder for each class as I (the first kid) went through the curriculum, and adjust schedules as needed for each student after that.  She gave us a list of assignments or time periods of study/practice/ect. at the beginning of the week.  We could work a little on each subject each day, or we could knock out several assignments at a time.  We just had to be finished by the end of the week.  Eventually some of us would work through large chunks of curriculum in order to finish a subject early and move past it to a different one.  Many of us graduated between 2 to 6 months earlier than our peers simply because we were excited to finish. 

We chose a normal summer schedule...because of our involvement with groups, lessons, camps, etc.  You can choose whatever works best for your family.


Find out what your area requires legally...some require very particular reporting...some require a single sheet of paper each year.  Also, be aware of what local colleges might expect...particularly as you plan for high school classes, and as you chart high school credits. 



All-in-all...I say, Do it!  You can always relish in the time you do spend as one big, crazy homeschool family...and then send them back in a year if you are all sick of it! 

alewpanda

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Ok, I went back and read a couple new posts and noticed they talked about social interaction, which my first post did not address much.


Family dynamic has the most to do with your student's confidence levels and ability to socialize.  If you are wise about your own shortcomings and willing to talk things through with your kids...you can all thrive.  If there are issues that are allowed to fester, in your own interactions with them, or with their interactions with each other or themselves, then they won't thrive. 

I work with teenagers on a regular basis .  I let them know that they won't be perfect, but that I do have an expectation that we will both get to explain our situations and that if their are problems or concerns, that we will both think through it as someone "growing up" (aka...someone growing past where they are, whatever that age might be).  If that expectation is established early, issues with students can be addressed regardless of their age, once emotions are calmed.  These expectations are something my family initially failed at, and then embraced and were all healthier for it.  We were expected to be ever embracing a maturing view of ourselves and the world around us, and we were to hold our parents to the same ....and we thrived because of it.  We are all independent, self-motivated, and capable of mature perspective...with some variance due to personality.


If you can do the above, and expose your kids to people of all ages and backgrounds through social groups, lessons, simple neighborhood activities, work experience, and everyday grocery shopping/public activities, your kids will ultimately be able to talk to anyone of any age, from any background.  Occasionally they will still *seem* awkward...but thats because their peers will find them at a different maturity level.....and thats a good thing sometimes. 


Also....let your kids buy fashionable clothing....my mom and I fought for years over *dorky* clothes.  Thankfully I paved the way for the siblings......

meandmyfamily

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Go for it!!!  I say take it one year at a time.  We are on our 6th year and our kids are 5, 6 , 11 and 13.  We love it and don't plan to stop.  That said we reassess every year for each kid.  It is more a lifestyle than school at home.  So much freedom and family time plus individualized education.  We have the problem of so many socialization options that we have to schedule being home to actually do some school work!  Seriously the options are plentiful.  Let me know if you have questions.

I was home schooled for 5th-7th grades and loved it!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 06:34:39 PM by meandmyfamily »

oldladystache

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In some cases it's a matter of which is the cause and which is the effect. If you see a socially inept homeschooled child it may be that the inept child (like my son) was having a terribly painful situation in school  and needed to get out.

I knew of several such kids, and they improved a lot in their homeschooling. I was socially outcast as a child and I sure would have done better at home. I didn't know there was such a thing, and in the 1950's there probably wasn't.

N

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My kids are 9 and 12 and neither have ever gone to school. We are unschoolers, which is a type of homeschooling.  We live in a big city with tons of homeschooling groups, tons of classes, museums, options, resources. For us, it has been fantastic. My kids have plenty of social interaction. We have participated in coops, theyve gone to dances, conferences, and plenty of unstructured park playtime with groups.

Id suggest finding some local groups, in person, and online. THen you will get the scoop on the local resources and meetups. I know plenty of families with 4 kids (or more) that homeschool and or unschool. I say go for it!

MBot

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A large, active homeschool group would be a great way for your kids to interact with other kids. I would even say that the "religious right" groups that another poster warns against, are nothing really to be worried about. I've gone to and known about a few, and even though my perspectives have shifted in adulthood, I would still recommend you join, especially if that is the only busy homeschool group in your area. The people that go to those tend to be very interesting and talented in my experience, even if they believe in short-day creationism. (Isn't it funny the reversal that has happened? Progressives trying to "shelter" their kids from dangerous ideas like conservative Christianity)

I had to laugh (agreeably I hope) at this because I did warn against the far-right material but I'm actuallly a conservative Christian (albeit a graduate-educated pacifist feminist Canadian). It's all a matter of relative perspective, I suppose)

I agree with not being afraid of all religious or Christian homeschooling groups -- and that most groups are great. Resources, though, we'd probably agree tend to be more defined by mindset/worldview. I find one can sort by author and publishing house.

On the curriculum/resource side, it's more that there's some new strongly patriarchal/Quiverfull/women-should-only-be-educated-within-the-home nonsense that's reared its ugly head within curriculum and resources. Straight up nutter butters.  Or the strongly young-earth creationist opinions that have seemed to gain popularity...  as opposed to the boringly normal science curriculum I had as a kid: it  was written from a Christian company,  but had pretty much the same content  as my public high school textbooks.

kenner

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Not a homeschooler, but Iíve seen both good and bad sides as a tutor/teacher.  The one thing I would say, not so much at your kidsí current ages but as they get older, is to know your own limits. 

I worked in the math department throughout college, and for my last couple years I taught small group remedial classes.  A lot of the students involved were going back to school after some number of years and just needed a refresher (military was pretty common, as was changing careers), some were from local public schools, and every year we had a couple homeschoolers.  The older adults generally knew what they were getting into, and the kids from the public schools were well aware that their schools werenít the best (to say the least), but the homeschoolers tended to be disappointed to find out that despite the fact that they were doing just great according to their parent(s), they were going to have to take an extra year of classes before they could even start on their major.  ĎMy <parent/sibling/whoever was doing the homeschooling> didnít like math so we didnít do much of thatí doesnít cut it when you want to go into engineering or the sciences, nor does having been taught something flat out incorrectly. 

It wasn't all the homeschoolers, obviously, I knew one guy in my class who was homeschooled and his sister and another kid were the year behind us and none of them had any problems.  It seems like people sometimes forgot to ask if they were really the best person to teach a given subject, though, particularly when their kids' interests were different than theirs.


alewpanda

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Not a homeschooler, but Iíve seen both good and bad sides as a tutor/teacher.  The one thing I would say, not so much at your kidsí current ages but as they get older, is to know your own limits. 

I worked in the math department throughout college, and for my last couple years I taught small group remedial classes.  A lot of the students involved were going back to school after some number of years and just needed a refresher (military was pretty common, as was changing careers), some were from local public schools, and every year we had a couple homeschoolers.  The older adults generally knew what they were getting into, and the kids from the public schools were well aware that their schools werenít the best (to say the least), but the homeschoolers tended to be disappointed to find out that despite the fact that they were doing just great according to their parent(s), they were going to have to take an extra year of classes before they could even start on their major.  ĎMy <parent/sibling/whoever was doing the homeschooling> didnít like math so we didnít do much of thatí doesnít cut it when you want to go into engineering or the sciences, nor does having been taught something flat out incorrectly. 

It wasn't all the homeschoolers, obviously, I knew one guy in my class who was homeschooled and his sister and another kid were the year behind us and none of them had any problems.  It seems like people sometimes forgot to ask if they were really the best person to teach a given subject, though, particularly when their kids' interests were different than theirs.


This is why using a curriculum is so important...particularly for your math and sciences.  It ensures that even if YOU aren't strong in a subject, your student will be exposed to all the aspects of it.  I did admittedly struggle a little in math, and my mom wasn't able to help much.  However, she had an accountant friend that she arranged several meets with that was actually very helpful, and I had a friend who went to a local private school who was always 2 grades ahead in his math...so he also walked me through a few tough areas.  Certainly reach out and be willing to use resources that ensure that your children have covered what they need for college.

We were part of a co-op that had options for moms to "swap" tutoring hours in areas they weren't strong.  It was helpful as well, and a great resource.  Several times through the late elementary to senior in high school years our co-op paid a local teacher to administer the required state tests to the co-op kids, to see where they fell.  95% of the families, even those of us who were less involved in the co-op like mine, scored at or well above in every subject.  The families that didn't generally had some pretty interesting views/issues anyway that seemed to hamper normal education.  I vividly remember in 6th grade scoring at a 7th grade level in math (my worst subject by far) and freshman in college level in reading comprehension (best subject).  Everything else fell on a slope in between.  ACT score fell at a 31.....stupid math portion........

Vanguards and Lentils

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On the curriculum/resource side, it's more that there's some new strongly patriarchal/Quiverfull/women-should-only-be-educated-within-the-home nonsense that's reared its ugly head within curriculum and resources. Straight up nutter butters.  Or the strongly young-earth creationist opinions that have seemed to gain popularity...  as opposed to the boringly normal science curriculum I had as a kid: it  was written from a Christian company,  but had pretty much the same content  as my public high school textbooks.

That's interesting - I haven't heard of actual curriculum with Quiverfull ideology. How would that even make it into an academic subject, lol.

A lot of my textbooks came from ideologically biased sources (BJUP, A Beka Book, Apologia to name a few) but 10 years later, including through college, my education had evened out quite a bit. I just read The Selfish Gene on my own and loved it. I do wonder now if those books had a significant impact on my life in my choice of college major then PhD program (math, as opposed to some experimental science).


ĎMy <parent/sibling/whoever was doing the homeschooling> didnít like math so we didnít do much of thatí doesnít cut it when you want to go into engineering or the sciences, nor does having been taught something flat out incorrectly. 

It wasn't all the homeschoolers, obviously, I knew one guy in my class who was homeschooled and his sister and another kid were the year behind us and none of them had any problems.  It seems like people sometimes forgot to ask if they were really the best person to teach a given subject, though, particularly when their kids' interests were different than theirs.

This is interesting and I'm surprised that a former homeschooler thought of it as a "parent/sibling/whoever doing the homeschooling." When the kid is 16-17-or-18 and planning to go to college, they should bear 100% of the responsibility for what they learn and how well. My mom (who is only high-school educated) pretty much paid for textbooks that I chose, and let me learn by self-studying starting at around 12 years old. She had me write down sections I had covered and dates to keep me (somewhat) accountable. This was kind of early to have that much autonomy, and I can see how it might make aspects of one's education uneven. But I'm disappointed to hear that there are young adults being homeschooled who blame their parents for not "spoon feeding" them enough knowledge for basic college requirements. How can a parent be expected to be qualified to teach in all subjects, when public school teachers are barely qualified in even one subject? I say, just give kids books and tell them to work through them. If this doesn't work, barring some kind of disability, they probably weren't right for homeschooling anyway.

LadyStache in Baja

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"This is interesting and I'm surprised that a former homeschooler thought of it as a "parent/sibling/whoever doing the homeschooling." When the kid is 16-17-or-18 and planning to go to college, they should bear 100% of the responsibility for what they learn and how well. "

Yes! Great point!  I think that part of my job as a homeschooling mom will be to coach them.  As in, ok, you want to major in engineering, make sure you know what the requirements are, make sure you meet those requirements, oh you don't?  Ok, let's find a way to get you caught up.  Who can you ask to be a tutor, etc. 

The whole "self-directed" aspect is hugely attractive to me.  Not as in, I'm just going to let hem watch cookies and eat Netflix all day, but more like "Life Skills" is going to a subject and will get as much attention as the traditional "reading, writing, arithmetic". 

AMandM

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We have seven kids who were/are all homeschooled except when we lived in Germany and they went to German public schools. The biggest benefit that I see now, with four adult children, is the incredible family closeness that we have now, which in retrospect came from spending so much time together.  We have a huge fund of shared experiences, jokes, references, and memories.

To some extent it's hard to attribute this to homeschooling as distinct from general parenting.  We did deliberately set out to bring up our kids so that they'd be people we enjoyed spending time with. Still, the sheer quantity of time together that homeschooling brought definitely made a difference.

I'll speak in favor of the "sheltering" aspect of homeschooling in one respect: for us, it almost completely eliminated peer pressure to conform to trivial consumerist culture. Homeschooling families tend to be single-income, so they're generally frugal and not into advertising or junk.

There are tons of opportunities for homeschoolers now that didn't exist when we started.  The local pools, museums, dance schools, karate dojos, etc. offer daytime classes for homeschoolers.  Our public schools don't let us do anything, but the local Catholic school will let homeschooler join after school activities and even take a single class.

You can protect your introverted self by hiring a babysitter or mother's helper.  My 14yo son plays with a friend's son two hours a week so that mother and boy can have a break from each other. Way cheaper than private school tuition!

Edit: remove duplication


twbird18

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"This is interesting and I'm surprised that a former homeschooler thought of it as a "parent/sibling/whoever doing the homeschooling." When the kid is 16-17-or-18 and planning to go to college, they should bear 100% of the responsibility for what they learn and how well. "

Yes! Great point!  I think that part of my job as a homeschooling mom will be to coach them.  As in, ok, you want to major in engineering, make sure you know what the requirements are, make sure you meet those requirements, oh you don't?  Ok, let's find a way to get you caught up.  Who can you ask to be a tutor, etc. 

The whole "self-directed" aspect is hugely attractive to me.  Not as in, I'm just going to let hem watch cookies and eat Netflix all day, but more like "Life Skills" is going to a subject and will get as much attention as the traditional "reading, writing, arithmetic".

The self-directed aspect is a great part of home schooling ,IMO. My sister home schools 4 of her 5 kids & around age 10 they started working out their own learning schedules. By 12 they were responsible for deciding when they would complete all their own work by set deadlines. They are by far the most responsible of my nieces & nephews (I have 24). It allows my 14 yr old nephew the opportunity to have real days off as he prefers to do his work on days he has soccer practice/games so other days are actually free days. It's also allowed them an opportunity to pursue things they are interested in such as doing their own fundraising and participating in overseas building trips. I appreciate that they have more availability than the other kids to participate in trips to museums, conventions, and other fun activities.

MoonLiteNite

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edit:
Ask a direct question and i will answer, i am an open book!
/edit

I was home schooled for 99% of my life so i'll write a bit of what it felt like, although my situation was a bit different, it shows how great home schooling can be.

Went to public school for 6 months before i was pulled out by my super christian mom, and dad agreed to it
I have 3 younger siblings, 1, 3 and 4 years apart under me
My mother had MS, bipolar, manic, depressed, heart problems (reverse beats) and several other medical problems. (she died in 2008 at the age of 40)

From age of 6-11 we had "school time" where we would read a book, be given homework, talk about what we learned, watch a movie from the library on the topic or whatever. Whenever i had a question "how do planes fly" or "how come your TV has more channels than mine?" my parents would send me to the library to read about it. I was TAUGHT how to teach myself.

From the age of 12-15 there was no "schooling" due to my mother being so sick and stuck in bed and on high as a kite on legal drugs... At this point my other siblings were not getting any education like i did, so me and my sister decided to teach the other 2 how to do math, and how to find books and how such. Clearly the partially blind leading the blind is not the BEST thing, but better than nothing. This kinda stunned my learning since i was re-doing what i already knew and quit learning myself.

16-19 my mother started to FINALLY smoke pot, which helped. And she really pushed hard to make me learn some topics i never liked, like health, alg2, trig, and other topics. I basically ignored her and told her to fuck off that it was pointless (still believe this to this day)

Went to college, quit after 3 years and over 100 credit hours and no degree, worthless crap there. I gained no education, only the idea of MAYBE if i paid enough i could get a worthless piece of paper.

I never got a GED, never got a HS diploma, nor degree from college. I have a 40-80hr week job in the mfg/tech field, make around 40k/yr with base pay. 30 years old. Planning on being FI in 7 years at my current rate.

Soooo now that my life is summed up.
I can answer questions no problem, so ask away! But as  broad overview on my thoughts....


- Social life HAS be given and allowed!!! "Homeschool groups" and 2 friends and kids from church is NOT a social life for a kid. They need to be able to go out to the mall, meet someone on their own. Go hang out randomly, have sleep overs. Being locked up is BAD. It really hit me hard my first 3 months at college, i threw up god knows how many times from people talking to me, and bumping into me.

- Home schooling can be AWESOME. Kids can be taught with a book system, like public schools. Or "topic based" like "lets learn about trains", and you can learn the history, the cost, the current system, the science of how they work. Or you can teach based on what they kid likes and wants to do with their life, if a 12 year old wants to be a pilot, well get him in a plane! If he wants to be a CPA, start pushing maths and ethics. The list goes on and on.
See this link on some of the many methods for home schooling
http://www.parents.com/kids/education/home-schooling/homeschooling-methods/

- HAVE the time. You do not need 8 hours a day. I felt and still feel very educated looking back. I remember knowing so much crap that other kids from church didn't know. Or when i went to college i felt 10x above everyone else in alot of areas. I can only think of what a person who actually has a parent there to teach them and guide them could do.

- I loved it, i loved being able to tell my mom i wanted to watch magic school bus for science, or "i saw this from bill nye i want to do it" and doing that, and THAT being part of school. So much better sounding than sitting in a building for 8 hours of day studying for stupid tests on topics i do not care about.

- Try not to be biased on topics. Seems weird, to let you kid believe a "lie" like, global warming, jesus, capitalism, government types, etc... Explain topics with facts and allow your kid to ask questions and answer with facts. You may give you thought and idea, but if you allow them to QUESTION your beliefs and how the world works, their own brain will work. In my case my parents were mega hardcare right wing christians. By the age of 11 i pretty much saw how stupid some of their ideas where, but we all respected it.

- Free thinking mind will do wonders compared to a brain washed one :)

pros/cons, and all the cons CAN be avoided with planning

+ Very well educated, i was taught to fish
+ Lots of free creative time
+ Learned lots of info that will help me the rest of my life

- Lack of social life
- No girlfriend interactions until i was in my 20s
- Socially abnormal and took a long time to fix...
- Life structure can easily be changed daily. I think kids need SOMETHING.




« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 05:45:13 PM by MoonLiteNite »

MoonLiteNite

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Posting to follow! My son isn't 2 yet but I'm interested in the prospect of homeschooling him when he gets to school age.

Home schooling or not, you can work with a 2 year old and start doing amazing things.
Sign language can be taught at any age with ease.
Swimming is super easy
ANd even reading can be done by age 2. They may not speak the words perfectly, but they understand them.

Start teaching now, and cut  out TV :D

frooglepoodle

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Posting to follow! My son isn't 2 yet but I'm interested in the prospect of homeschooling him when he gets to school age.

Home schooling or not, you can work with a 2 year old and start doing amazing things.
Sign language can be taught at any age with ease.
Swimming is super easy
ANd even reading can be done by age 2. They may not speak the words perfectly, but they understand them.

Start teaching now, and cut  out TV :D

We didn't do sign language as my husband was concerned it would stunt verbal development (this is based a family member's experience, but the consensus is that the issue was the family member, not the sign language, but it wasn't my hill to die on!) but my son loves to read books and we're working on counting and colors in a very informal way as he grows his vocabulary.

BigBangWeary

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Following! Thanks for posting this.

We are thinking of homeschooling as well. We are both teachers though so this helps. To be honest, our motivation is threefold:

1. We want to slow travel and sail as a family in the future so this will give us more flexibility as a family unit.
2. We want to spend as much time with our children as we can while they still want to spend time with us.
3. I worry a lot that traditional education is so slow to adapt that my children will mainly be learning outdated curriculum. For example, how is the education system preparing our children for a future of AI and a jobless existence right now? In 20 years, I want my kids to have life skills to survive a vastly different world. Schools are bureaucracies and often the slowest of all to adapt.

catan

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I am also interested in homeschooling my kids. They are 5.5 and 2 years old.

How do you handle it among kids with larger age gaps? How much time do you spend with other homeschooling groups?

If you are the stay-at-home parent, how do you get time to yourself?


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mxt0133

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If you are the stay-at-home parent, how do you get time to yourself?


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The same you would do it if you needed time for yourself if school was out or during summer vacations.

You could do child swaps with other homeschoolers, baby sitters, or just institute quiet times once the kids are  a bit older.  Basically if you need to get some work done let the kids work on something or entertain themselves for an hour or two.

I mostly get my quiet time at night when the kids go to bed, is for some reason they can't sleep I tell them that they can stay up but I will not be entertaining them and need quiet time.  They normally read together or play games and eventually go to bed by themselves.

afuera

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I was homeschooled (along with my brother and sister) and I loved it!
I think that the most important thing that helped me become well-adjusted was that I got plenty of social interaction.  My mom was a babysitter for a bit so there were always kids of various ages in and out of the house.  Additionally, I played pretty much every sport I could growing up (Soccer, Swimming, Baseball, Basketball, Track, etc.)  I ended up getting a soccer scholarship which paid for a large part of my college tuition which I believe is due to how much time I was able to spend playing when I was younger.  Sports are very powerful in teaching the soft skills that are so important that I believe the public school system really falls short on but companies love including leadership, teamwork, time management.  I went to public school in 8th grade-my decision, I knew I wanted to go to public high school and didn't want to be the "new kid" so I decided that 8th grade would be my "make school friends in preparation for high school" year. I also had 2 girls I played soccer with at the middle school I attended so that helped ease the transition socially for me as well.  Once I started public school, I couldn't believe how much time was wasted everyday.  I actually really struggled in one of my classes because I couldn't understand that after spending 6+ hours at school that I also had to do homework when I was used to maybe spending 3 hours on school and the rest running around the neighborhood or playing sports.
As far as educational quality, my parents met in Calc III while they were both working towards Chemical Engineering degrees so it wasn't difficult for my mom to give me a pretty great education while I was at home (she is literally one of the smartest people I've met to date).  It shouldn't be surprising that when I discovered I really liked Chemistry, my parents suggested I study Chemical Engineering in college.  YMMV but the mix of early homeschooling and public school later once I already had a strong educational foundation was the perfect situation for me.

meandmyfamily

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Catan-most home school events including siblings of all ages.  It works out well.  Sometimes they are age specific and the other sibling sits quietly working or reading or you can drop off one and spend one on one time with the other.

My kids had quiet time when they were younger so I could have some time to myself.  As they get older it gets easier to run out and doing things without them or while they are in class.

You have so much freedom with homeschooling.

Lepetitange3

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My children do a mix of homeschool and public school.  The state I live in <Florida> basically has a law that says you can do any combination of public, private, online, and homeschool that you want.  DD1 goes to the public school until lunch (mostly for the resource classes and social interaction because she has a ton of energy...I also want her to be able to rock standardized testing, so doing the school program helps).  At home, we focus on core subjects right now because she is elementary aged and let her interests guide history/science/ etc.  if you think back to what you learned especially in the early grades, the most important thing and what they spend the most time on at school is the fundamentals- reading, writing, and math.  By doing half days at home, she's 3 grade levels ahead in math and reading.  Schools do next to nothing for history and science at that age so if you go with your child's interests, you're almost always going to end up with a better educated kid then them learning a small handful of really basic facts at school. 

milliemchi

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I skimmed through the responses and saw that they are overwhelmingly from people who were homeschooled, that most people recommend it, and that people worry about the social aspects mostly.

I would actually be worried about the academic part of it. In lower grades, kids are developing basic skills, and any moderately intelligent parent can teach that. That said, there are more and less effective ways to teach a given matter, and the professional teachers have a better grasp of that (or they should). In higher grades, it gets even more important. Math needs to be taught correctly for the children to grasp it as one connected subject. Without proper training, writing skills and research (literature) skills can only be taught to the degree you have them yourself. There is also the matter of collecting a wide array of social topics to teach on, which could be a lot of work, and teaching would depend on your personal interpretation. This may be actually attractive to parents, but is not impartial. I would feel very bad if my child missed out on some education because of my lack of teaching skills.

I do want to outsource kid's education. When done correctly, it can be a pretty standardized product that I can't improve all that much on, so why spend all the time? Plus, some kids take to outside authority more than their parents', and that can be a luck of the draw.

Also, kids need to be separated from their parents regularly, and parents need to find something else to do all day, IMO. In the long run, that may be healthier for everyone, I think, and I'm speaking from a sample size of zero.

Noodle

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I think it can be really helpful to go into homeschooling with the attitude that different kids may need different things at different times. For instance, a kid may do better at home in the younger years and then be ready to for public school once he has developed more coping strategies. Maybe a social butterfly is happy with lots of other kids around and an introvert focuses better at home; or maybe the extrovert gets too distracted at school and the introvert needs the extra push of school to develop social skills.

Choosing home schooling for one year does not mean signing a contract to homeschool all the kids forever!

FLBiker

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My children do a mix of homeschool and public school.  The state I live in <Florida> basically has a law that says you can do any combination of public, private, online, and homeschool that you want.  DD1 goes to the public school until lunch (mostly for the resource classes and social interaction because she has a ton of energy...I also want her to be able to rock standardized testing, so doing the school program helps).  At home, we focus on core subjects right now because she is elementary aged and let her interests guide history/science/ etc.  if you think back to what you learned especially in the early grades, the most important thing and what they spend the most time on at school is the fundamentals- reading, writing, and math.  By doing half days at home, she's 3 grade levels ahead in math and reading.  Schools do next to nothing for history and science at that age so if you go with your child's interests, you're almost always going to end up with a better educated kid then them learning a small handful of really basic facts at school.

Interesting!  We're also in Florida, and are planning to do public school (DD is 2).  DW and I both did public school, so it's kind of our default.  Also, with DD being an only, we want to make sure she socializes.  That said, I always thought it was binary (all or nothing).  The idea of a combo is interesting...

Dicey

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Dang it! I was sure I had responded to this question, yet I see nothing here. Sorry, LS! Wait - did we talk about this in your journal? If not, I'm sorry, because I think this site will be really helpful to ypu.

Do you read "The Frugal Girl"? I have followed this blog since before MMM existed. Kristen homeschools her four kids and I think there's a lot of good stuff for you on her blog. Here's one to start with:

http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2012/03/why-i-homeschool-my-children/

Anecdote, not data: My sister homeschooled her four boys and they all turned out fine. The rest of the family may have been skeptical, but seeing how the boys turned out has made us believers. My sister was at best an average scholar (sorry, sounds harsh, but not meant that way), struggles with depression, and can get easily overwhelmed. In addition, they are self-employed. If she did it so successfully, I know you will, too, if that's what you decide to do.

Lepetitange3

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FLbiker...the combo has worked REALLY well for us.  It's state law so some districts/schools whine if you want to do it, but they don't have a choice.  I was the first at my kids elementary school to say that's what I was doing.  After I did, a bunch of other parents started doing the same. My second daughter is 4 next month and I'm up in the air about whether I will have her do combo like DD1 (who's 8) or not.  They have extremely different temperaments.  All that being said, DD1 is/was incredibly bored by the academic content at school.  She loves the socializing.  And I want her to be taught to the test at school because standardized testing is a fact of life.  So it works for us.  Also I can teach her more in 2 hours than what they spend 7 hours a day teaching for weeks. 

Modern public education is awesome, but always remember, they're teaching to the average.  If your child is struggling or is over excelling, they will be missing out on chances to really learn just because of how today's education system is structured.  Even 200 years ago, many schools were just one room school houses so students were progressing at the their own pace even with many different aged kids in class together.  I'm also devoted to facilitating the ability to self-teach in my kids and a love of lifelong learning.  Most educational research tells us that that's the greatest indicator of future success. 

For the OP, I think you do what you think is best for your kid and how they learn and interact with others even if that means different things for different kids.  Also homeschooling can be expensive in supplies or very, very cheap.  If you have the know how and don't need to invest in a curriculum, especially at the elementary level, you don't need much.

Frugal homeschool recipe:
  Look up the national common core standards, by the end of 5th grade, your kid should be able to read large chapter books, write with reasonable grammar in paragraph form, and be competent in addition/subtraction/multiplication/division/decimals/fractions.  That's pretty much it. 

Give them a basic grounding in science/history/government facts and you're more than set on what any individual state requires. 

Throw in Bible if you're religious and it's important to you. 

Any books you need can be found on the library or free online (you can download almost any classic free on kindle because they're not under copyright anymore). 

The math, most adults can still manage the basics even if you've forgotten the high end stuff.  And agin, the internet is your friend.  There's tons of cheap apps and free videos online. 

And yes, you can add plenty of outdoor time (PE), I'm always hoping parents weren't leaving "health" education up to the school anyway. 

For music and art, give them supplies and let them go nuts.  Teach them a few songs or play pandora all day.  If they show an interest or talent, you're far better off sending them out for lessons because what schools give in these areas at this age is extremely basic.  Regardless of whether you are religious or not, lots of churches have choir programs for kids.  If you want a free option, research them and sign child up for choir at one where there's an emphasis on teaching them to actually read music. 

mxt0133

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That said, there are more and less effective ways to teach a given matter, and the professional teachers have a better grasp of that (or they should). In higher grades, it gets even more important. Math needs to be taught correctly for the children to grasp it as one connected subject.

I agree that there are various way to teach and some are more effective than others.  However, what schools do is pick a method that is most effective for the most number of kids.  The effectiveness of a particular methods varies for each student.  And this is what a lot of people fail to take into consideration.  Even I had to re-learn this with my kids, they each grasp concepts differently and finding the appropriate presentation method is mostly trial and error.

So to take your example for teaching math, some kids do fine and can grasp math concepts in a lecture based method as most schools teach them.  While others need a more tactile project or discovery based method to really internalize the concepts for them to apply it themselves.  How many schools tailor to each child's optimal learning style?




Also, kids need to be separated from their parents regularly, and parents need to find something else to do all day, IMO. In the long run, that may be healthier for everyone, I think, and I'm speaking from a sample size of zero.

The image of keeping kids in the basement or home all day really is a tough one for people to get past when the word homeschooling is mentioned.

Also the notion of only having the parents do all the teaching is also an outdated misconception.  The majority of homeschooling/unschooling families I know encourage self-directed learning and seek out mentors or tutors when the parent or child needs help.  There are clubs and camps that my kids go to because we are aware that we don't know everything and to expose them to a wide variety of learning environments.

The availability of supplemental education programs makes it much easier, if you can afford it, to seek out specialized help. 


There are pro's and cons to public school and homeschool.  For those that still think it's an either or choice, it's not anymore:
https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/07/30/busting-stereotypes-a-home-school-public-school-partnership-that-works/

Lepetitange3

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Yes, there's always tutors and homeschooling groups if you're lucky.  That being said, as someone who does combo and has taught in public education...Elementary school, I think most people can competently give kids what they need (especially if you're here on MMM ;) ).  Once you get above that, if you can no longer do calculus/algebra/chemistry/whatever or easily relearn it or just sucked at it to begin with, you have no ability to teach your kid that subject.  When I still taught college, the only time homeschool students had any real problems was when they thought they'd learned something and really hadn't because the parent was no longer competent in the subject matter and didn't get a tutor or find someone who was capable to teach the kid.  Know what you can do and what you can't.