Author Topic: Thinking of homeschooling....should I/shouldn't I? Any homeschoolers out there?  (Read 14692 times)

Broadway2019

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[/quote] Not burden, but rather opportunity. I guess for the same reason I wanted kids at all. I mean you might as well say, "Life is great as a child-free couple,
why would anybody want to take on the burden of raising kids".

[/quote]

This is not the same thing. I want kids, however, do not want the burden of teaching them every subject when we have qualified teachers to do so. Would you be your kids health provider? No, because we have trained doctors and pediatricians. What if down the road, you found out your kid did not get into their college of choice or did not pass the state standardized tests? I would feel awful knowing that I failed them, and would always be wondering what if. I want to provide the best education for my children. I have two masters degrees (one in finance and one in engineering) and I do not think I am qualified to be the best teacher they could have. So all I am saying is that many people in this country are not qualified to teach and I feel that homeschooling kids could have more downsides than upsides, especially later on in their teens. I have not seen positive experiences. Some others on here have seen positive experiences and I respect that.

Shane

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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.

Oh, that's not what I had in mind. It's more that I think parents need to develop other interests besides their children.

I agree as well with you. When I was growing up two kids on my block were homeschooled and had trouble playing with others and such. They did not have social skills. There are a lot of resources today as everyone as mentioned, but why would you go through the all the trouble when there is a system in place? I don't see many parents who could possibly do a better job teaching every subject than what is already there. They may be strong in some areas but most adults I have encountered can (even in my financial job) can barely do math. Also, if you are concerned with the school system you could always be more involved to make the school better for everyone or more involved in your kids schoolwork. I just can't understand how parents would want to stay home, teach all the subject material (not just want interests them) for 8 hours a day, take the kids to socialize and events. The school system is already set up with teachers who teach specific grades/subjects, follow a curriculum, give time for socializing, and have extra activities (camp, aftercare, sports, etc.). I played sports and could not imagine not going to school.

Maybe I just was in great schools and lived in a good area, however, not sure why someone with 1 kid let alone 4 kids would want that burden.

Everyone's situation is different.

For us and probably for some others on this forum, one of our motivations for homeschooling our daughter for at least some of her childhood is to give our family the flexibility to travel the world. We don't call it homeschooling. We call it worldschooling.

Our daughter isn't learning geography from a textbook. She's learning about the world from actually seeing it with her own eyes. We're not studying math in a textbook. Our daughter sees us using math every. single. day: to calculate how much time it will take us to get from point A to point B, to figure out what time it is back in Honolulu or Hiroshima or Hamburg, so that we know if it's a good time to try to make a Skype call to friends or family there, to figure out whether the market lady who is asking 40,000 Vietnamese Dong for a kilo of mangoes is trying to rip us off or not...

Our daughter's learning by watching us and seeing how we navigate around countries where we don't speak the language. She's learning how to bargain by watching her parents negotiating to buy fruit and vegetables and toys and whatever. She sees how we go back and forth with people on prices in the markets and in stores. They start off asking 200,000. We counter with 50,000. They smile, act insulted, and offer to sell whatever it is for 150,000. We laugh, turn, start to walk away, and they call us back and offer to sell it for 120,000. Finally, we end up agreeing to buy it for 100,000. Our daughter is watching all this, taking it in, and learning. It's not something they normally teach in a school, but friendly negotiation is not a bad life skill to have, IMHO.

One thing I'd love to do with my daughter, some day, maybe when she's a little bit older (she's eight now) is help her to start her own business. I'm not talking about when she's an adult. I mean when she's, maybe, 10 or 12 or 14. Instead of sitting in a classroom all day long, five days a week, I think it would be great if my daughter started her own business selling cupcakes or lemonade or spam musubi or jam or whatever she was interested in selling. I'd like to help her make a website to market her products or services. I'd like to help my daughter to figure out how to calculate the cost of materials and labor and figure out fair pricing for whatever it is she wants to sell. I'd like to help her to learn good people skills, so she can get along with her customers, make and keep friends, etc.

As far as learning reading, writing and arithmetic goes, I'm not worried at all. Whatever my daughter needs to know for her life, my wife and I can help her figure out how to learn it or we can help facilitate her meeting someone who can teach her.

Hadilly

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I went to a very small private school for elementary, took a year and half off for home schooling in sixth and seventh grade, went to public school for 8th and high school. Spent my junior year abroad where I did no school work, but learned a new language. I mostly read a lot while being home schooled. Did fine in high school, college and grad school, but my math and sciences were weak which ended up foreclosing certain majors.

I have no intention of ever home schooling my kids, 6, 8, and 10. Left to their own devices, they will sit and read all day, not self start and embark on learning stuff. We are also in a great school district with lots of smart kids and I am pretty happy with the differentiation in education the teachers manage. I feel the socialization is very important for my children. We don't have the freedom to slow travel. Instead, I like knowing that they are growing up in a close community of friends, team mates, and interested adults. In all honesty, I think socialization and learning to get along in a diverse group is invaluable.

I would also go nuts spending that much time and working primarily  with my kids.

For OP, if you have the bandwidth, then sure, your kids are little and it sounds like the local options aren't amazing. What are you thinking long term? I have one friend who grew up in a small town in Australia who ended up going to boarding school because that was the best academic option for her.

A family we know is pulling their kids out of school to home school this next year, their kids are socially not so adept and it is understood that that is one of the reasons they are leaving. It will be interesting to see how things turn out for them.

milliemchi

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Our daughter isn't learning geography from a textbook. She's learning about the world from actually seeing it with her own eyes. We're not studying math in a textbook. Our daughter sees us using math every. single. day: to calculate how much time it will take us to get from point A to point B, to figure out what time it is back in Honolulu or Hiroshima or Hamburg, so that we know if it's a good time to try to make a Skype call to friends or family there, to figure out whether the market lady who is asking 40,000 Vietnamese Dong for a kilo of mangoes is trying to rip us off or not...

OMG! This is what I was talking about. You don't learn math by watching just what people do with it every day. There is so much more, so much more.  I'm not going to go into the philosophical and aesthetic benefits of math, for that is only a thing beyond grade school and your local school is not likely to teach at that level anyway. But, at the very basic, 2nd grade level, math has to be practiced, practiced, practiced. Math is not a collection of skills, it is really a language, and the symbols and the grammar have to become second nature if there is progress to be made at high school level.

Now, the local school may bad in fact, but if you're insourcing the work, and it's not cheaper, than it has to be better.

LadyStache in Baja

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Yeah, I think there's a big difference between preschool-3rd grade homeschooling and the upper grades homeschooling. I'm not married to anything. So we'll try it, see how it works, and we can always adjust.

But you know, regarding math and science, maybe you were weak in those areas simply because you're just not into it. I mean, you were only homeschooled for 2.5 years out of your entire academic career, so I don't think you can blame it on the homeschooling. :)

justchecking

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The amount of reading and understanding it takes to be a competent educator is massive.  There is a reason that people go to school for it.

I agree with your statement but you assume that majority of teachers are competent educators.  Apparently you have never been to the schools I've been to, because the teachers I had did not fit the bill of these so called 'master teachers' you are describing.  The people I graduated with that went to college that could not get jobs in industry went into teaching because all you needed was a degree and a 6 week teaching certificate course that did not even cover the subject you were supposed to teach.  It covered class room management, rules, and regulations.  These were the C students and they had no business teaching at all.  The saying, "those that can't do, teach" applies to most of the teacher where I grew up with, think low performing urban schools.  Obviously there are great teachers out there, but what happens when you get a teacher that is not this "master teacher"?

For the competent teachers that are out there, how much time to they have to dedicate to classroom management, disruptive students, or students that have so much domestic issues that school is just not their priority?  What good is all that competency if they can't exercise it when the student to teacher ration is 1:25-30?

I am new to the forums and it is being wonky.  Learning curves right.  The above is quoted from mxt0133

This is a complete red herring.  You are referring to programs like teach for america or some city specific programs that do not make up the majority of the teachers at these schools.  These programs should not exist and are severely under serving many urban cores.  I have taught in schools that have these programs and there are limits to how many of these kinds of teachers are allowed to serve in a single school think more like 5-10 out of 100 and no where near the numbers you are implying.  This is a classic case of anecdotal evidence where you know a few people who have done something like this and therefore you think that it extrapolates a lot wider than is in actual fact.  In my state they keep statistics on this fact, this includes urban, suburban, and rural schools, and 92% of our teachers have a 4 year degree in education.  Of course there are bad teachers, but most of them are more than competent.  The glory that is the public school system is that you have a lot of teachers.  I pose the same question back to you.  What happens when you are home schooled and get a bad teacher.  You are stuck with that person for multiple years.  Some people do not have the gift of teaching and I am sure that no one who home schools is a bad teacher right?  I am not interested in getting in an argument, but rather helping someone making an informed decision about a complicated issue.  Why not choose the free experts?

FINate

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This is not the same thing. I want kids, however, do not want the burden of teaching them every subject when we have qualified teachers to do so. Would you be your kids health provider? No, because we have trained doctors and pediatricians. What if down the road, you found out your kid did not get into their college of choice or did not pass the state standardized tests? I would feel awful knowing that I failed them, and would always be wondering what if. I want to provide the best education for my children. I have two masters degrees (one in finance and one in engineering) and I do not think I am qualified to be the best teacher they could have. So all I am saying is that many people in this country are not qualified to teach and I feel that homeschooling kids could have more downsides than upsides, especially later on in their teens. I have not seen positive experiences. Some others on here have seen positive experiences and I respect that.

I'm not worried about my kids getting into the college of their choice. It's more important that they enjoy learning and learn how to learn, rather than spending an inordinate amount of effort jumping through hoops trying to get into a specific school. Save the effort and $$$ for graduate school - employers will only look at the graduate degree, no one cares where the hell they went for undergrad or even if they started out in community college, or were homeschooled. I FIREd at 38 after going to community college and noname state schools, never even took the SAT. On the flip side I have peers who "did everything right" and went to brand name schools who are still struggling.

Pre-FIRE my wife was a credentialed public school teacher. It's not rocket science, pretty straightforward. Not saying their job isn't difficult, it's crazy hard to manage a class with that many kids and motivate each one individually, all while dealing with busybody administrators. However, much of the credentialing program (in California at least) was focused on teaching standards, cultural diversity, yada yada yada. Honestly she didn't find much of it useful in the real world classroom. Besides, we have a local charter school for homeschoolers which provides guidance on the standards and curriculum and such. I have an undergrad science degree along with graduate degrees in business and engineering...I'm really not concerned about teaching my kids through the high school level.

We're still on the fence with homeschooling because we haven't decided if we want to give up our kid-free time during the day - love having mountain biking dates and other activities while the kids are at school. Though at some point we'll probably homeschool for a couple of years and use that opportunity to travel while teaching our kids through hands on experience.

JLR

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We've been homeschooling for 6 years now. Our children are 9, 12 and 14 years old.

To answer a question from your OP, LadyStache in Baja, I sometimes need to take some time out. I tend to take five minutes (or 20 minutes..) to myself when I need it. I will sit in my room, perhaps read something. If the kids come in I will just let them know I need a few minutes of quiet time and will be with them soon. They really respond to this, and I find them doing the same thing themselves at times. It is wonderful that they have the ability to see in themselves when they are a bit tense or overwhelmed and to take a few minutes to themselves.

We had some friends stay for a long weekend this weekend and it was interesting to hear our 14yo tell them that one of the two decisions in her life that she regrets was her choice to return to school for year 5. I didn't realise she felt that strongly about it, but I am happy to hear that she is satisified with her decision to return to and continue with homeschooling.

Shane

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As mentioned above, a decision to homeschool or unschool or worldschool your kids for awhile doesn't have to be all or nothing. Even if it turns out homeschooling isn't for your family, a year or two away from the grind of the regular school system won't mean the end of the world for most kids.

As my wife, daughter and I slow travel around the world, we're actively looking for opportunities to be more engaged in the communities we visit. One way to do that is to enroll our daughter in local schools, which we've done twice, so far, for a month in Japan and now 2.5 months in Vietnam.

In Japan, since our daughter didn't speak any Japanese when we got there, I'm pretty sure she didn't learn a whole lot of science or history or geography, but she got to practice her times tables with the other kids (teacher let her do hers in English), and all the teachers totally went out of their way to help our daughter feel welcome during music and art and P.E.

Just about every day, for one or two periods, our daughter helped teach English to the 5th and 6th graders at her school in Japan. Although, sometimes it was probably stressful for her to be constantly surrounded by hundreds of people only speaking in Japanese, during English class she got to be the "expert." Everybody, including the teachers, looked to her, the little 8 year old girl, to teach them the proper pronunciation of English words and how to use them in a sentence. Although, it was hard for her sometimes, I'm pretty sure our daughter learned a lot from the one month she attended school in Japan, and I feel like the Japanese kids in the rural school where she went benefited as well.

In Vietnam the timing worked out just right so our daughter is getting to attend a full 2.5 month quarter at a little private English language international school where she's made a couple of good friends with whom she's been having sleepovers and going to the beach and out to eat and gotten to meet their extended families. Hopefully, even after we leave Vietnam, our daughter will continue to stay in contact with the close friends she's made here through Skype and email.

In a couple weeks, we're heading to Malaysia where we're planning to continue worldschooling for the summer months before traveling to Eastern Tibet in the fall, where we'll probably just keep allowing our daughter to learn by soaking up everything she experiences while traveling.

It's easy enough to go online and look up the US common core standards for each grade level, which we occasionally do, but we're not stressing out about forcing our daughter to learn everything by any externally imposed timeline. In case we decide to put her back into a public school if and when we return to the US, it'll be nice if she meets or exceeds those guidelines, but if there are any deficiencies in her knowledge of math or whatever other subjects, we can easily tutor her ourselves and help her to get back up to speed. Generally, our daughter is ahead in most subjects, though, so we're not really worried about it.

mxt0133

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Regarding this:
As an educator, I would like to know your take on how for most of human history we did not have 'school' but yet we were able to still advance as a species?

Not the previous poster, but as another educator I would say that the development of formal education systems is a huge factor in how we escaped the Middle Ages in the western world. I don't think you're really advocating a return to a time when education was a privilege reserved for the uber-wealthy and male population only.

For many many children, there is a right and wrong when it comes to school. Not all parents have the ability, patience, discipline, or resources to provide what their children need academically. And that's ok but only if those parents put their child's development above their own schedule and lifestyle preferences.

No I'm definitely not advocating going back to the way things were done.  I want to be clear here, I think public school have done a great deal for society for those that do not have the resources, willingness, or capacity to educate their children.  I was one of them as my mother had to work multiple jobs just to provide for our basic needs.  However, for those that do have the means and willingness to, I don't think anyone can argue that there are deficiencies in public schools and that changing the current system will take too long, so an alternative is to go back to how it was done before public schools.  Only now with options that go beyond what only the elites had access to before.  The internet and abundance of subject matter experts at your fingertips has dramatically lowered the costs of education.

The question was in the context if the poster's opinion that people should not homeschool and choose public school, every time.  The point I was trying to make was homeschooling has been, now more than ever, be an effective way to educate your children.  Not that homeschooling should be done for everyone.

mxt0133

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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.

Oh, that's not what I had in mind. It's more that I think parents need to develop other interests besides their children.

I agree as well with you. When I was growing up two kids on my block were homeschooled and had trouble playing with others and such. They did not have social skills. There are a lot of resources today as everyone as mentioned, but why would you go through the all the trouble when there is a system in place? I don't see many parents who could possibly do a better job teaching every subject than what is already there. They may be strong in some areas but most adults I have encountered can (even in my financial job) can barely do math.

This does not speak well for our public school system.

Also, if you are concerned with the school system you could always be more involved to make the school better for everyone or more involved in your kids schoolwork. I just can't understand how parents would want to stay home, teach all the subject material (not just want interests them) for 8 hours a day,

Many homeschoolers say they're able to complete the entire school day in just 2-3 hours. This is because so much of school is shuffling people between classes,
 getting people into their desks, transitioning every hour from subject to subject, and of course just discipline issues of trying to keep 30 people on task. With 1 parent and only 4 kids, the kids don't to wait their turn after 20 other kids to get help and move past any blocks. Also, most homeschooled kids do a lot of self-directed learning. That means mom is maybe in the kitchen making dinner while kids are studying, and then mom comes and helps if kid gets stuck.


 take the kids to socialize and events.

I think this is mostly just life and what we do. So hang out with friends, family, and cousins. Not really a burden.

The school system is already set up with teachers who teach specific grades/subjects, follow a curriculum, give time for socializing, and have extra activities (camp, aftercare, sports, etc.). I played sports and could not imagine not going to school.

 Yes I agree, I loved school sports!

Maybe I just was in great schools and lived in a good area, however, not sure why someone with 1 kid let alone 4 kids would want that burden.

Not burden, but rather opportunity. I guess for the same reason I wanted kids at all. I mean you might as well say, "Life is great as a child-free couple,
why would anybody want to take on the burden of raising kids".


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