Have / Would You Consider Homeschooling?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by CFClassroom, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Homeschooling is becoming very popular. Blogs are popping up daily with pinterest-worthy images of "homeschool" rooms that would make Martha Stewart drool. They go on adventures and treat the world as their classroom. I'm so gosh darn intrigued by it all and I couldn't help but add it to my bucket list. Unfortunately, time is fleeting and there's those pesky little issues of insurance and an income that stand in the way. Plus, I do truly love my job and I enjoy going to work each day.

    Yet there is a growing part of me that would love to give homeschooling a try while my kids are young (I have a 6 year old boy and 2 year old twin girls).

    My son is with a great cohort of kids with great teachers, but I feel like we could have such a unique experience together learning at home. I've read a bit about "afterschooling" and know that is always an option, but life is truly too hectic for that concept.

    Just curious if anyone else has thought about it and what is going through your mind on the subject.
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I considered it a long time ago when my husband's job was going to move us to Florida. The repuation of the schools where we were going to be was so poor that I couldn't think about putting them into that system. Homeschooling for us would be the lesser of two evils.

    I know a lot of people that homeschool. They do it for a variety of reasons. They all think they are doing a wonderful job and that their children are all more advanced than public school counterparts.

    However, I have had a lot of formerly homeschooled students in my public school classrooms. Many HS parents place their children in public school for high school. None of these students 'fit in' with the school. ONE student was smart and capable of the work, but was not able to function in a traditional setting. The others were woefully behind and really had no clue on how to learn according to someone else's time schedule. They struggled for the entire semester with me. The capable student was extremely bright but had a really hard time not being the center of attention. If she knew something she expected everyone else to get it at the same time and if she, God forbid, did not understand something another student understood, she threw a tantrum.
     
  4. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    A friend of mine teaches a homeschooling group. She has seven students in her circle. They visit museums, and have travelled out of state to visit various landmarks. In addition to those trips, they also have daily lessons, tests, and hands-on activities.

    As far as I know, she plans of doing this long term. When I have kids I will have no problems putting them in her hands. She's a wonderful teacher and friend.

    Plus, my children wouldn't be stuck in a classroom all the time. They could actually get out and see the world and LEARN. Not just read about it in text books.

    If you really want to pursue this, I would encourage you to do some research :) A lot of people think homeschool is just a parent keeping their child at home to teach them. But there are groups, circles, and then just people like my friend who take on a limited group at one time.
     
  5. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    I homeschooled my kids for three yrs. ( my oldest from 4th - 6th and youngest 3rd - 5th). We used a homeschooling charter so our school stuff was paid for. I loved it and the kids did also. If I had to do it again I would prbably start earlier than I did.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    It's hard to say "never."

    So instead I'll say "not under any circumstances I can forsee."
     
  7. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    When my son was struggling in school and had been diagnosed with a learning difficulty I was ready to homeschool him.

    Instead, I got him a darn good tutor who helped him for 3 years and he's doing fine now. He and I would not be good together all day even though I'm a teacher. :lol:
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

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    Boy do I understand that sentiment!
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Since Alex is a year away from his honours B.Sc and Lauren a semester away from finishing high school, that ship sailed a long time ago. I never, for one instant, considered it. It would never have worked for us.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that homeschooling could have tons of benefits, so I wouldn't mind doing it if we ever have children. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of problems, mostly when it comes to logistics and finances, so I don't think it would work for our family.
     
  11. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I'd do it in a heartbeat... but adding me & children to BF's insurance minus my income would not even cover basic needs.
     
  12. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    That was not something that I even considered for a moment while my kids were in schhol. I admire those who can but I would either have gone in a mental hospital because the kids drove me crazy or gone to jail for child abuse. I love my kids more than anything but being home with them two months in the summer was enough for me.
     
  13. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I was homeschooled from 7th grade through high school. I was taught at first by my mom and then attended a homestudies school through the county and had a real teacher.

    I currently homeschool and tutor students who attend a hybrid school. They go to school 2 days a week, homechool 2.5 days a week, and attend academic enrichment at their school .5 days a week.

    I really like this setup because you get the best of both worlds.

    If I were to have kids, that is what I would do.
     
  14. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    My eldest son is in a program run by my school district to support children while the homeschool. He has 11 hours of gymnastics every week, and needed to add a small job....so this was the option that fit his life best. It was either move to support homeschool or give up gym.

    He likes his homeschool classes much more than he thought he would. He loves getting to work immediately and not having to wait for behaviors to settle down. He loves that he sits in his desk for 2 days and has the other 3 days to do what needs to be done. His grades are up, his attitude is lovely.....

    My middle son was diagnosed with ADHD and the elm school he was attending was not able to meet his needs at all. He had to get pulled and moved to the Catholic School. This has tamed his issues a ton, and now he is a middle schooler with regular issues, but not an outstanding amount of them.

    My daughter is in the second grade. She started at the Catholic school with my middle son, but she asked to move to neighborhood elm school. So far she is doing great, but she does say that it is much harder to work in the environment of the new school. She is a different child than my son, so I think she will survive the social experiment.

    I must say homeschool was always something that we considered. I thought that they would request to leave the school and be at home (or act out and I would need them to move home) but it wasn't until they got older that they allowed themselves to think of it.

    I really appreciate the ability to homeschool.
     
  15. jwteacher

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    Last year, one of my students, who was on grade level in reading, was pulled from the classroom to be homeschooled because the older sister was being homeschooled.

    The parents decided to bring her back this year, and I learned she is now reading a grade and a half behind. Instead of making progress, she actually regressed outside of the school setting.

    I don't think most parents have the time and skill base to give their child a proper education at home.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that's one of the biggest problems with homeschooling. Parents can have all the best intentions and love for their child in the world, but if they don't know basic math, for example, it's hard to teach it. A homeschooling parent has to be able to find and use a variety of resources to make up for any shortcomings he or she might have with the material. It's completely doable, especially for parents who are highly invested in their child's success.

    Sometimes, and I don't know how often, it seems like some parents use homeschooling as a way to avoid dealing with certain unpleasantness in the school system. If they don't like the reports they're getting as far as their child's behavior or performance or ability to socialize, they get angry and pull the kid from school, vowing to do a better job homeschooling. Many of those parents realize that they are in over their head. When that happens, they either end up returning their child to the school system or keep their child at home with a sub-par education.

    Since the original question was being posed to professional educators, I think that we don't have the same problems as far as content knowledge and willingness/ability to seek out alternative resources. I freely admit that I don't know everything about everything, but I do know a lot of things and, more importantly, I know how to find the information I need. I think I could provide a quality and well-rounded education to my own potential child through a homeschooling environment. The places where I'd struggle are with a heavily reduced income (going from two incomes to one would be difficult), reduced benefits, and having no one to lean on for help unless I joined a homeschooling group of some sort. (I didn't realize until I joined A to Z that there were so many homeschooling groups, co-ops, etc. available for kids and families. I think it's a great thing!)
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    If I had children, absolutely I would consider it. I wouldn't and couldn't do it alone, but my definition and concept of homeschooling isn't that of a parent and child working out of textbooks or from the computer day after day. Homeschooling would be much "bigger" than that simple (likely ineffective) model.
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Okay, I'm probably going to catch a lot of flack here, but, here goes.....

    I'm a big fan of "unschooling". Now, I'm not a big fan of using the idea of unschooling to avoid teaching anything, but when done right it's a wonderful way to learn. Here's an example of what I mean...

    Recently, I had to take my son to Minneapolis to get a passport (we needed it quickly, so I had to go to the regional center and get it same-day). Minneapolis is a 4.5 hour drive, so we had 6 hours to kill while we were in the city. It just so happens that the Federal Building is a few blocks away from St. Andrew's Falls, and the heart of the old mill district. So my son and I spent the day exploring the mill district. Here's what we learned:

    -Geology: types of rock and soil, how a river changes over time, erosion.

    -Physics: Turning the power of falling water into usable power.

    -Chemistry: Did you know that under the right circumstances, flour can be more explosive than gun powder?

    -History: the major events in American and world history through the lens of the flour mills

    -Engineering: How did they build all those machines? How did they work? This goes for all the old milling equipment, as well as the lock and the hydroelectric plant around the falls.

    -Civics: Why do we need a passport anyway? What defines a country's borders? What does it mean to be a citizen of one country instead of another?

    -Math: Distance, rates, change over time.

    -Reading: Having to read all the informational signs reinforces reading skills, comprehension, and critical thinking (as he was encouraged to ask questions)

    After we got home, I had my son write a guided reflection about his trip. As he thought about it, he remarked that he had no idea he was learning all that. He was just having a good time!

    Since I won't be able to homeschool my kids unless I were to win the lottery or somehow become independently wealthy, I have to take advantage of evening and weekend "teachable moments".
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    No flack here, mm, as I think that sort of learning is ideal.

    I have without a doubt noticed a correlation between how my instruction has been required to go more explicit (due to trends in education) and decreased test scores. My scores were awesome when I was allowed to just teach...I didn't have to tell students what they were learning, or how they were learning, or what they would have to be able to demonstrate at the end of a unit. My classes were more creative, fun, cooperative, individual, hit more multiple intelligences...just better. Students learned naturally.

    The more "rules" I follow, the less desirable results. Which is why I want out. It's very difficult to teach in a way you know to be less effective.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You bet, JustMe. I have said before, and I will say again: focusing on raising test scores as goal is quite possibly the least effective way to raise them long term. One MIGHT see a very brief spike... but it's almost certainly going to be brief. And one sees much better retention of skills and facts when both teacher and student know that the skills and facts are good for more than just a test that's going to be over with.
     
  21. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Yes, I agree Justme and TeacherGroupie.....I love that early ed is still the land "before testing" for many programs. This allows us to still use our whole bodies for learning. You are right mmswm that is exactly how homeschool is wonderful, those teachable moments. You can totally use the weekends to make those happen....but at some point I hope that the school systems and the law makers decide to hear all of the educators when we shout that test taking and studying for the high stakes test isn't education. I didn't move my children around to hide from the system, the system here is broken and the teachers I relate to as peers told me to move some of my children out. If the teachers are (behind closed doors and never in public) telling other respected members of the education community that things are this wrong......it is a problem.
     
  22. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Only if the child had a learning disability that the school could not/refused to remediate.
     
  23. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Haha, my mom used to say that about me! She's a teacher as well, and even little things like her trying to tutor me in certain areas did not go over well in our house. We would have killed each other had she tried homeschooling! When I needed extra help in math, she finally gave up and got me a tutor, even though she was capable of helping me herself- it helped out our relationship a TON!

    I don't have kids, but homeschooling is not something I'd ever look into. My mom had a lot of friends who did it, and it turned out terribly in every single case. They did it the "right" way too with cohorts and field trips and friendship groups and things like that- not just the kid in front of the computer. Even if I didn't have all of those negative examples, it's just not something I find appealing at all.
     
  24. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I'm sure there are cases where homeschooling did harm, and I'm sure there are cases where it did wonders (just like in a public school, you have MANY kids who fail or are struggling, along with kids who are doing well).

    Just because there have been cases where kids return to school a grade or more behind their peers doesn't really mean homeschooling isn't a viable option. Yes, there are parents who do have good intentions but may not be able to teach particular subjects.

    So, that's where I come in. I currently work with several families whose students attend the hybrid school.

    Or they can get creative and form home study groups and parents work together to teach the subject to the group that they are strong in. If you work hard, are creative, and collaborate, it can work.

    I wish they had more of these hybrid schools! It is wonderful!
     
  25. Letsgo

    Letsgo Rookie

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    I would love to homeschool if it is financially possible, and the child is in board.
     
  26. Ms. I

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  27. Elocin

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    I think about it sometimes but I don't think I have enough self-discipline to do it. We'd end up just reading stories in our PJs all day! I am lucky to be in a school district I am happy with.
     
  28. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    If I had kids, I would SOOO enjoy homeschooling. :) I would even take them to other countries for a period of time to teach them the culture and language.
     
  29. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    So much depends on the child =) I would NEVER say that homeschooling is for everyone. Neither is public school or private school! ;) I would, however, say that you should definitely try!! The biggest arguments I have heard against homeschooling are:

    1) Lack of Socialization- My answer to this is that all my teachers said things like "You are NOT here to socialize! Get quiet!" Also, true socialization teaches children to relate to people of all ages! My homeschooled son can strike up a conversation about WWII with a 96 year old vet, discuss video games with a teenager, or play with a baby while a busy mom fills out paperwork at the doctor's office. He gets along with everyone- not just people his age. And he knows you don't ACTUALLY have to raise your hand to go to the bathroom. lol

    2)You can't possibly teach your child everything they need to know- My answer: Neither can a public school teacher. But I CAN teach them where to find out what they need to know. I can teach them to be lifelong learners...curious people who wonder about things and care about things...Most importantly, I can teach them that character trumps knowledge.
     
  30. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Good post, queenie. :)
     
  31. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    :lol:
     
  32. Irissa

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    We were out one day and my husband jokingly asked me if I wanted to homeschool my son. I guess my "NO WAY!!" was loud enough to be heard a few tables over since they started laughing. I do a lot of additional teaching with him but public school has been very good for him so far.
     
  33. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I considered it when my son started middle school, but it wasn't feasible. I needed the money teaching brought in. Plus, he would have been one of my worst nightmares when it came to teaching. :)
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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  35. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Thanks Caesar, I like that the article points out that the same modes of learning don't have the same prescribed outcomes for all children. I can say I will never be a homeschool advocate probably,
    but for one of my children it is working out well this year.
     
  36. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    I was homeschooled from the 5th grade to 12th. At the time, it seemed like a good thing. In hindsight, not so much. I was homeschool mainly for religious reasons. This religion, which we're not a part of anymore, frowned upon any relationships outside of the church. So, even though there were homeschooling groups and such, I wasn't allowed to join them. Therefore, I had, and still do, have major social issues - anxiety, etc. It takes me a long time to put myself out there. I've been at this school going on four years, not counting the semester I was an aide, and I'm just know letting people know the "real me."

    I struggled academically. My mom and I butted heads so much because I didn't get certain things and she didn't know how to help me that I basically quit when I was 16. Before I started college, I got my GED. I had to take every remedial class offered.

    IDK, I guess it depends on the family and the situation. I wouldn't do it with my kids. My niece's boyfriend is homeschooled and seems to be a well-rounded kid. He's a part of a large homeschooling group that does musical productions, has a basketball team, goes on field trips, etc. However, there isn't anyway they (the homeschooling group) can offer all the opportunities that a public or private school can. The kids in the homeschooling group don't have as many opportunities for scholarships based on extra curricular activities. I don't think they are exposed to the "ways of the world." I mean, I think going to college is kind of a culture shock, especially if they are on their own. I lived at home while I went to college and heard about things that scarred my inner child, lol. :p

    Beth
     
  37. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I would not home school my own children. Mostly that is due to the area where we live. We are in a very rural area, and there simply aren't enough opportunities to get out there and supplement "book-learning" and online opportunities.

    We have a few parents who are successful at home school, but they are rare. Typically they have either special needs children or prefer a faith-based curriculum.

    I know two families who live in major metropolitan areas, and they have many opportunities to get their children into groups with other children through home-school groups, sports groups, and various private lessons. They also all travel a lot. The mothers have education degrees.
     
  38. Ambrosegirl84

    Ambrosegirl84 Companion

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    I begged my mom to homeschool me because of how miserable school was for me starting in junior high (socially grueling and academically boring), but she didn't feel qualified.

    In college I met quite a few homeschooled people who were socially and academically successful. I majored in Elementary Ed with the express intention of homeschooling (or teaching in a country school if I didn't meet Mr. Right 'right now' :) ).

    That said, I got my country school dream job, am finishing this year, and will then stay home after Baby is born in June. I've met many homeschoolers in this area (some religious, some not--a nice mix) and can't wait to do it myself! With what I hear goes on in the public schools around here, I'd feel like I was sending my kid into a pack of wolves.
     

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