thoughts on homeschool? — The Bump
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thoughts on homeschool?

My friend and I were discussing the topic. Curious what you guys think of it.
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Re: thoughts on homeschool?

  • If you have a master's or bachelor's in Education, experience teaching, and resources...go for it.  Otherwise, never.  It is possible to do it right, but for the average parent I think it is a poor choice.

    I run a youth program for kids 14 to 21, both at my local level and on the board for the state.  I work with hundreds of kids a year.  Based on five years of doing that, I have rarely found a home-schooled young adult that is at a normal social developmental level.  Some of these kids are leaps ahead of their peers when it comes to tests and books - but they can't function in a normal social setting. 

    I also see kids struggling in their weak areas - because mom or dad doesn't force them to work in the topics they don't like, where a school would require more well-rounded instruction.  So you have a teen who can read/write incredibly well, but is still on middle school math and science.

    Anecdotally, my MIL is a paraeducator who is usually assigned to special education children.  Her experience is that every year she is assigned some poor kids who are being transitioned back to regular school from homeschool and they cannot be placed in with their age group because they are so far behind where they should be.  She has multiple instances of homeschoolers coming back into mainstream school being two to three grade levels behind in multiple topics.

    As you can see, I get a little passionate about this topic.  I don't have the training or educational background a teacher has, so why in the world would I believe I can do their job?

     

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  • A and I were just talking about this the other day. 

    image kaskade:

    I have rarely found a home-schooled young adult that is at a normal social developmental level.  Some of these kids are leaps ahead of their peers when it comes to tests and books - but they can't function in a normal social setting. 

    This summarizes our thoughts completely.  School is not only a place for learning academia, but for learning social skills.  I can't imagine how ill-equipped some (most?) of these kids are when their first experience in "real" school is at college.   And I agree that they probably do not get the same depth and breadth of subjects...plus learning from your peers is important, too.  I say big fat no.  My opinion only, of course, but I think in 99% of cases involving children ( at least those without learning disabilities or other things that might make traditional schooling ineffective) it's a poor choice.

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  • Here are my thoughts:

    1.  The person teaching the child should have at least a bachelors degree from an accredited college/university. 

    2.  There should be a school-like structure to the day as opposed to "unschooling", where the child is just taught in an unstructured atmosphere, like simply encouraging the child to ask questions about their environment instead of teaching them about their environment. 

    3.  The child or children should be involved in some sort of extracurricular activity like a sport or a club so that they can be socialized with "mainstream" kids of the same age. 

    I think if the parents are qualified and can teach well, it can be effective. 

    I grew up with two homeschooled kids in my neighborhood and, although they were a bit more withdrawn, they were able to learn how to be more social as the years went on.  Now they're both just like any other people who went to a regular school.  These kids were homeschooled by their mom, who was a former middle-school teacher.

    I've also known one girl, who was homeschooled because her mom thought her self-esteem was being harmed by regular school (the girl "developed" earlier than the other girls in her class and was made fun of because she wore a bra.) and so the mom pulled her out of school and taught her for a year. Her mom never went to college and barely graduated HS. By the time she went back to school, she was waaaaay behind in her schoolwork and had to make up the additional year, which made her self-esteem plummet even more than being teased because she had boobs. 

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  • No way would I do it.  Not that I dont' feel qualified to teach the subjects, but I do not havce the patience or the organization for it.  Plus, my kid doesn't sit still and listen to me.  And I would end up yelling a lot.  Plus what do you do with your other kids when you're teaching one?  I don't know how you would work it.  And I know there are people who do more "co op" types where you share teh teaching but I dont' get how that's legal - that seems like your'e just running an unaccredited school.
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  • There are different levels of home schoolers, the ones Kaskade mentioned above are the cases that give home schoolers a bad rap. Homeschoolers should use resources in their community to make sure their children have a well rounded education. I excell in math and suck at English/Grammer, and I would never be the primary educator for English/Grammer for my dd. I would outsource it to another homeschool parent or get a tutor. I also strongly feel that homeschool kids are not socially ackward. Proper education also includes teaching social skill through sports, church groups, volunteering, and anything else that takes the child out of the house. Again, I say a minority of the Homeschoolers give the majority a bad rap. I am pro homeschooling, especially after the traumatic public education I had, but I know I could not do it full time. I don't have the patience for it, but fully support those who do it. I'm taking the middle road and have DD enrolled in a private school.
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  • image kaskade:

     I have rarely found a home-schooled young adult that is at a normal social developmental level.  Some of these kids are leaps ahead of their peers when it comes to tests and books - but they can't function in a normal social setting. 

    I mostly think this way. However, people that are socialy awkward stand out and we later learn they were home schooled. I don't typically ask people that seem to be functioning normally how they were educated. My limited personal experience with people that were homeschooled is that they are super smart but behave odly like stare too long or don't ever make eye contact. If they only ever interact with other homeschoolers, then their behavior is normal to them, like ours is normal to us.

    I would only homeschool if we lived in bfe, but would make sure the kid/s were involved in as much social stuff that we could. Also, it seems there is a big connection to homeschoolers and highly religous people. I'm assuming this is because of the disagreements about religion in public schools, and not really because the schhols are awful for where they live.

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  • I have never met a homeschooled child who wasn't socially awkward.   Aside from that I also feel that if you aren't qualified to be teaching other people's children full time, then you shouldn't be teaching your own child full time.
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  • image kaskade:

    I have rarely found a home-schooled young adult that is at a normal social developmental level.  Some of these kids are leaps ahead of their peers when it comes to tests and books - but they can't function in a normal social setting. 

    I also see kids struggling in their weak areas - because mom or dad doesn't force them to work in the topics they don't like, where a school would require more well-rounded instruction.  So you have a teen who can read/write incredibly well, but is still on middle school math and science.

    As someone who was homeschooled for a few years, this is exactly how I felt.  I was better at my studies, and time management (which served me well at college), but I definatley had a hard time "fitting in" with my peers for a few years in highschool once I returned to public school.  If you have a choice, I'd say keep your kids in school, and if you feel they need extra attention, then suppliment that subject with outside learning.

  • image ~Lynchie~:
    I have never met a homeschooled child who wasn't socially akward.   Aside from that I also feel that if you aren't qualified to be teaching other people's children full time, then you shouldn't be teaching your own child full time.

    I completely agree with this!  Some of the hardest children for me to teach have been the ones who have come from a homeschooling background.  They are usually so painfully awkward and gravitate more towards adults than other children.  I do agree that there are exceptions (like PP said), when the parents make a HUGE effort to socialize their children in all of the other ways that are available - sports groups, group classes with other homeschoolers, etc. to be involved and learn often with other children (daily or almost-daily) 

    I think that takes a ton of work on the parents' part, and even though I love teaching, I don't think I would do it for my own child.  Part of this is because I want my child to learn to be taught by other adults and respect their authority, and the other part is because I think it's good for families to have time apart to have things to talk about and share when they are together (and not drive each other crazy all.day.long).

     

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  • Some of my thoughts...

    *Homeschooling isn't for everyone. But just because it's not for everyone doesn't make it bad.

    *Many peoples' thoughts on homeschooling come more from judgments formed from the media and culture and not really from actual first hand experience.  Example:  When most people think homeschool, they think (conservative, Christian, mormon, anti-social, sheltered, extremeist, and inadequate)

    *I think being a good teacher has less to do with schooling and certification and more to do with the ability to motivate and inspire the next generation.

    *The original intention and meaning of the word educate actually means "To draw out what's already in," not to "put in information."  I find very schools that draw out. The first one I find, I will enroll my son.

    *I wish I were homeschooled.  And this is coming from someone who went to what many would call a really good private school.  Why? Because I am a very independent learner and I think it would've allowed me to drive deeper into the topics that interested me vs. having to be a generalist.  American education raises up generalists and doesn't encourage kids to figure out early in life what they're good at and what  they want to do with their life.

    *Depending on how our kids personalities pan out, I'm strongly considering homeschooling our kids.  It totally depends on their personality though and it may be a combination of homeschooling for the early years and regular school later on.

    *Statistically, homeschoolers usually test well above their grade level.  Most of the statistics on the homeschooled aren't often publicized because it's not easy to track and because it's too much of an indictment on the public school system which is already quickly losing credibility in too many parts of the country.  It is not in the best interest of any state for people to move toward homeschooling their children. Public schools are money makers.

    *Every friend I've ever had who was homeschooled (with the exception of one idiot who would be an idiot no matter what) is exceptionally bright and successful in life. I would venture to say that some of them rank high as some of the smartest people I know. edited to add: and very well adjusted.

    *I love Tim Tebow.  He was homeschooled his entire life. :-)

    *I love The Pioneer Woman and she homeschools her children for reasons I can totally identify with.

    That is all. :-) I am very passionate about this topic.

  • Also wanted to add that two of my friends who are currently homeschooling their kids are way hardcore.  They have designated school rooms in their house.  They have a formal schedule and they put in HUNDREDS of hours a month in classroom and lesson prep.  They meet up with other homeschoolers, they go on field trips, outings, and their kids absolutely LOVE it.

    Here's some pics of my friend's school room in her home which I just love.  Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. It's super hardcore:

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  • Speaking of awkward, was anyone in public school and socially awkward? I know I was, because I was extremely shy and was a latch key kid. The people I was around most after school were my mom and her adult friends, which made me unable to relate to kids my age. I grew out of it, but I was "that kid" when I was young.
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  • image ~Lynchie~:
    I have never met a homeschooled child who wasn't socially awkward.   Aside from that I also feel that if you aren't qualified to be teaching other people's children full time, then you shouldn't be teaching your own child full time.

    Ditto!  I would never home school Tristen.  I am not a School Teacher I am a mother and I can see the difference.   One of my best friends in HS was Home schooled until HS and she was (and still is) socially awkward. 

    ETA: Not that you can't be a School teacher and a mother, I just feel you should be a school teacher or have a degree similar to stay home and be a MOTHER and a Teacher. 

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  • image JDCSKF:
    Speaking of awkward, was anyone in public school and socially awkward? I know I was, because I was extremely shy and was a latch key kid. The people I was around most after school were my mom and her adult friends, which made me unable to relate to kids my age. I grew out of it, but I was "that kid" when I was young.

    TONS of people are in public school and socially awkward. Even more in private school.  It does often get spotlighted in the case of homeschooled kids though.  The thing is, social awkwardness is kind of part of life. Even the "cool kids" are socially awkward. They just happen to be popular for the moment. I think the movie Mean Girls best illustrates how schitzo school social ecosystems are.  Moreover, most days I think I'd rather my kid be awkward than common. It's usually the somewhat awkward kids who grow up and hold 98% of the wealth in the world...lol.

  • I am generally really against it.

    1) I think that you would have to be a super-genius to do a good job on all the different subjects.  Much better to supplement.

    2) I think 50% of the point of school (and college) is social.  You need to learn how to function in this society.  I know that some people feel that society is pretty unwholesome, but knowing how to deal with it is still, in my opinion, a priceless skill.

  • Nykola: "Also wanted to add that two of my friends who are currently homeschooling their kids are way hardcore.  They have designated school rooms in their house.  They have a formal schedule and they put in HUNDREDS of hours a month in classroom and lesson prep.  They meet up with other homeschoolers, they go on field trips, outings, and their kids absolutely LOVE it.

    Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. It's super hardcore:"

    These are the examples of folks that are doing a GREAT job.  The children of your friends are lucky and are probably getting an education far above what most kids are getting in their schools.  My concern is those parents that don't put the work into it, or overestimate their skills. 

    The youth program I run is often used by parents to help socialize their homeschooled kids.  I have run across some kids whose parents that are doing a great job; unfortunately I run into more whose parents are not doing them any favor.  Part of me wishes homeschoolers were a little more regulated....but that would take away the whole point of it.

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  • Once I was getting my hair cut and there was an ad on the radio for the "Forgotten Presidents Day Sale" or something like that.  They referenced Millard Fillmore.  The girl cutting my hair said "Was Millard Fillmore a President?" and I said "yes" and she said "wow, I guess I should know that since I homeschool my kid".   I asked a bit more and found out she's homeschooling a high schooler.  And she doesn't even know presidents?  Sorry.  No way is that going to work.  Oh, and she was a single mom working full time cutting hair.  When was his "school"??   Those are the real tragedies.  I agree that there's a very small population who can do it hard core like described above.  I think unfortunately there are a lot more stories where the homeschool system fails the kids in some aspect.

    And I can't remember who said above that they were doing private school as a medium between home schooling and public schools... I don't get that.  How is that a medium?  Is it just the assumption somehow that private schools are better?  more hands on?  Because I can tell you stories of my private schooling growing up and how it completely failed at teaching the kids who excelled or the kids who were behind.  Small private schools don't have the breadth of offerings to make sure all kids are covered (at least in my experience and what I've seen with a few friends).  I excelled much more in public schools that had a big enough population to offer advanced math programs, a drama program, AP classes, etc... the private school kid excelled in drug abuse - bored rich kids with too much money.  Not that that's the case with private schools everywhere, but private does not always mean better.

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  • If it is done right, by knowledgeable and dedicated parents, then I have no problem with it.

    However, I went to college and received both a BA and a Master's in order to be able to teach children from K-8th grade. The average parent is not necessarily a teacher. And I don't believe that the average parent is qualified to teach. Sorry, I just don't.

    I also found a lot of value in spending time with numerous teachers over the years. Every teacher has something that they can impart upon a child. If you never have the opportunity to learn from someone else, you miss out. A lot of the teachers that I had growing up helped to shape who I am today. I am a teacher with an MA and I wouldn't homeschool my kids.

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  • Although i know folks that homeschool their kids, I don't know anyone now or then who was homeschooled.

    My understanding is that for parents who are homeschooling the kids, they want to impart more than just academics.  That maybe it's not that they feel they can do a better job teaching literature, history or science, but that they can better teach their family values through the materials chosen.  And that it's as important to the child's future to nurture the soul (and ethics) as it is to teach academics.

    I didn't fit into the standard academics.  I asked too many questions, leapt ahead of my teachers in lectures, and talked back by arguing points in class with subjects i'd researched on my own.  I'm open to other ways of teaching kids.  I also don't believe that I can give my daughter everything she needs to be her most intelligent, most creative, most vibrant person she can be, and I welcome the ideas and methods of other teachers.  I plan to be very active in her education, and I hope to find educators that can show me how to enhance her formal education.

    Oh, and i'm the black sheep of the family since I never did get my teaching degree.  Every woman, going back at least 5 generations, up 'til little ol' me, has been a teacher, along with a few men.  So i've grown up with a lot of educators around me.

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  • image KNemo:
    I also found a lot of value in spending time with numerous teachers over the years. Every teacher has something that they can impart upon a child. If you never have the opportunity to learn from someone else, you miss out. A lot of the teachers that I had growing up helped to shape who I am today.

    Excellent point!

  • image StellaZ:

    image KNemo:
    I also found a lot of value in spending time with numerous teachers over the years. Every teacher has something that they can impart upon a child. If you never have the opportunity to learn from someone else, you miss out. A lot of the teachers that I had growing up helped to shape who I am today.

    Excellent point!

    I totally agree with this.  The people I know who were homeschooled were given only their parents view or views of an assistant who helped with home schooling.  They are often nieve about others thoughts and views because they only know one way. 

    As far as social interaction, Cruz needs that now at 3!  There are things he doesn't get from 30 min at swimming or an hour at soccer!  At least even if your socially ackward and attended high school you were given the opportunity to not be as ackward.

    Ok now for my flameworthy part of the topic.  I also believe that parents who homeschool their children are afraid to let go of their children and let them god forbid have a different opinion than them.  If your doing your part at home to make sure your children are learning what they should in school then there shouldn't be a problem with them missing anything!

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  • image nykola:

    *Statistically, homeschoolers usually test well above their grade level.  Most of the statistics on the homeschooled aren't often publicized because it's not easy to track and because it's too much of an indictment on the public school system which is already quickly losing credibility in too many parts of the country.  It is not in the best interest of any state for people to move toward homeschooling their children. Public schools are money makers.

    Say what?  

  • image tfarabians:
    image StellaZ:

    image KNemo:
    I also found a lot of value in spending time with numerous teachers over the years. Every teacher has something that they can impart upon a child. If you never have the opportunity to learn from someone else, you miss out. A lot of the teachers that I had growing up helped to shape who I am today.

    Excellent point!

    I totally agree with this.  The people I know who were homeschooled were given only their parents view or views of an assistant who helped with home schooling.  They are often nieve about others thoughts and views because they only know one way. 

    As far as social interaction, Cruz needs that now at 3!  There are things he doesn't get from 30 min at swimming or an hour at soccer!  At least even if your socially ackward and attended high school you were given the opportunity to not be as ackward.

    Ok now for my flameworthy part of the topic.  I also believe that parents who homeschool their children are afraid to let go of their children and let them god forbid have a different opinion than them.  If your doing your part at home to make sure your children are learning what they should in school then there shouldn't be a problem with them missing anything!

    I won't generalize and say *all* home school kids/parents are like this but in my family there are cousins that are all 5 home schooled and this has proven to be the case.  Their parents didn't trust that their children would 1) not stray from their beliefs (teach them right and they won't, I say to that) and 2) didn't want them exposed to the evils of the worlds .  So now their kids are going to college, because you can't home college your kids, and are so lost and one of them has already been dis-owned.  Never having to make decisons and then when you do: What do you think is gonna happen?

    I think homeschooling works but I will always question the reasons behind it and unfortunately many people just assume if you home school it's because you are sheltering your kids or because you don't trust them.  Instead for some great reason that they might not understand. 

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  • image pearly1:
    image nykola:

    *Statistically, homeschoolers usually test well above their grade level.  Most of the statistics on the homeschooled aren't often publicized because it's not easy to track and because it's too much of an indictment on the public school system which is already quickly losing credibility in too many parts of the country.  It is not in the best interest of any state for people to move toward homeschooling their children. Public schools are money makers.

    Say what?  

    This.  What Pearly said.   Oh. My. Gosh. 

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  • image WatchPot:
    image tfarabians:
    image StellaZ:

    image KNemo:
    I also found a lot of value in spending time with numerous teachers over the years. Every teacher has something that they can impart upon a child. If you never have the opportunity to learn from someone else, you miss out. A lot of the teachers that I had growing up helped to shape who I am today.

    Excellent point!

    I totally agree with this.  The people I know who were homeschooled were given only their parents view or views of an assistant who helped with home schooling.  They are often nieve about others thoughts and views because they only know one way. 

    As far as social interaction, Cruz needs that now at 3!  There are things he doesn't get from 30 min at swimming or an hour at soccer!  At least even if your socially ackward and attended high school you were given the opportunity to not be as ackward.

    Ok now for my flameworthy part of the topic.  I also believe that parents who homeschool their children are afraid to let go of their children and let them god forbid have a different opinion than them.  If your doing your part at home to make sure your children are learning what they should in school then there shouldn't be a problem with them missing anything!

    I won't generalize and say *all* home school kids/parents are like this but in my family there are cousins that are all 5 home schooled and this has proven to be the case.  Their parents didn't trust that their children would 1) not stray from their beliefs (teach them right and they won't, I say to that) and 2) didn't want them exposed to the evils of the worlds .  So now their kids are going to college, because you can't home college your kids, and are so lost and one of them has already been dis-owned.  Never having to make decisons and then when you do: What do you think is gonna happen?

    I think homeschooling works but I will always question the reasons behind it and unfortunately many people just assume if you home school it's because you are sheltering your kids or because you don't trust them.  Instead for some great reason that they might not understand. 

    Yeah there's a whackadoo girl on another message board I'm on and she's homeschooling her daughter in order to keep her away from "other ideas" and "outside influences"... It's crazy scary in so many ways.  Someday she'll be one of those people where the news is interviewing neighbors and they say "she seemed so nice, kept to herself, I'm amazed she just bombed the bank"... :)  She's so nuts that she is really afraid of her kid being exposed to the "dark side of Halloween" so she thinks she shouldn't let her "celebrate" it at all.  And don't get me started on her feelings about gay people.  Or Obama. 

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  • image nykola:

    Some of my thoughts...

    *Homeschooling isn't for everyone. But just because it's not for everyone doesn't make it bad.

    *Many peoples' thoughts on homeschooling come more from judgments formed from the media and culture and not really from actual first hand experience.  Example:  When most people think homeschool, they think (conservative, Christian, mormon, anti-social, sheltered, extremeist, and inadequate)

    *I think being a good teacher has less to do with schooling and certification and more to do with the ability to motivate and inspire the next generation.

    *The original intention and meaning of the word educate actually means "To draw out what's already in," not to "put in information."  I find very schools that draw out. The first one I find, I will enroll my son.

    *I wish I were homeschooled.  And this is coming from someone who went to what many would call a really good private school.  Why? Because I am a very independent learner and I think it would've allowed me to drive deeper into the topics that interested me vs. having to be a generalist.  American education raises up generalists and doesn't encourage kids to figure out early in life what they're good at and what  they want to do with their life.

    *Depending on how our kids personalities pan out, I'm strongly considering homeschooling our kids.  It totally depends on their personality though and it may be a combination of homeschooling for the early years and regular school later on.

    *Statistically, homeschoolers usually test well above their grade level.  Most of the statistics on the homeschooled aren't often publicized because it's not easy to track and because it's too much of an indictment on the public school system which is already quickly losing credibility in too many parts of the country.  It is not in the best interest of any state for people to move toward homeschooling their children. Public schools are money makers.

    *Every friend I've ever had who was homeschooled (with the exception of one idiot who would be an idiot no matter what) is exceptionally bright and successful in life. I would venture to say that some of them rank high as some of the smartest people I know. edited to add: and very well adjusted.

    *I love Tim Tebow.  He was homeschooled his entire life. :-)

    *I love The Pioneer Woman and she homeschools her children for reasons I can totally identify with.

    That is all. :-) I am very passionate about this topic.

    Thanks N for typing out so many of my thoughts. ;)  I have several friends who were homeschooled and aren't anymore screwed up than the rest of us.  I also know a few kids in my youth group and a couple of friends' families who homeschool and it works for them.  If we get the right kids, I'd consider it.  I would also invest a LOT of time and energy into connecting my kids in other ways - church, sports, lessons (swim, music, etc.)  It wouldn't be staying home and playing in pjs all day.  One family I know goes to a co-op and different parents teach different 8-10 week sections.  I'd want to be involved in something similar.

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