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Homeschooling insulting to teachers?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Actually, many of the people I know who homeschool (or just those who have a negative attitude about our school system) are teachers. However, my mom is a teacher and she is very insulted that we are most likely homeschooling our daughter. My mom and dad both keep using the argument "it's like saying 'I can treat my own pet, we don't need a vet!' (dh is a vet) or 'I can design my own house, I don't need an architect' (my dad is an architect)" etc

They then argue that teachers know so many things that parents would never know to teach their children, like phonemic awareness. And kids learn so much from one another that learning at home would be a big negative.

My personal feelings are
1) Teachers are experts in leading a large group of single-aged children and getting them to learn the required material, while parents are the experts of their own children. Just like there are early childhood experts working in day care centers, but my daughter thrived being at home with me as I was the expert on caring for HER

2) There are certain things deemed "necessary" by teachers, but are they really necessary? How many of us even remember anything we were taught in grade school? I'm sure teachers have some great ideas on how to get kids to memorize the states and capitals or all the details of the war of 1812, but will it stick? or is it just for the reason of trying to impart a great level of knowledge on kids for our own personal ability as a society to say that our kids are really learning?

3) Many teachers I know seem unhappy with the way the system is going. If so many teachers themselves are saying the kids are pushed too hard, isn't it time to take a step back?

4) While I don't think that all classroom experiences would be bad, there are certain things I don't want pushed upon my daughter, like grades (why teach her from the start that she is either better than or not as good as some other kids based on a letter or number assigned to her which can be influenced by many unrelated factors)

5) I don't really like the idea of having all kids of one age so separate from other children and adults. I also don't like the bullying that happens so frequently when kids are together in large groups with minimal adult interaction for positive modeling and interruption of any bullying behaviors.

6) Did we remember that John Holt and John Taylor Gatto were teachers, too?

7) Children learn best when personally motivated to figure something out AND when they are ready to learn that information. Unfortunately, when teachers have to impart a certain amount of knowledge on a large group in a given amount of time, they can't wait for each child to be ready and/or interested.

I'm sure there's more, but it really bothers me that my mom is personally insulted that I would try to teach my own daughter without the help of a professional. I also painted the house without a painter, put together furniture without a carpenter, cooked without a chef, and sewed without the help of a seamstress. I'm quite the rebel.
post #2 of 51
Yet somehow as a parent you aren't supposed to be personally insulted that she thinks you are unable to make parenting decisions?
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Yet somehow as a parent you aren't supposed to be personally insulted that she thinks you are unable to make parenting decisions?
no no, parenting decisions that are different from the norm. Because obviously whatever is in the majority must be correct. My parents were also disgusted by the idea of leaving a boy uncircumcised. See, responsible parents do what they are supposed to do and let the professionals handle the whole thinking thing.
post #4 of 51
I'm gearing up to probably have this same issue with my FIL. He was a life-long teacher, and a principal for the last 5 or so years of his career. So when DH told him we are homeschooling he said he wants to see my curriculum. Um.....no.

I honestly hate the whole thinking that only the "professionals" are going to know how to teach my individual child. And after all the negative stuff I heard out of his mouth about the school he was principal of, you can bet I won't be listening to a word of his pro-school rhetoric.

OP, just know you're doing what's best for your child. Take what detractors say with a grain of salt, no matter what their profession. Nobody knows your kid and your situation better than you.
post #5 of 51
Oh my gosh, this title made me laugh! Not that what you're going through is funny, but I can totally see how it would happen with certain people. My aunt and uncle both work for the school district and have a similar reaction---like a misplaced form of pride or something?

It's really very silly and immature of them to take your decision to homeschool personally. Totally ridiculous, IMO. It has nothing to do with them.

My advice is to no longer have these conversations with these people. Pass the bean dip, so to speak. You may have to address that they seem to be taking it personally, and that doesn't make any sense to you. But otherwise, pass the bean dip!
post #6 of 51
I can see it both ways.

I think there ARE homeschoolers who are insulting to teachers ...and i think there are homeschoolers who are not.

i do not think the movement as a movement really is, but i can see how teachers might feel that way.

OP I wonder if the issue is less homeschooling then you making a differnt choice for your family (you were not homeschooled) and one that is close to home since your mom is a teacher too. we all know people, and parents, that are sensitive to choices other than their own asn the feel the differnt choice MUST be a comment on THEIR choice.

I know some GREAT teachers, and my Aunt is a Prof of Education.

My personal feeling is that "teachers" are best left to the more complex stuff -- it is a profession that is needed -- just not in kindergarden -- upper grades and college. I do not pretend to think i can teach my children everything they need to know have no desire to try .

But for reading, simply math, a foundation in the Bible and History -- that to me is a natrual result of family life and AP and being with out children and guiding them into the world.

I don't think it is emotionally good, or even really successful for a 30 or so 5 year old to be in a room together trying to accomplish antyhing.

Now when they are 16 adn diving into advanced physics .. great I WANT them to have a teacher who has years of traning in THAT area.

I do think there are a lot of people who homeschool who are very negitive towards the schools -- and lets all be honest MOST people (not all) int eh schools are doing the best they can -- with limited time, space, money and many differnt personalities and learning types in one little room ...

I can really see why your mom is upset -- this is a very personal area for her.

how long has she known, how long has she been upset -- maybe she just needs time to get used to it.

Aimee
post #7 of 51
I wanted to add

personally

BIL is a high school teacher and already fit to be tied about us homeswchooling. but whatever

my aunt is a prof in education and 100% supportive and loves to discuss books with be (Like well tranined mind).

i think some of it maybe related to personal happiness and confidence -- my aunt is secure and happy and while she does dooubt some homeschoolers she has met in person or who's wrtting she has encountered, she has faith in me and most home schoolers. She has had homeschooled students in her classes who are great students and well pepred for college and ones that are not, jsut like any high school out there. she is, i think, more fustrated with the unready Home schooled students, and i can see her point. it is one thing to slink though high school without learning, but to get by "at home" without learning what youar e suppsoed to have is a whole differnt thing.

i have to wonder how confident my BIL is.

Aimee
post #8 of 51
Some people have a very hard time accepting that there's more than one "right" way to do something. Your mom may be thinking "well, if I put my kids in school and homeschooling is the right way, then I must be wrong. That can't be! It must be that school is the right way and homeschooling is wrong!" I've seen the same attitides in grandparents when it comes to birthing choices, infant feeding choices, SAHM vs WOHM, etc.

I think you need to emphasize to your parents that there's more than one "correct" way to educate a child, and your choosing one path doesn't negate the legitimacy of theirs.

Also, some grandparents have a hard time "letting go" and seeing their adult children as adults, and realize that their grandkids are "somebody else's kids to raise" and not "their own children." They need to recognize your authority to make choices for your DC, even when they disagree with those choices.

There are really two ways to approach this with them. One would be to educate them about homeschooling- what it entails, how HSed kids do on standardized tests compared to schooled kids, etc. But sometimes that will just open up debate, and make them think they have a say in your child's educational decisions. The other approach would be to say "I'm the parent. I make the hard choices. You're the grandparents. You get to do the fun stuff and spoil DC. Enjoy your grandkids and leave the "child rearing" to me."
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by haleyelianasmom View Post
They then argue that teachers know so many things that parents would never know to teach their children, like phonemic awareness. And kids learn so much from one another that learning at home would be a big negative.
Oddly enough I bet most homeschooling moms know what Phonemic Awareness is! It's not like we live in a hole. We research how best to teach our children. AND we're experts on our own children in a way a teacher of 30 kids will never be.

As far as learning from one another, homeschooled kids don't live in a bubble. There are siblings, homeschool groups, friends, kids at the park... the list goes on and on.

I get what you're saying... and I agree with you that it is ridiculous.

but I probably shouldn't talk.... I was a certified teacher in my previous life 8 years ago!
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Yet somehow as a parent you aren't supposed to be personally insulted that she thinks you are unable to make parenting decisions?
post #11 of 51
The studies done to contrast homeschoolers vs. classroom schools have repeatedly shown that homeschooled students do as well or better than their counterparts. The argument that children need professional teachers simply does not stand in the face of the facts.

The last time I ran into and spoke to one of my teachers (from 5th grade) he was very positive about us homeschooling and basically said he couldn't stand teaching anymore.

Maybe you can direct her to some of Gatto's work.
post #12 of 51
Quote:
However, my mom is a teacher and she is very insulted that we are most likely homeschooling our daughter.
And my mom the teacher was the one who recently broached the subject about the possibility of us homeschooling the kid with us. Of course, my mom has been teaching for 30 years, is absolutely disgusted with the administration/bs she's seen at both private and public schools over those 30 years, and says now that she wishes that she knew that home schooling was an option when we were kids.
post #13 of 51
Y'know, some homeschool parents might actually find it insulting that a "teacher" would feel she'd be so better at providing an education than the families of the children can , that a "teacher" would feel she can understand a child so much better than the parents, that a "teacher" thinks she has access to so much more information about learning than parents can find in all the wonderful places like this one right here - and even that a "teacher" can know a whole lot more about how a child learns than the child herself. I went through the whole elementary ed training process, and, like many others, did not come out feeling I had learned a whole lot - great teachers are a matter of individual gifts, not training.

Many of us here were teachers and never bought that there's something so special about the ability of a professional "teacher" to know how to orchestrate education. When I was involved with a local homeschooling support group, I'd occasionally get a call from someone wanting to advertise classes or tutoring services, and would mention that they were "credentialed" - but I'd offer the advice that the parents who read the newsletter would actually be more attracted to it if that were not part of the description. It's really hard to explain why that's the case, except that it has to do with wanting things more personal and spontaneous rather than orchestrated as is sometimes the case with someone who feels that she knows the proper methodology. - Lillian

post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post
Maybe you can direct her to some of Gatto's work.
And David Guterson wrote Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense while he was still a high school teacher and homeschooling his family with his wife. He wrote it in response to constant criticism for colleagues, and it's very thorough and eloquent, so that would be a great one. Lillian
post #15 of 51
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate the responses. I have discussed holt and gatto with her (and alfie kohn), but in the end, she disagrees and thinks school is the best place for all children. She teaches Kindergarten, too (dd would be in kindy next year) so she obviously feels strongly about schooling from the beginning. She says that she comes up with some great things for the kids, but that they also come up with the greatest ideas working as a group and kids need that daily exposure to other children.

She also says that they need to learn things that don't interest them because 1) that's life and 2) they may develop an interest in it, but they have never tried had she not presented them with this topic.

I agree I can't teach her advanced physics, but that's why as she gets older, I hope she does branch out and learn to 1) research personally and 2) take classes through the community college (which you can do starting at age... 15?) or find someone who can help her in finding answers to questions that interest her.

It's just, over and over, the argument goes back to "that's like not seeing a doctor and treating yourself" (ahem, we occasionally do that too. lol, I'm not the "CALL THE PED SHE COUGHED!" type.)
post #16 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


And David Guterson wrote Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense while he was still a high school teacher and homeschooling his family with his wife. He wrote it in response to constant criticism for colleagues, and it's very thorough and eloquent, so that would be a great one. Lillian
Will definitely check it out! Thanks I'm in the middle of two holt books atm


ETA: okay, have it on hold at the library!
post #17 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschick View Post
And my mom the teacher was the one who recently broached the subject about the possibility of us homeschooling the kid with us. Of course, my mom has been teaching for 30 years, is absolutely disgusted with the administration/bs she's seen at both private and public schools over those 30 years, and says now that she wishes that she knew that home schooling was an option when we were kids.
See, the funny thing is, my MIL is also a teacher (1st grade) and we haven't told her we're homeschooling yet, but her distaste for the school system has definitely influenced our decision. She has a negative view on how much kids are pushed at such an early age and how much work there is to do, no time for fun, etc. Still, we're not sure what her reaction will be... but I keep hearing teachers who are unhappy with the system. My mom's argument? overall, it's still better for a kid to be in school and so many teachers leave the profession because they're a bunch of whiners and can't use all their educational ideas in a real classroom setting
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by haleyelianasmom View Post
It's just, over and over, the argument goes back to "that's like not seeing a doctor and treating yourself" (ahem, we occasionally do that too. lol, I'm not the "CALL THE PED SHE COUGHED!" type.)
We go see the doctor when we're, you know, puking blood, have a broken bone, need antibiotics, etc. We treat common colds, paper cuts, bruises, mild sprains, tummy aches, and runny noses at home.

I educate my children in reading, writing, math, science, social studies, etc. When they hit physics and exceed my knowledge, we'll seek out a professional to teach them. (OK, we pretty much unschool, but the analogy holds. I can teach my kids tons of stuff when they ask me to. Ballet? We'll find a class. No big deal.) There are PLENTY of "class" opportunities for homeschooled kids, right through college-prep. Heck, I'm one of them. I teach French to homeschooled teens through a cooperative. I love it. They're not there because they have to be. They want to be there; they chose my class. They're awesome students. One of them is taking classes at the community college to round out what his parents can't teach him at home; he's also at a stage where he prefers learning from other people. He's accessing his community. He doesn't need teachers specifically from the local public school system in order to get an education. Where's the problem?
post #19 of 51
It sounds like it's time to tell your mom "I'm the parent here, and we've decided to homeschool next year." and change the subject if she brings it up. Maybe, the next time she starts going on and on about how much kids need school, say "I've done my research and I came to different conclusions than you did. How about we just agree to disagree?"
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by haleyelianasmom View Post
She says that she comes up with some great things for the kids, but that they also come up with the greatest ideas working as a group and kids need that daily exposure to other children.
And, of course, that's only her opinion that comes with the territory of working in a school - she has no way of knowing that children need that much daily exposure to lots of other children in order to come up with great ideas . But regardless, as you know, you can accomplish daily exposure to other children in various ways - you don't need to take a child to a school every day in order to provide contact with other children. - Lillian
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