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What is school useful for? - Page 3

post #41 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
As with all things I think this is one of those Your Mileage May Vary situations.
We homeschooled in 7 different states and 2 different provinces of Canada. We homeschooled in small towns and midsized cities, from the desert southwest to the Atlanic seacoast to much further north than I ever would have choosen. (My DH's job moves us about once a year).

I know that other people have other experiences, but I doubt that many people have been in more homeschooling groups that I have or met more total homeschoolers. Therefore, I tend to think that my experiences of the "homeschooling" community are pretty typical because I saw the same things over and over.

My kids have only attend school in one place, a small town in the Midwest where I couldn't make homeschooling work due to the nature of the other homeschoolers here.
post #42 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
For children whose parents are unable (for whatever reasons) to create community, seek out diversity, enrich their children's education, help them make connections, expand their world, schools and teachers can have the capabilities to do those things. Whether they do this for the majority of their students is another discussion entirely.
School can and homeschooling can. Neither does these things well for every child.

But school is not appropriate only for those "unable" to create the homeschooling ideal--just like homeschooling is not appropriate just for those "unable" to use schools. I could still be homeschooling dd, but our needs and wants are better met by school right now
post #43 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post
well, I guess I would ask the OP (I haven't read the replies)

What is any community good for? Because a school is just the people in it.

Our school is a community and one focal point where we touch the world-- just like our church, or our co-op, etc.

We homeschooled and I could spend hours and tons of dollars and not come up with what my kids get at the public montessori school they attend. It is *his*, not something I am trying to construct for him.
Excellent! Yes, a school is a community.
post #44 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
School can and homeschooling can. Neither does these things well for every child.

But school is not appropriate only for those "unable" to create the homeschooling ideal--just like homeschooling is not appropriate just for those "unable" to use schools. I could still be homeschooling dd, but our needs and wants are better met by school right now
Thank you. When I read the original post you quoted, it bothered me. You've put your finger on the reasons why and addressed it. The schools my children have attended have created special learning environments. They have benefited from these schools, and not just because we didn't or couldn't homeschool. In fact, we have homeschooled, and I've given my children the choice whether to learn at home exclusively or to learn at home and at school. They chose the latter.
post #45 of 107
Very gentle reminder to keep focused on the OP's question and not digress into learning at school vs. learning at home type of discussion.
post #46 of 107
Please concentrate on providing the answer to the question "What is the usefulness of public school." I think this is the key information the OP is seeking.

Is this true OP?



Allgirls
post #47 of 107
I think it's really hard to generalize... I don't think there's an answer that's true for every kid and every family, so it's more important to look at what any particular school has to offer for any particular kid and his family. School can be so many things... free childcare so parents can work or pursue their own goals or just get a break; a place where kids can meet others their age and see them on a regular basis and make long-term friendships; a place where kids can meet caring adults outside of their families; a place where kids can learn another language, or an art, or sport; a place where kids have access to supplies that their families don't have; a place where kids can gave access to learning specialists with knowledge the parents may not have; a place where kids can meet other people unlike themselves who they aren't otherwise meeting; a place where kids can be in a different role than they hold in their families; a place where kids feel like part of a supportive larger community... and more.

Every school won't do all of these things for every kids, and some schools may do none of them for some kids. Some kids and families may have access to all of these things outside of school... and some won't. Reading about other posters experiences can be helpful, but the real key is learning about your kid and your family and the educational options available to you, and going from there.
post #48 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
Please concentrate on providing the answer to the question "What is the usefulness of public school." I think this is the key information the OP is seeking.
Not exactly. Here is the OP - with homeschool related portions in bold:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post
A simplistic question but I can't seem to come up with much. I am obviously biased because I homeschool (though I am open to school at some point in the future- hence this question ) so I was hoping for others perspectives. When you get right down to it- what is school useful for? What do you think your child will gain that they might not at home?

I feel that schools main purpose is to prepare children for the workplace with a secondary result of a child understanding societies expectations.
I think she is looking for advantages of school that specifically are not easily replicated by homeschoolers. One great example I saw was LotM's comment that splitting up her daughters for large portions of the day (in school) allowed the younger one to blossom into more of a leader. I think that's a great example of something I won't be able to easily replicate while homeschooling. As far as diversity of teaching, opinion, and community - I think in some areas of the country that is hard to come by at home or at school, and in other areas, a hs group might be better than the local school, while in other areas the local school might do better than the hs groups.
post #49 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by aran View Post
I think she is looking for advantages of school that specifically are not easily replicated by homeschoolers.
The op definitely asked for that. However, the title and this part:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post
I feel that schools main purpose is to prepare children for the workplace with a secondary result of a child understanding societies expectations.
also speak to (question?) the general usefulness of schools. And, in answer, a lot of us have listed the many ways school is useful for our families
post #50 of 107
Just another vote that diversity depends on regions. I do not think the HS groups around here are particularly diverse - but I don't think the schools are either. It is where I live.
post #51 of 107
I also think it's not possible to generalize this well. The usefulness to me is that the school does very many things much better than I could do. But YMMV. There are some things I know that I could do better, but on the whole, the school works well for us.

For the most part, we very much like our schools. Our school creates a supportive, diverse learning community which I know I could not do with any level of success myself.

My children have teachers who are expert in their subjects. I'm well educated and have an advanced degree, but I'm not a math teacher, for example, and couldn't teach her as well as they do. They also offer a phenomenal music program which has been transformational for my older daughter. No way could I have done that. I don't speak a foreign language with any degree of proficiency and couldn't teach one to my kids.

While I take an active role in my children's education, I don't have the soul of a homeschooler. It would really be my worst nightmare, so I'm thrilled to have good schools. My kids are extremely social and love just about everything there is about school. They would hate being homeschooled.

If you feel you do it better, then for you the school may not have any utility. But like schools, all homeschoolers aren't created equally, so that for somebody to ask what schools offer that homeschooling doesn't really isn't a straightforward question.
post #52 of 107
Quote:
If you feel you do it better, then for you the school may not have any utility. But like schools, all homeschoolers aren't created equally, so that for somebody to ask what schools offer that homeschooling doesn't really isn't a straightforward question.
I agree with this. The real question for me is not homeschooling vs. private/public schooling, but: how is my child going to get the most balanced and challenging education given our present circumstances? "Balanced" to me means not only academics but cultural exposure as well. The school that DD attends now, in our opinion, is the best educational option for DD on both fronts.
post #53 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
School can and homeschooling can. Neither does these things well for every child.

But school is not appropriate only for those "unable" to create the homeschooling ideal--just like homeschooling is not appropriate just for those "unable" to use schools. I could still be homeschooling dd, but our needs and wants are better met by school right now
Sorry I didn't mean it that way. I am not talking about homeschooling versus public schooling. I am thinking moreso of parents (homeschooling or public/private schooling) who have the opportunities to do those things (enrich a child's education, give them wide access to a diverse community etc outside of school) versus parents who are not able to (for whatever reason).

Depending on life situations and parental abilities, school can be a small component of a child's overall education or it can be the centre of it, and where a family/child falls on that spectrum has huge influence on the question of what benefits schools provide.

ETA - or I could have read the whole thread and just did a yeah that to Dar's post.
post #54 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
We homeschooled in 7 different states and 2 different provinces of Canada. We homeschooled in small towns and midsized cities, from the desert southwest to the Atlanic seacoast to much further north than I ever would have choosen. (My DH's job moves us about once a year).

I know that other people have other experiences, but I doubt that many people have been in more homeschooling groups that I have or met more total homeschoolers. Therefore, I tend to think that my experiences of the "homeschooling" community are pretty typical because I saw the same things over and over.

My kids have only attend school in one place, a small town in the Midwest where I couldn't make homeschooling work due to the nature of the other homeschoolers here.
I'm not discounting your experience which sounds varied. I'm just suggesting that it is not universal, and may not even be typical as you suggested.
I also would think that creating a community while moving annually must have been challenging and that may colour your perceptions and experiences, just as my experiences are different from yours and that colours my perceptions. I don't think we can generalize on this topic.

Karen
post #55 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I think it's really hard to generalize... I don't think there's an answer that's true for every kid and every family, so it's more important to look at what any particular school has to offer for any particular kid and his family.
I think this is key, because it depends so much on what the family values.

I currently homeschool one child and send the other to PS. It works for both of them, so it works for me. Even if I homeschooled both or sent both to school, I would still feel the need to widen their exposure to the world, the arts, culture, religion, etc. I am realistic about what our situation is and there is not a perfect solution, but a better one based on each of childs' needs.
post #56 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post
The real question for me is not homeschooling vs. private/public schooling, but: how is my child going to get the most balanced and challenging education given our present circumstances? "Balanced" to me means not only academics but cultural exposure as well. The school that DD attends now, in our opinion, is the best educational option for DD on both fronts.
I agree with this very much. It is about what suits the child and family given your circumstances.
post #57 of 107
What a great discussion for me to have stumbled upon.

We homeschool, but my son goes to a full day homeschooling center twice a week. At times I have negative feelings about the costs and time commitment and wondered if I could just replicate it at home.

All of these discussions is making me see how beneficial his program is.
post #58 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aran View Post
Not exactly. Here is the OP - with homeschool related portions in bold:



I think she is looking for advantages of school that specifically are not easily replicated by homeschoolers. One great example I saw was LotM's comment that splitting up her daughters for large portions of the day (in school) allowed the younger one to blossom into more of a leader. I think that's a great example of something I won't be able to easily replicate while homeschooling. As far as diversity of teaching, opinion, and community - I think in some areas of the country that is hard to come by at home or at school, and in other areas, a hs group might be better than the local school, while in other areas the local school might do better than the hs groups.
Both true. I realized lately that I have not been willing to looking at the benefits of schooling with an open-mind so I basically want info on what I may be missing so that I can make a more-informed decision about what I am doing with my kids.

Thanks for all the replies- I look forward to reading them when the kids are in bed.
post #59 of 107
Thread Starter 
So school is useful for: learning (facts, critical-thinking skills etc), "expert" teaching, diversity (including people, beliefs, languages, learning styles, experiences and supplies/technology), for children to experience different roles apart from family, to enhance independence, for parents to have a break from kids, to have access to specialized programs, a feeling of community, as a "lifeline" if home life is hard, access to other adults who care about them and motivate them better and in different ways than parents might be able to, for the social aspect, for meeting future sps , providing specialized instruction to special needs kids, for diagnosing kids giftedness or special needs, educating the masses so society doesn't fall apart, "one-stop-shopping" convenience of lots of programs available under one roof, enhancing a child's confidence in mastering another environment, for peer-to-peer learning, preparing for the workplace and teaching about societies expectations, big group projects (excitement and specialness of working together in a group), keeping kids from getting bored, teaching about a variety of career paths, teaching kids to persevere in something they don't like (thus helping "round-out" the child), for covering the basic skills so family can do fun stuff on the side.

From reading this list I understand this quote from Dar more:
Quote:
Reading about other posters experiences can be helpful, but the real key is learning about your kid and your family and the educational options available to you, and going from there.
I feel like we cover many of the benefits on the list through the groups and lessons we are involved in. What really jumps out at me, that we don't experience by homeschooling, is the ability of kids to take on a different role in school than they do at home, and the cool little (or big projects) that schooled kids do on a daily basis that my kids won't experience to that degree of frequency. Also, my VERY social dd would probably love the excitement of being with other kids. Something to think about for the future.

So far, one of my biggest reasons for homeschooling dd5, at least for this year, is to keep her quirkiness and uniqueness intact. To ballet class this week she wore a bright green headband, a HUGE purple flower and a pink bow right on top of her head. She marches to a different beat and I worry that she might be drawn into conforming to the group at the expense of who she is.

Anyway- I really, really appreciated all the responses. So helpful to hear from those that mostly love the school experience to help balance my own perspective out. Thanks!!
post #60 of 107
I've been thinking of this post and I think where there are homeschooling children where the kids also participate in co-operative programs and then more organised classes for certain subjects like languages the parents don't speak etc. The opposite also occurs.

There is my family, where my children are full time public schooled but I still enrich their experience with visits to museums, productive life experiences that I want my children to live rather than learn in school.

For example I don't want them to learn about the rights and responsibilities and privileges of living in this wonderful country(Canada) in a grade 10 civics class, I want it to be something they live and understand. So last weekend we went to the Rally against Parliamentary proroguation, a national protest against the government and my kids and I talked about how as citizens are responsible in this country to not only appreciate but to participate and to be grateful for the right to do so.

And then there was a protester loudly protesting the protest and we discussed his right to do so as well.

Education comes from all directions and ideally at every opportunity...academics are only a part of it
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