or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › At what age would you leave homeschoolers alone, if you had to work?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

At what age would you leave homeschoolers alone, if you had to work? - Page 3

post #41 of 71
Starting at 12 I was home alone all day during school breaks. I was allowed out of the house, but I had to call my mom to check in every 2 hours if I was going to be outside.

I really think it depends on the school. If it's a free online public school you won't be able to do it though. One of the requirements is adult supervision during school hours.
post #42 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
Starting at 12 I was home alone all day during school breaks. I was allowed out of the house, but I had to call my mom to check in every 2 hours if I was going to be outside.

I really think it depends on the school. If it's a free online public school you won't be able to do it though. One of the requirements is adult supervision during school hours.
This is not true for the cyber charter schools in my state.
post #43 of 71
It sounds like Colorado (that's the OP's state, isn't it?) doesn't have a set age but rather common sense guidelines. So if the kids are mature enough and no problems arise, I doubt she'll run into legal/cps concerns. Some of the guidelines included whether the parent is reachable by phone and whether she or another adult could get to the home quickly in an emergency. They point out that it isn't just about age and it isn't ok to leave a teen, like a 15 yo, home alone if they have an issue like a chemical dependency or a tendency towards mischief.

I'm not sure kids in bigger families have the same social needs as ones in small ones or with big age gaps between siblings. My own ds, an only child, usually only gets out to play with friends twice a week. The kids with siblings always seem less desperate than we are, lol. Older kids do a lot of socializing via the phone or internet, as well. I can see the OPs kids could be fine in that regard.
post #44 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreeblim View Post
There are not 30 hours per week where your kids don't have any other children to socialize with but their own siblings? That must be totally exhausting for you if that amount of time in an unacceptable amount for them not to have some type of structured activity or peer interaction. That breaks down to about 4 hours per day (including on the weekends…heck just spending the weekend with only family is over 30 hours). I went to public school AND daycare until I was 12 years old and every night my single mother would pick us up at 6pm and bring us home for the night where we spend the next several hours with no one but family. We also spent nearly every weekend JUST with family, and usually home. We probably spent about twice that many hours with no one else to “hang with” and had to do our own thing while mom caught up with housework, bills etc.
Okay, but it's not spread out over 7 days, it's spread out over 5 days. So that's 6 hours a day. And, no, we very rarely stay at home for 6 hours straight... especially not every day. And, no, it's really not "exhausting." We actually lead a pretty low key life, all things considered. But there are usually things that we want to do in late morning or early afternoon, plus the occasional errand at other times. And during the 6 hours where, assuming a normal work schedule, where just about every single thing designed for homeschoolers occurs.

I have to say I'm really surprised by how much support this idea is receiving. One of the major arguments that I always hear repeated again and again and again for homeschooling is how kids aren't stuck in a classroom, they're always out and about, "why's it called homeschooling when we're never home," claims that kids interact with so many more people, experience so much more. I'm sorry, but there's NO WAY a child could experience more than a public school offers if they're stuck at home 6 hours a day every day with no adult, no one except their siblings, no way to leave the house and do something.

I, too, know tons of people who were latch key children. And they universally hated the experience. Except the few who thought it was great because they'd sneak off and engage in risky and dangerous behavior... and even those would move sky and earth so that their kids are never latch key kids!
post #45 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky View Post
I say no, not without outside help (homeschool friends who can pick the kids up and bring them along to outings once or twice a week, at least). I know 14 year old homeschoolers who sometimes stay home because they don't want to go to the activities their younger siblings go to and it is a very lonely life. 10, 12 and 14 year olds would quickly end up fighting and getting extremely bored of each other having to be alone for that many hours a week. I think it would be downright depressing for them, really. I wouldn't want to sit at home all week even with my lovely children or husband, not being able to go anywhere either.

The "school" or "education" part wouldn't bother me at all. There are ways to unschool in all 50 states and in Canada, legally, so surely some of the work can be down outside of "school hours". I think the PP is referring to online public schools where you need to be logged in between certain hours every day. Even that should be doable for a 10 year old, even if the 10 year old logs in and wanders off and does something else. (not ideal or even good, imo, but possible).
Every kid is different, we have no idea if these kids would be perfectly fine hanging out those hours. I know my kid is not the get up and go type that likes to be out running all over all day long. Neither am I. My mom on the other hand can't sit still. People have different needs. I do think the lack of having an adult there supervising and giving them the option to go places is a serious consideration here.

BTW, I wasn't referring to online classes where you have to log in, I was referring to actual state HSing laws.
post #46 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreeblim View Post
I do understand the paranoia, because people can often judge you as negligent simply for your educational choices, and there are a lot of scary stories about CPS and homeschoolers, but most people don’t have those issues and I assume that OP would follow her state’s laws so as to avoid actually being in the wrong. I would hate to see OP stick her kids in a school that doesn’t fit them to feed her family based on dire warnings about CPS intervening “just because”.
Joe public neighbor is the biggest concern. It is rare to find a person that is not a HSer that wouldn't wonder WTH is going on when school age kids are left home alone daily for 30+ hours a week. Most people don't have these issues because most people aren't leaving their kids home alone 30+ hours a week. I wouldn't discount being reported under these circumstances.
post #47 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
Okay, but it's not spread out over 7 days, it's spread out over 5 days. So that's 6 hours a day. And, no, we very rarely stay at home for 6 hours straight... especially not every day. And, no, it's really not "exhausting." We actually lead a pretty low key life, all things considered. But there are usually things that we want to do in late morning or early afternoon, plus the occasional errand at other times. And during the 6 hours where, assuming a normal work schedule, where just about every single thing designed for homeschoolers occurs.

I have to say I'm really surprised by how much support this idea is receiving. One of the major arguments that I always hear repeated again and again and again for homeschooling is how kids aren't stuck in a classroom, they're always out and about, "why's it called homeschooling when we're never home," claims that kids interact with so many more people, experience so much more. I'm sorry, but there's NO WAY a child could experience more than a public school offers if they're stuck at home 6 hours a day every day with no adult, no one except their siblings, no way to leave the house and do something.

I, too, know tons of people who were latch key children. And they universally hated the experience. Except the few who thought it was great because they'd sneak off and engage in risky and dangerous behavior... and even those would move sky and earth so that their kids are never latch key kids!
I absolutely LOVED it. I hated going to grandma's house every single stinkin day. I'd have much rather been home on my own where I was more comfortable......and didn't have to fight over the TV with my aunt. I was so excited when mom decided I could stay home. My 14yo dd is the same way. She'd rather be home relaxing than in someone else's home. She chose public school this year so she could do sports...and she's doing really well (stright As) but she's commented several times how if it weren't for sports she'd rather be home all day. 10 yo DS, on the other hand, would be so lonely he'd cry. He's not the hermit that the rest of us are.
post #48 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I have to say I'm really surprised by how much support this idea is receiving. One of the major arguments that I always hear repeated again and again and again for homeschooling is how kids aren't stuck in a classroom, they're always out and about, "why's it called homeschooling when we're never home," claims that kids interact with so many more people, experience so much more. I'm sorry, but there's NO WAY a child could experience more than a public school offers if they're stuck at home 6 hours a day every day with no adult, no one except their siblings, no way to leave the house and do something.
I'm sure the OP would rather be independently wealthy and take her kids on delightful outings several times a week.

A lack of outings doesn't automatically make school a better choice.
post #49 of 71
One factor I'd consider is how accessible public transportation is. If they're near a bus line they could get out and about during the day and transport themselves to activities. I don't think this is an *ideal* situation, but if the kids are reasonably mature, it's certainly workable.
post #50 of 71
One more thing:

I think we underestimate young people. Since the OP's kids are requesting this, I hope she gives them the opportunity to rise to the occasion.
post #51 of 71
Quote:
I have to say I'm really surprised by how much support this idea is receiving. One of the major arguments that I always hear repeated again and again and again for homeschooling is how kids aren't stuck in a classroom, they're always out and about, "why's it called homeschooling when we're never home," claims that kids interact with so many more people, experience so much more. I'm sorry, but there's NO WAY a child could experience more than a public school offers if they're stuck at home 6 hours a day every day with no adult, no one except their siblings, no way to leave the house and do something.
I completely agree with this. Homeschooling isn't the best choice for every family. Of course, every parent has the right to make the decisions that they feel are best for their family. As committed as I am to homeschooling and as much as it would tear my heart out to be in a position where I couldn't do it, I would not leave my children home for 30 hours a week to educate themselves. I would not even consider it until they were in high school, and in that case, only under very specific circumstances. Unless the local public school was absolutely awful, I think they would receive an inferior education at home without me. I just can't imagine it being the best choice for any kids of those ages.
post #52 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
if they're stuck at home 6 hours a day every day with no adult, no one except their siblings, no way to leave the house and do something.
And still, I ask, what's wrong with the other 8 to 10 hours of "day" left. I am surprised at the narrow view being expressed here by some. As a single mom, I have done everything I can to stay with my dds as much as I can for as long as I can. But, once I graduate, hard decisions will have to be made. All of you who are not supportive of the OP's hypothetical plan, what do you suggest? Send the children to public school just because the mom is single and has to work? In my case, that is just not an option and we have to work with what we have. For the OP, I imagine she has very real and valid reasons for why she wants to continue homeschooling. I would like to support her in finding the best solution to her situation.
post #53 of 71
For a school job, the OP would be out of the house approx 8:30a-2:30p. And I don't know how common this is, but the places I've been in, HS activities (social ones, like park days) tend to occur in the afternoon, generally after 2 pm. So if the kids slept in til 10a, ate breakfast and did some schoolwork, say until 1pm, then watched TV and had lunch, Mom would be home just in time to whisk them off to a museum, park day, sports activity or whatever else. And presumably she'd be able to afford those things because she'd have an income.

I don't know who all these homeschoolers are that pack so much activity into the early part of the day, but my kids are 8, 6 and 3 and we rarely leave the house before 2 or 3 pm. We have something to do most weekdays (DS is on a swim team, DD is in gymnastics, we have park day and at least one playdate each week) but it all happens in the later part of the day. We're unschoolers, but part of the reason things tend to start late is that so many of our homeschooled friends spend the morning doing schoolwork.

If there was some activity that required attendance earlier in the day (we have a field trip once a month) I'm sure the OP could find someone to take her kids along. The moms of teens in our group regularly take each other's kids so the other mom can use the time for errands or whatever.

As long as the kids get along and won't spend the time fighting, I really don't see it as being that big a deal as long as the kids are on board.
Posted via Mobile Device
post #54 of 71
If the kids wanted to do it, I thought they were capable, and it were legal where I lived, I would consider this. If it doesn't work out, it can always be changed.

As for being cooped up, that depends so much on where you live. Where I live, the kids could easily take public transit to the Smithsonian or the National Gallery of Art, walk to the library, go to parks and nature centers on foot or by bus, etc. They wouldn't need to be at home unless that was our rule or their preference.

I don't know that I would have wanted to do this when I was 10, 12, or 14, but I would certainly have been capable.
post #55 of 71
Quote:
And I don't know how common this is, but the places I've been in, HS activities (social ones, like park days) tend to occur in the afternoon, generally after 2 pm
I've never known a homeschool activity to start after 2 pm. The latest I've known anything to start is 1:30 PM. We've lived and homeschooled in two separate states. Things tend to start as early as 8:30 AM (for coops that last several hours) to around 1:30 PM (generally for more relaxed things like park days). Most homeschool activities are generally over by 3:30 PM...leaving homeschoolers free to participate in community sports and activities which are in the late afternoon to evening.

It seems odd to call something that starts after 2 PM a "homeschool activity".....where we used to live, high school gets out at 1:40 PM, middle school around 2:20 PM and elementary schools around 3:00-3:15 or so. By 2:30-3:00 PM you are getting into after school time.

Of course, homeschoolers can take part in community activities....so that is always an option. However, it would be very difficult to socialize with other homeschoolers if you were unavailable to go out between 8-2:30. If your kids don't care about socializing with other homeschoolers and would be fine with just community activities and meeting friends that way, that is different.
post #56 of 71
Just responding to the activity timestuff, park days around here don't usually start before 11 with most families turning up around 1pm. It's not at all uncommon for 3 or 4 families to stay until 5pm or later in Summer.
post #57 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
Okay, but it's not spread out over 7 days, it's spread out over 5 days. So that's 6 hours a day. And, no, we very rarely stay at home for 6 hours straight... especially not every day. And, no, it's really not "exhausting." We actually lead a pretty low key life, all things considered. But there are usually things that we want to do in late morning or early afternoon, plus the occasional errand at other times. And during the 6 hours where, assuming a normal work schedule, where just about every single thing designed for homeschoolers occurs.
I know a lot of homeschool parents who do not consider "homeschooling activities" to be the only available options. I feel my kids would be pretty severely limited if I did. My kids, for one, do the occasional activity during the school day, but for the most part they participate in sports, museum events, and zoo outings after 3pm or on weekends in programs designed for kids of any sort. They love it and have tons of friends (especially from local soccer and karate)...personally part of this is because of the holier-than-thou attitude I've found in some of the local homeschool groups that were a huge turn off.

My kids are also younger...I've looked ahead many times and most activities for older kids at the local library, the science center, the zoo, whatever, occur after school or on weekends. Even the music program they participate in at a major university takes place on Saturday. I would expect that the OP would make sure her kids were not isolated, and adjust the situation if it seemed that they felt that way, but your situation is by no means the world standard for how homeschooling is done.

Quote:
I have to say I'm really surprised by how much support this idea is receiving. One of the major arguments that I always hear repeated again and again and again for homeschooling is how kids aren't stuck in a classroom, they're always out and about, "why's it called homeschooling when we're never home," claims that kids interact with so many more people, experience so much more. I'm sorry, but there's NO WAY a child could experience more than a public school offers if they're stuck at home 6 hours a day every day with no adult, no one except their siblings, no way to leave the house and do something.
Again though, you choose to have your kids out of the house for what...10 hours a day? That's assuming your kids sleep for 10 hours and spend at least 4 hours home eating, getting dressed, etc. It's ludicrous to assume that these kids are somehow being neglected because of your standards. You don't know what type of activities these kids will want to participate in, and as the child of a working mother who was out of the house full time I KNOW that mom's will often go out of the way to make up for lost time in the evenings or on weekends. This mom is only even going to be gone during the times a normal child would be at school...not until 6pm which is the reality for many kids.

Quote:
I, too, know tons of people who were latch key children. And they universally hated the experience. Except the few who thought it was great because they'd sneak off and engage in risky and dangerous behavior... and even those would move sky and earth so that their kids are never latch key kids!
That's bizarre. You must live in an area where kids do not learn to be semi-responsible for some reason and all have the secret desire to either be entertained by adults at all times, or to run off and have sex and do drugs. Sure I've heard of some kids who are like that, but EVERY SINGLE ONE? That's downright shocking.

I know many latchkey kids who are...well...normal kids of all variety. One family I know had problems and changed their situation, as I assume OP would if she ran into any, but most seem fine. To act as if the only possible reason a kid would be OK with being home alone is so they can sneak off to be a hooligan is beyond paranoid or a result of living in a bad area. My best friend from high school and I are the only people I know who never tried pot, cigarettes or alcohol at some point in their teens, and I would sit at home and read, watch TV, or talk to my friends on the phone or on the computer. I even taught myself HTML back when it was useful and made a website for our local library when I saw that they didn’t have one (this was back when most libraries still used the card catalog.) I certainly wasn't sneaking out to engage in any "dangerous or risky behavior" but was just fine being at home as opposed to out at some organized activity (plus I went to those things on weekends or evenings). It's my experience with self-directed learning as a latchkey kid that prompted me to take a harder look at homeschooling because before that I just assumed you could ONLY learn at school if forced.
post #58 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristin0713 View Post
I would not leave my children home for 30 hours a week to educate themselves. I would not even consider it until they were in high school, and in that case, only under very specific circumstances. Unless the local public school was absolutely awful, I think they would receive an inferior education at home without me.
Does it take you over 8 hours per day to properly educate your children? Because that is how much time at home and awake the OP will have with her kids assuming they get 10 hours of sleep and she works for 6 hours. That also assumes they accomplish NOTHING by themselves all day.

I don't see how the time of day OP works with her kids changes their education...unless you assume she would turn a blind eye to everything when she got home and not even make the minimum amount of effort to keep them on track. If they truely were expected to "educate themselves", then I would agree with you, but I doubt a concerned mother looking into it this far in advance would be that negligent.
post #59 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
Joe public neighbor is the biggest concern. It is rare to find a person that is not a HSer that wouldn't wonder WTH is going on when school age kids are left home alone daily for 30+ hours a week. Most people don't have these issues because most people aren't leaving their kids home alone 30+ hours a week. I wouldn't discount being reported under these circumstances.
Many of us run that risk just keeping the kids home AT ALL during the day. What prevents a neighbor from calling when they see my teenagers home all day even with me? Nothing. If you follow the laws and your kids are properly documented it will not go anywhere. If you are this worried about anything "not normal" looking that might prompt uninformed neighbors to call CPS no matter whether it follows the law or not, then homeschooling isn't something you should persue anyway.

In your first post though, you implied that it would be CPS that actually had a problem, not just a risk that some nosey neighbor would report to them. If OP follows the laws of her state, this is untrue.
post #60 of 71
Nothing stops them from calling, but when CPS or the police show up and see there is a present full time parent that is legally HSing there is no question of neglect. Unlike them showing up and finding out that the parent is leaving the kids unattended for over 30 hours a week during what they consider to be "school hours".

You can attempt to advise to me to not HS due to my opinion but that ship has sailed since I have an adult child that was unschooled and never attended an institutional school. But then I wasn't working outside the home and leaving my kids there without any supervision for over 30 hours a week.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › At what age would you leave homeschoolers alone, if you had to work?