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Do you public school? - Page 2

post #21 of 47

My husband is a public school teacher...purposely.  Unless we were in dire straights, he would not accept a teaching position at any private school.  We *believe* in the public school system, however broken it may be, and believe that the best way to fix it is from the inside out.

 

So our children will be educated in public schools.  We can supplement our children's educations at home, we can have a close relationship with school officials and teachers, and we can advocate where needed.  He's a teacher, I'm a social worker, we both know how the systems work and what would be needed to get things done.

 

Unless we felt we had no choice, our children will not be homeschooled and will not attend private school. 

post #22 of 47

I'm public schooling my oldest, but he graduates in a few weeks. The others will all be homeschooled, unless they express a strong preference for going to school.

 

But, I don't think homeschooling is about AP. I think it's about family preferenes. My style with ds1 was very attached (although I'd never heard of Attachment Parenting), and I don't think my choices about his education have anything to do with that. I just don't want my kids in public school, and I don't want to deal with the schools, either.

post #23 of 47
I was homeschooled K through 12th grade so public school never even crossed my mind. DH was in public school, but realizes things changed since he was a child AND he was in a very different part of the country. We're unschooling our kids.
post #24 of 47

My kids are only 3.5 and 1, so our long term decision is still up in the air, but homeschooling is definitely on our radar. I think about what our educational choices will be for them literally every day, and we discuss it often. It's really hard for us because we both had negative experiences with both sides of the coin and we want to avoid those experiences for our children. I figure if we actually look at each of our children and what they individually need, we will already be lightyears ahead of either of our families of origin. To me that's what AP is anyway. I don't think going to school means you are necessarily less attached. I was homeschooled and have a terrible relationship with both of my parents.

 

DP was public schooled and HUGELY disserviced by the public schools (put in special ed because of his ethnic background) until he finally dropped out as a teen. Frankly I'm shocked he lasted as long as he did given the way he was treated and what he went through.

 

I was homeschooled until I was 12, and I found it to be largely boring and isolating. When I went to school I struggled socially until my last year of high school, which was a waste of my time since I was already taking afternoon college classes and working 30 hrs a week.

 

It's usually possible to find a decent elementary school if homeschooling isn't an option (although I'm pretty sure for us, this 3rd baby seals the deal about me SAH for the forseeable future), but imo the quality of schools goes down drastically in middle and high school.

 

I'm pretty sure I will encourage my son, especially, to take an unconventional approach to high school. I think the teen years should be practice for adult life----independent living skills, interpersonal skills (so many teens/young adults have NO CLUE how to dress/act/present themselves at a job interview). Academic learning is only a part of the "package" that I'd like to see my kids get. I picture my ds working part time at different jobs, getting a feel for the kind of work he enjoys and finds fulfilling, while he doesn't have financial stresses tying him down to one job. I also picture him learning through experience rather than sitting in a classroom wasting his time.....something I always wanted to do as a teen but wasn't allowed was take a paleontology field class for 3 weeks in the summer. Stuff like that. As he gets older I would expect him to take on more responsibilities and start college. So, yeah, I guess I see homeschooling in our future. But I don't really think of what I've described as "homeschooling." It's more like just living life and learning. For me the word homeschooling still brings up negative feelings. But I'm not at all comfortable with the way public education is carried out, either. So I'll probably just homeschool and call it something else. lol.

post #25 of 47

I would prefer to have my kids in school, to be honest.  But there aren't any real options for us.  The private schools are too expensive and my husband refuses to let our kids attend public school (for religious reasons), so the best choice is to homeschool.  We did have them in a private religious school for a while but two of my kids were bullied and another was just really unhappy there.  I wish it had worked out though.

 

If you have a safe, academically-reasonably-ok public school near you, and you don't foresee your children being bullied, why not try it if you feel inclined?

post #26 of 47

 

No, I don't think it is the logical conclusion of natural parenting either.  

I have a lot of experience with home schooling (more than 25 cousins and nephews/nieces) and watched almost all of them fail in advanced education and in the workplace and struggle socially and financially. I think home schooling can be successful but I have honestly never seen it.

 

I value the experience and wisdom of experienced teachers. I value education highly. And I don't have the personal vanity or religious dogma necessary.

 

 

 

post #27 of 47

My 2nd grader was homeschooled for kindergarten but started public school in first grade. Honestly, I'm not interested in homeschooling him now that he is older. I believe in public schools. I want to have my own life and I think he'd rather have his, too. 

My kindergartner attends private school because it fits his needs better. We reevaluate their school placement every year. 

post #28 of 47

W2B you should look into Unschooling as opposed to Homeschooling for your kids. It sounds like that would be a good fit.

 

 

post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenmum View Post

W2B you should look into Unschooling as opposed to Homeschooling for your kids. It sounds like that would be a good fit.

 

 


You know, the idea of unschooling has always sounded so appealing to me in that I'm sort of a free spirit type, always wanting to try something new and have a new experience...I gave DP a list of things I wanted to do with the kids this summer (camping, rock climbing, berry picking, several historic sites etc) and he got exhausted just listening to me talk. lol. Unschooling seems to really cater to that mentality and I could see it working for a very motivated, organized family. But the reality is that I'm not a naturally motivated, organized person (and I'm the "keeper" of the family....it's all downhill after me lol). I'm kind of messy, I'm a bit impulsive, I hate cleaning house and I would rather go to the beach than write a paper. I have great ideas and I like to do a lot of things, but I'm very ADD and kind of all over the place and I suck at finishing things to completion.

 

I find myself more productive and ultimately happier when I force myself (and the kids) into a general routine and schedule. I have to mandate a chore time for us every morning, otherwise no one will be motivated wash dishes unless they're hungry and everything is piled in the sink. So I kind of wonder if unschooling would give us too easy of an out not to challenge ourselves as a family to learn new things and making sure that we cover all the bases. I know if I had been unschooled I would have read a lot but probably never learned math. I hated math and still do.
 

I know unschooling is not about me, but since I'd be the one in charge I worry that without some kind of curriculum or concrete goals, we would just sort of flounder. I feel like we would struggle without a sense of order. I also worry about being able to provide the experiences I want to provide with our limited financial resources. I could certainly get a better job to be able to afford more, but then what's the point of unschooling if I'm at work all day?

 

I would love to hear your (or any unschooler's) thoughts on all that, though! Maybe I'm just not understanding the philosophy correctly.

 

post #30 of 47

I send both my kids to public school.  Our schools are great and safe and I am very active in the PTA.   I work closely with the teachers and am in the classroom once a week helping out and frequently stop in to have lunch with my big guy.   My ODD only does 2.5 hr a day preschool.  It is 5x week and it's hard on her.  She still naps, but she has a speech delay and she gets speech therapy while in school.   In her case I hemmed and hawwed about this b/c she started the day she turned 3.   yes, I cried, she is still a baby.  But she was so excited and I thought it a good experience for her to interact with her peers. My thoughts were that it would help her to speak and be understood.   As you know you kinda get used to how your kid talks.  I could understand 80% of what she said or tried to say.   Others, well they just couldn't.  :(   But she has come a looooonnnnng way.   She is also knows a whole lot more than my son did at that age.  She can count to 10, sometimes 15, sing her ABC's and write her name.   Well the G is perfect, the others are not so much.  

I had no problems sending my son.  He loves it for the most part, but he's almost 7, so enough said.   The teachers are great and he has learned alot.  A lot more than I would be able to teach him.     He's struggling a little bit...we modified his diet and I am a sleep nazi.   Yes, I'm the mean mom that about once or twice a month I will make him nap...and he does.  He is very smart also, in fact he actually taught his class about animals recently.  They are doing an animal unit and he knows more about animals than most grown ups I know!  He reads very well.   I'm also thinking that he has dyslexia, which I am not equiped to deal with in a sense. 

I think it's a good thing.   I can send my kids out in the world, knowing that they have a strong education and I can teach them the "life aspects" of life!  And spend time and have fun with them doing it!  

post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by tex.mom View Post.  And what do you do to keep your kids thinking outside-the-box and challenging the status quo?


Well, allowing them to be in an environment where they're going to make friends with a diverse set of backgrounds, religious beliefs, heritage, and family structure is a good start.  For us, that's the public school system.  Sure, I could put them in one of the crunchy-ish private programs but to be blunt, those people are more alike (even as they are patting themselves on the back for being so "different") as a group than anything you'd find in our local public schools.  My kids get to be buddies with kids with kids in the special needs program, they are friends with kids with physical disabilities, they are in class with a variety of learning styles (and have teachers that enjoy teaching to different learning styles).  They are friends with english language learning kids.  They have friends who are Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Atheist, Buddhist, Sikh, UU, pagan.

 

While if I homeschooled I would make the effort to expose them to all that, and would do an okay job of it, they would NOT get that at any of the private schools we could afford (ironically, there are a couple around here that cost more than my college did every year that suprisingly they WOULD do a pretty good job, but unfortunately that's just not an option).  While I do understand the AP clique when you've got babies and don't want to be challenged or only want to be supported when you're in that intense parenting season, IME that matters less and less as the kids get older, and I get bored surrounded by people with the exact same beliefs as me.  That can give you the new status quo and put you in a box as well.

post #32 of 47

We're non-vax'ing, breastfeeding, non-circ'ing, cloth diapering, babywearing, homebirthing, public schoolers.

 

She started out in a private Montessori school (3yrs-1st grade).  She's now in a public school and she loves it (so do I!).  :)

 

post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Well, allowing them to be in an environment where they're going to make friends with a diverse set of backgrounds, religious beliefs, heritage, and family structure is a good start.  For us, that's the public school system. 


 

agreed. Both the public school my kids attended and the private school they go to now are FAR more diverse than any homeschool group. (We used to homeschool, too. We've now done everything!)

 

The families at the private alternative school my kids go to are more similar at the primary level because a lot of those families are choosing the school because of the parents beliefs. It's more diverse the older the kids get. There are kids with mild special needs, kids who are 2E, kids who had traumatic experiences and regular school not longer cut it for them. There are also some of the crunchy kids left. No body thinks much about the racial, religious, family structure diversity much because the kids themselves are such a diverse group, but it's there. Single parents, two mommies, jewish kids, kids with single parents, etc.

 

When we homeschooled, it was pretty much all middle class white people who were married. At least that's who was available for homeschool activities.

post #34 of 47

I can honestly say that the public schools where I live cannot hold a candle to the schools where I grew up. Even at the high school level, the average SAT scores at the public high school I graduated is about 150 points per test above the state average in the state I am in now, and about 100 points per test in the school we are zoned for now. I can honestly say most of the teachers are not smart, caring, or creative. To the contrary, Texas does not require much for someone to be a teacher, not even any sort of test to pass or certification. I was shocked to find out that half my children's teachers were uncertified through the years. Where I grew up, many teachers had master's degrees. They also had to do continuing ed. AND, they had to have degrees and certifications. Here, someone with a watered down degree that they are working to finish can be hired as a teacher on what is called a probationary certificate. But in reality, they do not even have to get that. Most of the uncertified teachers I have seen do not have that. I got reports from every single one of my children while they were in public school that the teachers barely even bothered with the classes and spent a lot of time playing on the computers and talking on the cells phones. In some cases, teachers would leave the classrooms unattended and wandered off throughout the day or class. Since I actually did a lot of volunteer work and was even on the PTA board, this is actually exactly what I saw when I was up there. 

 

I wish my children could have what I grew up with. My children have had an occasional good teacher, but that ended up being the exception rather than the rule. The elementary school I went to was like a Montessori schools and kids were all at their own pace and levels. Everything was individualized. Then we moved to a grade school that was awful, but by junior high, things got good again. One of the reasons I home school is for academic reasons. But it is also over the extreme bullying and the tolerance of serious sexual harassment in our district with no recourse or protections for the students. Once I started home schooling, the academic reasons really set in. IF we moved to another state, I MIGHT give public school a try again, but honestly, there is just so much more to home schooling than what one sees from the outside looking in. Or even just in their first year or two. I mean, just think of it..a child thinks they are whatever label they get saddled with early on in school. The are the smart one, or the athletic one, or the cute one, or the popular one, and they never can even consider they might not be what the people at school labeled them as. Their entire self image ends up being based on what the school declares them to be very early on. That is just one of many things I have noticed since we got off the public school roller coaster. Granted, my older kids are in charter school this year, but that is awful. The bullying is not present, so socially it is better, but the academics are way lower than the regular zoned public school. I do not think my children should have to give up academics to escape the bullying and sexual harassment at the regular public school. So, we will be back to home schooling next year. 

post #35 of 47

I think that we were fairly AP-style parents but I don't think that homeschooling, per se, is a requirement for AP parenting or 'good' parenting for that matter.  Our DD is presently in a private school, but that is in part to the fact that DH and I both WOH, which means that DD is in after-school programs and we value the consistency that her present school provides.  I had a great public school experience, and I think there are a lot of public school experiences out there just waiting to happen, it is just not in the cards right now for  us given our circumstances.  I don't take the philosophical view that somehow homeschooling is better simply because it is homeschooling.  Rather, I take the view that we need to model DD's education based on her needs and the needs of our family as a whole.  As other PPs have mentioned, I think that is really what AP is about.  I really tire of the check-list approach, because it assumes that one general way is best for everyone.  I don't see how that idea is any different from the idea that public system moves sheep along.  There are certain moral and medical issues by which I take a hard stand.  Education, to me, is a subject in which I must remain a lot more flexible.

post #36 of 47

Preface this by saying that the below is my thought process, based on who I am and who my kids are. YMMV, obvs.

 

Extended breastfeeding, natural living, gentle discipline, AP, family bed, delayed vax here. I have absolutely zero interest in homeschooling my kids, and could not wait for them to go to school. Does it make me any less AP or counterculture? Heck no. I personally see the counterculture opportunity coming from being able to have a discussion about the issues they deal with in school via other kids, curriculum, etc. rather than the mono-culture they would get at home (and therefore lack of practice in being counterculture, if you KWIM). No hothouse flowers here. I was private school educated, my kids are in public school (albeit a very high socioeconomic catchment with excellent teachers and extras). We chose very, very carefully, and visited the schools we were interested in.

 

School teachers are educated in the art and science of teaching kids. So much goes into that - educational psychology, developmental learning theories, new educational technologies, etc. etc. Just because I gave birth to them doesn't mean I can give them their academic life as well. I had a visceral negative reaction to most that I read about Waldorf (including friends who were Waldorf refugees, as they put it, which sealed the deal for me), didn't want unisex private school education as they don't have brothers, and decided that they have to live IN the world so they'd better learn about it from a first hand basis (with the consciousness to deconstruct it). A friend homeschools where I am - her child has PDD-NOS and the public schools would not meet her kid's needs - and she says that most of the homeschoolers in the group she's in are doing it because of religion or special needs.

 

I will be choosing a unisex private school for high school, purely for the low student/teacher ratio, exceptionally high standards, focus/concentration on school and not boys (while IN class, that is), and the very pro-female environment that I graduated in. 100% of the graduating class went on to university, and about 75% to graduate school. Not just doctors and lawyers, but artists and writers and filmmakers. That fits well with my goals for my kids.

 

post #37 of 47

 

I don't quite fit the profile you describe - we vaccinate but don't circumcise, I breastfed and cloth-diapered, one high-risk pregnancy did not have a natural delivery and I make no apologies for that, but the other was natural. So I guess I'm somewhere in between on the spectrum, or maybe all over it. "All over the place" also kind of describes our approach to education as well - we've used private and public schools and also homeschooled, as we needed or wanted at the time. I believe in finding the most appropriate solution for individual circumstances rather than trying to force individuals to comply with a particular philosophy or belief system no matter what. So I also used bottle-feeding and disposable diapers at times when it was convenient, and I didn't hesitate to put myself and my unborn child in the hands of the medical system when a problem was discovered in utero during a pregnancy. And when it has suited them, my dc have enrolled in public schools. It has often suited them. 

 

They are teens now and pretty much make their own decisions about schooling. For years, I have invited them to homeschool many, many times - particularly when they complain about things like workload, a boring class or a poor fit with a teacher. They have not taken me up on that offer. They attend a highly regarded performing arts program and there is no way that homeschooling (or any local private school, for that matter) could duplicate the level of instruction and the talented student peer group that they enjoy working with every day. They know that and they choose to work through any problems they encounter. It has been wonderful to observe the emotional maturity, adaptability and confidence that they have developed as a result. 

 

Even before they attended the performing arts school, we found that they learned well in a group setting and gained greatly from the diversity in the public schools, both from the backgrounds and experiences of other students and the exposure to different styles and methods of different teachers. I know that they would have had a good education if they had homeschooled throughout, but they chose public school from a young age. Since they have experienced both and made an informed decision about their schooling, it's hard to argue with their choice. It's even harder to argue when I see what remarkable young adults they've become. 

 

 

 

 

 

post #38 of 47

This issue is always on my head.  I'm the caretaker/tutor for a family with younger kids, and also have kids of my own that are older.  I do feel that the general philosophy of attachment parenting extends to schooling, though, of course, its not a laundry list of ideals you need to check off.

 

 

 

My kids' eduational experiences have been fantastic, and I feel like it all happened in such a great gradual way, which was my attempted philosophy of attachment parenting.  The drugfree homebirth, the familyled weaning, a gradual coop nursery school, a charmed kindergaten in public school.  I worked in the public school, creating the bridge for the kids to love the safety of me, as well as developing independence.

 

I'm a huge advocate of free and fantastic schooling for all.  We should all be working to educate, and part of this is developing our children's ability to educate,

post #39 of 47

I don't think that choosing natural parenting methods means that one must homeschool.  We have practiced AP since the beginning - babywearing, non-vaxxing, extended bfing, etc, etc, but after a couple of years of homeschooling I decided it was not for us.  It was a difficult decision but we've found a private school we feel comfortable with and the kids are thriving.  My son has multiple diagnoses and multiple learning disabilities and there is no way I could offer him the help he needs at home.  And my older daughter is gifted and loves being in the school environment.  My youngest is in kindergarten this year, our first child to do kindergarten, and she is thriving.  She loves it so much and it is wonderful experience for her.  I don't regret it for a second.  Some parents can't homeschool, some don't want to, and some children aren't suited for it, be it because of special needs or just personality.  As my children have gotten older I have realized the folly of thinking there is only one rigid way to be a good parent. 

post #40 of 47

Sometimes people (like me) homeschool because there are no schools that match our educational approach that are either nearby or affordable. For a while we sent our son to a small, startup democratic free school and we were really hoping to grow the school from two days a week to more, but unfortunately it was too small, we lost some members, and it had to close. Now the closest school of that kind is 45 minutes away, not in our community, and way too expensive for us anyway. So we homeschool and take part in a local educational place that offers various classes for homeschoolers, so we are able to pick and choose which classes we want to send him to (science, math, acting, history, animation etc) and/or what we can afford to. And of course he has Unitarian sunday school. What I wouldn't GIVE to send him back to school so he had somewhere that was meaningful to him where he could go and learn with other kids. (at the democratic free school it was the kids who decided what they would work on, guided by the adult staff members) But the thing with public school is it is so all-or-nothing, and not only that, the whole approach of a public school (and most regular schools) is that the curriculum is something OTHERS decide on, and the timeframe is something OTHERS decide on, it is unrelated to the student's interests (I could go on & on) and the amount of outdoor time is something OTHERS decide on, and then the kids have to go along. So we homeschool. Or whatever you want to call it when you have an eclectic mix of classes and unschooling.  :-)

 

But (and I am not responding to anyone in particular here, just an idea I saw tossed around somewhere in the thread) there's no reliable connection between homeschooling and a desire to keep kids protected from each other and from other ideologies, walks of life, etc.. It's the forced nature of the learning and exposure that we object to. We happen to think that it will kill our son's love of learning, which is the same strong love of learning that he and everyone else is born with. Also, it's important to remember that kids who are homeschooled don't always do their learning literally "at home." Many (like us) believe that kids should be fully in the world, immersed in real life and people of all ages. For us, home is where we have down-time, where we curl up with a book or with each other, where we recharge, or where we study nature for hours in the backyard if we feel like it. The idea of putting him into some system or schedule is just alien to us. He may decide at some point to join a school when he's older, but for now during his formative years I want to keep his love of learning and his place at the helm of that ship intact. (Funny note...as I was typing this he said out of the clear blue sky "Mama.....can you quiz me on Place Value?" And of course I dropped everything. When the kid wants to do math, I come running!)  :-)

 

 

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