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Why would you homeschool?? - Page 2

post #21 of 37

"I want my kids to have a quality education and to be well socialized." I like the idea of adding either, "Are you thinking of homeschooling," or "Pass the bean dip, please."

post #22 of 37

Here's what we say (after long years of honing the message):

 

Homeschooling allows us to give each child a customized education that ties in with their interests, so the information they learn "sticks" better, plus, since our son is a "kinetic" learner and needs to pace around when thinking through new concepts, if he were in school he'd be put in ritalin in a heartbeat, and we don't believe in experimenting on children with mind-altering drugs.

 

Now that the kids are teens and people can see how knowledgeable they are, it's far less of an issue, but the above worked very well for us, once we settled on it. We've been finding lately that far more people now say they wish they could homeschool than criticize homeschooling.

post #23 of 37

One on one education is by far the best form of education. Universities love homeschooled children and it gives them an advantage.

post #24 of 37

I love the responses. My own favored response is "We do it because it's fun!"

 

I said this spontaneously one day in response to a group of middle aged men who were lunching with our homeschooling group in the cafeteria of the local college (where we have gym time), and loved the reaction I got : ) It's true for us, and I think it makes people think a bit more deeply about fun in their own lives.
 

post #25 of 37

I've been asked this question so many times!  My answer depends on my mood that day!  Sometimes I simply say "We weren't happy with the private school they were in."  Other times I say "We couldn't find a school that let them learn at their own pace." or "It actually is easier for me and gives us more flexibility as a family than sending them to school."  It has been a wonderful change for our family, and I would never go back!

post #26 of 37

I always say something like "There are so many reasons, I don't know where to start!  Childhood is so short and I'd really like to spend it with my kids and to share their learning experiences with them, just like seeing their first steps and hearing their first words, those moments don't end." That could be interpreted negatively I suppose, as if parents who send their kids to school don't want to spend time with their kids but I try to say it in a positive way, not a sarcastic way.  I also tend to mention the wonderful homeschoolers I met before having kids and how impressed I was by them and their family life.
 

post #27 of 37

It's so good to hear everyone's responses to how to handle the questions. I have to remind myself that as a Hschooling family we are a minority so most people are somewhat ignorant about the realities of our lifestyle. Being a minority is an important experience, especially if there has been little else to provide that perspective in our lives.

 

We've been embracing the unschooling mindset since it makes so much sense to me. We've chosen to step out of the institution of school so why would we try to maintain the institutional ways at home? Of course everyone has to do what works best in their situation. I mention how we love the flexibility and freedom it gives us for things like vacations. 

 

What do I say to people who ask this question? Most of what I say has already been covered. I tend to focus on the pros, like the individualization to each child's abilities, while being understanding of the challenges the classroom-setup inherently faces. I'm always quick to add that both ways have their pros and cons, like every choice in life. I think a lot of people never realized they had a choice.

 

I also like to hold up my son, who recently graduated from highschool a semester early, as an example of how little the mass-class system does to challenge the individual. He was never challenged by the system even though they put him in an "academically talented" program. He has never had to study for anything and the school system never provided a challenge for him to experience the rewards that come with applying yourself to the point of being stretched to new heights. I'm afraid he may be sorely shocked if he ever decides it's worth his while to pursue post-secondary education.

 

On the pro side for public/classroom schooling is the benefits of pooling resources, making available things like a gymnasium which most of us don't have at home. We homeschool our 7 and 9 yo daughters but live in a somewhat remote area where there is no homeschoolers association.  We've enjoyed a year of phys. ed. at the local public school. I drive them there 1x/wk, in the afternoon and they take the bus home at the end of the day. It's the best of both world's. People ask how long I will homeschool them and I respond with, as long as it's the best thing for them.

 

One of my fave responses about that oh so annoying question, "How will they be socialized?" is that I would rather they get their socialization from the many people of all ages in the community than from a pack of 25 kids all their age being supervised by one adult. Do you remember the things you learned from that social group? lol

post #28 of 37

I loved the "because it's FUN!" response, and am dying of curiosity to know what the response was, by the middle-aged men?

 

I also like the "because I want my kids to have a quality education and be well-socialized!" response. That sort of short-circuits followup questions like "aren't you worried about socialization?" and "but how will they get a good education?"

 

I have had the "I could NEVER do THAT!" thing said on a variety of topics, most notably, when I was pregnant with my 3rd child, the letter carrier of all people expressed amazement at how many kids I had (!) and said he could never deal with that many (seriously, 3?!). 

I was too shocked and furious to think of anything right then, but later, came up with the "wish I said it" reply. 

 

Now, I use that reply if anyone is being hostile with their "Oh, I could NEVER do/handle/deal with THAT!" stuff, and it's this: "No. I don't suppose you could." and leave it at that.

post #29 of 37

People ask all sorts of things they would not ask a person whose child was in public or formal private school. Please know this. It's none of their business, and it's not your job to educate them. Took me a while to figure out how to respond to cut them off without getting flack for being rude.

 

I just smiled broadly and said sweetly, "Do you have a genuine interest in educating yourself about homeschooling?" Usually, they would stare in shock at that question. Then, I would say, "If you do, I can recommend some excellent books. After you've read them, let's get together and I'll help you develop a working understanding so you can discuss it knowledgeably. Thanks for asking. It's really in the best interests of all of our children for us to educate ourselves about the options we have to best meet our children's needs. There are so many close minded people who latch onto myths and harass homeschoolers. It's so nice to meet someone who has the ability to address it from an intelligent perspective. Did you know that (name a study) showed that (name a statistic showing that homeschoolers excel)?"

 

Basically, most people will be trying to change the subject or get away somehow. Just keep smiling as you go on quoting statistics and praising them for wanting to "educate themselves." That last phrase is very effective in warding off public school staff who takes a hostile approach. Just smile and keep saying, "I'm so glad you are open to educating yourself on this topic!" If a public school staff member or anyone starts misrepresenting the law or statistics, be prepared with the facts and smile, smile as you say, "Actually, DID YOU KNOW that...(quote the law, the stats, etc.)

 

Rarely will you get far into this conversation, but memorize the mini-speech and stats and practice saying them with a smile. Respond to absurd claims by being a broken record, "Did you know....(facts, stats, quotes of the law)..."

 

If a person wants to know, they will change their tone and ask for more information. If they don't, and someone who starts out rude usually is just bullying you, they will try to end the topic or get physically away.

 

I used this on a group of three high net worth, chic grandmas  at a books store while waiting for an author to speak. They saw my son make a beeline for the children's department and demanded to know why he wasn't in school. He had come over to show me a book with a reading level much higher than you would think a kid his age would read, and the grandmas had praised him for that, but when they found out he was homeschooled and I attributed his academic level to the freedom to move at his own pace, they balked and were very rude. I just started the routine. "Do you have a genuine interest in learning about homeschooling? There are some excellent books right over there (pointing) and one was written by a current local high school teacher who homeschools his own kids." These ladies were so flustered at this routine that they tried making dismissive comments, but I kept responding sweetly with statistics and facts. They launched into the nonsense about homeschooled kids being poorly socialized. I quoted statistics about behavior issues within public schools and studies indicating that those issues are far less common among homeschooled children. They had already seen how friendly and well behaved my son was, but even if he was not, I would choose not to discuss him with them. Don't invite others to evaluate your child.

 

What doesn't work is trying to explain to critics how it works and why it is better without using facts and statistics. If someone says you have to do this or that through the public school and it's not true, just say, "Actually, that demand is inconsistent with state law and the school is putting itself at risk for legal action by making those claims and demands, but I leave that up to the attorneys." This shocks people but they need to hear it.

 

Most of the time, all you have to say is, "Are you genuinely interested in learning more about homeschooling?" That stops the conversation in it's tracks so you can go on with your life.

post #30 of 37

All I will usually say is, "I'm not a big fan of standardized tests."

 

Even the most hard-core pro school people really haven't been able to find fault in that. I just keep the rest of my opinions quiet :)

post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchynerd View Post

I loved the "because it's FUN!" response, and am dying of curiosity to know what the response was, by the middle-aged men?

I also like the "because I want my kids to have a quality education and be well-socialized!" response. That sort of short-circuits followup questions like "aren't you worried about socialization?" and "but how will they get a good education?"

I have had the "I could NEVER do THAT!" thing said on a variety of topics, most notably, when I was pregnant with my 3rd child, the letter carrier of all people expressed amazement at how many kids I had (!) and said he could never deal with that many (seriously, 3?!). 
I was too shocked and furious to think of anything right then, but later, came up with the "wish I said it" reply. 

Now, I use that reply if anyone is being hostile with their "Oh, I could NEVER do/handle/deal with THAT!" stuff, and it's this: "No. I don't suppose you could." and leave it at that.

This is such a great response! Love it! I am going to use that next time smile.gif
post #32 of 37

I've probably asked the question before.

 

My kids are actually in public school right now. I was homeschooled for high school and I never did finish. That's a regret I still have to this day. My goal is to go in and get my GED before Christmas. I would love to homeschool my kids someday. As of right now my husband is very against homeschool. My oldest is in the 1st grade and she loves public school. She wishes is was all summer long too. Then I have a child in kindergarten and he loves that he gets to take Fridays off. He wanted to be homeschooled. Like someone else said it is a real fear that if I homeschooled my kids wouldn't learn much, but maybe because I have that fear I'd make sure they learned. I don't know. dizzy.gif Right now my life is kind of crazy with 5 kids 6 and under so for us public school is what works.

post #33 of 37

Depends on how spicy I am feeling, to steal a phrase. From "Oh I always knew I was going to homeschool my kids. So I got a teaching credential and taught for several years after graduate school. The state thinks I'm pretty qualified." Which doesn't actually answer "why" at all. It just states it as "of course I spent my life in preparation for this goal and I'm as good as everyone else so f#ck off."

 

Usually with something to the effect of, "Getting a teaching credential convinced me that I don't want any of those people to be responsible for my kid for five minutes let alone a year." I spent the entire credential program insane with anger because more than half the people there showed up without homework and asked to cheat at the last minute. I wanted to hurt people so badly. I am weirdly a rule follower. Cheating makes me hate people.

 

Or I go with, "My husband and I were both severely traumatized by the public education system and we think our kids deserve better than that." Depends if I want to be actually aggressive. Ha.

 

If I'm feeling friendly I say, "Well I'm kind of a travel nut. We will spend some time WWOOFing when the kids are older and it's hard to do significant travel and attend traditional school. Oh, and I'm a credentialed teacher." Then people instantly feel supportive.

 

 

Picking which line to give feels so manipulative.

post #34 of 37
The irony is that I was asked that question when my son was young, and now that he's a teen, I'm never asked.
post #35 of 37

I happen to have gotten a masters in education (which I hated and thus am not a teacher), but it's a convenient "out" for me.  I am "qualified" in the eyes of the people.  *sigh*  So usually I go with something like "well, the public schools aren't a great fit for my kids and I have an education degree, soooo...." 

 

I guess this would be a spin on "Because I can"? 

 

Anyway, I always want to question people on why they send their kids to public school.  It's not exactly a secret that the public schools are lacking.

post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

Depends on how spicy I am feeling, to steal a phrase. From "Oh I always knew I was going to homeschool my kids. So I got a teaching credential and taught for several years after graduate school. The state thinks I'm pretty qualified." Which doesn't actually answer "why" at all. It just states it as "of course I spent my life in preparation for this goal and I'm as good as everyone else so f#ck off."

 

Usually with something to the effect of, "Getting a teaching credential convinced me that I don't want any of those people to be responsible for my kid for five minutes let alone a year." I spent the entire credential program insane with anger because more than half the people there showed up without homework and asked to cheat at the last minute. I wanted to hurt people so badly. I am weirdly a rule follower. Cheating makes me hate people.

 

Or I go with, "My husband and I were both severely traumatized by the public education system and we think our kids deserve better than that." Depends if I want to be actually aggressive. Ha.

 

If I'm feeling friendly I say, "Well I'm kind of a travel nut. We will spend some time WWOOFing when the kids are older and it's hard to do significant travel and attend traditional school. Oh, and I'm a credentialed teacher." Then people instantly feel supportive.

 

 

Picking which line to give feels so manipulative.


ok, I didn't see this before I posted.  My education degree completely collapsed any confidence I had in the public school system, and honestly that is why I homeschool (well, that and we can no longer afford private school).  NOT that there aren't good teachers out there... there are lots, but 1) you're not guaranteed one and 2) the administrative crap puts them in shackles.  *sigh*

 

Anyway, ITA.

post #37 of 37

i've only had people be truly taken back by the fact that we homeschool a couple of times. i'm very confident in what we do, so there really isn't a lot of wiggle room for them to make me feel uncomfortable.  the truth is, they are ignorant of what homeschooling is & i am not. therefore, i listen to what they need to say or ask, and i answer and correct them as needed. if they were ever trying to argue with me for some reason about how i parent and what we choose, i would shut the conversation down.

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