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# trying to understand why HS vs. PS - Page 2

Kristen, math has been one of my biggest anxiety spots since we started hsing, and I started out pushing math more formally. I learned very quickly, though, that the structure and sequence of math as it's taught in ps is very unnatural and needlessly complicated. Ds has figured out fractions, and percentages (I have to point out that percentages are fractions, they are a number out of 100. This is a great example of the artificial boundaries inserted in "formal" education.) Ds has learned math from cooking, sewing, lego, from everyday experiences like wanting to know how far we are from where we are going, how much distance we have already covered, and the total distance. He's learned graphing mostly from becoming deeply engrossed in his atlas and almanac, comparing data from different countries and areas. He's learned some basic algebra from math trick books, and from watching my work during a construction electrical course (algebra is vitally important in electrical installation. It was the first time that it actually made sense to me, when the answer was not just an abstraction, but an actual measure, and one that might lead to physical injury if I got something wrong!)

We have done things like measuring the height of trees and buildings in the neighborhood based on the length of their shadows and some angle measurements (trigonometry). We do puzzles together (spatial relationships), we do number puzzles in the Dell variety puzzle books we get at the grocery store (basic arithmetic, logic, pattern recognition.) We make things, furniture, costumes, household items like curtains, Halloween decorations and props (we take Halloween very seriously around here, LOL), ds has lately had a passion for measuring things, with different tools and scales, and for comparing Imperial and Metric (we're Canadian) measurements. He's lately discovered ratios in many different forms, the latest of which is to compare size to weight.

And every time I have an unschooling panic attack, and start looking up math programs, and start giving him placement tests, I discover that, in the absense of any "work", he's continued to learn all that he would be required to know for his grade level and beyond. He's figured out his own way of doing things, and can do most of his everyday calculation needs in his head (up to 5 digits adding or subtracting, 3 in multiplication or division.) None of this has been taught to him, in fact he finds working on paper, with typical school book examples to be painfully confusing.

I'm not afraid (usually, lol) of teaching him algebra, trig, calculus, because I've learned that we will learn this stuff together, and that it will make sense when we really need to perform a task. I don't consider it my job to teach math, or any other subject, but to figure out why we need a skill, and find interesting resources or information about it.

Allison
Well, I am new here, but will tell you that I did attend public school, I had an ok experience, but because of the poor state of the schools where we have lived we homeschool. My husband is military and we move every few years. This also helps my kids with continuity of education as I know what they have covered and haven't, so there are no gaps. Now, I will say that many homeschoolers don't believe that their kids have to read by age 5. My first did, my second won't. She may not read until 6 or7 <gasp!>. I have reasearched this, I have read many books, talked even to public school teachers. Most will agree that by 4th or 5th grade you can't tell who was an early reader and who wasn't. The benefit to this type of homeschooling, is that yes, I am doing my job to teach her something, it may not be reading, but when she is ready to read, she will. If she went to public school and she wasn't ready, she would simply be left behind and left feeling stupid. Surely you can see the harm in this! By the way, every state's requirements are different in what is required from homeschoolers. SOme have strict laws, some have none.
Hi,
Everyone has very well thought out and written responses to why they Homeschool.
Something that came to my mind that I wanted to respond to is when Kirsten mentioned about the 8 yr old HS child that could not read. What about all the Public School kids that are much older than that and they still can not read or write?? Kirsten mentioned something about that leaving a bad taste in her mouth the 8 yr old that couldnt read so I would think with so many public school kids graduating that can not read or write (or so I have read) that would be as equally upsetting to her.

I am NOT saying that its ok for a 8 yr old to not know how to read anymore than its ok for a high school graduate to not know, but what I am saying is as long as something can be found wrong with the public school system, then no one should be critical of Homeschool. There is pros and cons with BOTH public school and Homeschool and as long as there is then neither should be critical of the other. Its up to each responsible parents/parents to decide which one is best for their child/children! After all we all do what we feel is best for OUR children.

The only reason I feel parents that Homeschool would get upset telling the reasons why they do so is because of how critical some can be no matter how good the reasons are.

I felt ok when I was in public school but if I would have had a choice I would rather had been Homschooled, However, when I was in public school if a parent went to the teachers/principle with problems about how boys were treating their girls etc then it would have been dealth with when I was in public school. I have heard of so many instances now where parents have gone to teachers and principles over how boys are harassing their girls and NOTHING would be done about it.

We as parents can always go back and forth why one is better than the other but the bottom line is there are legitimate reasons why parents choose the one they do, whether Homeschool or public school so I think all parents should just be respectful to those reasons and not be critical of each other!

Just my two cents worth! LOL

LinsMom

Oh, should have thought to add this! I was not saying anyone HERE was being critical I meant those that I have came across that are critical but did not mean to imply anyone here is!
Quote:
 Originally posted by LinsMom [B]Kirsten mentioned about the 8 yr old HS child that could not read. What about all the Public School kids that are much older than that and they still can not read or write??
Good point, and one that I should have picked up on seeing how I used to tutor a friend that can't read. He went to public school. He's 45 years old and still can't read very well. Unfortunately, he never stays with a tutor long enough to learn what he should know.
Why do people find it disturbing that an 8 year old does not read? At what age "should" a child be reading and why?
Quote:
 Originally posted by JoanWhy do people find it disturbing that an 8 year old does not read? At what age "should" a child be reading and why?
My guess is it depends on where you live, and only because that's the "norm" there. Doesn't mean a child really NEEDS to know by 8 IMO.
quote from above<<<The only reason I feel parents that Homeschool would get upset telling the reasons why they do so is because of how critical some can be no matter how good the reasons are. >>>

This is so true. And honestly, why should I (any of us) have to justify my choices for MY children to anyone? I used to feel I had to justify to my family, dh's family, etc. Now I just keep my mouth shut and walk out when I need to. I have considered purchasing "The Endangered Mind" for each of them for Christmas however. rofl.

To the original question asker, I do know public school kids in my neighborhood who are in 4th and 3rd grade, at two separate schools (we have schools of choice here) who can't read. The schools reply to this? Hire a tutor. Here, we will give her an aide who will read the questions for her and put down her answer. WHAT?!?!? They have no interest in actually teaching her to read, just put a bandaid on the problem. ugh.

Socializing? Well I must say that my kids socialize daily with neighborhood playmates, church pals, homeschool friends on field trips, ballet class and soccer teams, and even elderly people when we deliver meals on wheels weekly. They are experiencing real life socializing with people of all ages, not just their own age, and that is real life. Plus, their peers seem to have a lot of bad habits that their parents find acceptable that I would not, so for us, it just seems to work better to choose our friends carefully, and be around them more than if they were in school 7 ours a day, 5 days a week.

I have to add that my children have not asked to go to public school, my son feels sorry for kids who go to public school as they are there all day and then have homework on top of that. I doubt they will ever attend a public school until they go to college, if that is their choice.

I also find it amusing that the original poster is a natural labor advocate and not homeschooling. So many of those into natural labor see homeschooling as a natural extension of parenting and well, NATURAL.
Firstly I would like to thank all those who tried to help me understand why they HS. It is obvious that I have gotten a few people defensive. That was not my intent. No one has to justify to me why they HS - I was just trying to get more info. I tried to phrase questions/comments in a neutral way (although in hindsight I could have done better with the "horrified about the 8 year old not reading" part - until your reply posts, I honestly did not think there was anyone who would disagree with that).

To answer some questions posted to me - no, my children have not asked to be HS - although I can see the upside in not getting them up in the early a.m. each weekday! No, I would not let them choose to HS - to be honest, at any age. I believe strongly in the multi-age program we are involved in. If at some point in their future education/schooling there were problems, I would be open to moving them to another class/school/program if other attempts to rectify the issues were unsuccessful. Do I see myself ever choosing HS for my family? No. Do I understand more why people choose it for their family? Yes.
Do kids fall through the cracks in the PS system? Sadly, I am sure there are some who do. I have seen this firsthand as I have recently become certified to tutor adults in learning to read. The kids who fail in the PS vs. kids who are not properly HS reminded me of a public forum on out of hospital birth. One of the panel members was a nurse and made a statement about a baby dying at a home birth. Of course no one can guarantee you a healthy, live baby at a hospital birth either! So I understand your point and remember my anger when the nurse made that comment.

Oh, almost forgot the last question posted to me - I do not find it odd that I am passionately into natural birth and yet send my kids to PS. Those are two very different issues. On each issue (birth, nursing, vaccinations, sleeping, discipline, schooling, nutrition, etc.) I look into the options and together with my husband, make a decision. Of course each of us on this board brings our prior life experience into each of these decisions. I highly respect people who choose to be vegetarians for example but do not make that choice myself. I think we can respect other parenting choices even if they are not what we decide for our own family. That is exactly why I asked the original questions.

Thanks to those who suggested books. I plan to look into Dumbing Us Down.
Kirsten
Here is my feeling on govt intervention into homeschooling. when they get it right in their public schools, and have no kids falling through the cracks, when every child graduates reading, then they can come into my home and tell me what i am doing wrong. Until then, well, they need to stay out of my business.
I feel the state has no business mandating homeschooling when they can't do well with public schooling.

You might not want to read Dumbing Us Down, it might make you decide to homeschool. <said tongue in cheek>. Endangered Minds is another good book.
We homeschool. I value the certain amount of freedoms I have during the day. I assume dd does too. I would have better feelings abt school if it wasnt mandatory to be there 7 to 8 hrs a day 5 days a week. Reminds me of jail. lol! There are many many reasons we homeschool, here are a few more:

freedom to take classes in whatever interests us, whenever it does (ex, gymnastics, pottery, music), and the freedom to not learn st when it doesnt interest us. In school there is pretty much no choice. If the class is learning abt dinosaurs, then you must too.

Free time. I dont know how families who have kids in school all day find time to chill with each other. I'm sure they do, just saying for me, i like a slower pace than a school schedule allows.

Quality of education. Life is learning, learning is life. Learning from the real world, instead of being in a classroom all day.

Age segregation. Dont agree with this at all.

There are many more, but thats what comes off the top of my head. I do resent having to inform the school district at all abt my hs. I feel like its none of their business. Imo, schools do far more damage than good, they have no right telling me anything abt how to educate my child.

I also need to note that I had a terrible experience in a multiage classroom...I was ADD and there was no guidence or support, I was mercilessly picked on there as well...

Not all areas have many options that are workable. We are going to try the public schools but I am strongly considering HS...
We are not a Waldorf family and the other non ps options are all catholic or christian(we are not) Our school district frowns upon teacher selection by parents and will likely make it tough for us to do this. I hope that school will be a good match but if not, well HS here we come

### Both sides of the fence

Kirsten I am just getting ready to start homeschool preschool and am begining to wonder if it will be a lot harder than I think. My reason for wanting to homeschool is to be a lot more envolved in my childrens education than what they bring home at night.
I also feel like some of the other Mom's suggested that sittining in a class room 7 hrs a day is not necessary for a child.
I think some sturcture is needed but look forward to do learning activities that apply the 3 r's.

I went to public school until 5th grade. My Dad was school board president when they pulled myself and two younger brothers out of school. My dad did the homeschooling, Mom said she didn't have the patients for it.

We got up and went out to work. Came in had breakfast and did a couple subjects. Went out to work or play till lunch. Read a histroy book after meals. Went back out to work or play and then did some type of paper work (book report or prepared for a verbal presentation) in the evening. In the winter we got up and did some of our school work before daylight.

Because we were farmers we could make our own schedule and we didn't get sick of it or really feel like we were in school all day.

The puplic schools where we came from in N.Y. were poor quality. The public school close to were I grew up in MO was really bad. The only private schools here would be about a 25 mile drive for us so that alone would be 100 mile a day on the road. That would be too much expence and time on the road besides the cost of private school it's self.

I am quite sure there are not charter schools in our local town so that would mean the 100mile a day commutes if there was one in our bigger city.
This is "one" of the reasons I am seriously considering pulling my daughter out of public school and homeschooling (probably in one year but could change to sooner)

http://www.naturalchild.com/

If you go to articles and then:

Book excerpt:

Common Objections to Homeschooling

by John Holt

I also don't agree with a bunch of twelve year olds teaching each other to become sheeple.
Originally posted by Joan
Why do people find it disturbing that an 8 year old does not read? At what age "should" a child be reading and why?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is another reason I will homeschool dd. In Tx, if a child isn't reading by kindergarten, the month of december, then they are marked remedial for the rest of their school career. shake I don't want that experience for my daughter just because she isn't ready to read yet. Schools are tending to push children to do things younger and younger and if they can't, they are left behind feeling stupid. I think that is ridiculous, of course, and I love the Raymonds book, Better Late Than EArly.
momtogmn, Isn't that a shame? I was thinking yesterday how all the hsing parents I've spoken to have that same thought: That their children will read when they are ready. From what I've seen, the children DO learn and they enjoy it. In contrast, as you said, the ps children who do not learn to read by ___ age end up in remedial "help" and special classes, with the (either implied or stated) feeling that something is wrong with them, that they're not good enough, or not trying hard enough etc. The tutors and teachers I've spoken with all truely believe that they are helping, and that they are putting their help in a positive light. The children I've spoken to though all think they are in these programs because they are stupid.
That is soooo very sad that kids get labeled so young now
days and so much expected out of them! I saw a report years ago on TV about if young kids are pushed too much too soon to learn, that it can actually do some kind of damage that really would prevent children from being able to learn. I am sorry I forgot the medical name for this and I am sure I am not explaining it the best, but you get the idea of what I am saying, I hope.
Does anyone else remember in school their first reading books being, See Spot, See Spot run? lol See Jane?? I was totally blown away when I saw my child's first grade reading book! I think more and more they are trying to take the kid out of the kid and just too much expected of them! If a child can learn younger that is great and I would encourage them to do so, but to pressure young kids to learn, I just do not agree with! Its like they are not in school longggggg enough, not enough years, as they want them out of the crib reading, writing, and doing math. Yea, a slight exaggeration, but not much.
I am trying my first year of HSing my two sons 5 and almost 8. My oldest son went to the local PS for K and 1st grade. I love the school and the teachers, we live in a small area and already knew some of the teachers at the school. However, my son did not. He has chosen to HS because in his words " I am not learning anything, it's boring and I want to be with my family." I keep asking him if he's sure he won't miss school as he knows all of the children and enjoys being with them. I remind him of Valentines parties, Halloween, etc. He says our family will celebrate them together. I figure we will take it year by year. He is making the decision to HS and if he decides to try PS or any other I will let him try it...knowing that he probably would change his mind to HS anyway.

BTW this is a great and civilized discussion we have going here, we should be proud ourselves. Steph

I feel strongly that different things work for different families (or even different kids in the same family) at different times for totally different reasons. We are homeschooling now, but some day we may not be for reasons that we cannot foresee. I think the important question isn't whether homeschooling is good or bad, but if a particular child is in the best place for him or her at this time.

When homeschooling is good, it is very very good. But the flip side is also true, when homeschooling is bad, it is awful. There are homeschooling families doing a rotton job of raising and educating their children. It isn't a question of unschooling vs structuce, it is a question of how much time and energy the parents have for the child and how emotional healthy they are.

It is taboo in the homeschooling community to admit that their are people homeschooling who shouldn't be. There are homeschoolers who park their kids infront of the TV, or focus on making their oldest a superstar while ignoring their younger children, or beat their children with a belt if they refuse to do their school work. My sister is bipolar and refuses to take medication. She is homeschooling but her kids would be better off in school.

The Amway family sounds like they weren't doing much of anything. Unschooling is not the same as not doing anything. Many 8 year olds can't read (both in and out of school) but the parents lack of knowledge that their DD was ready to read and wanted to read are very troubling. Unschoolers help their children learn the things they want to learn. There is a difference between educational neglect and unschooling.

### Interest in you child

Linda in Arizona I agree with you. It is not as important what type of schooling a child is getting as the amount of interest you take in your children. Even PS children turn out with a better quality of education if the parents take an interest in them, participate in school activities, help with homework etc...

I also have seem homeschool teenagers that could not speak proper english and parents that sheltered their kids so much that when they did get out in the world they went crazy. These are the types of things that HS get labeled with but it is not the norm with homeschoolers.

I do like the idea of having a little more control over who my kids associate with than sending them off to school 7 hrs a day with no parental guidance. There are also such an increase in guns, drugs and sex in or near schools that it is a real fear for many parents.
This was written by Fran Eaton, a hsing mom in IL. I think she is very insightful.

So, Just Who Shouldn't Home School?

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

By Fran Eaton

Maybe there are some families who shouldn't home school.
When we began home schooling in 1985, I was very nervous about the "leap of faith" our family was taking. No one, but only the most psychologically-distressed, would ever want anything but the very best for his or her children. No one thinking soundly would ever want their children to be ill-equipped for life.

Once we were home schooling, I couldn't understand why more people didn't try it. In order to justify our family's choice, I felt compelled to explain our choice to others. Often the response was a negative one, "That's nice for you, but I could never home school." I'd hear, "I could never be tied to my kids all day and stay sane," or "Don't you feel like you're missing out on life?"

But is home schooling for everyone? Or are there people who simply shouldn't try to keep their kids at home?

Through the years, we've counseled literally hundreds of families about whether or not they should home school. We've seen some try and give up. We've seen some start and then get weary. We've seen many, many continue through bumps and family crises, only to be successful in the end.

Who shouldn't home school? What are the tell-tale signs of families who shouldn't be encouraged to teach their own children?

How about a couple who is having serious financial problems and about to lose their home?

How about a woman who began homeschooling her children, only to find out six years later that her husband was committing sexually deviant acts that would send him to jail, leaving her to provide for five children?

How about a grandmother who has serious health problems?

How about a family whose father is suddenly killed in a farming accident?

Should these families teach their own children at home?

Difficult or dysfunctional family situations are possibly the only reason why more families should not try to home school. One thing we found through the years -- if a problem within the family exists, home schooling will force the dysfunction to the front burner, where the problem can no longer be ignored. Not only is the problem on the front burner, the heat is turned up when personal interaction intensifies in the home school setting.

But while help is often needed through pastors or family counselors, person after person has shared with us through the years how happy they are that they dealt with their marriage problems or their children challenges head-on, rather than hiding from them. Because of home schooling, they were forced to face the problems, and worked through them successfully.

There are some who shouldn't home school:

Home schooling is not for the faint-hearted.

Home schooling is not for those who are unwilling to deal with personality or spiritual weaknesses.

Home schooling is not for those who are too proud to ask for help.

Home schooling is not for people who will not think for themselves.

Home schooling is not for those unwilling to take a "different path."

Home schooling is not for those who require tangible, immediate results.

Home schooling is not for those who are unwilling to learn patience.

Home schooling is not for those who are peer dependent.

Home schooling is not for those who are too busy to invest time in the next generation.

Home schooling is not for the selfish.

Home schooling is not for those who are satisfied with the world around them.

Home schooling is not for those who are unwilling to sacrifice prestige and notoriety for the admiring eyes of their own children.

Lack of education, lack of finances, lack of family stability, lack of good parenting skills, lack of patience -- we have seen home schooling families rise above each of these obstacles through the years. They are not reasons to keep from home schooling.

In a recent Home School Legal Defense Association web poll taken by 989 respondents, 49% said religious conviction is the main reason they continue home schooling; 15% positive social environment; 14% academic excellence; 12% specific needs of child; 5% curriculum choice; and 5% flexibility.

These statistics bear out with the reasons families give for home schooling in Illinois. If none of those reasons matter to you, it is likely that you should not consider home schooling for your children.

Having problems does not disqualify a family from trying home education for their children. As a matter of fact, the strength and determination demonstrated by parents willing to overcome family challenges sends a loud and clear message to impressionable children that they are worth all that it takes to help them accomplish their lives' purpose.

There are few, if any, who shouldn't home school.
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