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I homeschool because.... - Page 2

Poll Results: I homeschool because...

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 45% (40)
    I don't believe that learning within bounderies is the best way to learn.
  • 17% (15)
    I am anti public school
  • 4% (4)
    I can't afford private school
  • 32% (29)
    It just works best for our family
88 Total Votes  
post #21 of 47
I just wanted to add that I am pro-homeschooling for the simple reason that schools do not teach what I want my child to learn well enough--i.e. the humanities, etc.
post #22 of 47
Thread Starter 
I totally agree, Ladylee. I love being able to choose, and let my children choose, what they learn and what they don't. I just feel so judged whenever I go out in public b/c I homeschool. When will society climb out of the box?
post #23 of 47
Hawleyclan, your're answer is brilliant! I'm going to hold on to that!

I chose the first one, the one about boundaries. I can't see schools as a healthy place for children.

When I hear all the anti-public school stuff I laugh, because I experienced a lot of the same problems growing up at my tiny little Waldorf school. I think school is the problem, not the fact that some are public.

I understand the need for schools within our society and do see some good things that children get out of them, and I don't look down on my friends who send their children to them, but I think the whole system we live in needs to be overhauled, the school system included.

I first started thinking about homeschooling when my first dd was a baby, and the idea of giving her up to a school five years down the line horrified me!

It just doesn't seem right to me to separate children from their parents and the wider community for so much of their lives.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by Kylix

I have noticed that when you say homeschool, people AUTOMATICALLY think school at home. 8 hours a day, sitting at desk behind closed doors doing worksheets.

Kylix
Yes--shortly after we pulled ds from ps, we ran into the mother of one of his friends at the library. She asked me, 'Oh, is this your library period/' I don't know what she was thinking of me because I know I stared at her for a while in silence, not quite knowing how to answer her. All these thoughts were running through my mind...[was she joking/ did she think I made up 'hall passes' too/ did she think we now referred to play as 'recess']

ick

My house is not a school. It's a home. We do some of our learning there.

There will probably always be a need for school, as not everyone wants to hs, but I'd love to see the day when people don't automatically think 'school at home' or 'religion-based education' when we say 'homeschool.'
post #25 of 47
I needed a "none of the above" category. My daughter homeschools because that's what she choses to do right now, and that's really the bottom line. My ideas about why it's so great are mine, but for me it's all about her running her own life, and she's always free to make school a part of that life.

Dar
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by hydrangea
I understand the need for schools within our society and do see some good things that children get out of them, and I don't look down on my friends who send their children to them, but I think the whole system we live in needs to be overhauled, the school system included.
I was just reading this thread and thinking that I wish those of you who had problems with what is taught and how it is taught would activists for change within your communities and the larger community of education.

I became a teacher to make a difference. My classes are different, my students tell me their lives have been forever changed...With more parents like you school boards and knee-deep education reform, I think change COULD happen.

Honestly, I don't know where dd will be educated. We are leaning toward Waldorf for her early years. Change does need to happen and it is people like you (and I) who should be a part of that action.
post #27 of 47
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, people like me (and the others here) are few and far between. My ds went to public school K thru 3rd grade. The PTO and schoolboard had no use for me. They didn't want to hear how I thought things should be done. I have tried to talk to my dad about it as well. He was a ps superintendent for 30 years and now lobbies in Lansing (our capital) for public schools. He also thinks my dreams of how it could be are hopeless. There's not enough of us and as selfish as it sounds, I'm not willing to sacrafice my kids into the system so that MAYBE (and probably not) it will be changed one day.

I know there are good teachers. I'm not against teachers. I'm against the whole process, the whole way that the kids have to learn. My brother is also a teacher as is his wife. I'm sure they're good teachers. My brother teaches high school English. He says himself that he can't possibly have enough time with each student. When they have papers due he can spend maybe two or three minutes one on one time with each student. That's just not enough. He knows it, I know it, and they know it too.
post #28 of 47
ditto what Amy said [you read my mind]

We spent 3 1/2 years involved in our local ps. All they really want from parents is money and a few baked goods. Aside from that, the vision of childhood that I hold is not shared by most people--most want a form of school that already exists only, perhaps, with higher test scores. It would be silly of me to think that I could overhaul the entire educational system of America against the wishes of the majority, wouldn't it. And, as Amy said, I won't sacrifice my children in such a futile attempt.
post #29 of 47
Indiegirl,

You might want to read the thread on this board titled "learning utopias." That's what I would like to see. We are so far from that. In the meantime, I feel like I am doing what I can toward that goal by homeschooling my children, being involved with other homeschoolers, being as much of an inspiration as I can to nonhomeschoolers, and being openminded.

My mother has always been very involved with all her children's schools. For the last decade she has been on the schoolboard in the district my brothers were going to school in. She believes strongly in the public schools and working from within but, even on the board, she is always frustrated by how little she is able to do, what with the laws, the budget, tenure, other boardmembers, etc.

Your students are very lucky to have you.
post #30 of 47
Amy, you said it so well. We spent two years in the special ed system, fighting, not even to produce changes but just for the school to do what it morally should and legally has to. In the end we ended up spending more time and energy getting things the way they should be than he spent at school. I didn't feel liek we could spend 6 months out of every school year getting thing set up and settled, just to start the process again every September. I don't know if we can really eber change the school system the way we ant to- there are just too many parents who need the free daycare so that they can work all day, but I continue to be an advocate for other parents of special needs children who are working within the public educational system.
post #31 of 47
Amy, you said it so well. We spent two years in the special ed system, fighting, not even to produce changes but just for the school to do what it morally should and legally has to. In the end we ended up spending more time and energy getting things the way they should be than he spent at school. I didn't feel liek we could spend 6 months out of every school year getting thing set up and settled, just to start the process again every September. I don't know if we can really eber change the school system the way we ant to- there are just too many parents who need the free daycare so that they can work all day, but I continue to be an advocate for other parents of special needs children who are working within the public educational system.
post #32 of 47
Teachers can be awesome influences- I've know some that even today I remember with love. I've also known some that could shrivel a child's desire to live.

I've been in the school system most of my life... First born child... you know how that goes- I could read and write by the time I was 3- (probably why I need glasses now). So, for my many years, in many schools around the world, the sum of my memories is this...

Guess I had fun in all the preschool classes, don't remember anything, but mom saved the little projects we did and they looked fun...
skipped Kindergarten in England at the request of my teachers, felt rather proud of that... most memorable experiences: teacher taught me how to properly hold a pair of scissors while walking with them, and also, I nearly bit my tongue half-off playing horses on the playground (the nurse was really nice.)
Second grade, I learned to play the recorder.
Third grade, Scotland, my teacher wouldn't allow us to erase our mistakes during writing lessons, no erasers allowed, that was hard for me and I tried to erase it by licking my finger and rubbing (you can imagine), anyway got a ruler across my hands at the front of the classroom. The cafeteria lady was nice.
Third grade AGAIN, Spain, the American school thought I was too small to be in 4th grade, so they held me back- YAY. They put me in a "team classroom" with one half of the room 3rd grade, one half 4th grade, I guess they were trying to make me feel better. My first plagerization, I rewrote a Dr.Seuss book for a writing assignment, teacher never noticed. I lost my interest in achieving, and knew the teacher didn't like me. Almost failed.
Fouth grade: Cute teacher, think I had a bit of a crush. Really liked the boy sitting two desks behind me.
Fifth grade: All the students gave the teacher a hard time, she had a strange name. New boy crush.
Sixth grade: This teacher changed my life. He caught me trying to do something dishonest at the end of 5th grade, and instead of dragging me to the office, he called me on it when he saw me do it, and gave me a chance to put it back. He was also, "mysteriously", my teacher the next year- I think he requested me. He was the Drama teacher, and he got me involved in the middle school drama class- I loved it. First boyfriend.
Seventh grade, Egypt. Huge campus, lots of different classes, set up rather like a college. Second boyfriend.
Eighth grade, back in Spain, only class I remember is the Architectural engineering class I took. Really neat.
Ninth grade, first time I ever moved in the middle of a year, yuck, in the US, half of my classes didn't have an equivalent in the transfer and so I was plunked into classes at midterm that I had no business being in. Hated it. Harrassed in the halls, guys grabbing my ass between classes, one of the girls ripped several hand-fulls of hair out of my head because her boyfriend liked me, terrorized on the bus, slapped, beaten- culture shock! Barely passed.
Tenth grade, changed schools, by this time I was numb from the whole experience. Began to date a 19 year old, who was into drugs. Mom was terrified, but let it play itself out under her watchful eye- he dumped me after about 6 months. I was devastated. Grades were plummeting, desire to learn was gone. Pulled into the office and lectured about my IQ levels, potential, etc. Fortunately I met my DH toward the end of the year, blind date by a friend who was dating his friend- a bunch of military guys driving down on their week end of leave... he stopped my new smoking habit, and didn't like me to drink. Many of the girls in my class are sexually active.
Eleventh grade, things were a bit better, my desire to do well in class was returning- think I had something to live for again, the hope of GRADUATION! Pissed off a girl from NewYork who I had been friends with for a short time, she and three others stalked me in the halls, bathrooms, and at lunch times. Took to eating my meals in teachers classrooms. They managed to pull out some of my hair, claw me and slap me around some. I survived. Pulled into the office again, they wanted me to tell off on the girls, but I was "school-smart" by then, so they shifted the questioning to my "alleged" drug use- which I never did, not even pot...!- they didn't believe my denials, I know it is because at this point my entire wardrobe was black, or concert shirts, and I was always going to rock concerts (with my Mom!! ). Almost raped on a ride home with a senior from a party, thank God he stopped before it got bad. Still with DH, engaged at this point- lots of girls envious of my ring...
Twelth grade, trying to get my GPA up a bit, having to retake freshman classes I flunked. Watched the students put the freshman science teacher into nervous breakdown, they were rather proud of themselves. Watched them terrorize the freshman english teacher because they knew they could get her kicked out, and they did. (She was actually an excellent teacher, I learned alot from her-despite the fact that it was freshman english). The only really memorable teacher in highschool was my chemistry teacher, he was an awesome man, I spent many lunches in his classroom just talking with him, he was an "old farm boy" and raised cattle on a professional level- top cattle. Cool guy. He left after that year- glad I knew him. Pulled in to the office, the teacher in my senior class english noticed I wasn't wearing a bra- thanks for looking: - went home for the day. Pulled in again, for wearing shorts which reached my knees, longer than the cheerleading skirts that sat next to me..., same english teacher- don't think he liked me... Went with my friend to planned parenthood, she found out she was pregnant and got an abortion. Still with DH, we wrote all the time, then he finally finished his contract with the Army and moved to my area.

GRADUATION!!! Finally!!!

Funny thing is I excelled at college, honor roll, Deans list, Who's Who list, Honor societies... the difference was I had control of what classes I took, why, and whether I stayed or dropped. I was actually working toward a career, and eager to learn.

I wish I could have skipped school altogether, just GED'd out and go to college. School was a waste of effort, when I was flunking everyone was on my butt, and when I was aceing it they nit picked about my wardrobe, friends, and life. No win. Social groups were brutal, and much of the school experience is social. I believe that if I had not met my husband at the point I did, I would have quit school at some point because it was a very negative experience. I don't know that I would have gotten involved in drugs, but I definitely had plenty of opportunity, and my town is only a couple thousand in size.

I don't think that there is an easy solution to fixing the school system. I watch my school teacher friends try to navigate the politics to make a difference, and it cost one her certification, and several job opportunities were ruined by carefully placed calls. I've seen them struggle for many years to make a difference, only to end up disillusioned, and quit for a retail management job or flight attendant or such. I watch concerned parents pushed away by schools and teachers, and eventually they stop trying, stop questioning, then the kids go into survival mode and stop telling what is happening, because it can't be fixed anyway.

I like Hydrangea's idea, Learning complexes, with opportunities to learn or apprentice with skilled people who want to teach what they know if you are interested. Lots of resources and hands-on equipment and opportunities, for everyone in the community, not just children. And maybe a Gymboree/Discovery section, so mom/dad can study or help older children while younger children are having a blast experiencing and learning. Once the children learn their basic learning skills like reading, they can skip the baloney and move on to finding their interests, learning skills and deciding what their calling is in life. Then they can move on to college courses which meet their needs, or training programs.

It should not take 12 years to learn the english language, basic math, and basic history. That is all you learn! Unless you count the finer points of american football, or the skills of track, weight- lifting or cheerleading.

One thing I think would be great to keep around at the Learning complexes is the UIL programs: theater, languages, debate, science... those are the most beneficial and inspiring parts of school for many students... they work.

This was a really long post, so if you made it this far I'd love to shake your hand!

The Lord bless you all!
Zoie
post #33 of 47
excuse me ladies, wanted to thank you for this very interesting, thought-provoking thread! I have a 4yo and a 2yo and the concept of homeschooling is very, very intriguing to me.

I think there are many misconceptions about homeschooling, when I was in my 20's I certainly thought that only religions fanatics homeschooled! sheez. Its like EB, some folks are really clueless and though you can't explain it in a 1 minute grocery store line, those pearls of wisdom you all state here need to understood out there, kwim?

I'm not sure what route I will follow, I may give my older boy a chance to go to the public school, have myselft be very involved, and see how it works for him.

I really admire you guys.

post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by indiegirl
I was just reading this thread and thinking that I wish those of you who had problems with what is taught and how it is taught would activists for change within your communities and the larger community of education.
The problem for me is that I believe that our educational system is inherently flawed -- that it can't be fixed with more money, more teachers, or more parent involvement. And I can't even begin to think how I would create change that transcended these things, because it would involve changing our society's very concept of how children learn. A monumentally huge task for little ol' me who can't even change my extended family's notions about what is appropriate and effective in education.

Have you read Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto? What did you think of it?
post #35 of 47
Hawleyclan, you're posts are great. Thank you.
post #36 of 47
Some rambling comments:

I can't work to fix the public school system because I, too, believe institutionalized education is inherently flawed. I also believe that it would be arrogant to impose my views on what works best on other people, parents or children. For example, I think age segregated classrooms are foolish, but most parents like them. I think workbooks are an efficient way to keep a large group of kids occupied, but a poor way to learn or assess learning for individuals- but most parents (and teachers) like workbooks. Who am I to tell them they can't educate as they see fit?
I believe a liberal arts style education, one including art, great literature, classical music, and nature study are far more important than filling in blanks on tests (though I also believe that children educated this way will be able to do well on tests, too) and learning how to be a spoke in the wheel of a big corporation- but most parents disagree with me. They _want_ their children's education to be utilitarian. Who am I to step in and force my anti-utilitarian views on them?

I have deep philosophical differences with the mainstream thinking on how children learn, what is important for them to learn, what children 'should' be doing with their time. I can educate my children in the ways that we value, and I can communicate those values to others and try to educate them. I have tutored my neighbor's child using the methods I think work; and I have tried to give the children I know outside my family a taste for the literature, art, and music we love; I write and publish articles on what I think- but that is a far cry from working within a system I abhor to impose my structure upon it. I can't do that.

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SEcond comment- I have found that some of the most seemingly antagonistic people who confront me in grocery stores to ask nosy questions are _really_ seeking information. They are just bad at doing that. Quite often they are asking challenging questions because they have a desire to homeschool and are thinking it through. Some people think things through by arguing.

Sometimes I mildly (and with an interested smile) ask, "Why do you want to know?" and I am often surprised by the answer.

I also have learned to respond to questions with questions- my favorite is to ask for definition of socialization- most people who ask about it don't have any idea what they mean.

When asked about the 'real world,' I ask how their adult lives mirror their time in public school. Do they only associate with age mates within their geographical area? If they hate their boss, have they no options? Can they decide to switch careers? Has anybody chased them home from work recently threatening physical force?

I look at those nosy questions as an opportunity to explain my philosophy of education- people don't have to agree, and they probably got far more than they bargained for- but since hardly anybody as actually thought through their ideas about how children learn, it does give them soemthing to think about- and I get a chance to do my small bit for change.=)

Kanga
post #37 of 47
Hi:

As I envision it the public school system used to have many more schools and those schools were located in the heart of town and were of diverse architecture and pehaps philosophy. I think children these days face a progressively more restricted or uniform life. Chains sell them all the same food, books, cloths, music and films nationwide. Media broadcasts the same news, programs, music, and films. How many million teens are on AOL instant messenger each night? School should not be another uniform experience for all children.

All the nation's children, I don't think, should go to a Mac-school with standardized tests, a location outside of town, inexpensive, mall-like architecture and perhaps more systematic philosophy; maybe with a contract to sell Pepsi, a contract to display advertisements and a contract to show television news that is punctutated with more advertisements. I think there's "national" reasons not to homeschool - it provides diversity.
post #38 of 47

Good Thread!

We did not decide to homschool because we are anti-school, but rather because we believe that learning at home is superior. Yet we understand that it is not possible for all children. My DH teaches Music in the inner-city public schools. He is very aware of the flaws within the system. Public Education is a bloated bureaucracy, and it is difficult to get anything done, let alone change anything. (I'm sure it is different in suburban and small town school districts, but this is our experience in the city.)

I know that DH is making a difference with the kids he teaches. (He is given a lot of freedom being a music teacher....no one really knows what to do with him. ) I think there is a place for public education, but I don't think it should be considered the norm for every child. It certianlly isn't the best for all. My feeling is that it will take generations to effect much change. In the 70's and early 80's I had hoped that by now the homeschooling movement would have had a positive impact on the ps system, but that is not what I am seeing. Homeschooling is more accepted in the society, but is still seen as a bit kooky. Far from wanting to implement "un-schooling" ideas into the public forum, PS administrators seem threatened by homeschooling. Colleges, on the other hand, are welcoming home educated students with open arms! Our un-schooled sons had no problems entering college. The colleges have seen the fruit of the HS movement and are happy to have motivated, self-learning kids in their programs.
post #39 of 47

Re: Good Thread!

Quote:
Originally posted by barbara
...Far from wanting to implement "un-schooling" ideas into the public forum, PS administrators seem threatened by homeschooling. ..
Exactly. Rather than expressing interest in figuring out why children educated outside of traditional institutions do so well and implementing new ideas, rather than changing anything from within, the PS establishment is trying hard and furious to change the homeschooling movement- to increase regulation, to set it aside as a fluke, and even a dangerous thing to do.

Kanga
post #40 of 47

None of the above

I homeschool because that is the only way my kids will learn science, english or any other secular subjects. We unschool, I learn with them whatever they are intested in.

-BelovedBird
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