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spin off: What can a teacher do to learn about homeschooling here?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I would really like to know the ropes here. This forum does not have any guidelines so I am asking. I am a former teacher, now at home with a 2 yr old dd, thinking about different types of schooling and considering homeschooling. I am familiar with many types of classroom schooling but literally know absolutely no one in real life who homeschools.
  • Is it best to just lurk for a long time and wait to post until you actually start homeschooling?
  • Does my teaching experience qualify me to offer any ideas? I have taught in private and public schools, large and small, in a variety of settings. I have a masters of education. Or, would that seem threatening? I certainly would never tell anyone what to do, just offer ideas.
  • Is there a way to politely dispel school stereotypes without appearing to be against homeschooling?

I live in a city where the public schools are in crisis and literally 33% of children go to private schools. Not sure about homeschooling percentages. I taught in these schools and I am pretty sure that I not only do not want to return but I definitely don't want my child to attend most of the schools in the city. (a few are ok) So, I am exploring options. I love to share ideas but if that would appear threatening, to have a teacher who is not currently homeschooling but interested in it, sharing ideas, then I will refrain.

I am most sincere in my request.
post #2 of 28
Well, I hope I'm not overstepping MY bounds, as I don't homeschool yet.

I've been lurking here for a long time, and posting occasionally when I have something to say. I think it's fine to post here if you don't homeschool yet, as long as you're here to learn and not flame anyone for their choices. So yeah, go ahead and post as you're learning about your different options.

You can go ahead and offer ideas, I'm sure they'd be well recieved. But don't think that your qualifications make you more qualified to offer ideas than any other homeschooling parent here. Most, I'm guessing, don't have education degrees, and are just as successful at homeschooling as someone who does.

I think it would be ok to politely dispell stereotypes, but most of us have had experience with public schools, if not from a teachers point of view.

Of course, I don't speak for anyone here but myself. But I think it can be useful to have a teacher's pov, especially one who has decided to homeschool.
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
  • Is it best to just lurk for a long time and wait to post until you actually start homeschooling?
  • Does my teaching experience qualify me to offer any ideas? I have taught in private and public schools, large and small, in a variety of settings. I have a masters of education. Or, would that seem threatening? I certainly would never tell anyone what to do, just offer ideas.
  • Is there a way to politely dispel school stereotypes without appearing to be against homeschooling?
i think many people post before they start homeschooling. i have seen that experienced homeschoolers get sick of being guinea pigs for projects, but i think if you have honest questions people are happy to help.

you are welcome to offer ideas imo. i wouldn't go waving your degrees around though. people who preface everything with their education can get annoying. (not saying you would do this! just a general suggestion)

the word threatened doesn't really sit well with me though--i don't see people being threatened by teachers being on the hs board. it really depends upon what you are suggesting, why you are suggesting it and all... what are your motivations on the forum?? if you are here to help, ask yourself if people need your help. if you are here to learn, then lurking and educating yourself is a good thing to do.

why do you want to dispel stereotypes about the public schools? how can you know they are stereotypes and not what people experienced. i homeschool, but mostly lurk in this forum. i would not want someone trying to "correct" my perceptions about public schools in this forum. that's is just my opinion.
post #4 of 28
I don't think the issue is that offering ideas is threatening; it's that they're often just not relevant to homeschooling, and many teachers get defensive when people tell them that.They are many teachers and former teachers here - I'm one of them - and IMO having a background as a tecaher is more often a liability than an asset.

As far as what you're calling stereotypes... nearly every poster here has first-hand experience with schools, as a student, and many also have experience as a teacher and a parent of a schooled child. When we talk about schools, we do know what we're talking about. If you're experience of schools differs, that's fine and I think you're welcome to say that, but it's not okay to dismiss others' experiences as stereotypes. If you have an investment in your identity as a teacher, I can see how some posts here would be difficult to read, but becoming a homeschooler will definitely require you to rethink some of your assumptions about school, imo...

I don't think you have to wait until your child is school-age to start posting, no. It would probably be wise to do a lot more reading than posting in the beginning, though.

Dar
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfmama
what are your motivations on the forum?? if you are here to help, ask yourself if people need your help. if you are here to learn, then lurking and educating yourself is a good thing to do.
I am here to learn and participate in discussions. Perhaps I should participate just a person and not as a teacher, kwim? I guess I assume that my experiences are just as valid, not more or less, than the next persons.

Quote:
why do you want to dispel stereotypes about the public schools? how can you know they are stereotypes and not what people experienced. i homeschool, but mostly lurk in this forum. i would not want someone trying to "correct" my perceptions about public schools in this forum. that's is just my opinion.
I would never tell someone that their personal experience is right or wrong. But when people generalize about anything which I have experience with, it irks me when they generalize completely to the negative. To me anyone who uses stereotypes, be they about race or ethnicity or where you live or how bad or good schools are, is just asking for someone to dispel them. I have literally taught in 40 or 50 schools, most as a sub, both private and public, so I have experience in this area. Just as I like to dispel stereotypes about the French, since I used to live there, I also think I am qualified to dispel stereotypes about schooling. And, that is very, very different from trying to tell someone not to homeschool. However, if this is absolutely not the place to do that, if that would come across as inappropriate or threatening to someone's ideals, then I will refrain.
post #6 of 28
Why do you have a need to believe that homeschoolers are *threatened* by schools and teachers? You keep using that word. Really, the opposite tends to be true, and your insistence on defending schools from even the possibility of criticism supports that idea.

It's very difficult to look critically at an institution that you've literally been part of for decades, as a student and later a teacher. If you're just here to defend schools, I'm not sure you'll get anywhere with that. I think you'd be better off listening and really thinking about what you hear, and realizing that your perceptions of schools have been shaped by years of propaganda and assumptions about learning that just aren't true. I would read John Taylor Gatto, too, the former New York State tecaher of the year: http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/index.htm

Dar
post #7 of 28
Word. I'm not "threatened" by anyone, especially just because they are/were a teacher. All of us here are teachers; many of us are formally trained teachers.

We are a diverse bunch, and we don't all agree all the time. A disagreement does not mean we are threatened by you; it just means we disagree. Of course your experiences as a teacher are valid, just as all of our experiences as teachers are valid. I don't know how applicable public school classroom management technique is to homeschooling. You share, and we'll let you know if we agree or disagree. But you don't get any sort of special weight on your opinion just because you are/have been a public school educator.

I would see someone coming to the homeschooling forum to dispel myths about the public school forum about as inappropriate as someone coming into the breastfeeding advocacy forum to dispel myths about formula, or the circumcision forum to dispel myths about circumsizing. Because there is an assumption there- the assumption that I don't know what I am talking about and that my opinion about the public school system are somehow invalid and I need to be "taught" the correct answer.
post #8 of 28
I think the people with the most challeneges toward homeschooling thier children are professional teachers. It is just two different worlds and it is hard to see home education as something completely and totally different than classroom educations.

I don't think being a teacher makes you insights invalid and appreciate your input. I for one enjoy a teachers perspective on some things.

If you are at home with your child and they are not in school then you are already homechooling and you experiances and insights are just as valid as anyone eles.

As for dispelling myths about PS i wouldn't even worry about trying. not a receptive audiance. and most of us have good reasons. Your classroom was probably great and you were probably a great teacher but it was still a classroom not a home and you were still a teacher and not a parent. many of us have problems with the whole classroom and teacher model of education.
post #9 of 28
It was my experience as a teacher and what I saw happening in public school that led us to homeschooling. I don't want my children in the public school system. Except for a few local battles when we've gone up against the school system and my "inside knowledge" has been useful, I've found being a trained educator to be a PITA. My dd thrives in a more relaxed, unstructured environment, so we lean towards unschooling but sometimes it's hard for me to ignore that nagging "teacher" voice in my head. I know families who do school at home and their kids don't enjoy learning any more than my child did when she was in school, so it's been very important for me to step away from my vocation and focus on my child instead.

I think everyone has something to contribute at every stage of hsing, but it's important to remember that true learning at homeschool looks very little like school at home or in the classroom. It follows a much more natural sequence than a forced curriculum.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
[*]Is it best to just lurk for a long time and wait to post until you actually start homeschooling?
I think, for most message boards, it's better to read a bit and get a sense of the board before posting, but that's just me. Lots of people jump right in. Certainly many people (including myself) posted on hsing boards before actually starting to hs.


Quote:
[*]Does my teaching experience qualify me to offer any ideas? I have taught in private and public schools, large and small, in a variety of settings. I have a masters of education. Or, would that seem threatening? I certainly would never tell anyone what to do, just offer ideas.
I've certainly disagreed with some posts, but I've yet to find any threatening. I'm not even sure where you're going with with that idea. Everyone offers ideas here, when they're asked. We don't ask for anyone's "qualifications." I do think it would be a problem if someone began posting as an "authority" simply because they are a teacher. It would sort of be like a conventional MD coming to a natural/homeopathic/herbal health board and offering ideas, I think.

[/QUOTE][*]Is there a way to politely dispel school stereotypes without appearing to be against homeschooling?
[/QUOTE]

School stereotypes? I'm trying to think if I've ever come across those here. As has been noted already, most of us have experience with schools. Most here have gone to schools and many have had our children in school for a time. Many of us discuss our experiences with school, so we're talking first-hand. School isn't some unknown where all we have to go on are stereotypes, but if you see any, go ahead and post. Maybe we can dispel some of the stereotypes *you* hold. I'm always up for a discussion.
post #11 of 28
I thought I was done.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
I am here to learn and participate in discussions. Perhaps I should participate just a person and not as a teacher, kwim? I guess I assume that my experiences are just as valid, not more or less, than the next persons.
Well, since this is a homeschooling board, I'd think participation as a person, rather than as a teacher, would be a good idea. Your experiences are just as valid as the next person's, but your experiences are with SCHOOL, which is very different from homeschooling.

If you re-read your posts here, and imagine that they're coming from a homeschooling parent and being posted on a teacher's bulletin board, how do you think they'd be received?

(for instance) "Does my homeschooling experience qualify me to offer any ideas? I have homeschooled all my children, throughout their school years, in a variety of settings. I have a masters degree. Or, would that seem threatening? I certainly would never tell anyone what to do, just offer ideas."
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie
Word. I'm not "threatened" by anyone,
:

AM you crack me up. WORD.

I don't mind hearing about stereotypes the OP feels are being tossed around. If they're unfair generalizations, let's hear them. I'm really curious.

Course, seems like most of the rest here don't want to hear them, so maybe a PM. Or the others can skip?
post #13 of 28
I want to know just what stereotypes the OP is referring to. I don't think I've ever seen one posted here other than in jest.
post #14 of 28
I am kinda curious about these sterotypes too. I would like to know what they are.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy
It was my experience as a teacher and what I saw happening in public school that led us to homeschooling. I don't want my children in the public school system. Except for a few local battles when we've gone up against the school system and my "inside knowledge" has been useful, I've found being a trained educator to be a PITA. My dd thrives in a more relaxed, unstructured environment, so we lean towards unschooling but sometimes it's hard for me to ignore that nagging "teacher" voice in my head. I know families who do school at home and their kids don't enjoy learning any more than my child did when she was in school, so it's been very important for me to step away from my vocation and focus on my child instead.

I think everyone has something to contribute at every stage of hsing, but it's important to remember that true learning at homeschool looks very little like school at home or in the classroom. It follows a much more natural sequence than a forced curriculum.
:
I am finding it very important to deschool and distance myself from my teaching experience!
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicaSAR
I am kinda curious about these sterotypes too. I would like to know what they are.
Come to think of it, so would I. :

I suspect, however, that any "stereotypes" on this board are actually people's real life experiences. I mean, I hardly see public educators or schooled children as a marginalized group suffering persecution.

But hey, if I am stereotyping I want to know about it. I certainly don't want to be party to creating an oppressive environment to those who don't choose to homeschool. :LOL
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Very interesting comments. I can now understand how coming in with a title "teacher" was offputting. I never thought of that. As for seeing things through my own frame of reference, well I don't think I am ever going to get away from that. I have been a teacher. I was a student for a long time before that, all in public schools. I can't remove myself from that frame of mine. I can only ask questions and learn from others as I explore new ways of thinking.

I think what I am realizing is that my perspective on schooling, be it in the public schools or private schools, is not that negative. I do not fully appreciate all the schools in my area because I do not think they have the funds to really teach the students right. That is the only reason I would consider homeschooling, to give my child a better education than the schools in my city can currently offer. But there are schools out there, even in my city, both public and private, that I think are awesome. I have seen some bad school situations but nothing so bad as to make me give up completely on schooling. So, perhaps my perspective is a bit too pro schooling and not enough pro homeschooling for this forum. Good thing to find out.

As for threatening, perhaps I am not using the right word. I do perceive that my posts have been taken offensively and I now understand why. It would be like a person who is kind of pro vaccine, kind of not, coming into the vaccine forum and saying "vaccines aren't that bad." KWIM?

I am not going to take your valuable time to list what I percieve as negative stereotypes of schooling I have seen in this forum. It would be kind of a "you say potatoes, I say potahtoes" kind of discussion. I have already realized I think differently and that this is not the forum for me. I think need to find a forum about alternative schooling, one that includes homeschooling but is not focused exclusively on it.

A sincere thank you to all you who took the time to help me understand why I was having trouble understanding this forum. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that. I means a lot to me to finally understand why this is not a place for me.

To the rest, well I am sorry I took some of your time.

Cheers!

Kathleen
post #18 of 28
Kathleen,

I would say your perspective is different simply because 1. you're not homeschooling and 2. your child has never been in public school. You don't have a real frame of reference yet. Public school and homeschool are two very different worlds. As far as walking away from your experience, it can be done. You do whatever works for your child.
post #19 of 28
For me, the issue really isn't good schools vs bad schools. I know some people start homeschooling to avoid "bad" schools, but homeschooling isn't at all like sending your child to a "good school", so it really requires an entire paradigm shift. So, yeah, if you want to discuss homeschooling and lump it in with Waldorf schooling and Magnet schools and other alternative programs, it won't really work.

I would love to hear CityMomx3's (I think I got the username right) take on this...

Dar
post #20 of 28
Well, it looks like you've already decided not to hang out on this forum, but I, for one, am interested in your perspective. I don't like the way the homeschool community and the public school system seem to be at odds with each other, and I think the only way to relieve some of the tension is through communication and understanding.

(I also have a grandmother who is a retired teacher...I haven't told her I'm homeschooling yet so your perspective might help to prepare me for that conversation!)
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