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Who is a homeschooler?

Poll Results: Who is a homeschooler?

 
  • 16% (20)
    The person with kids at or above the mandatory ps age
  • 13% (16)
    The person with kids who are at least kindergarten-aged where kindy is an optional program
  • 11% (14)
    The person with kids who are at least preschool-aged who plans to hs into later years
  • 37% (45)
    The person who plans on homeschooling (age irrelevant) and is gathering resources along those lines
  • 6% (8)
    All parents homeschool at some point just by virtue of spending time with their kids
  • 13% (16)
    Other (please explain)
119 Total Votes  
post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Based on our recent discussions, I'm curious how other people in this forum, outside of the handful of us that have been discussing it, define "homeschooler".
post #2 of 50
I chose "other" because I think it really depends on the perspective of the discussion.

If the subject of the conversation is homeschooling as an alternative to public/private schooling, you're comparing age-peer kids in vs. out of the school environment. I think it's only meaningful to include school-age children who are exclusively at home.

But, on a wider scale, I think we all teach our kids, from the day they're born (well, ok, from a few weeks later. They don't do much except eat, sleep and poop those first few weeks ) and every hour we're with our kids even if they spend many hours in school. I don't think that many public/private school parents consider themselves to be homeschoolers even though they may teach their kids a lot on their own; so it's not really exclusionary to leave them out. But many ps parents consider themselves forced to ps, due to work or whatever, and consider their kids *real* education to happen at night and on weekends when the parents are guiding them. In that case, I would call them homeschoolers who send their kids to the government's day care...
post #3 of 50
I went with "other" because I don't think this is something that can be externally defined. If someone self-defines as a homeschooler, I sure as heck am not going to tell them he or she is wrong. To do so would be a serious slight against afterschoolers, beforeschoolers, any parent acting upon or executing educational goals for their kids, really. In fact, I'm kind of alarmed at the zeal shown in some quarters for attempting to define some families out of homeschooing by drawing some kind of border around certain activities for certain age groups that happen at certain times of day.
post #4 of 50
i chose the first option, but i distinguish between homeschooling and homeschooling / unschooling.

unschooling is a way of life, it is not about 'schooling', it is about learning and dicovering, and following ones interests. i have been unschooling dd since she was born. i will label myself as a homeschooler, for the ease of reference to others, when she is mandatory school age.
post #5 of 50
I said, "other."

LEGALLY, you're not homeschooling until your child is of mandatory school age.

HOWEVER, I love that people with toddlers and little ones are getting involved with hsing groups. Around here, "everyone" has their kids in preschool from the age of 2 or 3, so there's great pressure. Having the support of a group of hsers means a lot and I think it might keep people from caving into the pressure to send their kids away. So, I feel good when I see families with little ones joining homeschooling groups and activities.

OTOH, I think the reason that preschool has become so accepted is that the more people did it, the more necessary it seemed. In the same way, we see mandatory school ages coming down, and now mandated preschool discussions, etc. etc. So there's the danger in people saying they're doing ANY sort of "school" (homeschool or preschool) with younger and younger children--it becomes seen as something expected, and pretty soon, instead of slings, 6 month olds will be expected to be in programs. But we seem to be headed in that direction anyway.

So, I guess for me, it only matters in the legal sense. I wouldn't want to see people identify themselves as homeschoolers when their kids are little, only to have the government start tracking and expecting records from them, yk?
post #6 of 50
When they are school age.

But then when people ask me if my preschoolers are in school, I like being able to shake up their view by saying no, he's only 3, or 4, or 5.
post #7 of 50
I put other. There is no better school than the home . Most people who feel they are homeschooling are probably right.
post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by chalupamom
I went with "other" because I don't think this is something that can be externally defined. If someone self-defines as a homeschooler, I sure as heck am not going to tell them he or she is wrong. To do so would be a serious slight against afterschoolers, beforeschoolers, any parent acting upon or executing educational goals for their kids, really. In fact, I'm kind of alarmed at the zeal shown in some quarters for attempting to define some families out of homeschooing by drawing some kind of border around certain activities for certain age groups that happen at certain times of day.
I agree with this and voted "other" as well.

I am frankly surprised at how eager some folks are to limit the definition. One of the things that I find so exciting about the homeschool movement is that it has refused to allow the state or other institutions to "define" what "schooling"/learning is. Yet, here are homeschoolers limiting and restricting what "homeschooling" is.
post #9 of 50
I went with other.

My kids are 3 and 20m.
I have researched a variety of school options including homeschooling, but am not sure what we will do.

For now I plan/am 'homeschooling' preschool, but may or may not homeschool later grades. What does that mean? It means I do a combination of free play, and structured play at homes. It means I try to engage my oldest in one class, and have passes to museums/zoo's. We do theme days/weeks on occasion. We do a lot of 'building' and 'construction'.

I try to make the environment very learning friendly, but not academic.

The idea is that by the time they are ready for K+, if we go to 'school', they'll know all or more than they need to.

Why do I consider this homeschooling as opposed to just typical SAHM stuff?

Because in this day, a HUGE percentage of kids go to school. I hear people say how, OH, MY child is sooo much more better off b/c they are going to daycare, or going to preschool. People now look at preschool as 'necessary'. With the culture change coming, keeping kids at home is outside the norm now... In addition, I try to encompass more than the 'norm'. Even their Christmas presents.. I try to do a balance of items... things that are physical, musical, construction, pretend, nurturing, art, etc.


SO... none of the choices above reflected my situation. PLus, it really just depends... if a person is making the conscious choice of homeschooling, well... then they probably are. :-)

Tammy
post #10 of 50
I've been formally homeschooling for a little over a year, and my dd is not qualified to start kindergarten until Fall 2006 b/c of her bday.
post #11 of 50
For those who chose: The person who plans on homeschooling (age irrelevant) and is gathering resources along those lines - so you believe that a person can be homeschooling even if her children are in school, because she's planning and preparing to take them out?

Dar
post #12 of 50
I voted, but for me, it really boils down to, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
For those who chose: The person who plans on homeschooling (age irrelevant) and is gathering resources along those lines - so you believe that a person can be homeschooling even if her children are in school, because she's planning and preparing to take them out?

Dar
I chose this option but it doesn't quite grasp what I feel. I didn't choose it because of the reason you questioned though. For me, the person who is planning on hs'ing and is gathering information is the parent of young children who knows she isn't going to put them in any formal schooling situation. I'm not sure about the parent who has already enrolled her children in school but plan on taking them out at some point in time.

I consider myself a homeschooler. My ds#1 is now 4, though I considered us homeschoolers when he was 2 & 3 because I knew that was what we were doing long term. Around here it's not unusual to have children in preschool at 3 (I was), and it's unusual not to have your child in preschool at 4. Legally, I'm not considered a homeschooler (well, private school teacher ) until ds#1 hits 6. But, I'm also not into limiting who is an who isn't a homeschooler based on legal definitions. Personally, imo, I don't see parents of young children who label what they do as homeschooling risking the academic future of others because TPTB might get wind of it and start saying, "See, we need mandatory preschool at age 3." Homeschooling, whether it be classical, relaxed, or radical unschooling, is a way of life no matter the age of the child. We choose to do things differently and buck the system in a way. I am proud of the homeschool label and get a little : when it's insinuated (and I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, just a general observation) that I'm not a "real" homeschooler because I have 2 more years before I legally have to declare anything regarding my son's education. We homeschool. Period. We started homeschooling the day ds#1 came home from the hospital (dh actually stayed up all night with him and read Dr. Seuss because it was a rough first night ).
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
For those who chose: The person who plans on homeschooling (age irrelevant) and is gathering resources along those lines - so you believe that a person can be homeschooling even if her children are in school, because she's planning and preparing to take them out?

Dar
I didn't even think of that option. Maybe I should have voted Other. Actually I was thinking of my own situation where my kids are not yet school age, but I very much consider us homeschoolers. I've planned on homeschooling since before my children were even born. For us it is a lifestyle.
post #15 of 50
I am one who voted homeschooling is when the child is at or above mandatory ps age.
I will say I am homeschooling my preschooler, but he is not doing anything than I did at his age, because I didn't go to preschool. I see preschool as an option, so I dont consider that to be a time of officially homeschooling.
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
For those who chose: The person who plans on homeschooling (age irrelevant) and is gathering resources along those lines - so you believe that a person can be homeschooling even if her children are in school, because she's planning and preparing to take them out?

Dar
Why not? Who says the transition has to be cold turkey?
post #17 of 50
This is the only option that I disagree with: All parents homeschool at some point just by virtue of spending time with their kids . All parents parent their kids, but not all parents homeschool. If you send your kids to school, you're not a homeschooler, you're a parent with kids in school. If you homeschool, you're a parent with kids who are homeschooled.
post #18 of 50
I'll admit I picked the first option. I homeschool my 7 year old; my younger kids aren't "schooled" yet. When ds was K age, we added more structure to our day and our learning, but he still wasn't schooled yet. We weren't doing what I consider school yet, so I didn't define us that way until first grade, when we started formal lessons.
post #19 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders
I chose this option but it doesn't quite grasp what I feel. I didn't choose it because of the reason you questioned though. For me, the person who is planning on hs'ing and is gathering information is the parent of young children who knows she isn't going to put them in any formal schooling situation.
Yes, that's what I meant when I wrote that option. Sorry it wasn't very clear.
post #20 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by chalupamom
I went with "other" because I don't think this is something that can be externally defined. If someone self-defines as a homeschooler, I sure as heck am not going to tell them he or she is wrong. To do so would be a serious slight against afterschoolers, beforeschoolers, any parent acting upon or executing educational goals for their kids, really. In fact, I'm kind of alarmed at the zeal shown in some quarters for attempting to define some families out of homeschooing by drawing some kind of border around certain activities for certain age groups that happen at certain times of day.
My thoughts exactly.
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