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Common Misconceptions about Homeschooling - Page 2

post #21 of 107
What I have noticed is that people seem to think that "school" teaches this body of knowledge that is necessary to live and function in the world, and that all the opportunities that "school" offers are, by their very nature, opportunities that all children should have to grow into a well-adjusted adult.

So people are worried that, for example, my kids won't learn what an oxbow lake is. (Honest! One of my friends really used this as an example!!) Or they won't get to participate in theater or sports.
post #22 of 107
When I told a (smart and pretty crunchy) friend recently that we plan on home educating, his incredulous response was:

"But will he still learn how to read and write?"



post #23 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy926
What I have noticed is that people seem to think that "school" teaches this body of knowledge that is necessary to live and function in the world, and that all the opportunities that "school" offers are, by their very nature, opportunities that all children should have to grow into a well-adjusted adult.

So people are worried that, for example, my kids won't learn what an oxbow lake is. (Honest! One of my friends really used this as an example!!) Or they won't get to participate in theater or sports.
This one amazes me too. I hear parents talking in awed tones about all the things their kids are learning in school. (Just talking -- not debating hs or anything.) The undercurrent seems to be "Wow, they'd *never* get that information outside of school." My dd is only 5 1/2 and she has absorbed so much interesting information *already* -- from books, tv, radio, overhearing conversations, asking questions, and a few overt lessons -- that I'm just as amazed as my schooling friends at her level of knowledge. An engaged kid from a literate family will learn a lot no matter where they are, but very few people (outside of homeschoolers) seem to understand this for some reason. I fully expect we will run across the concept of an oxbow lake eventually, but *I* didn't learn about oxbow lakes in public school. Good thing for my kids that I took a college geology class!
post #24 of 107
It seems to me that the most important factor in the success of a child's education, whether at school or at home, is the attitude of the parent that s/he passes on to the child regarding said education.

I taught in an apathetic, lower middle-class public high school for 5 years and I swear we were looked at more as a babysitting service by the parents, and guess what? Most of the kids didn't give a rat's behind about how well they did either. You're less likely to find that with homeschooling because it really takes a huge committment on the part of a parent to devote that kind of time and effort to their child every day. Look at the Staples commercial that comes on in August: the parents skip merrily down the school supplies aisle to the tune of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Again, babysitting...

I've thought about homeschooling my child(ren) a lot, although I ultimately think I will send them to school. I'm not anti-homeschooling, I'd just like to give conventional school a try, though I will spend a lot of time working with my kids at home - I don't think it's all the teacher's job. Hoenstly, I think how my kid(s) do in school is more contingent upon me and my husband.

A lot of the mainstream has that knee-jerk reaction to anything different...homeschooling, non vaxing, breastfeeding, etc etc etc. Think of all of the misconceptions about moms who b-feed past a year or so, or to non-vaxers...

Not exactly what the OP was asking for but my $.02 anyway.
post #25 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv my 2 sweeties
The undercurrent seems to be "Wow, they'd *never* get that information outside of school."
Sorry if you've already seen this story here somewhere, but this makes me think of an incident just as I had decided to homeschool our son. He was in the 1st grade, and it was a very bizarre year. He was sick a lot, and one time when he was home, he was lying on the floor staring at a very dry high school physics class that was being broadcast on a public channel. The teacher was standing in front of a white board, and droning on with no enthusiasm. I thought to myself, "Poor little guy. He's so burned out that all he wants to do is completely veg out and stare at the TV." A few days later, after I'd decided to homeschool, I was at the kitchen sink when I noticed him talking to his dad over in the living room. He was waving his little arms around and talking very intensely. His dad was staring at him with what seemed a certain amount of alarm. He came into the kitchen awhile after that and said "Um...are you sure we really want to take him out of that school? I mean...do you realize what they're teaching them? In 1st grade! He was just in there explaining theory of atomic structure to me!" I cracked up. He had learned that the day he was sick - from that TV show - simply because it had struck his imagination - and it wouldn't have been at all the same if they'd been trying to teach it to him in that school. He hadn't had worksheets or quizzes - he had just been told something and - : miracle of miracles - his human brain and imagination had absorbed it without anyone standing over him seeing that he did it right! I think one of the most bizarre misconceptions about learning is that other people's learning needs to be orchestrated! Lillian
post #26 of 107
What always gets me is that everyone, it seems, knows a hs'ing family that has a 15 year old that can't read or some other such thing--like that has anything to do with me or is a representation of the homeschooling "norm" (a hilarious oxymoron in itself). Their concern is, "How do we know that homeschooled kids are learning the basics?"

I always think, "How do you know that public schooled kids are? Have you ever checked out illiteracy rates in this country? Where do you think *those* people came from? I'll betcha few were homeschooled."

Instead of worrying about the education of homeschooled kids, why not focus on the fundamentally screwed up ps system?
post #27 of 107
I guess the one that bothers me most is when people feel like a child will not understand or be able to deal with conflict when they are homeschooled.

Homeschooled children DO have their daily conflicts and problems to solve whether it's with siblings or groups of friends. What's different about it though is they usually get to learn how to solve them in a more constructive way since there is usually a caring adult nearby to guide them if it gets ugly.

Many schooled children, when confronted with bullying or unhealthy conflicts learn either to relent and act passively or to become bullies themselves. It's a survival thing. When they get out in to the big world, do we want a bunch of bullies or do we want people to resolve conflict in a healthy way with discussion, compassion, and logic?

I run an afternoon art studio for public schooled kids and when I see kids picking on others, I address it right away and I have to say, the kids doing the picking, seem actually relieved when I get all over them. It's like they have fallen into this roll at school and they don't know how to get out of it. When they know it won't be tolerated, it frees them up to be the sweet kid they are.

I think because of the ratio of adults to kids at school, so much unhealthy behavior goes on unnoticed. That is sad. It should be a time when a child's self esteem gets built up, not broken down.

I feel like that is why we may be seeing people act out their anger in such bad ways anymore where they take lives, commit suicide, or hurt themselves or others. They never got the chance to learn how to deal with anger. They get to the point where they explode. I would think that next to alcoholics anonymous and narcotics anonymous we may see anger groups forming in the future. Anyway, my point is that adults who defend this in public school see it as learning to deal with the punches of life and that is a good thing. I disagree.
post #28 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasha_girl
What always gets me is that everyone, it seems, knows a hs'ing family that has a 15 year old that can't read or some other such thing--like that has anything to do with me or is a representation of the homeschooling "norm" (a hilarious oxymoron in itself). Their concern is, "How do we know that homeschooled kids are learning the basics?"
Funny you should mention that, because just the other day I read an email by an old friend who's son didn't effectively read till he was 16 (his sister, on the other hand, read at a usual age, and is in grad school right now on full scholarship). But the gist of the Dad's post about his son was that this boy has the whole world open to him. He and his girlfriend worked and saved money to go to Europe where they're working on organic farms for room and board through a group called World Opportunities on Organic Farms. They started in Ireland and are now in France. He spent his 21st birthday in Monaco and worked on a 400-1000 year old stone house and olive orchard in Nice. They went to Paris for Christmas and New Years and are now on their way to Amsterdam and then to Munich. He has an active interest in various kinds of bikes and alternative transportation and his dad feels he could help get people off our addiction to cars, or could be an artist, or continue his work with an outdoor teen adventure business. Or who knows - maybe all of those or something else. So you just never know what's really going on in other people's lives - sometimes what meets the eye or ear is just one facet of the jewel. Lillian
post #29 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasha_girl
Instead of worrying about the education of homeschooled kids, why not focus on the fundamentally screwed up ps system?


And just THINK about the vast number of children that are affected by that whole mess compared to the numbers of children who might be affected by an inadequate education at home. Even if we were ALL screwing it up, we'd still be a drop in the bucket. It's absolutely astounding that people keep looking at our small numbers and supposedly worrying that we might turn out some "failures" into society. Good grief! The audacity! - Lillian
post #30 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J


Funny you should mention that, because just the other day I read an email by an old friend who's son didn't effectively read till he was 16 (his sister, on the other hand, read at a usual age, and is in grad school right now on full scholarship). But the gist of the Dad's post about his son was that this boy has the whole world open to him. He and his girlfriend worked and saved money to go to Europe where they're working on organic farms for room and board through a group called World Opportunities on Organic Farms. They started in Ireland and are now in France. He spent his 21st birthday in Monaco and worked on a 400-1000 year old stone house and olive orchard in Nice. They went to Paris for Christmas and New Years and are now on their way to Amsterdam and then to Munich. He has an active interest in various kinds of bikes and alternative transportation and his dad feels he could help get people off our addiction to cars, or could be an artist, or continue his work with an outdoor teen adventure business. Or who knows - maybe all of those or something else. So you just never know what's really going on in other people's lives - sometimes what meets the eye or ear is just one facet of the jewel. Lillian
Slightly OT: Is this the same as Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF)? I went to the UK with them when I was 20, which led to a whole long chain of events, which eventually led to me meeting my DH. Definitely a great organization.
post #31 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by eternal_grace
Slightly OT: Is this the same as Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF)? I went to the UK with them when I was 20, which led to a whole long chain of events, which eventually led to me meeting my DH. Definitely a great organization.
Yes! He called it Woofing! Must be the same thing! Lillian
post #32 of 107
Quote:
So people are worried that, for example, my kids won't learn what an oxbow lake is. (Honest! One of my friends really used this as an example!!)
So..what is an oxbow lake? I honestly don't know.

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasha_girl
Instead of worrying about the education of homeschooled kids, why not focus on the fundamentally screwed up ps system?

Originally posted by Lillian J:

Quote:
And just THINK about the vast number of children that are affected by that whole mess compared to the numbers of children who might be affected by an inadequate education at home. Even if we were ALL screwing it up, we'd still be a drop in the bucket. It's absolutely astounding that people keep looking at our small numbers and supposedly worrying that we might turn out some "failures" into society. Good grief! The audacity! - Lillian
Today 07:40 PM
Oh, how I love this! I almost wish I knew more people who questioned homeschooling just so I could use this argument.
post #33 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy926
What I have noticed is that people seem to think that "school" teaches this body of knowledge that is necessary to live and function in the world, and that all the opportunities that "school" offers are, by their very nature, opportunities that all children should have to grow into a well-adjusted adult.

So people are worried that, for example, my kids won't learn what an oxbow lake is.
I went to public school, then to college, then to Harvard for grad school.

I am neither well-adjusted nor do I know what an oxbow lake is. :
post #34 of 107
Quote:
So people are worried that, for example, my kids won't learn what an oxbow lake is. (Honest! One of my friends really used this as an example!!) Or they won't get to participate in theater or sports.
I went to public and private schools, and graduated with honors from a prestigious University. I never participatd in theater or sports, and have no idea what an oxbow lake is!
post #35 of 107
Okay, those of you who would prefer on general principle to not know what an oxbow lake is at this point in your lives, which I think is kind of tempting, just go on to the next post and don't scroll down... But I finally had to Google it! - Lillian


















"A crescent-shaped body of standing water formed from a single loop that was cut off from a meandering stream, typically by a flood that allowed the stream to flow through its floodplain and bypass the loop."
post #36 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J
"A crescent-shaped body of standing water formed from a single loop that was cut off from a meandering stream, typically by a flood that allowed the stream to flow through its floodplain and bypass the loop."

Ahhh, thank you Lillian. Now my life is complete.
post #37 of 107
And now I know... the rest of the story. Or at least what an oxbow lake is.

I was homeschooled (for most of my schooling) myself... so I heard all those comments directed at my parents. I'm pretty well-adjusted IMO. I am a little on the shy side with people I don't know, but I think that is more to do with my personality than how I was schooled. My brother is really outgoing and "despite" being homeschooled is involved in all sorts of community events. He's 18 now... spent his HS years learning to do lights and sound for local music events, participating in community theatre and local youth events, taking building trade classes at the community learning center, taking Tae Kwon Do classes, working a part-time job, yada yada. Didn't study for the GED, but passed it with a score high enough to get a gold certificate (I think that might be the top 2% or 5% of all those tested). Sounds like he's really suffered, eh? :

My kids are involved in a playgroup (handful of families) formed when my oldest was 9 months old. We all met online and over 4 years later we're still meeting pretty regularly. Most of her playmates are in preschool but one other family is HS'ing too so we're beginning to plan our own little field trips together. We're purchasing a membership to the nearby hands-on Museum, a really cool place. We go to the Library twice a week on average (and just appeared in a newspaper article about visiting the Library). We travel 30 minutes to go to the health food store and places to buy natural/Organic foods. We go to the mall sometimes to walk around and eat at Chick-fil-A or Auntie Anne's. My parents live in a "farm" outside of town- they have a Sheltie, a cat and four goats (one is pregnant again). Someday the timing will work out so dd can witness a goat birth! The kids can enjoy being outside at my mom's place, and she's very knowledgeable about birds, plants, trees, bugs etc so my kids learn a lot from her. We usually buy an annual pass to the State Parks in Indiana, the closest one is 15 minutes away where there's trails, playgrounds, a lake, a nature center, wildlife and more.

My kids suffer so badly ... imagine that they could just sit in a classroom all day and wish they were doing all the fun things they actually do get to do.
post #38 of 107
How *any* of you call yourselves educated without knowing about oxbow lakes is beyond me! (kidding, of course! )

Seriously though: I just realized something about my own knowledge of oxbow lakes that is relevant to homeschooling. In an earlier post, I said I learned about them in college geology. It's true that I first heard the term there, but I bet I would not remember those few minutes in that one lecture, if I had not seen an oxbow lake for myself soon thereafter. The professor told us about an oxbow lake near our campus that could be viewed from a nearby mountian-top look out. The next time I was at the look-out, I spotted the lake. Inside the visitor center at the look-out was a 19th century photograph taken at the time the lake was formed (when the river by-passed the loop). I'm certain it was those "real-life" experiences -- merely brought to my attention by a lecture -- that cemented the knowledge of oxbow lakes in my mind.

We still visit the mountian top look-out from time to time when we are traveling in Massachussetts, which is why I said that I'm sure oxbow lakes will come up for my kids eventually -- I will *show* them one!

I might also mention, that this thread is the only opportunity I have had in 15 years to even *mention* my knowledge of oxbow lakes, let alone use it!
post #39 of 107
What a timely post.

Let's see:
-I'm a control freak and what to control what my son does and does not learn.
-I have no rules in my house and I am teaching my son to live in a world without rules
-I'm anti-public school children
-Do not want my son to grow up
-He has no friends
-He will not know how to socialize with people from different walks of life because he is kept at home
-He will not learn life lessons (wtf is a life lesson?)
-teaching is a professional job and should be done by a professional not a parent, such as a you shouldn't be your own doctor. We have professionals for a purpose. :

The first 2 make me since they are such opposites, but I had the same person tell me this. I guess I'm a control freak with a no rules home. Who knew.
post #40 of 107
I don't consider us to be homeschooling yet, but I beleive we are headed in that direction. The misconception most of my friends have (and I have to admit that I fall prey to this misconception sometimes as well on our "bad" days) is that homeschooling parents *LOVE* every minute of every day with their kids, and must be soooo much more patient, loving, and capable than the normal good parent. I guess it is just hard to picture things being more manageable than they are now with a challenging toddler, and sometimes I feel crazy for looking forward to signing myself up for years and years of struggles. Any reassurance? I know this is a misconception, and I do think we would do well homeschooling together, but still...
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