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Why homeschool?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello all,
I am new here....

I have a 4yo dd who I am considering many options for.

I would love to homeschool on one hand as I don't like the way our educational system has become so institutionalized. I also dont like the pressures kids face in a typical school enviroment. In addition, I believe strongly at each child learning at a pace that is best for he/she...etc...

I also struggle b/c my dd is an only child. We have sort of let nature determine whether we have another, and it hasn't happened.

I really want her to make friends in the 'hood' and it seems so hard these days. Also, I feel that I may not be able to give her what she needs academically?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts/reasons?

post #2 of 21

I can tell you from my own expereinces that homeschooling has been a wonderful thing for our children. My oldest child attended public school for his first few years of school. We are in one of the top school districts in our state. While he learned well academically I felt that the rest of it was really a waste. He was not getting any personal attention and by third grade had figured out that if you do the minimum then you get by. He's also the type of kid that asks LOTS of questions so he was labeled ADD and they told us he would have to go into special ed!!! The kid was reading HUGE chapter books by first grade and doing algebra in second grade. He honestly isn't even close to ADD. He's just inquisative! Anyway, I decided to pull him out and give it a try. He is doing so much better. We're at the end of our second year homeschooling. He will never go back and his siblings will never attend PS.

As far as socialization goes, we belong to two homeschooling groups and do many other activities in the community. That gets us around a variety of other people. I love that it's not just kids that are their age, either. They learn how to deal with people of all ages and in many different settings.

I think my kids are learning just as much academic stuff and more about the real world then they ever could in any school.

Just my humble opinion!
post #3 of 21
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much guys. Keep it comin!
post #5 of 21

Re: Why homeschool?

First, "ditto" what everyone else said. :-)

Originally posted by Devi
I feel that I may not be able to give her what she needs academically?

This is something that concerned me prior to our decision to homeschool. But I'm no longer concerned about that. The homeschool setting is so very different than that of a classroom. In school, the system is: Teacher obtains the information and then feeds it to the children. So, in order to meet the academic requirements of the school, yes, the teacher would have to have a handle on the subject matter first, in order to teach it.

When you're homeschooling, it's very different. First, what she "needs" academically is not dictated by the doe or any other outside force. It's up to you and your child. Also, the child has a strong hand in his/her own learning. If you follow her interests, you don't need to know the information first--you just need to be able to help her to find it.

It's easy to see how this works if you look at how an adult goes about learning a new skill. Say, for instance, I was interested in learning to draw. I might take out some "how to" books from the library...or I might sign up for a class...or I might find an artist to mentor/coach me...I might go to lots of art shows or gallerys...I'd definately draw/sketch a lot.

Children can learn this same way--their mothers wouldn't have to be artists themselves, they would just need to be willing and able to help their child get to the resources they needed.
post #6 of 21
I have some grown children that have been homeschooled their whole lives, and they know an alful lot more that what I could have taught them! Even my younger ones that are still at home unschooling know things I have never taught them. Just remember that the world is your classroom and there is no limit to what one can learn. There are so many resources out there for home education now that we didn't have when we started. With the internet you have so much information at your fingertips! You don't have to know it yourself to help your child learn it.

As far as socialization goes, IMHO peer socialization is pretty over-rated to begin with. Let your child learn to socialize in natural social settings where moms and children gather, or other social events where people of all ages naturally mingle. If you really think your child needs to have some interaction with groups of children their own age, join a homeschool support group or sign your child up for afterschool gymnastic classes or community theater, or some such thing.

You will find it is easier than you think!

post #7 of 21
If you know how to read you can teach your child at home. That is what a teachers manul is for although I am sure you are more creative than that

A for the socialization . I think most homeschoolers are so over concerned with that that thier children end up over socialized. i know we never stop with the socialization (which i think we are going to hve to change) As for meewting kids in the neighberhood. How many of those kids do you think you child would really meet in school anyway. How many are actually in the same grade? Of the few that are they will be split into 4-8 different classes. They are more likely to meet playing outside in thier yard than they are on the playground. The only people I knew in my neighberhood were the ones i road the bus with and there is now way I would let my dd ride the bus to school (horrible memories)
post #8 of 21
<<Also, I feel that I may not be able to give her what she needs academically?>>

I'm learning a ton along with my kids and getting really excited and interested in things again. Because we read real books and do all sorts of cool projects, I get to learn now all things that I didn't learn in school. I always found history and science boring in school, now I love them. I go over lists of great books for kids and request them from our library. We take lots of lots of field trips. We do very cool hands on science projects. If a book mentions a song, I try to track down the CD from our library.

If you can read, you can do this. My older DD would be in K this year. The stuff they are doing in school is a complete joke compared to what we are doing at home. It isn't because my DD is gifted, it is just because she has wide access to the world of ideas.
post #9 of 21
I have to second all the other replys and add that for us a big reason is time with our kids. It really helps our relationships just knowing each other so well (although of course there are times I need a break to myself, but not for 6 hours every day). I also like the freedom for my kids to do different activities they are interested in and still have time together as a family. If they were in school all day and then wanted to do ballet or karate or soccer they would be really hectic and we wouldn't have much time together as a family.
For me I like the socialization that we have found from hs groups and mom and kid groups a lot better than what I think kids get at school. For one thing we are meeting people as families and so there is some relationship with the other kids parents as well. It's great when you find kids who like each other and moms who like each other to hang out with. I need some socialization myself, maybe more than my kids. Also I like that with hs groups they meet kids of all different ages, not just their own. It's neat to see how the big ones teach and look out for the little ones. We started doing stuff with hs groups when my oldest was about 3 because everyone else was headed to preschool and I wanted us to meet folks who were staying home so it wouldn't seem abnormal to her. HS groups don't seem to be so cliquey and have the negative teasing and peer pressure aspect of the playground. I've heard some critics say hs kids are missing out on that, but with the rates of eating disorders, low self esteem, drugs etc I am glad to have my kids miss out on it. They may someday come across these things in the world, but these things are introduced at really young ages now when kids don't have the skills or resources for such decisions. At home we can build a solid foundation of thinking for yourself (not taught in schools, in fact seems blatantly discouraged in most cases). If you can read and write, and find how fun it can be to learn for yourself, you will be fine. (Library and computer help) Kids need certain skills to get by as adults and given real life experiences and choices they will see the reasons and what they need. Best wishes.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
I think I am convinced. Now where to begin. Any books you can recommend, curriculum, etc...???

Thank you so much ladies. I will let my dh read your posts so I can 'educate' him to the many benefits.

One more ?, how long to you intend to homeschool?

post #11 of 21

Why? Because it works

An ability to read AND a true love for your children ~ pretty simple job requirements. You know this, as you've already been homeschooling for four years . . . is it working? do you love it? do you cringe at the very thought of it ending? If you answer yes, you can keep this job as long as you want it
My kids are 6.5 and 4.5, I can imagine our life differently, but not better. I've got the very best corner of the world and though I may long for 8 hours of escape everyday, I couldn't do it ~ I love my current job too much. I'm a joyful unschooler. We live life and learn constantly. I've invested a bit in a few pieces of curriculum, but we're definately NOT a *school-at-home* family.
I feel that I may not be able to give her what she needs academically?
Do you think that a *school* will give her what she *needs* academically? You understand that what she is taught in school is what is on the list of what *should* be learned this year. There is no thought given to the true academic needs of the individual (regular ed) student. There is no patience for the child who isn't ready to read until they're 8, they're labeled, categorized and pigeonholed. Plenty of evidence abound that this child is right on track developmentally, but doesn't fit into the *school mold* What I'm getting at is as your child's parent you WILL be (already ARE) more intuned to what she needs and WILL be able to provide for her (including finding a good source for information you don't personally have) for as long as the homeschooling relationship works for you.
I recommend you read some John Holt ~ his original works were of the opinion that schools can change and this is how they should be and WHY; he eventually realized this could not happen and became a great advocate of homeschooling. The Unschooling Handbook is wonderful, unschooling.com, Sandra Dodd, Waldorf Homeschoolers . . .
Read, read, read and remember to enjoy your time at home
~diana ild
post #12 of 21
Originally posted by Devi
I think I am convinced. Now where to begin. Any books you can recommend, curriculum, etc...???
Anything by John Holt, The Unschooling Handbook, Homeschooling our Children Unschooling Ourselves, Home Education Magazine. For something with a little more structure, Home Learning Year by Year or Getting Started on Home Learning by Rebecca Rupp.

Originally posted by Devi
One more ?, how long to you intend to homeschool?

Forever. Or until one of the children wants to go to school (that's difficult to imagine right now, but I suppose it's possible.) I personally believe that they should have the choice, though I don't know how popular this idea is. When we first started, my children were asking to be homeschooled (they both had been to school.) I said at first that we'd take it one year at a time, but now we're in it for life.

post #13 of 21
I would also recommend _The Well-trained Mind_ as a good overview of a more academic approach. I don't recommend following it exactly as outlined--I don't think that even the author's do that, but it can be a good "skeleton plan" if you want a somewhat more structured academic approach. I do recommend that you read at least read some of the suggested unschooling materials, too. Even if you use a more traditional approach in the end, it's important to realize how broad learning is and to give your kids time and space to pursue their own interests.

And one of the factors that makes me want to homeschool was an experience I had in 3rd grade. A kidney infection kept me out of school for about 2 months. For the first 3-4 weeks I did nothing school-like--I wasn't supposed to sit for long periods and my parents also had a hard time finding a tutor. So I had a tutor for maybe 2-3 weeks. I think she came 2-3 times a week for an hour and I worked independently in between (I know I memorized my multiplication tables during that time). I came back to school ahead of my class in every subject. I realized that going to school was not a very efficient way to learn. I longed to be challenged during those years, and I so rarely was.

post #14 of 21
You know, all of the latest research suggests that the best way to keep teens out of "trouble" (you know, drugs, unplanned parenthood, etc) is a good relationship with parents. What better reason to homeschool?
I plan on homeschooling all the way through.
One book I liekd when I was just starting out was The Complete Idiot's Guide to Homeschooling
I highly recommend getting in touch with your state's homeschooling organization- they may have their own materials that talk spoecifically about state laws.
post #15 of 21
If you would like your child to have friends in the neighborhood, consider first why they already don't have neighborhood playmates. If you don't normally socialize with your neighbors there is prob a reason why and just because the kids are the same age won't make them friends even if they are in the same class at school. Our kids have best friends in the neighborhood they play with and that come over regularly, the fact we homeschool has not stopped these kids from all playing together or being friends. In fact our house in prob the one on the block kids are most likely to be at after school or on sat afternoons.
If you join a hs support group to do a couple activities and occasionally go to the neighborhood playground, your child will meet other kids. As far as meeting their academic needs - we have never had any problems, the homeschooled kids we meet that are not working at grade level for their age would not be working at their grade level if they were at school anyway. Most of the kids work well above and have areas of interest that are developed that would not be if the child did not have the free time to pursue them. Todays curriculums are very available, reasonable, reviews are found all over the internet and in catalogues. I like the Rainbow Resources catalog, it is thick, free, and gives lots of details, they are online. I like Home educatipon magazine, check out your library for that.
We are hsing as long as it is the best choice and so far that has included homeschooling up to the second yr of highschool which is much easier IMHO then hsing the elementary years. HTH
mom to four wonderful kids 14, 9, 5, and 3
just back from a weekend adventure
post #16 of 21
I don't know if this has been mentioned but my all tme favorite homeschooling book is "The Unschooling Handbook". EVen if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that unschooling is not for you I still reccomend this book. It will give you tons of encouragement and woill really help you relax about how qualified you are. It is a fun and easy read too. i reccomend getting a copy of the Eligha Company catalog. It is free and gives you and over view of some funeducational stuff as well as a wealth of unbiased information about different ways to educate your children at home.
post #17 of 21
There are as many different ways to homeschool as their are families that homeschool. There isn't one right way, there is just what works best for your family.

My favorite thing about this board is that there are so many different kinds of homeschoolers and unschoolers here.

One of my favorite books about homeschooling is the "Homeschooling Book of Answers" by Dobson. Another good one is "Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Make Sense" by Gutterson.

My kids are 4 and 6 and we use Five in a Row. It is unit studies based on great childrens' books. My kids love FIAR and never want to take breaks. Here is a link to the WEB site.

For math we use Singapore. My 4 year old is currently doing Early Bird 1 and really enjoys it. (She likes it best if she only sees it once a week, though.)

My 4 year old is learning her letter sounds using the Explode the Code primer books and Reading Reflex.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 


Thanks to all of you for the great feedback. I am really feeling good about 'not' sending her to school (at least not right now). I appreciate the confidence and suggestions you gave me, and I am really looking forward to learning more, and really digging in.

post #19 of 21
post #20 of 21
We desided after our DD went to school for a few years. What finally changed our minds was the fact that the school was only going to teach for the AIMS test. (high school grad test) I said NO WAY!!! There is just way to much stuff for her to learn. So we went the homeschool path. I am so happy we did.
We found a GREAT homeschool group that meets 2x a week. The kids play so nice together... the older kids with the younger. I LOVE IT!! (that is stuff you don't really see to often in schools... the kids are pretty separated)

I would suggest you find a homeschool group you like and start going. There are a lot of kids too young for public school that go (at least to ours) who are only children.

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