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High School teacher doesn't get homeschooling - Page 3

post #41 of 127
OK, I'll bite. A lot of people in my area homeschool for religious reasons, but we are devoutly secular. My 11 y.o. went to school through 2nd grade. He had wonderful K and 1st grade teachers. His 2nd grade teacher was clearly going through the motions, and even though my kid was the only one selected for their "gifted" program his teacher delighted in harassing him about the poor quality of his penmanship. To this day it's a struggle to get him to write anything down, and he doesn't know cursive. I figure as long as he can sign his name, he'll be OK.

There was no particular trauma that led me to take him out of school. He was pretty well-adjusted socially. I started noticing, though, that when he came home he would tell me about books he'd read during lunch or the designated socialization time, i.e., "recess." Nothing about what he'd been taught by the teacher. He wasn't interested in sports, which meant he was hanging out on his own during recess. It didn't seem to bother him, but it got me to thinking: how exactly is he benefitting from this experience? His best learning was happening during the soft spots in the school day schedule. Why not make the whole day a soft spot?

Lucky for me, my life situation allowed me to homeschool him. A lot of people need public schools, and who knows? I may once again be one of them someday, but I sure hope not.

I think there is a big misconception that homeschoolers are trying to create "superior" or "advanced" children. Not true! Because we are relaxed homeschoolers (moving rapidly toward unschooling), I can guarantee that there are some subjects in which my son would likely test below grade level. There are other subjects that he's very well-versed in, having demonstrated a passion for learning more. As he grows older and I see the person he's becoming, it's clear to me that he needs fairly minimal instruction. I'm just there to assist as necessary. I have had absolutely no success in shoving it down his throat (although I still am guilty of it when it comes to certain subjects). When he feels a drive to learn something, he'll do it. I'm continually amazed by the things he knows that I had nothing to do with teaching him.

I'm not even going to respond to the socialization question. Why so many people see public school as a real social outlet really boggles my mind.

I don't care about getting him into college when he's sixteen. I don't care whether he ever learns to write cursive. I care about producing a well-adjusted, happy, self-sufficient and empathetic adult -- and public school is certainly not the only way to do that.

Read John Taylor Gatto and try running a few Google searches.
post #42 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
Here's what I really don't get. For those of you who are homeschooling, what do you do to ensure your child is socialized with a diversity of people and ideas? A family friend is homeschooling her two daughters in a sort of collective living community, but everyone who lives in that community has the same values and ideas that she and her husband have.
The local homeschooling group (covering about 3 counties) is far more diverse than the local public school (which covers 1 town.) It's certainly more diverse than the private school my children would otherwise be attending.

If my children are going to be away from me for 30+ hours a week, it needs to be in an environment that will reinforce the values taught at home, not one that weakens them. With homeschooling, we meet all kinds of people from all different religions and backgrounds, and learn to appreciate their perspectives, without weakening our own family's values.

When I was growing up and attending public schools and State University, for the most part I spent time with people like me. Especially at the high school level, there was almost no diversity going on

Quote:
The author's opinion seemed to be a complete abandonment of her role as a parent in a school community. She mentioned not wanting her children to be guinea pigs, but to really be a school only experiment that would require her to abandon her role as educator via being a parent altogether. So, you don't think your child is being challenged enough and your child's teacher doesn't on his/ her own create an independent study program for him/ her? What are you doing at home to supplement his/ her education?
When my kids were in public school, I tried to supplement their education at home. It didn't work very well. they were tired after a long day at school, but they still had homework to do. Much of the academic work, both in school and homework, was busywork. They were getting turned off to learning because they associated it with "being taught". What they lacked most was time to play and just be children.

How would adding in MORE academics on top of all that busywork help them in any way? What they needed was to do their own work at their own pace and their own level, without all the wasted time while the rest of the class caught up, and then have more time to explore the world and just "be."
Quote:
What I'm trying to get at here, is that some parents are blessed with a fantastic education, wonderful parenting skills, and sharp kids. The rest of the country needs you to be a leader in public school reform Why do you assume that mixing with those who you believe are inferior, will somehow mar you and your family by association?
I'm not being an elitest, and I'm not afraid of "inferior people maring my family by association."

I don't think that the kinds of socialization schools provide is healthy for many children. There's way too much peer pressure to conform and too little respect for individual variations. I don't want my son to lose his sensitivity in the name of "conforming" and "becoming more masculine." When talking to his kindergarten teachers about problems with other students, they explained that there's only so much they can do with 15 little kids and 2 adults- there's a certain kind of interaction that goes on with so many children the same age. I don't like that kind of interaction or the way my son is learning how to behave.

It's extremely difficult to explain to young children why we don't celebrate Halloween when the rest of their classmates are getting all excited about it. It's difficult to explain to an older child why she can't go to school on a Jewish holiday, even though there's a test or field trip schedualed that day.

Public school reform might address the issues of busywork and academic challenges, but it will never be able to address my concerns about socialization. Nor will reform help a family who practices a non-mainstream religion keep their children from feeling left out (or weaken the children's faith as they feel pulled in two different directions.)

I feel absolutely no responsibility for improving public schools. They simply do not meet the needs of Orthodox Jewish families the way that Jewish Day Schools do. My choices are to either homeschool or find a way to afford tuition.
post #43 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I am predjudiced against insulting posts by new posters. I am an imperfect MDCer.
And I seem to be unable to resist getting sucked into threads like this because I have a burning desire to educate people who seem interested in but ignorant of a topic I care about. :

Hm, burning desire to educate ... I think I get this from my mom. She's a teacher. :
post #44 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel View Post
And I seem to be unable to resist getting sucked into threads like this because I have a burning desire to educate people who seem interested in but ignorant of a topic I care about. :

Hm, burning desire to educate ... I think I get this from my mom. She's a teacher. :
My issue is that I smell olltrays everywhere.
post #45 of 127
I had to pop back in because I've been thinking about the anger directed towards those who choose not to use schools. I've never quite understood where that's coming from.

jaspergirl,
Do you feel just as angry at those who choose private schools?

Do you feel just as angry towards those who don't have kids and are not involved in the school system?

Do you feel just as angry towards those who's kids have outgrown the system and are therefore no longer active in the school system?

Or is it just homeschoolers? Why?

Our government funds and runs many programs. Quite a few could use reform. Do you feel people are obligated to be actively engaged in causing reform of other programs, or just school programs? (I'm thinking cps, wic, welfare, etc. all of which effect children and their futures.)

We all have our pet projects and "causes." I've never had anyone tell me that I should spend my time and energy on any one over another--except for people who tell me I "should" be involved in reforming schools. I don't really understand why I would be required to do so.

Public schools are available to all, but we're not obligated to use them. I think it's up to those who choose to use the schools to make them what they want them to be.
post #46 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
But, I must say, by the time students reach high school they and their parents are only concerned with getting a grade and passing.
There is one of the first problems with PS. If you aren't given grade and you don't move on to the next thing until you are ready it is more likely that the love of learning will be maintained.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
There seems to be a commonly held belief among parents at our school that once students reach high school they are grown and don't need as much parental involvement anymore.
Parental involvement is not wanted by PS. When my son started in PS I was not allowed to walk him to his classroom on the first day because parents are not allowed on campus. I had to apply to be a classroom volunteer which involved an extensive background check and took three months to approve me. There is one field trip a year which parents have no say in and the PTO meets once a month and their only goal is to raise money for the school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
what do you do to ensure your child is socialized with a diversity of people and ideas?
Ahhhhh, the S-word! You are under the impression that we lock our children in the basement and plan all of their play dates. There is diversity in the world. We are in the world. Shopping, Museums, Science Center, Co-ops, Classes, Park Days, Art Club, Chess Club, etc. Therefore, we are exposed to diversity. We are also free to study diversity if we want because we aren't bound to some pre designed list of "must know by"s. If my son wants to learn about the MIddle East in third grade I'm not going to tell him, "Oh, I'm sorry. We don't learn about that until 7th grade!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
Public education was originally designed as a factory model to teach to the lowest common denominator.
And PS has been flawed from the beginning. I would prefer nothing in my life come out of a "factory", especially my children. All children didn't learn the same way then and they don't learn the same way now. If you put 30 first graders in a class you are looking at 30 different learning styles. How on Earth is one teacher going to teach then effectively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
But, education should never regress to the factory model where students sit in a desk and let public education be done to them.
You are right about this. But that is exactly what HAS happened to our schools. At my last count, elementary student got one day of PE a week and a 10 minute "recess" each day right after their 10 minute lunch. Then they return to their classroom and resume learning how to take the standardized test that is 45 days away. So sit down and let's drill the same useless material that most of the class can do in their sleep but we must make sure you can produce it on paper because if you don't I won't get my bonus!! The level of my child's education should NEVER be tied to the pay rate of the teacher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
What are you doing at home to supplement his/ her education?
A PS child doesn't have time to supplement his education. He is too busy doing homework and getting to bed early so he can get on the bus at 6 am. In first grade my sone got off the bus at 2:30. Since he hadn't eaten since 10am, when he had lunch, he would have a snack. At 3pm we would begin his homeworke. On a good night that took 2 hours, but usually 3, especially if he fought me on it. By 5pm we were beginning dinner and we were eating by 6pm. Teeth brushed, book read, ready for bed by 7pm. Daddy got home from work by 7:15 and kids were in bed by 7:30, usually before the sun was even down. And then he was back up by 5:15 so he could eat breakfast, get dressed, etc. before having to be at the bus stop by 6am, usually before the sun came up. On the weekends we were so grateful that there was no school that the last thing we wanted to do was ANYTHING, much less "Supplement his education". Besides, if schools weren't substandard then they wouldn't need to be supplemented. I teach far more in 2 hours then they could learn in a week of PS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
Many public schools pay for their students tuition to take advanced classes at local community colleges.
And in most states, HSer qualify for those as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
Don't we want our children to come to complex and sophisticated conclusions on their own?
PS frowns on children coming to their own conclusions. They are there to be taught what is on the test. Heck they don't even teach History or Science here in elementary school because there is no time and it isn't on the FCAT. It is hard to come to sophisticated and complex solution if you are exposed to sophisticated and complex knowledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
I thought indoctrination was something we were trying to move away from.
Which is exactly why my children are not in PS. This goes back to the myth that we are locking our children in the basement and drilling them with our religious beliefs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
Why do you assume that mixing with those who you believe are inferior, will somehow mar you and your family by association?
We have a number of friends that are PSed. I do not believe they are inferior. I believe that most of them are receiving an inferior education. But they themselves are not inferior. Just because I am not a member of their PTA doesn't mean I think they are inferior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
You're already investing in your neighborhood school through property taxes that you or your landlord pay, why not invest your intellectual capital and really make it a better place?
Because I don't have time. How many decades of beating our heads against a wall will it take to make schools developmentally appropriate for children. My children would be grown and poorly educated long before the schools changed, if the schools changed. Thanks, but no thanks. I will do it myself, and yes I WILL do a better job than someone "professionally" trained.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
I just felt so angered by the feature story I really wanted to know what everyone else thought too....
I haven't read the feature story but I am guessing that you were so angered by it because you felt it was a personal attack on your beliefs.

Most HSers don't care if the general population thinks what we are doing is right. But don't judge us because you don't agree. Educate yourself on what homeschooling really is and then I am sure you will see it in a different light. We aren't the living off the grid, hermit, fundamentalists anymore. Well some of us still are but that percentage is much smaller than you would think.
post #47 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
If my children are going to be away from me for 30+ hours a week, it needs to be in an environment that will reinforce the values taught at home, not one that weakens them. With homeschooling, we meet all kinds of people from all different religions and backgrounds, and learn to appreciate their perspectives, without weakening our own family's values.
I just wanted to say that I LOVE the way you said this. It is perfect.
post #48 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauracd View Post
I *know* how tired some of us are of answering what seem like insulting questions but despite the tone, I do think she is trying to understand it. Remember, it takes awhile to "deschool" your mind and realize that there are other, better ways of learning. Maybe, if she truly is open to our ideas and really does research, it *could* change her mind. I know many ps teachers that have....

Laura, I know you are probably right, but sometimes I have a hard time mustering up the energy to, yet again, explain it all when the person chooses to make ignorant comments. Is it so darn hard to google something before making remarks that could easily be learned about if one just does the research? Being a HUGE advocate of DESCHOOLING, I totally get what you are saying, guess too many late nights staying up working on what we are doing for fun, is a community service project as well as part of our own education, is lowering my tollerance levels.
post #49 of 127
I pulled my eldest son out of public school because they could not make any allowences for his being High Functioning Autistic unless he needed ALL of his IEP. When he struggled and strained and made it down from his original plan; full time helper always with him, therapy in school 2-3 xs a week, sensory breaks ever 1 1/2 - 2 hours, to being in the classroom full time, very limited use of the helper and only recess as a "sensory break" they DEMANDED that he act completely "normal" and do every single stitch of work the class was doing with ABSOLUTELY NO HELP including the teacher not having to repeat herself at all.

Did I go down to the school and advocate? You bet I did! I went repeatedly and was ignored and scorned for not being "an expert." Well I am an expert, I am an expert in my kids, I know them better than anyone does. Now my son has been homeschooled all year and he is doing so much better!!! His personality is just blossoming, his moods are so much more even and almost all his stress has evaporated. He was so miserable in school and all they did was harp on the negative, punish him for things he could not help and destroy his self-esteem. Next year I plan to homeschool all 3 of my kids because all 3 of them will benefit from the open and lovin environment I provide and the many opportunities for learning, exploring and focusing they will have at home and in the community that they are unable logistically to take advantage of in school.

We will likely be living on the campus of a school with many students and teachers from around the world and right next to an ethnically and socially diverse community where we will spend much time. I have no worries about whether they will be exposed to enough cultures or lifestyles or schools of thought as homeschoolers, I would if they were to remain in school where they are in a classroom almost all day with kids just their age and one teacher.
post #50 of 127
I was attacked with my first few posts here. I remember my questions "How do you know that parents aren't neglecting/abusing thier children? Shouldn't someone in the school system monitor the situation? .....Wow, I can't believe how ignorant I was about homeschooling.

If you truly want to learn, be prepared to be converted heart and soul....It's a dangerous endeavor

Also, I see that you are new to the forums. Please use more breaks in your posts because most of us are busy moms and reading shorter sections is much easier to keep up with when we have other stuff going on around us.

Really, who wants to wake up ridiculously early to get thier kids to school, miss them all day and then spend the only 3 hours a day you have with them doing homework and getting ready to do it all again the next day? Sound like fun? Sound like a life? Not to me.

My children are happier now than they've ever been. My son's stomache aches have dissappeared and he loves to learn....at home.

Welcome to the boards.
Lisa
post #51 of 127
One other thing; you rather accusingly ask us parents; "What are you doing to supplement their education at home?" And I have to point out that there is NO TIME to supplement. NO TIME AT ALL. My public schooled son, (middle child) is up and groggy at 7am. He dresses, eats, brushes teeth and hair etc and is out the door and on the bus before 8am. He is gone all day only arriving home at 4pm. He does his homework for an hour and a half, we have dinner and then he finishes his homework if there is any left. There then remains maybe 2 hours, if he's lucky, until bed and this kid has not PLAYED or had ANY free time at all!!! Yes, we do some things with those 2 hours that you might consider educational, such as looking at the stars with a telescope or watching National Geographic specials on loan from our library but usually he is dying to play a boardgame or draw or run around and rough house. Since my older two spend each and every weekend with their cult-indoctrinated father I feel I really ought to let this child have what scant few hours there are available to do with as he likes. The problem isn't here at home, it is in how much time the school sucks up and ends up wasting. (in lines, waiting for 20 kids to be quiet etc) Here at home there are activities and there is down time, no lines, no waiting for disruptions to end. Our teacher-student ratio is going to be 1-3 and this teacher knows her students very well.
post #52 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by gargirl View Post
The problem isn't here at home, it is in how much time the school sucks up and ends up wasting. (in lines, waiting for 20 kids to be quiet etc)
:

This is one of the HUGE reasons I will be homeschooling.

-Angela
post #53 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauracd View Post
I *know* how tired some of us are of answering what seem like insulting questions but despite the tone, I do think she is trying to understand it. Remember, it takes awhile to "deschool" your mind and realize that there are other, better ways of learning. Maybe, if she truly is open to our ideas and really does research, it *could* change her mind. I know many ps teachers that have....
You're not wrong. But I do resent the tone and the attitude, which to me implies that as a teacher she has right to demand information about how I'm raising my kids.

It isn't hard to read more than one article before going on the attack. The fact that she didn't makes me question whether she's really open to learning about homeschooling, or if her actual intent was to convince us to give it up in favor of ps.

ZM
post #54 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I am predjudiced against insulting posts by new posters. I am an imperfect MDCer.
post #55 of 127
This thread has reminded me to order Calvert Discoveries in Art for my daughter.

I just notified the school district that she will not be returning next year. I plan to supplement her education until I can get her into a good private or charter school.
post #56 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post


Although I am a terrible speller myself at times.

But still...
That's what I get for posting before I was fully awake. I am such a grumpy morning person.

I hate to think that people might judge me for the writing quality of my posts. When I post on message boards, I write like I speak. So I'm aware that my posts are not as well-written as they should or could be. If I had to write a paper, I could do a great job. When I hastily write a post online, I just don't care. So it's not like me to call someone out for something like a spelling error.

But I reacted to the speech about how schools are essentially where our children belong. When I saw that she was a high school English teacher but was writing in mega-paragraph style and with spelling errors, I got a little snarky. There, I said it. I was snarky.
post #57 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post
I think it's up to those who choose to use the schools to make them what they want them to be.
I really agree with this. I don't like the implied obligation. There are millions of people using the school system. Let them make it what they want it to be, as you say. Childless people aren't urged to get involve with school reform either. We all pay taxes for the public school system so that it's available for the public. That doesn't mean we have to use it or get involved in it. I'm a supporter of public schools, but I just don't want to use that service. I'm glad it's available for those who choose to use it.
post #58 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspergirl View Post
Quote:
"If ps worked so well, if teachers and administrators are so great at their jobs, what do they need me for?"
Because parents know their students better than teachers do and they can give insight into problems and successes.
Yes... we're just skipping all of the uneccessary involvement with the school and sticking with the people who know the kids best.

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Originally Posted by umbrella View Post
We've not had any traumatic ps experiences, and I found your assumptions insulting, not merely aggressive.
:

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Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
FWIW, I don't consider public school the default education choice. I send a LOT of money to our local public schools, why do you need my children too? The idea that I would be some leader in my local public school is just wrong. If that kind of thing appealed to me, I'd probably send my kids to school.
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalSuze View Post
I think there is a big misconception that homeschoolers are trying to create "superior" or "advanced" children. Not true! Because we are relaxed homeschoolers (moving rapidly toward unschooling), I can guarantee that there are some subjects in which my son would likely test below grade level. There are other subjects that he's very well-versed in, having demonstrated a passion for learning more.
:

My primary motivation for homeschooling wasn't to reject the ps model. We just decided to take the educational path that made the most sense for us, that worked for our family. I don't see it as us vs. them, or "abandoning" the public system. It's just another educational choice. A system that requires me to hand over my kids for such a large chunk of time, and to allow them to dictate how we use our time at home to an extent as well, and which requires me to spend extra time away from my kids in pta meetings and the like if I want to have the faintest glimmer of hope that I can somehow influence the kind of change I want to see in the system just doesn't work for us.

Besides, as another poster said -- most people using the public system don't want the kind of changes I want. I have a pretty good idea of how the system works, and those who are using it seem to be happy with it. What right do I have to waltz in and demand changes to suit my needs, when I am perfectly capable of educating my children in the ways that work for us?

And if there are problems with the system, it's up to those who chose to use it to make it better. If I'm going to muster up the energy for societal reform, it's going to be about making more educational choices for those of us who are in the minority and not using the public system.

I really, really don't get the anger directed at homeschoolers for "abandoning" the public system. For a society so concerned with "freedom" and "choice" and "independence," this attitude is mindboggling.
post #59 of 127
Wow, so when did public schools get so much diversity?!

I know the public schools here are either poor, middle class, or rich. The poor ones are pretty much 100% black with certainly no AP, no sports, no NOTHING offered to those children--even their playground has no grass growing on it. Middle class and rich schools here are virtually all white, rich, Christian, pro-sports (football rules here). Ya, lots of diversity there.

My kids get diversity BECAUSE we homeschool. They are out in the real world which is filled with diversity. I hang out with a diverse crowd of friends and so they do as well. It's all very simple really. It's a no brainer to me.
post #60 of 127
Noticing OP has not returned....
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