Originally Posted by M_of_M
Thank you all for your answers. I do have a better idea about homeschooling now.
One last point though. A number of you stated that kids really don't need to sit in classes to learn. Kids really don't need teachers as teachers and they can learn all the material (including not-so-basic math) on their own just by reading the textbooks, searching the internet, etc.
So, if that's your view, then how come after 10-12+ years of homeschooling....your kids (at least some of your kids) end up going to colleges? Wouldn't it be easier for them (as well as less expensive) to learn all of those things on their own at home? After all, they can buy the same textbooks as they get in colleges/universities. Also, after 10+ years of homeschooling, they should really be active experienced learners who (I think) could learn everything without anyone else's help just by "living it". As many of you said, there is also no real value to group work. So, why after all those 10+ years of "homeschooling freedom" instead of "institutional environment in a classroom", your kids end up going to that "institutional environment" anyway. In that institutional environment they might not be the brightest (and it will lower their self esteem), they would have to learn at the same pace as everyone else...they would have to sit in the classroom and do homework and prepare for tests after school...so why go for it?
HI, I haven't read all the replies yet, but I'd like to address some of these questions.
From my experience, college and grad school WAS living it. Absolutely nothing like my public school K-12 "education" (of which I remember nothing).
I went to public school and got straight-As. Can't remember one thing I was taught there. I took a 10 year break to be a professional actress, then decided to go to college. Once I was enrolled, I became interested in biology and anthropology. I took the intro courses, then promptly started working in a professor's laboratory
. I worked in labs while taking courses. The courses supplemented my hands-on learning.
Once I got to grad school, it was ALL hands-on, living learning.
Something else -- if one wants to invent things, publish findings from an investigation, conduct experienments, etc., then one must be affiliated with a University (or there will be no funding, little submission credit, etc.). So while one can certainly learn outside of a classroom, if one wants to DO certain things, they must begin doing them within a University setting for their career to even get started.
Not so with K-12 "education."
Incidentally, my husband graduated high school not knowing how to take 10% from 100. He then became interested in math and physics, taught himself what he needed to know in order to ace entrance exams, and then was admitted to MIT and then Harvard (first Masters, then Ph.D). In SPITE of his
public school education, he got where he wanted to go.
Now, why are we homeschooling our kids?
1) Quality of education and self-motivation -- I think institutionalized learning (fom K-12) is a joke, and nothing like real life (not so with college +, as I described above). Kids get little quality and come out with close to zero self-motivation.
2) Family time. I believe in nurturing strong family bonds. Can't do that very well if everyone is seperated from each other for almost all of the waking hours.
3) Freedom. We do what we want, on our own time table, travel wherever, etc.
4) I've seen the local Pre-K/K teachers at the playground. They look tired and grumpy 100% of the time. They snap at the kids and don't allow them to play on half the equipment (too dangerous...
: ). While this isn't THE reason for our long-term decisions, it definitely supports our desire to keep our kids home right now.
5) Peer pressure/ bullying. It's everywhere, starting as soon as the kids go to school fulltime. I don't want my kid to be subjected to any of it. Most of the kids we plays with are also homeschooled. There is a noticeable lack of conformity or pressure compared to what I see in our school-kid acquaintances.
Must run now, perhaps more later.