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Why do people homeschool? - Page 5

post #81 of 253
The reason we're homeschooling is because although I may not know everything about everything I know my children better than anyone does right now. I can tailor their education to fit their needs and desires.

When a child goes to school (especially in the older grades) they are given prepackaged information in a prepackaged format. There is no individualization or efforts made to reach different learning styles or wants, needs, interests, etc.

Homeschooling is also not one parent sitting down with one kid and teaching them kindergarten-12th grade. Homeschoolers go to plays, museums, fieldtrips, etc. There are many people involved in their educations for the most part and many viewpoints.
post #82 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I just love how we always take the bait.
Me too! :
post #83 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagesgirl View Post
Having an education degree isn't exactly isn't exactly a signifier of being a brilliant, burning soul able to perfectly impart knowledge to hungry minds. In fact, education majors tend to come from and remain in the bottom part of those going to college.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Just wanted to point out that I graduated cum laude, thanks. (I'm a high school teacher.)

I don't think this was meant to insult all teachers. This is a fact that is reported annually in the US Department of Education's "Statistics of Education". I'm sure we all remember a few brilliant teachers in our educational paths, but unfortunately that is the exception, not the rule. (statistically speaking)
post #84 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by M_of_M View Post
Ok, but aren't there some things that you can't learn by "living it?". How about some not-so-basic math? Can you really learn all the algebra and geometry by "living it?", or you just don't think that your kids need it and knowing how to fix a leaking toilet is more important for them since this skill will be useful in life?

What if your dc decides that he wants to have a career in a math-related field? Can he really do that if you only expose him/her to things that he/she can "live" in?

But if there is something you can't learn by ''living it'', when would you ever need it in real life?





Even more so for math, you can't really ''get it'' by learning stuff by heart or cramming it in. Most mathematicians spend time ''playing around'' with numbers, on paper, in their head, as they go about their day, not just while they're sitting at a desk.

And, as for teachers, don't we learn best how to teach by...teaching?

There are lots of things I only really understood when I finally had to explain it to someone else.

All that is ''living it'' and what I would call natural learning.
post #85 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky View Post
I chose unschooling for my children because I wanted a superior education for them. I want them to know more than their force-fed counterparts. I want them to be happier than their institutionalized neighbors.

I want my children to enjoy their youths and to absolutely love to learn (which is the natural state of human beings, anyone who doesn't love to learn has had it beaten out of them). I do not want their love of learning to be quashed or for them to waste half their day passing notes (as I did) or reading novels on their lap while hiding them from the teachers (again, as I did) because their classmates are learning so much more slowly than they are and they are bored. I want them to experience as much of the world as possible and to find their passions through trying out and doing way more than schooled-children could possibly have time for.

You can get all this without unschooling, using other methods of homeschooling.

Just pointing that out.
post #86 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Right, I'm a teacher; I get that.

But I still don't understand the choice to "unschool" as much as the choice to homeschool.
I will preface this by saying that my child is very young (he would have been in Kindergarten this past year). But for us, whenever I've attempted to play the teacher role, I've seen him quickly lose at least some of his enthusiasm. Even when he's chosen things that he wants to learn about, when I present it in neat little packages, he just loses some of that light in his eyes. It's like he realizes that I'm invested in it and he's either humoring me or feeling some obligation to me. OTOH, when he directs his own learning, not only does his exude high levels of enthusiasm, but he's incredibly self-motivated and he learns so much. With unschooling, which looks very haphazard to others, he's learned so much in this past year that he is head and shoulders above most of the K curriculum. One of the most important outcomes of unschooling, for my family, is the development and preservation of an amazing degree of self-motivation. And that quality, in my personal experience, is one of the most important things in the workplace and the thing that so many people lack. Creativity and critical thinking are the other two things that are hard to come by in the workplace, in my personal experience. For us, I see unschooling as strongly developing self-motivation, creativity and critical thinking.
post #87 of 253
I am unschooling my boys because I trust them to know how to learn and to want to learn.

I am unschooling them because the most important thing to me is that they grow up confident with spirits unbroken. I have seen that the people who succeed in life are those who have strong, independent and tenacious spirits, not those who have the most book-learning. I have nothing against book-learing, but I do not value it over my sons' sense of autonomy and their confidence.

I know a self-made millionaire who was a "failure" in public school. He was the one in the principal's office all the time, who barely graduated.

My husband is a successful young businessman, now a stockbroker and investor, who was a highschool dropout. He is doing very well in college, by the way, no thanks to his public school incarceration, oops, I mean education.

And me, I have learned so much more useful information on time when I was NOT in school or doing "schoolwork". I have had experience both being schooled at home and attending highschool; but the stuff I learned the most from, that affected me the most, was the unstructured stuff, usually done on my own time. Having math and science forced on me really damaged my self-esteem as a child. And, I love math and science! It was just the format/timing that was not appropriate for me.

So I am giving my children the best education available to them-- the one they build for themselves. My job is simply to give them the keys to the world around them and help their psyches flourish in a nurturing environment.
post #88 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky
I chose unschooling for my children because I wanted a superior education for them. I want them to know more than their force-fed counterparts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWine View Post
You can get all this without unschooling, using other methods of homeschooling.

Just pointing that out.
Well, actually, I will agree to disagree here. Though I think that school-at-home is better than institutionalized schooling, I still think that it is a manner of force-feeding an education. I know tons of school-at-homers and they have wonderful, bright children who are sometimes eager to do a project and sometimes it takes them hours and hours and they suffer through it. That is what I'm attempting to alleviate in the lives of my children.

Yeah, agree to disagree.
post #89 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky View Post
Well, actually, I will agree to disagree here. Though I think that school-at-home is better than institutionalized schooling, I still think that it is a manner of force-feeding an education. I know tons of school-at-homers and they have wonderful, bright children who are sometimes eager to do a project and sometimes it takes them hours and hours and they suffer through it. That is what I'm attempting to alleviate in the lives of my children.

Yeah, agree to disagree.
Can we please not turn this into an unschooling vs schooling debate? We all know homeschoolers who are doing a fantastic job fascilitating their children's education (whether that's unschooling or school at home or somewhere in between) and others who just aren't choosing the same priorities as we might. None of us can judge about whether Family A's way is better than Family B because we just don't have enough information. I don't unschool and I don't force feed my children's education and I find that statement is unnecessarily inflammatory.
post #90 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
We believe that children should have the right to learn as an adult would go about learning. The right to decide the area(s) of interest, to decide when to start exploring a new thing or deepen some prior learning experience, to decide which resources to use, and to decide when they'd like to change things up and move on to something else are rights afforded to adults generally without question.
I'll add to that that along with it being their right, it's also simply the very best way to learn -- when you're self-motivated, passionate, and interested, learning is far more efficient, far more relevant, far more empowering and confidence-growing, and you retain far more than you would otherwise. (I'm sure this is going to raise some ire from those who feel happiest controlling their children's learning, but) it is a vastly superior method of learning compared to the traditional coercive and authority-directed methods. And that is why our children don't go to school, and why we don't do school at home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftField
Am I the only person who never learned much from group projects other than the principle of social loafing? You know, one person basically does all the work while most others hang out in the security of the group/herd and contribute virtually nothing? I identify as an introvert so I realize this is a factor. But honestly, group work is highly overrated, IMO. I could learn and accomplish twice as much in the same period of time if no one made me work in a group. Also, and I say this as someone who has a Master's Degree in Human Resource Development (i.e. I've studied a lot about group work methodology), the final product of brainstorming is usually the most stale and "safe" solution rather than the most ingenious one because it requires many diverse individuals to sign off on it. I'm glad that my kids won't be forced to do silly group projects, to be completely honest. That's a homeschool bonus for us, IMO.

[...] I will say that I learned the most meaningful things in school when I was ignoring the teacher and reading under my desk. I learned the most when I read the "wrong" chapter and skipped through the book to find interesting things, while ignoring lectures. Even in high school, it was clear that many of my teachers were only a few chapters ahead of us and that most lacked deep knowledge in the subject. They were subject generalists but if I asked deeper questions, they would have to get back to me with book titles and such.

Even my AP History teacher had to redirect me with book suggestions for my free time. We didn't have time to go into more depth in African American History and I was asking a lot of questions. He recommended I read, "Native Son" and "The Autobiography of Malcolm X". I read those for information and pleasure, not for credit. So basically, he did what a homeschool "teacher" would do, which is he redirected me to resources so that I could educate myself. When I was in school, I learned the most when I was reading other things rather than paying attention to the lecture. I know I'm not the only one.

[...]I will preface this by saying that my child is very young (he would have been in Kindergarten this past year). But for us, whenever I've attempted to play the teacher role, I've seen him quickly lose at least some of his enthusiasm. Even when he's chosen things that he wants to learn about, when I present it in neat little packages, he just loses some of that light in his eyes. It's like he realizes that I'm invested in it and he's either humoring me or feeling some obligation to me. OTOH, when he directs his own learning, not only does his exude high levels of enthusiasm, but he's incredibly self-motivated and he learns so much. With unschooling, which looks very haphazard to others, he's learned so much in this past year that he is head and shoulders above most of the K curriculum. One of the most important outcomes of unschooling, for my family, is the development and preservation of an amazing degree of self-motivation. And that quality, in my personal experience, is one of the most important things in the workplace and the thing that so many people lack. Creativity and critical thinking are the other two things that are hard to come by in the workplace, in my personal experience. For us, I see unschooling as strongly developing self-motivation, creativity and critical thinking.
post #91 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by leila1213 View Post
Nope, no calculus on the SAT or ACT. By the way, they have books for studying for them too (I taught SAT prep). School is not needed for that. In fact, what kids learn in school can actually get in the way of them doing well on standardized tests. Which is another problem. Now that "no child is left behind", they are all spending way too much time learning how to pass a test, and not the subjects that they are there to learn.

I plan to homeschool/unschool my DD. Just have to figure out how to get out of working 40 hrs per week...
Standardized tests are a laugh. I consistently scored in the 95-98th percentile on most subjects on these tests, & yet I did not get the grades in my regular classes that would have reflected those scores. Why not?

Because
  1. Most of the teachers didn't "teach." They spoonfed us info & we were expected to spit it back at them.
  2. I was so incredibly stressed out by my peers- I was treated horribly all through school & NO teacher ever DID anything...
  3. Frankly, I just didn't CARE. I didn't see the point in trying to get good grades or excel. I gave up in THIRD GRADE.

I can pinpoint the time when I realized that it was futile- that I would have almost ten more years of torture before it was all over. And even before then, going to school was so stressful for me, I threw up or felt like I had to throw up almost every day.

I threw up once IN the classroom in 2nd grade. I can remember everything about that day- what my teacher said, what she was wearing, what the sawdusty stuff the janitor put down smelled like... it was awful. I went through that every day. No way would I do that to my son- & I do realize that his social experience would not necessarily mirror mine- but what if it DID? I feel like my parents kind of turned a blind eye to what happened to me- that it was too painful for them to admit or to even see what I went through every day, so they just DIDN'T see it. I won't do that to Joe.
post #92 of 253
There seems to be 3 core questions
Answering only for myself...

Why do we homeschool?
Public school was not working for DS. I watched my child start to hate learning, reading, going to school etc. He was miserable. The ele he attended was so bad, that over 70% of the students entering middle school qualified for remedial or special ed. I thought he was getting a quality education because he was receiving good grades. He was in the highest math level and 2nd highest reading level in 6th grade (in previous grades also) yet did understand simple concepts. The big eye opener for me was one day when he came home from school. I told him we were going to run errands and needed to be ready by a quarter til 4. At 3:45 he wasn't ready and said I told he we were leaving at 4:25. After talking to him I realized he had no concept of fractions. sue he knew that 1/2 + 1/2 = 1, but he was not able to transfer that one dimensional equation to real life. That night I started looking into the schools record and saw how bad it was.

I spent weeks looking into summer remedial programs, private schools, tutoring centers etc. During the evenings I started tutoring DS myself. We had several "light bulb" moments were he "got" what I was teaching. I realized we had started homeschooling, we were just doing it after he spent 7.5 hr at school. He wasn't getting anything out of school, so I saw no reason to continue to send him there. There really wasn't a point in sending him away for 7.5 hrs then having to teach him for 3-4 hrs in the afternoon.

How can we cover subjects I do not know?

For me homeschooling is more about equipping them with the ability to seek out knowledge/answers, not about "teaching the the facts". Of course when they are younger a lot of that seeking is done together. Yes we do use workbooks, textbooks etc, but they are only a small part of our schooling.

Why would someone unschool?

I don't claim to be an unschooler, but I do feel like much of my philosophy for homeschooling is very similar. Homeschooling is about learning not teaching.

I don't follow one method I use a very eclectic approach.
Some of what we could be considered themed or unit studies.

IE for history we might read a chapter on Julius Caesar
Math we would study Roman numerals, for art we might look at Roman architecture and construct a model of an aqueduct etc.

We also incorporate classical education, following their time line for history etc. Within that I use concepts from Charlotte Mason, such as a book of Centuries. We also incorporate Charlotte Mason nature studies as a part of science social studies and art. Inspired from that I plan on incorporating more Notebooking starting next yr.
post #93 of 253
Quote:
Standardized tests are a laugh. I consistently scored in the 95-98th percentile on most subjects on these tests, & yet I did not get the grades in my regular classes that would have reflected those scores. Why not?

Because
Most of the teachers didn't "teach." They spoonfed us info & we were expected to spit it back at them.
I was so incredibly stressed out by my peers- I was treated horribly all through school & NO teacher ever DID anything...
Frankly, I just didn't CARE. I didn't see the point in trying to get good grades or excel. I gave up in THIRD GRADE.
I was a few yrs older than you, but other than that I could have written your post word for word. I gave up in 9th grade when I realized that we were only being fed the facts so we could pass the tests.
post #94 of 253
"Parents have become so convinced that educators know what is best for children that they forget that they themselves are really the experts."

post #95 of 253
I saw this in Walmart the other day:
Quote:
Dear Wal*Mart:

Thank you for the gloves and garbage bags you gave us to help with our clean up on Earth Day.

Love,

Lord Richards Grade 1 Class
[insert every child's first name and last initial here]
BS indoctrination like that is a BIG part of why I plan to homeschool.
post #96 of 253
~shudder~ Yeah that's a bit much.

Although, 3 cheers for Walmart and for all they do for our environment!
post #97 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
I saw this in Walmart the other day:


BS indoctrination like that is a BIG part of why I plan to homeschool.
OK, so this is probaly not a good time to say our hsing group has visted Panera. Or that Walmart and Target both donated bags and gloves for a river clean up we did.
post #98 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
Can we please not turn this into an unschooling vs schooling debate? We all know homeschoolers who are doing a fantastic job fascilitating their children's education (whether that's unschooling or school at home or somewhere in between) and others who just aren't choosing the same priorities as we might. None of us can judge about whether Family A's way is better than Family B because we just don't have enough information. I don't unschool and I don't force feed my children's education and I find that statement is unnecessarily inflammatory.
I agree with you, Karen. That fight goes nowhere and polarizes people who very often think along similar lines. Not to mention we can't do that 'What is unschooling?" argument again. I just don't have the energy or desire anymore for that one. :

I think someone, somewhere here summed it up" Homeschool = Tied to desk, beaten to learn. Unschool = Fend for yourself or be dog food.

Or something like that.
post #99 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I agree with you, Karen. That fight goes nowhere and polarizes people who very often think along similar lines. Not to mention we can't do that 'What is unschooling?" argument again. I just don't have the energy or desire anymore for that one. :

I think someone, somewhere here summed it up" Homeschool = Tied to desk, beaten to learn. Unschool = Fend for yourself or be dog food.

Or something like that.
post #100 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
OK, so this is probaly not a good time to say our hsing group has visted Panera. Or that Walmart and Target both donated bags and gloves for a river clean up we did.
I don't know what Panera is (Canadian), but I don't think it's the end of the world that Hellmart donated the bags for a hs river clean up.

It depends how you frame it, what you teach the children about Walmart and how much it actually does or doesn't do to help or harm the planet. Somehow I'm sure the kids at Lord Richards did not receive any critical lessons about that subject, kwim?
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