Children's role in their education - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-08-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post





It was a long day and I deleted half of that paragraph, got sidetracked, and forgot about the rest for some reason. We've had company (like 25 people!) and big happenings going on all weekend - I'm distracted. I just find the whole idea of what you're saying to be incredibly offensive, and that's all I need to say.


Why?  Am I misunderstanding your argument?  Because I honestly don't understand how what I wrote could be construed as offensive.  I understand why people may disagree...but offensive?

 

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Old 05-08-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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The strongest schools that I have seen are the ones with diversity in terms of student performance and socioeconomic status.  By strong I mean that these schools are able to offer a wider curriculum and actually have half a chance at reaching struggling students, because they have a strong base...enough parents and students that care and value what the school is offering to offset those parents and students who are indifferent.  And so like I said the school has a chance to meet its mission which is to give the poorer kids skills they will not be able to get anywhere else and at the same time the rest of the kids will also get a strong education because people actually care about the school.  So in this model if the parents who care the most about their kids education decide to go a different route (homeschool or private school)  then the schools are loosing out on their strongest resource.  And as a result they are not going to be as good as they could be.

 

Not every family has the option to homeschool or to spend 30K a year on private school, so there will always be public schools for the "rest" of the kids.  I believe it is in my interest, the interest of my family, and the interest of our communities to keep the public school system as strong as we can.  So for me and my family home school (or private school) is not an option because in light of how important I see the continued success of the public schools being.  You may not face such a quandry if you don't think much of public schools or their role.  So by this logic I would see you as opting out of something important and valuable and you would not shrug.gif.  I see it as opting out because you have the option I have described above of making a stronger experience for everyone by contributing your passion for a strong education.  I'm guessing that you don't see it as opting out because your passion for a strong education informs you that they have nothing to offer to you or your kids that you can't provide more effectively.  Sort of like being surrounded by fast food restaurants and not seeing them as offering anything of value to you because you can make better at home (yes?).

 

So its not that I don't care about individuals, its just that I think that those individual children who have no other choice but public school will get something better if my child, and your child and all children with parents who give a crap go there too.   With a little bit of solidarity all kids benefit because the school will have a stronger motivation to have programs that don't suck.  But there is much work to be done before this is the norm everywhere. Obviously.

 

In the often broken system we are lumbering with now I can totally see why some people would choose to not have their kids go to failing schools.  I just find it sad that the connection between seeking alternative education and those failing schools is not more clearly seen.

 

 


Of course I see the value of public schools and their role! I hear home schoolers moaning about how they don't think it's fair that they have to pay property taxes to support their local schools when their children aren't attending, or how they ought to get vouchers since their children aren't attending. I happily support our schools financially. I donate supplies. I would vote to raise a tax for schools every time. I have even been to local school board meetings to voice my opinion about things that they probably don't care about, given that my kid doesn't go to school there anyway. 

 

I could afford to send my kids to private school now if I wanted to - if it was really just about finding a better school. I don't want to. It's not about finding a better school. I don't think there is a better one *for my kids* than my living room, and even if the public schools were fantastic, I'd still believe that. <shrug>

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Old 05-08-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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The idea that people like me are screwing up what would be a much better system if only we'd sacrifice our kids to it is a little offensive. I'm not feeling insulted or terribly offended or anything. It's just an idea that I find a mildly offensive, for lack of a better word. If I could think of a better one I would. lol

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Old 05-08-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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I feel compelled to tilt at windmills.  I don't feel compelled to use my child(ren) as a lance.  In fact, my profession is tilting at windmills that I feel passionate about, so I get what you're saying.  But that's my thing, not my kids'.

 

My kids move back and forth between public school and homeschool - currently, one's in school and the other is at home, and they may both be home next year.  The education I received as a child is very different from what is offered in our district - which performs well enough on standardized tests/global measures.  My children get one 13 year period of their lives to be "schooled," and I'm not going to have them spend it feeding the machine against their own interests.

 

Furthermore, the exodus of children and families to homeschooling in the last decade-plus is, or should be, an alarm bell to anyone who cares about child development, future social costs, or innovative societies with creative thinkers.   This may be more powerful than isolated folks standing against the current.

 

This is fun to watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

 

Sir Ken Robinson - Changing Education Paradigms


Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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Old 05-08-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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Chamomile Girl-- suppose you have a child who needs surgery.  Would you send them to the very best hospital you could find, or would you send them to the charity hospital up the road, as a means of showing your support for the charity hospital?  If you chose the charity hospital and it became clear your child was not getting the care she needed, would you keep her there for the hospital's sake?  My kids have educational needs that my local public school can not meet.  I'll be danged if I'll send them there anyhow as a means of "supporting" the public schools.  Supporting my kids is a much higher priority.  The idea that I should put the system's needs ahead of their needs is bizarre.  The system is supposed to work for children-- saying that it can't work unless I sacrifice my kids' education is nonsensical.

 

Also, homeschooling is a misnomer.  Most people who homeschool are out in the community all the time, mixing with a wide variety of people.  I suspect that you have a pretty fixed idea of what kind of people homeschool, and believe we are a monolithic group whose children would benefit from time away from us (you've almost said so in so many words).  In my experience, the homeschool community is quite diverse, probably more diverse than my local public school.  

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Old 05-08-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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I've found this thread quite interesting. We're not yet at "school-age" but how to educate my children has been on my mind almost constantly. I viewed the Changing Education Paradigms short in a Humanities class earlier this year and found it accurate based on the public school experience of myself and siblings, some of whom are still school-age. I was fortunate enough to fit into the "good student" bracket and was more of a by-stander but I watched some siblings, from a young age being fed a myriad of medications because they weren't succeeding. Yes, ultimately the parent can refuse but how many parents are being told by the school that medication is the only hope for their child.

I definitely agree that public schools are teaching children simply to pass tests. Look at what No Child Left Behind has done. The point of public school is to make sure the students, broken up into specific demographics (Hispanic, Low-Income, Special Needs, ESL, etc.) pass so the school continues to get funding. 

I'm with previous comments that I'll pay my taxes, etc. so our school system doesn't completely fall apart but I doubt I can bring myself to volunteer my children to be the lab rats.

 

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Old 05-08-2011, 11:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post



I don't think I fully understand the crux of your argument but I'll take a stab at it anyway. I'm a big believer in the philosophy behind public education because I see it as one of the few state-funded systems that offers something of value to everyone.  The ideal behind it is pretty powerful: that education is something nobody can take away from you and a strong education can make a huge difference in determining someone's life path.  So you can come from a poor family with two working parents and still manage to have some autonomy in determining your future.  Public education can be a gift like this.  

 

snip.... 

 

The strongest schools that I have seen are the ones with diversity in terms of student performance and socioeconomic status.  By strong I mean that these schools are able to offer a wider curriculum and actually have half a chance at reaching struggling students, because they have a strong base...enough parents and students that care and value what the school is offering to offset those parents and students who are indifferent.  And so like I said the school has a chance to meet its mission which is to give the poorer kids skills they will not be able to get anywhere else and at the same time the rest of the kids will also get a strong education because people actually care about the school.  So in this model if the parents who care the most about their kids education decide to go a different route (homeschool or private school)  then the schools are loosing out on their strongest resource.  And as a result they are not going to be as good as they could be.

 

Not every family has the option to homeschool or to spend 30K a year on private school, so there will always be public schools for the "rest" of the kids.  I believe it is in my interest, the interest of my family, and the interest of our communities to keep the public school system as strong as we can.  So for me and my family home school (or private school) is not an option because in light of how important I see the continued success of the public schools being.  You may not face such a quandry if you don't think much of public schools or their role.  So by this logic I would see you as opting out of something important and valuable and you would not shrug.gif.  I see it as opting out because you have the option I have described above of making a stronger experience for everyone by contributing your passion for a strong education.  I'm guessing that you don't see it as opting out because your passion for a strong education informs you that they have nothing to offer to you or your kids that you can't provide more effectively.  Sort of like being surrounded by fast food restaurants and not seeing them as offering anything of value to you because you can make better at home (yes?).

 

So its not that I don't care about individuals, its just that I think that those individual children who have no other choice but public school will get something better if my child, and your child and all children with parents who give a crap go there too.   With a little bit of solidarity all kids benefit because the school will have a stronger motivation to have programs that don't suck.  But there is much work to be done before this is the norm everywhere. Obviously.

 

In the often broken system we are lumbering with now I can totally see why some people would choose to not have their kids go to failing schools.  I just find it sad that the connection between seeking alternative education and those failing schools is not more clearly seen.

 

 


I think you are confusing education with public schooling in some of your arguments here. Education helps determine a future - but education and schooling are not one and the same.

If you truly care about education then you might be interested to read some studies that indicate that homeschooling can infact mitigate most of the issues which cause children to do poorly in school.  One study indicates that unlike the experiences of public schooled children, the academic achievement for homeschoolers (which is often evaluated to be higher than their public school cohorts)  is not significantly affected by the parents' education or, income' the student's race, ethnic background or gender, the family's access to a computer or public library.

 

If education is truly your goal, and assisting kids who might be struggling in the system is your passion, wouldn't that favour the argument of returning educational power and choice to the family and advocating for more homeschooling rather than less? 
 

If your concern is that the system itself is failing schools, how would adding in more demands to that system improve it?  Between my 4 kids I have children who are gifted, dyslexic combined with other learning differences, children who would likely get an ADD diagnosis if they were forced to be in school all day, amd children who have demanding medical needs which require constant monitoring and care.  Their needs would not be well served in the school system even with the additional resources that would be required to be in place to attempt to meet those needs.  My son went to K and part of grade 1. Had he stayed in school I would have continued to advocate for his needs but that would not, by definition, translate into helping the school meet the needs of other children in the classroom. In the meantime school was a soulcrushing experience for him where not only were his academic needs not being met, but all other aspects of his self suffered - social. physical, relational, spiritual. How does adding my particular child, and a very frustrated set of parents to a system which is not interested nor designed to accomodate his needs or our input help anyone?

 

I absolutely agree with you that a strong educational system is a benefit to society and that within that system there is a need for public education. However, I disagree with your premise that the only way to make the public school system strong is by ignoring the idea that education and schooling are not the same thing, and funnelling every single child through a public school regardless of what the educational needs of the individual are. That's a recipe for a well attended school system but it is a huge leap to make a correlation between well attended schools and a well educated citizenry.

 

 

 

 


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Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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Old 05-09-2011, 03:23 PM
 
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I'll respond to as many points as I can before DS wakes up from his nap.
 

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Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post




Yes.  I don't see why it is considered "opting out" to homeschool.  That's kind of like telling Protestants that they should rejoin the Catholic Church and effect change from within.  It's simply not accepting something being offered, no more, no less.

 


No, I would equate it more with deciding not to vote because you don't feel like you can get behind any particular choice that is being offered.  But I would still consider that opting out of the system, because you live in a democratic society whether or not you choose to participate in it.

 



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Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post





Uhm, the thing is I "benefitted" from the public school system.  I had years of physical beatings.  I had teachers who would ridicule me in class.  I had people chasing me home throwing rocks because I made them look bad in the *GATE* program because I was younger and smarter.  My experiences are far from unique.  They are pretty standard among almost everyone I know.  I really don't give a shit about building the character of little monsters who want to hurt my babies.  I have absolutely zero responsibility towards those children and all the responsibility in the world for my kids.  The public education system as it stands is flat out abusive to children who do not fit into molds of behavior.  There is occasional room for a mild "quirk" but no serious deviations are permitted.  I think there is a 0% chance that my children will be the appropriate kind of lemming.  I was a public high school teacher.  I taught because I wanted to go be nice to the freaks.  I thought they needed someone.  I was right.  I have an 18 gallon tub full of letters from students telling me how grateful they were to have me as a teacher because I was the first adult who ever treated them with any respect.  Most of my students were 17/18.  I was one of their *last* teachers.  I am aware that teenagers are given to hyperbole, but given the percentage of gang kids I taught, I don't think it was by much.  

 

Like I said upthread this is a big reason why I became a teacher as well.  I disagree though that there are not schools out there where the misfit kids can have a safe haven.  I taught at one.  I do realize though that this is the exception not the rule...but it is an exception worth going to bat for. 

 

The public education system does not mimic the rest of life.  I am not interested in supporting an education system focused on conformity and test taking.  Public school teaches you how to be good at school.  You have to go learn all the hard parts in the very few free minutes you can find in between listening to lectures about inappropriate classroom behavior.  Because discipline accounts for a ridiculous portion of the school day.  No thanks.  

Again I think it depends on the school, but I have to agree with you that NCLB is a freaking cancer.  Interestingly I've found that the more attention a teacher gives to discipline the less effective they are as a teacher, and the less respect they get from their kids.  This is probably not news to you though.

 

I'm not sitting at home reading books about things I hate over and over again.  I tell my kid no.  I will read any given book one time per day.  I don't do repeats.  If she throws a tantrum she gets nothing at all.  I do not play games I find boring.  I tell her she needs to play them by herself.  I interact with her playing when and how I want to, and that's it.  And that's all I've ever done.  I do have a hard time getting through projects right now because they are both little people with a tremendous number of bodily needs that they cannot provide for themselves.  I'm really looking forward to having two kids instead of having a baby.  I read books.  I'm remodeling my house, by myself (mostly, sometimes I get help from friends when they can).  Being a stay at home mom is what you make of it. I am not at a place where I want to go out into the world for mental health reasons so I'm finding ways to learn and grow at home.  Like all the awesome gardening stuff that you have contributed to. :D  (Thanks!)  Enjoy!

 

Yes, I know it is what you make of it.  The thing is...I don't know...I guess I am not a very patient person, and I get bored very easily (and very irritated when I am being interrupted twenty-billion times for the same thing).  I'm not really...configured...wired?...to be a SAHM.  And of course seeing my DH all happy and fulfilled at his dream job makes it even more bitter for me.

 

I'm going to go out on a massively pushy limb here.  I believe that having a philosophy that requires *everybody else* to act a certain way is an entitled and privileged position.  My husband agrees with youWait!  So does the stroller brigade. You are treating homeschoolers as a monolithic group who are opting out of a potential utopian system for selfish reasons.  The reasons people homeschool are nearly as numerous as the people who do it.  I had multiple co-teachers who would go on screaming tirades at their students.  People with a lot of seniority and lots of friends.  They were quite literally abusive.  Kids couldn't get out of their classrooms and the *law* requires those kids to be in school.  I *saw* this.  How in the world can you call me selfish for wanting to save my daughters from that treatment.  (Ok, you didn't say "selfish".  But you really strongly implied it.)

 

Well, honestly I don't think that public school is the perfect fit for all students, but I also don't see viewing the public school system as a monolith is any more constructive as seeing homeschoolers as a monolithic group.  The more dedicated and interested parents participate in the public school system the better it will function (and be help accountable) but I don't really see how that view equates to me saying that everyone ought to make the same choice as I have.  I really don't want to homeschool my kid, no sirrie bob, but if I tried my PS options and it just wasn't working out for him you had better believe that I would do it.  Because he is my kid.  But I would be very sad about it and I would see a real opportunity lost.  Would you make the same choice...in that would you give up home schooling if your kid really wanted to go to public school and home schooling wasn't working out for her?  I'll bet you would but you would be sad and see an opportunity lost.



 

Whew!  Next...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post



 

I live in Canada and we don't have a whole system like that. We don't have school funding that's contingent on local factors. We don't have students fleeing "bad schools" because we don't let bad schools happen. Meaning, extra resources are poured into schools that are, say, remote, or rural, or have large numbers of ESL students or are otherwise facing particular challenges. We have social systems in place such that we don't have vast numbers of destitute poor in horrid neighbourhoods in cities. It seems to me the solution is not to get homeschoolers to enroll their kids but to fix the school system, the school funding models, and the social safety net. 

 

Now you're talking!  But it will never happen here because the US is waaaayy to afraid of anything that even smells slightly of socialism.  Plus our lovely American Dream Pull Yerself Up By The Bootstraps myth ensures an ever replenishing well of animosity towards the poor, so those schools are never going to be fixed unless by the communities in which they reside.

 

 

It is possible to be a strong supporter of public schools without enrolling your children. I have recently had my eldest enrolled in school, but I was a strong supporter of our local school and the school system in general for years before that: donating my time and energy to organize and contribute to special events, to fund-raise, to give talks to various classes, to provide musical enrichment. On top of that I've cheerfully paid my school taxes into a system that my kids have not used services from. And not to mention that my kids, were they in the system, would I think be rather costlier than average to provide education for as they have special needs for which minimal extra funding is available in our system. So while they would ensure per capita funding for the school, they would cost more than that to provide for, making for a net drain. I vote for politicians who propose to strengthen the school system and improve its funding. 

 

I think you're being overly simplistic in your portrayal of support for public education. It's not simply a case of supporting it or not by casting your vote when you enrol your child or not. I support Canada's universal medicare system wholeheartedly -- without getting sick, without checking myself into a hospital, without seeing doctors. 

 

I would argue that you are probably the anomoly in terms of actively supporting a local school system while homeschooling your kids.  I get the impression that most home schoolers want nothing to do with the local school system.  As one poster here said "what does it have to do with me?" or something like that.

 

Miranda

 

 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post




Of course I see the value of public schools and their role! I hear home schoolers moaning about how they don't think it's fair that they have to pay property taxes to support their local schools when their children aren't attending, or how they ought to get vouchers since their children aren't attending. I happily support our schools financially. I donate supplies. I would vote to raise a tax for schools every time. I have even been to local school board meetings to voice my opinion about things that they probably don't care about, given that my kid doesn't go to school there anyway. 

 

I could afford to send my kids to private school now if I wanted to - if it was really just about finding a better school. I don't want to. It's not about finding a better school. I don't think there is a better one *for my kids* than my living room, and even if the public schools were fantastic, I'd still believe that. <shrug>


What would you do if you believed that but didn't have the option to actually stay home and school them yourself?  And also, where the heck do you get the self confidence to believe you can be their best teacher?  I mean that last sincerely, I'm not trying to be snarky lol.  I don't think I have it in me to feel like I could be an effective math teacher for example. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post

The idea that people like me are screwing up what would be a much better system if only we'd sacrifice our kids to it is a little offensive. I'm not feeling insulted or terribly offended or anything. It's just an idea that I find a mildly offensive, for lack of a better word. If I could think of a better one I would. lol


I knew the sacrifice your kids thing would come up..I was joking with DH about that before you posted.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post

I feel compelled to tilt at windmills.  I don't feel compelled to use my child(ren) as a lance.  In fact, my profession is tilting at windmills that I feel passionate about, so I get what you're saying.  But that's my thing, not my kids'.

 

My kids move back and forth between public school and homeschool - currently, one's in school and the other is at home, and they may both be home next year.  The education I received as a child is very different from what is offered in our district - which performs well enough on standardized tests/global measures.  My children get one 13 year period of their lives to be "schooled," and I'm not going to have them spend it feeding the machine against their own interests.

 

Furthermore, the exodus of children and families to homeschooling in the last decade-plus is, or should be, an alarm bell to anyone who cares about child development, future social costs, or innovative societies with creative thinkers.   This may be more powerful than isolated folks standing against the current.

 

This is fun to watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

 

Sir Ken Robinson - Changing Education Paradigms

 

I am not arguing that the PS system is not messed up.  Fer sure.  I havn't had a chance to watch the link though.  Hopefully soon.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by onatightrope View Post

Chamomile Girl-- suppose you have a child who needs surgery.  Would you send them to the very best hospital you could find, or would you send them to the charity hospital up the road, as a means of showing your support for the charity hospital?  If you chose the charity hospital and it became clear your child was not getting the care she needed, would you keep her there for the hospital's sake?  My kids have educational needs that my local public school can not meet.  I'll be danged if I'll send them there anyhow as a means of "supporting" the public schools.  Supporting my kids is a much higher priority.  The idea that I should put the system's needs ahead of their needs is bizarre.  The system is supposed to work for children-- saying that it can't work unless I sacrifice my kids' education is nonsensical.

 

I don't see it as the binary that you do.  There is no evidence as of yet that public school won't be a perfectly good fit for my kid and I also do not see the entire PS system as a monolith.  If one school does not work out I will try another.  But as I stated before if it becomes very clear that my son is not being properly served by his schools then other options are certainly on the table.  Where I think I differ from many of you is that I do not see keeping my kid at home to learn because of my experience in the public schools as being logical.  I am old and crusty and the schools I attended are all closed, the teachers all retired.  There is no evidence that my kid would have a similarly awful experience as me because I do not believe my experience to be the default.  I guess I am an optimist because even though I know there are some craptacular schools and teachers out there there are also many great ones.  I'm gonna find me a great one lol.

 

Also, homeschooling is a misnomer.  Most people who homeschool are out in the community all the time, mixing with a wide variety of people.  I suspect that you have a pretty fixed idea of what kind of people homeschool, and believe we are a monolithic group whose children would benefit from time away from us (you've almost said so in so many words).  In my experience, the homeschool community is quite diverse, probably more diverse than my local public school.  

 

Yes, this was said upthread.  I have no idea personally as I am not a member of the homeschool community.



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaboss View Post

I've found this thread quite interesting. We're not yet at "school-age" but how to educate my children has been on my mind almost constantly. I viewed the Changing Education Paradigms short in a Humanities class earlier this year and found it accurate based on the public school experience of myself and siblings, some of whom are still school-age. I was fortunate enough to fit into the "good student" bracket and was more of a by-stander but I watched some siblings, from a young age being fed a myriad of medications because they weren't succeeding. Yes, ultimately the parent can refuse but how many parents are being told by the school that medication is the only hope for their child.

I definitely agree that public schools are teaching children simply to pass tests. Look at what No Child Left Behind has done. The point of public school is to make sure the students, broken up into specific demographics (Hispanic, Low-Income, Special Needs, ESL, etc.) pass so the school continues to get funding. 

I'm with previous comments that I'll pay my taxes, etc. so our school system doesn't completely fall apart but I doubt I can bring myself to volunteer my children to be the lab rats.

 

OK...again (I'm starting to sound like a broken record...mama whats a record? lol...anyways) what you describe here is not true of all schools.  And I can honestly say that I have never asked a child to go on meds...in fact if you knew me you would find that totally laughable.

 

As for the latter point:

 

All of our children are lab rats.  Take responsibility for it, because you make choices for your children every day.  If you are religious you make the choice to bring your child to church and expose them to an entire philosophical system not of their own making.  If you are into eating a certain way you choose what your child can eat and what they cannot.  You choose what they watch, what they can or cannot play with, where they can go, sometimes who they can hang out with.  YOU make these choices for your kids because you are their parent.  Schooling choices are no different than any other choice based on your family values.  Public school, private school or home school your kids are still being placed with a learning module that is not of their own choosing...at least not at first.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post




I think you are confusing education with public schooling in some of your arguments here. Education helps determine a future - but education and schooling are not one and the same.

If you truly care about education then you might be interested to read some studies that indicate that homeschooling can infact mitigate most of the issues which cause children to do poorly in school.  One study indicates that unlike the experiences of public schooled children, the academic achievement for homeschoolers (which is often evaluated to be higher than their public school cohorts)  is not significantly affected by the parents' education or, income' the student's race, ethnic background or gender, the family's access to a computer or public library.

 

If education is truly your goal, and assisting kids who might be struggling in the system is your passion, wouldn't that favour the argument of returning educational power and choice to the family and advocating for more homeschooling rather than less? 
 

If your concern is that the system itself is failing schools, how would adding in more demands to that system improve it?  Between my 4 kids I have children who are gifted, dyslexic combined with other learning differences, children who would likely get an ADD diagnosis if they were forced to be in school all day, amd children who have demanding medical needs which require constant monitoring and care.  Their needs would not be well served in the school system even with the additional resources that would be required to be in place to attempt to meet those needs.  My son went to K and part of grade 1. Had he stayed in school I would have continued to advocate for his needs but that would not, by definition, translate into helping the school meet the needs of other children in the classroom. In the meantime school was a soulcrushing experience for him where not only were his academic needs not being met, but all other aspects of his self suffered - social. physical, relational, spiritual. How does adding my particular child, and a very frustrated set of parents to a system which is not interested nor designed to accomodate his needs or our input help anyone?

 

I absolutely agree with you that a strong educational system is a benefit to society and that within that system there is a need for public education. However, I disagree with your premise that the only way to make the public school system strong is by ignoring the idea that education and schooling are not the same thing, and funnelling every single child through a public school regardless of what the educational needs of the individual are. That's a recipe for a well attended school system but it is a huge leap to make a correlation between well attended schools and a well educated citizenry.

 

 

 

 


See I think this is a very interesting point but it misses the crux of my thinking which is that homeschooling is not for everyone.  And I'll take the plunge here because I think it is the elephant in the room so to speak, but I value my career much more than I value the concept of homeschooling.  And since my career is that of a public school teacher I have a strong ideological investment in that system being beneficial to those it purports to serve.  If I thought that the only way my kids could be properly raised was for me to stay home with them I would never have had a child.  Because to me that is house slavery and not something I (please actually read this carefully...I...I...I...I..not you, not the neighbor, not anyone else but I) have ever wanted to experience.  Unless there is an effective way to homeschool without a parent actually having to be...you know...home.

 

Now of course if we actually HAD a stronger safety net in this country (or really had one at all) then many more mothers and fathers would have the option of homeschooling without bankrupting themselves and I honestly can't see that as being a bad thing.  But it could never work for me I don't think, because I find too much of my personal satifaction and identity through the work I love to do, rather than through being a mother.

 

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Old 05-09-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

 

 



 




What would you do if you believed that but didn't have the option to actually stay home and school them yourself?  And also, where the heck do you get the self confidence to believe you can be their best teacher?  I mean that last sincerely, I'm not trying to be snarky lol.  I don't think I have it in me to feel like I could be an effective math teacher for example. 

 

....  But it could never work for me I don't think, because I find too much of my personal satifaction and identity through the work I love to do, rather than through being a mother.

 


Bolding mine.

 

I do not think I am the best teacher - best is a very hard word to live up to, but statistically HSed kids fare as well academically (or better) than schooled kids so that is good enough for me.  I also need to point out that many HSed kids do have teachers in specific areas where the parents lack the ability to teach their passion.  My son has done numerous drama classes - and they all involved teachers.  

 

As for the last line quoted above...I work.  There are many HSing parents who work.  Many work part time, some work from home, some even work full time (that would not be my choice) but many HSing moms do work.  I for one am a better person because I work - I need the non-home stimulation.  

 

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Old 05-09-2011, 11:07 PM
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No, I would equate it more with deciding not to vote because you don't feel like you can get behind any particular choice that is being offered.  But I would still consider that opting out of the system, because you live in a democratic society whether or not you choose to participate in it.
But voting is an exercise of our democratic rights - our rights to have a say in our own futures. That's what homeschooling is about. Saying all kids should go to school is like saying all adults should vote for candidate A.
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  And also, where the heck do you get the self confidence to believe you can be their best teacher? 
I'm not a teacher. Homeschooling is not school. I actually was a pretty good teacher, but seeing how learning happens from both perspectives ( as a public school teacher and a homeschooling parent) convinced me that public schools weren't the best place for my kid to learn.
Quote:

All of our children are lab rats.  Take responsibility for it, because you make choices for your children every day. 

Yep. I agree. And the Great School Experiment seems a lot riskier to me than homeschooling, honestly.
Quote:
See I think this is a very interesting point but it misses the crux of my thinking which is that homeschooling is not for everyone.  And I'll take the plunge here because I think it is the elephant in the room so to speak, but I value my career much more than I value the concept of homeschooling.  And since my career is that of a public school teacher I have a strong ideological investment in that system being beneficial to those it purports to serve.  If I thought that the only way my kids could be properly raised was for me to stay home with them I would never have had a child.  Because to me that is house slavery and not something I (please actually read this carefully...I...I...I...I..not you, not the neighbor, not anyone else but I) have ever wanted to experience.  Unless there is an effective way to homeschool without a parent actually having to be...you know...home.

 


I don't think homeschooling is for everyone, but this is the homeschool forum...

I've supported my kid throughout her years of homeschooling - some of it through substitute teaching, even. Really, homeschooling doesn't necessarily mean being home much at all, or being with your kid 24/7. It just means your kid isn't in school.



 
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:18 PM
 
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I went to 25 schools across three states.  I have lived in Compton (yes, we did have drive by shootings on our street), Los Gatos, Riverside, ... the list is long.  I have been in poor schools and rich schools.  I have been in schools that were almost entirely black, almost entirely latino, almost entirely white, and schools where no ethnicity had above a 20% representation (now that's diversity, yo).  I have personal experiences from every single one of these places that are pretty horrific.  I had other kids in school rape me in the poor towns and the rich towns.  It's not like I lack experience with the diversity of public schools. ;)  I am well aware they are not a monolith.

 

My experiences were pretty extreme, yes.  But if it happened to me it could happen to someone else.  I'm going to make damn sure it isn't my kid.

 

And as for that "boot strap myth" I escaped extreme poverty and abuse.  I went to graduate school and the last year I worked full time my husband and I collectively brought home almost $200,000.  I used my boot straps.


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Old 05-10-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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I think this quote sums up the disconnect-- you seem to believe that public school is not one of several equally acceptable options for educating a child, but the only option available to good citizens.  Am I understanding you correctly?  

 

I'm having trouble with quoting, but you post later that your point is that homeschooling is not for everyone, but that's not what your arguments seem to say.  They seem to say that no one should homeschool, because you have philosophical objections to it.  If your point is actually that you don't believe homeschooling is a good choice for your family, you'll get no argument from me-- do what you think is right for your family, and I'll respect that you have stronger motivations and better information to know what is right for yourself and your children.  But I'd appreciate the same courtesy and respect in return.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

 


No, I would equate it more with deciding not to vote because you don't feel like you can get behind any particular choice that is being offered.  But I would still consider that opting out of the system, because you live in a democratic society whether or not you choose to participate in it.

 

 
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl

 

And also, where the heck do you get the self confidence to believe you can be their best teacher?  I mean that last sincerely, I'm not trying to be snarky lol.  I don't think I have it in me to feel like I could be an effective math teacher for example. 
 


See I think this is a very interesting point but it misses the crux of my thinking which is that homeschooling is not for everyone.  And I'll take the plunge here because I think it is the elephant in the room so to speak, but I value my career much more than I value the concept of homeschooling.  And since my career is that of a public school teacher I have a strong ideological investment in that system being beneficial to those it purports to serve.  If I thought that the only way my kids could be properly raised was for me to stay home with them I would never have had a child.  Because to me that is house slavery and not something I (please actually read this carefully...I...I...I...I..not you, not the neighbor, not anyone else but I) have ever wanted to experience.  Unless there is an effective way to homeschool without a parent actually having to be...you know...home.

 

Now of course if we actually HAD a stronger safety net in this country (or really had one at all) then many more mothers and fathers would have the option of homeschooling without bankrupting themselves and I honestly can't see that as being a bad thing.  But it could never work for me I don't think, because I find too much of my personal satifaction and identity through the work I love to do, rather than through being a mother.

 



I wanted to speak to both your points here.

 

1)  I think that I can do at least as good a job facilitating my children's education as the school system. I know them, their goals, their strengths and challenges, their interests and the way they think in ways that a system just can't. That isn't the same to me as being confident I can teach calculus.  But I can evaluate resources, classes, tutors etc and help my children find what they need to learn.  I think that teachers have an amazing gift - I'd rather stick hot pokers in my eye than manage a class of 25 kids that belong to other people. And I think the concept of "teaching" - ie having children absorb information delivered by an "expert" has merrit  in that situation. But homeschooling is less (imo) about teaching and more about helping kids learn - and often the hardest part of that is just knowing that once you have set the stage for them you need to stay out of their way and not limit them. 

 

My sister is a teacher and more than once she's called me to talk through a concept she needs to teach to clarify it in her mind, get her facts straight and talk about resources. We've had lots of discussions about the fact that teacher's college focused more on the classroom management aspect and working within the system than it was about helping kids learn.  I don't aspire to be a great teacher and I don't think that is what my kids need because that's not the education paradigm we operate from.

 

2) Homeschooling a child is not the same as parenting a preschooler or toddler. Homeschooling is not about being a housewife/teacher/slave to the home. Some of the most fulfilling experiences I've had have come about as a direct result of the opportunities that have presented themselves due to homeschooling and the community that it puts us in. My experience homeschooling is worlds away from being a part time sahm of a toddler (which I enjoyed for different reasons).  I'm not saying that your experience would be the same as mine but instead wanted to suggest that it is likely inaccurate to extrapolate your experience now with one (?) young child to assess whether homeschooling would be a similar hell as you find staying at home now.

 

3) I don't think people are disagreeing that homeschooling isn't for everyone - but to posit that all children would be better served educationally by forcing homeschooling parents back to the public system is just wrong. Educationally speaking actually the opposite is true - but that assumes that parents are committed to their children's education.  We all know that isn't the case in every instance but as I said above there is a case to be made that children whose parents are committed to their education are actually better served outside the school system where those other factors that determine school success are mitigated.  

 

Homeschooling parents are committed to their children's education - but again that isn't the same as being committed to the school system. I would not -lol- be a beneficial parent in a school because my idea of what education should encompass isn't likely to match up with those of my child's peer group. I would fight for less school for my kids, less homework, less directed teaching, more hands on/real world opportunities, less rote learning/test taking, more ownership of education transferred to the child. We did not do well "supporting the school" when my son was in school because so much of what that entails in our experience has so very little to do with education.  We were an attendence nightmare because I believe a day wandering a museum, or chasing tadpoles at the pond, or listening to a mid afternoon concert or drawing picture after picture of dinosaurs copied from a stack of library books is far more educational *for him* than what he would pick  up sitting at a desk doing the same math in the same way as all the kids around them - regardless of what they knew or how they learned.

 

I think that your comment about comparing schooling to a democracy speaks to the fact that your definition of education is tightly entwined or perhaps is the same as your definition of schooling

Public school imo is just one choice on the political landscape. Opting for a different choice is not the same as not choosing.

 

Interesting conversation - thanks for hanging in with all of us.

Karen  


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Old 05-16-2011, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The notion that homeschooling is like opting out of democracy is surprising to me. I would not compare homeschooling to not voting in elections because one feels there are no appropriate candidates at all, though I think not voting for that reason is entirely valid, and not like refraining from voting because you can't be bothered, for instance. For me (libertarian), homeschooling generally represents a valid choice within the democratic system, in countries where it is legal. It is not a political choice, but a personal one. It is not a strike against the public school system, it is just a choice.


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Old 05-16-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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For me (libertarian), homeschooling generally represents a valid choice within the democratic system, in countries where it is legal. It is not a political choice, but a personal one. It is not a strike against the public school system, it is just a choice.


Exactly! To extend the political vote metaphor...

 

It's not like not voting. Not voting is like truancy: don't send the kids to school, don't provide for their education at home, just don't bother doing anything.

 

Homeschooling is like voting for an independent candidate. It's a choice within a range of legally allowable choices. Your "vote" may not directly contribute to the election of the ruling party, but it's still a valid democratic vote.

 

Miranda

 


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Old 05-16-2011, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, Miranda! Mind you, after having lived in developing countries, mostly "banana republics" for a decade now, I do find that not voting when there is not an appropriate candidate is valid. Non-related to this topic, but pretty interesting I think. When a democracy is so corrupt it does not deserve its title, or when there is a dictatorship in place, not voting can actually be a very good choice. Voting gives "legitimacy" (in inverted commas!) to such systems.

 

In our case, homeschooling might in fact just be "opting out of the system", because it is illegal. I have no loyalty to the system and do not think it is beneficial. Therefore, I feel that opting out of this particular system is a good choice. While we do not have the legal choice to do what is good for us, I will use the "western citizenship card" to opt out. Normally though, I don't see taking a perfectly legal choice to homeschool as opting out, just as utilizing the legal options in a way the majority does not choose. In that case, you are still part of the system, as you fund it with your taxes.


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