Would you HS if you lived in an amazing district? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I always have wanted to HS my kids, especially since we lived in a crappy district. But now we have permanently moved a few states away and are living in an amazing district! The more I hear about it, especially some of the high school programs, the more impressed I am. So now I am torn. Do I HS or do I send them to PS? Most of what I am excited about are the High School programs, which they may or may not even be interested in, or even get in to, so that is why I am still leaning towards HS. I just don't want to take any chances away from them. What would you do?

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#2 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 07:12 AM
 
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Yep.

We have lived in several different districts in our homeschooling years. One was mediocre, all the others were considered to be excellent.

 

Our choice to homeschool was not and has never been a reaction to the specific school systems...just the better choice for our children & our family.

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#3 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 07:43 AM
 
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Yes, we would too. I love our local public school, and yet we have still homeschooled. Even the best school districts require daily attendance, segment the world into grade levels and subject areas, take students out of the flow of family and community life, operate based on a mass education model with many children vying for rank and approval by of a limited number of adults who are in positions of authority, separate learning from living, group children by age, and so on. That's just the nature of schooling. We prefer our education, at least in the pre-adolescent years, to have a different nature entirely. 

 

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#4 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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Yes.

 

What they said.

 

Even the best schools are still schools.  


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#5 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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Depending on where you are, and which programs your kids are interested in, you might be able to do a mix of homeschool and public school.
 

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#6 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 08:40 AM
 
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we actually live a block away from a school and we live in one of the better school districts in town.  good school or not that doesnt change why why chose to homeschool. 


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#7 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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We would still homeschool. We didn't really decide to homeschool because the local schools were bad. We just felt homeschooling better suited our dd.

A school that would make me change my mind about homeschooling would have to be very different from a traditional school at this point.

 

You could homeschool for the younger years and then let your children attend the high school if they want when they get to that age. Many people do that.

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#8 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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You don't have to make a decision for the next 13 years. You could homeschool now and as your kids get older reevaluate.  They may be super interested in one of the high school programs you think is cool and there is no reason you couldn't apply then.  They might not be.  

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#9 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 12:41 PM
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Maybe.  

 

You see, we DO live in a great district and my kids did go to the public school for a short while.  It wasn't a good fit for my kids.  However, if the school would have been a good fit, I don't think I would have pulled them out.  And, FWIW, I always planned on homeschooling.  Our situation at the time of dd1 entering kinder persuaded me to give ps a try.  DD1 is now entering 7th.  We are trying to plan for high school.  Unfortunately, our high school doesn't have the types of programs (except for an excellent drama program) that dd is interested in.  However, she has always been interested in the social life of a high school student (games, pep rallies, etc.) so I thought she would want high school.  Well, we finally tapped into some great social aspects within the community at large for her, so that isn't a draw.  Yet, she needs more than I can offer in terms of academics (ie a science lab).  So we are researching options for her.  She might just go to high school.  She might not.  Time will tell.  

 

Make a decision for what your needs are at this moment.  Just because you start the educational journey on one path doesn't mean that you can't change direction.

 

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#10 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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We didn't intend to homeschool at all and ended up pulling out of first grade after a few weeks because it wasn't a good fit. At the time, I was frustrated at the lack of good options within the public school system where we live, and I confess that I drooled over websites of schools available in other areas... However, after two years of homeschooling I can't imagine sending my son to any elementary school. It's hard to see how any school program could offer flexibility, freedom, non-coercive enthusiasm driven learning, multi-age relationships etc etc that homeschooling can provide-- and his personality and learning style just make homeschooling a much easier alternative. Having said that, my son may well choose to attend school later on and if so, we'll look at all the options... 


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#11 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 03:25 PM
 
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We would still HS even in a great school district.  The school itself is not the reason we choose to HS, its our beliefs, we feel that the kids being at home is just where they thrive...the ability to make your own schedule, learning together, and our family is tighter and stronger for it.  joy.gif  and the kids love not having to wake up early...lol
 

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#12 of 45 Old 07-23-2012, 06:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post

You don't have to make a decision for the next 13 years. You could homeschool now and as your kids get older reevaluate.  They may be super interested in one of the high school programs you think is cool and there is no reason you couldn't apply then.  They might not be.  

 

This. It's okay to HS now and send them to PS later or vice versa. You have options. In our case I would still probably HS but we have a unique situation. DS is high functioning ASD and is academically advanced but socially awkward. We can meet his needs better at home. DD is celiac and until she's old enough to advocate for herself (and avoid sharing a surface with someone eating a sandwich), we can protect her better at home.


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#13 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 03:08 AM
 
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I didn't like what I saw and heard about our grade school, and that was one of the factors in deciding to homeschool. I think we might have done it anyway, because of our specific situation. Also, if you're thinking of sending them to school for high school, you should try to get them in sync with the other kids. We ended up not sending to high school because of being so out of sync (and just used to homeschooling).
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#14 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 08:18 AM
 
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All districts still fall under no child left behind.

 

So....yes. We have lived in places with "amazing" districts and we have continued to HS.
 


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#15 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 08:42 AM
 
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If I lived in a great district, would I homeschool? Well, that really depends on what I want to get out of homeschooling. If there is a philosophy I am very attached to, like unschooling, Waldorf, or religious education, I might. Public education will not provide any of that. Ever. If I am looking for solid academics and a kid who is ready to go to a good university upon graduation, I would send them to school.

 

My aunt was a model homeschooler to her first two, but sent them to school when she was able to send them to a good one. Her girls were just ready to be around their peers more. She was worried at first but was quite relieved with her decision. First of all, she had to admit, there was socialization at school that even very skilled, cooperative homeschooling didn't cover. It was good for her kids to be around people who were NOT like minded. She also found that as they got older, she began to understand why secondary teachers had degrees in the topics they were teaching. My aunt is very, very intelligent but as it turns out, sometimes you do need an expert to teach your children honors/AP classes. Finally, it was a huge financial relief. Not only did the school provide everything for free, but she was able to get a job that paid 50K a year. Had she continued to homeschool, she was virtually paying that much a year in tuition in lost income potential.

 

There were some things that made her sad. Homeschooling had been fun, and it was nice to be able to take off anywhere, any time of year. But, she had to admit that's not how the workforce usually looks in the real world. She wasn't altogether pleased with some of the other kids in the school, but it wasn't horrible or dangerous. She decided that she wanted to produce adults that could function in less than ideal circumstances and be flexible with coworkers. She had no regrets about the academic curriculum- they were both stellar students.
 

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#16 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 09:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post

She decided that she wanted to produce adults that could function in less than ideal circumstances and be flexible with coworkers. 

 

 

It sounds like your aunt had many reasons to send her kids to high school, but I really take issue with the implication that homeschooling does not produce this kind of young adult. My homeschoolers have had tons of this sort of experience: waiting in line at the passport office and watching an irate man blow up at a clerical worker, dealing with little-girl spats at theatre camp, putting in hours of prep time for an orchestra or string quartet experience and having peers show up unprepared, trying to figure out ways to play with the autistic daughter of a family friend, working through conflicts at family meetings, putting in hours of volunteer time at the community garden and seeing it vandalized a few weeks later, waiting while the aikido sensei tries yet again to redirect the inappropriate behaviour of a recalcitrant 11-year-old, attending day after day of swim lessons in 55-degree water and air temperatures to match, and on, and on.


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#17 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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I would like to add two things that my aunt and her homeschooling colleagues found. They were pioneers and set the bar for homeschooling in America, so it's probably good advice: Most found it easier to put kids in school and switch to homeschooling rather than homeschool first and switch to school. Although HSing first and switching is not impossible. Just trickier. Also, if you plan to send your kids to a public high school, it might be wise to HS in a way that will make adapting easier. Don't do something radically different than what your kid's model peers will have done. You don't want your kid to be so overwhelmed from acclimatizing that other things fall by the wayside. Try to HS in a way that basic public school curricula won't look totally alien. You don't have to HS as if you were a public school teacher, but the work should look somewhat familiar when they go to high school.

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#18 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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It sounds like your aunt had many reasons to send her kids to high school, but I really take issue with the implication that homeschooling does not produce this kind of young adult. My homeschoolers have had tons of this sort of experience: waiting in line at the passport office and watching an irate man blow up at a clerical worker, dealing with little-girl spats at theatre camp, putting in hours of prep time for an orchestra or string quartet experience and having peers show up unprepared, trying to figure out ways to play with the autistic daughter of a family friend, working through conflicts at family meetings, putting in hours of volunteer time at the community garden and seeing it vandalized a few weeks later, waiting while the aikido sensei tries yet again to redirect the inappropriate behaviour of a recalcitrant 11-year-old, attending day after day of swim lessons in 55-degree water and air temperatures to match, and on, and on.

 

Well, I could take issue with posters here, including you, saying parents who choose public school are putting their kids in a coercive environment. What a way to make parents of lesser means feel lousy. To add to that, homeschooling can be very high demand and coercive, but that's another thread.

 

When my cousins went to school, it wasn't about watching an irritated man in line at the passport office, or how to be nice to autistic children.

(Golf clap, btw). They had left their house, you know. It was about having access to kids brought up very differently. Not wrongly, as you seem to imply about kids from the outside world. Why did you rattle off a list of jerks? These other kids weren't jerks. Different life styles, viewpoints, languages, cultures. Not just other home schoolers.

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#19 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 09:39 AM
 
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kmeyrick, do you homeschool?


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#20 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 09:49 AM
 
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kmeyrick, do you homeschool?


My son is an infant, but in the right circumstances, yes, I would. If I stay in my current location I probably will, but if we move to another location which looks likely right now, I will reconsider. Half of my family is homeschooled so I am no stranger to it. What we get out of it is knockout academics in otherwise low performing areas. We homeschool religiously, which means cultural isolation which I do indeed view as a problem. My aunt wanted to correct that but it did make her nervous to put her kids into a world where people believed so very, very differently. But even secular homeschooling has some hurdles that get tougher to jump over as the kids get older. I think you get the most out of homeschooling when you view it realistically and not romantically. A poor understanding of what school actually is and does is damaging in the long run, too.

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#21 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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Oh! This is directly to the OP- where do you want to be when your kids are, say, 10 or 8 years old? Your dreams count too. If you have a life plan or wish, factor it in when planning your children's education.
 

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#22 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 10:31 AM
 
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Water at 55 degrees causes hypothermia btw, which a science teacher could have told you. Sure it will take about an hour, for an adult, but still.
 

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#23 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 10:36 AM
 
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It's true. Blasted fact checking can get in the way of things though so here's a handy link for all confused on it.

 

http://www.usps.org/national/ensign/uspscompass/compassarchive/compassv1n1/hypothermia.htm


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#24 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 11:19 AM
 
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If you want both sides of the picture, you might consider asking this question on the "Learning at School" board as well. I don't think you're going to find many people on the homeschooling section being gung-ho about school.winky.gif If you're just wanting validation that it's OK to homeschool your kids even if you live in a good district, that's one thing. If you're seriously considering public school, you should talk to people who do it.

 

I caution everyone (homeschoolers or not) against making judgments about a school based on reputation alone. Our kids go to a public school that many of the parents in our neighborhood (mostly middle to upper-middle class) avoid on reputation alone. Yes, the school's high poverty. Yes, it has a lot of English language learners. Yes, my children are getting a good education with amazing teachers. Personally, I think the teachers at our school are more skilled than the teachers at the neighboring school that a lot of parents transfer into. As a teacher, I know it's easy to teach to the top. It's reaching the kids who are struggling that's the measure of your teaching skill. Unless you've visited the school and talked to parents about a specific school, you don't know what it's like.

 

Furthermore, my kids are learning things about people and other kinds of families that I couldn't introduce them to. For many reasons, homeschooling would not work for our family (this includes personalities, my work, my husband's work and our value system  --we see value in the public education system). I know this is the homeschooling board, but since this question involves school, I think it important to note that there are other sides to this issue.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savoir Faire View Post

All districts still fall under no child left behind.

 

So....yes. We have lived in places with "amazing" districts and we have continued to HS.
 

 

Our state (along with many states) just got a waiver. Furthermore, even if districts were under NCYB, the only schools that had consequences were the Title I schools (schools with more than 40% of children getting free/reduced lunch). NCYB was an awful law, but if it's a high income school, it's probably a moot point.


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#25 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 11:46 AM
 
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It was about having access to kids brought up very differently. Not wrongly, as you seem to imply about kids from the outside world. Why did you rattle off a list of jerks? These other kids weren't jerks. Different life styles, viewpoints, languages, cultures. Not just other home schoolers.

 

(Since when is an autistic child a jerk? And what's with the sarcastic golf clap?) You mentioned learning to deal with less than ideal circumstances as something homeschoolers might not learn to do, so I rattled off a list of less than ideal circumstances that my youngest kid has coped with in recent weeks. I was not trying equate these circumstances to school -- just providing evidence that homeschooled kids can learn the things you implied they couldn't. 

 

You might be interested to know that I have one child in full-time high school, and two who have been part-time for 1-4 years and are moving to full-time in the fall. I fully support schooling as a valid educational choice. I'm not sure why you think I'm trying to make parents of school children feel lousy. 

 

You've now raised a separate issue: of getting to know "children with different lifestyles, viewpoints, languages, cultures. Not just other homeschoolers." Again, I disagree that homeschoolers won't get those opportunities. Thinking over all the close friends my kids have had while homeschooling I would venture that far fewer than 50% of them were homeschoolers. Those who were have tended to be culturally, socio-economically and ethnically far less like our family than their school-going friends. In our area the mainstream kids typically go to school, and the homogeneity of the school population reflects that.

 

I get that your second-hand experience is with a form of cultural-isolationist religious homeschooling. But please don't generalize this to other styles of homeschooling.

 

And for what it's worth, my three elder kids have made wonderful, easy transitions to high school with just an unschooled background and no conscious attempt to "keep them at grade level" to prepare for the transition. I know of dozens of families who have transitioned from homeschooling to school with little to no difficulty.

 

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#26 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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Water at 55 degrees causes hypothermia btw, which a science teacher could have told you. Sure it will take about an hour, for an adult, but still.
 

 

Thanks for your concern. Living near a glacier-fed lake in Canada, we're perfectly aware of this. The kids are all in wetsuits. I'll probably have photos on my blog in a couple of days if you care to double-check my facts. Sheesh.

 

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#27 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 12:13 PM
 
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(Since when is an autistic child a jerk? And what's with the sarcastic golf clap?) You mentioned learning to deal with less than ideal circumstances as something homeschoolers might not learn to do, so I rattled off a list of less than ideal circumstances that my youngest kid has coped with in recent weeks. I was not trying equate these circumstances to school -- just providing evidence that homeschooled kids can learn the things you implied they couldn't. 

 

You might be interested to know that I have one child in full-time high school, and two who have been part-time for 1-4 years and are moving to full-time in the fall. I fully support schooling as a valid educational choice. I'm not sure why you think I'm trying to make parents of school children feel lousy. 

 

You've now raised a separate issue: of getting to know "children with different lifestyles, viewpoints, languages, cultures. Not just other homeschoolers." Again, I disagree that homeschoolers won't get those opportunities. Thinking over all the close friends my kids have had while homeschooling I would venture that far fewer than 50% of them were homeschoolers. Those who were have tended to be culturally, socio-economically and ethnically far less like our family than their school-going friends. In our area the mainstream kids typically go to school, and the homogeneity of the school population reflects that.

 

I get that your second-hand experience is with a form of cultural-isolationist religious homeschooling. But please don't generalize this to other styles of homeschooling.

 

And for what it's worth, my three elder kids have made wonderful, easy transitions to high school with just an unschooled background and no conscious attempt to "keep them at grade level" to prepare for the transition. I know of dozens of families who have transitioned from homeschooling to school with little to no difficulty.

 

Miranda

Bolding is mine. When you listed an autistic child among the trials your children have had to endure, it raised my eyebrows. And upset me a little, to be honest. (Autistic loved ones). I myself am an educator, have spent a lot of time in all facets of this field, and am not at all against homeschooling. I am not just exposed to religious homeschooling, btw, and don't think that religious homeschoolers are somehow lesser. My cousins both are working on their doctorates in very nice institutions.  But there is a lot of misinformation floating around both schooling and homeschooling. Homeschooling shouldn't make people horrified at schools, perfectly nice schools, as I so frequently see on this board. It IS superior and smug.

 

I did say, quite clearly (which tells me you aren't reading what I'm writing) that it is not impossible to transition from homeschooling to schooling, just that it can be trickier. That's hardly an indictment of homeschooling unless you have done a seriously bad job of it.

 

The way you made schooling sound like an unnatural environment, oppressive, etc, is not only unfair, but a bit hypocritical in light of the fact that you send your children to school at least part of the time.

 

Schooling for all is quite a gift. A blessing. When people sneer at it I get annoyed. There are valid reasons to homeschool and no one in my family regrets doing it, but we've also learned how to word things respectfully for the other family members that don't/didn't homeschool.

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#28 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 12:23 PM
 
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When you listed an autistic child among the trials your children have had to endure, it raised my eyebrows. 

 

You mentioned that school was necessary for your aunt's children to learn about "being flexible with co-workers." I was providing an example of learning flexible inter-personal skills.

 

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#29 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 12:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

Even the best school districts require daily attendance, segment the world into grade levels and subject areas, take students out of the flow of family and community life, operate based on a mass education model with many children vying for rank and approval by of a limited number of adults who are in positions of authority, separate learning from living, group children by age, and so on. That's just the nature of schooling. We prefer our education, at least in the pre-adolescent years, to have a different nature entirely. 

 

Miranda

 

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Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post

The way you made schooling sound like an unnatural environment, oppressive, etc, is not only unfair, but a bit hypocritical in light of the fact that you send your children to school at least part of the time.

 

Please read again what I wrote. Where did I say any of it was oppressive? I just listed some of the administrative realities of school, that attendance is compulsory, that students are grouped by age, that students are graded and ranked relative to each other, that teachers are in positions of authority, that learning is divided into subjects. There's nothing inherently evil about any of that. It's just not what I want during their formative years, nor did my kids want it for themselves.

 

Miranda

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#30 of 45 Old 07-24-2012, 08:35 PM
 
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Schooling for all is quite a gift. A blessing. When people sneer at it I get annoyed. There are valid reasons to homeschool and no one in my family regrets doing it, but we've also learned how to word things respectfully for the other family members that don't/didn't homeschool.

It is nigh on impossible to word it respectfully enough to please everyone all the time.  

 

ETA: I've mentioned to folks that one reason that I like HSing is that we don't have to get up so early, we can learn when we're ready, we can run around when we need to, etc.  And sometimes, some people I've spoken with react defensively, because these simple, fairly (seemingly) innocuous comments become for them a criticism of schooling.

 

Sometimes, the only way to talk about it is not at all, and that is just not helpful.


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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