Why do you homeschool? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 08-07-2013, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First of all, I'm not living in North America. Secondly, I'm here for honest reasons because I, myself, am intrigued by the thought of homeschooling. (And curious as to why others do it:))

 

I'm in Northern Europe, a young stay-at-home mom of 4 little ones (5, soon 4, 2, and newborn), and contemplating whether or not to homeschool my kids. It doesn't seem to be too popular here. I mean, my husband has never even heard of it. Unless he missed the boat somewhere..? I know it's an option here, but that's as far as I've gotten with my research so far. Kids don't start grade 1 until they're 7! (pre-school is for 6 yr olds). So I have some time to think about it still. And (to think about) my own reasons behind it.

 

Religion? Finances? Personal values? Distances? Life situation? Just for the fun of it? Any others?

 

I don't know much about HS in North America, though I'm from there myself:) I'm guessing it would be quite different (guidelines/rules? Definitely a different cirriculum) here than there. But I'm still interested in hearing about it! (Complete beginner here:))

 

Thank you for listening to me:) and taking time to answer!!

(hopefully someone answers LOL!)

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#2 of 22 Old 08-07-2013, 02:58 PM
 
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We are accidental homeschoolers. I never thought I'd home school. It came down to the fact that my kids didn't care for school and I really disliked the options available when my first was about to enter 1st grade.

By that point I had already pulled them out of a Montessori program they didn't care for and I was already seeing how much they were thriving at home. So we decided to keep them home for 1 year to see if learning at home was a viable option. As it turned out, it was one of the best choices I've made in recent years!

I homeschool because I believe it is the best choice for my kids. Now that we have tried it, I don't think we will ever go back to a brick school. We really love that out family can afford to make this choice.

N. America has much freer regulations than most European countries (if not all.) I am pretty grateful for that because at this point we are pretty much unschoolers.
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#3 of 22 Old 08-07-2013, 05:54 PM
 
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Religion? Finances? Personal values? Distances? Life situation? Just for the fun of it? Any others?

 

 

For elementary aged children:

 

Personal values and just for the fun of it.

 

I prefer the pace, socialising and child-centered approach that is availible in HSing that I cannot get in the local schools.


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#4 of 22 Old 08-07-2013, 07:01 PM
 
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Why do I homeschool?  Because school is boring and takes up too much time, and too much of that is wasted time.  At home, my kids can learn what they would learn in school in a fraction of the time it would take at school, leaving them more time to do things they're interested in.  We can go skiing more often (and we can go on weekdays when it's less crowded, and we can go when there's new snow instead of having to wait until the weekend.)  If it's a beautiful fall day we can go for a hike instead of being stuck inside.  There's more time for fun things like playing chess, reading aloud, building with Legos, or sledding.  We can focus on what's really important and interesting to learn and not waste time doing boring work that doesn't teach anything useful.  It's also nice that we don't have to live according to the school schedule.  We don't have to get up a certain time in the morning.  It's easy for the kids to get enough sleep.  We can take a trip any time, not just when it's school vacation. 

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#5 of 22 Old 08-07-2013, 07:23 PM
 
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I see this kind of thread now and again, and my answer is still the same:

 

Freedom-- freedom from some things, freedom to do others, freedom of time, all kinds of freedom.

 

I had all other kinds of reasons to want to start, but what makes me happy and keeps us going is just this.

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#6 of 22 Old 08-08-2013, 09:01 AM
 
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For my first, because I wanted to.  For my second, classroom was not a good fit for her.  For my third, because I wan homeschooling the other 2.  For my 4th, because he would have been eaten alive in middle school.  Home schooling is just one of many options in acquiring an education.  And I think we have done just about all of them--public school, private Christian school, charter school, home school with out oversight, home school through the school district.  Right now we are home schooling through a charter school.  Education is a life long pursuit; the classroom is just one path of many.
 


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#7 of 22 Old 08-08-2013, 10:24 AM
 
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We pulled my kids out of school in April during grades 5 and 7.  My 5th grader wasn't being challenged enough.  His teacher was fine with missing 8 out of 30 math problems and didn't require him to do the corrections if his missed 8 or less.  That is 73%.  As long as she could read his chicken scratch handwriting, she didn't require him to re-write anything.  She didn't care if he read age appropriate books, so he read 3rd grade books, and fought me every night to read a 5th grade book.  She just didn't require the best of him.  So my son gave her the bare minimum.  Now, I expect the best that I know my son is capable of.  He went from C's or worse, to mostly A's and B's, and he is now reading 500 page books in like a week and a half. 

 

My 7th grader was bringing home 4-6 hours a night of homework and struggling so much.  He was getting so many D's and F's and he had no life.  His teacher was very good, but with 23 other kids in the class and government standards to teach each year, there was only so much that she could do.  Now, this son is also averaging A's and B's.  Last week he had 100% on his spelling test!  In school, he would never ask questions or volunteer answers.  One teacher even told him to come to her before or after school if he needed help and was embarrassed to ask for help in front of his friends.  Still, he would not ask for help.  Now, we homeschool and with 2 kids in our class, he has no choice but to answer questions, and he is comfortable asking questions too.  The best moment of my homeschool time over the past 18 months is when we went to an Egyptian museum.  We had just studied about Egypt the month before.  Normally, he would never raise his hand to answer a question, even if he was sure of the answer.  Well, this day, he raised his hand so high, and answered two of the tour guide's questions - correctly.  I was so proud of him.  He really needed the 1:1 help. 

 

We also have a baby now.  If the boys were in public school, they would really only see their sister on the weekends cause they would be in school all day, and then doing homework all evening.  They are so close to their sister.  You should see how she lights up every time my 12 yr old enters the room! 

 

We have time for at least one family meal a day - that isn't a rushed meal.  We do school from 8:30am to 2:00pm Monday thru Thursday.  My kids function better with routine structure.  When they are done with school at 2pm, they are free for the rest of the day to play and just be kids.  No more hours and hours of homework on top of their school day.  We have SO much more family time, which is so important to us.

 

Plus, I can teach them about the things that I feel are important to learn, like the holocaust, which is barely even taught in schools here.  And I don't have to teach them about things that I don't agree with, that are taught in schools now.  We can go at their own pace.  If they need more time on a topic, there is nothing that says we have to teach X amount of math or any other topic per year.  If my kids need more time, we can slow down and take time to study the topic more until they actually understand it, rather than just moving on.  If they excel at a topic, then we can move faster.  My kids also have time in their school day for writing in cursive (which is no longer taught in schools here), sign language, German, typing, etc...  We can take field trips whenever we want.  If my kids decide they want to learn about something specific, we can make time to learn about that.  We can go on vacation whenever we want.  If something comes up during the week, we can always have school on the weekend.  We have more time to spend with grandma, and help her with yard work and other things, as she lives alone and is disabled.  We are completely independent homeschoolers, so we love having 100% independence and freedom.  This is the best decision we have ever made, regarding their  schooling.  They are learning and retaining so much more now.  Plus, we are not stuck with boring text books.  We can learn in so many other ways. 

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#8 of 22 Old 08-08-2013, 07:11 PM
 
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For the lifestyle.

 

For the way it allows me to spend so much time with my children - they are growing up so fast!

 

For the way it allows us to escape the rat race of rushing here, rushing there. We have quiet, slow mornings, we can spontaneously make plans based on weather (beach day? sledding?). I have more time to cook and bake. We are usually done our days right when everyone else is leaving school and rushing around to after-school stuff. We avoid crowds and traffic.

 

For the way it allows my kids to learn at their own pace, have oodles of unstructured free time, and to create our own agenda of what is important in life to know. 


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#9 of 22 Old 08-08-2013, 09:18 PM
 
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I love reading the responses on this!

For me, some of it has to do with my own frustrations with school.  I liked school until the 5th grade and it was down hill from there.  I remember being irritated by the amount of time wasted in school from Jr. High on.  My parents allowed me to complete my senior year at home and I was so glad!  I was able to work and be available for people in a different way that I loved.  I also didn't have to wait to move on with my lesson(and leave!) because other people in the class were misbehaving.

 

Now, I have many more reasons.  DD1 is 5 and I just can't picture sending her off everyday.  I would miss that time with her.  Also, with a new baby I feel like I would end up waking him up from nap all the time to pick up DD and getting three kids out the door at 8 am every morning sounds terribly stressful.

 

I am excited to learn with DD and be part of those big moments in her life.  I am looking forward to seeing what she is interested in and running with that!

 

DH does not have a normal M-F schedule and this will also allow us more family time.  It allows us flexibility to help a disabled family member which teaches the kids to help others.

 

Also, while I believe that there are many great teachers within the public schools I think it is a broken system. 

 

I'm sure I could go on but that is what stands out to me right now. 

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#10 of 22 Old 08-11-2013, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow. So many great responses! Thank you!

I keep getting this funny feeling every once in a while. A feeling that tells me to just go for it, that homeschool is an excellent choice. But when living our everyday life and I think about it then, it seems kind of impossible. At least in this current life situation. Our 3yr old boy (4 in the fall) has been quite the challenge. But, maybe it's from lack of challenging or interesting things for him to do.  We have a baby (not even a month yet), which has obviously magnified the situation with him, so maybe I'm a bit overreacting and life with smooth out sooner or later.

 

Our 5yr girl seems to thrive off being with others and especially anyone older than her, even up to adult ages. She craves attention and fun things to do, always wanting to do something active or crafty. I dont know will she accept the homeschool idea after hearing all this about kindergarten and school.

 

 

The way people talk here(Where I'm living in Europe-it might also be just relatives and the friends we have-maybe it's universal?)gets a child excited, maybe, I guess some could get scared, for the start of school. The moment they get to start to learn. Almost like learning doesnt happen anywhere else. Like school is the place you learn and mature. I'm starting to realize more myself, this whole learning (about life) business. It's really not the going to school part. Theres so much more to it than that. Of course the maths, reading and writing are important, along with the other school subjects, but as someone mentioned, at home it takes half the time to learn that stuff than at school and you have that much more time to do what you want!

 

How have you gotten your kids interested, or accepting of homeschooling? Or have you only seen in some way that that would be best? Have you had 'trouble' getting a kid to stay at home to learn? The more I read and think about it the more questions I have:)

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#11 of 22 Old 08-11-2013, 01:56 PM
 
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Wow. So many great responses! Thank you!

I keep getting this funny feeling every once in a while. A feeling that tells me to just go for it, that homeschool is an excellent choice. But when living our everyday life and I think about it then, it seems kind of impossible. At least in this current life situation. Our 3yr old boy (4 in the fall) has been quite the challenge. But, maybe it's from lack of challenging or interesting things for him to do.  We have a baby (not even a month yet), which has obviously magnified the situation with him, so maybe I'm a bit overreacting and life with smooth out sooner or later.

 

Our 5yr girl seems to thrive off being with others and especially anyone older than her, even up to adult ages. She craves attention and fun things to do, always wanting to do something active or crafty. I dont know will she accept the homeschool idea after hearing all this about kindergarten and school.

 

 

The way people talk here(Where I'm living in Europe-it might also be just relatives and the friends we have-maybe it's universal?)gets a child excited, maybe, I guess some could get scared, for the start of school. The moment they get to start to learn. Almost like learning doesnt happen anywhere else. Like school is the place you learn and mature. I'm starting to realize more myself, this whole learning (about life) business. It's really not the going to school part. Theres so much more to it than that. Of course the maths, reading and writing are important, along with the other school subjects, but as someone mentioned, at home it takes half the time to learn that stuff than at school and you have that much more time to do what you want!

 

How have you gotten your kids interested, or accepting of homeschooling? Or have you only seen in some way that that would be best? Have you had 'trouble' getting a kid to stay at home to learn? The more I read and think about it the more questions I have:)

 

1) Your kids won't be this age forever. The 4 year old who is a handful now, may not be when he is 6 or 8. The time goes by so fast. I don't think a reason for schooling should be so someone else has to deal with a child's excess energy. You'll learn more spending more time with them, plus you can always get some respite with babysitters, mother's helpers, your partner, etc. It does get easier as they get older.

 

2) Your daughter won't get much interaction with older kids at school. She will likely be isolated with her age-mates. At school they seem to frown upon inter-grade friendships (the kids I mean). In a homeschool setting your child will get to interact with a wide age-range of kids (assuming you have a homeschool community to access). 

 

3) You can always send her to craft classes at local community centres, art centres, etc. I guess if there are not many people homeschooling where you are it might be more challenging, however. If you have enough people you can arrange classes during the day. Otherwise she can do after-school activities with other kids. 

 

4) Children are marketed to about school from the preschool years. It is pervasive in our culture. Popular media makes school sound so exciting, but by the time kids are around 7 the marketing stops and, instead, the message sent through pop culture is that school sucks and your kid would rather be anywhere but. It's propaganda, IMHO and it should be an eye-opener to people that we have to engage in such mass-marketing to try and convince such young children to leave their families for so much of their time.

 

5) My kids never wanted to go to school, so I haven't dealt with them wanting to. However, I don't know any kid who isn't happy with learning at home. I do know some kids who want the social interactions found at school, but not the learning (I'm not talking about teens here, who may decide to go to school specifically to learn based on their analysis and well-thought out decision making). I don't think school is a good place to get social needs met, since the social dynamics there can be pretty warped. 

 

6) I say "go for it!" :-) but...it is a lot harder without community around you, so would you be homeschooling in relative isolation? are there other families in your area you could get together with?


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#12 of 22 Old 08-11-2013, 07:46 PM
 
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Our 5yr girl seems to thrive off being with others and especially anyone older than her, even up to adult ages. She craves attention and fun things to do, always wanting to do something active or crafty. I dont know will she accept the homeschool idea after hearing all this about kindergarten and school.

 


 

Your 5 yr old sounds so much like mine. Very active, wants lots of attention and loves the arts (dancing, painting, drawing, music, ect.). We sent her to kindergarten at first. DH's whole family is in education and talked it up big time and she was so excited....but after a couple of months the excitement waned and she was either bored some days, or stressed on others and simply not interested in it. We took her out and she has been thriving with homeschooling.  I did pick an artsy curriculum (Oak Meadow) but you don't necessarily need a curriculum, especially at 5. She does a lot better when we are flexible and follow whatever she is interested in. We get out every day to keep active, sometimes for hours so she actually gets a lot more activity at home than she did at school.

 

I am not sure what the school climate is in Europe, but here in the US, the arts are being tossed out the window in favor of more standardized testing. Recess and PE has been cut in many districts as well. But as I said, Europe is probably different but if you really want her to get the arts and physical activity at school I would investigate the school she would be attending to make sure it is still part of the curriculum.


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#13 of 22 Old 08-12-2013, 12:21 AM
 
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mommyemma-would you be willing to say where you are in Europe? If so it might be possible to offer more specific advice. 

 

IFor example: I'm in the UK where homeschooling is legally completely ok, actually the law is extremely unschooling friendly. As a rule, no need to submit reports or justify anything. No need to register. Culturally, I'd say its something that's generally seen as odd, eccentric (but to be fair, the UK is quite a good country to be eccentric in!) but not really a source of concern or anything. 

 

From posting here, reading HEM etc, I'd say the UK culture of homeschooling is very different to the US one. Ours was mainly founded by unschoolers, and so while probably the majority of homeschoolers in the UK are religious, quite often very religious, they do not have a dominant voice in the dialogue-actually the discourse is shaped mainly by unschoolers and relaxed homeschoolers. There was a recent possibility of change to the UK law which would not really have touched anyone using a standard curriculum and roughly adhering to our national guidelines for what kids should know-but hit really hard at unschoolers, and the anger against this-including from more structured homeschoolers-was immense. Maybe its just me but I'd say, in the UK, unschooling or relaxed homeschooling (and people don't tend to split hairs much between them) is really the default. 

 

The UK and Ireland, are the only Northern European countries I know of with a significant homeschooling movement: in most of the Scandinavian and German-speaking countries, I believe, its illegal or significantly discouraged, which means you have a much, much smaller community and you might have far more restrictive rules. This is something I'd personally want to consider actually. Do you have a homeschooling community you can draw on? Also, small things, like is your daughter, when out and about, going to be constantly questioned because there is a culture of children being in school all day? 

 

ETA sorry to answer your original question: why do I homeschool? Basically because, if something is working, I tend to see it as a good idea to continue doing that thing. Coupled with the fact that school in the UK starts full time age 4-and that in the UK school system, if you don't take up said place at age 4, you lose it and, for us, that means we have no school place within any possible walking distance for my three kids as a result-it seemed like a logical choice. At 4, my kids were happy with being at home most days with me, and then going to a Waldorf kindergarten a few mornings a week. They still seem happy at home. I'm a believer in happiness now and dealing with what you have now, rather than trying to stack up life skills for the future really-not that I don't think adult life skills are important, just that I don't think kids can really learn long term life skills, any more than I can really predict or develop effectively the skills I'll need for old age, in my mid thirties.


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#14 of 22 Old 08-12-2013, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in Finland, and from the 5-10 minutes i have spent so far looking it up I know its possible, but I don't think there are many doing it. The school system here is so different from home (which is canada for me), I really haven't been able to understand how it works yet. For example simple schedules compared to classic 9-3(at least from my childhood) can vary here any day of the week, like 8-12 or 11-1. All Mondays are the same, all tuesdays are the same, and so forth. But it seems like there is much less school time here than in America. They do say its better structurd and somehow they get the stuff through to the kids more effectively, but I guess I would still be willing to try homeschooling here. I'm not the greatest getting up so early in the morning, and getting the kids ready for school.just seems like such a chore. But I really enjoy reading and discussing this! This is coming from far off now, but we have talked about moving to America at some point, so lets see. School doesnt start for my daughter until she is 7, so we still have time. And who said learning can't start already?smile.gif
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#15 of 22 Old 08-12-2013, 08:37 AM
 
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 But when living our everyday life and I think about it then, it seems kind of impossible. 

Whenever I hear this, I'm guessing the kids are around 3 and 4.  They always turn out to be 3 and 4.

 

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Our 3yr old boy (4 in the fall) has been quite the challenge. 

Yup.  Like I said..... orngtongue.gif


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#16 of 22 Old 08-12-2013, 08:57 AM
 
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How have you gotten your kids interested, or accepting of homeschooling? Or have you only seen in some way that that would be best? Have you had 'trouble' getting a kid to stay at home to learn? The more I read and think about it the more questions I have:)

Yes.  You have to be something of a homeschool propagandist to counteract the school propaganda.  I am frequently heard saying "this is why I love HSing, because..."  

 

Because:  We can study what we want for however long we want.  To rephrase for kids: you can study horses for years if you want, or even only for a day, then you can change your mind.  YOU get to decide when and how to learn, when you can set aside your book or pick it back up again.  You get to run around if you feel the urge.  You get to learn all the time.  You don't have homework filling up your evenings.  We don't take tests (unless they ask--and they do!)  You get to avoid the crowds.  You can go camping whenever we want.  Some of our region's best weather is right when school starts, and you can bet I weave that into my homeschooling propaganda campaign.  

 

I am always genuine-- I really do feel these things,  just make it a point to verbalize it.  And I didn't wait for them to be "officially" homeschooled-- 8yo in my area-- even at 3 and 5yo, I fully identified us as homeschoolers.  Not "we are going to HS", "we are homeschooling (what do you think of that?)"

 

I make a point not to get too down on school.  But the realities are there:  it can make learning dull.  Kids don't learn how to learn because school tells them "now you get to learn" and they forget they've been doing it all along.  HSed kids--especially the ones whose parents deeply value child-led learning and put it into practice-- are independent, motivated, eager.  I told my daughter when she was younger that kids her age are usually excited by school.  I also told her that it usually changes by 2nd or 3rd grade.  Well, now she's a 3rd grader (age-wise) and guess what?  All the kids her age don't like school, to varying degrees.  Some loath it, most just would rather skip it.  I haven't yet met the kid who loves school, though I know they are out there because I knew a few in my life (including my 4th grade neighbor who cried because he couldn't go to school when he was sick.)

 

Now my girls are nearly-7 and 8.5, and I propagandize less.  They have had time to see the benefits for themselves.  But I still do it regularly.  It's almost back-to-school time for area kids, and out weather will be just brilliant-- sunny and mild, perfect for hiking and biking.  (I feel a homeschooling "jingle" forming itself in my head........whistling.gif).

 

ETA: As for the second "trouble getting them to stay home and learn"-- well... we are unschoolers, and our state has liberal homeschooling requirements, so we never have to stay anywhere and we certainly don't have any "desktime" where they are required to sit and do their work.  But surprisingly (in our house anyway) they ask for things like spelling "tests" and math sheets.  Neither are from workbooks.  Especially the math, because I make it up myself, they can ask for what they want, I can tailor it to their level-- a few easy ones, some tricky but doable ones, and a few that push the boundaries of their knowledge.  Then afterwards, I ask them which ones were too easy, too hard, just right.  It makes it fun.  They somehow manage to get all the other basics done--reading, history, lots and lots of science, health-- we manage to cover it all (in their own way) without me telling them to do anything.  Partly it is because I listen and watch for these things weaving into their everyday play, and I catch all those things.  Other time, it is more overtly learned, like the math tests.


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#17 of 22 Old 08-12-2013, 09:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mommyemma View Post

I'm in Finland, and from the 5-10 minutes i have spent so far looking it up I know its possible, but I don't think there are many doing it. The school system here is so different from home (which is canada for me), I really haven't been able to understand how it works yet. For example simple schedules compared to classic 9-3(at least from my childhood) can vary here any day of the week, like 8-12 or 11-1. All Mondays are the same, all tuesdays are the same, and so forth. But it seems like there is much less school time here than in America. They do say its better structurd and somehow they get the stuff through to the kids more effectively, but I guess I would still be willing to try homeschooling here. I'm not the greatest getting up so early in the morning, and getting the kids ready for school.just seems like such a chore. But I really enjoy reading and discussing this! This is coming from far off now, but we have talked about moving to America at some point, so lets see. School doesnt start for my daughter until she is 7, so we still have time. And who said learning can't start already?smile.gif

I'm a solo mom, so homeschooling isn't really an option, but I accidentally opened this thread. We have neighbors who live in Sweden but are in the US for the summer. The mom is from Ireland but has lived in Sweden for 20 years. Both parents were shocked when they first learned about homeschooling. It's unheard of there. It doesn't fit in with Swedish culture and both parents are expected to work full time. They understand it more now, but it will never be their thing.

My kids really have to go to school. But my daughter's new charter school is like homeschooling in many ways. The program is project-based and integrated arts. They have what's called "all school recess" which is exactly what it sounds like. They want children of all ages to spend time together. For me, it eases my homeschooling pangs and is a place my DD is thrilled with. Since there's no "drill and kill," there's lots of time for the kids to explore their own interests.
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#18 of 22 Old 08-12-2013, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How funny-I googled homeschool in Finnish and found an article written in the sunday Helsinki newspaper(yesterday) on Homeschooling! What a coincidence:) It is becoming more apparent that the basics at least are kind of the same in the states, as one couple, now quoting from the paper, mentioned unschooling. There was also comparisons about homeschooling in Scandinavian countries and the US. I know there are some rules here, and it is actually different between the municipalities, of which are many. For example the child will have to go for tests  to school, or then a visit to a supervisor 2 x a year. If I remember right only 100 families or so homeschool here in Finland. So not many, which means I wouldn't have such a great homeschool community to draw from, but I'm still motivated to do what I feel is right for me, best for my kids. I think I will have fun learning too, with my kidssmile.gif

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#19 of 22 Old 08-12-2013, 12:02 PM
 
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Late to the party, but our primary reason for homeschooling vs. other options is religious, meaning that even if all our other issues with the schools were somehow solved, we would still choose to homeschool, but some of the reasons are peer dependency and bullying, age and other forms of segregation, the classroom model of learning which did not work for me at all and would not work for at least some of my children, being stuck on the schools schedule rather than free to pursue our own lives, allowing our children to learn at their own pace, modeling for our children what true (and limited) authority looks like vs. the authoritarian school system, drugs in the classroom (and I don't mean the illegal stuff), protecting them from the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that occurs in the classroom far too often, treating my children like individuals rather than cogs in a corporate machine (Read John Taylor Gatto!) who are taught to be able to perform on command and pass tests, having a meaningful relationship with my children without interference from a system, etc...


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#20 of 22 Old 08-19-2013, 08:44 AM
 
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yk though a big community is a mixed blessing. I think there is a lot to be said for a small community where everyone knows they just have to get on. The only concern I'd have would be if, say, most hsers round you were very religious and hsing for that reason and, assuming you are not religious, unwilling to include you or doing things you felt uncomfortable with. Or vice versa if you happen to be religious, really. 

 

I do think Finland is a lovely country to grow up in. And the relaxed school hours might mean making friends and being part of the local community might be easier.

 

Please let us know how you get on!


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#21 of 22 Old 08-19-2013, 11:29 PM
 
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There are quite a few reasons for me.

1) I'm a homeschool graduate. I've never attended school myself so home education seems perfectly normal to me. It's my "default" option in the same way that most people assume their children will go to a school like they did unless they had a particularly bad experience.

2) Not only is homeschooling normal to me, but I enjoyed it! I have many fond memories of childhood and often they involve something related to homeschooling. I can say from experience that it can be a wonderful way to grow up.

3) I'm uncomfortable sending my young children to school when I have no experience with it myself. As someone on the outside looking in it looks strange and unpleasant.

4) I enjoy the freedom homeschooling provides. I don't have to make our lives work around the school's schedule. We can get up when we see fit, stay up late without it being an issue the following day, vacation at any time of year we wish, take advantage of places not being packed with people on the weekdays, etc. Our family will be going on vacation this year on September 8th...which is only a few days after school in our area starts! Another big freedom for us is not having to consider the school district when we choose where to live. If we purchase a home in an area with not-so-great schools it doesn't matter. I would hate to pass up on a house I loved just because of the way the school districts are drawn up!

5) I'm not impressed with what I've seen come out of the schools in my area. I've worked with a number of people who seriously should not have been able to graduate highschool based on their skills or knowledge. Our local schools don't seem to be preparing young people for day to day life AT ALL.

6) I appreciate being able to tailor our experience to my children's needs and interests. We follow a child-led path which would not be possible if they attended a public school.

7) I believe that homeschoolers have a much better social experience than children in school. Schools are not meant to be a child's only social outlet, yet many parents expect them to be. Homeschoolers can have a much more full and varied social life, in my opinion.

8) Safety. After reading a news report about a teacher feeding his own semen to his students in cookies....yeah....not happening! Our local schools also do not have a particularly good reputation with violence, etc.

9) Time. Life, particularly childhood, is too short to spend most of your day in school.

And...quite a few others, but those are my main reasons. smile.gif
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#22 of 22 Old 08-22-2013, 11:33 PM
 
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Many, and varied.

 

1. First on my list, I admit, is one that sounds childish, but it's very real: I hated school. I hated anything to do with school. I spent 15 years (from Kindergarten through college graduation) being utterly miserable from 8 til 3, Monday thru Fri, September thru June. That's no way to live. Now, I do know some people who thoroughly enjoyed school, and the more power to them, but I vowed that it would never be forced on my children like it was for me. I broke that vow for a year due to circumstances that I never could have foreseen and which were mostly beyond my control, but we're back on track now. It seems like school works for a very narrow set of children: those who are both academically and socially equipped to thrive in the conditions set by the schools. MOST children do not fit one or both of those descriptions, but of course they are swept under the rug or told that they just aren't good enough or trying enough if they're unhappy or unable to fit the school's measures of success.

 

2. Better quality of education, better ability to tailor it to the child's needs. I know my children and their needs better than anyone else, and I believe I'm best equipped to educate them, as I have their interests at heart and theirs alone, while even the most well-meaning teacher has the needs of dozens of other children to consider and is not personally invested in my child long-term. I'd rather be "involved" in my child's life and education by providing it myself rather than relegated to being the "involved" parent at school volunteering in a classroom once in a while and being an efficient manager of homework. Isn't that interesting, how the schools are constantly calling for "involved" parents? One would think the organization that puts so much emphasis on parental involvement would be more in favor of homeschooling. I suppose their definition of involvement is really more one of complicity: "involved" parents are the ones who allow the schools to control the education, and help the schools do it while not challenging the school's control of the child and the family.

 

3. Ability to bypass much of the negative social and cultural aspects of the school system. The drug culture, us vs. them mentality about adults and children, the bullying, the focus on materialism and "stuff" as a means of popularity/acceptance, the pressure to conform, the subtle encouragement of racism and socioeconomic enforcement. While I think homeschooling solely for the purpose of pushing the parents' ideals and values while excluding others (and I have seen it used this way -- to great detriment of the children every single time, no matter what the value system is), I do appreciate the absence of the "values" both intentionally and unintentionally taught in schools and having a bit more freedom for my children to develop their own values and for some of ours to be heard, rather than the "conform or else" values model often present in large institutions of any kind, including schools.

 

4. Greatly decreases the potential for bullying and abuse both by teachers and by peers.

 

5. Big one here for me -- I enjoy being around my children. And they enjoy me. We have fun. I just like being around them and I like connecting with them, knowing what they're doing, being able to share in this huge part of their childhood rather than being largely excluded from it.

 

6. Freedom to do what we want, when we want. Ability to pursue children's interests and passions. Ability to live on a schedule that works for us, to structure or not structure our days in a way that's appropriate for us. The freedom for spontaneity and adventure is important to us as a family and we don't do well without that wiggle room to just take off when we feel like it.  I love that they are growing up in nature and with each other, rather than in classrooms and only with age-peers. I love that their experiences are broader because school does not take up a huge amount of our life.

 

7. For us, it's just a kinder and more consensual way to live with our children. It makes everyone happier and allows us to be happy with each other.


Peaceful, homeschooling, UC/HBing, select vaxing, breastfeeding, intactivist mama to a bunch of small people.

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