What is "bad" homeschooling? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 14 Old 01-10-2014, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
wookumus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: OR
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

I probably read too much but in my latest travels through posts here and in several HS books, I find the term "bad homeschooling" used.  To be clear, they are not referring to overt cases of neglect, isolation, abuse, etc. but never have I seen this term defined, nor do I think it can be readily done.  There just seem to be SO many ways of HS'ing and one might style might be "bad" to one family but perfect for another.  Being a recovering perfectionist and grade-hound, I really struggle with the idea of failing as an HS mother and reading too much (which I do) and following too many HS blogs (which I do) is starting to make me feel like a failure before I begin.  My usual self-defeating thoughts are: i would never have come up with that, i don't have those supplies/toys/games/curricula, etc., my kids will never do that, i could never do what those people are doing every day.  I don't want to be a "bad homeschooler" but I also don't want to define myself by others' opinions.

So what is bad homeschooling to you?

And how/when do you know you're doing it right? 

 

I LOVE reading what people have to say in this forum, hope this will bring up some interesting experiences and thoughts.


Mom to DS 9/18/09 and DS 3/28/13
Laugh it up, fuzzball biggrinbounce.gif 

wookumus is offline  
#2 of 14 Old 01-11-2014, 08:44 AM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 5,187
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wookumus View Post
 

 

So what is bad homeschooling to you?

And how/when do you know you're doing it right? 

 

I think it depends on what one feels the outcome of good homeschooling looks like.  That answer is going to be different for everybody, and in some people's eyes, our family's style of hsing might constitute "bad" for them.  So, the answer is variable, and answering with my opinions might be opening up a can of worms, but I forge ahead because I'm interested in the conversation.  I just don't think that there is one definitive answer beyond "abuse, neglect, isolation".

 

Here's my opinion:

 

**Teaching, materials, etc., that proceed without regard to the individuality of the child, specifically in the face of continuing and escalating troubles.

 

**Long stretches of required computer time, like some online schools require.

 

**HSing that is so parent-intensive, it is causing extreme parent burnout and the rest of the family is suffering for it.

 

**I think many qualities that can make bad support for schoolwork also translate into bad hsing. (One thing I'm thinking of is intense punishments, beyond "no TV, etc. until after homework" which I think is reasonable.  But again, those methods start to border on abuse, which we already covered.)

 

**Bad parenting, and I'll leave that intentionally vague :loveeyes

 

But often many families and parents encounter these situations in the course of their explorations.  So, I don't think that these situations in and of themselves indicate bad hsing, but that these are encountered and not changed according to the family's needs.

 

Personally I don't think that things like academic parity equal good hsing either.   A child's inability to sit and be instructed is not a sign of bad hsing.  I think that if the family is happy, the kids are happy, that goes a long way to being "good hsing".  

 

On this board, I have only seen one poster years ago, who was clearly having extreme difficulties, as having very bad hsing practices, and IMO think that she would have transferred this into her son's schoolwork, which IMO was borderline (meaning arguably) abusive.  I really hope for his sake he made it into a school.  

 

I have my opinions on the best ways to foster curiosity, encourage exploration, and now my kids are 7 and 9 I feel like I am seeing the rewards from this.  I might think that this style is better, but I don't think that other ways are inherently bad, either.  There is a huge gulf in between what I see as "best" and where "bad" begins.


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
SweetSilver is offline  
#3 of 14 Old 01-11-2014, 09:38 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,763
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)

I had a hard time imagining "bad homeschooling" when I first thought about your question, but I do agree with SweetSilver, especially on her points 1 and 3 (teaching ill-suited to the child which continues despite escalating problems, and the parent-intensive-burnout situation). I think her #4 becomes a problem when it becomes abuse, so that's outside the realm of what you're asking.

 

And with regards to computer time, well, I'm willing to keep an open mind about that because I see computer-based learning as becoming increasingly flexible, responsive, multi-modal and creative, such that it might be perfectly appropriate as a mainstay for some kids at some stages. For instance, my dd15 (who attends a microscopically small high school) has two courses that are totally on-line now, math and English, and they're pretty decent. Math has textbook-like material on the computer, there are guided explorations of conic section functions using java applets, video lectures, quizzes and chat-windows to request help with specific problems. Way richer than the chalk-and-talk classes I had in 11th grade. English has on-line literature circles where there are real-time Skype audio discussions, and ongoing written discussions and debates, moderated by teachers, but held with other students from a variety of rural and remote communities. Other subject areas can also be pretty well explored using computer-based learning: I've seen good resources for ASL, foreign languages, music analysis and so on. So ... never say never. 

 

Anyway, overall I do find it very hard to imagine 'bad homeschooling' because in the absence of pretty dramatic (i.e. abusive) circumstances, parents will only subject themselves to the extra responsibility and loss of employability of homeschooling if they care about their kids and want to try to create something good for their children. And continually caring and trying is pretty much enough to ensure that problems will be addressed and things will be okay. Education is a life-long thing and a few mis-steps along the way are all part of the process of discovery and aren't likely to create a permanently bad situation. Children are hard-wired to learn, and parents are hard-wired to care about their children. Those are the fail-safes built into homeschooling. 

 

I will however propose another situation which I believe constitutes "bad homeschooling:" where a extremely insular and limiting world-view is being taught. For instance, young girls having their educational prospects systematically limited so that they are willing to become subservient to their future husbands, or children being taught racism and hatred or some sort of paranoid ideology. I don't personally know any families like this, but I don't live too far from the polygamist offshoot fundamentalist Mormon commune of Bountiful BC where homeschooling is being used to aid in the indoctrination of children. Now, I should point out that until recently the private school within the commune was doing exactly the same thing. So this isn't a problem specific to homeschooling, but still, in my book it constitutes "bad homeschooling."

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#4 of 14 Old 01-11-2014, 10:44 AM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 5,187
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

And with regards to computer time, well, I'm willing to keep an open mind about that because I see computer-based learning as becoming increasingly flexible, responsive, multi-modal and creative, such that it might be perfectly appropriate as a mainstay for some kids at some stages. For instance, my dd15 (who attends a microscopically small high school) has two courses that are totally on-line now, math and English, and they're pretty decent. Math has textbook-like material on the computer, there are guided explorations of conic section functions using java applets, video lectures, quizzes and chat-windows to request help with specific problems. Way richer than the chalk-and-talk classes I had in 11th grade. English has on-line literature circles where there are real-time Skype audio discussions, and ongoing written discussions and debates, moderated by teachers, but held with other students from a variety of rural and remote communities. Other subject areas can also be pretty well explored using computer-based learning: I've seen good resources for ASL, foreign languages, music analysis and so on. So ... never say never. 

 

Miranda

Totally agree.  I was more thinking of my niece's experience with her online public schooling (and other online set-ups that stretch the bounds of what would be considered "homeschooling").  5hrs log-on work 5days a week, all subjects, not at all the computer experience your son is having, which sounds great to me.  Hers seemed more like covering the "requirements" of attendance more than an expansive learning experience.


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
SweetSilver is offline  
#5 of 14 Old 01-11-2014, 11:46 AM
 
Fillyjonk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 826
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

I think, yeah,agree with everyone :rotflmao

 

The only thing I'd add is that in hsing, as in parenting, you will almost certainly cosmically screw up a few times. And/or you will THINK you have screwed up and do whatever you do when you think you have really badly screwed up (guilt, worry, whatever). I would go into it expecting to screw up. I think a lot of it comes with the parenting territory, but also, there is no script for us hsers, there is no guidance at all really, apart from, if you are super-lucky, a good HSing group or online community with more experienced HSers. For me it has been a splendid exercise in learning to chill about stuff.


Raising Geek_Generation_2.0 :LET ds= 10 ; LET dd1= ds - 2; LET dd2=dd-2; IF month=0.67 THEN LET ds = ds+1; 
Fillyjonk is online now  
#6 of 14 Old 01-11-2014, 09:06 PM
 
Daffodil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Vermont
Posts: 3,620
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

I guess I'd say one way homeschooling can be bad is if your kid isn't learning enough.  My ideas about what "enough" means are pretty vague, though.  There aren't that many specific facts or skills that I think every kid absolutely needs to know.  I suppose if a kid were significantly behind most other kids his age in reading, writing, or math skills year after year, I'd lean towards thinking that kid wasn't learning enough.  Of course kids can be "behind" for a while and then learn a lot all at once and catch up (or pull ahead.)  So I don't think it's important to make sure your kid meets some school district's grade level expectations every year.   I think it can be fine to wait until your kid is 8 to start teaching reading, or to let him decide when he's interested in learning math concepts.  But if you had a 12 year old who couldn't read, or struggled to write a paragraph, or didn't understand the concept of division, I'd probably think your kid was behind in a way that really mattered.  Though if that same kid had really learned a lot about other things - like building and fixing machines, wilderness survival skills, farming, or art - I might still feel as if he'd been learning enough.  To some extent I guess I think the amount of learning is more important than the specific content being learned.

 

I think lack of real learning can be a problem even in families where the kids do a lot of schooly work.  If kids are remembering a bunch of facts just long enough to fill out worksheets or take tests, or doing science "experiments" without understanding or trying to understand the science they're supposed to demonstrate, they may not really be learning anything at all.  That's still bad homeschooling even if it's no worse than what happens in a lot of schools.

 

Another kind of bad homeschooling would be homeschooling that makes your kid unhappy. If he would be a lot happier in school, you're probably doing something wrong.

 

How do you know you're doing it right?  Your kid is learning as much as you want him to and he's happy.  (Or if he's unhappy, it's not because of homeschooling.)

Daffodil is online now  
#7 of 14 Old 01-12-2014, 06:34 AM
 
DandDmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Definitely, lack of education would define "bad homeschooling". I was homeschooled as were my four siblings. IMO, survival skills are all good and that but if the child can't read, think critically, have a good basic knowledge and understanding of the sciences and math,then the children really haven't been adequately prepared for functioning well in the adult world. This, BTW, also applies to public school.
philomom likes this.
DandDmommy is offline  
#8 of 14 Old 01-12-2014, 09:05 AM
 
SpiderMum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's pretty subjective. There are strict school-at-home types who would consider what we do "bad homeschooling". We're unschoolers and don't really do anything formal....and I get that to someone who is trying to recreate a school environment at home it probably looks terrible. Meanwhile the whole sitting at a school desk doing work from 9 to 3 school-at-home thing looks pretty terrible to ME.

People always have this fear of abuse and neglect in homeschooling....but honestly, if my goal is to be lazy and put as little effort in as possible....well it doesn't make sense to keep my kids HOME in the first place. Kids at home = instantly more work.
SpiderMum is offline  
#9 of 14 Old 01-15-2014, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
wookumus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: OR
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

Thanks for all your thoughts!  This homeschooling business is tricky!


Mom to DS 9/18/09 and DS 3/28/13
Laugh it up, fuzzball biggrinbounce.gif 

wookumus is offline  
#10 of 14 Old 01-15-2014, 11:56 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,763
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DandDmommy View Post

IMO, survival skills are all good and that but if the child can't read, think critically, have a good basic knowledge and understanding of the sciences and math,then the children really haven't been adequately prepared for functioning well in the adult world. 

 

Having just taken my 10-year-old through a term of project-oriented learning about survival skills, I can't help but point out that these skills involve huge amounts of critical thinking, basic knowledge and a deep understanding of many scientific and mathematical principles. The neat thing about homeschooling is that if learning is individualized and engaging to the child, even if it starts out quite narrow and splinter-ish, well, it eventually leads to everything else. In my observation and experience it's pretty difficult to end up with lack of education, at least in the absence of significant learning disabilities.

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#11 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 12:17 PM
 
rebjc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think bad homeschooling is homeschooling that doesn't try to meet the needs of the whole child. This is what is lacking in most public schooling.  And I think this is a huge advantage of homeschooling.  

rebjc is offline  
#12 of 14 Old 02-12-2014, 01:39 PM
 
mapleleaf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 93
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

If children are surrounded by a caring and supportive community they will do well in life, and that is what matters most.  I think most homeschoolers do a good job because they have their child's best interest in mind when making decisions, not because they homeschool in this style or that.  As a parent you want to teach your children everything they will need in life.  Homeschooling allows you more control when they are young and impressionable, they will learn by example your values, beliefis, lifestyle...which will help shape the person they are.   As they get older or more specific interests emerge they (and you ) will seek out more resources, role models, coaches, teachers...their value system already in place.  I also think most homeschooled children are good learns because they keep a love for learning, it hasn't been squashed out of them by the system.   Children will learn everything in life they need to learn when given the chance, you just have to lend them support and facilitate their needs every step of the way....and trust in them.  That's why homeschooling succeeds so much of time even though people are doing it differently.

 

I think the only bad homescoolers would be people who are bad parents, and that has nothing to so with homeschooling.

mapleleaf is offline  
#13 of 14 Old 02-18-2014, 08:23 AM
 
Tricia Valek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

This thread helped me sort out some unexamined beliefs, it was really helpful. I am brand new to this. My son has chosen homeschooling. He is six,and has sensory issues that have made public school frightening for him. I am doing my best to create a path for us. I was looking at online curriculum this week. This is the most important thing I have ever done, and I feel like a fish trying to fly. But thanks for the insight.

:namaste

Tricia Valek is offline  
#14 of 14 Old 02-26-2014, 04:19 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,786
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

our first few months i would call as bad hsing.

 

dd is in middle school.

 

when she got out of school - she went - yippeee no more school work. and i went - yippeee now you have all the time to explore what you want. 

 

bad, bad combo. i was assigning TOO much work for her. she was in deschooling mode. i was in uberschooling mood. 

 

we hs thru a charter school and have to do 5 hours 5 days a week. we were given a curriculum as an outline.

 

dd was getting frustrated with me pushing her and i was getting frustrated with dd not doing anything. i gave her an outline. she wanted to work alone. what i discovered was that my guidelines were not precise enough. 'clean your room' wasnt enough. 'put the socks away, put the dirty clothes in the hamper' was the type she was looking for. once i did that with her she got the hang of how i was getting curriculum and ...

 

then boom. everything snapped into place one day. we realised we could unschool. 

 

and guess what we both got what we wanted. dd's advisor thought dd was doing too much. dd felt - too much? gosh this is fun interesting stuff. 

 

so sometimes bad is not really bad. its a way of finding the good. 

 

of course bad can be really bad. what has already been mentioned. but essentially you cannot fail at hsing. maybe your kid may not know math but there is so much to life than academics.

 

here's a great ted talks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY

pranamama likes this.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is online now  
Reply

Tags
Homeschooling , Unschooling

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off