Hs'rs, how was your schooling experience? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-26-2002, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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In reading the PS v. HS thread, I noticed that some pro-PS posters had very positive school experiences, particularly socially. I'm talking about the mamas here, not the children.

Mine was awful. Being an individualist may be prized nowadays, but I was in school in the '70s, and the odd-man-out was, well, the odd man out.

Besides, I feel like socialization is something very small children learn, and academics is what the big kids learn. Is that an over-simplification?

How was your experience?

- Amy
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#2 of 10 Old 07-26-2002, 03:50 PM
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Well I don't actually have kids to homeschool yet but I do plan to homeschool...so I guess I can respond.

I LOVED elementary school. I got excited about the first day of school. I loved back to school shopping and I was pretty popular in elementary school in that everyone liked me and I knew and was friends with just about everyone though there weren't cliques in my elementary school. I was also always at the top of my class and everyone knew me as "smart".

My love for school quickly changed when I moved and started to go to middle school. I don't know which one it was since they pretty much coincided. I just didn't have any friends in middle school though I did have some acquaintances and people that I hung out with but I wouldn't exactly call them real friends.

By the end of middle school, I had found a group of friends that I felt comfortable with and felt better about school so the first year of high school was pretty good. The rest of the high school just WASN'T.

I can't pinpoint exactly what it was that made me not like high school. It wasn't that I was an "individual" like Amy but instead I guess more like a nobody. No one really knew who I was. I was painfully shy and insecure and that carried over into my schoolwork so I did much worse than I could have though I was in almost all of the advanded classes. I just didn't care about school and that showed.

I just didn't fit in anywhere. I wasn't a jock. I wasn't a genius. I wasn't artsy or dramatic. I wasn't goth. All of the social groups in high school were so contrived for lack of a better word. One group ended here and then the next group picked up there. There was no overlap and there was no group for those ppl who didn't fit in anywhere.

To me, high school was all about social calls. Everyone came to hang out with their friends, to gossip, to pretend to be something they weren't. No one came because they loved to learn and were hungry for more.

I just didn't like high school at all. I felt like it was a waste of my time.

I guess in a nutshell I'd say my experience was not good. Nothing horrible ever happened to me in high school and I was a good kid. I didn't do drugs or drink or have sex or any of that but I just felt like I could be some where else doing something else and maybe it's a typical teenage feeling and has nothing to do with school but I felt like it left me feeling like nothing and no one.

Kylix (who can never seem to keep it short)
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#3 of 10 Old 07-26-2002, 04:50 PM
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In the thread on PS vs. HS, I didn't respond on whether or not I liked school because that isn't why I chose to unschool my kids.
But seperate from that -

I enjoyed grade school *for the most part*, but I was painfully shy and that made a lot of it difficult for me. I had lots of friends, but hated to talk in front of the class, ride the bus, etc. etc. And even when you have friends the mean-ness of kids in large groups can be pretty intense. Plus I tested in and out of GT ("gifted and talented") for years, which wasn't exactly great for my self esteem I don't think!!

Junior High was garbage. I had fun because of my friends, but the classes were a joke. The only high point was Photo Club, where the teacher just basicly let us have free reign of his dark room after school - I loved that.

I don't know how I could possibly put into words how much I hated High School. I was mostly in the honors/AP classes, I was in the popular crowd, I had lots of friends and boyfriends, and not too much parental pressure for great grades, but I just hated school. I was so depressed my junior and senior years, sometimes I would just sit in the photo lab at school crying for hours during my classes. I was so totally miserable, but didn't even know there were any other options besides school and "dropping out". So instead I literally suffered through, barely graduating.

Most of my bitter memories of life stem from my highschool years!, silly as that sounds, and I'm not even sure exactly why it was so horrible for me. Generally speaking, I think adolescence is a such a time of crazy changes - immense needs for sleep and socialization, discovery of who we really are, intense emotions - personally I don't know how any teenagers can be expected to do all that, AND go to school all day, do homework all night, get good grades in classes that aren't teaching them anything that they care about, being pressured and ridiculed by peers as well as teachers, have very little privacy, and also the added weight of getting good grades so that they can get into a good college. Its a wonder that I survived at all!!!!!

Despite all of that, the reason I chose to unschool my kids is because I whole heartedly believe in unschooling in and of itself; the fact that my kids are avoiding the toxicity of compulsory schooling at the same time is a wonderful wonderful side note.

xo - Kelly

Handmade dress shop owner and mama of five - our littlest just born in December! ♥

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#4 of 10 Old 07-26-2002, 06:56 PM
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My decision to hs was not based on my own ps experiences. I was miserable in school, but I believed that everyone else was also. I was bored and not at all challenged by the work. I never studied for tests, and did most reports, papers, short stories, etc. the night before they were due. I never took notes. I was basically a "B" student with a few A's and an occassional "C" thrown in. My teachers all said I could be a straight "A" student if only I'd "apply" myself. I could never figure out the point.

I had casual friends from all different "cliches" but I did not align myself with any particular group.

By the time I had children of my own, I'd convinced myself that times had changed, educational philosophies had changed, teachers were different, etc. etc. and it was possible for my children to have a different experience than I had had. It WAS different for them...just not better.

As for the "socialization" question---My children function quite well in the company of others. They hold social conversations at parties with adults, they play all the usual games with other children. They discuss health and other issues with the chiropractor, dentist, my midwife, etc. They ask clerks for assistance in stores, museums, etc. and complete their own transactions in stores and banks. They make both social and consumer phone calls. We have debates about current events, religion, laws, and the morality of producing easily broken toys.

There ARE social aspects of school that they would (did) find intolerable. Physical fighting between other children, threats to their bodies or belongings, punishments, and herding--(all children must stand in a line, all children must be quiet, all children must have their hands at their sides, all children must go to the rest rooms at the same time, etc.) are some of the things that they just couldn't live with. They have a keen sense of what is fair and will not hesitate to speak their minds. This is often not welcome in a school setting, especially in regard to school rules. They believe that their opinions count and their ideas and comments should be respected, just as an adult's are. Again, this is not the way the school hierarchy works.

So, yeah, my homeschooled children's socialization IS different than a schooled child's. That's just fine with me.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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#5 of 10 Old 07-27-2002, 01:16 PM
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I liked grade school a great deal. It was a great escape from my abusive family. By Junior high, I hated being at school at much as being at home. High school was great fun, but not because I was learning anything

I really don't think that my experience has much to do with my kids. There home life is far, far different from what mine was. And the schools are different these days to. I think that if my older DD went to school she would most likely like it, at least for now. She is a conformer and would do what she felt like she needed to fit in. I think she would do well on her dumbed down school work.

Instead , I want her to have real friends with common interests (even if they aren't the same "grade"). I want her to long hours to play and talk with her friends, instead of 15 minute recesses. I want her to grow up as free from peer pressure as possible so that she can find herself instead of trying to fit in. I want her to read good books, learn math, be able to find places on a map, think about why and how things happen. I want her to keep asking questions and learn to find the answers.

I hate the word socialization -- it means to turn over to government control. I don't want my kids socialized.
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#6 of 10 Old 07-27-2002, 01:27 PM
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I did very well in school but was always questioning why I had to learn what the teacher wanted to teach. Even as a grade schooler I thought that my time was being wasted sitting in a classroom all day. I sent my son to ps for K and 1st. His day was wasted with lots of waiting, processing, and topics that I just don't want his time spent on. I'm sure that my experience weighs heavily on my decision to homeschool. I did not send my dd to ps.
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#7 of 10 Old 07-27-2002, 04:40 PM
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I'm always finding myself quoting one of you ladies in my posts but what you write just says so well why I want to homeschool.

LindainArizona said:
Instead , I want her to have real friends with common interests (even if they aren't the same "grade"). I want her to long hours to play and talk with her friends, instead of 15 minute recesses. I want her to grow up as free from peer pressure as possible so that she can find herself instead of trying to fit in. I want her to read good books, learn math, be able to find places on a map, think about why and how things happen. I want her to keep asking questions and learn to find the answers.
Linda, I couldn't agree more!

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#8 of 10 Old 08-02-2002, 12:16 PM
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Myself, like Linda, appreciated the escape that elementary school held for me, away from my family life. BUT, I was the stinky kid. At times I would have friends, but recess was truly torture for me, I couldn't wait to go back inside and escape with another book (I read our entire library before 5th grade!). By the time Jr High rolled around, I had figured out how to stay home and have the house to myself ... I don't remember learning a ding-dang thing those 3 years, except how to sew. I saw high school as yet another escape. I threw myself into my studies, but soon figured out that I wasn't *quite* smart enough, or cute enough, or "whatever" enough to make this experience smooth, either. I did, however, take advantage of what one teacher called "the last free education of your life" and I didn't skate thru like I could have.

Still, comparing my midwestern public education to DH's west coast private school education, His mommy didn't get her money's worth!! AND I don't think my experience weighs too heavily on my decision to unschool (since my kids bathe and have far better social skills than I at their age), except this is how I wish I had been taught about life.

~diana google me: hahamommy. Unschooling Supermama to Hayden :Super Cool Girlfriend to Scotty . Former wife to Mitch & former mama to Hannahbear
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#9 of 10 Old 08-05-2002, 10:35 AM
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From glancing, I didn't see anyone that was homeschooled themselves... I was homeschooled from mid 4th grade until graduation. Before that was a private Christian School, and a Motosouri School... What I hated was the lack of socialization, but we started when it JUST became legal to do it so there wasn't much out thier. Also my mom limited us so that was also the problem... Now that there is much more activities and people out there I think it will be great if I am able to Homeschool my kids.
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#10 of 10 Old 01-17-2003, 04:15 PM
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I am a product of ps K-12, a State run University and I loved every minute of it. I was extremely independent and alal the cliques and negative socialization didn't bother me, I loved being a geek ( I think that is the latest term, but I'm not usre) I chose to HS because ps did not fit my son. Simple as that. What is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander.
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