Why homeschool verses public? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-20-2001, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi... I'm new to the site and was wondering what the benefits of homeschooling are verses public? I am a public high school teacher (when I'm not a SAHM to Julia, 11 mths) who understands some of challenges of the public system. Homeschooling seems like it would be quite challenging. How long do you homeschool for? Do your children have to write equivalancy tests to graduate? I'm looking for more information. :
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#2 of 9 Old 11-20-2001, 05:41 PM
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The main reason I homeschool is because I have very few good memories about school. It is a hostile environment. The kids who don't want to be there make it hard on those who do or are ambivilant. You are not allowed to eat when you are hungry or you are forced to eat when you are not hungry (lunch starts at 10:30 here), you can't drink when you are thirsty (I wonder how many learning disabilitys and behavior problems are just a symptom of dehydration) and a kid can't even go to the bathroom in peace. (first you have to ask, and you may be denied no matter how bad you have to go, once you get there your privecy and modesty may be comprimised by someone who has it out for you. That has always ben a favorite place fopr bullies to attack). My classes were always very large (up to 35 students), my brothers reputaition preceeded me and both teachers and students held it against me, I never got to learn about what I wanted and if I got cought learning on my own on school time I was punished. There was little or no oppritunity to develope scocial skills (if you are npt the popular kid opn the play ground you get left sitting by the wall).

I don't want my child to struggle in an environment where there physical and emotional needs are not met. I also want her to have the oppritunity to learn what intrest her. I want her to do all of this while building real relationships in the real world. I want her to have superior education. I want her study time to be a part of her life not the magority of it. I want her to have the freedom to walk away from those who would make it thier missioon to make her missreable. We also want to make sure she recieves religous instruction from us and to shelter her from those who would tell her lies or missimformation. I am not sure how long we will homeschool, but many people do it through high school (I loved marching band so much and would hate for her to miss that if she was intrested) I have even heard of people homeschooling college (I guess I am doing that for myself. )

It is challenging, but what worthwile in life isn't. It is also a lot of fun. I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about manatees and mermaids. I was htere when my baby read her first word. I am the one who gets to see the excitement on her face when she discovers something for the first time. These things are just as good as seeing her first step. I would think getting up and getting to school every morning (with clean clothes on) scheduling my day around drop off and pick up times, finding daycare for my younger children so I could help in a class room, doing homework, dealing with an over stressed, over tired, poorly nurished child on a day to day basis would also be challenging, but with much fewer rewards.

As far as equivelency test and stuff. That all varies staye by state. In SD all we have to do is register for kindergarten when they would normally start or when they turn 7. We take test when they would finish 2nd (which will be 8 and four full years into homeschooling. no sweat), 4th and 6th grade and then get there GED or diploma from a school. We are llucky to have it so easy.

Sorry to prattel on so long (I am just so giddy about the boards being back up) I hope I was able to answer some of your questions.


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#3 of 9 Old 11-21-2001, 10:36 PM
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Hi there. I'm also new to the site. I am a new homeschooler who wishes she would have started years ago. I am a mother of four wonderful children. I started thinking about homeschooling about two years ago. I played with the idea for a while, read a million books on the subject, tried it out in the summers but I just couldn't commit. My father was a teacher, then principal, then supertintendent of public schools for over 30 years. My brother is a teacher and I went to college to be a teacher. The whole idea of homeschooling was very foreign to me in the beginning. I was the type of mom that had it all planned out. You have babies, nurse them until they're done, send them to pre school and then to elementary school. I was going to be the room mom, field trip mom, lunch mom, PTO mom, and on and on and on. That would have been OK, I guess, had I had only 1 child. But I didn't. I had one for 5 years and then I had three more in less then four years! The public school that we attended didn't look kindly on bringing younger siblings, especially toddlers and nursing babies, to class with you when you helped. So, that meant finding a sitter or not going at all. Unfortunately for me, finding a sitter in the middle of the day wasn't usually an option. Not to mention the fact that I was nursing and had to be back in less then two hours. That left me feeling really out of it when it came to my son and his school. He left in the morning at 8 am and didn't get home until nearly 4:15 pm. Then there was homework and after school activities. It all left us exausted, rushed, and frustrated. I missed him so much. So two weeks into this school year I said forget it. He was having a hard time getting out the door in the morning and we both decided together to give homeschooling a try. We love it! No more fights in the morning to go to school. No more rushing to eat breakfast. No more semi healthy packed lunches that I never even knew if he was eating. His whole personality has changed back to the sweet boy I sent off to school when he was 5. The little ones will never know the stress that school can bring. I know in my heart that I am doing the right thing. I feel blessed to be able to have the oppurtunity. My brother, who is a very wise high school English teacher, told me that schools are for the masses. It is necessary for some students and it can be good but if you can give something better you should go for it. So, I guess I couldn't say one specific reason why I homeschool. There's many. It's funny for me to look back now and see the differences between who I thought I was going to be and who I have become. I read a wonderful quote somewhere which I will leave you with (thanks for listening to my story!) "When I first started homeschooling I felt like my children and I had jumped off a cliff, imagine my surprise to find out that we all had wings".

Amy - Blessed wife to Jesse (the best dad in the world), mother of 10 on earth plus 8 in heaven.   PROUD to be a Catholic! : winner.jpg familybed2.gifhomeschool.gif

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#4 of 9 Old 11-21-2001, 11:21 PM
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I love that quote!
we started homeschooling because my kiddo was getting into a lot of trouble at school for stupid stuff and I didn't like the way they delt with him about it. age 5,1st grade-put in ISS for writing on his arms with a marker! I lean towards homeschooling anyway, as my mom has always homeschooled my teen brother and he's turned out to be a great kid! I feel that most schools who teach kids in large groups set up kids to fail and spend a lot of time enforcing dumb rules.
We keep homeschooling (year 3 now) for all the reason we started plus....I like being the primary infulance in his life,he socializes with kids who I know and aprove of,he spends lots of time with his sibs, he can learn what he's interested in on his own schedual,we have more family time(chess club,camp fire,library trips,shopping,etc. all get done during the day!). The list of positives for us really goes on and on. There are some negitives of course...it can get expensive,it can be hard to find time for yourself, and of course- you've got to really enjoy spending time with your kids!

mom to four lively children. birth and postpartum doula. midwifery student. choosing to enjoy life. :
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#5 of 9 Old 11-24-2001, 06:06 PM
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If you want to read a why to homeschool book from the perspective of a public school teacher who chose to homeschool his own children get "Family Matters: why homeschooling makes sense" by David Guterson. He later went on to write "Snow Falling on Cedars" and other award winning books, and is no longer teaching.
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#6 of 9 Old 11-24-2001, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the information. I will look into it more. Any CDN homeshoolers from Ontario that have any information on whether they have to write any tests to enter high school, for example, or how do they receive their secondary school diploma? Do they have to write the grade 10 literacy test? Or what about applying to University or College?
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#7 of 9 Old 11-25-2001, 01:56 PM
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Hi Juliasmon!

Not living in Ontario but may have some website adresses to share

Home Learning Canada

Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents

Hope you will find answers there


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#8 of 9 Old 11-29-2001, 04:50 PM
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Here are a few books and some websites from two authors who were
Public School Teachers and have written books on Homeschooling.

"Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense"
by David Guterson
This is perhaps one of the best books out there that will
convince anyone to homeschool! Available at most
bookstores and online half.com has it pretty cheap.
Don't forget your local public library!

"Dumbing Us Down" by John Taylor Gatto
Who is John Taylor Gatto?
Briefly, he taught school for 30 years and was named "New York
State Teacher of the Year" after being named "New York City
Teacher of the Year" on three occasions. He has a few books
worth reading "Dumbing Us Down," "A Different Kind of
Teacher," and The Underground History of American Education."
For more info on John Taylor Gatto go to:
[url]http://www.johntaylorgatto.com >

The Six Lesson Schoolteacher by John Taylor Gatto
< http://www.cantrip.org/gatto.html >

John Taylor Gatto's website
< http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/ >

John Taylor Gatto's writing on the web
< http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Gatto.html >

Ooh, also "Endangered Minds" by Jane Healy PhD is a good one too!

Vicky mommy to Madison
Homeschooling In SCV
< http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HomeschoolingInSCV >

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#9 of 9 Old 12-03-2001, 10:01 PM
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Hi there! I don't have kids yet (am ttc) but was a preschool teacher/Director and live-in nanny for eight years. I have been looking into different educational systems over the past years, and I'm coming to the conclusion that I think unschooling might be the best way to give my future children a good education and teach them valuable skills while keeping their self-esteem intact.

"School" seemed OK for *other* people's kids, but now that I'm trying for my own, it seems restrictive, too regimented, unbalanced and somewhat dangerous (I live in Los Angeles and have been less than impressed).

I've started to look at my general goals I want my child to gain from an education: to love learning, to be adventurous and unafraid to try new things, to be inquisitive, to feel emotionally secure, to know basic information about the world, to know how to write, to know how to do math, to know how to find information/research, to know how to type, to know why things do what they do, to know what has happened in the world already, to know how to basically USE her brain. I mostly want to give her a solid sense of self, an education based in hands-on learning, and to feel that she is a contributing member of society with good things to offer the world (ie skills, talents, dreams etc).

All of these long term goals can be met through unschooling/homeschooling. Only *some* of these can be met in a public school system.

I don't want my kid to be trained to be a cubicle slave or a corporate drone - which I consider the main goal of public education. "Sit at your desk. Don't speak unless spoken to. Ask permission to use the bathroom. Be afraid of the kid next to you because he's a drug addict and alcoholic. Learn how to avoid bullies. Learn the pecking order (kids are on the bottom). Shut up and look good. How to duck when the teacher throws a chalkboard eraser at you because you didn't know the answer. Cram for a test and learn nothing but the trick to rote memorization." All these are things children DO learn in school that I don't want my kid to learn or live with.

I look at most of the things I've learned (at age 33) and most of them I've learned outside of school - how to use a computer, how to type, how to make soap, how to start a small business, how to speak in public, how to travel across country with two children and two days to plan it, how to sew & cook. All the interesting knowledge and tools I use in the real world, I learned outside of school, with great passion & committment. I can summarize what I learned in school information-wise in probobly a dozen pages. I had a typical (crappy) education - because I didn't care. Only now is my love of learning coming forth, and I think it's because I WANT to learn new things.

I've been reading, also. Check out these two great books that'll give you ideas on why unschoolers & homeschoolers can acquire great educations AND love learning: "The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life & Education" by Grace Llewellen, and "The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom" by Mary Griffith. These two books for me summarized my new outlook on public education and the value of letting a child's natural love of learning bloom.
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