Question: Why homeschool preschool children? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 205 Old 06-28-2006, 10:48 PM
 
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If you don't think that preschool "homeschooling" exists, then you probably don't believe in Early Childhood Education. And while, I mean, that's ok, I guess...I enthusiastically support everyone's right to adopt radical positions...it seems that empirically, there are degree-granting institutions, libraries of published material, and innumerable schools (both dedicated preschools, and public or private schools, some of which consider their normal starting age to be as young as 3yo) that describe themselves as dedicated to it. It is common for people -- parents and theorists -- to make decisions about the age for beginning schooling based not on the law (which varies widely as to compulsory attendance age), but on their beliefs regarding what would be most beneficial for children.

Further, I'd like to point out that regardless of what you may have experienced when you were a child, the idea of Early Childhood Education, and the idea that it responds to a real need (not glorified daycare), goes back a long way. Think of the little medieval oblates who were given Latin sayings to memorize. I believe that Margaret Mead has her children exit the lap phase at 4yo. Maria Montessori developed her ideas while working with disabled and poor urban children, for whom ECE is considered most important by many today.

Many of the practices that we now consider "just parenting" began with ECE theory.These include block building, coloring, toys like the lock board and the doll with all of the buttons/zippers/latches and the magnetic letters. if you own playsilks, that's Waldorf. If you believe firmly in the importance of pretend play, then some of your ideas probably originated with the progressive education movement and the discipline of developmental psychology. It is disingenuous to turn around and say that parents who devote a lot of time to these types of activities cannot claim to be doing ECE.

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#62 of 205 Old 06-28-2006, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am sorry but that just made me laugh. This is silly.

And as far as the poor needing ECE? I disagree that poor people need to have their children taken away from them during the day and taught by those who know more or have more. I just don't believe in my heart of hearts that anyone but the poor person him/herself knows what their children needs. And these programs (kindergarden, montessori, ece, waldorf) may have started off in their respective communities to be a really good and needed thing but to make it an across the board standard is folly. Lots to say about this but that is totally another thread topic.

The ECE theory didn't predate parents playing with their children or teaching them throughout history. Come on.

Okay, no one is saying ECE, preschool, or homeschool preschool don't exist as far as I can see. Just that some hold different opinions about it.

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#63 of 205 Old 06-28-2006, 11:07 PM
 
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But today, those of you with young children are surrounded by the idea of "preschool" just as we've all always been surrounded by the idea of "school" as a way of learning. Sometimes I think we'd be better off without the words "homeschooling" or "homeschooling preschool." That's because, even though we've decided to operate outside the system, we're still kind of deferring to it in a way by bringing the idea of "school" into it. We come to think of teaching our kids basic things about life as "doing school" with them - instead of just thinking of living with our families and helping them learn all the things they need to know, whether it's in an organized fashion or not, the way people have done for ages, since the beginning of time, long before there were things called "schools."

Again, This isn't to debate about anything anyone has said here - it's just something I think about from time to time. Lillian



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Ah, this voices things so well.
I so go back and forth on this.
I don't like the term, b/c it legitimizes preschool as the norm, but at the same time it is the norm and reality by me. So, I research, study... try to figure out what we are doing now and in the future.... and until then we follow the girls lead, and do things that most parents don't anymore. It is living, it is life... and sadly it's also now homepreschooling.

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#64 of 205 Old 06-28-2006, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, because I don't want to come off as rude or disrespectful to people here...the reason that I started this is because IRL women are saying "we homeschool our children" with this tone that seems to many others, not just myself, that they are doing something better for their children than we are.

My laughing or thinking things are silly is in no way really about the people here and I am sorry that I might come across this way. Its just that IRL these interactions and condescending cliquish interactions are bugging me at the same time that the current educational system in our state is arrogantly telling people who homeschool that they aren't providing adequate education for their children. Its all so and : .

Again, I really appreciate your input. All of it. It helps me to understand where people IRL are coming from. I have to believe that they don't really realize that they seem like they are talking down to others just really passionate and excited about their choices and their care for their children.
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#65 of 205 Old 06-28-2006, 11:13 PM
 
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#66 of 205 Old 06-28-2006, 11:16 PM
 
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For that matter, there have been times and places when babies were sent away to be raised by others until they were of an age when they could be incorporated into the home as mini-adults with not so much fuss - or times and places when they were sent away as apprentices at age seven. But all that is from times when childhood was thought of in very different ways from today. But there have been more times and places when children were simply living and learning right alongside everyone else.

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#67 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 12:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eloquence
And as far as the poor needing ECE? I disagree that poor people need to have their children taken away from them during the day and taught by those who know more or have more.
I disagree that kids need to go to school, too. That's why I call myself an unschooler. I don't know where to start on this whole thing about poor urban kids and education. The thing is, most poor urban parents believe that their kids need preschool. In fact, most urban parents, period, believe that their kids need preschool. That's why I am constantly explaining why my dd isn't in school. You don't have to like it, but you do have to contend with it.

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And these programs (kindergarden, montessori, ece, waldorf) may have started off in their respective communities to be a really good and needed thing but to make it an across the board standard is folly.
Uh huh, but this is about people either 1) responding to that folly, or 2) exercising the option of embracing those ideas. No one is saying that *everyone* with a little kid has to identify as homeschooling.

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The ECE theory didn't predate parents playing with their children or teaching them throughout history. Come on.
Right, but like I said, it predated their doing so in specific ways that trace back to ECE theory. These specific practices have been assimilated into normal parenting in our culture. That could lead people to unselfconsciously discount parents' claims to homeschool small children.

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Okay, no one is saying ECE, preschool, or homeschool preschool don't exist as far as I can see. Just that some hold different opinions about it.
My impression was that Dar was challenging the legitimacy of using the term homeschooling for some or all of what self-described homeschoolers do with their preschool aged children. This is an issue which has come up previously on the board. Although without the search feature, you aren't necessarily expected to know that. If homeschooling preschoolers is not really homeschooling, then ECE is not really schooling. I didn't intend this as a straw man. I was responding to my honest perception that some here are over-restricting the concept of school so that it is irrelevant before age 6. It's ok to argue that it's irrelevant, whether at age 3 or at age 15. But not that no one can claim to find it relevant, kwim?

This time, regardless of your estimation of their merit, could you please refrain from blowing off my arguments with ridicule and emoticons? Thanks.

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#68 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 01:13 AM
 
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We unschool. Learning just happens. I say I homeschool all my kids, because this unschooling family (myself included) learns at every age, not just from age 6+.
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#69 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 02:20 AM
 
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Well DS knows that we will start "Kindergarten" in the fall. I didn't want him to feel left out because most of his friends are going to Pre-K and I guess it was my way of letting him know that he is going to get to do some cool stuff too KWIM?

That said the only stipulation I have made about "Kindergarten" is that it will go from 10-2 and that while Kindergarten is happening the tv and computer are off limits and we get to do other stuff.

I have promised him circle time because he really enjoyed singing songs and such in the co-op preschool he went to this year. Other than that it will mostly be reading a pile of books and painting/playdoh/rice tray etc depending on what he wants to do...plus lots of "field trips" to Science North because he loves it there (the field trips is a reference to Magic School Bus because he loves anything and everything to do with it LOL).

The other reason is that everyone in my family thinks I am nuts for wanting to homeschool (and good grief we are only doing Pre-K next year...how much could he possibly miss!!!) so saying we are doing "Kindergarten" allows them to envision whatever they picture Kindergarten as without me having to give them a break down of our days.

In reality it won't look different in most respects from our every days now.

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#70 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 02:23 AM
 
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I can only speak for myself, but I posted on that other thread because we're going to homeschool and my son is still young and I'm eager to get involved in homeschooling stuff. *shrug*
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#71 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 02:32 AM
 
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I guess its hard for me to understand why anyone would get upset over the use of the word homeschooling for younger kids. Ive seen this discussed on here before and it still boggles me. I dont force academics on my kids or anything like that. I have wanted to homeschool since I was pregnant with my first child, and I have always said that in my mind, homeschooling starts from birth, that its just a different way of looking at things, its a way of life. Life is learning, education isnt separate for us. I dont see why that would upset anyone. I dont think that other parents who are planning to send their kids to school are any worse as parents or anything like that. Personally I havent known any school-oriented parents who were very involved w/ their kids' interests, or doing fun activities to stimulate their play etc. Not that they dont enjoy the time spent with their kids, just that they see no reason to get involved in the kids' exploration of the world around them. Maybe its just a socioeconomic thing? Im poor. All of the parents I have known personally have been poor.. except for the moms in the homeschool group Im now a part of, they're all much wealthier than me. And all of these other parents I have known were planning preschool, and while at home, they propped their kids in front of some electronic thingy or another while they watch tv or something. So they would look at me all boggled like why do all that stuff? And I would explain, we are homeschoolers. Thats all. Its not like there arent involved parents who send their kids to school.. Im sure there are. I havent known any. These parents I have known love their kids and all.. just see education as some concept that can only take place in school. They dont believe that learning can be a fun family activity. They think Im nuts. So its much easier to explain simply that we homeschool. I dont think these parents saw me as condescending at all. I think it helped them understand the differing view, esp since I take extra care to appreciate their enjoyment of their kids, and I speak of our ideas, not in the form of judgements of other's way of life, but by way of explanation of my personal commitment to my children's education.

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#72 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 02:57 AM
 
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I would feel silly if I said I homeschooled my preschooler, but that is just my personal feeling.

I mean some people spend a lot of time doing stimulating creative stuff with their kiddos, and call it homeschooling

Some people spend a lot of time doing stimulating creative stuff with their kiddos and can't imagine called it anything-schooling

Some people see their kids doing stimulating creative stuff on their own and give them a thumbs-up every once in a while and call it homeschooling or unschooling or nothing at all....

We use words that mean something inspiring to us. The word homeschooling may inspire us and help us focus on our children or might just kinda bug us a bit. If it bugs us a bit we should find some more inspiring words for ourselves, eh? Hey and some of us might even be doing too much too soon in our eagerness and calling it homeschooling but you know we all have kinks to work out as parents, and getting overly-ambitious about something we pursue in love is not such a sin and it usually smooths out after a bit.

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#73 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 05:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by deeporgarten
I would feel silly if I said I homeschooled my preschooler, but that is just my personal feeling.

I mean some people spend a lot of time doing stimulating creative stuff with their kiddos, and call it homeschooling

Some people spend a lot of time doing stimulating creative stuff with their kiddos and can't imagine called it anything-schooling

Some people see their kids doing stimulating creative stuff on their own and give them a thumbs-up every once in a while and call it homeschooling or unschooling or nothing at all....

We use words that mean something inspiring to us. The word homeschooling may inspire us and help us focus on our children or might just kinda bug us a bit. If it bugs us a bit we should find some more inspiring words for ourselves, eh? Hey and some of us might even be doing too much too soon in our eagerness and calling it homeschooling but you know we all have kinks to work out as parents, and getting overly-ambitious about something we pursue in love is not such a sin and it usually smooths out after a bit.
Yeah that. I'm with Dar on this one. But I honestly don't care at all if someone defines themselves as a homeschooler or not. I peruse the preschool thread sometimes just for fun ideas, but as you can see by my signature, I don't personally consider myself a homeschooler yet, cuz my kid isn't of "school" age.

My neighbor does WAY MORE crafty, educational type stuff with her kids (same ages) than I do - science experiments, art projects, blah blah blah - and she has no intention in the slightest of homeschooling. So is she homeschooling her preschoolers and doesn't even know it? Maybe I should warn her!

But honestly, let me reiterate, that although it feels silly to me personally to call doing fun "educational" stuff with a 3yo homeschooling, that I totally get why others call it that and have no issue with it.

Although I do have to ask: Why is the homeschooling preschoolers thread the only one for a specific age group? I've never seen a Homeschooling K or 4th Grade thread. Why is that?
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#74 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Eminer, I removed my initial response because I just don't want to get engaged in this sort of stuff. My apology still stands. As do both of our 1st Amendment rights.
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#75 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 09:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by natashaccat
For me HSing (I'm unschooling, fwiw) is really about a state of mind and learning to tune into learning oppurtunities as they occur. Calling myself a HSing Mom helps me remember that I'm my child's 24/7 teacher and reminds me to really listen and observe her and think about how I can support and promote her learning.

Sure, learning would occur w/o my intentional direction but I feel that with starting HSing I made a mental attitude shift from learning observer to learning facilitator and now I feel much more in-tune with how and what dd is learning.
To me, it's a mindset thing. I'm responsible for my ds getting any opportunities that he needs. I think some people (no one on this thread, I'm sure) who send their children to school abdicate responsibility for their child's learning to the school. Of course "good" parents do interesting things with their kids but they have school as a fallback to fill in any gaps. Here, preschool is the norm and you would be hardpressed to find another 4 yo who wasn't in school. Everyone expects that my ds must be in school due to his ancient age, so I say we are homeschooling. My ds won't be of compulsory school age in my state for another 4 years.

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#76 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 09:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MaWhit
We unschool. Learning just happens. I say I homeschool all my kids, because this unschooling family (myself included) learns at every age, not just from age 6+.
Ditto this. Homeschooling described an overall educational philosophy we embraced, not something we necessarily actively did. We're a homeschooling/unschooling family and at one time, I had a preschooler, so "homeschooling preschooler" was technically correct. As a matter of fact, I started the original "homeschooling preschoolers support thread" after the last time we had this exact debate, because some people (including me) felt like we needed the support. It's funny how things go in cycles.

Additionally, it was extremely helpful for my preschooler to identify as a "homeschooler", because: 1. we were very unusual in our community for skipping preschool and 2. Kindergarten hype starts long before kindergarten. He needed to understand where we were headed and, as a preschool aged child, he wasn't missing "school".
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#77 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 12:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
But what you "do" (taking her interests seriously) is the same thing many schoolers do... so how can this define you as a homeschooler?

dar
She doesn't go to preschool. She won't go to public or private school. Therefore; we are homeschoolers now, just as we will continue to be homeschoolers in the future.
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#78 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 12:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
You're free to call yourself whatever you want, homeschooling or mashed potatoes... but I'm free to disagree with your self-definition. Good parenting is not synonymous with homeschooling, and future intent doesn't define present reality.

The thread started with a question about why some parents homeschooled preschoolers... I shared my opinions.

dar
My present reality is that we are homeschooling. Disagreeing with what someone calls themselves is pretty ballsy, IMHO. It's like calling you Donna instead of Dar. "I'm free to disagree with your self-definition," therefore I will define you as Donna. Doesn't make much sense.
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#79 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby
Although I do have to ask: Why is the homeschooling preschoolers thread the only one for a specific age group? I've never seen a Homeschooling K or 4th Grade thread. Why is that?
Because no one has been posting them. There was one a while back for the older hser as I recall. My guess it is for the same reason that the toddler board is busier than the preteen/teen board. I like to think that in 5 years that I will have a better IRL support system than I do now, as well.

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#80 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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The public school in our neighborhood starts at 3. It's called K-0, and is followed by K-1 and K-2 and ages 4 and 5. My upstairs neighbor has his 3 year old enrolled in the K-0 class, and has warned us to be sure to enroll ASAP, because students in the school system have priority over newly entering students in terms of getting into the better public schools. It is not actually compulsory to attend school here until age 6, but the mayor would like to make K-0 universal for this city eventually.

My daughter turns 2 this month, so if she were to enroll in public school when she is eligible, she would start in September 2007. The public school offers K-0 orientation this fall, and priority registration for K-0 will take place in January. If I choose not to send her there, but to let her learn at home instead, I think I can think of us as homeschooling. And since I don't plan to enroll her once it becomes compulsory either, the approach I take to her early education is probably rather different from someone who opts out of preschool but is still going to enroll their child in first grade. I don't have to focus on "school-readiness" for my daughter.

I've read Homeschooling the 3- to 8- Year-Old Child by Linda Dobson and lots of other stuff on how young children learn, and I've been getting pretty enthusiastic about "homeschooling the early years." I have posted to the preschooling homeschool support thread to connect with other parents of young children who aren't using school. It never occured to me that I would feel unwelcome on the mothering home education boards. I don't get how people think conciously providing an environment for early learning at home is such a rediculous idea.

Some homeschooling families have recommended getting involved with a homeschooling support group early on and letting your child participate in homeschool park dates, etc, so they have some playmates who aren't going off to school with everyone else each fall. I hope we get a better reaction from the live home school support group than I am seeing from some people here.
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#81 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 01:54 PM
 
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I have a 5yo and a 3yo. I say we homeschool.

Do I do anything different than other at-home families? Not really. I'm not a fan of early academics for my kids. Here it is the norm for children to go to preschool and it helps me explain why my children are out with me during the day without doing into a long explanation.

Also, I am enjoying being a part of the "homeschool community". For our family it is a lifestyle choice and it helps explain this group of friends I have (members of our homeschool support group).

For me, homeschooling is not about what we are or are not doing academically or whether we believe in curriculums. It is about our lifestyle and philosophical choices regarding family.

(Oh, and it is an easly way to answer "What school will they go to?" or "Is she in Kindergarten?")
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#82 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby
Although I do have to ask: Why is the homeschooling preschoolers thread the only one for a specific age group? I've never seen a Homeschooling K or 4th Grade thread. Why is that?
Because of threads like this one where some expressed the opinion that there's no reason to apply the term "homeschooling" to children who are not of "school" age. Those who felt strongly that they are homeschooling wanted a place where that was the mutual agreement.

Lillian
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#83 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 02:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by slacker_mom
I've read Homeschooling the 3- to 8- Year-Old Child by Linda Dobson and lots of other stuff on how young children learn, and I've been getting pretty enthusiastic about "homeschooling the early years." I have posted to the preschooling homeschool support thread to connect with other parents of young children who aren't using school. It never occured to me that I would feel unwelcome on the mothering home education boards. I don't get how people think conciously providing an environment for early learning at home is such a rediculous idea.
Actually, this whole discussion has taken so many twists and turns that it's turning out huge misconceptions. I've never seen anyone here or anywhere imply that the idea of providing an environment for early learning* at home is a ridiculous idea - or that people providing such a thing for their children are not welcome. The debate comes from some saying that doing so is simply good parenting - something everyone should be doing - but that there's no reason to think of it as "homeschooling" yet, because homeschooling is something people do instead of sending children to school, and that at early ages, that's not the case since they wouldn't be in school. But others have pointed out that many people here are in areas of the country where children are expected to be in "preschool" - so they feel they are "homeschooling preschool" in contrast to sending them off to school.

The discussion in itself doesn't really involve relatively highly charged or controversial subjects - it's just that it's hard to have a normal lively discussion on a computer screen without there being times when people begin to imagine more tone of voice or attitude than someone might have meant. If we were all sitting around a table at a coffee shop, we could have a discussion about all this without so many emotional reactions - we could even raise our voices and wave our hands without anyone taking offense. People could challenge one another and points could be made without things turning personal. In person, it probably wouldn't be taken as anything more than a friendly, animated discussion where everyone was tossing in their two cents.

*Even though there are disagreements over whether that should mean the 3Rs - but that's a whole different subject...

Lillian


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#84 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 02:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby

Although I do have to ask: Why is the homeschooling preschoolers thread the only one for a specific age group? I've never seen a Homeschooling K or 4th Grade thread. Why is that?
Because of threads like these. A majority of the people posting on this thread don't homeschool their preschoolers, and their criticism is one more sneering dismissal from some of the people on this board. I have experienced it myself, and my daughter is 6. I answered a post about how your child deals with attention in public, and my response was brushed aside with "your child is so little, your experience doesn't count." The search function is down ( ) or you could see how bad it gets in here, on this "support" board. People have left the board recently over things like this. A dedicated thread lets them have a "stay off our thread, please" place where they can talk amongst themselves.

[aside: I HATE THE WORD PRESCHOOLER. My kids won't be enrolled in "school" and hence aren't pre- anything. ]

IMO if you're "unschooling" your preschooler, then yeah it's kind of dorky to insist on defining yourself as a homeschooler, only because unschooling truly is an extension of parenting. (I am including myself here!) It's fun and it's awesome, but it's not necessarily a structured educational philosophy like Montessori or Waldorf that forms a certain...flavor... of a childhood experience. (We were a Montessori family.)

Having said that, I am from one of those regions where preschool does not seem optional. Even at TWO people would be startled to see me with my child in tow because "shouldn't she be in school?" There was significant external pressure to make sure my child wasn't left behind. My dd is also anaphylactic to peanuts so I couldn't just leave her in a preschool environment, even for a few hours a week.

But early childhood education is extremely important and I think the preschool curriculum is in fact, "real" education. We may just be playing with blocks or goo, but it is done mindfully. There are entire bodies of work dedicated to the kind of prepared environment we've provided our tots, and that is not something you can just sweep away because you're hung on a label.

I can see how women with 8 and 9 and 14 year olds can see the difference between the two, because it is much easier to work with a preschool aged child in many respects. But it's unwise and unkind to consistently insult the young homeschooling Mama. Children grow, you know? If this is a community you value, it doesn't make sense to insult the very mothers who in a few short years will be "legitimate" homeschooling peers to you. The ones who do the smearing know they are hurting feelings, and personally I can only imagine they get some form of baser gratification for doing it.
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#85 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 03:02 PM
 
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heh heh

If I weren't tending to my preschoolers, Lillian , we would have posted at the same time. :
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#86 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfmeis
IMO if you're "unschooling" your preschooler, then yeah it's kind of dorky to insist on defining yourself as a homeschooler
: Doesn't anyone love me?

Oye Yemaya oloto
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#87 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Lillian J


Actually, this whole discussion has taken so many twists and turns that it's turning out huge misconceptions. I've never seen anyone here or anywhere imply that the idea of providing an environment for early learning* at home is a ridiculous idea - or that people providing such a thing for their children are not welcome. The debate comes from some saying that doing so is simply good parenting - something everyone should be doing - but that there's no reason to think of it as "homeschooling" yet, because homeschooling is something people do instead of sending children to school, and that at early ages, that's not the case since they wouldn't be in school. But others have pointed out that many people here are in areas of the country where children are expected to be in "preschool" - so they feel they are "homeschooling preschool" in contrast to sending them off to school.

The discussion in itself doesn't really involve relatively highly charged or controversial subjects - it's just that it's hard to have a normal lively discussion on a computer screen without there being times when people begin to imagine more tone of voice or attitude than someone might have meant. If we were all sitting around a table at a coffee shop, we could have a discussion about all this without so many emotional reactions - we could even raise our voices and wave our hands without anyone taking offense. People could challenge one another and points could be made without things turning personal. In person, it probably wouldn't be taken as anything more than a friendly, animated discussion where everyone was tossing in their two cents.


Thank you Lillian.

Okay, I am going to go take a , I am so sleepy.:yawning:
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#88 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 03:20 PM
 
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You know what, though? I AM both silly and dorky. And I'm proud to be.

Oye Yemaya oloto
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#89 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 03:47 PM
 
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I DO love you eminer!!!!!!!!

We're eclectic homeschoolers to a 6 yo girl and a 4 yo boy.
Ask my homies...silly and dorky??? That would be me. :
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#90 of 205 Old 06-29-2006, 03:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eminer
: Doesn't anyone love me?
Yeah me too, I come to this HSing board because I just want to chit chat with other mom's who share similiar interests and educational philosophies.

Call me a dork if you want, I'm a grown up and can handle it but that sort of labling and name calling behavior is exactly why I'm not sending my child to institutionalized school. I don't want her exposed to folks (children and adults) who think it's socially acceptable to so flipantly judge her as she grows and experiments with new ideas and aspects of her personal identity.
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