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#31 of 49 Old 05-12-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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Right, I've said many times this isn't the reason we're looking to home school (we have other reasons to do so and wouldn't consider hs if this was all we had), but it is a factor that I haven't heard much about from other families and wanted to see a discussion on. All I've heard about is academic and out-of-home-activities reasons, I wanted to see if other people consider home-based activities to be just as important - though not the sole reason. Of course, I'm sure I'd get a much different response asking such a question among other families that this is a normal style of life, versus where it seems to be something 'different' here.

Also, I'm sure that if I'd written this more slanted towards homeschooling opportunities available through the care and management of livestock (and the showing of animals at fairs), the planning, cultivation, harvesting, and preservation of food, in addition to the skills associated with running a household and small business, it'd be a very different discussion. But when approaching those same activities in terms of household/family responsibilities - it's different and seems to be classified as a few as a parent-inflicted lifestyle choice, which I'm sure my farming neighbors would find the whole idea incredibly amusing - for them, its just life.

My question was narrowly focused on purpose and it's scope doesn't include all the learning activities that are involved with hs plans we've discussed. Thats a whole different topic and I'm specifically not delving into it because it's not related to getting perspective on this one area. However, I see by not adding all those extra details, it leads some people to focus on this as the only things we're interested in - thats not the case.

So are you saying that your dd can choose a passion that might tire her out for your farm work? That's my question. My only question. Does the child have the choice to do something that might take her away from some of these chores? It's not a school question.
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#32 of 49 Old 05-12-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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I'll try to say just one more thing. (If you know me, that's going to be hard to believe! lol)

The one more thing is this:

Parents (this is MDC, after all, right?) need to be careful that we see our children as individuals, and not as extentions of ourselves. If this child wants to stay home to help run the household, I think that's fantastic and worthy. If she decides to focus on her own passions at some point (she's 12), I hope that she will be allowed to do so, even if that means she has less energy to to give to a lifestyle her parents chose for themselves.

It's not that I do not value a family working together on common goals-- sharing chores, being one-- as I most certainly do.
Again, I don't see many posts in this thread that lead anyone to believe any of us are trying to show our children how to run our household. I think you are seeing something that isn't there. Teaching our children life skills is not making them run the household. What we ARE doing, as you said and I quoted above is we are working together on common goals and sharing chores. I'm hopefully teaching my children how to one day take care of these things on their own and be self-sufficient adults.

No matter if I expect them to work outside feeding livestock, milking cows or cooking and cleaning inside the home, I'm teaching them skills that will no doubt come in handy in the "real world" one day and if they don't come in handy and my kids choose to go to an ivy league college and become doctors and hire maids then oh well, at least I'll know that they will likely know where they came from and they won't be full of themselves. They will still have the skills if they ever need them. I don't feel that what I'm doing is wrong in any way regardless of what they turn out to be one day.

I also take my kids on outdoor hikes, biking, canoeing, snow skiing and loads of other outdoor activities that they may choose to never do again as adults. Does it hurt to do these things while they are growing and learning? No. I seriously don't think it does. It's all relative.

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#33 of 49 Old 05-12-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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I think there is a big difference between a parent and child agreeing to HS so the child can free up more time to live her life (which very well may include working a homestead) and withdrawing a child from school with the expectation/for the purpose of doing more homesteading work.
But we have to also remember that there was a time when schools did not exist. The children DID stay home all day and help around the house and on the farm. In fact, families that likely couldn't afford hired help on their farms had to incorporate their children in to that area each day. If they weren't in school then what else would they do? It's easy to forget that a structured school building has not always existed and there was a time when children played a huge role in their family's survival. I think that's great. Plus, if children are raised this way then how would they know any different? If someone can run their family in this way in this day and time then good for them. The way I choose to do things isn't going to be the same as someone else.

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#34 of 49 Old 05-12-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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[QUOTE=xixstar;11198213]Right, I've said many times this isn't the reason we're looking to home school (we have other reasons to do so and wouldn't consider hs if this was all we had), but it is a factor that I haven't heard much about from other families and wanted to see a discussion on. All I've heard about is academic and out-of-home-activities reasons, I wanted to see if other people consider home-based activities to be just as important - though not the sole reason..
QUOTE]

Do I consider home-based activities to be just as important as academic and social reason to HS?

Yes, I do. Heck, yeah. I think learning certain things - the list is long - but how to sew a bit, change a tire, install a faucet, make a budget, etc is easily as important as most of the stuff I learned in school. I think, particualrly for rural children (who spend a lot of time on the bus) learning those life skills and going to school might be really hard - as school, busing, and homework and any extra-curriculars can end up taking sooo much time.

As per my own household (not a homestead) I would say lifestyle considerations (which some people couild argue are actaully social reasons) are a factor in the choice to HS. I have serious issues with the 9-5 rat race, overschedueling and and the lack of empowerment so many adults and children feel. I am determined to offer HS to my children so they see there are choices in the way we run our lives - that there are multiple ways to live. That is definately a lifestyle choice on my part - not an academic or social reason.
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#35 of 49 Old 05-12-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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The problem is that when she is in school, such as now, it is a constant struggle to get her help in these areas and I understand her complaints. She's been at school all day, has an hour of homework to complete, and then chores -- all she wants to do after that is go out and play and I don't blame her. However, because we're moving more and more toward a homesteading lifestyle which requires more work from everyone, I really need her doing more than her short list of chores. If we homeschool, it'd be easy to fit all of this in, but when I explain this to dh, it isn't very convincing.

I mostly looking for feedback from others that also find the life skills an important reason for homeschooling. Part of me feelings that the homeschool decision should be solely based on the academic and socials issues, but I can't ignore that this is a very important consideration for our family.
What I am seeing that the OP is saying is that right now her daughter has no time to do her own things once she has been at school all day, finished her homework and then helped with chores. One reason she wants to homeschool is so her daughter will have more free time after covering her learning/chores. She wants to eliminate commute time and the sent home homework. She wants to homeschool so they can get the learning taken care of and still have time for her daughter to help out like she enjoys AND have more free time.
Sounds good to me!
When her posts are taken in total and not pieced out, I see nothing that shows she is planing on being a slave-driver.

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#36 of 49 Old 05-12-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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Hey, Leigh-- let me be perfectly clear. : If the needs of the parent- homesteaders and the needs of the teen are on the same page, rock on.
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#37 of 49 Old 05-12-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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#38 of 49 Old 05-12-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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I think it is a very valid reason for homeschooling especially as you have established that she wants to be involved in the family homesteading activities. But I thought that I would warn you that while it may result in HER having more time for homesteading it may also result in YOU having less time yourself.

We live in an intentional community where members have varying degrees of homesteading lifestyles. My dd does participate in much that I do, but I myself could get more done in a day if she were at school for all those hours each day. My time more limited by the time I spend pursuing her interests and activities then it is freed by the amount of help she is able to give me. Of course she is only 8, maybe by 12 it will be more balanced. I love our life and both doing her things and homestead activites with her, but it is not a time advantage for us.

Good Luck
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#39 of 49 Old 05-12-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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What I am seeing that the OP is saying is that right now her daughter has no time to do her own things once she has been at school all day, finished her homework and then helped with chores. One reason she wants to homeschool is so her daughter will have more free time after covering her learning/chores. She wants to eliminate commute time and the sent home homework. She wants to homeschool so they can get the learning taken care of and still have time for her daughter to help out like she enjoys AND have more free time.
Sounds good to me!
When her posts are taken in total and not pieced out, I see nothing that shows she is planing on being a slave-driver.
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So are you saying that your dd can choose a passion that might tire her out for your farm work? That's my question. My only question. Does the child have the choice to do something that might take her away from some of these chores? It's not a school question.
I can't speak for the OP, but I do feel that time for learning life skills and contributing to the family in a real, valuable way is a benefit of homeschooling -- for the child more than the parent. The difference, for me, between time taken up by "regular" school and a time-consuming passion is that there is so much wasted time at school. Time when, presumably, my child would not be working towards something they are passionate about (or even just interested in). But all of the time that I wasted in school (waiting for others to finish their work, sitting through explanations I already understood, bussing an hour each way to school when it was a seven-minute drive from my home) is something that still bugs me today, so I know I have a bias there.

It doesn't sound like the OP will be piling on more chores just because the dd is home -- she's just trying to make more time in her daughter's day for the things her dd enjoys. Also, as she is currently in school and has a full day, there is no time for her to pursue a passionate interest as things are now. I don't see how taking her out of school would possibly give her less time for her interests.

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#40 of 49 Old 05-13-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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"Also, I'm sure that if I'd written this more slanted towards homeschooling opportunities available through the care and management of livestock (and the showing of animals at fairs), the planning, cultivation, harvesting, and preservation of food, in addition to the skills associated with running a household and small business, it'd be a very different discussion. But when approaching those same activities in terms of household/family responsibilities - it's different and seems to be classified as a few as a parent-inflicted lifestyle choice, which I'm sure my farming neighbors would find the whole idea incredibly amusing - for them, its just life."

Isn't a bunch of farm work just repetitive tasks? Animals have to be fed, watered and mucked out, gardens have to be plowed, planted, weeded, etc. To be realistic, maybe the first three or four times your daughter is doing some of these things its "learning". The rest of the time its just chores.

Honestly -- unless your daughter wants to live your same lifestyle, many of these skills are not of much value. Of course, I'm over 30 and have never changed my own oil and feel not a whisker of guilt/angst/personal failure about it. The day I do, I'll google "how to change oil", and follow the instructions.
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#41 of 49 Old 05-13-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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Isn't a bunch of farm work just repetitive tasks? Animals have to be fed, watered and mucked out, gardens have to be plowed, planted, weeded, etc. To be realistic, maybe the first three or four times your daughter is doing some of these things its "learning". The rest of the time its just chores.

Honestly -- unless your daughter wants to live your same lifestyle, many of these skills are not of much value. Of course, I'm over 30 and have never changed my own oil and feel not a whisker of guilt/angst/personal failure about it. The day I do, I'll google "how to change oil", and follow the instructions.
While I agree that you probably aren't learning much the 50th time you feed the chickens, I think there is a larger lesson to be learned from being part of something like this. Seeing a challenging task through to completion, learning how to deal with set-backs, learning how to juggle responsibilities and prioritize... These are all valuable skills. As an adult, I struggle with getting all the way through large projects, while my dh, who was involved in large projects as a teen knows to expect difficulties and setbacks, and has learned to keep going despite these things.

For the OP, I live in a farming area, and I think even the farmers would be uncomfortable with your first post here-- If I were you, I wouldn't bring up your need for more help around the homestead as a motivation for homeschooling (after all, most farmers send their kids to school and figure out how to run the farm without them). I'm still not sure how you intend to find time to homeschool your dd on top of everything else, but talking about needing her to do more chores gives the wrong impression, IMO.

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#42 of 49 Old 05-13-2008, 11:19 PM
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I think homesteading is a fine reason to home school. My little family is far from self-sufficient at this point, but I think anything we can do to provide for ourselves is very valuable. It really irks me how little value people place on farm "chores". Those daily tasks of running a farm are important for children to learn about so that they at least will understand where their food comes from and their place in taking care of/preserving the earth for future generations. Do you you all honestly believe that we as a country are going to be able to consume at the same level indefinitely?? I think those of you who don't teach your children about sustainability on *some* level are doing your children and the whole planet a disservice. Having children participate in a self-sustaining enterprise is extremely valuable, regardless of how redundant the daily chores may be. There is a food and oil crisis going on right now! I think some people need to wake up and see the value in teaching all of the forgotten skills. I think that placing more value on farming and growing healthy, nutrient rich foods that aren't grown with toxic fertilizers and pesticides is going to be very important for our children and their children for generations to come. I wish that I had been raised on a farm or homestead, then I would know how to run one myself without all the trial and error and endless research! Having children observe and help with the family business and food production, preservation, etc. is teaching something that will never be taught in school and that absolutely needs to be taught to our children. No one here is advocating the children "running the household" or the whole family business. In many cultures children are expected to help the family by doing household chores and helping with food and business. I find those values sorely lacking in today's American culture. I think it is also valuable to pursue individual passions and interests, but don't forget that we as people are all connected and connected to the earth we live on as well. We need to learn how to take care of ourselves and the earth so that there will still be something left for our grandchildren and their children to inherit.

This is a natural living website! Living on a homestead and sustaining a family with your own food and making your own clothing is pretty much the epitome of that! I find it refreshing that so many are now considering this lifestyle, and I am positive that more good things will come when people realize that teaching sustainability and interdependence amongst people and the planet is where the future lies.
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#43 of 49 Old 05-13-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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"It really irks me how little value people place on farm "chores". Those daily tasks of running a farm are important for children to learn about so that they at least will understand where their food comes from and their place in taking care of/preserving the earth for future generations. Do you you all honestly believe that we as a country are going to be able to consume at the same level indefinitely?? I think those of you who don't teach your children about sustainability on *some* level are doing your children and the whole planet a disservice."

Kids don't need to live on a farm to learn about where food comes from, the green movement or sustainability. In fact, I'm going to guess that the average "homesteaders" don't neccessarily have a smaller environmental footprint than your average urban or even suburban couple.

I asked my friend with a self-described "hobby farm" what the difference was between that and a "homestead" and she was at a loss. Since I assume you're not exactly undergoing the equivalent of Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Long Winter", I'm curious what makes a homestead a homestead?
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#44 of 49 Old 05-14-2008, 10:19 AM
 
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RAF....I agree with you! But I do not see that as the essential question that needs to be addressed:

Does the child want to leave school - for whatever plsn the OP has mapped out?

IF she doesn't - who gets the final say in this situation?

I had my own (thankfully resolved - Ds has decided to HS on his own) situation fairly simialr to this:

I wanted to HS Ds for a variety of what I believe to be very good reasons, and DS wasn't so sure. Being in limbo about the whole thing was really hard on me. I do not know if you are struggling with this, OP, but I think in hindsight I should not have let the indefinateness go on in my head as long as it did. I think, with an 11 yr old, if you have really good reasons to HS - you can say "I am going to insist you give it a shot". If they really dislike it - they can return to school - and they might have learned some really valuable things during their stint of HS!

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#45 of 49 Old 05-14-2008, 11:47 AM
 
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To the OP... I don't see any problem w/ your reasons for wanting to hs. Farms need lots of work, and children should help out. I'm sure I'll get slack here from saying this...but...you are the parent. You get final say over whatever is planned as long as your dd is a child and lives at home.

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#46 of 49 Old 05-16-2008, 12:34 AM
 
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I think life skills is an excellent consideration. These days mundane daily skills are considered to have little or no value. I believe there is joy to be found in doing them (granted I am often trying to find it, lol). I had a friend who told me once that when she finished tidying up her house in the mornings she looked forward to it getting messy again so she could do it over. I was floored! However, I thought--that's the attitude I want to have, (why? because messes do happen on a daily/hourly basis--why not have a good attitude about it!?!), and that's the feeling I want generated in my home.

I think anything that helps us be well-rounded is worth consideration. They aren't learning life skills at school--and if your house is anything like mine when mine were in school--there was almost non-existent time to teach the daily skills. Hats off to those of you who can do it when your kids are in school! I couldn't, and homeschooling has been a blessing to our family in that regard.

Anyway, good luck to you and your family in deciding what's best for all of you.

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#47 of 49 Old 05-16-2008, 05:07 AM
 
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OP, I hope you're still reading this thread because I'd like to throw my 2 cents in too!

When I was 12 years old, my mom was expecting a baby. One of the reasons I regret that we didn't know about homeschooling back then was that I missed out on so much of that time with my little sis. Not only due to the time spent in school but also all the social problems of school that distracted and worried me. Although I did love my sister, I didn't see her much and when I did, I was sometimes crabby, both from lack of sleep and the stress of school (and I worked various jobs all through high school).

I do think I would have benefitted tremendously from having had so much more time to be with my mom and baby/toddler sister and to participate more in the running of the household (but not in a forced, do-your-chores-or-else way). I feel I would have had the time and space to follow some interests as well. I think that in my case those years were squandered.

You said your DD enjoys the homesteading lifestyle so it doesn't sound like it will be a drag for her, but I would be careful not to make her come home and stay home, with no say in the matter. Maybe you could persuade her to try it next year and see how it goes for a few months. She might enjoy sleeping in later and having more time to call her own so much that she won't want to go back.

And of course I agree with others who mentioned that she may develop other interests that take up a chunk of her time and energy and she should be able to follow those interests even if they conflict somewhat with the running of the homestead (though I imagine it's the rare interest that could take up as much time as 6-4 everyday plus an hour of homework).

Good luck!
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#48 of 49 Old 05-16-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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To answer the original question, yes. I think that learning life skills can be a reason to homeschool. My mom was in the "free time after school" camp and when I started my own household, I had no idea of how to run things, what chores to do and how often, etc. To the point that even if my kids chose to go to school, they would have the same amount of chores. Their choice to attend school would cut into their playtime, not their work.

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#49 of 49 Old 05-19-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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I didn't know how to do anyting when I got married. So, much of my early years was just learning the basics. I know my mom meant well, but she did little in the way of preparing me for the real world. I cannot express how much having these skills would have prevented sooo much stress. I was so overwhelmed and helpless my first few years, I was robbed of much of the joys of the early years with my first little ones.

I intend that none of my children are left without the tools they need when they need them.
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