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#91 of 107 Old 02-04-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamadebug View Post
Starting kindergarten as soon as possible was important to many of the families because they couldn't afford childcare - school served as the childcare.
The difference between school and childcare:
  • Childcare tries to be available when parents need it. School hours and schedules are based on learning outcomes.
  • Childcare workers have little, if any, special training. Teachers are required to have not only a degree, but specific classes. In some states, they must also pass a test.
  • The goal of childcare is to have the kids still be healthy and hopefully happy when their parents show up. The goal of school is to teach children things they need to learn. The state mandates what those things are and teachers and schools are evaluated based on how well the children learn these things.
  • Many children attending school are old enough to not required childcare. Although for young children, "childcare" is a secondary role of school, for no child is it the primary role. And for kids past grade 6, it really isn't a role at all.
"Public school is just free daycare" is a popular slam against schools in the homeschooling community. It's used as an insult to parents who make different choices.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#92 of 107 Old 02-04-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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1. Childcare tries to be available when parents need it. School hours and schedules are based on learning outcomes. In my area, the public schools offer afterschool up through middle school, as do the private schools. The consensus seems to be that it is unwise to have 10, 11, and 12 year olds on their own every afternoon. This is because parents are unavailable to care for them until they get home from work around 6 pm.

2.Childcare workers have little, if any, special training. Teachers are required to have not only a degree, but specific classes. In some states, they must also pass a test. In my area, childcare workers in good programs have college degrees and/or certifications in child development. The law requires a credential, except for family based care, which requires a high school degree (just like homeschooling in my state).

3. The goal of childcare is to have the kids still be healthy and hopefully happy when their parents show up. The goal of school is to teach children things they need to learn. The state mandates what those things are and teachers and schools are evaluated based on how well the children learn these things. Actually most states including mine require specific developmentally appropriate learning for a child care license. Here the goals must be posted in the room.

4. Many children attending school are old enough to not required childcare. Although for young children, "childcare" is a secondary role of school, for no child is it the primary role. And for kids past grade 6, it really isn't a role at all. http://nccic.acf.hhs.gov/afterschool/childcareregs.pdf

"Public school is just free daycare" is a popular slam against schools in the homeschooling community. It's used as an insult to parents who make different choices.
I've heard economically stressed homeschoolers who are considering using school so that both parents can work discuss the fact that public school is free child care. I've heard homeschoolers getting a divorce and needing to end homeschooling discuss public school as child care. I've heard public school parents and teachers talk about school scheduling causing problems because of erratic needs to locate child care while working. Maybe I just know nicer people than you do, but I've never heard a homeschooler insult someone's choice to use a building school as "just" anything.

Honestly, it seems like calling something "just" childcare (which no one on this thread has done) is insulting to early childhood educators.
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#93 of 107 Old 02-04-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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In my area, the public schools offer afterschool up through middle school, as do the private schools. The consensus seems to be that it is unwise to have 10, 11, and 12 year olds on their own every afternoon. This is because parents are unavailable to care for them until they get home from work around 6 pm.
In my city, the schools also ofter after-school programs. My DD goes to a private school which follows the schedule of the public school system. DD also goes to a nine week summer camp. Even with the summer camp, DD is out of school for over two months per year (with holidays and breaks)! Which is great, except that we can never do any vacation-type activities as a family (even if we stay in the city) because DH and I have to arrange our work schedules so that one of us can stay home with DD during these time periods. It is not a particular hardship for DH and I given our professions, but I know that a lot of working parents in my area struggle with this.

I understand the argument both ways concerning school as "childcare vs. not childcare." I guess I do bristle slightly, however, when school is referred to as childcare, mainly because I think so many people perceive outside "childcare" in a negative light...like its not the best thing for a child. Maybe I'll feel better about school being termed childcare once our society moves past the negative perceptions of "childcare" in general. My personal belief is that childcare is more than just babysitting. A good childcare provider is deeply interested in a child's development whilst under his/her watch. I can say the same thing about good teachers. So in my own little ideal world, the lines are blurred. But, while I think that the "childcare" aspect of school is a benefit for working parents (or let's just call it a perk), I would hope that the education of the child would always be the primary goal.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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#94 of 107 Old 02-04-2010, 10:40 PM
 
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The consensus seems to be that it is unwise to have 10, 11, and 12 year olds on their own every afternoon[/COLOR]
I said past grade 6. Here the kids are at least 12 at that point, and the general view here is that kids that old don't need a sitter. Heck, half of them are working as baby sitters!

Kids are in school until the are 18, but some work as camp couselors for younger children when they are 14. School goes on for kids who are lifeguards and swim instructors.

Yes, school does save some families with young children money on childcare. No, the point of school is NOT childcare.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#95 of 107 Old 02-05-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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I'm not seeing where anyone saidthe point of school is child care. People said that is one of the things school is useful for. Which it is.

The point of child care in my area is also educational. In fact, to have a state license it *must* be educational from infancy.

Also in my area, the middle schools, which are 6, 7 and 8th grade offer afterschool care because, while some 12 year olds babysit, there is a belief that 11, 12, and 13 year olds are young to be spending everyday at home alone from 3-6. And since our public schools are very competitive academically, many of the children whose parents are not home to help them with the significant loads of homework that middle schoolers do here, appreciate the study halls available at afterschool.

The parents in my area, if they are routinely not at home when their 6th graders get home and they don't use the school's afterschool, hire a college student to hang out with their kid(s) until they get home from work.
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#96 of 107 Old 02-05-2010, 10:08 AM
 
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Not to get OT, but after reading this thread again, I've come to the personal conclusion that we truly are a privileged society if we can sit here and expound on the "purpose" of school. School: something that everyone here has access to whether or not they attend.

In Pakistan this week, a girls' school was bombed because some segments of the culture over there do not believe that girls should have access to education. Some girls lost their lives, some were horribly injured, many will once again be denied the ability to learn to read and write.

Not trying to compare apples to oranges but the incident reminded me of how much we take access to education for granted here in the Western and/or industrialized world. We are very fortunate to have the time and ability to weigh the pros, cons and purposes of varying forms of education. We are very fortunate to have choices and have the freedom to decide what is "best" for our own children and our families, whether it is public, private or homeschooling options.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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#97 of 107 Old 02-05-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post
Not to get OT, but after reading this thread again, I've come to the personal conclusion that we truly are a privileged society if we can sit here and expound on the "purpose" of school. School: something that everyone here has access to whether or not they attend.

In Pakistan this week, a girls' school was bombed because some segments of the culture over there do not believe that girls should have access to education. Some girls lost their lives, some were horribly injured, many will once again be denied the ability to learn to read and write.

Not trying to compare apples to oranges but the incident reminded me of how much we take access to education for granted here in the Western and/or industrialized world. We are very fortunate to have the time and ability to weigh the pros, cons and purposes of varying forms of education. We are very fortunate to have choices and have the freedom to decide what is "best" for our own children and our families, whether it is public, private or homeschooling options.
So true!

I work with people from around the world, who left everything (friends, family, homeland, language) to give their dc the opportunities that America provides. Access to good, safe, free schools is a big part of that. We are so lucky to not only have the option of public schools for every child, but also be in a position to reject the schooling for something we deem better.

It kind of reminds me of drinking bottled water rather than tap water. Our tap water is safer than what most people around the world drink, but we are in the privileged position of seeking something even "better" (quotes because I'm not sold on the superiority of bottled water. Tap water and public school for us )
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#98 of 107 Old 02-05-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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Completing agreeing with Cat's Cradle here. I was raised in family involved in public health and in teaching/school administration.

Not only are we fortunate to be able to choose...I'm aware in these days my family is fortunate to have tremendous access to resources...local and beautiful food, clean water, a roof over our heads and jobs to pay for it all.

There is a lot of variation in what's best for individual families. The more really excellent choices, the better off we all are.
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#99 of 107 Old 02-07-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
So true!

I work with people from around the world, who left everything (friends, family, homeland, language) to give their dc the opportunities that America provides. Access to good, safe, free schools is a big part of that. We are so lucky to not only have the option of public schools for every child, but also be in a position to reject the schooling for something we deem better.

It kind of reminds me of drinking bottled water rather than tap water. Our tap water is safer than what most people around the world drink, but we are in the privileged position of seeking something even "better" (quotes because I'm not sold on the superiority of bottled water. Tap water and public school for us )
I totally agree!!!

And as a side note; there are lots of other places offer safe free schools besides "America" like Canada (also part of N. America), all of Europe, Cuba, etc. Truly not being snarky, I know MDC is mostly USA-based, but there are lots of us that are from elsewhere

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#100 of 107 Old 02-07-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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I totally agree!!!

And as a side note; there are lots of other places offer safe free schools besides "America" like Canada (also part of N. America), all of Europe, Cuba, etc. Truly not being snarky, I know MDC is mostly USA-based, but there are lots of us that are from elsewhere
Of course. I was speaking specifically to my personal experiences, teaching students who've immigrated to America.
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#101 of 107 Old 02-08-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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I will say that in my experience those who use full day kindergarten (vs. the half day that is also available) are using it primarily for child care. I am basing htis on many friends and familymembers, and people I knowin my community. It is usually people who already have their children in daycare that opt for the fullday kindergarten - because it saves them money. The sahm's don't getnerally opt for full day kindergarten.
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#102 of 107 Old 02-08-2010, 06:26 PM
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It provides opportunities that would be hard for me to replicate otherwise, especially at the secondary level. (Being in the school musical, learning math from a math expert, art from an art expert, etc.)

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#103 of 107 Old 02-08-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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As someone who did homeschool for a short time... here's my reasons for regular schooling:


I don't own Bunsen burners , microscopes, a skeleton, a gem drawer, a shell collection from all over the world and tons of other things it would cost me an arm and a leg to have at home.

Since I don't know everything... how can I teach everything?

Sometimes, no matter how well a parent and child get along.. there will be days where your kid won't work for you. I don't like being the "heavy".

My kids should learn to get along with all types... no matter their religion, color or accent.
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#104 of 107 Old 02-08-2010, 11:45 PM
 
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Many of the reasons given in this thread are valid. But what has not been said is that kids don't need to be in school 6+ hrs a day, 5 days a week, for 9 months out of the year to benefit from the good aspects at school. So for us (for now) we are doing a pt school/hs program. I feel we have the best of both worlds. My kids have the option to take classes (math, art, dance, science etc) 2 days/week and hs the rest. I feel that the harm out weights the benefits of school today when kids are in the brick and mortar building for so much time and away from their families or interacting with the real world.
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#105 of 107 Old 02-09-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Let me start by saying: I was hs'ed. I now have a 5 year old with special needs. And a 2 year old. I have been hs'ing kindergarten because..well, that's what I assumed I should do. You are your child's best teacher. Public School is dumbing us down, etc. And my mom was an EXCELLENT teacher of 4 active children.

So, it comes as a difficult decision for me to enroll my son in Kindergarten. My husband was PS'ed and he seems fine . He'll support me either way. But I cannot be everything I need to be throughout the day! So, here I am: sweating over a decision that is NOT forever! As much as I care about my children's education, I realize that life is a process, a journey. What if he hates school? I will find a way to homeschool without burning out. Or not. Maybe I will try to find a way to lessen his stress within the school environment, new teacher, special ed, whatever it takes...but that is THEN, this is now!

It seems many homeschooling parents base their opinions of PS on their own experiences. Well, I'm guilty of the same with homeschooling. Because it worked for my parents and me and my siblings, I assume it MUST be the best thing for my family. But aren't we supposed to be teaching our children to bravely try new things, to not cast judgements without sufficient knowledge, to embrace diverse challenges? So, I guess I'm trying to say that: I appreciate the poster's who've tried both, and may try either one again, because the important thing is that our children have an opportunity to succeed anywhere! Whatever works!
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#106 of 107 Old 02-09-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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Honestly, my kids have had excellent public school experiences. But, I have made an effort to live in the "best" school district, too. The ones that are well -funded. My kids have always had all the "extras", language, music, recess, history, classical studies, art and art history.


The year I home schooled was a stop gap measure because of some over-crowding issues.... once the district solved the issue.. my kid went right back.
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#107 of 107 Old 02-09-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post
I understand the argument both ways concerning school as "childcare vs. not childcare." I guess I do bristle slightly, however, when school is referred to as childcare, mainly because I think so many people perceive outside "childcare" in a negative light...like its not the best thing for a child. Maybe I'll feel better about school being termed childcare once our society moves past the negative perceptions of "childcare" in general.
I have to agree. I can't count the times I have see children attending daycare being described as "dumped in daycare" or "stuck in daycare" right here on MDC.
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