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#1 of 107 Old 01-25-2010, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A simplistic question but I can't seem to come up with much. I am obviously biased because I homeschool (though I am open to school at some point in the future- hence this question ) so I was hoping for others perspectives. When you get right down to it- what is school useful for? What do you think your child will gain that they might not at home?

I feel that schools main purpose is to prepare children for the workplace with a secondary result of a child understanding societies expectations.
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#2 of 107 Old 01-25-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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For me it's just as useful as any other type of schooling if it works for the child and the family.

Our school in our little town is a hub of the community. We have fantastic teachers who do a great job educating our children, who have many of the same educational goals as I have for my children and because I would be a terrible homeschooling parent I'm quite content to send them there.

I would do it(HS) if we had a bad school but I can't guarantee I wouldn't hate every moment of it. I don't have time with my work and I would burn out fairly quickly...I went to university to study education and changed my mind at the realization that I would hate every moment of it.

I'm pretty happy with our public school and with it's philosophy of mastery learning and cooperative education and I'm very involved with Parent council and do a ton of volunteering there. I'm also involved in a great literacy program there.

I like our public school..it's not perfect but then again, neither is homeschooling for every child and every parent/family

Oh..and our school has fantastic technology that I wouldn't ever be able to access otherwise!

Very useful to me
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#3 of 107 Old 01-25-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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I love it that my children get to work with lots of other children that they might not otherwise associate with, work on projects with, play sports with, etc. I like it that they get to figure out how to appreciate the differences in others.

I like it that they are exposed to art, music, languages, social studies projects, special opportunities like spelling bee and geobee that I wouldn't be able to pull together in an average day.

I love it that my children can appreciate other adults who have a great deal to offer them in terms of new and different perspectives, and then we can discuss it at home. I enjoy it that I don't have to be the one trying to motivate them to do another set of things besides all the home ones like chores, health and hygiene, etc. Because they will often work way harder for the teacher than they will for me, just the same as when I was little and it was more fun to clean with my friend at her house than to clean my own house (human nature)!

I love it that my high school son gets to participate on the debate team and travel all around the state. I love it that he will get to take classes like architectural drawing, oceanography, etc. I like it that they understand his learning style and try to put classes into his schedule that will excite him about learning.

I could go on and on!

 
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#4 of 107 Old 01-25-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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DS LOVES school, so I may be a bit biased here

I think school (at least kindergarten) is good for social stuff. Ds is a really social kid, and it's nice for him to have other kids to play with and talk to 4 days a week. (In addition to his friends that come over to visit).

Public schools also have a lot of resources that many HS'ers don't have at their disposal. For example, ds's school brought in a magician one day, just for fun. He had a blast! And things like big diagrams, globes, lots of books, music programs, etc. Now, obviously HS'ers do do that type of thing with their kids. It's just easier for ME for the school to do it.
Here, there's a public homeschool group. It's run by the public schooling system, but most learning is at home and determined by parents, but they have access to lots of resources, and they all get together for science classes, etc. So they have the resources easily available PLUS are hs'ing.

It's also nice, IMO, for ds to learn how to relate to other kids. His friends outside of school put up with a lot more of his bossiness than the school friends might. We've talked to him about it, and he seems to get it.

Our PS seems to be very aware that different kids learn in different ways, etc.

I do NOT like the hierarchy and the whole "do what the teacher says" aspect of it. I also don't like that kids are all supposed to know X amount of stuff at Y age. But ds is loving school for now, and I would be a big meanie if I took him out! If it stops working for him, we'll definitely consider hs'ing.

eta- I also like that the teacher has a different perspective and way of teaching things than I do. I think it's good for him to learn an idea in a couple different ways, kwim?

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#5 of 107 Old 01-25-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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For meeting your future spouse!



I met DH at a local homeschool co-op.


Well, I guess that's not really school...but YKWIM.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#6 of 107 Old 01-25-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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Now that you mention it, me and my dh met in 7th grade!

 
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#7 of 107 Old 01-25-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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1 of my children has high functioning autism and has behavoiral issues. One of my children is gifted with a learning disability. Until this year, I didn't even know that was a possibility! And my third child seems to be performing at a normal level.

My first two children, I wouldn't know how to help them. I know that ds1 does much better with the services that I just can't provide. Over the last few years, he has recieved and graduated from PT and OT. He currently has ST and he is in a class for kids specifically with behavoir and social issues. And his teacher has been amazing. The same goes for ds2. Ds3 simply loves school!

And honestly, I need a break! I know that may sound horribly selfish, but I know that I have a low patience quota and having the first two children fight me every step of the way, because they would, would push me over the edge. Ds3 probably wouldn't mind homeschooling, but since he loves school so much and we are in an amazing school district, I'm thrilled!

I should qualify this by saying that we are in an amazing school district. I've been told it's the "elite" public school district in the state. It seems to be very child centered and I've only had a problem with one teacher, and that was quickly worked out.

 
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#8 of 107 Old 01-25-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
Now that you mention it, me and my dh met in 7th grade!
Oh yeah..my dh and I met in kindergarten

Very useful for meeting spouses...and everything Lauren says goes for me...and like QoftheM my daughter was identified as twice exceptional through school testing and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have seen it...we just knew she was brilliant to talk to and average in school...she's in tenth grade now and it's going well.

I really enjoyed school myself also...I can only imagine the disaster my life would have been without it..my father could have homeschooled us successfully but my mother would have been horrible...zero patience.
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#9 of 107 Old 01-25-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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We've done both. My kids' friends are far more diverse at school than they were homeschooling. 99.9% of homeschoolers are white and middle class, with daddy going off to work and mommy raising the kids. My DD have a much better view of women's options in the world since starting school. They have friends who are different races and mixed race, and friends who have different family structures.

We've lived all over and in some places (like where we live now) homeschoolers are Christians who don't believe in tolerance. My kids spend the day some where all religions (or no religion) are respected.

The rules are the same for everyone. In a homeschool group, you depend on the other parents to make sure their kids behave and you don't really have any recourse if they can't be bothered to do so. School is far easier in this respect!

My kids have access to a wide variety of experts and teachers without me driving them all over the place. It amazes me how many cool and interesting things my kids do during a single school day. I've gone back to school myself, and we are fresher for each other and sharing what we are learning. It's great.

One of my DDs started a special class on the history of jazz today, the other is enjoying a drama unit in literature class (reading plays outloud every day with a group of kids!). The chess club is awesome. And they get to do all these cool things while I have time to eat lunch with a friend and go to a class that is interesting to me! Why didn't I do this sooner?

One of my DDs struggles with math but is doing so much better with it at school with a real math teacher. Looking back, I think that believing that I *should* be able to teach my children all their subjects was a sign of hubris.

School gives my kids a chance to develop independance from me in ways they couldn't homeschooling.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 107 Old 01-25-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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  • DS enjoys school.
  • At school DS gets to be more independent. If mommy and/or daddy are available he "can't" do XYZ. As soon as he's in a room full of other kids all doing XYZ for themselves he will also do it for himself.
  • He learns/hears/sees a different perspective/perception/point of view from my own.
  • He gets to meet children and make friends independently from me.
  • I get 3 hours each day to run errands, relax, work, etc.
  • School helps fill out very very active DS's day.

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#11 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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to eepsters entire post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenOfTheMeadow View Post
And honestly, I need a break! I know that may sound horribly selfish,
Doesn't sound selfish to me at all! Parents have needs too My ds is VERY social. He like to have constant interaction, and rarely plays by himself. It's kinda nice to have a little break. Now, if he hated school, it totally wouldn't be worth it. But since he loves it, it's a win-win!

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#12 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post
A simplistic question but I can't seem to come up with much. I am obviously biased because I homeschool (though I am open to school at some point in the future- hence this question ) so I was hoping for others perspectives. When you get right down to it- what is school useful for? What do you think your child will gain that they might not at home?

I feel that schools main purpose is to prepare children for the workplace with a secondary result of a child understanding societies expectations.
Dd used to homeschool, and now goes to school.

Do your dc take classes? (community classes, art classes, music lessons, etc).

School is useful for getting all those classes in the same place. It is super convenient for us in that regard

School also provides a safe place for dd to stretch her wings without a parent right next to her. She acts differently at school than she does around us. It provides good balance for our family, I believe.
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#13 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 12:20 AM
 
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I went into public schooling with a lot of ambivilance, but so far I'm very impressed. Yes, there are things I don't like about it (some of the discipline methods, some rote work, etc.) but overall it has been very positive. The social aspect is huge. It isn't at all that I don't think my son would be properly 'socialized' without school, but rather (as others have mentioned) that it would be almost impossible for me to introduce my son to as many kids, and as many different kinds of kids, as he has gotten to know in school.

For example, there are 3 Hmong children in his class, and through them, he has learned about Hmong New Year, and has learned a few words in Hmong, and about Hmong handicrafts. One of the children lives 3 doors down from us and has for the past 4 years, and we've tried to get to know them in the past and set up playdates, but it didn't work until they were in class together. That's just one example - there are 450 kids in K - 2nd grade at his school, and that is way more potential friends/interesting experiences than I could personally give him, even in an area with a fair number of homeschooling groups.

Beyond that, he is learning to work with adults who have different leadership styles that his dad or I, and learning about subjects that we aren't interested in or knowledgable about. I know I could do very well teaching him writing and reading/literature, and the foreign language that I happen to speak (which, incidentally is NOT the language he wants to learn - of course! ) - other subjects would be a struggle for me. Phy Ed for one - so not my area, and even though I had him in several preschool activities (gymnastics, swimming, tiny-tot football, etc.) he has improved by leaps and bounds since starting school.

And just changing teachers can have a real benefit. I've noticed this with one of my sons - he loved his teachers and was doing well at school, but when a new teacher was brought in, all of a sudden he was doing phenomenally. I don't think she was a better teacher, but the novelty of someone new who had a different background and was presenting material in a slightly different way gave him a boost for awhile. I suppose there would be ways of simulating this in a homeschooling environment, but it happens by default in most schools (with children switching teachers for different subjects and different grade levels).

Also (and I do realize that a lot of people choose to homeschool for this very reason) school will, as he goes on, expose him to ideas that challenge our cultural assumptions and even core beliefs. I personally think this is a good thing. I like to think I'm right about everything , but I know that isn't true. I want my kids to be able to challenge my beliefs and help me grow, too.
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#14 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 12:48 AM
 
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All that was said above and in our case, we have opted for French immersion, and our children are learning a lot of French, something I would not be able to replicate at home.
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#15 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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First, even when I was homeschooling I was still a huge public school proponent. I think it is really important for society, as a whole, to be educated and literate and I really don't see how to do that *as a society* without public school. Some people are not willing, able and/or suited to homeschool.

While I, personally, hated the social aspects of school from basically kindergarten through 11th grade (12th grade was okay but I probably would have been better off having left 1-2 years earlier ) my kids really seem to thrive with it. DD was homeschooled and *wanted* to go to school. She loves the organization, the people, interacting with other adults... DS doesn't love the academics, but he certainly loves the socialization!

We also live in an area with great public schools. I really identify with a PP who mentioned diversity being a *big* draw of public schools. While our neighborhood is ethnically diverse, I noticed that the homeschooling groups were overwhelmingly middle class white (and mostly Christian).

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I met DP in high school

 

 

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#16 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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another thing -- school gives my kids a break from each other and from their placement/role in our family. I didn't realize how trapped my youngest was as the youngest until she went to school! She's really blossomed and she has a lot of leadership traits that never had a space to bloom in homeschooling. A one hour class here and there isn't the same, which is kinda the point of homeschooling.

There really is value in family members spending time away from each other.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#17 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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My list is similar to other posters. My history: we homeschooled for several years, my kids have attended a public charter school for 2 years, we're homeschooling again next year

-Friendships. My kids have made much closer friends with the children they see all day, every day at school than with the children they saw once a week for a few hours at homeschool groups.
-Independence. My kids were forced to learn how to exist on their own without me being there, and they have benefitted from that.
-Exposure to a wider group of people. Like others, most of the homeschoolers we associated with were similar to our family- white, middle class, WOH dad and SAHM, similar educational philosophies. It's been great for my kids to see and learn about other families.
-Exposure to topics and skills that our familiy isn't familiar with. In music class, my kids are learning to sing some really fun songs that I wouldn't have thought of teaching them. My DS1 is taking a FREE after-school archery class that is only open to students of the school; DH and I know nothing about archery and wouldn't have even thought of offering it as an extracurricular if it wasn't for the class at school.
-One stop shopping, so to speak. It's incredibly convenient for my kids to get a large number of their extracurricular activities in one place at one time. I have 4 kids, and we do a lot of driving as it is. I'm not looking forward to all of the driving I'm going to have to do when we start HSing again next year.

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#18 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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to eepsters entire post!
Doesn't sound selfish to me at all! Parents have needs too My ds is VERY social. He like to have constant interaction, and rarely plays by himself. It's kinda nice to have a little break. Now, if he hated school, it totally wouldn't be worth it. But since he loves it, it's a win-win!
OP here- doesn't sound selfish to me either- I need a break on a daily basis too. I'm sure my dd wishes for a daily break from me some days too!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen'nZoe View Post
I went into public schooling with a lot of ambivilance, but so far I'm very impressed. Yes, there are things I don't like about it (some of the discipline methods, some rote work, etc.) but overall it has been very positive. The social aspect is huge. It isn't at all that I don't think my son would be properly 'socialized' without school, but rather (as others have mentioned) that it would be almost impossible for me to introduce my son to as many kids, and as many different kinds of kids, as he has gotten to know in school...
Also (and I do realize that a lot of people choose to homeschool for this very reason) school will, as he goes on, expose him to ideas that challenge our cultural assumptions and even core beliefs. I personally think this is a good thing. I like to think I'm right about everything , but I know that isn't true. I want my kids to be able to challenge my beliefs and help me grow, too.
I never thought about the diversity thing. It's true they would meet a lot of different people that way. One of the drawbacks of my old school was that it was a private school of one religion so not much room for respect for differences. My kids get a pretty balanced view between church friends and our attachment homeschooled group I hope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post
First, even when I was homeschooling I was still a huge public school proponent. I think it is really important for society, as a whole, to be educated and literate and I really don't see how to do that *as a society* without public school. Some people are not willing, able and/or suited to homeschool.

While I, personally, hated the social aspects of school from basically kindergarten through 11th grade (12th grade was okay but I probably would have been better off having left 1-2 years earlier ) my kids really seem to thrive with it. DD was homeschooled and *wanted* to go to school. She loves the organization, the people, interacting with other adults... DS doesn't love the academics, but he certainly loves the socialization!
l
My dd would love school too. She is so social! I can see her wanting to try school out someday.

Thanks for all your responses. I would love to hear more- this isn't the kind of question people want to be asked irl- gets too personal for both sides!!
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#19 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 01:36 AM
 
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never mind

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#20 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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My kids' friends are far more diverse at school than they were homeschooling. 99.9% of homeschoolers are white and middle class, with daddy going off to work and mommy raising the kids. My DD have a much better view of women's options in the world since starting school. They have friends who are different races and mixed race, and friends who have different family structures.
That's so interesting, it must be dependent upon location. Our homeschooling co-op is WAY more culturally diverse than our local school. Even though we live in a fairly large city, we live in suburbia. Being multiracial and originally from a large, incredibly diverse metropolitan area, I truly appreciate the diversity that our group offers.
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#21 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 05:01 AM
 
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I send my kids to a semi-public/semi-private English medium school in Hong Kong.

I see so many benefits... my kids are 11 & 13

My kids have learned so much from their various teachers, who are not only expert in their fields, but also in their teaching methods. Their *full-time job* is to teach and intellectually stimulate my kids.

I work with my kids a bit after school (and after I get home from work) and supplement things - but still, I doubt if on my own I would have given my 11 year olds an assignment like this:

"The Emperor Hadrian and Qin Shi Huangdi - compare and contrast. Who was the "greater", and why".

I am not an expert in art, but their art teachers are. They are learning to work in mixed media and also history of art.

I am not an expert in music, but their music teachers are. They have taught the students in my kids' school to read music, and to enjoy many different genres of music.

I am not much of an athlete - but their PE teachers are and in addition to being exposed to games I've never played (rounders, cricket, rugby) and those games I have (soccer, field hockey, basketball) they have developed some skills and understanding - so they can better know what they want to do. If it weren't for school, DD would not be playing field hockey after school.

Math - I've forgotten most of my algebra & geometry, their teachers have not and were probably much better at math than I EVER was.

Same w/ sewing, Spanish, Mandarin, drama, etc.

Sure - I suppose if I home-schooled I could hire teachers and tutors to do a lot of that, but because I send them to school, the school organizes it.


So, despite some issues (what parent ever thinks their kids' school is perfect) I am mostly a fan.
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#22 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 09:32 AM
 
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There are different kinds of diversity -- one of my DD's friends mother is a CPA, another is an air force officer currently deployed. There's really no getting around the fact that most homeschoolers live pretty much the same way and that homeschooling a child straight through presents a limited view of the possibilities in life.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#23 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 10:04 AM
 
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On a personal note, another thing I find school incredibly useful for is simply having someone other than dh and me manage my school age child's education. Of course she could learn all those things at home, but it is a big, time consuming responsibility. At the end of our time homeschooling, I finally realized that I don't want to spend my days dedicated to the education of my school age child.

For a toddler/preschooler it is different (and I do stay home with my 3 yo) because the child still needs a lot of close supervision at that age. But at school age, my dc is absolutely fine going to school without me there. People who have chosen to spend their days doing that job can do the job, and eventually I can spend my days doing jobs that I really enjoy in addition to caring for my dc.

And, yes, dd's school is far, far more diverse than the large, local homeschool group.
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#24 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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surprisingly, I find public school dads to be more involved in their children's education than homeschool dads, who tend to view education as "mommy's project."

My kids attend a traditional school and there is something to be said for consistantly working away on a skill subject such as math or writing or even PE.

I cannot beging to explain how much I enjoy spending time with other women based on my own interests and not just the fact that we have kids the same age in the same acitivity. For the most part, homeschooling is very isolating for the mommy (it wasn't just me, you can find those threads all the time on mothering). School is being part of a community.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#25 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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People have mentioned alot of good points.

Queen of the meadow----you are not selfish. My dd has SPD and Pica and I do enjoy a break from her. It is not because I love her less. BUT ANYONE that spent 24/7 with her for 5 years would like a little break.

I live across the street from the school and I am involved and volunteer alot.

I enjoy having one on one time with my younger child.

I don't have the attention to homeschool.

I would feel too isolated.

I like school events.

I like her teacher.

She learns different rules.

She makes different friends.
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#26 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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My kids benefit from school because:

- They have learned to speak read and write another language

- They have, or are in the process of, mastering another environment. This gives them loads of confidence. My older son is an introvert, and I think it gives him a lot of pride to explain how school works to my younger, more extroverted son.

- Some teachers are great, some are fine. They learn to roll with the punches.

- They are diligent and hard-working in school. I wonder if they would be the same way for me.

- I've made friends. The school families are a big part of our community.

There have been bumps along the way, but I am happy with the small, local language immersion school my boys attend.

Hope that helps, OP!

Mama to my 2 boys
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#27 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 10:50 AM
 
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I agree with pretty much all of the positive points above.

I'll emphasize or add a few we've found:

- I was an ed assistant and did a lot of training around education in my 20s, so you would think I would be a good candidate to homeschool my son. In fact, I've learned that his teachers overall really do have years and years of experience and expertise that I never chose to develop. I think I needed to mature in order to understand the difference between enthusiasm and experience. Now I could argue that that experience is not necessary to teach my child and in some ways it's not. But I daily am really glad for it.

- My son learns not only from his teachers but from his peers. Of course some of that becomes fart jokes too, but overall it's quite amazing to watch him soak in what the other kids are learning.

- The diversity of experience is great. I recognize that homeschooling can be very diverse too, but it would still be constrained by our family imagination, or by those people we choose to listen to. I would not, for example, have chosen to do a unit on the human body at 4 but my son loved it.

- I really do believe that kids have different needs and learning styles and that these change over time; the more teachers he has with different approaches the better I think. Sure, some of them won't be as good a match as others - but at least that will change.

- I find I really enjoy being the parent. Sure, part of our family experience is that we learn together. But there is a nice balance in not trying to make our family be "everything" and just let it be the family.

- My son gets the joy of being the expert in things we don't know about.

- In choosing to trust our community more and not see our family as barricaded against negative forces to the same extent that we used to feel it, I think we've ended up giving our son a bigger world and I'm glad for it. Part of what we value is adaptability and not always aiming for perfection. It is hard to get to that level of trust though.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#28 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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Our experience is that my children's public schools are deeply rooted in the community, and folks tend to be fairly passionate about school issues here, both educational and financial. Of course there are some pros and cons to that, but the end result is that I often feel that my kids really belong in the larger community by viryue of their schooling. That's a huge plus to me.
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#29 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post
A simplistic question but I can't seem to come up with much. I am obviously biased because I homeschool (though I am open to school at some point in the future- hence this question ) so I was hoping for others perspectives. When you get right down to it- what is school useful for? What do you think your child will gain that they might not at home?

I feel that schools main purpose is to prepare children for the workplace with a secondary result of a child understanding societies expectations.
What is school useful for?

The first and primary use is for learning .

My dc have learned and are learning interesting, fascinating facts and opinions. They have developed critical thinking skills and logic and analytical abilities.

They've been fortunate to learn in open, diverse environments from teachers and peers who have motivated and encouraged and challenged them.

They have had access to technology and resources that would have been expensive to replicate at home. My DS attends a specialized regional arts high school. He has excellent musical instruction every day, and once a week he has a private lesson with a professional musician. He hasn't had to purchase an instrument - he has one on loan from the school at home for practice and another to play at school. It would cost us a fortune to provide this level of music education at home. Yes, we could afford it - but the fact that we don't have to means we can do other things as a family that I also consider educational - attend theatre shows and festivals, travel, participate in sports leagues....

I'll echo what others have said about diversity. It's woven into the fabric of their lives. They don't occasionally visit an ethnic neighbourhood or eat an ethnic food or watch a foreign film. They go to school with children from all over the world who speak dozens of different languages and whose families have had all sorts of experiences. When a topic comes up in civics or history, chances are someone in the class has personal experience to relate. It's wonderful to observe these children together - those new to the country and those whose families have been here for generations - as they become the next generation to work and govern and contribute to this country and to the world.

I don't see a problem with preparing children for the workplace and teaching them about society's expectations. Do you think that's a bad thing? I want my children to be prepared and to understand the world they live in. I also want them to be open to new experiences and different ways of thinking and to think independently and make their own choices. Public schooling hasn't interfered with any of these things - in fact it's helped develop them.
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#30 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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It gives me a break?

(I'm serious... though there are a lot of wonderful things about my kids' Montessori program, this came to mind first b/c it was a rough night!)

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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