Seeking Research (or Personal Experience) that is Anti-Homeschool - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-05-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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You've seriously NEVER been asked at an interview how well you work in a group, and what you can contribute to the team?  Seriously?  Most companies, in most positions, look for team players.

 

 

I did not say it is not asked- I stated it is not the first thing an employer looks at. Employers also inquire how well one works on their own-it goes both ways. What can you do, not just want you can do as a group.

 

 

 

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You've never been assigned a group project as an undergraduate or a graduate student? 

Yes, I have and that was not part of what I commented on.


 

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Old 07-05-2011, 08:42 PM
 
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Then why say that group learning ends when you take the SATs alone?


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Old 07-05-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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Then why say that group learning ends when you take the SATs alone?

 

 

I did not say that.

 

You take the SAT alone- you do not get a "group" score you get an individual score. You are not being helped by the "group" when you take it- you must function independently---alone on your own. You do not fill in circle with the help of others.


 

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Old 07-05-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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To even go there regarding later in life work - IMO is absurd and in no way belongs in this thread-I

 

 

 

Um. You are the one who raised the hiring issue. Post #107.  "in the real world few get hired as a group, you are judged on you- working together is sometimes needs on a job but few hired based on this- " I agree, it doesn't really belong here but I was happy to address it since you raised it. If you think it's absurd, why did you bring it up in the first place? 

 

 

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To even assume that you can only partake in this type of "group work" (or what ever you call it) within a school setting is flat out wrong.

 

.....

For all the HSers that I have ever known, none have wanted to "bubble" or isolate their children---learning comes from all sources and working with others starts far before and continues well after "schooling" to even attempt to lump the two and view this as a negative of HS is IMO---- crazy! 

 

.......

 

If this is such a negative (worthy of being here in this thread) and it can only be achieved by attending school I'm sure the OP can hopefully discern for herself. Maybe this will be the deal breaker for the OP!

 

 


To repeat myself, I have never said that one can only participate in group work in school. I said that homeschoolers can find ways to manage any problem.  I agreed that homeschoolers can find groups (hey, we agree on something!!), although I pointed out some of the many and varied trials and tribulations that appear in homeschooling message boards about attending homeschooling groups. I did say that participation in groups can happen regularly and frequently in school. 

 

Since the OP hasn't contributed herself in quite awhile (maybe she's scared off and I wouldn't blame her), we don't know what might be a deal-breaker for her. I would hope that if she's decided that homeschooling is a way of life and an educational choice she wants for her family, that she's had some benefit from the discussion here.  She's been given a chance to consider whether the issues raised are concerns, and if so, how she will deal with them. 

 

 

 


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unlike you--- 

I am concerned and I have also not meet one professional (in a school setting) that was not also concerned of the long term ramifications of how, why and what they teach. 

 

 

 

I am concerned about how well my children are learning and the skills they are developing. As long as they are progressing and achieving, they will find their place in the world just fine. I have a lot more to say on the subject, but I have struggled a little to avoid incivility (and not throw around words like "crazy", which is in your post), since I am having a little trouble with the tone and content of your posts so I'm going to try to end here.

 

 

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Old 07-05-2011, 09:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

 

 

I did not say that.

 

You take the SAT alone- you do not get a "group" score you get an individual score. You are not being helped by the "group" when you take it- you must function independently---alone on your own. You do not fill in circle with the help of others.


 

Nevermind.  I don't have time for this.  You clearly say one thing, then try to deny you said it, while trying to explain it away in a completely irrational manner.  How can you deny saying that group learning ends with the SATs?  You said EXACTLY that!


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Old 07-06-2011, 06:55 AM
 
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Ahhhhhhh, I think I may have misunderstood your other post.  redface.gif   I see what you're saying now and to some extent your right........ I think the thing with school is that (a decent school anyway) is providing all the basics, basic education, time to socialize, art, music, etc. etc. So as I parent I'm only filling in the gaps. I'm helping my kids navigate social situations but I'm not in charge of providing all of their social/educational opportunities.  For me it is different and there are some issues that are unique to HS just like there are some issues that are unique to PS (I.E. the school bus irked.gif) ...... but I'm seeing what your saying a little clearer. 

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That's cool - we can agree to disagree although I am not sure we do disagree much. I'm not saying your concerns aren't valid. And just to clarify I didn't say that your concerns about homeschooling are caused by a parenting problem.  I just don't think worrying about a homeschooled child's social circle is dramatically different than worrying about a public schooled child's social interactions. It's part and parcel of parenting. I have the same big picture concerns as my girlfriends who send their kids to PS. Parenting isn't all peaches and roses regardless of how you educate your child.

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Old 07-06-2011, 07:12 AM
 
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Anyway...i'm finding this discussion interesting, but I'm not giving the OP what she's looking for, and am contributing to the thread going way OT, so I'll bow out now.
 

 


Storm Bride one of the points I think you are missing is that these are just things parents need to be AWARE of. Not saying there aren't ways around most of the things anyone has mentioned on this thread.  But it is still things people need to be aware of so they can properly evaluate their kids homeschool experiences.  

 

On the time issue: 

I guess people count what counts as school differently but the HS families I know personally that are doing a fabulous job at it spend a lot of time on HSing. It's not that they are doing a ton of seat work either (although I would say 1.5-2 hours is average) But they are playing games to reinforce lessons, they are doing projects (that require cleaning up), they are researching topics together, going on field trips, creating social experiences,  etc. etc.  It's not that they are doing some school in a box that takes 6 hours a day of work book pages. But it takes time to do anything properly. They are making sure their kids have wonderful meaningful educational experiences but it takes a lot longer then 1 hour a day!  

*disclaimer I don't know any of you personally maybe your HS look exactly the same way.......to tell people homeschooling only takes a hour a day though is just not realistic. Crap, I had days where it took me an hour just to clean up our HSing mess! ROTFLMAO.gif

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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We homeschooled for 3 years and then switched to private school.  I am a supporter of everyone's right to make their own decisions for their own child (within reason) but I am also now a big supporter of traditional schooling.  My children love going to school.  They love being around friends every day, they love all the exposure to different types of learning, they like clubs and competitions and science fairs.  My oldest child is very special needs and he gets so much out of the school's wonderful resource program.  They have materials and things there (like the squish machine developed by Temple Grandin) that I could never afford but that he benefits from so greatly.  I never thought I would have a child in a kindergarten class but my youngest went this past year and it was an amazing experience for her.  She can't wait to go back!  I strongly believe that it is a good thing for a child not to be just sheltered in the family environment, that they learn to get along with the outside world.  And I believe its good for the parent to have their own time, away from their child, to do the things they need to do.  I hear SO many people (including on here) that are at their wits end with their child and are overwhelmed and stressed but for some reason feel that they have to keep homeschooling their child because it's the "ideal."  Guess what?  It isn't!  Every family is different and if you are stressed having your child around all the time then send them to school where they can get a great education and you can have time for yourself.  I am a much happier mother having that break from my children.

 

That said it all depends upon the school, because school experiences can vary greatly.  My children go to a wonderful private school and for us personally we would never consider public school.  So there is that.  But overall I think that placing homeschooling as some wonderful ideal is detrimental to both parents and child.  I have heard MANY stories on the homeschooling boards of children asking, even begging, to go to regular school and the parents saying no.  Why?  At that point it is very obviously about the parent and now what is best for the child.

 

So my final word is try homeschooling if you want.  If it works for you, great.  If not, it is not the end of the world!  They will grow, they will thrive, and they might even have a little fun along the way. wink1.gif


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Old 07-06-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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I don't homeschool, nor was I homeschooled myself.

 

I think the value of group work is at times overestimated. 

 

 

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Old 07-06-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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Storm Bride one of the points I think you are missing is that these are just things parents need to be AWARE of. Not saying there aren't ways around most of the things anyone has mentioned on this thread.  But it is still things people need to be aware of so they can properly evaluate their kids homeschool experiences.  

 

On the time issue: 

I guess people count what counts as school differently but the HS families I know personally that are doing a fabulous job at it spend a lot of time on HSing. It's not that they are doing a ton of seat work either (although I would say 1.5-2 hours is average) But they are playing games to reinforce lessons, they are doing projects (that require cleaning up), they are researching topics together, going on field trips, creating social experiences,  etc. etc.  It's not that they are doing some school in a box that takes 6 hours a day of work book pages. But it takes time to do anything properly. They are making sure their kids have wonderful meaningful educational experiences but it takes a lot longer then 1 hour a day!  

*disclaimer I don't know any of you personally maybe your HS look exactly the same way.......to tell people homeschooling only takes a hour a day though is just not realistic. Crap, I had days where it took me an hour just to clean up our HSing mess! ROTFLMAO.gif


I think I said before that I'm probably assessing my time spent a lot differently than someone who says they spend 5 hours a day on it. But, my kids also do a lot of their logged hours without me. For example, we have "wellness" component in the hours logs we submit. My kids have to have a minimum of 3.5 hours of physical activity per week. (This continues through high school in our province. DS1 had to log his exercise hours all of grade eleven, because he wasn't in a PE class. This year, he took the "conditioning" class, and didn't have to log exercise hours.) DD1 and ds2 spend a couple of hours a day, most days, playing physically. I'm only occasionally involved (eg. leading them in a game of "Follow the Leader" or some yoga) - I just let them go. So, they frequently get about 10-12 hours a week of "wellness" (this also includes learning about nutrition, health, sex-ed, drug ed, etc.), but I only spend a fraction of that on it, myself. I also don't log the full time. I basically use "wellness" to make up our hours. So, if they have 20 hours of reading, math, social studies, science, art, etc. logged, then I'll use 5 hours of their wellness time to round out the log.

 

I also don't count it as time I spend, if I'm only chauffeuring. So, when I take them to a 4 hour homeschooling group (mostly social, with some crafts), they get four hours of interpersonal work and art/crafts...and I don't count that as any time spent on homeschooling for me (I spend most of that time hanging out with other homeschooling moms). Likewise, if dd1 is helping with stuff around the house, I can log that as "life skills". But, I don't consider that to be time I spend, either - I'm just doing what needs to be done, and getting some help from my very orderly dd. When I take dd1 to her ballet class, that's an hour that I log for her, but I don't spend any time doing anything but driving her there, and chatting with her friend's mom.

 

I'll probably spend a little more time in coming years, but at their ages, I don't feel that a lot of emphasis on more formal, teacher/parent-led work is necessary. They're figuring things out with fairly minimal guidance, yk?


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Old 07-06-2011, 12:19 PM
 
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Personally, I am the independent type learner, but I am also very competent in a group (thanks to being "forced" in public school).


I don't do well in some kinds of groups (for instance, I don't believe I've ever been in a meeting that I felt had any value at all). However, I wasn't forced to do group work in school. They tried, but I just didn't do it. I've had kudos from every employer I've ever had on how well I work in a team. Group work and being a team player are two different things. I can also assure you that if they'd managed to make me do group work, I'd have still avoided it like the plague once I was out of school (which I equated with prison from about 5th or 6th grade until I graduated). Being forced to do group work in high school doesn't make you competent at it. Being willing to do the group work in the first place might do the trick.


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Old 07-06-2011, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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whew... Hi gang, I'm back (the OP).  I was offline for a few days, but I think I am caught back up here. 

 

Thanks for all the interesting and thought-provoking posts. 

 

Ollyoxenfree, the info about collaborative learning is very interesting to me, and right on point.  These are exactly the kinds of educational theory based aspects of homeschooling vs. traditional schooling that I am interested in. 

 

The personal anecdotes are very useful, too, especially from those who have been there and done both HS and traditional schooling.  I can imagine burn-out being a real problem for me, so that is something I need to seriously and carefully take into account.

 

I can see that this topic cuts to the heart of a lot of people's parenting emotions, and I can totally understand why.  When kids are school-age, their education, however it occurs, is one of the biggest issues in a parent and child's relationship/lives.  Making decisions in that arena are going to be emotionally charged for any conscientious parent.

 

Thanks for being willing to share your thoughts and experiences.  It is all very helpful to me, and probabably the many others who are reading this (or will in the future) with the same questions.

 

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Old 07-06-2011, 11:51 PM
 
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A few of the posts to this thread are causing some to feel attacked, accused, and insulted. Let's step back and look again at what the OP asked for and see if we can redirect this discussion to get back on that track:

 

 

This discussion will go much better if you focus specifically on the request for material, articles and research, and specific personal experience with homeschooling that led to the decision to switch to traditional school. 

 

 

This is me.  I home schooled my 9yo from the middle of his kindergarten year through 3rd grade (and his younger brother through 1st, though in hindsight the 4y9mo kindergarten start that is typical here, was too early for him)  For the first and second grade year, things moved along well...the boys were happy & I was happy.  I definitely was aware that the older of the two had attention span issues and was INCREDIBLY active,  he also had (and still has) some idiosyncratic behaviours that get frustrating and I noted these during that time as well.  

 

During the first 2yrs I had 2 youngers underfoot as well, but wasn't 'educating' them (any more than most mum's normally educate their little ones :)  other than some pre writing & pre reading for the 2nd kiddo.  The third year was a whole nother ball of wax... One child in grade 3, one in grade 1 was a lot of organizing and work for me.  Add in toddler on the move and it was chaotic at times.  I think my kids did learn a lot though, even during that year where I felt like I was pulling my hair out!  The real kicker was that our financial situation changed and I was highly stressed, and my patience levels were a bit low, as I'm sure you can imagine!  My then 8yo was also showing noticably more behavioural issues that were really finding my last nerve....  

 

So I made the decision with DH that we would enroll them in school ... I cried and was upset and felt like an epic failure,  I still do at times.  I loved home schooling my kids, I DO believe in homeschooling even though I am not currently doing it myself.   I miss it and so does my 9yo.    The boys have been in a good public school since February (when our year starts)  and here's how it's panned out...

 

Mr 7yo:  He started out in grade 2 as technically that's where they had to put him based on age and the fact that we were enrolled through distance ed last year as him being in grade 1.  I told the teacher straight up that I really wished I had not enrolled him for Prep, but that I should have kept him back a year to start, and that I thought we may need to shift him to grade 1.  After a couple of weeks we agreed that was the best for him, but it took the school till about week 8 to get it done.  He was really struggling reading, but everything else was going wonderfully... now (half way thru the year) he's reading on par with his classmates and he is all about school & loves it.  He's the 'belle of the ball' so to speak :P  and will stay in school from this point, because he loves it and is thriving in every possible way (hehe they had a disco before holidays started and EVERYONE wanted him to come and dance with them.. girls and boys lol.. it was too cute)

 

Mr 9yo:  He is in a grade 4/5 combined class, which I'm HATING for him :(  His behavioural issues are definitely causing him problems and I have started the process of having them evaluated.  The developmental paed is fairly settled on add, although there are some asd symptoms lurking about as well. His academics are pretty avg with his classmates, but I know if his behavioural issues are dealt with, his grades will likely go to above average. (he knows the work, is just too in a hurry and impulsive to do it right)   I'm not in love with his teacher as the fit for him is not great... but he isn't awful either :)  He is being patient and willing to work with us and tries to help the kiddo however he can.  The school overall, has been SLOW at getting the assitance he needs though.  We enrolled a full 3months before the year started, and informed them that he would have special needs and what type they were, but it was a brand new school so it was slow to be assigned a guidance officer & behavioural specialist.   We follow up with his paed this coming week and after that there will be a discussion with the school around how to best help him have a happier time at school.  He is NOT liked by the other children in his class... and is made fun of (although much of it seems to go over his head) and is definitely excluded by them.  If the school does not manage to improve that situation then I will very likely pull him out and use distance education again.  If he is not coping socially, I think it more appropriate for me to move him to a situation where he can have slightly more controlled social settings (external classes, distance ed meet up days etc)  than to leave him to feel unhappy and unliked at public school.

 

I also have a 5yo who will start prep next year (he should be there this year, but socially and emotionally he is NOWHERE near ready) Unless he really just does not cope (he still has separation issues at preschool), he will be going to school with his 7yo brother next year :) 

 

 

 

 


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Old 07-07-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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Ollyoxenfree, the info about collaborative learning is very interesting to me, and right on point.  These are exactly the kinds of educational theory based aspects of homeschooling vs. traditional schooling that I am interested in. 

 

 



SaveTheWild, I'm glad that it's helpful.

 

At the risk of beating a dead horse, there are are real learning benefits to collaborative learning that seem to get overlooked in the discussion, and not just social benefits. A student can learn more and learn it better by exploring a subject with other students in a group problem-solving or project. It's an active learning process. They have to review information together, consider different angles, resolve contradictions, and understand the material well enough that explain things to their group mates. Individual contributions, with different skills and new ideas, can help extend the knowledge base of the other group members. A group can tackle larger and more complex problems than an individual learner because more methods and solutions can be tried. The individual learner can walk away from the group with more knowledge, more experience and a greater skill set.

 

An excellent example of the benefits of group learning is right here at MDC. Anyone who posts about a situation looking for comments or anyone who contributes to a thread with their insight, knowledge or advice ought to agree that collaboration has great value. Otherwise why bother? Individual members post about a situation. Other members chime in with different perspectives and possible solutions. Some are helpful. (Some are not.) The OP benefits from the discussion. People with similar problems benefit. People who have never encountered the situation may be better prepared if it happens to them. At its best, this community is a great example of a collaborative learning process.  

 

 

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Old 07-07-2011, 09:30 AM
 
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Our school had a math curriculum that heavily emphasized group work.  It sounds nice on paper, but in my opinion it was just a big time waster.  I'm not sure how well the group actually stayed on task.  And what happens when the kids basically are having to work out what happens when someone refuses to be a productive member of the group.

 

One thing that bothered me with the math example is that the brightest kid in the room was introducing concepts to the kids when the teacher would not.   There was an expectation that the brightest kid would help the kids that were struggling.  I'm not saying that there isn't a place for that...but it shouldn't be a day to say thing.

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Old 07-07-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

At the risk of beating a dead horse, there are are real learning benefits to collaborative learning that seem to get overlooked in the discussion, and not just social benefits. A student can learn more and learn it better by exploring a subject with other students in a group problem-solving or project. It's an active learning process. 

 

 


I agree with this. Take algebra, for example, I have a math bright kid who had algebra this year at school with an amazing teacher and other math bright kids. The teacher made the subject come alive, and the interaction with the other students --hearing their questions, taking turns explaining things, seeing where someone else go stuck -- all contributed to her understanding. My DD has always been good at math, but now she really loves it.

 

I have a friend whose child homeschooled this year and also studied algebra. He's math bright too, and worked through his book needing very little help or interaction. I'm sure if you gave the kids an algebra test right now, they would both do well. However, I think my DD's *experience* of learning algebra was richer, deeper, and more pleasurable, partly because there were other people there doing it with her. 

 

There is a certain energy to doing something in a group.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 07-07-2011, 10:02 AM
 
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SaveTheWild, I'm glad that it's helpful.

 

At the risk of beating a dead horse, there are are real learning benefits to collaborative learning that seem to get overlooked in the discussion, and not just social benefits. A student can learn more and learn it better by exploring a subject with other students in a group problem-solving or project. It's an active learning process. They have to review information together, consider different angles, resolve contradictions, and understand the material well enough that explain things to their group mates. Individual contributions, with different skills and new ideas, can help extend the knowledge base of the other group members. A group can tackle larger and more complex problems than an individual learner because more methods and solutions can be tried. The individual learner can walk away from the group with more knowledge, more experience and a greater skill set.

 

An excellent example of the benefits of group learning is right here at MDC. Anyone who posts about a situation looking for comments or anyone who contributes to a thread with their insight, knowledge or advice ought to agree that collaboration has great value. Otherwise why bother? Individual members post about a situation. Other members chime in with different perspectives and possible solutions. Some are helpful. (Some are not.) The OP benefits from the discussion. People with similar problems benefit. People who have never encountered the situation may be better prepared if it happens to them. At its best, this community is a great example of a collaborative learning process.  

 

 


I agree that group projects/learning are a necessary component of a well rounded education. However, I don't think group work really applies to the elementary age. First off, they are still learning social skills. For group work to work for all students in the group, I strongly believe that it has to be at a middle or even high school level. And (flashback from my ps days) even then, you have your free loaders who don't pull their weight, and the people who try to lead when no leader in needed. I feel its best for kids to learn individually in the early years, gain confidence in their abilities, without being compared to others when learning the basics. 

 

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Old 07-07-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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One thing about this thread is that it seems to be comparing the best of school experiences with the worst of homeschooling experiences, which seems a bit lopsided.  Yes, some schools are  awesome, wonderful, no bullying, enthusiastic teachers, small classes, great opportunities, and can provide things that homeschooling can't.  But not everyone has access to a school like that.  In fact, I would say most people who homeschool don't have access to a school like that, since I would guess that most public schools aren't like that and many people who homeschool can't afford private school.  Of course all public schools aren't horrible and some are better than others of course.   But, the really "awesome" schools seem to be mostly private.  

And of course, homeschooling can be a bad experience with burnt-out parents, isolated kids, etc...so it goes both ways.

 

I had a pretty typical public school experiences.  Decent school district in the middle of typical suburban school in the Northeast.  Most students were from white collar families.  Some years I had good teachers, other years not so good.  Some years I experienced more teasing than others (I wouldn't say I was ever really bullied, but I was teased a lot and didn't have many friends).  It was a decent school dist4rict and probably even better than average.   I was a good student and highly self-motivated so that made a big difference for me.  I woudlnt' say I had a bad school experience, I would just say it was "ok"

 

Regarding group work and collaboration, I did way more beneficial group work through 4-H (which I was very active in) than I ever did in school.  In 4-H I was on leadership teams, and put projects together.  It was a wonderful experience.  We did do group work in middle and high school, but it always felt like *I* as a good student was pulling along the less than good students.   Or I was the one teaching the concepts to the people who didn't understand it.   I think the value of group work gets muddled a lot when grades are involved.  Grades only motivate *some* students, so then you basically get the students who are motivated by good grades working harder and the students who aren't just coasting.   With 4-H, my group work wasn't motivated by grades, but rather by a common interest or project, so it was much more beneficial.

 

Really I think what it boils down to is that a school experience could be good, bad or average and a homeschool experience could be good, bad or average.  The major difference is that as a parent, I have a lot more control over my child's homeschool experience than I would over their school experience.  If I decide my child needs more group work, I can find ways to do that (coops, classes, starting a group, working with siblings, etc.).   It's a lot harder to say "hey, Mrs. Teacher, I think you should do x,y, and z in your classroom".   Or, if I decide that math curriculum we are using isn't working I can change, while if I decide the math curriculum the school is using isn't best for my child, I probably can't do anything about it.  I can make suggestions, but oftentimes curriculum is district-wide and outside the control of parents.  Of course, there are things  homeschool parents may not be able to offer (due to time or expense, etc.) but then there are a lot of homeschool experiences my child has had (ie. ice skating, dissecting a shark, swimming lessons, etc.) that I never had in public school. 


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Old 07-07-2011, 12:43 PM
 
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Really I think what it boils down to is that a school experience could be good, bad or average and a homeschool experience could be good, bad or average. 


I agree with this.... barring severe abuse or neglect at home or school, kids who start out ok will end up ok regardless of whether they are homeschooled or sent to school.  We did encounter abuse at school which is the main reason we called it quits.  As far as the ability to work in groups, my "wise" opinion is that this is far more nature than nurture.  I can't stand doing things with other people, even people I like!  I would much rather slog through something alone that have anyone working with me.  I've always been this way shrug.gif and I was schooled preK-12, did 4H, etc..  One of my kids is the same way, but other of my kids are naturally sociable and love working in groups.

 

The main thing to bear in mind when reading about HS vs. school comparisons is that homeschoolers are held to a much higher standard.  Maybe some of you recall the video that released a month or so ago, showing a vicious classroom fight where the teacher sat as his desk doing absolutely nothing.  And more recently, an AP article was put out showing only 12% of high school graduates are proficient in history.  Most students didn't even know what the constitution is.  If a video of a homeschool family had been released showing the same situation, or if homeschoolers were routinely found to be functionally illiterate in history, the practice would probably have been made illegal yesterday.  But when these things happen in public school, not only does the system continue as usual, but it is massively funded to the tune of ~20,000$ per student!

 

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Old 07-07-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ameliabedelia View Post

One thing about this thread is that it seems to be comparing the best of school experiences with the worst of homeschooling experiences, which seems a bit lopsided.  Yes, some schools are  awesome, wonderful, no bullying, enthusiastic teachers, small classes, great opportunities, and can provide things that homeschooling can't.  But not everyone has access to a school like that.  In fact, I would say most people who homeschool don't have access to a school like that, since I would guess that most public schools aren't like that and many people who homeschool can't afford private school.  Of course all public schools aren't horrible and some are better than others of course.   But, the really "awesome" schools seem to be mostly private.  

And of course, homeschooling can be a bad experience with burnt-out parents, isolated kids, etc...so it goes both ways.

 

I had a pretty typical public school experiences.  Decent school district in the middle of typical suburban school in the Northeast.  Most students were from white collar families.  Some years I had good teachers, other years not so good.  Some years I experienced more teasing than others (I wouldn't say I was ever really bullied, but I was teased a lot and didn't have many friends).  It was a decent school dist4rict and probably even better than average.   I was a good student and highly self-motivated so that made a big difference for me.  I woudlnt' say I had a bad school experience, I would just say it was "ok"

 

Regarding group work and collaboration, I did way more beneficial group work through 4-H (which I was very active in) than I ever did in school.  In 4-H I was on leadership teams, and put projects together.  It was a wonderful experience.  We did do group work in middle and high school, but it always felt like *I* as a good student was pulling along the less than good students.   Or I was the one teaching the concepts to the people who didn't understand it.   I think the value of group work gets muddled a lot when grades are involved.  Grades only motivate *some* students, so then you basically get the students who are motivated by good grades working harder and the students who aren't just coasting.   With 4-H, my group work wasn't motivated by grades, but rather by a common interest or project, so it was much more beneficial.

 

Really I think what it boils down to is that a school experience could be good, bad or average and a homeschool experience could be good, bad or average.  The major difference is that as a parent, I have a lot more control over my child's homeschool experience than I would over their school experience.  If I decide my child needs more group work, I can find ways to do that (coops, classes, starting a group, working with siblings, etc.).   It's a lot harder to say "hey, Mrs. Teacher, I think you should do x,y, and z in your classroom".   Or, if I decide that math curriculum we are using isn't working I can change, while if I decide the math curriculum the school is using isn't best for my child, I probably can't do anything about it.  I can make suggestions, but oftentimes curriculum is district-wide and outside the control of parents.  Of course, there are things  homeschool parents may not be able to offer (due to time or expense, etc.) but then there are a lot of homeschool experiences my child has had (ie. ice skating, dissecting a shark, swimming lessons, etc.) that I never had in public school. 


The first bolded section:  It's funny you should say that because I feel that the opposite is true, that public school is more likely to be across-the-board villianized.  I understand that that is my own personal perspective, and I appreciate your perspective on it as well.

 

I couldn't agree more with the second bolded section.  Just as not all public schools are the same, neither are all homeschool experiences the same.  I guess the only way to really assess the situation is to narrow the scope A LOT.  Perhaps by asking, "will my child have a better experience being educated in our home, or in this specific public school."  Obviously a lot of people are zoned for horrible schools (I even know someone who's school wasn't accepting any more students, even though they were zoned for it.  They had to find their own alternative school, or homeschool.  WTF?).  For us, there is no way I could educate my children as well as the public school does.  No possible way.  Their school is excellent, and so personalized.  I don't think that public school is across-the-board superior, any more than I think that homeschool is across-the-board superior.  There are too many individual factors to take into consideration.

 


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Old 07-07-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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SaveTheWild, I'm glad that it's helpful.

 

At the risk of beating a dead horse, there are are real learning benefits to collaborative learning that seem to get overlooked in the discussion, and not just social benefits. A student can learn more and learn it better by exploring a subject with other students in a group problem-solving or project. It's an active learning process. They have to review information together, consider different angles, resolve contradictions, and understand the material well enough that explain things to their group mates. Individual contributions, with different skills and new ideas, can help extend the knowledge base of the other group members. A group can tackle larger and more complex problems than an individual learner because more methods and solutions can be tried. The individual learner can walk away from the group with more knowledge, more experience and a greater skill set.

 

This is an example, imo, of where the scope needs to be narrowed. I never, in all my years of public school, was involved in a group effort that worked this way - not once. The "best" student (or the student who was perceived by the rest of the group as being the "best" student) or one of the really take charge kids took over, and there was rarely any collaboration involved. The vast majority of the "group" projects I saw were 95% one student's work, and then the rest of the names went on it. (And, I'm not saying this out of bitterness, because it certainly wasn't my work.) There wasn't much to learn, and there wasn't much extension of knowledge going on. DS1, otoh, seems to have mostly found groups where there's a lot of back and forth and dialogue, and he'd probably agree with you. But, "collaborative learning" only works when a group dynamic exists, and there's actual collaboration going on. IME, developing that takes more than putting people/kids into a group and assigning a project.

 

An excellent example of the benefits of group learning is right here at MDC. Anyone who posts about a situation looking for comments or anyone who contributes to a thread with their insight, knowledge or advice ought to agree that collaboration has great value. Otherwise why bother? Individual members post about a situation. Other members chime in with different perspectives and possible solutions. Some are helpful. (Some are not.) The OP benefits from the discussion. People with similar problems benefit. People who have never encountered the situation may be better prepared if it happens to them. At its best, this community is a great example of a collaborative learning process.  

 

I have to agree. I love communities like this - online. Groups don't work for me in the real world, and never have...and I wasted a lot of time and heartache on trying to navigate them in school. All the educational theories in the world mean nothing if they don't apply to the student in question. (And, yes - I freely admit that I'm an oddball and that I have issues that interfered with the educational approach taken in public school...but that doesn't change the fact that all the great ideas they had simply didn't work for me.)

 


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Old 07-07-2011, 05:25 PM
 
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I agree with the theory behind the "group work is important" angle, but in my real-life experience it was terrible in school.  All the way through - HS and college bring back especially negative memories.  I have always been a good employee and great with co-workers.  I'm kind and good at listening and giving feedback.  Working together on the job is so very different.  Group work in school was SOOO an exercise in torture...   Well, I suppose the one thing I did learn from it is how to reign in my angst at governmental bureaucracy and just wait, persevere, wait...

 

It is interesting for me as a rising homeschooler (we'll start K this fall) to hear the perspective of moms who have done both.  I am pretty sure I will be one of them someday! 

 

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Old 07-07-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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I think there are many types of group work.  Busy work in a group setting is going to be terrible.  I had a lot of teachers who used group work to mask their laziness.  I've had other teachers, however, that took the time to make group work fun and exciting.  Sure, if a teacher says "work in a group to answer these questions on the book you've been reading" (which at least half the members of the group were guaranteed NOT to have read, but still got group credit.  Grrr.), that's just laziness and a chance for the teacher to be "off duty" for a bit.  I do remember, though, one group assignment that was created to facilitate an understanding of the feudal system, and was basically a role-playing game.  The teacher put a lot of effort into it, and it was FUN.  And I still have a pretty good understanding of the feudal system LOL.  So, yeah, I remember a lot of the crappy kind of group work, where I carried a large part of the load, and always was designated the "writer" because of my neat handwriting.  But there have been a lot of enriching assignments for me too.


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I think there are many types of group work.  Busy work in a group setting is going to be terrible.  I had a lot of teachers who used group work to mask their laziness.  I've had other teachers, however, that took the time to make group work fun and exciting.  Sure, if a teacher says "work in a group to answer these questions on the book you've been reading" (which at least half the members of the group were guaranteed NOT to have read, but still got group credit.  Grrr.), that's just laziness and a chance for the teacher to be "off duty" for a bit.  I do remember, though, one group assignment that was created to facilitate an understanding of the feudal system, and was basically a role-playing game.  The teacher put a lot of effort into it, and it was FUN.  And I still have a pretty good understanding of the feudal system LOL.  So, yeah, I remember a lot of the crappy kind of group work, where I carried a large part of the load, and always was designated the "writer" because of my neat handwriting.  But there have been a lot of enriching assignments for me too.



LOL...I found the "fun" and "enriching" group work the worst. If I knew it was coming, I cut class...


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Old 07-08-2011, 06:13 AM
 
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I think there is a good discussion to be had about collaborative learning. It probably deserves its own thread. There's lots to explore - how to create a positive collaborative learning environment, how to ensure individual accountability, how to facilitate healthy group dynamics, tactics to recover when a group isn't working out, what structure to put in place to support learners, how to assess and improve on the process....

 

It occurs to me that technology may provide some innovative solutions. With an on-line record, it's fairly easy to monitor who participates, how often, the quality of their contributions, which group members are understanding the material, who is trying to move the work forward and who is simply provoking trouble and/or distracting the other members of the group with irrelevant, unhelpful tangents.

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Old 07-08-2011, 09:12 AM
 
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The main thing to bear in mind when reading about HS vs. school comparisons is that homeschoolers are held to a much higher standard. 

 


 

Homeschoolers aren't held to a standard at all in most places. Very few states require homeschoolers take any standardized test. The few that do have an option for a portfolio review instead. There is no oversight.

 


 

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In fact, I would say most people who homeschool don't have access to a school like that, since I would guess that most public schools aren't like that and many people who homeschool can't afford private school. .....

 

Really I think what it boils down to is that a school experience could be good, bad or average and a homeschool experience could be good, bad or average.  The major difference is that as a parent, I have a lot more control over my child's homeschool experience than I would over their school experience. 


My kids attended a very good public school before starting at the private school, and I have mixed feeling about the private school for my typically developing child. There were some things about being in a big public school that were wonderful for her, opportunities that can't be matched at a small school. There's a trade off for her.

 

I think the view that a lot of homeschoolers have of public school is VERY jaded and doesn't reflect the reality of even their own local school because they people they see all the time and talk to the most are the ones for whom the school wasn't a good match. The same school can be a very different experience for different kids, and if you only have contact with families who had one kind of experience, you aren't going to get the big picture.

 

As far as the expense of private school, most of the families at my DDs' school aren't rich, and having kids at the school is a sacrifice. I've heard the same argument about homeschooling, that it's expensive because it requires having a SAHP for years and years. The truth is that many families make choices to make a certain kind of education available for their kids, and for some families that's mom getting a job to pay for an excellent school, and in some families that's mom not getting a job so she can be home with the children. Most homeschooling moms I know didn't work (or worked very, very little) but most the private school moms I know work. It's a different choice, in both cases based on what they believe is very best for their children.

 

When we were in the middle of this move last year, DH's company temporarily housed us in an apartment oddly close the best public highschool and middle school in the city, and I noticed the number of families living in the complex with teens, many of them immigrant families. That was there way of getting their kids into what they saw as best educational option for them. Houses in that area start at around 400K, but apartments are affordable. Different families do different things make a good education happen for their kids. But you are right, a lot of homeschool families couldn't continue to live in a house and have a SAHM and have any other decent option.

 

I'm not saying that homeschool moms should get jobs or sell their houses or do anything any different than they are, just that they have the same choices as every body else. They are making choices based on what they feel is best. Every body is making choices, and just because someone else is making a different choice, doesn't mean it's easier for them a less of a sacrifice or that you got fewer options.

 

I agree that a school experience can be good or bad, and a homeschooling experience can be good or bad. But I see more possible downsides of homeschooling that you do. Some of them because my family experienced them, and some of them just from watching other families. I think there is a certain level of dishonesty in the homeschooling community because so many homeschoolers feel on the defense all the time, they don't want to own the down sides.

 

Another downside that I've noticed reading this thread is that a homeschooled child is limited by their parents beliefs and values. Take the collaborative learning issue, if a homeschool parent doesn't value it and therefore doesn't make it happen, the child will just not have those experiences -- year after year. Some teachers handle it better than others, but a child who is getting a different teacher every year has a much better chance of having nice collaborative experience than a child who is homeschooled by someone who doesn't see the point of it. You could substitute ANY issue -- playing around with art supplies, using math manipulatives, etc. -- a homeschooled kid is getting the exact same set of learning biases every single year.

 

Also, a homeschooled child is really stuck in their birth order. The oldest is the oldest all day, every day. At school, they are just one of a group peers.

 

I think a good question for parents to ask is "Of the options I have, which is the best for my child at this time?"  But to figure that out, it seems to me it would be easier if one could evaluate the pluses and minuses of each option and then guess how those would play out for a specific child.

 

I also think it's better to based our choices on our kids, rather than on our own experiences that we haven't gotten over. Our kids aren't us and the school options aren't the same as ours.


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Homeschoolers aren't held to a standard at all in most places. Very few states require homeschoolers take any standardized test. The few that do have an option for a portfolio review instead. There is no oversight.

inaccurate

 

 

http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp        more states than none DO require testing and I am red and have NO opt-out---I have lots of oversight

 

http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200410250.asp

 

the same information can be found on other sites as well

 

and the information on PS testing can also be found-one can compare (as well as the oversight)

 

 


 

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Old 07-08-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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The link you gave doesn't say which states require testing, and it clearly shows that most states have little to no oversight. For the most part staying legal requires filling out a one time form and keeping records that no one looks at.

A few states do have more oversight, but even according to your link, they are the exception.

I'm not saying thats a good thing or a bad thing, just that most home schoolers aren't held to a standard.

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Old 07-08-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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As far as the expense of private school, most of the families at my DDs' school aren't rich, and having kids at the school is a sacrifice. I've heard the same argument about homeschooling, that it's expensive because it requires having a SAHP for years and years. The truth is that many families make choices to make a certain kind of education available for their kids, and for some families that's mom getting a job to pay for an excellent school, and in some families that's mom not getting a job so she can be home with the children. Most homeschooling moms I know didn't work (or worked very, very little) but most the private school moms I know work. It's a different choice, in both cases based on what they believe is very best for their children.

 

When we were in the middle of this move last year, DH's company temporarily housed us in an apartment oddly close the best public highschool and middle school in the city, and I noticed the number of families living in the complex with teens, many of them immigrant families. That was there way of getting their kids into what they saw as best educational option for them. Houses in that area start at around 400K, but apartments are affordable. Different families do different things make a good education happen for their kids. But you are right, a lot of homeschool families couldn't continue to live in a house and have a SAHM and have any other decent option.

 

I'm not saying that homeschool moms should get jobs or sell their houses or do anything any different than they are, just that they have the same choices as every body else. They are making choices based on what they feel is best. Every body is making choices, and just because someone else is making a different choice, doesn't mean it's easier for them a less of a sacrifice or that you got fewer options.

 

I completely agree with all of this. From my standpoint, the parents who work to pay for private school are actually making the bigger sacrifice...but that's because I've done the WOHM thing, and I hated it. So, from my perspective, it's a huge, huge sacrifice to do that for your child. Someone else may see it differently.

 

 

Another downside that I've noticed reading this thread is that a homeschooled child is limited by their parents beliefs and values. Take the collaborative learning issue, if a homeschool parent doesn't value it and therefore doesn't make it happen, the child will just not have those experiences -- year after year. Some teachers handle it better than others, but a child who is getting a different teacher every year has a much better chance of having nice collaborative experience than a child who is homeschooled by someone who doesn't see the point of it. You could substitute ANY issue -- playing around with art supplies, using math manipulatives, etc. -- a homeschooled kid is getting the exact same set of learning biases every single year.

 

 

I find this to be an interesting view, but it hasn't been my experience, so far. The women who run the ecology programs my kids take all have a slightly different style. The two dance teachers they've worked with have different styles. The instructor at rock climbing had yet another style. I'm pretty sure the instructor at this summer's pottery camp will have yet another approach, and so did the "science adventures" teacher. DD1's ballet teacher regularly has them work together, mostly in pairs, but sometimes in small groups, to choreograph small dance sequences. The science teacher did a lot of group discussion. I hated group work, but group work isn't the only way to do collaborative learning, and just because I hated it, doesn't mean my kids are going to hate it.  So far, at least, my kids have had really good group experiences with only very minor blips (a homeschool friend who considered dd1 his "girlfriend" and got really mad when his mom explained that dd1 didn't see it that way, etc.). By the time I was dd1's age, I was already becoming anxious about going to school every day, because of how out and out mean the other kids could be (eg. the boy in my 2nd grade class who stepped in dog poop at lunch and then plunked his shoe on my sandwich).

 

Sure - my kids have only one main teacher, and it's the same teacher every years. But, I get input from other homeschooling moms, too, and actively look for suggestions. And, I'm not their only teacher (as i say, so far, there's been dance teachers, a climbing instructor, Tae Kwon Do instructors, ecology programs, science class, etc.). I'm not teaching me. I'm teaching my kids, who are very different, so I have to take that into account. I mean...dd1 wants to grow up to work with spiders, in the field and in the lab. I'm a fairly serious arachnaphobe! So...I spend a lot of time looking at large, gruesome, close up pictures of spider faces and discussing the various features with dd1. It's not about me. Likewise, I look into crafts that the kids can do, and what resources are available to learn math, and what books they might like.

 

Also, a homeschooled child is really stuck in their birth order. The oldest is the oldest all day, every day. At school, they are just one of a group peers.

 

That also makes little sense to me. Yes. I was "stuck" in my position as middle child at home. And, I was "stuck" in my place in the pecking order at school, just like everyone else. "Middle child" was a lot more comfortable than "misfit", yk? What do you see as the downsides to being stuck in one's birth order?

 

I think a good question for parents to ask is "Of the options I have, which is the best for my child at this time?"  But to figure that out, it seems to me it would be easier if one could evaluate the pluses and minuses of each option and then guess how those would play out for a specific child.

 

I can't imagine doing it any other way. We re-evaluate about homeschooling every year.

 

I also think it's better to based our choices on our kids, rather than on our own experiences that we haven't gotten over. Our kids aren't us and the school options aren't the same as ours.

 

Well, my experiences obviously shape all my decisions, just as they do with anybody else. But, my experiences with ds1 in public school speak more loudly to me than my own experiences do. And, dd1's temperament was the original thing that caused us to consider homeschooling. I do have to admit that I'll be quite relieved if homeschooling works out for them straight through to high school, because my lifetime total of 26 years of dealing with public schools is more than enough for me (I think I was almost as relieved when ds1 walked out of school for the last time as I was when I did the same!). But, if school seems to be the right choice for them at a later date, then that's what we'll do. I don't make my choices on either my experiences or my children. I base them on both.



 


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Old 07-08-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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StormBride "The women who run the ecology programs my kids take all have a slightly different style. The two dance teachers they've worked with have different styles. The instructor at rock climbing had yet another style. I'm pretty sure the instructor at this summer's pottery camp will have yet another approach, and so did the "science adventures" teacher."

 

I think you sound like a really wonderful homeschool mom and that it sounds like your kids are doing lots of cool things. thumb.gif

 

Although I do see some downsides of homeschooling, I also see that it works well for many kids for at least part of their education. I'm really not completely negative on the subject, even though my posts on this thread might be coming across that way.

 

 

The downsides of being stuck in one's birth order are generally small things -- such as the youngest just always sliding on things and not having as much expected of them at the same ages, and sometimes therefore not expecting as much of themselves. At school, you see what other kids your age are doing and what is expected of them. As a larger problem, which I think is rare, some homeschool parents get hyper focused on what is going on with their oldest and then the younger ones are just along for the ride, really not getting the same quality of education that the older child got.

 

It's a small issue, and one that can easily be avoided by just being an aware parent, and not a reason to decide to send kids to school.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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