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#61 of 107 Old 01-16-2008, 04:00 AM
 
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Minorities go to private schools too. My DDs attend a private school that is 95% minority.
Well, it's definitely geographically dependent. Where we live, there just aren't many minorities in private/homeschooling environments. A lot of it is that most of them are new(er) immigrants and it's either not part of the culture or both parents are working long hours to be able to afford rent/food. Our school lost 20 kids when one of the apartment complexes that is in the attendance area raised its rent by $100 a month. 10-15 families were priced out.

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#62 of 107 Old 01-16-2008, 05:06 AM
 
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Well, first of all, I'm too impatient a person to homeschool my dd. That aside, we are a highly academic family. We are also a multi-lingual family and we simply could not provide the academic or linguistic environment by homeschooling. Dh and his entire family (he is not American, and English is not his first language) are products of language immersion school... he was fluent in 3 languages in Elementary school, followed by a 4th, completely new language in high school. The schools stressed the sciences and math.

We have dd in a similar school here in the US. She will be also be fluent in 3 languages in elementary, followed by a 4th in high school. I have to be honest, I get frustrated that parents in the US think that if their kids learn a few phrases and to count to 10 in another language that they are "learning" that language. I don't know how many times we hear, "Oh, yeah, we're learning Spanish" and the kids can say, "Hi, how are you." That level of language learning isn't enough for us. In fact, it's not learning a language. To truly learn a language, some level of immersion is necessary. It is a cultural acquisition, too. Dd will have two student exchange experiences in school... 5th grade for 3 weeks and 9th grade for 12 weeks (I think). Opportunities that would be hard to obtain if not impossible (in a group setting... that is a bunch of kids all going together) by homeschooling.

Academically, we want dd to learn from a variety of teachers, and as she gets older, we want her to learn from true experts in the various fields of study, not just by looking up information in books or on the internet. We want her to get a lot of interaction with different people who really know their stuff. My dh is a professor and even he does not feel qualified to teach dd in a homeschool situation except perhaps his own field. Sure, we could follow a curriculum in the early years, but then we get back to the "I'm an impatient person" issue.

We live in an area that is culturally very bland. There is basically one race, one color, one religion in our area. Dd's school, which is about 45 min. - 1 hr. drive away, is extremely diverse. Her 4 best friends are of either a different race or different culture or they share only one common language that is not English. We couldn't provide that for her where we live. Certainly not in the homeschool groups, which are almost exclusively made up of white, Christian homeschoolers.

She is an only child and very, very social. I am less social. She would stagnate at home.

Finally, we cannot afford to provide all of the materials she has access to in school on a daily basis. The school has equipment, labs, reading material, science equipment, props, rooms, stages, and hundreds of other things that we could not buy just for dd alone to use. Dd is a tactile learner, so she would rather touch a globe than to see a picture on a computer screen. It would cost us thousand of dollars a year to provide the materials and equipment she has access to at school. Yes, I realize that homeschoolers go on field trips, but I want dd to have access to these things more regularly.
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#63 of 107 Old 02-13-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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High school was a fairly horrific experience for me, lol. I hated it. All the busy work and learning stuff I had no interest in or need for. But I am still undecided on whether I will homeschool or public school my kids. IDK.

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#64 of 107 Old 02-13-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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I don't think it always HAS to be one OR the other... There is a lot in-between.

Personally, I don't think I'd ever be an exclusive homeschooler.

OK, here's the other embarassing part... I like a few hours a day to work, do my thing, etc. Right now, he is in pre-school 3 hours a day. I've found with just that much of a break, I am much more centered, I have some time to explore my own interests, reflect on things, even just rest sometimes. And, he LOVES it and the school couldn't do better if I had hand picked every aspect- yoga, music, baking, playground, Hebrew, Montessori style learning, a multi-age class room with absolutely amazing and loving teachers, all in our synagogue... My son is so happy to go every morning he jumps through the parking lot and we can bearly tear his coat off of him before he charges the classroom and comes home only after begging every day to stay longer. He talks about his friends, he is in love with his teachers and he does things that I really couldn't organize (or pay for indicidually) on my own (like yoga and Hebrew). And I have been able to start a PhD and take an exercise class.

Now, if my son hated school and/or the school was a bad fit for him and no others would work, I'd homeschool and do it with a smile. But if a great school exisited that he fit in well with, I think the experience for both of us is overwhelmingly positive.
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#65 of 107 Old 02-13-2008, 07:40 PM
 
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I shopped around and enrolled her in a great little charter school. She's very happy there and doing well. She's been there for about 1.5 years now. I am fortunate that we have lots of good charter schools to choose from,
You are so lucky!!! I wish we had charter schools in our state! I feel like there are very few options here... not even that many private schools compared with some areas of the country. We love homeschooling and it is the best fit for us right now, but if we want to have our children go to school in the future I would love to have more options!
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#66 of 107 Old 02-13-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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This is a great and timely thread for me. Right now my dd is 4.5 and in her 2nd year of Waldorf preschool. we are committed to sending her there next year for kindergarten, and after that we're thinking that we'll start homeschooling.

But, i have some major reservations.

I'm interested to see-once we get started- how my reservations pan out. Some may be valid, some not. Mostly i am going by what i observe of dd learning- i watch her teach herself math, writing, letters, and currently she is obsessed with learning Spanish and beginning to read. This is all of her own accord. While i think she would initially respond very well to all of the learning opportunities at school, i am concerned that once the novelty wore off, she would resist because she can't do it her own way.

velochic- if i had proximity to a school like you send your dd to, we would be there in a heartbeat. Any language immersion school, really. Becoming fluent in another language is enough to warrant school, imo... particularly since dd is super interested in languages.

i've decided we will go where our children lead. I have big ideals about educating them in our small community and keeping them together, but - we'll see. I am glad to see so many who have experienced more than one thing... i moved around so much as a kid (all in ps) that i feel attached to consistency.

i'm interested to read the other thread...

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#67 of 107 Old 02-14-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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This is our schools philosophy statement. I am so in love with the school, I can't imagine doing anything else. So I guess I don't think about hs because I loooove dd's school:

Our Philosophy
Ann Arbor Open offers a radical educational alternative to students, teachers, and parents in the Ann Arbor Public School District. Parents and Teachers founded Ann Arbor Open in the belief that children come to school already immersed in their learning and have their own strengths and interests. We seek to support the individual and provide guidance, stimulation, and support. Ann Arbor Open strives to be a leading educational force in open education.

As an open school, Ann Arbor Open promotes social and emotional development. Children learn to share knowledge and feelings, to solve interpersonal problems, to develop common goals, and to respect each other's values. The emphasis is on challenging students individually based on cooperation rather than competition. Freedom, responsibility, self-discipline, and consideration of others are learned by daily practice. When combined with the richness of the school's diverse population and a daily commitment to multicultural education, these various components challenge the barriers of sexism, racism, and classism.

Our school is a community of life-long learners. School and home are blended into a larger community as children, teachers and parents work together. Ann Arbor Open draws families from the entire Ann Arbor school district. The community extends beyond the classroom walls to other classes, to our urban community, and out into the world.

The following describe classrooms at Ann Arbor Open:

Classes run on a continuum. Each class has two or more grades and students remain in the same class for more than one year.
Curriculum is developed by the teacher in concert with the children. Emphasis is on learning through experience using ever-developing problem solving skills. Academic goals are achieved through an integrated approach linked with the children's interests and needs.
The teacher supports the learning environment as well as the learning style of each student. Attention is paid to the variable ways in which children learn. The idea is not what children should do at a given age or time, but what the child needs to help them develop to their full potential.
Democracy is practiced in the classroom by the students with the teachers and extends throughout the school. Through our General Assembly, everyone has a vote.
Parents at Ann Arbor Open are active participants in their children's education and are integral to the Ann Arbor Open environment. We encourage all Ann Arbor Open families to educate themselves and others in open school principles, philosophy, theory and action. We believe these actions will strengthen our common bonds and facilitate community acceptance of innovative open school programs.
We are proud of our pioneering program. We offer our students the continuity of our program year after year. We look forward to many years of innovation and self-evaluation to keep us on the cutting edge of open school and as a model the Ann Arbor Public Schools can display with pride.
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#68 of 107 Old 02-14-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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At the time we made this choice, I felt strongly that it wasn't my choice to make, but my dd's. She wanted and still wants to go to school. Public school is imperfect, but so is life-she's managing to thrive in an imperfect environment and I think there's a lot to be said for that.
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#69 of 107 Old 02-14-2008, 05:46 PM
 
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I haven't yet read all the replies...

I am a good candidate for homeschooling in many ways. My basic beliefs and views about the world are pretty far outof the mainstream, and I'm annoyed by how much pop culture and dominant paradigms affect and indoctrinate kids. When dd was born there was no doubt in my mind that she would be homeschooled. But, she's not; she's been in school since our toddler daycare co-op and is now in kindergarten at a community based charter school (as opposed to a religious or for profit charter school).

the number one reason we aren't homeschooling is money. you cannot support a family of 3 on 40k in this city, which is what my partner makes; and if one of were to stop working I'd be the logical choice, as his job brings health care and mine doesn't, and because he has a career while my job is just kinda a job.

Connected tot hat is that my partner does not want to be the only working parent in the family, and we both believe that the reason we haven't had to struggle with a lot of inequity around parenting, housework, etc, is that we have both been working all along. We share all of those responsibilities pretty much equally.

the other piece is that, looking at the secular homescholing community, I saw a lot of middle to upper class white folks. And I prefer that my kid have a lot more diversity in her life, more working class folks, more people of color, not to mention that spending a lot of time with such economically privileged people would make me crazy.

nonetheless, we do have a deal with dd; if, after she completes first grade, she wants to be homeschooled, then she has to go through second grade, during which i will figure out a way to have an income while homeschoolong, and then she can be homeschooled. My guess is that by the end of first grade she won't want to homeschool, but if she does, I will make it happen. Also, when puberty hits I'm inclined to offer homeschooling, too.
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#70 of 107 Old 02-14-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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This is our schools philosophy statement. I am so in love with the school, I can't imagine doing anything else. So I guess I don't think about hs because I loooove dd's school:
Ha! My son goes there, too! We love it. I'm so glad we (in this area) have the opportunity for a public school like this and wish more people had such a choice.

: Deirdre & the boys ('02 & '06 vintage)
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#71 of 107 Old 02-14-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Ha! My son goes there, too! We love it. I'm so glad we (in this area) have the opportunity for a public school like this and wish more people had such a choice.
Oh how funny! I know, I wish everyone had this sort of option.
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#72 of 107 Old 02-17-2008, 06:25 AM
 
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I would love to homeschool and also have the option of some workshops for dc to attend without me. He is very intense and high need and honestly, I cannot ahndle him day-in, day-out with no breaks. He needs the breaks, too. But, I have not been able to make that happen-not enough homeschoolers in the area, etc.
So, ds is in the local public preschool. If there was a better school-private, charter-I would send him there, but so far, there isn't one. So we are going to make do for now and keep exploring out options. Moving to a place with a better schooling is one of those options.
If ds is ever adamant about not wanting to go to school, we would reconsider homeschooling
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#73 of 107 Old 02-17-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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So basically, for us, my kids will go to school because the structure and routine will work better for us, I'm tired of driving the kids all over town every day to attend the wonderful HS classes and activities. Most of their friends go to a brick and mortar. Homeschooling is a lifestyle and we just aren't living that way anymore. I can't seem to embrace the unschooling life, which I totally envy others that do. I guess we are just a "schooly" family after all.

It's a tough decision, every family is unique. After homeschooling for several years, I'm finding that the toughest part of transitioning to them going to school is just admitting that it's what we want to do. But that's the beauty, you can always change your mind
I am so happy you said this, especially that the hardest part is admitting that it's what you want to do. It's so true. I just went through a bit of an identity crisis about what to do with my wonderful kindergarten age son. After trying last winter to get our school district to change their policy about homeschoolers attending a hs resource center outside the district, and also trying to develop a new program for our district (before he even started!) and then trying out that alternative school and Montessori part-time, I just finally decided to put him in the public school kindergarten, on the condition that we could go three days a week. I am so relieved that they agreed to this schedule. This feels right to me, and I'm hoping we can continue some sort of hybrid situation beyond kindergarten.

I have not yet found the right homeschool community support I feel I need--around here they seem to be mostly super religious and not welcoming of others OR the unschooling crowd, and I wasn't feeling at home in either camp. (Probably my own insecurities...who knows.) I was starting to feel like I was trying to join a sorority without ever getting in. Is this right to put my kids through this? They shouldn't have to suffer because I don't have an established social circle yet.

I was also really excited about trying that alternative school, but once there, I kept wishing it were different--it has too much of a political slant (liberal), and kind of run-down. It made me yearn for another more academically rigorous, less political option in the area.

I really enjoyed going to public school, so I finally stopped being so prejudiced about it and decided to at least give it a try. I think I have been clinging to all the attachment parenting philosophy I have enjoyed with my young kids (co-sleeping, extended b-feeding, etc.) and was feeling like 'settling' for public school would be the opposite of the AP mentality. My main objection has been that I didn't want my kids away from me so many hours every day. But I don't mind if it's around 3-4 hours, 3 days a week. I'm looking for a balance.

I think our family will thrive with a bit more outside structure, and will allow me more one-on-one time with my 3 yr old daughter, who wants my attention 24/7! I can also relax and gradually find the supplemental resources I'd like to provide my kids ex. classical education books, reading lists, etc.
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#74 of 107 Old 03-11-2008, 04:11 AM
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Honestly?

The only reason I am not homeschooling my kids is because I couldn't meet their needs. I homeschooled for two grades for my now-11-DD and my now-15-DS. They are both bright and social and were in desperate need of more resources than we could provide at home, especially with DS going into high school and with me having a new baby the summer before this new school year started.

If we hadn't added our newest bundle of joy to the family and if I'd felt more capable of homeschooling at the high school level, I would definitely have kept them home...I am so disenchanted with the "issues" that go along with the benefits of public schooling.
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#75 of 107 Old 03-12-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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I would wager that pretty much every person on MDC who sends their kids to school knows what unschooling is. I'm sure all of the people here have perused the homeschooling board and thoroughly researched their options. It seems odd to me that it is assumed people just must not know "the truth" and are blindly embracing schools. We have homeschooled our kids their whole lives. Homeschooling is just not working for us and to be honest I just really do not want to do it anymore. Our kids will be going to a small private Christian in September and I can't wait!

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#76 of 107 Old 03-13-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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I like (many) schools. I went to several mediocre public schools and one great one. I went to a great little private school. It is the private school that inspired me to want to send ds to school. It was a funky little school that went on lots of camping trips and we "used" the entire city. For example, we used to walk down to the court house to watch court cases during civics class, for PE we'd go jog on the beach or walk around the historic area of town. When the mayor was giving a press conference, we were in the first row. We didn't have a library, so we'd walk to the public library. We'd have a poetry reading at a cafe, we'd volunteer at the homeless shelter on Friday afternoons. We'd teach the younger kids how to bake cookies. Art was required. We had a lot of freedom. It was a school and a community I really loved and I wanted ds to have that experience, too. I loved the feeling of being a teen out in the woods with a few teachers and all my classmates, cooking for ourselves and adventuring. I wasn't a very social person, so the relationships were kinda built-in.

We live in a different city now, but I have afound a funky little Montessori school for ds. I think it is great that other people homeschool, I just think this school is better than just me (plus I work). I'm happy he gets to have other loving adults in his life, meet friends with nice families, and have his own little world apart from me.
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#77 of 107 Old 03-13-2008, 09:37 AM
 
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Homeschooling is a wonderful option provided you have the resources available and are willing and able to put in the time for it.

I am not one of those people that says, "Homeschooling leaves kids with poor social skills." This is not true based on what I have seen.

I think the biggest disadvantage centers around the idea that part of learning comes from your peers as well. Children learn concepts from other children, usually better than they learn them from adults.

That said, MOST schools are ****TERRIBLE**** at setting up an environment where children learn from each other. Unless you can find a school that excells in that, I would say homeschooling is likely your best option.

Matt
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#78 of 107 Old 03-14-2008, 04:57 PM
 
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: I'd like to see what others have to say pro public schooling...

My DS is going to school in 2 years. I've had my mind, heart, and soul set on HS'ing, however now it looks as though I may have to work full time, so I just don't know how to fit it all in. I have been looking at the local public school - the kids in my 'hood like it, and my nephew goes there...so ok, the elementary is ok...but what about middle school? That is SCARY! Very...and then highschool...well, you can't keep them from doing anything anyway when they are that age, so I'm all for HighSchool public...but when they are young and little...I'd rather HS ;(

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#79 of 107 Old 03-15-2008, 04:12 AM
 
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Well, first of all, I'm too impatient a person to homeschool my dd. That aside, we are a highly academic family. We are also a multi-lingual family and we simply could not provide the academic or linguistic environment by homeschooling. Dh and his entire family (he is not American, and English is not his first language) are products of language immersion school... he was fluent in 3 languages in Elementary school, followed by a 4th, completely new language in high school. The schools stressed the sciences and math.

We have dd in a similar school here in the US. She will be also be fluent in 3 languages in elementary, followed by a 4th in high school. I have to be honest, I get frustrated that parents in the US think that if their kids learn a few phrases and to count to 10 in another language that they are "learning" that language. I don't know how many times we hear, "Oh, yeah, we're learning Spanish" and the kids can say, "Hi, how are you." That level of language learning isn't enough for us. In fact, it's not learning a language. To truly learn a language, some level of immersion is necessary. It is a cultural acquisition, too. Dd will have two student exchange experiences in school... 5th grade for 3 weeks and 9th grade for 12 weeks (I think). Opportunities that would be hard to obtain if not impossible (in a group setting... that is a bunch of kids all going together) by homeschooling.

Academically, we want dd to learn from a variety of teachers, and as she gets older, we want her to learn from true experts in the various fields of study, not just by looking up information in books or on the internet. We want her to get a lot of interaction with different people who really know their stuff. My dh is a professor and even he does not feel qualified to teach dd in a homeschool situation except perhaps his own field. Sure, we could follow a curriculum in the early years, but then we get back to the "I'm an impatient person" issue.
All of this applies to us, too.

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#80 of 107 Old 03-22-2008, 03:27 AM
 
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We are also a multi-lingual family and we simply could not provide the academic or linguistic environment by homeschooling. .
This is my number-one reason for schooling. Well, my family is not multi-lingual, unless you count my French Canadian brother-in-law, but it is extremely important for us to have our children exposed to opportunities to learn languages that we never had. My children and I get along beautifully so far. I would love to keep my children at home and teach them and learn with them and from them for as long as I can....but I just cannot give them a good accent and grounding in a second (or third) language.

I studied French from grade 3 on through university in a traditional way, got good grades. I read some, understand some, speak some...but I am definitely not bilingual and I wish I were.

We're in Canada and very fortunate in that there seem to be multiple immersion schools in any medium-to-large community. My dd attends grade 4 in a separate (Catholic) school that is also totally French Immersion, with Spanish introduced in the third grade. I have friends who have children enrolled in German and Ukranian immersion programs in other schools....

This school is easily 2/3 female -- and every class dd is in seems to have a couple of boys with behavior issues. My daughter is having a wonderful experience, but I have real concerns about whether this school is the right place for my sons. They have a couple years to go before they reach kindergarten age, and I am already planning to start them a year later than their eligibility and homeschooling them for a year of K following an English curriculum before they start with the French immersion curriculum.

Another reason to send our children to this school is a matter of family tradition -- it was the first Catholic school in our town and was actually founded in my in-law's living room fifty years ago. My mother-in-law was the librarian there for years, and dh and his 5 sibs all attended as children, long before it converted to French Immersion.

Involvement with this school is part of a tradition of valuing education and working to make your community a better place that we are proud of in our family and want to nurture in our children. Since we happen to find ourselves living in the town dh grew up in, it is lovely and empowering for our children to have the chance to attend this school and be the third generation of their family to be involved there.

Dd is a pretty self-directed learner, and we do learn at home, and so far, school isn't interfering too much with her education . But I'm open to homeschooling in future if it ever becomes the best choice for any of our children -- I was one of those who had an awful experience in jr high and high school. I would have done much better being homeschooled, imo.

We are in the early planning stages of an extended family trip when dd is in jr high or high school and our boys are in upper elementary years. We plan to homeschool everyone for a year, and do a lot of traveling/living abroad.
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#81 of 107 Old 03-22-2008, 04:29 AM
 
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My girls are 7, almost 5 and 1.5. My oldest attends public school, she is in 1st grade. I really love the idea of homeschooling, and DH is very much against the idea. But, with Rachel, she is such a social butterfly, and I do daycare in my home. So even though I am home all day with them, we can't go anywhere, and if I am going to homeschool, I would have to quit daycare so we can be out doing things in our area. We have a great homeschool group, so I know that we live in an area that's very receptive to homeschooling. DD#2 will start Kindergarten in the fall, and we'll see how that goes. She's very shy, and likes to be with me. I would be completely open to homeschooling her for a couple years.

I like what a PP said about the cost of homeschooling. I could never be an unschooler, I know it works for some and that's great, but I need a schedule of what we're going to do, and I will sit and look at my Rainbow Resource book for hours drooling over what I would want to buy.

We are fortunate that we have a FABULOUS school system here, and I'm so excited because our new school in town will open this fall. I have loved every experience of Rachel being in school, so far!!

Busy Mama to three beautiful girls and loving wife to my hubby
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#83 of 107 Old 03-23-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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But, with Rachel, she is such a social butterfly, and I do daycare in my home. So even though I am home all day with them, we can't go anywhere, and if I am going to homeschool, I would have to quit daycare so we can be out doing things in our area.
I run a home daycare too (called a dayhome in my area). I think this has a lot in common with homeschooling -- homeschooling for preschool, at least!

I have homeschooling friends, am aware of homeschooling resources, going to a conference next month....and I can drool over educational toy and teacher supply materials with the best of them!

We also do not transport the childcare children in our vehicles and if I homeschooled it would be very hard to do homeschool activities out of the house -- unless I bought a van at the same time.

One compromise I've considered if I ever do homeschool is doing a part-time daycare, with, say, one or two weekdays off for homeschooling activities. There is a huge demand for childcare in my area and I'm sure I could make this work.
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#84 of 107 Old 03-23-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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My aunt homeschooled her 1st two children, but not her third or fourth. I am a homeschool supporter, but there are reasons not to do it.

1. It can be a real burden. If you lose patience, get bored, get exhausted, etc.
2. You might not know what to look for if your child is L.D.
3. Some kids behave better around a teacher than a mom.
4. Some kids need the social interaction of a classroom.
5. The curriculum gets harder- will you have to send them to school by eight grade? How will they adapt?

Homeschooled kids that I've met, with the exception of two, are great, and have none of the above problems. But since you asked, there's your answer.
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#85 of 107 Old 03-27-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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I was home-schooled / unschooled from 7'th grade all the way to the end. I hated it. Hated it, hated it, hated it.

Some of the cons (I'll try to include a pro as well, not to be too negative) in my opinion:

- The social life. Now, this isn't always a problem and it probably depends on your area and the home-schooling support and groups. Oftentimes they can either be lacking or very religious based. But on the flip side, many schools, at least in the region I lived in and at that time, offer home-schoolers to partake in their extracurricular activities. So, there is a chance of gaining social contact outside of the home-schooling circle. So, a second language class may be available or cheerleading, FFA, etc. Or there are programmes like ballet, gymnastics, 4-H and so on that can be found outside of a school.

- Whether home-schooling fits your child or not. Like many others have mentioned, homeschooling does not always fit a child. Some need a structured learning environment. Some cannot take their parent seriously. Some need more a more social environment than going to home-schooling get togethers and doing a few activities. I thrived at learning about the subjects I wanted to learn, but I did horribly at what didn't interest me. Homeschooling in that way was bad for me, because I did not have the push to do it. I didn't have any homework or exams and I needed that structure. Exams to tell me I was doing well. And competition was a good thing for me, but I saw none. On the flip side, some children really thrive at it. I've never known any personally in real life, but I know many parents on this board who say that theirs do and I think that it is obviously true. I've read many stories online where home-schoolers went on to be successful in university.

- No diploma. Many universities abroad do not recognise homeschooling and they do not accept G.E.D. students. One American University here in Dubai has that particular policy. Flip side: I was lucky enough to get a high school diploma from a private school.

- Your skills. It is very easy to teach a young child. The first things they learn are the basic skills of our lives. Reading, writing, addition, subtraction, etc. That is easy peasy to teach. But when you get onto the chemistry, the biology, the advanced maths, it can become very difficult to teach them. Especially if you're not good at the subject yourself. Teachers are trained in these subjects and have been taught how to teach it and most schools have chemistry labs, something you may not be able to practise properly at home, except for with put-together kits with instructions. But then some schools do not have these facilities and sometimes you can go to museums and science centres to have an interesting and educational learning experience.


- Another part your skills. Patience, determination, discipline. Those are important things to have. Discipline is very important and you have the discipline to make sure your child learns things even when they whine about how boring and horrible it all is and try to put it off. Some things have to be learned. Well, if you ever plan on them attending university, which I feel it is my responsibility to make sure that is an option. It can be hard to learn at home, especially with distractions like television (or in my case it was books ) and while for instance in my case: books are good. They helped me with my reading skills and my English skills. But I'm horrible at mathematics because I slacked off on them while reading. And my Mother let me. She let me because "she is learning something by reading." Wrong. Reading did help me in some ways, but it distracted me a lot and most of what I read was useless. Well, I felt pleasure and I mostly read for an out to my lonely life. I was forcibly home-schooled and to this day I still love reading and watching high school things because I never was able to experience it even though I badly wanted to. But my husband does as well and he went to a tiny private school. So either way that can happen.

Those are some of the things that I think can arise as issues.

I will probably not home-school my daughter. If she wants to, then we'll see. But my dh grew up in a place where homeschooling is not a norm and he thinks it's ridiculous that Mothers without teaching degrees think they can teach their children. : Which I find a little upsetting, although a small part of me agrees, which are two more reasons why I would choose not to home-school. And while I will be "home-schooling" her until the age 7 (when our school takes children) and making sure she is well prepared for school, I would not want to have to teach her once she became a "tween". I'm a teacher myself and I hate teaching teenagers. I also do not feel well educated enough in other subjects other than my own to teach her.

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#86 of 107 Old 03-27-2008, 06:06 AM
 
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But I don't mind if it's around 3-4 hours, 3 days a week. I'm looking for a balance.

I think our family will thrive with a bit more outside structure, and will allow me more one-on-one time with my 3 yr old daughter, who wants my attention 24/7!
No kidding!! I'm planning on hs'ing, but gee, I wouldn't mind a break during the day either. I'm also not looking forward to trying to balance what I think is best with what dd may want as she gets older. And as pp said, you can't do immersion schooling at home if you're not fluent yourself. This is really the only aspect of ps that I feel I would be missing.

Man, 3-4 hours a day. That would be perfect.... They could do the ps stuff, but still have time to do what they are INTERESTED IN for the rest of the day!

RaeAnne
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#87 of 107 Old 03-27-2008, 11:06 AM
 
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For shy children, school can help them to blossom. Prior to deciding to send my oldest to preschool when she was 4, I was almost adament about not sending my children to preschool. I didn't see the need, since academically she knew everything she needed to know. But she was a shy child, so I took a chance that it may help her. It really did. It was a small class size (only 10 kids), so I figured that would help.

She is now in K, and it has been the best thing for her. She was a conventionally shy child, and has really blossomed in K. She has totally thrived in her classroom setting and has advanced in her skills tremendously. I have a feeling she's also slightly competitive too. She'll see her peers make their own books and bring them into read to the class, and in turn she has wanted to as well. I don't think I could have made her to that on her own. In fact, just prior to K, there were things I was supposed to be doing over the summer to help her get ready for school. She simply had no interest. But when school started, she wanted to do more and more things. School (and her wonderful teacher) has sparked her on in a way I couldn't.

My second daughter should not be homeschooled. Why? Because she may have something called selective mutism (I will find out in April). It's a condition that is an extreme social anxiety that appears in certain social settings - such as school. She doesn't talk in preschool. At all. Left untreated, she may get worse and worse. If she is diagnosed with SM, sheltering her from school would not be a good idea, (partly because she is otherwise very bright). She needs the school (and therapy when we can get it started) to keep her from slipping away into herself as a protective mechanism from her anxiety.

Right now she's in a wonderfully understanding preschool. Her teachers are trying to help and are willing to learn more. With proper assistance, she will overcome this condition, but keeping her home will not do that. It is not something the child "outgrows". It is something that only the proper therapy within the environment it occurs that will help.

I never thought I would say that I would want my child exposed to a very difficult/stress-inducing situation, but in this case, the only way to work it out is by keeping her in that situation, and get her the proper supports in place.

That being said, I part time homeschool. I have lots of things at home that keep my children learning. While I don't want the sole responsibility of teaching my children, I have taken it upon myself to provide a very educational home environment. You can check out my first blog in my signature.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#88 of 107 Old 03-27-2008, 05:47 PM
 
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For shy children, school can help them to blossom. Prior to deciding to send my oldest to preschool when she was 4, I was almost adament about not sending my children to preschool. I didn't see the need, since academically she knew everything she needed to know. But she was a shy child, so I took a chance that it may help her. It really did. It was a small class size (only 10 kids), so I figured that would help.

She is now in K, and it has been the best thing for her. She was a conventionally shy child, and has really blossomed in K. She has totally thrived in her classroom setting and has advanced in her skills tremendously. I have a feeling she's also slightly competitive too. She'll see her peers make their own books and bring them into read to the class, and in turn she has wanted to as well. I don't think I could have made her to that on her own. In fact, just prior to K, there were things I was supposed to be doing over the summer to help her get ready for school. She simply had no interest. But when school started, she wanted to do more and more things. School (and her wonderful teacher) has sparked her on in a way I couldn't.

My second daughter should not be homeschooled. Why? Because she may have something called selective mutism (I will find out in April). It's a condition that is an extreme social anxiety that appears in certain social settings - such as school. She doesn't talk in preschool. At all. Left untreated, she may get worse and worse. If she is diagnosed with SM, sheltering her from school would not be a good idea, (partly because she is otherwise very bright). She needs the school (and therapy when we can get it started) to keep her from slipping away into herself as a protective mechanism from her anxiety.

Right now she's in a wonderfully understanding preschool. Her teachers are trying to help and are willing to learn more. With proper assistance, she will overcome this condition, but keeping her home will not do that. It is not something the child "outgrows". It is something that only the proper therapy within the environment it occurs that will help.

I never thought I would say that I would want my child exposed to a very difficult/stress-inducing situation, but in this case, the only way to work it out is by keeping her in that situation, and get her the proper supports in place.

That being said, I part time homeschool. I have lots of things at home that keep my children learning. While I don't want the sole responsibility of teaching my children, I have taken it upon myself to provide a very educational home environment. You can check out my first blog in my signature.
You have a very interesting blog!

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#89 of 107 Old 03-27-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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I was home-schooled / unschooled from 7'th grade all the way to the end. I hated it. Hated it, hated it, hated it.

Some of the cons (I'll try to include a pro as well, not to be too negative) in my opinion:

- The social life. Now, this isn't always a problem and it probably depends on your area and the home-schooling support and groups. Oftentimes they can either be lacking or very religious based. But on the flip side, many schools, at least in the region I lived in and at that time, offer home-schoolers to partake in their extracurricular activities. So, there is a chance of gaining social contact outside of the home-schooling circle. So, a second language class may be available or cheerleading, FFA, etc. Or there are programmes like ballet, gymnastics, 4-H and so on that can be found outside of a school.

- Whether home-schooling fits your child or not. Like many others have mentioned, homeschooling does not always fit a child. Some need a structured learning environment. Some cannot take their parent seriously. Some need more a more social environment than going to home-schooling get togethers and doing a few activities. I thrived at learning about the subjects I wanted to learn, but I did horribly at what didn't interest me. Homeschooling in that way was bad for me, because I did not have the push to do it. I didn't have any homework or exams and I needed that structure. Exams to tell me I was doing well. And competition was a good thing for me, but I saw none. On the flip side, some children really thrive at it. I've never known any personally in real life, but I know many parents on this board who say that theirs do and I think that it is obviously true. I've read many stories online where home-schoolers went on to be successful in university.

- No diploma. Many universities abroad do not recognise homeschooling and they do not accept G.E.D. students. One American University here in Dubai has that particular policy. Flip side: I was lucky enough to get a high school diploma from a private school.

- Your skills. It is very easy to teach a young child. The first things they learn are the basic skills of our lives. Reading, writing, addition, subtraction, etc. That is easy peasy to teach. But when you get onto the chemistry, the biology, the advanced maths, it can become very difficult to teach them. Especially if you're not good at the subject yourself. Teachers are trained in these subjects and have been taught how to teach it and most schools have chemistry labs, something you may not be able to practise properly at home, except for with put-together kits with instructions. But then some schools do not have these facilities and sometimes you can go to museums and science centres to have an interesting and educational learning experience.

- Another part your skills. Patience, determination, discipline. Those are important things to have. Discipline is very important and you have the discipline to make sure your child learns things even when they whine about how boring and horrible it all is and try to put it off. Some things have to be learned. Well, if you ever plan on them attending university, which I feel it is my responsibility to make sure that is an option. It can be hard to learn at home, especially with distractions like television (or in my case it was books ) and while for instance in my case: books are good. They helped me with my reading skills and my English skills. But I'm horrible at mathematics because I slacked off on them while reading. And my Mother let me. She let me because "she is learning something by reading." Wrong. Reading did help me in some ways, but it distracted me a lot and most of what I read was useless. Well, I felt pleasure and I mostly read for an out to my lonely life. I was forcibly home-schooled and to this day I still love reading and watching high school things because I never was able to experience it even though I badly wanted to. But my husband does as well and he went to a tiny private school. So either way that can happen.
Elizaveta, thank you for your post. It is always informative to hear from people who have been homeschooled themselves.

You have raised some very good points here. As a former homeschool mama whose kids are now in school I found myself nodding in agreement again and again. Especially the sections on whether homeschooling fits your child and yourself.

My oldest definitely learns better from someone else. He is respectful, quiet, and actually retains more when in a classroom. He is also ultra competitive and he really gets so much from the external motivation that comes with learning with other kids. Even though he still says sometimes he'd like to come home, I know he does much better in a classroom environment, and I am definitely a better mother to him with that space. Now my middle son, he could homeschool no problem as he is completely opposite.

I also can see now that homeschooling probably doesn't suit my personality very well. I *can* do it, but I'm not sure it would be in the best interests of my kids or myself for many of the reasons you listed.

I think in my heart I'll always fantasize about homeschooling somewhat, but unfortunately, for us, the reality was a lot different than the fantasy.
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#90 of 107 Old 03-28-2008, 11:21 AM
 
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You have a very interesting blog!
Thanks. I need to update it, but we've had spring break here and the girls have spent two days with grandma's, and I've been goofing off myself. We'll get back to doing neat stuff sometime soon. I've kind of caught the lazy bug.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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