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Discussion Starter #1
I have a real active playgroup with some likeminded mamas and some of us have talked about starting homeschool group. Has anyone ever done this and what was your experience? Pros and cons? We were thinking we could have it at someone's house and hire a teacher for 4 hours a day. And then we could obviously supplement with our own activities. It sounds like a good idea and a way to combat the potential isolation of homeschooling. Any thoughts?
 

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A friend of mine and I started a homeschool group. It's fairly small, about five families. We meet once a week and alternate between a planned lesson (which is totally left up to the hosting family) and free play. We also have a field trip once a month. So far our field trips have included a family owned dairy, the post office, the fire department, a candy factory and our upcoming one will be an organic farm/beekeeping operation. We really enjoy our group a great deal, and it has turned out that we are all pretty NFL and AP, so it's been nice not to have any weird controversies about whether or not it's okay to CLW or homebirth or whatever. We also encompass different homeschooling styles.
 

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I would find what you described very difficult. Who would the teacher be and what would s/he be teaching that the parents couldn't do? Who would decide what the teacher does? How would s/he be paid? What if someone didn't like the teacher?<br><br>
And, four hours a day seems like a very long time to me to share with other families on a daily basis. That's a huge chunk of time, every day.<br><br>
I belong to a neighborhood homeschooling playgroup and we get together once a week for a few hours just for fun. Every once in awhile, someone will plan an activity or field trip, but most of the time the kids play together and the moms talk. The support we offer each other is wonderful.<br><br>
But as much as we get along, trying to do academics in a group would drive me crazy.<br><br>
Also, I do not find homeschooling to be isolating at all. I<br><br>
f you have the playgroup already established, I would just keep going with that.<br><br>
My 2¢.
 

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I would just want a weekly get together for socializing. Being in a group is not the ideal situation for my ds to learn anything that could be construed as academic. Once kids get older, it might be fun to have a "science club" or whatever interests the dc and invite a couple of other kids to muck around with some fun experiments. The reason I homeschool is so that ds can learn at his own pace and not have to work in a group with another's timetable. Hiring a teacher would defeat that.<br><br>
I could understand someone hiring a tutor for a particular subject for a small group of kids, but not a 4 hour a day kind of thing. 4 hours a day is actually more time than kids in school are taught, when you take into account all the time spent settling the kids down and such. In high school, I was only taught 2 1/2 hours a day, tops, once I subtracted time between classes, study hall, gym class, homeroom, and lunch.
 

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I HS'ed dd for kindergarten and was a part of an online HS group on Yahoo for my area. It was nice because they had someone who organized all sorts of trips that were free or discounted and scouted out wonderful things to do in our area. You could choose to go or not.<br><br>
They would do things like go to museums, have music camps, help you find a local Spanish teacher, nature walks, etc. as well as informing you about laws and things in the news.<br><br>
I do know of some homeschool groups (this would be 2-3 families) who would hire a teacher for a particular subject, say Math, for several hours a WEEK, but not on a daily basis. I think, like the PP said, you would run into issues over how your time is organized and how much you agree with what is being taught, etc when you put your child in - essentially- someone else's care for 4 hrs/day.<br><br>
My 2c!<br>
Manda
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess the reason I said 4 hours is that I'm trying to figure out some way that I can homeschool and work parttime. My dh's thought is just try to create a homeschool thats like a private school. You hire a teacher and they structure the day that way parents can work. Everyone I talk to seems to think this idea would never work but I don't understand why its so farfetched?
 

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It doesn't sound like what I typically think of when I think homeschooling... but if you managed to make it work out, I think it would be great. You would know what your child is being taught and have more say in it than other schooling situations, your children would be in a small group and not alone... enough to be really social but still get individual attention in learning.<br><br>
I say go for it! Keep an open mind and open dialogue with the parents involved and the teacher and it might be a great thing. It might even need a new name... like group homeschooling.
 

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My group is a lot less formal then that. We meet twice a month for a *support meeting*, which is basically all the kids hanging out and playing while the parents talk about any concerns they have and plan stuff for the group to do and just talk.<br><br>
In addition we do plan things outside of the meetings like field trips, classes, group projects, assessments etc. For instance this winter we had a World Geography fair which went on for two months culminating in an international dinner. Next month we have a career day planned and a science fair. Last winter we had a worm composting project and a Maine Studies class. We usually have a few random park days when the weather is nice too. Nobody has to do participate in anything they have no interest in, but if you sign up you are expected to attend. Sometimes there is a cost involved, but only to cover expenses.<br><br>
I know I couldn't commit to four hour days. In fact the group actually tried to set something like that up for the older kids (there would have been classes like chemistry, biology and math) and it folded from lack of interest. The once a week classes that have been offered in the past (art, Spanish, creative writing) are heavily attended however. I think most homeschooling families just aren't looking for their children to attend a class every day for hours a day.<br><br>
Just my 2c!
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess the reason I said 4 hours is that I'm trying to figure out some way that I can homeschool and work parttime. My dh's thought is just try to create a homeschool thats like a private school. You hire a teacher and they structure the day that way parents can work. Everyone I talk to seems to think this idea would never work but I don't understand why its so farfetched?</div>
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I don't think it would work either to be honest. Homeschoolers are generally an independent bunch with pretty firm ideas about how education should work for their kids. Schools work - if I can say that - because they really aren't directed by parents who understandably want to tailor a system to meet the needs of their kids. Most parent run alternative schools I have ever read/heard about implode if they even get off the ground.<br>
I was involved with a homeschool co-op last year that consisted of 8 families. We met one morning a week for 4 weeks and then had 2 off and the cycle repeated. Then amount of headaches just getting this small group running without snags was incredible.<br><br>
For getting the kind of group you are talking about to work you'd either have to get total agreement on content, pace, delivery, learning styles or find parents that are not concerned enough about the specifics to voice their opinion and demand accommodations.<br><br>
Lastly I think you would have a hard time finding homeschoolers to commit to this and pay for it. Homeschooling families are generally one or one and a bit income families and most of the families I know are loathe to pay someone to do something that they can for themselves- they'd rather spend money on enriching their kids lives in areas that they don't have the ability/facilities/skill sets to do on their own.<br><br>
I had a phone call recently from a mother researching homeschooling who wanted something quite similar to what you are describing and couldn't understand why people wouldn't be interested until I explained what homeschooling looks like in my family and the families I know well. I think she got it eventually how much my kids would be giving up if I signed them up for a program like that and how it would essentially be as constraining to their loves as public school. I homeschool because I don't want that kind of life for my kids.<br><br>
I hope you find a solution that works for your family.<br><br>
Karen
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TranscendentalMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7909208"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess the reason I said 4 hours is that I'm trying to figure out some way that I can homeschool and work parttime. My dh's thought is just try to create a homeschool thats like a private school. You hire a teacher and they structure the day that way parents can work. Everyone I talk to seems to think this idea would never work but I don't understand why its so farfetched?</div>
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My first reaction is that people who want what you're describing are likely to send their children to school. What do you see as the advantage to your model, over a private school? What aspects of homeschooling are you trying to capture?<br><br>
It sounds like a very challenging assignment for the teacher, to be teaching a range of ages in someone's home (would she have a "classroom" area she could set up?) under the close supervision of several sets of parents.<br><br>
Instead of paying a teacher, could you pay someone just to watch your kids while you're at work, and do your homeschooling when you're home? I believe that's a more typical model for homeschooling parents where one works full-time and the other works part-time.<br><br>
The reason I think your idea farfetched is that homeschoolers, as a group, are people who want what they want. It would be almost impossible to find a teacher that would meet all the family's needs and wants for a price they're willing to pay.<br><br>
Best of luck!<br><br>
ZM
 

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We have friends who pay a college student to mind their children while they<br>
work. They homeschool the children when they're at home and on weekends. I've known these people for 8 years now. Their children are still homeschooling and are in grades 7 and 5. They are a neat family. I'm always interested in their family unit studies and explorations and the huge art projects in their garage. My friend gives a lot of the homeschooling credit to the babysitters they've had over the years -- young women who've taught their children tye-dye, card games, yarn games, ... all sorts of things by<br>
"just" playing. I would just love to be their kid. Gosh, I hope my own say that about us! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
peace,<br>
teastaigh
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">My first reaction is that people who want what you're describing are likely to send their children to school.</div>
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That's what I thought too. It sounds like you're looking to open a small private school, which I'm sure would appeal to some people...I'd look into the legal end of it as well--hiring a teacher and sending a group of children to her on a daily basis might open you up to being regulated as a school.<br><br>
Whether it would work or not depends on how many like-minded people you can find in your area. Personally, I wouldn't be interested in this, but I spoke with a woman last year who pitched me this idea: She wanted to find 5 families with children in a similar age range. Each family would take one day and plan studies and activities for the group. They would rotate the children to each household. "That way," she told me, "you would only have kids on one day of every week!" She thought it was a fantastic idea.<br><br>
That wouldn't work at all for us, but I guess it all depends on what you want and if you can find others who share your view.<br><br>
Oh, on isolation: When we first started, we were pretty much alone--we didn't know any other hsers. But we went to museums, libraries, fairs and playgrounds and other community activities so while we were isolated from other hsers, we weren't isolated from others. In recent years, there's been an explosion of hsing groups and activities in our area though, so there's no shortage of opportunities. Have you looked into your local hsing groups?
 

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I knew an eleven year old girl who was in the very same situation you have described. She was taught along with 5 other children by a certified teacher in the teacher's home full time. Big classes just didn't work for her and both of her parents worked full time. When she turned 13, her teacher had a baby and stopped teaching. She then stayed home and took online courses.<br><br>
I believe they found their teacher through their local baptist church. In Michigan, home schools are considered "private schools" and if you have a teaching certificate you can home school other people's children. Michigan has super relaxed hs laws. Check the laws in your state.<br><br>
I don't think your idea it farfetched at all. In fact I think it's a great alternative to sending a child to ps. I don't think that it would really be considered homeschooling, but private schooling in a home setting. I can see how some homeschoolers would take a bit of defense at the term being used loosely <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
If for some reason I wasn't able to be home with my kids, I know that a situation like this would be the next best thing for them. I do work 3-4 evenings a week and homeschooling still fits it naturally.<br><br>
If you really want to homeschool, I'm sure there are many people here that can help with thoughts and ideas about how to work it in while working even full time. If homeschooling isn't really what you want to do, but are seeking an alternative like you described, I'm sure there would be tons of brains to pick here or over on Learning at School where there are many different alternative schooling approaches.<br><br>
Don't get discouraged! I think it's a great idea! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Joan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912497"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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Oh, on isolation: When we first started, we were pretty much alone--we didn't know any other hsers. But we went to museums, libraries, fairs and playgrounds and other community activities so while we were isolated from other hsers, we weren't isolated from others. In recent years, there's been an explosion of hsing groups and activities in our area though, so there's no shortage of opportunities. Have you looked into your local hsing groups?</div>
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Yes, and the main homeschooling group here is radical Christian which we are not. I know a few here and there but haven't heard of a group that is likeminded enough for me. The schools here are small and safe and there is a new charter school, I guess the ps here are good enough that most people just deal with the negatives.
 
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