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Questions for Homeschooling Parents

 
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Christin
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Joined: 09 Apr 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:03 pm    Post subject: Questions for Homeschooling Parents Reply with quote

Thank you so much to everyone that contributed! My class will definitely appreciate your views and points made. Thank you again!

Last edited by Christin on Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lily
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Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 427

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Why did you choose homeschooling for your child(ren)?
It just seemed like the right thing to do. The more my son was in public school, the more I saw things I didn't like - an emphasis on rewards/punishments to control the kids (in the name of "motivating" them), a poor curriculum, and teachers who were locked in to using it instead of being able to bring more of themselves to the classroom. I have a child who is a kinetic learner and he wasn't given the opportunities he needed to learn in a hands on way. I was doing most of the teaching at home, anyway.

2. What was lacking in public/private schools that lead to this decision?
Love. Time. Imagination. The real world. Society claims that children should go to school to learn how to function "in the real world". But when we look at the public school system in depth, this is not the real world. I don't associate with only 29 year olds. I don't get a sticker for volunteering at charities or have a card taken away because I didn't stand still while doing the dishes. I do things because they're right or wrong.
I missed knowing what was going on with my kid. The lack of communication was insane. The teacher was never easily reached, never an update on the class website. I was sending my child off and told to step way back, not to be part of his life. There are many changes I would like to see in the public school system before we head back into the arena:
1. Better communication

2. Doing away with Skinner-esque techniques. Behavior modification is an outdated way of looking at our kids.

3. Smaller classes, based on a larger age span or ability. If we're preparing children for the real world, let them be with a variety of kids so they can learn from the older ones and model for the younger ones.

4. Passthroughs between every two classrooms. I would have loved to be able to watch my child in class, but it was considered disruptive for a parent to be there. Incorporate small rooms between with two way mirrors looking into the classrooms.

5. Better teachers, or letting us choose. I choose my child's doctor, his coaches, his babysitters...I think it's insane that parents have no say in who their child spends 8 hours a day with. I want the best teacher for my child, and public schools simply are out of the running because they treat education like a welfare lottery.

6. Get rid of poor teachers. Grade them, not the students.

7. Less academics, more play in the early years. Intense early academics has not been linked to better learning, yet we continue to portray it as the best route. Children need concrete exploration time before they can apply those skills to abstract concepts.

3. Greatest benefit of homeschooling?

Time. I see my child all the time, I know where he's at in his studies, what interests him. I can put education where it belongs - in his hands. We can explore the world, take trips when others are in schools, and learn anywhere and everywhere. We don't feel like we need to pack things into the hours between 8 and 3 - if we're learning about astronomy we go lay under the stars for class, not look at a book. We take opportunities where they happen to be, when they happen.

4. Greatest limitation of homeschooling?
Money. Public schools get what, $6500 per student? I spend around $1000 and would love to be able to spend more! Laughing

5. What are your thoughts on homeschool laws/regulations?
They aren't needed, as our statistics prove that hs'ing provides a more enriching environment that ps'ing, and are rather insulting when you think about who is helping to create them - the NEA, hs'ing opponents.

6. If you have children that are post high school, how does homeschooling affect them now (in college, job)?
N/A.
Very Happy We're just starting 5th grade next year.
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Redeemer
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Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi- I understand that you're asking for parents to share their thoughts here, but I feel as though I can offer some insight from a homeschooling-student point of view that may help you. Smile

1. Why did you choose homeschooling for your child(ren)?

My mother opted to remove me from public school as when she was faced with the decision, she understood that doing so would best suit my personal needs.

Being amidst students that were crude, careless, obnoxious and disruptive, and teachers who were either power-hungry, irritable, unqualified for their job, or just didn't care- I found I was in a toxic environment. This environment not only hindered me academically and socially, but also damaged me emotionally. She saw this in me and made the decision.

2. What was lacking in public/private schools that lead to this decision?

For the sake of post length, I'm just going to give a few examples.

Freedom- I function best when given choices, options, a SAY in what I'm going to learn and when I'm going to learn it. A rigid schedule of going to a building every morning for x days a week, to be forced to try to learn at the arrangement of some schmo who thinks I should learn x subject at x time at x pace, does NOT benefit me in the slightest.

Quality teachers- I shouldn't be able to frequently point out misspellings and grammar errors made by my English teacher, yet this was often my experience. I shouldn't be subjected to a teacher that often voices that he/she doesn't like kids, yet I've had many of these. I shouldn't have a history teacher who couldn't teach his/her class anything that didn't come straight from a book, yet my history teachers all seemed to be completely dependent on theirs.

Diversity!- I seem to have absolutely nothing in common with other 15 year olds in my area. (I say in my area because I have found like-minded 15 years olds from other countries that I correspond with, but I digress.) 18, 20, 23, 25 year olds from my area? Yes. 15 year olds? No. In public school, I felt hopelessly isolated. Sure, I was physically surrounded by hundreds of kids my age, but in my way of thinking, I seemed to be in a completely different world from them.

Personalized learning- Because the public school system tosses me into a huge class of randomized students only segregated by age, my class time is wasted because Mary and Bob and Li didn't understand yesterday's history lesson, so instead of covering new subject matter like I'm ready to do, the teacher goes over yesterday's lesson instead. Or because most of the class flew through yesterday's math lesson, the teacher refuses to personally help me when I'm struggling because everyone else is ready for the next lesson- so I fall behind and never really grasp the subject in question.

3. Greatest benefit of homeschooling?

I'd have to say time. I now have as much or as little time as I need to accomplish an assignment. I'm not wasting time by having to get ready in the morning or commute to and from a separate building. I now have more time to partake in enriching trips to the museum, aquarium, zoo, etc. with my family. I have more time to experience meeting people in a real-life, natural setting. I have time to spend doing things I love- I can now garden, draw, paint, take long walks with my dogs, write letters to pen-pals, cook delicious meals, learn foreign languages, read countless novels, study unconventional subjects like dog psychology and mythology, find new and interesting music from all over the world..! (Before this was all time spent going to and from school and doing homework; rinse and repeat)

4. Greatest limitation of homeschooling?
Many people I encounter don't seem to take it seriously. I'm either assumed to be sheltered and brainwashed or condescendingly asked if I'm ever "going back to a real school".

5. What are your thoughts on homeschool laws/regulations?
Since this was supposed to be answered by parents, I'll just say that I'm not sure of my mother's opinion on them.

6. If you have children that are post high school, how does homeschooling affect them now (in college, job)?
I am the only homeschooler of my mother's two children. Smile
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Matt Conrad
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Wichita, KS

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:46 am    Post subject: Re: Questions for Homeschooling Parents Reply with quote

I assume you're an ed student. I doubt these answers will please your classmates, but maybe they'll be interesting for you.

> 1. Why did you choose homeschooling for your child(ren)?

We think our kids will be happier and better educated if we teach them ourselves.

> 2. What was lacking in public/private schools that lead to this decision?

We don't like the way schools "teach" and we don't like the social environment found in most schools.

We don't think trying to make kids learn things they're not interested in works very well. We don't think grouping kids by age and then teaching on an age-based timetable is good. We don't think memorizing answers to pass a test, then to be forgotten days or weeks later, counts as real learning.

I won't go on for pages here, but I could. Schooling is mostly fake learning. Some kids can get (some) real learning out of it and others can get almost none.

It should be obvious to any thinking person why people would not want their kids in the social environment of the schools.

> 3. Greatest benefit of homeschooling?

Our kids are happy, healthy, and learning lots.

> 4. Greatest limitation of homeschooling?

My kids are "weird" compared to public schooled kids, and it's harder for them to spend time around kids their own age.

> 5. What are your thoughts on homeschool laws/regulations?

There should be few or none. I know homeschooling frightens a lot of people, but I don't believe there is a real problem with homeschooling or homeschoolers that needs fixing.

> 6. If you have children that are post high school, how does homeschooling affect them now (in college, job)?

N/A.
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Christin
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Joined: 09 Apr 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I assume you're an ed student. I doubt these answers will please your classmates, but maybe they'll be interesting for you."

I'm not an education major, and neither is anyone in my class, so don't worry about hurting our feelings! Smile It's actually a philosophy class about education, so the students in my class are more interested in shaping educational experiences rather than becoming teachers.
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elliemaejune
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 578
Location: The Fireswamp

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Why did you choose homeschooling for your child(ren)?
I thought it was in the best interest of my dc.

2. What was lacking in public/private schools that lead to this decision?
Individualized instruction, freedom to pursue individual interests, the teacher's ability to allow children to advance according to their abilities or to allow children to take longer to master something before moving on.

3. Greatest benefit of homeschooling? See above. Homeschooling parents have the freedom to do all that a classroom cannot. And the relationships between parents and their children, and children with their siblings, are deep and profound.

4. Greatest limitation of homeschooling? Hmm. I'll have to think about that. I never found any true limitations.

5. What are your thoughts on homeschool laws/regulations?
Parents have the responsiblity and the authority to decide their children's education. The government should stay out of it.

6. If you have children that are post high school, how does homeschooling affect them now (in college, job)? Both of my children were on the dean's list in college. Both are responsible, mature adults, with determination to do what needs to be done in their lives and curiosity about the world. I am very proud of them.
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Matt Conrad
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Wichita, KS

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

> I'm not an education major . . . It's actually a philosophy class about education . . .

Ah, that's good then.

My $.02 that you didn't ask for, the modern world seriously overrates institutional education, and seriously overrates coercive and semi-coercive methods of teaching. Everyone needs to go back and read John Holt again.

(Not that I agree with everything JH said, but he's more right than wrong. Our current "educational system" is more wrong than right, and getting wronger by the day.)
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Ophelia
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Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 105
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Why did you choose homeschooling for your child(ren)?

We chose homeschooling for many reasons. For one, my active and very imaginative son probably would have been classified as having some sort of learning disability or attention deficit if entered into a public school. He's actually just a healthy, active, curious, 7 year old boy.

My children get one on one instruction.
We can move at a pace that fits the children's needs.
We work till mastery.
I have time to listen to and answer all of their questions.
My children are encouraged to be individuals and think for themselves.
My children are taught to think and have questions.
My children's behavior is not influenced by other children or peer pressure.
We can provide a better education than the public school can.
We can work at multiple levels depending on the children's abilities.
I don't like the way schools "teach" and we don't like the social environment found in most schools.


2. What was lacking in public/private schools that lead to this decision?

Individual instruction.
Diversity.
Options.
A vested interest in the student's achievement.
The ability to adapt to different learning styles.
Addressing the children's individual interests.
Patience.
Imagination.
Class size.
Public schools seem to teach only for the standardized test. There is no actual learning, only memorization.
Children are like snowflakes. No two are the same. A standard one size fits all education plan cannot work.
My children are learning at least 2 subjects not offered for their grade level in the local public school.


3. Greatest benefit of homeschooling?

Being involved in my children's education.
Spending time with them.
Watching them learn and grow.
Stimulating their minds.
Quality time together.
I'm learning new things all the time be exploring topics that interest the children that I was never really interested in.
Freedom to explore topics that interest the children. Freedom to take a day off just because we feel like it.
The overall quality of life. We don't have to rush and get up, dressed and fed and to school at a set time.
We can take a "fun" day or a "sick" day without having to explain ourselves.
The freedom to move on in a subject, or linger longer in a subject, as the children need.


4. Greatest limitation of homeschooling?

Time and money. There's never enough time to do all the things we want to do. We don't always have enough money to take the field trip we want to take, or buy all the books we want, or buy the nicer map, globe, microscope. The budget does put some restrictions on us.


5. What are your thoughts on homeschool laws/regulations?

I understand the need for homeschooling laws and regulations. There are some families out there that may not actually be educating their children even though they claim to be homeschooling.

Some state's homeschool laws are too strict and the state is too involved in the home education.

I'm fortunate to live in a state without terribly strict or difficult regulations where there is little record keeping required of me.

Overall, I believe that the education should be left to the parent's discretion. I don't like the fact that the people making the laws, or pushing for the laws, are, in general, teacher's associations. Of course they would be against homeschooling and push for stricter laws and intensive reporting.



6. If you have children that are post high school, how does homeschooling affect them now (in college, job)?

This question does not apply to me as my children are all in the primary grades.
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