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Hello - newbie question

 
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Tiarali
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Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 19
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:31 pm    Post subject: Hello - newbie question Reply with quote

Hello all. We're pulling dd (3yo) out of kindy next term and starting her on a distance education preschool material. We're very happy about the decision, and she is too, and I'm busy trying to read everything I can about homeschooling.

The question I have is about the homeschooling community. I guess since I won't be belonging to a school community now, it seems important to belong somewhere. But I have no idea how accepting homeschoolers are of each other. I mean, we're using a school of distance education. So while it has some of the benefits of homeschooling (like being at home, and allowing dd to work at her own pace) it is still different to some forms of homeschooling, because we have chosen to use someone else's curriculum. I mean, we chose it because we're happy with it, and because it seems like the opposite of what the schools are teaching, but still...

We've gotten some rather negative reactions, but have been surprised at how many of our friends have said, 'oh, we're considering that...' and proceded to seriously question us.

So yes. Are we going to be stuck in the middle of the sandwich, with schooling families not wanting to claim us, and homeschoolers not wanting us either? Or is the homeschooling community open enough to welcome all homeschoolers, regardless of the more specific decisions they make?
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Theodore
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:59 pm    Post subject: The vast majority of homeschool groups are all-inclusive... Reply with quote

I think you'll find that the vast majority of homeschool groups are all-inclusive, meaning that they accept homeschoolers regardless of what method or curriculum is being used. This doesn't necessarily mean that every group member is friendly to every homeschooling method, but you can't make everyone happy all of the time, so don't let it worry you. Groups are much more often formed based on religious lines (Christian, Christian-run, Catholic, secular / inclusive, etc.) than on homeschooling method, since there are so many ways to homeschool that restricting your group to one method means you have very few members Smile

Short version - homeschoolers probably won't care how you homeschool, so long as you are.
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kerstin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Tunisia

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: independence of other peopel opinion?!? Reply with quote

‘ brand new user of the forum - just registered a minuet ago – maybe because I am kind of shocked by your question. I thought of home schooling as a way of independence, no need to adjust to anybodies opinion, trusting once own instinct and the wish just to do the best for the children. How important are school communities and interchange with other parents? This is not a rhetoric question. Hope to get additional input to your questions.
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Tiarali
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Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 19
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ Well, for starters, when you're new at something, but you desperately believe it's the best thing for your family and you want it to succeed, you are going to want to try and find other people who've made a similar choice so that you can learn from them a bit.

And secondly, it will be good (I feel) for our children to be able to make friends with other children who are also homeschooled. Even if they aren't doing things the same way as us.

I'm not looking to adjust to anybody's opinion - quite frankly, I don't see many other options available to us, and we are extremely excited about a number of the factors of the curriculum we have chosen. Australia has far less homeschoolers than America does, and it is very hard to find curriculum resources with an Australian history/geography/spelling etc. Being able to get an accredited year 12 certificate is also an important factor for us. We've made our decision as to how we will go on this journey.

BUT it would be nice to know that even though we'll be 'distance ed', not just 'solo homeschooling' that we'll not be excluded outright from the local homeschooling community - although the more I look at our lack of options, I'm wondering if the majority of them (the locals) are also 'distance ed'.

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My other point on the matter is that there are many different reasons why people choose homeschooling, and that this will impact on how they (want to) do it. For example, a parent who simply pulls their kids out of school because of bullies will not necessarily want to do things very differently from the schools, just provide a safer environment for them. The majority of 'homeschoolers' in QLD are 'forced' into it because they live on remote properties - many of them simply use the state education's school of the air in their own rooms, and have even the same curriculum and biases of the state education system.

We have chosen to go alone mostly because we were bullied/socially ostracised at school, we don't trust the schools to teach our kids to read, and we want a christian philosophy in our classrooms. We have found a curriculum that will meet those needs, with the added benefits of accreditation and support from registered independent teachers if we get stuck.

I'm not interested in doing things all my own way - we have our priorities as a family, and as long as those are met we are happy. Being new, I'd much rather learn from more experienced parents than to forge my own trail. But I've already read a lot of advice, and sorted through that which will apply to my own family, and that which I think doesn't fit us. For example, I've already shown my daughter an example of a workbook that we will be using, and she was absolutely thrilled. She loves reading and drawing, and likes sitting still and doing maths and things. Many unschoolers may find this approach unsuitable for their families, but I really think that this is how Jasmine, at least, will learn the best. I have no intentions of simply carbon-copying anyone else - just looking for emotional support mainly Smile

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Gosh, I hate being new - I have so much to learn! Embarassed I just found out that the curriculum we intended to use is considered not up to Australian standards math-wise. This is important to us, because we want our kids to be able to easily access universities, and maths and literacy are the two main academic areas of importance to us. I've also found out that while many homeschoolers here do go through schools of distance education, many others either do it illegally, or file an application for dispensation to homeschooling with Education Queensland. Apparantly if you file the app for disp. you have to actually give Ed Qld a copy of your curriculum for approval, which means you'll probably just end up copying what the schools do in your home anyway. Mad

Anyway, we found out that there's another school of distance education here that gives you a lot more choice and freedom in the choice of curriculum, which is very exciting, but very scary too. Now I have to make a lot of choices! And I'm not really sure how all of these great ideas will work in well together. We're thinking of doing Math-U-See, Learning Language Arts through Literature, and then doing the science and social studies through ACE - since they've actually bothered to Australianise their social studies program (Social Studies is the Hardest program to find with an Australian theme - there is so much on American history available!).

We will have to enrol Jas in a school (if we're going to) by the end of the year, but school here doesn't start till January, so we still have plenty of time to make decisions and do research, which is good! I think I'm going to need the time!

Another thing that's important to me is how to teach the actual important stuff. I mean, we want our kids to be able to do math and read well and try for any career they choose in the future - but equally important is growing children we will be proud of as adults, you know? How do you teach character? I mean, there are plenty of books on the subject, and while I personally value a packaged curriculum when it comes to formal subjects, it goes against my grain to teach values out of a book. Well, except the bible of course Smile Anyway, I have a few months to sort out our priorities and make appropriate choices.

I've found out there are about 80 homeschoolers in my area who meet together occasionally for support and outings and things, so hopefully I'll find someone to really talk to there. And leave the rest of you alone for a bit Smile

So yeah - sorry for sounding like such a newbie all the time Embarassed I'm loving reading everyone else's posts and thinking about things. So much to learn!
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kerstin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Tunisia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any community should be happy to welcome you. You obviously did your homework and have your own founded thoughts to the subject. I believe that is the most important messages home schooling / distant schooling parents will get from you. Parents choosing this way must be open minded. They are asking the same from people putting their trus in the public system. And yes, the most wonderful part about our internet world is that the source to choose from is huge. This must be the best way to exchange thoughts. Toughing local issues I understand that you have less conversation partner to choose from but they should respond even more to your questions.
Further to the character builing. It is no news that parents are good example on the first place. Schooling at home, bringing up self-discipline and finding your own priorities is already a lot for children to comprehend to be a strong personality. If it is coming to tolerance, cooperatives …I very much believe in personal contact is it or in the church or in a sports team. We are traveling through the world and find providing our children with a “safe haven” a home to find security and familiarity is easy. Getting out there meeting with locals, running into unknown situations finding success in overcoming once own fears is the challenge that give enough possibilities for discussion and thoughts and character building. I am sure finding acceptance in a local sports club can be as exiting as playing with the kids on the street. It very much appreciated your thoughts above. All the best for you and your family - Kerstin Wink
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