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My pros and cons list of each
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Catt35
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Joined: 15 Mar 2006
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Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:24 am    Post subject: My pros and cons list of each Reply with quote

I've been doing some serious research into homeschooling because I have three of my four children (10, 13, and 14) who are just not thriving in public school. Both my children and I have so many issues with our particular school district. So I came up with this list of pros and cons for both homeschooling and public schooling to help myself decide.

Homeschooling:
Pros:
1. No peer pressure for drugs, sex, etc.
2. No bullying or teasing
3. No 7 hour school day
4. No strict or abusive teachers
5. No truancy officer to tell me I should send my children to school when they are sick.
6. Concentration on emotional development, not strictly academic
7. More bonding time with my kids
8. We can tailor their lessons to fit their individual learning styles
9. No prison-like food
10. No more early morning waking up, sometimes before even the sun (none of us are morning people here)
11. No more rush, rush, rushing around stress in the am getting ready and off to school

I could go on, but I think everyone has heard enough...lol

Homeschooling cons:
Originally, before I began my research, my only two cons were:
I'm not teacher material and will they get a quality education

The lack of socialization thing never was a problem for us, because my children live around children their own age and there are too many other places for socialization besides just school: parks, clubs, 4H, Girl scouts, community events, etc. We found out that in our state the public schools have to offer their extracurricular activities to homeschooled children too. So socialization is simply not an issue for us. Besides, my children and I firmly believe it is better to have just a few really decent friends then 100's of acquaintances.

I couldn't really come up with any pros for public schooling but here is my list of cons:

1.)Too strict attendance ...the government and the school think of your child in dollar signs, not their emotional and physical health needs. I think it is utterly ridiculous to expect a child to sit for 7 hours in classrooms when their noses are running a mile a minute, they are coughing continuously all day, or have a severe headache. Forget about their emotional needs...you are allowed to take one day of an excused absence for a funeral. What about the grieving period?

2.)The food at our schools is awful. I have often had lunch at school with my 10 year old and the food is disgusting. Most everything is stale, bread as hard as a rock, and my children have told me they have a "cooks special" once a month where all the left overs in the fridge are thrown together for lunch that day. OMG...this scared the beejeebies out of me. Cleaning out the fridge and feeding that to my kids? I was horrified to say the least. Besides which, no allowances are made for vegetarians or other diets...my children (the 13 and 14 yo's) are vegetarians and when they asked if they could forgo their meat dish for some extra veggies they were denied the request.

3.) Sicknesses, pink eye, lice, etc.....things my children never experienced until they started going to public school. And because we have such a strict attendance policy here (basically if you aren't dying you have to go to school) my kids are always sick because they are exposed to it for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week.

4.)Bullying, teasing. I hated school growing up because every single year from kindergarten through my freshman year in high school I was either mildly teased for being shy, poor, etc., or beat up or mentally or physically abused by peers and in some instances even teachers. Fortunately my own children have only had to deal with mild teasing...but they shouldn't even have to deal with that. And are taught at school to simply ignore it.

5.)The arts (music, art, anything creative) is all but completely missing from my children's schools. My 14 yo has played the flute in band class since she was 10, and loved it til we moved here to this particular town...she says it is boring and they rarely ever learn new or difficult pieces. Art classes are only offered one year (actually just one semester) out of all four years of high school and as far as the grade schools here...art classes stop at 3rd grade...until that one semester in high school. My children are all highly creative, hands-on learners.

6.)Textbook learning only curriculum...my 7th grader has only had one field trip this whole year and my 4th grader has only had two and one was to our public library. My 7th grader has a minimum of 4 hours of reading and writing and doing worksheets almost every night for homework. The labs, field trips, hands-on learning is not stressed in our town at all. It's all about read a textbook, write on a worksheet. I think an equal mix of textbook and hands-on should be taught, the school believes otherwise....and math and science are the main subjects stressed here.

7.)High school is not focused on the children's interests at all....My 14 yo daughter has to choose between agriculture or industrial arts next year....those are her only two choices for the entire year....my daughter is a musician, artist, writer....not interested in cows or drafting at all.

I'm getting soooooooooo tired of typing so I will stop now...but I really have nothing good to say about our school system here. I have tried and tried to get them to start an organic garden at the schools and they tell me every time that we just don't have the funds for that...they are not open to change or improvement at all here. And my children are suffering because of it.
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birdgirl491
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Joined: 14 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:08 pm    Post subject: u sure can type mom :-) Reply with quote

yeah, that's all i wanted to say. i agree with you 100%! except that semester of art is in the junior high, in 7th grade. at the highschool we have 3 art classes (art I, II, and III) but everybody has to take so many required classes like dumb Ag. and industrial arts that no one has time to take art, or even band.





vegetarians rock!
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Tabz
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One would hope though that your kids are amongst SOME peers somewhere. So peer pressure is always around.

Also, from personal experience don't think that just because your kids aren't in public school that they're away from drugs, sex or whatever. Sometimes (as I've said in the past) the "countryside" is more evil than the city. In this case a relatively good kid could appear in all counts to be good - but be hinding a lot of evil underneath that good kid exterior.
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birdgirl491
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah.............how exactly does that help? plus i don't think the "country" is more "evil" than a large city.............................................
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Tabz
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sherlock Holmes' point is that you can hide evil more in the country - because there's not as many people around to witness it. I know that I have lived in both areas and have seen deeper evil when I lived in the small town Iowa setting than in East Los Angeles or Downtown Chicago.

The warning is don't think simply because you're in one school setting or another you are safe. I have witnessed first hand a "good kid" who was homeschooled their entire life, living at home and what not get into the most horrible drug situation imaginable. No one saw it coming - no one knew it could happen. To this day most people don't even believe it really did.

But it did. And every day now I have to live with the consequences of this assumption (no it wasn't me, but someone very close to me).
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Tiarali
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience at high school was that the drugs/sex education was based from the premise that all children would be experimenting with such, there was no point in trying to stop it, so we'll just settle for trying to teach them to stay 'safe' (use clean needles etc) while doing it.

I have a problem with this because we then have adults who are in authority promoting/accepting a set of terrible values in the classroom.

My children will be homeschooled. I do not want to keep them away from other children. They can't totally escape drugs anyway - my brother has been to court for drugs offences before, and our children are growing up around his young daughter.

My point is that if you homeschool your child, instead of focussing on 'keeping them away' from the bad stuff, you can take the opportunity to instil in them a set of values and character strengths to enable them to make better decisions themselves, that they wouldn't get from a classroom teacher who's already assumed that they'll do drugs at some point (and doesn't particularly care, anyway). It's not so much about the peer pressure, it's about how the authority figures promote (ir)responsible values.

The interesting thing is that I'm now convinced that if my children were public schooled, they would turn out worse off (academically, socially, and character-wise) than if I homeschooled them. But homeschooling is not a guarantee to excellence either - homeschooling involves choices. It has amazing potential to turn out mature, well-prepared adults - but it is dependent in many parts on myself.

That is a huge challenge, and it is both scary and exciting.
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kreekit
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two boys, 9 and 11, have learned every curse word there is in elementary school. My oldest is in the 6th grade and language is the least of my concerns...I can't believe the things he hears and (thank goodness) asks my husband and I about. At least we still have the opportunity to help him understand what is being said and why it's either incorrect or inappropriate. I know the day will come when he clams up...

I am considering a trial run at homeschooling over the summer. If things go well, I may resign from my position as teacher assistant in the EC department of the elem. school and homeschool my boys.

The only thing I can see being a problem is them being together too much. They fight enough as it is!! Laughing
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momo3boys
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have three boys and the two oldest are 8 and 6. They fight, but they play really well together too. When all the other chilren are in school, all they have is eachother and they learn to be ok with that. They may need some time apart, and I am blessed with a mother that takes them over night one at a time so they get some alone time. You may have some rough patches but they will figure it out, just give it time. It is better than making your boys grow up faster than they need to. I look at the other boys my sons' age and they feel that they are too cool to do a lot of the things that my boys love to do, legos, books, bike riding. Homeschooling is a great way to let your children be CHILDREN, and not small adults, full of curse words and other wonderful things from school.
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zephyrstar
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you stated no cons for homeschooling, and no pros for public schooling, can we consider this list at least a little bit biased? Also, some of the cons you have listed aren't as accurate anymore. For example, they are improving school lunches nationwide to be better quality, healthier food. And yes, it is true that you can catch sicknesses from attending a public school. What about other public places? You touch doors when entering stores, you sit on chairs other people have sat on in the movie theaters, you use bathrooms other people have used. Aren't you just as likely to catch something there as well? It's not as if you don't spend hours in those public places (excluding the bathroom of course), perhaps not everyday, but you only need to be exposed to something once. Broaden your horizons a bit. There are pros and cons to both homeschooling and public schooling, despite what you prefer.[/i]
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:39 pm    Post subject: Re: My pros and cons list of each Reply with quote

Quote:
Since you stated no cons for homeschooling, and no pros for public schooling, can we consider this list at least a little bit biased?


Well, that's assuming there are cons for homeschooling and pros for public schooling. I can't really think of any myself. About the only thing you can do better in public school than homeschool is sports and few extracurriculars, and even there you don't have a good argument for public schooling, since homeschoolers can participate in public school activities most places, and a lot of the larger homeschool groups in other areas organize sports and/or extracurriculars.

Quote:
Also, some of the cons you have listed aren't as accurate anymore. For example, they are improving school lunches nationwide to be better quality, healthier food.


True, but except in a few places, they still haven't gotten rid of the vending machines that dispense candy and soft drinks. Not to mention the persistent problem in some places of people dispensing cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.

EDIT: I'm not a big fan of Clinton, but this news story (May 3, 2006) seems promising on the soda end of things:

Soda Distributors to End Most School Sales
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/03/AR2006050300319_pf.html

Quote:
And yes, it is true that you can catch sicknesses from attending a public school. What about other public places? You touch doors when entering stores, you sit on chairs other people have sat on in the movie theaters, you use bathrooms other people have used. Aren't you just as likely to catch something there as well?


The public schools make their money based on attendance, and heavily emphasize it as a result, so kids are far more likely to show up at school sick than the store or movie theater. Also, while you might spend a few hours monthly at the store or movie theater, you are at school eight hours a day, five days a week. Bottom line, you're far more likely to get sick at school than anywhere else. My sister got head lice just last year when she let someone from the local school borrow her swim cap (bad idea...) since most of the kids at the school caught it from one another.

And this argument is pointless anyway, since we're comparing the chances of catching a disease between public school and home, not public school and airport restrooms.
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zephyrstar
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Throdore: I wasn't trying to change the comparison on you; I was simply trying to emphasize that point that the list does, in fact, seem biased. I didn't mean to be cocky or anything if that's what you're thinking. And about the sanitation concern: I just wanted to point out that while it may be a threat in school, it is also potentially a threat in other necessary places that we spend a lot of time in as humans. I understand what you're saying when we aren't comparing that to other public places.


BTW, ick, head lice! I've never personally had it, but the thought of bugs crawling around in my hair... Blaaah.[/i]
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hearthmaker
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmm. it may be unrealistic to expect unbiased responses to pros and cons~ on a homeschooling website. lol. gotta love it.
I have adult children now (both hs'ed through 9th grade). I have seen both the 'homeschool world' and 'public school world' through my family's experience and other families.
I would be hard pressed, also, to come up with any cons to home education. However, having observed a number of families remove their children from public school due to negatives and begin homeschooling, I have seen it take time for them to find their way to a life of learning and exploration. That's when life blossoms intellectually & spiritually.

Regarding health:
I can only speak for my own (children now trapped within confines of school walls due to changing circumstances), but the health of my children deteriorated within 2.5 months of enrollment. Cheeks once rosy are now noticeably not. Their daily physical and mental activity level is reduced and they come home from school wanting to just "veg-out" (mentally and physically dull).
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MeganWiles
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 11:29 pm    Post subject: Re: My pros and cons list of each Reply with quote

Catt35 wrote:

Homeschooling:
Pros:

3. No 7 hour school day
4. No strict or abusive teachers
5. No truancy officer to tell me I should send my children to school when they are sick.

I couldn't really come up with any pros for public schooling but here is my list of cons:

1.)Too strict attendance ...the government and the school think of your child in dollar signs, not their emotional and physical health needs. I think it is utterly ridiculous to expect a child to sit for 7 hours in classrooms when their noses are running a mile a minute, they are coughing continuously all day, or have a severe headache. Forget about their emotional needs...you are allowed to take one day of an excused absence for a funeral. What about the grieving period?






While I agree with many of the previously stated pros and cons I have decided to add my 2 cents for a bit of balance in this post.

I am someone who has a background in public education and who has done lots of homeschooling research as I plan to homeschool my own when they arrive. I LOVE education, it is the most interesting thing in the world to watch kids learn and grow, I read about it in my spare time, and I LOVED my students, they each brought something unique to my life. I do not necessarily believe that public education is always the best for kids, not so much because of the food and illness thing (I personally have a killer immune system due to my regular exposure to illness) but more because I feel that state testing has forced teachers to move away from an enjoyable curiousity-based education system into a "drill-and-kill" mentality. I state all this, just to give you my own perspective on teaching and learning and my own personal biases.

Having said that...it is killing me not to address cons #3, 4, & 5, so here we go...

#3 I read a quote once that went something like this: School should not teach about life, school should be life.

I believe that school should be presenting children with and guiding children through the real life problems they will face. That means teaching truly applicable skills, and applying them to real life scenarios as often as possible. It also means that if kids are going to grow up and have a career working 9-5 every day (or even longer) than why is it so rididulous to expect them to work for 7 hours a day in school. Heck when I went to college, I also had a part time job, so I was working much more than 7 hours a day. Life requires us to work through difficult times and difficult hours.

#4 Clearly I have a problem if a teacher is abusive, but strict?? Really?? This is a bad thing??? I considered myself a "strict but caring teacher", I hope someday (soon, please, soon) to be a "strict but caring parent". Strict just means that you have high expectations and you don't except excuses, what is wrong with that?

#5 As a teacher who had lots of experiences with extreme absenses I question a parent who is having issues with a truancy officer. Perhaps your distric is different, but in my school it takes it took 5 absenses before you are contacted about the problem. And even then, as long as you have a note from a doctor for any future absenses there is no problem. I had students with tardies and absenses in the double digits, and they were already struggling academically. Students who are absent a lot miss educational oppoutunities. And once more, maybe I am more strict than most, but a bad headache or cold are not a reason to skip learning. I go to work with bad allergies on a regular basis, and I don't even complain about it.
Also our school started the attendance policy because the state district attorney required us to. Apparently they did a study linking high rates of absenteeism to jail time later in life. It is a preventative program. No seriously, I'm not kidding.


Okay there I got it out of my system.

I know there are tons of problems with the public education system, and there are also bad teachers out there, but as someone who has been in public education, and has many friends still there, I have to say this... The media villifies teachers. Those that I know in the education field are amazing, hard-working, loving, patient individuals, who spend many extra hours and lots of personal money to improve the lives of their students. They go home at night as worry about the ones that struggle, and search for better ways to teach tomorrow. When I hear people talk about how dreadful all public teachers are it breaks my heart. As a teacher I was always striving to meet the individual needs of all my student, both emotionally and academically, I spent hours reading and researching educational techniques and programs just as homeschooling teachers do, and to be lumped in with a few bad experiences makes me sad.
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bobbinsx5
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with most of what you said, Megan. (Especially on number 4. I am strict with my children, and because of that they are well behaved children whom I can trust.)

And six months ago I would have agreed with you about the headaches. However, in the past two months my youngest son has been diagnosed with epilepsy and migraines. His headaches get so severe he cannot be in light, and usually lead to vomitting. So, yes, he is allowed to miss school for headaches, but his case is not the norm, and I realize that.

I personally believe if parents would get more strict with their children, we wouldn't have so many child-led homes in this country, and we might see children who realize their are supposed to be limits on their behavior. But that is a whole nother thing for me!
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: My pros and cons list of each Reply with quote

Quote:
It also means that if kids are going to grow up and have a career working 9-5 every day (or even longer) than why is it so rididulous to expect them to work for 7 hours a day in school.


Because 7 hours is unnecessary. Obviously, if homeschoolers can spend significantly less time than 7 hours per day and still end up two grades ahead by the end of high school, then time is being wasted in school. My guess is that a lot of children have trouble learning through classroom instruction (I have trouble myself understanding complicated things from an auditory explanation), plus only one student can ask a question at a time, and with class sizes of 30, most of the class time is spent sitting there while everyone else asks questions that you didn't need answered. Your actual one-on-one class time amounts to 5 minutes or less per class.

Given, much of the fault lies with large class sizes and idiot school bureaucracies, not the teachers - but the end result is the same. Inefficiency on a massive scale.

Quote:
#4 Clearly I have a problem if a teacher is abusive, but strict?? Really?? This is a bad thing??? I considered myself a "strict but caring teacher", I hope someday (soon, please, soon) to be a "strict but caring parent". Strict just means that you have high expectations and you don't except excuses, what is wrong with that?


She probably meant strict as in "Think like me and solve every problem my way", not as in "Work hard and turn in your homework on time." There's a big difference there. Also, a lot of teachers don't have patience for children with attention problems or different learning methods (large class sizes again), and may be overly strict rather than actually trying to solve the underlying problem.

Quote:
Also our school started the attendance policy because the state district attorney required us to. Apparently they did a study linking high rates of absenteeism to jail time later in life. It is a preventative program. No seriously, I'm not kidding.


I would debate that while the two correlate, one doesn't automatically cause the other. Homeschoolers use computers more than public schoolers, so does this mean that greater levels of computer use cause you to homeschool? Smile
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