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evil_toy_maker's Journal: Home Schooling ...To be or not? 18

Journal by evil_toy_maker

The questions of "home school" have always been in the back of my mind. Last year, after having moved to Washington, my daughter had ventured out into our newfound neighborhood and set off to find herself playmates. Of course, not needing any luck with her anxious outgoing personality (frightening for me at times - she not knowing a stranger; she's quite a social butterfly), she succeeds with a hand full that rank at about her age, pleasant, well mannered children, I might add. Being a mother and having the concerns of the well being and safety of where my child is, who's she playing with, where the child she's befriended with, lives, yaddy-yaddy (the whole ball of wax that a concerned parent worries about), of course, I'm wanting to meet the parents and *try* to get a feel for their home life (possibility of drugs, etc.) and of course, to know who our neighbors are.

There's one particular little girl that has always stuck in mind since we've moved here. We'll say her name is "Missy" (not wanting to reveal her true identity). "Missy" seems to be well mannered, soft spoken, and a tad bit on the shy side, which is typical for some children (certainly no concerns there). Before getting the chance to venture out to meet her parents, her mother came to our door to introduce herself/her daughter, and after a few minutes into the conversation, of course one of the more obvious questions I had, is what school does "Missy" attend, what grade is she in, who her teacher is, etc. Out came the topic of "Home School" and how she wouldn't enroll her children into any kind of public schools because she didn't want her children to be around "the other" (her using her fingers to quote herself) type of kids. Her main reason, she said, was her own distaste for objectionable language and issues her daughter was being exposed to among her peers. I'm assuming she caught herself in what she was saying by the scoured look on my face and quickly moved the conversation on to trying to convince me of how much of a better education they are getting because they aren't thrown into a class room with "X" amount of other children. They get the "one on one" learning experience (I certainly can appreciate that one). At this rate, I'm still peeved at her comment and biting my tongue, debating within myself to ask her "just exactly" what she meant about "the other" children, but I didn't. At the same time and more importantly, I'm wondering and questioning "Missy's" social skills later on in life.

Last year, when my daughter started in her new school with only a mere 4 months left in the school year, they found that she was far behind in her reading level. With extra reading curriculums, her teachers, the wonderful staff and volunteers at her school and of course, her "Daddy" and myself, as of the end of this year, she's officially at the reading level that is required of her to continue to the 3rd grade. Not only is my daughter advancing, but her teacher is moving right along with the rest of the class to teach them 3rd and 4th grade as well. When her teacher advised me of her intentions, you can imagine how ecstatic I was. She's going that actual EXTRA mile and truly cares about each and every child in her class and feels that the consistency of them having the same teacher the following year makes a great difference. I couldn't have agreed with her more, on a number of different levels. I think that our society (nation wide) should seriously look into the true meaning of "continuing education".

I have my own opinions at the moment about "home schooling". Some are more positive than others. I'm looking for feedback, opinions and/or even personal experiences on the subject.

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Home Schooling ...To be or not?

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  • Hey! Cool. Another mom on /.!! Excellent!

    OK, before we get into any details about homeschooling, might I suggest that Missy's mom was pretty tactless when she started ripping in to the "other" kinds of kids? Of course, you must realize that she did this in conversation with *you* because your daughter is NOT one of those "other" kids -- I imagine she probably thought she was being complimentary by including you & your daughter in the "right kind of people" category. But that's not how you took it, was

    • But what makes a person that doesn't have an adequate education on teaching, someone that isn't related to or has a friend that is an educated and trained teacher, think that they can teach a child? I know there are plenty of resources out there for the parents that do home-school their child/children but what are the statistics that these children were taught properly (I'm looking for long term stats here - the aftermath)? Afterall, a parent that decides to make this choice, has only one shot at it.

      Th

      • I understand your concerns -- they're about qualifications, right? You want to make sure that children are trained by people who are qualified to do so.

        Well, personally, I'm not so sure that many teachers are so well "qualified." I hear *lots* of stories about the women with whom my mother works who can't understand the 4th grade math they're supposed to be teaching. That's sad.

        On the other hand, I have a close friend who was home-schooled until she decided that she wanted to attend public high school.
      • But what makes a person that doesn't have an adequate education on teaching, someone that isn't related to or has a friend that is an educated and trained teacher, think that they can teach a child? I know there are plenty of resources out there for the parents that do home-school their child/children but what are the statistics that these children were taught properly (I'm looking for long term stats here - the aftermath)? Afterall, a parent that decides to make this choice, has only one shot at it.

        Frank
    • Now, Hubby and I are just now completing construction on a new home out in the sticks (rural NE Georgia, to be relatively specific). Georgia test scores are abysmal. The local schools seem to be inundated with all kinds of issues, ranging from a large Spanish-speaking population (with which they are ill-equipped to deal) to a heavily weighted Christian bent to the community to a pretty low socio-economic segment of the population to teachers who have a limited range of experience and knowledge of the world
  • Bethanie made some very good points. I would like to add a few of my own.

    First, some caveats. I would not put my children in any of the big-city school systems that I know of. My brother teaches in one, and the size of the system works against the quality of education. That said, I believe strongly in public education. We live in a suburb of a major city, and the school system is among the best in the metropolitan area. That is why we live where we do. We could have had a larger house in a differ
    • Bottom line: be involved. Doesn't matter what the kids think of you being around the school all of the time. Know what is going on in their lives. Know their friends, and their friends parents. Keep them busy. Stay involved, regardless of what they think. You're responsible - you're in charge. And they will get to the point where they can take over the responsibility. It's not easy to let that go... but that's another discussion, entirely. :-) Stay involved. Can't overstate this (though I've tried).

      *c

      • :-)

        I do agree with Bethanie that there are aspects to socialization in public schools that are not positive. She is correct that early sexualization is a problem. Neither of our daughters was allowed to date until high school, and we strongly emphasized that they had to have boy friends before they could have boyfriends. My standard answer to "when can I go out on a date" was "35". Unfortunately, the problem is exacerbated by television, so we tried to deemphasize that as much as possible. And, of
  • It can work, especially in a home schooling friendly state, which WA is. I know a number of people who either were home schooled, or are home schooling. Without going into the motivations, other than to say there has always seemed to be an underlying theme of controlling what values are taught, Two things that always come to mind for me:
    1. Do(es) the prospective home schooling parent(s) realize the amount of WORK involved in educating a child for the modern world? and
    2. Do(es) the prospective home schoolin
  • Echoing Bethanie, I can say, as the son, stepson, and nephew of public school teachers (and the survivor of six years of NYC public schools) that the deep level of the problems in the schools these days really do make homeschooling more logical a response very day.

    I've been dealing with homeschooled kids and parents who were homeschooling, on and off, since the early seventies and if there is one thing that has changed it is the attitude of many of the parents. These days many of them chose it reluctantly
  • What struck about what that mother said to you is that she seems to be "protecting" her child from The Real World. Anybody who is homeschooling their child in order to isolate her from the outside world is doing an incredible disservice to that child. Yes- some kids say bad words, some kids pick their noses and some kids hit and kick people. Your child will eventually separate from you, and isn't it best that they learn early on to behave acceptably even when you aren't there?

    There are a lot of bad role
      • Anybody who is homeschooling their child in order to isolate her from the outside world is doing an incredible disservice to that child.

      You nailed it! That is very close to what I believe. To be honest with you, the mother herself, seems as to have been isolated at some point in her life, perhaps in her childhood. *shruggs*

      My daughter has learned enough to know when she see's other children "acting out", she'll call it as she sees it. LOL, trouble I have now, is getting her to learn that it's not nice

  • I once had a fun debate with another passenger on a flight once about home-schooling. While she was a huge advocate for it, I was huge advocate for public schools (assuming the available public schools were decent). It seems to boil down to a couple of things:
    • What is the quality of the local public schools? (ie, how do they perform on standardized tests? How much funding per. pupil do they receive? Do they have extra-curricular activities available to the students? What is their high school drop-out rate?

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