homeschool??

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 5:05am
sport's picture
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Joined: 10/01/2002 - 09:00

How many of you decided to home-school your children because of the peanut allergy? Was it the deciding factor or just one of many? Do you enjoy it and do you feel as though your children get enought socialization? Also, what do you do if you have to teach material that you have never had before or it has been so long that you have forgotten?

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 5:30am
StaceyK's picture
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Joined: 05/06/2003 - 09:00

We are riding the fence now about homeschooling. I considered it BEFORE finding out about PA. I don't worry about socialization. My daughter is 3 now, so it's not yet relevant - but - she is in dance, has play dates, has been in martial arts, enrichment classes at the museum, Sunday School - and there are more opportunities for her as she gets older (sports leagues in the community and the like). I frankly worry about the socialization FROM school more than missing socialization out of school - ie, drugs, popular culture (MTV, etc), increasing aggression, sitting in little desks instead of hands-on learning, bullying, bad language, bad attitude ~ and don't get me started about dumbed down textbooks and subject matter. Still, we are on the fence - between the local Catholic school and homeschooling. The PA might push us into the homeschooling camp!!

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 7:01am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

homeschooling knight to the rescue [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Yeah yeah, I'm the one always promoting homeschooling... I know.
PA did not push us into homeschooling, it was just one criterium amongst many.
First one: the drug dealer at the local public school was arrested in 4th grade. Yup, he was a student in the class. So, exit local public school.
Second: one private school told us that they would never allow the epipen with the kids, told us the school was peanut-free (vending machines were selling peanuts, how dumb did they think we were?). And when we pointed out these were not acceptable, we were told point-blank that they would choose another student with parents who don't raise a fuss. Exit choice #2.
Third: the other private school equated the peanut allergy to dust allergy. The director has a horrible spoken French (the official language here is French). Exit #3.
Fourth: our PA son is very advanced for his age, but misses the cutoff date to start school by 2 weeks. His derogation was refused. So even though he read the first Harry Potter book this summer, he would have been placed in Kindergarden, learning his ABCs. Hmmm. Exit all schools.
And then we started homeschooling, and I discovered a whole new world. As I see the other moms on the street hurrying to school with their own kids, I think about my own, still in their warm covers, asleep, and getting all their sleep hours.
When it's gorgeous outside, I think of the same neighbours, stuck in a classroom, while we go read/play/learn in the local parks. Today we went to the RCMP musical ride, and learned about horses, *real* horses, not from pictures. We talked to real riders.
When my son is sick, he can have a shorter school day, or simply skip it altogether.
We go to the public pool in the middle of the afternoon, and often have it all to ourselves. I hate noisy pools, especially indoor ones.
We go for ice cream, when other kids are being bused back home.
I tell ya, it's the only way to learn.
[This message has been edited by darthcleo (edited October 01, 2003).]

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 7:08am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

Forgot to add, and don't feel like editing.
This is our second year homeschooling. We did the required material from kindegarden last year, from Sept. to Nov. and had fun the rest of the year. (fun can be very instructive too!)
This year, we do a mix of anything between first and 4th grade, depending on what curriculum you compare). I'm following a classical education, which means a heavy accent on history and geography. This year, we do prehistory and antiquity. Trust me, I have to learn it with my son, and he's faster than me!
We're doing Ancient Egypt, and use legends as reading material (why read from a dumb down text, when you can read the story of Horus and Seth, or the legend of Gilgamesh?)
Today, Seb used the gods names as writing exercises. Colouring exercises are pyramids, gods, pharaos, etc...
So, do you remember who Hatshepsout is? I didn't either. :-)
[url="http://www.welltrainedmind.com/moreaboutbook.html"]http://www.welltrainedmind.com/moreaboutbook.html[/url] is what we use as inspiration here. She has TONS of resources to help parents who don't know who Hatshepsout was, or which nationality Hannibal was.

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 7:13am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I am just not sure *I* would be a good and patient teacher to my dd, or that she would be inclined to want to learn all the time *from me*, LOL! However, All the things Darthcleo writes about homeschooling have always appealed to me. I imagine you can accomplish alot more with the student teacher ratio at home and make much more creative use of your time. Here, there is school choice so the buses are going to numerous neighborhoods as well as numerous schools. Just one bus. The kindergartener across the street steps onto the bus at 8:45 am and gets off at 4:10 or a few minutes later in the afternoon. I know all that time is not in school. That is a long day, leaving little outside time for her.
I like your descriptions of your days, Darthcleo. To school in the park on a nice day, the hands on learning that there just isn't time for and the time to do what they really love and are good at(reading for your son).
We are only in preschool and my dd definately loves it and the social aspects of it more than anything. becca

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 7:34am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

I should add that I have a very very bad temper, have no patience whatsoever, and am a lousy teacher.. LOL!!
Ok, so we all taught our children to walk and talk, no? Learning is inherent in a child, if you don't stand in its way, it will happen. People who think they don't have the necessary qualities often think of classroom teaching. Man, I'd get fired within 5 minutes. But teaching your own kids is different. It's like having a talk. You are *not* teaching, you are guiding.
And soon enough, the kids will be self learners anyway. It's already happening here with my son (he's 6 in 3 weeks). He took his books this morning, even before I had my first cup of coffee, and before I finished said cup, he had done his French work for the day.

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 11:06am
momjd's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2002 - 09:00

We initially decided to hs b/c of the allergies, but after giving it some thought I think we would hs anyway. I know there were lots of negative influence that I could have done without as a child and it's even worse now.
We are probably going to start out with a program called Five in a Row and expand from there as needed. There are so many choices available that you should have no problem choosing a cirriculum that fits your child's style. Keep in mind that teachers aren't born knowing the subjects that they teach. There are books and manuals that can guide you through any subject. You just learn a you go.

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 11:19am
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

darthcleo, just wondering, are you planning on homeschooling all the way through high school? You plead a good case, you make me want to pull my kids right out of school.
Heres another reason to homeschool... HEAD LICE!! The notes just came home that its going around again, amongst other things.
You really have me thinking!

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 11:45am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

Hi Momma2boys
(yeah, we're skipping on head lice, and many colds, and chicken pox too. I should get them vaccinated against that, actually, because they're not really exposed to it. Hmmm. food for thought here).
To answer your question, *currently* we are planning to homeschool till the end of high school. It will be difficult to get the kids back to "standard" school because they are so far ahead. Statistically speaking, by the end of primary schooling, homeschooled kids are 4 years in advance compared to schooled kids. We're trying to avoid that trap by broadening the subjects we study instead of doing more of the central subjects. Classical education addresses that, by putting lots of emphasis on history, latin, logic. Stuff that has been pulled out of school.
Another good point for homeschooling:
teaching parents will not move to a new chapter when the student reaches 60% comprehension. Most parents will wait till the student has over 90% before moving on, by adding exercises, or improvising extra work. There's no reason to move ahead, if the current work is not completely understood. One to one teaching has major advantages.

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 12:53pm
ACBaay's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2002 - 09:00

We homeschool, also, and I will echo many of the sentiments stated previously by Darthcleo. I was always interested in homeschooling, even before we knew about my younger son's food allergies. But, since we moved to our town because of the quality of the school district (high taxes), we initially just followed what was typically done for our older son. When my younger, food allergic son was to enter school, we really explored our options. The food allergies gave us the courage to not follow the mainstream. After my older son saw what homeschooling was all about, he also chose to hs (this is his second year 9 y/o; my
6 1/2 y/o has always homeschooled).
Yes, we enjoy it. It is much more than academics. It is a lifestyle that allows children and families to grow and learn with each other and with people of all ages. My homeschooled children probably have more positive socialization than they would in school. They are involved with both homeschooled (we belong to a hs coop), as well as schooled peers during the many sports and club activities that they choose to take (they can participate in more chosen activities - where they learn and love what they are doing - because they do not come home from school wiped out). There is a lot of wasted time in school (early grades report only 1 1/2 to 2 hours of "on task" time within a 6 hour day). Homeschooled kids can do their work and then be able to explore and learn, doing the things that interest them.
In a school situation, where there are 20+ children per adult, there is also quite a bit of negative socialization, much of it overlooked or accepted. With homeschooling, one can teach their children how and what is polite, acceptable, decent behavior (not that they will always demonstrate this). They can learn from their family and people that you want them to be with, and not learn behaviors from a random group of twenty 8 year olds.
Additionally, my children are involved with children and adults of all ages in our daily lives. For example, part of their schooling involves choosing a project area. They are learning about agriculture by volunteering on an organic farm run by college students. They learn about planting, harvesting, pest management and more while interacting with some really great individuals. I feel that it is very important to teach children that even though they are young, they can contribute meaningfully to their world.
Regarding knowing the material, nobody could possibly learn everything there is to know or retain all that is learned. When we are researching a topic, we use books, the internet, and curriculum materials. My kids are learning about ants, and although I am not an entomologist, we read and do experiments together. I do not need to lecture on a subject, I just need to provide the materials to learn, and guide them. They are still young, so the subjects that they are learning are not complex. When homeschoolers reach about 15 years old, they often take college classes that interest them.
One more thing, there is self-motivation and a love-of-learning that develops with homeschooled kids, and it is really remarkable.
Take care,
Andrea

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2003 - 11:43pm
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

darthcleo and Andrea, It sounds like you guys are doing a great job! I think that the way Andrea said about having the courage to go against the mainstream shows why more people dont homeschool.
A lot of people, my dh included, still have that thought in their heads about the lack of socialization, etc. Well if I could tell you some of the things I've seen at my kids school!
Im about fed up with the public school system. They keep cutting aid to the schools but we can spend billions on Iraq. I cant even imagine what the schools will be like a couple years from now.
Well keep writing girls because Im reading it all to my dh, so maybe soon I'll be joining you.

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