To attempt to educate about homeschooling

Posted on: Sat, 12/30/2000 - 1:58am
no nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/24/2000 - 09:00

Hi - I am homeschooling my about-to-turn 5 year old daughter. I began exploring the HS option over a year ago, and, the more I learn the more I like it.

I became interested in HS as an alternative for my child due to her peanut allergy. I joined a HS group, borrowed books from the library, talked to every HS family I met, and really looked long and hard at this to make an informed decision. For many it is just the next natural step in their type of parenting but for most of our society it is viewed as an unusual "out-there" choice. It is a HUGE responsibility and a HUGE choice to make. After much research and reflection it feels like the right choice for our family. It really gives you back the power of choices for your family. Your family and home is the core. It fosters a closeness that I think is a positive thing.

I am homeschooling for MANY reasons, not just PA. But it was the catalyst. My child takes a dance class, a library story hour, has play dates,the park, and is about to start a music intro. group, all with other children. She is not isolated from other kids, but certainly does not have the exposure to 30 other 5 year olds all day like most kids do. There are pros and cons of that Im sure, but I see more pros. My child loves to learn and is learning all the time. she IS living in the "real world", all we do all day and just living IS the real world.

Its hard not to be defensive because our choice is always put under such scrutiny. It is almost always looked at suspiciously. Im not trying to ruffle any feathers here just tell you how it feels. Most of us know how it feels to have to justify, explain, defend, etc., all that goes with having a child with PA. So muliply that by 100 and you've got homeschooling and peanut allergic! I have had some very positive responses too. With all the violence, drugs, horrific things happening in this world more and more people are accepting and understanding of our choice. Add to that the life-threatening aspect of PA and A sheltered childhood sounds pretty good to me!

Of course I still worry sometimes - is this the right choice? will she learn enough? am I smart enough? patient enough? devoted enough? what about algebra, physics, etc? But overall I am thrilled, optimistic, and empowered by this choice!

Thank you for this topic. There may be enough of us HS to justify it, and support from others is always a good thing. Im definately interested.

Posted on: Sat, 12/30/2000 - 2:39am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi (edited),
Although I do not homeschool, I know several people who do. My cousins were homeschooled and went on to receive scholarships to college. They had to be tested by the state like children in school to make sure they were meeting "learning requirements" like everyone else.
My friend who lives here homeschools her two daughters. She had her oldest daughter in a Montessori school and still felt she wasn't being challenged enough. I believe she also had them on the waiting list to get them into Parochial school for the longest time so she teaches Catholicism homeschooling. These children are bright, loving girls and I can't explain it but there is a certain "gentleness" to homeschooled children.
They go on field trips, they take tests, they go to different homeschool houses so not everything is at one house and it is a group effort. And the parent teaching these children is accountable to the state that the children are up to par on their learning...via the tests, etc.
I wanted to say I really respect all of you who homeschool. Personally, I don't think I could do it and that is for purely selfish reasons. LOL!
Seriously though, thank you for taking the time to put this on the board for discussion. I'm sure there will be many different viewpoints and that's okay. That's what we are all here for.
------------------
Stay Safe.
[This message has been edited by Connie (edited December 30, 2000).]

Posted on: Sat, 12/30/2000 - 7:33am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hi (edited)!
I do not homeschool, but I did try it with my oldest child. I wanted to homeschool because I live around the corner from Columbine High School and quite frankly knew more about what went on in that school than the administrators (my oldest was 3 at the time of the shootings) even though I had never set foot on the premises. I have for years been dismayed at the lack of respect and accountability children have these days. The huge class sizes, lack of attention, low standards, etc., etc. The bullying, drugs, sports as the ONLY factor, pet students in the classroom. All of these things pull away the primary reason for going to school. To learn. To be educated. To be a well-rounded individual with the ability to use critical thinking skills and have enough self-esteem to stand up for what you believe in.
I have heard that homeschoolers accomplish the same amount of daily learning in 1/3 to 1/2 the time it takes in school because of discipline problems, some students holding back a class, etc. I also understand that homeschoolers take 10x more field trips to museums, parks, exhibits, etc. Is it also true that you don't have to stop a lesson mid-sentence because the bell rings?
This is not to say that all schools fail. Nor do I mean to imply that all students are short-changed at every school. There are some great schools out there. This was just not an experimental road I wanted to take my daughter down. She only gets one chance at an education - we wanted to do it right from the start.
As it turns out my oldest non-PA daughter was resistant to my teaching methods and we discovered she is highly gifted. Having her level of intelligence required more than I could have provided at home. We found a super school (private) just for gifted kids that gives her the individualized attention she needs and lets her grow at her own pace. Not by some predetermined curriculum the teachers devised over the summer.
This is where the public schools really fail. There are considerable funds for students who are less than average or have learning disabilities. There are almost no funds for those with above average intelligence. Indeed schools won't even take intelligence into consideration until the 3rd or 4th grade (for those that don't believe me - go ask your elementary school when they make accomodations for gifted intelligence in the classroom).
While we wanted to homeschool Kaci it was better for her to be able to get into this wonderful school.
Next comes my PA-son. Here I am trying in vain to get my daughters school peanut aware, peanut free, or some semblance of ANYTHING and I'm not having much luck. I seem to be in administrative limbo. So we're looking down the homeschooling route again. There is no way I'm putting him into the public school system. For all the reasons I mentioned above and now as an added complication - his PA.
More power to all the homeschoolers! I envy your jobs and your abilities. You've taken on an enormous task, one that should prove extremely rewarding and fun!

Posted on: Sun, 12/31/2000 - 3:32pm
ihatepeanuts's picture
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Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

All right! Thanks (edited) for bringing this
topic up. I love talking about homeschooling! We have two children, age
8 (3rd grade) and age 5 (kindergarten, this
is my PA son). We have always homeschooled.
I say we have homeschooled since they were
born. Our plan was to do this 7 years before
our oldest was born. So, the allergies were
never part of the original reasons but they
definitely have been added to our lists of
why we choose this way to educate our
children. Oh my, there are sooo many
reasons I could give. First of all, we just
love our kids. Don't take that wrong, I
certainly *do not* mean to say that parents
who send their children to a school do not
love their children! We just really love
being together with our kids. I know
many parents who can't wait to send there
kids to school each day so they can do what
they want or get a break. I would miss them
so terribly. That may sound like a selfish
reason. Our children grow so quickly and I
don't want to miss out on things. It's very
rewarding to teach your child to read, to
see them finally grasp a difficult math concept, to see their eyes light up and for them to give you a huge smile when they get something right. The many hugs are a great reward. My 5 year old said the other day, "Mamma thank you for teaching me." And they gave me a stuffed apple with a little worm
that says "World's BEST Teacher." We want
to instill in our children good morals,
values, manners... I don't feel the schools
can correctly teach this. At home we can
better monitor their values. Being with ones
peers for 35 hours or more a week can lead
to peer dependency which can cause them to
base their values, judgments, and actions
on their peers rather than their family.
When I was in school, teachers had to put up
with children who talked in class, ran in
the halls, chewed gum... Today, teachers
worry about weapons, theft, assaults, rapes,
drugs, bombings, shootings, gangs, drugs,
vandals, suicide, murder, pregnancies...
Not a place I want my children to spend their
day. Yes, I know many of these things do
not happen in the elementary grades but they
are happening at younger ages. I truly
believe that I can do a better job teaching
my own children. I have one on one with them
and no one loves or cares for them as much
as my husband and I. We can also base many
of our instruction on the Bible if we want,
something that they would not do in a public
school. As far as socialization, well...not
all socialization is positive. We want to
lessen negative socialization. Our children
spend time with kids and adults of many
different ages, not just those of their own
age or grade. We can better monitor their
socialization. Kids in school tend to only
have a few friends. They do not pal around
with all 30 kids in their class. There are
many opportunites for our children to make
friends. With homeschooling we can give
individualized attention to each child and
custom fit their curriculum. If one child
is behind or ahead we can adjust for that.
A teacher in the school can't really do that,
either the child is bored or struggles to
keep up. We get done with our work by noon
or 1:00 and have the rest of the day and
evening to relax, have fun, play a game,
cook, go somewhere.....just do what we want.
It's funny how people can look at us as odd
because we want to homeschool our children.
The vast majority of mankind who has ever
lived was not sent to an institution to be
educated. It began, and stayed, in the home.
When public schooling began *it* was looked
upon as unusual. I apologize that this is
so long winded. I wonder if any actually
took the time to finish reading it, LOL!
When I get started on this subject it's hard
to stop. It is the BEST choice we have ever
made and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Our children are well rounded, fun loving,
happy and really enjoy being together. I've
often thought how I am happy that when I am
old and gray and my children are grown that
I won't have to say, "My kids grew up so fast, where did the time go? They spent so
much of their growing up in school away from
me and I missed out on so much." No,
I can look back and say, "We had, not only
quality time together, but quantity too. We
had great times living and learning together.
We are a close, loving family and I didn't
miss out on a thing."
Tracy

Posted on: Mon, 01/01/2001 - 2:16am
no nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/24/2000 - 09:00

wonderful post ihatepeanuts, and yes, I did take the time to finish reading it! Every word!
To all who responded so positively - thank you, thank you.

Posted on: Mon, 01/01/2001 - 9:58am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Tracy:
I absolutely loved reading your post! Even though I am now on the verge of tears because of it. I WOULD LOVE TO HOMESCHOOL MY CHILDREN!!!!! My husband is totally against it. I am heartbroken over it, and whenever people discuss it on these boards, I end up feeling very sad. I know I cannot win this particular argument with my husband.
I am so happy for those of you who have chosen this for your children, and who are so willing to share your expertise. If the day ever comes that I can say "I homeschool my children", I'm sure I'll be around looking for advice!! Thanks for sharing, and keep up the great work with your kids. I consider you very blessed to be able to do what you do.

Posted on: Mon, 01/01/2001 - 1:47pm
ihatepeanuts's picture
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Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

Oh Lam! Thank you for your kind words. But I'm sorry that it made you sad. I know that
I truly am blessed to be able to stay home
with my kids. I'm blessed with a husband
who is all for it, he would have it no other
way either. It must be heartbreaking to
want to homeschool and have a husband so
against it. Are there any specific reasons
why he is so against it that you could post
here? Maybe he is just misinformed. Many
think that the kids will lack socialization
or not be educated as well. I discussed
about socialization but as far as getting a
good education, does he know that
homeschoolers score higher on standardized
tests when compared with traditionally
schooled children? Many colleges and
universities accept homeschoolers. They
have found that homeschoolers are self
motivated and have a love of learning often
lacking in students who attend public
schools. I have heard of some wives who
have told their husbands their desire to
homeschool and have asked for them to be able
to try it on a trial basis. A year would
be ideal but even 6 months would allow you
to get a feel for it and show that you can
do it and that the children are learning.
I don't know if these suggestions would help
at all. I can imagine how I would feel in
your situation. Hang in there. Maybe he
will come around (??).
Tracy

Posted on: Mon, 01/01/2001 - 2:02pm
ihatepeanuts's picture
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Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

I just wanted to add that I did not mean to
make anyone feel badly for not homeschooling
their kids. This is a subject I feel very
strongly and passionately about (can you
tell?), but....I feel strongly about this
for *my* family. True, I often wonder why
so and so does not want to homeschool but I
have to remind myself that each and every
one is different. Everyone has their own
circumstances. Sometimes both parents have
to work, or one spouse is against it, or
some parents just simply don't want to. I
respect everyone for whatever they have
decided to do for their children. Some of
you who read my post above probably thought
I'm some wacko.....and if so....that's o.k.
I just wanted to say that whatever works for
you and your kids is the best choice,
whether that is homeschool, public school,
private school...
Now, I know there are more homeschoolers
here......post your thoughts please. I'd
love to hear what you have to say.
Tracy

Posted on: Mon, 01/01/2001 - 11:22pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Tracy:
I had my husband read your post last night - and, subsequently, mine. Let me give you some info on us: we are public school teachers. Well, I resigned when our first was born - with full support of my husband. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I was a music teacher. My husband is a band director, elem.-high school.
His major arguments against homeschooling are (and I hope I get these right, because he'll read them at some point): What about such 'social' activities as band and choir (things that were obviously major parts of our school days)? Am I trying to shelter him from everything? How will he learn to get along with people - even those who may not like him (peers, teachers, etc...)? Would we really be able to give him the best education, especially concerning subjects we aren't exactly good at ourselves?
I will say this, as a point of hope, my husband and I are planning to move within the next 5 years to his school district. We just feel better about it all around. I am concerned about our children starting public school, then moving. He mentioned the possibility of homeschooling until we get moved. (My heart leaped!!!)
Now, I've checked the net for info in my state, but I don't really have the first clue where to start. (I've posted about this before, but I'm still clueless - I guess I want something concrete to go on, like the curriculums best recommended, especially for my state, etc...) I would like to physically be able to look at what I would be dealing with. What are the standards, etc..? I checked under homeschooling in WV but really didn't find what I wanted. A lot of legal stuff, which is good to know, but not what I'm looking for right now.
Sorry to go on and on. Any direction you can give would be great. I can't remember exactly... were you the person who recommended I visit another site that dealt with this? Again, even there, I only received vague info. I just feel like I'm missing something. Can you help me more? I'd certainly appreciate it. Thanks, Tammy

Posted on: Tue, 01/02/2001 - 12:10am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Dear Lam,
What a predicament you are in. I get a similar response about private school from other public school teachers - they are so against it!
There was a story published in the Rocky Mountain News about a week ago (sorry I don't have it anymore) about a family living on love. They have nine children and were very inspirational in the way they lived including the fact that the mom homeschools all the children. You might be able to search it out - it was the cover story of the Spotlight section. Great story and might be one to share with your husband.
I can't help as much with curricula however go to [url="http://www.chec.org"]www.chec.org[/url] which is the Christian Home Educators of Colorado site. They have a HUGE conference every year that presents every curriculum under the sun (all the good with all the bad). If you were to email them with your questions I'm sure they would be happy to help you. I know they have a monthly(?) newsletter for home schoolers that I've seen a few times. There are also some books written on this subject including curriculum recommendations. I got mine at a teachers store here called "Teachers Helper".
Hope this helps!

Posted on: Tue, 01/02/2001 - 1:03am
Gwen Thornberry's picture
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Joined: 10/14/1999 - 09:00

Homeschooling in Ireland is VERY uncommon. I do remember that one family wanted to homeschool their child about 5/6 years ago, and had such difficulty from the state, social workers etc who thought that the boy wasn't being properly educated etc and tried to force the parents to send him, even though he was coming home in tears everyday because he was bullied. Unforunately I can't remember how it ended up, I hope for their sake they got their way in the end.
I don't think it would be for me - I'm a single parent, so lack of money would definately mean that I couldn't stay home with Eva, and I don't have the patience it would require! I would love to know how it works though, for curiosity sake - I mean, when do you take exams? How do you teach subjects you didn't learn yourself? I hope that doesn't sound rude, I'm really just very interested in the logistics of it.
Gwen

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