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s/o negativity towards homeschooling from homeschoolers/others


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#51 soror

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:09 PM

I've been contemplating this awhile. I know my personal beliefs are not as positive as they were when I started. I've never thought that everyone should homeschool. I've supported friends through their choice to send their kids back to school because it was the right choice for them. I try to be brutally honest with anyone I talk to contemplating hs'ing because I think it is a decision that should be well-considered. I've seen hs failures. Yet, I wish this place was more hs friendly. I'd love a place for encouragement that hs'ing, despite all this work, is worthwhile where around here I quite often feel that it isn't worth it at all. Anyway, this board is much more skewed towards the highly gifted overachievers and there is a pressure here for those that don't fit that demographic that what you are doing is not good enough. So, I look to this board for info but not necessarily for support.


Edited by soror, 21 October 2017 - 08:10 PM.

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#52 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:20 PM

The shift that I see is the speed with which people get to 'Maybe you should put them in school'.  My recollection is that we always got there eventually, but we used to start from, well, why did you homeschool in the first place/is that still important to you/are the problems you had with traditional schooling likely to be better now/here, let us brainstorm some ways to make this doable.  And we started with stories of how we faced hardships, and how and why we persevered.  Whereas now we go pretty quickly to, Ok, fine, put them in school, whatever.  

 

I think that that is unfortunate.  It is not helpful and it can be discouraging.


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#53 whitehawk

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:22 PM

Maybe it's not just homeschooling.

 

With a lot of big commitments (employer/career, marriage), the first couple of years there's a lot of cheery "So thankful for this opportunity blah blah blah"--and then by four or nine or fifteen years in, you start hearing mutterings of "When the revolution comes, I have a list...."

 

Homeschooling blossomed for a large number of people at once, and now there's been some time to cool off and not everybody's as keen. Some still are; some have a more balanced opinion; some have soured on the experience and had the equivalent of an unpleasant divorce.


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#54 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:25 PM

I'm curious: What exactly does it mean to be "pro-homeschooling"? Does it mean that homeschooling is always the only route, no matter what challenges may come along? That B&M school is never an option, even if it may serve the family better? That when someone comes along asking for support, public school cannot possibly ever offer a better option? Isn't that the same attitude we face from so many in the non-HSing population? 

 

Interesting question. 

 

Does it mean that homeschooling is always the only route ? No, but the default to struggle shouldn't always be 'how about school?'

 

Is B&M school never an option? It is an option. It's probably not the option you lead with :)

 

Even if it serves the family better ? It might serve the family better, it might not. Tricky for us to know. I know I can share the positives and negatives of dd's school experience, but I'm totally unqualified to tell a family school will serve them better! 

 

Public school cannot possibly offer a better option ? Define 'better' :)

 

I think there are biases (for all of us) around what 'better' is. I think we might want to be careful about asking fellow homeschoolers, 'what would better look like for you ?'

 

Acceptance that some people homeschool for non-academic reasons, and that so long as they meet minimum standards of education (what the child would recieve at their local ps)  this choice is acceptable. 

 

An understanding that some homeschoolers object to the premise of institutional schooling, and respect for that position. 

 

That it is a valid choice to homeschool K-12.

 

That families do not have to be perfect in order to homeschool; homeschoolers can deal with life's challenges and continue to stay out of the institutional system if that's what they want. 

 

Just a few ideas.


Edited by Sadie, 21 October 2017 - 09:23 PM.

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#55 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:27 PM

The shift that I see is the speed with which people get to 'Maybe you should put them in school'.  My recollection is that we always got there eventually, but we used to start from, well, why did you homeschool in the first place/is that still important to you/are the problems you had with traditional schooling likely to be better now/here, let us brainstorm some ways to make this doable.  And we started with stories of how we faced hardships, and how and why we persevered.  Whereas now we go pretty quickly to, Ok, fine, put them in school, whatever.  

 

I think that that is unfortunate.  It is not helpful and it can be discouraging.

 

Well said. 


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#56 Critterfixer

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:47 PM

The shift that I see is the speed with which people get to 'Maybe you should put them in school'.  My recollection is that we always got there eventually, but we used to start from, well, why did you homeschool in the first place/is that still important to you/are the problems you had with traditional schooling likely to be better now/here, let us brainstorm some ways to make this doable.  And we started with stories of how we faced hardships, and how and why we persevered.  Whereas now we go pretty quickly to, Ok, fine, put them in school, whatever.  

 

I think that that is unfortunate.  It is not helpful and it can be discouraging.

I may be completely wrong about this, but I think a lot of that stems from how quickly a conversation becomes a "give me the solution" instead of a "understand the problem". 

And really, when one looks at homeschooling as being a major life choice (and I think we can agree it's a pretty big one) the problem can be very, very complicated. 

 

 

 


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#57 _______

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:19 PM

nm


Edited by Catheryn, 23 October 2017 - 08:46 AM.

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#58 eternalsummer

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:43 PM

I think part of this (and I have recognized it too) is because the board has shifted somewhat from conservative to liberal (that is not to say that the majority of posters are not centrists, or what most Westerners would consider centrists, but that the center of the centrism is decidedly farther left than it was).  With that has developed a fair amount of pro-intellectualism, which by its nature almost demands an acceptance of the validity of institutional schooling - certainly not for every child, but as an ideal, represented imo by the value most posters on these boards place on an (institutional, almost always liberal) college education.


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#59 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:50 PM

But I'm finding more and more people who just don't want to use public schools, which isn't always the same thing.

 

Yes! I think this is a very important distinction.

 

Years ago, there was sometimes the assertion that the worst a homeschooler could do was better than the best public schools could do. I just don't think that is true.

 

I was thinking of this same thing when I was posting--the old "the worst day homeschooling is still better than the best day in school." I also don't think this is true. 

 

Yes, that gets old. Because, hello, some of us ARE those "evil" evangelical protestant Christian homeschoolers. The travesty of it!

Whatever. I don't have the gumption to fight it tonight. I took 21 kids over 100 miles away today on a full day outdoor field trip while nursing a migraine. I'm fried.

 

I really don't care why anyone homeschools, as long as they're educating their kids and expanding the opportunities they'll have in the world instead of limiting them.

 

Interesting question. [my responses are in blue]

 

Does it mean that homeschooling is always the only route ? No, but the default to struggle shouldn't be 'how about school?'

 

A couple of people have referred to this. Can you link some threads where the default has been "how about school?" I honestly cannot say I've seen them. I've seen threads where many people have offered advice and a few people suggest school as an option in the broad spectrum, but I can't remember ever seeing one where the majority of posters concurred that school was the best alternative. I would love to see some examples--they might influence my perspective here. Maybe I'm just not clicking into them? I feel like I'm struggling so much myself these days that I don't feel that I have a lot to offer anyone else!

 

Is B&M school never an option? It is an option. It's probably not the option you lead with :)

 

Who is "you"? If 25 people reply to a post about struggle and two out of the 25 suggest school, is that the "lead" suggestion? Or is it two people thinking that all the other posters suggested everything else, and hey, maybe school is also one other option? 

 

Even if it serves the family better ? It might serve the family better, it might not. Tricky for us to know. I know I can share the positives and negatives of dd's school experience, but I'm totally unqualified to tell a family school will serve them better! 

 

I can think of at least one example where everyone in the family is better off because one child went to school, especially (and DRAMATICALLY) the child herself. I won't go into it, because it's not my story to tell, but it has made a huge difference in the way the family interacts, the way the other kids thrive, and the mood, confidence, and level of success of the school child. Is life perfect? Of course not. But school was absolutely the right choice for this kid. And if there's at least one exception to the rule, then that means there are others, and absolutes and legalism will harm them in the same way that any other absolute can harm someone.

 

Public school cannot possibly offer a better option ? Define 'better' :)

 

See above.

 

I think there are biases (for all of us) around what 'better' is. I think we might want to be careful about asking fellow homeschoolers, 'what would better look like for you ?'

 

Why? Maybe their "better" is not the same as your "better"? I think that's exactly the kind of question we should be asking, followed by others. Does better look like public school? Why? Why not? What are your goals? Are they being served by homeschooling? Can you change your homeschooling to reach them? If so, how? If not, are you sure? And so on. (Or did you mean that we want to be careful that we DO ask homeschoolers what better would look like? If so, of course I agree.)

 

Acceptance that some people homeschool for non-academic reasons, and that so long as they meet minimum standards of education (what the child would recieve at their local ps)  this choice is acceptable. 

 

I don't know anyone who would disagree with this. The argument has been against educational NEGLECT--e.g., people who teach their girls only what they need to be homemakers, that college isn't for them, that let their kids wallow in the basement playing video games and call it "computer science," etc. I've never heard anyone here argue that anything less than an Andover-style education at home is unacceptable. Well, actually, I can think of maybe one person who might say that, but they don't actually homeschool anyway!

 

An understanding that some homeschoolers object to the premise of institutional schooling, and respect for that position. 

 

I can respect that position (I'm not entirely sure that I love the premise myself, but it's what we have to work with), but I can't respect when someone refuses to accept that the alternative may still not be the right option for any given family. Sometimes you just have to choose the lesser of two evils. And I would wonder how one could hold that position while having a child in an institutional school. If you feel so strongly that you reject the premise, why wouldn't you keep your child home by hook or by crook? You don't have to answer that, of course. It's totally your business. But what it means is that having your child in an institutional school option benefits your family in some way--someone's life is improved by having the option. So if that's allowed for you, why can't it also be true for someone else?

 

That it is a valid choice to homeschool K-12.

 

Absolutely it is. I'm doing it with two kids, swimming upstream against mental health issues that make school a fight every single day (and I swear I lose on the majority of them) and LDs that do the same (yep, still losing *sigh*) But it can also be a valid choice to recognize that homeschooling K-12 isn't working for some reason (mental, physical, financial, educational) as well. I don't see how one can argue respect for the first kind of choice while not offering respect for the other, even if it's not what one would choose.

 

That families do not have to be perfect in order to homeschool; homeschoolers can deal with life's challenges and continue to stay out of the institutional system if that's what they want. 

 

Again, of course. But at what point do you consider that homeschoolers are no longer successfully navigating life's challenges? What is your low bar? Does it have to be everyone's low bar, or can they choose a different one? How free are other homeschoolers to choose a bar lower than yours? What if lots of homeschoolers are choosing a bar lower than yours?

 

Just a few ideas. 

 

I see there have been a bunch of replies while I was typing, so some of my points may have already been addressed. 


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#60 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:03 PM

Yes! I think this is a very important distinction.

 

 

I was thinking of this same thing when I was posting--the old "the worst day homeschooling is still better than the best day in school." I also don't think this is true. 

 

 

I really don't care why anyone homeschools, as long as they're educating their kids and expanding the opportunities they'll have in the world instead of limiting them.

 

 

I see there have been a bunch of replies while I was typing, so some of my points may have already been addressed. 

 

Re the question of why I have a kid in school when I am anti compulsory institutional schooling, sure, happy to answer that.

 

It's because kids get to an age where they have to go out and experience things themselves. Dd got to that age (13), was not really convinced by radical pedagogy, and along with being anti compulsory blah blah, I am also pro autonomy. Her journey. 

 

I don't engage with the school; I abhor their pedagogy. I support my dd. The fact that she is not there out of compulsion, but out of a free choice (for the h/s option has always been present), makes a difference (slight) to me. 

 

Re my low bar - it's lowish by standards here but varies by age and issue. I will say I have been involved with my local homeschool community (big city - lots of us) for 15+ years, and have never yet seen someone hit that bar. 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Sadie, 21 October 2017 - 10:09 PM.

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#61 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:11 PM

I think part of this (and I have recognized it too) is because the board has shifted somewhat from conservative to liberal (that is not to say that the majority of posters are not centrists, or what most Westerners would consider centrists, but that the center of the centrism is decidedly farther left than it was).  With that has developed a fair amount of pro-intellectualism, which by its nature almost demands an acceptance of the validity of institutional schooling - certainly not for every child, but as an ideal, represented imo by the value most posters on these boards place on an (institutional, almost always liberal) college education.

 

Oh. that's interesting. Not all left of centre are pro institutional schooling though (but I agree many of us are). I actually don't know anyone on my side of politics who shares my educational views, that's for sure. 


Edited by Sadie, 21 October 2017 - 10:20 PM.

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#62 eternalsummer

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:28 PM

Well, within the homeschooling community, most people I meet or talk to online who think homeschooling is the more desirable way - not just for some kids but as a fundamental belief about the nature of schooling - are conservative (and religious).  

 

 

I don't know that more liberals believe in the value of institutional schools than conservatives do - in fact, I'd say that most conservatives probably value at least the idea of the small town school full of kids like their kids - but I think that in the current environment in the West, which is quite dominated (from my viewpoint as a super-conservative conservative) by the ideology of the left/modern liberals - conservatives, especially religious ones, are more likely to see the whole idea of public and even private schools as absolutely unacceptable under almost any circumstances than liberals are.  

 

Perhaps this has something to do with views about the status quo of Western society - many social conservatives (especially uber-conservative ones) see society as having largely gone to hell in a handbasket, and don't want their kids under the influence of that society, inasmuch as they can prevent it.

 

I don't get the impression from many liberals in the US (although I could be wrong) that they think society is in serious trouble and that schools promote social or political agendas that their kids should be sheltered from.  So when they are homeschooling it is not because school=society=bad, it is because the school options they have are not good for their kids at this time for whatever reason - which is a very different philosophy.


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#63 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:36 PM

Well, within the homeschooling community, most people I meet or talk to online who think homeschooling is the more desirable way - not just for some kids but as a fundamental belief about the nature of schooling - are conservative (and religious).  

 

 

I don't know that more liberals believe in the value of institutional schools than conservatives do - in fact, I'd say that most conservatives probably value at least the idea of the small town school full of kids like their kids - but I think that in the current environment in the West, which is quite dominated (from my viewpoint as a super-conservative conservative) by the ideology of the left/modern liberals - conservatives, especially religious ones, are more likely to see the whole idea of public and even private schools as absolutely unacceptable under almost any circumstances than liberals are.  

 

Perhaps this has something to do with views about the status quo of Western society - many social conservatives (especially uber-conservative ones) see society as having largely gone to hell in a handbasket, and don't want their kids under the influence of that society, inasmuch as they can prevent it.

 

I don't get the impression from many liberals in the US (although I could be wrong) that they think society is in serious trouble and that schools promote social or political agendas that their kids should be sheltered from.  So when they are homeschooling it is not because school=society=bad, it is because the school options they have are not good for their kids at this time for whatever reason - which is a very different philosophy.

 

Yeah, that's true here too really. Except for some liberal Holt style unschoolers; fewer and fewer of them, though, and they're not about sheltering. 


Edited by Sadie, 21 October 2017 - 10:38 PM.

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#64 eternalsummer

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:37 PM

And btw I think it is fascinating that you also think homeschooling is the ideal situation because (as I understand it, and I don't really, so I am probably 75% incorrect) institutional schools promote a sort of worker-cog corporatist mentality toward society and the state that you find unacceptable.

 

I have similarly grave reservations about institutional schooling, but the nature of the reservation is slightly different - mine, however, like yours, is also not a religious concern.


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#65 eternalsummer

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:40 PM

Oh, I did forget about the unschoolers.  That is a whole other concern about the nature of schooling which seems pretty diametrically opposed to compulsory b&m school, and suprisingly to me (although maybe not to you as I remember you had some interest in Charlotte Mason), they are not all secular.


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#66 Amy in NH

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:56 PM

Oh. that's interesting. Not all left of centre are pro institutional schooling though (but I agree many of us are). I actually don't know anyone on my side of politics who shares my educational views, that's for sure.


I think I qualify as a lefty, and I don't agree with compulsory education. IMO it has led the masses to take education for granted, led to mediocrity and complacency, and lessened a sense of personal responsibility for becoming educated. I do think free education should be provided for all people of all ages who demonstrate desire for and commitment to learning. I think the default of free public education to meet compulsory attendance requirements has also allowed parents to lazily abdicate their responsibility for raising the humans they bring into the world.

Does that come close?
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#67 kiwik

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:04 PM

I think there are more people here who have kids in B&M schools. I came for the after schooling board about 6 years ago and I felt very much the minority then. Now I homeschool one of my kids and there seem to be a lot of people with at least one kid at school. It is probably just natuaral change and development though.
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#68 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:06 PM

I think I qualify as a lefty, and I don't agree with compulsory education. IMO it has led the masses to take education for granted, led to mediocrity and complacency, and lessened a sense of personal responsibility for becoming educated. I do think free education should be provided for all people of all ages who demonstrate desire for and commitment to learning. I think the default of free public education to meet compulsory attendance requirements has also allowed parents to lazily abdicate their responsibility for raising the humans they bring into the world.

Does that come close?

 

Close to how I think ? Yeah, maybe minus the lazy abdication :)  

 

I love the bolded. 

 

My own views are related to critical pedagogy (Friere, Giroux, bell hooks etc) and I see schools as embracing corporatisation and military values, rather than liberation through dialogue and critical thinking. 


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#69 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:07 PM

Re the question of why I have a kid in school when I am anti compulsory institutional schooling, sure, happy to answer that.

 

It's because kids get to an age where they have to go out and experience things themselves. Dd got to that age (13), was not really convinced by radical pedagogy, and along with being anti compulsory blah blah, I am also pro autonomy. Her journey. 

 

I don't engage with the school; I abhor their pedagogy. I support my dd. The fact that she is not there out of compulsion, but out of a free choice (for the h/s option has always been present), makes a difference (slight) to me. 

 

So you are saying that, at this time, institutional schooling is the best option for your family. Is that right?

 

I think I qualify as a lefty, and I don't agree with compulsory education. IMO it has led the masses to take education for granted, led to mediocrity and complacency, and lessened a sense of personal responsibility for becoming educated. I do think free education should be provided for all people of all ages who demonstrate desire for and commitment to learning. I think the default of free public education to meet compulsory attendance requirements has also allowed parents to lazily abdicate their responsibility for raising the humans they bring into the world.

Does that come close?

 

Huh. That's very interesting. I think a lot of people might say something very similar about the social safety net we lefties are advocating for. Which is not necessarily related to this discussion. Or maybe it is? It just struck me as coincidental as I was reading the post.


Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops, 21 October 2017 - 11:11 PM.


#70 Amy in NH

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:07 PM

I think part of this (and I have recognized it too) is because the board has shifted somewhat from conservative to liberal (that is not to say that the majority of posters are not centrists, or what most Westerners would consider centrists, but that the center of the centrism is decidedly farther left than it was). With that has developed a fair amount of pro-intellectualism, which by its nature almost demands an acceptance of the validity of institutional schooling - certainly not for every child, but as an ideal, represented imo by the value most posters on these boards place on an (institutional, almost always liberal) college education.


I actually don't think this is true. Most of us old-timers were drawn here by a book with a plan for a very academic and intellectually-focused home education. If anything, that sentiment has been diluted here on these boards over the years as more conservative anti-intellectual homeschoolers have become members.
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#71 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:09 PM

I see schools as embracing corporatisation and military values, rather than liberation through dialogue and critical thinking. 

 

I do agree with this, though I think there are some schools that are doing better. A friend of mine has her son in one, and I'm kind of jealous because he's getting exactly the kind of education I so wanted when I was his age. Of course, it costs $50K a year, so that's an important detail as well  :glare:



#72 eternalsummer

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:12 PM

I've only been here since 2014, so I am just noting differences since then - certainly I have no idea what the board was like a decade ago :)


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#73 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:13 PM

So you are saying that, at this time, institutional schooling is the best option for your family. Is that right?

 

 

 

 

No, not really. I am saying that my dd chose to go to school, and I chose to respect her autonomy in this matter. 


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#74 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:15 PM

I do agree with this, though I think there are some schools that are doing better. A friend of mine has her son in one, and I'm kind of jealous because he's getting exactly the kind of education I so wanted when I was his age. Of course, it costs $50K a year, so that's an important detail as well  :glare:

 

If it costs $50K  a year, there's not much liberation going on :)

 

For sure, though, corporatization etc disproportionately impacts lower income schools. 


Edited by Sadie, 21 October 2017 - 11:16 PM.

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#75 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:17 PM

No, not really. I am saying that my dd chose to go to school, and I chose to respect her autonomy in this matter. 

 

Right. What would the alternative have looked like? Would she have just as happily have stayed home and done her work with you if you had asserted your will and insisted based on your rejection of compulsory education and its pedagogy? Would you have been comfortable with yourself if you had asserted your will over hers and kept her home? Was there an alternative of some kind that would have satisfied everyone, or at least met everyone's basic needs? 


Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops, 21 October 2017 - 11:18 PM.


#76 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:18 PM

If it costs $50K  a year, there's not much liberation going on :)

 

For sure, though, corporatization etc disproportionately impacts lower income schools. 

 

Ha, well, both of those are true!


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#77 fraidycat

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:19 PM

I don’t know that these boards are less positive about homeschooling, but maybe more open to other paths, as well.

I see still see a lot of pro-homeschooling as long as it is working, but also a lot more honesty that it doesn’t always work and that the sacrifice is not always worth it. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

I used to be more gung-ho pro-homeschooling, but I’ve seen enough anti-public schooling homeschoolers to opine that many are not doing their children any favors. Some are working their butts off and making it work, and work well, but in my personal experience, many are not.
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#78 brehon

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:19 PM

I remember years ago - over a decade, probably - there was a long-time poster (well, long time for that time and board configuration) who had several children she had/was in the process of successfully homeschooling. As I recall, she posted one evening about her decision to place her youngest (? maybe, I’m hazy on some of the details - at any rate, one or more of her kids) in a B&M school.

Most posters were supportive of that decision figuring that the OP knew her own circumstances best. There was, however, a newer hs’er who posted that she was disappointed that the OP had chosen B&M school over hs’ing, that she felt let down by the OP. Many posters came to the OP’s defense and basically said that people make the decisions that are best for their families and situations.

That’s a long-winded remembrance, but, I think, shows at least one example were people were openly supportive of someone choosing an educational choice other than hs. I know that wasn’t the only time that happened.

I think that, in general, the tenor of the boards over the past decade plus has changed and for the better. I know I’m not the only one who remembers when there were several posters who openly supported the Pearls and who thought that any regulation/law that inhibited their ability to treat their kids however they wanted (to include laws on child abuse) were an affront.

As far as homeschooling v. B&M school, I think Carol may be right about people now being more willing to suggest a B&M school at least for a season. Again, I don’t necessarily think that is a negative. Sometimes when reality runs into ideology something has to give because the reality involves people - kids - who deserve the best their parents are able to do for them.
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#79 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:21 PM

Right. What would the alternative have looked like? Would she have just as happily have stayed home and done her work with you if you had asserted your will and  insisted based on your rejection of the compulsory education and its pedagogy? Would you have been comfortable with yourself if you had asserted your will over hers and kept her home? Was there an alternative of some kind that would have satisfied everyone, or at least met everyone's basic needs? 

 

No, she would not have been happy for me to assert my will. 

 

I would have been comfortable in some ways, and uncomfortable in others.

 

In theory there are alternatives; in practice there were not. 


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#80 Amy in NH

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:21 PM


Huh. That's very interesting. I think a lot of people might say something very similar about the social safety net we lefties are advocating for. Which is not necessarily related to this discussion. Or maybe it is? It just struck me as coincidental as I was reading the post.


Then there would be a fundamental disagreement about the purpose of life and the distribution of resources. Freedom
or "liberty" =/= capitalism. Meaningful living or "happiness" =/= pursuit and accumulation of material items, especially not at the expense of your fellow human. The social safety net or "socialism" expands personal liberty to pursue happiness by eliminating the false idol of capitalism/materialism. After all, the basis of societies is to provide for our common needs, not to enrich the few at the expense of the many, or else why would people enter into them? To be exploited, or for the chance to exploit others? This is basic political philosophy from freshman humanities.
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#81 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:27 PM

I remember years ago - over a decade, probably - there was a long-time poster (well, long time for that time and board configuration) who had several children she had/was in the process of successfully homeschooling. As I recall, she posted one evening about her decision to place her youngest (? maybe, I’m hazy on some of the details - at any rate, one or more of her kids) in a B&M school.

Most posters were supportive of that decision figuring that the OP knew her own circumstances best. There was, however, a newer hs’er who posted that she was disappointed that the OP had chosen B&M school over hs’ing, that she felt let down by the OP. Many posters came to the OP’s defense and basically said that people make the decisions that are best for their families and situations.

That’s a long-winded remembrance, but, I think, shows at least one example were people were openly supportive of someone choosing an educational choice other than hs. I know that wasn’t the only time that happened.

I think that, in general, the tenor of the boards over the past decade plus has changed and for the better. I know I’m not the only one who remembers when there were several posters who openly supported the Pearls and who thought that any regulation/law that inhibited their ability to treat their kids however they wanted (to include laws on child abuse) were an affront.

As far as homeschooling v. B&M school, I think Carol may be right about people now being more willing to suggest a B&M school at least for a season. Again, I don’t necessarily think that is a negative. Sometimes when reality runs into ideology something has to give because the reality involves people - kids - who deserve the best their parents are able to do for them.

 

Very well said. I was also thinking about when my kids were young (I've been here over 10 years now), and I was working nearly full time with almost no help and a husband who was working a 70-80 hour week and struggling to keep homeschooling my oldest. I recall posting about how burned out I was trying to keep working and parenting and homeschooling and keeping the house running and being a wife, and I remember school being suggested to me more than once, even if just for a year or so, while we got on better footing (and preschool for my youngest so I could focus on my older). So it's not like posters suggesting school is some new phenomenon. 

 

I also remember the discussions about the Pearls and the Ezzos. It was also here that I first heard secular humanism referred to with disgust, and some posters had to explain to me why it was so reprehensible. So yeah, the board has changed a lot in many ways!


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#82 Ausmumof3

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:31 PM

Just wondering if it's just me, or if anyone else has noticed that these boards are becoming less and less positive about homeschooling ?

I haven't been here for many years, but it seems to me that when I was first here, these forums were very pro homeschooling, and now they are markedly less.

This isn't a JAWM - feel free to say 'no Sadie, you are 100% imagining things', that's fine.

I do find it interesting, being a philosophical homeschooler, but seeing (imagining?) this shift towards a sort of cynicism or even dislike of homeschooling....

Interested to hear what people think.


I see it also.
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#83 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:31 PM

No, she would not have been happy for me to assert my will. 

 

I would have been comfortable in some ways, and uncomfortable in others.

 

In theory there are alternatives; in practice there were not. 

 

Then am I wrong in saying that your family benefits from having an available alternative, of which you have availed yourselves so that the individuals in your family are having their needs met? 

 

I'm sorry if I seem obtuse. I'm trying to understand where you're coming from in your rejection of institutional school offered as an alternative for some families if it also meets a need, however uncomfortably, for your family. I feel like I'm missing something important, maybe.


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#84 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:33 PM

I've been contemplating this awhile. I know my personal beliefs are not as positive as they were when I started. I've never thought that everyone should homeschool. I've supported friends through their choice to send their kids back to school because it was the right choice for them. I try to be brutally honest with anyone I talk to contemplating hs'ing because I think it is a decision that should be well-considered. I've seen hs failures. Yet, I wish this place was more hs friendly. I'd love a place for encouragement that hs'ing, despite all this work, is worthwhile where around here I quite often feel that it isn't worth it at all. Anyway, this board is much more skewed towards the highly gifted overachievers and there is a pressure here for those that don't fit that demographic that what you are doing is not good enough. So, I look to this board for info but not necessarily for support.

 

I also find a skew towards - idk how to express it - homeschooling with lots of cultural, social and financial resources, which sets the bar too high, imo. 


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#85 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:34 PM

I see it also.

 

I'm also still hoping people can link examples? At least 4-5 posters have said this, and I'm still wondering just what threads are being referred to.


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#86 eternalsummer

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:34 PM

Possibly there is also (and this I don't know one way or another, so I am just speculating) a stronger emphasis on the necessity or value of education - as in, learning things like science and math and writing - over other things.  When you hear more things like, well, if the schooling is not going well (that is, the kids are not learning to write essays and do math and science and won't be able to go to college, maybe, and get a degree and a respectable white-collar job), then there is reason to consider putting them in school - that says to me that that kind of education is valued over the other things homeschool maybe provide better than an institution, no matter how good the math and science and etc. education is at the institution or how bad it is at the homeschool.

 

Reminds me of this essay: http://people.uncw.e...loffm/glubb.pdf - we are in The Age of Intellect.  


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#87 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:36 PM

I also find a skew towards - idk how to express it - homeschooling with lots of cultural, social and financial resources, which sets the bar too high, imo. 

 

I agree with this.


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#88 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:39 PM

Then am I wrong in saying that your family benefits from having an available alternative, of which you have availed yourselves so that the individuals in your family are having their needs met? 

 

I'm sorry if I seem obtuse. I'm trying to understand where you're coming from in your rejection of institutional school offered as an alternative for some families if it also meets a need, however uncomfortably, for your family. I feel like I'm missing something important, maybe.

 

lol, my dd benefits, I guess. 

 

Personally, I'd call her need a pseudo-need, which comes from wanting to fit in with the dominant educational paradigm :)

 

The family doesn't benefit, really. It's been a disruptor, not a plus, for the family, and it has undermined, in various ways, family values. 

 

I actually don't reject people offering school as an alternative sometimes; I just think it's over-offered, considering this is a homeschooling board (or is it ? I may have that entirely wrong. I guess it's a classical education board, really.)


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#89 eternalsummer

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:40 PM

I also find a skew towards - idk how to express it - homeschooling with lots of cultural, social and financial resources, which sets the bar too high, imo. 

 

I find this is true not just of homeschooling with resources but just plain living with resources.  Which makes sense, given the demographics of the board, of course.  


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#90 Sadie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:44 PM

Used up my likes for the day. 

 

If you contribute to this thread, please consider your post liked. I'm happy so many people shared their thoughts with me. It's given me a lot to think about!


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#91 Corraleno

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:44 PM

When I first came here in early 2009, the board was much more homogeneous and more focused on following WTM quite closely. If someone posted that their 3rd grader was crying and complaining about too many hours of seat work, people were likely to say let them cry, it's character building, life is full of boring tedious tasks that just need to get done and kids better get used to it. There was more of an attitude that a WTM education was the best education, period, and parents should do whatever was necessary to make that happen. There was a lot of pushback against anyone who advocated a more relaxed, child-led, interest-led approach — I used to get nasty PMs all the time telling me to basically piss off and go find an unschooling forum to post on because I didn't belong on a "Classical" board.
 
I think the board is a lot more diverse now, and a much wider variety of approaches are accepted (including relaxed/eclectic/child-led), and I think the idea that what really matters is finding the best approach for each child (rather than forcing WTM homeschooling to work for every child) is part of that shift. I don't think it makes the board less "pro-homeschooling" (obviously the vast majority of members here are homeschoolers, many of whom are fully committed to the process and have been doing it for a long time) if people sometimes suggest that the best option, of the available options for a specific family in specific circumstances, might actually be B&M school. Especially since I also see threads where people say "don't worry if your kids aren't doing 6 subjects on a tight schedule when you just had baby/moved house/are dealing with a seriously ill parent/etc. — grab some audiobooks, watch some documentaries, go for nature walks and let the Latin/grammar/history/science curriculum go for a while." That is other end of the spectrum, but part of the same shift away from "WTM for everyone no matter what" to "you gotta do what's best for your particular family at this particular point in time."
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#92 chiguirre

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:44 PM

I don’t know that these boards are less positive about homeschooling, but maybe more open to other paths, as well.
 

 

When these boards started almost 20 years ago there weren't as many paths. I read TWTM and that was the best option around even if it meant a huge amount of effort for the homeschool teacher. Now, there are so many options: synchronous classes (including TWTM Academy!!!), asynchronous classes, video courses (Derek Owens), MOOCs, coops, etc. We're so lucky to be able to customize our kids' educations without having to do it all by ourselves. That's a large part of why the flavor of the boards has changed.


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#93 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:09 AM

lol, my dd benefits, I guess. 

 

Personally, I'd call her need a pseudo-need, which comes from wanting to fit in with the dominant educational paradigm :)

 

The family doesn't benefit, really. It's been a disruptor, not a plus, for the family, and it has undermined, in various ways, family values. 

 

I actually don't reject people offering school as an alternative sometimes; I just think it's over-offered, considering this is a homeschooling board (or is it ? I may have that entirely wrong. I guess it's a classical education board, really.)

 

So it meets her need (or pseudo need) to fit in, and her need to forge her own path. It also meets your need to be the kind of parent who lets her kids forge their own path. I strongly suspect, based on my own experience with my (ahem) strong-willed second child, that life at home would not be terribly harmonious if you were to restrict your daughter to homeschooling when she didn't want to, so the family probably benefits from not having to live in that particular war zone (though maybe that's a wash given the disruption that school presents)?

 

Given all of this, I still can't quite see how you can reconcile your previously stated strong feelings about institutional school with taking full advantage of that option for yourselves. If you yourself can accept that your family life is probably even marginally improved because you have the option to send a child to school, I can't understand thinking that that option is "overoffered" to other parents in need of alternatives and paradigm shifts--especially when it's one option offered among a multitude of other suggestions. 

 

Or do you not think your family life is even marginally improved by your daughter going to school? Do you think all of you would be better served by her being homeschooled, even if it was against her will?

 

ETA: Oh, and how is it overoffered? I do see a lot more people referring to their kids who are in school. Is that part of what's contributing to the sense that the board is less pro-homeschooling these days? Or do you (the general you) mean it's actually suggested a lot in threads where people are asking for advice? 

 

 

I find this is true not just of homeschooling with resources but just plain living with resources.  Which makes sense, given the demographics of the board, of course.  

 

Again, I agree. This sort of thing has actually been on my mind a lot lately.


Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops, 22 October 2017 - 12:12 AM.

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#94 Amy in NH

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:23 AM

I do see a lot more people referring to their kids who are in school. Is that part of what's contributing to the sense that the board is less pro-homeschooling these days? Or do you (the general you) mean it's actually suggested a lot in threads where people are asking for advice?

.


I think this could be it. If people come to a home education support forum and find a large number of once-homeschoolers who have jumped ship, that doesn't feel very supportive of homeschooling regardless of whether it's the best choice for those individual kids at this time.
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#95 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:29 AM

Then there would be a fundamental disagreement about the purpose of life and the distribution of resources. Freedom
or "liberty" =/= capitalism. Meaningful living or "happiness" =/= pursuit and accumulation of material items, especially not at the expense of your fellow human. The social safety net or "socialism" expands personal liberty to pursue happiness by eliminating the false idol of capitalism/materialism. After all, the basis of societies is to provide for our common needs, not to enrich the few at the expense of the many, or else why would people enter into them? To be exploited, or for the chance to exploit others? This is basic political philosophy from freshman humanities.

 

Hmmm. It has been 25 years since I took a political philosophy course, and I hated it even then, so you've lost me. It's also 1 a.m., and I'm about all in. You'll have to talk even further down to me if you want to help me understand (feel free not to bother, though). My point was simply that many people (myself included) consider a basic education to be a right in the same way that many of us consider healthcare, food, and decent housing to be a right. Whereas non-lefties might say something like:

 

I don't agree with welfare programs. IMO they have led the masses to take sustenance and shelter for granted, led to mediocrity and complacency, and lessened a sense of personal responsibility for providing for themselves and their families. I do think basic food and housing should be provided for all people of all ages who demonstrate desire for and commitment to working for them. I think the default of social welfare programs to meet basic need requirements has also allowed parents to lazily abdicate their responsibility for providing for the humans they bring into the world.

 

An attitude which, of course, most of us liberals find abhorrent.

 

This may be a whole other thread, and I'm signing off for the night, so don't feel like you have to bother answering, but I'm curious as to how you'd handle it differently. How would you structure education so that kids don't suffer for their parents' disinterest? Or that kids don't suffer from their own early disinterest later in life? 

 

I sort of feel about compulsory education like I do about capitalism. It's a crummy system, but it's less crummy than all the other options have proven to be. And I'm grateful we had the opportunity to opt out. (Though again, I'm wondering a lot these days about whether I chose wrong all those years ago. 20/20 hindsight and all...)

 

Good night, everyone. 


Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops, 22 October 2017 - 12:31 AM.

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#96 Moxie

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:52 AM

I haven’t read the responses.

I’m certain I’m one of the posters the OP is referring to. While i’m not anti-homeschooling, I am semi-anti-homeschooling. I’ve lived that life for 15 years. I’ve seen it done badly or for the wrong reasons more often than not. I’ve seen the toll it takes on women and their careers and that is not nothing. I can count on less than two hands the number of irl homeschoolers I know who are doing a great job educating their kids and providing them with opportunities. Homeschooling has changed a lot in 15 years and not for the better.
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#97 Amy in NH

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:52 AM

.

This may be a whole other thread, and I'm signing off for the night, so don't feel like you have to bother answering, but I'm curious as to how you'd handle it differently. How would you structure education so that kids don't suffer for their parents' disinterest? Or that kids don't suffer from their own early disinterest later in life?

I sort of feel about compulsory education like I do about capitalism. It's a crummy system, but it's less crummy than all the other options have proven to be. And I'm grateful we had the opportunity to opt out. (Though again, I'm wondering a lot these days about whether I chose wrong all those years ago. 20/20 hindsight and all...)

Good night, everyone.


I think having free education available to those who want to be serious about it, regardless of age, would change everything. It would be an a la carte system, and you'd have to show meaningful progress toward content mastery to continue. Most parents would take advantage for babysitting purposes to begin with, and also to have the opportunities for their kids that education provides. If students don't want to be there, they don't have to attend. Take a break, when life is overwhelming, with no consequences. Or even for a family vacation. Real life experience is often a great academic motivator, and many would choose to return to improve their prospects after a dose of unskilled /low income reality. High school dropouts often express remorse, but it's too late for the free public education by then. I have done a lot of research on dropout, and perpetuation of poverty conditions, and heard from a lot of parents who are punished by their public schools or just want to homeschool one class or just attend for particular days or semesters, and still want a diploma, etc. Having parents who did not support your childhood education is a moot point if you are not limited by age.
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#98 eternalsummer

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:54 AM

I haven’t read the responses.

I’m certain I’m one of the posters the OP is referring to. While i’m not anti-homeschooling, I am semi-anti-homeschooling. I’ve lived that life for 15 years. I’ve seen it done badly or for the wrong reasons more often than not. I’ve seen the toll it takes on women and their careers and that is not nothing. I can count on less than two hands the number of irl homeschoolers I know who are doing a great job educating their kids and providing them with opportunities. Homeschooling has changed a lot in 15 years and not for the better.

 

 

Do you think the people you know irl homeschool in order to provide a superior academic education or for some other reason?  Do they think they're providing a superior academic education to what they could get at a public school (or a private they could afford) or do they just think some other aspect of homeschooling is more important than the academics?



#99 Moxie

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 01:10 AM

Do you think the people you know irl homeschool in order to provide a superior academic education or for some other reason? Do they think they're providing a superior academic education to what they could get at a public school (or a private they could afford) or do they just think some other aspect of homeschooling is more important than the academics?


Unpopular answer—most of them are homeschooling because the mega churches encourage it as a way to keep their children “safe”. And most use curriculum that I consider anti-science and wholly inaccurate so I do not think the kids are receiving a superior education. They, obviously, think the education is superior and Godly.
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#100 elroisees

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 01:42 AM

I love homeschooling.  I was homeschooled all the way through.  I'm homeschooling my two kids, and my spreadsheet runs through 12th grade.  I get a twitch when I see certain things about public schools, not the big problems that everyone dislikes, but the little features that remind me of a penitentiary.  "Walk on the painted line, kids!  Stand along the wall, kids, so we can meet the person coming down the middle!  No talking at lunch!"  I find all that really disturbing.  I worry for the psyches affected by it all.  I see affects of some of it in my very-sharp public-schooled DH.  I repeat, I love homeschooling!!

 

However, when I meet someone who's considering homeschooling, I feel like I need to warn them how much work it will be.  An awful lot of people I meet IRL don't seem willing to do much of their own research.  I think that if you want to educate your own kids, it is a really important, serious, big job.  I do not think it is the one way for every family and every child.  

 

I have no idea about the tone of these boards, because I've only been reading them for 6 years or so.  Maybe I'm part of the ebb and flow.

 


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