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Michelle in MO

A somewhat troubling conversation about homeschooling . . . please chime in!

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"Sometimes I wonder who does more for my family's health--the doctor we see occasionally, or the men who come pick up our trash each week (so far I haven't seen a woman trash collector, although I'm sure there's at least one somewhere.)? I'm being serious, but not to make light of doctors and their training at all.. "

 

:confused::confused::confused:

I do not think it means that a trash collector isn't important when you say that a doctor is more important to your health than a trash collector.

 

If you had a heart attack on trash day, who would be more important to your health?

 

And just because you personally have not taken full advantage of all the skills that a doctor has, does not mean that they aren't important to you. They have done all the training and are ready to help you when you need them. You don't want to wait 13-15 years for them to complete their education when you finally need them, right?

 

I know what you are trying to say. All people are valuable-intrinsically. I agree. I just take issue with your analogy.

Holly

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You know what I have issue with is that a group of people feel it is their duty to decide what skills, experience and information people should have.

 

I look at the public school system (which really came before all of this governmental legislation and such about education) as an entity which can provide a certain experience and education. I do not believe it should be their job -- (or anyone who is an extension of them) to determine what skills, experience and information my children should have. I certainly do not believe we need some special approval to opt out of it. It should be available to give people who feel they cannot provide educationally what they want to for their children. It seems the tables have been turned and IT (the whole mess of gov't and public educators) is now trying to dictate what all should be providing educationally.

 

A tool has become the master, so to speak.

 

And why? If you listen to those in gov't positions, they speak of competing with other nations in math and science. In the CA case, they spoke of being loyal, good citizens, patriotic.

 

Their standards have nothing to do with wanting the best for children.

 

I will not bend, that this troubles me.

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I know what you are trying to say. All people are valuable-intrinsically. I agree. I just take issue with your analogy.

Holly

 

Interesting. FYI I come from a family with 3 practising MDs and think that doctors are very important. I think that the pay scale for what they do with the stress involved plus the training as compared with what a trash collector earns is warranted (within reason as I am aware of instances of people becoming doctors just for the money back in the 1980s). I use that analogy because one of the three main reasons we live longer today is modern sanitation--trash collection, land fills, clean water (I hate the taste of the chlorine but am happy not to have cholera, etc in my water.) It's not the only reason, of course, as widespread vaccinations and improvements in medical care are the other 2. The leading causes of death have changed in the past 150 years, and before modern sanitation and widespread vaccination, many people didn't live long enough to be old enough to have a heart attack. I'm thankful that this has happened, but used that analogy because most people don't realize this.

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Interesting. FYI I come from a family with 3 practising MDs and think that doctors are very important. I think that the pay scale for what they do with the stress involved plus the training as compared with what a trash collector earns is warranted (within reason as I am aware of instances of people becoming doctors just for the money back in the 1980s). I use that analogy because one of the three main reasons we live longer today is modern sanitation--trash collection, land fills, clean water (I hate the taste of the chlorine but am happy not to have cholera, etc in my water.) It's not the only reason, of course, as widespread vaccinations and improvements in medical care are the other 2. The leading causes of death have changed in the past 150 years, and before modern sanitation and widespread vaccination, many people didn't live long enough to be old enough to have a heart attack. I'm thankful that this has happened, but used that analogy because most people don't realize this.

 

Yes, I did understand what you meant. My daughter has spent the past 2 years working on an engineering project and so I suppose that (to quibble a bit) the advances are really due to the engineering world rather than trash collectors. But, I digress.

 

Thanks for the fun discussion.

Holly:D

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"I've no idea how long you've homeschooled, so I'm just going to say it: this is actually the easiest of all things to comply with. A simple lesson plan book does it all for you. All one has to do is write down what is done each day for each subject--that's it. It takes me all of 2 minutes to do this and I can do it as I sit here and surf online. It really is as simple as: "Monday--math adding trinomials, english: verb tense shift, Science: evils of evolution(hehehe), etc..." and that's it. Remember, 180 days to them, is like a full year to us--homeschoolers "do" school on weekdays, weekends, holidays, etc.. the PS system does not. Cooking counts, yard work counts, washing the dog counts, even playing video games count-- as school work!! So it is so extremely easy to do this and really not as much work as you think."

 

actually, toni-- it's even easier than that, lol.

 

1. Print out a one-page, year-at-a-glance calendar like the ones at DonnaYoung.org [who is doing a fabulous job updating her site, btw!].

 

2. At the top of the page write "Attendance record for [First-Last name here]"

 

3. add an extra note: "All absences marked w/ an X"

 

4. File it away!!

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You will never change some folks' minds. My cousin is always saying he doesn't "believe in homeschooling" (huh? so it doesn't exist?), even though my hs'ed 15yo dd is getting A's in cc while dancing full-time, and his 19yo ps'd son dropped out of cc halfway through the first semester because he couldn't hack it, and is now working at a nursing home making min.wage with absolutely no plans for his future. Too bad hs'ing 'didn't exist' for him...

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I think it's easy to make generalizations based on small samples of kids. For example, my ds and dd are completely different. My ds is the most social person I know. My dd tends to be quiet and likes to spend time by herself. She also has some learning difficulties that make her a bit "quirky." I am sure it would be easy to make generalizations about homeschoolers by looking at her, that they tend to be shy and don't like to be around groups of people...Very little of their behavior or personality has anything to do with homeschooling and much more to do with initial personality. On the other hand, both of them can converse intelligently with adults and most people, when speaking with them, think they are quite intelligent. Now I am going to take credit for that. LOL!

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I think it's easy to make generalizations based on small samples of kids. For example, my ds and dd are completely different. My ds is the most social person I know. My dd tends to be quiet and likes to spend time by herself. She also has some learning difficulties that make her a bit "quirky." I am sure it would be easy to make generalizations about homeschoolers by looking at her, that they tend to be shy and don't like to be around groups of people...Very little of their behavior or personality has anything to do with homeschooling and much more to do with initial personality. On the other hand, both of them can converse intelligently with adults and most people, when speaking with them, think they are quite intelligent. Now I am going to take credit for that. LOL!

 

based upon a meeting with one or two homeschoolers. For example, our oldest daughter is more shy and quiet, so if people met her, their first thought might be, "See---homeschoolers aren't well socialized!" Well, all one has to do to get her talking is "push her buttons" about her favorite topics, which happens to be literary or movie criticism. My middle daughter is extremely outgoing, so she breaks the stereotype.

 

I think some of this information from our piano teacher's son is based, probably, upon his chance meeting with a few homeschoolers who weren't doing a "good job," and he's extrapolated that information to include all homeschoolers. I do think public schools tend to see situations where, for whatever reason, homeschooling wasn't working out for the families and their kids were re-enrolled. They tend to ignore the success stories.

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ACK!! Not the TCAPS! Can't we say "Nationally normed test? Bring it on!"

 

Not the TCAPS!! Anything but the TCAPS!!!

 

:rant: I see no reason why we should not take nationally normed tests. I also think the public schools should have to take nationally normed tests and not their own in-house creation. I will make those calls and send those emails to fight HB2795. I can't see why homeschoolers should be the scapegoats of Mr. Hardaway and that is the only thing he hopes to accomplish. It is not about us, it is about all the public school kids who cannot pass their exit exams.

 

I hear things, living so close to one of the 'best' public schools. The teachers spend A LOT of time teaching to the TCAP. They have to - everything is riding on those test scores. I personally think it renders the teachers themselves ineffective, because so many weeks per year are spent only on test prep, and again, so much time per day. They're not really left with enough time to teach effectively, IMHO.

 

I wouldn't have a problem taking TCAPs if:

 

  • It weren't part of some attention-getting scheme of how unfair TCAPs and Gateways are to ps students (whose curriculum is perfectly aligned to those tests)

  • If the TN history sequence wasn't so jumbled up

  • If the science sequence wasn't so completely scattered

  • If I didn't have the sneaking suspicion that if this ever came to pass, its purpose would be to use private schoolers' (and homeschoolers) test scores to beef up the overall scores for TN

  • If there were some reason why I should comply with the public schools - say, if I used their services in some way

Although I do think that most homeschooled and privately schooled kids could pass the TCAPs with flying colors - even if they follow a completely different sequence for history and science. They are just very, very basic, which is why they're so completely useless to begin with!

 

I've given mine TCAP practice tests and item samplers (the item samplers are about twice as many questions as the practice tests), and while I noticed that most of the history and science questions were not at all what we were studying that year, they still did very well. They're just not that hard. Here's the link:

 

http://www.state.tn.us/education/assessment/tsachsamp.shtml

 

I still don't want to see homeschoolers and private schools forced to use a state-mandated test, based on the failing TN curriculum. Besides the schools and teachers, to me, the curriculum itself is what is lacking. Even at the high school level. Maybe especially at the high school level.

 

We'll just keep taking the Stanford, as we always have. The principal at the high school told me, when I went to enroll dd#1, that the Stanford was considered much harder than the TCAP anyway.

 

thinking-023.GIF

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They're just not that hard. Here's the link:

 

http://www.state.tn.us/education/assessment/tsachsamp.shtml

 

We'll just keep taking the Stanford, as we always have. The principal at the high school told me, when I went to enroll dd#1, that the Stanford was considered much harder than the TCAP anyway.

 

 

 

He admitted it? I have a family member who is a P.S. teacher and once she gave me this whole speech about how Tennessee had to come up with their own test because the kids were just advanced that the nationally normed tests were not giving an accurate picture.:smilielol5:

 

I smiled and nodded and thanked her for sharing that with me.:bored:

 

Thanks for the link, I think I will see if Sarah can pass a sample TCAP!

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I think it's easy to make generalizations based on small samples of kids.

 

Yes, yes, yes! And when we first started, anyone who generalized all homeschoolers based on our family would think that homeschooled kids are all out of control at the library. See, my younger two though it funny to run and lie on the shelves, etc. Suffice to say that I did not, and so started ordering my books online until they truly understood how to behave at the library. Let's see, ds was 3 and dd was 5. And my then 8 yo thought it her job to tell them to stop it, often in stentorian tones.

 

FWIW, the librarians smile when they see us now, so things have come a long way.:D

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So in the same vein,

 

All homeschoolers are above reproach

Anything above approach must not be questioned

Therefore all homeschoolers must not be questioned.

 

I once went to a transcript session held here in our small town. The information that the couple gave was very information---all about how to make a transcript for your homeschooled high school student. However, one statement that they made really bothered me: "Everything that homeschoolers do is honors (i.e., honors level work); you use a better curriculum, etc." Although I didn't comment directly at the time, inside I really disagreed with this statement. I have seen some homeschoolers do some pretty sloppy things! All in all, I believe most homeschoolers try to use integrity in how they teach their children, although they may have different approaches---but no, not everything homeschoolers do is "honors."

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Interesting. FYI I come from a family with 3 practising MDs and think that doctors are very important. I think that the pay scale for what they do with the stress involved plus the training as compared with what a trash collector earns is warranted (within reason as I am aware of instances of people becoming doctors just for the money back in the 1980s). I use that analogy because one of the three main reasons we live longer today is modern sanitation--trash collection, land fills, clean water (I hate the taste of the chlorine but am happy not to have cholera, etc in my water.) It's not the only reason, of course, as widespread vaccinations and improvements in medical care are the other 2. The leading causes of death have changed in the past 150 years, and before modern sanitation and widespread vaccination, many people didn't live long enough to be old enough to have a heart attack. I'm thankful that this has happened, but used that analogy because most people don't realize this.

 

I once went to a transcript session held here in our small town. The information that the couple gave was very information---all about how to make a transcript for your homeschooled high school student. However, one statement that they made really bothered me: "Everything that homeschoolers do is honors (i.e., honors level work); you use a better curriculum, etc." Although I didn't comment directly at the time, inside I really disagreed with this statement. I have seen some homeschoolers do some pretty sloppy things! All in all, I believe most homeschoolers try to use integrity in how they teach their children, although they may have different approaches---but no, not everything homeschoolers do is "honors."

 

Thanks Michelle. I am amazed at the comment!

On a personal note, everything that I do is CERTAINLY not honors. Some things yes-but others-no way!

Holly

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Thanks Michelle. I am amazed at the comment!

On a personal note, everything that I do is CERTAINLY not honors. Some things yes-but others-no way!

Holly

 

This couple had done a very good job educating their daughter through high school, but I thought this comment was very "flip" and not very well thought out. I think because some homeschoolers have done absolutely wonderful things that some people assume that all homeschoolers are doing very advanced work with their children, and this is not the case.

 

I do believe that, on these boards, even though some have a more relaxed or eclectic approach, that these gals (and dads, too!) are trying to do their very best for their children. I just wonder if we're in the minority!

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not really do the difficult tasks of school with their children and then end up at a crisis point putting them in school. I think this is especially true in the junior to senior high years. School isn't always fun anymore as the work progresses, and moms don't want to battle their kids etc. It isn't easy being a teacher, but I think it is harder being a mom teacher because your emotions are so tied to your children.

I bet there are a lot of moms who are doing a disservice homeschooling their kids. There are also a lot of crummy teachers too. I am sure that it can be quite frustrating taking a home school child into the classroom who is way behind. Teachers also get frustrated when they receive students who have been passed from grade to grade and they are also way behind.

 

Home school moms have to be careful with the mentality that "anything we do is better than public school." I've even talked to a mom who thought doing nothing was better than public school. I think I should be held accountable for doing an excellent job, because I want my children to have an excellent education. I really don't think that is the norm across America. I think that those of us on these boards really care about doing an excellent job. We research and think and carefully plan. We aren't afraid to give the tough assignments and to make our children work hard. We have a vision for our kids' lives and see their individual needs.

 

I think that teachers and home schoolers should have these kind of conversations. We are not all out of one mold. We home school moms need to discuss intelligently our children's education and model the positive home school families because the school district doesn't get many of those through their doors. I get to have these discussions every family get together. My husband's siblings all are teachers or married teachers. I don't defend my position, but I speak intelligently about education and let them watch the results.

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Michelle makes an interesting point that I never thought of until now: when I registered my oldest for the PSAT and it asked for "GPA", I asked my Illustrious Homeschool Leader what I should put and she quipped "There is no reason for a homeschooler to be making below a 4.0. But put whatever you need to".

 

I thought it odd at the time (and it did sting a little because like you all, while I may be doing the best I feel for my kids, they certainly are not making 4.0's)but put down something like 3.5. Which she looked at and sort of snorted a bit to.

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Michelle makes an interesting point that I never thought of until now: when I registered my oldest for the PSAT and it asked for "GPA", I asked my Illustrious Homeschool Leader what I should put and she quipped "There is no reason for a homeschooler to be making below a 4.0. But put whatever you need to".

 

I thought it odd at the time (and it did sting a little because like you all, while I may be doing the best I feel for my kids, they certainly are not making 4.0's)but put down something like 3.5. Which she looked at and sort of snorted a bit to.

 

I figured my dd's GPA by using Homeschool Tracker. It will print out a transcript, GPA, report card, etc. Hers was 3.67, and it's about the same this year in ps.

 

I don't understand why she would think all homeschoolers would have a 4.0?

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I guess refer to the analogy above... homeschoolers are supposed to be highly intelligent and above PS in every single way (yeah, she'd say that)... so maybe she thinks no matter what--learning difficulties be darmned--ALL homeschoolers should have perfect grades.

 

meh.. she's weird anyway...

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There are some homeschoolers who are not doing even an minimally adequate job. While we can celebrate all those who are doing a great job it behooves us to admit that there are others who are not doing any kind of schooling at all. It pains me to admit this.

 

I'm almost all done homeschooling, so I have years of experience to look back on from several different areas of the country. We recently moved from one area of the country. While I know many families there who were striving for excellence (my son and another young man were both National Merit Scholars), I also knew other families who were not even striving for minimum standards. Even worse there are a couple families who I know are not trying at all and a case of educational neglect against them could be easily proven.

 

What do we do about this as a community? To even suggest that someone should speak to these people is almost viewed as unthinkable in the homeschool community. We are all so individualistic that we can't even agree upon what the minimum standards should be. What I see are people making excuses for them just as they make excuses for their neglect. But the fact remains, teenagers who are not reading or doing math at all or beyond a lower grade school level (1st or 2nd) simply because their parents are too busy with other activities to actually DO school is unconscionable. It is not a case of "better late than early" when it's become "not at all." (And no, there is no learning disability involved.)

 

Sometimes I do wonder if we need to put the "home" back in homeschooling, but I know that is a simplistic view of the problem. Blaming it on the influx of new homeschoolers who perhaps aren't as committed as some of us veterans who have had to fight for our rights is also a convenient excuse. I really do think it is a problem, though I would never admit this to anyone outside of the homeschool community.

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That said, I know that there are homeschooling parents that are doing their children a disservice, by anybody’s definition. There are homeschooling parents that are doing a fabulous job. And there are both terrible and terrific public schools. There is always going to be someone doing a better or worse job.

:iagree:

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I do think this minority (I hope) of people who leave highschoolers to homeschool theirselves; gives people in general a poor idea of what most homeschoolers are like.

 

Everyone has a different way of educating their children - like PS schools - some are better than others.

 

I am dumfounded by the amount of parents I work with that pull their children out of PS to homeschool - and then continue to work full time! Night shift at that. They assign their kids their work and then go to bed because they have been up all night. Then the parents are angry because when they got up their teens - surprise surprise - did not do their work. IMO most kids that are motivated could probably eek out a fairly good ps education BUT if you are pulling your child out of school because he would not do his work there. What in heck do you think they are going to do at home left to their own devices???

 

YOu have to actually HOMESCHOOL them. Sit down with them, discuss their school work - bare minimum at least look through and make sure they did the work and check over it.

 

I have one friend who took her child out of PS because she was pregnant. She was a sophomore. While it is great that this child "finished" 11th grade before the baby was born and then "finished" 12th grade in 6months. She did it all on her own while her mother continued to work full time night shift. The child scored a 14 on her ACT. Imagine what a child who was pregnant and then had a baby and finished the equivalent of 2 grades in one year; could have done had someone actually went over her school work with her??

 

I really do not understand it. I do not have a problem with un-schoolers (your children ARE learning just not in the same way mine are) and / or ecclectic schoolers - which I think to some extent we all are. Just if you are going to homeschool DO IT. Cartoons all day is not homeschooling. 2nd graders who can not write there name - shameful. Unless the child has special needs there is no reason why they should not be being educated.

 

I could go on, and on.....what do you do when you know a child is being educationally neglected?? It is such a slippery slope to even open that can of worms. But don't we have a responsibilty to the chilren who - have not done school work in "years'??

 

Such a hard Questions with no simple answers.........

 

Chelsea

I read this quote shortly ago, and I would like to respond to it, but let me preface this quote by saying that I do not in any way mean this to be snide or aggressive, merely to state another viewpoint on the subject.

 

I think that in many cases this may be true about parents who work full time night shift, but it isn't always. I work as a nurse night shift 12 hour shifts 3x a week (which is FT at our hospital) and I homeschool my dd4 and have helped in homeschooling my two youngest dsc ages 13 & 15 (both of whom have special needs). My husband works from home and his monthly income is variable, so this is what he wants me to do right now. My dd4 is very bright and she is beginning to read (short vowel words) and can write her name and many other letters, can do simple addition in her head and has a vocabulary and a social presence and confidence beyond many people twice her age. My youngest dsc13 has advanced at least 2 grade levels in his reading this year, and my dsc15 probably the same. They have both advanced about 2 grade levels in math this year. When dsc13 left the private school he attended about a year to a year and a half ago, he could barely read on a first grade level and was also several grade levels behind in math. In addition to these advancements, they are learning job skills by going with dh to jobs. They have become a lot more even tempered since we started hmsc'ing and we fight a lot less (though I credit this point largely to the amount of time they spend with their dad). We still have a long way to go with them, but they have both been to public school and private school in the past and they have advanced at least as much if not more at home as they ever did at public school and private school.

Now I know that not every case is like mine and not every hmsc parent who works full time has the advantage of another parent who works from home, but what I am saying is that it can be done, and that hmsc parents who work full time (even night shift) can be commited to their children's education. I am. My dh, who works FT from home, homeschools the 13 & 15 year old now because I was getting overwhelmed with teaching all three and working. I still am the major planner and organizer of their studies, though. dh is somewhat involved with this, but he mostly just carries out what I plan. We have not always been able to school as rigorously or cover as many subjects as we would like, but we prioritize what is most important and give a lot of attention to that. I definitely don't think an education should end with the 3 R's, but I do think they are an essential foundation to the other subjects.

I might add that I don't see a problem with children, especially older ones, doing much of their work independently. I think they should be held accountable to doing it, but there are many programs designed to be done independently by a student. Though I have not used it, I have read some about a program called the Robinson Curriculum that is designed to be done with only very minimal parent involvement (15 minutes/day).

 

I guess I am saying this because I believe that homeschooling is almost always the better option and while I completely agree that you do have to *do homeschool* that may be defined a little differently by every parent. I wouldn't want a fellow FT worker who wanted to homeschool their children to become dicouraged and think that it can't be done just because they work. It will be difficult, no doubt, but if one is determined enough, just about anything is possible with homeschooling.

Thank you for your time and I hope I haven't stepped on any toes.

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I am sure that there are SOME people who do no homeschooling, who keep their kids home to beat them, or to have babysitters, or whatever. I am also rather confident that this is quite the minority.

 

Now, others having different goals and methods, sure. Many people homeschool so that they can flesh these out in their own families.

 

But, we do need to understand that there are many in the NEA and in governmental and educational positions who think their way is the only way, and that we at home need to parrot the public school system. These few bad apples who do NOTHING -- who neglect their children -- will continue to show up on Fox news or CNN, and because of them the masses will cry out, "Can't the gov't do something about this? Shouldn't the parents be required to turn in the same paperwork as the public school teacher?" Indeed, the NEA is crying about those things already.

 

Yes, I could turn in all sorts of lesson plans and show how they match up to the SOLs, but that would take away time from my home management and my learning time with the boys. Teachers are feeling the strain already. So much paperwork, so little time to teach.

 

There is already a law that requires a certain # of days to educate. Now, this is not a huge deal, but it shows that someone believes a certain # of days leads to a certain education, and some group of people decided on that # of days, and anything less is not adequate. So, you may say, big deal -- they want you to educate for $160 days, or 180 or whatever. Is that so much to ask? Well, it takes extra time to document whether you "did school" that day. Other states have hour requirements. This shows even greater ignorance because it just does not take my 6 and 8 year olds 50 minutes per course!

 

I've seen people's eyes pop out when I tell them that, yes, I have to test my children in math and langauge arts, but not science and history. I'd go batty if we were required to teach to the SOL for science and history.

 

You mark my words, there will be more laws to comply with and more hoops to jump through. The public school teachers are feeling it, and it will trickle down to us. Then, there goes the beauty of designing one year to the next.

 

One thing I find funny about teachers making comments about how homeschooled children have a difficult time entering public school, or about how some of them are academically behind, is that there are lots of public school students who have a difficult time and who are behind. It's as if they the parents are to blame when the children are homeschooled, but the teachers surely cannot be blamed when the students are in their classroom.

:iagree:

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When I was a ps teacher, I saw several students who transferred into our school having previously been homeschooled.

 

Every single one of them was below grade level. Some alarmingly so. (5th graders who cannot read. 4th graders who couldn't even write their name, etc.) Nearly every one of them had social skills issues: toileting problems, nose-picking, etc.

 

Had these students been my only exposure to homeschooling, I'd probably be of the opinion that homeschoolers are doing a huge disservice to their children.

 

Thankfully, I knew several families who were hsing in real life and doing well at it. This exposure balanced my opinions, so I saw both successes and failures.

 

Now, of course, there are children alarmingly below grade level in the public schools. And, of course, there are children with social skills issues in the schools too. However, there are enough other children to sort of balance them out. You sort of see those kids as exceptions. BUT, when every single homeschooler who comes into your building has problems, you don't get that balance. You tend to lump them all together. I can completely understand why teachers who have only seen hs "failures" may have a negative view of hsing.

 

I don't know the stories in those children's homes. I don't know what was going on that led their parents to put them in the ps system.

 

I do think that both hsers and ps teachers need to realize that no system is perfect for every child. The trend in the hs community is to assume that no matter how little you do with your child at home, it's still MUCH better than what a child would receive at school. We need to be honest and understand that there are kids being done a disservice in both systems. But not enough that we can lump either of them together and paint every ps student/teacher or hs student/parent with broad brushes.

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I wonder did we as a group do better "educating" our children when we were scared someone would come knocking and demand to see just what were we teaching our children?

 

NOw that it is legal in almost every state - have we as a whole gotten lazy??

 

 

 

OOOooooo!!! That's a really good question!

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When I was a ps teacher, I saw several students who transferred into our school having previously been homeschooled.

 

Every single one of them was below grade level. Some alarmingly so. (5th graders who cannot read. 4th graders who couldn't even write their name, etc.) Nearly every one of them had social skills issues: toileting problems, nose-picking, etc.

 

Had these students been my only exposure to homeschooling, I'd probably be of the opinion that homeschoolers are doing a huge disservice to their children.

 

I would say that I've seen some of the same thing that you're describing.

 

One thing I might add, though---and I know you can probably relate to this---is that I can see different "angles" or points of view on the socialization thing. Obviously, there can be negative socialization at any school---both public and private. We all are aware of some of the negative socialization that can happen at public schools (drinking, drugs, s*x, bullying), and I've also seen some of that happen at private schools.

 

Still, I think you're addressing issues of complete social awkwardness; the inability of a child to understand sitting in his/her seat, raising your hand, waiting until the bell rings to use the restroom (if possible), and generally having an accepted level of social behavior.

 

I've also seen some of the lack of integrity in assuming that all homeschooled kids are advanced. I have a friend who homeschools who is definitely not guilty of educational neglect. However, she considers her daughter, who is really the exact same age/grade as my daughter (in fact, their birthdays are just a week apart!), who considers this girl to be a 9th grader, whereas my middle daughter is an 8th grader. She thinks her daughter is extremely advanced academically, but in reality, she's not. Her daughter is doing pre-algebra in 9th grade, which even most public schools don't do! My 8th grader is doing algebra (not well enough for full comprehension, so I'm going to make her repeat it next year) and in general is doing coursework that is ahead of this other girl.

 

Still, I don't quibble with her. There's no use trying to explain some of these issues to someone who is already convinced of the "rightness" of her position. So, I figure that, eventually both she and her daughter will realize that she's really not as advanced as she thought she was!

 

It's hard to figure out where to draw the line. To date, I have not seen a case of educational neglect that was so bad that I felt like I needed to say something. However, if I did, I guess I would try to talk to the family first.

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I think another thing that has to be considered is that most people who SWITCH schooling methods do so because the other one wasn't working. So the new method will see mostly bad examples from the other method. More power to their parents for having the energy and vision to make that switch. -Nan

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I felt compelled to put in my thoughts.

 

My ds (now 10) began homeschooling half way through 2nd grade. His math skills were nil, he could barely read and he had acquired several ocd-like oddities (excessive handwashing, excessive bathroom visits) and cried nightly at bedtime and was losing weight. These were not "home" issues. They were caused by the anxiety and pressure put on him at ps and the fact that his 2nd grade teacher was just plain ol' crummy! Not all ps teachers are bad...his K and 1st grade teachers were lovely, caring, nurturing people. I don't really know what happened in 2nd grade (and I was there a lot, volunteering), but up until then, he had been at or above grade level. We took him out in January of 2nd grade. He quit the excessive hand-washing and bathroom visits, no more crying, he began to eat better and basically became happy once again. He is now a 5th grader and does well in all subjects.

 

That being said, I don't think kids all fit into a "one size fits all" category for succeeding. I also don't think that "standards" set by the state are the best way to measure success. I don't think all ps teachers are bad/good and I certainly don't think all homeschoolers are bad/good. I've known some doozies that homeschool...er...or not. But I think the broad statement made that every single homeschooled student that was put back into ps (in this particular person's class) was behind is probably based on a couple of kids. Maybe those kids were not being homeschooled, but their families used that "term" as an out for whatever they weren't doing. I think there are some terrible homeschooling situations, but then I don't even consider those people as homeschoolers anyway. Also, maybe those "behind" homeschoolers were back in ps because that was the best option...maybe their parents realized they were failing at homeschooling and decided ps was better.

 

In any case, I have been on both sides and have seen how behind my son was in ps. He may not be a genius, but then how many of us are? He's a smart, well-rounded, happy, progressing 10 year old. He may not know everything his ps counterparts know, but then, they don't know some of things he does either.

 

My dd15, whom we brought home during 7th grade told me she learns so much more at home and enjoys learning so much more now. She, too, may not know everything being taught at ps, but again, they don't know everything she does. I bet none of them are reading The Origin of Species...for fun...LOL.

 

All of this to say...there are awesome ps situations and bad ones. There are awesome homeschool situations and bad ones. It just seems that people in general are accepting of the failures produced at ps, but so unaccepting of homeschooler regardless of the outcome...that the ps student that goes to MIT is the result of having been in ps and the kid in prison is the result of society or that the homeschooled student that goes on to MIT is the exception and the kid in prison is there because he was homeschooled. It's unfortunate that in a society that boasts acceptance for just about everything can be so closed-minded about homeschooling and assumes that the one kooky family on the news is what we are all like.

 

Sorry for rambling.

 

Robin

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