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"I've been homeschooling since BIRTH!" and other things that make you cringe


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I tend to start the count at the age a child is legally required to go to school (or Kindergarten in an area where the legal age is higher) and don't include preschool or pre-K activities when folks ask how long I've homeschooled. I think most parents teach their preschoolers at home if they don't send them to a program, but that seems like a very different thing than committing to being a homeschooler of school-aged children.

 

"Homeschooling since birth" seems to set the default at homeschooling and it only changes when a child enrolls in school. Homeschooling is just too far from the norm to be the default setting.

 

I do this as well. I definitely have an inner eyeroll moment if a mom with a 5yo says she's been homeschooling for five years or "since birth." Saying something like "we've always homeschooled" doesn't get that reaction from me and I sometimes say it myself. What I mean and what I hear is that the child(ren) has/have never attended a traditional school. I count how long I've homeschooled from my oldest child's kindergarten year. She is in 6th grade, so this is our 7th year.

 

:iagree:

I guess it sounds somewhat pretentious...at least, that's been my experience w/those I've heard say it.

 

Cause somehow that makes them somehow 'better' than someone that made the decision later, or even *gasp* pulled their kid out of ps at some point.

 

"I started hsing my zygote!"

 

:iagree: Pretentious is a good word for it. Before my oldest was kindergarten age, I said I wanted to homeschool. Dh insisted that she go to a private preschool. We decided after that year to homeschool instead of sending her to public school.

 

I suppose like Martha that my youngest two have homeschooled since birth, but until I start formal seat work with them I don't really count it as such. We just have an educationally-rich home environment. :)

 

ETA: It isn't a put-down from more experienced homeschoolers to newer ones. It's annoyance about someone making an inaccurate or misleading claim. If I started saying that I've been homeschooling for 11 years, I think most people would assume that my child is in high school. But she's not. She's 11 years old. Sure I did educational stuff with her when she was a baby and toddler, but I would have done that whether or not we homeschooled.

Edited by Veritaserum
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Ok, I think I understand now. The attitude & volunteering of the information is what is offensive. However, if I understand correctly, if you met a mom at a homeschool event & were making small-talk and asked her "So, how long have you been homeschooling" and she responded "since birth" and had children older than 5, that wouldn't be offensive?

 

I think offensive is a strong word. Maybe more like uppity? "we've always homeschooled" conveys the same thought but without the "I started teaching latin to little Johnny the moment he popped out" feel to it. KWIM?

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I'm donning my flame suit here, and cynically adding that those people {the homeschooling since birth crowd} are the ones I've seen leave homeschooling the fastest. They make it through K, and then ... off to school. At least what I've seen.

 

:iagree:

 

I've been hanging out with the homeschooling crowd for over 15 years and have seen MANY homeschooling-since-birthers send the kids off to elementary school. I guess they're burned out.

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I may have said that before. But I really have. I started doing child-development activities with my oldest ds when he was born, which probably contributed to his early cognitive abilities, which contributed to his early academic advances, which led to my decision to homeschool him for academic reasons, which led to us living a homeschool lifestyle, which led to homeschooling the rest of our children. So, although I've legally homeschooling school-age children for 12 years, and I don't feel the need to "beef up" my homeschooling resume, I truly do feel that I have been homeschooling since they were born. But, I'm more likely to say "we've always homeschooled" than "I've been homeschooling them since birth."

 

I think Amy is right. There is a huge difference in what kids know going into K. There are obviously some parents that put more time and effort into educating their kids before they are school aged.

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I gotta say, whenever I hear that line, I just shake my head and look for the bean dip. It always seems to come from a mom with really young kids looking to beef up her homeschooling resume. :banghead:

 

It falls into the "Bless your heart!" category of things I hope I never said, but probably did. :tongue_smilie:

 

And I gotta say, as a mom with really young kids, that this high-and-mighty, competitive, comparative attitude from fellow homeschoolers makes me cringe. :banghead:

 

And if it isn't high-and-mighty, look-at-me-I've-got-a-middle-schooler-now, then just pass the bean dip and roll your eyes. :tongue_smilie:

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And I gotta say, as a mom with really young kids, that this high-and-mighty, competitive, comparative attitude from fellow homeschoolers makes me cringe. :banghead:

 

And if it isn't high-and-mighty, look-at-me-I've-got-a-middle-schooler-now, then just pass the bean dip and roll your eyes. :tongue_smilie:

 

LOL glad I'm not the only one who saw some irony in her post!:001_huh::D

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And I gotta say, as a mom with really young kids, that this high-and-mighty, competitive, comparative attitude from fellow homeschoolers makes me cringe. :banghead:

 

And if it isn't high-and-mighty, look-at-me-I've-got-a-middle-schooler-now, then just pass the bean dip and roll your eyes. :tongue_smilie:

:iagree:

 

Maybe I'm just sensitive, but I see a lot of "isn't it annoying when someone does *whatever*" kinds of posts. While I've never said what's being complained about in the OP, haven't we all said things that most likely annoyed others? I'm sure lots of people feel irritated and defensive just by others who homeschool at all.

 

We all have our oddities in one way or another. Can't we all just accept it in each other :tongue_smilie:

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Isn't there a distinction though? I mean, I am one of those that says I've been homeschooling since birth, because I knew I wanted to homeschool since before my kids were born. What that means to me is: the kids have never attended an out-of-house preschool and the kids have never been in public school. Since "school" in my neck of the woods starts at 2 1/2 (which is when the preschools start calling) I don't think it's beefing up my resume to say I've been homeschooling since birth. It's saying that I've taken responsibility for my kids education since they were born.

 

How do you all take it since you find it so offensive?

 

:iagree:

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Well, I just want ya'll to know I'm preparing lesson plans for my pretend someday grandchildren.

 

They'll be released from the womb with full knowledge of Bach. Oh, and flashcards (you know babies can sense light in the womb)...my grandbaby will burst forth with encyclopedic knowledge of Morse Code. I'd expect by month four we'll be communicating quite clearly.

 

I think I'll start with some knock knock jokes as the first curriculum. Then we'll start with Singapore Math or Kumon. I will be such a good grammie.

 

music.jpg

 

I think the belly music band is quite stylish, don't you? :lol:

 

So, ya, I'm uh...homeschooling my imagination-only Grandchild. Beat that.

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:iagree:

I guess it sounds somewhat pretentious...at least, that's been my experience w/those I've heard say it.

 

Cause somehow that makes them somehow 'better' than someone that made the decision later, or even *gasp* pulled their kid out of ps at some point.

 

"I started hsing my zygote!"

 

:iagree:We've homeschooled for two years. A couple of weeks ago, a woman at a homeschool enrichment center near us had the audacity to tell me it would get easier. How did she know? "Oh, I've been homeschooling for five years now," she said. Yep, you guessed it; her oldest child was 5. Yet somehow having raised her child from birth to age 5 magically gave her more homeschooling experience than I have with my 3rd-grader, who I also raised from birth to 5 and have homeschooled with actual academic subjects for the past two years. The truly amazing thing was that she was absolutely serious about how much more experience she had than I do. :confused:

 

It's that kind of attitude that makes me roll my eyes at the "homeschooling since birth" crowd. To me, it's different from having planned to homeschool since birth. It's more of an ignorance of the difference between gentle, play-based teaching that's part of being a good parent and rigorously teaching multiple academic subjects. There is a difference, unless we're talking about unschooling!

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This makes me laugh, remembering the first time I saw dh's baby book. In one of those pre-written slots that said "Spiritual training began ______", his mom had written AT BIRTH. We laughed and laughed over that. But then we had kids:). While they obviously weren't memorizing verses at birth;), our home environment and lifestyle had their spiritual training in mind, if that makes sense. I would never say "we began at birth" because it sounds silly, but I wouldn't know what to say--it's just always been a part of our lives because it's a part of who we are.

 

Now, for the homeschooling part:). I actually think tone and manner would make a big difference. I've never heard anyone say it, or said it myself. My initial thought is that people who say that are probably referring to their own mindset, not the "formal" part of it. If their tone was snotty, I'd think something else:D.

 

As for what I say...I don't think anyone's asked me "how long". I've been asked why I started, which creates another issue for me as I started because I discovered ds could read far earlier than he was "supposed" to be reading. That brings up a whole other set of assumptions that I don't like, so I just say I started looking into it when he started reading early. I figure the chips are just gonna have to fall somewhere!

 

Around here, people send their kids to preschool at 3, so I started getting the question about school early on. It's less offensive to say "We homeschool" (or even, "we've homeschooled from birth") than to say "I think preschool is ridiculous and am philosophically opposed to full-day kindergarten." :D :auto:

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I'm not sure why that statement is so offensive. If you really think about it, you are your child's teacher from the get-go (birth). You teach them, by example, how to smile, how to carry on conversation, that walking is possible, etc. No there's no "set curriculum" of this but some things cannot be learned from a textbook, as we all well know.

 

So, if your child has never been to public/private school, or even if they have, if they have been around you for any length of time since exiting the womb, you have been their teacher and have taught them various things, be it good or bad, or intentionally or unintentionally.

 

So, why is it so offensive to some when others just voice it aloud?

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I don't think I have ever use the home educated from birth line but I have definitely said we have always home educated and not clarified that by saying it started at a certain point. There was never a day I called day 1 so I have no idea how long we have been doing it. Makes me wonder if anyone ever thought I wasn't a home educator when I very much considered my self one.

 

I suppose the difference here is that while legal school age is the term after the fifth birthday the actual normal starting age of school is 4 and your child is sent enrollment forms by the local authority assuming they start at 4 and not the legal age of 5. If my 3 yr old son was to go to school his normal start would be this september and that would be into full on school not preschool. All the 4yr olds disappear at this stage so that is when you become noticeable as a home educator doing something different regardless of whether you have actually started doing anything or not.

 

I can also understand using the line of home education from birth if you have never taken part in any government education type schemes for babies/toddler as over here they seem to start early and act as a funnel for school. Play school to nursery to preschool to school all by 4 years. The pre schools tend to be educational rather than play based. If you decide early on to not do any of this and you identify with home educators instead then it would be pretty understandable to think you had home educated from birth and let that phrase slip out.

Edited by lailasmum
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:iagree:

although I'll modify that to say when a child is 5 or 6, as some states' compulsory school age is 7 or 8. Most children will go to kindergarten, even in states where it isn't required.

 

There was a young mother who was part of my homeschool group--one of the leaders, in fact. Both of her dc were younger than 5yo. She said she wanted homeschooling to be such a part of her life (and theirs) that it would be the most natural thing in the world for the dc to stay home when they were 5 instead of going off to school. I thought that was a great idea...but guess what? When her ds was 5, off he went to kindergarten. Go figure. :001_huh:

 

Yep, in PA that age is 8. :001_smile:

 

You're both right. I forgot about states with older compulsory attendance ages. I went back and changed it (I think) but I'm just not fast enough for The Hive.

 

I don't get offended by the statement, but it seems unnecessary. If you're talking to a homeschooler, you can assume they know all about preschool enrichment at home and teachable moments. If you're talking to anyone else, they will be confused and the more you explain the weirder you will sound.

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Yep, my daughter will respond to that question as: "Oh, Precious Snowflake has been homeschooled since she was an intellectual concept in 2012."

 

And since I'm playing with the SAT blue book today, I might as well go get Snowflake's transcript pathway done in excel as well; it'll probably take me until tomorrow night, but it's worth it. Hard work pays off.

 

Of course Conceptual Snowflake going to Harvard! I've downloaded to the MP3 player on the belly belt already.

(<--this being the Harvard Fight Song) Edited by one*mom
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Ok, I think I understand now. The attitude & volunteering of the information is what is offensive. However, if I understand correctly, if you met a mom at a homeschool event & were making small-talk and asked her "So, how long have you been homeschooling" and she responded "since birth" and had children older than 5, that wouldn't be offensive?

 

Not offensive. Just mildly annoying in an inner eye roll, to each his own kind of way. We all get mildly annoyed by things that we don't agree with. I am also annoyed by teens wearing pajamas in public, the woman at the orthodontist who insists on calling me "hon" and dogs in sweaters. We all have our little foibles and peeves.

 

By my definition, homeschooling is choosing to educate one's child at home once they reach school age. "Homeschooling since birth" doesn't match my definition and feels pretentious to me. *shrug* So what? As long as I keep my eye roll to myself and don't say "Well, that's just silly!" out loud.... :D I know that's just my own feeling and can keep it to myself unless discussing it on a message board. ;) You (general "homeschooling since birth" you) just keep on speaking about your life the way you see it and don't worry about the rest of us. Heavens, if we went around all day worrying about what others might find annoying, we'd never be able to open our mouths! :lol:

 

Ahem....Confession: I may have said the homeschooling since birth thing once or twice when my oldest boy was preschool age. :leaving: Then I went from being a stay-at-home mom of a preschooler, doing fun developmentally appropriate educational activities with my little one (sigh....I miss those days) to homeschooling an eighth grader. Apples and oranges. But I try to be patient and understanding with my past self because I know I really wasn't trying to be pretentious or obnoxious, I was just really excited about homeschooling. :)

 

Cat

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At what point can you say you homeschool? Preschool? Kindergarten? 1st? I am one that says I homeschool from birth. Cringe if you must but there was no start date for my children. I sat with a newborn in my lap talking about the pictures in an animal book...the pig says oink. Took my toddler outside and talked about the weather, clouds, birds and leaves. Took my babies hand and held it to something cold and said cold, then something warm and said warm. Isn't that teaching? It is teaching at a simplistic level but my children learn about seasons, weather, animals, letters, and a whole slew of things before 1st grade. Botany, Biology, Chemistry, Physical Sciences, Phonics, language, and the list goes on and on...these can all be taught to a baby-toddler-preschooler. Sure it is not college level material but it is the basics. As they grow we add to each category...who are you to say what level of info = homeschooling.

It is threads like this that give homeschoolers a bad name.

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At what point can you say you homeschool? Preschool? Kindergarten? 1st? I am one that says I homeschool from birth. Cringe if you must but there was no start date for my children. I sat with a newborn in my lap talking about the pictures in an animal book...the pig says oink. Took my toddler outside and talked about the weather, clouds, birds and leaves. Took my babies hand and held it to something cold and said cold, then something warm and said warm. Isn't that teaching? It is teaching at a simplistic level but my children learn about seasons, weather, animals, letters, and a whole slew of things before 1st grade. Botany, Biology, Chemistry, Physical Sciences, Phonics, language, and the list goes on and on...these can all be taught to a baby-toddler-preschooler. Sure it is not college level material but it is the basics. As they grow we add to each category...who are you to say what level of info = homeschooling.

It is threads like this that give homeschoolers a bad name.

agree. I may not have actually said this phrase but can understand why people do. I also do not ever pretend I have a lot of experience in homeschooling--I don't. DD isn't even officially K age yet but we do formal curricula already (she asked and is ready), we discuss all types of things from babies and families around us to the clouds, to weather (she LOVES weather) to animals (especially reptiles). We take the opportunities to go to the zoo/aquarium/serpentarium/etc and look close up at what we've discussed or seen on tv. We've read since birth to her, reading Goodnight Moon, Dr. Seuss, etc. and talking about the different colors, and what we see, etc.

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Context is important. I wouldn't blink if someone said something like, "At first I worried about whether I'd be able to teach my kids, but then I looked back and realized all the important things I had taught them already - I'd been homeschooling since birth." That comes off quite a bit differently than, "Well, I've been homeschooling MY kids since BIRTH, and let me tell you..."

 

In general, I put "homeschooling since birth" in the same category as, "I'm a SAHM, so that means I'm a cook, a psychologist, a nurse, a teacher, a chauffeur, an interior decorator, and a chief financial officer." :001_rolleyes: Look, I respect what you do and I agree that it has value, but you sound silly when you try to professionalize it like that.

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"I'm a SAHM, so that means I'm a cook, a psychologist, a nurse, a teacher, a chauffeur, an interior decorator, and a chief financial officer." :001_rolleyes: Look, I respect what you do and I agree that it has value, but you sound silly when you try to professionalize it like that.

 

 

THANK YOU!! I am so glad that someone else feels this way! The articles about "How Much SAHM's Are Worth" drive me bonkers because in NO WAY am I a professional driver, chef, etc. I already know what I do is valuable, I don't need inflated statistics to make me feel better about myself. :tongue_smilie:

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I am one that says I homeschool from birth. Cringe if you must but there was no start date for my children. I sat with a newborn in my lap talking about the pictures in an animal book...the pig says oink. Took my toddler outside and talked about the weather, clouds, birds and leaves. Took my babies hand and held it to something cold and said cold, then something warm and said warm. Isn't that teaching? It is teaching at a simplistic level but my children learn about seasons, weather, animals, letters, and a whole slew of things before 1st grade.

 

we discuss all types of things from babies and families around us to the clouds, to weather (she LOVES weather) to animals (especially reptiles). We take the opportunities to go to the zoo/aquarium/serpentarium/etc and look close up at what we've discussed or seen on tv. We've read since birth to her, reading Goodnight Moon, Dr. Seuss, etc. and talking about the different colors, and what we see, etc.

 

My question is, if your next-door neighbor works 30 hours a week and puts her kids in daycare during that time, but after work and on weekends she also does all these things that you mention, do you think of her as a homeschooler? Somehow I'm guessing not.

 

Most parents who are middle class and up do these activities with their tiny children. They read to them, point out animals in books, go outside and explore, talk about the weather, go to the zoo, count with them, get them educational toys and videos, do puzzles with them, teach them their letters. Read Parents magazine. They're not marketing that magazine to homeschoolers; those activities are just part of the definition of "good parenting."

Edited by Rivka
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Context is important. I wouldn't blink if someone said something like, "At first I worried about whether I'd be able to teach my kids, but then I looked back and realized all the important things I had taught them already - I'd been homeschooling since birth." That comes off quite a bit differently than, "Well, I've been homeschooling MY kids since BIRTH, and let me tell you..."

 

:iagree:

 

I think it's silly to get all worked up about it and don't believe that when most people say it they are trying to make themselves sound more important. The "homeschooling since birth" expression is consistent with the philosophy that learning and education are not limited to formal academic work or schooling.

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I'm not sure why that statement is so offensive. If you really think about it, you are your child's teacher from the get-go (birth). You teach them, by example, how to smile, how to carry on conversation, that walking is possible, etc. No there's no "set curriculum" of this but some things cannot be learned from a textbook, as we all well know.

 

So, if your child has never been to public/private school, or even if they have, if they have been around you for any length of time since exiting the womb, you have been their teacher and have taught them various things, be it good or bad, or intentionally or unintentionally.

 

So, why is it so offensive to some when others just voice it aloud?

 

I don't find it offensive. But teaching from the get-go applies to most parents, not just families who homeschool. Most parents play with their babies, do puzzles with their preschoolers, teach their children how to smile, how to carry on a conversation, how to walk. That's not homeschooling, that's parenting.

 

Cat

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At what point can you say you homeschool? Preschool? Kindergarten? 1st? I am one that says I homeschool from birth. Cringe if you must but there was no start date for my children. I sat with a newborn in my lap talking about the pictures in an animal book...the pig says oink. Took my toddler outside and talked about the weather, clouds, birds and leaves. Took my babies hand and held it to something cold and said cold, then something warm and said warm. Isn't that teaching? It is teaching at a simplistic level but my children learn about seasons, weather, animals, letters, and a whole slew of things before 1st grade. Botany, Biology, Chemistry, Physical Sciences, Phonics, language, and the list goes on and on...these can all be taught to a baby-toddler-preschooler. Sure it is not college level material but it is the basics. As they grow we add to each category...who are you to say what level of info = homeschooling.

It is threads like this that give homeschoolers a bad name.

 

So does every stay-at-home parent get to say they homeschooled until their child was in kindergarten? Or until they put their precious into preschool? Or that they afterschool because they read their toddler stories after they picked them up from daycare?

 

I don't think anyone gets a bad name from debating definitions of homeschool and how it works. It's a good way to solidify in our individual minds how we feel about what constitutes education and when we think it starts. And we're not all going to feel or think the same way about it, thank goodness. :) I learn a lot from discussions like this one.

 

Cat

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This sure sounds like a Better Late Then Early VS Better Early Than Late debate. I will claim early, and homeschooling from birth.

 

I'm a Better Late Than Early type (though I don't think it applies to every child), but I considered myself to be a homeschooler when my son was 3. We lived in France and about 98% of 3 year-olds are in public school (they do three years of kindergarten in France). I was given so much grief from in-laws, friends, aquaintances, even the guy who came to install the woodstove, over not sending him to school.

 

He's 10 now and I would just say he's always been homeschooled. "Since birth" just sounds weird to me. Babies don't need any kind of schooling. But, if we're getting competitve here, my baby did have a perfect apgar score, so wearing the music belly band was so worth it.

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When my kids were young, (K level and to about grade 3) we used no textbooks. All of our learning was deliberate but was filled with living books, experiences and nature study. There really was no dividing line in how we experienced life before those ages (infancy and preschool) and when they reached "school age". Our interactions were slowly longer of course as their attention span and capacity improved, but other than that I was no more deliberate in my approach. Because of that philosophy, it seems to be just as much a social construct to say that we weren't homeschooling until the official age as it to say that we were.

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And I gotta say, as a mom with really young kids, that this high-and-mighty, competitive, comparative attitude from fellow homeschoolers makes me cringe. :banghead:

 

And if it isn't high-and-mighty, look-at-me-I've-got-a-middle-schooler-now, then just pass the bean dip and roll your eyes. :tongue_smilie:

 

I think you're taking it much harsher than most intended.

Most of us with older kids started when our kids were very young. If you had met me when I had a 5year old as my oldest, I would have introduced myself and said that we were "just starting our homeschool journey."

I wouldn't have said we'd been homeschooling since the kid was 18 months old even though dh and I were teaching him his colors, numbers, and letters at that time.

When he was four, I was the only person from our playgroup to not send my son to the state lottery sponsored pre-k. I lost all of My "friends" because of that. So I joined a homeschool group just so we could have some outsider activities with like minded families. I told people that "we planned to homeschool." But I understood that most of the families had a four year old as their baby....not their oldest child.

 

Nowadays, when I meet a mom who is trying to give me homeschooling advice because she's homeschooled her 5 year old twins "since birth." (which just recently happened to me. She was recommending math programs for high school.).i just smile and wonder how I can help this woman in the future once her kids get a little older because I've seen so much burn out amongst the really gung ho early homeschooler.

I'm also a little envious because I'd love to go back to days of Little Bear and basic math. (sigh, I just gave away all my Dr Suess books.)

Edited by SheilaZ
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At what point can you say you homeschool? Preschool? Kindergarten? 1st? I am one that says I homeschool from birth. Cringe if you must but there was no start date for my children. I sat with a newborn in my lap talking about the pictures in an animal book...the pig says oink. Took my toddler outside and talked about the weather, clouds, birds and leaves. Took my babies hand and held it to something cold and said cold, then something warm and said warm. Isn't that teaching? It is teaching at a simplistic level but my children learn about seasons, weather, animals, letters, and a whole slew of things before 1st grade. Botany, Biology, Chemistry, Physical Sciences, Phonics, language, and the list goes on and on...these can all be taught to a baby-toddler-preschooler. Sure it is not college level material but it is the basics. As they grow we add to each category...who are you to say what level of info = homeschooling.

It is threads like this that give homeschoolers a bad name.

 

How is anything I bolded above different from what most parents do?

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I don't have a problem with it. For me, that means that they embraced the lifestyle of homeschooling since birth and created community in a unique way. We started when ds was 3 years old. That is when we made the decision not to send him to preschool and embrace the world of homeschooling. For us, homeschooling isn't about curriculum and sitting down with pre-outlined goals. It wasn't about when we picked up a phonics or math book (Ds taught himself to read at 4, knew some complex math concepts at an early age, and could tel you more about dinosaurs that you would ever have liked to know.) It is a way of life. At the time, we very much unschoolers in the John Holt sort of way ... active, involved unschoolers, intentionally creating an environment for delight-driven learning (not the "unparenting" sort of way. )

 

Around here, despite the compulsory attendance requirement being age 7, almost EVERYONE sends their kids to preschool. At the playground, the 2nd question asked was "What preschool does your child go to?" If you answered "none" they would look at like you abused your child. The ONLY people we met who didn't send their children to preschool were homeschoolers. In my experience, people who claimed homeschooling from birth were no more likely to give up than those who started later. In fact, it was more the other way around. Those who took their children out of school were much more likely to have abandoned it than those who embraced it from the birth of their child.

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For the people I can think of who use this line, it seems like a confidence builder. It seems to go with an attitude of, "I guess I can keep teaching them because I've been teaching them since birth, right?"

 

Not only that, but this is what homeschoolers often say to encourage a mom that she CAN homeschool her kids. "You taught your kid how to potty and how to speak, why do you suddenly think you can't teach them 1+1=2"

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Nowadays, when I meet a mom who is trying to give me homeschooling advice because she's homeschooled her 5 year old twins "since birth." (which just recently happened to me. She was recommending math programs for high school.).i just smile and wonder how I can help this woman in the future once her kids get a little older because I've seen so much burn out amongst the really gung ho early homeschooler.

I'm also a little envious because I'd love to go back to days of Little Bear and basic math. (sigh, I just gave away all my Dr Suess books.)

 

 

On the flip side of the coin, I get frustrated when I meet a mom giving me home schooling high school advice who has outsourced nearly or actually every single class her kid has taken. Excuse me, but come back when you have actually taught a high schooler, tyvm.

 

And I really don't care if a new home schooling mom is gun ho and happy. Frankly, I find it refreshing. I don't think that means she will burn out. Personally, I am more burnt out by others' lack of enthusiasm for home schooling than my own lack. It's very frustrating when I get all excited about a new find or the progress a child has made and just get a "meh. Whatever." or worse a, "well you know if you sent them to xyz coop or class or just let them fail it would be easier."

 

I didn't have kids because I thought it would ever be easy.

And even if I had ever harbored such delusional thinking, it's a safe bet that by kid #10 and year 17, I'm aware of reality now.:glare:

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I started a poll and my comments here, but this thread has really gotten me to wondering about how I say "always homeschooled". I have used it to mean "homeschooled since kindergarten" (although I usually say that and not "always homeschooled" but I have said it).

 

I would love some of you to share your thoughts there.

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And one more thing!

 

I am a very enthusiastic person. Yet another thing I guess that is offensive, uppity or weird about me.:confused:

 

I get downright giddy when someone wants to talk about making a booklist, or designing a transcript and course descriptions. I can wax poetical about Plato and oil paints and rabbit dissection and learning styles.

 

It doesn't mean I love everything about my home schooling days. It doesn't mean my kids are complacent geniuses. It doesn't mean I think every mom should home school as I do.

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For me, that means that they embraced the lifestyle of homeschooling since birth and created community in a unique way.

 

:iagree: This. I know of homeschoolers who homeschool as a lifestyle and those who (for lack of a better way to say it) don't. The ones who embrace it as a lifestyle are the ones who I think of who would say this "legitimately" in my point of view.

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I don't have a problem with it. For me, that means that they embraced the lifestyle of homeschooling since birth and created community in a unique way. We started when ds was 3 years old. That is when we made the decision not to send him to preschool and embrace the world of homeschooling. For us, homeschooling isn't about curriculum and sitting down with pre-outlined goals. It wasn't about when we picked up a phonics or math book (Ds taught himself to read at 4, knew some complex math concepts at an early age, and could tel you more about dinosaurs that you would ever have liked to know.) It is a way of life. At the time, we very much unschoolers in the John Holt sort of way ... active, involved unschoolers, intentionally creating an environment for delight-driven learning (not the "unparenting" sort of way. )

 

Around here, despite the compulsory attendance requirement being age 7, almost EVERYONE sends their kids to preschool. At the playground, the 2nd question asked was "What preschool does your child go to?" If you answered "none" they would look at like you abused your child. The ONLY people we met who didn't send their children to preschool were homeschoolers. In my experience, people who claimed homeschooling from birth were no more likely to give up than those who started later. In fact, it was more the other way around. Those who took their children out of school were much more likely to have abandoned it than those who embraced it from the birth of their child.

 

:iagree:

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On the flip side of the coin, I get frustrated when I meet a mom giving me home schooling high school advice who has outsourced nearly or actually every single class her kid has taken. Excuse me, but come back when you have actually taught a high schooler, tyvm.

 

And I really don't care if a new home schooling mom is gun ho and happy. Frankly, I find it refreshing. I don't think that means she will burn out. Personally, I am more burnt out by others' lack of enthusiasm for home schooling than my own lack. It's very frustrating when I get all excited about a new find or the progress a child has made and just get a "meh. Whatever." or worse a, "well you know if you sent them to xyz coop or class or just let them fail it would be easier."

 

I didn't have kids because I thought it would ever be easy.

And even if I had ever harbored such delusional thinking, it's a safe bet that by kid #10 and year 17, I'm aware of reality now.:glare:

 

I agree, I hate the negativity. That's why I try to help "young" homeschoolers. I want them to keep that excitement. I don't want them to burn out or even feel overwhelmed.

 

No outsourcing here but I understand the need for some families. I've done some co-ops but only when they fit into my plan for school and usually, I'm teaching the class anyway. I even had a gang-ho new hs mom in one of my PE co-op class. Her oldest was four. I recruited her to teach elementary PE the next year.:D

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In the book's Afterschooling section:

 

"Every involved parent is a home educator." (Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, The Well-Trained Mind)

 

Would people object as much if people said they had been home educating or involved in home education since birth rather than homeschooling?

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When my kids were young, (K level and to about grade 3) we used no textbooks. All of our learning was deliberate but was filled with living books, experiences and nature study. There really was no dividing line in how we experienced life before those ages (infancy and preschool) and when they reached "school age". Our interactions were slowly longer of course as their attention span and capacity improved, but other than that I was no more deliberate in my approach. Because of that philosophy, it seems to be just as much a social construct to say that we weren't homeschooling until the official age as it to say that we were.

 

That is what has happened in our home as well. When I hear someone say that they have been homeschooling since birth, I don't seriously think they mean that they sat their newborn down for a formal lesson. We just gradually moved in that direction, with little ones sometimes following along with what older ones were doing. I can't point to an exact time that "school" began.

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In the book's Afterschooling section:

 

"Every involved parent is a home educator." (Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, The Well-Trained Mind)

 

Would people object as much if people said they had been home educating or involved in home education since birth rather than homeschooling?

 

This.

 

(How's that for fine-honed Rhetoric Skillz)

 

Anyway, Fed Ex was just here, Snowflakes pre-admission letter just arrived. She's been accepted into the Pre-Med specializing in Brain Surgery with a Minor in International Theoretics of Robotic Nanotech.

 

--

 

Seriously, what's up with all the fear around a word?

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I don't have a problem with it. For me, that means that they embraced the lifestyle of homeschooling since birth and created community in a unique way....

 

Around here, despite the compulsory attendance requirement being age 7, almost EVERYONE sends their kids to preschool. At the playground, the 2nd question asked was "What preschool does your child go to?" If you answered "none" they would look at like you abused your child. The ONLY people we met who didn't send their children to preschool were homeschoolers. In my experience, people who claimed homeschooling from birth were no more likely to give up than those who started later. In fact, it was more the other way around. Those who took their children out of school were much more likely to have abandoned it than those who embraced it from the birth of their child.

 

:iagree: on all points. I don't think I've ever said that I've homeschooled from birth. But I would say that I thought of myself as the primary educator from birth... much different from how my mom thought during my early childhood, though that might have just been a different era. I do often mention that I planned on homeschooling before my children were born, and I spent much of their early years reading, researching, learning, and planning.

 

A huge percentage of people in our area send their children to preschool even though compulsory age is 7, so it is something one gets asked about early. (My in-laws are big believers in pre-school, so the homeschooling issue came up early.) Most people I know who stick with homeschooling are families who did so from the beginning. The friends I've known who have pulled their kids out of school have put them back in, sometimes within weeks...

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Wouldn't bother me at all to hear someone say that. I'd take it to mean that they've been educating their kids all along, never sent them to a preschool, a kindergarten, compulsory school, etc, and that their parenting and educating have been a natural extension of one another. Good for them for being enthusiastic and dedicated about it. Who even cares? Why take it negatively? Come to think of it, my daughter started out in public school but since my 6 y/o son never went to preschool, public school K etc and is home with me all along, I guess I've been hsing him since birth! ;)

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Around here, people send their kids to preschool at 3, so I started getting the question about school early on. It's less offensive to say "We homeschool" (or even, "we've homeschooled from birth") than to say "I think preschool is ridiculous and am philosophically opposed to full-day kindergarten."

 

:lol:

 

Yeah I made this mistake. I stated my views once to a mum when we were discussing Pre-K and after I saw the look on her face and realised how judgemental it sounded I changed it too "Oh we plan to homeschool" :lol:

 

I sent my kids to Pre-K and even then people still noticed I was "different" - "How come your kids already know their letters and beginning sounds and colours" etc (we live in a low-socioeconomic area with all the associated issues) and the big one -" How come you only send your kids to Pre-K for 3 days when you can send them for 5"? So I always just answered from the time we first started playgroup - "We plan to homeschool"

 

When I told my DD's teachers we planned to homeschool when they asked where I was enrolling her for K - they just smiled and said "Yeah we figured you would - we could see you have already taken responsibility for her education" . To me what they noticed was a "homeschooling from birth attitude" and that's what I think most people mean when they say that.

 

I've never said I homeschooled from birth - when people aske I say - "I've always planned to homeschool since before they were born" and now that my DD is 5 and every other 5 yo is in K (the official starting age is 6)

I tell people we "officially started homeschooling this year" I count the 0-5 yers as "unofficially homeschooling".

 

Whatever - it doesn't bug me much. When people tell me they have been homeschooling since birth I just take it to mean they have the "homeschooling mindset" or that they haven't sent their kids to a public institution - all good in my book. In fact I wish more people would "homeschool" in the 0-5 year range before they sent their kids to K - because then their babies wouldn't be in some sort of school setting since birth and had spent those years at home with mum before being sent to official school.

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sigh

 

I prefer to dash their hopes and dreams immediatly by telling them that my children were all premed by nine months. Then, when their screams of horror and weeping begin to subside, I tell them, "It's alright. If you start now, you may have the laundrey done by the time your dc graduate college. Good luck, fellow parent, may your internet be reliable, your library well funded, and your dh willing to cook dinner every once in awhile."

 

and then I flit away

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one*mom I am rofl.:lol:

 

 

 

Around here, that phrase 'homeschooled since birth' is a socioeconomic marker. Guaranteed the person does not work in or out of the home and spends the day directing the child's activitites. If I tried to get away with that my mother would kick my butt right out to the chicken coop and garden and tell me to take the toddler along and get some work done before lunch chores started. However, it is a nice change from those that put the toddler out in the yard to play with the dog in the grass all a.m., until the afternoon preK bus arrives. ymmv of course

 

Rivka, well said.

 

So...gold star. You managed to be dismissive of homeschoolers and B&M schoolers in the same post. And maybe chickens but I'm not 100% sure about that.

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Here's my thought -

Don't MOST parents do the basic stuff with their young children? As in, teaching them the basic stuff before they start school? They read aloud to them, sometimes a lot. They teach things - Letters, alphabet, counting, colors, shapes, etc, etc... so to me, it is more of a parenting thing. Not a 'home schooling since birth' thing.

I don't care if people say it, but I'm thinking, like what did you do to homeschool them that young? :D

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This is an interesting thread. Personally, I have never said that we "homeschooled since birth," but I do say that we have "always homeschooled our ds," which I guess some people might think is the same thing.

 

What I mean when I say we've always hsed is that ds never attended school. (Of course, I usually mention that -- something along the lines of, "We've always homeschooled our son; he has never attended a regular school."

 

I think what many of us find offensive is the bragging way some people say they've been homeschooling for 5 years, and their oldest child is 5 or 6, because it's like they're padding their resume or something, to make their thoughts, advice, and opinions hold more weight than it would if they admitted they were still relative newbies.

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