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Do you really think you do a better job at home vs. PS


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This has been on my mind a lot, since I live in a great district! My kids have been to public school and have been successful.

 

I spent the weekend going through course outlines from some great teachers- I am a ex. college prof. myself. I had to think and wonder- "wow- some of these teachers are doing a good job".

 

I homeschool to give my children a boost of self-esteem everyday, moral counsel and more time with mom so to speak. But I have to wonder, as they are both middle school now and one will be in high school next year, can we really do a better job academically?

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The truth is, I dont know, but I can limit the distractions. One of my concerns is the peer situation- both my kids are very social and the oldest is a party animal- I mean butterfly- and dh and I both feel glad that they are homeschooling and yet have happy and healthy social networks that we have a lot more involvement with that if they were in school.

I could get them into a good public school nearby, one of the state's top- but whether my kids would rise to the academic challenge or rather just have a good time playing with their friends- is another question.

So, I just dont know. I dont homeschool for purely academic reasons. I like to be with my kids, and I thoroughly enjoy our academic journey together, so perhaps I am selfish, but it feels more like it should be, this way. They do need teachers other than me though, and they get them with various outsourced local and online classes, which is I guess a handpicked alternative to highschool.

I don't doubt what I am doing- it feels right.

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Absolutely. But academics aren't the main reason I homeschool anyway, so it wouldn't matter to me if I couldn't. But I absolutely believe mine are getting far better than they ever would in ps. Actually, I know they are, from talking to parents of those who are in ps.

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This has been on my mind a lot, since I live in a great district! My kids have been to public school and have been successful.

 

I spent the weekend going through course outlines from some great teachers- I am a ex. college prof. myself. I had to think and wonder- "wow- some of these teachers are doing a good job".

 

I homeschool to give my children a boost of self-esteem everyday, moral counsel and more time with mom so to speak. But I have to wonder, as they are both middle school now and one will be in high school next year, can we really do a better job academically?

 

Yes, I believe we can.

 

Learning, and academics need to be evaluated in context of other areas. I believe that institutional settings for minor children can be anathema to the best environment for development; learning and psyche and spiritual development.

 

I agree there are terrific educators.

 

I agree there are terrific parents of public schooled kids.

 

But I don't use public school as my standard to evaluate the learning/academics (or socialization) of my kids.

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The hs my children would end up going to is excellent. They have chem major's teaching chemistry, math major's teaching math, etc. And the teacher's I've met really love to teach and inspire children. Also, the school has a strict dress code which I find refreshing in hs. So, I think we'll end up sending our children to ps for hs, but not before.

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This has been on my mind a lot, since I live in a great district! My kids have been to public school and have been successful.

 

I spent the weekend going through course outlines from some great teachers- I am a ex. college prof. myself. I had to think and wonder- "wow- some of these teachers are doing a good job".

 

I homeschool to give my children a boost of self-esteem everyday, moral counsel and more time with mom so to speak. But I have to wonder, as they are both middle school now and one will be in high school next year, can we really do a better job academically?

 

I'll be honest with you. I worry about this, too.

 

However, every time I'm tempted to fall for those wonderful course outlines, I remind myself of the reality of class time in middle school - the distractions, the interruptions, etc. Certainly my memories of middle school, and of high school, are of my friends and the social aspects. And I was a very good student. School was easy, and life revolved around my friends, and the boys I had crushes on.

 

Look, who needs that?

 

There are some phenomenal teachers out there, and, frankly, my kids would benefit from them. But you can't be certain of getting those teachers. And the reality is that no matter how wonderful the course outlines look, it rarely works out that well in the classroom.

 

I am confident that I can give my kids a very good academic education. It will not look the same as the public school's - but in the end, that doesn't matter.

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We quickly realized by going to our local high school orientation (and visiting 2 others) that we were already in 8th grade doing way more at home. First of all, thanks to their requirement for home room and phys ed during the school day, dd would have been taking 2 fewer classes per day. Then, thanks to changing classes, the class periods are only 40 minutes long. By the time announcements are done and kids settled into their seats, the classes ended up being 30 minutes long. Friends tell dd that most meaningful work is done as homework.

 

Dd had signed up for 1 class--orchestra--and attended for 4 days. During that time she got to play the instrument exactly 10 minutes, not per day, the whole week. Granted, it was the first week of school, but it was hours wasted.

 

Finally, there is an air at schools of being at the teacher's mercy. Teachers who are very nice to parents sometimes grow fangs with the students (remember high school?) I want my dd to work with people she can look up to, not people who display contemptible behavior. Some teachers have a real idea that they are going to tell you what to do with your kid and that they know better than you do. Grades from these people can haunt your child, particularly in classes where the teacher's subjective judgement is the main reason for grades.

 

I know several teachers who would be wonderful for my child. But fulltime enrollment is the luck of the draw, and some of the teachers will be less than stellar, shall we say.

 

Final thought--can you stand having someone tell you that their class will be good for your child because homeschooled kids need socialization? Can you tell that we lasted 4 days?

 

Myself, I think we're done with the local (highly regarded) high school for a long time.

Danielle

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No. I cannot do as good a job as a gifted teacher. After sending one child to public high school I am as convinced as ever that I cannot do as good a job as many, most, of the teachers she had.

 

But I can protect my kids from the education that she got in the restrooms. I can protect my kids from the unhealthy, artificial social structure through which she had to navigate. I can give them opportunities and freedom that are not available to someone who is tied to the public school schedule.

 

I have a senior and I feel that academically she may have been cheated. But in terms of relationships, personal happiness, emotional health the bonuses outweigh the deficits. And I guess she was not cheated too badly because now she is dual enrolled at community college and thus far, knock-on-wood-cross-my-fingers, she is pulling As and Bs.

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My niece has LKSv (Landau/Kleffner variant) just like my boys had, which means she has true LD issues especially in the area of language. She has a verbal IQ of 135 and a higher non verbal IQ similar to my sons which is in the gifted range and is in a very good school district. Her LKSv was not as severe as my oldest son and she is 6 months older than my son, she is turning 17. She reads at a 1st grade level and cannot add 2+5, subtract anything, knows no multiplication, and has no idea how to divide. My boys both read well above grade level and are starting Algebra in a month. We are not on track when it comes to Susan's recommendations but we are certainly above what one of the best school districts in IL can do for kids just like my sons.

 

So the answer is yes. I know that I have done a better job and my boys unlike my niece love to learn and know that they can. My niece thinks that she can not learn and banks on her beauty getting her threw life. She also has a really rotten attitude that she is special and owed. As high as her IQ is she has no depth of thought everything is very shallow and about clothes and make up. All of her high school texts are on tape and she gives her work on tape nothing written. She is just passed from grade to grade. At her last IEP the thought was mabe she could be an artist but they were not sure that she had the talent........... They did know that she was not college material.

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Guest Virginia Dawn
But I have to wonder, as they are both middle school now and one will be in high school next year, can we really do a better job academically?

 

Do we have too? I know that sounds stupid, but hear me out. I recognize my limitations. I can take my kids only so far in Math, Science, and Foreign Language.

 

However, my son who just graduated got the same scores on his SATs as a friend who went to public school all his life and was in IB classes. I honestly think that it is because my son retained and understood more of what he learned than the other child did.

 

Why? Because he was not under loads of stress. He got lots of one on one discussion about what he was learning. He didn't get burnt out. He had more time to read, practice the piano, and get involved in church and drama activities than he would have if he had gone to public school.

 

I do think that we all have different levels of education and ability. Not everyone is going to be able to homeschool through high school. However, I think there are things that are equally if not more important than academics.

 

It is nice to produce an academic giant but I am more concerned about producing an independent, productive, thinking adult.

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Do we have too? I know that sounds stupid, but hear me out. I recognize my limitations. I can take my kids only so far in Math, Science, and Foreign Language.

 

However, my son who just graduated got the same scores on his SATs as a friend who went to public school all his life and was in IB classes. I honestly think that it is because my son retained and understood more of what he learned than the other child did.

 

Why? Because he was not under loads of stress. He got lots of one on one discussion about what he was learning. He didn't get burnt out. He had more time to read, practice the piano, and get involved in church and drama activities than he would have if he had gone to public school.

 

I do think that we all have different levels of education and ability. Not everyone is going to be able to homeschool through high school. However, I think there are things that are equally if not more important than academics.

 

It is nice to produce an academic giant but I am more concerned about producing an independent, productive, thinking adult.

 

Excellent Post!

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I am not a college graduate, but I was a history major and took a lot of history classes and I am learning things with my second grade daughter that I was never taught in ps. I don't think that there are any schools here that teach in a classical style - which I think is best. I will learn along with my children and get them help when they need it, but I will be able to see what they need as we go along. BTW, one of our main reasons for deciding to homeschool was acedemics and the quality of education in public, private and charter schools. Are there good schools? Sure. Are there good teachers? You bet. Are they what I want for my children? Not now. Could that change in the future? Only God know that.

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Homeschoolers can, but it is HARD work. Just keeping them home, contrary to what many believe, does not automatically put them ahead of PS kids.

 

I had a fantastic education in a small town public school. I know many wonderful teachers and very successful PS students. It keeps me humble. :) I am constantly working to improve my ability to teach.

 

That said, my dc have some special challenges that are not considered by the schools, so I know that I have a pretty good shot at doing better than the schools without much trouble. So I personally work so hard in order to keep up with the goals we have set as a family instead.

 

I also know many parents of special needs kids who are doing better than the public school, through a ton of effort and money. They are awesome!! :)

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I truely believe I can. While the school board in Alberta is known for it's level of academics(we are the toughest province in Canada curriculum wise) I know for my children I truely can provide the best education for them. I have had them in the ps system in the past so I can say this without a doubt. Given my children's disabilities I see every day how far they have come by homechooling and know without a doubt they will be successful adults. That would not be the case if they were in ps where I was told when my ds was only 5 years old to make him literate and leave him be he would never succeed. So despite many schools out here being excellent and many children in ps being successful I know that I can provide so much more for my kids by homeschooling them without a doubt.

 

I question myself daily if I am making the right choices for my kids. And only once briefly in the 3 years we have been homeschooling have I questioned this decision that's how confident I am in my choice.

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yes, but that's not saying much in my school district. at their grade levels (third and fifth), I feel I can do a better job academically than both the public and private schools in the area - - not in every single aspect, but definitely overall.

 

academically, some of the high schools (including the public ones) have a tremendous amount to offer - IB programs, advanced honor classes, etc. there are also many clubs and activities that hs'ers cannot participate in (again, in this area). it's something I'll evaluate in a couple of years.

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It depends on whether you are talking about academic content or skills. Skill work (decoding in reading, handwriting, even math in the early years) is more developmentally dependent. If my child has not had the phonics lightbulb go off, I am limited in what I can do with them in phonics. In fact, to push them ahead will hurt them (as I think it does for many in the pubic schools). So, I introduce stuff to my kids and play around with it with them, but then wait for that lightbulb moment. Homeschooling allows me to do this because of the individualized nature of this kind of education. For my son, this meant that reading was ahead of the public school pace. Math was at the same pace as public school. And handwriting was slower. For my daughter, this means that she is matching public school pace at this time. In math she is way ahead of the public schools. And in handwriting she is slightly ahead.

 

But for content areas there is no doubt that homeschooling using the WTM method is ahead of the public schools. Doing any history at all in the primary years is pretty unusual or at least hit and miss. And doing a 4 - year cycle where you actually go through history chronologically? No way! It is the same in science. We do a 2 year cycle in science where we go over basic scientific topics in progressively more depth through the years. And there is no Latin study at all in our public schools until high school. We are surrounded by books and reading and my kids love to read. Even in art and music we are exposed to artists and composers in a depth that isn't addressed in public schools (we coordinate it with our history).

 

We're just starting the middle school years (ds is in 6th this year). But he already has one 4-year cycle of history under his belt and is in the middle of his second. He is on this 3rd 2-year cycle of science. He has a harder time in math, but when I compare what he is doing in math (Singapore) to what his peers are doing in public school, what he is doing has more depth.

 

I get scared of middle and high school too (esp. high school). But with all of this layer of knowledge that the public school kids don't have, I don't see how he couldn't do better. (I hope this isn't naive or even arrogant - I'm just being honest here.)

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Absolutely!!! Especially for my 14yo and 6yo, who have special needs. School has too many distractions and the day is wayyyyyy too long for their attention spans.

 

For my 17yo and 8yo, who are very bright, there are so many other options out there, when you have the flexibility of homeschooling to work with. My oldest has been at the community college since she was 15. My 8yo is working on a 5th to 6th grade level and I intend to send him to the community college also, when he's around 15 or so.

 

There are no gifted programs here at the local high school. The bright students are sent to a governor's school, by bus, and it's a 45 minute trip each way. The community college is a much better option, at least for our family.

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I believe that I can do a better job than our local public schools - at least for the time being. I knew that the first week we homeschooled this year and, during that same week, hearing that my oldest's classmate was learning the letter F in kindergarten.

 

I believe that between myself and my husband, we can give our children the best education we possibly can. I know there are some truly talented teachers out there - teachers who know and understand what they're teaching and who have a gift with imparting that knowledge to their students. However, I also believe those teachers are few and far between, at least given what I've heard about the educators in my area.

 

I'm not only home schooling because of what our children may (or may not) learn from their teachers - but also because of what they may learn from their friends. To me, that's a much more dangerous reality than my children potentially missing out on something that I may pass over in their home school education.

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I absolutely don't believe that our homeschool is "better" than public school. Most teachers I know are very committed to their students; it's the broken system at the administration level that fetches up good teachers.

 

Academically, I think we compare well . . . better in some areas and not in others.

 

I love hs'ing for what my kids don't get at public school . . . the sway of peers, value systems that don't reflect mine, an anchoring away from our family . . . I want to spend as much time with my kids as possible because we're going to blink our eyes and the kiddies will be of to uni, married and doing their own life.

 

My two cents.

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yes, I think we can. My older dd has dyslexia and dysgraphia, and I consider it a direct result of homeschooling that she loves to read and does not feel stupid! My oldest ds received a full scholarship to college and told me most of his classes at college are easier than what we did at home.

 

I went to one of the "best" high schools and took honors classes, was in the Nat'l Honor Society, a nat'l merit finalist, etc. and hated it. I didn't learn much, the peer issues were horrible, and frankly feel that I would have been better off if my parents had just let me stay home and read (which is what I did all day long at school anyway. I took a book each morning and usually had finished it by the end of the day.)

 

I was admitted to college for my senior year and never looked back!

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I started out hsing my high schooler, but 6 weeks into 9th grade, enrolled him in ps.

 

The compelling reasons weren't completely academic, but were related to what we were able to do at home. I was ready to outsource math and science. Also, he was playing football and in the choir at the ps. Those are his two outside interests that we couldn't do at home, and didn't have a homeschool resource for. The combination is what led to the decision.

 

This year I enrolled my 7th grader in ps. I think I could do a better job academically, but for completely different reasons, feel he needs to be in school at this time.

 

Many posts have mentioned the social issues of ps. I have had the same concern. I think it really helps if a student is involved in good extra-curricular activities.

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I think so. I try to provide a fairly customized education for my 4. My oldest has been courted by the local school district based on test scores and still likes being at home. My youngest boy has ADHD and other issues we are trying to sort out. He's a fantastic kid but has high anxiety as well. He would be a wreck if he went to school.

 

My girls are average to above average in their learning and intelligence. One of them is pretty introverted and is now learning how to spread her wings and be more outgoing in social situations. She probably would've learned this while attending school but I don't know that I could've prevented the poor self-esteem that comes from being an introvert in an extroverted world and attending school where everyone has to march to the same beat.

 

I think we do pretty well in academics but homeschooling is more than just academics. It's really about family and learning and growing in a safe, supportive environment. My kids actually choose to homeschool. If they want to go to school they can.

 

I hope that made sense I am rushing this post so we can start our morning.

 

I think though that if you are questioning homeschool for your kids you should really think about why. Sending your kids to school if that is what's best for them and your family wouldn't be wrong. I don't think one-size-fits-all. Good luck on your journey.

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We have lots of friends who have kids in various local schools public and private, and I don't envy the educations any of their children are receiving.

 

My most reliable touchstone is one of my son's friends. The boy is a year older, also gifted, and we've known the family for years. The parents are highly involved and work very hard to advocate for their son. They pay higher rent than we do in order to place their son in the best local school district. They had IQ testing done privately in order to make sure the boy qualified for gifted services as soon as possible. They, for lack of a better word, nagged the local school until he was placed into their on-site, part-time gifted program, where he spent a year. As soon as he was eligible, they got him transferred to the full-time gifted magnet program. He spent two years there before they got disenchanted and pulled him out to homeschool for a year.

 

This year, they enrolled him in middle school, because they found homeschooling simply didn't fit their current life situation. Three weeks into the academic year, they have already concluded that the school is not really meeting his academic needs and have started the process of trying to get him admitted to (and awarded a scholarship for) a highly regarded local private school.

 

His parents have put a tremendous amount of time and energy (and financial resources they can't really afford) into trying to make the public schools work for this child. They make sure they are in the best school district and that their son attends the best school. They've had countless meetings with teachers and administrators, arranged for outside testing and evaluations, supervised homework, participated in school organizations and fundraisers, etc.

 

I know from talking to the boy and his parents that, even a full year/grade ahead of my son, the instruction and materials he is receiving are not as rigorous or challenging as what I'm doing here with my son. In addition, he has a variety of problems socially and has been ostracized and bullied because he is smart and a bit of a nerd. (And I say that with great affection, since we're all nerds here, too.) Plus, the family must now live and die by the public school calendar and schedule.

 

Meanwhile, my son has been quietly chugging away at home for all the years the other child has been bounced from classroom to classroom, program to program and school to school in search of an appropriate education. He has plenty of free time and energy to pursue a wide range of outside interests, as well as lots of unstructured time to just hang out and be a kid. He is free to enjoy what he enjoys without being teased about it, and we have the flexibility to do all kinds of things both "educational" and "extracurricular" to enhance and enrich his life.

 

Personally, I don't see how it is possible that the public schools could be a better option for us.

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Every public schooled child is likely to encounter a wonderful teacher at some point. I may not be able to top the best teacher in ps teaching her favorite subject, but day in, day out, I think homeschool is better.

 

Public schools these days seem to have an obsession with introducing abstract thinking in the early elementary years that I think is more harmful than good. By the time ps children get to the logic stage, where they are capable of abstract thinking, many of them are burned out and discouraged. And with the social hierarchy that reigns in many schools, learning is the very last thing on most children's minds, anyway.

 

A caveat, though. Doing a better job than public school is hard work. I don't see it here, but I've often encountered homeschoolers who take the attitude that they can do the minimum and still do a better job than the public schools. Unless the child is a highly-motivated self-learner, I don't think that's the case.

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If you are talking purely academics I think the research out there supports homeschooling as superior to public schooling. Here is one link:

www.fraserinstitute.org/COMMERCE.WEB/product_files/Homeschooling2.pdf

 

I think we do a better job in other areas as well: socially, spiritually, life skills, etc.

Sure there are going to be those homeschoolers who do not do their kids justice and unfortunately those are the cases the media grabs. The overwhelming majority of us are quick to find help when needed and put a lot of time, energy, and resources into the education of our dc with wonderful results that are well documented. (Please don't ask for more links, I do not have time).

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There is absolutely no doubt that not only do we do better, but that we do far better. If for one second I doubted this I would rethink our decision to homeschool.

 

However we also provide our children with moral guidance, keep them away from harmful influences and help ensure that they grow up to be honest productive and valuable Americans.

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I worry about this. I think they might get so much out of a teacher that is really passionate in their subject and I worry if I can give them all they need. In the end though I remember all of the teachers I had that were not passionate about their subjects, a few who were really awful and all of the homework.

I hope that if I work hard I can give my children the academics that they need. I know it won't be perfect, but neither would ps. There is a lot of time wasted and a lot of things there I don't want my children to learn. I think if I stay realistic about what I can teach and work hard to find alternatives for the things I can't teach, we will be just fine.

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Homeschoolers can, but it is HARD work. Just keeping them home, contrary to what many believe, does not automatically put them ahead of PS kids.

 

I really don't mean to be argumentative or snarky when I ask this question.

 

Is the bolded part your experience? It's not mine with regard to homeschoolers in person or online. I've not met one family that thinks "just keeping them at home" = better academic experience.

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I've not met one family that thinks "just keeping them at home" = better academic experience.

 

 

Generally you are correct, but there are some school districts where just sitting them in front of the Discovery Channel for 8 hours a day would be better than the academic experience.

 

That being said to achieve your child's potential one has to work and work hard.

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My oldest is definitely getting a better education at home than she would be at school. My son isn't where I want him to be academically (and maybe would be if he were in school), but he's progressing nicely now.

 

Our local school district is very good, the elementary school my kids would be going to in particular.

 

Thanks to TWTM, I feel that they're getting a richer, broader, deeper education than any school could give them. My son might not be counting to 100 yet, but when he does get to that point he'll also know what a Barbarian is, how far he would have to dig to get to the Earth's mantle, and how Joseph reacted to his experience in Potiphar's house.

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My dd, now in her 2nd year at ps - Grade 11, has some wonderful teachers. They offer her things that I can't.

 

However, not all her teachers are wonderful. They all have a whole classroom of other students to deal with - almost all of whom are more demanding than dd. And dd is distracted by the other experiences of high school life. (which I believe are also important for her)

 

Academically she's doing very well there but her background from home is assisting her current performance. And she isn't being challenged academically as much as she would be at home because most of her classmates aren't ready for it.

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I think my courses are better, especially for high school, thanks to WTM. My work is especially tailored to my kids, so they aren't pushed too hard and they aren't bored with busy work that they don't need to grasp material. Our grammar is more rigorous (Rod & Staff). Our math is top-notch... our local private schools use Jacobs Geometry for their honors math, and I'm learning it with my son so I know how to help him over his difficulties. Our science is through a local private school (but I was teaching it at home and used to invite other homeschoolers over to labs with us. Our lab equipment was an educational investment that I treasure. My kids have the freedom to do their own extra-curriculars and they really shine in those aspects, so much so that they compete with the "honors" students in those areas during the summer at various summer camps. My child who needs more help in certain subjects gets it when he needs it. I don't have to wonder if my doctors' recommendations are being implemented. When my kids have taken classes with other students they make A's. My high schooler will be able to take college classes next year and I am confident he will rise to the challenge. Our standardized tests are usually impressive.

 

Forgive me for bragging, but I benefit from hearing success stories of others, so I'm posting my own here. The only things I really fall down on are arranging for my kids to do debate; they don't get to defend their ideas often enough. I also stink at foreign languages, so I farm these out when I can. I was able to handle Latin in elementary and middle school but I can't do it in high school. I'm going to rely on the community college heavily for my own shortcomings. As a homeschooling parent, though, I relish the freedom to pursue excellence wherever I can find it; I don't have to settle for the "givens" in the closest school. When I was doing that, the givens were never satisfactory, let alone impressive.

 

My kids enjoy being home. I enjoy having them home (for the most part, lol). I love to learn. I think those three things will make any homeschool more successful than almost any public school.

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Yes, I think we can.

 

In my case, my two older kids actually are enrolled in a public school, and we do our lessons at home. It's a hybrid that works for us... this virtual academy is academically more advanced than our local brick and mortar public school by far.

 

I homeschool for the quality of academics and the ability for the kids to work at their own paces. I also enjoy spending time with my kids! But we don't have a religious aspect to our homeschool. So I have always felt that if the local schools could offer a better education than I could, that's where the children would go.

 

Although we have chosen to use the virtual academy, I do believe that parents can provide an excellent home education without one, of course. I need a "school in a box" type curriculum... others don't. Most of us here recognize educational excellence within the recommendations of The Well Trained Mind, right?

 

I had one or two gifted teachers on my own journey through public school, and the rest pretty much just read the lessons out of the book. As home educators, we also have our areas strengths and weaknesses. We can't be excellent teachers for every subject, but the local public schools can't always provide that either. (At least my local schools can't.) What we can do is recognize where we need to supplement and rely on outside assistance. Assuming we do that, I really do think we can do a better job than the local public schools, which just aren't equipped to provide such individualized instruction.

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In some things, yes. In other things, no. In areas that I can't do some things well, I work hard at finding other resources to fill in those gaps. But one thing I know I can do better than school is raise my child to be emotionally healthy. I would have more trouble recognizing issues if dc were away from me all day. Teachers may not have the time to devote to children who don't cause trouble in class yet have issues. I know that would be the case for my 2 boys.

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Oh yes, I remember those days of the fancy lesson plans in ps--and then reality hit. I'd have a child attack another child, putting a third one into a seizure all trying to deal with lunch money and time to go to PE, only someone's shoes had been stuffed into the toilet and oh, did I remember that so and so couldn't go onto the playground without an extra aide because noncustodial dad had threatened to kidnap her??? And then we'd have a bomb scare. I looked great on paper, but I wasn't getting to do any teaching...

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I really don't mean to be argumentative or snarky when I ask this question.

 

Is the bolded part your experience? It's not mine with regard to homeschoolers in person or online. I've not met one family that thinks "just keeping them at home" = better academic experience.

 

Well, I think perhaps pqr already answered this ;) but...

 

For the first several years of my homeschooling career, I can honestly say almost every homeschooler I knew believed this and vocalized it frequently. I am no longer in that same circle, but I know of a handful in my current groups that do also, although it is more evident in their actions than in their actual words.

 

I have seen a form of this thought on this board at times. There is a perception that nothing is being taught in PS, that no time is spent interacting with students, that all PS students are being failed by their schools, etc.

 

Maybe people intend hyperbole when they say, "Well, you can't do worse than the schools." But I know plenty who are living this belief out.

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Maybe people intend hyperbole when they say, "Well, you can't do worse than the schools." But I know plenty who are living this belief out.

 

...that I have had moments, when considering whether or not to put my kids in school, due to some overwhelming life event/season, where I've thought, "But at least being home, even doing a watered-down version of what I want to do, would be better than them being in school".

 

But it's not necessarily because of this or that belief about the material, or level of excellence at any one public/private school...it's because of a belief about the entire setup/approach of traditional 'school', and it not being my first choice for my family.

 

Could it be that some of what you're hearing is a philosophical difference with the entire system of thought behind traditional 'school', and not just a blind belief that you can accomplish more as a homeschooler?

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Maybe people intend hyperbole when they say, "Well, you can't do worse than the schools." But I know plenty who are living this belief out.

 

I have encountered this as well, and even heard people say almost exactly what you just quoted. The public schools are just awful where I live, so I don't think it's impossible or even terribly difficult to do a better job than they are. But it does require SOME effort and diligence! Yet I have encountered parents who seem to think that no one could possibly do worse than the schools are doing, and that if you're kids aren't in school, then they are automatically better off. I'm not sure it's quite *that* simple.

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.

But it's not necessarily because of this or that belief about the material, or level of excellence at any one public/private school...it's because of a belief about the entire setup/approach of traditional 'school', and it not being my first choice for my family.

 

Could it be that some of what you're hearing is a philosophical difference with the entire system of thought behind traditional 'school', and not just a blind belief that you can accomplish more as a homeschooler?

 

Jill, this is a really great point. When I've heard these kinds of comments, I'm thinking about academic excellence. But in all likelihood, the person speaking is thinking about much more: emotional well-being, *quality* socialization, and many other factors.

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The truth is, I dont know, but I can limit the distractions. One of my concerns is the peer situation- both my kids are very social and the oldest is a party animal- I mean butterfly- and dh and I both feel glad that they are homeschooling and yet have happy and healthy social networks that we have a lot more involvement with that if they were in school.

I could get them into a good public school nearby, one of the state's top- but whether my kids would rise to the academic challenge or rather just have a good time playing with their friends- is another question.

So, I just dont know. I dont homeschool for purely academic reasons. I like to be with my kids, and I thoroughly enjoy our academic journey together, so perhaps I am selfish, but it feels more like it should be, this way. They do need teachers other than me though, and they get them with various outsourced local and online classes, which is I guess a handpicked alternative to highschool.

I don't doubt what I am doing- it feels right.

 

I'm pretty much with Peela on all of it...down to needing other teachers at some point, and the 'hand-picked' version of high school.

 

I may not be as educated as a professional teacher...but my motivation for them to succeed is pretty great...they'll be living with me if they can't get good jobs and be productive adults, lol! ;-)

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I can't give you any more rep, yet, lol.

 

But this is a great point, and one I've mentioned to others who talk about the 'great teachers' out there...

 

There are some phenomenal teachers out there, and, frankly, my kids would benefit from them. But you can't be certain of getting those teachers.

 

Face it...it's a roll of the dice if you're working with a school system.

 

Your kids could get that great guy who reads Shakespeare and instills a love for the Bard in his kids...or you could get the frazzled first year teacher, or the one that's on his/her second or third warning, and sleeps during class. (And there are great teachers out there. One of my best friends is a high school teacher, and I fully believe in the need for a good system, and I understand the impact a great teacher can have. I just think that traditional school 'systems' are a lot to gamble on, as a method.)

 

One of those years wasted can't be gotten back, when you're moving in a traditional school timeline (graduating after 12th grade).

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There are great teachers, and there are also horrible teachers. And one horrible teacher can have a serious impact on the rest of your life. Ask my dh - he had one in fifth grade. And his mom did not know until the end of the year when another mom told her, "You know, my dd comes home crying every day over how R is being treated by the teacher."

 

With homeschooling, you are guaranteed to have a teacher who loves your dc more than any other teacher, and that can make a huge difference.

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The public schools in our area are worthless. Absolutely worthless. I have friends that are public school teachers and administrators in our area, and they tell me, "Don't ever put Isaac into our school. Keep homeschooling him."

 

When public school teachers are telling you this, . . . :001_huh:

 

So, I feel that I can prepare dc better than our current public schools in all subjects, all the way through high school.

 

I feel that I can prepare dc as well as any school (and better than most) in all the academic humanities, all the way through high school. For math, I feel that I can prepare dc as well as most schools, all the way through high school.

 

I feel below average in the sciences and the visual and performing arts (except voice). With our current educational options, this is not really a deficit. But in another area, or with a higher income, a strong inclination towards one of those fields would be one entry in the "pro-traditional-school" column in our annual decision-making. It wouldn't overrule every other consideration, but it would be a reason to consider. (As would an inclination toward and aptitude for college-level sports.)

 

ETA: I had an excellent high school education--probably the best available--for which I am deeply grateful. And that's one reason I'm not completely against traditional school. But I do feel that I can compare favorably even to that most excellent education in every subject except where I noted above. If we decide to go with traditional school, it won't be because we feel inadequate.

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This has been on my mind a lot, since I live in a great district! My kids have been to public school and have been successful.

 

I spent the weekend going through course outlines from some great teachers- I am a ex. college prof. myself. I had to think and wonder- "wow- some of these teachers are doing a good job".

 

I homeschool to give my children a boost of self-esteem everyday, moral counsel and more time with mom so to speak. But I have to wonder, as they are both middle school now and one will be in high school next year, can we really do a better job academically?

 

I think that consistently, over the years, my children will receive a better education than they would in ps.

 

That doesn't mean that I think I'm the best teacher in the world. What it does mean is that I am intimately aware of what they have covered in each year of their education and I'm able to bring up those things and connect dots for them as we go through the years. It means I know what areas they are weak in and I can slowly work on those areas, taking care (over the years) to readdress them and continue to build them. It means I know what areas they're passionate about and I can structure our studies to reflect those passions - to give them the time and the space and the opportunities to learn more about what they're passionate about. It means that I understand immediately what they've already mastered and I'm able to move on to give them more challenging material the instant they're ready for it. It also means that they understand how important I view education - because someone they love is guiding them, encouraging them, and supporting them every step of the way.

 

So, I may not create a star-teacher-worthy year plan, but I love my kids and we spend our days reading, discussing, debating, and learning together. In the long run, I think their education will have been much more consistent and yes, much better, than it would if I dropped them off at ps each day.

 

And it seems to me that all of the academic achievement of homeschooler stats support the fact that parents are able to provide a better education for their children.

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Yes we can.... Absolutely! We are totally cabable of learning with our children... it is not about being a great teacher, but a great mother. You should check out the apolgia web site. Not only do I think we can educate our children in a superior way than most ps, I know we can. Check out his statisctics on the education of the children. He even has charts with data comparing home school student to private (which are typically better than even good school disctricts of ps)

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