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Hunter

Statistics and Stories about Blue Collar Homeschoolers

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So, is there anyone else here who is homeschooling their children without having been to university? Do you find that impacts you or your homeschool in any way? I am curious. I sometimes lack confidence as an educator because I lack formal schooling. 

 

Ds graduated last year and I finished my second year of college. I only started college because of my divorce and it was the better option for My future. Did it impact our homeschooling? Perhaps. It's hard to tell sometimes because what I learned in the first two years of college (about college not class content) really helped ds. But I'm fairly smart, logical, and worked in a variety of jobs (including veterinary medicine and insurance underwriting) before "retiring" to be a parent. My personal work ethic (taught to me by my parents) made me a good teacher. My work experience taught me how to tackle a challenge and work through it. 

 

As to Hunter's brainstorming, ex is blue collar. I won't get into my upbringing as I could write a book and it's mostly not relevant now. I'm currently living at the poverty level to finish my schooling. Ds is in college. Him attending college has always been very important to exdh because he wants more for ds than we had/have. More options to begin. I believe college is important for  THIS CHILD because if he had to do physical labor for a job, he'd starve. He's not bent in that direction and has a minor nagging health issue that keeps him from being physically active for too long. He has his father's ability to build things, just more in the electronic/computer field than with lumber. For the life goals he has, he'll need at least a Bachelor's if not more. 

 

For him (and me), the local state university is cheaper overall than the nearest community college (which would require more driving). It's not competitive, but it's not huge and you can stand out if you work hard. Aside from the classroom education, I think having some insight into current college life has been helpful as I can give advice to ds on how to network and make the most of the opportunities he has at this school. 

 

Lots of other thoughts, but not sure how to wind them all together yet. Interesting discussion. 

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This is an interesting thread. I'm curious to see where it goes, as well. I was raised in a poor, blue color family, but DH and I are not blue collar and are financially solid. I am interested in this topic because DD wants to be a farmer, which is solidly blue collar, IMO. I have serious concerns about this, even though I am supportive and encouraging because it is her career of choice, because it is very hard to make a living wage as farmer. Every once in awhile, DD lets me know that she doesn't need the education she is receiving because farmers need hands-on experience and talent more than academic knowledge.

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This is an interesting thread. I'm curious to see where it goes, as well. I was raised in a poor, blue color family, but DH and I are not blue collar and are financially solid. I am interested in this topic because DD wants to be a farmer, which is solidly blue collar, IMO. I have serious concerns about this, even though I am supportive and encouraging because it is her career of choice, because it is very hard to make a living wage as farmer. Every once in awhile, DD lets me know that she doesn't need the education she is receiving because farmers need hands-on experience and talent more than academic knowledge.

Not so sure about that. My father is a flower grower and has been upper management for large growers and owned his own business (sometimes both). Although I would say that's a "blue collar" field, and he doesn't have a college degree (he did two years of college but didn't complete his BA) he has a lot of business knowledge, and knows an impressive amount of knowledge on science and politics since it's related to his work. He also knows a great deal of Latin but he went to private school in Mexico. I suppose he'd fit the description of coming from "genteel poverty", although that's O/T. Anyhow, he can hold an academic conversation very well and his income level is very firmly upper middle class, despite a "blue collar profession". Also it is pretty common in the agricultural business now a days for people in the agriculture industry to have backgrounds in science, business, and agriculture and it's quite common for successful growers to send their kids to college for a BA before coming home to take over the family business.

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This has been such as interesting thread to read.  I grew up in a blue-collar, working poor family.  I think it's fascinating how one's childhood influences his adult life and how he raises his children.  I'm not homeschooling as a blue-collar worker, but my upbringing has definitely affected how I home school and raise my kids.

 

 

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Very interesting topic. I don't have a clue about blue collar/white collar or social distinction. Education is important for us, and yes, ideally would like all our kids to go to university and get their degree. Bit the cost of education is frightening, it's not what dh and I had to pay to get our degrees. Not sure what the future will bring for our children, maybe a trade or something different than a degree? I don't want them to get in a ridiculous amount of debt and spend the next 30 years paying for it. It made me sad to read the comments about the truck drivers. That's just wrong. There are so many folks out there making wrong choices! Scams, stealing credit card numbers (I just had to deal with that), dealing with drugs (selling to make profit)...any type of honest job should never be looked down upon, it doesn't matter if it's considered white or blue collar? Honesty, hard work and integrity matters more than anything.

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So, is there anyone else here who is homeschooling their children without having been to university? Do you find that impacts you or your homeschool in any way? I am curious. I sometimes lack confidence as an educator because I lack formal schooling. 

 

I don't think it impacts my homeschool at all.  I was an accounting major for the short time (less than a year) I was in college, so I can't imagine how that would have made me a better homeschool parent.  Except maybe in teaching accounting, lol.

 

 

 

I do not believe my family fits into any sort of "collar" designation.  Dh has a college degree, but went to work in an unskilled labor position and climbed to an executive position in that industry.  I don't have a degree.  1 in 4 of our parents does. We have an above average income, but it's stretched across a family of 7.  We are not world travelers, but our home and kids are equipped with lots of tech. We wear jeans.  My kids play outside barefoot.  I drive a new vehicle and try to go to the salon regularly.  I'm useless with interior design, so we stick with the crayon and scuff motif and still have lots of second hand furniture.

 

I don't know what that makes us, and I don't know what that has to do with homeschooling other than the fact that we're able to spend some money on cool/convenient resources that make our school more fun/easy than it might be otherwise.  Academically, I think we're fine.  Goals-wise, I encourage my kids to set their own goals.  In my dream world, we become a family of farmers.  :D One is already in college, studying music.  Most of the others, if not all, will probably go, too.

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Well, I'm going to go back to my grandparents...... my granddad was an Engineer and had a well paying job. I'm not sure if he would have been blue-collar or white-collar as I believe he worked with his hands a lot.... he was a jack of all trades and master of all.... I know that my dad grew up in the depression but they had money and some hired help to help the ecomony.

 

My dad had 2 degrees and was a teacher. He also had no money skills. I think he made a good wage and we had long travelling vacations in the summer. I think we were probably firmly middle class, maybe even upper-middle class.

 

After my parents divorce I'd say upper-lower class.... my mom had better money sense so her situation did improve over time (but right after divorce it was subsidized housing and a lower class neighbourhood which was hard on me as I got picked on). My dad's situation mostly went downhill

 

I have some university - I failed my 2nd year of Engineering. I have a technical diploma, and had a good career in the computer field and was a manager with a good salary.... but I am prone to depression and it was causing problems. I was back in school to get a degree in computers when I met my husband and left school to move to marry him.

 

My dh was retired military and worked in a call center. He later took training to be a truck driver and has worked in the transportation industry since then. He now has health issues so we are a 0 income family. And jobs I have taken in the last12 years (none for a few years) leave me with anxiety and depression and shortly out of work. There are things that make me feel like we are more lower class.... definitely blue-collar.

 

If it helps.... we wanted to homeschool before having kids. A friend graduated from homeschool in the 80's the same time I graduated from school. His mom (who maybe felt we would marry?) told me one day that there was no reason to rush sending kids to school..... I felt she was a bit nuts, but I guess the seed was planted.

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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So apparently dh as a blue collar worker makes the national average household income alone (and a couple thousand dollars over), but this means absolutely nothing in California, particularly in the Silicon Valley, but theoretically we are, in comparison to the national average, "middle class". And somehow that doesn't make me feel better.

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Edited because I got the wrong quote but the response is the same.

 

 

I don't plan on paying for my children's college nor will they qualify for financial aid because we make too much, now. It doesn't matter that for many of their growing up years we couldn't save because we lived under the poverty line. That doesn't mean they won't go if they want to do so.

If they want to then they will find a way. DS is already working on it.

 

If you make a middle class income or less then they will be eligible for financial aid. So don't automatically rule out college. I'm not saying college is the right choice but automatically saying you can't afford it could be discouraging to your child if they want to go.

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I am homeschooling with no college degree. I have a few classes under my belt more credit from AP credits then anything but mostly just a high school education. I went to a horrid school too so basically I consider high school a waste of 4 precious years when I was young and quick learning and didn't have to work all day. To think of so much of that time I literally sat around waiting for the bell. I had one teacher who literally read the newspaper in class. Sometimes he would send a kid down to the vending machine for snacks. While he was reading the newspaper we were told to sit and read the next section and answer the questions at the back. I would like to say there was only one teacher like that but if I were to make a rough estimate I'd say 1/3 did a similar job though many weren't so open about it that they would read something completly unrelated to school. We had mediocre teachers too and a couple excellent but for the most part I'm self taught. High school was pointless.

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DH was in the military for years (enlisted) and I always considered that to be middle class. I was raised middle-upper middle class.

 

And here I am now. We're below the poverty line, so I guess that would be lower class. DH is a craftsman, so that seems to be equal parts blue collar and starving artist.

 

I feel that I've been able to homeschool well this far, because my parents will help with materials when I ask. Knowing that I can afford virtually nothing on my own and knowing that affording college for my kids is totally out of reach is, well, it changes my perspective. I'm preparing my kids for community college. That's our reality. And I'm always hesitant to put that out there because of the "if you can't afford to homeschool, then put them in public school comments." Not helpful even though I know people's intentions are almost always good.

 

I just want to say that choosing to be a 1-income, more-than-2-kids kind of family can determine your economic status, but it need not define your kids' future. When I was working, I made more than dh, but when I left the work force it made a huge change in our situation. Then dh got into a series of layoff years.....

 

While my dh now works as a sales engineer, we are aiming our 3 younger kids @ community college. There they can get a foundation for both future education and a career/certificate qualification. There is nothing wrong with CC as a starting point!!!

 

On the family history, both my dad and dh's father were the first college graduates in their families, thanks to the GI bill following the Korean War. One grandparent was a butcher, one was a green grocer. My dad was a cop, working his way up to captain; my mom was a p/t secretary while we were growing up, went on to become a crackerjack exec secretary. DH's dad is an engineer; his mom has always been SAHM. Both families put a high value on college education for their kids. My dad was able to send all 4 of his kids to college through BA/BS, but any further was up to us. So dh and I both went to college. I have felt badly that we won't be able to support the same education for all our kids, but the workplace is changing so much.

 

For ex., I was not expected to work in high school, just concentrate on study. My oldest didn't work in high school due to transport issues but began working as soon as she finished and worked all through college. My next 2 kids began work @ 16 and will continue to do so through college. The expectation of work during high school is so much higher now, IMHO. But work requires transport, and where we live the bus system really limits your options. But paying insurance for a kid.....impossible to add on one more expense @ such a price so they just had to wait and find a job where they could live on campus summers or ride a bike.

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My end goal for homeschool would be that, considering the ability of each individual child, that they would be prepared to start college without taking remedial courses, be that at CC or a 4 year, should they chose that route. However, I am open to other options, including taking time off for a year or two if they are productive or entering a trade program of some sort. My ultimate goal would be economic self sufficiency to support a family for all my kids (girls and boys), but not necessarily affluence. I do hope that we bring back more skilled labor jobs to this country and see a reimgence of the middle class (but I won't hold my breath). So with that in mind I would worry that a trade might not be enough to met that end goal (but neither might a college degree at this point as wages are not keep my up with the cost of living and the cost of tutition is rising. In fact I read recently it's increased by more than 1,000%. Yup! One thousand!)

 

I'm not too concerned with paying for their college. If I can help I will but even if I could pay for all my kids living expenses and tutition for 5 children, I wouldn't. I don't think they'd value their education (from observing this when both seeing peers and working with college kids at CC and UC Berkeley / San Jose State) and would probably do poorer in school. If my kids chose public university and do CC first and then transfer, they'd probably be eligible for financial aid and loans as well as be able to work part time. That's what I did to get through college. My parents did contribute to me getting through school financially but the did not foot the entire bill. And I am ok with that and so should they.

 

I do have a college degree so despite us still being a working class family I hope that's my contribution to help my kids get into college (ie, having the knowledge and ability to research to help them be college ready).

 

That said as a first generation college student my parents did a lot of things right to help me be successful in school like read to me a lot, send me to preschool, put me through private school until middle school, and make sure I did my homework as well as motivated me to take college prep courses and met with the guidance counselor regularity, join student groups to learn about going to college, etc.

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Yes it is a decent paying job.

I want to add to this though that welding is an art. You'll come out able to weld but it takes practice to get those beautiful smooth welds. Hence the high pay.

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For ex., I was not expected to work in high school, just concentrate on study. My oldest didn't work in high school due to transport issues but began working as soon as she finished and worked all through college. My next 2 kids began work @ 16 and will continue to do so through college. The expectation of work during high school is so much higher now, IMHO. But work requires transport, and where we live the bus system really limits your options. But paying insurance for a kid.....impossible to add on one more expense @ such a price so they just had to wait and find a job where they could live on campus summers or ride a bike.

I really think we all look at our past and think that is what our generation was like but that just isn't the case. My husband and I both worked when in high school. I had two siblings that were full time and self supporting before age 18. My grandparents all worked by middle school age and all my aunts and uncles were working summers processing fish as teens expect for maybe my oldest Aunt. I simply don't know her story.

 

I don't assume that every one else's life was like that though. I also know where I live every one is into school, school, school, school and I personally think it is less healthy but that is a personal opinion.

 

My son got studded tires for his birthday and enjoys the freedom of getting around on his bike all year long. If he chose to get a car he would probably end up working just to pay for car maintence, insurance, etc. That seemed like a way to get no where to us all. He won't be getting a license for some time because neither his Dad or I or my son himself are ready to pay more for insurance. Every family makes different choices and has different opportunities and expectations.

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Ok, back to ramble. It will certainly be a chaotic ramble, you're forewarned!

 

Dh grew up blue collar, first generation born here. He, and his family have a great work ethic and very practical priorities. His parents have done very well for themselves and his mum is very white collar now.

 

I grew up fairly white collar but in a very dysfunctional home so many of the white collar benefits were negated.

 

Dh is blue collar, he's very clever, one of the smartest people I've met, great work ethic, tradesman, but not academic. I'm quite academic but never finished my degree, I had babies instead! Much to my mother's chagrin.

 

So, into that complex mix are our aspirations for our children!

I try to offer them an excellent education, bordering on elite education for knowledge's sake. We aren't wealthy but we do prioritise homeschool books/supplies very highly. Dh keeps me level by stressing the importance of practical skills and hands on work, and we both believe in the need for free time and a strong family bond.

 

What we actually hope for our children's future is honestly very basic, and has little to do with their careers. My mil actually asked me once how I'd cope if DD became a hairdresser, after all the work I'd put in - the insinuation being that the excellent education would be wasted. I simply said that she can be a hairdresser that speaks Latin! It honestly wouldn't bother me in the slightest!

 

What we want for them most, and what we have designed our whole lives around, is to be able to try! Try to do whatever they want! We hope to set them up with the skills and confidence to be able to go for their dreams (in life, not just career) knowing that we support them. We hope they'll leave us with enough skill as a backup plan, practicality and work ethic to be able to make a go of whatever opportunity arises.

 

I'll have to think some more about the homeschool community here...

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I want to add to this though that welding is an art. You'll come out able to weld but it takes practice to get those beautiful smooth welds. Hence the high pay.

:iagree:

I was in a lawsuit as 3rd party civil engineer for a weld that failed and the mall entrance overhang collapsed. The mall owner sued the contractor in charge of the welding. The welding was not properly done.

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Both DH and I were raised in a working class area in lower middle class families. My parents are uneducated (my father did not finish high school, although my mother did graduate, but neither have a college degree). My father is one of those self-educated types who reads extensively and is conversant on a wide range of topics. My mother read to us all the time as children and signed us up for book clubs galore. At any rate, DH and I don't identify with working class anymore, which is odd because we both work our tails off for what we have. Anyway, according to Pewresearch.com and Businessinsider.com, we are upper class American. However, I feel more upper middle class American. Don't know why that is.

 

I know you said you'd like to get into the stigma of being working class, but I would just like to mention that in my among my peers (neighbors, friends, others in our social circle), we are an oddity because we homeschool. Most of our friends and acquaintances can't understand why we don't just send our kids to private schools like they mostly do; we've had at least one family tell us that homeschooling was an inferior educational option. I don't have the heart to tell them that I think homeschooling provides a superior education to even their very expensive private schools. So the stigma of homeschooling touches us and I do not mention our homeschooling status to people I first meet because I know I'll get weird glances over it. They seem to view it as very Ellis Island or something.

 

Okay, out of curiosity, I'm going to blow this thread out of the water and start a new narrower one later. Who self-identifies as "working-class"? If you don't, do you identify with another class? Or no class at all?

 

I'd like to get into stigma of being working-class, and the expectations of upward mobility and some other stuff, but...I'm not so sure that won't explode so badly, that I won't get the above answers.

 

If you had to label your family's current class, what would it be?

 

Use whatever label you want. Just make it define class. Unless you see yourself or your country as classless.

 

This isn't about what I think, or any one else thinks. How do YOU self-identify the class of your homeschooling family?

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I find this thread interesting and I'm curious to see where it will go. DH and I are college-educated (graduate degrees) and the expectation in my social circle is that your children will go to college and probably follow that up with a professional degree. My DD has other plans for her life; she wants to be a farmer ( which I consider to be solidly working class) and I have encouraged her to chase her dreams. She does not need college to be a farmer, but I think a degree would provide some nice insurance, because making a living as a garmer is very difficult, and I am worried about her ability to provide for herself if she does not have a degree.

 

I needed a thread title. I was brainstorming. I had to put SOMETHING in the title that would draw the right people here and at least START conversation.

 

The world is in flux. I don't think the English language has yet supplied us with the vocabulary we need to discuss this flux.

 

Corporations have problem solving meetings, where they beg everyone to contribute, even if they think what they say might not be relevant.

 

I'm a mess. I started a messy thread about a messy topic. Yes, we see mess here. We are all in agreement that I started mess. :lol:

 

At some point, I am interested in discussing alternative post-secondary plans other than what has become the default but unnatainable goal for some families. Not in this thread and maybe not here.

 

I'm seeing a growing body of people saying, "Uh oh, I read all the new books, I got excited and tried, and now..I'm SO SO SO scared I don't think this is going to happen, and I don't know what to do now. And worse yet, I'm afraid to let anyone know, because they shame me when I do."

 

No matter how low-income someone is, they might not be thinking, "Uh oh!!!!" That is why this isn't a thread titled low income.

 

Yes, at some point, I do want to narrow down to, "uh oh!!!!" with some people that are experiencing that and ready to talk about it.

 

But I fear giving up the brainstorming messy wide problem solving session too soon. I don't want to miss something. Regentrude's post was huge for me.

 

If someone is at "Uh oh!!!!" And wants a safe place to talk about "Uh oh!!!" there is someone reading this thread that wants to talk with others like herself. Self-identifying as working-class or uh oh is likely to catch her attention.

 

But as for ME and THIS thread. I am doing what *I* do best. I get people talking. As Ellie said, "It's Hunter". :lol:

 

I am not moderator material. I am a mess. I hang out at forums others start and contribute mess that starts conversation. That is one of my roles in life. I shake things up. I talk about new and different things. Most forums I get kicked off of. It still amazes me I have racked up so many posts here without getting kicked off!!!

 

So again in summary. I am having a messy brainstorming session. But, yes, someone else is now watching this thread hoping to find some safe people to chat with about uh oh. Because as fascinating as I am, I wasn't enough for her. :lol:

 

I am becoming as outdated as the term blue-collar. My stories get older every year. I don't even know how to title a thread anymore, as has been pointed out to me repeatedly, here. :lol: But I'm still good for something. And as long as I can, I'll keep doing what I'm good at. You all are reading and posting, aren't you?

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I think the New York Times allows you 10 free article reads a month. Switch your phone to incognito mode and you can read limitless NY a times articles per month. *wink*

 

Thank you! I will need to get onto a library computer to access these links or somehow log into the library subscription.

 

Low-income does teach us how to problem-solve doesn't it?

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I think the New York Times allows you 10 free article reads a month. Switch your phone to incognito mode and you can read limitless NY a times articles per month. *wink*

 

 

Thanks!!

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I really think we all look at our past and think that is what our generation was like but that just isn't the case. My husband and I both worked when in high school. I had two siblings that were full time and self supporting before age 18. My grandparents all worked by middle school age and all my aunts and uncles were working summers processing fish as teens expect for maybe my oldest Aunt. I simply don't know her story.

 

I don't assume that every one else's life was like that though. I also know where I live every one is into school, school, school, school and I personally think it is less healthy but that is a personal opinion.

 

My son got studded tires for his birthday and enjoys the freedom of getting around on his bike all year long. If he chose to get a car he would probably end up working just to pay for car maintence, insurance, etc. That seemed like a way to get no where to us all. He won't be getting a license for some time because neither his Dad or I or my son himself are ready to pay more for insurance. Every family makes different choices and has different opportunities and expectations.

 

I didn't intend to imply that my world was anybody else's, just point out that we'd done things differently with our kids than in our family of origin. Likewise, my mom went back to work to help pay for private school because my parents prioritized education. I quit the work force, gradually, when we began homeschooling -- we, too, priotized education but handled it quite differently. I don't know your story either.

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Sorry, I just read that "the expectation of work during high school is so much higher now" and wanted to share the other side.

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Yeah, I hit "Private" on the iPad to open a new window, incognito on my Samsung Galaxy, and Ctrl+Shift and P on my desktop.  when you hit your 10 article limit, just open up another window on one of those private browsing modes to get the next 10.

 

 

REALLY???

 

 

Wow. Thank you!

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I don't know. We are odd, maybe, but I see other homeschoolers here with similar stories.

 

My parents both have university degrees, neither worked in their field. We grew up very low income. I delivered newspapers and flyers with my family early in the morning before public school and in the afternoons after school. My mom started a cleaning company and I worked at that after school/weekends etc. until I was an adult. I left high school early due to a family emergency requiring me to work full time, but still managed to get a diploma. I did vocational college and worked as an administrative assistant/vocational college instructor etc. for a few years before I married my husband.

 

He's from a farming family, and doesn't even have an 8th grade education. I don't think any of his ancestors have one either.

 

We own our home, our vehicle, but we don't have a 'traditional' job-based income. I'm just glad we aren't living off-grid anymore!!! We are still in heavy house renovations (slow going), and are living in a very small space (back 1/3 of our house).

 

I'm upgrading my high school right now to meet the pre-requisites for the local BScN program, we'll see how it goes. Maybe next year, maybe this year?

 

Through all of this though, I grew up with a strange mentality. Even though we were poverty level (and still are, I suppose), my parents always highly valued reading and intellectual pursuits, as do I. My husband's family, not so much, but he is very supportive. It's an odd combination, perhaps? I have no idea how to label it.

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I assume by 'ranks' you mean enlisted personnel. I find your assumption frequently among civilians; however, those familiar with the military know this is not true at all. Many, many enlisted service members have college educations and even carry out what is considered a white-collar job in the military despite not being officers. It's not that simple at all. There are so many different jobs a person can have in the military -  infantryman, physician, and everything in between.

 

While in the military, DH would some days go to the firing range or a long ruck march or whatever soldier duties were called for. Other days, he would go to work in a suit and tie, completely out of uniform.

 

I think you're right to say that it's a completely different class organization. In some ways, it's a completely different world that most people don't understand.

 

Yeah, I'm not making an assumption as a civilian, I was army for 10 years and I come from a navy family for several generations, both officers and NCMs.  I stand by saying that officers roughly map onto professional classes, and the ranks map onto trades/labour type work. 

 

Your explanation seems a little confused to me - The fact that officers might go to the range does not make that "non-professional" type work, veterinarians still have to stick their hands up cow's arses, but they are still practicing their profession.  Military doctors are actual doctors - they have professional degrees, and they are officers, not NCMs.  I have a degree, but the fact is that I did not need to have a university degree for my job, while I would have required one to be an officer.  Most of the training for non-officers, even at the NCO level, is closer to vocational type training than university education. "White coolar" does not mean professional - secretaries, call center workers, and IT jobs are all white collar, but other than IT workers they aren't degreed, and IT workers may not be in many cases either, they can be a trade.

 

The military has often mirrored some of the social changes around it, so it is more common now to find NCMs with degrees - just as it isn't hard to find electricians or farmers with university degrees in totally unrelated subjects.  If you go back even further to a time when many gentlemen didn't go to university, you also find that many military officers also didn't, but they could read and write unlike the enlisted men.

 

And socially there was, and still is, a very clear social divide between ranks and officers - and I think that remains to a much greater degree than it does in non-military circles.

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My family had a lot of this as well (very upper class and then nothing, but not in the U.S.), although things have shifted over the last 50 years. They definitely maintained their cultural values, friends, and accents after they had nothing, but they were driven by a cause so I think that helped their mental adjustment to a new reality.

 

You know, it might be to the point that this is something mmore visible to people outside of the US, or perhaps North America.  While I think class divisions are quite significant here, they aren't always so visible.

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Hunter,

I think this is an interesting thread.  You're an interesting person. Don't let people ruin the thread.

 

Anyway, we started out homeschooling middle class in a relatively inexpensive area, with our own home in a beautiful townhome neighborhood that was well established (many many long term families) we didn't always have two cars but we had enough money to do little things and sign up for little things and eat out with friends, and take piano lessons, etc.

 

...husband lost his job and we moved to a much tinier townhome that was unpleasant for peopel to visit, and he also decided to switch fields.  For about 3 years we homeschooled under very different circumstances. When you have no money to eat out, no money for expensive field trips, no money for a second car (in fact my dh took the train twice a week and the one car we did have often needed repairs leaving me with no car here and there), no money for piano lessons, online school, online classes, local art classes, local science classes..and almost everyone else is constantly doing those things...it's a whole different world. Many people didn't like coming over because they didn't want their kids playing in the common area, instead of a big yard. But, they were too busy to invite us over to their huge beautiful yards.....  You have to search different forums, talk to different people, even make different friends!!  We had friends that were into free outings like the beach, the park, or going to the same zoo over and over because we bought season passes together, and we would share gas.  They thought the library was like Christmas just like us, and homeschooled virtually for free just like us, and packed a lunch EVERYWHERE just like us, ....the friends with money just weren't that interested in our free, and sometimes less exciting outings.  And, even if they were (because even my kids had true friends that stuck with them), they were just too busy.  When someone has money, they are out of the house a lot more with all the things they paid for.  And they don't realize the 40.00 outing they are inviting you on is going to be a burden.  

 

So, there is a very real sense in which, IRL AND online, the socio-economic status makes a bit of a difference.  

 

 

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I find this thread interesting and I'm curious to see where it will go. DH and I are college-educated (graduate degrees) and the expectation in my social circle is that your children will go to college and probably follow that up with a professional degree. My DD has other plans for her life; she wants to be a farmer ( which I consider to be solidly working class) and I have encouraged her to chase her dreams. She does not need college to be a farmer, but I think a degree would provide some nice insurance, because making a living as a garmer is very difficult, and I am worried about her ability to provide for herself if she does not have a degree.

 

 

Many farmers here have degrees in agriculture.  Which generally includes a lot of business-related stuff.

 

However - its also the case that most small farms these days require off-farm income, but I wouldn't assume that a degree is the best bet.  Most farmers will be living in rural areas, and they will have times when they need to be doing farm work only and other times where they are less busy.  Something like a trade might make a lot more sense, especially if it is one that can be useful in farming.  Mechanical work for example, can give many options - many farmers will contract out hauling equipment or animals for other people, and they need to have a variety of vehicles working. One farm family I know contracts with a furnace oil company to do the local deliveries.  Another runs and on-farm abattoir, so the husband of the family is trained as a butcher (as well as being able to drive trucks of all sizes.)

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I haven't read through all the replies.

The post confused me a bit, with the initial read. Not all blue collar workers I know are low-income, or even "working class," regarding their income. Those who went on to own their own businesses, for example, within their "blue collar" field, tend to be on the upper end of the middle class, in my experience.

 

 

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I haven't read through all the replies.

The post confused me a bit, with the initial read. Not all blue collar workers I know are low-income, or even "working class," regarding their income. Those who went on to own their own businesses, for example, within their "blue collar" field, tend to be on the upper end of the middle class, in my experience.

It is all discussed in the replies. :D

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Help me now write a year platinum for the Rainbow Curriculum that focuses on politics. I started a new thread about political and economics classics. I think that thread will be even more interesting than this one if we can stay as nice as we did here.

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I haven't read ahead so not sure if I am staying with the topic. But I would consider our family blue class. My husband worked his entire career in a factory and he grew up with a father who was the local go to fix it guy. We have never called in someone to fix anything in our house even though we have the money to do so. We read books, ask others and now can watch you tube videos and do it ourselves. Whether that means fixing the washing machine, putting down hardwood floors, or replacing Windows. Our kids (3 adults and two at home are the same)

I love learning and value education but college isn't the goal for all the kids, or even any of them unless it is what they want. One went to college after high school, one is attending now while in the Navy and one never plans to go. I feel comfortable that they can all carry on a conversation with anyone from any status.

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I was PMed by someone with the offer to start a private subforum here for people who would like a protected place to explore working-class and lower-income homeschooling, geared towards moms/educators with no college background themselves. I don't think the focus would be towards upward mobility, but more to explore alternatives to that, and trying to mine the working-class cultures for overlooked resources that are there for the taking.

 

 

 

So, is there anyone else here who is homeschooling their children without having been to university? Do you find that impacts you or your homeschool in any way? I am curious. I sometimes lack confidence as an educator because I lack formal schooling. 

 

 

 I'd be very interested in a subforum for working class families with no college education themselves.

 

I've been reading these forums since 2004 (though not as much in the last three years or so).  I'm a little surprised to read the comments above that I quoted.  I've always seen these forums as a place that includes people like me (no college/university education, grew up poor in a single-parent home, one-low-income homeschooling family since the beginning, etc.).  Even though I have always wondered if I am doing a "good enough" job at home-educating, this has always been the place I've turned to for reassurance, even though I haven't been able to do many of the commonly suggested things (such as lots of lessons, co-ops, clubs, outsourcing classes, etc.)  Anyway, YES!  There are plenty of people here who are home-educating our kids without having gone further than high school!  Yes, it takes some creativity and time and ingenuity and help and advice and thinking and resourcefulness.  But looking back, I think I'm glad (even though it was hard!!!) that I couldn't just go out and buy my way through those years.

 

I have no idea how I'd define myself.  I grew up in the States and moved to Canada in my mid-20s (had met and married a Canadian).  My mother was an elementary school teacher and my father had a business degree and worked in real estate and construction before his mental health broke down when I was in my teens. (they divorced when I was 8 and then we were very poor)  So, both of them were readers, and we did read when I was growing up (though, after the Little House books, a lot of mine was Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and teen romance) I stopped reading in high school and didn't get back to it until I was 29 or so.  Dh's mother was an RN for a couple of years til she became a SAHM and his father was in the military then worked for a tire company.  Dh had a couple of vocational certificates after high school (cooking and electronics), but didn't like either field, and so lost skills and interest.  After we married, we both cobbled incomes by office work, a tried and failed business, and self-employment teaching guitar (he's a guitar player).  The self-employment is what has stuck over the years.  So my job as SAHM after having kids entailed a LOT of learning about frugal living.

 

Over my homeschooling years, I've learned quite a bit about teaching, which I've enjoyed.  My mind has been DRIVEN to learn how to teach things (I processed a lot a few years ago here on the forums about learning how to teach writing to my kids - writing had been a complete mystery to me in high school, with bluffing my way through required compositions) - I'm not sure why.  Probably because I like to understand "why."  Anyway, it's TWTM, it's associated materials/suggestions, and people on the forums who've helped me to figure out how to do this with my family.  I've gotten inspiration and practical help by reading other people's stories, too.  I've esp. loved reading posts where people explain how to do something, rather than just suggest a curriculum.  Reading an explanation is accessible to anyone on the internet, even if you can't buy a particular curriculum and even if you're in a different social class.  Maybe those types of posts have become fewer?  I don't know.

 

When we first decided to homeschool (early in our kids' lives), it wasn't an issue for anyone we knew, except for one person.  But that person criticized us on a bunch of other things, too, so I didn't put any stock into that "input."  Homeschooling just became part of who we were as a family, and we knew other homeschooling families, too (who mostly did think I was nuts to do a more classical style education, but nevertheless, homeschooling was acceptable to many we knew).  Fast forward to just a couple of years ago when a particular circumstance changed in our lives.  We were then associating more with a new group of people, many of whom I guess you all would call "white collar."  I found it fascinating to get to know these people (who cared so much about social issues, education, books, etc.).  But I also got drilled quite a few times about homeschooling (even though my oldest was already in high school age!) - one lady even outright told me I should be sending my daughter to public school so she could "see her friends" - this lady knew NOTHING about us, my daughter, or her friends!!!!  It was strange to encounter all those typical questions so many years into the home-education project.  It's a good thing I was mostly confident about it all by then, or I'd have shrunk back and doubted myself.  Anyway, I guess they found me a curiosity - a high-school-only mother who had the gall to homeschool through high school.  I think the ones I've gotten to know have accepted it now, after having gotten to know our family.  It helps that our oldest happens to lean towards university and has now been accepted to a few, too, I guess.

 

Now I feel like I'm rambling, too, because I too don't really know what this thread is about, lol!  :D  Hunter, it's interesting you mention a change in homeschooling.  I was a teen in the early 80s, and we started attending a church in NH - this church was full of homeschoolers, and I had never heard of homeschooling before.  All very conservative Christian.  And yet, looking back, most of those parents were Ivy League school graduates (the nature of where the church was "planted" from).  The church espoused all the typical conservative beliefs about family, and my single-mom-of-five-kids mother was subtly looked down upon because she was single.  I was 16 at the time (oldest of the five), and all the other families had very little kids.  Some of them even told my mother that she should be homeschooling us, lol.  There is NO WAY I would have gone along with that, at that age - but she also told them, "well who is going to support my family, then?"  But, my (reading specialist) mother was also the one they turned to for help when their kids weren't learning how to read.  Anyway, weird story; weird mix of people.  So yes, back then I would never have considered homeschooling, when all I saw was how to raise perfect kids in a perfect environment.  It wasn't til the late 90s when my mother actually sat down with a friend of mine to teach her how to teach her kids to read, that I finally saw that actual teaching could be fun.  THAT is what hooked me in.

 

OK, now my mind is shutting down for the evening - I think I did the rambling I was going to do, lol!  hth the person Hunter refers to.

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Dh and I both grew up blue collar, but we both are degreed engineers.   We have friends and family with all kinds of backgrounds, from small business owners in construction, to welders, to electricians, mechanics, engineering, design, nursing, and I could go on and on.  My own brother took some classes as a welder and is now I believe a field engineer.  

 

We intend to offer dd exposure to as much as possible including having her ready for a top college if that is the direction she chooses.  Dh and I keep talking about how we can teach her the things that she would need to run her own business when neither of us has ever done so.  There are lots of ways to be successful and the better educated she is the better off she will be.  Education never hurt anyone and how much money or what type of job you have or want really doesn't matter when it comes to that.  No matter what you do having as strong of an education as possible helps.   

 

By the way we can afford to buy lunch on a field trip or to take to a park, but we have also often times packed a picnic lunch too.  I see people as people and look more at their values than how much money they make or what they can or can't afford to do.

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I'm really sorry if people are still feeling confused and uncomfortable with this thread. It did accomplish MY goals. It let some people find each other who are benefitting from a safe little corner to bond and talk about some stuff that would just get derailed on a larger forum.

 

And it let me BRAINSTORM. It was like a piece of scrap paper with graphic organizers all over it. it was just a random call out for new ideas, some of which were worth pursuing and some not.

 

This thread led to the political classics thread, and then the Euclid prerequisite thread, and who knows how many more in the future, as it just ripples out into areas I'm sure none of us can imagine yet.

 

This thread was the birth of some stuff. Birth is kinda messy and yucky and even sometimes stinky. Sorry for needing to do this in public.

 

And THANK YOU! :grouphug:

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Thanks, Hunter.

 

You already know my story and yes, there are some things about economics and social class that I would be more comfortable discussing in a small, private, ungoogleable group than I would on the main forums.

 

I'm definitely going to check out the Euclid thread when I get a chance, even though I don't have any kids the right age for it just now.

 

ds8 knows that Horatio Alger wrote fiction and we talk about realistic and unrealistic career goals and showing more respect for his brother, but he's a carefree imaginative little kid rather than a budding tween like some of his agemates, and not even ready for Howard Zinn's Young People's History just yet.

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Thanks for sharing! I always appreciate your posts, and this one too :).

 

The comment I made above wasn't meant to suggest that these forums aren't inclusive of people who have not been to university; I didn't read that into any of the comments I quoted - I was just feeling bad that anyone might feel they couldn't reach out for help here just because they didn't have a degree or because they thought most posters do have a degree or thought you have to have a degree in order to homeschool or homeschool-to-university-acceptance.  I was curious who hadn't been, and how it affected their homeschool and family overall. I do notice that this board has a general culture of expecting kids to go to university, as well as a general culture of valuing university very much. There is nothing wrong with that, but as someone who has not been to university, I was simply wondering where the other people from a similar background as my own were — homeschool parents who have not been to university, and homeschool parents who are not necessarily expecting their own kids to go there. I'm one!  :D  Although I've tried to prepare my kids to be able to enter university if that's what they want (and yes, my recent posts have been about my older child's acceptances), I don't expect it of them.  Although I doubt my younger child will want to apply for university, I'll still make sure she has some basic prerequisites (exposure to the sciences, history, literature, math through Algebra I and II and geometry, good composition skills).  That's just a decent general education (IMO) anyway.  But she also has plenty of room for exploring other things during high school, too.  She's in a couple of choirs, a youth leadership program, a book club...she may also do some job-shadowing at radio or TV production stations - we'll just search for opportunities for her to explore in high school - opportunities that may lead to other things that don't require a university degree to do.  It can be helpful and interesting to explore alternative options too, especially if you simply don't have the funds to send your kids to university. (We live in a country where financial assistance is not a realistic option at all, so that certainly affects the future.)

 

For instance, I am currently actively pursuing apprenticeships for my kids. Sharing ideas and experiences with others who may be doing the same would be awesome. 

 

I wholeheartedly agree!  And I've seen threads over the years on the high school board about this very thing.  One poster there, Jane in NC, wrote something years ago that I've always kept in mind:  Seek the opportunities that are right near you - what is in your area, what can you do, what can the people you know do and how can they help your kid, etc. etc.  Don't sit back and worry about all the things you see other homeschoolers doing (who don't have to think about how much each activity or experience costs) - open your eyes and see what YOU can see for your own kids.  So, I started doing that, and I would then find little things.  lol, and then I would make myself e-mail Jane and tell her all about any given opportunity that I had just unearthed ("Jane!  We met a local math professor!  And he likes talking to my son [who loves math]!  He let my son job-shadow him for a half day!  He gave my son some calculus books and he talked with him about which local uni math programs would be suitable for him!  He agreed to write a reference letter for son's application to math camp!" and on and on).  And Jane would cheer me on (and cheer on ds).  Anyway, my point is that this stuff does get talked about at the high school board whenever anyone brings it up.  Even though many threads are about specific courses and how to write transcripts and things like that, don't be shy about starting up a thread for sharing these ideas and experiences and asking for brainstorming about kids who may not be going to university.

 

I'm really sorry if people are still feeling confused and uncomfortable with this thread. Oh, don't worry about me saying I didn't really understand the thread - I was poking fun at myself.  Besides, if I REALLY didn't have a clue as to what it was about, I wouldn't have posted.  It did accomplish MY goals. It let some people find each other who are benefitting from a safe little corner to bond and talk about some stuff that would just get derailed on a larger forum. 

 

And it let me BRAINSTORM. It was like a piece of scrap paper with graphic organizers all over it. it was just a random call out for new ideas, some of which were worth pursuing and some not.

 

This thread led to the political classics thread, and then the Euclid prerequisite thread, and who knows how many more in the future, as it just ripples out into areas I'm sure none of us can imagine yet.

 

This thread was the birth of some stuff. Birth is kinda messy and yucky and even sometimes stinky. Sorry for needing to do this in public.

 

And THANK YOU! :grouphug:

 

Your threads are always fun to read.  Esp. the ones where you list your old-book finds!!!!

 

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Speaking of old-book finds, I found an interesting one; an autobiography of a slave in Bermuda. As well as free versions, Dover sells a thrift paper-back. It is called History of Mary Prince.

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