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Why is {family member} obsessed with "changing classes"?


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I have had repeated conversations with a certain {family member} (Extended family, not DH, I promise ;) ) where said person insists that I am crazy for considering bringing my soon-to-be sixth grader home because "Changing Classes"... "Changing Classes" would be so good for him. "Changing Classes" was so important for {other-now-grown-family-member} "Changing Classes" blah blah blah....

 

OK. My background is teaching high school. I get the importance of rotational classes for making teachers not lose their minds. The going joke between secondary teachers vs. elementary teachers is  :

ET: I don't know how you deal with teenagers all day, they're so hormonal and obnoxious,  you must be crazy! 

ST: The secret of teaching high school is "THEY LEAVE!" Every 45/90 minutes! I don't know how you lock yourself in a room with the same thirty kids all day, every day for a year! You must be crazy!!

 

But seriously? That's the best she's got? "Changing Classes?"

 

Tell me about the crazy, weird objections family members have raised to your educational decisions... The real head-scratchers.

 

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We are at the VERY beginning of education with Jr but we have heard:

"Don't homeschool because he will need to learn about socialization"

"You owe it to the society to put your kid in public school" <--I just can't figure that one out.

"You can do academics at home but what about lunch and recess?" <--What do they assume we are doing with him in the years between weaning and elementary school?

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When I pulled my 6th grader out, she was her music teacher's star pupil.  He was very angry, and actually said that I was "ruining her life and she'd never be a leader" and that I "was robbing his other students of a good role model".  That was totally going to change my mind because I'm absolutely going to put all the other kids before my own.

I guess I did ruin her.  I mean, what kind of person does well in college and has a gaggle of friends everywhere she goes?!  

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In Asia, high schoolers don't change classes.  They stay in the same room and the teachers are the one who change rooms.  The teachers also have a desk/cubicle in a large room with all the other teachers teaching that grade level.  The kids only go to other rooms for special classes like when they have labs, cooking, gym, etc.  The kids are even the ones who clean the classroom.  It seems to work well there. 

 

I know that the rushing between classes doesn't always work well. 

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I have heard many reasons given for why we shouldn't homeschool but the one that trumped them all was my daughters close in age male cousins trying to convince DD that she needs to come back to school so she can experience police lockdowns and at least one riot in her lifetime. DD, oddly, was less than enthused. LOL

 

 

(Thankfully while she was in school she attended a lovely school with some wonderful teachers so she knows this is NOT the norm).

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"But what about LUNCH?" That's the first thing my mom said. LOL. Fortunately, she's now a supporter of homeschooling and knows I do feed them. She explained that she hated school and her school had good lunches and it provided time with her friends. Lunch was her only good memory of school.

 

I have a friend who sent her son to shadow a friend at their local high school. She wanted him to decide whether to homschool for high school or go to the public school, and he ultimately chose homeschooling. The decision may or may not have been influenced by the bomb threat at the school the day after his shadowing day.

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When I pulled my 6th grader out, she was her music teacher's star pupil. He was very angry, and actually said that I was "ruining her life and she'd never be a leader" and that I "was robbing his other students of a good role model". That was totally going to change my mind because I'm absolutely going to put all the other kids before my own.

 

My son was the star in French (he started in second grade and just took yo the langugae immediately) In seventh grade, I had to pull him due to extreme bullying. Bullying never occurred in French and teacher was unaware of things outside her class. She was extremely angry with me for withdrawing my son. She kept putting off meeting with me to tell me what to do to continue French. She finally sat down with me and went over what I needed. I took the time to explain in detail what had happened (daily punching, encouragement of bullying by another teacher) I found out two months later she quit after I walked out of her class. she quickly landed at a school where a friend was hired. They went through orientation together and the French teacher told her the reason she left her previous school was bullying of her star student.

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I did get a bit of a laugh when one of my adult sons requested I not make youngest son a weirdo by homeschooling. The only kid he knew growing up that was home educated was a bit isolated and in his words weird, but I asked him if he knew any "weird" kids at public school and of course he knew a bunch. (Whatever weird means)

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Changing classes:

 

Tell relative you plan to make your dc get up and run the length of the street every 50 minutes. You plan to time this activity. You will not allow use of the toilet any other time. So, when dc needs to use the toilet he needs to run the street faster so he has time to use the bathroom too. Additionally, you may plan to knock into the dc occasionally, so they don't missed out on bumping into people in crowded hallways.

 

Seriously though, getting up for a little exercise every hour is good for everyone.

Edited by Diana P.
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Not a homeschooler, but I had a friend tell me that if I kept my kids home too long and limited screen time, they would be deficient in knowing the Disney characters.  How can a kid succeed in life without knowing Mickey Mouse?  She was serious.

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"But what about prom?" When I said I was homeschooling my seven year old.

 

I was homeschooled and this was by far the most frequent objection I heard about homeschooling. I didn't care about prom, I never went and never wanted to. As an adult, having seen several teen movies whose proms were doublessly much cooler than real life proms, I don't feel I missed out on anything. I feel like if that's your biggest objection, you aren't trying very hard to argue against homeschooling. ;)

 

I don't have people in real life telling me I shouldn't homeschool. My family is supportive and where their supportiveness ends, their ability to bite their tongue begins. :) Online though... I read someone saying that if all the smart kids (because homeschoolers are always smarter right?) with involved parents leave the school, then the school will suffer, so homeschooling parents are wrong for doing what's in the best interest of their child instead of the best interest of the school. So there's that... :p

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@SKL -- I'm a Disney junkie. My kids won't miss out on Disney characters. I might have been trying to figure out an imagineering class for my 6th grader LOL

 

 

As for prom, our homeschool co-op group has a prom at one of the coolest places in our city. So we've got that one covered ;)

 

Edited by theelfqueen
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Is that the sole reason you are bringing him home?  Certainly there are other reasons?

 

Or maybe I am reading that wrong?  You said you were bringing him home for that or she is just bringing that up on her own?

Edited by DawnM
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I think that people tend to focus on what was either good for them about school (prom, lunch) or hard for them (math, science) when raising objections about homeschooling.  So perhaps this relative either really enjoyed changing classes or somehow found it challenging.

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I read that in an obnoxious blog post years ago titled Death to Homeschooling.

 

"Owing the community" is the one I get from my brother who is extremely pro-public school. He goes on and on about how good public school was for him and how well he did. Then I remind him that he went to a very good, classically minded private school until high school which gave him a great foundation. 

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Is that the sole reason you are bringing him home?  Certainly there are other reasons?

 

Or maybe I am reading that wrong?  You said you were bringing him home for that or she is just bringing that up on her own?

 

It sounds like OP is bringing her ds home and *someone else* thinks he should stay in school so he can benefit from changing classes. Because that's an important learning experience. And OP is all :rolleyes:

 

 

ETA: I see OP already answered by the time I posted.

Edited by Cinder
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I didn't go to prom. I went to a typical suburban high school.

 

I did - you didn't miss much. I think prom is one of those events that got glorified in movies and TV shows. 

 

As for changing classes, we had 4 minutes to get from one class to the next. My locker was on one side of our very spread out school and all but one of my classes was on the other. So my choices were to either sprint from one end of the school and back, dodging a thousand other people attempting to do the same and get to class totally out of breath and unprepared, or carry my overly heavy backpack with all of the books I'd need for the first half of the day, miss the first 10 minutes of our 20 minute lunch period while swapping books for the second half of the day. Most unpleasant.

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My mother in law was almost in tears when it became clear that we were going ahead with our plan to homeschool. Why? Because her darling granddaughter wouldn't get the joy of having a lunchbox.   Seriously, she was really upset. I was slack jawed. Of all the arguments I thought they might come up with, a lunchbox was not among them. 

 

She bought dd a lunchbox and I think she believes we actually packed it every morning. 

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"I'm not in favor of homeschooling because it increases the stress on the parent." No joke, that was the reason.

 

I'm pretty sure that could be used as an argument against having kids.  "Parenting" definitely puts stress on the person undertaking it  (so does working, going to school, or most anything with worthwhile benefit, I think.)

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The funniest to me was my oldest's best friend when he was about seven. We were driving somewhere in the car and friend was trying really hard to convince C. to come to his private school and his argument was all the field trips that they did that were really cool. C. kept saying "oh, yeah, we went there, that was cool" as his friend told him about the nature center or one of the museums downtown or whatever. I was laughing in my head and thinking that field trips probably isn't the strongest argument to try to convince someone not to homeschool. :) 

 

 

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My mother in law was almost in tears when it became clear that we were going ahead with our plan to homeschool. Why? Because her darling granddaughter wouldn't get the joy of having a lunchbox.   Seriously, she was really upset. I was slack jawed. Of all the arguments I thought they might come up with, a lunchbox was not among them. 

 

She bought dd a lunchbox and I think she believes we actually packed it every morning. 

 

Being able to eat fresh, warm, not cafeteria food every day is one of the biggest advantages of homeschooling!

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This is a rookie mistake. You will learn to be VERY selective about who you discuss educational choices with. Distant dh relative shouldn't make the cut. (We've all done it. My neighbor informed me that homeschooling in elementary school was ok, but high school wasn't, ACCORDING TO DR. PHIL. Gee, thanks.)

 

Google "pass the bean dip" for some next-level homeschool mom knowledge.

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I got the prom one a lot. When my kid was 2.  :huh: I replied that neither D nor I went to prom. I think that may have been confirmation that we were too weird to raise children. 

 

A developmental psychologist told me that if we homeschooled, all of the families would be exactly like us, and he would miss out on the diversity and (no joke) exposure to poverty that he would see in public school. 
It turns out that our homeschool group was extremely diverse, multiracial, spanning socio-economics, and included quite a few international families. 
We took our own turn into poverty, so got that covered. The public school where we bought our house was populated by families who had lived in the same neighborhood for 200 years, exclusive of outsiders, racially homogenous (not our race), all attended the same church and had three family names between them. Where is all this diversity?
 

But the best one, hands down, is that my kids will have a "unfair advantage" over their peers because their education and life experience will be so far superior.  :lol: This was obviously said by a nonparent. 

 

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We are part of a homeschool co-op this year where the kids change classes, bring their lunches to eat on site, and they even have a homeschool prom and homeschool homecoming (...which I didn't even realize was a "thing" until I heard about it, but that's another topic).   We have access to a statewide graduation ceremony (huge) and a local graduation ceremony (smaller), depending upon whether we want our children to graduate in a group of 1000 or 100.   We plan to begin dual enrollment in 10th or 11th grade, and many of our friends' children have graduated from high school as homeschoolers while simultaneously obtaining their A.A. from the local college.    That has taken care of all of the objections to homeschooling through high school that I've been confronted with.

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"She will never learn to ride on the bus"!!!!

 

My older two DDs actually DID get to ride on the bus. Our state allows homeschoolers to participate in extra-curriculars, and they were in the high school's musicals. Each girl was in a musical that was nominated for a Gene Kelly Award (kinda like a local Tony Award for high schools) and in order to participate in the show, they had to go to the high school and ride the bus with the rest of the cast.

 

They figured out the whole "school bus" thing just fine. :glare:

 

And a funny: one of the boys in the cast had no idea Sweet Child was homeschooled! He thought her friends were kidding. <<<  Friends.  Yes, she had FRIENDS, too! :coolgleamA:

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"She will never learn to ride on the bus"!!!!

 

Funny thing is my oldest was really concerned about this and really wanted to ride the bus when she was little. But even if she'd gone to public school, we live too close to the elementary, middle and high schools to use the bus. They only bus kids who live over 3 miles away. We live just inside that radius from the high school and I looked into what it would cost to get them to allow her to ride. They said she could ride only if there was room, and they would only pick her up at an established stop anyway, and they would charge us over $500 for this privilege. :glare: She's all relieved that I find this utterly ridiculous because now of course she doesn't want to ride the bus.

 

Besides, is this something people actually need to "learn" how to do? :huh:

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DawnM -- you're misreading ;) The "Changing Classes" thing is an objection to our decision that a relative keeps raising. I find it an odd objection.

 

We're bringing him home for a variety of reasons that seem best for him and our family on the whole.

 

I see.  Sorry.

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Ha--

One of the reasons my son came to me and asked if he could be homeschooled is that he wanted "everything in one place." He hated changing classes and having multiple teachers!

He also wanted to read "things that matter," not the crap he was assigned in 8th grade. We ended up doing GBs.

 

I've really only ever had someone bring up socialization as a reason to not homeschool. That one is easy to counter.

 

Oh yeah--there was the time when a teacher colleague said she didn't think "Mom should be Teacher, too." That always strikes me as so odd, since teaching is as much a part of parenting as anything else is!

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"But what about prom?" When I said I was homeschooling my seven year old.

 

This was MIL's big objection. DD was in second grade. Now she's 10, and I know things will probably change, but right now she wouldn't put on a dress and high heels and makeup if her life depended on it. I can't think of anything that would appeal to her less than prom!

 

Changing classes:

 

Tell relative you plan to make your dc get up and run the length of the street every 50 minutes. You plan to time this activity. You will not allow use of the toilet any other time. So, when dc needs to use the toilet he needs to run the street faster so he has time to use the bathroom too. Additionally, you may plan to knock into the dc occasionally, so they don't missed out on bumping into people in crowded hallways.

 

Seriously though, getting up for a little exercise every hour is good for everyone.

 

You forgot to add that, once he runs the length of the street and back, he'll have to run to to the opposite corner to retrieve his school books, which you will have stashed in a metal box protected by a combination lock that will only open on every third try (assuming he remembers the combination). And if he's not back in his seat in the allotted time, you'll make him sit for an extra 30 minutes at the kitchen table at the end of the day.

 

Changing classes... good grief. Seriously, some people have too much time on their hands. :rolleyes:

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