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Are you affluent?


egao_gakari
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And do you live in an affluent school district?

 

Saw this comment on a blog post (second nasty comment in a row by the same commenter) and it made me wonder:

 

Very few homeschooling parents live in areas with blighted schools. They tend to be affluent and living in affluent school districts. The "serious defects" they see in their (well funded) public schools are fears that their children will be exposed to people who are different from them, and viewpoints that are different. They might even get a social studies teacher who will influence their political thinking!

 

 

We aren't affluent. In fact, we receive government assistance. Our school district is rural-ish, with more affluent ones to the north and south, and  two very very blighted districts a bit further south. The only "serious defect" we saw about our school district was that my husband went there and hated it! He didn't want his kids attending the same one he did. We definitely didn't care about exposing them to different viewpoints... before we homeschooled, they attended a charter school with many kids from families that were very different from ours (mostly far more affluent than we are). We are homeschooling because our kids weren't getting the academic or emotional attention they needed.

 

What about you? Does literally any of this comment ring true to you?

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what I see in the comment is someone who is full of bitterness and resentment.

 

yes - I live in a "good" school district.

 

I have friends irl in this and neighborhing "good" school districts that homeschool.

Edited by gardenmom5
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When homeschooling, we lived in an affluent area.  

 

The reasons had NOTHING to do with the reason stated above.  :::eyeroll:::

 

Most of the reasons revolved around the fact that the schools didn't have what we needed for my son. Small classes, accelerated learning, lots of play time and down time.  And the fact that we could get a lot more done in a lot less time, covering in depth more topics.  

 

Good grief.  

 

 

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We used to live in an affluent school district. You want to know how students were different from mine? Many of them had enough disposable income to afford copious quality drugs and dual professional parents who were out of the house all afternoon. That's the kind of "diversity" I have no shame saying I'd like to avoid.

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Well I admit I homeschool with one reason being that I can shape our children as much as possible, and yes, that includes politics, religion, and social behavior. But who says homeschooling is only supposed to be engaged in because of poor schools? That's ridiculous. It's my right as a parent to choose how to educate my children and why.

 

That said, we aren't particularly affluent for our area, and smack in the middle of wage earners as a family for our city. I think we were at 54% on the scale of family incomes, last I checked. But I we make choices for our finances that allow us to homeschool, including forgeoint a second income and living in way less house than we can afford so things aren't so tight.

 

We do live in a district with better than average schools. It has no impact on my decision to homeschool, I'd do it even if we had the best school in the state down the street and I'd do it if we lived in the worst district too. It's irrelevant to our choice in education.

 

 

I guess I'm not understanding the question? We aren't rich, our district is pretty good, we homeschool for ideological and academic reasons, both.

 

 

Edited because I'm thinking out of order :o

Edited by Arctic Mama
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Sometimes the "good" school districts aren't all that good. We supposedly live in one of the best ones in our area - so much so that when I tell people where we live, people are surprised that we homeschool because "the school is SO good". But it's not. The curriculum isn't great, the school day is overly long and the principal just got forced out because of "school culture" issues. Bullying is apparently rampant in our school and teachers and administration were complicit. They had to hire outside consultants who came back with reports that the school would take between 5-10 years to turn around. (I read our school board notes when they are posted). 

 

We are not affluent. We live in a modest (1000 sq ft) home with a small mortgage and try to live below our means. We would be doing better if we weren't paying about 20% of our take home income for health insurance and another 10% for student loan payments. But we can pay our bills and set a bit aside in savings each month. 

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1. I live in a horrible school district where many of the families will say that it's fine...that's because you can have nice teachers in horrible school districts, plus there are no other free childcare options so the school is called "good."

 

2. I can tell you that if there was a snowball's chance in hell of my kids learning about diverse cultures and liberal worldviews in school, I might be tempted to send them. Ditto on the unlikelihood of learning phonics, grammar, world history, trigonometry, or Latin in "school."

 

3. We are not affluent. We are lately beginning to bubble back up toward "might be OK if nothing else bad happens."

 

Nope, what you've encountered is an ignorant person and/or a troll. They're all over the Internet.

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No. I am very far from affluent. But there's nothing wrong with not wanting one's young children to receive ideological influence from adults from outside the family. It's a concern that spans the economic spectrum. I think families have the right to set the cultural tone for their children's upbringing. Though my main quarrel with social studies in the local school is that there's just so little of it.

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We used to live in an affluent school district. You want to know how students were different from mine? Many of them had enough disposable income to afford copious quality drugs and dual professional parents who were out of the house all afternoon. That's the kind of "diversity" I have no shame saying I'd like to avoid.

 

The "rich" school district near us - ski resort areas with multi-million dollar houses- has a massive heroin problem. So much so that it's the first thing people that live there will mention when asked about the school. Affluence =/= good schools =/= good people.

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The "rich" school district near us - ski resort areas with multi-million dollar houses- has a massive heroin problem. So much so that it's the first thing people that live there will mention when asked about the school. Affluence =/= good schools =/= good people.

The comment in our town is that the rich kids can afford the best drugs.

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We used to live in an affluent school district. You want to know how students were different from mine? Many of them had enough disposable income to afford copious quality drugs and dual professional parents who were out of the house all afternoon. That's the kind of "diversity" I have no shame saying I'd like to avoid.

This. Over and over again. The parents think that money buys everything and would rather hand out expensive toys and gifts than parent. We were seeing massive issues as soon as we moved here. I know a local psychologist who gets to counsel some of these affluent kids. She literally high fived me when I told her we homeschool. Sex, drugs and who knows what else. Money buys its own set of problems.

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Oh and affluence is an equal opportunity problem causer when it comes to drugs and other issues in schools. That's something I wish the poster you quoted would realize. I don't think those issues are limited to race, religion, or color. They're easily found anywhere there is money and kids left alone for large chucks of time with no supervision.

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I guess I'm not understanding the question? We aren't rich, our district is pretty good, we homeschool for ideological and academic reasons, both.

 

 

 

No, I think you understood the question. I was just curious because I was homeschooled as a kid, and I am now a homeschooling parent, and "affluent" describes my circumstances neither then nor now. I was wondering whether I might be in the minority without realizing it, since this commenter implied he/she was acquainted with multiple homeschooling families that meet that description.

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High poverty rate but the schools are not blighted. The school eliminated AP's and DE, nearly all honors courses and cut funding to science, foreign language, math, and fine arts in order to increase remedial classes and sports spending.

 

So not sending my kids there!

 

I think the article is an ignorant opinion piece.

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3. We are not affluent. We are lately beginning to bubble back up toward "might be OK if nothing else bad happens."

 

 

Yep, this would pretty much describe us as well. And we wouldn't be affluent even if we had a second income. We would be "slightly more OK than we are now."

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My district is neither blighted nor affluent but the running joke is that students are taught politics and in-fighting rather than the 3Rs from kindergarten. People either move their kids to private or they move to another city and some to another county. So it is not just academics that is making parents want to jump ship.

 

ETA:

My city is 49% asians but the city's board members are all white. There is a new lawsuit against the city. A school board member was charged with harassment of school principal and teachers. So lots more issues than academics.

Edited by Arcadia
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We are in the upper reaches of middle class (don't know if you'd consider that affluent or not), but when I started homeschooling 17 years ago, we were NOT.  We were far from it.

 

Our reasons for homeschooling have ZERO to do with the local schools and everything to do with the fact that we move every year or two.

 

And where I live now?  My school district has *ONE* school, a K-8, with about 25 students TOTAL. "Affluent" definitely does NOT describe our current school district.

Edited by Kinsa
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We're not affluent and are on assistance as well, Medicaid. We are in an ok district but the school my kids are zoned for is one of the worst in the state. We could choice them to a different school but u still think homeschooling would be better. I'm a product of this district as is dh. We both are very intelligent and we're bored out of our minds in school. I don't want that for my children

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We love in a good school district...I would consider it an affluent area, though not the most affluent in our city. We could afford the most expensive private schools in our area and mainly for academic reasons...we don't. I'd love to. It's so tempting many, many days, but I love the bespoke education I can give my kids and that they can have a life in addition to academics. We've found some wonderful people to invest in them, which they may or may not get in any of.the schools in our area. I don't need to find out. And, as April is already upon me, I'm learning time moves so quickly. I'm unwilling to share too much of them with people I don't know. 😉

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We are in a good school district.  We are middle class.

 

Our reasons for homeschooling have much less to do with diversity and much more to do with academics, or the lack thereof in the "good" school.  Theirs are okay; ours are better.

 

There is a little to do with diversity.  If I sent my youngest to school he would be with white, middle class children whose homes identify as Republican & Christian.  By keeping him home we travel more and gain a wider circle of friends outside of that demographic.

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Nope, what you've encountered is an ignorant person and/or a troll. They're all over the Internet.

 

Yeah, I knew they were a troll when they said this: 

 

I distrust homeschooling because of the parents who homeschool. They tend to be ignorant and frightened people who are incapable of sympathizing with people who are different from them and wish to protect their children from "others". Socialization of children is if anything more important than memorizing specific facts and these children emerge into the world with a blinkered worldview, to their detriment.

 

 

The comment I posted earlier hit the trolling sweet spot by pissing me off while also making me wonder, that's all. So off to WTM forums I went to see whether I was alone in being both poor and a homeschooler.

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We are affluent.

 

Our school district is not affluent. All students at all our assigned schools receive free meals because a large enough percentage of the school qualifies that they provide for all students.

 

My anecdotal experience is that homeschoolers live in all situations from extreme wealth to extreme poverty in districts that are considered the best in the nation to the worst in the nation. I would love someone to actually find data about this so we could know not just that all such homeschooling families exist, but what the actual distribution is. I would strongly dispute that homeschooling families who aren't affluent are rare. Clearly they're not. However, I don't feel like we know what the distribution is like. And nor can we really.

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I'm not sure the quoted reasons to homeschool are applicable in an area where most people homeschool primarily for secular reasons. I do live in a school district that I like and would have no trouble using for my children. I don't homeschool because our schools are bad, but I don't really know homeschoolers who fear diversity. I'm guessing they wouldn't join secular co-ops or allow their kids to hang with heathens.

 

I don't know that most homeschoolers are 'affluent,' but many are able to forego the full earning potential of one parent. It can be argued that this is a luxury. (Yes, I KNOW many homeschoolers have two-income households. No need to preach to the choir.)

Edited by KungFuPanda
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The comment I posted earlier hit the trolling sweet spot by pissing me off while also making me wonder, that's all. So off to WTM forums I went to see whether I was alone in being both poor and a homeschooler.

Homeschooling in the United States: 2012 https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2016/2016096.pdf

NCES 2016-096

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 

Page 10 (20 of 52) "Table 2. Percentage distribution of homeschooled students ages 5 through 17 with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through grade 12 and homeschooling rate, by selected characteristics: 2012" and

page 12 (22 of 52) "Table 3. Percentage of school-age children who were homeschooled, ages 5 through 17 with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through grade 12, by reasons parents gave as important and most important for homeschooling: 2012" has some percentages to look at.

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So, I responded up thread about our lack of affluence, and the high poverty level in our district. 

To elaborate on our reasons for homeschooling in the past, and the possibility of homeschooling again in the future - it really has very little to do with our school district. It is due to the unique needs of our child, and our willingness to go to great lengths to meet those needs.

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Around here someone staying home with kids is quite difficult to pull off, which I guess could make others assume that homeschoolers are affluent.  In reality, they run quite a gamut of socio-economic circumstances. 

 

Personally I am in a school district that I hate but that is consider 'OK' by lots of good parents.  I could probably have moved DD into a magnet school or gotten an inter-district transfer to a better placement if I had put my mind to it.  But we kind of started homeschooling by accident.  She had attended kindergarten at a good parochial school, and then we found out that DH was going to lose his job and we were likely to move out of state mid-Fall.  So I pulled her out thinking that we would homeschool until we got settled out of town, and it worked out so well that we ended up sticking with it.  I would say that I was already a homeschooler in inclination and conviction even when she was in kindergarten, so this wasn't a very difficult transition.

 

I hunted for diversity of backgrounds and views very intentionally.  I grew up in a wonderful mix, and wanted that for DD.  I would venture to guess that she experienced more of it than she would have in our neighborhood school.

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I see a bunch of baloney, honestly.

 

I live in a very poor rural area.  Our schools are NOT affluent.  The population is pretty homogenous, so my kids actually have met a much more diverse population because of homeschooling.  We are pretty firmly middle class, and were probably on the lower end of middle class when I started homeschooling.  I started homeschooling because I was very unhappy with the education level my kids were getting.  The schools had programs for kids that were struggling, but nothing for kids that were even a little accelerated.  Extra-curricular activities were very limited.  

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When homeschooling, we lived in an affluent area.  

 

The reasons had NOTHING to do with the reason stated above.  :::eyeroll:::

 

Most of the reasons revolved around the fact that the schools didn't have what we needed for my son. Small classes, accelerated learning, lots of play time and down time.  And the fact that we could get a lot more done in a lot less time, covering in depth more topics.  

 

Good grief.  

 

:iagree: I live urban in an affluent neighborhood.  That borders poverty and has low income housing in walking distance.  There are a huge range of schools.  My oldest is highly to profoundly gifted and quirky.  He went to school for 2 years and it was a poor fit.

 

I really hate when people throw out generalizations about homeschoolers.  Our family is actually more affluent than most homeschool families I mix with.  Many are balancing both parents working with a kid that is poorly served in the school system for one reason or another.  The most affluent school districts tend to be the most homogeneous in our area.  The reasons for homeshooling can vary widely by family.  I intentionally expose my kids to diversity and various view points.  We chose to live IN the city partially for that reason.  If regular school was a great fit for my kids they'd still be there.

 

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We live in an affluent school district, especially the high school which is in another town we have a send/receive relationship with.

 

We are affluent if you consider national statistics, but not for our area (one of the top 10 wealthiest counties in the country).

 

I certainly am not homeschooling to protect my kids from diversity.  Our district has very little diversity.   I don't have any problem with the supposedly "liberal" view of public schools.

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I think it's important to know that homeschooling today is very diverse in a variety of ways and has changed in character pretty dramatically from its early origins.

 

But that also... the early origins of Christian homeschooling absolutely included a focus on keeping kids from "the wrong sort of people" and that the timing of this movement coincided with the widespread integration of American schools. And that's just historically true, even if it's not really true today for the majority of homeschoolers (at least, I certainly hope).

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You know, we are so different from the mainstream.

This kind of thing always reminds me of that.

We get in our little homeschooling bubble, and talk about curriculum and all kinds of cool stuff with other homeschoolers, and we forget how unusual we still are.

It doesn't mean that we are affluent or poor or exclusive or exclusionary or ultra-churchy or freethinkers.

Rather, it means that we are both thoughtful and fun, both strong and varied.  But we are not 'normal' and we are not 'mainstream'.  So we are easy to caricature. 

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My district has a high poverty rate. We are comparatively affluent, though not as much so when you adjust for family size.  My kids are constantly exposed to people who are "different" from them because we live in the community that makes up our school district!

Similar here. And nobody goes to the same school where we are, even in the same families or on the same block. Kids try for charter schools and votechs, go to private schools, go to another district by lying about their address, etc. I don't know anybody past elementary school that uses our neighborhood within walking distance middle school or high school honestly. I see kids walking, but none of the families I know have used them. Very few in our church or scouts, all in the same area, go to the same school. 

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And do you live in an affluent school district?

 

Saw this comment on a blog post (second nasty comment in a row by the same commenter) and it made me wonder:

 

 

We aren't affluent. In fact, we receive government assistance. Our school district is rural-ish, with more affluent ones to the north and south, and  two very very blighted districts a bit further south. The only "serious defect" we saw about our school district was that my husband went there and hated it! He didn't want his kids attending the same one he did. We definitely didn't care about exposing them to different viewpoints... before we homeschooled, they attended a charter school with many kids from families that were very different from ours (mostly far more affluent than we are). We are homeschooling because our kids weren't getting the academic or emotional attention they needed.

 

What about you? Does literally any of this comment ring true to you?

The comment seems to come from the sort of close-mindedness that the writer is trying to criticize.  

 

I know homeschoolers at all points on the income spectrum and various backgrounds. 

 

That said, I do think that homeschooling tends to be an option more available to certain families and I have come across homeschoolers who have, as one of their reasons for homeschooling, a desire to sharply limit the influence of the outside culture on their children.  This desire could be rooted in positive, neutral or negative motivations.  I don't want my very smart kid with ASD to be bullied most of his waking hours.  Homeschooling was a strategy to limit that in his life.  It's when it becomes more about controlling than actually protecting the child that such motivations can become negative/harmful. Also, it can be harmful if it's rooted in fear of "the other". I've also had the opportunity to talk to some older homeschooling veterans in my area who said that they homeschooled out of fear and they wish they had let go a little sooner/not isolated their kids as much.  

 

What it all comes down to is that homeschooling is not a monolith.  Speaking in generalities and painting all homeschoolers with the same brush is not a strategy for accuracy.  There are however stereotypes, and usually, stereotypes have at least some basis.  The fact that I am from Seattle and don't care for coffee, work for Microsoft, drive a Subaru, own a kayak or wear those five toe shoes doesn't mean I can't see some truth to the stereotype that Seattlites are caffeinated kayakers who work in tech and drive their Outbacks around while wearing those shoes.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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We aren't poor but we certainly aren't affluent. We fall into the lower middle class category. We live in a good school district from what I hear. We live in a rural area and our town only has two schools for K-8th grades with a total of 400 students. High schoolers get their choice of several area high schools. I homeschool because I enjoy the flexibility and the ability to tailor my children's education to their abilities. Also, there's the added benefit of having the opportunity to be the primary person shaping their character and morals and I can teach my religious beliefs more easily. Those are all secondary reasons though. We homeschool primarily for educational reasons and if there was an option available to us that we felt suited all or one of our children better we would take it.

Edited by 2ndgenhomeschooler
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We aren't affluent. Our income is very much related to the economy and ranges from low income to lower middle class. I live in a university community that has a very diverse economic population. Our schools are OK, not bad, but not what you would find in a wealthy community. The fact that we have a highly educated community which values education probably helps. I have several gifted children who didn't get the education they needed when they were in the public school. When a younger child started having the same problems, I realized I could do at least as well as the public school.

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Ha, ha, affluent school district . . . in West Virginia ????

 

ha ha ha ha

 

Yes, well, my family is affluent, that's true. Our school district, however, is not affluent by any ordinary American standards. LOL, I don't think WV has ANY affluent school districts. We're just a very poor state, and those of us with "more" are very mixed in with the rest of us who have less. There are some districts with MUCH MUCH LESS -- extreme poverty, but we don't live there . . .  

 

Our local schools are better than most in WV, but that is NOT SAYING MUCH. 

 

And, FTR, I'd love it if we had godless schools here in WV. I'd also be fine if they had God-filled schools here in WV. But, what I'd really, really like, if we had schools full of bright shining, well fed, healthy kids in safe, healthy school buildings equipped with the books and technology they need to do a great job, and being taught by teachers who had enough support and pay to not actually qualify for food stamps themselves . . . Not totally being sarcastic, actually . . . I choose homeschooling because I can do a better job than the schools can. NOT because I don't like the human beings in the schools. 

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We homeschooled when we were zoned for a bad school. We homeschooled when we were zoned for what is probably one of the best schools in the state (we are not affluent but we are lucky to live in a well-funded section of the district). Our reasons were not because we had considered public and decided against it; at that time in our lives, we were of the mindset that homeschooling was the best option for our kids regardless. 

The younger kids now attend said awesome school (our situation changed, homeschooling no longer in the cards right now) and it's great. 

 

That person is a bitter, nasty troll. However, to be fair, I do know homeschoolers like he/she describes. They claim "the public schools are bad" because it's easier/less awkward to say than the more honest "I'm scared of exposing my kids to worldly people (i.e., people who don't subscribe to our brand of Christianity)." I *absolutely* know people who homeschool for this reason (and they don't tend to hang around on boards like this!). 

 

One of our kids went (on scholarship) to a very affluent private school. We are still undoing the lessons of materialism and superficiality.

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We aren't affluent, though we were approaching that pre-homeschooling.  Homeschooling is expensive.  We will likely regain that lost income, but not those years of forgone earnings and investments.  Homeschooling meant downsizing to a modest apartment and a lot of other financial sacrifices.  

 

We live in a pretty affluent area. 

 

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Ha. ha ha. i laughed out loud when i read that. not the first time i've heard it at all. 

 

in louisiana, our town was deeply impoverished. our schools were indeed blighted. one of the reasons my children could never to our local school is that they would be the only children who were NOT of the same race, religion, culture, members of roughly 3 families who had lived in the same neighborhood for 200 years. we did not speak the local dialect. there was absolutely zero diversity.the community was extremely insular. no one spoke to me, not a word, for the first two years we lived there.  it was a failing school. it was an elementary school with no playground. seriously. there was nothing enticing about that school at all. 

 

here, we live in a neighborhood of another impoverished town. it's less terrible than the last one, but still not great. i did send two of my kids to the local school. it was fine. if i needed to send them back tomorrow, i would, with no qualms whatsoever. they would be safe, well cared for, fed, and educated. the level of education is not close to what i can provide for them. the days are long. the food is poor quality. there is little flexibility. but it's fine. 

 

the school is pretty diverse. high minority population. my kids are mixed race and all three of our races are well represented, as well as others. we aren't homeschooling because the school is bad. we are homeschooling because we want to. 

 

we are not affluent, though i would say we are getting there. if i go to work, that would likely put us over the top. but i doubt that's going to happen. 

 

Edit: on further thought, no. we are definitely not affluent. we are approaching comfortable. coming out of poverty, it's hard to tell the difference. we live in an extremely modest area of a downright humble town. houses held togheter with bare plywood are not even a little bit unusual. so, no. not affluent at all. 

Edited by Desert Strawberry
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I don't know how you/she define "affluent school district", but the median household income in our school district is about $2k below US average, $12k below NY state average, $2k below our county average, so "affluent" is not the first word that would come to mind. "Average" would be more like it. When we moved here the GreatSchools rating for the school we were districted for was 8/10, but apparently it's dropped to 6/10 now, maybe because they closed a couple of the lower-rated schools (4/10 or 5/10) and those kids are now attending mostly the school we're districted for (not that I'd put too much stock in those ratings). The middle school is still rated 8/10 though.

 

Anyhow, it's a decent school as far as schools go (and quite good about kids with IEPs), and I didn't take my kid out because it was a bad school. I also didn't take him out because I didn't want him to be exposed to other POVs. In fact, some of the people we hang out the most are evangelical xians, alternative medicine, better-late-than-early, and all that kind of stuff. Though I'd be happy to hang out with people whose views align more with my own, I don't try to keep away "others" by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Why did I pull my oldest out of school and homeschooled the youngest from the start? Well, for one, I'd wanted to homeschool since before my oldest was born. Due to personal circumstances, that just wasn't really an option, so he spent 5 years in PS (PreK3-2nd grade). I think the system of conveyor belt education just isn't ideal for any kid, but I'm happy it exists because homeschooling isn't a realistic option for everyone at all times. It looks like my oldest is 2E, and my youngest is definitely gifted, and they do not really have gifted programs here (maybe a couple of hours a week of pull-out). And you know the thing about how different people have different love languages? It seems mine is teaching my kids stuff. I don't think that's official a love language, but w/e. I'm not great in the cuddles and homemade dinners departments. I like to show them how things work and read stories to them. But if they're in school all day, then piling that on top is just too much. 

 

ETA: forgot to answer if *we* are affluent. Our household income is close to the median household income for NY state, so we're above average for our school district, but it's not like we're "affluent" - I'm not even sure if we'd be in the top quartile for our school district. 

Edited by luuknam
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We were quite affluent at one point, but we began home schooling when we were not. In fact the only reason we began home schooling is that we simply could not afford private school. We are no longer affluent, our restaurant makes a lot of money during the season, but it is quite seasonal and we have burned through reserves of money living in the off season. At some point we probably will be affluent again, when we figure out another business during the off season. We had a little sandwich shop in a more populated area but hit several snags with that and we shut it down when someone else wanted the lease. 

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