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egao_gakari

What does "school at home" mean to you?

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I've been thinking about this a bit recently. I often hear people in the homeschool community refer to "school at home" somewhat negatively, in contrast to... not quite sure. I'm sincerely curious about this, because I sort of wonder whether people would consider what I do in my homeschool to be "school at home" in that negative sense. I do a fair bit of hands-on teaching, because in my experience, my kids aren't mature enough yet to do much independent work. I also use a number of scripted curriculum, like WWS and Saxon. Is that kind of thing what people mean by "school at home?" Or are they referring to something else, like scheduling, deadlines, grades, etc.? What are you picturing when you say/ hear "school at home?"

 

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"School at home" means just doing whatever would have been done in a traditional brick and mortar school, except at home. Not taking any advantage of the advantages of being at home.

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Duplicating a school environment at home.  Often I picture desks in a row, saying the pledge, etc.  Hands on teaching can be done "schoolish" or can be more casual tutoring style.  Some of the boxed curriculum like Calvert or ABeka are what I think of as "school at home".  They are brick and mortar curricula just done at home, in ABeka's case often with a video showing a teacher teaching the classroom. 

I am negative towards "school at home" because if that is what I wanted then I would have my kids in school.  I want a more individualized education. 

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I agree with Janeway. I would think it's replicating a classroom at home: grades, tests, lots of seatwork, timed class periods?? I'm not sure what all would qualify. And I don't know if everyone who uses the term "school at home" is referring to all of that exactly. Sometimes I suspect they are just referring to using textbooks and workbooks.

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I think it can mean different things to different people. To me, school at home is a complete curriculum with lots of worksheets, no individualization. Or an all online program with all the subjects. To unschoolers around us, we do school at home because we are home during school hours doing traditional subjects, despite the fact that what we do looks very different that what public schoolers do. 

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6 minutes ago, Janeway said:

"School at home" means just doing whatever would have been done in a traditional brick and mortar school, except at home. Not taking any advantage of the advantages of being at home.

 

1 minute ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I am negative towards "school at home" because if that is what I wanted then I would have my kids in school.  I want a more individualized education. 

 

I see, okay. Sort of like a "plow through the curriculum" approach, even if the child isn't fully grasping the material, or could use more individual attention?

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2 minutes ago, hollyhock2 said:

I agree with Janeway. I would think it's replicating a classroom at home: grades, tests, lots of seatwork, timed class periods?? I'm not sure what all would qualify. And I don't know if everyone who uses the term "school at home" is referring to all of that exactly. Sometimes I suspect they are just referring to using textbooks and workbooks.

 

1 minute ago, SanDiegoMom in VA said:

I think it can mean different things to different people. To me, school at home is a complete curriculum with lots of worksheets, no individualization. Or an all online program with all the subjects. To unschoolers around us, we do school at home because we are home during school hours doing traditional subjects, despite the fact that what we do looks very different that what public schoolers do. 

 

That's what I was wondering, whether there's some kind of official "standard" of what school at home is or whether different people mean different things when they say it. We are usually home during school hours doing traditional subjects too, although I agree that what we do probably looks different from PS. (Lots of read-aloud, lots of outside free play time, usually no homework after class hours.)

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I think I picture what Janeway and Jean describe. I do think some people start out this way and mellow out after a bit. I’ve noticed some of the former PS teachers who become homeschoolers describe days more like this than those I know who were never teachers- they seem to want to fill those 8 hours, and they like really textbook intensive programs, the very separate, distinct subject and that sort of thing  

Its not my thing, but I don’t begrudge them that if it gets the job done I guess. I have one who likes workbooks and textbook leaning instruction more than read alouds and nature walks, so I’ll never say I won’t ever be doing a more schoolish program at least as far as textbook wise, but we still wouldn’t be doing 8 hours a day! 

 

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44 minutes ago, egao_gakari said:

 

 

I see, okay. Sort of like a "plow through the curriculum" approach, even if the child isn't fully grasping the material, or could use more individual attention?

Not necessarily. Doing every day just like school, pretty much following the same scope and sequence as the traditional classroom, requiring same kinds of assignments, standardized testing (even if not required by the law). 

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33 minutes ago, texasmom33 said:

I think I picture what Janeway and Jean describe. I do think some people start out this way and mellow out after a bit. I’ve noticed some of the former PS teachers who become homeschoolers describe days more like this than those I know who were never teachers- they seem to want to fill those 8 hours, and they like really textbook intensive programs, the very separate, distinct subject and that sort of thing  

Its not my thing, but I don’t begrudge them that if it gets the job done I guess. I have one who likes workbooks and textbook leaning instruction more than read alouds and nature walks, so I’ll never say I won’t ever be doing a more schoolish program at least as far as textbook wise, but we still wouldn’t be doing 8 hours a day! 

 

Yeah, I see what you mean about that. When I first started homeschooling, I was pretty anxious about hours per day too, even though I was never a PS teacher! I've definitely relaxed in that area. If they get their task list done (and done well!) every day, I don't care whether it takes them 2 hours. If they're spending more than 6 hours doing school, we stop for the day because I clearly planned poorly. I'd say we average 4-5 hrs/day now that they're in the Logic Stage, but that's an average with a pretty big range at either end!

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"school at home", to me, means recreating a school environment at home, which includes following a rigid school like curriculum with the busywork assignments designed by the curriculum provider, instead of taking advantage of the freedom homeschooling gives,  which includes for example tailoring curriculum to student's interests and abilities, designing assignments to serve a clear educational purpose, giving students a say in curriculum selection, following rabbit trails, doing unconventional educational activities.

 

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School at home, to me, is more how someone thinks about education than anything else. But of course, how they think about education directly influences how they homeschool so it kinda crosses over in that way...

IME, school at home have strict schedules and textbook/workbook heavy curriculum. The idea is that the child will trudge through each one sequentially and come out "educated" at the end of the year, pretty much exactly the same way they were educated in public school. There is often the idea that one must be taught to learn anything. They only see educational value in the educational, school-ish activities. Activities that aren't traditionally considered to have educational value cannot have any capacity to lead to anything educational in their opinion. They really struggle to think outside the traditional education box. 

Of course this is just my experience. When I first started homeschooling over 15 years ago, I too had trouble thinking outside the box and seeing the absolute freedom that truly homeschooling provides. I think for a lot of people, they already feel like they are stepping outside the box by homeschooling and feel the pressure to prove themselves to mainstream family and friends at first so they think by imitating the school, they can accomplish that.

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For me, “school at home” just means you choose to educate your children at home. I wouldn’t think much about it if someone said that in conversation. However, I have met people that literally do school at home. When my daughter was 5 or 6, I remember having a mom in our homeschool group with a 4 year old. They had a schoolroom, a full day’s schedule, reward charts, full kindergarten curriculum (like all seat work), and did not take the summer off, etc. Every day was a full throttle. 

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The phrase "school at home" rankles me because it's often used to point out the superiority of ones own methods/educational philosophy. 

So what if someone uses more traditional methods? (And I say this as a hs mom who was loosey-goosey/better late/unschooler for most of my kids educations.) If it works for a family, then it works. 

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I think it is being a slave to a curriculum and thinking that checking the boxes of a curriculum mean something apart from the actual learning and thinking and development of the child.

I think it is more rigid than what actually happens in good public school classrooms where teachers are as responsive to kids as they are able to be.

I think there is also a sense that age determines what to learn and what a child should be like, whether or not that is where a child is in reality.  

Overall though I think that it is a negative saying and reflects what people think is a negative.  What I just said are things that to me are problematic.  

The things I don’t find negative or problematic I don’t associate with the negative label of “school at home.”  

 

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I will also add that I’ve noticed some people on the various homeschooling forums I visit who weren’t so “school at home” through elementary and junior high suddenly become (what is to me) very school at home suddenly in high school and follow the public schools in course make up to a T, so i think some of that rigidity becomes harder to shake in the upper years, even if it’s overcome in the younger years. When people get scared, it’s the obvious model to fall back on. 

Personally it took a lot of advice from out of the box people here who showed how you can still embrace those rabbit trails and passions (and some other input like the wonderful Mrs. Jetta!!), and succeed in high school but on your own path for me to get out of that myself. They are who I credit in snapping  me out of the “we have to do bio, chem, physics and we must get in pre-cal and a year of US History blah blah blah” or we’d be trying to fit into the PS High School mold at home ourselves. So, even though I think you meant more for younger years, I do think school at home can be something in high school too. (That being said I don’t live in a state with regulations so we get that kind of freedom some don’t!) 

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When I think "school at home" I'm picturing using a program that exactly mimics the ps and you choose a grade and get it all. Like k12 online, calvert, and I think Abeka? Not just using resources from these places which could be used in any way. But when someone just signs up for a grade and then the system tells them what to do and when to do it. Their work is scheduled, checked, and boxes marked.

A friend of mine uses one of these online, I think it's calvert. They consider school to be the few hours her son (8th?) spends online watching teacher videos and submitting his work. It is all planned for them. They do what is next, period. They submit every assignment as directed. Now I'm not saying anything bad about them, it works for them and that's great. But I definitely consider this "school at home" more than "homeschooling". 

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There was a thread last week about how your homeschool has changed and I commented there that we were somewhat school-at-home, but not according to any of the definitions above. 

Yes, because we use textbooks, even public school textbooks on occasion.  We even do the occasional standardized test (but nobody gets the scores but me).

But, no because we definitely don't just plug through, we work at different levels for every subject, go slow in some go fast in others, we "school" about 2-3 hours a day with the rest being other types of activities, we aren't following any public school scope and sequence, no school room, no desks, no set schedule.

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Yes, agreeing with many above. School at home means the same approaches/materials/expectations of public school just done at home.  Often this is with a big box curriculum provider with state oversite (eg K12 Or Connections Academy).

Why the negative? Well, I suppose it is because you import many of the negatives of school (mass market text books dictated by non-educator politicians, resources designed for group/classroom instruction, little to no flexibility for the individual learner, teaching for objectively measured outcomes - ie “to the test”, etc) and fail to adapt many of the advantages of homeschooling (teaching kids on their level in each subject, exploring personal interests, sharing learning - vs all-knowing teacher telling you what you should know -, interacting with your community in a genuine and natural way, taking the time to smell the roses and watch the clouds because they are fascinating and beautiful...

Also, I think School-at-home tends to be very scripted, requiring little initiative or depth of knowledge by the teacher, which is something many Homeschoolers eschew. Also, it usually is a trickle down of state and federal policies on what learning should be, which many Homeschoolers also eschew.

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Without reading any of the replies.

Education done in imitation of traditional school, whether on purpose or just because the parent doesn't really understand that the school paradigm is no longer helpful. I think of a paren/teachert who hasn't really researched and thought about educational philosophy and homeschooling options. Often workbooky or textbook-centered even in younger years, all curriculum from one provider on one grade level. Purposeful matching of what a localschool does. 

 

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2 hours ago, texasmom33 said:

I will also add that I’ve noticed some people on the various homeschooling forums I visit who weren’t so “school at home” through elementary and junior high suddenly become (what is to me) very school at home suddenly in high school and follow the public schools in course make up to a T, so i think some of that rigidity becomes harder to shake in the upper years, even if it’s overcome in the younger years. When people get scared, it’s the obvious model to fall back on. 

Personally it took a lot of advice from out of the box people here who showed how you can still embrace those rabbit trails and passions (and some other input like the wonderful Mrs. Jetta!!), and succeed in high school but on your own path for me to get out of that myself. They are who I credit in snapping  me out of the “we have to do bio, chem, physics and we must get in pre-cal and a year of US History blah blah blah” or we’d be trying to fit into the PS High School mold at home ourselves. So, even though I think you meant more for younger years, I do think school at home can be something in high school too. (That being said I don’t live in a state with regulations so we get that kind of freedom some don’t!) 

 

That's what I'm experiencing right now with a rising 8th grader. Sudden panic that his work isn't up to standard. We've been relatively relaxed till now in terms of pace and I'm trying to keep it that way--just a little nervewracking with critical relatives breathing down our necks about college readiness!

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11 minutes ago, egao_gakari said:

 

That's what I'm experiencing right now with a rising 8th grader. Sudden panic that his work isn't up to standard. We've been relatively relaxed till now in terms of pace and I'm trying to keep it that way--just a little nervewracking with critical relatives breathing down our necks about college readiness!

Put in earplugs and go read Rethinking School by SWB when the critical voices get too loud!! :  ) 

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Around my me, "school at home", generally refers to the online school facilitated by the local school district.  While the child is doing school at home, it is the public school that is overseeing and administering the required coursework.  Periodically the child and/or parent must meet with an adivisor as well as the child is required to take all standardized testing and cover all subjects.  Some schools here have daily required work, and when the child has completed it they are done for the day.  Other schools here require the chilld to be "at the school" for the same length of time as if they were in the brick and morter school.  Not quite sure how that is accomplished, but I do know one friend chose to register as a private school using an online school vs. registering with the local school district because of it.  I imagine it will change because the school districts around me have only been offering this option for about 5yrs and some don't offer online schooling currently.  Every year it seems like one or two more jump on.

I haven't gotten the vibe that our homeschool community frowns down upon it, and children that are enrolled online through the public school system have been welcome to particapte in our activities.  We are mainly a social group and offer fun enrichment classes, and we are all over the board with how our families homeschool.

 

 

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My first thought about that phrase is that it has to do with those "Free" virtual schools provided by many states where the students take K12 or Connections Academy courses at home and are enrolled in a Public School and their Attendance/Hours/Etc. are tracked as they would be in a brick and mortar public school.

It could also apply to someone like my DD, who is a Distance Learning student from TTU K12 (formerly TTUISD) which is an accredited school district in Texas, and which is not free. 

And,. to students who are home schooled.

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Our state has an online options. You are still enrolled in the schools and are not a home schooler. It’s has set hours that you have to be online for each day. 

In my town, it’s a popular option for families worried about bullying and shooters who when the make the initial move to remove their child from the brick and mortar don’t want to invest the time and money into

homeschooling.

Generally within two years they have either gone back to public school or send in their notice of intent and become homeschoolers.   

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SAH has two distinct faces to me: actual acquaintances of mine. Was was a know it all older hs mom who used Abeka start to finish. She only thought "school" was being done if entire workbooks were filled out, graded, start to finish, day in and day out, complete with weekly spelling tests, complete lesson plans. That is fine if that is what appealed to her. But she also loudly thought to anyone in hearing distance that any other way of school was not schooling and that all homeschoolers were lazy and uneducated, etc. She complained about every homeschooler she knew because of what they didn't know or do. horrible family to be around. 

The other face is a new homeschooler I knew in later years. She had pulled her kid out to homeschool in 8th grade and was gearing up for high school. She was much the same. She used Bob Jones online stuff, and "school" was only those lessons. She would talk to me about how my kids' dance classes at 4 hours a week or more back then didn't count for PE credit and that her kids' orchestra that they attended only once a week and then practiced at home the rest of the week wouldn't count for music because they weren't getting straight instruction for those 4 hours as if what homeschoolers did on their own didn't count for homeschool hours. She was just misguided and new, but also very insistent about what I was doing not counting as school when I was just trying to help her adjust, lol. 

So those are my SAH ideas. It is a negative term and brings to mind negative people to me. It is more about the way they think their way is the only way that stands out to me, but they are also the two who use strict School in a Box type curriculum and only count what comes out of that box as school. 

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I think of it like others as replicating what is done at school.  But I think people draw different lines around that.  Something like setting up a mini classroom with bells and such seems really extreme.  I might tend to use it for people who do very conventional marking and testing regimes along with curricula.  I also know some who consider anything but unschooling to be "school at home."

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I think of my niece, who did FLVS for most of grade 6 due to health issues. Basically do school as assigned, go to doctor’s offices and hospital visits. She got None of the benefits socially and emotionally for homeschooling, and could not understand why DD preferred it, because as far as she was concerned, doing School at home meant not getting any of the fun stuff of school. Only the work. 

In her case, I can understand why it ended up as it did-she needed to stay on track with grade level to go back the following year, mom had no real desire to teach. And getting her health issues under control was the priority. But heavens, couldn’t mom have at least followed up with some of the groups I sent her and at least found a Park day or two? 

 

We did ser up a classroom each year for years. DD really wanted the trappings of “school”. We often ended up actually doing schoolwork everywhere but the school room, but darn it, she had a desk with her name on it (and some years, so did a bunch of stuffed animals and dolls), a backpack, a lunch box, and a cute classroom theme. ?

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On 5/8/2018 at 9:58 AM, egao_gakari said:

I've been thinking about this a bit recently. I often hear people in the homeschool community refer to "school at home" somewhat negatively, in contrast to... not quite sure. I'm sincerely curious about this, because I sort of wonder whether people would consider what I do in my homeschool to be "school at home" in that negative sense. I do a fair bit of hands-on teaching, because in my experience, my kids aren't mature enough yet to do much independent work. I also use a number of scripted curriculum, like WWS and Saxon. Is that kind of thing what people mean by "school at home?" Or are they referring to something else, like scheduling, deadlines, grades, etc.? What are you picturing when you say/ hear "school at home?"

I see it as essentially homeschooling to achieve public school outputs without other people. Standardized inputs, standardized delivery, standardized expectations. The emphasis is on input, delivery and expectations, rather than on the individual child.

Kid can't sit still? Get a diagnosis, do what they say so kid can sit still while they read books at a table and fill in the blank. God forbid you get a yoga ball or wait until 7 to learn to read or worse yet do school while your kid is on their head and walking around, or late at night when they can focus. Kid wants to do 10 science experiments? Sorry, that's not in the plan. Today we're reading another chapter of Making Science Boring by Taking All The Questions Out of It. Kid prefers to demonstrate history learning through that one exercise in which they replicated a diary of a time period? "No honey, we have to make sure we get this timeline done. Definitely can't create a library of pseudo-autobiographical books of historical figures, that would be way too fun and memorable."*

Based on what I see here, anyone can fall into that trap. I have my kids in public school, and they have more freedom in some cases than their homeschooled cousins have. More breaks in some cases. Definitely more options to explore interests and form their own learning goals.** ? That makes me super sad.

So, that's what I think of when I think of school at home. It's about the stuff, not about the child or their learning and education.

*I nearly lured a kid into homeschooling this way... but she decided finishing a worksheet in 20 minutes and then reading a book was not too bad.

**Not that a kid's goals can be the only goals. But they should be engaged in their education.

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I think most would probably say that we're more "school at home"...and I'd probably agree. We use some textbooks & workbooks that are used in public schools, and I do log time & subjects due to state requirements. 

At the same time, we might be working from the couch, the trampoline, the kitchen table, or the school room table.  I slow down or speed up depending on what my kids need, and I alter things if necessary. I'm not a slave to the curriculum.  Some days, The Magic School Bus might be science, and a documentary might be social studies. Then again, that happens in a PS setting, too...  I've created my own subjects (state studies, communication, etc), and I've been known to pull things from several PSish curricula to form one thing. 

I do keep in mind the things that are covered in PS, and I will probably do something similar in middle school & high school.  

It's what works for us.  If it doesn't work for someone else, well, that's fine, too.

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I would define it a couple of ways. 

  1. When you order a box, open it, and follow the instructions inside. The parent is the box's teacher. (There are a lot of programs like this.  Seton, Calvert, etc.)
  2. When the goal is to replicate ps in a parallel scenario at home. Educational goals and objectives are defined by ps standards and those standards control daily/monthly/yrly decisions.

Some families choose to keep their kids at home for non-academic reasons, and school-at-home fits their specific needs bc they like the objectives and goals being provided. There are 100s of other reasons why school-at-home is the preference for other families, and it works for them.  

For me personally, I do not believe that ps has educational standards at all correct.  I disagree with their methodology and much of the content focus at particular ages. It is why I homeschool. I would not homeschool to simply reproduce what is being done down the road in the B&M school. It is way too much work and responsibility if I thought that they were already meeting my academic standards. My kids' entire adulthood options are directly influenced by the decisions I make about their eduction.  That is an awesome responsibility. 

My adult yrs would have been spent doing something much different. The only reason I have homeschooled for as long as I have is bc what we do is absolutely nothing like school-at-home and that at the very core is my objective. 

 

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On 5/8/2018 at 12:08 PM, egao_gakari said:

 

 

I see, okay. Sort of like a "plow through the curriculum" approach, even if the child isn't fully grasping the material, or could use more individual attention?

No...just...using a textbook, assigning busy work to make sure they are sitting at a desk (or table) for 7 hrs a day, taking notes, reading from a textbook, doing work sheets. That is school at home. Many home schoolers never use tests. The point of tests really only applies to the classroom. It tests a large group of people to give a number to how much each individual student knows without having to individually talk to and otherwise get to know what the child knows. Another thing about being in a mass production school is that every topic is skimmed over, tested, and then moved on from.  Not doing "school at home" generally has a lot of parent child interaction and a lot of rabbit trails. For example, you might start the year thinking this is a US history year. But you might soon find your child learning how to use a sword and making time piece costumes and going to a renaissance faire and having meals where you have to eat turkey legs with your hands or having some sort of authentic medieval meal. Additionally, it may be that you decided to study botany that summer ("not school at home" does not happen 180 days a year for seven hours a day) so what you eat at that meal was made completely from the foods your child grew. And your child researched how things were cooked in the medieval days and your child did a lot of the cooking. And when done eating and cleaning up, there might still be time to go outside and check out whatever astronomical event happens that night, or maybe observe the amazing weather. School "at school" would consist of going to one class for 45 minutes. Then having 5 minutes passing time. Classes would look like textbooks, worksheets, comprehension questions, and texts. If your child is young, all the reading would be done from readers rather than from real books. Most if not all of the history would be done from a history textbook and the school work would be read a few pages, answer some comprehension questions, take a quiz, take a test, move on.  The pace has nothing at all to do with school at home or not school at home. It is how learning happens. 

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23 minutes ago, Janeway said:

 Classes would look like textbooks, worksheets, comprehension questions, and texts.... the school work would be read a few pages, answer some comprehension questions, take a quiz, take a test, move on.  

I agree with the above except I would add book reports and some projects.

In contrast, my young kids have never used a textbook except for math.  We don't use textbooks for most subjects even through high school (math, science and foreign language being the exceptions) bc we approach education with a much different methodology.  

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I like the way 8fillstheheart put it about how the curriculum is using you, you're not using the curriculum.

I do think some families provide a good education through "school at home." I mean, sometimes kids can't go to school because there are safety issues or health problems... not all school things are terrible. But I do find it... difficult... to understand why you would homeschool and not also want to be the decider and the teacher. Like, why do that? I mean, I know there are reasons - I just mentioned a couple potential ones... it's just so foreign to how I think and parent that it's difficult for me to relate to.

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On 5/8/2018 at 3:58 PM, Targhee said:

Yes, agreeing with many above. School at home means the same approaches/materials/expectations of public school just done at home.  Often this is with a big box curriculum provider with state oversite (eg K12 Or Connections Academy)..

We had lots of school-at-homers before there was such a thing as charter schools and the Internet. :-) And there are many states which have oversight of homeschoolers which are not virtual charter schools like Virginia Virtual Academy or Oklahoma Virtual Academy or Texas Virtual Academy, et al, which are the Internet--based charter schools that utilize K-12. :-)

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1 hour ago, Ellie said:

We had lots of school-at-homers before there was such a thing as charter schools and the Internet. ? And there are many states which have oversight of homeschoolers which are not virtual charter schools like Virginia Virtual Academy or Oklahoma Virtual Academy or Texas Virtual Academy, et al, which are the Internet--based charter schools that utilize K-12. ?

Very true. That's why I said "often" not "always." And I know state oversight does not always mean virtual charters. We used state oversight that was nothing like that (or like school at home unless you wanted it to be) for several years.  It is true you can do school at home with 100% non-secular materials and completely off the radar of the state. I think that currently there is a large group who do use these virtual charters to do school at home, though.

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The blog I read the other day counted anything that wasn't unschoing as SAH.  I think of it as letting someone else control my teaching.

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Also, there is nothing wrong with doing "school at home." It works best for some kids and not at all for others. The point of differentiating is to understand that home school is still valid education when it does not look like being in the classroom. 

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I think a lot of times it is used in a derogatory way. Kind of like Mommy Wars meets Homeschooling. You’re not really and truly homeschooling unless you are “snuggling on the couch reading living books” which your child has happily picked up after you have “strewn them about,” “taking rabbit trails” and “Charlotte Mason-esque Nature Walks” And your “life is a classroom”.  Boxed curriculum is acceptable, but only if you have a really good reason, like Mom is in a coma or something and if you join an on-line charter you can’t even really call yourself a homeschooler.   Ok, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but honestly, sometimes it seems that way. I’m a mom who started out with toddlers and a copy of The Well-Trained Mind and thought that if I tried hard enough and did the right things my kids would become happy little learners and we would be living in homeschool paradise. But it hasn’t worked out that way. I just signed my kids up for an on-line charter for next year. And threy’re sweet kids and I love them, but they would rather just get their work done and go play.

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As to the concept that you are not homeschooling if you are using state umbrella schools, I don’t think this is about approach so much as it is about legality.  In my previous state ther was remarkable animosity from those who homeschooled (utilized their right to educate their kids without the control or oversight of government) and those who “schooled at home” (did education in the home but still had some degree of additional oversight from the state because they were receiving funds from the state).  That isn’t my definition of school at home, but for them it was a distinction.  And one that they worked hard to maintain because they wanted to maintain their independence from the state, and were worried that conflating the two groups would lead to state oversight of their independent homeschools.

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13 hours ago, Farrar said:

I like the way 8fillstheheart put it about how the curriculum is using you, you're not using the curriculum.

I do think some families provide a good education through "school at home." I mean, sometimes kids can't go to school because there are safety issues or health problems... not all school things are terrible. But I do find it... difficult... to understand why you would homeschool and not also want to be the decider and the teacher. Like, why do that? I mean, I know there are reasons - I just mentioned a couple potential ones... it's just so foreign to how I think and parent that it's difficult for me to relate to.

 

I bought a box curriculum one year, because I generally liked the main ideas in their school and I was very busy that year.  I never did it again, even though certain things about it were nice, because I just could not keep from tweaking it to the point I felt I had wasted money.  

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Like any other term, no one owns it, it can have multiple meanings depending on context,  and no one is obligated to use it the same way other people do, so it's best to clarify what the speaker using it means before assuming anything and getting into a dither. Somehow we've come to a point in society where pointing out differences and comparing and contrasting them are interpreted by many as criticism.  Fewer recognize neutral matter-of-fact discussion and either  view it as either adoration or condemnation because too many people are unaware of the middle neutral. I think it's part of the perpetual adolescence a lot of adult Americans suffer from.

When I use school at home or school at homer natter of factly/neutrally I mean desks, calling dad the principle and mom the teacher, saying the pledge before the first class starts every day, adhering to grade levels no matter what, having timed classes in a certain order every day, separate subjects that never integrate, grade books, doing every problem/assignment even when it's clear the child as mastered the concepts, covering only content that a ps would cover, etc.  When used negatively I mean school at homers are doing it that way because they don't really grasp that there are other alternatives.  It's one thing to be aware of other alternatives and choosing a school at home model because it's working for your situation, and doing it by default because you're oblivious to other approaches. 

It works that way with the term homeschooler.  Usually I use it neutrally/matter-of-factly to mean people who are legally homeschooling, but I can use it negatively to mean people homeschooling to hide from the world.

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I think of... school. at. home. I have a friend who calls herself a homeschooler, but actually does school at home. She wakes her kids early to get dressed, pack lunches (yep), and eat breakfast before reporting to the table in the school room at a specific time. The day's schedule is written on the chalkboard. They pray, sing a couple songs, and say the pledge before circle time. She uses strictly Abeka, whether it works for the child or not. She will not schedule playdates or any other "non educational" activity during "school hours". they eat their packed lunches at a scheduled time before returning to the school room. School begins and ends at specific times no matter what (8-3 I think). Not my style and affected our friendship and our kids' friendships because we were unable to see each other. We both had afternoon extracurricular activities and with her refusal to relax a day, we never saw each other and things have dissolved.

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I would use it to refer to someone using programs like WAVA or an ALE/PPP. Legally in Washington they are public school students doing their school work at home and have different legal requirements than homeschoolers who are completely independent educationally. Most of the time it’s not hugely relevant, but sometimes it’s very important when dealing with things like testing, ancillary services, and part-time enrollments. 

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On 5/8/2018 at 2:43 PM, texasmom33 said:

Put in earplugs and go read Rethinking School by SWB when the critical voices get too loud!! :  ) 

Good advice. We're just starting sixth with the oldest, and Rethinking School couldn't have come out at a better time for me. It's an easy read with such great little nuggets that remind me to reevaluate and think about the overall goal of learning and education. We've continued to homeschool because of the freedom it allows, and her book reminded me how different educational choices can be, and how we can continue to educate at home without being afraid to do it outside of the box. 

 

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On 5/8/2018 at 1:29 PM, alisoncooks said:

The phrase "school at home" rankles me because it's often used to point out the superiority of ones own methods/educational philosophy. 

So what if someone uses more traditional methods? (And I say this as a hs mom who was loosey-goosey/better late/unschooler for most of my kids educations.) If it works for a family, then it works. 

I would definitely agree with this one! Every time someone has used this phrase with me its when I'm describing issues with teaching my son (he has severe ADHD, now diagnosed).  They are assuming that I must be doing "school at home" instead of believing me that he can be difficult to teach at times even though I make accommodations  for his ADHD.  The other phrase that gets me is "For the littles, really you just need to do like 30 minutes" or "read to them for 15 minutes."  That phrase is also thrown at me when talking about my son or if I want to talk to someone about curriculum.  I don't consider my son a "little."  He reads at a fourth grade level, but every time I try to connect with another homeschool mom I get brushed off as an ignorant homeschool mom that doesn't know how to educate "my little." He may be extremely short but he loves to learn, (and also kind of hates it at the same time due to ADHD.)    

12 hours ago, angelmama1209 said:

I think of... school. at. home. I have a friend who calls herself a homeschooler, but actually does school at home. She wakes her kids early to get dressed, pack lunches (yep), and eat breakfast before reporting to the table in the school room at a specific time. The day's schedule is written on the chalkboard. They pray, sing a couple songs, and say the pledge before circle time. She uses strictly Abeka, whether it works for the child or not. She will not schedule playdates or any other "non educational" activity during "school hours". they eat their packed lunches at a scheduled time before returning to the school room. School begins and ends at specific times no matter what (8-3 I think). Not my style and affected our friendship and our kids' friendships because we were unable to see each other. We both had afternoon extracurricular activities and with her refusal to relax a day, we never saw each other and things have dissolved.

Uh yeah...THIS is definitely  "school at home."  This is also what I think of with the phrase school at home.  That doesn't sound fun!

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8 hours ago, nwahomeschoolmom said:

I would definitely agree with this one! Every time someone has used this phrase with me its when I'm describing issues with teaching my son (he has severe ADHD, now diagnosed).  They are assuming that I must be doing "school at home" instead of believing me that he can be difficult to teach at times even though I make accommodations  for his ADHD.  The other phrase that gets me is "For the littles, really you just need to do like 30 minutes" or "read to them for 15 minutes."  That phrase is also thrown at me when talking about my son or if I want to talk to someone about curriculum.  I don't consider my son a "little."  He reads at a fourth grade level, but every time I try to connect with another homeschool mom I get brushed off as an ignorant homeschool mom that doesn't know how to educate "my little." He may be extremely short but he loves to learn, (and also kind of hates it at the same time due to ADHD.)    

It very well could be that you are  projecting an emotional response that they are assuming he isn't difficult or that you are an ignorant homeschool mom who doesn't know how to educate when they are really reaching out to you and offering you the best advice they have to offer.  I don't know anything about you other than your siggie says your oldest is 5.  

However, I do know about educating an extremely intelligent children. I equally know about educating a child with extreme ADHD. I also know about parenting extremely difficult children. I have had a 1st grader read the Hobbitt in just a few hours.  Guess what? My non-emotional, non-judgmental response if you were talking to me would be little guys only need short lessons and that K can be finished in under and hr and a half and that I would put more focus on self-regulatory behaviors and self-entertainment than on academics.

If you decide to take those suggestions as a negative commentary on you as a teacher, that is your prerogative, but it would be dismissing my  intentions and would be ignoring the actual experience behind my suggestions. I would be offering those suggestions as a parent who has btdt with a ds who fits that profile and who has multiple other gifted kids who have graduated from our homeschool at very high levels of academic achievement. Littles do only require short days and those short days still enable them to graduate from high school significantly beyond ps peers. 

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

t very well could be that you are  projecting an emotional response that they are assuming he isn't difficult or that you are an ignorant homeschool mom who doesn't know how to educate when they are really reaching out to you and offering you the best advice they have to offer.  I don't know anything about you other than your siggie says your oldest is 5.  

However, I do know about educating an extremely intelligent children. I equally know about educating a child with extreme ADHD. I also know about parenting extremely difficult children. I have had a 1st grader read the Hobbitt in just a few hours.  Guess what? My non-emotional, non-judgmental response if you were talking to me would be little guys only need short lessons and that K can be finished in under and hr and a half and that I would put more focus on self-regulatory behaviors and self-entertainment than on academics.

If you decide to take those suggestions as a negative commentary on you as a teacher, that is your prerogative, but it would be dismissing my  intentions and would be ignoring the actual experience behind my suggestions. I would be offering those suggestions as a parent who has btdt with a ds who fits that profile and who has multiple other gifted kids who have graduated from our homeschool at very high levels of academic achievement. Littles do only require short days and those short days still enable them to graduate from high school significantly beyond ps peers. 

Let me clarify....First of all, I mean literally, my son is in the 3% for height and people assume he is 4 and its hard for them to adjust their initial impression and they kind of write me off when I try to connect (not seeking advice).  Like, why are you asking my opinion of this curriculum when you have a little?  I am generally not seeking advice from people I don't know, just trying to connect.  Also, some of these people literally think he must not know how to read and that I am being silly for caring about curriculum.  (Again, not seeking advice on behavior just trying to connect talking about curriculum which is something I enjoy talking about).  And I personally don't want to sound like a braggart, so I often don't say anything else about it. Like, no really, I really want to know about your 2nd grade curriculum because we might use it...  A lot of the moms I am talking about it, don't mean short lessons, they mean 15 or 30 minutes total.  They don't teach younger children...  And we do 90 minutes of less of school anyway.  The point was when just trying to connect and not seeking advice, you get advice instead of questions to learn more.  I can manage my son's behavior, I just try to connect with other moms by talking about my life...not seeking advice, not sure if that makes sense.   I would only seek advice from someone I knew and trusted and/or respected.

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I very rarely ask people I know in real life about curriculum in the 15 years I have been homeschooling. That’s what this board is for. ?. The most thst I would do in real life is to ask if I could page through it myself, though even then I tend to go to our local homeschool store to page through stuff or look for samples online. 

I have found, personally, that homeschooling is so individual that it is easier to share pertinent information in a written format with specific questions. Why?  I don’t know. I suppose because in face to face interactions people are less objective. It’s harder to give all the information at once because we don’t tend to talk in detailed paragraphs especially if kids are interrupting on occasion as they play. Also, online it’s easier to just ask “what do you think of xyz curriculum” without having “Johnny’s” stature or age or whatever becoming an issue. 

And on this board there are the special needs boards that can help when it comes to things like severe adhd. In fact, I am going to put up a question later on the learning challenges board that I wouldn’t ask in real life in part to protect my child’s privacy. 

As far as “school at home” goes, I understand that our individual kids and circumstances and goals and preferences are going to be different. When asked my opinion of certain methods, I am going to be honest and say that I feel like certain methods and goals are “healthier “ when it comes to learning. (If I didn’t have opinions like  that how in the world would I ever choose my own approach?).

My approach is much more like 8’s. But I also recognize that plenty of kids learn doing “school at school “ even though it made me shrivel up and die inside. And I recognize that plenty of kids learn doing “school at home”. But don’t ask  me to recommend it myself. And don’t ask me personally to really understand it. That’s another benefit of a large board like this. We can all find other homeschoolers that fit our mold to some degree. It’s easier in an online settibg to pick and choose those nuggets that especially speak to us. 

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