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Can I just ramble a bit?

 

I really feel that the HS community has completely enabled itself to settle for for lower standards than we should.

 

"Is it okay if we take off school this week even though we are 6 weeks behind? We just need to take a break."

"Can my 10 year old do Core 1?"

"My 10 year old is not writing, and is in 2nd grade math. Is that okay? "

 

All of these are all too often met with a resounding YES!

 

Yes! It's okay if you are behind. That's what homeschooling is for! You set your own pace!

 

Yes, your 10 year old can do Core 1. You can supplement, but regardless, he'll be fine reading and learning on level that probably won't challenge him. It's HOMESCHOOL!

 

Yes, your child can be behind! Some kids just have trouble and life gets in the way. Don't worry about keeping your child at grade level. That's why we homeschool...

 

_______________________________________________

Rarely does anyone ever step up and say "Um, I'm sorry, but NO."

 

No, it would not do your children justice to just take off another week of school if you are already behind. You are not teaching them discipline or perseverance. Get with the program, or reconsider.

 

No, Core 1 is not meant for your 10 year old. You should rethink your options, and find a more fitting program.

 

No, it is not acceptable for your child to be that far behind unless he truly has a learning disability. You may need to reconsider your motivations for HS and step up and take responsibility for your child's lack of education at home.

 

 

Oh, I know I sound just awful. It's just that I've been there. I allowed this mindset to enable me to let my oldest fall a wee bit behind a few years ago. He went to PS for a year and a half, and now he's back home. Falling behind is NOT an option. He will do better at home than at PS, or he may as well go back to school. I have another friend who has HS her kids all through, and they are brilliant. However, she's made no forward progress with them for the past 2 years. What?!?!? I'm sure she has plenty of people who say, "Oh I'm sure they're learning. They're FINE." No, really, they aren't.

 

The lack of accountability can be staggering sometimes...

 

...and I bet we end up missing school for some reason this week. You won't mind will you? :D

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I don't think you sound awful.

 

I think every family has its own way of handling their homeschooling, but I do think it's important that kids be given the opportunity to learn, and to be academically competitive unless, as you mentioned, there are learning disabilities involved.

 

I also have no problem with people who slow down their schooling due to illness or because they need to help an ailing family member, or for any number of other legitimate reasons. Most of those families will work hard to get back on track as soon as they can.

 

If I'm not mistaken, you're talking about the moms who are too lazy to put forth the necessary effort that's required to homeschool their kids. I've known a few families like that, and the kids were very bright, yet very far behind their peers. It seemed so unfair to the kids. I have to admit that I thought the kids would have been better off in school right from the start, as the moms didn't seem to have what it took to homeschool. (And I'm not claiming to be the best homeschooling mom -- I have self-discipline issues, too, so it's hard work for me to try to stay on schedule.)

 

I am in favor of doing things your own way, but I think that, when the kids are falling way behind, it should be a huge wake-up call to the moms that perhaps they should re-evaluate what they're doing and make some changes, as it seems like it's usually the moms who are the problem when the kids aren't progressing (again, assuming there are no mental, physical, or developmental problems present -- that can be a whole different story!)

 

Cat

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Rant on... everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, I do disagree with you. I don't homeschool for superior reasons. I really don't care how my children compare to public or private school students. I never think of them as being ahead or behind. Even in the event that the children would have to go back to a b&m school, it wouldn't matter if we did try to keep up with the average grade level because the content and abilities vary from school to school.

 

And fwiw, Sonlight Core 1 is okay for a 10 year old. Core levels are NOT grade levels. Experienced Sonlight users will explain that. Take a look at the Sonlight catalog. Core 1 is designed for ages up to 12. And, the main History spine for that level is A Child's History of the World which was written for Calvert School's 4th grade level. It's really a bit much for a 1st grader, IMHO. See, we all have our own opinions. :)

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You forgot one: "Homeschoolers are always ahead of their public-schooled peers just by virtue of being homeschooled." That's a lie, plain and simple.

 

I agree with your post. As one who began homeschooling 16 years ago, I can tell you that things have really changed. Back then, homeschooling was considered very much outside the norm, much more so than it is now. Homeschoolers seemed to feel a sense of obligation to prove themselves, to make sure their children got an excellent education, to make sure their children did not fall behind their public and private schooled peers.

 

Over the past 8 years I've seen all that change. I've taught classes where students are *years* behind, had 4th graders who could barely read a sentence, seen highschoolers who couldn't write a paragraph. Math? Science? Forget it...the moms would tell me, "I'm not really good at math..." or "I was never a science person..." Auughh.

 

I don't keep quiet on these boards about this; indeed, I've stepped out plenty of times to say if you can't give your children a decent and appropriate education, put them in school. Homeschooling is magical and wonderful IF the parent considers it his/her JOB. Jobs take commitment, hard work, perseverance, and dedication. School is not an option, it's not something to put aside when things get hectic, or when mom or kids just don't feel like doing it. Sure, once in a while that won't cause harm, but when it becomes a pattern there's a problem.

 

This might not be a popular mesasge, but I don't care. A child's education is a very serious matter. Making excuses for being years behind, for not teaching science during the grammar stage, for switching from one math program to another, year after year, with no forward progress is just that - an excuse. Excuses do not educate a child.

 

I would like to point out that I do see more dedicated, caring homeschoolers on these boards than I ever did in real life. The Well-Trained Mind is an excellent guide, and parents who follow it will not have to worry about their children's educations.

 

Ria

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I totally agree with you. We home educate for primarily religious reasons, but there are some academic as well. I had a very rigorous public school education and I want my children to have at least as much rigor as I had and hopefully more. First and foremost I want my children to grow up to love and serve God, but from a pragmatic standpoint they are going into a competitive world where they need to be able to earn their keep. I don't see the two goals as mutually exclusive. This is of course said with the stipulation that we are talking about children with no disabilities of any kind. Obviously if a child has challenges (either physical or developmental) homeschooling is a fantastic way to be able to work at their pace without the pressures of falling behind in an institutional setting. However, I assume you are talking about kids with no underlying challenges.

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I hold myself, and my children, to very high standards. I am homeschooling to give them an exceptional education.

 

That said, in general I disagree with you. The point of homeschooling is that you are in control, to do what is right for your family and students.

 

Although I homeschool for academic excellence, I do not pay attention to state standards. Ever. I do not pay attention to whether my kids are ahead or behind their public school peers. Public school is irrelevant to me. I have my goals. They are high. Along the way, what my kids do at any given point will likely not look like what your kids do. My oldest couldn't write anything at age 10, and was still a very reluctant reader; at 13, he is successfully using Classical Writing: Diogenes and easily reading the Iliad and Frankenstein.

 

And then, there are other reasons to homeschool.

 

Now, I do agree that for those parents who choose any part of classical education, we ought to do more to encourage them. There are parents out there who just can't figure out how to get their act together - they need help, and encouragement. Unschooling *as a matter of default* is not a good decision. We parents, if we choose to homeschool, must be able to articulate a philosophy of education and actually manage the homeschooling.

 

One of the great advantages of homeschooling is that one-on-one tutoring takes less time and is more efficient than classroom teaching. In most cases, we really can take off extra time. We really do have time to sit and think, when such is necessary. It's just that we need to be honest with ourselves about *why* we're taking extra time; about whether or not we are managing things well, or just limping along, having taken no real responsibility and just hoping it works out.

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Here are a few thoughts on this.

 

I do agree with you in one respect. I think as homeschoolers many of us are already different-drummer types and as such are prone to going too far away from standards, since we embrace freedom. I have done that myself at times.

 

But on the other hand, it is the freedom to raise my children according to my own plan that attracts me the most about homeschooling. My children do not belong to the government, the county, my friends, my children's peers or the community at large. Therefore the responsibility to raise them well and educate them well does not rest with those outside people and institutions. It rests with us, their parents. It is a great and terrible responsibility.

 

In my own educational path, the things I've regretted have usually been times where I set the bar low, expected little, didn't suck it up through a rough time, didn't perservere. So far, I have never regretted setting the bar high, requiring a lot of my kids, reading books that were at the high end of their abilities, expecting more time to be spent working diligently on a given subject. I think in the earlier years, I did give too much credit to the fret-not, doesn't-matter, isn't-that-what-homeschooling's-for line of "advice". Therefore, I have moved towards more structure, higher expectations and more intentional education each year that I've been doing this, now approaching my 8th year.

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Y Homeschooling is magical and wonderful IF the parent considers it his/her JOB. Jobs take commitment, hard work, perseverance, and dedication.

 

When people can't believe I don't do overtime at work any more ("you could retire young"), I tell them I already have two jobs, and that my second one starts at 4 pm. I very much view this as a job. I was at a hand-on school museum thing yesterday, and it was staffed by grade school teachers. We traded ideas, laughed about the funny things kids do, clucked over lower standards and the effect of things like GameBoys on children's mindset. I felt very much like we were discussing our JOBS.

 

I hear people clucking with worry about government oversight, and virtual schools being public, etc. etc. but I think the most serious worry is a crop of ill-educated children appearing. It is only a matter of time before someone sues their parents for neglecting their education. Next is suing the state for not enforcing proper education, and then a whole rack of supervision will be trotted out. Like it or not, like the Guilds of old who policed their own, if a significant section of HSers fail, we will all suffer.

 

Right now I get almost nothing but "that's GREAT" in response to "we homeschool". I'd love to keep it that way.

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_______________________________________________

Rarely does anyone ever step up and say "Um, I'm sorry, but NO."

 

 

 

Um...have you been on these boards long, lol? I can think of more than a few folks *here* who would (and have) responded similarly when there are conversations like that, on the WTM board.

 

I don't know that I agree, though.

 

We've homeschooled all the way through, and my two oldest are 10th graders now. There have been years when we've done precious little (due to births, deaths, moves, and other life crises), and I've bitten my nails a bit.

 

But I don't put them in school, we press on, and make up the difference later. As I like to say..."We make hay when the sun shines, and then we eat it when it rains", lol.

 

You can't know everyone's home situation. There are homes where, if the kids aren't sitting down in front of a workbook, they may not be learning. They may actually be falling behind, if they aren't actively moving ahead. There are other homes where learning is such an integral part of life that the kids could do precious little, in the way of sit-down academics, and still be better off than many.

 

I think that people tend to respond to others according to their own perceptions. My dad called it "Projecting your own autobiography onto someone else's picture show". What that means is that when a nervous mom asks, "Should I put the kids in school? I'm 8 months pregnant, tired to the bone, we haven't done school in three weeks, and I can't see myself sitting down and teaching anywhere in the near future", one mom might say, "Absolutely put them in school! You can always homeschool later; your kids aren't getting an education now, and they deserve one."

 

Another might say, "Hey...in a few months, you're going to be back just like you were, and you can make it all up. Relax and let everyone enjoy just being together for a while."

 

Both could be speaking from their personal experiences, without knowing what that *particular* individual really is doing/thinking/accomplishing.

 

My kids are on par (one of them is performing a grade level ahead), and we've taken enough breaks to make many of the die-hards on this board swoon, lol. I *know* several here would have emphatically recommended that I put my kids in school, for their academic health, at several junctures in our homeschooling career.

 

But I know (and suspected then) that it was a marathon, not a race, and the one that lags behind in the beginning (or the middle...or even close to the end) can come from behind and win. Slow and steady. (Steady being the key word; a time of doing nothing is different than having that as your sole mode of operation).

 

I'd much rather encourage youngish moms (or those simply new to homeschooling) to focus on making their home a place where kids can learn all the time (fewer screens, more books/interactive toys/educational games/tools for imaginative play), rather than hyperfocusing on outside timetables. Unless public school is in your future, or you don't have a plan to homeschool for the long run and therefore need to have your kids ready at a moment's notice to go into 'regular' school; then you do need to stick to that timetable.

 

Also, if you have a long range plan, and your own developed educational philosophy, I think you're much less likely to fall and stay "behind".

 

Just one gal's opinion.

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I agree with a lot of what you say. I chose to hs my boys because schools in San Digeo are horrible and when I visited the school they would be attending the administarion wanted to put my kid in Bilingual classes based on our last name. Even after meeting us, and seeing that our first langage is English. I found this really frustrating and felt they should give me a choice in the matter, so we went to a Private School. Turns out that ds started flying through the material, but once he noticed his friends weren't advancing at the same pace he wanted to slow down.

 

To be truthful though, I was always attracted to homeschooling and probably would have ended up here any how. I expect my children to work hard and put school first. I don't mind having them behind in a subject if they really need to review in order to know the material, but I see it as temporary. We will do extra work if need be, and even summer school if they really struggle with an area. I see homeschooling as a way to make sure they actually learn the material and not just the answers on a test.

 

I spent my time in school board and not even breaking a sweat to get good grades in advanced classes, so that may have a lot to do with my feelings. As soon as I saw this situation with my oldest ds the switch was easy.

 

Danielle

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And then, there are other reasons to homeschool.

 

 

 

You know, I understand that folks appreciate all the curriculum/kids' ages listed in the signature lines, here, but something that *I* believe would be helpful, also, would be some sort of code to clue others in to the poster's homeschool philosophy. :D

 

"I homeschool simply to give my kids a superior education. If they aren't getting that, I need to put them in school."

 

"I love the opportunity to guide my kids, spiritually. I believe that even when we're not on par with the public school, academically, we're ahead because of the time we've had together, building the family-as-peer-group ideal."

 

"We evaluate our children's needs, academically, year-by-year. Homeschooling isn't set in stone."

 

"We'll homeschool all the way through, unless something drastic happens. I'll settle for times of less, or nothing at all, educationally speaking, at home, before I'll put them in school."

 

Know what I mean? All of these various viewpoints would respond differently, to certain questions, according to their experience/priorities. Not that that's wrong...it just serves as a reminder that just like not everyone here has the same worldview, not everyone homeschools for the same reason.

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My DS is years behind academically. He has very severe ADHD and LD's, and probably won't ever really master high school level material (he will be 13 next month, so we have a few years to go). But I do the best I can to get him to the level he can achieve.

 

I have to say though, that I am surprised close to daily by homeschooling friends who call DS during what I would consider standard "school hours". These kids could spend a LONG time chatting on the phone with DS, but since we're doing school, I don't let him answer. I find myself wondering if these kids spend any time doing academics, since I know they are not doing school earlier in the morning, or later afternoon (I know the parent's schedules fairly well). I don't ask their parents, as I figure it's not my business.

Michelle T

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Like the PP I think it depends. I do agree with your rant when it comes to particular hser's I know, ones that didn't teach their child to read at all until almost 13 years old because they only wanted to play video games, another who focused so much on creating an acting career for their child they neglected everything else that wasn't specifically related to that. BUT over all I think hser's are doing what is best for their children even if we as outsiders do not see it.

 

My son is 10, he does not write well, it is like pulling teeth to do a simple sentence, and he is behind in math though slowly catching up. Next year we are doing core 3 (though adding core 100 and canadian history to it). This year has been a pretty much dud year for us, other than math and grammar we have not been consistent with anything, we struggled with a difficult year and focused on the non-academic things in life instead. However, the kids read a lot, watched a ton of bbc and discovery documentaries, were in a science fair and learned a lot that was not book work. To outsiders it looks like we have done nothing, and his delays look like I don't care about his education, what they don't see is that he was 2 years behind in skills while still in ps, and that he had multiple special needs.

 

Just because a homeschool family has a slow or down time in their homeschooling journey does not mean they are settling for lower standards. Now if they have never done anything with their kids, and the kids do nothing but play video games all day, can't read (as opposed to won't), are not physically active etc then I would be joining you in your rant.

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I worry that people don't know what the standards are anymore. I am tutoring a kid, whose mother thinks it is fine that her almost 5th grader can't write a paragraph; she is under the assumption that is a middle school skill. She is getting her information from comparing her kid to other public school kids.

 

Personally, I have decided to homeschool to raise the standards for my kids. We were at a private school that allowed poor work, both from the teachers and the students, just as long as everybody's happy.

 

I had surgery this fall (ankle) and my mom told me to take two weeks off from school; I refused. I set the kids' desks up next to my couch and we did the lessons I planned ahead of time; I was a little drowsy, but it was nice to keep the routine and it kept me from worrying about getting behind. Now, someone might say that is crazy, but I that is why I homeschool, to do it my way. If I wanted someone's honest opinion; I would have asked them. So...if someone on this board, or a friend asks, I am honest with them, not mean, just honest. I also tell homeschool friends that if you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and know that you not only did your best, but the best for your children/students, then you are fine.

 

I also think that you need to teach your child at thier ability, meaning, that if a kid is doing 2nd grade math in the 4th grade, it makes no sense to do 4th grade and fail. Some skills must be mastered before you move on, but in my house we would work all summer long too, but that is just me.

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Rant away. We are all entitled to our opinions.

 

We don't homeschool so that our kids will be 'better than' or even equal too ps kids. I want to teach my kids how to learn, not memorize facts for a test. My dd knows ALOT about science realted topics, but history is a weak spot. She is only 9 so she has years to learn more about history, but she can have intelligent conversations with my son's doctors now lol. It is all about what you are trying to accomplish by homeschooling IMHO.

 

We had a year where very little schooling got done due to a life threatening illness, but I don't feel that my children have suffered because of the lost time. They still leave people asking where they go to school after they talk with someone, so I guess we are not doing too bad :001_smile:. They also learned valueable skills about caring for someone who is sick, sticking by someone in the worst of times, and what it means to put someone else's needs above your own.

 

Again, we are all entitled to our opinions, and if you are a 'follow cirriculum by grade level' homeschooler, then I can certainly see where those kinds of statements would bother you. There are of course those who have bright kids that are not being challenged, but I have found that many kids are superior in one or two areas where they are naturally gifted and only behind in a couple.

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This might not be a popular mesasge, but I don't care. A child's education is a very serious matter. Making excuses for being years behind, for not teaching science during the grammar stage, for switching from one math program to another, year after year, with no forward progress is just that - an excuse. Excuses do not educate a child. Ria

 

:iagree: I have issues with families that I know of that just don't 'fit the schooling in'. IMO, they make those of us that DO, look bad.

 

Homeschooling, to me, is not supposed to be:

* a way to take the easy way out

* relaxing our expectations or lowering our standards

* an excuse to coddle those children who are lagging behing academically

* 'if we get it done great, if not no biggie - it's up to us'

 

As homeschooling becomes more popular, we run the risk of becoming 'watered-down' and I hate the thought of that.

 

Off my soap box now ;)

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Thank you all! I am truly enjoying reading everyone's responses.

 

Ria, it was YOUR post (almost a duplicate of the one you wrote here) that sent me reeling a couple of years ago. I knew I wasn't giving my kids the effort they deserved. We put them in school then, and I'm very glad we did. So, thanks for speaking up! :D

 

 

I, too, love the freedom to raise my children as I see fit. I love that I can chose their academic path. I also see it as my responsibility to give them the *education* they need to be successful adults. I think it's my responsibility to help them acquire the ability to be disciplined and persevere through the harder things and the things which they may not enjoy.

 

I suppose in the end we must all chose our own paths and goals, and we should be empathetic to others' decisions and circumstances. I didn't mean to imply it is our responsibility to regulate one another so much as I was expressing disappointment with the apathy some have about their responsibility as homeschooling families.

 

For me, I do take notice of the standards set forth in the public schools, because when we approach the end, and the big tests are taken and life decisions are made- I feel that they must have mastered at least what their PS peers were expected to know, and everything over and beyond (character growth, personal growth, deeper learning) is the benefit of our time together in homeschool.

 

I'm really thankful for this board, this discussion, and knowing that I had a place to bounce this around.

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Well I do agree, but I don't think we (or I) have to "represent" anything. My husband made a comment the other day that he wished people realized that not all homeschoolers homeschool for religious reasons. I don't say this to hurt anyone's feelings or say that is a lousy reason for homeschooling. But being that we aren't religious it's hard to take some of the assumptions we come across reguarly. I told my husband I don't really care what people think. That they simply don't know. They only assume.

 

I don't want heavy duty regulations placed on homeschoolers. I want to be free to choose the books, and work on the topics when I want to work on them. Or progress at the place that I feel is appropriate. Does this mean there will be some lousy homeschoolers out there who won't do anything? Yes it does. That is the way it is. It isn't much different than other freedoms. We wan't freedom of religion in this country right? But we know there are people who use religion to coerce, control, abuse, neglect, and kill (although I imagine this is rare). Would placing more controls have the affect we are hoping for? I don't think so.

 

My frustration with many homeschoolers I have come across is that they don't extend the same open mindedness to me. I have heard comments such as "oh that so and so...she makes her kids do XYZ...they never have any fun...blah blah". I feel like telling them to mind their own business.

 

I've come across extremes on both sides, but most people are probably somewhere in the middle.

:iagree:perfectly stated!

We take plenty of time off. We also school year round. Honestly, I never worry much about missing a week here or there. it all gets done. My children are above grade level in most, but not all subjects. What is grade level work for a 2nd or 3rd grader in Latin anyway?

 

I am not educating my children to be at or above X grade level. I want them to be competent adults who can and hopefully will have a vast expanse of knowledge inside their minds that they can use at the drop of a hat.

I certainly don't need to be regulated any more than I am.

FWIW: we have been sick (the whole family) for the last 5 days or so. No school..Today, still too sick to go to Mass, but we did some school. It didn't make up for an entire missed week, but it was something. We just have to adjust the next few weeks and add in a bit here and a bit there...they will be fine. They have already finished their "grade level" for this year anyway.

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One side of me agrees, while the other is trying to hide under a rock. ;)

 

My primary reason for homeschooling is academic success. I'm fortunate in that my kids tend to pick most things up quickly and easily. They're "ahead" in most areas, so it's hard for me to feel guilty when we take some time off or lighten our load for a while.

 

We've gone especially light with history and science this year but, having seen ps "history" and science, I know we've done a superior job. But that's because my kids are the type to pick up an Usborne or Eyewitness book, read it cover to cover, discuss what they're reading (with me, dh, or a sibling), and soak most of it in.

 

So, we may appear to be lazy homeschoolers sometimes (and we are!), but my kids aren't suffering for it. And then there are times where we shut the world out and put our noses to the grindstone, and people think we're crazy then, too!

 

Works for us! :D

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This also happens in school. I have a friend whose dc learned nothing in second grade because both the teacher and the aide went out on maternity leave and they had incompetent subs for the rest of the year.

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Yes. Where I live the graduation rate is a dismal 50-60 %. What is happening (or not happening) in these public schools that have all kinds of experts (and not to mention money)?

 

And where are the parents? I knew someone who complained that the school "didn't notice" his son couldn't read. I wanted to say, how come it took you 3 years to figure that out, hmmmmm?

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Believe me, "accountability" doesn't improve the quality of home education. This is not just my opinion, it's an observation from having been involved in homeschooling over many many years in several areas of the country with varying degrees of accountability.

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I'm always curious when I hear the comment that a child is "behind." Behind what? Behind whom? Behind because a piece of paper says they should be on week 12 work but they're on week 9? Or, are they behind what the state standards indicate? Behind what your kids are doing? What is "behind?"

 

We start in September, and finish before the next September. If we do school in July, so be it. If we take time off because we're emotionally spent, we do that. Most jobs have personal days, sick days, bereavement days, vacation days. I agree with perseverance and diligence; I disagree with allowing a schedule (be it my own or one created by a curriculum) to dictate and rule my life. Life happens, kids are different, we all have different needs.

 

I don't always agree with how people I know IRL school their kids. But I have the freedom to bring my dd up on my terms and in my way, and those people have the same. Unless there's an indication of abuse of some sort, I pretty much mind my own business. I don't "represent" homeschoolers; I am only myself. If someone wants to ascribe the behavior of an entire community to my specific actions, it's their problem. *shrug*

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Well, I homeschool for many reasons. Academic, for one. I also can't bear the thought of my children being locked up in a building for the better part of the day. My kids have freedom to learn things on their own, to read, to draw, to sit in the yard, play their instruments, develop self-motivation, and just get to be children. It's not all that hard to learn to write a paragraph or research paper if you know how to read well and read lots. Math isn't all that difficult to master, either. Basic arithmetic, I should say. We're in a great school district that uses Investigations Math, one of the worst programs out there IMO. The closest large city to where we reside has a high school drop out rate of I believe about 60%. I'd venture to say that not all of those 60% are truly just not able to be "educated." Someone's dropping the ball there, too, right? Frankly, I'd rather my kids do nothing in the sunshine and fresh air than do nothing inside the walls of public school. Just my opinion. Many kids coming out of public high schools go to community colleges and do fine. I'd venture to say most home-school kids could do the same, even if they are "behind" and the parents are slacking. If they come from a home where love resides and there is patience and kindness, I'd say, hey, they are probably ahead of the game. Many public schooled kids are in remedial community college classes after high school. I'm not saying it's right or wrong or whatever, but it just is what it is. And those kids will do what they need to do to make their way in the world. At a certain point, we can't say, I can't become a teacher or nurse or whatever because mom didn't teach me my times tables. I'm just not so sure I buy into the premise that we can somehow ruin our kids by not doing enough academically while they're young. Obviously, if your goal is Harvard, then yes, you better get with the program. But I would venture to say that the kids with laid back parents aren't striving to get their kids off to Harvard. And they also probably wouldn't be if the kids were in school. So what of it? The vast majority of kids who even have a shot at the Ivies don't get in anyway. And some of the kids whose parents don't aim for that, whether kids are homeschooled or public schooled, the kids do get in because it's their goal. I believe that a motivated teen can accomplish a whole heck of a lot when they set their mind to it without much more than a library card.

 

Wow, I guess now I'm ranting. ;) But since we're all entitled to our opinion, I'll share mine.

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Michelle's response is much of what I wanted to say.

 

Who's standards? Public schools? A homeschool curriculum's standard? My standard? Your standard?

 

I'm not sure any more where parenting and homeschooling divide. They are one and the same for me. That means, that I respect what others are doing for their family. Not always agreeing with it, but I respect that each has to make their own choice. Laziness in not pretty in parenting/homeschooling, nor is it pretty in a public school setting. But my definition and your definition of "forward progress" may be two different things. And what you see as "forward progress" in your family may not look that way to me.

 

I think it's pretty hard to answer on these boards when people say "Is it okay if my child is doing this/that..." because we don't know what we are really giving advice on. We don't live in that house. I steer away from giving thumbs up or down to anyone. I think we need to have the confidence to go forward OUR OWN WAY.

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I'm always curious when I hear the comment that a child is "behind." Behind what? Behind whom? Behind because a piece of paper says they should be on week 12 work but they're on week 9? Or, are they behind what the state standards indicate? Behind what your kids are doing? What is "behind?"

 

We start in September, and finish before the next September. If we do school in July, so be it. If we take time off because we're emotionally spent, we do that. Most jobs have personal days, sick days, bereavement days, vacation days. I agree with perseverance and diligence; I disagree with allowing a schedule (be it my own or one created by a curriculum) to dictate and rule my life. Life happens, kids are different, we all have different needs.

 

I don't always agree with how people I know IRL school their kids. But I have the freedom to bring my dd up on my terms and in my way, and those people have the same. Unless there's an indication of abuse of some sort, I pretty much mind my own business. I don't "represent" homeschoolers; I am only myself. If someone wants to ascribe the behavior of an entire community to my specific actions, it's their problem. *shrug*

 

:yeahthat: I've been thinking of how to respond to the OP for about an hour & this says it better than I could have.

 

I would add that just as we all homeschool for different reasons, we all define success differently.

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Well, I homeschool for many reasons. Academic, for one. I also can't bear the thought of my children being locked up in a building for the better part of the day. My kids have freedom to learn things on their own, to read, to draw, to sit in the yard, play their instruments, develop self-motivation, and just get to be children. It's not all that hard to learn to write a paragraph or research paper if you know how to read well and read lots. Math isn't all that difficult to master, either. Basic arithmetic, I should say. We're in a great school district that uses Investigations Math, one of the worst programs out there IMO. The closest large city to where we reside has a high school drop out rate of I believe about 60%. I'd venture to say that not all of those 60% are truly just not able to be "educated." Someone's dropping the ball there, too, right? Frankly, I'd rather my kids do nothing in the sunshine and fresh air than do nothing inside the walls of public school. Just my opinion. Many kids coming out of public high schools go to community colleges and do fine. I'd venture to say most home-school kids could do the same, even if they are "behind" and the parents are slacking. If they come from a home where love resides and there is patience and kindness, I'd say, hey, they are probably ahead of the game. Many public schooled kids are in remedial community college classes after high school. I'm not saying it's right or wrong or whatever, but it just is what it is. And those kids will do what they need to do to make their way in the world. At a certain point, we can't say, I can't become a teacher or nurse or whatever because mom didn't teach me my times tables. I'm just not so sure I buy into the premise that we can somehow ruin our kids by not doing enough academically while they're young. Obviously, if your goal is Harvard, then yes, you better get with the program. But I would venture to say that the kids with laid back parents aren't striving to get their kids off to Harvard. And they also probably wouldn't be if the kids were in school. So what of it? The vast majority of kids who even have a shot at the Ivies don't get in anyway. And some of the kids whose parents don't aim for that, whether kids are homeschooled or public schooled, the kids do get in because it's their goal. I believe that a motivated teen can accomplish a whole heck of a lot when they set their mind to it without much more than a library card.

 

Wow, I guess now I'm ranting. ;) But since we're all entitled to our opinion, I'll share mine.

 

I was posting at the same time.

 

Amen to this.

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_______________________________________________

Rarely does anyone ever step up and say "Um, I'm sorry, but NO."

 

 

 

Someone did say this to me...gently but firmly. It hurt, but I needed to hear it.

 

At the same time, I've had to accept the fact that my children are individuals. DD #2 didn't learn to write until she was 12 and dd #3 didn't read until she was almost 8. I was sure I had failed my kids. When they were developmentally ready, it happened. Dd #2 wrote over 20,000 words for NaNoWriMo this past November. DD#3 is not wild about reading but she does (currently - Centerburg Tales by Robert McCloskey).

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I don't homeschool for academic reasons and I am a very relaxed homeschooler. I believe in starting formal education rather late and beginning slowly so most of my elementary kids where "behind" but they were caught up by middle school and ahead of your average PSer by high school. We homeschool year round and I don't really care if I miss chunks of time here and there. We will make it up later. Heck I am still learning and I have a four year degree.

 

And now, I will begin my rant, :rant: My 6th grader has learned that she does not have to put her best effort in to all of her school work since she began PS this year. She has to write a science report each week and there is a HUGE difference between the first one she turned in and the one she turned in last week. Her science papers are currently not up to my standards which leads to fights between her and I because they are acceptable to her teacher. About halfway through the year, I began to suspect that the teacher was not even reading these papers. I felt an overwhelming urge to add a sentence to that effect (Are you even reading this?) to one of her papers just to verify. Turned out that was unnecessary as my dd informed me that now the students just exchange papers and make sure that certain info is present, like name, period, date, paper # and a certain number of definitions. My dd is just not motivated to write a decent paper because she knows that it makes no difference what-so-ever in her grade. Luckily, she has a great LA teacher and turns in excellent papers in that class so I know that she has not lost the skills but I do believe that she is learning a bad lesson which will probably continue throughout her schooling years. At least there was consistancy when she was at home. :rant:

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I totally agree with you Sunshyne! I don't think what you're saying has anything to do with the public school versus homeschool debate, either, but is rather an educating your children versus not educating your children debate.

 

Some of the most inspirational kick-in-the-pants advice I've taken to heart, I've gleaned from this board, albeit it was on the old boards. These are some of the ones I've saved:

 

"I know too many homeschooled high school kids whose parents don't make them write, or do Algebra 1 and 2 over four years and count it as four years of math. They have no clue how to take notes or how to take tests. Honestly, I know one family who never gave their kids tests (because it would stress their children)." ~Ria

 

"My dd is taking an IEW American history writing class at the local cc, geared for grades 6-8. She told me that seems to be the only student in the class with any grammar or formal writing background." ~Pam

 

"I see both ends, teaching local homeschool grade school classes and also being a college professor, and frankly I don't see a lot of difference between the public school and homeschool students in most cases...There are three good private schools in the area (two elite and one a decent Christian school), and frankly their students are better prepared overall for my college classes than the average public school or homeschooled student." ~GVA

 

"I teach science two days a week (two separate programs) to grades 2-8 and I have 127 students overall. This is an enrichment class, but there is follow up work. I am amazed at the number of middle school kids who do not know basic (and I mean basic) science fundamentals like properties of sound and light, animal classification, simple chemistry, etc. Like Ria said, they cannot take notes, nor do they have any desire to." ~Laura

 

"I teach an online 8th grade math class, and the homeschoolers that I have taking it are *not* prepared for it at all. Many of them have to drop it out of frustration. Many of them can not write an essay." ~WTMindy

 

I love these posts. They have challenged me not to give into my own natural laziness. It's one thing if my boys don't learn X because they have Y disability. I'm not talking about that. I don't want my children to fall into one of the above categories because of *my* ineptitude. Sometimes I wonder why people post here when they clearly disagree with the philosophy and methods outlined in The Well-Trained Mind.

Edited by Heather in WI
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I really feel that the HS community has completely enabled itself to settle for for lower standards than we should.

 

This is not a homeschool-only problem. Nor would I even characterize it as a pervasive problem with homeschooling.* Our Sunday paper headlined the abysmal AP passing rates for our county. Apparently, nearly 30% of the students taking AP classes couldn't read at grade level. :001_huh: While the number of kids taking AP has tripled in the last three years, and 80% pass their AP courses, only 23% *passed* the AP exam. That was just today's paper. In this city. I understand your angst, but be careful about what you are assuming both about the homeschooling community and the public school community.

 

Lisa

 

*Meant to add, that spending a week at our regional speech and debate invitational tournament certainly colors the *type* of homeschooler I've been exposed to of late.

Edited by FloridaLisa
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When I mentioned 'standards' and 'expectations', I didn't mean the state's standards. I meant this:

 

What YOU want your children to have accomplished and mastered by the time they either 1 - go to school or 2 - graduate.

 

If you make a list of the goals that you want your children to achieve, your job is to make sure that it happens. I think that if you have no expectations or goals for their education, then you have nothing to work toward.

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I had someone tell me they are stopping school early this school year. And I'm thinking, but y'all do school fewer hours and days than ANYONE as it is and your kids are behind because of lack of consistency all the other years (in and out of school, schooling a couple hours a day a couple days per week).

 

I have no problem understanding someone taking time off or a kid being behind (even far behind) for a time. I don't mind less structured schooling methods. All those sorts of things.

 

But some people take these things WAY too far.

 

I have a lot of respect for people who end up putting their kids in school because they just didn't find the time, effort, or discipline to homeschool WELL. Homeschooling SHOULD be better than public school. Our ratio is wonderful, we love each and every child we teach, we can adapt to their needs, we see them in more than one setting, etc. We have ALL the advantage. So why are so many doing so poorly?

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The lack of accountability can be staggering sometimes...

 

Um, I'm not accountable to the "homeschool community." I'm accountable to God, myself, my husband, and my kids.

 

Education doesn't just happen around the school table. In fact, sometimes when I tell my kids to stop what they're doing and come do their schoolwork, I feel like I am interfering with rather than futhering their education. I have struggled from the beginning of homeschooling with the fact that we don't always finish the curriculum, there are some subjects that just don't seem to happen in spite of good intentions, and life interferes with school way too often. And yet, my 12 yo dd who is mildly dyslexic and working below grade level in several subjects continues to score well above average on standardized tests and there are some subjects where she knows far more than I. My 7 yo dd who is severely dyslexic has had a major developmental leap and can finally hear the individual sounds in words and make or identify rhyming words -- and this follows a period of time during which formal schoolwork was minimal (because my kids get their "summer break" during tax season rather than during the summer). And my 15 yo who attends a college prep public charter school this year is making straight A's. She is taking 2 honors classes this year and she'll be taking 4 (the maximum available for 10th graders) next year. She wasn't unprepared and socially stunted when she returned to a b&m school; instead the other students tell her, "That's not fair -- you were homeschooled," because they are envious of her achievements.

 

So entering my 8th year of homeschooling, I'm sure I will continue to feel stressed and discouraged because we won't accomplish all that I hope too. I will continue to worry that we haven't spent enough days or hours "doing school." We will continue to take time off when we need it, and when I roll the schedule for those days forward, I will worry about what didn't get done. But I'm trying really hard to get over it. I am trying to be more relaxed and incorporate more fun into our school days. Not lol, amusement park type fun - but an ability to enjoy our days together, because they will be over way too soon.

 

I have never asked permission to take time off when we need it. I hope no-one minds if I don't start now. :001_smile:

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Ria, it was YOUR post (almost a duplicate of the one you wrote here) that sent me reeling a couple of years ago. I knew I wasn't giving my kids the effort they deserved. We put them in school then, and I'm very glad we did. So, thanks for speaking up! :D

 

Sunshyne,

I remember that thread-it hit me hard as well. I wasn't giving my children the education they deserved. Our classical homeschooling went to relaxed homeschooling (math and library books) to unschooling to nonschooling. Ria's post was a kick in the bu** for me. All three of my school age kids are in ps right now, and doing well. Two will be home in the fall, though, now that I have my act together and my priorities straight. I'm looking forward to homeschooling again and now realize what a huge responsibility it is.

Jennifer

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I think there is some misunderstanding with the OP. I didn't get that she judged other people's chosen styles, but that she felt that some of the homeschooling community is neglectful and encourages neglect. There is a huge difference in "relaxed" and non-schooling. There is a huge difference of a family helping a student work to the level reasonable for THAT student and being just fine that their perfectly normal 12yo hasn't progressed academically at all in 2 years when they were already behind. There is a huge difference in taking off time whenever because that is how you have your school year up and taking off because life KEEPS getting in the way week after week for YEARS....not to mention, even on a good week, you'll do only 2-3 hours on 2-3 days.

 

Now if someone's GOAL is to raise kids to only get to a 4th grade level despite average IQs and no learning disabilities, then I guess we'd just have to agree to disagree about whether that was okay. But homeschooling/non-schooling in a way to make that the case because you are too lazy, stressed, undisciplined, etc is an unacceptable standard.

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I'm pretty big on personal accountability but I'm not educating my son to anyone else's standards but mine and my dh's. For me it is important to stay focused on those standards. Can I take off a week, sometimes we do. Do I feel like my ds is behind in some things, yes, but he is ahead in others.

 

I also feel it is important to evaluate my weaknesses every couple of months. Are we sliding away from "our" standards or are we being flexible? I want the best education possible for my child and that is requiring me to learn ahead of him in some subjects.

 

Part of my standard is that I need to know how to teach a subject. If I can't I'd better learn how before ds gets there or find a suitable alternative classes, video teaching. I never want my lack of knowledge to be a hindrance for my son's education.

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I didn't get that she judged other people's chosen styles, but that she felt that some of the homeschooling community is neglectful and encourages neglect.

 

How do you do that without *judging*, lol?

 

I'm not being flip...I'm sincerely curious...if you're determining "neglect", how do you do that without judging? Evaluating? Comparing?

 

It's making a judgement on what's acceptable or not.

 

Isn't it?

 

(This honestly isn't argumentative or anything...I hope it's not taken that way.)

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Honestly, I believe it would have to do with the family situation. My youngest was born 2 yrs ago with multiple health problems. We spent many times in the hospital for weeks at a time and at that time it was our normal. I have always been the one to do the homeschooling ( I have no one else and hubby works) so there were times we went without doing much of anything at all. With that said my daughters have learned so much about living life with a sibiling with physical disabilities and that some times you just have to roll with the punches. Could I have put them in school? No. I had no one at home to be here to take them to school or to be here when they would of gotten home. Our public school system is HORRIBLE with a capital H so it wasn't even a forthought.I would of been hours away from them and my mother in law works and my husband works. Many times school work would get done in the car on the way to a doctors appointment.

Has it been our best of years? Absolutely not. I had to water down our education so to speak just to keep my sanity.

 

My oldest who is 11 struggles with writing. She still has difficulty writing down her thoughts. I've tried several programs and all I can say is that her writing is a work in progress. Her spelling is atrocious and again I've tried several methods and the older she gets the better she gets but still has a long way. Her handwriting I've almost given up on as I've tried absolutely everything out there available. She does well in science and history and math. She participates in Awana, Girl Scouts , does community service , will be going to the Missoula Traveling theater group for camp this summer. We participate in fun activities that our community offers. I don't think we could do anymore then we do.

My 9 yr old has a very difficult time with math and she is in the 4th grade. I find that I'm going to have to back track to a 2nd or 3rd grade math with her this coming year because the concepts just aren't sticking for her ( we're just using the wrong math program with her). Reading she does well and writing is a work in progress. Her handwriting is okay but could be better.

 

With all of this said if we tried to keep up with the "Jones' " I would of gone nuts. I appreciate the thought of holding children to a higher standard but if I did that with our homeschooling the past two years I'd be in a funny farm right now. I find myself not fitting in well with other homeschoolers as we are a family with a special needs child that at times takes up a lot of my time, and unless you've been there and done that you don't have a clue what its like at all.

 

So in the end I'm just happy that my children are still learning. We will continue to plug away and I know we will eventually catch up in some point of our homeschooling. I feel that when they are prepared for college and are good upstanding citizens and can function as adults then my work is done.

 

There will always be someone who doesn't do their job and their children may suffer for it. But that's just life. The same happens to children that go to brick and mortar school. How many fall through the "cracks" in a brick and mortar school? I don't think regulating homeschooling will deter those who aren't doing their job. It only makes homeschooling unbareable for those that do their jobs. We live in PA , one of the toughest homeschooling states in the U. S and I'll admit homeschooling on my own is MUCH tougher then if I used cyberschooling. Our laws make homeschooling past the age of 8 less desirable. I know many cyberschooling parents who want nothing to do with traditional homeschooling due to the laws in PA. So in the end you have cyberschoolng parents who burn out because cyberschooling is very demanding and ending up putting their children in the public schools. I'm all for less is good. As long as my children are learning and they end up being prepared for college and life I feel I have done my job. Nor will I try to keep up with someone else's standards because they aren't mine.

Edited by TracyR
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Great post, Heather! I enjoyed reading those quotes you've saved :).

 

I don't think what you're saying has anything to do with the public school versus homeschool debate, either, but is rather an educating your children versus not educating your children debate.

 

Yes, this is how I read the original post as well. I have no desire to use the PS system as the yardstick against which I measure our progress. Neither am I interested in comparing my kids with their privately schooled peers, though that might come closer to being in synch with our goals. What I desire for my children is that I do my utmost every single day to make their education my top priority. The method I use is less important than whether I can go to bed at night knowing I've met my legal and moral obligations to educate my children. What I think Sunshyne was lamenting was the fact that we're often quick to give a pass to homeschooling parents who know in their hearts - and even admit - that they're not meeting this obligation. I think we have a natural instinct to support our fellow travelers on what might sometimes seem like a difficult journey, and so we're quick to soothe them with platitudes when what they might really need is a kick in the pants. They might need to hear that it's really not OK and that it's time to take measures to address whatever shortcomings they've noted. Yes, there is usually time to make up whatever deficiencies exist, and that's the beauty of homeschooling. But those deficiencies won't be addressed if the parent is lulled by well-meaning friends into believing they will somehow address themselves just by virtue of the child being homeschooled.

 

SBP

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What I desire for my children is that I do my utmost every single day to make their education my top priority. The method I use is less important than whether I can go to bed at night knowing I've met my legal and moral obligations to educate my children. What I think Sunshyne was lamenting was the fact that we're often quick to give a pass to homeschooling parents who know in their hearts - and even admit - that they're not meeting this obligation. SBP

 

:iagree: Well said :)

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How do you do that without *judging*, lol?

 

I'm not being flip...I'm sincerely curious...if you're determining "neglect", how do you do that without judging? Evaluating? Comparing?

 

Not my place to speak for Pamela of course, but my personal thought on this is that I respond very differently to my radical unschooling friend than I do to my structured-schooling friend who is slipping in meeting her own goals. I think perhaps that's what the OP is getting at too. If someone is asking the question "is it okay that my 10 yo is not doing x?" then simply by virtue of them asking the question, we can realize that there is probably part of them that feels that the answer is no. So perhaps we other homeschoolers would actually be more kind by giving her the motivation that she needs to change, rather than soothing her with reassurances.

 

Am I off base?

Edited by GretaLynne
run-on sentence, poor grammar, should this person really be responsible for someone's education? lol!
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Not my place to speak for Pamela of course, but my personal thought on this is that I respond very differently to my radical unschooling friend than I do to my structured-schooling friend who is slipping in meeting her own goals. I think perhaps that's what the OP is getting at too. That if someone is asking the question "is it okay that my 10 yo is not doing x?" that simply by virtue of them asking the question, there is probably part of them that feels that the answer is no, and we other homeschoolers might be more kind by giving her the motivation that she needs to change, rather than soothing her with reassurances.

 

Am I off base?

 

:iagree: she may not appreciate that answer at first, but in the long run I think she would.

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I'm always curious when I hear the comment that a child is "behind." Behind what? Behind whom? Behind because a piece of paper says they should be on week 12 work but they're on week 9? Or, are they behind what the state standards indicate? Behind what your kids are doing? What is "behind?"

 

We start in September, and finish before the next September. If we do school in July, so be it. If we take time off because we're emotionally spent, we do that. Most jobs have personal days, sick days, bereavement days, vacation days. I agree with perseverance and diligence; I disagree with allowing a schedule (be it my own or one created by a curriculum) to dictate and rule my life. Life happens, kids are different, we all have different needs.

 

I don't always agree with how people I know IRL school their kids. But I have the freedom to bring my dd up on my terms and in my way, and those people have the same. Unless there's an indication of abuse of some sort, I pretty much mind my own business. I don't "represent" homeschoolers; I am only myself. If someone wants to ascribe the behavior of an entire community to my specific actions, it's their problem. *shrug*

 

:iagree::iagree: We have very high standards for our children, but they are our standards. They are not yours, our neighbor's nor the public schools' standards. Also, we homeschool for many other reasons than academics. So just because they might be behind here and there, is not any justification, for us, to say our children might as well be in school since academics is one part of the pie.

 

I wonder sometimes how many people may have whispered behind my back that I shouldn't be homeschooling especially through some difficult times. In spite of that, I have two very well adjusted daughters in college.

 

Janet

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One can liken homeschooling -- overall, not state-by-state -- to an "unregulated industry". There is no homogeneity for content standards, performance standards, for attendance standards, nor for anything at all. The NEA hostilely and implacably wishes to exterminate us homeschoolers for this reason. We and our children are not "formula-fed, formula-driven, formula-manufactured" government-regulated clones.

 

To apply Christian terminology to education, homeschoolers enjoy free will.

 

Dangers abound in this chaotic education situation. I live in a state where one can do nothing at all, and allege that the family is homeschooling. The blessed flip side is that one can provide so stellar an education to ones children, that state standards collapse, gasping in the dust far, far behind.

 

In other states, one may homeschool, after the requisite number of "hoops-and-barrels" are jumped.

 

I am neither libertarian, Republican, nor of any other political persuasion. My viewpoint persists, nonetheless, that my children belong first to God, then to my husband and me. Their religion and their education are the inalienable rights of our private family.

 

I'm as opinionated as any bulldog on the block. (This post proves that ! :ohmy: ) Thus I'll experience my own "wondering" about some of the education viewpoints espounsed by some other families. I may even consider another family extraordinarily wrong and harmful to their child(ren). Yet to remain consistent with my belief in personal freedom, I have to back-off and allow the same freedom to other families which I insistently claim for my own.

 

This is NOT "an easy topic". The original poster has triggered a productive thread. Thanks !

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Pamela,

You have expressed my feelings well. Thank you!

 

Some of you said something along the lines of "I'm not accountable. I do this and this and this, and I worry when we don't finish, and I make sure that happens, but I don't care what other people think."

 

If you're worrying and trying and pushing, then you aren't the example I'm making here.

 

I think it's great that we have the right to raise our kids and homeschool as we see fit. I also think (and no, not so typically on *this* board) that what some people call homeschooling just. isn't. And yes, they are accountable to their children, and it's sad that they just twiddle by in the name of "homeschooling" when quite frankly it would be more acurately described as "education deprivation."

 

Please don't say, "But PS is worse," because we're not even talking PS. PS is oftentimes better than the education-deprived environment of the home. Call it what you will.

 

What distinguishes "enough" varies greatly among children and their families. However, providing *enough* takes work and discipline and time and deliberation. It's a progression. It's improvement. It doesn't happen when we just wait for it. I'm sorry. It just. doesn't.

 

So, no. It's not okay if you aren't moving forward. It's not okay if your 13 year old isn't reading well (forbearing a learning disability). No. It just. isn't. I'm sorry.

 

 

That's my feelings, anyway. I'm guilty as the next person though, because I just might not say anything other than, "Please pass the bean dip." :D

 

I think there is some misunderstanding with the OP. I didn't get that she judged other people's chosen styles, but that she felt that some of the homeschooling community is neglectful and encourages neglect. There is a huge difference in "relaxed" and non-schooling. There is a huge difference of a family helping a student work to the level reasonable for THAT student and being just fine that their perfectly normal 12yo hasn't progressed academically at all in 2 years when they were already behind. There is a huge difference in taking off time whenever because that is how you have your school year up and taking off because life KEEPS getting in the way week after week for YEARS....not to mention, even on a good week, you'll do only 2-3 hours on 2-3 days.

 

Now if someone's GOAL is to raise kids to only get to a 4th grade level despite average IQs and no learning disabilities, then I guess we'd just have to agree to disagree about whether that was okay. But homeschooling/non-schooling in a way to make that the case because you are too lazy, stressed, undisciplined, etc is an unacceptable standard.

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I realize of course that there is a huge variety of reasons that different people choose to homeschool. I chose to because I felt that what was available to my daughter in the local public school system was academically insufficient. My motivation for choosing this path originally was to give my daughter a superior academic experience. Sadly, I cannot say with complete confidence that I have met this goal (so far).

 

Knowing now that my very free-spirited and tender-hearted daughter has a processing disorder and attention problems, there is no doubt in my mind that I have done a better job of nurturing her emotionally than the public schools would have. But have I truly done better academically? I'm not sure! And that bothers me. I want to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that I've done the best for my daughter that I can -- not expecting perfection, but striving for excellence.

 

I don't want to be coddled and reassured that it'll all be fine. I need a kick in the rear and friends (online and IRL) who are kind and strong enough to say "you should be doing more" when it is true. So thank you for starting this thread and for posting the great "get real" motivations and advice. I realize it doesn't apply to everyone. But *I* needed it!

 

And Jill I like your idea of putting our basic homeschooling philosophy in our sig lines rather than just a list of resources! I'm going to think about how to express my homeschooling goals, and update that.

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.

Yes, this is how I read the original post as well. I have no desire to use the PS system as the yardstick against which I measure our progress. Neither am I interested in comparing my kids with their privately schooled peers, though that might come closer to being in synch with our goals. What I desire for my children is that I do my utmost every single day to make their education my top priority. The method I use is less important than whether I can go to bed at night knowing I've met my legal and moral obligations to educate my children. What I think Sunshyne was lamenting was the fact that we're often quick to give a pass to homeschooling parents who know in their hearts - and even admit - that they're not meeting this obligation. I think we have a natural instinct to support our fellow travelers on what might sometimes seem like a difficult journey, and so we're quick to soothe them with platitudes when what they might really need is a kick in the pants. They might need to hear that it's really not OK and that it's time to take measures to address whatever shortcomings they've noted. Yes, there is usually time to make up whatever deficiencies exist, and that's the beauty of homeschooling. But those deficiencies won't be addressed if the parent is lulled by well-meaning friends into believing they will somehow address themselves just by virtue of the child being homeschooled.

 

SBP

 

Bingo. Thank you so much for expressing my thoughts so perfectly!

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I find myself not fitting in well with other homeschoolers as we are a family with a special needs child that at times takes up a lot of my time, and unless you've been there and done that you don't have a clue what its like at all.

 

So in the end I'm just happy that my children are still learning. We will continue to plug away and I know we will eventually catch up in some point of our homeschooling.

 

ITA! We have three special needs children who could not physically survive in public school situations and as such, were "forced" into homeschooling. We've come to love it but we by no mean, keep up with the Jones'.

 

That said, this has been a very intriguing thread and a kick in the pants for me. I needed this; I have become lazy in my approach to schooling. Often I think our being forced into homeschooling encourages my laziness; b/c I didn't choose it. However it is what it is and their education is my responsibility. Thank you to each of you who has contributed to this thread; it's given me alot to think on.

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