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joD
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I have been a homeschool mom for over 20 years. And in all that time I have been involved in various homeschool support groups and co-ops, all operating under very conservative, religious pretenses. Actually, you can't get into some of them without signing a statment of faith, etc. In our area, there really aren't any secular groups, and we have dropped the religious ones. that was a slow process, due to cirucmstances (health issues) long before my deconversion. We were just considering becoming active again, when WHAM, I went and got Un saved! Honestly, my kids have not stayed in touch with most of those friends anyway. I have been considering how to help my kids through this transition time, as we navigate new waters. We are getting museum passes, taking up art classes, checking out the kids yoga classes nearby and basically feel like we have "moved" although we are still living in the same house.

I'm sure we'll survive this, but I just wanted to hear from any of you who have experienced similar cirucmstances. btw, I have six kids, so e of them are grown in case you're wondering how I could still be homeschooling after 20 years! :grin:

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Just noticing my typos, it should read "three of my kids are grown" and many thanks to my 8 year old for insisting on adding the color! ; )

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I'm not sure if I'm going to have kids, but I'm sure I'll avoid having any unless I think it'll be possible to home school them. Public schools suck! That's disappointing though to hear that most of the groups are religious based. *gag*

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I've been looking out for a thread on HSing - i have a 3.5 year old and an 8mth old and plan on HSing - i'm freaking out a bit though about in case they get isolated etc - we live in england so HSing is not as popular here but also not as religion focused so good and bad - i go to a few HS groups which consist of all dif types of people - christians, muslims and non-religious - one of them is mainly christians though and the other mainly muslims so it does bother me a bit. Anyway i cant really be of much help to you but just wanted to say i wanna HS too and give you a bit of support. It sounds like you are doing great with looking into other opportunities for you kids to meet people and experience stuff - sorry i cant be of more help!

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I hope you do homeschool! It's the best thing I ever did for my kids! And we are close, probably due to the extended amount of time spent together! It does have the problem of being mostly 'taken over' by religious fundy's. So, our dilemma now is how to prevent social isolation since we no longer "fit" in the groups.

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joD I applaud you in your efforts to homeschool your children. I, however, do not agree with homeschooling mainly because here in the Babble Belt, all homeschooling is religion based. I have seen lots of kids who are homeschooled have problems fitting into society. I'm also biased because we have a great public school system here.

 

But it sounds like you keep your kids active outside the house, also. That makes a big difference. The homeschooled kids around here simply go from home to church and back again.

 

Good luck finding a secular organization and keep us posted

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I feel the way that Kyle does. In the town where I grew up, homeschooling was either Christian or there was no social group to go to.

 

I wasn't homeschooled, but I felt like I almost might as well have been, since I was an only child who went from home to Christian school to church (where most the kids were HSed) and back. The only activities that I did outside school while growing up were solo ones- private piano lessons, private art lessons, long days spent reading in my room, or else I was with my parents. Although I'm generally introverted, I craved interaction with a group where I felt like I belonged (which wasn't the future SAHM club of my church and school).

 

Joining a sports team at 12 probably saved my life when I was close to a breaking point. If you'd consider this an option, many public school districts allow HSed kids to join the school teams.

 

You used the word "we" earlier in your post- "we" are getting museum passes, taking up art classes, etc. Definitely it's true that you and your kids are in this together, but I hope that with some of these things, they are able to be with other kids their age WITHOUT your presence.

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I home schooled my kid until 6th grade. Most of that time we taught religious curricula. We also belonged to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). HSLDA is a religious backed legal defense program for home schoolers to provide legal aid if home-schoolers are harassed by do-gooders of the state. This happens frequently. Someone cannot stand the thought of someone getting schooling at home and they call the state and complain and then someone gets sued for violating privacy. Home schooling is legal in all 50 states of the USA and I recommend it for anyone that can handle being the teacher. Finding a secular curriculum is not as hard as it sounds. You can put together any kind of program as long as it meets the basic requirements of the state you live in. This is usually something like algebra, English, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts. What you teach to meet these requirements are up to you. You can go to the book stores and find text books for the subjects you want to teach, reading books, English literature books, you can find a lot of supplies for home schooling really cheap if you think about where to look. Home schoolers are not required to use religious material in teaching. You photo copy the contents of the books you want to use and use those photo copies to make your teaching plan and just list the contents to progress through as a curriculum and you are ready to start.

 

You have to mail the required paper work every year and some states require you to keep records and some do not. If you are smart, you will always keep records of attendance and sick days and days you go on field trips in the event the state comes to check you out. Keep records even if you do not have to.

 

The state rarely interferes. This may not be the case in all states but we were never harassed by Wyoming when we lived there.

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I agree, they need friends and social settings outside of being with me. My 15 year old son, TIm is involved at youth group at his church (which he tolerates since it's more hanog out time). I have been asked to help out, and have declined for that very reason, he needs to go someplace where mom isn't there! When I said WE on some of that I meant I'm checking into it for THEM.... just some of the logistial confines of communicating in this setting! :rolleyes:

 

I appreciate everyone's thoughtful replies. Socialization didn't use to be a problem because we fit into the group and they had plenty of activities. Now we stand on the outside of our previous homeschool group, looking for a more secular setting. If my kids were into sports I would check out our school's policy. They are more the artist type.

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Socialization is a myth to make people afraid to home school their kids. They do not need to socialize during studies, they have all the time in the world after school, weekends and holidays. We let our kid off when the other kids had days off from public school, if he had his studies up to date, otherwise he had to stay in home school and get his work done. It was an incentive to get his work done and not waste time. Home school kids also may play on sports teams at the local public school too or use the school pool--it is our tax dollars as home owners, they cannot say 'no'. If they do, sue for access.

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I don't think that bad socialization is just a myth though. There are bad homeschooling parents out there, just the same as there are bad public school and bad teachers.

 

I went to church with a HS girl and her sisters and they were never able to do math past a middle school level, and read "junk" books instead of literature. They were some of the most socially awkward kids I've ever met. I'm not claiming they would have gotten a 100% better education through public school, but it seemed like a shame to me that their mother was allowed to teach them when she clearly didn't have the ability to do so.

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I know what your saying claraolive but i think it can work the other way round too - i was really socially awkward and i went to school, in fact i think the horrible experience i had in school actually caused, maintained and made the awkwardness 1000x worse if that makes sense - i had to escape to university to actually be able to be ME - set free so to speak - i still have at times a few social hang ups from those ol' school days but all in all i am a completely different person now.

 

Having said that the whole social thing is the main issue that worries me about HSing but i think thats a good thing (my worries!!) and it will cause me to seek out opportunities for my kids to socialize and 'live' in a way that i couldnt in the stiffling atmosphere of school, although i know not everyone experiences school in that way! I want them to meet as many different kinds of people as pos with lots of different views on life so they have lots of ideas to choose from when they are making their own way in life if that makes sense?!

 

Anyway, hopefully i can find a way to HS my kids without worrying all the time about whether i'm doing the right thing - thanks joD for your encouragement!

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Sorry, I didnt' mean to open a can of worms about the validityof homeschooling. And my kids always had plenty going on with others. It's just that our lives have become more isolated in the past few years due to one home crisis after another,and now my (and some of my kids) have left the socially accepted xtian faith that dominates the h.s. community around here. I truly believe homeschool kids have social advantages when there are opportunites for interacting with the real world regularly and being immersed in real things, not just bookish things. Anyway, it's an interesting topic for me because I approached it differently as a christian, we had mostly christian curriculum, and my motives for having them home have changed (not trying to protect them from the big bad world anymore). It' s this shift of worldview in my life that has also resulted in changes for them. Anyway, I just wondered if this was an issue for anyone in regards to coming out of christianity and into the real world. Thanks for all the thoughtful replies.

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I have been a homeschool mom for over 20 years. And in all that time I have been involved in various homeschool support groups and co-ops, all operating under very conservative, religious pretenses. Actually, you can't get into some of them without signing a statment of faith, etc. In our area, there really aren't any secular groups, and we have dropped the religious ones. that was a slow process, due to cirucmstances (health issues) long before my deconversion. We were just considering becoming active again, when WHAM, I went and got Un saved! Honestly, my kids have not stayed in touch with most of those friends anyway. I have been considering how to help my kids through this transition time, as we navigate new waters. We are getting museum passes, taking up art classes, checking out the kids yoga classes nearby and basically feel like we have "moved" although we are still living in the same house.

I'm sure we'll survive this, but I just wanted to hear from any of you who have experienced similar cirucmstances. btw, I have six kids, so e of them are grown in case you're wondering how I could still be homeschooling after 20 years! :grin:

 

Hey JoD, I am a homeschooler too and know what you mean about being in an area where all the groups are religious!!! Sucks doesn't it. I feel like I have nothing in common with these people! Most people here are strict Bible belt type christian, hs to avoid evolution and such, use strict curriculum and of course it has to be abeka or something (I am eclectic/follow along with-the-kids-interests-in most things) Feel like an alien here. At least I know I am not alone!

 

Tina

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Tina

Yeah! I was hoping another homeschool mom would join me in this discussion! It's interesting how things come back around. I used to be a pretty conservative gal, and actually helped put in place the statement of faith that's in our local h.s. group. The very document that now excludes me! This past year has been one of personal transformation for me, and I have become more ecclectic/unschoolish, etc. as I also became less religious.

I went from being paranoid about books like Harry Potter, to taking my daughter to a Twilight book party at midnight! My older kids resent how strict I was, the younger ones are enjoying a much more relaxed, cool mom. Christianity had such a tight hold on me which, of course had an impact on the kids. Have you looked into unschooling online? Lots of secular people. I find it's great support as a mom, but unfortunately none of the people live close, so my kids are still missing out, which of course is the point in doing this for them! Thanks for saying hi, I'm glad you're here!

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joD I applaud you in your efforts to homeschool your children. I, however, do not agree with homeschooling mainly because here in the Babble Belt, all homeschooling is religion based. I have seen lots of kids who are homeschooled have problems fitting into society. I'm also biased because we have a great public school system here.

Sorry, I gotta disagree, being a bible belt resident myself. Tennessee schools consistently rank near the bottom for the U.S., and some other southeastern states are similar. They keep throwing more money at them, and it doesn't seem to do a bit of good. Also the assertion that all homeschooling in the south is religion based isn't accurate. Whether or not it's religion-based is based on the individual family. Although, being largely libertarian myself, I strongly believe that religious parents have a right to indoctrinate their children via homeschooling if that's their desire. And not all religious homeschoolers are homeschooling for religious reasons. Even as a Christian, my primary motivation for homeschooling was to give my children a better education than I feel they would receive in a school.

I don't think that bad socialization is just a myth though. There are bad homeschooling parents out there, just the same as there are bad public school and bad teachers.

 

I went to church with a HS girl and her sisters and they were never able to do math past a middle school level, and read "junk" books instead of literature. They were some of the most socially awkward kids I've ever met. I'm not claiming they would have gotten a 100% better education through public school, but it seemed like a shame to me that their mother was allowed to teach them when she clearly didn't have the ability to do so.

I, too, have met severely socially-backward and under-educated homeschoolers. I've also met extremely bright, socially adept ones though - and the latter are in the vast majority, statistically-speaking. Of course the, "bad apples" are the ones critics reference when attempting to prove the cons of homeschooling. I don't judge every single public school attendee based on the few halfway-illiterate, socially damaged public schoolers that exist, so as a homeschooler I expect the same courtesy.

 

I was personally homeschooled from 2nd grade through high school (which I graduated from at age 15). I scored well enough on the ACT at age 14 that I received a full scholarship for my first year of college. I went on to earn a double-major B.S. in 3 1/2 years, and held down almost full-time employment the whole time while paying much of my own way through an accredited university, from which I graduated with honors. I'm not bragging - I'm no whiz-kid, so I had to bust my ass to get through both high school and college. But I felt fully prepared for college by my homeschooling experience. And I had one of those, "bad" homeschooling moms - almost all of my schooling was self-taught. I even mostly kept my own school records and recorded my own credits during high school.

 

Tina

Yeah! I was hoping another homeschool mom would join me in this discussion! It's interesting how things come back around. I used to be a pretty conservative gal, and actually helped put in place the statement of faith that's in our local h.s. group. The very document that now excludes me! This past year has been one of personal transformation for me, and I have become more ecclectic/unschoolish, etc. as I also became less religious.

I went from being paranoid about books like Harry Potter, to taking my daughter to a Twilight book party at midnight! My older kids resent how strict I was, the younger ones are enjoying a much more relaxed, cool mom. Christianity had such a tight hold on me which, of course had an impact on the kids. Have you looked into unschooling online? Lots of secular people. I find it's great support as a mom, but unfortunately none of the people live close, so my kids are still missing out, which of course is the point in doing this for them! Thanks for saying hi, I'm glad you're here!

How ironic that you wrote yourself out of your own group! :huh: Stinkin' religion.

As you know, joD, I'm a homeschooling mom, and I've experienced similar discouragement at the lack of local secular homeschool resources. I have found, like you, that unschooling groups tend to be far more secular. We're leaning alot more towards that way of learning since deconverting, too. If there's not an unschooling or secular homeschooling group local to you, start one! I'm a big proponent of DIY in cases like this . . . don't wait around for someone else to find you, go out and find them! Start an unschooling/secular homeschooling yahoo! group and/or meetup group, and contact national homeschool sites that maintain local homeschool group listings to get your group added to their lists. Post flyers around town at places where HS'ers are likely to hang out, take out free classified ads, etc. etc. Hopefully you'll find some pals! I was considering all of these avenues (just haven't had time to pursue them thanks to chasing little ones all day long), but then I was thrilled to find out a couple of days ago that, happy surprise, a secular homeschool enrichment co-op is starting up in my area this fall! Yippee! I'm going to the planning meeting next week. Good luck. I hope you find a supportive local community.

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I was homeschooled from 1st through 12th grades, then attended a baptist junior college and finally a non-religious university.

 

I'm somewhat glad I was homeschooled, but there's certain experiences I wish I could have had that were not available to me in a homeschooled family (conervative Christian homeschooling family)

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I, too, have met severely socially-backward and under-educated homeschoolers. I've also met extremely bright, socially adept ones though - and the latter are in the vast majority, statistically-speaking. Of course the, "bad apples" are the ones critics reference when attempting to prove the cons of homeschooling. I don't judge every single public school attendee based on the few halfway-illiterate, socially damaged public schoolers that exist, so as a homeschooler I expect the same courtesy.

 

The data? What do they say about it in the peer-reviewed journals?

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I, too, have met severely socially-backward and under-educated homeschoolers. I've also met extremely bright, socially adept ones though - and the latter are in the vast majority, statistically-speaking. Of course the, "bad apples" are the ones critics reference when attempting to prove the cons of homeschooling. I don't judge every single public school attendee based on the few halfway-illiterate, socially damaged public schoolers that exist, so as a homeschooler I expect the same courtesy.

 

The data? What do they say about it in the peer-reviewed journals?

 

A couple links (you can always google it if you want more info about a specific aspect):

 

http://labor.idaho.gov/2020taskforce/final...e_Schooling.pdf

 

http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/po...;accno=ED429109

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My 16 year old daughter has been homeschooled all her life. Though we live in the bible belt, religion has nothing to do with our decision to homeschool. The schools are awful here. Only about 60% of public school students graduate. I have a theory that forced education leads to the acceptance of crummy jobs. Children should be able to devote a great deal of their education to their passions. For instance, my daughter wants to be a cartoon animator so she draws a lot. In public school she wouldn't be able to spend as much time improving on her natural talents. I just wish public schools weren't so, "one size fits all."

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Oooh, cool to hear from a couple of homeschooled adults! For me, looking for secular options is more about finding friends and people than implementing curricula. obviously, the latter is totally within my power to change. However, it never occured to me to start a group, until LBW suggested it! I obviously did that in the past, why not now? This is actually a good time to be getting a jump start on that, so maybe by Fall I can have a loosely formed group for us to hang out with. Great idea!

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I can understand if the local public school system is crap. In some parts of the country it is excellent, though, or at least good enough.

Yes, but "good enough" isn't good enough for me. :)

 

JoD, let me know how your group-forming efforts go! And thanks for starting this thread - It's great to hear from other ex-christian homeschoolers.

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