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Homeschooling


Stamps1962
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I hope I don't offend anyone, this can be a divisive topic. I am sure many parents home school their kids for good reasons. IMO, a lot of the parents who do so are doing it for religous reasons. Shielding their little angels from the big bad wicked world and incidently from courses in Science and sex education.

 

We live in a surburban area near some mega-churches and I suspect many of our neighbors are fundies. It is always interesting to notice how many kids in the area are home during school days.any of them running around; it seems sometimes to be more 'home' than schoolng.

 

Lately following my retirement, I do our shopping on weekdays. I am always struck by all the kids of school age I see in the store mornings and afternoons. Just today there were two kids, the older a boy of at least 15, and a younger girl of perhaps 12, apparently siblings. They were acting like little kids, playing tag and running all over the store; I saw them talking to a lady I assume was the mom, she was wearing a T shirt from one of the churches.

 

It is totaly none of my business. Still, it is hard to watch. Someday these kids have to leave their safe little bubble and work with and for, the kids they were kept apart from all through their formative years. What then??

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When I went to fundie school, lots of my friends were former home schoolees or would take off for a few years and be homeschooled instead. Sometimes, that was because their mom got hired by the school and was a teacher (but for a different class).

 

Actually, hold on. I think there was this time in third grade when the teacher was the mom of one of the kids in class. I remember him because his mom would give him weird stuff for snacks. For example, he'd often eat banana peels for snack time. He had other weird snacks that his mom gave him. In class she kept telling us that dogs went to dog heaven when they died. She was totally serious.

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I don't know what state your in (if you're in the US), but laws about home schooling vary quite a bit. In Indiana, you can do pretty much whatever you want. Some people take it seriously, and then there are the others that are screwing their own kids over, because they need hidden from the evil influences of the world, as you said. Here in Ohio, every year the parents must submit results from an achievement test, plus a list of the curriculum that will be used in the following year, and receive permission from the local school in order to home school their kid. I still see loop holes though. There's nothing to keep the parent from filling out the achievement test themselves, or nothing that makes them teach what they are reporting that they are going to teach. Locally, there is a rather large home school group that gets together, so those kids are pretty well adapted to being around other religious kids, but it's completely voluntary.

 

I was home schooled for three years. My mom took it very seriously. We had a set start time, set time periods per subject, and a set ending time. We were also hooked up with Christian Liberty Academy, so they issued our school books, plus achievement tests at the end of the year.

 

But, after having said that about how my mom did it, I've definitely seen the other way it can be done also.

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it seems sometimes to be more 'home' than schoolng.

I was a home schooler back in the day, and while I wouldn't do it knowing what I know now, I can tell you a couple of things from the inside.

 

Institutional schooling is a relatively low-bandwidth activity, by which I mean, it's not nearly as efficient as tutoring, as any professional tutor will tell you. If your kid is confined to bed at home by illness, they certainly don't send a tutor around to be with him or her for 7 hours a day. It's probably more like a couple of hours. There's a reason for that.

 

When you think about it, much of a kid's time in school, particularly in earlier years, is spent standing in line, at recess, waiting for instructions, waiting their turn to participate, waiting for slower kids to finish up during periods allotted for in-classroom work and activities, and all the other logistical overhead of moving a hive mind around at more or less the speed of the very slowest individual members.

 

The idea that there has to be a set time and a certain number of hours per day devoted to home schooling, so that they are devoted to schooling activities during more or less the same hours as kids in institutional settings, pretty much ignores that teaching one or even a handful of kids is a much more focused activity, particularly if the kids are reasonably bright and self-directed. Personally, I probably spent no more than a couple hours a day on average actually teaching my kids, and they probably spent no more than 3 to 4 hours a day total on school activities, yet when they transferred to public school (my daughter as a HS freshman, my son as a 4th grader) they both hit the ground running, needed no remedial assistance, and pulled high B / low A grades similar to what they pulled on my watch. Both ended up with full-ride college scholarships. So I don't think I did them any harm, academically speaking.

 

Now, am I totally pooh-poohing the institutional setting? Not at all, because it's a social setting with social value. That is really what religious fundamentalists object to, not the academic part. They're concerned that their kids will think that the other kids -- or rather, the kids of "the other" -- will be seen by their kids as normal, and that increases the chance that their kids may not share their fear of the beliefs of "the other". I don't believe fundie home schooling is primarily anti-intellectual in intent, it's primarily an attempt to control the socialization and worldview development of their children.

 

My own reasons for doing it were less concerned with sheltering my kids than with concerns about available public schooling options at the time, and that pretty much defines why most non-fundies home school. My daughter is an agnostic but home schooled her kids for the first couple years over similar issues to what I had plus reservations about the trend to move kids from home to institutional settings earlier and earlier. That's of particular concern to parents of kids of are slow to develop, socially speaking, as one of her boys is. Sometimes it's best to just wait until they grow into themselves a little. Even as it was he had issues with bullies his first year in "regular" school, and ideally should have had another year to come into his own before making the transition.

 

I have come to believe that any reasonably intelligent and dedicated parent with the proper curricula can home school children up to around middle school, but that after that, the demands of the 21st century are such that you need to let professional educators handle things. Also, the parent / child dynamic does not mix well with the teacher / child dynamic, and for that reason I favor institutional settings even for most younger kids these days.

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I've always been a fan of throwing all the kids together in a public school. I think the multicultural experience might be even more useful than the formal education.

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I am in favor of home schooling. I think it is more beneficial that sending the kid to public school that also insists on teaching creationism and intelligent design or where teachers use class time to witness or share their testimony. In some places, the school district, even if secular, is not up to par in what they teach, maybe someone's kid would benefit more at home schooling than in the classroom. I did homeschooling for my kid until he was in 6th grade and he decided he wanted to do public school. He wishes he were back in home school.

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I think I would homeschool my kid when they're young so that I can teach them to read and do math 5000x better than all the other dipshits. Then I'd put them in 1st grade and watch them own.

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I think I would homeschool my kid when they're young so that I can teach them to read and do math 5000x better than all the other dipshits. Then I'd put them in 1st grade and watch them own.

Be sure to let us know how that works out.

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I think I would homeschool my kid when they're young so that I can teach them to read and do math 5000x better than all the other dipshits. Then I'd put them in 1st grade and watch them own.

The only problem I see with your plan is that sometimes the smarter kids don't do as well in school because they get bored. If your kid knows too much already, he may be too bored to do the work.

 

That said, we are going to try to get my son able to read and do some basic math by the time he's five whether we finally decide to homeschool him or not. I'm kind of leaning toward sending him to public school, myself, because he really needs to develop socialization skills that I think he's lacking right now.

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7th and 8th grade are imho the best years to home school since children at this age are struggling with hormonal changes and basically don't learn anything in the institutional setting anyway. We took our children out of middle school due to lousy grades and after getting past 7th and 8th grade they completed high school just fine. The last child was concerned about going back to a 'real' high school after being home schooled for a year. He thought he might be behind or something. He finished high school with a 4.0 GPA and a college scholarship. I think it really depends on the child whether or not to home school.

 

Though it is probably another topic altogether, what do kids really learn in school? Nothing much helpful towards getting a job, in most cases. Some required courses should be electives and vice versa. Such as auto shop. Children will all be driving a car one day and at some point be standing on the roadside with a broken down car saying, "Hmmm, why was algebra mandatory and auto shop only an elective?" Why is history class required yet "cooking" is an elective? You can't eat history. Why not give kids what they need to function, like reading, writing, math and everyday life skills instead of the traditional and useless crap?

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I am homeschooling my kids, though obviously not for religious reasons - just started with the 6 year old. I have 2 younger boys too. I have a good plan with regard to acedemics so i'm pretty confident with that. Like a poster said above, it only takes a few hours a day to get through what we need to do one to one - then we are free to go to our groups, days out, see family and friends, play and have fun.

 

My main concern is the social aspect but we have quite a lot of social homeschool groups roundabout that we go to that contain a way more diverse array of people than my kids would find in our local primary school - we live in a very white, middle class nominally christian type area. The kids they know from our groups include muslims, pagans, hindus, fundamental and very liberal christians and yet undiscovered varieties of people :0)) We also have friends and relatives who go to school so they know school kids too. They watch tv, though not all day obviously, and i have no plans to protect them from thier own society/culture. I dont want them growing up in a bubble.

 

At the moment the eldest has no desire to go to school if he wants to try it at some point in the future then i dont have objections to this. In an ideal world, i would homeschool them for for as long as they want and then for the last few years of high school they would go to the excellent private school we have in the area to do thier GCSEs (we are in the UK) but unfortunately the private school fees are astronomical!!! My kids may well end up going to school for high school - we will see what the future holds and what they want to do.

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A few thoughts sprung to mind too about those kids you were talking about Stamps. I know exactly what you are talking about but thought i would add my alternative thoughts...

 

Firstly, i remember when we started to go to a new church when i was about 13 and it was kinda in the country compared to what i was used to. In school you had to act 'cool' and older and not kid like. My old church was inner city, really rough neighbourhood so, no childish frolicking there either. But when i went to this new church the kids my age were playing tag round the church building after the service and at first i was shocked at their 'babyishness', but after a bit i joined in and it was fun not to have so much pressure to be all 'cool' and sensible. So i kinda see it as a good thing when older kids can still play daft childish games.

 

Secondly, although i would stop my kids running round a store playing tag like that in case they knocked someone down or were generally just annoying people, i think i would rather see that than those kids who make perfect lines in chronological age order and obviously darent put a toe out of place cos they know if they do their parents wont be 'sparing the rod'.

 

And lastly, i sometimes wonder if the more extreme the bubble/cacoon or whatever, they are brought up in, the more likely they are to 'see the light' when they eventually do get out into the big wide world cos it will be so glaringly, obviously different and the inconsistencies with what they have been taught will be undeniable - ie some non-christians are happy, genuine, nice people - shock horror!!!!! I could be wrong on this one but you never now.

 

FWIW i went to school but was brought up very sheltered fairly fundy christian and the big wide world was a shock to me - school didnt save me from that - i still mananged to live in the bubble despite school. In fact it probably reinforced my beliefs because i was bullied by those evil non-believers and of course i turned the other cheek and took it all in the name of jesus awaiting my reward in heaven. Arrgggggggg!!!!!!

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  • 3 months later...

A few thoughts sprung to mind too about those kids you were talking about Stamps. I know exactly what you are talking about but thought i would add my alternative thoughts...

 

Firstly, i remember when we started to go to a new church when i was about 13 and it was kinda in the country compared to what i was used to. In school you had to act 'cool' and older and not kid like. My old church was inner city, really rough neighbourhood so, no childish frolicking there either. But when i went to this new church the kids my age were playing tag round the church building after the service and at first i was shocked at their 'babyishness', but after a bit i joined in and it was fun not to have so much pressure to be all 'cool' and sensible. So i kinda see it as a good thing when older kids can still play daft childish games.

 

Secondly, although i would stop my kids running round a store playing tag like that in case they knocked someone down or were generally just annoying people, i think i would rather see that than those kids who make perfect lines in chronological age order and obviously darent put a toe out of place cos they know if they do their parents wont be 'sparing the rod'.

 

And lastly, i sometimes wonder if the more extreme the bubble/cacoon or whatever, they are brought up in, the more likely they are to 'see the light' when they eventually do get out into the big wide world cos it will be so glaringly, obviously different and the inconsistencies with what they have been taught will be undeniable - ie some non-christians are happy, genuine, nice people - shock horror!!!!! I could be wrong on this one but you never now.

 

FWIW i went to school but was brought up very sheltered fairly fundy christian and the big wide world was a shock to me - school didnt save me from that - i still mananged to live in the bubble despite school. In fact it probably reinforced my beliefs because i was bullied by those evil non-believers and of course i turned the other cheek and took it all in the name of jesus awaiting my reward in heaven. Arrgggggggg!!!!!!

 

Belatedly responding to this post- elsewhere I have shared my experience with some formerly close personal friends who although fundy, were close to us for years and how that all changed once they started going to a more restrictive church. They have a daughter now about 21, who was partly home schooled then spent her entire time in Christian schools, they must have spent tens of thousands on tuition. She now attends a private church college, I figured she was a lost cause.

 

Last month her dad called me out of the blue, seems this daughter came home for the holidays and announced she was leaving her faith- more horrible for my friend, she is also a proclaimed liberal and Democrat. She spent lots of time working in low income neighborhoods as part of her training and was so shocked to see the reality of things that it shook her past faith. I offered what sympathy I could, but not much. I was inwardly cheering her on. I dom agree, the harder people try to restrict kids the more likely it won't 'take.'

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We homeschool now so we can learn and think about whatever we want, whenever we want. We love it and wouldn't trade it for anything. My oldest got to work at our local veterinary clinic. Discovered he loved that kind of work and is getting ready to get his degree in biology and then will go on to study veterinary medicine. If he had been in school he could not have done this. He has assisted in many dentitals and several surgeries. He even assisted when our own dog had to have her tail removed due to a tumor. My second oldest is thinking about a nursing degree.

 

Now, my husband and I had this discussion about raising the kids in a Christian environment or letting them figure out things on their own. I want them to be without religious influence, let them figure that out when they are old enough. He doesn't agree because he thinks they won't be moral people. UGH! He also says if you raise them Christian they will remain that way. Why do people think that? I used to think that myself before I left the faith. But I have seen many home schoolers break their parents hearts, they left the faith very quickly after leaving the protection of their parents. I have cheered several of them on. I think they should be allowed the opportunity to own their beliefs whatever they may be. We just spend our time with them trying to brainwash them.

 

On another concern of mine. The home school curriculum that is available to families is so tainted with religion and crazy beliefs. I worry for this next generation of kids. They are being shorted on true science and history. I have finally weeded out all the crap from our stuff that we use on a daily basis. It is tough to find organized curriculum that is the truth! They cry about history being rewritten and they turn around and do the same! It's frightening!!! Major brainwashing! We are free of that now thank goodness and have been enjoying studying and discussing evolution. The hardest thing about education is that any of it can be biased depending on what the authors believe. At least we get to look at all of it now and make our own assumptions. Something we couldn't do before.

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In my country homeschooling is not allowed, but it seems to me like a great idea, since I'm an introvert and I really didn't feel comfortable in school, although what you said is one of my worries too. If children are homeschooled for religious reasons then it is dangerous since they cannot encounter anyone who thinks differently and cannot widen their wordlview....

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I was homeschooled for two years growing up (3rd and 4th grade), and I hated it. I hated it because I recognized the impact it had on my social skills. I found it easy to socialize with my own family, but when I went back to school it was so hard for me to even talk to anyone. I was a rowdy, outgoing young boy before 3rd grade, but when I returned to my private Christian school in 5th, I was afraid to talk to anyone and didn't make friends until a few months in.

 

My opinion is that there needs to regulations on homeschool. Maybe even throw in the possibilities of having random inspections to see what the child's learning environment is or even mandatory testing. At one of my old IFB churches I remember there being a family that had 12 year old daughters who read on about a 2nd grade level. If it's done right by responsible parents, it would work fine. I knew another guy who was homeschooled who was tutoring senior level college math students during his senior year in high school. It all just depends.

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I don't think school is a good place for learning social skills...I had good social skills until I started going to school...then I got social anxiety....

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I homeschooled from 7th to 9th grade and those years of isolation have damaged me pretty bad. Some of the damage will probably be permanent. I can't blame it entirely on homeschooling but I am absolutely sure that if I had gone to school along with everybody else I would have developed more as a human being and I would have much less emotional and social problems.

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I know lots of families who either homeschool or unschool their children. Some do it for religious reasons. Some for many other reasons.

 

Virtually without exception, those kids are more confident, more accomplished, and more socially adept than their government-schooled peers. They're taught to do and explore, rather than just passively accept what they're told. They aren't shoved into a little box (e.g. all 10-year-olds together in a classroom, regardless of their maturity or interests). They don't have bells telling them what they're "allowed" to think at any given time and interrupting their thought processes when x-minutes have gone by.

 

Is it possible for homeschooling to be used as an excuse to isolate and brainwash children? Sure. And when it happens, it's a tragedy -- just like it's a tragedy to kill the minds of bright, inquisitive children by forcing them into mind-dulling institutional schooling.

 

As to the OP's concern about seeing so many children not at school during the daytime, I'd say quit worrying about it. Not only is it not your business, but for all you know, those children are receiving the most superb education possible.

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I homeschooled from 7th to 9th grade and those years of isolation have damaged me pretty bad. Some of the damage will probably be permanent. I can't blame it entirely on homeschooling but I am absolutely sure that if I had gone to school along with everybody else I would have developed more as a human being and I would have much less emotional and social problems.

 

I know it's possible that homeschooling -- if it was the really isolating and indoctrinating kind -- could have damaged you, especially in adolescence when we're developing so many new attitudes and social skills.

 

OTOH, 7th-9th grades are pure hell for a lot of kids, in school or out. I was not homeschooled. And the absolutely vicious social attitudes I experienced in school left me with emotional and social problems it took years to overcome. That's just a damned rough time of life. So who knows ...

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As to the OP's concern about seeing so many children not at school during the daytime, I'd say quit worrying about it. Not only is it not your business, but for all you know, those children are receiving the most superb education possible.

 

Or the shittiest.

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