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Author Topic: Homeschooling
Fed
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posted 29 April 2005 06:20 PM      Profile for Fed        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A tangent on another thread got me thinking about homeschooling. I mean thinking about it AGAIN. Because it is something I always wanted to do, but not being a stay-at-home parent makes it kinda hard!

What I like about the whole idea is the flexibility. If Junior has a particular interest (dinosaurs, electronics, etc.), you can work it in to the curriculum. Myself, I love the little creek down the road from our house and it would basically be our science classroom if I were homeschooling my Junior.

And if Junior is having trouble with something, you can take your time with them without relegating them to some separate "special ed" class where s/he will feel like a loser. In fact, you needn't even inform Junior that you are doing special remedial work with them. It will just flow in seamlessly. And once it clicks, and it will given time, everything will be fine.

There are "homeschoolers associations" which get the whole group together for special events, museum visits, and so forth. A pioneer village place near us had a whole bunch of homeschoolers over for a week, all of them doing different studies. The little kids were just having fun chasing chickens and working the water pump. (When do you get a chance to chase chickens and play with a water pump, for days at a time even, in "regular school"?) The older ones were studying more complicated things about raising crops and food, organic vs. modern farming, that sort of thing.

Between the outings with homeschoolers associations, miscellaneous activities like swimming lessons, neighbourhood kids and adults, etc., I think homeschooled kids get exposed to a lot *more* socialization opportunities than kids in "regular schools" do, where you are isolated in your class with people who are + or - a year from you in age. (At my daughter's school, for example, the different grades are not allowed to play with each other--they are assigned different areas of the schoolyard and can get in trouble for "tresspassing" into another grade's territory.)

I've met only a couple of homeschooled kids in my time. One was the girlfriend of a fellow I went to "normal" high school with. She seemed OK. Very good at piano, but whether or not that had anything to do with homeschooling I don't know. And I met two younger homeschooled kids. They were much more comfortable talking to me (an adult) than most of my daughter's friends are. I guess they were more used to it or something. Nice enough kids, though.

Anyway, a few people mentioned over in the other thread that they found homeschooled kids "creepy" and were wondering why anyone would want to homeschool their kids other than to keep them away from the riff-raff in public school.

Well, I for one just think it would be great fun! My daughter is a nice kid and I enjoy spending time with her doing anything at all. When we are down at the creek we look for critters and I help her to identify different kinds of rocks and stuff. I think it would just be really nice to be able to do that kind of thing with her all the time.

Anyone else here homeschool, or have any thoughts on homeschooling?


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Mr. Magoo
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posted 29 April 2005 06:47 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I could see some merit in homeschooling kids when they're still young, and a trip down to the creek really could be 'science class', followed by normal high school once the math/science/lit start to get more sophisticated.

This probably wouldn't fly with most homeschool parents though, since that would expose impressionable teens to too many worldly ideas.


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Crippled_Newsie
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posted 29 April 2005 07:04 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fed:
What I like about the whole idea is the flexibility. If Junior has a particular interest (dinosaurs, electronics, etc.), you can work it in to the curriculum. Myself, I love the little creek down the road from our house and it would basically be our science classroom if I were homeschooling my Junior.

And if Junior is having trouble with something, you can take your time with them without relegating them to some separate "special ed" class where s/he will feel like a loser. In fact, you needn't even inform Junior that you are doing special remedial work with them. It will just flow in seamlessly.


I preface this by saying I have no kids, so take it for what it's worth.

Your idea of catering Junior's special interests sounds lovely, to a point. Same goes for the remedial work.

The concern I would have is that a kid who was homeschooled for a long period might fail to get the societal message that the world is not all about him or her, and that there's a great, wide world outside the living room that is often indifferent to what Junior is interested in. I'd be concerned that the ability to cope with that reality might be dulled in a kid whose every intellectual whim was catered to on an absolutely individual basis.

Beyond that, I'd think it would be somewhat useful for a kid to see where he or she fits in the academic mix, and how he or she compares to his peers. To totally smooth over of a kid's academic shortcomings (re: stealth remedial work) would take away the ability for a kid to make that assessment him- or herself. That is, realizing things like "Wow, Little Johnny s WAY better at math than I am, but it seems like he knows nowhere near as much as me about Earth Science."

Add to that the knowledge that, like it or not, some stigma would likely attach to the child, re: the 'creepy' notions in the other thread.

I dont think home-schooling is necessarily a horrible thing, but such concerns would occur to me.

[Edited because I can't type.]

[ 29 April 2005: Message edited by: Tape_342 ]


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The Other Todd
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posted 29 April 2005 07:57 PM      Profile for The Other Todd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
FWIW, one of my players was a home-schooled kid (just turned 16). He's as sane as any RPG-gamer. Even going to public school now (and been there for a few years). I think the issue with his parents, IIRC, was one of "quality of education".
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Timebandit
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posted 29 April 2005 10:46 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The concern I would have is that a kid who was homeschooled for a long period might fail to get the societal message that the world is not all about him or her, and that there's a great, wide world outside the living room that is often indifferent to what Junior is interested in. I'd be concerned that the ability to cope with that reality might be dulled in a kid whose every intellectual whim was catered to on an absolutely individual basis.

Yes, that can be a problem. A friend of mine has been teaching at a university level for quite a while now, and she says you can tell the homeschoolers, especially in the first and second years. It's a tremendous shock to find that, not only will the prof not walk you through the material at your own pace so that you can absorb the information in your own individual style, but they don't even care if you show up to class.

I'm sure there are benefits to homeschooling, but I think many (not necessarily all) homeschooled kids are not socialized particularly well, and have difficulty dealing with the idea that things can't be geared to them individually.


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Hailey
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posted 29 April 2005 11:01 PM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was home-schooled. There are pros and cons. I think that it was wonderful in terms of the family relationships that I developed. I am incredibly close to my parents and my siblings. I also feel like I got a fair shake academically. All of my siblings went on to post-secondary education.

I have to say most home-schooled kids I know did get a fair shake but there is LOTS of reasons.

My parents allowed all of us to make our own decisions in high school. We all made different choices.

I also think that we missed out on a lot of negative things. None of got into drugs, alcohol, etc. We also missed out on teachers that have boundary issues.

Socially, that's a mixed bag. I have very close relationships with friends and have been with friends with many people since age pre-school years. Coping outside my social circle is an area of scattered success. There are some situations where I still stick out and there are others that are just incredibly smooth.

We have thought about our own boys and what we'll do. My husband who went to school so he has a different frame of reference. Presently we disagree but we have a few years to sort it out.


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brebis noire
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posted 29 April 2005 11:20 PM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've struggled to understand parents' motivations for homeschooling ever since I observed several of my friends and acquaintances make that choice. I realized too, that even if I wanted to homeschool my own kids, I probably wouldn't do a very good job of it.

I understand some of the motivations I've heard parents give: adapted curriculum; more space for family projects, trips, activities - especially for larger families (4 kids and up); relief from toxic school environments (e.g. bullying, peer pressure, kids that just don't fit in); more attention for dyslexic kids or other learning disabilities...There was a study done in 2003 by the Université de Sherbrooke that looked parents' motivations, and noted that in Quebec, religious reasons for homeschooling were relatively low on the list.

But most of the homeschooling parents I know do it primarily for religious reasons. While they might not be against the ministry curriculum per se, they want to communicate certain moral and personal values that they don't trust the schools to do. For these parents, academics are important, but secondary.

What's interesting, and worrying, is that some of these kids, if they have the opportunity (linguistically speaking, because many are francophone), end up in Bible schools or colleges in the States, simply because they feel more welcome there. It's almost as if it were a streaming program - I think it's very prevalent in the U.S. among evangelicals, and there's even a college (Patrick Henry College) with a lot of political influence in Washington (just ask AE) that particularly favours enrolling homeschooled (Christian) kids.


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Hailey
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posted 29 April 2005 11:38 PM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
There was a study done in 2003 by the Université de Sherbrooke that looked parents' motivations, and noted that in Quebec, religious reasons for homeschooling were relatively low on the list

Would language be a factor in that decision?

quote:
. While they might not be against the ministry curriculum per se, they want to communicate certain moral and personal values that they don't trust the schools to do. For these parents, academics are important, but secondary.

For my parents it was more their perception of parent-child relationships and responsibilities. They would have seen it as not living up to a responsibility. To them it was just another form of daycare. I am not saying they are right it's just how they saw it.

Sheltered my children from toxicities or transmitting my faith are probably THIRD on my list for considerations.

And you are right integrating at the U of A was very hard for me.


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Boom Boom
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posted 29 April 2005 11:41 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A friend's family did homeschooling for their two children; it was my opinion the kids were missing out on socializing and team sports and the personal growth that comes with interaction with others. Aren't there guidelines in every province and territory nowadays that enforce homeschoolers to get involved at least minimally with their local school? Or something to encourage social interactions?
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Rand McNally
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posted 29 April 2005 11:50 PM      Profile for Rand McNally     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I think many (not necessarily all) homeschooled kids are not socialized particularly well

I think a great deal of my issues with socialization, not to mention a number of personality and character defects are a fairly direct result of having to attend school. I think I may be a much more well adjusted individual if I had left the public school system.

In my experience, the educational value of public school is not that great and there are a great deal of people that would be better served by some alternative like homeschooling. Things may be different with now, and the fact I went to a smallish rural school may color my views; however it is my experience that schools are poorly equipped to deal with any students with special needs, and learning difficulties. Public school may work well for most people, but I think that if is harmful to a large minority of students. I am sure that out there, more than a couple of people are nodding in agreement and know exactly what I am talking about.

I will most likely send my daughter to public school, supplementing her education at home as well. I will however, be very watchful and if I think that the experience is not benefiting her, out she comes. I think as a parent my primary job is to ensure that my child reaches adulthood happy, healthy, well adjusted, and with the skills and abilities needed to make her own way in the world; if at anytime I think that her schooling is not preparing her to that end, I will deal with it.


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brebis noire
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posted 30 April 2005 12:14 AM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hailey, to answer your question: homeschooling parents in Quebec don't tend to do so for religious reasons because Protestant evangelicals are a small minority here and even though many have chosen to homeschool their kids, they still don't represent a majority in terms of overall figures.

A typical homeschooling family in Quebec would probably be very liberal and almost bohemian in their beliefs and lifestyle, though I'd hate to generalize.

I've seen some spectacular failures of homeschooling, but I've also known some really nice and smart kids who've been homeschooled. However, my overall impression is one of young adults who are desperately trying to come off as well-adjusted, secure, and confident in their future, but somehow it's a thin veneer...it sometimes looks like they might be trying too hard. But ultimately, we all have our problems with life, after all.


From: Quebec | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 30 April 2005 12:38 AM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
... my opinion the kids were missing out on socializing and team sports and the personal growth that comes with interaction with others. Aren't there guidelines in every province and territory nowadays that enforce homeschoolers to get involved at least minimally with their local school? Or something to encourage social interactions?

There are not enforced guidelines in every province. Many home-schooling associations offer fieldtrips and organized social activities. Also studies show most home-schooling children are involved in more extra-curriculur activities.

quote:
However, my overall impression is one of young adults who are desperately trying to come off as well-adjusted, secure, and confident in their future

I found integrating at University just so difficult. I was never a person that was insecure or had low self esteem but I was just out of my element and, honestly, I felt chronically abused for the first several months. I'm not saying I was - I'm saying that's how I felt.


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brebis noire
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posted 30 April 2005 12:50 AM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In Quebec, parents are required to register their homeschooled kids at the school the kids would normally attend. However, it's voluntary in the sense that there's no entity that's actually forcing anybody to register, and there aren't any repercussions that I know of if they don't.

Hailey, I think a lot of young adults, homeschooled or not, have that feeling in first-year university. Why do you think there's such a big campus drinking problem?


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Boom Boom
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posted 30 April 2005 02:29 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the clarification on homeschooling registration with local schools. I think it should be mandatory, and a registered teacher or school board member ought to check every homeschooling arrangement - including testing the children on what they've learned. Sounds like an invasion of privacy rights, but, hell, I don't trust homeschooling at all.
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Raos
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posted 30 April 2005 02:37 AM      Profile for Raos     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was never homeschooled, and of the (admittedly very few) people I've known that have been homeschooled, there's been some that are very well adjusted, and some that aren't. Personally, I think I would have done much better academically had I been home schooled, and I would have been much more prepared for university. Public school never taught me self motivation for working. It was never necessary.

As far as special needs children, I think public school was an invaluable experience for all of special needs children that attended school with me. I had classes with them fairly often, and they were always treated nicely, encouraged, and as involved as was every possible. I think it was a positive experience for them, and everybody else in their classes.


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Anchoress
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posted 30 April 2005 02:57 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wish I had been home-schooled, and if I have kids I hope I'll be able to home-school them. I know I'm coloured by my own experience, but I had a horrible horrible horrible horrible horrible time in elementary school, and I'd rather chop my own arm off than have any kid of mine go through 1/10 the agony.
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Boom Boom
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posted 30 April 2005 08:41 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I went to elementary school in the 1950's in Ottawa and later Nepean; as I recall, I loved it. Met my first girlfriend; and my second. Had my first (minor) experience of sex in elementary school. Three gorgeous girls that hung out together and I played around at recess in Grade 8. Made a lifelong friend that I've kept in touch with until recently. Played hockey, baseball and football through last three years of elementary school. Team spirit. Had the sexist woman I've ever known as our French teacher. Our Grade 8 teacher/Principal/hockey coach became a lifelong friend of mine as well. I loved elementary school; had not-as-great experiences in High School, although I survived.
Went back to our Grade 8 - 25th graduation reunion in 1989; loved it; half the original class showed up, as well as our Principal and hockey coach. I'd love to return to my youth and do it all over again. I'd change my high school major, though. And propose to my school sweetheart.

[ 30 April 2005: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


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Michelle
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posted 30 April 2005 09:07 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't have many happy memories about elementary school when it comes to other kids (although grade 6 to 8 weren't terrible) and I was bullied a lot in school because of my weight. However, my grade 6 and 7 teachers were absolutely wonderful. If I ever write a book, my grade 7 teacher is going to be mentioned somewhere in the acknowledgements or even the dedication since he told me he expected me to be a writer of some sort.

High school was marginally better in places, and I really loved the music programs I was involved with, so the music stuff in itself was a good reason to be in high school. Otherwise, it sucked.

I don't know that I would have preferred to be homeschooled though. I don't think either of my parents had the temperament for that sort of thing.

My son seems to be enjoying school so far (he's just finishing senior kindergarten), and I would much rather he go to public school than be homeschooled by his father, who I don't feel has the temperament for it either (and that's not a slight against him - I doubt I have the temperament for homeschooling him either).

However, if my son were being bullied, or I noticed he was having social problems with fitting in and that sort of thing (which, luckily, he seems to have no problem with at all), I would definitely consider pulling him out and homeschooling him. I remember a couple of total social outcasts in school (I wasn't one of them, luckily) who suffered for years in public school. I think they might have been better off being homeschooled, at least until high school. Even for the first couple of years of high school they were bullied and outcast (and they were basically nice kids who were just rather different), but they managed to band together with other "outcasts", get some confidence from shared friendships, and by their senior years, their crowd was kind of the alternate popular crowd, if that makes any sense.

I think at least a couple of them would have benefitted from being homeschooled for elementary school if they'd had parents who were capable. There are some kids whose lives are just made so miserable by rotten little brats in public school that no amount of "building character" can make up for the way they are abused by their peers.

While I don't have great memories of school, I don't think my own case was extreme enough to call for that. And I think if it happened with my son, I think the only thing I could do, since it's not feasible to homeschool him, is to get much more involved with his teachers (which is difficult, I'm finding - his teacher rarely returns calls or e-mails, probably too busy, and I have to work during the day so I can't just show up at his school), or maybe change his school or something. I'm glad that's not a problem at the moment.

[ 30 April 2005: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 30 April 2005 09:35 AM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
double post by mistake

[ 30 April 2005: Message edited by: Hailey ]


From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 30 April 2005 09:35 AM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Honestly the whole concept of bullying and popularity and cliques and all that stuff is just so beyond me. I hear people describe that about school and it seems to be on a much higher level than I've ever understood or witnessed.

Growing up my parents didn't even allow teasing between my siblings and I. I remember we had a family rule that if we were unkind to a sibling we weren't allowed to engage in play again with others until we wrote an essay on what we valued in that person. My brother was the most lame. I remember we had a huge fight, he was faulted for it, and so he had to write an essay on what he valued in me. We still have it the opening words are "I'll keep this short..."

I can't tell you anything bad about elementary or junior high cause I wasn't there. I had a terrible hideous ugly nasty time in philosophy though. It's a pre-requisite that you be a mean-spirited jerk to take that course. I cried every day that involved that class! It's my worst academic memory.

I got good grades though!


From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 30 April 2005 11:27 AM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
If I ever write a book, my grade 7 teacher is going to be mentioned somewhere in the acknowledgements or even the dedication since he told me he expected me to be a writer of some sort.

Please, please, please, Michelle, become a pornographer!

"I"d like to thank Mr. John Doe, of Kingston South Middle School, who said he expected me to be a writer of some sort. Mr. Doe, the following 198 pages of explicit sex never would have happened without you."


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Timebandit
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posted 30 April 2005 11:36 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't know anybody who has homeschooled specifically for religious reasons. However, I do know a few who are more the bohemian type that have. Some of their kids have opted to go to school in the later grades, primarily because they want the interaction with peers.

Of course, these are also the parents who were extreme attachment parenters who breastfed until the age of 4 or 5 and decried any and all babysitters as "mothering substitutes" in the early years.

My SIL also homeschooled her younger two children when they started having trouble in school. The elder had some social difficulties, and the younger was dealing with a learning disability. Neither of them have completed the requirements for high school graduation, and at this point it is unlikely that they ever will.

So I think that homeschooling, in their cases, was a drastic mistake. The elder one was allowed to opt out of dealing with other people and has never learned to deal with people effectively and is, I'm sorry to say, an extremely self-involved and insular person. Her son has developed some problems in school, and her solution was to pull him rather than let them put him in an adapted program -- a compound mistake.

Her younger sister would have done better with an adapted program, but she didn't get that. Her mother is a smart, well-educated woman but has no idea how to manage a learning disability.

Of course, this also has to do with the parent. I think you have to really know what you're doing, and be ready to be a firm taskmaster much of the time. It's not so much that my SIL couldn't get the resources or wasn't educated enough -- she simply wasn't prepared to be the bad guy some of the time, she was in denial about the learning difficulties (including their severity), and was ultimately lacked the skills for dealing with it. That, and she's one of those parents who do EVERYTHING for their kids.

By contrast, I see my niece, who has brain damage resulting in some serious learning difficulties, blossoming in an adapted program. She's had an excellent experience in elementary school, and actually loves high school (she's in grade 9). Of course, that's also because her parents have been proactive in getting her the help she needs.

So while there may be parents out there who are able, well-prepared and well-suited to teaching their own kids, I really think they're in the vast minority. I think there are serious pitfalls, and as much as I had a rough time at school (bullied, socially on the fringes, etc), I think I would have encountered just as many difficulties had I stayed home. Just imagining my mother (and I really do love my mother, but I know exactly who and how she is) homeschooling me makes me shudder.

For myself, I know I don't have what it takes to homeschool full time. I am content to be an active parent within the framework of the school. When Ms B cuts up or is bored, I'm there to either help deal with the problem or find a way to add some interest for her. I've had 3 terrific teachers to work with so far, and it certainly helps that I can pop in whenever.

Too long... I'll stop there.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 30 April 2005 11:43 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
An old friend of mine with whom I've since lost touch with, took her three kids out of school because they didn't teach creationism. She was religious and didn't think her kids should be taught biology or science within the public school. I can only imagine how well these kids are not doing in the job market. What was sad is that she enforced these religious beliefs upon her children, leaving them at a severe disadvantage in the future regarding employment and basic knowledge of biology/science.
From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Other Todd
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posted 30 April 2005 11:43 AM      Profile for The Other Todd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
Thanks for the clarification on homeschooling registration with local schools. I think it should be mandatory, and a registered teacher or school board member ought to check every homeschooling arrangement - including testing the children on what they've learned. Sounds like an invasion of privacy rights, but, hell, I don't trust homeschooling at all.

I think something like this is already going on in Ontario, at least.

I was working on a unit on Canadian schooling with my ESL students, and someone brought up homeschooling. I did some digging and found this as a place to start:

http://www.ontariohomeschool.org/ppm131.html#position


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
fern hill
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posted 01 May 2005 12:01 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Because I was part of the tangent Fed refers to in the first post, I wanted to clarify that I meant specifically the 'homeschooling' spurred by the desire to keep one's children away from secularist influence and also to imbue them with the 'correct' interpretation of the world. It seems to me that 'homeschooling' is code among the Xian right. Try Googling homeschooling and see what you get.

In the other thread, I called homeschooling creepy. It's creepy because these parents are deliberately rendering their children handicapped in the so-called modern world. Educationally, the kids are unprepared for sciences of all sorts -- biology, astronomy, geology -- as well as human history, anthropology, archaeology, comparative religion. And, more broadly, literature, psychology, art, well, hell, you name it. Presumably, there are smart, capable children being misinformed in this way and thus perhaps lost to higher education and to making a contribution to the human project.

But worse, though, is what some people in this thread have alluded to albeit in a secular way -- that these kids may have a misperception of their place among their peers and in the world in general. In the case of the religiously homeschooled, the kids may believe that the rest of the world is seriously misguided, that the truth is theirs alone. It seems to me a formula for, at minimum, profound confusion on the kids' part, and at worst, some kind of paranoid delusion about the rest of the world.

So, I find it creepy because these parents are fostering paranoia, self-inflicted victimization, and/or baseless feelings of superiority.

And, creepy because it reflects the patriarchal bent of the Xian crowd -- children are possessions to be moulded and indoctrinated.

No matter how you were raised, you probably had to do some rethinking of your parents' biases as you grew up. Imagine starting off like these poor kids.


From: away | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 01 May 2005 01:26 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We are friends with a couple who are doing an incredible job homeschooling their kids - the nine year old boy last year initiated a campaign to lower kids' bus fares in Vancouver, and has been making presentations to conferences etc. Both of the kids are years ahead of their age group in reading skills etc.

However, the parents find most other homeschool parents to be creepy - Jesus this, Jesus that, jesus jesus jesus.

There are also the homeschoolers who never really get around to actually doing anything, which can cause some real problems for the kids when they do go to school.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
brebis noire
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posted 01 May 2005 01:58 PM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
On a practical level, I've also heard a few teachers complain that homeschooled kids, once they've reentered school for one reason or another, tend to have problems managing their school supplies - having the necessary pens, pencils, papers when they need them, and handling deadlines for assignments.

Some of my aquaintances who homeschool have very poorly organized home environments, and many are also managing toddlers and preschoolers while teaching their older kids. Then there's supper, laundry, groceries...

[ 01 May 2005: Message edited by: brebis noire ]


From: Quebec | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
fossilnut
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posted 01 May 2005 02:05 PM      Profile for fossilnut        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The debate over education is somewhat like the debate over 'traditional marriage'.

Each to their own. I think what we call the traditional school HAD a positive role up until the last decade or so. It helped to shape a literate society and integrate different classes and ethnic groups into a larger modern society.

Today? I don't know. I'm not a fan of public education. Our kids excelled in private school. Even there, however, we had them out on and off for months at a time and they had had no problem reintegrating into the system.

What's important is to have a strong public system available to everyone but at the same time fund more options. I like the idea of more funds available for Charter schools based on religion, language, ethnic group or science or sports or the arts, etc. Variety and diversity as long as basic literacy is accomplished. The parents can decide what's best for their own children. If some fundamentalist Christian or Muslim wants to shape their child's education along a certain path that's their perogative. I don't think it has as much 'sheltering' impact as most of us think. I went to a very orthodox Catholic school in Quebec, taught by sadistic nuns and similar whackos and came out of the process a atheistic Marxist (still the atheist but longer the 'Marxist').

I'm a bit cynical to the 'value' of a formal education. I'm not at all cynical of the value of learning. Today with the Internet a wired world has opened up a vast range of options. I really don't care if my kid would miss out spending 3 years being bored to tears learning the history of Canada in a classroom. He'd learn as much in a month with an assignment to Google around the Internet on a historical treasure hunt.

Anyways, each to their own. As long as formal education is available for everyone then I think alternative experimnets are great.

Here in Alberta charter schools are going great guns. Home schooling is also on the rise. There's a public and Catholic school system. No one is forced to choose one over the other. I like a society with lots of diversity and creativity.


From: calgary | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged

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