(Closed) Homeschooling: Why or why not?

posted 4 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
819 posts
Busy bee

No direct experience here, but my sister in law homeschools her kids, and they’re the smartest, most polite little kids I know! She makes sure to put them in plenty of sports and other activities to make sure they socialize with other kids, and she really enjoys the flexibility of deciding to take them on field trips when they need a break from the classroom or take vacations/days off whenever they want, instead of working around a school district’s schedule. It seems like a ton of work for her, but she and the kids really seem to enjoy it. One of her boys is dyslexic, and it seems like he’s really been improving in his reading skills because he gets so much attention and practice during school hours.

Post # 3
Member
200 posts
Helper bee

I was homeschooled a good 50% of my time in school and the other half I was in private school.  I think homeschooling was great in my younger years and I got to spend some valuable time with my mother and siblings.  I would love to homeschool my 5 year old daughter if I could afford to stay at home, but that’s just not a possibility for me.

On the other hand, I was homeschooled a couple of years in high school and it was terrible.  I was doing video school because the subject matter was beyond my mother’s capabilities.  I had little social interaction and was very lonely.  My last two years of “high school”, I was working and didn’t put a whole lot of effort into my video classes.  I think my parents should have put me in a high school but they would never put any of us in public school for religious reasons.  Jumping into college was quite a culture shock…

Post # 4
Member
840 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think doing it all the way through high school gives kids a sheltered world view and is doing them a disservice especially if they want to go to college. There are some serious life lessons to be learned navigating the world with your peers and answering to a teacher (and later boss) that is not your mom. I dont think sports/extra cirriculars cut it.

Post # 5
Member
5089 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

starwarsfan2016 :  Interesting. While I have no experience with homeschooling, aside from knowing a couple people in high school that were homeschooled, I think you’re right. I would think that the earlier grades would be better, but once you get to high school the social stuff is more important, especially if you’re going to go to college. 

Kids are a ways off for us, but if I could stay home, I’d consider it. The school systems here are not good. I’m a scientist so I would definitely want my kid to get a good education in math and science (and I’d feel qualified to teach it) and I worry that the schools here (the public ones at least) are lacking. 

 

Post # 6
Member
9824 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I was not myself and would never do it but that is because we live in an area with very good schools and I have nowhere near the same experience or expertise as most teachers.  I think it can work out, but it takes a LOT (LOT!) of work and dedication.  You need to be a very capable teacher.  Many states don’t even have requirements for homeschooling (other than registering) which means a lot of kids can be worse off.  I do think it can also do kids a disservice when the only reason people are doing homeschooling is to promote certain viewpoints and don’t align with science.  You can end up extremely sheltered and in for a huge shock and adjustment period going into college and the real world.  I don’t see many advantages for most kids being homeschooled in highschool (can you teach your kids calculus?) but can see it more for the younger grades.

Post # 7
Member
3875 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

liverightnow :  While I am not adverse to homeschooling younger children (maybe third grade and under?) I think anything above that kind of takes away all of the benefits of what the child will get in school. I will not homeschool my kids, but I do see the appeal. However, I am very much against those who homeschool their children into middle/high school when their child’s subjects become out of reach for what the parents can teach. By all means, keep your kids home and teach them how to read and write and do simple math, but if you can’t do Trig or Calculus, you have no right keeping your kid at home to teach them, just my humble opinion.

Post # 8
Member
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

liverightnow :  Do you have any experience (career, volunteer, or otherwise) engaging in teaching or teacher-like communication (breaking things down into smaller pieces, being able to give an explanation that is informative without going over someone’s head, etc)?  There are a lot of very knowledgeable people who are not effective teachers because they simply don’t know how to communicate like a teacher.

Are you comfortable with any curriculuar or testing requirements that the state/locality may require?  Is there a community of homeschooling parents, and is it a community you are comfortable with (if the homeschooling community is very religious and you are not religious or are of a different faith, would that bother you)?  If you have no teaching experience then it will be essential for you to be able to talk through the challenges with someone who has been there.  You will also need to lean on that community to be able to put you in touch with experts or maybe to collaborate with you if there’s something that you don’t feel comfortable teaching your child.

Have you done any research/learning about childhood development or how to work with young children?  I work with college students and you couldn’t pay me enough to work with young children.  True, the material they are learning is not terribly complex, but there’s so much going on with them developmentally. 

Post # 9
Member
949 posts
Busy bee

liverightnow :  I wasn’t homeschooled myself and I’m not qualified to teach anybody. If I was to homeschool my potential kids, I would probably be doing them a disservice.

Post # 10
Member
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I went to public school until 2 weeks into my freshman year. I was incredibly sick and had to relearn how to walk and right the second semester of my 8 th grade year so I was privately tutored by one of my teachers so I wouldn’t fall behind. I didn’t fall behind but sprung ahead. So with that and still relearning fine motor skills I asked to be home schooled. I home schooled myself as my mom was the librarian at the public school I stopped attending and my dad worked. This worked for me for a few reasons.

1 I chose it

2 I could go as fast or slow as I needed

3 my mom has a degree in education and knows what she is doing and how to plan curriculum

personally I will never force this on my kids because it’s not for everyone and I learned more about how to function in the real world by going to public school than my friends that never did.

O.P I’d make sure if you decide to do this there are plenty of co-ops in your area for social purposes but I caution you if your not ultra conservative you might get exiled a little bit. My parents did as did I. I do however have lifelong friends I meant homeschooling

Post # 11
Member
2033 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I spent three years at home from grade 8-10. I begged my mom to let me go back to school for grades 11 and 12. So I went back to school and loved every second.

My children will be going to school. I will not be homeschooling them. I don’t feel that it teaches you how to work and negotiate with others, very important skills for university/college and the workforce.

Post # 12
Member
2899 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I was homeschooled until around middle school age (6th grade) then I went to public school.  My mom has a degree in teaching and she had a bad experience with the public school system as a teacher (even though we lived in a pretty affluent area with supposedly great schools). So I think her decision to homeschool me and my siblings was a bit of a knee jerk reaction.

When I was younger, I enjoyed it because I didn’t know any different.  I was in a home school group with other kids, so it was in a way like our own little school.  There were different age levels naturally and different parents (all moms) had their own specialty area.  It was pretty strict in that there were certain hours that we went to “school”; somedays it was at my house and other days at other people’s.  We did go on field trips but not a ton.

As I got older and more involved in sports, I really missed having the same experiences that the other kids did.  They would talk about school and I felt so left out.  I’m a pretty social kid so I began to feel very isolated and suffocated.  Plus, I still encountered things that you would at every other school such as bullying.  I had a very small group of friends (like 2) and yearned to meet more people.

My mom agreed to put us in the public school mainly because my sister was older and high school age and really wanted to have a real high school experience, both good and bad.  Plus, she had started a new career a few years prior that was taking off (by then we were taught by the other moms). My youngest brother was 3rd grade when he went.  He probably had the most trouble adjusting at first because he was a bit behind the other kids, which my mom didn’t notice at first because she gave more of the subjects to the other moms and the other moms, with no formal teaching education, did not know what to look for.  My mom tutored him at night and he caught up fairly quickly.  My brother’s teachers were great in helping him get caught up and realized exactly what he needed, something the home schooled moms did not.

My siblings and I are all very social but there were several kids in my group that were not and from what I hear, still are very socially awkward to this day.  Home schooling is a very sheltered experience and I honestly believe you cannot learn to work with others unless you have than experience.  Just “learning” about things isn’t enough.  I cannot harp enough on the social aspect of it.

Now that’s not to say in some instances, home schooling can be good.  If your child has a learning disability, it can be helpful especially in those early years.  If your school system is terrible, it may be a good choice.  However, in this day and age, so much is taught on the computer and I have heard of too many people that just plop their kids in front of the computer all day and call it “home schooling”.  Even the youngest classes are taught on line (obviously that wasn’t available when I was young).  I have also heard a lot of people home schooling because of religious reasons which I don’t agree with either.

Needless to say, I will not be homeschooling my future kids.  I do not have an education degree so I want to defer that to the actual educators that have dedicated their lives to this.  That’s not to say I cannot supplement, but I think that’s something all parents should do.  I wouldn’t say my experience was terrible at first, but as I got older, I hated it and I wouldn’t put my kids through that.

Just my 2 cents.

Post # 13
Member
800 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas

Dont have kids yet, and we’re not actively trying yet either. I do know, that we will be doing homeschool or private school.

I went to public school and liked it for the most part. My Fiance was homeschooled for a while and loved it. He loved that he could spend a couple hours getting his work done, and play the rest of the day.

I am not a fan of what is happening to public schools recently, so the idea of homeschooling is becoming more and more attractive.

I’m well educated myself, and feel confident that I could do it. I  would love to stay home with our hypothetical kids and teach. I love that you can tailor the education a bit, and move at your kids speed versus the government mandated speed. I also think its great that you can just up and go to a museum or take a trip.

Post # 14
Member
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

First – homeschooling and the approach and goals you want out of it can vary widely!  So be very mindful of the variety of curriculum and approaches out there.  But that’s part of the beauty of it, too– is being able to decide what works best for your individual kiddos.

but second: I was homeschooled my whole life.  Birth to highschool.  Yep- my mom did things like baby math! lol.  And I had many friends and a social life and jobs and very successful at college, by the way.  (I swear I’m not trying to brag, but I definitely want to encourage people to realize that there are many people out there they would never “guess” were homeschooled.  Plus bratty, or insecure, geeky, or socially awkward kids are definitely not the exclusive domain of homeschoolers as one would easily see walking through a high school!)

My hang up with homeschooling is really now only the context and family values that surrounded it that I don’t necessarily agree with anymore.  But I would have had those same family values and pressures and parents holding the same values even if I went to public school, if that makes sense.  

I am so glad I didn’t go to high school honestly — when I was younger or even in college, I thought I missed out more.  But when I hear more of the day to day from my *gasp* friends who went to public or even some private schools–I find myself more grateful for the work and expense my parents put into the education I had.

And they worked hard to make sure we had the best curriculum of the day — and we had so many advantages of the other aspects of life, family trips and musuems and travel, and we went to the store, we learned to cook and do laundry and clean, and we “helped” mom when she decided it was time for us to learn budgeting and balancing a checkbook, we were taught to get along and talk to people of a whole range of ages, we were in sports and volunteered and part of youth oriented groups from church.

We were raised to be very polite and well behaved.  Sometimes I still wish I knew pop culture references a little more, but that’s again a family values type thing that wouldn’t have changed that much.  And also – there is an aspect where personality matters.  I think my older brother would have been happier in a public school for the last year or two of high school.  But he had a weakness for wanting to be so cool anyway that he still fell into criminal and drug problems – even as a homeschooler.  So don’t think it will solve every problem, but it absolutely can be a wonderful way to give your kids a quality education and teach them more than being in a classroom with other kids their exact same age can.  And the relationship we kids have with each other and our parents (while not perfect by any means) is much more solid than many other families with adult kids.

I’m not sure what I want to do when we have kids, but if it’s a possibility for you and yours- I highly recommend really considering it!  I’m also happy to tell more about it if you’d want any more personal experiences info (you can message me).  

Post # 15
Member
3481 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Former kinder teacher here. I was not home schooled and I do not have kids, but if I do have children I intend to hime school at least K and 1st grade. The state of early childhood education in this country is a huge disappointment to me. There are so many days that the kids do not even get recess. If they do it is maybe 10 or 15 minutes. They are required to sit still and complete worksheets almost all day long. It is depressing to me, and it just simply is not the ideal way to learn. Darling Husband is a teacher so we wouldn’t be able to afford a fancy private school that does things better than public. So if we have kids (currently fence sitters) we have agreed that I will be a Stay-At-Home Mom and homeschool the first couple of years. 

As far as socialization, that is what playdates with friends and cousins are for! That is what rec center art, sports, and music classes are for! Classes that many public school systems have all but entirely given up on. And when a child spends all day with an adult, they are interacting, learning to socialize, and having adult level social skills modeled for them all day long. That said, I was a very shy kid and I believe school helped me a lot to grow and become less shy. But for little kids, I think the more important thing is that they aren’t stuck at a desk for 8 hours a day.

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