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  1. #51
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    A citizen pays taxes into the school system (lots of them usually) and unless you live in Alaska or Idaho, you get none of that money back when you homeschool. Homeschooling is usually funded out of your own pocket. So the way I figure it, you are doing the school system a favor by decreasing (? lol) the teacher to student ratio. You're welcome, School District.

    Since when did we start expecting the government to even educate our children? I'm not even quite down with that mentality, honestly. If we are going to implement such a socialist program, why don't we also have funded health care?
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  2. #52
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Yup, my kids are currently being homeschooled. Ironically the decision was made because we had actually did our research and bought a house in one of the best school districts in the state. My oldest chose not to talk until he was older and had to have some speech therapy, and they had a great program for that, and came along very well. He's a smart kid, but he had a lot of trouble coping with getting things done on time, he tends to be very deliberate and really had heavy issues when being rushed through things and not being able to have enough time to finish things. We soldiered through it, but in 4th grade.. the grade where the school makes sure that it's listed as a top school, teaches entirely to the test. That year was hell, attention was paid to answering specific questions in a rote like manner within tight timing requirements. They emphasized finishing over correctness, it really pushed him to his limits and we were afraid he was starting to look at learning and school as a negative thing in his life.

    His mom is a teacher and is certified through H.S. in Math and Science, so we just decided to homeschool all my kids. English and Math are done through workbooks that are available at most bookstores. History and social things are planned events. They'll cover Egypt for a while and do projects, go to museums and read books and watch movies. Science is similar, they'll be doing chemistry soon and their mom is gearing up on geting some lab stuff together. I bought them a 12" Dobsonian telescope, and they take it out and stargaze late on 'school nights'. My youngest has never been in a classroom before, she shows heavy ISFP behaviours and I'm convinced this is really great for her. All of my kids are intensely interested in hearing about history. My middle child, who's 12 has mentioned that she might want to go to H.S. And if that's what she wants, we'll let her.

  3. #53
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    I'm a prospective teacher myself, so my view might be biased in favor of public education. Anyway, here's my opinion -:

    If you're concerned about the quality of learning at a certain school, I'd advise to monitor your child's learning progress (which is always a good idea anyway). If it is at all possible and practical, I would strongly advise for public schooling and against homeschooling. Being part together with other kids in school is part of the education, as is the whole complex of being and working in a class, having different teachers, having a dedicated place for studying and learning etc. etc. Add to the fact that teachers at schools are people who not only had years of formal training but usually have a lot more experience in teaching than your regular mom and dad.
    There are a lot of things concerning public education that homeschooling simply can't offer. Unless the public school in question is a festering cesspool of guns, drugs and violence and the child's health is seriously in danger, there isn't much that speaks for homeschooling. At some point, kids will have to go 'out there', and the sooner they learn how to deal with it, the better they will be prepared.
    IN SERIO FATVITAS.

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  4. #54
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Coriolis - I understand where you are coming from in feeling that we would be best to put our efforts into improving the existing system, seeing as that is the system that the majority of people will be using.

    Unfortunately, it is difficult to find where to start where impact can be made.

    Therefore, I think that we need to take it on a case by case basis, improving the system where we can from whatever position we are in, and also appreciating good teachers, admin and schools where we find them. However, I think it is a machine that is very difficult to impact and changes made take a significant amount of time to be felt at a ground level. It has taken about 50 years for those who signed the humanist manifesto during the 30s to see their philosophical dreams realized at a larger level (through placing themselves in various position of influence throughout universities and schools during that time period). I don't know if in the age we live in that can be sped up or not, due to internet and other resources and I'm not sure how to go about achieving enough agreement and solidarity about what changes need to happen for reform to effectively occur.
    I don't know anything about the schools in Canada, but in the U.S. it is most effective to attempt improvements at the local level, even in a single school. Parents are the key to this since they are the taxpayers, the voters, essentially the customers and the boss. Most are not trained educators, but know their children better than the teachers, and at least some of them can recognize institutional stupidity when they see it.

    The problem is that parents are generally too reticent or intimidated by the system to put their foot down or, heaven forbid, organize with other parents, even when they are very much in the right. I watched a neighborhood family single-handedly turn a school around by insisting that their daughter get what she needed. In this sense, it is just another flavor of making sure your children get what they need, but done in a public school, it has the potential for much broader impact. The problem is not so much state standards, which are not going to change, or even funding levels, though many schools are underfunded. It is how the resources are allocated, but even more the unnecessary impediments to learning that abound, and have nothing to do with state standards or money. Parents who complain are viewed as a drag on the school; even moreso those who attempt to justify their children's poor behavior or academic performance. Parents who make well-thought-out suggestions to address well-documented problems, on the other hand, may meet resistance, but can have an effect if they are persistent and work together.

    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Since when did we start expecting the government to even educate our children? I'm not even quite down with that mentality, honestly. If we are going to implement such a socialist program, why don't we also have funded health care?
    We are working on it. The roots of our public education system predate the revolution. Originally, the purpose was religious education, and later, preparation for the workforce.

    Do you think we would be better off having everyone educated at home? How many parents (mostly mothers) would this take out of the workforce? How strongly would the quality of education received correlate with family income? Is that even important? In the old days, the poor didn't need much education, since they were destined for factory, farm, or domestic work anyway. Sounds like a recipe for regress to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
    If you're concerned about the quality of learning at a certain school, I'd advise to monitor your child's learning progress (which is always a good idea anyway). If it is at all possible and practical, I would strongly advise for public schooling and against homeschooling. Being part together with other kids in school is part of the education, as is the whole complex of being and working in a class, having different teachers, having a dedicated place for studying and learning etc. etc. Add to the fact that teachers at schools are people who not only had years of formal training but usually have a lot more experience in teaching than your regular mom and dad.
    There are a lot of things concerning public education that homeschooling simply can't offer. Unless the public school in question is a festering cesspool of guns, drugs and violence and the child's health is seriously in danger, there isn't much that speaks for homeschooling. At some point, kids will have to go 'out there', and the sooner they learn how to deal with it, the better they will be prepared.
    As much as I support public education, I disagree with most of your reasoning. Teachers have experience only if they are . . . experienced. The newer ones obviously have less. Formal teacher training is all but useless, except for practice teaching and good mentoring on the job. Mom and Dad may not be teachers, but they know the individual needs of their children better, and will give them much more individualized attention than a teacher with 20-30 in a class can. Mom and Dad are also not going to be distracted by disciplining class troublemakers or other school administrivia. Most homeschoolers do get "out there", in clubs, teams, learning co-ops, and other activities, so the socialization argument doesn't generally hold, as many here have already pointed out.

    Some advantages of public education, at least when decently realized, are the consistency of subject matter offerings; the availability of resources, especially in the sciences, arts, and modern languages; exposure to different teachers/styles (as you mention); and "one stop shopping" for a variety of clubs, activies, and opportunities to interact. Homeschooling families often cobble much of this together rather successfully, but since they are already paying for it in their taxes, it is foolish not to make use of the resource and to reinvent the wheel instead. Depending on the reasons for homeschooling, it can also serve to insulate kids from people unlike themselves. By contrast, the greater diversity in a public school can be both a blessing and a curse, but on the whole, it is useful to encounter different perspectives, and learn to get along with people unlike yourself. There is also an efficiency in consolidating education in the hands of professionals, in a dedicated setting, allowing parents to pursue their own careers/professions and make their own contributions to the community.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #55
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post

    We are working on it.
    Are we? I don't really see that.

    The roots of our public education system predate the revolution. Originally, the purpose was religious education, and later, preparation for the workforce.
    Are you sure about that? Just asking, because I don't know much about the origins of education in our country. But it seems like at the turn of the last century, at least, the purpose was to teach kids the three R's so they wouldn't be illiterate and ignorant, as we were a much more agrarian society where that was more likely.

    Do you think we would be better off having everyone educated at home?
    Yes, definitely. But not in the way we do it now. I think homeschool coops would be ideal however. Not this big, cumbersome machine that is stupid and slow to respond.

    How many parents (mostly mothers) would this take out of the workforce?
    I don't think it's my job to worry first and foremost about the workforce? Am I some communist zsar? No. Our priority (all of us) should first be our family, and how we best serve our family. If we all took care of our families better, collectively, we'd not only be more self-sufficient, but we'd not need all this government bail-out for our mere existence.

    How strongly would the quality of education received correlate with family income? Is that even important?
    Important in some ways, not so much in others...

    As above, income should not be our focus. It has become our focus, especially since losing our religion as a human species. It is now what we worship, over so many other things.


    In the old days, the poor didn't need much education, since they were destined for factory, farm, or domestic work anyway. Sounds like a recipe for regress to me.
    I think education is paramount. I just disagree with the way we do our education. Everything changes so fast now, but our adaptation to this change is fatally slow. Ironically, because we have been trained to rely on government for these social entities, we have given this control away to an unwieldy system of bureaucracy. This does not serve our children. Our children simply become pawns in this system that has become too large to meet anyone's needs effectively. We need to decentralize, and take control of our own necessities a bit more, and not expect, nor demand, that government do everything for us.

    In this regard, homeschooling is a step in the RIGHT direction. We say that not only will be responsible for our kids' education and learning (which is pretty huge if you think about it), but that we expect nothing from the government except to be allowed to do it (which is ridiculous, but a reality! because many places have many laws making it much harder to homeschool our own kids!)

    No. Homeschooling is really just the grassroots movement for a much needed upheaval in the educational system in this country. More power to us.
    Ni/Ti/Fe/Si
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    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

    songofmary.wordpress.com


  6. #56
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    I plan on homeschooling my kids. The only reason I wouldn't would be for social interaction, which is easily accessible outside of schools (team sports boy/girl scouts etc). I am against just about everything that has to do with schools.. from the subjects they teach to the grading system to the freakin' food they serve. I'm sure it depends where you live but as of now, where I'm located and based on my own experience, I'll be homeschooling them.

  7. #57
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Are we? I don't really see that.
    Then you have your eyes closed and haven't been reading the news.

    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Are you sure about that? Just asking, because I don't know much about the origins of education in our country. But it seems like at the turn of the last century, at least, the purpose was to teach kids the three R's so they wouldn't be illiterate and ignorant, as we were a much more agrarian society where that was more likely.
    I make sure I have my facts straight before I make an assertion. At the turn of the last century, the purpose was to supply factory workers, many of whom were country folk who gravitated to cities for jobs. There were limited opportunities for bright poor kids to go on to higher education (even just finishing high school) and get a better job.

    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Yes, definitely. But not in the way we do it now. I think homeschool coops would be ideal however. Not this big, cumbersome machine that is stupid and slow to respond.
    A homeschool co-op has the potential to become just an unregulated bureaucracy, with less accountability than today's public schools. Sort of like a neighborhood association.

    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    I don't think it's my job to worry first and foremost about the workforce? Am I some communist zsar? No. Our priority (all of us) should first be our family, and how we best serve our family. If we all took care of our families better, collectively, we'd not only be more self-sufficient, but we'd not need all this government bail-out for our mere existence.
    This is simplistic. A situation in which one parent in every family has to forego a professional life (and the income it might bring) to coordinate and deliver education is incredibly wasteful of human resources. You might find homeschooling your own children to be personally fulfilling, but one person's individual notion of fulfillment is a bad yardstick for public policy decisions. In a democracy, it is everyone's job to worry about the issues that face society, at least as long as one wishes to belong to that society. "Government by the people" works only when people educate themselves on the issues and get involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    As above, income should not be our focus. It has become our focus, especially since losing our religion as a human species. It is now what we worship, over so many other things.
    That is easy to say if one has adequate income. If not, it becomes a choice between paying rent, buying food, going to the doctor, or if you had your way, educating one's child.

    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    I think education is paramount. I just disagree with the way we do our education. Everything changes so fast now, but our adaptation to this change is fatally slow. Ironically, because we have been trained to rely on government for these social entities, we have given this control away to an unwieldy system of bureaucracy. This does not serve our children. Our children simply become pawns in this system that has become too large to meet anyone's needs effectively. We need to decentralize, and take control of our own necessities a bit more, and not expect, nor demand, that government do everything for us.

    In this regard, homeschooling is a step in the RIGHT direction. We say that not only will be responsible for our kids' education and learning (which is pretty huge if you think about it), but that we expect nothing from the government except to be allowed to do it (which is ridiculous, but a reality! because many places have many laws making it much harder to homeschool our own kids!)
    Our educational system is already decentralized in that there is substantial local control of school districts. The problem is not that the federal or even state government is overcontrolling education and failing to respond to change. These problems exist on the local level. School districts are not responsive enough to parents, and have lost sight of their primary goal which is educating students and preparing them academically for adult life. Parents do not realize how much control and influence they have, much of which is already codified in public law. They too readily just do what they are told by teachers and administrators, whether it is beneficial for their child or not. What we need instead is for parents to bring the homeschool co-op mentality to the public school system, so they have the input and control, while getting the resources, consistency, efficiency, and accountability of the public but local system.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #58
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    i think it is exceptionally ignorant of a parent to believe they can understand all that their child could, a child is likely to have different inclinations then their parents, and will be more likely to develop his or her own potential by finding elements of themselves in a larger diversity of role models for processing and understanding information and skills.

    that's being said, there is a growing way to include that advantage in homeschooling through online education resources, which actually have advantages over regular schools:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/sug...education.html
    http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan...education.html
    and the most recent update:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/dap...education.html

    if you are open to utilize those resources fully, the question is, what can i give my child at home that i can't give them at school? how can i give them an alternative or greater value then a school's social life?

    for me, if i had the financial ability to travel with my child (financially potent online work being key, and i am very close to achieving it), the answer would be obvious, yes, i'd keep him onboard online education systems, guiding him along the way, and finding new social contexts for him to meet new people on each and every turn. otherwise, if i can not deliver a diversity of growing experiences within my child's "home environment", the school system would win.

  9. #59
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    As much as I support public education, I disagree with most of your reasoning. Teachers have experience only if they are . . . experienced. The newer ones obviously have less. Formal teacher training is all but useless, except for practice teaching and good mentoring on the job. Mom and Dad may not be teachers, but they know the individual needs of their children better, and will give them much more individualized attention than a teacher with 20-30 in a class can. Mom and Dad are also not going to be distracted by disciplining class troublemakers or other school administrivia. Most homeschoolers do get "out there", in clubs, teams, learning co-ops, and other activities, so the socialization argument doesn't generally hold, as many here have already pointed out.
    I must admit that I'm not too familiar with the homeschooling situation in the US, and standards of public education probably vary greatly across different parts of the country. I might be in a privileged situation since the only students I had so far had a solid middle-class background, and the classes were fairly homogenous.
    I can only speak for the situation in Germany here, but as for teacher training, the academic level is fairly high for the highest tier of secondary education, and graduation not only qualifies you to teach, but also to further pursue an academic career. If you go beyond grade school level, I don't see how an average parent could be as knowlegeable across a variety of subjects as a group of teachers in their particular subjects. Of course this still doesn't mean that you're automatically a good teacher if you know you're stuff, and I readily admit that lack of practical experience is a major flaw in the present system.
    IN SERIO FATVITAS.

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  10. #60
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
    I must admit that I'm not too familiar with the homeschooling situation in the US, and standards of public education probably vary greatly across different parts of the country. I might be in a privileged situation since the only students I had so far had a solid middle-class background, and the classes were fairly homogenous.
    I can only speak for the situation in Germany here, but as for teacher training, the academic level is fairly high for the highest tier of secondary education, and graduation not only qualifies you to teach, but also to further pursue an academic career. If you go beyond grade school level, I don't see how an average parent could be as knowlegeable across a variety of subjects as a group of teachers in their particular subjects. Of course this still doesn't mean that you're automatically a good teacher if you know you're stuff, and I readily admit that lack of practical experience is a major flaw in the present system.
    You are right about the ability of parents to teach. This is why most/all homeschool families I know use published homeschool curricula or online programs, and augment this with local experts, museum visits, etc.

    The highlighted above represents a significant difference between education in Germany and in the U.S. With some narrow exceptions, we don't have tiered secondary education. Everyone is lumped in together, with some amount of separation by ability into class groups or tracks, depending on the size, resources, and philosophy of the school district. Moreover, few of the top university graduates choose a career in teaching. More than the mediocre pay, the working conditions are quite unappealing. If the students are lucky, they will get a teacher who at least has a love of teaching and learning, and an ability to relate to different kinds of learners; but (especially in higher grades) may be weak in the actual subject matter, and unable to stand up to the increasingly unreasonable demands of administrators and regulations.

    P.S. Thanks for your perspective. I would be interested in hearing more about primary and secondary (i.e. pre-University) education in Germany.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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