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  1. #1
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Default Homeschooling -- Recommended?

    My sisters and I have been brainstorming ideas for their children's education.. I suggested homeschooling as there are some great programs out there and public education is such a mess now-a-days. I feel strongly on education.. But they think homeschooling is too difficult and they won't be able to properly teach their kids. They are also worried about the lack of social interaction.. Which I think could be fixed by enrolling them into sports, independent art schools, etc.

    If you homeschooled, did you find it intimidating? Did you warm up to it quickly? And most of all, would you recommend it?

    If you were homeschooled, can you detail if you liked it or not? Did it benefit your education overall? If you went to college, did it help or hinder you getting in? Did you feel you were educated just as well as your peers?
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  2. #2
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I was homeschooled for high school and it was a total mixed bag. My mom didn't really believe in traditional school so she didn't do a program of any kind, unless buying a set of Brittanica Great Books and setting me loose with them counts (and I guess it kind of does). I also audited some college classes. I was a pretty self-motivated student and it was nice to be able to have a say in my own education. But I feel like I have some pretty huge gaps now, stuff that most people learned in high school. And socially, it was really isolating. I don't think sports/music/art classes offer the continuous exposure to a consistent group of peers to be comparable to school. My younger siblings were also homeschooled but they were much less academically oriented to begin with, so it was kind of a disaster for them.

    For the most part, I don't really recommend it unless the specific schools in your area are just untenable AND you are very, very motivated/committed. My children go to a small charter school which we love. Best of both worlds, IMO.

  3. #3
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    I think young kids are okay homeschooled, not so much older students, who may suffer socially. My SP friend who I always talk about was kept home for like two years in high school because of danger, and because his mother wasn't really well-equipped to home school him well...well...eventually he went back to regular high school, but was older than some of the seniors, ended up dropping out, and essentially seems overprotected in some ways, and immature in others. Of course, could be his personality and the fact that his mother wasn't the best to homeschool him as an adolescent.

    I've encountered some people who were homeschooled who also seem kind of socially awkward as adults, I don't just mean social anxiety, I mean really, they weren't really socialized with people their age (or if they were, it was only people of their religious group).

    I think it's a great idea probably to educate very young children at home, and maybe to pull an older student out...if they are introverted and studious, anyway, and the parent is equipped to homeschool them properly.

    I have mixed opinions for it, but really *if* I have children (not saying I will) I would want them to go to school. But maybe montessori school or magnet school or private schools, with some *limited* homeschooling.

  4. #4
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    I know I'd have spent more time playing video game or some mmorpg than studying, that's a given.

  5. #5
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    True story: I once played co-op at 3:30 am their time with another player who turned out to be 15. On a school night. I asked him if he needed to go to bed for school "or something" and he said no. I asked him if he was on summer break and he said "no I'm home schooled". I asked him when he usually started his classes . He said "whenever".

    Gosh, he was really good at that game. But, probably not the goal of most home schooling parents.

    There are lots of great alternative schools (free) and magnet schools (free). Programs associated with universities. Some free schools and programs you test or qualify into, others are elective. Some focus on fields of study, trades, religion, progressive ideals, behavioral modification, life skills, or high academics, etc. There's a wide range.

    The only woman I went to college with who was home schooled that I knew of was terribly awkward. That was the way she was introduced to me. "You'll meet XXXX. She's horribly awkward. Her parents homeschooled her". She may have been smart compared to a national average of highschoolers, but I don't think her homeschooling gave her an academic or intellectual edge by the time she got to college. Because the bar keeps jumping and the field gets more competitive. I met several students who went to alternative high schools and I was SOOOOOO jealous. You would not guess by interacting with them that they had anything other than a 'typical' highschool experience (whether public or private). I also think it depends on the temperment and interests of the kid. The beauty of independent schools is that they are tailored for different kind of kids. Each student I knew who went to an alternative highschool found a good fit and seemed very happy and also were prepared for a competitive college environment.

    If it's about the best fit for your nieces/nephews do some research about schools in commuting distance or when older, boarding schools if you think that would be work for them.

    Alternatively, your sister can start working now for a private school until she is vested and the school pays for all her kids' tuition. This will also get them a special in with teachers. Trust me, that could be a gold mine when it comes to college application time.

    I also have a friend who travels frequently with her hs aged daughter and wanted to send her to school in Paris for a year for an international experience. They travel a lot so her daughter has had a very unique experience and I think she's very lucky, she's also very mature for her age. She goes to a more progressive/experimental public school. My friend is not wealthy by any means so all things are possible if you hunt around.

    I went to public schools in the states and then private high school overseas. I think more than the quality of the education I received (I did a lot of studying and reading on my own, I was a nerdy kid) my biggest 'take-away' from those years was about the people and the environments that I was in. I had a very multicultural environment in my formative years and you really can't teach that anywhere.

    The plus of sending your nephews/nieces to an alternative school that fits them is that they will be surrounded by an ideal mix of kids that are on a similar curve as them.
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  6. #6

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    I think if you're going to any sort of school you are going to have to be home schooled too or should be, I dont know what the culture with "home work" is anymore and I know a lot of busy parents with two jobs in the UK are against the idea but it was about making the point that teachers in the school can not usually achieve as much as teachers and parents in unison.

    The only real reason I would completely homeschool any kids would be if there were real bullying issues and the school was proving inert about doing anything about it, and I experienced some bad things with hindsight at school but my parents never thought about taking me out of school.

  7. #7
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    I knew this kid who was home schooled - his name was William, and he didn't allow us to call him anything else but William...not Will, or Bill - and he was a real mess socially. He was awkward and over-sensitive...cried and threw fits at the slightest provocation. He was known throughout the neighborhood as that "strange home schooled kid."

    To be fair, he was also an only child and his parents were over-protective, coddling, rabid Catholics (to the point where other parents in this rather conservative-leaning town thought they were strange, including my parents who have been on and off evangelical fundies.) Also, public school was a bitch, to the point that I almost ended up opting to go to one of those fancy pants private schools. Luckily I lost interest in that and didn't end up taking the placement exams. Some of my middle school friends did, though, and they turned out pretty fucking stupid anyway (not to mention the environment in those schools seemed even more repressive than the public schools.)

    Basically, I'd only home school if I were prepared to do it as a full time job and I wasn't a nutbag cultist. Otherwise, public school all the way. It'll give your kids a very special brand of grit and cynicism that I don't think you can get anywhere else.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    True story: I once played co-op at 3:30 am their time with another player who turned out to be 15. On a school night. I asked him if he needed to go to bed for school "or something" and he said no. I asked him if he was on summer break and he said "no I'm home schooled". I asked him when he usually started his classes . He said "whenever".

    Gosh, he was really good at that game. But, probably not the goal of most home schooling parents.

    There are lots of great alternative schools (free) and magnet schools (free). Programs associated with universities. Some free schools and programs you test or qualify into, others are elective. Some focus on fields of study, trades, religion, progressive ideals, behavioral modification, life skills, or high academics, etc. There's a wide range.

    The only woman I went to college with who was home schooled that I knew of was terribly awkward. That was the way she was introduced to me. "You'll meet XXXX. She's horribly awkward. Her parents homeschooled her". She may have been smart compared to a national average of highschoolers, but I don't think her homeschooling gave her an academic or intellectual edge by the time she got to college. Because the bar keeps jumping and the field gets more competitive. I met several students who went to alternative high schools and I was SOOOOOO jealous. You would not guess by interacting with them that they had anything other than a 'typical' highschool experience (whether public or private). I also think it depends on the temperment and interests of the kid. The beauty of independent schools is that they are tailored for different kind of kids. Each student I knew who went to an alternative highschool found a good fit and seemed very happy and also were prepared for a competitive college environment.

    If it's about the best fit for your nieces/nephews do some research about schools in commuting distance or when older, boarding schools if you think that would be work for them.

    Alternatively, your sister can start working now for a private school until she is vested and the school pays for all her kids' tuition. This will also get them a special in with teachers. Trust me, that could be a gold mine when it comes to college application time.

    I also have a friend who travels frequently with her hs aged daughter and wanted to send her to school in Paris for a year for an international experience. They travel a lot so her daughter has had a very unique experience and I think she's very lucky, she's also very mature for her age. She goes to a more progressive/experimental public school. My friend is not wealthy by any means so all things are possible if you hunt around.

    I went to public schools in the states and then private high school overseas. I think more than the quality of the education I received (I did a lot of studying and reading on my own, I was a nerdy kid) my biggest 'take-away' from those years was about the people and the environments that I was in. I had a very multicultural environment in my formative years and you really can't teach that anywhere.

    The plus of sending your nephews/nieces to an alternative school that fits them is that they will be surrounded by an ideal mix of kids that are on a similar curve as them.
    Yeah, I think if homeschooling was to work there'd need to be some kind of strictness about routines, especially since the basic ones about getting up and going some place which is the school other than home is abscent.

    I knew a kid at technical college (17 - 18) who was from an independent school run by Ian Paisley's supporters, the free presbytarians, those are a sort of protestant fundamentalist, so he'd experienced corporal punishment being meeted out to others who misbehaved when he'd reported it, he came to the tech everyday, which had an ultra casual dress code, in trousers with creases and a shirt, I suspect he left home with a bow tie also but put it in his bag. He was immediately marked out as a target because of his style of dress, his social attitudes likewise were very odd, he couldnt interact especially with girls very well and the other males slagged him off for his lack of knowledge of things of a sexual nature, I remember telling him to go away once when he seriously enquired with me what masterbation was. I dont mean like he'd asked me "in the know" attempting to display a "positive ignorance", ie I'm not like these others, I dont know these things, I mean they'd been teasing him and he really did not know. Some of them had got very small water pistols one day and brought them to the class, they did little more than provide a nuisance value because you couldnt fire a lot of water with them but he brought a super soaker pistol in his bag the next day! I was like seriously man, you bring that out and someone will just kick your ass.

    The thing about this all, which I found funny but shouldnt have been a surprise, is that while I did the guy a lot of favours because no one would spend any time in his company or speak to him, he was shunned, and I gave him a lot of steers and social etiquette or even competence, the minute we went to a neighbouring university and he had others from his former school to accompany him he actually shunned me. Although he was back in the bow ties and looked like something from the fifties by then so I really did not mind.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    I knew this kid who was home schooled - his name was William, and he didn't allow us to call him anything else but William...not Will, or Bill - and he was a real mess socially. He was awkward and over-sensitive...cried and threw fits at the slightest provocation. He was known throughout the neighborhood as that "strange home schooled kid."

    To be fair, he was also an only child and his parents were over-protective, coddling, rabid Catholics (to the point where other parents in this rather conservative-leaning town thought they were strange, including my parents who have been on and off evangelical fundies.) Also, public school was a bitch, to the point that I almost ended up opting to go to one of those fancy pants private schools. Luckily I lost interest in that and didn't end up taking the placement exams. Some of my middle school friends did, though, and they turned out pretty fucking stupid anyway (not to mention the environment in those schools seemed even more repressive than the public schools.)

    Basically, I'd only home school if I were prepared to do it as a full time job and I wasn't a nutbag cultist. Otherwise, public school all the way. It'll give your kids a very special brand of grit and cynicism that I don't think you can get anywhere else.
    There are catholic schools, its odd to hear about a homeschooled catholic, although I know about homeschooling being congruent with victims of abuse or fostered kids because there's little option, they refuse to attend.

  10. #10
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    There are catholic schools, its odd to hear about a homeschooled catholic, although I know about homeschooling being congruent with victims of abuse or fostered kids because there's little option, they refuse to attend.
    Yeah, to be honest I never knew any of the details of his situation. All I knew was that his parents were (rather notoriously) Catholic, they only allowed him to wear "proper" clothes (which looked like church clothes, "Sunday best" and all that), and they yelled at other kids whenever he'd run home crying. So maybe he had some issue that I didn't know about. Who knows.

    I did know a girl in elementary school who ended up having to be home schooled because she was violent and had explosive emotional outbursts on a regular basis. She was an orphan from Russia who was adopted, and the other kids would whisper that she was crazy and shouldn't be trifled with because she was a "Russian hate child." She ended up running away from the school grounds one day and we never saw her again. The teacher eventually told us that she was going to be home schooled from now on.
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