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Home Schooling

Does anyone have any opinions on home schooling? I have considered it for my children who are currently at normal state schools. My daughter seems to getting on OK, but my son struggles to keep up with written work and his attention wanders. He is good at maths though.

I am weighing up the pros and cons.

The pros are that a child can learn at their own pace and will have one-to-one tuition. There is more opportunity for them to study the more important subjects and to specialise in whatever they want. They are not restricted to the set times and days of state schools and parents can plan to take holidays at the less busy periods. There is also more opportunity to visit places that will stimulate learning whenever the need or desire arises.

The cons are that the child will not have the usual interaction that a state school child has. They will not leave school with as many friends and may not have the social skills in a group situation.

I left school many years ago. At the time I was not allowed to stay on at sixth form and I did not go to university until I was in my thirties. Most of my friends from school moved away and most of the friends I have now, I met in work or through other people during social activities. So is having less friends at 16 really a negative?

My son is due to go into high school (UK) in September and I am waiting to see what happens in his first year. I am also going through a transitional period in my own working life at the moment so home schooling won't be happening for at least a year.

Your views are most welcome.

Poppat, there is already a thread on home education in the Science Education Forum at this URL. It has a really good discussion on all the pros and cons Smile :
Ghost Rider103
Well this is kind of hard to say.

I was in regular school all the way up until my first year in high school. Instead of going to high school, I decided that I wanted to try home schooling. I was just sick and tired of getting up early in the morning, listening to a teacher ramble on about things that aren't really important.

I did home schooling for a year, and I loved it. I was really into motocross and that kind of thing, so I got to ride my dirt bikes all day long, and for an entire week of school work, it only took my three hours MAX to get it all done. So I still got to hang out with my friends that lived near me, so everything was great, it was like a never ending snow day!

However then my family and me moved to another state. I obviously didn't know anybody except I had family there, but that was it. I decided to just go to regular school just to meet new people, and if I didn't like it I would just do home school after I got some friends.

Of course to me it was just the same thing, getting up early and listening to BS all day long, but I enjoyed it.

To be honest with you, I say let your kids decide for themselves. You might put them in homeschooling, and that might make them extremely depressed because they wouldn't be able to see their friends as much. This can lead to some serious health problems, and in some cases thoughts of suicide because since they wouldn't have as many friends, they would get that thought "the world hates me". Luckily that wasn't the case with me, but everyone is different.

If they are too young to decide for themselves, wait until they are older, like when they get out of Junior High, then I say let them choose. Home school or regular.

That's just my thoughts on the whole situation.

Hope this helps.
I think there are a couple of things to consider when thinking of home schooling your children vs public school.
I think the first thing is to look if you , yourself are disciplined enough to be the teacher at home instead of the parent when it is needed. Teaching. even your own kids is not an easy task. Coming up with some interesting way to present something that they need to learn can be difficult at the best...... especially if it is a subject you find difficult or are not that interested in.

Secondly, as has been mentioned already is the need for socialization for your children. You might consider finding outher parents that are home schooling... maybe set up a field trip on something you are covering and have some free time for interacting while there. In my school district there was a counselor that you could interact with , that made sure you were covering everything that needed to be taught. In some programs , some districts have the home schooling set where you spend half a day or a full day at school once a week and the rest of the week at home. Maybe some combination classes could work for you. You stated your son was good at math, maybe you could mainstream him for those type classes. In any case I hope that my ideas helped... if for nothing more than to get you to think of more options that might be available for you and your children.
Thank you for your thoughts.

I will look at the other discussion soon.

Maybe homeschool wis free and low cost curriculum. Home educate preschool, kindergarten, through high school children but its save time and effort!
Id prefer regular school days for my child because this will help him develop and experienced a lot of many things whether bad or good as long as he knows how to managed himself and let him discover and explore the new world...
I think this is something you would want to consider for a while before you make your choice. A guy I grew up with now has 3 kids ranging from 6 to 12 and they are home schooled. Now the kids are very smart and unless you knew they were home schooled you would never guess. But when they get around other kids there same age they tend to act a little shy and just want to sit off by themselves. I don't know if being home schooled has anything to do with it but i do suspect that's why.
Make sure that you as a parent / teacher can distinguish between those roles, parent, and teacher.
The important idea behind home schooling is that the child will stay focused on their work, and not think of school time as play time.

It is up to you to be the authority for school hours. Of course, you can still deviate from a traditional schedule, just remember that how many hours you put in is what you'll be getting back (and more) from your pupils.

Just remember, be the teacher for home schooling, not the parent (most of the time).

Best of luck to you ! Wink
poppat wrote:
Does anyone have any opinions on home schooling?

Yes I have an opinion about home schooling. Don't do it. I would only suggest home schooling in extreme situations. If your child is having trouble in certain subjects, then I would suggest home tutoring after school and on the weekends.

In school, children learn far more than you could ever teach them at home. I hope that I am not offending you, but you will not be able to give your child the same education. Are you educated in physics, chemistry, mathematics through calculus (which is about as high as you get in public schools before the university level), biology, history, English, a foreign language, etc.? Even if you were, your view will be limited. We are only human beings, thus we have limited views.

When I was in school, I had all types of teachers. I had teachers that had done different things before teaching (working in science labs, engineering, etc.). I also had many immigrant teachers (Korea, Netherlands, South Africa, etc.). I had teachers that were openly religious and teachers that were openly atheists.

The student population was also diverse. Students from all different walks of life went to my school. Interactions with many different people provided me an education that my parents could not have. I am still a little socially awkward, but school did provide me with increased social skills.

So not only is it very rare that someone would be able to teach every academic subject to their child (I'm highly impressed if you can), it's also virtually impossible to give your child the education that school provides outside of academics. I learned about life in school. Even things that sound like they would be negative or negligible interactions helped me. In school, I learned to observe the way people function. At my school, we had the pot-heads that would skip class to smoke marijuana in front of the school, the metal heads, gang-bangers (that were always causing some sort of riot or lockdown), nerds, athletes, etc. Getting these types of interactions is vital in the work world and is just not feasible without school.

School is also more about an education; it's about finding yourself and what you're good at. This is done highly at the university level but it begins much sooner than that. In high school, for example, I discovered that I had a love and skill for the game of chess. I hadn't played chess really until I was 16. My friend started a chess club and a teacher that I had at the time was the advisor/chess coach. My friend encouraged me to attend a meeting where I discovered that I loved the game but that I sucked. I lost to everyone. With a little practice, and a couple of weeks, I discovered that I actually didn't suck but that I just didn't really know how to play yet. A couple of weeks later I was beating everybody (including the chess coach) and I began traveling around with my chess coach to local tournaments where I met some levels of success.

I also discovered that I loved mathematics. I always liked the subject, but it was never my favorite subject (I always thought I'd be a scientist or historian) until high school. After having a couple of inspiring mathematics teachers, I began to see how much I love mathematics. To this day (now studying to be a mathematician), I still meet up with these teachers on occasion (and frequently over email) to do math problems.

What will your children discover when they're in home all day seeing only the viewpoint of yourself?

It goes even farther. Do you want your children to go to college? I'm sure you do because even now, you seem concerned with their education - that's probably why you're wanting to home school them. Getting adjusted to college in your first year is hard enough without having the disadvantage of not have going out to school and interacting with many students and teachers. High schools tend to do their best to train their students for college (they also provide counselors who help students apply to colleges and set up events such as college fairs).

Finally... Think about the relationship with your children during their teen years? Teenagers are already notorious for fighting with their parents. Do you honestly think that spending all day every day with them will help that situation? Let them get out and go to school! It will do them much better. Trust me.

Once again, if they're having trouble with certain subjects I'd suggest home tutoring, not home schooling.

I hope my advice helped.

- Daniel
Public schooling is fine if you want your kids to be molded into the perfect unquestioning, uncritical, and obedient worker for today's economy. But it seems like just as often, kids go the other way and refuse to learn anything at all and just cheat or fail.

I wouldn't wish either of those outcomes on my worst enemy, let alone a child I care about, so I believe homeschooling can be a great alternative. There are tons of ways kids can meet other kids in far, far better environments than school. Clubs, teams, scouts, whatever. You could also form a group with other homeschooling parents, where you get together to do lessons. Then the parents get support from each other and the kids get to learn with other kids.

And your kid is almost in high school! Dude, at that age, if he's shy, he'll stay shy. If he's outgoing, being away from other kids for a few hours is not going to make him any less outgoing. He has friends from jr high, right? So you can just provide transportation to their houses or wherever they hang out. (Go around the corner so they can't actually see you dropping him off, haha.) There, social life solved!
Libby wrote:
Public schooling is fine if you want your kids to be molded into the perfect unquestioning, uncritical, and obedient worker for today's economy. But it seems like just as often, kids go the other way and refuse to learn anything at all and just cheat or fail.

Where did you pull this one out of? Unquestioning? Schools should be encouraging their students to ask questions and take on greater roles in their education. Uncritical? Developing critical thinking skills is one of the main reasons one should attend school in the first place.

People cheat in life just as often as they do in school and homeschool probably makes it easier to cheat in many cases. People fail in home-school too.
Public schools can be good or bad. Depending where they are, as some public schools are totally out of control. Others are better managed, so there are public schools and public schools. I think where public schools are not well managed, best bet would be to find one that is better managed, and if unavailable then home schooling could be a good alternative. Also, when a child is highly gifted, or excels at a particular sport, or is very sensitive psychologically, and indications are that that child would be better served by home schooling, then home schooling may be a better choice. I think both can serve a good purpose. Up to the parents to work it out and to figure out which one would be the better option for their child.
Home Schooling...has many aspects. It might or might not help a person. Thomas Alva Edison is a live example of a great man taught for most of his childhood at home. So, many things can be achieved if one has the grit and determination to make through and follow his/her dreams. Twisted Evil
I like the idea of home schooling. It gives children more time of their own. Their time is not set to a schedule or curriculum by school. They can make decision on what they want to study and what they want to spend their time. Also they can choose their own study materials for their studies.

Playing and sharing with friends should play a major role in home schooling activities, so children can still feel supported.
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