Homeschooling

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Homeschooling

#1  Postby sanja » Mar 02, 2010 10:13 pm

I recently (yesterday) heard of homeschooling.
I went to FB group to check what it is about (I do not understand the concept) but no one answered to my question.

i thought that homeschooling means that private teachers come to your home and teach your child, but, when I read what members wrote, it seem to me that, in fact, parents are teaching their children alone.

i would like to know some more about it ( I am a teacher myself, and I am very interested in all matters of education)
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Re: Homeschooling

#2  Postby cathyincali » Mar 02, 2010 10:27 pm

Homeschooling generally refers to parents "teaching" their own children or at least taking responsibility for their own children's education. What I mean by the latter is that homeschooling parents often encourage their kids to sign up for educational courses at local museums, after-school programs, community colleges, and so forth, but since the kids-plus-parents are CHOOSING to participate in those courses, and perhaps learning other things at home on their own, it is still well within the homeschool movement. Some homeschooling families do indeed have teachers come into their home, part-time, to fulfill specific needs--but that is more unusual (probably because it is more costly).

Some families UNschool, which means not particularly doing things the way schools do them. In other words, instead of every child in the family sitting down at the kitchen table with a stack of textbooks from 9 to 2, say, and working their way through age-appropriate curricula, these families do things rather more like interesting, active families operate during school holidays. For my family, that meant doing a lot of travel, museum trips, participating in a very active homeschool group (we did group stuff like putting on plays and designing a Martian colony), as well as the kids following their own interests at home--one spent a lot of time learning programming, another one danced and drummed and read and wrote and drew and painted, and one loved her rock collection and her flashcards. We read together almost every day and often discussed what we read. It's a very nice lifestyle, and the kids "turned out" pretty great.
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#3  Postby Sityl » Mar 02, 2010 10:33 pm

I was homeschooled for two years. My parensts got text books from the 1960's, back before they "started getting bad", though I don't know why we needed a math book from the 1960s. In my english book, it said that boys bow and girls curtsey, which I'm pretty sure has nothing really to do with the English language.

That being said, I did learn a LOT in 6th and 7th grade (while homeschooled). When I went back to regular school in 8th grade, I was quite a ways ahead of my peers in math and vocabulary. The one on one attention makes a big difference. I can't imagine how much I could have learned with a one on one with a real teacher for those two years.

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Re:

#4  Postby amyonyango » Mar 05, 2010 10:54 pm

num1cubfn wrote:I was homeschooled for two years. My parensts got text books from the 1960's, back before they "started getting bad", though I don't know why we needed a math book from the 1960s. In my english book, it said that boys bow and girls curtsey, which I'm pretty sure has nothing really to do with the English language.

That being said, I did learn a LOT in 6th and 7th grade (while homeschooled). When I went back to regular school in 8th grade, I was quite a ways ahead of my peers in math and vocabulary. The one on one attention makes a big difference. I can't imagine how much I could have learned with a one on one with a real teacher for those two years.

Protrip: Don't let the first sentence you say to someone when starting in a new school be, "Pleased to make your acquiantance."

I've never been home schooled, and my impression and personal opinion is that educationally, children progress more quickly with the one on one attention - as you've said. But, the downside is the lack of interaction with hundreds of other children from a variety of backgrounds. For me, in retrospect, going to school was as much about becoming street-wise and socially adept as gaining an education. I think a perfect education would combine the best aspects of one on one teaching with a variety of social experiences. Is there anything like this?

I think it's important for parents to take an active role supporting the education given by the school. Not enough parents, IMO, simply sit down and read to/with their kids. I have come accross the attitude that school is the place for kids to learn and it should be kept separate from the home. This is awful, and the kids from the homes where the parents have this attitude are, from what I've seen myself, achieving way below average at school and two kids from the same family who think this way have been kept back a year. They are otherwise great kids, no behavioural probs, they are polite and well mannered. Just lacking parents to show them their potential.
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Re: Homeschooling

#5  Postby cathyincali » Mar 06, 2010 12:23 am

I think a perfect education would combine the best aspects of one on one teaching with a variety of social experiences. Is there anything like this?


Yes, there is. It's called homeschooling.
:)

What I mean by that is that a LOT of homeschooling kids spend a couple hours a day learning academics but most of the day in a variety of social situations-- volunteering, working, taking courses, doing dance or music lessons, playing sports, etc. Obviously, there must be a few homeschoolers who just hang within their family, and a fair number that just hang with a small group of like-minded people, but the homeschoolers I know have at least as varied an everyday acquaintance as school kids.
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Re: Homeschooling

#6  Postby Sityl » Mar 06, 2010 12:31 am

cathyincali wrote:
I think a perfect education would combine the best aspects of one on one teaching with a variety of social experiences. Is there anything like this?


Yes, there is. It's called homeschooling.
:)

What I mean by that is that a LOT of homeschooling kids spend a couple hours a day learning academics but most of the day in a variety of social situations-- volunteering, working, taking courses, doing dance or music lessons, playing sports, etc. Obviously, there must be a few homeschoolers who just hang within their family, and a fair number that just hang with a small group of like-minded people, but the homeschoolers I know have at least as varied an everyday acquaintance as school kids.


Yeah we had neighbors who were homeschooled as well, as well as a group of other families that did it. I would play outside with the neightbors for gym, and the group would go on field trips to museums as well as get together for other stuff.

All in all, it would have been really great because of the one on one if it were administered by an actual teacher. It would have been the best of both worlds.
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Re: Homeschooling

#7  Postby GT2211 » Mar 06, 2010 5:28 am

cathyincali wrote: the homeschoolers I know have at least as varied an everyday acquaintance as school kids.
My younger siblings both went to a really small private school for part of elementary. When they first made the switch they had a really hard time adjusting. I am sure it was harder because they lived in a tiny farm town where there isn't a lot of social activities to really meet people. And there first school was about 15 mins. away so it made it harder for them to be around their friends outside of school.

I also have some distant family who lived in a large town(60k) who home schooled their kid. While nice he always seemed very socially awkward. I am not saying it can't be done(living in Indiana doesn't help either), but just from personal experience it did not work out.
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Re: Homeschooling

#8  Postby Crocodile Gandhi » Mar 06, 2010 5:30 am

Homeschooling is a good method for fundamentalist parents to keep their children completely in the dark with regard to reality.
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Re: Homeschooling

#9  Postby midnightfire » Mar 07, 2010 4:37 am

Crocodile Gandhi wrote:Homeschooling is a good method for fundamentalist parents to keep their children completely in the dark with regard to reality.

That's my experience in the States, as well. The most religious families are always the ones homeschooling their kids or sending them to private religious schools with biased curriculum.
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Re: Homeschooling

#10  Postby theye1 » Mar 07, 2010 5:06 am

Crocodile Gandhi wrote:Homeschooling is a good method for fundamentalist parents to keep their children completely in the dark with regard to reality.


Even worse, I met a group of White Supremacists who Homeschool their kids. Coincidentally, they were up in Arms because one of their Children got bashed after he called a black child a N*****.
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Re: Homeschooling

#11  Postby GreatApe » Mar 09, 2010 7:30 am

Homeschooling is a good method for fundamentalist parents to keep their children completely in the dark with regard to reality.

I couldn't have said it better myself!
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Re: Homeschooling

#12  Postby ChrisTaylor » Mar 09, 2010 8:17 pm

A few textbooks and the best intentions don't make you a teacher.
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Re: Homeschooling

#13  Postby cathyincali » Mar 12, 2010 5:57 am

Chris Taylor said: A few textbooks and the best intentions don't make you a teacher.


For most of the time that humanity existed, parents and probably most other adults served as teachers for the young. I don't know whether the people here and on other freethinking blogs (like WhyEvolutionIsTrue) who have stated the above idea have actually taken teacher training at a college or university...but I have. Certainly I learned some things in those classes -- but much of what I learned was classroom management, how to work with 30 kids at once, that sort of thing. And almost everything else I learned about being a teacher (before, during and after taking those classes) I learned from reading books that are widely accessible to anyone.

Plus, of course, the amazing teacher that we call "experience." When one tries to help kids learn things, one learns pretty quickly what does and doesn't work...for a particular group or a particular kid, for a specific subject or situation or age.

I used just a handful of textbooks the entire time I homeschooled my kids. I used to be a managing editor at a company that produced textbooks, and they are written by committee and to weirdly convoluted specs. It's usually better to get a variety of NON-textbooks on a subject, rather than using a textbook; each book will have a true "voice" -- often of just a single author -- and most will be far more interesting than any textbook. Of course, it's nice to find the few exceptions, the really great textbooks!
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Re: Homeschooling

#14  Postby Ciarin » Mar 14, 2010 4:38 am

I heard textbooks are written for Texas, and Texas wants textbooks to be patriotic and stupid.
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Re: Homeschooling

#15  Postby Teshi » Mar 14, 2010 2:44 pm

The best way of teaching a child is to get them in small groups of three or less. Homeschooling, although it is associated with many bad things like fundamentalism, racism and such, is a way of providing more individual attention to a student. It has saved some kids from falling into the depths of hating learning forever.

However, I am still a proponent of public schooling. Ideally, public schools would have a morning in which the students got the experience of being in a larger classroom among different types of people, and then an afternoon where they would get three-on-one attention to go out of the school, read, explore the world around them with an adult guide.

John Holt, who wrote a lot about public schooling in the fifties and sixties, eventually gave up on the public school system. He's right: there's no way a teacher in a class of 20-30+ students can make a signficant change in the lives of all the students. A teacher can move everybody along, but inevitably there's more that can be done. Some children need to be out of school.
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Re: Homeschooling

#16  Postby nosuperstitionhere » Mar 14, 2010 2:50 pm

Lots of groups do home schooling and private schools. There are secular homeschoolers and nonreligious private schools (which, incidentially, I think there should be more of; certainly there is a demand. Perhaps that's an entrepreneurial opportunity). Of course, a number of fundamentalists and other unsavory types also do it. However, that doesn't discredit the practice; just because some are bad, doesn't mean all are.
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Re: Homeschooling

#17  Postby The_Metatron » Mar 14, 2010 3:19 pm

We were planning to homeschool our boys. My wife did a great deal of research to prepare to do it properly. The main difficulty we found was plowing through the religious bullshit curricula to get to some proper, useful curricula. Now that we've decided to put them into the local Belgian schools, that has all been superseded.
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Re: Homeschooling

#18  Postby DavidNewman » Mar 14, 2010 8:28 pm

I'm looking into going into primary education (9-11 year olds, specifically) and I sometimes consider homeschooling my future child. I am far from the time I will have to make the decision, but I really can't see any necessity of public schools. Friends can be found outside of school, if s/he does sports, drama, or anything like that...

I am very keen to give my child the best advantage possible, and if my son is as smart as my dad and I were/are when we were growing up, I could see him easily surpassing the reccomended curriculum.

It takes alot of time though. I would have a job during the day so I would likely have to leave him to do work on his own. Though that could be a good thing. Teaching him independant learning from a young age. Then in the evenings he could get any additional support he needs, questions and the like...

But as I said, it's at least 4 years away before I am gonna be having any kids ;)
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Re: Homeschooling

#19  Postby Bolero » Mar 14, 2010 11:40 pm

nosuperstitionhere wrote:Of course, a number of fundamentalists and other unsavory types also do it. However, that doesn't discredit the practice; just because some are bad, doesn't mean all are.


True enough, but I know quite a large number of fundamentalist families who homeschool for reasons pointed out below:

midnightfire wrote:
Crocodile Gandhi wrote:Homeschooling is a good method for fundamentalist parents to keep their children completely in the dark with regard to reality.

That's my experience in the States, as well. The most religious families are always the ones homeschooling their kids or sending them to private religious schools with biased curriculum.


Personally, I'd rather see more government funding going into public schools, and greater community support for said schools in the form of collaboration with parents and citizens. The practice of homeschooling may have advantages, but it does require at least one parent to be at home actually doing it. Financial considerations aside, not all parents are cut out to be full-time educators (although I agree with the poster who said that parents need to be more active in their children's education).
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Re: Homeschooling

#20  Postby nosuperstitionhere » Mar 15, 2010 3:58 am

Bolero wrote:
nosuperstitionhere wrote:Of course, a number of fundamentalists and other unsavory types also do it. However, that doesn't discredit the practice; just because some are bad, doesn't mean all are.


True enough, but I know quite a large number of fundamentalist families who homeschool for reasons pointed out below:

midnightfire wrote:
Crocodile Gandhi wrote:Homeschooling is a good method for fundamentalist parents to keep their children completely in the dark with regard to reality.

That's my experience in the States, as well. The most religious families are always the ones homeschooling their kids or sending them to private religious schools with biased curriculum.


Personally, I'd rather see more government funding going into public schools, and greater community support for said schools in the form of collaboration with parents and citizens. The practice of homeschooling may have advantages, but it does require at least one parent to be at home actually doing it. Financial considerations aside, not all parents are cut out to be full-time educators (although I agree with the poster who said that parents need to be more active in their children's education).

Fair enough, we are in agreement that parents need to be more involved. However, if there were more secular private schools and homeschooling curriculum, would you feel more comfortable with both? I think there is actually a very high demand for secular private schools; many people who send their kids to parochial schools may not be religious themselves, but the religious schools may be the only private school game in town. Surely, if one were to supply private schools that were not religious, surely many parents would enrol their children in a heartbeat.
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