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Old 07-28-2006, 12:15 PM   #1
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Question about homeschooling

My ds is only 8 months old, so it's not like I need to make this decision today, or this week, or this YEAR even, but I've got a few questions about homeschooling.

A little background. DH and I both went to public school. DH's mom is a teacher, even. We both think public schools do lack in a few areas, but are, for the most part, good schools. Especially the ones our kids would be attending - we live in a small town with schools of excelence in walking distance to our house. We've both always said that our kids would go to public school.

But the more I read and the more involved in things that I get, the more homeschool appeals to me, especially as a Christian. I want my kids to grow up to be well educated, but I also don't want them indoctrinated by teachers that don't believe the things we believe. Granted, DH and I both went to public school and came out with our faith unscathed, but things have changed a lot since we were kids as far as science ed and sex ed, etc.

I think the three biggest questions I have right now are:

1) Socializing. How do you homeschool AND have well socialized children? How do you keep them from being too sheltered? How do you get them ready for how the real world operates if they don't spend those school years in the types of social situations that public school fosters? Is it just a lot of playdates? Do homeschooled students attend *some* public school classes like art and music?

2) Trips. Field trips were a HUGE thing to me in school. I know I could just take my kids to lots of different places, and even set up tours, but there was a lot more to field trips than that. There was the freedom of being, at least nominally, "on your own" with your friends. Do schools allow homeschooled students to attend field trips with them? Do homeschoolers just get together and take all their kids on fieldtrips together?

3) Sports. Sports are a BIG deal to us, especially DH. He's already dreaming of Friday night football. I know there are city league sports, but if one of our kids ends up being REALLY good at sports, not attending public schools puts them at a huge disadvantage in regards to college recruiters, or even Junion Olympic teams. Do public schools allow homeschooled students to join their sports teams?

Ok, I think that's it for now. I'll probably think of more later, but those three are the ones I'm most curious about at the moment.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-28-2006, 12:28 PM   #2
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Re: Question about homeschooling

1. Socializing does not require a person to sit in a classroom for 6-7 hours a day being told to be quiet the whole time anyway. I don't know about you, but I do not want my kids to be "socialized" to be exactly the same as every other kid. My kids do have time to socialize with each other, with kids in the neighborhood when they play, at sports activities, at the park, at the zoo, at church, at family functions, etc. They do not spend every day with other kids, but they know full well how to socialize with them, and are also confident enough to speak to adults and children alike.

There is, of course, an added benefit that your kids' self esteem will not be ground in the dirt from constantly being teased and harrassed by other kids. There is a group of bullies in our neighborhood that are constantly picking on my kids, but they know better than to believe what they are told.

2. We take our kids all kinds of fun places, like the beach, the aquarium, the zoo, fun shops in Seattle, etc. We believe that forming family bonds is far more important than having time with friends. But, if this is a concern for you, there are always homeschooling groups that have co-ops and field trips so that you can put your kids in "school-like" situations if you so choose.

3. Most school districts allow homeschoolers to participate in their sports. We do ours through the Boys and Girls Club programs, or through the city's Parks and Rec programs. We have done tons of things this way - baseball, t-ball, soccer, gymnastics. My dd is also in regular gymnastics, and my ds was in Tae Kwon Do for a year. Some homeschooling groups also form PE classes and sports teams.

Homeschoolers really do not miss out on any of the benefits that public and private schooled kids do. There are so so many benefits to homeschooling, especially if you are a Christian. It is difficult to compete with the secular humanism that they are inundated with on a daily basis.
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Old 07-28-2006, 12:54 PM   #3
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Re: Question about homeschooling

Thank you so much for your answers! I'm totally not trying to put you on the defensive here, I'm just genuinely curious. I would want to feel totally confident in my decision, and feel confident that I could explain the choice to family and friends, if we do decide to homeschool. So in reference to this, I have another couple of questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiveblessings
1. Socializing does not require a person to sit in a classroom for 6-7 hours a day being told to be quiet the whole time anyway. I don't know about you, but I do not want my kids to be "socialized" to be exactly the same as every other kid. My kids do have time to socialize with each other, with kids in the neighborhood when they play, at sports activities, at the park, at the zoo, at church, at family functions, etc. They do not spend every day with other kids, but they know full well how to socialize with them, and are also confident enough to speak to adults and children alike.

There is, of course, an added benefit that your kids' self esteem will not be ground in the dirt from constantly being teased and harrassed by other kids. There is a group of bullies in our neighborhood that are constantly picking on my kids, but they know better than to believe what they are told.
I COMPLETELY agree that I don't want my kids to be molded copies of all the other kids. I also agree that you don't have to be in a classroom every day to learn how to communicate with others. I think as far as socializing, I was really thinking about something deeper than just conversing and knowing manners.

I wonder about conflict resolution. No one wants their kid to be bullied, but mean people are all over and they don't go away just because you grow up. I've worked with mean people - do you feel like kids might have a harder time dealing with ..."difficult" people as adults if they aren't exposed to that sort of thing in school? I know "sheltering" is not really a good term, but I can't think of a better one right now. I wouldn't want my kids to leave homeschool and go to college and suddenly find themselves in a situation where they aren't being constantly built up and flounder emotionally. Does that make sense? I guess I just worry because I knew some homeschooled people in college and they seemed to either be socially inept or go completely wild once they got there.

I think I would also wonder about the structure. Being in a classroom is a lot like working in an office - you have to show up on time, you have to have your work completed by a certain date. I know all those things still have a place in homeschooling too! I know the kids would be expected to be on time and have homework done, but consequences have to be different in school than at home, right? If you don't have your work at school there is the added pressure of your classmates knowing you didn't do your work, like there would be in a work environment where your coworkers would know if you aren't doing work on time.

I'm probably expressing myself very poorly. I just really want to convince myself that this is something I'd really like to considder, I just have a lot of doubts floating around in my mind. I really appreciate your input and REALLY am not trying to be offensive at all! I guess it's like someone who's never used cloth diapers and they go in thinking "yuck!" until they get someone who uses them to explain how they work.
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Old 07-28-2006, 12:59 PM   #4
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Re: Question about homeschooling

I should never have opened this post. I don't think public school teachers indoctrinate students. That kind of comment is so hurtful to me as a teacher. I would never dream of "indoctrinating" a student, and I think 99.9% of teachers would agree with me.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:07 PM   #5
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Re: Question about homeschooling

Carrie, I'm very very sorry if you were offended by what I posted. That certainly was not the intent of my my post. I KNOW that most teachers keep their personal beliefs out of the classroom - like I said, we have teachers in our family.

A lot of things that are taught in public school, though, feels like indoctrination to me - I believe in intelligent design, so to me teaching old earth evolution as fact, TO ME, is indoctrination. I feel that way about some of the sex ed stuff too, and about other topics. I'm sure most of what I'm talking about comes more out of what the teachers are told to teach, as opposed to what the teachers personally believe.

I'm TOTALLY not trying to bash teachers! Heck, I work for the community college system - I'm just trying to find the best way to balance our personal beliefs with an education system for my kids.

I should have chosen my words more carefully. I'm sorry.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:10 PM   #6
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Re: Question about homeschooling

indoctrinate - To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.
Every teacher and homeschooling parent indoctrinates, which is why you need to be careful who is doing the teaching.

To the OP: I'm not on the defensive at all! My post may have come across that way, probably because I am just asked the same questions over and over, and I just have a blunt way of answering. Sorry!

Anyway, my kids are not constantly built up. Like I said, they are around other people, including kids in the neighborhood and sports, etc. Kids are mean to them a lot, but what I'm saying is that they don't have to constantly be around a barrage of insults and teasing, kwim? But they do experience it, and they deal with it. So it's a non-issue.

As for the structure part of it. A lot of homeschoolers prefer no structure, and their kids grow, get jobs, and work just fine. Because their parents are there to make sure they get done what needs to be done, they are responsible. Of course, this is not always the case, as I have heard stories of kids who fell through the "homeschooling cracks." But I have personally never met an irresponsible homeschooler, who wasn't more than capable of working and getting things done.

Remember, the public school system has been around for a very very short time (if I'm not mistaken, only about 100-200 years, I forget). For thousands of years before that, parents taught their own children, who learned about real life doing real life activities, not sitting in a classroom.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:11 PM   #7
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Re: Question about homeschooling

I completely understand Vallere. I am way too sensitive about this issue, and I really do understand your point of view. Sorry I jumped on you, 'cause I consider you one of my friends around here!

ETA: I teach Latin, which is mostly indisputable grammar rules and such, not "doctrine" or "principals." I may be out of touch with the more controversial issues in teaching.
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Last edited by Carrie; 07-28-2006 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:16 PM   #8
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Re: Question about homeschooling

to Carrie

And thanks again to Fiveblessings!

If anyone else has different takes on how they handle those things, please post as well.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:22 PM   #9
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Re: Question about homeschooling

Just because we homeschool doesn't mean that we sit inside all alone all day We have lots of opportunities to socialize. There are plenty of kids in our neighborhood to play with, and we get a good lesson in people being mean to us this way too, as they aren't all so nice We do rec sports, we go to the library, we attend stuff going on around town. We take dance lessons, swim lessons, commuinity concerts and various mini-workshops on science and art.

Field trips--not meant offensively, but I prefer to keep my kids from craving "time on their own with their friends". I think that family bonding time is SUPER important, and although I don't now or ever intend to keep them attached to me by a string, I don't see hte need to pmorote independance that excludes family. I don't like the fact that poeple our age are so detached from our own parents, so that's not the type of independance I strive to teach my children.

Sports..see above about socialization Also, you can talk to your school district about being an independant participant for school sports.

I'll post more later, dh is home for a bit in between jobs
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