Saturday, July 26, 2008

My response - THE HOMESCHOOL DEBATE and HOMESCHOOLERS, HELP ME

THE HOMESCHOOL DEBATE and HOMESCHOOLERS, HELP ME over at I'm Just Sayin'.

They would not have seen these things, if I home schooled them, because they would only be seeing people just like them. They would only be exposed to people with the same family life, the same values, the same religious beliefs.

Nothing of course is further from the truth. Homeschoolers are a diverse bunch. Family Life - There are single parents, homosexuals, and traditional families in the homeschooling community and believe me we do not all share the same values. Religious Beliefs -There are Pagans, Wiccans, Atheist, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and many, many others of different religious backgrounds who homeschool. By belonging to an Inclusive Homeschool Group we are able to interact with people from many different backgrounds and beliefs.

Since she asked nicely and she isn't attacking homeschoolers at all, I thought I would answer her questions.

1. What was your motivation for homeschooling? Was it based on religious reasons? Was is it based on curriculum - did you want more freedom in choosing what your children were being taught? Was it based on socializing - wanting to have more control in the people with whom your children came into contact with? Was it based on logistics - the nearest school being 20 miles away? What made you finally decide to go this route?

Mandatory Public School Uniforms with no opt out for parents that were opposed to them. I also realized I could give my children a far better education then my eldest son was getting from his 5th grade, second semester teacher who couldn't control her class, didn't know how to do Algebra and wanted to teach kindergarten but got stuck with a 5th grade class because there were no spots in kindergarten open. While the majority of my children's public school teachers were excellent or at least satisfactory, I didn't want to waste anymore of my children's time with unsatisfactory teachers.

2. Don't hate me for asking this. How to you handle socialization? What steps do you take to make sure your children are around other children and adults? Are you active in a home school group? Do you spend a lot of time at church activities? Maybe you utilize the local Y for activities and they meet friends there?

At various times we have done various things, Cub & Boy Scouts, Recreational Soccer, field trips with our homeschool group, and of course there is always the Internet and phone to help them keep in touch. Now that they are older both my boys work and often get together with their co-workers after work to socialize.

3. Do you use the public school system for any part of your child's routine? Some children here come to the school for band or chorus, or maybe for science class. Do you send your child to the public school to take advantage of any of their programs?

Not really, my youngest son does belong to a robotics team that is located at a public school but the school isn't even in the same county we live in much less the school district and the robotics team is open to all public school, private school and homeschooled students.

4. Do your children begin and end school at the same time each day? Do they have a strict schedule, at least as far as waking up and reporting to the school area of your home? If not, when/how will you transition your children into following a more rigid schedule - awaking at the same time each day so that they can follow a routine outside of the home like for college and work?

Well my eldest son does since he is in college now, but NO one of the things I LOVE about homeschooling is it's flexibility. They always knew that there were certain times that we had to be somewhere at a certain time, thus they didn't have any problems when they started working or college. I think that's one of the big myths that anti-homeschoolers use, that our kids will not be able to function in a work/ college environment and that's so not true.

I am skipping 5, so moving on to ...........

6. Do you have a sense of humor? It's probably a little late for me to ask that but...

Yes

7. Where do you find your curriculum? Do you shop for it and order it? Do you create your own?

I use the Internet to find and order curriculum. If I can't find something I think is challenging enough I create my own. I created my own American Literature program for my youngest son to use in 11th grade. My eldest son started college at 16 so we skipped American Literature.

8. Do you have any worries at all about teaching your teenagers the higher level math and sciences? I, for one, could not teach chemistry to my children but I could probably teach them calculus. Is this a concern for you?

No, if there is a subject I can't handle like higher Math, Dad teaches it. We kinda divided the subjects between us. Other families use co-ops and tutors.

9. What bothers you the most about the reputation homeschoolers have? What things do you hate to hear people say about you for your choice? I really hope you don't say that it's my previous post.

Your previous post was OK, I felt you were very respectful of a parents right to make the best educational choice for their child. Some of these past post here and on my main blog will shed light on the things homeschool critics say that really irritate me.

10. Be honest, do you, at least in your mind sometimes, judge those of us who choose public school? Do you ever think we are making a bad choice for our children? Are you vocal about that disapproval?

I think each individual child's educational needs are different. Homeschooling happened to work for both my children. I know some homeschool families that have one or more children in public school while they homeschool the others.

11. Is "home school" one word or two?

Beats me. I think it's a personal preference.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for pointing this out, Alasandra -- I answered her questions and I linked to you in my blog.

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  2. You are welcome and thanks for the link.

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  3. Thank you for answering my questions.

    Mandatory public school uniforms? Yuck. I would have made a stink abou that one. I don't blame you for removing your kids for the reasons you've stated.

    I just have to ask if you skipped #5 because it offened you. Did it?

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  4. Number 5 didn't offend me I just couldn't think of a clever response. My eldest son who is an awesome speller didn't want to participate in spelling bees because according to him he has to see the word written down to know if he spelled it correctly. My youngest son prefers spelling words out loud but didn't want to participate in spelling bees although he was very good at them when he was in public school, and made to participate in them.

    There was a law suit over the mandatory public school uniforms. The judge was senile and kept getting confused, the schools lawyer kept referring to the mandatory public school uniform policy as a "dress code" policy and the judge kept wanting to know why we were opposed to dress codes, and our lawyer was going through a messy divorce and kept failing to file briefs on time so it got thrown out.

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  5. We left a school over mandatory school uniforms.

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  6. Question #1 -- for us it was a nonsensical mandatory nap time in kindergarten. Favorite Daughter had not napped since she was two, and she could read already, loved stories and so we both wanted her to sit with the first graders in her blended class for storytime, while the Ks napped on the other side of the room.
    Gasp! NO!
    This shocked refusal was at K orientation, the Friday before school started. So we just did not show up Monday morning -- or ever.

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