Isn’t Homeschooling for Crazy People?

by Deanna Caswell on 12/15/2009

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I’ve been asked over and over.  Don’t you homeschool?  You’re so EARTHY and all!

No! Do I look like a crazy person?

As I’ve aged, I’ve learned one thing for sure. Anything that I say I will NEVER do…I end up doing five minutes later. And this is just one more on the list.

I am homeschooling my preschooler and in the fall, I’ll be homeschooling the rest.  Why?  About a million reasons that wouldn’t have convinced me three weeks ago.  So I won’t go into that.  But, I’ll tell you what pushed me over the edge.  Three of my friends were all talking about doing it the same day.

See, it’s one thing when unknown ‘crazy’ people are doing something.  It’s another when three of your friends start talking about it.  One moved districts and her middle schooler hates the new school.  Another has a special needs case.  Another wants an orthodox Catholic education and private school is too much money.  Since THESE people considered it–I was poisoned.  I’m not responsible.

But, I’m totally doing it.  And looking forward to it.

YIKES!

Ivory



{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

Ivory Soap December 17, 2009 at 5:41 am

Lindsay–I’m sure that I’ll be spilling the beans on a regular basis!

Ivory Soap December 17, 2009 at 5:44 am

Amy–HA! You crack me up. I think I’m the last one that got in on the secret that I was cut out for homeschooling. HEY, do you know any curriculum for practical stuff, like cooking, sewing, gardening. I know how to do it, so I don’t need the curriculum itself, but I totally need a schedul-um.

Ivory Soap December 17, 2009 at 5:44 am

Unity–We’re twins. I already own them!

Anita December 17, 2009 at 6:51 am

I’m curious, since you and your friends all decided to homeschool, will you be co-op teaching? Taking turns teaching all the kids together?

Ivory Soap December 17, 2009 at 7:07 am

Anita, I’m not sure. We all talked about homeschooling, but we aren’t all starting the same year with the same kids. I’m first with the preschooler. Two of the other moms have decided not to for now. And the other will be starting next year. I’m sure that we’ll trade off our strengths. I’ll help with Algebra, she can help with grammar, etc.

Foxmom December 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm

My sis-in-law has homeschooled all of her 4 kids up until they get to high school. She does a great job and really loves it. I wish you the best of luck!! I’ll do it when my twins are old enough if I can. :D

heidi December 17, 2009 at 7:40 pm

I just recently found your blog and I am totally loving it. I swear so many of your posts came straight out of my head. LOL I have said for years that wouldn’t homeschool because I don’t have the patience for it. Guess who is going to be homeschooling her kids in the fall? Yup, that would be me. Thanks for making me feel less crazy.

Megan December 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm

I only have a 19 month old and one on the way, but I’ve known for years that I wanted to homeschool, and just hoped and prayed with all my heart that the man I would hopefully find someday would be supportive. Yippee for my supportive DH! I find myself wishing that my toddler would hurry up and grow so I can get started, but not really. Of all the 5 million and 1 reasons why I want to homeschool, the number one reason is: because they are MY children, that I have been waiting for and dreaming of for at least a decade, and I want them WITH me. School takes them away from me nearly as much as a full-time job, and that’s not even counting the time spent on (stupid, pointless) homework. To me it’s a bit like the old English types who had children only to hand them over immediately to nannies to be raised. Why even have them? If I’m going to have my children, I want to HAVE them. I’m their mother, for goodness sake, no one is going to love them and look after them like I will. Good luck, and I look forward to reading your adventures, as I’ll be right behind you (in a couple of years). Also, if you haven’t heard or read her stuff, you might look into Charlotte Mason. I love her ideas. And there is a pretty great free curriculum online called Ambleside, if you’re really worried about not knowing exactly what to do.

Elaine December 22, 2009 at 11:51 am

I’m sorry to see that you are part of the “let’s kill the public school system” group. If you people who spend so much of your time home schooling your children would devote that time to helping the public schools your time might be better spent. Between the home schoolers and the voucher schools we will soon have cherry-picked all the prime students from the system. What a shame.

Euphrosyne December 23, 2009 at 11:16 am

I’m sorry to see that you are part of the “let’s kill the public school system” group.

Come now, the author has indicated no such intention. My impression from the last commenter’s remark is that she views the public school system as an end in itself, instead of as a means to an end. Many people think in this way. But haven’t they got it exactly backward? For most parents, the welfare of the public school system is not an end in itself; rather, it is their children’s successful education and future, and the future of the country that is the end – the goal – the mission; whereas the public education system itself exists simply as a means to achieve these ends. If, under its present way of doing things, many parents feel the public school system is failing to accomplish its mission where their children are concerned, then it is the duty of parents to arrange to secure their education – and the country’s future – by some more effective means – often by home schooling.

It is likely, in fact, that many of our successfully home-schooled citizens of tomorrow will be among those who will effectively turn our failing public school system around – not as the students of today, but as the teachers, administrators, holders of public office of tomorrow. It may turn out fifteen or twenty years hence that the home schooling families of today will represent our public education system’s best hope for the future.

vikki December 31, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Good for you! I pulled my kids out of public school (DS first, DD a couple of years later), and haven’t regretted it one bit. My daughter wasn’t thrilled at first, but once she got used to the idea, she couldn’t imagine going back.

MotherOfBlessings January 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Good for you! I have been homeschooling for 11 years and it has blessed our family in many ways. You need to do two things ASAP. First, check out http://www.hslda.org. I recommend that you join. Second, go to http://www.cheaofca.org and find a local support group. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

As for “killing the public school system”…rubbish. The public system was designed simply to provide good workers and now it is being used to indoctrinate students with the current popular socialist-humanistic agenda. A mother investing her time into educating her own children is the best way to spend that time. My oldest is 13 and the time has flown by so quickly. I can’t imagine having missed so much of that 13 years by putting her in a government school.

Theresa March 5, 2010 at 7:09 am

Ivory, I have seen some wierd homeschooling parents!
I homeschool my son of 7 yrs and I do love it! Being ecletic is the key huh?

irishcowgirl April 27, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I’ve been homeschooled all my life (currently in high school) and I’ve loved every bit of it. People ask silly questions like “Don’t you miss your friends??” And I laugh. And laaaugh and laugh and laugh. Homeschooling is so misunderstood sometimes. Between music lessons, sports, volunteer work, church, and other extracurricular activities, I hardly have time for school! Now, don’t get the wrong impression, I’m right where I need to be academically and beyond, (as proved by many standardized tests) but I have my fun as well. :) Besides, if you aren’t in a regular school, you can call you homeschooling friends and get together at any time of the day, and finish school later. :P I believe that homeschooling is what influenced me to pursue my interests in agriculture and homemaking. I certainly plan on homeschooling my future children.
P.S. Just in case you’re wondering, though I use proper grammar (generally…), have a large vocabulary, and can correctly spell weird words like “volunteer” without spell check, I am a very normal teen. Seriously. Like, really. Now, I know that those “weird homeschoolers” exist, but I’m not one of them. :)

P.S.S. For those moms out there who view homeschooling as too difficult, there is a growing number of “umbrella” schools that are a cross between homeschooling and a private school. They are considered to be private schools by the government, but they rely on parents to teach the students, while the school acts as guidelines. The students only meet once or twice a week, are taught by teachers, have that ever so important “socialization”, and come home with a week’s worth of homework to complete before the next meeting. The cost is far less than a private school, and you still get to spend time with your children.

Madeline May 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Elaine– How RUDE!
Why would you ever say that! 100 years ago public schools were scarce, mothers(who actually loved their children and took care of them) taught them everything. THINK BEFORE YOU INSULT!

suzie May 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I am a home school mom of 12 years. My two oldest will be graduating this year. I was shocked to see the post on here about home-schoolers tearing down the public school. I have never attacked the public school. I simply home school my 5 children because as a parent I know my children better than anyone, I can tell when my son is struggling, and when my daughter is just bored. Honestly homeschooling has been around much longer than public schools and I am sure that homeschooling is no real threat to the public school system. Thank God we live in a country where it is still our right to choose how we raise our children.

Susan May 7, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Thank you MotherofBlessings… I couldn’t have said it better myself! ;)

Tracy O June 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Ivory,

Congrats on deciding to home school. I homeschooled my daughter, (also a friend’s son) and wouldn’t have traded it for all the tea in china. I also substituted at the local elementary schools, so I know how it goes. As far as curriculum is concerned, find something that gives you flexibility, there’s a unit study that uses the “Little House on the Prairie” series that I heard was really good. My daughter seemed to like the the unit study methods best. She started college at 14 (she was one month shy of 15) at our local community college and then went on to a 4-year college, graduating with honors. You will be able to impart to your children your morals (those things we know we should/shouldn’t do) and your ethics (those things that are actually done or not done).
Don’t get overwhelmed and know you and your children will have good days and bad days. On the bad days, take the opportunity to go do something outside, have a picnic, or something that will let all of you decompress. Tomorrow will be there to finish the project or lesson. Enjoy your children while you have them home, because as I found out, they do grow up FAST!

Love your website, will be visiting often.

Tracy

LLCB July 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

thank you thank you I have been back and forth on homeschooling my kids (5 & 8) and in reading all of the comments I have found two links I have not come across in my research for curriculum. I love the support this feed is showing.

momof5 August 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I have been a home school mom for over 20 years! Best “career” in the world.

Praise any mother that will home educate her children! As mothers, we are the “natural teacher”. You will never regret your decision. I pray that you discover early on that home schooling is not all about the “seat work”, (that’s not home school, that’s just school at home!). They will tackle that in less than 1/4 of the time it takes in a traditional setting. The true learning comes when you discover that your kitchen, yard & garden are “science labs”, your trip to the grocery store can be a hands on math experience that is better than any math book, and trips, vacations, etc. becomes a learning/teaching opportunity! Every thing becomes school and they never even know how much they are learning. FUN!

I have five children, ages 13 – 25, and have home schooled all of them from the get-go. My oldest son (25) is now working on his third college degree! My oldest daughter (23) parlayed her home school diploma into a management position with Direct TV, while attending college part-time, and my 21 year old daughter has her CNA Licence and is in her 2nd year of Nursing school (RN).

Never let some one who HAS NOT had this experience discourage you. With your creativity your children will be really blessed! Go do it, Mom!

Kris B. September 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Uh….mom of five…someone is one word. I learned that in public school.\

Deb September 12, 2011 at 11:42 am

I was home-schooled since 7th grade. My mom made the decision because of cliques and bullying issues in the school we were attending. We were all for it. We had plenty of friends and we actually liked school. My mom took college courses in math so she would be able to teach us. Our world definitely was our classroom, and I am very glad we were home-schooled. My daughter is 9 months old now, and I plan to do the same with her. She will know how to write in cursive correctly, she will know how to read a ruler, and measure ingredients. She will have real paper books, and not all electronic gadgets. Of course she will learn how to use a computer, cell phone, the Internet, etc. But she will also learn that life went on very well before they were invented, and can go on without them. A lot of people have lost touch with reality.

Tasha October 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Actually, Kris B., you are wrong and momof5 is right.

http://www.mhhe.com/mayfieldpub/tsw/someone.htm

Someone refers to an unspecified member of a group of people. Some one refers to an unspecified member of a group of items or people that is being selected for individual attention.

The people being selected for individual attention in this case are specifically those who have NOT had the experience. You should always make sure you are certain before correcting someone else.

What A Hoot October 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Touche, Tasha. Wonder if Kris B ever stops in to see if any follow ups to the correction. Thanks — I learned something new tonight and am delighted.

Kris B. November 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm

What a Hoot, gee, your name suits you perfectly. And Taysha, here is some light reading for you as well. I attached a quote from the Merriam-Webster dictionary below, hope it won’t prove too challenging.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/someone?show=0&t=1322343082

Definition of SOMEONE
some person : somebody
—————————————————————
See someone defined for kids »
Examples of SOMEONE
Someone left you a message.
Is that someone you know?
We need someone who can work nights and weekends.
Someone took the last piece of cake.
I’ll do it because someone has to.
She offered the job to someone else.

The examples are particularly enlightening. By the way, how do you spell suckit? Is it all one word? I don’t want to confuse you.

You’re right about one thing, Taysha. Always make sure you are certain before correcting someone else. Oh, wait a minute… you said someone is a person “who has not had the experience”….have you ever had this experience? I don’t want to be incorrect.

I won’t be checking back again, so don’t bother replying to this.
Just keep to your studies.

Jennifer December 4, 2011 at 12:38 am

I am a homeschooling mom of a six-year-old. It is our lifestyle and we love it. We allow our daughter to learn naturally. One important ideal or philosophy to which we hold is that you don’t have to “do school” at home. You can use curriculum as a tool to meet a goal, but you need not be held down by a rigid schedule unless your family loves it and it is freeing to you, of course. :) In general the public schools are failing so why would we want to mimic what they do in our homes? Our homes are not institutions.

Anyway, for the time being we don’t live by a schedule or checklist of school work duties. She is well beyond what school would provide for her and that without the stress and terrible, ungodly environment of the government-run “education” system. Be encouraged! :)

Spring Creek Academy December 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm

You are so lucky to have some intelligent free-thinking friends to inspire you. I too have one wonderful friend that I am so grateful for. I am sure that the idea of homeschooling wouldn’t have occurred to me on my own, lol.
Homeschooling is quite common amongst our traveling military families so she had been mulling it over for awhile before she met me. That one simple idea was truly life-changing. I highly recommend AmblesideOnline. My reluctant reader’s vocabulary is improving after only 4 months, so it’s already a success for us.
For enrichment: Old Fashioned Education, Mater Amablis, and the Robinson curriculum resources from Rosegate Harbour.

Sarah Rachelle December 10, 2011 at 8:50 am

I was homeschooled myself from 8th grade until I graduated. I never thought I’d homeschool my own kids, though. But that’s what I’m doing! I’m homeschooling my preschooler right now and every time I say, “No, I can’t do this. I have ADD for crying out loud! I should just stick him in public school kindergarten” I feel myself get excited about what I could teach him, field trips we could go on, cool projects we could work on together… We’re just having too much fun!

D. Miller December 18, 2011 at 6:01 am

I am a high school teacher in a fairly expensive private school, and I have occasionally taught students who come into the high school from the homeschooling experience. As you can imagine, they are usually very bright, articulate, and interested in a wide variety of subjects. Generally, their biggest problems are with time management. They sometimes have difficulty fitting into a schedule; they sometimes have trouble remembering to do their homework; they sometimes are totally shocked that they have to appear at a certain place at a certain time. If I were homeschooling my children, I would make certain to 1) put them on a schedule and 2) give them homework. Even if you plan to home school through high school, they will have homework in college. They need to learn early how to deal with this challenge. One point of homework is to make them into responsible people who can organize their time and complete what may seem to be needless work in an efficient manner. Not every task has to be informative or entertaining to be useful in the development of responsibility. Sometimes it is ok for homework to exist for its own sake because it forms the habit of successful completion of academic work in a timely fashion. Good luck with your homeschooling. I envy you the precious time you will have with your young children. Mine grew up far too fast.

Lee Ann Bailey February 14, 2012 at 10:00 am

I just stumbled onto this website and subscribed right away. Then I clicked on this section, and I’ve decided to unsubscribe immediately. There’s waaayy to many people with issues who only want confirmation of their own beliefs and not enough willingness to believe others know best for their own situation. (MotherofBlessings, I’m looking at you.)

LAM March 13, 2012 at 10:57 am

I have home schooled both my children through high school. My daughter graduated and and is an Interior Decorator. She is married with two children. My son is getting ready to graduate from high school (home school) and has already been accepted to the college of his choice. I never regretted home schooling my children. We have lots of fun times together. I would do it all over again if I could!

Ange April 10, 2012 at 5:16 am

Schooling your kids at home can be a wonderful adventure for your family. I wish you the best. I’ve heard the argument that I’m “destroying” the public school system many times before, but as a mother, my primary responsibility is to my own children first. It’s good that some of us seek to improve society by challenging commonly held cultural beliefs and seeking a different path. Others who are good parents can improve society by putting their kids in public school and supporting that system. It all helps.

Krista April 11, 2012 at 6:53 am

I was home schooled up until 7th grade when my parents divorced & my mother had to go back into the work place. I have never thought of homeschooling as an option because of how much I struggled when I had to go to (public) school. I had ZERO social or organizational skills.It was impossible to make friends. I NEVER did homework. I passed my classes only by making above average test scores. I ended up dropping out of school in 10th grade to get my GED. You could chalk it up to the divorce of my parents, unstable home life, or just plain laziness, but homeschooling was a very destructive force in my life. What you do with your children is completely YOUR business and thankfully still YOUR right, but I was just giving you an example of the dark side of things. Only home school if you KNOW BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that you will do it until they’ve graduated high school!

P.S. I have 2 children and my oldest is in 1st grade and is reading at a 3rd grade level. She’s been in the public school system since she was 4 years old. My youngest is 3 and I spend every minute I can with her and teach while she’s home doing every day things. She is quick as a whip (as most children are) and will be starting a public Pre-K program in the fall. Just because your children are in school 8 hours a day, does not mean that you can’t spend quality time with them and invest your own brand of valuable education into them. We love the weekends and VALUE them so much because we’re not spending every other waking minute together.

Skwerllee April 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

My two sons were homeschooled. Mostly unschooled, actually. They’re now 20 and 17, and are enjoying life. That’s always been our goal. Learning and loving life.

I understand that some people may have had poor experiences while being homeschooled. There are tons of children that have terrible experiences in institutional schooling. My own school days were nothing to crow about, and my husband’s were downright horrendous. Krista, the fact that you could drop out in tenth grade and get your GED shows that you were knowledgeable enough. You just didn’t know how to jump through the hoops of the world of school….and there’s really nothing wrong with that. School is not representative of real life.

I always find it amusing when people blame homeschoolers for tearing down the public schools, but never point fingers at those who sent their children to private school. How about the parents who are sending their kids to public school get involved with the public schools? Also, on the one hand people want to say that homeschoolers are backwards and weird, but on the other hand they call them the “prime students” who have been removed from the public schools. Tell you what….maybe when the teachers start caring more about the prime students instead of leaving them to stagnate while they teach to the lowest common denominator, and maybe when parents teach their children to be nice to the nerdy smart kids, more homeschoolers will return to the public schools. The public school system is a sinking ship. My family opted for a lifeboat.

homekeeper June 6, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Just found your site, and am really enjoying it already! Especially since I too am one of the crazies that will be homeschooling this fall! Good luck!

Diane July 11, 2012 at 8:14 am

I have been homeschooling my granddaughter for the last 3 years. She has ADD and was having a terrible time in school, but they continued to pass her year after year (thanks to No Kid Left Behind). At the end of the 4th grade, she was struggling badly and failing every EOG, but still they were going to pass her. That was the point I decided to retire and teach her myself. The one-on-one attention was exactly what she needed to succeed. In addition to normal classes, she is also learning piano, home economics (home organization, finances, budgeting, cleaning, cooking, canning, dehydrating, sewing, manners, etc.), and gardening. Her sense of self-worth and self-respect have increased dramatically, and she now scores average or above-average on all her EOGs. I do not regret my decision to do this one bit. When I ask if she wants to go back to public school, she says “NO WAY!” The first question I ALWAYS get is “Doesn’t she need socialization with other children?” Well, yes! And we have numerous ways that we make that happen, including scheduled activities that we do with other home-schooled kids, church activities, etc. She also needs socialization with adults too, so we take the time to visit the nursing home and neighbors, and try to perform small tasks for them as a way to teach her community responsibility. Children have been homeschooled for thousands of years, and no one thought it was unusual. If the teacher is fully commited to providing quality education and fosters an environment that proves that education is fun and exciting, the child will excel. Good luck on your efforts!

Lowcntrygal September 2, 2012 at 10:44 am

I know there are numerous reasons for people choosing to homeschool there children such as there not being a Parochial school they would prefer their child to attend, a special needs school, the public school perhaps rates extremely low and the child is not getting a quality education. I guess I just don’t understand homeschooling a child when there is a school that’s ranked highly among the rest in the state and nation, it meets the needs of the students, has a wonderful talented and gifted program for the prehigh schoolers and for High Schoolers has career path programing, our schools have very strict no bullying policy and no gang issues and the facilities are more than adequate with the student to teacher ratio very acceptable. I live in a small bedroom community where such schools exist yet there are those that homeschool and I just can’t help but feel they are short changing their children. I know children here who attend private school who aren’t getting a better education than my kids. Both my husband and myself are educated people but are still amazed by the vast information my 8th and 9th graders are learning. I guess what I’m saying is there is a place in our society for homeschooling, you just have to way the pros and cons. Support the public school system but not at the cost of your child or his/her education.

Lowcntrygal September 2, 2012 at 11:25 am

Diane, I know a lot of people don’t believe in medication where ADD is concerned but I have two children who have ADD, one ADD and one ADHD, both are on a mild medication. This after exhausting our options of trying to help them after school, tutoring and herbals. Both are well adjusted and in the talented and gifted classes at school. Which from all of my research I have found most ADD children are very bright children. Unfortunately it is not always something that will be outgrown. I can tell you this firsthand as an adult with ADD. My concern is are you teaching her something in order to prepare to return to a classroom environment? This so that she may be able to handle college classes or small on site classes she may need for a particular job. I’m not sure how you might go about doing that, not being a counselor or teacher but she will need to be prepared to leave the one on one instruction. There is also the option of trying the herbals out there, just because they didn’t work for us doesn’t mean they won’t work for you. Just a thought.

Skwerllee September 3, 2012 at 6:40 am

There are quite a few of us who homeschool because we oppose the entire model of “school.” Given the time and adequate resources, your children would likely be learning vast information of their own choosing. Birds fly, fish swim, people think. There are some decent public schools around here. They’re still schools, which, in my opinion, are completely unnatural environments that are nothing like the real world. More importantly, they’re nothing like I want the world to be.

My unschooled son is in college. It doesn’t take 13 years to learn how to be in a classroom environment. It doesn’t take 13 years to learn how to get up on time. It doesn’t take 13 years to learn how to wait in line. It doesn’t take 13 years to learn what is taught in schools, period. How much time is actually spent learning during a six-hour school day, and how much is squandered on organizational matters? Yes, we *weighed the pros and cons years ago. We chose freedom. Education is not something that happens to you. It’s something you make for yourself.

“The way adults tend to learn things is the way people best learn—by asking questions, looking things up, trying things out, and getting help when it’s needed. That’s the way pre-school kids learn too (maybe minus the looking things up), and it is the way ‘school-age’ kids can/should learn as well. Learning is internal. Teachers are lovely assistants at best, and detrimental at worst. ‘Teaching’ is just presentation of material. It doesn’t create learning.” – Sandra Dodd

Diane September 3, 2012 at 7:25 am

You cannot assume that because the schools are good in your area that they are good elsewhere. After 4 years of having her in public school, she was failing miserably, but yet was being promoted every year (thanks to “No Kid Left Behind”). Since being in a home school environment, she is finally able to read and write and she is excelling in math and science. The first year was extremely difficult. We had to start from the bottom with phonics and work our way up to grade level in one year. She read at the rate of 10 words a minute!! We often worked from 8 am to 5 pm just to complete our work. She worked hard, I worked hard, and together we made it work. She now reads on her grade level, she has learned the study skills to be able to work independently, and she has learned good time management skills. These are all skills that she did not learn in public school. We have a large home school organization in our area, and we have lots of opportunities for socialization with other kids, such as organized athletic programs and regular get-togethers. We also have people with teaching degrees who teach more advanced subjects like advanced math and sciences, foreign languages, computer programming, etc., but it is in a small group environment. We are finished with school every day by 1 pm, and have time for numerous other activities, such as her swimming, piano, and gymnastics lessons. This child has blossomed and has more self-respect and self esteem than she has ever had. I retired from my job as a global IT manager managing a $5MM/year service contract to home school this child, and I am not sorry I did. Home school may not be the answer for every child, and I don’t claim to have the answer for every child. I just know what worked for this one. I won’t address your concerns about the ADD, because it has become a non-issue since she started home school. I will add that I come from a family of well-educated individuals, many of whom have been home schooled. My nephew just graduated from UNC with a triple degree in biophysics, mathmatics, and chemistry with a 4.0 average. Two of my home schooled nieces just got their master degrees, one in music and one in accounting. My uncle, who was home schooled, works for NASA and is a recognized math genius. Recently, the national spelling bees discontinued allowing home schooled children to participate because, in their words, home schooled children have such an advantage over public schooled children. I grant you that some people do a better job of home schooling than others, but I also know that some teachers in public school are better than others, and some public schools are better than other. I think I’ll stick with what I’m doing….the success speaks for itself.

Skwerllee September 3, 2012 at 9:53 am

Diane, what is your source regarding the spelling bees? A 6yo homeschooled child just attended the Scripps-Howard national spelling bee in March 2012. I can’t find anything on the web that states anything has changed regarding the eligibility of homeschoolers to participate in national spelling bees.

Diane September 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Skwerllee, Thank you for asking that. I got that information from a vendor at a home schooling convention this summer; however, I did not properly vet the information, and I now think it is incorrect. (I should know better than to take someone’s word for anything!) I’ve only had limited time to research, but from the cursory checking that I’ve done, it appears that it is incorrect. I certainly hope it is! My student is not a wonderful speller, so I won’t be entering her in the bee, but I am delighted that other home schoolers are giving home schooling a good name and proving that home schooling provides excellent educational opportunities for our children! Again, thank you for asking the question and forcing me to look into it further. Regards, Diane

Katy September 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I was homeschooled and I graduated 1/2 year early, could have graduated a year early. I am SOOOO proud my mother had the patience and love to guide me when I needed it most. Now thanks to the KUSD’s HORRIBLE schooling, I also decided to teach my 8 year old. She had 6 different teachers in 2nd grade. She needed more attention, and I am willing to give it to her. There has been more improvment in these 3 weeks than all of her 2nd grade. So in conclusion, I think homeschooling is the most wonderful gift you can give your kid.

Lora October 16, 2012 at 10:04 am

I taught in the public schools for 16 years, then in a private school for 4 years. In between these times, I home schooled my daughter from fifth grade through her sophomore year in high school. She finished her last two years in high school in a private school. It was a great experience, and my daughter, (now graduated from college and married) is very thankful for her education.
The reason I finally decided to home school was that I began substitute teaching in her public grade school. One semester provided me with enough reasons to discontinue her education there.
It has been found that the largest group of people who enroll their children in private schools are public school teachers. I am not down on public school teachers. Having taught in public schools for sixteen years, I understand the challenges they face.
Every class is different, every school is different. The challenge I have for parents of children in public schools is to get involved. Visit often. Volunteer. Really get to know your child’s teacher. If you do these things, and become aware that your child is in an unhealthy school climate, do not be afraid to make a change. Look around for support groups if you decide to home school.

Skwerllee October 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Lora, you are right that parents often aren’t involved enough. However, I disagree with your assumption that all teachers are welcoming of parental involvement. In the 2.5 years my oldest was in public school, his Kindergarten teacher (a man!) was the only one who didn’t treat me like an inconvenient interruption.

As a homeschooler, I hear teachers suggest constantly that parents are not “qualified” to teach their kids. If teachers, in general, have this attitude about parents, then why on earth would they care about what we say with regards to school climate? They blame US for the school climate. They say it’s parents’ fault that kids don’t listen, don’t sit still, don’t study, and don’t do well on standardized tests. It’s parents’ fault that kids don’t have manners, bully other kids, harass the bus driver, et cetera. If it’s all the fault of parents, why would teachers feel any need to change? And if, in the end, I’m going to be held accountable for my child’s education, I’d rather just keep him out of schools and let him have the freedom to learn about what interests him.

Jamy October 19, 2012 at 6:38 am

I applaud you for at least trying. I’ve been homeschooling for three years now. First two years it was just my middle son, but this fall, I started homeschooling my 11 and 16 year old too. The middle school in our district is horrific and has a drug epidemic so severe that many parents have withdrawn their children from that school to either homeschool them, sent them to a charter school or send them to a private school.

It’s not working out for my youngest son. He wants everything to be super structured and routine and he has to have tests and grades to keep him motivated….that isn’t my style, so he will be going to a charter school in the spring. But My oldest and youngest children are thriving. My daughter is dual-enrolled at the local community college, which means she is taking college courses along with her homeschool work and by the time she graduates, she’ll almost have her associates degree in culinary arts. My middle son is autistic and this manner of education has been wonderful for him. He’s taking high school science, but because of dyslexia, he’s not a strong reader or writer. Because he’s homeschooled, we’ve been able to develop his reading and writing skills in a more relaxed manner that has actually enabled him to improve them more quickly and efficiently with none of the stress he was dealing with in public schools.

It’s a common myth that homeschoolers miss out on that socialization too. It’s true, our kids aren’t sitting in a classroom with 25 kids around them all day long, but they’re not supposed to be socializing in those classes anyway and would get detention (or worse) if they did. There are children in our neighborhood for them to play with, we do a LOT of social activities and the kids learn to not just associate with kids their own age, they have become friends with kids younger and older than themselves. My autistic son hadn’t had a friend since his best friend moved in fourth grade. For five years she was the only one who even invited him to birthday parties. But since homeschooling, he’s made several new friends of all ages and his social skills have blossomed.

I could go on and on about this, but I’ll spare you. I write about our experiences in my blog, if you want to get an idea of what it’s like, you can check that out. But at any rate, as a parent, we have to do what WE think is best for our kids and poo to the people who will try to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing and kudos to you for giving it a try.

Zonoma January 20, 2013 at 10:44 pm

I’m curious: Do you still homeschool? How has your perspective grown and/or changed since this post? Would you mind writing about it in an upcoming post?

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