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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Homeschooling?
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Piglet Pincher    Posted 03-02-2004 at 17:34:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Do any of you all homeschool your children?
We are just beginning; I don't even have a curriculum yet.

Which curriculum do you use?

Any tips?

Thanks,
Piglet Pincher


Stormie    Posted 03-03-2004 at 04:05:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
We are looking into homeschooling ourselves. Their are so many questions. Thankfully, I am in Michigan so it is not a tough here. Not that that is a good thing in all cases.

My reasons are not because of any event or problems with the school. We have a pretty good school system. The only problem I have had with the school is finding out more about home schooling. The best resource I have found so far is the internet. Also I have contacted some churches in the area and they have put me in contact with others who are homeschooling. If your local schools will help they have lots of great information.

Here are some sites you may want to check out if you haven't already. Good luck. Keep us posted on how it is going.

homeschooling.about.com

www.homeschoolingtoday.com

www.homeschool.com


cowlady    Posted 03-03-2004 at 01:58:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
As a former public school person...I just want to say I admire your goals and intentions. I strongly urge you to choose your curriculum carefully, and take advantage of all your community resources, including personal support from other home schoolers in your neighborhood. It is a huge undertaking and major responsibility upon you toward your children.

It may vary from State to State, but in my experience, 1) you need to have your curriculum approved by the school board and receive an exemption from attendance. 2) The neighbors WILL call the truant officer and/or Children's Services if your children are unattended (this happens more often than we would like to believe)
3) Your children must still take any required state exams, which you must pay for and have verified by an accredited teacher, in order to recieve permission to homeschool the following year.

The districts get very upset when they lose your children and their funding. They most often do not open the door for sports, band, drama etc.

Please don't take any of this the wrong way. The families that are serious and have valid reasons for home schooling do a wonderful job and raise great well adjusted kids. However, we found too many children left to their own devices, getting NO education and NO supervision. Mom gets a wild hair up her butt, jerks the kids out of public school and the kids suffer for it. Sometimes school was the only time they got a regular hot meal. It is a sad commentary on the state of today's families and the educational environment provided to them, but unfortunately it seems to be getting worse rather than better. All of us (parents, teachers, administrators, government and the students themselves) need to share the blame and figure out how to work together to identify the proper goals and then attain them. (I say it's time for some heads to roll, but that's just my humble opinion!)

I am currently tutoring 4 students, Three need to pass English and come from a class where 12 out of 19 did not pass. My other student needs to get a government credit to graduate. My question is why didn't 12 kids pass English, and why isn't the school board (and the parents)demanding some changes?

I sincerely hope all of you made your voices heard today at the voting booth. It does make a difference! Especially in rural communities where ONE vote CAN make or break an issue.

SORRY 'BOUT THE SOAP BOX and all the RANTING & RAVING...this is a subject close to my heart!


a homeschool mom    Posted 03-03-2004 at 13:31:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
You do NOT need a state or school board approved curriculum.
You do not need approval from anyone to homeschool. You don't even have to allow a school board member to enter your home if they pay a visit.
I used several curriculums, found the best in each and blended them together.
We are from Michigan as well. We met with many other homeschool families once a year and our children took the CAT test.
For 100.00 per year you can join a group of homeschooling families that are protected by the HLA. It costed us 500.00 to join and then 100.00 a year after that. They kept us informed of our legal rights and if we had ever had a legal problem they would have defended us for free.

We have homeschooled for 19 years... never a problem and the one time the school tried to tell us we had to do this and that... I informed them that I knew better, they were risking a lawsuit that we both knew I would win, I was better qualified to teach my children they were.

They left, with tails tucked and 2 years later the school called and asked if I'd be willing to advise other homeschool parents in our area. (they needed a resourse for other families)

Anyway, there is a church in Lupton Mi that holds the CAT test for homeschool students. You can even purchase the ACE curriculum through them. Contact Tina Long at the church for more info.


JF    Posted 03-03-2004 at 03:18:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good comments. Being a former instructor myself I understand your stance. Home schooling has gotten a black eye by many (not all) people who remove their children from public schools because the kid cannot adhere to the discipline codes. It is evry parents right to educate their own children, yet some are not capable nor have the childrens long range interest at heart. I currently am a stay at home dad ( a term in todays society that states you are a loafer-from the same people who endorese public day care as a way to pursue more materialism-another subject). I have taken the opportunity to home school my 4 year old-she currently reads at the beginning second grade level, completes addition/subtration at 1st grade level, above average writing skills, etc. The public schools will love to sink their claws into her-make their test scores increase and make themselves look good. Will we send her to public school? At this time unsure due to my experiences in the public education arena, their inability to devise challenging curriculm, and an unwillingness to address the social moral issues that our society is facing. I agree fully why did 12 out of 19 students fail? Was it the inability of the teacher to teach?, The lack of desire for the student to learn?, Was the curriculm mismanaged?, Lack of discipline?, lack of classroom management skills?-as you know the list goes on and on. It has been my experience that teachers who ask little or nothing of the students and give out grades are held in the highest regard. Who gets mad when little Johnny gets all A's yet in essence learned nothing? Not the parents they beam with pride, not the students they can cruise through, not the adminstrator who is looking for his next career move, not the board who wants to reaffirm their methods as correct, not the community who refuse to become involved due to ignorance apathy, etc. Read the post under confessions of a school board member from yesterday. It is interesting to note that in the current times of finiacial crisis-sports and adminstrator salaries are not cut-only instruction and teachers-the cornerstone for academic and individual student cognitive development. Your post is not ranting-it is evidence of someone who feels passionate about a subject matter that should energize us all. Yet we live in a society where our children are not priority number one-no matter how much slop is thrown out there. Actions speak louder than words.


dave 50 8n    Posted 03-03-2004 at 06:51:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
...another tip: check out Homeschool Legal Defense Fund to find out about applicable laws, your rights, and paramenters, and how you might respond to issues raised by public school districts.

They are staunchly pro-independent homeschooling.

You may also have a "charter school" option available to you.

I don't think there's any one site to get all the info. Good luck!


dave 50 8n    Posted 03-02-2004 at 22:26:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh, one more thing. Someone posted a link to this main site...it had a link to homeschooling...I didn't check it out, but I hope it's helpful.

PS: If you have a public library nearby, use it! A librarian told my wife that she can tell when homeschooling kids come in...they check out lots of books. We're very happy that our kids are voracious readers. Our son is 11 and just got tested at the 14 year old reading level.

...just keep pluggin away...!




dave 50 8n    Posted 03-02-2004 at 22:20:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Boss said, "that's a huge question." Depends on how you want to do it. Unit studies, text books, classroom style or not. Boss says check out "Elijiah Company" which does a good job at analyzing the different curriculums, reasons for home schooling, etc. It is from a Christian viewpoint, but the analysis should be valuable, regardless of religion.

We've done the co-op thing (a LOT of work for the results), and are currently doing the home study as well as outside classes, some of which have included...art, science, karate, ballet, Lego engineering. I've dabbled w/the kids in electronics and photography. I view it as EVERYTHING is a lesson...sometimes the kids just kinda turn their minds off..."here goes dad again on why this or that happens...zzzz" :-)

I'll have to ask the boss about the curriculum. She's always adjusting...Saxon math sounds familiar...she said she keeps coming back to it,and she says it's the most logical.

I think you gotta sample and see if it works...seems most that we know are successful by using a blend of stuff.

Good luck! It's hard work, but well worth it.

By the way, we had our kids in the best school district in the area, had NO intention of doing that crazy thing (homeschooling), and after a short time, we still decided to pull them out....long story. Among other reasons, we decided we wanted to raise our kids, not "the system." Other large factors as well.

Wierd, huh? Oh, well.

Overall, very glad for the freedom to do this. Enjoying the results and flexibility. When I go on work trips several times a year, I occasionally take the family, and they usually hit the museums, or other points of interest.


Dave    Posted 03-02-2004 at 19:51:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
We mix and match to suit our needs.Saxon math,etc.Try to find a local group,and pick their brains.Plus,it's a good way to buy used materials,textbooks,etc,cheap.(the library and internet are still are best resources)We didn't want to commit to a pre-wrapped curriculum-one size does not fit all.Luckily,there are a lot of homeschoolers in our area-about as diverse a group as you'd ever care to see-hippies,holy-rollers,unschoolers,survivalists,etc.Thankfully,we found a a group that doesn't try to push their idealogies down each other's throats.Good luck.It's working great for us.Dave


deadcarp    Posted 03-02-2004 at 19:39:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
There are a few places we're way behind the world - schooling is one of them. Australia started an online educational program in the 80s when the internet came along. That way kids anywhere in the outback could interact and learn. Africa & Indonesia already have internet schools, and here we are going duh. I think it's union lobbyists road blocking this one. :)


Stormie    Posted 03-03-2004 at 03:29:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
How does this apply to the question asked? I had the same question as piglet and answers like these don't help.


deadcarp    Posted 03-03-2004 at 10:05:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Really i wasn't trying to answer the question - more to suggest a cure for an ongoing problem - see there's NO good reason WE couldn't have excellent online schools and it would already be an option. if we brilliant yanks even had some online "curriculum guide" or suggestions by pros at least it would be a place to start. (Heck we use the net for everything else) As is, everybody who gets fed up with public schools has to re-invent the wheel. So get pushing your legislators, administrators and those in charge - show them the problem & start asking for help from those who can. Isn't a free (well, tax-supported ) quality education for everyone the ultimate goal? We're not getting it! :)



Steve from TN    Posted 03-02-2004 at 18:49:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you can find other parents who are home schooling, you can take turns teaching different subjects. Some of us shine at different things. It helps to have older children with younger children. The big kids like to help the little kids with their work and the little guys look up to the big kids. It is best to have a small number of students. You can go on really good field trips in just a family car. Good luck. I have seen some really good students come from home-schooling and some not so good. It depends on the efforts of you and your students, just like in public and private schools.


~Lenore    Posted 03-02-2004 at 18:38:29       [Reply]  [No Email]

A friend of mine who has a day care uses the Abeka program.
The kids who leave her day care all make the advanced classes and honor roll in public school.


KellyGa    Posted 03-02-2004 at 18:20:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
What prompted you to home school? I know my reasoning was where we live, the county we are in, is not where I want SHelby to go to school. Too many bad influences, even in the every young children. I was however lucky enough to get her in a very good school in the next county. It has never let me down, she is a smart young lady, and makes all A's, and is very well behaved. Teachers tell me year after year they wished they had a whole classroom of Shelbys! lol!

I do know I would have home schooled her if I was not so lucky. I don't think she would be the person she is today had she gone to schools around here, and I just couln't bear the thought. She is such a gentle soul, a giving soul, she would have been stolen from, bullied, and pushed around, degraded, and I just can't have it. Over my dead body, ya know?

Good luck on your homeschooling venture. I hope it all goes very well. There are some home schooled kids across the street from my parents, and they are very nice, very well behaved. Their youngest plays with Shelby every now and then.


Piglet Pincher    Posted 03-03-2004 at 06:48:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
What prompted you to home school?

How much time have you got? LOL

I went to my son's school (he's in first grade) one morning, and there were kids on the floor, asleep...wandering around....it was basically an unsupervised daycare until the teachers decided to stroll in around 8am.
I had naively assumed the teacher were there, FIRST.
My kids have picked up alot of "expressions" and such that they don't get at home OR off TV, because we don't even HAVE TV. When we want to watch something we play tapes or DVDs.
My daughter is so rebellious and sassy....she's only in fourth grade. She doesn't get that here.

That school has gone down the tubes.
The FIRST time I ever spoke to my son's first grade teacher at length, she suggested he has ADD.
Why?
Probably because he was BORED and in a class with children who were "behind" him academically.

I could go on........but I'm sure everyone's reasons are more or less the same.


jf    Posted 03-03-2004 at 12:20:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
thats happening in classrooms all across america. SO SAD!


~    Posted 03-03-2004 at 07:17:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good for you, Pincher.
It is not easy but it is worth it.
If I had young school age children I would home school.
It is even difficult to find a good private school if you can afford one.
The good ones are full with waiting lists.

If a lot of parents knew what really goes on under the name of education they would be shocked.
The thing that upsets me is how many "teachers" are in there who are not properly educated and they are "educating" the students?! That, along with the behavior problems in public schools is disturbing.




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