I went to public school and got a great education. That being said, my DD has a severe food allergy and some pretty steep social anxiety issues, so I am keeping an open mind about homeschooling. She starts K in the fall and I intend to send her and see how it goes. But I'm a certified teacher, so the homeschooling does not concern me as far as whether or not I can do it. I think it might be a lot of fun.
DD starts Kindergarten in 2012. Since I don't know that there is an English preschool here or know if a German one is close to where we are going to be living and given the fact we are moving back to the US sometime between January and April 2012, I will likely do some sort of home preschool for a few hours a day just to provide more structure than the informal teaching I do now just to get her used to some sort of structure.
We're moving to San Diego and have looked at where to live based on home costs and schools - though California is such a budget mess that even going to one of the better schools might not be all that good by the time we get there. But I'm not going to sweat Kindergarten too much. We'll likely only be there for 3 years, we'll probably just leave her in public school and I can always supplement at home if i don't think it's covering what it should.
after that time we're likely heading back to DC and our house there is in a good area of suburban Virginia. But if i felt the school wasn't up to snuff, we would probably go private and I would see about substitute teaching there, maybe even teaching - though that would require going back to school. I wouldn't mind teaching physics or calculus to use even a little bit of my degree, but i know the teaching profession is in a bit of turmoil right now.
I do think a lot of what you get out of education is what you put into it - either public or private. IMO private education gets more raves because parents are paying for it and are going to be more interested in their child's education than you see from the average public school parent. Yes, I know that some schools are utter failures because of complete parental uninvolvement and the fact the teachers just cannot get control over students who have no reason to care, but your average public school if they have allowances for gifted, regular and those needing more attention, your kid can probably get a pretty good education if you participate.
Tha said, when there was a chance we might end up in Hawaii, we discussed me homeschooling or private school.
I'm not completely opposed to homeschooling if you do activities to socialize your child. My nephew was homeschooled for several years because SIL didn't like the local school. She was not in a coop or anything and other than a church activity here and there, he didn't socialize with anyone other than his younger (6 and 7 years younger) brothers. until he started school this year at 11, he didn't regularly interact with kids his age and DH and I never heard him talk about friends so while he is 11 now, socially he's about 6 or 7. But that was just because of how SIL decided to do his schooling. Intellectually he's ahead, especially reading, but emotionally not where he should be because he didn't regularly interact with kids his own age.
In recent years, schools are assisting parents who decide to home school. Providing books and even computers. Some schools will also help with online classes. Do you feel that the extra help from the schools can help with your decision?
If I did decide to do it, it would hinge on how I thought things were going at the school available to us and also what sort of support there is in the community.
I like the idea of home school co-ops where parents can pool resources (especially for older kids where one parent might be weak in math and have their kid taught that subject by a stronger parent), but I do know that depending on where you live those tend to be strongly religious. I'm not anti-religious, but sometimes it is carried further than I am comfortable with. I know of one home schooling mother who ran into this big time where she lived where they pretty much ran her out of the group because she was teaching her kids evolution and otherwise not taking the Bible as literal, absolute truth along with introducing them to the history of other religions to help them learn tolerance.
But it is nice to see schools become more supportive of this. I do know some districts where home school students are eligible to go out for sports and other extra-curricular activities which are so important to a well rounded child.
actually that's one of the reasons SIL put her son in public school - the church sponsored extra-curricular activities pretty much stop when kids enter middle school because the school offers so many activities that kids don't have time for church stuff.
I also think there are so many wonderful social lessons to be learned in school - ones that you don't learn anywhere else because like it or not, the teachers can't watch everyone. So if I did home school, while i do have the knowledge and education to teach even advanced math and science (I have a BS in naval architecture and MS in applied physics), important social aspects of my kids' education would be missing and i would probably only teach them through elementary school (unless the future takes us to Hawaii and we couldn't get in a private school I felt good about).
I think the thought of homeschooling is sad. Yes academically the kid will probably be better off, but the social aspect is key to me. And I will admit that I was never popular in the compulsory part of my schooling, but trudging through and learning those social aspects helped me when I got to college. I can't even imagine what it would have been like socially if I would have not been in the school system and gotten the socialization.
I also have fist hand experience from when I was in fifth grade I was in a horrible car accident that hospitalized me for 2.5 months and then I was home bound in a spica cast for a couple more months which resulted in me being hospital/homeschooled for the remainder of my fifth grade year. The school district provided one of the regular fifth grade teachers to come and work with me for an hour after she finished with her regular classroom teaching so I could stay with my class and advance to the sixth grade upon recovery. We covered all the subject matter in that one hour, so academically it took much less time with the one-on-one instruction. Socially I was miserable and felt so isolated. I dearly missed my classmates and all the fun aspects that happen in a school setting. I would never wish that on a kid. I guess if you were always homeschooled you would not really know what it was like in the first place like I did though.
I do not agree that academically the child would be better off. I've seen so many kids who are "home schooled" that don't even have a basic 5th grade education as adults. Many of the parents have only high school educations and no training.
I do agree that the social aspects are very important. Learning how to get along with others and how to compromise on a daily basis are important skills to have especially when entering the world of work. Most people don't work at home.
Home schooling is very hit or miss depending on what parents put into it and how accountable they are held by the state. Some states are more involved than others when it comes to curriculum and standardized testing. If the homeschool teacher only has a HS diploma and was not an ace student, the kids are not being served.
My SIL has a teaching degree, but didn't actually use it because she was making more money, working better hours and had better benefits working for the bank.
The one academic advantage of home schooling is that you can do some tailoring depending on the child's interests which public school just can't do. I'm not saying you ignore math if it doesn't interest your kid, but you can find ways to make it more practical and interesting and perhaps indulging the child's interest in history a bit more or using some other field trips to make it more hands on learning.
I don't have a opinion either way but homeschooling has come a long way. Many public schools will allow the children in their sports activities and home school parents have formed groups for activities.
Would you be concerned with traditional schools influence on your young child.
I don't plan on homeschooling my children. For one thing, I worked really hard to get my education and get a career that I love and that I am proud of. I want my children to grow up knowing that you can have a job that you enjoy and that getting an education is a part of that joy. I'm not against homeschooling, if it's done in the right way and the kids are given the right amount of social interaction, but as a children's librarian I see a lot of homeschoolers that, while they may be really really smart and have a lot of book sense, they simply don't know how to interact with other kids. They talk like little adults. I agree with the PP who said that you get more from going to school than just the book learning. It's also learning how to deal with everyday situations and how to interact socially with other people. I was painfully shy growing up and had serious social anxieties. I was never taken out of school because I was uncomfortable there though If I wasn't forced to face my fears, which were usually my peers, at school, then I honestly don't know where I would be today. I made myself join the marching band when I was in junior high, even though the thought of it terrified me. My parents didn't even know I had joined, so they didn't influence me one way or another. It was the best thing I ever did. It literally changed my life. I completely got over my shyness, because finally I had found something I stood out in. I was a band nerd to beat all band nerds! LOL I want my kids to have those experiences, good and bad.
I think it really depends on your community involvement and groups around you. In my area the community practically begs you to come out and learn, and there are a large number of homeschool groups to join. The only way a child would miss the social aspect of school is if the parent just left them at home all the time - and where is the learning in that?
I think it's like any other kind of schooling - you get out what you put in. I think it's great that parents have the choice and are doing what is best for their families.
"The only way a child would miss the social aspect of school is if the parent just left them at home all the time - and where is the learning in that?"
That's what my SIL did. I'm not sure if there were any groups in her area. The live in one of the far flung suburbs of a city, almost too far out to be called a suburb. Of course she is the hard headed type and I'm sure thought that because of her teaching degree she could provide it all. But she has let the middle kid go to school and he's in Kindergarten now. Her youngest she won't be homeschooling because he's autistic and getting therapy he needs from school that she can't provide. But i think she learned from the oldest the importance of proper socialization. i know that when I was there last year I was pointing out that would be a good reason to let him go back to school. She had let him try 3rd or 4th grade, but pulled him out of school to resume homeschooling almost immediately because a child on the playground used an offensive word (the n word - both kids white) towards my nephew. I'm sure the kid didn't really understand the word, but probably heard it in the music his parents listened to. anyway, nephew didn't have the social skills then to deal with being teased. She's quite a bit more sheltering of her kids than we are - just a different parenting style. Could also be that my daughter is just more independent than her boys as all kids are different.
I just know there's something wrong when a 10 year old doesn't have a single friend.
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