Tough Choice : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have put an offer on a rural home sitting on 8 acres of land. It has a pre-existing wood furnace and about 6 acres of timber. It's a well built block home that's been recently updated. My fiancee really loved the place at first sight. The price was very reasonable, and will let us do a lot more "prep" than I thought I could. It does have some quirks that could make it difficult to resell later on if we have a Y2K "bump", however.

Now, I'm finding that the local school district is *pretty* bad (graduation rate under 50%), although their standardized test scores are pretty good and getting better quickly. Low teacher salaries, and I think a lot of those dropouts are kids going back to help folks on the farm, but I can't prove it. Yeah, I messed up and didn't do all of my investigating up front.

Now, my worry is this: Even though my gut feeling is that we are looking at an 8.5++, of course, I can't "prove" that. If we move out there, my daughter will most likely finish High School there IF nothing serious happens (she is also expecting an 8++ scenario). She's 13 and in the eighth grade.

So, do I grab this as my hidey hole, or get out of it and hope I can find something else? Neither my daughter nor I truly expect the school system to survive in its present form, but I've been wrong before.

Any feedback?

-- Jon Williamson (, February 17, 1999


One word: Homeschool

If you're moving rural the sooner the better. It's hard to believe all the changes, adjustments, and work involved vs. living in the city. Concerning resale: just about all rural properties have "quirks" and are difficult to resell. Be prepared if reselling for it to take some time. You did not mention if you lived near a city...around here land miles away from the city have greatly appreciated in last couple of years with urban that can help appreciation if possible future urban sprawl is a variable given Y2k is a bump in the road.

-- Texan (, February 17, 1999.

Smart daughter, rural home w/ 8 acres, happy fiancee, reasonable price -- sounds ideal. Home school, for sure. Can learn so much on Internet + CDROMs, which stimulate learning; school supresses curiosity and thirst for knowledge and understanding. Prepping for self-reliance is an education in itself. Your daughter is fortunate. The lessons she learns by living, moving, working and observing during the next two years will be lifelong advantages. Go for it!

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xx

-- Leska (, February 17, 1999.

I don't understand the problem. Public schools, even "good" ones, suck. Primary purpose is indocrination to be good serfs (excuse me -- citizens, I mean) and to learn obedience to the authorities.

-- A (, February 17, 1999.


Homeschool. That's it. Go to any search engine and type in will get all the info you need and more. If you let me know what state you are in, I can email state regs....privately or here. Is that your real email address?

I am currently homeschooling 4 of 6 children....a 14 yr old freshman(girl), 13 yr old 7th grader(girl), 12 yr old 5th grader(boy), and a 6 yr old kindergartener(girl). Actually, the 5 yr old boy has picked up some pretty amazing things all by himself, so I guess I'm hschooling 5 :)

Let me know here if you need info of any kind.

Blessings...Mercy...homeschooling mom of 6, way before I GI about Y2K :)

-- Mercy (, February 17, 1999.


The prior answers have merit from a home school point of view. Even if it is a "bump in the road", consider something else. It is my experence as a teacher, that good, bad or indifferent, a school has its advantages. A student that has full support of parents, has much to gain from a school. In spite of bad teachers, a "real" student will still learn. The key is personal student motivation, and a secure, safe, and supportive home life. There is no way to really dupicate the "social skills" that a school envoronment can teach.

If it turns out to be an 8++, then just like the rest of us parents, stock up on books for home learning. You have very little to loose, and possibly quite a bit to gain. (Wish I had found that piece of property first :-)


-- Merlin Emery (, February 17, 1999.

I'll echo all the other voices that suggest home-schooling. My kids now grown went through school before it got natty all over,...if I had it to do over now I would never send them to public school.

-- Donna Barthuley (, February 17, 1999.

We moved in full flight from a "best in the state" suburban school system (NYS!) to a "hick" rural school in 1970. We lost our older two kids to the myth. We finally realized that when half the high school population on a given spring day is out partying at some house who parents are in Florida, that our values couldn't compete.

Our son graduated from this hick school (graduating class of 32, half of whom didn't go on to anything) to go to West Point (class of 90) and Harvard Business School. Our daughter is now teaching math at a small city school, to the dismay of her teachers who cheered when she aced her NYS Regents Math exams, and who wept when she announced that she wanted to be a teacher. Need I

-- never mind (older mom@rural, February 17, 1999.

Get those young folks out of the PUBLIC FOOL SYSTEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Ern (, February 17, 1999.

Recent article from Jim Lord on Westergaard about this: How Will Y2K Affect Schools?

My $.02: we're struggling with the home school decision as well. Both kids are currently in public school (one a Freshman, the other in 7th grade) and there are certainly disturbing occurences there. My wife is an at-home Mom for a number of reasons, some at them medical. She feels utterly inadequate to teach our sometimes unnervingly bright teens. She's concerned about wearing the "Teacher" hat along with the "Mom" hat and thus having just a whole bunch more potential issues to battle about. Homeschooling seems to demand a lot of structure and energy and that's a very, very tough prospect for someone who has days when she can't get her body to function properly. On the other hand, we have a number of families in our circle of acquaintances who homeschool and can possibly provide support. And yes, as Jim Lord points out in that article, if Y2K hits hard, we'll probably be homeschooling for a time no matter what.

Your comments welcomed.

-- Mac (, February 17, 1999.

See if there is a private school in the area. We have the same problem in my rural area. We send our grandson to a small private school (4 children in his class).

-- Linda A. (, February 17, 1999.

Thanks for the comments, all. At this time, we cannot homeschool, as we need both incomes to afford the house. As well, both the fiancee and I have only high school diplomas. Most states, I think, require at least a bachelor's degree to home school at the high school level.

If things get bad, of course I'll teach her. Didn't one of the Greek philosophers define a school as a log with a student at one end and a teacher at the other? We are already making plans for this possibility.

Mercy: I live in Michigan. yes, that's my real email address.

This property is about 25 miles from an urban area of about 125,000. It sits about halfway between two villages of about 500 and 750, which are each about 3 miles away. Did I mention two lakes within a mile?

I've been busy shopping for goats, rabbits, and pigs (maybe.

-- Jon Williamson (, February 17, 1999.

Bright, motivated children in public school sometimes experience serious peer pressure to dumb themselves down.

-- Tom Carey (, February 17, 1999.


Well, so far, my daughter doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks. Unless they are intelligent enough to deserve her respect. She does, however, like to take their brains out and play with them. I've sternly warned her to always put them back when she is done...

-- Jon Williamson (, February 17, 1999.

While you're shopping for animals, don't forget the chickens. They are easy to take care of, forage for themselves (if let out during the day), and provide both meat and eggs.

-- Gerald R. Cox (, February 18, 1999.

We moved to a district with an EXCELLENT public school system (one of the best in the country) and my daughter is 4 now--she goes to a private Montessori preschool which allows her to pursue what she is interested in and go at her own pace and it is wonderful--she is already writing and beginning to read and better than that seems to be emerging into an independent, critical thinker. Now I personally believe Y2K will be a 7+, so I am stocking up as best I can on books, etc, as I am anticipating having to homeschool. She is supposed to start public school the fall of 2000, I don't get the feeling that will be happening. I went to Half-Price Books and got a 45 volume encyclopedia set that is from 1994. Not bad. Trying to get workbooks and books that are for older students just in case things are worse than I imagined, and for a longer time.

REmember, kids learn by doing!


-- Me (, February 18, 1999.

While you are thinking on homeschooling in an 8.5++ environment, make sure you have a laptop with CDROM capability, and a solar battery charger with several spare batteries. WHO CARES what date the laptop says, as long as you get to the CD's? Get LOTS of instructional CD's, encyclopedias, and MAKE SURE you have a full set of the Federalist papers AND the ANIT-FEDERALIST papers.

Gotta restart right!!


-- Chuck, night driver (, February 18, 1999.

Everyone, thanks for the input. You've eased my mind a bit. The only other property we'd seen that we liked was a *new* modular home on 10 acres for $36,000 more. Ouch..... Plus I'd have to bust out a garden area from forest.

There just is not enough time left for a long, leisurely home search. I had warned my fiancee that I'd probably take the first likely house that came along. This one was as good or better than I had dared hope for.

So, let's see. Set up a hand pump inside the house, plant hybrid poplars for quick growth of firewood, try to buy the land behind our new property, get my base stock of critters so I can expand out if needed, put up some outbuildings, plant a garden, increase food stores to two years, more ammo, more seeds, more tools, more books.

Nope, not much time left. Gotta get back to work.

-- Jon Williamson (, February 18, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ