homeschooling : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

If anyone would like to discuss homeschooling. I may be able to give advise. I got a teaching degree in 1980, read some books by John Holt and decided my kids would be taught by me at home. My educational philosophy has been greatly influenced by books by Ray and Dorothy Moore. In college fellow students were cheating on tests, their morals were unGodly, lots of laziness. Many, including myself, were going for a "job". With my own children, I am much more passionate about the things they are exposed to then anyone else would be. My girls came along in 1986 and 1988. Right now they are doing ABeka 10th grade in Language, History, & Biology, and 9th grade Algebra. Anyway, lots of you may be homeschooling families soon. Learning is a wonderful lifestyle. Ours is a teaching home. If you are like me, you felt when you graduated that you didn't have to do anymore bookwork and I let the teachers "spoonfeed me". I only did what they assigned and no more. Tomas Edison told his mom, when he wanted to sell papers on the railroad and she wanted to continue to homeschool him, "I can teach myself anything I want to learn" Homeschooling builds family memories, not "pack mentality" The hospital called and said we needed to come right now to see my mom before she died. Because my kids were home and not in school, they were able to say goodbye to her. And because they were home, we had always spent one day a week with her. Now they remember grandma, and we keep her memory alive. I also realized the goal as a Christian should be to minister to others. You can't teach that and do that before your children if they are away from you all day. My girls are learning my values, not the systems. The also are flurishing in their own desires. They have time to explore who they are. I am preparing my girls for when I am not around. I step away daily. Homeschoolers are self-motivated, self-disciplined, are at ease with adults, have more self-confidence (because they are not being "used" by another kid to better their own self-esteem) I sold vitamins for a while. As I learned about taking my health into my own hands and teaching that to others, they also learned. They know how to take care of their health. If a kid graduated from school, is academicly smart, but can't take care of their own bodies health, what good it that? I don't grade my kids, they are not in competition with others. Nor do I test them, I know what they know and believe testing is an insult. I have not spent a lot of money on books. We've used mostly library books. I try not to use textbooks, but "real books" as the author Charlotte Mason has put it. I am not perfact and neither are my kids, but they are able to be themselves and mature in a loving atmosphere. I believe exposure is the best way to learn. We used to do a lot of field trips to everywhere. I contrast to that I am seeing the homeschooling movement as a drawing back to the home and family. When other moms are running their kids to every activity, we are in a relaxed atmosphere living at our own pace. I've gotten longwinded. If anyone wants to converse on this topic, I am willing to share.

-- Palavia (, October 21, 1999


I'm sure that you meant to say that you would be able to give "advice", and not "advise", correct, teacher?

-- toothperson (a@a.a), October 21, 1999.

My children are flurishing (sic) just as well as Tomas (sic) Edison in an excellent public school. Frankly, I don't want to raise them in a bell jar, tied to my apron strings, filling their impressionable minds with only one point of view (mine). I like them to have the benefit of multiple teaching styles, personalities and opinions, as well as the companionship of many peers. You are more passionate then (sic) anyone else would be? Very well. I hope you will brush up a bit so you can help them become academicly (sic) smart, too. For myself, I believe in a balance of school education and home enrichment, which is what I have done.

By the way, what state did you get your teaching credential from? Just curious.

-- Good teachers + Good parents (, October 21, 1999.

We are in our second year of homeschooling. In Ca. we can work with the County Office of Education and get lot's of help. They provide all the materials and books. We even have the teachers manuals. We meet with a teacher every other week to go over the last assingment and to set goals for the next two weeks. Our teacher, a wonderful Christian woman, is very supportive in anything I want to do. She brings arts & crafts projects and other fun things. We go on field trips once a month and have a story time with an arts & craft project for the primary kids. We love it. We can't believe how fast they pick things up. We especially like the fact that there is no bullying or bad words. We also have been very healthy. Only one cold in the last year and no lice.

-- Homeschooling Grandma (, October 22, 1999.

We've found that a combination of educating our children both inside and outside of our home works. Their teachers refer to them as having come from an enriched environment. They enjoy learning from adults other than ourselves, and they love being with other kids. Values are shaped throughout life. It wouldn't be a good thing to only expose them to our values and then turn them loose in a society they have no experience with, in our opinion.

The lice are the main problem.

-- helen (, October 22, 1999.

You know, I thought one only got "flamed" on the other forum. I will never post again. good-bye

-- palavia (, October 22, 1999.

Are you going to teach your children to retreat when challenged? You are making an excellent point against homeschooling - that it doesn't encourage differing points of view. The world *is* about confrontation and defending one's beliefs. That's why schools offer debate classes and encourage students to look at things from all sides. Even the one room prairie schoolhouse brought students together ... they didn't all study at home. Do you think the founding fathers shirked from public disagreement? Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, the school of Athens - the great thinkers of our civilization. These minds were forged in discussion and debate with teachers and fellow students.

I am not challenging your devotion to your family, your good heart and good intentions. But I am challenging the concept of homeschooling and your particular fitness to teach English. (Maybe you are a science and math whiz, I don't know.) Perhaps you should have said, "If anyone wants to agree with me on this topic, I am willing to stick around and impart my wisdom. Otherwise I will take my marbles and go home." Don't you see how your very response argues against home-schooling?

-- good parents + good teachers (, October 22, 1999.

We homeschooled our 3 boys, the youngest now 18 and through with "school". The oldest two did go to school for a few years, one for 7th through 11 grades and the other 9th through 11th grade. The youngest has not attended any public schooling below college or tech school level. We believe that the worst part of the public schools is the limited exposure to other people. Children in school spend their time in regimented surroundings with people of their own age and don't get exposure to people of other ages. Their exposure to children of other backgrounds is limited because of the limitations of the school setting. My boys have travelled, worked with people of all ages in the city and neighborhood, and count people of all ages and backgrounds as friends. Their freinds aren't limited to kids they know in school. Another drawback to school is exposing the children to the worst of children in their age group. If we were to do it all over again, we wouldn't allow any of our boys to attend public school at all- it erodes their self-esteem, and shows them that you can be "average" and get by in school. Why try hard to get good grades when it subjects you to ridicule from fellow students, and getting C grades gets you by? Homeschooling can avoid this kind of problem by avoiding tests, etc., and just letting the kids learn.

-- Jim (, October 22, 1999.

Palavia -- The response to your post was a bit rough, but keep in mind that you expressed your own opinions very strongly, opinions which were highly anti-school school.

I am quite prepared to delete flaming but strong give-and-take isn't that.

Just keep posting and let your own strong opinions be challenged by those of others.

-- BigDog (, October 22, 1999.

Jim asks:

"Why try hard to get good grades when it subjects you to ridicule from fellow students, and getting C grades gets you by?"

Good question. The answer is because you are taught the value of achievement and self-motivation by your parents at home.

My kids are both the products of public schools. My daughter was accepted by a leading (top 5) ivy league university, but is going to a fine university closer to home, partly due to Y2k issues. My son is in high school. Both study HARD because we insist that they "aim high." They would never even consider doing less than their best because they could "get by." Those are not our values.

As far as exposure to other groups, they attend school with kids who are N.European/white, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, African- American and Hispanic. Their teachers also come from international backgrounds. School enrichment includes extracurricular seminars with doctors and scientists. Some of the teens have gone on school- facilitated trips to Alaska and the Costa Rican rainforests to study marine biology and ecology, respectively. Every year, the school offers a one-week intensive program at a national park where they meet and learn from dozens of adults with unique skills and knowledge. Our son learns from adults of all educational and vocational backgrounds through scouting. Our daughter volunteered at hospitals and held numerous part time jobs. Sheltered? Regimented? Unmotivated? Far from it!

The key to education is balance. Good parenting and values teaching at home combined with good public schools. In addition, parents need to work closely with schools to hold them accountable - to fix what is wrong through their active participation and involvement. It CAN be done. Aim high!

-- good schools +good parents (, October 22, 1999.

Palavia, come back! I think folks assume that since you left the "system", you have damned it and every parent that has stayed in the system is obviously an implied inferior. Public school parents tend to get defensive because of this. We home schoolers come across as self righteous in our zeal. But, Home schooling can work well. AimHigh, you obviously have the right attitude toward the system, and every right to be proud. Parents like you will make the system work. Blessings to you and your family. (No, I don't teach the grammar!) Wm

-- Wm McBride (, October 22, 1999.

Thank you, William.

Unlike Palavia, I had a good public school experience even though it was in a very average suburban area. I did not mind book-learning, and my joy of self-education has continued to this very day. But that love came from my parents before I ever set foot in school. My mother still recalls (with some mistiness) how she took me to kindergarten and I made a beeline for the library corner, hardly glancing back, and definitely not clinging! I know there are poor schools and uninspiring teachers. Heaven knows, I've had quite a few of them. And yes, I was teased because I was a good student by those whose standards were set at mediocrity. But my sights were set on being the first college student in our family and I didn't let others deter me. My parents encouraged and inspired me to aim high. So did my husband's family with him. That is what we have tried to do with our children. And it is why we have done without vacations, new cars, dinners out, the common perks of modern society, to afford to live in a high quality public school district.

Although my husband and I could easily teach our children at home given our academic backgrounds, we choose not to try to be all things to them. When they get out into the "big world" they will have to deal with all kinds of capricious bosses, competitive coworkers, difficult clients and unreasonable customers. In the real world there *are* tests and performance is graded, sometimes critically. By sheltering them at home from the kinds of personalities and challenges and tests they will face in "the world" I would be doing them a grave disservice. I prefer that they face worldly obstacles, disappointments and temptations while they are under my roof and I can guide them to wise choices. I prefer to be their tutor when they get stuck on learning something, but not their only teacher.

My proof is in the fruit: Two teenagers - one going on 19 on a scholarship in a university honors program - one going on 15, an A student, and working to be an Eagle Scout. No "teen" turmoil at all. Zip. Nada.

It can be done - even in public schools - if we aim high.

-- good parents +good teachers (, October 22, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

AimHigh says: Although my husband and I could easily teach our children at home given our academic backgrounds, we choose not to try to be all things to them. When they get out into the "big world" they will have to deal with all kinds of capricious bosses, competitive coworkers, difficult clients and unreasonable customers. In the real world there *are* tests and performance is graded, sometimes critically. By sheltering them at home from the kinds of personalities and challenges and tests they will face in "the world" I would be doing them a grave disservice.

Many of those who have not had much exposure to homeschooling have misconceptions about what it is. With very few exceptions, we do not lock them inside four walls and chain them to desks for eight hours per day, while forcing them to listen to the teacher, and punishing them if they talk to each other. We let them out! We're generally pretty amused when schooling advocates try to represent the school experience as being more representative of what they call "the real world."

For more information on homeschooling, check out this recent thread on the classic forum. I've put a few links there to earlier threads on homeschooling.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), October 23, 1999.

As some of you may recall, my wife and I recently embarked on the great adventure of homeschooling our 15-year-old daughter. Thanks to some of the tips and encouragement provided here (and by some of our new local "homeschool network"), we are well underway, and it's going very well indeed. We got the ISP and other legal areas squared away surprisingly quickly, which was a concern. Curriculum sorted itself nicely, as well.

So far, it's really no more stressful than having her go to public school, expect she (a) gets to sleep in until 7AM (instead of the 6AM required by the public school schedule), and (b) hasn't had to dodge one drug bust, gang confrontation, or make-out session in the girl's bathroom ( we run a pretty tight ship around here. 8-})

Her academics are very good; she's even enjoying Algebra!

My thanks again to all who helped us. My daughter is thriving, as is her relationship with her Mom - they spent quality AND quantity time together now. Joy!

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), October 23, 1999.

I am sorry about how I came off in my original posts. I never meant to give homeschooling a bad name. My desire was to show how easy it could be to for a family to educate their children when the need arises. I also did spell words wrong, I was typing fast, then my husband wanted to use the computer and I sent before proof reading. The second post was an emotional response. (I plan to have a thicker skin now) I indeed do not want to "play marbles" but share knowledge. I have never seen myself as knowing everything. I believe I am a resource person. "I will help find the answer". As far as sheltering children, I look at it rather as not institutionalizing them. Society seems to not want to see old people or children, so put them away. I give my girls the "real world", it is their home, church and community. Am I sheltered as an adult, because I stay home most of the time and choose who I will interact with (for example, a nasty, petty person on TB forum) and where I will and will not go? Every one of has to decide what we believe is best for our family. Many don't homeschool because they don't have confidence, but that will come. A slave who could read taught other slaves to read by writing in the dirt. Lousa May Alcott held "school" as a child and taught the neighborhood kids to read and perform plays. I feel it comes down to what your goal is for your children. As I wrote before, I believe we are here to minister to others, to have family values, be loving wives and good mothers. If you want your child to have college degrees and high salaries, your emphasis will be a different direction than mine. For inspiration read the book, "Homeschooling for Excellence" If your kids are now in school, how do you feel about Outcome Based Education? Are you familiar in the "Dumbing Down" of school textbooks. Do you really know the goals of enrichment programs? Do you really want Planned Parenthood teaching your child sex-education? Even elementary children think they need boyfriend/girlfriend. God holds the parent responsible for the education of their own child. Did you know that your state says it is their responsibility? School is for the training of a worker. The age a child can legally leave school was determined because the need to keep more people out of the job market. Read about "sick" schools (and other public buildings) and how this is breaking down children's immune systems. Schools get more funding when they label a kid. Little girls burn out because they are pleasers, boys are pushed to do academics before ready, then believe they can't learn and it becomes self-fullfilling prophecy. Kids are put on drugs so they will sit still and not disrupt. Movies (used as a reward or just time filler) are shown in school that I don't allow in my home. Kids get bored doing busywork/worksheets. Schools believe the answer to all the problems is more money. Homeschooling can be done with library books, borrowed books etc. We have the student/teacher ratio lower than they can go. The Montessori movement is to duplicate the home enviroment and allow a child to learn at own iniative. We already do that! We don't have snow days, sick days, wasted days of before and after vacations. Our classwork can go on the road if need be. Our life does not revolve around the schools schedule. We don't have to dress in just the right clothes. We don't have an environment of crime, drugs or intimidation. We are not exposed to all the illness that gets passed around. Some homeschool families fail, but school fails children all the time. I kept an article of a Chicago getto mom that was homeschooling. Her comment was, she could do as good as job as the school. That is not so, test scores show homeschooler score better on tests. Most colleges have an open door policy to any homeschooler. But at one time the military would not let them in (they question authority, as seen by Michael New, who would not put on the UN uniform. Follow that story, it is still being tried) This being a Y2K forum, we see the breakdown of our socity because of technology. Education is already broken, it had become a self serving institution. Little House on the Prarie days are over because the educating of our children has been taken out of the control of the community and more controlled by federal agencies. Whatever reason you homeschool, many of us are willing to help.

-- palavia (, October 23, 1999.

Every kid deserves a chance at a decent education. Every kid deserves * someone* who will not only teach them, but who will also put up with their (ahem) crap.

Unfortunately, it has become easier and easier for schools (public and parochial) to give up on kids. If a kid is considered "at risk", their chances of success in school go down. The teachers give up, the parents (some of them) give up. The kid spends more time sitting waiting for the principle than s/he does in class. Pretty soon, as tho by mutual agreement, that kid is no longer in school. That kid is lost!


Unless someone cares enough to get in the kid's face, and tell them that they WILL succeed. And then, that someone is always *expecting* the best, and mostly getting it. A kid needs to know that someone believes in them. I did it for my son, and now I'm doing it for family friends. Every kid deserves someone who won't give up on them!

Oh, and the *isolation*? Do you know how easy it is to take field trips with just 3 teenagers?! They've been to the public schools, they all work in the big ol' world. For them, it's either homeschool or no school (not my decision, I'm not their mom), so, it's homeschool. As long as I remember that they are teenagers, it's their job to whine and try to get out of work, we will all be fine!

Public schools work for some kids, some of the time. Homeschool works for others.

Please, no spelling or grammar police! It's Saturday night, and my classes are out!!

-- (, October 23, 1999.

Dear Palavia:

We taught all five of our children at home. They are now productive members of society. What is so remarkable about them? They can read, write, and do math. They show up on time for work and do their jobs well. They know responsibility and the fact that actions have consequences. We taught them these things. The public school product, for the most part, does not meet these simple standards. Home school kids stand out and, as a result, will be generally more successful than the poorly-trained and even more poorly-educated public school graduate.

I read in one of the response posts about public school parents having to feel defensive because of our implied superiority. In the early '80's, when we started teaching our children at home, we were attacked and harassed by public school authorities, both officially and unofficially, because of our decision. We received little support (but some outright hostility) from friends, church, and relatives. I apologize for making you all feel so bad! I note that one responder encourages parent/school partnerships and boasts about how wonderfully well her children did as a result of public school socialization, confrontation, and defending themselves. It sounds like she has been successful in raising her kids because of her obvious effort, native intelligence, and caring heart. I think her success came in spite of the public school experience, not because of it. The educational bureaucracy, as a whole, is not interested in parental input, just their money. The kids are just hostages. Of course, there must be some exceptions and some good public schools around someplace. I wouldn't know. I haven't seen any. It sounds to me, though, that many of the folks who praise their own local schools are attempting to assuage their misgivings about them.

Stick to your guns, Palavia!

-- Leon Perreault (, October 28, 1999.

I would be glad to see all public school banned as dangerous to our country's health and well-being. That said, just like everywhere in our world, there are tens of thousands of truly dedicated teachers (a relatively small percentage, alas) and millions of dedicated parents who help shepherd their kids through public school.

As one example among many, I know a mom who spends hours working with her son after school with his academics, and not because he has trouble academically. In a sense, she "is" home-schooling.

The broader issue here is parenting and families. The public school mill is a reflection of breakdown there. Or, to put it another way, strengthening families will lead to better schooling (at home, I hope).

The reason we can't "just" leave it there is that the government wants to use the public school industry as a mechanism for regulating and overthrowing familial authority. This is one reason why home- schooling on both sides is more than just a "personal" matter.

-- BigDog (, October 29, 1999.

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