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Author Topic: Home-schooling  (Read 41508 times)

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« on: February 16, 2013, 09:48:04 AM »
I am genuinely interested in why people choose to home school, would those who are doing so mind explaining why they have made this choice? I understand that sometimes it is a path chosen after bad experiences at school such as bullying, but for other parents who believe it is a better route for their child, why is this? Do you worry about the lack of socialisation with other children?
Also, is it legal to home-school in the UK?
I would be grateful to hear about anyone's experiences.


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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 09:56:33 AM »
I have a friend who homeschools because her kids have some special education needs that she feels home schooling can meet better,  They can adjust scheduling, environment, etc.  Other people can't afford private schooling and live in discticts where the public education  has limitations regarding safety and/or rigor. Some might want to include religious or other content that isn't offered in the public and private schools in their area.

As far as socialisation, a lot of these kids share instruction with other home schooled kids, participate in team sports, take dance /music/art classes, attend church, etc.


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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 10:49:09 AM »
A friend's much younger brother was homeschooled for the same reason - his special needs were not being catered to at school. This was in the UK so it is legal, but I think they had to have visits from the local authority for them to make sure he was being educated.


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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 12:47:05 PM »
I homeschooled specifically because of health issues, but we have a neighbor who homeschools her middle-schoolers because for various reasons the school system just wasn't working for them. 

Socialization really isn't a problem.  There are plenty of free or low-cost activities that kids can be involved in, plus most areas have at least on home-school group that sponsers get-togethers.

eta: I forgot to mention, I live in a state (Idaho) that allows dual enrollment.  Basically, that means that a homeschooled child can usually also take classes or participate in sports/activities offered by his/her school district.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 01:08:27 PM by Elisabunny »
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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 01:00:48 PM »
I homeschool for the reason other posters have mentioned.

My older child is LD and the local school did not know how to meet his needs and numerous meetings did not help the situation. They were well-intentioned but ill-equipped to help him. The local's strength was teaching gifted children not Special Education.

I really started to appreciate how flexible our schedule could be once they started homeschooling as well. While I'm a proponent of a homeschooling family having some schedule, if I decided to take off with the kids somewhere, it was without difficulties or notes to teachers or asking permission. Now that so many are doing it, there has been an explosion of virtual public schools to help parents and kids segue into homeschooling; providing computers, online classrooms, individual teachers for every subject, school supplies, field trips and whatnot.

Not only are there field trips organized with other homeschoolers, but we're very active in our religion so our kids are heavily socialized with other kids (some who homeschool and some that don't) as well people of all ages. That last is important. One of the elderly ladies at my place of worship recently told me that she just loves my son and appreciates how he always takes the time to talk to her and the older ones because the other young ones usually ignore the older ones (she didn't say that about my daughter, so I guess I got some work to do!).

I also really appreciate being able to spend time with my kids, being the one able to mold them while at the same time trying to teach them critical thinking skills that will help them later.

As far as legalities you could do a Google search on that. I'm in the US.


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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 01:28:59 PM »
My parents pulled my older brother out of school because he wasn't being challenged enough. He had at least one great teacher who found extra projects for the students who had mastered the current material, and that year was great. However, his last year in school, not only would the teacher not find anything to challenge students who had already grasped the material, she actually suggested he be held back a year when he acted out due to boredom. My parents decided that was enough, and they would handle it themselves. They also decided to homeschool me at the same time. We both thrived. My mother worked fairly closely with the local school district: they lent her some of the same textbooks they used, and we went to the school to take the same standardized tests every year to demonstrate that we were academically on track, etc. When we started studying topics our parents couldn't teach (foreign language, lab sciences, calculus, etc.), we were able to enroll early at the local community college. (I'm currently in grad school and my brother has a PhD, so we definitely didn't suffer academically, nor were we unable to integrate into formal schooling later.  ;))

As far as socialization goes, we were part of youth groups at our church, frequented a public library with youth events, did art camps and sometimes other summer camps, attended a home-school group that met once a week, had friends on our street, etc. I've never been a social butterfly, but it wasn't because I lacked the opportunity to hang out with other kids.

Other benefits mentioned by PPs are spot on: If there was something fun and educational going on, we could take off without worrying about the schedule. If one of us got interested in a particular subject, Mom could let us go to town at the library and turn it into a project. We ended up socializing with a lot of wonderful people from other generations, not just kids our age. I also had a lot more free time than my peers in school, because once I completed my schoolwork for the day, I was done.

gramma dishes

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 01:29:46 PM »
Many decades ago I had the BEST student teacher ever.  She truly was wonderful in every way.  I knew they were opening a new classroom at my grade level in our building and highly recommended that she be hired to fill that position and she was hired.  She did a fantastic job (as I knew she would) and was loved by her students, the other teaching staff and the parents of her kids.

Imagine my shock and surprise when she told me a few years later that she had removed her child from the public school system and would be home schooling all of them.  She never told me exactly why they made that decision.  All she would say was that they had observed some things at their (oldest) daughter's school (in first grade!!) that they had found "disturbing".  (Her word.)

Eventually they had five children, home schooled all of them, and they all went on to go to college and become extremely productive members of society.   

I still really don't know why they made that choice, but it obviously turned out well for them. 


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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 01:33:16 PM »
Yes, it is legal to home-school in the UK.  (See this from the website)

I know of a few people who have home-schooled their primary age children due to failing schools - or the school "not being right" for the child, but all of these people have sent their children to secondary schools. 


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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 02:00:00 PM »
My SIL and BIL decided to homeschool while their first was in first grade. He picked up every bug the other kids had, and ended up with Strep throat three different times that first year. He missed so much school that the school threatened to hold him back. So, SIL and BIL pulled him out of school. They homeschooled all three kids for a couple of years, but the middle kid didn't take to it well. He wouldn't listen to his mother, and would distrupt schooling for the other two. This year, they sent all three kids to a charter school. While the oldest and youngest miss homeschooling, the middle child is thriving. He just needed someone other than his mom to be his teacher.

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 02:03:14 PM »
We homeschooled for a variety of religious and academic reasons.
The flexibility was fantastic and when life involved several unexpected moves, homeschooling let us transition more easily.
For many years we were involved in local groups and clubs and I was involved in local boards and advocacy groups.

Eventually, we made the decision to go back to conventional schooling. The educational and social dynamics had changed and we felt it was the right decision for us.

Ironically, the flexible curriculum and small group social dynamics ended up masking the fact that one of our children has ADHD/Aspergers. She had done well academically in the flexible (but tested) hs environment, and her social quirks didn't stand out in the diverse-and-accepting hs settings.

Regular school came as a huge change, and I freely admit we all struggled. The kids all had some challenges in adapting, and in hindsight, I would have done that part very differently.

Our daughter didn't get a formal diagnosis until age 20, after flunking a year in college. She managed in hs because the Special-Ed teacher supported her even without the diagnosis and arranged some accommodations.

Do I feel that homeschooling did our DD a disservice by not getting her help sooner?
Sometimes, I do wonder "What if?"
At other times, I remind myself that she grew up in an academically and socially supportive environment and did well there. With all the moving we did, having to constantly adjust schooling, social situations and support services might not have been good for her.

She is now in her second year of college and passing all her courses. She has tutor and academic support if she needs it. She has become an assistant youth instructor at the church and recently attended her first youth group social and dance.
There is still a long way to go, but she is maturing and developing her social self-awareness. I am optimistic.
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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 02:39:59 PM »
We started homeschooling due to DS's severe food allergies.  We reevaluate every year to see if its the best decision for the kiddos.

My older two are involved in sports, went to gym classes at the local YMCA, and attend local art/pottery classes, and once we find a house (we recently relocated), we will find a church for some additional activities.  Homeschooling was a huge blessing this year, since we moved during the school year and the district we moved temporarily to is one of the lowest in the state.

Ironically, while we are religious, we do not use our religion as our reason for homeschooling.  My grandmother is very supportive of our decisions, but neither my parents nor my IL's do, as they were/are public school teachers.

Library Dragon

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2013, 02:55:21 PM »
As others have mentioned learning disabilities is a big reason many homeschool.  Approximately 20% of the US population as dyslexia.  50% of dyslexic elementary students will be homeschooled for some period of time.  Lack of services is horrifying. 

My youngest has minor dyslexia and more severe dyscalculia.  After continually fighting with math teachers who didn't understand or care we enrolled our youngest DS in an accredited, online high school in his sophomore year.  It was great for him.  He began taking dual enrollment college courses in history.  You want an impromptu lecture on the Punic Wars, he's your guy.  Math he could work through at his own pace, actually getting the concepts. 

Socialization wasn't an issue for us.  I've met homeschooled students you fall into all ranges of the social spectrum.  Most of the more awkward ones come from the goofy families and has little to do with homeschooling.  Many of our library's summer teen volunteers are homeschooled and are great.

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2013, 02:58:49 PM »
I knew a family who home-schooled their five children up to A-levels when they switched to the local very good state sixth form college.  The girl who was my age said it was great because she was able to decide which GCSE syllabus she wanted to follow for each subject, I've got a feeling they did some of their GCSEs early too.

There was an interesting case in the UK where a family home-schooled but focussed more on practical skills than academic, so their kids could build a car from scratch.  When the local authority questioned what they were learning they pointed out how these practical skills linked into lots of "academic" subjects, such as Physics with the engine of the car.  It's just a different way of teaching and they were allowed to carry on.


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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2013, 03:21:26 PM »
I was home schooled for one year. I had a fairly poor teacher and really hated school and so I spent grade 5 being home schooled.  However, I didn't have the self discipline for it and my mom was not wanting to make me do it. (I had begged for home schooling and she had made it clear it was on me to complete my work if I got pulled, so that was reasonable). However, a fairly disorganised grade 5 kid is not really set-up to home school themselves and my course work dribbled into the summer and that sucked. So I went back to normal school for grade 6.

I guess my experience was different in that, as far as I remember, I was essentially self taught for that year. I found the acedemics of school really easy, so "teaching"myself was not a problem. It was the not goofing that was a problem.

I have no plans to home school my child(ren). There are simply excellent public schools and magnet school and french immersion and private schools around so I would be happy with those. Maybe if I ended up abroad or travelling, I might do home schooling.


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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2013, 04:00:05 PM »
DH and I haven't got kids, though we're planning on them. We've both had bad experiences with schooling with bullying and bad teachers. We wouldn't home school by choice, but I have part of a teaching degree and I'd pull them out if there were problems, but only temporarily.

I have come across homeschooled kids in my training, but what I've seen hasn't impressed me. One girl argued with me all day and wouldn't stop talking. The girls at her desk wanted her to be quiet! Another girl was...uneven. She was a brilliant artist but behind in maths and wrote like a child two years below her.

So yeah, my feelings are mixed about homeschooling.