Author Topic: Home-schooling  (Read 9104 times)

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perpetua

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2013, 08:16:38 AM »
I don't have kids, but there's something I don't understand about homeschooling, namely how parents who presumably have no training in either teaching or the subjects they are teaching explain complex subject-related concepts.

For example: how would a parent who had no scientific training explain a physics concept or the principle behind a mathematical equation if they didn't first understand it and have extensive knowledge of it themselves?

We had separate teachers for each subject at school and they were all well versed in their particular subject so if there was something you didn't understand, the teacher could explain it in a different way using their subject-related training.

I can't help but think that these children are missing out on learning from the experts.

How does that work?

Oh Joy

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2013, 08:27:20 AM »
I don't have kids, but there's something I don't understand about homeschooling, namely how parents who presumably have no training in either teaching or the subjects they are teaching explain complex subject-related concepts.

For example: how would a parent who had no scientific training explain a physics concept or the principle behind a mathematical equation if they didn't first understand it and have extensive knowledge of it themselves?

We had separate teachers for each subject at school and they were all well versed in their particular subject so if there was something you didn't understand, the teacher could explain it in a different way using their subject-related training.

I can't help but think that these children are missing out on learning from the experts.

How does that work?

That's a good question.  I think that there is a range of expectations for the roles of the parents in homeschooling.  On one end you have the 'I'll teach the kids what I know' mentality.  On the other end is the 'I'll be the curator of knowledge for the kids, matching them with the best appropriate resources' mentality.  I think the internet is making it easier to take the curator approach, between the advancement of quality online education programs and the ease of finding individual classes and workshops.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2013, 09:12:27 AM »
Most teachers don't have that kind of knowledge, either.  Most of their education is in teaching itself, not in the subjects they teach.  Most homeschoolers use curriculum that is designed by experts, just like teachers do.  And they learn along with their kids.  Just about anybody has the basic knowledge needed to help their child through elementary and probably most middle school educational material, maybe looking things up here and there.  They might not remember all the *facts* but generally they get the ideas.  As kids get older, the more they are ready to learn on their own with their teacher as their advisor, tutor, and task-setter.  Some parents *are* capable of teaching their kids all the way through; I've always been very well-rounded, so I can definitely teach my kids English, science, and math.  If our kids are particularly talented at math, my husband is capable at teaching them through the level of differential equations at least.  And if they do get to the point where they're beyond our ability to teach, they can take outside classes for that subject.  I think this can vary, though.  I do cringe sometimes when I read somebody's post on a homeschool forum and they can't spell or string two sentences together.  I don't think that they *can't* homeschool, but I think they'll have trouble correcting their child's writing.  However, I'd have no objection if they used a program for that subject that would basically do the teaching for them... the way most people use Math-U-See videos to teach their kids directly.

Sharnita

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2013, 10:08:07 AM »
I can't say I agree with that.  I have had many classes in undergrad and grad that are all content specific.  I have been to additional trainings, lectures, etc, that are about content.  Therecertainly are a lot that are also dedicated to education but my degrees are in the subject.  Perhaps you are thinking more of elementary teachers.

As far as how parents teah various subjects, another option is to team up and share responsibility for what their specialty might be.  For example a parent who is an engineer might help put together a physics unit and look over the work.  A mom who has an English degree will teach that.  Famillies can pair or team up to share expertise. You hire somebody to give them voice lessons.  Dance class and soccer might help meet gym requirements.

mmswm

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2013, 10:18:46 AM »
When I got back here I immediately re-joined an extremely large homeschool group that I'd been part of before I moved away.  The parents in this group are happy to trade kids for subjects that other parents are  more expert in.  My BS and MS are in Math/Statistics.  My undergrad minors are Biology, Chemistry and English Lit. I've always been happy to teach the kids who got to calculus or beyond when their own parents are unable to.  I'm okay through basic HS science, math and English/Literature and music, and through elementary art, but I need help when it comes to foreign languages or any specialized Social Studies (basic stuff I'm fine, but nowhere near the expert I am with math). Good thing for me is that through this group, I'm sure to find a parent who's every bit as expert in those subjects as I am with math, and if one of my kids turns into a super talented chemist or physicist, there's a parent there for that too.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Cami

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2013, 11:06:41 AM »
My dd was involved in a local youth activity that was quite popular with homeschoolers. My opinion is based only upon that sample.

Some of the kids were well-educated and well-rounded. Some were not as it appeared that the parents did not take their job as teacher seriously. Very few of the homeschoolers were well-socialized and struggled mightily with social norms and cues. A lot of time was spent during the activity dealing with their socialization needs, which was frustrating to the others.

Thipu1

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2013, 11:26:11 AM »
We have no children but a relative home schools her two children aged 9 and 7.  She uses a rather controversial variety known here as 'Un-Schooling'.  In this method, the curriculum is based on what the child wants to learn.

  It's worked fine with the 7 year-old girl.  It's not working out well with the 9 year-old boy.  The only things that seem to interest him are World of Warcraft and light saber fighting.  He can't read, write or do simple sums. He still has trouble telling the difference between the numeral 2 and the numeral 5.

However, the boy has started agitating to be sent to a 'real school'. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out. 
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 11:28:26 AM by Thipu1 »

mmswm

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2013, 11:28:36 AM »
See, my experience is the exact opposite.  I taught middle school for nearly 10 years and was close to overwhelmed every year with students who could not behave in a public setting without intense intervention, to the point where I had days and weeks where I felt I was spending more time running a "finishing school", than teaching mathematics.

I find that there are fewer of those behavior problems in the large homeschool group we are a part of, and not a single issue in the nature classes that they take at one of the county parks around here. The kids in the homeschool group are far from under-socialized, and, in fact, are more in tune to social cues as a group than my former public school students.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Slartibartfast

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2013, 11:36:12 AM »
Babybartfast will be going to kindergarten this fall, and we are considering homeschooling.  Here are our reasons:

1) The school we're zoned for is . . . not good.  It was built five years ago and is zoned to cover a large section of sparsely-populated outer areas of our city - there was lots of new home construction going on, so the school was intended to provide for all those new families.  Then the economy fell through and much of the building stalled, so the school got built but there weren't enough kids to go in it.  The district bussed in some kids from the projects (government housing downtown), and predictably the combination of new teachers and students who were used to a horrible school meant the school we're zoned for got some pretty awful test scores.  We bought this house anyway, reasoning that it was just a first-year anomaly, but the scores haven't increased (and the kids are still being bussed in).  I've heard everywhere from "it's just racist to not want your kids to go there" to "seriously, they do have a problem with people bringing guns to school" so I'll have to do some more research before making a decision.

2) We applied for Babybartfast to go to our city's magnet elementary school, but haven't heard back yet.  We applied last January and we should be getting a call this March (so over a year later) for an interview . . . maybe.  If they get to our application.  I don't know whether they go through applications chronologically (we got it in about three weeks after they opened up applications, and I don't know how many people beat us to the punch) or whether there are other criteria.  I also don't know exactly what they're looking for in the interview - I've heard they take into account race, neighborhood, gender, and scholastic ability, so it's possible Babybartfast wouldn't get in even if we do get the interview just because we don't fit the right demographics.

3) Babybartfast goes to a private school right now, for preschool, but it's already expensive for three mornings a week.  We don't have the extra $8K a year for her to do kindergarten (and it goes up from there).

So yeah, if she doesn't get into the magnet school and the public school turns out (upon closer inspection) to be actually physically unsafe, I'll homeschool.  I was an excellent student and so was DH, so I'm not worried about that aspect - and honestly, Babybartfast is far ahead of her peers when it comes to math and reading anyway, so homeschooling would probably help in that aspect.  It just means I'd never get this darn book written  :-\

mmswm

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2013, 11:37:55 AM »
We have no children but a relative home schools her two children aged 9 and 7.  She uses a rather controversial variety known here as 'Un-Schooling'.  In this method, the curriculum is based on what the child wants to learn.

  It's worked fine with the 7 year-old girl.  It's not working out well with the 9 year-old boy.  The only things that seem to interest him are World of Warcraft and light saber fighting.  He can't read, write or do simple sums. He still has trouble telling the difference between the numeral 2 and the numeral 5.

However, the boy has started agitating to be sent to a 'real school'. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out.

See, the "right" way to do unschooling is to take what the child is interested in and sneak all the rest of the stuff in around it.  So this kid loves World of Warcraft.  I'd have him read the gaming books, write fan-fic and build a WoW "set". The reading and writing have obvious objectives.  The set building would encompass scale drawing, measurement, simple tools. He could also write a screen play for a light saber skit, research the physics of light to determine if such a thing could ever exist and study the history of wartime weaponry throughout the ages (and get an awful of of more traditional history along the way). He could also plan a pretend performance of the skit and figure out how much he could earn if he sold tickets.  Throw in the cost of production and venue rental and he's got basic math and business.  It's a lot of work for the parent, but it's astounding just how much you can build off a child's interest to be able to sneak in "real" academics.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Sophia

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2013, 02:28:35 PM »
I don't have kids, but there's something I don't understand about homeschooling, namely how parents who presumably have no training in either teaching or the subjects they are teaching explain complex subject-related concepts.

For example: how would a parent who had no scientific training explain a physics concept or the principle behind a mathematical equation if they didn't first understand it and have extensive knowledge of it themselves?

We had separate teachers for each subject at school and they were all well versed in their particular subject so if there was something you didn't understand, the teacher could explain it in a different way using their subject-related training.

I can't help but think that these children are missing out on learning from the experts.

How does that work?

I have three answers for this:

1)  The public school teachers aren't really that knowledgeable about their subjects.  The theory is that if you are a good teacher, you can teach anything.  Even then, most of the training of teachers is on "classroom management."  Math in particular is taught by teachers who only know their subject from years of teaching the same class.  I was a Physics teacher, who also taught Psych.  I blanched when told I'd be teaching Psych., and stated that I'd only had one class on it in college.  The answer was "Do your best". 

2)  I plan on learning at the same time.  I was born in 1970.  Grammar was out-of-fashion in the 70's, and I was not taught it beyond nouns, verbs, adjectives in maybe second grade.  I plan on buying the best curriculum possible for grammar and learning along. 

3)  We live near several major Universities, and respectable Community Colleges.  During the high school years, daughter can do Dual-Enrollment classes.  This will also serve as "pieces of paper" and outside proof that she can handle college classes.  It isn't unusual in this area for home-schooled kids to get their A.A. degree at the same time as their high school diploma. 

Kimblee

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2013, 02:32:57 PM »
I would like to home school because my public school experiences were dismal and I doubt the local schools are much better than the ones that I went to, judging from my little brother's experience.

Besides, I really feel that modern schooling focuses too heavily on standard testing and has cut out some things that I consider very important.

A friend of mine is home schooling her daughter because the school threatened to put her in Special Ed only classes unless friends agreed to have her medicated for her "ADHD" (She does NOT had ADHD, she doesn't even have hyperactivity. She reads and moves her lips along with the words. Her teacher hated it and complained about the "unmedicated mentally ill" girl.)
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RegionMom

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2013, 03:47:44 PM »
Homeschooling and private schools are huge around here.

One family moved to a big city for the dad's job, and with all other struggles (mom had surgery, other stuff) they decided to place their always homeschooled 15 year old in a very good private school because they did not have time to "plug into" all the homeschool offerings.(see below)  She tested well, has friends galore, is in the school play and active in church, and the hardest part has been following a regular schedule.
One teacher, upon meeting her, said, "oh, you have always been homeschooled, I see.  I do not expect you to do very well in my class."  Well, she exempted her final and he basically has since apologized for his incorrect assumption.  She received academic honors first semester!

As for what to do if parents are bad at math, setting up labs, running phys ed, etc...

there are SO many places that cater to homeschoolers that you'd be amazed!  Academies that run one or two days a week, entire sports teams at gymnastics centers and swim centers, churches that host open classrooms, field trip days at local historical and fun places, open houses for book and curriculum sales, support groups, even legal defense for tricky states!  On-line courses, tutoring, skype lessons, study groups, etc...

in fact, some colleges recruit homeschoolers because they know they will not have to necessarily train them how to study and set aside time to study.

yes, there are always a few bad apples (a HS girl in her 3rd year of basic algebra) but you have bad apples anywhere you go, public, private, homeschool, boarding school, etc...

A big part of it is motivation.  that "unschooled" boy is unmotivated because he gets what he wants--free play time!  The poster above who explained how it should be done was spot on. 

That comes down to a parenting issue. 

We all have our own opinions.  if we all thought the same, we would only have one clothing store, one church, one restaurant, one type of car, etc...there is no "one size fits all."  But we can all mostly recognize a good thing done well.

And there are many good homeschooled kids.

:)

« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 03:49:21 PM by RegionMom »
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Elisabunny

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2013, 06:07:02 PM »
The previous posters that said they homeschooled because of social issues reminded me of one family I know.  They send their kids to conventional school for elementary and high school, but homeschool for middle/junior high.  They feel that the negative social aspects of school at that age far outweigh any possible academic benefits.
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2013, 06:07:51 PM »
Sometimes you need to go through tough things to develop resilience.there are limits, though.