Author Topic: Home-schooling  (Read 7587 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Rohanna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2311
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #105 on: February 21, 2013, 09:55:00 AM »
So you really think that if public schooling suddenly ceased to exist, that the majority of parents would suddenly become wonderful teachers and that the majority of children would continue to be educated to the degree they are now? If home-schooling was outlawed, most home-schooling parents would continue to be supportive, pro-active and supplement and add to their children's education- I've seen that the reverse is not true.

In places like Northern Canada, where access to teachers and schools for Native children is abysmal and disgraceful I can tell you that the slack is *not* picked up by parents- the children are for the most part simply left uneducated. Reservations in Canada are a living and breathing example of the difference public schooling makes in most children's lives- the very reason governments get into the business of teaching children in the first place. If every parent could and would teach, these children would not be as woefully undereducated as they are.

In reality, in both Canada and the US many schools have to run breakfast programs because so many parents are too lazy, too poor, too busy, or too uneducated in the importance of breakfast to feed kids before school. And yet you think these parents are still somehow going to be the "best teachers" when they can barely manage the basics of "food, water, clothing, shelter"?  Enjoy your fire and your good decisions all you like, because I have never once said that you personally should not- but stop turning my points about the general population into personal attacks and then refuting them on that basis, cause they aren't and never were.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10456
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #106 on: February 21, 2013, 10:17:10 AM »
My part of my town is one where there are free breakfasts provided for all children and I've been told 95% of the children attending the elementary school middle son attends are on the free lunch program.  He isn't, as we can afford to send him to lunch and we have breakfast food at home but he actually prefers to eat breakfast at school. 

Also, school supplies are provided for the kids at that school and a few others in our county so that the parents don't have to worry about it. My church, and a couple others, participate in a program called Micah's Backpack which is a tote bag of food for children to take home on the weekends so they have something to eat when they're not at school.  They also collect coats and clothes for kids at that school too. 

So I can see where Rohanna's coming from.  There's nothing wrong with homeschooling when the family is equipped to do it.  Not all parents really are in the best place to help their kids, whether it's to home school or support the public school education.  I think I mentioned earlier in the thread some parents around here just don't seem to care whether their kid is educated or not because they just can't be bothered to make sure the kids get to school on time or at all.  At the beginning of the year there is a paper sent home reminding parents that keeping a child home to babysit younger children does NOT count as an excused absence.

And last month we got a call from middle son's school saying they were going to start a new program to reward families for their child's good attendance (this school has a BIG problem with attendance) by making sure the parents benefit for their kids going to school, too.  It's sad, really.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Kendo_Bunny

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2688
  • I'm inquisitive!
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #107 on: February 21, 2013, 10:21:02 AM »
I followed up with a post about parents being the best teachers. Kids learn more from their parents about life attitudes then they do from their teachers, except in rare cases. Rohanna, you are assuming that those of us who are pro-homeschool believe that every parent is wonderful and good. I don't believe we are.

I work in public school. I'm a substitute teacher, so I see a different class every day, different age group, different school. And I see the difference of kids whose parents are "teachers" and whose parents don't give a flying horse hockey puck about teaching their children. The kids whose parents teach them are the ones that are engaged. Their parents at least pay attention when their kids ask them homework questions. They listen to read-alouds in younger grades, talk about things of academic interest (news, family history, things they remember from school that aren't complaints about how much they hated it). If they can't volunteer with the school or know nothing about the subject at hand, it doesn't matter, because they are modelling for their child that they take an interest in that child's education. With the younger grades, you can tell that these kids are the ones that you're going to see in Advanced Classes later on for the most part. For the kids who have learning disabilities and engaged parents, you can still tell, because the kid is bright and happy and eager to come to school.

The kids whose parents are not engaged are sulky. They act up in class. They designate everything "stupid" or a "waste of time". I see a young man who works in Alt Ed, and he tells me almost none of the students he meets have anything academically wrong with them, they just don't care. They have decided that education is a waste, because they were taught by their parents that education is a waste. They don't read anything more challenging than Cosmo or Sports Illustrated, and then spend most of class watching Youtube. If you ask what they want to do, if they don't respond model or sports star, they will flat out tell you they're going to have a bunch of kids and get a big welfare check so they don't have to work "because work is for suckers". Why not? Parents are the first teachers you have, and that's what they've been taught. They will teach it to their own children and continue perpetuating the cycle of ignorance and poverty, except for the odd one who decides that ignorance and poverty is the sucker's game and makes something of themselves.

There is no denying that parents are the first teachers you have, unless you have some guardian other than your parents. You spend more time around your parents than your teachers, and even the best teacher can't know a child the same way their parents can. That's why every parent owes it to their child to be an amazing teacher and role model, even if they are not a good academic teacher or would be terrible at homeschooling. But it is not fair to public school teachers or children to send off a child and say "I made this child, now you raise it for me. You be the teacher and the parent."

That's all the pro-homeschoolers are trying to get across - parents are the best teachers of attitudes, behaviors, habits, prejudices, and opinions. Even if homeschool is a bad fit for your child, you are still going to teach your child before they ever set foot outside your house. You owe it to them to teach them good things, and it's a crying shame that some people do not, since their children are the ones that suffer for it.

mmswm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1936
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #108 on: February 21, 2013, 10:25:03 AM »
Rohanna, I'm very sad when I read your posts.  You seem very bitter.  And yes, you've made many interesting assumptions.

You've made assumptions that parents with learning disabilities can't educate their kids.

You've made assumptions about how much poor parents love and care for their kids.

You've made assumptions about poverty's impact on parents' ability to teach.

You've made the assumption that the only thing worthy of teaching is academic knowledge.

I brought up my own situation because your assumptions offend me.  Your assumptions about the reasons for the breakfast programs also offend me.  That 10 years I spent teaching was spent in one of the most violent, poverty stricken neighborhoods in the US.  Most of my parents were dirt poor.  A huge number of them were recent immigrants who didn't speak English.  Almost all of them worked several jobs to support their children. With few exception, my parents wanted nothing but the best for their children.   They allowed their children to participate in the breakfast programs because it freed up scarce resources for other things. They met me for conferences at midnight during their meal breaks at minimum wage job. Like your father-in-law, they taught their children to value education. Those parents taught their children in a way I could never replicate.  They taught their children the value of hard work and honesty.  They taught their children that they could be better than their parents and rise above the poverty that grew up in.

Were all of my parents like that?  Of course not, but the overwhelming majority of them were.  Poverty does not equal bad parents.  Poverty doesn't equal parents that don't care.  The poster who originally said that parents make the best teachers clarified herself.  Every other person who's posted on this thread has concurred with the thought that homeschooling isn't for everybody.

I think Kendo_Bunny has said this far better than I did.

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4272
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #109 on: February 21, 2013, 10:27:14 AM »
Some people can.not.teach.  My mother is one of those people.  I have 2 brothers.  All 3 of us have a college degree.  If we had been taught at home by mom we would know less than the average public-school 6th grader. 

Home schooling was unheard of when I was a kid.  I got lucky.

My mother was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse long ago.  My siblings and I feel sorry for those kids.  We didn't even want Mother to help us with our homework, because we would end up even more confused than when we started.

Rohanna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2311
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #110 on: February 21, 2013, 10:42:51 AM »
It's not an assumption to state that poverty impacts education- as much as it might not be "politically correct" to say so. It doesn't mean that every poor parent "cares" less- because in fact many poor parents value and prize education highly as a potential "way out" for their children. I know, because my husband is the child of one such family, and while his parents were in *no* position to teach him, and had no knowledge of how to, they valued his schooling and pushed him to continue it.

You are making an assumption yourself that I am bitter, and I'm sorry that reality and harsh facts make you "sad".

If parents need breakfast programs to "free up resources" what would happen if the school was not there? Where would the breakfast AND the teaching supplies/extra-curricular and enrichement fees come from? You're contradicting your own point. My point was that if some parents are so "up against a wall" that they need to rely on public assistance for basic meals, you cannot expect them to shoulder even more.

You have not shown to me how an extremely learning disabled (I am not talking "sometimes I mix up my letters" or "I struggle with higher math" - I'm talking parents that I have seen at my clinic that require intensive monitoring and social assistance) would homeschool.

You have assumed I am making "love" judgements about poor parents when I am discussing work, resources and knowledge.

You have not shown me how poverty does NOT have an impact on the ability AND opportunity to teach for many people.

As for the only thing being worth teaching being academic? Well that *is* what I'm discussing. Academics- schooling- knowledge. The ability to apply that knowledge and learning into the ability to obtain a lifestyle, a job, a business, a career, or to perhaps be in charge or a household instead of an "out of the house" job. I doubt many future employers are going to take a signed not from Mum saying "This child was loved a lot" as credentials. If the goal is to provide a child with the tools to become self-sufficient and able to provide for themselves or a family in whatever fashion they decide upon, then there must and needs to be more than that.

« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 10:45:08 AM by Rohanna »
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Roe

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6304
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #111 on: February 21, 2013, 10:43:50 AM »
*standing ovation for Kendo Bunny and mmswm!!!* 

:)   

You ladies are awesome. 

Rohanna, a "letter from mum?"  That's a bit condescending. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 10:49:19 AM by Roe »

Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11545
  • xi
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #112 on: February 21, 2013, 10:49:34 AM »
I am a book learner.  I honestly feel that starting around fourth grade I would have been better off teaching myself at home than going to public school.  I was a latchkey kid anyway (and did well as one)   It wasn't that my public school was particularly bad, it was one of the better ones.  But there are inherent problems with group education, and that many don't really don't want to be there. 

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10456
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #113 on: February 21, 2013, 10:50:19 AM »
I followed up with a post about parents being the best teachers. Kids learn more from their parents about life attitudes then they do from their teachers, except in rare cases. Rohanna, you are assuming that those of us who are pro-homeschool believe that every parent is wonderful and good. I don't believe we are.

I work in public school. I'm a substitute teacher, so I see a different class every day, different age group, different school. And I see the difference of kids whose parents are "teachers" and whose parents don't give a flying horse hockey puck about teaching their children. The kids whose parents teach them are the ones that are engaged. Their parents at least pay attention when their kids ask them homework questions. They listen to read-alouds in younger grades, talk about things of academic interest (news, family history, things they remember from school that aren't complaints about how much they hated it). If they can't volunteer with the school or know nothing about the subject at hand, it doesn't matter, because they are modelling for their child that they take an interest in that child's education. With the younger grades, you can tell that these kids are the ones that you're going to see in Advanced Classes later on for the most part. For the kids who have learning disabilities and engaged parents, you can still tell, because the kid is bright and happy and eager to come to school.

The kids whose parents are not engaged are sulky. They act up in class. They designate everything "stupid" or a "waste of time". I see a young man who works in Alt Ed, and he tells me almost none of the students he meets have anything academically wrong with them, they just don't care. They have decided that education is a waste, because they were taught by their parents that education is a waste. They don't read anything more challenging than Cosmo or Sports Illustrated, and then spend most of class watching Youtube. If you ask what they want to do, if they don't respond model or sports star, they will flat out tell you they're going to have a bunch of kids and get a big welfare check so they don't have to work "because work is for suckers". Why not? Parents are the first teachers you have, and that's what they've been taught. They will teach it to their own children and continue perpetuating the cycle of ignorance and poverty, except for the odd one who decides that ignorance and poverty is the sucker's game and makes something of themselves.

There is no denying that parents are the first teachers you have, unless you have some guardian other than your parents. You spend more time around your parents than your teachers, and even the best teacher can't know a child the same way their parents can. That's why every parent owes it to their child to be an amazing teacher and role model, even if they are not a good academic teacher or would be terrible at homeschooling. But it is not fair to public school teachers or children to send off a child and say "I made this child, now you raise it for me. You be the teacher and the parent."

That's all the pro-homeschoolers are trying to get across - parents are the best teachers of attitudes, behaviors, habits, prejudices, and opinions. Even if homeschool is a bad fit for your child, you are still going to teach your child before they ever set foot outside your house. You owe it to them to teach them good things, and it's a crying shame that some people do not, since their children are the ones that suffer for it.

What she said.  :)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11458
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #114 on: February 21, 2013, 11:03:10 AM »
How was it about "all" the other parents?  Rohanna has a point - there are a non-zero number of parents who are unable to teach their children academic subjects at home for various reasons (they lack the knowledge, ability, time, care, etc.).  There's no need to make a quantitative judgement about this - the number of parents who fall into this category is somewhere between "one" and "all," and it doesn't really matter where.  The point is, saying "the parent is ALWAYS the best teacher" is simply untrue.  It doesn't matter how many parents are fantastic homeschoolers - or how many overcome obstacles like dyslexia, poverty, lack of an education, etc. - the "always" part is still false.

ScubaGirl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 520
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #115 on: February 21, 2013, 11:04:21 AM »
First, I don't believe Rohanna made any assumptions.  She was not making blanket statements.  She was offering scenarios, just like other posters.

Second, I offer the following as a statement.  It is not data.  Just because my DH experiences this does not mean that it is a universal truth.  My DH is a high school counselor.  As such, he has enrolled a number of charter and home schooled kids into 9th grade (the start of high school here).  With little exception, all the kids he enrolled (again, his personal experience, not a universal truth) were 1 to 2 years behind.  Recently there was a home schooled kid who came in with all A's - followed a curriculum and took all the tests.  At the end of the first marking period he had C's and D's.

Third, a woman we know home schools her kids.  In the fall she was telling us how on a beautiful fall afternoon she took her kids to a friend's farm and they rode horses.  She felt pity for all the kids who were stuck in a classroom while her kids got to do that.  Yes, it did sound wonderful but a small piece of me wondered how hard will it be for them to adjust to the "real" world where bosses won't be too happy with an employee who disappears on a beautiful fall afternoon.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 11:07:43 AM by ScubaGirl »

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3821
    • My blog!
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #116 on: February 21, 2013, 11:30:46 AM »
Rohanna, perhaps I overspoke when I said that "most" people have that basic knowledge or could look it up as needed, because I wasn't thinking of immigrant families.  Immigrants do, in many cases, need at least a generation in order to learn English and the culture well enough to learn about the sources available, etc.  I was speaking really of families who are American citizens and whose parents were born American citizens, and so have been around for long enough to have basic working knowledge and the ability to find other things they need.  I don't think that every parent is able/willing to homeschool their children, but I think that many adults who feel able and willing to try can manage it, especially in the early years, with perhaps doing something like Classical Conversations when their kids get older.

And maybe it is purely anecdotal, but I have two friends who are teachers, a MIL who has worked as a principal and a teacher, and all of them have most of their education in education itself, not in the subjects they teach.  My MIL is teaching math, but she called us and I helped her work through a math problem the other day so that she could teach it to her students. 

I'll admit that students whose parents don't care are a major impediment to education... it was constantly hammered into me, through my public school education, that school was not cool, it was lame to do well in school, it made you a dork, you were unpopular and even hated if you dared to do well in school, etc.  And perhaps their parents' attitudes helped encourage this.  But maybe also the parents' experience of going through a public school was part of what created this attitude.  Such an attitude spreads easily through a class of kids, and I think that peer pressure helps our kids internalize the attitude that school is not cool and wanting to do well will make you disliked by your peers, and I think that attitude travels through the generations.

With homeschooled kids doing other activities during the day and that being different from the working world... isn't much of what we do as a child different from the working world?  Having to work all summer was a huge adjustment to me when I started working.  Even in college when I had summer jobs, you did something *different* during the summer, and it had a different feel.  Having the summer not come with any major change was a huge adjustment.  Not being done at 3pm and getting to play outside, but having to work until 5:30... but then not having any homework to do?  That was also a big change.  I think that kids can gradually learn to adjust to the working world if they are taught the skills they need to do so.

I'd also set forth the possibility that in those cases of a homeschooled student who then went to public school and didn't do as well, may have been cases in which the homeschooling wasn't going so well, or the parent realized that the child wasn't getting enough challenge, and that was the reason *why* the child started school.  Also purely anecdotal, but all the kids I've run into who are homeschooled are generally reading well above grade level, often doing math above grade level, and they've often started a musical instrument years before first grade.  The two adults that I know who were homeschooled (my husband and my best friend) are both incredibly smart and well-adjusted, one as an engineer and one as a lawyer.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 11:45:45 AM by MommyPenguin »

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6319
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #117 on: February 21, 2013, 11:37:38 AM »
As interesting as this thread is, I think it's in danger of being shut down.  Home schooling seems to be almost as divisive as breast feeding. 

stitchygreyanonymouse

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 640
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #118 on: February 21, 2013, 12:29:46 PM »
I can completely understand where Roe and mmswm are coming from—parents should be children’s first teachers, and we, coming from a place of privilege, find it easy to make blanket statements that all parents could homeschool if they wanted to, as they have the ability to find the resources they need or have the knowledge already, etc.

But we are in a place of privilege. All of us here have the ability to use a computer, have access to an internet connection, and can get around online. We have the ability to communicate well enough in English to respond to others. We have the critical thinking skills to explain why we are or aren't homeschooling, or how homeschooling has impacted us and our children (or children we know).

And it is very, very easy to forget that there are others who are not in that place of privilege, who cannot be included in those blanket statements and I thank Rohanna for reminding us of that.


kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12184
Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #119 on: February 21, 2013, 10:23:52 PM »
I can completely understand where Roe and mmswm are coming from—parents should be children’s first teachers, and we, coming from a place of privilege, find it easy to make blanket statements that all parents could homeschool if they wanted to, as they have the ability to find the resources they need or have the knowledge already, etc.

But we are in a place of privilege. All of us here have the ability to use a computer, have access to an internet connection, and can get around online. We have the ability to communicate well enough in English to respond to others. We have the critical thinking skills to explain why we are or aren't homeschooling, or how homeschooling has impacted us and our children (or children we know).

And it is very, very easy to forget that there are others who are not in that place of privilege, who cannot be included in those blanket statements and I thank Rohanna for reminding us of that.


I agree to an extent, but I think there are many who are in the "place of privilege" (college education, enough time during the day, have the computer/internet resources etc.) who still feel that they would not be good at teaching academics to their own kids.  Teaching manners, social responsibility,physical activity - of course - but academics are very different.