Author Topic: Home-schooling  (Read 9963 times)

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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #120 on: February 22, 2013, 01:11:49 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.

Bravo! That's the point I was trying to make with the homeschooled kids I have met who have somehow gotten to learn what they want rather than what they need to survive in the real world.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #121 on: February 22, 2013, 02:07:59 AM »
A question for those of you who are currently or have recently homeschooled early elementary-aged kids: how much time a day did you find you had to devote to it?  I've heard some people say that homeschooling only takes two or three hours to learn the same amount as traditional schools teach because you can work at your student's fastest pace, but I could also see how a high school student would require a lot less "sit with them and make them pay attention" time than a first-grader would.

mmswm

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #122 on: February 22, 2013, 02:15:46 AM »
It doesn't take as long as you think.  Some of the time-consumers of a traditional classroom:

-Waiting for 15+ kids to finish a task.  Some might be done in five minutes, some might take 15.
-Transitions:  getting all those kids to stop one activity and start another.  There might be a dozen or more transitions a day, each one taking several minutes.
-Classroom bathroom breaks:  Do you have any idea how long it takes 15 five year olds to go to the bathroom!
-Specials, lunch, and recess: It takes time to put stuff away, clean up, line up, get to those activities, clean up, line up again, get back to the classroom and settle back down.

All of those things are eliminated when you have just one or two kids.  Even if you break for a recess, it's just one kid, not 15 or more, so it takes vastly less time to move from one activity to another. 

In addition to that, you can tailor the instruction to the individual child.  A topic that one child might get in 2 minutes might take another child 2 days. A classroom teacher has to spend time with all of his or her students, meaning that there will occasionally be times when some children aren't really doing anything, or are doing extra activities to keep engaged.  Those times are eliminated when you're only teaching one child.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

CakeEater

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #123 on: February 22, 2013, 07:11:54 AM »
I've been a classroom teacher for many years and I believe that for some kids and families, homeschooling would be a great option, and for others it would be a disaster. As others have stated so well, there are many factors involved in making a decision like that.

I would go completely insane teaching my own kids, and that would be good for no-one, even though I have teaching skills and good content knowledge, and I'm sure my kids would benefit from a more personalized learning program.

Even intelligent, well-educated, loving parents with the means to allow one parent who is a trained teacher to stay at home and homeschool (as is the case in our house), wouldn't always make the best academic educators for their own kids.

Of course, DH and I plan to teach our kids all sorts of things, but homeschooling isn't part of our plan.


bloo

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #124 on: February 22, 2013, 09:45:13 AM »
A question for those of you who are currently or have recently homeschooled early elementary-aged kids: how much time a day did you find you had to devote to it?  I've heard some people say that homeschooling only takes two or three hours to learn the same amount as traditional schools teach because you can work at your student's fastest pace, but I could also see how a high school student would require a lot less "sit with them and make them pay attention" time than a first-grader would.

My kids were in 4th and 5th grade when we started. It was difficult that first year but it was nice that schooling could generally be finished in 2-4 hours (as opposed to 6 hours of bricks-n-mortar school + 2-3 hours of homework). I had to be glued to them as we all adjusted to the program and tried to work out a schedule. By the 3rd year (7th & 8th grades respectively) we had everything fairly streamlined. Once the kids started 6th grade, the programs and their online teachers directed everything at THEM (whereas in elementary it was directed to the parents to oversee the kids work). Once my kids started a high school program I almost felt like a non-entity. Now I just help direct them to where to find information if they need it (rare). They deal with their teachers themselves through phone or email. Bookwork is probably the same (2-5 hours a day).

MonteCristo

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #125 on: February 22, 2013, 10:26:19 AM »
A question for those of you who are currently or have recently homeschooled early elementary-aged kids: how much time a day did you find you had to devote to it?  I've heard some people say that homeschooling only takes two or three hours to learn the same amount as traditional schools teach because you can work at your student's fastest pace, but I could also see how a high school student would require a lot less "sit with them and make them pay attention" time than a first-grader would.

It only takes 2-4 hours a day.  And even that time you don't really have to be standing over them teaching.  Most homeschool curriculum that I'm familiar with is essentially self-taught.  K-3rd may take more direct teacher supervision, but 4+ is mostly student driven. 

DynoMite

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #126 on: February 22, 2013, 10:32:05 AM »
Ooh, I can talk about this topic! I was homeschooled all the way through til college. I'm the oldest of four, and I plan to start homeschooling by first grade and continue as long as it works for our family and individual children. In my growing up family, I was the only one that was just homeschooled. My three siblings all underwent different types of education at various start and stop times. I think the important thing is to just not let it be a "thing," you know? I think the people that will be most successful at it will be the ones who are not militant about whatever type of education they use. Do what you can for as long as you can, and when it's not working, it's time to look for a different avenue.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #127 on: February 23, 2013, 12:45:06 AM »
A question for those of you who are currently or have recently homeschooled early elementary-aged kids: how much time a day did you find you had to devote to it?  I've heard some people say that homeschooling only takes two or three hours to learn the same amount as traditional schools teach because you can work at your student's fastest pace, but I could also see how a high school student would require a lot less "sit with them and make them pay attention" time than a first-grader would.

I think it can depend somewhat on the kids' personalities and what you are teaching them, and what program you use.  For instance, one math program basically has the kids watch a lesson on DVD and then do a worksheet.  So not a lot of parental involvement necessary.  Another program is entirely parent-driven and can take up to 45 minutes.  So what curriculum you choose makes a *huge* difference.  And also how many subjects you teach.  Some parents focus on reading, writing, math, and science for those first few years.  They don't really bother with handwriting, creative expression, art or music, a foreign language, typing, spelling, etc., until their kids are older, wanting to give their kids more time to explore and experiment by playing.  Some parents really want to cover a lot of ground even with young kids.

It can also vary day to day.  I'd say that for us, it takes about 2-4 hours a day, depending on exactly what we do.  My oldest spends some time doing seatwork that she's fairly independent at, although I do need to check it and go over it with her.  If she were my only child, I wouldn't need to do any schooling during that time.  However, my second daughter is now old enough to do school and needs considerable "working with Mommy" time because she's only 4, so I spend the time when the oldest is working independently to work with my second child.  I have several subjects that I really try to make sure we hit every day, and others that I get to if we can.  If we do a craft, science experiment, art lesson, music lesson, or anything of that sort, it definitely adds to the day.  I think one of the things that makes it difficult is defining exactly what counts as school--like crafts, educational DVDs, learning to type, etc.  She probably spends about half an hour working independently, half an hour working with me, half an hour being read to by me, half an hour reading, and sometimes some additional time doing a project.

My homeschool curriculum estimates 1-2 hours of parental involvement for K-2 grades (2-3  hours for the kid), 2-3 hours for 3-4 grades (3.5-5 for the kid), and 2-3.5 hours for 5-6 grades (4-6 hours for the kid).  That's for history/geography, Bible, literature, science, math, and language arts (which includes handwriting and spelling), so that's fairly complete unless you add in foreign language or art/music.

Oh, and I should mention, another thing that can make a difference is whether you can combine kids (teach multiple kids the same thing).  If you have more than one kid, it can make a big difference.  A lot of parents combine their kids in subjects that aren't so much skills-based as knowledge-based, like science, history, and geography.  An 8-year-old might remember a lot more about ancient Rome than a 6-year-old will, but you can read to them both from the same book, do the same projects, etc.  Many parents like to keep their kids together (sometimes, say, adding an extra reader about Rome to challenge the older child, or choosing an easier book to read to the younger) so that they can focus on one time period or country at a time and not get confused, and also to save time during the day.  Other parents would rather have each kid work on something separate, so that each kid can work at his ideal level, and if a kid is sick or misses a day because of an activity, the other kids can continue at their own pace.  Usually you need to teach language arts and math at the kids' level, though, so you can't combine everything.

Lynn2000

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Re: Home-schooling
« Reply #128 on: February 25, 2013, 05:01:30 PM »
Really fascinating thread. Obviously our first knowledge comes from our own experiences, both as children and as adults (parents, teachers), and sometimes it can be difficult to adjust to another point of view. For example, my friend Amy generally thinks that kids should go to public school by default, and that homeschooling and even private schools are at best unnecessary. Of course, Amy grew up attending one of the Top 10 public school districts in the country, and both her parents were teachers in the same district who fostered a love of school and learning at home. She looks back at her school days and generally loved them, enthusiastically. My dad was a teacher and I have a lot of other teachers in my family, and my public school was fine, but small and without a lot of resources, and I spent a fair amount of time being bored and daydreaming; I didn't hate school but I didn't love it either, and would gladly have stayed home and read/done creative things instead.

I wouldn't wish that someone had a bad experience, but I think that sometimes having had the perfect experience for you, can make it hard to imagine that even that exact same situation is not perfect for everyone. I'm sure that's true of many things in life, and that I'm guilty of it myself in other areas.

I think the main thing is to look at your kids and what you think is best for them, as individuals, and then start looking around to see what kind of resources are available that match that, whether inside or outside the home. Maybe you can homeschool; maybe you can't--can't leave work, wouldn't be good as a primary teacher, would go crazy staying at home, etc.--but you can encourage your child's love of learning in other ways.

Of course that's what we hope parents will do, and the sad fact is that a certain number don't, and wouldn't even if they won the lottery or had some other positive change in their life circumstances. Maybe a "homeschool" type of environment with few students and individualized learning would be great for their particular kids, but those parents obviously aren't going to provide it, so thank goodness they usually have the public school to send them to instead, even though it has its flaws.
~Lynn2000