Do you feel like you have to defend your homeschooling?

I have a friend that started homeschooling last year and loved it so much she has pulled her other child from school to homeschool as well.

She’s using the Georgia Cyber Academy (which starts back today) and overall was very happy with the program. Her child excelled and will be taking even more challenging classes this year. Both mother and child enjoyed the time and the program so much that the other child wanted to stay home too.

But despite that great experience, my friend is worried about seeing her old mom friends from school and having to defend her choice.

She asked me last week, “What do I tell them?” I said, “You tell them your child excelled and you both enjoyed it so much that you’re adding your other child to your home classroom.”

I do think that homeschooling mothers get asked a lot of questions about why they are doing it and what materials they are using. I know I quizzed a high-school friend who homeschools about her program this summer. I didn’t mean my questions judgmentally. I was just curious, but I hope she took it that way and I didn’t offend her.

If you are homeschooling, do you find yourself answering lots of questions about why and how you are doing it? Do you feel on the defensive about your choice or do you think people are just curious? Do feel like you can be an advocate for homeschooling by answering other parents’ questions?

As a parent with children in a school, do you ask questions when you meet homeschooling parents? Are you judging them or are you just curious?

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania on ajc.com. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

98 comments Add your comment

Augusta

August 15th, 2011
12:45 pm

I do not believe in homeschooling. I think it’s an incredibly selfish thing to do for your kids. They need to be socialized and out with their peers.

I believe it is a paranoid mom who choses to keep her children at home.

No...

August 15th, 2011
12:45 pm

HB

August 15th, 2011
1:00 pm

Of course kids need to be socialized, but is traditional And there are homeschooling groups that arrange group activities for kids too, right? I hear people complain more and more about silent lunches/class changes and recess being cut — makes me wonder how much socialization some schools allow and if it is indeed more than homeschoolers get.

HB

August 15th, 2011
1:02 pm

Whoa — the middle of my post vanished. Should have been: Of course kids need to be socialized, but is traditional school the only way to provide that?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 15th, 2011
1:07 pm

I think the socialization aspect used to be more of a problem in the past. I think now there are so many people doing it that you can find groups to hang with. One of the Gwinnett parks has a homeschooling group that does group PE there each week. (I met the group like two years ago.) Also I think sports and extra curricular activities can also make up for that.

Ohio Muffin

August 15th, 2011
1:16 pm

Thank you for this timely topic.
I am a homeschooling mom to a 2nd grader and kindergartener. I do not think it’s selfish nor do I feel the need to defend our choice to homeschool. My husband and I made the decision to homeschool long before we had our children simply because the public school system s**ks. Bullying, overcrowded classrooms, the emphasis on testing, etc was enough for me to know that I did not want my children trying to learn in that type of environment. I understand that not ALL public (and private) schools have these issues. The question in our minds was, “do we want our children to be like their peers or do we want our children to rise above them?” The answer for us was homeschooling. As homeschooling parents, my husband and I enjoy the freedom to select an appropriate curriculum and teach beyond what they would learn in a traditional classroom.

As far as socialization, my daughter is enrolled in a weekly ballet class, takes swimming lessons, and will begin taking tennis lessons. My son is also takes swimming lessons and we are getting him involved in football. We are actively involved in a homeschool support group which has children in ages ranges from preschool through high school. Our homeschool support group plans a number of activities throughout the year as well as co-op classes.

I am not a paranoid mother—just one who wants to provide a quality education and has the means to do so without subjecting my children to the distractions that are often present in public school. By the way, the Georgia Cyber Academy IS NOT homeschooling. They are an online public school. I tried doing the cyber academy with my daughter two years ago but due to the lack of flexibility with the curriculum and the fact that we had to log-in every time we completed her school work we decided to withdraw her less than month after we started. It didn’t work for us.

Tonya C.

August 15th, 2011
1:17 pm

Socialization happens less and less inside traditional public schools everyday. Many parents are choosing to homeschool to allow their children to advance without waiting on their peers. Most socialization nowadays happens outside school, so there is no real issue at least in my experience. i hope that homeschool parents don’t feel that way, but I’m far more open to the practice than a lot of people out there.

homeschooler

August 15th, 2011
1:42 pm

Augusta, obviously you are not very educated about homeschooling. I hardly ever hear anyone mention the socialization issue anymore. There are over 40,000 homeschooled children in Georgia. These are no longer the isolated children that everyone used to think of.

My children are socialized, with neighbors, in activities, with cousins, at the pool, with other homeschoolers. Many kids are very involved in youth groups and church activities. Possibilities for socialization are endless. And why would we ever think that the only way to socialize is with same age peers? My 10 yr old hangs out with his 16 yr old cousin as well as he plays with his friend’s 7 yr old brother. Homeschooled kids are, by far, the most socialized of any kids I’ve ever met.
Now they could go to my local school that is at least 75 percent free lunch and they could “socialize” with the boy who’s mother is on meth and the girl who’s father is serving time for armed robbery but, I care too much for them to expose them to that. Is that “paranoid” or just good parenting? Not that they would be able to talk to those children anyway with no recess and silent lunches and bus rides.

And…ditto everything Ohio Muffin said.

I don’t feel like I have to defend my choice to those closest to me. I never have been able to successfully link up with a homeschool group so, most of our friends are in public/private school. I have very good conversations with these parents about the pros and cons of both. It’s kind of like the working mom thing. You have to find what is best for you. We planned originally to do private school, but, once we started doing the math, decided, we’d rather retire one day and save for college. I used to hate that we lived in a bad school district. Now I am so thankful becaused it “forced” me to homeschool and I couldn’t be happier. And I don’t mind anyone asking me about my choice. Obviously, I can go on and on and on. :-)

Lady Strange

August 15th, 2011
1:49 pm

I have some questions for those who home school: Do you work too or are you SAHMs? Just wondering if it’s possible to juggle both a full time job and homeschooling. How much of your day is devoted to school work?

Rebecca C

August 15th, 2011
2:11 pm

Augusta is obviously not interested in the empirical evidence showing that the “socialization issue” is not an issue at all.

jarvis

August 15th, 2011
2:16 pm

There isn’t much in the way of diversity of thought in my household. I like that my children are being educated by people with varying perspectives of the world. I also think it benefits children team building skills cooperative tools to have to work on projects with people with varying backgrounds, gifts, and levels of skill and intelligence.

I can’t speak to how homeschooling addresses these issues as I don’t have much experience with it, but these would be my concerns.

jarvis

August 15th, 2011
2:17 pm

And don’t claim empircal evidence without sourced data please….that’s unrelated to this conversation just a statisticians pet peeve.

Kawla

August 15th, 2011
2:20 pm

I feel that way and I hope as more and more people homeschool it will be more understood. It amazes me that I hear people moan all day about that state of education in the US, but then can’t understand why someone might want to try homeschooling as an option. It is not an attack on anyone else’s school choices, just another option that works for some families. Choice is something to be thankful for. I dont think homeschool is for everyone, but for a lot of people it works great.

I began homeschooling, like a poster above, because we live in a bad district. I wasn’t sure about it and began with a lot of fear. Now, starting my 3rd year, I love it. I do not think one realizes how much traditional school forces you to make your family decisions around their schedule until you are free to do so on your own. We vacation when we want, my kids get to sleep as long as their bodies need to, and we decide what opportunities and methods of teaching work best for our family. We have been on some amazing trips and behind the scene tours that we never would have done if my kids weren’t homeschooled. We are a ‘hybrid’ homeschooling family that takes advantage of some of the NUMEROUS opportunities that exist for homeschoolers now, and my kids have a full schedule most days. The homeschooling friends that they have made are true friendships, made from spending hours together on field trips, activities or outings, with lots of time to just be together.

I hate how many negative stereotypes there are. Homeschool kids are kids just like everyone else- some smart, some shy, some gifted, some not. For every flaw in a homeschool kid- I could point out a public schooled kid that has a flaw as well. For me, it is a gift that for now, my kids are getting to discover who they are without being put down for who that may be and becoming dependant on their peers for approval.

Ohio Muffin

August 15th, 2011
2:24 pm

Lady Strange…

Yes, I do work a part-time job teaching at Clayton State University. I teach one day week and I am also in school seeking my second master’s degree. Following that I will continue on for my Ph.D. and yes, I will be homeschooling. For me it’s possible to do it all because of my tremendous support system and also, I am very organized. I consider myself a SAHM and work in a profession that allows me the flexibility to be at home with my children.

Our day starts early. We get up at 6:30 for breakfast, followed by chores and getting dressed. From 7:30 am-11:00 am we are doing school work. My children do take breaks. Since my son is in kindergarten I am focusing on teaching him phonics, writing, and math. We finish pretty quickly with him. My daughter works on math, grammar, spelling, reading, history, writing, and science. We do science and history twice a week. Also, she will do school work in the afternoon if she doesn’t finish it all in the morning. I am going beyond the minimum standards set forth by the Georgia Department of Education in each subject area. Her “social” activities are done on the weekends.

No Tiger mom here

August 15th, 2011
2:30 pm

Ohio Muffin~you need to check your spelling~kindergartener should be spelled Kindergartner

charlene

August 15th, 2011
2:35 pm

We’re in our 3rd year of homeschooling. Many, many different reasons why we decided to pull the kids out of public school and teach at home, but the gist of it was that they were not doing well and needed more specialized attention. No, this was not to baby them but to give them a more personalized education. I actually held my 1st grader back this year when she thought she would be heading into 2nd because she just didn’t do well enough the first time around. I’m a SAHM but this is the hardest job I ever have done. I don’t know how anyone could say this is a selfish thing to do! You don’t realize everything that goes into it. Two of my children are special needs as well so that takes a lot of tailoring also.

I don’t feel the need to justify our schooling decision to anyone, although I have gotten the impression that what we do isn’t “real” school. Maybe that was just me though. We’re actually trying something new this year with an online charter school. I’m still doing as much work as before but I have more backup with their other teachers. And as far as socialization, I echo what others have stated that it isn’t as much of an issue anymore. We belong to a homeschool group and go on field trips, etc. They have friends they spend time with and church groups too. It’s what you make of it.

Ohio Muffin

August 15th, 2011
2:36 pm

Thanks no tiger mom…I’m a fast with my typing and can graciously admit my mistakes :-)

Ohio Muffin

August 15th, 2011
2:37 pm

Sorry, that should be “I’m fast with my typing and can graciously admit my mistakes :-)”

No Tiger mom here

August 15th, 2011
2:42 pm

I think if you are able then it is great….but not for me. I’m not sure my son would have been awarded college scholarships for Academics and Baseball if he would not have been in “Public Schools”. Plus he will not be surprised at other students personality types and how to handle them when he gets to the dorms!

jarvis

August 15th, 2011
2:52 pm

Kind of old stat, but according to the Department of Education as of 2003 83% of homeschooled children were done so becuase of religious or moral reasons, and it’s more than twice as likely in whites as it is in any other race.

Would appear that eight years ago we were looking at Christian white folk that don’t want their kids being around anyone different than they were.

No Tiger mom here

August 15th, 2011
2:55 pm

Ohio Muffin….Not picking on you just thought it was fun to see…I like your graciousness

Jarvis Well put….not much diversity in my household either, I’m proud he has well formed opinions and can back them up with facts.

Kawla-I agree with your statement “my kids are getting to discover who they are without being put down for who that may be and becoming dependant on their peers for approval.”
There have been some tough days when the peer pressure was high on what is or isn’t acceptable

Plus the money you must save homeschooling, with out all the PTO fundraisers, snack money, field trip dues & t-shirts, having to get that certain “name brand” shirt from the mall, 6 different teacher gifts and/or room supplies, etc…

Ohio Muffin

August 15th, 2011
3:14 pm

If anyone is interested, the National Home Education Research Institute (www.nheri.org) is an excellent resource for high quality research on homeschooling.

Shirley U. Jest

August 15th, 2011
3:15 pm

Homeschooling parents all say that their homeschools are deplorable, and then choose to homeschool their kids. Yet, the real reason was clearly outlined by a poster: to make sure that their precious ones aren’t mixed in with the kids that come from less than desirable parents. And when these kids grow up, they will be totally shocked that the world isn’t how Mommy and Daddy portrayed it.

Kawla

August 15th, 2011
3:19 pm

Thanks No Tiger Mom- I appreciate you agreeing with a positive I pointed out even though homeschooling is not for you. That is the attitude I wish more people had- there are many school choices and ALL of them have pluses and minuses- it is up to each family to decide which one works best for them. (and that may change for each family/child year to year as well – we homeschool for now, but that may not always be the case)

As far as saving $, I must admit I don’t do a good job of that! I am one that gets excited by outside opportunities, and we pay tuition for a tutor, outside homeschool classes and various dance/sports activities. We also try to go on a lot of field trips, some local, some requiring overnight stays, since we have the flexibility to do so. But I feel like these all contribute to making my kids well rounded and it is my choice to spend $ on these things. I have many friends who are able to homeschool much more cheaply than I – it is a personal choice and again, I am glad to live somewhere where we each have the freedom to decide what works best for our family.

Ohio Muffin

August 15th, 2011
3:25 pm

I’m Black and can confidently say that my children are exposed to ALL different types of people. My daughter’s ballet and swim classes are mixed cultures/races. My husband and I work with individuals from different backgrounds. We mostly shop and eat grocery stores and ethnic restaurants. At some point I plan to teach abroad where my children will have the opportunity to live and learn in another culture. My husband and I are straight up with our children about the “real” world.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 15th, 2011
3:34 pm

Kawla — My friend is having to pay for preschool for her youngest so she can teach the others. I think that expense would be less for her if she wasn’t teaching but she definitely was not happy with her school.

Russ

August 15th, 2011
3:38 pm

I see alot of what I must assume as Homeschooled kids on “field trips” to Target, WalMart, McDonald’s, CiCi’s etc., all hours of the day……I always wondered why those kids weren’t in school. Now I know. They are on a “Field Trip” with Teacher/Mommy

motherjanegoose

August 15th, 2011
4:01 pm

I have never homeschooled, so I cannot comment on that aspect. I am not the kind of person who would be able to do it. I need my space from my children and want them to be in different scenarios without me and learn how to deal with other people ( this has helped a LOT since they have each had a job) . I am not intelligent enough to cover all the classes my kids have needed, all the way through HS and we surely did not have the equipment they would need either.

We moved (a few times) to enable our children to attend public schools that we thought were good. They are both doing well in college and so, for us, we made a presumably good decision. A question I have is this, if you are not happy with the school near you…might you spend just as much time working at a job ( with earning potential) and sending your kids to private school as you would researching and learning the material you would need to teach? If you could drive your kids to a better school and then work to say earn $30,000-$40,000 per year would that cover tuition for 2 kids? I am truly asking this question, as I have never understood it. I know some of you do work and also homeschool and that has to be a LOT of work!

jarvis

August 15th, 2011
4:06 pm

TWG, I think one of my posts got caught up in the filter. I can’t ever figure out what the buzz words are that I’m supposed to avoid.

jarvis

August 15th, 2011
4:08 pm

All I said in the filtered post was that I agree with freedom of choice. Just beause I didn’t make the same choice as some others doesn’t mean that I don’t think they should have a choice as how to raise and education their children.

mom2alex&max

August 15th, 2011
4:13 pm

Careful MJG, a couple of years ago you commented on another topic about homeschooling and your comments ended up all over homeschooling web sites….

Kathy

August 15th, 2011
4:15 pm

I am a teacher (waiting to get rehired in Gwinnett) and I considered homeschooling my daughter. As she got older, temperament made the decision for me to send her to a public school in Gwinnett. She and I love each other and have tons of fun together, but we don’t do well together when it comes to school work. She attends one of the best schools in Gwinnet in the Brookwood cluster and is very happy. She loves her teacher and is doing very well. Homeschooling wasn’t going to be a great experience for us AND our family needs another income now. I commend anyone that homeschools their children. It is not an easy job and I think it would take incredible focus. I like to ask homeschool parents about their curriculum and their experiences because I am curious. I don’t judge and most homeschool parents I talk to love to tell you about what they do with their children. It makes me sad when any parent has to defend any good decision that they make about their child. My daughter does not attend our “home school” and I get asked all the time, “Why doesn’t she just go to the neighborhood school?” Well, quite frankly it is none of any one else’s business why we chose to send her to another school. Aren’t we all just trying to do what is right for our own families?

Lori

August 15th, 2011
4:21 pm

I don’t homeschool my son, but I have friends who do, and I certainly don’t look down on their choice. I think it’s a decision that every family makes for themselves. I chose private school for my son, for the main reason that was listed above…the public school he is supposed to attend was just unacceptable to me. They consistently fail to meat AYP (although that isn’t all that great a standard) and yes, I do want to shelter him somewhat from the “less desirable” element, as some put it. It has nothing to do with race, however. His private school has students from all races and multiple religions. But having him there in a more structured environment allows me the freedom to educate him about other cultures in my own way, rather than having them shoved down his throat by the politically correct society we live in. Also, since it’s private, I feel less concerned about bullying and such, because they expel the rowdy kids. I want him to be able to learn in a calm, nurturing setting, not the chaotic madhouse that some public schools are today.

momto4

August 15th, 2011
4:24 pm

There are some of us who believe there is no such thing as a ‘good school.’ Some of us – me included – believe the very format of the institution is counter to true education. If you research the history of institutionalized schooling you will find a very much less-than-honorable motive behind their formation. We can afford private school – and did – but finally realized the busy work and inadequate textbooks were just not going to work for us. I emphasize ‘for us.’ Other people might love the school setting, and disagree with my belief about textbooks – and more power to them. We love freedom. We are a grade or more ahead on everysubject and spend way LESS time than they did sitting around in school. We consider it a gift of time to our children. This includes substantial foreign languages, economics, logic, serious musical instrument instruction, and the like, on top of the normal subjects taught in elementary schools. As for lack of socialization – I always found that a really odd ‘negative’ of homeschooling – since from what I recall, the teachers spent a lot of their time making sure we were quiet, still in our seats and NOT socializing in school.

motherjanegoose

August 15th, 2011
4:34 pm

@ mom, I was trying to be careful and I was unaware I was the topic of discussion. Oh well…I do not pretend to know everything.

I have simply not met as many success stories in homeschooling, as there probably are. I have seen the side (told me by teachers) where parents pulled their kids out of a local school and then sent them back. While I am sure they are out there, I have never had a teacher tell me, ” I have a new student who was home schooled and he/she is just wonderful.” I have heard other stories. I would like to hear more success stories. Perhaps the success stories ARE the ones who can tough it out and teach their children every grade and never attend public or private school. I do not know.

What is the percentage of children who are homeschooled from Kinder through twelfth grade? I do know that I would not ever be prepared to teach my children the things they needed to know, especially in middle and high school.

@ Kathy…I love ya but you had better get ready for some sadness as there will be days when you will have to defend a good decision you presumably made for your child….both to your child and other parents/teachers too. I love my own kids fiercely but 24/7 does not work for us either.

R.J. Rushdoony

August 15th, 2011
4:36 pm

We just want to insure that we can teach our children the truth….namely that the earth is six thousand years old and that the Baby Jesus enjoyed dinosaur rides. Well that and the fact that true Christians are to exercise dominion over all the nations. The reason behind a large chunk of the homeschool community is to create the theocrats of tomorrow. Call it Sharia Law with a smiling Christian face.

Kawla

August 15th, 2011
4:38 pm

Russ- no they aren’t on field trips- they likely have finished their school work for the day. Take out lunch, recess and crows control and the time it takes to school a child one on one is less than it would be if they were going to school. (for most- I know some who still do 6-8 hours at home- it depends on age, ability, subjects covered and again, family choice) I often choose to run my errands in the mornings when things are less crowded and start our schoolwork after lunch. We can go into the evening if we needed to (though we rarely do) – again it is all about flexibility.

MJG- yes, I could go back to work and send the kids to private school, and I may choose to do that when all of my kids are school-aged. But that solution would still take away what I personally love most about homeschooling- the flexibility! We would again all be on someone else’s schedule and our routines and vacations would be set by those, not by what works for us as a family. Again, I didn’t realize what a difference that makes until I began. It is a feeling of pure freedom. We do have a schedule, because I don’t work well without one, but it is one that my husband and I decide on, not one that is imposed on us. For example, though our county started back to school last week, we will not start until next week, because I feel it is still summer time! I did this last year and it worked fine, because I did not take all of the breaks that the school system takes- I don’t really need a whole week at thanksgiving, a couple of days works for us. Others may want longer breaks mid-year and shorter summers – it is all about the flexibility! (can you tell I love the flexibility of homeschooling! : ) )

catlady

August 15th, 2011
5:23 pm

I have no problem with homeschoolers, except when the school/teachers are tasked with catching up the child who is badly behind. Occasionally here we get homeschoolers who are above and beyond, but mostly they are behind and have discipline issues.

Erika

August 15th, 2011
5:47 pm

I have homeschooled my three children for four years. I laugh at the socialization comments. They are all in scouts, play on soccer teams, take a drawing class and have many friends. The difference is they don’t sit in a classroom for 7 hours a day but instead are done after lunch. We have time and the flexibility to “socialize.” Most of my friends have kids in private school. Their lives are stressed, hurried and all about keeping up with the latest and greatest. Kids don’t go to school to socialize. In fact unless they’re at recess they’ll get in trouble for it.
Oh, to the person who made comments on the Target, Walmart shoppers…A big part of homeschooling is learning how the real world works. Part of that is where the groceries come from etc..Helping with errands, grocery shopping and such helps kids to see real life and how much goes into running a household. I bet homeschool kids do more chores and are more independent than most kids in school.

penguinmom

August 15th, 2011
5:55 pm

I have homeschooled my kids from the start. I also teach at a one-day-a-week program where we teach higher level academic subjects that the parents are not as comfortable teaching. The kids do their work at home during the other 4 days and come in with questions. We go over the next week’s topics, give assignments and then they go home to do those assignments. It works really well and the kids (and parents) enjoy having some other authority for at least a few of their subjects.

Even for those teaching exclusively at home, most homeschool high school textbooks are designed to be done mostly by the student with some help from the parent. That help is usually in grading tests (answers are included in a separate book) and gathering lab materials/helping with labs. The text is written directly to the student. Some come with extra CD-Roms with additional material or problems worked out to help with any areas a student doesn’t understand.

I love my homeschool students and I am really glad my own kids attend there as well. These kids easily engage in actual conversations with adults and enjoy a wide age-range of friends. My 7-year-old is just as comfortable hanging out with the middle and high school kids as he is hanging out with his same-age friends. And the high schoolers readily involve the younger ones in their activities and watch out for them. They are all very supportive of each other and comfortable in their own skins. Yes, they all are used to being able to voice their own opinion whenever they want to and they have to spend a little time getting used to the difference of a classroom environment.

Some homeschoolers I know are behind, some are ahead but I also tutor public school kids, some are behind, some are ahead.

That said, I don’t think everyone should homeschool. I know parents of kindergarteners who don’t discipline their own kids and I look forward to those kids getting a little discipline from school. Some parents aren’t willing to put the work into making sure their kids stay on task or into taking advantage of the freedom of homeschooling. Those parents would do just as well to send their kids to school.

dbks

August 15th, 2011
6:10 pm

Think about it – who is better socialized? The child who spends his day at a desk surrounded only by his peers, or the child who spends time with younger children, learning to patient with their needs, and with those of varying degrees older than themselves, and learning from them and their varied experiences? We’ve homeschooled for 18 years now and all can visit with someone they’ve just met at a nursing home, entertain a young toddler, or engage in intelligent conversation with a stranger they’ve just met. I don’t think it’s because we happened to have wonderfully bright children, but that they learned to converse and interact with the different age groups and settings.

AJH

August 15th, 2011
6:20 pm

In my experience, the parents that “say” that they are “confident” and “happy” with their homeschool experience are the very ones that will go on and on constantly defending their choice. Private school parents are next in line. I feel like sometimes the only parents that I can have a “normal” conversation with are my peer parents in my neighborhood public school.

I have never looked down on anyones school choice for their kids, but I feel like the homeschool and private parents certainly do that to public school folks. The constant “one up-ing” and ALL positives really drive me up the wall. I almost never hear the negative, everything is constantly abundant sunshine. I can point out any annoying situation and they will come back with positive galore. It has been enough to back me avoid these parents all together. Nothing in life is perfect, that is what we all have to deal with even our children!

@ catlady All my teacher friends say the same things, it’s mostly cleaning up the aftermath when parents need (for whatever reason) to return to the tradtional classroom, wheather it be public or private.

This can get as brutal as the ever so famous working mom vs. SAHM free for all :(

newblogger

August 15th, 2011
6:56 pm

Well said AJH! I feel the same way. While I do not agree with homeschooling on any level (public school teacher here) I don’t look down on those who do. Live and let live. But I do get sick and tired of the “Pollyana” point of view. It seems that we are not allowed to say anything negative about homeschooling but it is perfectly acceptable for homeschool parents (and kids) to bash public school. Double standards much? No school is perfect…public, private or home. They all have positives and-gasp-negatives. If it works for you, great. Public school is not the monster that some people make it out to be. I bet most of the homeschoolers were raised in public school and they turned out o.k.–or as some I know would say–better than o.k. since they are the only ones qualified to teach their children.

pass me a barf bag

August 15th, 2011
7:01 pm

“The constant “one up-ing” and ALL positives really drive me up the wall. I almost never hear the negative, everything is constantly abundant sunshine. I can point out any annoying situation and they will come back with positive galore.”

LOL everything that I have read here by the pro-homeschool crowd is just as you described. What a wonderful World they must live in. Like was mentioned earlier, until there is long term hard core data to prove otherwise, the evidence just isn’t there. That is, unless you listen to the perfect better than you teacher/parent and their fantastical uber socialized children. How could the majority here be wrong?

Anna

August 15th, 2011
7:52 pm

I spent alot of time getting in trouble for socializing during school. Anyways, how is sitting in a age segregated classroom with the same 30 kids all day everyday going to give your child a rounded socialization experience? I love the fact that my “weird unsocialized children” can converse with an 80 year old grocery clerk just as well as they can with a child their age. I personally dont trust a class room full of 8 year olds to teach my child how to socialize.

motherjanegoose

August 15th, 2011
7:52 pm

A woman I know, told me that her college aged child worked at Six Flags all summer. She then shared that she also knows someone else whose daughter worked in her Dad’s office all summer.
Next, she said…” I think my child will be better prepared to face all sorts of very different scenarios and I am proud of the lessons she learned in working with so many different types of people. The daughter who works for her Dad can get things customized for her: schedule, paycheck and responsibilities.” Something to think about. I admire ANYONE who can make it through a summer working at Six Flags! They have to get along with ALL sorts of people, many who could perhaps be very different from them.

Anna

August 15th, 2011
7:55 pm

pass me a barf bag- There is evidence. I am not sure what you consider long term, but since homeschooling was illegal up until the mid-80’s it is just impossible to go back that far. No, we dont live in a perfect world. Some days are stinking hard and public school looks great. How can the majority be wrong? Well you do know that the majority was homeschooling up until the government stuck their noses into the parental relm right? Public education is a fairly new idea. Homeschooling, however is as old as education itself.

Red

August 15th, 2011
9:36 pm

There are endless reasons for homeschooling. Each family may have varying reasons. Some families live in failing districts and are not able to pick up and move to better ones. Some families have medical or psychological issues with children that local systems are ill equipped or unequipped to handle. Some do so for religious and/or moral reasons. We do so because we are able to spend more one on one time ensuring our children are not just taught to take a test but are actually taught the subjects. If one of our children does poorly in math we can spend as much time is needed until she gets it. If she does great at English we can move along to more challenging aspects. This is instead of just being given a D or C to push along to the next grade – if the child does not get a concept, that stays with the child throughout school in the public domain.

Our children are taught that life is a school. If we go to the park, we talk science, do PE, etc. If we go to Stone Mountain we learn about animal habitats, geology, weather and climate, erosion, etc. If we go shopping we go through math, etc. Homeschooling can emphasize more than just what we teach at a desk.

As far as socialization, our children still participate in soccer, ballet, karate, musical lessons, etc. We have church activities and also belong to homeschool groups that get together for field trips, field day competition, etc. These are environments we are better able to control as far as the influences they are exposed to. My children live in an ethnically diverse area. We actually travel around the country and have been to several nations on mission trips. I wouldn’t say we were the white people afraid of letting our kids be near those of darker skin. We even do missions projects with UN refugees that live in the DeKalb County area and work in downtown missions as well. I’d say my children have a far greater perspective on all social classes as well as a scope of the world.

As far as the people on here chastising homeschooling and advocating public schooling as better, I challenge you to look at the issues schooling in the public domain face. Nationally our schools fail compared to others. Our state is at the bottom nationally. You have school systems caught in scandals. Campus violence takes place constantly. Children are taught just to perform well on the test forgetting most of this as they move on. I can say that my children are actually getting a much better education than the kids even in local private schools.

For the person asking about doing homeschool as well as working full time, it can be done. It depends on your time management and dedication. It is not an easy task. But it can be done and you spend some very quality time with your children. You can spend a few hours a day during the week and some of the weekend to give the children the same if not more education than they get during the week in the public school.

I see it as my responsibility as head of the house and in a spiritual manner that my children are educated. I cannot pass this duty off to some teachers in the public arena. My wife and I both school our children. I feel it imperative that I ensure MY children, MY offspring, have the education they need to succeed in a spiritual manner and a secular world. There are some that homeschool without a religious foundation but this is my choice and right. If you take that time to educate your children I commend you. I’d recommend listening to Voddie Baucham for a religious perspective.

BlahBlahBlah

August 15th, 2011
9:41 pm

Socialization? LMAO, because the kids in public schools are so well-behaved and “socialized”, right?

The Atlanta Children’s museum, Zoo Atlanta and about a billion other local facilities have homeschool seminars. Plenty of socialization there. Sports = more socialization. Neighbors and their kids = more socialization.

Anyone who plays the “socialization” card in 2011 = an ignorant fool who is likely jealous that we get hundreds of extra hours each year with our kids, while they ship little Jimmy off to the government 180 days a year.

cmac22

August 15th, 2011
9:42 pm

My wife & I have homeschooled our 10th grade daughter since she was in first grade. We also homeschooled our 7th grade son through 5th grade & our 5th grade son through 3rd grade. We homeschooled for a variety of reasons. The number one reason was that we controlled the school year. This flexibility allowed our children to travel the country & learn about America by visiting the National Parks. Their social lives have been & are as busy as any other family we know. Between sports participation, church, homeschool groups & other social outlets, our boys were well equiped to enter the public school system last year. Their transition was easy (both academically & socially).

As for defending our right to homeschool, many parents were jealous that they could not do the same. The only people who typically questioned us or looked “down” on us were public school teachers.