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magicalfreddiemercury user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 11:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Has anyone here homeschooled or been homeschooled?

I ask because I'm considering it for my 10 year old. I thought about it before she started kindergarten, but after pressure from certain family members, I gave up the idea.

I'm thinking about it again - seriously thinking - and wonder if anyone has had experience with it that you can share - good or bad.


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 12:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks Matt. It's encouraging to hear it's working out for your friend. So far, that's the feedback I've been getting from various sources. Very little negativity.

I've been looking into it and there are so many options available. In fact, there's an accredited online school with approved curriculum for grades K - 12. It's more $$ than I wanted to spend, but it's less than a private school and I think the advantages are numerous.

As for your daughter, if she's interested in it, then she's not too old. I'm thinking of doing this until my daughter would be a sophomore in high school. I figure by then she'll be her own person. We have to let go at some point, yes? And I think those last three high school years are important for a child's sense of independence.

At least, that's how I feel now. See me at the end of this school year. :)


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 12:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color=green> M@tt wrote:


As for music, Need You Tonight is up now, and available to listen to. I would love some comments on it-



:)

I'm there....


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 14:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I work in the school system so I have a biased opinion. Of course I believe children should be in school rather than home-schooled. However, it is very much an individual decision or a decision that you and your child's father should consider. We have one student in my school who suffers severly from detachment disorder. She is home-schooled the majority of the day but does come to school for an hour daily for speech therapy. We are trying to transition her more and more each year. So there are severe instances where I do agree if a medical condition warrants it. It is also important to note that the child is on our roster at school and is provided with curriculum by her teacher here at school, but her mother administers it to her.

As I said, my thoughts and feelings on this is that children belong in schools being taught by teachers who have been trained to do educate. Of course there are teachers who have no clue what they are doing and I happen to work with some of them unfortunately. There are always a few turds mixed in with the flowers. Luckily I am here at the school and I know which teachers are elite and that is who my daughter gets. I have luxuries that most parents do not have but I have chosen to be in the school system as a profession, so it is my reward for shitty pay (right Zeni?)

The best thing to do in my opinion is discuss the pros and cons with your child's father, communicate with your child's potential teacher or administrative staff at the school (guidance counselor), gather as much information as you can from the school (test scores, teacher/student ratio, etc.), and stay involved if you choose to put your child in a public or private school. I can't tell you how many parents we have here that do not give a shit about their child's education. We can't even contact them on the phone if there is an emergency. We are their babysitting service. A child can and will succeed in school if their parents are as committed as the educator is. Every child has the ability to learn at their own pace and potential and it is the school's responsibility to come up with individual strategies to ensure each child learns. Also, if your child sees that you value education, he/she will value it as well. My parents taught me that there was nothing more important for me to concentrate on other than my studies and this was enforced from the very beginning. It has to start early so bad habits are not started. My parents worried about my health, physical, and emotional needs so all I had to do was my schoolwork (minor house chores as well). Through this I learned about responsibility and accountability. It was up to me to make sure the work was done correctly and on time. If it wasn't done, it was my fault and I faced the consequences of that. I have my parents to thank for the success I have today. There was nothing more important in my house growing up than our health and education and this is how my children are being raised.

I'm sorry this is so long-winded but I am very passionate about children and learning. I'm not saying that if you choose to home-school your child that it is wrong and you'll go to hell. Some children thrive better in that setting. It's an individual decision but I just wanted to put my opinions in there to see if I could help a little.

:)


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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 14:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

MagicalFreddieMercury,
I used to work with a lady who homeschooled her daughter. It didn't work with her, but that's because she barely graduated high school herself. If you are educated enough to do it, home schooling can be really, really effective. There are lots of tools available to help you with it. I can tell you this for sure....as a Graduate Assistant for HST 101 at University, I have VERY VERY little faith in the public schools. My own experience with them wasn't the best (the "education" was extremely lacking!) and these kids don't know their heads from their butts, and yet they managed to graduate. If I ever get married and have kids, I'm going to home school them for sure.


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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 15:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I hate that you didn't get the education you deserved Mags!! I do know where you are coming from. I happened to receive an excellent public school education but again, my parents were very involved and in contact with my teachers or my teachers knew they could contact my parents with the slightest concern. It simply is not that way these days. I feel I am very fortunate to be in the school district I am in and also work in it. I know who is the best and that is who my children will get. Like I said, I'm pretty biased because of my own personal experiences. I can see how the picture would be very different if I had had negative involvement though.

It really is up to the parents to decide what would be the best thing for their children.


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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 15:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Besides, there are lots of after school activities to do to get the kids to become socialized, if you are worried about that aspect


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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 15:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lisser and HistoryGirl,

Thanks so much for your opinions.

Lisser:
The thing with us is this - we ARE involved with her schooling. From pre-K until 5th grade we've been very active within the school and at home. However, despite that, my daughter failed to get the education she should have by now - and we're in one of the better school districts in NYC.

My main complaint with her elementary school was spelling. It was this school's policy to "forbid" spelling lessons and tests. Instead, the kids were supposed to learn to spell through reading. The teachers complained to the parents at every opportunity, and parents in turn complained to the principal and wrote letters to the superintendent. It didn't seem to matter. They were testing a method and our kids were the guinea pigs. Bottom line? My daughter and her classmates cannot spell.

This year - her first in middle school - she is paying for that. Every misspelled word costs points - whether it's a spelling assignment or not. I've spoken to her teacher about the lack of spelling in previous years and asked if she had any advice on how I could help my child. What did I get? A shrug and a 'too bad for her' attitude. See, she's supposed to know all this by now so until she catches on, she's going to lose points. My kid is being penalized for not knowing something (basic) that she never learned.

I have a lot of issues with this particular teacher. I’ve called and written notes, but so far, things are not improving. There are 32 kids in the class, they have standardized tests they have to cram for and so I understand the woman is stressed. All I care about is the effect this has on my daughter.

She’s overloaded with homework. And when I say overloaded, I mean 4-5 hours per night. Plus projects. She'll rise at 7am, be at school by 8, come home by 2:30, snack and do homework straight through except for a dinner break, then go straight to bed. No play. No rest. No exercise. Just pure exhaustion. And on the weekends? Dioramas, hand drawn projects for SS and Language Arts – I still don’t get the logic of that - plus other busywork.

I understand the importance of an education but think sacrificing a kid's youth and health is too much to ask.

I've looked into several homeschooling options. I know there are people who choose to 'unschool' their kids. That's not me. There's an accredited online school that maintains a child's academic record through grade 12. They have licensed teachers to asses, test and grade the child, but the learning is done at home via internet or actual text books (provided by this school).

I work from home. There's no reason I can't do this with her, time-wise. In fact, I think we'd have more time and stamina doing this from 8 - 2 than doing homework from 3 - bleary-eyed.

Of course, I will continue to research and your comments are taken seriously – and they do help, thank you. I just think there are more reasons than medical to justify homeschooling.

Wow. You thought your post was long. ;-)



"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 15:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

CMU HistoryGirl wrote:

If I ever get married and have kids, I'm going to home school them for sure.


:)

How funny. One post to the next and the opinion is so different.

I know homeschooling isn't for everyone - but I'm not sure the decision rests on how much of an education the parent has. I think it depends on desire. If you really want this for your child, and the child wants it as well, it can work.

About the socializing aspect - I've joined two groups in my area. I was surprised to see how many people homeschool right here in the city. They get together regularly for sports, for parties, trips to the museum and other educational and fun activities. And what one parent excels in – a foreign language, musical instrument, etc - benefits the group.

I guess my concern centers on bucking the system. I'm not used to doing that. I'm a follow-the-rules kind of person. But in this case - with my daughter being stressed and made to feel like her efforts don't count - I think bucking the system is the healthiest way to go. I think it will, hopefully, teach my daughter that there are options in life. Yeah, there are rules to follow and guidelines to consider, but when it comes down to the big decisions, she has to do what's right for her.

And that’s why I came here for opinions. To make sure I’m doing the right thing. I won’t know that until I hear all sides. What better place to get a wide range of opinions than here? :)



"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 18:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It sounds like to me that you have researched and participated in enough dialogue to figure out whether or not homeschooling is for your child. I would be extremely frustrated if I were in your shoes. Since education and core content vary so much from county to county and even more so from State to State, I can't advise you on anything else to do besides what you already are. The fact is though that new reading, phonetic, math, and writing initiatives are constantly being developed and tried out on students. I remember when I was in the 1st grade, um I think back in 1981 and Phonics was just coming in to play. Parents had a fit over it. Then they did away with phonics for a short time, parents had a shit fit over that too. Our school is in the process of switching Math curriculums this year and many of our parents, including myself are having great difficulty helping the kids with their homework. My daughter is in the third grade and of course I can teach her how to get the right answer to the Math problem, but the methology in getting to that answer how now changed.

It really boils down to positive relationship between parents, teachers, and school administration to help the process go smooth. Parents have to support the teachers, teachers must support the parents, administration must trust and support teachers or it all falls to hell and the cohesiveness is not there. I realize that I am in an extremely ideal situation. I just wish you were too. It is so difficult to not have any control over your child's education when it is something that is so important in their lives.

I would be more than happy to talk to you more about this if you want to but since we are in different States, it would be hard for me to advise you. I don't think you need my advice anyway. I know you will make the right decision for your daughter. I wish you all the luck in the world bc I know exactly how you feel and how important this is to you.

:)


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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 19:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lisser,

I appreciate everything you've said here. I'm not as secure with the decision as I might seem though. Or maybe I am and don't realize it. I thought if I heard feedback that was dead set against this, I could research further and be certain this was the right thing to do.

I'm very nervous about it, but I'm more nervous about the school she's in - and the stress she's under. And I know what you mean about helping with homework. Her second grade math had me stumped. Terminology and methodology was different from anything I'd learned. The answers were the same, but the 'show your work' aspect made things very difficult.

I don't know. I hope this is the right thing to do. If I come here sobbing in a few months, we'll all know it wasn't. :-/

Thanks for your opinions, advice and offer to talk. All are very much appreciated.


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 27 Oct 06, 20:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Of course, every school is different. I just happened to move into a school that was a bad example of it, and not because of money issues. It was actually a pretty rich district, and was considered a Michigan "Examplary" school. But two examples will show you what I mean by the fact that it's not always money. First, I took a world history course. On Friday of one week, we ended with the study of Henry VIII. Then, we came back on Monday to Post Industrial Revolution America. When I went to the teacher after class and asked why we did that, skipping hundred of years in history and moving suddenly to America when it was a world history course, the teacher replied, "World History isn't my area, so we are going to study US history from now on." I wasn't happy.
The next semester, I started French. The teacher had a baby that had some medical problems, so we had a sub for the entire year while her son was having surgeries. The sub they hired for the year COULDN'T SPEAK FRENCH! We spent the entire year watching Disney movies with the French dubbing turned on, and every once in a while we'd get to a page or two from the textbook. The only thing my public school did right was the music and drama department, which I owe them tremendously for.
I wish I could say it was just my school, but I've seen students of mine come out of the K-12 system who can't put a sentence together with two hands and a flashlight! And they still are being told absolute crap like "When Columbus sailed to America, everyone in the world thought the earth was flat" which is total crap. And these are students coming from districts all over the state.
Public schools can be very good, if they hire descent teachers, have money to give good supplies, and have an active PTA. But those schools are few and far between. If you are qualified, home schooling can be an excellent option, if for no other reason than you can work closely with your child and move at a pace that challenges them. I sat through half of my classes, even the AP ones, bored stiff because we had to go so slow. And if they have a subject that's hard for them, you can slow down until they get it. Plus, you can give them things that some school districts don't offer, like foreign language or music or something like that.
You'll make the right decision for you child, I know you will. The very fact that you are asking for advice shows how concerned you are about getting this right, and that you are looking at all sides. Don't overthink it too much though...the answer will come in time :-)


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Posted: 28 Oct 06, 02:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Although Miss James and I are on two separate ends of the spectrum, I completely agree with her perspective on homeschooling. I can not speak on the validity of homeschooling bc I was not personally homeschooled, yet I do not doubt the positive things says about homeschooling. I received a public education, a very good one at that. I do see the benefits of homeschooling though and I see why it is ideal in some situations. The only issues I have with parents homeschooling are the parents that withdraw their children so they do not have to conform to attendance statutes and have no intentions of teaching their children anything. Most parents thankfully, do not fall into this category. But these are the parents that are responsible for the stigma Miss James is speaking of. The parents that choose to take on the responsibility of teaching their children have my utmost respect. I could not do it. I don't feel like I am qualified or have the patience! That is just not my niche. I do what I do during my work hours and my child's teacher teaches my daughter during her work hours. I am comfortable with this bc again, I am great friends with her teacher. Infact, we eat lunch together at least five days a week together. How many parents can say that? We do not discuss my daughter though unless she feels like we need to. I have complete trust in her to teach my daughter and she is thriving in her class. I could not be happier. I am there as a support to her and what she is teaching in her class and I realize that I am in a unique situation which I am grateful for.

Good luck with your decision, which ever you choose. Your daughter is very lucky to have parents that are involved in her education and want what is best for her. That is very rare in this day and age, trust me.

:)


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Posted: 28 Oct 06, 13:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

to be honest...I have never liked the idea of homeschooling...its harder for a child to make friends if they don't go to school...unless they're heavily involved in sports or other activities


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Brian: No, You Can't...

---------------------------------------

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Posted: 28 Oct 06, 14:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

kingarthur wrote:

to be honest...I have never liked the idea of homeschooling...its harder for a child to make friends if they don't go to school...unless they're heavily involved in sports or other activities


Actually, this isn't as much of an issue as you might think. Though, if you're out in the country, I suppose it could be.

Here, in the city, neighborhood kids are around all the time. And with Homeschooling associations, there are numerous group activities - including sports.

An interesting aspect of homeschooling activities is the age range of the children involved.

Instead of being kept with a specific age group all the time, all ages are together for various activities. It allows the younger children to learn from and observe the older ones, and gives the older children a sense of responsibility and compassion for the little ones. At least, that's how it seems to me. Of course, I could be glorifying it because I want to do this, but...


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Posted: 28 Oct 06, 20:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

When I was 6-7-ish I was homeschooled... it was neat because I liked having my Mom and sister as my "teachers." I could do my work and take a break whenever Rugrats came on... then Mommy would make me a really nice lunch. Good memories.

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Posted: 28 Oct 06, 23:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I didn't read through this whole thread, but as someone who received a decent education from a public school, I might be able to add a few points in favor of public schooling, to be a Devil's advocate.

Public school teachers are pretty much experts at what they do, in the particular field they teach. They teach the same thing again and again, every year. This is not very important in the lower grades, but when it comes to a high school level, the only real way to get an in-depth education is through a school.

Of course, similarly, this in-depth education is more important for smarter students rather than the...not so smart ones. The schools will generally allocate their best and brightest teachers to higher level students, and in turn, these teachers are challenged by these students, resulting in even more expertise. Lower level students will generally get an average teacher, and will not benefit from public schooling as much. However, they will not be harmed by it as their ability to learn is not that great in the first place.

Also, the most important aspect of public schooling - to me, at least - is the competition. There is no competition in home schooling. Home schooling is driven primarily (if not solely) by rewards and aversion of punishment. Public schooling adds the amazing drive of competition. Being competitively pushed by your peers to excel is perhaps the greatest thing you can give your child. They will learn how to win, and they will learn how to lose (something that parents are STUPIDLY, STUPIDLY trying to remove from our school systems).

Which brings me to all the social benefits. They will learn how to be live in a social environment. They will learn how to make friends, and, more importantly, they may learn how to make enemies. They will learn how to interact in a friendly manner, and, more importantly, they will learn how to be abused by other individuals and social pressures.

Finally, many schools have on staff people whose job is to make sure your child gets the proper information they need to get into a great college. But the thing is, the teachers will know just as much, if not more, and will all help to guide your child to success.

Now here's the caveat:

-I went to a decent public school in a suburban area that, while it wasn't amazing or very well off, was sufficient. If you have a shitty public school in the area (I believe I heard something about a city school - a lot of them seem like crap to me), then you will be better off with a private school, and you may also be better off with home schooling.

-I was among the elite students of my highly competitive class. I would bet my bottom dollar that I received better treatment in the school than most other students. I learned from the best teachers in the school who taught honors and advanced classes. And I guarantee that for every one of these good teachers, there's a shithead who just started teaching who will be assigned to a lesser class.

-I live in a fairly rural area, so without going to school, I would not have had a sufficient social life. But since (I think) you said something about a city, I'm sure there are many more social opportunities there than here.


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Posted: 29 Oct 06, 00:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'd love to be homeschooled, mum would never learn me anything goodly...then again, I wouldn't be able to intimidate all those poor stupid idiots who have no idea of what English is.
(ENGLISH IS FUCKING SIMPLE, WHY DO THEY THINK IT'S HARD!?!?!((I'm talkingabout the other year seveners at my school)))


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Posted: 29 Oct 06, 00:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I was homeschooled for my first 3 years of high school. I would ONLY recommend it if your kid is seriosuly focusing on something other than school subjects or for personal reasons, as was the case with me. The reason I did it was because I had to practice lots and lots of hours on my violin, however, I regret doing it because I was totally isolated from everything. The work was SO easy that I became super lazy and upon returning to school for my senior year, I was like "whoa" things are harder here. It doesn't prepare someone for college well enough so you might want to consider that in the future. But since your daughter is 10, I think it would be a good move considering the fact that schools are so horrible nowadays (I'm speaking for Los Angeles though, I don't know how schools are where you live). Good luck with your decision! ;D


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Posted: 29 Oct 06, 00:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

When I lived in Brazil, I wasn't homeschooled but I studied in a private school whose workbooks and materials came from a homeschooling organization. When I moved to the US, I was afraid everyone here was going to be several levels ahead of me, and I was very intimidated, to say the least.. And my dad kept telling me to study hard so when I started school, I wouldn't be behind or anything of the sort.
Turns, out, I wasn't several levels behind, I was several levels ahead. I had been learning things that made the work there a cinch! I was bit surprised that people there didn't know things I thought so simple... So to sum everything up, I had all A's in my seventh grade year, everyone asked for my help, and I owe it all to the homeschool program! :)
But now, in 8th grade, the things I'm learning are a lot more difficult ( in science, to say the least... ). They actually give me work that they don't explain in the classroom, and I need to look everything up. :S A lot of their teaching methods aren't efficient, either. But I do think it's easier on the socializing bit.


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