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Homeschooling

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In light of the tragic school shooting in Connecticut, many people are now strongly considering homeschooling their children because they don't feel public schools are safe anymore. I happen to agree though I've been considering it for my future kids way before.

I've heard that homeschooled kids tend to have high grades on average and pay better attention than their public school counterparts. This may have something to do with the overall low quality of education in our public school systems. Some would argue that homeschooling is detrimental to a child's social development and can have trouble interacting with others. That does not need to be so as long as you get them involved in extra curricular activities such as sports and church.

What do you guys think?

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I would definitely want to homeschool my children. Actually, one of the many reasons I became a teacher was to be prepared to do this. I work in a school setting so almost every day I hear about kids being bullied emotionally, physically and mentally (and saw it when I was in school) and how many are influenced to do things they don’t want to do because of peer pressure. In addition to this, there are a ton of other reasons why I’m in favor of it. For example, I’ll be able to monitor their whole learning process and focus on their individual learning needs; we would also have more family time together. I think children spend more time in school and in other activities nowadays than at home. There’s little to no family time.

As for the socializing thing, I have no worry there. There are always play dates, ballet, tennis, swimming, baseball, basketball and many others. And, anyways, for most kids what does “socializing†in school mean? Being bullied, mocked, forgotten, badly influenced, etc. What are the benefits of that?

Sorry for the long rant...I just feel strongly about this subject :)

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First of all, R.I.P to the many victims who died in the shooting. My heart goes out to all their families. What a very sad tragedy.

Now for the topic, I've always thought of homeschooling. I think most of what I already thought of, you guys said. There is bullying mental and physical and really no one does anything about it. Most kids are too frightened to even tell anyone. I know how it is. I wished for years that my parents would home school me, but they couldn't so I'll be graduating from a public school. As a parent (I know I'm not married yet and not yet a parent but sometimes my maternal instincts just hit when I see an innocent child hurt or int trouble) you can't be with your child 24/7 and especially with school you can't possibly know how others are treating him/her not unless they tell you. That's a scary thought. I've been bullied a lot in my early years, did the teachers do anything about it? No, not really. They just said: "It's okay, their little kids, they'll get over it somehow". Made us do a fake handshake or hug and that was it. It solved nothing. It has scarred me, the beatings, the emotional abuse, at one point I remember crying everyday for months. It was many years ago, so obviously I'm over it now. Anyway, this is one of the main reasons why I'd want to home school my children. I don't think all schools are safe, I will not trust anyone with my children no matter how nice they act when I'm in the room, it's just not worth taking the risk. Years ago when I made the decision to home school my children I also worried about the social aspect of it. Then I remembered play dates and extra curricular activities. If my child wants to be the best tennis player I'll help them if they want to be a dancer sure I won't be one of those parents who forces their dreams on their children. I'll let them choose what they want. As long as homeschooling and socializing (extra curricular activities, play dates) are balanced out I think it would be great. Question comes to mind though. How can I possibly take care of my children this way and work at the same time?

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I was home schooled, and I would want to home school my kids for the same reasons others have mentioned here.

However, one school shooting, tragic as it was, in a country of 300 million people, is not really a good reason to home school.

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@April: I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I was bullied sometimes too when I was little and the teachers responded the same way you described. I think that is a terrible strategy and like you said, it solves nothing.

How can I possibly take care of my children this way and work at the same time?

You can work from your home. There are a lot of careers that have many possibilities. For example, I can tutor, teach online classes, after school classes, be a translator, do curriculum revisions, etc. You can also have a business from your home and sell whatever you're good at or provide some kind of service that has to do with the career you chose. You can also make money off the Internet, which is a popular trend right now. Or you can combine several of these. There are a lot of choices available that are great.

@LonelyKnight and Emulator: Good to know there are successful homeschoolers out there :)

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My ideal choice would be to send my children to private school. I know private schools aren't immune from bullying, but I would bet it happens a lot less. I ideally want the most advanced education available for my children and good private schools offer that. But, I also don't think public schools are as bad as they're made out to be. I went to public school and did very well there, so I hesitate to be too critical of them. But, it's important to note that I live in a suburb, not the city, so the school is bound to be more orderly than one in a city. I also live in a state with higher educational standards than many other states in the U.S.

Homeschooling would make me nervous. Indvidual attention is nice and all, but I can't imagine most kids would be able to learn something like A.P. Chemistry or, honestly, even regular Chemistry from their mom or dad. And not just science, either. Subjects like English and History can be harder to teach than some people give credit for. I know someone that had to go to college for an extra year because he was homeschooled and he said the college made him complete general studies in his first year to prove he was capable of handling college. And this was a community college.

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Well I was also home schooled still am a senior now I personally don't like it maybe cause I'm in an online public school technically, it's just super hard to pay attention and stay caught up on work for me. I was in public for a while I liked it, personally I would do a few years of each and see what my kids liked.

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It is definitely one of the reasons I chose Education as a major, so I would have that option open to me. I actually have really great public schools that I went to where I live, but I taught a kindergartner who continuously talked of blowing up the school-it was pretty disturbing and the parents had to come in several times. I have actually done an intruder drill with students, all of us locked in a bathroom with the lights off-it's heartbreaking that in these times we need drills like that and parents have to worry about their children's safety at school. If one of my kids ended up being super smart or needing to take AP courses, I would be fine with him/her going to school eventually.

Lots of women make money off of blogs they start when they resound with readers and really start to take off :)! I can imagine how hectic it could become homeschooling, but it would be fun!

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I was home-schooled all the way. I definitely plan to homeschool my own kids some day, though not just because public schools are unsafe. I think it helps the child to learn better with one-on-one teacher interaction, and in homeschooling one does not have to worry about anti-Christian teachings (if you are Christian), such as evolution, and spontaneous generation. As far as intelligence goes, it depends on the kids themselves, but in most cases, homeschooling does deliver a somewhat more sound education than most public schools. There also isn't as much peer pressure to do drugs, sleep around, or the like. As far as social life goes, I never had trouble with that; I was in a local homeschool support group that got me interacting with some 70 other homeschooling families. I also had many public-schooled friends as I went to church (where they went too), played sports through the local YMCA, and had the opportunity to attend leadership camp through my local electric cooperative. The true single downside to homeschooling, in my opinion, is that many of the kids graduate and go to college where they are hit with a sudden onslaught of the "real world". Obviously, these kids were those who had a majority of fellow homeschoolers for friends. Others would not be so shocked.

I cried when I heard about the Newtown shooting. Then I got angry when guns were blamed for it. Guns didn't kill those children, a mentally mad man did. Taking the guns out of the picture does not eliminate the evil; anybody who took high school chemistry can make a bomb, for pete's sake. If the guy wanted to kill, he'd have found a way even without guns. In my opinion, shooters gravitate towards schools, universities, theaters, et cetera, because they want to kill a large number of people and they know in those locations they will not be met with an opposition for several minutes until the cops arrive. If schools were equipped with a couple armed security guards (as many places have), the attractiveness of them to a madman would decrease, and if it was attacked anyway, at least there would be help there at the beginning. Feel free to disagree with me, I know there are a lot of people who support gun control. I'm just saying that if we take guns away, madmen will still kill people.

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@ Sarita

Thank you and I'm sorry you went through that too. I'm sure you're a wonderful teacher, especially since you also know what it was like. The careers, wow, that's brilliant :) thank you, I never really gave it much thought since I don't have kids yet lol, but that's genius, thank you. I love those ideas :)

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Homeschooling isn't really a thing in the UK. There's only about 0.5% of children homeschooled, I think, and I've never met anyone who was homeschooled themselves.

I'm almost certain that I'd send my kids to a Catholic state school. Both my primary and secondary schools were Catholic state schools, and they were really good. But I'd still want me and my husband to teach our kids stuff too. Lots of educational trips to science centres and zoos and whatnot at the weekend.

xxx

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I have always planned to homeschool my children, since I myself was 10 years old.

Part of that is because I was teased mercilessly in grade school. Lost friends because I was "that" kid, and generally had a very emotionally trying childhood because of it. The teachers can be just as damaging, by condoning this type of behavior when they don't step in and stop it. Even if you're not the child who is being bullied, seeing that it happens and the adults don't do anything about it, you are almost learning, subconciously, that it is okay to treat people like that.

Another reason is that, even going to one of the best public schools and then going to one of the better private schools in high school, I was taught many things poorly. Thankfully since I was blessed with high intelligence, I was able to still get great grades and accepted into a good college. But had I been prepared properly, I can only imagine the possibilities. My creativity would have been cultivated more. Also I would have had so much more time to work on projects and ideas of my own because I wouldn't have been wasting all those hours in classrooms that would go over the same thing again and again.

Having a curriculum tailored to the individual student is more efficient. It gives the child the ability to go at his/her own pace. So if they immediately understand one topic, they don't need to sit there and be bored by a teacher overexplaining it. Instead they can focus on the topics that they don't quite understand right away.

I often hear people who are pro-public schools saying things like, "Well, children need socializing" but clearly socializing with other children can cause much more harm than good. Children can always socialize in other activities. Community related events or exercise related activities that children can do in groups, etc. Yes, at some point they are going to have to face the "real world" but having to deal with that at 18, they will be a lot more emotionally stable and able to deal with the shock. At least they will not have been affected negatively during those sensitive childhood development stages, which can affect a person's entire personality.

I do worry about working and schooling my children at the same time. I would hope that my future husband and I would be finanically secure enough so that I could stay home with the kids, at least until they were 13.

Edit: I do believe had I gone to private school in grade school as well as high school, the bullying would have been less. Since it was non-existent when I transfered to the private catholic high school I attended, I still consider that an option. But I would make sure to monitor my child and if anything seemed off I would pull them out and switch to homeschooling immediately.

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I have always planned to homeschool my children, since I myself was 10 years old.

Part of that is because I was teased mercilessly in grade school. Lost friends because I was "that" kid, and generally had a very emotionally trying childhood because of it. The teachers can be just as damaging, by condoning this type of behavior when they don't step in and stop it. Even if you're not the child who is being bullied, seeing that it happens and the adults don't do anything about it, you are almost learning, subconciously, that it is okay to treat people like that.

Another reason is that, even going to one of the best public schools and then going to one of the better private schools in high school, I was taught many things poorly. Thankfully since I was blessed with high intelligence, I was able to still get great grades and accepted into a good college. But had I been prepared properly, I can only imagine the possibilities. My creativity would have been cultivated more. Also I would have had so much more time to work on projects and ideas of my own because I wouldn't have been wasting all those hours in classrooms that would go over the same thing again and again.

Having a curriculum tailored to the individual student is more efficient. It gives the child the ability to go at his/her own pace. So if they immediately understand one topic, they don't need to sit there and be bored by a teacher overexplaining it. Instead they can focus on the topics that they don't quite understand right away.

I often hear people who are pro-public schools saying things like, "Well, children need socializing" but clearly socializing with other children can cause much more harm than good. Children can always socialize in other activities. Community related events or exercise related activities that children can do in groups, etc. Yes, at some point they are going to have to face the "real world" but having to deal with that at 18, they will be a lot more emotionally stable and able to deal with the shock. At least they will not have been affected negatively during those sensitive childhood development stages, which can affect a person's entire personality.

The public school system here is a joke. We cut budgets, overwork our teachers and pay them crap salaries, and are required to teach our kids politically correct garbage. Plus if parents would actually do their job and discipline their kids, maybe we wouldn't have so many bullies in school. Until that public schools clean up their act, I'm homeschooling my kids my way. I do not want to entrust them to a broken system.

And I totally agree with you on the issue of extra cirriccular activities. They're less likely to have bullies there because sports and community events are for kids who want to better themselves and pursue healthy causes.

I cried when I heard about the Newtown shooting. Then I got angry when guns were blamed for it. Guns didn't kill those children, a mentally mad man did. Taking the guns out of the picture does not eliminate the evil; anybody who took high school chemistry can make a bomb, for pete's sake. If the guy wanted to kill, he'd have found a way even without guns. In my opinion, shooters gravitate towards schools, universities, theaters, et cetera, because they want to kill a large number of people and they know in those locations they will not be met with an opposition for several minutes until the cops arrive. If schools were equipped with a couple armed security guards (as many places have), the attractiveness of them to a madman would decrease, and if it was attacked anyway, at least there would be help there at the beginning. Feel free to disagree with me, I know there are a lot of people who support gun control. I'm just saying that if we take guns away, madmen will still kill people.

Yeah I completely agree, Zeke. Although maybe we should make a separate thread for that as I don't want to derail the discussion. I take full responsibility for mentioning that in the first place.

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I was homeschooled my entire life. I only went to a public school and a seperate private school for sport involvement.

I think it's a great way to go cuz you can control and make sure your kids are actually learning everything they need to at the right times. It gives you complete access to the material that your kids are reading and doing. Only downside is there's no social life there. That's why it's so important to get them involved in sports that allow homeschoolers, music programs, etc. Just be sure there's some activities with others there age. Even church activities if that's how you roll. So really it's great cuz it's real easy to get involved in other ways to help them grow and be around at least some of the world.

I could ramble on and on cuz i've been there done that since forever... but i'll stop here :P

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Wow, it seems that the vast majority of you all have been homeschooled. I attended online school from home for my 8th to 12th grades. I wouldn't mind my children being homeschooled or attending a religious school that also provides academic studies.

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I would never home school my kids unless they begged me. I had such an amazing time in school and I would want for them to enjoy that same experience. If there was a problem with a bully or such then I hope my child would tell me. Going to school can be very rewarding and beneficial to a child if the parent is very involved. I remember both of my parents always being at school for different things such as field trips, parties, plays, concerts, and just parent teacher meetings. I couldn't imagine being home schooled during high school. My high school had 2200 students and so many fun after school activities!

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I would never home school my kids unless they begged me. I had such an amazing time in school and I would want for them to enjoy that same experience. If there was a problem with a bully or such then I hope my child would tell me. Going to school can be very rewarding and beneficial to a child if the parent is very involved. I remember both of my parents always being at school for different things such as field trips, parties, plays, concerts, and just parent teacher meetings. I couldn't imagine being home schooled during high school. My high school had 2200 students and so many fun after school activities!

I agree. Grades 1-7 were a real struggle for me because I have two learning disabilities, and one mainly manifests itself in socializing problems. But because I was forced to socialize with kids and adults every day, and my teachers and principal taught me proper "schoolyard behaviour" and how to make eye-contact, my socializing skills made huge improvements. Grades 8-12 were really good for me. Not perfect, but I enjoyed them.

I went to an all-girls private school, and I would never send my kids to a public school. But I would also never home-school them because A) I don't think it's a good idea, and B ) I don't want to be their mom and their teacher! No way.

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Nah, I feel like my kids would be missing out on a lot if they were homeschooled. Also, I think even if I were filthy rich, I would be somewhat reluctant to send my kids to a private school. I mean, the reason some folks like me went to public school was because some parents can't afford private school and don't have the time to homeschool. And part of the reason that private schools perform so well is becauase they are funded so well, by relatively wealthy people. So, if everyone, regardless of wealth, had but no choice but to attend public schools, then the rich would invest more into public education and make it better, right...? I'm not saying we should ban the parent's right to chose how their child should be educated - no way- buut...well these are the thoughts that would go through my head when choosing an education for my child haha.

Btw, I am speaking from the perspective of an American, where the public education system here needs improvement

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I would actually really love to home school my children the problem is that I don't think my job (pediatric pulmonologists) would allow me to. I would love to help them in the science area especially in the biology area. Then I could fully explain the whole evolution vs creation type thing. That was one contention I had in school...christian beliefs were pretty much ignored or worse- criticized. I don't want my child to be bullied because of their religious beliefs. On the same bully note I was also bullied very much in grade school because I didn't listen to rap music, dance/dress provocatively or speak...well "ghetto" ( I was mostly teased by my african-american peers). My christian family values/morals went against many mainstream high school trends and that was a target for bullies. I was also bullied for stupid things like because I had asthma...seriously I would get teased about having asthma attacks. The bullying made my life horrible and I never wanted to go to school.

Another problem that I am worried about is cyber bullies. That was something that I had no problem with since the cyber age was not that big when I went to school but now it seems this type of bullying is causing more harm that the past conventional bullying. Now you don't have to spread rumors by mouth just post a pic on facebook and the whole high school community knows- there just seems to be such an increase in suicide from bullying because of this new cyber era. Honestly I would be very worried about my child being in that arena especially if I had such a bad time.

Since I cannot home school I will have to enroll my child in a good private school and just make sure I am involved in their life so that they feel comfortable coming to me with any and all questions about religion or bullying. And if my child does have a problem with bullying I will make sure to be a loud voice for their protection and the punishment for their tormentors.

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Providing great (not to mention safe) education is one of the reasons I'm uneasy about the thought of having children. I want them to have the best opportunity possible to get into a top college and I think that really only comes by sending your child to private school. But, who can afford that? A good private high school is around $14-16,000 per year.

Still, in my state public education is fairly good. It wouldn't be the end of the world to send my child to public school, but I still would feel bad about it. I get the feeling there is a huge difference in the quality of public education in the U.S. depending on which state you live in. Would everyone agree that is a fair assessment?

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I get the feeling there is a huge difference in the quality of public education in the U.S. depending on which state you live in. Would everyone agree that is a fair assessment?

Yes, it definitely seems like it.

Wow, I now feel really lucky to have gone to school where I did. I didn't know there were so many bad public schools out there. My public school system offered Honors Classes/AP/great electives/etc. Most of my teachers were really great too. I don't live in a "rich area" either, I guess there is a wide variance on the emphasis states and the cities/counties within them put on Education.

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@Kailey-I think, in general, northeastern states are known for placing a higher emphasis on quality education. That's probably one of the reasons they have higher taxes, as well.

There also seems to be a huge difference in the amount of money teachers get paid. I've seen the old teacher contract of the district I went to and the pay is fairly good. They start low at around $34,000/year, but it eventually maxes out at around $71,000/year. Also, health HMO is fully paid for and they have a pension. I imagine their new contract is similar and honestly it might even be better. Now, to put this all in perspective, the average salary of someone where I live I believe is around $34,000/year. Assuming this figure correct, a teacher will eventually make more than double that (and have a pension and their HMO covered, no less).

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I went to public school from K-4th grade and was then homeschooled. Public school was alright for me. I didn't get bullied or get in trouble or anything like that but it was kind of boring. I much prefer homeschooling because I could get my work done in 2 hours and then do whatever else I wanted. I could go outside and enjoy nature. I could learn about things I was actually interested in. Way more freedom and customization. A lot of people complain about the social aspect of it, but thats not an issue at all. There is plenty of homeschooling groups out there and other activities you can sign up for. I took dance for a while until I moved again.

I am for sure homeschooling my kids (if I have any). I just think kids should be kids for as long as possible (; No rush.

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I don't think I would ever home school my children. They'll go to public school like I did. I'm just gonna say a prayer over my kids every day before they go to school and not worry about them, because they'll be in God's hands. I LOVED public school, met some of the best people, and have some of the best memories from it. I want my children to be able to say that same thing.

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