August 19, 2009 at 12:57 am #349221
we’re having a “similar” issue with the in-laws about DS not being in “kindy” at 2! 2 for goodness sake! apparently it’s not a good idea for a 2 year old to be at home with his mum and little brother cause he’ll learn nothing and not be able to share! they spend next to no time with him so he is not himself around them. they don’t see that he can recognise numbers to 10, can spell his name and recognise lots of letters, is starting to tell the time (o’clocks), and is (most of the time) so quick to share that he has been left with no toys to play with.
DH and I aren’t decided on homeschooling yet, but there will always be people who agree with what you do and those that disagree. it’s a shame if it comes from people so close but as parents its your responsibilty to do what you think is the right thing to do for your kids.
If I were you i’d start to plant the seed early, give them time to digest it and then they can (hopefully) get all the questions etc out of the way early.August 19, 2009 at 1:01 am #349222
Trudy I totally agree there are bad examples in the home ed world! I just get tired of hearing people use that as a reason to warn people against homeschooling. There are also plenty of bad examples in the school system. No system is perfect. If you judge either system by its worst “products” you’d probably give up all hope for humankind. It would be interesting to see a newspaper article talking about how all the people who had been through court that day had been to school, and maybe it was time we considered closing schools as they obviously produce criminals! 😆 As HG says, it comes down to the parenting above all else.
There’s also a risk of people making judgements who don’t know the family very well. (Not talking about you here HG – you obviously do know the family in question.) I’ve heard people criticise particular home ed families for home educating because in their opinion their children are lacking in some way. In some cases, the children were failing miserably in school and the parents tried to work through the system for years and things were going from bad to worse. They take the kids out, work really hard with them, and kids are finally starting to catch up. To then be told by someone that their kids are “behind” and it’s their fault for homeschooling is a real kick in the guts.
Or in my case, my DD developed severe anxiety problems at school, which we’re still working through now. It would be very easy for somebody to look at her and say, “Oh no wonder she’s a nervous type, she’s homeschooled.”
And often a parent decides to home educate because their kids are different and they know school will not suit them. I know lots of people with Asperger’s kids who homeschool. And yes, they have “odd” kids! Nothing to do with lack of school or lack of social interaction.
And sometimes a kid’s problems have nothing to do with how they’ve been educated.
Anyway, my point is that Rene is obviously a caring, committed parent with nice, normal kids, so there is no need for her to look at dysfunctional homeschooling families and get concerned she might end up like that.August 19, 2009 at 1:15 am #349223
Actually on reflection what bugged me about HG’s post was that she was comparing the lowest-achieving homeschoolers with the highest-achieving schoolers. That’s not fair. Apples with apples, please.
Sorry about the ramblings. 😐August 19, 2009 at 1:40 am #349224
A lot of people assume any socialization is good socialization..which is not even close to the truth..
there will always been those who oppose homeschooling , its cool..just know what your goal is ..set your goal before you and don’t lose sight…the nay sayers will come and go but you have your main objective in front of you… Go for it..
there is enough documented in the media these days that show alarming rates of children not able to read or write at the end of their schooling life ,that you can show inlaws that you can do a much better job than the system.August 19, 2009 at 4:23 am #349225
I am all for homeschooling and have already mentioned my intentions to my mother and big sister (the only two relatives whose opinions actually matter to me) despite us being 2 years off even trying for kids yet! They both think it is a good idea, mum because she saw how much I struggled in school due to being the black sheep – I still suffer anxiety issues which I believe came about at least partly because I was bullied a lot in primary school. And my sister because like me, she never liked school and was a bit of a rebel and black sheep. Plus she did a primary school teaching degree at uni (which she didnt end up using) and has seen just what our teachers are being taught and the ‘quality’ of some of the people doing the course. :uhoh:
I am sure we will get opposition from various family members, such as step MIL who is a high school teacher but honestly, her opinion doesnt matter to me. We will do what WE feel is best for our children and if anyone is opposed to that well :tongue:August 19, 2009 at 4:35 am #349226
Actually on reflection what bugged me about HG’s post was that she was comparing the lowest-achieving homeschoolers with the highest-achieving schoolers. That’s not fair. Apples with apples, please.
Sorry about the ramblings. 😐
Hey, Kiwimama, I have to agree with you and when I am my most fragile, I do this myself… the apples and oranges thing.
I really don’t see system educated kids as better able to socialise, although they might be able to mix it with their peers, most kids I meet seem all at sea when out of their comfort zone… like when they have to talk to an adult;). There are always individuals who have engaging personalities, high achievers on the sports field and in the academic world… but not my kids… and I don’t really believe that that would be any different in another environment.
I didn’t chose to educate the kids at home so that they wouldbecome the next rhodes scholar (or whatever) or so that they could become little Mr or Miss Personality Plus (although sometimes I think they have everyone else charmed… oh why can’t they be that sweet for me?) I did make the decision so that extra smart or not, they could learn and grow at their pace, in the security of their family home… able to concentrate on their studies instead of classroom politics, or communiting ridiculous distances.
Public schools haven’t been around for as long as they think they have
and it once was that they were considered a thing for the underpriviledged. I know that schoosl can offer wonderful opportunities, but they don’t have exclusive rights to do that.
Rene, the best thing you can do is write down your vision for your kid’s education… If you do decide to homeschool, you will need to comeback to it again and again. The naysayers don’t ever go away, although some may be forced to admit that the kids turned out better than they thought they would. As my ever supportive;) MIL likes to say… the proof of the pudding is in the eating. uh thanks … I think…August 19, 2009 at 5:00 am #349227
Actually Trudy I am feeling pretty fragile today. 😆 My younger DD, who goes to school, has been away for several weeks with glandular fever. She went back on Monday. Yesterday at dinner she said she felt sick and didn’t want to eat and went to bed, and today she’s really crook! I think it’s flu. And now she tells me that on Monday there was a kid in her class coughing everywhere all day and eating Strepsils like there was no tomorrow. :@ And she tells me his Mum’s a nurse – surely she must’ve noticed he was sick? :tdown: Gaah!August 19, 2009 at 5:10 am #349228
jasediddly-“Learning is experience, exploring, failing, prevailing & so many more things that school can not offer. School takes away a child’s natural desire for learning, & forces them to ignore their instincts and take on ideas foreign and sometimes even wrong to them.”
I completely agree, I am naturally a very bright student and enjoy reading, writing and science however have failed many classes in high school simply because the teachers are occasionally horrible people who hate their lives and who enjoy the ‘power’ that they have over students. You don’t know who your putting your child in front of in a classroom and you also don’t know whether the ‘teaching methods’ being used suit your child at all.
In my last year of high school i had a biology teacher(I love biology), who you could not ask a single question to if you didn’t understand him the first time. I struggled through this class and dreaded attending it because of this. He was literally a bully. If you asked him something which he thought was stupid, he would repeat the question so that the whole class could hear, as if you were retarded and had just said something in baby language and then not give you an answer or ask you if you were listening (and yes, I was). If you spoke back at all… well, you wouldn’t speak back because he would give you lines or detention.
I never ended up getting an O.P because of people like him, but found a great 6 month course at uni which was an alternative entry to uni, I loved the teaching methods and the calm atmosphere, (which is so unlike a school yard) I am now at university and am getting H.Ds (high distinctions) so I know I never failed because I was stupid, I just didn’t have the motivation to complete work in such hostile, unfriendly environments.
So good on you Chella 🙂 dont trust the public schooling systems – ever – to bring your children up in a happy, healthy environment :P. Take control over what kind of people your children have to come into contact with day to day, but definetly keep them socialising 🙂August 19, 2009 at 7:17 am #349229
sorry if my post caused offence to some. But any form of educational decision is one that must be made from a balanced basis. There is no point blindly supporting a process simply because someone has asked for support. From the information supplied, the parents have tried the formal system, but done so in a way that assumes that sending the kids off to school every day means the job is done, and they have been disappointed to discover that is hasn’t. well, I am sorry, but education that is limited to the classroom is not ‘job done’ it is an on-going partnership between the parents, the educators and the children. If you have not had the time or inclination to engage in that partnership, then in what way are you likely to be able to provide an enhanced educational experience for your children if you choose to home school? are you going to stop teaching them once they get up from the kitchen table and let them go off and do the things they were doing after school hours? If so, then you probably won’t get a better result than the teachers.
It is possible for the contemplation of home-schooling, having met with opposition, might simply become a case of ‘well, I’ll show you!’ rather than a balanced consideration of what is best for the children. It is not a matter of winning or losing the argument as to whether you can home school. It is no-ones business but yours as to what educational choice you make. But you must ensure that in making that decision, you are considering the child. Not whether you are, or are not, ready to release that child into boarding care, but whether boarding care will provide that child with its needs. not whether or not your child will be exhausted by travel, but whether the intellectual stimulation provided by the destination school will compensate for the child. It is not winning or losing that counts. It is whether or not you have weighed up and considered the best interests of the child, and also your own capacity to provide a broad, interesting, intellectually stimulating educational environment given your other work and life commitments. If you can’t then you are doing both yourself and your children a major dis-service.August 19, 2009 at 7:30 am #349230
Perhaps I should add, that if and only if, you have undergone all of this thought process and discussion amongst all relevant parties (you, your partner, the kids and any relevant employers) will you be able to handle opposition to home schooling. Because if you can be confident in your own decision, then the opinions of others won’t matter to you.August 19, 2009 at 9:21 am #349231
There are very few families that take up homeschooling without thinking deeply about it and what it will mean to their family. Often there are massive changes involved (perhaps one adult giving up their job, or a juggling of hours etc) so that parents are able to educate their children at home. The work involved (even with unschooling) requires a lot from parents, and I would imagine that only rarely would someone think that home education means plonking the kids at the kitchen table and leaving it at that. And of course, we all know that learning doesn’t always mean “heads in books” 😉
There is often very strong opposition to homeschooling from friends and relatives, and this can be hard to deal with on a constant basis, even when you are totally committed and confident in your choices. Being told several times a week that you are not doing a good job, or that you are damaging your childrens’ futures, or they will turn into social deviants etc can sap the mental strength of any homeschooler. Being confident in your decision is one thing – being able to handle the comments of others (especially grandparents) can be hard to learn.
Becoming familiar with the most common “reasons” not to homeschool is a good start – socialisation being the big one, followed by “but you’re not a teacher” and “but how will you know if they are learning anything”. there are others. Know where you stand as a family on these issues. If people are genuinely interested, point them towards the info. If they are just being difficult, feel free to question *their* parenting, and see if they appreciate the “concern” 😆
and develop a thick skin!August 19, 2009 at 9:46 am #349232
The thing that I find hard to take is constantly being asked to justify our decision. Every home ed family I know agonised over the decision! How many parents who send their kids to school do that? In almost every case, they don’t even think about it, it just happens, and then we’re treated like maybe we haven’t really thought about it. :@
Besides which, I think it’s just plain bad manners to question another parent’s choices.
HG you do have a point but I really think it’s pretty obvious you haven’t been a parent in reading what you’ve posted. Parents are responsible for the care, safety, physical and emotional well-being of their children, as well as their education. To suggest that parents shouldn’t be too concerned about whether their children are exhausted or whatever, well … see if you still think that when you have kids of your own. 😉 I know some parents who are concerned about academic achievement etc above all else, but it aint most of us. Most of us just want our kids to be happy, healthy, and enjoying life.August 19, 2009 at 10:47 am #349233
hillbilly girl wrote:
Perhaps I should add, that if and only if, you have undergone all of this thought process and discussion amongst all relevant parties (you, your partner, the kids and any relevant employers) will you be able to handle opposition to home schooling. Because if you can be confident in your own decision, then the opinions of others won’t matter to you.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy….
Of course the opinions of others… especially close others… matter. There is nothing quite like, having put in all that effort to be constantly second guessed by people who seem to think that you haven’t considered anything at all, and lets face it, as the parent educator, you are the bottom line. You don’t get to blame anything on some slack teacher.. or peer pressure… or bullies. So yes… constant, even not constant, challanging by any others does cause the hackles to rise, and heels to dig in . I think if it didn’t… I would give up tomorrow and for no better reason than social pressure. Shame really, because I will always believe that competant and loving parents are a more able to facilitate a child’s learning journey than an overcrowded schoolroom faced by an under resourced teacher.August 19, 2009 at 10:56 am #349234
Please spare me the ‘it’s easy to see you don’t have children’ line. Fulfilling one’s biological function does not automatically confer wisdome. If it did, then we would have no need for child protection. Not fulfilling one’s biological function does not automatically confer an inability to understand the parenting responsibilities. Those of us who are not parents have been children and so have some understanding of what can be done right or wrong, and we also have a unique opportunity to objectively observe the successes and failures of our peers.
I have not said that exhaustion is to be discounted as a concern, and if you were to read my post with comprehension (a necessary skill in any future your children might wish to pursue) you would realise that. My post, and all my previous posts, have simply highlighted that the original enquirer does not seem to have had any involvement in previous educational pursuits by their child, has, in effect, abdicated that responsibility to the school, and thus may need to seriously consider the need to determine whether the child’s lack of performance at school might be something that they might have avoided had they been responsible in their role in the educational partnership. to assume that you can move from that position, to the position of taking sole responsibility for the child’s future education is a rather long stretch and one that will require considerably more thought than would seem apparent in the original post. clearly, as the original post is a summary of what has gone before, perhaps this may have been omitted in the detail provided. But I would be concerned that such a major decision should be made without full consideration of the costs to parent and child.
If, for example, the child has an ambition to become a vet – how will the parents provide opportunities to study sciences to the level required to meet university standards? If they wish to become an actor, how will the parent provide opportunities to become involved in theatrical pursuits?
Not everyone has an ambition to send their child to university, but I would assume that everyone has an ambition to provide their child with the skills to be a useful, productive member of society. This *can* be achieved through home schooling, and it may not be achieved through formal schooling. But the decision as to which system should be considered should be based on the particular needs of the particular child. Not on the parent’s personal preferences.
Oh, and i agree it can be terribly wearing to have constant negative feedback, but perhaps the best response to that would be to ask the people giving it, to articulate in what way they feel your children are failing to meet their performance standards. Apart from putting them in a position of being forced to review their assumption sets, it might also provide you with an opportunity to notice something that has been overlooked, simply because you are so close to the subject. It can, in effect, become a very effective feed-back loop.August 19, 2009 at 11:00 am #349235
I got in early with my Mum.. We’re not trying for a baby yet, but I’ve already told her we’re homeschooling. She’s brought up the social aspect, and I agreed, saying that I’d have to make an effort to socialise. (I’m not the most social person either, though, I suppose!) With a child at school who is currently being bullied, I don’t think she has any further objections to my plans. 😉 ALS has been a big inspiration, hating school myself is another.. I put up with school until failing year 11, then I went to TAFE and did 11 and 12 and LOVED it. Being treated like a responsible adult, and being given help when I asked for it, was all I needed to pass with pretty good grades. I think everyone deserves that opportunity.
The only time I see prior experience with school-yard social *xxxx*being an advantage is when adults are acting like children in certain work places. It’s not exactly the sort of behaviour we want to encourage anyway.. so what’s the issue?
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