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How to handle opposition to Homeschooling?

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    Unschooling isn’t unlearning 🙂 Based on the national curriculum, he’s so far ahead he can take the next 2 years off.


    Non-schooling is absolutely fine for 5 year olds, but by the time they are 6 they should be trying to know the alphabet (even the letters they dont like much) counting and beginning to add, hopefuly reading a bit, at least being exposed to and enjoying books.

    Perhaps you don’t understand what unschooling is. It’s simply homeschooling without a formal curriculum. Learning opportunities and resources are made available to children and they learn.

    Firstly, I think you give homeschooling families very little credit here. We all want our children to grow, learn, play, have friends etc. Every single homeschooling family I know is extremely proactive in making learning opportunities available to their children. Our house is full of books, puzzles, word and number games, board games etc etc. My son has been exposed to books from birth – I have always read to him. He was reading quite fluently before he turned 4. However I don’t agree that it’s absolutely necessary that children are learning to read by any particular age. In Steiner, children aren’t taught to read / exposed to a lot of books (it’s a largely oral storytelling style of teaching) until they are around 7, and within a very short space of time they have the same reading abilities as their peers. Likewise some unschooled children don’t learn to read until they are much older – some as old as 10 – and once they decide that they want to read, they will be reading at the level of their peers in a very short space of time. It’s about the desire to read.

    I’ll go out on a limb here and challenge you to find a homeschooled child who can’t read at age 16. It’s just so incredibly unlikely. A point will come at which they realise that in order to access information they need to read, and then they will learn. I bet I can find you a whole lot of school leavers without literacy and numeracy though.

    The underlying principle is that children don’t need to be taught in order to learn. They didn’t need a curriculum to learn to crawl, walk, talk, eat solid foods, sing songs etc etc.. and they don’t need a curriculum to learn to read or write either. My son, at age 5, is fascinated with science. He will happily discuss surface tension, exponential growth, inertia and the elements with you. I haven’t decided that he needs to learn this, he has made that decision for himself, and I have made the resources available to him.

    All the research tells us that homeschooled children achieve educational outcomes equal and better than their schooled peers. The outcomes for social skills are also consistently equal and better.

    Perhaps your school successes belong in their own thread and not in the thread asking for support for coping with naysayers (of which you seem to be one).


    Coolies, Ceres

    Sounds like what he thinks is a non school day is a learning day for you. An intelligent parent is as good or better than any teacher. There are some who use home schooling as an excuse for no learning at all, it does happen.

    So to go back to the original intention of the thread, I am half? home schooling, I do like to have the input of a teacher and the materials to use. We interpret the lessons and use the materials in our own way, but making sure Jessie will understand how a normal classroom works when she can return to one. She is certainly keeping pace with her classmates, and will fit in well once she is able to join them.

    I would not want to home school a high school child, I think I would struggle teaching advanced languages or music, simply dont have the skills myself.

    Not all homeschoolers do as well as you Ceres. Some simply use it as an excuse for non learning. Ive seen that too. So I think it is reasonable if non homeschoolers ask a few questions and make sure the child is well looked after. That isnt criticism, just checking. Nobody questions my way, because a teacher is checking Jessies progress every week, and is very satisfied that she is learning, learning to learn, and enjoying the whole process.

    But Ive stuffed 90% of the official lessons in the bin, hehehehe. In essence I home school, but I got the books and the guidelines from Open Access, Jessie loves to think she is going to school when she logs in for a lesson.Even picks out her check dress for the day.

    Teacher is great, suggests some activities which might help Jessie move along, but spends more time being surprised with what we did ourselves.


    I think if the shoe was on the other foot, and if you were constantly questioned about your parenting and your child’s education, you may feel differently about the rights of concerned citizens to ask as to the child’s welfare.

    I don’t plan to do anything differently when my DS reaches highschool age anyway – equipped with the ability to research topics, he’ll have the skills to continue to learn independently. Much like uni students do.


    I can see where you are coming from, Ceres. I do know a ‘home schooled child’ who lives in a dysfunctional family, and although he is bright, has developed an increasing resistance to any form of education, to put it bluntly, hes brillliant and turning into a blob, because of poor parenting. I say this with some grief, his mother is a dear friend, but she simply is too ill to help him.

    I also know several home schooling families where the children are excelling far beyond what they could achieve in a school environment. It sounds like your situation would count among those families.

    Every person who meets Jessie and asks her age says ‘Oh, you will be going to school now’ That isnt criticism, its just a standard comment. And we have to reply ‘ No, not school, I do school at home’ Then we get the LOOK, and explain that yes we are supervised by the Ed Dept, but not going to school. You don’t have to knock people who are concerned, or just want to know details, its not always criticism, sometimes they are asking because they just wanna know what its like!

    We love the way this works, we can do all schoolwork in 2 hours in the morning, and then just potter around and do normal jobs, if I can factor in the letter, words or tasks of the week I do so, otherwise she just learns from mum.

    I hope you do well at high school level, my son is learning German, and I only knew about three words before he started, Ive learnt so much German lately you wouldnt believe, even got internet friends to send messages in German so he can practise real life language. But he needs a specialist teacher to tackle this subject. It doesnt mean going to school, actually Open Access provides lots of specialist teaching, but he likes the teacher and is happy for the mentoring.


    The great thing about unschooling is you can make use of as much or as little structured teaching as your child needs / wants. My son enjoys weekly structured art classes for instance. If he felt that he would benefit from mentoring / tutoring in the future I would keep an open mind to it. Unschooling isn’t completely rejecting formal education, it’s following your child’s lead on what they need at that time. TBH it sounds like our lives aren’t so different.


    No they aren’t and even when my kids have both been in formal education I still pick up and expand on the activities they are doing at school, follow up on the interests which are awakened, and follow their progress as closely as I can.

    Not always thrilled with what the school provides. My son (year10) told me they are folding geometric shapes from nets and hanging them from the ceiling in Maths. I told him thats one of Jessies reception activities and I hoped his geometry has got a little more advanced since then. He said yes, this year he had to get a ladder to help hang them, and he has learnt where the ladder is kept.:lol:

    Not much more advanced, I just mentioned dodecahedron and got the teenage blank look:confused:

    I have asked my homeschooling friends about how they work it and what they do, maybe if they have delicate egos they would consider me a naysayer. Not at all, I just want to understand, because I believe that parental help and guidance is all important for any child. I like my kids to have the social side of school, they see almost no other children here, and I think kids belong with other kids. So Jessie will return to the formal system as soon as it can be managed, she misses her friends so much, and I dont have phone numbers for most of them, cant get in touch at all.


    How to handle opposition to Homeschooling? Perhaps the best way is to respond as you would toward any opposition in your life; have a bit of a think about your own feeling on the subject, what your reaction to the criticism is ( does it feel like an attack? insult? make you angry?) then work out a response that suits.

    Remember you do not owe others a defense of your lifestyle, and not everyone is responsive to learning something new, some just think it is their duty to be the moral judge of everyone else!

    Keep your dignity and remember you are doing what is best for your family.

    Sometimes a short response is better than a long defensive explanation.;)

    I have Homeschooled my DS , who has Aspergers Syndrome, most of his school years and he is now almost 15. Some days I think its too much but then I remember his school experience and count my blessings that he is still here ( he was suicidal at one point and had to have anti-depressants ). Parenthood is a hard road but doing what is right for you and your children makes the journey far more enjoyable. Good Luck. :hug:


    If you are confident that what you are doing is right for you and your child, it should be water off a ducks back.

    And just remember, nearly all children will grow into quite reasonable adults, whatever you chose for their upbringing. They will be just as variable and interesting as the last generation, and yes most of them will have a fault or two. (But we will love them for it)


    I was a teacher for 40 years and believe that we should have a good education system which caters for all our unique children and I loved my job. Despite this I think home schooling can be an excellent education. As a teacher I loved it when kids asked me questions to which I had no answer – that is when the learning journey begins, teachers (professional or parents) just need to stimulate the kids to learn, that is the art of teaching or at least I believe it is! Children who are given the skills to find information and use it will be succesful and I don’t believe uni is the only measure. If you are prepared to spend the time and put in the effort then your chilren will become educated well rounded humans. Best of luck in what can be an amazing journey.

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