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Home Schooling

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by JJ50, Jul 11, 2019 at 10:59 AM.

  1. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

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    Do any posters have experience of home schooling?

    We decided that I would home school our adopted Down's Syndrome son (now 34) as we were not impressed with the schooling offered by the special school he would have attended. It worked out very well for him, I called in the school inspectors from time to time to check the education I was giving him was suitable. They were kind enough to say he wouldn't have got better if he had gone to school. Our eldest birth daughter girl was a primary school teacher in those days, and he got invited to her school from time to time if they were doing anything special. My husband was a secondary school head teacher and he was able to go on a trip abroad with the school, with me acting as a helper. In order to encourage him with his writing, I decided it might be fun if he wrote to people he liked on TV, most were kind enough to reply, he has four scrapbooks full of their letters. He has even met some of them in person, like the late Ken Dodd who invited him to attend one of his shows. He invited him backstage afterwards and gave him a couple of his 'tickling sticks'.

    Our middle daughter decided to home school her lads when they got to secondary school age, the eldest who is 17 has Asperger's syndrome, he is extremely bright, but found a crowded school difficult. His younger brother, nearly 15, has atypical dyslexia and was struggling a bit, although a bright lad. The eldest lad did his GCSEs early and got mostly A*s, he is now teaching himself his 'A' level subjects as his Mum isn't up to doing that. His brother is progressing well too.

    I think home schooling can work out quite well always providing the children are not isolated from other young people. My grandsons have a lot of extra-curricular activities.
     
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  2. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    I think theres an unfair stigma that homeschooled kids aren't well socialized. As if the schoolyard is the only place to build social skills or even that public school social encounters will produce the healthiest of behaviors. Neither of which I have found to be true.
    Granted, the quality of the homeschool experience will largely depend on how much investment the parents have so there's plenty of occasion to fall short if the parents have too much going on outside their kid's education. But setting up group activities for kids is the easiest part.

    Harder, I think, is choosing your content programs that balances academic coursework well and is flexible and adaptable (so the A+ means practical application and a broader understanding, not just wrote memorization), something teachers go through lots of schooling to accomplish that your average parent wont have. Ditto not shying away from content that makes the parent uncomfortable or they just don't have an interest or passion for.

    So great homeschooling is definitely achievable, but it is a challenge.
     
  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Each of our 5 kids had at least one year at home, for various reasons. Going on student-teacher ratio alone, it can't bet much better.
     
  4. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

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    In answer to your question, on the contrary, my wife and I are child-free, my wife was an elementary school teacher (1st through 3rd grade over her 25 years of teaching, and I was her part-time classroom assistant for her last 16 years.

    Accepting your assessment of your own success unquestioned, I would readily concur with you that "home schooling can work out quite well", if and only if, in my opinion, the child or children being homeschooled have parents such as you and your spouse. Given my wife's and my separate interactions with our students' parents, I'd say that you and your spouse are exceptions to the rule that parents make the poorest providers for their kid's academic needs.
     
  5. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    You don't say where you live.
     
  6. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

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    I live in the UK.
     
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  7. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    It is a lottery, Special Needs schooling round our way is (I believe) quite good. The only problem is distance, there is a lot of busing going on.
     
  8. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    JJ50, I assume you want to debate the value or desirability of home schooling.

    In my opinion, as long as the parent(s) are competent enough to carry out the program and do so in a productive manner I have no problem with home schooling. However, short of this I question its superiority over whatever else may be offered in the community. The only thing I've seen brought up from time to time with HS is its tendency to isolate the student from social interactions. To me this is a important issue to be considered.

    .
     
    #8 Skwim, Jul 11, 2019 at 12:45 PM
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019 at 1:18 PM
  9. Sapiens

    Sapiens Polymathematician

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    Yup. The problem is that, even when supported by professionally developed materials most parents are ill equipped, either by birth or training, to teach the broad range of material required, a few are ... and I've seen such parents do a great job, but most home schooled children's education, at least that I know, I find lacking in STEM and basic Philosophy.
     
  10. Duke_Leto

    Duke_Leto Active Member

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    If they're lacking in science and math, they're likely also lacking in the humanities.
     
  11. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    I had thingies called PACE. It was absolutely terribly and extremely biased towards a Conservative Evangelical view of the world and history, including teaching many fallacies as fact, such as all the world's languages coming from the Biblical confusion of tongues. They are also very racist (the comics the feature never integrate ethnic characters and the little they are featured they are always off to themselves), and they promote bronze age gender roles to the point that pretty much boys get to have all the fun while the women stay home and clean, cook dinner, and raise the kids. The science cirriculum was also abysmal, and I finished it not knowing the difference between a hypothesis and theory and I couldn't define either.
     
  12. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    As someone who was home schooled from grades 2-12 and who is very familiar with the home-school community, I think I am qualified to answer this.

    It can work for some people, and there are certainly a lot of unfair stereotypes regarding homeschooling.

    HOWEVER (and this is going to sound harsh), the fact is that a significant percentage (not all) home-schooled children have pi$$ poor social skills. I, for one, had to learn many lessons about how to properly interact with people and pick up on social cues when I was in college. No matter how much extra-curricular activities you try to get your child involved in, the fact is that he/she will not have the social experience that a child who interacts with his/her peers for 8 hours a day, every day for 12 years will get. And social skills, despite what some may say, are just as important, if not more important than academic skills.
     
  13. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    They are.
     
  14. Thirza Fallen

    Thirza Fallen Crazy Cat Lady

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    Homeschooling is fine, as long as you're teaching fact, not belief. Some families do it only so they can teach their children to stay separate from the world.
     
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  15. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

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    I am of the opinion the school inspectors should by law be required check up on homes schoolers to ensure the children are getting a proper education. My grandsons have had private tutoring on topics their mother hasn't been able to deal with like science and maths. The inspectors should also check to see that the children aren't isolated from others and have activities outside the home and mix with other young people.
     
  16. Wandering Monk

    Wandering Monk Active Member

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    Most states require some form of standardized testing and regular reporting of grades to the local school district.
     
  17. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    I think it's telling that you've already put a condition in your conclusion - it can work out if...

    I think the fundamental issue with home schooling is that it doesn't really exist. Systematically it only defines what doesn't happen, that the child doesn't attend any kind of formal school institution. The education that they actually receive instead can (and does) vary massively and relies pretty much exclusively on the resources, abilities and effort of the parents involved. It's essentially only an option for the relatively wealthy and educated parents.

    The reasons for home schooling and kind of children involved varies and some of the different forms should probably be treated entirely differently. For kids with major special education needs, as in your example, partial or complete home schooling could well be the best choice for some individual cases. A much improved schooling provision for SEN students would be welcome too, but even if that was as good as possible, there would still be individual cases for whom it wouldn't work.

    The cases of very advanced and intelligent students not being challenged and supported in mainstream schooling is an entirely different issue and while some home schooling could support that, I think it would generally be better to improve the system, especially considering all the students whose parents can't support home schooling even if they wanted to.

    There are then the moral challenges, often (though not always) religious parents with some principled objections to mainstream curriculum. I don't really want to delve in to this mire beyond highlighting it as another type which needs addressing separately (and often individually, depending on the details) but, as with all the others, I'd hope everyone could acknowledge that it going to be either always entirely good or always entirely bad for the children involved.

    It should be uncontroversial to talk about examples where home schooling goes very wrong and examples where it goes very well but the proponents in both directions often seem unwilling to distinguish between the two and acknowledge the examples which don't fit their perception. It's either all good or all bad. I'm personally not opposed in general principle but I do think there needs to be much more formal support and monitoring, but that is in direct opposition to why some parents choose home schooling in the first place (for good and bad reasons), and so it gets resisted across the board and denied to those parents who might need and welcome it.
     
  18. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

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    I think most children are better off in mainstream schooling. Never in a million years would I have considered home schooling our three daughters who are light years brighter than their old Mum.
     
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  19. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    Another reason to add is severe bullying. For me, the aspect of not having the social aspects didn't matter much, as I was home schooled in middle school, but even in public school I was learning how to avoid people instead of interact with them.
     
  20. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

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    I was bullied at my primary school (4-11) in the 50s, because I was better dressed than most of the other kids, as my parents were better off than theirs. My father's unhelpful response, when I complained, was for me to hit them harder than they hit me!:eek:
     
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