Don't recall a thread on homeschooling...

…so here’s one.

It’s a controversial topic and people have strong opinions, whether or not they have had personal experience with it. I have not had any personal experience with it, plus I’m an only child and don’t have kids. But I loved school, was successful in school. School saved my life.

I love being taught. I love being taught by someone who knows a whole lot about whatever we’re studying. I want my teacher to know the subject thoroughly, inside and out. I can’t imagine school days limited to my parent/s keeping one chapter ahead of me in the book. At one of the several schools I attended (Air Force brat), the nuns who taught us were very poorly educated and made some serious mistakes. Like the one who thought Greenwich, England and Greenwich Village were the same place. “So when it’s noon in Greenwich Village, it’s six AM here.”:rolleyes:

In this thread, I’d like to hear from people who have had experience with homeschooling, as parents who did it, kids it was done to, teachers who taught kids who were previously homeschooled. Did it work for you? What were/are the pros and cons, ups and downs? I’m curious.

Let’s keep the discussion civil.

I’m doing it right now with my ninth grade son.

He had some middle school issues - a little weed and related disciplinary problems, plus the academic issues that are often part of that. And he is a strange kid - smart, but not a standout, and quiet - so he sits in the back of the class and unless he is goofing off, is ignored by the teachers who don’t realize he is capable of doing a lot more than he gives them. To give him both the academic attention and pull him out of his peer group, we decided to homeschool for at least a year

Its very efficient - four or five hours gets us an entire high school day in because there are no distractions from other kids. You need at least ONE motivated party - in our case its me - otherwise you wouldn’t do anything. In Minnesota its only slightly regulated, making it easy not to do anything at all - sit in front of the TV for a year and give him credit. It can be a challenge (I’m learning Spanish to be able to teach Spanish, I’m learning Physics and I’m relearning high school Algebra).

For my son, peer interaction is NOT an issue - we are homeschooling to keep him away from his peers. He’s a social kid and charismatic, so I’m not concerned about his social development. My daughter has a friend who is homeschooled because she didn’t have the social skills for middle school - and without the Lord of the Flies nature of middle school, her social issues are being more ingrained and she’s getting more and more socially clueless.

He is not intellectually curious, so my knowledge is sufficient for him. Frankly, I’m better at most subjects (except physics, I’m being challenged by physics) than the teachers my kids have run into - knowing a subject inside and out is not a requirement for a Minnesota public school teacher.

The problem with any sort of comparison is that it’s really meaningless to talk about “public school” or “private school” or “charter schools” or “home school” as if they are monolithic. All of these vary so much that generalities are meaningless. Parents have to look at the actual options they have when they make a choice, and, of course, at their own kid and what is best for them.

As a teacher, I have always thought well of those parents who find different paths for different kids, because they have paid attention to what suits each kid, instead of clinging to an abstract ideal.

I do not think the being one chapter ahead is as big a deal as you think. Teachers are also often one chapter ahead, frankly, and as long as you are willing and able to put the time in, it doesn’t take that much to develop a deep and profound understanding of anything pre-high school. But a parent needs to know their own personality and limitations: if you aren’t the kind of person that will dedicate your own time outside the child’s school day to learning what you need to learn, then you probably shouldn’t home school.

As a parent, we are, for now, planning on homeschooling for the first 4-5 years. I can’t afford the sort of private school I like, and the local elementary schools tend to be more rigorous in some areas than I like (homework in K?) and not rigorous enough in others (not enough memorization, mental math, grammar, science, and social studies, especially in 3-5). But we will remain very open minded and try to find what works for our kid and our family.

The Kiddo went to Catholic school for kindergarten and first grade, we homeschooled for second and third, he went back to ‘regular’ public school for fourth and fifth, and then on to a new charter school for 6-8 and now high school, where he’s a sophomore and doing great.

Whatever works best for the child is what is best. And what works best today may not be best tomorrow. Luckily we had both the opportunity to be flexible, and a number of choices as the years went on.

My brother and I were homeschooled. My parents were both retired teachers, and originally we were just going to do it for a little bit.

For my brother, it didn’t really work at all. My parents just let him not bother doing anything after a few years and it was a total mess, and it was stupid and irresponsible how they failed him.

It worked out ok-ish for me, until I had to deal with the “PA Homeschoolers” online AP classes. The stress of having to put up with a bunch of evil religious nutjobs, and having interaction with them literally caused me a depressive breakdown. I had to sit through and listen to them talk about how people who were pro-choice didn’t count as humans, and how it was ok for the Taliban to destroy buddhist statues because the bible said no false idols.

And that really is the problem. A lot of homeschool groups, and in my experience far, far too many homeschoolers are religious whackjobs that are not safe to be around.

I am a private school teacher who has taught a number of student after they were homeschooled during their elementary school years. In my experience, they tend to be excellent students. I’ve seen no evidence that they suffer any drawbacks in social skills. If anything, they tend to be the friendliest and best-behaved students. As for academics, most of them are quite strong as well. It’s certainly true that in some cases, they develop strengths and weaknesses based on their parents’ strengths and weaknesses. I knew one girl who entered 10th grade after being homeschooled for her entire life. She was an excellent artist, musician, and writer, but trailed several years behind her classmates in math. I personally don’t see anything wrong with that sort of thing, but it’s an issue that people should be aware of.

Research has also shown that contrary to what some say, homeschoolers do not trial other students in academics or social skills.

These are great replies. Thanks.

Not looking for generalities. I’m specifically requesting that people stick to their own experiences.

You prolly mean trail. :wink:

I think good homeschooling parents usually aren’t the only ones teaching their children. If the parent sucks at or just isn’t interested in a particular subject, they can have someone else teach it. The kids should be in other classes or groups, not just sitting at home with their moms all day.

I homeschooled my oldest from 6th to 12th grade. It worked for us. She is in college now and has a fun job she loves. I used the “unschooling” method, and while she didn’t really get much along the lines of advanced maths she did teach herself two languages and scored a 26 on her ACT. She has a few good friends, but may have some social interaction issues. I suspect she may have some sensory issues or even mild autism (her sister definitely does) that might have been addressed if she’d gone to a regular school. Or it might have just been really hard on her. I’ll never know, but she’s doing fine in college.

I was a high school drop-out so I definitely wasn’t able to teach my daughter everything. What we did though was learn together sometimes, and I’d have her “reteach” me so I’d know if she had a good grasp on the subject. I do have a history teacher in the family so that helped a lot, but even then he was doing more advising or getting us good books than actual teaching.

Other subjects she learned on her own. She wanted to learn Russian so she did. She wanted to learn Japanese so she did. The internet is a beautiful thing when it comes to getting an education.You just have to know where to look.

Just a quick note, might be helpful:

This google search turns up quite a few prior SDMB threads on the subject: ( home schooling ) OR homeschooling

ETA: I just tried the following simplified search which I though might find less, and to my surprise it found even more threads, including hits with homeschooling as one word: home schooling

My siblings and I were/are all homeschooled. My dad is a public school teacher and my mom was a teacher before having us 5 kids.

Homeschooling worked out great for us. My younger brother and I are the only 20-something’s (aka had post-homeschool college/career experience) and the other 3 are younger. My brother and I both graduated through a state-regulated homeschool program and were awarded academic in-state scholarships. My brother is still in college, and I graduated with my B.S. degree last year with honors and am now working in a great career field.

I have always felt that one of the benefits of homeschooling was that it taught us to be very independent about learning. We had a lot of freedom to decide when/where to do our schoolwork, which prepared us well for college and budgeting study time. If we had an interest in something, we had a ton of freedom to tie that topic into “schoolwork”. We were actively involved in what types of curriculum we would use. Also, our mom did a really good job of tailoring the curriculum to match our learning styles (ex: I did well with a certain math DVD program that used a lot of visual graphics to aid in teaching, whereas my brother preferred whiteboard-style for math lessons).

Socially, homeschoolers can be pretty awkward. Thankfully, my brothers and I all played multiple sports, and my sisters did ballet/singing with other kids who went to public school. Most people are very surprised when they learn that we were/are homeschooled, because they are accustomed to it being pretty obvious in social settings.

Anyways, just throwing out my .02 as someone from a homeschool family.

I taught a boy who was homeschooled for K-6 and came to public school in 7th.

There were no problems academically; he was above in some areas and below in others, just like most of the other kids. He made friends easily and the kids all liked him. The only problem he had was that he didn’t understand that he couldn’t do what he wanted when he wanted, or talk whenever he wanted, or get my immediate attention whenever he wanted. He was just used to being the only pupil and not having to wait for anything. It was very frustrating for him if I didn’t call on him when his hand was up but instead called on someone else, or didn’t let him get up when I was talking to sharpen his pencil or get a book out of his locker, and there were even tears sometimes, but he is in high school and doing very well now.

I think his parents put him back in public school just to get these little kinks out before high school, and it worked, although I think he still thinks of me as the mean teacher he had.

I have no problems with kids being homeschooled. I’ve seen it done well, and I’ve seen it done poorly. I’ve seen classroom instruction done well and I’ve seen it done poorly, too, so it may even out.

ESPECIALLY the fundamentalist Christians who talk about public school like it’s a disease.

I have some relatives who HSed one of their kids for a couple years. She has some issues that at the time could not be dealt with in her IEP, so this is what they did. It was the right thing for them; they picked up her lessons at the neighborhood school every day and turned in the previous day’s work at the same time. Without distractions, she would usually be finished by noon.

And conversely, I know of two families who homeschool because they DON’T want the kids exposed to Christianity. One is pagan and the other is atheist, and they do this because they don’t want the kids to know that Christianity exists until they’re too old to be totally shielded from it.

That’s pretty scary too.

My mother teaches piano lessons and has many homeschooled students whose parents turn to her for such music education.

She has seen homeschooling done well and, occasionally, done poorly. Perhaps the parents who care enough to pay for music lessons are also those who recognize they need help teaching certain topics.

We are considering some homeschooling for Iggyette once we can move to the States. Her current school year runs Feb to Nov, so we may homeschool and focus on English and math for a few months so she can start with a new school year in the States.

We plan to unschool our son (he’s 17 months right now). I wasn’t homeschooled myself, although I begged my parents for five years to let me leave school. For me, there are two main reasons I want to unschool him: first, I want to give him the whole wide world to learn from, instead of restricting him to a single book or a single time of day for a given subject. And secondly, I’ve been reading un schooling email lists and message boards books since I discovered the idea in the 7th grade, and even went to an un schooling conference when it was in my town (even though I didn’t have a kid yet!) and I have never met people who genuinely liked their kids more. It was really healing for me on a personal level to hear all these people talking about what cool people their kids were, and who spoke and behaved toward their children as if they were humans and worthy of respect.

I don’t really have any experience with homeschooling except that in college, there was a particular type of student that had difficulty socializing, did not make good roommates, turned classroom discussions into battles of will with the professor and were generally deeply unpleasant people and to a person they were homeschooled. I’m sure there were any number of homeschooled people who I thought were perfectly nice people but every once in a while you’d run into someone with that particular set of hangups and the commonality was homeschooling. It kind of soured me, personally, on the whole thing.

A friend posted a link to this blog post on Facebook the other day. I know she’s active in a goofy church, and she talks a lot about homeschooling but I don’t know if she actually does it.

Anyway, here’s the blog post she linked to. It makes more sense if you read the original post, below the video, then go up to the “update” part at the top.

Basically this guy is freaking out because they want to pass a law in Ohio that you have to be checked out by the child welfare dept before you can homeschool. The law came about after a kid was taken out of public school for homeschooling, after accusations of child abuse, and then killed by his mother’s boyfriend.

This guy is just beside himself (“Worst Homeschool Law In History…” is the title of the blog post) that his rights should be so violated as a homeschooling parent. I guess he feels he should totally be allowed to beat his kids? And the law proves how awful public school is and how awful child welfare is because even though the school reported it, nothing good came of it for the kid in question.

Anyway, this guy’s blog post confused and disturbed me. But, not being a parent or a homeschooler, the chorus sings “You would not understand.” So, is there something I’m missing? Is this guy being rational or is he being crazy and reactionary?

Would you mind going through background and/or welfare checks as a condition of homeschooling? It’s a condition of public (and I assume private) school teaching.

From my experience working in higher ed, my colleagues and I find that home schooled students can have the exact same set of what we consider “transitional” issues --adjusting to college, having trouble with roommates, homesickness, academic wake-up calls – as conventionally educated students, only they tend to hit them sooner. If they are going to be so homesick that it has a significant impact on their college experience, it (usually) happens sooner … and then they get over it sooner. If they are having difficulty adjusting to living with roommates, it flares up sooner, and then they deal with it sooner. So it’s like the typical college transition issues, but ahead of schedule. After the first year of college, everything seems to even out.

Of course, there are a small number of students who never get over these issues, but looking at percentages, the number of home schooled students in this group is on par with other student demographics.

Within the group of home-schooled students, the type of home school motivations doesn’t seem to be a factor at all. That is, in college, we don’t see any difference in the above if the kid was home-schooled for geographic reasons, or socialization reasons, or religious reasons, what have you.