Homeschholing/ Unschooling

Reply Wed 23 Jul, 2008 10:26 pm
since the late sixties there has been a constant refrain about how public schools are failing, you farmerman are the one who has lost objectivity with your song and dance about what a good a job they do. Bright kids who want to learn can learn almost anywhere, but this drive to learn almost always comes from the home. This is the critical element, not the worldview taught, not what school the kid goes to. Asian kids have a habit of going to some of the worst schools and still getting to elite collages, so even in the face of bad public schools I am not going to claim the homeschooling is a panacea. But it can be used to motivate and interest kids who are otherwise uninterested in education, it can bring families closer together, it can be used to let bright kids leap frog their more dull peers who sit in class and thus keep the bright kids interested. Public schools have been cutting back on fast track curriculum, sometimes it is in the kid's best interest to pull them out of school and to stimulate them with better fare.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 23 Jul, 2008 10:32 pm
Snorts, watching Hawk lecture farmerman.

Pulls up chair.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2008 03:17 pm
Thanks Everyone for the thought provoking argument. I have been reading John Holt and NAomi Aldort and it touches me. John Holt also taught in Public as well as Private schools.

If anyone knows some literature against Home Schooling ( Other than what is already published on A2K) I would appreciate it.

My 8yo is going to 4rth grade and 4yo is just 4yo so I feel by experimenting for one year I am not going to lose much but by not doing it I would never know.

I was looking at " Five in a Row" for curriculum, which is Literature based. You read a book with your child each day for a week and then do language math or Geography lessons based on the book. one subject each day and same book each day. I am thinking of supplementing it with MAth U See based on Montessori Concepts.

I have no major complaints against schools as my children did very well, but a maternal instinct tells me they are being molded into conformity. Also I feel the teachers efforts are directed at the lowest level of the class for all the right reasons.

Will return later .........
0 Replies
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2008 06:12 pm
0 Replies
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2008 06:29 pm
One of the ideas not really touched on here is the idea of resilience. I liked Joe's ideas about multiple inputs (various teachers). And the idea that home schooling is hit-or-miss depending on the quality of the 'teachers'.

I don't buy the idea that schools have been failing since the 1960s (show me credible data). I don't buy the idea that the love of learning is taught primarily at home. But one major thing that schools do is help kids build resilience. When a child has a set of parents (or one parent), maybe a couple siblings, they aren't very challenged emotionally. Everyone shares the same basic tenets, morals, rules, background.

You, Dr. Mom, aren't really fully intellectualizing your kids because they are too comfortable in the family unit. You'll tell me - "But the kids fight all the time!" and "No we don't agree on everything!" Your kids aren't forced to think deeply - why is this person mad at me? (they'll likely know why their sister is mad at them). They lose out on reading varied social cues, making friends in challenging situations, learning to NOT get along with someone they really dislike.....
0 Replies
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2008 07:07 pm
DrMom wrote:
Thanks to medical calculators I have nothing to do with Math and I don't have much skills in that area anyways.

To me, that is, frightening. As a former engineer and present secondary math and science (chemistry and physics) instructor I would consider the logic, if not the mechanics of math paramount to any technical profession--including the practice of medicine. Real world algebraic applications (to me) show a glimpse of logic that I would consider analogous to that used in medical diagnosis. Moreover, if I was a physician I would want to have some understanding of statistics to assure that the drug company representatives weren't feeding me only the data I wanted to hear--and I haven't even stepped into the realm of drug interaction and prescription.

From my perspective, your math skills are lacking largely because of your own anxiety about the subject. I would hope that as a parent you wouldn't want to pass that anxiety on to your children.

0 Replies
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 09:48 pm
Thanks Hawkeye, LittleK and Rap Rap,

I liked the article against Homeschooling, I would like for my kids to learn through these experiences. I would again defend my position by my philospphy about Television. American Academy od Pediatrics has a limit on the amount of time. My rule up until last year was no TV on weekdays and some limited time on weekends I think it was 2 hrs a day of any screen. (It changed when I started working weekends. It depended on who is watching them) Anyways, you could say if it is bad why allow a little, and if it is not bad why not let them choose, learn and decide for themselves what they want to get out of it? I feel by watching it a lot they are being deprived of the opportunity to do something else with that time. To contemplate, think, create, imagine.

To me and other believers od homeschooling it is not natural for 22 kids of same age to spend major part of the day together. To learn it is best to spend part of the day with kids their age, some with older kids, some with little kids and some with adults. Competing to get each other or an adult's attention in my mind would not be healthy. I spent one whole year very closely involved in a very good magnet school. I was there every day. I became friends with my son's teacher who is probably Little K's age. Very bright and very sensitive! Thanks to a son who still talks to me I also heard what she would never hear.

I agree with Little K's POV. I also think resilience should come after you have provided initial nurturing. Difference of opinion and dealing with people who are different is extremely important. Most people who homeschool are done by lunch time and rest of the day is left for that. Sports, library and local events. (I know for our family someone called DAD provides enough of a Personality)
If they spent the whole day surviving I would worry if that's all they are learning! Should that be the major part of a learning experience? In college may be Yes, PREK may be no. Again, this is a opinion.

I think if children were kept very happy initially by providing Autonomy, respect and Unconditional love they would make Ok choices later.

RapRap You are good at MAth, you are right I have an anxiety toward it. I barely passed math. I could be better if I practiced but repetition bothered me a lot. My brother is an engineer, he was also asked to become a "Doctor" , He adamantly refused saying he can't wait to not study biology anymore. I am kind of happy my parents let me get away with just passing grades in Math. On the other hand I was in the top 5th percentile in the district in Languages. I learn and see every thing through words. You may do it through numbers and both ways are fine. I am also not very visual I had to work exrtra hard in Anatomy , Physiology just took one reading. So I chose internal medicine and would never be a surgeon.

I strive to do my best at what I do, like all of us.

I recently attended a forum called Land Mark Education, probably the best education I ever got. You can check it out online. There is a concept in there that we as human beings learn to survive and many of our strong suits or positive personality traits are the result of that process. We think we are successful because of those but those could very well be our limitations. This is based on " Ontology" or the Science of Being. Many of the concepts I learned in Psychology are challenged by the curriculum of this forum but I strongly believe in their philosophy. I can't explain how I am linking that to this argument. I will try to explain later.

Thanks for making me think, I am learning a lot. I recently moved to South Florida. I am unpacking and will start Schooling after that. Our school is at the back of our community and is really good. People move to this neighborhood just for this school. Which brings a lot of anxiety to my husband because he is not totally convinced by homeschooling philosophy and thinks he is paying the high taxes of this city but I am not taking advantage of the School.........
0 Replies
Reply Sat 30 Aug, 2008 06:23 pm
We Started this week. I have enrolled them in Oak Meadow. It is a waldorf school. I am the primary teacher and they get the curriculum guidance as well as I get teacher support. So far having fun. Still ironing out the schedule. To me this is less energy consuming then regular school. Taking them to after school activities is not that tiring because by that time we are all ready to get out of the house. They will do an art camp at the art museum in mornings as well as 4yo will do library story times in am and both do karate afterschool. My 8yo son made friends at karate who goes to local school and lives in our community. One of them came over and did homework at our house. We don't have homework unless their was major slacking off in morning.
They don't seem that wiped out after school.
I am so blessed though to have a wonderful household help. Thanks to my husband who works out of town but insists that I keep regular help if I am going to do this. She is an art major. An unfortunate accident left her husband disabled. She enjoys them when I am almost getting tired of them at about Noon .
I have a tendecy to be unpredictible but so far I am loving it.
Reply Sat 30 Aug, 2008 08:11 pm
Help me make this understand Dr. Mom: you've enrolled them in a Waldorf school, yet your kids spend only a few hours there and the rest of the time
you school them at home with the Waldorf curriculum?
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 04:24 am
Socialization and Homeschooling

by Bonnie and Lawrence Williams

Many Oak Meadow families ask for our opinion about socialization. There is a myth that persists about this subject, so we want to look at it more closely.

This "lack of socialization" myth arises from false concepts about the nature of socialization itself and the realities of the homeschooling environment. As John Holt, one of the early advocates of home schooling, once remarked, "If I could give just one reason why children should NOT go to public schools, it would be the socialization they receive there. In general, the kind of behavior one finds most often in schools is petty, cruel, and mean-spirited." Those who feel that homeschooled children are missing a valuable experience by not participating in the socialization that occurs in a public school environment have to consider Holt's words and ask, "Is this really what we want for our children?"

Many school officials and child psychologists have the impression that homeschooled children are home alone all day without any interaction. On the contrary, homeschooled children have ample opportunities for meaningful socialization with their peers through local clubs and classes, community activities, church involvement and personal relationships with friends. Many cities and towns also have homeschooling support groups that meet regularly to provide additional opportunities.

Also, research indicates that homeschooled children are not being deprived socially. In a nationwide study, Dr. Wesley Taylor of Andrews University found that homeschooled children scored significantly higher than their conventionally-schooled peers on a measure of self-concept, which is generally considered to reflect socialization. Dr. Taylor concluded that the socialization issue "favors homeschoolers over the conventionally-schooled population."

In another study, Dr. Delahooke from the California School of Professional Psychology, using a standard personality measure, compared two groups of children: a home school group and a matched private school group. Dr. Delahooke determined that "the private school subjects appeared to be more influenced by or concerned with peers than the home-educated group."

The results of these studies suggest that home schooling improves a child's self-concept and helps children develop the ability to withstand peer pressure. Both of these outcomes are indications of positive socialization experiences.

Such empirical research gives us useful information, but it can also cloud the reality of socialization itself. Socialization is simply our ability to function successfully within a group, and the most basic group is the family. Our children learn their first patterns of interaction with others by imitating their parents. Then, when they go into the larger group, they carry these patterns with them. This is true even if the children go to public school. We know that all of the children in public school are not polite, courteous, and well behaved, despite the attempts of the school to teach them to be so. If, however, the parents are polite and considerate of each other, the children will tend to be polite and considerate, even in the face of the opposite behavior by their peers. If the parents are rude towards each other, the children also learn to be rude and inconsiderate, no matter what they are told by teachers. The larger group interactions are but a reflection of all the patterns of the children who comprise that group.

The most basic unit of socialization is the family. As long as children are interacting with the other family members in their own family unit, they are being socialized. It is important, therefore, for each member of the family to appreciate how he or she influences the socialization of the other members of the family.

We carry an attitude with us in whatever we do. When we wash dishes, we can be in a hurry to get them done, or we may actually enjoy the process and do them slowly and methodically. When we make a bed, we can pull the sheet and blanket up tight and smooth out the wrinkles, or we can pull the spread over the whole mess to hide what is underneath. When we cook dinner, we can enjoy the process and chop vegetables and cook grains, or we can use packaged food to get finished with the process as soon as possible. All of our actions convey an attitude to our children, and our children are learning from us every minute of the day.

Socialization begins at home, and--as conscientious parents--we can insure that our children are positively socialized by becoming aware of our own attitudes and behaviors. When we see our children acting in a manner that we consider socially unacceptable, we have to reflect for a moment and ask ourselves if our children are simply copying our own behavior. Are we supportive in our relationships with others, or do we tend to create strife and conflict wherever we go? Are we able to work cooperatively with a group, or do we demand that everyone in the group do it our way? Do we give our full attention to what we do with others and try to do it to the best of our abilities, or do we just do the bare minimum necessary to get it done? Our answers to these questions--and others like them--indicate the kind of socialization our children are experiencing within their family group.

It is especially important to realize that our attitudes are contagious, and the very attitudes that annoy us the most in our children are the very ones which we ourselves hold. We don't like to see ourselves as we really are walking around in front of us! We must remember, though, that our children take on our attitudes and behaviors simply because they want to be just like us. Why? Because they love us. So when we are tempted to be angry with our children because of behavior we feel they have picked up from socializing with other children, we have to remember that they may quite likely have copied those behaviors from us, simply because they love us. If we want our children to change, we must change first. This is the best possible socialization that we can offer our children. Then, when they have a strong foundation, we can safely send them into larger groups, where they can become a strong influence on the group, rather than the group becoming a strong influence on them.

Homeschooling offers us the very best possible choice for positive socialization of our children, if we are willing to become aware, conscientious parents and bring forth the courage to transform ourselves.

0 Replies
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 04:27 am

At Oak Meadow, we offer different options to meet each family's unique needs. Many families use our curriculum without additional support, following the content and structure of our materials or else adapting them to their children's interests and temperaments. Other families want their children to receive academic credit for the work they complete using the Oak Meadow curriculum. For these families, we offer enrollment in Oak Meadow School, a fully accredited, state-approved distance learning school for students in grades K-12. All Oak Meadow School students complete their work at home, then they send their work to qualified Oak Meadow teachers for assessment, and then trimester (K-4) or semester (5-12) evaluations are kept in the students' cumulative records. Students can transfer these credits to other schools or use them to graduate from Oak Meadow High School and attend colleges and universities around the world.

Enrollment in Oak Meadow School gives students freedom to learn with flexibility and recognition of learning styles, while receiving academic credit and support as they learn. In Grades K-4, the parent is the primary teacher, and the Oak Meadow teacher is the primary support for the parent. In Grades 5-8 the Oak Meadow teacher establishes a more direct relationship with the student, but continues to work with the parent as you shift from being the primary teacher to the being a support for the student in the learning process. Oak Meadow high school students begin to work more independently, developing a relationship with individual teachers specializing in each subject. Our traditional text-based courses provide full teacher support. The online high school courses are more independent study type courses, with a grading service provided by our teachers.

0 Replies
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 04:32 am
Child-Centered and Child-Led Education
by Bonnie Williams

Oak Meadow supports a "Child-Centered" education, but many people confuse this with a "Child-Led" education. What is the difference?

In a "Child-Centered" education, it is important to consider the learning style and particular interests of the child. For example, a bodily-kinesthetic learner would be taught in such a manner as to offer multiple opportunities for movement and action, as opposed to sitting in a desk or at the kitchen table. In addition, if the student expressed an interest in animals, he or she would be encouraged to read books about animals, train animals, show an animal, write stories about animals, or study in greater depth about animals. Thus, the entire language arts and science program might revolve around this subject of great interest to the child. However, a structure would be created with multiple opportunities for learning to take place.

"Child-Led" education, on the other hand, does not necessarily offer a structure or opportunities but instead waits for the child to ask or initiate. The problem with this is that there are so many opportunities that the child does not even know about or cannot imagine. Because the adult is more aware, more mature, and hopefully more focused than a child, it is up to the adult to provide a suitable structure within which the child can learn in an enjoyable manner suited to the needs and temperament of the child. Often, "Child-Led" educators use this as an excuse for laziness. It is easy to hide behind this when we are overwhelmed. We can say, "Susie hasn't expressed an interest in learning that yet!" The question is, "Would Susie be more interested if she knew what the possibilities were?" If we place a recorder on the shelf and wait for our child to play it, we might find that the child picks it up, squeaks a few notes and throws it down, never to express interest again. However, if we were to take the time to teach the child even three notes on the recorder, he or she could then play a variety of songs and have many hours of enjoyment from the process.

It is absolutely necessary to bring focused attention to creating structures within which children can learn. We must offer them appropriate instruction so that they can experience the freedom to initiate within this structure in the future. If we hand a child a math book and do not sit beside him and instruct him, we cannot expect that he will be excited about math. However, if we instruct him one step at a time, he may discover that he really loves math and wants to spend an hour a day or more doing math problems.

Focused time within a process not only opens up doors for our children, but it also deepens relationships. We would like to encourage you to clear a space every day so that you can spend focused, quality time with your children, getting to know them better and interacting from the heart. When your children know that you care enough to make them a priority, not only will they learn more quickly and easily, but they will also become more intelligent.

There was an interesting study done recently with children born to mothers who were addicted to crack cocaine. A lot of attention was given to these young children, because the social workers were concerned that they were going to grow up to be criminals or dependent upon welfare. These "crack babies" were given much greater attention and care than they would normally have received. After several years of this, researchers have been pleased to find that these children who began life with such a disadvantage have actually tested higher than their peers who were born to mothers who were not addicted to crack. This gives us an indication of the advantage that homeschooling parents have with their children. By giving children the love and attention they need, we can help them develop into adults who can make a significant difference in the future of our world.

0 Replies
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 04:44 am
I understand that this education is very expensive. Not the cost of Tuition but a Mom who does not work any more and has to have house hold help 4 days a week to do it.
There is nothing else I want to do more than this. I am burned out from my career in Medicine. The only rewards for my compassion and authenticity there, were emotional. That too at the cost of losing the bond with my children and husband. I might go back for some more education or for working outside the home after some time but for now this is giving my family what we need.
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 12:05 pm
Dr. Mom, I perfectly understand why you want to home school your children, and the Oak Meadows pamphlet plays right into the concerns parents have, especially in regards to "socializing" in school where mean spirited kids could harm your children. We all want to protect our children and shield them from the class bullies, however, I am of the opinion that teaching my child in coping with these obstacles is far more helpful than shielding her from them.

It's like trying to provide a germ free environment for your child, but once
it is out out the house, it will get sick as it has no resistance to germs.
You understand what I am trying to say? I strongly believe that in today's world, I need to prepare my child for the "survival of the fittest" as this society has become. I'll do that in giving her all the possibilities in the world for an excellent education and the capabilities to cope with people on every level, and this includes dealing with a potential bully.

While reading the Oak Medows write-up, I couldn't help but think of the
brochures for retirement homes: they're so beautifully written and you'd
think they're heaven on earth, but once you check in, it's really quite shocking.
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 02:33 pm
I appreciate you trying to understand why I am doing this. I don't believe in making their environment germ free. Actually I am quite the opposite. I want them to learn from positive and negative interactions . Little K also talked about resilience and I responded to it but my post has magically disappeared.

What I am learning myself as I grow is developement of " SELF" I attended Landmark Education forum which is based on study of "being "or Ontology. I must say I am very interested in this concept. When I read Steiner's ( Founder of Waldorf philosophy) description of cycles of unfoldment and child developement, it tied right into my landmark education. He describes three stages, first of Physical realm, then feeling and then thinking and developement of "self" starts somewhere arounf 9 and then continues throughout. Oakmeadow or Waldorf philosophy is that before a child is aware of self or when he is in the physical realm or feeling realm he will primarily absorb the values around him. So this is my understanding of it that if I can afford to provide them with Unconditional love, Autonomy and respect while they are becoming aware of themselves then they can learn from life's positive and negative experiences in a resilient manner and not absorb everything around them and internalize it into their own values.

Partly I am soaking them up too!!! I had my Son through residency and then my daughter during my first Job. Both of them have been raised by others so far. They are wonderful but I am depleted. It is a luxury to be able to be home with them that I can afford right now. So maybe I am trying to catchup a little too late. I have no problems with my son going to school but at this point he is not ready to. And it would not be fair to not give it a chance.

I am sure you will agree that anything done out of pure love could not be too bad. That's what we do as Moms. All of us give it a 100%. So there is no question of right or wrong in my mind.
If you get a chance lookup Naomi Adlort's books' reviews online and also what is being written about Kids being raised by their peers and how that is not all that good. WE can talk about it then. Because it appealed to my senses but I may be looking at it from a different place.

BTW Oakmeadows history is very interesting it was not always a distance learning program. There are like 5 books with the curriculum that I had to read, usually I am pretty good at sensing when someone is saying something to promote their product and when they mean it for a greater purpose ( too many luncheons with Pharmaceutical reps I guess ) so I know that if you have just read the articles you did not get the sense of authenticity I got after reading their background and CD's and Books. I get the feeling they care. It is 750 dollars for half a year with complete Enrollment Teacher support, Curriculum and maintaining paper work. So far So good , will keep you posted, Please keep me aware of your thoughts regarding this.
0 Replies

Related Topics

Kid wouldn't fight, died of injuries - Discussion by gungasnake
Public school zero tolerance policies. - Question by boomerang
Dismantling the DC voucher program - Discussion by gungasnake
Adventures in Special Education - Discussion by littlek
home schooling - Discussion by dancerdoll
Can I get into an Ivy League? - Question by the-lazy-snail
Let's start an education forum - Discussion by cicerone imposter
Educational resources on the cheap - Discussion by gungasnake
Copyright © 2023 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 12/01/2023 at 11:01:09