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Old 12-11-2003, 02:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Home Schooling

Hey, I was wondering if anyone here has/does homeschooling or has ben homeschooled? What are your thoughts on it? How do you go about doing it?
I have a 3 yr. old and even though he is a social bug, i would love to homeschool him. I am not generally happy with the public school system and I don't want to get him into a religious school. There is a non-religious private school, but it is an hour away. So I am curious as to explore homeschooling. I haven't really said much to my husband- I plan to keep my son in another year of preschool and keep him active in extracirricular activities for social and fitness purposes- and he enjoys that. He is in gymnastics right now and also loves to play baseball, he is really good at hitting the ball.

Anyway, your input is much appreciated.
 
Old 12-11-2003, 05:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have another option for you to consider. You can do halftime schooling and homeschool the rest. Many districts allow this (it happens in Oregon, I'm sure of that). My general worry with homeschooling is that the child ends up being overly sheltered. No, school isn't exactly the real world, but most people in the real world came from public schools. I'd suggest trying out public school first and to see what your son thinks of it. If you're an active parent you can learn what holes he has in his learning and address those yourself.

I assume that you've gone to the public schools and talked with the school board, administrators, and teachers and have some reasons why you don't like the public schools in your area... what are they? That might help understand what to base your decision on.
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Old 12-11-2003, 09:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We homeschool. Our eldest son attended public school for most of 6 years and spent one semester in a Christian private school. He's 22 years old now. Our younger children, 15 and 12 years old, have never attended a "formal" school.

My wife works very hard and quite well with the children and I give her all of the credit. She attends conferences and homeschool "conventions" where curriculum and methods are discussed. She has made contact with other homeschooling families and there are group activities and field trips.

Our children are niether sheltered nor socially awkward. In fact, in most social situations, our children are sought out as companions and playmates. They have a wide circle of friends with a variety of shared interests, including sports, bowling, chess, music, dance, movies... and then some.

If I were to give any advice: contact other homeschoolers in your area. There should be an organization set up to help with curriculum, materials and lots of support. Don't lock yourself in the house..."homeschool" should not be taken literally! Every time you are out, every place you go is a potential classroom. School is always in session. Use your computer and the internet extensively. There are tons of free or low costs educational experiences there!

One of the first reactions we get from skeptics is: "Your must be very smart to be able to teach all of those different subjects!" That, frankly, is not the case. In fact, we usually end up learning a lot in the course of helping the children learn. Outside of the core subjects, the most important thing we can teach our children is how to THINK. Acquiring and evaluating information is important, but critical thinking and decision making skills are required to make that information useful to their lives.

Good luck on your decision. I'm certain that Washington has homeschooling resources that can help you.
A quick google search will take you to information about compliance with state laws, too.
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Old 12-12-2003, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would second the above response, My wife and I homeschool our two children,(4yrs and 2 yrs old). We are currently using the un-schooling method and are planning to use many techniques as they age. Check with your city and state to find the local guidelines for homeschooling as they vary greatly....we are in NY and it is a nightmare for homeschooling, worth the effort in my opinion. Also look at the last five winners of the national spelling bee, and kids jeopardy show if you want convincing that it works.
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Old 12-12-2003, 05:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your responses. It is just something to think about, not necessarilly jumping on anything yet, but I have known people who had been homeschooled who are just as smart and social as those who go to public schools, and also as disciplined, i guess you could say, as those who go to private schools.
My 3 yr. old son blows me away at how much he has learned already- and it's mainly from family influences or computer games. I like the fact of him being in preschool for now- it is an independent school and he has so much fun learning and playing with others.
I love teaching him new things, as well as his sister (my stepdaughter). I get a rush out of it, yet I don't wish to become a public school teacher.
I think of public schools being more distracting to their learning development than it would be to homeschool- you can also have a very close relationship with your child that way and have many special outings and trips together.
It is very true that anywhere and any circumstance can be a classroom- a learning experience. I have always been able to learn more on my own and also be more interested with the hands-on experience, than someone lecturing me. My son seems to be the same way, as I am sure almost any child could. I do respect teachers out there and even have relatives that are teachers, but as my own choice and what I feel I wish my child to experience is highly considered here.
Thank you, I will do research. My husband thinks it may be a nice idea, but we will continue to discuss it.
 
 

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