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What Worries You?

 
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chan58



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 18
Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:41 pm    Post subject: What Worries You? Reply with quote

I'm curious if others out there have any lingering doubts or worries about taking the homeschool route.

People we know (and some we don't) let it be known that they doubt our decision - its very subtle, but I'm sure you are all-too-familiar with the passive-aggressive questions and comments. We don't care what they think, and we're glad we made this decision. Still, a few things do worry me...

Quality - Being solely responsible for your kids' education is somewhat frightening. I like to think that what they are getting is WAY better than what they'd get in a public or private school, but they are young, and its all so fun and easy now. As they get older, I worry about my ability to do it right. They only get one shot at it.

Socialization - I like to talk big here, but I do worry. When I get that all-too-familiar question "Aren't you worried about socializing with other kids?" I like to shoot back: "Yes! That's why I'm homeschooling!" Like I said, I talk big, but then I doubt myself. Are they really missing out? Sometimes I wonder. Yes there are opportunities for socialization through the homeschool co-op we belong to, but its not the same as socializing every day. Our older kids were not big socializers, preferring to hang at home instead. Although they are way more mature than others their age, I can see some issues that developed as a result of that lack of socialization.

Hard Knocks - I hated school. I was picked on, shoved around, and humiliated. My flaw? I had freckles! I know this sounds incredibly STUPID, but I wonder if the boys are missing something by not going through that. It does prepare you for adversity and conflict, in a perverse sort of way.

Loss of Independence, Skills and Marketability - As a full-time SAHD, I am totally dependent on my wife's income. Its been well over a year now. Will I ever be able to return to the work force?
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BigDaddy
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Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Posts: 148
Location: Orlando

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: What Worries You? Reply with quote

chan58 wrote:
Quality - Being solely responsible for your kids' education is somewhat frightening. I like to think that what they are getting is WAY better than what they'd get in a public or private school, but they are young, and its all so fun and easy now. As they get older, I worry about my ability to do it right. They only get one shot at it.


My wife worries about this more than I. We have them in a co-op program 1 day a week where they learn economics, science, art, and geography. When they reach middle school age, we'll probably have them in more co-op classes so they can be exposed to some of the subjects we are clueless on.

Quote:
Socialization - "Yes! That's why I'm homeschooling!" Like I said, I talk big, but then I doubt myself. Are they really missing out?


Absolutely, they are missing out on picking up bad behavior, bad language, bad manners, need I say more? I would rather have them "hang out" with adults so they can learn how to act as an adult. Or atleast be able to choose which kids they can hang out with. With my oldest son, we were concerened with this only because he was extremely shy. After K5-2nd grades in a private Christian school, he has overcome this problem. Now he makes new friends easily. This year we've had them in a basketball program through the private school they used to attend and now they're playing soccer in the city league.

Quote:
Hard Knocks - I hated school. I was picked on, shoved around, and humiliated. My flaw? I had freckles! I know this sounds incredibly STUPID, but I wonder if the boys are missing something by not going through that. It does prepare you for adversity and conflict, in a perverse sort of way.


My sons are not very skilled in athletics, especially the older one. He's more comfortable on the computer than running. The basketball and soccer have really helped out, but he's still well behind the other kids in this area. The other kids seem to try and encourage him more than pick on him, which I like.

Quote:
Loss of Independence, Skills and Marketability - As a full-time SAHD, I am totally dependent on my wife's income. Its been well over a year now. Will I ever be able to return to the work force?


We're working on that and have discussed it many times. My wife would love to swap positions with me at this point, but there's no way I can walk out there and make the same income as she has. However, through the internet and other marketing ideas, we hope to be able to accomplish that by this summer. I have been steadily increasing a residual internet income the past 3 months for some extra income. But we also planning an extended RV trip to hit all 49 states in the next 2 years. Homeschooling on the road! We're looking at getting a corporate sponser to advertise on the RV to pay for expenses. More on this later as it developes.
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Paul
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quality: No doubts here, I see what eight years of homeschooling has done for my eldest child and feel rather good about it.

Socialization: No doubts. She's socializing in the "real world" on a daily basis. PS artificially socialzes children primarily in a narrow age cohort.

Hard Knocks: Morons, inbeciles, and mean people cut accross all social boundries. My children have to deal with them amoung homeschoolers too. IMNSHO, homeschooling allows better support on how to deal with these problems and gives much more viable options for my children to avoid problem children.

Loss of Independance ...: I am dependant on my wife's income, but she depends on me to raise her children and to provide her with the background support that enables her to earn that income. What independance is lost is not a lost asset, but rather replaced by interdependance, and as a team, we are more than the sum of the parts. Job skills, yes I do worry a bit about them. I've fallen behind the technology curve a bit, but I try to keep in practice in part by teaching my children how to code and how to administer systems.

Paul
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ron-n-tn



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:39 pm    Post subject: believe in what you are doing Reply with quote

We are in our first year of homeschooling and I'll be the first to admit that we have had our share of doubts about everything from procedure to curriculum to socialization. However, I heard my daughter in a conversation with a friend who attends public school talking about the differences and my daughter (9th grade) said she had no desire to go back to public school. That really gave me a boost of confidence in what we as parents are doing. If you children are happy with their situation, they will learn more! We have had to change some things from the way they were at the beginning, and we will change things more in the future, but to hear your child/student say they are happy with their (home)school is more rewarding than I would have ever imagined.
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BigDaddy
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Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Posts: 148
Location: Orlando

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:59 pm    Post subject: Re: believe in what you are doing Reply with quote

ron-n-tn wrote:
... but to hear your child/student say they are happy with their (home)school is more rewarding than I would have ever imagined.


I couldn't agree more. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Mark
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statdad



Joined: 14 Apr 2005
Posts: 5
Location: JAX, FL

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: What Worries You? Reply with quote

I worry about the possibility of encroachment, by local and state education bodies, into my homeschooling autonomy. I?m in FL, and it?s a relatively homeschool-friendly state, but we have to keep an eye on the legislative agenda. Our county is mostly hands-off. We just pay a private teacher to administer tests each year to show ?progress?. The county school board reserves the right to review a child?s portfolio of work, but I?ve never talked to anyone who has been called in for a review.

Statdad - kids aged 8, 4, 2, 2, -0.1
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:57 am    Post subject: Re: What Worries You? Reply with quote

chan58 wrote:
I'm curious if others out there have any lingering doubts or worries about taking the homeschool route.


I doubt my lingering doubts will ever completely go away. But they've gotten to be mostly just... lingering. Worries, really. And with kids, it doesn't matter where or how they're being educated, a parent will almost always continue to have concerns.

My sons never went to school, so we've been at this for going on eight years now. In some areas, they're waaaay ahead. In others, they're trailing the state curriculum--but that's not something I'm worried about. I've seen them leap three or four or five years of grade level expectations in a year, without breaking a sweat. Reading being the premier example.

So I worry--some--but I also have a lot of confidence...

Quote:
People we know (and some we don't) let it be known that they doubt our decision - its very subtle, but I'm sure you are all-too-familiar with the passive-aggressive questions and comments. We don't care what they think, and we're glad we made this decision.


We've heard less of this in recent years. Homeschooling's gotten more and more attention, and more and more people are aware of the often-stellar performances that some homeschooled kids have presented. And I suppose that we're listening for it less, too. If anything, I've become mildly evangelical about homeschooling with folks who display interest.

Quote:
Quality - Being solely responsible for your kids' education is somewhat frightening. I like to think that what they are getting is WAY better than what they'd get in a public or private school, but they are young, and its all so fun and easy now. As they get older, I worry about my ability to do it right. They only get one shot at it.


All true. There's nothing like being responsible to make you feel... edgy. First: there is no (single, anyway) right. Kids learn in lots of ways. And naturally, they are interested in learning too. How much real work was there for us in their learning a language? Mine are ferociously articulate; I've had well educated adults comment on their vocabulary and command of the language. They've learned a lot, about a lot of things, in ways I never imagined--when they were interested. When they're not, it's like trying to blow bricks into a neat stack. With enough effort, and time... and suffering by all involved... it can be done. But it's really inefficient.

I've tried to purge "school" from my mind. I don't want my sons schooled, I want them to be educated, and to remain eager and interested in continuing to learn.

So much of what we associate with school is a feature of school, not of education.

Quote:
Socialization - I like to talk big here, but I do worry. When I get that all-too-familiar question "Aren't you worried about socializing with other kids?" I like to shoot back: "Yes! That's why I'm homeschooling!" Like I said, I talk big, but then I doubt myself. Are they really missing out? Sometimes I wonder. Yes there are opportunities for socialization through the homeschool co-op we belong to, but its not the same as socializing every day. Our older kids were not big socializers, preferring to hang at home instead. Although they are way more mature than others their age, I can see some issues that developed as a result of that lack of socialization.


Here, I have no concerns at all. Not any longer. MY older son's a social creature; he would be happy with more people around, more of the time--particularly if he had the limelight at least most of the time. But I've watched him now for years, and he's got real socialization. He'll engage kids who are 3 (and this is an almost 13 year old boy!) or people who are 83, and do so happily and enjoy them. He's adopted one elderly lady--entirely on his own, with no urging or coaching--at our church, and we'll see them strolling the grounds, chatting after services.... Or hell be playing on the church lawn with a pile of younger kids who are shrieking and having a marvellous time wrestling with a kid who's years older, trying to pin Gulliver down so the Lilliputians can declare victory. Girls aren't icky, nor do they have cooties. But he's got male friends who are his own age, or nearly so, and he clearly engages them at an age appropriate level (which... at his age, is frequently mildly inappropriate, from an adult perspective <sigh>). Socialization? Missing out?

Not much. There are a few moments when they bump into some normal expectation or assumption; but it's really trivial--queuing up and "classroom" behavior expected at a YMCA day camp, etc. It's not that hard to learn those things....

Quote:
Hard Knocks - I hated school. I was picked on, shoved around, and humiliated. My flaw? I had freckles! I know this sounds incredibly STUPID, but I wonder if the boys are missing something by not going through that. It does prepare you for adversity and conflict, in a perverse sort of way.


I don't think so. Adversity finds its way into one's life, sooner or later. Being picked on and harassed, or bullied... isn't really preparation for real, adult life. Many of those behaviors, if they were between adults, would result in a criminal charge; assault, battery, or the like.

I'm rather pleased that my hulking 5 foot 9 inch nearly 13 year old reports that some idiot kid who's new at the church wanted to fight him, and that he didn't and that what he said deflated the whole thing. It would have been so much worse had he drubbed a (smaller) kid his own age because he felt social pressures to be macho.

One of my reasons for homeschooling was specifically to avoid all that crap. I don't think it taught me much. Adults don't often indulge in name-calling, pushing, or threats. And when they do... the schoolyard responses are really inappropriate.

That's the leading edge of a lot oof the "socialization" I wanted them to miss. I think it's interwoven with the violence, drugs and the whole nasty, anti-intellectual Lord of the Flies stuff that permeates the public schools. No loss at all (and I say that having gone for a time to a British-style boarding school--the hard knocks, toughen you up nonsense is... really just that. Nonsense. And there's far too much misery that goes with it to possibly be worth the price, even if it does serve soem small purpose).

Quote:
Loss of Independence, Skills and Marketability - As a full-time SAHD, I am totally dependent on my wife's income. Its been well over a year now. Will I ever be able to return to the work force?


I've been home with the boys now since my eldest was an infant. Nearly 13 years now. I'm sure I could take my writing and editing skills back out (I've used them for various non-commericial projects, particularly in the last couple years for our church), but... I'm way behind the times in terms of the computer software that I used to be a master of. And my wife's pushed her career along for more than a decade. I could support myself... but not in the style we've become accustomed to.

So it goes.

We made a joint, very conscious decision and this was one of the prices. I've gotten a lot out of it (including a lot of very comfortable friendships with a number of homeschooling moms), and I've done a lot of home renovation over the years too. Our marital partnership is... on the whole... quite balanced, I think. We both provide things that the other doesn't do as well, or really care to do.

Since my wife's starting a business, her income's going to evaporate for a while, anyway <gulp>. I'm supporting it, in various ways, and her, too. I'm hoping that the boys are learning some really useful lessons for their own lives out of all this.

More than anything... I think what I missed most when the kids were younger--and still to some degree today--was adult contact and interaction. The workplace gives that, so that's what I missed. But I've found other ways to get that--and I think more meaningful ways, at least for me. Admittedly, they're the mildly taboo topics of church and politics, but the larger significance of those to our lives--and to the life of the larger community and society--seem vastly greater than the impact of what most people do in a job. So...

Am I independent? No. I could be, but I'm not. I'm being supported, economically. I've got a set of skills that haven't eroded entirely, and I've developed some, and some experience, that I didn't have before. I haven't figured out how I'd go about expressing them as marketable... if I needed to... but they're there.

Life's not for the faint-hearted. And it's scariest when you're not doing what the herd is doing. For men, staying at home, not working for a paycheck, raising your kids... is still pretty unusual.

All I can tell you is that after 13 years at this, I still have some of that twinge, now and then. But there are too many things to do... and I've learned not to have the time to worry it.
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Pat McLaughlin



Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 4
Location: Vista, CA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:59 am    Post subject: Sorry... Reply with quote

That last, long, rambling reply was mine. Looks like I forgot to log in before posting.... Embarassed
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 2:51 pm    Post subject: Re: What Worries You? Reply with quote

statdad wrote:
I worry about the possibility of encroachment, by local and state education bodies, into my homeschooling autonomy. I?m in FL, and it?s a relatively homeschool-friendly state, but we have to keep an eye on the legislative agenda. Our county is mostly hands-off. We just pay a private teacher to administer tests each year to show ?progress?. The county school board reserves the right to review a child?s portfolio of work, but I?ve never talked to anyone who has been called in for a review.


This should be a grave concern for all homeschooling families. We here in Minnesota have worked hard to get the laws changed to allow legal homeschooling without fear of school administration harassment. Our legislators have acknowledged our rights, but the public education system is rankled. We must constantly guard against encroachment by these ?nanny state nay bobs.?

Find out what your minimum reporting requirements are and stick to them. Don?t get generous and pat yourself on the back for ?going the extra mile.? If you do, you will be developing the case for PS administrators to demand all that information from all homeschoolers. Do not ? DO NOT ? give them anything more than your state requires by law.

I am a member of the Minnesota Association of Christian Homeschool Educators (MACHE) http://www.MACHE.org/ and of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) http://www.HSLDA.org/ If your state has similar organizations, check them out and follow their advice.

MACHE provides a handbook that includes a form that you can fill out to accomplish all of your required reporting ? and not one word more! If any school district sends us a form requesting more information than that required by state law, we are to respectfully decline to use that form and submit the MACHE form in its place. If the school districts can get you reporting more than you need to, they can make it de facto law. (Remember the Social Security number that was not supposed to be used for purposes of identification? Forms today say, ?Providing your Social Security number is not mandatory, but if you fail to provide it, services may not be available.? Oh, baby! You don?t have to pay for that bottle of soda, but if you don?t, you can?t drink it!)

PS administrators are sly and they are keeping their game plan secret, but anyone with an ounce of sense knows they are skulking about, looking for ways to round up their lost sheep. The old saying, ?If you can?t beat ?em, join ?em,? comes to mind.

PS administrators have initiated what might be called ?Operation Takeover!? They are now attempting to lure homeschooling families back under their watchful eye by providing state-sponsored on-line curricula. They hope that homeschoolers will switch from ?true homeschooling? to ?public schooling at home.? Those parents who may doubt their abilities may be easily enticed to let the school administer their ?home? programs for them. Of course, with the school providing the curriculum and the testing, and keeping the records, you play right into their hands.

Those who are alert to this sneak attack know that PS administrators will soon move on to Phase Two of their ?Operation Takeover!? In this second phase, they will obscure the meaning of the term ?homeschooling.? Such is the standard method of attack by the socialist Left ? define the terms in unexpected ways, such as the oft-cited claim that ?children? are at risk due to gun violence. The problem is that they include anyone that is still in school (or even gang banger dropouts), including college students. Most people think of ?children? as a term denoting adolescents. And I won?t even mention what Bill Clinton considers ?non sexual? activity.

In Phase Two, PS administrators will begin to demand that all ?true homeschoolers? also provide the same records and test scores obtained from their duped on-line learning community. They will flash those records in legislative sessions, saying that ?homeschoolers? are providing all the ?required? information, and no one should be exempted from fulfilling all record-keeping requirements.

Phase Three will commence when the laws are changed to require the records. Under this phase, the schools will demand uniformity ? the same curricula, the same tests, the same grade level ? for all groups defined by the age of their birth. Homeschooling parents will lose their autonomy and be subjected to the whims of Leftists, who will demand proof, for example, that your 7 year old daughter knows how to use a condom, and that your 10 year old son is willing to embrace all cultures, religions, and skin colors ... except his own.

Phase Four swiftly follows Phase Three. In Phase Four, local school districts get to count all the homeschooled children in their districts for purposes of funding. Not only will they have regained control of these students? curricula, but they will also have regained their ?lost? funding, a windfall, actually, because they will receive the extra funding for teachers that don?t even have to teach the children whose parents are doing all the work at home.

Don't be fooled by the pretensions of these fiendish school administrators. They want your children. They want to turn them into clones of themselves. (I will post my "teacher profile" in a separate entry. In it, I provide the eye-opener that drove me to homeschool my own children. Please check it out under "They Must Be Getting That at Home!"
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HuaJiaShuYuan



Joined: 18 Apr 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 3:08 pm    Post subject: Re: What Worries You? Reply with quote

My long response about being concerned about government interference ended up being posted as if coming from a "guest." I was signed in. Hmm. I signed in again to see what happens. If it comes through as "guest" again, just know that it was really from "HuaJiaShuYuan," which is the Chinese name for our homeschool. The name literally means "Harrison Homeschool," but because we are a bilingual school providing complete immersion in both English and Chinese, we are calling ourselves the "Harrison Sino-American Academy" in English. It gets fewer questions when we present our tax-exemption forms when buying curricula, textbooks, and other allowed education materials. Minnesota allows us to make tax-exempt purchases of materials for homeschooling, so long as they meet certain criteria. These criteria generally require the materials to be non-sectarian and reusable. Expendables, such as paper, paint, pencils, etc., are not tax-exempt.
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bartii



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 180
Location: Boise, ID

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a member of http://iche-idaho.org/ (Idaho Coalition of homeschool education) and http://www.HSLDA.org/

Every homeschooler, as far as I am concerned, should be a member of HSLDA(Homeschool Legal Department Association.

However, there is no need to join if you are in the K-12, IDEA or any other government program that you can do at home.
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