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Calling all Homeschoolers, Past and Present! Answered

This is Labot, letting you know that so far I've survived the recession and still have broadband. However, we're experiencing budget cuts at my house, and one of those budget cuts could end up being my education!

Well, I definitely do NOT want to go to any of the public schools around here, as they are supposedly awful. This leaves me with two options:
  • Get a job and help pay to continue going to private school. I like my school so I wouldn't mind doing this.
  • Start homeschooling next year and save money by NOT going to private school, therefore being able to afford a nicer house and maybe get my own room (our rent's almost up and we need a place to live), parents buy me a computer and possibly even a car. I like nice things so I wouldn't mind doing this.

So, my dear homeschooled population of Instructables, how do you like homeschooling? What are the pros and cons? How does it compare to public school? Private school?

Discussions

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KentsOkay

9 years ago

I'm a homeschooler. I will post a proper break-down tomorrow when I have time, so ttyl :P

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KentsOkayKentsOkay

Reply 9 years ago

Righto, home schooling, it's not just for religious zealots anymore! Many of the problems attributed to home schooling, are sadly sometimes true. I personally know of several students who are virtually incapable of thinking of anything more than what they are taught. They were taught to fear god, now they are scared of their own shadows. I shake my head in shame, this is not the way it should be. But of course if your folks aren't a pack of jesusfreaks making their own convent, you turn out all right (like me :P). You have the distinct advantage of already having had your "high school life experiences", so you aren't going to go all socially akward. The best curriculum can be expensive, and many are from a decidedly Christian perspective. I've learned just to get over those bits and continue on. If you are interested, I could make some recommendations for you. Parent involvement is another factor, are you going to infact have mum teach you or are you going to be self taught? Curriculum cost may be a deal breaker. Yes Lithium goes on about her free stuff but I find it highly biased, incomplete, and such. Same goes for home schooling groups. Unless that's your gig, don't expect any help from them. So those are cons, now the pros: FREEDOM, free to choose how you educate yourself, free to have a loose schedule, free to do algebra in your pajamas, free to eat snacks, listen to music, free to be AWESOME!! That's right, in your face socialistic schooling! I'm a home schooler!! So yah, that's what home schooling is to me, freedom. Of course that freedom comes at a cost. Dark looks from school teachers, people automatically assuming your some cult child, that sorta thing. as for them, well I shan't say what I would say to them, as it is rather unpleasant in nature... Then of course there's that loneliness that can occasionally strike you when you are feeling down... But a quick fix is nip onto meebo and come "pass notes" with gmjhowe, berkin, and the rest of us people with no social life :D So if you need more info, feel free to contact me.

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Earthling!

8 years ago

My siblings and I are homeschooled all the way. 16 years old and the second youngest I would strongly vote for homeschool. I agree with what Lithium Rain posted. The freedom is amazing. You can learn about exactly what you are gifted at and interested in. Two of my brothers and I started a homeschool forum recently:  RealEd.net hoping to encourage homeschoolers.

I found this on the Wiki page for Homeschool:

"Numerous studies have found that homeschooled students on average outperform their peers on standardized tests.[66] Home Schooling Achievement, a study conducted by National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), supported the academic integrity of homeschooling. Among the homeschooled students who took the tests, the average homeschooled student outperformed his public school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects. The study also indicates that public school performance gaps between minorities and genders were virtually non-existent among the homeschooled students who took the tests.

New evidence has been found that home schooled children are getting higher scores on the ACT and SAT tests. A study at Wheaton College in Illinois showed that the freshmen that were home schooled for high school scored fifty-eight points higher on their SAT scores than those of kids that went to a normal school. Most colleges look at the ACT and SAT scores of home schooled children when considering them for acceptance to a college. On average, home schooled children scores eighty-one points higher than the national average on the SAT scores."

Also, Even though homeschoolers only comprise about 2% of the school-age population, they've won 5 of the last 12 US national spelling bees,
so I think it is definitely possible to get a good education at home.

An interesting book on the subject "Weapons of mass instruction" (by John Gatto - a long time NY school teacher and winner of the schoolteacher of the year award) traces the formation of the US national compulsory schooling system to an effort to control a cheep labor force and suppress the growing intelligence of the working class.

Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide!

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PfarmkidEarthling!

Reply 6 years ago

my brother fell 2 years behind and was asking our home school supplier Seton for an extension and when he asked if he could dual enroll with the local college he can't dual enroll his English because there ninth grade English is better than most colleges give you in a 2 year degree

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PKM

9 years ago

Hmm.. I could have sworn this was an old thread.. but I guess the one I'm thinking of could be a "Home schoolers report in". I credit being home educated (I say educated rather than schooled for many subtle reasons, but will use the terms interchangeably in the general case) until the age of 9 with keeping my passion for learning alive through the mind-numbingly tedious years from age 9 to about 15 when I could finally start learning something that really interested me, go on to do A levels and go to university. Just in terms of education and your learning process, a good school would probably be better than home school which would in turn be better than a bad school. The socialisation aspects are probably less relevant to you if you are already a teenager and know how to make friends, work with people etc. My primary concern would be qualifications. I don't know how these work in the States or what (if any) you are intending to take, but I know that as brilliant as my home education was, I don't think it could have got me through the qualifications I took (and that is with two teachers as parents). The best scenario I can think of would be if you could part-time at school, but I don't know if that's possible. As for the religious zealotry part- find a home school course that has nothing whatsoever to do with evangelical/fundamentalist/YEC christianity. I have seen excerpts from some of those courses that made my brain physically hurt.

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Labot2001

9 years ago

Well, my mom is a certified teacher, but I think I'd be teaching myself most of the time because she currently holds a job, but she's still there if I need help every now and then. Also, you've gone to school before, haven't you? And you still hang out with your friends every now and then? I doubt my friends would ditch me completely if I started homeschooling. We'd still hang out and stuff. Also, what homeschooling program are you on?

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KentsOkayLabot2001

Reply 9 years ago

Me? Go to school? Buaahahaaha, I go to school to teach and take the SAT dear boy :P I run with a mixed bunch, mostly met through extra curricular activities (4-H, library, etc...) Some as mentioned before can be hostile at first, but I thaw through eventually. The program i follow is the one outlined by Susan Wyes Bauer in "The Well Trained Mind", let me know if you want some specifics.

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lemonie

9 years ago

For how long would you be home schooled? Since you've already experienced private school this isn't a "one or the other issue".
Personally I'd recommend going to public school for long enough that you know it sucks and how - then switch to home schooling. In this way you'll have experience of all 3 systems.

L

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Labot2001lemonie

Reply 9 years ago

I've gone to public schools before and have experienced both ends of the spectrum - one was great and the other was awful. But I haven't been to any of the schools in this area.

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KentsOkay

9 years ago

Heck I don't even wait for breaks...

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gmjhoweKentsOkay

Reply 9 years ago

  • Checks topic to see if Rocket is the Author - no
  • Checks comments to see if we are replying to one of your comments - no

Conclusion - STALKER

Now, are you stalking me, or Rainy?
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KentsOkaygmjhowe

Reply 9 years ago

Hey, hey, dont get hasty, you stalk me I stalk you, all is good.

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gmjhoweKentsOkay

Reply 9 years ago

I don't stalk you, i have better things to do.

If i was less busy i would be watching your every move...

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KentsOkaygmjhowe

Reply 9 years ago

It's the thought that counts mate ;)

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SunbanksKentsOkay

Reply 9 years ago

I thought that only had to do with Christmas gifts...

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Lithium Rain

9 years ago

Homeschool all the way. I was homeschooled. It's awesome. You go at the precise pace you need to go. The teacher-student ratio is excellent. :D No waiting for teachers to count noses. No mandatory time-wasting activities. No spending lots of money and waiting in line for lunch. No bullies. No gangs. No security issues. There are lots of free and cheap resources for homeschooling you can use, making it possible to get an excellent education for less money. You can customize the curriculum to your own interests and needs. Some people slam it, and say we all have a supposed "lack of socialization",. Stuff and nonsense. I certainly hope school isn't the only place you see and are with other people. If it is, you haz a problemo! :D Others say there's not as many opportunities for stuff like sports or other extracurricular activities. Again, nonsense. Homeschooling leaves you with the time and money to pursue the extra activities you want on your own schedule.

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yourcatLithium Rain

Reply 9 years ago

I am, and you said it better than I could have!

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Lithium Rainyourcat

Reply 9 years ago

:-) Thanks. There seem to be quite a few of us on here! I wonder if the distribution is actually disproportionate to the general population, or if homeschooling is much more prevalent than I had realized?

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Kiteman

9 years ago

Personally, I'm an advocate of traditional schools (and not just because I'm a teacher). Please remember that I am speaking about UK schools. Your teachers are all specialists in their chosen subjects, and contractually required to attend regular training to ensure their knowledge and skills remain up-to-date. Since budgets are based on numbers, school labs and workshops have much more equipment than a single family can easily afford or store. I am also a firm believer that the social side is very beneficial, even the bullying, as you will, at some point, end up working with people you don't like, or who will try and bully you. If you have not already learned to deal with those situations, you will end up at a serious disadvantage.

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xACIDITYxKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

I completely agree with you on most of the topics in your post dealing with homeschooling. I do disagree on the last part, however see what you mean.

Kite's post does not, however, "cross out" Cyberschool.
  • (Teachers as specialists) Indeed; the same is true of Cyberschool.
  • (budgets) Cyberschools are, generally, considered public charter schools and thus, at least with PaCyber, recieve government funding.
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KitemanxACIDITYx

Reply 9 years ago

I can't comment properly on Cyberschool, having no experience of it, but I do think you can't properly learn practical subjects - science, technology, cookery, art - without actually doing it, and sometimes you need somebody there to guide your hand - I'm not an artist, but I can sculpt a head because a proper sculptor sat with me and taught me how.

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xACIDITYxKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

Yeah, I agree with you; Some topics are best taught hands-on. However, I honestly think that the majority of school topics - Math, English, Science, History, etc. - Can be effectively learned without the need for "hands-on" teaching.

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Doctor What

9 years ago

It's not that I wouldn't want to be homeschooled, because I would, but I don't think my parents would be up to it. Not that they're lazy or stupid, but it has been a long time since they were in high school. I could just see my mom teaching: "And this little symbol means and, which is usually called, um.... an...." "It's an ampersand." "Thanks, and the little dot at the end represents the end of a sentence."

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caitlinsdad

9 years ago

If part of the decision of where or what to do is based on your budget and what your parents feel in your best interest, is going to "free" public school just out of the question? And if you live out in the boonies, would the time and effort spent going to school would more productive if you were just homeshcooled? I only know of a pair of kids that are homeschooled because of their parent's beliefs and church affiliation which can support it. Because of the family situation, the kids were mainstreamed back into public school and had a tough time adjusting back socially since they were never in a non-homeschool. I never considered homeschooling because I did not have a structured system or available tutors that would work out. Besides, most of life's tough lessons are learned growing up and dealing with all kinds of life in a public school. Some public schools do suck. Well, here in New York City, I even have disdain for one of my friend's wife who is a schoolteacher because she just views her job as a professional babysitter. One school has the parents association trying to pull a coup d'etat mutiny on the principal of the school. But sometimes you have no choice to your assigned local school in many cases and options to transfer to something better does not work out. So in those cases, I believe, you stick it out and make the best of it. Bright students will always shine. There will always be one teacher who is a positive role model to make the best of things. As for the extras like music, arts, advanced studies,... that is already paid for by taxes. Take advantage of it if you can. I really don't like to make recommendations on what people do because there are so many things to consider in making a big decision like this. All I can say is that sometimes you have to sacrifice something in the short term, put up with the pain, and hope for better things in the future. Times are rough for everyone. Best of luck to you.

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Labot2001caitlinsdad

Reply 9 years ago

As for the extras like music, arts, advanced studies,... that is already paid for by taxes.

The greedy Board of Eds have cut the arts out of the budget in local public schools, which means no band for me. :P

All I can say is that sometimes you have to sacrifice something in the short term, put up with the pain, and hope for better things in the future.

I can definitely agree with that. Thanks for your comment, caitlinsdad.

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xACIDITYx

9 years ago

Cyber-School ftw. It's like public school, in the sense that you don't have to pay for anything, however you can work at your pace, or work with a virtual class (at least at PaCyber)