Debate and Discussion

Home tuition versus schooling.
Genejoke at 3:49AM, March 12, 2011
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This week there has been some difficulties with my son at school and I'm far less than happy at the treatment he is getting and seriously considering taking him out of the school.

The question is do I put him in another school or go for home tuition.
Obviously I have a lot to consider but I wonder if anyone here will have any relevant experience or different perspectives on it.






last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
El Cid at 4:47AM, March 12, 2011
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No personal experience with home schooling, but just my totally unqualified opinion here: The potential for social experiences, personal growth, and extracurricular activities at even the worst public institution are going to be far superior to what your young'un can get cooped up at home, and those things are possibly even more important than book learning. So before you get too bogged down in numbers about how well home-kids tend to score on such-and-such tests and such, you should keep that in mind.

Obviously though, I don't know the particulars of your case, and home school is the better option for some people.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
ozoneocean at 6:10AM, March 12, 2011
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El Cid
No personal experience with home schooling, but just my totally unqualified opinion here: The potential for social experiences, personal growth, and extracurricular activities at even the worst public institution are going to be far superior to what your young'un can get cooped up at home, and those things are possibly even more important than book learning. So before you get too bogged down in numbers about how well home-kids tend to score on such-and-such tests and such, you should keep that in mind.
I concur . :)
I'm unqualified too.

but on the other side:
Some kids might just be more inclined socially to do better at home though. try as they might they might just not be able to get anywhere near their potential in school.

Proper socialisation is pretty vital though so it'd be a great idea to replace that by signing the child up for a sporting club or Karate or something where they mix with lots of other kids their own age who share interests and a common goal.

…again: unqualified opinion.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Dodger at 6:42AM, March 12, 2011
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There are a lot of people in the area I grew up in who homeschool their children. The only schooling options were Public Schools (most of the districts were underachieving) the one Catholic school (which I attended on and off because it kept closing and reopening) and a few scattered private school with tuition over $30k a year.

Most of the people I knew home schooled their children for religious reasons, and, thus, not one of them fits into society outside of their religious group (and unfortunately for them, they all belonged to small sects of different bible religions, so there wasn't much variety in their religious groups to start with.) A family of these kids grew up in the house behind me… and while very nice people, they had no social skills WHATSOEVER.

Like, one of them would wait for me when I walked home from school to say hi, then follow me up the drive way, and try to walk right in my house with me, without asking if she could come in (and I don't think I ever actually invited her in at any point anyway.) They were good kids (very intelligent in other areas too) but oh god. So awkward.

But then I met this girl in ballet when I was 12 or 13.

She was well dressed, a very good dancer, well spoken, and acted like any other 14 or 15 year old. Turns out she was homeschooled. Her parents were very active in her education and, like ozone said, they had her properly socialized. She played violin in a local orchestra, she had done ballet since she was 4, she had computer access (this isn't such a big deal now, but back in 2003~04 it was more so) and she had friends. Coming from traditional schooling, I could tell she was a little innocent, she had never had to deal with bullies, but all in all, she had people skills.

MORAL OF THE STORY?

From my experience, homeschooling can work, but for the love of whatever you believe in or don't believe in, don't do it for religious reasons. Proper socialization is the key… I still think that an alternative to public school would be best. Waldorf Schools are really great for smart kids who get frustrated easily, because they can learn at their own pace and the teachers support everything they do… the only downside is the price of tuition. Parochial Schools have calmed down a lot in the past 20 years and they're a good, affordable option to private schools. Most in my area don't require any affiliation with the church and the community of parents are usually very involved (also of note, Catholic schools have the best anything with food. Bake sales, refreshments, school parties, even school lunch. Best school food ever, nom.)

Koji Takahashi Stops the World, full color, updating Mondays
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
Genejoke at 9:32AM, March 12, 2011
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Someone
Waldorf Schools are really great for smart kids who get frustrated easily, because they can learn at their own pace and the teachers support everything they do… the only downside is the price of tuition.

Sounds perfect except for the downside. My son isn't lacking in the social department, so it shouldn't be a problem as long as I can find a suitable social outlet.
Religion doesn't factor into it, I'm an atheist after all.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
Dodger at 1:35PM, March 12, 2011
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The tuition for the Waldorf school closest to me for kindergarden through 2nd grade is like ~$9k a year… these schools definitely have scholarship and finical aide programs, their website says that 80% of their students receive some form of assistance. : )

Koji Takahashi Stops the World, full color, updating Mondays
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
blindsk at 1:59PM, March 12, 2011
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Not sure if this is considered qualified experience (definitely not first-hand at least), but I used to work for a tutoring program that included students from both public schools and schooling from the home. But when I say public schools, I do mean American schools - more specifically Californian schools - so this could be an apples and oranges sort of thing.

The students form the public schools were typically a sad experience. They were easily distracted, way too talkative, and I could tell the parents were barely involved in their education (other than throwing money out for tutoring of course). I'm not making any comparisons to you at all, but I'm trying to drive the point home that generally the students weren't receiving enough attention in one way or another. There are exceptional students of course, but those are the ones that have a teacher that could push them and in conjunction they had the right attitude toward doing the work (not, “homework is stupid, I'm going to watch TV instead”).

And then the other students doing their school from home were the complete opposite. They were always engaged, always waiting for the next assignment for me to hand out to them. Their parents were very supportive, and the only reason they were in tutoring was because their parents really, really, really wanted to see them succeed (even if they didn't need it!). Maybe it's that one-on-one teaching they receive that really keep them focused and fixing mistakes has more of an immediacy than in the public schools.

So overall? I just think public school teachers today are more neglectful of children that fall behind. They don't stop to try to talk to them or understand where they go wrong. Even if it's a simple mistake that takes five minutes to correct. So in that respect, home school is a wonderful alternative for giving a child all the attention they need to do well. Public schools almost seem like a gamble on the teacher. If you still want to head that route, maybe tutoring on the side will be beneficial.

And speaking of the social disadvantages of home school, what about a sport as a supplement? That seems like a good way to make friends.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
ayesinback at 11:17AM, March 13, 2011
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Like most, I don't have a qualified opinion, and I think it's great that you're asking the question. As with most education, a lot depends on the teacher.

My first thought is about the hours. US schools require so many days to a school year, but if you look at each day, there's lot of “down time” whether it's changing classrooms, changing uniforms for gym, just snickering among kids while the teacher transitions form one topic to another. In other words, there's a lot of “filler”, just like in an office. For example, I can get more done at home in fewer hours than I do in the office because there's fewer distractions.

So, how would a home instructor approach the lessons? 20 minutes focus, 15 mins application, 10 mins relax, and then next? Homework becomes a bit of a puzzle. Have two? three? hours in the morning - break - revisit as homework? None of this is a con, but it rather underscores how much of the social goes into a pubic school day. Also, since your son is gifted, it'll still be easy for him to get bored — it'll be some tough work to keep him interested and engaged.

What about music? Here, bands and choirs are pretty much through the school or thru the religious institutions. Anybody can take private lessons to learn an instrument, but it might prove difficult for a home-schooled kid to join a music group.

Just thoughts.

under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
ayesinback at 7:14AM, March 14, 2011
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oh No: a double-poster! just wanted to put bells on this suggestion,

If you hadn't thought about it already: Montessori? It's been quite awhile since I considered it for my son, but this was the article that piqued my interest: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/montessori.html

It's old, and everything could have been proven a sham by now, but I it looks like Montessori has schools in England: http://www.independentschools.com/england/montessori_schools.php

I do not know of anyone who attended or whose children have attended Montessori. Maybe someone else here?
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
Genejoke at 8:14AM, March 14, 2011
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Most of montessori schools round here are pre school stuff, well all of them by the looks of it. Still there are aspects of it that are very similar to what I had in mind. Waiting to see how term pans out at school though, it's a big step to take.
I really think he would benefit from it but I want to be sure we can get it right.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
Jeremy Ray at 2:04PM, Oct. 24, 2011
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How did this turn out?
I wouldn't send a kid to public education myself.  I wouldn't send them there to socialize, for the same reason I wouldn't send them to prison to socialize.  Sure they'd get great street knowledge from the inmates, if they survived, but it would probably lead them down a wrong, wrong path.
Genejoke at 10:29AM, Jan. 10, 2012
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He's still at school, but if things change I'm prepared to do home tutoring.
Tantz Aerine at 12:26PM, Jan. 22, 2012
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Being actually an education specialist myself (and my mother is an educational psychologist) I would be all for home schooling as opposed to public schools for these reasons: 

1. you can completely personalize your child's education.

2. you can allow your child the time he/she needs to work with the material and internalize it in a way that is meaningful to him/her, while encouraging him/her to apply it throughout his/her day so that he/she ends up experiencing the lessons, rather than just being exposed to them in a passive manner.

3. you can build a very healthy, constructive relationship with your child on the issues of cooperation, problem solving and mutual support, which you will definitely need in the future as behavioral scripts to fall back on as he/she grows up.

4. you can work your child's schooling schedule in a way that works optimally both for you and him/her.

5. you can provide socialisation for your child in contexts where competition is not as threatening as it can be at schools, or where it can be compartmentalized and thus handled, thus teaching your kid how to handle pressure without risking his/her self esteem, like taking him/her to extra curricular activities and so on. 

However, I would recommend home schooling only if you already can implement a structured daily schedule that is not easily breached even with the absence of formality of having to actually go to school, if you are the one doing the schooling. Otherwise it is very easy to have a programme slip through the cracks when either of you is too tired, too bored or too out of it to sit down and do a lesson. Before you know it you might end up not schooling the child, and it won't be because of neglect, it will be because of a lack of structure/programme.

I also would recommend looking up all the home schooling programmes that are out there, and learn a few things about what it means to teach (if you do the teaching) and how you must handle the ‘rocky stuff’ you are bound to encounter when you undertake teaching material to your child that has not always been properly assigned by the state regarding the age and workload match that is optimal for learning.

Greek schools for example are notorious for loading children with material that they won't need before they go to college, when they are still in elementary, which poses a great strain. Unfortunately home schooling isn't legal over here (with very few exceptions, like if your child is deathly chronically ill) or most Greek families would go for it.  
 
last edited on Jan. 22, 2012 12:30PM
ATBL at 5:26PM, Nov. 16, 2012
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I was actually home schooled from grades three to seven. I had been in a strict Lutheran school, and my parents decided to take me out when I started getting anxiety and developed OCD. We then moved to Utah and, aside from the usual curriculum, I was fortunate enough to learn about things like Native American culture and the like. I was probably more social at that time of my life than any other, actually. My friends were great! My mom had us take a couple of classes at the local school a few times a week, too. We then moved back to California, where I was placed in a public middle school. I'm not going to lie. It was HELL. So, if you are planning on home schooling, my suggestion would be to keep at it and not throw your kid back into the public school system. I absolutely condone home schooling, though. If I ever have a kid, I'm totally going that route. The school system as it is needs a major change. There's far too much importance placed on competition and other ridiculous things!


Genejoke at 12:31PM, Nov. 21, 2012
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My boy is still in school and he's doing okay I suppose.  It looks as though he has aspergers, still having an ongoing assesment before he is officially diagnosed but it looks very likely.  Not sure how this will affect schooling over all but may help them understand and handle him.  The problem is the social side and I wonder if it may be easier on him if I was to take him out of school.  
cartoonprofessor at 4:59PM, Jan. 27, 2013
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I have been teaching at four schools a week for over twenty years, (extra-curricular).

Part of my job is to visit each classroom at the schools I work in during school hours before I start my course at a particular school. Believe me, after what I have seen, you don't want your kid at any school.

If you are lucky enough to get a teacher who understands how easy it is to ruin a child's self-confidence with mere words and therefore watches their own very carefully, your kid still has to deal with peers who can cause even more psychological damage.

20 years of working with schools has only solidified the theory that schools are little more than ‘government brainwashing facilities’ designed to create ‘unquestioning coorporate citizens’. They unquestioningly ‘dumb down’ children, deny individual specialities/intelligences and in the vast majority of cases cause at least some damage to self-esteem and confidence.

My Mum and odler sisters are also teachers (Mum's retired now) and agree with me on this wholeheartedly.

Personally, my own son went through ‘self-directed’ home schooling. The only really important things re ‘education’ is to make sure your child enjoys reading. If they like reading, they can educate themselves on anything they are interested in. And a basic understanding of maths.

My son taught himself to read at age 7 using Donald Duck comics. By the age of ten he was reading Bryce Courtenay novels!

Monitored Socialization is vital. Make sure your child has an outside interest (with my son it was tennis. He played almost every weekend at tournaments and made it into the top 80 men in Australia by the time he was 18).

99% of homeschooled children I have met have been, by comparison to ‘schooled’, extremely confident and mature. My son (at 23) is now a successful graphic designer and photographer. He has no ‘qualifications’ other than a TAFE course in graphic design, no high school certificates etc. At age 14 he was working in the community and has an excellent business ‘head’, something he never would have learnt at school.

I highly recommend homeschooling to everybody. ‘Education’ is extremely over-rated.
last edited on Jan. 27, 2013 5:04PM

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