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I plan on homeschooling my children Watch

  • View Poll Results: Is home schooling beneficial?
    Yes
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    It depends on the child
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    No
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    I'm for it, depending on how its done. The state of many schools is atrocious at the moment. My sister has pretty much had the confidence beaten out of her by school... all down to these academy statuses and the amount of pressure the schools are under to perform, which the teachers then put on to the students. It often undermines the kids as people and their abilities.

    There are plenty of network for parents who homeschool so knowledge can be shared and kids can socialise. I think thats great.
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    It depends on a number of factors;

    - The child
    - The parents
    - The school they would be attending otherwise
    - Available groups and facilities



    Some children at either end of the "spectrum" - either especially bright, or educationally challenged, find themselves falling through the cracks in mainstream education. This is especially true of highly intelligent, yet introverted, children who may not have their natural ability recognised by teachers until it is too late - and even when they are recognised, many teachers don't know "how" to teach it. Mainstream education is geared towards the "average" child, for obvious reasons. Bright children can end up underchallenged and bored. This isn't a problem for some, though, and I tend to think that so long as there is a supportive and recognising family at home, it won't go too far wrong... if there are engaging activities outside of school that further their potential.

    The second point - the parents - is an important one. It has to be a parent who is knowledgeable and intelligent, it has to be someone who is patient, who won't try to push too hard but also will keep the momentum going, who knows how to be engaging... who knows how to make it interesting. Counterintuitively; a "strict" parent will not make a good homeschooler. It doesn't make for a good home learning environment. The best way to do it is to weave it into everyday life subtly (e.g. my three year old can read and write a few words, read numbers, do basic addition and subtraction, count to ten in Spanish and speak a few sentences too, and is well on her way to learning to tell the time - all without "knowing" that she's been learning) and then introduce a few more "structured" things in the teens for more advanced concepts in Maths and Sciences. Basically, you do not need a classroom setting for Primary level education. It can all be learned as well (if not better) without any structured lessons.

    The school they would be attending... can be a major factor. We don't particularly plan to home educate, so long as our children are happy to be in school. If, however, they found themselves in an unpleasant school environment for whatever reason (simply being a bad school, poor teaching standards, an unpleasant social environment as is often the case in poorer inner city schools) I would have no problem in pulling them out and home educating instead. If the child is in a good school, there's less reason to need to consider home education.

    Available groups and facilities: there is a social aspect to school... peer socialization is just as important as the educational side. This is less of an issue where there are other activities available to attend and the child has plenty of friends and social opportunities outside of school; martial arts, dance, various other classes. There also tend to be various home-ed groups that organise at least weekly educational outings for home schoolers. If none of this is available, and school is the only viable social outlet... then home-educating may well not be a very good choice.


    So yeah. "Depends", is the basic answer... you can't really decide before it becomes a pressing issue; you won't know until you have a child of school age what seems like the best fit for them, as an individual, and for your specific circumstances.
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    I did reception (the first year of primary school when you're 4/5), and my mother hated the school and the way the teachers dealt with children, so she took me out. She has said that she wouldn't have sent me to school at all and homeschooled me from the start but I really wanted to go so she sent me to the local school with the best reputation. I was home schooled for around 7 and a half years, until family circumstances meant that I had to start at a school around halfway through Year 8. I have been in state education since then, and I am now at college studying A Levels. My sister, who is five years younger than me and now in Year 7, was homeschooled from birth until Year 3.

    As one of the only homeschooled kids who has commented, I feel like I should give you my opinion on homeschooling, from someone who has been in the position that your child will be in.

    Until the age of about 9, I don't feel that home schooling had any negative effect on me. I was happy, I was healthy, I wasn't at all lonely and I was on target with my academic abilities. At this age I don't think anything was missing in terms of my "social life"; I had friends in my neighbourhood, kids whose parents knew mine, at various evening and weekend clubs such as Brownies, Woodcraft Folk and dance classes, and other homeschooled kids who attended meetings that my mum took me to in various public places such as libraries and community centres.

    When I was about 9/10 I started to feel quite isolated. This was around the time I started see TV shows about kids my own age (I did watch TV at a younger age but most shows for really young kids are more focused on teaching them life lessons and basic morals than giving them an entertaining storyline) and read typical "little girl" magazines and books. I saw these fictional girls my age with their same friendship group that was all the same age and gender as them, all knew eachother and all knew the same people, and all saw eachother every day. I didn't have that in any of my circles. I carried on feeling this way until I started school.

    When I came into the school at the age of 12 I was painfully shy and quiet as I had no idea how to behave. I was very well behaved and among the top students in pretty much every subject academically. I did make friends but they were nearly all other quiet kids, and the ones that weren't were all unpopular social misfits, mainly with learning and behavioural difficulties. I think that these friends are part of the reason I was later mildly bullied. In Year 9 I started to get bullied slightly, and tried to be normal by acting as stereotypical and common as possible, which included listening to even the most terrible rap and pop music and dumbing myself down slightly. I was only slightly more normal than before, and was also annoying to pretty much everyone. The way I acted was basically like a weird kid impersonating a stereotypical "chav", which I guess was exactly what I was, although I didn't realise this. In year 10 I started to become slightly more sane and stopped hiding my intelligence. The bullying died down a lot, then pretty much stopped.

    To this day I am still a little shy and I'm not very good at making friends. Having said this I do have some very good friends, and even though I'm slightly different to others my age I fit in quite well. Also, looking at other white girls of my age where I live I would probably have a child by now if I had been conventionally educated. All in all I think home schooling has benefitted me more than it has negatively impacted me as I would rather be shy with a few good friends, good grades and a future than a teenage mother with very little education and loads of other "chavs" for friends who would leave me at the slightest bit of drama.

    My little sister is an example of a child for whom home schooling has done nothing but benefit. She is now very intelligent and mature for her age and at a top grammar school, which she chose to take the test for. As she was only 7 when she started school other children didn't instantly label her as weird like they did with me, so she never really had the same issues I did, meaning that she didn't have that time-wasting phase of trying to be like everyone else.

    As for academic stuff, I am studying A Levels, meaning that I'm probably not below the national average. Only around 20 kids from my year group (which contained around 120 kids) have gone on to study A Levels, and the rest are doing BTECS or worse, they couldn't get in to college. Many of these students were at the same level as some of the ones who are now doing A levels in younger years, so I'm going to say that this is because teaching is bad at the school rather than that there were just a lot of stupid kids. I have been told that I have done well to come out of that school with the grades I did.

    In terms of non-social skills, I think there are only 2 things that I lack because of home school. One is that my handwriting is probably the worst I've seen from a person over the age of 10. This probably isn't helped by the fact that I'm left handed, but I think it is mainly down to the home schooling as I was rarely forced to do any written work so didn't practise it much. The other is sporting ability. I have very low fitness levels despite being only slightly above average size for a female of my height, and have no aim, sense of rhythm, or coordination. This is probably due to the fact that I wasn't forced to do PE until I was 12, so did virtually no exercise other than walking to various place (which I did a lot because neither of my parents drive). Neither of these is really going to affect my future though.

    So this was a ridiculously long post, but there you go. If anyone has any more questions about homeschool feel free to ask me as I can give you a truthful answer from the childs' perspective.
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    By home schooling a child you are removing part of their life experience. If you child grow up without peers there may be no distraction but later in life they will suffer for it. In terms of home schooling why not get them to do an hour a night at home, at young age that will put them way ahead of the game. I started revising about 2 months before my GCSE's and came out with mainly A's and B's that's all the revision I'd ever really done, and I have many friends still from school. I have however learned my lesson and a do revise every night now. But there is a balancing act to maintain.
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    (Original post by Kabloomybuzz)
    (...) all down to these academy statuses and the amount of pressure the schools are under to perform, which the teachers then put on to the students. It often undermines the kids as people and their abilities. (...)
    That is one of my argument for homeschooling, but in my opinion it makes only sense, if the parents afford private teachers who have the knowledge and pedagogical sensitivity to educate children at home.
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    Homeschooling a child will probably get them higher grades but I feel it won't get them ready for life. With school you learn to stand on your own two feet, how to handle yourself in tough situations and experience different types of people.

    I went to a rough secondary school; I was threatened with a knife, my hand burnt, ipod stolen and I would of got better GCSE if I had the opportunity but I wouldn't change my school experience for the world. I went to a village primary school where the majority was middle class, white and English so when I went to secondary I was naive to the real world. I had my parents opinions- who were firmly against gays and slightly racist (foreigners are stealing our taxes and should go back to where they came from) but when I got to secondary I met people from all around the world. My best friend joined my school in year 9 and couldn't understand a word of English; I got paired with her in science and really really didn't want to be her buddy but she slowly learnt English (I mainly taught her) and we came best friends. I had a lad in my year who's pro Taliban/anti British Soldiers and now I understand why after he explained his way of life and what's going on over there (What the media isn't showing!!). I met gay people, people who had gay parents, people who didn't have beds, people who done drugs (Knowing people who've strewed up their life on drugs makes you anti drugs!) and so many cultures I don't know where to begin.

    I have bad memories from school, once a bunch of girls stood around giggling asking me if I was pregnant because I had a belly in the PE changing rooms. It made me stronger, of course I cried when I got home but I picked myself up and decided that I didn't care what others thought of me as they weren't perfect. I have good memories of two teachers arguing over me as they both wanted me to play on their teams against other schools. I have good memories of sneaking around school at lunch times with my friends and school plays. I have good memories of stupid teachers, the time we all started singing Queen in science, protesting as we didn't like a teacher as she was useless, getting forced to do Trampolining in PE and ending up loving it and competing for the school, the lunches we used to spend under the willow tree, the time we walked backwards all day for comic relief, the time some kid let off a stink bomb outside of the year office, the time we went to Rutland Waters and all got covered in mud.

    School isn't just for gaining grades its about making people. I left school with 8C's and 4 D's but a whole load of experiences. I now go to a good 6th form where I'm the only one doing A2 Geography as everyone failed As. The people who failed As all got B's at GCSE whereas I got a D. I'm getting an A in Geography now compared to a D at GCSE- grades aren't everything. I've recently got back from a school trip to Barcelona where I made loads of friends in the hostel. I just walked up to a bunch of people the similar age and asked if I could join them, of course they said yes. I've had quite a lot of time away from my parents and i've met so many different people from my secondary I was able just to chill with these kids. Because of my previous secondary school with lots of Eastern Europe students I was able to translate for the Polish tourists to the hostel staff- another skill you don't learn at GCSE.

    One of my close friends was homeschool from the age of 9 due to her parents pulling her out of mainstream school because she was bullied. I met her on a guide camp many years ago and we're still really good friends. She's one of the most intelligent people I know but she can't find a job- she's had two jobs working as a kids rep at holiday camps but she wasn't able to get on with the other staff. She had never experienced a guy coming on to her or basic relationships with the opposite sex. She left both jobs as she couldn't handle working in those environments; she was also too scared to go off to university as leaving her family seemed alienated to her. She's been brought up in a cocoon when everyone is lovely and where guys are like they're from the 1930's.

    As a future parent I would love to home school my kids and keep them in a perfect bubble but life isn't like that. I want them to have a normal childhood, try vodka at 15 and decide its disgusting but keep drinking it anyways, having a boyfriend at 16 and believing that he's the world. Grades can only get people to certain level, life gets them the rest.

    Wow, that's an essay and a half!
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    I know a little bit about homeschooling and can dispel a few myths.

    There are plenty of opportunities for home schooled kids to learn in groups, take authority/lessons from people who are not their parents, have best friends who they see most days and take part in a range of subjects. Just like there are school kids who do not learn well in groups, do not respect authority figures (like teachers), have no friends at school and don't appear to learn much at all about anything.

    Most home schooled parents are not doing it to hothouse their kids, although obviously there are some home schooled kids who take a GCSE at 10 just like there are some schooled kids who take a GCSE at 10 but it isn't the norm. Lots of home school parents actually want their child/ren to have more playtime with less focus on exams.

    There are plenty of schooled kids that reach the end of their education without 5 GCSEs at C grade or above despite spending 10+ years in school (those kids probably just don't hang out on student forums). Whose fault is that? If a home schooled child gets to 16 without 5 GCSEs at C grade or above, who do you blame?

    Some home schooled families are weird. Some families whose kids go to school are weird. You can't always tell if someone is homeschooled just like you can't always tell if someone is an only child or comes from a single parent family.

    No-one needs 10+ years to prepare for a job. It is quite possible to never go to school and cope perfectly adequately in the world of work or university.

    Happy home schooled kids are no more likely to have relationship problems than happy school kids. Anyone who has been bullied or abused may find relationships difficult regardless of whether they went to school or not.
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    (Original post by Iron Lady)
    3. I do not trust the government with school curriculum. The coalition government have excellent ideas (changes to GCSEs and A-levels), but still, I would prefer teaching them myself and not have them reliant on the public sector. Even though teachers do a good job, I want to be as self-sufficient as possible.
    But if you want them to take exams then you'd have to teach them exactly what's in the exam and how to answer it anyway?
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    As long as it's done well, and for the right reasons then I totally agree with it. One on one tuition has to be better than the situation with most state schools (30 kids to one teacher, rowdy kids distracting etc)
    Maybe hook up with other homeschooled kids and get together some lunchtimes and stuff-make sure your kids interact with other children often so the social skills aren't under-developed.
    One reason I hated school was the whole being cold, stressful journey there and back, carrying a huge heavy bag around all day, noise, bullies, distractions, etc etc !
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    (Original post by NinjaNerdfighter)
    But if you want them to take exams then you'd have to teach them exactly what's in the exam and how to answer it anyway?
    For that reason I'm for private teachers in homeschooling. I'm sure they are able to fit children at home for exams too.
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    When I have time tomorrow I will read these interesting comments and take time to reply. I'm not avoiding any of you! Goodnight.
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    Home schooling would be the most boring existence it is a ridicululous idea and would seriously impair the health of a child as health includes social aspects
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    I was often held back by my peers in school, especially primary school, and because the teachers had to cater to the lowest common denominator - this denominator being a really vile girl who couldn't even read when she left primary school and still can't spell now that she's 19 - I felt like I was really being held back. My parents did their best but there was no way they could afford a tutor, and they couldn't home school me either.

    I want to be a primary school teacher so obviously I can't do that AND home school at the same time, but if I felt my child was very bright and was being held back by others, as is often inevitable when primary school classes aren't streamed according to ability, if I had the money I'd pay for a tutor or do some work with them myself to make sure they weren't affected too badly by it.

    I do think socialisation with peers is important so I wouldn't want to homeschool them - I know homeschooled girls and although they attend some weekend and after school events - they're in the youth theatre group I help at, and they do dance - and they have some friends, they do often seem left out when the kids at the youth theatre who are all friends at school start talking about their in-jokes. I wouldn't want to make my kids feel that way.
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    ill be honest despite what you think school was created for socialising

    although saying this if theyre are kids in your street roughly the same age as your own kids then this doesnt really seem a problem
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    Every homeschooled person I have ever met has been ****ing weird.

    I'm sure not everyone homeschooled is, but those I have met take social retardness to new heights.
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    Trained teachers can teach better than parents can.

    You won't be as familiar with the subject as an actual teacher will - you may know what's on the syllabus, but the opportunity to learn beyond the syllabus is reduced

    Social development is just as important as academic learning - especially at very young ages (I'm talking primary school here).

    Students who are pulled down by their friends have bad friends - it's not as common as you seem to think it is.

    School is generally a better learning environment - being separated from home helps children to see it as a place for working, because home is traditionally associated with relaxation and fun.

    School better prepares children for higher education and work, which also involve attending a building with other people and doing stuff - I imagine suddenly having to start doing that and being punctual and behave differently will be difficult to adapt to for somebody who has spent 16 years not doing it.

    Peer learning is important and useful, and homeschooling can't provide that unless you have twins.

    Having a single teacher for everything across a child's entire school career will instil in them that teacher's personal opinions and biases; while you may want your children to believe what you do, it's not good for raising open-minded offspring.

    If you teach your children yourself, you cannot also work; if you hire a tutor, you have to pay them. Either way, it's costly.

    ...I could keep doing this all day.
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    quite frankly I think that home-schooling is the worst thing you could do to your child. You're preparing them for a very sheltered life. After school clubs last for 1-2 hours at most, and even then they're not particularly engaging.

    You're basically depriving them of developing normal social interaction skills - I know you say they're not at school to socialise, but I'm not talking about having friends to play with - I'm talking about learning how to interact with other humans. This is a soft-skill, but absolutely vital, that is learnt slowly but increasingly throughout school years.

    Think about this, your kids won't ever have been able to express academic frustrations, to listen to friends problems and provide advice when they can, to experience group work.
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    (Original post by redferry)
    Every homeschooled person I have ever met has been ****ing weird.

    I'm sure not everyone homeschooled is, but those I have met take social retardness to new heights.
    Exactly why I want to homeschool my children, to get them away from aggressive bullies like you.
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    No such thing as a bad pupil, only a bad teacher, bear that in mind.
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    (Original post by Bude8)
    No such thing as a bad pupil, only a bad teacher, bear that in mind.
    Nah. There's such thing as social conformity and the young person's desire to be accepted. That's what mostly happens in schools. It greatly reduces the amount of learning achieved.

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