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View Full Version : If you could have, would you have been homeschooled?



lynne
02-19-2011, 12:33 PM
I've been thinking about this lately. I went to public school in PA all 12 years then 4 years of college. I hated school. I honestly hated every single day of it. Sure, I had friends but I also went through a period in junior high where I was bullied over talking to someone's boyfriend and scared to go to school but not comfortable to talk to my parents about it so I just dealt with it. I can't say that going through the school years helped my "socialization". I did have a few good friends but mostly saw them after school, talked on the phone and got together on weekends. School didn't facilitate that. This sounds horrible but in junior high we used to smoke pot and/or drink before getting on the bus. My parents never knew about it. I know none of that would have happened had I been homeschooled. But I still did well in school and got good grades. I'm saying that it didn't ruin my life and lead to harsher and harsher drugs and alcoholism. It was just a junior high, trying to be cool phase that was over before high school.

I feel like I got a decent education. I still remember most of what I'm teaching my son. I often won spelling bees. I was always in the highest math and reading classes and I do remember feeling proud when I got the highest test score. I can't believe they did this, but they used to seat us according to test score so if you got the highest score you sat in the first seat and the lowest score you were in the last seat....until the next test. Wow, that would never fly today, lol.

We had text books. We learned cursive writing. We rarely had homework, until junior high there really wasn't any. Then in junior high, we were given "study hall" time to do homework so even up through high school I never brought work home, yet I feel I learned way more than the schools are teaching now.

Having given you my school background, I think my answer is that I would have preferred homeschooling and spending more time with my family, had I been given the choice. I don't think my mom would have been motivated to do it but I think I would have been happier.

This is something I think about with my kids. My older one is mature enough to say that he did give school a try and muuuuuch prefers homeschooling. He didn't feel that he learned much and he didn't fit in with the other kids. He's sociable, loves sports, is so funny, etc. but for whatever reason he just didn't click with the kids.

So, I'm interested in your answers. Would you have preferred homeschooling to traditional school?

camaro
02-19-2011, 01:02 PM
Wow...I don't know...that's a hard question to answer. My public school career was from 1976-1989 so homeschooling would have been largely unknown (and where I live it's still largely unheard of to homeschool) so I think my parents would have found it hard to do and honestly I can't see them wanting to do it anyway. Knowing my mom as I do I don't think I would have wanted to learn her world view either. That being said it might have saved me a bit of torment as I was teased a lot through the middle years. I definitely had trouble fitting in being something of a shy geek. I did well in PS school though and was often "consulted" for help with others' work. I recall a teacher being impressed that I knew who Erwin Rommel was in Grade 5.

Speaking of things that wouldn't happen in school now, I recall having a couple of teachers who were chalk throwers. If you were not paying attention or acting up, you better keep your head up to watch for that chalk coming at your head!

skueppers
02-19-2011, 01:14 PM
No. Learning from my mother would have been a nightmare.

fbfamily111
02-19-2011, 01:26 PM
I was Hs'd in the early 90's (high school only) and the lack of resources, and my own beligerance, ruined any posibility of learning. Not that I was doing any better in the PS system either. If my Mother could have started me at a younger age, and we would have had better resources then yes, absolutly. As it was, it was a near disaster, and I barely made it into college. Of course, thinking about it now, I might never have straightened up if I had stayed in PS, and might have ended up somewhere other then college......

hockeymom
02-19-2011, 01:40 PM
Well I hated school, at least the social aspects of it. There was a lot of time spent without friends for me, which of course made things miserable. I did like learning and was always at or near the top of my classes, yet I was never motivated. I don't remember ever really studying or paying too much attention; it all came very easily to me (except math, which I did try at but failed at nevertheless) which tells me it was either too simple or I just wasn't being challenged. Certainly no teacher ever tried to challenge me despite my taking AP classes, nor did my parents. I think I would have liked the idea of being homeschooled if it got me away from the bullying and general social clumsiness that marked my adolescence, but I'd certainly never heard of it and I doubt my parents had either. At any rate, it wouldn't have been considered in my family. I think what I would have preferred would to have been shown what was out there for me to explore, and to have my confidence boosted. I don't recall being particularly encouraged in my one (failed) sporting attempt or to try any extra curricular activities, nevermind being shown how to explore things on my own. I don't begrudge my parents for sure and they were certainly supportive of me, but I think that I was probably a kid who needed a lot of guidance and would have benefited greatly had someone known how to break me out of my shell.

farrarwilliams
02-19-2011, 01:53 PM
I spent my elementary years at a small, strange, half-hippie private elementary school, but it was a HUGE financial stretch for my parents, one that they didn't really anticipate until they were paying it. When I was 3 yo, we moved from Atlanta to the middle of nowhere in Forsyth County, Georgia (which is actually pretty suburban now, but wasn't at all then) and about a month after our arrival, there was a terrible lynching just a few miles from our home. After that, my mother said the people in this place are CRAZY and we will not be doing business with them. Thus the long drive across county lines to the private school. But after a couple of years of reaching to afford it, my mother decided maybe she should homeschool me. She knew no other homeschoolers and nothing about homeschooling, but she had heard about it (she told me in retrospect that she thinks she saw it mentioned in the Whole Earth Catalog, which sort of cracks me up) so she bought a few books and started to look into it. I was sort of psyched. But before she could do it, she got scared - there was just no support and she couldn't find hardly any information. So instead, she found a job so she could bring in more money to pay for my school. I think that it would have been SO good for me though - especially for elementary and middle school. My elementary school experience was fine until I went to public school after we moved to NC. Then it was mediocre at best and middle school was rocky - I enjoyed some aspects, like drama, but mostly I was just unchallenged academically and unsatisfied socially.

For high school... Oh, that's so hard to say. I had an excellent high school education. I was happy. I made lots of friends with whom I'm still very close to this day. I attended one of the best public high schools in the state of NC (at the time, anyway) where I was taught by people with doctorates in their fields. The humanities program ran on a form of classical education - Paideia. I had the opportunity to take enough AP courses to skip a year of college. I also got to take classes like Psychology and Literature, which were right up my alley. But all that said... I still think I might have been able to do better if I had been homeschooled for high school as well - though it's very hard to say. I do know I read The Teenage Liberation Handbook near the end of my senior year with a strong sense of wistfulness that I had not read it sooner.

dbmamaz
02-19-2011, 02:09 PM
Hmm. I hated grade school and probably could have been much happier being home schooled. But NOT by my parents. Neither of them were particularly qualified to spend time with small children. I had full time babysitters from the time i was 2 months old, was in preschool as much as possible, etc.

Starting in 5th grade, I was in a private quaker school, which was mostly a positive experience. High school (public) had its struggles, but the gifted program was my home, where I made freinds and excelled. However, I was so miserable over all that I almost failed out my senior year. Spending more time with my parents would NOT have been the answer. In fact, I did well my first semester at PSU, and then started slipping until I dropped out . . twice.

I have no idea what could have helped me succeed and be happy as a young person. Probably different parents. Maybe some therapy or drugs, or at least a gfcf diet.

I dont think i'm very self-directed, although I did do well with assigned independent study. In fact, really, I was sort of homeschooled for the last few months of 2nd grade (we were in czechoslovakia and the school let my parents take the books with us and i would do the work from time to time). Plus I sort of took algebra 1 over the summer, with some independent study and maybe 8 private lessons. I probably could have learned better without a formal school, but my parents . . . no.

Oh, thats right, and in 9th grade we found a school for the gifted nearby and i was very excited - but they didnt accept kids past 6th grade, because you'd be too far behind. I was heartbroken and felt like my life was over, i'd missed my big chance.

MarkInMD
02-19-2011, 02:11 PM
I mostly liked school, but I never had trouble academically and not too much trouble socially. Having a quick sense of humor helped me not get pegged as teacher's pet or nerd too much. But school then was way different than school now. My parents were both elementary teachers, so while I'm sure they could have homeschooled us, they didn't. My older brother probably would have benefited from it more than I would have, and in fact my mother has said that looking back, maybe she should have tried something like that for him. He's smart but unsure of himself, even today, and he had some social issues that wound up impacting his grades in junior high. Now as an adult, he has suspicions that in this day and age he would've been diagnosed with Asperger's, and I don't disagree.

So I suppose my answer is no, I don't think I would've wanted to be homeschooled, but you never know, I guess!

dottieanna29
02-19-2011, 02:14 PM
I hated school as far as the social aspects. We were very poor so never had the "right" jeans, right clothes, right haircut. I graduated in 1987 so it was a BIG deal then. I did well in class without even trying but I was usually pretty bored. I loved to read about everything and anything (still do) so I think homeschooling would have been much better. But, my mother didn't get her high school diploma until I was in my teens and she definitely lacks the confidence to ever believe she could do something like homeschooling.

lynne
02-19-2011, 02:14 PM
I guess I should have asked "if the resources and support for homeschoolers were available then".. because you're right, it was practically unheard of years ago. I guess I'm thinking about this too because it's nice that today we do have a choice for our kids (I know it is impossible for some families though). I would have loved to have had that option as a kid. My family is so splintered now. I'm not on great terms with my parents...they have become very self absorbed, divorced and in new relationships and have no time for us or their grandchildren and my siblings and I aren't very close. I wonder if our family would have been closer if we would have had the opportunity to be homeschooled. If you think about it, with school there is so little time left to hang out as a family. But sadly I think the difference is that my parents didn't really want to hang out with us much, but I do enjoy spending time with my kids and like having them home.

Laina
02-19-2011, 02:19 PM
Good question! Not by my mother, definitely--she just wouldn't have been involved enough to make sure it was a positive experience, and she would have hated it, and she would have annoyed me--but I think I would have liked to have been homeschooled if I had a mother like me :)

I never did like school. Most of my memories from junior high and high school are watching the hands of the clock. And junior high really shook my self-confidence. I was a very bookish kid, but in seventh grade suddenly tried to buy the right name brands of clothes and act like a different person in order to be accepted. Then in high school I just checked out completely. I was smart, but graduated with a GPA of 2.1 or something like that. If I had gone to a private or small high school, it may have been OK. I did finally start to love school when I went to a small private college. Now I have two master's degrees!

lynne
02-19-2011, 02:50 PM
It's interesting that many of us feel we would not have wanted to be homeschooled by our moms. But I wonder if it's *because* we were all away at school so much that we never developed a strong bond with our mothers? I know that since homeschooling my 9 year old, we are so much closer and getting along so much better. School created so much tension. He was unhappy, we fought constantly over homework, getting ready in the morning, etc. I had very little quality time with him. Now, things aren't perfect but I'm enjoying him so much more. I never would have guessed it either because honestly there was a time when I felt like "I can't wait for school to start back up again!".

inmom
02-19-2011, 02:59 PM
I have to say I would have preferred public school. I was a good student, and I had a ton of opportunities available that I wouldn't have had if I had been homeschooled (graduated 1989). As part of a marching band, we were in the Orange Bowl and an inaugural parade, and I went to nationals with a softball team. While I got along with my parents, I don't think homeschooling would have been for them.

farrarwilliams
02-19-2011, 04:16 PM
It's interesting that many of us feel we would not have wanted to be homeschooled by our moms. But I wonder if it's *because* we were all away at school so much that we never developed a strong bond with our mothers? I know that since homeschooling my 9 year old, we are so much closer and getting along so much better. School created so much tension. He was unhappy, we fought constantly over homework, getting ready in the morning, etc. I had very little quality time with him. Now, things aren't perfect but I'm enjoying him so much more. I never would have guessed it either because honestly there was a time when I felt like "I can't wait for school to start back up again!".

I wondered that too. I also wonder how much of it is the difficulty of seeing the road not taken. After all, if one is happy with one's life and choices, then it's hard to reimagine the path you took to get where you are.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
02-19-2011, 04:29 PM
That is an interesting question. I wouldn't trade the friendships I had in high school for anything; on the other hand, I don't think I got an excellent education there and I didn't form the study habits to live up to my potential. I can't imagine my parents doing it, though. My mother worked full-time as a nurse and both of my parents were not the type to stray from the norm. I think that we would have been a much closer family if we had homeschooled. While growing up, spending time with my parents felt awkward and uncomfortable sometimes (did the words "family meeting" strike fear in the heart of anyone else?). I feel like I spent most of my teen years avoiding them. :)

dbmamaz
02-19-2011, 04:39 PM
Someone that went back to work when her first child was 2 months old, and CRIED because I said I was going to quit a (good) job to stay home with a new baby, would have never, ever been willing to stay at home with her kids. She was the old-school feminist who had to beat a man at his own game - starting with baseball, in grade school. Plus she had a very busy sex life when I was a kid - with everyone BUT my father. Seriously, no way would she have been willing to give up ANYTHING for her kids. I mean, she regrets it now, but at the time, no way. Her family was not her priority.

However, this has come up on my attachment parenting group - it seems like about half the moms came to attachment parenting because their moms did a lot of it just naturally, and the other half came to it trying to do whatever it takes to be a better mom than theirs were. Guess which camp I'm in.

Fiddler
02-19-2011, 04:43 PM
My parents would have been homeschooling me for religious reasons (they are Fundys), so my first instinct was to say no. But the church-run school I attended for high school was a travesty, education-wise, so I'm sure I would have learned more at home just by virtue of having more free time to read. This high school was in Hicksville so most of the kids there were not intellectually curious, and they were already entrenched (read, "brainwashed") in fundamentalist xianity, so socially high school was an absolute nightmare for me. I did escape my senior year to spend half of my time at a nearby (non-religious) college. But I didn't find a close circle of friends until grad. school, really.

lynne
02-19-2011, 04:57 PM
Cara - my mom thought I was nuts to give up my job to stay home with a baby too. She couldn't believe that I would give up the money.

My growing up life was pretty dysfunctional too. My mom stayed home with us until I was around 9 or so then started working nights doing banking stuff/balancing books. That was when my dad, instead of staying home with us in the evenings, started going to the bar all the time and that's when I started getting into trouble. I guess I should have started this thread with "if homeschool resources were available AND you had normal parents" would you have preferred to have been homeschooled? lol

I think there was a generation in there of very self absorbed parents and now our generation is trying to make sure we are there for our kids because we realize how much we lacked. My husband's parents were never around either. He was a latch-key kid at age 6.

BrendaE
02-19-2011, 04:58 PM
Perhaps if I had a different parent it would have been perfect for me. My egg donor was an extremely physically abusive woman though.

I enjoyed going to school just to get away. I however excelled a little too much. I was skipped ahead and only saw 2 weeks of 3rd grade. The schools wanted to skip me past 5th as well but my egg donor refused for reasons unknown to me. I was always done with any work given in elementary school really really quickly. I never ever had homework. This continued on through jr and sr high school. By 10th grade I was illegally working full time under the table as a waitress and I was required to pay for my own food, toiletries, and clothes by my egg donor. MY GOODNESS I skipped A LOT of school. My teachers basically just never turned me in. I would often drive away to an empty place in the middle of nowhere just to get some sleep. My grades however remained as they always were. It was rare to not get 100% on any school work. Except typing class.. i did badly!! I didnt have a lot of friends. Not that people were not nice and talked to me etc in high school... I just had more important things like not getting murdered by my egg donor going on and the things they talked about were rather trivial by comparison. I signed up for the Air Force in my Junior year and 2 weeks after graduation from high school I was on a plane to TX and Basic Training. I did laugh and smile ever so much through out basic training. It was such a happy time for me. Weird eh? The only person not happy with this was my guidance counselor from high school. In retrospect, I think the school and the teachers must have known somehow what was going on in my life. I mean come on.. I skipped 54 days in my senior year..and no one said a word.

Now.. If I had lived a normal kind of life with a loving parent?? Yes.. Home school would have been wonderful for me. I was and still AM addicted to learning. I do think its because I became self directed at a very early age. I really do. I think a person can teach themselves ANYTHING with the library at Alexandria here (the internet) at their fingertips. Now.. I get the privilege of seeing my DD do it. She never had to feel ashamed of being so smart in elementary school, she has no idea that the things she learns are mostly on a completely higher level than her peers.... except now hahaha... they have been talking and comparing, but its too late they are already friends mouhahahaha. Now.. They look at her as the "smart" one ( her PS peers). SHE thinks they are insane though. So she "feels" normal. I love it. I love it all!

Wabi Sabi
02-19-2011, 04:59 PM
Absolutely not. My home life growing up was terrible, in fact I fantasized about boarding school. I never did get to go to boarding school despite my best attempts (ie: sending away for information and filling out applications myself, forging my parents' signatures) but four of my younger siblings got lucky and were able to escape away for high school.

dbmamaz
02-19-2011, 05:37 PM
Yeah, if someone else could have done it, at leat for grade school. Not sure about the rest cuz I did have some good experiences.

alexdk
02-19-2011, 07:10 PM
Good question. I just read all the answers and I see I am among others that have had a very difficult childhood.

School was my escape from two very abusive parents, so I wouldn't have given that up. It was a safe place for me to be for a few hours. Even when my parents divorced, my mother was still abusive so high school was still better than staying home. I was always average with my school work, not really caring about schoolwork. I was told very early on that I would be good for nothing, and I guess I believed it then.

If my situation was different, then yes, I think homeschooling would have been good for me.

kewb22
02-19-2011, 07:40 PM
I think I would have loved being homeschooled. I hated school. I was shy, bullied, and a brainiac. The reality, however, it never would have worked. My mother suffered from depression for most of my childhood. She never got the help she needed. She would not have been capable of providing me with a top notch academic experience.

PaganHSMama
02-19-2011, 07:47 PM
I had sort of a love-hate relationship with school. I was always ahead and always a "teacher's pet"; I was a spelling bee champ for many years in a row and was a math whiz when everyone else hated math; I have a box filled with awards I have received going back to Kindergarten. I had a lot to be proud of, but always felt my education was lacking. I spent most of my life unschooling myself to learn what I wasn't learning in school. Also, at one point, I developed a tendency to attempt to "minimize my intelligence" in order to fit in with the other kids. This made me hate the social aspects of the school environment. I really think I would have done well with homeschooling. However, there is no way my mom was "qualified" to homeschool me. She never finished high school and, while she is very street-smart, she is not very intelligent. To this day, I am still teaching HER...

CathleenB
02-19-2011, 07:56 PM
Add me to the list of dysfunctional families. Both my parents were alcoholics. Both worked full time. School was my refuge. Mine and my husband's childhoods are what motivate us to be the parents that we are.

PaganHSMama
02-19-2011, 08:08 PM
Add me to the list of dysfunctional families. Both my parents were alcoholics. Both worked full time. School was my refuge. Mine and my husband's childhoods are what motivate us to be the parents that we are.

I am certainly with you on that. I also used school as a refuge from my home life during my teenage years and became the mom I am because of my desire to be nothing like my mom.

dbmamaz
02-19-2011, 08:45 PM
Also, at one point, I developed a tendency to attempt to "minimize my intelligence" in order to fit in with the other kids.
Oh, yeah, that too. Even in the gifted classes there was resentment, and that was part of the motivation to start throwing my grades. My mom tried to shame me for having bad grades, but i already hated her, so the shaming from other kids, including freinds of mine, for having good grades was much more effective.

But also, in math, I started purposefully ignoring the lectures (seriously reading fiction in a 12-person calc class), not doing any homework, and then reading the chapter the night before - not even leaving enough time to do one practice problem, so the first problem I did was on the test . . . and passed. Just to challenge myself. And yet, I failed out of my third semester of calc in college . . . i just gave up caring. Well, maybe that was when my dad was dying of cancer, tho. Arg, life.

Jeni
02-19-2011, 09:42 PM
I have thought about this same thing. My mom always said she wanted to homeschool my sister and I but for various reason I won't get into here, she couldn't. I always just took that and didn't think much of it. I would have loved to have been homeschooled, but recently I realized that would have been just about the worst thing in the world. My mom was very poorly educated, she was a very young mother, and we didn't get along most of my childhood. The bulk of my education happened in the '90's (dh and I graduated in '99) and there was still very little information out there for people who wanted to homeschool. So while it would have been a great fit for my personality, having my parent homeschool me would not have been pleasant.

Pilgrim
02-19-2011, 09:59 PM
I didn't like k-8 at a small Catholic school. I had friends but it was by default because there were so few of us. PS 9-12 was actually better as I found more peers with shared interests. Not that everything was rosy. I still allowed myself to internalize things and make too much of others' snide remarks. I was a good student, namely in elementary school which led to the worst of the teasing.

Like others here, I purposely did poorly to lower my grades. I eventually got kicked out of honors Math and English, and my social life improved. Go figure.

Despite all this, I don't wish I was HSed. I have seven siblings and my mom babysat, so the house was always full. As bad as school was at times, it was also a sanctuary away from that tiny crowded house. I also believe that school forced me to find my confidence. I always felt awkward, but in the later years found good friends and had a generally good experience.

elkhollow
02-19-2011, 10:36 PM
I loved school, the academic part anyway. I attended a small college prep school and school was my favorite thing in the world. When I was four I was jealous that my brother got to go to school and the summer before I started I wore my uniform every day I was so excited. I loved the learning part of school. The social part is a whole different animal. I was bullied until late-middle/high school. I never got beaten up or anything, just teased and called names. Believe it or not I didn't let it bother me a whole lot. I just kept to myself most of the time. I was awkward, didn't really care what other kids thought, and we didn't have a lot of money like most of the other kids so I didn't have the right clothes and we didn't live in the right neighborhood, etc... I was ripe for the plucking. Paying tuition was often a struggle for my parents but the public school we were zoned for was really bad and even with the bullying problems I am so grateful they didn't send me to ps.

Anyway, bottom line is I think homeschooling would have been great for me. I was a total workbook loving, read-everything-I-could-get-my-hands-on type of nerdy kid, very motivated and willing to learn things myself, but I started school in 1975 so homeschooling wasn't really on the radar back then. My mom probably could have found a way to do it legally even back in those days because she was a certified elementary school teacher, but the private school was available so I guess she never considered it. I don't regret not being homeschooled because I feel like I received an excellent education, far better than I would have received at the public school, but if my mom had offered to do it I'd have jumped on the opportunity, I think.

dbmamaz
02-19-2011, 10:37 PM
Wow, this is kinda disturbing that none of us wish we were homeschooled?

MarkInMD
02-19-2011, 11:15 PM
Well, I have to wonder about the flip side of this. Some day, what if someone were to ask all our kids whether they wish they were in public school. Bet none of them would say yes, either. You like what you know, generally speaking.

Stella M
02-20-2011, 01:37 AM
Yes. Yes! I begged my parents to let me homeschool when I was 15 but they said no. Three more years of high school hell followed. Yes, I would rather have been homeschooled, especially through high school.

Jennifer R. James
02-20-2011, 02:26 AM
In an ideal world, I would have much preferred to school at home. In the real world, I grew up in an abusive home, so I was better off at public school. It was everything to me. I thrived there. Maybe one reason so many say they would not have chosen homeschooling is because our experiences in PS were mostly positive? My childrens' PS experience has been pretty negative, with learning gaps, overenthusiastic discipline, a lack of nurturing, neccessitating homeschool. Had it been a similar experience to what I enjoyed in the 70s and 80s, they would still be in PS.

Pilgrim
02-20-2011, 10:12 AM
Wow, this is kinda disturbing that none of us wish we were homeschooled?

It is a bit. Even if I had a smaller family and my mom didn't babysit, the thought of being homeschooled makes me cringe and feel lonesome. However, the thought of HSing my own kids is exciting and I see it as liberating and dynamic for them. I suppose, like Mark says, if I had been HSed, I would be looking back on it fondly. The familiar is a powerful thing. But if that's the case, why aren't we all proponents of PS?
Hmmm...

Riceball_Mommy
02-20-2011, 10:22 AM
Elementary school wasn't really the best socially for me, middle school was the worst, and in high school things actually got a little better. I mostly saw art/theater kids, and the "GT" kids in high school so mostly I didn't get picked on, except 9th grade year in PE I hated that class. If I would have had better parents though I think I would have wanted to be homeschooled. Though considering I had the parents I did, as bad as school was sometimes I just wanted to get out of the house.

dbmamaz
02-20-2011, 10:25 AM
My kids went to public school and hated it and were thrilled to homeschool and dont want to go back. But I also remember being SO suprised when I was a single mom and they had to go to aftercare, and they missed just being home more. I dont remember that much. But i was thinking about it over night - the year my mom got fired, but before she was in the MBA program, I LOVED that she was there when I came home. She'd be in the kitchen cooking, and I'd sit and talk to her. She seemed a bit suprised by that, too. So maybe it could have been different, idk.

farrarwilliams
02-20-2011, 10:26 AM
I'm trying not to psychoanalyze this thread to draw too many generalizations about homeschool parents... anyone else resisting the urge?

MarkInMD
02-20-2011, 10:28 AM
The familiar is a powerful thing. But if that's the case, why aren't we all proponents of PS?
Hmmm...

Here's my theory on that, based on what I've seen and heard from two former teachers who began in the late 60s, my parents. When we went to school, there definitely was testing, but it wasn't the be-all and end-all of the educational experience. Teachers were freer to be more creative in their lesson planning. Arts programs were more prominent and well-funded. Now, those of us who went through schools like that see that it's not that way anymore. Tests are everything, class sizes are trending upward, teacher quality is trending downward (not to say there weren't some stinkers in our time, though), and kids identified with special needs and learning disabilities are on the rise. I think the move toward homeschooling is actually us trying to regain what we had in our childhood, because the public schools of today are not familiar, to us at least.

My two cents on it. I think my folks would largely agree with what I've said, based on things they've told me since we started homeschooling.

Hampchick
02-20-2011, 10:29 AM
I was pretty shy and awkward socially as a kid (still am really), so I think I might have liked homeschooling. I loved elementary school but hated high school. It is hard though seeing my parents in that role. I guess it all comes down to what you know, I have a hard time imagining a different life than I've lead. KWIM?

Riceball_Mommy
02-20-2011, 10:36 AM
Also on the academic end I think I kinda lucked out with my teachers. I remember talking to other people in high school and finding out that not all the teachers were doing the same activities, also the two teachers I loved quit (maybe one was fired from what I heard) the year after I graduated. In 9th grade art (art magnet class) we were asked about primary colors, complimentary colors, I had first learned that concept in elementary school and did the color wheel again in middle school. Half the class had no clue what they were.

That feeling of being lucky academically makes me worry that if my daughter would go to ps she wouldn't luck out like I did. She wouldn't get the inspiration teachers, she'd all monotone boring teachers (like the one history teacher I had).

Hampchick
02-20-2011, 10:38 AM
When we went to school, there definitely was testing, but it wasn't the be-all and end-all of the educational experience. Teachers were freer to be more creative in their lesson planning. Arts programs were more prominent and well-funded.

I really agree, you hit on some of the most important reasons I initially chose to HS. I hate that teachers can't respond to current events anymore because they have to stay on a curricula that someone else, someone that doesn't know the students or teachers, designed. And testing, and teaching to the test, is actually what got me going on the homeschooling in the first place.

Also though is the fact that we all have a particular view of who are parents are/were and it's pretty hard to get past that.

dbmamaz
02-20-2011, 11:00 AM
I'm trying not to psychoanalyze this thread to draw too many generalizations about homeschool parents... anyone else resisting the urge?
trying . . .

curious what this question would do on a main stream forum tho.

Pilgrim
02-20-2011, 11:46 AM
VG points Mark. The ps of 30 years ago doesn't exist. At the same time, our kids' local ps is eerily similar to mine with a strong focus on arts and technology that outshines others in the area. Interesting discussion...

farrarwilliams
02-20-2011, 11:47 AM
trying . . .

curious what this question would do on a main stream forum tho.

I think it would be pretty similar - a few people wishing they had been, a few people wishing they had been *if* they felt their parents were less crazy and a lot of people saying it wouldn't have worked for them for various reasons.

You think it would be different?


I think the move toward homeschooling is actually us trying to regain what we had in our childhood, because the public schools of today are not familiar, to us at least.

I agree in some ways with this, but not others. I guess the way I see it, schools today have the worst of both worlds in most ways. On the one hand, they now overtest and overregulate everything, so there's very little spontaneity or learning in the moment. Plus, there's less recess, arts and even PE so kids are becoming less well-rounded than ever before. But I'm careful not to idealize schools from before the testing movement took hold (not that you were necessarily either, Mark). For many schools, testing and security measures have made them safer, more accountable places. So schools back in the day weren't necessarily doing a good job of teaching either. I guess I just see these current "reforms" - even in places where they've been beneficial - as having a pretty low bar for academic potential - in schools that were already decent, testing has hurt more than it's helped (by being poorly written, poorly timed, poorly executed, etc.).

So I think I'm trying to give my kids two things - the more relaxed atmosphere of schools of my childhood but also a better method of teaching and learning. Gee, I hope those things aren't at odds with each other...

dbmamaz
02-20-2011, 12:24 PM
You think it would be different?
IDK. Maybe I was really thinking for the fundies - i mean, the kinds who say 'why would you home school if you are xtian', who think kids lives should be inundated in religion and protected from secular forces - wouldnt you assume they think it would have been better, at least theoretically, for their own kids? I mean, I admit, the whole idea really wasnt in the collective conscious then (i graduated high school in 83). I remember when I first learned about home schooling, thinking my parents could have done that.

but here, anyways, i think we have a more varied group of reasons why we homeschool anyways - specail needs not getting med, academic needs not getting met, dissaproval of the current schools, or 'i just like being around my kids'.


So I think I'm trying to give my kids two things - the more relaxed atmosphere of schools of my childhood but also a better method of teaching and learning. Gee, I hope those things aren't at odds with each other...
I feel like i'm having a hard time combining the two. But otoh, my school district was . . .PRETTY good . . and I'm really starting to doubt my ability to teach my son algebra . . .

Stella M
02-20-2011, 03:29 PM
Come on, surely someone else here really, truly would have preferred to have been homeschooled ?? With a passion ?? Didn't anyone loathe high school with their whole heart ?? Didn't anyone else beg to come home ?

I hear the 'yes, but my parent was incapable' thought and I get that. I had a terrible relationship with my Mum in high school. I actually think home schooling would have improved our relationship though.

MarkInMD
02-20-2011, 03:50 PM
I loathed my sophomore year. 7th grade wasn't so great, either, but the rest was mostly good.

My parent(s) would've been completely capable, though. After all, teaching is what they did for a living. And we got along great, luckily.

Stella M
02-20-2011, 04:02 PM
The ironic thing is that, having begged my parents to h/s and being told 'no', I now have my daughter begging to go to school and of course that means I have to say 'yes'. Talk about a raw deal...

PaganHSMama
02-20-2011, 04:14 PM
Come on, surely someone else here really, truly would have preferred to have been homeschooled ?? With a passion ?? Didn't anyone loathe high school with their whole heart ?? Didn't anyone else beg to come home ?

I hear the 'yes, but my parent was incapable' thought and I get that. I had a terrible relationship with my Mum in high school. I actually think home schooling would have improved our relationship though.

See that is the thing, I think homeschooling would have WORSENED my relationship with my mom. We could barely stand to be in the same room as it was. She was a miserable, single mom who turned to alcoholism and "bed-hopping" for most of my teenage years. I had very little respect for her and tried desperately to get away from her, as well as my brother (who was mentally ill and abusive towards me). So as much as I feel that I would have benefited from homeschooling, given my home life, I benefited much more from public school. If anything, it kept me safe and sane!

Stella M
02-20-2011, 04:35 PM
Yes. I get that. Sometimes 'away' is the best place to be.

I'm just surprised at the sense of ambivalence about h/s for oneself on this thread. I thought there would be a few more life-long anti- school fundamentalists. Like me.

jess
02-20-2011, 04:39 PM
Come on, surely someone else here really, truly would have preferred to have been homeschooled ?? With a passion ?? Didn't anyone loathe high school with their whole heart ?? Didn't anyone else beg to come home ?

I hear the 'yes, but my parent was incapable' thought and I get that. I had a terrible relationship with my Mum in high school. I actually think home schooling would have improved our relationship though.
I can say that I have, in retrospect, absolutely no hesitation about the idea of being homeschooled for middle school. The one possible hesitation is a teacher who became like a second mother to me (and who ended up homeschooling one of her own kids) - and I don't think I would have needed that had I been homeschooled.

I have the initial "I wouldn't want my mom to teach me" knee-jerk reaction... but fact of the matter is that it would have been just fine. She was a long-term sub at my school when I was in middle school, so I actually did have her for a teacher. It wasn't an issue.

Elementary school I enjoyed well enough, and had some excellent teachers who were good at adapting things to give a more individualized education, even though, overall, I wasn't at all challenged. And at that point, I wasn't popular, but social factors weren't much of an issue. But I don't think homeschooling would have hurt me, either.

High school... I was pretty miserable, but I wonder how much this would have been true if my self-confidence hadn't been completely undermined in middle school. I did not really have a traditional high school academic experience as it was - by my senior year, I was kind of homeschooling-at-school. We had a classroom based independent study program at my school, and I ended up doing all sorts of random interest-driven stuff and achieving a lot. That was cool. I think it's very likely I could have done well going the community college dual-enrollment route.

So yeah, I can say that I wouldn't have objected to homeschooling for most of school, and would have preferred it with a passion for middle school.

dbmamaz
02-20-2011, 04:53 PM
See, maybe its cuz I did have some really good schools - i mean, the quaker school - the teachers were SO respectful, and the education was somewhat classical, plus included shop and home-ec for both girls and boys. I was allowed to skip ahead some in math. And while i was akward and teased a bit, it wasnt that bad. Plus the school had a campus that included woods and a lake, and i could walk there. It WAS like a second home to me. But there was too much drug use in the upper school

and then high school - idk, it did get pretty tiresome. I skipped a LOT of school my last year or two, just 'pretending' to be sick. But again, the gifted classes were like a family, because the classes were smaller and it was a smaller sub-group of kids who got really close.

I guess maybe my dad could have worked with me as a mentor, and I could have done independent study . . . idk. My sister hated school and they sent her to a small quaker boarding school which she said 'saved her life' - but also got her in to coke.

actually, i remember in 1st grade noticing that i felt happy walking towards school, and sad walking home, and therefore deduced that i must like school more than home. Of course, in first grade I was in an experimental all-girl class with the brightest third of the girls (there was a boys class, too). Second grade was horrible - but my mom got me tested to prove it wasnt my fault i was failing, and I was finally switched to a different class . . .where I used to tell the teacher 'i dont like you . . . I LOVE you' and I thought I was so funny.

My parents did really work hard at making sure we were in good schools - i think that paid off. I tried sending my daughter to a private school her first year (with some help from my mom), but it turned out to be awful - my daughter said that her teacher wasnt very good with kids. My mom more recently offerred to help pay for my specail needs son to go to a private school, but I couldnt find anything I thought would be a good fit.

Sounds like Farrar's school might have been tho . . . . and yes, that is one thing I doubt about my parenting - my parents, as hard as they were to be around, did do a good job on our education.

farrarwilliams
02-20-2011, 06:12 PM
Melissa, I would have really liked to have been homeschooled for elementary and middle school... and maybe for high school too. But I also get along mostly fine with my mother. I mean, she's my mother, so sometimes she makes me crazy, but mostly I think she kinda rocks. When I graduated from my master's program, my dad told me that his main belief about education was that, "You should have to find something you really believe in. And then argue against it." So, maybe he would have been an okay homeschool parent too.

Cara, Quaker schools rock. What school did you go to? It makes me really sad that the school where I taught isn't around anymore. I feel like Quaker education is going too far in the Sidwell Friends direction. There should be more Quaker schools for special needs kids or kids who slip through the cracks. There just should.

lynne
02-20-2011, 06:54 PM
That's kinda why I started this thread. I see how secure and comfortable and happy my boy is now that he IS homeschooled and it made me wonder about my school experience and how it could have been different (better). It definitely makes it easy that this is what he wants. If he was begging me to send him to school, I probably would in time...maybe:).

Laina
02-20-2011, 07:28 PM
So yeah, I can say that I wouldn't have objected to homeschooling for most of school, and would have preferred it with a passion for middle school.

I completely agree with this! There is actually a book (Yardsticks, maybe?) for teachers that is organized by ages of children and talks about how best to educate a child of the particular age. When it gets to 12 or 13, the author (who is writing for schoolteachers) says he can't think of a school environment that would be appropriate for kids of this age, they don't retain any of the content they learn, and just plain don't belong in school. I think he says maybe some kind of 1930s style conservation corps/wilderness thing might work, but that's about it. Grades 7-8 were definitely the worst for me, and I would have thrived in an alternative environment.

I tell dh, no matter where this homeschool adventure takes us, I do not want my kids to go to school from ages 12-14 at least. I'm hoping we'll be able to find a way to travel as a family during those years, maybe overseas. Then I would possibly consider them returning to school for high school if that was what they wanted to do.

dbmamaz
02-20-2011, 09:03 PM
Laina, I remember interviewing with the director of a Montessouri school (sp, sorry) and somehow we got on the topic of middle school, and she said there is no way to do middle school well. (I ended up not sending my daughter because i loved one of the early grade school teachers and hated the other, and decided it wasnt worth scraping together the money if even a private school couldnt guarentee a great education).

Farrar, I went to Westtown Freinds, just outside of West Chester, a suburb of philly, but towards Wilmington, DE. I went from 5th-8th, and really, i walked there, it was that close. I am not really familiar with Sidwell Friends, but I see that's where Obama's daughters are going. It appears to be very competitive. I dont remember Westtown being that way, but there were no specail needs kids afaik. And we did take an IQ test as part of the admissions process. We did know a family who had only one of their kids accepted, and they chose not to send either.

dbmamaz
02-20-2011, 09:05 PM
Oh, and I had read somewhere that most schools in the US used to be parochial schools. The gov't wanted to take over the schools - but they promised the churchs could retain control of the curriculum. But of course, they lied. The quakers decided NOT to let the gov't buy out their schools, which is why there are still so many quaker schools.

dbmamaz
02-20-2011, 10:15 PM
Going back and looking at Westtown on line made me SO nostalgic! I checked - there are three quaker schools in VA - one in VA beach, one in NOVA, and one in C'ville. I remember the C'ville one being THE school of choice - everyone wanted their kid to get in there

My sister also spent her sr year at The Meeting School in Rindge, NH - a very, very small experimental school

elkhollow
02-20-2011, 11:51 PM
[QUOTE][The ironic thing is that, having begged my parents to h/s and being told 'no', I now have my daughter begging to go to school /QUOTE]

I'm lucky. My dd has seen both sides. She was homeschooled for k and part of 1st, then went to ps. After several weeks there she begged to be homeschooled again. She misses having friends bc it's just not the same. We don't have kids in our neighborhood (weird, right?) and seeing the h/s group kids once a week just isn't the same. But she still prefers homeschool, overall. OTOH, my 4 yo ds is begging to go to school. He was in preschool for about 2 months a year ago and absolutely loved it. He has been asking on a weekly basis when he can go back. I've got guilt.

HeidiinCA
02-21-2011, 12:56 PM
Wow-you guys, what an interesting thread. I loved elementary school and went to a really wonderful public school-small classes, great teachers, involved parents-I'm still friends with several people that I went K-5th with! And then there was middle school-hideous all the way around. Academically it was okay-but socially it was horrible. I was bullied from 6th-8th grades, and I was "sick" and missed about half of 8th grade. I would have been so much happier just staying home and reading-I would have been a great unschooler. I had a very close relationship with my parents-and although I don't think they would have been particularly great "teachers"-as long as my mom could have driven me to our library-it would have been fine. I hated my Catholic high school-terrible academically, super clique-y, but it did lead me to my college, which I loved. Because of my middle school experiences, I was more than willing to bring home my introverted 7th grade daughter who hated her middle school.

MrsLOLcat
02-21-2011, 02:09 PM
I would not have wanted to come home, but my sister begged to be allowed to come home. She was never allowed to, and my mom kicks herself for that now.

I don't know whether I really would have been okay at home or not. My mother was (is) patient and intelligent, but we have never seen eye to eye on many, many topics, and she has a weak personality that I mowed over as soon as I hit my prepubertal years. If I had been homeschooled, she may have had to take a tougher stand on things, and we may have become closer. It may also have forced her out of her depression. I don't know. I definitely would not have wanted to come home if we had stayed in my original hometown in Kansas. I was popular there, and it was such a tiny, tiny town with a good school so that nobody even considered anything else. When we moved to Oklahoma, I was bullied all the way from the 4th-9th grades. I finally made some good friends after that, but even so, I would still find pictures of me with horrible things written on them, and I had a not-very-nice reputation that was totally undeserved. Then again, my mother is such an introvert that we never, EVER would have gone anywhere or had extracurricular activities, and I think she knew that I have enough extroverted tendencies that I wouldn't have stood for that. So I don't know. I think that in the end, going to PS was the best choice for me. It was tough, but it's definitely made me stronger because of it. I think that's why I have M2 in private school now, because she's an extrovert and needs to learn to deal with her own challenges. M1, on the other hand, is perfectly capable of fighting his own battles, but he hated school. It's a struggle.

bovinesituation
02-21-2011, 03:56 PM
No. No way. My family is ultra-religious and 3 of my cousins were homeschooled (they were my only example of homeschooling until recently). Their parents were crazy strict about not letting them socialize with anyone outside of the family and I'm not sure what they taught them. Quite frankly, I'm not sure they were being taught anything because they couldn't spell or do basic math, etc. I have no idea how they passed the state tests. Homeschooling by my family? No thanks.

bovinesituation
02-21-2011, 04:13 PM
Now that I've read though the thread, I'll respond some more. It makes me sad that so many of us have screwed up parents :( My mother dumped me off on my grandmother when I was 3 months old (long story). She had no interest in me at all but she was around. My grandmother treated me like the burden I was and did as little as possible. She provided food and clothing but didn't spend much time with me and would never do anything outside of the minimum. Add that to the religiosity in my family and I'm glad they didn't. I would be even more messed up than I am now ;)

anywaybecause
02-21-2011, 05:55 PM
I haven't read all the replies, yet, but I'm responding, anyway! ;)

I would have loved to homeschool in a family like the one dh & I have created, HOWEVER, I would never have willingly homeschooled while I was growing up. The problem would have been my parents, who are really, really, really religious. They raised me Catholic, and I was forcibly confirmed. Though they are Catholic, my parents do an awful lot of proselytizing -- they are into healing masses, speaking in tongues, everything. I truly shudder to think of what it would have been like if I hadn't had the refuge of the public schools.

Batgirl
02-22-2011, 12:03 AM
I hated school. I always did well, but I was bored and I hated the social aspect of it. I never liked school, and that feeling intensified the older I got. I would have loved pursuing school from home, but learning from my parents would have been hell. Neither of them has much patience for children, emotions, messes, trial-and-error, you get the picture. Plus, my mother was a psychotic perfectionist. So, my overall answer is yes, but in a different reality with a different family.

Ok, now that I've finished reading the thread, I'd like to state that I hated ps so much I still would have chosen homeschooling, but only if allowed complete autonomy. I would have been a wonderful unschooler, as I was and am an avid reader and researcher of things that interest me.

bcnlvr
02-22-2011, 07:22 PM
Not with my mother.

Jennifer R. James
02-22-2011, 10:07 PM
Well, at least we've all aspired to be better parents and create better homes for our kids. It seems that is the main reason we've chosen to homeschool, according to this thread. After reading it, however, I have regained my appreciation for ps, in that it is there as a safe haven for the kids who are in questionable homes, as it was there for so many of us!

dbmamaz
02-22-2011, 11:54 PM
Thats a really good point, jennifer. although, again, schools have changed, with the heavy emphasis on testing.

I remembered today that my sister was on homebound instruction for a while, when she had mono. That didnt even inspire me to want to stay home and do school. I did cut almost weekly my sr year tho. Very confusing.

a lot of moms do say they feel closer to their kids, and like the family gets along better, when they start homeschooling ,so who knows how things could have been different.

InstinctiveMom
02-23-2011, 01:03 PM
Wow, this is kinda disturbing that none of us wish we were homeschooled?

I don't know... I think it speaks volumes about the kind of relationships that you now have with your own children. If your home life as a child was SO awful, then that's a huge step to take to ensure that your relationship with your own children is different. If you craved that kind of relationship with your own parents, it makes sense to me that you now have a good, close relationship with your kids. Homeschooling to me is an extension of that.

I'm a homeschool graduate :)

My mom's sister homeschooled her youngest 2 kids after my cousin finished K. I thought they were SO WEIRD; they really were the weird, religious, unsocialized homeschoolers that you read about. They were very religious (my family was too, but they were MORE religious than we were, even - I cannot overemphasize how religiously motivated their every waking breath was), so I think that colored my opinion of it in the early years.

Homescholing as an idea evidently grew on my mom though, and she pulled us all out of school when I was in 9th, my sister in 6th and my brother in 5th. My brother and I loved it - my sister LOATHED it. I got to travel a lot, and we all ended up working with my parents (family business), which was our 'career training'. That kinda sucked, but overall, I preferred homeschooling to being in school. My mom ran a homeschooling group - the only one of its kind back then - and got 20 or so families together for field trips once a month. She was a pretty cool homeschooling mom :)
~h

my2monkeys
02-24-2011, 04:43 PM
This thread definately has me thinking. I had a great time growing up and going to school. I excelled in school, had great grades and was liked by the teachers. If my mom had homeschooled me I think it would have been fine. Both her and my dad felt education was important and I think would have been great. I do think during those pre teen/ teenage years it may have been disaster, but who knows. I really think my sister would have benefitted from homeschooling. She had trouble academically as well as socially.

Now my husband had his entire confidence destroyed by an awful 1st grade teacher who humiliated him in front of the entire class. This stuck with him forever. I would NEVER want my children to live through that.

These two things have me really trying to decide what to do with my own kiddos. I did great, but really learned to study to the test and not push myself at all and then my husband suffered in school.

Oh well, more food for thought.