Home Schooling

What would you say to a mom who says she might never send her kid to school? Well, the folks on Babble.com got an earful when one mom said just that. It’s called “Unschooling.” Now, I really try not to judge other mothers’ choices, but from personal experience, this was the nicest way I could say: BAD IDEA!

21 thoughts on “Home Schooling

  1. Unschooling to me sounds like lazy parent syndrome.

    I cyber schooled our oldest daughter for the end half of her fifth grade and beginning of sixth. We had issues with the school, long story. Let me just say the whole “no child left behind act” can really be unfair to the advanced child. Now I didn’t just keep her at home. I scheduled flute lessons, found out our local YMCA had a day gym class for kids her age, she had Youth Group with the church, signed her up for a children’s cooking class, our local library offered an art class. It was a full time job for me but well worth it. I think you can’t be a lazy parent if you plan to educate your children on your own. She’s now in seventh grade and attends a public high school. Plays flute in concert, marching and competition band about to start learning sax for jazz band and is a straight A student. Don’t get me wrong there were days we got on each other’s nerves. I am glad to have her back in school.

  2. I love your site Daphne and for that reason I would like to first offer you a warning to batten down the hatches. (<-ex sailor). I am part of the home-schooling community and they are mad dogs for their cause and their keyboards!

    I plan to home-school my little one and have had it proven to me that the socialization issue is a red herring. I could tell you until I’m blue in the face but I’ve seen it first hand. Besides, I’m a poor debater and pretty sure I’ve never convinced anyone of anything. :)

    You picked my least favorite form of home-schooling. It seems a most dangerous thing to do left unchecked. How does an unschooler get into and perform in college?
    It’s not for everyone. I hope I’m half as good as the ladies I’ve been exposed to. Good luck Daphne….I hope they don’t rough you up too much!
    -Mo

  3. You are obviously NOT socially retarded so I think you disproved your arguement.

    My girls were/are homeschooled and had friends in the neighborhood and took classes and lessons outside of homeschooling and had a social life. Unless you are living on a farm in the country or you lock your kids in the basement, kids will make friends.

    And, Mo, my daughter just started university this year with a scholarship. You take the ACT and apply just like everyone else.

  4. Like everything else in the world, we have to find balance for our children. Whether that’s in their diets, TV time, or education and socialization. We have to offer experiences in life that are not swinging too far to one side of the pendulum. Rather, allow a broad spectrum of opportunities and then allow them to sort of navigate their way through it and see what fits each one best. But what our kids really need is that balance. We really need to model that for our children and not go overboard in any one direction.

    Along those lines, I have seen great things from both public schools and home schools. But each family has to decide what is right for them. They need to be educated on choices and they really need to learn from those around them and be humble enough to change things now that clearly aren’t working in the long run.

  5. That all sounds nice. But for years to come when people are talking about proms, sporting events at school, year book committe, etc it’s a drag to only refer to tv shows and not your own experience. a collective experience.
    I’m a pushy broad so it was little easier for me. My sister was not as much and she really missed those bond and friendships.
    sorry home schoolers, you can hate me, but that was my experience.

  6. monique. very funny.
    I invite you all to read the story I took off for this piece. it was not written by a woman who was thoughtfully creating a home school enviroment, but wanted to keep her kid out of schooling period and have the child conform to her sked. I think that is a difference than the John Holt variety.

  7. True, everyone has to make their own decisions. But it seems to me you have to go out of your way to avoid people THAT much. Between old-fashioned Boy Scouts, Little League, church youth group, neighbor kids and library activities, my homeschooled boys are as “socialised” as anybody, and comfortable taking the lead in a conversation with folks of all ages. (OK, yeah, I’m bragging a bit.) But I’d imagine it’s truly NOT that hard to find other people from time to time. IN fact, I look forward to it as MY break to see adults while my kids are busy doing their things.

  8. Levels of idealism.. In an ideal world we all get to do whatever we want when we want while spreading love and pansies.

    On the other hand, it’s important for kids to learn how to deal and cope with bullying, different social morays, and “the system”.

    Parents have the toughest job in the world trying to balance the two successfully.

  9. Daphne – sounds like it wasn’t a good choice for you. Homeschooling is not the right choice for every child. I have three kids – one who is blissfully homeschooled, another who is thriving in an accelerated charter school and another who is in our local public school – also thriving!

    Your argument that homeschooling didn’t work for you so therefore it won’t work for anyone is not exactly logical. I don’t think you should make that choice if you think your kids would suffer, but to suggest that NO ONE should have this choice is a rather totalitarian view.

    On the social front: Adolescent social dynamic in today’s US schools is appallingly dysfunctional and truly doesn’t have much to do with the adult world experience. And… Prom? Seriously overrated. Not something I spend ANY time reminiscing about as a 40 year old. Ick. In fact, I hated prom so much and it was so worthless, that I think no one should let their kids do it. Bad idea!!!

  10. I think that to assume that homeschooling doesn’t work for everyone is a little extreme. I was homeschooled with my sister and brother from K-12 (going to the public high school part time) and it worked out wonderfuly for each of us. Now this is because my mom is a saint and is the most patient teacher in the world, and also because we had many church friends, and each of us were in local sports, art classes, dance classes, ect… so we had a lot of social interaction. Also the community we grew up in had many homeschool families so we were able to go on field trips and spend a lot of time with the other families.

    I agree that in many cases the kids are socially awkward, but now that I am an adult (23) I see most of them have developed into very well adjusted individuals, and many of them have great jobs becasue they were taught responsibility at a young age and are very respectful to authority.

    As far as college, my siblings and I have all graduated from state universities with very good grades and each of us now have good jobs. I do agree that homeschooling is not for everyone, but it worked out very well for my family.

  11. Hey now. Im my vlog I said it wasn’t the right choice for ME.
    And again, I was addressing an article where a woman was advocating no schooling. my proximity to my family through a small family run school and a year of no schooling is as close to that experience as I have.
    I am very social and wanted more social interaction period. Yes, we all went to good colleges.
    Also as a mom I think I it would be so hard to supervise kids in my home school. don’t know how you all do it. I’m lazier, like my few hours away! But, good for you.

  12. My sister went to school then was home schooled and went back to school. She went to many schools and even when she was home schooled she had friends and went on trips (to France mostly to visit family – during the summer) and had a lot of fun. She did fight with my mom, but my mom did what she had to do. My sister then went back to school, did gymnastics, hung out, went to high school, but unfortunately dropped out. Now my sister is working, has her GED, and is studying to be a nurse. Home schooling isn’t for everyone and I definitely don’t believe in the unschooling. I wouldn’ t mind being home schooled (and begged to be home schooled), but my parents said no and I have a lot of friends, but I never plan on going to any school functions and never really have. They don’t interest me. Anyway, some people do better in boarding school, public/catholic school, or home school – it all just depends on the child.

  13. Daphne,

    I love your take on the socialization aspect of homeschooling, based on your own unconventional experience. Sounds hellish!

    You must be a great cook, though. With that beautiful kitchen behind you, and all those free hours between 8 and 3…I’m envious of your free time.

    Have a great day!

  14. well, my husband is the pro chef. I usually work in the AM, but am usually work free in the afternoon.
    Maggie, I wonder why your folks thought homeschool was better for your sister and not you?
    we didn’t have enough money for 3 kids in private school was one of our issues and LA schools after about 5th grade are-mostly- not so hot.

  15. My husband and I shared a similar schooling experience. We did everything, proms, sports, etc. But mostly we were pretty intelligent kids that just warmed a seat 8+ hours a day absolutely bored out of our minds. SOO many wasted hours that could have gotten us out of school faster, given us an edge in college or our careers, or just could have been enjoyed another way. We have nothing but regret for our schooling.

    Clearly we don’t want this for our children. We thought maybe cyber schooling with lots of organized activities and a standard playgroup might be good. But I think we’ll wind up sending them to school and seeing if they like it. If they don’t, we’ll probably pull them.

  16. ummm…. yeah I’m a social retard. Homeschooled from 3rd grade on. And I was semi-unschooled…

    I was FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR more social when homeschooling than when in public school!

    I was in a homeschool group that did field trips, park days, bowling, skating, 4-H, tennis, volleyball, choir, etc….

    I was far busier with activities when homeschooling than when in public school. Homeschooling was the best thing to ever happen to me.

    It’s sad to me that people never see the other side of homeschooling. Some people really do teach their children well and keep them social…

  17. Oh and to the homeschooling and college that someone talked about, my semi-unschooled (we had to do something for school but we could pick what we did for each subject, other than math, we had a textbook for math) brother was an honors student in college. Our local college (4 year) LOVES homeschoolers. They do very well.

    There are bad homeschoolers just like there and bad public school parents. :)

    I love the videos but I get sick of being told that homeschoolers aren’t social when homeschooling made me much more social, I was very shy before homeschooling.

  18. Daphne, and anyone else who thinks children are ‘socially retarded’…Please do not read this harshly, that is not my intention here. I honestly and sincerely advise you to go spend some time with a few homeschool families AND the activities that they REGULARLY participate in.

    Until you have THOROUGHLY done your research, and not based your opinions on one or two people’s experiences, even if it was your own, please don’t bash homeschooling and lump it all into one category.

    Homeschooling takes more time and commitment than putting your kid on a bus and sending them with some lunch money. Parents do not homeschool because it’s easier. They do it for the well-being of their child…just like all us parents. Obviously, social interaction is vital..in any situation….schools or homeschools. It’s about finding a healthy balance for each individual child.

    Please, do your homework before passing judgement. We are all here as moms doing the best we know for the children we adore. I obviously homeschool, and I also realize that it isn’t for everyone. And I choose to not attack another fellow mom for the decisions she makes concerning her child’s mainstream schooling.

  19. Growing up I experienced a combination of boarding school, home school, and no school. I basically didn’t go to high school.

    I really, really enjoyed boarding school because of the social aspect. When I was being homeschooled and unschooled I became antisocial. It was like my coping mechanism for having only two or three (not very good) friends outside the family was to pretend that I didn’t care if I didn’t have any friends. The few friends I had I was basically using. I didn’t particularly like them, but they were my only option.

    I’m in college now, and it’s taken some adjusting. I’m finally at a point where I’m not afraid to answer questions or ask them in class, and I’m pretty good with public speaking. Before, I found it all pretty nerve wracking.

    When I have kids, I think I’ll want to send them to private school. Hopefully they’ll get a better education than public school provides, but still have access to a lot of social opportunities.

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