home schooling questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cool hand luke, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. cool hand luke

    cool hand luke Monkey+

    Let me first say that I'm not trying to start a fight or offend anyone, I've asked this before in other forums and never really gotten an answer.

    A little background, my wife teaches in the public school system in Texas, I'm a civil engineer. Before we had kids we talked about homeschooling. I felt very confident that my wife with her degree in elementary education could handle all teaching assignments up to middle school. In middle school I could help with the math and science, and we'd probably be good. However, we both agreed that while there were certain subjects we could teach at a high school level (math and physics for me, history and geography for her) there were just to many areas we aren't qualified to teach at that level.

    Then our oldest son was born with Aspergers syndrome, and homeschooling would be about the very worst thing we could do for him, so all the discussion was pointless anyway.

    So, here's my questions.
    What makes you qualified to teach your kids? To what level and what subjects are you competent in.

    I ask this because several of our friends homeschool, and, I can honestly say that 2 of the 3 couples I know very well are not well educated, and have horrid english and mathematics skills.

    They often answer, "there our kids, we know them best" which honestly seems like either a cop out or an incredibly poorly thought out reason. You know your kid best, great! Do you do there dental work? What if they need an appendix removed? Why do you trust there education to someone with no training, but not there health care?
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I think at this point with the type of indoctrination present and the decline in actual focus on earning good grades, and the government sponsored curriculum --homeschooling might be a better option for intelligent parents, at least for the first 6 years. Maybe having them test in to the 7th or 8th grade and join later at a private school would be best...but public schools (not all, but the majority) seem to be rapidly declining in quality. These are just my thoughts, they may not be completely thought out or perfect.

    The part which troubles me the greatest, and it would be a fear of my own if I had any children, is the fact that my kids would not fit in and they would have a hard time accepting the city-mind collectivist, consumerist zombie mentality which is ever present these days. Naturally, kids would not see it this way offhand; they would feel rejected and out of place, and that's enough to make my heart heavy.
  3. ISplatU

    ISplatU Monkey+

    What makes me qualified! It is obvious that you are trying to start an argument. I would rather not get into it with your high intellect. What makes me qualified! Maybe if you came down off your high horse and talked to your two friends, you might get a better answer, but I can tell from your post that is not going to happen. What makes me qualified! What do you think they are teaching our students in school today, anyway? What makes me qualified! I will leave with this one thought. Teach a child the love to read and you have given them the world.
  4. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    It's like Peggy Hill said about piano lessons- I just have to stay one lesson in front of the students.

    I don't know. I don't feel qualified to teach my kids and I have a BS degree. Of course, most of it is like riding a bike. It just takes a bit to recall.

    Wish I had an answer for you.

    What I can tell you is this- home schooled students DO develop better study habits. Text books teach themselves IMHO. Public school teachers simply teach what's in the text book anyway (for the most part*).

    The part I am uncertain about is interaction with other kids. That is typically overcome by joining clubs, church groups, or other outlets.
  5. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    My wife and i both teach ... just at different levels... both of us have one or more graduate degrees... we believe that home schooling is something that everyone has to do ... especially when your child attends public schools...

    The no child left untested educational process teaches the three R's... read remember and regurgitate... minimal critical thinking skills, and advanced learning techniques. Current classrooms are "dumbed" down to teach at the lowest common level possible... i'm fortunate all of my kids were tested at ther top end of the scale and were reading by four years of age...

    Our home schooling included books for them to read, field trips to learn additional information not provided in the classroom, including them in conversations on politics when they grew interested, Museums, zoos, church activities, appropiate social activities, dance martial arts, swimming, hunting, taking care of pets and livestock... true we were not the only teachers in their lives and our version of home schooling is not followed by everyone.. but i have one at who has been accepted to Harvard graduate school, one at UNC , and one in the military in the Special forces... all work and are happy... i could not ask for more...:D
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I have no dog in this fight except my local county taxes, and that portion of federal tax dollars that are spent on education. I was pretty much neutral on this whole thing until I became aware that a fellow prepper, a man I respect and converse with regularly, was home schooling his 3 children. We discussed it, along with our own experiences with the public school system, and how it had failed us, and I became a convert.
    The NEA is the largest Union in the Nation. FACT! They do a real crappy job when it comes to policing their own. They have all this monumental clout and yet they fully support the worst of the worst when it comes to teachers equally along with those outstanding teachers of the ilk of those who stand out from our own experiences as the best most rare individuals on the face of the Earth. I can count those teachers from my past on part of one hand. There have been main stream media revelations of teachers who have done outragious crimes and are awaiting trial, after arrest, and yet they continue to draw pay and cannot be dismissed until convicted. Yes, I know innocent until convicted. These teachers and others who are misfits who haven't actually committed a crime they can be charged with, yet obviously they have no business teaching children, .... are so well protected by the NEA, and feared by the local school boards, that they come to school and go to a room where they while away the day doing anything that entertains them in isolation while they draw a full paycheck.
    Some school systems have excellent systems in place where students and teachers and the administrators are all working in sync efficiently. Exceptional students are identified and encouraged to participate in advanced programs that allow them to excell and not be bored out of their minds by an average teaching program. They have remedial teaching programs and one on one tutoring for student who are having problems keeping up on an average level. They have general studies for the rest. Teachers are hand picked for the advanced and remedial studies as well. All teachers are evaluated and sub-performers are encouraged to seek employment elsewhere. In my area, both the very liberal city of Gainesville and the very conservative rural Gilchrist county have school systems that meet these standards. It pleases and amazes me.
    I am no fan of big Unions. (again, that is another issue for a different thread or a PM).

    I am no fan of big government. (think, Constitutionalist ... another issue).
    I understand your premise that poorly educated parents may not be a good choice for home schooling. In Gainesville or Gilchrist county I probably would encourage such parents to make use of the public school system. As they say, "It's all about the best interests of the children".seesawbut, playing devils advocate, I have to say that there is State manditory testing for home schooled children in Florida. If the parents aren't capable of providing what the state considers minimal acceptable teaching for their children, they can lose the right to home school.
    There was a post here recently about the Public school system of Detroit Michagan where on a per student basis they are receiving $11,000 dollars per student to attempt to teach them. That's $2,000 more than the National average. Their graduation rate is 25%.
    In a situation like Detroit, if the marginal home schooling parents were friends of mine, I would try to get close enough to the situation to offer assistance and encouragement to steer them to online programs and a monitored, structured teaching style that would benefit the children.
  7. cool hand luke

    cool hand luke Monkey+

    I really tried to ask a legitimate question as non offensively as i could. I have talked to my friends about this on several occasions. Right now both of them only have very young children, so I could see where they could do an acceptable job. I asked them when they were going to either need to re-evaluate or get some outside help, and neither of them had thought about it. I just think it's a bad idea to fly by the seat of your pants on something this important.

    I also think that me being in a small conservative town in Texas colors my judgement quite a bit. At least through elementary I haven't seen any of the wacko liberal stuff being taught where I live. While I agree with you that a love of reading is not being instilled in schools, in general the math skills of our nation suck, and these include my generation that are now starting homeschooling. Maybe I'm overly sensitive to this as an engineer.
  8. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    A good leader needs to know how to manage and utilize his assets. Ditto a good instructor. While it helps to have a vast or specialized personal knowledge to draw from to teach, it isn't necessary. With a vast personal hard copy library or the internet an instructor can direct a student in what to persue or study to advance their knowledge. As someone else said, "as an instructor I only have to be one step ahead of the student". I agree with that to a point. Eventually, hopefully, the student will exceed the teacher. At that point the teacher can still direct the student via the internet. Even MIT has free online classes in science and math. Were you aware of that? Would that put your engineers mind at ease a little.
  9. cool hand luke

    cool hand luke Monkey+

    The "one step ahead" idea has merit, but also real drawbacks. When I was in Afghanistan I spent my spare time tutoring math and science classes for the military on the base. The university of maryland had a branch campus that allowed them to take classes while deployed. for the basic math and calculus I had no problems, I had far more math than was needed to understand all the concepts completely and be able to explain the bigger picture for those classes. However, i had a captain that was trying to take a graduate level business statistics course. I had completed a roughly equivalent course myself, but I really struggled with tutoring him because I didn't have the over arching mastery of the subject to see where this lesson and the previous connected, if that makes any sense.
  10. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Luke, here is some additional info you may want to share with your friends.
    I have a few links you may find helpful. Two are basic, one is advanced.
    The basic one; http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschoo...ing-textbooks/
    The advanced one is for free online courses at MIT. It is extensive in the Math and Sciences areas of study. Free Online Course Materials | MIT OpenCourseWare

    Last but not least, you may or may not have visited Backwoods Home Magazines online site and forum. They have an open "Education and Homeschooling thread," you might want to peek at now and then for ideas. Here is that link; http://www.backwoodshome.com/forum/v...splay.php?f=68
    I hope you can use some of this.
  11. cool hand luke

    cool hand luke Monkey+

    Thanks for the help, my wife and I are helping out our friends with there math and science curriculum, and it's been interesting!
  12. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member


    Your question is a good one. Our family got into homeschooling when 2 of my nephews were 5 years behind in school. They were in 5th grade when we took them in and actually taught them.

    In a Classical method of teaching, one teaches their children to teach themselves so that they can be lifelong learners. By no means does this mean we just hand them the books and say, "Good Luck", but we guide them to think for themselves and figure things out.

    The proof is in the pudding. With 4 years of intensive re-education, both of my nephews when back to school for high school. One graduates this year with a full scholarship to a decent college. The other is getting a-b in school and wants to join the military when he graduates.

    What makes one qualified? Well, I have seen enough teachers in the school systems who are unqualified. I think we make it harder than it has to be. Education is not that hard, but having kids interested in being educated is where it all starts.
    Tracy, melbo, BTPost and 3 others like this.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    This thread brings up many of the issues Momma and I have dealt with, for 4 decades, as we raised our children. When we met I was a College educated fellow, and she was just out of High School. Our children were Public School educated thru 6th Grade, with both of us adding Home Education options as the children showed interest in specifics. We were very active in their school education process, to the point of being considered nuisances, by some of the school Staff. During Jr. High School, I had some serious run-ins, with Teachers and Principals, over curriculum , and classroom rules, which were always resolved in my favor, as the policies were just outrageous, and beyond the bounds, and if made public, would have caused MAJOR PR issues for the School District. Once all our children were in full day school, Momma went back to college and finished her RN, and when the two oldest moved to High School, she took a job as the High School Nurse in that school. There were issues, that she had words with the Principal about, but they were always resolved. We moved to the bush of Alaska, and we were the teachers, and the state sent us the materials, as part of a GREAT HomeSchool system. Our Oldest Daughter Graduated from Correspondence School, in Alaska at 17 years old. MY son lived with a family in town, for his Jr, and Sr. Years and Graduated with Honors, from High School. When our youngest Daughter was ready to start High School, we decided that Momma would take a Job, as Labor and Delivery Supervisor at the local Hospital in town, and she and our youngest would live in town during the school year. She graduated with Honors, and there were a few issues that I had to go to town to resolve, with an Idiot Principal. He learned real quick, that if I made an appointment, he was in BIG Trouble, and he better get his act together. It only happen twice, and he retired after the second incident, at the request of the School Board.

    Momma and I take no Backseat to ANYONE, when it comes to the education of our children. All my children are grown and gone, these days, and have children of their own. They ALL have the same policies, that Momma and I had, for their children, and are involved in their kids education, as they KNOW the importance, and supplement that education, with Home schooling options, as the opportunities present themselves. If you LOVE your children, it is your responsibility to see that they receive the BEST education that you can provide. Any failure in that is your own fault. What other reason is there for having children?
    mommyof5 likes this.
  14. cool hand luke

    cool hand luke Monkey+

    calm down people, I surely didn't mean to offend any of you, even though I knew it would happen. I know full well having a college degree doesn't mean you are not an idiot, and my original question had nothing to do with that. I know for a fact that I am not qualified to teach high school english. Math, sure, physics no problem. If you are getting offended at my question, let me rephrase it.

    I don't believe there is ANYONE that is qualified to teach all the subjects that are offered in a typical high school setting, regardless of education. it's just to much ground to have a firm grasp on.

    How are you at calculus? is your kid shows an aptitude towards math, how are you going to teach him? If you are good at calc, great, if not how do you reach outside your competency areas.
  15. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    I don't find your question offensive. I think those that home school their children need to be asking themselves - repeatedly - if they're advancing their child's education.

    I know HS parents who just don't. They don't pay attention, they don't educate. They toss a curriculum at their kids and expect it to be completed. They're lazy and their children suffer - all for the sake of control.

    You'd be amazed at the opportunities there are out there for home-schooled children! There are co-ops and classes that aren't open to the general population.

    There's so much more... I'll revisit this thread later. :)
  16. mommyof5

    mommyof5 Monkey+

  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    We can "Rethink" all we want but as long as the NEA has such Lobbying Clout, with local, State and Federal Legislatures, they will NEVER allow much change in their agenda, in how they run our children's schools. Just look at the hue and cry of the teachers in Kalifornia, and Wisconsin, about their Public Employee Unions and Benefit Packages. This same whine will be repeated in every State and local School District, all over the Country, and the TaxPayers just can not afford to keep throwing money at the problems and issues, like they have in the past.
  18. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Classic intro, I don't want to stir the pot but I'm going to anyway. [wannamesswitme]

    Did you ever think that there might have been a reason you never really got an answer?

    I apologize for not addressing this yesterday, I did not mean to leave you hanging.

    I'll address the rest of your questions this evening after I get home from teaching all those Plumbing Apprentice's that I am trying to turnout as Journeyman. [monkeyeating]

    ETA: Just because you did not get the answers you were seeking at first does not mean you offended anybody. It certainly did not offend me, whatsoever.
  19. cool hand luke

    cool hand luke Monkey+

    There was just one person that seemed really steamed. I've been very impressed in my short time here how level headed everyone has been.

    Has anyone ever seen a study for home vs public with parental involvement?

    I have read several studies that showed for public schools parental involvement was the only factor that really mattered in predicting kids academic achievement.
  20. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I think that most competent home-schoolers, (and I know the ones your talking about that aren't) have decided that their children can learn better skills to make them a better person by learning a firm foundation in basics first. That Teach you child to learn idea that Clyde mentioned is key.

    In this day and age, I question the actual and practical need to teach every child geo, trig and calculus. However, many small communities like mine have co-ops of HS'rs that pitch in to help in subject that the parents do not have 'expertise' in.

    Albeit anecdotal, every single child I've ever met from age 7 to 17 that has been homeschooled in the 'real' sense was right up there with the best and the brightest, loved to read, had a yearning for learning and was generally well behaved and the reflection of love in their eyes was genuine. Spending that much family time has an effect that may not be measurable but I can spot it in a minute.

    Not everyone does it right. I want the option as my daughter of 4 is learning to read while she spends 24 hours a day with my wife.
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