Home schooling?

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by Anonymous, May 3, 2004.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

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    I have been a public school teacher in Canada for almost 14 years. I have many questions about Home schooling. Why have you chosen it? What happens to your child when they get to high school age- don't they have to go to get a diploma? Can they go to college/ University without grades? Do they even get grades? I am not educated AT ALL about Homeschooling and I would like to know the pro's and con's. Have all of you pulled your children from public schools and if so why? Are the rules different in Canada than in the US? Enlighten me, if you have the time!
    Jennifer:)
     
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  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

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    Hello, Jennifer! Well, the group of ladies here really have a STRONG opinion about HS'ing! You will find that we HS because of a variety of reasons. These may include lousy public schools where we are at along with not having the finances for private, the desire to disciple our children in our faith (the main reason for my family), protection of our children (ie: the increased amount of violence in schools, teasing, "bad" influences, etc.), the realization that we CAN do it and not "give up" our children at the same time, the ability to "tailor make" our children's learning vs. the "one-size-fits-all" learning that has to happen in PS.

    Regulations vary from state to state here in the U.S., though I can't speak for y'all up north. Usually, it includes notifying someone somewhere your intent to homeschool, and some kind of evaluation (usually toward the end). This might include testing or portfolio or submitting grades, again it varies by state. I personally don't give grades, but I do keep track of my older daughter's math and spelling "scores", and can tell you that she's averaging about 94% in each. But I believe that subjects such as history, etc. tend to be rather subjective as far as grading goes so I simply don't worry about it. Now, as I get into upper grades, I will probably keep closer track of such things. Generally, you will find that us HS'ers will fight like crazy against any (further) government regulations, as we feel that PS is a mess and the system needs to worry about themselves and leave us alone, as HS'ers are constantly "proving" themselves in other ways. (That's not meant as a challenge or anything, so please don't take it as such!) Most of us have lots of respect for most of the individual, hard-working teachers who try so hard to work in a system that gives them so little back-up but feel that the system itself has failed miserably.

    You can give your child a diploma if you wish. While some chose to take the GED, most HS'ers don't want to because it has a "high-school drop-out" mentality associated with it, and our kids are NOT "drop-outs". Many universities will actually prefere HS kids, as they are generally more self-motivated learners, but the requirements vary from school to school.

    My background, BTW, is public special ed; my DH has taught public HS for the last 15 years.
     
  4. bemax3

    bemax3 New Member

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    Hello Jennifer,
    I am in Canada and this is our third year homeschooling. Canada is a great place to be a homeschooler..depending on your Province I would say the climate ranges from reasonable to excellent. Each Province has their own set of guidelines and available services. I am in BC so I will comment on ours.

    We have zero mandatory reporting requirements other than registration with a Ministry approved body. It is simple as walking into the public school in your catchment and registering as a homeschooler. They recieve a very small amount of funds for this...I think it is 1/16th of funding for a full time student. There are also many other options. SIDES is a Distance Ed. program that provides a full curriculum and teacher services at no additional cost. If you are in the city where they are based then you can also attend field trips as well as year beginning/end celebrations. There is also NIDES and Nechako Ebus. NIDES serves a different area than SIDES. Ebus is another Distance Ed. program delivered electronically where you make your own educational plan, report online and submit work three times per year. Report cards are issued in all of these options and they are official records. All three institutions have full lending libraries. There are also currently three, with a new one opening this fall, Homelearning Link type programs. They are parent led but teacher assisted programs,often on a school site in spare classrooms. You must meet three times per year with the teacher for evaluation at a minimum. There are also many blocks of classes offered in various subjects. Ebus and Homelearners Link offer a refund of $800-$900 per full time student...half for part time. There are many other smaller options that you can register with outside of the public system. Wondertree is another example of this. Just fill out the enrollment form, they report you are enrolled and that is it. No evaluations. You also receive about $150 for supplies etc. Wondertree also has a Self Design program but you can look that one up at is lengthy to describe. The cap was lifted this year so the 500 families on the wait list will be accomodated for 2004/05. There is contact online with weekly reporting and in person if a teacher is in your area. There is also a refund of approx. $1000.

    As for grades, report cards, university entrance etc. There are homelearners entering university every year without official transcripts. They apply as every other young adult would and they are being accepted!! My children have a brilliant, young piano teacher who will be starting University in the fall. Nobody in her family opened a text/workbook until grade nine age. She has two scholarships which will cover her first two years tuition. She did have to write Provincial exams these last few months but she was accepted unconditionally at our city's University. This is not unusual...there are homeschoolers being accepted in a wide range, some ivy league, post secondary institutions across North America. Many Universities are enjoying the broad range thinking that homelearners are notorious for having.

    So yes, the rules are very different in Canada than the US. Homelearners can be graded and receive official report cards or not. High school can be administered at home for grades or not. We can be Distance Education learners or go it alone. There are also part time slots in public schools for homelearners. Any more questions, just fire away...

    Michelle
     
  5. TinaTx

    TinaTx New Member

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    Welcome Jennifer!:D

    We certainly like to talk about our *beliefs*! I think Jackie did a wonderful job of summing it all up:)

    There have been sooooo many homeschoolers that have gone ahead of us paving the road to speak when it comes to homeschooling laws and universities that accept homeschooling children. Parents can keep and prepare portfolios to submit to colleges/universities. We do this over and over again.

    I know that I homeschool both to teach my beliefs and for a tailor made curriculum. As far as what I don't know, I can hire tutors as many as I need to fit my child's learning style. I don't have to hear the word *budget crunch* :rolleyes:. I can pick the best books and materials. We have time to investigate our love for learning foreign languages, playing more musical instruments and/or writing and reading without interrruption or interference from those who do not take education seriously:D .

    I like my children learning in the *real* world where they actually will have to interact with people that have different beliefs than they do. I do not feel social should be with children of the same age who are all on the same level, academically speaking.

    I feel *teachable moments* come with someone of 60 to 70 years of age as opposed to 6 years of age. Its not that I don't think they need time with children of their own age, its just that in *real life* such as work and perhaps college such persons will not be their same age.

    As far as testing, here in Texas, we have NO NOTHING! I like that. However, I do have my children tested. Why? Not because I believe that tests are the *end all of be all*. They are not. Its just ONE way I have of evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of my curriculum. My child in second grade placed at a 6th grade level.

    The one year he went to public school he was identified as gifted/talented. Is he such? Not really,imho.:) He is a just a kid that had 1:1 tutoring. I knew he was where he was at because of the attention his father and I gave him.

    So now almost 5 years later in about the 4th grade, we are doing ancient history, latin, started some german, he plays the piano and is wanting to learn another musical instrument. I have 2 more behind him the same way.

    Are there children that fall through the crack so to speak in homeschool? Yes, there probably are. The parents may not be taking the responsibility seriously. Shame on them!:mad: Is this true in public school as well? In all fairness I would have to say yes.:mad:

    I feel though there are more homeschoolers taking their job seriously to educate than those who do not.

    The face of the *typical* homeschooler is not typical anymore. It use to be only for religous zealots. Anymore we all have different faces. Some come to homeschooling without any religous affiliation at all. I think though a majority of christian homeschoolers though do have strong religious convictions. We feel that the spiritual person needs to be educated first.

    I know my husband and I very much feel the responsiblity for educating the spiritual as well as academical person of the child. We feel that the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the parent and not an institution.

    I know speaking for myself, we did not have a bad encounter with public school. Quite the opposite. My sons ps teacher and I have remained friends in our small community.

    I personally will not bash public school teachers because I feel a majority of them have strong feelings toward the education process.Just as I would not want one act by a homeschooler to judge ME I wouldn't judge ALL teachers actions or lack of action to a student pulled out for homeschoooling.

    It is when I meet the *few* or perhaps a little more that think ONLY degreed individuals can do this job that I MAY feel the need to defend.

    I always say people are *down on what they are not up on*.

    When I can think of the CONS, I will post them:D It is a lot of hard, dedicated work. IMHO the rewards and satisfaction of saying I educated my children far outweigh any inconveniences I THINK I may have had. For sure you need to schedule*me* time.

    A lot of homeschooles school year around like I do. It much easier to take a slow and steady pace when you have little ones. Homeschooling fits perfectly in real life. We can stay on a subject or skill until I feel they have mastered it. I don't need to go on because of the *one size fits all*. So my curriculuum can go up and down in each skill. Most kids are all over the map as far as skills anyway.

    My background is in law, but my love is being a home educator spending all day with my children!

    Stick around! I hope I didn't put you to sleep:rolleyes: :D :D

    TinaTx
     
  6. Brenda

    Brenda Active Member

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    Jennifer,
    We live in New Brunswick and are have been home schooling one of our three boys for a little more than a month now. We took him out of public school because I was tired of hitting the brick walls with his teachers and the school administrators. He was the target of bullying and only one side of it was being dealt with (it was always our son - he reacted to what was happening in his own ways because he didn't feel the teachers were doing anything to help him - I do not condone his behaviors but I do understand why he reacted the way he did). We use a Christian based teaching curriculum and are teaching him with a faith related perspective...

    In NB, we do have "standards" to follow (that tell us where the child should be at the end of thier grade level), but we aren't told what curriculum we have to use, although in the guidleines there are references to certain resources that public school teachers use. With the application to home shcool, we also get a pamphlet that says that if our children aren't in public school by grade 12 they don't get a diploma - makes sense... Many parents in our area who home school, have opted to send thier children to public school for their high school years.

    When we began considering home schooling last year, we looked into how this would affect University and Colleges. We were told and read in some cases that many universities will take a home schooled child over a public schooled child because thier SAT's scores were higher than the public schooled child. Probably has to do with the one on one teaching that we provide as opposed to the classroom sizes in public school (here it is at least 20+ per class). SAT's are highly recommended in children who are home schooled becuase it tests where they are academically... I'm not worried abouyt that yet - we still have a long way to go before we cross that bridge.

    The only regret that I have bout home schooling is that I didn't do it sooner. I could have saved our family a lot of grief if we would have chosen it sooner. In making my comments above, please don't anyone take them the wrong way. We had a horrible experience with public school - it didn't work for us in one son's case but I still respect (for most of) the teachers... they have a tough job ahead of them. 20+ children and little help is a really challenging career...

    Brenda
     
  7. heatherwasp

    heatherwasp New Member

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    I just made the choice to homeschool and I started today. I have to say that the main factor in my decision was the current state of the ps system in my area. I have a degree in education and I love teaching. Unfortunately teachers in my area are bogged down with so much paperwork and discipline problems that they have little time for one on one interaction.

    I too want my children to be educated according to the beliefs of our family and when it comes to certain issues I want to be the one to answer those questions.

    JMHO but I think each family has to decide what's best for them at the time. And as far as college, I think homeschooled children have already proven themselves to be just as ready as ps kids.
     
  8. Brenda

    Brenda Active Member

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    Heather,
    Wish you the best of luck. Home schooling is fun (for the most part) and very rewarding. The only regret I had was not starting sooner...

    Brenda
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

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    We believe one on one is more effective and that school isn't just about textbooks but about building relationships. We believe that the majority of of children's time should be spent with the parents raising them and training in them in the way they should go. We believe in character building and learning hands on, lots of field trips and providing a postive atmosphere to grow up in and not segregating our children to be with others of the same ages day in and day out...
    The Christian umbrella we use will give them a diploma when they are finished with school. We report grades and pick our own cirriculums. Some states require testing, others it is optional. I know most homeschooled children excel and exceed in all they do and grow up to be sucessful business owners, leaders and people of great character. Many graduate early.
    One of my daughters is not even 5 years and reading on a 4th grade level and writing 2nd grade level. We spend 1 hour a day working on phonics, reading and math total. The rest of the time explore the world around us and go to the library to check out 10 books a week. It is about making education a way of life and giving them the opportunity to have many life experiences while yet leading them in the way they should go. We are not unsocialized but rather have to limit it because there are so many things to do (sports, music classes, art, gymnastics, homeschool groups) and we have full control over it.

    I don't feel the govn't needs to place generic standards to my family. My message to others is..it is okay to be different... follow your heart and let your standards be higher than society's standards. Who cares how the world measures you up ?? When you are brought up in a positive atmos. and with faith there is nothing you can't do. k
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

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    Wow! I had no idea. As a PS teacher, I have many questions about home schooling. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against it. I feel a little confused as to why HS children are getting into colleges and Universities easily when many, many PS children have to struggle to get in. I still don't fully understand how they can go on to higher education without any "proof" of passing the standards each gov't has set. Why have PS at all then?! Not angry, just confused!
    **Melanie- I too am in BC. I teach for Surrey.
    Thank you to everyone who has helped to answer some of my questions. If you think of anything else you want to tell me, go ahead.
    Jennifer
     
  11. heatherwasp

    heatherwasp New Member

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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but here in the states all colleges require either SAT scores or ACT scores for admission. Passing those tests would be the proof of mastery over various subjects.
     
  12. Angel

    Angel New Member

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    Hello,
    I have a friend that was a highschool drop-out and she took the ged test. She has been accepted to a College based on her GED scores. So it isn't really an issue. As with anything else "Where there is a will there is a way"!!!! I personally have many reasons for choosing to homeschool my boys. #1 boy Is very gifted and no one has listened to me on this and he has now lost his zest for learning he once had! My #2 boy just needs the one on one attention. He has had bully problems also. I don't mean to sound as though I don't have any faith in the public school system because I do. My daughter will continue in Ps. She is an honor student. So she has adjusted very smoothly to the system.
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

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    Jennifer, the public schools are graduating kids that are incapable of doing math my 10YO daughter is currently doing. Most HS kids have high expectations placed on them. PS no longer does that. The goal for them is to graduate as many as possible, regardless of what the kids are doing. My DH was told by his administrator a while back that he should be given a passing grade to ANY kid that took the time to show up to class, regardless of the quality of work turned in. Our kids EXCEED those government standards; we see to it! Let them base college admission on test scores, rather than a worthless piece of paper. If a high school drop out wants to go to college without a diploma, why not...as long as they can pass the entrance exam. Here in the U.S., most college freshmen are stuck in remedial classes just to be able to take their basic classes.
     
  14. TinaTx

    TinaTx New Member

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    Jennifer, our *proof is in our pudding*. The reason hsers do excel is because of 1:1 tutoring. Wouldn't any teacher want the *ideal* school? You know low rate of student to teacher. Well we do and we have it:) Homeschooling is very intensive because of low to no interruptions with the student.They are taught to think in longer intervals. In ps, as good as the teacher is, she is subject to interruptions and rules.

    The curriculums that we have to choose from, which are many, have *grading services* if you so choose. Calvert, who has been the longest homeschooling school around has teachers that our children turn their work into. Some states require accreditation.Calvert has been around for 100 years and runs a very elite day school in Maryland. Its often referred to as a *mini harvard*.True to their spirit though they recognize the best teacher is the parent. The one who knows EXACTLY how their child learns, and knows when to expect more from the child.

    I always say that I will put my child up against any ps child anytime;) Why? Because my children's test scores speak volumes.My standards for my children are higher than any that a gov't institution can impose on me.Their standards are subject to fallacy. Look at the *No child left behind act* here in the US. Its the most sweeping reform since who knows when? I think the 60's. What happens all to the kids that came during that time. They had to reform because what they were doing before didn't work. I don't want my child a product of *ok this didn't work, lets try this*. I don't want a product of *testing and chance*. This is reform for the masses. I don't have the masses. I'm just interested in 3.

    I agree, why have public schools? Well ps were invented for a variety of reasons. One is that the *working folks* could no longer do it themselves. Yes, I agree some children were not getting the education they needed. Others did not have the means ($$$) to afford such education. However, there were many who received the finest education that money could buy. Many of our country's leaders were schooled at home.Their parents made sure they received the education they needed.

    Since a lot of ps children do struggle to get into college that falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents,not the teahers! Shame on them again! A parent is the *coach* for the long *marathon* (education) ahead of them. They can lose touch with it if they do not have an active part guiding it.Just as a coach drills, exercises and lays out the format, so does the parent. Everything that I have at my disposal,i.e. prepared curriculum, grading services, tutors, testing services, teaching videos, workshops for home educators, co-ops with other homeschoolers and field trips is a means to help me accomplish my coaching in a way that is best for my child.

    What do you think?:D I enjoy this thread!

    Blessings
    TinaTx
     
  15. bemax3

    bemax3 New Member

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    Hi again Jennifer,

    At this point in BC if a young adult is under the age of 19 they most likely will have to take and pass provincial exams in order to gain entrance to University...however, that may change! Any person, homeschooled or not..can register as a mature student at age 19 or above. Your mother, your aunt, your uncle or your father. Also, it is not uncommon to see teens in the 14-17 range attending community colleges and using those classes not only as transfer credits but proof that they do in fact have the necessary skills for furthering their education.

    Being that you too are in BC you might like to do some further research. I believe it is Surrey that has one of the Homelearners Link type programs that had been established for almost 10 years now. One similar is opening in a Victoria, my city, in Sept.2004. The classroom space will be in a local elementary school. Also, June 10-12 is the BC Homelearners Convention, held in Surrey and if you would like to check that out you can meandor through the exhibition halls for a cost of $5 per day. It may give you an idea of the types of resources some homelearners use. There is a long list of speakers that day but that requires pre-registration and a fee for the entire day. If any of that interests you then let me know and I will email you the info.

    Homelearning in BC is so popular. I don't what grades you teach but it is not uncommon for middle school classes in my city to have homelearning students in attendance for one or two classes each day.

    As for the fairness issue on University entrance for public vs. homeschooled students...the homeschooled students still have to go through the entry process. They do have to prove themselves in their interviews and most have some form of a portfolio to take with them to show their interests over the years. In my experience, at least with my children, they do more each day than if they were in a classroom. I make my comparison as an aunt to 30+ nieces and nephews. They have free reign of their day and the quantity and quality of what they do is outstanding. Time is on their side when they are at home. Regardless of that I have many nieces and nephews that absolutely love their school environment. Most have similar learning styles, leaning towards the auditory/sequential path so they do fine with how the curriculum is delivered. I have teachers as family members and friends. For us, this is not a strike against schools but rather a choice for my kids to follow their natural learning style and their strong desire to be self guided learners.

    I hope you find, with interest, more information on homeschooling.

    Michelle
     
  16. becky

    becky New Member

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    I plan to h.s. my daughter based on the treatment her older brother got duringhis years in p.s. He had ADHD, so right away he was labeled for his behavior. There were other labels given by peers and parents that have stuck to this day, never mind he's a completely different person. It's now May 4th, and I've been waiting to hear from his case manager what his graduating status is, based on grades and some other factors. This man has not enough time to manage these special ed. cases, but he's got time to manage sports teams. My son has had teachers who were blunt about not liking him and not wanting him in their class. I won't even waste space writing about the treatment he's gotten from peers over the years.

    No, I don't want my daughter exposed to that garbage.
     
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

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    Wow, you guys sure feel strongly about this! Part of me wishes I had never thought to ask the questions! Only because now I'm starting to wonder whether I should HS my son! He's doing really well in school, 1st grade, but the class is full of monkeys and when I volunteer there I see him doing a whole lot of nothing and not being accountable for it. Don't get me wrong, he's got a wonderful teacher, too nice in my opinion, needs a little more strictness, but, she's loaded down with all these behaviour problem children. I feel like I have to work with him every day after school to get him to do some work because I know he spent the whole day chatting! Now, if he were in the grade 1 class at my school I know he'd be working and not slacking off! It's frustrating. I have to admit that as a PS teacher I've been brainwashed into thinking that HSers are a little flaky...you know all the cliches...I was always very opposed to it...I can't say that anymore, but it's sure got me thinking. I'm torn between loving the idea and sticking up for us public schools!
    Does anyone have any regrets?.....:confused:
     
  18. bemax3

    bemax3 New Member

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    I think the key here is that the general public has choice. Homeschooling is yet another choice for education for families. It doesn't have to be chosen as a last ditch effort after trying structured education. I know families where children have never stepped foot in a school. I feel no need to stick up for homeschooling as a choice so I find it hard to imagine why anyone would feel the need to stick up for public schools but I am not really into knocking down others choices. There are some excellent public schools in my city and even one public elementary school that does not assign grades and is parent participation. Parents often set high demands and many times with very little participation in their children's education. Lots of good teachers out there bound by curricula/testing demands.

    That being said...as I have mentioned I can't imagine being in a better Province in Canada for educational choices. The variety is fantastic. So...any regrets you ask? Not yet! I love the fact that not only do we have time to connect as a family but my children can take in four different extra-curricular type classes and still enjoy most evenings free. We are simply not rushed. I like participating in Science Fairs that are strictly child created. All levels are welcome....parental assistance must be absolutely minimal from start to finish. I like that my oldest son can spend three hours straight with a university Math student and be so engrossed and enthralled that he will barely move except to grab a drink a quick snack (in his left hand of course while he writes with his right). I love that my kids are excellent self guided learners because they have/had the time to develop that skill. I love that they LOVE to read without rewards of any kind other than the joy of the book itself. I love being able to take four months to exploit one passion as far as comprehension will allow. I love that my kids can practice piano for an entire morning if they are inspired to do so and that is not unusual around here. Very important to me is that my children can speed ahead or coast when appropriate to their developmental needs. I would never stand for having to offer enrichment at home after my children spend six-seven hours away from home each day.

    I don't spend alot of time teaching each day. We read ALOT...ny kids pretty much lead the way through our day. Their last report card will prove once again that kids can learn through self guided learning and the absence of structured education, worksheets and drill. This works great for our family and it is just one of many, many ways to homeschool.

    You might like to try it one day!

    Michelle
     
  19. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    Hi...from a former ps teacher...


    I taught kindergarten for six years before quitting to be a stay-at-home-mom. I loved teaching more than anything...until my dd came along. So, I quit. I don't regret it for one second but I missed the teaching. So, I played school at home with dd while she was little. She learned so much. But, I, of course, wanted the best education out there for her. At the time, I assumed it was a private school near us. I enrolled her for prek4 and she did great. I still had some feelings of "she should be learning more" but they were already supposed to be a grade above. After two years at that school we decided the tuition was too much for two children. I have a son that would go this Fall. We decided to hs. I was at first reluctant. I just wanted to make the best decision for my kids. So, I prayed about it. I got my answer and now I homeschool. This is our first year and I loved it.

    I can't say I agree with you in the quote above about the cliche of hs and how they are flaky. I never thought that. I thought it was a great thing to hs as long as the parent was serious and the child did well. I think a professor in college really made me see the wonderful side of hs. She hs her kids and taught class at a big university. I learned so much from her. So, I have never thought down of people who hs their kids. As a teacher, I can't think of a more ideal situation for teaching than homeschool. Since you were opposed to it, can you explain why? Don't you feel competent enough to hs your own children? I think the only feelings I had was will she miss seeing a group of kids all during the week? So, I enrolled her into other things so she would have more "kid play time". That has worked out great. So, really, I have no down side to give you for homeschooling, but don't get me started on the down side of public schooling, LOL.
    ;)
     
  20. Angel

    Angel New Member

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    Let's be honest here. Homeschoolers are actually doing our public schools a favor! Our ps are in trouble financially. They are taking all kinds of cuts. Teacher child ratio's are not what they should be. This is the biggest reason our ps teachers struggle to this day! They just have to many children to contend with. I don't envy them! I don't blame them! I do sympathize with them! As I said before I have a dd in our ps here. She has a teacher that I feel is so stressed out, she is frustrated with questions from her students. This is not how it should be!!! I hope you don't take any of this negatively. It is not my intention to bash anyone! I just thought that this point should be touched on!
     
  21. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

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    No Regrets

    Hi Jennifer,
    Absolutely no regrets here! We've been doing this for 2 years now. dd never wants to go back to ps. Way too noisy for her, and too many people. We don't have that problem at home--she always has one on one help as she is the only student in our school.

    Good luck in your decision!
    Kim R
     

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