OT: Homeschooling

dukedevilz

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Our oldest child will be starting kindergarten this fall. Crazy. My wife is heavily leaning towards homeschooling. One of the advantages of homeschooling is kids can go at their own pace, and they often excel because of it. I worry, though, about the socialization aspect. We'll get her involved in soccer, basketball, dance, and other activities. Certainly. I just don't know if a couple hours a week can compensate for all the time away from peers. There's a stigma that homeschool kids are socially awkward. I don't know how true that is. I also worry how the wife is going to handle teaching when she also has a 3-year old and a newborn baby to deal with as well. There are pros and cons to this. Why do you all feel about homeschooling?
 
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Global Havok

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Our oldest child will be starting kindergarten this fall. Crazy. My wife is heavily leaning towards homeschooling. One of the advantages of homeschooling is kids can go at their own pace, and they often excel because of it. I worry, though, about the socialization aspect. We'll get her involved in soccer, basketball, dance, and other activities. Certainly. I just don't know if a couple hours a week can compensate for all the time away from peers. There's a stigma that homeschool kids are socially awkward. I don't know how true that is. I also worry how the wife is going to handle teaching when she also has a 3-year old and a newborn baby to deal with as well. There are pros and cons to this. Why do you all feel about homeschooling?
I've known what seems like a lot of homeschooled kids. A few were normal, but most were socially awkward. Especially with the opposite sex.

Make sure you socialize them regularly if you go that route, would be my advice.
 

coryfly

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Most homeschool kids who eventually enter the public school system are definitely socially awkward. Not all of them obviously. Academically it just depends on how intelligent and effective the parent doing the home schooling is. We have had many who were well behind but those were generally parents who wanted to HS because they hated public school or something rather than those who generally were interested in education and wanted to truly work hard with their children.

There are some sports related downsides as they get older but that is way down the road for you obviously.
 

GE Nole

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It’s a decision that ultimately is unique to every circumstance. Every kid is different.

From my perspective as a former teacher/coach, I don’t think it’s usually necessary. You can send them to school and still supplement or accelerate their studies at home or through virtual courses. Heck, I know of some kids who take a math class at school and then something like AP Calculus online. The social downside of homeschool outweighs the potential academic benefits, IMO.

The biggest key to success in the K-3 years is reading to and with your kid. Read, read, read. And I’m not just talking about on a tablet. Real books make a difference in brain development. You have to read with the appropriate expression and grammatical pausing.
 

Wildcat-in-STL

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I like the benefits of going to Kindergarten and 1st grade at least. It helped my son grow and other kids I know... its good to learn that the world doesnt end when you are out of the nest for several hours a day.

And then you have the socializing during their best developmental years . and then when its time for 2nd or 3rd or 4th grade whenever , you can homeschool them and they'll retain that knowledge of how to socialize and how to focus when its time to learn etc.

but to each their own. all kids are different and no one plan is perfect for every kid.
 
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TheDude1

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I wouldn’t touch homeschooling. It requires a lot to be an effective teacher... experience, and a ton of understanding of how the brain learns and develops... at those young levels you need to understand everything from physical development to phonemic awareness, and how to effectively teach it all. There is a TON. Plus, dealing with your own kids is a whole different thing in terms of the relationship when it comes time to get them to do something they don’t want to.

Unless you live in a place with a dangerous school system, I wouldn’t even dream of it. And with a newborn and a three year old? HECK no. There is little chance that will succeed to the level that an actual school would.

Why are you guys considering it, anyway?
 
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bMORE607

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Played baseball with a kid who was homeschooled and he was weird as fvck. He used a wooden bat instead of aluminum like every other kid on earth. Every year he broke his arm playing dodgeball at school, didn’t really think anything of it until we were older and it was like “who the fvck are you playing with your homeschooled”.
 

dukedevilz

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I would lean towards sending our kids to public school. It's such a huge undertaking.

My wife is especially worried about sending our 5-year old away during this pandemic. I think she partly doesn't want to let go of her. She's worried how other kids can mess with the psyche of kids; confidence can be an issue with the development of a lot of kids when there's a constant state of comparison. She likes the idea that we wouldn't have to give into getting our girl all the same stuff her friends might have (i.e. getting a smartphone when they're 7). She's worried that the schools are essentially raising your kids, when it should be the parents. She believes our kids could excel at a much faster rate when they get 1 on 1 attention - and they can go at their own pace.
 

dukedevilz

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But, at some point the kid has to transition into the real world - and deal with a lot of unpleasantness. Seems like it could be a much harsher reality when you're 18 and by yourself at college.
 

bMORE607

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I would lean towards sending our kids to public school. It's such a huge undertaking.

My wife is especially worried about sending our 5-year old away during this pandemic. I think she partly doesn't want to let go of her. She's worried how other kids can mess with the psyche of kids; confidence can be an issue with the development of a lot of kids when there's a constant state of comparison. She likes the idea that we wouldn't have to give into getting our girl all the same stuff her friends might have (i.e. getting a smartphone when they're 7). She's worried that the schools are essentially raising your kids, when it should be the parents. She believes our kids could excel at a much faster rate when they get 1 on 1 attention - and they can go at their own pace.
Did you not send her to pre school for half a day?
 

829305

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I would lean towards sending our kids to public school. It's such a huge undertaking.

My wife is especially worried about sending our 5-year old away during this pandemic. I think she partly doesn't want to let go of her. She's worried how other kids can mess with the psyche of kids; confidence can be an issue with the development of a lot of kids when there's a constant state of comparison. She likes the idea that we wouldn't have to give into getting our girl all the same stuff her friends might have (i.e. getting a smartphone when they're 7). She's worried that the schools are essentially raising your kids, when it should be the parents. She believes our kids could excel at a much faster rate when they get 1 on 1 attention - and they can go at their own pace.

She sounds like a lot of fun.
 

coryfly

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Played baseball with a kid who was homeschooled and he was weird as fvck. He used a wooden bat instead of aluminum like every other kid on earth. Every year he broke his arm playing dodgeball at school, didn’t really think anything of it until we were older and it was like “who the fvck are you playing with your homeschooled”.

Haha, I coached a homeschool kid in LL All-Stars one year who played with a wooden bat. Dude could mash. As a freshman he played with the HS team and hit one over the scoreboard in a varsity game. Really good player. However, he got into a fight at a football game and because he wasn't a student the only consequence was baseball so he is done. Really sucks. He was a really good kid but just made a mistake.
 
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coryfly

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I would lean towards sending our kids to public school. It's such a huge undertaking.

My wife is especially worried about sending our 5-year old away during this pandemic. I think she partly doesn't want to let go of her. She's worried how other kids can mess with the psyche of kids; confidence can be an issue with the development of a lot of kids when there's a constant state of comparison. She likes the idea that we wouldn't have to give into getting our girl all the same stuff her friends might have (i.e. getting a smartphone when they're 7). She's worried that the schools are essentially raising your kids, when it should be the parents. She believes our kids could excel at a much faster rate when they get 1 on 1 attention - and they can go at their own pace.

I mean, kids certainly excel better at a 1 on 1 ratio. Theoretically you wouldn't have to work nearly as hard or be nearly as competent (not saying your wife isn't). Teaching one is obviously easier than teaching 25. I wouldn't worry a great deal about messing with the mental aspect of your child at 5. They are impressionable and it is a crucial time in terms of all sorts of growth but kids that age generally get along great and they all love each other. It isn't until 2nd grade or so where kids start to really get into little groups and be mean or whatever and that all really hits in 5th grade or so.

As far as raising the kids, social aspects are very important in school but the academics is so rigorous now that is without a doubt what the main focus is once they hit 2nd or 3rd grade or so. Depending on the school they will definitely be exposed to some not so nice things in school though. That's unavoidable.
 
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GE Nole

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I would lean towards sending our kids to public school. It's such a huge undertaking.

My wife is especially worried about sending our 5-year old away during this pandemic. I think she partly doesn't want to let go of her. She's worried how other kids can mess with the psyche of kids; confidence can be an issue with the development of a lot of kids when there's a constant state of comparison. She likes the idea that we wouldn't have to give into getting our girl all the same stuff her friends might have (i.e. getting a smartphone when they're 7). She's worried that the schools are essentially raising your kids, when it should be the parents. She believes our kids could excel at a much faster rate when they get 1 on 1 attention - and they can go at their own pace.

My personal opinion—which doesn’t mean squat for your family—is that you described all the wrong reasons to homeschool. I’ve seen homeschooling work when a kid has some developmental challenges or severe allergies that they hopefully grow out of.

Doing it to avoid the child from interacting with other kids is only going to make that child even less prepared for life and starting a family of their own one day. Confidence and strong performance academically comes from parents being loving, supportive, reinforcing forces in the child’s life, but it also means you have to give them opportunities to build up their voice and find their way in the world.
 

Bert Higginbotha

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The best thing that ever happened to me was going to public school. I made life long friends there.

My best old friends today are from grade and high school. College added a few but not nearly as good as the grade and high school kids.

The guys above that responded who have been teachers should give the best insight.

Can you imagine how big a failure my kids would have been if I had home schooled them? :)
 

bMORE607

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Nope. Probably should have. We talked about it for a little bit. And then, I don't know what happened. I think we just sort of forgot about it.
My buddy didn’t send his kid to preschool and so we all thought he was a little behind socially going into kindergarten. They actually thought about homeschool and a bunch of us were like you are really going to screw him up socially, he needs to be around kids his age, not us adults. He just finished kindergarten and they are happy they put him in school. It took him some adjusting but it helps in the long run.
 
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dukedevilz

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I think my wife is more competent with her teaching ability than a typical homeschooling mother. She's sharp. I don't think she would ruin our child. However, I think she would struggle to do everything for the oldest child, while adding in social interactions and activities - and not neglecting the needs of the other two. At this stage, I worry more about the development of the younger two.
 

JimboBBN

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Some of my best friends to this day I met in kindergarten all the way through high school. I think the social aspect is just as important as the educational one. I'm sure there is a school around you that you both would feel comfortable with.
 

Bert Higginbotha

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I think my wife is more competent with her teaching ability than a typical homeschooling mother. She's sharp. I don't think she would ruin our child. However, I think she would struggle to do everything for the oldest child, while adding in social interactions and activities - and not neglecting the needs of the other two. At this stage, I worry more about the development of the younger two.

Social interactions and activities are the problem.

Humans are social animals. At a young age we learn how to get along with others outside the family. It is very important to my mind. Kids need the tribe to develop properly.
 

GE Nole

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I think my wife is more competent with her teaching ability than a typical homeschooling mother. She's sharp. I don't think she would ruin our child. However, I think she would struggle to do everything for the oldest child, while adding in social interactions and activities - and not neglecting the needs of the other two. At this stage, I worry more about the development of the younger two.

I don’t doubt your wife’s teaching ability. But let me put it this way: my mother spent 40 years in education. She was a teacher, principal, teacher coach, and then more than 15 years as a dean of teacher instruction and certification at FSU and Troy.

And there’s zero chance she would have ever advised homeschooling me. You can always add supplemental tutoring and home learning to accelerate your child academically. But you just can’t replicate the life and social lessons learned.
 

Deezheelz

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I coached several kids who were home schooled while my son was growing up and not trying to sound mean but man those were some wierd kids. Socially awkward would definitely be the correct term. Yes
 

TheDude1

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I wonder how much of the awkwardness is because they were home schooled, and how much of it was because they were children of people who picked home schooling, you know?
 

829305

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I wonder how much of the awkwardness is because they were home schooled, and how much of it was because they were children of people who picked home schooling, you know?
This made me laugh, and is a great point.

It’s like when advanced placement took over our school, and they kept saying, “Kids who take AP courses do better in college.” Well, no shit. They don’t pick the dumb kids for AP. Now, it’s become a watered-down circus.
 

jhmossy

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This made me laugh, and is a great point.

It’s like when advanced placement took over our school, and they kept saying, “Kids who take AP courses do better in college.” Well, no shit. They don’t pick the dumb kids for AP. Now, it’s become a watered-down circus.

That's because the majority of people don't understand the scientific method, critical thinking, and how to interpret research findings. I can't tell you how many times I've read news articles that imply causation when they shouldn't. But, 99.9999% of people don't actually read the primary source so they take the lay interpretation as gospel.

You would have to randomly assign children to either be homeschooled or not to make any kind of causal conclusion about homeschooling. However, that is not ethical.
 

dukedevilz

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I don’t doubt your wife’s teaching ability. But let me put it this way: my mother spent 40 years in education. She was a teacher, principal, teacher coach, and then more than 15 years as a dean of teacher instruction and certification at FSU and Troy.

And there’s zero chance she would have ever advised homeschooling me. You can always add supplemental tutoring and home learning to accelerate your child academically. But you just can’t replicate the life and social lessons learned.

The socialization is the biggest concern for me. No question. If you can't relate and communicate well with others, you're going to have a lot of issues in life.

I don't know if I would want to add supplemental tutoring for someone in public school. Kids are already in school for 35 hours a week. Then you factor in sports/extracurricular activities, homework, time commuting, chores, and dinner. Doesn't leave a whole lot of time for anything else. One of the advantages of home schooling is everything becomes much more flexible. Spoke with a mom last evening that homeschools four children; she says they're usually done with school assignments by noon. So, you have a pretty big range to include social interactions and activities.

The biggest reason for homeschooling is you get to instill confidence, values, and character in your child. It's kind of a scary thought that the state, coupled with the influence of peers, could have a much bigger impact on your child than you could yourself. We don't want kids or teachers undermining principles that are taught in the home. Also, It's common for a parent to ask their child, "What'd you learn at school today." And they often respond, "nothing." I think it's sad when parents don't fully understand what their kids are going through - and they struggle to pry out any information about the happenings in a typical day. If we homeschool, we'd be directly involved with everything. You go at the pace needed - and you can customize everything. Not saying it's definitely the way to go. But, I don't think it's a completely terrible idea either.
 

Scotty00

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Our oldest child will be starting kindergarten this fall. Crazy. My wife is heavily leaning towards homeschooling. One of the advantages of homeschooling is kids can go at their own pace, and they often excel because of it. I worry, though, about the socialization aspect. We'll get her involved in soccer, basketball, dance, and other activities. Certainly. I just don't know if a couple hours a week can compensate for all the time away from peers. There's a stigma that homeschool kids are socially awkward. I don't know how true that is. I also worry how the wife is going to handle teaching when she also has a 3-year old and a newborn baby to deal with as well. There are pros and cons to this. Why do you all feel about homeschooling?

You hit the nail on the head about the socialization aspect. I know a few kids that are homeschooled and while they are nice kids they are a little on the weird side. Every parent should do what they feel is best but for me I would feel like I was cheating my son if I had him homeschooled. Think of the memories, friends and good times you had in school. That’s something that last a lifetime. While I understand that homeschooled kids do things with other homeschooled kids it’s just not the same.
 
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GE Nole

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The socialization is the biggest concern for me. No question. If you can't relate and communicate well with others, you're going to have a lot of issues in life.

I don't know if I would want to add supplemental tutoring for someone in public school. Kids are already in school for 35 hours a week. Then you factor in sports/extracurricular activities, homework, time commuting, chores, and dinner. Doesn't leave a whole lot of time for anything else. One of the advantages of home schooling is everything becomes much more flexible. Spoke with a mom last evening that homeschools four children; she says they're usually done with school assignments by noon. So, you have a pretty big range to include social interactions and activities.

The biggest reason for homeschooling is you get to instill confidence, values, and character in your child. It's kind of a scary thought that the state, coupled with the influence of peers, could have a much bigger impact on your child than you could yourself. We don't want kids or teachers undermining principles that are taught in the home. Also, It's common for a parent to ask their child, "What'd you learn at school today." And they often respond, "nothing." I think it's sad when parents don't fully understand what their kids are going through - and they struggle to pry out any information about the happenings in a typical day. If we homeschool, we'd be directly involved with everything. You go at the pace needed - and you can customize everything. Not saying it's definitely the way to go. But, I don't think it's a completely terrible idea either.

I’m aware of the things you’re mentioning. I just disagree about the way you’re describing the concerns. You make it sound like it’s a miracle that any kid ever had strong values or confidence instilled in them.

Kids don’t have confidence instilled in them because they stayed at home with their parents. Kids get confidence from encountering obstacles and challenges, and proving to themselves they can overcome them (while knowing that they always have their parents and family as a safety net underneath them if they fall).
 
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dukedevilz

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I’m aware of the things you’re mentioning. I just disagree about the way you’re describing the concerns. You make it sound like it’s a miracle that any kid ever had strong values or confidence instilled in them.

Kids don’t have confidence instilled in them because they stayed at home with their parents. Kids get confidence from encountering obstacles and challenges, and proving to themselves they can overcome them (while knowing that they always have their parents and family as a safety net underneath them if they fall).

Not a miracle. If that were the case, I wouldn't be leaning towards public school. My argument is that the things we want our children to learn is more likely to be internalized if they're being taught by their parents, than by the state. Why should impressionable kids be more swayed by the state? Not saying that is necessarily true. But it is a valid concern, especially if there's only a very small window each day where you can talk with your child.

And how I separate the confidence issue, is the fact that kids often take a passive role in class. The expectation is lower. They can go by unnoticed and only marginally improve. On a customized schedule, you can tackle any issue that concerns you. You can develop your own goals and plans. You can go outside the home, and talk with any expert on any subject. There are no limitations. The idea is you want to minimize cookie-cut schedules and cookie-cut learning. And it's not just about learning concepts. It's about learning skills. And because the whole schedule is personalized around the needs and interests of a child, I could see that atmosphere being incredibly beneficial. You gain confidence when you learn a skill.

Now, the socialization aspect really concerns me. That's what leads me to believe homeschooling could be wildly counterproductive. Being smart isn't that great of a skill if you can't relate and communicate your ideas effectively with others.
 

jhmossy

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Not a miracle. If that were the case, I wouldn't be leaning towards public school. My argument is that the things we want our children to learn is more likely to be internalized if they're being taught by their parents, than by the state. Why should impressionable kids be more swayed by the state? Not saying that is necessarily true. But it is a valid concern, especially if there's only a very small window each day where you can talk with your child.

And how I separate the confidence issue, is the fact that kids often take a passive role in class. The expectation is lower. They can go by unnoticed and only marginally improve. On a customized schedule, you can tackle any issue that concerns you. You can develop your own goals and plans. You can go outside the home, and talk with any expert on any subject. There are no limitations. The idea is you want to minimize cookie-cut schedules and cookie-cut learning. And it's not just about learning concepts. It's about learning skills. And because the whole schedule is personalized around the needs and interests of a child, I could see that atmosphere being incredibly beneficial. You gain confidence when you learn a skill.

Now, the socialization aspect really concerns me. That's what leads me to believe homeschooling could be wildly counterproductive. Being smart isn't that great of a skill if you can't relate and communicate your ideas effectively with others.

Is the homeschool teacher going to be certified to teach?
 

dukedevilz

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Is the homeschool teacher going to be certified to teach?

Nope. So, maybe that is cause for concern. She can get supplemental help from a variety of sources, though. And most of K-12 learning consist of fairly elementary concepts, IMO.