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Monday, June 7, 2010

Do you Homeschool?

Michelle Duggar has homeschooled her children since her oldest, Josh, was four. Once she teaches them to read, they work online, using the Switched-On Schoolhouse curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications. Many of our readers are homeschool families, as home education is a growing trend. Unlike Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, for a variety of reasons, many homeschool parents opt to place their children into the traditional school system for their high school years.
We would love to hear about your homeschooling experiences!
Does your family homeschool? If so, do you or do you plan on homeschooling your children through high school? Why or why not? Do you do traditional homeschooling, or do you use an online academy?
Thanks for sharing :)

20 Comments (Click Here to Add Yours):

Savannah said...

our children aren't school-aged yet but we plan on homeschooling! So many bonuses and so much better in overall education, socialization, and life skills i believe.

Laura said...

We homeschool and plan to through high school. It's such an awesome thing for our family. We use a variety of resources. Next fall, I'm going to follow the Charlotte Mason philosophy.

Amy said...

I'm only 19, but I have considered the possibility of homeschooling if I someday get married and have children. I had some pretty bad issues with bullying and normal girl-friendship things in elementary school, and if I COULD avoid that for my kids, I'd want to. That being said, I also have very good memories of some things, like the school musicals in elementary and well...you know, now as I'm thinking about elementary, I can't really think of anything I did besides being a student patrol that couldn't be done either in a homeschool or extra-curricular outside school setting. However, I would not have given up my grade 7-12 experience for anything. I went to a wonderful private christian high school that was not too big, and so the teachers knew everyone, I knew most of the kids by name, there were AMAZING music programs, great sports (although I'm not a sports person, being only 4'9), and most of all, great teachers and wonderful friends. I DID take four courses outside of school by correspondance (homeschool) on my own because I had such a full schedule. I'm a very independent learner though, and very motivated, so it was easy for me. My parents had no part in it besides writing the cheques! I think homeschooling can be great when done well. I have to admit though, I wouldn't have wanted my mom to be the teacher...even though she used to be a teacher. But maybe if I'd started out that way, it wouldn't have mattered.

Amelia said...

Yes. : ) We have homeschooled for almost 21 years and it is one of the most beautiful blessings of my life. My daughters now love homemaking and we minister here in our home once a month to other girls as well...God is so good.

Blessings to you and yay for your sweet blog! : )

Grace said...

I am looking into homeschooling. Can someone please explain the Charlotte Mason philosophy? Thanks :)

Ginger said...

I have 4 that are school-age right now and 3 that aren't yet. I have loved homeschooling them. It has been my second chance at a quality education after my parents paid thousands each year for my "Christian" education that was truly neither.
Grace, on the bottom of my blog (left sidebar) is a link to all my posts about Charlotte Mason schooling. I'm a big fan! This gentle approach to learning has bee fabulous for my kids.

Elizabeth said...

We have homeschooled since day one. We are currently homeschooling our 2nd and 1st graders. The other two children are too little for "school," but we know that learning isn't confined by age, date, or "grade" level. Any time and every age is learning time!

With the Lord's help, we hope and plan to homeschool through graduation. High schoolers are just as impressionable as little ones, we believe, and we hope to be there as a family to offer guidance and love as well as quality education.

Grace said...

Thanks for the info on the Charlotte Mason philosophy, Ginger. It sounds like a great program!

Michelle, a heart at home said...

We have graduated 2 of our 4 children. Our second oldest was a senior when I began teaching kindergarten to his sister. We do homeschool through highschool. Our oldest is considering going to college (she graduated 3 years ago)but our second oldest is not interested in college. He has chosen to start his own business instead.
We are sort of unschooler/relaxed homeschoolers. We do a certain amount of "book work" with subjects that pretty much require it--i.e. math, phonics, reading. But we allow them to pursue their own interests and include history and science in everyday life. Once they get to high school, we used traditional texts to teach those subjects as well. I did use SOS one year with our son, but it was not a good fit for our family. :-)

roddma said...

I used to think homeschooling should be abolished. I warmed up to the idea but it needs some tougher laws in place. Maybe it should be outlawed for the high school level. I am a strong believer in separation of church and state.Bible is fine and dandy but has its place elsewhere. I question some of these "Christian" education programs and wonder what kind of education children get.

Ginger said...

@Roddma,
It's funny to consider outlawing homeschooling based on quality of education. Please do your research. Homeschoolers consistently far outscore their public schooled peers.
http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/hslda/200312/200312040.asp
Religion and education cannot be separated. In public schools, the religion is humanism. Religion is not absent as you suggest.

Anonymous said...

Homeschooling is a wonderful way for children, especially gifted children, to learn at their own pace. Sometimes, large classrooms cannot accommodate bright youth. However, once a child matures, they should be sent to school. This school can be public or private, boarding or day. Regular school can help children gain social skills and learn how to fit in, which may not happen when homeschooling. Homeschooling also prevents students from turning into "memorizing robots", learning information they will never need to know. It can help children pursue their interests and love learning. However, once high school aged (or maybe even middle school), they should be introduced to society.

Ginger said...

How are homeschooled students not "introduced to society"? They go to the grocery store, the tire shop, the library, church, etc, etc. "Society" is at all those places. Perhaps by "society", you mean: they should be spending all day w/ only their own age group, rather than with a broad range of ages. Which represents society?

Anonymous said...

late to comment

My oldest just graduated from homeschool this year. In high school we used a combination of independent study courses, tutorial courses that met once a week, and dual enrollment courses at the community college. My son will be attending Berea College in the fall. Berea has about a 20% acceptance rate and all students accepted to Berea are given a 4-year full tuition scholarship.

Obviously, his acceptance shows that his education was more than adequate. Also, homeschooling has taught him time management skills that traditional classroom high schoolers will need to learn in college. It has allowed him the opportunity to socialize with all ages- from infant to elderly. He therefore lacks the social awkwardness often displayed by classroom educated young adults when they are placed outside of a group of age level peers. Sitting in a room with people who are all within 12 months or so of your age is not normal. Rather than being a benefit this odd behavior is something that traditional students have to unlearn as they grow into adulthood.

Homeschooling certainly isn't the only way to raise a child. It may not be possible for everyone and may not even be something that we are able to do for all of our children. However, I wanted to encourage the homeschooled teens who may read this that by virtue of homeschooling they have been given distinct advantages that would be difficult to duplicate inside a traditional classroom.

Mandy

Melissa said...

Mandy, I just wanted you to know how reassuring your comment was for me! I am a homeschooled teen, and it is so encouraging to hear homeschool success stories. Thanks very much!

Tamika said...

I hope I home school if I have children some day.

Sarah said...

We have 3 children ages 5 1/2 months - 5 years. I never imagined homeschooling our children, and did not understand at all why people would want to. Once I started meeting other families that homeschooled and saw not only how kind, considerate and mature their children were, but also how intelligent they were, we started looking into it. For preschool, we did not use a set curriculum, but for Kindergarten this year, we will start using the Sonlight curriculum with our oldest. We have done a little with it so far, and LOVE it. After starting to homeschool our oldest, I now see why others love homeschooling. It is an AMAZING blessing to see your children learn and grow, and to be the one with your children~ teaching, guiding and encouraging them. We plan to take it a year at a time, and as long as it is working for all of us, we will continue, but if at some point we feel they would be better suited to be in public schools, we are open to it. For us, it is wonderful though, because our oldest is very bright (began reading at age 4) and is advanced in language as well as other areas, so we can work at a pace that works for her. I also love it, because my husband had an odd work schedule, and is VERY busy in the Spring and fall, and if our kids were in a public school setting, they wouldn't get to spend very much time with him during those seasons, and with homeschooling, it gives us the flexibility to keep them up a little later in the evening to see him, or if he's able to stop home during the day between meetings, they are here to see him. There really are a LOT of positives to it!

Anonymous said...

I was a gifted student who was homeschooled from grades 6-12 after attending public schools up to that point.

While I am grateful for the hard work my mom put into it, and she was unusually highly qualified, having both a bachelor's and master's in education, ultimately I really wish I had attended a brick-and-mortar high school.

While i had many friends from church, I wish I had had more experience developing my own "adult" (or really pre-adult) identity, and pursuing my extracurricular interests in music, theater, yearbook, photography, art and newspaper publishing and I do think high school offers that for many students.

Additionally, I was pressured to attend only a Christian college, and I have absolutely seen how a degree from there has limited my options professionally. At every job or in every new application, I feel like I have "more to prove" since I went to a school that is little known outside of the Church denomination (or the immediate area).

I don't have a lot of regrets in my life, honestly, but these are two things I wish I could change.

The Stopper Family said...

I began homeschooling when my oldest was 4th grade due to some academic challenges my middle child was going to be facing. My oldest is now back in public school, my middle is still at home, and my youngest is excited to start Kindergarten at home with us. She is already reading and doing basic addition and I imagine she's going to be keeping me on my toes. For us, I don't expect to homeschool through highschool. I have the knowledge but not the personal discipline. Our decision on homeschooling has been specific for each child and what they need.

I laugh at those that think kids need school to learn how to socialize. I think those who say that are spouting rhetoric and don't have a clue what it even means. Interacting in society doesn't have to be learned in school - and as a matter of fact can rarely be learned in school. Homeschoolers learn in their life - and they interact with children and adults of all ages in their everyday life - that's socialization. The whatever extent families choose to engage in extra activities outside the home is a personal decision and some involve their kids in the same type of extra-curricular activities as others and others keep it a little closer to home - we're probably in the middle and still think that homeschooling should really be called carschooling for the amount of time we spend in the car going to our variety of activities!

I love the Duggars and wish I had a tenth of the patience that Michelle does. Maybe when this show is over, she should go INTO people's homes (like Jillian Michael's from the Biggest Loser is doing) to bring her type of patience and home management to those in desperate need - I'm sure the list of people interested would be LONG!

Mary said...

After our child was ill and continued to have very negative experiences in public school I decided to homeschool. He went from failing Math to now getting A's and B's, not to mention that the Public school standards are so poor now that homeschoolers have an edge.Also, many children get very distracted with a Hollywood type culture that encourages negative experiences way to early. Florida rules are more pro-homeschool which is the way it should be!The government has proven to do a poor job at educating children, especially special needs! God bless the Duggar family who are such an inspiration!

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