Homeschooling VS public/private schooling

by PSacramento 44 Replies latest social family

  • 00DAD

    "Homeschooling" or Independent Study is not for everyone.

    It only really works for highly motivated, self-directed and well-organized individuals that have a very compelling reason for not being in a traditional school setting. For example, student with compelling, legitimate reasons for not being in a traditional setting would possibly include: musical prodigies, young actors or athletes with performance and/or practice schedules that conflict with normal school hours. These are kids that have the talent, training and circumstances to pursue these professions at the very highest of skills.

    That being said, not all of the above would have the requisite personality traits and work ethic to be successful in Independent Study. As a result their "education" will be seriously incomplete. It's a choice.

    In the locale where I live there is a grossly disproportionate number of JWs in Independent Study programs. In the US, approximately 1 in 300 people, or 0.3% of the population, are JWs. Yet, in one local school district's independent study program 12.5% of the students are JWs. (This is a large enough program for this to be statistically significant, also this school does not deliberately cater to or market to JWs. They are referred by word-of-mouth from other JWs.)

    These JW parents (as do most) seek some sort of independent study program because they believe regular kids are "bad association." (FYI: this is in a fairly affluent area in one of the safest places in the entire country.)

    I know many of these JW children personally. IMHO, none of them have truly compelling reasons for not being in a traditional school and few of them have the personal work ethic and drive to excel at independent study. Most do ok, but that's all. Don't get me wrong, they're nice enough kids. They are just not ideal independent study program candidates.

    They're there for all the wrong reasons.

    Seriously, it's called independent study for a good reason. As we all know, JWs are as anti-independent thinking as you can get. It's ultimately self-defeating because their reasons for being in such a program are at cross-purposes with purpose for which it was designed. Also, their JW training handicaps them for success in such a program:

    WT Study: Read paragraph. Read question. Underline answer. Regurgitate at meeting. Paraphrase if you can, but do NOT deviate from the script. Independent, critical thinking is overtly discouraged.

    Independent Study Program: Read textbook and/or other assigned material. Use independent, critical-thinking skills to understand difficult to complex subject content with a minimum of guidance, tutoring or supervision. Write analysis and/or take test. Turn in to credentialed teacher for evaluation and feedback. Receive grade. Figure out where and why you got any wrong. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    In a nutshell: successful students in an independent study program must be self-directed learners.

    Q: How many JWs are that?

    A: Not many, by design and training "from infancy."


  • mamochan13

    I guess I must chime in here. I homeschooled my daughters - my older two until junior high and the younger two for all of elementary. I did take my youngest out of high school for a time, too, because she was not focusing on education but fooling around (she was very angry at me at the time). When I first started, homeschooling was pretty rare and parents were still bucking the system. Then one school district decided to promote online/distance learning and I was able to enrol my daughters in a regular, approved program. We worked hard to meet the requirements and do the lessons, but I found so much of the material was garbage.

    It reminded me why I decided to homeschool my kids in the first place. It was only partly because of the JW school is bad association thing. It was because the school system sucked. I was bored out of my tree at school. It is geared towards the middle-low intelligence learner, sometimes to the lowest common denominator. I skipped grade one and scored off the charts on all the intelligence tests they gave me. It's worse now. I have several teachers in my family and they tell me of struggles in their classrooms with mainstreaming - where they have a developmentally-disabled child who screams and makes noises all day long and how difficult it is for any of the other kids to learn anything in that environment. Kids who are gifted and talented are left to fend for themselves.

    My girls did not lack for friendships either. They were involved in dance and music and had many friends (yeah, yeah, I know - I was a rebel among the JWs and believe me, I paid for it).

    When I did finally send my girls to school I sent them to an arts academy, so at least they had some extra stimulation. My oldest two both graduated from university, and my youngest has had a successful career so far (earns more than I do and she's only in her mid 20s) even though she chose not to formally finish grade 12 within the system. The only one who hasn't done well academically has struggled as a direct cause of the JW religion and an attack my family made on me to try and force her back into the religion when she was younger.

    So I think home schooling can be really good. But it needs to be done for the right reasons. One of our MLAs here in my province spoke about his son and why his wife (a veterinarian) decided to pull both kids out of school. When the child's teacher found out how smart the kid was she told the mother that she was dreading getting him into her classroom because she had no resources to help any child who was above average. Any parent who wants the best for their kids either has to be actively involved day-to-day, put them in private school, or homeschool. The public school system in North America does not value smart, talented kids enough, or nurture their creativity, IMO.

    My grandchildren are all in public school because their moms have to work and cannot homeschool - but they are all in a small spanish academy where they are getting a quality education with the benefit of a second language.


    It depends upon the Parent and the child. If you have a lazy unattentive parent then a child can fail, even in public school. If a parent is not observant then they can miss all the signs of a child having trouble in either home or public school. Some children may not do well in a standardized enviroment. I have seen some children from the same family go to public school while their sibling does home schooling. The Parent had to know their child and what was best for them. I have seen a child go to public school, to home school, and then back to public school because it was what they needed at the time.

    My child went to public school until High School. Crime and violence were factors in the decision. My child is also very social, always has been. They never met a stranger, so I knew being socially akward was not an issue. They are also an excellent student, so no worries there.

    I think one advantage for home schooling is that it can prepare a child for taking multiple classes through the internet. I have a friend taking college courses on-line for work, and they say it is very convenient. He still has to go to the classroom some, but not nearly as often. So I see my child being able to study in the future from home in a way that was not available to my generation. There are also many medical careers that can be done mostly from home or anywhere from a laptop or I-pad.

    I think being proficient with technology along with learning how to be responsible and take initiative to get a job done while Mom and Dad are gone has been good for my child. Looking back I think that I needed a combination of the two methods, but that was not an option. I think having the choice between the two is a good thing. Still, it calls for parental responsibility.

  • mamochan13

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  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    The absolutely lowest common denominator. Amen.

    I was offered French IV credit, all As, if I sat in the French III class and did my general homework.

    3/4 of my junior class failed a 5th grade arithmetic test. Some male students cried during the test.

    My mom arranged for me to attend a preschool program at a teachers' college. School was very sad after that program. College was normal - finally.

  • MsD

    I have a teaching degree and I would never home school my kids. I believe that they need to socialize, do activities I'm school. I cannot provide that for my kids out of my home. Of course there are parents out there that believe that home schooling is the best for their family. I would never argue my point across because what's good for one family may not be for another.

  • Nice_Dream

    PS - were you thinking about homeschooling? I like the idea of homeschooling, especially for young children. In the city where I live there is a secular homeschooling group that regularly plans activities for homeschooling children of all ages (bike park, hikes, field trips, etc). That would be great for my social 4 year old. But I've been thinking about sending him to regular school or private school, as I worry about homeschooling once he hits high school.

    The only private schools are Catholic or Christian in my area, so we would probably choose Catholic if they are kind of liberal. I haven't checked it out yet, and I wasn't sure what it would be like to go to Mass, as I've never been before. So we're still on the fence deciding which school to send our son to.

  • soontobe

    Kids are in school for about 6-7 hours a day. How much of that is really spent learning? Not much. It's mostly day care. Around here, homeschoolers are organized into circles. The kids visit a different home each day, as a group. Some parents specialize in one subject, others in other subjects. Moreover, it is a group activity, so students get to socialize with others their own age. There are pluses and minuses to that. From what I've seen, the local kids I've met are better educated than the average of those educated by the public sector drones in what is often really a glorified day care program, and all of them are college bound and have high test scores. (Yes, I know there are good teachers, but as a former public school system employee I've seen the bad ones too).

    From my personal experience, outside of higher maths and a vo-tech program I was enrolled in, I learned NOTHING academically from school from about the 9th grade on--and I was AP in everything. It was all fluff...but I was mostly a self directed learner by nature and would spend my free time gobbling up books from the local library on everything from science to history. I never did any homework, skipped lots of classes, but I always aced the tests, so I ended up with a C average. I never missed vo-tech however...I actually learned things there. It was interesting.

    The most important job in the world for parents is to prepare our children. It's too important of a job for us to simply leave to the state.

  • soontobe
  • Sulla

    But don't we think the government school system is a catastrophe? I mean, increasing funding all the time, non-increasing educational performance all the time. Suggests something ain't working, yeah?

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