View Full Version : Why is public school always the answer? *rant*


EYEFORGOT
01-18-07, 06:16 PM
I have ADD and Bipolar II. I homeschool my 3 kids. One shows a lot of symptoms of ADD, and I'm planning a visit to a clinical psychologist for a thorough breakdown.

I know I have limitations and obstacles as a person, let alone as a home school teacher. WHY is the automatic response from family and friends (not homeschooling) when I'm having some challenges or concerns "have you thought about putting them in public school?" "well, maybe public school would be a better choice", "it's only going to get harder, you'll be glad to send them to public school".

I realize that they simply have no better ideas. But these are their children or their grandchildren or their kids' best friends...do you think maybe a little look-see into the world of homeschooling might be warranted? Why is it automatically assumed that the reason for the dilemma is incompetence or inadequacy?

I now have discovered a new challenge. My state currently has no laws to restrict or govern homeschoolers (only one of five). I am livid to learn that Board of Educators and Superintendents...for Federal Grant money not my child's best interests...want nothing more than to regulate homeschooling, dictate curriculum and take away my rights as a parent. I have this rebellious side that has added to my list of "reasons to homeschool" just on principle at my outrage to this injustice. This last part is probably for the debate section and I'll say no more...

but the point is...I now have another uphill battle.

What else can family and friends do to help out an ADD homeschooling Mom? I have other homeschooling parents that give support and advice. We're new to the state, so I haven't gained the support that I had in my first home.

I've just been hearing it a lot lately...the public school solution. For crying out loud, don't they think I've thought of that?! If I truly thought that my children would have their educational needs met more thoroughly in a government funded facility I would put them there. If I thought it offered the best environment, I would send them. For reasons of my own, and only my own, my children thrive at home. I don't hate public schools, they are not the enemy. This is my personal choice for my kids.

What I want is other ideas. Are others not capable of out-of-the-box, creative thinking? Please oh please! Would someone come up with ideas or support without me spoon feeding them, more like begging? Without having to constantly defend my position? Or worse yet, feeling like I can't ask for help anymore, because that's the stupid answer I get every, single, frakking time!?

end :soapbox:

p.s. I am truly not insulting public school teachers...I am not thumbing my nose at your job...I know you work very hard, I love and respect your service...this is just another way in the many avenues of educating children to their fullest potential, not the only way.

EYEFORGOT
01-21-07, 03:40 PM
Thank you for letting me rant. I hope I didn't scare anyone. Feeling a little more confident and calm today.

Scattered
01-21-07, 04:01 PM
I agree with you. Eyeforgot! The government wants to regulate homeschooling too, and added quite a few regulations just during the three years I was doing it. Basically they'd really prefer all kids in public school, so the public school gets all the funding, while at the same time cutting special services in public schools. If you want to look at the winners of spelling bees, and all kinds of other scholastic prizes, you will see home schooled kids are way over represented. Especially for a kid with atypical needs in the classroom, it can be an incredible blessing. Being able to tailor the program to fit their needs and their pace and interest is great.

I don't know if you've heard of the Moore Foundation, but they have some good books, manuals, and information and research on the value of homeschooling. If you'd like information on how to contact them, let me know and I'll look up my stuff.

Mel Levine's book, A Mind at a Time, also has some good tips for identifying and working with specific areas of needs various kids have.

Take care -- I think it's great that you're so invested in doing what's best (not just what's easiest) for your kids!

Scattered

Imnapl
01-21-07, 04:32 PM
I work in the public school system and see the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling. Had I had more education and experience when my kids were young, I would have probably homeschooled both of them. Hindsight is always 20 / 20, but I now know both of my ADHD kids do not have any learning disabilities, are very bright and creative, and would have had more time to pursue sports, artistic activities, and academic interests in more depth had they been homeschooled.

On the down side, I know "homeschooled" kids who aren't being "schooled" at home, but stay home during school hours. They return to the public school system with huge gaps in their learning.

Our school district has a very active group of homeschoolers who arrange lectures, field trips, enrichment activities, etc. Our board office also provides access to home tutoring and online learning programs. Would online learning help supplement what you are already doing?

Perhaps discussing homeschooling with people is much like discussing ADHD and medication? People have opinions: some based on fact; some based on hearsay.

EYEFORGOT
01-25-07, 11:13 AM
Thank you both, I didn't think I'd get any replies after my tirade.

At the moment my kids are young enough that any gaps in learning can be filled in. I do test every year for my own compass, to see if I'm covering all the bases.

I think it's wonderful that your board office is so resourceful. I do not have that option here. If I want to continue homeschooling I need to keep a low profile. I think doing more online would definitely help. Do you have any recommendations? There's a lot out there. (I just wish my husband and family would step forward with ideas, rather than giving up so easily.)

scattered- I just got out "A Mind At A Time" from the library. I didn't get all the way through it. I'm going to have one of my children seen by a clinical psychologist for a full evaluation, that way I can understand his needs better.

I am feeling better. It just has been a difficult transition. Next week I sit down with a bunch of moms about how we can get together twice a month and help each other teach our kids. We all have talents and knowledge, tapping into it makes sense.

Nova
01-25-07, 12:55 PM
Only from my 'personal viewpoint', which has nothing to do with 'politics', if I had children, my first personal preference would be that I would educate them, through 'homeschooling' methods.

My other personal preference would be to enroll them in private schools
(creative/arts), that are 'non-denominational' in orientation.

StuggliesWife
01-26-07, 02:27 PM
I don't have any answers on how to address the naysayers. Are you complaining at all to them and telling them it is difficult and maybe they are just trying to help you ease your burden? Maybe that's why they are suggesting public school.

I am of the mindset that public school is a supplement to the education they receive in the home. Home is where it begins. Home is where it ends. They get social and academics at school. Life lessons, religion and learning how to be a contributing member of society in the home.

There are charter schools and depending on where you live, schools geared exclusively to ADHD and Apserger children who wouldn't learn well in the "normal" environment. Most school districts offer Magnet Schools too! Great choice! It's being more widely recognized that children are different, learn differently and aren't all cookie cutter.

And of course there are many homeschooling associations you can get involved with where they plan field trip, social activities, lesson plans, etc...

Maybe, when you get to know enough of those people... you can have a co-homeschool? Like, you have a great talent for math so the group comes to your house for math on tues and thurs and maybe Mrs. Jones teaches English and the children go to her house on mon and wed. (all examples of course)

I also understand your rant about the government in our business but unfortunately for as many positive home schooling parents there are, there are negative ones too.

Anyway, good luck with your choice and I hope you get something worked out!

EYEFORGOT
01-29-07, 11:48 PM
The positive to negative ratio of homeschoolers is not an even split. Homeschooling has been shown to be just as good or better than public schools. You get bad teachers in schools and in homes, but I'm not under the impression that public schools have an even split between bad and good.

I'm involved in homeschooling groups, I've started a co-op and environmental club...I have support within the homeschooling community. My rant is that my family needs to help and give suggestions or good ideas on my bad days, that don't include "well, maybe they just need to go to public school". If the time comes that I think they need that, then I will send them.

I made my post on an especially bad day when I was very discouraged and that was the exact comment I got. What I would like is something proactive...oh, he's having trouble in math? Here, Grandpa is really good in fractions. or Why don't we do this project together? Know what I mean? Here, let me draw up an outline for History that I think will help the guys.

I'm much more calm now. There's some projects with history my husband is willing to work on. I just needed to blow steam. Plus, I was livid about the government interferance, especially the pitiful excuse for why they wanted the control. It's just sad.

Wheezie
01-30-07, 12:05 AM
Hey Chel,

The best advice I got from a friend when I started homeschooling this year was this, "If you're looking for support, don't ask your mom!"

I'm paraphrasing, but, that's the gist. ;)

So, when I'm having a bad day, I call the people I know will lift me up. It'd be *nice* if everyone was supportive when I need them to be, but, that's not the way it is in my world either.

I like that your husband is willing to do specific History projects with the kids. I find that when I'm specific, I get a lot more of what I need. The trouble is figuring out what it is I *specifically* need..... (Not that anyone could relate to that :rolleyes: )

Glad you got your rant out and are having a better day.

(((hugs)))

w.

Scattered
01-30-07, 12:31 AM
My daughter is in school for the first time (church school) and is doing very well (there are only a dozen kids in her class). She has an exceptionally good teacher who is very understanding of how to help and motivate ADHD kids without judging them. If good teachers aren't always accessible to us down the road, I may homeschool again. I think it is a great way to go. I had a lot of trouble even though I have a lot of applicable training and experience, just because homeschool is to unstructured for my brand of ADD, so this year feels like quite a relief -- she's actually doing better and I am a lot less snowed, but I'm glad I was sure that she had a good reading foundation before she started in a classroom. My husband and I have been talking and think we want to give our youngest the same homeschooling start next year rather than me going to work. She's either ADHD or bordering it too.


Scattered

EYEFORGOT
02-01-07, 04:29 PM
"If you're looking for support, don't ask your mom!"

*smacks head*
Of course, why didn't I see that before!? What a sensible way of coping.

Thanks to all. Sometimes you just need to scream.

Paws13
02-05-07, 02:22 PM
I have ADD and Bipolar II. I homeschool my 3 kids. One shows a lot of symptoms of ADD, and I'm planning a visit to a clinical psychologist for a thorough breakdown.

I know I have limitations and obstacles as a person, let alone as a home school teacher. WHY is the automatic response from family and friends (not homeschooling) when I'm having some challenges or concerns "have you thought about putting them in public school?" "well, maybe public school would be a better choice", "it's only going to get harder, you'll be glad to send them to public school".

I realize that they simply have no better ideas. But these are their children or their grandchildren or their kids' best friends...do you think maybe a little look-see into the world of homeschooling might be warranted? Why is it automatically assumed that the reason for the dilemma is incompetence or inadequacy?

I now have discovered a new challenge. My state currently has no laws to restrict or govern homeschoolers (only one of five). I am livid to learn that Board of Educators and Superintendents...for Federal Grant money not my child's best interests...want nothing more than to regulate homeschooling, dictate curriculum and take away my rights as a parent. I have this rebellious side that has added to my list of "reasons to homeschool" just on principle at my outrage to this injustice. This last part is probably for the debate section and I'll say no more...

but the point is...I now have another uphill battle.

What else can family and friends do to help out an ADD homeschooling Mom? I have other homeschooling parents that give support and advice. We're new to the state, so I haven't gained the support that I had in my first home.

I've just been hearing it a lot lately...the public school solution. For crying out loud, don't they think I've thought of that?! If I truly thought that my children would have their educational needs met more thoroughly in a government funded facility I would put them there. If I thought it offered the best environment, I would send them. For reasons of my own, and only my own, my children thrive at home. I don't hate public schools, they are not the enemy. This is my personal choice for my kids.

What I want is other ideas. Are others not capable of out-of-the-box, creative thinking? Please oh please! Would someone come up with ideas or support without me spoon feeding them, more like begging? Without having to constantly defend my position? Or worse yet, feeling like I can't ask for help anymore, because that's the stupid answer I get every, single, frakking time!?

end :soapbox:

p.s. I am truly not insulting public school teachers...I am not thumbing my nose at your job...I know you work very hard, I love and respect your service...this is just another way in the many avenues of educating children to their fullest potential, not the only way.
I have to agree with everything you said about PS being the only answer...

Being a teen in these sorts of situations is not easy, especially being in a college prep private school. It's getting frustrating, and some people tell my parents "what about public school?". It's not the only answer!

stepka
11-06-07, 11:47 PM
Been there done that. I homeschooled my 2 daughters for years, but now they're in school. Not a failure, just a preference, and I honestly couldn't help my 15 yo daughter with her algebra anymore. Anyway, the girls went in at the top of their classes, despite my frequently befuddled method of teaching them. We always got our math done, and I read to them alot and they read a lot on their own, so really they didn't miss much. Lots of projects and experiments and field trips.

I was worried about them once when their friends came over and quizzed my daughter on their social studies test and she was able to answer all of the questions correctly even though it was material we'd never covered. She must have gotten it in a book. Then when I went to the school to sub, I was dismayed by how much the kids hate to read. Teachers, why is that? Is it just peer pressure? Because that was the one thing we didn't have.

I never talked to my mother or my MIL about it, and good thing too, b/c my MIL accused me of "making" them homeschool. Totally agree with the advice about not talking to your mother. My mother was quite upset at first, then she was proud. But she was still relieved when they went back to school. You can talk to us, or you can PM me if you need to rant. :eyebrow: Hey I just noticed they have a foot in mouth smiley. How appropos. :foot:

stepka
11-06-07, 11:50 PM
Oh, Eyeforgot, may I ask what state you're in? I'm in Missouri, and we have some of the loosest homeschool laws in the nation. I would hate to see that change.

ozchris
11-07-07, 12:00 AM
Maybe they suggest so your kids can get used to 'normal' life? being treated like part of a group but also as an individual. Public schools around my area have lots of services for kids that have learning difficulties or ADD, lots of trained professionals that know what to do. I think public schools prepare you for life pretty well. (I'm not saying you couldn't do better however :))

Not sure what your area is like but I went to a private school and it was horrible for me, I think homeschooling would have been better and public school even better than that.

I guess it depends on the kids and what's best for them, do they get plenty of social interaction with kids their own age and stuff? sorry I don't know much about homeschooling.

Having an ADD Mum for a teacher might be hard for them sometimes but chances are you know what's best. Go with your instincts. I admit I don't know much about home schooling but just tried to show you what they might be thinking when they suggest public school.

Just do what's best for them. If you had a hard time in public school it doesn't mean they will.

Tara
11-07-07, 12:22 AM
It's really too bad their aren't more hybrid type solutions to education. The public school systems are obsolete. Just look at the technology we have now. People don't need to go to a building to learn anymore. I really hope that distance education is brought into the main stream public education system soon.

EYEFORGOT
11-07-07, 05:28 PM
Maybe they suggest so your kids can get used to 'normal' life? being treated like part of a group but also as an individual. Public schools around my area have lots of services for kids that have learning difficulties or ADD, lots of trained professionals that know what to do. I think public schools prepare you for life pretty well. (I'm not saying you couldn't do better however :))

Not sure what your area is like but I went to a private school and it was horrible for me, I think homeschooling would have been better and public school even better than that.

I guess it depends on the kids and what's best for them, do they get plenty of social interaction with kids their own age and stuff? sorry I don't know much about homeschooling.

Having an ADD Mum for a teacher might be hard for them sometimes but chances are you know what's best. Go with your instincts. I admit I don't know much about home schooling but just tried to show you what they might be thinking when they suggest public school.

Just do what's best for them. If you had a hard time in public school it doesn't mean they will.
This last part is very true for some kids. I think my youngest would probably do fine in public school, I just don't think it represents a "normal" social life at all.

I think the reason the "put them in public school" response comes up so much is because a) there is a teacher who is trained in teaching a certain subject and b) it's less stress and strain on me. They mean well. It often comes across in a lack of faith in my ability to educate my children, which any gaps I have would be helped more with productive ideas and support from family rather than scepticisim and doubt. They are clearly intelligent children, knowledgable in a variety of subjects, respectful to their elders and (for the most part) get along well with peers.

As far as the "socialization" questions we home schoolers get frequently, I find a public school experience to be a very abnormal social experience completely unlike any other in life. My kids are thriving socially...they have diverse friends from every walk of life, all ages. That seems to me more accurate to real life amongst adults.

The other question I get is "what do you do about high school"? My kids are 6, 8 and 10. I know enough about it to know that it is not only doable for home schoolers it's not as impossible as it sounds, nor is it a miserable experience for all involved. I don't know why though I should be thinking about their high school education when I'm trying to think of the best resources for teaching them science, or getting help in fractions right now.

As far as another alternative school to the public or private choices, there are charter/magnet schools that have smaller classes and offer more challenging curriculum for students who excel in certain subjects. One possibble course of education I'm actually considering is a Montessori school. They are expensive though. I'm considering it because they have a philosophy/curriculum I believe in. I hate to admit in a thread like this how often I really do feel inadequate at teaching my kids. I want to do it and know that I can, but right now I feel like I need help. There's other kinds of help out there besides the standard public school response.

ozchris
11-07-07, 06:18 PM
Montessori school sounds really good from what I've heard. I'm sure kids like yours would thrive in an environment like that. I'm sure I would have too :)

Good to hear your kids are socializing plenty, I guess that's the main thing overall. Maybe even more so than the education.

Just please excuse my ignorance about home schooling. I know next to nothing. Thanks for you reply.

Hope you find some other help/support. Sounds like you really care about your kids which is the main thing, in the end they're very lucky to have someone like you, not all kids are that lucky as you probably know.

EYEFORGOT
11-07-07, 07:16 PM
Thanks ozchris. Not knowing about home schooling doesn't bother me, it's the questions that are asked that matter. :)

Family is another thing, I think they can take a few minutes to check it out themselves in addition to talking to me.

Garry
11-07-07, 10:07 PM
http://www.purplemath.com/modules/index.htm

dont know if this is of any use to ya

EYEFORGOT
11-08-07, 05:10 PM
Yes it is Garry. Thank you.

angelsj
11-08-07, 06:07 PM
Ok, for starters, there is nothing impossible or even all that difficult about homeschooling high school. I have graduated two so far, and both are doing quite well. One is working in a job he LOVES and the other (who is 17 btw) starts University classes in January, working toward a Criminal Justice degree.


As to your current problem, take a deep breath and step back a moment. At those ages even a month of no school will NOT hurt them.
Everyone's learning styles and skills need to be accessed, most of all your own. How much time/ability/attention can YOU yourself give? What alternatives are available for those subjects you do NOT feel capable of handling? How much time/attention is each child capable of giving to a subject? What are your goals?

I have homeschooled for over 16 years. Every year, I take time to evaluate each child (there are eight of them altogether, btw) and set a goal for the year, and look to where we are in the long term.

Does this child need World History, or would that bore them? Basic geography, American History, the list is huge, and time will show you all that is available. Is history important to you? Writing? Math? Science? Foreign language?

What style will work with THIS child, and with your teaching style?

Sorry, there is a lot here, but feel free to PM me if you would like more info or have questions. There are also some homeschool specific boards that might be able to walk you through the different curriculums and help find a better fit. You CAN do this.


BTW, I have nothing against public schools. Ours are terrific in terms of working with homeschoolers and making them feel they are part of the community. However, I also know public school kids who are not being "schooled" at school. There are bad apples in all groups.

Still, homeschooling is not the "easy" choice. It is HARD, and the majority of parents really do it out of genuine caring and devotion to their child's education. Just as many public school teachers are very dedicated to educating the young people that come their way.

Both are just options, and I don't want to see homeschooling regulated or that option eliminated because of a few bad apples.

(edited to correct grammar, :) )

Garry
11-08-07, 06:17 PM
http://www.purplemath.com/


this is the main page just in case you missed it

as I did link you right into the algabra page

angelsj
11-08-07, 07:19 PM
http://www.purplemath.com/


this is the main page just in case you missed it

as I did link you right into the algabra pageWow!! What an awesome resource.
Thanks for posting it!

Garry
11-08-07, 11:12 PM
I am glad you guys are enjoying the link

I envy you for having a reason to enjoy " MATH " as I used to .

I am to old now and have no reason to participate in math anymore

Arei
11-08-07, 11:21 PM
Whoa, this is just the website I needed XDD


Distance Ed rocks, but people are too lazy to use it.

I'm all for having school online now, I'm sick of getting in trouble for being 2 seconds late into the classroom.

selby
11-09-07, 09:33 AM
After years of doing distance learning, looking back I'd much prefer a split schedule of some days in person and some days online. It's been a godsend with having a job, but there's certain parts of the classroom experience that you won't get doing it the way I have. High school and earlier: definitely in person. I went to a private school. My mother, a public school teacher, thinks public school education is subpar :p

EYEFORGOT
11-10-07, 10:34 AM
I am glad you guys are enjoying the link

I envy you for having a reason to enjoy " MATH " as I used to .

I am to old now and have no reason to participate in math anymore
Maybe volunteer to tutor? Follow your bliss. :)

Sorry, there is a lot here, but feel free to PM me if you would like more info or have questions. There are also some homeschool specific boards that might be able to walk you through the different curriculums and help find a better fit. You CAN do this.

Thank you for the encouragement. Lately I've been meeting people who are specifically well experienced at this and I'm convinced it's no coincidence that I'm finding the support at a time where, without it, I'd be sorely tempted to give up. The resources are there. Any of your favorites would be wonderful to hear about. :)

Garry
11-11-07, 05:50 AM
Another Math LinK (http://www.webmath.com/)

http://www.webmath.com/

EYEFORGOT
11-11-07, 11:28 AM
Thanks. I saved the link. :)