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6 Totally Selfish And Not-So-Selfish Reasons I Cannot Homeschool My Kids

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shutterstock_77710792__1375100698_74.134.205.46This always happens when back to school time comes around. I think I should maybe homeschool my kids. Not my eldest, he’s going to be a junior in high school so as far as I’m concerned I’m pretty much done with him, but my youngest will be entering third grade and I will have a middle school kid this year. School is hard! School is hard on both kids and parents. Even though my kids have all been extremely fortunate to have been instructed by some pretty amazing teachers, whenever anything awful happens in the world I think I should consider schooling them at home.

I adore my kids. I love spending time with them. When they leave in the morning no matter what is going on in the world, I worry a bit. I think all parents do. If it’s not gun violence, it’s bullying. Peer pressure, all that.  If I could keep them safe and sound in my nest chances are likely that nothing bad would happen to them at school, because they would NOT be at school. But then when I really think about it, I don’t think I could homeschool my kids. The amount of dedication and determination that parents who homeschool have astounds me. Some of the reasons I have are pretty selfish and silly, but when I make the big list of the pros and cons of me homeschooling them, if I am being totally honest, I need to include the frivolous with the important. Maybe if I were really committed to it I could do it, but I’m not sure I’m cut out for it. Because…

I should get one of those signs that says “One of these days I’m gonna get organezized”.

shutterstock_77747272(Photo:  Jo Ann Snover/shutterstock)

I have a very clean house, but I have NO idea where anything is. Do you know how many times I have been told:

Sorry ma’m, you cannot write a check for pizza using an eyeliner.

I’ll buy a nice new package of pens and some stationary and I have NO idea where it goes. I’m sure my kids take it, I’m sure some get lost under things, I’m sure my cat loves nothing more than batting a pen cap around. All I know is my kids would end up doing all of their school assignments with broken crayons on grocery store receipts.

I Work At Home 

Every day I’m up at five am. I make coffee. I outline what wonderous things I will write for you guys today. I research articles, conduct interviews and answer hate mail. Koa Beck, my boss, shows up and then everything goes to hell. Because not only do we have to discuss website content, then Koa always pulls some magical editorial stunt like FORCING me to watch this awful reality show called PRETTY WILD on Netflix and then my brain is consumed with privileged Hollywood young ladies with stripper poles in their living room. How can I focus on schooling my kids when I am busy being schooled on reality TV?

Math is Hard 

Even though it’s such a stupid cliche, I am a woman who sucks at math. Which sucks because I love math. I think math is terribly important but it was my worst subject at school. I can deal with like, eighth grade math but anything over that and I’m sending my husband a text that reads:

YOU HAVE TO HELP WITH HOMEWORK IT’S MATH 

And I can’t really be expected to have my kids understand and appreciate math when I cannot do it myself. I’m dumb at math. There, I said it.

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61 Comments

  1. Paul White

    July 29, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I think most parents could handle teaching them at younger grade levels, but by the time I see home schooled high schoolers I get *very* leery; how many of us remember algebra and trig enough to teach it? Or history, or geography or geology?

    I know that’s a complaint she bitches about but it isn’t invalid. Those are subjects that the kids need a grounding in to go onto college (if that’s your goal) and 20 years after the fact you simply might not remember enough to teach. That isn’t a knock on the person at all.

    • Andrea

      July 29, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Well that depends on the parent homeschooling. Even though I don’t remember much history, geography, or any of the social sciences, I am pretty confident that I could review and prepare lessons if I needed to. With the “hard” sciences however, I don’t believe many people could do unless they have a science background.

      As far as math goes, again, it depends on the background of the parent.

      But I also seem to remember that a lot of homeschooling parents get outside help for some subjects. Like a schooling co-op kinda thing.

    • Paul White

      July 29, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Even history, if you want to be decent at it, takes a huge amount of groundwork to start to understand it; you can’t discuss the causes of WWII without discussing WWI, which you can’t understand at all without knowing about the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, or the Ottoman Empire’s decline, or Serb-Russian tensions, etc.

      I think requiring subject specialist for early grade school is stupid, but they should be required for high school in my opinion.

    • Andrea

      July 29, 2013 at 11:04 am

      You are probably right about that. I guess I was thinking more of the early grades.

      I don’t know many families that home school. The ones I do know, are all younger children. And a relative of mine who homeschooled all of hers, sent them to “regular” school for high school.

      Honestly high school level subjects do require more in depth background that I think most parents can master in ALL subjects. And then there’s the whole college entrance thing. I am sure most colleges now have standards for admitting homeschoolers, but I just can’t see how it could be objective enough in terms of things like a GPA.

    • Blueathena623

      July 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      I agree. I think a middle ground in terms of high school would be using one of the many online virtual schools. Granted, if your reason for homeschooling is a hatred of the curriculum, this solution might not help, but if you homeschool for other reasons it could be a godsend for those higher level courses. He’ll, they are a godsend for kids in public schools as well, since they can take courses that aren’t offered at their school.

    • Melissa T

      July 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      One of the fun things about homeschooling is learning alongside your kids. I love history and took several more-than-basic courses in college, and I still learn new things. 🙂 Just because one doesn’t have prior knowledge of a subject does not mean one cannot learn it. That said, there are an overwhelming plethora of curricula out there from learned individuals that take all of that groundwork and give it to you for a fee. 🙂 Plus, there are so many options out there…tutors, co-ops, online learning opportunities, partnerships with private or even public schools, etc. One co-op we have attended off and on through the years has all of their high school science taught by a doctor (surgeon). He’s one of the dads; his kids are just now becoming high school age; his family was one of the founders of the co-op. He has actually arranged his practice around co-op, to ensure he is available to teach. They are a dedicated bunch. 😉

      My mom was an ‘unschooler’ before that was even a term, and she actually stopped ‘teaching’ me when I got to middle school. I just read a lot of books and did it all myself. I ended up attending a private school for 10th grade and then on to a state program where high school kids can take community college courses for credit, and graduated at 17 with both my high school diploma and an AAS. 🙂

      Homeschooling isn’t for every kid, every parent or every family, but it can work even if the parent isn’t perfectly knowledgeable on every subject. I can’t math, mostly due to the fact I actually have dyscalculia. Nevertheless, things have been fine until we hit middle school math and things got complicated. So now I am gladly paying my brother to tutor my middle-schooler. He is definitely qualified…he’s an Astronomics and Aeronautics Engineering student at the University of Washington. 🙂 He’s always been naturally talented at math, which my parents encouraged despite their own limitations. He was homeschooled until college obviously. 🙂

    • Amber

      July 29, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      I had the same question when I started homeschooling my son. How do you handle the subjects you don’t know very well?

      A “lovely” group of homeschoolers in my area verbally bitch slapped me for daring to ask that horrible question and told me that their children don’t need to learn anything they can’t remember from high school and neither does my child.

      After running like hell from those nut jobs, I discovered the sane answers. You get tutors, utilize online or correspondence classes or enroll them in college courses.

    • noelle 02

      July 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

      In all fairness, there are so many homeschoolers now that co-ops are popping up all over. My kid will be taking chemistry this year and I can help her through the book work, but we’ll be at a biweekly co-op where she will do the experiments with a woman who majored in chemistry. My husband is a math whiz and will go to the co-op when the math intensive chapters come up to give extra guidance there. Another kid wants to learn chess and Spanish and I am hopeless at both. Right down the road is a homeschool group that meets weekly and offers classes in chess and Spanish. Problem solved.

  2. Emil

    July 29, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I think the mom who wrote that list is super defensive. I often say I would never be able to homeschool. I also say I wouldn’t be able to complete a triathlon. No offense intended in either case.

    • Andrea

      July 29, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Yeah i wish I hadn’t read it.

    • Paul White

      July 29, 2013 at 10:59 am

      She had a few good points; if you meet a home schooler during a social event or something like Scouts, it’s kind of silly to ask how they socialize their kids. I get that.

      But some of them strike me as someone getting defensive to legitimate critiques/concerns.

    • Andrea

      July 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

      I guess most people get defensive when questioned about their parenting choices. I honestly wouldn’t like it if a homeschooler approached me and asked me how I could possibly subject my child to the horrors of public schooling.

    • Emil

      July 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

      I love how number 25 states that if you don’t have something nice to say then shut up. Apparently if I have something nice to say you are going to find a way to turn it into an insult so never mind.

  3. Blueathena623

    July 29, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I could never homeschool because I am the queen of trivia and tangents. We would be doing a lesson on the, say, the different environmental types of Georgia (third grade curriculum) and I’d be like “costal, piedmont, hey, did you know that the tundra region in the north, like Canada and Russia is now covered in moss, but they used to be grasslands when there were wooly mammoths because their poop fertilized the land? What do you mean we haven’t covered tundras, wooly mammoths, and the process of fertilization yet? Ok, forget what I just said. Costal, piedmont . . .”
    And the thing is — I want to be the trivia person. I want to complement what they are learning in school, not supplant it.

    • Andrea

      July 29, 2013 at 11:07 am

      I think the argument that homeschoolers make is that because they are only teaching their children they have time to both supplant and complement.

    • Blueathena623

      July 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      I don’t think they would want to be supplanting common, regular educational knowledge with trivia.

    • Paul White

      July 29, 2013 at 11:08 am

      you and me both. In the fields I have a grounding in, I can go off on a wild tangent pretty easily (discussing the independent and repeated evolution of leglessness in squamates for instance, or talking about French-British conflicts before and during our Revolutionary War).

    • Eve Vawter

      July 29, 2013 at 11:22 am

      I’m sending my kids to your house for school. I love the way your mind works

    • Melissa T

      July 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      In the homeschooling world, that style of teaching/learning is referred to as ‘unschooling’. 😉 My mom was a tangent person…it was a lot of fun, and we ended up more or less learning everything we needed (She homeschooled 7 kids; I’m also homeschooling my own children). Haha!

  4. LiteBrite

    July 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

    “The amount of dedication and determination that parents who homeschool have astounds me.”

    Me too, which is why I don’t homeschool nor do I have plans to in the near future. I’ve thought about it in an abstract way upon occasion, but I know the same reason why I abandoned my teaching aspirations is the same reason why I wouldn’t be able to homeschool: lack of dedication.

    I don’t think DH is too depressed about this though. I suck at math and science, so our kid would get zero help from me on that. I mean, that’s why we have Microsoft Excel and calculators on our smart phones, right?

    Edited to add: We know a couple who were homeschooling, or rather “unschooling” their child. They had good reasons to do so, but after the birth of their last child, the wife had to abandon it and send their older one to public school. She found it difficult to be the sole educational provider while also caring for an infant.

  5. That_Darn_Kat

    July 29, 2013 at 11:30 am

    From what I understand, homeschooling has changed a LOT in the last 10 years or so. When I was in high school, there was this family down the street who were home schooled. They were what most people think of when you think of being home schooled. The mom did very little teaching, mostly letting her kids play around, and the kids had horrible social skills, because they very rarely were out playing with other kids. I babysat them once, and vowed never to do it again, because it was horrible.

    That being said, home schooling now seems to involve computers and online programs for the different subjects (especially harder stuff), for the older kids. Home schooled kids are doing different activities, and going on lots of field trips and such.

    • Sarah

      July 29, 2013 at 11:43 am

      My step-daughter’s mother homeschools her, and she’s part of some kind of co-op. The kids go to classes taught by other people in the circle. It seems to work very well. (And it makes me feel better that her mother isn’t the one doing all the teaching. . .that’s another thing entirely, though.)

    • That_Darn_Kat

      July 29, 2013 at 11:45 am

      This is what I meant, it’s no longer Mom doing everything, even if she doesn’t know the subject. Parents get together and help each other out with different subjects.

      I hate to bring up the Duggars, but if you ever watch, the older kids have stuff they do on the computer for their classes, while the younger ones are taught by Michelle from workbooks or whatever.

    • jessica

      July 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Agreed. Also I think computers and the internet have really changed the homeschooling world for the better. I took a few EdX courses and was surprised at how well the whole internet learning thing worked out for me. But still, homeschooling probs wouldn’t work out for my family. It would if math weren’t a thing because I am god awful at math. But math is a thing and a really important thing at that so we’re going to to stick with public school for now.

  6. Talija

    July 29, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I think I feel the same about this as I do on nearly all of the parenting hot debate topics. To be the best parents we can be, we have to know our own limitations. You are a better parent for realising you aren’t cut out for home schooling, than you would be if you insisted you could because “it’s the best thing to do” and failing your children in such an important area. No one is good at everything, we all have weaknesses and failings and doing the best for your children means aknowledging them and knowing when someone elses influence/instruction/ideas are more beneficial than your own.

    • Emil

      July 29, 2013 at 11:36 am

      could not agree more!

    • Melissa T

      July 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      I so agree! I do have a friend who is trying to homeschool, and she is totally miserable. Her kids are miserable. She keeps thinking ‘maybe this year’ she’ll try something different or send her kids to public school, but at the last minute decides to keep doing what she’s doing. It’s largely fear-based. I feel so bad for her and her kids, and do my best to encourage her that public school isn’t the devil or the end of the world. She is someone who probably should not be homeschooling, and isn’t being fair to her own limitations or her kids. They just want to have a fun mom, and she’s like DO MORE WORKSHEETS. 🙁 I don’t know how to help her.

      I homeschool, and I am not good at math. So I gladly hand that subject off. 🙂

    • noelle 02

      July 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

      I love the rare occasions I hear other homeschool moms acknowledge that homeschooling is not for everyone. I know many great homeschoolers, but I also have a family friend with a fourteen year old eighth grader who is a great reader, but only reads science fiction, can’t do any math at all (I mean, not even 25 plus 30), spends all day watching science fiction on tv, and takes community art classes as her sole activity outside the home. She also is 4’9″ and weighs 300 pounds. No, homeschooling is not the best option for this family. Anyone CAN homeschool, but no one SHOULD homeschool unless they are going to put a focus on making certain their child(ren) get a superior education.

    • heathersal

      August 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Completely agree. I do homeschool, but it is NOT for everyone; it is foolhardy to say that every family, every child, and every parent is suitable to one particular lifestyle (which, homeschooling IS a lifestyle). This is what works best for our family right now, maybe not forever, and maybe ultimately not for all of our children. I feel terrible for moms/dads who feel guilty because they don’t homeschool. Society doesn’t expect every child to have the same capabilities and talents, why would every adult? People need to make the best decision for their family.

  7. Tea

    July 29, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I was home-schooled grade 6 through High-school. I had a chronic illness that was causing me to fail out of school on a strictly “Too many missed days” policy, despite being an honor student and functioning well above my grade level.

    It’s really not for everyone, and I met the whole spectrum of archetypes that show up in that environment. I met children of hippies, I met kids who functioned high above or below their grade level, I met astoundingly-conservative future wives-in-training who didn’t even think college was an option because their dad had already found them a nice Christian boy to marry and have 8 kids with (Which sounds a lot like arranged marriage in retrospect). I met sheltered kids, and I met kids who rolled a natural charisma of 18. I also met a lot of normal people. We were part of a group, and occasionally we did things like go on overnight trips together, go to museums, and have picnics. I was realistically about as well socialized as your average awkward nerdy kid, which I was and always had been. I also attended one class at the local HS/MS, because being in an Orchestra is hard to do solo. I also did a lot of stuff on the computer.

    I will admittedly say that my mom was extremely lax, and I took advantage of that because I was a lazy teenager and I could.It probably wasn’t the best fit for us, but once I started taking college courses when I was 13-ish, it got a lot more bearable. That’s actually how I did math and some of my sciences. Mostly I was un-schooled, or maybe there’s a new term for it these days. I can’t really say whether it was a good choice or a bad one, but I graduated college with honors and am a reasonably functional adult, so it can’t have gone too badly. However, it sounds like public school is going well for you now, so why change a good thing? I don’t see homeschooling as the right or wrong way, just a way that some people follow.

    • Eve Vawter

      July 29, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Tea, nothing you comment on is anyway close to like normal people experience because you are amaze.

    • Paul White

      July 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      I wish we could teach a lot more like colleges in earlier grade levels. A 13 or 14 year old probably *can* hack 099 and 100 level course work in a subject they’re interested in/gifted in. I actually kind of wish subject level tracks were still a thing.

  8. Guest

    July 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I share all these concerns (except the work at home one) and I home-school. I have four kids, ages 2-10 and our house is NEVER organized. I /don’t/ get to pee in peace and patience is rarely my strong suit. But I’m doing it, and the payoff is incredible. I’m proud of my kids and I’m proud of myself. Home-schooling is NOT for everyone, but it’s for more people than you’d think. You don’t have to have a masters degree in anything to teach a child to read. You don’t have to be a scientist to teach 3rd grade science. As someone else mentioned, home-schooling has changed A LOT and there are so many opportunities and resources available to everyone. I’m just happy to see that some of the more ugly stereoypes are slowly disappearing. Thanks for this discussion-provoking article. 🙂

  9. Haradanohime

    July 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Homeschooling is a lot easier today than it was in the past. there are manual that outline the basics needed for subjects at each level. You just teach them at your own pace within a certain time period but with a lot less cramming needed than in a public school setting where you only have a small block of time per day to teach certain things before moving on. Parents have the ability to spend a little more time on something their child may have an issue with to give them a firm foundation before moving on, a luxury most teachers do not have due to the demands of curriculum needed covered for school wide testing.

    There are so many resources open to home schooling parents that are not open to students in public school. Is your child not a morning person? Then they can sleep in and start lessons later when their mind is more “awake”. Do they do better focusing in the evenings? Then leave lessons for at night and do purely physical or hands on things earlier in the day. Do your children learn differently? Most school settings do not have time for hands on real world learning. You can literally turn every outing into a learning experience as a home school teacher without your kids realizing they are learning and many take away much more from this than from being lectured even as young adults.

    There are manuals and resources galore for teaching all kinds of subjects available at local libraries or even online. The Sylvan Learning center is one such resource that could help if your child if they are struggling in a subject you might not be qualified to teach yourself. There are also many online schools where your child could be taught across the distance and receive the same one on one experience as if you were the main teacher without the hassle of teaching yourself.

    I honestly wish public and private school teachers had the flexibility to actually be able to teach their students in this fashion as they did in the past. But with the demands of government pressures on teachers to get kids to pass tests, not learn, they do not have this luxury and too many students fall through the cracks.

    • Paul White

      July 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      You know, you can turn every outing with your non-homeschool kid into a learning experience too? I can’t count the number of lessons I learned on hikes, trips to the zoo, the state capitol, etc.

  10. Melissa T

    July 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I homeschool. I am not organized and never have been, though not currently working I HAVE worked both outside and inside the home while also homeschooling, I don’t feel particularly patient, I can’t math, most of my friends are non-homeschoolers, and being that my kids are 12 and almost 8, I definitely shower and urinate alone. 🙂 It’s not really the hardest thing ever. It’s just like regular parenting, but with history lessons. Not everyone can or should homeschool, but I’m just sayin’, it’s not a martyrs-only job.

    • Melissa T

      July 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      p.s. There is nothing wrong with your list, or that they are your reasons. Those are perfectly sane, valid reasons not to homeschool. 🙂 Not wanting to is another valid reason. Every kid is different and every parent is different and every family situation is different, and ya gotta do what works!

  11. allisonjayne

    July 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    It’s interesting being Canadian (no seriously!) reading mostly American parenting websites, because I think homeschooling is much more of a thing down there. There was a discussion about it recently on our donor sibling facebook group, and the Americans were talking about things I didn’t even know about (charter schools?). At least where I am, in my circle, public school is pretty much a given, and the question is more about whether or not to do French immersion. Anyway, useless comment, just that I see this stuff come up on US parenting sites a lot and I’m always like, oh right…that’s a thing.

    • Leigha7

      August 1, 2013 at 12:45 am

      If I understand correctly, charter schools are essentially halfway between public and private schools. They don’t cost anything to attend and are state funded, but they have stricter policies (such as uniforms and demerit systems) more akin to private schools. They may also be focused on the arts, or geared towards gifted kids, or otherwise be a special sort of school that you’d usually expect would be a private school.

      A lot of times, they’re found in communities where the public school system is failing, to provide an option for parents who want to make sure their kids get a good education but don’t have the ability to send them to private schools. While public schools in some areas are incredibly lax and frankly couldn’t care less whether students graduate, let alone actually learn anything (and in some places, they do care, but don’t have enough money to make a difference), charter schools tend to focus a great deal on these things, and many have very high graduation rates. They’ve generally been pretty successful, from what I’ve seen, though it can be hard to get your kid into one since they have limited space and funding.

      That’s what I’ve gotten from the news coverage I’ve seen of them, at any rate.

    • allisonjayne

      August 1, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Interesting. I went to a public arts high school – you had to audition to get in, but it was publicly funded and other than all my electives being taken up by my major (and the fact that the school sold all the football equipment to buy a piano at one point), there wasn’t really a difference between it and a regular public school. But yeah, from what I’ve read, there’s just generally a big difference between public schools in Canada and the US.

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      January 16, 2014 at 11:39 am

      Wow where did you find such a school. I am in Quebec, and their solution to my kids already reading and knowing her numbers, addition and subtraction pre-k was basically discipline her for acting out when bored, and ignore her until the rest of the class caught up. Now she is basically average. She still gets almost 100% in everything but really didn’t learn anything until the rest of the kids learned everything she learned when she was 4 at home.

      I’ve been told, you shouldn’t have taught her anything because that was the reason she caused so much trouble in kindergarten. I just can’t stand not teaching her, we have fun learning together.

      Our other option was to keep her in the Montessori school but tuition was killing us.

      The public school cannot even guarantee us that she will be in the same public school each year. Your school is dictated by your address. If that school is full you can be shifted to another at their convenience. This year of my neighbors, the grade 2 students are in school A which is our official school. The kindergarten kids were sent to school B the closest school to A. Some of the grade 1’s go to school C (very far away) and some are in B. I was told mine was in A, then a month later told she would go to C, then a week before school started was told she was back in A. Thankfully we didn’t buy the school supplies. My neighbors have one kid in A and one in B. They do not try and keep families together. It sucks!!! I would love to homeschool, but need to work to pay my mortgage.

  12. TngldBlue

    July 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    I’ll be homeschooling our daughter if she doesn’t get into the charter school we want her attend (it’s a lottery system for admittance). For us it’s the right choice for many reasons but I do think if you’re going to do it properly you have to truly believe it’s the best thing for your kid. Ain’t no shame in knowing it’s not for you right now.

  13. Gretta

    July 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I don’t homeschool because for now my kids really like school.

  14. disqus_RcnfTzAghr

    July 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I will not homeschool because I know me and I know that I won’t be able to do it fairly and responsibly.
    There are things I am passionate about, literature, ancient history and music. There are things I despise, math, geography, art history. I know me, and me would struggle putting my hatred aside and I don’t want to be a negative influence on my daughter’s education. I want her to discover her own likes and dislikes independent of mine. I have a very childish streak and I would huff and pout through teaching her geography, and maybe even avoid it all together just so I don’t have to re-visit it.

    I read the list, and yes most of it makes sense, 17 is silly. I could never homeschool because I know myself and no, I could never do it correctly. What I believe that I can and cannot do is no reflection on anyone else other than me.

    • Blueathena623

      July 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      Yay! Another geography hater! Geography is seriously the ONE subject that I can’t get my mind around. I can know the entire fricking history of a country, but not be able to locate it on a map. I fucking hate geography. And state capitols. And state names. You get the idea.

    • Justme

      July 30, 2013 at 10:47 am

      But the geography that is taught nowadays in schools (at least in my district) is not the “color and memorize this map” type of geography. The class is instead called World Cultures and encompasses MUCH more than where a country is located on a map. I taught it for three years in the beginning of my teaching career and I set up communism in my classroom (they were assigned jobs and then I took all their money), showed pictures of my trip to concentration camps in Germany, and talked about current events happening in the regions of the world we were studying (we talked about Benazir Bhutto one week…and the next week she was assassinated – my kids came to class buzzing all about it). It was such a fun class because there was just so much to talk about.

    • Leigha7

      August 1, 2013 at 12:55 am

      I took a class called World Cultures in high school (about, uh, 7 years ago). It was part history and part “color this map” (we didn’t even have to memorize, just color). Most of what we talked about was religion and ancient history, though. We learned about Egypt and Mesopotamia (again, because we’d learned about those in elementary school social studies), and we discussed differences between the Abrahamic religions and the history of Islam. We also learned about Hinduism and Buddhism.

      Actually, that’s all I remember learning. I know we had to memorize the five pillars of Islam, but that’s about the only specific thing I remember.

      Uh…anyway, we also took geography in middle school, which was a completely different class in which we were supposed to memorize the names of different mountain ranges and lakes on each continent and the countries and capitals of Europe. It was a pretty useless class, aside from the fact that I now know of the existence of Andorra (and that the capital is Andorra la Vella).

    • Justme

      August 1, 2013 at 7:15 am

      That was still seven years ago. Much has changed in education since then. Secondly…that’s why I said “at least in my district.”

  15. CrushLily

    July 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I have a relative who homeschools here in Australia. It is not that common here, mostly because Australian public schools are of a very high quality (I think they are ranked #6 in the world after all the Scandinavian countries but feel free to correct me) but she decided her son was not socially mature enough for school because he was (allegedly) bullying other kids. In my uneducated mind, I would have thought school would have been GOOD for developing his social maturity and the more kids he was around the more secure he would feel so there would be less need to bully. Anyway, what do I know, I’m not his mother (direct quote of course).
    Now, five years later, she complains constantly that he won’t do his school work, he doesn’t do any socialising with other kids, including playing any sport, music or art, he is always ‘naughty’, he is so bored, miserable and unhappy he is jumping out of his skin – but she will never ever admit that maybe she was wrong and maybe he would thrive at school.
    From the outside, I think that her entire identity is caught up with being a mother and the thought that someone else may have some influence over him (like a teacher) is too unbearable because, well if she’s not a mother, than what is she?
    I think theoretically homeschooling is fine, but from observing the one person I know who does it, it has to be done for the right reasons.

  16. CrazyFor Kate

    July 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I tutor two homeschooled kids and they are absolutely miserable. Their parents discourage outside friendships, so they’re lonely and act out all the time. It breaks my heart, and showed me pretty fast that homeschooling is absolutely not for me – and should NEVER be undertaken for reasons similar to these parents’.

    • Melissa T

      July 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Don’t hang the entirety of homeschooling on two kids’ experience. I wasn’t miserable, and neither are my kids, and in my decades-long experience with homeschooling, the vast majority are not miserable. 🙂 That said, sounds like that is one family that shouldn’t be homeschooling 🙁

    • CrazyFor Kate

      July 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      Oh, I know there are good homeschoolers out there. It’s just hard to go through this every day. And the parents who do it for reasons of control, or isolation, can just go rot for all I care. That is not taking an interest in your children’s education.

  17. Guilt-Free

    July 31, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    My husband’s brother’s wife homeschools and never leaves her home. Those poor kids are ordered to do chores all day everyday. I think she needs to see a shrink as do the poor kids.

  18. Guelettis

    August 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Hrm. I totally support your decisions to keep school the heck away from your home. As a homeschooler myself, I feel I can offer this statement. It is possible to have your cake and eat it too!…figuratively. My parents used the “It’s YOUR book. Figure it out!” method of education. “Here! Have some advanced poetry courses! Don’t understand a couplet? Do I look like I do?”

    My other concern was the fact I was ALWAYS in school. Told a fib to mom? Good job! Now you get to write a 5 page book report on Tom Sawyer! It’s a wonder I don’t despise reading…

    On the upside, I was raised to be very independent and logical. I try to figure out how to solve my own problems. On the downside… my parents were highly religious and chose to reflect that in my education. My history was incredibly weak until I got to college and did double time to make up for it. Apparently Christopher Columbus was a great man and the word “injun” is totally legit… (Disclaimer: I shrugged that off. Good lord, how embarrassing…especially since my husband is 1/4 Chippewa…)

    My verdict? Oh good lord, if I have kids they are going to school.

    TL;DR: Homeschooling is good for some people in some circumstances. It does not work as well with parents who choose to force values as education.

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