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Home schooling kids

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran
edited July 2019 in General Banter

It seems my cousin and his wife are taking the big step of home schooling his three kids. It’s caused a bit of a kerfuffle (great word, that, ‘kerfuffle’) in the family, with widely varying opinions on whether it is a good decision. His father (my uncle on my mothers side) and his sister (also with three kids) are very definitely not in favour.

My personal opinion is you can get away with it up to about age 10, after that you would very likely be unable to cover all the specialist knowledge kids learn in a modern school. You’d also have to be careful not to deny them any of the opportunities that kids in an ordinary school have, and then there is the whole “learn to interact in a group” argument. He is an IT Specialist and his wife looks after the home and the kids during the day...

Do you have any knowledge or opinions about this? Any good books to recommend?

I did come across this which they were interested in.


  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Thanks @federica, its good to have a more knowledgeable take on this. It seems there are various groups around the country for this kind of thing, and a lot of meeting up is done at Not Back To School Parties (NBTSP’s), so the parents do support eachother.

    Certainly from what I am hearing social media have not made schools any easier. So avoiding that kind of toxic interaction would definitely be a plus for home schooling.

  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer

    I was unschooled until I was 14. @federica not all homeschooling is highly curriculum guided, and it's good!

    Unschooling for me looked like me learning to read by 4 and then set loose on the world of books. I explored the woods and the creek by our house, and tended the garden, and climbed trees and played in the dirt. I went hiking, and learned about the indigenous people who built mounds around the town where we lived, and visited science museums.

    By the time I went to high school I knew different things than my classmates, but not at all inferior. I jumped right into high school perfectly civilized and sociable, getting perfect grades.

    I credit my absolute LOVE of learning to my unschooling, as my teachers didn't beat it out of me at an early age. I'm constantly reading or learning a new skillset or base of knowledge now.

    Let me emphasize that for a minute: in unschooling, life itself is learning. There is no “doing school” … you are learning all the time.

    From this article on unschooling...

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    I bet your childhood was a lot more pleasant than that of most kids at that age, too. Thanks for the insight @Quidditch.

  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer

    @Kerome I'm very grateful for my parents giving me that gift of a childhood. I'm not saying it was all roses, I struggled with mental health for at least part of that time, but it was perfect for me.

    Some kids might not flourish in that environment, my brother didn't. He went to public school for most of his schooling.

    I'm leaning towards homeschooling my daughter as well. It's an experience you can tailor to the child, not a one size fits all model. I think homeschooling is great.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    So what would you say was the difference with your brother? Was he more physical, less oriented on reading? What made him unsuitable to the unschooling method?

  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer

    I was more ok with being alone or with my mom, and he was more attached to being with his friends most of the day. I had good friends, I was just ok seeing them a couple days a week instead of every day. I'm an introvert and he's an extrovert.

    You can definitely do homeschooling with other people every day, but that didn't work for our family in our situation so he didn't take to it as well as I did. He struggled in public school, but he was adamant about staying with his friends. My parents took our opinions on the matter of our schooling seriously.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    My wonderful angel of an eldest daughter, 'home-schooled' her younger sister, and was an absolute god-send to me in the way she quite naturally and voluntarily took charge of her little sibling and taught her everything through her formative years; from holding her own bottle, to using her potty for the first time, to reading, drawing and playing...

    On the first day of my youngest daughter's day at Pre-School (she was 3-and-a-half) I introduced her to the PlayGroup Leader, a lovely, motherly, cuddly, matronly lady called Sharon Fettel.
    I explained that caroline Could read...

    "Yes, well, we shall all sit down and look at books together, and learn new words..."
    "Fine, but that won't be necessary with Caroline; she can read..."
    "Oh, they all love looking at books at that age, and burbling the words..." beamed Sharon
    "Ok, but, Sharon: She Can Read..."
    "Lovely! Well, see you at midday, and we can discuss what she can do at home, then!" and she ushered Caroline into the playgroup, with a backward smile. Caroline ran in, positively delighted to be there...

    I duly turned up at midday, and Sharon came up to me, face amazed, eyes wide open...
    "She can READ! " she stammered, clearly stunned. "I mean, actually, really read!"
    "Well, I **did ** try to tell you!" I replied, laughing.

    Sadly, neither Caroline nor her elder sister were actually home-schooled. If I'd known then what I know now, they would have been. They're both bright, articulate, intelligent, multi-lingual and ahead of their game, and I can't honestly say I credit any of that in a vast way to their schooling. Rather like other bright, intelligent, enthusiastic, articulate children, they were subtly held back in favour of those who found learning difficult, a struggle.

    In times gone by, those children would have been encouraged to find a good skill, a craft they were capable of, something useful to apply themselves to, an apprenticeship with a Master of their trade. They would in all probability have been trained in a worthwhile activity that was both a necessity and a good career to apply themselves to.

    Such apprenticeships are now a novelty, an exception. Skills which were once commonplace and much in demand, are now looked upon as revivals and rescuers of 'a dying art'... Everything is mechanised, so such abilities are mainly redundant.

    The education system is full of wonderful people all demonstrating unique and individual abilities. To suppose that they can all be taught the same way, at the same time, from the same textbooks, and be expected to achieve similar positive results, is a shameful practice and a sad indictment of how badly we are letting the next generation, down.

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