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Old 29-04-2013, 14:06   #1
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Were you Homeschooled?

I am really looking for the opinion of some people who grew up homeschooled. I want to know what you think about it now that you are grown. Do you wish that you went to a normal school? Do you feel like an outcast now? Have you had any trouble finding a significant other? I plan on homeschooling my two boys as we liveaboard. These are things that I worry about for them... Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 29-04-2013, 14:19   #2
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Re: were you homeschooled?

From the other side of the question...

We homeschooled both our kids all the way through high school. When they reached high school, we augmented homeschooling first with a cooperative tutorial program where a group of us hired tutors once a week (labs, foreign language, etc) then with the local community college. Both kids had considerable college credits completed when they went to college. Our daughter went to a private college, our son to a state university. Their choices were driven by the majors the chose. Both had significant social lives (sports, activities, etc).

How did it turn out? Both got degrees. Both are married. Both have kids. Our daughter's oldest has just reached school age and she has decided to homeschool hers as well. She stays home and writes for online journals. Our son is an executive chef for a new restaurant opening in Annapolis.

We are extremely proud of both of them and what they've accomplished and the choices they've made along the way. BTW - each year during their education, they had the option to continue at home or to go 'traditional.' They chose home each year. We also were able to travel extensively both in the US and abroad and incorporated those experiences into their schooling.

Couldn't be happier.
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Old 29-04-2013, 14:44   #3
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

I don't believe that annecdotal evidence should be your guide. Likely, you'll be wise enough to plan and adapt. While you are researching here, you are probably researching structured home school online programs. As the concerned and responsible parent that your post show you to be; if the cruising locale or program is not serving your children well, you'll be changing things,- right? Actually, you set the terms for success as a parent. I taught college level Advanced Placement Biolgy in a public school for most of 32 years of science teaching. At each year's open house the advanced placement classes of twenty students would have about thirty-five parent's attend and the remedial classes would be attended by four or five parents. You and your concern for your children's success is the main reason why your children will succeed!
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Old 29-04-2013, 14:46   #4
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

I've met a lot of homeschooled boat kids and they are generally as well adjusted as their parents. On the other hand, I have met some families that I think were trying to escape something back home, and it was reflected in their children. Someone once wrote that cruising is not an escape from the world, but a broadening of your experience of the world. So, if you want to homeschool them to shelter them from something, I don't think it will work, but if you want to do it to show them the world, it is a great way to learn. My two children were homeschooled onboard for only two years. We returned when my son was entering high school and my daughter was entering middle school. I think it was the best for them, as my son was and is really into computers (he is working for Microsoft this summer), and my daughter is really into her friends and dance, and both those things would have been really hard to provide in adequate measure out cruising. The best thing we did for them in homeschooling was to always have a ton of books around, as they are both voracious readers. It is fun to see my daughter come home from high school and curl up on the couch with a good book.
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Old 29-04-2013, 14:56   #5
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

Agree completely with CaptForce about gathering data. Here's a sample of what you can find searching on "homeschool evidence statistics."

~~~~~
1. In 1997, a study of 5,402 homeschool students from 1,657 families was released. It was entitled, "Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America." The study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects.

This was confirmed in another study by Dr. Lawrence Rudner of 20,760 homeschooled students which found the homeschoolers who were homeschooled all their school aged years had the highest academic achievement.

Another important finding of Strengths of Their Own was that the race of the student does not make any difference. There was no significant difference between minority and white homeschooled students. For example, in grades K-12, both white and minority students scored, on the average, in the 87th percentile. In math, whites scored in the 82nd percentile while minorities scored in the 77th percentile. In the public schools, however, there is a sharp contrast. White public school eighth grade students, nationally scored the 58th percentile in math and the 57th percentile in reading. Black eighth grade students, on the other hand, scored on the average at the 24th percentile in math and the 28th percentile in reading. Hispanics scored at the 29th percentile in math and the 28th percentile in reading.
~~~~~~~~~

Definitely search and evaluate the available data. And also talk to both parents and students to get underneath the numbers.
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Old 29-04-2013, 14:56   #6
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

I went from a private school for primary education, to a very brief stint in public high school, and eventually opted for homeschooling to finish my highschool education. I finished my highschool curriculum at the age of 14 and felt no loss of opportunity from this path.

Pros-
The ability to spend time on the subjects that interested me-- this fueled my desire to learn.
A pace that matched my needs. The areas that I was weak on were attended to rather than being passed over for political reasons.
Learning to learn. This more open style of education allows for more instruction on critical thinking and different methods of gaining and retaining information. This is one of the largests contrasts to the US education system which was founded for industrial era skills.


Cons-
Socialization. This is only an issue if your children are cloistered. I didn't have any issues pertaining to a lack of socialization.
Labs. My homeschooling environment did not allow for traditional lab experience in subjects like chemistry or physics. This put me at a slight disadvantage when I began pursuing my college education.
Educational gaps. While I did learn a considerable amount in many subjects, due to my mother's oversight I did miss out on some of the classic literature that is standard reading for other highschool students. This is easily remedied by vigilance.
Paperwork. A slight PITA when I first enrolled in college was getting them to accept my homeschool paperwork in lieu of the standard graduation certificate.

I have a son who is in the 4th grade and am fully intending to switch over to homeschooling as the traditional classroom has failed to inspire any desire on his part to learn. I lay much of the blame for this on the system of teaching for the purpose of testing.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old 29-04-2013, 15:30   #7
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

I'm guessing it's like shoes; one size does not fit all.

I would have missed the people, the sports and the laboratories. I actually won a national science fair (physics 1979) and got some boosts to colege that would have been unlikely if home schooled. I had technical interests and my parents were not technically educated (PhD arts).

On the other hand, my sister might have done better, since public school didn't work for her... except by highschool she and her mother were having major collisions. So that would have been a complete failure.

My daughter is just entering colege, so I can't speak to her ultimate success... how ever that is measured. But she is a very happy, confident person, so I feel I've done OK.

My sister then elected to home school her children (8). I would like to say it was a success. Not really. None wound up in trouble, but on the average they are not lighting the world on fire. But who can say what affected what.

(The only people who dno't have some weirdness in thier families are lying about it.)

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On the average, you're taking a sort of risk. Everything depends on you, your kids and how they are oriented, and on how you supliment it. I can easily imagine for artistically/litterary bent kids it could be fantastic.
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Old 29-04-2013, 15:40   #8
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

I should also add, that one biggy with a lot of kids is they really miss team sports. My two kids were both pretty good soccer players, and they would have been devestated not to be able to play on teams, which they both did when we came back. But, I think the biggest factor is being able to find and stay with other like-minded families with children, which is not easy out cruising. There is only so long kids want to hang out with adults, and the parents do eventually need a break once in awhile too!
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Old 29-04-2013, 15:44   #9
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

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Originally Posted by madtart View Post
...............the traditional classroom has failed to inspire any desire on his part to learn. I lay much of the blame for this on the system of teaching for the purpose of testing. ................
Very insightful! With my age and experiences the "traditional" classroom was not lead by the accountability to test scores. Teachers were free to adapt to the needs and pace of their students and free to explore creative techniqes, topics and individualized instruction. Now, with the non-traditional restraints, the cookie cutter stamps and the creativity is scrap. Standard 18.27 must be taught on day 82! Some are beating this constraint, but it's becomming more difficult!
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Old 29-04-2013, 16:42   #10
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pirate Re: Were you Homeschooled?

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... With my age and experiences the "traditional" classroom was not lead by the accountability to test scores. Teachers were free to adapt to the needs and pace of their students and free to explore creative techniqes, topics and individualized instruction. ...
Yes, but ... this was my time in the classroom as well but with one thing and another, the pace slows ultimately to the lowest common denominator. Individual instruction is great until there are too many individuals.

My kids had the best of what a nice suburb had to offer. Otherwise I'd have kept them with me.
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Old 29-04-2013, 16:49   #11
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

Quote:
Originally Posted by water babe View Post
I am really looking for the opinion of some people who grew up homeschooled. I want to know what you think about it now that you are grown. Do you wish that you went to a normal school? Do you feel like an outcast now? Have you had any trouble finding a significant other? I plan on homeschooling my two boys as we liveaboard. These are things that I worry about for them... Any input would be appreciated.

Water babe, the trick to avoiding ALL those concers is to network with other home-schooling families. Make sure their reasons for homeschooling are compatible with yours. There are just a few out there who are doing it to withdraw their children from mainstream society, but the great majority are not.

Homeschooling, well done, includes lots of other children, not just your own.
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Old 29-04-2013, 16:55   #12
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I'm guessing it's like shoes; one size does not fit all.

I would have missed the people, the sports and the laboratories. I actually won a national science fair (physics 1979) and got some boosts to colege that would have been unlikely if home schooled. I had technical interests and my parents were not technically educated (PhD arts).

On the other hand, my sister might have done better, since public school didn't work for her... except by highschool she and her mother were having major collisions. So that would have been a complete failure.

My daughter is just entering colege, so I can't speak to her ultimate success... how ever that is measured. But she is a very happy, confident person, so I feel I've done OK.

My sister then elected to home school her children (8). I would like to say it was a success. Not really. None wound up in trouble, but on the average they are not lighting the world on fire. But who can say what affected what.

(The only people who dno't have some weirdness in thier families are lying about it.)

__________

On the average, you're taking a sort of risk. Everything depends on you, your kids and how they are oriented, and on how you supliment it. I can easily imagine for artistically/litterary bent kids it could be fantastic.

Congratulations on the science fair win -- that's HUGE! -- but -- parents who are considering homeschooling -- your children can also enter the science fair. It is open to home-schooled children.

Those who have attended school all their lives know the strengths of that approach. I urge people to not imagine flaws with homeschooling. If you have first-hand knowledgen, that's different. We knew homeschooled children because one of my daughters sang in an outstanding children's choir (modeled after the Vienna Boys' choirs). She sang on a symphony recording that won an emmy; toured Russia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fall of Fascism (the end of WWII to the rest of us -- smile), and Carnegie Hall. A significant number of the singers in that top group were being homeschooled, and the chorus was how the parents provided music education.

The point being that all those homeschooled kids had the same experiences my daughter did attending public school. In fact, "just" singing in her high school chorus never would have given her those opportunities.
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Old 29-04-2013, 16:57   #13
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

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I should also add, that one biggy with a lot of kids is they really miss team sports. My two kids were both pretty good soccer players, and they would have been devestated not to be able to play on teams, which they both did when we came back. But, I think the biggest factor is being able to find and stay with other like-minded families with children, which is not easy out cruising. There is only so long kids want to hang out with adults, and the parents do eventually need a break once in awhile too!

Sorry, but not accurate. Been tested in the court, and a homeschooled student can play on the teams of the public school they would attend if they enrolled in public school.
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Old 29-04-2013, 17:04   #14
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

Quote:
Sorry, but not accurate. Been tested in the court, and a homeschooled student can play on the teams of the public school they would attend if they enrolled in public school.
Not when you're cruising in the South Pacific or the Caribbean! Sure, there are opportunities for pick-up games and stuff like that, but some kids want to be on organized high-level teams, or want to be in the orchestra, or want to be in the school play. These are not necessarily deal killers, but they are things to keep in consideration. My kids were in the group that wanted to do lots of things like that we just couldn't do out cruising, but they dealt with it for the two years we were out.
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Old 29-04-2013, 17:13   #15
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Re: Were you Homeschooled?

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Not when you're cruising in the South Pacific or the Caribbean! Sure, there are opportunities for pick-up games and stuff like that, but some kids want to be on organized high-level teams, or want to be in the orchestra, or want to be in the school play. These are not necessarily deal killers, but they are things to keep in consideration. My kids were in the group that wanted to do lots of things like that we just couldn't do out cruising, but they dealt with it for the two years we were out.

Depends on where you are in the South Pacific or the Caribbean. If they spend all their time at sea, their children will be isolated during that time. But in other posts I have recommended seeking out similar families. I'm certain they're out there. I have suggested "buddy boating" as they travel. There are ways to solve all imagined home schooling problems. Being able to get advanced classes on line actually simplifies things, because people can buddy boat not just based on who can teach what. I bet the parents could find a home base in the Caribbean where their kids could be on soccer teams. Wouldn't want to count on it based on a wish, but these things are easy to research in 2013.

Got to answer all the important questions before diving into home schooling, but as a "traditional" teacher I was so impressed with how the home schooling parents we knew solved all these problems.
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