Category: Homeschooling

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Hi there! Ever the teacher here, I just have to throw in my two cents. 🙂

I feel lucky that I can (I think) see most sides of this issue, and commend those on all sides who know what they are doing, and why they are doing it. I taught in a public high school setting for 10 years, grades 7-12, students with everything from Mild Mental Handicaps to Learning Disabilities to Severe Emotional Handicaps (Behavior Disorders) to the kind of failure-to-thrive-academically kids who end up in programs like mine because they don’t really fit anywhere else. I know there are wonderful, responsible homeshooling families out there who are doing their utmost to teach their kids not only academics but also the moral and social framework they need in order to thrive in the world. I know there are teachers (I was one of them) who undertake to do the very same thing for the huge number of kids whose parents either are not able to do this for reasons of their own.

I know that there are parents who send their kids to public school, whose goals are directly in line with those homeschooling parents and good teachers, who do not the have ability to stay home and homeschool, and thus must do what they can in the time they have, and hope that the public schools will support and enhance their own goals for their children. Unfortunately, I also know so-called “homeschooling” parents who actually do not homeschool, but keep their kids home for company, because they do not want to deal with keeping their kids clean and clothed, or do not want to take the responsibility of dealing with their child’s misbehavior at school. It is too bad that this small minority sometimes give “homeschooling” a negative connotation, just as a few bad teachers can give “public schools” a bad reputation. I will say hats off to homeschoolers who take on their responsibility as seriously as any life commitment.

These are the kids who will go on to succeed, imo. I will ALSO say, hats off to school teachers everywhere. When I taught, I didn’t just focus on English and science. I spent a good deal of my time trying to teach kids a lot of skills that they *should* have learned at home: how to be a responsible adult, how to handle anger and frustration, how to speak up in a positive way. I worked with kids who were known criminals. I dealt for hours on end with a 15 year old rapist, and separately, with the girl he brutalized.

My goals: to help her in her recovery, and to try to help him gain some empathy and anger control so that he would not go on to murder his next victim. (Psychologists will probably tell you it is impossible to instill a conscience into someone who is 15 years old…I felt I had no choice but to try. Who else would be able to get through to a kid with virtually no guidance at home?) I listened to parents berate their kids, and spoke up for the children.

I dealt with parents who wanted ME to make their kids behave, because they couldn’t do it at home. And although it sounds like I am talking about ME here…I am not. I am speaking about the experience of practically every good teacher I know. So…I am just glad that this discussion has not become a diatribe against public schools in general. Teachers do not deserve a bad rap. Most of them are doing the very best they can with the resources they have, limited though those resources may be. And they are, all too often, the last chance for a very significant number of kids. And, although it won’t help anyone specifically here, I can assure you that in MY classroom, NO ONE was abused, put down, made fun of, or harassed. 🙂 Whew!

Every time I get started, I get all carried away. 🙂 Hope I have not stepped on anyone’s toes. Just wanted to add yet another view. Now, ask me what I think would be the *ideal* school set-up, lol…..

Re: May I play devil’s advocate for a few minutes?

Sad to say- but it’s not the kids, it’s the parents. The problems with our children today did not start in the public school system but rather in the home.

I couldn’t agree more HOWEVER, our home isn’t that way and that is where my kids would most often deal with this stuff.

I respect your reason for wanting to HS your kids, but sooner or later they will have to interact with their peers.

I am not homeschooling currently (my children are two and four) but I am sure a lot of homeschooling parents would agree that school is not the only place for socizlization and interaction with peers. This is one of my concerns simply because although as it was mentioned that there are thousands of homeschooling families in Missouri I have found only one other family in our county….definitely no others in our small town. There are also not a lot of other activities that are not centered around the school.

If the kids that are misbehaving are at church then where are you going to take your kids for them to form friendships? Are you going to quit going to church?

Now I don’t think that is fair. I am not trying to start a debate about homeschooling and I certainly have no intention of removing human contact from my children’s lives. That is why I asked people to email me and marked it OT so that people could skip it if they wished and email me privately if they wished. I simply wanted resources for homeschooling without local support.

As I said this is Vacation Bible School. None of these problem children are from our church but these ARE kids they will go to school with in the public schools (we have no private schools in the county either). If they carry on half as bad (and I know that they do because it is a small town) in school as they do at our church I don’t want my kids to be their victims. Many parents use VBS as a babysitter (not so they can learn and from talking to the parents of our worst ones they dont’ even expect them to behave) and send their kids to all of them in town and they are bored stiff because they just went to the other baptist church last week and did the same activities.

Tonight went much better….the large group (all cousins) that basically harassed everyone did not return after some forced discussions with parents. The other kids learned, they had a ball and it was wonderful.

Basically what I am saying is that there really isn’t a lot we can do about bad behavior. As a church we are private and can ask them to leave but the schools really can’t do it that easily. Teachers have a very difficult job and there is no way for them to have the power to protect the majority…the ones who aren’t disruptive. I will agree that the problem is definitely at home but I can’t do a single thing about their homes and I can’t give the schools and teachers more power to do something about it. I can however choose not to let my kids be part of it and risk being physically and emotionally abused.

I will shut up now.

May I play devil’s advocate for a few minutes?

Today, I supervised registration for a large public high school. The only negative people we had were NOT the students BUT the parents!!

One man threw his papers up in the air and cussed us out (his boys apologized for their dad), one man insisted he be given preferential treatment because he had a business trip the next day, well you get the general idea… Sad to say- but it’s not the kids, it’s the parents. And, it’s not all parents just a few. The problems with our children today did not start in the public school system but rather in the home.

I respect your reason for wanting to HS your kids, but sooner or later they will have to interact with their peers. If the kids that are misbehaving are at church then where are you going to take your kids for them to form friendships? Are you going to quit going to church? There are not easy answers. I find the majority of young teens today to be creative, insightful, and respectful. They live in a society we as parents and adults have created. Good luck in your endeavors.

I’ve been on this blog for just a week or so

Hi, I’ve been on this list for just a week or so, sort of lurking, enjoying all your posts, but mainly I’ve just been trying to get a feel for this group. So, please allow me to introduce myself, My name is Melissa. I am a Frugal- pagan- homeschooling- Massage Therapist- Herbal/ Naturopathic Nutritional Consultant- Mom of 2 great boys.

*Whew* Think I got everything out there. Still with me? Great. As far as your predicament with homeschooling… first.. let me tell you, there are Thousands of Homeschooling families in MO. Yes, THOUSANDS. *smile* Thats the good news. The even better news is, You have just decided to join the ranks of some of the most talented creative people you’ve ever known. There are several ways to HS, for instance, we Unschool. That is, my children do not follow a set curriculum. We use Theme Units, (such as an Ocean Study unit), etc. These are great fun for the kids, and make it incredibly easy on you when your starting out.

Here are some website, I noticed that you mentioned Church, I’m not sure which religion you followed and whether or not you would prefer to keep education/religion separate.. so I offer these in Peace! As I said, I am pagan, so I have not used these particular sites, but they seem to be loaded with really great info: The Catholic Homeschool Network of America

If I knew which area you were from I could better direct you to a group near you: here are some examples… SLHSN – St. Louis Homeschool Network A support group for homeschooling families and an information source for prospective homeschoolers. Diverse, with many religious, political and educational philosophies; focused exclusively on homeschooling issues. Offers bi-monthly meetings for members (visitors welcome); a monthly newsletter; a Learning Coop; a resource “trunk” library; and field events and special activities arranged by members. A packet of information is available with resources, description of homeschooling approaches, answers to frequently asked questions and the laws in Missouri and Illinois as they pertain to homeschoolers. Membership is $12 per year; Information Packet is $3.

Bolivar Area Homeschoolers

Support, activities, classes, and a newsletter, for homeschoolers in Southwest Missouri –

Here is probably the most helpful link I can think of.

FHE is the Lobbying Group for all home educators in the state of Missouri. We are not affiliated with any religious, political organization or special interest group. We work to win support for home education among the general public and before lawmakers and public officials. FHE provides legally accurate information to anyone interested in home education.

So.. these are just a few I could think of, since I am in Maine.. I’m not so good at locating resources in your State. I would be more than happy to direct you toward some additional sources if you would like.

(BTW, Homeschooling can be done frugally! If your worried about additional expenses think of all the money you will save on school supplies (the perfect notebooks that Everyones kids have), Brand name clothing kids fight for, etc!

Take Care,