Homeschooling: Here's my take on it, What's yours?


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 25, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
I was at first a dad who was reluctant to homeschool my kids. My wife brought me the idea ten years ago, but I took some time to warm up to it.

I was worried they'd be weird. Strange. Disconnected from social reality. We all knew "that homeschool kid" from when we were young.

But now we're now almost eight years into it with a kindergardener, a fourth grader and a freshman in high school. And it has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. What a joy and an honor to parent and teach these kids.

Today at the Fresno Museum of Arts
today at the museum.  K-9th grade in action.
today at the museum. K-9th grade in action.
Credit: micronut

My wife lines em up daily and its Little House on The Prairie in the kitchen. With a spread from K through 9th its a bit comical but heartwarming to watch.

Here's the table right now.
Bek's doin' addition.
Gabriel (4th grade) is reading Conrad's Heart of Darkness.....not your normal Calif. reading level/list
Sierra is digging into the heavy writings of Martin Luther.
Lego creations abound throughout the home. "Its a mega nuclear alien hunter/destroyer craft"
Credit: micronut

My kids can't play public school team sports, which is a bit of a drag, but they do club sports, (Sierra is one of the state's fastest 100M backstrokers in the 14 yo age group)church league basketball (and really...are half asians ever gonna play in the NBA).....But would you rather have your kid doing triple day macho dad t-ball or learning to tie their own knots.

"Always check your buddy Dad."
Credit: micronut

And Sierra may not go to the Prom if she chooses to stay homeschooled. Maybe just a nice evening at the opera or something with a group of homeschool friends? Is that so bad?

The world tells you your kids will be weirdos if they aren't in school.....but this is what I trade in return:

-A dumbed down Calif. Curriculum vs. Teaching how and what we deem important

-Bullies and school shootings vs. A caring and safe environment

-A worldview shaped by lusty, lazy classmates with home issues vs. A solid identity based in love and respect

-Friday night lights football(I do miss it) vs. Trad climbing with with my kids (no contest)

-Truancy vs. Family adventure Wednesdays whenever we want

The list goes on and on in my opinion. I had a great education, good country schools and a great college and solid education at the Medical College of Georgia. But times have changed. I'm diggin' the way they are turning out. The proof is in the puddin' so far. We're far from perfect and we learn as we go. But for now I'm all for homeschooling if its done right.

I'd love to know more insight or thoughts if you got em.

Credit: micronut


Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 25, 2013 - 07:32pm PT
We homeschooled for 20 years. It was a marvelous thing for us, allowing us to take school with us in all of our travels to South America.

Our kids ended up with a most unique upbringing, and they are two of the most sociable kids you'll ever meet.

They learned early on how most of the world lives, through the eyes of Third World friends, and how blessed they are as Americans.

They also learned how to live in an adult world, and at a very early age were able to hold their own in respectful conversations with adults.

They worked at their own pace...which usually meant they were done with school by noon, then up on the mountain snowboarding the rest of the day.

They are now both out making their way in the world, and are two very hard-working young adults, chasing their dreams. We could not be more proud of them.

Homeschooling is not for is a serious committment. But when it's right, it is a thing of beauty!

Dean Rosnau

Social climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 07:37pm PT
My aunt and uncle did it with 4 boys and they all turned out great.

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jan 25, 2013 - 07:41pm PT
An interesting thing happens up here. . . kids can be homeschooled AND take classes at the public schools if they want. (maybe that's standard everywhere?)

This really neat neighbor kid decided to take guitar at the high school in his senior year and he invited us to his recitals. They were fabulous. There were so few of us at them that we usually sat on the stage with the kids.


Every kid I know who is homeschooled is really neat. Not just socialized to their age group, but able to fit it with people of all ages.



The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Jan 25, 2013 - 07:44pm PT
I don't have children.

The American education system is huge business with very specific goals and I would never allow my children (if I had any) to be a part of it.

I am not saying it's all bad, but knowing what I know now at 51 years of age, I just wouldn't do it.

Good on you guys for homeschooling; it can have its pitfalls, but the alternative is worse in my opinion.. Critical thinking is now seemingly dead in public education in the United States. I defer to a quote from my friend, Ron Kauk.
Credit: Walleye

Jan 25, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
A lot of people homeschool in my neck of the woods and in my opinion the only thing missing is a shell.
My daughter Isabel on the left at a public school function
My daughter Isabel on the left at a public school function
Credit: kennyt

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jan 25, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
I was homeschooled until high school started. We moved around a fair bit, must have made sense to my parents.

Not so en vogue during the early 80's either.

HS was a joke, so I dropped out after sophmore year, started a business, recieved my Good Enough Degree, went to college with the rest of my friends...

I would never change one part of my upbringing, or my parents decision to keep me at home.

Good for you Micro, your kids will thank you for the real world experiences you have shared together.


Lake Tahoe
Jan 25, 2013 - 07:56pm PT
I know of a couple in which the male was completely for home schooling. That was, until he found out that he would have to do some of it and it would impinge on his ability to do other stuff like go on skiing trips.

I get the impression that the female does most of the kids upbringing when it comes to daily kid management.

Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 25, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
Homeschooling? I grew up with a load of home schooled kids.

The schooling is only as good as the parents. Most turn out fine. A few great.. some not so great.

I guess that's no different than regular schools though come to think of it.

Jan 25, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
Kauk was home schooled.

He left the stupid worldly school and joined us all in school of Camp4 ..... :-)
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Jan 25, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
I'm all for homeschooling if its done right.

That is the crux of the matter.

I am a public school teacher that has seen both sides of the issue.

It all really comes down to parents/caregivers taking a proactive approach
to their kids education whether be it in the public school, private school, or home school environment.

In general, if the parents do not value education or make an effort to promote/support learning in what ever setting they choose, the kid suffers the consequences.

Glad you are being proactive parents when it comes to your kids education!


EDIT: Don't get me started on whats wrong with public education!


Jan 25, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
-A dumbed down Calif. Curriculum vs. Teaching how and what we deem important
let me guess yer pissed cuz God aint allowed in school.

Credit: kennyt

Jan 25, 2013 - 08:27pm PT
The home schooled kids I saw were close to universally doing awesome. It takes more time and commitment from parents, but the end result appears to be a superior product. It was a harder row to hoe than my wife and I wanted though *cough*lazy*cough.

Big respect for those that choose that path.

Oh, and Kennyt, clearly you have no clue what you are talking about.

Jan 25, 2013 - 08:32pm PT

Oh, and Kennyt, clearly you have no clue what you are talking about.
Thank you for your opinion prof.

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 25, 2013 - 08:32pm PT
I should have added that my wife is a professional teacher. She taught public school for many years, and before we even married, we talked about homeschooling any kids we might have.

It only worked for us because we were fully committed. It takes an incredible amount of work to create a school environment, and discipline to stay on task....for both student AND teacher.

Social climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 08:36pm PT
I've been teaching 9th grade since 1986. Pretty much every home school kid (except one) that I have had were very very polite and quiet. Very polite and very quiet-They tended to gravitate toward adults. Too much so IMO. I'm not sure how to say this, but it felt like they were missing something.
I think that there is a huge value in letting children be together--In their own crude and cruel way they teach each other lessons that adults are unable to communicate. They drag each other kicking and screaming into the world--unfiltered by adult supervision.
I'm not trying to be a killjoy for you and your children but sometimes adults try to polish things a little too perfect--I always liked the kids with some rough edges
Home school kids look good in Museums and in Science fairs and shti like that but............well.....this is what I've seen FWIW.

Jan 25, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
Cragman, All of us working people who are stuck with the "dumbed down california curriculim" will have to be satisfied with our kids working for yours and micronuts.LOL

Jan 25, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
++ 100 for hobo_dan

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 25, 2013 - 08:43pm PT
Famous homeschooled people..

Claude Monet
Grandma Moses
Leonardo da Vinci
Rembrandt Peale
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Michelle Kwan
Jason Taylor
Tim Tebow
Serena Williams
Venus Williams
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Agatha Christie
Alex Haley
Beatrix Potter
C.S. Lewis
Charles Dickens
George Bernard Shaw
Hans Christian Anderson
Louisa May Alcott
Margaret Atwood
Mark Twain
Phillis Wheatley
Pearl S. Buck
Robert Frost
Virginia Woolf
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Andrew Carnegie
Colonel Harland Sanders
Dave Thomas
Joseph Pulitzer
Ray Kroc
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Felix Mendelssohn
Irving Berlin
John Philip Sousa
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Alan Alda
Charlie Chaplin
Christina Aguilera
Dakota Fanning
Hillary Duff
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Justin Timberlake
LeAnne Rimes
Louis Armstrong
Whoopi Goldberg
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Davy Crockett
George Rogers Clark
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Alexander Graham Bell
Benjamin Franklin
Cyrus McCormick
Eli Whitney
Thomas Edison
Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright
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Military Leaders
Douglas MacArthur
George Patton
John Paul Jones
Robert E. Lee
Stonewall Jackson
Matthew Perry
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Ansel Adams
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Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Jackson
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
George Washington
Grover Cleveland
James Garfield
James Madison
John Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Tyler
Theodore Roosevelt
Thomas Jefferson
William Henry Harrison
Woodrow Wilson
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Religious Leaders
Brigham Young
Dwight L. Moody
Joan of Arc
John & Charles Wesley
William Carey
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Albert Einstein
Blaise Pascal
Booker T. Washington
George Washington Carver
Pierre Curie
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Alexander Hamilton
Daniel Webster
Patrick Henry
William Jennings Bryan
William Penn
Winston Churchill
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United States Supreme Court Judges
John Jay
John Marshall
John Rutledge
Sandra Day O'Connor
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Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams
Clara Barton, started the red cross
Florence Nightingale, nurse
Martha Washington, wife of George Washington
Susan B. Anthony

Trad climber
Jan 25, 2013 - 08:45pm PT
Thanks for some great "food for thought" -- yet another reason ST is so awesome -- connection to folks with ideas different than your own that really get you to thinking...and expanding your understanding and view of the world.

I never would have googled "home schooling", but your thoughtful post (as so many of your others) with pictures reached me on another level.

Last week the muppet's preschool teachers gave me an "evaluation" at least 10+ pages long where she is compared to other preschoolers nationally in I don't remember how many categories. She's 3.5 years old. She'll be evaluated again in the Spring. My own mind started to wander about three pages in because I couldn't make sense out of the format or what it was meant to convey. Words and lines and comparisons.

I realized reading your story that I am actually dreading putting the muppet in kindergarden. We don't enjoy sitting still for long periods of time, or learning from written materials. We like to "do"...we're kinesthetic. And we have an overabundance of energy that needs physical and creative outlets or we get temperamental (or worse, we retreat into ourselves).

There are concerns about all that energy, challenges with self expression, speaking ever so softly and inverting/getting things backwards. All of this I know intrinsically as reflections of myself in her. And I also know how it feels to have people all your life long trying to make you into something that you are not, for lack of understanding or simply a preconceived notion that everyone should fit a certain mold because different is not good and needs to be fixed (there are National standards, don't you know?).

Mark Powell told me last fall how and why the nickname "Dolt" came about. He said that the things that came out of Bill's mouth didn't make any sense, to which he would respond (affectionately, bluntly, as only a true friend can): "You DOLT!" I was in stitches.

"I know," I said, laughing, while trying to breathe and regain my sense of decorum. "No, I mean I REALLY KNOW!" (But I couldn't, at that very moment, explain why. There were too many emotions, ideas and words tumbling over themselves in my head to SAY anything. I promptly shut my mouth.)

While I didn't have the benefit of this mirror of understanding growing up (well, until 10 months ago that is -- lol), I don't want the muppet to suffer the feelings of having her wings clipped to keep her on the ground with the rest of the flock. Thank you for helping me realize that there are choices in teaching my little muppet to fly.

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