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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

In relation to the religion + homeschool post

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There is something I have always wondered. I understand why different religions would homeschool, that makes perfect sense to me, you want your children raised in your beliefs not someone elses. My question is, if you are secular, what is your drive to homeschool? I think it is awesome that you do, I am just wondering what was it that pulled you to homeschooling over public schooling? It is something I have wondered for years, and seeing their are secular homeschoolers here I figured this would be a perfect oppertunity to find out why. Please no one take offence as I am truly curious and have not been able to come up with any other idea then to spend more time with your babies...

by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Replies (11-20):
lucsch
by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 2:37 PM
2 moms liked this

I'm a Christian, and our beliefs are fully integrated into everything we learn. However, we also live in a Conservative area, and two of my boys have graduated from public school after 6-8 years of attendance. They had a fine education, so it is hard for me to argue academics. It would seem to some that  I homeschool for religious reasons.

However, I would say I homeschool primarily for social and emotional reasons. I want to protect my daughter from the awful cliquish environment, where kids make fun of each other, where self-esteem is squashed. I want her to know that God made her for a specific reason, that she has value, and that others have value, too. We are all the sum of a unique combination of  traits, and the in that uniqueness, we are all equal in value. I don't think a school environment does that well. It was awful for me, as a girl who didn't quite fit in. I didn't want that for my dd.

That I can also teach her with high academic standards and with reinforcement of our beliefs is a bonus. So, I can see that a secular humanist or any other faith can have valid non-religious reasons to homeschool, just as I do.

luvemboth
by Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 3:02 PM
That's exactly how it is here too! The teachers are forced to teach just to have the students do well on this 1 test...and that's it. Sadly, thats what their job security is dependant on. PE, music, field trips, anything extracurricular doesnt exist. The schools out here are so broke, all they care about are the numbers.


Quoting Maridel:

I'm Catholic but religion is just a bonus for why we homeschool. My main reason for homeschool is while we take away P.E. and other fun classes from kids, and cut recess times, then label more and more kids ADHD and other disorders just for acting like KIDS with NO outlet for their energy!! Here in FL they have cut times for everything including reason and focus their whole year on FCAT (standardized test). See the other post about FCAT and see how bad its gotten here. My kids are energetic and my oldest DD needs a lot of one on one to keep her on task. I did not want to send her to school and have her labeled as ADHD or something just for being a kid. 


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ceckyl
by Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 3:08 PM
This. Religion is probably last on my list of reasons why my family homeschools.


Quoting Kat0038:

I am a Christian and teach my kids with a Christian perspective but I actually homeschool because I don't agree with how the PS systems teaches or conducts itself on guiding the kids. 


kttycat84
by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 3:40 PM
1 mom liked this

I am a spiritual person, but I leave it out of our homeschooling. I homeschool for many reasons and sometimes have to go out of my way to find secular material. I'm not making a numbered list to be stand-offish, it's just easier to organize my thoughts that way.

1. DH is in the Navy. We move every 2-3 years and so far each of our moves has literally been cross-country (Norfolk-San Diego-Corpus Christi-North Carolina-San Diego). I want my kids to have a stable education, not one where they may end up in a class that's doing stuff way beyond/behind where they were in their previous school. If you look at the test scores (I know they're not always reliable, but they help sometimes) of schools where the majority of the students are military kids it's easy to see they just don't ever quite catch up. Teachers are also very quick to write them off, the public schools here in SD often have disclaimers about their test scores...stating that the reason kids do poorly is because they move so much. I agree that's part of it, but I think the teachers also get  a bit of a pass with that excuse too.

2. I had a horrible time in school because I was way beyond what they were teaching. I didn't open my books, in fact I put them in my locker on the first day and left them there all year because I forgot the combination and I didn't want to go talk to the creepy maintenance guy to get it open. I still got a 4.0 and ended up leaving high school at 14 to attend community college full-time. I want to be able to tailor my kids' education so that they're challenged and interested. I was sooooo bored with school and I don't want that for them.

3. My kids are all over the place ability wise. I think my oldest has dyslexia, and I know she has ADD. It takes extra work to get her to focus through a lesson and reading is very hard for her, even though if she can concentrate and focus she can read at a 4th grade level at 6. She excells at science though and loves animals. Whenever we go to the zoo, people just stare as she talks to her sisters about the animals, especially since she refers to them by their scientific names. Math, on the other hand, is definitely her weak point right now. She's probably only at a kindergarten level there. In a public school, she would be stuck reading Dr. Suess books that bore the heck out of her (she prefers reading The Babysitter's Little Sister books), studying science that's way below her level and fighting hard to keep her math grades high enough to get into second grade. Homeschooling is the only way for her to get an education that fits her.

4. I know this one is a bit over-protective on my part, but I just don't feel my kids are as safe in public school as they are at home. I'm not really worried about school shootings and stuff, but even without those, schools still arent' as safe as people like to believe they are. I was molested on the playground as a kid, by another kid, and no one did anything because no one saw it. In middle school kids did drugs and hooked up in the bathrooms....and it was a good school in a good neighborhood. The school downtown had metal detectors...and had had problems since the 70s with rival gangs. Kids would sneak razor blades into school under their tongues and make shanks with their pencils. It's not legal for daycares to have a 1/20-30 ratio, why is ok for schools?

5. And things that didn't make my decision that I love about homeschooling: we can take a day/week off whenever we need/want to. The kids can wake up when their bodies tell them to, which makes them happier, more alert and much more receptive to learning. My kids have more than 15 minutes to eat their lunch. Recess and PE aren't 20 minute activities, they're part of our life....my kids are outside for hours every day and love working out with their dad.

One of the biggest things I love about homeschooling though is how happy my kids are. I started my oldest in public school back in September for 1st grade. Every day, after we dropped her off, I'd have to spend two hours comforting her sisters who were lost without her. Then, when she got home, she would cry because she didn't want to have to go back to school and leave her sisters again in the morning. I know my kids won't always be as close as they are now...and they have days when they fight like cats and dogs...but they are truly happier with each other than when they're apart from each other. And I love watching my younger ones learn naturally from their older siblings. I went to start teaching my 4 year old to read the other day...I knew she knew her alphabet, but when I showed her a brand new book and started trying to teach her to sound out the words, she surprised me by taking it and (slowly) reading it to me. I never saw my oldest teach her to read, but I'm sure that's what happened....I love that learning is as natural to my kids as eating and playing.

JCB911
by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM
1 mom liked this

We are Christian but that's not why we homeschool.

We decided to homeschool when we saw how smart our then 3 y/o son was.  He was already sounding out words, knew basic kindergarten stuff.  We don't want him to be bored in school like we both were.  He's 5 now, but with a Sept birthday he'd be just starting kindergarten in the fall.  This year we started doing more academic homeschooling and he's easily at a 2nd grade reading level,  fluent in addition facts (we're not quite at carrying yet though),  does very well with subtraction and we've even started multiplying (i was following his lead on that one!).  If I had to put a grade level on the work he does it'd be around 2nd grade.  So how could we put him in kindergarten in a few months, he'd be bored and hate school. 

Since we've decided though, there are endless reasons to homeschool.

Travel when we choose, sleep in, take a day off when we want, more field trips, more hands on learning, more family time, talior the education to each student, avoid bullying, avoid commercialzation a bit more, not spend so much time in a car going to and from school, i know what he knows and what he doesn't know - exactly when he knows (or doesn't know) something.  i know what we need to work on.  I'm not waiting for the end of the semester to find out he's behind on something.  We're also conservative so we can make sure the conservative POV is presented and not just the liberal one he'd get at a school

I'm sure there's lots more.

BookMama3
by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Academics

OakesMama
by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 7:03 PM


I loved this entire thing I had horrible PS experiences myself, but I guess that never crossed my mind as to why other people may homeschool. 

Quoting kttycat84:

I am a spiritual person, but I leave it out of our homeschooling. I homeschool for many reasons and sometimes have to go out of my way to find secular material. I'm not making a numbered list to be stand-offish, it's just easier to organize my thoughts that way.

1. DH is in the Navy. We move every 2-3 years and so far each of our moves has literally been cross-country (Norfolk-San Diego-Corpus Christi-North Carolina-San Diego). I want my kids to have a stable education, not one where they may end up in a class that's doing stuff way beyond/behind where they were in their previous school. If you look at the test scores (I know they're not always reliable, but they help sometimes) of schools where the majority of the students are military kids it's easy to see they just don't ever quite catch up. Teachers are also very quick to write them off, the public schools here in SD often have disclaimers about their test scores...stating that the reason kids do poorly is because they move so much. I agree that's part of it, but I think the teachers also get  a bit of a pass with that excuse too.

2. I had a horrible time in school because I was way beyond what they were teaching. I didn't open my books, in fact I put them in my locker on the first day and left them there all year because I forgot the combination and I didn't want to go talk to the creepy maintenance guy to get it open. I still got a 4.0 and ended up leaving high school at 14 to attend community college full-time. I want to be able to tailor my kids' education so that they're challenged and interested. I was sooooo bored with school and I don't want that for them.

3. My kids are all over the place ability wise. I think my oldest has dyslexia, and I know she has ADD. It takes extra work to get her to focus through a lesson and reading is very hard for her, even though if she can concentrate and focus she can read at a 4th grade level at 6. She excells at science though and loves animals. Whenever we go to the zoo, people just stare as she talks to her sisters about the animals, especially since she refers to them by their scientific names. Math, on the other hand, is definitely her weak point right now. She's probably only at a kindergarten level there. In a public school, she would be stuck reading Dr. Suess books that bore the heck out of her (she prefers reading The Babysitter's Little Sister books), studying science that's way below her level and fighting hard to keep her math grades high enough to get into second grade. Homeschooling is the only way for her to get an education that fits her.

4. I know this one is a bit over-protective on my part, but I just don't feel my kids are as safe in public school as they are at home. I'm not really worried about school shootings and stuff, but even without those, schools still arent' as safe as people like to believe they are. I was molested on the playground as a kid, by another kid, and no one did anything because no one saw it. In middle school kids did drugs and hooked up in the bathrooms....and it was a good school in a good neighborhood. The school downtown had metal detectors...and had had problems since the 70s with rival gangs. Kids would sneak razor blades into school under their tongues and make shanks with their pencils. It's not legal for daycares to have a 1/20-30 ratio, why is ok for schools?

5. And things that didn't make my decision that I love about homeschooling: we can take a day/week off whenever we need/want to. The kids can wake up when their bodies tell them to, which makes them happier, more alert and much more receptive to learning. My kids have more than 15 minutes to eat their lunch. Recess and PE aren't 20 minute activities, they're part of our life....my kids are outside for hours every day and love working out with their dad.

One of the biggest things I love about homeschooling though is how happy my kids are. I started my oldest in public school back in September for 1st grade. Every day, after we dropped her off, I'd have to spend two hours comforting her sisters who were lost without her. Then, when she got home, she would cry because she didn't want to have to go back to school and leave her sisters again in the morning. I know my kids won't always be as close as they are now...and they have days when they fight like cats and dogs...but they are truly happier with each other than when they're apart from each other. And I love watching my younger ones learn naturally from their older siblings. I went to start teaching my 4 year old to read the other day...I knew she knew her alphabet, but when I showed her a brand new book and started trying to teach her to sound out the words, she surprised me by taking it and (slowly) reading it to me. I never saw my oldest teach her to read, but I'm sure that's what happened....I love that learning is as natural to my kids as eating and playing.



No_Difference
by Silver Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 8:41 PM
2 moms liked this

 The public school failed my daughter so badly that she regressed to a early K level in all subjects by mid 1st grade year. It was unacceptable. I am 100% secular, however I have purchased some curriculum through religious based companies, provided their content I was purchasing had no religious reference or it was easily removable/avoidable.  Both sides of the family are very strong Catholic believers, and I just am not. Hubby doesn't want to teach the religion aspect, so we will study ALL religions at some point in time or another, but it will be its OWN subject and not a main focus in our studies. I teach my kids morals on a daily basis, I just don't feel the need to have "someone" other than my hubby or myself telling them that's what they need to do...
Now that we're homeschooling, my daughter has caught up, and even surpased what they're learning at grade level here in some subjects. My little guy, who just turned 4, is breaching 1st grade level work for the standards that are here in many subjects...we just have to work on his reading...
Another reason - the bullying by not only the students but the teachers and the rest of the staff was getting out of hand.... The staff were even lying to my hubby and me over the phone and in confrences...
Private school around here just is not an option, and I would prefer the kids didn't go to a religous based school, especially since all of them raise tuition up the ying yang if you are not an active member of their congregation...

The hardest problem I have had, is finding a non-religious co-op around... I've heard of a few, but can't figure out how to contact them... :/

Hubby is also in the army, so being able to take breaks when needed is a HUGE bonus, and not having to then worry about truancy! It worked wonderfully last year when my dad was in a hit and run car accident and we drove back "home" to help my mom take care of him after he was released from the hospital. We were there for 3 months. Never would have been able to do that if she were in PS.... I would've never forgiven myself if I weren't there...

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sha_lyn68
by Bronze Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 9:08 PM
1 mom liked this

Here's a c/p of a reply I wrote to a yahoo answers question a couple of years ago. Its long, but lays out my first impression of homeschooling, why we chose homeschooling for both of our kids and why we continue to homeschool:

 

When I first hear about homeschooling in 1993, I was being pressured by the church we attended to start homeschooling to keep my son away from the sins of the world. When I looked at the material I was shocked at the low quality of the education and the overly religious tone in every lesson. I really thought homeschooling was only for religious isolationists and off the grid hippies. Then a couple of years later I met a homeschool family that moved to GA fro PA because of the easier homeschool laws in GA. While they were Christian, they did not use Christian curricula and did not shelter their children from the world. The 2 main reasons they homeschooled was to provide a higher quality education and because 2 of the children were in highly competitive activities (ice skating and dancing).

In 1997 we moved into what I would eventually find out was a failing district. The first year was bumpy but I convinced myself that I was over reacting. By the end of that first year I knew something was wrong.  For the next 2 years the school tried to convince me that the problems we were seeing were either imaginary or our fault.  Our oldest was in the highest math level in 5th and 6th grade and didn't even have a basic understanding of fractions, percentages or decimals. He was in the 2nd highest reading level in 6th grade and wasn't allowed to check out books from the library over a 4.5 grade level and was being taught from an out dated 5th grade textbook. When confronted with the his lack of knowledge and falling test scores (he went from scoring in the 90th percentiles at his old school to dropping a good 5-10 points each year at the new elementary) the principal insisted that they were teaching what was needed and that the problem was with him. They insisted that he needed to be put on ADD meds. The pediatrician ruled out ADD and asked the school to test for learning disabilities (going on their position that the material was being taught and that he just couldn't comprehend it). The school insisted that they didn't test for LD until I pointed out that the mother of a classmate of DS's was a psychologist that did the testing for the school system. The principal then insisted that the school didn't have time to test every student so it was up to me to get him on meds first and then if meds didn't help they would have him tested. I was even told I needed to change pediatricians and that they could give me a number of a Dr that would call in the prescription without examining DS. I stormed out of the office. Now I wish I had accepted the number so that I could report the Dr. After that meeting I stared looking into the elementary school's record and found that over 70% of the students from that elementary school needed remedial or special education in middle school. It was pretty clear that the school was not teaching, and the students were suffering because of it. Also during this time the school system lost accreditation for a year and then was placed on probation for 2 years.

 

DD is 8 years younger, so she was not in school during this time. We enrolled her in a private preK the first year that we homeschooled DS. The original plan was to ask for a waiver to get DD in a different elementary school. We also planned to just homeschool DS for middle school to get him caught up.

 

DD's birthday is just a few days before the cutoff and she is small for her age. Due to this she was behind her classmates in fine and gross motor skills and had trouble keeping up in preK. The teacher felt that DD would be bored if she repeated preK since she was academically on track but knew that she did not have the skills to attend a full day public kindergarten. The teacher was the one to suggest we homeschool DD.

 

So we went into our 2nd yr of homeschooling determined to get both "caught up" and then enroll them in public school. As the 2nd yr progressed we found that homeschooling really fit our family. At the end of that year we decided to give it a go again for the 3rd year. By the end of the 3rd year we were hooked. I also found out that the department of Ed was telling prospective teachers that they wouldn't have to worry about teaching at the elementary school that DS attended. All they expected was that the students left alive every day since the majority of the students were African American or Hispanic. That right there sealed the deal for me and I vowed my children would never attend the local public schools.

 


KickButtMama
by Shannon on Apr. 24, 2013 at 9:29 PM
2 moms liked this

We are not Christian, but I don't think school is really all about religion. It's about providing the best Education for each individual child. For me it has zero to do with religion or politics and 100% to do with providing the best education.

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