Monday, April 16, 2012

Flexibility and homeschooling

We have blogged several times about how homeschooling gives us great flexibility.  Last week our family had another example of the benefits of this flexibility. 

In contrast we have noticed that our friends with children in public schools often have a hard time taking their children out of school.  One family was going to Italy for a month.  Think of all the experience the children would have!  They would get to know a new culture, be exposed to a new language, see famous art pieces and so on.  Yet the public school said the parents COULD NOT take their children.  The school was not going to allow it.  (It still boggles my mind.)  After several weeks and the mom finally just telling the school they were going to take the children the school gave in and set up a study program for the children.

Last week I took my fifteen-year-old daughter to a very intense conference on space.  For forty hours she was exposed to people in the space industry.  She listened and took notes for talk after talk.  She admitted that she probably only got 10% to 20% of the ideas, but she did find it interesting and summarized some of the mention points for her cousins on a family blog.   Her science bucket was filled up to overflowing.

The trip was also a success in other ways.  It was a big hit on the family side.  She rode with my father and me as we drove to Phoenix.  She got to meet my brother who flew out from Virginia for the conference.  And she got to spend several hours with an older cousin who is married and has two young daughters.

I am so glad that we could introduce my daughter to what I think is the start of a tipping point in access to space.  (I think in five to ten years there will be an explosion into space as the price into orbit drops.)  We didn’t have to ask someone for their permission.  We didn’t have to threaten some administrator.  There were no forms to fill out.  Janine and I talked about the idea.  We asked the two older girls if they were interested.  (Baby Bop said he wanted to go, especially when he heard there would be videos of rockets blowing up.)  Our second daughter said she wanted to go, and it was done.  No muss.  No fuss.

Homeschooling is great!


Fatcat said...

Homeschooling is the best!

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem from the teachers perspective, at least one of them.

Assuming of course I am a public teache and not Montessori or Waldorf or something.

I pull together some work, worksheets usually, perhaps a video or something if you're lucky. I give them to the parents, the kid goes on vacation and blows off school for a month. When s/he gets back s/he is a month behind.
The only grade I am allowed to give is a zero because there is nothing to show s/he learned the material.

***required material because teachers are not considered professional enough to determine for individual students what is necessary for them to learn. Everyone must learn the same thing at the same time. And the must be accountable by showing that the student learned this specific standard during this specific time in their lives.***

In a progressive school you might see a classroom website that has class notes and assignments posted so the vacationing student can check in on a regular basis and keep up with the work. A very progressive school might ask the students not to do the work, but to relate where they are to what is happening in the classroom.

No doubt the homeschool option is much better and easier, now if we could convince maot parents to care that much about education.

Anonymous said...

The reason I withdrew my daughter from public school was because she learned at a slower pace then the class. In this process she got behind and began to feel stupid and lost her self-confidence among the "popular" crowd which led to increasingly bad behavior for attention. In the past 2years her confidence has soared as her mastery increased and all that "behavior" has disappeared. :). We dont keep a curriculum schedule (we have a daily start and stop time Mon-Fri) and move forward with the next lesson only after demonstrating we understand the lesson we are on.

Henry Cate said...

Fatcat - amen!

Anonymous #1 - "No doubt the homeschool option is much better and easier, now if we could convince maot parents to care that much about education."

I agree. It would be great is more parents cared about the education of their children and were willing to make the effort.

Anonymous #2 - Yeah! Congratulations on your success!