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Are there any Texas residents that Homeschool their kids?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Texan, Apr 10, 2018.


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  1. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    My wife and I are fed up with the state education agency, school districts and their approaches. They only teach to pass the STAAR test. Our kids are being taught and tested on subjects that are beyond their grade level and the instruction moves so fast that they have little time to master or even understand anything before moving on to another area. The math is taught in such a confusing manner that my wife and I have trouble understanding it and both of us are in science and engineering careers. The kids understand our methods to solving math better than what is taught at the schools, but the teachers have contacted us asking that we encourage the kids to use the schools methods. The schools will can't adequately provide tutoring before of after school because the teachers constantly have mandatory workshops. Our kids are loaded down with so much homework, they the can't be kids. they are working until 7-8pm most days. My wife is Domestic CEO (stay at home Mom) so we would not be taking a financial hit. Private schools are far too expensive, so that is not an option.

    If anyone out there home schools, please give me some of the pro's and con's.
     
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Pros - you can give your kids the education you want to give them.

    Cons - what are your qualifications to teach? Especially as they get older, do you have the knowledge, especially with advanced subjects? Do you have access to the same things they have in the schools? Also, school is part social development. Are they going to have the same exposure to that if they are not in school all day.
     
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  3. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    We homeschooled our kids for a couple of years, not in Texas but when we were living in Indiana. We taught our oldest just K-2 and the second one K-1.

    Like @buldog5151bass says, the main pro is being able to teach your kids what you want - although, of course, in most states your homeschool curriculum still needs to meet some state standards. What those are varies a lot from state to state, and of course in many cases there isn't much to enforce them.

    We did stop after just a couple of years of it. The main thing was that we were both busy, trying to tag-team the homeschool between the two of us, and that just got to be too much of a juggle to do things they way we wanted to.

    There are some other cons as well. There is a certain psychology to school, where being away from home and in the presence of others can shape a kid's behavior, and not necessarily in a bad way. Having to learn school subjects from the same person that feeds you, that disciplines you, that you're trying to talk into buying you something or to get a puppy or whatever, complicates the dynamic. We found it can be healthy to hand the kids over to others for certain things so that they only looked to us for home issues.

    The pro, of being able to teach your kids whatever you want, can also be a con. It can be very easy in a homeschool setting not to challenge kids with different points of view (not to mention dealing with classmates of different personalities, backgrounds, etc.), to soft-pedal subjects that you are less confident or interested in and push others that you are. Some people can pull it off very well - my sister homeschooled her kids down to 8th or 9th grade before placing them in a public high school - others, not so much.
     
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  4. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    Before you write off private schools entirely, be aware that most do have some form of financial aid, most often supported mostly by tuition that seems "far too expensive" if you don't realize that you might not have to pay the "list price" depending on your financial situation (and the school's - some can be more generous than others, depending on their internal finances.)

    This is also true of colleges, when you get to that point. A lot of folks won't apply becasue they see the sticker price and stop there, when they might get a very hefty scholarship, if truly in need. Likewise, the low-sticker-price state school may be more expensive than a higher-priced private school for that person, as the state schools (often) have less resources for financial aid. However, trade school / apprenticeship may make better sense for a particular kid.
     
    guy n. cognito likes this.
  5. toowrongfoo

    toowrongfoo

    Nov 25, 2017
    Every time I scan past this I perceive "homeschool" as "homicidal" ..... ***!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    DirtDog likes this.
  6. blue4

    blue4

    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I would be very careful deciding to home school. Simply being a parent and having a college degree is not really a qualification to teach. Unless the parent who is going to be teaching has a background in education IMO there are no pros. And even then the few pros don't come close to outweighing the many cons. I went to a very small prIvate school that had ridiculously few students and only 8 teachers. And even that was enough to make most of us socially awkward and unprepared when we hit the "real world" of high school. Sure I could quote the bible some but there was no music education, no sports competition, etc. I would just really think it through.
     
  7. Chicory Blue

    Chicory Blue

    Oct 9, 2016
    The public school I work at offers career training classes in addition to the STAAR nonsense. Kids can come out with numerous professional certifications depending on their electives which look amazing on a resume, and I’ve watched kids land better jobs than mine straight out of high school.

    As far as math, English, history and core science go, yes, they teach the STAAR standards, but public school can also be a treasure trove of free resources for success in the real world and the pursuit of one’s passions with mentorship by people who are truly masters of their craft. The thing is, nobody’s going to force your child to take advantage of those resources- it’s a choice, and one you can help them make but one they ultimately must choose for themselves to follow through with.

    To illustrate, I chose not to pursue anything but the essentials in high school, and landed the job I hold now after four years of college and an additional two years of teacher certification training. Meanwhile, a girl who was a classroom aide for us last year (an elective class) now holds the same position I do at one of the district’s elementary schools, bypassing the years of retail and food service slavery one generally expects a teenager to suffer through. I wrote her letter of recommendation. She was hired before she walked the stage.

    Public school gave my brother his acting career, which began in elementary school, and made my friend into a professional violinist starting around the same time. One of my wheelchair-bound students with cerebral palsy is a certified professional flower arranger and earns her own living that way- public school certified her.

    When the student is young and all resources are pointed at teaching him or her how to read, write, and do basic math, I understand how it can be frustrating for them and for you, but before you pull them out, I urge you to look to the future- see what programs your district offers at each grade level and what your student might be interested in pursuing that the school can offer them.

    Contending with the fact that circumstances can be difficult and overwhelming is a lesson everyone has to learn sooner or later, but witnessing one’s own ability to push on through a challenge and succeed in ways that appeared first appeared daunting but ultimately saw us both reach and expand our own potential? That’s something we’re better off facing sooner than later.

    Mind you, I have no idea what kind of learner your students are, nor what programs (if any) your school district offers that might benefit or interest them, nor the level of competence the individual teachers have, nor what additional resources you may or may not have access to in order to help them be successful. If you think they’re better off with you for a full-time teacher, you know them best.

    But please, do give a very thorough look to the future before changing course over a dissatisfying present.

    --^@
     
  8. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Considering how disconcerting it can be as a kid to see your teacher out of context at, say, the market, I am sitting here now laughing as I imagine a slack-jawed child witnessing Miss Blue's bongo party antics as reported in your recent instant classic of a St Paddy's Day thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  9. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    See if your public school system has an "alternative" program for kids that don't fit in the normal school environment. Our district has one, more focused on the arts, computer science and the like. Bluntly, I can't say that I'd recommend it, but I'd certainly be more inclined to recommend it if the option was the mistake that is home schooling.
     
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  10. rendevouz

    rendevouz

    Jan 8, 2013
    Pro: when your kids call the teacher mom they won’t be embarrassed :smug:
     
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  11. Chicory Blue

    Chicory Blue

    Oct 9, 2016
    I live a few towns away from where I teach (a strategic choice) but that hasn’t stopped me from such gems of awkwardness as delivering pizzas alongside my own students over spring break and reading tarot for fellow teachers and administrators at open fortune-telling events.

    Being seen holding my own on Wagon Wheel on an instrument I’ve never touched before would be vastly preferable.

    --^@
     
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  12. Basshappi

    Basshappi

    Feb 12, 2007
    Tucson,AZ
    I would suggest that you make contact with others in your area or state that are home schooling or have home schooled their children. You are far more likely to get more accurate and relevant information from people who have actually home schooled in your state, than you will from a musician's forum.
     
    bassista6 likes this.
  13. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Which is exactly why I asked if any Texas residents were homeschooling. The local groups that I have found use a curriculum that is heavy with religious teachings, which I do not want. Hence, I ask my peers.
     
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  14. StudioStuntz

    StudioStuntz

    Jul 19, 2015
    Those worried about home schooled kids not being interactive could start a group(s) centered around your kid’s interests which may or may not involve other home-schoolers.

    Meet up on some weeknights or weekends.
    Since your kid picks and starts it, they will be in charge of it, which can develop leadership skills early on that they may not develop in the standard classroom.

    Examples would be hiking, bicycling, sports, arts, board game night/day etc.

    Great chance for kids and parents to meet people with their same likes and hang out together, just like they do in public or private school-clicks, but without the mental and physical bullying.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  15. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    @Texan my son did in Florida and Alabama. He and his wife were in the same situation as you(engineer and domestic CEO). Resources are much more available now than back then. Here are a couple but a search engine will find plenty.
    Start here: Texas Homeschool Law - HSLDA
    Texas Homeschool Requirements - What Texas Requires to Homeschool
    Getting Started Homeschooling in Texas
    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Homeschooling in Texas

    Many(tons) of resources if you drop these words into a search engine:
    Home schooling Texas

    Since you and your wife are science/engineer folks, you need to do some of the "science and engineer" type learning using the above links and any you find useful to learn FAST and AS MUCH as you can prior to liberating your children. Your backgrounds tell me you can handle it.

    Without getting political, I completely understand your situation. Living in a small town helped us avoid the mass production line and a lot of other <deleted expletive> that is in "the school system" because everyone knows everyone AND community social norms/goals/beliefs still overcome most BS.

    Yes, the math SUX!!! BSEE in 1989 so I am a closet math-lover. When newer math started showing up at my home around early 2000(IIRC), it was and remains complete garbage. No logical progression, no teaching of how to think and analyze, no teaching of shortcuts, no teaching of how to think outside of the box. I personally spoke to every math teacher our children had and flat told them "If there is a problem, send a note home with them or call my wife. We have half a room full of math books(dated back to my junior high school days in the late 1960's all the way the college graduation in engineering) and they WILL be taught how to solve problems". We still saw books with lame examples, complex and confusing ways to solve easy problems, etc. One could even think, without a tin foil hat, that the textbooks were written to keep children confused and unable to think correctly or solve problems.

    Good luck!!!
     
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  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    From what I've observed, this is fairly typical of homeschool families. I know a few of these kids, since my own kids participate in some of the same activities. From what I've seen, the homeschool kids are just as sociable as anybody. In fact they may have more chances for positive social interaction because they aren't buried in homework.

    As for being qualified to teach, a regular teacher has to deal with a lot of things that are simply non-issues for homeschool parents, such as managing a classroom full of kids from a wide range of backgrounds. Children tend to be behaviorally similar to their parents.

    About math, the early grade math was different than what I learned as a kid. But what I learned as a kid was foreign to my parents, such as set theory. The education system continues to experiment with the math curriculum, because it was never really very successful in the first place. Most adults treat math with fear and dread.

    A friend of mine teaches high school math. He told me that the kids who do the best in high school math, were not the ones who were pushed to memorize the correct algorithms for arithmetic problems, but the ones who were encouraged to develop their curiosity.

    There are things that I would like to see more of in school math, including the use of computation for solving problems, exploration of data, proofs. My greatest sadness was when my kids told me that they no longer do proofs in high school geometry. Yet proofs are what caused me to fall in love with math, and I'm one of the few people my age who is still capable of using advanced math routinely.
     
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  17. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Get in touch with your local public library for resources. Most work with homeschoolers regularly these days and will have information and materials, and should be able to point you to non-religious assets to use.
     
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  18. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    That's a good point. While I think that the early homeschooling movement had a strong religious component, there are certainly plenty of moderate or secular families doing homeschooling these days. The trends may be partly regional, since there are also regional variations in the schools, culture, politics, and so forth. For this reason, it might be worth seeing if there are local homeschool groups in other parts of the country, that could help you find materials.

    Another source of material is international. For instance "Singapore Math" is based on the math curriculum of Singapore, but has materials in English.

    My only direct experience is that I learned to read at home, as did my own children.
     
  19. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I've looked extensively at the groups locally and there are none that leave religion out of their "charter". But thats the lay of the land here in the Bible Belt.

    As far as the math goes, we have no issues teaching it at all. We both schooled in math heavy disciplines and both have tutored in the past. Luckily, I work with other engineers from all around the globe and how math is taught is various countries as well as the difference in general education has always been a topic that pops up. I have to say that I feel the US methods are lacking from the discussions with my collegues.
     
    MJ5150 likes this.
  20. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    ^^ ever chat with engineers or educators from finland?
     

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