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Home Schooling?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by AlexanderKira, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. AlexanderKira

    AlexanderKira Minstrel

    So i'm a junior currently in high school, 17 years old. And I hate school. I hate the confinement, the schedule, the teachers, the pressure, etc. I failed Algebra II last semester, and am currently staying after for two hours for credit recovery, though I skip frequently. I enjoy learning, I started off in regular English but pushed to honors, and have made high B's for two years, history is interesting( For me Hitler and Napoleon), and Enginneering is okay. I was never good at math, but I didn'ttry, I absolutely HATE it, even with engineering, I just spit the ideas and let other people calculate and build( Same with stories). So home schooling popped in my head, It's going to take a lot of convincing to my mom but just maybe. Any way, I have no idea what I need,or how to do it. Does my mom need to be home and buy books and teach me? Or can I just buy like a $500 dollar computer and work by myself on some program? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
  2. AlexanderKira

    AlexanderKira Minstrel

    I live in Tennessee by the way.
  3. Kit

    Kit Maester

    Take caution; homeschooling is no joke- it's a much tougher row to hoe than public school. One has to be very self-disciplined- including forcing yourself to buckle down and work hard on things you don't like and may not feel much aptitude for, like math.
  4. Kit's right. I'm 18 and I've been home-schooled all my life. As an amusing anecdote, when I was small my mum took me for one day at school for me to get the feel of it. When we got home I made it quite clear that I wasn't impressed and, luckily, my mum has an alternative view towards education so here I am. I'm very glad of my education, it nurtured my creativity, allowed me to follow my interests and gave me a feeling of pride for avoiding the system. However, like Kit says it is a BIG commitment, for everyone involved. In some aspects I reckon it can be trickier.

    There are many pros and cons to home education, for some people its perfect, for others it just doesn't work. My mum always made sure I wasn't feeling marginalised, when I was younger we used to attend home school groups, then later we actually moved to a community where there were several other home schooling families. That worked quite well for me, most of the time it would be me and my mum, and the parents would each do group sessions one day a week. I can't really give any advice from the parent's angle, my mum largely works from home, so that part wasn't too much of an issue for her, but she still had to put in the effort, and I admit I didn't always make it easy for her.

    I would suggest you do a bit of research on it, decide if you want to do it, and have a talk with the people who would be involved. It takes a certain level of planning and tailoring to your needs, but if it's what you want then the rewards are there. I've got a lot to say on the subject from personal experience, so if you want to discuss anything please feel free to message me.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  5. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    Coming from someone who wasn't that fond of high school either, I would probably say it's better to just stick with it than do home school at this point. If you're a junior you're going to be done after one year anyway. And one thing about high school is this: when you're there, everything revolves around it, and once you're gone, you'll wonder why you cared so much. If you really don't like specific classes, talk with your parents and school about finding another way to make up those credits. Sometimes schools will work with you on those kind of things if you're having difficulty.

    I also hated math with a passion, but that's life. If you have any aspirations of going to college, you'll have to take more classes you hate (College Alegbra, most likely, science requirements, etc.)

    I agree with Kit. Homeschooling is probably a lot harder, especially if you've already been in public school most of your life. Most people that are successful with home school start out early, so they get used to being self-disciplined (or their parents are) enough to do it. However, if you're dead set on doing home school, you most likely have to have a teacher. I don't think they let people study on their own if you're in high school, but I may be wrong. There's always getting a GED as well.
  6. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    Bad news: work is a lot like school: pressure, schedule, someone else telling you what you should be doing, having to do things you don't enjoy and aren't necessarily that good at. You'll learn more from sticking with something you don't like than finding an alternative. But if you do go with homeschooling - if you do persuade your mum - you might find it's no better. There's still the need to do things you don't like - you still have to pass the same exams. But now there's nobody to blame for failure but yourself.

    I hated secondary school. My parents sent me to an all girls' school and I hated that I couldn't go to the local comprehensive with my friends. I hated how strict the teachers were and the fact that there were no boys to talk to (at an age I was starting to get interested in boys). I hated getting up at 6:30 every morning and getting home at 5pm each night, when my friend at the local comp got up at 8 and was home soon after 4 and had a far longer evening to herself. For three years I asked my parents if I could transfer to the nearest comp (less than a mile from home, instead of 14 miles away in the next town) every week. They said no. Eventually I got used to it. When the time came in year 11 for me to chose where I'd go for 6th form (in the UK you could, then, stop school at 16, or you could stay in education 2 more years at a school sixth form or go to a college - not the same as the American college - to do a vocational (ie non-academic) course.) The options on the table were the grammar school near my school - mixed fee-paying - or the local comprehensive, or stay at the girls' school. I stayed. Familiarity and friends were a factor, but also I realised that the learning environment of my school was better than the others and would help me be a better student and a better person than the others would, and the courses on offer were what I wanted to do (at 6th form, you select 4 or 5 subjects to take to A-level, and they don't have to include English, Maths or Science, though I did chose English and Physics).

    Perhaps the answer here isn't to run away and go with home schooling, but to try to make it work at school. That's a valuable life lesson, by the way: if something isn't working in life, try and make it work rather than discarding it straight away. If nothing else, remembering that will save you money, but it'll also make you a better person and one people know can be relied upon.

    You say you're struggling with math but you skip out on your catch-up sessions. This is a bad idea. For one, if it goes on your academic transcript any potential colleges/universities you want to attend might not be impressed. They might not care whether you're good at math or not, but they will care how hard you tried to get good at it.

    One of the big things that helped me get jobs and onto a course at my university of choice was Spanish. I took Spanish at GCSE level (exams taken at age 16) and I hated it. I hated the teacher in particular, but I've never been strong with languages (I did French too - we had to do 2 languages at my school) and I frequently fell asleep in class, which didn't help. When Spanish came out as my worst mock GCSE result, 6 months before the proper exam, I panicked. I was way behind my class, and in a school that expected B grades and up as standard and at least three or four As; my Spanish mock grade was a low D. I nearly dropped it - I was already doing one more GCSE than that required, because that's how my school worked, so I could have dropped it altogether and still had the nine GCSEs that the government expected/required. And I begged my Dad to let me drop it, but he wouldn't. Instead he offered me a bribe. If I got a B, I'd get £50; A was worth £100 and A* was worth £250. To someone then on £3 a week pocket money, this was a big deal. So I put an hour or more a day into Spanish revision. I listened to tapes I borrowed from the teacher (school hadn't caught up with CDs too well by then) and I revised and revised and revised. In the end, I got a B - and though it wasn't my highest mark (I got an A*, 5 As, 3 Bs and a C in French, but I wasn't being bribed for French) it was the one I was most proud of. Telling interviewers this story (downplaying the bribery bit) got me lots of credit and helped me get jobs.

    Learning to work hard at something you don't like is worth a lot more than getting what you want or getting good grades. So i suggest you decide right now that Math isn't going to beat you. You have an advantage I didn't have: the internet (well, I had internet, but it was dail-up and if mum wanted to make a phone call then it got turned off, and beside the internet those days was a dry, desolate place). You can find the means to get better at Math by looking at the different ways it can be taught. Sometimes a different perspective can really help make things make sense in Math. Maybe the way you've been taught so far isn't the way that helps you understand the best. So find out what other explanations and teaching methods people have used and shared on the internet, and it may just all click into place.

    The thing is, this run-away attitude - you're not good at something, you don't like something, so you try to avoid it rather than facing it - isn't good. It's entitled. It's not real world stuff. I know there's this whole thing about "following your dreams" and "finding a job you love" and everything like that, but generally, the people who succeed at that stuff are the people who suck it up when they need to and just get on with things they don't like because it's what needs to be done, so they can get to the next step on the dream-path. I want to be a writer, making money soley from my novels. So I could say I'm not going to do a day job, I'm going to write full time and then when I have books I'll sell them and be rich. It's a pipe dream. Right now I've got no books to sell, so without my day job (which is okay, I guess, but not exactly exciting and sometimes I downright hate it) I've got no income. Who's gonna give me money while I sit on my rear end writing all day? Not the government if I'm not looking for a job. Not my Dad either (I've done enough of living off him when I was at uni, and he's got a mortgage to pay off before he retires next year). So I have to suck it up, work my crummy day job and write when I have the time and energy. And maybe, maybe, when I've got a few books out in a decade or so I might earn enough to quit my day job and live the dream, as a full time writer. And I'll still have to put the work in after that, to keep putting out books and maintain my writing-related income. But for now it's knuckle down, suck it up, do the day job. (And let's ignore the irony that I am writing this while at work. I'm on a break.) If you want to live the dream, you work for it, you don't avoid the hard work and sidestep into something you like more because it's easier. Success isn't easy. You aren't owed success. You aren't owed happiness. You have to work for it.

    As for your actual questions about homeschooling, I don't know how it is for Tennessee, but in the UK, as far as I understand it, the tutor (your mother in this case) would have to be there supervising if not actively teaching, you would have to pay for a lot of materials like worksheets, curriculums, text books, notebooks and so on, and beside that there's the other cost: the fact that the tutor then can't go out and work. If your mum's a housewife or works from home that's one thing, but if she's got a job outside the house, it simply won't be possible unless your other parental figure's income is enough to pay the bills without a second income.

    TL;DR: Suck it up, try to improve your math, it'll make you a better person and impress potential colleges or employers more.
  7. You get inspections every year as well to make sure that you're working and that mum hasn't locked you in the cupboard :). Somehow I managed to avoid them until the last 2 years.
  8. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

    I know nothing of homeschooling. I don't think it's even recognized as a kind of "schooling" where I live. I can only imagine that it's a lot of pressure on your parents, teaching is no joke.

    Anyway, if you don't manage to convince your parents I advice to try to deal with math in a different way. I suck for formulas, and when I say I this is because I'm truly bad. I don't remember even recipes, I take ages to memorize certain things as passwords, names, even my own cellphone number!

    But I'm better with logic. My approach of Physics, Math and everything that had any kind of formula was to memorize the logic behind it, not the formula itself. I would always recreate the formula during the exams using the facts I've memorized and data I've deduced.

    I wont say it always worked as a charm, however it was enough to get me inside an university.
  9. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    I obtained custody of my daughter when she turned 16. Up to that point, she'd been homeschooled, and the home schooling program was of the evangelical christian variety. That might not have been so bad, but her mother kept neglecting her end of the deal. I put her in the local high school, figuring they'd accept her as a sophmore, possibly a junior. Instead, they decided that her entire homeschooling episode was illegitimate, and made her a freshman. (four years to go).

    She did extra credit classes. There was a law enforcement class she signed up for (the instructor, a guy with a looonnng street career and no educational credits mostly talked about his direct hands on experiences), a nursing program where she was used as cheap labor in a nursing home (and complimented by elderly male alzhiemers patients on her breasts), and a couple summers spent working as a waitress in a fast food joint for class credit (with an assortment of tales in its own right). She did graduate when she was supposed to, though I was and still am dismayed at the low quality of public education these days.

    Her math skills remain basic. Her knowledge of history is...limited. Same for science.

    She did make bottom level management at the local Wal*Mart, though barring further education, thats about the most she can hope for with her education level. (She turned 21 a few months ago).

    About a year ago, I let her have a copy of one of my stories. She complained she needed a dictionary to understand it.
  10. Epaminondas

    Epaminondas Scribe

    My advice is to stick with school. I didn't and it cost me 10 or 12 years of horrible jobs that wear out your body before I finally got around to getting my GED and going to college.
    I consider those years a tragic waste that I'd give anything to have back.

    Stick it out; you think you hate school... It doesn't compare to the grind of working. In life it's just something that has to be done.
  11. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    My daughters have been C or below students,
    My oldest went to ECOT, (Electronic classroom of tomorrow) is now an Honor student.
    My youngest went to Gateway a school similar to home school, except there are 2 teachers for 15 students. The students work at their own pace, and she is for the first time, Merit role.(B's or higher)
    Traditional school teaches traditionally, if you learn best this way, it works great, if not, you struggle and the teachers ignore you unless you meet finacial qualifications to earn a special tutor.
    I support 100% alternative schools for kids. BTW neither school cost anything more then school tax.
    You probably didn't get that. We don't pay fees, we don't pay for books, we don't pay supplies that the school provides. ECOT even provided the computer to do the classes.
    In other words, its better and cheaper!
  12. Mari

    Mari Scribe

    We have home schooled for almost 2 decades. It allows you to go at your pace, and included any interest you may have. I am you can do on-line as we do.

    Our day starts at nine or eleven, and ends at two. We do this six days a week. There is an hour off for lunch, and generally we watch something educational, like King Lear.

    We go for walks, and take pictures of the things that interest us along the way. Some times we take the neighbor's dog too. We also do yoga. This is PE.

    We read for an hour of what we want, and then blog.

    We then look at doing any number of things: music theory, English, world history, mathematics, literature, art history, chemistry, and science.

    Right now we are reading Jane Eyre. Then it's To Kill a Mocking Bird, and then Something Wicked the Way Comes.
  13. deilaitha

    deilaitha Sage

    Just like there are some public schools which produce students who can hardly read, write, do math, etc., there are some home school families who fail their children in that regard. I was home schooled my whole life, never had any problems with colleges or anything. My parents mixed-n-matched my curricula themselves. Some of it was from an "Evangelical" curriculum (mostly my science classes) and I got straight A's in my college biology class.

    It sounds to me like the problem was with the 'administrator' in your daughter's home schooling. I am sorry to hear that her education was neglected.
  14. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    She attended the local community college last year... while working part time. Her first semester, she took four classes over a four day period each week and flunked three of them. (She decided to stick with the classes and flunk rather than withdraw and have to immediately pay back her student loans.) The combination of erratic work schedule and being accustomed to a 'work at your own pace environment' didn't help. On a brighter note, she did pass all of her classes (three of them) during the second semester.

    Now, she's going for four classes.

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