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Discussion Starter #1
I know that homeschooling has become more "vogue" or at least more common. Dh and I have often said that we wouldn't do it but as hear more reasons as to why some families choose homeschooling I understand it more. I still don't think that I could do it well.

But what made your family choose to homeschool?
 

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I am disillusioned with the public school system out here. I watched it send through family members repeatedly...three of em!!! Who should have never been allowed to continue on. I watched them struggle having been put into next levels where they didn't have the foundation for anything.

I myself had an awful experience in public schools. Being a military brat, I spent years jumping from school to school. But I studied on my own and was ahead in so many ways. But instead i was held back. I got frustrated and eventually gave up... letting my grades freefall until i was a failure at everything. Then I was placed in a school that was considered to be full of unwanted students. Unteachables. And what's funny is that even though those students had problems with the law and such (one 16 yo was there because he repossessed a tattoo - I am not kidding) the students were so gifted! We could study at our own pace. If it took two weeks or two years (or more) to blow through all the classes so be it. The staff supported and encouraged. There were maybe 20 students there total and four teachers! It was great. I loved it. For the record i took two years worth of highschool and finished in right around 12 weeks. And brought my gpa to a 3.98 out of 4.0. I was salutatorian.

DH had to go through the same school. (he wasn't a trouble maker he just didn't grasp the concepts...considered unteachable) and that was when we decided if we had kids we'd find alternatives to conventional schools.

Once we had our first child we looked into different options for schooling and finally found the homeschooling option supported by the public school systems. And it uses a program, www.k-12.com that we like. And from there we have added and subtracted as needed to offer our kids what we believe is a firm well balanced education.

In a nutshell, that's how we decided to homeschool.
 
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We homeschooled while we lived in California. We could now way afford a private school and NO WAY we were going to put our children in the CA public school systems!
(my appologies to any CA teachers here).
The CA schools do not share the same values that are family has. They are liberal and at all willing to accomadate the desires or values of the parents and children. (at least where we were) There were also a large population of non english speaking families in our area, and that slowed the educational process down for our children.

Had we stayed in CA, I'm sure that we would still be homeschooling. But now we are in small=-town Kansas. There are only about 15 kids in a class (45 in a grade or so). The teaching is VERY (morally) conservative and we as parents are able to select what our children are taught (I can pull my child out of sex/AIDS ed, or disease prevention, evolution teaching, erc...... with NO problem).
So now our kids are in public school, and we love it. But if we moved back to CA or any other large school district, it'd be back to homeschooling we go.
 
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I am disillusioned with the public school system out here. I watched it send through family members repeatedly...three of em!!! Who should have never been allowed to continue on. I watched them struggle having been put into next levels where they didn't have the foundation for anything.

I myself had an awful experience in public schools. Being a military brat, I spent years jumping from school to school. But I studied on my own and was ahead in so many ways. But instead i was held back. I got frustrated and eventually gave up... letting my grades freefall until i was a failure at everything. Then I was placed in a school that was considered to be full of unwanted students. Unteachables. And what's funny is that even though those students had problems with the law and such (one 16 yo was there because he repossessed a tattoo - I am not kidding) the students were so gifted! We could study at our own pace. If it took two weeks or two years (or more) to blow through all the classes so be it. The staff supported and encouraged. There were maybe 20 students there total and four teachers! It was great. I loved it. For the record i took two years worth of highschool and finished in right around 12 weeks. And brought my gpa to a 3.98 out of 4.0. I was salutatorian.

DH had to go through the same school. (he wasn't a trouble maker he just didn't grasp the concepts...considered unteachable) and that was when we decided if we had kids we'd find alternatives to conventional schools.

Once we had our first child we looked into different options for schooling and finally found the homeschooling option supported by the public school systems. And it uses a program, www.k-12.com that we like. And from there we have added and subtracted as needed to offer our kids what we believe is a firm well balanced education.

In a nutshell, that's how we decided to homeschool.
Wow, I moved around too - about every 2 yrs (dad is a pastor) and never had those issues. Maybe b/c we were usually smaller schools than what a military area would be.
 

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Wow, Missy, you've had some tough experiences. Good for you for taking charge of your kids lives and ensuring they have a better education.

For us it was more of an individual decision. My son is twice exceptional, extremely gifted as well as diagnosed with ADHD, which is very common for kids with one of these diagnosis to also have the other. At a very young age he taught himself to read, add and subtract, and eventually mutliply and divide. He had a hunger for knowledge that could not be satisfied. Sadly, after a few years in school where he had to learn on their time table and in their style he lost that natural desire. He became angry and resentful. He started lashing at out people he cared about. It was all very difficult to watch.

We did a lot of research, tried a lot of alternative therapies, had meeting after meeting with his teachers; nothing worked. Then I came across a book, The Edison Gene, that helped me see that I didn't need to change him to fit the environment I needed to change the environment to fit him. At home we can embrace the beautiful way his mind works and see that what were thought of as problems in school are actually gifts.

I do not blame the school; I was a teacher for many years and I know that within the constraints of state standards, testing, and keeping order with the sheer numbers of kids that they are doing the best they can. I also know that their best was simply not ever going to work for my son. I use the analogy that if he were allergic to pineapple we wouldn't give him pineapple. We would find another fruit that he loved and he'd get his nutrition from that. That wouldn't mean that pineapple is inherently bad; it's just not good for him.

Incidentally my daughter still attends public school. She thrives there and it is absolutely the right place for her. We all have to find our own path (or the path for our kids when they are to young to do it themselves) to success and happiness.
 
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I will be homeschooling my daughter this year and my reasons are:

- Ability to be more involved in her studies
- Ability to be able to help her with one-on-one help

My daughter is exceptionally gifted in math and I want her to continue to be on HER level, she will be learning this year what 10th-11th graders are learning and she is only in the 8th grade.

I love that I can be involved in ALL her studies, help her myself when she needs it and just be here.
 

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My reasons are alot like Elphie's. My DD is ADD and was doing exceptionally well education wise until she started public school. She regressed in her behavior (she is unmedicated), and would not complete work because she was bored and unchallenged. She also has a slight reading comprehension problem (due to the ADD - she doesn't focus well on her reading), and the public schools had nothing in place to help her until 6th grade. I felt by that time her entire desire to learn would have been squelched and she would be even further behind. With the hours of homework every night, it was impossible to find the extra hours to help her improve her skills.

Last year I finally made the decision to homeschool her - and was worried that I wouldn't be able to handle it. I thought I would miss my "break" during the day, that there would be gaps in her education, if I would be able to explain things properly, etc. Well, now I wish I had homeschooled from the beginning. She is far ahead of grade level in Math, her reading is much improved (since we have the options of adding audio books and shortened reading selections), and she actually enjoys doing her work. My son will also be homeschooled now, because I don't want to go through the public school experience again.

Oh, and don't get me wrong. DD had some excellent teachers (some of which I had myself in school), but between the state mandates (teaching to the "test" only), lack of financial resources in our rural schools, overcrowded classrooms, etc, the teachers were unable to bring any of their own unique creativity or methods to the class.
 
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Oh, and don't get me wrong. DD had some excellent teachers (some of which I had myself in school), but between the state mandates (teaching to the "test" only), lack of financial resources in our rural schools, overcrowded classrooms, etc, the teachers were unable to bring any of their own unique creativity or methods to the class.
This is the sad state of education today... the true experts, those actually in the classroom seeing what kids need, have very little input in what goes on anymore.
 

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Ok, so if it is ok - let me ask - how or does Homeschooling affect your ability to be frugal. I ask b/c I know that the curriculum can be somewhat expensive. Then, I know that many homeschooling families put extra money towards "extra-curricular" activities to assist with "social issues". So between all of that - does it affect your ability to "be as frugal"?
 

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For us it was more of an individual decision. My son is twice exceptional, extremely gifted as well as diagnosed with ADHD, which is very common for kids with one of these diagnosis to also have the other. At a very young age he taught himself to read, add and subtract, and eventually mutliply and divide. He had a hunger for knowledge that could not be satisfied. Sadly, after a few years in school where he had to learn on their time table and in their style he lost that natural desire. He became angry and resentful. He started lashing at out people he cared about. It was all very difficult to watch.
That is our experience as well. My youngest dd and oldest ds have both been diagnosed as ADHD and fall in the gifted category. Being forced to stay back where the lowest common denominator was really killed their desire to learn. My ds is coming around more quickly than my dd, but she's been dealing with the school system 3yrs longer than he has.

Our decision was first to homeschool 13yo dd, but I realized quickly that I would like to homeschool all of them. My oldest, 16yo dd, really does well in public school and is staying there. But the younger three are being homeschooled.

Incidentally, homeschooling was something I wanted to do 10yrs ago when my oldest first started school. But hs wasn't as popular, the Internet wasn't as readily available, and finding out the regs was impossible to say the least. Plus, I was the main wage-earner in our family and allowed others to talk me out of it. I am ecstatic to finally be homeschooling :)

Ok, so if it is ok - let me ask - how or does Homeschooling affect your ability to be frugal. I ask b/c I know that the curriculum can be somewhat expensive. Then, I know that many homeschooling families put extra money towards "extra-curricular" activities to assist with "social issues". So between all of that - does it affect your ability to "be as frugal"?
Curriculum is only as expensive as you let it be. I haven't bought any prepared curriculum at all. Buying a mix of this and a mix of that on Ebay or at yard sales & book stores. I've probably spent on all three of my kids what some entire curriculum for one grade would cost. "Home Learning Through the Years" by Rebecca Rupp has been an invaluable resource in helping me put together our own curricula.

The only "social issues" with homeschooling are those that are perceived or assumed by those who don't homeschool. Kids don't need expensive extra-curricular activities in order to "socialize". There are homeschool groups, play dates, going to on field trips, socializing with their own family/neighbors, and just regular life. I'm an adult and I get plenty of socialization without being stuck in a room full of people my own age and only being allowed to talk when a person 30yrs my senior says it's okay. I don't need extra curricular activities to socialize either. I talk with my neighbors, I visit family & friends, I go shopping, I go to the bank, etc.
 

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Curriculum is only as expensive as you let it be. I haven't bought any prepared curriculum at all. Buying a mix of this and a mix of that on Ebay or at yard sales & book stores. I've probably spent on all three of my kids what some entire curriculum for one grade would cost. "Home Learning Through the Years" by Rebecca Rupp has been an invaluable resource in helping me put together our own curricula.

The only "social issues" with homeschooling are those that are perceived or assumed by those who don't homeschool. Kids don't need expensive extra-curricular activities in order to "socialize". There are homeschool groups, play dates, going to on field trips, socializing with their own family/neighbors, and just regular life. I'm an adult and I get plenty of socialization without being stuck in a room full of people my own age and only being allowed to talk when a person 30yrs my senior says it's okay. I don't need extra curricular activities to socialize either. I talk with my neighbors, I visit family & friends, I go shopping, I go to the bank, etc.

Yep, this is our experience as well... we have spent a lot more money getting dd ready for going back to school than we spend on ds's education. She needed a lot of specific school supplies and more new clothes than ds just to get ready for school. As the year progresses there will be fundraiser, field trips, and party supplies. We don't buy a prepackaged curriculum, not just because it is expensive but because I don't believe you can get everything you need in one place. So we have lots of teacher's resource materials that are from my old teaching days, ebay, and garage sales. We also take full advantage of our public library and the internet to supplement any educational needs of our ds.

Socialization is a non issue... our church offers great extra curricular activites including softball, basketball, volleyball and scouting type activities. These are open to everyone, not just church members and many homeschoolers in the area take advantage of these activites. We also belong to a great homeschool group that has a playdate once a week in addition to field trips and classes that the kids can do together. We do pay for soccer but we did that before we homeschooled.

I think, like anything else that you feel is important, you find ways to make things work. We did have to give up some other things when I decided to stay at home to homeschool but overall we have gained so much more.
 
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I find it's actually helped our frugal lifestyle to homeschool. As our homeschool groups get together we can do many things less expensively for our group that the schools can get for theirs. For instance...

A trip to the Aquarium each student in my friends dd's class had to give 45 bucks two weeks in advance to go. that 45 secured tickets, bus, the necessary chaperones meals etc. The kids had to bring their meals, it wasn't covered in the ticket cost.

Well, for 60 we filled our gas tank (20.00), took advantage of some coupons and off season ticket pricing and for that 60.00 we took 3 adults 4 kids and stocked up a cooler with snacks, lunch and drinks.

Not only that we weren't stuck into a time frame. we poked along reading the signs, looking for the animals and so on. I had gone to the place's website and printed off activities fr the kids to do too.

Buying curricula isn't really an issue. You can find books at yard sales, ebay, goodwill, etc etc. I find the best lluck putting it together yourself printing off stuff online. And through the program we use we get their k-12 stuff free (some stuff must be returned to the program, but not all) anyhow.
 
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We homeschool because our local schools are really bed. The one that Beak would go to is actually condemned. There is mold, asbestos, and a leaky roof. They still use it because the whole district is over crowded. There is like 30+ kids in a class.

All three of my guys are ones that would need some extra help. I can't see them getting the help they would need in a school setting.

Since we homeschool, they are in a class of three. They get to learn at their own pace. They love learning.

When we got the new digital box, Toad found out that there are now four PBS channels. You should see him, he is in total heaven.
 

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When our oldest got in to 6th grade and went into middle school he totally got lost in giant classrooms with teachers that couldn't begin to teach you unless you excelled. The pace was too fast. His school district is known for producing children who can't read and write and yet have high school diplomas. He was a good student that needed a small classroom. We could not stand by and let a good 5th grade education be as far as he got in life. His elementary school was very small classrooms and dedicated teachers. From 9th thru 12th he attended a small charter school. Class sizes often had no more than 5 students and NEVER more than 10. It was ideal and our son did brilliantly in the charter school.

Our youngest is homeschooled.Last year he started a cyber-school which was a great choice. He remains homeschooled and can be in his grade level despite his age. He gets private tutoring, all books and supplies, a computer all paid for. He is able to remain at home, which is an absolute must since he has special needs.

My sister never pays a dime for her school supplies. She found websites that provide everything she needs for free. Also, school disctricts must provide you with that school years books if you ask. We always purchased ours because my son is very visual and needed to see it taught. We did Bob Jones DVD's and workbooks. He just followed along with the teacher and did the assigned work. Easy Peasy. A bit pricey though.
 
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As a couple my dh and I chose to hs, because we wanted to lessen the bad behaviours the kids were learning in school, to help them learn at their normal speed(we have one child who is average, one who has problems with learning, and one gifted child). We also wanted to expose them to the things they love like art and music. My daughter who has problems with her learning, has a very strong artistic side.

One of my personal reasons is that we live in a very scary world and I want to shelter and guide my children in it to the best of my ability.
 
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As for whether homeschooling affects frugality, it can depend. I, myself use a few packaged curriculum items (for language arts and math), and pull the rest together from online/yard sales/used book store, etc. I spend right around $300/yr for two children. That includes all supplies, curriculum, getting their pictures taken yearly, county baseball fees, etc. I spent way more than that in gas running the kids back and forth to school, expensive, low quality pictures twice a year, the constant fundraisers, and the wasted money on supplies they "needed", but never used at all. So, it saved us money.

As far as socialization goes - there need not be any special groups or activities. Between the sports they participated in before homeschooling (county league here is cheap), church activities and playing with cousins and neighborhood friends, there is no lack of socialization - with all age ranges and all different types of people. :) Our area only has one HS support group, which IMO, is as cliquish as in high school, so we do not participate in it. And I've found that though something like that could be nice for comparing notes/networking with like minded people, it is far from necessary.
 
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Also, school disctricts must provide you with that school years books if you ask.

This may be true in your state, but not in all states. In NY, they do not have to supply you with books (not that I would want to use most of their stuff anyway, especially the TERC math). They don't even allow homeschoolers to play on sports teams with public school children if they are a team that plays against other schools...which is basically all of them.
 

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Oh my, its been so long since I was asked that question! I have been homeschooling for 12 years now (back then people would say "Homeschool? Is that LEGAL????").
I first decided to homeschool because my eldest is anaphylactically allergic to peanuts. At the time no protocols were in place to protect her, and I was terrified to send her to school. So I decided to homeschool her for a few years until she was old enough to be responsible about her food environment. Then Ds was born visually impaired with one odd looking eye (looks like a cats eye). I realized he would need additional support with learning visually and the school environment is often cruel with those who are in anyway different. So I decided that I would homeschool him too.
Dd #2 could not sit still and was NOT ready for school at age 5 or even 6..... But by 7 she was a different being and READY!!!! Learned to read within weeks etc.
By the time my eldest was old enough to be responsible for her food environment (grade 4ish), we all loved homeschooling so much we wouldn't have dreamed of stopping. It worked and is working so well for all my children.
 

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I decided to home school before I had dd, before I was pregnant, and even before I finished high school. I went to 13 different schools in 12 years. 5 of them were High schools. The fact that I changed schools never bothered me, however it did expose me to many different schools and districts. In all of them (except one) I saw the same things. Children are a group, not individual children. They learn as a group, move as a group, play as a group. Everything is centered around a group. There is no time or energy for the individual child. No chance to excel, and no help if you fall behind.
Another observation is that standardized tests, everything is also surrounded by these test. Curriculum based on them, classes based on them. I was often put in the "bad group" because of my test scores. I was always bored with the tests and wouldn't finished them or would just make designs out of the answers. I often found myself bored in school and one year I remember only turning in a couple assignment for math and I ended up with a B???? What does this teach our children?? many years later that particular school district lost their accreditation.
I also learned that the system could be manipulated. I was on my own from 14 on and I milked it dry. One year I didn't enroll myself into school until October and instead of making me catch up they let me start fresh. And subsequently when I had my 4 page finals I only had to complete 1 1/2 pages of them. And this school had won MANY awards for being such a GREAT school :confused:
Then I transferred schools yet again and this school required a substantial amount more of credits to graduate, but again I knew that school could be manipulated. I was able to get them to change MY graduation requirements 15 less credits. Then I went into a alternative school which was a joke all work was done on the computer, ok lets see press enter multiple times and you can finish very quickly, then guess on the answers for the test. Yay graduated 1/2 a semester early!!!
ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE!!!!! I can not believe what I got away with and this is in many districts in different states.

So the decision for me was a very easy one. I am in control of dd's education.
 
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