Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why others homeschool

I thought this graph was interesting. The source is the U.S. Department of Education, so it's pretty kosher, not something made up to encourage homeschooling. As I look at it, the reasons why I am homeschooling (which I can't even truly figure out) start at the top of the graph and go down three steps.

1. Child's special needs or disability . School has always been so hard for him, but until last year the little bugger "never gave up, never gave up, never, never, never gave up."(Winston Churchill, who was a "poor" student.) When he was in grade school, Mr. Butler, his resource teacher, had come from the high school. He said he kind of liked working with the younger kids because they hadn't given up yet. Mr. Davis told us at the beginning of 8th grade, he thought it would be Ben's banner year, that he would take off. As it was, he barely eeked by, earning D-'s instead of the typical A's and B's.

Also, I used to work up to 4-5 hours a night so Ben could complete his homework. In fifth grade, he had a wonderful teacher, Ms. Hunt, who let him do all his work at school, while on Ritalin which helped him focus. We never gave him "vitamin r" at night, although it was tempting to complete homework, but he didn't sleep well the way it was, and it would have been necessary to give him another drug to go to sleep...better living through chemistry! Ms. Hunt was a closet LD student, I'm sure. Like Ben's only real psychiatrist, who had ADHD himself, she understood: she gave him every break posssible and did everything to UP his sense of self. She believed in him, I think she saw a lot of herself in him.Well, anyhow, after Ms. Hunt, I never again put in those hours. Ben's dad, by default, became his "homework" partner. I just didn't have the desire.Besides, it felt like child abuse, what I had done in the earlier years. In the first 5 years (k-4), he never missed one homework assignment.

2. Student has behavior problems at school.
: Ben had never gotten in trouble in school. In 8th grade, he was suspended twice, a third time was in the books, but it was the end of the year.

3. Other problems with available school. Gas was on it's way to $5 a gallon, and the hour and one half we would spend each day driving him to school, with me unemployed, was not looking good. Blame it on the Enron loophole.

4. School doesn't challenge child. Ben's IQ was 79 at age 4, 99 in second grade, 116 in's not supposed to change more than 20 points over a lifetime. So much for that. At Ben's IEP in 8th grade, I wanted the psych to give him an IQ test. He said it would keep Ben out of Special Education, and that I didn't want to do it. Ben learns a lot by watching t.v. Like his dad and his reading, he watches factual Science, mechanically oriented shows. I think that's why his IQ is so high. Environment...t.v.!!!!!!

So, in comparison to others, I am homeschooling Ben for 40.3% of the same reasons as other people are homeschooling their children. And there is no way in hell I am becoming the HOMEWORK NAZI in order for him to get through school. Bleh, just thinking about it....


Sharon said...

Welcome to the club!

For me, I'd say my reasons are best represented by the bottom bar and for one child, add in the top bar.

I think after you've been doing this for a while you'll see that you're able to help him learn better than school can too. It's clear from what you say, that he already learns loads at home through TV etc. Think about what he has learned so far in his life, how much of that came from school?

Mrs. C said...

LOL Elf wanted to do "homework" today, but I asked him when on earth his "schoolwork" would ever get done that way.

You have no doubt figured out that teaching something YOUR way is way easier than doing it the school's way. Even with a great teacher, they're going to do it differently than you would and then you wind up confusing the kid. Especially in math. :]

r.b. said...

Yes, we've come across trouble in math already...ALGEBRA...I never did that well in it myself! We both are super in Geometry. If we are still homeschooling next year, that should be a lot more fun!

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KatieL said...

I know this is an old post, but I'd like to use the image in this post for a research paper I'm doing. My teacher is not allowing our internet sources to be from blogs, so I was wondering if you knew where you got the image. I've looked on the Department of Education's page and in an image-matching search engine, and I've found nothing. Thank you, from a former homeschooler!

r.b. said...

I wish I knew, Katie. I noticed the name in the corner...and looked up an "Allie"...close, but no banana. the source was the Dept of Ed...I suppose the numbers were taken from there. You might have to create your own graph based on Dept sources.

This is one of my most populat links because of the picture. I wish I could help.

KatieL said...

I explained the situation to my teacher, and all is well! Thank you for posting this! It will be a very strong contribution to my paper.

usethebrainsgodgiveyou said...


I'm glad to be of help to our kids.

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