Home schooling / flexible schooling

OK, it took some time for me to arrive at this position, but I am now a huge fan of flexible schooling.  We did it the last two years of youngest daughter’s high school and wish we would have started earlier.  Technically it is home schooling, but with the mix of online courses and Home School Association classes it is really more like flexible schooling.

A few benefits:

  • You get the kids out of the cesspools that many public schools have become
  • Incredible flexibility for study time, volunteer activities and extracurricular activities.
  • Very small class sizes — smaller than even private schools.
  • You don’t have the gang, drug, fighting and other activities that even good school districts have.
  • It is a bargain compared to private schools.
  • Opportunities to develop excellent time management skills.  College won’t be as big of a transition, as kids will be used to managing their time.
  • Dual credit high school classes that cover high school and college requirements are the ultimate bargain.  Our community college system is already 1/5 of what the state schools charge and if your child hasn’t graduated high school the cost is even less.  You’ll spend more on books than tuition.

You need to be very intentional about getting the education and the socializing down. We know of a couple home schooled kids who meet the stereotype of not being socialized well (though that may have had nothing to do with where they were schooled), but countless more who are phenomenally well adjusted . It is a running joke with home schooling about that. These kids are out and about doing all sorts of things.

I know that we pay 100% of our property taxes and 100% of the extra costs of home schooling, and many people do the same to send their kids to private schools. You can just scan the cost / student in many areas (over $10,000 per student to get the current results) and see that something has gone horribly wrong with how we administer education.

We could do so much more with flexibile schooling by utilizing best-of-the-best recorded lessons, computer training/testing and having teachers do more tutoring than trying to give one-size-fits-all lessons to over 20 kids at once.  It would save big $$$ and get better results.

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10 thoughts on “Home schooling / flexible schooling”

  1. Neil,

    You know I fully support the whole idea. I have two well-adjusted home schoolers (flex schoolers) who are now in college and one almost well-adjusted one at home. Almost well-adjusted only because he is a male teenager and they require a little more work (with tongue in cheek). It really is a great way to get an education and circumvent many of the issues presented by the public school system. Long live flexible schooling.

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  2. This is an excellent piece. May I have permission to post this at Quiner’s Diner, with proper attribution? I think my readers would appreciate the message. Thanks for your consideration.

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  3. Well said, Neil.

    We pulled out of the cesspool of the public school system when our kids were in 8th and 5th grades. Tried a Lutheran School for a year, but they used secular textbooks (especially science), the science teacher was Catholic and taught evolution, and the kids were not well disciplined (most kids there were sent by parents who wanted the school to reform them). Then we did home school, and it was the best choice ever. It took a lot of work (I taught Math, Science and History, while my wife handled most of the rest — and I had to learn the math first, stuff beyond what I ever learned!). Our kids had always been at the top of their classes in public school, and thrived on home schooling.

    There are those who claimed that they wouldn’t be prepared for college, but I think the stats prove that to be horribly wrong! While my son was not interested in college (he apprenticed as a woodworker and is an excellent craftsman now, making cabinets, desks, etc), our daughter did a double major in music and education and graduated after 5 years with 4.0 GPA. She is now a music teacher in the public system.

    As for the claim of lack of socialization which homeschoolers get all the time, the only ones I’ve ever seen lacking socialization were those in the legalistic groups (such as Gothardites). But homeschoolers can socialize outside their peer group better than the average public school drone. I always like to point out how my son, at 13, was drum corporal in our pipes and drums band, which meant he was in charge when the drum sergeant was not available (you had to be a top drummer to lead), and the youngest drummer beside him was 19, with the rest in the 20s, 30s, and even 50s, and yet they all took directions from him.

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  4. I am from Australia. We had our children in the state system here which actually teaches the same kind of curriculum as yours. The system failed us when our children were diagnosed with learning difficulties. We then went to the private system. The private system failed us because in the two schools we went to bullying from students was allowed to pass and the bullies were befriended by the school psychologist (need I say more). When we tried to deal with this at the admin level, we discovered that the bullying culture was coming from the top down. This happened in both schools. Finally, we went back to the state system.

    Lo and behold, the school we chose was the type of school where the kids arrive drunk and carrying weapons if they are not drugged. Yet our son found himself witnessing to a whole classroom of kids during a school camp, and our daughter was a steady christian witness even to the teachers who couldn’t believe her attitude to being physically attacked by one student was to literally ‘turn the other cheek’.

    I am of the opinion that there is no longer a safe place to send your kids in our country. There are very few homeschoolers here and I think it is only legitimate if you live go via distance education which kids on farms do through computer etc.

    I am more disappointed with the so called ‘christian’ schooling in this country with its emphasis on psychology and hypocrisy rather than Christ as the answer than I am in the secular system which at least doesn’t pretend to be something other than what it is.

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