Homeschooling is it good or bad?

homeschool - homeschooling websites
United States
January 1, 2008 9:37pm CST
This question has been one I have been wanting to do for a while but I haven't known how to bring this up. Let me give you some background information on this. My brother is currently 16 and homeschooled by my mom. You ask why. Well this is where the back story comes in, when my brother was in 9th grade my mom was having problems with the married man she was dating and she had her faced over radianced. So she went into a depression and ended up sueing her boyfriend and through all this my brother was missing classes due to not making it to school on time and not completing somethings. Now my mom does not let my brother walk to school she drives him because where they live he would have to walk to school because he lives close to it and there are no buses. But my mom wouldn't allow him to do so. On top of that she would over sleep and not get him there to school on time. Now I think it's both of their faults that he was having problems and not meeting requirements. One he should have been able to get him self up and wake her up if she was driving him to school and two she's the parent she should have made sure he was up and got him to school on time and if she wasn't going to take him let him walk. Well when all is said and done she decides that she would be better off to homeschool him. Alright no problem homeschool him, well she gets set up with online homeschooling curriculim and they say that he has to start from the begining of the school year so she has to try and get them to accept what he has done so far. meanwhile she also signs him up for spanish and french . Spanish because that is the language he chose to study and french becuase hey she's paying for this so she want's to take the french course. Now I find this completely wrong because it's not him doing the work it's her and it's going on his record. What do you think?That is also not the end of it. He never finished the 9th grade yr on homeschooling because my mom was supposed to settle it with them about him having to restart 9th grade all over agian. So now where in what should be his 10th grade yr and he still hasn't completed his homeschooling for 9th and as far as I last knew my mom felt the lawsuit she was working on was more important than getting things straightened out with his homeschooling and making sure that he gets his education. I think that this is one reason that homeschooling is given a bad name. I also fear that my brother is going to get so far behind that he won't want to go back. I love my brother but he has no respect for others and he has no ground rules to live by. He stays up all hours playing online mmorpg's. There is no one worrying about his grades or him actually doing any school work. So my question to you is what do you think of homeschooling? Should there be regulations on how it's administered? Last but not least right before my brother went back to maryland before he started 9th grade he asked me if he could move in with me becuse he said he knew that I would make him get up and go wether he wanted to or not. At that time I should have notice something becuase he was headed for summer school. I feel really bad but I was not getting in the middle of something what was clearly something that was between my mother and brother where I had not place. But now after all is said and done he is still in 9th grade with homeschooling.
2 people like this
11 responses
@skinnychick (6907)
• United States
3 Jan 08
Let me apologize- first off if I repeat anything. I'm responding through my email so I haven't read the other responses yet. Before I get into the homeschooling thing- your brother is screaming out for you to help him. If he asked you, he wants some structure and rules without coming out and saying it. Kids like structure and stability as much as you think they don't. Your mom sounds a little busy right now on everything except her son which should be her top priority. If you can find it in your heart, I would get your brother into a school and help him. Maybe even help with the home school until he gets caught up enough to go back to regular school. Okie dokie- homeschooling- Hmmmm? I don't really believe in it at all except in the cases of special needs kids and that includes learning disabilities and social disabilities like ADHD, Autism, and such. Even then, the parents should make an informed decision and be prepared to be proactive. Homeschooling I think, shelters kids way too much and they miss out on many things which may not seem important to us as parents but to them its a big deal- pretty much- high school stuff like clubs, sports, dances, graduation, etc... Elementary is a little different as there aren't really things like this except sports in my area. Socialization is learned in school most of the time. Teachers also see our kids differently than we do and can tell us objectively what our kids are doing or not doing. I hope that parents who do choose it are proactive and most that I have met really are involved. You can just homeschool a kid and expect them to do it on their own. It's called homeschool for a reason and not let your kid hope they home school themselves. Please don't take my opinion wrong about homeschooling- I don't bash what anyone does- to each their own, it just isn't right for my kids.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Jan 08
"you can't just homeschool a kid" spelling sorry!
2 people like this
• United States
3 Jan 08
Skinnychick, No apology needed I understand completely. I know that he was screaming for help but I'm limited in what I can do for him by means of I don't live in the same state. I don't have the money to fight for custody agianst my mom and my step dad. who are no longer together so it will be individually agianst them. If I had the money and the room I would gladly bring my brother to live with me. My house if a 3 bedroom house I have 5 kids. 3 girls who share the bigger room and 2 boys who share the smallest room where I get the medium sized room becuase I have a queen size bed where my boys have bunks. I wouldn't know where to put him. Financially I'm laid off I have an income of less than 700 a month. I would love to be able to pick up the pieces that my mom has left lay but I'm not in the position. I really wish that I lived closer at a time like this. But to be honest I don't know why I'm surprised at all by my mom's behavior. She has always been a person that she herself came first. The minute I was able to leave I tried to stay but one week after I turned 18 I moved out I was already working full time and I finish highschool with straight a's and maybe a b or two. I sometimes seem to bloom in adverstiy. I'll love my mom for all her faults. I have grown to accept her for who she is and I know that she loves me in her own way. But back to my bro I take him 2 weeks in the summer and pick him up for special events here in my state pa in the spring and when I had a vehicle I would go up in the summer as long as my other Half was able to watch our kids I would go into md and take him to the movies and dinner and stay the night to hang out and be a sister. I want to have a strong relationship with him even though we are 14yrs apart. I want him to know that I love him and I will be there for him to the best of my ability. With homeschooling I feel it works for some and some it doesn't you have to have both a motivated child and a motivated parent .. Or you can have the motivated parent and a child who respects and listens to his parent. I do feel that it lacks socialization skill and that is why I have been asking all poster what they think should be the way to handle getting the socialization into the homeschooling? Sorry if I was ranting and by no means do I mean to offend anyone I just needed to get this off my chest because I literally feel powerless in this situation. Thanks for your response skinnychick as always it's a breath of fresh air.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
so many issues so little time! First I feel that if your brother was truly interested in his education he would have gotten his butt up each morning and when he couldn't wake your mom to take him he would have walked his butt there on his own. Kind of hard to discipline him for going against her orders when she would have been the reason he had to walk in the first place. Second, there should be someway you can notify the online agency she is using to home school him that he is not the one taking all the curriculum he is signed up for. I'm sure by what you have written your mother is too self absorbed to care she is screwing up her sons GPA and portfolio just because her whim of the week is wanting to learn a new language. Someone tell her to order the Rosetta Stone dvd set that claims they can teach anyone any language they offer in as little as 6 months. And lastly you should in no way feel responsible for this. I'm sure your bro begged and pleaded to live with you but be realistic here. Unless your mom has full custody you would have to fight both her and your dad for the right to him. That is one expensive court battle if any party isn't accepting of the idea. So the best you could do is be a good big sister and try to teach him some responsibility for himself. He is 16 afterall. Now what do I feel about home schooling since that was your initial question...I would never do it to my kids and I would never suggest that someone else do it to their kids. Children learn a lot more than just school subjects in a structured school environment. They need the diversity of the classmates and the faculty to help round out their character. They also benefit from school activities, functions, sports, and other programs that cannot be offered at home. However I just got a mental image of a 16 yr old boy in green tights playing Robin Hood by jumping from the banister and stealing money out of your moms purse because he could not join the drama club because he is home schooled. OK I'll stop now because the rest of my thought process went right out the window with that image.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Jan 08
LOL !!! wow my brother in tights...that I don't want to see.But your right it would cost a fortune in legal battles something that I don't have the money for but if only i did. Also your right he's old enough to start to be responsible for himself. I will continue to be his sister and be there for him however possible, but like i said I find fault in both my mom and him for this situation.Take Care Cynical.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
3 Jan 08
Wow! I didn't know you had to fight courbattles to help your brother move in with you!
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
2 Jan 08
Homeschool - Organized work
Homeschool is a good option for people who are organized and have worked out how it has to be done. It's also for people who are not happy with the education system and want their child to work at their own pace and sometimes learn more about stuff than the curriculum stipulates. But as I see it, in your brother's case, your mother just opted for the easy way out when she couldn't drop your brother to school. In fact, since she was already trying to straighten things out with her boyfriend and she didn't have the time to take care of your brother's needs in the morning, she jumped into homeschooling which actually would have taken more time from her (she has to do some work towards helping your brother throughout the day). Bad choice, I would say. Maybe you should have a talk with your mother and make her see that things are not working out the way it should for your brother and his life is being affected due to your mother's personal problems. All of us have problems; but we shouldn't put our kid's lives on the backseat so that we can sort our problems. We should find a way around it. And your brother isn't really old enough to be handling it on his own (well some kids his age can...but not all)though he atleast tried to be responsible and asked you for help. Poor fellow is being tossed around!There are two options if your really want to help your mother...let him move in with you and you make sure he makes it to school (he's family after all and if he really wants to do it with help from you, I'm sure he won't be too much of a problem) or talk to your mother and make her see how it is affecting yout brother and tell her that she needs to put his needs first.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
I have talked to her about it and she gets defensive and when I talked to her about him mentioning moving in with me the fact that he asked me she wouldn't speak to me for a month and called me a traitor. Trust me I told my bro that if he moved in with me he would wake up and go to school everyday and school work will come first like it does for my kids. My other half has also told him that if he won't wake up that he'd have no problem throwing him onto the bus with whatever he slept in while I would be slipping a package of poptarts in his bag.I run a organized ship and I would have no problem taking my bro in, no matter the distance in age he's my bro and I love him I would just have to fight for him at this point .. I guess what I'll do is wait until he comes down in april and see how things are going and if he still wants to move in and then if he does go from there. I hate to wait that long but with out me having a car at this point I can't go to maryland and get him since we live in different states. It will be a big change for both of us and I'll have to move into a bigger house but I love him and would do it for him..
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
2 Jan 08
I'm glad that you will be able to do it for your brother and also glad that your partner is supportive. From what you have posted, seems like your brother really wants to make a change in his situation and he feels (rightly) that you can help him. I also feel it's worth fighting it out with your mother (if it comes to that - she probably should be happy that you have taken him off her hands and she can then concentrate on her personal problems).
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
I so wish that would be the case that she would be happy to have me take him off her hands but when it comes down to it all she'll see that is her $600.00 a month in child support is going away. She was very verbal about this to me when I moved out of her house before I graduated high school. I called my dad the day I moved out and that very month he stopped and canceled my child support and told me if I needed anything to call him and he would help me out. My mom took a fit because she lost $400.00 a month that was going towards her getting new furniture and kitchen things for the house. I think I laughed all the way home from school when the principal tried to get me to move back home from school when my mom found out the child support was no longer coming to her and it was discontinued.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
I don't think homeschooling is all that good, I think that should be a last resort if your kid is going to school and they're not doing good, not paying attention, not getting along with teachers or other students. One thing that you should really consider is the students around the child. I grew up in Miami, Florida around a lot of bad kids, I messed up my high school because of my decisions and my environment. I have cousins that went to home school and they're parents don't really let them know a lot of things that are going on in the world. It's like they know nothing and they don't experience anything. They're 16-17 years old and they don't even know how to act their own age because they aren't around anyone their own age. They think so different then you think a 17 year old would think. They act like kids because their parents treat them like kids.
• United States
2 Jan 08
Thank you for your view. I see that as part of a con to homeschooling But do you think that the parents that home school could do anything to help their child learn to socialize. Agian thank you for your response. have a nice day.
1 person likes this
• New Delhi, India
2 Jan 08
I think home school is not that good for a child as he will be all day in home. A child should have contact with the outside world to know about the life.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
Thank you very much for observation. I agree that a chid will need to learn to interact with others so being inside all the time may not be beneficial but do you think that the parent that homeschools their child would be able to teach their child socialization other ways? Like for ex. the child might be inschool at home but the parent can always have the child join an activity outside the home like dance or sports or martial arts which would give the child some socialization and couldn't the parent make play dates with the parents of the kids that go to a public or private or catholic school in the area? I agree that I child should know socialization and now about the outside life but do you think that the parent that home schools the child would be able to include that in her lessons? Agian thank you for you response it brough about more questions that I would be interested in the answers and made me think .. Thank you.
1 person likes this
@kellys3ps (3726)
• United States
2 Jan 08
I think it all depends on the situation. There are many homeschoolers who thrive and attend college at 14 or 15, while others suffer. Some kids need the structured environment of a public school while other students need the one on attention obtained only through the home school environment.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
Thank you for your perspective it's very thoughtful. You are right some kids benefit through the one on one and thrive in it and some need lots of structure like my son with ADHD he needs structure and homeschooling wouldn't do it for him but I have a question do you think there should be some regulations on homeschooling or guidelines or ways of them checking and making sure the student is doing the homeschooling and learning? Thank you agian for your input!
1 person likes this
@gmakesmoney (2923)
• United States
2 Jan 08
I can understand this problem, I ended up dropping out twice because we moved cross country and my new school was like 5 years in education behind my old one. They wouldn't accept any of my college prep or advanced credits from my old high school and since all the classes I took were advanced, this meant they wanted me to take all 3 years worth of credits in one year to catch up. Now I am super lazy for things that bore me and my mother being a single mom and busy working 2 jobs never forced the issue so I gave up and quit. In my case however the highschool I was then attending had lost all it's state credits (after President Clinton had visited himself that same year and reissued them) so a diploma from there would carry me as far as a job at Walmart and would have been worthless when trying to further my education. But that's totally not the point... the things is had I been pushed would I have finished? No because no matter how hard someone pushes you, if your heart isn't in it then you're never going to follow through. As for homeschooling, I have a friend who's mother started to home school her in the 9th grade because she didn't want her influenced by public school (mind you this is the high school where I took all the advanced courses and was the kind of school where the cheerleaders talked to everyone and the teachers really cared) and she decided to home school her little sister too. They had the same problems that your mother and brother are having with it, instead of taking a year to finish a course they'd take two. Not only that but both girls became very cut off from reality so to speak and soon had next to no friends outside of a very tiny homeschool group that met like twice a year for "events". One girl ended up an extreme religious nut and the other ended up pregnant in her teens by a guy who constantly hit her and had no job. Before the homeschooling both were very well adjusted, well liked and popular girls who were at the top of their classes. My point being that it really isn't for everyone and it can hurt instead of help if the parent that is doing the homeschooling just doesn't have the personality to teach. Homeschooling is a great program but there should be regulations about the education of the person doing the homeschooling and some sort of course of them to prepare them for homeschool teaching. That would benefit the kids more and lend more merit to the program.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
Thank you for your response Gmakesmoney. I often worry about my brother because my mother is the type of person who is so interested in herself that she really doesn't take an interest in my bro. What can I say my mom hasn't changed much since I moved out. My mom has always been more concerned about her looks and who she is dating at the time rather than if her child is getting the education he needs. The reason in short she moved him to homeschooling is because then she could do it on her own time and not have to worry about waking up and driving him to school and this way the school district couldn't bother her about his attendance either. But i find since there is no regulations that she is taking advantage of this and he is learning nothing because she is not making him do the schooling and doesn't care .. More concerned with getting the lawsuit together instead of making sure he has an education to live off of. The sad thing it's not like my mom works either ... She doesn't she sits at home and works on this lawsuit while she lets him upstairs on world of warcraft allday. The only reason she's not working now is she just won a lawsuit for over 100thousand and is living off of that. I guess I just worry because my brother has no motivation he grew up with my mom moving from place to place and depending on someoneelse to take care of her. My bro's dad does give her about 600 a month in child support and she says it's not enough. I remind her for 2 kid I only get 100 and make due. I feel my brother would have been better off with my ex step dad who I still consider my dad hell he still considers me his daughter .. My family cell is through him. My ex step dad has taught me great work ethics and I know that he wouldn't have let this happen what I can't get is why he's not stepping in now.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
It's sad but it's a situation that a lot of kids face. The only way your brother can get ahead is to do it for himself. When all else fails... money is a HUGE motivator. I grew up being a very bribeable kid (and still am, lol) and that might work with your brother. Bribe him to do good and maybe he will? When all else fails, we have to do whatever gets the job done, right?
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
yep I agree in the end we have to do whatever we can to get the job done unfortunately how come I see it come down to me fighting for my brother? I was always very motivated as a teenager. I was so motivated to move out of the situation with my mom and step dad that one week after I turned 18 and I was still in highschool I moved out into my own place and never moved back and I finished highschool with straight a's while having a full time job. I just really wanted out. What can I say I'm very independant and motivated.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jan 08
Dear Bella, It sounds like you have a lot of anger towards your Mother and maybe your brother. I was reading your post and noticed how similar some of the situations are to my family. My son came to Maryland to live with me and started 9th grade here. The teachers were (some, not all) horrible and made a practice of humiliation to discipline. My son is smart, social and exceptional and I did not want the school system to kill that. He was monitored in homeschool until he turned 16. Now I use the Abeka curriculum to teach him and we do very well. I do not support additional regulations because the public school system is a mess and I do not feel they should be able to meddle further. I believe homeschooling can be a wonderful thing or an excuse to not support your child's education. I hope things work out for your brother, but in the meantime maybe you can offer to assist with his curriculum by walking him through quizzes and tests. This will re-assure you that he is learning, may take a burden off of your Mom and it will let your brother know that someone truly cares about his well being. The only other thing I will say, as a Mother of 3 (21, 19 and 16) all young people need structure..set a timed schedule with him and then stick to it. Good luck & God Bless Tess
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jan 08
Tess, I have no anger toward my brother i just believe that they are equally at fault for him not going further in his eduacation. Him because he was old enough to wake up and get ready and if need be walk to school, because that is the area he lives in they walk becuase of the closeness. It's my mom's fault because she's the parent and she should be making sure her teenage son is going to school and getting up and especially if you don't want him to walk you make sure your but is up. I have 5 kids and I live in another state totally. I am 14 yrs older than my bro and I love him dearly I get him every summer for 2 weeks and pick him up here and there for special events that happen where I live. Not to mention when I'm able to over the summer as long as my other half is not working I go out to Maryland and we go to the movies. I have no hatred toward my brother, just concern for his well being.. If you fully read the post you would see that my mom is messing up his gpa and portfolio by adding a class that she is going to take because she is paying for the course. What do you feel about that? I have no anger Just a lot of concern. Also if you fully read you will see where I say they wanted him to start at the begining of ninth grade and my mom was supposed to get that fixed but she hasn't done that yet and we're almost 1/2 way into what should be his 10th grade yr. Agian what do you feel about that ? Is she doing her job as a parent? do you realize that it people like her that actually give homeschooling a bad name? I'm not angry just concerned. My brother wanted to move in with me before he even started 9th grade at the time I didn't feel it was my place to get into the middle of it, plus even if I would have went up to bat I would have had to fight my mom and my step dad seperately for him. I can't help it that my mom has more concern for the plastic surgery lawsuit and her boyfriend than my brother and his education. She was the same with me but I was a very motivated little girl and always pushed myself to the limit and I'm a better person because of it. I wish that I did live in the same state because then I would make sure his schooling was done. My mom took him out only because it was easier on her. My family is very structured I have 2 children who have adhd and both are on honor roll I know how to run a structured schedule because let face it with 5 kids if I didn't have structure I would go insane quit easily. By the way my 5 kids are 8,7,6,5,and 4. Another thing is my mom moved into the area because it had the best schools in the area.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jan 08
WOW! 4,5,6,7 and 8? You have a basketball team. Good luck. It's good you care about your brother, but I am not quick to cast dispersions on anyone as a Mom..I am in no place to judge anyone and we don't know both sides of the story. I wish you and yours the best. Tess
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jan 08
Thanks Tess, Yep they are actually starting winter sports this saturday and they wanted to play soccer again this year so after Saturday no pun intended to myself*giggles* I'll be what you call a soccer mom .. LOL.!! Have a nice day.
1 person likes this
2 Jan 08
homeschooling is brilliant! me and my 3 sisters were all homeschooled and i am will be homeschooling my little ones deffinatly! i did go to school till i was about 10 and as soon as i left school i became a completely diffrent person so much more confident and willing to learn etc
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
That's great that homeschooling was such a positive experience for you and your sisters. I am glad for that, but do you think that there should be guidelines and ways of making sure that the parent keeps the kid on the target goals?
1 person likes this
3 Jan 08
well if you take a child out of school the l.e.a come over sometimes to check up on what your child/ren are doing (this is in england) but if you start off without them going to school they dont (unless u want them to get involved) i think a computer is a great start for educating children
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jan 08
yeah no one has checked up on my brother at all I have no clue how it works in the states.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jan 08
Okay. First I thought I would share my nightmarish homeschooling story with you so you know that you aren't alone. My brother was failing. It was as simple as that. He was in eighth grade and went regularly. However, he was diagnosed with reading issues and at the start of the year they highlighted his name along with a few others in the grade book as needing extra help and being pulled from class to get that help. Three weeks into school the kids found out that that is what the highlighting meant and they picked on the kids who were getting the special help. So, my brother decides he is too dumb anyway and might as well give up. That's just what he did. Mom had no idea what to do about it and no matter what we couldn't convince him other wise. So, my mom and I decided to homeschool him. I was in my first year of college and going to the local community college. In Michigan there are no regulations and no interference. That first year I made up my own curriculum. I helped build my brother's confidence (which helped his reading and writing a lot). Additionally we did eighth and nineth grade in one year. I worked hard. But my mom and I fought all the time. I hated living with her and couldn't continue to do so as planned. So, I moved out and went to the university a few hours away. Mom planned on homeschooling my brother her self. But they fought, and she was busy with work and going to college herself. She was busy and then busier. She said she did a damn good job, but neither of them worked at getting his homeschooling done. After the first semester she even stopped pretending that they were doing it. My brother got a job and that was that. After the appropriate amount of time, she made up a transcript of courses completed and gave him a diploma. That was the end of it. However, my husband was homeschooled and did just fine. His family has done it with all nine of their kids, five of them are still in school. I have seen other situations that were sad and the child didn't get educated. On the other hand I have seen situations where the child received a fantastic education, much better then they could have received in school. I will be homeschooling my children. I think that there are sad things that do happen, but that there is a huge potential for doing better and going far above and beyond what others might learn in school. You can prepare your child to go to college, to get a job, to be whatever he wants to be. As to regulations, it does go against the homeschool movement. At first there were parents who were homeschooling even though it meant they could be taken to jail. The freedom of it allows you to homeschool your children on the road, with whatever curriculum you determine best, or with no curriculum at all. It is sad to ruin it for those who want to use it for good, just because there are lazy people out there letting their kids sleep and play games all day.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jan 08
This is one of the comments that I was hoping for something where I can see both sides clearly and the results .. Thank you for sharing with me I really appreciate it and I agree with you homeschooling works and is good for some but not all. Also thank you for the information about the homeschool movement. As always it a pleasure to get your contribution.
1 person likes this
@tammytwo (4303)
• United States
2 Jan 08
Sorry to say but it is your mother's responsiblity to be the PARENT and make sure your brother is doing what he should. Kids will always do whatever they can get away with. Mom needs to set some rules and just get over her problems and deal with your brother. We have to put our children first and overlook our own problems sometimes.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jan 08
I see what your saying and thankyou for your opinion but my brother is currently 16 yrs and old enough to take the responsibility of a job he should be able to the responsibility of getting up ...I honestly think it's both their fault. My mom for not being a parent and my brother for not caring and not making an attempt. Agian thank you for your insight.
1 person likes this