Homeschooling

Homeschooling: The Kid Likes It (and Mom and Dad Have Homework Again)

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Lesson plan

"Oh, you're doing that, too?," the building contractor asked when he walked in while my son was working on his Literature lesson. "My youngest daughter is taking high school online. They were bullying her at school."

While he undid something interesting my wife had done to the garbage disposal and then measured for book shelves, he added, "It looks like she'll already have her freshman year finished in December."

Just weeks after signing on to home-based schooling, and two days into formal lessons, we're running into a fair number of kindred spirits who also opted out of brick and mortar schools. Some are using traditional homeschooling methods from a variety of sources, others (like us) are paying for online private schools, and the majority use virtual charter schools, which are an easy option in Arizona.

My sister has been homeschooling one of my nephews with a mix of offline and online resources for a year.

They all tell us that the initial learning curve is steep, but it eventually settles in. That's good news, because my wife and I feel like we're back in school ourselves, prepping lessons and mastering the school's tools. Anthony, for his part, took to the new school like a fish to water. The fact that he looks forward to his lessons is a hell of a nice change from our experience over the past year.

Much of that enthusiasm, I'm convinced, comes from the fact that the pace can be tailored to him. He's already tested out of material that was too basic, and he doesn't have to sit at a desk waiting for the rest of the class to catch up. "It feels like they're trying to help me, not bore me to death," he told my wife.

We move him through assessments until he hits a challenge, and then we get down to actual learning. Even then, the goal is mastery, not just putting ink on worksheets. If he learns the information, we move on.

And we no longer have to wade through answers of "he's doing fine" when we're curious about Anthony's progress, only to discover that "fine" can have a surprisingly broad range of meaning. We track the lessons and approve assessments ourselves.

Our contractor is having a similar experience with his daughter, as evidenced by her conversion of freshman year into a semester. My 11-year-old nephew is sufficiently well along that he could probably educate some of his old instructors.

It's too early yet to call our experiment in schooling at home a success; I suppose we could stiill fuck this up. But for the first time in a long time, my son is enjoying learning.

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  1. There’s nothing wrong with homeschooling per se, but the homeschooled children and adults I have met are generally either maladjusted, creepy, antisocial, or something else that I would probably try to date and ruin another year of my life…

    1. I attended public school my entire life with honors and all sorts of stupid awards as a generally maladjusted, creepy, AND antisocial weirdo. In spite of it all I still scored a hot wife. Yes, feminist bloggers- this geek is quite thrilled about that detail so suck it.

      ‘Strange’ is no respecter of education, dear man.

    2. Social retards occur in public schools as well, but it’s hard when you don’t have to deal with the unwashed masses on the daily. I have met some interesting home schooled people like you describe and several that I would consider normal.

      1. Ya, but only the weirdos ruin multiple years of my life!

        1. How do weird home-schoolers you are rarely around theoretically (because they don’t ‘socialize’) ruin multiple years of your life?

          1. Did you read the original post about my dating life?

    3. Because I’ve never met a maladjusted, creepy, antisocial, or “something else” type of person who went to public school.

      Self not included, of course.

      1. Well I’ve never heard of a kid shooting up his homeschool, so you may have a point!

        1. Ah… so you’ve dated a bizarro home-schooler that ruined a year of your life?

            1. Yes. But. You call yourself… Black Blood. Are you thinking what I’m thinking, vile one?

              1. Is black blood something significant anywhere besides H/R?

                1. I know black blood is what comes out when you have ulcers and you have to poop. Also, it feels like a pinecone coming out.

                1. Dude…Lube…

                  1. Really though, most of the people I’ve dated were either crazy or weird once I got to know them. The “homeschooled” modifier isn’t related.

                    1. Look! I didn’t want to do it, but I was being very specific. I dated this guy named briannnnn, and he was the most maladjusted, antisocial, homeschooled ass ever! But damn it I just can’t quit him!!!

                    2. I ca’t quit you either baby! Let’s never fight again :):):)

                    3. I feel like this might involve some black blood later on.

                    4. I’d have to have a much, MUCH larger (and very flexible) penis for that…

    4. “Everything I know I learned from my mom!”

    5. the homeschooled children and adults I have met are generally either maladjusted, creepy, antisocial, or something else

      Compared to the ones who are incarcerated daily?

      Plus, how do you know whether a kid is being homeschooled or not? Perhaps you have met many who were being homeschooled and were socially functional, and it just never crossed your mind?

      1. Clearly everyone missed the joke about my dating life. Of course, like much of my humor, it probably wasn’t actually funny.

        1. A for effort.

      2. My daughter is being homeschooled, and the fact is that many homeschoolers are in classes with other kids in some sort of anarcho-syndicalist commune. Granted, some homeschoolers are weird because their parents are weird, but what else is new? They are hardly locked up alone in a house all day.

        My wife encounters all sorts, from the expected anti-evolutionists to “unschoolers,” who are parents that don’t make their kids learn anything (there’s usually a lot of travel and other stuff that sounds more like it enriches the parents, not the kids).

    6. The “weirdos” that I’ve met who were home schooled were generally harmless, but a touch strange.

      The “weirdos” I met who went to public school were constantly in trouble for causing other people harm.

    7. Oh for fuck’s sake.

      Homeschooled does not mean locked in a basement watching this on a loop.

      1. It’s not?!

        I guess I’ve been doing it wrong, then.

        1. Are your kids maladjusted, creepy, antisocial, and willing to date black blood?

          1. Who the fuck would date a creature named Black Blood? {echoing among the winds}

            1. šŸ™ I’m a really great guy once you get to know me!

              1. I know I’ve always thought so!!!

              2. Wait, you’re a guy, and you have access to a pool of home-schooled GIRLS?

                Hey man, if you don’t want them, throw them my way.

                (Oh wait I’m married, scratch that.)

                1. no…I want them, I just shouldn’t…

          2. Please forward contact information immediately!

          3. Well, they are all girls and two of them are into math and science. Unfortunately, they inherited their mother’s looks and personality, so I’m afraid black blood will have to look elsewhere for the antisocial homeschooler hookup.

            1. Awwwwwwwwwww maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnn!!!!

            2. Unfortunately, they inherited their mother’s looks and personality, so I’m afraid black blood will have to look elsewhere for the antisocial homeschooler hookup.

              So many opportunities, so little time…

              I’m going with crazy enough to cut your dick off but hot enough to make up for it.

              1. Holy shit! Yes please!!!

              2. They learned well from their mother, heh. Latina crazy is only slightly lower than Asian crazy — my wife manages to hide it pretty well though; I’d say that the ratio of normal to crazy interactions is well above the average. In all honesty I’d say she’s the loser in our marriage; she’s gorgeous, smart, and has to put up with me being a smart-ass all the damn time. I just have to find a bunker to hide in during the 5% of interactions with her that activate the insane Bene Gesserit witch mode.

      2. Actually, the guitar player is playing a pretty sweet Les Paul. And that Ludwig Vistalite “Tequila Sunrise” drumset is possibly the coolest drum set ever made. Thanks for posting!

        1. And a Steinberger bass! 80s. As. Hell.

        2. Ha, you’re welcome.

    8. You. You are calling someone maladjusted or creepy. You. Fuck off, you fucking weirdo.

      1. Dude, did you even read the whole thing? You’re the one that called me a Nazi you fucking fagit!

    9. Funny, I would label YOU as maladjusted, creepy, and anti-social. Must have been your traditional schooling.

      1. Anti-social! Moi?!?

    10. All the homeschooled kids I’ve met have been miles ahead of their institutionalized peers in their self confidence and ability to relate to adults, and much more capable academically.

  2. “My youngest daughter is taking high school online. They were bullying her at school.”

    “Now they bully her at the mall.”

    1. Or his daughter has better things to do than giggle herself silly at Claire’s.

    2. Malls still exist?

      1. “Well, they bully her online, then.”

    3. Better to teach your kid to run away from their problems than to confront them.

      There is more to school than the three Rs. Home schoolers can certainly get a better education, but there needs to be some social interaction or you run the risk of your kid being unable to cope, IMHO.

      Don’t some schools allow for homeschooling and let the homeschoolers participate in athletics, clubs, dances…?

      1. Depends on how much of a pain in the ass the district or the school wants to make it. TUSD has been an easy district for us to work with; my daughters are involved in pretty much every extracurricular under the sun and it hasn’t been very hard to get them in.

        There are also homeschool-specific organizations for them to socialize in, but in my experience they’re very insular and very religiously-oriented (not that I have a problem with any organization’s religiosity, but it’s not particularly healthy IMO to raise a kid with no understanding of the world outside of that bubble).

      2. Better to teach your kid to run away from their problems than to confront them.

        Come on, dude, that’s what John Galt did.

        The social situation “Trapped with a problem, can’t shun it, can’t walk away, can’t tell everyone to go fuck themselves, can’t respond with violence when legally entitled to” doesn’t actually exist in society at large. It exists only in junior high and high school, and nowhere else.

        Bad employment situation? Fuck you I quit.

        Bad employee situation? Fuck you get the fuck out.

        Bad experience as a customer? Fuck you I am never coming here again.

        Bad experience in a relationship? Fuck you I just deleted your number.

        Bad experience with people who threaten violence? Fuck you I just called the cops.

        1. ^This.

          School is bureaucracy, nothing more. And it’s not like traditional school ever prepared anyone for the hell of the DMV.

          1. And it’s not like traditional school ever prepared anyone for the hell of the DMV.

            That I disagree with. I am well prepared to sit and wait forever, bored as fuck.

      3. Most homeschooled kids have lots of social interaction. And usually, it’s more diverse, including friends who are of different ages, and adults who aren’t immediately seen as authority figures to be avoided.

    1. That’s funny. And a little scary.

    2. It’s cute, but the “we didn’t come from no monkey!” part does nobody any good.

      1. “We didn’t come from [a] monkey” is an evolutionary sound statement. The proper phrase is, I believe, “Humans and apes share a common ancestor”.

        1. It’s a sound statement coming from someone who accepts the evidence for evolution.

  3. Translation:

    JD’s wife has decided to get some value out of the time he spends at home unshaven in PJ’s “writing” or “editing” by giving him additional child care duties.

  4. You can’t fix your garbage disposal or build bookshelves? Someone should start a “Basic Manskills Online School”.

    1. Or invest 5 seconds into Google.

    2. And take time away from watching the least productive orphans fight over scraps of food? What kind of libertarian are you?

      1. I honestly considered using the kids as the garbage disposal there for a minute.

        1. I do not recommend this. While it is very convenient when it functions properly, orphan garbage disposal units are prone to projectile or explosive failure.

          1. They also tend to make rather offputting noises!

        2. Dogs are pretty good too.

    3. Depends on how anal one’s spouse is. If it’s not perfect, I’d rather she complain to the contractor than bitch at me.

  5. They were bullying her at school.

    I’m going to assume he means the school staff.

  6. “It feels like they’re trying to help me, not bore me to death,” he told my wife.

    Nice.

    1. “It feels like they’re trying to help me, not bore me to death,”

      I can only speculate how much better my life would be today were this specific opportunity available to me during my school years.

      1. Amen. Boredom mitigation is a good skill to have. It shouldn’t be the only skill you have after 13 years.

  7. Good for you and the wife, JD.

    Just dropped my son and one of his friends off at the comunity college this AM (they take a couple of classes there now). She (the friend) was homeschooled, then did 2 years’ hard time in public school and asked to come back home. Not out of difficulty, but because of the vapidity of it all. She was talking about it in the car – “It was so irritating – you’d sign up for classes, and they literally wouldn’t tell you who the teacher was until the day before school started, so that it’d be too late for you to change. Really – they actually told us that’s why they do that. I mean, how stupid is that?”

    My son never was attracted by the school system. Briefly thought about going to a trade school for high school just to pick up something useful, but figured he could pick that up (even in formal classes) later, without all the added bullshit of the common curriculum.

    Education is about to drastically change, unless the statists decide to fight really dirty. Which they will, I guess.

  8. This is useful, JD. I’ll have to figure out what to do when the spawn starts getting close to school age.

    1. Your basement’s currently occupied?

      Homeschooling can be an incredibly freeing experience for both kid and parent. No insane school schedule to stick to. Pursue topic the kid is really interested in in more depth. Skip the redundant boring stuff.

  9. you can usually fix a garbage disposal with a broomstick in 5 seconds or replace it using a screwdriver in 5 minutes. well within the wheelhouse of all but the seriously unskilled. went to public and private school but learned that at home.

    I had a friend that could fix stuff but he pretended he couldn’t because he didn’t want his wife to know he could, which was a pretty good fix for nagging.

    1. I put down a 600 square foot tile floor, installed a wood-burning stove, laid two floating engineered hardwood floors and kept the roof in repair. And then I learned I can pay people to do this shit for me about the time I decided that weekends might be nice to have.

  10. Barnes and Noble will give homeschoolers their educators discount which is 20% off of school related material. This can be really helpful if you’ve got an enthusiastic reader.

    Depending on where you live, many YMCA’s offer homeschool swim and gym class during the daytime. Consider looking into a homeschool cooperative or classes/activities with other homeschoolers. It’s great to hook up with a few like-minded people in your area and it’s more likely your kid will find friends.

    Just thought I’d offer some useful advice.

    1. And again, if it needs pointed out, but the YMCA route is 100% better in getting a child active.

      I excelled in gym class (go me?) but just as a unit would get fun, it was time to switch to another sport. The worst being gymnastics and wrestling during the winter.

      At the Y, a kid can choose a new sport every day, or, the same one as often as they want until they tire of it.

  11. But for the first time in a long time, my son is enjoying learning.

    Shocking that someone could enjoy learning when not surrounded by asshole teachers, asshole students, and asshole bureaucrats.

  12. “It’s too early yet to call our experiment in schooling at home a success; I suppose we could still fuck this up. But for the first time in a long time, my son is enjoying learning.”

    You have already succeeded by getting him out of school.

  13. I had a friend that could fix stuff but he pretended he couldn’t because he didn’t want his wife to know he could, which was a pretty good fix for nagging.

    My father was born and raised on a farm, and could, if necessary, do or fix just about anything. In high school and even more so when I was in college, I realized as he became more and more successful, and able to pay people do the stuff he didn’t want to do (why do you think he fled the farm, in the first place?) he became progressively more and more “helpless”.

    I, on the other hand, am pretty much incapable of letting anybody do anything I can do myself. There’s probably a fancy name for it.

    1. The name is: “A Real Man”.

    2. Cheapskate.

  14. I’d like to think that the fancy name is self-sufficient.

  15. Have you considered the alternative of home unschooling? I like to describe it as throwing books at kids and seeing what sticks. Worked well for us, and did not require us to master lessons or master a school’s tools.

    For details, see my blog:

    http://daviddfriedman.blogspot…..nschooling

  16. I feel compelled to comment as a new convert to homeschooling. After my son was bullied by his second grade teacher (yes, his teacher), my husband and I decided on homeschooling. So far, my son and I love it. Added bonus, I don’t have to deal with the creepy, cult-like “school spirt” anymore.

  17. There are various online and offline resources for homeschooling.The above shared ideas about homeschooling are very informative. My son preferred doing online homeschooling. He got enrolled with a good online school named The Ogburn online school. Online and offline homeschooling will provide quality education to all children. Thank you for sharing above ideas.

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