Thanks for the link! This statement trips me up:
"However, receipt of a Notice of Intent in no way constitutes approval by the school district of a program of home instruction,"
They don't really tell you what you need to do to get approval. I've tried communicating with the DOE on a number of issues, including this one, and can never get a straight answer. A friend of mine pulled her child from public school after she found out they were repeatedly beating him (including a paddle, ruler to the hands and bum, and duct tape across the mouth) and then they tried to force him back into the school by not giving her approval to home school.
East Ender....do you know any home-schoolers? I'm sure there is some kind of network of home school children/parents here, but I haven't found them yet.
julie: I do know a "retired" homeschooler who is on this board. 😉 Also I know one current homeschooler who is getting such grief from her friends that she doesn't like to talk about it. These are both over here on St Thomas. I do believe there is a smallish parent group.
For awhile, we had a group of kids with a "teacher", in a small "school", that were doing an online course. I guess, technically, they were all home-schooled. We don't have a lot of options on St. John, especially when it gets in the 10-12 grades. It's pretty much Gifft Hill School or go to St. Thomas. I did find a forum for home schoolers, but it seems like most of the people are in PR. Better support than none...but not enough for me to feel comfortable. I went to college to become a teacher (quit just before it was time to student teach) so I don't feel totally inadequate, but as my guy gets older, I find there is a lot of stuff that I've forgotten!
I never really thought about kids giving each other grief about being home schooled. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm not surprised, kids give each other grief over just about everything....just never thought of it before.
Julie: The parent is getting grief from friends. Along the lines of: "Your child needs to have socialization," mainly.
My 2 GKs are being home schooled. The 3 mothers involved have developed a curriculum and so far so good. The 5YO can read a bit and has numbers down. I will be a guest teacher a few times. Socialization was my concern as well but I think that can be accomplished by exposing the kids to after school stuff and sports participation. There are quite a few opportunities for these activities on STX.
On the other hand my niece who is a trained teacher unschools her kids with a group of mothers. My 8 year old nephew can't functionally read or make change from a purchase. Also there socialization is limited to the members of the unschcool group for the most part.
I looked at the philosophy of the concept and it appears valid but from my limited observation it doesn't appear to be effective.
I am the "retired" homeschooler to which EE referred. 😀
In my experience, neither homeschooling nor unschooling is appropriate for all families, which is why I cringe when folks who are contemplating moving here but unable to afford private school tuition consider homeschooling their fall back position. Truthfully homeschooling is a challenging lifestyle, not merely an educational option, and in a place where there are so many other daily challenges, homeschooling is really only successful for those families committed to that lifestyle.
My spouse and I unschooled our son K-12. We are not trained educators and did not use a curriculum or teach him any particular subject matter beyond how to read, which he did adroitly by age three. We provided an abundance of diverse reading material, and were engaged as a family in lots of discussion. We did not watch TV or play video games -- we never had cable or a dish so we didn't even have any reception -- and instead we spent our evenings reading aloud to one another and discussing the various texts. We had no concerns about socialization, and made no effort to connect our son recreationally with peers. We did not seek out any other homeschooling or unschooling families, because we did not feel the need for support. We did not think government involvement with our method of child rearing would be helpful to our family, so we never made any government agency aware of our educational choice. We did not discuss homeschooling publicly, and we avoided activities like grocery shopping as a family during school hours.
Our son accepted a four year full academic scholarship to college, where he is presently in his third year after completing a prestigious summer internship, and in the throes of formulating a list of schools with appealing PhD programs to which he intends to apply. A year ago he was invited to assist three professors with their joint research project, and has been asked to continue to work with them until he graduates. He is serious about his studies, and is equally comfortable interacting with peers and professors. Unschooling was the appropriate choice for my family, but I believe this sort of education is successful only when the entire family is passionate about the experience.
dntw8up -- I've always found your posts to be both informative and well-worded. Now I know why! You've obviously made an excellent personal choice for you and your family, and it sounds as though it's paid off extremely well. I've spent several years very sceptically observing my own home schooling mom friends and their socially awkward children. Obviously that need not always be the case. So, kudos to you for a job very well done!
dnt: That child is just downright adroit. Period. 😉
Dntw8up - You make an excellent point. Homeschooling is not a fall back position because you cannot afford private school. It is a lifestyle choice that is certainly not for everyone. Congrats on your kid!!
dntw8up, that's amazing! Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you made the right choice for your entire family. You must be so proud of your son!
I have toyed with the idea of homeschooling for years, but my main concern was the socialization. I am not a social person at all. Although, as an adult, this doesn't really bother me much, as a kid, I was made to feel like there was something wrong with me. I guess that I just didn't want my son to have to deal with that. He is in private school on St. John, but they aren't really doing much for him. He is smart, really smart, and it doesn't really seem like they are doing anything for him academically or socially. I think he gets frustrated because his peers often don't understand what he is talking about. He has no problem with adults, but he is still very much a 'kid'.
I guess sometimes I just feel like even though we can afford to send him to private school, it's kind of like flushing 9g's down the toilet. I think I would have a hard time pulling him out now though. He's 'in the system' and someone would notice if he wasn't there. I think I would get some heat unless I notified the gov. and went through the proper channels to home school.
Thanks for the feedback.
Can anyone help me contact someone who is homeschooling on St. Thomas Island. We will be moving to the island next year and just would like to start making contacts now before we finally get there. We have four kiddos and the oldest is 8.