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#2269056 - 04/30/14 11:35 AM Home Schoolers
sonataplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 58
Loc: New Hampshire
Has anyone out there had the bad experiences I have had with parents of home-schooled children? I have been teaching for 18 years, and have, in general, had very good relationships with my students' parents, but the few really bad experiences I have had are with parents who home-school. I'm wondering why.

Some of the possible reasons I've come up with is that these parents have chosen to home-school because they feel they're the only ones qualified to teach their children. Or they have had bad experiences with the public school system and, as a result, view all teachers (other than themselves)as suspect.

It's gotten to the point with me that when I hear "I home-school my kids" a red flag goes up and I almost want to say something like, "Sorry, I don't teach home-schooled children."

I'm curious if anyone else out there has had similar experiences with the home-school crowd. And, if so, do you tend to treat their kids with kid gloves for fear of incurring the wrath of the parents?

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#2269064 - 04/30/14 11:49 AM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
Codetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Chino Hills, CA
I am so sorry to hear this. Actually, we homeschooled all our children and raised them to be responsible and cooperative people. Our youngest (who is now 21) became the pianist in the family and went through all levels of the Certificate of Merit (and I was also his pisno teacher. He was always respectful of evaluators/judges and we never had a problem. I also evaluate for CM and I can usually recognize a homeschooled student by the way they present themselves - both by how they dress, how respectful they are to me, and by how prepared they are with their pieces. We initially began homeschooling because of the medical condition of our second son and we have had no regrets in doing this. I do hope you don't judge all homeschoolers by the few bad experiences you have had.
_________________________
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Berthold Auerbach

Private Piano Teacher
Member: Music Teachers' Association of California
Evaluator: Certificate of Merit
Organist/Pianist: Christ Lutheran Church, West Covina

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#2269069 - 04/30/14 12:04 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
sonataplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 58
Loc: New Hampshire
Hi Codetta,

It's not the students who I have problems with -- although in one home-school situation I dealt with the kids were hyperactive (could not sit still and focus), but the parents. They seem to be extremely concerned about their kids being free to "express themselves." If that means getting off the piano bench and exploring the studio while a lesson is in progress, that's perfectly OK as far as they're concerned. If that means arguing with the teacher about how a piece should be played, that's OK too, and the teacher is at fault for stifling the child's enthusiasm for piano.

I should add that I currently have two home-schooled students now who are absolutely delightful, but in that situation I teach them in their home and the parents do not "hover." They trust me enough to allow me to teach their children without their supervision. The home schoolers I have had problems with are the ones who want to be present at their kids' lessons.

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#2269084 - 04/30/14 12:33 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
Codetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Chino Hills, CA
Shame on those parents! Respect is something that MUST be taught whether homeschooled or not. It sounds like you need to have a talk with the parents regarding your studio policy - and make no apologies for it. This is your home and visitors need to be respectful in all aspects. And to question a teacher? Yikes! That would make me think twice about teaching someone like that. In fact, I did have a similar situation with an 8yr old student who was constantly "correcting" me. I sat her down - looked firmly into her eyes - and told her that I was the teacher and she needed to listen to what I was saying and not try being the teacher. It was OK for her to have questions but in the final analysis, I was the teacher and I was going to do my job. Fortunately that solved the problem mainly because I also told her I was going to talk to her parents about it with her being present- which I did. So far so good.
_________________________
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Berthold Auerbach

Private Piano Teacher
Member: Music Teachers' Association of California
Evaluator: Certificate of Merit
Organist/Pianist: Christ Lutheran Church, West Covina

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#2269099 - 04/30/14 01:52 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
I only have one home school family. Both kids are highly self-motivated and parents are respectful people. Maybe is just one case that you have is odd.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
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#2269105 - 04/30/14 02:05 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5462
Loc: Orange County, CA
I wish I can teach more homeschooled kids!

In my area, there are quite a few families that choose to homeschool their kids due to religious reasons. There's a limited selection of religious schools (sometimes it's just a different denomination), so the parents opted to teach their own kids at home. They are some of the most respectful, diligent, and intelligent children. A few of my colleagues teach homeschooled kids, and they have nothing but great things to say.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2269116 - 04/30/14 02:28 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
Cinnamonbear Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3884
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: sonataplayer
[...] I'm curious if anyone else out there has had similar experiences with the home-school crowd. And, if so, do you tend to treat their kids with kid gloves for fear of incurring the wrath of the parents?


As a former children's library manager at a busy public library, I have had ample experience serving homeschool families. I would encourage you, sonataplayer, to not over-generalize. There are so many reasons why families decide to homeschool (philosophical, religious, situational, to name a few), and thoughts about parenting are as diverse as each individual parent--some who believe in "the least restrictive environment in all ways," some who go overboard with constraints, and everything in between--not to mention conflicts between a mom and a dad about striking the proper balance between freedom and constraint from moment to moment, sometimes! eek Families are as individual as people, and not every parent is right for every teacher, nor is every teacher right for every parent. Sometimes it is best to keep your peace and theirs and say, "I think your child would be better served by a different teacher." smile

My two cents.

--Andy
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2269119 - 04/30/14 02:30 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: AZNpiano]
sonataplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 58
Loc: New Hampshire
I, too, have experienced the other end of the spectrum -- home-schooled kids who are extremely polite, respectful and diligent. I currently teach two home-schooled kids (from the same family) and they are far and away my best students.

However, the three WORST teaching experiences I ever encountered -- and I'm speaking primarily about difficult parents here -- involved home schoolers. Perhaps it's just a coincidence, but all three parents seemed to have an "edge." When their kids were inattentive, disrespectful and rude, and I tried to rein them in, instead of supporting me, the parents told me in no uncertain terms that I was at fault. I could bore you with the horrific details here, but it would take too much time and way too many words.

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#2269122 - 04/30/14 02:36 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: Cinnamonbear]
sonataplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 58
Loc: New Hampshire
Andy,

In all three cases, I did not have the opportunity to suggest another teacher. I was fired immediately! :-(

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#2269129 - 04/30/14 03:07 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5462
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: sonataplayer
Andy,

In all three cases, I did not have the opportunity to suggest another teacher. I was fired immediately! :-(

Ouch!

But you really shouldn't overgeneralize. If you've experienced positives with homeschoolers, then you'd expect a spectrum of parents.

Currently, all of my piano students attend public schools. The most recent student who quit piano attends a private school because he has problems dealing with other kids, and that problem spilled over into his piano lessons. He is the worst brat I've ever taught! But I won't go as far as to extrapolate and say ALL private school kids are terrible.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2269132 - 04/30/14 03:14 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7352
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: sonataplayer
Has anyone out there had the bad experiences I have had with parents of home-schooled children? I have been teaching for 18 years, and have, in general, had very good relationships with my students' parents, but the few really bad experiences I have had are with parents who home-school. I'm wondering why.

Some of the possible reasons I've come up with is that these parents have chosen to home-school because they feel they're the only ones qualified to teach their children. Or they have had bad experiences with the public school system and, as a result, view all teachers (other than themselves)as suspect.

Your reasons, perhaps very much unintentionally, exhibit an attitude about home schoolers that many parents might well find insensitive or downright hostile. As others have noted, there are many reasons parents choose to home school, and most of the reasons have to do with wanting to overcome a specific deficiency of the public school environment, be it political, educational, or religious.

In my years of teaching, my home schooled students were consistently among the most delightful, motivated and supported of students. I, for one, get really excited when a parent calls and tells me their student is home schooled!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2269139 - 04/30/14 03:34 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11782
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Perhaps there is something about these parents that you need to see if you can find the common thread here, as it doesn't seem to be about home-schooling necessarily, but about the parents whose issues may cause them to want to home-school. However, there are so many exceptions to that - ones you've experienced yourself - that I'd hesitate to label it just yet.

Try to take inventory of the things that happened now that you have hindsight to see what led to them leaving. I'm sure you can find things that were common - attitudes, odd requests, behaviors of the child/parent relationship that you can look out for in the future when you interview prospective students. And DO interview them, preferably at no charge, so that you can save yourself this pain in the future.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2269141 - 04/30/14 03:39 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5246
Loc: Europe
I live in Greece, so my experience about home schoolers is non existent! But, exactly because of living in Greece, I'd never consider home schooling my kids! I think that it'd be too much for me and a full time job. :-/

I think (but not sure) that religious and political reasons are selfish reasons of the parents. Educational issues are not, but I'd think that a school is more equipped than a home to... teach.

Again, I don't have the right experience to actually be speaking my mind here, so I'm more than willing to apologize to anyone about the above...
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2269166 - 04/30/14 04:40 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
Mrs. Akers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/12
Posts: 48
Loc: Kansas
We currently have an enrollment that is about 50% home educated children. We'd go 100% if we could. Parents are involved enough to be supportive of both the child's and our efforts. They work with us to help the children to achieve their full potential. The children are respectful, articulate and cooperative. They work hard and are conscientious.

They have fewer conflicts with sports and other activities, so their attendance is better. We especially appreciate that their schedules are more flexible; we can start teaching right after lunch and put in a good share of our day before the public school children are available for lessons.

We have some delightful public school children also, but in my years of experience, the home schooled children have consistently been a greater pleasure to teach.

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#2269173 - 04/30/14 04:59 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
sonataplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 58
Loc: New Hampshire
OK. I guess what I have experienced is an anomaly or, perhaps the real issue is not home schooling in general but what brought these particular difficult parents to the decision to home school, as Morodiene has suggested. As many have mentioned, there are many different reasons that parents choose to home school, and I am well aware of that.

Thanks for all your input, folks.

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#2269244 - 04/30/14 07:20 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
kck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 265
Our piano teacher has told me many times his homeschooled students are his favorite, easiest, most motivated students. And yes, I do homeschool my 2 kids. Honestly, in this day and age, homeschoolers are as diverse a group as any. You're talking about an awfully small sample size.

My oldest child went to 2 years of public school and basically twiddled his thumbs, learned bad behavoir, and was given nothing academically at his level. I didn't see life was going to be much better at a private school for this particular kid. There are MANY reasons to homeschool and many types of families out there.
_________________________
Amateur musician, piano and violin parent

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#2269265 - 04/30/14 08:10 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
hreichgott Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 972
Loc: western MA, USA
My homeschooled students are great. So are the parents.
The only thing I've had to teach them that I haven't had to teach school-schooled kids was the concept of having due dates for their work.
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Sounding the depths of small pieces: Beethoven Op. 33
Daily attempts at 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 4, Pischna
Totally loving Fauré/Barcarolles and Ravel/Tombeau de Couperin
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2269959 - 05/02/14 01:26 AM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
Candywoman Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 837
Originally Posted By: sonataplayer
If that means arguing with the teacher about how a piece should be played, that's OK too...


I enjoy debating with kids provided they're somewhat respectful, and they don't tire me out.

I had a student explain to me that he was just practicing his debating skills with me. That was instructive for me because I realize children like to test their minds against those of adults.

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#2270061 - 05/02/14 08:18 AM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
BrainCramp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 255
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: sonataplayer

Some of the possible reasons I've come up with is that these parents have chosen to home-school because they feel they're the only ones qualified to teach their children.

SonataPlayer, I've never taught kids, home-schooled or otherwise. But my only experience with home-schooled kids was quite negative.

My neighbor decided to home-school her two young kids. She told me she was better qualified than the local teachers. She said her older child was gifted.

The kids hadn't entered school yet, so I don't know what she based her opinions on. She didn't have a college degree. She worked as a secretary and decided to quit working and home-school her kids.

What a train wreck. They were among the rudest kids I've ever met. The father worked a late shift in a restaurant and the kids were on his schedule, sort of. That meant the kids were often out playing in the street at 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning.

The mother had a structured program to follow, but she found she had other things she wanted to do as well. So she only spent a couple of hours a day teaching the kids. She told me that since they were gifted, they didn't need much teaching time.

Ultimately the family moved away, so I don't know how the kids turned out.

Maybe the kids were gifted. I'm sure the parents weren't.

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#2270082 - 05/02/14 08:52 AM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3190
Loc: Virginia, USA
We have relatives who home schooled. They were well intentioned, but...... Their kids turned out well behaved but academically weak, both because of inadequate treatment of the subjects they did work on, and because their coverage had gaps their parents just didn't know about. One was able to get into a religious college that didn't have admissions requirements, and the other gave up.

That's been my experience with other home school kids - no behavior issues but very spotty academic preparation. Sometimes it limited them, sometimes it didn't matter because they did so well in that one area they were interested in. I don't see why it would affect piano lessons at all.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2270163 - 05/02/14 12:14 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1264
Loc: California
My homeschooled students have typically been some of my best students. The parents are always supportive and encouraging and the students seem to have more time to devote to piano.

The only problem I've encountered with some parents is that they usually end up bringing the rest of their kiddos with them to the lesson, which is then disruptive. And, in my case, since I require the parent to be at their child's lesson and participate, child-care issues for the siblings can be problematic.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#2270313 - 05/02/14 05:48 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: AZNpiano]
Fiona0424 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 217
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I wish I can teach more homeschooled kids!

In my area, there are quite a few families that choose to homeschool their kids due to religious reasons. There's a limited selection of religious schools (sometimes it's just a different denomination), so the parents opted to teach their own kids at home. They are some of the most respectful, diligent, and intelligent children. A few of my colleagues teach homeschooled kids, and they have nothing but great things to say.


This is how homschoolers usually are. These are the true homschoolers I call them. The ones that started homeschooling because they wanted to raise children different from those of the world. That's the homeschooler I am. I am the eldest of eight children who are all homeschooled, and everyone is always complimenting my mom on what a great job she has done in raising us.

I totally understand though what you are saying about some homeschooled parents. I have discovered two new trends amongst homeschooling parents:
1. Free-to-be-you-and-me.
2. Show-time!

The first let their kids run all over the place, get highly offended if you tell them not to, and are ultimately reeeeealy flaky! I know exactly what you mean about these kinds! I taught an art class at a homeschool co-op and had a really hard time with this one mom in particular. Her son was disruptive in the classroom, ignored my lessons, and would not co-operate at all. When I brought this issue to the mom, she was offended and told me that she would have to find another art class which would allow him to "freely express himself". This was extremely annoying, and I definitely feel for you!

The second types are show parents who homeschool solely for the purpose of their child becoming a super star. I have met several homeschooling parents of this sort who let their kids run wild because they are only concerned with the child becoming a future celebrity of acting, music, modeling, etc.

But these two classes do not make up for all of homeschooling though! Far from it! There are a lot of wonderful homeschooling parents who are disciplined and yet very flexible. My professor (5th place winner in Van Cliburn) has accepted only three students for private lessons in his career - and all three of them (including me) were homeschooled. Why? Because they have flexible schedule, are extremely intelligent and unique and have been brought up properly by wonderful parents.

Hope this helps you figured out homeschoolers. Please do not stereotype us based on a few encounters! We are definately not all like that! smile
_________________________
*Fiona*

"If music be food of love, play on!"
P.S. I am in love with Beethoven, infatuated with Liszt, and crazy about Chopin!
And when he behaves, Rachmaninoff is my darling! ;p

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#2270430 - 05/03/14 02:58 AM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
AtomicBond Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/13
Posts: 62
Nikolas,
This:




BrainCramp,

It's too bad that you've had such an experience with homeschoolers. I believe that homeschooling never works when it's done because parents think they're better than school teachers (emphasis on the teachers). Homeschooling works when parents want what's best for their kids, this really is the only time when it works.
But if you look at the facts, the statistics, on average, homeschoolers beat school kids on every level (academic, social, personality, every single one). The reason for this is because on average, these parents want what's best for their kids. They care about their kids.
You'll notice that quite a number of school kids come out ok. You'll notice that in almost EVERY SINGLE CASE, it's a result of the parents, not the school.
Take an average school. All the kids get taught and brought up exactly the same way. The only thing that separates the good kids from the bad is their parents.
This is why homeschooling works, because it's the parents that are willing to put in the time and effort, they can easily out perform a school in every area.
School is inefficient in just about every way. It's literally not much more than a babysitting service!
As for teaching academically, the quick kids are held up by the slowest kids in the class
As for socialization, it's limited to kids their age! Not much variety!
As for behaviour, well, everybody knows how well schools do with this smile
And on just about every other level, it's limited.


When people first hear of homeschoolers, the three main problems with it they come up with are these:
1. Parents aren't qualified
2. It's leaves the possibility for child abuse/neglect in education
3. Lack of socialization

For the first one, it actually doesn't really matter smile
In a school, they don't care if the child learns anything, they just have to make sure they taught the kids.
In homeschool, the parents make sure the kids understand and are learning (after all, then teacher student ratio is amazing!), they can put individual time into each student. As long as the parent has a good curriculum, they can simply teach what's in the books and learn it at the same time! (Don't bother arguing that this is stupid, it's tried and tested to work far better than schools)
In my opinion, the first is never a problem (maybe in like, 1/100 situations)

For the second, this is quite true, but it's not as if kids aren't abused when they're in school situation. Yes, it's true that child abuse could be more serious when they're homeschooled, but the sort of parents who will abuse their children normally aren't the sorts who will homeschool their kids.

For the third, this is a common problem, it's very important for homeschooling parents to be aware that this can occur (and often does). But it's definitely not unavoidable, it can also be done much better than schools (which, are previously mentions, are very limited in the scope of the socialisation)



As for the OP,

Those reasons that you mentioned for homeschooling are rare, the main one's have been outlined by other posts smile


Quote:
That's been my experience with other home school kids - no behavior issues but very spotty academic preparation. Sometimes it limited them, sometimes it didn't matter because they did so well in that one area they were interested in. I don't see why it would affect piano lessons at all.

Like with any schooling system, there are those who do badly and those who do well. Homeschoolers just happen to have more at both ends of the spectrum and less in the middle smile
My brother (homeschooled his whole life) is currently in university and getting High Distinctions in almost every subject. I (also homeschooled my whole life) am studying IT and scoring perfectly on every assignment (not bragging or anything smile )


Edited by AtomicBond (05/03/14 03:08 AM)

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#2270450 - 05/03/14 06:59 AM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: AtomicBond]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5924
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: AtomicBond
Take an average school. All the kids get taught and brought up exactly the same way. The only thing that separates the good kids from the bad is their parents.
Originally Posted By: AtomicBond
School is inefficient in just about every way. It's literally not much more than a babysitting service!
As for teaching academically, the quick kids are held up by the slowest kids in the class
As for socialization, it's limited to kids their age! Not much variety!
As for behaviour, well, everybody knows how well schools do with this smile
And on just about every other level, it's limited.

Originally Posted By: AtomicBond
In a school, they don't care if the child learns anything, they just have to make sure they taught the kids.
Wow, those are some cynical views about the school system! Of course I don't know much about the education system in the US (if that's where you are) but these generalisations were certainly not things I concluded from my years of school teaching in Australia. All kids don't get taught in the same way. And some of the most dedicated and innovative people I've ever met were teaching in schools in difficult areas and producing amazing results in the lives of children, some of whose parents were worse than neglectful.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2270459 - 05/03/14 07:42 AM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5246
Loc: Europe
Same here curra...

I don't get how my comment lead to this (pretty clever, if I may add) illustration... :-/
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2270469 - 05/03/14 08:33 AM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5462
Loc: Orange County, CA
There are good public schools and awful public schools, so let's not lump every public school together.

Some of my piano students attend one of the "top" public schools in the state of California. If you speak to them, you'll see how many incompetent teachers work there. Those inept teachers are protected by tenure, so they can't be fired. Parents end up having to hire private tutors so that their kids will actually learn something. And of course when they take standardized tests, these well-tutored children score well, which makes the school "look good."

I worked for many years in a low-performing district. The reason the school doesn't perform well is because the parents don't care. Back-to-School Night? Maybe 4 parents will show up. Open House? The campus is a ghost town. Behavior is not the main issue at my school; it's apathy. Parents don't care. Kids don't care. Administrators try hard to care (really, they tried, to the nth degree). Most of my teaching colleagues are superior teachers with amazing credentials--almost every single one of us had a M.A. degree or higher--and most of us were under 40, some freshly out of grad school.

In other words, my school's faculty can probably out-teach the teachers at the "top" school. We fight an uphill battle against apathy. The "top" school is buffered by a lineup of private tutors and after-school enrichment classes, and by parents making $200k a year who want to make sure their kids do well.
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#2270472 - 05/03/14 08:54 AM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: AZNpiano]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3190
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

I worked for many years in a low-performing district. The reason the school doesn't perform well is because the parents don't care. Back-to-School Night? Maybe 4 parents will show up.


That's a little judgmental. Most of those parents do likely care, but are overwhelmed by the challenges of life.

My own children went to elementary school briefly in one of those districts. Those years they were the only children in their class with two parents. The ONLY ones! And that single parent had no educational background themselves, did not understand the difficulties and importance, could not help with homework, and were drained by working several menial jobs trying to make enough to pay the rent. When the school wanted $2 each to offset recorder purchase for a music class (no, the school didn't have any money either) only one child came up with the funds. (Mine - I ended up buying recorders for the entire class just so it wouldn't be cancelled)

I do agree with you that not having intelligent educated affluent supportive parents involved with the school is a HUGE part of the problem. But that doesn't equate to saying they don't care. Many of them are doing the best they can.
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#2270478 - 05/03/14 09:11 AM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: AtomicBond]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3190
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: AtomicBond
But if you look at the facts, the statistics, on average, homeschoolers beat school kids on every level (academic, social, personality, every single one). The reason for this is because on average, these parents want what's best for their kids.


That's a highly misleading "average." Really good statistics do not exist. For example, on the college entrance exams (SAT and ACT) the average of the home schoolers is a tiny bit higher than that of the school kids. But, only 2% of homeschoolers actually take these tests, whereas most school kids do. So what we really have is the top 2% of homeschoolers being roughly the same as the average school kid. And that average, though a tiny bit higher, is not enough to get into a good college.

You can't find that number, by the way; I backed into it by looking at a number of sources for how many kids home school and how many take the SAT. So there's obviously an error band, I could be off by a bit. But not an order of magnitude.

But there's another implication to it. A homeschooler doesn't have a class rank or a grade point average. If they would like to attend college taking these tests is obligatory. If only 2% do, that means something about homeschooling is discouraging the college process. I see that as a problem in an increasingly technological world. Colleges see it too, many of them have special outreach programs trying to bring in more homeschoolers.

If teaching doesn't require any skill, and any parent can do just as good a job, why don't parents teach piano, too? (I do think there are some school districts where education or safety is so bad that any parent COULD do a better job - but that hasn't been true for most of the schools I've encountered.)

One of my concerns with homeschooling, and the reason i wouldn't have done it, is that teaching like any skill develops over time with experience, trial and error, and lots of mistakes. A young teacher however prepared does not teach piano or calculus as well as the experienced master teacher (although they may teach as well as a burned out older teacher who didn't learn along the way). With your own kids you only get one shot.
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#2270580 - 05/03/14 02:31 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11661
Loc: Canada
Quote:
But, only 2% of homeschoolers actually take these tests, whereas most school kids do. So what we really have is the top 2% of homeschoolers being roughly the same as the average school kid. And that average, though a tiny bit higher, is not enough to get into a good college.

I'm missing the information that says that only the top homeschoolers take the tests. Would you mind pointing out that part? (thx smile ) Secondly, this would only seem important if you believe such tests to be meaningful - many educators would not be of that opinion. Is it even pertinent in regards to homeschooled students taking piano lessons?

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#2270592 - 05/03/14 03:23 PM Re: Home Schoolers [Re: sonataplayer]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 352
This thread isn't what I thought it would be about. I was hoping it would contain advice about how to get homeschoolers as students. I would LOVE to find some homeschooling family (or more than one) with a bunch of kids who could come to lessons at, say, 11:00 a.m., while other kids are in school. With soon-to-be four kids of my own, after school is very busy, and teaching more than a few students then is becoming difficult.
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