How I Got Into Homeschooling My Boys

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To All:

I have been asked on several occasions on how I got into homeschooling my two boys (ages 7 and 10), so I decided to put together this little reference post.  I think that this community will enjoy it.  All comments are welcome either good or bad.  My wife had been researching homeschooling for a couple of years before I finally got interested enough to go on a full out research bender and was thoroughly convinced that this was the right thing for my boys and our family.

There is something you need to know about me.  When I get into a subject, I read and study everything I can on that particular subject.  I will read/research 14 hours a day, every day for months on end.  I will study Books, Blogs, Websites, Articles, Magazines, Online videos, DVD’s, Conferences, Seminars, Etc…  I keep researching until I either burn out or am thoroughly convinced that I have learned all that I need to know about a particular subject.  I’ve done this with:  Golf (turned pro in 1 year), Homeschooling, Nutrition/Diet (read my kindle book David’s Diet:  Lose Weight Fast–No Exercise Required; Just one man’s very opinionated opinion on diet and exercise), Strength & Conditioning, Mixed Martial Arts (freemmaschool.com), Self Defense (1LessonSelfDefense.com and RapeProof.com) and am constantly studying Economics/History/Politics/Investing (no site of my own, but I just joined the Silver Shield Report and that is good enough for me).

Another thing you need to know is that I am just a resource and you are your own teacher!  Have fun reading and researching!  Coach David

Here is the question I hear the most, “but what about socialization?”  To everyone’s concern about “socialization”, here are some good articles (click on the titles to go to the page and read):  When someone asks me “What about socialization?”, I say “I know, don’t you feel sorry for public school kids that don’t get to socialize with anyone outside of their age group?  They don’t get to socialize in the real world or with a variety of ages and backgrounds…It seems unfair doesn’t it?”  My boys (ages 7 and 10) get to “socialize” in the real world and attend martial arts classes, go to the pool, go to summer camps, chess tournaments, socialize with adults on a regular basis, go to the library, go to restaurants on their own (I’m nearby watching, but they don’t know it), order and pay (with tip), and many, many field trips because we are not bogged down by a typical school year schedule.

Socialization: Homeschoolers Are in the Real World    ”Academically homeschoolers have generally excelled, but some critics have continued to challenge them on an apparent “lack of socialization” or “isolation from the world.” Often there is a charge that homeschoolers are not learning how to live in the “real world.” However, a closer look at public school training shows that it is actually public school children who are not living in the real world.”

What About Socialization?   ”Socialization is actually meant to prepare children for the real world, which means learning to interact and deal with people of all ages, races, and backgrounds,” says Diane Flynn Keith. “In this case, homeschooling actually does a better job of this because homeschoolers spend more actual time out in society.”

Homeschooling and the Myth of Socialization  “A family member asked my wife, “Aren’t you concerned about his (our son’s) socialization with other kids?”. My wife gave this response: “Go to your local middle school, junior high, or high school, walk down the hallways, and tell me which behavior you see that you think our son should emulate.”   Meanwhile, in public school, children are segregated by age, and have very little interaction with other adults, except their teacher(s). This environment only promotes alienation from different age groups, especially adults. This is beginning to look like the real socialization problem.

What are we socializing them for?  “The idea of learning acceptable social skills in a school is as absurd to me as learning nutrition from a grocery store.” -Lisa Russell

Research supports this:  According to Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization by Richard G. Medlin, “Home-schooled children are taking part in the daily routines of their communities. They are certainly not isolated; in fact, they associate with–and feel close to–all sorts of people.”

-What I do with my kids:  Basically reading, writing and math (everything else they can learn on their own).  I focus my efforts on teaching my kids how to learn.  If they know how to learn, then they can learn anything they want (educate themselves). My kids are their own teachers (autodidacts) and I am just a resource for them.  My curriculum is what is called “classical” or Grammar Stage, Logic Stage and Rhetoric Stage (look up and read about “Classical Education”).  I learned this from Chris Duane at http://dont-tread-on.me although I cannot find the particular article again to reference here (here it is http://dont-tread-on.me/?p=5247).  Actually our program would better be described as “eclectic classical unschoolers”.  We use what we feel is best from a lot of different programs with the overall goal of having them to love to learn using observation, logic and rhetoric.

Reading:  They read whatever they want.  If you require reading and force those to read certain books, then that will link reading with force and no fun.  (I try and “encourage” them to read certain books, but do not pressure, well not too much anyway).  I do require that they read classic nursery rhymes (I really don’t have to “require” because they love to read them anyway).  You would be surprised on how many modern books, movies, plays, etc… reference classic nursery rhymes, but you wouldn’t know it unless you’ve read them.

Writing:  They do a program called Spelling Workout and they also do “copy work” (open a classic and copy a paragraph or two) of the great writers just like in the old days.  This way they get to see how paragraphs and poems, plays, etc… are properly written, without them getting frustrated trying to write original content.  I also do a cursive writing program that you can see here:  http://www.memoriapress.com/descriptions/new-cursive.html.  We tried to do the Latin program, but the kids weren’t into it, so we stopped.  If they want to later, we will do it again.  We have hired Spanish tutors in the past and they both loved it.

Math:  I use Math Mammoth  http://www.mathmammoth.com/ .  I have probably looked at and tried 10 different math programs (including Kahn Academy) and have settled on Math Mammoth.  It is really good and not too expensive.

 Other Resources:

-States homeschool laws http://www.hslda.org/hs/.

memoriapress.com  (great site.  You could just get all your stuff from this site and you would have the smartest kids around.)

tjed.org  (Great Classical Education site.)

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/blog/  (We use her world history books, go to museums, travel, study maps, and also reference the internet/netflix for history and geography.  Isn’t it better to actually do things, than just read about it???)

– Great Blog Post:  Don’t Seek Education, Seek Knowledge  http://www.dollarvigilante.com/blog/2012/6/27/dont-seek-education-seek-knowledge.html

-When they’re older I will have them go through Chris Duane’s Sons of Liberty Academy http://dont-tread-on.me/?page_id=70 and Tom Woods Liberty Classroom http://www.libertyclassroom.com/dap/a/?a=1383 to learn economics and “REAL” history.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto and Thomas Moore (Feb 1, 2002)

Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto (Apr 1, 2010)

A Thomas Jefferson Education, Published by Oliver DeMille, TJEdOnline, September 2009, 198 pages.  Description:  “Is American education preparing the future leaders our nation needs or merely struggling to teach basic literacy and job skills? Without leadership education, are we settling for an inadequate system that delivers educational, industrial, governmental, and societal mediocrity? In A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century, Oliver DeMille presents an overview of a new educational vision based on proven methods that really work! Teachers, students, parents, educators, legislators, leaders, and everyone who cares about America’s future must read this compelling book.”

7 Keys of Great Teaching from tjed.org.  There are seven principles of successful education. When they are applied, learning occurs for any learning style or interests. When they are ignored or rejected, the quantity and quality of education decreases.

  1. Classics, Not Textbooks
  2. Mentors, Not Professors
  3. Inspire, Not Require
  4. Structure Time, Not Content
  5. Simplicity, Not Complexity
  6. Quality, Not Conformity
  7. You, Not Them

Rules of Learning from Clark Aldrich

● Learn to be; learn to do; learn to know.
● Tests don’t work. Get over it. Move on.
● What a person learns in a classroom is how to be a person in a classroom.
● Animals are better than books about animals.
● Internships, apprenticeships, and interesting jobs beat term papers, textbooks, and tests.
● The only sustainable answer to the global education challenge is a diversity of approaches.

Here is just a small list of the books I have read on Homeschooling (attached).  Start with the Teenage Liberation Handbook, and then just keep on reading.  Anything by John Holt or John Taylor Gatto is good.

I can just give you the tools to start you on your journey…you need to pick them up and put them to use…  Coach David

 

The Teenage Liberation Handbook.pdf
5361K   View   Download
An Underground History of American Education.pdf
2426K   View   Download
How Children Fail by John Holt.pdf
841K   View   Download
How Children Learn by John Holt.pdf
1285K   View   Download
Never Too Late by John Holt.pdf
1343K   View   Download
stop-stealing-dreams6print.pdf
962K   View   Download
Teach Your Own.pdf
1308K   View   Download
Everything We Think About Schooling Is Wrong John Taylor Gotto.pdf
69K   View   Download

Thanks for reading!  Coach David (check out my new site at RapeProof.com)

31 comments to How I Got Into Homeschooling My Boys

  • roy

    Thanks coach. Great article. I will save the resources for later.

  • Silver Shield

    Great article coach.
    Here is the article on the Trivium you were looking for.
    http://dont-tread-on.me/?p=5247

    • Coach David

      Chris, Thank you for starting me down the road to learning about the trivium. You would not believe what that started for me and my family. Not only has it helped my boys, it has also helped me immensely. I have attended four different colleges and universities and cannot even compare that education to using observation, logic and I’m working on my rhetoric. Thank you, this is a gift that will keep on giving for generations. I suppose this is what you mean by “generational wealth”. Thank you, Coach David

  • Silver Shield

    Also for Silver Shield Report members I did a fascinating call about Education in the Next Paradigm about how we can improve upon homeschooling.

    • Coach David

      Is that #19? I’m half way through 9 now and only joined a couple days ago. I had to take a break to mow the grass. I had no idea how much information there is to absorb. Thanks again! Coach David

    • Silver Eagle

      Wooahhhh!!
      Improving homeschooling??

      Homeschooling is about individual parental direction, having others suggest improving it leads down the road to where we are today. Chris, I am on your side but stay out of my homeschool.

      My girls are homeschooled and they are by age 3rd and 9th graders but by testing they are 5-6 grades ahead of the public school test results. I am not buying the improving my homeschool, keep that one.

      • Coach David

        Silver Eagle,
        What is your homeschool style? Do you use programs? Unschool? Classical? Eclectic? Just curious. I would imagine that a lot of people on this site already homeschool or would like to. Do you have any good links to resources? Coach David

        • Silver Eagle

          It depends on the subject and each girls particular learning style. Em our youngest is an auditory learner, she can hear or read something one time and she is able to understand and apply it, Kels is a visual learner, which is a challenge in math but she scores as 12 grade level. Since each learns differently we have a mix of classic, some programs( through trial and error to find the best ones, and that is even subject dependent, ex: Singapore math works great for Em but is an absolute failure for Kels), and what we call exploratory learning, Kels has a year long Biology study of chickens. She knows as much about raising, care and hatching chickens than most knowledgeable adults. She took a broody hen, has documented and analyzed their life cycle, conditions of laying the most eggs, conditions for hatching (natural chick birth ;)) etc., all in all, the exploratory education is the most enjoyable for all of us. Em is the entrepreneur, she has developed an egg selling business to understand costs of her product, marketing herself and the eggs, etc. She now has customers that call her for eggs.

          Homeschooling opens, at least in NC, is open to tremendous opportunities of exploring things public school would never allow, such as firearm training (yes in NC we can list firearm/archery/horseback/etc as PE credits) Both girls can shoot a .22, and know gun safety. Also, both are getting really good with a Compound box.

          Amy (Mrs. Silver Eagle) say we have a style ( I’ll have to ask her I just sleep with my children’s the teacher) but I call it “Whatever the hell I want style” :)

        • Silver Eagle

          Mrs. Silver Eagle says:
          “A mix of Clasical and Charlotte Mason styles. We use textbooks and classical literature.”

          Don’t listen to her its; “whatever the hell I want style!”

          • Coach David

            I love it! Imagine a public school teacher with 30 kids in a class trying to learn and teach to every kids learning style. So many kids fall through the cracks, because kids cannot learn in a one size fits all box. Coach David

  • speedspirit

    Nice post Coach. But I have to ask what your plans are for your children after they turn 18. I realize that by teaching then how to learn and think they will be able to provide for their own future but what if their personality type is that of a follower and not a leader? How will they get in job without a degree of some sort? Not that I am a fan of the schooling system or colleges but just asking your thoughts on the subject.

    • “Follower” I feel that you just stabbed me in the chest, ouch! All they need to do is think for themselves. They don’t need to lead and if they think for themselves, they will never “follow”. My kids are being taught to think for themselves and to never ever go into debt. As long as you don’t have debt, you will be free to pursue whatever you want in life. Money is not important, if you’re taking care of your basic needs. If they can fish, hunt, grow food and can live in a tent, they will always be able to survive. Without debt, you can travel the world to look for opportunities. I think you might be stuck in the past. You will only need a “degree” if you want to be a doctor, lawyer, etc…(in the “western” world) or even better, they can move to a foreign country and intern/apprentice for a doctor/lawyer etc…and really learn “hands on” to be a great physician/lawyer. My kids will hopefully be entrepreneurs or they will intern/apprentice in whatever direction/field that interests them. In the next reality, people that make things and can do things will be the next success stories. They should not ever need a “job”. We “Work, Save & Invest”, that is the overall lesson of economics in our house. We don’t buy them “things” or give them an allowance. If they want a toy or a game, then there are jobs to do around the house that pay $ (debt paper). They can sit on there butt or they can do some work and get paid. It is up to them. Thanks for the question, Coach David

    • Also, it is not up to me what they do after they’re 18, It is up to them. And why do they need to wait to be 18? Thanks for the question, Coach David

    • Sorry, one more thing. If they want to go to traditional school, they can. They started in traditional school. When we ask if they want to go back, they always say NO WAY! If they want to pursue a degree, later in life, they can do that. There is nothing in a “homeschool” environment that would stop them from pursuing a “degree”. Thanks, Coach David

    • Silver Eagle

      Colleges across the country are accepting Homeschoolers more and more because they realize the diverse education and higher level of educational completion, higher test scores than their public educated peers. They will have a degree from our Homeschool which is recognized by the State( a requirement to Homeschool) and a college degree if that is what they want. Campbell University in NC has a Homeschool acceptance policy along with Administrations Directors that recruit homeschooled children.

      • Coach David

        It is often the “state” schools that would have a problem admitting a homeschooled child. I have found that most private colleges/universities love homeschooled kids. I would imagine that the “state” schools would accept the kids also with a few tests. I don’t worry about college for my kids. They can go or not go…it is up to them. Some states have better homeschool laws than others. Here is a link to what the laws are in the different states http://www.hslda.org/hs/. Please help support their cause. Coach David

  • Raymond Petersen

    We’ve homeschooled 4 of our children through to the end of high-school. They will all be in university this fall (Canada).

    I won’t touch on why you should homeschool – and certainly don’t get me going on the “lack of socialization” myth.

    However, here are some excellent material we have used.

    Math-U-See (we use it for grades 2-6) then we switch to
    Harold Jacobs – algebra and geometry (These books are 40 years old and we like them a lot)

    For writing we use “Institute for Excellence in Writing” material – we really like Andrew Pudewa’s incremental approach to teaching writing – especially for the early grades.
    (Students take an existing paragraph and improve on it using the writing techniques they are learning)

    I could go on for a while on this, but instead I would tell you that the most important thing to teach your children cannot be found in books. Teach them to love learning, and to eventually be “independent learners”.

  • Coach David

    Raymond,
    Thanks for commenting. I could also go on forever about why to homeschool and the “socialization” myth is a constant Parroted comment by the ill informed. I found an interesting article from Jeff Berwick’s site. I will post it here:

    Don’t Seek Education, Seek Knowledge

    http://www.dollarvigilante.com/blog/2012/6/27/dont-seek-education-seek-knowledge.html

  • Robert42

    I don’t use Google Mail. Would it be possible to make the files available by some other means?

  • Kirk reeves

    To the person who asked What if they are not leaders but followers? You can reply they are free to be followers. They can follow their dreams. The things about being a follower is there are many leaders who are nothing more than hustler who want followers for their time and money. Many of these want followers to advance a political cause, a relgion, a business where they can boss you around. At lwast home-schooling should teach them how to spot their hustlers. There are worthwhile causes to follow such as the freedom movement, a faith of your own choosing, justice, and like I said a dream. I hope this anwser that question

  • AgainstTheGrain

    I am finding your posts to be very informative. I think I have shared just about every one of em. So I just wanted to let you know and give credit when credit is due. Thank you!

    • Coach David

      Thank you for letting me know how you feel. I really appreciate you sharing and passing it on. Thanks again, Coach David

  • Thanks for the resources David. They will come in handy.

    BG

  • speedspirit

    The reason I ask is because I Am setting my goal on selling everything and getting a farm. No so far into the land that there isnt a community but I might just want to home school. My fear is that I didnt do well in school and how can I teach my children. My wife could but its hard enough to get kids to pick up after themselves, ect. How do you get them to listen to you as a teacher? I guess once you leave the hustle of the suburbs of Wall Street the family unit gets stonger. Would appreciate any comments on the struggles you faced at first and how you overcame them.

  • Coach David

    Lot’s of struggles at first because I thought that I had to be their teacher! Once you read the books you will understand. You do not want to be their teacher, let them teach themselves. I know that sounds scary and not “mainstream”, but you’re on this site so you must be a free thinker! My wife (Dr. Lisa) and I are just resources to our boys, just like the internet, books, library, etc… Kids will learn on their own, if you give them a chance. Let it happen. Surround your kids with resources and lot’s of things to do (a farm would be awesome for kids to learn). Stay out of their way. Read the books and you will understand. Start with the Teenage Liberation Handbook, I know it’s long, but at least read until you get to the testimonials. Think about this…Do you remember anything that you’ve been forced to learn? It sounds like you would’ve done great in homeschool. I bet that you learn and understand subjects that are of interest to you…Not everyone is a fit for public school. You’re probably a square peg that the system was trying to smash through a round hole. You must be smart, you found this site didn’t you? You will not ruin your kids, no matter what my parents say (did I just say that???), I mean what anybody says! Coach David

  • Marvin Motsenbocker

    Thanks
    I particularly liked your summary of “Homeschooling and the Myth of Socialization” because the real socialization problem (indoctrination problem?) is the public school.

    Speedspirit asked the important question about credentials. This is an important topic.
    1. a good educator (professor, master, business manager) will personally assist a good, motivated student (if recognized) regardless of credentials because a student with passion for the professors/experts subject is rare. One way would be to take a national test on a subject and prove mastery of the basics that way. Particularly for high level educators outside of the ivy league, such tests are very persuasive. In fact such tests saved my butt.
    2. In my opinion this should be a major focus of our community. Education via better teaching modalities and then we can create our own credentials. If we do this right we can help overturn the present system and replace with something better. For example, self study using internet for basic knowledge/information could be coupled with matched experts who work closely with the student in the selected field and have tests that lead to a degree. Most of the activities and cost of college can be replaced with the internet. A student also needs discussion group activies and laboratories, and hands on experience, which we can provide as our own program leading to our own degree. Lets face it much or most of college degrees are pretty worthless. Lets make our own degree program.

  • Coach David

    Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Faber est suae quisque fortunae” Man is the architect of his own future.

    Thanks for sharing, Coach David

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