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Yated Chinuch Roundtable Homeschooling
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farm




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Feb 13 2012, 3:55 pm
What is the opinion of the panel regarding home-schooling?
I live in a community with several schools, but feel that my daughter can benefit from a year away from the social pressures and stress and would like to try this. In the experience of the distinguished mechanchim, is there a reason not to?


Last edited by farm on Tue, Feb 14 2012, 4:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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farm




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Feb 13 2012, 4:08 pm
Rabbi Dovid Engel
Menahel, The Toronto Cheder

The decision to home-school your daughter is a huge, possibly life-changing decision. Often, searching parents end up soliciting information from other home-schooling parents, but they may not receive an impartial view from the home-schooling parents, who tend to defend their choices instead of giving accurate pros and cons to home-schooling. If you decide to go ahead with the home-schooling and you feel that your daughter is succeeding, it is most likely that you will continue this throughout her elementary years. You shouldn't only consider her situation at this juncture of her young life. It's important to look ahead at the big picture of her life now.

There are serveral enticing reasons to home-school a child:
safety
no bullying issues
curriculum is tailor-made according to the child's strengths and challenges
anxiety and stress of homework are non-factors
child's self-esteem remains intact throughout
emotional bond between parent and child is greatly reinforced
can generate stability if a family is going through a transition or ordeal
children are generally well-rested
the obvious fact that a home-schooled child can accomplish more in one day than their peers do in a week at school

There are also compelling reasons not to home-school a child:
they miss out on all the "extra" and memories that schools provide, including outings with a teacher, extracurricular activities, and healthy competition. Most aduts don't remember the actual Gemara or Chumash that they were taught, but they do remember the way it was taught or the time that a rebbi or morah went out of their way for them
the parents may fancy themselves as great teachers, but in reality they're not. This will impede the child's progress
the lack of socialization, learning to get along with peers, and understanding a teacher's social cues. Being in school also teaches a child how to succeed even when others are creating adversity, as well as how to interact, discuss and disagree with peers. In addition, some children will exceed ecpectations that parents and teachers have of them due to healthy peer pressure
loss of emotional support other than parents. Many adults credit a particular rebbi or morah with changing their lives. Often, a child needs to have a mentor or confidant other that their parents. Rabbeim/moros can open up topics in ruchniyus or topics within topics, that appeal to the child, wich maybe the parent hasn't even heard about

Chazal say in Pirkei Avos: "Kol sheruach chachomim nocheh heimenu ruach habriyos nocheh heimenu." Since Yehoshue ben Gamla's time, chadorim have been set up for talmidim. Adults who are most matzliach in life are the ones who are me'urov im habriyos.

A friend related that in his elementary school years, there was an illui in his class who was two years younger than the rest of his classmates. While this boy excelled in learning, he never learned how to communicate properly and it unfortunately affected him as an adult and as a husband and father. Home-schooling your daughter will cause her to be different and may create issues with her choice of high schools and seminaries later on. Since you are blessed with a choice of several schools in you kehillah, choose the one that best suits your daughter's needs. Allow the capable menaheles and moros/teachers to succeed with your daughter along with your encouragement and close contact with the school.

Hatzlacha.
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farm




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Feb 13 2012, 4:19 pm
Rabbi Shneur Aisenstark
Dean, Beth Jacob Seminary, Montreal

Your reason for wanting a one year respite from school for your daughter so that she can "benefit from a year away from the social pressures and stress." To me, this implies that you are running away from a problem and hoping that it will go away. Not only will it not go away, but it will fester and, like any other problem not dealth with, it will only grow in reality and in her imagination and will probably multiply itself twofold or more.

If she is having stress, you must find the reason for that stress and try, to the best of your ability, to alleviate the underlying causes that brought it about. I also do not understand how removing your daughter from her society will remove her social pressures. She can only overcome such social pressures by learnong how to deal with others. I also do not agree with you when you say that she will benefit from being removed from the social scene. She must try to understand what is causing the problem and try to minimize it. She may not be able to do it on her own and may need expert held.

If one moves one's child from one school to another because the school is more difficult academically than what the child can handle, then I would agree fully with such a move, as one should always try to place one's children in school where they fit academically and where they can grow.

However, social situations are something else. Our children should be taught to get along with all types of people no matter the school. I therefore do not think that taking her out of school for a social reason will solve any of her stressful problems or any of the social pressures.

The only time that I would recommend home-schooling is when there is absolutely no other alternative to any conventional type of schooling. Examples would include living in a community which does not provide the type of hashkafah and education necessary. One of my nieces, who is from a chareidi Yerushalayim background, married a young man from London with a similiar background. They went into the field of kiruv and are living in Capetown, South Africa. Since the schools there do not provide the type of education they need for their children, their only option is home-schooling.

You say that there are several possible schools that your daughter could attend. If that is so, then you should turn over heaven and earth to find a solution to her problem and create a situation where she will be more socially adept. In the long run, the social aspects of conventional schooling are what will be ingrained into her personality.
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farm




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Feb 13 2012, 4:27 pm
Rabbi Yaakov Bender
Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva Darchei Torah, Far Rockaway

Home-schooling is the "in" thing in today's day and age, a fad bordering on epidemic.

My question is: Does your daughter want/need to be home-schooled or is this your idea? There is an interesting phenomenon. Serious baalei teshuvah are able to make up in 2-3 years what our children have studies for 15. Why, then, do our children spend so many years in yeshiva?

There are two major components besides for ongoing learning.

One is the yedios one absorbs on a daily basis from one's rebbi/morah/menahel/gedolim, etc. There are so many nuances that make up a typical day in yeshiva/Bais Yaakov. Let's call this the osmosis part of education. There is no way in the work that your daughter will pick all this up in a home-schooling environment.

Second, there is a social aspect to being in a classroom. Learning how to play with friends, interact in after-school activities, and joining in the group are most important as well. We receive hundreds of calls over the summer asking to place children with certain rabbeim. While I seriously believe that it is narishkeitin, because all the rabbeim are wonderful, there is nothing more important than good fiends in the classroom. You are sending your daughter to a Bais Yaakov not only to learn, but, even more importantly, to make and retain friends. If your daughter has the common, everyday pressures of stress, treach her how to work with it. Don't run away from it.

Home-schooling should be left only for those who cannot function in a classroom- a handicapped or learning-disabled child who does not want to be placed in a public school, or a child who is cracking under pressure of stress. There is no sensible reason to take a healthy, normal girl out of her milieu. We have all seen too many karbanos. Don't gamble with your children.

I am not even discussing the silliness of trying to avoid paying tuition. This should not be a discussion or consideration.
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farm




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Feb 13 2012, 4:28 pm
There are several more panelists who address the question. I think the 3 I posted include the general sentiment, but I will quote them if you are interested.
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Tova




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Feb 13 2012, 7:21 pm
farm, I sure read it but wasn't going to post after starting a turned-controversial thread on their Shidduch Forum from the week before (vaccines). So interesting how the Yated seems to be focused on these topics as of late.
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farm




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 9:39 am
And here I was Monday afternoon wondering why you didn't post it yet! I know that the panel members are not exactly impartial to this question, being that they are all involved in chinuch, but I think it was pretty remarkable how they all had the same advice for the parents when most weeks they will be about a 50/50 split in their advice. I would like to know what homeschoolers think and how they would have answered the question.
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yaelinIN




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 9:47 am
Well right now this homeschooler has to hustle her kids to learn so they can socialize with other children at 2pm. Smile

Perhaps I can respond later today. Educators are VERY devoted to their calling (which usually is good, but not always).
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yaelinIN




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 9:48 am
Could you post the rest of the answers from the roundtable please?
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Simple1




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 9:51 am
Whether you agree with homeschooling or not, I do agree with the general concept that running away from the problem will not solve it. The parents need to deal with the social issues the child is having and not avoid it. If they want to home school for other reasons that's a separate issue.
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5*Mom




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 9:56 am
I don't homeschool (yet Wink ) but I've certainly been tempted, and I support it when done properly and for the right reasons. There are so many statements I want to respond to but I don't have the time all at once so I'll have to do it in bits and pieces.

First this one:

farm wrote:
Rabbi Dovid Engel
Menahel, The Toronto Cheder

The decision to home-school your daughter is a huge, possibly life-changing decision. Often, searching parents end up soliciting information from other home-schooling parents, but they may not receive an impartial view from the home-schooling parents, who tend to defend their choices instead of giving accurate pros and cons to home-schooling.


Couldn't one argue that searching parents may not receive in impartial view about traditional schooling when soliciting information from traditional school principals such as the 3 above, who tend to present the schools/businesses that they run in the most positive, even ideal light without accurate acknowledgment or indeed even recognition of the drawbacks of that system?

That's for starters. I'll be back.
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alpidarkomama




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 10:30 am
OH, my. No time for all the words right now. Have to get to chumash, shoftim, the megillah, kriyah, dikduk, purim songs (we're writing our own today!), chemistry, the American Revolution, spelling, math, reading, penmanship, composition, grammar, phonics, piano and recorder practice, using our math skills to spend our allowance at the Human Society resale shop, play dates at 4:00 for 3 kids, "fix-it" time at savta's, and the library.

It's a wonderful, rich, socially full life, and I think there are many common misconceptions of homeschooling presented here. Smile
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alpidarkomama




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 10:31 am
5*Mom wrote:
Couldn't one argue that searching parents may not receive in impartial view about traditional schooling when soliciting information from traditional school principals such as the 3 above, who tend to present the schools/businesses that they run in the most positive, even ideal light without accurate acknowledgment or indeed even recognition of the drawbacks of that system?


That was my first thought too! Confused
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Ima_Shelli




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 10:48 am
alpidarkomama wrote:
5*Mom wrote:
Couldn't one argue that searching parents may not receive in impartial view about traditional schooling when soliciting information from traditional school principals such as the 3 above, who tend to present the schools/businesses that they run in the most positive, even ideal light without accurate acknowledgment or indeed even recognition of the drawbacks of that system?


That was my first thought too! Confused


They're just as likely to receive an impartial view on traditional schooling from traditional school principals as they are from homeschooling moms, who tend to present homeschooling in the most positive, even ideal light, etc.

I'm just sayin'.

There are admitted pros and cons to both. But you knew that already. I'm just proposing that to call one side biased without acknowledging that the other is biased as well is not being intellectually honest.
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5*Mom




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 10:54 am
alpidarkomama wrote:
OH, my. No time for all the words right now. Have to get to chumash, shoftim, the megillah, kriyah, dikduk, purim songs (we're writing our own today!), chemistry, the American Revolution, spelling, math, reading, penmanship, composition, grammar, phonics, piano and recorder practice, using our math skills to spend our allowance at the Human Society resale shop, play dates at 4:00 for 3 kids, "fix-it" time at savta's, and the library.

It's a wonderful, rich, socially full life, and I think there are many common misconceptions of homeschooling presented here. Smile


I don't doubt that there are homeschooling families that aren't doing it properly or for the right reasons and are thereby doing their children a disservice. This says more about those families and almost nothing about homeschooling. When done the way you seem to be doing it (Wow! Sign us up!) homeschooling actually offers a much richer experience in all areas than contemporary traditional schooling.

You have pinpointed my greatest pet peeve: when people speak authoritatively about a subject which in actually they know nothing about! Exploding anger
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5*Mom




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 11:01 am
Ima_Shelli wrote:
I'm just proposing that to call one side biased without acknowledging that the other is biased as well is not being intellectually honest.


Um, that kind of was exactly my point.

And to be honest, I have spoken to a number of homeschooling mothers who have ALL shared with me the cons as well as the pros of homeschooling. So this is quite an assumption he makes with very little real life experience to back it up. OTOH, I have spoken to countless school principals, only ONE of whom has ever shared any cons about her school Confused . Make of that what you will.
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sarahd




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 11:06 am
alpidarkomama wrote:
OH, my. No time for all the words right now. Have to get to chumash, shoftim, the megillah, kriyah, dikduk, purim songs (we're writing our own today!), chemistry, the American Revolution, spelling, math, reading, penmanship, composition, grammar, phonics, piano and recorder practice, using our math skills to spend our allowance at the Human Society resale shop, play dates at 4:00 for 3 kids, "fix-it" time at savta's, and the library.

It's a wonderful, rich, socially full life, and I think there are many common misconceptions of homeschooling presented here. Smile


I didn't notice any of the panelists say that home schooled children learn less.
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sarahd




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 11:13 am
farm wrote:

I am not even discussing the silliness of trying to avoid paying tuition. This should not be a discussion or consideration.


I found this statement puzzling. How can tuition costs not be a consideration?
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yaelinIN




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 11:21 am
sarahd wrote:
farm wrote:

I am not even discussing the silliness of trying to avoid paying tuition. This should not be a discussion or consideration.


I found this statement puzzling. How can tuition costs not be a consideration?


Because sometimes it isn't. Sometimes people are willing and able to pay full tuition but would rather have a different type of education for their child/ren.

I understand that tuition is a BIG issue for the frum world and many people will consider HSing for money reasons, but in the end, the tuition issue cannot sustain HSing. It is a lifestyle choice which has many other ramifications (both positive and negative).
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sarahd




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Feb 14 2012, 11:23 am
I understand that, but for many people it is an important consideration so I don't understand how he can say it shouldn't be one.

How many times have women here on Imamother advised those who are having trouble making ends meet to homeschool? (Granted, I have never seen anyone who actually does homeschool suggest this...)
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