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Topic : 11/24 Great School Debate

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Created on : Friday, November 17, 2006, 12:57:50 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Parents want the best for their children, but what’s the best way to educate them? Dr. Phil’s guests face off in a debate about whether to school, homeschool or unschool. Dana and her husband, Joe, call themselves radical unschoolers. They say education happens as a side effect of life, and they don’t believe in tests, curriculums or grades. Are their three kids learning what they need to know? Then, RaeAnn says public schools are death traps and wants to homeschool her children. Her husband, Steve, says their kids are safer at school than they are at home. Can this couple reach a compromise? Plus, Nicole feels like an outcast at 26. She says she hated being homeschooled, and couldn’t relate to other kids. Share your thoughts here.

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November 18, 2006, 8:13 am CST

Great disservice

Quote From: purplepenny

My husband's Aunt is an "unschooler"...her children are sharply behind when it comes to every subject...I personally find it to be a very irresponsible thing to do. Our society requires education and society benefits from it.  Not everything is learned as a side effect of living. That's ridiculous.
Your Aunt is doing her children a great disservice by letting them grow up stupid.  What are they going to do when they grow up and are fighting for a job in the workplace??  I agree with you...your Aunt is VERY irresponsible.
 
November 18, 2006, 9:42 am CST

Possible Compromise for ReAnn and Steve

I just wanted to comment that not all homeschoolers are "Unschoolers". Some use textbooks, curriculum and even give tests and grades. Homeschooling allows flexibility even when using such a traditional approach to education. I have nothing against unschoolers and I've heard success stories about them but my kids benefit best with some structure.  For example, my son might be lying on top of the dog while he's reading history, but he is reading history and there'll will be a test.  My point is, ReAnn could possible homeschool her children and use a more structured curriculum. Maybe her husband would feel more comfortable with that and would be willing to try it for a year. Maybe they could work together to make any necessary adjustments the following year. It's easy to be skeptical of any kind of 'alternative' life choice, but don't we live in a society that embraces all kinds of alternative life choices? Some kids just learn better at home for whatever reason. I know mine do. Regarding the 26 year old who hated being homeschooled, I'm sorry her school experience wasn't satisfactory. I attended public school and hated it.  I know kids who attended exclusive private schools who hated it. What's the solution?Should we form a generalized opinion about public and private schools now? Of course not. That wouldn't make sense. I've had my kids in 'real' school and I've homeschooled. There are things you get at home that you can't get at school and things at school you can't get at home. I think parents should be trusted to make the decisions that are best for their children. We, as a society, need to work together to ensure that all of our children are educated, regardless of where they are educated. Thank you for hearing me out.  
 
November 18, 2006, 10:57 am CST

havent seen the show yet but i do look forward to this one<>

but as far as schools not being safe,well i place the blame on parents with unsafe parenting skills> after all our children do go forth and conduct themselves in the manner we eather tought them to or didnt teach them to<>
 
November 18, 2006, 11:45 am CST

11/24 Great School Debate

Quote From: jettav

Well, it's wonderful that uyou succeeded through school and I agree that therea re some who don;t give a hoot while attending school, believe me, We all know those type of kids but also there are kids with learnign disabilities and those who DO studya nd want to succeed but they still fail. You get over your better then thou attitude and have some compassion on those who do need maybe more one on one then waht the schools are able to give, teachers are responsible for a group of kids that sometimes with over crowded classes and there is no way on this planet A teacher can meet every child's needs, I don't care how good of a teacher they are.

And rather you realize it or not kids who are homesscooled AND private school taught CAN AND DO succeed. My daughter is only 5 and I taught her to read, to do basic math, I give her spelling test every so often, she writes in sentence. She is getting ready to be tested at her WONDERFUL PRIVATE school that is a high rated school in my county, and I guarentee, she is doing second and third grade work right now in class as well as at home, my three year old is well on her way as well.

A good education does not have to come from the public school system, look where the crime and the bullying for the most part comes from. I guarentee that those of us paying for our children's education has sought out the best of the best, Do you think I would be dishing out money for this if I didn't think it was imporant? I say Private schooling rocks and for those who have and are homeschooling with much success, I say Kudos to them and thier kids and as fara s unschooling calls, I do not know enough about that but coming from an area that is big on homeschooling, well, there are a whole lot more success stories then you can imagine.

Kids learn in different ways and styles, my daughters class is not over crowded, Both Principals know every child and parent by name as they walk in and out of school, there is ALWAYS some one at the doors when it is opened, and the programming is awesome. My 5 year old is int he choir as well as Spanish and getting high marks, Public schooling is not the only way to go, My kids are not using it and for those who have a problem with it, I say too bad, get over it, I as the parent of my children know what I am doing when it comes to my children and I will go out of my way to keep my kids safe and in a learning atmosphere that will help theo become who theya re meant to be.

I agre that kids and parents need to put effort in teaching and learning and at the same time teachers and staff need to concentrate on the kids and make sure there is enough staff to cover the bases including one on one teaching IF needed as I know there are kids who benefit more on a smaller class size. Not all kids are brains, and not all kids get it, the first time around, I went to college with a girl who studied more then any one I knew, didn't miss a class, took notes, paid attention, went to study groups, spent a whole lot of her time in the library and guess what, she was barely average, failed a lot of tests, it doesn't come easy for every one, I have another friend who barely graduated and it wasn't for the lack of studying and committment, she was teased for being learning disability but the girl did everything in her power to make it as she did, she is now a 30 something year old with a successful job doing very well but it took a whole lot more work and effort, getting around the bullying then it did some one like you. Not every one is  as good as you wich I am suire you are not perfect at everyhting you do, maybe you have never failed a class and that is good but remember not every one who fail is lazy and just becasue some one homeschools or goes to private school does not mean their is laziness or anything else that is negative, I say the kids come first and it is up to the parents to make sure their children is gettignt he best of the best educaton for their  children, it isn't for society to decide what is best, thatis the parents job, afterall we know our kids better then any one else on this planet, to allt he wonderful parents out there, kudos to you for putting your kids first.
 My kids are in public school and are doing great. However, they may be going to a private school or home schooled in the coming years. Our district is in a war right now about building a new High School and consolidating Elementarys. My sons attend a wonderful little (one deep elem.) I know all the teachers and they're very good. My kids score at the top of their groups But, now the district is coming in and wanting to consolidate the smaller older schools into one big one. Meaning, my kids would be bused,(they live a few blocks from their school and walk everyday).. Also, their Grandma lives right nearby and the library's right next door  And there would be 4 classes per grade and to me they'd lose a great deal all in the name of progress. Add to that the fact, that the site of the new school would be on a community park. The district has "generously" allowed the use of the school's playground to the community after school hours.  I won't even get into the whole thing about the new high school. If things keep going the way they are my children won't be attending any of these schools.
 
November 18, 2006, 12:56 pm CST

unschooling???

Quote From: purplepenny

My husband's Aunt is an "unschooler"...her children are sharply behind when it comes to every subject...I personally find it to be a very irresponsible thing to do. Our society requires education and society benefits from it.  Not everything is learned as a side effect of living. That's ridiculous.

This is the first I've actually heard of "unschooling", and it sounds rediculous!  I suppose it's a part of the whole self esteem idea...if we don't test them, they can't "fail", and then they won't think poorly of themselves!  In life, we are tested daily.  If we have a job and don't complete it satisfactorily, we are in jeopardy of losing that job...it's a test of sorts.  To raise a child in an environment that they are never tested and only learn what comes to them as a side effect of living is to be neglectful of that child's well-being for the future.

 
November 18, 2006, 1:03 pm CST

11/24 Great School Debate

Quote From: jettav

Well, it's wonderful that uyou succeeded through school and I agree that therea re some who don;t give a hoot while attending school, believe me, We all know those type of kids but also there are kids with learnign disabilities and those who DO studya nd want to succeed but they still fail. You get over your better then thou attitude and have some compassion on those who do need maybe more one on one then waht the schools are able to give, teachers are responsible for a group of kids that sometimes with over crowded classes and there is no way on this planet A teacher can meet every child's needs, I don't care how good of a teacher they are.

And rather you realize it or not kids who are homesscooled AND private school taught CAN AND DO succeed. My daughter is only 5 and I taught her to read, to do basic math, I give her spelling test every so often, she writes in sentence. She is getting ready to be tested at her WONDERFUL PRIVATE school that is a high rated school in my county, and I guarentee, she is doing second and third grade work right now in class as well as at home, my three year old is well on her way as well.

A good education does not have to come from the public school system, look where the crime and the bullying for the most part comes from. I guarentee that those of us paying for our children's education has sought out the best of the best, Do you think I would be dishing out money for this if I didn't think it was imporant? I say Private schooling rocks and for those who have and are homeschooling with much success, I say Kudos to them and thier kids and as fara s unschooling calls, I do not know enough about that but coming from an area that is big on homeschooling, well, there are a whole lot more success stories then you can imagine.

Kids learn in different ways and styles, my daughters class is not over crowded, Both Principals know every child and parent by name as they walk in and out of school, there is ALWAYS some one at the doors when it is opened, and the programming is awesome. My 5 year old is int he choir as well as Spanish and getting high marks, Public schooling is not the only way to go, My kids are not using it and for those who have a problem with it, I say too bad, get over it, I as the parent of my children know what I am doing when it comes to my children and I will go out of my way to keep my kids safe and in a learning atmosphere that will help theo become who theya re meant to be.

I agre that kids and parents need to put effort in teaching and learning and at the same time teachers and staff need to concentrate on the kids and make sure there is enough staff to cover the bases including one on one teaching IF needed as I know there are kids who benefit more on a smaller class size. Not all kids are brains, and not all kids get it, the first time around, I went to college with a girl who studied more then any one I knew, didn't miss a class, took notes, paid attention, went to study groups, spent a whole lot of her time in the library and guess what, she was barely average, failed a lot of tests, it doesn't come easy for every one, I have another friend who barely graduated and it wasn't for the lack of studying and committment, she was teased for being learning disability but the girl did everything in her power to make it as she did, she is now a 30 something year old with a successful job doing very well but it took a whole lot more work and effort, getting around the bullying then it did some one like you. Not every one is  as good as you wich I am suire you are not perfect at everyhting you do, maybe you have never failed a class and that is good but remember not every one who fail is lazy and just becasue some one homeschools or goes to private school does not mean their is laziness or anything else that is negative, I say the kids come first and it is up to the parents to make sure their children is gettignt he best of the best educaton for their  children, it isn't for society to decide what is best, thatis the parents job, afterall we know our kids better then any one else on this planet, to allt he wonderful parents out there, kudos to you for putting your kids first.

I never said I was better than anyone, I said that I studied and worked hard, but thank you for putting those words in my mouth.  I would like to point out how you use phrases like "those of us paying for our children's education" and ask which of us really has the better than thou attitude you accused me of.    It is wonderful that you can afford to send your daughter to public school, I was not so fortunate.  Children can get an excellent education in private school, but does it prepare them for real life where they will have to make the best of what the get and deal with all kinds of people.  You seem to be one of the growing trend today that is not comfortable when someone says something which holds people responsible for their own actions.

I realize that some people try hard and still have trouble. However, I am referring to the vast numbers of students who are failing or dropping out.  Many of them decide they just don't want to do their work or even don't want to go to school any more, and that is their fault not the public education system.  You can get a good education in public school, but you have to reach out and grab it, whether you do so is up to you. As for learning disabilities, the public school system has special education programs for those students.  I don't think that public education is a wonderful, flawless thing, It definitely has it's faults, but that is not an excuse to do poorly.

 
November 18, 2006, 2:10 pm CST

fighting for a job????

Quote From: steiwhleur

Your Aunt is doing her children a great disservice by letting them grow up stupid. What are they going to do when they grow up and are fighting for a job in the workplace?? I agree with you...your Aunt is VERY irresponsible.

unschooling does not mean letting kids grow up 'stupid' as you say.  they have the ability to learn ANYTHING that they CHOOSE to learn.  unschoolers might not be at grade level with their so-called peers...but whatever they are lacking in can easily be learned........when real life requires it.  unschoolers have not had the DESIRE TO LEARN squashed out of them.

 

as far as fighting for a job in the workplace....they simply won't be.  most unschoolers have no desire to join the typical workforce...they are more likely to start their own businesses.  they are innovative and the confines of what most people call 'work' are not what they are looking for in life.  they will not be so easily convinced that being a paid slave is the way to a happy life.

 
November 18, 2006, 2:50 pm CST

We successfully home-schooled

Quote From: steiwhleur

I graduated from an upper-middle class high school in 1990.  I thought I had learned what needed to be learned so that I could go on to college.  WRONG!  In college I had to pay for REMEDIAL math classes!!! I was so angry.  But then I looked around at who was in my remedial class and they were all students from North Hills High School!!  I wanted to bill the high school for my remedial classes, but my parents said I should just drop it.  I wish I had sent the high school a bill.  Maybe it would have caused them to take another look at their sub-par cirriculum!!

 

That was all hapening 16 years ago!  I now live in New Mexico and the schools here are horrific.  Graduates can't read, write, do math, spell....nothing!  My niece is in the 9th grade and probably reads on a 4th grade level.  She can't spell correctly if her life depended on it...and it does.  No one wants to hire someone too stupid to spell or add or divide correctly.  And her speaking is just as bad.  She sounds like a dullard.  This will haunt her for the rest of her life.  People will assume she's an idiot, not the kind, sweet, beautiful girl that she has become.

 

New Mexico ranks 43rd out of 50 for our inadequate schooling, yet our govenor refuses to address it.  Yes he's trying to throw money at the problem, but we need to start requiring more from the teachers and principals before we can make such demands on our children.  New Mexico also has a "don't ask" policy about if a child is an illegal or an American citizen.  Therefore our schools are flooded with illegals who only speak Spanish.  This adds to the teachers' burden---the teachers must learn and teach Spanish to "accomodate" these illegals.  No wonder we rank so low!!  New Mexico is like a 3rd world country in many ways.

 

Home schooling sounds like the way to go so long as the parents meet all the required credentials and they are diligent about teaching at home.  Home schooled kids should have some kind of network so that they can be around like-aged kids.  That way they can learn the socialization skills needed out in the real world.

 

For our retirement we are looking to go to the mountains of Montana -- maybe we'll find some smart people like us up there!!

Most homeschool families  do have some type of networking.  In our state you have to be registered  with the state to legally homeschool.  I  just can't understand why people think homeschoolers  are unsocialized.   My  son was far more socially active when I homeshcooled than when he was in public school.   I ask,  what is more of a social learning experience;  sitting in a class with 25 other kids all of the same age group for several hours a day and not being able to  have social interaction with them (that is against the rules, we must be quiet little robots in the classroom)  or being out in the real world interacting with all kinds of people?  The whole "no child left behind " thing is a real joke.  What they have done is lower the standards so the slower learning kids don't get lost.  When I pulled my son out of the public school he was the 10th child to leave the school for homeschooling that week.  His teachers would give him credit on his math just for writing an answer down.  (it did not have to be the correct answer, once he put the answer to 2+2=fish and the teacher marked it correct)  Instead of working with him they told him he was not smart enough to learn math.  In 3 years he finished the entire high school cirriculum, and graduated last May at the age of 16.  He also has been accepted into college.   I will agree that homeschooling is not for everyone, it is only for people who truly care about the education their child recieves.
 
November 18, 2006, 2:58 pm CST

11/24 Great School Debate

Quote From: steiwhleur

Your Aunt is doing her children a great disservice by letting them grow up stupid.  What are they going to do when they grow up and are fighting for a job in the workplace??  I agree with you...your Aunt is VERY irresponsible.
I agree completely that she's doing her kids a disservice.  I simply do not see how a person can "unlearn" algebra...really. My SIL is now saying she's going to start doing the same thing.

Frankly for both of them it seems like a way to just be different. They seem love to dare people to say anything to them about these kinds of things.
 
November 18, 2006, 3:07 pm CST

11/24 Great School Debate

Quote From: elffie

I am not going to homeschool, I don't think it will benefit MY children.  I don't think it would be healthy for them to be with me all day, they need to get out and be with other kids their age in an environment that will support that.  Plus, I want them to get the best education they can get, even if that means public schools.  There are lots of Merit schools in the town my children will be going to and the kids score very high on their tests. 

 

The only difference I see between Public and Private schools is the cost.  Also, that some private schools are religious based.  You can find the same classes in public school without the cost.  I don't think we need to push our children academically, and honestly I think it's a little too much to have a kindergardner doing 3rd grade work.  Now, if they child is capable of doing it, then so be it, but I do not think it's wise to push kids while they are so young.

 

There is bullying and crime if private school as well.  I had a friend that went to a Christian private school and the kids there did drugs and had sex on the property!  Same thing that was going on in the public school system.

 

I don't think homeschooling really teaches responsibility.  Some of the time it is not structured and it is only for a couple hours a day.  Going out of the house to school reinforces responsibility and teaching the student to be liable for their actions.  Sure, there were a few days when I didn't want to go to school, but I could not have stayed home.  I would not be socially mature, but that is me, it could be different for others.  Plus, leaving home to go to school prepared me for the real world, where you leave your house and you do what you have to do, even if you don't like it.

 

So it looks like public schooling for my kids. 

My daughter works on her own, I have work books here at home that she has access to and her teacher has extra worksheets and pages from different resources out in her  writting and free play area. She is not forced/pushed to do any thing, she does these things on her own. She is the type of child that watches you do something and figures it out on her own, if she was made to stay on the kindergarten resources, she would be bored and not challenged enough. She does the same work every one else does but in her free time is free to do her thing and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I do not believe in pushing kids but to allow them to work at their own paces.

I like the idea that parents in our society have the honor, the privelege and the obligation to decide what is best for their children and we all know that there is negative all around us, no one, I don't think is unaware of what is going on around them, and that is why parents need to do thier research, check the systems out where they
 are and know thier children's personalities and  learning style and do what is best for  their kids.

Yes, there are those paretns who do not put the effort in helping with the education process and that is a sad thing, for they are not benefitting thier kids whatsoever and in the end, most of themw ill regret it I think but unfortuanetly there will be those who do not give a hoot, I have a sister who has basically ruined her kids because of her "I don't care" attitude, she has been offered help and encouraged to put her youngest ina good FREE program but she refused to do it, the child is now 18 witha  2 year old kid and both of them are in custody of the system and that is only one of her kids, So I know what happens to kids in this society good and bad, I have seen many expamples of good and bad parenting as I have wroked witha nd tutired kids of all ages, wonlt go there.

The Poster I had origianally responded to seems to think that it is public schooling or nothing that works just because she did well. Not all kids who fail are lazy and come from bad parenting, there are resources out there and it doesnlt have to come from the public school system. We have to do our homewrok as parents and encourage and help our kids along regardless of the educational system that we choose, kids can succeed from every form of education experience if their best interest is at hand. I like the fact that my daughter is in a good system and even though it does not fit every ones criteria, that doesn't bother me, I did my homework in making sure she is in a good atmosphere and that she can learn and be happy in the systemt hat she is in. I believe in education and will always encourage my kids to do th best they can and to go for learning, homeschhol pubkic, or private, they can all benefit kids but not all systems are right for every family and yes, I chose the school that teaches biblical truths such as Respect, Loving God as well as others, the ten commandements and the Lord's Prayer is taught at htis School, afterall it is a Christian school and right along siode of all that, they are getting a good education and statistics fromt his school show it, no way am I gonna send her to the school walking distant to my house that she would have gone to, they do not ID any one who is there to pick up a child, I have walked in to pick up a kid I was babysitting and no one questioned who I was, Kids are running up and down the hall way after school with no suprvision,  and the school rating is not very good,I am not saying that is the way it is with every public school but the school that my daughter would go to and I am not comfortable sending her there and besides there is nothing wrong with the Christian school atmosphere, The school my daughter goes to has a peaceful feeling about it and I think that is a good thing.

So, bottom line to my message is that parents need to do their homework and seek out the best option for their kids and realize that there are resources and options out there, that one size does not fit all, kids have their own personalities and learning styles, not every school has the same criteria and security options, gotta do what's right for the kids. I choose the private school that my daughter goes to because it is a good school, great reputation, and a great staff to communicate with and my daughter looks forward to school every day, her excitement for learning is wonderful. I checked out one private christian school  and was not impressed for the office was in a different building then the preschool and kindergarten, grant it, they all had intercoms and  security devices but I feel that the office (principal) and younger kids especially should be easy access and in my opinion that set up was not and I as the parent of my child did not feel comfortable with that so she did not get enrolled there. Obviously, some paretns are ok with that set up as it is a good school so that option for them was ok for those families, We are all different in what we feel is imporant and all and that is something that every one needs to accept especially when it comes to the best when it comes to educating our kids as well as doing our part to keeping them as safe as possible,
 
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