My answer to this:
quote:It is just funny out of all the professions that, for example, a parent with no educational training (other than having once been a student) can teach three children, all in different class levels, while traveling the world while it takes a teacher having to go to school for several years and 5-7 hours a day in the classroom environment
A. We all had to learn that stuff in school, so we either know it or can relearn it. B. We know our kids better than anyone else does, and we can discern their learning style and work with that--something that is no doubt taught in your classes, but you have to learn to work with 50 different kinds of kids, while I only have to learn to work with 2. And teaching is much like parenting, in the sense that all the training in the world will not help you if you don't have a real feel for working with the kids.
C. We are not caught up doing mundane teacher things like taking attendance, saying "quiet" for the 50th time, or trying to figure out whether Billy really is pinching Suzie, or whether she's just making trouble. My older daughter was completely shocked by how much time is wasted in school. D. After doing some subbing, I have newfound respect for the teachers. How do you keep them in control? Homeschool teaching is much easier! I only had to worry about 2, and while I had to review algebra, it was good for me.
That said, I must admit there were things we didn't do enough of, like writing term papers, but the girls were right with their class anyway. I can't explain that. I also can't explain why my girls were able to answer all the questions on a friend's worksheet, on material which we had never covered. But we do read a lot.
The social thing is of very great concern to many people, and frankly, it's the reason they wanted to go back to school. Now they want to come home again, but they must finish out the school year. We did lots of stuff like Girl Scouts, karate, and violin lessons. The biggest problem is that they are more mature than many of the kids, and are not caught up in the boy-girl dating thing. I view that as a positive. While they are more mature, they are not overly into makeup and movie stars. Also good. Most of the kids at school hate to read, and actively try to hold each other back. We never had that negative social pressure, so reading has always been done for pleasure around here.
They did get lonely sometimes last year, and I was actually glad to let them go back to school. It has always been their choice, but whatever decision they made had to stick for the whole school year.
I really am glad that they went back too. I will not say that homeschool is superior to school. They are different, and it would depend on the home and on the school. There have been plenty of failures around here too, but the common denominator with those is that they took their kids out of school because they were mad about something. ("I'll show them!") We were never mad at the school and I was careful to never speak negatively about them.
Okay, the travel part. We love to travel--mainly off season, and schools don't like it when they're out of school for a couple of weeks or more at a time, so that's why we homeschooled. They quickly became really good travelers, and sometimes we took worksheets and stuff. Not much of it got done. But a 2 week trip is a lot more intense in many ways than a longer trip because it's out of the routine. The subjects the kids would cover on a rtw would be completely different from what they study at home. So they learn French and art history rather than science and social studies. Why not? We discovered the "Horrible Histories" collection in Ireland last year and learned a lot from that. They retain more of that history than they ever did from a textbook. The social skills they will learn will be different also, because they will learn to meet new people, connect, and move on.
Really the main thing is, for me and my family--this is what we all want. No one is hog tying these kids. We all really want to go.
Anyway, sorry if I've hogged the board, but I feel strongly about this, and I know it can work. You have to make it work if you're going to do the rtw with school age kids, but it is so worth it.
Also, Allen I've mainly directed my arguments towards you, so hope you don't feel picked on, but there are several other families here thinking about the same things, and hopefully this is of help to the rest of you. (I can just hear dejags going, "But my kids are only 5 and 2!" Yeah, now they are. It seems like yesterday that mine were too, and we were dragging them off to Europe, and wondering if it was worth it to spend the money on something they'd never remember. We don't regret a penny of it.)