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graynett's avatar

Is home schooling good for my Neice?

Asked by graynett (1025 points ) July 29th, 2009

my neice is 11 years old and does not know how to tell the time

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11 Answers

MissAusten's avatar

Without knowing your neice or her parents, this is impossible to fully answer. I’ve known parents who do an excellent job of homeschooling. I also don’t think failing to teach a child to tell time would be considered child abuse, and am not sure what Christianity has to do with it.

Maybe you could provide a few more details or some background on the situation.

graynett's avatar

Thanks for the quick reply yes a lot of people believe that leaving a child uneducated is child abuse the child is not moderated by a formal home school just a mother who has lost her Husband by illness and has a strong Christian belief and does not wish her 11yr old to mix with the “World” and get sick!

MissAusten's avatar

Well, if the child’s total education is being neglected, there is obviously a problem. You can start by checking into your state laws regarding homeschooling. This site has a link for each state. Here in Connecticut, for example, parents who homeschool have to submit forms detailing what the child is learning and how many days are spent on instruction. They also have to keep a portfolio that shows the child is learning what his or her peers in public school are learning. Not doing so can result in truancy. The religious aspect can complicate matters because parents can claim religious freedom and sue the state for exemption. The laws in your state may be different.

Do you have other family members that can offer to help the mother with the child’s education?

If all else fails, you can take the drastic step of reporting the situation to child welfare authorities. They will investigate the situation and take whatever actions they feel are necessary for the best interests of the child. This is a big step, with one possible outcome being the child’s removal to foster care.

JLeslie's avatar

Generally I am very pro-homeschooling. I’ll also mention that I am Jewish and atheist, since you brought up the Christian thing. There is no way for me to know the actual situation with your niece. If she is being isolated completely, that would bother me too. Typically home-schooled kids still have play time with other children, play with kids on their street who might go to public school etc. I think what needs to be looked at is if she is behind in everything for her age group? Maybe she can’t tell time yet, because they have not bothered to teach that particular thing to her yet, but is at level or above level for everything else? Learning to tell time might not be emphasized like it was whan I was little now that everything is digital?

gilbone's avatar

My 10 year old son’s best friend, and all of his siblings, are homeschooled. His parents have formed a group with other homeschool parents, and each day the kids all get taught different subjects by different parents. If one is good at math, he or she teaches math. If one is good with english, he or she teaches English.

They are all christian families that participate. The children are not sheltered, are well-rounded, have “school friends” and learn the same (or better) skillset that traditionally schooled kids do while being protected from the harsh, often dangerous (these days) environment of public schools.

Likeradar's avatar

Most 11 year olds can tell time. It’s a pretty important skill.

Are there extraordinary things your niece can do as a result of homeschooling?

JLeslie's avatar

@graynett did you try to teach her how to tell time when you discovered this? Did she seem incapable of doing it, or just had never been shown? At 11, she should be able to pick it up very quickly once shown I would think.

cwilbur's avatar

Homeschooling, in itself, is neither good nor bad for children. So much depends on the parents’ attitudes, skill sets, and knowledge that it’s impossible to say.

Does your niece’s mother have a curriculum that she’s following, with set objectives for each year? Does the state she live in require annual homeschooling evaluations to be submitted? If the answer to either of those is “no,” that’s a big red flag.

Val123's avatar

I think we need more information. Can she read and at what level? What about math and stuff?

jerv's avatar

Too much missing information.

My first question is, “Is it possible that she actually has a learning disability?”. Dyslexia qualifies. Having a learning disability doesn’t mean one is intellectually deficient. SO does Autism; many kids with HFA or AS have difficulty learning in most schools despite having a high IQ. Many schools have the ability to deal with such children, but not all parents do.

However, if she is merely seeking to sequester her child from “evil and corruption” (the most common reason I hear for wanting to home-school) then I say that that is abuse and think that mom should give the kid up for adoption before running off with whatever cult she is in. If you home school a kid for that reason then they will be totally unprepared for adult life, and may wind up with severe psychological issues.

If you want to raise a kid right, they need to be part of the world. You can teach them how to handle reality and instill a sense of morality in them, but you can’t treat them like animals and lock them in a cage, even a metaphorical one. If a kid (or even an adult) is hidden from the world for too long, they will be a danger to themselves (and possibly others) if they are ever released into the world to fend for themselves.

Nullo's avatar

Home schooling can be a good experience. It takes a lot of time and effort on the parts of parents and whatever other teachers that you might bring in to it.
There are a number of home-schooling organizations, some going so far as to provide teachers, materials, equipment, and other students.

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