Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Wednesday, January 19, 2005, 7:00
Teen Panel: School or Homeschool?
St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, 8101 Beechmont Ave.

Submitted by Debbie W. This meeting is to help families with older kids make a decision about whether they continue homeschooling or choose school. I have 3 older kids who have already made the decision. My first son homeschooled all the way through high school. My second son choose high school and my oldest daughter is now a senior at Batavia. Both of these students homeschooled up until their 8th grade year. Now I have an 8th grader evaluating her options. I anticipate the evening will be helpful for her. Come hear directly from teens who have already made up their minds. There will be a mix of experiences. Any age is welcome to attend the meeting- the meeting is targeted for parents and older kids. Please bring individual questions you may have for the teen panel on 3X5 cards. Also- please bring a snack to share. I will provide beverages. If the weather looks challenging- be in touch with me by cell phone to know whether or not we need to reschedule. You are welcome to bring friends and if you know of families who are in the opposite camp; in school now and thinking of homeschooling in the high school years- do invite them to join. Directions: From the North or East- get off at Amelia exit off of 275 (the one past Eastgate Mall). Turn Right on Beechmont. Pass lights at: Mt. Carmel Tobasco Rd., Williams Rd, Independence and Fox Chase Apt, Hamblen, Cherry Grove Plaza, Nordyke and 8 mile- now look for a church on the left with a huge"A"frame. It's across from a Blockbuster. If you get to Nagel - you've gone too far. Coming from the south- you'd get off at 5 Mile exit and turn L, traveling all the way to Beechmont. Turn R on Beechmont. pass Forrest and Wolfangle and Nagel and see church on Right.

What an interesting evening. Jay, Brett, Grant and I went to the meeting in hopes of helping Brett with the big decision he is facing about attending highschool or continuing to homeschool. Brett, Grant and Jay had to leave about 20 minutes before it ended to get to basketball practice, but they gleened a lot of insight from what they heard. Ironically, Brett and I came away from the program with the same impressions! I told Hannah and Emily when I got home that to me it seemed that there were 2 reasons the kids that chose to attend highschool had made that choice. I acutally made the two of them try to guess the reasons and they guessed right! It was 1) was friends...either to make more friends or because their homeschooling friends were also going to school or 2) they wanted to play sports. Not one child on the panel said they chose school because they feared they couldn't learn what they needed to at home or that they felt their parents couldn't teach them. When Brett came home from practice he came into the family room and said almost the EXACT same thing to me and Hannah....Hannah busted out laughing and told him I had told her the same thing when I got home. Brett also added that he felt what Christopher (a homeschooler who decided against going to highschool) said was true and that he agreed with him. Hopefully that means Brett is leaning towards staying home! Either way, we will support his choice!


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a brilliant idea to have a meeting for that. My homeschool group has a few kids who are thinking it over too. I bet it would be useful for them to talk with other kids who made similar decisions. Was there any format to the meeting that was particularly helpful which you could recommend?

Laura said...


The way she had it set up, the kids sat at a table (about 8 across) in the front of the room. They had nametags in front of them. The ones with black names where those who chose highschool and those with red names chose to continue homeschooling (made it easy for people to know who was who). She started out with 2 questions for them each to answer ...state your homescooling experience (for example homeschooled since 2nd grade, always homescooled, etc) and what you are currently doing (in highschool, still homescooling, other) and why you made that choice. After that she just opened it to the room for questions and people either asked them to everyone or a specific panelist. Things went well. She did give us a couple of handouts with resources for parents. I can email the info to you if you would like.

Improvements I would have made:
1)microphones or a room with better aucostics. Sometimes it was hard to hear the kids.
2) I would have tried to get at least one panelist who had homeschooled all the way through and was in college (so the kids in attendance could see that homeschooling can lead to college)
3)I would have had at least one private school kid on the panel. All of the kids on our panel were attending public school and all of them said they felt they were free to return to homeschooling at any time. I think that the answer may have been different from a child whose parents were paying tuition (at least that is how I feel since Brett is considering a school that tuition cost $7000 and I can't see me letting him come back home after a couple of weeks if I have paid that much money. I think I would make him stick out the year and then stay home the following year).