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Homeschool Doubting DH/Defensive Me

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This is my 3rd year to hs my 8 yo son. He has NVLD and dyslexia as well as social anxiety. School was very stressful for him, so we started homeschooling in 1st grade. Now things are better for him and he's at grade level for reading, but behind in math, spelling and handwriting. My husband thinks it's because he's homeschooled and we just don't do enough. (We do the state-required 180 school days a year, but a school day for us is 1-1.5 hours of seat work plus going out and doing stuff, audio books, drama classes, karate, cub scouts, interest-led stuff, etc...) My husband thinks our son should be doing and learning the same things as kids in school. You know, maybe part of it IS because we have a flexible, light homeschool schedule, but I'm sure it's just as much that our son has learning disabilities. I'd rather not base whether we're successfully homeschooling or not on whether ds is doing what schooled 3rd graders do. But my dh can't seem to get past that. How do I deal with that? (Especially because like most hsing moms, I have my own panic and doubt periods!)
post #2 of 9
Well, clearly he needs to understand that not everyone learns ideally at the same pace, and that just because other kids are "doing" those things in school it doesn't mean they're proficient in them. In fact, some are so NOT proficient in them when they're expected to be that they get mistakenly labeled as learning disabled, or lazy, and develop a negative self-image. The whole point of homeschooling is that you get to avoid that sort of debilitating nonsense by letting your son develop at his true right pace, which is specific to him.

I suggest John Holt's How Children Learn and How Children Fail. Hopefully others will have suggestions for other literature that would help your husband.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
Well, clearly he needs to understand that not everyone learns ideally at the same pace, and that just because other kids are "doing" those things in school it doesn't mean they're proficient in them.
I agree.

If your DH were to visit a classroom in a school and observe all day he would get to see how much seat work is actually done in one day. On top of that how much of the time sitting at a desk learning is actually being "absorbed" by each child, that's the main thing. If your child were in school they would spend the majority of their day getting in line to go out of the class for lunch, recess, specials (if they have those), bathroom, PE, etc. They would likely have time in class where they get very little one-on-one regarding the core subjects and a child may understand something and have a good grade on a math paper in class with twenty other students but may not truly comprehend what they are doing. My DD would do great on some things in class last year and this year I notice she really isn't as far along in some areas that I thought she was last year. She is now able to comprehend things better because I teach only her and she has time to ask questions, learn something the way she learns best and not the way the whole class learns it best and so on.

My DD is in 1st grade and we do about 1.5-2 hours per day as well. I will admit that when a child is in a classroom IMO it seems like it might be a little easier to do the seated work since they are around all the other kids who are doing it as well (peer pressure) and at home my DD tends to get bored after a while so we can't spend too much straight time on academic work without breaks, snacks, lots of talking and questions. But when she "does" do the work I know when she is grasping the concept whereas I didn't know that when she was in school. I had to go on what the teacher put on her papers.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
I haven't read any of John Holt's books, so I just requested the two mentioned above from the library. You know, my views have been shaped a lot by this board. Although we're not unschoolers, I really enjoy and am inspired by the encouraging posts of the unschooling moms here. It's like an always-available cyber homeschool group. And I often go off and do more reading and research after reading something of interest here at MDC. My husband doesn't have that influence and he won't read a book about homeschooling. He doesn't read non-fiction! He'll read an article I print out, but I don't think it makes a difference. I don't think he thinks I'm a credible judge of education philosophy. He is uncomfortable with untraditional things and while he agreed we'd homeschool, I think he'd prefer if our son was in school. I think he only agreed to homeschooling because school didn't work out--not because he's a fan of homeschooling in general.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
I haven't read any of John Holt's books, so I just requested the two mentioned above from the library. You know, my views have been shaped a lot by this board. Although we're not unschoolers, I really enjoy and am inspired by the encouraging posts of the unschooling moms here. It's like an always-available cyber homeschool group. And I often go off and do more reading and research after reading something of interest here at MDC. My husband doesn't have that influence and he won't read a book about homeschooling. He doesn't read non-fiction! He'll read an article I print out, but I don't think it makes a difference. I don't think he thinks I'm a credible judge of education philosophy. He is uncomfortable with untraditional things and while he agreed we'd homeschool, I think he'd prefer if our son was in school. I think he only agreed to homeschooling because school didn't work out--not because he's a fan of homeschooling in general.

Could the three of you- you, your Dh, and your son- sit down together and map out everyone's expectations, see where everyone meets up, diverges, and then make a plan together to acheive some goals? Your son is old enough to be a participant and your DH maybe more comfortable if he's part of planning how you will get to where you all want to be. Homeschooling isn't just about the ends, it's also about the journey.
post #6 of 9
I'm a high school biology teacher right now, hoping to be a homeschooling mama (a pregnant one, at that) this time next year so my two cents is coming from someone in the public schools. Also, I have the majority of freshman with any kind of modifications/accomodations (i.e. special ed).

We have freshman who are considered "on grade level" who read at a second grade level. Yeah. As FRESHMAN. I have kids who are considered "on grade level" no accomodations/mods who can't answer a question like this:

"When cells divide, they go from one cell to two. If a cell is going to divide, and we start with one cell, how many cells will we end up with?"

They literally do NOT know the answer, even though I gave it to them 5 seconds before.

In the public school system, there is rampant social promotion. Also, because there are so many kids, kids fall through the cracks. Especially kids with any kind of special need, unless they make a stink about it. I have over 100 kids, it can be difficult to create individual modifications for each student.

When you homeschool, you are able to give your child 100% of your attention. If he isn't at grade level, at least you KNOW about it. There is no rule that says a kid must be doing X,Y, and Z by 8. Those are guidelines. You know your child, and if he's learning, that's all that matters!
post #7 of 9
I'm wondering where the middle ground can be found. While we can spin fear about grade levels into some kind of narrow minded school centric perspective. Another way to look at it is that he doesn't want your son to be in a position where if he needed to return to school that he couldn't function and that he'd like him to have a reasonable opportunity to learn academics so he doesn't struggle with feeling behind.

While we all know homeschooling is more efficient, I wonder if it is realistic especially with a kid with learning disabilities to ask them to learn a full day of academics in an hour. How does your son react to the academics he has now? If he does fine with it, I'd seriously consider looking for a middle ground where everyone can get some of what they want. Even just another half an hour or an hour a day would allow might address your husband's concerns AND still allow plenty of time for the homeschooling lifestyle of activities that you value too. I think it is really possible to have it all here.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I think having a family planning meeting is a great idea. And I also think it is reasonable and possible for us to homeschool for 2 hours a day instead of 1-1.5. I think my husband wants to see us add more projects and art and science experiments and stuff like that. I'm just so focused on the 3Rs that I don't really do anything formal in those other areas. Here's what we normally do:

ds reads a reader to me
we do a lesson in the Explode the Code workbook
we do a lesson or worksheet in Math-U-See
we work with a dry erase board for a few spelling words out of Sequential Spelling

Also my son takes karate twice a week, is in Cub Scouts, and takes a drama class once a week. He's going to be in a children's play at our community theater in February.
post #9 of 9
I was just about to post a very similar problem. You are not alone. I have an 8yo and this is her 3rd year of HSing. I am a former PS teacher. If it was totally up to me I'd be unschooling but I am with a HS charter because my husband wants us to be part of a school. Our charter is mostly hands off but my daughter does have to take state tests to be in the program. My husband says he likes that we are hsing but he also says he wants our dd to keep up, or in her case be head of, ps students. Sorry I'm going on so much, I'm really upset because about an hour ago he asked me if dd would have a REAL TEACHER for math next year. I was totally thrown for a loop. I said, "what do you mean a REAL TEACHER?" He says he wants to make sure that she's doing what he did in 4th grade next year. Mind you he's a computer scientist and skipped a grade in school. I have state certification to teach math up to middle school. His comment made me feel like he doesn't have faith in me.
I don't know if this is the same situation but in the past my husband has admitted that he has concerns because he has never known anyone that was homeschooled. I have to remind myself that this is why he says things like that that just infuriate me.

Another book I recommend, which I'm trying to talk DH into reading is Deschooling Gently by Tammy Takahashi.

-vac70
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