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former homeschoolers now going to school -- 2nd term

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
I decided the old thread was too long and that we needed a new one! Let's re-introduce ourselves and say how things are going.

My DDs homeschooled in a relaxed way and then started school for the first time at the ages of 10 and 12. This is the second school year for the younger one and she's taken to it like a duck to water. This is the first school year for my older DD (she homeschooled alone last year) and it is bumpier for her. They are in 6 and 7th grades and attend the same school, which is a small, traditional public school that we really like.

I'm really loving having a real break and feel much fresher as a parent, and I'm going to take a couple of classes at a community college this term!

How is everyone else doing?
post #2 of 101
My son homeschooled for preschool and kindergarten and started 1st this year. He really likes school although over the break he said he wants to homeschool again next year, which we might do.
He was behind in reading at the start of the school year but is caught up now. He's great at math. His spelling is actually pretty good relative to the class, which I don't get since he struggles with reading. He plays soccer at recess every day. He hasn't made any good friends, but there are a couple boys he has playdates with.
post #3 of 101
we will be here soon with you all... in process of getting daughter into our local charter school right now.
post #4 of 101
I don't know yet if I will be joining this tribe, but since there is a chance we might I'd love to follow along and hear your experiences.

Ds1 is currently in third grade, and has hs'd since kindergarten. We have been very, very, very relaxed. Pretty much unschooling, although it had more to do with my disorganization than a particular philosophy. He is a super social kid and despite our almost daily attendance at classes and park days and such, he is asking to go to school. Insisting, actually. So we are considering enrolling him in our local public school so he can get to know all the neighborhood kids and see the same kids every day. I brought him with me on the tour, and even though he saw all the kids sitting at a desk in total silence filling out worksheets, he is all hot to go.

I'm worried academically. He reads pretty well, but spelling and writing is really bad. He understands grade level math on a conceptual level, but is pretty behind when it comes to actually doing a worksheet or anything on paper. He is advanced in science. History is a mish mash - he can tell you about some things his peers would know about, but wouldn't have a clue about others.

Our plan is to get him a math tutor in the next month or two - he loves math and I think I am too boring for him. I'm working on trying to up his Language Arts skills. I am very very nervous about him being really behind when he starts 4th grade in September.

Ds2 is in K right now and has never gone to preschool. We are considering a small private Montessori school for him, as he would be really lonely without ds1 at home, and his learning style and personality seem to fit better with what I saw at the Montessori school rather than the public. This of course depends on him getting in and us getting some financial aid. I'm not worried about him academically, but rather adjusting to a full day schedule and dealing with authority figures, something he's not too keen on right now.

Anyhow, I'd love to hear how others adjusted academically, socially, emotionally, etc. I adore having my kids home, and the idea of them being gone 30 hours a week kills me, but then again, I am woozy with the idea of all that time to myself!
post #5 of 101
Heh heh, Oceanbaby, we're almost the opposite of you. My kids have been in school for almost 2 years now, and it's going.... okay. I'm happy with the socialization and I'm so happy that my kids have been able to make close friendships. I also am enjoying time to myself. But I'm not happy with the academics. My kids have been losing ground academically since they entered school, particularily in math. Not only have several family members noticed my children's lack of (previously solid) math skills, but standardized test scores have been stagnant since my kids started school.

I realize that I could simply work with them after school, but it feels like too much to expect my kids to go to school all day and then come home and work on more academics. They have better things to do- like PLAY! I'm also getting fed up with the amount of homework. It's not overwhelming, but it's what I consider to be busywork. I've started giving my children answers to their homework because I'm tired of working with them for over an hour on assignments I believe aren't doing anything to help them academically. *sigh* Some days I spend longer helping them with homework than I spent with them on academic subjects when we were homeschooling. The inefficiency is driving me nuts.

Anyway... I *think* we're homeschooling again next year. But we're finishing out this year in school, partly because I'm TEACHING at my kids' school this year. For the most part, I think their school is great. But I can tell you that participating in staff meetings with the other teachers has really opened my eyes to aspects of the schooling experience I hadn't previously thought much about.

I'm thinking about approaching the school director about a homeschooling program. It's a charter school, so they have some latitude with the programs that are offered. I know that if we homeschool next year, we'd all probably love a 1- or 2- day/week program, but I'm not sure what that would look like. Is there anyone here who participates in that sort of program? How does it work? Are the kids there for specific subjects? Do the HSed kids stick together, or do they participate in classes with full-time students?
post #6 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
but spelling and writing is really bad. He understands grade level math on a conceptual level, but is pretty behind when it comes to actually doing a worksheet or anything on paper.
He sounds a lot like my younger DD! The first month or two of school were painful because she wrote so slow. She couldn't get all her work done at school because she wrote so much slower than the other kids and, at first, needed several hours of help at night to complete her school work.

Once she got up to speed (which was a gradual process) she spent less than 30 minutes a night on homework.

The math freaked her out at first. The school uses Saxon and the size of the book, transferring to paper from a text book, etc. really took some help.

The plus side is that her writing and spelling are now light years ahead of where they were homeschooling. Her ability to do regular math on paper is super. She is really getting a better, more well rounded education at school.

I'd plan to step back on extra activities for awhile when first starting school and expecting to help with homework for awhile.

BTW, DD loves school and makes straight As.
post #7 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post

I'm thinking about approaching the school director about a homeschooling program. It's a charter school, so they have some latitude with the programs that are offered. I know that if we homeschool next year, we'd all probably love a 1- or 2- day/week program, but I'm not sure what that would look like. Is there anyone here who participates in that sort of program? How does it work? Are the kids there for specific subjects? Do the HSed kids stick together, or do they participate in classes with full-time students?
We have a variety of parent-partnership public school/home school programs around here, where kids do classes on a public school campus of just homeschoolers. Some are specific days and some let you pick the classes and schedule. They all function a little differently depending on the school district and how they were started, funded and organized.

You might post on the LAHB forum asking about these types of programs because many home schoolers use them.

Another option available here and in many districts is to go to the school part time as a home schooler. For example, I could send my kids for gym class, reading or whatever and pick the days and subjects (provided there was space in the classroom).
post #8 of 101
If the worst case scenario was me having to help him a lot, I could deal with that. Hopefully that will be the case. What I'm really worried about is him being teased, or feeling bad about himself, or having a teacher single him out and say he needs to be in a remedial class. It is helpful to hear that kids can enjoy school even if they struggle to catch up!

We have another 7 months to get him up to speed, if we even decide to put him in school. I'd rather they not go to school, but I do have a feeling that ds1 would really enjoy it.
post #9 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
What I'm really worried about is him being teased, or feeling bad about himself, or having a teacher single him out and say he needs to be in a remedial class.
none of that happened for either of my kids.

my other Dd has mild sn and I was worried about teasing, but most people are quite nice to her. Her teachers all like her because she is quiet and does her work.
post #10 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
It is helpful to hear that kids can enjoy school even if they struggle to catch up!
My dd began 2nd grade in public school last year. She was reading well, but without confidence. She could only write in capital letters , because she refused to write in lower case for me. She also refused to practice reading with me. Sigh.

We did a crash course in practicing lower case letters over the summer, and she jumped in (she also had some anxiety issues to overcome, which took precedence over academic issues). She caught up so quickly with the writing and reading, and was far ahead of grade level by the end of the year. No teasing about her abilities, although she did notice that other kids could write much more quickly than her--but that just motivated her to work at it more (she's a bit competitive )

Third grade this year, and things are going really well! Friends, involvement in the gifted class (no formal gifted program at this grade). She doesn't even know the "Explorers" class is a gifted class, but she loves Explorers class! Her teacher approached her and 2 friends yesterday, telling them that they are her "pride and joy" (she probably tells that to all the kids, but it made dd's day!). I her school.
post #11 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
If the worst case scenario was me having to help him a lot, I could deal with that. Hopefully that will be the case. What I'm really worried about is him being teased, or feeling bad about himself, or having a teacher single him out and say he needs to be in a remedial class. It is helpful to hear that kids can enjoy school even if they struggle to catch up!

We have another 7 months to get him up to speed, if we even decide to put him in school. I'd rather they not go to school, but I do have a feeling that ds1 would really enjoy it.
My son was behind in reading at the beginning of the year, and sent to remedial reading classes (5 of 22 kids in his class go!) I don't think anyone has ever teased him about it, and he really likes it. Now that he has caught up, I think they'll take him out of the class but he doesn't want to stop going! It's really not an issue for him. *I* felt bad about him being behind in reading, but I've let go of that. Last year we did what was right for him then, and this is what's right for him now.
post #12 of 101
Thread Starter 
So many kids are in pullout programs for so many things that it is difficult for the other kids to keep track of who goes to gifted, to reading, to chat with the social worker, etc.
post #13 of 101
Well dd had her first day for this term at the charter high school she attends part-time. Since it is block schedule she is beginning two new classes. Sadly, the science teacher she loved last term has moved away. :-( Her new science teacher introduced herself, handed out books and then told them all to entertain themselves quietly for the rest of the 90 minute period. My dd was pretty bummed she'd left her book in the car. She told me, Mom, first days are busy I won't have time to read! LOL I asked her impression of the new teacher. She thought she seemed very tired.

She liked her Spanish class. The teacher kept them engaged and learning all period.

She is leaning more to going back to full-time homeschooling. I think it would be a good move for her. It is tough getting group learning situations together for her as a homeschooler, but even at this accelerated high school, the group learning is far from ideal.

She is having trouble feeling socially connected to school. She knows a few kids and they seem genuinely friendly toward her but they aren't friends. We are working through some communication and interpersonal skills issues, trying to help her be aware of the social dynamics and begin to see things she might work on.

We'll see how it goes!
post #14 of 101
I was going to post this in homeschooling, but I thought this might be a more appropriate thread. I thought this was pretty funny:

So I signed ds1 up for a Spanish Club that meets after school at our local elementary, the one he will attend if he ends up going in the fall. It starts at 2:35, and school gets out at 2:30. We could have walked, but I was going to run a bunch of errands with ds2 while ds1 was in class so I drove. BIG mistake! OMG, I had no idea how to negotiate the whole parking pick up/drop off thing. It was a madhouse! There was no parking in the small lot to the right, and to the left was either the staff parking and driveway, or the pick up/drop off lane that had about 20 cars lined up.

I needed to just run ds1 in there since it was his first day so he would know where it was, and there was no parking anywhere. I saw a few spots in staff parking, and figured it would be safe since it was the end of the day. So we walk up just as the bell goes off, and they open the doors to the courtyard/access area of the school. Crowds of parents, kids everywhere, wow. I was a bit overwhelmed. So I get ds1 into his class, and sheepishly go back out to my car. The problem is that now the only way for me to get out is to drive out the staff driveway because I can't back up enough to get in line to out the regular driveway. So I drive out, and there is the principal directing traffic where the two driveways intersect. She motions for me to roll down my window, and tells me nicely that I'm not supposed to use the staff driveway. I tell her that I'm not a parent at the school, I'm so sorry, etc. And then I finally get out of there. The most hilarious part is that apparently it was Pajama Day at school because all the kids were in pjs, and the principal herself was in a big fluffy robe. It was all very surreal for me.

I am a city girl, it's not like I can't deal with traffic or crowds. But boy, did it drive home how completely ignorant I am about the whole school pick up/drop off procedure. Ds won't be the only one with a lot to learn! (Ds1 LOVED the class, btw.)
post #15 of 101
This thread is very encouraging for me to read.

My children are 8 and almost 12, we have been homeschooling for 7 years now and Im SICK OF IT. I work full time, my husband works pt and is in college ft (to be an elementary school teacher) and I just cant do it all anymore. It's too much to do anymore. I am tired. Im an RN and I work nights and all the hs activity and groups are during the day when Im sleeping so my kids are missing out on friendships, etc. There are no more kids in my area where we live so even though they have each other and are happy kids and do socialize well, they need more.

I am ready to let them go but I am also scared to death!! The thought if sending my oldest to middle school for the first time is scary to me. I dont let her know any of this though. She is excited to go (mainly to make friends and I think the responsibility will be good for her) but scared of the work load. She is *very* behind in math, she hates math, is scared of it, and seems to retain nothing (lol much like me at her age, even though I went on to college and made As in college level math).

I guess what is freaking me out is the whole middle school thing. My husband, in his student teaching is always hearing nightmare stories and seeing not so good things in the middle schools especially.

So I guess I'm looking to hear your experiences of hsing and then sending your child to middle school. I think its a hard age.
post #16 of 101
<So I guess I'm looking to hear your experiences of hsing and then sending your child to middle school. I think its a hard age.>

You're right, it is a hard age, but this is true regardless of how your child is educated. For my dd, her self esteem wasn't that great when HS'ing either, but after a semester in public school she seems, overall, happier.

I was really nervous too about middle school. We had not planned to send our dd this year, just ds. But dd begged to go. And she LOVES it.

Sure, there are things she tells me that make me shake my head (for example a couple of kids got suspended for 'sexting' a girl took a photo and the boys and her got suspended) BUT, this was also a good learning experience for her because they had an assembly about it and my dd learned that these kids are being charged now with a sexual crime, very unfortunate but that's how life is these days in schools!) Also, they have drug sniffing dogs fairly often to sniff lockers. It's unfortunate that this kind of thing is common now. But it's good that they address it, I feel better her going there knowing these things at least.

It's also not like the homeschoolers we met were perfect angels. Alot of them had problems and were not the kind of kids I wanted my kids to be friends with.

Overall, I was fairly happy with the school. My dd is severely dyslexic though and I had to put her through extensive testing to get her an IEP so she could get help, it's all integrated now too which is wonderful.
post #17 of 101
My 7 yr old wants to start going to a local private school. We are considering enrolling her in the next few weeks. We still haven't decided. She went to school throughout preschool from age 2-5 and then kindergarten at another school in the area. Now she wants to go back. I'm hoping she can go back at least for the remainder of this year. I have a teenager who will remain at home and a baby in the house so I need a break. And DD really wants to return to school and is asking to go back on a daily basis at this point. So she definitely isn't going to be forced to do it.

I'm subscribing to this thread just in case we are back in this position again in a few weeks.
post #18 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by marilynmama View Post
So I guess I'm looking to hear your experiences of hsing and then sending your child to middle school. I think its a hard age.
My son will start 9th grade in the fall and wants to go to the local comm college for early college. I'm very nervous about it because it's the same as public school, some place he has never gone before. But I know it will be a good experience for him and he's old enough to know better on a lot of things and is pretty mature for his age.
post #19 of 101


We are making progress.

Alex is doing a little better, finally had a SST Meeting not last wk but the week before, They have started the evaluation process which should be done before March 8th since that is when one of the evaluation teachers called and told me we will be having a meeting to discuss the results.Her teachers modified her homework and she now has til the following monday to turn it in instead of on friday like everyone else. She now only has 5 spellling words instead of 10,easier math pages.

We are going to just stick out the rest of the year since there are only 5more months of school left.

post #20 of 101
Who all here is thinking of going back to homeschooling again??

Half year analysis: public school isn't the best fit for my kids, either of them. My dd loves school though, mostly for social reasons. I don't know what to do now though because she's pretty adamant about staying.

DD carries an IEP with a 'specific learning disability' and I'm not very impressed with the services she gets. They are spoonfeeding her, not really HELPING her in the areas she needs help.

DS hates school and complains bitterly about it. He's on the autism spectrum and very bright, but he does not learn the way they teach, at all and he's starting to space out and retreat inside of himself in the classroom
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