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former homeschoolers now going to school -- 2nd term - Page 2

post #21 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneezykids View Post
Who all here is thinking of going back to homeschooling again??
We are!
Of course, that decision could change. As of now, dd is certain she wants to homeschool full time next year. She likes the school and finished her two courses last semester with high 'A's. However, she sees the opportunity for more exploration in topics of interest at home, and potentially more interesting collaborations with homeschooled friends. Being held to the same pace as everyone else - whether it is deadly dull or a scramble to keep up - is wearing on her.

This semester has been interesting so far. She switched one of her classes last week so she is still adjusting to her new class. I haven't seen any graded work yet from that class, so not sure how she is doing yet. She seems to have connected more with other girls at lunch. She definitely enjoys going to school, but has now learned the significance and joy of a snow day.

There have been definite benefits to attending school, but at her age the benefits to homeschooling seem to be coming out ahead. The scary part is that if we leave she may lose her spot at an innovative charter school. They are growing in leaps and bounds and will probably be enrollment by lottery should she want to return. Sigh.......decisions.
post #22 of 101
Ponygirl, how old is your dd?

So she is going part time to the charter school?


I wish we had that option here, dd mostly enjoys her science and social studies classes.

DD was teary yesterday, she keeps having a dream about a homeschooled friend (now in comm. college ..we're good friends with this family) and said she does miss homeschooling..alot. She's obviously conflicted, but as the year goes on, she appreciates the free time she had while HS'ing to do things she she loves.
post #23 of 101
Just wanted to say thanks for this thread. We are an always-homeschooled (relaxed/eclectic) family who is heading towards school, likely private, next year. I am bordering on burnout and wanting to go back to my career, and I really think my kids, two boys and a little girl, could use a shift of climate and some more academic structure, at least for a little while. We are pretty social homeschoolers, so that is not so much the issue as structure, variety, and a break from the family dynamic. My girl, just 3.5, is just so excited to go to school, probably to get a break from her big brothers - who are awesome - but are boys nonetheless!

Anyway, I have been feeling positive about this change, and I love to hear that you all are staying attentive to each individual person as they go through school. I feel like school might 'work' for some of my kids, and maybe not others, and that homeschooling is always a possibility in the future. We will take this year by year, the same as we have always with homeschooling.
post #24 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneezykids View Post
Ponygirl, how old is your dd?

So she is going part time to the charter school?
She is 11. She attends school for 2 classes. They are on a block schedule, only 4 classes a day with an entire years course completed in a semester, so she is there half-time. They used to have MWF and TTh classes which would work better for us. I think part of our school burnout is how it chops up the day, every day. It would be ideal to have a couple of days at home. Maybe we need to wait and try school when she can do dual enrollment college courses. LOL

She told me today she wishes she could homeschool full-time again now. I told her to go to school and see how she feels. I asked her to make a pro and con list for us to discuss. She likes school. She gets good grades. Kids are nice to her. But, she misses having more control over her own time and her learning.

School has been broken up a bunch by snow days this semester. We'll see how she feels if and when she gets back to a regular schedule again!

I'm planning on discussing with the head of school the chances of returning to this school if she doesn't attend next year (or leaves soon). It just may be that school will have to wait until college for her - we'll see!
post #25 of 101

OP from the first hs to ps thread

It was a nice break but we are ready to get back to homeschooling this fall! Actually we've already started doing some online classwork afterschool that we'll add to over the summer and fall. My three girls were back in public school this year after two years' homeschooling but we are definitely headed back to hs fulltime. I was all ready to pull them out after Christmas break, but my DH is the less-impulsive one and wanted them to finish out the year--even though he was against them going to ps in the first place! We are doing our home school through Classical Liberal Arts Academy. Just love it! I'm happy to have found my motivation and excitement to hs again. PS has been over all fine...no problems for my 10yo, few difficulties for my 12yo (a few annoyances not really problems) and a few bumps for my 6yo that I will be happy to leave behind at the end of the school year.
post #26 of 101
Hi everyone, nice that you're all still here! I'm really needing support right now.

School is NOT going well for all my kids. My 12 year old DD loves sixth grade and has transitioned super well, and is very happy and well adjusted. BUT I do notice that she reads less now and is more stressed in general, because of not getting as much sleep and having more pressure and all the damned BUSY WORK and crap that is totally unnecessary. But still, she is loving school.

Our first grade DD likes class, but is also really missing her little sister and little brother (who are home with me.) She has a mean teacher and I also notice that like her sister, my previously voracious reader has more or less stopped reading much on her own. In their school, the kids only read to get rewards, so any intrinsic and internal motivation just vanishes. It's AWFUL. Just like the Alfie Kohn book "Punished by Rewards." Just like that.

Worst of all is our 9 yo son, who is really struggling. His handwriting and composition are terrible, by school (or any) standards. Since he cannot write, and more or less refuses to just practice his penmanship, he is really struggling to keep up in class. And this is one truly brilliant kid, just incredibly intelligent and curious and on fire. He has also completely stopped reading on his own, and previously had been a VORACIOUS reader, because as far as he is concerned, there is no point to reading except to earn "points" and "rewards." So all his budding love of reading has been nipped, because it's all about rewards in school. The kids are being told that they cannot learn without rewards and punishments!! It's like my worst nightmare about schools coming true.

But more serious, our son is having trouble dealing with bullies and kids who get him riled up. He is VERY competitive, and while that serves him well in sports (he is an elite level competitive swimmer), it does NOT serve him well in interpersonal contact. It's funny, because he is a really, really nice, kind, gentle and generous person, but it's also easy to get his goat. Anyway, DS has been called to the principal's office three times now. Once for being disrespectful and rowdy during "reading class" (as if you need to be taught to read!), once for swearing outside on the playground, and today, for getting into a fight with a kid. Today there was a kid who was verbally bullying him, and taunting him, and DS got his dander up, and ended up punching the kid. (The kid took part of my son's lunch and threw it away and I guess that was the end of DS's rope, and he punched the kid.) The mutual bullying and stupidity had been going on unabated for quite a while and it finally escalated after this kid took part of DS's lunch.

Anyway, I do NOT condone hitting, for ANY reason. But then, my son received in-school suspension tomorrow, which means he must spend the entire school day sitting in the office, at a table, doing assigned work. No recess, no lunch, no nothing. I'm thinking, this is really NOT useful and cannot possibly help. Yes, you have to have consequences for hitting, but is this appropriate? And really, what will happen to our son's love of school and of learning? He was SO excited to start school, and it has turned into such a crappy experience, partly due to his own poor behavior on occasion, and partly due to lack of academic preparation (I'm pretty unschooling), partly due to other kids' cruel behaviors, and partly due to the fact that he does just not fit into a public school mold. AT ALL. He even got kicked out of preschool way back when. He was homesick and used to hide at recess and it drove the teachers ballistic.

In school suspension. And I actually like our principal. She is intelligent, understanding, doesn't take sides, and is a well-educated and nice woman. I know she cannot allow fighting, I totally get that. But how will DS be able to stand it, sitting in one room ALL DAY, and not even allowed to get up? To me, it feels like I'm putting him in prison. It really, really upsets me. I know he punched a kid in the stomach, and that's really bad. I'm just upset about my little guy being forced to sit in the office and do worksheets for like seven hours. I really feel like I'm letting something bad be done to him.

Homeschooling was bad for us lately too, though. I was totally burned out (we have five kids and the baby just turned one.) I was out of ideas. I was sick of being isolated and the kids were lonely and bored. The HSing community here is awful----either super conservative religious or totally permissive unparenting---and there is absolutely ZERO to do also. My son was bored out of his brains. It takes me so much work just getting everyone fed every day and the laundry done and whatever else it takes to run the house, that I had/have little time and energy left for HSing and driving little people all over creating for activities. Activities which, furthermore, we had a hard time with financially, since DH just got a pay cut.

I LOVE having the three older kids in school and having peaceful days with my little ones. But how do I know whether to call it quits with public school for DS? How could I pull him out and have him hanging around the house bored again? And me SICK of having him hanging around? God, I really do need some peace and quiet. Seriously.

It's been really hard. I HATE HATE HATE the idea that so many public schools are based on: "Kids do not want to learn and cannot learn on their own. We need to force them to learn and reward and punish them, and then they will learn." It's awful! It's just so wrong and backwards! Kids are dying to learn, and will learn unless someone (like the school) tells them that they're not capable of learning without being forced.

I'm really upset right now. And I'm sick of my kids not even having time to read anymore, and being so tired at night that they can only listen to one chapter before they pass out. They are spending all their best time and energy every day, full time, on something that is just not worth it. Plus, even though I am desperate for quiet time, I do miss them, and I HATE that they are, for the first time, separated from each other all day. DS really missed his baby brother all day.

Sorry for the novel. I'm dreading tomorrow. But I'm not sure that overall, pulling DS out of school is right either. I don't want to send the message that whenever there are challenges, we just quit. He actually likes his fourth grade teacher, and loves his viola class. But it's such a restrictive, confining environment, and there are 35 kids in his class and he's just lost.
post #27 of 101
freestyler, I'm sorry to hear that your ds is having such a tough time

35 kids in a class is HUGE! That is nearly twice the number of students in my 3rd grader's class.

And, where are the adults when this classmate is throwing away your ds's lunch? I can't imagine that going unnoticed at my dc's school. Most of the kids are sitting and eating, and a child who gets up is noticed right away--and approached to see if they need something or need to use the bathroom or whatever. Where is the supervision??

I think you have some very valid concerns about your dc's school. However, I also hear considerable anti-school bias in your post. I would just caution you to try to separate out the issues--in what ways is this school failing to do its job, and in what ways is school maybe just not a great fit for your family. Because, if the teachers and administrators get the idea that you are anti-school, they might not take your concerns as seriously, kwim? Things like reading class and rewards are pretty standard in a lot of functioning schools. Boatloads of homework or busywork would be issues I would probably bring up--but supervision and bullying would be my first priority.
post #28 of 101
Hi Freestyler,


I think it is possible you are over-reacting to the inschool suspension? It seems like a reasonable consequence to hitting someone. The only part that concerns me: is the other child (the lunch thrower) also in in-school suspension? I would expect he is - and if not, I would would be ticked that my child was bullied, fought back, got in trouble and the bullier got squat. The other thing that concerns me is you said "no lunch". I assume you mean no lunch break - not "no food". I would be horrified if my child were denied food at mid-day. I would call and say "in school suspension is fine - but he must be allowed to eat". If they refused this reasonable request, the proverbial poop would hit the fan.

Otherwise, I am just going to brainstorm some ideas and hope some of them work for you.

Can you switch schools?
Can some children remain in school while some HS?
Can you do part time schooling?

if the above are not options, and you consider returning to HS, can you do the following to ensure you get a break and cut down on bickering?

-day camp during the summer. Seriously.

-After school care

-Spring break day camps.

-send a child or two to grandmas or sisters or ??? for a visit for a couple of days a few times a year.

It is possible you may be able to cobble together enough time off and time apart from siblings that some squabbles end. You will have to plan this, though. May sure you have it in place.

Good luck!

Kathy
post #29 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by freestyler View Post

Sorry for the novel. I'm dreading tomorrow. But I'm not sure that overall, pulling DS out of school is right either. I don't want to send the message that whenever there are challenges, we just quit. He actually likes his fourth grade teacher, and loves his viola class. But it's such a restrictive, confining environment, and there are 35 kids in his class and he's just lost.
I agree with this, but I also think there is a time to cut your losses.

You can try and fix things ( have you?) but if that does not work, there is a point when getting out is the best option. It is similar to all things in life - relationships, jobs, hobbies, etc.

FWIW: looking back I think most of my teachers were nice and that I liked them. I barely remember them. Bullies, though, I remember vividly and I still bear the scars.
post #30 of 101
Yeh, bullies are awful and I don't want DS to become one. His behavior since being in school has really gone downhill, and even blissfully unaware DH sees this. Oh, DS is allowed lunch today, just not in the lunch area.


And the kid who took DS's lunch, I don't think much happened to him. I don't even know that his parent got a phonecall. I'll have to ask the principal about that the next time I see her. But in general, they are pretty strict over there, so I'm sure he got in trouble too. What an obnoxious thing to do. It just isn't right.

It's hard to separate out the issues. I'm just hating the whole package right now. Especially the lack of supervision when there are such crowded classes, and crowded lunch area. The principal even told me that the teacher was not in the room when the kids started squabbling during class (which then later escalated at lunch, and still no adult present.) What the hell? Aren't there adults around?? I know there have been huge budget cuts here, but can't they keep the kids safe and orderly? I have a bad feeling about it all. These things should not have been allowed to escalate in the first place. I'm about it.

And I am also concerned about the forced learning part of things. I'm just seeing it destroy my kids' desire to read and learn on their own. It's bad.

If we were to return to HSing next year, or sooner, I really don't yet have anything in place at all. We don't have the $$$ for summer camps or a lot of special classes and activities. One salary and seven people to feed and clothe....not a lot is left over, even though we're very careful. I certainly can take the kids to museums and this nearby nature-based class, and the flying field, and other stuff, but I'm also pretty burned out on driving them around and having them fuss because no one can agree on what to do, EVER. If the nine year old wants to go fly R/C planes all morning, what are the rest of us supposed to do? If the little ones want to go to the beach and DS just wants to work on his model plane, then what? It can be paralyzing sometimes, and we end up doing nothing. It was a nightmare, when no one wanted to agree about stuff. The little kids are so easy. NO AGENDAS. Just wanna hang out with Mom all day.

It's all very stressful.
post #31 of 101


freestyler~ Wow 35kids in a class, in Ca most schools have a limit of 20 or so kids in a class. I'd be upset that they are not allowing your son lunch at the in school suspension.


post #32 of 101
Arrrgh, stupid school. Today my son got his recess taken away because he didn't remember to bring in a signed form from us about parent-teacher conferences. The teacher sent a form home last Friday that said no conference is necessary, and I was supposed to sign it and send it back. And I planned to do it tomorrow morning when I paid my bills. There was NO DEADLINE ON IT, like send it back at such-and-such a day. So anyway, today DS gets no recess. And has to write a long letter to Mom and Dad saying to please sign the paper and send it back to school. What a load of CRAP!!! I've just about had enough of that school, I can tell you. What IS IT with their punishment and reward mentality??

I'm this close to going back to HSing next year. If it isn't going to destroy DS I would like the kids to finish the year (maybe) but we cannot continue this insanity next year.
post #33 of 101
You could send in a note:

"As there was no deadline on the from, I planned to do it tomorrow when I do my paperwork.

Ds did not "forget" to bring in the form - I did not sign it - and I do not think it was appropriate that he was punnished for something I did not do.

I feel losing recess was unecessary and extreme, however it is in the past and there is nothing I can do about it. Ds is not to write a letter to his parents asking them to sign the form (p.s. your form is attached) - as he has done nothing wrong.

If you have any concerns, please call me so we can discuss it

Sincerely,

freestyler

-------------------

(gently) I do think you dropped the ball slightly by not returning the form pronto. The teacher cannot read your mind - she does not know when you fill out forms, nor does she know that Ds did not forget it, but that you simply did not do it yet. She should have found out, though, before moving on to punishment.

More importantly, you do not trust the school or think they are reasonable. As they are not reasonable, you need to act accordingly. As long as it is not unethical or harmful, be oh-so-compliant and on the ball with them. You do not know how they are going to react if you do something (like not fill out a form quickly) and you do not want your children to face consequences for something you did or did not do.

Good luck!

kathy
post #34 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by freestyler View Post
Today my son got his recess taken away because he didn't remember to bring in a signed form from us about parent-teacher conferences. The teacher sent a form home last Friday that said no conference is necessary, and I was supposed to sign it and send it back. And I planned to do it tomorrow morning when I paid my bills. There was NO DEADLINE ON IT, like send it back at such-and-such a day.
it is odd that it didn't have a date on it, but honestly I would have signed it that minute and put it right back into the folder/backpack (whatever the child uses).

It takes less than a minute to sign something and the longer things lay around, the more likely they are to get lost.

It sounds like there are multiple, difficult issues with the school. I can see why you are frustrated.
post #35 of 101
I'm more than frustrated. Sad and disgusted too. Yesterday I dropped by to return a book to my son's classroom, and I found my son not in class, but out in the common area, by himself, sitting in a little cubicle type desk (you know, the kind with walls), looking forlorn. He was being forced to sit out there by himself, writing a summary of the Three Little Pigs (HE IS IN FOURTH GRADE AND IS AN AVID READER), because he was "being rambunctious. Or some such. I wanted to gather him up right then and there and take him right home, forever, and take him for a nice bikeride and a good meal. He was trying to be brave about it, but you could see he was really sad and ashamed and feeling bad. He was trying not to cry.

And our seven year old DD's behavior, formerly sweet and loving all the time, has gone down the toilet. Yesterday she intentionally broke DS's newly built airplane model, and he was really heartbroken about it.

No time to write now....but god, this school thing is really bad for my kids. Not enough sleep, not enough exercise, sitting all day, crappy lunches (we bag lunch but that's not even close to a healthy homemade meal), bullies and more bullies, crappy stupid unending homework, and punishment punishment punishment. No fresh air. No family around.

post #36 of 101
I hate it when my dd's teachers punish the entire class for those who aren't paying attention. And they punish by assigning more homework to everyone. Yeah, learning is fun, that is why we punish you with it.

Counting the days to June - unless she decides to pull out early!
post #37 of 101
my ds10 and dd 7 are both at an International School after 2 years of homeschooling. We LOVE homeschooling and are only in school because we live in Germany homeschooling is illegal. I am lucky that under the circumstances they are in a lovely small international school which is a PYP Inquisitive based school. Still, we have expereinced some bullying, social adjustments and the "kids will be kids" attitude. Also they are both G and T which leads to other issues because they both are highly sensitive and have strong senses of justice!! For now, we are doing ok, but once we leave Germany Im sure we will return to homeschooling. I think this is overall a good experience....
post #38 of 101
Yikes freestyler! It does sound like your DS is having a hard time of it. Any chance of pulling just your DS out and seeing how it changes the family dynamics? I know that it can be a logistical nightmare to send only some of your children to school, but it might be worth a shot.

My post at the beginning of the post was not terribly positive. I was annoyed with the inefficiencies of school, but I think I was also suffering from the winter blahs. For months DH and I have been discussings the pros and cons of HSing our kids again next year. I'll think that we've decided, and then we'll change our mind again. It is so hard to be living in this inbetween place. We clearly see that there is no perfect answer. Right now we're leaning towards keeping the kids in school BUT with a few caveats.

We're in the fortunate (?) position of being able to make a few requests of my kids' school with the likihood of all of our requests being granted. It's a tiny charter school in a rural area, and losing my 4 children would make a BIG difference. Funding has been a struggle, and I know that the school director would be willing to work with us to keep our children enrolled (and the money coming in). It's acutually a little scary when I stop and think about how much money my children are worth to the school. I know that my kids are seen as individuals and important in their own right. But I'm also aware that if my kids don't go back to school there, the resulting loss of funds could also mean that someone loses their job. And the fact that I also work at the school, and pulling my kids out might mean that I coworker I like and respect could lose their job is also weighing heavily on my mind.

Anyway... I'm planning to make an appointment with the school director this week so that DH and I can sit down with her and make our demands, so to speak:
*different math curriculum. Most of the teachers at the school hate the math curriculum, and I have seen my kids' math skills atrophy.
*formally skip DD up a grade. She's currently classified as a 2nd grader but is in the 3rd grade math and reading classes (and is still bored at times). The school has multi-age classrooms: 1-3grade and 4-6grade. I think the project based focus in the 4-6grade classroom will be a MUCH better fit for her than staying in the 1-3grade classroom next year. During fall conferences, one of DD's teachers was strongly hinting that she'd like DD to take 3rd grade classes again next year, but it makes NO sense to us, as DD is already at the top of the class, is scoring in the 95-99% on state standardized tests, and she isn't being challenged by the work she's being given now. I do understand that maturity is an issue, and will continue to be one if she is promoted to the 4-6grade class. But the alternative would be to keep her in a 1-3classroom that would not meet her academic needs, which is not acceptable to us.
*Homework is also something we will discuss with the school director. As I said upthread, it's not horribly overwhelming, but it is busywork that takes up time and makes our kids miserable. But I've realized that the homework issues we've had this year are mostly confined to our 3rd graders (DD1 and DS2 are in the same classes). We haven't had problems with busywork with our 4th grader. As long as DD is allowed to attend the 4-6th grade class next year AND the current teacher continues to teach in the same manner, it shouldn't be an issue. We also don't plan to do reading logs next year (we opted out this year).

I'm a bit nervous about this. It's been really hard for me to navigate the situation as both a parent and a staff member of the school. There are teachers I really like as people, but whose policies I dislike. I've had to be really clear and direct about when I'm addressing someone as a parent as opposed to as a coworker. I also feel a little uncomfortable about going in and making demands on the school. But I'm hoping to approach the situation as a problem-solving session that will meet the needs of the school (funding) as well as the needs of my children as individuals. It all comes down to the fact that my kids do truly enjoy school, they would like to attend next year (even if to only be with their friends ), and although there are a few negatives, I think school (THIS school) has a positive overall effect on my children's lives.
post #39 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
*different math curriculum. Most of the teachers at the school hate the math curriculum, and I have seen my kids' math skills atrophy.
How would they pay for that?

It sounds like no one like the status quo, but changing is a HUGE outlay. Our school is changing math curriculums and it has been a HUGE project for the teachers to review the state standards and the different options and agree on a course of action -- even though the money was already budgeted.

(not trying to be negative, just realistic)
post #40 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
How would they pay for that?

It sounds like no one like the status quo, but changing is a HUGE outlay. Our school is changing math curriculums and it has been a HUGE project for the teachers to review the state standards and the different options and agree on a course of action -- even though the money was already budgeted.

(not trying to be negative, just realistic)
There are other areas that can be cut. They talked about changing the curriculum for the current year, but decided against it as they had already purchased workbooks for the current year.

My guess is that they would switch to Right Start Math as the school has already invested in the Right Start manipulatives, games, and teacher manuals. We've had Dr. Joan Cotter (the writer of Right Start Math) out to the school several times to give demos/workshops to the teachers. She's local to us and a fabulous teacher. The only thing that would need to be purchased are the workbooks.

I agree that it would be a big expense, relatively speaking. However, I have already talked to the school director about pulling our kids out of school. When I mentioned our disappointment with the current math curriculum, the first thing the director said was, "would you keep the kids in school if we switched to a different curriculum?" So I do believe it is something the school is prepared to do, and not just because it's something that *I* want. The teachers would like a change also. And because it is a tiny charter school, the teachers are the ones who are making virtually all of the curriculum decisions. The current school enrollment is around 80- my 4 children represent 5% of the student body
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