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Any other diehard homeschoolers who decided to send their kids to school out there??

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
My family is making a huge change and we've chosen to enroll our daughter into a local Waldorf school. If that doesn't work out, we have a co-op school we'd apply at. Otherwise, we're back to homeschooling. But, we're pretty set on sending her (and in the future, our son and future kids) to school. This is just a huge change for us and I'm looking for others who have BTDT who can share stories or advise? We were diehard, hardcore unschoolers. But with a growing family and high needs children, among other reasons, we think sending our daughter to this school would be best for her and us. I still feel a bit nervous and out of my gourd at the idea of this! I can expand further, but for now, anyone else out there who's been in my spot?
post #2 of 101
There are a few of us here, and if you search through old threads, there is quite of bit of old stuff.

My name is Linda and my DDs homeschooled in a relaxed way until they were 10 and 12. Homeschooling quit working for us when my DH's job relocated us to small town where the only other homeschoolers were religious and we became VERY isolated, and I became very depressed.

School has been wonderful for my kids, though it was scary for me at first!!! Sometimes, when what you are doing isn't working and nothing you do can make it work, you have to do something totally new and different, and it's scary. Here is a quote I like:

When you come to the end of all the light you have and must take a step into the unknow, trust that you will be given something solid to stand on, or that you will be given wings to fly.

post #3 of 101
I'm a pretty die-hard unschooler, but my 5 yo will be going to school this year. I am in nursing school, plus I work, and DH is in school as well, and there is just NO way I'll be home enough
post #4 of 101
We weren't unschoolers, but we were die-hard homeschoolers and were positive we would NEVER send our children to school. A combination of reasons (my health, special needs kiddos) forced us to make the decision to put the kids in school, and to tell you the truth, we couldn't be happier. I was absolutely terrified to tell you the truth but even though there have been some minor issues (as there always are in life) it has been an incredibly positive thing for all our family members. A piece of advice is don't set your mind on just one school. See how it fits your family and if it doesn't there are other schools out there. We put our kids in a small Christian school (only 70 students) in the country on 5 acres. We thought it would be perfect but after 2 years there we are switching because we don't feel they have the resources our kids need. This year the kids start at a bigger, city Christian school with 340 students. We are excited about the change and, if for some reason, this one does not work then we will re-evaluate. I think for anything in life getting locked into one mindset, or plan, can be detrimental. Keep an open mind is my opinion.
post #5 of 101
ooh, this thread is timely.
We have been "relaxed, eclectic" homeschoolers for most of the kids lives. (9, 8, 3 years old) Really all of it except a 6 week stint at public at the urging (cajoling, bribing...) of the older two's father. They enjoyed the 6 weeks, made friends and excelled at the work. We had some issues with differences in the institution and the home but I think with time that would have ironed out. I simply didn't care enough to "make it work" if they'd rather homeschool, I was fine with Hsing.

Fast forward a year and half and dd (9) came home a couple months ago saying she wanted to go to public and give it a good year. She says her father didn't bring it up, that she just felt that while she didn't want to go back bc of the things she didn't like (nazi-like requirements with handwriting, loss of freedom, over scheduling) there was aspects she did like and is willing to give it a longer go to enjoy those (different set of friends, gym, variety of subjects, library). So, while I was sad to not hs her, and will miss her like crazy, I told her how much I respect her decision. I've always wanted them to own their own education, you know?

So, yesterday, I pick up the kids from my ex, and my younger one (8 in a month) says "I want to go to school too!" Which is out of the blue bc all summer he's been making lots of big plans with me and his hs friends for a year w/o his sister. But, of course I say that is fine, and I'm about to start talking more with him about it and he says " out at Daddy's!"
exh lives 45 minutes away, gets a friend or his girlfriends brother to watch the kids whenever he works, and has some issues with ...oh I won't get into all our struggles, but there is a MUCH less "respect the children" attitude over there. When ds was learning to read, he about snuffed the spark entirely by forcing him to work on it over at his house, in tears, when they had an afternoon over there. at 5 years old. And he doesn't feed the kids according to their necessary diet (celiac)

I digress. Sorry. Long story short, after a hard day, many phone calls, (and later, a martini.....) We are all good, and ds will go to the local public school along with dd. I have a icky feeling still leftover from dealing with the stress yesterday, but when I can separate that, I am actually kind of excited. I do so adore homeschooling, and really feel strongly about "unschooling" or child directed learning. But when kids know they can choose and choose to go to school I feel like maybe they are able to still own that education for themselves, you know? No ones forcing them.

I was actually coming over here today to see if there were any homeschoolers turned ps, and how that turned out.

I am looking forward to the forced schedule (I am also not looking forward to it, if that makes sense) the early mornings, the chance for the kids to get away from each other a bit.

Wow, I wrote a novel!
post #6 of 101
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
... to tell you the truth, we couldn't be happier. I was absolutely terrified ...
this is us, to.

We tried school as an act of desperation because things were falling apart at home, but school turned out to be wonderful.

The staff at my kids public school was so wonderful. My children suddenly had a team of people who cared about them and were working to help them succeed.

We've had far greater support as a family through school than we ever did through homeschooling.
post #7 of 101
we are hsers for now (preK and 1st grade). IF IF IF we could comfortably afford a private alternative school such as montessori (but not waldorf) I would send my dc..... But with the current issues at the public schools, I just can't send them there.
post #8 of 101
Originally Posted by jeteaa View Post
But with the current issues at the public schools, I just can't send them there.
Every public school is different, but that public school that my kids attended for the last to years was wonderful. Small classes, caring staff, involved parents.

If my DH's job hadn't moved us, we would have stayed with public.

I'm also really glad that my kids had the experience of attending a traditional school for awhile to really see what it's like and learn in that way.

Don't go by what you hear in the homeschooling community about public school.
post #9 of 101
yes and so far ( well if they ever enroll her) its not going well for us. I'm glad though that others are having good luck. I was hoping for more caring staff and understanding. So far I just seem to bother them LOL Hopefully they feel different about ODD or we will HS this year.
post #10 of 101
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
We tried school as an act of desperation because things were falling apart at home, but school turned out to be wonderful.
Me too. We sent our kids to school for a multitude of reasons, thinking that it might be a short term solution to a difficult situation. In short, it was wonderful. My kids LOVE their school and have chosen to return to school each year since they started. Of course, everything hasn't been perfect, but school has been an overall positive experience for our kids.

We would be open to homeschooling again in the future if our kids ask or if their school isn't meeting their needs. But for now, school is working well for our family.
post #11 of 101
We are former homeschoolers...and although my dd is thriving academically i really would like to pull her back out of school. She asks for it too, esp when she has a bad day, but we just can't do it right now I do plan to start homeschooling my 3 yr old this year (as much as 3 yr old can be homeschooled...lol). She is in a private religious school not public.
post #12 of 101
This is us this year! I've always homeschooled my kids - dd 9 and ds 4. When ds was getting in the way of dd doing work with me (we didn't do much formal, but an hour or so at most), I decided to look at preschools for him to give dd and me a chance to do somethings. Well, in that process, dd spoke up that she wanted to give school a try. She was missing some social aspect due to hs friends moving away or being so over-active, they didn't have any time. And any school friends forgot about her and had the "out of sight, out of mind" attitude. Not mean, but I think a lot of kids are like that.

So, I'm anxious. On one hand, I'm looking forward to the break. I really need it. But I will miss them so much, especially my dd who i will see much less. (Preschool is only a few hours 4 days a week) Right now, I'm open to trying hs again, if it comes up, but I have a feeling it won't. I get a little excited about my possiblities, but I also worry about hte kids and how I will deal with "school stuff". I'm os conflicted and part of me just wants it to start ( we have a Sept. start).

I'm looking forward to more posts of BTDT or sharing the newby concerns.
post #13 of 101
Sounds like there are quite a few of us out there. We enrolled our two school-aged former unschoolers in a public sci-tech charter that is brand new this year. While I am still feeling hesitant and anxious, I am also excited and looking forward to making this a positive experience for them.

Good luck everyone!
post #14 of 101
Originally Posted by Millie Ivy View Post
So, while I was sad to not hs her, and will miss her like crazy, I told her how much I respect her decision. I've always wanted them to own their own education, you know?
........ But when kids know they can choose and choose to go to school I feel like maybe they are able to still own that education for themselves, you know? No ones forcing them.

That's how I feel....about my four year old. She's my oldest, so I've really JUST begun my unschooling journey, and off she's going to school! lol She wants to try it. Socially, she's being introduced to the idea and we've just moved accross the country and she wants to be exposed quickly and daily to a community of kids. I feel I need to support her in her learning choices, no matter how old she is (I've been questioned on letting a four year old make this decision, though, I think that if she was deciding not to go to school, I might not have been questioned....lol). My 'unschooling' philosophy is all about child led learning. She wants to go, so my job is to find the school which best reflects our beliefs on learning and offers as much of my involvement as possible. We've found one, which is great, though I've been having trouble handing the forms in
I am sad, of course, and a little relieved, which makes me feel a bit guilty. I think she'll do well in school. Not every child would get that vote from me, but I know my dd. I'll be here for her when/if she decides she'd like to learn at home (which she'll still be doing, life learning with us).
post #15 of 101
This was us last year. Our dd did try school and had a positive experience. However, she has chosen to return to homeschooling this year. We are all happy with it. School was fine, but it wasn't a great fit academically. It was a small charter and perhaps a larger public school would have more extra-curriculars to make the academic fit less important. We can always try one of the public high schools later.
post #16 of 101
DH and I are diehard homeschoolers. . .we've never thought about our children returning to school until this year. DH has been transferred to an International School (he's a sped teacher) in Europe. The school is reputed to be amazing with tons of opportunities for the kids. Right now, we've enrolled DD as a nonattending homeschooler so she can go to extracurriculars and French classes (we've just moved here, there is only one homeschool group which is ultra religious--so, not really for us), but we've been thinking about sending her full-time. We've also enrolled DS in the Kinder, but we know he won't attend at least this year (he's "gifted", reading way past his level, doesn't want to do anything he doesn't initiate or find interesting. . .and they don't test or do anything with kinder aged kids in the gifted program so we'd wait at least until next year or maybe never).
post #17 of 101
My kids have never been to school, and based on numerous requests this past year from my incoming 4th grader, they are both starting in a few weeks. I am terrified. The thought of them being gone all day is foreign to me that I can't exactly wrap my head around it.

They are going to the local public school. There are no good charter options here (although it's a very wealthy, supposedly alternative county), and the private schools are outrageously expensive.

I'm open to this being a good experience, but just can't imagine the lifestyle change. I really do think it's best for my older son, but feel particularly bad about having my youner son start first grade. He is such an independent little guy, and already so academically advanced, that I can't imagine how school is going to work for him. But he wants to try along with his older brother, so here we go.
post #18 of 101
I wouldn't label myself as a diehard homeschooler, but homeschooling was our plan. Granted DS is only 4 and much could change, but at this point school seemed to be a good option for him. DH is transitioning to working primarily from home and telecommuting and I SAH, but the family dynamic is a little weird right now as we work out the kinks. Academically DS is very bright and personality-wise he's a very charming, confident, friendly, extroverted little guy. Socially he's still got some stuff to work through mainly in the area of attention seeking behavior (only seems to manifest in peer group environments) and peer conflict resolution. He's an only and I know most of it's very age-typical. A half-day pre-k seemed like a good venue to let him work on those skills for a few hours each day. It's a well thought of private school, small classes, VERY involved parent organization (edging on a little too involved, which is still okay I guess), strong staff, and just minutes from our home. It's also an accelerated curriculum so he'll be challenged, which was a concern. We're treating this very casually with him and he's excited. I have to admit I'm nervous though. I'm still very open to homeschooling in the future, but I'd be okay with him staying through middle school at his school too. Guess we'll see how it goes.
post #19 of 101
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the well thought out responses! I really appreciate hearing others' stories and experiences. It helps me feel more confident and relaxed, as it's easy to feel guilt, confusion and stress.

We too can't afford the price of this Waldorf School ($750 a month) but we applied for a Tuition Adjustment. I'm putting my faith in that if this is right for our family, everything will fall into place. So far, things are. And we're really excited about it!!

One of the reasons we fell in love with this Waldorf School is that it's most like unschooling, that we've seen. They spend half the day outdoors, doing what they wish. Everyday the kids help prepare and cook a snack (grate cheese, chop veggies, etc). The teacher tells stories, they do a lot of artwork, they go on nature walks everyday, and they even visit the horses behind the school on a regular basis. They will do things like visit a sheep farm, help sheer the sheep, spin the wool into yarn and knit together. This is all in Kindergarten! As she progresses through the school, they will learn to play the flute, lyre, and violin. They begin learning German in 1st grade. They learn woodworking skills, homemaking skills, and more. I just feel like this PERFECT!

Anyway, please feel free to continue to share. I'm happy to read more about your experiences.
post #20 of 101
Me! My son and I are both going to be starting school in September, and I am terrified. I'm going to be starting my pre-nursing courses, and I want to settle my son into school before I am full-time. With a combination of his special needs and extremely high-intensity personality, plus the fact that I was very isolated and depressed, and adding in a not great marriage, I felt like making these huge changes would be the best thing for all of us. I am hoping that school will add a whole dimension of things that I cannot provide for my son at home, and I really think he will thrive on the schedule. We are so lucky that we will also have a lot of transition meetings from his old SLP/school to help him ease into it, and for the school to really get a good understanding of his needs.

But I am really, really nervous.
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