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hs'ing and siblings

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My second child is VERY high energy, very physical and almost out of control. He's great, but he's a handful and doesn't always listen very well. He's very verbal, very stubborn, and truly a love... and he's 3. He's a runner, and doesn't listen very well...AT ALL! He's also a middle child (my kids are 5, 3, 1)

We're homeschooling the 5 year old and I can stand firm in all arguments except this one... that the 5 year old needs to go to school so i can have some more focussed time with the 3 year old. I KNOW he needs more time -- i think a LOT of his acting out is because he's stuck in the middle and is sort of gettting lost in there and I'm really trying to find something that is just his... but its hard (#3 is high needs still).

So far for "school" I'm not planning to do much that doesn't include both of them (montessori type strewing activities and a daily calendar/morning time) ... so I really don't think either of them will be lacking ... except for the 3 year old getting some time to be "oldest in the house"...

I dont even know what I'm asking... anyone btdt? Have any stories -- good or bad -- to share???

post #2 of 11
We're homeschooling the 5 year old and I can stand firm in all arguments except this one... that the 5 year old needs to go to school so i can have some more focussed time with the 3 year old.
Who is arguing with you? Tell them that your parenting and lifestyle choices are not up for discussion. Then, instead of fretting about what others think and going through unnecessary worrying about whether you're doing the right thing, you'll have more time and mental energy to focus on your high needs 3yo.
post #3 of 11
I read your post a few times and I think I misunderstood at first. So other people are telling you that your oldest should be in school so you can spend time with the younger? My immediate reaction is to tell them you are not sacrificing your oldest child. Although I'm more tempted to ask them if they remember me asking them for their advice on the matter?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
To my sister - I told her that I was glad she was open about what she was feeling, I listened to her concerns, but I still feel we're doing the best for our family and thanks for your support in "public" (she waited to share til it was just the 2 of us, which is RARE) ... but, she made a point that has been in the back of my mind for a while... I don't want to sacrifice Nic to the public schools AT ALL .. but am I harming my 2nd child by not? Or... how do you work it so you DON'T inadvertantly harm the 2nd child by keeping the older one (who is a mama's boy and demanding in different ways) home?

post #5 of 11
Spirited children and "mama's boy" kids have always existed. Schools are a recent invention. Your kids will be fine. At ages 3 and 5, they can do many activities together with you. If the 3yo doesn't listen, he will miss out on the activity. It's a natural consequence and he will learn from that.
post #6 of 11
Well how would you handle them the other 18+ hours a day and weekends and holidays the oldest wouldn't be in school? You know? The dynamic is what it is, there is no getting around that.

Honestly, their argument has nothing to do with your kids or your family dynamics it's about their lack of support for homeschool.
post #7 of 11
The dynamic between you and your kids is something you can address - it doesn't have to be addressed by sending your oldest to school. If you agree that your middle child needs some individualized attention, work on teaching your oldest to play independently OR to mind the baby for a set amount of time (one CD worth) while you and the middle child are in the next room over doing something alone - a special activity.

post #8 of 11
That's such a silly argument for school, but I can see how it would bring up mama guilt. Families have learned and worked together for thousands of years, but now that we've had schools for the last 100, it suddenly becomes unfair to the second child if you don't send the oldest away?!

My kids love having time alone with mom or dad and we try to give it to them whenever possible. But none of my kids needs to be the oldest in the house for 6 daily hours. Your son's issues are a result of age (3's a tough one, I find) and the acting out is more likely about having a baby take up mama's time than about having an older brother. Whatever the cause, mama your family will figure out how to handle the issues, or simply mature out of them, without having to institutionalize one family member for the sake of another one. Really, what message would that give your oldest?!

Sisters can sometimes be our toughest critics! And they know exactly what buttons to push, don't they? I agree with the pp who said this is about your sister's objection to homeschooling and she knows exactly what seed of doubt to plant!
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post #9 of 11
A few wise homeschoolers let me in on a secret when I first started out - it gets easier as they get older. My ds was school age and his sister is 3 years younger. It was a nightmare trying to do anything with the older boy. These women told me to relax, alter my expectations and look forward to the future because it is so different with older kids. So I did what I could with a (still) clingy dd and sure enough, my dd is 5 now and hs'ing is soooooo much easier than it was 6 months, 1, 2 or 3 years ago. It really does get better!!

Do what you can, incorporate activities that include the younger ones and go from there. The added benefit is that my oldest is an amazingly independent worker now.
post #10 of 11
I don't get how sending #1 to ps would help... I mean, for that matter, why didn't she suggest sending the baby to daycare so you can focus on the 3 year old as well as schooling the 5 year old? If all your kids go to school your 3 yr old will still be the middle child, and nothing will change that! So your sister's advice really makes no sense. If you sent your 5 yr old to ps and hs'd the 3 yr old in the future, wouldn't that just be setting up the 5 yr old for jealousy?? Just tell her, he's 3, it's a stage and it will pass! The thing is, your oldest is only 5, so even if the 3 yr old is making it tough to hs atm, there's a loooot of wiggle room at this age and they really don't need much in the way of formal instruction, they learn a lot through play and they are just little sponges. I did very little in the way of "school" with my 2nd dd and she amazed me with how quickly she picked up reading, she just cracked open a book and read it to me one day and I was floored! Everything will be just fine, you just gotta plug your ears at the naysayers!
post #11 of 11
One question that comes to my mind is whether the 3 year old may have unmet needs that don't have anything to do with focused time with you. Does he get enough running around time? Does he get enough social time with other kids?

Maybe doing a childcare swap with another family, doing school at the playground for the 5-year-old (so the 3-year-old could run around), or sending the 3-year-old to preschool a couple of mornings a week would help your whole family.
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