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At what age would you leave homeschoolers alone, if you had to work? - Page 2

post #21 of 71
At those ages I might. But if any part of it didn't feel OK to me I'd figure something else out.

I have an aunt who's children are 14, 12 and 6 and all three are boys. During the summer they would commonly be home all day together while both parents worked, and they did alright. They are public schooled though, and I doubt any school work would have gotten done during that time if they had it, but your kids might be different.

Here a 14 year old is old enough to legally babysit and they even have classes at the high school. 12 is old enough to be a latchkey kid and most daycares don't take kids anymore in 6th grade. I seriously doubt anybody would legally be able to get you in trouble for your 10 year old being home with the older two if 14 is babysitting age in your neighborhood, but check your local laws. It doesn't mean no one might complain, but as long as you work with them to get through their classwork when you get home, I can't see how they'd actually get anywhere with it. (plus you probably don't want to advertise the fact that they are there alone anyway)
post #22 of 71
Well this is something that we've discussed in our house as well. Though it wouldn't be for years based upon my kids ages. Looking at your career field, would it be possible to have irregular hours? Maybe college counseling in evening hours? Maybe the kids could get active in a boys or girls club or other after school activity. That would significantly reduce the amount of time they were left to their own devices and fill the social time void that I have feared would occur with my own children being home alone. We spend so much time out and about during the day, I would feel a bad for my littles if they were house bound for 30s a week. And yes I realize that school kids are bound to the school but it's different.
post #23 of 71
i'm not sure. it definitely depends on the child. my kids are only 9 & 6 though...so it's hard for me to even imagine leaving them alone for 20 minutes, let alone all day.
post #24 of 71
I was a latchkey kid (with grandma nearby and around some) from 8-10 and again from 14-18 and while I begged for it then, I now think it was one of the worst things about my entire childhood. I believe it affected me in innumerable negative ways. I was an only child, I know that was part of it, but not all by any means.

I firmly believe that everyone (but especially children and adolescence) NEED a strong community on a daily basis and that it needs to include at least one adult that the kids are connected to and trust.

Like there is more to being truly healthy than just 'not being sick' there is more to well-being than just being physically 'safe'.
post #25 of 71
Your kids sound very mature. Their proposal to do online schooling so that they can continue to homeschool while you work could be a good idea.

Depending on the children, and their behavior and maturity level, I would consider letting them try it for a few months and then reevaluating.
post #26 of 71
Be OK with alternative sleep schedule. We had to start at slightly younger age than your oldest, with our children. Staying up late and night and sleeping in during the day solved a lot of problems.

I will admit it was hard at times because it meant coming home to a lot of stuff to do with the kids but it was doable and worth it. We had clear rules and expectations. They knew what would happen if they didn't do it.

Each child is responsible for themselves. If the 10 year old misbehaves it is the 10 year old's fault. Clear rules. Easy to cook and share foods. If your 10 year old cannot cook, that needs to be something they learn to do.
post #27 of 71
I am very surprised at the responses that seemed to say that they would probably need supervision at 10, 12 and 14. Obviously if they enroll in online school and don't get it done then they need to do something else. I would think they would want to get it done so that they could do more fun things after mom and the car gets home.
post #28 of 71
Personally I'd stay home with them until they were adults.

If I was considering going back to work while HSing then these are the things I'd consider:

It would depend on state law on leaving children home alone ( I think some states have minimum ages that kids can be left alone) and also on the state HSing laws, plus a whole host of things about the children themselves. How well do they get along with each other without parental supervision, do they have the personal motivation to actually learn on their own ect?

In reality though, unless the kids were above the states age of compulsory education I probably wouldn't do it at all. What is your plan when the neighbors see that you are leaving the house every day and gone for hours at a time while your kids are supposed to be HS'd and they report you to CPS or the school district? Because it could happen and I doubt CPS is going to think it's all cool.
post #29 of 71
I don't even think of it as a safety issue. They would probably be fine, and the safety thing wasn't even on my radar when I answered. I just think it would be incredibly unfair to confine them to the house all day alone with no chances to leave, interact with other kids, participate in classes or events, go to museums.

Sure, some kids are stuck doing that during the summer and school vacations while their parents work... but I think most parents would really rather do anything but.

I also agree that it might depend on the state, but I can't possibly imagine that the local school board and CPS's definition of "homeschooling" includes leaving the kids alone all day every day. Because 30 hours a week, not including commute time, is pretty much that.
post #30 of 71
I think after reading the last two responces I'm missing a couple of things:

1) Is there something about the OP that indicated she's capable of educational neglect? I mean...I realise I try to see the best in everybody, but I just assumed that if her children didn't get their work done in the 6 hours she was at work, that she would make sure they did during the 10 hours she was home and awake with them (and that's assuming 8 hours of sleep) as well as during the weekend if needed. My kids are both homeschooled now and some days we don't even do 2 hours of things I need to be fully participating in hands-on and I know for a fact that I meet all educational requirements for my state and that my kids are getting an excellent education. They are very loved and supported but they've never asked to be sitting on my lap while they play an alphabet game on the computer or draw a complicated diagram for a science project and my oldest isn't even 10.

2) Is there a homeschooling law that I am unaware of that requires "schooling" to take place during normal work or school hours? Maybe it's not that you think she's a negligent parent, maybe there's just some actual barrier to teaching in the afternoon instead of the early morning that I have overlooked that would actually get her in trouble with CPS?
post #31 of 71
I have to agree with Kreeblim. This is a situation that I will be facing in a little over two years, when my dds will be 14 and 9 (they are 12 and 7 now). I have given this a lot of thought because I was actually trying to go back to work after I graduated with my associate's this past May. However, there just wasn't a job for me in my area, so I decided to continue on with my bachelor's.

The fact that my girls will both be older and able to stay home together for longer periods of time was also a reason for continuing with school. We learn at all times of the day, as it is, so I don't even consider that a factor. Getting out in the community doesn't have to happen between 8 and 3, either. I would try not to work Monday through Friday; 4 days a week with one being a weekend day sounds ideal, if I could swing it. I agree with the pps who mentioned the kids sleeping later making it an even shorter day away from them.
As a single mom, things just don't work along a pretty plan all the time. I would love to work from home, at least part time, but that's not possible for most people, so you have to get creative. Good Luck to the OP, I hope it works out for you.
post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
I am very surprised at the responses that seemed to say that they would probably need supervision at 10, 12 and 14.
a friend of mine, who is a single mom, is in graduate school and her 14 and 11 year old are doing an on-line charter. The kids are left on their own for big chunks of time.

It's OK for the 14 teen year old, who is gifted and motivated.

It's not working at all for the 11 year old, who is less mature and less motivated. She is WAY behind on her work and it's becoming an issue with the charter. She is also lonely and hating being so isolated. (the older child is a loner and doesn't mind being isolated). Mom is looking for a brick and motor school for the younger child, who is becoming increasingly unhappy and frustrated.

Part of it really depends on the child.

Also, her kids fight a lot while she is gone and she can't do anything about it.
post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaywyn View Post
I have to agree with Kreeblim.
I agree.

I was homeschooled in middle school. Age 12-14. Stayed home a lot alone during the day. I was fine and did just fine with school when I returned to high school. I was in no way neglected.
post #34 of 71
I didn't say it would be educational neglect. I'm sure she would make sure her kids kept up with their studies. I think it would be socially isolating.
post #35 of 71
I have read way to many murder cases so I would be uncomfortable leaving my kids home alone day or night.

Best wishes whatever you decide to do!
post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreeblim View Post
I think after reading the last two responces I'm missing a couple of things:

1) Is there something about the OP that indicated she's capable of educational neglect? I mean...I realise I try to see the best in everybody, but I just assumed that if her children didn't get their work done in the 6 hours she was at work, that she would make sure they did during the 10 hours she was home and awake with them (and that's assuming 8 hours of sleep) as well as during the weekend if needed. My kids are both homeschooled now and some days we don't even do 2 hours of things I need to be fully participating in hands-on and I know for a fact that I meet all educational requirements for my state and that my kids are getting an excellent education. They are very loved and supported but they've never asked to be sitting on my lap while they play an alphabet game on the computer or draw a complicated diagram for a science project and my oldest isn't even 10.

2) Is there a homeschooling law that I am unaware of that requires "schooling" to take place during normal work or school hours? Maybe it's not that you think she's a negligent parent, maybe there's just some actual barrier to teaching in the afternoon instead of the early morning that I have overlooked that would actually get her in trouble with CPS?
Actually yes, some states ( off my head I can't remember which ones, but I've read a lot of states HS laws over the years when we have contemplated moving) require you to HS during normal school hours.

I'm an unschooler, I personally don't have any issues with kids learning outside the box. But I also wouldn't invite suspicion by leaving my kids home alone 30+ hours a week and I wouldn't consider it if I lived in a state that required parental instruction ( even if that is just you being present) during "school hours". I don't know where the OP lives, so I don't know if it's applicable, just throwing it out there.
post #37 of 71
Quote:
Personally I'd stay home with them until they were adults
It looks like, from the original post, that the OP is a single mom who needs to work to support the children in question. So staying home with them may not be the best option.
post #38 of 71
Quote:
I don't even think of it as a safety issue. They would probably be fine, and the safety thing wasn't even on my radar when I answered. I just think it would be incredibly unfair to confine them to the house all day alone with no chances to leave, interact with other kids, participate in classes or events, go to museums
I agree with this. I think they are old enough to stay home for several hours at a time, *on occasion*...but that is different from leaving them home alone most of the day, everyday. The main thing I would be concerned about would be an inability to take part in classes, park days (for the 10 year), field trips, museums, etc. If you were able to arrange with another parent to pick them up and take them places, that would be different, or if they could take part in lots of after-school activities (sports, drama...whatever they are interested in) and get there themselves (walking, bus, etc.).
Quote:
Getting out in the community doesn't have to happen between 8 and 3,
Of course not...but that is when most of the homeschool field trips, activities, classes, get-togethers, etc. happen.



My kids are younger and they love homeschooling...but they wouldn't love it if it meant staying home all the time.

I also don't think I would trust my kids to be that self-motivated to get their work done.

And, I would be worried about CPS...leaving your kids home alone on occasion is different than leaving them home alone, every day as a matter of course.

It also doesn't seem quite fair to the 14-yo would would end up in charge of the 10 yo all the time. Doing something every day, is different than doing it on occasion.
post #39 of 71
I say no, not without outside help (homeschool friends who can pick the kids up and bring them along to outings once or twice a week, at least). I know 14 year old homeschoolers who sometimes stay home because they don't want to go to the activities their younger siblings go to and it is a very lonely life. 10, 12 and 14 year olds would quickly end up fighting and getting extremely bored of each other having to be alone for that many hours a week. I think it would be downright depressing for them, really. I wouldn't want to sit at home all week even with my lovely children or husband, not being able to go anywhere either.

The "school" or "education" part wouldn't bother me at all. There are ways to unschool in all 50 states and in Canada, legally, so surely some of the work can be down outside of "school hours". I think the PP is referring to online public schools where you need to be logged in between certain hours every day. Even that should be doable for a 10 year old, even if the 10 year old logs in and wanders off and does something else. (not ideal or even good, imo, but possible).

If this is a possibility for the future, I don't see why you can't spend a year or two making homeschool contacts in your area and doing some kind of swap in order to accomplish help in the community for your kids. I know many homeschool moms who work a few days a week, with a combination of help from friends who take their children, babysitters and such.

I simply don't see homeschooling success as being possible having the children stuck by themselves at home so often. I would want my children to be HAPPY to be homeschooling, not miserable, ya know?
post #40 of 71
Quote:
I didn't say it would be educational neglect. I'm sure she would make sure her kids kept up with their studies. I think it would be socially isolating.
There are not 30 hours per week where your kids don't have any other children to socialize with but their own siblings? That must be totally exhausting for you if that amount of time in an unacceptable amount for them not to have some type of structured activity or peer interaction. That breaks down to about 4 hours per day (including on the weekends…heck just spending the weekend with only family is over 30 hours). I went to public school AND daycare until I was 12 years old and every night my single mother would pick us up at 6pm and bring us home for the night where we spend the next several hours with no one but family. We also spent nearly every weekend JUST with family, and usually home. We probably spent about twice that many hours with no one else to “hang with” and had to do our own thing while mom caught up with housework, bills etc.

It’s really not that bad. I read books, talked to friends on the phone, played games with my sibs, etc. And in this case the kids will actually have school work to do.

Quote:
Actually yes, some states ( off my head I can't remember which ones, but I've read a lot of states HS laws over the years when we have contemplated moving) require you to HS during normal school hours.

I'm an unschooler, I personally don't have any issues with kids learning outside the box. But I also wouldn't invite suspicion by leaving my kids home alone 30+ hours a week and I wouldn't consider it if I lived in a state that required parental instruction ( even if that is just you being present) during "school hours". I don't know where the OP lives, so I don't know if it's applicable, just throwing it out there.
The first 20 I looked at had no requirement for this, so it really seems like it’s not common. I know of one that requires it if you chose the private tutor option, but it sounds like OP is going to do cyber school. Also with her proposed hours she will be home at some point during the 8 hours that are called the “school day” even in that one state. I don’t know of any state that requires 8 hours of direct instruction, especially in a case where the instruction is coming from an on-line school instead of the parent.

I do understand the paranoia, because people can often judge you as negligent simply for your educational choices, and there are a lot of scary stories about CPS and homeschoolers, but most people don’t have those issues and I assume that OP would follow her state’s laws so as to avoid actually being in the wrong. I would hate to see OP stick her kids in a school that doesn’t fit them to feed her family based on dire warnings about CPS intervening “just because”.
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