I have two daughters, ages 14 and 16 and live in WY. I've never really considered home-schooling (possibly unschooling) until probably the last couple years or so.
My 14 yr. has been bullied over the years, and picked on terribly due to the fact that she is a bit smaller than most of the girls her age, and less developed (physically, not mentally- she's just not as curvy or busty yet and she's very slim). It's been very hard for her to deal with emotionally and the school doesn't seem to be willing to do much about it if they aren't witness to it. I know that some people think that kids should just learn to deal with it because then they will be better able to handle life as an adult. I don't agree. I think it is very damaging to their fragile self-esteem at such a young age- and is something they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. As adults we have legal options to deal with bullies if things get out of hand. Anyway, to get to the point, she has been begging to be home-schooled. She gets mainly A's and B's, and the occasional lower grade. But it is an emotional struggle daily and she hates going. Dreads it to the point of feeling sick.
My 16 yr. got caught up with a not-so-nice crowd right before her freshman year in h.s. and the whole last year and a half was hell for our family. We have always had a close relationship with the kids, so this was especially painful. She managed to pull herself away from that crowd this last summer, and get her life straightened out and we are so proud of her. She works part-time, and gets straight A's. She's very self-directed and on top of things. Due to the poor choices she made last year, she has developed a reputation, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't get past it. She wants to be home-schooled also- she hates school with a passion. She gets so stressed out near test times, and actually gets depressed. I'm so afraid if things don't change for her she might resort to doing things to hurt herself like she did in the past. I'm not sure that she's emotionally strong enough yet to work through this all rationally- she's still trying to heal and forgive herself. She's worked so hard to get where she is today, and the kids at school work their hardest to tear her down. She has some new friends, and enjoys her art classes and Spanish, which I'd want her to still take, but the rest she is bored with.
My fears come from the fact that I didn't try hard enough in school (I could have done well if I would have applied myself), and don't really remember much from my h.s. classes. I'm worried that I won't be able to handle being their "teacher". I know my older daughter is very independent, and would very likely do well on her own with her studies, but I worry about giving my youngest a quality education. Are there any of you that home-school/un-school that didn't do well in class, but are successful with directing your kids?? My family is telling me that they think it's important for my girls to be social, but all the things I am hearing from both of them about their "socializing" make me believe I don't want them to do it with kids at school. My oldest has friends, and works, so she sees friends there. She also wants to continue with her Spanish, Pottery and Art classes at the h.s. My youngest would like to continue with Choir and maybe another elective and do the rest at home.
I just can't stand to see them so unhappy. They are eager learners when things are interesting to them. They really want to try things a different way- their faces light up just thinking about it. We are not a conventional type of family, but of course we have been told all our lives that this is the way we should do things. So of course it's scary going against the tide. And considering my daughters are both pretty smart kids, I don't want to mess up their education and futures.
So I'm wondering, are these the wrong reasons to consider home-schooling- or the right ones? And is it possible for me to make it work and be successful considering I didn't do so well myself? Thank you in advance for any advice you could give me, I'd really appreciate it.