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Tell Us Your Story.... - Page 3

post #41 of 125
I can't remember where I recently saw an article about the rampant corporal punishment in U.S. schools. However, in looking through my email for the link to the article, I came across a website address for some people who are working tirelessly against this sort of thing. They've focused largely on trying to get hitting implements banned, but are also working to get publicity out against books that advise parents on how to methodically "train" children (sometimes referring to them as "brats," etc.), by hitting them:

post #42 of 125

Can I do this???????

I am the mother of five. 14, 12, 9, 2, 8mos. First 2 are girls the rest are alligators (ha ha ha-boys). My 9 year old was labeled ADD. He has his good days, weeks and his bad days, weeks. Sometimes, so on the ball and others it's like who are you? we just did this work yesterday- why aren't you understanding it today. Very unorganized and some days, weeks focused and some days, weeks unfocused. Well the past 4 years each year was like the last, parent teacher meetings, case study, being showed work from his good days and work on his bad days...
What was determined was that he didn't need any extra or outside help. We did the chart thing where he was assigned happy or sad faces based on his performance/behavior throughout the day, at the end of the week he'd get special play time or a sticker as a reward blah, blah, blah.
Last school year he entered 4th grade, I became a stay-at-home mom and was able to devote more time to his schooling. I requested to visit his classroom on a regular basis. I wanted to see how he was being taught, what I could pick up and let him know that I would be very involved with his schooling and teacher- thinking this would be great for everyone involved(again MY thinking). I was shot down not even out of the gate!!! The teacher did not want me in the class room and the principal backed her up! I thought that a parent wanting to be involved would be a good thing... anyhow, I didn't fight it- I figured that if I took it further that I would lose and be the trouble making parent and I didn't want my son to be affected by this.
I worked with him at home(after school and on weekends, purchased a few things from a parent/teacher store). I wanted to work with him in addition to him going to school because I AM IMPATIENT. I get frusterated when we've gone over something and he got it one day and it's like I'm speaking chineese the next. I found working with him at times to be sooo difficult.
So riddled throughout the school year were meetings, what should we do to keep him focused, he had a great Mon, Tue, Wed and today he was unfocused. Again learning toward the end of the school year how not-so-good he's actually been doing.
All this to say-no one has mentioned(not that I've read so far) how challenging home schooling is or can be. I'm considering it this year, I've been worrying about it all summer...Do you begin to home school one day and like magic on the second day and all the days to follow you are Miss Patience? I don't want to do more harm than good. I mean more than his education is on the line here. Did I mention the 2 year old and the 8 month old? Can I really do this????? I know that this may very well not be for me, but I know that we cant do another year like all the rest...What if I do this for 3 months and decide, wow this isn't gonna waork- have I completely messed up his school year? Does anyone have any other suggestions or wanna grab me by the shoulders and shake me out of this??? any and all comments welcome and appreciated...
...and yes we tried Concerta and then Strattera, does anyone know of or has anyone tried natural /alternative med for ADD??????
post #43 of 125
Homeschooling never really occurred to me, until we realized that our oldest DD learned differently. She needs movement. (silly putty, doing puzzles, rubber band boards, squishy balls, etc) She plays quietly, while I read. We use lots of math manipulatives. Basically, she learns just like me. Both DD's need visual. Once she understands something, she's done. She doesn't need anything more than a short review. That's not how the schools here work.

That's how we knew that I would work better with her. She is also morally responsible and sensitive. She couldn't handle being teased. She was moved the first week of dance last year b/c one girl was picking on her. The teacher told us that's why she was moved. (I was peeking in the window and I didn't catch it, of course, I was also watching our youngest) She said that DD wasn't coping with it. (The teacher knew that it wasn't DD's fault, the other girl was taking advantage of DD's gentle nature.) When I asked other parents what they do about this sort of thing, they said that they (children) have to learn to cope with it How is a four year old supposed to just 'cope' with being bullied? We've found that, sadly, this is the belief of most of the parents here. Scary and sad, if you ask us. We weren't going to put her in these types of situations. It wouldn't be healthy for her emotional growth. Enough said. (no, we aren't locked in a box :LOL we have lots of play time with other children)

Our youngest DD doesn't talk very much and is extremely sensitive. She is very spirited and can't handle lots of people at one time. We took her to Kindermusik (6-8 children at a time) and she disliked it very much (she clung to me--you'd swear we had velcro on :LOL ) We didn't push her and she still didn't branch out until the last month of Kindermusik. She goes at her own speed always. She wouldn't handle being mainstreamed in school and it wouldn't be good for her either.

Food allergies is also an obstacle here. We don't have gluten, eggs, sesame seeds, garlic, peanuts, soy, and dairy in moderation. We got it down now

Dh and I hold the belief "All in time." They both decided when to wean, when to potty train (Little DD just did it three weeks ago ), etc. We do what feels right to us and homeschooling feels right. Time to stop now
post #44 of 125


My other post in this thread is nearly a year old at this point. At that time, dd1 was in a preschool, and we had homeschooling plans.

Well, as I said then, we both finished school in December. My last day was her last day, and it was bittersweet for both of us. Just a couple of months later, we moved overseas.

Dd just turned 5, and we're expecting her first sibling to be born any day now. Since dd's birthday is borderline, about half of her new neighborhood friends will be attending school this month, while the other half expect to next year. We are the only homeschooling family in our immediate community. We don't really have a lot of support, which I found surprising. There is supposedly a homeschooling community in this city though, which I plan to try to work into our days, after the baby is born.
post #45 of 125
I chose to homeschool because I don't like "school" Never did.started cutting class as soon as I figured out how and no-one even carred,just as long as I showed up for test day.I worked as a sub when the three oldest were young.Started hs when dd was 5 and ds's were 5th and ninth grade.Fast forward fifteen years and were still at it,happy and successful.The older ones are healthy successful adults and the younger ones have never known"school"
post #46 of 125
We have kind of a unique situation. My ex-husband would not agree to me homeschooling the my girls who are 14 and 11.
Now I have a fantastic husband and two little boys, as well as my two girls. The boys will be home schooled. I am lucky that I married a very intelligent man who was quickly able to grasp the reasons why home schooling would be best for the boys. The girls are receiving a rotten education. We are constantly reminded of this fact and it steels our resolve to home school the boys despite the protests of our family. Dh has two sisters who are public school teachers and violently offended by the mention of home schooling who will geek out when we finally let people know that our five-year-old isn’t going to school. We put up with a lot of negativity from our family about many of our parenting choices, which makes it very important to seek out support from outside our family. So I have been poking around here more lately as our five-year-old approaches the age where we will have to come out in the open about our intentions. It will be nice to have the support of like-minded parents when the battle ensues…
post #47 of 125

Our homeschool story

Not much to it yet I guess. We are very new to homeschooling and so far we love it! My oldest son Tyler, who is 9, was in public school till 3rd grade. Nathan, who is 7, was in public school until 1st grade. Hunter, who is 4, was in a private preschool last year. Mila, 2, and newborn Andrew have never been, nor do I plan to send them school.

Dh is very supportive of our decision, and this decision came about due to problems with the public school system regarding our oldest son, which I don't have the energy to discuss at the moment.

We feel happy and free now. So, I guess this is just the beginning of our homeschool story
post #48 of 125

How I came to homeschool...

Hi...this is my first posting here. I am on my 5th year of homeschooling with my kiddos. When I first thought of homeschooling it was very intriguing yet overwhelming at the same time. When my oldest was of school age we thought it was probably best to have him go to kindergarten. I had a 2 1/2 year old and was getting ready to give birth to #3. It seemed like it would be the best thing for him in the fall to go to school.

Then a month before my daughter was born our world turned upside down.

My sister called me and asked me to take her daughters cause she couldn't "handle" them and couldn't take care of them. I said no problem we would take them.

My nieces were 15mos old and almost 4, it was pure chaos in our small 2 bedroom/1 bathroom home. My daughter was born shortly after the girls moved in with us and we soon discovered my nieces had behavioral problems that were well beyond "adjusting" to a new home. My sister was messed up on drugs and we knew this was not a short term situation. We saw that they were afffecting our own children and after 3 1/2 months they went to live with grandpa. It was very difficult to do but my children had to come first. School was soon to start and I realized my son had been neglected with me busy taking care of 5 under 5 , my nieces behavioral problems and just the demands of a nursing newborn. We needed re-connecting, bonding and time as a family. The only answer was to homeschool. It has been a wonderful experience for our family.

It inspires me to hear about other homeschoolers and I hope I can learn and share here.

post #49 of 125
I'm Joanne, known online as The Happy Homeschooler (and author of the Bean Dip resposne for AP or HSing).

I've homeschooled since my oldest reached school age. He's now 10.5. I also have a nearly 9 yo dd and a 6 yo dear son. The last few years, I've been running a daycare in addition to homeschooling. That.was.hard.

We are in the midst of a relocation. My DH is in FL, and I'm here in TX until I can sell the house and join him.

Our homeschooling has always included curriculum and mother imposed structure, but has never been "school at home". Right now, we are taking a year to study American History. I'm trying to find our groove now that the daycare is closed.

Homeschooling is literally my favorite hours of the day.

I'm a staunch, opinionated, political homeschooler.
post #50 of 125

hs'n mama to 3 dawtas

Hi I am new to this thread- I am not new to mdc just not sure why I haven't ventured over here..

Anyway-I am a sahm to 3 girls ages 11 1/2, 3 1/2 and a baby 7 months. I am married to a great guy who supports hs,he even helps out.
My oldest dd went to a private jewish day school through 2nd grade. We pulled her out because we missed her and she needed more one on one that she wasn't getting in school-so I thought they were wasting her time. I generally agree with 'unschooling" but since she started school already-she has a hard time getting that out of her head.And my dh is from a very acedemically inclined ( ) family so he is ok with us being a 'relaxed' ( )homeschooling family as opposed to unschoolers. Which means my kids have much say as to when they do work,how much and they have lots of time to spend on persuing their own interests.
My oldest dd has expressed interest in going back to school : , mostly for the social aspects,she has alot of hs friends and we belong to 2 different hs groups-but she has an idealistic view of school-life so she is persisting...
I know if we put our foot down she would be fine with staying hs'n but we also feel like she is old enough to make that decision...
Looking forward to getting advice and resources etc from ya'll
I had fun reading all the posts...~C
post #51 of 125
I decided to homeschool my kids well before I ever had any. I began reading Mothering magazine in the 80's, when I was still in my teens, and so much of it made so much sense to me! Once I became a mother, homeschooling just seemed the natural choice, kind of like homebirth, breastfeeding, family bed etc. We simply flowed right into it.

My eldest is sixteen now and my youngest is three: I have always homeschooled them and I can't imagine doing it any other way. They are wonderful kids, smart, creative and loving ... Homeschooling is a gift. Given their ages, they would all be in different schools; they wouldn't even know each other! I find that thought terribly sad.

Homeschooling gives us time ... time to learn all there is to learn, each at our own pace ... time to take a few months off during a health crisis .... time to sleep in! .... time to sit on the couch and breastfeed for as long as the wee one needs, while discussing algebra, or history, or politics, or grammer or, or who knows what! with an older one .... time to flourish within the strong and loving bond of our family.

Yay for homeschooling!
post #52 of 125

A long(ish) strange trip

Even though I'm a teacher, I wanted to homeschool since before I had kids. When my ds, Taro, was nearly 3, he went to preschool 2 mornings a week. I didn't really consider this school-- more like a social club for little kids! It was good for him to play with peers, get used to adults who weren't me, and have new toys to enjoy. Overall, it was a good experience.

When Taro was 4.5, we moved. To have him meet some new friends (and to give me some kid-free time to find a job) I again put him in preschool 2 mornings a week. It was a NIGHTMARE. Let me say, first off, that this school and this teacher came highly recommended!

The teacher would meet parents at the door with NOTECARDS detailing children's "transgressions" that day. I was unpleasantly surprised that Taro always had a notecard. I'm ashamed to say that I thought "What's wrong with my kid?" right off, instead of considering other possibilities. At least I'm not one of those parents who thinks their little angel can do no wrong, right?

The classroom had one of those 2 way mirrors (which creeped me out, by the way), so I decided to observe Taro's behavior for myself. I saw the teacher display blatant favoritism to some kids, and obvious dislike for others. I saw her bullying kids to keep working on art projects they wanted to be finished with (She even "fixed" some of them herself!). I saw her assistant accept it all (the toad!).

I was shocked, but I decided to observe again. I saw the same behaviors-- then the teacher came into the hall and saw me watching. She spoke pleasantly to me, then went back in and acted EXACTLY THE SAME! If she had acted "right" after knowing I was there, I would've been digusted, but instead I was horrified-- apparently she thought how she was "teaching" was A-ok: Let everyone see!!

I pulled Taro out that day. And even though the director seemed genuinely shocked by what I told her, NOTHING happened to that teacher (nor did I receive any refund ).

We weren't in a financial position to hs, so I hoped the next best thing would be to work at Taro's school. Fortuitously, a private preschool/kindergarten in our new neighborhood was looking for a kindy teacher in Nov. They'd had to fire the previous teacher, who had turned out to be incompetent and a head case!

I enjoyed the job, and Taro adapted amazingly well. The next year, he was in my kindergarten class , and that went well too. The year after that, we sent Taro to a Sudbury Valley model (democratic) school.

He LOVED it, and we had high hopes. But, he started getting in trouble. Being at a SV school requires more self regulation and emotional control than Taro had. Most of his misdeeds were normal 6/7 y.o. stuff , but he reacted very strongly to being teased, and to being disciplined. Six weeks before the end of the year, he was asked to leave.

So last year we hs'd. It wasn't perfect, but it was good! This year we're even more confident, and are unschooling. We never want to go back!

Wow, that was long! Glad to be here, and thanks for listening.
post #53 of 125
How we came to homeschool.... This was after my oldest was out of the home and doing her own thing...
My now 16yr.old, was going into fifth grade and we realized that she couldn't spell,or do basic math and no one cared. Yet she excelled in the standardized test...college level for reading and above grade level for math...something didn't jive with me. Then I found out that her life was threatened and she was being bullied. Well there was my answer...We pulled her out and started homeschooling with Sonlight,and then moved more towards unschooling,and back to a more structured curriculum online for high school.
Well in the meantime,our youngest was in first grade at a private school,her teacher was new and lost total control of the classroom a combined 1st and 2nd grade...my daughter was a very young 6 year old(End of August birthday),and she couldn't handle the chaos in the room(she was also to smart for the classroom according to the therapist she was seeing for ADHD,which she didn't have). Anyway the last straw was when the teacher left her in the classroom without supervision(expected her to go to the preschool classroom while the rest of the class was in chorus),I heard her crying and she was sitting in the corner tears rolling down her face. Oh I was livid.
After Christmas break they didn't return to that school. I started homeschooling my daughters for the rest of that year. In 2001 my youngest spent half a year in another private school cause her best friend was attending that school, and so I could get my older daughter going with her studies,but after 9/11 my dh lost his job and so we brought her home...this poor child..has been in public school till this past September when she said that she really wanted to be homeschooled.
So we are deciding what is the best way to go with her,we are going to start Sonlight next week with her,after unschooling to detox.
It is amazing since we have been homeschooling the closeness that has developed with my family. Oh there are days,but the good ones totally out number the bad.
post #54 of 125

How we got HERE....m

Well, geez. I guess, like others, I realized that we really were homeschooling all along. Upon realizing that my dd was so bright and so cool, DH and I began researching. We started HSing in 2004.

DD is 8 1/2 and DS is 5.
She is tough because she acts like she already knows it all...
And he's tough because he's SO active...
I'm tough because I'm...okay, moody... :

But we love it and wouldn't go back to school for anything!

Sorry, Icon-heavy because I'm liking them, they're new to me! lol
post #55 of 125
I was homeschooled from the second half of kindergarten to the end of 4th grade. We started because my mom was not impressed with either the public or private schools in the area. Then we moved and we couldn't afford for my mom to stay home.

DH homeschooled from 4th - 8th, I believe. A teacher tried to label him as ADD, and, wanting to be a good mom, MIL put him on meds for it. She did not like the effect it had on DH so she pulled him from public. Later his parents let him choose whether to continue homeschoolingm to go to private or public. He chose public because his best friend was in public - and now says he regrets leaving homeschooling.

We haven't started homeschooling DSS yet but we are putting serious thought into it. DSS hasn't been putting any effort into school recently (talking instead of listening to the explanation of the lesson, getting in trouble nearly every day for not following class rules, etc) and we think it might improve him to have the time at home. Plus, it is my mom's and my belief that homeschooling better stimulates the mind and brings out higher intelligence - which is my big selling point for trying to get DH to make a decision whether or not to homeschool DSS! He wants DSS to skip a grade before finishing elementary. My mom has offered to homeschool DSS, which would work out great, especially if she could do it at our house (court issues, we do NOT want DSS's other family knowing where my parents live. DSS grandmother has already attacked MIL in my house.)

The only thing holding DH back from it right now, I think, is a concern of whether or not DSS's biomom has a right to say he can't be homeschooled. My opinion is that she doesn't, as DH has full custody of DSS.

So, that's us.
post #56 of 125

my story(condensed)

When Josh was 4 I placed him in public Pre-K. Now he had a hard time w/ pronouncing the 'f' sound. So he was placed in speech class 2 times a week for 30min each. Well after about 4months there was no improvement. So I started asking Josh how his speech class was more often(like every time he had one) His answer about 80% of the time was 'Oh, they let me play in the gym'. I wasn't too happy. I never could get a hold of anyone from the speech department so I took things into my own hands. I started doing 'speech class' w/ Josh myself. I taught him the phonic sounds of each letter and that some letters have more than one sound. I also noticed that he wasn't forming his mouth right on some letters-expecially the letter 'f'. So we worked on 'f' sounds and I would tell him to bit his lip. It worked. It only took me 2 weeks and Josh was pronouncing his words where he could be understood.(remember the ps worked w/him for 4months w/ no results) I figured out that they gave up on him-actually I don't think they cared. I kept him in the pre-K because his reg teacher was nice and had nothing to do w/ speech. Well one day I get a packet stating that Josh would be in all day LD because of his speech-because it kept other kids from learning. I asked his reg pre-K teacher and she said that he did not keep other kids from learning. I knew that I did not want Josh in LD class because he didn't need it and made me feel like 'they might think I'm not smart enough because I have trouble w/ 'ch' sounds and I talk fast.' There were also other factors, but I think if I went into them I'd get off subject. So I was pissed and told my dh that I was going to hs because if I could do a better job of getting Josh to speak clearer, I could do a better job teaching him the 'normal' stuff. So now I've been hs'ing for 5 years. and have a 5yo that just started home pre-k. I guess if I think about it I should find the speech teacher and thank her because I might not have decided to hs if it wasn't for her incompentence and wanting to place Josh in a class that would have made things worse.
post #57 of 125

our family's story....

Hi. I'm Jen, SAHHomeschoolingM to 3 boys. 2 of which are actually being taught as of now. Ages 11, 4 and 3. My 11 year old is autistic too, BTW. I have been homeschooling him since he was 5 y/o, however, one year about 2 yrs ago we put him in public and realized they werre doing absolutely NOTHING for him. So, once again we began homeschooling. I get alot of free materials from our cover school, thankfully, and since my oldest skill level is on MULTIPLE levels, it helps out alot, since I can't buy ONE curriculum. So, I do a mix and match thing. I freestyle it, as I call it. We love it and cannot wait to really get started with our other children. My 4 y/s is really wanting to be able to read, so we are working on sounds and writing. He has had his first spelling test and did perfectly. He does his best to write out words alot, though they are most often spelled wrong, you can definately tell what word he meant. He really craves knowledge of any kind.

I love it and it works for us. I just need to find more time to get OUT of the house and get them some excercise and me too! LOL Not only that, but I want to find some AP support groups and MOM groups, play groups.
post #58 of 125
I'm new to this forum but not to the Mothering Forum. I'm an infrequent poster As a quick intro: Ginger aka Dagmar, mom to Umberto 5.5, Camille 2.5, and Piper Blue 9 months. My dh and I are both graduate students. I was a public school teacher for three years (hell on earth to put it mildly).

Our story:
I knew about unschooling as many of those on various ap lists I'm on do it. I always thought it was a bit flaky, and really not for us .

We were thrilled and excited when my son was accepted into a public Montessori magnet. Intially things went great. Umberto loved school, came home happy, and went to school happy. His teacher had only positive things to say about him during his first conference. He was popluar, compassionate, and happy. Around November the school took away the "prelearning" tools and introduced the academic tools. Things went downhill rapidly. Umberto started to develop stomach aches, and he cried every morning before school. We kept bringing him thinking it was normal. Then I started to talking to other mothers who kids were not doing this. When Umberto started to call himself stupid I was even more concerned. Then he told me he hated reading and books. Add to this a sudden negative interest in race (he told us that "All Mexicans carried guns in their pockets" and that his best friend had told him this...dh is Mexican) along with just a pretty pissy attitude overall, we decided during Christmas break to take him out.

We planned on developing a curriculm but then as I was reading about Waldorf, I stumpled onto some stuff about unschooling. The more I read, the more this way of learning resonated with our family. My dh and I love to learn, and we're always teaching ourselves new things. We loved how well unschooling fit into our currently very busy lives. We loved the idea that Umberto would be making choices about what he wanted to learn, and how he wanted to learn those things.

I would not say we're radical unschoolers. We do limit tv and computer games. We don't do lessons but we do suggest activities for Umberto. He's doing great. The things he was struggling with in school, he's made huge progess with at home.

I knew our district was bad. They really push early reading but it's a failure as I was teaching kids in high school who couldn't read. The focus on testing is so intense that there is not focus on acutal learning. It's horrible, and I knew it. I guess I had hoped that a magnet school would be different.
post #59 of 125

Homeschool story

My 7-year-old daughter is in a "good" public school right now. We will pull her out at the end of the school year. I am in my last semester of law school, so it's sort of impossible right now.

I used to think that homeschooling was for fundamental Christians who were afraid that kids would find out about evolution and condoms (I think that's a Grace Llewellyn quote). I also used to think that I could supplement what my daughter learned at school. It has been nearly impossible to supplement her learning because she has such a distaste for it now. She used to love it. She also gets in trouble a lot at school for things like not sitting still, not paying attention, playing with things in her desk...you know, normal kid things! She has grown to hate exercise because they have to run laps for P.E. She has gained a considerable amount of weight. I think the weight gain is because her boddy was not used to such a sedentary lifestyle. I also think that it's because she gets unhealthy snacks from other kids and adults at school. Teachers and administrators seem to be obsessed with order. I think that about eighty percent of the day is spent on lining up and other non-learning activities. I also feel that their opinions are not valued at school. And now, with No Child Left Behind, things are even worse. Everything is geared toward passing tests. I even got a note home from the VP saying that my daughter had been absent too many times this year, and that this would jeopardize their NCLB status. Kids are not supposed to miss more than 10 days per year. That includes tardies. So basically, if my daughter doesn't feel well, they want me to send her to school anyway.

Well, that turned into a whole rant session, but those are our reasons for choosing to homeschool. We've been reading a lot about homeschool and education theories, and are totally sold. I wish we had done it sooner, but I'm glad she's only been there for two years.
post #60 of 125
Well, dh and I grew up in the city that we are raising our kids...neither one of us has many fond memories of the PS System around here. My younger cousins attended school around here (2 are still in school, just elsewhere now) and it became really clear how bad the student to teacher ratio was, they had to share books in class because their weren't enough, and the District announced a multi-million dollar deficit the year before my oldest was due to start school. Which meant the old problems would probably still be there and probably worse.

Like many of you, we were already teaching the kids DD is now in her 4th year (3rd grade for all of the district paperwork) and is blossoming. She loves it. DS1 just started officially this year and he begs for more work In comparison to my school years as a child, I wouldn't do it any other way.
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