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If you've pulled kids out of school, did you end up regretting it?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Title says it all, I am just curious.  My oldest goes to a school I really like, he enjoys it and has no problems, but there are things I just don't like about school, period. 

One is the lock-step approach to learning "we don't do multiplication yet"  etc.


Two is the inescapable month of December since we don't do Christmas.


Three is I freakin hate not being together so much of the time!  My son hates it when the other kids get to go do things without him because he is in school and they are not.  I hate that my life seems to be dictated by the school schedule.  There was a time I was convinced I'd homeschool, and then well, life happened, and DH isn't sold and we have a first grader.


then there's the fact that he LIKES school and doesn't have problems in school.  I wouldn't feel right forcing.  AND the school they are in, if I take them out, I lose our place.  There's a waiting list.  But if we were to move out of town, I would probably have to take them out anyway.  And I pretty much guarantee wherever we go won't be better.  (I know the area where I live, the smaller towns I'm probably going to hate Dec. even more....)


So anyone switch after doing school and then regret it?  Or love it?

post #2 of 23

My son left school after kindergarten and a few weeks of first grade. We love it. But our situation is a bit different-- my son really didn't like school and it wasn't a good fit for him socially or academically. He was very keen to try out homeschooling. If he'd been loving school I probably wouldn't have seriously considered presenting home schooling to him as an option. Now that we're out of the school system, though, I can't imagine him going back... not in the elementary grades anyway. He'd be in grade 2 now and his life is so full of things he enjoys-- and he has time to really delve deep into his passions.

post #3 of 23

I took my son out during winter break of kindy.  School in general was not a good fit for him (this was back in 2006) and we never looked back. Homeschooling was the best decision educationally for him.  I had lots of pressure to enroll him, so I did, and school was horrible.


You may loose your spot but there are so many wonderful HS opportunities, so many  more than in 2006.  Many museums, nature centers, parks, libraries etc have programs for homeschoolers.  There are HS groups etc that many weeks DS has so much to choose from.



post #4 of 23

I pulled my son out after first grade.  For a few reasons, it wasn't a good fit being the most easily explainable.  I don't regret it, but it has been a constant battle with DH.  He was never sold to begin with, but I thought that he would at least come around after a few months.  But he still says things like "he should be in school" randomly if ds is getting into trouble or seems the slightest bit bored.  My son is really liking being home though I admit I'm not accomplishing as much as I had originally planned.

post #5 of 23

I pulled dd1 out of a horrible school. So, no I don't regret it. However, after 2 years of hs, they are almost schoolers again because of the many classes, hs programs etc they are enrolled in. Its almost like they do go to school, I just drive them multiple places around town every other day. But the responsibility for them learning what they NEED to learn is still on my shoulders. Sometimes I would be happier with out that FT responsibility. So I think that if my dc were in a good school (none are great imo) and they enjoyed it most of the time, I would not pull them out. However, I would be a parent the school hated because I would take them out for "wellness" days occasionally and do something really fun!

post #6 of 23

I think most school kids with younger siblings go through an adjustment period where they have a hard time with missing things while they are at school.


And the Christmas issue happens even when you homeschool. I'm sure it isn't as bad, though. I was really hoping all of ds's friends were old enough to not be talking about Santa but there are still some true believing 10 yos. Could be that they would have been disillusioned younger if they were in school and we would be past it by now if he were in school.


Anyway, sending ds to school was really the only parenting decision I regretted. But that was because it was a bad fit for him and he hated it. The short experience had long lasting negative effects.

post #7 of 23

Re: Christmas, I had a true-believing 10-year-old (until yesterday! gulp) and he was in public school until this year. I was shocked myself.

post #8 of 23

OP: Here are two books that might help your husband understand the benefits of homeschooling:


Legendary Learning: http://www.amazon.com/Legendary-Learning-Homeschoolers-Self-Directed-Excellence/dp/0983151008/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328847494&sr=1-1

This is probably the best parenting book I have ever read. How you can offer your kids the skills they need to follow their passions and succeed (as they define it) in the world. Although it is geared to homeschoolers, most of this can be applied to children who attend school. She discusses Montessori, Charlotte Mason, A Thomas Jefferson Education (a form of classical education,) and unschooling. She has researched how many highly successful people were educated as they grew up. Although all were homeschooled for some period of time, many also went to school for awhile as well. She discusses people like Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, Pierre Curie, Agatha Christie, Margaret Leakey, and many, many others. The bottom line is to help your child find their passions and teach them the creativity and skills to attain their goals.



Homeschooling: A Path Rediscovered for Socialization, Education, and Family



This is a gentle book. It acknowledges there are many fine way to educate children. Some parents feel their children will do best in a typical school environment. Other parents feel their children will do best by homeschooling. Both ways are equally okay. At no time does it insult anyone's choices. After reassuring the reader that this book is not anti-school, it then goes on to address some of the major (incorrect) assumptions people have about homeschooling. Of course the first is socialization. 

After the writers bring up a common concern, they gently inform the reader about the realities of modern-day homeschooling. As I read the book, I was reconvinced of our decision to homeschool. For me, the book made homeschooling so appealing. 

post #9 of 23

I pulled my daughter,  7 out for first grade this year.  I am definitely second guessing that decision. She did very well in school and enjoyed it.  She was normally exhausted at the end of the day but other than that she was happy about being there.  But I dislike many things about school, many of the same things you mentioned.  I had always read a lot about homeschool and figured I couldn't mess up 1st grade too bad so I decided to give it a go.  I am struggling with her doing math.  Math is the only thing I make her do every day and she gets very frustrated and it turns into a screaming fit of rage.  I'm struggling with momentum to do anything with her.  In the beginning of the year I felt very inspired and motivated, now I just feel like I need a mental brake.  My dh works a lot so I don't get much support from him.  Also, we have a really good school within walking distance from us so it is really hard for me to not dwell on that on the hard days.  There have been many great things that we have got to experience this year but I'm just not sure if we are cut out for homeschooling. 

post #10 of 23

My child attended a Montessori school for 3 years (a year of preschool, a year of kindergarten, and 1st grade.  Before that, he attended a preschool at a co-op).  He HATED school...between autism and being bullied, he hated school.  I pulled him out and we've been homeschooling for 8 months and I do NOT regret it one bit.  Some days I feel like enrolling him in school because of the normal frustrations that come, but in general, it's been one of the best things for him.  He had fallen way behind in school (at the beginning of 2nd grade, he tested at the preschool/lower kindy level for math for example)...since he started homeschooling, he caught up and is now working at grade level or even above in some subjects.  He's also happier, more confident, and loves learning now...all things he wasn't before.

post #11 of 23

Not Yet :)


Seriously though, I don't regret pulling them out.  However, both kids were on board when I did it.  While I realize that the decision (at their ages) was mine (and dhs), I think it was smoother because they were on board as well.  My oldest came home mid 3rd grade.  My second came home a year later at mid 1st grade.  My oldest actually loved school for a while.  She loved being "surrounded" by others.  It took a bunch of the negative aspectst to build up before she was ready to change.  Now, she doesn't understand what took her so long to want to come home.  My second child was truly not a good fit within the public school system.  I wish I brought her home sooner.



post #12 of 23

If a parent starts a child in school and then pulls him out, as opposed to being a homeschooler from the start, it's usually because there are problems at school. We pulled ODS out 1/3 of the way through 4th and don't regret it, because it took care of the problems he was having. My younger son sometimes feels left out, as he's the only one of 4 who is away at school all day, but I really think I would regret it if I pulled him out just because I miss him. He is thriving and learning in school, and I'm glad for that. 

post #13 of 23

I pulled my son out halfway through 2nd grade & do not regret it. He was in a school that sounds similar to what you are dealing with - waiting list, ect.

Honestly what I do regret a little is sending him to a school in the first place. We always planned to homeschool but when this new & much betetr school opened we took a chance & tried it out. Ended up not being worth all the hassle.

post #14 of 23

Ds goes to school, so I don't really belong here, but I just wanted to answer some of your questions. If he likes going to school, why not let him? If they don't do multiplications, why not do them at home? (that's what I do with my ds) If you don't celebrate Christmas, why not pull him out for the month of December? (I kept ds out of school for a month when we took a trip to Europe, and plan to do it again).


Just my 2cents.gif

post #15 of 23
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

Ds goes to school, so I don't really belong here, but I just wanted to answer some of your questions. If he likes going to school, why not let him? If they don't do multiplications, why not do them at home? (that's what I do with my ds) If you don't celebrate Christmas, why not pull him out for the month of December? (I kept ds out of school for a month when we took a trip to Europe, and plan to do it again).


Just my 2cents.gif

Because after a child has been in school 6 plus hours a day, then doing the required HW, a child NEEDS to just play! Not do additional "school" work. 


post #16 of 23
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post If you don't celebrate Christmas, why not pull him out for the month of December? (I kept ds out of school for a month when we took a trip to Europe, and plan to do it again).

I don't believe that most US schools are thrilled about having their students pulled out for a month. There is a minimum of days a student needs to attend per year. Typically, the school needs to approve of the request for the student to not be in school for a length of time and work with the parents to arrange assignments that can be done during that period that will make the time count as attendance, sort of a temporary homeschool. Otherwise, the student could be considered truant which can entail a hefty fine and other unpleasantness in my state. I know some schools are willing to work with parents about such things but it is far from a given that just taking a student out for the month of December can be done with no consequences.


post #17 of 23

Yes and no. We pulled ds midyear because he was struggling emotionally last year. I would have liked him to finish the year but decided for his sake to pull him.  He is doing so much better now. So no regrets there, he is healing from some pretty traumatic experiences that school provided him.  Yes in that we were not mentally prepared for the amount of work homeschooling him and then our other kid this year (homeschooling meant me quitting my job, finding another, and major financial/emotional changes).  So regrets there since none of my family members adjust to change easily! I truly wish we had started when they were little, it would have been a much more natural transition to their growing and learning processes.


As for the December thing- I am not sure you can get around that. We celebrate Christmas, however the secular nature of American Christmas contaminates everything during December. Even as homeschoolers we have dealt with that. In public school, we were very disheartened by how they handled the December holidays.  In parochial school, there were still issues (though many, many fewer) even though it was our denomination.  As homeschoolers we at least were able to adjust our curriculum to learn about various holidays and experience some of the traditions that are celebrated.


To the PP who said pull your kids out for a month- that has its own consequences.  Many schools will not pass a child who is truant for that long a period during each school year.  Some states also fine or press charges on parents of truant children. After watching children struggle through this each year as a teacher, and watching a friend deal with the consequences as a parent (fines and community service, court costs, child being held back, etc) I would not purposely choose that route.  Homeschool families are able to travel or make adjustments much more easily in those situations so could be a better solution for a family dealing with this.

post #18 of 23

Oh, I didn't know you couldn't take kids out of school for a month in US. Here in Canada, I just discussed with the teacher and let the school know he'll be absent for a month to visit with family and they said fine, no problem.


To the PP who said the kids NEED to play when they are out of school, obviously you can't generalise. If my kid wants to do multiplications, I can't stop him, and it doesn't have to be "school work". He's reading the labels on the juice carton and calculating how many calories there are in an X amount of juice while we are at the dinner table.


The only reason why I replied to this thread was because OP said her ds likes school. Why not find a solution to things she doesn't like while letting her ds continue what he likes?


Again, just my two cents, if you don't agree please ignore.

post #19 of 23

We took my son out of kindergarten for 10 weeks, to travel, and no one seemed to be concerned. We let the school know and tried to find some ways to stay connected during our travels... We are also in Canada for what it's worth. I imagine there is variation between school even within a school district.


And as the PP said, kids do tend to define play differently! For some, math is play... for my son, science is definitely play and has been since he was two or three.

post #20 of 23

No.  Even though my older children have returned to brick and mortar school, I do not regret the years we spent HSing.  While I do not advocate a revolving door approach to school, it is very easy to put kids back in school if you change your mind.

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