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When did you decide to Homeschool/Unschool? - Page 2

post #21 of 49

I had been interested in homeschooling and unschooling for years before I had kids of my own.  Even as a nanny, the research helped make me the nanny I was.  I did have some moments of doubt.  I fell in love with Waldorf after teaching some students in my children's Aikido class.  But a visit to a Waldorf kindergarten when dd1 was 4yo reminded me just how much of an unschooler I was.  It was beautiful, gentle, but it was still school.  I haven't looked back since.


 I was never motivated by a dislike of school, but a realization that I learned so much more after leaving.  My husband's school experience was so-so.  He never was able to pursue what he wanted, and so he loved the idea as well.

post #22 of 49

We are just starting our homeschool adventure, and will finish our first "semester" of HS at the end of may.  I never considered it until after my DD was born, and then I reflected on my teaching experiences in PS, my own educational experiences, and thought - I don't want that for my kids, now what?  I was going to wait until next fall to start preschool with my oldest, but last november she was BEGGING me to go to school, so we started in January 2012.  She loves school, askes to do school on the weekend, and her little sister (who is not yet talking) wants to participate!  I have enjoyed doing it this spring, and I am looking forward to a new cirriculum next fall.  I am pretty set on HS for PK-8th, and then we will let our girls have some imput on what they want for high school.  I am pretty set on using cirriculums (as a former teacher, and as an adult with ADHD I have a hard time with seeing unschooling as a good fit for our family.) but I am fine with switching cirriculums if my original plan is not a good fit for us.  We are also a military family and I love the thought of not having to research school options everytime we move.  My oldest just turned 3 in march and is starting to sound out short words, has used a wide range of art mediums, and has explored many topics I would not have thought to look into without a cirriculum.  So I think we are on the right tract thus far.  I will say, my family thinks it is awful that I am HS and gives me a really hard time about it.  My friends also are confused as to why I would make this choice and have made some pretty rude comments about it, and I am a little concerned about having the personal stamina to make it all the way (I am very career oriented, and am really struggling with my last year as a at home mom) but it is worth the hard moments.


Good luck!!!!

post #23 of 49

Seeing this is timely for me, as I am on my third day of homeschooling my 5th grade daughter.  Our reasons had to do with lack of discipline at school and difficult behavior by the other children.  My daughter can be argumentative. She is adamant about her opinions and righteousness, but she is not a liar. When known liars' word was taken over hers, and then the school staff called my daughter a liar, that was the last straw.  Ever since she first tried to lie in toddlerhood, she couldn't do it. Her eyes would get really big. They still do. She has given up lying, as a result.  I wrote this about our reasons:



post #24 of 49

I started to think about home educating when those all around me started this frantic search for the right pre-school.  They spoke in breathy tones of their quest for the right pre-school, which would then feed into the right junior school, leading to the best senior school, catapulting their off-spring on to the best university, and a top job.  And all this before these little ones could even walk or talk.  I remember shocking them by doing nothing, on the grounds that we didn't know what our little one was like yet, so how could we choose the most suitable school?  Thus began my fledgling thoughts that following the child's proclivities and interests might actually map out a path that leads to the best outcome for that child.  Now our three children are 13, 9, and 6 and home education seems to suit us all fine - but that may change, because children do.

post #25 of 49
The moment dd1 was born i knew i wanted to homeschool. She is approaching 4 and i never waiv ered (ok, there was a one week period last summer where i was scared...)
post #26 of 49

Before I even knew I wanted kids I knew if I had them I would home school. I had a horrible school experience, to the point where I got depressed/suicidal at the age of 10.. My mom pulled me and put me in an independent study program. It made a world of difference in my life and I was able to return to school in high school (no choice, my mother was dying of cancer and couldn't keep homeschooling us) but I was confident enough to hold my own. I excelled through high school and college, graduating at the top of my class. Pretty good for a kid that in elementary school her parents were told she was "slow" and would "never amount to anything", thanks for the love teachers..


I'm glad I made the decision early.. My oldest is VERY much like me, I know she would me miserable in school. Homeschooling she is able to be herself and not be put through the stress of the school environment. Shes able to develop her skills on her time schedule, not some random schedule made my the state. My middle is a very intense child and I could see her being labeled a "problem child" by teachers because of it. They LOVE the fact they home school, when people ask who their teachers are (they are only 5 and 3 but a lot of people mistake them for a lot older) they very happily tell them that mommy teaches them.

post #27 of 49

For me, it was as a teenager when I realised that I could get a better education without school. It wasn't that I hated school, it was just that then, as now, I saw life as pretty short and I didn't want to be somewhere not making good use of my time.


I didn't go to school much myself as a teenager and I can honestly say that pretty much everything I learnt I taught myself. I am chronically unteachable, less so now, but I was terrible when I was younger. I found it very hard to learn from teachers, but I also had a lot of other things I wanted to do and was lucky enough to live in a city which is in many ways an audodictat's dream (London, UK).


My mother, who did her teacher training in the radical 60s/70s, had a load of books by John Holt, Ivan Illich, Jonathan Kozal and so on, and a lot of interesting friends. My parents were, while not delighted with me not going to school and becoming a doctor or whatever, at least tolerant providing I actually passed exams. I think I decided along the way that if nothing better was on offer, my kids would probably get more out of just living life than being in school.


Our educational style is geared towards making sure that they are competent to, as teenagers, access the resources they need to to do whatever it is they want to do, not least having some strong interests to pursue and some good friends around them.

post #28 of 49
Originally Posted by wp135 View Post

How old where your kids when you started thinking about homeschooling or unschooling?


Well, the first time I started thinking about it, my oldest was a couple years old at most.  When it came time for kindy, we enrolled and did the public charter thing, for about 4 months before we came to terms that it really wasn't working.  Next school year we checked out a private school thinking maybe private would make a difference, but it was very stifling and harsh and he had an absolutely horrendous experience.  We pulled him after about 3-4 weeks.  Never looked back since... We've gotten a lot more serious since this past fall (that's when we pulled him from private) and have been more structured in our schooling, which has been good for us.  I've learned that we're not schooling material (I find all the ridiculous rules pointless: don't do this, don't do that, be sure you do your assignment exactly this way, irregardless of whether or not you reach the same conclusion...) and we like the flexibility to learn what we like.  We keep to a firm lesson plan that keeps us progressing in math, science, social studies, and handwriting, but then we veer off wherever our interests take us on things like literature, history, and art.  For us, it took trying both public and private to realize we're home schoolers to the core.

post #29 of 49

I started doing some research when dd(15) was 6 in first grade (late fall 2002).  She was bored and unchallenged in school.  Then she tested into a gifted academy which I thought would be the answer for her.  It was alright, but after a year-and-a-half there, she started to dislike learning and the whole idea of school.  I started my research again and explained it to her.  She thought about it for 2 weeks and felt she was ready.  We started homeschooling in February of 3rd grade and went to the end of 8th grade.  It was the best experience ever and she got more out of it than I could have imagined.  

post #30 of 49

I was preggie with my first when I decided I would homeschool "no matter what."  DH was not supportive at all in the beginning.  He was sure we should send out children to PS.


Well, after I worked with her through almost all of the reading lessons we use, I asked him to work with her.  She was 3 years old and basically reading.  He was so amazed, he's been a huge supporter, encourager, and fully FOR homeschooling our, now, 4 children!


Oh, I was a PS teacher at the time I decided to HS.  I think I had to be a teacher so that I would make the choice to HS... I had to see what they could end up in if we sent them to PS...  I did NOT work in a good environment for children to actually learn.

post #31 of 49

When DS was 2 and everyone else's 2 year olds were going to pre-school and we couldn't afford that, I started looking into homeschooling for preschool, then quickly realized homeschooling was a great option for our family.

post #32 of 49

I started about seven years ago after the school told me I couldn't take my children out for a day to spend time with their grandmother.....that was actually the deciding point.   There were other issues that let up to that ultimate decision.  The thing that keeps me doing it is that I realized that these are MY children.  They were given to me  not to anyone else.  I thought about how they spent more time at school than at home, the teachers had a bigger influence on my children than I did, which was why they were so unhappy.  Unhappy teachers make for unhappy children.  My children weren't the same happy go lucky kids they were before and I had a son who suffered very much under a teacher who was such a miserable creature.  I wasn't the only one who thought so because she no longer teaches in a classroom environment.


I started a new curriculum this year....it's a local school district's effort to connect with homeschooling families.  It's completely on line and the teachers have lots of contact with their students.  I don't like it.  I want to go back to my previous model which was basically letting the children decide what they wanted to study (after I picked the math and grammar).  I loved trying new curriculum

and I loved having my own structure without having to follow someone elses.....The computers the children use for school are a complete distraction and it's hard to figure out what the lesson plans are for the older ones. They really like it...a lot.  I hate it and now I am in my own dilemma about what to do. 

Edited by momo7 - 5/9/12 at 11:22am
post #33 of 49

I have shared this before on here, but way back when DS was a newborn, I was sitting on my new best friend's couch.  I had met her at an LLL meeting, and she had her first baby too- just a little older than mine.


We were both holding our babies, and she said something along the lines of:  'So, after carrying him and nursing him and listening to and respecting him for five years- are you really going to turn him over to strangers, just like that?'


I had *never* thought about school yet.  But that question made up my mind instantly.  =)


I wondered what DH was going to say about it when I got home, but he was very open-minded and said I would be the one doing it after all, not him.


So that was that.  Honestly I don't think we would ever ever do anything but homeschool.  It seems like it should be the natural, default option for a child to grow up in their own home, with their own family. 


I know I went to public school and got good grades (and I had some years in college) and I am blown away by all I do *not* know, alllll I learn right along with my DC.  I want them to have a real life education, not what DH and I got.




FWIW, I dislike the term "homeschool."  I really don't like that it has 'school' in it, because we are just a normal family raising our children- we are not like a school!   But it is word we use a lot because it's what most people understand.rolleyes.gif

post #34 of 49

My daughter was years away from being conceived and I had yet to even meet my husband when homeschooling first came onto my radar. I decided to homeschool/unschool any future children I may have while sitting in language arts class my junior year, bored out of my mind & miserable, with one of John Holt's books hidden inside the assigned novel. From Holt I came acorss Grace Llewellyn's Teenage Liberation Handbook, dropped out of school for a correspondence course shortly after, finished in a few months, and jumped into the "real world" of college and full-time employment immediately afterward, a choice which convinced me all the more of the beauty of educational choice and control that is home/unschooling. 

post #35 of 49

I've always wanted to homeschool, but ended up sending them to school. Each year it got worse, but my oldest especially is a resilient girl and seemed to be letting things roll off her back (crowded classrooms, mean kids, etc.) If she hadn't done so well we probably would have pulled her out sooner, but this year (6th) it was clear that the conditions in the school were unacceptable. My younger daughter went to school from k to 3 until she also asked to be homeschooled. She disliked everything about school, from day one.

post #36 of 49

When I was shopping for preschool, I'm a pretty good shopper, I wanted to know what my kids were going to get and for how much money.  What I found out is that for $7 per hour per child ($14/hour) plus tons of required "volunteer" time, prep time, commute time, inflexibility, etc., the most highly regarded preschools were attempting to simulate the home environment but with a much worse parent child ratio.  WTF?  For $12/hour a lady could come to my home, prep the kids herself and take them to the park for me to have a break. 


Turning that same eye towards private schools, why would I want someone else to take our money -- it was similarly about $7 per hour but all day long five days a week -- and take away all choice from me about what and how my child studies, who teaches them, etc. -- and then have the gaul to, after having them for 6+ required hours, send home work for ME to administer (homework)?

post #37 of 49

Dd was about 1 when I started looking into homeschooling.  I started mainly because I noticed that she was so different from other babies and I wanted to get a "feel" for the educational options out there.  Originally I was looking into private alternative schools (like Waldorf) but then realized that most of those schools were attempting to simulate a home environment for $10,000 a year.  Well, I've got a home environment for free. :)  Then I began reading the homeschooling board here at MDC and saw so many wonderful examples of how I wanted my child to turn out, that it seemed like the way to go.  I still count MoominMama as my internet muse.  I also began reading John Holt and Hold On To Your Kids, and that was all she wrote.  No turning back for me.

post #38 of 49

Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post


  WTF?  For $12/hour a lady could come to my home, prep the kids herself and take them to the park for me to have a break. 





post #39 of 49

I read this thread with great interest. My dd is only 11 months old, and I think I'd really like try homeschool/unschool with her. I dreaded school and had extreme anxiety (vomited and cried on school bus a lot).. my parents said all kids had to adjust to school. Still, I love learning on my own. Fast forward 15 years later, I'm thrilled to know there are alternatives out there for living and learning! My dh agrees that school isn't the best place for 'learning', but feels it's necessary for social development. Anyway, I wonder whether many of parents decide on homeschooling from the get go, or change to homeschool due to problems with schools? 

post #40 of 49

I always "homeschooled" our kids for the first year or so of preschool....we didn't decide to homeschool for good until the end of my son's 1st grade year when we found out he had fallen 2 years behind in some subjects, was bullied, and the teachers never once used his IEP.

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