I started homeschooling my 7yo grade 2 son in January.
We decided to homeschool because:
- we never meant to public school in the first place, but my husband's a student and I had to work, and that meant public school. The ideal, IMO, would have been montessori, but we could not financially swing it.
- the amount of time wasted to transitions and busy work in the public school system (I'm a public school teacher and often look around and ask myself "would I want my kid in this class" and the answer is *almost* always a big fat no.
- DS was unhappy and frequently complaining that he was bored. Social issues played a small roll, but nothing more than typical playground disagreement stuff that DS would take to heart or he'd try to solve everyone else's problems and create more of his own.
- He had anxiety before bed, which lead to late nights and early mornings, and often rough mornings trying to get ready and get out the door and get to school.
We hoped homeschooling would:
- allow him to rediscover a love of learning
- help his confidence and improve his outlook on life
What we got:
When we first started, DH wanted assessments and tracking progress and schedules and distinct times for "school" and man-o-man did that flop. DS and I both wanted to punch eachother by the end of it. I saw he'd stress when things got challenging and sabotage the activity choosing silliness or attitude in order to avoid making mistakes or admitting he didn't know something.
From there I backed off. We focussed on expectations (dressed to socks before sitting down to breakfast, getting through the tasks of the day- simple, low-output/low-stress things like Lego and drawing and reading, then screens were an option after 2:00).
In the midst of all this, DS started seeing a psychologist to help with nightmares and a general dislike of sleep (at night....morning's a different story). After 6 weeks, the next step is a psyc ed assessment which actually makes me giddy because I'm starting to see he's not bored because he's advanced, he's bored because he's avoiding, and there's something going on, I'm 90% sure of it.
Tonight, DS is begging to go back to school. He claims I don't love him and I wish he were never born (?!?!?). If I had my way, we'd be eating up our time together: museums, homeschool groups, extra-curriculars, science centres, the whole nine yards and really connecting and exploring and I could boast how awesome this is and he couldn't do that in public school. The thing is, with DH in school and me on mat leave, we are living on half of a single income. We have a housemate and I do childcare just to keep us in the black. That means no transportation, no mounds of time (transitions are hard on DS...when I have to do afterschool care, doing anything else earlier in the day is a recipe for disaster), and no money to do much with.
I feel like there is NO local support. There is one gym class on Wednesdays for homeschoolers that DS almost got in a fist fight at the last one (I was busy with the younger child I care for, and my 7 month old) so didn't even pick up on it until he tried to go after him swinging. He doesn't want to go back. He claims he doesn't want to be with younger kids (he forgets that there were older kids and a couple his age there as well). It costs us $10 by the time we pay for the bus, and often have to leave early to get back to do after school care.
We have our good days, we have our great days, we have our crap days. Today was decent up until going to pick up a friend's daughter who we watch after school. That's when things took a turn for the worse. We talked tonight and he said seeing school makes him sad and that he wants to go back.
Honestly, I do not think putting him back in school is the answer.
I'm feeling like I can't wait for this psyc ed assessment so I can better understand what his brain is doing and support him in ways he needs. He's a sensitive boy, and super snuggly when things are good, and super sour when things are bad.
I just want him to find the sweet him that he used to be. I want us to find a way to make this work. Please tell me it can and that I'm not being a complete witch for not letting him go back to school.