Since my husband and I have been seriously considering homeschooling I have encountered only negative opinions from family and friends and I need a little reality check. I keep thinking, if this doesn't work out for us he can just go back to PS, but this decision just feels really huge and everyone around me seems to be saying, "You will ruin your children's future!" I could really use some experienced voices.
- topicHomeschoolingtagged by gentlymade, 1/11/14
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Someone tell me this isn't huge...post #1 of 141/11/14 at 1:33pmThread Starterpost #2 of 141/11/14 at 2:01pmI went through the EXACT same thing! Someone even said my DS would grow up to be a serial killer if I homeschool...
I am ruining their lives, they will miss their friends too much, they will never be socialized properly, on and on. Even though my kids were *begging* to be homeschooled.
People believing misinformation is epidemic!
And you can't let what other people think govern your life. As soon as you actually pull them outta public school and move on with your plans for education, most of the negativity stops. Once they realize they can't change your mind they give up. There's that saying, *you can please all ppl some of the time, but your can't please some ppl all of the time* (or something along those lines, I can't remember the exact wording) Point is there will always be opposition in life. But you can't let that be how you base decisions.
Do what is right for your family!
Good luck, you sound like a very thoughtful and caring motherpost #3 of 141/12/14 at 5:34amThread Starterpost #4 of 141/12/14 at 9:14amI never went to school...ever. I've been in a school building a few times to vote, but that's about it. Personally, I loved being homeschooled. I will forever be grateful to my parents for keeping me home and I am continuing that with my own kids. You're not ruining his life! Also, it's totally okay to take it one year at a time!
I highly recommend finding a homeschool group near you. You'll get the support you need and he'll get to play with other homeschooled kids.post #5 of 141/12/14 at 7:43pmpost #6 of 141/13/14 at 8:20am
It always feels like a big deal to plant your feet outside the flow of the mainstream. But it's surprisingly straightforward if you think of it as just a continuation of the style of education your child had as an infant, toddler and preschooler. People have been home-educating their children for centuries. If anything institutional schooling is more of a recent experiment than homeschooling.
Eventually, over the years, as you continue along the homeschooling path, it will be a huge journey. It will grow to encompass your family life, your philosophy of education, your parenting, your relationships, your way of thinking about the world. It will comprise countless experiences and observations, mis-steps, plans, goals, changes of direction, experiments and triumphs. Yes, eventually it will be huge. But it'll start out as a series of small manageable steps, and it will grow with you and your child. And never will this huge journey pass some sort of point of no return. There are always other paths.
I'm more than 15 years into this and it's fine, just part of our life.
Edited by moominmamma - 1/13/14 at 2:10pmpost #7 of 141/13/14 at 10:31amThread Starterpost #8 of 141/13/14 at 11:57amYou can also check your local library. At mine there are a bunch of different "clubs" not necessarily home school, but its a free way to get my kids interacting with other kids. We have a culture club, lego club, science club, and multiple different book clubs that are more segregated by age group than the other clubs.post #9 of 141/16/14 at 8:41pm
I will tell you, as a new homeschooler, that is *isn't huge*. I told people that we were going to homeschool for a while and see how it goes. Even now when people ask me now how long we are going to HS I say "as long as it works for us". It really helped me to be able to frame it as a temporary decision that could be renewed. Our kids were in a private school (we live in a city with terrible PS) and we secured a promise that we could return even after one semester if it wasn't working. Even though its ended up being a great decision and everything is going fine, deciding to homeschool for now isn't the same as making a lifetime commitment.
People have mostly stopped criticizing/questioning me to my face now that we are doing it. I will say though that our decision to homeschool has garnered more annoying and misinformed commentary than any other decision we have ever made. And thats really saying a lot.
You can totally send your kids back if it turns out that learning together in a loving family ruins them ;) My guess is that they will thrive though!post #10 of 141/17/14 at 11:45am
We pulled our son (now 5) out of daycare at 4 and went with homecare/homeschooling. I absolutely despised the pre-k program he was in because of the stress the teacher was causing on him. It created a huge rift in our family and actually had my baby wetting himself. My husband and I were sick of fighting with the school and my aunt suggested a homeschool program and the rest was history. His teacher offers her homeschooling program at her home each day, along with daycare. She has kids from 6 weeks to middle school age (about 9 total) that teaches everyday. Most kids have been with her since they were newborns and were reading and writing by age 3.
I think moving him to her program and just homeschool in general was the best decision we ever made. We are in agreeement that we will keep in doing it until we feel we need to change or until he wants to move to PS. I'm not rushing it or pushing it. I too have dealt with familly opinions but my dad (who is a teacher) said it is not a "one-size fits all" business. If homeschooling works, then it works. Trust your gut and your child.post #11 of 141/18/14 at 7:13am
I can assure you of a few things:
1. It's not huge. If it doesn't work, there are other options you can explore: returning to public school, private school, online schooling, etc. It's not like you're deciding whether to chop off your right or left hand. It's a reversible decision, if you find it's not working for you.
2. My sons did not miss their friends much. Initially, when we were first finding our footing and hadn't found our homeschooling group yet, yes, there was a little loneliness and missing the friends from public school. But it didn't last long, especially once we found our homeschooling group and they made new friends there. Also, it really seemed to help them understand the difference between friends and acquaintances, when they realized who they missed and who they didn't. Some people they'd called "friend" they really did miss, and others it was more like, "Hey, you know, we were friends, but I'm kind of relieved not to deal with him/her anymore" or something like tha.
3. Socialization - Unless you're planning to lock them in the closet all day to homeschool, they will get plenty of it. Every visit to the hair salon, library, grocery store, gas station, video store, anywhere you go, they will interact with people - and in fact, if you run those errands while they're in school, this will actually lead to them getting more interaction with a wider variety of people than they do in school. If you join a homeschooling group, they will make friends there, and that will be more socialization. Their friendships will eventually be deeper because they will be choosing their friends because they actually LIKE them rather than just because they happen to be in the same class, same grade, or live in the same neighborhood.
4. Negativity - Some people are scared of what they don't understand, and choose to be negative towards it until they see proof that it's okay. My parents were not all that thrilled with me when I decided to homeschool. They supported me but they were clear that they thought it was a bad idea. Now, however? They tell people all the time how proud they are that I homeschool my kids, and they tell me they don't want me to ever send my kids back to public school. So first, don't let the negativity stop you. And second, keep in mind that by moving forward with your decision and showing those people that your kids lives are not ruined, you may change their opinion for the better.post #12 of 141/31/14 at 10:37amThread Starterpost #13 of 141/31/14 at 6:57pm
Here's the thing. I used to only know my family full of homeschooling kids (36 of them, in fact, really big family, lots and lots of cousins). And, they are all pretty awesome.
But, then, I started trying to find friends for my kids who are homeschooled, and, well, they aren't all pretty awesome. I've learned over the last year WHY people say all the stuff they say about homeschooled kids. Lots of it is true! What they are missing is that people homeschool for different reasons, and I suspect that the ones who fit the homeschool stereotype are the ones who wouldn't have done that great at public school either. What it comes down to is NOT the schooling, but the parenting. Homeschoolers aren't one size fits all, and you aren't going to mesh with everyone you meet. That's okay. :)
A huge difference between the successful and unsuccessful is the opportunity to learn to network. Many public school kids are given opportunities to perform in various disciplines, to be encouraged, and to be chosen for further, specialized opportunities. Homeschoolers have to create this on our own. It can be done better this way than the public school, but it is an area many homeschoolers neglect. If your son has a interest in robotics, for example, help him get his foot in the door. Take him to meet people who are doing it. Teach him to ask good questions, and how to convey his interests to them. Sign him up for opportunities to practice and to be seen. This is an aspect of socialization that can be missed at home.
But, overall, keep being the Mama who is striving to do better and give her children more everyday, all the while loving them for who they really are right now. It'll all be good.post #14 of 142/10/14 at 9:14am
It is a huge decision and commitment, as you will be turning your life upside down. But it is in no way permanent. I just pulled my older son out a little over a year ago, and my younger one stayed home this fall. We love it, overall. I am careful not to say "never" though because none of us know what the future holds. I do tell people that I have no plans to ever put my kids back in public school (after all, there are reasons why we pulled them and those haven't gone away), but I am careful not to box myself in because it's daunting.
I will say that our family members of our parent's generation age were cautiously skeptical - not unsupportive, but certainly not enthusiastic. Now they are all supportive, but if you aren't relying on these people for day to day support, their opinions are just that... opinions. You can take them or leave them. I would put more stock in you and your husband's gut feelings, because you know your kids and family best.
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