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Why should I homeschool my child?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
One of my biggest problems with taking the big jump and taking my son out of public school stems with the fact that he really enjoyed kindergarten, did very well grade-wise (whatever that means), and he was excited to continue onto first grade.

Throughout my school career, I always LOVED school and I feel guilty thinking that he might love school, too and is it fair for me to take that away from him? (Unfortunately, the last time I checked, I don't have a crystal ball. )

My main reasons for wanting to homeschool are the few issues he did have at school and wanting him to be with me more often. Things that didn't go as well at school are things such as his being told repeatedly that he is not popular (!) mainly, unhealthy snacks given at snack time, 6 1/2 hour days in kindergarten, meanness from other children with their parents not even noticing and certainly not seeming to care. I KNOW I could (and do) give him "socialization" a million times better than the school does. This is supposedly one of these best elementaries in our city, too. Then I am afraid that it is selfish to want to keep him home for me and all of the time and devotion I want to give him (and my daughter).

I am quite active in the community and we go out and do plenty of educational and fun field trips, outings, classes and playgroups. We have plenty of friends who homeschool and some who do not and a pretty wide & diverse variety of people that we spend time with.

I suppose this is a rather biased forum to ask this question in, but I would love to hear any and all suggestions, thoughts and reasons to help me persuade myself to finalize my decision and feel so confident and without a doubt that homeschooling is what I should do and what I should do now.

Thank you.
post #2 of 54
I'd look at it the other way - why are you thinking of schooling? Your child apparently enjoyed it and got good grades, right? Can homeschooling be enjoyable and exciting for him? You bet! Is getting good grades important to either of you? It doesn't sound like it.

Your reasons for homeschooling (long hours, yucky social stuff, wanting to spend more time with your child) seem much more compelling to me.

It's interesting how the quality of education doesn't come up on either side ;-) Personally, I think that's fine, and education takes care of itself in an interesting and supportive environment... but it's still interesting

Dar
post #3 of 54
Have you talked to him about it? If he really does love school, and he seems to be doing well, and you haven;t noticed any adverse effects, then perhaps you may want to keep him in school. Afterall no option is perfect for everyone. However, if he's up for the idea, and you really want to (and it sounds like you do), and you are ready for it ( it sounds like you are), then go for it. perhaps try home summerschool. Take homeschool out for a test run this summer. If it goes well over the summer, continue in the fall. If not, and he wants to go back, and you don't really want to do it, then send him back to school.

As far as being selfish, boloney. Our society is so concerned with separating from our children as soon as possible, we have forgotten that parents are supposed to be with their children during their childhood! Don't be ashamed to want to be with your child. It doesn't make you less of a person.
post #4 of 54
Thread Starter 

Quality of Education

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
I'd look at it the other way - why are you thinking of schooling? Your child apparently enjoyed it and got good grades, right? Can homeschooling be enjoyable and exciting for him? You bet! Is getting good grades important to either of you? It doesn't sound like it.

Your reasons for homeschooling (long hours, yucky social stuff, wanting to spend more time with your child) seem much more compelling to me.

It's interesting how the quality of education doesn't come up on either side ;-) Personally, I think that's fine, and education takes care of itself in an interesting and supportive environment... but it's still interesting

Dar
I was attempting not to list all of my reasons pro and con simply because I didn't want to bore everyone here. :LOL I wanted someone to actually be awake by the time I got around to asking a question.

Why am I thinking of schooling? Because I loved my schooling (albeit in a different country and in a different time), he (my 6 1/2 year old) seems to have loved it (though I know he's too young to notice most of the detrimental factors) and because if I change my mind in a year, he will no longer be able to be in the same PS but in one that is fraught with much worse problems than the one he has been in for the past year. Silly reason, I know, but it's one of them. Another is actually that once (and if) both of our children are in school, I will have time to focus on building our bank account so that in 5 years or so, we can take them out and spend years and years travelling the world, living in a variety of different countries, learning different languages and enjoy the wide wide world, spending months at a time out on the ocean, in the Rockies, etc. Some might say, "do it while you homeschool" but given how obsessive I can be, I just know I could not take on a project like that without the detriment of my children were they home with me all day long. I need to focus on homeschool and our family's social life and stay positive and cheerful most of the time, not as stressed I would be with a business on the side OR let the children go to elementary school (as long as they seem to enjoy it) and focus on gathering as much money as I can in as little time as I can so that we can take off in a few years. Who knows, if I homeschool I still might be able to manage it, but I know with a few dedicated hours each day, I could do more, faster.

I might add that for a long time, my husband and I have planned to homeschool for the teen years and later. The plan was to use the elementary years to accomplish some of our other goals. (I hope they don't sound materialistic as I don't really think they are and I don't think we are)

As for the quality of education, I absolutely have no doubt that I can deliver a better education than the schools do (especially for the younger years, then with additional help for the older years), but I thought that at least elementary school would be benign, fun, adorable, sweet and all kinds of candy-coated words...the way I remember it to be. Darker themes didn't enter the picture until I was around 13 and even then I still loved school, so I was hoping it would be the same for my children.

Unfortunately, I am afraid that elementary will hinder rather than be benign and my husband strongly believes that it has already had a poor effect on our son. (I don't disagree) Many education and homeschool articles and books speak about schooling as hindering or stopping the desire to learn, but I don't think it ever did that for me...I am a non-stop self-educator, always wanting to know more and constantly reading and searching and learning. I believe I might be an exception to the rule but I can't guarantee it... and how do I know that my son won't be just like me?

Anyway, the truth is that I am THIS --><-- close to having decided to homeschool but I am still searching for an indescribable something that will finalize the decision for me...tip the scales over and not let them sway back. I want to make this decision once and for all and never have any regrets or self-doubt.

Does that make sense?

I am crossing my fingers and hoping that someone here (or elsewhere) can give me or help me to find whatever it is that is holding me back ever so slightly... I may find it myself, (no one can say I am not searching) but wherever the lightbulb effect hits me, I will be fascinated to figure out what it was that hit the switch.

p.s. oh yeah, and "getting good grades" was always extremely important to me...and very easy, when I was in school. Too easy. I would be extremely worried if my son wasn't getting good grades, he'd be out and in homeschool in a minute.

I think that any child with any issue whatsoever in school, whether it be a slow or faster timetable, health issues, social issues, discipline issues, whatever the case may be, is better off in homeschool. The problem I have is telling myself that my son, who only has "small" issues in school, should be homeschooled. I believe both my brother and sister should have been homeschooled...I wish they had been homeschooled (perhaps not by my mother, but that's another story ), they would have been so much better off in so many ways if they had been...but I have trouble determining within myself why I should have been homeschooled and therefore why my son, who seems to be so very like me in so many ways, should be homeschooled right now.

So please, if anyone has an idea and wants to tell me, "what in the world are you thinking? HOMESCHOOL NOW!", go right ahead! Just give me some reasons, 'kay? Thanx!
post #5 of 54
If you want learning to be fun and exciting for your son, you can accomplish everything the school would and more. He'll be in school for 6ish hours a day and have about 2-3 hrs of actual learning time, once you figure transition from subject to subject, walk to the lunch room, walk to recess, time spent disciplining other kids, time spent getting out the books and turning to the right page, etc. You've got the great ideas on how to teach him and you can make it exciting. IF you don't like it, put him on the list to get back into your preferred school, you wouldn't have to do it right away, so you've got the time to wait.

I'm 2 semesters away from being a teacher. I chose this field so I can have summers 'off' with my kids, should they attend public schools, or I can school them myself if they don't and not get too much flack from those around me, since I'll be a 'trained' teacher. I mentioned on another thread that of the 25 people in my education classes, there are at least 1/3, closer to 1/2 of those that I would NEVER allow to teach my kids. The 'mentor' teacher I worked with last semester was awful- demeaning to the kids, yelling at them, telling one little girl the reason she was behind was she always cheated on her homework and never did her work right. She taught math strictly from the workbooks- each day, the kids had 6 total pages of problems, front and back. This was SECOND grade. She had been teaching and did have a lot stuff going on in her personal life, but if I knew my kid was being spoken to the way she spoke to the kids in her class, I would be LIVID. She was worse to the kids who needed the kind words more (broken homes, etc.)

Did that help any?
post #6 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bens_mommie
Have you talked to him about it? If he really does love school, and he seems to be doing well, and you haven;t noticed any adverse effects, then perhaps you may want to keep him in school. Afterall no option is perfect for everyone. However, if he's up for the idea, and you really want to (and it sounds like you do), and you are ready for it ( it sounds like you are), then go for it. perhaps try home summerschool. Take homeschool out for a test run this summer. If it goes well over the summer, continue in the fall. If not, and he wants to go back, and you don't really want to do it, then send him back to school.

As far as being selfish, boloney. Our society is so concerned with separating from our children as soon as possible, we have forgotten that parents are supposed to be with their children during their childhood! Don't be ashamed to want to be with your child. It doesn't make you less of a person.
Quote:
Have you talked to him about it?
Yes, I have mentioned it to him, I didn't want to spring any decisions on him and I wanted to hear his feedback, if he had any. First of all, I had the overwhelming desire that I really wanted to not let him go to First Grade at the beginning of the last week of Kindergarten. So I mentioned it to my son in the best week of the whole year, all parties, fun and games. Of course, he said, "No, thank you." Silly me.

I would periodically mention it to him after that, about once a week on average, saying, "Daddy and I are thinking that we would like to homeschool you instead of sending you to [name of school]. We have not decided yet and we are going to think about it for a while. What do you think?" And for weeks he would say, "I think I would like to homeschool for Sixth Grade. Yes, Sixth Grade." And I would reply, "Well, we are thinking about having you home for First Grade instead, but we are still thinking about it and we want you to think about it, too."

I would give him some reasons for homeschooling as well, telling him that with homeschool, there wouldn't be bullies (a term he learned in school), I would be there almost all the time to help if someone was being mean and to help him never to be mean, we would have much more time for going to the children's discovery museum and to playgrounds and to join all the sports teams he wants as well as all different types of other activities.

I also told him about the local Homeschool Groups, as he is familar with MOMS Club, I told him it is just like that, only with Homeschoolers. Since he has a really good friend who is in that club, that has helped (the friend wants him to homeschool) and I had a 9 year old girl who homeschools tell him all about it and how great it is and what she likes about it, etc. He has come around and now says that he wants to homeschool for first grade, BUT I feel I can convince most people (including my husband!) of almost anything so I certainly don't want to have done that to my son. I am trying to give him time to come to his own decision (though it isn't his choice, I'd like him to be happy about my choice) while realizing that he is just 6 and he doesn't always tell me his every thought and he might at times be telling me what he thinks I might like to hear (by-product of schooling or an error in my ways? I'm not sure) and that he does not realize the side-effects that certain things in kindergarten had.

I feel like I could convince someone else to homeschool but haven't quite 100% done it to myself. Isn't that odd?

You are correct in saying that I shouldn't be ashamed to want to be with my children for as long as possible. I do know one mom who said to another something about not knowing what she was going to do all summer long now that her child wasn't in preschool and I said, "Oh really? I can't wait to have my son with me again all day long, every minute of every day." I know that mom loves her child and has other issues (work) making it more stressful for her to have her child with her all day long but it was just so apparent that we were coming from different angles on that one.

Thank you for your insight Bensmommie!
post #7 of 54
Thread Starter 

Getting good teachers are just the luck of the draw

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelbean91
I'm 2 semesters away from being a teacher. I chose this field so I can have summers 'off' with my kids, should they attend public schools, or I can school them myself if they don't and not get too much flack from those around me, since I'll be a 'trained' teacher. I mentioned on another thread that of the 25 people in my education classes, there are at least 1/3, closer to 1/2 of those that I would NEVER allow to teach my kids. The 'mentor' teacher I worked with last semester was awful- demeaning to the kids, yelling at them, telling one little girl the reason she was behind was she always cheated on her homework and never did her work right. She taught math strictly from the workbooks- each day, the kids had 6 total pages of problems, front and back. This was SECOND grade. She had been teaching and did have a lot stuff going on in her personal life, but if I knew my kid was being spoken to the way she spoke to the kids in her class, I would be LIVID. She was worse to the kids who needed the kind words more (broken homes, etc.)

Did that help any?
I know you are exactly right about the little amount of "on task" time in a day at school. I know that in 1-2 hours a day, 4 days a week, I could teach my son the amount of actual knowledge or useful learning he gained in a week in public school, easily.

I would be happier with public school, especially kindergarten, if it were all play based, just happy kids playing happily together, doing crafts, enjoying music, PE, playing some more, inside and outside, etc. I actually had my son in a little preschool type program for a few months, couple mornings a week, prior to kindergarten, because he kept asking to go to preschool (Thank you Little Bill) and because we had moved to a new area where he suddenly had no friends to play with (so we thought he'd meet some in preschool to become friends with: wrong). He loved it, since it was play centered with excellent teachers and a very low child-teacher ratio (government subsidized community program). He didn't learn one thing from that program except how fun it is to play and how nice his teachers were, he did his "learning" at home. Kindergarten was more troubling.

Sorry, it's late and I feel like I'm getting off topic here.

I agree with you, it's scary to think of all the imperfect teachers that he could get and even with the research I did trying to choose the best teachers (we can request teachers, though our requests are not all granted) for my son, how can I possibly know until he has been in those teacher's classes for a while? I don't want to put him through the trauma of having him in a class that could possibly be horrible for him...or even just slightly uncomfortable or unfun, then pulling him out in the middle of it. I would do it if necessary but I'd like to preempt that and decide before school begins.

I will tell one story that is a big one for my husand and I. Maybe it doesnt' seem that important to some but it really annoyed us. We are active parents in the school, I volunteer as much as possible with my 3 year old tagging along. Even my husband is a presence at the school. People definitely know who we are and by virtue of our children having unique names, people throughout the school know us and our children's names easily (including my 3 year old's, who does not go to the school). Anyway, one day we were at a fundraising event, a walkathon on a Saturday and my son's teacher was selling tickets for a raffle. My son went up to her to buy some tickets, money in hand, and he was so happy and excited to buy them from her and to say hi to her, and she barely gave him a second glance, gave him the tickets and turned away. My husband's jaw was audibly scraping on the ground <scrape, scrape> as he walked away.

Okay, am I expecting too much that the teacher would have shown a little enthusiasm, at least said, "HI there, how are you doing?", acted a little like my son was one of her classmates, rather than a complete stranger? [Actually, I would show more enthusiasm to a child I didn't really like than she showed to my son - not that I can think of any children like that, but still]

Part of me tells myself that this teacher has strengths and weaknesses, perhaps we just caught her in a bad moment that day, perhaps she was never ever like that ever again in her entire life and certainly never in the classroom...but we both had our worries and doubts.

Perhaps no other teacher in that public school has ever done that, ever.

Perhaps my son might continue in PS and never encounter such a thing again. I believe all of my elementary and junior high school teachers loved me, why not my son?

Chances are he won't be so lucky, right? Is this a risk I am willing to take? That my son could be hurt by a thoughtless teacher in such a way that he will remember it and be affected by it his entire life?

Surely all of us have a couple of moments in our lives that we can remember, where someone in their young childhood said something that hurt us to the core, that we never repeated to anyone to years, that affected our self-esteem in some way? Do I really want someone else (ie. a teacher or arely supervised fellow student) to have the chance to do that to him when he is so young? No, I really don't.

I don't think I'm wrong to want to shelter my son from the worst things, particulary when he is young and still forming so many parts of himself and who he wants to be. I definitely want to shelter him from mean teachers who might crush his self-esteem by telling him horrible things, in 1st grade or 2nd grade or beyond. I feel so bad for the little girl in your story. If only HER parent(s) would take her out of school...

Guess I probably shouldn't wait for something like that to happen before I take my child out, right?

(p.s. yeah, you might be on the right track, thanx!)
post #8 of 54
Thread Starter 

Trial homeschooling

By the way, I did tell myself I would homeschool over the summer, to try it out, but as I am leaning more towards unschooling with a few set times but little set content...I'm thinking about setting aside 8:30-9:30 AM to focus on my older child. We would follow his interests, perhaps a unit study depending on his latest interest (lately, he's been really fascinated by birds, ABC Bird books which list all types of birds, their names, their unique traits, etc. hold his interest more than I would ever have imagined. He loves to watch birds. I'm taking his to the nearest Aviary next week...). Getting him to write letters to family members or friends, practising math, reading stories, doing crafts, whatever he feels like that day.

Anyway, so far this summer, we've been so busy that I haven't stuck to that 8:30-9:30 AM self-imposed goal, but it really doesn't bother me and it doesn't mean that learning has not been happening. There is constantly learning going on in our family. Today the children learned valuable lessons like all about how to get more water on Daddy than on the truck they were supposed to be washing. In the BIG PICTURE, I think that is one of the most important things you can possibly know!

So yeah, it hasn't exactly worked out the way I'd planned but I'm flexible and know that I will be able to do it and will enjoy it "once" I finally decide to write that letter to the school (and school board) telling them that my son will not be returning this year.

Or not. Hmmm..... Anyone placing odds?
post #9 of 54
I think where you choose for your child to get his or her education is a personal choice. I can't preach why or why not you should homeschool your child because each family is different. I honestly think some children and parents are better suited for different types of schooling. What I suggest is researching homeschooling vs public schoolign and figure out if this would be a positive or negative change for your child and your family.
post #10 of 54
I took my 8y/o dd out of a top-ranking gifted school in NYC. She enjoyed school from the beginning, loved her teachers, and had many friends. But she just couldn't learn in that environment. She is a free spirit - very self directed and self motivated. Forced learning doesn't work with her. I felt that most of her teachers weren't the patient, loving, people I'd expected for the early grades. She was advanced and isolated from the rest of the kids sometimes. She was inattentive and hyper and labeled ADHD - behaviors she only displayed in school. Basically I was fed up with what I felt was just a heart-breaking situation for my dd. Her love of reading was squashed by being told "don't read ahead" and "now answer 15 questions on the story". So now she's home - since February - and I have seen her come alive again.

My 11 y/o and 4 y/o go to school and are happy there and that's fine with me. I won't hesitate to take either one of them out as well if I sense any kind of unhappiness or resistance to learning.

My point is that you can't know what would be "best" for children until you experience different options. I have become a staunch supporter of homeschooling and I have seen how homeschooling (unschooling) opens up a child's mind and lets them be who they are, but I won't take my other 2 out of school against their will. I have discussed hs with them and right now they want nothing to do with it. Even my 4 y/o talks about going to school again. I think the issues you mentioned are important ones. Mean kids, unpopularity, and long hours can become excruciating for a small child. In the older grades bullying can start and self-esteem issues arise. You can't tell him not to have the unhealthy food (by having him bring hisown) because then he'll be "different" and further ostracized.

I know I'm being extreme, but I have seen it all. I hated school from day 1 and probably would have flourished with homeschooling! My dd11 is in the "popular" group at school which is full of DRAMA, language and information I feel she is too young for, and an obsession with boys and clothes. The fights, the ganging up, the "have to fit-in", the crying at home, - all of this crap brought me to suggest homeschooling for her - but she doesn't want to right now. Ok - I'll be here when she's ready.

Ds4 is going into preKindergarten. He is about as advanced as dd8 was at his age and I am already anticipating school problems. He was in "time-out" a lot in preschool which bothers me, but he still begged to go every day, and he'd getmad when I said he could stay home today. I am planning on letting him enjoy school for a while - I feel it's like a 2-hour day camp or playgroup. But the fact that he's already reading and almost seems to have a photographic memory will probably be detrimental by first grade. Advanced placement will only mean more work and less freedom. I don't want that for him - but he'll be bored and restless in a mainstream class. I already went through this with dd8. This may not turn out to be the case, but I'm preparing myself anyway.

All I can do is be the best parent to them I can, by always being there and always knowing as much as I can about and being a part of their school lives. With dd8, we spoke often about school and when I brought up homeschooling she was all for it - even though she loved school and looked forward to it everyday. She's been home for 5 months now and loves being home and does not miss school (except for a few friends at first).

So, I guess even though I believe in homeschooling, I'm more in the camp of - where-will-your-child-be-the-happiest-and-reach-his-potential? Are the issues you have with school something that you think you can get over? Or do you see things steadily getting worse for your child? What does your mommy-instinct say? What's the prevailing thought that's in your head over and over again? Go with your gut. Homeschooling doesn't mean he'll miss out. It's just a whole new way of doing things - which I feel are better than what school has to offer.

Sorry this turned into a novel. I go through this in my head pretty often, too. As parents, we always second guess ourselves. It's a tough decision and it's hard to step out of your comfort zone. Just keep thinking about where you feel the BEST environment will be for him over time. Good Luck in your decision and keep us posted!!
post #11 of 54
Here is my reasoning--we haven't 100% decided to home school DD for the 2006-2007 school year (I'm still WOHM this year) but we're pretty sure. She is entering 4th grade this year, I'll be hs'ing her for 5th. I've always loved her school, and so does she. But this past year, she was starting to get very bored. The kid loved science, until last year they spent a huge amount of time on several topics that were of no interest to her whatsoever. If I decided that she *had* to learn about those topics, we really could have covered them in less than a month and gone on to more fun topics.

She loves reading at home, but absolutely despises reading class, where she has to listen to the poor readers slowly stumbling over a passage in their book. If she gets bored and reads ahead, she gets in trouble for not paying attention. She loves writing, loves poetry, but when they write in class it's always very structured assignments and it isn't as much "fun" as writing letters or writing in a journal. She even enjoys writing book reports more than the in-class assignments!

She spent weeks on fractions in math, never really got the concept. We cooked a few desserts together, and one of them I cut the recipe in half, and she understood fractions in less than a few hours.

In short, she is losing her love of learning. This year I'm supplementing what she is learning in school with fun learning, but we are also planning on watching her closely, because if she gets any more bored and burned out, we're pulling her early and I'm quitting earlier than we are planning.

Hope this helps..because to be honest, I'm rereading my own post and saying "why am I *not* 100% positive? I think I just convinced myself! :LOL

Rebecca
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky
He has come around and now says that he wants to homeschool for first grade,
From your posts it sounds like your child didn't want to homeschool, you have now talked him into it, and now you aren't sure if this is the right thing because you want to save money to travel. Did I follow everything?

So you talked your child into homeschooling and aren't sure if you are going to homeschool him?????

If you were not 100% sure that you wanted to homeschool, you should not have talked into it. Now you should homeschool him if he wants to or you will just be jerking him around based on your whims. It's just mean. :

Quote:
because if I change my mind in a year,
Don't. Your kid needs some consistancy from you.

Quote:
I will be able to do it and will enjoy it "once" I finally decide
This needs to be about treating your son with dignity and respect, not about your enjoyment.
post #13 of 54
I think you are overthinking this, making homeschooling into a much bigger deal than it really is. If the decision is tormenting you this much, then maybe it's not the right thing to do. However, I agree with Linda that it's not fair to your son to keep changing your mind and telling him different things. You're the mom and you're the one who needs to make the ultimate decision, so stop placing the onus of it on your son.
post #14 of 54
FWIW I was a pre-school teacher in my pre sham life and have a degree in Early Childhood ED (birth-8) and IMHO early childhood is no time to mess around with the PS's they are in no way benign! Young children in particular need to learn in a manner that is free from rote memorization & standardization. I think for the most part children are better off being HS in the elementary grades and schooled in the higher grades if at all. My reasoning is that by than their brains are hard wired and they hopefully have a passion for learning, so schooling in the upper grades has less of a chance of doing permanent damage! If you really want to save money for travel, a worthy HS activity, then send them to school later and work then. As your children get older you may be able to work and HS. Who knows you may even find a way to involve your children in saving for trips when there older, HS'ed kids are notorios for starting there own buisness in their teen years.

just my .02

Pleas feel free to ask me questions about young children, brain development and the school enviorment if you like
post #15 of 54
Maybe you shouldn't homeschool if you have so many doubts. We joined a homeschool group when ds was 3 to "check it out". It didn't take long for us to be sure that was the path we wanted to take. We love spending time with ds and we love the way he learns - he's curious, bright, enthusiastic! We don't want to change anything! We eat very healthy food, we don't watch TV, and he isn't exposed to things we consider inappropriate for his age. We like it that way! He's 5 and if we were PS'ing (which just to reiterate, we're not!) he'd start kindy this fall.

ETA: Have you read Dumbing us Down by John Taylor Gatto or any other books about homeschooling? I particularly liked Homeschooling Our Children Unschooling Ourselves by Alison McKee.
post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky
Anyway, the truth is that I am THIS --><-- close to having decided to homeschool but I am still searching for an indescribable something that will finalize the decision for me...tip the scales over and not let them sway back. I want to make this decision once and for all and never have any regrets or self-doubt.

Does that make sense?

I am crossing my fingers and hoping that someone here (or elsewhere) can give me or help me to find whatever it is that is holding me back ever so slightly... I may find it myself, (no one can say I am not searching) but wherever the lightbulb effect hits me, I will be fascinated to figure out what it was that hit the switch.
Well, it's a pretty big deal, f'r Pete's sake!

And we've all grown up with the deep societal belief that school is wholesome and good for you - like milk and all sorts of other things that aren't. There's this feeling about it making you a well rounded, grounded, social, and centered person. It's such a subconcious notion that it's hard to completely shake, even when we have strong intellectual and emotional reasons why we feel there must be a better way.

Fairly often you'll even hear of children with a serious disease who desperately want to stay in school as long as possible - they can't imagine another way of life that would feel like the same kind of fit. I remember years ago when I'd see the Disney Teacher of the Year awards show - I mean really fantastic teachers - and I'd get that sinking feeling... But I'd get over it and come back to reality. Some kids can have great experiences in schools, but the experiences they can have in a larger state of freedom are absolutely amazing - if you make sure you're getting them out and about to mingle and play with others.

And, by the way, you don't get off the hook just because you finally make up your mind - periodic anxiety attacks come with the territory.
- Lillian
post #17 of 54
I think if your DS is really happy, and can handle the meanness from other kids... maybe he should stay in school? I don't know. I love homeschooling but I know that if there were safe schooling options available to me, I would try them for my kids who could handle it. One of my kids would not do well in school, but a couple other probably would be ok. But we do not have any safe schools near us, and cannot afford private school. I love homeschool, don't get me wrong, but if he really likes school, and you do too, maybe it is something you could stick with?
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky
So please, if anyone has an idea and wants to tell me, "what in the world are you thinking? HOMESCHOOL NOW!", go right ahead! Just give me some reasons, 'kay? Thanx!
What in the world are you thinking?? HOMESCHOOL NOW!

And since you asked for them, here are my reasons. Feel free to adopt whichever ones apply to you and yours:

1. I can give my child a better education than any public or private school in this country ever could.

Why?

a. Teacher-pupil ratio, of course. Between my husband and me, we have a 2:1 ratio at the (very) small (very) private Baudelaire Girl School.

b. Individually tailored curriculum. I have a kid who is all over the map -- pleasure-reading at the 5th-grade level, instructionally reading at probably 7th-grade level easily, doing 1st-grade math, intro to chemistry, Latin, and is still getting the hang of how to write lowercase letters. Anyone care to venture a guess as to which grade she should be in? In any school, public or private, this would be a nightmare. At the BG School, it's no big deal.

c. No peer pressure. No one around to tell her girls can't do math or science. No one around to tell her she's ugly or she stinks. No one around to steal her lunchbox, refuse to sit with her, or generally make her life miserable.

d. We don't have to keep up with other teachers or not teach her something because she'll "learn it next year in Ms. Jones' class."

e. We scoff at state testing. YOU, NCLB!!

2. Her father and I are better teachers for her than anyone else.

Why?

a. We actually got a good education in a core subject, unlike most teachers in this country who major in "education."
b. We actually care about our child. What she does matters to us. No teacher would ever care about her as much as we do.
c. We don't fit her into an age/grade lockstep. She can proceed at her own pace.
d. We're not afraid of the fact that she learns at a different pace than a normal kid.
e. We are not afraid to teach and are not intimidated by the pretentions of teachers who try to convince parents that teaching is some mystic art of which only initiates are master. :LOL

3. No dubious "socialization" issues.

a. No mean girls
b. No bullies
c. No rude and intimidating jerks. This includes teachers.
d. No anxiety about trivia like, "Oh, I can't sit next to Tracy because Kayla doesn't like her this week..." interfering with academics
e. No being beaten up on the playground, on the bus, in the bathroom
f. No dark sarcasm in the classroom. Teacher, leave them kids alone! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
g. No drugs
h. No peer pressure to conform to a certain dress code, level of intelligence, or type of interest. I have no intention of turning my child into a cookie cutter version of herself that's acceptable to other little momsers.

4. No behavioralist social and intellectual conditioning.

a. No academic competition, which teaches kids that other people are not academic peers, but enemies.
b. NO GRADES. Work is done for its OWN SAKE! Surprise! Since there are no grades, there's no pressure to get good ones as a way of controlling behavior into a societal mold that some stranger to my family has deemed acceptable to her.
c. No smarmy condescension when or if my kid or someone else's kid has an answer some narrowminded, undereducated teacher doesn't expect or isn't smart enough to think of. TOO MANY TIMES have I either heard, witnessed, or experienced this phenomenon: one teacher told my friend's daughter she had done the math problem "wrong" because instead of multiplying 5x3, she had multiplied 3x5. Oh....so long, commutative property! Or the thread on this site where the teacher explained that "all carrots are orange," or penalized a kid for drawing an apple red because "all apples are red." Or, in my case, literally paddling me on the a&& because I read too fast. Seriously.


Well, I hope those are good reasons. If they're not enough, let me know and I'll be happy to give you more.
post #19 of 54
Thread Starter 

Not exactly...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
From your posts it sounds like your child didn't want to homeschool, you have now talked him into it, and now you aren't sure if this is the right thing because you want to save money to travel. Did I follow everything?

So you talked your child into homeschooling and aren't sure if you are going to homeschool him?????
No, not exactly. My point is that since my son is six, he periodically tells me that he wants to homeschool and it seems to be mostly to please me, not because he has actually come to that decision. I don't want to "talk him" into it, I want to let him make the decision himself, though I am trying to ensure that he has all the info he needs to make that decision. He already knows about what public school is like, I'm trying to give him a fun yet more complete picture about what homeschool will be like.

I don't want to save money to travel, I want to give my children the best life I possibly can and I am simply trying to figure out what the very best thing for them will be and want them to be onboard, not have to convince them of anything, or force them to do anything. I have travelled plenty, if I don't travel again in my life, then I will still be very well off. I do want to give extensive travel to my children and that was one way I could think of to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
If you were not 100% sure that you wanted to homeschool, you should not have talked into it. Now you should homeschool him if he wants to or you will just be jerking him around based on your whims. It's just mean. :
Are you always this supportive, or is there a low pressure system in your area? Actually, I am 100% sure I want to homeschool (have planned to for middle & high school for a long time, knowing that I and my husband could change our minds by that time), I am just rethinking our thoughts on when to begin. I want to be absolutely sure that I am making the right decision for my son for the right reasons. Some might be able to make this decision with only a couple of reasons but I need to have every single little detail worked out in my head and have decided my position on every facet of the issue, in theory and as pertaining to my specific child. Such as, which would be better for my child(ren), homeschooling now and perhaps not being able to afford 2-5 years of dedicated world travel in his young teens, or public school now and homeschooling (definitely including travel) from middle school on? I think I am creative to try to make those types of plans. You seem to think I'm being selfish. It's your right.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
Don't. Your kid needs some consistancy from you.
Does that mean you believe I should keep my son in ps since he began there? That would be consistant.

I have never told my son we are definitely homeschooling him, I speak to him frequently about the fact that we are thinking of homeschooling him and why. I encourage a dialogue between us on the topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
This needs to be about treating your son with dignity and respect, not about your enjoyment.
Surely you jest when you suggest I am not treating my son with dignity and respect and that you determined this from this thread. In real life, do you shake your finger at people? Is that an example of the "dignity and respect" you speak of? Charming.

Thank you for your input regardless.
post #20 of 54
Thread Starter 

Researching as we speak...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
What I suggest is researching homeschooling vs public schoolign and figure out if this would be a positive or negative change for your child and your family.
I definitely believe it would be a positive change. In the past year, my son has changed a little, perhaps a lot (negatively, I would say), yet he is still very sweet and ...I'm not sure how to put it, but today we just came back from a trip visiting my SIL, her husand and her 3 kids. Her two eldest are 5 and 9 and she made the comment to me today that her children are so much more "street smart" than mine, that mine are still sweet and innocent and child-like and hers have had to become more "tough" to deal with all they have. (public school bullies, divorce, rough and tumble biological father) My response was that I liked that about them and did want to homeschool very much to allow that to continue.

Another lady that I know who has always homeschooled her 9 year old daughter told me once that her daughter plays so well with all of the other children in the class we go to (all younger, including my 3 year old) because she does still have all of her imaginative play intact, that she is not as [falsely] "mature" as other nine year olds who have other concerns than playing imaginatively.

Since I've actually begun posting here, I've had to describe my views, see them in print and have been receiving confirmation of some of my thoughts as well as answers to some of my questions with the assistance of others. I do believe and believe more and more with each passing day, that homeschooling will be an extremely positive thing in our family.

I think I'm going to have to begin a new thread asking for ways to nudge my 6 1/2 year old son into believing the very same thing. Perhaps that is my only question at this point.
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