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Does anyone feel sad about the good school things your child misses?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
There were a lot of problems about school when I was growing up (being teased/picked on, being bored, having to ask to go to the bathroom, etc) but there were a lot of parts I loved too. Sometimes I feel really sad for my kids that they aren't going to get to experience that. And sometimes I really wish I didn't homeschool but I have it so ingrained in my head that school is bad that I can't put them in school. I have even spent time researching schools, imagining my kids going there. Does anyone else feel this way?
post #2 of 54
I struggle with it a lot. I know that homeschooling is better for my dd, and that there is no way we would put her in a public school, but there are little "superficial" things that I am sad we'll miss. The little pagents, pulling the school supply list and having her choose a backpack, lunchboxc etc. They are not things I agonize over, but just little thoughts that run through my head every now and then. I also think my dd would like school (at least in the beginning) so that is hard for me as well. We are doing what we know is best- but I do think about the other things as well. She would be starting K in the fall, and seeing all her friends get ready (some start next week!)- it is starting to feel very real that we will be homeschooling.

I also think there are countless things that she will get to experience that I never did being in school- so it does go both ways
post #3 of 54
The parts I loved best about school I brought home to my kids. I had some amazing teachers who went all Ms. Frizzle-ish and threw themselves into their lessons. We were the smallest class in school so we got a lot of perks - getting to camp or going to the bigger city to study how Roman/Greek architecturial ideas survive or putting out a newspaper.
I don't miss the cliques or feeling like if I was just a kid and didn't have any rights. I don't missing having my 7th grade teacher abuse the class and tell me she was going to sue me. The parts I loved were in the lessons (and the awesome homemade rolls my elementary school cafeteria made!).

I'm sure there's going to be some things my kids will miss out on, but the same is true about public school. The grass is always greener. My oldest went back to school for a month last year and was elated when I asked him on the last day if he would like to return to homeschooling. Last year we had a chance to do so much and he felt like he was missing things when he was in a school.
post #4 of 54
I do, but the school my ds attends is very nurturing. Children to not have to ask to go to the bathroom, and there aren't even any bells. They do a lot of wonderful things and the energy is lovely.

But my dds are thriving as hsers. I guess I wish there was a part time option. I wish we could pick and choose when/how/what to participate. I do have my youngest doing some of the summer outdoor programming (while I was helping to weed the school organic garden), and that's been really nice.
post #5 of 54
What parts do you think they will be missing? I have found that all the "fun" stuff PS did, we do more of now. More field trips, more b-day parties, more art class, etc.

When they get older there are plenty of opportunities for prom, graduation ceremonies, dances etc. through various homeschool groups and organizations.

AM
post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
Does anyone else feel this way?
No. Every choice we make in life comes with trade-offs, and I am satisfied with the ones we have made to homeschool. Besides, there is really nothing that a school offers that can't be found elsewhere while homeschooling. My kids would miss out on many, many, manymanymany better good things if they were in school.

dm
post #7 of 54
i used to be bummed that they'd not have school plays and/or band and orchestra concerts. then i found out that many homeschoolers DO do those things

nak
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
there were a lot of parts I loved ...
1) Just because you loved them, doesn't mean your kids would.

2) If there's something your kids want to do, why not just find a way to do it--why would these things need to be done in a school?


When we first started hsing, one of the things I felt bad about ds "missing" was field trips. But, when I spoke to ds about it (he'd been in school for a couple of years) he groaned. He hated riding the bus on trips because it was hot and loud and made him feel sick. He hated having to bring a lunch that was totally disposable (he doesn't like sandwiches but thermos' weren't allowed on trips.) And he didn't like that everything felt rushed and there wasn't enough time to see everything or ask all his questions. So, what *I* thought of as a highlight of school, he dreaded.

Of course, we've gone on many "field trips" of our own. And we always have a great time.

I'm not sure what parts of school you think your kids might miss, but there are places outside of school to find art, sports, theater, etc. and there's no reason kids who don't go to school couldn't go pick out a lunch box and knapsack, yk? We find both useful for when we go out. We've gotten together with other hsers for trips, a science fair, labs, movies etc. and one hsing group in our state organizes a dance/prom each year.

If you can't find these things already organized, you could start them up yourself. But first, take the focus off of what YOU think they're missing, and go with what THEY are asking to do. My kids honestly do not feel like they're missing out on anything.
post #9 of 54
My ds has been in school, private montessori for K, public french immersion program for 1 and 2, and a supposedly alternative, project/research heavy program for 7. To answer your question:

No, no, never, no, nope, nuh-unh, no way, nope.

There was nothing positive in school for my ds. The Montessori school punished him for things like eating his yogurt before his sandwich at lunch time (that was the point where I withdrew him), his elementary school experience was so bad he wound up on anti-depressants for a year after he left. His grade 7 program was supposed to be a project based, academically advanced classroom with lots of research and self-directed projects. What he really got was dozens of word searches and crossword puzzles a week for homework, colouring (!) assignments in his cooking class, his "robotics" course didn't have a lab, they spent all their time unsupervised on the internet, and I don't know how they managed this quite as fast as they did, but he went from being an avid, constant reader to avoiding any reading unless it was "required" in about 2 weeks.

I think if you haven't been in ps or around it for a long time, there is a tendency to forget just how bad it can be, and only remember the good stuff, but that good stuff is very few and far between.

Mamasgirl, the school supply list is quickly becoming a thing of the past, too, or just a huge burden. Ds's elementary didn't give lists, they just required a cheque up front and they would buy all the supplies. Schools that do give lists around here, they often add up to more than $150, plus regular requests throughout the year to buy things for the classroom, like kleenex, construction paper, etc.
post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by frogguruami View Post
What parts do you think they will be missing? I have found that all the "fun" stuff PS did, we do more of now. More field trips, more b-day parties, more art class, etc.

When they get older there are plenty of opportunities for prom, graduation ceremonies, dances etc. through various homeschool groups and organizations.

AM
I think for me, even though I love hsing my children and don't plan to change that, is the energy I see my son's teachers have. I've known them for over a decade, and they are so inspried and inspiring. (To varrying degrees). The music teacher, fi, is one of the most respectful humans I've ever met. He loves what he does and that's contagious. I think that's what I wonder about them missing-- not any particular school-school thing-- not proms or anything like that-- but these particular people who are dedicated, and are supported in their freedom to create something meaningful. I love the atmosphere , the tone, the special chemistry that these people can share.

I am one person, and they are many; sharing, intereacting and being inspired by each other.
post #11 of 54
I feel the same way sometimes. My view is that nothing is perfect--overall, I do think homeschooling is the best choice for our family, but I don't believe that it's a perfect choice. I recognize that there are some aspects of public school that are really fun for kids--picking out a back pack each year, as one mama mentioned, and finding out which of your friends is in your class come September. And sometimes I feel guilty that my daughter isn't partaking in all the school experiences the other kids in the neighbourhood are.

I grew up in one neighbourhood, and went through public school and highschool with a lot of the same people. My highschool had a lot of school spirit and positive energy because we had all known each other for so long. Recently I've been reconnecting with some of those people on Facebook, and it's really fun to be a part of "the old gang" again. One person looked at a picture I had posted of my daughter and said "Wow, she looks just like you at that age!" and I had to think how amazing it was that this person remembered what I looked like when I was 8!

So that's one thing that I feel my daughter is missing out on, the feeling of belonging to a group, to a generation, to a graduating year, I'm not sure how to put it. Not that I have any fear about her making friends here and there--she's very social--but she won't have the same feeling I do when I look back at my highschool graduation pictures and see all the people I know so well all together, you know?

Of course I lived in a really special neighbourhood and my highschool was awesome too. I don't think my daughter would necessarily have that if she was in school, especially since there is a good chance we will move several times over the next few years.

And there were bad things about school too. The pubescent years were pretty painful in particular! And I didn't really enjoy highschool until the second half. But still, I worry that my daughter is missing out on something.

I suppose there is always a chance we may put her in highschool when she reaches that age. We're not sure about that yet. I don't think highschools in general are the same place they were in the early 90s when I was there.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillpicklechip View Post

So that's one thing that I feel my daughter is missing out on, the feeling of belonging to a group, to a generation, to a graduating year
With the exception of the "graduating year" part, I don't think these are school issues. My kids have a circle of friends that they're growing up with, a core group as well as acquaintences whom they run into at different social events and classes. It sounds more like you're worried that they won't have a sense of belonging, rather than missing out on anything school-related. Maybe it's because your kids are young? I'll bet that as they get older and get more involved in community or homeschooling groups, or other activities, you'll see a change.

The way pre-teens/teens develop and maintain friendships is really different than the way young kids make friends.
post #13 of 54
No, I don't feel like my kids are missing things. If anything, homeschooling gives us the freedom to do so much more than we could if they were in school. During the school year, ds asks me to invite our public schooled neighbor on trips, but he can never go because he has to go to school.
post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan View Post
With the exception of the "graduating year" part, I don't think these are school issues. My kids have a circle of friends that they're growing up with, a core group as well as acquaintences whom they run into at different social events and classes. It sounds more like you're worried that they won't have a sense of belonging, rather than missing out on anything school-related.
I agree completely.
The only semi-positive thing that I think my kids will miss is the collective memory of school that's common essentially across the board in our culture.
Almost every other positive aspect of school is something that we can recreate as homeschoolers, often in ways that are healthier, richer and educationally/socially more appropriate for our particular kids.
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I do, but the school my ds attends is very nurturing. Children to not have to ask to go to the bathroom, and there aren't even any bells. They do a lot of wonderful things and the energy is lovely.

But my dds are thriving as hsers. I guess I wish there was a part time option. I wish we could pick and choose when/how/what to participate. I do have my youngest doing some of the summer outdoor programming (while I was helping to weed the school organic garden), and that's been really nice.
In Britain you can do part time. It's called flexi-schooling. Basically if the head teacher OK's it you can arrange for the child to attend school for the amount of time you and the head agree. You do have to ensure they complete the National Curriculum if you go this way, but I've read it's quite eassy to meet this in infants, even with unschooling the rest.

I've no idea about the law where you are but it might be worth looking into. Few people in Britain know fleix-schooling is leagal, including many LEA's.
post #16 of 54
I haven't read the replies yet.

This is by far my biggest struggle with homeschooling. The fun parts of school that I know my son would enjoy. He loves group projects, story time, arts and crafts, field trips, snack and lunch, etc. It is hard for me because he would probably do just fine in school, but we think that homeschooling is a better environment and educational experience.

We do a lot of classes because he likes them so much, and I try to feel better about what he is missing. I like summer because there are a lot of camps he can do. He is always just so thrilled at the end of the day camp.

This year every single one of his friends will be in school (some started K last year, but the last ones will be starting K this year, including our neighbor and his cousin), and the adults are doing a lot of hype about how fun school is to get their kids prepared. So it does make it even harder for me.

Plus, *I* miss things about school. I always envisioned volunteering in the classroom and on field trips, I like class projects and homework assignments, etc. I miss the automatic community that is created by having your child in school. And honestly, I miss being "normal" sometimes.

So missing out on what I see as the positives of school have definitely been the hardest part of homeschooling for us.
post #17 of 54
I know I can't give my children 'my' childhood. So many times I have wanted to move back to the same small town and try to share those experiences with them; recreate the good stuff. But I can't! It isn't 1982! The town is not the same, the people are not the same....and the schools are not the same.

These are different times IMO. Also IMO for my children, the best times will not be in school.

I agree that you may be searching for community and shared memories. A heritage for your children. Have you brainstormed other ways to provide that?
post #18 of 54
Sometimes. I wish Rain could have some of the arts opportunities that schools can offer, especially if she could go to an arts-based school. I'm not sure that's about school, really.... well, maybe. If she could spend all day at a school where she could do the things she loved, that would be great, and I know there are schools in some places that are like that.

Many school districts in the states allow for part-time schooling, too, especially at the middle and high school level. We're looking into that possibility, for arts and foreign language (she can also do these at the university, but it costs a whole lot more).

dar
post #19 of 54
Nope, not at all. I agree with dharmamama when she said:

Quote:
Besides, there is really nothing that a school offers that can't be found elsewhere while homeschooling. My kids would miss out on many, many, manymanymany better good things if they were in school.
When they get old enough and want a chemistry lab, for instance, then we do a class at the local community college. Other than things like that, there is nothing that they can offer in school that would in any way make me want to put my boys in there. Nope, I don't have a twinge of sadness when I think of anything my boys might miss at school, as I don't feel anything they'd miss to be worth my sadness. Just my opinion.
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by alima View Post
No, no, never, no, nope, nuh-unh, no way, nope.

There was nothing positive in school for my ds....

I think if you haven't been in ps or around it for a long time, there is a tendency to forget just how bad it can be, and only remember the good stuff, but that good stuff is very few and far between.

Mamasgirl, the school supply list is quickly becoming a thing of the past, too, or just a huge burden. Ds's elementary didn't give lists, they just required a cheque up front and they would buy all the supplies. Schools that do give lists around here, they often add up to more than $150, plus regular requests throughout the year to buy things for the classroom, like kleenex, construction paper, etc.

I really enjoyed this entire post, thank you for sharing! Also makes me feel better about some of the homeschooling supply expenses! That amount is just outrageous.




I agree with everyone who said no. I guess it all just depends on your memories of school. I remember having one friend in the 7th grade, fights every week, mostly between girls, the "cool" kids talking about smoking pot and getting felt up over the weekend on the beach (yes, 7th grade - I was 12) When I finally made it to high school, I got to stay in one school for the whole four years, and I don't remember one single thing I supposedly learned, while earning a 3.2 GPA. And I know it is not getting better now, the news story are horrifying - kids in the 5th grade having sex in the classroom while an assembly is going on, pedophile teachers seem to be on the news every day now! Those aren't my reasons for homeschooling, but they sure don't make me nostolgic for what they might be missing out on, that's for sure!

I'm not worried about my kids making friends... I'm not worried about any activities they might miss, because we can do that ourselves like others have said... and I'm not worried about exposing them to dedicated enthusiastic teachers, because I would really like to reach out to individuals like that in the community as the kids get older and fine-tune their interests. There's just too many opportunities.
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