I'd love to hs/us but I'm not sure I should - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 04-20-2010, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so let me tell you a little about our family
Both I and DH are Polish and we live in US, we moved here 9 years ago. DH works, I go to college and we have one son whom I'd love to homeschool, possibly unschool since we live very unschooled live and we like it this way, works great for us.
(we are planning to have more children)

Now let me tell you about my doubts
My main concern is my English. I speak pretty well but my grammar is not perfect, my English is immature(my teacher's words), I have a pretty heavy accent, the same can be said about DH. I'm afraid that in this situation I can do more harm than good. I'm afraid DS won't get enough exposure to proper English and will not learn it well and since we plan to stay in US this will be a big problem.

What to do? What to do?
I don't want to send DS to school but I may have no choice

Joanna WAHM to DS 10/2007
You must be the change you wish to see - Ghandi
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#2 of 9 Old 04-20-2010, 02:35 AM
 
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ok first of all, your grammar is much better than most of the stuff I read on the internet!!
personally I think it's not a big enough deal to warrant sending him to school if that's not what you really want to do. You can work on your English right alongside your son and you can teach him your native language as well.
you always have a choice... maybe if you're really worried about it you can find some programs where he'll be exposed to English outside of the home, like story time at the library, etc.

mom to ds (6) + ds (3) and 11/22/09
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#3 of 9 Old 04-20-2010, 02:41 AM
 
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One wonderful benefit of homeschooling is learning right along with your child. Your English could be improving as you go along, especially if you seek out your own English studies on the side. And that in itself would be a good example for your son on how to overcome obstacles with determination and ongoing effort. Lillian
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#4 of 9 Old 04-20-2010, 08:49 AM
 
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I wouldn't think that it would have to mean enrolling him in school. I agree with a PP, if you are concerned, look into some (any) group activity he could join. It wouldn't need to be language oriented, but just whatever his interest was: sports teams, drama club, swimming lessons. Kids soak up knowledge and language. If he has friends who speak English, he will learn a lot from them. Its common knowledge that kids come home with words (undesirable ones usually) that their friends taught them....
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#5 of 9 Old 04-20-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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I have known numerous children of immigrants - the childrens English is always fine. While the kids do usually go to school, I don't think it is school, per se, that causes them to have adequate English. It is the being in an English environment that does it. Actually I met one family yesterday on a homeschooling field trip. The mother had a faint Middle Eastern accent - the kids? Nothing. Or Ontarionian

I doubt you are going to keep you kids in a bubble. Go to the store, the library, field trips, play with friends, etc, etc.....they will learn English.

FWIW, I am not sure Schools focus that much on grammar. mine certainly did not. I can tell you what a noun, verb, adverb, and adjective are- but I cannot parse sentences, cannot tell you what a preposition is, or a dangling participle..... While I know there are people online who think grammar is super important (they either work in grammar filled jobs or just love grammar) I have had no issues doing what I want in life despite my shakey grammar.

Moreover, and bottom line, if they are interested in grammar or need it for their jobs, they can learn it from home with textbooks, online classes, tutors, etc.

Edited to add: Do you speak English at home? Or could one of you speak English and the other Polish so they get both languages if it is important to you?
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#6 of 9 Old 04-20-2010, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Blue is mine

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I doubt you are going to keep you kids in a bubble. Go to the store, the library, field trips, play with friends, etc, etc.....they will learn English.

I'm not going to keep my kids in a bubble in fact DS is very social and loves to be with children. Most of our friends are Polish though so I may have to seek more contact with English speaking friends. I will have to think about new activities which will help me expose him to English on regular basis.
Any ideas anyone?



Do you speak English at home? Or could one of you speak English and the other Polish so they get both languages if it is important to you?
We do not speak English at home. It is very important to me that DS speaks his mother tongue, I want him to know our culture, homeschooling will certainly make it easier.
We tried to speak English at home but it feels very awkward and unnatural(DH is also Polish), we always go back to speaking our native language after a while.
And this is my main concern, if DS is homeschooled and exposed to English only few hours a day, maybe not even every day, will that be enough? Will he be able to carry on an interesting conversation and speak about anything he wants with anyone he wants, will he be understood and able to understand others, I don't want him to feel left out or rejected.

Gosh, I know it may seem like I'm overthinking things but I truly believe that people living in a certain culture may be detached from it without enough exposure and I'm afraid I won't be able to provide enough of quality exposure, going to the store and doing story time and the library is not enough in my opinion. Maybe I'm wrong, I certainly am confused

Joanna WAHM to DS 10/2007
You must be the change you wish to see - Ghandi
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#7 of 9 Old 04-20-2010, 03:54 PM
 
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I do have to agree that one of the best things about home schooling is that you can learn along with your kids-

I don't home school yet, so this may sound a bit presumptuous, which is not my intent.

How old is your child? I'm assuming just about school age or a bit younger- right now it makes sense that joining any kind of group where the other kids were predominantly english speaking would work- like a pp said- sports teams, swim class, theater group, summer camps.

Is there a home school group in your area? One of the reasons I got my husband to agree to explore the idea of homeschooling is because I told him there were hs groups that we could join to expose our kids to stuff I probably wouldn't be able to help them with- ie someone who can answer advanced math questions, or help with chemistry. I would bet that you would meet someone who would be willing to help if there seemed to be a problem. Also, I would almost guarantee that someone would ask you to teach them Polish- which would probably improve your english skills as well, and make you more comfortable with the language. I would absolutely be all over an opportunity to learn Polish if one came my way.

It may take a bit more initial effort to find the activities that are available, but once you have done that, I honestly think the hardest part will be choosing which ones to pick. The actual learning of the language will probably just happen.
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#8 of 9 Old 04-21-2010, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Porenn, my son is only 2,5 but I'm the kind of person that needs to have some kind of plan and I've been thinking about this issue for a while now. It is important for me to make this decision because it will affect what DS will do in the near future. At first, when I thought about sending him to school(Woldorf) I wanted to make sure he gets a very strong base in his native language and I wasn't worried that he barely knows any English, I knew he would learn in no time once he goes to kindergarten. Now everything changed, I need to start exposing him to more English NOW so he can start learning English and feel comfortable speaking it.
I've discussed this with DH and we came up with following plan: more play groups with English speaking children, preferably a little older( I'm not wasting any time I've invited my neighbor and her granddaughter to our house today), new weekly activities(I'm thinking about art and sports, DS loves to paint and play ball, maybe we'll try story time at the library, see how he likes it) , I'll look for active home school group in my area. This should be enough for now.

If we see that DS is not doing well with English by age 4, despite more exposure to language, we may send him to Waldorf preschool for a while, where he would be surrounded with English speaking children/teachers, without me as his translator, few hours a day(total immersion is the best method to teach any language). This may be enough for him to really start getting English.

Does it sound like a good plan?

ETA: I also plan to work on my English, I think I'll hire a tutor to help me work on my grammar.

Joanna WAHM to DS 10/2007
You must be the change you wish to see - Ghandi
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#9 of 9 Old 04-26-2010, 06:54 AM
 
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There are ways to bring more English into your home, too. DVDs are a big one, but also picture books that come with a CD (your library should have some), children's music in English (I learned French children's songs along with my child when he was younger), computer games with sound, there is brainpop for ESL learners (brainpop.com) when he's a bit older. You can listen to the radio, other music in English besides children's rhymes, and notelly.tv is a safe website to find videos for kids.
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