The first year I doubted our choice all the time and wondered how on earth it could turn out well. Each year has reduced my doubts significantly. We're hs'ing high school now and I can't imagine doing anything else. My daughter tried half-time high school last year at a local charter school. She handled the classwork easily. She just found that she liked homeschooling better! School wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good.
Like parenting in general, sometimes it is more exhausting and harder than you imagine. It is also sometimes more wonderful and awe inspiring than you could ever imagine. In general though I like the stress of homeschooling over the stress of dealing with school bureaucracies!
One thing that has helped me is realizing that the decision to attend school or homeschool is not irrevocable and/or lifelong. You can re-evaluate periodically and see what will work best for your family now. So, go try it! You will always regret not trying it. But if it doesn't work for your family, going back to school is always an option that is available. Then you will know that you are making a choice based on what works for you not out of fear of the unknown.
Above all - have fun with whichever you choose!
I have a few reasons why I homeschool:
1) DH is pro-homeschool because he worked with youth (teenagers) for many years and he deducted that spending too much time with peers creates huge problems in many youth.
2) School has a lot of wasted time and I want my kids to have plenty of play time.
3) I want my kids to be able to study things they are interested in. For example, my DS6 is very interested in animals. We have studied lobsters, gorillas and octopuses this year so far.
4) We are very family-focused. I want to spend as much time as possible with my kids. My kids don't like doing anything without myself or dh.
5) School generally caters to the lowest common denominator...the teachers have to tailor their program to teach the students that are the hardest to teach, so if your child catches on quickly (ours do) they will be left bored and wasting a lot of time.
6) You can teach your child in the way that they learn best.
My DS went to preschool. His first day of preschool I decided I was going to homeschool. His teacher (whom none of us had met because she just moved the weekend before school started), walked into the room and announced "Hi everyone!! Bye moms and dads!!" and she took one of the kids hands out of her parents hands and walked away with this child, while waving to the mom again saying, "Good bye!"
My jaw dropped. I clutched my sons hands even tighter. Four of the kids were in absolute hysterics and their parents just left. I took DS out in the hallway for 30 minutes while they tried to calm these kids down. We had never met the teacher and neither had anyone else and here she was with our kids telling us to leave??? And these are 4 year olds!! Some of the kids were really scared!
DS told me that his teacher yelled a lot. I told the school I was pulling him out and they told me that the teacher had been replaced (ie fired) and urged me to give it another shot. I hated it. I hated not knowing what my son was doing for 3 hours. I hated wondering if the teacher was being nice to him or if the other kids were being fair and kind to him.
I guess I am a bit overprotective, but my son DOES NOT want to go to public school. We've talked about it and every time he cries. So homeschool is a definate must for him, but also something that I really want to do simply because I want to be with my kids.
The things I find hard are that DS does not have any friends his age due to several reasons, one of them being that he does not go to school. I also struggle because my kids don't have any other mentors in their life except for DH and I.
It has been hard for me to get started homeschooling. So many options, not sure what to pick in terms of curriculum, being overwhelmed with what I think I *should* be doing with my kids vs practically what I can do with them.
I rarely think that I wish he would be in school, but I do have days where I get frustrated with him (he demands a lot of time and attention which wears me out, and I run a dayhome and have lots of kids here all the time).
It is truly rewarding for me when I teach him something and he "gets it" and I can see him learning something that we value!!
Do you doubt yourself on a regular basis? Is it more exhausting and harder than you ever imagined? Thanks in advance for any replies.
Homeschooling, for us at least, isn't tidy. It's a messy way to live our lives. By this I don't mean tangible mess around the house, although we have that too. I mean our lives aren't all neatly mapped out ahead of time and we don't always know exactly what we shoudl be doing. We don't organize our learning ahead of time; we prefer to be able to go with the flow and grab opportunities as they arise. That has wonderful advantages, but it means that
sometimes we don't really know which way is up. My kids are 7 through 16 now, and they're busy with all sorts of things both within and beyond the home. We find we need to get together and talk about priorities fairly frequently so that certain things don't get lost in the shuffle.
When I write about what we do, day to day and week to week, it looks wonderful and productive. Really, though, I'm only writing about the most tangible and impressive 5-10% of what we do. When I'm mired down in the thick of the daily chaos, I often feel like nothing worthwhile is happening and my days are about driving kids around, perpetually trying to catch up with the laundry and the dishes, ignoring errands and projects that need finishing up, and occasionally managing to throw together a meal. That's where my challenges arise: feeling like I'm on a directionless treadmill with this family, just trying to keep up.
So I blog about the most tangible 5-10%, and I take some time for myself, and I let the laundry pile up and I feel better. And the kids, they really are thriving when I look at the big picture. So no, it's not harder then I ever imagined, it's just not what I thought it would look like. It's a bit more like herding cats than walking a well-behaved dog.
Then again I have four very different kids, and a couple of part-time jobs, and a husband who's not able to be very involved due to his work.
Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up
My children were killing each other not so long ago. Then oddly, my husband and I noticed this last week that it has been a few weeks since there has been a fight. Plus, my neighbor, who is not prohome school at all, (not so much against it, but often comments on how she thinks the local schools are great) commented to me the other day on how calm my children seem lately and what am I doing to cause this. I simply answered with I home school now.
and 3 , in our happy secular
I am presently putting together a curriculum for me. Yes, for me. *I* want to have structured, deliberate learning every day. My children are invited and welcome to join in, but I will never force them by coercion or otherwise. Doing this recently, I've found myself fulfilled and much more relaxed, and even the children who have been throwing fits when they don't accomplish excellence in their first attempt, have completely calmed down with this approach. Before, I facilitated their interest-led learning, but I think they felt set adrift, and now, they feel accompanied.
Again, thank you for sweetening the well.
ETA: I didn't expect to have children, but the minute following our hcp's call to inform me of ds1's presence solidified my intention and resolve to do so.
My dp wasn't sure until about two years ago, but agreed that none of our dc would thrive in mass schooling, and both of us prefer the challenges of 24/7 family time to the headaches our friends have with ps. So, he carefully inched aboard initially for that reason, but in the last two years has jumped onboard with his increased understanding and appreciation for why I insisted, based on his observations of the development of our children.
And yes, thus far I have found it exhausting, but I do have five children, ages seven years to three months.
Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. Jan. 23, 2012