Strongly considering unschooling for my 6 year old-please advise - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-25-2010, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son started kindergarten this year in public school.  I volunteer twice a week and I really feel horrible about the learning environment. My son is doing okay, but spends much of the day doing dull worksheets and has not once touched paint or art of any kind.  I have such a bad feeling about this and want to make a change - at least for next year.  There is one charter school 20 minutes away but I have heard that it is not good.  The only other choice that I see is homeschooling.  He is creative and interested in so many things and I am so concerned that school is going to crush what makes him so special.

 

Here is what I worry about:

 

1. He is very social and I want to make sure he can play with other kids on a regular basis.  He has no siblings and we are new in the area so only know a few people so far.  

 

2. I need to have some time for myself and do enjoy a few hours while he is in school.  Without some time on my own I eventually lose patience.  My husband is at work during my son's waking hours all week. What do other mamas do about this?

 

3.  I am so crappy at math.  What in the world will I do once he is older and doing math I can't do????  Sure, I have a few years before I have to worry, but I do worry!

 

I feel in my gut that I need to make a change but I don't know anyone who homeschools or who doesn't think homeschoolers are weird.sick.gif

 

Any encouragement/suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

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#2 of 9 Old 11-25-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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i have an almost 7 year old, and had many of the concerns you have. i'll be honest, i haven't figured out how to get alone time yet except to stay up later or wake up earlier than the rest of my family. maybe ill get some ideas from this thread.

 

as far as the social stuff goes, i would try and hook up with any homeschooling groups you may have around you. if there are none (there may be more out there than you think, so make sure you research), it may be worth it to just try and connect your son with neighborhood kids. does he have friends now from school that he can keep in touch with? i just send dd2 out to play when school is out and i hear the kids playing. kids find eachother; even my dd2 who is autistic has had no problems making social connections with neighborhood kids. they have been very patient with her, and i like knowing who she is spending time with. the library has been an awesome resource for us as well. also remember that your son does not necessarily have to socialize with children his own age. it can be just as rewarding for him to hang out with kids older or younger than he is. knowing this could expand your options a bit.

 

i'm bad with math, too! when she gets older, i plan to maybe get some math computer programs ( which will work well for her- she loves doing things on the computer), or just find a good program and working together to get through it. that way we would both be learning :) . i think these days technology provides some great resources for older homeschooling kids, though!

 

good luck, there's no harm in giving homeschooling a try. don't worry about what other people might think!

 


Leah- mama to Audrey born 12/29/03 and Gwyneth born 4/1/2009! Soon to be TTC #3!
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#3 of 9 Old 11-26-2010, 06:04 AM
 
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1. Socially:  unless you live / can move to a neighborhood with a play culture, you will have to hustle playdates but people with schooled kids do that.  Also you  may want to pick activities / sports that meet with the same kids multiple times a week or are in the homeschool community. 

 

2.  I don't have a good answer except to say as they get older they will separate from you and you will get more time alone because child has gone out in the neighborhood, is at a 3 hour gym workout, or is quietly pursuing other interests.  If that doesn't come fast enough, many moms join the Y so they can put their kids in the playroom and exercise or sit in the hot tub and read.  Many not very churchy people get very excited when it's Vacation Bible School weeks in their neighborhood churches LOL.

 

3.  Short answer -- you may find you can learn elementary math easier now as an adult, or you may find that if you present a straightforward math sequence to your child he doesn't need a lot of instruction.  I recommend staying away from anything "new mathy" but others may disagree.  In a worst case scenario, if you buy a complete curriculum or a computer curriculum and still have problems you can put him in Kumon for math curriculum.

 

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#4 of 9 Old 11-26-2010, 07:24 AM
 
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My daughter is the same age as your son. So I'm not speaking from a great deal of experience here, but here goes anyway.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackaroosmom View Post

 

1. He is very social and I want to make sure he can play with other kids on a regular basis.  He has no siblings and we are new in the area so only know a few people so far.  

 

 

My daughter is also very social. It's hard to give a good sense for the social landscape when it varies so much by community. Fortunately, in our community we have found it fairly easy to be social. We take DD to the YMCA for swim and gymnastics lessons, plus the library is a frequent haunt. She has made friends at those places, plus one at a playground she goes to in the summer. Most of her friends are schooled right now, but their moms still like to do playdates on weekends or after school. Obviously this is made a lot more possible with a stay-at-home mom but we have found them. But like I said, the landscape does vary in different communities - if you're rural, for example, that's inherently harder. However, from what I read on this forum, people do make it work. Also bear in mind that he doesn't need 6 hours a day of social activity - a playdate is quality social time, whereas school time is not 6 straight hours of quality social time. Of course, it's very helpful to get involved in a local homeschooling group, if it exists, or start one if possible.

 

2. I need to have some time for myself and do enjoy a few hours while he is in school.  Without some time on my own I eventually lose patience.  My husband is at work during my son's waking hours all week. What do other mamas do about this?

 

 

Sorry, I don't know if I can really speak on this question. I am a WAHM, not a SAHM. DH is a SAHD with his own part-time business. We are with DD all. the. time. We have no family in the area, and don't use babysitters. However, we have each other. I think the best approach is routines that involve attention from you followed by a break for both of you. So let's say your routine is to get up in the morning and have a lovely breakfast at the table. You pay attention to him, you talk to him. After breakfast he helps you clear the table, then he goes off to play while you do dishes, start laundry, whatever. Then you read a book to him (I know you're unschooling, but you might still have routines). Then he goes off to play while you check your email and read the news. And so on. Every child is different but I think these on/off periods fit a typical child's needs well. Also, my personal suggestion is that if you have a TV, consider putting it away. Ironically or not, my DD tends to be able to entertain herself better when there is no TV around.

 

3.  I am so crappy at math.  What in the world will I do once he is older and doing math I can't do????  Sure, I have a few years before I have to worry, but I do worry!

 

 

This is a big question for a lot of people. It makes me wonder what larger issue is going on. I think a majority of people, or at the very least, a majority of women, say they are bad at math. Almost like a phobia. Why is this? Is the level of math demanded by our schools higher than typical people can acheive? Or do we have a self-esteem issue, a perception issue? Was math taught poorly to us?

 

I am married to a math-phobic, and he will simply shut down if he senses math anywhere. Even if the issue only involves numbers and not their manipulation (such as just ordering things from 1-10, not adding them or anything). I confess here I'm not the best person to ask this question because I'm pretty confident in my math abilities - oh, sure, I've forgotten a ton but like everything else, I'll just brush up on it when the time comes.

 

So my words of wisdom are: it IS down the road. You have options. You can find a tutor of some sort if need be. Or you just might find that math, if you take it year by year, makes a lot more sense than you remember it. Could you learn it again, with your son, with an open mind? Could you develop a curiosity? Maybe not, my husband could not do this. But... could your husband deal with math? Do you have a relative or friend who could oversee this subject? As our children get older, I think seeking out experts makes sense for a lot of things. If your son expresses an interest in auto mechanics, you would probably find a way to get him that experience even if you don't know a carburator from a socket wrench, right?

 

I hope my words are encouraging, I wish I could give more - but one of the things I like about homeschooling is that it stimulates  my own problem-solving skills, my own learning.


Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#5 of 9 Old 11-26-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackaroosmom View Post

Here is what I worry about:

 

1. He is very social and I want to make sure he can play with other kids on a regular basis.  He has no siblings and we are new in the area so only know a few people so far.  

 

2. I need to have some time for myself and do enjoy a few hours while he is in school.  Without some time on my own I eventually lose patience.  My husband is at work during my son's waking hours all week. What do other mamas do about this?

 

3.  I am so crappy at math.  What in the world will I do once he is older and doing math I can't do????  Sure, I have a few years before I have to worry, but I do worry!

 

I feel in my gut that I need to make a change but I don't know anyone who homeschools or who doesn't think homeschoolers are weird.sick.gif

 

Any encouragement/suggestions will be greatly appreciated!


 I am not a btdt homeschooling mama but can easily try to give you encouragement.

 

Worry 1 - I looked at your location and it is people central!  That is good news for you.  My trick is to go to a park to play while the other children are in school.  The people at the park are the stay at home mamas and the homeschoolers.  This is good socialization and a good chance to meet similar people.  Also check into homeschooling groups or getting him involved in a hobby/sport. 

 

Worry 2 - You can build buffers into your day where you get a "break" while he is at home.  You can give him a project or toys or an activity to occupy him while you rest, sew, meditate, or do something to otherwise recharge yourself.  Nothing is wrong with asking for that, even several times a day if you can't get a big chunk of time.  You don't have to occupy or teach him all his waking moments.

 

Worry 3 - Math.  Learn with him!!!!  That is the beauty of homeschooling:  you don't have to know what you teach.  Learning together is a wholesome activity on many levels.  Also, if you do join a homeschooling group there likely is someone who could help you. 

 

To me it sounds like you've made the decision in your heart and now you need to rationalize it and figure out "how." 


Co-creator, Joyful Wife, and Grateful Mama to angel3.gifenergy.gifand sleepytime.gif
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#6 of 9 Old 11-26-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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wanted to add i felt the same way when i began hsing my dd. and right now i am working, dd has autism so we faced a lot of snotty remarks from people who were worried about her "socialization", i am in school myself which is time consuming- it just seemed like one hurdle after another. i knew down inside though that this was the best option for her, so i jumped in. as time has gone on i have realized that most of these obstacles work themselves out, or end up not being as big a deal as you thought.


Leah- mama to Audrey born 12/29/03 and Gwyneth born 4/1/2009! Soon to be TTC #3!
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#7 of 9 Old 11-27-2010, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to thank everyone for their responses.  I feel so emotional about this. I want the best for my son and I have to find the courage to jump in and do what I know is best!  I do live in a very family-friendly city and there are many parks and activities for kids.  I do want to learn along with him and find that more exciting than scary.  The math part might actually help to finally heal my math-phobia!  I think the main obstacle is to find a way to schedule my day so I have some me time.  I know I can manage that too.  I think I really just needed some encouragement that homeschooling is okay and I have found that in this forum.  I am going to go for it!!!!!!!

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#8 of 9 Old 11-29-2010, 09:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackaroosmom View Post

  I think the main obstacle is to find a way to schedule my day so I have some me time.  I know I can manage that too.


In our house we have "quiet time".My daughter doesn't really nap anymore but a lot of days after lunch she spends some quiet time in her room.She can read books,nap or play quietly.It works well for both of us.


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#9 of 9 Old 11-29-2010, 09:41 AM
 
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Everyone else gave some great responses and mine is just another along those lines...... I am unschooling my dd who is 6 yrs. old. My kids are very much homebodies but I wanted to make sure they still had a chance to play with other kids. We meet with a homeschool school group that I just happened across when I was about to give up hope that I was "alone". We meet once a week and we go on a field trip once a month....plus I signed dd1 for a once a month class at our Aquarium that they offer for homeschool kids. We don't have any extra money to really go anywhere else, although once or twice a month I try to take them to Bounce U and we also have passes to our local amusement park, so that doesn't really cost us anything so we try to go there once a month. I also try to take my dd's to the library on days when ds naps, so probably once a month.

 

I find for them it seems to be just enough socialization......and like another mama mentioned we do have other kids in the neighborhood, most of them are younger but it's cute to watch my dd's with the little ones and they enjoy it. :) 

 

As far as getting some time to yourself.....I usually don't get any time to myself, except for 10-15 once or twice a day. So by the end of the day (about the last hour before dh gets home) I am getting close to the end of my rope. You will find some time here and there. :)

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