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#61 of 125 Old 03-29-2006, 06:50 PM
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My story of how we came to start homeschooling is here.
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#62 of 125 Old 04-04-2006, 04:52 AM
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18 years ago, we choose to no longer send our children away from us to be educated. Instead, we took seriously our responsibility to educate our children ourselves. We did not make this decision lightly and we have never regretted the decision. As far as I can tell neither have our children. They are all bright and intelligent people with creative minds and sensitive hearts. Those that have reached the age for college have done well there and in life. Two have marriend and are excellent parents themselves now.

My dh teaches music in the public schools. There is a place for public education, but I don't feel it is the best place for our children to learn and grow. I simply can't imagine another way of life.

I hope you too find joy in the learning journey of your children.

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#63 of 125 Old 04-19-2006, 07:56 PM
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Hello -

I am glad to be here!

Homeschooling my own children came pretty naturally to me as I was homeschooled from the 5th grade until I went off to college.

At this point I have a 6 1/2 year-old and a 3 1/2 year old and I would classify us as 'unschoolers' primarily because I like to let my kids lead me on their own journey and simply provide them with as much information as they are wanting.

Some days we sit down and do actual worky stuff - they get off on the 'novelty' of it and like to say "We're doing school now" which I find amusing... but on most days it's play forts in the livingroom, story CD's and lots of "Please stop looking at your brother!!! Your sister said she wants space, respect her!!" kind of stuff

Anyhoo, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!


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#64 of 125 Old 04-20-2006, 08:58 PM
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My sons only 6mths old, but both me and my husband have both made the decision that we will homeschool him until he no longer wants to be at home. We have agreed if he asks to go to school, we will let him, but if his grades drop and his attitude deteriorates we will pull him out again for home.

I know we are planning very far ahead, but its only 2 1/2 yrs until preschool starts lol. And I have always been a very prepared woman, its the girl scout in me.

We also have agreed that he will do summer programs, we will try and hook up with other homeschooling moms and kids in our areas, do sports etc.
I attend la leche meetings every month, so he gets some time with other kids there. We are thinking of having him attend a daycare once a week to let him play, and give him a break from mommy.

so, thats our story so far...
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#65 of 125 Old 04-21-2006, 03:30 AM
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Dh and I always planned to homeschool. Long before we had children, before we were married, we wanted to homeschool. Public school was never even an option for us. It was just a given that we would homeschool our children.

Then we had Nate, our first child. We planned to homeschool him, never planned to public school, never checked out the area schools at all. He has always been a stubborn child, bent on doing things his own way. He had some sensory issues, some emotional issues, but we were working through them as best we could. He refused to learn anything from us though. We *knew* that he knew how to read and write when he was 4 but he never ever would let us know that he knew. At four he was dx'ed with severe ADHD but we chose to work with him at home rather allowing him to be medicated. When he was five he begged us to let him go to school. In August of that year we agreed and registered him for kindergarten.

The school he went to that year was the very best in the city. I volunteered as room mother and was there one or two days out of every week. The problems that I saw with the school were *many*. From the way Nate had trouble making friends and was bullied at school and on the bus, to the teachers and Principal talking down to him, to the stereotypical portrayal of Native Americans {my Dh is half NA and was quite offended by the way the school portrayed NA's around Thanksgiving}, to the very Santa Claus and Christian based Winter Program. There were a lot of things I disagreed with but Nate said he liked it and wanted to stay, so we buttoned our lips and let him.

Poor guy was miserable though. He dug in his heels and swore that he wanted to keep going so when Kinder ended we registered him for first grade. Then the school year started and all hell broke loose. The teacher was uncommunicative, dismissive, pushy and rude. She made a snap judgement of Nate and stuck to it. Nate was leagues ahead of what the class was doing and was bored stiff. He began acting up very seriously ~ he kicked at the teacher, threw tantrums in class, refused to do anything he was told. By the second *week* of first grade the teacher and principal were threatening expulsion. We took him out of class and spent two weeks trying to come to an agreement with the school. They wanted him to be in special education classes, to see *their* counselor {who, when Nate was in Kindergarten, told me that I should be following Dobsons works and smacking my child when he acted up}, to put Nate on meds. The principal implied that if I didn't she would get CPS involved. During this two week period I was on the phone with or emailing with the principal, counselor and teacher daily, including weekends. I suggested homeschooling Nate several times and they hemmed and hawed and said that wasn't legal. I gave them much information about our states laws regarding homeschooling and our rights.

I contacted a mental health facility and took Nate in for a behavioral assessment. We spoke at length with the counselor and after only two sessions he agreed with us that Nate should be homeschooled and recommended removing him from the PS. We called the principal and she agreed {I think she agreed mostly to not have to deal with a "problem kid" anymore}. We withdrew him from PS officially and have since been homeschooling without once looking back.

I asked Nate a few weeks ago if he would like to try public school again next year. He was horrified and cried at the thought. He loves homeschooling for so many reasons.

Since September Nate has been dx'ed with bipolar disorder, ODD, severe ADHD and is now being evaluated for autism. We believe he may have Aspergers Syndrome. He is an exceptionally bright seven year old. During his short time in first grade the class was reading one-word-per-page books ~ Nate had finished the first three books in the Harry Potter series and a stack of other large chapter books. He has mastered up to third grade math, is fascinated with science and reads at about a sixth grade level. He still has a lot of sensory issues and detests art, crafts and writing. We unschool and he has a deep thirst for learning that is perfectly suited to this method.

We're homeschoolers. PS is just not for us. It's a one size fits all education and my kids aren't one size children. All of our children are happily homeschooled. It will always be their final decision, but they seem to prefer what we are doing now. Today I asked Gunner, our almost five year old, if he would like to give public Kindergarten a try in September or if he wants to keep learning with us. His answer was a resounding HOMESCHOOL!
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#66 of 125 Old 04-29-2006, 04:36 PM
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We started homeschooling this week! My twin girls are almost seven (may) and my son is five 1/2. I have always hated school. I hated it when I was there. I felt it was absolutely useless for me to be there. I too did very well where grades were concerned but I dont know how, I never did the work, and it must have been just too easy to pass the tests. I went to an all girls catholic school for my first two years of high school which closed down, I was in the top 4 of my class. I went on to graduate in the top 10 percent of my class. I got out into the real world and was totally unprepared. Socially mainstream education is a joke. Ive got no time for mainstream education. When I got pregnant with my girls I knew I was going to homeschool. I was interested in nothing else for them. However, things happened in our family that wouldnt let me do that so my girls have been in school until a two weeks ago. Nursery school was ok, except that I hated them being in school most of the day. Reception (or kidnergarten, Im living in the Uk, different system than US) was not that great but I could just tolerate it. Year 1 was an absolute nightmare. I learned that with the system and teachers it is Us and Them where parents are concerned. I have always been a hands on kinda mom, very involved and I was veiwed as a nusence by their new teacher who was certifiable Im certain. she was nuts. I didnt like her at all. There were children in their class who were completely disruptive. Anyway it was horrible.

My son started big boy school, ie reception this year. He actually did exceptionally well, however he had a good teacher who let the children learn thru play. Next year it will all change for him. He would be forced to sit at a desk and do writing when everyone else did it and I knew it would be bad news for him. A few weeks ago I just decided I was going to do it. I inteneded to not send them back in september and start hs then but the more I thought about it the more I said what the heck am I waiting for and within two weeks I handed that gorgeous letter into the smug head mistress telling her ever so politely that 'we were taking personal responsibilty for my children's education.'

This first week has been, I cant put it into words. Beautiful. Peaceful. Wonderful. If I have my way, my kids will never set foot in a school building again, until they decide to do so.

I didnt know what I was going to do with them. Did I need a curriculum? Should I have a schedule? Im not doing any of it. We are unschooling/deschooling for as long as we need it. I need unschooling. For the first time in my life I dont have some one breathing down my neck telling me how to think!!! What to do with my kids. This has been so liberating. I thought I would have to take years to convince my dh. He is totally supportive. Its wonderful.
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#67 of 125 Old 05-01-2006, 10:51 AM
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Hey I posted here once before but I thought I would post a link to our homeschool blog for those who wanted to read a little more about why we are homeschooling.

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#68 of 125 Old 06-15-2006, 08:35 AM
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Hi! I'm Marja, SAHM and part time piano teacher. My DD will be turning 4 this summer and she will NOT be going to school. I am SO excited about this. I was homeschooled from gr 4 through highschool, and loved it. I wish I had had hsing for JK-Gr 4 though, because I think I needed more support during the important early years. I recently met some hsing moms and told them I had ben hsed. They were so excited and said, "Look, she was HS'd and she's NORMAL! She went to COLLEGE! She's not weird and she knows how to talk to people!" It was hilarious.

Right now my plan is to HS for at least 3 years. Yeah, that's not very long, and it's bound to change. I want to go back to school to become a midwife, so that's where the conflict lies. I can't squish my own dreams for 14 years to teach my DC, but like I said, it's not set in stone and could very well change.

This year I want to spend a lot of time out of the house. We will homeschool, but we won't be at home! I want to hook up with a cool unschooling-ish family or two and explore. I want to go to the library all the time, and go to the science centre as much as they want. Also a ton of playdates. Climb the mountain in our backyard. Make strawberry jam. Do the dishes. Visit the fire station. Go to the playground. Build a snowfort. Do yoga. Walk on stilts. Whatever. Maybe we'll even sit down and do a workbook or two!

Marja: consensual-living, unschooling, piano-teaching, doula and mom to 3 creative, independent people:
DD, 8, DS, 6, and Baby DS born July 1, 2010 Married to DH for 10 years!
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#69 of 125 Old 08-14-2006, 01:08 PM
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wow, its really interesting to read all these stories!

We are unschooling, (even tho my dd is only 3, I know we wont send her to school, and learning all the time starts from birth).
Before I got pregnant, and all through my pregnancy, and even after the birth, I was backpacking around the world (I travelled over 50 countries overland in 6 years, including Patagonia, Argentina to Quebec, Canada overlad with my Brazillian-born dd).

And people kept asking me, "when are you gonna settle down? you cant keep travelling now that you have a child. What about school?"
and I kept saying, "Well, I've got such a strong feeling that my dd wont be going to a regular public school anyway, why do I even need to put her in school?"
and the answer was always something like "well the law says you must put her in school. How else will she LEARN?"
and I just felt, "how will she NOT learn?"
I pretty much figured we'd homeschool in some alternative way, but since I didnt have to worry about it for 5 or 6 years, it didn't seem like an issue. then i heard about UNSCHOOLING and there was the answer that I already knew existed.
Its so obvious to me that school will be a big waste of my dd's time and energy, spirit, intelligence, freedom...
She has the freedom to learn, who am I to stand in the way!

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#70 of 125 Old 08-27-2006, 01:36 AM
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I'm 25 and have been married for almost 2 years and don't actually have children yet (found this site looking for discussions on Nourishing Traditions).

I was homeschooled my whole life- finished highschool at 16. My parents homeschooled us for religious (freedom) and political reasons. They didn't know any other homeschoolers at the time. My mother picked up a magazine with an article on homeschooling at the Christian preschool my brother and I went to at the time, found some people through that who helped her along and the rest is history.

I always loved homeschooling. One of my brothers argued for a while that he wanted to go to school but my parents were sure they knew what was best for him. He would have been labled ADHD, etc. Our method was our own mixture of unschooling and academics and allowed us each the freedom to pursue areas of interest. I started going on short term mission trips to Russia at 15 and was able to study Russian and Russian history, one brother started doing construction work with my Dad at 11 and is now at 23 works full time with my Dad...years ahead in skill and pay compared to other guys his age; my other brother took a computer hardware repair correspondance course at 11 that was previously only open to adults until my Dad argued with them and my brother passed with flying colors. We were never bored or anti-social....we were incredibly imaginative kids...playing in vacant lots for hours and were part of a homeschool group with people we are still friends with to this day in our adulthood. We are all still very close with eachother and my parents as well, I believe partially due to growing up being both nutured AND taught by my parents.

My husband was also homeschool his whole life. His mother began homeschooling them when in first grade his class mates were still learning the alphabet and he was reading Lord of the Rings. He is a genius (I am partial, ofcourse ) and would have been bored, labled ADHD and gotten into trouble at school. He also finished highschool early and enrolled in graphic design classes at our community college.

We plan on homeschooling for countless reasons. Mainly for quality of education... and childhood... as rational anarchists for political reasons and somewhat for religious reasons, though we aren't conservatives like most in the circles we grew up in. I think we will have an interesting time as we won't fit into the extremely different types of homeschool groups we have here (very conservative Republican Evangelicals or very left non-religious groups...we would love to find a progressive Mennonite/Brethren/Friends group open to people regardless of religion who simply want to nuture and teach their own children)....but at least homeschooling is becoming more widely accepted and as finished products ourselves we know it can be done.

Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.

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#71 of 125 Old 10-09-2006, 03:45 PM
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We're not there yet, but I'm definitely planning on homeschooling. DD is almost 2 and currently goes to a small daycare that is structured like a school. I love it, and I'm pleased with the results that I see, but it is currently open only to parents who are students or faculty of the university I attend. I'm not keen on public schools as I had a hard time when I was in school. I'm currently in school myself right now and will graduate in 2010. By then, dd will be ready to enter kindergarten, so that will be perfect timing! I've already bought a couple (small) supplies and am so excited. My mom is the only RL person that is even semi-supportive, and she bought a supply today too! I figure if I buy little things slowly, we'll be more ready when the time comes and it won't be a)as expensive to start and b)that big of a deal if something happens that we can't do it. I'm a single mama and am scared that things won't work, but have to just trust in God that they will!
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#72 of 125 Old 10-12-2006, 03:02 AM
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My son has severe ADHD and was almost expelled from kindergarten after only a month so we pulled him out of school. I tried homeschooling then but failed miserably because I didn't know anyone who did it and I didn't know there was more than one way to do it. Then he went back to school for 1st and got expelled at the end of the year. He went half days for 1st grade the next year (we held him back). Then after all that we finally realized that PS would not work for him. We homeschooled for 2nd and part of 3rd but right before I had the twins we put him back in school because he wasn't cooperating with me at all. He had a miserable time in school and the principal suggested meds. we tried it and it was like we had a different kids!! Once we moved here he went to PS at first but we soon saw the same patterns and in mutuall agreement with the school, we decided to homeschool again. Now I do it because I want my kids to excel and I want to have influence over them and not have someone else teach them things that I dont' agree with. Here, they can work at their own pace and succeed!
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#73 of 125 Old 11-15-2006, 03:18 PM
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If you don't mind, I'd love to share our homeschooling journey (it's quite long)...

Why we Homeschool

How we Began:
My homeschooling venture began several years back when my now 10 ½ year old was ready to begin kindergarten. My best friend at the time, was homeschooling her own (then eight) children. I thought she was completely crazy and just couldn’t understand why in the world she would want to be in a house with 8 children all day long! Oh, how the Lord slowly, but surely, change my heart and then, not to long after that, the heart of my husband.

I looked into homeschooling off and on but, ultimately, decided it just wasn’t for us. My husband, Dan, and I had both gone to public school and I thought we turned out just fine. Plus, there was no way that I was “smart” enough on just a couple of years of college and no degree to teach my children at home. Then, of course, there was the whole topic of socialization. How in the world could I homeschool and not allow my children the benefit of socializing with other children their own age?

Then, came the day that I was to go down and register my son for kindergarten. We went down to the school – about a block away – and began the registration process. From the moment I walked on to the campus, I had this strange feeling of “something just isn’t right”. I blew it off, though, and proceeded with the registration. We were almost done before someone told me that I could not complete the registration process because we were missing the chicken pox vaccination that was required if he were to enroll in school. So, we were told to go that done and then come back. By then, that feeling that initially came over me was so heightened, that I walked away and just began to cry. All the way home I prayed to the Lord about why I was feeling this way. As soon as I walked in the door, the phone rang and my best friend was on the line asking if I had completed Ryan’s enrollment. I told her what happened and she just encouraged me that maybe this was the Lord’s was of getting us to take another look at homeschooling. So, I called up my mother-in-law and asked her to come over that evening to watch the kids, while I took my husband to dinner to talk with him about this whole “mess”.

Now, keep in mind, at this point Dan was even more against homeschooling than I was. So, I knew that this was going to be an interesting conversation. I had already purposed in my heart that whatever he ultimately wanted and decided on, I would do with a glad heart. On the way to dinner I explained to him our venture over to the school to register, my hesitations, and what I thought might be a good route to pursue. By the time we had arrived at the restaurant I had already laid it all out. When we sat down to eat, we prayed for our meal and during that prayer Dan laid the situation before the Lord. By the end of the meal it was decided that we would “try out” this homeschoooling thing for one year and then reevaluate and bring it before the Lord again at the end of the year. One year is all it took and we were hooked and convinced that this is what the Lord wanted for our family, at least for the elementary years.

Now, my husband, Dan is a youth minister turned public school teacher. He teaches 8th grade English and Reading and is now working on his Masters to become a principal. The first year we began homeschooling was his first year in the public school system. And, needless to say, the more years he has been teaching in the public schools, the more this has solidified our decision to homeschool. Now, no longer where we convinced that we needed to homeschool our children in elementary but also all the way through high school.

Through the last several years of homeschooling, the Lord has opened our eyes to many new and wonderful revelations, thoughts and convictions. Here are a few that I would like to share:

Like I mentioned above, I didn’t think I was “smart” enough and well educated enough, at first, to teach my child at home. And, even I could make it through the elementary stage, there was no way I could possibly handle teaching Jr. High or High School Curriculum. Oh how much I have learned over the last several years. I have come to realize that I am indeed smart enough and educated enough (yes, even without a college diploma) to teach my child. And what about those subjects like Chemistry and Geometry that I myself struggled through in high school? There are all sorts of options out there now from video classes to homeschool cooperative classes and even many Jr. Colleges offer Junior and Senior level courses for high schoolers to take if needed! My mind was put to rest and I realized with a great big ere of confidence, that I COULD do this!

Homeschooling has given us the ability to be very aware of how each of our children is doing in a particular area. I can correct mistakes right on the spot and tell exactly what they do or do not comprehend. We can truly individualize each of our children’s learning needs/wants. If one of my kids moves faster or slower in a particular area, it’s ok and there are no frustrations with being ahead or behind of a fellow peer. All of this has allowed for better focus and un-wasted time.

However, there was still a lingering question – how would my kids stack up to those being taught by “trained” professionals? Do you know what I found out? There is actually evidence out there that, on average, homeschooled children actually do better academically than those that are public or private schooled. Can you guess why? Most likely it is because they have one on one “tutoring” for their school. That just makes sense to me. And guess what else? Colleges actually WANT homeschooled kids on their campuses. They say that homeschoolers actually tend to make better students because of their learning styles and are usually more motivated.

Ah, the socialization question. Am I “socially killing” my children by not putting them in school? Ten years ago it was an unequivocal yes! However, the Lord has been so gracious and patient showing me otherwise! The whole idea of “lack of socialization” is a misnomer. I love the what John Holt, who was on of the early advocates of homeschooling, said, “If I could give just one reason why children should NOT go to public schools, it would be the socialization they receive there. In general, the kind of behavior one finds most often in schools is petty, cruel, and mean-spirited." Is this the kind of socialization we want for our children? Keep in mind Dan is a schoolteacher and can attest that this is the “norm” in the schools. Though there are good and wonderful children in the public school and private school systems, the bad can, and does most often, out weigh the good!

How often do we here folks say, “gosh my children have grown up so fast,” or, “looking back I wish I had spent more time playing with my children”? I get to spend all day with my children. I know for some, it might seem overwhelming. Yes, there are days that I wish I could be doing anything but grading a math paper, but then I remember that this is my job and my calling. I remember that I get to be the one that influences and teaches my child. This is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.

By homeschooling, we get to set our own schedule. I don’t have to work on anyone’s time frame but my own. If we want to take a day off, or a week off, or even a month off, we can do it. This was especially helpful when I was taking care of my mom while she was battling cancer and then after when she passed away and we needed time to grieve. And, again, when my best friend was in the hospital and died, we were able to take the time we needed then as well. It allows for such flexibility.

We can take family vacations anytime we want without having to worry about pulling them out of school to do it. We have the freedom, too, to go on field trips anytime we want without fighting the crowds or traffic. These may seem like such small and insignificant reasons, but having the freedom to do what I want, when I want with my kids is huge for me!

Our children have become one another’s best friends. My oldest enjoys playing with the younger children and vice-versa. It is wonderful to see them enjoying one another’s company. It is fostering close relationships that will last a lifetime.

Most of what the Lord has shown to us and revealed to our family has been in the spiritual realm of reasoning. I love the scripture in Deuteronomy 6:7-9 that says “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” By Homeschooling, we allow the Lord to fully be in charge of what we are teaching our children. Each semester I spend time in prayer seeking the Lords wisdom and direction in what we should use for curriculum and what/how we should be teaching our children. We make sure to choose curriculum that is Christ centered and Biblically focused.

Even more so than what they are learning, the Lord has very much convicted me that I should be more concerned with their holiness. I often tell my children “that I am more concerned that you be Holy than you be Happy!” Having my children at home with me, gives me the opportunity to train them in the Word and prepare their hearts and minds for whatever the Lord calls them to do when they are grown.

I’m sure I could sit here and list 100 more reasons that we have felt led to homeschool, but the above is pretty much the “gist” of it. Many people have questioned my strong convictions to homeschooling. Let me be very clear. Do I believe homeschooling is the best way? Yes, I do. HOWEVER, I strongly believe that homeschooling, is indeed a calling. No, it is not for everyone. No, I do NOT judge those who decide to public school or private school their children. Homeschooling is a conviction, not a law, rule or doctrine and should be treated as such. My best word of advice for anyone who is considering homeschooling is do your research, pray, pray, pray and talk it over with your spouse. If you both feel a peace about it and feel that the Lord is leading you to homeschool, then you should. But, each family is different and the Lord has us all in different places. Ask God, listen and then do what go where He leads!
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#74 of 125 Old 02-01-2007, 05:02 PM
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These posts are all inspring. We have not officially begun our hs journey as ds is only 2, but this past summer a public school teacher commented on how bright our son is and asked- "have you consdidered homeschooling because our local schools are not equipped to deal with bright/gifted kids".

That frightened me because I want the very best education possible for ds and I began research...and hs is the one place I feel he will get the whole package he deserves. DH was dead set against it but I asked if I could at least do K and 1st and just in the few months that have passed dh has come over to the hs side 100%!

I was so glad to find this board and look forward to benefiting from all you ladies' wisdom!
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#75 of 125 Old 02-05-2007, 04:30 PM
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my kid is 2,5 and I also would like to consider HS!
I just need info,lots of info!
Maybe there are groups....
If you're located in NY area,let me know how it is here!
Even of you're not, just share some info on how to get started and so on...
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#76 of 125 Old 02-13-2007, 10:52 AM
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since i was pregnant i really felt God lay it on my heart to homeschool. my children (now 5 and 3) have never been to daycare...or even mommy's morning out. homeschooling for me was just a matter of following my heart. nothing else has ever been an option and i shutter just thinking about my children in public school. having said that though, i'm not opposed to people that choose public school at all. i'm not anti public or private school, and i think there are very good ones out there (so i've heard anyway ) i think each family just has to follow their heart, and figure out what will be best in their situation. i quit my job and am a full-time stay at home mom now. we cut our income in half...literally. our finances are so tight now that mcdonalds drive-thru for a happy meal is a financial burden (haha, no big loss there i guess). we've had to budget down to neccessities only....but it was a conscious choice for us and well worth it in my opinion )

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#77 of 125 Old 02-18-2007, 12:19 PM
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Well we are just starting to explore homeschooling seriously. DS is 3.5 and is in ddaycare 2x a week, and would be due to start prek in the fall. All my friends homeschool so it is not really a new concept to me, but ds is a public school teacher so he always felt like we should start them in school and respect their wishes if they wanted to stop. However as ds is approaching school age and i have been doing more reading I have read a lot of people saying it works much better to let older hs kids enter ps then to pull them out and transition to home, so I think I am mostly decied to keep them at home for the forseeable future.

Also ds was at dc when I was working but now that ds2 is no longer an infant i feel like ds1 might as well be home to play since I can't get aything done anyway and his brother misses him.

I've also noticed an interesting shift in my own feelings since making this decision. I think in some ways before I was just biding my time untill my kids started school so that I could "move on" now that I have started thinking about us all being home together in a more long term way I have been looking for more ways to make it a good experience for everyone and don't feel so trrapped. Also Ds is just coming into a great age where his interests are getting more sophisticated nd interesting and I can't imagine doing all the intense preschool years and then handing him over as soon as it gets cool. KWIM?

I would still like to persure classes and am doing so at a slow pace, which hopefully will speed up a bit as the kids get less dependant. With the goal that eventually I will start my accounting practicum and dh will quit teaching and stay home/do masters work/start a freeschool.........
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#78 of 125 Old 02-21-2007, 02:40 AM
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My grandson age 8 came to live with us about 2 years ago, his mom was a total mess and simply couldn't cope with looking after him, so he came to us
Taking him out of the school he was in was a big upheaval for him and he had a really hard time at his new school here. He started to resist going to school but wouldn't tell us why, I had noticed a few odd bruises on him at times and had asked where he had got them from but all he would say was " an accident" after he came home one afternoon, terribly upset I finally said enough is enough, and asked what was going on again, he told us was being bulied, not just a little, but regularly being beaten, in recess and on the bus coming home, everything started to make sense. the marks I had seen looked like punches or scratches and that's exactly what they were.
After finally getting to know what was happening we went to the school to see the principal, I'm sorry to say it was a waste of time, we told them that this was all the work of a "gang" and they told us that they didn't allow gangs at school. I felt like screaming " hello....WAKE UP this is real not imaginary" my grandson was with us and he told the principle about this non exsitant gang, one of the boys had a "little Black Book" and he would tell all his members who they were to beat up that day. I showed him the bruises but nothing came of it. A few days later, my dgs came home with a huge black eye, pinch marks all over his arms and stomach and scratches all over his face and arms, we called the school and said we were coming straight back to see the principal, the councellor and all his teachers we insisted they were to wait for us, when we got there the assistant principal and the secretary were waiting for us, all the rest had gone home. needless to say I was absolutely furious, but we showed them all the scratches and bruises and said we would be back in the morning. Before the school bus came the following day we got a phone call from the school office telling us that the principal was attending a conference and wouldn't be available ( why couldnt they have told us that the night before, the secretary was there and knew of this) his teachers would be available from 4:15 that evening but not before. that was it for me. I withdrew him that day, the school just wasn't interested in helping, or stopping the violence ( this is still happening to many more students). Much more than this happened, one of the kids tried to strangle him in class in front of the teacher...nothing was done. He had got to the point that he was failing in school, his final report said that he would be " Academicaly with held" go figure.... I wasn't at all suprised the poor kid was terrifed most of the time. My Grandson has never been a disobedient boy but he started to intentially do things he knew was wrong so that they would keep him in the classroom at recess, he was too scared to go out there and I can't blame him.
When we wrote the letter to the school telling them that we were withdrawing him they asked us to come in an try and work things out, I pointed out that we had tried on numerous occasions and no one wanted to listen, I also pointed out that with the marks on my grandson I could involve the sheriff's dept, and as they had been unwilling to help they were equally guilty, we had all the appointments written down, including who we were supposed to meet with and who actually turned up. the principal was missing on every occasion, we even had a couple of them on the telephone answering machine, ( one of these, when we went to the school all staff had gone home, only the janitor was there)

It has taken us a long time to settle dgs down and we still have a few problems, some of the lessons we do, he used to have to sit next to one of the main bullies, the teacher refused to move this boy although they knew what was happening, he still has some trauma from this and it still effects his learning, at times he can't concentrate and wonders off into a world of his own. We have considered taking him to see a specialist, there are times when I really think he needs this, with everything that happened to him at this school and also I think he also feels that his mom abandoned him, he's doing really well. He refuses to call her mom, he always uses her christian name, more like she's his big sister, and one that he doesn't always like at that.
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#79 of 125 Old 02-27-2007, 05:13 PM
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I was a military brat and suffered mercilessly at the hands of local kids and teachers, mostly because we came in teh funny green bus, and also because we were not from around there anyway, and thirdly, some just hated the miltary (I was beaten over the head one day at age 7 and concussed with an heavy book because my father was a "baby killer"...nothing like Vietnam "protestors" carrying a grudge!). So school was not enjoyed one bit by me, though I did VERY well academically.

Fast forward a lot of ears and my youngest aunt , a single parent, asked me and my then husband to take of ehr child for a year as she had taken an exceelent salaried job overseas and could not take him. So we did. His teacher reduced him to a crying wreck, and he began suffering stomach pains, wanting to not go. So I walked into the school unnanounced and caught her humiliating him and another child, shouting at the top of her lungs, calling them names. I removed him right that second. A coworker of my husband's told him they HSed their kids, and his wife came by, bringing copies of Growing without Schooling. So we unschooled him until his mom came back. By this time I had two sons of my own, and we HSed them. I got divorced, and then met my new hubby. Due to legal custodial issues, I was unable to take my sons here with me as residents when I moved to England, and they live with my Mom, who continues to HS them to this day.

My second hubby is British, and he accepted my HSing ideas. so I was content that bar playtime at a local playgroup, my children we had together would also be HSed. Emily became prechoolaged and a preschool started up in our village. I sent her for the govt funded play sessions, as it was fantastic..all child led learning through play. Then disaster struck. They rented space from the village school. The village school told them we would be taking a place at reception (Kindergarten). I did not want this, I had wanted her to get a second year of preschool, as the govt allowed. Her place had been given away based on the false information, and the teacher of the Reception class, who was also the principal (head teacher in the UK), assured me and the other parents it was similar...all learning through play with introduction to reading. That did not bother me as Emily had already learned to read at home, by her own rquest. She read very well, too.

My husband suggested we let her go, as she would have gone to preschool for playtime and activities anyway, and we would HS the following year as planned. What happened shook us to the core. I am going to say it baldly. That woman lied. It was extremely regimented, and she hated the point where paints, arers, and what not were not actually used, unless a sub as there and allowed it and then cleaned up. She also humilated my child and others. The kids were scared of her. Every last child...except mine. She got angry. And stood up for herself. Which this woman did not like, but the teacher's aide told me about and approved, as this woman was being cruel for no purpose. She told the children they acted like 2 year olds. To shut up. And "don't be stupid". The staff were (and are) afriad of her. This woman was hitler ina dress, and the village school was the Front. We took her out of school. The woman reported us to social services, telling them we needed looking after because my husband drives a truck. Seriously. She even told me it was her. he told a bunch of other lies too, that Social workers found unstubstianted by school staff. We moved house to a neighbouring county. She got the school nurse to track us down and offer services. We got legal counsel. She stopped. For now. We now wish like heck we never used any school services for her. Our 3 year old has never been...and never will until he goes to college!

So here we are. I monitor and buy books and materials for my 2 sons in the US, and my mom manages their HSing (they are also in college on concurrent enrollement), and I am also HSing my 3 and 5 year old son and daughter here in the UK. She likes structure, and so does he, being the kind of kids who ask you to buy workbooks for fun. So we loosely follow Charlotte Mason and will be using Singapore Math , English, and Science from next year (at least once a week lol).

The HSing has been great, its the school issues i could have lived without, incl. my own schooled years. One consolation is my Mom and dad tll me had they known it was legal, I would have learned at home too. Sadly, the word had not been spread. HSing has really helped our family grow closer in many ways. Since I first began all those years ago, frinds of mine began doing it, neighbours wo later had kids, began doing it, and even other family members began doing it. I have a cousin who HS all of his 9 kids! I get a lot of positive attiude hre in the community too. The hairdresser we go to is intrigued and thinks we are great. My neighbours are amazed, and accepting. My sister in law and her hubby thinks its the way to go, and some her friends are doing it too. I love how close it brings us as a family, with the children forging strong siblng bonds, and a sense f family duty as wella s love. I love the way they can spend more time if needed, or soar pst as they are able. HSing has made life good. In fact, my two teenaged sons intend to homeschool, and only dae (even at this young age), young ladies who are into the HSing "thing".
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#80 of 125 Old 03-29-2007, 04:51 PM
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I'm homeschooling my younger siblings: Stephen, age 16, and Hannah, who will be 13 in a couple weeks. They've been homeschooled from the beginning, as it were, and my Mom was their primary educator. But due to some changes in the household this past year (grandfather moving in, parents changing jobs) I stepped in and asked Mom if I could take over. I'm a teacher at heart, even went for my masters in Education, but changed majors when I realized how much I loathed institutionalized learning

So now I teach the kids My approach is relaxed, but I do map things out and follow a "plan" for each kiddo. I'm somewhat Charlotte Mason-flavored, and the lesson plans are pieced together mostly using the internet and library. We rarely use curriculum. Stephen has amazing retention, but his biggest challenge is thinking outside the box and trusting his abilities. Hannah is ADD and spirited, so things are never, ever boring My biggest challenge is helping her find the motivation to learn about things that don't have any immediate, tangible relevance to her life.

I love homeschooling and can't wait to have kids of my own to learn with
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#81 of 125 Old 03-30-2007, 01:19 AM
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We've moved a lot the past 6 years due to dh's job. My son spent his early years in 4 different schools, and he did well, surprisingly. He began having emotional issues around age 11 and we decided to homeschool him, but chickened out.

We moved to Texas and he did well in a private school. We moved him to our local public school for 8th grade and it all got worse. Fighting, bullying, teachers not caring, poor grades, not fitting in with the "football" kids, and depression told us he needed an alternative. With some help and advice from his therapist and friends at church, we began homeschooling him.

He's amazingly bright and I sure wish we would have pulled him out of school years ago, when we saw that light and excitement towards learning go dim. Our dd is 4 and we're going to hs her now. She's so innocent and green to learning and life, and we don't want her to lose that spark.

We also did it because we travel all the time and were tired of coming up with excuses in school as to why he missed. Got upset when schools started telling US we need to pay THEM when he missed school. :
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#82 of 125 Old 04-11-2007, 01:48 PM
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I always knew that I wanted to homeschool. Thankfully my husband wanted it as much as I did! We decided to homeschool for so many reasons including - we are vegetarian, we move alot (7 moves in 6 yr), we like to travel a lot, no one knows her better then we do, I can teach her at her own pace and her own level, she will get more attention, we don't vaccinate, she will have time to just be a kid and play, and it just feels natural and right. We started grade K with using the strict K-12 program. It just wasn't right for us. I thought it was too much work for her and it stressed her out. It lasted a month and we quit. We now are unschoolers/waldorf inspired. She is thriving! She is learning so much and is so much happier. For 1st grade we are going to use a waldorf curriculum since I feel she will love it (she is a very art based child) and it will fit us and our lifestyle. Homeschooling is hard at times, but so worth it. I don't see me sending them to school.

Amber (31) - Married to my high school sweetheart for 13 years, mom of 4 amazing kids (ages 12, 8, 3, and 16 months), homeschooler, and expecting our 5th child around May 18th!
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#83 of 125 Old 05-08-2007, 02:30 AM
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Hi! My name is Lark.I am glad to be here and to find such an active homeschooling board w/ gentle mothers
I think I subconsciously decided to home school from day one. I was 18 when I had my son and was, I think, outwardly nervous about how people would react if they knew my internal plan lol. I still thought it was 'radical' when he was a baby, but my gut kept telling me one thing even though my family poopooed the fact that I kept him out of day care, then pre-k and then K and now of course 1st grade I still knew it was just the right thing to do I can see my path A LOT more clearly than before.

I think when I started and did pre-k it was a breeze but it was around that time when I realized Oh God people expect me to send my son to K and I started to research heavily my options in homeschooling in our state. I was so nervous , I thought I 'needed' a curriculum for everything and it all had to be set in stone before I made the leap from just keeping him out of pre-k to officially keeping him out of PS kwim? But I talked to some homeschoolers that screwed my nervous worried head on straight and made me realize that we had been schooling from day one.

I happened to have a lot of academic focus with my son just not in a curriculum based sense but more so in a discussion based , reading sense. DS was a math oriented child and we did a lot of work just on plain white paper, he played chess in pre-k, he was reading, he was having fun and he was free, I am science/book nerd and he just picked up things by me talking with him even a lot of the time. I really felt strongly that we had done a good job so far without interference and that the schools were going to taint his progress academically and emotionally.

Another thing that played a role was gentle parenting , and having a gentle child. He is just so nice that I felt morally opposed to what I was seeing w/ some of the kids, the teachers,the parents, and the atmosphere in the schools. I really find his innocence sacred and that I wanted him in a nicer social environment with peers as opposed to the ps school atmosphere.

I won't list my gazillion reasons for not sending him to PS here as I have seen many mentioned before already on the forum, just that I know I have made the right decision and it is a wonderful journey. I wouldn't have it any other way


My son wanted these smilies here
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#84 of 125 Old 06-08-2007, 08:13 PM
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My interest in homeschooling began when I was in highschool. I was always a bright student, and did really well in school, but I absolutely hated it. I found it very boring, and not at all challenging, and the socializing that went on while I was there was certainly not something I'd ever like to repeat. My husband felt exactly the same way. Then when I got to university, I realized that the public school system does a very poor job of preparing children for anything beyond public school. Basically, much of what I was taught while in school had to be re-learned while in university because it was either wrong or I had forgotten it, since real learning, the kind that stays with you, isn't required to do well in school. The few useful skills or bits of knowledge that I had acquired, were mostly things I had learned at home, such as learning to read. At this point, I just felt that I wanted to spare my children the kind of experiences I went through. It seemed to me that public school was basically like a prison sentence that did nothing to help children (I really apologize if I offend anyone, but that is how I felt, and, really, still do). And like I said before, I was one of the ones who did really well in school. I was granted a full entrance scholarship when I went to university because of my grades, but getting good grades and learning are two very different things.
When I got pregnant the first time, I started seriously looking into homeschooling as an option. I read anything and everything I could about the subject, and I was lucky enough to have a mentor of sorts. My husband's older sister also homeschools her children, and she has been very supportive, and provided me with lots of great information. The more I read, the more I became convinced that homeschooling was a good choice for us. The one-size-fits-all model of the public school system did not make sense, given the wide variation among children's learning styles, as well as the different rates at which children learn. I became convinced of the idea that children learn best when given the freedom to learn at their own rate, in their own way.
So now, we are a homeschooling (or more accurately unschooling) family of 4. I'm a SAHM and have 2 children, Abby (5) and Caleb (2). My husband and I are basically taking an unschooling approach for now, and so far it's working quite well. My daughter reads very well (a good example of what she is able to read and understand all on her own would be Charlotte's Web). She's also staring to write. She keeps a diary, makes list, writes letters etc. All of this is of her own initiative. We provide her with the resources, as well as the help and support she needs, but she leads the way.

Alyson: loving wife to Iain; unschooling mom to Abby (8) and Caleb (5). Also pro
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#85 of 125 Old 06-12-2007, 01:18 AM
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We are finally here! After a year or more of lobbying DH, we have finally gotten the go ahead! I had some great help from another HS family that belongs to our shul, we sort of ambushed DH at lunch this past Shabbos. Not a hostile ambush mind you, more of a passive agressive ambush... He has always been impressed with the HS kids we have met through our pet supply store(s) and our Midwife's kids had won him over from the start. They mostly all have in common a friendly, outgoing, personable way of communicating with others. Not to say that all HS'ers are extroverts, but more comfortable in their own skin...??? KWIM? At lunch our friends childen had pulled out their History "portfolios" that coverd their study of the Ancients over the past year, they talked about the books that they had been reading and we also discussed co-oping to study Torah and Hebrew. When we left I asked him if he was mad at me for sneaking up on him that way. "Not at all", he said with a smile,"But you're gonna have to deal with my parents". Well, we'll take it all as it comes, but for now I am just so excited about the unlimited possibilities for us in our own area that has a good sized homeschooling community and all the wonderful things that my childen will get to explore and learn about. I am especially looking forward to the time that we will spend together. I have always spent summers with our children, but by the end of last summer I recognized that the routine that we had created brought us all closer together. Over the past school year Sarah often complained about school and her progress reports were consistent in that she always "needed imporvement" when it came to listeing, focusing, and not talking! She's an active kid who would rather draw and joke, however her grades have been great, so whats the problem? There are only nine kids in her class, but the secular curriculum is not that great, and when she get's to high school, or Bias Chana, I know her secular studies will not be as well rounded as her religious studies. The little ones are like sponges, founts of never ending questions, and I do not want to see their curiosity be dampened or limited. For now I am exploring different curriculums, Classical being the one that speaks the loudest to me, but I think that we will eventually move into unschooling, Oh, and it just occured to me that DD/8 will be studying modern history in the year leading up to the election!!!! I think I am drooling! I have read some pretty inspiring stories here, as well as affirming one's, stories that I will need over the next few months! So here we are and here we go!

: : !!!!!

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#86 of 125 Old 07-10-2007, 02:57 PM
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Hi..My name is Anne. I started out not pre-schooling my dd, now 5 and 1/2. Ds was born when she was 4. We decided to try a Montessori school. It was a nice school, but mostly the reason dd went was to try out doing things on her own and because I was plum tired and thought I could not handle homeschooling at that point. Once we adjusted to having a 2nd child, we all found that school was just not the right things for any of us. Dd preferred to be at home with me and ds. She never liked school. I thought kids were supposed to 'like' school, but dd did not. We dropped out so to speak and are back on the homeschooling train. Yay! We are fortunate to live in an urban area where the are lots of resources. I'm looking forward to it and hope to find ways to keep it fun, to avoid those hair pulling moments.
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#87 of 125 Old 08-23-2007, 12:33 AM
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Well, I started reading through all the posts, but it was taking too long. lol As fascinating as the stories are, I don't have time right now to read them.

As for homeschooling, my husband was homeschooled all the way. I think he did kindergarten at a ps, but that was it. I went to ps all the way and loved it until I moved to Michigan at the beginning of 8th grade. DH wanted to homeschool the kids right from the beginning and it didn't take too long to talk me around. I wasn't so much against it as not familiar with the idea, so it took awhile to get used to it.

I have since become convinced that our older DD couldn't do school. She has been diagnosed with ADHD already (she's not quite 7). There is no way she could sit through 6 hours at a public school. Also, she's ahead in reading -- reads on about a 4th grade level. It has been a challenge finding books that challenge her but that aren't above her maturity level. Like I said, she's not quite 7.

Our son could probably do okay in a public school if we wanted to send him, but I don't have any desire to. I think he will be ahead of his grade in math.

And younger DD is too young to tell, but she's getting homeschooled anyway. lol

I also like that I can teach my kids our Christian values as we learn and so they can learn that some things aren't fact (such as evolution) and so they can experiment more, learn at their own pace, and pursue their own interests. To a degree, anyway. I do use a curriculum, but I also try to see what they are interested in and put that in while getting what I think they need.

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#88 of 125 Old 08-29-2007, 01:19 AM
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Before I homeschooled, I was very much against home schooling! I had no idea what it really meant or why anyone would want to do such a thing.

Well, when my son hit junior high, reasons to home school became apparent. In short, I was tired of the public school system and the concept that I kept running into over and over was this idea that you deposit your child at K and pick him up at graduation and please keep your insignificant thoughts and concerns to yourself, thankyouverymuch. By the end of 8th grade, I'd had ENOUGH. I started looking into private school, but was very dissatisfied with what I found in that arena, so the only other option I had was to home school. With trepidation, I started researching and talking to people. Thus began our home schooling journey.

I home schooled my son through high school, using classical methods. He's now in college. With my daughter, who's 10 years younger, we started to home school her from the very beginning. We could see she was very advanced for her age and realized that public school would just kill her creativity and love of learning. She's beginning 5th grade and I hope to continue home schooling her until she graduates. I use more CM/classical methods with her. I find CM methods worked better for her than classical methods, but there's a lot of overlap between the two.
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#89 of 125 Old 09-07-2007, 08:50 PM
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We always just kind of assumed that our kids would go to school. We never had a reason to doubt it. But, when we started Ds1 in preschool to get him *ready* for school, it made us question ourselves.
We went through three preschools in one school year. The first was a complete failure. He was so excited, but after the first week, he didn't want to go. The teacher told us that "all he wanted to do is play." Duh. And we noticed that the kids were making fun of him, provoking him.
We pulled him and looked for a play-based preschool. A friend recommended one, and I took him to it. It was almost entirely play, so we tried it. After a month, we noticed ds was acting out, and telling people that he would "break" them when he was angry. I asked him where he heard that, expecting that he had heard it from another child, but he told me that his teachers told him that they would "break" him when they were "angry" with him in school. And that when he would not line up right, they would "push-hit" him to get him into the line.:
So we pulled him, and gave up for the year, but, almost like a miracle, a school that had not called back before did. I looked, reluctantly, but decided to try it again. I was still under the impression that ds had to go to preschool. :
I will always be happy that I did. It was a truly fun school, with nurturing teachers who really loved children, including mine. Ds had a wonderful experience at that school, but even so, it was apparent that he would not do well in the elementary schools that were our options. It was at that time that it was suggested by a behavior therapist that he might have Asperger's, also.
We started looking at the schools around us, sitting in on classes, questioning, and really observing how children like our son- who are mobile, active, explorers with persistant ideas of their own and difficulties with social situations - would be treated in school.
What we found was overwhelmingly negative. Some teachers really tried, but did not have the time to help these kids. Other teachers seemed to take personal offense at the behaviors, and punished with time-outs or taking away recess- the one thing we knew would help ds get out his energy and be able to focus! 45 minute circle-times were the norm, followed by one structured, quiet, boring activity after another. We were really scared.
I started looking for other options, and I found a charter school that supports homeschooling in our area. Having never even considered homeschooling before, I was reluctant, but hopeful. I found a friend who also schools her kids through the program, and has had great success with it. After looking into it more, we decided to try it.
I have never been happier in my life. My little boy is flourishing, happy, and learning. The school has been extremely supportive and helpful, and I am really feeling like I can do this. The more research that I do, the more confident I am that homeschooling is the best thing for our family. We all love it.

Homeschooling mom of 2 rambunctious, loving, spectacular boys, wife to an incredible man who has been my best friend on this journey <3



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#90 of 125 Old 09-19-2007, 02:42 PM
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Hi! This is my first year homeschooling and I am loving it! My husband and I have been foster parents for 5 years and finally finalized one of our children's adoption! We now can school him as we see fit!

I taught for several years for getting married and couldn't wait to homeschool my kids. We've always had six boys in our home and keeping up with their homework and projects are a nightmare...not to mention the parent-teacher conferences! It is so wonderful to have complete control of my ds schooling. We are loving the time spent together one-on-one bonding while learning!!!!
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