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#1 of 125 Old 04-07-2004, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How I came to homeschool:

My oldest son, Brandon, was in PS from K-3rd grade. I started getting the urge to homeschool by the middle of 1st grade. I missed him, he was missing what was going on at home, and he had been labeled ADD and other such things by his teachers. It was then that the research began. I knew my dh wouldn't agree to this easily and I was right. By the middle of 2nd grade I was all set to do it. Dh was VERY against it. So we made a deal that I would join the local HS Group and homeschool our dd1, Hannah, kindergarten. Since she was a November birthday (she was still 4 at the time, turning 5) we wouldn't have actually sent her to school that year anyway so it was really like nothing would be lost if I failed. Well, I loved it! She loved it! And Brandon was really envious of all the fun things we did. Still, I let him choose and he chose to go back to school (for 4th grade). About two weeks in he decided he wanted to homeschool. Dh FINALLY agreed to a trial period (I think he was sick of the emails and info regarding homeschooling's benefits :LOL ). So we did it on a trial basis. The first few months were somewhat difficult. He had to be totally deschooled. I was afraid to tell my family but much to my surprise they supported us in our decision. I lost quite a few friends but I see now it was no great loss, KWIM? I also got a bunch of new friends and it opened such a huge world for myself and my kids. My children really connected for the first time. It was (and is) so great to see them working together. They help eachother out, stick up for eachother, and don't seem to have the "I'm older than you so don't play with me" thing going on.

While there are certainly days when I'm doing this There are many more when we're doing this While we still say that we take it day by day I honestly can't imagine doing anything else.

My favorite saying when I started homeschooling was "When I started homeschooling I felt like my children and I jumped off of a cliff. Imagine my surprise to find out we had wings"

Amy - Blessed wife to Jesse (the best dad in the world), mother of 10 on earth plus 8 in heaven.   PROUD to be a Catholic! : winner.jpg familybed2.gifhomeschool.gif

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#2 of 125 Old 04-07-2004, 08:23 PM
 
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"My children really connected for the first time."

Yes. One of my reasons for homeschooling is that when I was a kid being away from home for so many hours a day clearly created and fostered a disconnection between me and my brother, and between us and our parents as well.
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#3 of 125 Old 04-08-2004, 07:53 AM
 
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I have been "thinking" about homeschooling for several years and also doing it some without even realizing it. My oldest son is 6 and currently in Public School kindergarten. I've been considering hs'ing him since he was 2 but I had twins in July 2001 so at the start of this school year I had 2 year old twins and just wasn't sure I could do it. I wish I'd done it anyway but I AM doing it next year. I already have half of my "curriculum" bought...actually the majority of it is just fun to read books.

Like I said though, I feel like I've been homeschooling for 6 years really. Ryan started K this year reading small words already and it wasn't from any "program" we'd used...just from reading and fitting letters and sounds into playtime...he never knew he was learning really. He loves the learning process and, not to sound self centered, but I just think that HAS to be from the things we did as opposed to the sitting in desks doing worksheets at school.

I'm excited about my official start into homeschooling.
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#4 of 125 Old 04-09-2004, 10:52 PM
 
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How I became a homeschooling mama:

I was a ps school teacher (6-8th grade) until I was @5 months pregnant with DD#1. I have a Master of Arts in Teaching and have always believed strongly in the value of public education. However, I believe more strongly in gentle discipline and our district (and every surrounding district) allows corporal punishment. Sure, as I have been reminded SEVERAL times, I can write a letter to the school and no one would hit my DD. But corporal punishment would still affect her.

- It represents a school culture that disrespects students as individual people.
- It creates a climate of might makes right and justifiable violence.
- It maintains at atmosphere of coercion and fear which is grossly at odds with at atmosphere of exploration and security.

I could go on

As if that weren't enough to keep her out of ps I began hearing more and more stories from parents as all our kids grew and graduated into kindy. For example:

- Alexandra's kindy teacher showed a movie EVERY afternoon since, "We finish instruction time in the morning." I absolutely believe that "instruction" could well fit into a morning, but surely there are better uses of the kids time (send them home???)
- Luis discoved that as a kindy he had gym every day with ALL 140 kindergarteners, one teacher and an aide. Not surprisingly the students were all scared of "coach" because he yelled so much.
- Paige entered the "challenge" program in second grade and discoved it simply meant covering both the second and third grade curriculum in one year. No extra depth, just extra speed.

Strangely, most of these stories were not disturbing to the parents who shared them.

Add to that very disturbing national trends like high stakes testing and early intense phonics reading programs and I'm afraid you have to count me out. (I did investigate all the private schools here, but they were no better.)

Fortunately, I saw that hs might be my best option when DD turned 4, so I began exploring hs through a group here and am now thrilled with this choice.
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#5 of 125 Old 04-09-2004, 11:54 PM
 
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Ann Marie,
Good for you. And thank you. I still remember vividly hearing a classmate being "paddled" in second grade. It chilled and horrified me. I remember hearing him screaming and crying. He was a little black boy, too...and that was my first "a-ha" moment about my white privilege. If course I couldn't articulate it at age 7 but I got the message.
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#6 of 125 Old 04-11-2004, 05:58 PM
 
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Super Pickle,
Thank you! Sometimes I feel like the strange one in this little bubble of a town where no one else sees anything wrong with corporal punishment in the schools.
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#7 of 125 Old 04-12-2004, 02:49 PM
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#8 of 125 Old 04-12-2004, 03:41 PM
 
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Treelove,
I am so inspired by your story! How wonderful for you all that hs has been so great for your family. I feel supported just knowing you are out there doing your best for yours just like I'm trying to do for mine, whether that complies with the "norm" or not. Thanks for your story.

Sorry if I'm hijacking your thread, Ekblad7.
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#9 of 125 Old 04-12-2004, 05:10 PM
 
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Hi Everyone,
My name is Erika and I along with my husband are parents of 4 children
(1 daughter-24yrs & 3 sons-21,18&11yrs).
The oldest two live in Seattle(she's a physician's assistant) and Boston(he's a college junior).
My 18yr old is a high schooled senior (his choice, he was homeschooled) and my 11yr old went to school for the second grade when we first moved here to Connecticut and now he is homeschooled again. He says he's not going to leave home until college!
We are from Seattle (both my husband and I were born and raised there) and now live in Connecticut. This is a great state to be unschoolers.
For me, I came to unschooling in a rather unorthodox way.
I ran a small private day school for many years and it was truly a
calling. When I started out, the kids were attending two to four
mornings a week. It was great, we were able to do some really fun
things and the parents-many of whom were self-employed, got to have
support in living a family-led life.
But, as the years passed, the parents needed the kids to come more
often and to stay longer. It was then that I threw out the
curriculum that I had followed and decided that we all needed to
live much less structured lives. And that's when an amazing thing
happened. Kids started teaching kids, the adults started learning
from those interactions, and we all began to experience the joys of
natural learning. It was a great place to be. This went on for
several years.
Then, when the kids who attended our school started to get into some
of the best schools in the city, the pressure was on to make it
happen for more and more children. I agreed to mentor several other
small school operators in my area. But in time I realized that there
wasn't a formula for joy that any school that has to be led by
curriculum can follow, so I started to consider quitting altogether.
But I didn't want to let my families or my staff down. So I stopped
mentoring and I was able to enjoy running the school for a couple of
more years. It truly was a joyful time.
But when all the requirements started to change at the state level
(Wa)-they wanted kids in school younger and longer, the state wanted
people who taught to be more and more removed(i.e.rofessional),and
family time was being valued less and less by the new parents I was
to be working with, I decided it was time to move on. It was truly a
very sad time for me. So much of who I was, I got from my school and
the children who came there(including my own). I knew I needed a
change.
So I went on a 3 month train trip in Europe with my then 12yr old son
(I had always wanted to go, but there was never enough time or
money). It was just the thing I needed. Thanks to my very
understanding family-especially my husband, I got to have some one
on one time with my third child. I learned more from him in those
three months than I had ever learned in school. We got to know each
other really well, and he learned that I was someone he could trust
with his dreams.
By the time I got back to my "real life", I was completely
transformed into an unschooler. I completely gutted my kitchen (I
replaced the floor including the subfloor, stripped most of the
walls to the studs, hung new drywall & all the cabinets and replaced
most of the lighting, all by myself!). And I did all of this while
learning most of the skills I needed along the way. It came out
beautifully. I was so proud of myself.
I decided right then that that's how I wanted it to be for my
children. To let them experience life in real settings with real
goals, and have the goals be what ever they decided they were going
to be. It hasn't always been easy, sometimes I can be very
persistent when I think there is a right way of doing things, but
they always remind me of what a good job I have done so far in
trusting them. And if that doesn't work, then I remind myself who I
want to be to them, someone with whom they could trust with their
dreams.

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail..."
"I am learning all the time, the tombstone will be my diploma"- Eartha Kitt
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#10 of 125 Old 04-26-2004, 06:45 PM
 
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I began homeschooling my eldest when she was a kindergartner due to her having central precocious puberty ~ she entered puberty when she was 6. Her endocrinologist mentioned that many girls with CPP were homeschooled, since going to public school was very hard on their self-esteem. That got the ball rolling for my dh & me to consider homeschooling. Other friends of mine were homeschoolers and they were happy to educate me on the merits of teaching children at home. It didn't take much to convince me, though I was sooooo stressed about others' opinions at first! I went through a major time of feeling defensive about homeschooling, feeling like I had to convince people that it was a good choice and that I wasn't insane to be doing it. Now I could care less what others think! LOL Amazing how time and experience change our opinions, eh?

Megan went through an entire kindergarten curriculum in just over 1 month. She was a ravenous learner and I realized that public school just wasn't going to be the place for her, even if she *didn't* look like a mini-teenager (she had breasts and was almost 5' tall....definitely didn't look like her peers). I quickly realized what others had told me was true ~ public school wastes a lot of time on fluff and I could educate my child more thoroughly, in half the time, as 'regular school'!

When Megan was in 2nd grade and her brother was in 1st, they were both convinced they were "missing out" by not going to public school. Rather than spending our days trying to convince our kids that homeschooling was better than public school, dh and I decided to enroll them, to let them see what ps was like. We were confident they'd realize that homeschooling was more to their liking and we were right. By Halloween, both kids were asking to be pulled out. We made them finish the semester and pulled them after Christmas. Since then, they've never wanted to go back to public school, and have actually had most of their ps'ed friends tell them they're lucky to be homeschooled!

We moved to Florida from Oregon in October, 2000 and it was then that I realized another advantage of homeschooling ~ I didn't have to stress what the schools were like where we were moving to!!

I have a total of 6 children now and I have found homeschooling to fit in with our lifestyle extremely well. When my twins were born (Sept, 2001), my oldest 2 helped me out a lot. We took 4 months off from school (yes, they're all "caught up" again) and for me, not having to deal with getting kids ready for school, taken to/picked up from school, homework, school projects, etc was WONDERFUL!!! If I'd had to do that while dealing with infant twins and a 2.5 year old, omigosh, I'd have gone !!! Being able to adjust schooling around whatever comes up in life is a major perk.

Megan is now a beautiful, gracious and loving 6th grader whose goal is to become a veterinarian. Adam is a busy 5th grader, able to fix anything electrical (he recently repaired our refrigerator!) and is definitely my engineer-in-the-making. Emily is my preschooler. She has Asperger's, which makes life a bit more challenging and confusing for her, but she is a sweet little girl who is working hard to learn her letters, numbers and to overcome her many sensory issues. David and Sarah are my 2.5 year old twins. David has autism, but continues to make steady improvement and Sarah has some developmental delays, but, like David, she continues to progress in a positive manner. Homeschooling will be the best thing for my middle two kids, I'm sure, because autistics learn by direct, one-on-one teaching and not by just being among other children. It makes me feel good to know that I will be able to give my children what they need instead of having to hope that they get understanding teachers who will care about them and their many "issues". And last, but not least, I have my baby boy, Isaac, who is almost 5 months old and is my bright joy!

So.........that's where I've been and where I am now. After 6.5 years of homeschooling, I feel much more comfortable with our choice of education. I enjoy spending the days with my kids and watching them grow/mature!
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#11 of 125 Old 05-19-2004, 09:59 PM
 
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we did when we were getting very fed up with the ps system
But in our area I only met through coaching parents using Calvert. BJU or Abeka, Alpha Omega
Didn't know about other resources etc or how to find them at the time
Ds went from prek4-7th grade
dd prek3-1st grade

When ds was in secondgrade I was tutoring a child with ADHD. I noticed the same symptoms in my son and went to the school and asked for resources. They would give me some for my tutoree but NOT my son because he was too young to be diagnosed."
The next year his teacher decided that he did and had paperwork from the SECOND grade teacher to back her up. *rolleyes* so what they did was corner me one day in the hallway and say " We have reason to believe your new husband is abusing your son. We have set up a conference for this day and time" now this was long long before the aliens abducted dh so this was a veritable laugh riot
We walked into the room where sat the teacher, the principal, and the school counselor from hell
Before we EVEN SAT DOWN the principal said "we want you to put DS on Ritalin. In 25 yrs as an educator I know of what I speak" and of course they hemmed and hawed when I reminded them that they themselves had said he had no signs of ADHD
I told them at that time I would have him eval'd ( which I wanted to do anyway after my experience with the tutoree and dh saying I just couldn't manage him he who had never had kids)
but I would not just call my ped and ask for a med he may or may not need
Many years of trouble followed. At one point during an ARD they REFUSED what the psychiatrist recommended and said he needed. And they REFUSED to call the guy and they had his written and NOTARIZED letter.
More and more bs
Teachers lying he was doing fine and not missing work or was missing some and would be caught up
7th grade comes around and DS has a chance to audition for the Texas Boys choir school. He makes it in and ends up leaving by mutual consent. We learned later he knew nothing and it was easier to be a class clown than admit failure
Got him back into the ps for the second semester
Had trouble with the new VP who I wish I had had a tape recorder to record what he said to ME
close to end of school year they call us in well he is failing 7th grade
he can make up math in summer school
What about history and science
Failing science isn't a big deal --said to two Science Minded parents
he can take it as an elective-umm if he does that he will still be in 8th grade science and fail that -not our problem Ma;am
One night at a school dance is jumped by a gang
A gang
The police dept tells us that we should have filed a report with the school resource officer.We find out that we are NOT the only parents that had no clue one of these even exsisted. He tells us that DS should expect that if he is going to bring a child of another race to dances etc


The next to last day of school he and a young girl are jumped by 5 boys because the girl doesn't like the head of the 5. BOTH children call to the VP principal for help who looks at them and WALKS AWAY. AFter all they are the kind of kid in the school he doesn't like ( his own words)
Round and round with PD again
The last day of school he is attacked getting on the bus by same kids

Don't care what it takes at this point -we have to homeschool this is insane
We found out that they passed him on all the time because yep you guessed it -He scored out the wazoo on the standardized tests!


DD is the opposite scenario. In prek4 the teacher was an old friend of dhs said "hey she is bored can I develop a curriculum for her?" absolutely.
Kindy -they ask if she can tutor her fellow classmates to read as she is reading chapter books and Hercule Poirot
Her teachers all nominate her for the Quest program. while we were waiting to be called for testing counselor from hell ( see above) tosses her nominations and all her work submitted into the trash and tells district we changed our minds. No one called us to check. And we didn't learn this until the end of her first grade year.
Flash forward. Her teacher ( a wonderful one too that ds had) has three students her and two others. She is borrowing third grade reading books and second grade math sheets from the other teachers for these kids. We go to the district toward the end of the year when you can apply for grade skip testing.
Now the DISTRICT office works up an IEP for her. And the SCHOOL itself tells her teacher she will NOT be using it. you see counselor from hell told them how it would erode the other children's self -esteem. Nevermind that they see other classmates leaving for Quest program. Personally I feel the counselor hated dd because of Ds. She refused to separate the two.
Ok I get the granted permission for grade skip test. She will get a study guide from Texas Tech. This is good-she has never tested before she needs to see the format. It never came more on that in minute
Counselor from hell tells me I should feel guilty for making the district spend $200.00 on this test. The day AFTER a 90 million bond for the school was passed. I remind her of this and that dhs check has taxes and we pay school taxes.
She gives me and date and shows me a room and proceeds to tell me that the cdc will removing asbestos on the other side of the hall that day !!!!!!!!!!!!!
those workers will be in hazmat suits no way in hell I am taking my dd in there!! WTH was she thinking?
I did make the district get me another guidance counselor to administer the test and different location
Still no study guide , 1 week before test "it will come" 2 days before test
"if she knows what she needs to know then she doesn't need the study guide"
Um yeah she does
so she takes the test and misses the overall by 2 pts all things must be 90%
so she would be bored to tears in second grade classroom because she knew most of the material already !!

and this is the one that as soon as her books arrive will be starting 9th grade at age 11

7 yr being autistic would not do well in this district. The year I pulled my older two the district had a class action lawsuit because they were pulling and denying services to special needs kids that they had had and were entitled to under section 54.
and many other things

and youngest is a prime case for the moores better late than early ..
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#12 of 125 Old 06-11-2004, 06:03 PM
 
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Sorry...I also don't want to highjack the thread, but Ann Marie, I would like to talk to you more about your decision to not teach in a PS (I started going back to school this past year with the intention of majoring in spec. ed/elem ed. but am re-thinking my decision (see post in the public school section))....with this new system, I couldn't figure out how to PM you, is that not an option anymore, or did I just miss something??

Also, Erika, I would also like to talk to you more about your experiences with starting a school...some moms and I are dreaming about starting a school here, we just need more options!

Sorry again to butt in!
~Erin (my email is ettamac@earthlink.net)
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#13 of 125 Old 06-14-2004, 05:06 PM
 
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Our homeschooling journey was brought on by total disgust with the school system, as a whole. The kids were starting 2nd and 5th grades, and every year we were disliking it more and more. We didn't care for the schedule (taking a kid out of school for a sabbat celebration got a ton of eye rolls from the staff.. ughh), we didn't care for the way many of the teachers thought that they were the parents, and the negative environment of forced lessons/curriculum and bullying. We just wanted out.

They left school just after starting 2nd and 5th grades. We left school and its ways behind, and dove headlong into unschooling. It was exactly what our souls had been craving! Now we live and learn together. We spend our days playing outside, cooking, reading, watching tv or movies, going to the library, and visiting friends. It has changed our family forever, and changed each of us individually as well. It's been 3 yrs now, and our only regret is that we ever sent them to school to begin with lol.

Kristi

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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#14 of 125 Old 06-18-2004, 04:38 PM
 
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mamaluna, I send you e-mail so you would have mine. I'd be glad to talk with you anytime.
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#15 of 125 Old 06-23-2004, 08:15 PM
 
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Homeschooling used to seem like an outrageous idea to dh and me. I was into AP, but avoided hs posts, because I held a lot of misconceptions about it. Both my husband and I consider ourselves fairly academic; we were sure that a child couldn't be homeschooled and still attend university.

My oldest son does some unusual things for his age. As it started to become apparent, I often wondered how he would fit in public school. He would have to learn to conform and that bothered me on some level. My oldest niece is advanced and my sister fought, unsuccessfully, to get accomodations for her. This is a little girl who would tell anyone who would listen how much she hated school...by the first grade. Hearing these stories riled me up. I started to become disenchanted. I recalled how much I hated school and how people picked on me a lot.

I decided to stop avoiding hs posts; it was just morbid curiosity, I told myself. Then, I read, "Why Homeschooling Matters" by David Guterson. Guterson was a high school English teacher and an academic person. He wrote about homeschooling his three sons and he made a persuasive argument. That book converted me and then, with Guterson's arguments, I converted my dh. I found inclusive homeschooling support groups in our area and it strengthened me.

Today, dh and I are 100% pro-homeschooling for our kids. Occasionally, I'll say things to test the waters and he replies that he staunchly supports the idea of homeschooling.

That's how we came to be pro-hs...
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#16 of 125 Old 07-02-2004, 11:41 PM
 
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Been homeschooling for 2 weeks, and I love it!

My journey started when I was a kid and I had great interest in a few cousins who homeschooled. I was too young and too shy to ask questions then, but when as an adult I learned some homeschoolers lived in my neighborhood, I picked their brains! When my 2nd ds was a few months old, I had the thought that I needed to be prepared to homeschool my kids, so I started collecting stuff. Amazing how fast kindergarten comes around! After 2 years of home pre-schooling my son and loving it, It was time to make a decision. Dh's idea was to give ps a try because we didn't KNOW it was gonna be all that bad, and the least damage could occur in kindergarten. So, we tried 1/2 day kindergarten for a year. Ds loved it. He rarely had any complaints about it, but he is a very trusting child that thrives on having rules. I found a few times that he believed everything his teacher said, sometimes overruling things I had told him. Sometimes he'd come home with headaches or tell me how hot the school was, but in general he had many many fun and positive experiences. I thought being involved in the PTA was the way to go, but because I have younger children who are NOT allowed at the school, I got stuck calling volunteers for all of the activities. It didn't really give me the connection with my son's education I was looking for. I missed him. My whole morning was focused on getting him ready and to school on time . By the time I dropped him off, I was exhausted and still had my day ahead of me. The other 2 kids missed him and I hated that I was missing out on all of his learning. I could never get myself together and I felt that school was interfering with the natural rhythm of life that we had established over 5 years. I was scared to homeschool, and I didn't get a lot of support from friends and family when I brought up my concerns. Some things have happened over the past few months to get me over the fence.

I noticed my 2nd grader niece would come home from school and have 20 minutes of mandatory reading, 10 minutes of keyboarding, and 2 worksheets to complete. Then she had to practice piano. She might have a few minutes to play before it was time to eat, shower and get ready for bed. I was already having a hard time with the idea of sending my kid off to strangers for 6 hours a day, but then they just come home and have a continuation of the same at home.

I got a babysitter so I could go with my son's class on a field day for the last week of school. I was shocked at the negative atmosphere between the kids. I was also appalled at the way the teacher favored certain students and picked on others. (So much for socialization, so that's where my ds picked up the negative behaviors) We walked 5 long blocks down to the park where the kids did some PE type activities. The teacher was very stressed about keeping within the time limits so the kids would be back to the school by a certain time. Because of this, if they didn't scarf their popsicles down in 5 seconds, they had to carry them the 5 blocks back uphill in the sun while holding their "buddy's" hand. "And DON'T drop your popsicle stick!"When we got back the kids were exhausted! The aide had driven ahead and filled these little 2 oz dixie cups with water. Each kid got one. When a few of them went back for more, she said, " You know better than that!" Better than what? To get a drink when you're thirsty???

Funny that after thinking of homeschooling for so many years I never read a book on it. I decided to pick some up at the libraray so I could give it a try for the summer. I was amazed at the truths I read, and I am so happy to be back in the natural rhythm of life. I don't know how I'll ever go back. I've been very intrigued by the things I've read about unschooling and not quite sure I trust it, but every day my kids are proving that its in them!
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#17 of 125 Old 07-03-2004, 12:00 AM
 
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well... my son is five, he would start school in september. my best friend homeschools her 3 kids & has since before joe was born. i never had any intention to send my son to school; i do not think it was ever an option for me or him. even before i was pregnant, seeing her kids blossom at home... i just knew i wanted to homeschool. add to that MY horrible experiences in the public school system, & there was no doubt in my mind.

however, as joe has gotten older my IDEA of homeschooling has evolved. my first vision was a little schoolroom with a desk & chalkboard, the whole 9 yards. but seeing the way he learned to walk, to talk, the way he learned to recognize his colors & shapes... naturally, on his own, with my participation but no pressure... that appeals to me as a lifestyle so much now. www.unschooling.com (as well as this board of course!) has been a great resource for me, & seeing my bright & very active nephew struggle this year in all day kindergarten really confirmed to me that i have made the right choice.

joe sees my friend's kids at home all day, & he is so happy to be on the same path; we got some homeschooling info in the mail the other day & he was SO excited!

that is the biggest thing~ my son just glows with love & life, he is interested in so many things. i will be able to fan the flames of his interest where in school they would be quickly snuffed out. i could not bear to watch that happen.
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#18 of 125 Old 07-08-2004, 09:34 AM
 
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I knew we would homeschool before we even had kids. I am the oldest of 5 children and I remember the school experiences of my 2 youngest brothers. Chris went to school and came home a different boy on his first day of K. He was labelled and beaten down emotionally.
Billy was homeschooled by my mother and he stayed sweet all thru his growing up years.
My dh wasn't on the same page as I, but he wasn't about the no circ either. He came around and is now my biggest supporter and advocate.
My kids have never been to P.S. or private school and I plan never to send them.
Both of my kids are very intelligent, but in different ways. My dd would do well in school-she loves doing schoolwork. She loves to write stories and poems and is a drawing fanatic. She is having one of her poems published actually. My ds just turned 6 and thank goodness I read Better Late than Early. I followed this principle with him and it has done so well by him. He is extremely bright and inquisitive and creative. But if he were in school, he'd be labeled. He's very busy. I did no school with him at all (execept reading to him and educational games) until this year and he is learning things at an amazing pace now that he is ready for it.
I recently had to have words with a sunday school teacher who told him his coloring was sloppy and his mother wouldn't like his picture. He told her, "My mother loves all my pictures."
He told me about it and I explained to her I don't give them pages to color. I want them to create their own art-not color someone else's-unless they want to. Staying inside the lines is not even on my list of priorities. It turns out she used to be a K teacher. She did apologize to him of her own accord.
After this one incident which made me absolutely furious, I know that a school and I would not get along. They would hate me. And my son would suffer.
HS fits our family perfectly. We use Unit studies, but are very relaxed schoolers with a child-led focus. I make our curriculums work for us instead of being a slave to them. We don't do a lot of bookwork. We do a lot of projects and games. My dd does more written things. My son is a math fiend-he requests to do math before bedtime and all other hours of the day.
They both enjoy learning everything. I really can't label what hours we "do school." It seems we are learning and playing all day long.
I love how my kids are turning out. They are friendly to everyone regardless of their looks, manner of dress, age, etc. They are respectful, helpful, still have their innocence and are full of confidence.
They're not perfect or course-but I love the way they are developing.
Also, I've grown and matured in a way I never was before.
We are Christian and also enjoy homeschooling for that reason. I want to be the one explaining the world, imparting our values and I don't want my children being taught evolution as a fact. They know it is a theory and it is our choice to teach them that way.
It doesn't even seem natural to me to send my kids away. I have found my kids to be more accepting and tolerant of all kinds of people more so than any of my kids' friends that go to public and/or private school.
I do find that perplexing as I thought that one of the P.S. mantras-to teach tolerance and acceptance.
Another factor is my experience in school-some good and some bad. But the bad was very bad.
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#19 of 125 Old 07-08-2004, 11:02 AM
 
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I just wanted comment on the last few things I said in my above post.
I got all fired up (yet again) thinking about that lady criticizing my son's coloring and I think it set the tone for the rest of my post. Sorry about that!
As for teaching tolerance and acceptance, I realize that schools probably try to promote that the best they can. I'm sure many factors contribute to the actual learning of them-like what kids are taught at home by their parents, siblings and what they learn from their friends.
If I wasn't teaching it to my kids, they would'nt have learned it (and continue to learn it) either.
I don't want to blame schools for not teaching kids what parents should be teaching their own kids.
As for my experiences in school, all but 2 of my teachers ( I remember all of them) were great. I loved schoolwork. My problems came after moving to upstate NY from Long Island after my parents got divorced and being put into an extremely rural school (23 kids in my grade) and I stuck out like a sore thumb and there were some very cruel kids who thought their mission in school was to make my life a living hell.
After 3 years of that and the total dismantling of my self-confidence and self-esteem, I worked summers to pay for tuition to go to a different school (my mother agreed to drive me there), where I survived much better and even thrived a bit. I loved college, though.
Anyway, I feel homeschooling is perfect-for MY family.
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#20 of 125 Old 09-22-2004, 07:22 PM
 
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The choice was pretty simple for us. Public school started out teaching subjects like READING, WRITING and arithmetic. All other subjects of life were learned at home or later on in life during the normal process of growth. Now, everything is taught in school from religion to sexual education.

My husband and I should be the ones teaching our children these other subjects, not perfect strangers. And later in life when they have intellect and mental capacity to choose for themselves what they'd like learn(college), I'm all for it.

But for now, these are our children, our gifts from God and we will train them in the way they should go.
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#21 of 125 Old 09-26-2004, 12:48 AM
 
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Hi All!

My dd is currently 4 years old, and actually enrolled in a Montessori school right now, while I finish my degree.

Homeschooling is something that I've always kept in mind, since I was in high school, and saw quite how far our homeschooled counterparts were ahead of us, even in the honors courses.

When I am done with school, in December, I'm taking dd out of preschool, as it is largely serving as a daycare for us. I've never felt that preschool was necessary. Dd actually loves going to school, which has made it that much easier for me to send her there, but I still feel that homeschooling would be best.

We're an AP family, and I was a sahm with dd until she was 2, and I needed to take on the traditional university student schedule. I have to say, it is very hard for an AP sahm to take on a wohm schedule. Dd has continued to thrive (she was in a home-day-care), but I still considered the circumstances second-best. I think nursing helped the transition to day-care be a smoother one, and she continued to nurse until she was 3.

We'll be ttc around the winter holidays, and getting back to the sahm lifestyle. I anticipate maintaining more of an unschooling approach for at least the early years, and seeing where we go from there. I think that homeschooling may be particularly right for us as a military family, with moves being so frequent. I have personally enjoyed each new place, and taken it as an opportunity to explore, and have new adventures. I think continuing that will be easier while homeschooling, rather than regularly dealing with the trauma of switching schools.
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#22 of 125 Old 10-17-2004, 03:12 AM
 
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I'm a recovering PTA Mom (OK, bad joke, but that's how I feel)! DD, 8yo, was in 3rd grade in the ps around the corner from our house. I've had problems with the principle since she was in k. Her teacher was concerned because dd seemed to "fade out" (her words) and lose focus. You almost always had to touch her to get her attention, but only happened on the playground or when she was in "deep thought" mode. They decided to test her hearing. Not a problem, but I wanted to be there. The teacher, who I really liked, called me one afternoon and asked me to stop by. I did, and she apologized for it, but they tested her hearing that morning. Uh, permission form did say I wanted to be there. I went to the principle and was told, " we don't have time to accomodated every parent, there ARE over 1000 students in our school." That has been her mantra since then. She drove me nuts! DD had wonderful teachers in k and 1. I was really lucky!
Second grade she was put in a class that had a large number of kids that were slower learners. She had lost the draw of the teacher card. It wasn't that she was a bad teacher, she had so many that didn't have a grasp of the concepts that she had to slow it down considerably. The few she had that "got it" were just dying of boredom. DD was one of them. They didn't cover the grammar that was needed for 3rd grade, and spelling was a joke. My dd could spell Tyrannosaurus Rex (obviously her Mother can not!) but can't spell "paper". T-rex was one of her spelling words! They were stressing that they needed to know certain things for the end of grade test(for 3rd grade) and dd began to have nightmares, and was having stomach aches. Her doctor said stress. DD decided to "skip 3rd grade and go to 4th" (her words), she thought she wouldn't have EOGs in 4th grade.
I don't know what possessed me to send her back this year, but 3rd grade was awful for her! There were concepts that she didn't get last year, and she was bored by the repetition. At one point she made a 77 on a math test. When I asked why, she said, "Mommy, she's already given us one test on that, and it was on the EOG pre-test, and then she gave us another test on it. I'm tired of doing it." What could I say?
The school is set up on a gifted and talented theme. Basically, for 2 45 minute periods each day they were sent to another class, like butterflies, dance props, and fit for life. Meanwhile, kids who need remedial help get it during that time. I finally sat down and figured it up, with getting from class to class, lunch, and bathroom breaks (2 a day), her teacher was lucky to be able to give 10 minutes to each child. Now figure in keeping roll, constantly testing, giving instructions and handing out all of the daily worksheets, and there was no time. There was one child who needed way more attention than the others because he was always disrupting class and needed constant supervision (he kept trying to take dd's test booklet during the EOG pre-test, and she still managed to only miss 3 on the whole test). Add in the stress dd had over trying to find time to take 1 AR test on the 2 computers in the class (can't take a test until you finish your work, so those finished first always grabbed them!) I had to fight with the child who used to love to read to get a few pages read. Oh, and the 45 minutes of homework that grew to take 2 hours was a monster in our house. We had no family time at all! Play time this year was walking laps around the teachers' parking lot. I couldn't take it anymore!
I took my family back! DD is back to the wonderful, loving child I used to know, and although it has only been a month, I've seen wonderful changes in her.We are taking out time, flipping around and looking at different concepts when she's bored. We can come back to it later has become a popular phrase in our house. I just wish I had done this last year!

Oh, and that loving principle, she's Principle of the year in our county!

Sorry this was so long, I could have gone on, but you get the picture!
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#23 of 125 Old 10-17-2004, 03:40 AM
 
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Welcome to the board and to homeschooling I am so glad you took back your family, and are enjoying yourselves! It's great isn't it

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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#24 of 125 Old 10-20-2004, 03:30 PM
 
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When my Oldest was finishing 3rd grade I found myself very interested in homeschooling. I had a new baby and ds wanted to be home with us. It seemed so nice being together. Plus it fostered a relationship between my widely spaced children. Doesn't mean the are always loving brothers! They have gotten to spend time together though. My oldest is 13 now and my youngest 4 1/2. We still homeschool I have to say that Ienjoy it more now than I did in the beginning. This is our 5th school year and we are pretty relaxed-I use a lot of Waldorf style learning with my youngest. My oldest ds uses Oak meadow 8th grade. He enjoys it. Before this year I pretty much gathered our learning materials and taught unit study style. ds (13) is such an independant learner though. He prefers to do a lot of the reading on his own. We do math together and I suggest (assign) books that I know we can discuss. I love homeschooling though. I love being able to go on a trip when we want. All of our family is out of state-we can leave for three weeks visit them all in WV and then come back to TN at our leisure. there is less stress in times of illness because we aren't on someone elses schedule. We can heal in our time. ds broke his arm ad was able to work at his own pace without feeling any stress about falling behind.
He feels good about what he accomplishes because he realizes that he didn't have to do anything. Therefore what he does get done exceeds what he had to do. Make sense?
I am rambling now!
homeschooling is great for our family though-I guess I just wanted to give a little background on why it is so great for us.
Even though my house looks like a preschool with pictures taped up everywhere and a nature table in the living room-chalkboards everywher against the walls-plus we still have all the usual living room stuff! its crowded but cozy right?
Gretchen
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#25 of 125 Old 11-02-2004, 12:11 PM
 
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Hi! I'm new to this board and very excited to be here.

My name is Linda and I have 2 little girls who are 6 and 8. They have never been to school. Homeschooling is just a natural extention of the way we parent. When they were little they nursed, sleep with us, and where never left to cry. They are past those things now but we are still AP parenting! They learn in an atmostphere of love and respect.

We are relaxed but not unschoolers. I make sure that they are progressing in their skill subjects of reading, writing and math at a pace that is comfortable for them. We use materials that work best for them and I focus on helping my kids learn rather than getting through a curriculum. We use all sort of resources for other subjects from good books to fun projects to occasional curriculum (they love Five in a Row and Great Adventures in Science).

I look forward to getting to know you all better!
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#26 of 125 Old 11-02-2004, 12:27 PM
 
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How I came to homeschooling.

My oldest is 11yrs old and we jsut started homeschooling this week.
We had moved from NY to Florida in August. In NY Cory was in a special ed class and was classified as Learning disabled.Howver last year he was mainstreamed for 3 classes and the goal this year was full mainstream with resource room.
When we moved we made the decision to put him in a private school as the district we are in is less then optimal. The school had won the blue ribbon of excellance and they assured me that they would work with cory as much as needed. Well I am unsure between 3 hurricanes and a move wether it was the stress on him or that the school was truly to hard. (They would take 10 points off of a test if his heading wasn't right) His report card consisted of all d's and F's. The school and I had decided that this wasnt for him. So they gave me a number for another school. I went to see it and it seemed like a great program for someone that needed it.(It was geared for more emotionally challanged children) After calling every private school within an hour of here and getting no where I made the decision to homeschool him.
We have only been at it for 2 days now and so far he seems much less angry and tense and more interested in learning so I am thinking this was the best choice.

Terrie
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#27 of 125 Old 11-15-2004, 07:05 PM
 
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Dd is only 2 so we havent started an offical homeschooling routine but we do learn together....anyway soon after I found out about AP and Natural parenting I ran across a few posts on a board about homeschooling.
I started to check it out a bit, but the real kicker for me as when my 12 yo brother asked me where Wisconsin was!!! i was shocked. He had no idea where it was located on a map.

From there I went nuts, I rented every book on home schooling I could find, even the ones that wont apply to us for years (like teenage liberation) and devoured all the info I could. I joined boards and read all the laws in every state that I ever had thought about moving to. After I had all this info I decided to approach Dh. He was really hesitant about it, since everyone he knew from school who was hs'd were "weird". lol.

Anyway to make a long story short dh went into the army and met quite a few HS'd guys who were "normal". So he started to think a little tiny bit about it. About this time i got my hands on a copy of Dumbing us Down. That was the life changer. Dh (who previously wanted to be a ps teacher) was totally convinced! We talked about it a lot and now we are both anti public school as can be, him even more so than me!! lol

So we no longer talk about "if" we will hs, it is just a fact. Our life has already had a slight shift just because we try to utalize learning time more.
Caitlin is thriving and learning at a pace that I can barely keep up with.

for us this is the only choice.

Kim- Simple livin' mama to 4 great kiddos.
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#28 of 125 Old 12-11-2004, 09:32 PM
 
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I started homeschooling my son in 6th grade...When we lived in Michigan he went to a private Christian school that treated him like a person and loved him.He did well there.Had many friends and made terrific grades even though he has ADD and attention problems.We moved to Kentucky his 6th grade year.Not only did they torment him,they teased him terrible for his accent,the way he walked,the way he smiled,the way he felt,ect...School was a torture chamber for him.We tried 3 different schools here including one christian school.They were all the same.He was treated like a non-person for all to wipe their feet on.I remember being bullied in my younger years and couldn't bear for him to have that happen to him.So I pulled him the day they called me saying he hit another student...He was suspended for two weeks for defending himself...They were pulling his hair,shoving him down when he walked and calling him names I can't even repeat.My son would never hurt a fly let alone a person.He didn't deserve that kind of treatment.No one does... That is what called us to homeschooling.

On a side note my happy confident happy with himself son went to withdrawn and depressed in a matter of months..It took 6 months of unschooling to get him to like learning again.He still hasn't regained his love of learning like he did although he loves to read...He will never see the inside of a school building again until college and that is his choice..He wants to be a Marine Biologist and study sharks.Has since he was in pre-school...He is a great kid and we love homeschooling...Love mylie xx
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#29 of 125 Old 01-01-2005, 06:01 PM
 
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I am not an AP parent, however I never left my kids to unneccessarily cry. And really with what I see in schools, there is alot of that. Or than again maybe it is neccessary in the mass setting. Anyway I am a 'normal' parent, I want my bed for fun with my hubby, I like time alone, I like kids who can clean up after themselves, and I have no qualms about insisting it goes my way. I also like to play with them, make them laugh and read to them.

But with schooling, it is so up to him. If he wants to learn to read I will gladly teach him, if he wants to learn to add I am all for it. If he doesn't want to write his letters than ok it can wait. I suppose I homeschool, cause we do do lessons when he is in the mood, but I do not 'school at home', I leave the choice to work up to him. I do not unschool, all I have read about it means I might need to give up bedtime and chores, way not happening.

My kids are 1 girl and 2.75 boy. The one year old want's to read too, but somehow it isn't happening yet
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#30 of 125 Old 01-18-2005, 01:54 PM
 
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Before we ever had kids we talked about homeschooling them. We were both somewhat social outcasts, and not happy with the cultural aspects of school. The only time I had friends as a child was before I went to school and a few vacation summer time friends. I got straight A's all the way through and still managed to have some teachers "pick on me". I was a babysitter or nanny from age 11-20 and the amount of influence I had because of the amount of time I spent with the kids was fairly astounding. and I studied anthropology so knew some of the ways children were raised historically and world wide. So when we had kids attachment parenting and homeschooling just ran together. Our kids have taken some college classes at this point and I am satisfied with how things went. Probably with our first 2 we worried more than we needed to and worked harder at socialization- of course homeschool groups back then were smaller- the group we use to belong to that had only about 10 families the more recent group has about 100 families and the younger kids have many more friends, and feel less like they are different. Our youngest is 16 and still homeschooling- spends a great deal of time on line and just recently took a science class from a doctorate student who had been homeschooled herself- She was probably the best teacher I have seen in a long time. Very excited about the subject and really about everyone learning the info she was presenting.
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