If you've pulled kids out of school, did you end up regretting it? - Mothering Forums
Learning at Home and Beyond > If you've pulled kids out of school, did you end up regretting it?
peaceful_mama's Avatar peaceful_mama 11:10 PM 02-07-2012

Title says it all, I am just curious.  My oldest goes to a school I really like, he enjoys it and has no problems, but there are things I just don't like about school, period. 

One is the lock-step approach to learning "we don't do multiplication yet"  etc.


Two is the inescapable month of December since we don't do Christmas.


Three is I freakin hate not being together so much of the time!  My son hates it when the other kids get to go do things without him because he is in school and they are not.  I hate that my life seems to be dictated by the school schedule.  There was a time I was convinced I'd homeschool, and then well, life happened, and DH isn't sold and we have a first grader.


then there's the fact that he LIKES school and doesn't have problems in school.  I wouldn't feel right forcing.  AND the school they are in, if I take them out, I lose our place.  There's a waiting list.  But if we were to move out of town, I would probably have to take them out anyway.  And I pretty much guarantee wherever we go won't be better.  (I know the area where I live, the smaller towns I'm probably going to hate Dec. even more....)


So anyone switch after doing school and then regret it?  Or love it?

Cassidy68's Avatar Cassidy68 11:36 PM 02-07-2012

My son left school after kindergarten and a few weeks of first grade. We love it. But our situation is a bit different-- my son really didn't like school and it wasn't a good fit for him socially or academically. He was very keen to try out homeschooling. If he'd been loving school I probably wouldn't have seriously considered presenting home schooling to him as an option. Now that we're out of the school system, though, I can't imagine him going back... not in the elementary grades anyway. He'd be in grade 2 now and his life is so full of things he enjoys-- and he has time to really delve deep into his passions.

zebra15's Avatar zebra15 12:07 AM 02-08-2012

I took my son out during winter break of kindy.  School in general was not a good fit for him (this was back in 2006) and we never looked back. Homeschooling was the best decision educationally for him.  I had lots of pressure to enroll him, so I did, and school was horrible.


You may loose your spot but there are so many wonderful HS opportunities, so many  more than in 2006.  Many museums, nature centers, parks, libraries etc have programs for homeschoolers.  There are HS groups etc that many weeks DS has so much to choose from.



eli's mama's Avatar eli's mama 08:26 AM 02-08-2012

I pulled my son out after first grade.  For a few reasons, it wasn't a good fit being the most easily explainable.  I don't regret it, but it has been a constant battle with DH.  He was never sold to begin with, but I thought that he would at least come around after a few months.  But he still says things like "he should be in school" randomly if ds is getting into trouble or seems the slightest bit bored.  My son is really liking being home though I admit I'm not accomplishing as much as I had originally planned.

jeteaa's Avatar jeteaa 08:34 AM 02-08-2012

I pulled dd1 out of a horrible school. So, no I don't regret it. However, after 2 years of hs, they are almost schoolers again because of the many classes, hs programs etc they are enrolled in. Its almost like they do go to school, I just drive them multiple places around town every other day. But the responsibility for them learning what they NEED to learn is still on my shoulders. Sometimes I would be happier with out that FT responsibility. So I think that if my dc were in a good school (none are great imo) and they enjoyed it most of the time, I would not pull them out. However, I would be a parent the school hated because I would take them out for "wellness" days occasionally and do something really fun!

4evermom's Avatar 4evermom 08:35 AM 02-08-2012

I think most school kids with younger siblings go through an adjustment period where they have a hard time with missing things while they are at school.


And the Christmas issue happens even when you homeschool. I'm sure it isn't as bad, though. I was really hoping all of ds's friends were old enough to not be talking about Santa but there are still some true believing 10 yos. Could be that they would have been disillusioned younger if they were in school and we would be past it by now if he were in school.


Anyway, sending ds to school was really the only parenting decision I regretted. But that was because it was a bad fit for him and he hated it. The short experience had long lasting negative effects.

Meli65's Avatar Meli65 07:02 PM 02-09-2012

Re: Christmas, I had a true-believing 10-year-old (until yesterday! gulp) and he was in public school until this year. I was shocked myself.

SundayCrepes's Avatar SundayCrepes 10:00 PM 02-09-2012

OP: Here are two books that might help your husband understand the benefits of homeschooling:


Legendary Learning: http://www.amazon.com/Legendary-Learning-Homeschoolers-Self-Directed-Excellence/dp/0983151008/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328847494&sr=1-1

This is probably the best parenting book I have ever read. How you can offer your kids the skills they need to follow their passions and succeed (as they define it) in the world. Although it is geared to homeschoolers, most of this can be applied to children who attend school. She discusses Montessori, Charlotte Mason, A Thomas Jefferson Education (a form of classical education,) and unschooling. She has researched how many highly successful people were educated as they grew up. Although all were homeschooled for some period of time, many also went to school for awhile as well. She discusses people like Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, Pierre Curie, Agatha Christie, Margaret Leakey, and many, many others. The bottom line is to help your child find their passions and teach them the creativity and skills to attain their goals.



Homeschooling: A Path Rediscovered for Socialization, Education, and Family



This is a gentle book. It acknowledges there are many fine way to educate children. Some parents feel their children will do best in a typical school environment. Other parents feel their children will do best by homeschooling. Both ways are equally okay. At no time does it insult anyone's choices. After reassuring the reader that this book is not anti-school, it then goes on to address some of the major (incorrect) assumptions people have about homeschooling. Of course the first is socialization. 

After the writers bring up a common concern, they gently inform the reader about the realities of modern-day homeschooling. As I read the book, I was reconvinced of our decision to homeschool. For me, the book made homeschooling so appealing. 

dirtyhipegirl's Avatar dirtyhipegirl 01:47 PM 02-10-2012

I pulled my daughter,  7 out for first grade this year.  I am definitely second guessing that decision. She did very well in school and enjoyed it.  She was normally exhausted at the end of the day but other than that she was happy about being there.  But I dislike many things about school, many of the same things you mentioned.  I had always read a lot about homeschool and figured I couldn't mess up 1st grade too bad so I decided to give it a go.  I am struggling with her doing math.  Math is the only thing I make her do every day and she gets very frustrated and it turns into a screaming fit of rage.  I'm struggling with momentum to do anything with her.  In the beginning of the year I felt very inspired and motivated, now I just feel like I need a mental brake.  My dh works a lot so I don't get much support from him.  Also, we have a really good school within walking distance from us so it is really hard for me to not dwell on that on the hard days.  There have been many great things that we have got to experience this year but I'm just not sure if we are cut out for homeschooling. 

AllyRae's Avatar AllyRae 11:41 AM 02-11-2012

My child attended a Montessori school for 3 years (a year of preschool, a year of kindergarten, and 1st grade.  Before that, he attended a preschool at a co-op).  He HATED school...between autism and being bullied, he hated school.  I pulled him out and we've been homeschooling for 8 months and I do NOT regret it one bit.  Some days I feel like enrolling him in school because of the normal frustrations that come, but in general, it's been one of the best things for him.  He had fallen way behind in school (at the beginning of 2nd grade, he tested at the preschool/lower kindy level for math for example)...since he started homeschooling, he caught up and is now working at grade level or even above in some subjects.  He's also happier, more confident, and loves learning now...all things he wasn't before.

AAK's Avatar AAK 03:18 PM 02-11-2012

Not Yet :)


Seriously though, I don't regret pulling them out.  However, both kids were on board when I did it.  While I realize that the decision (at their ages) was mine (and dhs), I think it was smoother because they were on board as well.  My oldest came home mid 3rd grade.  My second came home a year later at mid 1st grade.  My oldest actually loved school for a while.  She loved being "surrounded" by others.  It took a bunch of the negative aspectst to build up before she was ready to change.  Now, she doesn't understand what took her so long to want to come home.  My second child was truly not a good fit within the public school system.  I wish I brought her home sooner.



Super Pickle's Avatar Super Pickle 05:40 PM 02-11-2012

If a parent starts a child in school and then pulls him out, as opposed to being a homeschooler from the start, it's usually because there are problems at school. We pulled ODS out 1/3 of the way through 4th and don't regret it, because it took care of the problems he was having. My younger son sometimes feels left out, as he's the only one of 4 who is away at school all day, but I really think I would regret it if I pulled him out just because I miss him. He is thriving and learning in school, and I'm glad for that. 

Rik-E's Avatar Rik-E 11:13 PM 02-11-2012

I pulled my son out halfway through 2nd grade & do not regret it. He was in a school that sounds similar to what you are dealing with - waiting list, ect.

Honestly what I do regret a little is sending him to a school in the first place. We always planned to homeschool but when this new & much betetr school opened we took a chance & tried it out. Ended up not being worth all the hassle.

transylvania_mom's Avatar transylvania_mom 11:26 AM 02-12-2012

Ds goes to school, so I don't really belong here, but I just wanted to answer some of your questions. If he likes going to school, why not let him? If they don't do multiplications, why not do them at home? (that's what I do with my ds) If you don't celebrate Christmas, why not pull him out for the month of December? (I kept ds out of school for a month when we took a trip to Europe, and plan to do it again).


Just my 2cents.gif

jeteaa's Avatar jeteaa 01:54 PM 02-12-2012

Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

Ds goes to school, so I don't really belong here, but I just wanted to answer some of your questions. If he likes going to school, why not let him? If they don't do multiplications, why not do them at home? (that's what I do with my ds) If you don't celebrate Christmas, why not pull him out for the month of December? (I kept ds out of school for a month when we took a trip to Europe, and plan to do it again).


Just my 2cents.gif

Because after a child has been in school 6 plus hours a day, then doing the required HW, a child NEEDS to just play! Not do additional "school" work. 


4evermom's Avatar 4evermom 07:33 PM 02-12-2012

Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post If you don't celebrate Christmas, why not pull him out for the month of December? (I kept ds out of school for a month when we took a trip to Europe, and plan to do it again).

I don't believe that most US schools are thrilled about having their students pulled out for a month. There is a minimum of days a student needs to attend per year. Typically, the school needs to approve of the request for the student to not be in school for a length of time and work with the parents to arrange assignments that can be done during that period that will make the time count as attendance, sort of a temporary homeschool. Otherwise, the student could be considered truant which can entail a hefty fine and other unpleasantness in my state. I know some schools are willing to work with parents about such things but it is far from a given that just taking a student out for the month of December can be done with no consequences.


puzzlepeace's Avatar puzzlepeace 09:33 PM 02-12-2012

Yes and no. We pulled ds midyear because he was struggling emotionally last year. I would have liked him to finish the year but decided for his sake to pull him.  He is doing so much better now. So no regrets there, he is healing from some pretty traumatic experiences that school provided him.  Yes in that we were not mentally prepared for the amount of work homeschooling him and then our other kid this year (homeschooling meant me quitting my job, finding another, and major financial/emotional changes).  So regrets there since none of my family members adjust to change easily! I truly wish we had started when they were little, it would have been a much more natural transition to their growing and learning processes.


As for the December thing- I am not sure you can get around that. We celebrate Christmas, however the secular nature of American Christmas contaminates everything during December. Even as homeschoolers we have dealt with that. In public school, we were very disheartened by how they handled the December holidays.  In parochial school, there were still issues (though many, many fewer) even though it was our denomination.  As homeschoolers we at least were able to adjust our curriculum to learn about various holidays and experience some of the traditions that are celebrated.


To the PP who said pull your kids out for a month- that has its own consequences.  Many schools will not pass a child who is truant for that long a period during each school year.  Some states also fine or press charges on parents of truant children. After watching children struggle through this each year as a teacher, and watching a friend deal with the consequences as a parent (fines and community service, court costs, child being held back, etc) I would not purposely choose that route.  Homeschool families are able to travel or make adjustments much more easily in those situations so could be a better solution for a family dealing with this.

transylvania_mom's Avatar transylvania_mom 03:54 PM 02-14-2012

Oh, I didn't know you couldn't take kids out of school for a month in US. Here in Canada, I just discussed with the teacher and let the school know he'll be absent for a month to visit with family and they said fine, no problem.


To the PP who said the kids NEED to play when they are out of school, obviously you can't generalise. If my kid wants to do multiplications, I can't stop him, and it doesn't have to be "school work". He's reading the labels on the juice carton and calculating how many calories there are in an X amount of juice while we are at the dinner table.


The only reason why I replied to this thread was because OP said her ds likes school. Why not find a solution to things she doesn't like while letting her ds continue what he likes?


Again, just my two cents, if you don't agree please ignore.

Cassidy68's Avatar Cassidy68 07:28 PM 02-14-2012

We took my son out of kindergarten for 10 weeks, to travel, and no one seemed to be concerned. We let the school know and tried to find some ways to stay connected during our travels... We are also in Canada for what it's worth. I imagine there is variation between school even within a school district.


And as the PP said, kids do tend to define play differently! For some, math is play... for my son, science is definitely play and has been since he was two or three.

purslaine's Avatar purslaine 07:38 PM 02-14-2012

No.  Even though my older children have returned to brick and mortar school, I do not regret the years we spent HSing.  While I do not advocate a revolving door approach to school, it is very easy to put kids back in school if you change your mind.

peaceful_mama's Avatar peaceful_mama 09:14 PM 02-26-2012

thanks  :)  If I ever were to pull them, it would likely be because I can't keep them where they are right now and things with our family would need to be in a whole different place.  Baby DS has a birth defect that will require 2 more surgeries.  I know it would not be in the older children's best interests to be home while that is going on.  We went through it this fall and I know it was better for them to be in a place where they were comfortable AND had stimulating activities for them vs. sitting at home all day with Grandma who doesn't drive much and certainly does not drive the kids and works-at-night dad.  MAYBE when we get through all that, we'll see where we are.


I agree with the poster who said kids view play differently.  My son, given the choice of any internet games, will typically pick geography games over anything else lately.  Last year, it was math games.  He draws detailed maps of--at first it was the world, now it's the US--for fun.  He has a subtraction workbook and map workbooks he chooses to do on his own.  He DOES play outside, play pretend, watch TV etc.  but I'd say probably 60% of his free time is the more serious games.


He would be upset by missing out on school.  At this point, the only way I'd do it is if he were also on board, and the way I'd get there is to let him spend some time around the homeschoolers we know, make some friends...and appeal to his introverted nature...which actually might be a downside to homeschooling, I don't know.  The only negative thing I have heard him say other than that he misses out on things is "I spend my day surrounded by 25 other people, I just want to spend some time alone!"

Laurel's Avatar Laurel 07:43 AM 02-29-2012

I pulled my son out after second grade even though he was happy in school and had had great teachers up to that point.  I had always considered homeschooling, but it just took me that long to get up the guts to do it.  I wanted to homeschool because I felt I could provide a richer education.  I have no regrets.  Even if at some point we end up going back to school, I wouldn't have any regrets.  My son was very happy being homeschooled the first year because he LOVES soaking up all possible attention from parents.  This year he's had a harder time and missed friends more, but I resolved that before considering putting him back in school I would explore all possible options for socializing as a homeschooled child, teams, getting involved in local homeschool activities, etc.  As the year has progressed he seems to have moved through most of his angst all on his own.  A few weeks ago he told me that he wants to continue to be homeschooled at least until junior high.  I was nervous about telling him initially that we were going to homeschool, but he accepted the news just fine.  I talked up all the benefits, like going on lots of field trips and things like that.  We do Waldorf and so school is pretty fun, and that helps too.  He has told me many times that my school is more fun than regular school.  When he was so frustrated about being homeschooled, we had a big heart-to-heart and it boiled down to three reasons he wanted to go back to school: being with friends all day, having recess, and liking the cafeteria food more than my home cooking.  In my mind those were not reasons that I would send him back to school.  He gets tons of friend time right now, and I wasn't moved by the idea that he wanted to go back to where he could eat hot dogs and french fries for lunch all the time.

littlest birds's Avatar littlest birds 08:44 AM 02-29-2012

Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post


Three is I freakin hate not being together so much of the time!  My son hates it when the other kids get to go do things without him because he is in school and they are not.  I hate that my life seems to be dictated by the school schedule.  There was a time I was convinced I'd homeschool, and then well, life happened, and DH isn't sold and we have a first grader.


then there's the fact that he LIKES school and doesn't have problems in school. 

I feel this way.  Our kids each succeed differently and have had different levels of difficulty with school.  I have one child who thrived in school, liked it, and would probably would continue to if she were there.  Two love the social aspect but ultimately were terribly overstimulated by it and yet both skimmed academically doing very, very little.  These two were emotionally up and down about how they felt about being in school, and yet were not well-served.  And last I have one special needs child who was being poorly served.  Everyone smiled and acted supportive but they weren't helping him much and in a way I felt they couldn't do much for him in that environment that had so many negatives for him.  He always said he really liked school but is bad at communicating his feelings or describing and reflecting on his experiences.  Well, he's in his third year of homeschooling and every time it comes up he vows he has no interest whatsoever in being back in school.  It was worse for him than we realized or he realized--he was I think just attached to the familiarity of it and the routine.  My children are all homeschooling now.  And the truth is that when they were in school, they ALL liked it to some degree and only two showed they were having definite problems.  Only my teen had academic problems (caused by emotional and social issues), although our academically-advanced Aspi son was in rapid decline as the need to be organized and follow through with less help began to increase with age.  He still can't even do multi-step directions most of the time.


I think it's a toss-up until you figure out how you want to live with your children.  Given a good school, that is, and I consider our school to be quite good.  But the dictated life schedule is not a small thing!  I felt like it destroyed all spontaneity and creativity in our family life.  I felt dominated.  There are so many good things about school, and plenty bad.  There are plenty of frustrations for me in homeschooling as well.  Family togetherness is the best, but it can also be stressful...  But the freedom issue ended up trumping everything else after many ups and downs...  Having gone through middle and high school with our oldest dd partly in school, we committed to middle school at home with the others but maybe high school at public school.


I feel for you.  It would be a hard decision if you were going to lose your slot if you tried it.  And it takes months at least to really figure out how you feel about homeschooling as a way of life. 


I do not regret pulling my children out of school at all.  I DO regret some of the time they attended school, especially our oldest.  Overall, I wish they had attended less school.  It's a small regret in general but it's there.

Tags: Homeschooling